Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Ten, Martha
Word Count: 1530
Copyright: *looks at you* If you don’t know, then I pity you.
Summary: Slightly AU. “Ok, so on this planet you’re some kind of rock star.”
Author’s Notes: UNADULTERATED PERSONAL CRACK; probably dreadfully written but oh well. With love to finkpishnets, who told me about David Tennant With A Guitar in the first place (I was out of the room washing my hair for fifteen minutes! How was I to know what I was missing?!) For anyone who watched the Comic Relief Top of the Pops and went: “look, David Tennant in a white suit playing guitar with Franz Ferdinand! Yay!” And I could have done this with any companion, but we’ve established that Martha is my favourite, so: *grins*
He took it all too far;
But boy, could he play guitar.
- David Bowie
The city of Vygas on the planet Nyvida looks a hell of a lot like Las Vegas – according to the Doctor, this isn’t entirely a coincidence; apparently some of the first human settlers here got nostalgic – only it’s more like Vegas on every drug ever. The lights are brighter and move faster and are a dazzling array of sickening colours, every surface seems to be covered in holographic billboards, and the buildings are implausibly shaped; it’s impossible to tell how some of them are even standing, teetering on precarious foundations.
This the Doctor’s present to her; one trip where she’s guaranteed not to get in any danger, one day on another planet where all she has to worry about is how big she wants her sunglasses to be and whether she wants to go shopping or for lunch first. One last trip before she gets married and spends the rest of her life on Earth with Tom; a future she’s looking forward to and half-dreading at the same time. But that’s not what today is about.
“Is the entire planet this tacky?” she asks doubtfully, watching a shocking pink rocket shoot across the sky, trailing equally pink sparks behind it which rearrange themselves to form a brand name of some description.
“Almost,” the Doctor replies. “The entire galaxy is a bit like this, but Vygas is the heart of tackiness. Everything else pales in comparison.”
Martha scrunches up her eyes against a particularly obnoxiously orange billboard, which is loudly playing a piece of music that sounds suspiciously like Popcorn, and has animated dancing aliens in a shade of green that clashes hideously with the citrusy background.
“Good,” she says, “I’d hate to think that there’s anywhere worse than this.”
The Doctor laughs and slips his arm through hers. They stroll down the street, taking the time to peer in all the shop windows, wander into hotel lobbies (and subsequently get kicked out again), and stare at the all-singing, all-dancing advertisements.
The planet Nyvida is sponsored by Rygan Hypervodka, now with 17% more alcohol… please enjoy responsibly. Don’t drink and fly! ( And please remember, the Rygan Corporation are not responsibility for any felonies, weddings or inappropriate behaviour committed while intoxicated.)
Martha is just about to ask the Doctor if there’s somewhere slightly quieter they can sit and have the local equivalent of a coffee before she has some sort of epileptic fit from all the flashing lights, when one particular poster catches her eye.
“Hey,” she says, “That guy looks just like you.”
The Doctor makes a thoughtful face. “A bit like me,” he offers.
Martha lets his arm go and crosses the road to get a better look at the poster board. Set against a black background scattered with silver stars, a man in a blindingly white suit is clutching a guitar against his groin and clearly singing, though Martha can’t hear the words.
“That doesn’t just look like you,” she says to the Doctor, who has come to join her, “That is you.”
The Doctor makes a face. “Well… yes. Technically. Technically, that is me.”
Martha, reads the text scrolling across the bottom of the screen.
“Ok, so on this planet you’re some kind of rock star.” Martha frowns. “A rock star who has called himself Ziggy Stardust.” She turns to the Doctor and makes an incredulous face. “Oh dear. Couldn’t you have been a little more imaginative?”
The Doctor looks momentarily flustered. “Actually, David stole that from me!”
Martha turns back to the screen to find the words are telling her to push the button to hear Ziggy’s greatest hits. The Doctor reaches out a hand to try and stop her, but Martha is too quick for him, and presses the large red button underneath the viewscreen. Suddenly, the air is full of screaming electric guitars and a male voice singing; Martha has to admit that it’s kind of catchy.
Scowling, the Doctor whips out his Sonic Screwdriver and points it at the button until it gives a pathetic hissing sound and the song stops mid-note.
“Hey,” Martha protests, “I was enjoying that!”
The Doctor repockets his Screwdriver, looking a little more cheerful. “Come on,” he says brightly, “I think it’s lunchtime.”
