It had initially seemed a difficult decision, but ultimately the choice was obvious.
To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the first Earth-Tok'ra treaty, Stargate Command was throwing a party. Of course, no one with anything lower than a Top-Secret security clearance knew what the military ball was celebrating, but as the SGC had few enough unit functions as it was, few questioned the need for this one. No one questioned, either, why the original members of the unit's flagship team, SG-1, had been invited back for the event.
All of which left Samantha Carter with an interesting dilemma. The irony that it echoed another decision she'd made that same 10 years ago wasn't lost on her. It wasn't lost on Jack O'Neill, either.
When she'd asked his opinion, he'd initially tried to evade the question. "It's really up to you, Carter. It's your decision."
She'd pointed out that she wouldn't have asked him in the first place if she hadn't wanted his input.
"I like them both," he'd finally replied.
Still, not helpful. She tried to find out which he thought made more sense.
"Well, you do deserve to be recognized for your work in helping to pull this thing off," he'd offered. "On the other hand…," he'd gestured towards the other option, and it was obvious that parts of him at least really liked that one, too.
Finally, it was Cassandra who'd helped her come to a solution. "But, Sam," she'd asked, "I didn't think that mattered anymore…?"
Cassie was right. It didn't. But old habits really did die hard. Still… It wouldn't be the same. And Jack still wasn't helping. In the end, though, she'd decided that Cassie had been right. Colonel Samantha Carter deserved this day as much as anyone.
Which was why Major General Jack O'Neill's escort for the evening, while not the most glamorously attired in her Air Force service dress, had one of the proudest smiles, surpassed only by that of the general himself.
Later, as he held her in his arms while they moved across the dance floor, Jack whispered into Sam's ear, "Have I ever told you how long I've dreamed of holding you like this, in that uniform?"
She looked up into his face, inches from her own. "You should have said…."
"I knew you'd figure it out."
She chuckled at that, hiding her head against his shoulder to muffle the sound. Then, suddenly serious as her mind skipped back ten years, she whispered, "I dunno… I sorta bungled that other one you let me make."
He kissed the top of her head. "Nyah." Then, gesturing around the ball room with one arm, taking in the whole of the SGC and their dates, and quite possibly the rest of the universe, he added, "We're here, aren't we?"
Still not raising her head, she tightened her arms around him briefly in a quick hug. "You betcha." And, in each others arms, bodies blending in a blur of blue, they danced together through the night.
A/N: Special thanks to AstraPerAspera for the fast beta.