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Exciting news!!!

David Tennant is returning to Doctor Who

Exciting news!!  David is back as the 14th Doctor.  He will feature in 3 specials in November 2023 to celebrate the shows's 60th Anniversary.  Read more details here 

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I will be bringing back some memories (hopefully) from the 3 series with some fun facts, secret filming locations you may not have known about and some of the memories I have of my visits there when I was lucky enough to watch some scenes being filmed of series 2 and 3 and how close I got to David and Olivia at times! 

Plus there will be a Alec Hardy or Broadchurch photo of the day plus another Broadchurch photo with cast members or an interesting video or article (times may vary) on the Twitter feed from time to time.  Please feel free to post a reply (in English please) I'd love to hear from you.  I still can't believe Broadchurch is still so popular after all this time!

This week's Desktop Wallpaper: Phileas Fogg

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**Story of the week**

This week: A 3 part story - A lost love returns + A love goes away + A love forever (with baby)

Part 1 - A lost love returns

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Six months after Danny Latimer's death, Alec Hardy had been trying to cope with life after the investigation and the loss of his love – Rose Tyler when she leaves him behind in Broadchurch to go back home when she can't bear the fact he won't do anything about getting his operation. The trial is over and as he is packing to leave his chalet when he finds her on his doorstep.

 Six months after Danny Latimer's death, Alec Hardy had been trying to cope with life after the investigation and the loss of his love – Rose Tyler when she leaves him behind in Broadchurch to go back home when she can't bear the fact he won't do anything about getting his operation.  The trial is over and as he is packing to leave his chalet when he finds her on his doorstep.

Inspired by a deleted scene in episode 8 where Alec is staring out of the window
Scroll down each chapter to read!
Chapter 1
Alec's POV

Alec was taking down all the items from the wall of his rented riverside chalet that suddenly seemed a whole lot tidier now he had sent all the case folders from Sandbrook back to South Mercia Police and all that remained was to seal up this box and wait for someone to collect it before he left.  Was he going back though?  He thought he might just apply for his old job back now he no longer had a health problem and he had proved he was no longer a failure, well maybe he was, Joe Miller had just got away with murder despite standing in his garden shed and confessing, then confessing on tape at the station.

Wherever he went, he wanted to see his daughter again, he'd missed so much of her life but the one person he really wanted was back in London with her family and whom he'd not heard a word from since she left Broadchurch and him behind.  He was just as much to blame, being his usual stubborn self and not letting a case get away from him again to the extent his health had been put on the back burner until it had got too much for her.

She had told him she loved him but it was destroying them both, she had cared too much for him, begged and pleaded with him to take the time to go get his operation but he had refused time after time to the point he had collapsed twice, once just after he had met her and he had never told her despite him eventually confiding to her what was wrong with him that he had to go easy with his love life and she had been happy to accept what he had to offer, saying it was enough for her.

He should have known though that he would have to give in eventually and he had, just before the end of the trial after yet another near miss, this time on the decking outside which had prompted him to go knock on the door of the Latimer's prosecution lawyer early one morning to write his will.  Of course he blamed Miller, he always blamed her especially when she had told him he was a complete ass for letting the love of his life walk away and for not telling her he had got himself fixed.

Ellie had left a while ago, to go do what the jury wouldn't do – dish out some justice for Danny Latimer and this time, Joe Miller wouldn't be able to change his plea to not guilty because he may have had a fancy lawyer to drum up facts and figures to steer the blame away from him in court but in front of half the population who were now probably running him out of town, there was no escape.

He had of course warned Miller that she was not to contact his ex-girlfriend under any circumstances but she had admitted she would have informed the young blonde woman who had captured Hardy's broken heart and tried to make him better that Hardy had not made it after opting to finally have the surgery he had so badly needed and even a short while ago, Miller had nagged his ear off arguing he should at least call her and tell her he had survived.

"Miller, for the last time, I'm not calling her, she doesn't need to know."

"Yes she does Hardy, you're still an ass.  Two months she was with you, she loved you and you wouldn't do a stupid thing like get yourself fixed.  Then you wondered why she went off and left you.  Did she even know you collapsed that night you were chasing Joe up on the cliff top?"

"No she was gone when I got back, drove back to London I expect.  What would someone like her want to know about me?  Leave it Miller, she's gone for good, she won't come back now, not after all this time."

"They watch the news in London you know?"

"Now who's being an ass?  So what?  It proves I was a failure."

"Well we both failed on that point as did the Latimers, well Mark and half of Broadchurch Police Station but you reprieved yourself on Sandbrook, that counts for something.  Lisa's family have found out the truth as has Cate Gillespie, think what she's going through?  Then they said I should have known what Joe was doing."

"Leave it Miller, shouldn't you be running him out of town by now?"

"I'm waiting for Beth to ring.  When are you leaving?"

"Tonight or maybe in the morning, I've not decided.  I'll have to call Daisy first, let her know I'm coming then I'll have to go give the key back.  Can't say I'll miss this place, I don't know how I let myself get talked into taking it or why I stayed after she left, I still hear her laughing sometimes, now I don't wake up feeling like I'm drowning any more, I just hear her voice."

"She was good for you, you know that?  What about now, can't you bring yourself to send her a text even?"

"No and don't you dare do it for me, it's over, didn't even get a Christmas card from her."

"Why would she send one?  She probably didn't know if you were alive or not, you left her in limbo and you talk about giving closure to the victims of those two cases and you can't give her peace of mind you're still annoying the hell out of everyone?"

Alec pulled a face, something he did when he was losing an argument to Ellie Miller.  She knew she had him there.  Her phone rang, it was Beth.

"I'm on my way."

Ellie looked at Hardy.  "So are you going to stay in touch with me?"

"You have my phone number, you'll probably call me at inconvenient times and call me names."

"You deserve it and I still think you were a fool not to follow her.  Call her, if it's just an hello and hang up, she'll want to know you're still around."

"Will she?  Goodbye Miller, say goodbye to Tom and what's his name for me."

Ellie smiled.

"You still don't know his name and you've been pushing his pushchair and looking after him?"


"I should think so and no, I'm not hugging you, you have someone else who needs that more than I do, go find her."

Ellie held out her hand and shook his and then she was gone.  He knew despite losing the woman he had loved, he wouldn't hear the last of Miller.  She hadn't succeeded in getting him to choke on the grape seeds yet.  So now he was looking out of the glass door, it was raining, what a surprise.  He looked across the river at the caravans, where his lost love had stayed with her family and she had stayed after they went home.  Her stepfather, being ultra rich still liked to spend time with his family and had brought them down last summer, a few days before Danny had been killed and he had just arrived and had seen the man's stepdaughter with her young brother, getting him an ice-cream across from the station and he had thought she was the most beautiful woman he had seen in his life.

Then he had crossed the road, just missing a car and almost knocked the said ice-cream out of the boy's hand, getting him a telling off like he'd never had in his life until he had asked her out for a drink then that had been it, he had fallen for her in a big way and the night she was meant to go home, he'd asked her to stay and she had said yes, on the condition he rented the blue run-down chalet across the river from the caravan site and he'd said yes without hesitation.

That was when he had known he loved her and they had been happy and the one night he hadn't been with her before they had moved in, he'd collapsed on the hotel bathroom floor and had told her he had slipped in the shower and unlike Miller, she had believed him and kissed it all better.  He had warned Miller not to tell her.  Then she was gone, after she lost yet another argument when he'd refused to go get his heart fixed.  She hadn't even said goodbye properly, she had driven off while he was interviewing two suspects, just after his almost fateful run from the cliff top hut.

No wonder she hadn't come to the hospital.  All her things were gone when he had got back.  No note, nothing so he had assumed she was well and truly pissed with him and that had been that but he could never love anyone the way he had loved her – Rose Tyler.

Rose's POV

The last six months had been hell.  She had buried herself in her work, gone out to charity functions with her parents and even tried to start going out with friends again but nothing could compare with the blue chalet she had shared for almost two months with Alec Hardy, the impossibly, irritating police detective inspector who had almost collided with her younger brother that afternoon then have the nerve to ask her out for a drink and she had surprised herself by actually saying yes to him.  What a nerve he'd had and trust him to wait until the night before she was going home to ask her to stay and tell her that he loved her.

He'd even rented that adorable blue chalet for them that they had looked at for a few days while eating a quick lunch the two days he'd had time to meet with her during the difficult case but when she had found out what was wrong with him, she was glad she had told him she would stay.

Now her mother was staring at her over a late breakfast when she had announced she felt sick again and hadn't gone to work.

"Rose, you need more than toast you know, now there's two on ya.  At least have some eggs or some cereal, yeah?"

"I'm not that hungry, just a bit sickly.  You do remember what it was like don't you?"

"Don't I ever?  Don't you think you should call him?"


"Well at least you know he's still around, we saw him on the news though if I got my hands on that Miller bloke, he wouldn't know which earth he was on, what sort of a jury would have acquitted him?  I reckon they were bribed."

Rose smiled, her mother meant well.  "Go to him Rose, he deserves to know."

"Does he?  If he's not got his heart sorted, how can he cope?  No, it's for the best."

"For who?  Are you even going to tell the baby who its father is?"

"What do I tell he or she?  Anyway, I go for another scan soon, I'm gonna find out, I've decided."

"I'm glad you're doing one sensible thing Rose Tyler.  The other one would be for you to get in your car or have Jake drive you down there."

"I'm sure he's left by now."

Jackie hadn't told her she knew for a fact he was still in that silly run-down shack that Rose had liked so much and that Alec Hardy would have to be prised out of it. Pete had even arranged to keep the rent low so he could afford to stay there.  They had liked Alec, he'd been so good for Rose and once she had found out she was six weeks pregnant, the week after she had come home, they had been overjoyed, well except for Rose herself who had cried herself to sleep almost every night since.  Rose knew it was all her fault, they had been out, Rose had one too many and Alec had seemed to conveniently forgot what time of the month it was for her and she had conveniently let him.  It had got too much though and no matter how hard she had tried and gone on at him, no, he was finishing the case then he would get sorted and she had stood by and let him until one day, he had been out all night working, not a phone call and he could have been lying dead somewhere and it had been too much.

She had packed and was on her way back to London and he'd not even called her. She had been so mad before she left, she had never even noticed her monthly was late, until she felt sick one morning and Jackie had called in the family GP who had smiled and congratulated her, asking who the father was.

Pete had kept the news extremely quiet, nothing had been leaked to the press and it wouldn't be, even when she gave birth in around another three months.  Rose had made it plain she didn't want Alec to know it was his baby she was carrying.  She had seen him on TV, he looked well but she had only seen by accident when changing channels last night.

She got up from the table and made her way back to her room, staring at her wardrobe.  Suddenly, she grabbed a holdall and began throwing in loose t-shirts, larger sized trousers, she refused to buy maternity clothes saying they were too 'Frumpy' then she grabbed her laptop and charger and the charger for her phone and caught one of the maids to carry her bag downstairs.  Jackie stared at her.

"You're right Mum, he does deserve to know. I'm gonna drive down and if he's still in town, I'm gonna tell him and if he's left, I'll call Ellie and find out where he is or I'll call him.  If he's left, I'll get a room at the hotel for the night."

"Let me get Jake to drive you down Sweetheart."

"I can still drive Mum, I'm not an invalid.  The seatbelt doesn't hurt now I've got that pad on it.  I'll take my time, make a couple of stops and don't you dare go calling him to tell him I'm coming down. Promise?"

"I promise.  Just make up with him Rose, I'm sure he's been just as miserable as you have.  He did look better, maybe he got himself fixed?"

"Maybe but if he hasn't, if I tell him about the baby, I'm sure he will.  Tell dad for me when he gets home and tell Tony I've gone away for a bit.  If Alec doesn't want anything to do with me, I'll be back tomorrow."

"Don't be so daft Rose, of course he'll want you and the baby.  Go on, get going and call me when you get there.  You hear?"

Rose gave her mother a final hug and one of the staff carried her bags out, covering them up in the back.  It was almost twelve, it may take her over four hours in current traffic and she would need to stop at least once, maybe more if the baby decided to move and set her off going to the bathroom at frequent intervals.

It was almost five when she was pulling into the field behind the blue chalet, driving right down as far as she could go and parking just behind.  The blinds were pulled down but they had always been like that, Alec wouldn't have changed his habits.  It was raining, of course it was and her coat was in the back seat and she didn't want to twist around so getting out quietly and closing the door softly, she put her jacket on and locked the door, she could come back if he was in, if not, it was up to the Traders hotel for the night or she might stay at one of the others.  She was tired and still feeling a bit sickly though she shouldn't be really.

She walked through the gate that led to the chalet, too many times they had hardly got through without stopping to fervently kiss and almost have sex where they were standing, they had been so in love with each other.  She had laughed when Alec had chased ducks off the decking at seven in the morning when he'd looked out of the bedroom window to see a family of them had taken up residency overnight, then he'd gone to chase them in just his t-shirt and shorts then got the hosepipe out and cleaned up so neither of them would slip and fall into the river, given Alec's frame of mind about large bodies of water.

She wondered if that had changed now?  Closing the gate quietly, she approached the door – to see Alec staring out at the rain and the river.  She blinked, he came out of his daze and their eyes met.  Alec hardly registered the sight of his lost love staring back it him like she was some kind of mirage, a trick his mind had been playing on him and damned Ellie Miller for making him think about her.


Rose stared at him, he fumbled for the door handle.

"Rose?  Is that really you?"

"Well last time I checked it was, it's pouring it down, aren't you gonna let me in?"

He stood to one side as Rose stepped in, shaking her hair since her hood had fallen down.  He took her jacket off her shoulders.

"Let me go put the heating on, you'll catch cold."

He never even noticed she was slightly larger than the last time he had seen her and without even giving her a kiss, he went off to the kitchen to put the heating on and switched the kettle on.  Then he came back out and saw her, a purple t-shirt, a blue hooded top and black stretch trousers and his eyes rested on her swollen belly, her hand resting on it.

"How have you been Alec?"

He was lost for words.  "Fine, I can see how you've been.  How far on are you?"

"Almost six months.  I found out the week after I got home, it's yours Alec."

He stepped forward a few paces and looked at her, a smile beginning to form on his face.

"You grew your beard Alec, see just because I wasn't here to remind you to trim it. You look better though."

"Yes, got off my arse and went for the op, Miller said I owed it to you to get myself fixed.  What are you doing here?"

"What do you think you plum?  I came to see you."

"Sorry I didn't mean it like that.  I meant, oh hell, you know what I meant."

Rose smiled.  "I came to tell you, my mum gave me a kick up the backside and told me to come and tell you, you deserve to know.''

"What are you having?"

"Don't know, got another scan next week, I didn't want to know last time, I was too upset.  I missed you teddy."

"I missed you too princess.  Got a kiss for me?"

He held his arms out and she stepped closer.

"Don't squash me though."

He leaned down and placed his lips close to hers.  "The baby, it's ok?"

"Fine, alive and definitely kicking, do ya wanna feel?"

He placed his hands on her belly, waited a few seconds and felt something.  Then he smiled.

"I never stopped loving you Rose.  There was never anyone for me after you left and you were right to be angry with me and I was too much of an arse to still do anything.  I only had the operation last week."

"Idiot, I thought you might have gone and died on me."

"Nah, you're not that lucky."

She swatted his arm playfully.

"Ow, what was that for?"

"For being an arse and not telling me.  So everything's over with?"

"Yes, it's all over and the town are now dispensing the sentence the court failed to dish out as we speak and the three Sandbrook killers are being charged.  Come back to me Rose?"

"Why do you think I drove all this way, just for the sake of it?  To dangle the fact I'm carrying your baby and then just walk away again?  No Alec, I've done enough wallowing in self pity, I'm going through a terrible time and you're going to suffer with me.  Did you say three killers?  What about Lisa?"

"I'm sorry Rose, South Mercia Police found her a short time ago, it was her uncle."

He felt her slump in his arms and guided her to the battered sofa where they had spent many an afternoon making out on before she had left.  He left her for a second and went to make some tea, a good thing he had some milk left, then handed her a cup.

"I'm so sorry Alec, I wanted her to be ok."

"I know princess.  She's at peace now, her family finally have some closure.  Never mind that, I want to know everything, when do you go for your next scan?"

Rose looked at him, she had been so wrong about this.  "Next Thursday."

"Well can you get transferred to a hospital down here?"

"I suppose but I'll have to go back for the rest of my things, why don't you come back with me and we'll keep the appointment then ask for them to transfer me?  You still haven't asked yet if I'm staying?"  She eyed him thoughtfully.

He looked serious.  "Will you?"

Rose swatted his arm again.  "Of course I will you plum, you got me in this state, if I've got to suffer then so do you."

Alec smiled and put the two mugs down then pulled her close.  "I'll go out and get some food then we can talk.  You still like Chinese food?"

"Yeah, like a Chow Mien is gonna fix everything though."

She saw the look on his face.  "Oh I was joking with you Alec, lighten up."

"Well you go off for six months and turn up on a miserable rainy afternoon after the hell of a day I've had and tell me you're six months pregnant with my baby, what do you expect?"

"A bit of sympathy, a foot and back rub possibly," she grinned.

He knew he couldn't be mad at her any more.

"When I come back princess, can I take your car?''

"Yeah but can you bring my things in first?"

"You were planning on staying then?"

They managed to get as close as they could when they got to bed, Rose warning him she might have to make a few quick trips to the bathroom which unfortunately was across the other side of the living room so the next morning, they took her car up to the rental agency and negotiated a rental agreement on a three bedroom house just behind the Police Station then Alec took her back to the chalet and he went to see his old boss who agreed he could come back part time in view of his new circumstances and congratulated him.

While he was out, Rose had a visitor in the form of Ellie, who was surprised to say the least to see her old friend sat outside on the decking when she had been visiting her sister at the newspaper office.

