The conference room

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Rose Tyler has to attend a conference about the disappearance of the Cybermen just weeks after she says goodbye to The Doctor at Bad Wolf Bay.  She meets Alec Hardy and decides to go live in Glasgow with him. This is their story of how they end up living in Broadchurch.

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Chapter 1

Rose Tyler has to attend a conference about the disappearance of the Cybermen just weeks after she says goodbye to the Doctor at Bad Wolf Bay. She meets Alec Hardy and decides to go live in Glasgow with him.  This is their story of how they end up living in Broadchurch.  Set in the alternate reality.

"Rose, come on, we'll be late," said Pete Tyler, waiting in the hallway of the Tyler residence.

They were both attending a conference to brief senior Police Officers from all over the country to explain exactly how the Cybermen managed to escape from being sealed inside factories and had disappeared over a period of time.

Rose didn't want to go. It was all still so fresh in her mind, both encounters with the metal monsters were far too recent for her even though three years had passed in this world as opposed to a few months in Rose's own world. Pete had thought it a good idea to share information and thought Rose was the best person to explain everything. She didn't believe she was in a fit state to do anything, her heart was broken for good now she knew he wouldn't ever be able to get back for her. She had said goodbye forever and told him she loved him but she'd had to guess his reply but felt sure she knew what his response had been.

Now she had to relive it all over again and had fought with Pete for him to take Mickey instead but both Pete and Mickey had insisted she had been the best person to go. Rose reluctantly forced herself out of the sitting room she had been hiding in, hoping Pete would go on his own but when he shouted again, she knew she couldn't hide all day.

Pete Tyler had taken her and her mother in after rescuing them and going back to get Rose after she had activated the device again and gone back to help and be with The Doctor and had, with Jackie Tyler's agreement immediately taken on responsibility for Rose and had offered her a job within Torchwood after she completed a year at college and had invented cover stories for the two of them. Rose's mother had immediately taken to Pete and even after a short time had established herself in his life with ease and they were even making wedding plans just a few months after their arrival with Pete officially adopting Rose after the wedding.

She was having trouble keeping up with the date here on this world, it was confusing to say the least. Three years had gone by since her first visit although very little time had passed in her own world. She had left in 2006 and here it was 2009 so now she had to act like she was 23 and getting her head around that was taking some doing.

After getting into Pete's car and avoiding any form of conversation, they arrived at the regional Police headquarters and made their way inside. Rose and Pete were to sit on a makeshift stage at a table with the most senior officers and Rose felt a little out of her depth to say the least. It was a large conference room with files at each place setting and the usual water and glasses and Rose couldn't help but feel out of place. Pete had assured her she would be fine, just tell her story but not how she got here the first time but an amended story whereby she came from here in the first place and had gone with the Torchwood team into the alternate universe and had just narrowly got back after nearly being left behind due to her attachment to a man there who had needed their help, almost trapping herself there.

Pete had thought her story more dramatic than Mickey's due to the fact she was younger and now she had adapted her life to living here, her age had been altered to coincide with the facts and figures. Rose looked around the room that was now filling up and had to blink twice as a man entered the room and sat just a few feet away from her as she nudged Pete's elbow and whispered to him.

She had been told by Pete to address him as 'dad' when out although she referred to him as Pete to others she knew and often got chastised by her mother for doing so.

"Dad, look at that man there," she whispered, trying not to look in the man's direction but failing.

Pete had not caught on. "Who are you talking about Rose?" he asked, looking around the room.

"The man with the beard, he's looking at the papers in front of him."

Pete could not see the man's face as he continued to leaf through the agenda.

"I don't know who you're talking about Rose, let's just concentrate on why we're here, yeah?"

Pete was used to Rose seeing the man she had left behind everywhere, she would see him in shops, on nights out, in the street and everywhere inbetween. He supposed she would always see him, she had loved him and that would take some getting over. He always felt sorry for her and tried to re-assure her she would get over it one day.


Alec Hardy was far from pleased he had been chosen to represent his division at a conference in London, a place he'd rarely been to and hated it and longed to get back to Glasgow as soon as possible to confront his wife about their daughter and the fact that she had been cheating on him and thought he didn't know. He did and was about to question her about it when he'd been chosen or more like punished into attending a meeting about the disappearance of the Cybermen. Why had they picked him? It was not like he had been on the front lines so to speak. So here he was, about to spend the next 3 days discussing Cybermen.

As he took his seat at a table near the front where his name was on a file, he looked over at the head table where Peter Tyler, the owner of Vitex, the drink he hated so much as his daughter was always drinking it, next to him was a young blonde woman and he began to think the conference wouldn't be so boring after all. He picked up his file, the conference agenda to see that a Miss Rose Tyler would be leading the conference and answering questions. The first part of the conference was about how John Lumic had been allowed to invent the creatures in the first place and not been questioned when they started appearing and how it had been too late to do anything about them.

The second part of the conference was to be about how Miss Tyler had played a part in stopping them taking over the entire world and the third part was when the Cyberman had escaped and gone missing and where it was they had disappeared to and that was being kept under wraps because it was top secret and Mr Tyler had promised to reveal all the facts as no-one knew what had happened to them and now everyone was asking questions and worried they would suddenly reappear without any warning. This is the part he was curious about, how a young woman had been responsible for almost single-handedly defeating them with just a few other people, Mr Tyler apparently being one of them whereas the Police in London had been able to do very little about it except maintain civil order afterwards when the invasion had come to light.

Alec Hardy looked at this young woman, trying not to stare at her by pretending to be studying the agenda whenever she looked over at him, it seemed they were now playing some sort of game as the room filled up and he was glad he was seated where no-one would obscure his view. He shouldn't even be looking at her, she was young and he was married but who was he kidding? Sure he was married but could he still call it that when his wife was cheating on him with a male DS in the same department? Maybe he should give her a taste of what it felt like to be on the receiving end, she didn't care how much it hurt finding out and still living in the same house for their daughter's sake although they were on different shifts that meant they hardly saw each other.

The first thing he was going to do when he got back was move out and get joint custody of Daisy and to hell with his so called wife, he would let her file for divorce, why should he do all the hard work? If she asked for one she would get it. Alec's attention was caught when he suddenly looked up at Rose Tyler who was smiling, not directly at him but she could just as easily have been. He gave himself a mental slap for being distracted by her, what would she want with someone like him?


Peter Tyler stood up as the room settled down and the Police commissioner for the south of England stood and brought the delegates to order and handed over to the Vitex chairman. After introductions, Pete went through the agenda and the conference began. The discussion about Lumic was a heated one, Rose didn't even know why she had to attend this part, she had only met him after he had been turned into the Cyber leader and had been trying to convince The Doctor to become part of his plan. The morning was spent trying to make some kind of sense out of Lumic's chaos and Alec was just as curious as to how Miss Tyler had escaped as anything else and raised his hand to ask her.

"So, Miss Tyler, just how did you make your escape? Did your friends help you or did you and Mr Tyler escape on your own?"

He had learned how several other people, including a mystery man who the two were reluctant to talk about, referring to him only as 'The Doctor' had been doing other things while Lumic had been letting his creations loose.

Rose was amused at this man, he stood out from the rest of the delegates, he looked so like the man she had lost and yet he was different. A different voice to start off with and the beard, well not even a beard as such, just a few days growth, like designer stubble as they called it but it looked good on him, not that she was looking, she was merely comparing him to The Doctor, no-one would ever replace him.

Rose deemed to answer him. It was coming up to lunchtime and the caterers were setting up in the next room and she felt hungry.

"I had some help, sorry, I don't believe I caught your name," Rose asked and this time she was smiling at him.

"Detective Inspector Alec Hardy, Glasgow Police. If Mr Lumic had himself been turned into a Cyberman, then was he locked up with the rest of those remaining?"

"No, he tried to follow us up to the roof of Battersea Power Station and he fell when clinging onto the rope ladder we were using for our escape. There was too much weight on the ladder, it gave way."

She couldn't say that Pete cut the rope with The Doctor's sonic screwdriver, they might have arrested him and ask what a sonic screwdriver was.

Alec smiled to himself, he had actually spoken to her but that was not the question he had really wanted to ask her, he wanted to know if Miss Tyler would let him take her out for a drink but he managed to restrain himself and had waited to ask a more relevant question.

"Just one more question for now, Miss Tyler, just how old were you when the invasion took place?"

He believed it was a fair question and it would satisfy his own curiosity whilst sounding a valid enough one to ask.

Thankfully, lunch was announced and the delegates left their places and headed next door, Rose however remained in her seat, the question going unanswered.

"Not going for lunch?" Pete asked.

"Yeah, I'll be there in a minute," she replied as this Alec Hardy was delaying his departure as much as she was.

Pete saw what was happening and smiled to himself and his hunger got the better of him and he left.

Rose got up and stepped around the table and stopped in front of Alec's table.

"So, Detective Inspector Hardy, why so curious as to how old I was when this all took place? I was old enough to come face to face with Lumic but I'm not sure just how relevant your question is. I think you're just satisfying your own curiosity," she smiled.

She had him and she had seen right through him.

"Well you got me there, are you going to answer me?" he asked hopefully.

Rose just smiled. "Not on an empty stomach. Are you going to escort me to lunch?"

"If I do, will you answer my question?"

Rose wasn't sure she should but was certain he would keep asking her, probably along with the one that would involve asking her out eventually.

Alec gestured for her to step in front of him and he followed her into the room that had been set up as a dining area and allowed her to take a seat as he sat beside her while a waitress placed plates in front of them and began serving. Pete was sat on another table, talking to another Police commissioner and didn't see Rose talking to the detective or her entering with him. He had seen her watching him all throughout the morning and had smiled at the way the detective had tactfully, in front of his fellow officers, asked Rose how old she was and he was worth getting to know just for his nerve.

There was just the two of them at the table and Alec sought his opportunity to question her further and to get the answer from his previous one.

"So, are you going to answer me now, Miss Tyler," he asked as he accepted a glass of wine.

Rose didn't look up as her glass was being poured, she was debating whether to answer him or not, settling for keeping him guessing for the time being.

"Please, call me Rose when we're not in the conference room and you're Alec, right?"

"I never really liked that name, just call me Hardy, everyone else does. You don't have to say my name all the time, do you? I mean when we're talking, you don't have to keep saying my name, I know you're talking to me, unless someone else joins our conversation, which I'm hoping they don't but if they were to join in, you only have to look at me for me to know you're talking to me and then looking at the other person. I don't have to keep saying 'Rose' for you to know I'm talking to you, do you?"

Rose was smiling. He not only looked like The Doctor, apparently he babbled the same as well.

He saw the look on her face and felt a bit put out.

"Did I say something amusing?" he asked, trying not to feel hurt.

"No, it's just you remind me of someone I used to know, he used to babble like that."

"Oh, I wasn't aware I was 'babbling' as you so rudely put it, I was merely trying to point out a fact that repeating my name all the time wasn't necessary. I'm not sure I would class it as 'babbling' as you so kindly put it."

Rose was dying to laugh but he already thought she was being rude. She was so used to bantering with The Doctor, she couldn't help but carry it on. She was sure she wasn't going to apologise to him though. She wasn't successful at keeping her amusement to herself as she let out a giggle as he began eating his lunch. He stopped and began to see the funny side.

"So, what's so amusing about me 'babbling' as you put it then?" and began to smile, trying not to draw attention to himself or Rose.

"Oh, it's just something me and my friend used to have arguments over, the one I mentioned earlier. He would do it all the time and we both used to end up laughing about it afterwards. He used to do it without thinking, he never saw it as babbling either."

"Right, no more babbling then, just don't keep using my name when you don't need to."

Rose was now even more determined to keep calling his name just to see how much she could annoy him, at least until he gave in and asked her to stop and the only way he could do that would be to kiss her. There was a niggling feeling in the back of her mind that somehow she was betraying when she had said to The Doctor only a few weeks ago, that she loved him but she was certain that he wouldn't want her to spend her life being miserable and had once told her to have a fantastic life. She was also sure that the man she was sat with had more to him than she had seen and wanted to find out more about him.

Chapter 2
A/N Alec's marriage was already on the rocks after he found out his wife was having an affair with a male DS in the department he worked in.

A/N Alec's marriage was already on the rocks after he found out his wife was having an affair with a male DS in the department he worked in.

Lunch over, the delegates made their way back to the conference room but Rose and Alec were oblivious to the fact nearly everyone else had left even though they weren't actually doing much talking, more like eyeing each other and taunting each other. Alec would ask a simple question and Rose would laugh and say nothing, Alec was clearly getting no answers but they both seemed to be enjoying it until Pete came over and reminded them to go back to the conference.

