Jack supposes he should have expected it. The saying “it’s too good to be true?” Yeah, that was Suzie through-and-through. Sort of. Almost.
They meet while Jack and the others are chasing down a huge alien rampaging downtown Cardiff. It ruins an entire coffee shop, knocking in glass, throwing tables and punching in the walls. She steps out of the ruined pantry and demands to know what’s going on, and why is he standing there when he looks like he’s the one who should be doing something? In that instead, he knows he needs her.
“You’re taking me out for a drink? Because the coffee shop I was in was ruined?” She asks incredulously, even as they walk arm in arm down the pavement.
“I’m taking you out for a drink because you’re gorgeous and pretty damn brave to be yelling at me like that.”
“I just want to know what that thing was and what I should do next time a giant peach-coloured creature decides it’s a good idea to rampage a coffee shop at nine in the morning on a Tuesday. That was my second job, you know. It’s gone now.”
“And your first job?” he asks, opening the door for her.
“Lab technician. I do a little of everything in the science world.”
“Ooh, beautiful and brainy!”
“Oh, what, you weren’t expecting one of them?”
The bartender appears in front of them, interrupting their conversation, and they order their drinks.
“I knew both when I saw you. Why don’t you come work for me? You can learn how to kill that thing in the shop. And more. And there’s science.”
“What are you the head of?”
Suzie rolls her eyes. “Torchwood’s some made up conspiracy theory.”
Jack smirks. This is his favourite part. “You think?”
Suzie pretends to act unimpressed as Jack tours her through the Hub, but he can tell by the clever twist of her lips that she’s intrigued and excited. She shrugs, waffles for show, but accepts when he hires her.
Three weeks in and he’s flirting with her constantly. He finally makes his move when she stays late to finish paperwork. Actually, she makes the move on him. But he’d never admit it.
“Why don’t you relax a little, Suze?” Suzie smirks at him. She knows what he’s after. “Give yourself a little break from that work.”
“I know you’ve got the patience of a two year old, Jack,” Suzie teases. “But wait ten minutes and I’ll let you undress me with your teeth.”
“That a promise?”
“Mmhmm.” She never looks up from her paperwork.
Suzie’s a genius. There’s nothing she can’t learn or figure out. It makes Tosh visibly jealous and angers Owen to know end, but it’s Jack’s favourite thing about her. She wants to discover, she wants to know everything.
There’s no way he can pretend he doesn’t love her, so he doesn’t try to hide it. They flirt shamelessly during work and fuck like mad afterward. Too often they fall asleep in Jack’s bunker bed, Jack spooning her, hands resting on her breast, one leg hooked across hers, whispering his stories into her ear.
“I don’t tell these stories to other people very often,” Jack says to her one night as they come down from their sweaty, blank-minded highs.
“Bullshit. You tell them all the time. You tell them to whoever makes it into your bed more than once.”
Jack concedes that point. “Yeah. But I never tell it to them like I tell it to you. I leave out detail for them. I keep it in for you.”
“I’m flattered,” she says, even though they both know he’s lying. He rolls over and settles into position, kissing her neck before he begins to speak.
The glove comes in December, a few weeks before New Year’s Day, and Jack is distracted by Yvonne’s complaining about the yearly reports and the influx of sightings and preoccupied with his own sad memories of the past that weigh him down. He hardly notices Suzie drifting away from him for Owen and for the glove.
New Year’s has come and gone, and Jack grins at Suzie as he passes her on his way through the Hub.
“Hey, Suze. You, me, my office later? Seven?”
Suzie shrugs, her hair falling in front of her face as she stares down at the glove on her desk. Its metal gleams malevolently in the light. “Sorry, Jack. I’ve got some stuff to do back at home.”
Jack shrugs it off. “No problem.”
He doesn’t notice the empty space on Suzie’s desk when he locks up that night, the way he’s only just now noticed the emptiness of his bed. He lies awake and is pretty sure she’s sleeping with Owen. It bothers him in a way he doesn’t like.
This Gwen Cooper girl is cute, and determined, but Tosh gave him her specs and she’s nowhere near as smart as Suzie, nowhere near as observant as Suzie. He glances across the Hub at the subject of his thoughts, but her face is covered in a welding mask and she looks nowhere but the metal in her hands.
It’s only when he watches Suzie close her eyes and breathe quietly, then place the glove delicately in her purse and leave without looking back or saying goodbye that Jack figures something may be wrong. The CCTV shows a girl with brown hair wandering around on the Plass. Gwen Cooper. Jack watches Suzie emerge from the shadows. There are shadows in her eyes, a shade across every muscle. He follows.
It hurts when she kills him. It always hurts, physically. This time, he’s amazed she’d do it, that she’d kill him, or kill all the others she’s murdered for the glove. She’s gone against what she stood for before, what he taught her. Obsession has won her over and not a warning was heeded. Her duplicity caused civilian deaths, caused chaos and fear. But he gives her another chance. Her inevitable death seems almost blasphemous, unthinkable. He wants her to come back. He wants her to give him the gun, to let him wrap his arms around her and take her back the Hub and make her better. She looks at him with fear in her eyes that shoots him through the heart. He can see her terror at the decision he’s given her, the fear of what lies ahead without the gauntlet, then the resignation of her decision. Then everything he loved about her lies seeping into the pavement, all her knowledge gone black with gleaming metal and sticky blood.
Her body is laid out in cryo, cold air fogging around her like a misty halo, her face already pale grey. He thought he’d found everything in one woman. He thought she was the best of them all. He stares down at her and tries to reconcile the corrupted, manipulated, traitorous stranger he’s just seen with the beautiful, intelligent woman he met and trained and partnered with. He breathes in, the cold air stinging his lungs, and tries not to admit to himself that he still loves her anyway.