Turn Left, Torchwood

Where Everything Changes

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Turn Left, They Keep Killing Suzie (2/2)
Title: Turn Left, They Keep Killing Suzie (2/2)
Author: cazmalfoy & teachwriteslash for the Turn Left, Torchwood Project
Rating: PG-13
Notes: A retelling of Torchwood Series 1, Episode 8 where different decisions are made. Part of the turnleft_tw Challenge. Due to length, this episode is split into two parts with internal links.
Reminder: Project participants, don't leave any telling information in comments.


"Can't you ask Jack?" she begged Gwen "Just one favour? I just want to go outside and smell the ocean. All that time, spent right here by the Bay and I never really smelt the ocean."

"He'll never let me," Gwen replied, shaking her head.

"So, tell me," Suzie asked, moving her hand to cover Gwen's "Since I've been gone, you enjoying it?"

Gwen cast her eyes down. "I've just joined, but you know, this place is sort of... It's mad, isn't it?"

"Insane," Suzie agreed. "Best job I ever had, though. And the worst."

Gwen nodded. "Yeah, tell me about it," she said, thinking of all the things she'd seen and just started to remember, and how she'd been convinced she was going mad. Some days, she wasn't sure she hadn't and that all of this wasn't a figment of her imagination.

"Funny thing is," Suzie muttered. "You always imagine when you're dead; they're going to miss you at work. Indispensable! But look what happened. I got replaced by someone better. Even this soon, you fit better than I did."

"That's not true," Gwen insisted.

"Yes, it is," Suzie countered. "The others- Owen, Tosh, Ianto, even Jack - they prefer you."

"Don't say that," Gwen admonished.

"Now you've even got my job," Suzie whispered. "Almost like you planned it."

"Except I didn't," Gwen told her, feeling extremely sorry for the woman in front of her. "And I'm sorry, but I've got my own function at Torchwood and I'm a lot more than just a replacement."

Jack was sitting at his desk reviewing a file when Gwen stormed in and glared at him. He sighed. She had a lot to learn, and he wasn't sure he had the time or inclination to teach her. "I had a boyfriend who used to walk into rooms like that," he told her. "The grand entrance. It got kind of boring. Although, he was one of twins, so I put up with it. Twin acrobats. Man, I gotta write that book. Maybe even illustrate it. I can talk for a long time, a very long time."

"Takes me a while to piece things together," Gwen said.

"Really," Jack faked shock. "I hadn't noticed. It only took you three months to worm your way in here."

"You brought Suzie back," Gwen stated, ignoring his gibe. "Now what? What happens to her?"

"Wait," Jack glared. "What do you mean I brought Suzie back? I wasn't alone in that room. You wanted us to do something, and we did."

"But not this," Gwen snarled. "She deserves better than a living death."

"So, what?" Jack demanded. "This is all my fault?"

"Well, isn't it?" Gwen asked. "Did you ever stop and think? Did you ever look at it as Suzie on that table? Did you ever think what that glove would do to her, did you? You know, I've heard things about you and I heard what Tosh said about us all ending up in boxes. What if Suzie never dies? Have you thought of that? Maybe you even wanted it, and that's why you could bring her back all the way. Undying, forever. The perfect Torchwood operative."

"No," Jack whispered, horror evident in his voice. "No way. I wouldn't wish that on her. I'd sooner kill her right now."

"Could you, though? Kill her?" Gwen asked, doubt clear in her voice.

"Yeah," Jack said resolutely.

"Really?" Gwen questioned, eying him suspiciously.

"Oh, yeah," Jack assured her. "To spare her that? In a heartbeat."

Before Gwen could respond, Owen's voice echoed over the intercom. "Jack, can you come to the conference room for a second? There's something I need you to see. It's kind of urgent."

Jack stood and walked out, leaving Gwen leaning on his desk staring at him in shock.

In the conference room, Jack found Owen, Tosh, and Ianto. "I was going over Suzie's medical records," the medic explained. "I ran them through the energy filter. Watch the footage. This is the moment when Gwen brought back Mark Briscoe, the husband. See? Now look at his death. See? The energy flow stops just as he's about to die. But, have a look at you with Suzie."

"Whoa," Jack and Ianto said at the same instant, seeing a constant arc of energy moving between the Captain and his former second.

"What is that?" Tosh demanded.

"Energy," Owen told them. "Life. It's a permanent connection between Suzie and Jack. She's getting stronger. She's draining the life out of you. Have you been feeling weak? You mentioned a headache at the club."

"Yeah," Jack admitted. "I assumed it was stress." He shook his head and glanced at Ianto, who looked very concerned. "There's always a price. The wearer of the glove can bring somebody back, but loses their own life in return."

"How do we stop it?" Tosh asked, worry creasing her face.

"We've got to kill her," Jack replied, his voice leaden. "Suzie's got to die.
Tosh looked even more distressed. "Again," he muttered.

