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White Lace and Promises

Chapter 15

 

 

 

 

Everything was ready. The flowers filled the small chapel with their scent. The four members of the stringed quartet were softly playing. The guests were arriving, escorted to the pews by the men of SG-6, all of them wearing their dress uniforms.

After spending two hours in the beauty salon, Casey's long hair was pulled up off of her neck, a few curled tendrils draping down in the back, white baby's breath and tiny white rosebuds woven among the curls. She was fidgeting with the strand of pearls around her neck, the 'something borrowed' from Janet. The 'something old' were the pearl drop earrings that had belonged to Sam's grandmother.

"Leave it alone," Janet admonished.

"Sorry," Casey replied softy. "He's here? You're sure he's here?"

Sam smiled. "Yes, he's here. I just talked to him."

She took a shaky breath. "Did you find out if Kelley and Ricky have made it in yet?"

"They hadn't the last time I checked," Sam replied. Casey's best friend and her brother were flying in for the wedding, and would be returning to Tacoma the following day. The weather had turned bad again, and the roads from Denver to Silver Springs were covered with snow. "Their flight was early enough that I'm sure they'll make it," she said reassuringly.

The photographer arrived, having already taken all the shots of the male members of the group that she wanted. The bride and her friends posed and smiled.

There was a light tap on the door. Beverly Adams stepped into the room. "It's time for Cassie to light the candles," she said.

The teenager, who had been sitting on the bench at the side of the room, totally mesmerized by Casey and how beautiful she looked, stood to her feet.

"Thanks for doing this for us," Casey said softly, hugging the young woman.

"Sure," Cassie replied. She looked at the blushing bride again. Knew that Daniel would never see any woman but this one. She sighed, and followed the wedding planner into the chapel. Casey had chosen two songs by the popular composer Yanni. 'First Touch' was playing as Cassie moved through the chapel, lighting the dozens of candles. When she'd finished, she took a seat in the front pew, exactly the way it had been rehearsed.

 

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General Hammond entered the 'bride's room', looking sharp in his 'dinner whites' dress uniform, his medals and ribbons displayed proudly over his ample chest. "Casey, you look breathtaking," he said, smiling warmly at her.

"You look very nice yourself, General," she replied, smiling nervously.

After getting three pictures of the man with the bride and bridesmaids, the last on the roll of film that she'd taken of the women as they prepared for the ceremony, the photographer hurried out of the room to set up for pictures of the ceremony itself. The general led Casey and her two attendants to the now closed door of the chapel.

His Honor Jim Thurman, a retired District Court judge, led Daniel and his friends to the front of the chapel. He'd known Beverly Adams for years. And he'd always enjoyed performing marriages. It took much of the sting out of the other duties his office had required of him. So when she'd asked him if he'd be willing to perform ceremonies for the weddings she planned, he'd been more than happy to oblige.

Daniel stood nervously in front of the altar. Smiled at Catherine Langford, who was sitting in the front row, having accepted the honor of standing in for his mother. She beamed at him, nodded slightly. Her approval meant more to him than he'd realized. She'd arrived the day before, having been invited to the rehearsal dinner. She'd liked Casey immediately, and told him so. He wondered briefly if his parents were witness to this, were able to see their son married to the woman of his dreams, his Destiny.

He took note that several Tok'ra were in attendance, including General Jacob Carter/Selmak. As well as two Senators from the Oversight Committee, and three of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. None of them had actually been invited, but General Hammond had reminded him that it was his work, and his perseverance, that had enabled the Stargate Program to become what it had. So interest in him was…to be expected.

The first strains of Yanni's 'To Take, To Hold' filled the air, and the double doors at the back of the room opened. Janet was the first through the door, her smile bright as she made her way toward the altar. Sam was next, and for a moment Daniel was taken aback. Seeing her in anything other than BDUs or blue jeans still tended to surprise him.

"Will the guests please rise," Judge Thurman said, his voice deep and full. During the rehearsal it had been decided that a small microphone would be placed on the altar so that those observing the service would be able to hear Casey when she spoke her vows.

