Halloween was only a week away now. The base would be operating on a skeleton crew as no teams were off world then. Hammond decided that since things had been a bit tense lately, perhaps the SGC could use a little morale boost. As he debated what to do, he settled on a masquerade party. That could defiantly be fun, and he rather enjoyed Halloween. As he began to jot down his ideas, there was a knock at the door.
"Come" he called out, not bothering to look up from his papers.
"Sir, here is the last of my mission reports I owed you," Jack said as he dropped the files in the tray on General Hammond's desk.
"Thank you Colonel. I was just thinking that we needed a little fun around here." Hammond replied with a smirk.
"Fun Sir?" Jack questioned wondering if he should be afraid. It wasn't often that Hammond gave that little grin, and when he did it usually had huge implications.
"I am planning a masquerade party for Halloween. With no teams off world, and a skeleton crew in place, it could be just what this place needs to get back on track." Hammond responded as Jack grabbed a chair.
"Sir, are you expecting us all to dress up too?" Jack was so not liking where this was going, he wasn't too big on Halloween...not since Charlie.
"Why not. I expect people to have fun with it. It's not every day that we get a chance to be a little less serious. Now if there is nothing else that you needed Colonel, I have a party to plan." Hammond effectively dismissed him.
* * * * *
Jack was in his office looking over the list of possibilities for the next mission when his computer chimed alerting him to a new email. Bored of looking at the data, after all every one of these planets had way too many trees, he clicked the button. He groaned when he read the title.
'Subject: Halloween Event
It has come to my attention that things have been rather tense around here lately. I have decided that we all could use a little break from the seriousness of what we do. As many of you no doubt already know, the base will be operating on a skeleton crew for the upcoming Halloween holiday. I am hosting a Masquerade party in the gate room for any and all personnel who would like to attend. Costume is required.'
Jack ran his hands thru his hair; he really had hoped that Hammond was joking earlier. He was obligated to go, being the base 2IC, but he really didn't want to. He had this thing against Halloween ever since Charlie had died. They were going to go together that year as hockey players; it was Charlie's idea. Jack shoved that memory away, knowing that he couldn't let himself go there, not now. He picked up the mug on his desk and decided to go get a fresh cup of coffee.
Of course by the time he got to the mess, most of the base was already talking about this Halloween thing. True to form, his team was at their usual table chatting about it too. He sat down next to Carter and sipped his coffee, hoping he would not be included in this conversation.
"I have the perfect idea," Daniel said to Teal'c.
"Major Carter, what is the point of this Halloween day?" Teal'c asked.
Oh boy, here it all comes Jack thought as he tried to blend into his chair.
"Its all in fun, kids get to dress up as whatever the want and people give out candy to them." Sam replied to Teal'c.
"I am going to see if I can convince Janet to go with me," Daniel stated.
"Danny boy what are you going to be?" Jack asked, slightly amused that Daniel finally was making a move on the Doc.
"I have this great chain mail knight suit, I was thinking that I could be the knight and Janet could be a queen." Daniel answered with a blush creeping onto his face.
Jack sat there grinning like the cat that ate the canary. He had seen Janet approach the table while Daniel was telling his idea.
"What? Too much?" Daniel asked, oblivious to who was now behind him.
"I would love to go with you," Janet answered before Jack could say anything.
"Well that's settled. Jack, what are you going to be?" Daniel asked.
"I am going as myself." Jack replied as he got up from the table.
He stalked back to his office, not wanting to be bothered with this nonsense. He knew there would be that accusatory look out of Daniel while he waited for an explanation that would never come.
"Let myself have fun..." He laughed to himself. His mind drifted to the idea of he and Sam together, dancing in each other's arms in costume.
He was deep in thought when she came in and her voice startled him back to reality.
"Sir, I know you really don't want to..." she began.
"Carter, just get on with whatever it is you came here for," he quickly stated cutting her off.
"I have an idea for a costume, but I need a partner." She said softly avoiding looking at him.
A grin crept onto his face; perhaps there was hope for this holiday. "What's the idea Carter?"
"Well, you know that movie that Cassie likes so much, The Corpse Bride?" she asked.
"Yeah, that one with the guy and the ghost, right?" he answered, having been subjected to it countless times with Cassie.
"That's the one. I was thinking of being the ghost, but I need the groom to have the idea make any sense." She said hesitantly.
"And you want me to play the part?" He asked, intrigued that she had asked him out of all the men on the base.
"Yes." She said quietly.
The blush on her cheeks had not gone unnoticed. Oh yes, this was going to be fun indeed, he thought to himself.
"I'll do it. But under two conditions. One, you call me Jack. Two, if there are accessories involved...I handle them. I refuse to wear some girly ring to play the part." He stated.
"Agreed. I was kind of hoping we could get our costumes together and kind of make sure it all works for the part."
"Of course. How about tomorrow night after work?" He asked hoping to have the time to do a little work tonight and surprise her.
"Ok. Thank you Sir." She said as she left the office.
Oh for crying out loud Jack, what have you gotten yourself into he thought as he imagined her face when he presented matching wedding rings to her tomorrow to finish off the costumes. So it wouldn't mean anything really, but to him it was something.
* * * * *
Sam sat in her lab, wondering how she would pull this off without giving away her feelings. She only picked this idea because she wanted to be with Jack, to have an excuse to be at his side all night. He had to have guessed how she felt; there was no other possible reason to pick him over any other guy on base. She hoped that somehow this would mean something to him, like it was to her. They were a couple, a married couple, even if only pretend for a few hours. Still, she wondered what it would be like to be Mrs. Samantha O'Neill.
