A/N: This is a bit different from what I usually write. But hopefully it works. It's wriiten from the POV of an OC Annie.

Setting: Sometime during season 2

Warnings: None, no spoilers


There's something fundamentally fantastic about chips. And as I strolled along with a bag of chips in my hands, the proper ones in newspaper, not a plastic box, I began to feel my worries melt away.

The day had started well. I was studying for my maths exam and I was understanding it. Then I got to the bit I didn't get, and the worry came crashing down. I knew that I wasn't going to get the grades I needed for my course next year. And then everything snowballed. The sadness I'd been fighting off for days crept up on me suddenly and I broke down in tears at my desk. I had probably ruined a textbook. I hated feeling sad.

I always try to push sad feelings away. Sadness made me worry, which made me feel ill, which was never good. So to all intents and purposes I was never sad. Always happy. Which of course made everything worse when the tears eventually broke through.

When I looked at it, my life seemed horrible. I was Annie Thomas. 17 years old and had never been asked out. I wondered why. Was it because I didn't wear make-up, or because I liked cars too much. I mean, I wasn't ugly, but I wasn't pretty or thin either. And I wasn't very interesting either. I didn't seem to get any interest for being a bit dull and a bit plain. And my mum wasn't talking to me. I wasn't even sure why, she just wasn't. My encounters with her were now snide remarks. My latest tactic was guilt-tripping her, but it wasn't working. And I knew I didn't have enough money for university next year, but that didn't stop me buying tickets to that gig next week…

And then Alan phoned. My bonkers best friend who would quite happily rip open a cupboard to see if Narnia was there. And suddenly I was going to meet him and we'd play pool and eat chips. No worries.

So as I walked along after losing horribly to him with my chips steaming in my hands, I didn't even think twice about using the shortcut to get home.

When I was halfway across the park, I heard something. I then noticed that it was getting kind of dark, and there was nobody else around. And I was wearing quite a short skirt. I gulped and reached for my mobile, maybe my dad would come and get me…

And then the something became a growl. And it wasn't normal. It sounded wrong, vicious. Like a wounded animal. Not right.

And something grabbed me. Its hands were rough, and had the wrong number of fingers. It smelt of decay and rot. I didn't know what it was, but it wasn't human.

I'm not sure when it started, but I soon felt this tearing, acing pain shooting along my shoulder, and my clothes suddenly felt wet and sticky. I didn't even register what was happening so didn't think about screaming. I just wanted to know why it hurt.

I struggled to get away, and the pain was worse, burning now. I couldn't feel my right arm, or my right leg, but I could still feel the pain. That wasn't fair. But the something's hands held me tight.

Two loud bangs, and a roar beside my ear. I wondered if a car had backfired. But it hadn't. This was gunfire. The thing dropped me and I fell to the ground.

"Stop!" I tried to yell, but the words wouldn't come out. Instead I watched as red liquid began to ooze onto the ground in front of me.

And then I started screaming.

Footsteps.

"Jack. She's here. She's alive"

A man. Jack? Who's Jack. Was this the man with the gun? The man was in a suit. Why would he have a suit and a gun.

Two brown boots thudded in front of me and something grey flashed past.

"Can you hear me?"

Yes. Yes I can. Who the hell are you? Stop hurting me!

"Even if you just nod. Just something if you can hear me"

I was nodding. At least I thought I was. This new man was very nice looking.

"She's losing consciousness Jack"

Was this man Jack?

"Get Owen out here then Yan"

Please, please stop the pain!

"No time. Get an ambulance Jack and I'll ask Owen what I should do"

"Stay with me kid"

Another flash of grey. I felt something being placed over me. It didn't help, I still felt cold.

"He says give her a shot of the antimexothnadone"

"The what?"

"The blue stuff!"

"Why not just say blue stuff?"

The pain lessened. Didn't stop, but didn't burn as much.

"Thank you" I breathed.

I felt a hand grab me by the shoulder I could still feel, "What's your name kid?"

I didn't reply. Instead I let myself tumble into oblivion.

TWTWTWTWTW

Everything was bright. Too bright. Like when you wake up and there's a glare in your room from the TV.

"Thank God!"

Mum?

"Steve! She's awake!"

Why wouldn't I be awake? I tried to tell her to stop shouting but my throat cracked. I coughed and suddenly a cup of water was placed in my hands. The water was shaking.

No.

I was shaking.

I saw my mum and dad hovering over me, their eyes red rimmed and swollen. And then I realised I wasn't in my room.

There was a constant beep in the background somewhere, and everything smelt too clean. Like fresh disinfectant. This was a hospital.

"Why am I in hospital?" I asked quietly. I noticed an IV in my arm, but I couldn't feel it. I tried to move it but it stayed still. I suddenly began to panic. What was wrong with my arm?

"Honey, we're really sorry," Dad said, "You've lost the use of your arm"

"What? How?" I couldn't understand. All I could remember was studying.

"You were attacked by a gang of boys in the park sweetie," sobbed my mum.

I couldn't remember that. I could remember a loud bang. Like a car backfiring.

"Who?"

Or guns.

"We don't know"

"Did they have guns?"

My parents looked at each other, and I knew I wasn't supposed to ask this. I was meant to start crying, or yell. That was what they'd been expecting. But I never did that. I was good at keeping tabs on my emotions. The Ice Queen.

