I've had this idea in my head since I saw Big Bang, so it was a long time coming. I think I had WAY too much fun writing from the TARDIS' point of view in this...
River rushed around inside of her, trying to fix the problems that the cracks were causing. She didn't even seem to notice that the two of them were stuck in a time loop, but the TARDIS did, and she was getting bored with it. She couldn't help but think that River could have come up with something less irritating than "I'm sorry my love," at the very least.
As the universe exploded around them, she felt something odd enter the Vortex. It felt like a fixed point- of course, Jack! Oh, she had liked Jack, no matter what nonsense Her Thief had tried to feed him about him being wrong and making her want to get away from him, just to try and mask his own guilt at leaving Jack in the first place. Her traveling to the end of the universe had nothing to do with Jack's state as a fact. If someone were hanging off of your back while you tried to travel, you'd want to shake them off, too, regardless of how much you liked them.
She realized that Jack was heading for twenty-first century Earth. Well, that just wouldn't do, she thought sensibly. Jack was still in pain over losing his boy, and going back to the era and place where he lost him would not help the situation. She couldn't let Her Jack be hurt even more than he already had been during his far too long life.
Plus, she really didn't like the gap-tooth girl who was always trying to take Her Jack. Jack was hers, and Her Thief's. The gap-tooth girl was not allowed to have him. The only reason she had let him stay with his boy was because she'd seen the way Jack thought of him during the Year That Never Was, the way that thoughts of his boy had kept Her Jack sane, kept him fighting. So, even though the TARDIS hated sharing, she let Jack's boy keep him, for however short a time. Her Jack deserved someone who could make him feel that much love, and anyone who made him feel like that deserved him as well.
She went in to interfere with his jump but remembered that nowhere else existed outside of Earth. But there were plenty of whens that existed outside the twenty-first century.
She would have to be careful not to send him some when where he wouldn't run into himself. Paradoxes were no fun under the best of circumstances, and anyone who knew Jack knew he wouldn't be able to resist touching himself.
The Pretty One! Her Thief had just left him alone to guard the Pandorica. She'd have to give him a stern talking to about that. Humans weren't built for that sort of thing. But there was one person who would be able to stay with the Pretty One the whole time and keep him company, keep him from going crazy, and that was Jack, Her Jack.
The whole thought process took less time than it took River to complete the loop a single time and say "I'm sorry my love," once more. Ah, the benefits of being a time machine. The TARDIS adjusted Jack's leap and sent him hurtling back to the Pretty One's time.
Rory heard the crash on the other side of the Pandorica and drew his sword. As he slowly started to walk around it, he heard mumbled swearing and the sound of someone brushing themselves off.
When he rounded the last corner, he stopped in confusion. A man in his thirties stood there wearing what looked like a World War II greatcoat, which Rory was pretty sure wasn't period. "Who the bloody hell are you?" He asked without thinking.
The man turned around and quickly eyed Rory up and down. A suggestive grin spread across his face. "Captain Jack Harkness, and you are?" He held his hand out for Rory to shake.
"Rory." He didn't take the offered hand and Jack let it drop to his side.
"Alright then, Roranicus. Can you tell me what year I'm in? I was aiming for the twenty-first century, and judging by the Centurion outfit- which looks great on you, by the way- I missed by… quite a bit," Jack finished a little sheepishly. Rory's eyes went wide.
"You're a time traveler?"
"Of a sort," Jack said with a shrug. "I don't do it as much as I used to… as much as I will… but I still get in the occasional jump. Of course, this thing," he gestured to the device he was wearing on his wrist, "Is even more unpredictable than the TARDIS, so-"
"TARDIS?" Rory cut him off. "Does that mean you know the Doctor?" Jack smiled again, but it looked different from the suggestive, flirty one of before. This was looked like he was genuinely happy.
"Traveled with him. Is he here?" He asked, bouncing on the balls of his feet like a hyperactive child who had just been promised their favorite candy.
"Not anymore. Not for a few years." Jack's face fell and he immediately stopped his hyper kid impression.
"How many is a few?" He asked sullenly.
"Dunno anymore. I stopped counting after thirty," Rory said with a shrug. He finally put his sword back in its sheath.
"You can't be older than 25."
"'Nestene Duplicate.' That's what the Doctor said, anyway. I'm not actually quite sure what it is. All I know is, I'm plastic, but I can't focus on that. I need to focus on protecting her." He lovingly placed a hand on the side of the Pandorica.
