Summary: It wasn't meant to be real. She had only been watching the show. This- this however, was losing. Losing everything.
Disclaimer: Torchwood is the product of many writing geniuses, directors, editors, designers, techies and -in general brilliant- people. I own nothing.
A/N: Thanks to all of the lovely readers for their lovely reviews! I treasure each one, and getting to read your opinions on each chapter is just spectacular. This is the last chapter, the first end of a multi-chapter fic I've ever written. Thanks so much to maggalina for her continued support in each and every one of the fics I write, as well as for Beta-ing for me when none of my IRL friends would. It's been a great ride and I truly enjoyed writing this one.
Look for the sequel! I hope to have it out by the end of the month, though it may not be out until later. It is likely to be a "Doctor Who"/"Torchwood" cross-over and it is tentatively titled In the Silence that Follows.
Jack rounded the corner: "Doctor!" The two hugged -however briefly- before Jack muttered: "Stand back!" And fitted a C-4 frame around the door. He coaxed everyone around the corner and hit the detonate button. A loud explosion was heard and before anyone had even managed to process what had happened, Jack was rushing past them.
Luckily, Katherine hadn't been near the door when it exploded, having crept closer to the Weevil out of dangerous curiosity. Unfortunately, the blast sent her right into the Weevil who now stopped its low rumbling and let out a monstrous growl. It shoved her back and she fell on the floor, where the Weevil sliced her neck opened.
At that precise moment, Jack came charging in, gun firing steadily in between the Weevil's eyes, despite the Doctor's protest.
"Jack!" He spat looking furious, "you just killed-"
Jack made it clear he was ignoring him, checking Katherine for a pulse instead. He found it, weak, and directed Rhys to get the first aide kit, easily whipping off his shirt to staunch the bleeding.
Amy's eyes widened a fraction before she broke out into a grin. Rory elbowed her the side and she winked at him, sticking out her tongue. "What's going on here? Who are you lot?"
"You changed faces again," Jack commented. "And you look younger."
"You just killed that creature," the Doctor replied flatly, in no mood to joke.
"The Weevil was about to rip her throat out!" Gwen spoke up, "and I didn't see you doing anything!"
"You said Torchwood had changed," the Doctor accused, waving the sonic screwdriver over her prone body.
"Let's talk about that later. What's your sonic picking up?"
"You're more serious than I recall," the Doctor frowned, "and her mind is deteriorating, not to mention that wound on her neck and the hypothermia. Jack, there is no way for her to live."
"Deteriorating? Alien writing triggered her past memories, then she remembered her past, which she had previously forgotten, but memories fade over time, and the new ones she'd made here were new compared to the old information about us, so she forgot that. So her old life took up those memories, but it was still too much information at once, so she forgot everything and her mind shut down," Jack summed up.
"Jack, what is this about? Why did you call me here?" The Doctor inquired as gently as he could.
"You're five years late!" Jack shouted, hands tearing through his hair again. "And now I don't know what to do!"
"What was I five years late for?" The Doctor was bemused.
Gwen, Rory and Amy, on the other hand, were all cast aside to watch the two of them. Rhys was still fumbling about for the first aid kit with no luck on his side in the morgue.
But the pair of timeless men were in the middle of a standoff, staring each other down.
"The watch," there was a croak from the floor, the battered body of Katherine taking a shuddering breath, "he- the- show watch. G-gimme."
"She's forgetting how to talk," the Doctor whispered sadly, pity in his eyes.
Jack, however, was rooting through his pockets, finally managing to dig out the trinket he'd retrieved from his room earlier. "The fob watch. Have a look."
"Is this-?" The Doctor traced the pattern of the solar system, reading the words engraved in Gallifreyan on the cover. "It belongs to a Time Lord," he gasped, breathless, "this isn't possible. I'm alone. The Master is dead."
"It belongs to Sh- Katherine," Jack informed him, "what does it say on the front?"
"-n-n-" tears were trailing down her cheeks, but she couldn't force the words out.
"Her name," the Doctor finished.
A smile barely ghosted across her lips as he pressed the fob watch into her hand. Shaking fingers managed to find the strength to open it and everyone had to look away at the flash of bright gold light.
Pain. There was so much pain. Then her memories washed over her, soothing and comforting. And the warm, tingling feeling of regeneration crashed into her and she could feel her face shifting and moulding into something new, something unfamiliar and unused. Something different.
Someone new but still the same.
"Jack," the Doctor smiled, catching Katherine before she could fall. "Meet Lady Katherinayadevrana of the house of Angels. The Lady Assassin," he winced as he stated her Time Lady title.
Her face had changed, but her eyes had stayed old. They were a sharp, crystalline grey. Her cheekbones were high and vividly pronounced, face heart shaped and nose tiny. Her hair fell in tight black curls reaching her chin and getting shorter towards the back of her head. She stuffed the fob watch into the pocket of her cardigan, the bright colour of which looked obscenely out of place of her clearly darker regeneration. "Am I missing any body parts?" She queried, running her hands down her arms.
Jack took a step closer, the word 'no' barely falling out if his mouth before her took her in his arms, his hands taking over hers. Feeling awkward, Gwen looked away, encouraging the others to do the same.
"Everything's in order," Jack murmured, fingers sliding up to frame her face. He leant his forehead against hers, pleased to find that she wasn't resisting him for once. "Do you remember me now?"
The Assassin -Katherine, Shaylene, The Woman; the evolution she had gone through was spectacular- opened her mouth to answer, but was cut off.
"I got the-" Rhys came sprinting in, panting and sweating. "Wait, did I miss something?"
Jack and the Assassin laughed. "Loads," the Assassin grinned, not pulling away from Jack. They weren't good yet, and they wouldn't be for a long time but had a foundation, a friendship to base their new relationship on.
Life was sweet for now, but it's always bitter in the end.