Rose was not abandoned

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Rose Tyler is in the alternate universe 8 years after the events of 'Doomsday' and arrives in Broadchurch, books in at a hotel and has an encounter with Alec Hardy.  She tells him she's not staying and he goes to get her back after finding out who she really is but will he change his mind when told the truth?  She finally finds out she was not abandoned by The Doctor after all.

Rose Tyler is in the alternate universe 8 years after the events of 'Doomsday' and arrives in Broadchurch, books in at a hotel and has an encounter with Alec Hardy.  She tells him she's not staying and he goes to get her back after finding out who she really is but will he change his mind when told the truth?  She finally finds out she was not abandoned by the Doctor after all.

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Chapter 1

Rose has been in the alternate universe for eight years, never gets back to her Doctor and works for Torchwood. She had to adapt her life to make it believable she had always been there, altering facts and even her age (she had been twenty when she'd arrived, having just celebrated her birthday) to coincide with her original visit which in this universe had been three years prior to her getting stranded but in her own world had just been a few months.

She tells Alec Hardy she just works in an office thinking after she leaves she'll never see him again but he is smitten by her, is prepared to go to London to bring her back with him or even live there if he needs to and discovers the truth of where she's from. Will he still want her when he finds out she is the heiress to a multi-million pound fortune and discovers what she really does for a living and will he be able to cope with the media attention she always gets? Based loosely on Army of ghosts/Doomsday with references to other episodes.

As soon as Rose got off the train and made her way down towards the hotel she'd booked, she thought she was just going to spend five nights at a small holiday resort and spend her days on the beach, trying to forget her past life and the fact she had been adopted by Pete Tyler and was now rich and reasonably famous. That's why she had chosen a small holiday town, not one of the more popular ones, she should be able to stay there undetected. Or so she thought.

Wheeling her suitcase and trying to keep both her shoulder bag and purse from constantly falling down her arm, she arrived outside 'The Traders' and when she entered saw a woman sat behind a small desk. She gave her name and the woman welcomed her, saying she was the owner, Becca and gave the room key to her.

"Sorry, no porter, it's a bit quiet here yet. Will you be able to manage, your room's on the second floor."

"I'll be fine, don't worry about me. What time is the evening meal?"

"Six thirty, you can sit where you want, we're not that busy yet. I'm not expecting it to get busy until the weekend, there are only a few guests here so far. There's just one other guest on the same floor as you, watch out for him, he's a bit of a recluse, doesn't talk much, especially to women."

"Thanks for the warning. I plan to spend most of my time on the beach though, I won't be here much of the day. I'll try to avoid him."

Rose went up to her room, wishing she'd waited for the lift instead of being enthusiastic about taking the stairs. It was already three so she planned to do some unpacking then go for a walk and find the beach. She walked downstairs and was just going out when she nearly collided with a tall man who had just come around the corner. They both muttered a 'sorry' and tried to dodge each other, the same way until the man stopped, leaving Rose room to pass. Becca saw what was happening and smiled to herself. If this new guest, who had booked in under the name of Rose Prentice, (her mother's maiden name so she wouldn't be recognised and intended not to use her bank card in any of the shops and only in the cash machine) had met the infamous detective then she hoped she had better luck with him than she'd had since she turned him down once and he never asked her again.

Once outside, Rose turned around just as the man turned around wondering where she had seen him before. She carried on and walked down the High Street until she came to the harbour and the beach. Finding it rather inviting, she took off her shoes and walked in the sand down to the water. She sat down and leaned back on her arms, enjoying the afternoon sun on her face. It felt good to get out of the city and the rigours of working in an office, studying alien artefacts and finding a way to get back to her own universe. Nothing had worked, Torchwood had lost interest, even at the thought of being able to get their hands of the most famous alien expert in any world. They had to rely on her and Mickey.

Mickey of course had tried to re-kindle his interest in Rose now she wasn't following The Doctor around but she'd made it clear she wasn't interested. They hardly talked at all these days outside work. She was rudely interrupted from her thoughts by a male voice behind her.

"Do you mind if I join you?"

Rose squinted her eyes, cursing she'd come out without her sunglasses and covering them with her hand. It was the man she'd been dodging in the doorway of the hotel. What was he doing here, following her? She shouldn't encourage him, he could be anyone. She didn't know whether to get up and run for the nearest Policeman or to stay where she was. There were plenty of people on the beach so she figured she was relatively safe for now.

The man sat himself down away from her and said he was sorry if he'd startled her.

"I'm sorry about almost bumping into you back there, I wasn't looking," he said in a soft Scottish voice.

Rose turned to him and said it was okay.

"You didn't have to follow me down here to say that, you could have said it at the hotel."

"Well, I needed a walk anyway and I spotted you from back there."

He nodded to the path leading to the beach.

"You must have good eyesight to pick me out or be very observant then."

"I have, I'm a Police Detective, I'm observant by nature. I'm Detective Inspector Alec Hardy, Broadchurch Police."

"Oh yeah? Anyone can say that," Rose replied. "Show me your ID then or I might have to go complain about you to the real Police."

She was now sat up, hands around her knees.

The man, who was just in his trousers and shirtsleeves, his jacket now beside him, fished in his jacket pocket and pulled out his ID card and showed it to her.

"Satisfied?" he asked.

Rose nodded and said "S'pose so" as she relaxed a bit. "So why did you follow me? Are you going to take me in for questioning for dodging you in the hotel doorway?"

She was smiling now, burying her face into her knees and trying not to let him see.

He half suspected she was trying to wind him up, the way she sat, he could tell there was a smile on her face.

"Well, if I suspected any reason why you would be trying to dodge me, I may have to think about it. You're not on the most wanted list are you?"

"Wouldn't you know if I was, you being a Detective and all?"

She was trying not to laugh out loud now and failing badly.

Alec Hardy began to smile. She was definitely trying to wind him up and had certainly brightened his so far dull day and had been worth the effort of trying to catch up with her and standing five minutes at the start of the beach trying to spot her. She had stood out a mile when he'd looked in the right direction.

"Ice cream?" he asked.

"What? Oh, okay, if you're paying, didn't bring anything with me," Rose replied, pointing to her skimpy top and shorts as she was sitting on her thin jacket.

He got up, after putting his eyes back in their sockets and asked if he could leave his jacket beside her while he went to find an ice cream vendor. Rose squinted up at him again, shading her eyes from the sun. He picked up his jacket and took a pair of sunglasses out of the top pocket and handed them to her. She took them and put them on. They were too big and slid down her nose as she laughed, pushing them back on and tilting her head back to balance them, Alec noticed as she did he could see down her skimpy top and tearing his eyes away again, put his jacket down.

He smiled to himself as he walked away, thinking this had to be his luckiest day since arriving in this boring town almost a year ago. A tough year, having had to solve a murder case and face a life-threatening illness and its subsequent cure – a touch and go heart operation for a pacemaker but today, he, Alec Hardy thought it had all paid off. Chatting up blondes on the beach was something he'd never really gone in for until now. Sure, he'd fancied women since his disaster of a marriage but never got anywhere because of his illness and he'd not long since got over the fact he was now able to pursue physical activities without fear of collapsing and now it was all new to him again. Maybe it was time to test the waters, so to speak.

A few minutes later, he was standing in the queue waiting to buy ice cream when a familiar voice came up behind him. It was Tom Miller, Ellie's son. They said hello, Tom was getting ice cream for his mum and his little brother. He told Alec they were down the other end of the beach and asked if he wanted to join them. Alec politely turned him down, saying he was with someone. Tom asked if he was still coming for Sunday lunch the next day, he looked forward to having a football kick-around in the back garden of his new house when Alec came round and the talk with him afterwards.

Alec knew he was in for trouble now. Ellie would get to know and would ask awkward questions like if the someone he was with was blonde or brunette but he'd tell her not to be so nosy of course. Alec bought the ice creams and made his way back to the blonde, who, he kicked himself he'd not managed to even get her name and he was supposed to be a Detective. Give yourself a kick, Hardy, he told himself.

Rose was now laid out of the beach, the borrowed sunglasses somehow managing to stay on her nose once she had pinched together the pads on the nose of the glasses, her arm across his jacket like she was either protecting it from being pinched or she was fantasising about the wearer, he hoped it was the latter. He stood over her, blocking the sun to get her attention before the ice cream melted. Rose propped herself up on one arm and accepted one. The way she delicately licked the cone made Alec want to melt, let alone the ice cream itself, wishing he was the cone. He sat down beside her and asked her to hold the cone and began to unfasten his shirt buttons and roll up his sleeves. Then took the cone from her once he'd sat down, nearer to her this time, having moved his jacket out of the way and hoping she might move her arm again, across him this time. He knew he was getting way too ahead of himself.

"So, well, you know my name, are you going to tell me yours or do I have to start a full scale enquiry?" he asked.

Rose was sat up, one arm holding onto her knees and the other with the cone halfway to her mouth. Alec could definitely see down her top from where he was sitting and was more than admiring the view and she knew it. It was like she was doing in on purpose.

"Rose" was all she said.

"Nice to meet you, Rose, that's a suitable name for you."

Then he wished he'd not opened his big mouth and put his big foot in it as she turned to him.

She didn't say anything, just smiled and raised the cone back to her mouth, licking around the edge and the ice cream that was beginning to melt slightly. Alec stared again at the way she was doing it, it was driving him mad and he was forgetting about his as some dripped onto his chest. Rose smiled even more, Alec was hoping she would offer to wipe it away but she didn't and he was disappointed. He wiped it away and decided he'd best finish ogling his new love interest and eat the cone. The said cone was eaten and he lay back on his arms, his shirt open, hoping Rose was paying attention to him. She was, then she got up and said she was going to stand in the water to cool her feet off. Alec was cursing that he still had his shoes and socks on and the burden of his jacket.

Still, it was only a few feet to the water's edge, if he half turned he could see his jacket and Rose's things and there weren't that many people around so he took his shoes and socks off and rolled up his trousers and got up, joining Rose in the water. She had her back to him, just standing there, staring out to the sea. Alec stood beside her, facing her so he could still see the beach and where they'd left their things. Rose realised he was there and turned to face him. He took a gamble and held out his hand as the waves gently poured over their feet. She took it and he squeezed hers and smiled at her.

That single moment was to change their lives forever. The simple gesture of taking her hand would leave them both with questions unanswered until they were both ready to let go of their pasts. They stood facing each other as he took her other hand and pulled her nearer.

Then he led her back to where they'd been sitting and asked her, "Rose, what's bothering you? You can tell me. I'm not being a Police Officer now. I'd like to be your friend, if you'll let me?"

Rose nodded and sat down and looked over the sunglasses as they were slipping down her nose again. Alec reached out a hand and pushed them back on and she took his hand.

"Yes, Alec, I could really do with a friend right now but I don't feel much like talking, maybe we can just sit for a while?"

Alec nodded an 'okay' and she let go of his hand and leaned back again. He put his arm around her shoulder to support her as she sank back.

"Whatever it is Rose, I can help you, if you want?"

She didn't answer, she just leaned back into him and put her head on his bare shoulder and Alec knew she definitely wasn't teasing him now, this was serious. Something was troubling her.

"I came here for some peace and quiet, away from work and my family, I wasn't looking for a friend, I'm only here for a few days, after that I have to go back to my life and my job. I'll probably never see you again, then what? I didn't come here looking for a holiday romance, I swear I didn't. You shouldn't get involved with me, Alec Hardy."

Chapter 2

She looked up at him, moved his hand from her shoulder and kissed his cheek then she got up. Alec was confused as she stood there, picking up her thin jacket. She still had his sunglasses on though as she walked away, carrying her sandals. He was up in a flash, almost forgetting his shoes and socks, then scooping them up with his jacket and hurried after her, calling her name to slow down. There were still a lot of people near the path as he made his way to catch up with her. Fortunately for him, she had stopped to put her sandals on and he caught up, realising his shirt was still unfastened and people recognised him but he didn't care, he was focusing on hurriedly putting his shoes and socks on as Rose started off again and he called for her to wait.

Cursing himself for not putting sandals on himself, he dashed after Rose who was now walking past the harbour wall of the esplanade, making her way back towards the hotel. He doubled his stride and caught up with her, trying to get her to stop for a minute then desperately, took hold of her arm. She stopped and spun around.

"Let me go Alec, please, forget me. I'll be gone in a few days."

She took his sunglasses off and handed them back to him silently and took his hand off of her arm and was just about to turn around when he put the sunglasses in his jacket pocket and grabbed her with both hands by her shoulders and kissed her.

He let go and said, "I can't do that Rose. I can't let you go and I can't just forget you. So, come back to the hotel and talk to me, tell me why I should leave you alone and forget you and if you give me a valid reason, I'll consider it."

He kissed her again, not caring people were passing by, his shirt still open and he was getting some surprised looks from the locals who knew him only as the town's grumpiest Detective, who was now engrossed in kissing a young blonde, much to their amusement to see he was human after all.

He let her go again, got the sunglasses back out and put them on her, pushing them back on to her nose and kissing her forehead. Then he put his arm around her and they headed back to the hotel together. She put her arm around his slim waist as they walked the short distance. They only let go as they got to the door, both smiling as they remembered what had taken place just a few hours earlier which had made him go find her in the first place.

Becca also had a surprised look on her face as they came back in together, she had never seen the Detective move as fast as he had done earlier after he'd gone halfway up the stairs then suddenly turned around and fled out of the door like the place was on fire. Something had been on fire alright but obviously not the building Becca had thought and better not come out with cheesy remarks about him catching up with the mysterious blonde who she suspected wasn't using her real name. There was something very familiar about her.

As they made their way upstairs, Rose wasn't surprised that it was Alec that was the only other occupant of the second floor. There was about an hour before dinner and Rose said she really needed to get changed. Alec still hadn't bothered to fasten his shirt as he leaned down to kiss Rose again.

"Join me for dinner?" he asked. "Then we can talk and I'll tell you all about my less than perfect past then you can tell me yours. You might just want to be the one who forgets me."

He kissed her again then she turned to open her door.

"Alec, sorry for running away from you, I shouldn't have done that when you were being so nice to me. I just don't want to see you get hurt, when I leave."

"Then don't leave, stay here and get a new job, what is your job anyway?" he asked, smiling at her.

"I just work in an office, for my step-father, he runs his own business."

It was half the truth, hopefully he wouldn't dig any further but he was in the Police, of course he would dig further, that was what she was afraid of. How long could she fend him off? She had already half given in by responding to his first kiss. Wow, that had been some kiss, the last one she'd had like that was when she had been possessed by Cassandra and she'd kissed The Doctor oh so long ago now. Now she regretted she'd not done it for real before she got stranded here. Maybe Alec Hardy was exactly what she needed but no, she didn't want a substitute, she wanted her Doctor.

"Right, so this family business, it will grind to a halt if you leave and get another job then?" he asked, trying not to laugh.

"I'm serious Alec, I can't stay here. You don't know anything about me."

She turned back to her door and almost had the key in when he put his hand on hers.

"Then tell me who you are, my mysterious Rose, who's running away from something. At least tell me your surname?"

"Why, so you can check up on me? Use your Police resources?"

He pulled his hand away. "If you're telling me to back off, it's not going to work. No, I wouldn't use Police resources but there are other ways, that I would only resort to if you don't talk to me."

"I have to go get changed, can we talk later?"

She unlocked the door and disappeared inside, closing the door on a bewildered Alec, leaving him staring at the door.

He asked himself why he was bothering, she was just a young blonde woman and he was probably a good deal older than her. She wouldn't give her name, where she was from and yet she had openly flirted with him on the beach and then he'd gone and stuffed it up by kissing her when she'd walked away, nice one Hardy. He let himself into his room, best get changed, he had sand between his toes, he needed a shower, a cold one considering it seemed he was going to get nowhere with his new found blonde.

He emerged from the bathroom, rubbing his hair and wrapped in a towel around his waist, he'd never got around to buying a bathrobe, he really didn't have the need for one. It wasn't as if he had a queue of women beating a path to his hotel door. He'd never even invited anyone back, the only two woman that had actually been in his room were Becca, when she'd turned him down for fear of him dying on her and his DS, Ellie Miller on the night her husband had been arrested and they didn't count.

He was just about to get his clean shorts from the dresser when there was a knock on the door. He was silently praying it wasn't Becca, the barracuda, who had been giving him the eye since he was declared fit to go back to work. He called out and asked who it was, crossing his fingers and hoping it wasn't her. It was Rose. He shouted he'd be a second, slipped his shorts and a t-shirt on and opened the door slightly.

"Did I catch you at a bad time?" she asked, looking at his long legs and not his face.

Trust a woman to look in the right place at the wrong time, he thought.

"No, I just got out of the shower, two minutes earlier and I'd have been in my towel, you just missed out," he smirked.

Rose didn't get the joke, she just pushed past him and entered the room, looking around as if expecting to find someone else there, another woman perhaps?

"So, did you want something Rose? Or were you just wanting to catch me coming out of the shower? Really, two minutes earlier and you'd have been in luck."

He noticed she'd got changed. She was wearing a short blue and white, tight fitting, in all the right places dress where only one shoulder was covered.

"Are you going down to eat? Only I'd rather not go down on my own. Can I wait for you?"

He nodded and gathered a clean shirt and a pair of trousers from the wardrobe and went back into the bathroom. He emerged five minutes later to retrieve his socks from the drawer and his shoes. Rose was sat on a chair, her legs crossed, hitching the dress up even higher over a bare legs. He sat on the bed, putting his socks on while she was staring at him.

"It's Prentice, Rose Prentice, in case you'd forgotten you'd asked me."

She was sticking to her original plan, he wouldn't check up on her, surely and she'd be gone in a few more days. It would stop him asking any more awkward questions, for the time being. At least that was the plan. She really didn't want anyone to know who she was.

Alec got up and offered her his hand and helped her up. Her dress was not leaving much to his imagination. No wonder she didn't want to go downstairs on her own, especially if there were any men down there. She was wanting to make an entrance with him escorting her to warn others off. Maybe she was running away from a someone, not a something. A bad relationship perhaps? Or someone had left her, who in their right mind would have left her? They would need their head examined.

They took the stairs as the lift showed it was already occupied and walked into the dining room. Heads were turning indeed as they walked in and Alec held out a chair for her to sit. He might have known her a little over three hours but it felt good being stared at, escorting her. Rose didn't order much, opting for a light meal, Alec was hungry and ordered the full works. After they'd finished, he asked her if she wanted a drink and they went into the guest lounge, Rose just asking for tonic water with lemon, tucked away in a corner of the lounge. He took a chance at sitting beside her, asking her to tell him more about herself. She turned the tables on him.

"You must have read about me Rose, they have newspapers where you come from? Murder case here, last year, twelve year old boy? I solved the case at great personal cost, my health and my not so solid reputation that was already suffering. You must have heard about it? I made headlines as the worst cop in Britain."

None of it rang a bell with her, she'd been too wrapped up trying to get back to her world but she couldn't say that, not to him.

"Sorry, been a bit out of it. I mean I read about that poor boy but I hadn't realised where it was. It was a Policewoman's husband that did it, wasn't it?"

Alec nodded as he moved a bit closer to her, he liked the smell of her perfume which he swore was meant to drive a man insane.

"So you did read about it, or saw it on TV? I was ill Rose, I nearly died, twice, bad heart, had to have an operation which is why I'm still here, only had it two months ago."

Rose looked shocked. Here was Alec Hardy with a bad heart and she was searching for a Timelord with two hearts, how ironic was that? Still, it didn't matter, he seemed okay now and she kept telling herself she was leaving soon.

"Are you okay now though?" she asked.

Alec took her hand and placed it on his heart. She didn't pull away as she could feel it beating.

"I'm okay now, I had a pacemaker fitted, I've just been recovering, that's why I'm still in the hotel, it was too risky being on my own if something happened. Becca would check in on me and before you even ask, no it wasn't like that, she turned me down." He saw a slight smile across her face. "It's not funny Rose, Becca never turns any man down and I mean any man."

He was hoping Becca hadn't heard him.

Rose realised her hand was still on his heart and started to move away but he held her there, his top shirt button was undone and her little finger was on his exposed skin where there was still a scar. He'd been sat on the beach with her earlier, his shirt unbuttoned and then he'd kissed her, twice so why was he still feeling like this? She hadn't even touched him then and she had come so close to catching him stepping out of the shower earlier. It was now nine and he'd known her for all of six hours and he was getting excited with a combination of her perfume, her short dress and her finger touching his chest. "Get a grip Hardy," he told himself "and do something about it."

"Rose, can I get you another drink? Something a bit stronger perhaps?"

Rose moved her hand and picked up her glass.

"Perhaps some white wine would be nice," she said, finishing the drink and handing him the glass.

He was back five minutes later and found two other people were sat in the opposite corner, their privacy invaded so he couldn't put her hand back where it had just been so he just moved as close as he dare, catching a glimpse of the front of her dress. He liked what he saw, just as he had on the beach. He was beginning to wonder what had hit him when he'd followed her out earlier. The couple opposite were getting loud and Alec threw them a warning glance, hoping he wouldn't have to abuse his power as a officer of the law. They took the hint and got up and left so he turned his attention back to Rose, not that it had been away from her all night.

"How about you tell me something about yourself, you know about me, well some of it. Your turn, you said you work for your step-father?"

Rose nodded, she had to stick to giving the minimal information.

"Yeah, he's in the food and drink industry, I'm his personal assistant. Can we talk about something else?"

"What are you so afraid of? Just because I'm in the Police doesn't mean I'm on duty all the time. Okay, no more questions, I promise. Tell me what ever you're comfortable with, no pressure. How about we get a bottle and take it my room, we can talk better there?"

A smile came over Rose's face as she began to relax.

"Right, no more questions," he thought as he left to get a bottle of wine. Rose waited for him to come back then they climbed the stairs.

"Actually, can we go to my room, if that's alright?" she asked, getting out her key and opening the door. Alec was game as he followed her.

Chapter 3

He took his jacket off and put it on the back of a chair and opened the bottle. Rose found some glasses and he poured the wine, handing her one and putting the bottle down and sat down next to her on the bed.

"So, are you going to tease me like you did earlier on the beach?" he asked innocently, pushing a strand of her hair back and reaching over to kiss her cheek.

Rose turned her head so he caught the side of her mouth for a second until she turned fully and their lips met. He laid her gently into his arm and let her down slowly onto the bed. The smell of her perfume was sending him over the edge. He leaned over and began kissing her bare shoulder as she began unbuttoning his shirt. He reached around the back of her dress and tugged at the zip, pulling it down and off her other shoulder as he moved over to kiss it, pulling the dress further down revealing her strapless bra and her cleavage showing over the top, kissing his way down to them as he pulled the dress away and unfastened her bra.

Rose wanted him but didn't want to tell him anything about herself, she just wanted to have a few carefree days and possibly now, carefree nights then she'd go home and he would be no wiser. There were four more nights she could spend with Alec and she now intended to use them to their full advantage. She hadn't been with a man for a long time, she was way past due to spend some time with one. Alec was nice, a respectable man with a proper career, not someone on holiday and he definitely wanted her the way he was enthusiastically caressing her, taking his time.

Alec's other hand was now pulling her dress down with some help from Rose, then she was pulling his shirt off his shoulders as she shuffled out of her dress and further onto the bed, Alec never letting go and crawling onto her to get a better position as her dress was left behind and his shirt was halfway down his arms as she struggled to undo the cuffs, tugging the sleeves off his arms. He kissed both her top half tenderly then worked his way down to her tummy until he reached her lacy underwear, hovering his lips just above the waistband, then gripping it with his teeth and moving them down her hips.

Rose was really enjoying this and she showed him by unfastening his belt and then the fastener on his trousers, then putting her arms around his waist and working her hands down the back until she came to his shorts, then teasingly put her hand down them and squeezed him, which made him stop what he was doing and smile so she did it again and he went back to what he was doing, saying her name as she pulled the zip of his trousers apart and pulling them down, partly taking his shorts with them at the back.

"Alec, now, please, I can't stand it anymore, I want you, now," she called as he continued.

She could feel herself getting more worked up by the second, her legs now wrapped around him, his hands under her, lifting her up. He took one last kiss and looked up.

"You want me then?" he grinned, satisfied he had got her well and truly ready for him, she was his for the taking and she was begging him.

Rose responded by nipping him then took both hands away and brought them round to the front, "Yes, Alec, I want you."

Rose was murmuring his name softly, telling him he was amazing as the feelings washed over them and that she wanted more. He raised himself up and grinned at her, kissing her nose.

"You were amazing Rose, what have you done to me?"

He leaned down to kiss her as she put her hands on his rear again, trying to get him to lie on his back. She wanted her revenge on him and she was going to get it.

He obliged by turning onto his back as she sat astride him, rubbing her fingers on his chest, teasing him as he put his hands on her rear while she reached down to kiss all the way across his middle then he put his hands on her hips so she was directly on top of him as she coaxed him back towards her which he was more than willing to do as she lay down and let him, feeling him once more, all thoughts of revenge gone from her mind as the feeling of him touching her again washed over her.

It felt like forever that they stayed like that, she was resting directly over him, could still feel his closeness as she began to fall down on him even more, feeling tired but not wanting to stop, getting comfortable on him as he put his arms around her and asked if she was okay. She said she was more than okay as she drifted off to sleep.

Rose was woken gently on hearing her name being called and it wasn't by her mother. A soft Scottish voice was asking if she was awake. Two strong arms were wrapped around her, one hand on her lower back, the other she could feel sliding between on her leg. She lifted her head off a hairy chest that she realised she had been using as a pillow, in fact it felt better than any pillow she had ever slept on and she saw his gorgeous face looking at her, smiling. She managed somehow to reach his lips that looked so inviting.

Alec manoeuvred her head so he could kiss her better as she moved upwards on him then spun her around so she was lying on her back and he was looking down on her, saying, "Morning gorgeous, we've missed breakfast."

Rose was now wide awake and wondering what time it was. Alec said it was almost 9 am, he'd been awake for ages and didn't want to disturb her. She managed a 'sorry' and pulled him near for another kiss.

"Don't be sorry Rose, don't ever be sorry. I suspect it's a long time since you slept like that. You looked so beautiful, lying in my arms, it's been a very long time since I had someone go to sleep on me like that. Rose, there's something else I need to tell you. I'm divorced. Are you okay with that? I haven't got a jealous ex-wife, she hates my guts and I never should have married her. She cheated on me almost since I was stupid enough to marry her. She didn't love me, she loved the fact she was married to someone in the Police who worked the same hours as she did, she was a DS. Then she started working different shifts at the same time as she was having a fling with another male DS. She almost cost me my job."

Rose was looking up at him. She stroked his cheek and said, "It's okay, Alec, you don't have to explain anything to me." She pulled him down to kiss him again. "Well, since you didn't wake me for breakfast, you'll have to make up for it by taking me out to eat. If you want to be seen with me. I'll bring my own sunglasses this time."

Alec smiled at her and moved the bed covers to one side to move out of her bed as Rose tried to move but she stopped while she watched him get out and he was aware she was watching him as he found his clothes that had been scattered around the room.

"I'll just go back to my room to get changed, give me ten minutes and I'll meet you outside." He slipped his shorts and trousers on then just put the shirt over his shoulders, kissed her and said, "Wear something for the beach under a dress or something and bring a towel, oh and don't forget your sunglasses." Then he left.

Rose was left wondering how she had managed to get herself into this. She was only going to spend the night with him, not all day as well and there he was, planning for them to go back to the beach again. How could she tell him she'd not intended to take it this far? That she might have spent the nights with him in one of their rooms but not all day Sunday as well. Oh well, it was only one day and what else was she going to do beside go back to the beach again? She'd enjoyed the little time they'd had on the beach yesterday and it would be more fun with two instead of being on her own. What harm would it do? So she put her bikini on and some shorts then a sun dress with thin straps. There, she was totally ready for a day with Alec. Just remember the towel, sun cream and the sunglasses.

It took her a little over ten minutes and she was almost ready when a knock came on her door. Someone was getting impatient. She grabbed a shoulder bag and stuffed the towel and sun cream in and opened the door. Alec was standing in a pair of tight jeans, well Rose thought they looked tight, a red stripped unbuttoned t-shirt which she noticed that she could see the hairs on his chest and a pair of trainers, no socks (he'd learned his lesson yesterday) and Rose thought he looked totally hot. Add to that he was carrying a towel and a pair of sunglasses were hanging down from the pocket of his t-shirt.

Rose was certain she was ogling him and wasn't trying to hide it. She snapped out of it when he asked if he could put his towel in her shoulder bag. She opened the bag, there was just enough room, so she picked up her phone and key as he held his hand out to her. She took it and locked the door behind her. They got another funny look from Becca as they went out of the front door together, especially as Alec had his arm around Rose's shoulder. She thought the two of them must have got very cosy since their meeting yesterday. She was also feeling a bit jealous of the blonde but who really wanted to be seen with the town grump? It was alright for someone on holiday for a few days but for the whole town to talk about you? No thanks!

Becca didn't know half the town was already talking about him and his show of affection to a strange blonde woman by the esplanade late yesterday afternoon, after shouting several times after her on the beach and his subsequent pursuing and catching up of her and it had caught the attention of one Olly Stevens, reporter for the Broadchurch Echo, who had decided to find out who the woman was.

Alec said he knew where they could still get some breakfast so they walked down the road, past the Police Station, which Alec pointed out to Rose was where he worked as he nodded to the uniformed Officer outside, fortunately for Alec, he had let go of Rose's shoulder as they had crossed the road but by the time they were crossing over to the café, his arm was back where it had been.

They had just ordered breakfast when Alec was alarmed to hear a familiar voice behind him, telling a young boy to wait with his brother. Trying his best not to get spotted by pretending to read the menu, it was too late, he'd been seen by Ellie Miller. She came over, calling his name.

"Alec, I'm surprised to see you here at this time on a Sunday morning." She looked at Rose. "So, this is the 'someone' Tom told me about yesterday." She held her hand out to Rose and said, "Hi, I'm Ellie, I used to work with Alec before I had to leave."

