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Torchwood: Galaxy Quest (4)

Galaxy Quest (4)

Word Count: ~37.000
Summary: Eight years ago, the actors of the popular sci-fi show Galaxy Quest were heroes – these days, they can't escape the shadow of the roles they played, even though the show has been cancelled. When an alien race mistakes them for real heroes fighting evil and seeks their help, they quickly find themselves in a fight that goes way over their heads. To survive, they have to overcome their differences and conflicts of the past, but pride is something that's very hard to swallow ...
Characters: Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones, John Hart, Gwen Cooper, Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato, Mathasar, Sarris, Laliari, Teb, Eugene Jones, Carys, Annie, Lahnk, OCs
Pairing: Ianto/John Hart, Jack/Ianto, Tosh/Owen, Gwen/Rhys
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Torture, mention of partner betrayal, language
Beta: danian and czarinakitty, who did a great job under time pressure. Thank you both!
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv show Torchwood as well as the movie Galaxy Quest and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.
This is a work of fiction. No similarities to the private or public lives of the Torchwood actors are intended, even though there are references to the fictional characters they played in other productions.

Complete Fanfiction Masterlist
Galaxy Quest Masterlist
Chapter Three



***
***


4.



Gwen bravely kept a smile on her face – for the cameras, for the small crowd of fans that had gathered and for her own dignity. ”Take it from us,” she said what she'd rehearsed hastily just five minutes ago while trying to zip her jumpsuit a bit higher, ”we've been all over the universe.”

Tosh next to her was smiling just as bravely, but Gwen had always felt that she mastered these events with more grace. ”But we've never seen space age values like we've seen here ... at ...”

It took Ianto a moment to react, his stony face giving nothing away. ”... Tech Value Electronics Superstore.”

Owen didn't say anything for a long moment and he looked deeply ashamed. Tosh nudged him and he finally slowly said the much-hated phrase, ”I may be dead, but I love these prices.”

The store manager cheered and his staff joined in over-enthusiastically, as did the fans with a more honest form of enthusiasm. Gwen cut the band to signal that the store in the south of Cardiff was now officially opened and then it was over.

Gwen preferred conventions.

***

It was Ianto who saw Jack first, his blue eyes narrowing angrily when he spotted him jogging towards the table outside the store where they dutifully gave autographs and took pictures with a few people, while the majority of the crowd parking their cars just went past them into the store without sparing them a glance. ”Look who's decided to turn up,” Ianto muttered darkly.

Tosh glanced in Jack's direction and frowned. Jack was looking around the parking lot frantically. Even from a distance, she could see that something wasn't quite right. Jack looked haunted and that was unlike the self-confident man he made a point of always appearing as.

The second Jack spotted them sitting in the shade of a parasol outside the store, he started running towards them. In his haste, he overlooked a group of fans in Galaxy Quest uniforms and Tosh grimaced when Jack and one of the young men collided and went down in a flurry of merchandise. Jack righted himself quickly, picking up what looked like a long-range communicator, from the ground and didn't pay the fans any mind while he ran towards them.

”Here we go again,” Owen said grimly. When Jack reached them, he didn't waste any time and hissed angrily, ”Do you know what time it is? Why do you even bother to show up at all?”

Jack didn't answer him. He had a wild look in his eyes while he leaned in close. ”Not now.”

Tosh was a bit startled to see him shaking slightly and she frowned, reaching out a hand. Jack took it and Tosh gasped. His fingers felt icy cold.

Jack swallowed audibly and waited until Gwen had sent off the last fan waiting in line with a friendly smile before he said, ”I was there. I was up there!” When they just looked at him quizzically, he gave an exasperated sigh. ”Yesterday at the convention, I met people dressed like aliens. And I thought they were fans but they were actually aliens. They were Termites … or Dalmatians. I can’t really remember because I was kind of hung over this morning, but what they built was extraordinary. It was a huge spaceship. I got to fight this bloke named Sarris, and I kicked his arse.”

Gwen stared at Jack, Owen muttered a curse and Ianto raised an eyebrow. Tosh squeezed Jack's hand. ”Are you sure you're okay?” she asked.

Jack looked at all of them individually and then straightened, brushing a hand down his pale face and then through his dark hair. ”I know what you’re thinking, but I can prove it. They gave me this.” He held up the long-range communicator he'd picked up after his run-in with the fan.

Gwen reached for her belt and held up her own prop.

With faked excitement, Owen said, ”Look! Gwen met the aliens, too!”