"Who's going to do it?" Owen sighed in resignation, believing it was their already damned colleague or their Captain and seeing a clear choice.

"Like you said," Jack said, pulling his gun and turning to leave. "I'm the boss."

Outside the conference room, Ianto stopped him. "Maybe one of us should…"

"No," Jack told him. "Gwen was at least partially right. I let this happen. It needs to be me."

"Can this kill you? Permanently?" Ianto asked stoically.

"I don't know," Jack admitted. "But if she drains me, even if I come back… do we really want to chance an immortal Suzie Costello running around?"

Ianto shook his head and let Jack go, just watching as Owen followed him into the interrogation room.

"Ianto?" Tosh called. "You okay?"

"Ask me again when this is over," Ianto told her, barely keeping the worry out of his voice.

"Toshiko!" they heard Jack shout. "Where the hell's Suzie? And where's Gwen?"

"Interrogation Room," Tosh replied almost flippantly.

"No they're not…" Jack paused, realising he was feeling weaker. "Find them, fast!" he ordered as he and Owen returned to the main part of the Hub.

Tosh was working her computer furiously. "I can't see them. Hold on. Scanning," she reported as Owen joined her. "Nope. Nothing on internal scans."

"What's going on?" the medic demanded. "Where've they gone?"

Jack and Ianto joined them at the desk. "Just keep looking," the Captain ordered. "Bring up the SUV."

"Still there," Tosh reported. "I'll try exteriors. There! By Gwen's car."

"Bloody hell," Owen swore. "What's she doing?"

Jack slammed his hand down, causing the others to flinch. "Getting herself fired and Retconned to infancy unless I kill her first."

"Unbelievable," Tosh muttered. "How stupid is that? Thinking she could just drive off.

"Wait," Ianto peered closer. "Something's not right. Tosh, zoom in. Look, there." He pointed. "From a distance, it looks like Gwen's supporting Suzie but Suzie's bearing the weight."

"She couldn't even walk a few minutes ago," Jack argued. "That's not possible. I'd know if she was draining me that fast. I'd feel it."

"Unless that's what she wanted us to think," Tosh argued. "She's always been a good actress."

"But how the hell is she making Gwen go with her," Owen demanded. "Even Cooper's not that stupid. The woman's a serial killer."

"Gwen looks like she's on heavy medication," Ianto noted. "Trust me, I know the signs."

"Fuck!" Owen ran towards the autopsy bay. Exchanging glances with Ianto and Tosh, Jack followed him. "Damn it," the medic shouted as he searched frantically for something.

"What, Owen?" Jack asked. "Talk to me."

"I had three doses of a powerful hypnotic right here," Owen gestured to the tray, which was empty. "It's something we found in the ruins in London. It's administered through the skin. Earlier, when we were questioning Suzie about Max, I thought we might need it if she proved uncooperative. While we were out at the club, she must have seen it somehow and distracted Gwen long enough for her to grab it."

"Suzie knew what it was and how to use it without drugging herself?" Jack asked as his eyebrows rose. At Owen's expression, he nodded. "Of course she did. We'll have that conversation later, Dr. Harper. For now, what are we looking at?"

"One dose would make Gwen susceptible to suggestion," Owen told him. "All Suzie would have to do is apply it to her skin, even with a simple touch, and she would be able to convince Gwen she had been wronged. She could get Gwen to do just about anything she asked as long as it wasn't against Gwen's basic behaviour patterns."

"Not a comfort," Jack told him. "Her basic behaviour is not exactly logical or keyed to self-preservation."

"Two doses could override even ingrained patterns," Owen continued. "Given Gwen's size, it would be pushing an overdose. Three would almost certainly kill her."

"Can we counteract it?" Jack demanded as they raced back into the main part of the Hub. "Ianto, full weaponry," he ordered.

"I have the antidote," Owen told him as the Welshman vanished into the armoury. "I need to know how much Suzie gave her. Too little, and I won't be able to counteract the overdose. Too much, and it'll kill Gwen just as quickly."

"Bring it," Jack ordered. "Come on. You're with me. Tosh and Ianto will monitor from here. Let's go get them." At the moment, the Hub was plunged into darkness. "What the hell?" Jack demanded as all the doors sealed.

Knowing Ianto was in the weapons area, Jack worried he was trapped. "Ianto? He yelled. "Ianto!"

"Captain!" Ianto responded from next to the water tower. He held a torch pointed at Jack.

"What happened?" Jack demanded.

Ianto shrugged. "I thought you must've done it. We've gone into lockdown."

"Then reverse it!" the Captain shouted.

Shaking his head, Ianto told him, "I can't. It's 100%. The doors are sealed. We're locked in."

"Everything's gone," Tosh reported. "Computers, mobile coverage, the lifts, everything. We're sealed in."

Jack looked at Owen. "If Suzie overdoses her, how long does Gwen have before she dies?"

"Two hours, maybe less," Owen told him.

"And until she drains me?" Jack wondered.

