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Torchwood: Galaxy Quest (2)

Galaxy Quest (2)

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 One



***
***

2.



Several hours later – after all autographs had been given and all question had been answered –, Jack startled when he hit the light switch in the changing room and Ianto was sitting in the armchair, staring at him. Jack acknowledged him with a short nod and then went to gather his things, pulling his leather jacket on over his uniform. With Ianto present, he didn't really want to get changed. Silences between them had become so toxic. However, he couldn't help but ask, ”Everyone else gone?”

”Yes.” Ianto's voice was cool and controlled.

”And you're staying?”

”I'm waiting for John.”

”I thought you had broken up,” Jack said, not able to keep a little glee out of his voice.

There was a pause, a hesitation, before Ianto replied, ”We still share a house.”

”Right,” Jack said with a snort. ”The house in the countryside.”

”There's nothing wrong with the countryside.”

Jack looked at him, raising his eyebrows. ”The cannibals in movies live in the countryside.”

”Typical,” Ianto muttered, ducking his head to check his mobile.

Jack felt angry all of a sudden. ”What?”

Ianto raised his head and his blue eyes focussed on him. ”You don't see things how they really are, Jack. That's the reason I left you.”

”And here I thought I left you.”

Ianto scoffed. ”No, you ruined us. I left you.”

”To shag John.”

”It's more than that.”

”Is it, though? For John, yes, I have no doubt, but for you?”

”Fuck you, Jack,” Ianto answered calmly. He got up and grabbed his bag, glaring at Jack. ”You have no idea what you're talking about.”

Jack chuckled and was gratified to see Ianto pause with his hand on the door handle. ”You know what's funny?” Jack asked with a bitter smile. ”How you still play the victim in all this.”

Ianto's shoulders tensed and then he let out a breath, before taking it in again. ”And do you know what's funny?” he replied slowly, not turning around to face him. ”All those fans cheering and people telling you you're great and you smiling into every camera you can, trying to get in a word on everything just so that you get noticed … do you ever notice that people can't stand you? Do you ever notice that we can't stand you?” With that, he left.

Jack sank into the nearest chair, rubbing a hand down his face. He had to admit that Ianto's words had found their mark, the tiny little spot in him that made him wonder sometimes … about his life, his popularity, his influence. It was true that he had what many people wanted: he earned good money, had invested cleverly, had a house and an expensive car and men as well as women lining up to sleep with him. What he didn't have anymore was the closeness to the people he'd once considered family. What he didn't have was Ianto.

What he didn't have were the things he'd cherished most … still did.

He wished he'd handled things differently back then, but it was too late now, and he'd never been good at admitting his mistakes openly.

So he didn't.

***

When Jack left the changing room five minutes later, Ianto was gone. There was no sign of John, either. Just staff members from the convention cleaning up, giving him distracted smiles and little waves while he passed them on his way to the parking garage. Despite their chatter and the soft music coming over the sound system to keep them company, it seemed eerily quiet somehow. Jack had spent the day surrounded by fans – applauding, asking questions, laughing, screaming … it was strange to get used to the quiet again.

He thought that all fans had left and was just about to take the stairs down to the garage when he was stopped by an eager young voice calling out, ”Captain!”

He stopped, hesitated – tempted to just go on –, but then he realized that he wouldn't be able to do that. He could live with giving another few autographs, taking another picture. He braced himself with a wide smile and turned around. ”Yes?”

The young man and his friends – two girls and another boy – were wearing Galaxy Quest uniforms, clearly designating the boy who'd called out as the Captain of the NSEA Torchwood and his friends as Madison, Laredo and Chen. The young man seemed surprised for a moment about having been able to catch Jack's attention, but then he said, ”Captain, I was wondering if you could help settle a dispute my crew and I seem to be having. If you remember, in 'The Quasar Dilemma' ...”

Jack sighed, losing track of the conversation. The kid was holding blueprints and Jack felt a complicated question and a headache coming on. ”Another time, all right?” He turned away, heading for the exit.

The kid wasn't easy to shake off, though. ”But, Captain-”

”Another time,” Jack interrupted him. ”Tweet me!”

With that, he opened the door and left, hearing the kid saying to his friends, ”I hadn't even gotten to the relevant conundrum.”

Jack felt slightly guilty, but he really couldn't stand another minute of pretending to be Taggart. He loved that role dearly, but the exchange with Ianto had brought back all the bad memories he didn't want and he just couldn't stay there even one minute longer, pretending to be somebody he wasn't.

It was too much sometimes.

