Alec Hardy and the school teacher

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Rose Tyler (who never gets back to The Doctor) wants to make a different life for herself.  She qualifies as a nursery school teacher and takes a post in a small town called Broadchurch and meets gruff detective Alec Hardy who doesn't want to be there and then gets involved with her after a one night stand when he thinks she's leaving town. Set in the AU.

Rose Tyler (who never gets back to the Doctor) wants to make a different life for herself.  She qualifies as a nursery school teacher and takes a post in a small town called Broadchurch and meets gruff detective Alec Hardy who doesn't want to be there and then gets involved with her after a one night stand when he thinks she's leaving town. 

Alec Hardy has to go to London to Police headquarters regarding getting cleared of all wrong doing in a case and on his way there, stops at a service station and meets a mysterious woman who he then sees in Broadchurch when he gets back.  He was not looking to make himself at home when he got sent to a small backwater town, he'd never even heard of it but little did he know it was going to change his life when he met the petite and very lovely nursery school teacher Rose Tyler again and gets involved with her after a one night stand when he thinks she's leaving town then he tries to solve the mystery of who she is and what exactly she is doing teaching five year olds.

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Chapter 1

Rose Tyler was tired from all the travelling and there was still more to do. She had taken a break from driving and wished she had taken a coach or the train but was going to need her car. She was pleased with herself, getting qualified all by herself with no help from Pete Tyler and she had not used her influence to get the post at the Broadchurch primary school either and this was her first job. She pulled into the service station car park, it was quite busy, another large black car was following her while she was looking for a space and it reminded her of a Torchwood car and hoped Pete hadn't sent someone to secretly follow her.

She found a space, a bit further away from the facilities and the black car pulled up at the side of her. Being a bit cautious and hoping someone she knew wasn't going to jump out of the other car and shout 'surprise' at her, she picked up her purse from under the passenger seat and opened the door.

A tall well dressed man with a beard had just got out of the other car and she had to look twice, it was like she was seeing a ghost and it showed on her face as the man said with a Scottish accent asked, "Are you okay Miss?"

Rose nodded slowly and said, "Yeah, I'm fine, sorry. I thought you were someone else."

She moved off as fast as she could to the ladies room to recover. It was just too much, coming face to face with a man, although having a beard, who looked like him, who looked like The Doctor. Rose composed herself and went to her favourite coffee stand and got a latte and went to sit down at a table but the man she had spoken to earlier was still there, a few tables away. Who was he? It wasn't like she was ever going to see him again. He was Scottish and probably on his way home anyway, so he looked like The Doctor.

She smiled across at him, he was looking over but he just nodded in acknowledgement and that was it. He got up to leave, Rose finished her coffee, not wanting to appear to be following him but saw him head off to the gents and so she made a dash for the car park to get off before he came back. She was just backing out of her parking space when he was walking towards his car and he waited until she had reversed back and waved. She managed a wave back and wished now she had at least got his name as she drove off, thinking she would have liked to at least known who he was.


Alec watched the young blonde woman drive off, she was very attractive he'd noticed and was concerned when she had got out of her car and looked unsteady. As a Police Officer, he should have made sure she was alright before she had driven off but she seemed okay when he had seen her a few tables away, she probably just needed a drink, coffee by the look of the paper cup she had been holding. He could have at least have smiled back when she had seen him watching her. He got back into his car and drove off towards London to get this meeting over with. They might have held it at the Wessex Police Headquarters to save him the journey, he'd only been in Broadchurch a week and now he was having to travel again.

He was probably never going to see the woman again, she was probably heading back to London, he was only going to be there a day or so then back to his new job, well maybe not for long if all went well and it was in writing that the case that had fallen apart wasn't due to anything he had done and he was cleared. Not before time otherwise he wouldn't have found himself in a sleepy little seaside town in Dorset where nothing ever happened, well not that needed his skills anyway.

His meeting over, he checked into his hotel and with his new partner in Broadchurch, DS Miller to let her know he would be back the next day, not that she seemed interested, she seemed a bit annoyed with him for taking her job apparently but he hadn't exactly had a choice of where he had been sent, given the circumstances and he was holding vital information back, his health wasn't what it should be but who wouldn't have heart problem with what he had gone through?

A bitter fight with his ex and an equally bitter divorce, his own daughter turning against him and a failed case which he had been forced for his daughter's sake to take the blame for but now it had all come out in the open and he had been cleared but it still wouldn't put his personal life back on track. His old friend and doctor was keeping his condition under wraps and keeping him supplied with vital medication that if he kept calm and kept out of trouble, would keep him alive and in the police force - for now.

The following morning he set off back to Broadchurch and stopped at the same service station and wondered about the blonde woman he had met the other day and wished he had taken more notice of her, it wasn't often these days he noticed young women, well not those who weren't over-dressed and hanging around on street corners that they sometimes had to arrest. As he sat drinking his tea, he looked around the seating area in a faint hope he might see her again but there was no sign of her.

He could search the national database when he got back but who was he kidding? A young blonde woman, in her twenties, what were the chances of finding out who she was and what would he do when he found her? Why would she be interested in him, she was just someone he had parked his car next to in a motorway service area and seen sitting at a table for ten minutes he had been staring at, well not staring more like ogling if he admitted it. She had been stunning.


Rose checked into the Traders hotel in Broadchurch, she had found it easily and was staying there for a week while her rented house was ready to move into. The school term was another three weeks from starting so she had plenty of time to get settled and moved in and time to look around. She was looking forward to it, living by the sea and the harbour and planned to take advantage of it, she might even take up sketching again in her spare time. At least teaching five year olds meant no homework to mark.

Two days after checking into the hotel, Rose was having breakfast when the hotel owner came over to talk to her and like women do, the subject changed to local men and Becca, the owner, asking Rose of her boyfriend status, which she didn't want to talk about. Becca mentioned there were several single men staying at the hotel but Rose said she wasn't interested until Becca warned her about a particularly moody Scottish guest who was staying there. Rose's interest was suddenly peaked but surely it wouldn't be the man she met a few days ago in the service station car park? It was a million to one chance it could be the same man and if it was, then what? He probably wouldn't even remember her anyway.

Rose was just about to ask Becca if the man in question was tall, dark haired and had a beard when she was interrupted by her mobile ringing. Of course it was her mother checking up on her.

"Rose, why haven't you called? Are you settled in, is everything okay?" Jackie asked anxiously.

"Everything's fine Mum, honestly. There was a strange thing that happened on my way here though, well not strange but unusual. I parked next to someone at a service station and he looked just like The Doctor but he had a beard and a Scottish accent."

She wished now she hadn't said anything.

"Well I expect lots of blokes have a Scottish accent," Jackie laughed. "What made you think the man looked like himself?"

'Himself' was how Jackie referred to The Doctor for want of a better word, when she wasn't calling him a Martian or a skinny alien that is.

"I don't know, it just did and it threw me off for a second, he asked if I was okay, that's how I know he was Scottish."

"Well, I wouldn't worry about it, it was only for a few minutes and you'll probably never see him again anyway. Tony is asking when he can come down and see you, he wants to see your new house and go to the beach, any chance before he goes back to school?"

"I've not moved in yet but maybe you can bring him for a long weekend and stay in a hotel."

Satisfied her daughter was alright, Jackie rang off and Rose went to supervise her new house, furniture was being delivered today.

By Friday, her house was almost ready and she planned moving out of the hotel the next day and into her new place. Going down to her evening meal for the last time, she walked into the dining room and nearly fell over. There at a table just by the window sat the man from the service station. He looked up as she grasped the back of a chair and he got up immediately to offer to help her, others in the dining room just turned and stared as he took her arm and led her to his table and sat her down. He had recognised her immediately as she had walked in and wondered exactly how she always seemed to stumble when he was around or if she did it all the time.

"Are you okay Miss?" he asked as she sat down and he poured her a glass of water.

Becca had seen what had happened and came over to see if Rose was okay but the man just said he had things under control and Becca, who knew who he was thought better than to argue with him, he was the police after all so she left.

Rose took the water and drank, feeling slightly stupid for the second time and having nowhere to run this time. The man sat opposite her and watched her drink the water and delayed ordering his meal until he was sure she was alright. Then he spoke in a soft Scottish brogue.

"You seem to do that a lot, stumble I mean. I'm Alec and you are?"

Rose managed a weak smile back at him as he held his hand out. He was definitely not the Doctor.

"I'm Rose. I'm really sorry, I don't know what came over me. I just mistook you for someone the other day and I guess I wasn't prepared. I'm fine now, I'll leave you to get on with your meal."

She started to get up but he stopped her.

"Why don't you join me, since you're already sat there?"

They both ordered and ate in silence until Alec decided he was going to find out exactly why she had almost fainted on him twice and he was sure it wasn't his personality or his looks. No woman had shown an interest him lately and certainly none as attractive as she was. Then there was the question of who she was and why she had mistaken him for someone else. Surely no-one had the misfortune to look like him.

"So Rose, who exactly do you suppose I look like? Obviously someone you knew quite well judging by your reaction and someone you never expected to see. Was it someone you lost?"

