Rose and The Doctor meet Alec Hardy

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The Doctor takes Rose and her mother to a small coastal town in Dorset while he goes back to London to send the Daleks and Cybermen back into the void but when he comes back for her after getting his timing wrong again, Rose has fallen in love with Alec Hardy.  Will she go back to travelling with him in the Tardis? Did he stay away on purpose so she would meet Alec?

The Doctor takes Rose and her mother to a small coastal town in Dorset while he goes back to London to send the Daleks and Cybermen back into the void but when he comes back for her after getting his timing wrong again, Rose has fallen in love with Alec Hardy.  Will she go back to travelling with him in the Tardis?  Did he stay away on purpose so she would meet Alec?

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Chapter 1

Set in recent times, not when 'Doomsday' was originally set and where The Doctor hasn't sent Rose to the alternate universe, mixed with a bit of 'Journey's End'

Rose knew she couldn't stay with the Doctor, he'd told her, so she was going to make the most of their time together. She had lost Mickey for good, almost lost the Doctor countless times, the last time being only recently when he'd taken her to back to see the 2012 Olympic games. So on their way back from visiting a little market on an asteroid and buying a present for her mum, they took the long way home, having a bit of time to themselves in the Tardis, dancing around the console, chilling out in the library where the Doctor read a book to her from his own planet as they curled up in a large overstuffed armchair where they had got so cosy. Rose had fallen asleep on his shoulder and he didn't want to disturb her, so he read to himself for a while longer and waited for her to wake up.

Rose stirred and realised where she was sleeping as he said "Hi" to her and she felt a bit embarrassed.

"Have I kept you here all this time?" she asked him, blushing.

"No, it's fine except my arm's gone a bit dead where you were lying on it but apart from that, well, it was kind of nice. We should do it more often." He realised what he'd just said. "I mean, me reading to you, not for you to fall asleep, not that I minded you going to sleep but, well, I was probably getting to the boring part and so it was probably just as well you did go to sleep and you did look peaceful and well, cute and…."

He stopped as Rose leaned forward and put both her arms around his neck and told him to shut up and kissed him.

That was the last time they'd be alone. He got up, moving her to one side leaving her wondering if she'd done something wrong.

"It's not you Rose, it's me. You know we can't do this as much as I want to. We've talked about it before, I told you, I can't spend the rest of my life with you and it wouldn't be fair on you to let us get involved. We can only stay friends if you still want. We can kiss but nothing else. Something's coming Rose, something I might not be able to control and I've put it off but I have to face it. I could lose you and if we get involved, I can't concentrate on what I have to do. Let's just take it easy, see what happens and if the time is right we'll talk about it."

Rose was still sat in the armchair, she didn't know what to say. She was disappointed that she had finally got up the courage to kiss him, as herself and not Cassandra and he'd more or less turned her advances down. Not forever but if he said something was going to happen she knew it would be inevitable.

"So, what's going to happen then? You said before that something was coming, what is it? How can you tell?"

"I just know we should go back to London as soon as we can, you know when I get these feelings I'm usually right, sorry. You'd better go pack your stuff that you need. I'm not saying I don't want to get romantic with you because I do, just not now, I have to be sure you're safe."

Rose went to collect her stuff and made her way back to the console room. He was already waiting, with a serious look on his face. Rose put her bag down and moved over to him. He put his arms out and pulled her close and kissed her.

"Rose, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have been so harsh. We've been travelling together all this time and it's all been building up, it was bound to happen sooner or later, we just picked the wrong time. We need to talk about this but not now."

So they left the Tardis and went to her mum's flat to learn all about the ghosts that had been appearing and after following the signal, they landed at Canary Wharf but before anything really happened, he was determined to get Rose and Jackie to safety. He managed to slip away and asked Rose if she remembered where the Tardis had been taken so she led them back to it and once inside, they began arguing.

"You're not taking me away from all this, you need me, you can't do it on your own. There are Cybermen and Daleks back there, you don't expect me to quit so let me out."

He was stony faced as he concentrated at the monitor and controls. Jackie was sitting on a ledge again still getting over the shock she was nearly turned into a Cyberman but had been rescued by the alternate version of her dead husband, something she couldn't quite get her head around. Rose was glaring at him for daring to suggest she left him to deal with it on his own but she knew no amount of pleading would help. He'd talked about getting them somewhere safe while he dealt with it with the alternate universe's version of Torchwood.

There were two choices for him to make, seal Rose and her mother off in the alternate universe and he'd never see her again or take her to a safe place in this world, somewhere remote where the Cybermen hadn't bothered with, they were only in the large towns and cities and hopefully, he'd be able to send them back where they came from and then he'd go back for her when it was all over. He figured it was the lesser of the two evils, Rose would still be in this universe at least.

He'd checked all the coastal towns for signs of any Cyberman activity, they were in some of them but he found one place on the south coast that hadn't been overtaken and he headed for it and landed the Tardis behind a hotel. Rose knew they'd landed, she could tell by now. He opened the door after checking the monitor that it was safe that no-one was around.

"So, where are we?" Jackie asked indignantly, with her arms folded. "Somewhere the back of beyond? You sure there are none of those creatures here?"

"We're in a small town on the Dorset coast, it's called Broadchurch. You'll be safe here until I come back. Rose, give me your bank card," he said.

She handed it to him saying there was no money in it. He used his sonic screwdriver to alter the chip inside it and handed it back.

"There is now. Whatever you need, just use your card as normal, pay for things and get cash out of the machine, there's no limit but best not overdo it or the bank might get suspicious. Lay low for a few days, stay at this hotel and I'll come and find you when it's over. You should be safe here. The hotel owner might be wary of you since you've arrived with no luggage so just say it's in your car or something. Whatever you do, don't say you've come from London or a place that's been invaded, they might not be as aware here or might think it's a hoax, which if everything works, that's what it will go down as. Just say you're on holiday. Jackie, can you give us a few minutes?"

Jackie went outside, leaving the two of them.

"Rose, I'm coming back for you, it might take a few days or just a few hours, I don't know. I have to go back to the exact time we left and I don't know how long it will take to send them all back into the void. Wait for me Rose, please. I know you'll hear all kinds of things if I succeed so don't tell anyone about it or me or they'll think you're crazy and you'd best warn your mother, you know what she's like. I'll be back before you know it. If I don't come back right away, there's a good reason."

He pulled her close and put his arms around her and kissed her goodbye. Rose was crying as she held onto him.

"You promise you'll come back when it's over?" Rose asked.

He nodded and kissed her again.

She stepped out of the Tardis after he promised she'd be safe and he'd be back and went to join her mother. They watched the Police Box fade away and walked up towards the front of the hotel. Once inside, Rose asked for two rooms on the same floor and they signed the register. The owner asked if they had any luggage and so Rose told her it was in the car and they'd get it later, asking if there was another entrance and was told a staircase led to the carpark.

"You're on the second floor but watch out for the resident grump. I'm Becca, by the way, I own the hotel."

"Who's the resident grump, what makes you say that?" Rose asked.

"He's been here a while, he's a Police Detective who hasn't found anywhere permanent to live yet and he's had the second floor to himself for a while so if you bump into him, don't say I never warned you. You say you're from London, what's been going on there? The news says there's a big student hoax going on or a sci-fi film being made there and half of the city's involved. Do you know anything about it?"