His breath caught in his throat when he saw her. She was breathtaking. The dress was stunning, and followed every curve of her slender frame. He smiled when her eyes locked on his. He could see her excitement, her happiness.

Casey couldn't stop staring at him. He looked like he should be posing for an ad in GQ. So handsome…the most beautiful man she'd ever seen. She was glad that the ceremony was being taped, because right now, all her eyes could see was the man who was her Destiny. She didn't even notice that Kelley and Ricky were sitting on the front row, on the bride's side of the chapel.

When she arrived at the altar, General Hammond shook Daniel's hand. "Congratulations, son."

"Thank you, sir."

The general put Casey's hand into that of the young archaeologist, and sat down beside Catherine.

"You may all be seated. Welcome to this very special event," the judge said, smiling at the gathered guests. He'd never know that several of them weren't from planet Earth. He turned his attention to the bride and groom. "It is always a pleasure to perform marriage ceremonies. A wedding is a symbolic ceremony. It's a way of publicly announcing that you are vowing yourself to this one person; promising your love, your time, your attention, all that you are to him, or her in marriage. I will ask now if there is anyone who has reason to object, and can show just cause as to why this man and this woman shouldn't be joined in matrimony. Speak now or forever hold your peace."

Teal'c looked out over the assembled guests. Dared anyone to mar this night for his friend…for both of his friends.

"Daniel and Casey have written their own vows, which they will now exchange." The judge nodded at the dark-blonde young man.

The couple turned to face one another, Daniel held her hand tightly, squeezed her fingers reassuringly when he felt them trembling against his.

Daniel cleared his throat, his voice firm, strong as he spoke. "Casey, it took a bit of outside influence to help us find each other. I knew the minute I looked into your beautiful green eyes that you were the woman I've been searching for all of my life; my soul mate, my Destiny. You've brought happiness and laughter into my life; the light that shines from your heart, the sunshine that you've given me has brightened every corner of my heart, my life, banishing all of the sadness and darkness forever. I promise to stand by your side; To encourage you, and be open and honest with you; To laugh with you, and cry with you; To always love and honor you; Both freed and bound by our love. I vow myself to you - heart, mind, body and soul. I belong to you and no other. My love is yours for all time."

She blinked back the tears that threatened to fall. "Daniel, for so long I stumbled through the darkness, so alone, and so afraid that I'd never find the man that my soul cried out to. Then a miracle brought you to my door. When I looked into your incredible blue eyes, I saw everything I'd been searching for. The first time you put your arms around me I felt safe; safer than I have ever felt before. I had no idea that love could feel this wonderful, be this strong, so all encompassing, all-consuming. I promise to stand by your side; To encourage you, and be open and honest with you; To laugh with you, and cry with you; To always love and honor you; Both freed and bound by our love. I vow myself to you - heart, mind, body and soul. I belong to you, and no other. My love is yours for all time." No one could deny the love that rang through that soft voice, in spite of the slight quaver.

Judge Thurman smiled. "Daniel, as Casey has vowed her love to you, I ask if you accept that vow."

"I do," Daniel replied.

"Casey, as Daniel has vowed his love to you, I ask if you accept that vow."

"I do," she replied.

"With vows given and received, you may light the candle that signifies the unity of your souls." He'd officiated over dozens of ceremonies, many of them using original vows and wording. This ceremonoy, he decided, was unique, and charming.

Casey turned and handed her bouquet to Sam, then stepped up to the table beside Daniel. They took a lit candle from either end of the candelabra.

"As we light this flame together," Daniel said, "let it be a symbol for the love that burns within us for all to see."

"Let this flame burn on in our hearts forever," Casey said softly. "Let its light guide our way."

The flame of the Unity candle jumped and flickered, then burned strongly. They put the slender tapers back in the candelabra, stepped back in front of the Judge.

When Casey had heard that Gracie Anderson…one of the technicians who worked in the control room…had an excellent singing voice, she'd asked the tall brunette if she'd sing during the ceremony. Gracie had been flattered. She'd been sitting to one side of the stringed quartet. She moved to stand in front of the musicians, and in her clear, strong voice, sang 'The Wedding Song'.