"He's not dead if that's what you mean and he does only look a bit like you, he didn't have a beard. He's gone far away and when I saw you, I thought maybe he'd come back without telling me. That was until I heard your accent, then I knew it wasn't him."

"Was he someone close to you?"

"I liked to think so but he left me, he went off without saying goodbye properly and now I don't think I'll ever see him again but just for a moment, I thought I had. I'm sorry Alec, I have to go now."

She got up to leave but he touched her arm.

"I didn't mean to intrude, it's just my nature. I didn't mean to upset you Rose. Please stay, have a drink with me in the bar maybe? I promise no more questions."

Rose sat down again, thinking about it and decided why not? What was the harm in having a drink with a man who reminded her of the Doctor, who at least she now knew his first name after thinking she would never see him again.

"Okay, just one drink, I'm leaving in the morning, I have packing to do."

There was no point in telling him she was only moving into her own house, he was probably on holiday or here on business anyway and would be leaving himself.

Alec's heart was in his mouth, he had just met her again thinking he would never see her and she was leaving again. Well not without him finding out who she was and who she had lost anyway.

"Just one drink? Could that maybe stretch to two?" he smiled.

She was starting to get to him.

Rose smiled back, he seemed lonely and so was she. She still didn't know what he did or who he really was but a few drinks wouldn't harm and she didn't have much to pack, most of it was done and her things from home were being sent down tomorrow, Pete was arranging it.

They got up and went into the small hotel bar, Alec asking what she was drinking.

"A white wine spritzer please," Rose replied as they stood at the small bar.

"Shall we go sit in the lounge?" he asked, nodding to the door opposite and Becca nodding it was okay to take their drinks in, thinking they wanted some privacy as there were others sat at the few tables and one of the regulars gawking at them from a stool, well Alec thought the man was gawking at Rose and he wanted to be the only one doing that tonight.

Maybe he'd get lucky and convince Rose to spend some time in his room, she was leaving tomorrow anyway and his physician hadn't told him not to have sex at all, just to take it easy and make sure he had his pills handy. She looked sad, like she had wanted him to be who she thought he had been and maybe just for one night, she could pretend he was the man she had lost, he could deal with that, it had been a while since he had spent the night with a woman. There would be no complications if she was leaving, no awkwardness, just a one night stand, he could settle for that.

Things seemed to be going well, he had engaged her in general conversation, found out she was a nursery school teacher and from London, his detective skills were put on hold for the evening. The other side of him wanted to know her surname, where she worked and her marital status but since she wasn't wearing any rings, he didn't need to be a detective to work that out but he would have least have liked to know if she had a boyfriend. What was he thinking? Of course she would have a boyfriend but she didn't look happy if she did have one so maybe she would consider spending the night with him, to cheer herself up. If she came up with the excuse she didn't take precautions, well he was prepared for that too.

Chapter 2
Getting Rose another drink and getting a non-alcoholic one for himself, he really missed the drink but it wouldn't do to mix alcohol and medication, well maybe the odd glass of wine which he allowed himself on special occasions, he went back into the lounge and placed the drinks on the table.  Rose looked relaxed in a pale yellow dress which he thought she looked pretty hot in and really hoped he'd get to take it off her later, she was on her second drink already but as a Police Officer, he really shouldn't be encouraging her to drink too much.  Maybe she was relaxed enough to accept the invitation he was about to extend but he didn't want to rush this, he wanted it to sound a natural progression and didn't want to make it sound like he was desperate, maybe he was, it had been quite a while but rather her than someone off the streets, at least he knew her name and what she did for a living.

"So, you're leaving the hotel tomorrow?" he asked, reaching for his drink and to see if he could peer down the front of her dress.  He was out of luck.

"Yeah, only planned to be here a few days, moving out tomorrow."

She wasn't letting on she was only moving to a house on the side of the cliff overlooking the sea.  There wasn't much point in telling him, he wouldn't be interested anyway.

"So, since you're moving out and I'm probably never going to see you again, is there any chance you might want to come up to my room and spend some time with me before you leave?  We can take our drinks up, talk for a while, or maybe something else?  What do you say?"

Rose looked at him, he seemed nice, he was well dressed, maybe a businessman, well spoken and she liked his accent, it reminded her of when she had been in Scotland with the Doctor and had met Queen Victoria.  She took another sip of her drink and considered it – for all of ten seconds.  It wasn't like it was a lifetime commitment, it was only one night and she would be in control, she could hold her drink due to her prior Torchwood training, she was way overdue having some fun and relaxation and maybe he was just what she needed.

"Okay, why don't we finish these drinks, get a bottle of wine and go to your room.  Mine's a mess, I can finish packing later."

"We can just take these with us if you like, may I?" he asked as he stood up and picked up the drinks.

They made their way out of the lounge without anyone seeing them and up to the second floor, his room was at the end of the hall, they had to pass her room but she didn't say anything, she just followed him and she held the drinks while he found his key, which he took advantage of and leaned down to kiss her.  Trying not to spill the drinks, Rose let him kiss her as he took a glass from her then holding one arm around her, pulled her nearer to kiss her again, his hand wandering and trying to reach under her dress and succeeding, feeling her bare legs.  Rose smiled as he moved his arm to open the door then took her hand and led her inside, locking the door behind them but putting the key in the lock.

"You can leave any time you want, I'll leave the key in the door, you don't have to stay all night if you don't want to.  You don't have to leave a goodbye note."

Rose smiled, he was obviously used to women leaving in the middle of the night or maybe used to being disappointed when he found they had left but she was in no hurry, she might as well make the most of it.  She handed the glass to him and he put them both on the table and he put his arms around her waist then leaned down for another kiss.  Rose thought his beard would be rough on her skin but it was quite soft, she'd never kissed a man with a beard before.  Rose put her arms around his neck, reaching up on her toes and let him kiss her again, this time it was deeper, his tongue trying to get inbetween her lips, one of his hands running up her back to find the zip of her dress then when he reached the top, began pulling the zip down slowly.

Rose was kissing him for all she was worth, she might as well have a night to remember, he was kind of cute and she didn't mind him being presumptuous, it was quite clear why he had invited her to his room and she had gone willingly.  Managing to coax her dress over her shoulders and down at the front, he released her slightly and took off his jacket one arm at a time while Rose released her arms and began unfastening his shirt buttons, rather quickly, kissing each bit of flesh that appeared until she reached his belly button and ran her finger across his stomach making him flinch as he unfastened his shirt cuffs.

He looked down on her as she was running her finger across his belly button teasingly, he was enjoying every second as he took his shirt off and her fingers moved lower to unbutton his trousers. He threw his shirt onto the chair, releasing her dress, which fell to the floor, Rose kicking it away as she stepped out of it and kicked her shoes off, making Alec seem even taller now she was bare footed and in her underwear in front of him, her blonde hair falling over her face and her shoulders, reaching up to kiss him again. He worked his shoes off, lifting her up so she was touching his chest then released her again, then picking her up as her arms were around his neck, he took her over to the bed and laid her down on it, taking in the sight of her as she lay there beneath him.

He remembered his protection was still in his wallet and Rose saw the look on his face as he hovered over her, hesitating as he ran his fingers over her tummy and not moving them any lower even though he could have done and she gave him a look to tell him to hurry up and get it, she took her own precautions but didn't want to take any chances and if it made him feel better she was all for it as he got off the bed and retrieved a small packet from his wallet. Then crossing back to the bed, Rose was getting impatient as took of his trousers and was propped up on her hands, watching him, smiling and sitting up on the bed.

Rose yanked him down on top of her as he crawled to kiss his way across her and lay on her and wondering why she was wanting him, a feeling he had long since given up any hope of again – being wanted by a woman. He took care not to over-exert himself, he was gentle and didn't need to apply too much effort as she was willing to do whatever he wanted to, he was whispering her name into her ear, "Rose" and nibbling at her earlobe then kissing her neck, her arms were above her head then around his neck as he moved, then she sprawled her hands over his back and dug her fingers in, pulling him away from her neck as he held her, both managing a smile as their eyes met.

Then they both called out together and Alec collapsed onto her, breathing heavily and thankful he wasn't having to jump off of her and get his pills.  He lay on her, regaining his regular heartbeat, well what was regular for him anyway, her arms around his waist, kissing his neck as he buried his head into her neck and whispered, "You were amazing Rose."

His heart was returning to its normal for him rate and his breathing was retuning to normal and she was more than amazing to him, she was a miracle, he had proved he could still have sex properly and not end up in the back of an ambulance.

Did she somehow know he had a heart condition and was going easy on him or had it been too long for her as well that she had settled for what he had to offer?  He had gone a bit further than he had intended since she was willing to endure him more than most women were, the few he'd been with just wanted to get it over with and had leapt out of the bed and were half dressed by this point without even a 'thanks' and had left him panicking to get his heart rate back to normal and he'd had to fumble in his jacket pocket for his pills, much to the disdain of the particular woman who he was with who had then left without leaving a number or a goodbye.

With Rose, it had been startlingly different from the beginning.  She had waited almost patiently while he had prepared himself instead of a 'get on with it before I change my mind' and she had taken her time as much as he had and had bothered to call his name and make other physical contact rather than just the act itself.  It was a shame she was leaving, he could have got to like her being around, not just for the sex which had been more than amazing but her whole personality, she seemed like she was as lonely as he was and he would have liked to have spent more time with her rather than just one night and it wasn't very often that happened.

