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The Man in the Mirror

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The Doctor took a deep breath as he stepped into the TARDIS' wardrobe room, his mind swirling with ideas of what he looked like.

"Sort of brown" was how Rose had chosen to describe his new hair color. Sort of brown. He flashed back into the darker corners of his mind and pulled out the memory of when he, as his fifth self, met a future incarnation - a future incarnation with "sort of brown" hair. Which incarnation was his future self in, though? At the time, he had no idea.

He wasn't really expecting it to be his sixth body... and right he was. An orange mop of curly hair and an atrocious, rainbow-colored coat were what defined that incarnation. The coat had found it's way out of his TARDIS years ago, although how it happened was still up in the air. He thought he could remember that coat... and opening the TARDIS doors near a supernova... and tossing it out in a fit of rage. Whether that was a memory or a fantasy though, he couldn't be certain.

It could have been his seventh incarnation. Could have been... but obviously wasn't. Yes, his seventh self had some brown hair, but no blue suit. No trainers. No brainy specs. Instead, this incarnation was obsessed with putting question marks on absolutely everything. Question marks on the vest, question marks on the umbrella, question marks on the collar. Actually, he had had a question mark on most of his collars in the past, thinking they made him look more mysterious. Yeah... not so much. If anything, they made him look incredibly tacky. Thank Rassilon that that habit had dropped in his eighth body.

Now, he was 97% certain that the future incarnation with the blue suit and crazy, brown hair would be his eighth body. Well... he was wrong there, too. Got to love that 3%. But, since he spent a good part of his eighth form amnesic, he was well aware of his appearance long before he remembered that future incarnation he had met a few bodies back. But, no matter, he would come around someday. He still had five more incarnations left to burn.

His ninth form came around during... well, less than favorable circumstances. He had just finished destroying his home planet and listening to all of his family and friends scream as they were consumed by fire, when his body absorbed a massive amount of radiation from the blast and decided that then was the time. He didn't look at his new body for a long time afterwards. Honestly, at that point, he could care less if he was that future version that he had seen that one time for five minutes four bodies back. But, he had to look in the mirror someday, and soon noticed that he wasn't. There was a slight disappointment, but he did not have enough time to digest it, being full absorbed in other matters of Earth-saving importance at the time.

And now, here he finally was. Tenth body, big and "sort of brown" hair, a mole between the shoulders, and a slight weakness in the dorsal tubercle, about to take a look in the mirror for the first time. Well, the first time with these eyes. He had a hunch, a gut feeling that this was the incarnation. He would have been 97% certain, but because that hadn't worked last time, this time he was 95% certain.

He took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and walked in front of the mirror - a habit he had formed many incarnations back. Could this be it? He asked himself. Sure, this was probably a stupid hope, a needless habit that he had formed over the centuries to keep himself guessing. If it wasn't this body, maybe he'd just drop the whole "Am I he?" schtick and go with the flow, like his early incarnations. Just one more. He told himself. Just this once.

He opened his eyes. The shock of looking into the mirror and seeing a brand new man stare back at him was something that he had still not gotten used to, even after having already done it nine times prior. But, nothing could prepare him for the shock that he received this time.

This was it. Here stood that man, the future Doctor that he had seen all those incarnations ago, the form that had kept him wishing, and waiting, and hoping. Only, it wasn't just another future Doctor that he might regenerate into one day. This was him.

For a brief moment, it was as if he was in his Fifth Incarnation again. He flashed back to Tegan and Nyssa, Adric's death, the Mara, his adventures with the Cybermen, the Daleks, the Black Guardian, Omega, and all the bits and pieces inbetween. He remembered the time crash, when he and the future Doctor met for the first... and the last... time. He chuckled a bit to himself as he remembered calling his future self a "fan".

Flashing back to the present day, he gazed at the man in the mirror, soaking in all the emotions he was feeling.

He was finally here, and now was finally the time. He wondered about all he would accomplish, and what this new life would be like. But, there was one thing he was certain of.

This life was going to be amazing.