Title: Countdown
By: Bad Faery
Disclaimer: All Galaxy Quest characters are owned by Dreamworks Pictures. I'm doing this for love, not money.
Companion piece to Enough

We're going to die.

The countdown is still racing towards zero and Brendon is nowhere to be found. I finally failed everyone.

I was so sure that I could do it. That I could be the commander. Even after our first, disastrous meeting with Sarris I didn't really believe that I would fail. I've spent years perfecting this role. Going over battle plans with fans at conventions. Hell, I can still remember most of my lines from the show. I knew I could do it.

But I couldn't.

And now everybody is going to die.

Gwen turns to me and I don't see the anger I expect. There's forgiveness in her eyes, understanding. I see sadness but not hate. She doesn't blame me, even though it's all my fault.

I wanted this for us, for all of us. I wanted us to get away, to do something important. I thought that if we were working for something bigger than ourselves it might heal some of the wounds.

I hoped that, in the midst of this excitement, he might forget that he hates me.

But I just made things worse. And my arrogance has killed us all.

I want to explain. I want to scream that I did it for them, not for me. I saw they were unhappy and I wanted to make it better. I want to say that I'm sorry and that I love them all.

I want to tell him that I love him.

I've never said it out loud, not even to myself. It's been a part of me for years, a part that I've covered up, hidden from the world. Because he doesn't feel the same way.

Because I don't want him to hate me more.

' It's selfish, but I want to tell him now. Now that I don't have to live with his hate. But he isn't here.

I glance at the countdown. There are only seconds left.

And suddenly I have to say it out loud. I have to tell someone about this marvelous feeling inside me. I've hidden it for years and suddenly it's too big to keep inside anymore.

"Gwen, I've always... I've always..." It's strange how hard this is to say. I've said it within the confines of my head so many times that it should be a natural as breathing.

She doesn't give me a chance to find the right words. "Oh Jason." Her arms go around me and I know she understands. The embrace is as much absolution as comfort. She forgives me for getting us into this, forgives me for loving Alexander, forgives me for not saying something earlier.

I still haven't said it out loud and maybe it's better this way. Those words belong to him. He should hear them first.

Even though now he never will.

I pull Gwen closer and brace myself for an explosion. I believe in an afterlife. Surely, somehow, we'll all be together there too. Anything else is inconceivable. I'll tell him then.

Three seconds now.



And nothing happens.

I am confused for a moment, until Gwen laughs.

Of course.

It always stops at one on the show.

The moment passes and I realize how much I still have left to do. I know there's a way I can get us out of this, I just have to think of it.

And then I have it. I hope Tommy's been studying hard.

As I head for the command deck I hear Gwen behind me, asking me what I was going to say. And I realize that she didn't understand at all. She knew what I was going to say, but she thought I was talking about her, not Alexander. And she wanted to hear it.

I can't tell her.

This might be the final straw. My love for him could do what nothing else could. It has the power to tear us all apart. She'd hate me. He'd hate me. And it would destroy what progress we've made on this adventure.

It would destroy everything.

I can go on just like this. I can stand it as long as I can still see him sometimes. We're better friends now than we've been in years. I can just enjoy that. I'll be more considerate, I won't give him cause to hate me anymore.

He never has to know.