Cheaters Never Win by badly_knitted
Summary: Suzie has plans for the ultimate in cheating, but there are some games you just can’t win.
Characters: Gwen Cooper, Jack Harkness, Suzie Costello, Toshiko Sato
Genres: Angst, Character Study, Drama, Standalone
Cheaters Never Win by badly_knitted
Chapter 1: Chapter 1Author's Notes: Written for Challenge #132: Cheating at fan_flashworks.
Spoilers: Everything Changes, They Keep Killing Suzie.
Suzie had figured out early that Torchwood agents had a tendency to die young, but she’d been determined to escape that fate. She planned on beating the odds, living to a ripe old age, and being the first field agent to survive long enough to draw a pension. She’d been so idealistic when Jack had recruited her; looking back she couldn’t believe she’d ever been so naïve.
She knew different now, because the job chipped away at you. All the wonders of the universe could potentially fall through the Rift, medicines and technology that could wipe out disease, end poverty, feed the hungry, yet they only ever seemed to see the garbage. Broken bits of tech, mangled wreckage, useless objects, and aliens bent on death and destruction… Over time she’d gradually lost her optimism, becoming jaded and worn.
Then they’d found the glove, and for once Torchwood had something that could genuinely benefit humanity, if she could only work out how to use it. It could provide them with a way of cheating death, giving people who died a second chance at living. What an accomplishment that would be! Her name would go down in history. Except that frustratingly, no matter how hard she tried or how long she practised, she couldn’t bring anything back for more than two minutes. It was driving her mad!
That was when she started experimenting further, using the knife to improve the connection between her and the deceased. It meant killing a few people, but what would that matter if she could master the glove completely? In her mind the ends justified the means. She needed freshly killed people to work with, and it was just more expedient to kill them herself; that way the corpses were as fresh as possible and there was no time wasted.
She never really noticed how obsessed and how paranoid her research was making her. She was simply driven by an overwhelming need to keep going, to succeed, but she knew she’d have to make provisions in case anything happened to her, so that she could be brought back to continue her life’s work. It was too important to be abandoned in the event of her untimely death.
Suzie had never expected to be found out though, and when that nosy little copper somehow managed to put all the pieces together despite being retconned, she knew time was running out for her. So she took matters into her own hands and activated her backup plan. It was simple; one bullet through her own brain and all she had to do was wait for someone to use the glove on her. And they would, she’d made sure of that. They’d have no other choice, she’d left enough carefully scattered clues for them to find. They’d bring her back to question her, find out what she knew, and then…
It worked like a dream. Even better, the nosy PC who had taken her place in Torchwood was the one to resurrect her, so not only would she get to cheat death herself, she could get revenge on her replacement. It seemed fitting; Gwen ruined her plans, so now Suzie was going to take Gwen’s life. The only thing Suzie regretted was having to give up her research on the glove, there was so much more she could have done with it, given enough time and practice, but she knew she wouldn’t be able to get her hands on it while Gwen was sneaking her out of the Hub. Maybe she’d be able to return for it at a later date.
Talking Gwen into helping her escape proved far easier than she’d expected; PC Cooper was the kind of sucker who’d fall for any sob story going. All Suzie had needed to do was use the excuse of wanting to visit her dying father one last time, and Cooper was practically falling over herself to prove how caring and compassionate she was by helping poor, misunderstood Suzie say her last goodbyes to daddy dearest. What a laugh that was! All Cooper was really doing was helping Suzie get revenge on a man she hated, but why not? This way she got to kill two birds, or more accurately two people, at once, which meant she’d be able to begin her new life without any emotional baggage. A fresh start, that’s what she wanted; she’d start over somewhere else, far from Torchwood, and live out her days on her own terms.
She almost made it too, she could see the ferry approaching. Gwen was fading fast but then Jack showed up, waving his gun around, damn him! He opened fire on Suzie, trying to kill his one-time second in command, for all the good that did him. All he was doing was hastening Gwen’s death, which suited Suzie just fine; she wasn’t about to give up her second chance at life so easily.
But the smug bastard was always too smart for his own good; he figured out the source of the connection that was allowing Suzie to drain Gwen of life and ordered Tosh back at the Hub to destroy the glove. Suzie wanted to scream at the unfairness of it all, she’d been so close to achieving her goal and now it was all going to be snatched away from her again. Still, she had no intention of going into oblivion easily and she used the last of her breath to taunt Jack some more.
“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.” Petty revenge perhaps, but dying terrified her; she knew now what came after, just endless nothingness, a darkness so complete that it was the absence of everything. The least she could do was to make sure Jack would fear it as much as she did.
It wasn’t Suzie who got the last laugh though. Despite shooting him through the head and having him come back to life, she’d just never really put the facts together.
Jack had been cheating death for longer than Suzie, or even her father, had been alive. He had everything Suzie thought she wanted, but he knew the truth; eternal life wasn’t a gift, it was a curse, and he would have traded places with her in a heartbeat, if only he could have. Suzie would never realise how lucky she was.
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