Rose just lay there, she could tell his heart was beating irregularly and his breathing rather erratic so she had just kept still and let him get back to normal, just kissing his neck and letting him recover in his own time without saying anything.  Even when he said she had been amazing, she had just smiled to herself and buried her head in his neck.  She was no medical expert but she suspected his heart wasn't what it should be but he seemed to managing his condition so she didn't want to say anything for fear of him telling her to mind her own business and get out of his bed but she couldn't help but feel sorry for him, this could be why he was so lonely if other women had shunned him or he had given up halfway through and they had walked out on him.  He seemed to be returning to normal and he began kissing her neck and whispered her name again.

Alec moved onto his back, Rose turned towards him on her side and said, "Alec, that was amazing, you were amazing, I've never felt like that before.  I've never felt what it's like to be with a real man before.  Can I stay the night?  I mean I can leave if you want me to but I'd like to do some more of that amazing kissing we were doing earlier, if you want?"

Alec was more than happy to have her stay the night with him, not since before his divorce had he woken up with a woman in his bed, woken up to a good morning kiss and maybe something else if he was extremely lucky so if she wanted to stay, he wasn't going to object.

"I'd like that Rose, I have to leave early in the morning though, I have some business to attend to but I'll wake you before I have to leave and you have some packing to do, don't you?" he smiled, kissing her.

He made it his motto not to tell women what he actually did for a living, if the sex or rather lack of enthusiasm for it hadn't got rid of them and they had stayed a bit longer, then telling them he was a police detective inspector was enough to send them running for the door.

Rose wasn't about to tell him she was only moving into a place of her own, he was probably conducting business then going back to London or Scotland anyway, why would he want to hang around?

"Yeah, I have to make an early start anyway, you know how it is, you run around checking every drawer to make sure you haven't left anything behind," she smiled back, stroking his cheek.

Alec got out of bed when he had calmed down and retreated to the bathroom to clean himself up, grabbing his shorts as he did and Rose leaned out of bed and retrieved her underwear and a tissue from the bedside table and cleaned herself up a bit.  She was just getting back into bed when he came back out, he seemed perfectly normal but he was debating whether to sneak another pill or not but decided he was ok, he was feeling better.  In fact, he felt better than he had for a long time, Rose had been exactly what he needed.  He was regretting making it sound like he was making excuses to leave early in the morning but he had to go into his office for a few hours, mainly to catch up for being away for a few days and he still had a lot to go through to be up to date with what had been going on in the town.  No sense in telling her the real reason why he had to leave early.

Climbing back into bed again, they hung onto each other, kissing, touching until they finally fell asleep, Rose was half sprawled across him, Alec with one arm around her, Rose on top of him, one arm on his shoulder as they sleepily kissed and both whispered a 'goodnight'.

Rose woke up to the sound of an alarm going off and knew it wasn't hers and felt someone move beneath her and an arm around her which suddenly moved to pick up the offending object to turn it off and a soft cursing coming from the man she was laid on, something about 'bloody alarm' then there was silence and movement beneath her as she realised who was laid beneath her – Alec, the gorgeous Scottish man she had sex with last night, really good sex that had made her realise how much she had missed having it on a regular basis.  She slowly opened her eyes fully, twisted her head to see his face smiling back at her, moving a strand of her hair out of her eyes and saying "Hi" to her.

It had been a long time since either of them had woken up in the arms of someone having spent the entire night together.  Rose managed a "Hi" back and they were kissing, Rose let herself feel him under her as he began making his moves to find the right spot.  Rose moved on him, remembering his difficulty last night and eased him onto her, she was going to do all the hard work this time without letting on to him she was doing so.  He was kissing her neck, she could feel him moving, not caring he wasn't wearing any protection this time, Alec was only vaguely aware he had forgotten something but figured if she was letting him again that she must take her own precautions, a woman like her wouldn't fool around and not take the necessary steps needed to protect herself.

Rose was calling his name again, "Alec," and telling him she wanted him to go further, which to him meant he had been right and wished he hadn't worn anything last night, he never liked the damn things anyway but in his line of work he had to be careful, one time forgetting to use them could ruin his career if an accusation was made against him and his career had only just got back on track, hence him being in Broadchurch in the first place.

He called her name again, "Rose, what are you doing to me?" he asked as he buried himself in her.

That only made her want even more as this time, she had given him the permission he needed not to hold back and since all he had to do was lie there and let her do all the work, his heart rate was only slightly raised and he wasn't getting out of breath as sensation after sensation came over the two of them, Rose quivering above him calling his name until they both collapsed after one final lasting sensation.

Alec looked up at her, damn, why was she leaving, could he make her change her mind to make her stay or was one night all she had wanted before she moved on?  He couldn't bring himself to ask her, she might throw it back at him, tell him she had a good time but that was it.  He really didn't want this to end but he didn't want to spoil it either, this woman, Rose, whose surname he didn't even know had done things to him no other woman had done and that included his ex wife, he would never forget this.

They both smiled, Rose rested her head on his chest, still catching her breath but Alec remained calm for a change, pleased with himself that she was content.  Maybe that was all she had wanted, to feel contentment.  He kissed her forehead and reached out for his phone to check the time, it was seven forty, the alarm had gone off at seven and he really needed to get going if he wanted breakfast before he left and Rose had packing to finish.  Perhaps if he delayed her a bit longer, he could skip breakfast, get something at the station, stay with her a bit longer but sooner or later he had to let her go.

Chapter 3

Rose got out of Alec's bed and retreated to his bathroom, gathering her clothes on the way. Knowing he had to get dressed and go out, she hurriedly got sorted and was just in time to catch him pulling his trousers on, his shirt was still unbuttoned. She smiled at him, it was after eight and she really should get going, her belongings from home were arriving just after ten and she still had her packing to finish and her key to hand in and she was only just going to make it but the removal men had her mobile number and would wait for her, Pete had everything arranged, it was a private firm that Torchwood used all the time.

She went to put her arms around Alec's waist as he started to fasten his shirt and she kissed his cheek. They hadn't spoken much since they had woken up over an hour ago, they had been too busy doing something else. Alec spoke first as he gently moved her arms from his slim waist and he turned to face her, brushing her hair from her cheek and kissing it.

"I really have to go Rose, you have your packing to do. I don't suppose you want to give me your full name do you? Last night and this morning were incredible, no woman has made me feel like that for a long time."

He had previously made his mind up this was going to be a one night fling with her, no complications but was quickly now changing his mind.

Rose backed away from him, how could she tell him who she was? He would go looking for her and complicate things and she didn't want complications, not when the man looked liked the one she had lost.

"You don't need my name Alec." She stepped back up to him and kissed him. "I'd best go now and let you finish getting dressed, I still have a lot to do or I'll be getting charged for another night in my hotel room. I thought you were incredible and thank you, you made me feel wanted, it's been a while since a man has actually wanted me."

Alec knew how she felt, no woman had actually wanted him either, they were either a bit drunk or desperate, Rose was the first woman who had actually been interested him and now she was leaving, so much for it not getting complicated. The question was though, was he going to just let her walk away? Would he have a choice?

He let her go reluctantly and Rose could see his eyes were sad again, he'd looked happy earlier and now she was the one causing his sadness but she couldn't go for a long distance relationship if he was going back where he came from. She didn't want any complications and didn't think he did either. She picked up her purse which she had taken off her shoulder and thrown on the dresser when they had been in a hurry to undress each other last night and turned the key in the lock. She was about to leave but turned one last time, ran back and kissed him, leaving him with his eyes closed, trying to make the kiss last longer.

"Rose", he called as she was going through the door, "Thank you, you were amazing. If you won't tell me your name, at least let me tell you mine, I'm Alec Hardy."

"Bye, Alec Hardy, it was more than nice spending the night with you," and with that she was gone, back to her room.

Alec stared at the door for a few minutes, thinking she may come back and throw her arms around him and tell him she had changed her mind and was staying but he knew it wouldn't happen. Women like her didn't change their plans for someone like him, she was probably just on holiday and was going back home, to her job, her family, maybe a boyfriend, what did he have to offer her to make her stay? Nothing, women like Rose were very rare these days and what would she want to stay with him for?

He closed the door and went back to finishing getting dressed. He would have to skip breakfast, maybe just as well since Rose might be in the dining room and he'd make a fool of himself asking her to stay. He decided he would leave by the hotel's side entrance, he didn't want to risk bumping into her and made his way down to the police station, walking to clear his head of all thoughts of the night he had spent with Rose but that was going to take some doing, he didn't think he would ever forget her.


Rose had got back to her room, kicking herself for not saying what she really felt, that what had happened between them last night and this morning had been special and she felt guilty about leaving him when he had looked so sad when she had kissed him goodbye and looked like he really needed someone but that couldn't be her, not if he was going back home anyway which he probably was, what would a Scotsman be doing in Broadchurch? She finished her packing, thinking she would take her cases down with her and try to catch breakfast, it was already nine and she didn't know what time it was served until, she may have already missed it.

