The following year:
"Here, Sam. Let me give you a hand with that," Jack said as he snatched one of the boxes Sam was juggling. "Where does this go?"
"Daniel said to stack this stuff over in the corner by the tree." She indicated an empty spot on the floor next to a four foot Christmas tree at the far end of the office.
"So where is our host anyway, Sam," Jack asked as he helped her arrange the boxes in a stack. There was the slightest emphasis on her name as if he was almost forcing himself to say it. The recently promoted colonel gave him an odd look.
"That's twice you did that, sir."
"Did what, Ca-Sam?" he asked feigning innocence as he fiddled with some of Daniel's rocks.
"Called me Sam." She stared at him as if he had grown horns. "You never call me that."
"Well, I can't exactly go around calling you Carter after this weekend, now can I. And I can't call you Jackson," he glanced past Sam and saw Daniel entering the room carrying a large box labeled Christmas Lights. "He's that shaggy haired geek I left back on Abydos." Daniel snorted as he walked into the room.
"Very funny, Jack."
Sam took the box of lights out of Daniel's arms and drew him in for a kiss. "I left the pictures of that artifact from P3X-677 on your desk along with the paint chips I picked up from the decorator's."
Jack just shook his head and started unraveling the Christmas lights. Even though their wedding was only four days away, it still disconcerted him the way that his favorite pair of scientists slipped between roles. From co-workers, to friends, and soon to be husband and wife. There had been a lot of negative speculation when their relationship first became public knowledge, but they had proved all the naysayers wrong.
Sam walked over to the tree and gave Jack a hand getting the lights arranged. "Who said I was changing my name, anyway, sir," she whispered.
"The status change forms that had your name on them that crossed my desk earlier today." Sam stared at him for a long moment. The general pretended to look exasperated. "I do read what I sign." There was a defensive note in his voice. "Well, sometimes Walter just paraphrases for me but its the same thing."
"Why are we whispering, anyway?"
"It's a surprise for Daniel. He said it was my decision to make and he didn't want to influence me either way."
"Your secret is safe with me." 'Of course I might have to have Walter place a bet for me in the base pool.
"I brought down the box of ornaments from your quarters, Daniel," Nyan said entering the room bearing yet another cardboard box.
"Thanks, Nyan," Daniel said distractedly from behind his desk where he was flipping through the folder that Sam had brought with her. "It looks like this artifact is some sort of weather forecasting device. I'll have to cross reference my notes later to get specifics, but I don't think it's a priority."
He motioned for Nyan to join him at his desk. "Have Trisha take a look at this while I'm gone. She's probably your best at the more obscure Babylonian dialects." Nyan pulled a small binder off the shelf and scribbled a few notes into.
"Consider it done."
"Thanks, again, for everything. I 'll be able to relax knowing you have things under control." The two shared a smile that spoke of mutual respect and friendship.
Daniel continued flipping through papers for a few moments, "I think I'm leaning towards Harvest Gold instead of Early Wheat, Sam." He put the remainder of the papers into his filing cabinet.
"Oh, good," she answered as she popped the star on top of the tree, her sapphire engagement ring sparkling in the lights of the Christmas Tree. "That was my pick, too."
Jack just laughed as he listened to his two favorite kids, "Are they like this all the time?" Nyan made a face that suggested that this was relatively tame. "Just what I thought."
"You should have heard them when they were picking out the tile for the kitchen."
A few moments later Teal'c arrived, along with a small army of airman each bearing a stack of pizzas."I believe we have acquired enough comestibles for 'everyone and their sibling' as per your instructions, Daniel Jackson."
"Hey, thanks, Teal'c. What do I owe you?"
"Consider it my contribution to the holiday festivities," Teal'c said bowing his head.
"Wow, thanks," Daniel said as he surveyed the airman who were industriously setting up several hundred dollars worth of pizza on the long worktable.
"Here, it is, sir," Walter said, dragging a hand truck with several coolers on it. "Where would you like it?" he looked at the General waiting for instructions.
"Jack...?" Daniel asked peeking into the cooler on top.
"That would be my contribution to the holiday festivities," Jack reached into the cooler and pulled out a Guinness. "General's prerogative." "Help yourself, Walter," Jack offered indicating the coolers and pizza, "You're off the clock now."
Whether it was the scent of pizza, or the fact that it was nearing shift change, slowly people began to filter into the office. Everyone came bearing a gift which was placed under the tree as part of the Secret Santa that the head of SG-12 had organized. Holiday well wishes were exchanged as well as gifts, and more than few kisses under the strategically placed mistletoe. Sam had grumbled a bit when Daniel had insisted on that particular holiday tradition, until he had reminded her in extremely graphic terms why it was his new favorite holiday tradition. The ever present security cameras had kept him from a live demonstration, but they had remedied that in the privacy of her home.
"I see Santa did bring you a bigger office, Danny," Jacob called from the doorway.
"Dad!" Sam exclaimed, moving across the crowded room to hug her father.
"I had to have somewhere to put the tree, Dad." Daniel commented as he strolled over to greet the new arrival. Jacob pulled his soon to be son in law into the hug with his daughter.
"So when are your brother and his family arriving?"
