here we go


Days after the convention, in a whirlwind of calls and agents and meetings, they find themselves famous again, with "real" acting jobs all lined up, with contracts just begging to be signed. Jason is fitted for a new uniform- a new costume, he corrects mentally. The first time they descend onto the new set of the bridge, Gwen touches his shoulder in reassurance. The collar of his jacket is suddenly too tight; he tugs at it as he crosses to his chair.

"Break a leg," Tommy chuckles, a private joke that the crew will never understand. Jason half-smiles and sits. The grid on the armrest doesn't react when he puts his hand over it, and the lever for the Omega 13 is on the wrong side of his chair.

"No one will notice," the director says, when Jason voices his concern before the cameras roll.

But he will. Gwen will. Tommy will. Alexander will. Guy will.

He shuts his mouth and waits for the countdown. Three, two-


The first time they sit him in the makeup chair, Alexander almost wants to call the entire thing off. He doesn't, though, and is stuck there for nearly four hours while they carefully apply the Lazarus prosthetic over his hair. It itches more than the old one did; he wants to ask them to fix it, to redo it, but he knows it's only stalling.

When he exits makeup, there is a queue of extras hanging out in the hallway behind the bridge set, and for a second, he thinks he sees Quellek. The boy turns, and laughs at something another extra has said. The laugh is natural, human.

During one of the last scenes of the episode, a minor character dies in his arms, on the red-dust set of an alien planet. Somewhere behind him, Jason is ducking and rolling, shooting his little gun with as much gusto as he can- it's not nearly as much as Jason used to give, and Alexander thinks that he might be the only one who notices.

He opens his mouth to speak. The words are there, hanging on the tip of his tongue, and the actor in his arms is a boy of only nineteen, with a dark, blunted haircut.

"By Grabthar's hammer-" he begins, and the words die on his lips. He tries again and finds nothing. "I need a moment," Alexander says abruptly, and lets go of the actor. He sweeps off the set without any further explanation, the director's shout of, "Cut!" echoing in his ears as he goes.

Outside, the air is crisp and cool, one of the few times that Los Angeles isn't blanketed in smog and pollution. He inhales, exhales, inhales, exhales.

(I have always considered you as a father to me.)

Ten minutes later, they try again, and this time, Alexander makes it through the line without seeing a dead Thermian boy in place of the actor in his arms.

The second they finish for the day, he holes himself up in the nearest pub he can find.


Gwen keeps her communicator in the drawer next to her bed, and sees the look in Jason's eyes when he watches the stars.

She has bruises on her arms from where Sarris' men grabbed her, marks that take days to heal. Her old uniform gets carefully mended, and Gwen keeps it in the back of her closet. They do a TV stint, hopping from talk show to talk show to discuss the future of the show and their spectacular (and destructive) reappearance at the Galaxy Con. They are famous again, if only by virtue of destroying the Los Angeles convention center.

They ask her about her relationship with Jason. She laughs and smiles and makes suggestive comments, all the things expected of her, but mostly she keeps the details of their lives private, evading all but the most direct of questions. Fans stop her in the street, or coming out of a coffee shop, to ask for autographs and pictures. It overwhelms her, their sudden resurgence into popularity.

Occasionally, more so than she would like to admit, she wonders what it would have been like to simply stay with the Thermians, instead of coming back to Earth. She invites Laliari over for dinner sometimes, just to remind herself that the entire thing wasn't a dream. Laliari asks her advice about acting, about L.A., about life on Earth in general. Gwen is as patient with her as she can be, but she does not envy Fred in the least. At least she and Jason come from the same planet.

They gather at Jason's to watch the premiere of the show. Guy brings a case of beer, and for a while, everything is relaxed, at ease. Fred makes some jokes about rock monsters and Tommy follows up with a crack about pig-lizards.

"I should've brought my gun," Jason comments wryly.

There's a moment of silence when the opening credits roll, and Gwen squeezes Jason's hand without even realizing that she is doing it until he squeezes back and whispers that it's okay.

Afterward, when the show is over and everyone has gone home, she finds Jason standing in his backyard, staring at the stars. There's a black hole somewhere up there- she knows Jason believes that if he looks hard enough, he can see it.