Martha folds her arms and refuses to go anywhere. “You are an intergalactic rock star,” she says, “How is it possible that no one knows this?”
The Doctor sighs, clearly realising that she isn’t going anywhere until he explains himself.
“It was complicated,” he tells her. “The Tardis broke down for a while, I got sort of stuck in a two year time bubble here while I repaired her, and I thought while I was waiting I might as well do something mildly productive.”
Martha is still reading the words on the advertising board. “Apparently you won two Intergalactic Music Awards and have sold nearly a billion albums.”
“All right; very productive,” the Doctor sighs. “Anyway, I fixed the Tardis, she reversed time for me, and got back on with my life. Ziggy Stardust vanished; it was all very rock and roll. Please can we go and get some lunch?”
It’s sort of amusing to see the Doctor actually embarrassed; Martha takes his arm and they continue down the street.
“How does Jack not know you’re the space version of Mick Jagger?” Martha asks.
The Doctor fixes her with a firm glare. “You are not to tell him.”
Martha feigns an innocent expression. “Can I bring him a copy of your second album: It’s Not About Time (It’s The Way That You Use It)?” When the Doctor glares at her, she gleefully continues: “It apparently has the bestselling single of all time on it: You Know, In Ancient Rome They Hail Me As A God (So Why Don’t You?).”
“Stop it,” the Doctor warns with an admonishing finger.
“I really think Jack would enjoy Omnisexual Time Agent,” Martha adds virtuously.
“Just how much information was on that advert?” the Doctor asks.
Martha shrugs. “A surprising amount; they seemed to want to have your entire biography running across the bottom of the screen.” She grins at him. “Is Little Miss Medical about me?”
The Doctor is determinedly not looking at her, and is pretending to be interested in an advert for what Martha thinks is toothpaste. “I didn’t write half of them, you know,” he says after a moment.
Martha laughs. “That might actually make it worse.”
The Doctor looks kind of like he’s pouting, and Martha smothers another giggle. “Seriously, how did you not just get attacked by everyone with a grudge against you?”
“Time on this planet is very strange,” the Doctor explains vaguely, waving an expansive hand. “The Tardis created a sort of… Timic Distortion.”
Martha considers this. “Wasn’t that the name of your first single?”
The Doctor glares at her. “Stop it.”
“Did you have groupies?”
“Is there merchandise? Can I have a t-shirt with you on it?”
Martha obediently shuts up, but only for a moment. “I won’t tell Jack if you get me a copy of both albums.”
The Doctor sighs in a long-suffering, it’s-so-much-easier-when-I-travel-alone sort of way.
“Fine. Now can we have lunch?”
They’re just crossing into another street when there’s a shout from a hotel doorway.
“Oh,” the Doctor sighs.
“You’re the one who got bored enough to become a superstar,” Martha tells him, “It’s your own fault.”
Several aliens clutching cameras are moving towards them. The Doctor grabs Martha’s hand.
Martha thinks about wailing but you promised this trip would be stress-free! before reflecting that running from the alien equivalent of the Paparazzi is at least slightly better than running away from disgruntled aliens with flamethrowers. She obediently runs back to the Tardis with the Doctor, flashbulbs going off behind them.
“They’re going to write horrible things about me in their alien gossip magazines, aren’t they?” Martha sighs, when the Doctor has locked the door behind him and is looking relieved. “They’re going to say I’ve kidnapped you or I’m your horrible skanky girlfriend who has Led You Astray, aren’t they?”
The Doctor makes an apologetic face. “Very possibly.”
Martha sighs. “Bloody marvellous.”
Brightening up, the Doctor heads for the console. “Let’s go and find somewhere quieter for lunch, shall we?”
A week later, one of the nurses comes to Martha during her rounds and informs her that there’s a package waiting for her at reception. When she tears it open, she finds two square boxes with the Doctor in his very very white suit and a guitar on the covers, which she’s going to assume contain versions of his albums, and also a black t-shirt with a moving picture of Ziggy Stardust on the front.
At the bottom of the box is a gossip magazine – still called Heat however many millennia later, Martha is pleased to note – and she’s amused to find herself splashed right across the cover, laughing and running hand in hand with the Doctor.
Kidnap or Seduction? The headline demands, and there’s a whole article about how she is some kind of drug-dealing evil ex-girlfriend.
Well, Martha reflects, it’s definitely been a very weird week.