"Probably a little more," Owen admitted. "You're feeling it, aren't you?"

"Yeah," Jack acknowledged. "I'm weakening."

"Come on!" Tosh shouted, oblivious to the exchange between the Captain and the medic. "Think! If Suzie set up the lockdown, how did she do it?"

"Entered an override?" Owen suggested.

"No," Ianto replied. "She's officially dead. I did her logout myself. The computer wouldn't give her access."

Jack kicked at a desk. "Then how did she do it? What the hell did she do?"

"There's got to be an answer," Tosh stated. "Suzie couldn't physically start the lockdown. The computer wouldn't have let her. Gwen doesn't know how, but there's no-one else!"

"Wait a minute," Jack looked over at Ianto.

"We've got a guest," the Welshman said.

"Owen, with me!" Jack shouted, grabbing the torch from Ianto.

They raced into the cells and found Max sitting on the floor, cross-legged, nude from the waist up, and chanting.
"Stopped for me
the carriage held but just
ourselves and immortality
because I could not stop
for death..."

"Is that a poem?" Owen wondered.

"Emily Dickinson," Jack told him. "Always hated it."

"Yeah," the medic said. "But what does it mean?"

"It's a verbal trigger," Jack explained. "Say it out loud, maybe repeats it a hundred times over and the Hub locks down."

"Suzie must've installed a vocal command program way back…" Owen's voice trailed off.

Jack finished his statement for him. "Back when she was alive, yeah. Max is just a Trojan horse. Suzie planned this right from the start. Max, the Retcon, everything, it's all been a hoax to get us to resurrect Suzie."

They returned to the main part of the Hub and explained the situation to Tosh and Ianto. "She gave Max a whole complex of subconscious triggers," Owen said. "She dies, Max becomes a time bomb. He doesn't see her for three months and, wham; the orders kick in. He follows Suzie's program, and starts killing."

"And the whole chain of events forces us to bring Suzie back," Jack concluded.

"And then she escapes!" Tosh shook her head in awe.

Owen looked impressed. "You've got to admit that is not bad! I'm picking her for my team."

Tosh pursed her lips in thought. "If she could lockdown the Hub, she must've installed a way of reversing it just in case."

"Yeah," Jack agreed. "We just have to find it."

As Gwen drove out of Cardiff, the former PC tried to fight the compulsion Suzie seemed to have over her. "You said you just wanted to go outside," she muttered. "What have you done to me?"

"It's a drug, Gwen," Suzie said, tracing a finger along her cheek.

"Why are you doing this?" Gwen asked, knowing she should turn the car around but unable to do so.

"In Torchwood, we all die young," Suzie told her. "Everyone except Jack. They say he's been around a century or more. They call him the man that can't die."

"That's impossible," Gwen managed.

"Don't you know by now," Suzie said. "Nothing's impossible. That night, my last night on Earth, or so I thought, before I shot myself, I shot Jack right through the head. I killed him, stone dead and then he just stood up and lived."

"So he can survive a bullet through the head?" Gwen asked in confusion, wondering if the woman sitting in her car was the one who was actually as delusional as Gwen herself had been considered not too long ago.

"Yeah," Suzie replied.

"But how?" Gwen wondered.

"I don't know," Suzie told her. "He won't explain anything properly. I heard him talking to Ianto once. He said something happened to him a while back. He said he can't die. Not ever." She shook her head. "And he makes judgments about whether I'm allowed to live. It's all very easy for Captain Jack Harkness, isn't it?" She glanced over at Gwen. "Do you ever wonder?"

"What?" Gwen asked.

"Who is he?" Suzie replied. "What he is."

Sighing wearily, Gwen admitted, "All the time. That's why I'm in this mess."

At the Hub, Ianto sat apart from the others, who continued to dither about what to do to reverse the lockdown. He held a mobile phone, which he'd rigged to a series of cables. After fiddling for several moments, he looked at the display and grinned. "Jack," he called. "I have reception, sir."

Staring at him, Jack demanded. "How do you do that? We're sealed off!"

Ianto smirked at Tosh, who smiled back. "Tosh and I rigged a secondary system months ago. We just used the Water Tower as a relay. It seemed stupid not to have some type of back up in case communications went down."

"It was his idea," Tosh admitted. "I just helped make it happen."

Jack took the phone and said, "Nice work, Ianto." He paused before dialling. "But who the hell do we phone?"

"The police got us into this mess," Owen observed.

"Perhaps they should help get us out," Ianto agreed as Tosh nodded.

"Cardiff PD, it is," Jack muttered. "And if they don't help, I'm giving Gwen back." He removed a card from his pocket and dialled, looking for all the world like he wanted to do anything but make this call.

After a couple of rings, an unfamiliar voice answered. "Cardiff, PD."

"DI Swanson, please," Jack asked with false pleasantry, earning an eye roll from Ianto.

"Who may I say is calling?" the voice demanded.

