Third Time's The Charm

By Kate O'Riley

Disclaimer: Stargate does not belong to me. Too bad…

Spoilers: "Threads", "Chimera", "Heroes", most of season 8, maybe some season 9 if I'm lucky…

Her fingers smoothed over the white silk nervously. She looked at herself in the mirror one last time. "Are you sure I look all right?" she asked nervously.

"You look gorgeous," Cassie reassured her. Cassie was her only attendant, in large part due to honoring Janet's memory. She tried to brush away the sting of pain; by all rights, Janet should have been serving as her maid of honor. Janet wasn't there, though.

A lot of people weren't there that should have been. She felt a lump in her throat as she thought about her father. He'd known. He'd known and approved, even though he never said so in so many words. His approval meant the world to her.

Cassie squealed as a tear slipped out of her eye. "You're going to mess up your makeup!" she said in mock horror. She took a second look. "What's wrong?" she asked.

She did her best to smile. "I was just thinking about your mother and my father," she said softly.

"Oh." Cassie looked solemn. "You know, Mom would have been really happy for you. For both of you."

"I'd hope so."

"No, she would have. She used to speculate about 'what ifs'. It was one of her favorite 'what-ifs'."

She smiled. "Why am I not surprised?"

A knock came at the door. "Are you ready?" a male voice called.

She opened the door. "As ready as I'll ever be."

General Hammond took her arm. "It's time to go, then. He's waiting."

The doors opened, and the familiar strain issued forth. How often had she dreamt of this moment? First with Jonas, and then, sometimes, with Pete. But neither of those had ever had the dreams this one had. And neither of those had happened.

She'd begun to feel like it was her destiny to stay single. It hurt her. She had always dreamt of being married and raising a family. She wanted to be able to come home, and not find her bed empty. The first two tries had fallen through. Jonas had been a control freak, super-obsessive over her. She hadn't been surprised at what had happened on P3X-513. It was like him. Pete had been nice, and funny, and sweet, and while she'd had probably ended up marrying him if circumstances had been different…they hadn't.

When he'd proposed, as they sat looking at the stars, she'd developed a lump the size of a naquadah reactor in her throat. Her eyes had filled with tears. He kneeled there awkwardly. "What's wrong?" he asked, nervous.

"I'm afraid," she said softly. He'd stood and gathered her into his arms. "Afraid of what?" he asked.

"Afraid of hurting you," she whispered. Like she had hurt Jonas. Like she had hurt Pete. He sensed this, somehow. "Third time's the charm, you know," he'd whispered back.

And now, now there was this. This was further than she'd ever gotten. In a few minutes, it would be over – and it would just be beginning.

As General Hammond took her down the aisle, she tried to block out the stares of guests. Most of them were members of the SGC. Quite a few disappointed looks were among them. Her brother and his family were there. She looked to the end of the aisle and saw Teal'c and Daniel, standing upright, both of them grinning as big as they could. It relaxed her some, and the smile on her face suddenly felt less forced. Then she looked over at him. Her eyes locked with his brown ones, and she read everything in them; passion, joy, nervousness, but most of all, love.

The service seemed to take forever, and be gone in a second. The minister's voice rang out. "You may kiss the bride," and then she was caught up in his arms, being kissed passionately, and she was kissing him back, and people were cheering, and now he was holding her tightly and whispering in her ear, "I love you, Sam."

She relaxed in his arms, feeling a peace she'd never known before, and whispered back, "I love you too, Jack."

A/N: Whew! Written March 30, 2005. That was a title which had been reverberating in my head for a while, and it's great to finally get it out! Unfortunately, wicked little Muse is telling me to write some angst…I may wait for that until I get my new laptop in a couple weeks, though.