The Prettiest Doctor of them All

Thanks to Grimm0000 for help with idea-hatching, and to my friends Loppy (Lordofpastries on FF) and Naomi for using their 'likenesses' for Fangirls A and C! Mwahs to you two!

Disclaimer: As much as I'd like to own the yummy Doctor, I sadly do not.

The Doctor woke up very confused, and at approximately the same time as himselves. Most of him looked about at where he had found himselves before taking note of those around him. A stage, it seemed, with an invisible audience in front and darkened wings to the side. Above, he could barely see the fringe of a raised velvet curtain. The stage itself was huge and darkened except for the three spotlights which each rested on him. Hims? Blasted pronouns, thought the Doctor. They never made the already befuddling experience of crossing his own timeline any easier.

At least, that was what the eldest Doctor thought, knowing the faces of his two fellows as soon as he saw them. They were his faces, after all, or had been. The next eldest, having recognized his predecessor, was now sizing up his successor and putting together the pieces. And for once, even the youngest wasn't out of the loop.

"You…?" The blond in the cricketer's uniform squinted at the tall, gangly chap he had just noticed, who was sitting up in his spotlight, propped up on his hands and grinning broadly at his youngest self. "You!"

"Me," agreed the eldest. "Brilliant to see you again this soon!" The youngest didn't seem nearly so enthused.

"Did you forget to put your shields up again?" He spoke disapprovingly.

The other Doctor gestured around at the mysterious stage. "This look like the TARDIS? Nope, this time it's got nothing to do with me." He seemed much more interested than worried.

"Where are we anyway?" asked the Doctor in the velvet frock coat, casting wondering gray eyes again over their surroundings. "Some sort of theater, apparently?" Being alarmed and threatened by unfamiliar circumstances, it was clear, was a trait of the Doctor's human companions, not the Doctor. When facing a strange situation by himself--or himselves, as the case may be--calm curiosity was the order of the day.

"And here by design it seems," added the skinny one, waving his hand at the spotlights posed over each of them.

"Excuse me," put in the blond as he stood up and dusted off his striped pants, addressing the velvet-clad Doctor. "I know the other fellow, but I don't believe I know you. I'm the Doctor. Or, well, we're the Doctor. Er..."

The older waved off a further explanation with a smile. "Oh, I know. I'm the Doctor, too."

"Middle child, him," said the eldest, nodding at him. "The, um... Eighth, right?" The other nodded. "You lose count so easily. I'm the Tenth."

"Fifth" needlessly added the last in an absent tone before he strode off to investigate the nearest wing. He reached into the darkness past the edge, and tapped something. "A wall." He frowned. "Strange place to put one. The Doctors shall not exit stage left, then."

"Nor stage right," called the Eighth Doctor from where he'd wandered to the other side. "Wall here as well." He looked over at the Tenth, who was standing in his spotlight looking thoughtful. "Doctor?" called Eight. "Is it the same with the back curtain?"

Ten stuffed one hand in a coat pocket and ran the other through his hair. "Frankly, I'm more interested in the audience. Why us, do you think?"

The Fifth Doctor shrugged helplessly. "Whi is it ever us?"

"No, no," said the Eighth, catching the Tenth's drift. "Not 'why me,' 'why us.'"

The elder Doctor nodded. "Five, Eight and Ten. No numerical logic there, is there?"

The Fifth shook his head. "Do we have any shared experiences?" he ventured. "Shared enemies, perhaps?"

The three Doctors thought for a moment. "None that some other regeneration doesn't share as well," Ten said at last.

"The what do we have in common?" Eight asked. They all went quiet again, pondering.

After a few minutes, Ten spoke up. "We're all very..." The other two looked at him expectantly. "We're all very...pretty," he suggested. The Eighth Doctor blinked, and the Fifth looked disparaging. "The prettiest faces I've ever had, as a matter of fact."

"Come now," said Five. "Who in the universe or out of it is going to pluck ups from our timeline because we're 'pretty'?"

The Tenth Doctor looked ill at ease. He glanced toward the invisible audience, and leaned toward his other incarnations. "Well," he said in a low voice, "there are the fangirls."

As if on that signal, marquee lights suddenly flashed on and began running around the sides and top of the stage. The white spotlights snapped to where the Doctors had repositioned themselves, and colored spotlights joined them to twirl around the stage to the strong drumbeat of the naggingly familiar music which had started playing. About the time when something between a female opera singer and a slide whistle kicked in with a haunting "Oooo-ooo-ooh," an omnipresent voice started speaking over the music.

"Time Lords and Time Ladies, Gallifreyans and Earthlings, companions and wannabes, and fangirls from across the galaxy!" boomed the female voice. "Welcome to the one and only Prettyboy Doctor Championship!"

"Told you," said Ten a little smugly.

"Will you please put your hands together for our three contestants! I give you: the Fifth Doctor!" His spotlight brightened considerably, and Five threw up an arm to shield his eyes. The audience rang with cheers and wolf whistles.

"The Eighth Doctor!" The Fifth's spotlight flicked back to its previous brightness, leaving him dazed and blinking, just as the Eighth's flared. He blinked too in the light, and smiled uncertainly. In addition to the applause and scattered screams, a few carnations were flung from the darkness to land at his feet.

"And the Tenth Doctor!" For him, no carnations accompanied the cheers. Instead, it was panties. Ten grinned and waved. Five looked shocked, but also a little insulted.

"These three regenerations of everyone's favorite hero of time and space will participate in a three-stage competition. The winner will receive the title of 'Prettiest of the Prettyboy Doctors'!" More cheering erupted from the audience.

"And er, what if we don't wish to participate?" asked the Fifth Doctor.

"At the conclusion of the championship," said the Voice cheerily, "all TARDISes will be returned to their owners."

The Doctors looked at each other. "Well," said the Fifth over the fading applause.

"I suppose we should humor them, then," concluded the Eighth.

"Just a little beauty pageant and we're back on our ways," the Tenth Doctor said brightly. "Why not?"

"I've faced stranger things," the Eight agreed. "Three stages, you say?" he called, addressing the announcer Voice. "What's the first?"

"The first stage of our competition," said the voice obligingly, will assess our contestants' senses of style. And to kick things off, we welcome our judges for the events! A round of applause for... Fangirl A!"

In the darkness beyond the stage, a spotlight flicked on over a balcony box, making it visible. A bespectacled teenage brunette emerged from a door and stood in the box, giggling loudly and waving so violently her arm looked about to wrench off at the shoulder.

"Fangirl B!" An older girl in brown plaited pigtails and a t-shirt reading 'WOULD YOU LIKE A JELLY BABY?' came out after the first, and bowed with a grin.

"And Fangirl C!" A petite girl with short, purple hair followed, waving, though not quite as emphatically as Fangirl A, and blew a few kisses toward the stage.

"Will the contestants please exit to the left in preparation for the first stage," instructed the Voice. All the Doctors automatically looked in the named direction. Where had previously been a black wall, there was now a dimly lighted passage. The Doctors shrugged at each other, and did as they had been instructed.