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the fixed point

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She's thirty-four (older, wiser, but still as fiery and ginger as ever) when the Doctor comes back. Any joy she feels at the sight of him fades the moment she sees the sad smile on his lips and the pained look in his eyes. She steps forward, her first instinct to hug him, but he steps back the moment she does. And Amy knows something is wrong. So very, very wrong. He's never backed away from her touch like that before. Never ignored her comfort. Not once.

He fidgets with his hands and doesn't look up at her. It was a fixed point in time, he explains, something that's unchangeable. He babbles more after that, but she doesn't understand most of it. She tells him to shut up and just tell her what's wrong already. It takes him a moment, but finally he looks up. He looks at her through teary eyes and the moment the words fall from his lips, her world shatters.

River is dead.

.

She doesn't believe him at first; tells him to stop playing with her emotions; that of all the jokes he's ever played on her, this is by far the worst. It doesn't take long for that to fade and the anger quickly takes control. She screams and curses and tosses anything she can get her hands on at him. She tells him to fix it. To get in his TARDIS and stop River. To bloody save her!

She hits him when he refuses. It's not the first time she's ever hit him–God only knows how many times she's smacked his arm playfully–but not like this. Never like this. This time, she hits him to hurt him. Because this is River Song, Melody Pond, her little girl, he's talking about.

Wasn't losing her once enough? Wasn't letting her baby go, never being able carry her around, raise her properly enough? He didn't save her then and Amy never held it against him. She forgave him, she understood. Because at least then she was safe, she was happy. At least then her Melody was alive.

He has to save her. He has to go and find her and bring her back. Bring her home. He has to!

He doesn't say anything; he just stands there with that stupid guilty look on his face, so she hits him again. She hits him again and again, and tells him to do something. Begs him to. She hits him even when he pulls her into a hug; she hits him and hits him until her legs give out and she brings them both down to the ground. She hits him until the tears blind her too much and she can't hit him anymore. But still, she begs.

She begs even though she knows he can't do anything. Even though there are tears in his eyes and he's hurting as much as her. She begs for it to all be a lie, for it to be anything but this. For it not to be a fixed point. But it is and nothing changes. Some things are inevitable.

Time cannot always be rewritten.