"Hi, when did you get back?" Ellie asked, trying to get young Fred to stay in his pushchair so he wouldn't chase a duck that decided to join them on the decking. Rose remember Alec chasing a family of them off in just his t-shirt and shorts at seven in the morning and she was howling with laughter which had got her into trouble when he went back inside.

"Late yesterday afternoon.  Alec's gone to see if he can get his old job back, at least part time.  You left then?"

"Yeah, I'm a traffic cop in Exeter but if he gets it back, I might come back to keep him in line."

Ellie could tell Rose was hiding something, sitting awkwardly behind the picnic table.  "Something you want to tell me?  Did you two make up?"

"Yeah, we just went to the rental agency, we're moving on Saturday, just behind the station.  I don't know why he stayed here, he must have hated it, hated me."

"Listen here you, he never hated you, you kept him going after the case was solved.  He was angry, at himself for being pig-headed and refusing to do anything and driving you away.  Did he tell you where he was that night?"

"I never asked him, do you know?"

"Yes but you need to ask him Rose, I'm not telling you.  Do you still drink coffee?"

"No, decaff tea but Alec's calling at the shop on the way back, we're out of milk, he was going to be leaving."

"You timed it right then.  I left Broadchurch but I just moved back into my old house, me and Tom are decorating, you two should come over when we've finished."

"We're going back to London for next Thursday."

"Why, what's so special about that day?"

Rose realised Ellie hadn't noticed and moved around so she could see.  Ellie's mouth opened but nothing came out.

"Oh, congratulations, how far are you?"

"Six months, my next scan is next Thursday, Alec's coming with me, I need to get some more stuff.  Now I think he'll want to go to Lisa's funeral."

"Probably, since it almost killed him again trying to solve the case.  He told you?"

"Yeah, last night and I got mad at him again for not telling me he got himself fixed."

"He made me swear I wouldn't tell you Rose, I wanted to, really I did but he needed to solve Sandbrook and if I'd told you and he found out?"

"I know Ellie, I don't blame you, I was just as bad as he was."

Chapter 2
Neither of them had noticed Alec walking back over the bridge with a bag full of groceries from the caravan site mini-market until he came through the gate.

"Thought I'd got rid of you Miller," he grinned, stooping down to kiss Rose's forehead.  "Has she been bothering you?"

Rose took his hand that was on her shoulder.  "No but she did raise a few questions such as where were you that night before I left?"


Both women looked at him, he was cornered and he knew it.

"You tell her Miller, she won't believe me."

"He was chasing who we now know was my husband down the track from the hut and he collapsed, I had to go with him to hospital, he was out cold until almost seven in the morning."

"You idiot, why didn't you tell me?"

"How could I?  You'd packed and left when I got back and I was too much of a coward to go after you because I knew you wouldn't come back until I did something about it then the investigation was over and the days went by and you never contacted me and you know the rest."

"You two need throwing in the river, honestly, you're like a couple of kids who fell out over a toy.  I'm going to leave you to it, you clearly have a lot to resolve and I expect an invite to your new place and one to the wedding."

They both looked at her as she took hold of Fred's pushchair and turned around.

"Oh and Hardy, I'm off to see the chief because if you're coming back to work here then so am I, someone has to keep you in line and Rose needs another friendly face around here, someone to give her baby advice when her grumpy boyfriend decides to work late."

So Alec got his job back with reduced hours for another month and a delayed start and he told Rose everything that night, about Sandbrook, about how he decided to get a pacemaker and why he never contacted her – because he loved her but respected her decision and realised he'd made the biggest mistake of his life in letting her go.

They moved into their new house on the Saturday and Monday afternoon, they set off for Sandbrook for Lisa's funeral and Alec had to face his ex wife and tell her about Rose, which went down better than he had expected after she thought her ex was too much of a loser to have a girlfriend let alone get her pregnant.  Daisy took to her quite easily and they promised to stay in touch.  Alec had almost died of embarrassment, booking into the same hotel where he and Miller had stayed when they'd had to share a room and he had to admit to Rose about the defence teams strategy to discredit him and Ellie.

So as they lay in bed the night before going to London and Alec facing the formidable Jackie Tyler, he told her.

"I stayed in this same room when we started investigating in Sandbrook," he stated after they had tried to have sex as best as Rose could manage.

"This was your room?"

"Not exactly, reception made a mistake, we were supposed to have twin beds but they gave us a double, it was Miller's fault."  He thought she would be mad but she giggled.

"So you and Ellie had to share a bed?  You'd better tell me you were above the covers and she was beneath them?"

"What do you take me for Rose?  Me and Miller?"

"Well you said you missed me."

"I never loved anyone else Rose, you're the only one I ever really loved, more than Tess.  I was completely in love with you."

"I was just teasing but have you anything else to add?"

"Yes, might as well.  It was the night after Miller and I got accused of having an affair during the Latimer investigation."

"What?  Tell me you're kidding?  Is that why he got off?"

"One of the reasons.  Come on Rose, you knew exactly where I was every night, except for those last two nights, everyone in town knew about us, you should have heard the courtroom when everyone heard."

"I can imagine but really, couldn't they come up with something better than that?"

"Apparently not."

"But you stood up and told them about us?"

"No, how could I?  How could I stand up and tell the court I was with Rose Tyler, Vitex heiress and in bed with her every night, it would have been all over the media and you would have found out."

"I would have stood by you Alec, you know that.  Pete would have taken care of it."

"I couldn't bring you into it Rose, you know that."

"So he got off because you and his wife were accused of having an affair all the time the investigation was going on and you sat there and let them say it?"

"Everyone knew, including The Echo that we were together, they knew it wasn't true and that was all that mattered.  Drop it Rose, we have a long car journey tomorrow.  Just say you don't believe it."

He got his answer as she began kissing his bare chest but giggling said, "Really?  You and Ellie?  You could get the jury's decision overturned."

"No because how long would he have got eh?  No, the town's taken care of it, if he goes back there they will kill him and now I'll personally see no-one gets charged for it.  That's justice Rose, who were they to judge?  They were so easily swayed.  He got what he deserved in the end, that's all that matters, now go to sleep love, you have the baby to think about."

"Yes, we do and I don't want he or she to grow up thinking his or her father was having an affair with their aunt Ellie, do you?  Tell me who the defence lawyer was, Pete will have them struck off so they can't do it to anyone else, how many other people's lives have they destroyed trying to get a scumbag off the hook?  How would they like it if he remains free and he does it again, wherever he's gone?"

He supposed she had a point and Sharon Bishop deserved some justice of her own for defending a guilty man who wasn't man enough to take his punishment, what was it to him if she was at the wrong end of Peter Tyler's own style of justice?

"I'll speak to Pete about it when we get there so just relax princess, we have to face your mother first."

Rose smiled to herself.  "You mean you have, teddy bear."

After getting a slap then a hug from Jackie Tyler, Alec was accepted back into the family with a stern warning that if he upset Rose again, even the fact he was a police detective wouldn't save him.  He figured he deserved it.  So the next day, they set off for the maternity unit and Rose waited her turn, never letting go of his hand all through the scan and being handed the card containing the photo.

"So Miss Tyler, do you want to know what you're having?" the nurse asked, smiling at her.

Rose looked at her man who just nodded.

"It's going to be a boy, congratulations."

After celebrating that night, they made their way back to their new house in Broadchurch and spent the rest of the week and weekend relaxing and Alec pampering her hand and foot and enjoying every second of it.  Pete had called to say that Sharon Bishop had received a severe warning and wouldn't be doing the same to others in a hurry and they had called in at the new office of The Broadchurch Echo to publicly announce they were back together and there was absolutely no truth to any suggestions that Alec and Ellie had been having an affair during the Latimer case and Olly took a photo of the happy couple, Alec's arms around Rose's growing baby bump and gazing at her that anyone could plainly see how much in love with each other they were.

They had decided to stick with the story that Rose had just gone home for a while but they had never stopped loving each other, which was perfectly true, they both knew that.  So just three months later, Alec had left Ellie in charge while he took leave and Rose was preparing to be admitted into the local hospital and Pete and Jackie had just arrived and Jackie was fussing after her before Alec got home. They had left Tony at home, under protest because they didn't want him missing school and it was going to be too much having him around, Jake was taking good care of him along with the rest of the staff.

"Mum, stop fussing, will ya?  I've got everything I need and Alec will bring anything else."

"Well excuse me for wanting everything to be ok for my first grandchild then? When's himself gonna be home?"

"Soon and he has a name."

"Don't I know it.  I hope the baby doesn't look too much like him."

"Mum, that's not fair."

"Well it's bad enough he looks like that alien but another look-alike?  Are you ever gonna tell him Rose?"

"Never, I told you that's all gone now.  Don't forget Ellie and the boys and the Latimers are coming over for tea."

"I know, I bet little Freddy has grown again, bless him and I'm looking forward to seeing Beth's little one, what's her name, Lizzie.  What a shame about Freddy's dad.  Just think Rose, if I hadn't made you see sense, you wouldn't be here now, waiting for that daft boyfriend of yours coming home and that baby of yours wouldn't know his father either.  Would you ever have told him?"

"Maybe, I don't know.  He was just so infuriating Mum, so stubborn but I never stopped loving him."

"I know Sweetheart.  Now let me finish making this tea party before everyone gets here.  Oh look who finally got himself home."

Rose turned around, Alec just in the hallway hanging up his jacket he wore in all weathers and Rose loved to see him wear.  She went out to greet him, he picked up a basket filled with baby things that the office staff had collected, with some influence from Ellie.

"Aw, that's cute," Rose said, picking out an orange rabbit and waving it at him.

"From everyone in the office and they all wish you luck tomorrow.  I said you didn't need luck, you had me," he grinned, trying not to squash her as he put his arms around her neck and nuzzled into it, then spied Jackie watching him with her arms crossed and glaring at him and backed off.  Since when couldn't he cuddle his partner in his own house?  Since her mother had just arrived.

Pete was watching the early news having checked in with Jake and Tony giving his dad a report on the afternoon soccer match he had played at school.  Everyone arrived for tea and Jackie made a fuss over the latest addition to the Latimer family and when everyone had gone home, leaving Rose with even more baby gifts, Alec helped her into bed and made sure she was sleeping then went to find Pete, who was watching TV.

"So Alec, you all ready to have your life turned upside down?"

"I have done it before you know but maybe Rose will teach me something I don't know."

"Oh you can bet on that, she's Jackie Tyler's daughter."

Alec smiled and thought of the woman upstairs who hopefully tomorrow would be bringing his new son into their lives.  Everything went to plan the next morning, Alec drove to the hospital and Rose got settled into her room.  Since she had private medical insurance, she had agreed with the hospital she would wait 24 hrs and if there were no signs of the baby arriving, they would start her off but just before four that afternoon, she was resting and Alec was trying to amuse her by telling her about where he grew up in Scotland and Jackie had finally stopped nagging him to let her daughter have some rest.

"So we've decided on the name then?" he asked hopefully, rubbing his arm she had been leaning on.

"Well yes though I'm not calling him Jamie for short, just because it sounds more Scottish," she half joked.

Jackie decided to put in another appearance and Alec just wished she would go back home, to London.

"Alec Hardy, I want a word with you."

Rose smiled and Alec knew he was in trouble again, for what, he didn't know and never did.  She would have found something, that was certain.

"Listen 'ere you, are you gonna marry her before that baby comes?" Jackie asked, once out of the room.

"What?  Why have you brought that up now Jackie?"

"Because she loves you, you great big Scottish dunce.  Do you know how many nights I sat up with her when she left you?  Well do you?"  Alec shook his head and she carried on.  "She wouldn't have cried like that if she didn't love you so you've had three months and you've done nothing about it, why not?"

He wondered if he had her permission to speak now.  He did as she glared at him.

"I was scared Jackie, I was scared if I asked her, she would walk away again and take the baby with her, I couldn't risk that."

Meanwhile, Rose was texting Ellie, telling her that her mother had cornered Alec and Ellie wanting to know word by word what it was about.  Rose was just laughing when she felt a pain.

Alec was not being let off the hook.  "Well go do something about it, go call the vicar or something because my daughter is not having that baby until you marry her.  You love her don't you?"

"Yes, you know I love her."

"Well call that young vicar, what's his name and get him here, pronto."

Pete had now joined them and looked at Alec, then his wife.

"If I were you, I'd do as she said Alec, even I wouldn't argue with her at this point, you're on your own mate."

Alec got his phone out of his pocket and looked at it.  Then they heard Rose call out, "Alec!  Get in here now."

They all rushed in, including the nurse, who began timing her contractions and calling for the ward sister.  Alec was holding her hand and sat behind her, supporting her.  Rose began to relax again and he let her go, motioning to Jackie to take his place.

"Where do you think you're going?" Rose asked him.

"I have something to do, something I should have done a long time ago.  Don't you have that baby yet."

Rose stared at him, then her mother as he walked out of the door, Pete patting him on the shoulders and whispering, "You're doing the right thing Alec."

"Is that Paul?" he asked when the phone was answered on the other end.

"What can I do for you DI Hardy?"

Alec and Paul were not exactly friends but just barely tolerated each other.

"Can you come down to the local hospital?  Rose is about to go into labour and I want to marry her before the baby comes."

"I'll be right there, better late than never, detective.  We'll take care of all the finer details later, how close is she?"

Alec heard another yell, something about him getting his skinny arse in the room or she wouldn't be responsible for what she did to him.

"Close, you'd best hurry and if you get a speeding ticket, I'll haul in the traffic cop and bust him back to walking the beat and you can tell them that, tell them you're under orders from me to get to the hospital to marry us."  He heard another yell, only this time it was his future mother-in-law, now that was a terrifying thought and one reason he hadn't dared bring the marriage subject up these last three months.

"Alec Hardy, get in here now," he was reminded.

He gritted his teeth and went back in.  He had no ring to give her but he knew at that moment it was the right thing to do, seeing her cradled in her mother's arms, sweat on her face, a grim look and her eyes looking at her swollen belly as she suddenly looked up and asked "Where the hell have you been?"

Jackie got up and Alec took her place.  "Nowhere princess, just had a call to make, you're doing fine, just relax."

"Why do men always say that?" Jackie asked.  "They don't have to go through it all and they're the ones who get us in that state."

"Well we do have a bit of help," Alec insisted as Rose braced herself against him again, just waiting for her waters to break, nearly getting his hand broken again, there would be a bruise at least.

"Yeah, is that right then?  Just because you never bothered to check the date."

"Neither did you, princess.  You started it and I did know what date it was."

Pete took Jackie's hand.  "Come on Jaks, they're having their first lover's tiff."

"You knew?" Rose asked.

"Of course I did, I'm a detective."

She would have hit his arm if another pain hadn't hit her first.  The nurse asked if she wanted something for it.

"No way, I'm not missing out on anything."

"It won't stop you, it will just take the edge off."

Alec nodded, he hated to think she wasn't going to take anything to help but wasn't letting on.

Just then, Paul Coates tapped on the door and put his head inside.  "Did someone order a vicar?" he asked, smiling at the couple, Rose huddled against Alec.  Jackie and Pete followed him and they were followed by Ellie, who had just arrived and had seen Paul getting out of his car.

"What's all this?" Rose asked.  "Am I dying or something?"

"Can you all give us a minute," Alec asked.  "You too nurse, just a moment, I promise she'll be ok."

They all left and Alec shifted so he could look at her face.

"I know I was an ass Rose, not following you when you left but I would have come to find you, when it was all over but I wasn't sure you'd want me back and if you hadn't, well I would have wished I'd never had that pacemaker fitted because you were my life Rose, I've never loved anyone the way I love you.  Your mother asked my why I never asked you to marry me.  It was because I was scared of losing you again but I want this baby to have my name and I want you to have this baby, our baby as my wife so Rose, will you marry me?"

Rose would have answered had she not been in agony again but she managed a 'Yes' in a funny voice and reached up to kiss him.

Alec yelled for them all to come back in, not wanting to disturb her.  So Paul did the formalities and said they could see to the paperwork later and he would take care of it but as they kissed, to everyone clapping, Rose realised she was going into labour and everyone was ushered out in a hurry except for Alec.

With lots of encouragement from her now husband and Alec thinking he was going to have to go get a cast put on what he thought was his now fractured hand, after over an hour of yelling and cursing on Rose's part, telling him it was all his fault and then telling him she knew what date it was as well and she would have told him he had a son even if she hadn't had the courage to face him and ask him to go through it with her.

After she got cleaned up and they had been handed their son, James, Alec taking some photos, Rose was moved to a more comfortable room and she was allowed visitors.  When everyone finally left after getting thrown out, Alec being allowed to stay, the baby had been moved into the nursery for the night and Alec was going home to get some rest, when his new wife let him go, they were laid with Alec just on the edge of the bed and Rose snuggled at his side.

"Why did you come back to me Rose?  I didn't deserve you."

"Because what my mother said actually made sense to me Alec.  She said it wasn't fair, not to tell you and for the baby to grow up, never knowing you and I realised how selfish I was."

"I was the one being selfish and when I found I had survived the operation, the first thing I thought about was you, that I should tell you, then I got caught up in winding up the Sandbrook case, it all happened so fast and that night you came back, Ellie had given me another lecture that I should at least let you know I was still alive and when I looked out of that window and saw you, I thought I was daydreaming, that I was seeing things.  I love you Rose, I've always loved you since the day I almost knocked your brother over to get to you."

"You daft lump.  I never stopped loving you and goodness knows why I said yes when you asked me out for a drink that day but my mum was right about one thing."

"What's that princess?"

"You did deserve to know, you're gonna make a great dad."

She reached around to kiss him and fell asleep in his arms and Alec Hardy never thought he would live to see the day his beautiful Rose would come back to him and give him a son and for the first time in his life, he knew he had done something right and silently thanked Jackie Tyler for making her daughter see sense and Ellie Miller for telling him he was an ass for letting her go.

