"It doesn't look that far in the future," Martha says, looking around at the way people are dressed and the cars that drive by. Well, the cars that stand at a complete halt, actually. Considering the sheer number of people huddled around them in the biting cold.
The Doctor isn't all that cold. He's survived much worse (he lived in Wales for a time during the 70's), so this might as well be spring instead of late January, he says. They sit on top of the Lincoln Memorial, legs dangling over the edge as they look through binoculars to the procession taking place quite a distance away. Not an inch of ground is visible between them and the event, the entire area---Mall, the Doctor corrects Martha---is swarmed with people.
"The estimate is around two million people," the Doctor says, popping a chip into his mouth.
"Really? Two million people?"
"Historical event. People have flown in from all over the world to witness it."
"And we've gone eighty five light years from Tanezea."
"I told you it was just around the corner."
"And you won't tell me when this is?"
"Of course not. Spoilers."
"Yeah, spoilers, right." She looks back through the binoculars. "Won't the secret service worry about a great big blue box up there?"
The Doctor shakes his head. "I've got a cloaking device on us and the TARDIS, so we've got…well, relatively the best seats in the house."
"Couldn't an alien race do that, too? All these people in one place is like a target---"
"Are you really planning on worrying this whole time? This is history, Martha. Enjoy it." He sniffs. "Besides, UNIT is watching overhead for any alien threats."
Martha sighs and looks back through the binoculars. She can't see very well, but she's got a fairly good idea of what's going on. The speaker systems in this time are a lot better than when the Doctor took her to see Martin Luther King Jr's speech last week.
"Everyone seems so excited to see him elected," Martha says, looking down at the people waving American flags. "Haven't seen anybody so excited since the election back home. But that's going to be a landslide victory."
The Doctor nods. "This was a landslide for them, too. By popular vote, of course. The voting system in America makes even less sense than the Zygon voting system and you have to take eighteen years of political studies to even be able to discuss politics on Zygon."
Martha nods. "It's a real change for America."
"Britain's next to break the racial boundaries. We'll drop off a few years in the future after lunch, watch that."
"You've been on a real political kick lately," Martha raises an eyebrow.
"What do you mean?" the Doctor asks.
Martha snorts. "1776, the first session of Parliament, Martin Luther King Jr., the first woman Prime Minister, the first woman President, now this?"
"I thought it'd be educational."
"It is! I just don't know why the interest."
The Doctor looks away, then back into his binoculars. "Call it a feeling."
"What sort of a feeling?"
Martha watches for a moment, then turns back to him. "Is this the beginning of a golden age? I know you love golden ages for us little humans."
"Hardly," the Doctor says, offhandedly. "Things get far worse for the world before they get better."
"But they do get better?"
"Are you going to watch or would you rather I just get you a history book?"
Martha makes a face. "I thought you liked books."
"I like being part of history even more."
The crowd roars with excitement as the President-elect steps up to the podium to be sworn in. Martha can't properly see his face from the distance, but she squints through the binoculars. She can see a tall, slim man put his hand on the bible, while a woman in a gold dress looks over his shoulder.
And he's sworn in. The 44th President of the United States (though the Doctor reaches over and covers Martha's ears before she can get his name). Race is mentioned more than a few times by those announcing him and swearing him in.
Her mother wouldn't believe it if she told her.
Then, the speech. Martha's never even seen this politician before, much less heard him speak. But considering the incredible problems going on in America in this time period, the new President has a lot to say and he does it all in only a few words. It's surprisingly quite moving. She watches as emotion ripples through the crowd and she can feel how people react when he talks. It's more than just knowing what's said, it's smelling the cold air and feeling the crowd and being there. Right there, right in the middle of history.
"It's good, isn't it?" the Doctor asks as Martha watches.
Martha grins. "Yeah. Better than any history book."
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 773
Note: The mun is a DC citizen and is feeling fairly patriotic.
Also, thanks to marthajonesmd for randomly mentioning wanting Martha at the inauguration and thus inspiring this. You'd better write one, too!