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Title: Doing The Right Thing
Series: N/A
Fandom: Doctor Who
Pairings: Canon pairings
Rating: PG
Words: 764
Summary: Time can be rewritten, you’ve said so yourself.
Content Note: Written for the 2011 Fall Fandom Free For All for [livejournal.com profile] gladdecease. Spoilers for everything there is to know about River Song.


“Time can be rewritten, you’ve said so yourself. You’ve done it, and you know where she’ll be now. You can bring me back my baby.”

“Amy,” the Doctor said sadly, bracing himself on the TARDIS’ console and looking away. He’d wondered how long it would take for this to come up. It was such a real possibility, taking Melody away from the Silence before they corrupted her, giving her a real childhood with her parents but also changing her timeline completely, and the rest of theirs as well.

“Doctor please,” Amy grabbed his hand and forced him to look at her. Rory was standing back, torn between letting her do this on her own and joining in. He used to wonder, when Rory stood back like this and let Amy argue time with him, if he understood that time was not nearly as flexible as the Doctor made it out to be. But then he’d realized that Rory didn’t stand back because he got it, he stood back because two thousand sort-of-real years as a plastic man had taught him how to pick his battles, even in the face of Amy’s dominance. Jack Harkness, with his history as a Time Agent, had been the only companion to ever come close to understanding time on the same level as a Time Lord, though the Doctor hadn’t yet made a decision on River in that regard.

“Please,” Amy continued. “She’s my daughter, I should be the one to raise her. She deserves better.”

----------------
      
The Doctor was just about to open the TARDIS door where Amy and Rory were waiting for him when he saw a very familiar head of curly blond hair out of the corner of his eye.

He turned and frowned at River but went over to her anyway. She was smiling at him with one of her knowing grins and he wondered where in her timeline she was. Maybe now was the time to start keeping track.

“Little risky being here, don’t you think?” the Doctor raised his eyebrows in question.

“She’ll be asleep for at least another two days,” River replied. “It's safe.”

The Doctor nodded. His scans had told him as much, “Then why are you here?”

River looked behind him, towards the TARDIS with a distant look in her eye. “She’s going to ask you to find me again. The me before all this,” she waved her hand at the hospital.

The Doctor sighed, “What do you want me to do?”

River smiled softly, “Oh Sweetie. I want you to do what you know is right.”

----------------

The Doctor framed Amy’s face in his hands and stared her in the eye. “Time is not something we can just bend to our will, even with a TARDIS. Yes, we have changed things here and there, glorious, glorious things but what you are asking me to do goes against every law of time I know. River’s own timeline is already so interwoven with not just yours but mine as well that if we were to alter it from the very beginning…”

The Doctor trailed off. What would happen? Would he have ever gone to the Library, faced down the Vashta Nerada and saved all those lives in stasis? Certainly he wouldn’t have had River there, alongside him with her own sonic screwdriver and sacrificing herself in his place. No way Amy or Rory would let that ending come about. And all the times he’d encountered River since that first meeting, the knowledge, the help, the mystery all of that wouldn’t exist. She wouldn’t be the same, she wouldn’t even be River, she’d be Melody. She might never have been born. So much of what had come about was because of who River was now. Setting aside all emotion and desires there was only one thing that could be done. And that was to do nothing.

The Doctor knew that would be the hardest thing for Amy and Rory to accept, that it would be hard for any parent to just accept. He knew that the temptation of the TARDIS would always be there as well, that they would stare longly at her console imagining what life might have been if they’d just been able to rewrite that one single event. Even he tried to imagine what that might be like. A baby aboard the TARDIS…

The Doctor shook his head, and focused on Amy again. “I’m sorry but I won’t fracture time like that. I know I’ve said time can be rewritten but there are times when that’s just not possible.”
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