"Rose, we'll be starting again in a few minutes, can you manage to tear yourself away do you think?" Pete smiled, looking at Rose then at the detective.

"I'm sorry Mr Tyler, it was my fault, I was keeping her talking."

He turned to Rose and got up, standing behind her chair to allow her to get up.

Rose accepted his help and they both followed Pete back into the conference room and got a few stares from some of the older officers and a few grins from the younger ones who had seen the two of them talking at lunch and wished they'd had the nerve to go talk to Peter Tyler's stepdaughter. This Alec Hardy obviously didn't know who she was according to them. If he did, he was either brave or foolish to tangle with the head of Vitex for daring to even sit with her let alone talk to her.

Rose was smiling the rest of the afternoon. Answering questions about what she knew about Lumic along with Pete and wishing the afternoon was over. It seemed to go slowly, Alec was asking questions and Rose was trying not to laugh as she knew he was doing it on purpose, sneaking in subtle questions about various aspects of how Lumic had got away with it and in the end was forced to stop before he was barred from the next two days of the conference as his superiors were clearly making him realise he was being over-zealous with the questions.

The conference ended shortly after four and not a minute too soon for Rose and Alec alike as the room cleared, officers were shaking hands with Pete and Rose was just sat at the table, waiting for everyone to leave. Pete was seeing the last of the delegates off in the doorway as one of the senior officers was keeping him talking. Rose saw her opportunity to go over and talk to Alec.

"So Detective Inspector Hardy, did you get the answers you were seeking?" she asked cheekily, hoping he would take the bait.

They had both been openly flirting with each other all day although Alec didn't count it as 'flirting' so much, he was too old to be flirting with a woman who was clearly only in her early twenties and he had no business doing such things. No, he was trying to get her attention and had clearly got it by her responses. She was the one flirting with him he had convinced himself and it would be rude not to return the sentiment. Besides, he needed something to take his mind off his return home to face his cheating wife and now he was contemplating cheating on her, with Rose Tyler.

No, he couldn't get involved with her, no matter how tempting it was. Flirting was one thing but actually doing something about it was another thing entirely and getting her involved with his own marital problems would bring the wrath of Peter Tyler down on him he would probably end up pounding the beat on the worst housing estate in Glasgow where officers normally went around in pairs and he would be alone. He had to get her out of his head but seeing her for the next two days was not going to make that easy since she was watching him constantly and was now getting up and making her way towards him. He pretended he was studying the next day's agenda and scribbling notes in the margin, most of them said simply 'Rose Tyler'.

He quickly pulled the file closed as she approached.

"Miss Tyler, I ask people questions all day, it's what I do. I was merely trying to get all the facts to report back with. What are you trying to suggest?"

Rose smiled, he thought how her whole face lit up when she did and it was the most beautiful smile he had ever seen.

"Well, you've been asking me some really funny questions all afternoon, most of them were hardly anything to do with the topic of the conversation but they were cleverly disguised, I'm sure no-one hardly noticed."

She was sitting in front of him having pulled a chair around and Alec could hardly keep his eyes in his head as she sat back on the chair and his mind was a million miles away.

"Well in my line of work, it's quite common to ask all kinds of questions, some can be quite personal. I hope I didn't embarrass you too much but we need all the facts to understand what went on."

"Yeah? I'm surprised you didn't get thrown out," Rose laughed.

She was right, he should have got thrown out, he had hardly got away with it.

"Well, I'm still here. Can I take you out for a drink later perhaps or maybe dinner? Then I can ask you even more questions and maybe you have some for me."

"You're so sure of yourself, DI Hardy," she laughed.

Just then, Pete turned around and asked, "Are you ready to leave Rose?"

He saw the look on her face and guessed she wasn't. He had seen the same look on her face as she'd had the first time he had seen her look at The Doctor. She was taken with this Alec Hardy and knew she wouldn't be leaving any time soon.

Rose looked up at Pete. "Well, not just yet, Detective Inspector Hardy was just asking me out for a drink later, weren't you?" she asked, looking at her nails and pretending not to care.

She had him cornered, now he just had to seal the deal.

"How about I pick you at seven? I'm staying at a hotel in central London, why don't you tell me where you live?"

Pete was very strict about Rose giving out where she lived to just anyone so she looked at him to ask if she could tell the detective. Pete shook his head, he wasn't sure exactly about Hardy although he did have a nerve about him, most men since Rose's arrival wouldn't have dared to even talk to her and Hardy was being as bold as brass but he needed to know more about him first. One thing in his favour though was that he had made Rose laugh and smile and that was good. It was the first time since she had been here Rose had really smiled, even at the wedding she had forced herself to join in and then just a few weeks ago, she'd had the worst day of her life saying goodbye to the man she had loved.

"Maybe I could meet you somewhere? In town perhaps?"

Alec thought about it, he could tell she wanted to reveal where she lived, he could easily find out if she lived with Peter Tyler but he knew his limits and he wasn't about to spoil his chances. He knew that Tyler would certainly look him up and warn Rose about him but he was willing to take the chance if it meant having a date with her.

"Okay, meet me outside the coffee house in Leicester Square at seven then we'll have dinner and maybe see a film. That's near my hotel."

Rose agreed, hoping she could get a lift or maybe get a taxi there and get him to take her back after she had persuaded Pete to let her. Rose was just about to follow Pete out of the conference room when Alec got up and stopped her.

Taking her hand, he kissed the back of it and said, "Seven then?"

Rose blushed and nodded.

All the way back home, Rose was smiling at the thought of having an actual date. Just that morning she had not wanted to even attend the stupid meeting but she had got a date out of it. That was if Pete didn't go spoiling it and tell her mother that this Alec Hardy looked like The Doctor but she was sure her secret was safe for now since so far it was only one date. She had to get Pete to agree to let her bring Alec back with her at some point, even if it wasn't tonight. She could get him to drop her off around the corner or get a taxi back if needed but she had the feeling that Alec Hardy was persistent, if all the questions were anything to go by.

Jackie Tyler was waiting for her daughter to arrive back at what was now her new home. She was worried all the talk about the Cybermen would upset her and set her off pining for The Doctor again. She couldn't get worried herself though, she had the baby to think about so when she heard her husband come in, talking to Rose about her impending date, she was all ears.

"What? You've got a date? After all you said after our little trip to Norway, you're going out on a date?"

"Leave it Mum, it's nothing, it's just one date, with one of the conference delegates, no big deal."

Rose was hoping her mother would drop the subject but there was no chance.

Jackie was not satisfied. "I thought you were hiding yourself away?"

Pete joined in, since the cat was apparently out of the bag.

"You should have seen her Jaks, all smiles when this Police detective was talking to her during lunch, then when he was asking her questions all afternoon," he laughed, hoping he wouldn't blurt out who the man reminded him of, it wouldn't do to let Jackie know about it just yet.

"And just who was she talking to Pete? You're supposed to be protecting her from all that, you said you would," Jackie frowned.

"And I will look after her, he is in the Police, I can't stop her talking to everyone can I?"

Rose decided to speak up. "I can make my own decisions you know, Mum, it's okay really, it's just one date."

With that, Rose retreated to the safety of her room while Pete shrugged his shoulders and went to his study to look up Alec Hardy. He was not happy with the results when he found out the man was married and asking out a twenty year old woman, well technically she was twenty and still under his care until she was twenty one in her own universe. He thought about warning his step-daughter but he knew she wouldn't listen and she would be heart broken again when she found out but it would be better if Hardy himself told her, what did her step-father know? He and Jackie would have to pick up the pieces again so soon after Rose's heartbreak in Norway. Maybe Rose wouldn't care, it wasn't like the man was staying, he would be going back to Glasgow in two days and Rose would probably never see him again.

Rose was in her room, trying to reason with herself. It was just one date but they had been flirting all day and she shouldn't have encouraged him but had been unable to stop herself. It had been too easy, he had flirted back in front of his fellow officers and he had dared to ask her such questions and then had the nerve to ask her out when she had seen at least a dozen more men in the room dying to do the same but the babbling, that had really made her determined to flirt with him but it would all end either when he found out how old she was or when he went home.


Alec made his way back to the hotel he was being put up in, smiling to himself he had been lucky to get a date with Rose Tyler. He'd show his wife she wasn't the only one who got to take a younger lover, there was nothing wrong with him, he'd just proved that after Rose had agreed to a date. His wife was trying to make him feel inadequate and no longer capable of keeping her satisfied when she had fled to a younger man and he'd suspected it had been going on long before he found out. They had a daughter to think about, eleven years old and wondering why her mother and father were always out at different times and never at home at the same time and most of all, wondering why she was always packed off to her aunt's house after school and during the holidays. Of course, his wife's sister had taken her side in it all and was barely civil to him in front of the girl whenever he was the one to go collect her.

Well if she wanted to play it that way, then so was he, he'd show her he wasn't past it, he was thirty eight, he was still young enough to start over if his wife wanted to end it all, she had started it. He was thinking about Rose and where he could take her on a date. He parked his car in the hotel car park just off Leicester Square and walked back into the main area, remembering where the coffee house was he'd seen on his way in where he was meeting her. Just across the square was a cinema and he walked across to see what they were showing and there were a number of films she might possibly like then he noticed a nice restaurant and went inside and made a booking for seven fifteen. He walked back to his hotel feeling quite pleased with himself and went up to his room to get a shower and get changed and decided to shave off his beard. He didn't know what Rose's reaction was going to be when he met her later or he wouldn't have bothered. He was trying to impress her but he was going to get more than he bargained for.

Alec wandered out of his hotel ten minutes before he was due to meet Rose. Rose was nervous, it had been a long time since she had been on a date, having up until she had met The Doctor, only one boyfriend, Mickey and then she had known him all her life so they had never actually had to go out on a date to get to know each other. Pete had got someone to drive her into town and told Rose to call if she needed picking up. He had relented and told Rose that Alec could bring her back if the date went well and decided against warning her about him, she would have to find out the hard way, she would have gone anyway even if he had told her.

Rose had just got out of the car when Alec spotted her. He greeted her with a kiss on her cheek and led the way to the restaurant he had booked a table at. They waited in the bar area and Alec ordered drinks. Over dinner, Alec continued to question her and Rose didn't seem to mind. It was mostly about where she grew up, it was common knowledge Peter Tyler had adopted her upon his marriage to her mother and he seemed genuinely interested in the events that had led to her being in Peter Tyler's home when the Cybermen had invaded but Rose didn't want to talk about it.

"I really think we should leave that for the conference tomorrow, don't you?" Rose asked as she took a sip of her drink. "I really don't want to go through it twice, once is bad enough. You weren't there, you don't know what it was like, to be face to face with them and to run away from them."

She went quiet and finished the last of her meal.

Alec reached over the table and took her hand and said, "I'm sorry, I didn't realise it was so painful for you."

Rose just looked at his hand over hers. It had been a total shock when she had got out of the car and been greeted by the man she knew was Alec Hardy but he had shaved and she hadn't been quite prepared to led away by The Doctor's twin. She knew he resembled the man she had lost but not by this much. Over dinner she had tried not to think about it and just accept it and thought in some bizarre way, The Doctor was making sure she was happy.

She relaxed a bit more as their dessert arrived. Rose was awed by the different desserts in this world, they were so much better than they were in her own and she had grown fond of one in particular. Alec had let go of her hand, kicking himself for upsetting her. Of course she would be upset you idiot, he had told himself.

They made their way across the square and stood in front of the cinema, debating what to go and see. Rose wanted to see 'The Time Traveller's Wife' but thought she had best keep quiet about that one but Alec said he might enjoy it so they decided to go. Rose really wished she hadn't, halfway through it brought back painful reminders of her past and Alec could tell there was something wrong so he took her hand and squeezed it. After the film had finished, he took her over to the coffee shop where they had met outside and he put a latte in front of her.

"Tell me why you got upset during the film Rose."

"It's a long story Alec and you'll hear some of it during the conference," she replied, taking a sip.

"I want to know now because you'll not tell the whole story to the delegates and I want to know it all."

She knew he was only trying to help but with the combination of the film and him looking the way he did, she was about to break her promise to Pete about not telling anyone who she really was and where she really came from.

"Not here Alec, I can't tell you here."

"Then come back to my hotel, it's just around the corner and it's getting late. When you've told me I'll take you home."

Chapter 3

They left the coffee shop and walked around the corner to Alec's hotel, taking the lift to the seventh floor and Alec opened the door and allowed Rose to enter first. She slipped her jacket off and sat down on one of the chairs. Suddenly, she seemed to forget about being upset as she just wanted a normal night out and decided to carry on flirting with him.

"I'm fine now, really I am. It was just the film, I didn't realise it was so sad. It was just an excuse to get you to invite me to your room."

