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Status: Complete (1/1)

Season/Sequel Info: Season 4, some time after "Small Victories"

Spoilers: Nemesis, Small Victories

Archive: SJ Yes

With thanks to Bella Luna for beta'ing this fic for me.

--------------------------- THE ASGARDE REQUIREMENT ---------------------------

General Hammond knew that the Asgard were in the middle of a desperate war, so he was more than thrilled when their ambassador, Thor, materialised in the briefing room to inform him that the war was going well.

"It is thanks to your 'dumb ideas'," he said. "That the Asgard have been able to manufacture a variety of percussion weapons which use low technology principles to destroy the Replikators. It is proving most effective and we hope that soon we may be able to return the favour, and help you in your fight with the Goa'uld."

"That would be most welcome, Thor," said General Hammond sincerely.

"But there is a problem that we need to discuss," continued the alien. General Hammond sat down on a chair, opposite and nodded.

"As you are aware, the Asgard have a particular debt to two humans, Jack O'Neill and Samantha Carter."

"And you have made your gratitude apparent on several occasions," replied Hammond, gratefully. The Asgard, and more particularly Thor, had saved both their lives at one time or another.

"The Asgard Council have considered a reward or payment we can render to them, in return for their help, but our cultures are so different, it was impossible to find something regarded equally as valuable to both humans and Asgard..."

"To have the Asgard as our allies is reward enough," Hammond interrupted. "And I am sure I speak for both Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter in that."

"That is insufficient," replied Thor. "But there is one thing that is common to both our cultures, that is valued above everything except freedom."

Hammond raised an enquiring eyebrow.

"Happiness, General Hammond."

"Happiness?" Hammond resisted the impulse to laugh out loud. "How in God's name can you bestow happiness on someone else? Unless you're talking about illicit chemicals."

Thor moved his head in a way that suggested nodding.

"Ordinarily, there is a considerable difficulty in achieving such a goal, but in the case of Samantha Carter and Jack O'Neill, we consider that the solution is simple."

"Would you care to let me in on it, please, Thor?" said Hammond, incredulous.

"We wish you to order Samantha Carter and Jack O'Neill to be mated."

"M..." General Hammond opened his mouth, but the words refused to come out.

"Mated, yes," Thor confirmed. Hammond started to blush, struggling to regain his composure. "I believe the culture in this area of your planet prefers the word 'Married' ?"

Hammond was happier with that word, but only marginally so.

"M-Married? You want me to *order* Colonel O'Neill to *marry* Major Carter?"

"Yes, General Hammond. And then the Asgard will consider sharing our knowledge with you to defeat the Goa'uld."

"That's the deal?" Hammond's mouth was dry and his palms sweaty. How the heck was he going to get this past the Pentagon?

"Yes. We consider that marrying Samantha Carter is an action that will produce maximal happiness in O'Neill, and in Samantha Carter. We have observed their intense emotional bond for some years now, but their sense of duty to your primitive regulations has prevented that bond from being allowed to mature correctly."

"Primitive regulations?" the general protested. "Well, they might be 'primitive' to you, but I cannot allow, let alone order, two of my soldiers to marry one another. Regardless of my personal opinions."

"You can, and you will," said Thor, a hint of menace in his usually impassive voice.

Hammond placed his head in his hands.

"Okay, Thor. You leave me little choice, but if Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter refuse, which they may well do, there is no way I'd force such a thing on them."

"That is not acceptable," said Thor. "Either O'Neill and Samantha Carter are married, or we have no agreement."

At that, he vanished.


Hammond paced up and down his office, his brain struggling to come to terms with the order he must give. In all his time in the USAF, he'd never heard of such a thing. Then again, he'd never heard of Stargates and aliens either.

"General Hammond, what can I do for you?" said O'Neill, curiously, as he entered the general's office.

"Sit down, Colonel", said General Hammond. "We have to wait for Major Carter to arrive before I can speak to you properly."

O'Neill could tell from the general's demeanour that whatever he had to say, it was not good. Saving the planet was beginning to get old.

Carter arrived a minute later, and Hammond motioned for her to sit down.

"Colonel O'Neill, Major Carter," Hammond nodded his acknowledgement of them. "I have had to give some pretty difficult orders in my time, but this takes the cake." He inhaled deeply, as if stealing himself for the difficult task ahead. "The Asgard representative, known to you are Thor, has informed me of they wish Earth to agree to."

O'Neill frowned and leaned forwards in his chair. Carter looked tense, picking up on the general's obvious anxiety.

