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Torchwood: Galaxy Quest (8)

Galaxy Quest (8)

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 Seven



***
***


8.



Jack breathed a sigh of relief when Ianto managed a relatively smooth landing on the planet's rocky surface. ”Good job,” he said, glancing at him.

Ianto nodded appreciatively and gave him a small smile.

For a moment, they all just sat there in silence, looking out the windows at the rocky desert spread around them – the alien world ... then they heard a loud wooshing sound and John gave an alarmed yelp. Jack turned to the hatch at the back of the ship, where Gwen was standing with her hand on the lever.

Even though it was way too late, John snapped, ”Don't open that! It's an alien planet! Is there air!? You don't know, do you?!”

Gwen looked at him with her eyebrows raised and then took a demonstrative deep breath. ”Seems okay.”

Owen sighed. ”We're all going to die.”

***

Ianto looked around carefully while they exited the shuttle, the stun gun the Thermians had given each of them before departure clutched in his hand. The world around them was yellow, orange and beige, bleak and unfriendly. The sun was burning down hot and he already felt stifled in his long-sleeved jumpsuit.

Gwen stopped next to him, her boot whirling up some sand and scratching rock when she dragged one foot experimentally. ”Here we go,” she murmured to him and he gave a tense nod.

Jack cleared his throat and put his hands on his hips. ”Which way, Owen?”

Owen fiddled with the surface mapper and then pointed towards the flat desert. ”This way.”

They all turned to the pointed direction.

”Wait!” Owen turned the device around. ”No, sorry, that way.” He nodded in the opposite direction.

Gwen smirked. ”You were holding it upside down, weren't you?”

”Shut up.”

Gwen grinned at Ianto. ”You know, with the device and everything, I actually thought he was smart for a second.”

Ianto just shrugged, suppressing a smirk.

Owen glared at her. ”You think you could do better, Tawny?”

”Hey! Watch it,” Gwen warned, despising the first name of her character on the show.

John groaned. ”We're screwed ... we're so screwed ...”

”Would everyone just shut up?” Jack asked, irritated. ”If we want to finish this mission, we have to use some self-control.”

Owen snorted. ”Self-control? That's funny coming from the bloke that slept with every moon princess and Terrakian slave girl on the show and rolled around the hay with two colleagues at the same time in real life!”

Silence slammed into the group. Ianto felt like he had been punched. For just a moment, he wished that Owen was talking about someone else, that there had been two affairs at the same time after Ianto had ended things, that he'd indulged in flings … but the way Jack pressed his lips together and the way Gwen avoided Ianto's eyes told him otherwise.

Ianto cleared his throat. ”At the same time?”

Gwen gave Owen a shove. ”You absolute …,” she hissed and took a deep breath. ”You idiot!”

Owen blushed and ducked his head. Ianto looked at John and noticed that he, too, was avoiding his eyes. He swallowed when the meaning hit home. ”What?” he asked, stunned. ”John, are you kidding me? You knew?” He glared at Jack, who crossed his arms defensively. ”Are you fucking kidding me? While we were together?”

”Were we?” Jack snapped. ”Together, that is! I didn't notice with all the sneaking around we were doing! I had to go to the BAFTAs with someone and you refused to even sit next to me!”

”I thought you two went as friends!”

Gwen stepped closer, one hand raised placatingly. ”We did! Ianto, it was … just once and it was an accident.”

”So, what? He just happened to fall on you naked?!”

John interrupted them loudly, ”Is this really the time to discuss this?”

Jack ignored him, instead stepping closer to Ianto, his blue eyes narrowed angrily. ”If you had had the courage to own up to our relationship, this wouldn't have happened!”

”Oh, so it's my fault?” Ianto asked.

”No, obviously, it's mine!” Jack answered sarcastically. ”Because going out with John for everyone to see wasn't a problem for you while going out with me was just too much exposure!”

”You were my first, Jack, I wasn't ready!”

”Oh, but you were ready with him?”

”Because you outed me at a bloody press conference without my consent before I got together with him!” He glared at Jack. ”If you would just have had a little bit of patience ...”

”I was patient for three years,” Jack hissed. ”Three years of being your dirty little secret.”

”That doesn't make it all right to fuck Gwen.”

