Katerina let out a content sigh as she felt the warmth of the planet’s suns on her skin, and the cool brush of the red grass underneath her fingertips. Everything was so peaceful she could almost drift off to sleep. That was until she felt a familiar hand interlock their fingers with her own. She turned her head and smiled sheepishly at the boy next to her, who returned the expression just as warmly. Koschei, or the Master as he now liked to be called, knew it was starting to get late and that she would have to leave him soon.
“You don’t have to go back” He stated.
“This is probably what Th…The Doctor meant when he said you’d be a bad influence on me” Katerina corrected herself, before she said the Doctor’s true name.
“Well your brother needs to get over it” The Master told her.
“He’s your best friend, remember” Katerina laughed.
“We’ve been drifting away since we left the Academy” He confessed, as she frowned.
“I didn’t know that” She mumbled, starting to become worried.
“At least I’ve still got you” He pointed out, bringing her hand close to his mouth so that he could press a kiss to it.
“And you always will” She smiled, before pressing a soft kiss to his lips.
“Don’t go back to the Academy. Just leave, now…with me” He begged.
“I’ll be finishing next year and then we can leave here. We can go wherever you want to go” She promised him.
“Next stop everywhere” He grinned.
“Cardiff!” The Doctor announced, breaking Katerina out of her memory.
“Cardiff?” Martha replied, not seeming impressed.
“Ah, but the thing about Cardiff is it’s built on a rift in time and space, just like California on the San Andreas fault. But the rift bleeds energy. Every now and then I need to open up the engines, soak up the energy and use it as fuel” The Doctor explained, as Katerina sat back in her chair, not paying much attention.
“So, it’s a pit stop?” Martha realised.
“Exactly! Should only take 20 seconds…The rifts been active” The Doctor mumbled, looking at the confusing readings.
“Something worth checking out?” Katerina suggested.
“No…probably nothing” The Doctor sniffed.
“Wait a minute. They had an earthquake in Cardiff a couple years ago. Was that you two?” Martha asked, putting two and two together.
“Bit of trouble with the Slitheen…Long time ago. Lifetimes. I was a different man back then” The Doctor told her.
“Yeah, literally” Katerina scoffed, her own mind going back.
He wasn’t the only one who had a different body back then. Katerina was part of a race, like Krillitanes, who could take on the abilities and bodies of the people they killed and that meant that she had some Time Lord DNA in her, passed on by her parents. When she was growing up on Gallifrey, before the Doctor’s parents had taken her in, all she had wanted was to be a Time Lord. To be pure and clean. However she did have enough Time Lord DNA in her for a regeneration to happen a couple times. Her mind went to the memory of her last regeneration on the Game Station almost two years ago now. She couldn’t stop herself from thinking about the man who died alongside her. Jack. This was where we had our first kiss, she thought to herself.
“So, do you think Rose and Mickey are back on?" Jack queried.
"If they are, it won't end well. She doesn't feel the way she used to" Katerina exclaimed.
"Clearly she must be infatuated with your brother, because she barely gives me a second glance" Jack suggested, as Katerina hit his shoulder.
"Cocky, much?" Katerina giggled.
"Very much" Jack smirked, as they both laughed.
"You know, just because we're not out on the bay…doesn't mean we can't enjoy ourselves" Jack stated, a moment later.
"What exactly are you suggesting, Captain?" Katerina replied, as she moved closer to him.
Jack grinned, as he leaned forward, softly pressing his lips to Katerina's. She instantly pulled him closer, her hands sliding into his hair. As she felt his hand skim over her waist, suddenly the lights went dark, and the TARDIS made a displeased sound. The pair broke apart, as the lights turned back on.
"I don't think she wants to see this" Katerina giggled.
"Well, how about we continue this outside?" Jack said, as he stood up.
He pulled her up with him, pressing her body close to his as they walked outside, hand in hand.
The TARDIS made a soft sound from beside her, almost as if it could read her thoughts. She wouldn’t put it past the old machine.
“Are you okay?” The Doctor queried, noticing she was quieter than usual.
“Yeah…I’m fine” She nodded at him.
“Finito, all powered up…” The Doctor trailed off, as his eyes widened when he saw something on the monitor.
“What is it?” Katerina asked.
“Nothing, just…being back here. Old memories, that’s all” The Doctor shrugged, quickly pulling the lever to send them whirling off back into space.
Katerina didn’t quite buy it, but she wasn’t about to start a fight. She had lost Jack and the Doctor had lost Rose. They had a painful understanding of each other. All of a sudden, the TARDIS lurched to the side as something struck the box with force from the outside. The three travellers fell to the floor as sparks erupted from the console.