”No, no, no, no,” Jack said, shaking his head frantically. ”Can you talk to people in space on this?” He raised his communicator to his lips, ”Torchwood, this is the Captain. Over!”

Owen rolled his eyes. ”Oh, for God's sake!”

Gwen patted Ianto's arm and got up. ”I'm leaving.”

Ianto gave a nod and got to his feet as well. ”Yes.”

Tosh hesitated for a moment, looking at Jack's crestfallen expression. She felt sorry for him and wondered whether she should tell John that he needed to get some professional help for Jack. She was worried. In the eight years she'd known him now, Jack had never before acted remotely like this. He pretended that the adventures of the NSEA Torchwood were real to humour the fans, sometimes, but it was only an act. Never like this.

Ianto put one hand on the small of Tosh's back. ”Come on, Tosh.”

Reluctantly, she let herself be led away, but couldn't help a last glance over her shoulder.

Jack was staring down at the communicator. ”This isn't mine. Wait! That kid! Where is that kid, the one I ran into?” His eyes lit up when he didn't see the young man he'd collided with but three fans in silver uniforms and with short dark hair – a woman and two men – approaching. ”There!” he said and it made Tosh stop in her tracks. ”There!”

“Tosh,” Ianto said.

”Wait,” she replied, holding onto his wrist. Gwen and Owen paused, looking back to see what was keeping them.

The woman bowed slightly. ”Begging your pardon, Captain, we come with news. Sarris lives. He was able upon your departure to make an escape.”

”Listen!” Jack said and then looked at the woman pleadingly. ”Tell them.”

The woman continued, ”However he has contacted us, and wishes to negotiate a surrender.”

Jack looked at his team and his gaze alighted on Tosh. ”Sarris,” he said. ”He's evil.”

”We humbly implore you to come and negotiate the terms,” the woman finished, looking at Jack expectantly.

Owen just scoffed loudly and walked away, back towards the van John had rented this morning to pick them all up.

Jack looked disappointed for a second, looking after Owen, but then he stared at Gwen feverishly. ”They want me back. Is this amazing? They want me back and I want you to go with me. Please. Don’t even think about it. Let’s go. Yes?”

Gwen shook her head and followed Owen around the corner of the store.

Jack's face fell and he stepped closer to Ianto and Tosh. ”You’re ... you’re going?”

Ianto narrowed his eyes. ”Yes. Stop this nonsense now. This isn't funny.”

He turned away but Jack grabbed his arm. ”Ianto, this is not ... I’m not joking here. This isn’t some prank. It's not a joke.” Ianto tried to shake him off, but Jack just held on tighter, desperation marring his handsome face. ”No, listen. Come on.” His hand held on to Ianto, but his pleading gaze turned to Tosh. ”Tosh! You know me and I’m a lot of things, but am I crazy?”

Tosh exchanged a look with Ianto. ”No,” she said carefully, ”but you reek of alcohol.”

Ianto shook Jack's hand off. ”You know it's one thing to treat us like shit, but it's another thing to play games with your fans when you're drunk and clearly out of your mind.”

Jack shook his head. ”This isn't a fan,” he said, pointing at the woman. ”This ... this is a Termite.”

”Have a nice life, Jack.” Ianto turned away, putting an arm around Tosh's shoulder to pull her along. She didn't look back this time, knowing she would just start to sympathize with Jack and he didn't need sympathy, he clearly needed help.

John was waiting for them at the van, his hands shoved into his black jeans and his black leather jacket zipped up against the nippy wind coming from the bay. His blue eyes were sympathetic. ”Owen says he's lost it?”

”He's drunk,” Ianto answered bitterly. ”Let's go.”

”Yeah, just let me make a short call.” John took a few steps away from the van, dialling his mobile.

Ianto sat on one of the seats in the back next to Owen while Tosh remained standing outside the van, thoughtfully chewing her lip and looking for an explanation for Jack's erratic behaviour. She didn't think it was just the alcohol.

Gwen sighed. ”Boy! I didn’t know you could get that drunk.”

Tosh cleared her throat and tucked a few strands of her black hair behind her ears. ”You know,” she said slowly, coming to realize what exactly had just happened. ”I think we should have just taken the job ... I mean, who knows the next time he'll ask us.”

Owen shook his head. ”He was drunk, Tosh. Do you really think he was talking about a job?”

They all looked towards the corner of the store, where they'd last seen Jack.

”Fuck!” Owen said and jumped out of the van. Ianto and the others followed him. ”Why are we doing this?” Owen grumbled.