Rose decided to deny any knowledge of it and said, "No, we've been travelling for a while, it started after we left. We've been all along the south coast the last few weeks. What are the meal times here?"

Becca told her and Rose said they'd go to their rooms then go get their luggage. Once there, Rose said they'd have to go out and buy a few clothes so they left via the rear stairs and went shopping, finding a market next to the hotel and got what they needed. Rose hadn't even noticed what day it was with all the confusion and being dragged from the middle of a battle and left in a strange town but discovered it was Friday. They got back to the hotel and Rose had just come out of her mother's room and as she turned, she almost bumped into a man who was just opening a door opposite.

He turned around and Rose was just standing and staring at him – he spoke to her in a Scottish voice as he said, "Can I help you miss? Is there something wrong?"

Rose just stood there.

"Sorry, I was just going back to my room, I didn't mean to disturb you."

She was thinking this must be the resident grump she was told about but he didn't seem grumpy to her, just a bit surprised someone was standing behind him.

She made her excuses and went back to her room thinking nothing more of it. Then it struck her, there was something familiar about the man she'd just met but she couldn't put her finger on it. She went to meet her mother for dinner and they kept their talk to a minimum, not wanting to say too much in public although there weren't that many people but Rose thought they'd best be on the safe side. The man she'd met earlier was sat at the other side of the dining room and Rose couldn't help but stare at him.

They went back to their rooms, Rose wanted to watch the news, see if there was anything about Canary Wharf and London in general but there was nothing except a small last minute look back that mentioned students had admitted they were making a sci-fi spoof and somehow it had got out of hand and most of the population in London and other towns and cities had got caught up in the excitement but it had all ended when those responsible for dressing up had disappeared.

Rose went back to her mother's room and told her that the Doctor must have succeeded and he'd somehow got the story out about students. Maybe he'd got in touch with Sarah Jane Smith, she was a journalist and she'd come up with a cover story. Rose told Jackie to give it another day or two and wait for him to come back, his timing sucked sometimes and he may have got the date wrong.

The next morning, Saturday, they went down for breakfast and the man who Rose had bumped into came across to their table. He asked Rose if they'd met before because when he'd seen her the day before, she'd been staring at him and thought she'd mistaken him for someone. She apologised, saying she hadn't meant to. He asked their names and said his was Alec and how long they were staying and Jackie said they were leaving the next day but Rose corrected her, saying maybe a few more days, they had to wait for the Doctor coming back. He left them to finish breakfast and Jackie wanted to go take another look around the town but Rose said she wanted to go to the beach so they said they'd meet up for lunch.

She put some leggings and a t-shirt she'd bought from the market over the top of a bikini and decided to walk down to the beach. She was just going down the corridor when she heard a door close behind her. It was the same man again. He asked if she was going out for the day and she said she was going to the beach. He was dressed in a pair of jeans and a striped t-shirt so he asked if she wanted any company, he was going for a walk up the beach. He said he had to exercise every day because of a heart operation he'd had recently so weekends, he'd walk on the beach or along the coastal path.

Rose said she'd welcome some company, her mother had gone shopping after Rose had got her some cash while they were out the day before. He told her his name was Alec Hardy, he was a Police Detective Inspector and now he'd recovered from a pacemaker operation, he was in the process of renting a house just up the beach, he was waiting for it to go through as he'd had to delay it due to his operation. He was staying at the hotel a bit longer because his surgeon had recommended he not be on his own but he was moving in the following weekend. He asked again how long she was staying but she said she didn't know now, her mother wanted to go home.

They sat by the beach for a while, Rose was telling him she'd been travelling a lot, which was true, just not on earth and said she'd been travelling with someone, a Doctor from a local college that was into history and archaeology, which was also part true but she said he'd gone on an expedition without her so she'd just travelled with her mother to nearby coastal towns until he came back. He asked her what she did for a living, she said she had a research grant from the college, she did work for this Doctor, typed his notes up and things, made his travel arrangements and she was happy doing it, it was a dream job, getting to see different places.

Alec then asked her if she was involved with this Doctor and Rose blushed.

"I can't tell you that Alec," she said ''it's complicated. He likes me, a lot but sometimes I think he just gets lonely, likes someone to share his discoveries and travel with him. It's no fun travelling on your own. He's always been the perfect gentleman but just before he went off on his own I thought we were getting closer but he went off and I don't know where I am with him."

She was telling Alec the truth, she didn't know where she'd stand when he came back to get her and now, this Alec Hardy was asking her how she felt about the Doctor when she didn't know herself now. Would it develop into something else when he came back or would he just want to be friends, kissing friends but no more. Could she settle for just that or did she want more? She snapped out of it when she realised Alec was now staring at her and asking her something.

"Rose, I asked you if you're going to wait for him to come back?" he repeated. "How long are you going to wait for him?"

That was a good question. How long should she wait for him? This was the second day, it was all supposed to be over in London, there had been nothing else on the news about it. The Doctor's timing was always less than perfect, he'd made her miss a whole year once but she was thinking he should have come back for them now. She knew he'd call her when he landed the Tardis behind the hotel again if she didn't hear it first.

Maybe he was clearing things up, making sure that Torchwood was complete disbanded before they did any more harm or maybe it was taking longer than he thought. A horrible feeling came over her and she didn't realise Alec was talking to her again. What if, when sending the Daleks and Cybermen back to the void, he'd had an accident and ended up there himself or gone back to the alternate universe to help Peter Tyler make sure they'd all gone from there as well. Worse still, what if he'd been trapped there with no way back? That had been why he didn't want to send her there, they'd never see each other again, coming to Broadchurch had been the best option.

"Rose, you're wandering again, is there something wrong? Am I boring you?" he laughed.

She snapped out of it quickly.

"No, Alec, of course you're not. It's just, well I was thinking he might not come back, I might have put him off before he went, I sort of kissed him and well, he didn't take it very well and that was right before he left. He might have left me."

She was doing her best to stick to half truths rather than make up a complicated story she wouldn't be able to keep up with, sticking to what she knew. She just hoped her mother wouldn't put her foot in it and ruin the whole thing so she was going to have to keep Alec away from her.

Alec looked sympathetic and he sneakily put his arm around the back of the bench they were sitting on. Rose noticed. She liked him, he wasn't grumpy at all, if anything, he was lonely, just like the Doctor had been until she'd met him. Maybe Alec needed someone and he was human and not over 900 years older than she was.

"Rose, if he didn't respond to you kissing him, he's either a fool or he's not interested that way in you. If I were him, I would have kissed you back." He moved closer and leaned towards her, angling his face to meet hers as she looked at him. "Want to test my theory with me?" he asked.

Rose responded by moving her lips closer to his until they just about touched and she whispered back, "I'd be delighted to help you test your theory Alec" and let her lips meet his.

"That was some kiss, Rose," he said as their lips parted. "There is definitely something wrong with your friend if he didn't kiss you back."

He leaned in to kiss her again as she responded and kissed him back.

She was surprised to find herself kissing him more than once, his beard felt soft on her skin, not rough like she thought it would be. He was human and was definitely interested in her. She had to think about this before she took it any further. What if the Doctor did come back and wanted more than friendship? They led a dangerous life sometimes, she knew that but she'd give anything for a normal relationship but she knew she wouldn't get it from being with the Doctor but she would with Alec Hardy. Was it fair though, to abandon the Doctor after all they'd been through together?

Alec was looking at her, pushing a stray strand of her hair out of her face.