Rose shook her hand and said, "I'm Rose, hi. I'm just on holiday here for a few days."

She was trying to remind Alec she wasn't here on a permanent basis, something he seemed to have conveniently forgotten.

Alec was looking slightly outnumbered as the two women continued talking until their food arrived. Ellie made her excuses, asking if Alec was still coming for lunch later. Rose looked at him, daring him to drag her along to his ex co-worker's house for lunch. If he did, he could forget about the rest of the time she was here. She wasn't here to make friends and she'd already blown that one out of the window.

He got the hint and said, "Actually, Rose and I were planning on spending the rest of the day on the beach. I'll give it a miss this week. Tell Tom I'll see him next week all being well."

Ellie said goodbye and disappeared to the counter. Rose gave Alec a sly look, he could have gone on his own if he'd wanted as long as he didn't drag her along but he'd chosen to spend the day with her instead. It looked like she wasn't going to get rid of him any time soon, not that she wanted to, it was just going to make it difficult when Thursday arrived, the day she was going home.

Chapter 4

They finished breakfast and walked down to the beach, Alec insisting on walking further down away from the 'screaming kids' he said but Rose just thought he'd wanted some privacy after yesterday when he'd chased after her and kissed her in front of a crowd of holidaymakers and locals alike and by now was sure to be the subject of small town gossip. They walked a fair way and found a remote spot where families dare to tread and Rose got their towels out and Alec lay them by the water's edge, then changing his mind and walking back to the cliff face. Rose was waiting for him to finally decide where he was going to put the towels, just as long as it was still in the sun, which lucky for him, it was.

Rose took her sundress off and Alec stared at her in just her bikini top and her shorts as she put her sunglasses on and sat down on her towel, taking the shorts off. She held out the sun cream and asked him to put some on her back and shoulders which he was only too happy to do. She told him not to forget under the fastener but she needn't have worried about that, he didn't. He handed her the tube, asking if she needed help putting the cream on any other part of her and offered to put some on her legs but she declined and she sat up and put some on his back and shoulders, saying he looked cute with all his freckles on his back, then she noticed. He had a mole right where The Doctor had one, she'd seen him a few times when they went swimming on an alien planet, wishing now she'd done something other than think about snogging him at the time, one of the rare occasions he was seen without his suit.

She was sure most men had a mole somewhere on their back but one exactly in the same place? She erased it from her mind and savoured rubbing the sun cream on his shoulders, that's if he was enjoying it as much as she was. She put the cream away and lay on her front, closing her eyes.

"Alec, you won't let me get too burned will you?" she asked, turning her head slightly to see he was laid on his towel, his sunglasses on and he'd bunched up his t-shirt as a cushion.

She turned on her side and prodded him when he didn't answer and he retaliated by grabbing her hand and pulling her towards him so she was almost on top of him and sneaked a quick kiss.

"Ah, that's why he wanted to sit back here," she smiled to herself.

Suddenly, he got up and pulled her up with him and dragged her into the water, bending down and splashing her as she splashed back. Alec finally got tired of just splashing her, he wanted to do far more so he ran back out of the water and asked if she was finished trying to drench him. She said she wasn't and ran after him so he scooped her up and carried her back to where they were sitting. He laid her down on the towel and began drying her legs, kneeling down in front of her. When he'd finished, she lay down, putting her sunglasses back on and he dried himself, laying down next to her and taking her hand. Rose smiled, she'd never had someone to take care of her, even The Doctor was never this attentive on a more personal level and she really shouldn't be liking it so much. She had to keep reminding herself she wasn't staying.

Alec found he wasn't one for lying down and doing nothing. Sunbathing was not something he'd ever entertained, even on the few holidays he'd taken, he had to find something to do. Rose looked like she'd settled for a while and he didn't know what he was going to do. He could get his phone out and see if there was anything interesting on the news headlines or he could turn on his side and watch Rose again, she was so beautiful, he couldn't remember meeting anyone like her before, not who was actually interested in him that is.

So he turned on his side, Rose was now on her front and without him noticing had unfastened her bikini top and he was so tempted to just touch her but if she had fallen asleep he didn't want to disturb her. He thought back to that morning when he was watching her, wishing now every morning could be like that. Maybe it could for the next few days at least. Maybe he could convince her to stay. She was certainly troubled by something, she didn't even want to talk about her life and he wasn't going to push her away. He'd already nearly done that once and he wasn't about to do it again. He would wait and see if she talked to him.

He could put some more sun cream on her, she'd asked him not to let her get burned and he could say he was concerned about her shoulders but would she be upset at him waking her? Was she actually asleep? He'd thought earlier that maybe that had been the best night's sleep she'd had in a long time, it had certainly been his. There had been a time when he'd almost been afraid to go to sleep, the times when he'd not taken his medication when he should have but that was all over now, he'd had another chance and maybe now women wouldn't run away. Except for Rose of course, she was determined she was leaving, how could he make her change her mind?

He moved onto his knees and picked up the tube of sun cream and gently rubbed some on her shoulders, they were looking a little bit red, he'd be justified in applying some more. Rose moved her arm to waft him away but he continued, leaning over to her ear and whispering he wasn't going to let her get burned. She clasped hold of her top and turned slightly but he'd already seen what he'd been looking at, she was too late. She smiled at him and said how thoughtful of him but guessed it was just a ruse to wake her and stare at her before she covered herself up.

Contented he had rubbed sun cream in the places he was allowed, he laid back down and asked Rose if she was going back to sleep, he was resting his head on his arms as she turned towards him and she asked if he was bored. He said he wasn't but he was bored out of his mind. She said they could go for a walk if he wanted and he was up like a shot. She asked him to fasten her top and was sorely tempted to do more than fasten it. She put her shorts on and picked everything up and stuffed it in the bag she was carrying. Checking they had everything and Alec was carrying their shoes, she grabbed his hand and they walked down the beach away from the distant crowds.

They must have walked over half a mile before Rose wanted to sit down again. She didn't bother with the towel again but Alec got his out of the bag and laid it down so they could both sit on it. He turned to her and asked if she wanted to talk about what happened between them last night. She hadn't said anything about it. Rose was still getting over the shock she'd had such a good time. He put his arm around her and kissed her cheek, then she turned to kiss him properly, which turned into a full scale snogging session. They finally came up for air and Rose turned around and lay her head on his lap, he could clearly see her cleavage and was so tempted to do something about it but would have to arrest himself if he did.

"It was mmm – really good actually, I've not felt like that before, it was definitely a new experience for me. I've had boyfriends but that's all they were and that was a long time ago. There's been no-one for a long time, I've been on my own. I was long past giving up hope I'd ever find someone I actually wanted to go to bed with, I get asked out all the time but I've never fancied any of them."

"So, you fancied me then?" he asked, smiling down at her and checking there was absolutely no-one in sight, leaned down to kiss her breasts.

Rose replied with, "Oh, I definitely fancied you" and pulled him down for another proper snogging session.

It seemed ages before they came back up for air properly, just taking brief gasps every now and then as necessary and now they were totally out of breath and both of them were laughing.

"I've not done that for a long time either," admitted a still giggling Rose, pulling him down for another round.

Alec was spluttering for breath and had to give up after a few minutes.

"Well," he said, trying to catch his breath," I've never done anything like that before, that's a new experience for me. Show me more but I need to come up for air every now and then," he smiled.

"Aw, can't you keep up with me then?" she teased.

"I'll show you if I can keep up with you or not, you tease. Let's see who gives in first."

He dove straight back in to start again.

Rose had now turned around and was sat with her legs either side of his on his lap and Rose's towel was covering her shoulders as he unfastened her bikini top and held her close to his chest, the towel was covering her back. They nipped and bit at each other's lips, tongues entwined, Alec's tongue trying to get as far as it could, battling with Rose's as they made contact. They were sat behind a rock in an alcove beneath the cliff, hoping no-one would venture down that far on the beach but they were out of luck.

A certain Olly Stevens was out on a walk and saw them from a distance and took a picture of them on his phone, not sure if it was actually the detective or not from where he was but as he got closer, he could see it was definitely him. So what half the town was talking about yesterday was true. The inspector did have a love interest. Olly smiled to himself and thought about deleting the photo.

He had incurred Hardy's wrath more than once and his Aunt Ellie's for causing a media frenzy over the murder last year and didn't fancy having another run-in with either of them again in a hurry. There might be a story though, if he could find out who this young blonde woman was that was with him. He looked at the photo but couldn't quite see her face. He might be able to enhance it back at the office if he was lucky so he chanced getting a bit closer, they were taking no notice whatsoever, there could have been a tidal wave coming in and they wouldn't have stopped, they were certainly engrossed in what they were doing. So he crept up behind the rock, silenced the click on the phone's camera and took two of three more shots, using the zoom. Then he crept away, the two lovers totally unaware of being observed.

The best Olly could hope for was to confront DI Hardy and ask if he had a new girlfriend and claim half the town had seen them yesterday and did he want to talk about it. If he published the photos, he was a wanted man, possibly finished in journalism for good as his editor would kick him where it hurt and make sure he never worked again – anywhere. A year ago he would have done it, without any hesitation, during the Latimer case when the world was descending on the town and Hardy was the least popular person in the country but not now. The DI had gone through a lot and he'd stuck by Olly's Aunt Ellie through her ordeal of seeing her husband jailed so he couldn't do it. He could find out who she was though.

Blissfully unaware of being observed, the two lovers were still showing no signs of quitting despite sore lips and both dying for a drink, of anything, neither of them wanting to be the first to stop. Finally, by mutual agreement they stopped, Rose was gasping and giggling at the same time, a big grin on her face, declaring herself the winner because he took his tongue out first and Alec saying he let her win. They gathered up all their things after Alec fastened her bikini top and Rose put on her shorts, slipped the sundress over her head and Alec put his jeans back on and they walked back down the beach, Alec's arm around her shoulder and Rose's hand in his jeans pocket until she was forced to take it out when they came to the crowds.

Alec put his t-shirt back on and made a path for them as they stepped off the beach and made towards the row of vendors. Rose just wanted a nice cold drink so she sat on one of the wooden railings with her shoulder bag and Alec went to get drinks. When he brought her a cold bottle of flavoured water, she put the bottle on her forehead to cool down and Alec did the same, both smiling. He asked if she was hungry, it was already two in the afternoon. They hadn't realised how long they'd been. They were about to walk up to the pub at the top of the harbour when Alec spotted Olly and every time he saw him, he could guarantee there would be trouble. Today was going to be no different.

Olly had done some quick checking up using his phone and discovered Rose's identity and he'd been surprised to say the least. Rose Tyler, heiress to the Vitex Corporation and step-daughter of Peter Tyler. Torchwood only allowed very basic information of their employees to be accessed on the internet as everyone had a cover story that they worked for Vitex. It was easy with Rose's because it was true. He walked up to the couple and asked Alec if he could talk to him. Alec excused himself from Rose, asked her to hold his drink and gave her a kiss on her cheek and said he wouldn't be long.

They walked across the other side of the access road where it was less crowded and Alec leaned against the railings and asked what he wanted and couldn't it wait until Monday, it was his day off. Olly got straight to the point.

"DI Hardy, half the town is talking about you and the woman you were just sat with. Can you confirm who she is?"

"You print her name in your paper along with mine and you're finished. What I do in my own time is no-one's business. Yesterday was different. She was upset and I went after her, it just got out of hand. We're just friends, that's all. Don't you dare print anything. She'll be gone in a few days, she's just on holiday, that's all. There's no story here. Who do you think she is? She's not famous or anything."

"Are you serious? She is famous, well maybe not to you but to everyone else. She's Rose Tyler."

"What do you mean? Who's Rose Tyler. That's not the name she gave me."

"DI Hardy, Rose Tyler is Peter Tyler's step-daughter. He's the head of the Vitex Corporation and she's heiress to a multi-million pound empire and you don't know who she is?"

Alec's face dropped. No wonder she was so reluctant to talk about anything. She'd probably come here to avoid the limelight but why couldn't she have told him? He wouldn't have told anyone. Now he had to go back to her and pretend nothing had happened, confront her when they got back to the hotel – or not. Wouldn't it spoil everything if he told her he knew who she was? He'd probably get a slap and he'd never see her again and he wanted to be with her again tonight. Best leave it until Wednesday night when she was leaving or Thursday just before he went to see her off. He'd no chance now of getting her to stay, or did he? What better place to hide away than a small town like this?

Chapter 5

"Well, thanks for the information. I hope I can rely on you not to tell anyone?" Olly nodded. "Good, because if one word of this leaks out and anyone bothers her, I know where to go looking. Am I clear?"

"Crystal clear," replied Olly, hoping he could keep his word but it was getting too good a story, how could Hardy not know who she was?

Alec went back to Rose, not intending to say a word to her unless she volunteered the information, which he doubted. She was still the same beautiful Rose who he had made love to last night and been snogged to death within an inch of his life just a short time ago and he wanted her as much as he could if she was still insistent on leaving.

"Everything okay Alec? What was that all about?"

He didn't want her to know the local press was already on to her and she'd only been there a day but hopefully he had warned them off. Now he was going to have to shield her from them and not let on to her that he knew who she was. Why did he keep getting himself into these things?

"Nothing Sweetheart, just someone I know. Don't worry about it. Now let's go and get that lunch shall we?"

He kissed her cheek and helped her up from the low wooden railing she'd sat herself on and took her hand.

They had lunch then he asked if she wanted to go for a walk on the cliff top. They walked for a while and came to a bench, not so private this time so he had to settle for putting his arm around her as she put her head on his shoulder. He so wanted to tell her he knew who she was but she would probably get up and walk off. Maybe he should try the subtle approach but he wasn't renowned for his tactfulness or for being subtle, Miller used to say he was like a bull in a china shop. So they sat in silence as he took her hand and played with her fingers, content to let her just sit. It was probably a very long time since she'd really relaxed. Tomorrow he was going to look up this Peter Tyler, whom he'd vaguely heard of and see just what he was getting involved in. He didn't want to suffer the wrath of such an important person for pursuing the man's step-daughter.

They walked back to the harbour and Rose asked if they could go on a boat ride but Alec said he wasn't keen on boats and didn't want to go into any details. Even when she said she'd hold his hand it still didn't change his mind. He didn't mind splashing in the sea with Rose but going out to sea in a small boat was an entirely different story he didn't want to dwell on. They went to get ice-cream instead and Rose wasn't ready to end the day just yet so they went back to the pub to sit outside, Rose sticking to her tonic water with lemon again. Maybe he'd get her back to wine again later on.

It was early evening before they walked back to the hotel, stopping to get a sandwich from a vendor who was still open and they went into the lounge again. Alec wasn't completely sure they were going to have a repeat performance of last night but he was hoping for it and under different circumstances, it would have probably half killed him but it would have been worth it. Rose Tyler was certain worth it, she made him feel different, made him have feelings he thought were long passed and would never feel again. He was so glad now he'd held out and not asked Becca Fisher again. They sat talking about things in general but Alec told her a bit more about why he'd come to the town and why he'd not gone back home. Rose was horrified at the circumstances that had brought him here.

Alec had enough of talking and was trying to get her back to his room for some wine and relaxation but Rose seemed reluctant to leave until she'd heard his entire story. It was something she'd been used to, travelling with The Doctor. Alec swore she was doing it on purpose as he was trying to look down her sundress, wanting to be snogged to death again sometime soon, preferably in the next five minutes, that had been the highlight of the day.

She wasn't getting the hint and insisted on staying until he said there was still wine in her room. That finally did the trick but he needed her in his room tonight, he had to go back to work the next morning. So once upstairs, Alec suggested that she get the wine and they go to his room. Rose wasn't happy and wanted to stay in her room but Alec said it was so he could get ready for work the next morning so she reluctantly gave in. Once in his room, he slipped off his t-shirt and his trainers and sat on the bed next to Rose, pulling the thin straps of her dress down then kissing her shoulders.

They crawled under the sheets, never letting go as they began a serious snogging session that was likely to last some time, tossing and turning until they stopped for breath, Rose whispering she wanted him as they tried to catch their breath. Rose wanted to be different and be on top, Alec was more than willing to oblige until they both fell over the edge and tumbled down the other side together.

Alec whispered he'd not had enough, he wanted to show her what he was capable of, something he'd never even done when he was married, he'd never really shown his ex wife just how capable he was of satisfying a woman. Rose was the one he wanted to show, he'd never been as certain in his life until now, he never wanted to let her go. Rose melted beneath him as they both clung on as long as they could.

They both moaned together, Alec collapsing onto Rose, kissing her top half one more time, Rose was squirming with delight under him, giddy from what he had just done, Alec thought she was never going to stop squealing as she was saying his name over and over again. He was beaming from ear to ear at achieving what he thought would never be possible, joining in her laughter, as he lay over her, reaching up to kiss her. She stopped laughing as his lips touched hers, then asking if she was okay but Rose began giggling again, telling him she had never experienced anything like it in her life and she was beginning to question her need to go home if every night for the rest of her life she could spend it making love like that to Alec Hardy.

She couldn't forget who she was though, she was no longer Rose Tyler, shop girl, she was Rose Tyler, heiress to Vitex through no fault of her own. Just like all those years ago, The Doctor had told her he could never have an ordinary life, neither could she now and this was the closest she would ever get to it. Alec could never accept who she was and where she had come from, he was a Police Officer but maybe he had heard about the Cybermen all those years ago, he might believe her – either that or lock her away and Torchwood would be exposed and everyone be put in danger. How could she explain it to him?

Rose was now feeling slightly squashed under Alec's weight, even though he was of slim build, she needed to move as she pushed him up and tried to get him to turn over plus she desperately needed to run to the bathroom. Alec thought he'd done something wrong when she darted out of bed but was happy she came right back and lay on top of him again. She snuggled down on his chest, Alec was kissing her forehead and stroking her cheek, telling her she was amazing but she was already asleep.

Alec had to be out early the next morning. If he'd known he was going to meet Rose, he would have taken a few days off but now he was stuck. He would now take Wednesday off if she was still leaving, to spend the day with her because he had to admit it – he was in love with Rose in a big way and wouldn't let her go without a fight. He was going to do everything he could think of to get her to stay. He needed her, more than he'd cared to admit about anyone and he never thought he could feel this way. He tried to get out from under Rose without waking her, gently moving her onto her side while he got his shower and got dressed. Then hopefully she would have breakfast with him and he'd go to work a happy man, for the first time in as long as he could remember. Then he was going to find out more about Rose.

He came out of the shower, Rose was still asleep and he needed breakfast so he had to wake her up. He kneeled on the bed and kissed her cheek. She stirred and opened one eye and smiled at him.

"Hi, you have to go to work, sorry. You should have woken me. I'll go get changed and join you for breakfast."

Alec was almost dressed but he leaned over and kissed her, careful not for it to become a lengthy snogging session, his lip was still sore from last night but it had been worth it, he'll live.

"Rose, I'm going to take Wednesday off to spend it with you and when I get back tonight, we'll go out. I want to talk to you about something. We can meet for lunch as well if you like, where we went yesterday, say one?"

Rose agreed as she got dressed and said she'd see him in the dining room but Alec said he'd wait for her. Twenty minutes later they were in the dining room, having spent most of the journey down in the lift kissing and Alec was asking her what she was going to do for the day. Rose said she was going to go shopping then after she'd met him for lunch, she was going back to the beach but said it wouldn't be as much fun as yesterday.

Alec kissed her cheek and said goodbye and walked off down the street feeling extremely happy with himself. How had he managed to catch himself such a prize as Rose? Even if it was only short term but if he had his way, it would be more permanent. He got to his office and caught up with the weekend activities then since there was nothing that required his personal attention, he looked up Peter Tyler.

Alec couldn't believe he hadn't known about the man and it mentioned that his first wife had died during the Cybermen attack, something Alec had not been involved in and then his subsequent marriage to a woman who bore a striking resemblance to his first wife and her daughter Rose. So it was true, Olly had been right. He looked up Rose on the search engine but it only gave basic information but he learned how old she was, twenty eight, ten years younger than he was and he'd missed her birthday. The question now was, did he really want to get involved with Peter Tyler's step-daughter? The man had a reputation for being ruthless in business and if that was the case, how would he react to her taking up with a Detective Inspector?

The bigger question now was, how did he keep their albeit short relationship out of the papers? Olly had already caught on about her and was under his own orders to keep her name out of print but sooner or later, someone else would spot her. No wonder she was using another name, maybe keeping her old name? Would he be able to cope with her being famous? He looked up other sites about her, she was mentioned in some of the society columns, seen with her mother donating time to charity work, her mother was chairperson of a number of charities and there were photos of her all dressed up at various parties and social gatherings. She looked stunning in her evening dresses, even more beautiful than in a sundress and the one she had worn on Saturday night. She could afford all the latest fashions but she had been wearing a dress from a discount clothing store, he'd seen the label.

He figured that if her mother had married into money, then she wouldn't be used to having it so maybe old habits of buying cheap clothes still hadn't worn off. There wasn't much about Jackie Tyler, except she'd had a son with Peter Tyler, he was seven and popular at school and a keen football fan. It seemed strange though that she didn't want to talk about any of this, having a little brother and a life before her mother had re-married.

Still, if she was anything like he was, forgetting your old life wasn't that easy and you didn't always want to be constantly reminded of it. He would have to give her some space, let her talk if she wanted to. This didn't change how he felt about her. He had two more nights and Wednesday, he would tell her he knew about her and see what happened. If she felt the same, it wouldn't matter, she might stay or at least go home and get things sorted and come back.

Who was he kidding? Why would she want to come back when she had a glamorous life in London? Spend her time with a grumpy Police Detective ten years older than she was? He hadn't even told her how old he was but if he did, he would have to approach the subject in a roundabout way so as not to alert her he'd checked up on her. He sat back in his chair with his arms folded behind his head and thought about her.

That's all he'd done since he met her and that spur of the moment decision to go find her after nearly knocking her over in the doorway of the hotel a few days ago. It had been the best decision he'd ever made in his life. She was beautiful, intelligent and a tease, oh she knew she was a tease and she had been the only woman in his entire life he had wanted to be with more than anything. What had she done to him?

He knew he wasn't going to get anything done, he couldn't concentrate. He'd been too stupid to even bother to get her phone number. Ah! Maybe she was still in the hotel. He dialled the hotel and asked for Rose's room. No answer so he left a message with Becca to tell her he'd still meet her in the café at one. It was only ten, how was going to survive another three hours, let alone when she left? He knew he could never let her go now.

She was the only good thing that had ever happened to him. He made his mind up. He was booking off the rest of the day to spend with her, he wouldn't get anything done anyway and book the rest of the week off, he had a lot of leave to come anyway. So he rang the personnel department and said he was taking some leave after lunch and would be taking the rest of the week off, finished a case that needed reviewing and counted how many minutes it was until he met Rose. It was too many. Just then, his desk phone rang. It was Rose.

Chapter 6

When Alec had left the hotel, Rose went back upstairs to get her things for the beach as well as her purse and phone and cursed herself for not getting Alec's phone number, she had been too wrapped up in what had happened over the weekend. What about last night? She could never admit to him that no man had ever done that to her before, she'd never let them go that far, never wanted any man to until Alec. Now she had to leave him behind when she went home. He'd said he was taking the day off on Wednesday and was seeing her off on Thursday but did that mean he wasn't going to ask again for her to stay or had he resigned himself to thinking she wouldn't stay even if he did ask? She knew she wanted him as much as he wanted her but she had responsibilities, she had a brother she loved dearly, having grown up on her own, she had a loving step-father, she'd grown up without her own dad and he'd adopted her, no reservations about it. Pete had taken her and her mother in when he didn't have to, gave them a home and gave Rose an important role within Torchwood, she was second in command and head of research.

She decided she would leave making her decision until the night before she left but if Alec tried to persuade her to stay she would have to tell him she would think about it. It wasn't going to be easy. Would he actually accept who she was and where she was from? If he loved her, then he would. She left the hotel and wandered around a market next to the hotel and bought a new suntop to wear on the beach, she would wear it when she went with Alec. She found a café and ordered a latte and checked her phone. Several text messages from her mother of course, two from Mickey asking when she was coming back and a missed call from Pete. She rang Pete back, he was worried about her being on her own and said he'd been alerted someone had done a search on her, someone in Broadchurch. It could only have been Alec. He'd promised he wouldn't, he didn't trust her, couldn't accept she didn't want to talk. She told Pete she'd met someone and it was probably him and said he was a Police Detective so not to worry but she was still a bit annoyed. Trust worked both ways. Maybe she should confide in him but he'd not given her time.

She sent messages to her mother and Mickey then went on the web and got the phone number for the Police Station and dialled the number and asked for Alec.

He answered with "Rose, I'm sorry I never gave you my mobile number, I'll give it to you at lunch. I've booked the rest of the day off, to spend with you. You said the beach was no fun on your own so I'll nip back to my room and get my swim shorts. Have you had a good morning so far?"

It had only been ninety minutes since he left her and he was fretting after her already, man, did he have it bad or what? He felt like he was a love struck teenager again.

Rose couldn't let on she knew he'd been checking up on her so she left it – for now.

"Hi, yeah, I'm just sat in a café. I wandered around the market and realised I didn't have your mobile number so I got the number of the Station, I hope that's okay? Alec, can I ask you something?"

"Of course you can, what is it?"

"When we were talking the other day, you wouldn't really look me up on the internet would you? I mean, I'm no-one special, why would you want to? I told you everything you really need to know and you know I'm not staying so why do you need to know more?"

She knew he'd only got the basics, standard protocol for the Tylers and Torchwood employees protection and she should be mad at him but wasn't.

He'd been caught and he knew it but he'd had to find out what she was hiding and why she wouldn't talk to him.

"Rose, okay, I was just a wee bit curious about you and you wouldn't talk to me but I didn't really find out much. Can we talk about this at lunch? Unless you're really mad with me and you never want to see me again? You're not mad with me are you? If you are, you have every right to be, I was an ass."

"No, I'm not mad with you but I should be. There's a reason I didn't tell you everything but if you still meet me for lunch, I'll tell you why. I'll see you at one then?"

Alec agreed and she rang off.

Now what was she going to do? Don't offer any information, just tell him what he asked, nothing more but he was a professional, he asked people questions for a living and he was probably very good at it so she knew it was going to be a full blown interrogation. She wouldn't be able to keep much from him except where she was from. She could never tell him that. She had been conditioned by Torchwood to resist torture and interrogation by any methods known if she was captured or held for ransom but there was now one way she would tell Alec anything he wanted to know and if he used it again, she would give in if he asked her the ultimate question, where was she from? No amount of conditioning could help her escape that. He had her but would he use that against her to find out what he wanted?

Since now he'd told her he was taking the afternoon off, she went back to the hotel to put the new top on she'd just bought and Becca told her Alec had rung. She thanked her and went to her room. She lay on her bed thinking of Alec, there was no way she could get him off her mind and it was going to be difficult to leave. She had to face it, no putting it off – she was falling in love with him. She set off to meet him, prepared to tell him the basics, probably what he'd already read, she could live with that. He wouldn't tell anyone who she was.

Alec wasn't in the café when she got there but she was a little early so she ordered some tea and waited for him, sitting facing the door. She smiled when she saw him coming around the corner and he went up to her and kissed her cheek. They ordered some lunch, Alec had been back to the hotel to get changed but hadn't seen her on the way so they had managed to miss each other somehow and they both laughed. Rose suspected he'd got off work early and been shopping. He'd changed into a white t-shirt and what passed as shorts with a longer leg and sandals. Rose said she didn't want to talk in the café so they finished their meals and walked down to the beach, Alec said he'd have to share her towel as they walked hand in hand further down the beach, past where they had been the day before and as they got further away from the crowds, Alec got more daring and dipped his hand on the waistband of her shorts as they walked.

When he thought they were far away from prying eyes, tucked away in a deep cove, he got Rose's towel and laid it on the sands and the picnic rug she'd picked up from the market as Rose took her suntop off and her shorts and he took his t-shirt and his shorts off. He began putting sun cream on her back and shoulders and this time, she let him do her legs with the cream and wanted to put it on elsewhere but got a warning look when he tried. He was still grinning though.

Alec lay on his back, Rose on her front as they reached over and kissed, turning it into a repeat of the amazing snogging session they'd had the day before but now they'd had practice at taking short breaths, it lasted much longer as he pulled Rose on top of him and covered them with the rug so he could unfasten her bikini top and put one hand on her back, pulling the top away. Anyone who ventured down that end of the beach would have assumed they were just laid there as they hardly moved, the odd moan coming from each of them when they took a breath.

They finally stopped, both smiling at each other and Alec fastened her top although he said he'd prefer to see her sunbath without it. She said it was wishful thinking on his part. Rose lay on her back and Alec took the blanket away so she could catch the sun. He looked at his phone and discovered it was already almost four, no wonder his bottom lip felt like it had been bitten to death but it had been more than worth it. What they'd just shared was special and he knew after last night and just now, this was more than just a holiday fling, he was in love with Rose Tyler.

"Rose, you said you were going to tell me about yourself and I was hoping now we've just enjoyed that exhilarating snogging session you might think this was a good time. I should have waited before I decided to look you up on the internet but you wouldn't talk to me. Why not? Why couldn't you tell me who you were? If you're here on holiday to stay low and not draw any attention, you're too late. That man I was talking to yesterday, he's a local reporter and he knows who you are. I've warned him off so he should keep you out of the paper but sooner or later, someone else will recognise you and I won't be able to stop them. Rose, it makes no difference to me who you are, I fell for you before you told me who you were. I love you Rose."

Rose looked up at him through her sunglasses and smiled at him. He said he loved her but that didn't mean he could protect them from the media once they were seen together. She knew she'd have to leave even though she knew now she loved him too. How would he cope with a famous girlfriend? She had learned to give the press just enough to keep them at bay with putting on a social front with her mother's charity work which left her relatively free from being followed around but once they got hold of Rose being seen with Alec, there would be no end to it and from what she knew, he'd had enough of being in the papers last year. From the look on his face, he was waiting for her to say the same.