"Well, good try, you had me convinced," he laughed.

He sat down on the chair next to her and reached for her hand. She offered it to him and he took it, gently stroking her fingers.

"So, it was just an excuse eh? You were meant to be telling me why the film upset you, did it remind you of something that had happened?"

Rose didn't want to talk about it. It had reminded her of several things, the trip to France, encountering Reinette at different ages and also the fact The Doctor had disappeared a few times just like the character in the film but she didn't want to tell Alec about it.

"It was something that happened in my past, it's fine, I'm okay now. Maybe you should just drive me home, we have to go back to the conference in the morning."

She got up and reached for her jacket. Alec helped her on with it and she turned around to face him.

"I had a great time, really. Thanks."

She leaned forward and kissed his cheek.

It would be so easy to pretend he was The Doctor but she knew he wasn't, he couldn't be and she was only fooling herself and it wasn't fair on him, to get herself involved with him when he would be leaving in a few days.

Alec really thought he had blown any chances of getting a second date so he just opened the door and they rode the lift down to the ground floor in silence, Alec just grabbing hold of her hand. Rose smiled and squeezed it. Perhaps a second date wasn't out of the question after all. Rose gave him her address and Alec drove her back. As he pulled up outside the mansion, he whistled.

"Some place you live in Rose, I had no idea. I can see why you wanted to come back here. You must tell me how you introduced your mother to him sometime."

"Are you implying something, Inspector?" she teased.

"No, should I be? I was just curious as to how you were helping Mr Tyler and then a few years later, your mother ends up marrying him and how you even came to be helping him in the first place."

"Aw, well that bit comes tomorrow, doesn't it, it will all be explained. You'll just have to wait like everyone else won't you?"

"I can't wait for the explanation then although prior knowledge would be useful. You can't blame me for trying, can you?" he smiled.

Rose was going to make him wait. "I suppose not, you've not been able to keep your curiosity in check all day, I didn't expect you to give up now. I really did enjoy this evening, thanks Alec."

She leaned over and kissed his cheek again but he caught her and sought her lips.

They kissed briefly, Rose's heart was fluttering as she let go. It was Alec who spoke.

"No, thank you for a great evening, Miss Tyler. I'll see you at the conference in the morning, I hope?"

He leaned over to kiss her again. He knew he shouldn't be doing this but he found he couldn't stop himself this time as the kiss lasted a little longer than the first one.

Rose had never been kissed like that before, well maybe apart from when she had been controlled by Cassandra and snogged the life out of The Doctor but that wasn't really her so it didn't count and even then, it wasn't like the ones she had just shared with Alec Hardy.

He got out of the driver's seat and walked around to open the door for her, sneaking another brief kiss from her as he took her hand and helped her out.

"Goodnight Rose, I look forward to seeing you in the morning."

Rose put her arms around his shoulder and whispered, "Goodnight Alec," kissing his smooth face.

He watched her as she walked up to the entrance and she went inside. He hadn't felt like this for a long time, what was Rose Tyler doing to him? More importantly, what was she doing with someone like him? A Scottish detective, only here for a few days attending a conference he hadn't wanted to go to, away from his daughter and he had to be nearly twenty years older than she was. She looked so young but her eyes had seen far more than someone of her age were meant to, they made her look older and they looked sad. He got back in the car and drove away. Maybe tonight he may get some sleep because tonight he was going to think about Rose Tyler instead of thinking about where his marriage had gone wrong. He had been feeling guilty, thinking he had driven his wife away but he hadn't, not if someone like Rose Tyler was interested in him enough to go out with him.

He made his mind up he was going to ask her out again the following evening and got into bed, picturing Rose kissing him goodnight and fell asleep with a smile on his face for the first time in a long time.


Rose reached her room, hoping she wouldn't disturb her mother or she would get interrogated until she spilled every aspect of her date with Alec. She hadn't been prepared to see him without the designer stubble she had seen him with earlier. Now she wasn't sure she could cope with him, not now he looked so much like the man she had just lost. It would be so wrong to continue to see him now so she was just going to have to accept he would be gone soon and get on with her life, such as it had been.

She had to admit that today had been fun, flirting with him under everyone's noses but tomorrow, she was going to have to stick to the order of business and ignore him and not accept a second date if he offered. Well maybe if he was persistent enough but she had to tell him about The Doctor, it wouldn't look good if he found out for himself and thought she was just using him. She told herself she wasn't just using him but deep down, she knew she was even though when she had first seen Alec he had a few day's growth on his face and his hair was more neatly combed than The Doctor's had been but he still looked like him. How could she look at Alec when she saw The Doctor him in?


There was a distinct difference the following morning as opposed to the previous one as Rose was up early getting dressed and was keen to get going. Pete was smiling to himself as she hurried her breakfast and asking him if he was ready to leave. Her mother wasn't down yet, she was feeling the effects of her pregnancy and Rose knew she was safe from questioning until she got back. She had chosen to dress up a little from the day before, a knee length black dress with a white belt and low heeled black shoes, complimented by a white jacket. Pete was looking at her from behind his newspaper.

"Someone's keen this morning. I wonder why that is?" Pete smiled.

"Don't know what you mean Dad," she grinned back at him.

"You're all dressed up today, planning another date with DI Hardy? It must have gone well last night then."

"Yeah, it did until I did something stupid like going to see a film with him that reminded me of The Doctor and he did something stupid like have a shave. Now he looks even more like him. What am I supposed to do?"

"He makes you happy Rose, that's all that matters. You were laughing with him and you accepted a date with him. Just follow your heart Rose. It was broken when you came here, maybe he can help mend it. You have to face it, you're here to stay, you can choose to spend your time being miserable or being happy but only you can decide."

"I told The Doctor I loved him, what would he think if I went off with someone else?"

"He'll only know if he comes back here or if somehow, the walls break down again then it will be up to you if you go back. Rose, I saw you with Alec Hardy yesterday, he was making you laugh and that's what counts. Just be prepared to tell him about yourself and let him tell you about himself and see what happens. I won't stand in your way but I have checked him out, he has an excellent Police record."

He didn't want to tell her the man was married but what was a married thirty eight year old doing chasing a woman in her twenties? Maybe the man's marriage was on the rocks but he swore if he hurt Rose in any way he would bring him down without any hesitation. If he didn't then Jackie would bring him down.

Rose persuaded him to leave early, she wanted to get there before Alec and hoped she could talk to him before they went in. She had completely forgotten to get his phone number before he had left last night and was wanting to make up for it. The conference room was already open when they arrived, a few officers were waiting in the room that was used for lunch but Alec wasn't there. Rose had thought he may want to get there early as well but maybe he'd got held up.

He had. He was about to leave just after eight, wanting to get Rose's phone number before they went in when he received a phone call from his wife wanting to know when he was getting back.

"What do you care when I'm coming back? You're never there anyway. I'll be back when I'm finished at the conference, you'll have to take care of Daisy until then. What's wrong, am I spoiling your plans?"

He waited for a reply but didn't get one, the phone went dead. He already knew the answer, he was spoiling her plans. He was supposed to take care of the girl while she was somewhere else having her 'fling'. Well no more, that was going to end when he got back, one way or another. As much as he loved his daughter, his wife was not going to use her to get to him and make him feel guilty. If she didn't want to be the first to mention the word 'divorce' then he would but no matter what, he was not going to drag Rose into it.

He got to the conference later than he'd wanted to. Rose was already there, she was talking to Peter Tyler. He walked up behind her and took her arm.

"Good morning Miss Tyler. Mr Tyler, do you mind if I steal her away for a few minutes before the conference starts?" He didn't wait for an answer as he steered her into a corner.

"I forgot to give you my phone number last night," he said, holding out his hand for her phone.

Rose handed him her phone and he put his number in it.

"Call me and I'll get your number. Will you have lunch with me again today?" he continued, trying to put his earlier conversation out of his mind.

Rose could make anyone forget anything.

"I'd love to Alec, save me a place. I had a great time last night but maybe if there's a next time, we go see a comedy?"

Alec smiled. He'd even had a shave again, two days in a row, a record for him now he had someone to impress and he was getting some looks from the female officers present, much to Rose's dismay. She was thinking they had better keep their mitts off him but she needn't have worried, it seemed the detective only had eyes for her as she took her seat at the head table and smiled back at him.

The morning went slowly for Rose, Alec was fascinated to hear more of her story but he was getting concerned about this 'Doctor' person and wondered if he was still around and he had a rival for Rose's affections. He didn't know the half of it and ignorance is bliss, so they say which was just as well but he knew he would have to get more out of her than what she was telling at present. They broke for lunch just after twelve and Rose couldn't get away fast enough. Pete smiled when he saw her head over to a table for two in a corner and Alec Hardy was already waiting for her. He guessed the man hadn't told her yet. She was going to be so disappointed when she found out and hoped the man wouldn't tell her until he was leaving. He had to trust Rose knew what she was doing and not get too deeply involved with him. Going out on a couple of dates would do her good as long as Hardy didn't string her along. If he did, he'd know about it.

"So, am I going to get further details or is that all you're going to tell me?" Alec asked when their waitress had left.

"You'll have to wait and see, won't you?" she laughed. "Maybe if you take me out to dinner again?"

Alec remained silent, teasing her.

Rose had revealed her part in the invasion of Pete's home and her horror of seeing people being 'deleted' and walk blindly into the cyber factory to be upgraded. Alec felt sorry for her, having to face such a thing, hell, he wouldn't have even gone in there if it had been him. He thought she must have been very young though he had been enough of a gentleman not to ask her age yet. He didn't want to know, he might get arrested if she was under eighteen. He'd always agreed with the legal age limit of eighteen for everything and had locked up more than one man for being with a minor under that age and didn't fancy being amongst them, he knew what happened to them once they were locked up. Rose didn't look eighteen thank goodness, it would have made her about fifteen when the invasion took place so he considered he was pretty safe. Even so, she can't have been much older than his daughter at the time.

They finished their lunch in silence, watching each other. Alec was flirting again, even after his date with her last night and Rose was enjoying every second as they got stares from people all afternoon. He was daring, she'd give him that. He was showing more than a passing interest in her and she wished The Doctor would have shown her that much attention but maybe that was because she had been so young. She'd had to grow up fast since being here. Her exams were coming up, she had been in this world for ten months and soon would be taking her place within the Torchwood organisation. She and Mickey were now considered the world's top experts in aliens and Pete was protecting both of them and Jackie from any repercussions of not being from this world.

Questions were asked, Alec was noticeably silent, he was planning on getting his answers later that evening, in his hotel room preferably during a one to one session that may involve some more kissing. He was scribbling her name again, making it look like he was writing notes. He was to himself. Where he could take Rose that evening, when to contact a solicitor to begin divorce proceedings and how to keep Rose out of it so she wouldn't be named as the other party.

No, his wife had already done that, he had grounds for divorce, justifiable grounds. She was neglecting their daughter by choosing hours to coincide with her lover over hours she could pick Daisy up from school and spend time with her but leaving that to him to do. Now she was having a taste of what it was like, giving Daisy her tea and getting her to do her homework and trying to persuade her to go to bed. He now knew why his wife was always absent when it counted, she was in another man's bed. He'd checked the logs between her signing off and getting home, there were several hours difference every day she was on duty. Yet, he had to put up with it, he couldn't abandon his daughter, his wife didn't care.

Well now she would have to. He was going to move out and get a temporary order for visitation rights, let her look after the girl. He knew he would have to pay towards Daisy's upkeep, he didn't mind that, he would volunteer to do it rather than leave it to children's services to chase after him, he would do it properly from the start. He would not though give up the fact that the only thing that had suddenly made his mind up to take drastic action was meeting Rose Tyler. That was if she still wanted to see him once he told her he was married.

Chapter 4

The conference finished for the day, Rose was keen to leave her seat and join Alec but people were taking their time and she got slightly jealous when a female officer began talking to him. The woman looked like some kind of senior officer so Rose pretended not to care, they were probably just comparing notes. Finally the woman walked away and Alec stared at his file, hoping no-one would open it in his absence. He was going to have to get another copy to take back with him complete with genuine notes or his little game would be up, that of writing Rose's name everywhere and his plans to get a divorce. He was like a kid writing all over his school book. Well it would be the last time they sent him to a conference anyway.

Rose wandered over to him casually and pulled up a chair.

"So, did you find the topic more to your liking today, Inspector?" she asked.

"It was more informative than yesterday but I still have several questions I'd like to ask seeing I didn't get chance."

"You were deliberately not asking questions today, I was surprised you were so quiet especially after you tried to find out last night."

Alec smiled. "Maybe you could answer them over dinner again? I wasn't really paying that much attention. Maybe you'd like to go out to the theatre, then dinner? You mentioned about seeing a comedy, I could phone around and see if I can get tickets. I could come and pick you up?"