"You're beautiful, Rose," he said. "If I was this friend of yours, I would never have gone off and just left you, no matter what. Will you stay here a bit longer, with me?" he asked, brushing his hand down her cheek.

She was about to answer him when her phone rang. It was her mother wanting to know where she was. She couldn't tell her she was by the sea kissing the man who'd talked to them a few hours earlier.

"Rose, we're supposed to be meeting in the café, what are you doing?" Jackie asked.

"Mum, I'm talking to someone. Listen, why don't we just meet up back at the hotel for dinner? I've got settled on the beach and I'll grab a bite to eat from one of those stalls by the harbour. Okay?'' she asked.

Jackie reluctantly agreed and Alec said he was getting hungry anyway, so they walked, Alec taking her hand into his, down towards the harbour. They bought sandwiches and a hot drink and sat on a wall beside a slipway. Alec was making her laugh, saying he'd not done anything like this for a long time and he admitted it had been a while since he kissed a woman the way they had just kissed.

"That was more than just nice, Rose, I'm glad my theory was proved."

"So am I but there is just one thing, if I stay, well I'll have to tell my mother about you and she has a reputation for shall we say, disapproving of my choice in men and sometimes gets a bit physical in showing it, like slapping their faces and I wouldn't want you to arrest her for assaulting a Police Officer," she laughed.

Alec had a serious look on his face but then realised she was joking, he hoped.

"Rose, I'd put up with anything but if you want her to leave then just make sure that doesn't happen," he laughed back.

He helped her up and they walked onto the beach, Rose slipping her shoes off and Alec stopping to untie his trainers. Rose wanted to go in the water but she'd forgotten her towel but Alec said she'd dry in the sun if she only went part of the way in the water. They walked down the beach, it was quite full so they'd walked a bit further down where it was quieter and sat by the water's edge, Rose took off her t-shirt and leggings and Alec couldn't help but sit and stare at her as she undressed down to her bikini and ran off into the water. He took off his socks and rolled up the legs of his jeans, took his t-shirt off and walked after her as she was bending down to splash water on herself.

He went up behind her quietly and suddenly, bent down and splashed water on her back, making her jump as he laughed at her. She retaliated by turning around and splashing him back as they continued splashing each other and laughing. Alec's jeans were now wetter than he'd thought they'd get but it was a hot day and he knew they'd dry so he continued splashing her. He grabbed her waist and picked her up, spinning her around until she got dizzy and he put her down on the sand, both still laughing. Rose was facing the beach now and was horrified to see her mother standing there by their clothes and she tapped Alec on the arm and pointed. He turned around and they both stopped laughing.

Alec took her hand and helped her up as she had been laid back on her arms while he'd been splashing water on her and she grabbed his arm to steady herself, almost pulling him back down, which she would have done had her mother not been standing there with her arms crossed looking daggers at the two of them. Rose told Alec he'd better stay where he was if he didn't want a slap from Jackie so he took her advice and let Rose walk back towards her, admiring the view from behind in the process.

Rose wanted to talk to her mother on her own, to tell her not to ruin it by telling Alec all about them and mentioning the fact that Rose was supposed to be waiting for the Doctor coming back and about their travels and the life she had been leading. She would have to tell him eventually, he was a Police Officer but he'd understand. She reached her mother who demanded to know what exactly she thought she was doing, making a spectacle of herself in public with a man she'd just met.

"Oh, lighten up mum, we were just having some fun, there's no harm in that," she said, as she reached down and put her t-shirt on, she'd given her phone to Alec who'd put it in his back pocket with his which was why he'd been careful not to get his pockets wet.

He was still standing there when Rose picked up his t-shirt and held it out to him and pushed past her mother and took it to him, asking him to give her a minute. She really hadn't wanted this to end, she was having such fun and now Jackie had spoiled their mood.

"I thought we were meeting back at the hotel, Alec was on his own and we were both coming down to the beach so we went for a walk earlier then came down here. He's a Police Detective Inspector so if we were making a spectacle of ourselves, he would have told me. There are loads of people here having fun, we weren't doing anything inappropriate. Please go mum, I don't want to fight with you here and don't say anything about the Doctor, Alec thinks I was working for him, that he was working in a college and I was his research assistant, which isn't far from the truth and I've told him he left me and I don't know if he's coming back, which is true."

"Alright, have it your way, we'll talk about this later. I was going to tell you I'm going home tomorrow, it must be safe by now. I've no need to ask if you're staying," she said, looking past Rose and seeing Alec, standing there with his t-shirt in his hand and his jeans rolled up.

Jackie started walking away as Rose slipped her t-shirt off again and went back to Alec. He held his arms out to her and asked if she was okay. Rose nodded. She told him her mum was going home tomorrow but she was staying. Alec walked back to where Rose had left her clothes, she was holding his hand and he laid his t-shirt on the sand and sat her down and said if she was staying, he wanted to know all about her.

"That's going to take some time, Alec," she said, as she lay back on the sand in just her bikini.

Alec so wanted to touch her but not in public, or he'd have to arrest himself for indecent assault the way he wanted to touch her, that was not for public viewing.

"So, when are you going to tell me then? Maybe over dinner tonight?"

"I can't, not tonight, my mum's going home tomorrow so I'll have to eat with her but you can join us if you like or we can meet in the bar afterwards or go out from there. After tonight, I'll have plenty of time to tell you about myself, if you want."

Alec nodded.

"Okay. We'll go out after dinner. I'd best not join you, I don't want to get in the firing line but I want to know everything about you and I don't even know your surname."

Rose told him it was Tyler. They lay back on the beach for a while, Rose closed her eyes as the sun shone down on the pair of them, Alec's jeans getting dry, he'd taken their phones out of his pocket. He was still without his t-shirt, Rose was lying on it and she thought it made him look dead sexy. She so wanted to kiss him when they got back to the hotel. They stayed for a while, Rose wanted ice cream so Alec went to get some, saying not to blame him if it melted on the way back but he was back in a few minutes, the sand was quite firm and easy to walk in so they sat up and finished their ice cream and he wiped some off her nose and they laughed.

Then she wanted to go back in the water, only so Alec would splash her again so she got up and ran back in, calling behind her for him to come and get her. He did, despite having just about dried his jeans, he was willing to get them wet again in order to chase her. What man in their right mind wouldn't jump at the chance? The only one he knew of was the one Rose had told him about who wasn't interested in her. Well his loss, he wasn't missing the chance of a lifetime. He fancied her something crazy and he could tell she was flirting with him, she probably wanted to kiss him as much as he wanted to snog her.

They laughed and splashed about again, Rose slipped on purpose and he caught her, putting his arms around her waist and she was giggling as he laid her down, still splashing water on her. She pulled him down onto his knees and they came very close to kissing but thought better of it in public. It was becoming quite clear to the both of them this needed to be continued in private but they put it off a bit longer, he was enjoying seeing her in the bikini and sitting in the water.

She reached her hands up for him to help her up and pulled him down instead and they both laughed as his jeans were now soaking wet, hoping their phones weren't going to get ruined in his back pockets. He was on his knees, trying to get her to stand up but she kept falling back again, laughing because they were having so much fun. If there hadn't been people nearby, they would have kissed right where they were, then they saw another couple a bit further down, the man was carrying the woman and kissing her so Alec scooped Rose up in his arms and did the same.