"You are so beautiful," Daniel whispered.

"So are you," Casey whispered in reply.

The song was over and Judge Thurman turned attention back to the couple standing in front of him. "Daniel, Casey, will you be exchanging rings, symbols of the vows you have made to one another?"

"We will," they replied in unison.

"Daniel, take Casey's left hand into yours, place the wedding band on her finger, and repeat after me," the Judge said. "Casey, I give you this ring…"

He slid the band onto her finger. "Casey, I give you this ring…"

"As a token of my vows to you."

"As a token of my vows to you." The band nestled against the sparkling engagement ring.

"Casey, take Daniel's left hand into yours, place the wedding band on his finger, and repeat after me," Judge Thurman instructed. "Daniel, I give you this ring…"

She slid the wedding band onto his long, slender finger. "Daniel, I give you this ring…"

"As a token of my vows to you."

"As a token of my vows to you." Oh yeah, she thought happily. Tangible evidence that he's taken, and belongs to me!

"With vows made, and rings exchanged in the presence of these witnesses, it is with great pleasure that I pronounce you man and wife. Daniel, you may kiss your bride."

He smiled, wreathed her beautiful face with his hands. "I love you," he whispered.

"I love you," she replied. She surrendered to his kiss, her hands on his chest, holding her steady while she took comfort from him, gave her love to him.

Every caress of her tongue against his declared her love. He thought his heart would burst. She was his. Technically, legally…totally.

"Ahem. Come up for air already," a familiar voice said after a few moments. Laughter filled the room.

Daniel grinned against her lips, slowly let her move away from him.

"Ladies and gentlemen," Judge Thurman said, "It is an honor to introduce to you for the first time, Doctor and Mrs. Daniel Jackson."

Applause and cheers filled the small chapel. Daniel led her up the aisle; Jack and Sam, and Teal'c and Janet following.

A limousine waited to take the wedding party to the restaurant. When Casey caught sight of Kelley and Ricky smiling at her when they turned to face their audience for the first time, she determined that they'd ride along. Daniel acquiesced, telling her that there was plenty of room in the stretch limo.

Kelley was thrilled to be able to spend a few minutes with her best friend, meeting the people who were now very important in her life. It stung a bit to realize that Janet and Sam were now her best friends, as well. Knowing that Casey was happy kept her from dwelling on the fact that they'd never again be as close as they'd once been. Physical distance, and the changes in their lives - in Casey's life - made the closeness of their friendship something that would forever be a part of their past, but never their future.

Ricky was quiet for the most part. He'd realized that Casey would never see him as anything other than Kelley's older brother. It hadn't made it easy to accept. Seeing her so happy with another man was difficult to deal with. He was glad that they'd have an excuse for leaving the reception early. Arrangements had been made for their rental car to be driven to the restaurant so that he and Kelley could take this ride. As soon as possible, he'd take his sister, and they'd return to Denver. He'd rented a motel room there, so that they could get a couple of hours of sleep before flying back to Tacoma. He watched Casey, counting the minutes until he could get away. He was happy for her. He really was. He just hated seeing the groom touching her in a way he could only dream about.

 

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Casey hadn't been so sure about having a receiving line, but now she was glad that she'd agreed to it. Meeting the Senators and Joint Chiefs of Staff had been a bit overwhelming. She could sense that the Tok'ra, Anise, had been attracted to Daniel. She still was.

"I understand that this is a permanent arrangement," Freya said. Anise was a bit put out that she'd be unable to speak to Daniel as long as they were among the Tau'ri outside of the SGC.

"Uh, yeah," Daniel replied. Anise had made her attraction to him known. And that Freya preferred Jack. The two men had agreed that the situation was too bizarre to even contemplate. "Forever."

"Love does not always survive that long," Freya said, urged on by Anise.

"Sometimes it does. Especially when it's Destiny," Daniel told her. He put his arm around Casey's shoulders. "Casey is my Destiny. Our love will last forever."