"I could meet you the same place as last night, it will save you coming all the way out to get me. I don't know about eating afterwards though, it might be late."

"Well in that case, why don't you just stay here in town and we'll get something to eat and go straight to the theatre? That's if you don't need to go home and get ready, you look fine as you are." Alec smiled, she did indeed look fine to him.

Rose went to tell Pete she was going straight out and Alec used the internet on his phone to find out what was playing in the theatres around Leicester Square and asked Rose to choose one.

"Oh, can we go see 'Much ado about nothing', my favourite actor's in that," Rose grinned.

She hoped Alec wasn't aware that the actor looked like him and The Doctor, a fact she had often teased the latter with back on their own world and was relieved to find he was an actor here also and even more popular.

Alec said he would try, they might be lucky. Luck was on their side, there were two tickets remaining, good seats that had been returned so they left the conference and Alec went to park his car back at his hotel and they walked to the main area with plenty of time to eat and get to the theatre. They finished dinner early so they went for coffee and made their way to the theatre. Rose enjoyed herself but she saw the look on Alec's face when he realised the main character was almost his double. How would he react when he learned about The Doctor then?

She was worried now but didn't let it spoil watching the play, dragging Alec to the stage door to get the actor's autograph much to Alec's dismay when she asked him to put 'To Rose' on the programme before he signed it, remarking it was a lovely name. Rose went the colour of her name and Alec tried not to punch the actor for making the remark. He didn't want Rose to know that all through the evening he had been jealous. He had been jealous when men looked at her in the caf they went in, jealous when she had been watching the play and had sought her hand several times only for her to let go to clap at something silly the actor did. He was getting possessive and he knew it.

It was only their second date, he was still married and he was getting irritable every time she didn't pay attention to him. He told himself he didn't own her. She was a young attractive woman who could have any man she wanted, he didn't get to choose for her. After the play, Rose suggested going to a nearby bar and Alec went to get drinks. It was not quite ten and Rose didn't want the evening to end. She chatted to him about the play and he never stood a chance to tell her about himself. He didn't want to spoil it by blurting it out but she would find out eventually, tomorrow as he was due to go back on Thursday. Maybe he could book two days off and stay here but he would have to pay for the hotel himself and it was expensive, he was going to have to pay for a solicitor, find himself somewhere to stay and give money to his wife for Daisy, he couldn't afford to stay where he was.

He was going to have to find a cheaper hotel but if he stayed, Rose would wonder why he was moving into a different one. He could tell her the hotel was already booked up and he was having to find an alternate one. Rose had money, she wouldn't understand, would she? He decided to call his station the next morning and book two days off, they owed him time and then look on the internet for a cheaper hotel for three nights and see if he could get a good deal, then travel back on Sunday afternoon but before he did that, he had to make sure it was going to be worthwhile. There was no point in getting another hotel room if Rose wasn't interested in him.

All the while he had been thinking, Rose was talking about how she had been brought up not far from where they were, omitting it was in another universe until finally, he couldn't stand it any more and asked Rose if she would like to go back to his hotel room for further discussion of the topic of today's conference. Rose knew it wasn't just for that reason he was asking, she knew all the tricks. She allowed him to lead the way but not before he kissed her in the doorway as they were going out.

They walked back to his hotel holding hands and went to his room. This time, he didn't mess around as he kissed her again then helped her off with her jacket.

"Rose, stay with me?" he whispered in her ear, pulling her back for another kiss. Her lips melted on his and he thought it was the best kiss he had ever tasted.

"I'm lonely Rose, just stay to keep me company, please? I'm not asking you to do anything you don't want, I just want to hold you."

Rose looked up at him. He did look lonely, his eyes said it all. How could two men in different universes be so much alike and yet so different? She had spent all that time travelling with The Doctor and he'd never even tried anything with her and here was Alec Hardy, after two dates asking her to stay with him.

Rose put her arms around him and he kissed her again.

"I can stay a while Alec, I have to get home. I can't go to the conference tomorrow wearing the same clothes as today."

"Then I'll take you back early in the morning, please stay."

He pulled her towards the bed and they sat down, kissing. Alec leaned her back and lay gently over her. Rose was having butterflies again each time he kissed her. She had never felt like that before. He put his arms on her shoulders then started kissing them, calling her name then taking his jacket off.

"You're all I was thinking about during the conference Rose, I hope they don't ask me questions about it when I get back because I wasn't taking much notice," he smiled, kissing one of her shoulders and making his way to her neck.

Rose moved so her neck was exposed and he took advantage of it, whispering her name again. Her arms were around his neck, he fumbled with his tie and took it off, unbuttoning his shirt at the top. Rose put her arms on his neck then onto his back and he shivered slightly. Rose noticed.

"Is there something wrong Alec," she asked as she gazed into his eyes before he buried his face in her neck again.

"Mmm, nothing, it just made me jump, I wasn't expecting it."

Rose laughed. "You unfastened your shirt and you didn't expect me to take advantage of it?" She could hardly believe it. Now was she going to tease him or what?

She moved her fingers slowly down the back of his shirt. Alec smiled. He felt like a teenager again. It had been a long time since his own wife had touched him and then not quite the way Rose was doing it. He let her carry on as he made his way down her neck and only stopped when her dress was in the way. Rose looked up when he stopped.

"Not sure what to do next, Inspector?" she teased. "Don't tell me you're out of practice!"

Alec retaliated. He moved over to the other side and began working his way down. He looked up for a moment.

"I'll show you who's out of practice," he laughed.

Who was he kidding? Of course he was out of practise, his wife had made sure of that. Well he didn't mind practising on Rose if she was willing. He went back to what he was doing until he ran out of neck again.

Rose laughed. "You're definitely out of practice, don't you know what to do when you run out of space?"

That made him look up. She was taunting him. He reached around the back of her dress and found the zip, pulling it until it was halfway down then pulling the dress away from her neck and continued what he was doing. Rose was getting tired of only reaching so far down his back and withdrew her hands to make better use of them unbuttoning the rest of his shirt. Alec smiled as he got further down onto her shoulder. Rose pulled his shirt away from his shoulders, admiring the hairs on his chest then running her fingers across them. It sent another shiver through Alec. It had been far too long and he didn't want to spoil the mood by giving her the bad news that he shouldn't even be contemplating this with her. Instead, he said her name as he dared to move even further down and Rose put her arms around his back and onto his shoulder blades.

Then Alec felt a twinge of guilt as he was about to go further and pull her dress more over her shoulders. He had to tell her but gently and see her reaction. He looked up for a moment as Rose's head was on one side, she was smiling at him.

"Rose, I was supposed to be going back to Glasgow on Thursday but I was thinking about maybe staying a few more days, go back on Sunday."

"What? Oh, I didn't realise you were going home on Thursday. Any reason why you'd want to stay?" she teased.

"Well you for one, do I need any more reasons to stay?"

"Suppose not. Alec, why do you cringe every time I run my fingers over your shoulders?"

She could feel him melt under her every time she did it. This was a man who had not been touched like that for a long time and she wondered why.

"I wasn't aware I 'cringed' as you call it, it was just a nice feeling that I couldn't help. You don't know what you do to me Rose, I never thought I could feel like that again."

He so wanted to tell her outright. Maybe she would guess but would she get up and walk out, slap his face even? He could live with that, he deserved it. He shouldn't have let it get this far. Peter Tyler would hit him with everything he could think of if he broke her heart. He had stopped what he was doing and was looking at her.

"Rose, I need to tell you something, if you want to carry on with this."

Her arms were still around his back and she withdrew them and held him at arms length.

"What is it Alec? Is it about what I do to you? You've not been touched like that for a long time, have you? Why is that? Are you divorced or something, fallen out with your girlfriend? It's okay, you can tell me."

"Rose, I wish it were that simple but it's not. I'm married Rose but we haven't been together for almost two years, she went for a younger man and I never knew until recently. Now I'm seeing a solicitor when I get back and I should have done it two years ago and it was you that prodded me into deciding to get my life back. Do you know how she made me feel when I found out Rose?"

Rose couldn't imagine and his answer was not quite what she was expecting. Pete had done a check on him, why hadn't he told her Alec was married?

Alec decided to spare her the details. "I'm sorry Rose, I shouldn't have said that, it's my problem not yours."

He didn't know Rose very well then.

"It's okay Alec, I understand but you could have told me before you know."

She pulled him down for a kiss.

"I only came to my senses this morning and realise she had walked all over me for the last two years and now I want out. She made me feel like nothing Rose, she made me feel unwanted and that's not the worst of it, we have an eleven year old daughter called Daisy and she's been using her to get to me, leaving me to look after her."

Rose felt so sorry for him, what the hell was wrong with the woman?

"Well I want you Alec and I'm not sure what to say but I'm glad you decided to do something about it. Now you've got that over with, can you go back to what you were doing please? I was enjoying that."

Alec smiled, she should have walked out but here she was, acting like nothing had been said. He did as he was asked and went back to what he was doing as Rose resumed tilting her head and enjoying the feeling of Alec's lips and tongue on her neck. Suddenly though she stopped him.

"Alec, I need to go and phone my dad or he'll have half the Police in London looking for me."

Alec laughed. "Rose, you are with the Police in case you hadn't noticed."

Rose laughed as well. "That's as maybe but I still have to call, it's getting late, unless you want to take me back home and explain?"

Alec shook his head and raised himself up on his arms.

"Not me, I'm not that brave. What are you going to say?"

Rose got up, pulling her dress back on and went to get her phone out of her purse and raised her finger for him to be quiet while she made the call. She didn't want to tell Pete she was still with Alec in his room.

"Dad, I'm staying out tonight, I'll be back early in the morning to get changed. I didn't want to worry you."

"Are you staying out with that Alec Hardy?" Pete asked.

She couldn't deny it. "It's not what you think but yes I'm with him, he's taking the sofa. We just have a lot to talk about that's all. He's thinking of staying a few more days and I know what you were keeping back from me, he told me."

She ended the call and sat back down on the bed. Alec looked at her.

"You still want to stay? After what I told you?"

Rose nodded and allowed Alec to ease her back down, pulling his shirt over his shoulders until it was almost off, unfastening the cuffs, sliding it off him then pulling him down.

"So, are you going to take the sofa?" she asked playfully.

"What sofa would that be then?" he asked, reaching around the back of her dress and pulling the zip all the way down.

Rose smiled and just said, "Oops" and pulled him down for a kiss.

Alec pulled her dress down over her shoulders as she had pulled it back up to make her call and began kissing her neck then lower down, pulling her dress as he did, she had told him earlier that if something got in the way he knew what to do. His shirt was now off and Rose was running her fingers on his chest and debating whether to take this further. He made the decision for her as he slowly pulled off her dress, revealing her pink underwear and began to kiss her further down. She reached for his belt and slowly unbuckled it and Alec smiled, pulling down the straps of her bra and kissing her bare shoulders.


The following morning, Rose woke up and slowly remembered where she was and who she was lying across. She was still in her underwear and could tell Alec was still wearing his shorts, she was lying directly on him. Alec was already awake, one arm across her back and laid on the other one. He felt Rose moving and said "Hi."

Rose moved around to kiss him.

"Morning, Inspector, I hope you were comfy on the sofa last night because that's exactly where you tell my step-father you were last night."

Alec smiled. "Yes, Ma-am," and grabbed her waist and pulled her onto him.

She squealed and started laughing. It was just gone seven and Rose had to go home and get changed and it was going to be cutting it fine but Alec wanted to fool around first resulting in them being delayed another half an hour and meant Rose would have to grab some toast when she got back home. She finally got him to let her out of bed and he drove her back. Luckily they didn't have far to go and Alec dropped her off saying he would grab some breakfast and see her at the conference then kissing her goodbye. Rose wanted to invite him in but didn't think it was that good an idea, not this morning, maybe tomorrow if things worked out. She had a lot to think about.

Chapter 5

Rose ran upstairs after saying goodbye to Alec and grabbed a change of clothes, getting changed in record time then running downstairs in time to grab some toast lying on the counter. Pete looked up from his morning newspaper.

"Is that all you're having this morning Rose? You'll need more than that until lunchtime. How did things go then? Did you two 'talk'?"

Rose blushed, they hadn't exactly done much 'talking', mainly kissing and Alec tormenting her with his tongue without actually totally undressing her, just reaching parts that were uncovered but she had managed to get her own back eventually and had made him moan her name as she kissed across his chest after swapping positions with him.

"Yes, he told me all about his wife up in Glasgow, he's getting a divorce. I promised not to tell anyone the details, he didn't want to say much else. He just realised she had been using him for the last two years and now he's decided to do something about it. Don't worry, he'll keep me out of it, if that's what you're worried about." She grabbed another piece of toast.