"Torchwood," Jack replied. He waited a couple of minutes before hearing Kathy Swanson respond.

"You'd better not be wasting my time," the detective snarled.

Jack struggled to stay calm and polite. "As a matter of fact I was wondering if you could do us a favour."

Detective Swanson snorted. "The humble police, helping the mighty Torchwood? Why don't you just help yourselves? Like you normally do."

"Because we can't," Jack admitted, clearly discomforted.

"Oh," the DI taunted. "Why's that?"

"We're sort of busy," Jack said vaguely.

"Well, I'm busy too," Swanson replied. "Try someone else."

"No, no, no," Jack pleaded desperately. "It's just because we can't at the moment, because we're sort of stuck."

"Stuck," Swanson repeated. "In what way?"

Looking upwards in humiliation, Jack admitted, "We're locked in."

"You're locked in?" Swanson said incredulously.

"Just a bit," Jack admitted sheepishly.

"Locked in where?" the DI asked.

"Erm… In our own base," Jack stammered.

The detective's chuckle carried over the phone. "You're locked inside your own base?"

"Yes," Jack said through gritted teeth. "And it's not funny."

Swanson bit her lip to contain her mirth. "And how am I supposed to help you, exactly?"

Jack swore under his breath. "We need a book of poetry," he told her. "Emily Dickinson. The Complete Poems." He heard full-fledged laughter break out over the phone. "It's NOT funny!" he shouted.

The exchange went on for over half an hour. "All right, Captain Jack," Swanson said finally. "Just say that one more time. Nice and clear."

Jack knew he was on a loud speaker. He'd turned on the mobile's own speaker function so the team could here. They looked as mortified as he felt. "Fine," he managed. "We're locked in our own base and we can't get out." They all cringed as laughter echoed over the line.

"Okay," Jack snarled. "You've had your fun. Now Listen, Detective Swanson, one of our team is in danger. She used to be one of yours – Gwen Cooper. You can either keep teasing me or help save her life."

Swanson grew serious. She looked at the crowd assembled around her desk. "Right, you lot, back to work." The team heard her pick up the phone again. "We've got it. ‘The Complete Poems'. It's gonna cost you twenty quid."

"No way are we paying for that," Ianto stated. "Haven't they heard of the internet?"

Jack silenced him with a look. "What does the book say?" he asked Swanson.

"I don't know," the detective said. "What exactly am I supposed to do?"

"Find 'I Could Not Stop For Death'," Jack ordered. "The stanza that says ‘the carriage held but just ourselves and immortality.' Read out the next verse."

"What if it doesn't work?" Swanson asked.

"Then read out the whole book," Jack replied.

"It's gonna be a long night," the detective groaned as Jack heard her call for more coffee.

In her car, Gwen yawned. "Tired?" Suzie asked.

"I'm fine," the Welshwoman said, though she felt anything but.

"Pull over at the next chance," Suzie ordered. "Don't want you falling asleep at the wheel. One corpse is enough for this car, thanks."

"Don't say that," Gwen ordered with a shudder.

"What?" Suzie asked quizzically.

"Don't call yourself a corpse." Gwen told her. "You're not."

"What am I, then?" Suzie demanded.

"I don't know," Gwen admitted. "You're just not, though. You as alive as Jack is, that's for sure."

"Comforting," Suzie snarled.

There was an uncomfortable pause, and then Gwen asked, "When you're dead… I mean, when you die… What happens?"

Suzie hesitated. "What do you want me to say?"

"The truth," the other woman said.

"Really?" Suzie asked sceptically. "Okay, you religious?"

"Just sort of in passing, you know," Gwen acknowledged.

Suzie nodded. "Do you believe in Heaven?"

"I don't know," Gwen replied with a shrug.

Suzie laughed hollowly. "Yes, you do. What do you believe?"

"Stupid," Gwen said. "But I always sort of think… Like, you know, white light and all that. And I think of my Gran. Like she'll be there. Waiting for me. The smell of carbolic."

"Your faith never left primary school," Suzie said derisively.

"So, what's out there?" Gwen demanded softly, a tremor in her voice.

Suzie looked away. "Nothing. Just nothing."

Gwen paused, then looked at Suzie with a shocked expression. "But, but if there's nothing, what's the point of it all?"

"This is," Suzie gestured. "Driving through the dark. All this stupid, tiny stuff. We're just animals, howling in the night, because it's better than silence." She shook her head. "I used to think about Torchwood, all those aliens, coming to Earth… What the hell for? But it's just instinct. They come here because there's life, that's all. Moths around a flame. Creatures clinging together in the cold."

Gwen looked horrified. "So when you die, it's just…"

"Darkness," Suzie confirmed. "Ask Jack. Well, if you ever see him again."

"And you're all alone?" Gwen whispered. "There's no-one else?"

"I didn't say that," Suzie replied cryptically.

Gwen blinked at the other woman. "What do you mean?" she demanded.