”I know! It just happened!”

”Excuse me!” Owen yelled. ”We are on an alien planet looking for a Beryllium sphere to repair our space ship! Could we focus on that, please?”

Jack stared challengingly at Ianto, who took a deep breath. ”Yes,” he said. ”Let's focus on that.” He gripped his gun tighter and stalked off into the direction Owen had pointed out, breathing deeply to try and calm down.

John fell into step beside him. ”Ianto-”

”Leave me alone,” he snapped. ”You knew! Why didn't you tell me?”

”I didn't want to hurt you.”

Ianto shook his head. ”Well, you failed.”

***

They had found a small valley tucked away in-between the rock formations and were now watching it from a safe distance. Several silvery balls were shimmering in the sunlight – Beryllium spheres ready for the taking. The only reason they hadn't acted yet were several carved openings in the rocks, leading into darkness. They didn't know who exactly had created them, but whoever did had also crafted the troughs filled with water set up in several places within the valley.

Owen hummed thoughtfully. ”Must be some sort of mining facility.”

Gwen frowned, looking around the valley again. ”Where are the miners?”

John let out a breath. ”Something bad happened here.”

Shaking his head at John, Ianto said, ”They're probably inside. Will you relax?”

Jack had acquired some futuristic-looking binoculars from somewhere and was looking down into the valley with them. Gwen couldn't suppress a weary sigh about that – they weren't that far up. She could watch the valley comfortably from here without any help. Jack lowered the binoculars. ”Can't see anybody. Getting one of the spheres shouldn't be a problem. Let's go.”

In that moment, Gwen noticed movement in one of the openings and she instinctively grabbed Jack's arm. ”No, wait.” She could tell that the others saw it too, now. Everyone went quiet all of a sudden. A short blue creature was leaving the mine heading towards one of the troughs. At first glance, it looked like a child, with its scrawny limbs and huge eyes in a round face. A few other aliens joined the first one, emerging from the mine. Gwen was smiling widely. ”Look at that. Will you look at that? They look like little children.”

Owen asked softly, ”Could they be the miners?”

”They're so cute!”

John frowned deeply. ”Of course they're cute now,” he muttered an answer. ”But in a second, they're going to turn mean and ugly somehow and then there are going to be a million more of them.”

Owen gave an exasperated sigh. ”Would you give the negativity a rest? Why did you join us in the first place?”

”Because I thought that the ship was going to explode sooner or later. Now I'm thinking that those creatures will eat me for dinner.”

Gwen only listened with half an ear to the others, too focussed on watching the miners. Then, she noticed something: one of them was limping, dragging its foot behind it with a pained expression. Her heart broke. ”Oh, look!” she said and the others turned to see what she'd noticed. ”It's hurt,” Gwen said and rose in a crouch. ”Hi!” she called. ”Hey, there, little ...”

She was yanked down by John before she could finish the sentence. ”Jesus, did you ever watch the show?”

Gwen shook him off but didn't try to call attention to them again. Instead, she watched the other aliens approaching the hurt one and whispering a chant. ”What are they saying?”

Ianto frowned. ”Gorignak?”

Owen gave a nod and a teasing smile. ”That's Welsh.”

Gwen and Ianto stared at him in reproach.

”You're right, too many vowels.”

Jack made a pensive noise. ”Looks like they're going to help the little one.”

The other aliens crowded around the limping one, helping it over to the pool. Gwen's heart warmed and she smiled brightly. Then, while the hurt one drank carefully, the others nodded at one another … and suddenly, their teeth grew razor sharp, their faces turning predatory and deadly and they descended upon the hurt alien with viciousness.

A scream was heard from the alien and Gwen echoed it, startled, and she had to look away. ”Oh my God, they're eating their friend!”

John cursed. ”I am so sick of being right!”

Owen nodded. ”Let's get out of here before one of those things kills John.”

”Wait a minute,” Jack said. ”We’re not going anywhere without a Beryllium sphere. We need a plan.”

Gwen hated when he was right. They needed that sphere.

”Owen,” Jack said, “we need a diversion to clear those things out of the compound, then Gwen, John and I go down to get the sphere. Ianto, get up on that ridge, and if you see them come back, give me a signal. All right?”

”Why does this sound so familiar?” Gwen asked with a frown.

