Nine never regenerates, and Jack manages to stay with his new friends. Because Christopher Eccleston's portrayal of the Ninth Doctor was too fantastic for words, and because Nine never left Rose in doubt of his love for her.
At first, it was fun to do it just to see how he would respond. Flirting with Rose, that is. After all, early on in my travels with The Doctor and Rose, it was plainly obvious that Rose was off limits. Don't dance with her, don't look at her, and if you know what's good for you, don't touch her. He practically radiated the word "mine" and he likely meant that in a more encompassing way than a human man would. My first evening on the TARDIS, I was warned not to touch anything. It didn't take me very long to find out that the only thing I wasn't really allowed to touch was Rose. I couldn't help but smile at them as he danced with her in the console room. I didn't need The Doctor to give me his alpha male stare over Rose's shoulder to know that he was in love with her and would torture me slowly if I so much as made a move on her.
If you had asked me to point out a picture of the word "love", immediately I would have thought of the image of The Doctor, and the way he was looking at Rose when I teleported them aboard my ship. I wasn't kidding. They weren't even aware they had an audience. They were a couple, even if they weren't intimate.
They obviously had a deep intimacy that wasn't of the bodies, even if they were sharing a bed. The Time Lord obviously didn't sleep much, but I wasn't aware of their sleeping arrangements until I heard Rose crying in the middle of the night. I had no roguish intentions at all when I opened the door to Rose's room and was floored at what I saw.
The Doctor was bare chested but wearing pajama bottoms and was sitting nearly straight up in the bed, cradling Rose. The Time Lord's long fingers carded through her hair and his cheek was pressed to the top of her head as he soothed her. Rose never fully stirred from sleep, instinctively twining her leg with one of his. His book had been laid aside, forgotten. Whatever I had been about to say to comfort Rose died on my lips when I blundered my way into her bedroom.
The Doctor shot me a dark look. "Jack..."
"I swear," I whispered, holding up my hands. "I only heard her crying. I had actually thought of getting you, but she sounded so upset." I had even put on a robe and my trousers on.
"As you see, I have the situation in hand."
"How long has this been going on," I asked, waggling my eyebrows, unable to hide a lascivious grin.
He leveled a stormy gaze at me. "It's not what you think. We've been traveling together for some time, and...she recently had a traumatic experience during one of our travels. She's had nightmares. Go back to bed, Jack."
I nodded, not wishing to disturb our newfound camaraderie. He was actually sharing a part of the life he and Rose had led before they rescued me, even if the details weren't there. So I decided to take this as seriously as he did.
"I'm sure you'll take care of her," I added, without a hint of innuendo. Too bad, really. That bed looked big enough for all three of us. But I think I knew from the beginning that I was their friend, a brother even, but The Doctor and Rose always came first with each other.
I believed him when he said it wasn't what it looked like. So they weren't having sex. It didn't mean they weren't lovers. For a guy like me, sex is just for fun. Just because I have sex with them doesn't mean they're my lover. These two really were so sweet. But you had to know that their relationship status had nothing to do with Rose's wishes. The Doctor had to have been a conflicted man. A Time Lord over 900 years old and a 20 year old girl? He probably felt like the dirtiest old man ever. This would not do. The Doctor probably did not know that he would only hurt Rose in the long term by denying her.
So with the exception of the occasional innuendo, I decided to stop flirting with Rose and The Doctor. I decided that it was my mission in life to see them together. We were heading to Cardiff for a refuel, and Rose was going to hook up with Mickey. Things were bound to get interesting.