So dragging a large and small case along and waiting for the lift, she wondered if Alec had left yet, he probably had if he had a meeting. Why was she thinking about him, it was over and done with, she had spent one incredible night with him and that was it, he probably didn't want anything else anyway. The lift arrived, Rose stepped out on the ground floor, asking if she could get some breakfast and just made it in time, leaving her cases in reception, tempted to ask if Alec had left yet but deciding it wasn't a good idea after all.

Lifting her cases into her car, her phone rang. It was Pete to say her belongings were on their way and the van should be with her on time. She just had time to get there before they arrived. Taking another look around, she recognised Alec's car parked just opposite and thought he must have gone on foot to his meeting or he was still in his room, which she doubted since he had said he was sorry he had to leave in a rush. She backed out of her parking space and drove off from the hotel for the last time.


Alec tried to get some work done but wasn't getting anywhere. There was hardly anyone in the squad room thankfully and he'd made some tea and some toast, it would have to do him until lunch. He sat staring at his screen, not caring much about reading it, why was he still thinking about her? She was just someone he'd met at a service station, thinking he'd never see her again and then by pure luck he had met her again, what had been the chances of meeting her here?

She must have been on her way here when he had seen her on Monday and he'd been away two days and missed his evening meals so he wouldn't have seen her around but he wished now that he had. He could easily have spent a few more nights with her but he still would have had to let her go. Maybe a few more nights would have been enough but maybe not, any man in his right mind would want to spend more than a few nights with her.

He was interrupted by a tap at his door. It was his DS, Ellie Miller. What was she doing here?

"What?" he snapped as she opened the door.

There, he was back to being his usual grumpy self after one night with Rose.

Miller scowled at him, just like she had been doing since he got there. She asked what he was doing in on a Saturday morning to which she got a gruff reply. He finally got rid of her by telling her it was not his first choice of spending his weekends but he needed to know all the facts about cases in the town that were ongoing and he went back to staring at his computer screen again and thought about putting Rose's description into the search and see if she appeared anywhere. Should he? Then what? So he discovered who she was, she would be back in London and he was stuck in this place until he could get a transfer out and back to civilization but going back to a big city was not good for his health, he had to take things easy and storming back into a crime-ridden big city or town was not classed as taking it easy.

He sat back in his chair, his arms behind his head. Should he look her up? Would it just make things worse, make him dwell on the subject of his sudden desire and make him snap at everyone again. Miller hadn't deserved to be snapped at, he should apologise to her first thing Monday morning or sooner, send her a text saying he was sorry for snapping at her but then she would think he had gone all soft and he had an image to maintain.

No, leave it, just buy her a coffee or something on Monday and not be so quick to lash out at her again. It wasn't Miller's fault Rose had gone back home. Listen at him, one night with Rose had turned him to a quivering wreck, what had she done to him? He hadn't felt this bad since he had been pursuing his ex all that time ago and look where that got him.

No, he had best leave things alone, he was now meant to be on his own, stuck in this place doing penance for whatever reason and wondered what he had done that was so bad he had got in this state. Let his ex carry on behind his back with another DS for starters, then covering everything up to protect his daughter for another so why had Rose come into his life when he didn't deserve anyone like her?

He'd had enough, he switched off his screen, put his glasses back in his pocket then put his jacket on and left, forgetting his empty cup and plate on his desk and got halfway down the corridor when he stopped. He thought at first he'd forgotten to take his pill but he had, right before leaving the hotel but a feeling came over him, not panic but something else, something new.

He was missing Rose. His heart was slightly racing but not the usual when he had an attack coming on but that feeling you get when you're a teenager and you see a girl or boy you fancy for the first time and can't get over it, you want to see that person everywhere you look and your stomach does somersaults when you get a slight glimpse of them – that's what she had done to him, made him feel like a bloody teenager again and he knew it wasn't going to go away.

He turned back to his office again, getting a funny look from two officers who had the misfortune to have drawn weekend duty and who thought they had got rid of DI Grumpy for the day. He switched his screen back on, went to the national database and typed in 'Rose' and of course, millions of results came up, how many women were called Rose? Well not exactly millions of results but it may as well be, a few hundred before he typed in her description, medium height, slim, blonde, fair complexion, London accent, nursery school teacher. It narrowed his search down to one result. Staring in disbelief that the database had tracked her, her picture came up in the centre of his screen and the name beside it in capital letters – ROSE MARION TYLER.

Alec let it sink in. Of course he knew who she was, he would have to pick the Vitex chairman's step-daughter out of the millions of women in the country – nice one Hardy. He just was thankful he had used protection last night but there again, not used any earlier that morning but the heiress to the Vitex fortune wasn't likely to go around sleeping with strange men if she didn't take her own precautions. What must he have looked like to her? Had he just been a distraction to her while on holiday and why was she even a nursery school teacher when she didn't have to work at all?

He just knew he should have left it, why had he been so bloody stupid? It just made it ten times worse and he felt like a kid who had had his toys taken away from him. Rose Tyler would probably never even think about him again, he had been a one night stand to her and even if he had met her a few days earlier, who was to say she would have gone to his room with him then? Switching off his screen again, he did now feel as bad as when he had a panic attack so he went out of the station's front door and down the steps and found himself on the esplanade and started walking. It was almost lunchtime and he was hungry with skipping breakfast but he needed to clear his head first, he'd get something on the way back from one of the many food stalls around the harbour or the café. He walked along, looking out to the sea he hated so much and sat down on the wall and looked over at some houses across the way.

One house in particular stood out, one just by the cliff path, one with a patio and a white garden umbrella, the patio door open and he swore he could see Rose standing there, her arms around a tall blonde man, she hadn't moved out of town, she was moving into a house with another man. How could he have been so bloody stupid? She had just wanted a one night fling before she moved in with her boyfriend but why him? Why had she picked out Alec Hardy, of all the men she could have being who she was.

"Why me?" he asked himself. Should he go and confront her? Maybe it wasn't even her, maybe it was another blonde woman, it could be anyone from where he was sitting but he was reasonably certain it was her as he watched the two figures standing there holding onto each other, the woman leaning onto the man with their arms around each other. Of course it was her, who was he kidding? He was only kidding himself to think Rose Tyler would want more than a one night stand with him. Maybe she had done it to see what it was like. What was it she had said before she left? That it had been a while since a man had wanted her? Maybe her boyfriend had been away and had just come back? He had forgotten whatever else she had said.

He got up and made his way back to the café next to the harbour and ordered some lunch, trying to forget everything that had happened. She had used him but he had used her too and they had both been to blame but it had been one hell of a night, that he wouldn't forget. If she was still in Broadchurch, he would have to avoid her at all costs. He had led her to believe he was here on business, she had probably thought he would be leaving, just like he had thought she was leaving town, they had both mislead each other and now, he realised they had intentionally mislead each other, even more so on her part, she had mislead him into thinking she was leaving town when she was moving in with another man.

His lunch arrived, the door opened. Alec looked up. A dark skinned man with close cropped hair was holding the door open, behind him was the blonde haired man Alec thought he had seen earlier outside that house on the cliff and behind him was Rose Tyler. Alec suddenly lost his appetite as she walked in the door and saw him. Then she stopped and in a surprised voice just said, "Alec."

Chapter 4

Rose had driven off to her new house up on the cliff, having to drive round to get to it since she didn't yet have a key to the barrier that led from the esplanade, something she would have to look into, it would be quicker. She was just going to beat the van there and left room for the van to pull in. She had got essential supplies yesterday but would have to go do some proper shopping tomorrow or she would be living on takeaways or from cafés. She walked out onto the patio, pleased with her choice of house that overlooked the sea and her bedroom looked out onto it, it was something she always wanted. She heard a loud knock on the door, knowing it would be the van with her belongings and hoped Pete hadn't sent a massive removal van for her few personal possessions.

She went to the frosted glass fronted door and got a shock when she opened it – Jake and Mickey were standing there with big grins on their faces.

"Surprise!" they both said together and Jake gathered her into a big hug and on letting her go, it was Mickey's turn.

"What are you two doing here? Did Pete send you down to check on me or have you brought my things down?" she laughed, hugging the two of them together. "Well come in, don't just stand there."

"Best go get your things first Rosie," Jake said, elbowing Mickey who still had a grin on his face.

Mickey had remained her friend when she had arrived on this world, despite knowing he would never be anything more again but at least he had her back now and Jake had become her friend and protector and someone she could confide in even more so than her mother because he was never judgemental and over-bearing and he knew how much she missed the Doctor but he never brought the subject up, unlike other people and she was grateful for that small mercy.

They soon had all of Rose's things inside, boxes stacked in the hallway and her hi-fi system and TV were set up in the lounge, Jake connecting everything up and installing the digital set-top box and the aerial then connecting her internet while Rose made coffee and some bacon sandwiches for them both as they had been on the road for a few hours. Mickey was wandering around the house, putting boxes where Rose instructed for her to unpack later.

"Are you two staying tonight? I've got a spare room and one of you could sleep on the sofa. It's a long way to drive for just a few hours. I'm surprised my mother didn't want to come with you, Tony's been nagging to come down. How did you get roped into coming down here?"