"They will exchange tactical information and technology to aid our fight against the Gould..." he gulped, and forced the words out, "If you two agree to be married."

O'Neill blinked, and opened his mouth to say something, an unmistakable hint of a smile on his face.

Carter shook her head in disbelief.

"W-wait a minute, General! This has to be some kind of joke, respect," she added hastily.

"No joke," said Hammond.

"But that's outrageous! You can't order people to get married!"

"Ordinarily, Major, I'd agree with you. But in this case, I have no choice."

"So let's get this right, General," O'Neill interjected. "You are *ordering* Carter and I to get *married* ?"

"I know, Colonel." he replied. "The Asgard were very explicit that you and Major Carter must get married, or the deal's off. Colonel, need I remind you that Earth *needs* these resources?"

A wide grin spread across O'Neill's face.

"Way to go, Thor! You really are learning about an Earth sense of humour!"

"If it's humour, it's pretty sick," Carter spat, any trace of humour now totally removed from her face.

"W-what?" said O'Neill, spreading his hands. "You mean you actually *believe* this cockamamie story?"

Hammond nodded.

"I'm afraid it's no joke, Colonel, and believe me, I wouldn't contemplate asking this of you if the welfare of the entire planet wasn't at stake." He got up from his desk.

"People, I'm going to leave you alone for a while to discuss this privately. I cannot actually force you to comply with this order, of course, but I am trusting that you will do your duty. If it were any other couple, I wouldn't hesitate to tell the Asgard exactly where to go with their offer, but I have a feeling this could be to everyone's mutual benefit."

He left.


"What the hell do you think he meant by that comment?" Carter demanded, once the general was out of ear-shot.

"Hey, I don't know Carter. Maybe he thinks we'd make a cute couple. We are married in other dimensions, after all."

Carter snorted.

"With respect, you are not taking this seriously, sir!"

"Well, you've got to admit it makes a change. Usually, we're expected to *die* for the planet, not marry for it. I still think Thor's ribbing us!"

"And if he's not, sir?"

"Then I guess we get married."

"Right," she said, glaring at him. This was not how she figured her engagement to be: no candlelit dinner, no flowers, no ring, heck, no declarations of love. It sucked majorly. And if she was honest with herself, this was one thing she had hesitations about doing for her country. O'Neill's expression softened and he took her hand.

"Hey, Carter, it's not so bad, is it?" He almost seemed concerned.

She sighed.

"I suppose not," she mumbled.

"Look, we just get married, quickie civil ceremony, play along with it for a few weeks to keep the Asgard sweet and then get a quiet divorce when the heat's off.

"The Asgard don't recognise marriage," Carter replied, bluntly.

O'Neill frowned and shook his head.

"So? What are you telling me? That this has to be a scam?"

"Not exactly."

"Just for the benefit of this lesser mortal, Major, what exactly are you saying?"

"I'm saying that the general translated the actual deal into terms that he found acceptable."


"Colonel, the Asgard equivalent of marriage is From the little I've seen of it. You see, for them, it is a biological process, not a legal or civil contract." Light seemed to dawn slowly in O'Neill's mind and he stared at her blankly. "They mate for life, sir. They have no concept of divorce. And they don't get married, they mate and that's...that's it, sir. For the rest of their lives."

"Mate? You mean like have sex? They have sex once and they're together forever?"

Carter blushed, unable to meet his eyes.

"Well, they don't actually have genitals to have sex, in the sense that we understand sir, but yes, I strongly suspect the deal is that we have to *mate*, not just get married, and it's for life."

"Oh," said O'Neill. There didn't seem to be much more he could say. "Well, let's get married first and see if that gets them off our backs. I can't see the general ordering us to have sex."

"Don't even think about it, sir!"


Samantha Carter sat on the narrow bed of her quarters in her dress uniform, tears rolling down her cheeks. There was a soft knock at the door, and Dr Janet Fraiser entered, clutching a small posy of fresh flowers.

"Hey," she said gently. "A bride's got to have some flowers. I picked these from the near the entrance, on the surface."

Sam took the flowers from her and started crying even harder. Janet put an arm round her.

"Hey, what's with the tears? You're marrying the man you love!"

"I never said I loved him!"

"You didn't have to."

"He's only marrying me because he's been ordered to," said Sam, twirling the posy in her hand.

"That doesn't matter," said Janet. "He loves you. He's marrying you. That's all that's important."

"And how exactly do you make out that he loves me?"

"Ho boy! Have you been walking around with your eyes shut for the last couple of years?" Janet laughed.

