AN/ I thought this fic would never get done in time! I had a deadline to finish it for a ficathon on livejournal, you see, and I waited until the very last minute to get it in. I don't own Doctor Who, ABBA, or the car mentioned late in the fic. (Bravo to you if you know what other sci-fi fandom I got that car from.) The character of Stazi is VERY strongly based on a high-school classmate of mine. This fic is set between 'Age of Steel' and 'Idiot's Lantern.' Betaed by my boy, Davide. (And dedicated to him.) I hope you all enjoy it.
"Here we are!" the Doctor announced, full of all his usual excitement. He flicked a few final switches on the TARDIS' console as the ship made a safe materialisation. "Earth. United States of America. Washington DC. July fourth, 1976. 6:00 PM. It's their bicentennial." He grinned at Rose. "We're dead smack in the middle of the hippie and disco era. Jaws came out two years ago, but the first Star Wars won't come until next year. Gerald Ford is the President. Everyone around here is super patriotic, and you know Americans. They like to let everyone know about it."
Rose returned the grin. "Two Brits in the middle of America when they're celebrating bein' independent from us for two hundred years? Sounds like a hostile alien planet to me."
The Doctor gave her a look. "You saying you're not up for the challenge?"
Rose stepped up the metaphorical plate. "Of course I am. Better get your platforms, Doctor."
He gave her a wink. "Only if you get into your flares."
The TARDIS' engines hummed happily as the two of them changed into clothing suitable for the time and place we were. It was as if she was wishing them luck as they made their exit. The blue box sat back contently to wait for their return.
Unbeknownst to them, someone had watched the TARDIS land and the Doctor and Rose emerge, all smiles, from the wooden box several minutes later. More than a little curious, the figure followed them as they explored the capitol city.
The Doctor and Rose soon found a disco club, much to the delight of the mysterious stranger. He saw the couple dancing under the disco ball and the multi-coloured lights, feeling the groove of the music and well and truly getting down and jiggy with it. The stranger seemed to absorb the soundwaves as ABBA blasted through the speakers, giving the party-goers energy to dance the night away.
Trouble started when some of the natives noticed by their accents that neither the Doctor nor Rose were American. The bullies, having had a few too many drinks by this time, attempted to start a fight.
"You should go back to where you came from! You don't belong here! We're free from you! Fourth of July!"
"Now, just calm - " The Doctor was rudely interrupted by a punch that was thrown at him. He had to duck to avoid a broken nose. Rose clasped her hand over her mouth.
That was when the stranger, freshly charged, decided to introduce himself.
"Oi, look! A Nazi just ran out the door!" he shouted, catching the non-too bright bullies' attention. He pointed wildly at the exit. "Get him!"
The Doctor and Rose almost couldn't believe it when the drunks actually believed the stranger and rushed out the door. They approached their bizarre saviour just as a rousing chorus of 'S.O.S.' filled the air.
"Thanks," the Doctor said, still slightly startled. He eyed the stranger, who had short, black hair and a lean face. He thought at first it was just a trick of the disco lights, but did the stranger just blink… sideways? "Um… who are you?"
"Anastazi Kotaras, but please, call me Stazi."
"I'm the Doctor, and this - " he pointed to his blonde companion. "This is Rose."
"Come on," Stazi said. "I hate to admit it, but it's too loud in here to talk." He led the Doctor and Rose out to a back street, making their exit just as the somewhat Nazi-less bullies wondered back into the club.
"I saw you land in your space ship," Stazi began once they were outside and away from any eves-droppers. Rose's jaw dropped and the Doctor's eyes went wide for a moment, but then he shrugged it off.
"What makes you think it's a space-ship?"
"Nothing on Earth makes a sound like that," Stazi answered. "At least, nothing I know of." He laughed and shifted as if slightly uncomfortable. "Than again, I can't really talk. I'm not, er… from around here either." He blinked sideways again.
"Where are you from?" The Doctor asked, only slightly worried. He knew in his gut that Stazi meant no harm to the blue and green planet they stood on.
Rose drew a blank on the name, but the Doctor's brain ticked it over efficiently. "I don't mean to be rude, although I'm known to be, but the Thenardierians aren't known for being the most… honest in the universe."
