Updated for more wordsmithing. Spoilers for Lets Kill Hitler. I don't own any of these characters...

OK, even by Mels' standards, it was a bit of a weird day. Certainly, getting shot and regenerating wasn't one of the items on her "to do" list this morning. She thought she handled it pretty well, considering. There was an upside: regeneration comes with an energy boost, pretty handy if that "to do" list does include ridding the universe of a Time Lord.

So, mission accomplished. Well, almost, (die, already, would you?) This whole "death scene" part was just too boring and overly dramatic for her tastes. Her original plan didn't include just sitting here waiting for the Judas poison to claim its victim with his silly top hat. She had things to do, places to be. Things. Places. To do and be.

But beyond the actual killing part, the day scored pretty high on the weirdness scale.

She finally managed to be in the right place at the right time to meet the Doctor, after years of ridiculous near misses. He was nothing like Amy's description (gee, what a surprise – oblivious much, Mother?) Now having met him, Mels finally understood the obsession and the waiting. There was something unexpected about him. Something undefinable. She thought she would be immune to his charms, what with the years of studying him, of knowing his crimes, of witnessing his neglect. She knew he was a manipulator – he'd have to be. But still, there was something in those eyes (and that voice!) that made her want to pack it all in and run away with him forever.

But that was just silly. And he's about to be dead. Weird day.

And if interacting for real with the Doctor was unexpected, the experience with the TARDIS was surreal. She scoffed at the Doctor's declaration of her as "Child of the TARDIS" – whatever that meant – she was pretty sure she would never get the thing started. Even if she did, she would probably crash it somehow. But she had to try. She knew that her parents would have nothing to do with her after killing the Doctor, but she did have a fondness for both of them that she couldn't deny. She would save them, not because he wanted her to, but because she wanted to.

The warm embrace that was waiting for her blew her mind. As soon as she entered, she felt the TARDIS reach out for her, and her mind filled with the physics, the skills, and the love, beyond anything she could ever have acquired or imagined. She simply knew what she needed to know; all of it. She knew with full certainty that she belonged to, and with, the TARDIS.

So that was good. But weird. But good, because as soon as he got that dying part done, the TARDIS would be hers anyhow. At least she hoped it would be; she needed to get back to the warmth. And she had places to be, things to do. Sort of. Maybe she could figure out that next part with the help of the TARDIS.

And then there was all this "River" talk. That was weird. Mels wasn't stupid, she figured out that it would be an alias that went with the new body. But there had to be some deal with time paradoxes or alternate universes or something for all of them to know her already. And to speak of her so fondly. That part was weird. Whoever River was in those alternate timelines, it obviously that Mels was not that same person. The oh-so-perfect River clearly wasn't a psychopath, and by definition she couldn't be the Doctor's murderer. Mels felt a vague yearning for that kind of freedom, and for the childhood she never had. She pushed it away before it could grow.

So when the dying Time Lord summoned her, she wasn't surprised that his final words were for River. And she could understand why he was entrusting those words to her, even if it was unlikely that she would ever cross paths with her other self. So she braced herself for one more ode to the Perfect River, one last declaration of Love of Mythic Proportions.

What he actually said shook her to the core.

His message was one of forgiveness. Always and Completely Forgiven. Mels scoffed at first; there was nothing Perfect River could have done that would justify that kind of drama. Forgiving her a trifle seemed like a waste of a dying breath. What a weird way to go.

And then the dying part was done.

Mels took the long walk back to her grieving parents. She knew even before she asked, but she needed to face it. With the Tesselecta's help, she looked at the representation of River. The life-sized reflection bore the same depth of pain and showed the burden of the journey. It was truly her. Even as Mels, as the psychopath, as the Doctor's murderer, as the Weapon: she was forgiven. Always and Completely Forgiven.

And so then the living began.