"Well, just don't tell your mother until you decide what you're going to do and for goodness sake, don't even think about telling her who he looks like, she's bad enough as it is. She half scared me to death last night, I thought she was going into labour early. I didn't know what was wrong with her, she was getting pretty annoyed about something, it took me ten minutes to find out she only had indigestion."

Rose smiled. That was just typical of her mother.

"Well, I'll probably stay out again tonight, since the conference finishes today and Alec may have to move out of his hotel, it seems a bit expensive since the Police have been paying for it. I was going to ask him about it later. I don't suppose he could stay here for a few days, could he?"

"I'm not sure that's a good idea, I don't want your mother slapping him, not in her state." Pete laughed.

"It's just he's not going to be able to afford a central London hotel, he has to pay for a solicitor plus find himself somewhere to live when he gets back. Ok then, I'll book into a hotel for three nights and he can stay with me." Rose was determined that wasn't going to spoil things, she was prepared to do anything.

Pete didn't like that idea. "Ok, since you're obviously attached to him, your mother will have to meet him sooner or later. Bring him around in the morning and if he doesn't arrest your mother for slapping him, he can stay in one of the guest rooms and I mean it Rose, no sharing until I check him out personally."

Rose crossed over to him and hugged him. She had learned very early on he could hardly say no to her but didn't usually take advantage of it except in exceptional circumstances and this was one of them. Now she had to persuade Alec to go along with it. Maybe he would refuse, it wasn't an ideal situation but she was determined to have him stick around until Sunday and even then she intended helping him out. What good was there being the Vitex heiress if you couldn't flaunt your status? She had a generous allowance from Pete, no bills to pay and spent her money wisely. She had money in her bank account and an almost zero balance on her credit card plus once she reached 21, her allowance would increase and she would be paid by Torchwood once she passed her exams.

That thought brought her back down to earth. Bother, she had exams next week and she had totally forgotten about them getting engrossed with Alec. She was going to have to tell him tonight but he would know most of it by then anyway, he would just get to know a bit more than the rest of the conference delegates would, after he had made use of his tongue on her exposed skin again he wasn't going to get any further than that just yet, she was enjoying it.

Rose was more light hearted on the way into town to finish the conference although they arrived a bit later than the previous morning with Rose delaying their departure. Alec was already there, sitting in his seat at the table and scribbling in his file again. He really should see if he could get another copy or he would be out of a job as well as a home when he got back. He saw one of the conference attendants and cheekily asked for another copy, pretending he had spoiled his copy and was quite pleased when brought one. He had managed to get there early on and so after getting his new copy, he made notes in the back on the blank pages and hoped he'd remembered everything, intending to get more out of Rose later after he had finished licking her to death, which she seemed to have enjoyed last night despite her keeping her underwear on. He was going to have to remedy that part, she had been adamant nothing else was going to be taken off and he didn't want to force her and scare her away.

His heart skipped a beat when he saw her walk in. She was beautiful and was wearing black trousers and a beige see-through blouse with a white top underneath, her hair was swept back and he just wanted to kiss her there and then but instead smiled as she took her place. He had been hoping she would be early again but he'd dropped her off late after keeping her in bed longer than he should have done but she hadn't exactly protested when he did. Rose smiled back at him as she sat down and Alec knew then things were going to work out between them, he cared about her and he could tell she cared about him.

Then the moment came when Rose was in the spotlight. This was her day and she had not been looking forward to it. This was the day she told the conference delegates where the Cybermen had gone after escaping the sealed factories and how she knew because she was there when they arrived. She was concentrating on what she was saying, Pete had told her to tell the truth, these were all senior Police Officers and could be trusted and had assured her there would be no repercussions and she, her mother and Mickey were protected and had warned her not to keep looking at Alec all the time, to address the whole conference, not just him. She had to reveal that once they were sure the threat had been neutralised here, she had gone back to where she had come from another universe.

Everyone in the room gasped, including Alec who had spent two evening with her, one of them sharing a bed with her and was falling in love with her but to find out his love interest was from another universe, in front of dozens of other Police officers and senior officials was something he had not been expecting and he thought she would react badly to him being married, that was nothing compared to this. So this was her secret, a well kept secret. At this point, people were mumbling to themselves and Pete stood up.

"May I remind you all this is in the strictest confidence and this does not leave the room. When you report back, this revelation will be omitted and you will all be handed a full statement that has been prepared with the official version, including all the information from the last two days of the conference."

Alec frowned, he needn't have just wasted twenty minutes racking his brain to remember what had been said, he could have been making plans about Rose but did he want to now? Was she any different from last night when he had been kissing and licking her all over and wanted to do more? Was she the same Rose who had made him want out of his failed marriage to be with her? He didn't know the answer, it had come as a complete shock.

Pete continued. "What you are about to be told now is also classified. The statements you will be handed will contain two versions, one for your benefit only as you have been chosen to hear first hand and one version to be shared with your fellow officers on a need to know basis. No-one below your grade is to learn about even the shared version. There is no-one in this room below the rank of Detective Inspector. Now Miss Tyler will proceed with her version of what happened when the Cybermen made it through to her world as no-one from here knows exactly what took place when they got there except for her and three other people, two of which are here in this world and protected, along with her and then I will address you and relate how we knew the Cybermen were starting to disappear and made it through to the world she comes from and how we went across to help."

Rose began to relate the events leading up to them discovering what they thought were just ghosts and then seeing them materialise as Cybermen. She left nothing out except that The Doctor was not from earth and was a time traveller. She finished just as lunchtime arrived and Pete declared he would speak after lunch.

Rose remained in her seat, staring at the folder in front of her, not daring to look Alec in the eye. What had she been thinking of, getting involved with him and having him find out in front of all these people she was virtually an alien? She might just as well have been, she wasn't from this world. It would have been much simpler if she hadn't spent the last two nights with him and getting more intimate with him last night. She should have known better. This was why The Doctor had probably not wanted to get involved with her, he was afraid he would put her in danger and he would be exposed and maybe imprisoned or worse still studied and dissected and Rose also locked up for helping him.

Pete pulled her out of her daydream by asking if she was going for lunch. She shook her head. She couldn't face Alec now. She wasn't even aware everyone except her and Alec had left the room.

Alec had remained in his seat until everyone had left then he got up and closed the door. He could do without lunch, he had lost his appetite. He looked at Rose who was now resting her head on her hands on the table and couldn't decide whether to talk to her or leave the room, even walk out of the conference. He stood with his back to the door, one foot behind him on the door and his hands behind his head, moving it back and forth, debating what to do next. Rose was still not looking at him.

"You could have told me Rose," was all he could manage.

There was no reply.

"You knew you were going to say all this today, why couldn't you have told me last night? Why did I have to find this all out in front of all these people Rose, why?" He remained where he was and closed his eyes.

"I'm sorry Alec," she said in a low voice he could only just hear.

"You're sorry? Well that makes everything ok then doesn't it?" He felt angry and betrayed again, as if being betrayed by his own wife hadn't been enough, now he finds out the woman he was considering getting a divorce for was from another universe. Hell, did that make her an alien?

Rose looked up, tears were streaming down her face, Alec could just see. She had meant it, she was sorry. He moved away from the door and crossed over and stood in front of her. She didn't look up at him. He walked around behind her chair and leaned down, putting his arms around her shoulders.

"I'm sorry too Rose, I thought we had something special, you and I, like we needed each other. Maybe I was wrong to be angry with you but it was a shock, finding out like that. You didn't trust me enough to tell me when we were on our own last night."

Rose was still crying, she had blown it and ruined any chance of staying with him now. She'd had two choices just like Pete had said, to be happy or miserable during her time here and she had unwittingly chosen to be miserable and not only that, ruin Alec's life as well.

He leaned down and brushed her cheek with his finger. "Look at me Rose, please," he pleaded, trying to get her to turn around.

Rose shrugged him away, laying her head on her hands again, wanting the table to swallow her. Alec was persistent, putting his hands on her shoulders again.

"Rose, look me in the eye and tell me everything that happened between us last night meant something to you because it meant something to me."

Rose looked up to see his face peering over her shoulder, almost resting his chin on it. He whispered in her ear. "Rose, I love you, please, tell me this makes no difference to how we feel about each other. You made a difference in my life, made me realise I didn't have to take what had been thrown in my face and that I could do something about it. You gave my life back to me." He kissed her cheek and moved away, standing behind her.

When she didn't respond or say anything, he knew he should just leave. He didn't need to hear the rest, he would just get a copy of the statements and leave, pack his bags and drive back up to Glasgow and get there sometime in the evening and forget about the divorce, what would be the point? He was only going to do it to be with Rose. She had made him feel loved and wanted again, a breath of fresh air after his stale marriage. He didn't want his wife back, he wanted Rose but she didn't want him.

Rose had heard what he had said. He did mean something to her and now he had said he loved her. No-one had actually said those three words to her, not even Mickey, all he'd ever come out with was 'luv you babe' and then only occasionally, mostly after his football team had just won a match. She knew he'd moved a step back. She raised her head, her cheeks still wet with her tears. She heard his footsteps behind her, he was leaving.


He stopped.

"Last night, it did mean something to me and I thought too that we had something special but how can you say you love me when I'm not even from this universe?" She had loved The Doctor, he wasn't even from the same planet but not how she felt about Alec.

Alec stayed where he was. Rose continued. "It makes no difference to me Alec, I know I have two choices now I'm here, in this universe. To be happy or miserable and I was miserable until I met you."

She got up and stepped towards him. He held his arms out and she fell into them. "I love you too Alec," she whispered.

He gathered her in his arms. "Rose, we can work this out, it makes no difference to me either. Just tell me your not from Mars or somewhere," he smiled into her neck.

Rose looked up and smiled back. "No, not the last time I checked anyway, I'm just an earth girl but I know a man who was from another planet."

Alec laughed. "I just bet you do Rose Tyler, that wouldn't surprise me in the least. Now we still have time to grab some quick lunch if you want?" Rose looked up and her lips met his.

They walked towards the door hand in hand, opened it and saw some surprised looks on the faces of the people nearest the door as they put in an appearance, Pete being one of them. He glanced knowingly at Rose, suspecting something had happened when Alec had found out that Rose had not been from around here, here being this universe. He was glad they seemed to have worked it out.

Alec led them to an empty table and they got served and hurriedly ate their lunch, not even bothering about everyone around them, smiling at each other and Rose giggling when Alec made a joke about he hoped since Rose was from another universe that they were 'compatible' to which she told him he was getting too far ahead of himself and they both laughed, causing people at the next table to turn and stare at them.

Chapter 6

After lunch, Rose and Alec being the last to go back, stealing a kiss before they went in much to the amusement of the serving staff, Rose continued to explain how they had rid her universe of the Cybermen by trapping them between the two universes and sealing off the gap, trying to avoid the words 'The Void' but explaining that it was the space between the universes that contained nothing. Alec of course had plenty of questions to ask but he could save them now he knew he'd get chance to find the answers later, maybe not tonight, he had other plans now he knew Rose loved him but he would get answers none the less.

Pete gave his version of events, revealing the execution of their plan when they first discovered what had happened and sending someone to keep an eye on things, that being Mickey of course and although he had to omit the part about the Daleks as Rose had explained exactly what they were, he didn't want to scare this world as to their existence and afterwards began taking questions.

Rose was staring at Alec, waiting for him to ask some but he didn't. She knew he was saving them for when they were alone, he would want to ask her about The Doctor in private. The way she had talked about him, had gone back to help him and almost didn't make it, he would certainly want to know about that although she hadn't told the whole story, just that she had stayed behind and got back at the last minute but she would have to tell Alec, he deserved that much.

The conference was winding down, people were being handed copies of the statements Pete had promised, including Alec and one by one they all left, shaking hands with Pete on the way out. Rose didn't want to be part of it, she wasn't expected to take part. Alec remained at his table, gathering up his files and skimming through one of the statements. He would have to share this information with his equals and his superiors but thankfully not with his future ex-wife and her boyfriend, they were only DS's but now he had to break the news to her he was filing for divorce and explain to their eleven year old daughter it was not her fault.

How was he going to do that? It was not Daisy's fault her mother was seeking comfort with another man, he didn't even think the girl was aware her mother was seeing someone else unless his wife had introduced her to him. What would the other man make of suddenly being presented with a young girl? She was going to have to do her share and look after her until Sunday then there were going to be some changes, he was not going to do all the running around, she was going to have to pull her weight. He had let her get away with it for two years and all that was going to come to an end. He couldn't bring himself to tell her by phone he was going to divorce her even though she had played him for a fool all this time but as soon as he got back and Daisy was in bed, he was going to tell her.

