She knew it was the only way. A fixed point in time, but how could she do this? River Song stared at her wrist, clamped tightly in the angel's all-too-willing-to-snap-it hand. Don't blink–not blinking was the only way, the only way that angel, that bruised, damaged angel wouldn't snap her wrist, or worse: send her back where she could never see the doctor again; send her back to where she could never see her parents again. A breath of a laugh escaped her mouth at the thought of the people she loved: the Doctor, old and wise, but innocent as a young child, and Amy and Rory, her parents. Her parents who had always taken care of Melody, before they even discovered exactly who "Mells" was. They were always there to bail her out, be her friend, and above all, tell her those fantastic stories about a mad man and his blue box, that could go anywhere, anywhere at all. That was so long ago, so very long ago, and that was why she had to do it, snap her wrist and hide the damage.

How could she not hide the damage from the old man with the face of a twelve year old? River felt a warm tear escape her eye, as she realized that there was no way out. Yes, of course she could wait for the Doctor, wait for the man she loved, and put him in the agony of watching her fragile bones snap–the poor damaged Doctor, who had already discovered so many horrific things that night. Some he wouldn't even share with River. She had to change the future, for his sake, but how? How the hell was she supposed to alter a fixed point? There wasn't a way, she would have to fake it, fake her wrist not being broken. She took a long deep breath and pulled her wrist out for the angel's hand. The crunch of bone echoed through the room as she tried not to scream in agony; if she screamed, he'd come running, and realize something was very wrong. River bit her tongue, bit her tongue so he wouldn't come running, so she could hide the damage. She quickly put her bloodied, broken hand to her side, and winced as her wrist moved, as she she could hear voices in the hall. They had lost Rory to the angels. She used her good hand, and began working on finding her father. She sighed in relief as she discovered he wasn't sent back in time, in fact, he was not too far away. She stepped into the room, holding her wrist stiff and hiding it under her long coat. She revealed her findings to her family.

"He isn't back in time. I'm reading a displacement, but there are no markers. He's been moved in space–not time–and it isn't far from here by the looks of it."

"You got out," the Doctor replied in astonishment. River couldn't form the words on her lips. She really hadn't escaped the angel, at least not safely, but she couldn't hurt him more. Hide the damage.

"So where is he?" Amy's voice cut through her thoughts, although the question hadn't completely registered.

"Well come on, come on, come on, where is he?" That was his voice, and she didn't know the answer to his question. She was working on it, but one does not simply work through blinding pain. Unfortunately, that's exactly what she was doing, the only thing she could do. Hide the damage.

"If it was that easy, I'd have you do it," she replied as she continued to work finding her father.

"How did you get your wrist out without breaking it?" he asked, clearly still amazed. And she couldn't do it, she couldn't break his heart. She couldn't tell him that fixed points couldn't be rewritten. Let him think it, even if its just a little longer, let him think that that fixed point could be rewritten. Hide the damage. River Song replied with the best thing she could think of.

"You asked, I did. Problem?"

"You just changed the future!" He bounced with sheer joy.

"It's called marriage honey, now hush, I'm working." That should keep him quiet while she worked. Now she had to locate Rory; the faster she could locate him, the faster she could get pain killer for her damn wrist, which was pulsing with pain, as she attempted to find her father. The doctor still bouncing with joy said something to Amy, something River couldn't hear. She was too focused on ignoring her wrist and trying to find the coordinates of where they should already be. She gave up on her locator, but she had discovered earlier he was close, perhaps they could just look for him the old fashioned way.

"Ah, wherever he is, its only a few blocks away. There's a car out front, should we steal it?"

"Show me," replied the Doctor as he reached out and grabbed her hand. River had no time to pull away, realizing with dread that he would find out. She bit her tongue again to avoid a scream, but winced, something she could not avoid. He noticed. He always noticed. The Doctor's joyful expression changed quickly to concern as he glanced at her bleeding hand. He guided her to the steps, holding her injured wrist tenderly, careful not to injure it further but to also keep it straight. He sat her down, and she didn't object. It was too late. He headed over to Amy. She couldn't hear what they were saying. Something about coordinates maybe. She couldn't reason. The doctor came and sat next to her. He put his face into his hands.

"Why did you lie to me?" he muttered, seemingly to the ground. No more lies.

"When one is in love with an ageless god, who insists on the face of a twelve year old, one does one's best to hide the damage." She couldn't manage to change the sentence to "I'm" or "I." The doctor's eyes shifted to her wrist, and the concern on his face grew.

"It must hurt. Come here." He gently took her broken hand into his own, careful not to hurt her.

"Yes, the wrist is pretty bad too," she hinted to him. He gave her a look, an inquisitive, but understanding look. A look filled with concern yet so much love. Something wasn't right, all she could feel was a warm tingling in her wrist. Where had the pain gone? She looked down at her hand, and the warm regeneration energy surrounding it. No! He couldn't be doing this! It could shorten his life! by days, by weeks, maybe even by years!

"No! No, stop it! Stop that!" She insisted to the Doctor as she looked down at her wrist that was no longer in pain, no longer bloody, and fully moveable.

"There you go. Hows that?" The doctor asked. He kissed her previously injured hand. River was trying not to lose it–but how could she not?–when the person she loved wasted his life on her.

"Well. Let's see, shall we?" She moved her wrist around a couple times and slapped him across the face. "That was a stupid waste of regeneration energy!" she yelled "Nothing is gained by you being a sentimental idiot!" She stood up, as a lump formed in her throat. She had to get out of there before he notices. Hide the damage.

"River!" He called

"Ugh! You embarrass me!" It was the only thing she could think of as she stormed out the front door and onto the dark city street. She could vaguely hear him calling for her, but there was no way she was going back there. Guilt.

River felt a single tear drip out of her eye as she was alone to her thoughts on the dark street, in the blackness of night. Maybe someone would come after her, and she prayed it wouldn't be The Doctor.

She looked back to the building and saw Amy emerge from the front door. She wiped her eyes. She couldn't let her see her cry. She would tell the Doctor. She turned her back to Amy.

"Okay, why did you lie?" she asked firmly, but in a way, to which River would answer.

"Never let him see the damage," she replied simply. Amy came around to see River's face. She had pulled it together. Hid the damage. Just barely. She finished her sentence. "And never let him see you age. He doesn't like endings." Amy gave her a look that said that, yes, she understood. Amy wrapped her arms around Melody. Melody Pond no longer had to hide the damage, as she hugged her mother for what would be the last time.