"Alec, if one reporter knows I'm here, then it won't take long before we're photographed together and we'll be all over the newspapers, how will you cope? Don't you see Alec, that's my life now, it's all Rose Tyler did this and now it will be who's that man with Rose Tyler? I even get asked what dresses does Rose Tyler wear."

Alec decided to lighten her mood by replying with the name of the brand he'd seen on her sundress yesterday and they both laughed. Alec took her into his arms saying he didn't care what dresses she wore, he preferred her in her bikini any time.

"I can't drag you into this Alec, it's not fair on you. The press follow me around, I'm in society columns and magazines every time I attend a party or a charity event and it will only take one person to realise they've accidentally taken a picture of us and sell it to a newspaper and you'll be on the front page of the trashy magazines and papers with me. That's why I have to leave, I can't stay here. I was telling you the truth when I said I work for my step-dad only now you know what he actually does. Eight years ago, my mother met Pete Tyler and they got married. Until then, I grew up without a dad on a London council estate and we had nothing. Now I've got everything and I still haven't adjusted to it, I'm constantly dodging reporters when I want to be left alone, that's why I came here. They won't leave us alone if you get involved with me."

"Rose, let me worry about that, don't I get a say in it? Okay I got more than I bargained for when I found out who you were but it makes no difference. I've got nothing to hide, we're both free to do whatever we want. I can keep the local press at bay, don't worry about them and as for other reporters let them, I don't care. I want to be with you Rose, please say you won't go."

He held on to her tightly, she had put her suntop back on and taken her sunglasses off as he kissed her cheek and whispered, "I love you, Rose Tyler."

Rose broke his embrace and looked at him.

"Alec, I have to think about this. I love you too but you don't know what you're getting yourself into. I have to go back and think, just give me some time. I can't just leave my life Alec, I have a family, I have to go back and talk to them. Please, let's just leave this for now, we have two more days together before I have to leave, let's just make the most of them, that's if you still want to. Do you have to go back to work tomorrow?"

"No, I booked some time off, I couldn't concentrate this morning. Ninety minutes after leaving you I was a nervous wreck. That's what you've done to me Rose, I couldn't do anything. If a real emergency had come up, I would have been a mess. I didn't know how you really felt about me. Now I know you love me, yes, I'll give you time to think, if that's what it takes but I'm not letting you go because I want to, only because I have to. We've got two more days and I intend to spend them entirely with you. So, if you think I'm going to let you go without you promising to come back, forget it."

"I love you Alec, let's just make the most of this time together. Just let me go home and think over the weekend, I'll decide by Monday. I'm not promising I'll come back but I will think carefully because it's not fair to involve you in what will happen when the media gets hold of the news. I know you say you don't care but I thought you would have had enough of the media last year."

"You're more than worth it Rose, just promise you'll think about coming back. Would you consider letting me come with you by any chance?" he said hopefully.

"That's hardly fair, how can I think about it when you're there? Just give me the time I ask for and let's enjoy the next few days. Whatever I decide, it won't be because I don't love you if I don't come back, it will be I'm doing it for your sake. You deserve a quite life, you don't need me messing it up."

"Rose, that sounds like you not intending to come back. I told you, I can handle the press. Now take that suntop off and come back and lie on me again, I've not finished snogging you to death yet, Miss Tyler."

He took her top off and picked up the rug again, covering them both up and unfastened the bikini top, pulling her back onto him, making contact with her again as they both sighed.

It was six thirty when they realised what time it was, almost dinner time as they hurriedly got dressed and made their way back up the beach. Most of the crowds had gone so it was easier to get off without picking their way through. He was dismayed to see Olly Stevens sat with someone on the wooden fencing by the harbour and hoped they could sneak past without him seeing them. He didn't recognise the young woman he was with but hoped it was his new girlfriend so she would keep Olly occupied. It wasn't to be though, they were seen as they crossed on the other side and he made his way over to them, Alec trying to shield Rose.

Alec was getting beyond annoyed now. If he couldn't handle a local reporter, Rose was right, how could he handle being seen in public places with her, attending events with her and seeing his name on the society magazines covers as the love interest of Rose Tyler?

"DI Hardy, can I have a word?" Olly asked.

"Don't you ever get tired, I thought we went through this yesterday? What is it this time? Rose, please go and wait at the top of the path." Rose refused to go. "Stevens, I'm getting tired of this, I'm off duty, I am not talking to you now if you'll excuse us, we have a dinner reservation."

"Don't you want to hear what I have to say? It's in both your interests. You two were seen down the coast on the beach together and you weren't just talking, someone sent me some photos." Olly knew he was taking a gamble, he was the one who had taken them and inadvertently mentioned to his editor that DI Hardy seemed to have a new girlfriend and who he thought it was and his editor had told him he'd better have proof or she'd kick his ass out of town. If he made it out that someone had sent the photos, he'd get away with it and ask the detective for an exclusive interview. If he refused to give one then it was up to his editor what she did.

Rose looked at Alec as if to say she'd told him what it would be like, this was just the beginning and nowhere near what it was going to be like for him. Alec got the message but chose to still handle it his way, asking Olly exactly what he was getting at.

"An exclusive interview with the two of you, what Rose Tyler is doing in Broadchurch, the usual things. I won't publish the photos I got sent, just take one of the both of you together. What do you say?"

"Well, not much, you see Miss Tyler is really here on holiday so there's no story. She's going home on Thursday so what are you going to write about? That she came here for a few days for a rest? Really Oliver, is it so boring in this town that you have to go looking for something that's not there? Show me those photos you got sent."

Chapter 7

Olly reluctantly showed Alec the first one. It was from Sunday when they'd been behind that big rock, Rose's face could not be seen but Alec could vaguely make himself out although no-one could guess they were doing anything other than kissing. Then he saw the second one, someone had been watching them from the other side of the rock and Rose's outline could be seen that you could just about tell it was her, luckily it still looked like they were kissing but the third one, which was zoomed in showed Alec's hand on her bare leg and they were really doing more than just kissing. He couldn't believe he'd been so naïve to think no-one would venture down the beach that far but they must have been singled out when whoever took the first one realised who one of them was. It was an invasion of their privacy and they'd definitely had sex just an hour earlier and he was hoping no-one had seen them this time.

He had two choices, confiscate Olly's phone or erase the photos but he'd probably been crafty and had a backup on his computer. He had to find out. Rose looked flushed to say the least as she demanded to see them.

"What do you intend to do with these? You do know those could be any man or woman, no clear faces are shown. Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to hide themselves and taken photos without permission. These don't prove who are in these photos. If this was to land on my desk, there would be no further action taken because the two people are unidentifiable. You're wasting my time Oliver, now do yourself a favour and find something more interesting to write about. There's no story here and remember what I told you yesterday, it still stands. Just let her have a few days holiday, everyone deserves a little privacy. In fact, it's against the law to publish photos without permission. Who are you going to ask?"

He had Oliver now.

Olly knew he wasn't going to get anywhere and admitting it was actually he who took the photos could land him on the wrong side of the law and Alec Hardy. He'd have to go back to his editor and tell her there was no story except Rose Tyler was on holiday – big deal. It wasn't really front page material and if it had really been those two in the photos then Alec Hardy would have blown his top instead of being cool about it. Still, he'd keep the copies of the photos on his laptop and delete the ones on his phone, there might be a story one day if they did get together.

Alec took Rose's hand and led her towards the pub. They were too late for dinner at the hotel now and poor Rose only had her suntop and shorts on so he asked her if she wanted to go get changed and get a taxi up into the town but she said she didn't mind going in the pub. So sneaking into a corner, they ordered some food then walked back to the hotel. It was just after nine when they got back so Alec poured some wine and said they really needed to talk now.

"Rose, we can't do that on the beach any more now, we have to be careful. I know today we were covered up but if he'd got a clear look at your face, it would have been in all the gossip columns and I could have got kicked out of the Police Force. It was more than enjoyable, it really was, especially this afternoon but I was stupid to think no-one would find us. I can't get mixed up in a sex scandal and being accused of something that we both consented to that will be all over the front page. My being here is barely tolerated as it is."

"I thought you handled that reporter very well, you obviously have something over on him, he looked scared of you."

"So he should, he caused a lot of pain to the family of the boy who was murdered last year and to me plus he's the nephew of the DS that used to work with me so he normally stays out of my way. He must have thought he really had a story this time. You're right Rose, it isn't going to be easy keeping you out of the limelight but it's worth it."

He leaned over and took the glass from her and kissed her.

"Miss Tyler, have you had enough to drink yet? Only I think we should continue what we were doing earlier, don't you?"

"Definitely, Detective Inspector Hardy, I quite agree with you. As for not playing around on the beach anymore, we could get one of those little tents or those windbreakers and put it round us. Then if anyone wants to be nosy, we'll know about it. What do you think? Is it a town by-law you can't snog on the beach?"

"I'll have to look that up in my little book of town by-laws but since I'm not going back to work, it might be some time before I get around to it. So I'll use my judgement on that and tomorrow, we'll pick up a beach tent and we'll buy another picnic rug to lie on because snogging you on the beach is becoming my favourite afternoon pastime."

He laid her back on the bed and pulled her suntop off and her shorts and taking his t-shirt and his own shorts off lay on top of her kissing her as she was just in the bikini top and whispered "You're beautiful Rose, I want you now."

They clambered into the bed, Rose loosing her bikini top somewhere along the way as he laid fully on her telling her it was his turn to be on top and continued where they had left off earlier, both riding out the aftermath to go the whole way. There was no going back for either of them to only going some of the way once they were in bed, that was now reserved for their afternoon sessions on the beach or if they wanted some extra time in bed.

Rose moved around to lie on him and snuggled into his chest and he asked her if she was happy. She said she didn't remember being this happy for a long time, which was true. She had been happy travelling with The Doctor but never like this, never a deep down happiness because she had never shared any intimacy with him as much as she'd wanted to.

She had left it too late to tell him and spent the last eight years regretting it but now, she had a real chance of being happy with Alec but he'd had a very small taste of what would happen if they declared their love to the public, there'd be reporters everywhere until the novelty wore off then there would always be someone there if they stepped out of line, someone wanting a juicy story about her, especially if she was caught having sex on the beach with a Police Detective. Her parents might even disown her, well Pete anyway, more than likely Jackie would give Alec a good slap and demand he married her daughter to avoid any scandal. Jackie had slapped The Doctor more than once and she wasn't even involved with him.

They finally fell asleep, Rose curled up around Alec but she was woken by his alarm which he'd forgotten to cancel and he told her to go back to sleep but not before he moved her so he could kiss her.

"Rose, I love waking up with you, I want to wake up with every morning but you're still going away aren't you? What can I do to persuade you to stay?"

"Alec, I thought we agreed we wouldn't talk about it any more? We've got two wonderful days left, we're going to make the most of them so quit asking and snog me to death, Sexy," she said as she went to attack him.

"Oh, you want to play rough do you? I'll show you rough, you spoilt little rich girl who grew up on a council estate, I bet I was a lot tougher than you growing up in Glasgow, you think you have the upper hand on being tough?" He flipped her over onto her back and pulled her arms above her head and pinned her down and sat astride her. "You had better surrender before I go get my handcuffs from my other jacket because I intend to keep you like that until you either say you're not going or you say you're coming back after you go get the rest of your belongings. So what's it going to be? Surrender or be handcuffed to the bed until you give in?"

Rose didn't think he was joking, in fact she knew he wasn't, he was deadly serious and she knew he'd never give in until she gave him an answer. He wasn't bothered about who she was and what would come with it and he'd seen what would happen on a small scale and it hadn't deterred him in the least. Alec Hardy was a tough cookie and she knew he'd never give up until he got what he wanted – her.

She had to give in. "Alec, I said I'd go home and think about it but that's not enough for you is it?" Alec shook his head and ran his finger down, leaving it on her tummy. "Okay, I'll go home, give me until Monday to sort everything out and I'll come back and tell you what I've decided one way or the other because I do love you but you may not like the life I now lead. If I'd never become famous then I would never have hesitated for a second but now, there's more to it and you'll probably never be able to fully accept what comes with me."

"Then let me try Rose, just give me a chance to come to terms with it, show me what your life is like and let me be the judge of what I can and can't handle and together, we'll work it out. I want to know what I'm getting myself into. How bad can it be? It's not like you work for a secret government agency or you come from another universe or anything is it? 'Cos if you say you're from Mars or somewhere I may have to have a rethink although I'd be the only man on Earth who's made love with a Martian."

"Alec, stop joking, it's not a joke and I'm not from Mars but you've no idea about my past life, where I'm really from and what my life was like before my mum married Peter Tyler and what I did."

"Then tell me Rose, just explain it to me."

Rose looked at him, she so wanted to tell him everything but then he might run away. He didn't know that when he'd just been joking how near to the truth he'd been.

"Not now Alec, please. Let's go get some breakfast, spend the morning looking for a tent or something then we'll go to the beach after lunch. Let's just have these two remaining days then if you want me to make my mind up, let me go back to decide. I promise, I will come back to give you my answer then I'll explain everything to you."

Alec's mood was deteriorating rapidly.

"Rose, there's no point in getting a tent or anything for the beach if you're not going to be here. We'll just lie on the beach. What am I going to do with a beach tent if you're not coming back?"

He moved aside from Rose and swung out of bed.

Crossing over to retrieve his clothes from last night, he told her he was going back to his room to get changed, put some jeans and a clean t-shirt on. Rose knew his mood had soured but what could she do? She couldn't give him false promises that she may not be able to keep. So she just said a very quiet 'okay' and let him go saying she'd see him at breakfast. She was going to lose him altogether, it was the first time since they'd met he'd gone off just like that, not even kissing her goodbye. She didn't bother with her bikini, she just put her underwear on and a different sundress over the top, then slipping her sandals on picked up her key and knocked on Alec's door. He didn't answer right away and she thought he'd gone down to breakfast without her but he answered, just wearing a towel as he knew it would be her.

He opened the door to let her in, towelling his hair.

"I must get round to getting a bathrobe," he joked as the towel around his waist was dipping slightly, making him tighten it up.

Rose just went up to him, grabbed hold of the towel where it was bunched up and said, "Why bother, it looks fine to me" and pulled it away slightly then letting go, just enough to let him know she still meant business.

"Rose Tyler, you're a tease," he replied as he grabbed her hand and pulled her nearer. "See, ten minutes and you can't resist catching me coming out of the shower. I was coming back over to your room you know. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to give you the impression I wasn't. On the other hand, seeing you're here, I could use some assistance drying my back."

Rose couldn't resist and she needn't have worried about losing him. She had a feeling that no matter what was thrown at him, Alec would come bouncing back, she would never get him to back down on his insistence she stayed. So she grabbed the towel from him and went behind him and started drying his back, reaching up to kiss his shoulder. He spun around and grabbed her, pulling her into a kiss, the towel still in her hand. He backed her towards the bed, pushing her down and pulling up her dress as his knees hit the side of the bed, tossing the towel away and then crawling onto her.

"I want you Rose, always. I'm never going to give you up so easily so you'd better get used to it so here's the deal. I let you go back home on Thursday then I come and get you on Saturday and you tell me right there and then if you're coming back with me or not and we'll come back here together. If you decide to stay in London, then I'm staying too because I can't live without you, I don't want to stay here without you. I don't care what it is you do in London, I'll get a transfer there and I'll take care of you, maybe not in the lifestyle you're used to but you can give up whatever job is that you have and live with me."

He lay down on her and began to kiss her, moving himself onto her.

Chapter 8

They got dressed and went down for breakfast then went out in search of a beach tent or a windbreaker and something more comfortable to lie on. They still had today and tomorrow and if Alec had his way, the rest of the summer to lie on the beach, he had every confidence Rose would decided to spend her life in Broadchurch with him. Since when had Broadchurch become his home, he wondered. Ever since he couldn't go back to where he'd come from but if Rose wanted to stay in London, then he'd move there. Home now was wherever Rose wanted to be and if staying in London made her happy then he would be happy as well. It had taken him four days to conclude his life was with Rose now, he couldn't accept anything less. No-one could accuse him of being a gold-digger because he'd fallen in love with her before the revelation of who she was. Maybe now, her life would go back to normal, no-one would be interested in him.

They wandered down the High Street hand in hand and found a camping shop so Alec bought what they needed, a self inflating mattress and a popup beach tent, telling Rose she'd better come back now he'd invested in the items. They took everything back to the hotel after stopping at a café and the market so Rose could buy another bikini, one with a tie fastener and some more sun cream. Rose went to get changed while Alec put his swim shorts on under his jeans. They had some lunch and set off for the beach only going the opposite way to the last few days, walking a fair distance until they came to a little cove.

Setting the tent up and laying out the mattress only took a few minutes, Alec was thinking it had been worth the investment but Rose wanted to go into the water first, dragging Alec with her as they took their outer clothes and shoes off and wading into the sea. There was no-one around, Alec made sure as he picked her in his arms and putting his hand on her bottom and under the bikini as she put her arms around him and kissed him. Then he laid her in the water, standing over her and whistled.

Then suddenly he grabbed her hands and pulled her up and headed back to the beach tent, pulling the sides down then the opening as they crawled inside. Then with Alec laying on the mattress, Rose crawled on top of him and he pulled the picnic rug over them both, untying her bikini top and pulling her close. They began with kissing, Alec's hands were all over her now they had some privacy, Alec had tied the fastener down from the inside so no-one could open it. A cool breeze was flowing in from a ventilation grill at the top of the tent as the sun shone down as the pair of them continued and Alec's hand wandered further down. He somehow managed to move around to get on top of her, kissing her top half. They never spoke their names in case anyone did happen to pass by, Alec was calling Rose 'baby' and so Rose was calling him the same when they needed to as Alec whispered in her ear he wanted her.

A good while later, they got reasonably dressed and went back into the water, splashing each other in the late afternoon. There was still no-one around so Alec was touching Rose in all the right places. Alec took some photos of her on his phone and Rose took some of the both of them. They finally got dressed and packed up the tent and mattress and made their way back to the hotel for dinner, then had a few drinks in the hotel lounge.

They talked for a while, Rose told him she'd have to tell her mum and that she had already mentioned him to her step-dad but not gone into any details. He was still asking her if he could go with her on Thursday but she said it was best she went alone, just for a few days and for him to make his way up to London on Saturday but she told him she still didn't know what she was going to decide. He said he was fine with that, he was still prepared to move to London to be with her. They went up to Alec's room and finished the wine, both having already had a few drinks downstairs and Alec wanted to try something different. Rose said she was game as he undressed her and laid her on the bed telling her what he wanted to do to her.

When they woke up the next morning, it was raining. So much for going down to the beach then, thought Alec as he looked at Rose who was lying across him and he hated the fact that they wouldn't be able to make use of the tent he'd just bought. There wasn't a lot to do in Broadchurch on a rainy day. He asked her if she wanted to get a train down to one of the other coastal towns so they had breakfast and got a taxi to the station after he checked up there was a train to Weymouth in thirty minutes. It had just stopped raining when they got there but it was a bit cooler. Alec had brought a jacket with him and so had Rose, who today was in jeans and Alec tried to walk behind her to get the full effect. They wandered around the shops and Rose bought a present for her mum and her younger brother then they found a nice café and had lunch, just talking about Rose's younger brother and her mum. Alec said he no longer had a family, he'd lost his mother and his father wasn't speaking to him.

It was going to be their last night together so they got back from their trip early, Rose had bought a new dress and Alec was taking her to a fancy restaurant later so Rose asked him if she could just have an hour to herself to get ready and phone her mum to tell her about him. He had to reluctantly agree, she said she wanted to look her best for him, he said he wanted to make it a night to remember. Satisfied she wasn't going to be able to do any more to keep him interested in her for the evening, she called her mother, Pete had already told Jackie that Rose may or may not have got involved with a Police Detective. Her mother wanted to know all about him and when she asked questions about how old he was, Rose didn't know, he'd never said and she had never asked him.

Jackie asked her exactly what she did know about him and Rose had to suppress the urge to tell her he was good in bed and on the beach. She told her that she was coming home tomorrow and Alec would be there on Saturday because she wanted them to meet him and warned her mother not to slap him or he'd probably arrest her. Jackie said she'd like to see him try and she could hear Pete laughing in the background. She told her mum to tell her brother Tony she'd see him tomorrow and Jackie said he'd missed her. She also told Jackie that Alec didn't know where she was from or her job with Torchwood and that no-one was to tell him until she had told him herself, if she decided he should know. Both Jackie and Pete agreed.

She had just hung up when her mobile rang again. It was Mickey and she really didn't have time to talk to him, Alec would be knocking on her room door soon. She answered and told Mickey she was fine and she was coming home tomorrow and she'd speak to him later. She didn't get off so easily as he said he wanted to see her when she got back and had something he needed to talk to her about, Rose knew it would be one of his periodical attempts to get her back. The Doctor had been right in one thing, Mickey really was a bit thick when it came to not getting the point he'd been trying for over eight years to get her back, so why keep bothering? He asked her all the usual question like when was she coming back to stay and did she want to meet up and they'd go out. She decided to tell him face to face rather than on the phone but had to at least warn him.

"I've met someone Mickey, while I've been here. His name's Alec and he works here in Broadchurch. So please, don't keep asking me to go out with you, it's never going to happen, it was over a long time ago, before I even came here. Just move on, like I've done. I have to go now, we're going out."

Mickey was quiet and Rose hung up. She hadn't reckoned on having to explain herself to him and to tell Alec she potentially had a jealous ex sometimes boyfriend who she'd given up when she'd first met the Doctor and he'd never loved her the way Alec did. Mickey was a boy compared with Alec, he was a real man who knew exactly what she wanted and made her feel loved and did things to her she had never dreamed of that made her feel good inside and he was a man who turned her to jelly with his touch. She was going to have to decide if she wanted him forever, she had to tell him one way or the other when he came to get her on Saturday.

Knowing him, he'd probably get the last train on Friday night and stay over somewhere and be on her doorstep at the crack of dawn. She couldn't even go ten minutes without wanting him, she was addicted to him. It just wasn't fair, she wanted to stay with him, her body ached for him but she had responsibilities to her job and her family and to keep her own universe a secret that only a few other people knew about, the three of them who had come from there and the team from Torchwood that had been involved in their rescue and rid both worlds of the Cybermen. Could she trust Alec to keep her secret?

She was jolted from her thoughts by a knock on the door, it was her lover who was early and couldn't keep his hands or anything else off her as he wrapped his arms around her, kissing her neck. He took a small packet out of his jacket pocket and opened it. It was a silver heart shaped necklace he'd bought for her while she had been getting presents. He went behind her and put it on her neck, kissing it all the way down to her shoulder and whispering he loved her and fastened the tiny clasp, pulling her hair back over her ear, whispering what he was going to do to her when they got back later. His breath was hot on her ear as she quivered when he kissed her neck again.

They got a taxi up into the town, he had made a reservation at an Italian restaurant and waited in the bar area for their table. They had just sat down when two familiar faces Alec recognised came in. It was his old DS, Ellie Miller and she was with who he knew only as Brian, the man Ellie had turned down more than once while she had been married. Alec wanted to crawl under the table. Rose was wearing a very revealing red and white figure hugging dress and she looked stunning with her long blonde hair and the necklace he had bought her. It was too late as Ellie saw him and came over. She looked at Rose then at Alec, she had heard about his encounter with her nephew and had been surprised by his openness of snogging the blonde on the beach, he'd been a misery guts when she'd worked with him.

Alec's embarrassment was spared when a waiter said their table was ready before Ellie could ask him any awkward questions and he spirited Rose ahead of him to their table, giving Ellie a warning look to back off. When they were seated, Rose asked him if that was the same woman they'd seen on Sunday morning.

"Yes, she used to work with me and the man she's with still works with me so when I get back to work, it will be all over the office. Not that I care, it's none of their business who I go out with. If he starts rumours about me, I'll just play his game and tell everyone who he was out with. Ellie Miller was a popular officer but not since her husband got put in prison, I doubt he'll say anything. Now what are we ordering my love?"

They studied the menu and both ordered and Alec ordered some wine, hoping Rose would have a few drinks before they got back to the hotel but she only had two glasses which he thought was a pity, he'd really wanted to get her at least slightly drunk but he knew she was holding back because she intended catching her train in the morning and if he got her drunk, she might miss it. He bought her a single red rose wrapped in silver paper and said it wasn't nearly as beautiful as the real thing, her.

He really wanted to hurry things up and get her back to the hotel but she was taking her time. She wanted to remember this and Alec thought she was going to tell him she wasn't coming back the way she was acting. It was after ten when they got a taxi back and went to her room and she had packed most of her things, just leaving room for what she was wearing and had left the clothes out she was going to wear tomorrow.

Alec thought right there and then they were not going to share any more sexy afternoons on the beach, Rose had gone from quiet to completely silent on the taxi ride back. He went to unzip her dress, pulling the zip apart and running a finger down her spine, making her quiver. As her dress came off, he saw the underwear she had just bought that hardly covered anything and as he turned her around, he saw she had tears on her cheeks. She had been silent because she was trying her best not to cry.

She was back to the same situation she'd been in over eight years ago, saying goodbye to the man she loved only this time, Alec wouldn't be lost forever and that made it ten times worse. She knew he was only going to be a few hours away, alive and well and looking exactly the same, unlike the Doctor, who by now had probably regenerated. There was one big difference - Alec Hardy loved her and she loved him and couldn't tell him her secrets.

Seeing her tears, he wiped them with his hand and pulled her close, wrapping his arms around her and whispered, "Tell me Rose, tell me your secrets because I know you have some. We all have secrets, you want to know mine?" He was trying to make her feel she wasn't the only one who had something to hide. There was one thing he hadn't told her – his age. "I've not told how old I am. I'm 38 Rose, 10 years older than you. Does it bother you, the fact that I'm older?"

Rose looked at him, he didn't look 38, well maybe without the beard but he was fit, in more ways than one, he'd proved that to her, proved he had stamina to keep her satisfied.

"No, it doesn't bother me Alec, I thought you were younger actually, you certainly act a lot younger, especially when we have sex, you act like a wild thing then."

She managed a smile as he kissed her forehead.

"Then tell me Rose, tell me your secrets. You want to know another one? Until I met you, I'd not been with a woman since I got divorced. Mainly because I was ill and I couldn't but I never met anyone I wanted to be with until you came along, I almost died, twice while I was ill, I didn't have a choice other than to have the operation or die. It was my job that made me ill, something happened, evidence was lost where I used to work and I took the blame. I was completely cleared eventually but it took its toll on me. That's why I can't go back there, that's why I'm still in this town. Now, you know everything it's your turn. What's so bad that you can't tell me, Rose, I love you and I want to make you happy and you surely can't be happy hiding things away from me?"

She just buried her head into his shoulder as she cried, wetting his shirt with her tears, he knew he wouldn't get her to talk like this. If she had secrets that she couldn't tell him, then he'd have to wait until she was ready. He'd have to be prepared because it had to be something really dreadful for her not to want to reveal it. Then it suddenly came to him as it hit him like a ton of bricks – he'd read about Peter Tyler's first wife and the involvement of the Cybermen, eleven years ago and maybe, just maybe Rose had somehow been involved. She would have been very young back then, perhaps even traumatised by it but should he mention it, risk upsetting her even more?

"Rose, these secrets of yours, do they by any chance involve the Cyberman invasion?"

Rose looked up from his shoulder, a shocked look on her face. Of course he would know about them, even all that time ago, it would have been eleven years in this world's time, she would have only been seventeen but in her world she was older. Three years had passed between their first visit and the Cybermen invading her own world and Pete Tyler rescuing her and her mother from the battle between them and the Daleks.

"How – how did you know?" she stuttered, thinking this might keep him at bay until she decided if she was coming back to him or not. It would buy her some time to think about it if she followed her golden rule, never tell any more than you have to and stick to the cover story she and Pete had come up with as to how he'd met her and her mother. It had paid off more than once since she'd been here.

"Yes, I was involved with it, that's how I met my now stepfather. I was working as a waitress at a party he was having for his first wife when the Cybermen attacked his home, killing almost everyone there but three of us escaped, Pete, myself and a man who was posing as a waiter who turned out to something entirely different but to cut a long story short, this other man was involved with some rebels and in the end, his group defeated them and we went with them, they'd been waiting outside for him and drove us away but we were too late to save Pete's first wife because we went looking for her, she'd been turned into a Cyberman but we saved a lot of people that night by stopping them."

Chapter 9

Alec was so relieved, no wonder she hadn't wanted to talk about it but he thought it would have been a lot worse like she'd been captured by them but she'd been a heroine and had saved a lot of people. He'd heard all the tales, about robots that had taken over London, robots created by John Lumic, a genius who had gone mad, letting his latest creation run rampant all over the city and converting thousands of people against their will in a crazed frenzy of making everyone the same. Then he realised he should have known Peter Tyler's name because at that time, Vitex was owned by Cybus Industries, which after Lumic's disappearance had been disbanded and Tyler had taken back his company and had become a multi-millionaire overnight. Rose was now heiress to that fortune through her mother's marriage.

He took Rose back into his arms again, he took his shirt off and put it around her shoulders, sitting her down on the bed.

"Rose, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to bring all those memories back but I had to know, you needed to tell me now we can move and you can tell me you're coming back to me."

He leaned over and kissed her.

Rose looked at him, he was satisfied now she'd told him but it was only the cut down speeded up version but if she could tell him the whole story, would he hate her for lying to him? She wasn't lying though, it was almost the truth but better prepare him for more.

"Alec, that's only a part of it, there's more but for now, that's all you need to know, the rest of it can wait. The other stuff I told you was all true, growing up without a dad on a council estate, it's all real. We have one more night Alec, let's not waste it. If you come to London on Saturday, I'll tell you the rest because you need to speak to my step-dad because if I tell you, you won't believe me."

"Okay, for now. You'll tell me everything?" Rose nodded. "On Saturday, you promise, I need to know the rest and whatever it is Rose, I'll listen. So you and Peter Tyler tell me the rest of the story, you think I'll leave and if I can't accept what you tell me, I will leave so let's see who's right. Now come here and let me make you forget about it for tonight. I love you Rose, I want you before you leave tomorrow."