He would get all his belongings and go find a cheap hotel while he found a place big enough to have Daisy stay with him. If he was careful, he could manage a few weeks, maybe even go to a B&B and just get a room and eat in the station canteen, it was cheaper there and use his money to pay for a good solicitor who would take his case. He had good grounds for the split and she couldn't deny it, she was never home. He was roused from his wanderings when Rose stood in front of him.

"You looked miles away Alec, is there something wrong?"

She noticed he'd not shaved that morning and was glad he was growing his beard back, it was disconcerting staring at The Doctor's double.

He was about to answer when Pete came up to them.

"Rose, I'm getting off now, are you staying out?"

"Yeah, I'll see you in the morning. Alec, have you planned where you're going to stay since you were expecting to go back tomorrow?"

She doubted he had thought about it.

"No, I hadn't, I was just going to see if I could find a cheap hotel for the next few nights, that's if you want me to stay? I need to phone my station and get a days leave, I'd best do it now. I was allowed a day's travelling time but I was supposed to report back on Friday."

"Well, you can come and stay with us if you want, there's plenty of room and I can leave you to make your phone call if you want, you can come and pick me up later, I know you have things to do."

"I don't want to be any trouble Rose, I can find somewhere and I don't need privacy to ring and ask for the time off, I'm only asking for Friday."

"Don't be silly, you're not any trouble. We can get you settled in the morning then we can go sight-seeing and on Friday, we can spend the whole day looking around and deciding what we're going to do. There are a few more things you need to know. Anyway, I already asked dad, didn't I?"

She turned to Pete who shrugged his shoulders meaning he had been conned into it but decided it was worth it to see Rose happy again.

"Well, if you're sure it won't be any bother. I have some explaining to do Mr Tyler," Alec admitted.

"That's between you and Rose, just be sure you both know what you want Alec, I know you're married and Rose mentioned you were getting a divorce. Just make sure you don't drag Rose's name into it, she may not have been important where she came from but she's my step-daughter now. I have a responsibility to her and she has the responsibility to keep herself out of the news, well not so favourable news and that includes getting caught up in someone's divorce and no sharing a room yet."

"I know that Mr Tyler, I intend to keep her name out of it and I'll accept the invitation and I respect your wishes of having a room of my own, you have my word."

Rose looked disappointed but there were ways around that and at least he would have a roof over his head for the next few nights. She had plenty of questions for Alec Hardy.

"Well, if you two are staying out, I'd best go warn your mother Rose and you'd better warn Alec how she might react when she meets him. You know what I mean by that and not the fact he's married, that will be the least of his problems once she sees him."

Poor Alec was wondering what he was letting himself in for. He already had one mother-in-law that took his wife's side and now he was going to have to face Rose's mother and wondered what Tyler had been talking about. He hoped Rose would explain. Now that was settled, it would save him some money and he would get to know the rest of her secrets which he was sure she had. He would think about how to tell his wife and daughter he was leaving once he got back, he just wanted to spend the next few days with Rose without the conference getting in the way.

They drove back to Alec's hotel, deciding just to go have dinner and maybe a drink and then do some talking as they both had plenty of questions to ask each other but before they went out, there was plenty of kissing to do and apologising on both parts.

Alec went first. "I'm sorry Rose, I shouldn't have reacted like I did, it's not your fault, you're just a victim after all. You found yourself on a strange world and had to make a life here and you did. It can't have been easy for you." He put his arms around her and held her tightly, nuzzling his head in her neck. "I still love you Rose and I know you're not really an alien." He looked straight at her and smiled. "Now have you got anything else you might want to tell me?"

Rose nodded. "If you're sure you want to hear it though. You never asked me how old I was and you might not want to know. I know the law here is different to where I come from but I am over eighteen, that's not the problem but all my records have been altered to suit this world and I know I shouldn't tell you this with you being in the Police but you need to know. I'll be twenty one in a few weeks but time goes faster here than on my world, here I'll be twenty four so take your pick. I don't feel like I'll be twenty four and officially I won't be celebrating my 21st but I think my mum's planning something, that's if she's not in hospital, she's expecting a baby soon and she's hoping it will be born on my birthday or near enough."

"So what was that all about, your mother reacting to me and it not being due to my being married? I'm a little puzzled on that point."

"It's because you look like someone she used to know, that we all knew. That Doctor we talked about, the one who was with us both times when we defeated the Cybermen, you could be his twin brother."

She knew now that would make or break their new relationship.

"Let me get this right, this man, this Doctor, the one you stayed behind with to put the Cybermen into this space between universes, I look like him? Just by how much Rose?"

He had let go of her and was holding her at arms length, watching her. Just when he thought he had heard the worst, she dropped that on him. Was he a substitute for this man she had left behind? Why had she stayed with him when she could have been safe here in the first place, had she loved him? If she had, was she just using him as a reminder? She really knew how to drop things on a man. Maybe her life was a little too complicated for him, would he be able to cope with it? Did he want to? She was young, rich and had a position to maintain as a member of the Tyler family and if he pursued her, he would be under scrutiny, he would have to keep her secrets.

He looked at her, he couldn't deny he had been drawn to her and she to him but was it because he looked like someone else? She had made him realise he could have another chance if he wanted but now, could he live knowing he was a constant reminder to her of someone she had lost?

Rose saw the look on his face. "Alec, you've got nothing to worry about. Yes, you look like him but you are so different to him in many ways. He's gone Alec, he's in the other universe and it's sealed off - permanently and before you ask, yes I did love him but I did nothing about it, I never told him face to face, not like I told you."

That was true, she hadn't told him to his face, she had told his image and she wasn't lying to Alec. She realised at that moment there were some things she was going to have to keep secret from him and she hated the fact she had to do it but she would have to if she wanted to keep him.

"So, you won't ever see him again?"

"No and even if by some remote chance the walls between the universes open up again, which would probably bring the Cybermen back, I would never go back Alec. My family is here, I've made friends here, I've got my dad back, my own dad died when I was six months old, I never knew him. Do you think I could go and leave all that? I'm going to have a younger brother or sister, something I thought would never be possible. Most importantly I have you Alec, I love you."

She shortened the gap that was between them and put her arms around him, waiting to see if he was going to do the same. Alec thought he was a good judge of people, he could see if she was genuine or not. Did it really matter if she had been in love with another man who was a universe away? She was with him now and he had some room to talk he had once been in love with his wife, had a child with her and she had left him, not the other way around. He could give Rose a chance.

"I love you too Rose, I'm sorry." He put his arms around her and kissed her. "Let's not talk about this again, it's over with now. We need to talk about the future and especially what I'm in for when I meet your mother. Do you have to tell her I'm married? Can't you just wait until I get my divorce?" he smiled, kissing her neck.

"Well that depends if dad says anything to her. Let me call him and tell him not to say anything and if he hasn't already, she won't be any wiser."

She picked up her phone and called Pete. "Dad, have you spoken to mum yet?"

"Not yet, she was talking about what colour the nursery was going to be, she changed her mind again. Now she wants it a neutral colour so I'm going to have to get it redecorated. Are you sure you're going to be showing Alec around London this weekend? You could decorate instead, ask him if he's any good with a paintbrush will you," Pete laughed.

Rose laughed too, imagining Alec and herself painting a nursery then realised he probably already had done.

"Well if you haven't spoken to her, can you do me a huge favour? Please don't tell her that Alec is married, it's complicated enough as it is and he knows he looks like The Doctor and he's not happy about it but has accepted it. I love him Dad, please don't tell mum, we'll tell her when he gets his divorce, I don't want her to get all upset with the baby nearly due."

"Alright then Rose but if she finds out, they'll be trouble, you do know that?"

"I know, thanks, I'll see you both in the morning. Alec and I are going out for dinner then we have some plans to make."

"Well don't forget your exams are due next week, have you told him yet?"

"I was about to but I wanted to make sure you didn't tell mum about him first. I think everything will go downhill from here, we've got the worst out of the way."

Just then she heard her mother's voice on the other end of the phone.

"Has who told what to who yet?" Jackie asked Pete.

Just what either of them needed, Jackie hearing part of a conversation. Rose heard her step father answer her.

"Jackie, I'll tell you later love, Rose is bringing her new boyfriend over in the morning, he'll be staying with us for a few days."

Jackie snatched the phone from him.

"Rose, I thought you were only going out to dinner with him the other night? When did he suddenly become your boyfriend?"

"Mum, we went out last night as well and he's only staying a few days, he's going back to Glasgow on Sunday. We'll still see each other, we just have to work it out. Anyway, you'll get chance to meet him in the morning and no doing what you usually do when you meet someone I'm going out with or he might arrest you," Rose laughed.

"Just let him try young lady," Jackie laughed back.

"Oh and dad has something to tell you about him. Bye, see you in the morning."

She hung up before her mother had chance to ask what it was.

While she had been on the phone, Alec went into the bathroom and called his station to book Friday off, giving them the excuse that he needed more time to get back and they owed him anyway for sending him to a boring conference. Boring would have been the correct term if Rose hadn't been there. It had been more than he could ever expected, meeting her and falling in love with her in three days. He had gone out with his wife for months before even taking her to bed, which had resulted in their daughter and he'd done the decent thing and got married. Maybe that was where he had gone wrong, maybe she had never really loved him and was the reason she had gone off in the first place.

Now he thought about it, he'd only put up with the last two years for Daisy's sake. He had a lot of things to plan but he had to include Rose in his plans now, keep her close but not close enough to get her involved in what he now had to do. He heard Rose in the other room, presumably talking to her mother and he went back out, creeping up behind her and grabbing her, making her jump.

"Alec, don't do that," she laughed, spinning around into his arms.

"Everything okay? Did you catch him in time?"

"Oh, yeah. How do you feel about doing some decorating this weekend?"

Alec frowned. Rose thought he looked cute when he did that and even more so now his beard was showing again slightly. She ran her fingers over his chin.

"You should keep that, it suits you. Don't shave it off for me Alec, I think the scruffy look is just you," she teased.

"Scruffy. You think I look scruffy? Thanks Rose, you really know how to flatter a bloke you know," he laughed, going to tickle her which resulted in her falling onto the bed and her pulling him down with her.

He continued to try and tickle her, Rose was giggling and trying to get him by turning him around so she was on top and they both gave up and began kissing again.

"I love you Alec," she whispered.

Chapter 7

Alec whispered back that he loved her and began kissing her neck and unbuttoning her blouse until just her white top was showing, then he began kissing her exposed skin.

"Alec, I thought we were going out to eat," she laughed.

"You are such a spoilsport Rose Tyler, do you know that?" he laughed back, fastening her buttons again and planting a kiss on her neck. "How about Italian tonight Rose, do you like Italian food?" he asked, taking advantage that she wasn't trying to get up at this stage and kissing all down her neck.

"Mmm, I like some Italian food and if you keep doing that I'm not going to be in a fit state to go anywhere Alec Hardy, you have no idea how good that feels."

He had a pretty good idea judging by her reaction. He stopped and Rose pulled a face.

"I didn't mean for you to stop it now," she sulked.

"You were the one that wanted to go out and eat you know," he laughed, pulling her up and sneaking a kiss. "Anyway, you're going to need all your strength for all that talking we have to do later unless you want to put that off until tomorrow?"

"Well that depends on what I need my strength for if we're not going to talk," she replied as she loosened his tie and noticed that he had the top button undone, just like The Doctor used to do.

She tried to ignore it but he saw her face.

"What's wrong now Rose, I thought we had sorted everything out. Don't you want to be seen out with me three nights in a row?"

He hadn't noticed what she was looking at, much to her relief.

"Of course I want to be seen going out with you it's just last night, you seemed to get jealous, don't think I didn't notice Alec, I thought you were going to punch that actor when he remarked about my name."

She had averted another confrontation but she had to get over it, she had to stop comparing him, it was all in her past now, she had to concentrate on Alec and no-one else.

"Oh, you noticed then?" he asked sheepishly, fiddling with his tie and tightening it up. "And don't play around with my tie unless you mean business Rose. Playing with my tie is dangerous unless you are prepared to follow it through by removing it, unfastening my shirt buttons including the cuffs and taking my shirt off," he said teasingly.

Rose smiled. "I'll try to remember that when we get back Alec," she replied, flipping his tie out that he had just tucked in.

He smiled. "You're asking for trouble Rose Tyler, you're playing a very dangerous game here you know. You're only getting away with it because I just happen to be hungry and fancy some Italian food to eat," he said, tucking his tie in again.

Rose took hold of his hand for him to pull her off the bed but just as he did, she pulled him back down again.

"Just how hungry are you Alec?" she said, pulling his tie loose then pulling it over his head.