Gwen answered, ”Because I'm planning a wedding, Ianto has a sister to support and Tosh and you have bills to pay.”

They saw Jack when they turned the corner, turning onto the main street with the three fans and vanishing from view. They quickly followed him.

”Hey!” John's voice came from behind them. ”Where are you lot going?”

Ianto waved at him to follow just before they turned onto the main street, looking around for Jack and not seeing him. What they saw was one of the fans – the woman – smiling at them and then entering a small alley. Gwen was the first to go after her, Tosh and the others quickly following. The alley was a dead-end, littered with rubbish and smelling of waste. Nevertheless, the woman just stood there, smiling at them as if she was welcoming them into her perfect home.

Briskly, Gwen announced, ”We are coming, too.”

”All of you wish to go to the ship?” the woman asked.

Gwen squared her shoulders and answered testily, ”Yes. We wish to go to the ship. You see, we work together or not at all.”

”Wonderful! The Captain had me continue transmission in case you changed your mind.”

Tosh looked up at Ianto who rolled his eyes. She suppressed a giggle. Jack had known they'd give in, of course. They'd never hear the end of this.

The woman spoke into her communicator. ”Torchwood, requesting four interstellar pods for immediate departure.”

From behind them, John said, ”Boy, they do take this seriously, don't they?”

The woman looked at him quizzically.

”I'm coming, too, by the way,” John added, stopping next to Ianto. ”But I want to read the contract first.”

The woman ignored that request, instead correcting into her communicator, ”Five pods, for immediate departure.”

Tosh felt something cold slither up her ankle. When she looked down, she saw a clear fluid slowly making its way up her legs. She tried to shake it off and saw the others try to do so as well – just as unsuccessfully.

Gwen gasped. ”Oh God!”

”What the hell?” Owen asked.

The woman smiled pleasantly. ”I look forward to meeting you all in person when we arrive at the ship. End transmission.”

With that, she vanished.

Gwen screamed and tried to swat at the liquid with her hands but she didn't seem to be able to grasp it. Tosh stood still and took a deep breath, then she carefully touched whatever it was that was encasing her up to her hips right now. It felt cold to the touch, but not wet or solid or like anything at all really. She couldn't actually feel it. It was like an optical illusion.

Ianto looked at John angrily. ”What is this?”

”How should I know?” John asked testily, squirming against the liquid swallowing him.

”Oh my God,” Gwen said. ”Oh my God!”

”Don't panic!” Tosh said loudly, getting everyone to stare at her incredulously. ”It's no use to panic.”

Gwen snapped, ”Don't you start quoting your stupid catchphrase at me!”

And with that, the liquid encased Tosh fully and she couldn't hear anything anymore.

Just a moment later, she was flying, passing by streaks of light and the knowledge that she was in space hit her with such a sudden force that she could barely comprehend what was going on. All she knew was that it was beautiful and unique and the best thing that had ever happened to her, because she was actually in space, talking to aliens … not just pretending anymore, but for real.

And then it was over.

She was standing on solid ground. White floor, white circular walls, the others next to her. She was so cold and she felt frozen in place – probably a side-effect of the transport. Nobody seemed able to move.

A door slid open and her eyes widened when she saw … beings enter. They looked like tentacled nightmares come true, her shivering increasing when instinctual fear of the unknown hit her bloodstream. The aliens came closer, their voices a shrill screeching that hurt her ears, their tentacles waving strange, blinking, whirring devices in their direction. Tosh tried to lean back a bit, to move and escape, but her legs still protested any movement.

And then one of the beings looked down and screeched and all three of them hit a switch on their belts … and now they were humanoid, wearing silver suits and short black hair just like the woman in the alley, just like the other two men who had approached Jack. One of them, a young man, stepped forward, smiling apologetically. ”Our most sincere apologies. We forgot about our appearance generators.”

”You came!” Jack said from the door, smiling happily. ”Who wants the grand tour?”

Gwen screamed. Her voice finally jolted Tosh out of her own paralysis and she took a step back, feeling Owen's hands on her shoulders. Ianto clapped a hand over Gwen's mouth, silencing her abruptly while John was still just standing there, clutching his mobile.

Jack stared at them. ”Anybody else?”

Tosh took a deep breath. ”That was a hell of a thing.” She smiled. Jack answered with an excited grin and Tosh leapt into his arms, giggling happily. ”Oh my God, you brilliant man! I knew it!” She kissed his cheek and then looked back at the others. ”What's wrong with you?”

They gaped at her.



Chapter Five
Galaxy Quest Masterlist
Complete Fanfiction Masterlist


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