"Their flight gets in around nine. I arranged a town car for them. It'll be easier with the kids." Jacob nodded and slipped into the room, which although larger than Daniel's old office was still in danger of becoming crowded. As he passed Daniel's desk he paused, then burst into laughter. "You really did get a copy of this?" Jacob asked holding up a picture frame.
"It's one of my favorites," Daniel grinned.
"I'm not sure pink's your color there, Jacob," Jack called from the other side of the room where he was lounging across the couch. "Although it seems to work for Daniel." The new general chose not to share that he had a copy of the 'pretty princess' picture at his home for his own private amusement.
"It seems this room is once again nearing its maximum occupancy." The Jaffa master hovered uncertainly in the doorway, two additional forms visible behind him.
"There's always room for one more," Jack gestured grandly at the room, "or three more, for that matter." Brat'ac edged his way into the room followed by Rya'c and Kar'yn.
"Thank you for allowing us to attend your union ceremony, Colonel Carter," Kar'yn said politely as she accepted a cookie from a plate being passed around.
"I'm happy you could make it." Of the course of arranging Rya'c and Kar'yn's union ceremony several months ago, the fact that her own wedding was coming up had led to the invitation.
"Kar'yn has developed a fascination for the ceremonies of other cultures," Rya'c said proudly smiling at his new wife.
"There are ways different than ours, and as we move towards a free Jaffa nation we must become aware of them. The old ways are not always the right ways."
"Is that pizza I smell?" a familiar voice asked as its owner entered the room.
"General Hammond," Teal's said bowing his head in the direction of the former SGC leader, "We were not expecting you."
"I wasn't expecting to be here myself, but I couldn't let this lovely young lady fly coach when I had a perfectly good private plane at my disposal."
"Surprise!" Cassie called, peeking her head around the door frame.
"Cass! I thought you weren't getting in until tomorrow," Sam drew her niece into a warm hug.
"That was the plan, and then Grandpa George met me for lunch the other day, and here I am," Cassie wriggled out of her aunt's arms only to be hugged in turn by the rest of her honorary extended family.
"I give her a look in from time to time. It's not like Georgetown is out of my way."
"Time to time means once a week," Cassie smiled. "I'm the envy of my roommates to have such a distinguished visitor."
"Miss Frasier," an Airman called from the hallway. "Where would you like me to put these for you?" He was toting several pieces of Cassie's luggage and a large dress bag.
"Um," Cassie said looking around the increasingly crowded room. Daniel motioned to the airman to hand him the luggage.
"I'll find a place for it. Wouldn't want to crush your dress now, would we?" He hooked the dress over the back of the door, and tucked her luggage under the work table, only to discover there were two more suitcases waiting out in the hall. "I hope the closet in your new room is big enough. Remind me to talk to the contractor about knocking out a wall." Sam just laughed and shook her head. Cassie had developed quite a taste for clothing in the last year or so, her wardrobe was extensive to say the least.
"My new room?" Cassie said quietly looking first to Sam then Daniel in confusion. "But I thought. . ."
Daniel pulled her close and lowered her voice so that no one else in the room could hear, "That since we were starting a new life together we wouldn't have room for you in it?" He hugged her tightly. "Don't be silly, for as long as you'll have us, we're yours. We may not be your parents, we may not even be your 'real' aunt and uncle, but we love you, Cass. You'll always have a home with us, even if it is just the place you come on semester breaks."
"I know I was being silly. I guess I was just trying to prepare myself for the worst."
"Hey, Cass, come over here," Sam called from across the room, "I want to show you something." She had a large binder out that she was leafing through with her father. Cassie picked her way carefully across the room, stopping only to grab a slice of pizza. Daniel glanced around the room ensuring that everyone was enjoying themselves. Jack caught his eye and motioned for him to join him on the couch.
"Who knew Carter could be so domestic?" Jack said nodding his head in Sam's direction. Apparently the binder she was showing to her father and Cassie was full of notes on the house they were having constructed, their wedding plans, and the itinerary for their honeymoon.
"She never had the opportunity before."
"Or the reason." The two friends shared a long look.
"I only do the touchy-feely thing once a year, Daniel, and I'm saving that for the wedding." Jack was well into his second beer and feeling a little mellow around the edges. "That being said, you're a lucky man, Daniel Jackson."
Daniel surveyed his office. Friends, who more his family mingled with co-workers and off-world allies. There was an air of festivity that had as much to do with the holiday season as for the respect and love that these people shared for one another. There were those, like Janet, whose presence was sorely missed this year, at the same time there were new additions, like Kar'yn and the new recruits tentatively peeking in the doors to wish those present a Happy Holidays. Half way across the room, her face alight with excitement as she shared their plans, was his bride to be, his best friend and soul mate. As if she felt his eyes on her, she looked up and mouthed the words 'I love you' before turning back to answer a question one of her assistants had.
"Jack, you have no idea."
For those of you that have been following this story, thank you for reading. I appreciate all the kind comments and feedback that was left for this story. This is the first fanfiction I've ever written, and your words provided me with the motivation to finish. I'm normally have the horrible habit of starting 50 projects and not finishing one. I'm thrilled that this wasn't the case with this one.
Is there more to this story? I think there might be, though it would have to go in a sequel.