They kissed again, Alec with his arms around her, whispering her name, telling her he didn't want her to leave. Rose snuggled on him, her head on his shoulder as he turned on his side to her, kissing her cheek, holding her tight. He could tell she was starting to cry again. There was nothing he could do, he'd tried everything to get her not to leave in the morning. It was up to her now, she had to decide if his love for her was enough if not to get her to stay, then to bring her back to him. Two days he had to be without her, two days while she decided both their fates. If she wasn't coming back, then he was putting in for an immediate transfer at the closest place to where she lived, find some hotel until he got something to rent and make sure she knew where he was and he still wanted her. That was his final decision. He would win her back somehow because he couldn't live without her.

He was feeling her tears on his shoulder, telling her not to cry, constantly rubbing the tears as they fell, telling her he loved her. Why in the beginning did she think she would spend one night with him then go off and forget him? Why had she fallen in love with him and spent the vast majority of her holiday with him. Her plan of a short break then go back to work was reduced to pieces within hours of her arrival, well not even hours, it has started when she accidentally bumped into him in the hotel doorway.

There was no doubt that she loved him but there was a rift between them called doubt, doubt he'd be able to accept who she was and where she had come from and that didn't get any easy now she was lying next to him, having the most fantastic time of her life with him and the one night she planned to have with him had turned into something else. On Saturday she was going to have to give him her answer if he could accept her. He was playing with the necklace he'd bought her still around her neck, a single heart expressing his love for her, he was kissing her chin, reaching his lips down to kiss her throat, saying he loved her as the tears still fell down her cheeks.

All he wanted to do was to stop her crying, he hated the fact she was still leaving in the morning after breakfast. He was getting a taxi with her to the railway station and seeing her off. He wanted to get on the train with her but he knew that wasn't fair to either of them. If she needed time to think then so be it. He would get the last train on Friday night and book into a hotel and be at her house by breakfast time then face whatever her demons were because if she couldn't tell him, it had to be bad, far worse than the Cybermen which must have been hell for her at such a young age, she could only have been around seventeen at the time. What had she seen? Had she seen people actually getting converted or had she herself almost have been killed by them? That could be one reason why she'd not wanted to say but if she needed Peter Tyler to help her explain then it had to something really, really dreadful that had happened to her. He didn't know just how near he had come to discovering the truth.

After kissing again several times, Rose curled up safe in his arms and fell asleep. The alarm had been set for six forty five, her train was at ten and there was time for breakfast, one last time together and to get to the station. Alec finally drifted off but he was feeling sad she was actually going but he had to be the strong one when she finally got on the train in the morning because he knew she would fall to pieces on the platform and he'd do the same as the train moved off but he wouldn't let her see him.

The alarm went off, Alec put it on 'snooze' and kissed Rose's forehead to wake her. His arm that she'd been sleeping on was numb as he tried to move it to get some feeling back in it but he didn't care. She was still here, asleep on him where she belonged and tonight he'd be sleeping alone. He had plans to make to get to London for Saturday morning, train times for one. He didn't care about actually getting back, all he cared about was getting there. If he could get there late on Friday night, pre-book a hotel near the station for a few hours and get some sleep, it would be great. Rose woke up with a 'what time's it?' and only one eye open as he laid her onto her back gently to get his arm back. He was propped up on one elbow on his side watching her.

She smiled at him and said "Hi Sexy."

He came away from her and saw the tears again, cradling her in his arms and held her. Still tearful, she got out of bed and went into the bathroom, trying to wash the tears away and making herself look presentable. Going back into the bedroom, she retrieved the clothes she'd left out and put her others into her case and checked all the drawers were empty. Alec was sat on the bed in his clothes from last night watching her as she got dressed, being deliberately slow for full effect. It was almost eight and time for breakfast. She was leaving everything in her room and coming back up, Alec was hoping for another quick kiss before she left and more if she wanted but he doubted it.

They were silent as they walked down the stairs side by side, holding hands and they didn't even care they walked across to the dining room still that way. Becca smiled when she saw them but she knew Rose was booking out that morning and Alec Hardy would go back to being the town's grump. She half entertained offering to comfort him after Rose had gone but thought it might be inappropriate as she didn't know just how close they had been and maybe they'd arranged to get together again. Still, she might ask, he could only turn her down again, catch him on the rebound, so to speak.

They ate breakfast with just as much silence between them, Alec telling Rose he planned to get the train times for Saturday when they got to the station and making sure he had her address and directions for the taxi. He thought he'd surprise her and not mention he was actually setting off on Friday night, he didn't want to spook her into thinking he wasn't going to give her the time she'd asked for. They were back upstairs before nine and before her door was closed, they were kissing as they threw themselves on the bed. Alec managed to say they only had ten minutes at the most as Rose said he'd better be quick. They quickly got dressed again, Alec got hold of her suitcase and wheeled it to the door, Rose picked up her shoulder bag and purse and an extra carrier bag, giving a quick check of the room, kissed Alec once more and they made their way downstairs.

Rose handed her key in while Alec rang for a taxi, it was already half past nine, they'd taken a bit longer than planned which was to be expected under the circumstances. She didn't mention she might be back, she didn't know herself yet. The taxi arrived a few minutes later and they got in. When they got there, Alec paid the driver and checked the arrivals board to see if her train was on time which it was then went to study the timetable. The last train was 10.45 so it would get him into London around midnight, he'd book a nearby hotel and explain he'd be getting off a train at that time, then leave for her house around 8am.

He didn't know how long it would take him to get there, he'd look it up on a map when he got back to the hotel, there was nothing else to do, no sexy afternoon on the beach today. Maybe he'd go shopping, get a few more t-shirts and casual trousers, he didn't have to wear suit trousers all the time. Rose always looked great in whatever she wore, especially her bikini or her underwear but if he had to see her fully dressed, the red and white dress she had worn last night, she was beautiful in anything. She was the most attractive woman he'd ever met, well one that actually looked at him more than once. Maybe he'd surprise her even more, get his beard trimmed or shave it off completely, after all, he only kept it because he had no-one to impress and Rose loved him even when he looked scruffy, that might be the reason she fell for him in the first place. On the other hand, if he turned up all clean shaven, she might go off him, it was a gamble.

He turned his attention back to Rose who was sat on a bench checking her phone and sending a message to her mother and he went to sit beside her. There was ten minutes until the train was due. He gave her a kiss on her cheek and looped his arm into hers and smiled at her. She was trying to hold back her tears but failing miserably. She put her phone in her purse and turned to him, not caring if anyone was there or not and put her head on his shoulder as he put his arm around her and she whispered "I love you."

He reached down and kissed her lightly on the lips and said he loved her too.

"You know I'll be on your doorstep at the break of dawn on Saturday, don't you? he asked, smiling at her.

"Wouldn't expect any less," she replied and returned his kiss, much to the dismay of other people waiting on the platform, some of them recognising the detective and thinking he should know better.

At this point, he'd got past caring what anyone thought, he was going to be parted from his Rose for two days and it would be hell. They sat until the train came into view and Rose got up, Alec took her suitcase and waiting by a door as it opened, he put the suitcase down in the doorway and Rose turned and kissed him then stepped onto the train, leaning down to kiss him again. The guard blew the whistle as Alec reached up to kiss her again, the guard was amused and gave Alec time to finish before the warning buzzer sounded that the doors were closing and Rose stood waving to him as the train pulled away. She put her case on the rack and threw her bags into the first available seat she could get to herself, she wasn't in the mood for sharing, she already had tears on her face. She'd just got settled when a message arrived on her phone from Alec telling her he missed her already, which made her feel even worse than she already did.

Chapter 10
The poem in this chapter was composed by me, it's not been taken from anywhere and may not be reproduced without my permission.

She sent a message back telling him she missed him too and was waiting for one back when the train guard asked for her ticket. She was still blurry eyed and he asked if she was alright. She managed a smile when he handed her ticket back, thinking knowing Alec he'd probably get the next train and follow her, which made her sincerely doubt her decision to leave but she couldn't live a lie with him, pretend she didn't have a past and a secret job. She opened her purse to put her phone away and noticed a folded piece of paper on top of her shoulder bag and unfolded it. It was a note from Alec, he must have slipped it in while they were waiting for the train and it had her name on the top of the fold and a drawing of a rose and as she opened it, it was in the form of a poem. She read it, choking back her tears and wondering when he'd written it, it was probably while she was getting ready to go out last night.

You mended my broken heart that was in two
When I first met you I always knew
You were the one I would adore
But now you've gone away I love you more

My beautiful Rose, spare me the pain
By saying you'll come back to me again
And love me as much as I love you
My beautiful Rose, I love you, I really do

If you love me you'll make the right choice
And tell me in your own beautiful voice
That you'll come back with me to live
And all my love to you I'll give

If you decide you're not coming back
I'll go back to Broadchurch and then I'll pack
And live in London until the day
I win you back and you'll come home to stay

So my sweet and beautiful Rose
You are the part of me that knows
We belong together my love, always
So until I see you again I'll count the days


She put the note in her shoulder bag and turned to the window so no-one would see her crying, her jacket sleeve was wet as she rummaged through her purse to find some tissues, angry at herself for running away from him, for not trusting him enough to tell him the whole story but for that, she needed Pete because she couldn't tell Alec anything about Torchwood without his express permission and he wouldn't allow her to say anything if he wasn't present, their secrecy was paramount to its success. Yes, she could tell him where she was from but Torchwood was involved with that too so it made no sense to tell him just that part. She had told him just enough, that part was true but she had left it at that, left him dangling and he would never be satisfied now, he'd get at the truth one way or another. She just hoped he wouldn't do anything stupid before she told him, like go through official channels to get information that wasn't available to the public. Some high up officials knew about Torchwood but only a select few but if Alec was clever, he'd get to it. She hoped he'd just have the patience to wait until she could tell him.

She got her phone out to tell Alec she had got his note, hoping at least that would put him at ease and told him she loved him, getting a message back that just said, "I know."

The train arrived and she got a taxi back home, her mother was outside before she had got her case out of the back, telling her she should have called her dad or Jake to pick her up. It was after twelve and Rose was hungry so she left her things and went in search of some food, making herself a sandwich as the cook had gone shopping, Jackie had arranged a welcome home dinner for Rose and had invited Mickey and Jake along. She really didn't want to face Mickey, he'd all but begged her to go back to him on the phone and had told him she'd found someone else. Jackie asked if she wanted to go pick her brother up from school with her so she thought it might take her mind off Alec for a while but not for long. She went to unpack and get her laundry and took the opportunity to call him.


Alec had watched the door of the train close and waved goodbye to his Rose. He'd stood there as it faded into the distance, then he sat down on the bench where Rose had been sitting a few minutes earlier. He was alone on the platform, just a few people on the other side. He got his phone out and sent her a message, saying he missed her already, why had he let her go? He hoped she would find the poem he'd written for her while he was waiting for her to get dressed to go out last night. He'd already had the words, it hadn't taken him long to write it down, they were the words he had in his now broken heart and even though he'd see her again on Saturday, it was too long a time for him. He'd got a message back from her saying she missed him too. He got up, studied the train timetable and went to the taxi rank to go back to the hotel but changed his mind and got dropped off at the café where they used to go, he didn't want to be in his hotel room on his own where he'd spent some of their few nights together making love with Rose.

He was just finishing the tea he'd ordered when a familiar voice came up behind him that he really didn't want to hear right now, Olly Stevens. Alec got up and was just about to tell him he was leaving but was stopped.

"DI Hardy, we really need to talk about Rose Tyler."

"Why's that then? She's gone, I've just waved her off on the train back to London. Just go away, I'm not in the mood to talk to you so back off before I have you arrested for harassment or something worse."

He tried to dodge round the reporter but Olly stood his ground.

"You might just want to hear this," he insisted as he took a seat and gesturing to Alec to do the same.

Alec reluctantly took a seat, not wanting to hear anything about the woman he loved, especially now she was gone.

"You have five minutes so say what you have to and leave me alone, I'm not in a very good mood right now," he said.
That was a bit of an understatement, he was in a foul mood and Rose had been gone less than an hour and he was back to his old grumpy self and he knew it. His mood had soured and would remain that way until he was on a train tomorrow to get her back.

"I did some more checking on Miss Tyler and I thought you should see this."

He handed Alec a folder containing some press reports about Rose which Alec shuffled through and tossed on the table.

"You're wasting your time, I know who she is and what kind of life she leads, she told me herself and that's why she's left. I'm not discussing this with you Stevens, not ever. Now if you'll excuse me I've got better things to do."

He started to get up again when Olly put another piece of paper in front of him. There were images of Rose with a man who resembled Alec when he was younger and without his beard, both dressed as servants, taken on the night Peter Tyler's house had been invaded by Cybermen, eleven years ago. Alec knew it wasn't him, he'd been in Glasgow when all that had happened and he'd only been 27 at the time, a young DC and this man looked in his early 30's but Rose looked about 20, not 17 like she should have been at that time. There were several images that had been printed out, one was a close-up of the man, probably the man Rose had told him about whose band of rebels had liberated the population of London from these monsters, then there was one of Rose looking at this man and it was quite obvious they knew each other and had not just met by working at the same party like she'd told him and another of Rose talking with Peter Tyler, also like they knew each other.

Alec was shocked but didn't show it outwardly to Olly, he didn't know what to say. Rose had lied to him, for whatever reason, lied to him about her involvement with both Peter Tyler and his look-alike. If she had been involved with this man, it explained why she was so taken with him when they'd first met, she didn't want him, Alec Hardy, she wanted this man in the picture. He'd given his already delicate heart to Rose, he loved her and thought she loved him, all that intimacy they'd shared, he'd never been that intimate when he'd been married, Rose had brought the animal out in him and he'd loved every second of it.

He composed himself, took the sheet of paper and got up.

"I've no comment to make Oliver, go back to your office. I know everything already about Rose Tyler, there's nothing new here. She told me about this," he waved the piece of paper at Olly, "There is nothing you can dig up about her past that will get a reaction from me so you're completely wasting your time. If you pursue this, I'll have an injunction slapped on you."

"Then why are you getting so annoyed? I mean if you know everything about her?" Olly asked him.

Alec didn't answer, he had the piece of paper in his hand, folded it and put it in his jacket pocket and left, hoping he could make some sort of sense out of it when he got back to the hotel and talk to Rose. There had to be a rational explanation, everyone had a double or so they say but why was she hiding things? He tried to think on his walk back to the hotel but all his thoughts wandered back to Rose, when they were having sex on the beach, in the hotel and their tearful parting a few hours ago. Why hadn't she told him the rest? Had she been involved with this man in the photos?

She'd told him that was how she met Peter Tyler and ultimately introduced her mother to him so that explained that so Rose must have known her mother was the original Mrs Tyler's double. No, Rose wouldn't do that would she? Rose had plotted to get rid of the original Jackie Tyler so her mother could meet Peter Tyler? No way, Rose said they'd gone looking for her but had she deliberately left it too late, getting the Cybermen to do the job for her? A million thoughts were going through his mind, the Policeman part of him getting the upper hand, he had to put all these doubts out of his head and give her the benefit of the doubt.

He loved Rose and he was certain she loved him but did she love him because he reminded her of the man in the photo? Why did she look older in the photo than she should have been? He'd seen her profile, her date of birth but it never said who her father was. Was Peter Tyler her real father? That would explain a lot, Rose had been trying to get him back with her mother so she could reclaim her birthright and get them out of the council estate she'd said she grew up on. Rose certainly had none of the airs and graces of a rich girl so she hadn't had money all her life and from what he'd seen, she didn't like all the attention she'd been getting.

He was back at the hotel now and tried to get past Becca without being noticed but failed.

"So Alec, you're alone again since your lady friend's gone back home? Shame about that, you were a different man when she was around. If you want some company, I'd be only too happy to oblige."

Becca was smirking, thinking he might just take her up on her offer now Rose had actually left and if he'd got used to having sex every night, he might get lonely. Her attitude soon changed though when he gave her his reply.

"I don't think so Becca, I might get lonely but not that much, sorry, you're picking on the wrong guy. I owe you an apology, for last year when I asked you. I shouldn't have asked then, I didn't know then if I was staying or not and I thought I may even die at that time but I'm well now and I'm not looking for a one night stand any more. Besides that, I'm expecting Rose to come back, she's only gone to sort things out back home, she'll be back after the weekend."

Who was he kidding, himself? Right now he didn't know what to think, whether his feelings for Rose had changed or not but he had to get Becca off his back, she was the last thing he needed if Rose did come back to find he'd been so desperate as to have a one night fling with her, that would blow any chance of a long term relationship right out of the window.

So he was considering a long term relationship with Rose? Even after what he'd just learned, he still loved her, that would never change. Right now he should be angry with her but he wasn't, he was completely confused. Right now he wished he'd brought his laptop from work, to see where Olly had got his information from. He'd left it because he was in a hurry to get to the beach to meet Rose on Monday. He got to his room and tried to get some information from his phone but was getting annoyed it was taking so long. He could walk down to his office and collect his laptop then connect to the hotel's wifi, then he remembered his phone was wifi enabled but didn't know how to switch it on – damn, why had he never learned these things? He messed about with his phone and finally switched it on only to find he needed a password to use it. He called Becca in reception and she gave him the password and told him no hard feelings about their conversation and if he changed his mind and all that.

He looked up Peter Tyler, his rise to fame, his first marriage, no children and his devastation of losing his first wife just over eleven years ago. There was nothing how he'd met Rose's mother only that by pure coincidence he had met a woman who resembled his first wife and because she had known very little about Peter Tyler, was completely unaware of her likeness and when she had found out about it, was in love with him and it didn't matter. That made Alec stop and think, Rose's mother hadn't been bothered she was replacing someone who she looked like and maybe Rose had not even seen the resemblance between him and the man in the photo.
Maybe he'd died or something or they had split up but he could tell they had definitely been more than just friends, the way the man was looking at Rose was the way he himself looked at her, the two of them must have been in love. Rose must also have been involved with this group, whoever they were. He looked for more information and got deeper and deeper into it, most of it going back to the Cyberman invasion, how Peter Tyler tied in with it all and Rose herself.

Torchwood usually didn't give any information about their employees and their families other their official versions but Alec was unaware of that and he'd done more general searches for activities around eight and eleven years, anything unusual and he was fascinated with what he could find, which explained a lot. There was no reference whatsoever to Rose in the three years difference, then suddenly, Peter Tyler was announcing his marriage eight years ago to another woman, Jackie Prentice (another Torchwood cover story to disguise the fact she was already called Tyler) and his adoption of her daughter, Rose Prentice who was twenty. To Alec, looking at the photos, Rose looked the same age as she had three years previously.

Now he was totally confused.

Chapter 11

Alec suddenly remembered how he'd joked with Rose about her being from Mars or from a different universe. No, was he right? That could be the only possible explanation. Rose had turned up when the Cybermen had attacked, so had this other man. There was no reference to her prior to that. He found references to a group calling themselves 'The Preachers' who were opposed to everyone in London wearing the earpods that John Lumic had tried to make mandatory to wear, fortunately they'd not been introduced in Scotland and other places in the north of England but had spread to other parts of the country and upon the demise of Lumic, they had been quickly abandoned.

Maybe Rose and this man were from another universe, enlisted the help of 'The Preachers' to stop the Cyberman invasion or maybe the other way around and what if in the process, Rose did indeed somehow introduce her mother to Peter Tyler? Then what if Rose and her mother had stayed behind and this man had gone back to his own universe but how had her mother got there?

It was making a lot more sense to him than he originally thought that Rose was bad, he couldn't have believed that but what he was unravelling was almost beyond belief itself. He'd always been sort of interested in science fiction, he remembered writing stories of different planets when he was a boy and his teacher telling him he'd never amount to anything if he kept writing about aliens and monsters, yeah, right, he was a Detective Inspector so who was right in the end?

Did he read in his comic books he used to save his pocket money to buy that popping between universes was like going to the next town, you could visit and be home for tea. Science fiction was sometimes based on facts. "Grow up Hardy" he told himself but here he was, presented with all these facts that had only one possible explanation for the sudden appearance of a Jackie Tyler and Alec Hardy look-a-likes and Rose.

His phone rang, it was Rose, she must have got home. What could he possibly say to her? It was all over, he never wanted to see her again? Or should he go to London as planned and talk to her? He answered, deciding to pretend he'd learned nothing about it.

"Rose, my love, how was your journey? Do you miss me?"

He could picture her, lying on the beach in her bikini, shuddering at the thought. How could he possibly doubt her, he was besotted with her, like a love sick puppy and he knew it, she turned him to jelly.

"Oh, it was boring, I was looking out of the window, imagining we were on the beach, in our tent, doing you know what. I so miss you Alec. Have you got video calling on your phone?" she asked.

"I think so, I've got the wifi enabled, I was looking up how to get to your house on the map," he lied, he couldn't tell her what he had really been doing. "Is that the same, do you mean a video call or something over the internet, I'm not very technically minded. It took me ages to enable the wifi," he laughed.

Rose told him what he needed to do to talk face to face and ten minutes later, they could see each other, which made them both feel better. Alec was now regretting his meeting with Oliver that had set him off in the first place. He reminded himself to beat the reporter senseless for making him go through all this, for making him doubt his Rose.

"Hi, that's better, I can see you now, you're still my beautiful Rose," he smiled.

Rose smiled back at him. "It's only been a few hours Alec, blimey, what are you going to be like by Saturday? I know how you feel though, I miss you already, especially when I think of what we could be doing right this minute, down on the beach, just the two of us. Close your eyes Alec and imagine we're on the beach and just come out of the sea."

He didn't want to imagine, he wanted to be there with her, just as much now as he'd done before. Nothing he had learned or now believed mattered, he wanted her so badly right now so whatever the truth was, whether she was from another universe or even actually from Mars, he wanted her more than ever because he loved her.

"Rose, if I close my eyes, I can't see you and that's all I want, just to look at you. You're so beautiful, it's all I ever want to do. Rose, when I come up to London, I think I know what it is you have to tell me and why you can't tell me on your own. I've figured a lot of things out and I want you to know, I love you Rose, no matter what it is, I love you, nothing will ever change that. So whatever it is you have to tell me, I'm not running away and I'm not coming back to Broadchurch without you. If you want to stay and live in London, then I'm moving there and we'll get a house or an apartment there but I'm not leaving you Rose, never, no matter what it is. You're not getting rid of me that easily, Rose Tyler. So when I get there, you had better not make any more plans that don't include me so tomorrow, go finish whatever you have to do at wherever you work because on Saturday, we have all this out in the open, no matter how long it takes and Sunday, you can say your goodbyes and bring everything you need with you, you can go back for anything else later. I'm not leaving without you."

He could see she was crying again, he knew she was doing her best not to let her life interfere with their relationship. If she hadn't been so famous, they wouldn't even be having this conversation but then he wouldn't have known about her. He was waiting for her to say something, waiting for her tears to stop.

"Alec, how could you know about what I have to say to you?"

"It was what I said to you the other day, I can't tell you now but think back when I said to you about Mars, do you remember what else I said?" he asked.

Rose did remember, she knew Alec was a very intelligent man and that sooner or later he would figure most of it out. She nodded.

"Do I have to say any more Rose? You know what I mean. All this is about when I mentioned that to you, isn't it?" He knew he had got it right when she didn't answer and she looked away from her phone. "I know a lot more than you think Rose. It's not a thing we can talk about on the phone so why don't I come over tomorrow? We won't discuss this, I just want to be with you. I'll come over in the morning and you can meet me and if you really do work for your step-father, you won't need to give any leaving notice. I know things Rose, you can thank that nosy local reporter for making me dig around and even after everything I found out, I still love you, it's made me love you even more. Did you read the poem I wrote to you? You know how I feel about you."

"I read the poem Alec, no-one has ever written a poem for me before. How can you know? My step-dad was very careful with information about me and my family. You have to tell him how you found out when you come here. I'll meet you tomorrow, just say where but I can't bring you back here, not yet, not until Saturday, I have it all arranged. Book a hotel and I'll meet you and bring you back with me on Saturday as planned. Don't think you know it all, Alec Hardy," she smiled, her tears were fading away now she didn't have to pretend any more. "You might think you're a smart-arse but you're still going to be in for a few surprises you might not be ready for."

Alec smiled back at her. "Oh, you mean like I have a double somewhere? Well, if that's all you have to throw at me, the rest will be easy and by the way, you have excellent tastes in men but there are a few things that still puzzle me which you can explain on Saturday because tomorrow, we have some making up for lost time to do when right now we could be on that beach. You owe me that much. Now come nearer to the phone and pretend you're kissing me 'cos I miss snogging you."

He got right up to the screen of his phone after taking a tissue and wiping it as Rose did the same until their lips were lined up and they both closed their eyes, imagining they were together. They finally said goodbye, Alec was going to book a hotel in central London and Rose was going to meet him at the railway station then they'd look around London for a while before booking into the hotel and they were going to go see a play that Rose could choose, Alec said he didn't mind as long as it wasn't Shakespeare and a certain Scottish actor Rose had mentioned she liked wasn't in it.

Rose felt a whole lot better after speaking to Alec. She was finally able to relax from the tension of the last few days, not being able to tell him anything. She had to keep quiet about Torchwood though, until Pete could speak to him and he'd want to know how Alec came by so much information and they may have to tighten security, that was Jake's job and he wasn't going to be pleased, he'd helped Pete with their cover stories which they had thought were flawless but obviously there was a loophole somewhere that if Alec was right, the local reporter had got hold of, who else could get hold of it? Rose panicked, she had to tell Pete about this now, not leave it until Saturday and tell him not to put the blame on Alec, it wasn't his fault, he was a detective.

Luckily for her, Pete had time to talk to her so rather than speak on the phone, she told her mother to drop her off at Torchwood before she went to pick up Tony and went to Pete's office, asking him to get Jake to join them. Of course, as soon as Mickey found out she was in the building, he wanted to see her but he was refused entrance into Pete's office. Pete and Jake looked sombre as Rose said she had important news for them. A local reporter in Broadchurch had got hold of information about Rose and her mother and had told Alec, who she explained to Jake was her now boyfriend, much to Jake's amusement, who wondered how Mickey would take it and that Alec knew an awful lot about her and where she had come from because after being given the initial information, he, being a Police Detective, had done some more digging and somehow, he'd found out about The Doctor and thought he looked like him.

"Please, don't blame Alec for this, it's not his fault. I don't know how this reporter got the information, Alec didn't say but if anyone's to blame, it's us for not covering everything up. Maybe once Alec was given the basics, he dug deeper and now, we have to stop anyone else finding out because if a small town reporter, who Alec can keep under control can get hold of it, think what would happen if the tabloids got hold of it, think of the damage it could do. We have to put a block on everything. Jake, I think it all started when Alec found out I'd been involved in the Cyberman attack so you should block all searches about that and all searches about my mother, Mickey and myself, can you do that?"

Jake nodded and said it was easy.

"Alec must have been given some photos with the Doctor in them because he knew he looked like him. I told him my cover story about being in the mansion during the attack but some photos must have got out, I'll ask him, I'm meeting him tomorrow, he decided to come a day early, I'm meeting him in town then I'll bring him to the mansion on Saturday and before you say anything, yes we are involved, I just don't want him getting a slap from my mother."

Both Pete and Jake laughed at the thought of Jackie Tyler slapping a Police Detective, Jake saying he'd like a front row seat for that event. He also said he'd like to meet this Alec and see if he did look like the Doctor and reminded Rose just how jealous Mickey was. Rose said she would handle him. They finished their meeting, actions were taken to seal all information about anyone and anything regarding the three from another universe and anything about the Cybermen, she explained he'd guessed about her not being from here, she said Alec was a very clever man and Pete said he was looking forward to meeting him.

She got Pete to call her mother and put off the dinner tonight, she didn't really want to face Mickey just yet and she also had to tell Alec about him but her mother said it was all arranged and Pete said she'd best get it over with and tell Mickey, which she had already tried to do on the phone but he hadn't wanted to listen.

Pete decided to leave early so Rose got a ride back with him, successfully avoiding the said Mickey but she would have to face him later. She regretted now she'd not done something about it sooner. She would just have to show Mickey the photos she'd taken with Alec to prove it. She also had to tell her mother her true involvement with Alec and save him from a slap at the same time, which was why she was meeting him in town tomorrow and not spending the night here with him.

She called Alec again just before dinner, he said he was missing her and said he was glad she was going to come back with him because Becca had offered to take her place. Rose thought he was joking but he said he wasn't. Rose said to remind her to have words with Becca for trying to pinch her boyfriend but they both laughed in the end. She told Alec that there was one more thing she had to tell him but he said for her to wait and tell him everything on Saturday. He was getting a train at ten in the morning and Rose knew what time he would arrive and he'd booked the hotel just near where all the theatres were. After trying to kiss over the phone again, Rose had to go down and face the music.

She managed to talk to her mother about Alec before anyone arrived, telling her not to say anything to Mickey about it, she was going to tell him and she showed Jackie the photos of her with Alec and Jackie saw the resemblance right away even though Rose couldn't see it herself. Jake and Mickey arrived together, Jackie was always pleased to see them both, Jake had done so much to help them get settled and she had a soft spot for Mickey since Rose dumped him to follow a 900 year old alien around and now she was chasing a Police Detective but at least she knew where Rose was this time.

Chapter 12

The dinner was going well, Jackie had a few too many glasses of wine and Rose was hoping she wouldn't put her foot in it and mention Alec so right on cue, she asked Rose when she was going to meet her latest bit of fluff, what's his name the Police Detective and who did he think he was swanning off with her daughter and keeping her in that seedy little seaside town miles from anywhere. Rose threw her a filthy look as Jackie asked what she'd said and Mickey rounded on Rose.

Rose told him she had tried to tell him that she had found someone and that it was he who had the problem, not her.