After that, they went back to their clothes, Rose just putting her leggings on and tied her t-shirt around her waist as Alec left his t-shirt off and they walked back down the beach hand in hand. They were soon back at the hotel, having put their t-shirts back on and went up to the second floor and walked to Alec's room, not wanting to risk going into Rose's in case her mother knocked on the door.

Alec closed the door behind them and took off his t-shirt. He said it was because sand was in it and it was wet but that wasn't the real reason, he wanted Rose to get the hint. She did, taking hers off, leaving just her bikini top as they got closer. Something was about to give as their lips met and he put his arms around her waist, pulling down her leggings until they were resting on her hips, just enough for him to get his hand down the back of them. Their kissing became intense as they nipped and bit at each other, Rose resting against his bare chest. Alec worked her leggings off her hips and down her legs and Rose managed somehow to undo the button and pulled the zip apart.

Alec manoeuvred her towards the bed, Rose kicking off her shoes as her leggings were around her ankles, falling back onto the bed as she kicked her leggings off and Alec was stepping out of his jeans having kicked his trainers off and was falling on top of her as she scrambled to make room for him, their legs dangling off the bed, Rose in just her bikini bottoms as he untied the top and pulled it off, lying right on top of her as they continued kissing, his hand reaching down to remove the bikini bottoms as Rose trying to pull his shorts down. Their lips parted for a few seconds, Alec reached back, pulling his shorts down, then pulled her bikini bottoms off, sliding them down her legs while she was moving further up the bed.

Then he was climbing onto her, trying to toss back the bedclothes and trying to get underneath them while trying to stay with her, calling her name. They were all over each other as Alec was telling her he wanted her, she was calling his name, saying she wanted him, any thoughts of the Doctor gone from her mind as she was lost in the moment of being with Alec.

Alec lay on his back, trying to catch his breath and thinking he'd never had survived if he'd not had his operation. This young woman had done something to him and he didn't know just what. She had stirred a part of him he didn't know existed any more. Rose turned onto her side to face him as he pulled her towards him once more and said for her to lie on him and they started kissing again, this time more carefully, not as rushed as before.

Rose sat up on him as he traced his fingers over her as she put her hands on his chest and saw the scar from his operation, trying to avoid it, asking if it was still sore.

"No, it doesn't hurt any more, it did at first. It's only been two weeks since my operation. I still have to go back to the hospital for the all clear on Monday, then I can go back to work full time. I've just been doing a few hours a day in my office. So, are you going to stay with me then or are you going home with your mother?"

"I'm staying, although I'll have to find a job and somewhere to stay. Can't stay here for too long. Maybe I'll just get a room somewhere. I'll start looking for a job on Monday."

"I might be able to help you with that. My DS, she's looking for a nanny for her two year old and her older boy who's eleven. She wants to go back to work full time and she's been paying for child care the last few weeks while I've been off but she says it's too expensive and she still had to drop her youngest off. I'll get her to ring you on Monday if you give me your number. You might be able to live in, I think she has a spare room and if not, well, I move into my new house next weekend, we could share. I'm still going to need someone around until I'm completely recovered. Why don't you see what my DS says, you could look after her boys and come and look after me in the evenings."

Rose was liking the idea but came sharply back down to earth thinking she was considering something permanent here, what if the Doctor did come back? Would she be able to leave all this so easily if she built a life here? Alec was practically asking her to move in with him and get a job, he needed her as much as the Doctor had needed her but he'd left her, was he ever coming back?

"I'll have to think about it, it's a big step. I'm used to travelling but I suppose I'll have to settled back down one day. What's your DS's name?"

"It's Ellie Miller, it was her husband who killed that boy last year. He was handed a life sentence and she's trying to get back to normal for her boys' sakes."

"What boy? I didn't know there'd been a murder here. What happened? I told you, I've been travelling around and I've not heard anything about it."

Alec told her briefly what had happened and how he'd ended up in hospital twice and been for his operation. Rose was horrified to think she'd missed all this. That had been while she'd been in the Tardis and if they'd known about it, maybe they would have been able to help. She moved aside on the bed and reached for her clothes, just putting the leggings and t-shirt on, she was going to go back to her room to get changed. She was supposed to have plenty of clothes with her but only had the ones she'd just bought. She still had time to go back to the market before it closed.

"Alec, I'm going to go get changed then I'm just going to nip out to get a couple of things before the shops close. I didn't have as many clothes with me for going out as I thought and I don't want to wear the same ones all the time. Can we meet up for dinner?"

"I'd like that but I'd rather take you somewhere other than the hotel dining room. I'll take you and your mother out for dinner, if she's leaving tomorrow. Why don't we meet downstairs at seven and we'll get a taxi. Did you say you came by car? I could drive us if you wanted?"

She nearly got caught out but recovered quickly.

"I'd rather get a taxi or we won't be able to have a drink. Besides, my mother will be taking the car back with her tomorrow. If I'm staying I won't need it and can always get the train if needed."

Alec agreed and they kissed goodbye, saying they'd meet downstairs. It wasn't quite five yet so she had plenty of time to grab a new outfit and warn her mother to be on her best behaviour. She called in to see Jackie and told her the plan then went down to the market, finding a reasonable dress she could wear, then she would go on Monday and buy a new set of clothes. She'd warned Jackie not to say anything about her life with the Doctor and that she really fancied Alec and didn't want to spoil it.

Rose got back and got changed and called for her mother and they waited downstairs for Alec, who joined them just on seven o'clock and they got a taxi up into the town and went to a new Italian restaurant that Alec knew of. Rose tried to keep the conversation from getting too personal about their lives in London and Jackie was keeping tight lipped about a certain Timelord.

They got back to the hotel and Rose invited Alec into her room after giving Jackie a warning look not to disturb her and told Jackie she'd see her at breakfast. Jackie played along saying she was going to get her stuff in the car before breakfast and get straight off but in actual fact, she was just taking what she'd bought and was getting a taxi to the railway station, Rose giving her some money to get home. Rose was wondering when this money she was getting was going to run out. She didn't know if the Doctor would suddenly deny her access to it or if there was a limit. He'd never told her where it was coming from. Still, if she got a job and had somewhere to live, she'd manage if it did stop.

Alec had stopped on the way up to get a bottle of wine and was pouring two glasses as Rose came back into her room, having gone through the arrangements about the following morning with her mother. Jackie was going to ring her when she got back to tell her if she had a visitor. Rose was sat on the edge of her bed, Alec was sat in a chair, debating if the time was right for another highly pleasurable kissing session with her but he thought he'd let the effects of the wine kick in first. He didn't wait too long though as he put his glass down and crossed over to her.

Chapter 2

They woke the next morning when Rose's alarm went off, she was laid half over Alec and just within reach of her phone. She needed to cover up her mother's departure so no-one would get suspicious. Alec grabbed her waist as she put the phone back down and she squealed, turning towards him as he pulled her into a kiss. They fooled around for a while then Rose said she should get dressed and join her mother for an early breakfast to say goodbye. He tried to persuade her to stay in bed so she made a deal with him that if he let her go she'd come back for him and they'd go back to the beach. He agreed and so he went back to sleep, it was only seven.