The End!

Don't forget to read the prequel   'A love goes away'

Part 2 - A love goes away
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Prequel to 'A lost love returns' this gives the back story to Rose's decision to return to Alec Hardy when she leaves him because he won't get himself fixed. It follows how Rose Tyler and Alec fell in love when he almost knocks her brother over and the events leading up to her moving in with him to the riverside chalet in Broadchurch. Does not go into the murder investigation.

Prequel to 'A lost love returns', this story gives the back story to Rose's decision to return to Alec Hardy when she leaves him because he won't get himself fixed.  It follows how Rose and Alec fell in love when he almost knocks her brother over and the events leading up to her moving in with him to their riverside chalet in Broadchurch.

Scroll down to read each chapter
Chapter 1
A/N: Background story to 'A lost love returns' which needs to be read after this to make any sense.  I wanted to go into more details as to Rose and Alec's meeting and what led her to leave him behind.

Rose and her family had been in Broadchurch two days, staying at the harbour caravan park and never realising they had walked into a murder town.  They had been too busy packing for their trip and stopping Tony going around the house like he was on fire, jumping up and down at the thought of dragging his big sister on the beach and getting his trainers wet, which he knew his mother would be mad about but he'd do it non the less.

So they had set off early on the Saturday morning, not bothering to listen to the news, Pete had checked the weather forecast for Dorset, it was nice and sunny.  Rose had been deciding what to take with her, having looked up the town of Broadchurch, not that it looked very lively when she had checked the two webcams on Thursday night when she'd got home from Torchwood.  There were only a few pubs on the harbour's edge and the caravan park's bar and entertainment complex, which meant she'd have to play bingo with her mother as Tony would want to join in the kids activities every night.

Still, it was a much needed break, going on holiday on her own wasn't much fun and there was no way she was ever going with Mickey again after a week in Spain last year, he'd shown her up by the pool and the local disco once too often.  They'd shared a two bedroom apartment for a week and that had been more then enough and as if anything could have made it worse, he'd snored all the way back on the flight home.  She'd needed a holiday just to recover from it!

So after checking in that Saturday afternoon, Pete wondering why there were police cars darting everywhere and hoping it was nothing, Rose had taken Tony across the road to the catering stalls opposite to get him an icecream on the Sunday afternoon after Jackie had made lunch in their wide-berth caravan then Pete and Jackie had gone up to the supermarket to get the rest of the groceries for their weeks stay.

Alec Hardy was far from pleased that he'd been in the town less than a week when he'd been summoned to a farm break-in then driven down to the beach to take over the scene of a young boy's murder, that was all he'd needed.  To make things worse, it was now Sunday afternoon, he should be taking things easy but he had a mountain of files on his desk and Miller seemed intent on at least spending Sunday afternoon with her family.

It had been bad enough for him that the psychic telephone engineer had uttered a load of nonsense about the dead boy being put in a boat but to have him come out about the pendant, it had almost caused another heart attack and he wasn't sure he could survive another one if it actually happened.  Keep quiet, he'd been warned, the paperwork will get filled in, take it easy.  Yeah, Alec Hardy taking it easy, that was a good one.

So looking out of the second floor balcony having gone to the upstairs canteen to find nothing he wanted to eat on the menu, he spied the catering stalls opposite, strode back to the lift and went outside, just as Rose was coming away from the icecream stall with Tony.  As Alec came down the steps, he saw her turn around, attending to her brother, or who Alec thought could be her son he supposed.  He thought she was the most beautiful woman he'd seen since he got to that miserable place with the water, the sun and the never-ending sky.

He checked the road one way but failed to notice a car as it pulled away from the lay-by opposite and got the sound of the horn plus a load on incoherent abuse from the driver, which caused Alec to say something back and shake his fist at the driver, saying he should be arrested for setting off and not paying attention and failing to indicate.  Not that the driver was the only one to fail to notice anyone as Alec landed firmly on the pavement, which led down a slope to the catering area.  Tony had got away from Rose, turned around to see if she was following and almost collided with Alec, narrowly avoiding getting the icecream all over Alec's coat.

"Sorry Mister," Tony managed to say before taking a lick of the cone, never bothering to see if any had got on the man's coat.

Tony turned back around to see Rose behind him, who had seen what had happened and was intent on blaming the man who'd almost got knocked over by a car and then himself almost knocked her brother over, despite Tony's back being to him at the time.  After all, the man had twice not been looking where he was going, he was an accident just waiting to happen in her opinion.

"What the hell are you doing?  Why don't you look where you're going?"

Alec wondered if she was talking to him, the boy or someone who'd appeared behind him, probably Miller come to spy on him.

"Excuse me, are you talking to me?"

"Well who do you think I'm talking to?  The invisible man?"

Alec was offended, who did she think she was?

"Well I hope you were not talking to me, Miss?  Or is that Mrs?  Perhaps you had better teach the boy to look where he's going?  He could have got that cone all down my coat.''

"What?  It was you who came dashing across that road, not looking to see if any cars were coming and almost getting knocked over, then you're clumsy and nearly knocked my brother over."

Well at least he had learned something he supposed but now she was in full session.  All he could do was stand and stare at her and wait until she had finished, then he was going to ask her out for a drink or two.

Rose was furious, who did he think he was?

"You're the one to blame, coming over the road like that, didn't you see my brother standing there?  If you'd been looking instead of being in such a hurry to get across the road, what was your rush anyway?  Not only could you have got that icecream all over your coat and knocked it out of his hand, you could have knocked him over and hurt him.  Well?  Aren't you going to at least say sorry to him?"

Alec was still waiting for the chance to get a word in, not that he was minding but she seemed to be loosing steam now, she had folded her arms and looked like she was demanding an apology from him.  Alec Hardy hardly ever apologised, well not in a long time, especially to his newly acquired DS, who had been a thorn in his side since they met on the beach on Friday morning and two days later this was the first chance he'd had to breathe.

"Have you quite finished?" he enquired, eyeing the boy who had gone to sit at a bench at the side of them.

Tony was swinging his legs and eating his cone, completely unaware his sister was now eyeing the man who had knocked him over and thought it was funny the way she had been telling him off.  It was like watching his mother chastise him for playing at being a police car when uncle Mickey would pretend he was a villain and let him chase him.

Rose had to admit she'd run out of complaints against the stranger.  She uncrossed her arms and put her hands on her hips, that Alec noticed were clad in tight blue jeans, covered by a blue floral top that had the top two buttons unfastened.  He prided himself on his powers of observation, especially when it came to young blondes, if they weren't called Becca Fisher that was.

Becca had already tried to lay the charm on him but he wasn't in the market to be chatted up by an Australian hotel owner who was obviously looking for a boyfriend.

"For now.  Well, say sorry to him then."

Alec turned to the boy who now had icecream over his face.  Rose got a tissue out of her pocket and proceeded to wipe it off, making Tony squirm and pull faces at her.

Alec decided to swallow his pride and bend his 'no apology' rule, since it had been partly his fault because he had been too busy staring at the boy's big sister before she'd had the chance to walk away.

"Okay young man, I'm sorry for almost knocking you over, it was entirely my fault but a word of advice."

He stopped as Rose was glaring at him again.  Alec wasn't going to win this one, he could tell so he changed his mind about giving the boy a lecture of looking where he was going and not where he'd been or turn to talk to someone.

"Right, we'll say no more then, since you were busy looking for your sister."

"That's okay Mister, did I get any of my icecream on your coat then?" Tony grinned.

"No, luckily.  What's your name young man?"

Tony looked at Rose, knowing his dad had constantly grilled it into him never to give his name to strangers without whoever was out with him's say-so.

"It's okay, you can tell him," Rose assured him as Alec went into his pocket to bring out his ID card.

"Tony Tyler, that's my big sister, Rose.  Rose, can we go to the beach now, you promised."

Alec looked over to her, had she accepted his apology?

"In a minute Tony, when I've finished talking.  So do you make a habit of dashing across the road to knock down small boys, or was this a first for you, Detective Inspector Hardy?" she asked as she read from the card.

She noticed in the photo he had looked less tired than the man now putting the ID back in his pocket.

"No, that was a first and I was distracted anyway."

"You were so distracted you almost got run over by that car?  What caused that then?  Did you want something to eat or drink so badly to almost get yourself killed or injured?"

Alec considered her words.  If he'd got himself knocked over, he'd be taken to hospital and his new chief would discover his secret he'd managed so far to keep quiet about but if he was unlucky, it would all be over for him.  It would anyway if he didn't get himself sorted and he would have to check how many pills he had left as in his haste to leave Sandbrook, he'd neglected to stock up on them.

"No, actually, I was in a hurry to talk to you, before you walked off."  There, he'd admitted it and now she would either laugh at him, slap his face and then tell him to get lost or accept his offer.  So far, she was doing none of them, which was maybe a good sign.

"What?  Why would you want to talk to me?  Have we even met before?  Have we contacted you?" Rose asked.

"Has who contacted me?"

"Torchwood of course, who'd ya think?"

"What the hell has Torchwood got to do with anything?"  Then it dawned on him.  "Oh, you're one of them are you?  Come to take over my investigation have you?  Well I've got news for you, Miss Tyler, that's never going to happen whilst ever I'm in this town and in charge."

"What's that then?  What investigation might that be?"

Tony had got tired of waiting, Rose was taking her time getting gooey-eyed over the man who'd just almost knocked him over.

''Don't be so coy Miss Tyler, you know very well what investigation I mean and you can forget it."

"I've got no idea what you're talking about.  Come on Tony, let's go."

"Hang on a moment, not so fast.  If Torchwood are in town, it can only mean one thing, you lot think this is not an ordinary death, that's the only reason you come in and take over a police investigation."

"I've got no idea what investigation you're on about, detective inspector and would I really be trying to take it over by bringing my young stepbrother along?  Really?"

Alec supposed she could have a point.  "Okay then, where are the rest of your team?  There's nothing here for you, I can assure you of that."

"I've still no idea what you're talking about and if you don't mind, I'd rather not find out in front of Tony, thanks very much."

"You mean you don't watch the news then?" Alec smirked, thinking he was one up on the pretty blonde who was getting annoyed with him.

"No, we only arrived yesterday afternoon and by 'we' I mean Tony and my mum and dad, no Torchwood team and should we even be discussing this in a public place?  We never announce our arrival to the whole town, even when we do take something over, which I can assure you we haven't."

"Really, you've not seen the news?  Don't you keep up on current events?  Some Torchwood agent you are then."

"Excuse me, who even said I was a Torchwood agent?  You just assumed I was."

"Well you are, are you not?  Who else would you be?"

He had her on that point.  "Well, assuming I were, I wouldn't come here on holiday with my family, who'd do that?"

''For starters, you, probably."

He could see she was about to blow up with him.  This was his excuse to ask her out, then if it didn't work out, he could just say he was trying to find out if the organisation really was involved or she was just here on holiday but who went to a murder town, with a young boy if they already knew what had happened?

"Have a drink with me, tonight and I'll tell you."

"Huh?  You almost knock down my brother, accuse me of being a Torchwood agent then have the nerve to ask me for a drink?"

"Is that a yes then?  Where are you staying?"

Tony decided he'd been left out of the conversation for too long.

"We've got a caravan, over there," Tony pointed, Alec turning to the left at the boy sticking his arm out.

"Then meet me in the club bar at eight and I'll tell you my theory as to why I think you want to take over here but I'll make it clear, you're not so don't even think you are."

"I had no such intention, so are you gonna tell me what happened here then or what?"

"You really don't watch the news, do you?  Watch it when you get back or get a copy of the local paper."

"My mum banned my stepfather from watching the news while we're here so I can't."

"Well watch it in the bar then, some agent you are."

Rose thought she had been more than patient with the scruffy detective with no manners whatsoever, even if he did look vaguely familiar but that still wasn't going to get him a date.  It would though get her out of playing bingo again since her mother showed her up last night, not that Jackie Tyler needed to win the jackpot game for the full house, without sharing.

"Okay then, my curiosity's just got the better of me, I'll meet you but it's not a date so don't even think it is."

"Of course not, Miss Tyler, if you say so but what makes you think I'm asking you out on a date?"

"Oh, so I'm not good enough to ask out for a date then, am I?"

"I never said that, geez, how does your brother put up with you?  Eight in the camp's bar or if you don't want to be seen with me, outside in the seating area and you can bring your own drink if you like."

"Cheapskate," Rose thought, taking Tony's hand as he was thinking about taking himself around the corner to the beach since Rose was arguing with this bloke.

"I might be there, just out of curiosity, like I said and how does anyone put up with you, you’re hard work."

Alec thought she'd seen nothing yet and he no longer thought Miller was the only irritating woman around here, Rose Tyler had come to town.
Chapter 2
Alec resumed his mission to get himself something to eat, opting for a healthy baked potato with cheese and salad and a pot of decent tea after Rose had left him without another word between them, Rose had firmly gripped Tony's hand again and she had walked back up the slope and around the corner of the wall that separated the catering area from the car park behind it.  He sat and waited for his meal, wondering just how he'd made up his mind to one minute be asking her out for a drink and the next telling her to bring her own.

She was irritating to say the least but she'd already seemed to think that about him and he thought Miller was bad enough.  If Rose Tyler was there in the capacity of a Torchwood agent though, did he really want anything to do with her?  Now though, he'd maybe given her ideas and if she hadn't been in town for that reason, she would go back and inform her stepfather, whom he knew was the director and talk him into sending a team down after all and muscle in.

Well that was not going to happen, under any circumstances, he was quite sure of that, even though the thought of working alongside her was somehow quite appealing as opposed to working alongside Miller, who clearly detested him, complained when he made himself a cup of tea and didn't make one for her and commented he should get his breakfast at the hotel and not leave crumbs of toast all over the break room.  Then Miller had been trying to find out what the crank telephone engineer had meant about the pendant and there was no way he was going into details and sharing that with her.

Rose had got around the corner onto the rest of the esplanade, lifting Tony onto the wide stone wall and holding his hand as he walked, purposely bumping into Rose and laughing, Rose bumping him back.  He suddenly stopped.

"Rose, I thought we were going onto the beach.  Was that man really a policeman?"

"Yeah, so he said.  He didn't hurt you when he bumped into you did he?"

"Nope, it would have been funny if I'd got icecream on his coat though, wouldn't it?"

"Well he wouldn't have thought so.  Come on you, let's find a way onto the beach then but take off your trainers or mum will go nuts with you, you little terror."

"Aw but it's more fun if I go in the water in my trainers Rose.  Did you like that man?  I think he liked you."

"Rubbish, he was rude and doesn't look where he's going," Rose huffed.

"I saw him crossing the road, that car nearly got him and he shook his fist at the driver," Tony replied, shaking his fist and pulling a face.

"I don't need a demonstration thanks."  Just then, her mobile rang.

"Oh hi Mum.  How's the shopping going?"

"For a Sunday, the supermarket's packed.  You two okay?"

"Yeah, take your time, we're just going on the beach, we got held up"

She wanted to say by a scruffy police detective but her mother would have asked too many questions.

"Rose, tell mum about that policeman," Tony interrupted, now sat on the wall swinging his legs again.

"What did Tony just say?" Jackie asked.

"Nothing, we were just talking to someone, that's all.  I need to talk to dad when you get back.  I know why all those police cars are over by the harbour."

"Rose, you know I banned you and Pete from watching the news, we’re supposed to be on holiday.  How do you know?"

"Because I just met a police detective, that's how.  I'll tell you when you both get back."

Rose hung up and carried on walking, should she get her stepfather involved?  Alec Hardy did not seem like the kind of man who would let Torchwood walk all over him and take over his investigation, he'd told her bluntly anyway that he wouldn't but the man did not look like he had much patience either, particularly for getting the case solved in the least amount of time.

She had noted he hadn't looked at his best, compared with the photo on his ID card.  Maybe there was something wrong with him but he wouldn't tell her, even if she did sneak off later to go meet him instead of being shown up at bingo again by her mother.  Settling Tony on the beach, after taking his trainers and socks off, she got her phone out to check up on one DI Alec Hardy, knowing full well her mother had banned her checking the news but not banning the internet altogether.

As Rose sat on the beach, watching out of one eye at her brother splashing up and down in the water, thankful she'd got him out of his jeans and her mother had put his swimming trunks on underneath and she'd stuffed a small towel in her shoulder bag, Alec was finishing the last of his tea before going back to the station and decided to get his phone out and look up one Rose Tyler, the irritating  blonde whom he couldn't stop thinking about and the way she had scolded him, she'd looked really sexy whilst doing it.

He got the usual public profile of Miss Rose Tyler, how she had been adopted when her mother had married the chairman of the Vitex corporation and current director of Torchwood, well the new regime.  Alec knew about the old one and to say he'd disapproved of them was a bit of an understatement, he'd detested them even before they had let the Cybermen vanish into thin air, which had taken three years so they'd really had no excuse in his book, it had been careless of them to say the very least.

He had thought at the time how could they have not noticed they had been infiltrated and been used to transport around five million Cybermen to wherever they'd gone, which according to the rumours, had been to a parallel world, not that anyone had actually believed that.  Well maybe he had – slightly but he was the product of being left to his own devices as a boy with a never-ending supply of comics about other worlds, all like their own.  So now, he could actually believe it but even this new version of Torchwood, he couldn't get past the fact a lot of members had got their jobs back and this Rose Tyler he'd just met, maybe she had got her old job back as well.

Getting nothing new on Torchwood, he put his phone away and decided instead of going back to the station, to take a walk along the esplanade.  Not because Rose Tyler and her brother had gone in that direction he'd almost convinced himself but because he could take a shortcut back to the hotel that way, despite it all being uphill and he really shouldn't be contemplating that in his current condition but if he walked through the streets, more gradually, it would save him walking all the way around.  Not that he thought he would bump into the irritating blonde again.