"Why don't you just move on Mickey, let me get on with my life. You've tried to make me feel guilty since we've been here and it's all your fault that The Doctor never was interested in me because he thought I was just missing you. Well, I wasn't and I wanted the Doctor and now he's gone and I've got Alec and you're not taking that away from me, no-one is."

Pete tried to calm her down.

"Rose, no-one is trying to take Alec from you, we just don't know him yet and I'm sure he's a fine man and a great detective. Mickey, as your friend and your boss, I'm asking you to please, don't ruin any chance of Rose has of being happy. She has spent the last eight years getting over the Doctor and she's not showed the slightest interest other than being a friend to you, it's time to leave her alone and find yourself someone else, like Rose has done. Rose, I'm really happy you've found someone and I'm sure we'll all like him when he comes here on Saturday."

Rose needed to talk to Alec, she needed to be with him so she made her excuses, told her mother and Pete she was going out in the morning and wouldn't be back until Saturday with Alec. Pete didn't seem surprised but Jackie had her mouth wide open to say something but thought better of it. She was going to try to get Alec to get the first train he could in the morning. It was already half past nine, maybe he could get the last train if he hurried. She rang him rather that a video call and he was surprised she'd called.

"Alec, I need you, can you come over early in the morning, on the first train? I'll look the time up for you." She already had her laptop on and was looking on the website for trains from Broadchurch to London. "There's an early one that leaves at six forty five, gets here at eight thirty, we can have breakfast when you get here."

"There is one tonight at ten forty five, I looked it up while we were waiting this morning. Gets in around midnight but I can't have you coming to meet me at that time and I've no hotel booked unless you can do it while I'm on the train."

"You just get that train and I'll be there, I've got someone who will bring me, my friend Jake will bring me and he'll wait with me until you arrive and take us to a hotel. Just get yourself here, please Alec."

"I'll throw a few things in a bag and go get the train, there's an hour yet. Call me when you fix us a hotel, call the one I booked for tomorrow night, It's the Radisson in Leicester Square, tell them my train is getting in at midnight. I love you Rose, I'm getting ready to leave now, I'll call you when I'm on the train. I'll see you soon Sweetheart."

Rose said goodbye, got the hotel's number and was told the room that was booked for tomorrow night was occupied tonight but they had a room for two nights so they transferred it and said that Mr Hardy would have to confirm the alteration when he arrived as Rose said he was travelling and couldn't do it now, she didn't want anything stopping him getting on that train and Rose gave them her card details and said they'd be checking in just after midnight. She threw some things into a shoulder bag and went back down to get Jake to take her to meet him. Luckily, Jake was still there, going over the security of their personal information, Jackie had been persuaded to go to bed so Rose asked Jake to take her to meet Alec, wait with her for him to arrive and drive them to the hotel. Jake just laughed and said she didn't want much did she? He did it though, he was her best friend, even sided with her over the Mickey situation. Rose asked Pete to tell her mother she'd be back on Saturday with Alec.

Alec rang her just before eleven to say he was on the train, he'd got an open return ticket as he didn't know when they were coming back and Rose told him about the hotel. It was a faster train as it didn't make as many stops, it was used by a lot of politicians and businessmen and he'd been lucky to get a seat to himself, he wanted to try to close his eyes until he got there, asking the guard to make sure he didn't get left on the train. The guard just smiled and said half of the passengers were already asleep and they came round to make sure everyone was off.

Rose and Jake set off in plenty of time and Jake had no problem parking at that time and said it was a shame the station the train from Broadchurch arrived at was the one furthest away. There was hardly any traffic at that time until they got nearer the station. Jake asked if she wanted him to collect them on Saturday morning to take them to the mansion but she said they'd make their own way. They had ten minutes to wait when they'd parked nearby and Rose found the platform Alec's train would arrive on. Jake wanted her to sit down but she was stood by the barrier which was closed much to her annoyance and was waiting for the ticket collector to open it so she could go wait on the platform, having bought a platform ticket from the machine which Jake found amusing. He'd told her she had it real bad.

The second the barrier was open, she was on the platform like a shot and as she reached the bottom of the slope, the train was just in sight. Her stomach was churning and doing somersaults as the train approached the platform. Jake was waiting by the barrier, thinking she'd want to greet the man she loved on her own without him getting in the way. He'd never seen her like this before since she'd been here. He had seen the way she had looked at The Doctor when they had been here the first time but this was different, the look in her eyes as she'd paced up and down waiting to get on the platform. He had known Mickey was wasting his time over her, Rose was way out of Mickey's league.

The train came to a stop, Rose was looking in the windows as she walked past the people getting their things together. She got to the third carriage and thought she had missed him somehow but got to the middle and Alec was sat there with his eyes closed and the train guard was just a few feet away waking other passengers up. She tapped on the window and he opened his eyes just as the guard got to him, smiling at her and answering the guard. She was at the door before he was, almost blocking the way as he stepped off and she threw her arms around him and hung onto him. They had only been parted since the morning and it had been too much for both of them as Alec kissed her cheek but Rose didn't care where she was as she kissed him and he picked her up. Alec took her hand as he hitched his shoulder bag up and they walked towards the barrier, Rose pointing out Jake who was smirking by the ticket collector.

"Who's that Rose, is that the friend who brought you here?"

"Yeah, that's Jake, my best friend and before you say anything, it's not what you think, he's already got a boyfriend, he's not interested in me, that's why we're good friends."

Alec just smiled as they approached the barrier and handed their tickets in. Rose introduced the two men to each other, Jake offering to take Alec's bag so the two of them could walk together, Jake had never seen her look so happy and he was under strict orders not to mention Mickey or a certain Timelord. They got to Jake's car, Alec and Rose sat in the back, Jake telling them no snogging to which Rose had replied not to be jealous and Alec laughed when she said of her not him. Jake dropped them at the hotel, Rose retrieved her shoulder bag and said goodnight, Rose telling him to come for lunch on Sunday before they went back to Broadchurch but he said Pete wanted him present on Saturday when they were to have their discussion.

Alec confirmed the change in rooms with the hotel receptionist and got to their room on the third floor. The door was barely closed before they were all over each other, they tugged at each other's clothing, Alec complaining she was wearing too much as usual and Rose saying to get rid of it then as they fell into bed, all formalities now disregarded, there was no need for either of them to ask if they wanted each other, they just got straight down to business. Less than 24hrs apart and they were both useless without each other and they knew it.

After Rose telling Alec several times to just do it and not mess around, they finally fell asleep, Rose was spread all over him as usual, both tangled up in each other. Rose woke first, it must have been nearly three in the morning before they had both given in but she still woke up at eight and nudged her lover awake. Alec just grinned at the sight of Rose smiling at him and before even saying 'hi' was kissing her. Rose had to dash to the bathroom, shouting to him to get dressed or they'd miss breakfast, something that was becoming a habit and came back just in time to catch Alec getting out of bed, took one look at him and jumped on him from behind, causing them both to fall back on the bed laughing as he began tickling her ribs as she was trying to grab hold of him.

"You're the one who wanted to get dressed to go to breakfast," he reminded her as Rose was laughing. "Although we could order room service, this is a posh hotel Rose, I didn't realise when I booked it, I got it through one of those discount hotel sites. When you had to change rooms, did you pay full price for it?" Rose shrugged her shoulders. "Oh I might have known, Miss Vitex wouldn't go around asking how much things are," he teased, tickling her again but Rose was ready for him and flipped him over and got her revenge.

"Seriously Rose, this is something we have to talk about, I can't let you go around throwing your money about, you have to let me pay for things, I don't want my boss asking awkward questions if I have a lavish lifestyle and before you say anything, I'm keeping you, not the other way around. I meant it Rose, I don't want you paying for everything. I'll let you off this once if you let me get you into bed again before breakfast."

Rose was more than willing to be chastised for paying for the room for the night, Alec had still paid for tonight but she'd done what she had to in order to secure a room for last night. She couldn't exactly take him back home when her mother had super hearing and would have made Alec sleep in another room until she had grilled him about his intentions towards her daughter and Jackie had not been in a fit state to interrogate him last night. She just wanted to get him back with her. Needless to say they just managed to get to the dining room five minutes before it closed, both smiling happily, walking hand in hand. Fortunately the dining room was nearly empty and it meant they got served quickly. They discussed what they were going to do for the day, just spending it sightseeing. They also looked at the various theatre leaflets in the hotel and not really fancying any of them they decided to see what was on at the cinema and found a film they both agreed on, Rose wanting to see it in 3D, Alec not too keen but she assured him once he'd seen one, he wouldn't go back to seeing them normally.

Rose said the best way was to get a tour bus where you could get on and off at different points, Alec had said he wanted to take her on the London Eye but Rose thought they might have to book but they could try. He joked she'd only have to mention her name and got a swift kick on his shin. So they got the tour bus and spent the morning sightseeing, always holding hands and Alec taking photos of her then they made their way to Westminster to try to get on the London Eye. Rose said she could use her influence if he really wanted but he said he didn't want any special treatment. They managed to reserve places for later in the afternoon but had to pay more, Rose saying she'd make it up to him later, whispering they'd sit in the back row at the cinema and said served him right for saying he'd pay.

They had lunch while they waited, Rose was annoyed when her mother rang asking why she hadn't come home last night.

"Mum, I'm in the middle of London, I can't talk here, I'll see you tomorrow."

"Oh, so you come back for half a day then you disappear again, it's just like old times when I never knew where you were. I suppose you're with that Alec bloke then, your dad told me this morning you'd got Jake to take you out to meet him last night. Why didn't you just bring him with you in the first place instead of pretending you were coming back on your own?"

Her mother was right, why had she done it in the first place? It was useless pretending she was coming back to think about it when her heart was ruling her mind. She said goodbye to her mum and turned her attention back to Alec, rubbing his leg under the table and saying 'sorry'.

They looked around Parliament Square then made their way back for their ride, which once they were on, they found a place at the window, Alec's arm around Rose and he said they should come back at night when everything was lit up. He asked her if she was happy and she said she'd show him how happy she was later. They both smiled and enjoyed the rest of the ride and when they landed, Rose asked if they could go on a boat ride but Alec was not happy about it, saying something had happened and he couldn't go on small boats.

Rose asked him what had happened so they sat on a bench by the river near to where the boats went from and he told her what happened to make him dislike going on the water and revealed he'd been to Broadchurch when he was younger, on holiday and there had been an accident that had made him terrified to go near a boat for a long time and now, he could just about wade in the sea and manage a swimming pool because being in the Police, he had to get a swimming certificate and he could go on large ships such as a ferry but not small boats.

"Please Alec, we could go down to Greenwich village for the rest of the afternoon, I'll hold your hand all the time, I won't let anything happen to you, I love you." She kissed his cheek and held his hand. "Please Alec, just for me? The boats are quite large, they have life jackets."

She tried to lighten him up by making light of the situation. She whispered in his ear that they could go back to the hotel early afterwards.

"Rose, are you trying to bribe a Police Officer?" Rose just grinned at him. "Because if you are, I might just have to place you in custody for trying to corrupt me and that carries a very stiff sentence and could lead to life imprisonment but you might persuade the Officer concerned to give you a custodial sentence which means I will have to keep a very close eye on you for a very lengthy period of time."

"Well in that case, you may just as well arrest me now, Detective Inspector," she replied, holding out her wrists to him.

Chapter 13

"Fortunately for you, I forgot to pack my handcuffs. For some reason which escapes me for now, I was in too much of a hurry to catch a train when I got a phone call from my girlfriend at nine thirty last night. It seems she couldn't live without me for even twelve hours. You wouldn't happen to know her by any chance would you? She's small, blonde, gorgeous, great in bed and on the beach, looks amazing in a bikini and her underwear, oh and in tight dresses and when she's got my shirt wrapped around her shoulders and did I mention, she's terrific?" Rose shook her head. "Well, since she's not here, I guess I'll have to make do with you then? Only she promised me plenty of that if I came to London last night instead of waiting until tomorrow, she was rather desperate to get me back into bed."

Rose dug him with her elbow. "So, let me get this right. Your girlfriend can't live without you?" Alec nodded "And she was so desperate to get you into bed, you came to London two days early and she's not here?" He nodded again. "Well in that case, her loss is my gain and I was thinking of ditching my boyfriend because he was going to leave me here in London until Saturday all on my own just because I told him I need some time to think. I mean, isn't twelve hours of leaving a girl on her own to think more than enough?"

Alec nodded his agreement. "So, this boyfriend of yours, can he keep up with you? I mean, leaving you for more than twelve hours should be a crime, I can have him arrested if you like or do you just want to get your revenge on him?"

"What exactly did you have in mind?"

"Well, she promised me if I took a boat ride with her down to Greenwich, she'd come back to the hotel early. Care to take her place since she's not here? Seems a shame to miss out. So what's your name then?"

"I'm Rose, Rose Prentice. And you?"

"Alec Hardy, nice to meet you Rose Prentice, care to join me on a boat ride?"

He offered her his arm and they both got up and walked towards to boat landing together.

They didn't care they were out in the open discussing how good Rose was in bed and Rose was always careful to use her cover name when she was out, something she was well rehearsed in as well as never using her debit card unless in approved places, always getting cash when she needed to buy anything. Alec got the return tickets for the trip down to Greenwich and as promised, Rose held his hand all the way and he didn't find the trip was as bad as he thought it would be but maybe that was because Rose had her other hand on his leg all the time.

They checked what time the return trips back to Westminster were and they had about ninety minutes, it was already after three so they found a coffee shop and sat down for a drink and then walked around the village before making their way back to the boat landing. Alec took more photos of Rose with some of them both together and she took some of him and showed him how to put one as his phone wallpaper and one on her mobile number so it showed when she rang him. They sat up on the deck going back, still arm in arm and talking about everything in general except the more important things and after landing, they got a bus back to Leicester Square and went back up to their room, planning to go get something to eat before going to the cinema but not before he made Rose keep her promise for getting him to go on the boat ride.

"You owe me big time, Rose Tyler for getting me on that boat. Although I don't suppose it was as bad as I thought it was going to be so I might let you off lightly. As for the other thing."

"What other thing? Oh and what's this about me only being terrific in bed? I'm brilliant so watch it DI Hardy or I might just leave you for that boyfriend of mine who will be here tomorrow and leave you at the mercy of Rose Prentice."

She pushed him down on the bed and unbuttoned his shirt, pulling it out of his jeans and unzipped them, touching him as she did so.

"So are you Rose Tyler or Rose Prentice, only I'd like to see which one of you is best and when I first met you, you were Rose Prentice. You really know how to confuse a bloke you know."

Rose remained silent as she finished taking off his shirt then pulled his jeans down as he kicked off his trainers, then leaning down, kissed his belly, making him laugh. Then she climbed onto him as he moved across the bed to let her on. Alec unfastened her jeans and pulled them down, placing his hands on her hips as she wriggled out of her jeans. Alec pulled her towards him, caressing her as she leaned forward then again slowly, she moved to let him take them off.

Alec sat up and moved her around so she was now lying down, telling her he loved her as he kneeled either side of her legs, a big smile on his face as he watched her move at his touch and he knew she really loved him and nothing he would be getting told tomorrow would ever change the way he loved her.

When they had recovered slightly, they had a quick shower, Alec insisting on making sure he thoroughly dried Rose before himself, Rose had bought a dress to wear to go out and they went in search of dinner nearby, Alec saying he was not going into a certain fast food joint and Rose saying he thought she was spoiled. They got to the cinema in time to get their tickets and were disappointed most of the back seats were taken so they sat at the side instead, Rose said they should have got there earlier and for him not to fall asleep during the film after their activities earlier to which he whispered he'll show her he can keep up with her.

Rose had been right about seeing the film in 3D, Alec was raving about it on the way back to the hotel, saying they should go see another one the following night but Rose was thinking by this time tomorrow she would have lost him forever, this ordinary Police Detective who she loved more than anything in this universe apart from her love for her family, which was a different kind of love and she now hardly ever thought of her own universe in the last few days. She still had to tell Alec about Mickey though but what could she tell him?

That he was her on/off boyfriend in the other universe who she dumped to travel with The Doctor and who had constantly saved her life and never gave up trying to get her back? Alec had more than proved he was ten times the man Mickey was, Alec was willing to let her go to prove his love, albeit only for twelve hours but he had put her on a train and actually let her go, something Mickey couldn't do. She thought of telling Alec when they got back but decided she wanted one more night of pure pleasure if she was going to lose him and if she did, she knew she couldn't blame him, it was going to take some accepting even though he knew a part of it, had worked it out for himself.

What Rose didn't know was that back in Broadchurch Olly Stevens had tried to get more information about Rose Tyler and had suddenly found he couldn't which aroused his suspicions even more and had phoned his friend at The Herald for assistance. She had plenty more press releases on Rose Tyler, including some her editor hadn't approved and was more than willing to provide them and between them they had prepared quite a story that Rose and Alec would wake up to the next morning.

Olly was prepared to lose his job at The Echo if it meant he could finally hit the big time and his friend assured him it would more than help him on his way and she would run the article under her name and give him credit. She took the story to her new editor who was more than pleased with it since she herself had tried and failed to get a good story on Miss Tyler. Olly had already turned down a job of junior reporter where she worked but this time, he'd take it. This was an even juicier story than the ones he had got on Alec Hardy. Olly didn't quite know what a can of worms he was opening as Karen White added a few more alterations to the original story and released it to other agencies.

Blissfully unaware of what was to happen, the two of them had a few drinks in the hotel bar and fell into their room kissing and already shedding their clothes as Alec had her dress off in ten seconds flat, kissing afterwards, Alec telling her how much he loved her and as they lay together, he asked if after tomorrow, they could start making some plans together.

"Alec, you know I love you but you really should hold off on the plans until you've heard everything. I did tell you it's really complicated and only a few people know the whole story outside the family, Jake's one of them. We all trust Jake with our lives, in fact he's saved us more than once, in this universe and the one my mother and I come from. There is one more person, beside the man who you seem to think you look like, who came with us, he's called Mickey but he stayed here when I first came here and when we needed help in our universe, he was the first to cross over and saved us. You'll hear the whole story tomorrow but you should know that before we came here, he was sort of my boyfriend but we'd split up before I came here and I swear to you Alec, he's not been my boyfriend while I've been here, despite his pathetic attempts to get me back. I haven't been with any man while I've been here and I know it sounds impossible but it's true. I know you think how can someone like me go without sex all this time? How come I'm more than enough to satisfy you? It's something to do with me travelling between universes, it's affected me somehow, I can control my urges but I know it sounds daft but you broke that control. It was like when I met you, the flood gates opened and now, I can't get enough of you Alec, it's like I'm totally out of control."

Alec listened to her, kissing her forehead and her cheek as she lay on him. "Rose, it's alright, I believe you. So you did a lot of this travelling between universes did you?" Rose smiled and dug her finger into his side as he continued. "You never had a boyfriend here until you met me?" She nodded again, kissing his neck . "Rose promise you won't laugh but when I was younger, I used to get comics that had stories about people travelling to other universes parallel to this one. You're from one of those, aren't you? It's all true and I used to write stories as my essays at school and my teacher used to say I'd never amount to anything. I soon showed her though when I joined the Police in Glasgow and was promoted. I remember reading there are different worlds, all stacked up against each other with a space inbetween them and slipping through from one to another is like just passing through a door into another room. In one comic I remember it saying that it's the choices we make that create these different worlds around us, like choosing left instead of going right, creating a different future, never meeting someone or someone never being born."

He stopped as Rose looked up at him, a tear in her eye.

"Oh Rose, my sweet, sweet Rose, you were never born here were you?" He pulled her back to him. "Your step-father, he never was your real father, he never had you in this universe and you lost your own when you were a baby. Rose, I'm so sorry. When you first came here, before you went back, 'cos I know you went back and came here again three years after the Cybermen attacked, although I suspect it wasn't three years in your own time from the photos I've seen because you looked the same in the ones taken that night as you did in the very first press release about you when your mother married Peter Tyler. Rose, it's okay, I know what the rest of the story will be like, I can guess most of it, how you came to be here but who was that man, the one that looks like me because I know I wasn't there that night and you'd have known me but in the photos, you sure look like you know each other very well indeed and not just that you'd met working at that party. You might as well tell me either now or tomorrow, because I'm not letting this go, I'm not letting you go because I want this all behind us, I want us to have a life together either here or in Broadchurch, you choose. We can settle here in London if you want but Broadchurch is much nicer than London and quieter, London's okay for a visit but a few days is enough but I'd make the sacrifice for you because I love you, Rose Tyler, more than I've ever loved anyone before and I want us to be together, no matter what happens tomorrow."

Rose couldn't believe how much he'd guessed was so near the truth, he'd come so near. How could she tell him who The Doctor was and what he'd meant to her and she'd been fighting to get back to him and to finally forget him? She went for it, thinking it was now or never.

"Alec, his name was The Doctor, he was from my universe but not from Earth. He was a time traveller and he accidentally landed us here and it just happened to coincide with the night John Lumic went crazy and decided to try to convert the entire population into Cybermen. There was a group, called 'The Preachers' who we joined up with to overthrow Lumic and his creations and the Jackie Tyler of this world did die, we couldn't save her and she never had a daughter in this world. Mickey stayed behind to help this world dispose of the Cybermen left in storage, he and Jake and my now step-father. The Doctor and I went back to our own universe and we travelled to other planets and other times and I loved him but he didn't love me, not in that way, we were never lovers and it wasn't through lack of trying on my part, that's why Mickey stayed behind, because he knew I was in love with him but he never returned my love for him. Then something happened, the Cybermen opened up what you would call a door between worlds and started invading ours. Mickey, Jake and Peter Tyler saw what was happening, Mickey crossed over after them to warn us. To cut it short, there was a battle, someone in our universe had inadvertently given the Cybermen access to our world and opened the door for them, allowing them to start taking it over, just like they'd done here and Jake, Mickey and Pete rescued my mum and me and brought us here, leaving The Doctor on the other side with the Cybermen to close the door and seal it off, permanently and send the Cybermen into the space between worlds. I went back to help him, he told me I'd be left there without my mum forever but I didn't care, I loved him but something happened as the door was about to close and I almost got sucked into the space but Pete came back at the last second and rescued me, bringing me back here. The door got sealed and I was on the this side of it, The Doctor was on the other and I broke down because I'd lost him, screaming to get back to him. After a few months in this time, he found a tiny gap and was able to speak to me, not enough to come through but to send a projection of himself and I told him I loved him and I was sure he was going to say he loved me but just as he said my name, his image disappeared and I was left standing there, on a beach in Norway, where the gap had opened up, crying for him with my mum comforting me. That's why I wanted to go to Broadchurch, it reminded me of standing on that beach in Norway, looking out to sea when you came up to me."

Chapter 14

Alec listened to her and his already fragile heart was breaking for her, she had been through so much and she had been so young at the time. He wanted to know more but she had told him enough for now, just stroking her back, now with both hands, intimacy was no longer important, he just wanted to comfort her and tell her he still loved her, whispering that he did and nothing would change that. Rose was softly crying into his shoulder, wishing she could tell him the rest but it would have to wait until the next day, she needed to tell him about Torchwood, in this world and the other and more about The Doctor.

"Rose, it's okay, I understand and I know you didn't fall in love with me just because I look like him and you miss him, I realise that because I do look different now and you didn't know me when I was younger or without my beard. Let's get some sleep and tomorrow, let Jake and your step-father tell me the rest. I still love you Rose, you're so beautiful but try to get some sleep, I'm not going anywhere, I'm staying right here with you until I've heard everything. After breakfast tomorrow, we'll make our way to meet your parents and Jake and then it will all be behind us and we can go back to our quiet boring lives in Broadchurch. What do you say?"

Rose never answered, she was already asleep and Alec smiled to himself, realising how long she had been keeping this bottled up inside and finally being able to tell him. Rose Tyler was his and he fully intended to keep it that way, no matter what was thrown at him tomorrow, he had heard the worse of it, or so he thought and if there was anything worse, well he'd just have to accept it was part of her life and get on with it, there would always be something and it didn't matter, he couldn't live without her, no question about it.

Imagine though, there must be an Alec Hardy in the world Rose came from but there had been no Rose Tyler born here, poor Rose, coming to a world and finding you had a counterpart was bad enough but to find out you'd never been born here must have been traumatic. Still the Alec Hardy in that world didn't have what he had, Rose Tyler, there could only ever be one of her, she was one in however many billions in both worlds, she was truly unique and she was his and his alone.

Rose was woken by her phone ringing just after seven the next morning, which also woke Alec, just as his mobile started ringing and they both struggled to get to their phones, untangling themselves and both saying 'hello' into their phones at the same time. Alec, being a true gentleman took his conversation into the bathroom but soon came out again when he heard what the call was about, looking at Rose who was staring horrified at the TV she had just put on to see the morning breakfast show was about her and Alec. Alec heard a woman's voice shouting 'Rose' coming out of her phone, who he assumed was her mother, he had hung up on Ellie Miller who had called to warn him not to answer his phone to anyone so he switched it off after she had told him he and Rose were all over the tabloids and the breakfast shows.

Rose had grabbed her t-shirt and put her knickers on, Alec grabbed his shorts and a t-shirt and both sat on the end of the bed, open mouthed at the TV showing the newspaper headlines that started with 'Rose Tyler and her detective boyfriend' and went on to read 'Miss Tyler, 28 and the unnamed so far DI but on speculation is Alec Hardy, 38, who last year was at the forefront of a murder investigation in the small seaside town of Broadchurch, have been seen on several occasion on the beach together, doing more than holding hands and have been seen yesterday by a source, entering a select London hotel together.' The TV presenter went on to say several other things about the two of them and about Rose, reminding people who she was and that Alec Hardy had a less than recently distinguished past. They showed a photo of Rose on a recent night out with her parents and one of Alec from last year's murder investigation but not one of them together that showed their faces clearly, just someone had taken one of them going into the hotel yesterday afternoon.

Thankfully, there were no photos of them on the beach together but it was only a matter of time as he knew exactly where the story had come from and when he got his hand on the little pratt who did this, he'd get done for murder himself but he couldn't do that to Rose, not leave her to this on her own but he'd sure come pretty close and would personally see the reporter never worked again and who knew who had coerced him into it, Karen White, who still hated him for several reasons.

Alec took the remote control and turned it off and turned to Rose, who had tears pouring down her cheek as she'd watched her private life paraded to the country. Her phone had gone silent, Alec took it from her and checked to see if it was her mother by saying 'hello' as quietly as he could. He was heard as Jackie started her tirade down the phone, demanding to speak to her daughter and who the hell did he think he was, dragging Rose into a sex scandal? He politely said he'd get Rose to call her back and hung up, switching the phone off, he wanted no more interruptions until Rose was in a fit state. He also took the room phone off the hook so no-one would call the hotel. He passed Rose her jeans and said she had best put her bra on, things were bad enough as it was, which managed a smile out of her at least.

It didn't deter them enough though, so as Rose took her t-shirt off, Alec pushed her back on the bed and began kissing her and Rose pulled his t-shirt off, pulling him onto her as they both kissed.

"Well, I guess you did try to warn me so I suppose I deserve it, famous for all the wrong reasons. Still, it could have been worse, they could have got hold of those photos from the beach and that little git of a reporter won't know what hit him when I get hold of him, that's if his Aunt doesn't get hold of him first. That was her on the phone, warning me and your mother gave me quite an earful before I told her you would call her back, serves me right for seeing if she was still there."

He was still smiling at Rose who was trying to avoid his look.

"Rose, look at me." He put his hand on her chin to face him and leaned over to kiss her. "I still love you, we are in this together, it does take two to tango you know and by the way, that was some tango just now." He got another smile out of her as she didn't try to look away again. "I might just keep asking you if you want to tango, it sounds much less common, yes, from now on it's doing the tango together."

He looked at her again, he could still see the love in her eyes despite everything, just as sure he still looked the same to her.

"It's all my fault Alec, for dragging you into this but I tried to tell you, I really did and you chose to stay with me. You could have let me go, you let me get on that train and you could have not followed me or come running after me when I called you. You should have done because I've got you into the one thing you dreaded and now I have to get you out of it. My step-dad is more than the head of Vitex, he's much more and a very influential man. I'm going to call Jake, we can trust him, he'll come and pick us up but we're not going to my home, we can't talk there, my mother will literally kill you, she slapped The Doctor and he wasn't even my boyfriend. Just get our things together while I call Jake, I'll get him to meet us at the service entrance and he'll take us to meet my dad."

"Are you sure even your dad can get us out of this Rose? I can handle it you know, you don't have to protect me, I should be protecting you. It's what I do, protecting people so don't feel like it's your job." He put his arms around her had kissed the top of her head. "I still love you, Miss sex scandal."

He got out of bed and they both got dressed, both hindering each other in the process.

"Alec, I still love you and yes, he can even get you out of this mess. He's a lot more understanding than my mother is, not being my proper dad, he can take a different view. I'm not saying he won't be mad, at both of us for not being more careful but I warned him and Jake that people were getting information from somewhere, when you told me the other day what Olly Stevens had said to you and I know it's him who's been trying to do more digging. He won't have got anywhere on his own because Jake put a block on it all so he's had some help from somewhere, someone who already had the information about me."

"Yes, I know he had help, from Karen White at The Herald, she's been out to get me since that case I had to leave Glasgow for and for not giving her a scoop in Broadchurch. Did you know she labelled me as the worse cop in Britain?"

Rose smiled at that.

"I'll get you a t-shirt with it printed on then and I'll get one to match saying my boyfriend is the worse cop in Britain," she teased.

"It's not funny, Rose. She did a lot of damage to me last year that has taken some effort to repair and now this could effectively finish me. If I put my phone back on, my boss will be on the other end, suspending me pending an enquiry at the very least. I don't think they'll fire me outright, there will have to be a hearing but I could get demoted or even kicked out altogether and if I get demoted, I can't face going back to Broadchurch."

"Alec, it said they only thought it was you, all we have to do is prove they're wrong and vindicate you, make them all retract the story and issue a public apology. I'll deny it, say I left you that first afternoon and I was with someone else. Who will everyone believe? The Tylers or a two bit small town reporter who jumped the gun by taking it to a crony working for a tabloid where the reporter he sold the story to was out to get you? Come on Alec, I didn't grow up on a council estate for nothing you know. So people saw us together at times? They can't prove I wasn't two-timing you with someone else, can they?"