Rose said goodbye to her mother and they went down into the car park where they had arranged for a taxi to be waiting. Jackie promised if she saw the Doctor, she wouldn't say anything about Alec. She asked Rose what she was going to do if he came back and she said that she was staying with Alec. As promised, she went back up to her room, just after eight and Alec was still asleep. She stripped down to her underwear and slid back into bed, resting her head on his chest then sprawling her legs over him. He opened one eye and smiled as she'd kept her promise. They started kissing as Rose worked her way on top of him and they made love again.

They got up and got dressed and Alec wanted some breakfast since he missed out earlier, then they went back to the beach but this time, he had his swim shorts under his jeans and went in the water with her, having left his phone at the hotel. They ran into the sea and Rose discovered he didn't really like to go too far and as she swum a bit further out, she realised he wasn't with her. She looked back and he was a fair distance away so she turned around and swam back to him, seeing the worried look on his face.

She caught up with him, she was now standing up in the water opposite him.

"I thought you were behind me, don't you like swimming?"

"No, I thought we were only going to splash around again like yesterday. I don't like the water much, not like that. Something happened a long time ago and I'm not keen now. I don't mind standing up in it or going in a swimming pool but not the open sea or a river, sorry. Don't let me stop you though, if you want to swim."

"No, not without you, I'm not bothered, we can just splash around again," she said, as she bent down and started flicking water at him, then running off.

He chased after her, catching her and they fooled around for quite some time, laughing, then lying on the warm sand. They went for a late lunch at the pub then for a walk down the coast, walking arm in arm. They found a deserted part of the beach and sat down on the rocks then started kissing.

"Now, don't you think it's time you really told me about yourself Rose? I can tell you're missing something out. I want to know everything if we're going to spend time together. You do want to spend some time with me, don't you?"

Rose nodded.

He took her hand and they got up and walked down to the water. He put his arms around her and stood behind her, kissing the back of her neck. She turned around to face him, deciding she should come clean with him, he'd understand, he must have heard about what had been going on in London in the past few years. So she took a chance. They sat down on the beach side by side and she asked him.

"Alec, you must have heard about all that stuff that's been going on in London, those students and that film they were making." Alec nodded. "What about a few years ago, those plastic shop dummies coming to life, the spaceship over London last Christmas and people being hypnotised then that spaceship crashing into Big Ben? Do you believe they were a hoax too?"

Alec had a smile on his face, he'd been in Glasgow when he'd heard about these hoaxes that some very inventive students in London had come up with more than once, fooling almost the whole population and the media into thinking it was all real. It had hit the national news as well, it had been so well organised that people wanted more, it was almost captivating but a nightmare for the Police. Plus there had been the time when the students had actually attempted to blow up Downing Street and then a gas main had exploded and reduced the building to rubble. Yes, he'd heard it all and then this latest episode with them dressing up as some metal creatures only a few days earlier but that had died down as suddenly as it had started.

"Rose, you don't believe all that do you? Please tell me you don't think it's all real? It was all students, a Police commission was assigned to it, it was thoroughly investigated and no other evidence was found. They all took place in London which again proves it was all a hoax that went too far and people are just loving it."

"Alec, they weren't hoaxes, they were all real. This friend I was with, the one I told you about, he's called The Doctor and he doesn't just do research, he.." She stopped as Alec was giving her a funny look. "He told me about them, that they were real threats and not just students."

She couldn't tell him any more. He wasn't going to accept this and she was going to make a fool of herself and maybe get locked up in a nice padded cell for her troubles. She liked him, a lot and could imaging settling down here, she could never have a life like that with the Doctor so she had to make a choice and not tell Alec the truth so she didn't betray the Doctor and have a full scale Police search out for him so they'd lock him up. She couldn't put him in danger of losing his freedom or his life. They'd find out about him, that he wasn't human and they'd literally tear him apart to see how he could possibly exist.

"Rose, this Doctor, has he been trying to tell you all of that was real? What has he been telling you? What were you really doing when you were travelling? Whatever it was, he's had you fooled all the time if you think what he's told you is real. Were you actually in London when any of it started?"

Thinking back, she wasn't actually in London when it started, they'd come along afterwards so she wouldn't be lying if she said no. She had to protect the both of them. The Doctor was good at talking his way out of anything but she couldn't pull it off, not on her own. She got closer to Alec and put her arms around his shoulders and pressed her head to his chest, there was only one way out of this, play the innocent victim of a cruel joke and protect them both. He'd understand she was doing this for the best. She started crying into Alec's chest and he put his arms around her. Her reaction told Alec all he needed to know, she had been fooled and badly and she needed his help.

"It's okay Rose, it could have happened to anyone. You got close to him and he took advantage of you, strung you along, making him look good. Don't cry, I'm here and I'll look after you now, there's nothing to worry about. If he comes back, I'll talk to him but I won't judge him. Maybe in a strange way he actually believes it and I'll be civil to him for your sake. Just promise me one thing Rose, you'll put it all behind you now."

Rose buried her head into his chest then looked at him. She could trust Alec and he cared about her and he'd accepted her vulnerability and she felt really bad about never been able to tell him the truth but it was that or lose him and her freedom because she would surely be locked up and so would the Doctor and they'd never see each other again anyway and he'd understand she did it to protect them. She knew he wouldn't be angry with her if she told him, that's if he ever came back. Then she would have to tell him she chose to be with Alec Hardy.

He kissed her forehead and held her close as she promised him she wouldn't talk about it again. He took her hand and led her back along the beach. It was late in the afternoon and Rose wanted to get back to the hotel to see if her mother had rung while she was out. Rose had to tell her mother she wasn't coming back, she was going to stay with Alec even if the job didn't work out. She felt safe there with Alec and she knew he wouldn't ask her about it again and if something else came up in London, which there was bound to be, it wouldn't be anything to do with her, she wouldn't have caused it.

Rose went to her room when they got back and rang her mother. Jackie hadn't heard from the Doctor, there was no sign of him and the Tardis was nowhere to be seen, not even a note through the door. Jackie had got back fairly quickly, she'd got a train almost right away. She said there was talk about what went on but people really believed that it was all students and couldn't wait to see what they'd do next. Rose said they should be careful what they wished for. She told Jackie about the possible job and that she might have a place to stay. She asked her if she had enough money and said while she was able, she'd put some in her account every week, not a lot to raise suspicion but just enough to help her pay the bills.

Jackie asked how she was getting on with Alec and she said fine, they'd been back to the beach again and she really liked him and they were going out again. She didn't want to tell her anything else but she was already involved with him. Alec knocked on her door and she let him in and they began kissing. Rose was hoping he wouldn't notice her limited wardrobe so she'd put everything away so it wouldn't appear there was a lack of clothes, she would have to go out the next day and just hope there was still some money in the bank until she got a job. At least the room was paid for a few more nights, then she wouldn't have to worry. She didn't think the Doctor would just take it way without telling her.

They kissed for a while, lying on the bed and Alec said he wanted to take her somewhere really nice but she couldn't tell him she didn't have much to wear so she asked if they could just go to the pub by the harbour. He agreed, so they went to have a drink first and sat outside and he asked her what she thought about getting a job as a nanny. She'd had plenty of experience of looking after cousins and kids on the estate she grew up on.

After their meal, they walked back to the hotel and went to Alec's room. He asked her how long her room was booked for and she said until Tuesday night so she'd have to sort something out by then. She couldn't tell him she had an unlimited bank balance, that's if it was still there. He made sure they had each other's phone numbers and said he'd get DS Miller to call her. He said not to worry if the job didn't work out or it didn't come with a room, he said he meant it about sharing with him and she could have her own room if she wanted, there was no pressure. He asked if she was staying the night and before too long, they were under the bedclothes as he lay on her kissing her all over and making her want him even more.

