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Torchwood: Galaxy Quest (5)

Galaxy Quest (5)

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 Four



***
***


5.



Jack smiled at Tosh. She was walking next to him with awe in her dark eyes and a spring to her step he recognized from the old days, when her smiling at him had been taken for granted. Tosh had been the one to stay regularly in contact with him the longest. He was a bit angry at himself for not having realized that she'd withdrawn just like everyone at some point. He wondered how he could have been so blind. Losing Tosh's approval should have been a final warning.

He glanced back at the others. Gwen was huddled close to Owen, her eyes flickering around to look at the Thermians walking by, the endless corridors they were passing through and Jack himself as if she was suspecting that he'd induced some kind of hallucination in her. Owen was pale. He looked ill and a bit like he wished he would wake up from a nightmare that was all too real. Ianto and John walked close together, their faces equally worried and disbelieving.

Jack quickly turned back to look forwards again. He couldn't stand to see the way John and Ianto seemed to still be so close and able to talk, to draw comfort from each other, despite their break-up. It was so different from how he and Ianto had split and made him wonder once again if he would ever be able to get back to that level of comfort with him. He didn't like to admit out loud that he missed him, but it was a fact. Ianto had been everything to him from the moment they acknowledged their attraction to each other. He had been everything for three years. Things shouldn't have ended the way they did. Of course, Jack always insisted it was Ianto's fault, but he could admit – if only to himself – that he had been wrong as well. Even acting out of hurt feelings, he shouldn't have done what he did.

Ianto's voice startled him out of his thoughts. ”Where are we?”

Jack gave him a short look over his shoulder. Still walking close to John. He faced forwards again grimly, tightening his hold around Tosh's shoulders. ”Twenty-third quadrant of the gamma sector. There’s a map in the forward room. Come on.” He stopped walking when he saw Mathasar and his second-in-command Teb approach.

Mathasar smiled warmly, looking at all of them with joy on his round, friendly face. ”Welcome, my friends.”

Jack stepped closer to stand next to him and faced the team, clapping a hand on Mathasar's shoulder. ”This is Mathasar. He’s their leader.”

Mathasar nodded and gravely said, ”On behalf of all my people, I wish to thank you from the deepest place in our hearts.”

”Mathasar,” Jack added, ”this is … my crew.”

The looks Mathasar and Teb gave the others at this were just as reverent as the looks they gave Jack all the time. He was a bit relieved not to be the focus of the attention anymore, if he was absolutely honest with himself. Something about the unconditional respect in the Thermians' eyes made him uncomfortable.

Mathasar stepped forward. ”Dr. Lazarus,” he said softly, looking at Owen before his eyes strayed to Gwen. ”Lt. Madison.” He reached out a hand and Gwen took it after a short moment of hesitation, smiling in embarrassment. Mathasar didn't seem to notice, having moved on to Ianto already. ”Young Laredo, how you've grown!”

Ianto looked down at himself. ”Well …,” he said and shrugged.

Jack had to agree with Mathasar. Ianto had been twenty-three when Galaxy Quest had been cancelled. Now, five years later, his features were more earnest, his blue eyes wiser. Jack hated that he had a part in subduing the always-smiling bundle of energy Ianto had been back then.

Mathasar smiled at Tosh. ”Tech Sgt. Chen.”

Jack had already suspected that she was Mathasar's favourite, but if he hadn't, then the choked utterance of her name would have given it away now. Tosh nodded at him with a warm smile, seeming more comfortable with the situation than the others.

Mathasar's eyes alighted on John. ”And ...” He frowned quizzically and Jack couldn't suppress a grin.

”Uh ...” John shrugged and then hastily dug into the breast pocket of his jacket. ”I'm John Hart, their agent.” He handed Mathasar his business card.

”John Hart,” Mathasar repeated with a nod and put the card into a pocket.

“I also guest-starred,” John added. ”In one … well … scene.”

Gwen cleared her throat. ”You ... know all of us?”

Mathasar laughed softly and Teb joined in. Their laughter sounded stiff, though, rehearsed, as if they didn't quite know what the sound meant and were just copying it. Mathasar folded his hands behind his back. ”I don't believe there is a man, woman or child on my planet who does not. In the years since we first received transmission of your historical documents, we have studied every facet of your missions and strategies.”

Ianto's eyes widened. ”You’ve been watching the show from-”

”Lieutenant,” Jack interrupted him and earned himself an angry scowl. He stayed firm, though, correcting, ”historical documents.”

Ianto glared at him, repeating his question. ”You've been watching the historical documents from out here?”

Mathasar nodded sadly. ”The past hundred years, our society had fallen into disarray. Our goals, our values had become scattered. But since the transmission, we have modelled every aspect of our society from your example and it has saved us. Your courage and teamwork and friendship through adversity were glowing examples. In fact, all you see around you has been taken from the lessons garnered from the historical documents.”

John and Ianto exchanged a worried glance and Owen's brow creased. Before he could ask a question or make a remark about that, though, Gwen asked, ”Is this a ... a spaceship?”