He passed the icecream stand, smiling to himself that if Rose's young brother had got one from there, he would never have knocked into the boy and Rose would not have scolded him.  Perhaps that would have been better, now he was never going to stop thinking about her and he was in no fit state to be doing anything about it, damn his heart condition.  He convinced himself he wasn't looking for her in particular as he walked along, peering over the wall that he couldn't see anyone who was right under it because the wall was so wide but he could make out someone sitting at the water's edge just a bit further along, by a stone jetty and what looked like could be a small boy in the sea.

Now he would be obliged to walk past where he wanted to start making his way back to the hotel, find the way onto the beach and go talk to her again, if she would even talk to him again.  He wasn't quite sure why he was actually doing this, she had yelled something terribly at him not that long ago, she might still be in a bad mood with him.  He came up to the railings that the wall gave way to and saw the gap, debating whether or not to get the pebbles in his shoes or just to take them off or to just leave her be, she might still be mad at him.

He stood leaning on the railing, looking at his watch.  If he went back to the hotel, there was nothing to do but sit and watch TV, pace his room or have Becca Fisher make a beeline for him but after she'd come in last  night and admitted Mark Latimer was with her all Thursday night when he couldn't account for his whereabouts, well it was looking even less likely he'd allow her to continue to chat him up.

He knew he had to go out again later, to the press conference at the local school though the family were not going to be present, he told them there was no real need for them to be there and considering the dead boy's father had only just been released on suspicion he couldn't produce an alibi for the night of his son's death, it was a wise choice.  Little did he know there was still going to be show-down, just not between the Latimers.

Tony was getting fed-up splashing on his own, Rose was playing on her phone so he sat beside her and grinned.  For his years, Tony Tyler was growing up fast, never knowing his sister to tear into someone like she had done earlier, she must have really liked the man.  As he got up, he turned around and saw Alec leaning on the railing as he put his phone away.  Tony waved and Alec felt compelled to half wave back.

"Who ya waving to?" Rose asked warily, as it wasn't like her brother to wave to anyone he didn't know, Pete was very strict.

"The policeman from earlier," Tony grinned back.

"What?  Where is he?"

Tony pointed in Alec's direction just as Alec decided he'd best move before he got yelled at again.  So as Rose got up from fastening Tony's trainers, Alec had already turned back to where he'd wanted to be.  Rose saw someone walking back along the footpath and shrugged her shoulders – she must have really annoyed him earlier then, now he definitely wouldn't show up at the camp's bar later but she'd still go, to see if he'd chickened out.

As Alec took his time walking back, wishing now he'd opted to walk the long way around as this route just led him halfway up the road where he would have gone in a round-about way, he thought he could have at least waited for Rose Tyler and her brother to get to the footpath before retreating, she would surely think he was now trying to avoid her, which he wasn't, not really.  He felt like a teenager again who had a crush on a girl who was way out of his league and if anyone was, it was her.

Over tea, Rose avoided telling her mother and Pete about her meeting with the detective who resembled her lost friend, not that it upset her any more, the sadness had passed, Tony had been the cause of that but she would never forget those times she had spent with both incarnations of the Doctor and if ever there came a day when she was told there was a way back, she would take it like a shot, even though the chances were he would have changed again, who knew how many times.

She had told Pete many times that she wouldn't give up and at one point, they thought they had found a way to her old world but before anyone had the chance to try, it was gone, the dimension cannon they had been testing had given up again though thankfully, no-one was lost.  Rose would have gladly risked it but Pete had banned her as Jackie would never have forgiven him and he'd might as well have gone with her.

While Jackie was getting ready to go out and Tony was watching some cartoons, Rose decided to come clean  about her meeting with Alec Hardy.

"I know why the police cars have been dashing around Rose, despite your mother banning me from watching the news, Jake called, he thought I needed to know."

"So are you taking Tony home?"

"No, we can protect him between us, he'll never be out of our sight for a second though I was debating sending for Mickey and Jake.  What did you want to talk about?"

"I met who I think is the lead detective earlier on, well Tony did, he almost collided with the man when we'd  been getting icecream.  Somehow, we got round to him thinking Torchwood had already arrived in town and wanted to take over, I tried to tell him we weren't but I don't think he believed me though."

"I won't ask how you got around to the subject and your mother would divorce me if I even contemplated getting involved, she's been looking forward to this holiday.  So what do you think?"

"I don't know, it's probably best to leave the local police to get on with it but he looked a bit out of his depth.  I looked him up, it's the same detective from that case in Sandbrook a while ago, he doesn't look well either."

"Maybe he'd just been reminded of what happened there, he can't be pleased about it.  Maybe you should make friends with him but I can't get involved, call Jake if you need anything on that score.  I intend spending the rest of the two weeks here driving your mother and Tony to all the tourist spots here and across in Devon and that's exactly how it's going to be.  It's up to you if you come with us but you said you wanted to go on that old tramway next Sunday."

Rose had been looking forward to that.  "Yeah, well he said he might call in at the camp bar around eight, so I was going to go see if he was there, he said he'd sit outside but I sort of went off without saying anything, he may not even show up."

Pete smiled.  "Any excuse for you to get out of playing bingo."

Jackie came out of her bedroom.  "Who's tryin' to get out of playing bingo?"

"Rose is," Tony piped up.  "She wants to go meet that bloke – Rose has got a boyfriend," he laughed, doing the last bit in a sing-song voice.

"What bloke?  The one you said you were talking to earlier?  Who is he?"

"It's nothing more than meeting him outside the camp's bar, thanks for ratting on me Tony, you just wait, I'll chase you with a crab the next time we go to the beach."

"Great, then can I keep it?"

"No you can't Tony Tyler, I'm not letting any crabs in the car with me," Jackie scolded him.  "Rose, don't make threats like that, you know what your brother's like.  Well, who is he exactly?"

"He's the local detective inspector here, I told you, he almost bumped into Tony earlier."

"I hope you didn't get icecream on his coat," Jackie quizzed the boy as she tried to wipe his face before they went out but all Tony did was pull a face and then to Rose, he pretended to be kissing the air.

Rose knew better than to take any notice, Tony spent way too much time with Mickey Smith.  While Tony was joining in the kids activities and Jackie was getting her bingo tickets, Rose connected to the camp's free wi-fi and sent an email to Jake, asking him to get more on Alec Hardy than the police website were willing to reveal about him and what happened in Sandbrook after the trial there collapsed.

Just as bingo was about to start, Rose made her excuses and walked through the bar next door and out onto the seating area.  It was getting a bit cooler so she'd brought a jacket with her but it was still light so she sat near the edge so she could see if Alec Hardy was walking in any direction.  Alec had just got out of the press conference and was in a foul mood – Karen White had flown in on her broomstick to annoy him and had already unnerved him without even speaking to him.  She had come in late, stopped to make sure he'd seen her and then just sat there having a staring contest with him, who'd won, Alec had no idea but he liked to think it was him.

He got dropped off at the other side of the harbour bridge and walked along the pavement and looked across to the seating area, already seeing Rose sitting there in a pale pink top and jeans, her legs crossed and looking extremely sexy.  He made his way across the road, mindful to look both ways this time since now, she was going nowhere and there wasn't a rush like earlier though why he'd almost got run over to get to her, he'd no idea.  It was one of  those compulsive things he did from time to time, such as marrying Tess Henchard almost seventeen years ago and divorcing her eighteen months or so ago, the best idea he'd had to date.

Now here he was, the gruff lonely detective, no friends in a strange town that was getting stranger by the minute, walking towards a young twenty-something blonde who had more money than sense and who had already yelled at him and he was thinking seriously of inviting her back to his hotel, tell her what was wrong with him and seeing if she would spend the night with him.  Yeah, like that was hardly going to happen, he thought as he reached the wall and approached her as she was looking the other way.

"Hello again Rose, I see you brought your own drink then?"

"Huh?  It was you who said to bring my own drink, detective inspector, so are you going to join me or what?"

Alec huffed and went into the bar, getting a bottle of non-alcoholic lager and walking back to her, pulling out the chair next to her and making her move her legs.

"You want to know what happened, here in the town or have you already looked it up?"

"Some of it, my stepfather already knew, someone who works for him thought he needed to know, because of Tony.  We're not leaving, we can keep him safe between us, he knows not to go wandering off, it's not easy being a Tyler since the press follow us almost everywhere we go, this seemed the best place to ditch them."

"I hate to spoil that theory but the press will be all over this, I've just been to a media briefing, they're gathering like vultures already."

"Yeah but they won't be interested in us now, besides, my mother has a full itinerary of places she wants to go, trust me, they'll never be able to keep up."

Alec almost cracked half a smile.  "I've had time to think and I don't believe Torchwood are here to take over, so shall we call a truce?"

"I'm not so sure, after your insinuations earlier, DI Hardy, though I would be willing to accept an apology."

Alec almost swallowed his drink the wrong way.  "You want me to apologise to you?  What planet do you come from?"

Rose was about to say one parallel to this one but caught herself in time.

"Fine then, don't apologise but you can't have many friends around here, considering you're new in town and you've probably already hauled in half the residents and the rest are on your hit list."

Alec was thinking what a smartass she was, then considered she was almost as bad as he was and he wouldn't mind getting to see her ass up close if he played his cards right.

"I'm getting around to it and as for having any friends, I'm not here to make any.  You're not offering to remedy that are you?"

Rose laughed.  "Nope, not in a million years, you are so full of yourself Alec Hardy."

"Good then, I don't need one.  Look Rose, go join your family, have a good time and forget about me, I have a murder investigation to get through."

"Yes, you do need someone, there's something wrong with you, isn't there?"

"How can you possibly know that?  Are you going to report me then?"

"No, I want to help you."

"Not as a Torchwood agent I hope?  I'll tell you now, I still don't approve of them even though they've changed.  I lost someone during the attack all those years a go, a cousin down in London who had just joined, he never went home.   His parents still don't know what happened to him, if he got turned into one of them or he was one of those who were just 'deleted'."

"I'm sorry Alec, my stepfather lost his first wife but you probably already know that but if you want, give me his name and I'll get someone to find out what happened to your cousin."

Alec laughed.  "Torchwood did not want to know, they already issued an apology to his family but they never fully accepted responsibility for what happened since that was under the old regime.   His parents were lucky they even got that."

"Well, now you know a senior Torchwood agent, I can get that information for you, all it takes is one phone call Alec, you can give closure to his family."

Alec considered it.  Why shouldn't he use her to give his still grieving aunt and uncle some peace of mind?  After all this time, they would finally know but was it better they thought he was still out there other than someone being turned into one of those metal monsters?  Still, as a police officer, he was duty bound to pass any information about what happened back then, regardless of it being good or bad and whether he was related to any of the victims.

"Okay then, I'll give you his name, on one condition?"

Rose thought in for a penny, in for a pound and he was giving in, slowly.  She could be his friend if he wanted  - or more.

"Go on then, what's the condition?"

"Come back to my hotel room with me because you are right, I am ill and I need someone I can trust and as much as it pains me to admit it, I trust you and I'm lonely Rose, will you stay with me and relax a bit with me, tonight perhaps?"
Chapter 3
Alec knew he was already pushing his luck but what did he have to lose?  She had already shown her temper earlier when he'd collided with her brother, though unintentionally but it was hardly avoidable at the time and if the young boy hadn't turned around at that particular moment, it would never have happened.  There again, Rose may not have yelled at him and he wouldn't be sitting here now, asking her to spend some time with him, in his hotel room, which from the look now on her face, could get him a slap on the cheek.

"Tell me you're not being serious?  You are, aren't you?  What makes you think I'd do a stupid thing like that?"

Alec thought she was being less than tactful but she hadn't come right out and said no, there was still a glimmer of hope and it was only around eight thirty or so but he realised he was hungry and the fish and chip shop opposite was open, not that he enjoyed eating them out of the paper but they should have some cartons.

"Look, I'm hungry, I just came from a media briefing so I'm going to go across the road, get something to eat then walk up to my hotel, you're more than welcome to join me.  You said you wanted to avoid playing bingo with your mother again."

"It will be over now.  I wouldn't mind some chips though, I could get some with you but I'll have to let my stepfather know I'm going off, he's very protective of both me and my stepbrother.  I'm not saying I'll stay with you but we could get some chips and go sit over by the harbour for a while, if you want?"

Well that was a start he supposed.  "Go ahead, I'll wait unless you want me to pay for your chips?"

Rose smiled.  "Well, you got out of buying me a drink, didn't you?  What sort of date are you then?"

Rose could have sworn she'd said that before, so long ago now but she supposed bits of her old life would always come back to her, it was inevitable.  Why she'd just agreed, she had no idea but sitting on the sea wall eating chips was not exactly a date she supposed.

Alec decided the least her could do was buy her a carton of chips if she were to agree to go with him.

"I suppose I could stretch to buying them for you and it's not a date.  Go on then, I'll finish my drink and wait for you."

Rose went off in search of Pete, she daren't tell her mother she had been asked to a Doctor look-a-like's hotel room for the night, chips, she might believe.

She found Pete at the bar and pulled him to one side.

"I'm off out for a bit, don't wait up for me."

Pete was not surprised since she'd been in a hurry to go meet this detective she'd already told him about.

"I won't ask where then.  I looked him up, he's not got a very good reputation has he?"

"I'm not judging him by that.  I asked Jake to look him up too, you told me not to ask you."

"Well maybe if you continue to see him, your mother will relent on that, in fact, I'm certain she will.  Go on, get out of here, have you got your key?"

She had the key for the other caravan door so if she went out on her own with Tony, they could get back in should the need arise.  She was about to leave, looking around and seeing Tony sat in the corner of the main room, playing with his toy cars.

"What do I tell your mother, should she ask?"

"Tell her I've got a hot date with a rather dishy police detective, she keeps on nagging me to find someone."

While Alec was waiting, he checked with the station that nothing had happened and was just taking his empty bottle and Rose's empty glass back inside as she came through the other bar.  Silently, Alec led the way across the road and had to wait for his order of scampi as Rose sat on the window seat.

Just why he was even contemplating asking her if she would actually go back to his hotel room, he had no idea and this had to be amongst the dumbest ideas he'd had in a while, the last one was accepting the job here on the premise it was a nice quiet coastal town where nothing ever happened.  He'd considered putting a complaint in that the chief here had got him to accept on false pretences and he should demand an immediate transfer with no questions asked but since he'd failed two families in his last job, he couldn't fail a third, that was not him, illness or no illness.

They got out of the takeaway and Alec led them across the road, around the corner onto the walkway and sat down.  It was getting a bit chilly but Rose didn't seem to mind as they ate silently.  All of a sudden though, Rose seemed to find her voice again.

"I used to hate the sea, I had to say goodbye to someone a few years ago by the shore but now, it just reminds me."

Alec wondered if it was male or female but by the look on her face, it was male.

"You don't have the monopoly on that, I hate the water as well."

"Well, go on then, what happened?"

"No, you first or don't you want to tell?  A boyfriend left you?"

"Something like that.  It seems like a lifetime ago now though, I've just about come to terms with it, what about you?"

"No, I don't think I'll ever come to terms with mine."

Rose smiled.  "Well look at us, the 'We hate the water' club."

"Is that why earlier on you were not in the water with your brother then?" Alec asked as he took Rose's empty carton and threw it in the trash can.

"It was you then, Tony was waving to you, he's not supposed to wave or talk to strangers, mum thinks everyone who tries to talk to him is either a kidnapper or a reporter, she doesn't know which is the worst."

Alec smiled, something she seemed to be making him do all of a sudden.  "A wise thing, to make him aware but I hope that does not include the police?"

Rose thought about it.  "I don't suppose so and I don't hate all water, I don't mind swimming pools, since I usually take Tony, which I promised to do in the morning.  So, about me, coming to your hotel?"

"I was being presumptuous, you are excused."

"Well that's a shame, you could have bought me a drink first though."

"You mean you'd actually come with me?"

"Yeah, what do ya think I meant?  Blimey, you ask me to your room after I yelled at you earlier and you give up that easily?  I've read up about you, just so you know, I wanted to know what I was getting myself into."

"I wouldn't expect anything less, Miss Torchwood agent.  Shall we?" he asked, getting up and offering his hand to help her.

As they walked up the road by the side of the caravan park, Pete had been in the doorway of the bar and had seen them walking arm in arm across the road and around the corner, smiling to himself.  At least she was finally moving on and not still clinging to Mickey like he was a lifeline between her life here now and her old one, even if it was with the Doctor's twin.

Pete had got word back from Jake, saying Alec Hardy had not been to blame for his last disastrous case and that Rose had nothing to worry about, so all Pete could do was hope Jackie would accept Rose would probably be spending the evenings here with the detective and not playing bingo and dancing with her stepbrother to all the silly kids songs.

Pete got back inside, Jackie knew Rose had been meeting the detective outside and when she'd not gone back in, smiled to herself but questioned her husband.

"Relax Jaks, you were the one that wanted her to move on, she is.  I've just seen them walking along together, arm in arm."

Tony looked up.  "Dad, is she with the man from earlier?  I like him, he's funny, he shook his fist and a man in a car that nearly run him over."

"Did he now?" Jackie asked as Tony proceeded to demonstrate, complete with facial actions.  "Why did he nearly get run over then?  Can't he look where he was going?"

"But Mum, he was running across the road when the car set off, I think he was trying to get to Rose."

"Why'd he want to do that?  Pete, who exactly is this detective?"

Pete had not yet revealed to his wife who Alec looked like and thankfully, she'd not watched the news.

"She told you who he was, I'm not saying any more in front of our son.  You're the one that banned us from watching the news but something's going on here and he's the lead detective.  He's a good man, just be thankful Rose is interested in him so don't spoil things for her eh?  I'll give you a clue though and don't bring this up with her, he may remind you of a certain someone."