Alec had an appointment at the hospital first thing the next morning so he was getting his breakfast early, then he had to go see the Police doctor to see if he could go back to work full time. Rose asked if she could go to the hospital with him and he said he'd welcome her company. So they set off and he was given the all clear, the operation had been a complete success and he didn't need to be monitored regularly, just go back every six months. Rose left him outside the Police Station, saying they'd meet for dinner and for him to come to her room.

After leaving Alec that morning, she had gone up into the town and bought everything she'd needed, including a suitcase so when she moved into his house, she wouldn't be taking everything in carrier bags. She found the town had a sports centre so she went and enrolled in the gym, planning to go a couple of times a week. She used to get her exercise by running away from monsters but all that had changed.

She received a phone call from DS Miller saying she had already got someone for the job but would keep her in mind if it didn't work out so she was going to have to take Alec up on his offer of a room and looking after him in return for her board. It wasn't exactly a job but when she told him that night that she'd take him up on his offer, he said he'd pay all the bills and give her money for housekeeping plus a bit more for herself so she said he had a deal. She would have to look after the house and cook for him but she would have plenty of time to herself to go sunbathing, go to the gym and shopping. She was actually looking forward to it, it was something she'd wanted for a long time, just to be normal again with a purpose, looking after someone and not running into danger.

Alec said until he moved into the house, she should move into his hotel room on the Wednesday morning and he'd try and bring forward his moving day if she could be there to get the keys and make sure the house was clean. He said the place was already furnished and carpeted but she might have to go get a few things. After dinner, they went to Alec's room and began fooling around on the bed, they were both starting to enjoy each other's company and they talked more about Alec, what had happened to make him ill, then he told her that he was divorced and asked if she was okay with it.

"Of course I'm okay with it, Alec. What happened was not your fault, it's what made you ill in the first place but you're better now and now you've got me to look after you, so you're stuck with me, DI Hardy," she said as she kissed him again.

They made love again that night, they were getting more passionate and not as hurried as the first few times, Alec was taking longer over her, finding out what she liked, making her giggle when he touched her in certain places and encouraging her to get more adventurous with him when she was shy at first and by the time they eventually fell asleep, they were both content with each other.

After breakfast, Rose kissed Alec goodbye and arranged to meet him if he could get the house keys then she would go start the cleaning. She packed all her belongings, which wasn't really that much but since she was supposed to be just travelling, she wouldn't have had that much anyway. She rang her mother to tell her the job hadn't worked out but she'd found a cleaning job, live-in but she didn't tell her it was with Alec, she wasn't ready to say anything just yet, she didn't want Jackie to say anything if the Doctor turned up and spilled the beans on her. She would have to face him when he did come back but maybe if he saw she was happy with Alec he would understand her needs to be with him.

She told herself she was a young woman in her twenties and she needed a man to love and to love her, that friendship wasn't enough any more and neither was running into danger. She was going to have to break her promise to the Doctor, to stay with him forever but he had left, albeit to keep her safe but he'd not come back. It had been five days and she had fallen in love with Alec Hardy and her life of running away from danger was over, Alec would keep her safe.

The Doctor had promised to keep her safe and he had, he'd left her in a place where she had met Alec and it suddenly dawned on her – he had arranged this on purpose, he'd left her here because he knew Alec would take care of her. That was the only explanation, he'd known about Alec, knew he needed someone to take care of him, knew that Rose would do for Alec what she had done for him, changed his life for the better.

It all made sense once she started thinking about it, what other possible reason was for her being left other than to meet Alec and fall in love with him? The Doctor knew he couldn't stay with her but Alec could. He'd had a heart problem but had survived, he was fully human and was in love with her and the Doctor could leave her here in the knowledge that he didn't have to worry about her any more. He could have at least told her that though before he'd left or come back to see if she was okay. Maybe he had but had kept his distance, seen her and Alec fooling around on the beach and been satisfied his plan had worked.

She sat on her bed. Tonight she was going to move her things into Alec's room and hand her key back in the morning. She was making a commitment with Alec, five days after she'd met him but it hadn't taken her that long to decide to run off with the Doctor in the first place so this was a long time in coming in comparison. She knew she was right in her theory, this had all the markings of one of the Doctor's plans. They had talked about sharing a house and a mortgage when they lost the Tardis on Sanctuary Base One, that would have been the only way they could have been together. She knew he cared for her, letting them get closer over time but she knew deep down it could never be anything more but it could with Alec.

She was brought back to earth when she got a call from Alec. He'd secured the keys and wanted to meet her at twelve and he'd take her to the house, give her some money to buy what they needed and she could get started. He said they'd spend tonight in his hotel room but if she agreed, they'd move in the next day and he'd make all the arrangements and for Rose to get a taxi with her things the following morning and he'd get his after work. Now she knew this was right.

She met Alec and he took her to the new house, just a short walk away from the harbour but by road it was a longer way round but since Alec didn't have a car yet, they walked the quicker way. Rose immediate fell in love with the place and was even more so when she got inside. Alec had to go back to work but said he'd meet her there afterwards and they'd get something to eat then spend the last night at the hotel. She went back out to go to the shops and had just got back when there was a knock at the door and she wondered how anyone could be calling since they'd not moved in yet and was hoping it wasn't an annoying sales person or worse.

She opened the door and was shocked to see the Doctor standing there, still in his pinstripe suit and converse and looking just like he did five days ago.

"Well, aren't you going to let me in Rose?" he asked, looking around.

She opened the door wider to let him in, lost for words.

"Well, a hug would be nice," he said. "Did you miss me?"

She gave him a hug and asked him, "How did you find me, I didn't even know this address until a few hours ago."

His face dropped as he explained. "It wasn't that hard, Rose, the Tardis locked on to you but you were with – that Police Detective. You found him then?"

She had been right, he had planned it. She was about to say 'sorry' when he continued.

"It's okay, I meant for you to find him, I did some research on him, he's a good man, he'll take good care of you. I knew you'd figure it out Rose, it's not that I don't care for you, I do, it's just you know I can never have the life you want. You need someone and Alec Hardy needs you. He was broken just like I was when we first met and you made me better, now you can do the same for him. He's only got one heart, he was ill and now he's getting better and he needs someone to make sure he doesn't get ill again. You can do that for him, Rose, that's what you do, you make people better. I know you probably told him I was a raving Looney who travelled a lot and that I left you, that's okay too. I didn't expect for you to tell him the whole story, you'd probably have got carted off for your troubles and I'm grateful you didn't tell him who I really am."

Rose was lost for words. What could she say?

"Doctor, I'm so sorry but you left me, I didn't know what to think but I suspected you left me here, chose this town for a reason but how did you know I would find Alec?"

"Come on Rose, it's right in front of your face," he said, laughing and putting his hand on his chin and rubbing it. "Beard, same height, same build, same good looks, different voice but you heard me with a Scottish accent when we met Queen Victoria and then there's the same charm. Rose, he could be my twin, don't tell me it never occurred to you he looks like me, minus the beard."

Rose collapsed down onto a chair as it slowly sunk in. He had singled out Alec because he looked like him, researched him and brought her here, even left her at the hotel Alec was staying at to make sure she ran into him, intending to leave her here with him, intentionally staying away long enough to make sure she would settle down with him, he could be his twin or his clone, minus of course the beard but why?

