"You get your wrist out. You get your wrist out without breaking it."
"I don't know, just do it! Change the future!"
River's right wrist was held tightly in the grip of a weeping angel. A broken angel. The Doctor's angry words were ringing in her ears.
Change the future, indeed. He doesn't know what he's talking about. That stupid man knows very well that this time I just can't do it. I can't. It's impossible. He thinks that things can just… be alright all the time, that they can always go his way whenever he wants. He saw something in that book, and he doesn't want it to happen, so he tries to wish it away, and he thinks he's left it up to me to change it for him. But I just can't.
There are times when time cannot be rewritten, and this was one of them.
Mother's already read this part in that blasted book that I'm supposed to have written way back.
River took a deep breath and tried to relax her arm. The angel's stone hand clutched her wrist firmly, and there was no way she was getting out without breaking something.
It's not her fault. I know that. She's just worried about Dad. Once I'm out of here I'll help her find him.
River sighed, and tried to think about something else to get her mind off the impending agony she was about to endure.
I know how much he hates endings. He, more than any living soul, has seen the end of so much. He doesn't want to let them go, but he knows that he must. What else could he have read in the book to make him so distraught?
River wasn't afraid of losing her parents. She had kept watch over them all those years, growing up right alongside of them as a child herself. She would always be there for them, even if they couldn't be there for her. They had a bond that the Time Lord would never understand. Time and space could not keep Melody Pond and her mum and dad apart.
But he can't always hold on to those he loves. That's why he hates endings. For him it's never truly over, even if it is for us.
Sometimes, when she looked deep into his eyes, she could see that they were clouded with weight of his own past; things too deep to put into words. Only the mind of a Time Lord can bear the burden of the memories from a dozen lifetimes.
And now he needs my help. He gets so angry when he doesn't get his way.
River smiled sadly, her eyes straying to the doorway where she had last seen his coattails disappearing around the corner. There was silence from the other room, and she assumed that the Doctor and Amy were in the cellar, looking for Rory.
If I could only get to my coat, I could use the temporal displacement detector…
The coat in question was draped across the back of a chair by the fireplace on the other side of the room. River looked for a long moment at her trapped wrist, and then took a deep breath. She started to feel a bit shaky.
This isn't going to be pleasant, she mused.
"Right then," she said aloud softly, grasping the arm below her captive wrist with her free hand. "Here goes."
She took a deep breath and with the exhale pulled down on her wrist, trying getting her hand as far down as the angel's stone grip would allow it to. However, the sleeve of her dress was made out of slippery, black material that did not allow her to get as much of a grip around her trapped arm as she needed. She rolled down the sleeve as much as she could, and then nerved herself for the hardest part.
This is where it breaks.
With a strong, downward pull she wrenched her hand free from the statue's grip. She cried out as she felt the bones in her wrist snap and the scrape of the stone against her bare skin. Tears sprang to her eyes and she leaned against the side of a chair for support, gasping from the pain.
At least… he couldn't hear that. He can't know about this. Mustn't let him see the damage.
The tears rolled down her face, and she brushed them away quickly. Pushing through the agonizing pain that lanced through her rapidly-swelling wrist, she got her coat and put it on gingerly, biting her lip to keep from crying out again as she slipped her broken wrist through the sleeve.
River could hear the Doctor and Amy's footsteps coming up the cellar stairs. She quickly brushed away a stray tear and made sure that she looked, for the most part, alright. She pulled the temporal displacement detector out of the left coat pocket. She set it on the small round table, and punched in some coordinates. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted the book that the Doctor had flung away before storming out of the room.
Guess I'd better take that too.
She flinched as her wrist twitched involuntarily. A tear of frustration flowed down her cheek, and she cursed under her breath.
I'm sorry, Doctor. I'm so sorry.
Sometimes the Doctor's angels were broken, too.