Same Man, New Face, My Love
It was nearly a month after the Doctor's regeneration before Rose cried for the loss of her first Doctor. She made her way to the TARDIS's wardrobe room, tears dripping down her face, with memories filling her thoughts. They were memories of goofy guy with big ears and a manic grin who stale her way to show her the wonders of the universe and stole her heart in the process.
It was exactly an hour after Rose had begun crying that the Doctor found her lying on the floor of the wardrobe room wrapped in his old leather coat. He sat down next to her and she sat up embarrassed, as she quickly tried to get her hair in order and rub away the tears that stained her cheeks. He took her hands in his to stop her fussing and she looked up at him with a blush.
"You miss him, huh?" He asked her, his voice full of understanding. She nodded.
"It's so weird," She complained, "It's like he's gone and I'll never see him again, even though I still see you everyday."
"If it makes you feel any better, it's weird for me too. I have to rediscover my entire personality. My likes, my dislikes, my fears, my strengths, and my weaknesses." He paused and looked down at their intertwined fingers, "Also, I was afraid that you wouldn't like the new me and leave." Rose couldn't help but smile at this.
"Big ears or big hair, I'm never gunna' leave ya' Doctor." She told him with a smile. He returned it.
"I know that now, and it scares the hell outta' me, and I think you know best of all why." She nodded in understanding.
"Because I can't regenerate." She said.
"Yeah." He agreed rubbing his thumb over the back of her hand. There was a comfortable pause before Rose suddenly realized something and broke the silence.
"I'm still wearing your coat." She said and began to take it off, but he stopped her.
"You keep it. It's too short on me now anyway." He stood up, bringing Rose with him, "Come with me."
They walked together out of the wardrobe room and down the hallway towards the Doctor's room. He opened the door and lead her in, and over to a desk in the corner of the room. Attached to the desk was a large mirror that ran all the way up to the ceiling. He sat down in a large chair that was in front of the mirror and pulled her into his lap. She snuggled against him; facing the mirror so she could watch him, watch them.
"What is this?" She asked, half referring to the mirror in front of them, and half referring to the way he was holding her to him. Not that she minded in the least bit the way his arms were wrapped around her waist, and the way his chest was pressed against her back, and the way she could feel his breath on her neck. Oh no, she didn't mind at all.
"It's a Timelord Looking Glass," He explained, interrupting her thoughts, "It was created to help a Timelord through the identity crisis that come directly after regeneration."
"But what does it do?"
"Just watch." He said with a nod towards the mirror. Rose turned back to the mirror and their reflections starred back at her. Suddenly she found herself sitting in the lap pf an old man. She nearly fell out of the chair but the Doctor caught her and held her there.
"How?" She managed turning back to the real Doctor who's freckled face smiled back at her familiarly. She reached up and touched his face to make sure it wasn't going to morph into the visage of an old man. He merely nodded at the mirror again.
"It's ok, it's just me." He told her as she turned back to the mirror tentatively. The old man smiled at her with crooked teeth, then said. "That's my first regeneration."
"You're so old." She said with a giggle.
"Oi! I'm over 180 there so I look pretty good."
"How does your first regeneration work?" She asked curiosity winning out, "Were you born all old an' stuff?" The Doctor laughed.
"No, we age at about half the rate of humans in our first. Starting as a normal lookin' baby. We age in our last regeneration as well, that one about even with humans but we start as an adult like a normal regeneration. We can either die of trauma or old age as if we were human." Rose was silent for a bit, letting this sink in.
"How many do you have?"
"Twelve, well, thirteen, if you count the first, which most do."
"And this is?"
"My tenth. Do you want to see my others?" She nodded and the silver-haired man disappeared to be replaced by a quirky looking man with a bowl haircut. Rose laughed.
"Not your best look." She informed him. He nodded with a knowing smile and the image changed again. Now, she found herself starring at a square-jawed man with crazy curly blond hair. "There's the big hair!"
"Wait until you see the next." The image in the mirror changed to a man in a hat and scarf. He had lots of curly hair and…
"You had the exact same sideburns." Rose informed him leaning her head against his, feeling the light brush of his side burns tickling her ear and watching it in the mirror. She smiled and the Doctor changed the image again. The Doctor was blond again and still with a hat, although a different one. "Are you wearing celery on your lapel?"
"Yeah," The Doctor admitted only slightly embarrassed, "My sense of fashion has always been a bit off." Rose turned to her doctor and straightened out the collar of his suit.
"I like this suit," She told him, "And I grew rather found of the leather." She indicated to the jacket she still sported. "S'not so bad."
"So I get the Rose Tyler seal of approval then?" He asked with a smirk. She nodded and settled back in his arms to view the mirror. Next came more curly blond hair and a brightly colored suit. Rose remained quiet and merely observed. "What no smart remark?"
"It's just you. You look different but each one still looks like you." She finally understood. This made the Doctor smile. The image changed again to show a man with small eyes and dark hair, but she was silent again letting this Doctor be replaced by another.
"Which regeneration is this?" She asked letting her voice be heard again, while observing the man with a long nose, and even longer hair. "I've lost count."
"This is my eighth." He told her, "Are you ready to see a daft ol' face?" Rose smiled and after a beat she nodded. The imaged changed once again and Rose found herself starring into very familiar blue eyes.
"Oh god," Rose said with a bit of a sigh, "I've missed that goofy grin." The Doctor's smile grew wider. He was wearing a dark, short-sleeved, cashmere top that outlined the muscles in his chest, but not his coat. Rose shrugged off the coat and draped it around the Doctor's shoulders. His arms pulled her back to him and he pressed a kiss into her hair. She brought a hand up and gently brushed her fingertips along his jawline, watching it in the mirror.
"Same man, new face." He whispered in her ear.
"Yeah." She agreed.
"We can look in here anytime you miss him."
"Doctor, you know that just because I miss the old you sometimes, it doesn't mean I don't like the new you, right?"
"You're still the same man that I love."
She turned in his arms and kissed him on the mouth. The Doctor's eyebrows shot up in surprise but he kissed back just as fiercely, as he did this, the Jacket slipped from his shoulders and fell to the floor. Rose slid her fingers through his hair and the image in the mirror faded away to the true one.
Notes: Well? What do you think? Yes? No? Like it? Hate it? Review? Please?