"I've suddenly lost my appetite," he grinned as he let her unfasten the top button then the rest of them.

He unfastened her blouse buttons again and looked at the white top she was wearing then lowered his head just at the neckline and began kissing there. Rose moved her hand across his chest then moved her fingers slowly to his hair and began ruffling it as he was about to crush her hands as he moved even closer to her. With his teeth, he tugged at the neckline of the white top and pulled it lower, kissing the exposed skin.

"I love you Rose," he whispered as he went even lower.

Rose's hands were now around his neck as he looked up from what he was doing and their lips met.

"I love you too Alec."

He released her lips and lifted the hem of the white top, exposing her tummy and began kissing from one side to the other, making her run her fingers through his hair and moving as she felt his lips on her skin. Alec could feel her delight as he slowly made his way from one side to the other then working his way back, licking her instead of kissing which made her shiver. Rose reached for the cuffs of his shirt, which was now over his shoulders and soon took it off, tossing it on the bed beside her. He lifted her top even more then pulled it over her head, leaving her just in her underwear and continued kissing her exposed skin. Then she reached for his belt and unfastened it, causing Alec to look up for a second and raise both his eyebrows.

"No teasing Rose, that's not allowed, you have to finish what you start you know, remember?" He went back to what he was doing, moving the waistband of her black trousers down below her tummy then looking up, pulled them down her legs. "See, like that, that's called finishing the job," as he pulled them all the way down and tossing them on top of his shirt.

"Right,"she replied. "I see what you mean now" and pulled the zip down and began pulling his trousers over his hips as he wriggled out of them while still trying to kiss her tummy.

Now he was laid on her, kissing around the waistband of her underwear, Rose's hands were on his shoulders as she kissed his neck, whispering for him not to stop what he was doing.


It was after seven before they finally stopped, still in just their underwear having spent over two hours kissing and swapping places so Rose wouldn't get squashed. Alec was slim but well toned and weighed more than she did and he didn't want to crush her for too long. Rose had ended up laid on him as he held her in his arms, her head resting on his shoulder, she was nibbling at his neck and kissing it, making a red mark. Alec smiled, he was happy for the first time in over ten years, realising his wife had stopped doing the things Rose was doing after their daughter had been born. She had not wanted any more children, claiming she wanted to pursue her career after they got married and so he knew now that she had just been having sex with him to maintain their marriage, nothing more. There probably hadn't been any real love there for much longer than he'd originally thought.

He had loved her until she started being late home and altering her shifts, spending less time together as a family. Now here was Rose, content to just take things slowly and he wasn't going to ruin that by suggesting anything more, not until they were both ready. She was giving him feelings and sensations he thought he would never feel again and he loved her.

Rose finally looked up from what she was doing.

"Are we going out to eat then? I'm hungry now Alec."

"Yes, I can tell that since you're making a meal of my neck, I'm going to have some explaining to do about that, you had better hope my shirt collar covers it up. Speaking of which, I only have a clean shirt for tomorrow, I'll have to stop some place and buy some more."

"Don't worry about that, we do have a washing machine at my house you know, just leave it when we get there in the morning, one of the kitchen staff will do it for you and I can make a meal out of you lower down if you prefer."

Alec smiled again. "Maybe we can both get a proper meal first then come back for dessert?" he offered, trying to be helpful.

"Mmm, you're just full of good ideas Alec Hardy, you do know that don't you?" She reluctantly got up and kissed him. "Come on then, let's go eat before I change my mind and want to skip the main course."

Alec helped her up and they got dressed and made their way downstairs. He'd had his meals included at the hotel but had never actually eaten his evening meal there, just breakfast on the first morning having skipped yesterday because of the phone call from his wife and this morning dropping Rose back home. At some point he was going to have to call his daughter, just to reassure he was coming back but not until Sunday. He would never have contemplated doing anything like this if he hadn't met Rose. She had somehow given him the courage to get out of a loveless marriage, one that was being held together by a thread for their daughter's sake.

He had convinced himself he had not cheated on his wife, he had done nothing about Rose until he had already decided to leave her and how can you cheat on someone who is already cheating on you? They found an Italian restaurant not far from the hotel and had to wait for a table until Rose used her influence by saying who she was, much to Alec's dismay but it saved them waiting nearly an hour and got some funny looks from other people waiting. Everyone in London knew who she was, she had been in newspapers and magazines after her sudden rise to fame having been adopted by the famous Peter Tyler, a cover story had been invented by Pete and Jake and released to the press and she had attended dinners and charity events with her mother and Pete several times.

They talked over their meal, Alec saying he would have to contact his daughter to let her know he would be late going back and Rose agreed he should wait and tell her when he got there and hoped she was old enough to understand. He said his wife however would be a different story but she was the one that had started it all off, he told Rose he had hard evidence of what she had been doing and it didn't take a genius to work it out. Rose held his hand over the table and gave it a squeeze, just hoping there were no newspaper reporters around. These days, there were no tell-tale flashes of cameras, just cameras on mobile phones that you would never notice. Things seemed vastly different to Rose on this world, they were way ahead of her own world not just in time but in technology and development and her mother was having trouble keeping up with it all.

She told Alec she had a few more things to tell him but not nearly as bad as the obstacles they had just overcome. She told him she was doing a part time college course and was taking her exams next week.

"Why didn't you say? You should have been studying, what courses are you taking?"

"Business studies and business management, I'm going to be working for my step dad and not at Vitex, if you know what I mean?"

The subject of Torchwood had come up at the conference but never mentioned in public, the less that was said outside the authorities the better. Alec had taken that bit quite well, considering. He accepted it as part of the explanation of the Cybermen's disappearance and had been briefed of the other universes' involvement in it.

"So when have you got exams? I could come down next weekend."

"I've got one on Monday, two on Tuesday and two on Thursday, one exam is in four parts and I should come up to you, it's a long way to drive, I could come up by train on Friday for the weekend or longer?"

"You'll have to be careful, I can't be seen with you, not until the divorce papers have gone through and it's too late. I'll make a solicitors appointment on Monday and find myself somewhere to stay."

They left the restaurant, making plans when they got back to the hotel where Rose decided to take charge.

"You could find a B&B for two people, tell them your girlfriend will be arriving on Friday and don't worry, I'll pay for it and don't worry about how much a solicitor costs either, just get a good one. Find a B&B on the outskirts of Glasgow where no-one knows you and the following weekend will be my birthday so we'll get the train down here and celebrate, I don't want you driving all that way."

"Well, who put you in charge, Miss too much money for her own good?" he teased. "I want to pay for my own solicitor thanks very much, how will I explain how I can afford an expensive one on my salary?"

"Good point. Okay, just get one that you can afford that will get the job done but I'll pay for the B&B then when I get up there, we'll go flat or house hunting. I can put off starting work at Torchwood and maybe persuade dad to open an office in Glasgow and put me in charge. I'm sure he'll go for it."

Alec was astounded the things she was coming out with, she was so well organised, like she had been planning it but he knew that was impossible, they had only just got over her biggest secrets, how could she have known he was going to accept it all or not? He had almost, just almost walked away from it all until he realised he loved her no matter what came with her.

"Listen to you, you have it all planned don't you?" he laughed.

"Always was good at organising things, you have to when you grow up on a London council estate, on any world," she replied, putting her arms around his neck.

Then it dawned on him she was talking long term plans here, flat hunting, getting Tyler to open an office in Glasgow so she could work there and not just plans to stay the odd weekend. No, she was planning on moving there to be with him permanently. He just hoped his wife wouldn't be awkward and not sign the divorce papers, maybe she would be relieved he had made the first move.

After more of the kissing they had been doing earlier in the evening and Alec finally persuading Rose to part with an item of her underwear when they had finished undressing each other, they fell asleep with Alec feeling more positive about his future with her now the worst was over. Anything else she had to reveal to him about herself he would find easy to cope with. After they kissed when they woke up, Alec packed his suitcase and checked out of the hotel before ten and they drove to Rose's home, stopping to get breakfast on the way where Rose told him of her mother's tendency to slap her male friends, regardless of if she was actually going out with them or not and Alec said he couldn't promise not to arrest her for assaulting a Police Officer. That was when the fun started.

Pete had already gone to work, having to catch up on the last few days leaving Jackie waiting eagerly for Rose's return and meeting her new boyfriend. Pete had tried to explain to her that he may look familiar and not to get excited, Alec was not who she thought he was. Jackie had already guessed who he meant, she had thought Rose would have to pick someone who had looked like that daft alien they all missed so much but Pete had stressed Alec was totally different despite his looks and was a senior Police Officer and most importantly, Rose was happy with him and loved him. Jackie could only accept that Rose being happy in this universe was important because she thought her daughter would never be happy again so soon after saying goodbye to The Doctor.

Alec left his suitcase in the car, a bit sceptical about Rose's mother's reception of him and so he could make a fast getaway if need be but was pleasantly surprised she took it all so well. He watched Rose greet her mother, who despite her obvious condition was all over her, there was a bond between the two of them and he supposed it was partly because they needed each other to survive in this world and were happy they had been able to stay together but he also knew there was one other person here who was from her world, she had said his name was Mickey and he wondered if he would get to meet him.

Jackie finally let her go and eyed Alec who stepped forward and extended his hand.

"Mrs Tyler, a pleasure to meet you, I'm Alec Hardy."

Jackie looked at him, then at Rose. "Are you sure it's not him Rose, I mean your dad warned me but apart from this one not bothering to shave, he could be his double."

Rose smiled. "Mum, don't be so rude, Alec did shave his beard off and I told him to grow it again I prefer him like that, that's how he looked when I met him the other day. Dad said Alec could stay a few nights, he's going home on Sunday then when my exams are over, I'm going up to Glasgow to join him."

"Well I hope you'll be here for your birthday, I'm planning a big party, that's if I'm not in hospital. Don't go planning on running away." She was about to say 'like you used to do' but had been warned by Pete that Alec did not know anything about the part of Rose's life of travelling with The Doctor and it was to remain that way. "Your dad did tell me he was staying, in one of the guest rooms and don't you two get any funny ideas about creeping around at night, I'll know about it. Alec, I expect you to be out of my daughter's room by midnight or you're out."

She meant it too and Rose knew it. Her mother was forever throwing Mickey out at ten let alone midnight, she was getting soft.

Chapter 8

Alec went to get his case and Rose went to get changed, one of the housemaids showed Alec to a guest room two doors down from Rose's room but unfortunately next to her mother's room which Jackie had probably told the maid to put him in on purpose so she would hear either of them sneaking past. Rose knew her mother could hear a pin drop five miles away, she had often caught The Doctor leaving late even when they had only been watching TV and he'd got a lecture and on the few occasions he'd stayed over on the sofa, Jackie had purposely left her room door open in case he had tried to pay a visit to Rose's room and as for Mickey, she had personally showed him the door at 10pm sharp.

Rose had found Alec in his guest room sorting out his laundry, which was most of it and Rose assured him he'd have it all back, cleaned and pressed by the evening and they just kissed some more after Rose had left it all outside his door in a laundry basket she had brought up to be collected.

"My mother seems to like you Alec and don't take any notice about her rude remarks about shaving, I want you to keep your beard, that's if you want to?"

"I've only grown it since last weekend, thought it would make a change. I didn't set out to impress anyone here, I was going to shave it off again when I went back to work but now I think I'll keep it, since you seem to like it so much. It's not too rough on your skin is it?"

Rose ran her fingers along it, kissing him as she did so.

"No, it's fine, I'll just put some cream on after I've finished kissing you," she laughed.

They had some lunch then Alec drove them back into London and around the sights. He had told Rose he wasn't really that keen on the city but they parked up and walked down the embankment and watched the boats going past. They were near where she had landed the first time she was here but she didn't say anything. Alec said he wasn't keen on going on the water, something had happened when he was younger but he didn't want to talk about it and Rose didn't press him about it. She just took his hand and smiled reassuringly at him.

Alec began to ask her if the press followed her around at all but she assured him they never bothered her unless she was out at a function somewhere and he seemed satisfied. Rose could understand his concern, he had promised Pete he would keep her out of his divorce proceedings but didn't want to be photographed with her, not yet. He didn't want his wife naming Rose as the other party.

They returned in time for dinner, Alec's clothes had been returned much to his relief and he hung his shirts up in the wardrobe as Rose stood in the doorway before they joined Jackie and Pete. Rose went up behind him, closing the door to and put her arms around him, leaning on his back.

"You know if you really want to get on my mum's good side, we could redecorate the nursery for her on Saturday, that's if you have no other plans?"

He took her hands firmly around his waist and held them there then spun her around so she faced him.

"I'm quite good at decorating, I'll have you know, just have the paint ready on Saturday morning although I should have brought some more casual clothes with me, I'll ruin my suit trousers unless your dad has some overalls I can borrow?"