"You'd actually do that? Tell people you were just stringing me along? You are a lot sneakier than I suspected, Rose Tyler, in fact you are downright devious. Will people actually believe that? No-one saw me getting on that train though and I could have locked myself in the hotel. I could get jealous if you say you were cheating on me though, depends on who you were cheating on me with." He grinned as then he realised who she was going to use. The Doctor! "Rose, you are a genius and I love you."

He kissed her as he picked her up and spun her around.

Rose told him the rest of her plan, which needed Jake's and Pete's help. Rose picked up the hotel phone and called Jake, who hadn't stopped laughing about the whole thing since Pete had called him and they had been trying to ring her. He agreed to come and pick them up and told them to be at the service entrance in half an hour and she could tell him the rest of her plan on the way to meet Pete, at Torchwood Tower.

Rose put her phone on, blocking it from anyone who was not in her phone book, Alec left his off as they gathered everything and took the stairs to reception. It was still fairly quiet, no TVs were on and Alec handed the key card into reception, asking where the service entrance was and explained someone was picking them up as there was now a no parking sign outside the hotel. They found the service door and a few minutes later, Jake pulled up and they got in the back as Jake pulled away just as fast as he'd stopped, Rose hardly having time to throw her bag on the floor and fasten the seat belt.

"Okay Rosie, tell me what you've gone and got yourself into this time. I knew the two of you would get embroiled in a sex scandal as soon as I saw the pair of you on the platform the other night. What do you want covering up this time and how much have you actually told loverboy here so far?"

Alec grimaced at being called her loverboy but he supposed he was really.

"He knows most of it. Can we stop and get some breakfast, we had to miss ours. Is dad meeting us?"

"Yeah, he's on his way. Might get a bit delayed by your mother though, she's way past boiling point, wouldn't fancy being in your shoes mate when she's got hold of you, have you warned him Rose?"

Rose smiled and gave Alec a quick peck on the cheek.

"He'll survive, I did warn him. I'll tell you all my plan when we get to dad's office but we'll have to work fast if it's to work. Alec, did you bring those photos with you that Olly Stevens gave you?" Alec said he had. "Good, we need to find out where he got them from."

"Too late Rosie, I've already found them and I think I know what you're getting at, we can mock up photos of you and The Doctor together, say it was him you were going into the hotel with, that you left Alec in Broadchurch, The Doctor, who we also call Dr John Smith, consultant to Vitex got jealous when you went off and left him and went on holiday, came down to Broadchurch but couldn't find you over the weekend, got annoyed, grew a beard because he got past caring, found you on Monday but you were already seeing Alec, who you didn't realise looked like him and well, you get my drift. It's perfect."

Rose and Alec were both grinning in the back seat, arm in arm, it was perfect. Jake knew Rose very well, knew how her devious mind worked. Alec suddenly realised where they were heading, Canary Wharf and was about to say something when Rose saw the look on his face and told him it was okay. Alec knew what was at Canary Wharf, he had heard what had gone on, then one word came to mind, Torchwood, they were going to Torchwood and Alec began to realise that was what Rose was really hiding from him, it had been rebuilt and she, Jake and Peter Tyler were involved, possibly leaders of it.

He tried to remain calm and give her a chance to explain it all, Rose was the woman he loved but she had got him into this when he had fallen in love with her, knowing she was famous and he'd not listened when she told him to forget her. He had completely fallen in love with and followed her to London, couldn't bear to be without her for more than a few hours, he was completely gone.

Jake passed the checkpoint into the underground car park and drove into his reserved space. Rose got out, leaving her bag and just taking her purse, Alec didn't know whether to leave his or pick it up and run for the nearest exit and get the hell out of the place but he'd come this far, in for a penny or so they say. He had to trust her, let her explain and if she had got him in this mess, he had no job to go back to, she would have to get him out of it whether he liked how she did it or not. He still needed her so he just got out and went to her side of the car and put his hand into hers and squeezed it, she was still his Rose – for now.

Whether she remained that was something to be seen. He had promised her he would listen to what they had to say and he never broke his promises, well once or twice which were not entirely his fault but he had vowed to keep this one. What he would do afterwards remained to be seen, at least he might not lose his job, they would smooth things over and by the time he went back to Broadchurch, with or without Rose, he would be cleared and everyone would laugh about it and he would personally drown the little rat who had got them both into this in the first place.

Chapter 15

Jake punched the code into the lift to take them to reception where the security guard on the desk handed Alec a visitor pass and Jake asked if Mr Tyler had arrived. When he was told no, he said he was to be informed that they were in the staff dining room and Jake led them to go get breakfast, saying he couldn't have them both collapsing on him for which they were both grateful. Jake left them to eat and made some calls to get things in motion then got a call to say Pete had arrived and was waiting for them in his office. It may have been Saturday but a lot of people were still working Alec noted on their way to the lift and as they ascended, Rose held onto his arm, smiling reassuringly and making it quite apparent she was at home here.

"So, this is where you both really work then, Vitex is just a cover story?" Alec asked. Rose nodded and squeezed his hand. "And the Torchwood in your world let the Cybermen through when they escaped from this world. It was the Torchwood in this world that helped Lumic in the first place, wasn't it?"

Jake spoke up to defend himself and Torchwood, telling Alec that version of it had been disbanded and Peter Tyler and himself and a loyal group of followers had changed it, made it better and it had been them that had gone through to the world Rose came from and fought against the Cybermen, giving the Doctor the chance to get rid of them for good. They arrived at the floor Pete's office was on and went into the outer office, his secretary waving them in. Pete got up to shake Alec's hand, welcoming him to Torchwood. Alec still wasn't too sure until Pete came round his desk and hugged Rose and kissed her cheek.

"So, this is the infamous Alec Hardy? Well, I can see why you got tangled up with him, are you sure he's not the Doctor's long lost twin brother? I take it he knows?" Pete asked her, letting go and looking at Alec. "I hope you've been taking good care of her and I know you're not to blame for all this. Rose told me the other day who started it all and I'm really sorry, we didn't know it was going to go this far. Jake had put a block on all information about Rose and her mother and the Cybermen but it seems your local reporter had some help and used the press releases to get information about Rose and I've got people working now trying to suppress all this and come up with a cover story. We're trying to find out where else it came from."

Pete put a reassuring arm around his step-daughter.

"Alec, Rose is very precious to me and her mother, I never had a daughter until I met her and she sort of introduced me to her mother. I won't let this harm either of you and don't worry about your job Alec, it won't affect you, I play golf with the Chief Commissioner for the entire south of England and I can assure you this will all have blown over by tonight."

"I know who helped Olly Stevens Mr Tyler, her name is Karen White from The Herald and she's been trying to get me fired since a case I was working on in Glasgow went wrong. She tried last year in Broadchurch but didn't get anywhere and when I gave my story to the local newspaper she probably set out to get her revenge and took great delight in helping Mr Stevens set this up. Believe me, when I get hold of that little rat when I get back, he's going to pay for this."

Pete let go of Rose and she went to sit on the leather sofa next to Alec, taking his hand, letting him know she was completely behind him in this, they were in it together.

Pete spoke to Jake. "Jake, find out who this Karen White is and have someone pay her a visit and make her see the error of her ways, messing with the Tylers is not something she wants to be doing. You know what to do."

Jake nodded, excused himself and said he'd be back shortly and he'd take care of everything.

Pete continued. "I've read all about you Alec. I know you were cleared of everything about that case. I also know you did that family in Broadchurch a great justice and at the risk of your own life to do so, putting yourself in grave danger in the process. I take it you know about that Rose?" Rose nodded, squeezing Alec's hand even tighter. "Jake told me your plan Rose, your Torchwood training has made you even more devious. So just how much have you told Alec? He knows about The Doctor, does he know how you came to be here?"

Rose nodded and hooked her arm into Alec's and put her head on his shoulder and looked up at him. Alec smiled back and took her other hand in his, playing with her fingers inbetween his and he knew he still loved her and was in for the whole duration now, even if he left, which he wasn't contemplating anymore, Torchwood would probably pay him a visit just as someone was probably on their way to see Ms White right now and more than likely on their way to see Olly Stevens, that's if Ellie Miller hadn't got to him first.

The two of the ex colleagues may have had their differences but he had seen Miller through her now ex husband's trial and her divorce and she hated the fact that her own nephew had reported on it and it had been him who had revealed Danny Latimer's name when the family were grieving. Alec had found out that she had paid her own sister money to get information on the case because she was in debt and had bribed Ellie into giving her it and he felt really sorry for her, she was bringing up two boys without a father because of his self indulgence and given up his family for a twelve year old boy. Alec could not comprehend it and the fact that Ellie had carried on.

Alec faced Pete, tearing away from Rose's beautiful face and the way she looked at him, he could still see the love there.

"Mr Tyler, Rose told me about how she came to be here, how she faced the Cybermen and how she went back to her own world then came back and how she got stranded here. She also told me about The Doctor and that she loved him and is permanently sealed off from her own world. I suspect though there is more to know about it which I really want to know but suffice to say, I still love her, very much and I'd do anything to protect her but I know I can't do it as well as you and Jake can so I'll have to bow to your superior authority this time and let you take care of it. Rose told me how you lost your first wife and she went with you to try to save her and I guess, from what I heard, you went back and saved her mother as a repayment for her trying to save your wife."

Rose looked at him and for the first time since she had been here, she realised Alec was right, it had never occurred to her that was the reason he had brought them here, he was repaying her for trying to save the other Jackie Tyler the first time around. It hit her like a force field and it took Pete back as well.

"Your boyfriend's very perceptive Rose, even you didn't work that one out and you've been here for eight years. I suppose, now Jake is taking great care of your little scandal, which will be all over by the end of the day, now would be a good time for you to hear the rest but first, Rose Tyler, you have to call your mother and apologise to her for getting her in such a state. So you go into my other office and call her while I fill Alec in and I order some coffee, I need one."

Alec said he didn't drink coffee, Rose went off to face her worse nightmare, her mother when she was boiling over on something. She went into Pete's other office after daring to kiss Alec in front of her step-dad, turning round to see Pete sit beside Alec, trying to make him feel at ease which she could tell he was far from at the moment and was surprised he'd not run off by now, most men would have run at the word 'Cyberman' but not her Alec and she knew he would stick by her even after all this.

While Rose was grovelling to her mother and refreshments arrived, Pete told Alec more about how Rose came to be here including telling him about the Daleks and the battle where Rose had been almost lost. How she had saved not only this world but her own and how since being here she had played an important part in Torchwood that now existed only for good, to prevent disasters and Pete explained about her being called Tyler before she came here, it had been covered up to protect her and her mother. By the time it had all been explained to him, Alec couldn't help but love her even more especially after he was told how Rose had nearly been sucked into what he now knew was the void and would have died.

Pete had more or less told Rose to stay out of the way while he talked to Alec alone, thinking it was best he explained it all, knowing she would be occupied for a considerable time explaining herself to her mother and for all Pete loved them both dearly, he would never chastise Rose in such a way as her mother would, there was an unbreakable bond between mother and daughter, more than he'd seen with other families and that had been why when Rose had gone back to be with The Doctor and because he owed Rose more than he had ever let on until Alec had brought up the subject, he had gone back to get her and had arrived just in time to rescue her, having originally only gone back to try to persuade her and The Doctor to go back with him.

Alec had something he wanted to ask Pete while Rose was still out of the room.

"Mr Tyler, you know I have only good intentions towards your step-daughter and this is not how we planned to meet with you and I know I'm not entirely innocent in all this but we both knew what we were getting in to when we began our relationship and Rose did try to warn me off. In fact, she was coming back to think about where we were going and if she still wanted us to be together and I was supposed to give her until Monday to decide what to do which she changed to today and then to Thursday night. It's quite obvious to both of us we can't be apart for even half a day and I know I should have given her the time she asked for but she didn't need it, she was calling me after twelve hours when at first, she didn't know if she was even coming back to me. I know we haven't known each other for long but I intend to make her happy and I know you and Mrs Tyler want her to be happy and I suspect she's not been that happy since she's been here. I know she loved The Doctor, she told me and that he didn't love her back in the same way but I do, I'm not disappearing, so in the not too distant future, when we both get settled and back to normal and whether we decide to stay in London or settle in Broadchurch, wherever Rose wants to live, I'll live there too so I'd like to ask you now if you have any objections to Rose and I living together and I'd like your permission to ask her when the time is right if she'll marry me."

Pete wasn't at all surprised that Alec declared his intentions, he considered Alec to be an intelligent and caring man, he had read up about him and decided he liked him when Rose had told him about Alec and thought that after all he had been through, a failed case through no fault of his own, a really bad divorce and almost dying from a heart condition, he had come through a lot but had bounced back, just like Rose had done and they both deserved some happiness and had somehow found each other and the fact that Alec Hardy resembled The Doctor was an added bonus although Rose was in denial about it but Alec himself knew about it and it had not deterred him in the slightest, much as Jackie had not been deterred that he himself looked like her dead husband from twenty years ago and she looked like the wife he had lost to the Cybermen. He had already split from his Jackie but he would never have wished such a thing on her or anyone else and had found this one to be more like his Jackie had been when they first met but this one was a lot more feisty.

They talked for a while longer, Pete telling Alec to call him Pete and said if that's what Rose wanted, he was all for it, providing he got past her mother first which if he passed the Jackie Tyler test, he was one of the family. Alec wanted to know more about Rose's real life since she had been here, not the cover version, Alec told Pete how he had fallen in love with Rose when he'd met her and that they had been inseparable and when she had called on Thursday night, he'd got the last train and that was why Rose had got Jake to bring her to meet him and why they had spent the day in London yesterday, having a special time together and he'd taken her on the London Eye. Pete said he should have let Rose use his name, they would have got a private carriage and they both laughed just as Rose came back in.

While Pete had been talking to Alec, his secretary had brought coffee for Rose and she had braved her mother's chastising for being stupid enough to bring attention on herself which Jackie knew at heart Rose had not been the perpetrator of once Rose explained it had been a small town reporter and a big city one who had it in for Alec and Jackie was soon back on her side asking what her father was doing about it, confident that Pete wouldn't let it go too far. Rose told her Jake and a team were already on to it and they talked for a while, Jackie wanting to know everything about Alec and how he must be special since Rose hadn't had a boyfriend since Mickey and that The Doctor didn't really count.

By the time Rose got off the phone, promising she would bring Alec for dinner but would probably be back before that, she went back to join Alec and Pete, who were laughing over something when she walked back in. Hoping it wasn't about her, Pete got up to let Rose sit next to Alec and he put his arm around her, kissed her cheek and said he now knew everything and if she thought she was going to get rid of him that easily to think again.

Finally, Jake rejoined them with some good news. He had decided for their best interests not to go with the main story of it being The Doctor and not Alec in case they were going back to Broadchurch but had put a story around and papers were now retracting the claims made earlier, blaming a reporter from The Herald who had got a story from a small town reporter who had seen Miss Tyler merely talking with the detective on several occasions. DI Hardy had been asked to make a comment and had made a statement that he had talked to Miss Tyler and it had been grossly exaggerated that he and Miss Tyler were involved but would not be opposed in the future if by chance she was to return as he had learned that she had left Broadchurch on Thursday and he did not know her whereabouts. DI Hardy also commented he was currently out of the town on personal business, visiting an old work colleague and would be returning to work next week as he was currently on leave.

The reports also said that whoever had reportedly seen Miss Tyler entering a hotel in London had in fact seen her with a Dr John Smith, a work colleague and they were merely out for an evening at the theatre and were using the hotel as a base to change and to dine before going to a show and that Dr Smith, who was a consultant at Vitex was very similar looking to Detective Inspector Hardy. Dr Smith was unavailable for comment on his relationship with Miss Tyler. A spokesperson for Miss Tyler said she had been in the town of Broadchurch recently but had returned alone on Thursday and is currently staying at her parents home. When asked about Detective Inspector Hardy, she commented he was a very charming man and they had talked on several occasion and if she ever considered returning to the town, she may indeed look him up but was very disturbed that her privacy had been violated and her team of lawyers would be looking into where the allegations came from that she had a holiday 'fling' with the detective but did say he was rather attractive.

Everyone commended Jake on his invented story, Jake took a bow and said it was all part of the service and it was already on the midday news bulletins and would be in the London evening papers and the Sunday ones and just to make sure the Monday morning ones as well. A team were having 'words' with Ms White and Mr Stevens had mysteriously disappeared from the office of the Broadchurch Echo, Jake insisting they had nothing to do with that.

Jake also said that as a bonus he had sorted out the misunderstanding that Ms White had with Alec and she would no longer be on a personal vendetta against him and he would receive a public apology from her over the case she was still accusing him of failing the family. Alec wasn't surprised that the man knew so much, Torchwood had indeed changed from what he had known about it.

It was now nearly lunchtime and Pete suggested they all went out for lunch and Alec said fine as long as he wasn't going to end up on the front page again. Before they left, Rose wanted to show Alec her office which she supposed now she would be giving up so they arranged to meet Pete and Jake in an hour in reception and they would go with Jake as they still had some of their things in his car and she would gather her personal things and she and Pete would have a talk when they got home as Pete knew once she had made her mind up there was no stopping her.

Chapter 16

Once they were in her office, she locked the door and pushed Alec onto the large leather sofa as he pulled her down with him and began kissing her.

"Rose, I still love you, more than ever but we shouldn't do this here, let's just have a brilliant kissing session, we can make up for it later. Your dad is a very powerful man Rose and so is your friend Jake, I would never have thought they could get us out of that one. Does he really know the Police Commissioner?" Rose nodded. "Well, I'm impressed but there is one thing my sweet."

Rose wasn't interested in talking, she had been denied her morning session and she wanted to get down to business so Alec had to wait to ask his question as she assured him they wouldn't get caught. Alec said he accepted the challenge as he pulled his jeans down and laid back on the sofa with Rose on top of him. Rose was moaning softly as her secretary was in the outer office so she was having to suppress the urge to make more noise so she nuzzled into Alec's neck, making it go red.

They had to make it just a short session but it kept Rose happy until she got him back home, that was if he passed the Jackie challenge which very few men had actually done but she reckoned he was more than a match for her mother. They they sat on the sofa kissing for a bit longer then Rose gathered her things out of her desk, she didn't keep much and Alec asked if her poor secretary worked seven days a week. Rose laughed and said they were two of them, one worked four days and the other three days but she didn't work many weekends but needed someone to take her calls if she diverted them. She said all management had two secretaries and after work hours calls were taken by the security team.

Just as Rose was about to leave, her buzzer went and she was told by her secretary that Mickey was wanting to see her. She wondered how he had known she was in her office, Jake wouldn't have told him but her mother might have done, Jackie wasn't known for being subtle. Rose was just glad he'd not got there twenty minutes earlier when they were kissing, amongst other things. She said to send him in and to let her step-father know she would join him in reception but may be a bit late.

Mickey clearly was expecting Rose to be alone and the look on his face when he saw Alec sitting on the sofa was priceless. He did a double take and stood for a minute taking Alec in. Then he laughed.

"What's he doing here? When did he get here? How?"

He had his mouth wide open, gawking as Alec got up and shook his hand.

"You must be Mickey, Rose has told me all about you, I'm Alec."

Mickey found his voice again. "You mean he's not The Doctor? Rose but he looks just like him except maybe the beard but there again, it has been eight years. How can you look like him? Hang on, does he even know?"

"Yes, I know, Rose has told me everything including where you and her mother come from, I'm a Police Detective, I worked most of it out."

Rose was curious because they had been all over the news and the press a few hours ago and Mickey wasn't even bothered.

"Mickey, did you not see or read the news this morning?" Mickey shook his head and said he had a hangover this morning. Rose was relieved but that didn't mean he wouldn't see them or the retraction statement. All she said was "Never mind, you'll see them sooner or later. Alec and I are going out to lunch with my dad and Jake so you'll have to excuse us."

Rose stepped away from her desk and Alec got up to take the box Rose had put on her desk to take with her. Mickey noticed.

"You going somewhere? You're leaving aren't you?"

Rose nodded and put her arm into Alec's free one.

"Yes, I'm going back to Broadchurch with Alec tomorrow. I know I want to be there now. Come round for Sunday lunch tomorrow before we leave but we'll be coming back to get the rest of my things. We really have to go now. Come on Alec, I've got everything I need to take with me and dad hates to be kept waiting. Bye Mickey."

Rose walked out without hesitation, Mickey was no longer her concern, she would remain friends with him if he wanted but doubted it now. She was moving on with Alec and that was all she wanted, her life was with him now but she knew there would be some explaining to do when they got back to Broadchurch. They joined Pete and Jake and arranged to meet at one of Rose's favourite restaurants and once in Jake's car they began to relax, holding hands but got a warning look from Jake not to start anything else in daylight in view they had just averted a major scandal.

After a more relaxing lunch than they had breakfast, Jake got their things from his car and Rose took Alec for the showdown of the century, Alec vs. Jackie Tyler, who greeted her daughter with a hug and a glare at Alec. She had already told Rose off good and proper on the phone so now it was Alec's turn but Pete had sort of warned her that he was a Police Officer so to go fairly easy on him. After the usual mother future son-in-law speech, Alec getting off fairly lightly because Pete had told her on the phone that Alec had already asked him if and when the time was right if he had Pete's permission to ask Rose to marry him but not to breathe a word to Rose about it, Rose took Alec to see the rest of the house and showed him exactly where she had been when the Cybermen had invaded. Alec was full of admiration for Rose after all she had been through and if he could have loved her any more than was already possible, he would have done. They had stopped off to pick up a new shirt and pair of trousers and some more underwear on the way for Alec so after the grand tour and introducing Alec to Tony and giving Tony his present, they went to Rose's room much to Jackie's dismay but there was no amount of nagging that could have been done to split the two of them up.

Once alone in her room, Rose put the catch on the door, something she rarely did but it was mainly to stop Tony from wandering in which he had a habit of doing when he wanted to play at jumping on her bed and Rose trying to catch him which seemed to have been his favourite game recently and she warned Alec she didn't lock her door at night, her dad's orders for security reasons so he had to wear his shorts and t-shirt before they went to sleep and because Tony also had a habit of coming to wake her up rather than wake his mum for her to get his breakfast for him.

Alec said to relax, if Tony came to wake her up in the morning, he would sort him out with his breakfast and kissed her forehead, picked her up in his arms and lay her on the bed, telling her it was too rushed earlier, he wanted to take his time over her this time because now he knew everything and nothing was holding them back, they could relax and enjoy each other. He laid Rose over him propping her up with one arm around her shoulder, he loved watching her face light up with the sheer joy of him touching her as she moved while he kissed her cheek and said he loved her.

As promised, the short lived scandal was put to rest, TV news presenters were laughing it off as nothing more than small town gossip and boredom and apologies had been offered and accepted on behalf of the two of them. Rose explained Alec had been granted full protection by Torchwood when he had been admitted into the building but Pete warned they could only protect him while he was with Rose and if for any reason they drifted apart, it would no longer be the case. Before dinner however, Alec took Pete on one side and said if he wanted to know if he was ever going to leave Rose to think again so Pete patted him on the back and welcomed him to the family.

They had a quiet family dinner, Alec took to Tony easily and Tony couldn't get over the fact that Alec was in the Police, asking him all kinds of questions and Alec could see which parent he really took after. Tony even insisted Alec read him a story and Alec duly obliged the boy and as Rose stood in the doorway watching him talk to her young brother, she loved him even more, especially when he tucked the boy in when he fell asleep and kissed his forehead.

Alec turned and when he saw Rose watching him, he had not realised she had been standing there. He of course wanted to go straight back to her room but Rose had other plans. She took him back downstairs to her dad's study and showed him the security footage of the night the Cybermen invaded. She wanted to show him her involvement, that she really had just been there to get a glimpse of what life could have been like if Pete Tyler really had been her dad when she was growing up. Alec laughed when it had caught The Doctor laughing when the Jackie of that world had called Rose's name and a little dog had come running for which he got a dig with her elbow and she said he was just as bad as The Doctor was.

They went to join Jackie and Pete to talk some more. Rose declared she was going back to Broadchurch with Alec later the next day and they would find a house or an apartment to rent and Pete said for them to just find somewhere they liked and he would take care of the paperwork but Alec insisted he pay the rent and didn't want to appear to be living beyond his means but Rose pointed out that if she continued working, they could get somewhere really nice and no-one would wonder how they could afford it.

Alec agreed but Rose said she would only work from home once they found somewhere and she would carry on her work for Torchwood under the guise of working for Vitex who were interested in opening an office in Broadchurch quite conveniently with Rose being in charge and Pete would set up a complete office giving Torchwood leave to operate in the town. All in all, Alec was very impressed and his earlier fears about the organization had been dispelled but he was going to insist to Rose that they didn't take advantage of her name too much but he doubted she would take much notice.

Jackie asked if they were going to live together to which Pete said that was rather the point of Rose going back with Alec and he'd already given them his blessing and Jackie knew once Rose had made up her mind there was no stopping her. Jackie asked if Rose was going to spend some time with Tony before she left so Alec suggested they took him out for the morning to one of the parks, just the three of them and that when they got settled back in Broadchurch he could come down for a visit.

They all said goodnight and Alec finally got back to Rose's room, locking the door behind them and she told him he was lucky her mother didn't make him sleep in a different wing of the house let alone allowing him in the same room. She did remind him that before they actually went to sleep he was to wear something in case Tony wandered in the next morning and to unlock the door. Pete was very strict about her locking her door at night even though they had high security and regular mobile visits from Pete's own security at Torchwood, ever since the Cyberman intrusion he was paranoid about any harm coming to his new family.

Rose said she really wanted to go soak in a bubble bath after the events of the day, Alec asked if he could scrub her back for her which she thanked him for his offer but really wanted a few minutes to herself, as much as she loved him and said she knew he was in the next room and if she changed her mind, she would call him and said she'd make it up to him by just wearing a towel when she came out.

Alec had been relieved they had finally put Rose's secrets behind them but didn't let on to her that when he had woken up to find himself in the middle of a scandal, he thought things could never be the same between them. He had trusted her and spent all his time with her and he thought it had all come to an end, especially after he was taken to Torchwood and if his love for her had not been strong enough, he would have walked right out after hearing what Pete had to say. Rose had suffered enough heartbreak, not only getting cut off from her own world and never being able to go back but she had lost someone very dear to her and all her friends and family and she had told him that back on her world, everyone she knew thought they were dead and had been killed by the Cybermen.

Then there had been these other metal creatures, Daleks, Pete had said, who Rose in her other life had been terrified of and had encountered them before but Pete had said it was up to Rose if she told him what had happened when she had been travelling with The Doctor and when they got settled with a place of their own, he was going to get her to tell him of every adventure they had been on and every planet they had visited but that could wait. He just wanted to be with her and tell her he accepted everything and that just maybe, the things he used to write when he was a boy weren't as far fetched as he'd thought. Maybe there were other planets and worlds parallel to this one out there and other versions of him but he was the only one who had Rose Tyler, that could never happen, no-one could be that lucky.

While Rose was soaking in her bubble bath, Alec trying not to think of her lying in it but having no luck, he decided to be brave and switch his phone back on and call the only person who might actually talk to him if she wasn't annoyed over her nephew. He had received loads of missed calls and messages, mostly from his boss from first thing this morning then later to say to forget what she had said and he wasn't fired. He was supposed to be keeping a low profile after the case last year and he wasn't doing a very good job at it but apart from that, just journalists who had happened to get hold of his number, probably from Ms White but she had been suitably dealt with and hopefully he would never cross paths with her again, one of the perks of tangoing with Pete Tyler's step-daughter.

He dialled Ellie's number but she didn't pick up but it was quite late, after ten and she might have gone to bed so he just left her a missed call instead of a message in case she had disowned him but he wondered what had happened to Olly Stevens though since Jake said they hadn't even got to him. Why would a promising junior reporter risk his career to print a sleazy sex story about a prominent Police Detective and a high profile heiress of a multi-million pound empire and risk the wrath not only of himself but of Peter Tyler? Olly knew exactly who Rose was, why get himself into trouble with one of the most powerful men in the country?

Pete had friends in very high places, on the night the Cybermen had invaded, The President himself had been there and Alec had seen him die in front of his eyes along with everyone else until the camera had gone off but it was career suicide on Olly's part to even think about printing a story about Rose and why bring Karen White into it? Was her hatred of him so bad she decided to side with Olly and suggest she wrote the story with him and provide him with information to do it? This had to have been brewing since last Sunday when he'd refused to take the bait and give him an interview but he had been justified in telling the reporter they were just friends because at the time he hadn't known their relationship was going to go this far. Had Olly been so annoyed at getting the brush off that he would stoop so low?

Chapter 17

Alec's thoughts were interrupted when the door to Rose's en-suite bathroom opened and his beautiful Rose stood there, just barely wrapped in a towel, drying her hair with another towel, bare feet and looking very seductively at him. He took his shirt off and crossed from where he was sitting on the bed, tossing his shirt onto the chair and took the towel she was drying her hair with and began rubbing her hair and kissing the back of her neck, whispering how sexy she was looking as she moved her head to one side so he could kiss all the way down her neck.

She told him she needed to brush her hair or it would get all knotted so he put his hands on her shoulders and walked with her over to the dresser and sat her down at the mirror. Letting her pick up her brush and start on her hair, he began to kiss her back and shoulders that weren't covered by the towel, which was a fair bit while she finished and when she put her brush down, he moved his hands, which had still been on her shoulders, down her front and started unwrapping the towel and Rose moved over on the stool she was sitting on and made room for him as he sat down and she moved onto his lap.

The towel was unwrapped after he put his arms around her back and behind her legs and picked her up and carried her over to the bed, laying her down gently across the bed and removing his jeans. Deciding to torment her, he left his shorts on and asked her where she kept her clean underwear and cami tops and told him the top drawer of her dresser. He got them out and went back to her and put the top over her head, pulling it down over but not her tummy, while Rose put her underwear on and pulled them up.