Suzie leaned closer to her. "Why do you think I'm so desperate to come back and not to die?" she asked. "There's something out there in the dark and it's moving."

The Hub was still in lockdown and the team was getting desperate. "Parting is all we know of/ heaven and all we need of hell," Jack recited then shook his head. "No, try another."

"Success is counted sweetest/ by those who ne'er succeed," Swanson repeated.

"Christ, she was a bundle of laughs," Owen muttered.

Glaring at the medic, Jack recited, "Success is counted sweetest by / those who ne'er succeed." He sighed. "Nope."

"Wait a minute," Tosh sat up a bit straighter. "I just had a thought. If words cause the lockdown, maybe numbers reverse it."

"But what numbers?" Jack asked.

"Try the ISBN," Ianto suggested. "Every book's got a different number."

"You getting this?" Jack asked Swanson.

"Yup," she replied. "Hang on, I'm looking."

"Read it out," Tosh ordered as she sat at her keyboard ready to type."

"The keyboards aren't working," Jack reminded her.

Tosh rolled her eyes. "But the membrane underneath might just recognise the code."

"Okay, got it!" Detective Swanson called. "019 8600 585."

Jack repeated the number to Tosh, who typed it in. Suddenly, the lights came on as the Hub powered back up and the lockdown ended.

"That's it!" Jack cried. "Tosh, get a fix on Gwen's car."

"I've got the tracker on it," the technician reported. "It's heading north. Feeding the co-ordinates to the SatNav in the SUV now."

"Owen with me, move, move, move!" Jack shouted. "Kathy, I want the road north clear. My tech will send the exact route. We're going to break the speed limit, big time."

"Consider it done," the DI replied, then called over the radio, "All units, give Torchwood priority, repeat, give Torchwood priority."

"Kathy, thank you," Jack said as he moved to cancel the call.

"My pleasure!" Swanson replied just before the connection was broken.

"Owen," Jack called. "With me."

"Jack," the doctor grabbed his arm. "Maybe Tosh and I should go. You look like shit."

"It has to be me," Jack told him. "Don't ask how I know, but I made the connection. I have to break it."

"Fine," Owen snarled. "But I'm driving. If you pass out, I'd rather not have you behind the wheel with us hurtling down the motorway when you do it."

"Shit," Jack muttered, but tossed him the keys. "How long's Gwen got?"

"It's only a guess, but I'd give her about forty minutes," the medic replied.

As they raced to the car park, Jack paused. "I'm counting on you, Owen. One way or another, Suzie has to die tonight. I know it's a lot to ask, but…"

"It'll get done," Owen told him as they made their way towards the SUV.

They were ten minutes away from the Hub when Tosh reported again. "They stopped for a minute but they're moving north again. I can't predict a specific destination, not yet."

"Keep feeding it through, we're catching up," Jack ordered just as his mobile rang. "Hello?"

"Did you like the poem, Jack?" Suzie asked.

"Suzie," Jack pleaded. "Leave her out of this. This is between us. You don't need her. The glove is draining me to keep you alive."

"I know," Suzie replied.

"Then stop," Jack begged.

Suzie laughed. "But I get to live, maybe forever. Why would I stop?" she demanded.

"You don't want that. Trust me." Jack replied sadly. "Just let Gwen go and we'll work it out."

"Right," Suzie snorted. "You all moved on without me. Now, I'm doing the same. Isn't that fair? I'm taking what you have an abundance of."

Suddenly, Jack realised Suzie had known all along about him. The Dickinson poem had been a message. This had all been a ploy to steal the one thing from him that he'd gladly surrender to anyone but her – his endless life. "Suzie," he said with his voice hardening. "We've got a tracker on that car. We're going to catch up, I promise."

"And what happens then?" Suzie taunted him.

"One way or another, I'm going to kill you, Suzie Costello," Jack vowed. "I promise, I'm going to kill you for the last and final time."

"But can you?" Suzie demanded. "When there's a part of you that's me now? Could you really do that if I'm connected to you?"

"Why are you doing this?" Jack demanded with his voice cracking.

"Because life is all there is, Jack," Suzie told him. "You should know that. I'd do anything to stay. Anything."

"You don't know what you're saying," Jack whispered. "Suzie. Please. Just stop."

"She's a real find, this one," Suzie babbled. "Gwen Cooper. She's better than me. She's so much better. I was never any good. Jack, I'm sorry."

"Suzie!" Jack screamed as the call cancelled. "Where are they, Tosh?" he demanded into the Comm.

"She's heading for the coast line on the B587," Tosh told him. "It's a place called Hedley Quay. There's some sort of ferry there that goes out to the islands. Get a move on."

Jack glanced at the driver's seat. "Owen, how long we got?"

"Minutes," the medic reported tightly.

It was nearing daylight when Suzie and Gwen arrived at Hedley Quay. Suzie parked in front of a fence, ignoring the signage. Scrambling out of the car, she went around the passenger side and pulled a groggy, disoriented Gwen out. The former PC was in no state to struggle. She could barely move. She had no idea what was wrong with her.