She found her voice again. "I didn't deserve all that Doctor, you didn't have to do that. Why couldn't you have at least asked me what I wanted? You left me here, thinking you weren't coming back then deliberately plant me somewhere where I would meet your double but I never even realised he looked anything like you, not until you just said. So that's why I was attracted to him? Why did you do this to me? How can I look at and be with Alec now, knowing that?"

She broke down into tears, looking at the Doctor or was she looking at Alec?

The Doctor pulled his chair over to her and took her hands and pulled her forward, then put his arms around her. She deserved an explanation at least.

"Rose, you fell in love with Alec before I told you this, it won't change anything between you. I've seen you together, you love each other. I was watching the other day when you were on the beach, you were happy and now I can see you're moving in with him. I want you to be happy with him because you know I can't stay with you, not like this. I could regenerate again at any time and when I do, you may hate me. You love this face Rose and as much as I'll fight to keep it, some day I will change and although we carried our friendship over from my last regeneration, I'm not always agreeable and I could just go off and leave you. I have no control over it but the last time I wanted you to stay with me but I could change into a grumpy old man who actually looks twice as old as you and you'd be upset because it's this face you want, this present persona."

"That's not fair, I stuck with you before you regenerated, I liked you then, you were my friend and when you changed, I didn't know what to expect but I realised you were the same person, your personality wasn't that much different."

"Rose, I was lucky to have you with me when I regenerated, that had a lot of influence on my appearance but next time, I might not be as lucky. Alec has my face, he's fully human and he can stay with you. He won't change, he's only got one life, he can grow old at the same rate as you and there's no question that he loves you. You're just what he needs in his life and he's just what you need. He's just recovered from a serious operation that he didn't think he'd survive. I did a lot of research on him and I know he's the right man for you, don't ever change your opinion of him because of me, he's his own man, he's completely different in his ways to me. I wouldn't leave you here with a carbon copy of myself, that wouldn't be fair."

He moved away from her and took her hands in his.

"I'd like to meet him though, just to make sure but he probably won't want to meet me. What exactly did you tell him about me? I bet you told him I was a mad professor or something that dragged you around doing research and that I left you behind and went off on my own," he laughed.

Rose went bright red and he knew he was right.

"Doctor, I'm sorry. I couldn't tell him who you really were, I had to tell him something and he thinks you convinced me that all those things that kept happening were real, you know, about last Christmas and the shop window dummies and the Daleks and Cybermen being really students dressing up. If I'd told him I was involved in all that, he would have locked me up and started a full scale search for you and done the same. He is a good man and I know he loves me, I couldn't let him think I was a raving lunatic. He thinks you may believe all that happened yourself and that you were trying to impress me and that you left because I wanted to get romantic and you didn't. I was doing it to protect us both. I'm sorry."

The Doctor looked at her and pulled her into another hug.

"It's okay Rose, I understand. I never expected that you'd actually tell him the whole story, no-one would ever believe that everything that happened was true, especially with him being in the Police and I really don't blame you and I'm grateful you didn't get yourself and me locked up. I really would like to meet him though, perhaps not today but at some point. I forgive you Rose, you did what you had to do. I'm one to talk, I couldn't have come up with a better story than that if I'd tried. There's really nothing to forgive, I left you here because the only alternative was stranding you in the other universe, which by the way is completely safe now except one thing, I did something Rose and I'm hoping it doesn't backfire on me. I left Pete with those devices he had and if they start to work, he said he's coming back to find your mother again."

Rose clung onto him, he never said anything else, it was just like they used to be before it started getting complicated. She still had tears in her eyes, thinking that once she let him go he'd be gone from her life forever and she didn't want him to be gone completely, even though she now had Alec. She hadn't realized what time it was until she suddenly let go of him because Alec said he'd be back early as he was collecting a few things for the house.

The Doctor got up and went towards the door. Rose followed him.

"Don't go, stay and meet Alec, I'm sure he'd like to meet you."

"That's not a good idea Rose, he might realise that I look like him and that could ruin everything for the two of you. I can't do that to you, you're happy now, let's leave it at that. Tell him I've been to see you and that we've parted as friends and tell him that I think he looks a bit like me, see what he thinks and if he accepts it, I'll meet with him. You know how to find me."

He came back towards her and put his arms around her, seeing she was still tearful.

"I know I've said this before but have a fantastic life, Rose Tyler, do that for me."

He kissed her cheek and turned back round and was out of the door before she could protest, leaving her standing there crying. Her phone rang, it was Alec saying he was on his way and asked how she was getting on with the cleaning. She hadn't done much so she told him she'd got side-tracked and that she'd had a visitor. Alec said he was coming straight back. He was back ten minutes later and asked her what had happened, he could see she was upset. Looking at him now it had been pointed out to her, she could see the resemblance but how would he take it if she said anything and how could she explain that the Doctor knew what he looked like unless she said he'd seen Alec on TV last year over that murder case.

Alec had his arms around her, asking what had been said so Rose told him.

"He said he was sorry, he didn't mean to go off and leave me but I told him I was with you now. Nothing's going to change that Alec, he understood that, he was okay. He more or less admitted that things had been getting a bit heated between us and he'd felt uncomfortable because he said it would never last. He said I should be happy being with you. He had actually heard of you, you know. He saw you on TV last year but never mentioned to me about the boy's murder, he probably didn't want to upset me. He said he thought you looked a bit like him except you have a beard."

Alec looked a bit surprised, considering the two of them had been travelling together. How could two people travel together and not turn it into a romance? There was definitely something wrong with this Doctor if he didn't feel anything for Rose. It had taken him all of one meeting to decide he was more than interested in her, he didn't need to think twice about pursuing her and it had paid off. She was moving in with him and she loved him, he had to tell her how he felt about her, tonight over dinner. Surely she knew, he'd asked her to stay and was offering her a home after all but she needed to hear it from him.

"He did? He thinks I look like him? I doubt that but still, they say everyone has a double. Come on Rose, let's call it a day, we'll go back to the hotel and get changed, I have my packing to do then we'll go out somewhere nice for dinner. I have something I want to talk to you about."

Rose got her things and they headed out, back to the hotel. She was glad she'd bought a couple of new outfits if he wanted to take her out but now she'd actually talked to the Doctor, he'd never said she wouldn't have money anymore but Alec had given her some so she wasn't going to take any from her account, that's if it was actually in her account, she didn't even know that. She went and collected everything from her room and moved it into Alec's then went to get changed in the bathroom but he stopped her, saying it was okay, she could get changed in front of him, he said he liked looking at her and not to be shy. He said he wouldn't jump on her all of the time, just some of it and they both laughed. She turned back round to him and said he could, any time he wanted and they fell onto the bed, kissing.

Alec took her out to a posh restaurant and they talked about the house while they ate until they moved across to the bar area and Alec took her hand.

"Rose, I want to talk to you, to tell you how I feel about you. I know how you feel about me, I see it every time I look at you. I didn't take a lot of convincing that after our first meting, I wanted to see you again and when you said you were leaving, I had to get you to stay. I know this isn't the right place but I just wanted to tell you that I love you Rose and I'm sure you love me, don't you?"

Rose nodded, "Yes Alec, I do and nothing's going to change that. My friend, The Doctor, he told me you looked like him but I don't see it, never thought about it until he mentioned it and I don't want you thinking I was attracted to you because of it. You don't think that, do you?"