Jack answered, ”No. This is a star-port for the ship.” He smiled. ”Mathasar was just about to show me the ship. Care to join?”

Tosh nodded immediately while the others just looked at each other hesitantly.

”Over here, please,” Mathasar said and opened a door.

It led into a small cabin with glass walls, which – as Jack had learned just before the team had arrived – was an express elevator. Jack stepped inside first, closely followed by Tosh. The others joined them a bit more slowly and Mathasar was the last to step inside, leaving Teb to attend to his duties. Mathasar pressed a button and the elevator moved upwards. At first, the glass walls showed nothing around them but more white walls zipping past at an alarming speed, but then the elevator reached the docking station and Tosh let out a noise of pure joy when she saw the NSEA Torchwood.

It took everything Jack had not to join into her infectious glee because the ship was even more majestic than he'd imagined. The NSEA Torchwood – or the NSEA Torchwood II, as Mathasar kept insisting – was beautiful: Sleek and modern, its long body white-washed and elegant … a dream come true for every science-fiction fan – and the exact copy of the ship on the show. But more beautiful in every way, because it was real and huge, not just a tiny model built in the computer.

Gwen crowded close to the glass next to Tosh, her green eyes wide. ”This can't be.”

Jack was barely able to answer. This was their ship. His ship. He smiled at Gwen and put an arm around Tosh's shoulder.

Owen let out a breath. ”Oh, my god!”

The elevator slowed, allowing them all the time they needed to look at the ship.

Ianto said, ”It's beautiful.” When Jack turned to look at him, Ianto met his eyes and for the first time in a long while, the emotions in his gaze weren't negative. ”Absolutely brilliant.”

Jack smiled at him and Ianto quirked a grin back, but then he quickly turned his head away, a frown marring his features.

John cleared his throat. ”It’s real.”

”Yes,” Jack replied. ”It is.”

***

Mathasar gave them all a tour of the ship. Its interior was in the same style as the star-port – the same winding corridors, the same glaringly white walls and Thermians busily attending to business everywhere they went. The generator room with the Beryllium sphere almost gave Tosh a heart-attack. With awe and reverence, she stared at the huge ball of Beryllium suspended in the air in the middle of the room, powering the ship. Jack had to take her hand and tug her away to not make her lose the group accidentally.

In the medical quarters, Owen sidled up to Jack and softly asked, ”Jack, what have you gotten us into?”

Ianto took Jack's other side. ”What the hell is going on?”

”What are we doing here?” Gwen added.

Tosh looked down and around. ”Wow, the floors are so clean!”

Owen stared at her. ”Seriously?”

Mathasar didn't seem to notice the agitation that had befallen most of the group and smiled at Tosh fondly. ”Of course they are! Our medical quarters are inspired by Dr. Lazarus's work after all.” He smiled at Owen, who was focussed on Jack.

Jack sighed. ”We're just here to negotiate Sarris's surrender. It’s no big deal.”

They left the medical quarters and Mathasar droned on about the organ fabrication chamber, but Tosh and John were the only ones to listen to him.

Gwen was staring at Jack in disbelief, keeping their muffled discussion going. ”It’s no big deal? Are you crazy? We have to get out of here.”

”Oh, come on, guys,” Jack replied, rolling his eyes.

”Jack, we are actors, not astronauts!”

Angrily, Jack answered, ”You want to go home? Fine. Say the word and we'll all go home, pay our bills, feed our fish, fall asleep in front of the telly ... and miss out on all of this.” He paused for effect, letting that sink in, before he continued, ”Come on. Do you want to do that? Anybody?”

He looked at Ianto, who avoided his eyes. Jack pressed his lips together and managed to catch Gwen's stare instead. ”Gwen, come on, think about ... look at where we are. We’re in space.” He grabbed Owen's arm. ”Owen, this is the role of a lifetime. You want to leave?”

Mathasar's lesson interrupted the silent contemplation of Jack's words. ”We have enjoyed preparing many of your esoteric dishes. Your meat feast pizza is a current favourite among the adventurous.” He opened a door. ”The main barracks.”

Jack stopped dead, as did the others. The room was long and filled with two neat rows of beds that seemed to stretch on forever. Next to each bed, one Thermian stood at attention. They couldn't see the other end of the room. Jack was sure that it must cross the whole lower part of the ship. The sleeping arrangements for the crew were rather inelegant and didn't allow for privacy. Then again, the Thermians didn't have much to recreate here. The only quarters ever shown on the show were those of the main characters and other officers working on the ship. They had their own quarters of course. Nobody ever bothered to think about where the rest of the crew slept. Main barracks had been mentioned more than once on the show, though, without implying what they looked like. This seemed to be the Thermians' interpretation.

Next to every bed, one Thermian stood and now they saluted – their left hands going over their hearts.

Jack took a deep breath. ”At ease,” he said.

At his command, they crossed their hands behind their backs, standing more comfortably.

Jack grinned at the others. ”Cool, huh?” he asked.