"No. Just, erm. Knives"

"Really? No guns. I remember a bang. Two bangs."

"Oh honey. Alan feels horrible. He thinks it's all his fault"

Alan! I remembered getting chips. And I was walking home, Alan had left by then… and then… I knew I could remember something. Colours. Grey, and blue. Lots of blue. A conversation about blue…

"But sweetie, there's a woman coming in later. She's from this branch of the police. They want to see if you remember anything, just have a chat see. Is, is that okay?"

I'd seen CSI. I knew that was what the police did.

"Yeah, I just dunno how much I'll tell them. I remember colours. Shapes. A few noises. Nothing helpful though."

"Well don't worry sweetie. We'll let you get some rest now. The doctors say you need it"

As they left I realised this was the first time my mum had spoken to me in over a week.

TWTWTWTWTWTW

The police woman had black hair and brown eyes.

"Hello. I'm Gwen. I'm just wanting to see if you remember anything we can use to catch whoever did this to you"

Her eyes were too sincere. Not quite right. She was wearing boots and a leather jacket.

"You don't look like a police woman" I said. She just laughed.

"I'm from special ops"

As though this was meant to mean something.

"Well I don't remember much. I was walking. I had chips, and then… I don't know. It hurt. There were a few men I think. They kept saying names. One was…" I tried to hold my head in my hands, but only one responded how I wanted it to.

"Take your time love. It's okay if you can't remember"

It was funny, she looked like she didn't want me to remember. I was probably just a bit of paperwork she wanted to sign and stamp and get rid of. I angrily glared out of the window into the hallway. People were milling about and I caught sight of a man with dark hair.

"Wait, one wanted an ambulance." I nodded to myself, sure of this fact, "I think he wanted to help me. They both did, I think"

The woman looked slighty worried, but I wasn't. Things were becoming clearer.

"He was dressed funny. They both were actually. One had a suit on. Yeah, cos I wondered why he'd have a gun and a suit. But there were no guns. Were there?"

The woman was frowning now. She didn't respond to my question. I looked out the window again. I saw the man with dark hair again. He was talking to himself. He must have been on a moblie or something.

"I know it's annoying," I told her. Gwen. "But I can't really remember. There's this sort of block whenever I try to think about it"

She actually smiled. Then she realised and hid her face before returning that look of false comfort, "I wouldn't worry love. Thank you for talking to me"

As she left the room I frowned. What kind of policewoman was she?

She walked to the man, the one with the black hair and said something to him. He nodded and turned to leave. But as he did saw I saw a whirl of grey around him.

His coat.

His grey coat.

"Wait!" I screamed.

The woman glanced back at me, concern flooding her eyes.

"It wasn't human!" I yelled again and her eyes widened. As she rushed towards me, dragging the man behind her I felt tears spring to my eyes and sobs began to shake my body.

It wasn't human…

TWTWTWTWTWTWTW

"You're blood tests showed you were likely to reject the retcon Annie," he explained.

I was being told of monsters and aliens and danger. But also of heroes.

Torchwood.

The man in the coat, Jack, was explaining to me about how they protect people from the monsters. And how it would have been easier for me if they made me forget.

"So I wasn't really attacked by a gang?" I asked, still slightly confused.

"No. It was a Weevil. An alien"

He had a strange accent. It sounded American but with a hint of something else.

"And you saved my life"

He smiled a megawatt smile and the woman, Gwen, who'd been holding my hand, my good hand, up till that point laughed softly.

"Because that's what we do sweetheart"

I nodded. That seemed only right.

"Do my mum and dad know?"

"No." His smile vanished. "And that's why we need your help. They can't know. If they knew then they'd tell other people who'd tell more people and before you know it the country's best kept secret becomes front page news. And that makes catching the bad guys a whole lot harder"

"So I can't tell anyone?"

Gwen squeezed my hand, "We'd rather you didn't"

And Jack corrected her, "You can't"

I sighed. I could do that. "Can you make me forget?"

Jack narrowed his eyes slightly while he was considering this. "Like I said Annie, your blood type doesn't react well to our amnesia pill. Our doctor's trying to make a new version which will solve that problem but he might not be able to make it work. And it might be more dangerous for you"

"And we don't want to put you in any more danger"

I just nodded again. I didn't want to remember it. The pain, the fear. The smell. But I didn't want them to experiment with my mind either.

I had them figured out. Gwen was there to reassure me and keep me calm. Jack was completely honest. So I asked him.

"And you'll just disappear. Like this never happened won't you?"

He nodded.

"Okay," I sighed. And it was odd because even though aliens had hurt me, terrified me and taken my arm I was still in awe. And the only connection I had to aliens was Torchwood. And they were just going to vanish.

TWTWTWTWTWTWTWTW

One month later I was lying in my back garden with Alan. I was staring at the stars as I had done every night since I met Jack and Gwen. Even on cloudy nights I'd lie outside for a while, just thinking.

The world was a whole lot bigger than I'd thought. And it was brilliant.

"I dunno what you find so fascinating about those stars. They're just little dots," complained Alan. He was shivering slightly.

"Go get a blanket if you're cold"

"I'm not! But I'll get one for you. You know, don't want you to get cold"

And he disappeared into the house.

And I stared at the little dots wondering who and what was out there. And I wasn't worried. Because there were people protecting us and keeping us safe.

People like Torchwood.


A/N: So what do you think? Reviews are love, Kate