"This isn't how I pictured my wedding day."

"I know," said Janet, hugging her friend. "But if marrying Jack O'Neill will save Earth, is it really such a big price to pay?"

"I guess not," said Sam, through her tears. "He says we can get divorced as soon as the Asgard have met their side of the agreement."

"He said that?" A slight smile spread across Janet's face.

"Well, he did...and then I explained to him that the Asgard have no concept of divorce..."

"And what did he say to that?"

"Not much. It didn't seem to have much effect on him, actually."

Janet nodded.

"Uh huh."

"That doesn't mean he actually *wants* to marry me, you know!" Sam snapped.

"But he's not worried about being bonded to you for life?" Janet replied, laughing softly. "Sam, I thought you were the logical one? Where's the sense in that? Unless he actually does love you, of course."

Sam glanced up at her, a strange expression on her face. Janet hugged her again.

"Now, come on, we've got a wedding to get to!" she said, taking the bride's arm.


Colonel Jack O'Neill had not felt this nervous in his entire life. He was marrying his Major, the most beautiful, smart, courageous woman he'd ever known, the woman he'd loved from afar for years and the last woman in the world he thought he'd get to marry. But it was happening.

The main fly in the ointment being that she was doing so simply because she had been ordered to. He nervously considered her warning that the Asgard required "mating", not marrying, and tried to reinterpret her reaction. Was it favourable? She didn't appear to recoil in horror at the thought. On the other hand, neither did she exactly smile from ear to ear. Most of all, his heart was heavy that she hadn't flung her arms round him and confessed her undying love.

He turned to meet his bride as she entered the room. Her eyes were puffy from crying and she clutched a rather wilted posy of wild flowers that had been hastily assembled from somewhere.

"Let's do it," she said, her voice strained.

He took her hand and squeezed it.

"I'm sorry," he whispered in her ear. "I don't know what Thor was thinking, but I'll make the bastard pay for this!"

She blue eyes were filled with sorrow and he had the desire to yell out that they should just forget it and find another way to save the galaxy. Anything but hurt his Major.


The ceremony was functional, un-romantic and hurried. He and Sam said their vows in a monotone, avoiding each other's eyes, which must have looked a little odd to the presiding military judge who had been roped in to marry them.

"You may kiss the bride," he said, having announced them husband and wife.

Hesitantly, O'Neill bent forwards and placed a kiss on her lips, placing his arms around her shoulders. It was intended to be a dignified peck, but as their lips met, they seemed to melt into each other, forgetting where they were and the kiss became that of lovers. When they finally broke apart, they were both flushed and embarrassed.

"Sorry, Carter, got carried away," said O'Neill.

"No, no, my fault," she replied, nervously looking at their assembled witnesses: General Hammond, Teal'c, Daniel (who had a broad grin on his face) and Janet.

"I will inform the Asgard that the ceremony has been completed," announced General Hammond. "And since this is a wedding, I have arranged for some food and drink to be laid on in the Mess hall."

"Er, General," said Daniel, raising a finger in the air to attract attention.

"Yes, son."

"Sam thinks the Asgard expect more than a simple ceremony to indicate marriage."

Sam shook her head vigorously at the young archaeologist, indicating for him not to say anything, but he was oblivious.

"Apparently, their concept that was translated to you as marriage akin to 'mating'. The Asgard choose their partners themselves, you see, and they mate for life. They consider mating to be a biological function, not a social one." General Hammond raised an eyebrow. Carter flushed deep red, praying for Daniel to shut up. "General Hammond," he continued, "Jack and Sam have to consummate their marriage."

There. He'd said it. Sam wanted to die, right now.

"I am sure the Asgard don't want to know all the details," assured General Hammond.

"Hey, if it's for the good of the planet and all..." O'Neill began, Sam shooting him a look that said 'Don't even think about it'.

"According to the tradition of my people, Majorcarter cannot be your wife until you participated in a physical act of bonding."

"Hey, hey, Teal'c! Do you mind? This is difficult enough as it is," Sam retorted, her voice rising in near hysteria.

"I do not mind in the slightest," he replied, sincerely as ever. Sam glared at him furiously, a blush burning her face.

"Teal'c's right," said Daniel. "This has to be a proper marriage, otherwise it's just a mockery, a cheap trick to con the Asgard into giving us technologies that we probably shouldn't really have in the first place."

O'Neill and Sam were united in glaring at the young scientist.

"Need I remind you that this wasn't our idea?" O'Neill spat. "That we were forced into it? Ordered to by the General here, no less, with orders from the Pentagon!"

