Disclaimer: Not mine. Set: Late season 8? Spoilers for everything up through Affinity.
Rating: PG13. Violence.
Pairing: Sam/Pete, Sam/Jack Summary: The wedding wasn't supposed to go this way, but it feels right.
Notes: Liz sparked this, but I think it was also from a Madonna lyric. Something about standing tall in a dress... hrm. Or maybe Something for Kate. One or the other. ANYway. This is future-y stuff, with a weird twist. Liz also wrote the coda for it. (which she hasn't posted). Title is a Something for Kate song. which, scarily, fits this fic. HAH!

Light at the End of the Tunnel by ALC Punk!

She wonders why she's so surprised. After all, this is her life, and her luck. So of course there are bullets peppering the walls.

There's blood on the stark white of her wedding dress, staining one side and splattered on the rest. Ironically, it's the priest's blood. Father Luke. Not hers. Or his. Which is nice, in a way.

Daniel, Teal'c and Jonas are behind the pews, cowering with the rest of the wedding party, and his relatives. His mother fainted when the first bullet impacted into flesh, blood spinning out and splattering the lectern, her dress, and him.

They're yelling at her, want her to take cover.

Get out of the line of fire.

Funny, she isn't in the line of fire.

This is my wedding day, she thinks. I'm supposed to be happy. And, obscurely, she is. Her destiny has been fulfilled, her life? Has always been like this, in some way. This is only a confirmation.

Get down. Teal'c is moving, trying to get to her, but the bullets are still flying (and no one else has been hit, not even her, why is that?)

What if I don't want to get down. Her brain must be broken. Logic is screaming at her to get under cover. Emotion wants her to collapse, to cry, to fall screaming behind the altar.

Where Pete is already cowering.

I will not cower.

She shouldn't be standing like a big-ass target in a white dress.

Red. White and red dress.

"Carter!" Hands grab her, shake her, drag her into the minimal cover of the fleur de lys confession boxes.

The General is there. Yay for him. Looking him up and down critically, she sees that his suit is already looking vaguely rumpled. She should have expected that, with him.

"What the hell are you doing? Get with it, Carter!" He's shaking her with every word, as if in some way, it makes him believe she's listening.

She wants to hit him or kiss him. And until her arm swings back and then her fist slams into his jaw and knocks him onto his ass, she's not really sure which she's going to do. There's something very satisfying in seeing his surprised look.

The guns have stopped going off.

Surprise looks good on him.

"This is my wedding day."

"Yes. Ow." He rubs his jaw, "Damn, Carter, your right hook still hurts. What the hell was that for?"

"Being an ass."

"That's 'being an ass, sir.'" He corrects, trying to make a joke.

Daniel, Teal'c and Jonas appear as if by magic. Each looks at her, then the downed General. "Sam?" Daniel sounds tentative.

"Sam!" Pete is grabbing her, shaking her, his arms and hands and fingers claiming every inch of her -- that he has no right to, not right now. Not when her wedding has been destroyed by thugs with guns. And a dead priest. "I thought --"

"You know what the worst thing is, Pete?" She is calm, she is collected, she is covered in the blood of a man of God.

"Sam?" Daniel isn't stupid. He knows that tone of voice.

Pete slowly pulls away, looks at her. "Sam?"

"I can't return this dress now."

Perhaps he isn't as stupid as he acts. The hands drop away and he steps back. "You're... You're leaving me."

"No." She wants to feel surprise. Maybe a little sadness, some regret. All she can feel is a strange blankness as she twists off the engagement ring and holds it out. "I was never really here."

"Carter." The General is standing in front of her, staring at the stains on her dress.

They should be stains on her soul, she thinks. "General."

"Why now?"

The question could have so many layers -- SHOULD have so many layers they could drown a blue whale. She takes it at face value. "Because I don't love him."

"Sam." Daniel's hand is on her arm. "You're not --"

"I am." She looks at him, notices that he's picked up a little of the tacky blood and gently removes his hand, whiping it on a clean spot on the dress. "So. General."


"I hear there's a fire sale on careers that are about to be destroyed."

He doesn't pretend to understand what she's saying, "Carter, what --"

"Wanna go fishing, Jack?" She's standing in her blood-stained wedding dress, asking her commanding officer on a date. Or something like that. She wonders if this is what it's supposed to feel like when you don't get what you want.

"Carter, you're not thinking straight."

Yup. This is what it feels like when you don't get what you want. "If it makes you feel better, you're the rebound guy." A bitter thought. "You always have been."

Daniel's hand is back on her arm, "Sam, I think you should sit down. You're looking a little pale."

"I'm fine." Her eyes stare at the General. "I'm just waiting for an answer. Snookums."

He blinks, once, then almost smiles. "Yes."

"Jack, you can't, Sam's --"

"Shut up, Daniel." They say it together. She can't smile yet. She's still wearing a wedding dress that needs to be burned. But he said yes.

He said yes.

Terror fills her. "Uh, Daniel? Come with us?"

"Oh, hell no."

"Carter, I don't bite."

"Neither do the fish, O'Neill."

"Hey, Sam," Jonas wraps an arm around her shoulders, "Is this standard for an Earth wedding?"


He said yes.

Sam stares at Jack.

Jack stares at Sam.

"So, uh... when do we leave?"


"Right!" He reaches out and extricates her from Daniel and Jonas. "C'mon, Carter. There's fish to catch."

"Dresses to burn."

A slight smirk, "Yup."