WARNING: End of Time spoilers :(
It is said that in the final days of planet Earth, everyone had bad dreams. To the west and the north of that world, the human race did gather, in the celebration of a pagan rite, to banish the cold and the dark. Each and every one of those people had dreamt of the terrible things to come; but they forgot, because they must. They forgot their nightmares, of fire, and war, and insanity. They forgot.
Except for one.
Fenn sat on the side walk, in an alleyway, in the middle of Cardiff. The Doctor was gone, two years in the future, when he would sit with Wilf in the café and tell him about the prophecy. She wondered if she would ever see him again.
"And the mind of the Ood is troubled, Doctor."
"Why? What's happened?"
"Every night, Doctor; every night we have bad dreams."
She pulled her coat further around her. She couldn't stay with Torchwood; it was hard enough for Jack, who lived forever, but she knew the future. She knew how it would go, how they would all sink and die slowly, gasping for breath. She knew that Gwen would be left alone. She knew Jack would run away. She knew Ianto's last words. She couldn't stay here.
Returning, returning, returning. It is slowly returning, though the dark and the fire and the blood. Always returning, returning to this world. It is returning, and he is returning, and they are returning, but too late. Too late, far too late. He has come.
Sit with the Elder of the Ood, and share the dreaming.
Stranded in two thousand and eight. Brilliant. Fenn tried to sort out her next step. She had no food, next to no money, nowhere to stay. No vortex manipulator and no communications with the Time Agency, even if they would help her after she broke out. She had no-one in this era that could help her any more; no Hannah, no parents, and she certainly wasn't going to try and find the Doctor's previous or future companions. She thought hard- was there anyone, or anywhere, she could go to? Anything she could use to contact some friends from other times? Even if she had to ask River for help- but no, River had her own problems to deal with, what with the Pandorica. Fenn could see her options were running out.
"The darkness holds only one thing; the end of time itself."
There was a rumble on the street and Fenn flattened herself against the wall as a car drove past the alley way, but she relaxed when she saw that it wasn't any of Torchwood's cars. It was getting dark, and cold. There was nowhere for her to go. Her eyes started to fill with tears but she brushed them away, resolutely. She wasn't defeated yet. She wasn't dead, or dying, by any stretch of the imagination. Though she wasn't fully recovered from her stunt in the Stormcage facilities, she could still run, if she had to. She could run a very long way, and find a new life for herself. Somewhere in Asia, maybe. Or even the US. She had heard that UNIT had been looking for personnel with alien knowledge.
"I'm going to die."
"So am I, one day."
"Don't you dare!"
"Alright, I'll try not to."
Fenn walked down the end of the alleyway and down the street, keeping a low profile. It was going to be a long trip.
"Have you got anyone?"
"No. Travelling alone. I thought it was better, I thought... but I did some things, they went wrong... I need..."
Fenn stepped onto the platform of the train station. There weren't many people on it- it must be a Sunday. The station was a sort of 19th century style design, and yet modern- stately yet utilitarian. She checked the time for a train to London and discovered, her delight, that it was only an hour away. She didn't have enough of the right money; she had plenty of currency from other planets, but not much from Earth. She would have to try and free load until they found out that she didn't have a ticket. She turned to sit on a bench that had been free, only to see it occupied by Jack. He just sat there, grinning at her. She turned to walk in the other direction, only to be cornered by Ianto. She growled in frustration, "What is this, a conspiracy? Aren't I allowed to catch a train?"
Even if I change it still feels like dying. Everything I am dies. Some new man goes sauntering away... and I'm dead.
Jack kept grinning, "No. Doctor's orders, you're supposed to rest until you're all better."
Fenn crossed her arms stubbornly, "I'm not going back."
Ianto put his hand on her shoulder, "He said he would come back for you, Fenn. He told me specifically to tell you."
"That's not the point, Ianto! Don't you see? I can't go back and work with Torchwood, I can't!" Fenn was looking stressed, her hair sticking out in wild directions, and her voice was rising, "I knew too much of the Doctor's future to stay with him, and he's a time traveller! I'm going to go somewhere else, somewhere far away from all of this, and make a new life for myself while I can."
She'd almost been yelling, and now people were starting to look at them, peeking at them from the corners of their eyes. Ianto looked uncomfortable with the attention, but Fenn just ignored them. Jack, however, basked in the curiosity like it was sunlight, soaking it up. He grinned at Fenn, "And how do you plan to achieve this?"
Fenn blushed, and mumbled, "I'd find my way, somehow."
"Fenn, come back. We could use your help at Torchwood. And we don't have to know the future. We'll just take it as it comes," said Ianto.
"I'm not part of your future, Ianto. I wasn't in the show- I would know."
"We didn't know."
"Are you sure you didn't know? It's a big thing to miss. I mean, I can understand the Doctor missing it; he doesn't watch much TV, but how could you lot miss the show? You live on Earth!"
Ianto looked confused, "I have this weird feeling about it, like I should've known about it, but I don't- like I've forgotten it and it's right there, but I can't remember, you know? But that doesn't matter right now. You have to stay with us."
"I CAN'T! Don't you see, Ianto? I JUST CAN'T! I'm not in your future, I know!"
Jack spoke indignantly, "Fenn, what makes you think that we have to live our lives by a show? It's not fate. It's not the set future. The future is in your hands."
And so it came to pass that the players took their final places, making ready the events that were yet to come. The madman sat in his empire of dust and ashes, little knowing of the glory he would achieve. While his saviour looked upon the wilderness in the hope of changing his inevitable fate. Far away, the idiots and fools dreamt of a shining new future, a future now doomed to never happen. As Earth rolled onwards into the night, the people of that world did sleep... and shiver, somehow knowing that dawn would bring only one thing. The final day.