Owen answered, ”You're an idiot.”

***

John stared at the bridge. It was an exact replica of the bridge from the show. He remembered it so well, having seen it plenty of times when he'd visited the set: Jack's chair front and centre, Ianto and Owen next to him, Gwen just slightly to his right and behind him, the working stations with the embedded screens, the window out front showing the stars or whoever happened to be connected visually to the ship … he looked at the others. Jack immediately strayed towards the Captain's chair and sat down. It was amazing to see him like this. He seemed more alive than in the past five years, his smile more real somehow. When the other four remained standing, Mathasar prompted gently, ”If you would all take your positions.”

Gwen asked, ”Our what?”

Jack sighed. ”Guys!”

”Oh, right!” Gwen said. ”Yes, absolutely! Uh ...” She looked around and finally sat in her chair. She gave Mathasar a nervous smile. ”Comfy.”

Owen slowly sat in his own chair. ”This is stupid,” John heard him say softly. ”We're going to die.”

”Careful what you say,” Jack murmured back. ”To them, you are already dead.”

Owen glared at him.

John followed Ianto to the navigator's position and stood behind him, his hands brushing Ianto's shoulders. ”All right?” he asked softly.

Ianto looked at the control panel. ”I remember this,” he said. ”I was good at this.”

Tosh cleared her throat. ”Shouldn't I go down to the engine room or something?”

Jack turned a bit to look at her with a wide smile. ”Stay a moment longer?” he asked. ”Just for this?”

She nodded and put a hand on his shoulder which he squeezed. Mathasar took position in front of Jack, formally folding his hands behind his back. ”Captain, some of the crew have requested to be present at this historic event.”

Jack nodded. ”Sure. Bring them in.”

Mathasar gave a short, high-pitched screech that made John wince and then the doors opened and about fifty Thermians squeezed their way inside, standing in a half circle around the main controls.

Ianto turned his head to look up at John with a wry smile. ”No pressure, huh? Glad I'm not the Captain.”

In that moment, Jack said, ”Laredo, take us out.”

Ianto froze. ”Excuse me?”

Jack didn't look at him while calmly explained, ”They designed those controls after watching you. Take her out.”

John squeezed Ianto's shoulder, feeling him tremble slightly. ”Right,” Ianto muttered. ”Right. Okay. Take her out.”

John swallowed. ”Stay calm,” he whispered. ”It's all right. Just like driving a car.”

”Shut up,” Ianto hissed. ”This is not a bloody car!”

Owen groaned. ”We're going to die.”

John glared at him.

Jack straightened his posture. ”Laredo,” he said, more forcefully. ”Now.”

Ianto reached out a hand and – with trembling fingers – pushed the power button. The Thermians were the only ones who didn't jump when the deep grumbling of the engines coming to life reverberated through the ship and then calmed to a gentle thrum in the background. John made a conscious effort to relax his hands which were grabbing the back of Ianto's chair hard enough to turn his knuckles white. Gwen and Owen were very stiff in their chairs, while Tosh seemed apprehensive, but not scared.

When Ianto reached for the throttle that would take them forward, Gwen grabbed her armrests and Jack's shoulders tensed, though his posture remained seemingly relaxed.

Carefully, Ianto pushed forward and the ship started to move. A relieved sigh escaped John when the huge ship eased forward gently and Ianto relaxed a bit as well, accelerating slightly to take the ship out of the star-port. John saw that more Thermians had gathered at the windows of the port, watching the departure. He squeezed Ianto's shoulder. ”You're doing great.”

Ianto nodded in relief and turned the dial to steer the ship slightly to the right.

Owen gasped, Gwen made a choked noise and Jack uttered a soft, ”Laredo ...”

That was when John noticed. They were veering towards the right – as intended – but a bit too much. Towards the wall of the star-port and the windows. ”Uh ... Ianto. You have to move to the left. More to the left.”

Ianto shrugged him off. ”Would you sit your arse down and let me drive?”

”Just saying.”

”Hey! You want to drive this thing?” He carefully turned the dial to set the ship back on its right course but it was too late. The momentum had carried them too closely to the wall and a loud, scraping noise filled the room when the ship brushed along the star-port's walls. John pulled a face and Jack made a hissing sound.

”Oh man,” John breathed, remembering when he'd last heard this sound – he'd driven his dad's car and caused a big scrape in its lacquer when he'd brushed along another car while parking. His dad had been furious and this sound had taken up residence in John's memories forever. He cringed and raised his shoulders, pressing his lips together to avoid uttering another word that would without a doubt get the already tense Ianto to snap.

It probably didn't take as long as it felt in the end, but finally, they left the star-port and were out in space.

John wondered if the brand-new ship had now a scrape along its side. The thought was almost funny and he suppressed a grin.

Clearly relieved, Jack said, ”Okay.”

The Thermians clapped.

Owen groaned. ”We're going to die.”



Chapter Six
Galaxy Quest Masterlist
Complete Fanfiction Masterlist


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