“What the hell was that?” Katerina cried, from where she had been thrown out of her seat.
The Doctor pushed himself up and grabbed hold of the monitor on the console, as Martha came up beside him.
“We’re accelerating into the future. The year one billion. Five billion. Five trillion. Fifty trillion. What? The year one hundred trillion? That’s impossible” The Doctor frowned, as Katerina stood up to have a look at the readings for herself.
“Why? What happens then?” Martha questioned, as the Doctor tried to find his words.
“We’re going to the end of the universe” The Doctor replied, as both his companions felt a wave of fear run through them.
“Don’t just stand their gawping! We need to stop it” Katerina insisted, as she grabbed the keyboard from the Doctor and started to type in numerous commands quicker than Martha could watch.
A moment later the TARDIS came to a shuddering halt, as Martha let out a sigh of relief.
“Good work” She offered Katerina.
“That wasn’t me” Katerina mumbled, realising they must have come to the TARDIS’ planned destination.
“So, what’s out there?” Martha queried.
“I don’t know” The Doctor admitted.
“Say that again. That’s rare” Martha stated, surprised.
“Not even the Time Lords came this far” The Doctor went on.
“They were too afraid they would get stuck…that they would go too far and there would be no way home” Katerina explained.
“We should leave. We should really, really…go” The Doctor suggested, as Katerina raised her eyebrows at him.
“Nah” They both said at the same time, grinning.
“I love it when you do that” Martha giggled, as the three of them rushed out of the door.
Katerina was surprised to feel the familiar pitter patter of rain on her face, as for some reason she hadn’t expected to come across something so normal. When she looked up at the pitch-black sky, she figured they were at the end of the universe.
“No stars anymore” She mumbled, sadly.
Out of the corner of her eye she spotted something large lying on the ground not far away. She frowned when she saw it was the body. It was a man wearing a long blue coat, and when her eyes reached his face, she let out a startled gasp.
“Jack?” She cried, feeling tears instantly begin to well up in her eyes.
She rushed towards him as quick as her feet would carry her, and practically collapsed next to his body. He wasn’t breathing.
“Jack? Jack!” She exclaimed, shaking him.
She felt for a pulse on his neck but found nothing. She shook her head as tears dropped down her face, he was dead. Again.
“No, no, don’t do this to me” Katerina moaned, as she began giving him chest compressions.
Martha sat down on the other side of Jack’s body, cringing as she watched Katerina desperately try to bring him back. Once she was on her third round of trying to breathe air into his lungs, she felt her brother’s hand on her shoulder, pulling her back.
“Kat, leave him” The Doctor told her, but she shoved him off.
“Did you know him?” Martha’s soft voice questioned, as she nodded.
“How can he be here?” Katerina asked, looking at her brother.
“I think he come with us. Must’ve been clinging to the outside of the TARDIS, all the way through the vortex. Well, that’s very him” The Doctor theorised.
“That’s not possible. He…he would have disintegrated” Katerina frowned.
“If he was human” The Doctor mumbled, as Katerina gave him a questioning look.
Suddenly there was a loud gasp from beside her, and strong hands were grabbing her arms tightly. She looked down to see Jack breathing heavily, his bright blue eyes searching his surroundings.
“Jack?” Katerina asked, her voice no louder than a whisper.
His eyes immediately were drawn to her voice, as he seemed to realise who he was clinging hold of. He seemed to drink in the sight of her, dark blue eyes, black hair and pale skin, like he was memorising her features.
“Kat?” He replied.
“Yeah, it’s me. It’s me” She repeated, as she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and pulled him into a very tight hug.
“But he was dead…wasn’t he?” They heard Martha inquire from beside them.
A grin grew on Katerina’s face as she felt Jack’s strong arms wrap around her waist, as he pulled her closer to him. She gripped his coat until her fingers turned white, feeling like he would disappear at any moment.
“How…how are you here? You were dead, Jack. I saw you die” Katerina exclaimed, as she pulled away.
“And then I came back. And you left me” Jack replied, not able to keep the accusatory tone from his voice.
“What? I thought you were dead. I…You’ve been alive all this time?” She realised, suddenly feeling guilt wash over her.
“You really didn’t know?” Jack frowned, surprised.
“Of course not. We had no idea, right Doctor?” Katerina told him, as she turned around to look at her brother.
She felt a cold shiver trail through her body as she saw the way the Doctor was refusing to look at her, instead choosing to look at the blue box to the side of them.
“Doctor?” She called out, as she went to stand up.
“You…you knew?” She realised, feeling a new tear fall down her cheek.