"We volunteered and your mother was still in bed when we left. Pete said he was going to have your things sent down so we saved him the trouble of calling in the removal firm, thought we'd surprise you," said Jake, playfully nudging her elbow as he flopped on the sofa beside her.

Mickey came back in and said everything was where it was supposed to be and sat in the chair opposite. He never sat next to Rose anymore, ever since she came back, he'd made a wise choice staying behind when Rose had gone back to her own universe because he knew he never stood a chance against the Doctor since he'd changed but now, he had offered to be her friend and she had accepted it.

"So, show us the rest of the house then," Jake said, getting up. "Hey Mickey, Rose said we can stay tonight, bags I get the spare room!" he joked. With that, he dragged poor Rose up and said, "Come on then, show me around."

She smiled and got up, whacking Mickey's leg to move it out of the way to which he just scowled. She knew he was going to miss her again but she had to get on with her life, her new career.

After taking Jake on a grand tour and showing him the view from her bedroom, him being envious, they went back downstairs and wandered onto the patio.

"Nice view from here Rosie, you picked a good spot to live, you were lucky getting this. Tony will love it here when he comes down but you might have to share your bedroom with him." He looked at his friend and knew there was something wrong with her. "Come on, out with it, what's wrong and don't give me the short version. Are you regretting coming down here?"

"No, of course not, it's not that. Did my mum mention that I met a man the other day on my way here that looked like the Doctor?" Jake shook his head. "Well I met him again, here in Broadchurch last night and I didn't tell him who I was and that I was moving here and got a job here. I made him think I was leaving because I thought he was just here on business. He's Scottish and when I first met him, I could of sworn it was the Doctor until I got a closer look at him and well, last night, he invited me to his room and I went and we spent the night together and now he thinks I've left and gone back to London and he's probably on his way back to Scotland or wherever today or tomorrow and now I wish I hadn't mislead him. He was nice and I enjoyed being with him and now I've lost him too."

Jake listened, he knew she had been in love with the Doctor and her love hadn't been returned and of what happened on that day at Bad Wolf Bay and now, she was just as upset as she had been on that day. He put his arms around her and hugged her as Rose leaned into him and cried.

"What am I going to do Jake? I'm never going to see Alec again. I shouldn't have made him think I was leaving but I only intended spending one night with him but he looked so sad when we said goodbye this morning."

Rose buried her head into Jake's shoulder. He was the only person who wouldn't tell her to pull herself together.

"Rose, do you know his surname? I could try and find him for you if you want to see him again?" Jake offered.

Rose just clung onto him, she couldn't do this with Mickey, it didn't feel right when she had been his onetime girlfriend but Jake was always there for her now. She looked at her friend.

"He said his name was Alec Hardy. I don't know why he told me when I wouldn't tell him my name."

"Rose, maybe he told you so you could find him again. Don't you see?" Jake laughed, letting her go slightly. "Maybe it started out as a one night stand for both of you but if you changed your mind, maybe he changed his too. Maybe he's not left yet, he might still be at the hotel, we could go check."

"Then what Jake? Spend another night together then he goes back home? To his wife or his girlfriend, back to Scotland? Then what will I do, just be disappointed when I turn up at the hotel and he tells me he doesn't want to see me again or have one more night and go through this again?" Rose was crying again.

Mickey could hear their conversation through the open patio doors but didn't interfere, he knew he couldn't help. Jake was always the one she went to when she was troubled or upset, Jake was her confidant because she knew she could trust him, that he wouldn't take advantage of her state of mind.

"Well, let's go see shall we? Let's go get some lunch then I'll go back to the hotel with you, wait downstairs and you see if he's still there. He might still be, if he has a long way to travel. Maybe he's hoping you will go back." Jake smiled, putting his arms tighter around her.

"I can't do long distance relationships Jake, even if he's not left yet. Do I just get one more night with him?"

Tears were still streaming down her face.

"Rosie, if he feels the same, you'll work it out, honestly, the least you can do is try. If you go to the hotel and he's not checked out, wait for him to come back if he's out, talk to him, find out if he felt just as bad when you left as you do now. You can do that much can't you? If he's already left, I should be able to trace him."

"Then what? If he's back in Scotland, if he's gone back to a wife or girlfriend? No Jake, forget that. If he's at the hotel then yes, I'll talk to him but if he says he has someone waiting for him back home then I'll walk away and put it down to experience and just remember him for having one night with him."

"Well, let's get started then, you'll not find out by standing here moping about. Besides, I'm still hungry and you have nothing in your fridge so where's a good place to eat that's within walking distance?"

Rose stood back, trying to smile at him.

"There's a place by the harbour I've been in a few times. It's not far, a five minute walk."

They went back inside, they had not seen a figure sat on the seawall watching them as they had been talking and holding onto each other. Rose locked the patio door and Mickey got up, not saying anything after he got a stern look from Jake not to but Mickey knew Rose was going to go find this Alec and knowing her, she would succeed.

Rose got her purse and they waited for Mickey coming out of the bathroom, Rose swore he'd gone on purpose so she wouldn't be able to find Alec and didn't know why he was still so jealous after all this time. She hadn't been jealous if Mickey had spoken to a woman, not for a very long time. She had known his reason for staying behind the first time they had been here but he was carrying it a bit far after all this time. She even believed he was jealous of her close friendship to Jake and in that department, Mickey had absolutely nothing to worry about.

Just because she chose Jake to confide in didn't mean she thought any less of Mickey, she was just more comfortable talking to Jake about men she had fancied and never followed up on but this time, she was following up on a man and she didn't know why she had got so upset about it. Alec was just a man she met at a service station and not expected to ever see again, certainly not in the same town and same hotel she was staying at.

How long had Alec been there? He could have been on his way here when she had seen him on Monday or he could have had business elsewhere on the south coast and Broadchurch was his last stop or he could be going somewhere else before he went home. Maybe she hadn't been the first woman he had spent the night with on his business trip and maybe she wouldn't be the last either if he had another town to visit, despite what he had said to her but why had he looked so sad when she left if he did it all the time, if he picked women up at every hotel he stayed at? She hadn't told him who she was on purpose or given him any indication she was leaving, he had just assumed she was leaving, all she had told him was that she was moving out of the hotel but he'd said nothing.

They had both been playing a game, she concluded. A game of not caring about the consequences of a one night stand by not making it complicated but it was complicated, she had made a big mistake and she had misjudged the fact she might actually care about him. What had seemed like a good idea of having one night with Alec was turning into something else, regret and guilt, not just the guilt of intending it to be just one night but regret she had misled him and the fact now, he could be on his way home to someone or on his way to the next hotel to pick up another woman for the night. Maybe that's what he did, maybe that was how he lived.

She had to put that out of her mind and try to find him if he hadn't already left. Jake had been right, why would Alec have given her his name if he didn't want to be found? Did he give his name to every woman he met? She snapped out of her thoughts when Mickey decided to put in an appearance and they all walked down the slope and onto the esplanade. Jake saw the barrier across the road and pointed to it, noting the 'private road' sign on it.

"Would have been easier to come this was Rosie, you got a key for that?" he asked.

Rose shook her head, Jake just shrugged his shoulders and put his arm in hers reassuringly. Mickey walked at the other side as they passed the ice cream stall at the end leading to the harbour and they made their way around on the roadside to the other side. They could see the café but had to walk all the way around, passing some food stalls but Rose really wanted a proper sit down meal as Mickey was looking across at them. Jake saw some boats out on the river they had to cross over, saying they should take one out later but all Rose wanted to do after lunch was go try to find Alec and seeing her reaction, Jake said they could leave it until tomorrow.

They walked across the harbour car park towards the café door, Mickey going first, holding the door and Rose behind Jake and there sat at a table as she walked in was Alec.

She called his name in surprise as he looked up and saw her standing there. Jake and Mickey just looked at each other and quickly went to sit at a table by the window as Alec stood up, forgetting about his meal. Rose didn't know whether to sit down or not. She had wanted to find him but this was totally unexpected and Alec motioned her over to sit at his table. As she sat, he just said, "Rose."

She saw his meal was going cold. "You should get that Alec, you probably missed breakfast this morning."

It was a lucky guess.

Jake came over and asked if she wanted anything so she just ordered some tea, she had suddenly lost her appetite as her heart was in her mouth. Alec had lost his appetite too as he picked at his food and Rose's tea arrived. Jake and Mickey kept their distance, tucking into their meals as they arrived and Jake supposed they were no longer invited to stay the night.

Rose and Alec looked at each other across the table, Rose was facing Jake who was making faces at her to tell her to get a move on before Alec changed his mind and left.

Alec put his fork down and took a sip of his drink. Rose nervously poured out some tea and looked at him.

"So, you didn't leave town then?" he asked, kicking himself for asking such a stupid question. "You were just moving from the hotel?"

Rose had a guilty look on her face. "I'm sorry Alec, I never said I was leaving town but I didn't say I was just moving either. I thought you were leaving, I guess were both wrong, weren't we?"

Chapter 5

"So, who are your friends Rose? Have you moved into a house with someone? I was walking a while ago and I thought I saw you outside a house on the cliff, with the blonde haired man you came in with."

Rose smiled – Alec was jealous! "No Alec, you've got it all wrong. Jake and Mickey, they're my friends from London, they brought my stuff from home. I didn't know they were coming down they just surprised me. Were you jealous Alec?" she smiled.