Too much when he knew who he really was. Because of course he knew that his friends were keeping their distance. He wondered vaguely when his life had become such a mess, but the question was rhetorical at best. It didn't really matter who had started it – the fight between Jack and Ianto –, Jack was the one who'd ended it, who'd made it public, who'd done the unforgivable. He'd carelessly thrown everything away and then things had only got worse.

He found his black SUV where he'd parked it and unlocked the door by remote. The clicking of the locks was loud in the otherwise quiet area. He opened the boot and threw his bag in and was just about to walk around to get in when he almost ran into a short man. ”Oops!” Jack said, painting on yet another grin he didn't feel. ”Didn't hear you coming.” He noticed two others hovering close to the young man – another man and a woman. He winked at them. ”Or your friends.”

”Captain,” the man said earnestly, as if in greeting. He and his friends were wearing silver jumpsuits and all of them had the same black, short hair as well as pale, almost silvery skin. They looked like siblings, almost, their appearance being so similar.

Jack gathered up the last of his patience. ”Nice cosplay! So, you caught me, you get a picture for free.”

”Captain,” the short man said again, his tone just as serious. ”I must speak to you. It is a matter of supreme importance. We are Thermians from the Klatu Nebula, and we need your help.”

”Uh …,” Jack said and frowned. He'd memorized pretty much every episode of Galaxy Quest. Fans loved it … and he missed it. Thermians, though, were new to him and he was pretty sure that he didn't remember any alien on the show ever looking like they did. Then it hit him and his eyes widened. ”Oh! Is this about that gig tomorrow? Just hammer out the details with my agent and make sure there’s a limousine at my house. Last time I did one of these gigs, they shoved me in the back of a Toyota. And keep quiet about this, yeah?”

The short man looked confused when Jack patted his shoulder and walked towards the driver's side.

”See you tomorrow!” Jack said, got into the SUV and drove off before the fans could say anything.

***

Gwen exited the bathroom in her comfortable pyjamas and stopped in the door to the living room adjoining a small kitchen niche. Their flat wasn't big, but comfy and exactly what they needed. She watched Rhys for a moment. He was lounging on the couch with a bottle of beer in one hand and the remote control in the other, watching the telly. The faint scent of their take-out dinner hung in the air and Gwen decided that she didn't need more than this man on her couch and this flat and the children's books she wrote.

This was perfect.

She joined Rhys on the couch, cuddling up to him and feeling his arm wrap around her shoulders. They kissed softly, until Rhys pulled back a bit. His blue eyes widened comically and his round face broke out into a grin when he said with the high voice of an overly excited fangirl, ”Miss Cooper, in episode 15, 'Mist of Delos 5', I got the feeling that you and the Captain kind of had a thing. Did you?”

Gwen laughed. She settled in against Rhys's body, pulling he afghan over them both. ”No. The Captain and I never had a thing.”

Rhys kissed her forehead. ”Was it very awful?”

”It never is, actually,” she answered, her eyes focussed on the news. ”It's just a bit … sad.”

He made a humming noise of understanding and was quiet for a long moment. ”Did you, though?” he asked softly and when Gwen looked up at him, his eyes were suddenly serious.

”What?” she asked.

”Have a thing with the Captain.”

Gwen huffed a breath. ”No,” she said. ”I mean ...” She sighed. ”There was that … infatuation. It's hard not to have a crush on Jack, you know,” she explained.

Rhys shrugged non-committedly.

Gwen felt the sudden urge to be absolutely honest. She was going to marry him after all and knowing Jack, he would blurt it out in front of Rhys one day anyway. ”And we had sex – one time.” When Rhys tensed, she shook her head sadly, stroking her hand up and down his flank. ”The worst mistake I ever made.”

He looked down at her and Gwen pushed up a bit to kiss him again.

***

“Here's to us,” Tosh said, raising her pint. Owen raised his in return and they clinked glasses. The overcrowded pub was loud, but they had their own little corner tucked away from everyone else. They didn't get recognized often these days, since the show had been cancelled five years already, but they'd had enough attention for today. Tosh sipped on her beer and sighed deeply. ”Do you miss it sometimes?”

”What?” Owen asked with a bitter grimace, playing with some drops of water on the wooden table. ”Saying my catchphrase every episode? No, not at all.”

”It wasn't that bad a catchphrase,” Tosh replied.

Owen snorted. ”'I may be dead, but I will avenge you.' It's the worst.”

Tosh laughed into her beer. ”Yeah, it's pretty bad,” she agreed. She watched a girl unsuccessfully trying to get the attention of a bloke standing by the bar and gave a sigh. ”It's a shame about Ianto and John, isn't it?”