General Hammond winced rather guiltily.

"I didn't set out to marry Sha're," Daniel continued. "I suppose you could say I was forced into that, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. This could be the best thing that's ever happened to you, Sam, Jack," he looked from one to the other, "This marriage could work. Just give it a chance.

"Besides the whole base knows you're in love with each other..." he added.

Daniel had really said too much.

"You hold it right there!" O'Neill snapped angrily.

"Daniel's right," Janet interrupted. "It's pretty obvious the two of you are crazy about each other. Well, now it's OK. You're married."

Sam looked at Jack, a curious expression on her face.

He took her hand, which she tried unsuccessful to remove.

"Excuse me, folks, General," he said, dragging her towards the door. "Just going to have a private conference with my wife."

Sam opened her mouth to protest, while O'Neill dragged her along the corridor to his quarters.


"Sit down!" he commanded, locking the door behind them. She complied, eyeing him warily.

"OK, Colonel, what's this about?" She sat on the narrow bed.

"Well, since we're now married, perhaps you should drop the Colonel bit?"

"Jack, this isn't funny," she protested.

"No, isn't." He sat opposite her on the bed, his voice serious, his eyes boring into hers. "But we've just gone through a marriage ceremony out there, and I'm damned if I'm going to pretend like it never happened, or that marrying you was some great, fucking tragedy. At least, I think I've done pretty well out of the deal!"

"Me too," she said quietly, avoiding his eyes. He touched her cheek with his hand.

"What did you say?" He couldn't quite believe his ears.

"I said I think I did pretty well out of the deal too," she repeated in a low voice.

She couldn't help it. She smiled. Their gazes met.

"Damn that little grey bastard," cursed Jack, only half-seriously, and bent to kiss her.

She responded by wrapping her arms around him and kissing him back with a passion that left them both breathless, as years of repressed emotion found release.

"Oh God, Sam," Jack gasped as they finally separated. "I'm probably making a complete fool of myself, but I'm going with Daniel and Janet's instincts: I love you. I love you more than I've ever loved anything or anyone in my whole goddamn life!"

Sam started crying.

"Oh no, darling, no, please don't cry!" he pleaded, stroking her hair.

"It's not that," she sniffed, looking up into his face. "I'm not crying because I'm upset, I'm crying because this is the best day of my whole life!"

Jack frowned, confusion in his dark, brown eyes.

"Oh, you idiot!" she scolded him, half sobbing, half laughing. She put her arms around his neck. "Don't you realise I love you too? I thought you were just marrying me because you'd been ordered to!"

"I thought the same!" he exclaimed, laughing as the light dawned on his mind. "Oh God, we've been idiots!"

Sam rested her head on his chest, sensing his heart pounding in sympathy with her own. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close, as she sighed with contentment and relief.

"Well, I'd better phone up that lawyer and cancel the divorce," he quipped.

She frowned, uncertain again, until a broad grin spread across his face.

"That was a lie," he said, huskily. "As if I'd let you go that easily!"

"I love you," she repeated, gazing into his eyes. Their lips met and the kissed each other hungrily, their arms entwined round one another's bodies as if the two were one being.

The broke apart after some considerable time.

Jack grinned at her with a cheeky expression. "I presume completing the rest of the deal isn't going to be a problem for you, then?"

"What do you reckon?" she replied, smiling fondly.

"I reckon I've got the most fantastic wife on planet Earth," he replied.

//I owe you one, Thor ole' buddy, he thought.//

"Oh Jack!" she gasped.

They resumed kissing, and this time, did not stop at that.


Outside the room, Daniel was standing, concerned. The door was locked and no one had replied to his knocking.

Janet came round the corner, looking for him.

"Hey, Daniel, I wondered where you'd gone. They're having a bit of a party in the Mess."

"I think Jack and Sam went in there," he said, pointing to the door.

Janet smiled, and took his hand.

"I think we'll leave them alone, then," she advised, as she heard the unmistakable sounds of passion through the door.

"They've been in there an awfully long time," Daniel observed. "I wonder what they can be doing."

"Maybe you should come to my place sometime, and I can show you," she flirted.

Daniel raised an eyebrow.

"Oh," he said, grinning, and going an interesting shade of pink.

Janet flashed him a smile as she lead him back down the corridor, leaving the newlyweds to their fun.



End Notes: Feedback always appreciated ;o) -- Anna H., Alien Visitor


Any technology, if sufficiently advanced, will seem like magic to those that do not understand it. - Arthur C. Clarke

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