"No, of course not Rose, why should I? Perhaps you'd better arrange a meeting between us then you can see for yourself. Now why don't we go back to the hotel and you can show me how you really feel about me and I can show you?"

Rose thought it was an excellent idea but wasn't keen on Alec and the Doctor actually meeting. They got a taxi back to the hotel and got down to really showing each other how they felt, all thoughts of their earlier conversation forgotten as Alec took his time over her and Rose got bolder with him, both lost in each other.

The next morning, Rose was going to pack the rest of Alec's things and take what she could with her by taxi to their new house. It wasn't far but too far to walk with luggage and then he was going to pick the rest up later. He had already asked her if she wanted her own room and she said she wasn't sure, she wanted to be with him but they hadn't known each other for that long and now they'd be living together. He'd said he didn't mind, if she wanted some time on her own he was fine with it. When she got to the house, she starting hanging his clothes up after first sorting the washing and putting it into the machine. He hadn't packed his personal stuff, he'd get that later but he said he didn't want them to have any secrets and wanted to show her a photo of his daughter, who still lived with his ex.

When Alec got back that night after calling at the hotel and getting the rest of his stuff, Rose had made dinner and they were curled up on the sofa talking, Alec showing her the photo, saying he'd not seen her for almost two years. Rose felt sorry for him and suggested he asked her if she wanted to come down for a visit but he said she wouldn't talk to him and so she asked him if he wanted her to try. He said he'd think about it and asked her if she'd thought about if she wanted her own room. She told him she'd already decided and her things were in with his in the larger bedroom.

That night, the first in their new home, they could really relax now they could really be together as he carried her upstairs and lay her on the bed and told her to open a carrier he'd brought with him, containing a silk nightdress that didn't leave anything to the imagination and when she tried it on, he told her she looked beautiful in it and that he loved her.


Five months later, it was coming up to Christmas, their first one together and Rose was two months pregnant, having come back from a holiday in Spain and discovering it a month later. Alec had been overjoyed at the news and was taking great care of her. She had tried to contact the Doctor to tell him but she hadn't heard back from him. Alec had managed to get Christmas off by working the new year instead so Jackie was coming down for a visit to help Rose get the house ready and all the food prepared as Alec only had Christmas day and Boxing day off and Rose was supposed to be taking it easy. Alec insisted they did all the shopping together and then go off for a few minutes to buy each other presents on the last Saturday.

Two days before, Rose was resting on the sofa after lunch, her mother was arriving on Christmas eve morning, there was a knock on the door. She put the chain on, Alec insisted she took her safety very seriously and saw the Doctor standing there. She let him in, giving him a hug as she closed the door.

"I'm so glad you came, I've been trying to contact you. I wanted to tell you everything worked out and Alec and I are expecting a baby, I'm two months gone. How have you been?"

"I'm fine Rose, I'm always fine. Congratulations, you deserve to be happy, I can see your pregnant. You're looking well. I saw your mother and she told me you had something to tell me but couldn't say, which is quite unusual for her. No need to ask how you and Alec Hardy are getting on. Are you married yet?" Rose shook her head and held out her left hand showing there were no rings. He continued. "So, what did he say about him looking like me, was he ok about it?"

"He was fine and said he wanted to meet you. I can phone him, he should be able to get away for a while, he doesn't think you're crazy, just a bit misguided and he promised he wouldn't judge you. He knows you didn't mean to mislead me."

Rose phoned Alec and he came home after about twenty minutes and shook hands with the Doctor and said he could see a slight resemblance going back to when he didn't have a beard, which by this time was always neatly trimmed to please Rose so she didn't go round calling him scruffy all the time.

They all talked for a while, Rose hoping the subject wouldn't come up of how and where they had travelled so they just kept to general subjects. Rose said her mother was coming down tomorrow and asked the Doctor if he wanted to join them for Christmas dinner, just like last year. He said no but Rose insisted and so did Alec so he finally said he'd join them if he could but Rose didn't think he would though, it would bring back too many memories for them and he didn't want to spoil things between her and Alec.

Christmas eve, Jackie had arrived so they walked across to the pub on the harbour and Alec took Rose to one side and said he wanted to ask her something. So he took her outside, the pub was all decorated outside with Christmas lights and he sat her down at a table then got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Rose said yes straight away without any hesitation and so they went back inside to break the news to Jackie.

They were married three months later and just had a honeymoon in Torquay, Rose was now five month's pregnant and getting bigger. On their wedding night, they had to just be content with what Rose was able to cope with in bed but Alec tried to make it a night to remember for her. One afternoon, just as Rose was a few weeks away from having her baby, she had a visitor again. The Doctor looked worried but tried not to show it. He said this would probably be the last time she would see him like he was now and for her not to get upset but she was. He said he'd been told a prophecy and that he would probably regenerate soon and for her not to worry, he would always remember her and hoped she'd remember him this way.

She started crying so he put his arm around her, told her not to get upset, he'd still be the Doctor, nothing would ever change that. He told her to tell Alec he was going away for good and that he wasn't coming back, that was the best thing to do. He asked her not to try and find him once he regenerated but he said that the money that had been made available to her was still there if ever she needed it, he knew she'd not touched it since she'd been living with Alec. He said he'd keep watch over her and her baby but would keep his distance, he wanted to see her and Alec with their son or daughter.

They said a tearful goodbye, Rose wanted him to stay a bit longer but he said he couldn't, it was best he went. She was crying when Alec got home and told him that the Doctor had left for good and wasn't coming back. He held her until she stopped crying and said she had the baby to think about.

Two weeks later in the middle of the night, Alec took her to the local hospital in the car, he'd had one for quite a while now, Rose was getting regular pains and he'd phoned the hospital and they'd told him to bring her in. She was only there a few hours when she gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Alec held her hand all the way through. She was taken to her room and the baby was taken to the nursery so Rose could get some rest and Alec slept in the chair at her bedside after he pulled rank on the nursing staff and told them he wasn't leaving his wife. Rose was woken just after eight by a familiar noise outside the window and just managed to get out of bed to see a blue streak of something fading away. She knew who it was, the Doctor must have sneaked into the nursery to see the baby and could have also looked in on her and seen her asleep with Alec at her side, holding her hand.

Alec had woken when Rose had let go of his hand and realising she was standing at the window, asked what was the matter. All she said was that everything was okay now, they had a family and that they were happy. Alec didn't quite know what she meant but had a suspicion that this wasn't going to be the only addition they were going to have. A nurse brought their daughter in and Alec was amazed to just watch Rose feeding her.

Rose was allowed to go home the following day and she always hoped that the Doctor would visit her one more time, to see her daughter growing up but she knew deep down that he'd probably have regenerated by now. She always watched the news with interest, to see if there were any reports of student activities but there were none, not on that scale, just a few minor incidents which she knew what the truth was, he'd saved this stupid world again, probably on his own or maybe he'd found someone to travel with him but she knew he'd never allow himself to get really close to anyone.

If he'd wanted that, he would have come back for her instead of leaving her here, in Broadchurch with her husband, Detective Inspector Alec Hardy, Doctor look-a-like, her best friend and father of their beautiful baby daughter who Alec said looked just like her mother. He'd left her the one thing she had always wanted since he'd regenerated, a life, a family and a face she loved.

The End!