Five Meetings That May Have Happened
by kbk

Hitchemus would have been a paradise for Oz if he'd been entirely human. Then again, if he'd been entirely human he'd have died hundreds of years before. But the tigers didn't seem too keen on him, and that left him as a tourist on a world he would desperately like to inhabit.

The night before he left, he saw a small group jamming with a couple of new arrivals. The guitarist was tall, skinny, and totally immersed in the music, and Oz wanted him.

The group broke up a little later, and Oz approached the man, who was beaming even as he crouched on the floor, carefully packing up his guitar. "Hey," he said. "It's my last night here."

The man looked up at him and frowned a little. "I just got here," he replied.

"I know," Oz said. "I'm telling you because I want you."

The man stood up, blushing a little, and tried to back away. Oz followed him. "Look," the guy said, "I'm... flattered, and all, but... I don't, I mean... I'm straight."

Oz blinked. "Everybody's bi these days," he said.


Fitz wasn't a hundred per cent sure the boy on stage was human, with the blue hair and all, but he was at the point where he didn't really care. If he could get past his heterosexual prejudices, a non-human shouldn't really be a problem. And the boy knew his music.

He sat and watched the boy as he finished his set, then wandered off to the bar. He had to be older than Fitz had assumed, given the ease with which he walked away with a beer, unless of course Fitz had gotten mixed up with what the age limit was here and now.

Eventually he got up his nerve enough to walk over to where the boy sat calmly observing the people in the bar. "You sounded good up there," he said, and wondered if it sounded quite as inane as he thought it had.

"Thanks," the boy said, and dipped his head slightly towards the seat by his side. If it was an invitation, it was a subtle one, but Fitz took it anyway.

"So," he said, settling himself as comfortably as he could on the wooden chair, "what would you think if I told you I was a traveller in the fourth dimension?"


Oz quietly sang the backing vocals as he walked up to the lone guitarist's campfire. He squatted a little way from the flames, and appraised the man who sat by them. He was tall and skinny and looked almost like the classic cowboy, sat on a log and serenading the stars. The man glanced at him a few times, but kept most of his attention on the strings beneath his fingers. At the end of the song, he looked up, and gazed steadily at Oz. "Isn't it a little cold to be running around starkers?" he asked.

Oz hadn't really noticed the temperature - he'd been in wolf form, out for a run to work off some energy, and had only shifted back when he'd been fairly close to the fire - but he wasn't about to tell a stranger his secret. "It's refreshing," he said, easily returning the eye contact.

"Uh-huh. That would be why you keep shuffling closer to the fire, then," the man snarked, amusement visible in his eyes before he dropped them back to the guitar, starting to pick out an oddly atonal melody.

"Maybe you should lend me some clothes," Oz said casually.

"Nah," said the man, "you're all right the way you are. But you could come inside." He tilted his head towards the blue police box that stood a few metres away, and raised an eyebrow at Oz.


It was stupid of him, of course, but each time the Doctor picked up another stray, Fitz wondered if this was the one that would finally oust him. The latest one had seemed almost criminally blase when he walked into the TARDIS, glancing around the space with nothing more than a "huh".

Then the Doctor had introduced them, and asked Fitz to give the tour while he went off and did... something that sounded horribly complicatedly technical. And Fitz realised, in the course of leading the way round the seemingly endless corridors, that he quite liked the kid.

He had a good, dry sense of humour, and the way he took everything in stride was reminiscent of the Doctor on his better days. And he seemed fairly knowledgeable about music - sometimes Fitz missed just sitting around discussing records for hours on end, as he had back in Archway.

"So, Oz," he said as they approached the living area, "you planning on staying with us for a while?"

Oz nodded.

"Cool," said Fitz. "I guess we'll have to find a spare room for you, or maybe the TARDIS will give you one."

Oz gazed at him contemplatively. "I thought I might just stay with you," he said.


The man in the corner had been strumming his guitar for most of the evening, humming the melody under his breath, pausing between each song or two to take a drink or smoke half a cigarette. Oz found him restful. He had listened through most of the White Album and a few of the more obscure Hendrix tracks before he heard one he didn't recognise. It was an opportunity Oz didn't want to miss.

He walked over and perched on the table in front of the man. "Yours?" he asked.

The man glanced up, still playing, and said, "I think the table belongs to the bar, actually."

Oz thought about it. "The bar itself?"

"Obviously. What else would own an inanimate lump of wood than another inanimate lump of... well, it might be wood. Think it's plastic, though." The man tipped his head to the side and looked past Oz, scrutinising the bar - or perhaps it was the woman sitting there.

"I meant the song," Oz said, drawing back the man's attention. He didn't seem entirely sober.

"Ah. Yes. Kreiner original, that. Wrote it for... well, never mind that." He bent his head over the guitar and drifted into a series of chunky power chords, basic rock progressions.

"That you?"

"Hmm? Oh, Kreiner. Yeah. Fitz," he said, offering up the name like a talisman.



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