John sighed. ”Assault on Voltareck III. Episode 25, I think,” he answered. Then he blanched. ”Oh God!”

Ianto was looking at Jack sceptically. ”The one with the hologram? The wall of fire?”

Gwen scoffed. ”How the hell is Owen supposed to project a hologram?”

John tapped Jack's shoulder. ”We're doing episode 25, Jack?”

”It's a rough plan, John!” Jack answered testily. “What does it matter if we're doing episode 25 or not?”

”Because I guest-starred and died in episode 25!”

Owen snorted. ”This is ridiculous. Why are we listening to Jack? Must I remind you that he is wearing a costume, not a uniform? He's no more equipped to lead us than John is. No offense.”

Gwen glanced down into the valley to make sure they were still in the clear … and froze. ”Guys,” she interrupted what seemed to become a major row. ”Look. They’re gone.”

The others silenced.

John cleared his throat nervously. ”Where did they go? Back inside?”

”I don’t know.”

Owen rolled his eyes. ”Nobody was watching?”

Jack clapped his hands. ”All right. All right. Listen up. Here’s the plan. Gwen, John and I will go down and get a sphere. Owen, you set up a perimeter, and Ianto, you’re the lookout. You see anything at all, you give us a signal. All right?”

Gwen looked at the other three and shrugged. John nodded, Ianto just rolled his eyes and Owen made a dismissive noise, but nodded. Apparently, nobody had a better plan.

Ianto asked, ”What kind of a signal?”

Jack shrugged. ”Any kind of signal.”

”Like a bird?”

Jack stared at him as if he'd gone mad and held his vox up. ”We have these!”

”Right,” Ianto said, his eyes widening. He blushed, grabbing his own vox from his belt.

”Okay,” Jack said. ”Let’s go.”

***

Jack ducked behind a rock, his gun raised, looking towards the mine. When he saw no movement, he quickly crawled over the dirty ground behind the next rock, peeking at the mine again, and then threw himself towards the next hiding place. The sun glared down at him, seeming brighter since it was reflected by the sandy ground. Nobody seemed to be around, the aliens must have returned to work. Jack jumped, rolling over his shoulder, and ducked behind the next rock.

Gwen and John walked past him. Casually, Gwen asked, ”Does the rolling help?”

Jack blushed slightly and got up, brushing his uniform off. ”It helps,” he muttered.

”Where’s your gun?”

Jack realized that the stun gun wasn't in his belt anymore and cursed softly, looking around for it and finally finding it behind one of the rocks he'd been hiding behind. He quickly caught up to Gwen and John.

John glanced at him reproachfully. ”Stop being an idiot.”

Jack rolled his eyes. ”Shut up.”

***

Ianto smirked when, from his post up on the ridge of the valley, he saw Jack recovering his gun and tucking it into his belt. ”That looked more graceful when you did it for the cameras.”

Jack leaned closer to Gwen, talking to her and Ianto bit his lip, trying to suppress a wave of fury and focussed on watching the valley instead.

It was too late to be jealous and too petty to be angry, really. Jack, and their relationship from back then, was far behind him – or at least he liked to think so. His eyes found John, reconsidering … but no. Things between him and John had ended for a reason and that reason was still present: Ianto hadn't been entirely able to get over Jack and in the last few months, he'd started to fear that being with John was mainly him trying to get some part of their relationship back. John was Jack's best friend after all, was similar in his views and behaviour and taste … he didn't deserve Ianto only being with him when he was nothing but a consolation prize.

It had all come crashing down with the proposal, with that very serious step forwards. Ianto had found himself unable to say yes, too scared to hurt John further down the road, because John had been nothing but good to him, had helped him after the surprising coming-out, while the press had been eager to get interviews, while his every step had been watched, while affairs with various men he'd worked with had been invented and lies about him visiting seedy clubs in London had been told by those willing to receive payment for a good story.

He'd become the teenage star who'd lost his way, then the gay man who'd kept his identity a secret. He'd put on a brave face when confronted with the headlines, had given interviews to those journalists he trusted and built his relationship with John without hiding, learning from past mistakes.