Jackie could hardly believe what she was hearing.  They'd come all this way for Rose to find a double of her old alien boyfriend, did she know what she was doing?  She hoped so and according to what Pete had just told her, they were already walking up the road arm in arm but to where?

Rose clung onto Alec's arm as they walked up the road then turned left at the top and through the front door of The Traders Hotel, Alec leading her into the small bar, noting Becca wasn't at the desk but she was pouring out drinks when they went in.

"Hello detective, you missed your evening meal, you do know it's included?  Only you missed breakfast as well.  Who's your friend?"

Rose knew a rival when she saw one.  "Hi, I'm Rose, I'm with him and I'll have a white wine with plenty of lemonade, thanks.  Alec, is there somewhere else we can sit maybe?"

She didn't fancy being in full view of the barstaff and the man with grey curly hair sitting there plus two other couples in the small area.

Alec indicated to the room opposite, hoping Becca wouldn't object to him taking his 'guest' there.  Rose got the hint and sat herself down waiting for him bringing the drinks.

"I'll make an exception, seeing she's with you," Becca hinted, as if to say 'who's she when she's at home'?

Alec thought he was never going to live this down.  Word would get to the rest of the town he'd come in with a young blonde on his arm and where would that get him?  Well maybe the reputation he could still attract a  young blonde that she'd want to walk around holding onto his arm.

"So, will your friend be staying?" Becca asked him as he was leaving, following him out rather than ask in front of everyone.

"That remains to be seen, can you at least keep this to yourself, for the time being?"

Becca was slightly amused, the detective who'd been stone-faced since his arrival, thinking about sneaking a woman up to his room, who would have thought it?

He sat beside Rose on the red sofa and waiting for her to say she wanted him to take her back to her caravan.  She didn't.  Before Alec knew what was happening, his arm was around her shoulders and she was leaning into him, on her second drink.

"Mmm, Alec, you mentioned something about relaxing, in your room, is that offer still open?"

It was now approaching ten and Alec thought now was as good a time as any to entice her to his room but by the sound of it, she wasn't needing much enticing.  Dropping his empty bottle and Rose's glass onto the bar, getting a sly look from Becca and the man still sitting there, he showed Rose up to his room on the second floor.  He wished he'd been on the first floor, the stairs were doing him no good but it was time he took his pills.

Thinking there was no need to hide them in front of his new friend, he went to get some water.

"Tell me Alec, what's wrong with you?  Don't bother denying anything, in your photos you look better than you do now."

"Thanks, I really needed to hear that, am I so obvious?"

"I'm a trained Torchwood agent, I study people.  You need help Alec, you have to tell someone.  I'm here for two weeks, you can tell me, who else am I going to tell?"

He supposed she did have a point, she wouldn't gain anything by reporting him to his new boss.

Twenty minutes later, he'd told her everything, how he thought he'd become ill and how his friend was helping him.  Rose's own heart went out to him and it made her more determined to be more than a friend to him.

"So, when you asked me to relax with you, what exactly did you have in mind, considering having sex might actually put you in the hospital."

Alec smiled and stood up, taking off his already loosened tie and unfastening a few buttons.  Rose joined him, fingering the shirt collar.

"Whatever you're offering Rose, just how comfortable are you with men who admit having sex could possibly kill them?"

Rose smiled.  "They're my speciality, now are you inviting me to stay then?"

"If you want, it's not an obligation but if you want to stay, you can borrow a t-shirt.  I'm not asking you to have sex with me, well we can just have some fun, what do you think?"

"Oh, I'm way past due having some fun Alec, trust me.  Just let me use the bathroom but don't take that shirt off yet, I want to do that."

Alec was willing to do anything she asked at this point, it was way more than he'd expected.  Not only was the famous Rose Tyler in his room, she wanted to take his shirt off for him and stay the night with him, in the same bed.  As promised, Rose came back and fingered his shirt again, until she got to the last button and began pulling the shirt out of the front of his trousers.  He leaned down and kissed her neck, smelling her perfume, knowing already he was a gonner.  There was no way he was going to survive a proper night with Rose Tyler so all he could do was hope she would keep her word and go easy on him.

She wasn't helping his cause by now letting him relieve her of her pink top and leaning close to him so he could feel her against his chest as she put her arms around him and he continued to kiss her neck, just below her ear.  Suddenly she looked up at him and he stopped as she looked like she wanted him to kiss her.  He was only too happy to oblige and when he did, Rose reached her arms around his neck, pulled him down and deepened the kiss.

After Rose put Alec's t-shirt on and he'd unfastened her jeans, Rose climbed into bed and waited for him coming out of the bathroom, where Alec was splashing water of his face, thinking he would wake up somewhere and have been dreaming that the very alluring Rose Tyler was waiting in his hotel bed for him with nothing but a very skimpy figure-hugging pair of red panties and his spare white t-shirt that he vowed he would never wash again and best of all, he'd relieved her of her matching red bra, her hip-hugging jeans and watched while she put the t-shirt on.  If he survived this, finding Danny Latimer's killer would be a piece of cake.

While Rose was waiting in the middle of Alec's bed, she took stock.  She was lying there, propped up on the pillow, waiting for a sickly police detective who reminded her so much of someone but he was cute, a bit skinny but toned in the right places with a splattering of chest hair and he seemed very interested in her despite her yelling at him not that long ago.

The best thing was though, he knew who she was, what she did for a living and it didn't seem to bother him.  If she stayed tonight with him, it would be worth spending the rest of her holiday here in his company in the  evenings and sharing his bed and maybe, if he knew what she did, he would accept the rest, if it were to come up in conversation but she would let him bring it up.  She didn't want to scare him away, maybe he was her reward for being parted from her own world and the man she'd left behind.

Alec thought he had just had the best night in a long time as Rose was now sprawled across him, wearing just her skimpy underwear and he was still alive.  She had kept her promise and gone easy on him, going on top and making all the right moves.  He had held onto her hips while they had kissed, her arms under him and occasionally groping him as he swapped places for a short time and he'd half laid on his side but they had both enjoyed the sensations they'd given each other and had managed not to go the whole way, though Alec thought at one point he was prepared to risk it but somehow he'd managed to stop himself.

Now, Rose was making funny little noises and Alec smiled to himself, one arm around her waist and the other behind his head, thinking he was the luckiest man on earth, any earth.
Chapter 4
Rose was woken by Alec moving, making her jump and thinking he was having an attack but as he called something about water, she realised he was having one of his recurring dreams.

"Alec, wake up, are you okay?"

She tried to dodge him as he groaned.  "Alec, do you need your pills?"

He realised she was talking to him and who was with him.  "No, I'm fine and I apologise for waking you.  Now you know why I sleep alone."

"It's okay, I've had nightmares myself."

"What would you be having nightmares about?" he asked, as he noted Rose was putting his t-shirt on.

She snuggled up close to him and he put his arm around her.  "You'd never believe me if I told you what I have nightmares about Alec, trust me.  Try to go back to sleep.  I take it yours was about finding that girl in the river?"

"What else would it be about?  Someone pulled me out, after I went under from the weight of her, like I said, it won't ever go away."

"Sorry.  Mine won't either, you'd never believe what happened to me."

"Then tell me sometime, right now I need some sleep, after you kiss me again."

Finally, Alec fell asleep again but Rose was now worried, she thought her nightmares were bad enough but Alec had woken up in a cold sweat, just like he'd been pulled out of the river moments ago, he was terrified.  She knew now, she had to stay with him for as long as she was in town but what then?

Alec woke again to his alarm trying to move his new blonde friend who'd managed to tangle her legs around his.

"Sneaking off Alec?"

"No, afraid I would?  I need my pills before I do anything, I've just got in the habit of taking them when I get up, starting from today."

"You mean you didn't take them before?"

"Only when I need to but last night, I took them because you were staying.  Now see what you've done."

Rose got dressed while he was in the bathroom, Alec looking disappointed when he came out but looking slightly better than when he'd woken up during the night.  He'd shaved a day's growth off his beard, which pleased Rose as she fingered it.

"Shall we go find some breakfast or do you want to come down to the caravan and eat with us?  Mum always  makes loads, she'll be getting it ready soon."

"I don't think I'm ready to face the rest of your family yet," Alec joked, fastening his shirt, much to Rose's annoyance as she'd been enjoying the view.

"If I'm gonna spend the rest of my two weeks here with you, they need to meet you.  It's just breakfast Alec.  Say hello to them and you don't have to see them again if you don't want to."

Alec was going to hold her to that as they walked down the stairs, out of the side door and down the path that led to the Esplanade, much easier to walk down than up.  It seemed odd to Alec that he had to pass the police station but it was only just turned eight and he wasn't due for an hour but as Rose opened the caravan door, it reminded him of mornings back in his old house near Sandbrook as Tony was sat at the table, Pete was making tea and Jackie had a pile of toast on a plate and a pan full of scrambled eggs, Rose having called her to say they were on their way and to make enough for Alec.

"Mum, Dad, this is Alec Hardy.  Alec, you've already met Tony.  Well, sit down and eat, you need your strength."

Pete and Jackie looked at her as she had neglected to tell them there was something wrong with him.

By the following  Friday, Rose and Alec were inseparable, had spent every minute of Alec's free time together and even gone to dinner at the Millers, Rose making friends with Ellie much to Alec's chagrin.  Alec  knew if he didn't act quickly, she would be gone on Saturday morning so ignoring the fact he should have been going through statements, he'd arranged to meet her by the catering stalls overlooking the river and Rose had been pointing out again the blue chalet by the water's edge.

"Why do you keep looking at that damn run-down chalet Rose?"

"I think it's cute, just like you teddy."

Alec grunted.  "Stop calling me that when we're out, I wouldn't live there if it was the only place left in Broadchurch."

Rose pulled a face at him and sipped on her bottle of water, rather sexily Alec thought.  She should not be allowed to drink like that in public.

"So, tomorrow, you are getting ready to leave then?"

"You know I don't want to but I've got a job to do Alec and you still won't let me help you with the investigation."

"You know I can't let you get involved, not without you know what and I can't justify their involvement, the chief would never go for it."

"Yeah, well Pete won't let me stay, there's a lot to do when we get back."

"Why can't you do it from down here?"

"He'd never go for it."

"So you've not actually asked him?"

"No, why?"

"Hell Rose, because I want you to stay, that's why.  You don't get it, do you?"

Rose stopped and looked at him, the man who in less than two weeks had become her friend and lover, Alec risking everything most nights to prove he loved her but never got around to telling her so.  She had been the one who woke up when he had his recurring nightmare, kissed him until he fell asleep again, smirked when she tricked him into turning around when he was putting his clean shorts on, getting her a proper snogging for her troubles and he was the only person outside her family and close friends who knew where she actually came from and her worse nightmare of almost ending up in the void.

They had quickly become lovers after their first night together and Alec now relied on her to kick him into remembering his pills and constantly riled him to call the hospital and get himself fixed, to which all it got her was a 'I'll go when I've solved this case' and a 'Stop fussing, I'm fine' followed by a kiss.

"What don't I get Alec?"

They were sat at the last table, right by the wall, Rose watching the ducks on the river as he took her hand and she turned back.

"I love you, Rose Tyler, that's what.  Now, will you stay with me?  I need you."

Rose leaned forward and ran her fingers on his cheek, the beard growing back because she'd told him she preferred it that way because then she could call him teddy because she said it felt all furry when he kissed his way across her every night.

"I love you too teddy and yes, I'll stay but only if you rent that chalet over there."

"How I'm I supposed to do that?"

"Leave it to me but I still have to go back to London with them, to get my things and collect my car.  I'll be back on Sunday, I have to say goodbye to Tony, I can't just go back with them and come right back.  I'll find out how we can rent the chalet and we'll move in when I get back, you stay at the hotel until then, unless you want to rent a caravan for the weekend?"

"No thanks, I'll stay at the hotel then and if that's what you want, okay, that's what we'll do."

"Wow, I didn't think it was gonna be that easy."

"Just remember, you'll be going in there on your own if I have to get a boat to the door."

Rose smiled.  Now all she had to do was get Pete to let her work from her laptop and not go on any more missions unless they were on the Dorset coast or just over in Devon.  They'd all been out the previous Sunday to visit the tramway, Alec sitting upstairs with Tony and Rose had gone back down because it was too cold and hearing him and Tony laughing and on the dinner visit to Ellie's, she'd taken Rose to one side and said they made a great couple and how much better he was out of work because he'd been a total ass at the station.

"Well how ya gonna get out if it floods while we're in there then?"

"Easy, I'll just spend the day in bed, with you princess."

So Rose went back to London, packed her clothes, her laptop and spent the rest of the day telling Tony she was going back to live with Alec.  She'd said goodbye to Jake and Mickey when they'd gone around that night for a farewell dinner then driven down on Sunday morning, arriving back in Broadchurch in time for Alec getting back from a visit to the church because he wanted to watch for the killer at a special service for Danny, which Ellie thought he'd taken it too seriously.

Alec had met the owner of the chalet and was waiting for Rose to arrive, then when she'd emptied the car, they were going to the supermarket to stock up on groceries.  That got delayed as soon as she'd brought everything in and Alec dragged her into the bedroom.

"Mmm, I missed you princess, you weren't there when I woke up this morning."

"Don't remind me, I missed you too teddy.  You weren't tempted to invite Becca to take my place were you?"

Alec screwed his face up.  "No, I wasn't that desperate love."

He neglected to tell her though that he'd forgotten to take his pills, got back to his room the night before and collapsed on the bathroom floor while trying to get the pills out, resulting in the woman downstairs complaining to Becca about a loud noise and she'd found him and got an ambulance.  He'd discharged himself just after seven that morning and sworn Becca to secrecy on the promise of forgetting to process the  offence of her asking Chloe Latimer to get drugs for some guests.

As Rose was kissing his chest in her most favourite way, making a meal out of it, he just hoped she wouldn't see behind his ear where he'd cracked himself against the sink as he'd fallen.

Rose did see it though as he got out of bed, sitting down to put his socks on.

"Alec, what the hell did you do while I was away?"

"Oh, that.  Caught myself in the shower this morning, it's nothing love, I went down to reception, Becca fixed me up, don't make a thing out of it."

Rose got to her knees and crawled behind him, putting her arms around his neck.

"Okay teddy, if you say so, I missed you Alec, I love you."

He'd gone into his office for an hour after getting away from Rose, catching up on paperwork and Ellie saw what Rose had missed.  Ellie had spotted it and he said if she told Rose, she'd pull double duty for a week.  Ellie had pulled a face at him and told him to tell her himself.

"What the hell happened to you?"

"Morning to you too Miller, don't you start, I had enough with Rose earlier, she said she can't leave me alone for five minutes."

"Well she can't by the way you two were all over each other at my house, Joe swore you two were groping each other's ass when we left you in the front room, my kid's watch TV in there if you don't mind."

"Well no-one said they had to watch us Miller.  You wanted something?"

"It'll wait.  So is Rose staying then?"

"Not that it's anyone's business but yes, she's staying.  We just rented that run-down blue chalet by the river though why I agreed, I have no idea but it got her to agree to move in together so who am I to argue?  If you spread the word I'm shacked up with my girlfriend, you'll be back in uniform giving out speeding tickets – got it Miller?"

Ellie smirked to herself, Alec Hardy may act like a tough cookie but Rose Tyler had him purring like a kitten.

Several weeks went by, Rose and Alec's love for each other grew day after day but so did Rose's persistence Alec went for his pacemaker fitting which to avoid any arguments, Alec always backed down and said as soon as he'd put Danny's killer in prison, he'd go when the paperwork was done.  It appeased Rose somewhat but she was still worried about him but he mostly got away with it.   After four weeks since they'd got together though and Rose, despite taking precautions, neglected to remind Alec until her monthly actually came around and they'd been out one night, Rose getting slightly tipsy but they both agreed not much was likely to happen in his present condition and he told her not to worry about it but it didn't stop her.

A lot happened in those few weeks, accusations were flying about the sea-scout master/harbour newsagent resulting in Rose and Alec attending the man's funeral, Alec had been branded Britain's worst cop – which was rescinded when Rose stormed into The Broadchurch Echo's office and took a full page ad out and demanded it was syndicated to the nationals, which amused Alec as he already knew the Tyler family did not get messed with and apparently, the entire family regarded him as part of it, something he didn't bother arguing about.
Chapter 5
Fifty seven days after Alec almost knocked Tony down that Sunday afternoon, described by Alec as the best day of his life, Rose was feeling 'off' with stomach pains, waiting for her monthly but she was used to it being all messed up, her not being from that world and skipping three years ahead.

During their time together, Rose had told him everything, they had no secrets from each other and Alec was more than thrilled to discover all that time he'd spent as a boy had not gone completely to waste and had made Rose tell him everything.  He'd held her tight when she'd told him how she'd said goodbye to the Doctor on a beach in Norway and she'd in turn held him every time he'd woken up from his nightmare of finding Pippa in the river.

The only thing Alec kept back from her was the fact he had helped the main suspect's wife to re-locate down the coast and had someone who owed him watching out for her husband's return.  What Rose would have made of that, he didn't know but unless the past really did come back and bite him in the ass – she wouldn't find out but there again, he expected her to take it well, he'd done nothing wrong despite what Claire Ripley may make it look like if she were that way inclined.

So that morning, Rose hadn't sent him off with that 'just been well and truly snogged and shagged look' on his face, which everyone in the station by now had got used to and Alec never even bothered to hide it any more, the day went slowly for him, leads were followed, he'd had the vicar in and was smug that he'd managed to rile him the wrong way, getting him a warning from his boss not to upset the clergy in general and he'd not met Rose for lunch by the river, looking across at the home they shared.

Rose had not told him she half suspected she'd not got away with their passionate night four weeks ago but like he'd said, in his state of health, he'd have to get extremely lucky to get her pregnant but it was at the back of her mind though.  She hadn't been going to send him off with her usual farewell, they'd argued again about the case taking its toll on his condition, he'd told her not to fuss and he'd see the case finished, adamant he wasn't going to let another family down.