Stazi shrugged. "Yeah, but I'm not one of them. I thrive on sound, Doctor. The disco beat… and I can hear your hearts. Only one species I know of with hearts like that, Time Lord, and you're not like all the other Time Lords I've heard about. They'd never go to a disco club, am I right?" The Doctor's jaw tightened, but Stazi wore a slight smirk. "You should know not to prejudice."
"So, how'd you end up on Earth, then?" Rose asked. The Doctor looked glad for a change in topic.
"I moved here on the ever-continuing hunt for fuel. The disco beat just feels so good…" He pulled a few moves on the pavement.
"His species live off of sound waves," the Doctor explained to her. "So something like an ABBA song is like bread and butter to them."
Stazi licked his lips and paused his dancing. "And the more of it we get, the longer we live."
Rose looked thoughtful. "Are there any more of you around here?"
Stazi seemed to slump a bit. "No… I'm the only one who made it this far." he shook his head. "Long story there that I don't want to go into. Besides…!" His dark eyes scanned that dark sky. "The fireworks will be starting up soon!" He looked back to the Doctor and Rose. "Want to watch them with me?"
The couple looked at each other, smiled, and accepted Stazi's offer.
"You don't want to come with us, do you?" the Doctor inquired. He, Rose and Stazi were still outside, watching the end of a magnificent fireworks display over the White House.
Stazi shook his head. "Thanks, but no thanks. This planet is home to me now."
"Then let me just give you some strong advice," the Doctor said. "Do everyone - and I do mean everyone, yourself included - a favour and keep your head down. Don't get in trouble. Keep away from the alien nuts, because there will be a lot of them in the next few years. Don't freak out when they say disco is dead. I recommend techno, when it gets here. Oh, and please don't mate with any humans or animals."
Stazi nodded, a characteristic smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth . "So, just basically keep doing what I'm doing now?"
"Yeah, more or less. If you do anything big, chances are I'll find out and I'll come after you, and you don't want that. Trust me."
Rose nodded, agreeing.
Stazi sighed, looking at the last of the fireworks as the embers floated back down to earth. "I think I'll get out of the states. Things are just a bit too crazy here for my liking." He looked at the Doctor and Rose. "Do you recommend anywhere in particular?"
Rose almost said 'London,' but stopped herself. She remembered that there was going to be more than enough alien activity there without Stazi taking up residence. She shrugged instead. "How about Australia or something?"
"Australia, eh?" Stazi looked thoughtful, testing and stretching the word in his mouth. "Aus-tral-ia. Yeah, I'll give it a shot. Thanks." He flashed her a smile that was contagious enough for her to return.
"No worries," she replied.
The Doctor grinned. "Or… you could go to Canada. It's colder, but closer."
"I'll think about it," Stazi said, nodding thoughtfully.
"Well, that's that then!" The Doctor beamed. "Good luck down there, or up there, or wherever."
"Thanks, Doctor." Stazi smiled and nodded at his companion. "Good bye, Rose."
"Bye," Rose said.
Stazi gave them a mock salute and strolled away, whistling 'Mamma Mia' cheerily. Rose and the Doctor watched as he pulled some keys out of his pocket and approached a bright, eye-catching, yellow '76 Camaro with two black racing stripes running up the hood and across the roof down to the back bumper. He unlocked the flashy car, hopped in, and raced off, the engine revving powerfully. The Doctor smirked and turned to Rose.
"Shall we head home?"
"Back to the TARDIS?"
"Of course!" He acted shocked. "As if there's anywhere else!"
"'As if' indeed," Rose agreed, smiling.
The two of them walked hand-in-hand back to where the TARDIS was parked and were very amused to find that in the time they had been gone, she had been attacked by a group of passing hippies. Well, 'attacked' is a rather strong word for painting all four walls of her wooden exterior with every kind of tie-die, flower power slogan they could think of, but that's what they had done. An American flag had also proudly been painted across her side.
"Do you think we should try to wash it off?" Rose asked as the Doctor unlocked the doors.
"It should come off in the Time Vortex, but if it doesn't, we'll give her a bath later," he said as they stepped in.
A minute later, the grinding, rasping sound as those ancient engines came to life filled the late evening air as the blue box slowly vanished from sight.