Sam picked up the phone and dialed the infirmary, needing some peace of mind from Janet.
"Frasier, can I help you?" Janet said as she picked up on the second ring.
"Hey, I did it. I asked him and he said yes." Sam said.
"Great." Janet replied.
"Yeah, but now I have to figure out how not to give it all away." Sam said sounding rather defeated.
"Talk to him. Give the man a little credit. He is first to stay at your side whenever you are in here Sam." Janet offered.
"I know, but its just....I wish. Oh hell, I don't know what I am doing." Sam answered.
"Talk to him Sam, tell him. You might be surprised. At least you will get it out there and know in the end no matter how it goes."
"I know, but I can't stand the thought of him not feeling the same about me."
"Sam, anyone with eyes can see he feels the same. I have to go, SG 5 is due to be coming for post missions soon." Janet said.
* * * * * *
Jack hated shopping usually, but this time he had gone to four different jewelry stores before he found what he wanted. He chose a white gold set, with sapphires inlaid in the middle of the bands. The sapphires reminded him of her eyes. The rings were simple yet, elegant. After choosing them and having his sized and guessing at her size, he picked an engagement ring that matched. A simple heart shaped diamond, also set on white gold.
He looked at the rings before he carefully tucked the boxes into his coat. He was trying to decide if he was just going to play the part or if he was going to go for broke and really ask her. After all the regs didn't prohibit them from being together, and there was no reason they couldn't be on the team. He'd been head over heels in love since day one and they have been nothing but professional the entire time.
He was clearly nervous the next night when he knocked on Sam's door. The rings in his pocket suddenly seeming like they weighed more than an elephant.
"Sir..come in. I just need to get my purse." Sam said as she opened the door and stepped aside.
"Jack, remember." He replied as he walked into her living room. He couldn't help but feel his heart beat faster as he looked at her in a pair of tight jeans and a snug white t-shirt. Simple, yet breathtakingly beautiful he thought to himself. She turned, catching him staring, but didn't say anything.
They made small talk as they went to look for the costumes. They found a wedding dress for Sam that was tattered and off color in places; it was perfect for the look of a dead person. Jack especially liked that it appeared it would show off a lot of Sam's legs from the way it fell in the picture.
Jack decided that he would find a suit to wear. He needed a new one anyways, and why not let Sam help find the perfect one. He picked a nice black one in his size off the rack, looking at Sam who nodded in approval. As he was looking at the suit, she came over with a blue shirt and a black tie to go with it.
Each was lost in thoughts of the other as they paid for the purchases and head back to Sam's apartment.
* * * * *
Jack walked Sam to her door, not quite ready to leave her company yet.
"Hungry?" he asked.
"Actually I am. Chinese?" she responded.
"Perfect." He said with a smile.
Sam called in the order and got two beers out of the fridge before she came back to the living room. She handed one to Jack who was sitting at the end of her sofa, fidgeting.
"Thanks." He said as she sat beside him.
"I almost forgot something. I got the accessories," he said as he took a box out of his pocket. He made a snap decision to go for broke after he showed her the wedding band.
He handed the box to her and watched her face as she opened it.
"Sir, Jack....you, wow. I wasn't expecting you to go all out on a costume." She said.
"Well, I figured we might as well do it right," he replied, fully aware that there was much said in his words.
She looked at him, wiping a tear from her eye quickly hoping he didn't notice. She dreamt of this, and now here it was...but only pretend. It hurt like nothing she'd ever felt in her life. She couldn't force the tears back as she took the ring from the box.
He watched her carefully as he pulled the second box from his coat pocket and got down on one knee in front of her.
"Sam, I know you only wanted this to be a cool idea for the base party, but I can't stand the thought of having you only to let you go before this turns into a pumpkin at midnight." He said as he opened the box.
She looked at him, tears streaming down her face. Her heart was beating so loudly in her ears that she almost didn't hear his words over it.
"Sam, what I mean to say is will you marry me? Not just for a few hours tonight, but for the rest of our lives. I love you, I have since the first day I saw you." Jack took the ring from the box and slid it on her finger before she had a chanced to answer him. Thankfully he'd been right with his guess on her size.
"This was never pretend to me. Why do you think I chose this, and you. Of course I will marry you." She said happily.
"Um, you do know its bad luck to wear the wedding ring before you are married, right?" Jack asked.
"Superstitions Jack." She said as she hugged him.
"Oh no. I am not chancing this." He said as he kissed her forehead.
"So, what do you suggest?"
"We could get married by a justice of the peace and surprise everyone. We could do a big thing later on for all our friends and family." He suggested not really expecting her to be ok with that idea.
"It sounds perfect. We kept this hidden from everyone, it fits that it brings us together that way." Sam replied before she caught him in a passionate kiss.
* * * * * *
They walked into the gate room hand in hand, spotting Daniel in his costume by what had to be Teal'c dressed as Darth Vadder. They stopped to get drinks on the way over and were greeted by General Hammond.
Sam had to laugh, "Sir, why are you dressed up like a Gummy Bear?" she asked.
"My granddaughter's idea," Hammond said with a smile. "You two look great by the way.'"
"Thank you Sir. It was all Sam's idea. I am just the suit." Jack said jokingly.
"O'Neill" someone yelled.
"Over here," both Sam and Jack answered.
They looked at each other and laughed. Hammond stood there looking confused.
"Oh, I decided that I like Halloween after all Sir." Jack said.
"What changed?" Hammond asked.
"Well Sir, we got married this afternoon." Sam responded with a huge grin as she held up her hand, showing the rings off.