Teal'c was indeed waiting for him, dressed in the Jaffa equivalent of Class As. 'O'Neill,' he said gravely. 'I began to fear your feet were growing chilled.'
Jack unlocked his door and ushered the warrior inside. 'Cold feet, me? Nah!' he said jovially, tossing the buttonhole onto the desk. 'Shut the door, will ya?' He unzipped his suit carrier and hastily changed into his dress uniform. Teal'c ensured that his tie was straight, his buttonhole was securely pinned in place and that he had his cover, which he tucked under one arm.
'We good to go?' Jack asked, feeling butterflies fluttering in the pit of his stomach. He was beginning to wish he hadn't drunk that last cup of coffee.
'Do you have the rings?' Teal'c asked gravely.
'The General's got 'em,' Jack said.
'Then we are indeed good to go.'
Together, they made their way to the Gate Room, through surprisingly empty corridors. Inside, Jack halted. General Hammond was standing at the bottom of the ramp with the base chaplain. The rails to either side of the ramp had been decorated with ribbons and, waiting at the back of the room were every Earth-side SG team leader and their 2IC, all in dress uniform.
Jack blinked rapidly, swallowing down the sudden lump in his throat. Squaring his shoulders, he forced himself to walk over to the General.
'Sir.' He shook hands with Hammond, with the chaplain, nodded to the assembled crowd, not trusting himself to say anything. Then movement in the control room caught his eye and he looked up to see Walter surrounded by a crowd of technicians, half the medical staff and even some of the staff from the mess hall. A good third of them wore dress uniforms too.
As if a signal had been given, the door to the Gate Room opened again and more personnel filed in, lining the sides of the room in a blur of faces.
'General?' he managed to ask, before having to clear his throat.
'A few people expressed a wish to be present. You don't mind, do you?' Hammond asked with a twinkle in his eye.
'Uh, no sir,' Jack said weakly. 'Was there a memo?'
'Not that I'm aware of,' the General smiled. 'It's about time. You should get into place.' He handed the ring box to Teal'c, who took it with reverence. The chaplain made his way up the ramp to stand in front of the gate and Teal'c, one large hand on Jack's shoulder, made sure they followed.
'I hope no one dials in,' Jack muttered, putting his cover on and avoiding looking anxiously at the door.
'I do not believe any of the off-world teams are due to report for the next few hours, O'Neill,' Teal'c said reassuringly. 'And if anyone does attempt such a thing, Sergeant Harriman will undoubtedly close the iris.'
'Thanks, Teal'c,' Jack said with only a hint of sarcasm. He suppressed the urge to slouch against the Stargate, then had to fight his other urge to go and see what was taking Daniel so damn long.
'Patience, O'Neill,' Teal'c rumbled.
'Do you have your vows ready?' the chaplain asked, providing a helpful distraction that was swiftly followed by a wave of panic.
'Uh...' Jack was saved from having to answer by the opening of the Gate Room door one last time. Daniel stood there in his best black suit, the purple tie setting off the sprig of heather in his buttonhole. His hair was neatly brushed and his shoes were shined. And as he caught sight of the crowd filling the room, he paled and looked as though he was about to be sick. Jack sympathized.
Then Carter was there at his shoulder, murmuring something in his ear which had Daniel looking at Jack rather than at the rest of the room, had him walking towards Jack, stepping confidently up the ramp just as he did on every mission. Jack couldn't take his eyes off this tall, handsome man, couldn't look away from those incredible blue eyes. He swept off his cover and tucked it under his arm just as Daniel reached him.
'Hey,' he croaked, amazed that his voice worked at all by now.
Daniel smiled. 'Hey.'
Peripherally, Jack was aware of Carter stepping round Daniel and standing to the side, but his mind was filled with Daniel, right there in front of him and without considering where they were or the crowd of military personnel around them, he reached out and took Daniel's hand in his.
Jack let the chaplain's words wash over him, hearing without processing the comments about 'unusual circumstances' and 'special permission', let the words of the short military ceremony ripple out, familiar after so many years but not from this close up, never directed at him, at them, until the chaplain said his name and asked him for his vows.
Jack had to clear his throat twice before he could speak clearly. It was only Daniel's eyes, locked on his, that gave him the courage to open his mouth and until the words came out, he had no idea what he was going to say.
'I know I'm not much of a catch. I have bad knees and a dodgy back. I've had it pointed out to me on more than one occasion that I can be a bit cranky. That I don't talk about things, especially anything personal. It's taken the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to get me to realize how I feel about you, for crying out loud. Daniel, you've been my best friend all these years. You know what I'm like and you still put up with me. I'm all yours for as long as you'll have me. I love you.'
As Jack stared helplessly into Daniel's eyes, willing him to understand all the things he couldn't say, the chaplain asked Daniel for his vows and Daniel's voice cracked on the first word and he had to clear his throat too and Jack felt a little better.
'I'm not exactly known for my reliance on other people,' Daniel said. 'I've spent most of my life alone and my track record with relationships is pretty abysmal. Your friendship has been pretty much the longest, most significant and most important relationship I've ever had. Together, we've explored the galaxy, fought against unimaginable odds, seen incredible things. We've gone through so much, done so much, learned so much, but the past couple of days have shown me that what I've most needed to learn is right here. I've learned, I hope I've learned, to open my eyes and my heart to you, Jack. We've died for each other and we've come back each and every time. I hope we can live for each other too. I love you.'
Teal'c handed over the rings. The lump in Jack's throat came back with a vengeance as he slid one onto Daniel's finger and Daniel slid the other onto his. For a split second, the weight and feel was strange, wrong after years of divorce, but then the gold warmed to the temperature of his skin and it was as though the ring had always been there, as though Daniel had always been in his heart. Through the buzzing in his ears, Jack heard the chaplain say, 'husband and husband,' and thought he heard a cheer, but he was holding Daniel's hand in his and it was the most natural thing in the world to lean in and brush a kiss across those full lips, so he did.
When they broke apart, the buzzing in Jack's ears had turned into a chorus of cheers, catcalls and applause which reverberated off the concrete walls. Jack felt a huge grin spread across his face as he turned and saw Carter and Teal'c standing to either side of them and clapping as hard as they could, looked down the ramp at his commanding officer, his colleagues and friends as they celebrated his marriage to Daniel Jackson. As he leaned over to Daniel and whispered, 'My Spacemonkey!' he couldn't help thinking that after all, this was what his alternate self had meant.
Together, we can do the impossible.