"Yeah, I get the bit you don't want to let Mark and Beth down but you've gotta think of yourself Alec, and me."

"I do think about you princess, you know I do but I'm nearly there, I know I am.  I just need the skateboard and for the phone to be switched on and I'll have him."

"Can't you just tell me who you think it is?  Is it Nigel?"

"You know I can't tell you, so stop playing the Torchwood agent and kiss me goodbye though I'd prefer a proper snogging."

"I told you last night, I'm feeling a bit off, you were lucky, you might be a bit disappointed you don't get to use more of your recent purchase again tonight though I hardly knew you were using anything."

"Must be a new type but I can assure you I was despite your protest I can't actually do anything.  I never hear you objecting darlin' do you?"

Rose blushed, she never objected, whatever he had to offer, that was how they were, Alec had nothing to prove to her, he'd do that when he was well again.  So Alec went off a little disappointed she'd not wanted to have their morning session and when he got to work he'd maybe yell at Miller again but he'd try not to, since she'd get right on the phone and ask Rose what was wrong with him, the two of them had become as thick as thieves lately and he swore Rose had told her about their sexual exploits, as women were apt to do.

She had stood by the door as he fastened his jacket.

"When are you going to give in Alec?  You've put it off for two months now, you can't keep saying you'll call them when you've done with this case.  One weekend, take this Friday off, the hospital have it all arranged, you can just walk in."

He put his arms around her but she shrugged him off.  It was tearing her apart even though now, he looked slightly better than when they'd first met.

"Come on Rose, look, maybe next weekend, I'm so close to finishing it now, I can feel something's going to happen today love."

"You been talking to that psychic again have you?"

"No I just do, it's all coming together princess, I know it is, any day now.  I might be late home tonight, I want to try and get a look at what everyone's been working on while they're not there."

"Well don't you be too late, you know I worry about you."

"Yes I do and I don't know why you put up with me when I'm such a misery."

"Yeah, neither do I, it's part of the job."

"Oh, I'm just a job to you then Miss Tyler?"

"Get out of here, you know what I mean."

"Geez Rose, sometimes I never know when you're being serious."

"Neither do I Alec.  Go on, you'll be late for work then you'll blame me and everyone will think I kept you in bed again."

"Now that I don't mind.  Okay, if it makes you happy, we'll talk about this when I get back, okay?"

"I suppose so but you're not taking this seriously."

"I am princess but you know how important this is to me now."

Didn't she just?  So Alec had gone off, not certain how they'd left things, he was far from happy about it

Rose tried to get down to going through the various reports Jake had sent her involving possible disturbances in Scotland and wondering why he'd thought she was interested in that, albeit Jake probably thought since Alec was from there, it would peak her interest somewhat.  She thought again about how they'd almost fallen out again at her last words before he'd opened the door to step out onto the decking, which for a change wasn't playing home to a family of ducks that he'd had to shoo away several times with the sweeping brush to Rose's amusement, getting her a scowl and a promise he'd get her back when he got home.

By the end of the day, not going quite to Alec's liking since he couldn't get away to meet Rose for lunch, Ellie had gone home but returned to the station after Tom came home with Danny's skateboard, units were dispatched to pick up the woman at the caravan park down the coast who'd given it to him, for the police and Alec to discover she was at the newspaper office after the editor called Ellie and the woman was being questioned.

She'd been let out on police bail but it was after eight, Alec had several missed calls from Rose, who'd been unhappy and turned off the stove after trying to eat something but she'd lost her appetite.  He wasn't answering his phone, she assumed he was interviewing someone and he'd call her back, she knew not to call Ellie or the station unless it was an emergency, they'd established that almost as soon as they'd begun their relationship.

By ten, Rose was officially worried but he'd said he wanted to see if anyone had missed something but she knew he should have called her, even if it was just to say he was sorry he'd missed her calls earlier.  She tried him again but it went straight to voicemail and Ellie would be home now and she didn't want to disturb her, all Ellie would say was he was a grown man and give him a bit of space but Ellie didn't know of their arguments that morning.

She gave up, went to the bathroom and then to their bedroom.  There was still no sign of Alec or her monthly visit from mother nature but she prepared herself none the less.  She couldn't sleep though, their heated discussion that morning, ending in him just going off and her watching him walk over the road bridge and then trying to get some work done.

By 2am, she'd given up all hope of getting to sleep, trying Alec's number again and kicking herself for not calling Ellie before she'd have gone to bed herself.  She called the station.

"Hi, this is Rose Tyler, DI Hardy's girlfriend, I don't suppose he's still there is he?"

The desk sergeant confirmed the detective was not on the premises.  He'd known the DI had been caught in some kind of skirmish, chasing a subject down a cliff path and into the boatyard but heard nothing else and assumed he'd gone home to his girlfriend but apparently, he hadn't.

"No, sorry Miss, he's not here, not that I know of anyway.  I can call his work mobile if you want?"

"No, I've tried them both, maybe he's just fallen asleep in his office, thanks anyway."

A dozen things were running through her mind.  He'd left her, he had to have done, because she'd gone too far that morning, she'd nagged him once too often and he was sulking in his office or he'd gone back to the hotel to think about it.  Well she'd make it easy for him because now, she could no longer stand by and watch this case tear him apart at the risk of him ending up in hospital over it.  Two months she'd given him, two months of her love and devotion to him, telling him everything about her past, even that she'd loved the Doctor but had never told him until it was too late and it never put Alec off.

He'd said he loved her even more for telling him and she loved him more every time he woke her up when he'd felt like he was drowning all over again though she'd helped him more than she ever knew.  He'd woken up, felt her comforting him and somehow, it never seemed so bad though he knew it would never completely go away but her presence lessened it somewhat.

By 3am, she was packing her cases, getting her laptop and things into her shoulder bag with the 'Police Box' design she'd had specially made that Alec thought was so her and dragged everything around to her car, locking the chalet door for the last time and putting the key under the pot with the windmill stuck in sand Rose had thought was amusing and Alec had moaned about.

Just after seven, Rose had pulled in front of the Tyler family home, just six weeks after she'd been back for her things and told her younger brother she was staying with Alec.  The boy would be devastated.  One of the maids answered the door and let her in, getting someone to fetch her things from the car.  Jackie had heard the commotion and stood at the top of the stairs as Rose rushed up.

"Rose, what are you going here?  Where's Alec?"

"I think he left me Mum, he never came home last night and he's not picking up his phone.  We argued yesterday morning about him getting his pacemaker," she sobbed into her mother's shoulder.

Pete had heard and come out, with his phone and preparing to dial Alec's number.

"No Dad, leave it, please, he's not picking his phone up, he doesn't want to talk to me, it's clear."

'Well he'd better talk to me," her mother huffed, taking Pete's phone out of his hand.

"Just leave it, please.  I just want to go to my old room and try and get some sleep, I've been driving for hours."

"Well how long are ya gonna leave it for Rose?"

Rose yawned, thinking back to when she and Mickey had waited five and a half hours for the Doctor on that spaceship.  It turned out to be five months, ignoring the ringtone for Alec's mobiles and the station when he eventually tried calling her and even Ellie, in fact anything that reminded her of him at all until she had been switching channels and accidentally heard his name mentioned in connection with the solving of the Sandbrook case and the killer of Danny Latimer had walked free.


The morning Rose had left, Alec had woken up in a hospital bed, aware Rose was not by his side, a bunch of grapes being thrown at him and tubes in his hand, not to mention the one in his nose, which he pulled out.  Then he noticed the pads on his chest and Ellie Miller glaring at him.

"What am I doing here, why have you given me grapes?"

"I was hoping you would choke on them."

"They're seedless Miller.  Answer the question, what am I doing here and what time is it?"

"It's just gone eight, you've been out cold and in case you forgot, you collapsed chasing a suspect last night.  You died on me, heart arrhythmia, you should have told me.  Does Rose know you're so ill?"

"Yes, she does but you can't tell her I was in hospital, she'll never forgive me.  We had a row before I left yesterday morning, she'll think I've gone for good and you can't tell the chief either."

Ellie picked up her shoulder bag.  "I have to report this, you're not fit for duty.  They told me, you've had this for eighteen months or more, why didn't you get yourself fixed and more importantly, why didn't Rose make you get yourself fixed?"

"She tried, that's what we argued about.  I have to get out of here, she'll be going crazy, she wasn't feeling well yesterday."

"Well maybe you got her pregnant you prat."

"Don't be daft Miller, she took precautions."  He'd forgotten about that night last month when she'd said nothing would have happened but he wasn't so sure now.  She'd had a bit to drink and they'd both been in a good mood.

Ellie stood in the doorway.  "Well you'd better get back to her then before she comes to her senses and leaves town.  I'm off to tell the chief, expect her to be waiting for you."

Alec didn't know which would be worse – the chief putting him on medical leave or facing Rose.  He had to face Rose first though.  Before he'd got dressed and discharged himself, Ellie was already on her way, debating whether to call her friend or leave Hardy to face the music but knowing Rose was a soft touch, he'd get away with it and then he'd be late because he'd be shagging her brains out.

Alec got a taxi someone was getting out of first to the station then walked back to the chalet but Rose's metallic blue Suzuki Sportage was gone.  He thought she may have just gone out looking for him or to the supermarket but he knew instantly something was wrong – the bedroom blinds were open and the door curtain was over since Rose had always pulled it closed.  He went to the pot where they kept the key and unlocked the door, a feeling of dread coming over him as her laptop was gone and the few things she normally had strewn around the place.

Their bedroom door just at the side was open, the bed was made and as he stepped in, her cases were gone from the top of the wardrobe and he collapsed onto the bed.

"Rose, what have I done?"

He tried her mobile several times but no answer, maybe she was driving but she had her hands-free kit so he tried Jackie's mobile he kept for emergencies but got the same and Rose hadn't given him Pete's or the house phone number.  He was devastated, thinking now he wished Miller hadn't called that ambulance when he'd fallen in the boatyard, although he'd been stupid enough to think he'd be able to chase after a suspect, especially when he knew who it had been.

No, his life might as well be over because if she got to know he'd spent the night in hospital without him telling her, since he'd kept his last visit quiet as well, there was no way she would ever take him back until she got over being mad at him or he went for the surgery.  Right now, he was too much of a coward to go get himself fixed, drive to London and tell her he'd got it done.

All he could really do was arrest whom he knew had killed Danny and wait for Rose to contact him, she'd come around in a day or too, she'd see it on the news he'd put Danny's killer away and then she'd come back or call him and she'd go hold his hand in the hospital.

The arrest was made, Ellie was devastated and her friend wasn't answering her phone, Hardy had well and truly stuffed that up then when Rose wasn't even answering her calls.  So as Alec was clearing out his office, looking at the sofa where he and Rose had made out on the few occasions she'd come to collect him when everyone had left, he made his way back to the chalet he'd shared with his love and swore if she ever came back, he'd be waiting for her.  He waited five months.

The End!

Continued in A lost love returns

Part 3 - A love forever (with baby)

Last in a the 'Lost love' series which followed Rose meeting Alec, leaving him when he wouldn't get himself fixed then her return, 6 months pregnant.  Now settled down with their baby son in Broadchurch, they travel to London for baby's first Christmas but Alec is feeling overwhelmed.  Will Rose calm him down or make things worse when a pink paper hat brings up the past?

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Last in a the 'Lost love' series which followed Rose meeting Alec, leaving him when he wouldn't get himself fixed then her return, 6 months pregnant.  Now settled down with their baby son in Broadchurch, they travel to London for baby's first Christmas but Alec is feeling overwhelmed.  Will Rose calm him down or make things worse when a pink paper hat brings up the past?

Scroll down to read each chapter

Chapter 1
Alec knew what an ass he'd been, driving the one good thing in his miserable life in Broadchurch away and he'd paid for it a hundred times over.  The months Rose had been away and he couldn't bring himself to send her a text or even leave a message on her answer phone and he'd been too much of a coward to call her mother and ask how her daughter was.

If he'd known or had an inclination Rose had been pregnant with his child, his son, Zack (they had decided against James, using it as his middle name in favour of a more trendy name) he would never have wallowed in misery for five months or so.  It had been the second best day of his life when he had been staring out of his rented chalet's glass door, the home he'd stayed in even after she had left and he'd thought he was hallucinating when Rose was standing there in the rain, back in March.

That was the day the Joe Miller trial had dealt the town a massive blow and he'd been ready to leave, ready to pack up and go find his daughter and was about to order a taxi to take him to the nearest train station.  When he'd seen Rose properly, going absent-mindedly into the kitchen and not noticing her baby bump, he'd never been so happy since Daisy was born and the day he'd knocked over Tony in his rush to ask Rose out on a sort of non-date, the day he'd first laid eyes on her.

Then, when she'd been in hospital and Jackie had forced his hand into getting married, he'd realized why he'd not asked her the last three months she'd been back because he'd feared she would take his son and he'd lose them both but here they were, preparing to go join Rose's family for Christmas.  Zack was six months old and a handful, Daisy had been for a visit and fussed over him a few times and she was coming for a few days over the new year when they got back from London.

Ellie had of course moved back into the family home shortly after the trial had ended and she'd made up with Beth which Rose was glad about when she'd heard what had happened while she had been making both hers and Alec's lives a misery all that time she'd been hiding in her room in the Tyler house.  Alec had tried to keep himself busy during that time, going over statements and suchlike to make sure nothing could go wrong but despite his best efforts, it had gone wrong.

He'd tried his hand at teaching recruits, being told to smarten himself up or find another job by the chief in charge but he'd not told her it was because his then broken heart wasn't in it and all he wanted was Rose by his side again.  Getting involved with the Sandbrook case had given him some purpose though he'd got more than he'd bargained for when being accused of having an affair with Miller, while he'd been sleeping and having sex with Rose all the time but he'd come unstuck because Rose had not been there to defend him for the night he'd locked up Joe Miller.

Rose of course had gone crazy when she'd found out and had got on the phone to Pete and then Sharon Bishop had got what she deserved because Pete had agreed they should not have that getting in the way once the baby came along.  Rose had regretted not going back to him sooner, letting him go through it all and facing his surgery alone but she'd laughed when Ellie had said Tess had turned up to take him home but he'd confessed she'd been surprised Rose had left.

All that now though didn't matter as he watched Rose feeding Zack, how he'd been persuaded to name his son that, he'd not yet worked out.  Rose had told him she had a friend from her old life called Jack and knowing what had happened to the town's newsagent, they'd thought it wise not to name the baby that.

"Do you want me to take him now?" Alec asked her as she put the towel on her shoulder to wait for Zack to get the wind out of him, something he was rather good at and had got Alec unexpectedly a few times, thankfully not on his suit jacket – yet.  Zack was now almost on solids but liked his milk.

"Nah, we're good.  What time's Ellie and the boys coming by?"

"Soon, I believe, maybe she's having trouble with, 'erm, Fred?"

Rose smiled.  All the times Ellie had said he'd minded Fred while she did shopping for him and he'd pushed him around when they'd been working on the Sandbrook case and he only just remembered the boy's name.

"Yeah, well Fred's probably insisting he wraps Zack's present by himself.  Speaking of presents, we still have to decide what we're getting him."

"Love, he's too young to even worry about it, it's not like he'll be opening his own, is it?" Alec asked, sitting up on the sofa to take the boy and not forgetting the towel, he'd learned his lesson.

As he settled Zack on his right shoulder, Rose reached over to kiss her son's cheek, then Alec's.

"Aw but he'll be taking notice so let's just get him something educational from the early learning centre?  We have Christmas Eve morning to go to the shopping mall while mum looks after him."

"Won't she want to come with us?" he asked, hoping the answer was a big NO.

"Have her missing spending the morning with her grandson?  Fat chance.  Tony might want to tag along, do ya mind?"

"No love, he's your brother, him I can put up with."

Rose smiled as Zack made a noise Mickey would be proud of.

Half an hour later, the doorbell rang and knowing Ellie loved nothing better than see her boss changing nappies, much to Alec's embarrassment, Rose went to let her in.  Ellie smiled.

"I see I've arrived just in time then?  Need any help Alec?"

Alec gave her a look that told her where to go, not so politely.

"Hardee!" young Fred squealed at him as he wriggled from Tom's grip, looking at Alec and holding out his arms. 

Alec was trying to fasten the blue patterned baby suit and concentrating on lining up the press-studs, unsuccessfully and hoping Rose would rescue him – who made these things?

"Hardee," the boy repeated, looking at Rose.

"Uncle Alec's a bit busy Fred, let's go see if we've any chocolate biscuits, unless he's eaten them all."

"Not before his tea Rose," Ellie warned her.

"Then have tea here, Alec can go to the takeaway, can't you love?"

Alec was all for getting away from this Chinese torture puzzle of fastening his son's suit.

"Seriously Rose, this suit's a bit much, can't you get him some pull on leggings?"

Rose smiled.  "Aw but it's not as much fun.  The worse cop in Britain not up for the challenge?  You've had six months practice."

"Yes but when he was in a smaller size, there were not as many.  What are you laughing at Tom?"

Tom was smirking.  "Nothing, Uncle Alec."  Tom did not usually call him that.

While Alec went to get what everyone wanted from the takeaway, Ellie took Zack, Fred trying to catch the baby's hand as he waved it around and giggling, Ellie asked what she'd bought Alec for Christmas.

"I'm getting him something when we go to London.  My mum's looking forward to spending some time with Zack.  We had a bit of a miserable time last year, I was upset about Alec and I hate to think what he was like."

"We didn't have an easy time either, trust me, did we Tom?"

Tom had stayed with his aunt and they'd all had dinner there though it had not been very cheerful so Ellie could imagine what the two of them had been like when they weren't talking.

"Don't you regret not telling him Rose?"