"You're an Auton? Could have had me fooled; I would swear you were human." He gave Rory another appreciative once-over. "You know, Autons have interchangeable heads. Definitely adds fun to a relationship."
"Eyes up," Rory said dryly.
"Spoilsport. I didn't even get to mention all the other parts that are interchangeable." He waggled his eyebrows suggestively.
"Yeah, well, don't. Please." Rory couldn't help but wonder how the Doctor ever managed to travel with Jack. Everything about this man was sexual, while the Doctor was so… innocent.
"So who's 'her'?" Jack asked suddenly.
"You said that you had to protect 'her.' Who is she?" Rory stared at him long and hard.
"My fiancé," He finally said quietly. "She and I traveled with the Doctor, but then I died and got erased from time, and then I was a Roman, and then I shot her and we had to put her in the Pandorica to save her. And then the Doctor left and said he'd be back in 2000 years. I have to protect her."
Jack stared at him for a second. "Damn. And I thought my life sucked." He slumped to the ground and leaned back against the Pandorica. Looking up at Rory, he patted the ground next to him. Rory sat down awkwardly.
'So, this might sound like a stupid question, but what exactly does your Doctor look like?" Jack asked after a few minutes of silence. Rory raised an eyebrow at him. Jack sighed. "Time Lords can do this thing where they change how they look when they're about to die. I don't really understand it completely, but I've been with two Doctors. Last time I saw him, something seemed… off. He was too subdued.
"No, he could have felt bad or been scared to talk to me because he didn't even show up and try to help me with a big alien problem, and my boyfriend died because of it, so he thought I'd blame him, which I don't. It was entirely my fault, and I'm completely aware of that.
"But, really, I think that he was about to regenerate, and he was just making his rounds. So, I want to know what he looked like for you." Jack finished his speech by fixing Rory with a questioning look.
"Umm… Dark, shaggy hair. Young. Tweed jacket and bow tie, which he insists is "cool."" Rory tried to remember other things about the Doctor's appearance. "He was good looking," He said with a shrug. Jack laughed.
"Well, that last part's a given. He's not either of my Doctors, and from the pictures I've seen, he's not any of the old ones either. The young one out of them was blonde. But that means I was right. He was dying, and he tried to apologize for all the crap I've been through by hooking me up with some random kid!" Jack pulled his knees up to his chest and buried his face in his arms. Rory tried to think of some way to cheer him up.
"How bout you tell me about your Doctors?" He asked. Jack uncurled from his fetal position.
"The first one I met was… dark. Close cropped hair, big nose and ears, always wore a leather jacket with a dark jumper. He was clearly pretty broken from the Time War. And he didn't smile much, but when he did… God, it felt like there was no one else in the universe that mattered when you were on the receiving end of it. He had the most beautiful smile." Jack trailed off, staring up into the starless sky like he was waiting for the Doctor to come and sweep him off his feet.
"And you loved that one." It wasn't meant to be a question, but Jack shook his head.
"I loved him, but I loved my other Doctor as well, and I'm sure if I met yours, I'd fall in love with him, too. Thing is, for all the outward differences, he's always the same man."
"So you really love him, not just for his looks or actions, but for him, the real him underneath it all." Jack nodded. "I can understand that." He gently stroked the Pandorica. "And your second Doctor? What about him?"
"He was very different. He was tall, thin, with absolutely wild hair that just stuck up everywhere. And he had these big brown eyes that just held so much intensity, and the most insanely expressive eyebrows I've ever seen. He showed a lot more emotion than my other Doctor. And he didn't flirt with me as much…" Rory laughed at the mock pout Jack put on at that. Jack stuck his tongue out at him.
"Tell me your whole story with the Doctor and I'll tell you mine?" Rory offered.
"It's a pretty long story," Jack said.
"I've got all the time in the universe."
"So do I, kid. So do I." They both settled back, leaning against the Pandorica. "So, I was in 1941…"
The TARDIS hummed happily to herself. She may not be the most comfortable she'd ever been, but it wasn't the most uncomfortable, either. It was better than the Paradox machine, that was certain. And while she may be exploding, she was protecting her favorite planet by doing so. And two of her favorite children now had company for their long lives. They would be good for each other. Let it never be said the TARDIS didn't take care of her children.
So, there it is. Reviews are always appreciated. I think I may do a few more of these with Rory meeting different companions if people like this. Or another one with him and Jack.