Owen shook his head. ”John was never Ianto's boyfriend. He was a substitute at best.”

”Don't say that. They loved each other.”

Owen snorted. ”John loved Ianto more than the other way around, don't deny it.”

Tosh ducked her head. ”I'm not. He still loves Jack, I think.”

”Proves just how much of an idiot he is,” Owen replied. ”Take it from someone who played a doctor on a sci-fi show, who got shot and then revived magically because … nobody knows why exactly: John should stay, Jack should move to America and Ianto to Australia. Maybe we'd get some peace and quiet then.”

***

“Ianto,” John said softly, entering the modern kitchen of their house. The bright lights were all on, reflected on the spotless counters and appliances, chasing the shadows away to crowd in the living room behind Ianto. He was sitting at the bar that separated the kitchen from the lounge, a bottle of wine next to a half-empty glass. In the oversized t-shirt Ianto liked to wear to bed, he looked small and fragile. His blue eyes found John's only reluctantly. John put his hands on his hips and sighed deeply. ”You're drinking.”

”Yes,” Ianto replied, gulping the rest of the glass down and pouring a new one.

John bit his lip. ”It's two in the morning.”

”I couldn't sleep.”

John nodded slowly, then he got a glass for himself and sat down next to him, pouring himself a generous amount. The wine had been a gift from Ianto's sister when they'd bought the house together a year ago. They'd kept it in the cellar for a special occasion. John had always thought that they could use it to celebrate their engagement. It seemed fitting somehow, to drink it now – at the end of their road. They would start looking for buyers for the house this week. Neither of them wanted to keep it.

”I've been thinking,” Ianto said slowly.

”What?” John answered.

”About taking that job in New Zealand.”

John grimaced. ”That B-movie?”

Ianto shrugged. ”It's not that bad.”

”It's worse,” John replied. ”I'll find you something better.”

The sigh Ianto gave was deep and heart-felt. ”I should look for a new agent.”

John took a big swallow of the wine, grimacing at the taste of something that should only ever have been drunk in small sips. ”I really hate repeating myself, even if the context has changed,” he said, raising an eyebrow and letting a bitter smirk show. ”Don't leave me, Ianto.”

Ianto chuckled sadly. ”I'm not worth much. I started in a hit show when I was barely out of being a kid. Nobody takes sci-fi actors seriously anyway … I know it's a stupid B-movie, but it's a chance. It's not that bad.”

”Something better will come along.”

”What?”

”You're bloody talented,” John answered, staring at him earnestly. ”People will realize that. You've barely started.”

Ianto ducked his head and buried one hand in his dark hair. ”I'm so sorry.” He sounded miserable.

”It's all right,” John replied. He straightened his shoulders. ”Or no, it really isn't but I guess it's nobody's fault.”

They sat there for another hour, not talking. Just drinking.

***

“As long as there is injustice, whenever a Targathian baby cries out, wherever a distress signal sounds among the stars ... we'll be there. This fine ship, and this fine crew. Never give up. Never surrender.”

Jack sighed and poured himself another glass of scotch before he leaned back on the plush white couch. He switched off the telly, the image of his younger self fading to black, leaving him alone in a too-big, too-luxurious lounge of a house he would never be able to properly use on his own. Situated just at the border to the Brecon Beacons on a hill, the house presented its owner with an impressive view of the park. It had been quite the investment when Jack had bought it just after Galaxy Quest took off but it was paid off by now and he took good care of the grounds. His career was going well at the moment – he did all sorts of roles in many different programmes – but that could change at any time. The house was his insurance, his fall-back solution should everything else fail and he treated it as such.

His mobile chirped and he played with the thought of ignoring it – for about a minute. However, finally his curiosity got the better of him and he snatched the phone off the table before sinking back into the embrace of the couch. A text from John lit up the screen.

Ianto is still in love with you. That's why we broke up.

Jack rolled his eyes. A new message came in.

Don't pretend you're not still in love with him.

Jack thought it was worth a try, so he poured himself another glass and gulped the scotch down. Losing Ianto had hurt, but he knew that he was partly to blame for the break-up, for the betrayed look on Ianto's face. Their relationship might have already been half-way over at that moment, but Jack had definitely given it the last push over the cliff. And Ianto didn't even know the worst of it … his mobile chimed again with another text.

Don't get too drunk. You've got the opening of that electronics store tomorrow and the fan gig first thing.

Jack flung the mobile towards the end of the couch and pulled the bottle closer.



Chapter Three
Galaxy Quest Masterlist
Complete Fanfiction Masterlist


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