Alec looked down at his cup, forgetting his cold meal that was still half finished, anything than face her. Jealousy didn't come even close when he had seen her holding someone on the patio, a dozen other words sprang to mind but he was too polite to repeat them in public in and front of a woman.

Rose changed the subject. "So you're not just here on business?" Alec shook his head and drank his tea. "So do you live here?" He nodded, trying to finish his drink before that went cold as well. She was getting close. "And you work here too, don't you? You never said you were leaving, it was me that assumed you were because you said you had business to take care of and I've been a complete idiot, haven't I?"

He couldn't deny they have both been idiots, he hadn't dare hoped she would be staying so he had convinced himself she wasn't. Some detective he was.

"I'm sorry Rose, I assumed you were leaving too. Why don't we get out of here and talk? Unless you'd rather be with your friends?"

"No, I'd rather be talking with you, I have some explaining to do as do you Alec Hardy. Just one thing, Jake, he's not my boyfriend. So, do you have anyone back in Scotland waiting for you?" Alec looked slightly surprised at her question but shook his head and said no. Rose got up and walked across to Jake. "Jake, looks like you'll be going home after all and thanks, you were right."

Alec came up behind her. "Are you going to introduce us? he asked. Rose did the introductions. Then to Jake she said, "Why don't you two head back to my house and collect the van and meet me later?"

Jake shook his head. "We know when we're not needed Rose, you and Alec have a lot to talk about. We'll head back to London and catch up with you later, right Mickey?"

Mickey could only nod his head in agreement, what else could he do? Rose had found a new bloke.

They went to sit down by the harbour, Alec didn't find it so uncomfortable there as it wasn't the open sea. Rose thought she owed him an explanation. She turned to face him and put her hand on his cheek.

"I'm sorry Alec, I really am, I should have told you. Can you forgive me?"

Alec took hold of her hand and kissed the back of it.

"There's nothing to forgive Rose, I know who you are and I know why you never told me you were staying and I don't blame you."

Rose looked at him, how did he know who she was?

"Rose, I'm a police detective. I was trying to work this morning and I couldn't concentrate because I was thinking about you so I looked you up. It's true I was only looking for a one night stand and when you said you were moving out, well I thought you were going home and then this morning, well it all seemed so final. I was going to ask you to stay but you left. I thought that was all you wanted last night, then when you woke up this morning and you'd asked if you could stay, you'd changed my mind for me. No-one has wanted to stay the night with me before. So what about you? What made you change your mind?"

"You were nice to me, you didn't take advantage of me and you seemed as lonely as I was. I thought I just needed one night Alec but I didn't and you looked so sad this morning when I kissed you goodbye, I almost changed my mind then but I thought you'd be leaving and I didn't want a long distance relationship. I was talking to Jake out on my patio, I was crying, that's when he told me I should go try and find you and that's what I was going to do after lunch, he said you might not yet have left."

"So Jake was the one on the patio you were holding onto, because you were crying?" Rose nodded. Alec kissed her cheek and said, "Oh Rose, I'm sorry but from where I was sitting, I swear it was purely by coincidence I ended up sitting near your new house but I thought you were moving in with your boyfriend and you were, well you know, happy to see him and you'd just used me last night as a last minute fling. Rose, let's start again shall we? Why don't we go get a drink and we can talk some more?"

He gestured to the pub just at the edge of the harbour. He helped Rose up and took her hand and she let him lead the way.

They had a lot to talk about as they sat in a quiet corner of the pub, Alec explained all about why he was in Broadchurch in the first place but left out the part that he was seriously ill and Rose told him about her family, well this part of her family, she omitted the whole from another universe part, did he really need to know? Perhaps one day but not now anyway and perhaps it was best he didn't know about it, Pete and Jake had come up with a foolproof cover story for both her and her mother and it had passed many a test so maybe she would just leave it there.

She trusted Alec but the few people who knew the whole truth the better, if there ever was an alien invasion on such a scale that it endangered both universes then the less people outside Torchwood who knew about them, the less likely it would be used against them to gain knowledge of the other universe. Rose truly hoped that day would never come when she had to give up her secrets.

Rose looked at him and took his hand.

"There's something else, isn't there Alec? Something you're holding back?"

Alec's sad eyes had given the game away, Rose was not going to settle for half a tale, he had to tell her about his bitter divorce and the fact he was gravely ill and what had caused it and was trying to cover it up so his new boss wouldn't find out. Being a detective inspector was his life, it was all he had that kept him sane and from giving in to the inevitable, forced retirement and he wasn't even forty yet and a life or maybe a few years on sick pay and a quiet cottage by the sea. He couldn't go back to a big city and he knew it, that would surely finish him off and Rose had made him realise he needed to trust someone with his deadly secret but not here in the pub, where people could overhear.

He finished his non-alcoholic drink and noticed Rose was looking at the contents of his drink, she surely suspected something.

"Let's get out of here Rose, can we talk at your place? Since I've only seen your patio," he smiled.

Rose thought he still looked sad, he had more than one thing to hide and didn't want to tell her his secrets in public.

"Sure, Jake and Mickey will have gone now. Admit it Alec, you were jealous when Jake and I can't be anything other than friends, I'm not his type and Mickey, well about ten years ago we used to go out together but he went away for a long time and when he came back we had both moved on. We're just friends now, he works for my step-father as does Jake."

She had to decide if she was even going to tell him about Torchwood yet but he was in the police and so he had probably heard they were a very covert undercover operation that helped the police now and then, she would test his knowledge of them, covertly of course, she was good at that. They got up and walked hand in hand across the bridge and passing a food stall, Rose's tummy was rumbling and so they stopped to get some fish and chips, taking them over to the harbour wall. Rose was teasing him because he said he didn't like eating food out of paper and she pointed out they were in a food carton, there was a difference. Alec just put his arm around her as she sneaked a kiss on his cheek and put her head on his shoulder.

Ironically, unaware to Rose, they were sat on a wall across from the police station, Alec just didn't care that people going in and out could see him sat eating food with a strange young blonde woman but DS Miller noticed as she stood on the second floor balcony looking across and she smiled to herself, that's why he had snapped at her earlier, he'd probably had a lover's tiff with his girlfriend and now they had made up.

That would explain why he had been so grumpy when he'd arrived, maybe he'd had to leave her behind when he'd come here and she had just arrived. She hadn't seen the woman around town before and they looked quite comfortable with each other even from the other side of the road as they were facing each other, the woman seemed to be teasing the DI then she had sneakily kissed him on his cheek and Miller swore even at that distance the DI had blushed and put his arm around the blonde. Perhaps having him around wasn't going to be to bad after all, he now seemed a lot more human than he had done earlier.

Rose and Alec finished their food and walked along arm in arm, stopping further down to get ice cream and sat down again, just about where Alec had sat earlier and Rose could clearly see her house and her garden umbrella and knew now how Alec had seen her with Jake. Alec seemed miles away, probably recalling a few hours earlier when he thought he had lost Rose for good, that she would never contact him now even though he had given her his name in case she wanted to find him again, he never gave his full name to women he had picked up, he had made his first exception to Rose.

Rose looked at him as they finished their ice creams, Alec wiping some away from Rose's chin with the tissue the cone came with and put his arm around her.

"You can't really blame me for thinking the worse Rose, I saw you quite clearly holding onto Jake, you should get a screen or something put up, I could have got really jealous if you hadn't walked into the café and explained things to me."

Rose smiled, the green eyed monster was rearing its ugly head and she felt flattered that he had cared enough to actually get jealous but she owed him an explanation.

"If I put a fence up, it will spoil the view which is why I rented the house in the first place but I suppose I could get one of those one-way screens. So you were jealous then?"

Alec looked at her, pushing a strand of her hair behind her ear and kissing her cheek.

"Jake knows me, he knew there was something bothering me and he made me tell him and that's when I realised, I didn't know if you were still here or you'd gone away. Jake said I should try to find you and that if you hadn't wanted me to, you wouldn't have told me your name. I had absolutely no idea you were sat down here watching us. Jake's the one I go to when I'm upset, he doesn't judge me or pity me, he helps me resolve things and before you say anything, it's not like that, he's a really good friend and I trust him with my life, he looks after me."

Alec was about to say something but thought better of it as he realised what Rose meant, Jake was no threat to his ambitions of seeing Rose on a permanent basis, he got what she meant.

"So you were really coming to find me eh?" he asked, holding her hand. Rose nodded and touched his cheek. "What if I'd already left town? Would you have tracked me down?"

Rose blushed, would she? "I don't know Alec, I didn't know if you were married or had a girlfriend wherever you had come from or if you were still travelling, I didn't know what I would do. Jake offered to help me find you, I suppose I would have let him but I didn't want to be let down if I found out you had someone else."

"But now you know I don't have anyone Rose, not for a while. I don't make a habit of making women faint then inviting them to my room you know," he smiled. "You were the first one who actually wanted to come with me and then not leave right afterwards but even that has been a while, far too long. I admit Rose, I thought that was all I wanted from you but you, you actually cared enough to stay and it was more than just nice waking up with you this morning, feeling you laying across me. I was a wreck when you walked out of my hotel room, I tried to work but all I could think about was that you had gone and were probably never coming back. Then I decided to look you up and when I found out who you were, I knew I never stood a chance with you from the start, then when I saw you up there with Jake, well, feeling jealous wasn't a strong enough word and I was deciding what to do about it when you walked into the café."