"Of course I do, I hate myself for it now and so does Alec, it wasn't easy for either of us, he was all I could think about and we were both stubborn."

"You could have sent him a card."

"He could have sent me one, to let me know he was still around.  My mum told me before I left she only knew he was still around because Pete was subsidizing the cost of Alec staying in the chalet.  She said Pete wanted to keep an eye on him so if I came to my senses I'd know where he was."

"Quite right too, honestly, the pair of you.  Zack has his eyes."

"Yeah, good thing he's not got his beard."

Even Tom laughed.

After the Millers left, Alec went to put Zack in his cot and switched the baby monitor on, a present from Jake.  They fooled around on the sofa for a while then Alec had something to ask her.

"Rose, now Zack is six months, don't you think we should be discussing a brother or sister for him?"

"Really?  We never discussed having kids, we both went into it without thinking of the consequences that night."

"Well I know that but now we are discussing it, I mean it Rose, I don't want to wait until it's too late to have another one or maybe two?"

"We could have twins?" she suggested, going for his trousers zip.

Tapping her hand, he told her to be serious.  "Well why don't you stop whatever you're on and we'll see what happens?"

"Mmm, okay, I will.  Do ya need any practice, lover?"

"I don't think so Rose, do you?"

The next morning, Alec was packing the car for the journey up to London and Rose had just finished feeding and getting Zack ready.  They were making a couple of stops, that was depending on traffic and Alec was hoping the roads would be quiet since the morning rush would be gone.  It was the 23rd which meant the Christmas rush may not have yet started, well he hoped not and had an alternate route already worked out if the motorway was busy.  It was a longer way around but at least they would be making more progress than sitting a traffic jam with a screaming baby who would want feeding and changing.

Alec was dead set against Rose getting out on the motorway to get in the back seat or climbing over unless it was an emergency and he hoped Zack would sleep most of the way.  Kissing his wife, they set off for the more or less straight route to London, making one stop without any hold-ups and since the baby was still snug in his seat in the outer suit Jackie had sent for him, they decided to carry on instead of stopping again.

They arrived just after one and Alec pulled up in front of the Tyler residence and he swore his mother-in-law had a sixth sense since she was out of the house before he'd put the handbrake on, waiting to get her mitts on her grandson.  He'd often wondered why she'd not opted to have another baby herself but that was non of his business, he just didn't like sharing his and Rose's.  He often thought back to when Jackie had grabbed hold of him when Rose was about to give birth and made him call the vicar.

It wasn't so much as he didn't want to marry Rose, he was afraid she'd turn him down for being such an idiot in letting her almost get away.  Rose had assured him over and over that she would have told him he had a son and let him see the boy but he wouldn't have been able to walk away after just one look, he knew that.  He also wouldn't have let Rose just leave again and he wouldn't have done had he not been in the hospital the morning she'd finally had enough.

"Rose!  You made good time sweetheart, let me get Zack out for you."

Before either of them could protest, Jackie had the door open and was unfastening the straps.  Alec knew he would hardly get him back from her now.  Rose was eyeing him as if to say play nicely.  Once inside and one of the staff had helped Alec get their cases and presents up to Rose's old room, where a cot had been brought in, he went to find them all in the kitchen.  Tony went straight for him.

"Alec!  Will you make paper stars with me after lunch?"

"I'm sure your sister is much better at that than I am?"

"You're just tryin' to get out of it Alec.  I'll help you Tony.  Zack needs feeding soon."

"I can do that for you Rose," Jackie volunteered, glaring at Alec and daring him to object.  She knew Alec was possessive of his son.

Alec shook his head and ate the chunky soup that had appeared in front of him.  This was his first Christmas with her family and he knew he'd never survive.  He was starting to regret not staying at home and just spend it with Rose, having been without her last year, three months after she'd left him, probably having as bad a time as he'd had, alone with only a phone call to his daughter.  It was going to be bad enough tomorrow morning, last minute shopping, why had he agreed to that?  Then she'd suggested Tony might want to go with them, probably so Jackie could wrap his presents and put them under the rather over-decorated silver tree in the hallway.  He'd not even seen the one in the sitting room yet.

He was just thankful it wasn't yet snowing or they could get stuck here after Boxing Day, when they'd planned to leave Zack overnight and go down to Brighton on their own, part of his present to her.  He saw Rose was watching him.

"Let mum feed Zack and we'll go unpack and sort out the presents."

"Yes, good idea love.  Tony, you must be getting all excited then, having your sister home for the holidays?"

"Yeah, she was all sad last year, weren't you Rose?"

Rose tried to brush it off but Alec knew he'd been to blame for that.

"Well she had you Tony and this year she has Zack, she won't be sad this time."

"No Alec, I'm not sad this year, I've got all I want for Christmas, you and Zack."

"Don't you two get all soppy on me," Jackie interrupted as she tried to finish her soup, one-handed.

"Mum, you can put him down if you want?"

Alec had left the buggy in the kitchen after getting it from the back of the car.  He'd found it difficult to assemble after the more simple one Daisy had been put in, sixteen years ago but once he'd got the hang of it, well getting a reward from Rose for getting it right, he never bothered about it now.

Alec had noticed Pete was missing.  Pete was still trying to get finished at Torchwood before it got to the late afternoon and seeing his grandson, something after last year he'd never thought he'd have.  He thought at one point Rose had been so upset she would think about terminating her pregnancy but he'd never said anything.  He was in a meeting with various department heads, Jake and Mickey as anxious to get away to see Rose and the baby as he was.

He'd known Mickey was disappointed when Rose had, without any warning, packed her things and announced she was going to find Alec and she'd only come back to go to the hospital for a scan and get transferred.  So they finally agreed to call it a day and Jake and Mickey hung back and waited for him.

"Can't wait to see Rose and Zack," Jake enquired as Mickey studied the floor.  "They come with Alec you know?"

"Stop it Jake.  I know that, don't I?  I lost Rose before she'd even met him, it's nothing new you know."

"I hope you're not gonna be a complete misery on Christmas Day?  We had enough with Rose being upset last year.  You're still upset she got married and weren't invited."

"No-one was invited Jake.  Alec finally did the right thing and married her, albeit as the baby was about to put in an appearance but better late than never," Pete joined in.  He neglected to say though that Jackie had played a big part in it.

He knew Mickey had never got over losing Rose, even back in their old world and he'd chosen to stay behind but he'd been keen enough to go warn them of the Cybermen and pleased when Rose had been brought here.  Then, they'd gone on holiday last year and Rose had stayed in Broadchurch – with the twin of the man Mickey had always been jealous of.

Alec had reluctantly left their son for Jackie to feed and fuss over him and retreated to their room, Rose thought to unpack but he had other ideas to make good use of the time, he knew exactly how long it took to feed, wind and change Zack.  They had a good hour at least.  He made his move on his wife, going up behind her and feeling under her t-shirt.

"Ah, you want to play?"

"Oh yes love, I want to play, after you've snogged my face off."

Just under an hour later, Rose had persuaded him that playtime was over and they had to get unpacked.  They went back downstairs to find they had company in the guise of Mickey and Jake.  Alec was not a big fan of Rose's one-time boyfriend, even though it was a long time go, especially when he was holding his son and making faces at him, watched by a smiling Jackie.

Alec often got the feeling that his mother-in-law had wanted Mickey to take that role but Rose had made it clear that had never been going to happen even if they'd not met.  In Alec's eyes, Mickey and Rose were about as likely as he and Miller having a non-existent affair, while Rose had been around.  It didn't stop him feeling jealous though.  Jake on the other hand was a different matter altogether and he could see the other man was dying to get Zack from his friend but Mickey wasn't about to let go.

Alec sat next to Rose, taking her hand.  Rose felt sorry for him, she thought it must bring back memories of him spending time with Daisy.  They had talked while upstairs of maybe trying for another baby for next Christmas, if they were lucky.  Rose had said that would be perfect.  Jake finally got Mickey to part with the baby, who was by now wide awake and probably wondering who was fighting over him so when Jake picked him up, Zack decided enough was enough, Alec getting up and taking him.

The baby immediately went quiet again, Rose had noticed how Alec seemed to be their son's favourite, when he was at home.  All Mickey could do was stare open-mouthed.  Alec and Rose retreated back to their room to settle Zack for a nap and just lay together for a while before facing the family dinner.

"You hate this don't you Alec?"

"No, what makes you think that?"

"This was a big mistake, we should have stayed at home, with Ellie and the boys."

Alec hovered over her.  "No love, you needed to be with your family, I know that."

"We could have invited Daisy to come with us."

"It was too much, she's only just getting used to you love.  If we have another addition to our family next year, we are definitely staying home."

"Yeah, I know, just expect my mum to come to us."

She saw the look on his face.  "Just joking teddy."

"I hope so princess, I don't think I could cope with that, it was bad enough before you had Zack."

Rose remembered him coming home just before she'd gone in hospital when he had been caught out trying to snog Rose as he'd realized he was being watched.

Alec went down later to get Zack's bottle and to see what time dinner was, he was going to make sure he got to feed his son this time.  Sitting in the rocking chair Pete had got for them, Alec sat patiently while the baby took his milk, Rose insisted no solids before he was put down for the night.  She sat on the edge of the bed, watching her husband.


"Nothing teddy, I'm trying to decide who's the cutest, it's a draw."

"I'm glad you see it that way princess."

The next day was going to test Alec's patience to the limits – taking Tony shopping on the busiest day of the year and leaving his son with his grandmother and he didn't know which was going to be the worse.  It wasn't like he didn't leave Rose and the baby while he went to work but leaving him with Jackie was ten times worse.  He knew he was never like this over Daisy, a nervous wreck every time he had to leave but it occurred to him it was the fear of losing the both of them when Rose came back into his life.

Apart from Rose's stay in hospital, they had never been apart since and he couldn't stand the thought of her even getting Miller to watch the baby while they went out but sometimes for his sanity he'd had to agree before Rose drove him crazy, as much as he loved her.  Playing with Zack after breakfast, Alec finally handed him over to Jackie, the latter giving him the look that said she'd raised two of her own and was quite capable of taking care of the child.

Alec just managed to find a parking space in the crowded shopping mall, Rose saying they should have got a ride there and be picked up, they wandered around the shops, splitting up to get each other something and Tony wanting to go with Alec, which Alec wasn't so sure about.  When they'd left Rose, Alec was looking in a jeweller's window at some watches as Tony looked at him.

"You won't tell Rose what I bought her, will you Tony?" he asked, asking the assistant to put the watch he'd chosen in a gift box.

"No, I won't tell."

"Rose will be better this year Tony, she won't be sad like the last one."

"I tried to cheer her up and so did Mickey, Mickey thought it was because it reminded her of another Christmas, before I was born."

"Which one was that then?"

"He didn't say but I think it was before mum met my dad."

Rose had never really talked about her past life much, she'd only told him the basics of growing up on a London council estate and about this Doctor she used to know.  Now he was curious as to why Rose had never talked about it.

"Well Tony, we have Zack this Christmas so she will be happy this year.  Time to go find her eh?  What did you get for him?"

"A train."

Alec chuckled to himself and ruffled Tony's hair.  "Good choice, every baby boy should have at least one train.  I expect you will help him with it?"

"Yeah, mum said dad should have helped me pick something else."

"Never mind, he'll be able to play with it next year."

While Alec and Tony were choosing Rose's present, Rose was debating between a tablet PC and digital recorder for Alec, he'd expressed a wish for either but she knew she would have to show him how to use the tablet, hers was different and he could only use it if the icon explained what each 'App' did so she asked the assistant in the electrical store which was the easiest to use for her technophobic husband and was shown a fairly simple model where if the user got stuck, they could get help.

She found Tony and Alec waiting in the café area and kissed Alec's cheek.

"All done love?"

"Yeah, you two look pleased with yourselves.  We just have to go get Zack's now, you can help Tony."

"Cool!" the boy grinned, hoping they would get something for him as well, he was now into jigsaw puzzles, much to his mother's dismay as she found pieces down the side of her plush red sofa all the time and had meant to have words with the staff for not finding them before she did.

Jackie was in her element looking after her grandson, Pete had retreated to his office to make sure everyone knew what they were doing while he was away but joined her in the family room as she was watching Zack playing with a soft toy.

"We could have had more Jaks, if you'd wanted?"

"I'm happy with Tony, never thought I'd have any more after Rose.  I wish we'd see more of Zack though, them being so far away."

"I know love, they come up as often as they can, with Alec's work.  We can go down for a few days once the caravan park opens, Zack might be crawling by then, Rose will have her hands full."

"I swear Alec gets jealous every time I pick the baby up, does he think I'm gonna kidnap his son?"

Pete laughed.  "Probably, it's just his way though, he's suspicious of everyone, well except Rose.  Just think though, last year, they were both over 100 miles apart and both miserable, I can't imagine what it was like for him, Rose was bad enough.  Even Mickey couldn't cheer her up."

"It probably reminded her of that Christmas with the Doctor.  I wish she would tell Alec about it but she's adamant he never finds out the truth.  Have you talked to Mickey and Jake, about not saying anything?"

"They know the drill, don't worry about them love, they won't say anything."

Mickey and Jake were not what they had to worry about.
Chapter 2
Once back from their shopping trip, Rose went to wrap her present to Alec and the ones they'd chosen for Zack, banning Alec until she'd finished wrapping his up.  He was left to wrap his to Rose in the kitchen, Jackie watching him, the baby asleep in his stroller Jackie had placed him in when he'd been changed.

"You know what a difference this has made to Rose?"

"I know that Jackie, we were both too stubborn last year."

"You could have called her, or me."

"You would have kicked my butt down the phone and told me to stop being pig-headed."

Jackie laughed.  "You know I would.  I don't know how many times I said that to Rose but it made no difference.  She hardly ate anything, she was still feeling sick, it should have gone by then but it wasn't just the baby making her feel that way."

"Jackie, if I'd had any idea there was a chance she was pregnant when she left, I would have come after her, even if she had thrown me out, it would have shown her I still cared.  Do you know why she left me?"

"Of course I do, you plum.  What made you go get fixed in the end?"

"When I collapsed again outside the chalet, it gave me a wake-up call and if Rose had not shown up when she did, I was going to see my daughter then get the train to London and see Rose.  Did she tell you I was all ready to leave?"

"Yeah.  You know Pete was subsidizing the cost of your chalet to make sure Rose knew where you were?"

"No, was he?  Why would he do that?"

"So Rose would know you were okay, Ellie would have told her if something had happened to you but Pete arranged with the police to pay the rest of the cost for you to stay there."

"I just assumed the owner was glad not to have it empty over the winter period, there were times I thought I'd have to get a boat to it, then I would have been stuck and I would have gone to the hotel for the night, you know I hate boats."

Jackie smiled.  Now she was glad she did kick his butt and got him to marry Rose, even though it was at the last minute.

Rose came in to join them, seeing their son asleep and risking getting a glare from her mother by sitting on Alec's lap and putting her arms around his neck.  It was only the fact that Tony had followed her in that stopped her giving her husband a proper snogging on the spot.

"Can you watch Zack a while Mum?"

Alec looked at her, what was she planning?

"You two go ahead, I was just saying to Alec you were a proper misery last year."

Rose got up, pulling Alec with her.

"Yeah, I don't need reminding of that thanks.  What time does the party start?"

"Party?  What party?" Alec panicked, hoping Rose was winding him up – again, something she was rather good at and made him love her even more.

"The Christmas party.  I skipped out last year, I had nothing to celebrate, it was all mum could do to get me down for Christmas dinner, she told everyone I had the 'flu."

"So you never told anyone the real reason then?"

"Well we were trying to keep it quiet, did you want it all over the papers that I was pregnant and wouldn't name the father?  Someone would have given it away."

"Oi you two, don't be late for the party, it starts at six, nanny will see to Zack after that, he can go in the old nursery, I'll have his cot put back in there."  She turned to one of the male staff, giving instructions.

Alec still couldn't get used to this kind of lifestyle.  Housekeepers, kitchen staff, a butler, well butler and part-time driver, a nanny for Tony though Tony seemed to think he was past that stage, she was only there once he came home from school but Jackie had got her in for the evening to take charge of the baby so Rose and Alec could have a quiet Christmas Eve and not have to get up during the night and Alec was fussing about it.

"I can see to my own son Jackie, he need not be in the nursery all night you know."

"Stop being a pain Alec, you and Rose deserve one night's break you know."

"Yes and we will when we go off, that is going to be bad enough."

"Why don't you two stay there another night?"

Alec turned to face her, horrified at the thought but supposed she had a point, they'd never really had a honeymoon as such.

"What do you think love?"

"Call the hotel, if the room's not booked the night after, it will be nice."

So Alec called the hotel, the receptionist saying that room was booked the following night but could change them to a sea view room for two nights but it cost extra.  Alec said he didn't care.

They retreated to their room, Rose saying for the nanny to knock on their door when she was taking Zack to the nursery, just before the guests were due to arrive, the cot had already been taken out as per Jackie's instructions and Alec laid Rose on the bed.

"So, we get three nights alone then?" he asked, leaning over her to kiss her neck.

Rose just smiled.  "Well, what you were saying before, about a brother or sister for Zack, maybe it's close enough for my monthly?"

"Really love?  Well don't you go having too much to drink tonight then will you?"

"Nah but this year we've got something to celebrate, don't we?"

She pulled him down, unbuttoning his shirt and admiring the view, much as he was doing as he pulled up her t-shirt.

"Were you really so bad last year Rose?" he asked, kissing her tummy.

"You have no idea but I just couldn't bring myself to do anything about it, I thought you wouldn't want anything to do with me."

"Then why did you wait five months to find out?"

"I was punishing myself, for leaving you without knowing you were okay, never giving you the chance to explain.  Alec, you know I can't ever make up for leaving, when you'd been in hospital that night but you should have got Ellie to call me, I would have gone straight there."