Alec moved onto his back and started pulling his shorts down, Alec stopping her. Rose scowled at him but he put his finger to her lips as she was about to protest and she took his finger and put it in her mouth, both laughing.

Before they finally fell asleep, Alec unlocked the door after making sure they both had some clothing on and as Rose settled on her side to nestle into Alec when he said it wasn't a good idea to let Tony find her asleep on top of him and it was only for one night, he wasn't going anywhere and said he would play with Tony and get his breakfast if he did come in. Rose said it would be when he came in, not if. Rose however didn't find it easy to get to sleep even though she didn't want to worry Alec, she was going through the harrowing events of the day and how easy it had been to cover them up but what if she hadn't had the luxury of such an influential step-father?

There again, no-one would have been interested in her so nothing would have happened. She also took the time to reflect on the events of the last week, had it only been a week since she met Alec, the man she was deeply in love with? It had seemed longer. She was just drifting off to sleep when she heard her name being called but Alec wasn't moving except making that funny little noise that she loved hearing if she just happened to fall asleep after he did. Normally she fell asleep first and he said she wrinkled her nose when he told her she made a funny little noise.

Alec was asleep but she could still hear her name being called and reached out in her mind to answer, knowing it wasn't her imagination. It had to be The Doctor, reaching through the void, there was no other explanation, she was not asleep. Somehow he had made contact with her and if three months in that was three years here, the eight years wasn't even a year for him and he was still able to reach out and there must still be a tiny crack somewhere for him to get through, not enough for a projection but directly into her mind due to the Bad Wolf virus that must have remained in her somewhere.

She reached out and said "Doctor, I can hear you."

"Rose, you can hear me, you must be in your room at the Tyler mansion. I've been working on tuning in to that area but I couldn't get through, until now. You must have been away. How are you?"

"I'm talking to myself in my mind, how do you think I feel?" she laughed. "Seriously, how is this even possible? Is some of the Bad Wolf virus still inside me? How long have we got?"

"There's a tiny crack, not enough for anything to get through, just my thoughts tuned into yours and we can talk as long as you want, while you're in your room. I missed you Rose and I never got to finish what I was going to say but while you were taking your time to answer me, I know now that you've found someone, which is quite right. You deserve to be happy and knowing me, I probably at some point arranged for you to meet him, I believe he looks like me and he knows everything. Alec Hardy is a good man and I know he loves you. It's not been long for me but a lot has happened Rose, things you wouldn't have approved of, bad things but everything worked out in the end. I was travelling with someone and she got the wrong idea because I hadn't got over you but she's gone now, I'm on my own again. I didn't realise until you'd gone that you loved me and I loved you but it could never have been and now, you've got Alec and you love him, maybe because he reminds you of me. If you don't want me to contact you again, just say. You're going away again aren't you, with Alec, to live in Broadchurch?"

"Yes, I love him and I'm sorry but I didn't know for certain you were going to say you loved me that day on the beach and it has been eight years for me, all that time not knowing and finally I found Alec and I didn't realise he even looked like you until someone pointed it out to me but he knows everything now and he still loves me. Can't I talk to you apart from being here?"

"No, I'm sorry, it took some time to tune into you here and it was because of something that happened, there was a network of satellites and I tuned myself into it to get free from something, it's hard to explain but when I did, I found a side effect was there had always been a tiny gap left and I just didn't have a way but now I have. Now I'm going to work more on it and it will probably be me that arranges for you to meet Alec Hardy. You know how it is, all wibbly wobbly timelines and things and since you're not in this universe, I'm not really interfering with the laws of time but even if I was, there's no-one else to stop me. Since there's such a time difference between the two universes and all, it's not all that long since you left. Got into trouble again last Christmas though, you know me but met someone called Donna and she was brilliant. She lost her fiancé though but she's good, gone travelling the world, had the sense to turn me down and Jack, well he turned up again, he was fine after we left him, he was glad to hear you were okay and he's running this world's Torchwood from a base in Cardiff, on top of the rift of all places, right where we landed the Tardis when we stopped to refuel that time, would you believe it? And best of all, it turned out that in the future he turns out to be The Face of Boe! I'm not boring you am I or keeping you awake?"

"No, of course not, it's just a lot to take in, hearing from you again when I felt abandoned. I know why Pete came after me when I went back to help you, he never told me why, I thought it was because my mum nagged him but it wasn't, Alec worked it out and even when I told him about our Torchwood and where I came from, he still loves me. You did arrange for me to meet him, in your future because there is no way anyone would have listened to all that and stayed. I wasn't even planning on going to Broadchurch, I could have ended up anywhere but I did and I met him within an hour of arriving and now I can't live without him. Now we're going back to start a life together but I'll always love you, Doctor and I'll never forget you and the next time we come back here will you know I'm here somehow and contact me again?"

"Of I will Rose and I won't forget you either, even if I regenerate again, I'll still contact you until you tell me to stop and maybe I'll find a way to do so even when you're not here. Now I know about Alec, I won't worry about you being okay, I know he'll look after you and treat you properly. How did your mother react to him? Did she slap him?" he laughed.

"No, actually, I think she realised she wouldn't get away with it, him being in the Police. We go back tomorrow, we're going to find a house and maybe some day, have a family but for now, just enjoy being together without me having to keep secrets from him. Thank you. I love you."

"No, thank you, Rose Hardy – oops, sorry, Tyler but one day, maybe next time we talk, you will be or maybe you already are, timey-wimey and all that rubbish. Take care Rose, you saved me in so many ways and I got you into this so it's the least I can do for you, make sure you're happy. Best not tell Alec about our little chat, he still might cart you off to a nice padded cell somewhere. This time I'll say goodbye properly. Rose Tyler – I love you, love Alec the way you do me."

Just as suddenly as it had started, the voice disappeared and her mind was empty again although she still remembered every word that had been said, he hadn't forgotten her or abandoned her, he had made sure she would find happiness and it had taken so long because of the time difference and she should have realised that. She couldn't help it as she found tears in her eyes and realised she had woken Alec as he suddenly turned to face her asking what was wrong. She couldn't tell him but he did deserve to know but not now, she just wanted him to hold her.

"Sweetheart, what's wrong? It's not over all that this morning is it? Try to forget it Rose, it's all over with now. Go back to sleep, please my love, I'm worried about you."

He laid on his back again, pulling her with him and said for her come and lie on him and he wouldn't go to sleep until he was sure she was and would turn her back gently so Tony wouldn't find her on top of him in the morning.

Rose realised just how lucky she was to have him, he always thought of everything and in the short time she'd known him, she loved him more every day and knew now he had a lot of The Doctor in him and that was why she had found him and been attracted instantly to him. She drifted off to sleep and Alec gently moved Rose as promised and kissed her cheek, whispering he loved her.

Sure enough, bright and early for a Sunday morning, Tony, who was going through his bouncing stage, bounded in and pounced straight on to Alec as he was lying where Rose usually was and wasn't at all perturbed by the fact Alec grunted instead of Rose telling him to get off and tickling him, Alec popped his head up, got up, grabbed him and tickled him instead causing Tony to let out a loud giggle as Alec shushed him and told him not to wake Rose as he got out of bed, lifted Tony back onto the floor, putting his finger on his lips and indicating for Tony to do the same. He put his jeans on and took the boy's hand and led him out of the room, not knowing that Rose had opened her eyes and was smiling as they walked out.

He followed Tony to his room and helped him get dressed then asked him to show him the way to the kitchen and what he wanted for breakfast. After pouring milk on the boy's cereal, he put the kettle on and put some bread in the toaster and was going to go take some to Rose after he'd had something to eat, hoping Jackie or Pete would come down and look after Tony or he would take the boy back to his room but luckily, Pete wandered in after seeing Tony's room was empty and thought Rose would be with him and was surprised when he saw Alec talking to the boy and eating scrambled egg on toast and drinking tea. He patted his son on the head and ruffled his hair and sat down next to Alec and asking Tony if he wanted Rose and Alec to take him out for the morning.

Tony was excited at the prospect and couldn't wait although it was still only just after eight and was told he'd have to wait until his sister got up and had her breakfast which Alec got up to do, retrieving a tray to put everything on and then telling Tony to be ready for ten. Pete asked him how they planned getting to the park with what was a good twenty minute car ride away and said Alec could borrow a car and would get Jake to send someone round with one that he could also use to get himself and Rose back to Broadchurch and use it to get all that Rose needed to take with her and come back to get the rest when they had found a place to live and he would have all the paperwork made out to him as if it was a hire car to avoid any awkward questions as to where it came from. Alec thanked him and Pete just said he was part of the family now and would be treated as such.

He finished making Rose her breakfast and tried to remember his way back to her room, taking a wrong turning and bumping into Jackie in the process but she smiled when she saw the tray, telling him it was sweet of him to take Rose her breakfast but hinted she might get used to it if he wasn't careful. Alec said he didn't mind, he just wanted to make her happy and was pointed in the right direction before the food went cold. He put the tray down to open the door and Rose wasn't in bed and he hoped she hadn't gone downstairs but he heard water running in her bathroom and called out he had brought her breakfast.

She came out, still in her top and underwear, looking as gorgeous as ever he thought and she took some toast, teasing him but he shook his head and said he'd eaten and given Tony his breakfast and said Pete was loaning him a car so they could drive back to Broadchurch later as well as take Tony out. After her breakfast, Rose was complaining she had not had her morning snog but Alec reminded her they were going out and when he saw the look in her eye, he knew she meant it so he locked the door and gave in to her telling her she had better not get any ideas that she was going to be the boss when they got back but he already knew he would nearly always give in to her when it came to the bedroom or anywhere else she wanted to snog but was determined where everything else was concerned, he would be in charge.

They were downstairs just before ten, Tony running up and down wanting to go, his mother reminding him no sweets or ice cream before twelve and a strict warning to the two of them not to let him get his own way, for whatever good that would do and to be back before two for lunch. The car Pete promised was waiting outside, a black newly registered SUV, all paperwork duly in Alec's name from a legitimate London car hire company, in reality a subsidiary of Vitex and on long term lease. Alec of course didn't have to pay for it but it had to look good if a closer inspection of his accounts was to be ordered for any reason and Pete told him not to worry about it.

They had a great morning out with Tony and for the second time, Alec had to give in and go on a boat, Tony sensed something was wrong when he was reluctant and Alec said he didn't like boats much but when Tony took his hand and said Rose always held his hand when he was scared and he could hold his and Rose's hand, Alec just smiled and agreed. Then they took him on the swings and finally for a cold drink before they went back to the car, managing to keep Tony from getting sweets before he went back for his lunch.

As they were sat outside the park café, Alec was talking to Tony about how he was doing at school, Rose was watching the two of them, how they had bonded and thinking it was a shame Alec had never had any children of his own and decided that when he eventually brought the subject up, she wouldn't deny him a family, how could she, he'd make a great dad when the time was right.

Chapter 18

Tony didn't want to leave but when they got back in the car he was talking non-stop to Rose and she was sad she was leaving him but was going to ask Alec if he could come and visit before the end of the summer holidays, providing they had found somewhere. When they got back home, Tony excitedly told his mum what they'd done and told her he had to hold Alec's hand because he was scared of going on a boat, which amused Jackie no end and Rose knew he would never hear the end of that now. They had some time before lunch so Rose wanted to make a start choosing what she was taking with her and suddenly realised they would have some explaining to do to Becca when she went back. She contemplated booking into a different hotel and Alec would keep his room at The Trader's but stay with her but he said it wouldn't matter where they stayed it would be the same and it would all blow over soon anyway.

So while Rose went to pack, Tony wanting to help her, Alec rang the hotel and checked that if he was paying for a double room he was entitled to have someone else with him and Becca already knew who he was talking about and just said there was no point in denying that he had gone after Rose Tyler and was bringing her back and said it made no difference to her but she couldn't guarantee people wouldn't still talk about them in the dining room. Alec thanked her and said they would be back tonight and tried ringing Ellie again but she still wasn't answering him and had to assume she had finally taken her nephew's side and had fallen out with him even though she had warned him. He thought about checking how Rose was doing but thought she needed some time with her brother.

Mickey decided to put in an appearance after all and had accepted Jackie's invitation and Jake arrived as well and Tony always got giddy when his uncle Jake was around and had him chasing him all over the house until he was caught and carried under Jake's arm to the dining room and everyone was laughing. Rose said she was going to miss their Sunday lunchtimes together and Tony asked what was wrong. He went running out of the room when Rose said she was going away and she was going to go after him but Pete got up and went after his son and said he would explain it to him in a way he would understand.

Pete came back with him and Tony was crying, saying Rose was being mean and leaving him as they tried to explain that Rose wasn't going away forever, she would be back and he could go visit her whenever he wanted to and Alec went up to the boy, knelt down to him and put his arm around him and said he was going to look after Rose and they were going to live by the sea where Rose would be happy and he could come down for holidays to stay with them.

The boy stopped crying and looked at Rose who got up and hugged him, Alec got up and put his hands on the boy's shoulders as Rose pulled him to her, Jackie was about to get up but Pete stopped her as Rose told him she would never leave him forever, it was just for a while. Tony pulled away and looked at his sister, then at Alec and stopped crying but ran to his mother's side and climbed onto her. He soon forgot about it and went back to his seat after being reassured by Jackie that Rose would never leave him and that Rose was just going to live with Alec, throwing a glance at him for taking her daughter way.

Rose went to finish packing and Alec was about to join her when he was confronted by Mickey who wanted to know exactly how he had met Rose and why she was going back to live with him. Alec was a bit annoyed that Rose's ex boyfriend from another universe was challenging his intentions towards her. Alec reminded Mickey who he was, a senior Police Officer who didn't have to answer to him and for the sake of Rose he was prepared to let it go. Mickey wasn't going to let him, telling Alec he had looked out for Rose since they came here and wasn't going to let her make any mistakes in choosing the wrong man but Alec wasn't one to beat around the bush and told him it was none of his business, that Rose could choose anyone she wanted to be with and that she had chosen to be with him and he intended to take great care of her. Mickey wasn't going to let it rest however, he'd read up on what had happened the day before and told Alec he hadn't been even able to protect her from a local newspaper and that Pete Tyler had to intervene.

Alec was getting beyond annoyed with this and said Mickey was wrong, Rose had got them out of it by calling Jake, not her step-father because she had felt responsible and that she had warned him what her life was like, that she was always in the news and despite her continual doubts about keeping them out of the media, he had chosen to stay with her, even when she had come back to London and she had only been here half a day when she had got him to come down to be with her and he'd got on a train late at night to be with her when she had called because Mickey had been upsetting her.

Mickey was loosing steam now, he knew he wasn't going to win this. He had lost Rose a long time ago, before they came here and he'd hoped for eight years she might finally come back to him but as long as there was anyone who even remotely looked The Doctor, he knew there was no chance and now she had found Alec Hardy he was chasing a lost cause. He did the only thing he could do, told Alec that he had better look after her because she had already had her heart broken once since being here and he had been there for her and Alec had better not make it a second time. He held out his hand to shake Alec's and not being one to hold a grudge, well not all the time, for the sake of Rose, he took it.

He left Mickey and was about to go find Rose when she was just coming to the top of the stairs saying she was nearly ready to go and had two heavy cases to bring down and was about to go get him and Jake to help her with them and a few other things such as her laptop and another bag of bits and pieces. Jake must have read her mind because he appeared behind Alec and put his hand on his shoulder and joked that if Rose wanted something bringing downstairs, then that's what would happen and was upstairs before Alec was. They loaded everything into the car and Rose said her goodbyes, giving Tony an extra hug telling him she would see him soon and Alec programmed the satnav with the address of the hotel and they waved goodbye.

They made good time and were back in Broadchurch by seven, going straight to their room and leaving her unpacking to get something to eat, Becca welcomed Rose back telling her not to worry about the locals too much and she had read the papers and thought the story was fairly accurate having seen the two of them together to which Alec had said thank you very much to her and Rose had let out a giggle, getting a frown from him. They just got a bottle of wine and went to what was now their room and had a couple of glasses each and celebrated being back together properly.

Alec said he was going to dispose of the tent and the mattress but Rose said they should keep for if they got a house, they could put it up in the garden or if they got a house down by the sea so he agreed but he said no more afternoons on the beach. Rose sulked and said they should go at midnight instead, making love by the moonlight as it was still warm at night, they could load up the car and drive down the coast to a deserted cove but Alec said they should wait until all the fuss died down, he still had to face going back to work.

Rose said she would start looking for a house the next day but was going to get the train down to Dorchester in case she was recognised and Alec said he was going to keep the car at the hotel as he got driven around anyway which was why he had never got around to getting one since he had been there. They weren't going to be restricted to a price range and Alec would explain if he was questioned about it that Rose was working and everyone knew who she was anyway so there wouldn't be too many. It was doubtful the press would tangle with the Tyler family for a good while except for anything that was really newsworthy and Alec was going to pay a visit to the editor of the local paper to find out if Olly Stevens was working alone but was sure he wouldn't be welcome there.

They were both tired after their journey so Rose just unpacked what she needed to avoid getting creases in her dresses, Alec trying to persuade her to leave it and go to bed by hindering her to which she said the more he did, the longer it would take, turning round and teasing him by unbuttoning his shirt and kissing him so he took his trousers off and lay on the bed watching her. She sat down for him to unzip her dress as he kissed her back as he took it off.

In every way, making love with Rose was special and he liked to take his time although sometimes when he must, he could be persuaded to make do with whatever time there was. They both had things they needed to talk about but it was all lost as soon as he lay Rose down.

Rose soon fell asleep, Alec had promised that after last night he would make sure she was asleep before he was, wondering what exactly had disturbed her. He hadn't told her about his conversation with Mickey earlier but he was still her friend and looking out for her and by the way he acted, he could tell that was the reason why she had chosen not to go back to him even though she had lost the man she loved, Mickey was still out of her league and while they may have gone out together in the other universe, Rose had been young.

Alec was still tying to come to terms with the fact Rose had loved this Doctor and it had not been reciprocated but if Rose had stayed in her own universe, they may well have got together and she had promised Alec that they had never been involved but she had wanted to be. Being told you are almost the exact image of a man you loved but didn't love you back in that was a little disconcerting to say the least but that's how love was sometimes and maybe this Doctor did actually love her but had never realised until he'd lost her and had indeed left it too late to say it. Maybe when they had been cut off he had said it out loud but she never got to hear.

Alec realised that maybe somehow, The Doctor, on realising Rose was stranded here had, when he had been waiting for her to get to him, made sure that she would come to Broadchurch and find him, knowing how much he, Alec, looked like The Doctor and from what he'd been told, if The Doctor could really travel through time, it would have been within his power to arrange it all. He knew a part of Rose would always love The Doctor and he could live with that because he was the one she was with and made love to every night.

The next morning, Alec wasn't looking forward much to going back to work so he woke Rose gently, wanting to be with her before he got ready for work and they got a few stares when they went to breakfast. Alec wanted to set off early to go across the street to the newspaper office first and got a few glares as he and Rose said goodbye in the hotel lobby, saying they'd meet for lunch. As Alec walked over the street, he really wondered what would await him.

He walked up to the desk and was just about to ask for the editor, Maggie Radcliffe, when she saw him and beckoned him to her office. He didn't know if she was going to be angry at him or not but it wasn't his fault that her star reporter had made an idiot of himself and gone after the step-daughter of one of Britain's leading influential figures. Maggie ask him to sit, which made him feel uncomfortable and wished he had brought Rose with him but he had to sort this out, prove he could at least handle the local press. It wasn't as bad as he thought it was going to be though, it turned out she was just as annoyed about Olly as he was.

She told him he had mentioned at the beginning of last week he had seen Alec with Rose and found out who she was after he told Maggie he thought it was Rose Tyler and Maggie had told him to leave it, that if Miss Tyler was on holiday, he should respect her privacy as being on holiday wasn't really news and even when he'd told her she was with Alec Hardy, there was still no real story and had been told to drop it, especially when he'd told her he had photos and she had warned him again to back off. Maggie said she thought he had done until she herself saw the news on Saturday morning and had been astounded to think Olly was capable of doing such a thing.

A detective who had led a murder investigation and been the star witness at the trial and had been big news yes but not that the same detective was the middle of a sex scandal which wasn't really a scandal since neither of them were married and free to see whoever they wanted and to dig up a story about them for no reason than to get revenge on Karen White's part of it. Maggie had been angry to say the least and her phone had never stopped ringing on Saturday with enquiries as to the whereabouts of Olly, who seemed to have disappeared which she said was just as well when she got her hands on him for bringing this to her newspapers' doorstep.

She told Alec she had issued a full disclaimer in the recent edition and handed Alec a copy which was due out later, which he read and said he accepted as clearly she had nothing to do with it in the first place which he didn't think she would have. As for Olly, he was still nowhere to be found and Maggie had tried his home and his mother or Ellie Miller didn't know where he was and Maggie had phoned Karen White and told her what she thought of her as she still disliked her from when she'd had the nerve to ask for a desk when she had first arrived in the town last year.

Maggie had it on good authority that Miss White was back to writing press releases again and couldn't understand why the article had been released in the first place, it wasn't like Miss Tyler was doing anything really wrong by seeing a Detective Inspector whilst on holiday, who she chose to spend her time with was up to her. After all, what could photos of two people on a beach in broad daylight prove they were doing anything especially as no faces were clearly seen and Maggie could only surmise that Olly had either been going to blackmail the two of them or try to boost his career and he'd made a bad judgement call which had effectively ended his career.

Alec thanked her for her time but before he left, she asked him if he would care to comment of the whole sorry mess but he just politely smiled and said he didn't talk to the press and had already released an official statement. So he went off to face the music at work, stopping first to see his boss before he went into his office but she didn't have much to say except he must have friends in high places which meant somewhere along the line, everyone in the station had been told to drop it, including her and there would be no repercussions about it.

As he opened the door to the main office no-one even stopped to look at him and even his DS never said a word when they got called out, just chatting normally as they would do about the case and a few other topics which lately they had begun to discuss as Alec found this replacement for Ellie Miller was easier to get on with since he was also new to the area, newly promoted to DS and not felt like he'd been cheated out of a promotion and Alec had not stolen his job.

He made sure he was back for lunch to meet Rose and tell her what had happened in the newspaper office but he got a message from her to say she had gone down to Dorchester and was going to be a bit late as she had seen some properties advertised on a website and was going to go ask about them so he told her not to worry, he would see her when she got back and if any of the properties were worth a look at to arrange to go see them and to meet him across on the harbour quayside at six and they'd get a drink at the pub.

Chapter 19

When Rose had kissed Alec goodbye that morning, she asked Becca for the password for internet access and Becca had asked her about what had gone on to be all over the news with Rose saying it had all been blown up out of proportion and that it had started as them just being friends and had evolved but she had been away over the weekend to think about it and had decided to come back with him after all and live in the town and they were looking for somewhere to live. So Rose went back upstairs and searched for property to rent in the area and saw a few she liked and made her way to the railway station to go register at the letting agency in Dorchester using both of their names at Alec's insistence.

She was going to take a little longer than she thought though and sent Alec a message saying she loved him and wouldn't be able to make it for lunch and got a message back so after she finished at the agency, making arrangements to go see two apartments and a house in Broadchurch over the next few days, she decided to do a little shopping before getting the train back then made her way to the station, planning on getting changed when she got back to the hotel and meeting Alec as arranged.

She was sat on the train and suddenly felt uneasy as everyone could hear a strange noise and a few minutes later, the train ground to a halt in the middle of nowhere and the guard made the usual announcements and assured people the train would resume its journey shortly. People were talking, worried about possible trains behind them catching up with them which didn't help until a man chirped up that trains do have radios and the guard was probably already warning other drivers as well so everyone calmed down.

Rose was regretting having her last cup of coffee before getting on the train as she hated using train restrooms and having to take all her shopping with her so she asked a woman opposite to watch her carrier bags while she went to the loo and followed the sign for the restroom and was dismayed it was already occupied. She stood a few minutes, wondering if there was another one on board but since there were only three carriages she doubted it and was about to think the sign was faulty when the door opened and a man came out who just looked at her and Rose was desperately hoping the window was open and was relieved it was. There was no sign of the train making any progress and since another train hadn't yet crashed into the back of this one it was safe to assume that the one behind had been alerted.

Rose didn't hang around in the restroom but as she came out, the man who had been in before was still there and Rose thought he must have left something behind and was waiting to get back in but as he came towards her, she began to panic as the restroom was tucked away out of sight of the main compartment. The man grabbed hold of her and began to push her back into the small compartment as Rose struggled but he had a grip on her but just as he was about to try and close the door, she gave him a swift kick on the ankle and freed herself, he bumped into the sink and she fled back down towards the guard shouting someone had tried to attack her.

The guard immediately came to her to ask if she was alright and Rose said she was and told him what happened and she followed him back to the restroom but the man wasn't there and they walked all the way to the first compartment but there was no sign of him until they got to the last seat before the driver's door and the man was sat with a newspaper held up to his face and as they approached, the man had the nerve to ask what was wrong but Rose knew it was him, she had got a good look at him twice but when the guard said Rose had accused him of attacking her in the restroom, the man said it was ridiculous and he had never left his seat but a woman behind them said he was lying and he had just returned to his seat.

The guard got on the radio and called the transport Police for someone to meet them when they got to Broadchurch and indicated for Rose to step aside and told the man to get up and marched him towards the back of the train to put him in the empty driver's compartment he had been using. Rose followed and collected her things she had left and caught up with the guard who had just closed the door and asked her if she wanted to make an official complaint as the train that had come to rescue them had just arrived on the opposite track to take them back to Broadchurch where anyone going beyond there would find a replacement train waiting for them and a team was on the other train to assist passengers.

The guard unlocked one of the doors manually and people began to gather their belongings and the driver of the other train aligned one of the doors so people could step across safely without harm and the guard also explained what had happened to the replacement guard from the other train and was informed that a mechanic was already working on the train and a message came through that transport Police were waiting and Rose requested that DI Hardy was to be informed as in all the confusion she hadn't been able to call him and it would be better if he was informed officially and she planned to call him once safely on the other train.

Once everyone was transferred however, her phone rang and it was Alec wanting to know if she was okay and he was almost at the train station and would be waiting for her when she arrived. The replacement train set off on the wrong side of the track until they came to a switchover point a mile or so further down the track and ten minutes later they arrived at Broadchurch, transport Police prominently on the platform. Alec was amongst them, saying it was his girlfriend who had been the intended victim and flaunting his authority as a senior Officer that he would greet Miss Tyler and accompany her for questioning.

Officers boarded the back of train and the other passengers were allowed to disembark first, Rose sitting at the back accompanied by the guard who unlocked the door where the man was being held and as soon as Alec appeared, she got up and fell into his arms as he held her tightly, not caring that Officers were leading the man off the train and the man was looking at her, probably regretting he'd even attempted such a thing when he saw Alec's ID badge.

Alec took her things and helped her off the train and put her into the car he had come in and drove her to headquarters and to the annexe that housed the transport Police where she just had to make a statement and since she had sustained no real injuries except shock she was free to go but they charged the man with attempted assault and it turned out it was not his first time and his last victims had not been so lucky but this was the first time he had been caught despite having an accurate description of him and the Sergeant in charge commended Rose on her quick action.

It was already after four so Alec signed off and took Rose as promised for a drink at the pub and although he had heard the story once, he made her tell him it again as he sat with his arm around her telling her she was brave to tackle the man. Rose said she had suspected him the moment she had come out of the restroom but had been caught off guard at suddenly being pushed back in. She said that several times before she had come here she had been pushed into restrooms of various pubs in London and had fought her way out and kicking one or two blokes where it hurt and Alec knew she meant in her old life in the other universe and smiled at her saying he wouldn't like to be on the receiving end.

After getting back to the hotel, Alec showed her everything was okay between them as Rose melted at his touch and after dinner, Rose had been going to tell him about the properties they were going to look at and about the other night when The Doctor had contacted her but decided to leave it, she just wanted to be with him but she still needed to tell him about it.


They went to look at properties to rent and after another week at the hotel, found one they both liked near the sea and were moved in two weeks later, having to wait for furniture and carpets to be delivered. Rose went back to working from home for Torchwood and finally told Alec about being able to contact The Doctor and Alec thought he really wanted to believe her but that she had just been dreaming it and as promised, Tony came down for a week, Jake took him down and Rose and Alec took him back up on the long bank holiday weekend but he hadn't wanted to leave but he had to go back to school.

During her visit home, Rose was able to contact The Doctor again and this time, he told her he had indeed arranged for her to meet Alec and knew she was happy with him but he told her time for him had moved on because he had already met up with Donna again and had some adventures with her but she had left, not going into any details but he had gone forward in time and had been given a prophecy that his time was ending, meaning he was going to regenerate and Rose was horrified.

He said it could be some time yet and he wasn't just going to give in to it, he would fight to stay as he was as long as he could and Rose said he had better. She asked if he would still contact her if he did change and he said he would, if she still wanted him to but he hadn't yet found a way to contact her outside her room at her parent's home. She told him she would love Alec to be able to talk to him but he said it wasn't possible, he had to concentrate just to talk to her.

After they got home, telling Alec that The Doctor had contacted her again and him realising maybe she wasn't dreaming it, Alec had booked them a week's holiday in Majorca at a holiday resort for mid September and on the last day, Alec had taken her out and he asked her to marry him. Rose had not hesitated and had told him yes before the words had hardly got out, phoning her mother when they got back home and that they didn't want a big wedding but Rose knew her mother wouldn't settle for anything less knowing her and so they had to agree but said it wasn't going to be for a while yet, they wanted a long engagement to get used to it and they had decided on the following March. Rose didn't tell him that she had stopped taking precautions just after their engagement because she wanted to surprise him as he had not said anything to her about starting a family but she could tell when he had been with Tony that he wanted one and had loved their time together when they had taken him out and they visited.