Muttering, Suzie dragged Gwen down the Quay. "It's beautiful, Gwen. Can you see? We'll take the ferry. Go out. As far as we can. We'll keep on running because he won't hurt us. We'll keep on going, you and me. " In her distraction, Suzie didn't notice another vehicle approaching.

As Owen hurriedly parked the SUV, Jack jumped out. . Next to him, the medic checked his gun and the antidote he'd prepared for the drug Suzie had given Gwen.

"Will that neutralise it?" Jack demanded, trying to ignore the sinking feeling of fatigue in his bones and the clamminess of his skin. He could feel the life force draining from him. If it was just him, it might be a release, but he couldn't let Suzie kill an innocent woman, even if she was a trouble-maker. He'd brought Gwen Cooper into Torchwood to keep her and others safe, not to get her killed within weeks of her arrival. More than that, he couldn't let Suzie live to kill another day.

"It depends on how much she's given her," Owen admitted. "We know of one dose in the Hub. Gwen fights these things. Suzie might have given her another dose to keep her compliant. More than that would almost certainly be lethal."

"When we get there, your job is Gwen," Jack ordered. "I'll get Suzie away from her. You get the antidote into her."

"You sure about that?" Owen demanded. "You're not looking so good. Anything happens to you, I have to answer to Tosh and the Tea Boy. Might as well take my chances with the Rift."

"I'll be fine," Jack assured him with a confidence he didn't feel.

At the end of the quay, Gwen gave up trying to move and collapsed. She'd been right; Torchwood was going to kill her. Kneeling beside her, Suzie crooned,

"Oh, I'm sorry. Did I give you too much? Have you gone? Gwen? Can you hear me? Gwen? Poor Gwen Cooper." Behind her, she heard noises. Turning, she saw Jack and Owen sprinting for them with guns drawn. "Safe journey, Gwen." Standing, she headed for the end of the quay, calling back, "You're too late!"

Hurdling Gwen's still form, Jack pursued Suzie and shouted back to Owen, "Stay with her. Keep her alive."

Stopping, Owen shoved the gun in back of his pants and began to examine the young Welshwoman.

Near the water, Jack aimed his gun at Suzie. "It's over," he told her. "Please, just come with us."

Suzie stared at the lighthouse just beyond the quay and whispered, "I can't."

Jack glanced back at his medic. "Owen, how is she?"

Owen had Gwen cradled to him, checking her vitals and trying to get her to respond to the medication he had given her. He didn't respond to Jack's call. Not taking his eyes or his gun off Suzie, Jack demanded, "Owen! Report!"

Shaking his head, Owen shouted. "I think we're too late. She's not responding, and I can't give her more of the antidote without risking it killing her."

Sneering at Suzie, Jack felt his sense of guilt alleviate. He might have brought Suzie back, but he hadn't made her a murderer. She had been that from the start. "If she dies, I will kill you," he told her.

Suzie snarled. "But you can't," she told him. "I'm the only one who knows how much of the drug I gave her. Too little of the antidote and it won't help. Too much, and it will kill her."

Behind them, Jack heard a sound from Gwen. "She's coming to," Owen shouted. "I think I've sussed the dosage."

"Hear that? Your little plan failed. We'll save Gwen without you," Jack told his former second menacingly. "Give me one reason not to kill you."

Suzie's grin was almost feral. "You can't, Jack," she sneered. "Look at me. I'm part of you? Can't you see it? Just the smallest bit of you in me? The connection?"

Raising his eyebrow and shaking his head, Jack snarled, "Not one little bit." He aimed his Webley and fired. Suzie staggered and fell as blood spattered her torso.

Looking back, Jack called, "Owen, status report."

"Coming around slowly," the medic responded. "Vitals are normalising. We're out of the woods here. How about you?"

"I'm fine," Jack started to reply, then began to feel dizzy. Suzie opened her eyes and grinned at him. "But I broke the connection," Jack stammered as he moved in closer and pointed the gun down at her. "I killed you."

"Can't die," Suzie crowed as Jack shot her twice more. "Never gonna die, thanks to you."

Shuddering and staggering, Jack fought to stay conscious. If he went down, Owen and Gwen were defenceless. "How much more of this do you want?" he demanded as he fired twice more.

Suzie rolled over with gasp. Her blood made a disgusting sound against the wood of the quay. "It's all your fault, Jack. You recruited me. You let me mess with the glove. You brought me back. Now we're connected."

Jack stared at Suzie as an idea began to form. "The glove," he shouted over the Comm. "Tosh! Ianto! Destroy the glove! It's keeping us connected!"

Back at the Hub, Tosh called, "On it!" and sprinted to the armoury.

From where he was seated listening over the Comm., Ianto glanced over worriedly. He keyed the private channel to Jack. "She's draining you," he said softly. "If we break the connection, what will it do to you?"