Rose got up, pulling Alec with her. "Let's continue this inside Alec, there are things you need to know about me I can't tell you out here."

She looked around and although there was hardly anyone walking past, she couldn't risk it.

They crossed the road, dodging the barrier that she really must see about getting a key for. Alec asked why there was a even barrier there in the first place but said it was probably to keep the tourists from parking and said he could probably get her a key for it after she said even the rental agency didn't know about it. He said it really shouldn't be there at all and double yellow lines would do the job just as well and promised to look into it on Monday. He even told her how he had snapped at his DS earlier when he thought he was never going to see Rose again.

Rose made some tea and they sat on the sofa, one thing leading to another as Rose drew the blinds on the patio window and they began with just kissing, happy they hadn't really lost each other in the end. One thing though had not escaped Rose's attention, Alec's reluctance to get physical. She was quite used to fending men off when they got assertive but both times they had made love, she had noticed his hesitation and he had opted for the gentle approach which although was nice, it bothered her that he might be having some difficulties in showing his true needs to be with her. She needed to know if she was right, if he was ill.

Chapter 6

Alec had just got her t-shirt off and Rose had unfastened his shirt when she suddenly sat up.

"Alec, please, tell me if there's something wrong with you. I noticed last night you were having some difficulties and whatever it is, it won't put me off, I just want to help you."

He traced his finger along the top of her bra, dying to get it off of her but she was inquisitive and he knew she wouldn't give up until he admitted it. So he told her what had happened and what was wrong with him and made her swear that she wouldn't tell anyone or his career was ended. Rose was shocked that this man she now knew she cared so much about had to go through all this on his own, even his ex wife had not known the full extent of his illness, just him and his physician and now her. She knew she could help him, Torchwood had miracle cures for almost everything and they must have a cure for this. Alec saw her concern.

"Rose, I've learned to live with it, if I lead a really quiet life, I'll survive a while longer. Don't feel sorry for me, it's not your concern, it's up to me to make sure I don't do anything stupid like go back to crime fighting in a big city and if my superiors find out, I'm finished and my life may as well be over. Please Rose, you have to promise me you won't tell anyone."

"Then can't you have an operation or something? Alec, you can't live this way, it's not fair."

Rose had tears in her eyes. What was this man doing to her? If the Doctor had been around he would have cured Alec in five minutes flat but he wasn't, Torchwood was and they could probably cure him, she just had to get Alec to trust her.

Alec shook his head. "There is an operation but my chances are very slim of surviving one. If I keep quiet, my doctor says there is a possibility I may be able to have the operation and my chances will improve but until then, I have to lay low and keep out of trouble and you, Rose Tyler are not helping," he smiled and reached around to unfasten her bra then pushed her back onto the cushion.

Rose giggled as he took her bra off then taking his shirt off, lay on her and began kissing her cleavage.

"You are gorgeous Rose, do you know that?" he said between kisses.

Rose giggled some more and pulled his head down.

He undid the button on her jeans and pulled the zip down then getting up, pulled the jeans down her legs, pulling her shoes off with them then unfastened his own trousers and stepped out of them, kicking his shoes off. Then climbing back on her, pulling her legs onto the sofa, lay on top of her.

"So much for you keeping quiet Alec," Rose giggled as she slipped her hands down the back of his shorts.

He whispered in her ear that she was more than worth it.

They didn't quite have sex right there on the sofa but came pretty close, Rose squealing with delight as he moved on her, Alec laughing to himself that she was so selfless and was just enjoying what he had to offer, she wasn't demanding for him to get on with it, she was easy to please and content to do whatever he wanted which for him was a refreshing change. Of course he was worried she was younger than he was but he didn't care, Rose made him feel young and wanted again. Rose managed to swap places with him without falling off the sofa and was squealing even more as she laid on him, moving her hips on his to feel him touching her. What seemed like hours passed as they delighted each other until Rose became worried he might be overexerting himself and sat up on him, smiling.

"I think you should conserve your energy for later Alec don't you?"

Alec didn't agree with her, he was feeling just fine. He wasn't even out of breath nor his heart rate slightly above what was normal for him. What had she done to him? How was this even possible? He should be reaching for his pills at this stage, they must have been like this for well over an hour, perhaps longer and he wasn't feeling any pain or breathlessness at all.

"Oh, Rose, I haven't felt this good in a long time. What have you done to me? You're my miracle girl, do you know that?"

He kissed her again but didn't want to test himself to the limit, just in case he was wrong.

Rose sat up again, questioning Alec's behaviour.

"I thought you said you were seriously ill and your heart could give out if you overexerted yourself but look at you, you're not even out of breath."

She had to call Pete and get him to send a Torchwood doctor down to examine Alec but how was she going to do that?

"Well sometimes all it takes is a bit of affection and some tenderness Rose, it's you, you did this to me. You made me feel wanted again, after all I went through, my divorce, my ex wife's betrayal and my failed case, you made me forget everything that was bad about my life."

Alec looked at her, trying to get her to lie down again but instead, she got up and retrieved her underwear which she had somehow lost in the process and her t-shirt and threw Alec's shorts at him which he had managed to lose and his shirt. Alec thought he was getting thrown out as he gave her a questioning look but she hadn't thrown his trousers to him so that was a good sign but he looked for an explanation, which she was willing to give, just not without any clothes on. Rose sat on the edge of the sofa and looked at him.

"I said I had something to tell you Alec, we sort of got distracted a bit. Since you're in the police, you must have heard of Torchwood?"

She saw by the look on his face that he knew about them.

"Well, I used to belong to it and my step-dad, Pete Tyler, Jake and Mickey are still part of it. I left, I qualified as a nursery school teacher because I was tired of the life I was leading, I wanted a fresh start. Torchwood have all kinds of resources Alec, things you couldn't imagine and I'm sure they can do something for you. Let me get them to send someone to examine you, you don't have to go to London, someone can come here, it's worth a try, isn't it?"

She saw the worried look on his face. "Please Alec, it would be in the strictest confidence, I promise. No-one in the police will ever know, I can have someone come here or we can go to London, it's up to you. Please, just say you'll try?"

Alec sat up beside her, he knew what she was trying to do and he'd heard of Torchwood, of course he had but Rose was part of it?

"So, you left?" It was more of a statement than a question. "What could they do for me Rose, that you already haven't done? You've done something to me Rose and I don't know what, maybe I'll never know and that's enough for me, I don't need a specialist to tell me. What have you done Rose?"

She knew Alec now knew she was holding something back but how could she tell him without him thinking she was completely certifiable? Her mother had believed it all, Mickey too and now Jake and Pete knew but Alec? She hardly knew him and she was just about to have someone cure him. She had to tell him, well part of it and hoped he would believe it. The story they had come up with about how she had got there if there was the slightest possibility she had to tell someone she fell in love with and never thought she would use, not the cover story they gave to everyone else.

"I think we'd better get dressed Alec, in case you feel you have to leave when I've told you because it won't be easy for you to hear."

They silently got dressed, Alec didn't look happy about it and wished now he had remained the same, scared of showing his true feeling towards her but he felt different, he knew he did and it was only since meeting Rose and being with her last night and this morning in his office when he felt like he should panic and he didn't and the way he had felt when he thought Rose was with another man, he should have felt something then but he felt normal, proper normal, not normal for him. He prepared himself to listen to what she had to say. It was not what he expected.

Leaving out the bit about travelling through time and space with an alien from another galaxy, the whole coming from another universe was bad enough, Rose told him her well rehearsed story of how her mother, Mickey and herself had got there and how Pete had taken them in and also omitted the part she had been here before. Alec had known about the Cybermen and how they had suddenly vanished without a trace but he also, along with just about everyone in the country, thought they had simply got wiped out but them going to another parallel universe and Rose and her mother and friend getting caught in the middle of it and Pete Tyler bringing them here, to keep them safe then the walls of the universe closing before they could get back? It didn't sound as impossible as all that, he had locked himself away for many an hour reading comic books when he was younger and the truth was always stranger than fiction.

So he believed her, much to his own surprise as much as hers, she half expected him to get his jacket and walk out. He simply stood up and paced the room for a few minutes, evaluating how this was possible and that Rose was indeed a miracle, a woman from a parallel universe and Pete Tyler was just about the only man left in the country that had the power to do all this and for the man to take them in when they had become stranded, well that must make him the most humanitarian person he had heard of and he could see her reluctance to tell anyone for fear they would be taken and held prisoners for being alien because to all intents and purposes, they were, they were not from this world. If only he had known the whole truth.

Rose was getting worried, he'd not interrupted her while she was giving him the shortened version of how she got here but he hadn't stormed out yet. He sat down again and took her hand.

"Well, you appear to be real, you're definitely human," he said, touching her heart. "You've only got one heart so I can only conclude you told me the truth but I know you can back all this up, if I were to ask Peter Tyler. Do I need to ask him?"