The press kept re-telling the worst things about him until the story wasn't valuable anymore. The only things they wrote about him these days were romantic and overly-sweet one-paragraph texts about his relationship with John displaying pictures of them shopping or at conventions or in restaurants.

Ianto wasn't above admitting that he'd played his part in his and Jack's relationship crashing so spectacularly. Jack was more open about everything to pretty much everyone, a personality trait that had clashed with Ianto's more private nature from the start. Jack had pushed, quite often, to make their relationship official and Ianto had turned him down – at the beginning out of fear and later on because their relationship had become rocky. Jack had made it easy to blame him entirely, especially when the others started to get annoyed with him as well. He could be a selfish jerk … but the way he fought for the Thermians, how he seemed to come alive under their adoring eyes, how he managed to unite them back into a semblance of the team they once were … Ianto had to admit that Jack made it hard to fall out of love with him.

He paused in his scanning of the valley when he noticed movement out of the corner of his eye and used the binoculars to see what was going on … and froze.

***

Jack, John and Gwen pushed against the heavy sphere they'd chosen and it started to roll. Jack grinned triumphantly. ”Never give up! Never surrender!”

Gwen scoffed. ”Oh, shut up!”

”Jack!” they heard Ianto call from the ridge. He was waving at them wildly, jumping up and down.

Jack cursed, ”Damn! He was supposed to use the vox.”

Ianto started to run towards them, stumbling over the rocky ground in his haste to reach the only entrance to the valley – a dusty little alley cutting through the hills. ”They’re coming! Run, Jack, run!” He was pointing at something behind them frantically and they turned around.

Jack gasped when he saw a herd of the little blue aliens approach, their pointy teeth bared, shouting angrily.

“Oh God,” Gwen whispered.

”They’re everywhere,” Ianto said, reaching them. ”They’re everywhere.”

Jack shook his head and turned back to the sphere. ”Come on. Let’s go. Let’s go!” He pushed against the ball of Beryllium again and the others quickly followed suit, rolling the sphere towards the alley. ”Hurry!”

”Faster!” Ianto spurred them on, falling into step beside him.

Jack couldn't ignore the fact that the shouts of the aliens were growing louder – closer – and John groaned when he glanced over his shoulder.

Jack gave him a push forwards. ”Don’t look back! Don’t look back!”

John shook his head. ”We’re not going to make it. I knew it! I knew this was going to kill me.”

But he stayed with them, rolling the sphere through the alley. Jack was relieved to see the shuttle and happy that they'd parked so close to the mines. Owen was already waiting for them on the lowered ramp at the back of the craft.

”You were supposed to distract them!” Jack snapped when Owen joined them and helped.

He raised his eyebrows. ”What with? Magic?”

With that, they gave the sphere one last push and it rolled up the ramp and into the shuttle. The aliens were getting closer.

Ianto ran into the ship first, already on his way to the cockpit. ”I need a few seconds to close the ramp,” he called over his shoulder.

Jack gave him a nod and pushed Gwen and John inside.

Owen pulled his stun gun and stood at the foot of the ramp. ”Go ahead!” he said grimly. ”I'll stop them until Ianto can close the ramp.”

Jack shook his head, pulling his gun as well. ”There’s no time. Get in.”

”Of course! I forgot you’ve got to be the hero, haven’t you? Heaven forbid anybody else gets the spotlight! Oh, no, Jack Harkness ...”

Jack couldn't stop himself. He punched him and Owen fell back into the ship, John clumsily catching him.

Gwen stared at Jack in disbelief. ”What the hell?”

”Stay inside!” he snapped at her and turned to face the aliens.

A few breathless seconds passed during which Jack kept his eyes on the herd of aliens approaching them and then Ianto called, ”Get in!”

The ramp started to close. At the same time, the engines hummed to life and the ship hovered a few centimetres over the ground, gaining height slowly and tilting to the side a little while Ianto tried to get control over it. Gwen grabbed Jack's arm. ”Jack, come on!”

He turned away and jumped onto the ramp. The ship jolted. Jack stumbled and tripped and before he knew it, he was falling back out and onto the hard sand. The last thing he saw was Gwen's shocked face and he heard her scream Ianto's name, then the ramp of the shuttle closed … and Jack was alone.



Chapter Nine
Galaxy Quest Masterlist
Complete Fanfiction Masterlist


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