Just before Christmas, which they were planning to spend alone with just the two of them and go to London for the new year, Alec promising to take her to Trafalgar Square for the celebrations, unbeknown to Rose, Pete had got them a private carriage on the London Eye with champagne and chocolates and their own host for as late in the evening as they could get and was keeping hush over it but Rose had some news of her own to tell him with just a little under two weeks to Christmas Day, she had made him a special dinner with candles and wine when he came home one Friday night and told him she was six weeks pregnant. Alec was over the moon as he hugged and kissed her, lifting her up and spinning her around, asking if she was okay and when she had found out. She said she had suspected two weeks ago but was making sure and had just been for a test.

After telling Jackie and Pete, they arranged for her to book a private room at the hospital and for her to be admitted just prior to the actual date and on Christmas Eve, they went out to celebrate and when they got back, Alec had a special gift for her he wanted her to open, a beautifully white bound photo album to put all her scan pictures and photos Alec was going to take of her throughout her pregnancy and of course the birth itself, he wanted to capture and savour every moment of it because he had never though it would be possible for him to have a family and he told her that last year, he had been on his own, just having Christmas dinner with Ellie and her family but opting to work the rest of the time but this year he had booked both holidays off to be with Rose, barring emergencies of course but nothing other than that was going to interrupt his time with her.

A week later, they set off to drive to London for the new year, Tony was excited to see them and as promised, the two of them got a taxi just after nine, Alec had said for her to wear something really nice and had put his best suit on which should have alerted Rose he was up to something and Rose thought the taxi was taking them to the celebrations in Trafalgar Square and was pleasantly surprised when they stopped at the entrance to the London Eye, saying to Alec they'd never get on it when they saw all the people around but Alec went to the VIP entrance and gave the confirmation Pete had handed to him earlier while Rose was getting changed and they only had a few minutes to wait in the VIP area.

Rose laughed when she told him that after all he'd said about not using the Tyler name he had managed to have pulled a stunt like this but Alec said he had made an exception for her and it had been arranged for a long time and the fact she was now pregnant made it an even extra special occasion that needed celebrating and since finding out about her condition that Pete had contacted the management and the champagne had been substituted for non-alcoholic.

The thirty minute ride was filled with Alec continually kissing her and feeding her chocolates as they looked out over London and asking her if she ever missed being there to which she said no because she was with him and that was all that mattered and asked her if she really wanted to wait until March to get married. Rose had grown suspicious of his questioning and knew he was definitely up to something, probably with some help from her parents and when their journey had ended, instead of getting out, Pete and Jackie were waiting for them, along with Jake, a tired looking Tony and the Chief Registrar and his assistant from a London registry office who had been requested by the Lord Mayor of London himself to grant Miss Tyler's fiancé's wish of them marrying at the very peak of the London Eye and the Eye itself was to be stationary during the short ceremony which was why now there was quite a crowd as the news got around that Rose Tyler was getting married shortly and had been confirmed when Mr And Mrs Tyler and their party had arrived ten minutes after Miss Tyler and her fiancé had ascended for their private flight and the other carriages had been emptied one by one as the wheel itself had turned slowly so there were no strangers intruding on the private ceremony.

Alec of course had been fully aware of what was going to happen after mentioning to Pete that the last time they had been on the ride he had wanted to take Rose on it at night so when they had told Pete and Jackie they were getting married, Pete had come up with the idea and had personally arranged it himself, only getting Jake to help with the minor details and the security for the event. Rose couldn't quite take all this in as she sat down while everyone entered, more drinks were brought in as Jackie went to sit beside her daughter, Tony sitting on her knee having been told he couldn't sit on Rose anymore or pounce on her because there was a baby in her tummy which he couldn't understand how one would fit in there and must be folded up or something and Alec went over to speak to the Registrar to confirm a few things and what he wanted to say to Rose in his vows to her.

After a short delay, the wheel began its ascent slowly as everyone got ready, Rose was handed a bouquet by a female attendant and about half way up, Jake, who was going to be Alec's best man, went to join Alec in front of a small table being used by the Registrar and Pete was now sat with a tearful Rose who couldn't quite believe this was really happening. He gave her a quick father – daughter talk, asking her if she was sure about this to which she replied with a firm yes without any hesitation and almost at the peak of the ride, Pete was motioned forward by Jake and just as they got to the top, the wheel stopped gently and Rose joined Alec in front of the Registrar and Pete kissed her cheek and went to join a tearful Jackie and their son.

When it came for Alec to say his vows to Rose, she had tears in her eyes as the man she loved said them to her, telling her how his life had changed for the better since meeting her how thrilled he was they were starting a family and as he placed the ring on her finger, he too had a tear in his eyes that his beautiful Rose was standing there marrying him. Rose was quite unprepared for this, having no time to prepare for it which had probably been for the best in her present condition but Pete stepped forward and handed a ring to her that Alec had picked out and handed to him on their arrival earlier that afternoon while Rose had been talking to her mother and as she placed it on his finger, just said what was in her heart and that she had known since she met him they were meant to be together and he had made her life worthwhile by giving her a child and becoming her husband.

The ceremony had only been just over fifteen minutes and as the Registrar pronounced them husband and wife, one of attendants contacted the flight controller and the wheel began to make its decent as Alec and Rose kissed for what seemed an age to cheering from family and the attendants who were now pouring out champagne and Rose was allowed half a glass to make a toast with her new husband. Pete and Jackie were taking photos, Jake had filmed the ceremony on a digital camcorder and had secretly been filming Rose while she had been waiting, talking to her mum and Pete and had picked up Tony asking when the baby would be old enough to come out, pointing to her still almost flat tummy as she wasn't showing her baby bulge so much yet but Alec had already noticed.

Chapter 20

The wheel descended and as they were almost at the end of the flight, Alec and Rose having signed the register and received their marriage certificate by the time they were ready to alight, Alec taking charge of it, they could hear the crowd cheering as they approached the platform for disembarkation. Flashes of lights could be seen as some keen reporters had heard about it despite Jake having a security team in place but they were being kept a reasonable distance and when the door opened and they prepared to exit, Pete, Jackie and Tony went first, followed by the Registrar and his assistant then Jake, who was still filming the two of them kissing having exited backwards so he wouldn't miss anything. 

Everyone was waiting for the newlyweds to emerge, shouting their names and cheering as someone said they were kissing at the far end of the carriage, which indeed they were and had not noticed everyone except them and one attendant were still on board until they heard a gentle 'excuse me' from him and Jake was smiling to himself. The sound of cameras clicking, lenses flashing as they stepped forward, Pete taking photos of them as they reached the door and they stood there kissing to the sound of the crowds cheering and whistling as Alec scooped her up as he was stepping out and carried her onto the platform, kissing her once more, her arms around his neck.

Jake had his security team clear a path for them, Pete had put Rose's jacket over her shoulders and the two of them led the way to the entrance to a waiting car that Jake had arranged to take them to a top hotel for the night at Pete's expense, nothing but the best for his step-daughter, an overnight bag packed for them along with Alec's special present for Rose and as the driver took them away, they were still kissing in the back seat most of the way to the hotel. 
The hotel manager was there to greet them personally and they were escorted to the honeymoon suite, complete with four poster bed, where flowers, wine and a buffet were waiting for them as Alec carried Rose into the room. The porter left their overnight bag by the door and closed it behind him and Alec put Rose back on her feet although she felt like her feet literally hadn't actually touched the ground since leaving the house earlier.

So instead of celebrating the new year in Trafalgar Square, they celebrated their marriage with Alec feeding Rose the food from the buffet as they laughed, Rose being allowed a glass of wine and as they heard Big Ben chime midnight to start the new year, Alec lifted Rose up and lay her on the four poster bed, handing the gift he had neatly wrapped in silver paper with a red bow and she sat up an opened it to find a beautiful pink silk nightgown and he insisted she let him undress her and put the gown on her, showering her with kisses. 

Once he had slowly undressed her, running his hand on her tummy, feeling lightly where the baby was growing, he leaned over and kissed the spot, telling the baby how much he loved he or she, they had decided not to find out what it was going to be, they wanted it to be a complete surprise but secretly Alec was hoping they would have twins.

They had never been happier as they gently made love in the very early hours of new year's day, Alec was making his wife smile and told her that they were having breakfast in bed, then before they left the hotel in the morning, Jake was having their car sent round and they were driving up to a country hotel in the grounds of a castle for a few days for their honeymoon which meant they weren't going back to the mansion which also meant that Rose wouldn't be able to contact The Doctor and wouldn't be able to tell him she was pregnant and by the next time she got to contact him, he might have changed but how could she tell Alec?

They left the hotel the next morning and made the short journey, Alec booked them into the hotel and although the castle was closed, they walked around the grounds and were told they would be able to go in the following day so they had a relaxing few hours in the spa instead. When they got back home, Rose was going to get all her documents changed to her new name and they had a surprise waiting for them. Pete had negotiated with the owners they were renting the house from to buy it from them and the deeds and legal documents were made out to Rose and Alec giving them full ownership. 

Over time, Rose told him one by one all the places and people that she and The Doctor had met, how he had changed since she had first met him and about Jack and the times she thought she had lost him and Alec listened, never judging her or getting jealous because although he knew Rose loved The Doctor, he was her husband and she was having their child.

Alec was taking extra care of his wife, making sure he kept in contact with her at regular times during the day, meeting her for lunch and went to all her doctor and hospital appointments over the next few months, having two scans and still insisting they didn't want to know, their baby book filling up as Alec added more to it, taking photos of Rose every time he thought he detected she had got bigger. Alec had begun decorating one of the rooms in neutral colours just letting Rose paint where she could reach then one night, when Rose had just gone past six months they had been talking about names and Rose had fallen asleep as Alec said he wanted the baby to have two names and one should be already in the family. 

Then realising he was talking to himself and smiling, he was about to turn off the bedside lamp when he could see Rose smiling and her hand was on her baby bump, he reached over and kissed it and felt a kick which pleased him no end, making a note to add it to the book as he had decided to document everything. Satisfied she was asleep, he settled on his side after turning out the lamp, kissed her cheek and whispered he loved her and put his hand in hers on her tummy.

What Alec didn't know was that finally Rose had made contact with The Doctor.

"Rose, you're having a baby aren't you? I've dedicated all my time to find a way without you being at your parent's house and for some reason it's turned out that the baby growing inside you has heightened your senses somewhat and it had been easier to locate you. What are you having, girl or boy?"

"Alec and I got married, last new years eve, at the top of the London Eye and the baby's due in August. We don't want to know what it is. Are you keeping out of trouble, have you got an new companion?"

The Doctor went quiet and was careful at answering her and she knew something was wrong.

"I've done something that I regret Rose and it went wrong, I've not been back to earth in the present day, I'm now orbiting a nebula and I've been contacted by the Ood. I was supposed to go back to their homeworld but I've been putting it off but I can't much longer and when I do, it means it won't long before I change. Don't cry Rose, you have yours and Alec's baby to think about. We had a good time when we were together I regret not being able to return the love you had for me but that's who I am, I can never get close to anyone because I'll always have to change sooner or later but I could never forget you and I'll always love you. I'll do everything I can to contact you again when you've had the baby but I may not have the same voice."

"Can I see you one last time?" she asked.

"It's difficult enough to even talk to you but if you want to see me, just look at Alec, he'll always look like me, he'll never change and if you ask him, he may shave off his beard. Goodbye Rose I hope the next time we talk you'll have had the baby so I'll know what you had."

"Goodbye Doctor, please don't change."

Rose's mind went silent, she couldn't sense him any more and it woke her. She moved her hand which now could feel Alec was holding and so it woke him, asking her what was wrong. Rose tried to turn to him but found it difficult so he moved as near as he could to her and she leaned into him, crying.

"Please Rose, don't cry. You were contacted by The Doctor again, weren't you?" Alec asked as he switched the lamp back on. 

Rose nodded, her head still buried in his chest.

"It's okay Rose but I know it upsets you every time and I thought he could only contact you when you were at your parents house? Please Rose, tell me what he said."

"Alec, you know I told you he could change his appearance and that he looked different when I first met him?" Alec said yes. "He's going to change again, he knows it will be soon because he's been told and he doesn't want to change, he likes being as he is now, he once told me years ago this had been the best one and he wanted to stay like that but he knows now that he can't and I think something really bad is going to happen to him and he's all alone."

"Rose, he knows you can't be with him, he doesn't blame you for not being there, maybe someone will be with him when he does change but from what you told me, he doesn't have a choice. Rose, you really have our baby to think about now, he wouldn't want you to risk yours and the baby's health getting all upset. Tell me what else he said."

"I asked him if I could see him one last time before he changed and he said to look at you and that you'll never change and to ask you to shave off your beard but I'd never ask you to do that Alec, never."

Alec just held her tightly, kissing her forehead, there was nothing he could say. He had known what he was getting into when he married her and that part of her would never let go of her past life, there would always be something and he could accept that but every time she had been in contact with The Doctor it had upset her and that was the worse part of it because it upset him to see her like that and he couldn't do anything about it. He knew how much she loved him, proving it over and over again, carrying his child but as long as she was in contact, which until now was only when they were in London, he knew it would only continue so there was only one choice. 

He had to tell Rose to tell The Doctor not to contact her any more and it sounded cold and cruel and he hated to have to tell her but it was the only way – that and shaving off his beard because he had a face that Rose loved. Out of billions of people in however many universes, he looked like one person that didn't exist anywhere else and wouldn't exist for much longer and maybe in the time it had taken to contact Rose again The Doctor had already changed because of the time difference, could now be unrecognisable to her and he, her husband was the only one that could keep his image and her remembrance of him alive.

While he was holding her, Rose had gone back to sleep and so Alec decided he was going to do something about the whole thing in the morning, the next day being a Saturday and he was planning on adding some final touches to the newly finished nursery, some murals Rose had found when she was looking around the market and then he would go get the groceries then they'd go for a walk on the beach after lunch. 

He'd banned Rose from walking around the supermarket as she was getting bigger, saying he didn't want her to get stressed so they would make a list of what they both wanted and he'd always bring something special back for her, flowers or chocolates or sometimes something for the nursery and now they were going to stock up on baby essentials.

Alec woke early to get Rose her breakfast as he did every morning even when he was working as he started going in later and most mornings she would join him in the kitchen but he wanted to bring it to her in bed this morning because he needed a serious talk with her and wanted her to be relaxed for what he was about to say to her, to tell her what he wanted her to do. He had never wanted to lay down the law to her, so to speak, they agreed on almost everything and if they didn't, they compromised and on rare occasions if they couldn't compromise, they had a system whereby they took it in turns to give in and be well compensated.

This however, was not going to be one of the times a compromise was going to be reached, this had to be a joint decision and if Rose didn't agree then he didn't know what he would do because he loved her and didn't want to forbid her to sever the only link she had to her old life but it had to be done, for both their sakes but before he asked her to do so, he had to show her he was prepared to do something in return. So he made her breakfast and found she was awake, sat in bed waiting for him as he put the tray over her legs and sat beside her, stroking her cheek and pushing a strand of hair behind her ear.

"Rose, about last night, you fell asleep before I was able say what I wanted. I'd like you to do something for me, Sweetheart, for both of us and you know how much I love you and I really don't want to ask you this." 

He took her hand and put his fingers inbetween hers and looked at her.

"Alec, you know I'll do anything for you, what is it?"

"Rose, the next time The Doctor contacts you, I'd like you to tell him you don't want him to contact you again but before you do that, I want you to have the baby so he knows if we have a boy or a girl, then tell him, I couldn't ask you to stop until you've told him and in return, I'm prepared to do something for you. Finish your breakfast and I'll be right back my love and don't get dressed just yet, there's no rush."

He kissed her forehead and got up off the bed, putting his hand on her legs and running it up and down then blew her a kiss as he went towards the bathroom. She finished her breakfast and wondered what he was up to. She was going to tell him she agreed because if The Doctor changed, he wouldn't have the same charming voice and she wouldn't be able to picture him and she wouldn't know what he looked like.

She wasn't quite prepared for what she was greeted with when Alec came back into the bedroom as she blinked twice to make sure she wasn't dreaming – he had shaved off his beard and looked the exact image of The Doctor, standing in the doorway in just his shorts and t-shirt and as he stepped towards her, he took the tray from her lap, took his t-shirt off and pulled back the bedclothes and climbed in beside her, lay her down and kissed her, running his hand on her tummy, feeling the baby move then kissing her tummy, telling her and the baby he loved them. 

"This is what I'm prepared to do Rose, give you a face you love because I know you can never go back, never see him again and if by some miracle you ever did, he will have changed but I can give you this Rose, I want to because I love you and the baby so much and I hate to see you cry every time you contact him and I know you never really thought that I believed everyone said I looked like him except you, it's because you didn't want me to look like him that you couldn't see it. He knew, that's why he got us together, to give you a chance of being happy and one day, today, to see I do look like him, I knew the moment I saw those photos and I accepted it, now it's time you accepted it and let go Rose, let go of the other universe for good, now you have the face you love."

Chapter 21

Rose tried her best not to cry but couldn't help herself, Alec had been more than patient with her, how could she not see what he was giving her? She had been in denial all this time, she had known Alec for almost a year, the best year of her time in this universe and had made a life with him, married him and was carrying their child made out of their love for each other and now he had done this and he didn't have to. She looked up at him, took his hand in hers and placed in on her tummy as the baby moved and they both smiled. Alec moved over to kneel on the bed beside her and put his head gently on her tummy and tried to listen to the baby's heartbeat, then kissed it and leaned over her face and kissed her lips.

Looking up at him she simply said, "I love you Alec, with or without your beard, you didn't have to do this. You were right in front of me all this time and I didn't see how alike you were and you're right, I wasn't looking because I didn't want to let go of my universe but there's nothing there for me anymore, not if he changes because he will never look the same again and he'll go on long after I'm gone and he'll find someone else, someone else will love him and maybe he'll return that love but I know why he couldn't love me, because he knew I would be devastated when he changed because I'd seen him change once and couldn't watch again when he saw my reaction to his new face. That face is right in front of me now and he knew it and you will always be there for me and our baby. I'll tell him, the next time and I don't think he'll be sad because this is what he intended all along, he gave me you."

She reached up and Alec took her in his arms and they just lay together, Alec's hand on the baby, forgetting everything else. The next two and a half months passed quickly, Rose wasn't contacted but she hardly thought about it, Alec shaved every weekday morning, Rose wouldn't let him at weekends, saying she missed his beard. It was arranged that Jackie would come down when Rose was due to go into hospital and Alec was taking his leave the day she was going in and between them, Rose wouldn't be on her own and she promised him she wouldn't have it without him being there.

The day before she was due to go in, Alec cleared his desk and briefed his replacement as he was taking six weeks leave and the office presented him with a basket of baby things before he left which was totally unexpected and he got a phone call from Ellie. It turned out she was too embarrassed by what her nephew had done and didn't think Alec wanted to talk to her but Brian had told her that Alec and Rose had got married and were expecting a baby any time so she called to congratulate them and she wanted to know what they'd had after the birth.

She didn't know what happened to Olly, he had disappeared and no-one had heard from him again but Alec was still worried because although his editor had erased all data on his computer, he had a feeling that it had been him that had taken those photos and they were still on his phone. He arrived home as Jackie arrived, a driver having brought her down and she settled into her room, giving her approval to the nursery and fussing over Rose.

Rose didn't want her mother to go to the hospital to book her in, she just wanted Alec and so Jackie stayed behind reluctantly and Alec would come back for her in the evening for a visit. Alec was allowed all hours visiting so he stayed as late as he could then went get a few hours sleep as he was assured by the midwife nothing was going to happen. The baby had other ideas. He got a call just after two in the morning to say Rose was going into labour so he put his jeans and shoes on and went to knock on Jackie's door saying he was driving to the hospital and for her to get a taxi and to make sure she locked the door behind her. Jackie mumbled something about couldn't he wait for her but he was already downstairs and picking up his car keys.

Rose was screaming the place down for her husband, saying she wasn't having it without him but ten minutes later he was by her side holding her hand so she took it as a sign to give one last push and they heard the midwife say they had a daughter. Jackie was waiting outside, on the phone to Pete giving him a blow by blow account as Rose was handed her baby, Alec sat on the edge of the bed with her. She was moved back to her room after one or two stitches and Jackie was allowed in, both of them taking photos, Alec to add them to their baby book.

Rose had been home a week, Jackie had gone home and the three of them were alone, a real family, Alec, Rose and baby Keisha, named after her old school friend from her own universe. Alec had been up one night feeding his daughter and trying to get her back to sleep without waking Rose as she was still in the same room with them, Alec had bought a rocking chair for Rose and had just sat in it and began rocking when the baby hushed and he thought that must be Rose's secret of getting her to sleep.

He gently put her back in her cot and took his t-shirt off and got back into bed, slipping his arm around Rose's almost slim waist and had been wanting to get back to their sex life but was waiting for the go ahead as he knew Rose wouldn't wait a minute longer than she had to but maybe not unless the baby was in the nursery, Jake had presented them with a baby monitor.

While Alec had been feeding the baby, Rose had been dreaming about her and Alec finally been able to have sex again when she heard a voice teasing her with, "Rose Hardy, you little minx." The Doctor still had the same voice.

"Where are you this time, are you still hiding in a nebula?"

"No, I've just been to Donna's wedding and I've just seen Sarah-Jane. My time is nearly up Rose, I've been re-visiting old friends and I have one more left to see – you."

"Doctor, please don't go see me in the past, if I see you before I actually meet you, won't it cause a paradox?"

"See. You've learned something. No, you won't remember, I won't let you see my face, I just want to see you one last time, you can't deny me that. Alec shaved his beard? Then you see me all the time, let me have this one time. When I've seen you, it will happen, I'm just holding out for one last visit. So much has happened Rose, things you don't need to know about but know this Rose Hardy, you were the best friend I ever had and I'll always love and remember you. So, boy or girl then?"

"A girl, Keisha, named her after my friend from school, she's a week old and I don't get to feed her at night, Alec gets up, he was there when she was born and you were right, I was denying he looked like you and now I see you all the time. Thank you, I won't forget you but I have to ask you Doctor, please, when you regenerate, please don't try to contact me, Alec thinks it upsets me and so it upsets him but if I need to, can I contact you, even if you've changed?"

"I respect your wishes Rose and really, you don't need me now, you love Alec but yes, if you need but sometimes I go through changes that don't always agree with me and I don't always acknowledge people I've known, it's just a phase I go through, I usually go back to normal later on. Look after your daughter and Alec and don't worry about me. I love you Rose, have a fantastic life."

Rose was about to say she loved him too but he was gone, doing the same to her so he couldn't hear her as he had done to her all that time ago and her mind was empty but she knew he was gone forever now, she had done what Alec had asked her to do and although she was sad after all this time, she knew it was for the best for her and for Alec because it wasn't fair on him and every time she looked at his gorgeous face she knew it was Alec she loved that just happened to look like the man she used to love.

She opened her eyes just as Alec slipped his arm around her waist and she took hold of it and he rolled over onto his side and they slowly began kissing although it was three in the morning, Rose never saying a word to him about the time.

He whispered, "I so want you right now Rose," her hand steering him away from where she was still sore but was allowed everywhere else.

She whispered, "I want you too but we have to wait a few more days but it will be worth the wait, it won't be long before we can be together."

She rolled onto him and they kissed, longing to feel him again as they explored where Alec wouldn't hurt her.

Just as Rose was falling asleep, Alec slipped out to check on the baby, using the coloured night light over the cot and she was fast asleep but moving her fingers and Alec smiled, then got back into bed as Rose snuggled on to him and whispered she had said goodbye to The Doctor and he wouldn't be contacting her again and she had told him she'd had the baby. Alec said he loved her and he was glad the final tie to her old world had now been cut, with the exception of her mother and Mickey and the baby's name.

Making sure she was asleep, holding her in his arms, Alec lay awake a few more minutes, wondering if Rose had in fact imagined all of her conversations with this Doctor because for all Alec knew he had existed in the other universe, he found it incredible that she had contact with him at key points in her life and just as he had asked her to stop contact after the baby was born, it had only taken a week and she didn't seem upset this time, she hadn't cried like she normally did afterwards.

She had never told him the full conversations she'd had with him so he didn't know if she was imagining them or not, maybe it was a comfort to her to think she had contacted him and now she didn't need it any more.

The three of them enjoyed the last of the summer, Rose and Alec were back to having sex at every opportunity that came up after Rose was taking precautions again when she was given the all clear from the midwife although they had been managing quite nicely and before Alec went back to work, they paid a visit to London so Tony could see his niece and still couldn't work out how she had fitted inside Rose.

Rose wasn't contacted by The Doctor while she was there, much to Alec's relief although he never said any more about it. While they were visiting though, Alec whisked Rose off for a few days to Paris, with her parents looking after Keisha and they spent Christmas at home, the new year in London and celebrated their wedding anniversary with Alec pre-booking a private carriage on the London eye again without any help from Pete this time.

After Alec had gone back to work after the new year, just as before, he kept a close eye on his family and was encouraging Rose to take their daughter to a mother and toddler group at the church and she made a few friends who thankfully didn't know who she was. Keisha had just turned six months and was sleeping in the nursery all the time, her parents grateful for Jake's super baby monitor where they could talk back to their child if she woke and Rose was insisting on getting up to attend to her needs during the night after Alec had done the six weeks he was off and the weekends.

One Sunday morning, Keisha was now nine months old and taking a lot of notice, her favourite toy being an elephant Jackie had bought her and she loved Alec reading to her, Rose trying not to giggle when he made the noises and always saying afterwards he looked really sexy in the new rimless glasses he'd just got, they had been out for a walk and were preparing lunch when a knock came on the door so as Rose was occupied with Keisha who was making a mess, Alec went to the door and a man with longish swept back hair, suit and bowtie was at the door.

"Ah, you must be Alec, is Rose at home?"

The man looked a bit flustered Alec thought and he clearly knew who they were.

"Well, yes, she's at home, who might you be then, you seem to know us."

Rose had heard and had picked up her daughter and gone to see what was going on. Alec took his daughter from her and put his arm around his wife protectively as the man spoke again.

"Rose, you've not changed a bit and this must be Keisha, wow how old is she now? She looks like you, same eyes and a bit like Alec I suppose," looking Alec up and down then from the side, comparing him side by side then saying, "Blimey, I didn't realise how thin I was back then, was I that thin Rose, no wonder you fancied Alec, slim and a little bit foxy, eh?" he laughed.

Alec handed his daughter back to Rose, almost ready to throw the man out.

"Aren't you going to invite me in then?" he asked as Alec stepped aside and looked at Rose who suddenly had a look of recognition on her face and also moved aside.

"Alec, it's The Doctor," she said as it dawned on her, putting her daughter back into the highchair and giving her back her elephant as she was protesting.

"Don't I get a hug then Rose Tyler or should I say Rose Hardy?" he said, holding out his arms and looking at Alec who nodded to Rose, who went up to him and hugged him. "Have I changed that much? Mind you, I thought I was a girl when I first regenerated," he laughed, grabbing his hair. "No need to ask how you've been, you two look happy and Alec certainly knows how to take care of you. We've not been introduced properly, sorry, I'm The Doctor, I still think I'm having a conversation with my old self, bit weird really, seeing how you used to look."

He was still eyeing Alec up and down and holding his hands to his stomach. Then he crossed to the highchair and bent down to look at a confused Keisha who was putting her arms up for her dad who was standing behind The Doctor, who began saying something in baby talk and she put her arms down and started laughing.

"Just told her an elephant joke," he said, turning around to Alec who was looking rather miffed that this man could actually talk to his daughter and she understood him. "Some tea would be nice Rose, then we can catch up, how long has it been for you now, nearly ten years? Wow, time flies, ha! made a funny."

Then he realised no-one else was laughing except for Keisha who was talking to her elephant and giving it a hug.

Alec went to make some tea, not willingly as he didn't want to leave Rose as he was still unsure about this man but when he came back in, the two of them were talking about what they used to do and laughing about all the near misses they had and the running and Rose was asking about Jack so Alec relaxed and sat by Rose, putting his arm around her and keeping an eye on his daughter.

He had turned Sunday lunch down in the oven and on the stovetop and listened to the two of them catching up and about the few conversations they'd obviously had when they had contacted each other and Alec knew she had not invented the whole thing to keep her last tie with her old world and hated himself for even thinking she would do such a thing.

"Rose, I know you said not to contact you again but I had this unique opportunity to come through the gap through something that happened and I had to see you and your baby before I went for good. I have two great companions now, Amy and Rory, they're getting married soon and I'll contact Jack somehow and tell him I've seen you. Look at you, all grown up, married, a beautiful daughter and a husband that loves you, how much better can it get? I won't come through again, I promise but I had to see you one last time, to make sure you were happy and I can see you are."

He put his cup down and got up from the chair.

"Do you want to show Alec the Tardis before I go?" he asked Rose.

She nodded and got up, grabbing Alec's hand and he got up and picked up Keisha plus the elephant which she handed to The Doctor for some reason, who simply smiled and patted its head and they all went outside and down the path to where the Tardis was parked, Rose had not heard it landing but was told it was because she wasn't listening for it any more.

They stepped inside and Rose was amazed at how the interior had changed, saying she preferred the coral and he explained when he had regenerated, the ship had been badly damaged and he'd literally been thrown out while she healed herself. They walked back outside, Alec not that amazed on how the inside fitted into the space of a Police Box and could see how Rose had easily been led to such a life when she was younger, it had been an escape from her ordinary boring life and had led her to adventure and danger and a chance to better herself and had ultimately led her here, to this world and had found him.

Alec took The Doctor to one side and thanked him for everything, for bringing Rose into his life and making sure she was ready for what lie ahead and for watching over her all her life. They all said goodbye then Rose and Alec stood back as the Tardis doors closed and Rose turned to her husband and said, "You might want to watch this" as the Tardis made its familiar noise and faded from view. They stood for a while as the dust settled and then arm in arm, with Alec holding their daughter plus the elephant, which she was gently hitting against his head and laughing, they both smiled at her and walked back home.

The End!