She barely said hello to Casey as she moved down the line. Freya smiled brightly at Colonel O'Neill. Couldn't understand the look of anger in Major Carter's eyes.

"Daniel, I'm so happy for you," Catherine Langford said, hugging the young man tightly.

"Thanks, Catherine," he replied, hugging her in return.

She turned to Casey. "I have never seen him this happy."

"I keep hearing that," Casey said softly.

"Well, whatever you're doing, don't stop," Catherine said, giving the young blonde a wink. "If you're ever in New York, come see me," she admonished.

"We will," Casey promised.

All of the guests properly greeted, Daniel and Casey led the wedding party into the room, to full applause. Once seated at the beautifully decorated head table, dinner was served. The menu was simple, but elegant.

Casey wanted photos of everything. The photographer was more than willing to oblige. As the guests finished their meal, the wedding party posed for the usual pictures, and there were even a few candid shots that would become favorites.

The cake was on one end of a long table, an ice sculpture sat in the center, and a champagne fountain was on the other end. When the bride and groom made their way to the cake in preparation of cutting it, the buzz of several dozen conversations died away.

"It's almost a shame to cut it," Casey said with a sigh. "It's so pretty."

"Hey, I've been waiting for this! I want a piece of cake!" Daniel said, teasing her.

The photographer took several shots of the couple as they made the first cut, and then fed one another the first bite. Still laughing, they carried their plates back to the head table. The waiters and waitresses who had been standing by began to quickly serve the rich chocolate dessert.

The pop of a cork was the next signal that something was about to happen. Jack filled the glasses of each of the wedding party. He held his glass up. "It's tradition that the Best Man makes a toast, and says something sappy and nice about the groom." His comment was met with laughter. "Seriously, I met Daniel six years ago. He was a geeky scientist, and you all know how much I like scientists." More laughter. "But Daniel proved to be much more than a skilled archaeologist, a skilled linguist. He proved to be a brave man, a compassionate man. A man I'm glad, I'm honored, to call my friend." Jack turned to look at the young man. "Daniel, you deserve the best in life. You deserve to be happy. Congratulations on finding a woman who could put a smile on your face. The best to both of you. To Daniel and Casey." The toast was echoed, and happily drank to.

Sam stood up, raised her glass. "I haven't known Casey very long. But I've known her long enough to know that she's a caring, giving person. When Daniel told us about her, after he'd met her, his eyes lit up, he smiled like I've never seen him smile before. I'd already made up my mind that if she could make one of my best friends that happy, she had to be something special. Then I met her, and discovered that she's very special. She's the perfect companion for Daniel; she's as compassionate as he is, as passionate about her beliefs as he. Daniel has always looked at things with wide-eyed wonder, and Casey is the same way. Casey, you deserve the very best. Congratulations, girlfriend. We all wish the best for both of you. To Casey and Daniel." Again the toast was echoed and drank to.

The stringed quartet had arrived, and began to play the list of love songs that the bride and groom had requested. Daniel led Casey to the dance floor, held her tightly.

"So, Mrs. Jackson, are you happy?"

"Don't ever wake me up," she whispered. "I'm so happy, so in love with you that it hurts."

"Right back 'atcha, babe," he whispered.

Before the night was over Casey had danced with Jack and Teal'c, General Hammond, one of the Senators, and all three of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as General Carter. Major Ferretti and the commanding officers of the teams her 'gift' had saved also were honored to dance with her. Daniel had danced with most of the women, Catherine twice, using the time to tell her about several of the amazing finds that had been made.

"Ready to go?" Daniel asked. He was anxious to be alone with her. She'd spent the night before at Sam's house. He'd tossed and turned in their bed; missing her, needing to just hold her.

"Yes, I am," she replied softly.

"Jack," he said, turning to his Best Man. "We're gonna go."

"Hang on, Space Monkey," Jack said, grinning. He grabbed his wineglass, gently tapped a spoon against it. "Hey everybody, if I could have your attention for a minute," he said.

All eyes turned to him. "It seems that Daniel and Casey are ready to leave. But before they can there's a little unfinished business that needs to be taken care of." He took Casey by the elbow and led her to one side of the dance floor. "Ladies, if you'll all gather around here, Casey will throw her bouquet."