"I don't know," Jack admitted quietly. "I'm sorry. I just don't know." Over the Comm. another shot echoed. "Tell Tosh to hurry. She won't stay down."

Ianto could hear the revulsion in Jack's voice at what he was being forced to do. He froze as Suzie's voice echoed over Jack's. "Captain, my Captain. Do you want to know a secret? There's something moving in the dark and it's coming, Jack Harkness. It's coming for you."

Ianto knew Suzie had to be stopped. He could see Tosh keying in her code and removing a specific gun from the arms locker. "Tosh! Give it to me!" She tossed it to him as he called over the Comm. "I'm taking the shot, Jack."

"No!" the Captain shouted. "Not you!"

"Me," Ianto replied. Taking a breath and silently begging Jack to forgive him, he fired and the glove shattered. Next to him, Tosh winced then ran back to her console.

On the Quay, Jack felt the connection break between him and Suzie break. He sensed his life force returning to him as Suzie crumpled. He glanced back to see Gwen starting to struggle in Owen's embrace. "Whoa!" the medic cried.

"Whoa! It's okay. It's okay. Just stay calm."

As Gwen whimpered in Owen's arms, Jack keyed his Comm. again. "Good work," he said to Ianto and Tosh, both of whom breathed a sigh to hear their Captain alive and sounding stronger. "Gwen's okay. We're…" he stopped and made a strangled noise.

"Jack," Tosh demanded, looking worriedly at Ianto. "What's wrong?"

The Captain stared down at Suzie, who looked back at him. Her wounds had healed, but she looked decidedly less cocky as if she too had felt the link between them sever. "Go ahead, Jack," she taunted. "Kill me? Or can you? Do you even want to know that you can't? Do you want to chance me walking around with huge bullet holes in me because I won't heal now? Is that what you want, my Captain?"

"Shut up," Jack snarled, pulling her to her feet and cuffing her. "Tosh, Ianto, ready a secure cell. We're coming in. All four of us."

At the Hub, Ianto and Tosh exchanged glances. This wasn't good.

Jack stood in his office, watching the monitor that showed the CCTV cells. After screaming herself hoarse for hours and calling him every vile name she could think of, Suzie was finally quiet. She sat huddled in the corner, rocking back and forth slowly. The Captain looked up as Ianto limped into the office. He'd taken some food and water to their prisoner. Jack had watched him endure a round of scathing verbal abuse for his trouble, and barely resisted going down to shut the bitch up permanently.

"Thanks for doing that," Jack said, indicating the monitor.

Ianto shrugged and eased himself into a chair, wincing slightly. His healing body was protesting its overuse. "Part of my job, sir."

Jack shook his head. "No, I should be doing it, but…" He couldn't face her. Somehow, he'd done this to her. He'd brought her back because of what he was; now, he was out of options. He couldn't bring himself to execute her, but nothing else was working. Hell, he wasn't even sure they could kill her. To be honest, he was afraid to find out. It would be worse than torture to be able to inflict grievous bodily harm on her and have her survive it. He would know, but at least he healed. Suzie was right; she might not. Sighing, he glanced back at the image of the cells. "I keep doing this, and one day, we're going to run out of space."

"Jack," Ianto prompted, hoping to shake him from his melancholy by getting him to think about the problem at hand. "What are we going to do with her? Owen says sedation is only moderately effective and cryogenics won't work at all. He can't reduce her metabolism enough. He thinks it was the glove, but it's your energy – or whatever it is – isn't it? It healed her and seems to be impacting her body functions."

"I don't know," Jack admitted. "I think so, but I'm only guessing. I don't know how it works on me, let alone Suzie."

Ianto nodded. "So, we're out of options, short of killing her and Owen's not sure what happens if we try and fail. She could live forever with half her head gone or worse. We just leave her locked up."

"We can't keep her down there forever," Jack reminded him. "That's London; not us. Not to mention what it would do to Tosh and Owen."

"And you," Ianto added with a pointed look.

"What about you?" Jack asked. "You worked with her, too."

"I barely knew her," Ianto reminded him. "She had her secrets and I had mine. Hardly conducive to building a friendship."

"Standard Torchwood protocol would be to execute her," Jack said slowly, ignoring Ianto's vague allusion to his own mistakes. "She murdered three people, and was indirectly responsible for the deaths of three others. She essentially tortured Max, and tried to kill Gwen."

"She did kill you," Ianto reminded him quietly.

"Hardly permanent," Jack replied with a shrug. "Still, she sabotaged our security and computer systems. She's homicidal, insane, and brilliant. That's a dangerous combination, but I can't stop thinking I should have seen it."

"You can't execute her, though, can you?" Ianto replied with understanding in his voice. "Even if it is physically possible, you can't do it."

"I can't bring myself to try," Jack admitted. "What if I can't kill her? What if what I've done to her is permanent? With the glove gone, we have no way to determine how the energy was transferred."

