If the stars are gone, there’s no logical way for Jack to be there.
It’s good he’s such an impossible thing.
Rory had been alone for far too long.
Every little sound set him on edge. This time, though, he was pretty sure someone had actually entered the warehouse that the Pandorica was currently being stored in.
“Who’s there?” he called warily.
“Captain Jack Harkness,” someone responded.
Rory drew his sword. “Show yourself.”
A man in a long dark blue coat stepped out from behind some shipping crates. “I work for Torchwood,” he said, holding up an ID.
“Don’t come any closer,” warned Rory. “I don’t trust you Torchwood people.”
Jack laughed. “Understandable. But I’m not here for the Pandorica. I’m here to talk to you.”
“Why?” Rory asked.
“You’ve been guarding this box for several hundred years, I figured you’d need some company,” explained Jack. “I know what it’s like.”
“What what’s like?” inquired Rory.
“Waiting,” Jack answered simply.
Rory rested his sword against the Pandorica. “Not for this long.”
“Not quite, no,” agreed Jack. “But long enough to understand. Who is she?”
“My fiancee,” Rory replied. “Her name’s Amy.”
Jack smiled. “Short for Amelia, right?” Rory nodded. “Nice name.”
“She hasn’t gone by Amelia since we were kids, though,” said Rory. “When we were ten she decided it was ‘too fairy tale’ or something like that. The Doctor still calls her Amelia sometimes, though.”
“You know the Doctor?” Jack asked, laughing. “I should’ve known.”
“You know the Doctor?” replied Rory.
Jack nodded. His smile faltered barely perceptibly. “I’m waiting - have been waiting, will keep waiting - for him. He left me behind, a long time ago far in the future. Actually, the more I think about it, the less sense it makes. Something’s wrong with reality which arguably means that I’ll never be born. Which doesn’t make sense.”
“No, it doesn’t,” agreed Rory.
They talked for hours that night, and as he left Jack promised to visit again.
He kept his promise, visiting several times through the century.
Midway through the nineteen eighties, though, he stopped coming.
Rory wondered if Jack had stopped existing because of the world ending before he was born, like he’d often talked about.
After the universe got reset, Rory considered asking the Doctor if Jack had ever found him, but so much was going on that he never really got a chance.
One day, they stopped in Cardiff, Wales of all places to “refuel” the TARDIS.
When he stepped out of the TARDIS, Rory nearly collided with Jack Harkness.
“Jack!” said Rory, surprised.
Jack grinned. “Have we met?”
“I- I guess not,” Rory replied.
“I was talking to your redhead,” Jack responded, nodding to Amy. “Is this the fiancee? It’s Amy, right?”
“Yes,” said Amy cautiously. “Who are you?”
“Amy, Jack. Jack, Amy,” Rory introduced. “And she’s my wife, now.”
“Congrats,” replied Jack.
The Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS. “Jack Harkness! How’ve you been?”
“Alright,” Jack answered. “You’ve regenerated since I saw you last.”
“Er, yeah,” replied the Doctor. “Wait a minute, when did you meet Rory?”
“We shared a broken universe for a while,” Jack said casually. “By the way, Rory, sorry I disappeared in the eighties - I got into a bit of trouble with Torchwood One and they wouldn’t let me into the city anymore.”
Rory laughed. “I thought you’d been de-existed.”
“If I had, it would’ve screwed up the timeline - you might not have been there to begin with,” Jack responded.
“Well I never got to thank you,” Rory said. When Jack looked confused, Rory continued, “For keeping me company. Waiting with me. It made the whole thing a lot more bearable.”
Jack grinned. “No problem, Rory. I could say the same to you.”