The women in attendance not already married hurried to the parquet floor, Sam and Janet among them, right in front.

"Okay, no shoving, kicking, clawing or biting," Jack teased. He turned Casey to face away from the women.

"Ready?" she called out.

"Just throw it to me," Janet replied.

She giggled. For one moment was totally overwhelmed with the emotion of all that was happening. She'd never thought, never even allowed herself to dream, that she'd have a night like this, that she'd have a wedding as beautiful as this. That she'd ever have a wedding! She took a deep breath, willed her heart to stop pounding. "Okay, here it comes!" She threw the bouquet over her head; whirled around to see who would catch it. Giggled when Sam held it up triumphantly.

Teal'c brought Daniel over to where Jack stood with Casey.

"Okay, Daniel, get that garter!" Jack said, grinning from ear to ear. He pulled a chair close, so that Casey could sit.

Sam and Janet had talked her into putting the blue and white satin and lace garter mid-thigh. With a wicked grin, she pulled her dress up, exposing one slender leg.

Daniel grinned at her, reached for the blue and white satin and lace garter.

"Uh uh, Space Monkey," Jack said, knocking his hand back. "Teeth."

"You’re kidding!" Daniel said, blushing slightly.

"Nope."

He looked into laughing green eyes. He lowered his head, grabbed the garter with his teeth, tried to ignore how good she smelled, and pulled it past her knee. Before Jack could object, he tugged it from her leg with his fingers.

"Cheater," the older man grinned. "Okay guys. Same rules. No kicking, fighting or shoving to get out of the way." He glanced at Sam, who stood holding the bouquet. His grin getting wider, he took his place with the men.

Daniel pulled back on the elastic garter, launched it into the air. Laughed out loud when he saw it grabbed, then twirled around a long, tanned finger. He watched Jack and Sam exchange a look filled with longing.

General Hammond approached. "If I could see the wedding party for a moment, please." He nodded toward a quiet corner of the room.

"What's up, General?" Jack asked, concern in his voice as soon as the team was gathered. He'd hate like hell for something to come up now. Daniel and Casey deserved the honeymoon that the young man had so carefully planned.

"General Meyers sent a message from the president. Effective immediately, all military restrictions concerning the fraternization of officers and enlisted personnel are summarily waived for those men and women assigned to the Stargate Program."

"Yes!" Casey said.

"About damned time," Daniel said.

Jack and Sam said nothing. They looked at one another, then at the floor. "Thank you, sir," the colonel said.

Hammond smiled, winked subtly at the bride. "You're welcome. Now, Casey, Daniel, congratulations. We'll see you back at the SGC in five days. The rest of you I'll see on Monday. Goodnight, people." He walked away, feeling better than he had in ages. He wondered how long it would be before he was attending another wedding.

"We're going to head out," Daniel said. Casey didn’t know it yet, but the bags that she thought were packed and waiting at the apartment were in the trunk of the limo, which would take them to Denver. She knew that they were spending the night there. She didn't know that the following afternoon they were flying to the Bahamas, where he'd booked three days in the Sandals Resort.

Hugs were exchanged all around, with final congratulations offered. Their friends saw them into the limousine; the sidewalk covered with birdseed as it was tossed at the happy couple. They waved as it pulled away from the restaurant.

Jack turned to Sam. "How about a dance?"

She blushed, lowered her eyes, and nodded. Casey had told her that it would happen. She'd never doubt the young blonde again.

Janet watched him for a minute. Took a deep breath. It wasn't coffee. But she was going to take the chance. "Major? Would you like to dance?"

Major Paul Davis smiled. "I'd love to dance, Doctor Fraiser."

"Janet, please," the diminutive brunette insisted.

"Only if you call me Paul."

Oh yeah, the girl is good, Janet thought happily, recalling every word that Casey had said. She was darned good!

Teal'c watched his friends dancing. Felt a hand on his arm.

"Would you like to dance?" Gracie asked.

"Indeed," the Jaffa replied.


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