Ianto shook his head. "I wouldn't be so sure about that; we might find another one."

Jack reached over and turned off the monitor. They didn't need to make this decision tonight. "Nah, no chance of that," he told Ianto. "The resurrection days are over, thank God." He'd never unknowingly do this to someone again.

With some difficulty, Ianto used his cane to help himself stand and then looked at Jack. "Oh, I wouldn't be too sure. That's the thing about gloves, sir." He paused and looked at Jack meaningfully. "They come in pairs."

"Go get some rest," Jack said, deciding to ignore Ianto's dire prediction for the moment. He could see the faint tremors in Ianto's body and the lines of pain on his face. "You've overdone it today."

The younger man nodded and moved towards the door. He stopped and turned back to the Captain. "You know," he said. "I can't drive yet, and I hate taking cabs."

"If you want me to give you a lift, just ask." Jack replied with a soft smile.

"That would be nice," Ianto admitted. "But, my place it too quiet."

Jack looked a little bewildered. "So?" he asked quizzically.

Ianto smirked. He knew how to take the Captain's mind off the unpleasant events of the past day and the worse decisions that lay ahead. "I rest better with company."

Jack's face took on a wistful expression. "Oh, yeah."

"Yeah," Ianto replied casually, his voice issuing a tacit invitation.

"I shouldn't," Jack hesitated. "You're not well yet. You really need to rest."

"Resting is on the list," Ianto assured him. "After some things we can both do to relax."

Jack shook his head at him, wanting to give in but afraid to do so. "I should take you home and come back. I sent the others home early. Owen gave Gwen a full exam. She's fine. He prescribed a mild sedative to help her sleep and took her home. He made up something for Rhys. I don't know what we're going to do about her either, but that's yet another problem for another day."

"All the more reason to relax tonight, sir," Ianto pointed out, knowing from the longing tone in Jack's voice that he'd won the argument. "Gwen's home with Rhys. Owen's probably already ‘relaxing' with Tosh; no reason we can't do the same."

With a sigh, Jack surrendered. He needed to be anywhere but here tonight.

"I'll be ready to go in ten."

With a chuckle, Ianto took the stopwatch from his pocket and clicked the button. "That's ten minutes and counting, sir. I'll be waiting." He limped out of the office slowly with a satisfied smile on his face, leaving Jack staring bemusedly after him.

Coming Up Next: Random Shoes

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ooookkkay. THAT I did not expect.

This could be interesting. Finding out if suzie is like Owen in Season 2 - or something else.

Now that's an interesting change! Is Suzie like Jack but insane, or is she like Owen was after becoming a zombie? And Gwen did it again - when will she ever learn?

Wow. I went back to read that twist twice because I was so surprised. :) Nice Job! I'm looking forward to the next chapter.

Oh wow, that was brilliant! That was an amazing twist that I didn't see coming, and I can't wait to see what happens to Suzie! And I just loved that moment with Jack and Ianto there at the end. :)

Okay, now I'm creeped out. Suzie locked down in the dungeons is not my idea of fun.

Well that was certainly interesting...Suzie is stil around and in the cells. Nice use of the stopwatch line :) Well done.

Oh, now THAT was a twist! This should be interesting going forward.

I always found Suzie interesting and was sorry to see her go so early in canon. But you have brought an intriguing twist to the story by keeping her alive. Looking forward to the next part!

fascinating re-telling of TKKS ... makes much more sense that she'd want to tap into Jack's life force rather than Gwen's ... and now she's back, bitter and twisted and full of hate ... wonderful :-)

enjoyed the re-working of the stopwatch lines and Ianto's invitation to Jack at the end .... bravo :-)

very nice twist. It will be fun to see just what happened with Suzie.

Ohhhh the possibilities...

I just went back and read them all and I am loving what you're doing with the series. Can't wait for more. :D

Oh I love it that Suzie is still a character, I love her and her evil ways.

*does happy dance* I love to see my name. :)

Ah-hem, on to more important matters - daaaaaamn this rocked!! Love the seriously twisty twist at the end. Cannot wait to see what the next person does with a "homicidal, insane, and brilliant" Suzie to play with. Fantastic job with what has to be one of my favorite episodes!

there is a part of me that is sad that you changed the famous 'stopwatch scene' but I like what you did with it anyways :D

I can't wait to see how this plays out with suzie still alive. and insane. (I personally think that she's like owen post-reset, because they were both brought back by jack) brilliant.

great twist, very enjoyable and unexpected.

Wow, Suzie part of the walking dead and in a cell, very interesting, love the last part about the stop watch, and it is nice to see the team each have a partner, thanks for sharing!

I like that you had Gwen under the influence of something rather than just plain stupid enough to sneak Suzie out of the Hub. Interesting that Jack was the one to bring Suzie back. I wonder now what they are going to do with her since she isn't dead or alive really. I kind of hope she gets to finally, permanently die some kind of heroic death, maybe for some sort of redemption, if you know what I mean.

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