"We can't turn that back now Rose, it happened, that is all there is to it.  I survived, that's the main thing but I wished I hadn't, when I got back and you had gone, my life was over that day, until I looked out of the window that rainy evening in March and there you were."

"I was gonna call you but I thought if I did, you would tell me not to bother and to turn around and go home."

"I would not have done that love.  I would have come to find you, when I had been to see Daisy.  I was going to tell her that I may stay in London, had you agreed to take me back, if that was what you wanted but there you were, after the worst day I'd had since you left me."

"I'm so sorry Alec, I should have thought how it had affected you as well.  When Daisy comes to see us, I want you to ask her to come down more often, if she wants."

"Aye, I will, she's old enough now, if you are sure?"

"She's your daughter Alec, that's good enough me for me.  Now stop wasting time teddy."

"Anything you say princess."

The party was a success, Tony was allowed to stay up late until Pete had to practically carry the tired boy upstairs and Rose had gone to check on her son.  Alec was introduced to people Rose knew from Torchwood and Jackie was dragging him around, introducing her son-in-law the detective but failing to say he was the one where a killer had walked free because he'd been accused of having an affair with his DS.

They managed to get away just before midnight and made up for being apart the previous year, Rose giggling and telling Alec to keep his grunting down or the whole house would hear.  Alec was first up, quickly getting dressed in his joggers and a t-shirt and impatiently waiting to be admitted into the nursery to get to his son, something he made known he was not used to.  He picked up the still sleeping baby and took him back to the room that had once been Rose's and now theirs whenever they were to visit, seeing Rose was also still asleep and sat in the rocking chair.

Rose woke up and saw him holding Zack's tiny hand and smiled to herself.  She left him a while, she knew how much he loved these moments and would often catch him at home just laid beside her with the baby safely wrapped in his arms.

"You two okay over there?"

"Yes, we are fine, he went back to sleep after he had been changed but he will probably want feeding soon.  Are you going to try him with the baby rice you brought with us?"

He gave the still sleeping baby to Rose while he went to the bathroom, then got himself dressed, choosing the comic jumper Rose had bought him for a joke that had snowmen and santas on and a pair of black corded trousers she'd persuaded him to buy recently though she'd wanted him to get some tan coloured ones as well, getting her a firm 'no way' from him in the store.

He thought modernizing him was a bit of a lost cause but she never gave up, that was one of the many things he loved about her and since he had a young son and Rose would want more, he'd decided to drag himself reasonably up to date but still preferred the chunky blue jumper she had made him leave at home.  He had been reluctant to wear this one but it made her smile seeing him in it so it made it worthwhile wearing it for her.

Tony had already woken up and was downstairs with his dad, being told to wait for everyone else then he could open some presents before breakfast.

"I know what Alec got Rose," he told Pete.

"I bet you do but don't tell her, will you?"

"Nah, Alec said not to.  She won't cry this year, will she Dad?"

"No, she has Zack and Alec this time.  Mickey and Jake will be here later, did you put their presents under the tree?"

"Yes Dad and Zack's.  Alec said every baby boy should have a train."

Pete smiled and waited for everyone else to come down.  Alec arrived down first, carefully with Zack in his arm as he was now awake after Rose got him dressed out of his sleep suit.  He was followed closely by Jackie.

"Here, let me take him?" she offered as Alec made for the kitchen, passing a confused Tony who had been awake for ages waiting to unwrap his presents.

"Mum, my presents?"

"Oh, sorry love, yeah, let's open one or two.  Alec, you go ahead unless Zack can wait for a few minutes?"

Tony wasted no time, going for the one he knew was from Rose and Alec.  He was looking forward to this after Rose had hardly said a word last year.  Rose came to join them, eating her breakfast while Alec tried to feed Zack who wanted to spit out the new baby food and Alec didn't really blame him, he would never have eaten it either and so he had to get the bottle warmed up instead, his breakfast being kept warm for him.

Rose smiled at him as she finished her own and took the boy.  "Maybe we should just give him some porridge?"

"Very funny Rose."

Tony was waiting to be excused to go tear off more wrapping paper.  "Thanks for the present Alec, it's great."

They had got him a remote control police helicopter.  Jackie had frowned and was holding Alec responsible for any breakages such as her best vase in the hallway.  Rose swore those two had a frowning contest each time they met.

After the present opening, Alec losing his new pad to Tony who wanted to know what the different apps did after Rose connected it to the internet for him and then Tony decided he wanted to beat Alec at a racing game.  They helped Zack open his presents, the wooden train from Tony, a soft play gym from Jackie and Pete they could lay him in so he was secure and the things they had bought for him. 

Tony then got bored and went to fetch the puzzle he'd got the day before for helping them choose toys for Zack and he and Alec were soon taking over the coffee table trying to get it together since it was a double sided one, which Rose had thought was funny when Alec kept looking at both sides.  That was the calm before the storm as the staff prepared Christmas dinner, Jackie going off to supervise and Rose going up to get changed leaving Alec and Pete to talk.

"Jackie told me you helped pay for the chalet while Rose was away."

"Yeah, I suppose she told you why?"

"Yes, I may have wandered off once Rose showed no sign of returning, I thought I may as well stay there until the hearing was over.  I would have left if there had not been a trial, made my way up to London and seen if Rose would have talked to me."

"I think she would have done.  When she first came here, all she wanted was to go back to her old life but she came around, she's just a bit stubborn."

Alec smiled.  "Tell me about it.  You know I love her Pete and she'll want to tell her mother but we're thinking of having an addition to the family."

"That's great Alec, good luck with that.  Remember when she was in the hospital and you looked at me when Jackie told you to get a move on and marry Rose?"

"Only too well Pete, I wish I'd done it before but I was genuinely scared she'd leave again."

"Did it never occur to you that would have been the best way of keeping her?"

Alec raised his eyebrows and looked at his son, laying on the sofa kicking his legs.  Zack was staying awake longer now and if Rose were to have another, he would be still quite young and demanding but not old enough to get jealous.  Rose came back into the room, Alec whistled.

"Your turn to go get changed Alec."

"Can't I wear this jumper?"

She knew he really hated it.

Mickey and Jake arrived, along with Jake's friend Luke and Tony got excited all over again with more presents.  Mickey went to pick up Zack, who was wide awake and trying to eat Mickey's finger, Rose holding Alec back.  She took him to one side.

"Ease up teddy, no-one's going anywhere with him, relax."

"Easy for you to say.  Do you think I'm being over-protective?"

"Just a little bit Alec, he's safe enough.  We might be grateful next year if we have another."

"Then we definitely go for it?"

"That was the idea."

She put her arms around him and steered him to the sprig of mistletoe by the door, Jackie trying to get Tony's attention to avoid him seeing his sister snogging her husband.

Christmas dinner was announced, Alec taking his son from Jake and wishing they would stop playing pass the parcel with him.  A chair had been found for the baby, Rose hoping he wouldn't decide now was the time to take a nap.  All went well through the main course, then the desserts were brought in and the Christmas crackers, Tony wanting to pull one with Alec then Mickey held one out to Rose.

"Hey come on Rose, your turn.  What does this remind you of?"

Jackie glared at him.  "I mean the last Christmas we had back on the estate, we pulled crackers and you got a pink paper hat."

"Yeah, I know Mickey, leave it will you?"

Alec stopped trying to feed some cooled custard to Zack.

"Why would you want to forget it Rose, if it was the last Christmas in your old flat?"

"It doesn't matter Alec."

Tony didn't know that talking about his sister's past was going to cause so much trouble.

"Don't you like pink hats Rose?" Tony asked innocently.

"Yeah, she likes pink hats, don't worry about it Tony," Mickey answered for her.

Alec wondered where this was going and thought now was the time to find out.

"You never talked about it love, why not?  It was your life before you moved here then met me."

"I know but I'd rather just forget it."

Alec knew Mickey was a past boyfriend and wondered if there had been someone else.  He remembered vaguely of a conversation when he'd woken one night and they'd talked about not liking water and something about a Doctor but she'd never said another word about it.

"Rose, was an old boyfriend of yours there?"

Jackie stopped what she was doing, knowing there was going to be trouble.

"I don't want to talk about it Alec, this is not the time."

"Rose, when is it ever going to be the right time?  You never talk about your past, why not?"

Rose got up, throwing her napkin on the table and looking at Zack, who was rubbing his eyes.

"Zack needs a nap, I'll take him upstairs."

"I'll bring him up."

"No Alec, I want to be on my own."

"We need to talk Rose."

"Let her be Alec," Jackie interrupted as he got up, making Zack cry at being disturbed, Alec then trying to hush him.

"It's okay Mum, excuse us."

Once they put Zack in his cot after settling him, Alec turned to his wife.

"What was all that about Rose?"

"Nothing, really.  It just brought back memories of last year, without you."

"Don't give me that Rose, tell me what it is.  If it is another boyfriend you never told me about, it's fine, really.  I just wish you would tell me.  What was so bad about spending the last Christmas in your old place?  Did you not want to leave when your mother met Pete?"

How could she tell him?  She'd never said she'd been involved with both Cybermen incidents though he knew she'd worked for Torchwood but he'd assumed she had missed all that somehow and been one of the lucky ones and that the old Torchwood had long gone when Pete had taken over.

"Rose, you can tell me, I don't care about your past boyfriends, you married me.  How long ago was that now?  Wait, it was just before the Cybermen disappeared, were you caught up in that?"

"How could I have been Alec?  Mum met him after that, she just got lucky."

"You can say that again, you said she had no idea how she resembled the first Mrs Tyler, how could she not have known?"

"She just didn't, why should she?  Can we just drop this Alec?  I don't want to fight with you."

She stepped up to him, glancing over at their sleeping child.  Alec opened his arms and kissed her forehead.

"You were young then, back when the Cybermen were created, how did you avoid it all?"

"Me mum and Mickey, we never had those earpod things, mum hated the thought of them and she wouldn't let me have any either, said they were evil.  What about you?"

"Not in the police, well some of them wore them but not me or Tess.   We had Daisy to think about anyway and in Sandbrook they were not that popular, not like in London.  You are avoiding the subject Rose, was there someone else?"

"Yes.  I don't want to talk about him."

"Did you love him?"

"I was nineteen Alec, I didn't tell him, not until it was too late.  He left before I had the chance."

"He left you?  You saw him again, to tell him?  You walked away from me because another man left you?"

"No Alec, it wasn't like that.  He had no choice but to leave and I can't tell you about it, it's too personal and upsetting.  It took me a long time to get over it then some stupid detective almost sent my young brother flying after almost getting run over by a car and made me realize I'd been alone too long.  He made me realize I'd got over the man I lost and I fell in love with him and he wouldn't do a simple thing for me like get himself fixed so I was the one that left.  I left you Alec because I couldn't watch you getting any worse and because I knew even when you'd solved the case you wouldn't go ahead with it.  Tell me I was wrong."

"Why?  No, I would probably have made up excuses, at first but if you had told me you were pregnant, I would have got it done right away, you know that love.  Now, do you want to tell me who he was?  If not, this is over and done with, we will never talk about it again."

This was her chance to get out of it but was that fair?  She had to make her mind up.  She could live with telling him some of it but he'd want to know more, it would get complicated and he could leave her and Zack.  This was a new start for both of them, they were talking about trying for another baby already and they were happy and she would be risking everything by telling him.

"I was nineteen, the store I worked in got set on fire.  I got a job as a research assistant for a history professor and we travelled around together.  I got giddy, fell head over heels for him and almost made a fool of myself by inviting him for Christmas dinner, just before my mum met Pete when I kissed him under the mistletoe.  He laughed it off but just after that, the university pulled the funding and he had to go back to teaching and I never saw him again, then mum fell in love with Pete and we moved here."

"He moved away then?"

"Yeah, seems he wasn't big on long distance relationships and neither was I.  I was heart-broken for a while but then Tony came along, I dated a few blokes, can't even remember half of them, just to get myself in the papers as the new Vitex heiress having a night out of the town."

She hated herself for this but she had agreed with Pete if she ever met someone and she'd had no choice but to invent a story to cover what had happened, that was what they would say.  Pete must have known by the way they had suddenly left that it had come to that, six months after they had married.  She had hoped it would never had come to it but it had and she had to save her marriage to Alec at any cost, she had lost five months, almost six being selfish when she could have gone back to him and she hadn't.

She'd had no choice over the Doctor, the universe had been cruel but she had chosen to go back to the one man she loved in this universe and she'd almost lost him but she had come to her senses and she wasn't about to lose him a second time.

"Rose, princess, I am happy you could tell me this, now we will say no more about it.  We'll put the monitor on and go rejoin the others or shall I get the nanny to watch him?"

"What was all that earlier, you were looking daggers at Mickey."

"Well of course I was, he was looking just a little too cosy with my son."

Rose reached up and put her arms around the man she loved.

"I love you Alec but you've nothing to worry about.  Mickey will protect him and so will Jake.  Sure you want to join the others?  We could say we had a row and were making up," she teased, pulling on his tie.

"Rose Hardy, I do like the way you think but don't wake Zack."

"Maybe we can have the cot put back in the nursery then?"

"Why, are you going to be difficult to keep quiet tonight then?"

"Mmm, your guess is as good as mine on that score."

The rest of the holiday went smoothly with Rose and Alec leaving early on the 27th for two nights in Brighton which resulted five weeks later in Rose being late and getting a test, which she showed to Alec when he got home from work.

"Really?  Seems that extra night we had in Brighton may have been worth it, I had to pay extra for that room."

"Yeah, it was a lovely room Alec and looking out at the pier all lit up and the moon on the sea, it was really romantic."

"Glad you appreciated it love.  So, another addition to the family before Christmas eh?  We seem to be making a habit of it."

"Well don't get any ideas about the following one, that's all."

"No going off this time then?" he asked, putting his hands up the back of her t-shirt.

"Nope, no getting married when I'm about to have the baby either."

They had just shared a long kiss when they heard a noise behind them from Zack, who was laid on his play gym.  "Da da da."

Alec smiled and knelt down to tickle him.  "When did he start that?" he asked, picking him up carefully.

"He's been babbling all day, only had a couple of naps.  We went out for a walk to the esplanade, we saw Maggie and Jocelyn out for a walk, Jocelyn's getting worse now but she could just about see Zack, says how he's growing.  He was babbling away and she put a pound coin in his pocket, I've put it in his money box."

"About that money box your mother sent, why have a phone box painted blue?  Does she not know how to use one and I expect she thought it very amusing to have a police sign put on the top?"

Rose smiled.  Alec carried on with his list of grudges against his mother-in-law while playing with Zack's feet, making the baby gurgle and giggle as he tried to get away.

"Does she not know how one looks, it hardly has any windows in it and has a lamp on the top.  Really love, has she gone completely mad?"

Rose knew there had never been any police call boxes in this world and Pete had got a specialist model maker to make the money box with a slot in the top for coins and a rubber stopper.

"Did she have it made by the same person who made that shoulder bag of yours or did she get the idea from you?"

Rose had admitted in a moment of madness she'd had the bag designed for her by an upcoming bag designer, who had done very well for herself as Rose had endorsed her.

"No teddy, it was all her idea and you have to admit it's one of a kind, Ellie loves it, she wanted one for Fred but mum can't remember who she got to make it."

That wasn't quite true but Pete had warned they could become popular and one model Tardis in this world was quite enough – for everyone's liking.

The End!

~~~~~Broadchurch/Doctor Who Fanfic~~~~~

Have you listened to David's podcast yet?

David has launched a series of podcasts, interviewing so far Olivia Colman, Whoopi Goldberg, Jodie Whittaker (the 13th Doctor) Sir Ian McKellen, John Hamm, Gordon Brown, Catherine Tate, Kristen Ritter, James Corden, Samantha Bee, Tina Fey and Michael Sheen.

Series 2

First interview is Jim Parsons, next is Stacey Abrams, George Takei (Sulu from Star Trek) Dan Levy, Tim Minchin, Brian Cox, Elisabeth Moss, Neil Gaiman, Billie Piper

Look for 'David Tennant Does a Podcast With…' wherever you get your podcasts from.

You can follow on Twitter or Instagram for the latest news and the next guest

~~~~~Broadchurch/Doctor Who Fanfic~~~~~

Broadchurch Series 3 Videos

Missed Broadchurch?  ITV and STV often show re-runs or you can catch them on Britbox and Netflix (except for some strange reason in the UK)

If you live in another country, check your TV station's website for more details

**Coming soon**
I thought I had lost you

Rose Tyler works her way through police college after leaving the department store and is sent to the town of Sandbrook, working with a certain DI Alec Hardy.  Her mother has moved down to live with her, they have a nice apartment and Jackie works part time as a hairdresser.

Things change between Rose and her boss when Tess is looking for any excuse to have the two of them split up, until her own partner Dave convinces her to get her own back and see if Alec notices.  Alec already knows what Tess is up to and gets Rose to go along with pretending they have something going on.


Rose Tyler gets a surprise when Pete hires a new head of alien artefacts before he goes back to stop her from falling into the void. On Rose's first day at work, she almost faints to see Jamie Smith, who looks like The Doctor sat at a desk covered in bits of alien 'tech'. On their wedding day, Rose meets another double, Alec Hardy and Jamie gets jealous when he sees them talking.

Rose Tyler has been popular since taking over some of her mother's charities so when she's invited to a Christmas event in Broadchurch she is happy to attend. Alec Hardy gets roped into looking after her for the evening and is taken with her, then Rose invites him to spend Christmas with her and when he says they have no plans and has fallen for her, his daughter is delighted.

Rose Tyler had moved to Sandbrook and became a hairdresser with her mother.  Tess Hardy was one of her clients as was Cate Gillespie.  When Cate's daughter goes missing, Rose is unsure whether to tell Alec Hardy of her conversation with young Pippa just before and what she had overheard between the girl and Cate.  How can Alec get Rose to finally tell him what went on?