Author's Note: Doctor Who and all its characters are owned by BBC.


You get your wrist out. You get your wrist out without breaking it.

He had such power over her. He asked the impossible, and they both knew it, but it wouldn't stop her from trying. Whatever her Doctor had read in that book had hurt him incredibly, and though it made little sense, she was guilty for that. It was her book, he'd said.

Her hearts raced. The vortex manipulator was still on her arm. She could try to make a jump away from here, but with the angel holding on it would almost certainly be pulled into the vortex with her. Still, she might be able to move to a place where she could reach some means to break the angel's arm. River kept her eyes on the creature that held her. It was damaged, probably not strong enough to send her back in time, the Doctor had said. If she exposed the angel to the time vortex, it could potentially feed off of an infinite amount of energy. That could potentially kill it. It could also make it infinitely more powerful. She shook her head slightly. No, there was no telling what would happen. It wasn't an option.

Which left her where, exactly?

She became aware of the sick feeling in her stomach. Oh, why couldn't he have just smashed the angel's arm? Why did he have to leave her trapped like this? Why burden her with an impossible demand?

But even as she asked this, she knew the answer.

The only way out was to break her wrist, and they both knew it. They had foreknowledge, and that made it fixed. River took a shaky breath. Time was in control of his future, and that killed him. It made him feel trapped. And whenever he felt like this, he turned his rage on her. He didn't want to hear that it was impossible. She was supposed to fix it.

Her eyes focused on the stone hand gripping her wrist. She couldn't even wriggle her arm around. With the right torque though, the bone would snap. She shuddered slightly. With only her in the room, she'd have to break the bone without taking her eyes off the angel, or it could grab her other arm. Or her throat. She swallowed thickly. It would take a lot of courage to do this to herself... courage she wasn't sure she could muster. There was always the choice to just wait for the Doctor, and let him do it.

No. She couldn't tell him she'd failed. She couldn't watch his expression fall, his eyes grow dark with suffering. Her husband was losing hope, and he was depending on her.

When she'd been trapped by a fixed point in time, certain she had to kill him, he had saved her. He'd found a way out. She needed to return the favor. And if she couldn't, she could at least spare him from knowing they were trapped.

While whatever he read was inevitably going to happen, he didn't need to know it. She could protect him that much.

River took a deep breath. And twisted.