Rose shook her head and as for the one heart bit, he was getting a bit too close to that subject.

"So, you say Torchwood have all kinds of resources that may have the cure for my ailment? I feel fine Rose, I really do but if you think I should get checked out then I'll do it, just for you, to satisfy you that I won't collapse on you and I'll be good, I won't get too overexerted but that also depends on you, you don't know what you do to me."

Even though it was late on a Saturday afternoon, Rose still called Pete and told him about Alec. Jackie had told Pete about Rose's mysterious encounter and so naturally, Pete wanted to know all about him but when he learned Alec was in the police, he was quite impressed. Rose persuaded him to get a Torchwood doctor down on Monday and Alec would take a few hours off to save them travelling back to London.

"Well Rose, you seem to have made a least one new friend since you've been there, though how you managed to find someone with such a high ranking in the police, I don't want to know," Pete joked. "I'll send someone down, if Alec agrees to it, then if all goes well, Alec may have to come to London if it's as serious as you say it is but I'll leave that to the expert. Your brother is nagging to come down there Rose, have you settled in? Oh and don't thank me for the little surprise I arranged for you, it was all Jake's idea, are they staying with you?"

"No, they set off back a while ago, you know those two and well, I sort of had other things on my mind, I thought I'd lost Alec, we both thought the other was leaving town and well, we found out before it was too late we were both still here so we had a lot to talk about. Alec's only just told me about his condition and I couldn't just leave him, you'll like him, I'm sure you will. Tell Tony, maybe next weekend eh? See how things go."

Rose said goodbye, leaving all the arrangements for a visit from a Torchwood specialist to him and turned back to Alec who had been taking it all in, hardly believing that a few hours ago he thought his life was really over after he thought he would never see Rose again and now here she was, using her influence with one of the top men in the country and a top organisation to find an end to his illness. Why would she do that, just for him?

"So Rose, I guess now we both have secrets and we just have to trust each other not to tell them, don't we? You were risking everything by telling me you know. I take it you don't go around telling everyone so why tell me?"

"I trust you Alec, just like you have to trust me now and it was the only way, I had to tell you. I want to help you get better."

"I will Rose, you make me better."

Rose had heard that before, she buried her head in his shoulder, looking up at him. She might have only got to know him a few hours ago but she couldn't leave him now, he had seemed so sad this morning when she had left, she regretted she wasted so much time trying to find him.

"Just one thing Rose, why here? Why did you move here, to Broadchurch to become a teacher? Why not stay in London?"

"I wanted to be near the sea and I wanted to teach. I've got a younger half brother and when he was in nursery school, I started thinking about it so I got myself qualified."

"How long have you been here Rose, in this universe?"

"About eight years but in this world, well I know it sounds strange but time runs ahead, it runs faster here but since I've been here, I've aged more slowly, like I've not got used to being here. It's hard to explain Alec, it makes it difficult for you to understand, to get your head around it, I still don't understand it. As for my mum, well, she hasn't got it yet and we plan on telling my brother when he's old enough."

"There's still one thing Rose, if you got the chance, just one, would you go back? Would you go back to your old universe?"

Rose looked at him. If the Doctor came back, appeared on Broadchurch beach and held his hand out and said "Come back with me Rose," would she go running back to him? If she had found someone else, someone who would make her happy, someone who loved her back and someone who didn't hide their true feeling or change their face, did 'domestics' and would grow old with her, would she take it, stay in one place and never travel the stars again?

Alec was looking at her, he put his arms around her and held her tight, kissing her forehead.

"Well, would you? Or would you stay here, with me perhaps?"

That was all she needed to make her mind up.

"Yes Alec, given the choice, I'd stay here, with you, if you wanted me, with all my complications, being an 'offworlder' and all, you'd have to keep my secret though."

"Oh, I think I could do that, Rose, you gave me my life back and something to live for. I felt something last night I've never felt before, something I've never shared with anyone else. I could be myself with you, you had no demands and you were satisfied with what I had to offer you. No-one's ever done that before."

He leaned forward and kissed her.

They still had a lot to talk about, depending on what the specialist from Torchwood had to say when he arrived. If it meant Alec had to have an operation, they decided he would go for it and Rose would be by his side, even if she had to delay starting her new job. It was early evening, they had gone to sit on the patio, debating whether to go out for dinner or get a takeaway delivered but decided to go out. Walking down the esplanade hand in hand, laughing, Alec saw his DS out with her family and waved them over, introducing Rose as his girlfriend, well Rose didn't exactly correct him anyway and Miller took an instant liking to her, inviting them both over to her house for dinner when Rose said she had just moved there and only knew Alec and the woman at the hotel.

After dinner they walked back to the hotel for Alec to get a change of clothes and Rose waited downstairs. They walked back to Rose's house and eventually after fooling around on the sofa again, Alec taking his pill just in case as he knew that he might just get a bit carried away this time and had told Rose what to do in case he did but he was feeling confident the need wouldn't arise. The sun was almost setting, they stood at Rose's bedroom window, looking out to sea, Alec not even minding it, putting aside his hatred for the water as he put his arms around her, just the light from the moon that had suddenly appeared as the sun went down, Alec kissing her cheek as he stood behind her. Rose was now just wearing a see-through black negligee with nothing underneath and stood back in the shadows so no-one could see them from the path below.

Alec was now kissing her neck and working his way down until he could contain himself no more and went to pull the blinds across and took her gown off, the light from the moon now shining through the window as she stood in front of him.

"You're beautiful Rose," he whispered in her ear as she turned to face him and started unfastening his shirt buttons, slowly and not stopping until he was just in his shorts.

"Do I really need to go get something out of my wallet Rose?" he asked with a big grin on his face.

"Oh, I don't think that will be necessary, do you?" she teased and putting her arms around his neck, pulling her even closer as he lifted her up, her legs wrapped over his as she was kissing his neck.

They walked together as though joined, then fell onto the bed, Alec scrambling to pull the covers back and neither of them could wait any longer, they just stayed on top of the covers, not quite able to contain themselves until they had crawled beneath them as Alec kneeled over her until she called out his name and grabbed his hair, pulling his lips down to kiss her there again, squealing with delight as she felt herself tingle at his touch.

"Now Alec, please, now, I want you, I can't wait any longer," she called out grabbing him around his neck and smiling at him.

He smiled back at her, knowing he was about to let go, Rose calling out his name as he moved, not really caring if this finished him off or not as he called her name. They both came together, falling over the edge and Rose squealing with delight, riding hers out by digging her fingers into his back. Alec collapsed on her, breathing steadily and not getting the pain he expected after he had clearly got more physical than last night.

Rose looked concerned and asked if he was okay. He was, surprisingly. He lay for a few minutes, then slowing moving away from her.

"I feel great Rose, I really do. You have done something to me Rose, you must have done. Maybe my condition was self induced, brought on by everything that happened to me and you were the cure."

Rose slipped from under him and pushed him onto his back.

"So, you up for more then?" she asked playfully.

"Oh yes," was the reply.



After spending Sunday together walking on the beach and talking, making plans, the Torchwood specialist came down from London on the Monday afternoon and declared Alec was in good health but he wanted to do more tests. Alec had told how he thought the condition had started in the first place and subsequently, since he was less stressed and more relaxed, the condition had eased and once more tests were done, they would be able to make a diagnosis and recommend treatment.

Alec was overjoyed and Rose went with him the following Friday, introducing him to Pete then he went into the specialist's office and was told his condition had remarkably improved and there was a simple treatment they could offer him, failing to mention it was of alien origin but Alec would have taken anything just to be with Rose, she was worth it and he was to go back on Monday morning.

They spent the weekend at the Tyler mansion, Alec got on well with Jackie, who knew to keep quiet about him looking familiar and with Rose's brother Tony and they took him out for the afternoon on the Sunday. Alec went back to see the specialist on Monday morning and following a simple procedure was discharged a few hours later, being told he could lead a normal life again, no more pills but they left out the part that he had an alien device inside him that was undetectable to human eyes and human tests and he would never know about it. It was an alien equivalent of a pacemaker with a 100 year guarantee to work and never fail, the aliens they acquired it from were quite adamant about it and a bit put out that any of their workmanship was not wholly perfect and had to be appeased at the time with tonnes of chocolate they had become quite fond of and had given precise instructions as to how it was fitted and had been used numerous times amongst Torchwood staff and vip's without their knowledge.

Since they were going back on Tuesday, Rose said Tony could go back with them and Pete would have him collected the following Sunday so Monday night was chaos trying to get him all packed up and getting him to go to bed early. Since Tony was staying, Alec would spend all evening with them either taking him to the beach while Rose prepared dinner or they would play on the patio and Alec moved out of the hotel on the Friday evening but they had to keep their noise down until Tony was collected.

Rose started her new job, Alec was happier at work, even inviting DS Miller and her husband for dinner and now introducing Rose as his other half. Their love grew stronger and they were already making plans to go on holiday together abroad and he surprised Rose by asking her if she wanted to make it into a honeymoon.

They got married and spent their honeymoon in the Caribbean when it was freezing cold in the UK, their wedding and reception in a grand marquee in the back garden of Pete and Jackie's house, it was no longer Rose's, she had her own now with Alec.

The End!