Mere seconds before the Ori 'bugs' finally overran their position, the bugs, along with the planet itself, disappeared in a white haze and the bridge of the Odyssey materialized around SG-1. Major General Jack O'Neill materialized in front of them along with it.
Daniel Jackson glanced briefly at his teammate, Samantha Carter, before turning back to the General. "God… you guys…" Shaking his head, he led the rest of the team out of the room. General O'Neill was the last to leave, following closely behind Colonel Carter, and no one commented on the fact that slowly fell back from the rest of the group, arriving together at the infirmary several minutes behind the rest of the team.
Excerpted from the memoirs of Brigadier General Cameron Mitchell, Retired:
There is one recurring point which has been made concerning the histories of SG-1 which I would like to specifically address at this time. It may seem, in hindsight, that the relationship between Jack O'Neill and Samantha (Carter) O'Neill must have been more readily apparent than reported. However, it is important to realize that most commentators have seen the two of them together primarily in news reports and video taken after their relationship was made public, as they rarely appeared together in public prior to that point. For years, they more-or-less successfully kept their feelings and later, their marriage itself carefully concealed for professional reasons, and it was most definitely not obvious. I myself had served closely with then Lieutenant Colonel Carter for nearly a year before I knew of their relationship, and in the end I had to be let in on the secret. Maybe the story of exactly how this occurred will help clear the matter up.
It was right after SG-1 returned from escorting a team of delegates from the International Oversite Advisory (IOA) to the Gamma site. As has been fully recounted elsewhere, a deadly strain of bugs, R75, developed by the Ori as a weapon got loose and the delegates and SG-1 had barely escaped with our lives. Some would say I should have suspected something when Jack – General O'Neill – was waiting for us as we beamed onto the Odyssey, but he later explained he had been there on the request of the President to ensure everything possible was done to protect the interests of the IOA representatives. It seemed like a good explanation. A more suspicious mind might also have found something in O'Neill and Sam hanging back from the rest of the team as we walked to the infirmary, but they had been close friends for nearly ten years whom – I thought at the time – rarely saw each other. Their wanting to have a few private words didn't seem too strange under the circumstances.
The bottom line is, someone observing the two of them together who wanted to assume they were having an inappropriate relationship could easily have done so, but they never acted unprofessionally or gave anyone any ammunition which could have resulted in actual fraternization charges. And, of course, their relationship was not inappropriate, as the regulations specifically allow for marriages. Even the military is unwilling to dictate whom a person is allowed to marry.
Eventually I was of course let into the ever-growing circle of those who were "in the know". In fact, by the time their marriage was made public upon O'Neill's retirement, Rodney McKay may have been the only one involved with Homeworld Security who was truly surprised by the announcement. How I found out is typical of Jack and Sam, and really the entire team, and will almost certainly be of interest to future readers.
It was right after the aforementioned mission involving R75. SG-1 had decided to have a 'movie night', and we were all going to meet up at my place after leaving the SGC. It was before Vala had joined the team, so there were just four of us as we left the elevators at the base of Cheyenne Mountain headed for the parking lot. Sam's phone rang and, after glancing at the CallerID, she gestured for the rest of us to continue on without her. She stopped to talk to whomever was on the other end for a minute or two, then, after hanging up, ran to catch up to us.
"Hey, guys," she said a bit breathlessly which, again, might have set off a more suspicious mind as she hadn't run that hard. "It looks like I'm going to be a bit late – and I'm going to be bringing a date."
"Oh, is he in town?" Daniel Jackson asked with an odd knowing smile.
Sam smiled her most brilliant smile at Daniel as she nodded, "Yup. I'm going to go pick him up from the airport. And, Cam?"
"At least you got out of buying pizza…" This last comment made no sense, as traditionally senior officer bought so Sam and I rotated, and it was my turn to buy. Before I could question this, however, with a wave and a rather enigmatic smile, Sam ran off towards her car.
After she had left, I turned to Daniel. "Hey, why does she get to bring a date? I thought it was a team party."
Daniel didn't answer me directly. Instead, he turned to Teal'c. "And he says he's read every mission report? And known Sam how long? Talk about failing to notice the obvious…"
Typically, the only answer from the tall Jaffa was, "Indeed."
Okay, so maybe others in my position might have noticed something was up with Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter. But I didn't, so it's not unreasonable that those far less familiar with Jack or Sam didn't either.
Later that evening at my house, Teal'c, Daniel and I were sitting around the living room waiting for Sam to arrive with her date. The doorbell rang, and I jumped up to answer it. Much to my surprise, Major General Jack O'Neill was standing at the door. My brain barely registered the small stack of pizzas in his arms.
I snapped instinctively to attention. "Sir."
"Mitchell, at ease. And for crying out loud, when you're standing in your own living room, you can be a bit more casual. Cut out the snapping to attention stuff, okay?"
"Yes, sir." I relaxed a bit.
"Better," he said with a smile.
"Um, sir?" I got up the nerve to ask. "Why are you…"
Before I could finish my sentence, Sam stuck her head inside the door. "Hi, Cam. Told you I was bringing a date."
I probably looked pretty silly for the second or two I stood there with my mouth hanging open. Finally, I managed to say, "You and… But isn't that… I mean… how…?"
Sam just laughed as she stepped past Jack into the room. He chuckled as he handed me the pizzas, saying, "Relax, Mitchell. It's okay. We're married."
Sure. Relax. I had a Major General in my living room who happened to be married to one of my teammates, and he was telling me to relax.
Sometime during the course of that evening, however, as I saw the way Sam and Jack looked at each other when they thought no one else was watching, I began to see that for all their reputation as brilliant soldiers, Sam and Jack really were just two people who had fallen in love with each other. And, unbelievably, I did manage to relax. At least, a little.