"I'm sure we can find you something suitable to wear for the occasion. Let's go tell her the good news, it will score you extra brownie points."

"What exactly are 'brownie' points? Is it something from your world?"

Rose knew she had put her foot in it, she had to be extra careful what she said.

"Sorry, it's like on my world, young boys and girls went to boy scouts and girl guides and brownies where they learned new skills and went camping and did good deeds, I don't suppose you had them here."

"Oh you mean like youth clubs and life skills? Yes, we have them here, I was a good life-skiller, got all the badges I did," he grinned.

Rose laughed. "I just bet you did. Anyway, whenever you did a good or extra deed, you got extra brownie points and that was a saying on my world, getting extra brownie points meaning you scored a good impression on someone when you needed it, sort of like if they weren't sure about you it gave them that extra incentive to like you. Mum seems to like you but she's just not sure about you but redecorating the nursery will put you in her good books, make her see your willing to make a good impression on her."

Alec smiled. If it made Rose and her mother happy, he was only too pleased to go the extra mile and make a good impression.

"On one condition, I'll help if she relents and lets me stay with you on Saturday night since I'm going back on Sunday."

"Mmm, I think it might take a bit more than painting the nursery to do that but we can try. She did say to be out of my room by midnight, she said nothing about you returning in the morning, did she?" Rose laughed.

"Rose Tyler, you are sneaky," he said, kissing her forehead.

They went down for dinner and told Jackie they would be pleased to decorate the nursery for her and Pete said he would have the paint delivered and two pairs of disposable overalls and have someone cover the carpet for them and Jackie nodded her approval of Alec, welcoming him to the family. Rose was just glad Pete had kept his word and not told her was already married, she would find out later when his divorce came through but they could say he was already getting it when they met, only Pete would know the truth. She didn't know how her mother would react to him being married, she had been bad enough when she had found out The Doctor was a 900 year old alien.

Alec kept his word and left Rose's room just before midnight, fearing the woman would have some kind of detector hidden somewhere and wanting to stay on her good side but he set his alarm for seven, got dressed and went back after a quick shower and tapped lightly on Rose's door and she had immediately opened it and Jackie was non the wiser. They were sat eating breakfast in the kitchen by the time Jackie got up.

They went sightseeing again, getting a tour bus around the city and getting off at various points. Rose took some photos of him on her phone that he wasn't entirely happy about but Rose said no-one but her would see them and put one as his contact picture and one as the wallpaper.

"I'm just sorry I can't take any of you yet Rose and some of us both together but hopefully by next weekend, the papers will be served and we can relax a little. Once they've been signed by both parties, she can't add anything to it like citing you as the reason I'm filing for divorce."

"Do you think she'll sign the papers without a fuss?"

"If she gets everything she wants but she's not getting sole custody of Daisy, I could go for joint custody but I'll let the court decide that once the divorce comes through. Meanwhile, I'll get temporary visiting rights, probably weekends so you'll have to stay out of the picture but I'll take her out, not to where we decide to live. I don't want her knowing about you until it's all over and it's too late. Besides, the judge will learn she was the one who was cheating on me, there's no proof I did anything wrong, I was the one that was at home looking after Daisy so there's no problem there."

"Well if we look for somewhere to live where no-one knows you, there won't be any chance of her finding out but how are you going to cope Alec, if you're looking after Daisy, you'll be there when your wife gets back home won't you?"

"No, because I'm going to refuse to pick her up and look after her, her mother will have to change her hours. I'll only do it on Monday until she can get her hours approved, she'll just have to make some adjustments, I've been doing it for the last two years, it's her turn to make some sacrifices. Every night I've gone to collect her, gave her tea and helped her with her homework, it's time for a few changes."

"Alec," Rose said, taking his hand. They were down by the river again, about to get the tour bus back to where they had parked the car. "You never even told me your wife's name. It doesn't matter, if you don't want to tell me but you can if you want, I'm okay with it, just so you know." She squeezed his hand and put her arm in his, laying her head on his shoulder. "I love you Alec, it makes no difference if you want to tell me or not."

Alec thought about it. Rose had taken it well so far, even encouraged him to talk about his daughter. He at least owed her that much so she knew what she was up against.

"Her name is Tess," was all he wanted to tell her.

Rose looked up at him and kissed his cheek. She didn't need to say anything else.

They got the bus back and drove to the Tyler residence and went to Alec's room. They just laid down on the bed, Alec's arms wrapped around her. Rose asked him what time he would have to leave on Sunday.

"It's a fair way to drive and I don't want to get back too late, I want to see Daisy before she goes to bed so I'll probably leave after breakfast and make a couple of stops on the way. I'll go straight up the A1 and stop just at this side of Leeds then when I get further up. I'll call you each time but I may not be able to call you when I get back. I'll have to take your name out of my phone for now, just keep your number. I don't want anything to go wrong, I want to appear the injured party in all this, keep everything above board until it all goes through. You understand, don't you? I'm not trying to disown you, I just want to keep your name out of it to protect you."

"Well if you want to keep things quiet, I'm an expert at that, I could teach you a few things, DI Hardy," she teased, kissing his cheek.

"I just bet you can and no more making my neck red, you should have seen it this morning when I got up."

Rose pulled his collar away from his neck and admired her work.

"Told you I could do it further down," she remarked.

"Not just now thanks," he replied. "It's my turn now to do it to you."

Before she could protest, he flipped her over and unfastened her shirt and began kissing the base of her neck.

"Oi, it's going to be seen there unless I wear nothing but high neck shirts and jumpers," she laughed.

"Well I could do it lower down if you prefer," he replied, mimicking what she had said the night before and unfastened some more buttons playfully.

"Just remember, you have to finish the job you started," she laughed, reaching for his shirt buttons.

That resulting in them both losing their shirts and Rose losing her underwear again on her top half as he kissed his way across her tummy. He looked up.

"I love you Rose, you are the best thing that has happened to me in a long time, I'm so glad I went to that conference now. I didn't want to go but if I hadn't, I'd never have met you."

"I love you too Alec, I thought I'd be restless and hate it here but I don't now, not any more. I hate to think you'll only be here tomorrow then I won't see you for nearly another week. I wish I could skip my exams and come with you."

"You need to finish your exams if you want that job. I could support us both but it would be tight. I'll have to pay towards Daisy's upbringing until she's sixteen but I'm not going to pay a penny to my wife, she has a job and a boyfriend and if we're going to live together, I want us to have decent place and I don't want you paying for it all."

"You're just too good for your own good Alec Hardy. You'd make someone a good husband," Rose replied, turning him around so she could lie on him again.

"Don't joke about it Rose, I was a good husband or at least I thought I was. I didn't drive her away, she went on her own. I made a mistake and now I'm going to put it right after I paid for it. Just how long will you stay with me Rose? What if she won't sign the papers, what then?"

Rose had been asked that question before, when she thought she could give The Doctor forever and look where that ended. What if Alec was right and his wife wouldn't sign the papers? Would she be prepared to still live with him knowing they could never get married? She had been through all this before but couldn't tell him. She had broken her promise to stay with The Doctor, she couldn't promise Alec forever if he was never going to be free.

"Then we'll just have to give her an incentive to sign them, won't we?"

"Oh no you don't Rose Tyler, you are not giving that woman money to sign the papers, no way. I won't drag you into this, not under any circumstance so forget that idea right now. I won't let you get involved with this, never Rose."

Rose leaned up on one elbow and studied him. She had no choice.

"Alec, I don't care what my stepfather said, I can look after myself. If she wants money to leave you then she'll get it but I wasn't talking about just giving her money, I meant you could name me as the other party, admit we've been having an affair or we could get positive evidence she was the one having the affair so she couldn't get out of it and she'd have to sign, let the judge decide, then it won't matter if she signs or not, will it?"

Alec looked at her, there was much more to her than she was letting on and it wasn't just the fact she was from a different universe, it was much more than that. She had grown up faster than she should have done. Maybe it was having to deal with the Cybermen but he suspected it was not that alone.

He pulled her back down and kissed her.

"Well, let's just see what happens and we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I do have proof and probably half of the station knows about her affair, except me, they were always talking behind my back. I don't think it will really be much of a problem. You still didn't answer me though, just suppose she won't sign and the judgement goes in her favour, will you still stay with me?"

"Alec, don't ask such questions, what do you take me for? Do you think I'll leave you if you can't get a divorce? We'll work it out. I promise, I'll still be with you, whatever happens. I'm going to be honest with you now Alec and you may not like it. I once promised someone I would stay with him forever and do you know what happened?" Alec shook his head. "We got separated, I ended up here and he stayed in our original universe, that's what happens when you think you have all the time in the world, it gets snatched away from you and there's nothing you can do about it. I'd promise you forever Alec but I may not be able to keep that promise and I'm scared of making it again, scared somehow it will all end up like before."

"Then what can you promise me Rose because I'll take whatever you've got. You don't have to promise me forever, just promise me what you can give me and it will be enough. Your love is all I need Rose and if for some obscure reason I can't get a divorce, we'll find a way, you'll just have to put up with being branded the other woman."

He smiled and leaned over to kiss her.

"Well so long as I'm not a kept woman I don't care," she laughed. "I promise you Alec, I'll give you whatever time I can, that's all I can do."

"Then I'll take it Rose because you are more than worth it. It was that Doctor, wasn't it? You promised him you'd stay forever and you got ripped apart but that wasn't your fault, you couldn't have known what was going to happen. You didn't break that promise Rose, those Cybermen broke it for you, you would have kept your word if they hadn't come along. It's okay if you can't promise me the same, I understand you're afraid to say it again, I really do, just promising me whatever time you can is more than enough, it's all I can ask. I do love you Rose, you know I do and please, don't let us have this conversation again, I won't ask you any more. I'll stay with you whatever happens for as long as I can."

Rose looked at him. She was here to stay, she wasn't going back under any circumstances, not even if she got the chance. She might have had the time of her life, travelling with The Doctor but he would never settle down and it have been great and she had loved him but Alec needed her, The Doctor would understand that. She had to make a commitment to Alec now, he was here with her, not a universe away.

Rose sat up and looked at him, not bothering to cover herself up. Alec stared at her, never really looking at how beautiful she was, tracing his finger from her neck all the way down, looking at her with his brown eyes that said he really did love her.

"Well if we're not discussing this again I've just got one more thing to say, I will stay with you Alec, forever, no matter what and if something does happen, it won't be because either of us wanted it that way."

She leaned down to kiss him and he whispered back, "Forever Rose."

Chapter 9

They got dressed and went down for dinner, Pete told them he had ordered the paint and Jackie said she would tell them which walls she wanted painting which colour and afterwards, Rose and Alec went into the smaller sitting room to watch TV and Rose promised to work on her mother to get her to lift the staying all night ban for just Saturday night. They curled up on the sofa, Alec watching something and Rose playing with the buttons on his shirt, slipping her fingers between the gaps and not daring to unbutton them which made him smile that she couldn't do anything about it. They were getting more used to each other all the time, just little things each of them would start to do, getting comfortable with each other and Rose telling him things she liked as he did them and Alec doing the same.

Rose was falling asleep, Alec wanted her to go to her room but she insisted he finished watching his programme. Just as it ended, the door opened and Pete came in. Rose sat up and moved her legs from across Alec's.

"Don't get up, I just wanted to say your mother's gone to bed so if you two are going to sneak around, now's your chance but don't tell her I warned you," Pete said, grinning at the two of them. "Have you made any plans yet Rose? What about your exams next week, you are still going to take them aren't you?"

"Yeah, course I am, I've worked hard at them. I'm going to do them then on Friday, I'm going to Glasgow to be with Alec. I was going to ask you if you'd think about maybe opening a Torchwood office up there by any chance? I'm going to need a job if I'm going to stay up there, I can't ask Alec to do everything on his own and it would a shame not to put all my studies to good use, wouldn't it?"

She knew she could twist Pete's arm if she put her mind to it and he knew it too and knew she was serious about Alec. "I'll consider it but in the meanwhile, why don't you spend some time up there and see if you like it there and take some time off? You'll need to find somewhere to live and Alec, you're still going ahead with your divorce, aren't you?" Alec nodded. "Good. When it's finalised, let me know and if I decide it's worthwhile, Rose can be in charge up there and I'll put a team together. Jake can go up and set it all up. You'll still have your allowance Rose, I'll be increasing it anyway after your birthday, you are coming back down for that aren't you or your mother will be upset."

"Don't worry, we'll both be down for it, won't we Alec?"

"Well if you need any help finding a place to live, let me know and please Alec, don't drag Rose's name into the proceedings will you?"

"Of course not, Sir, you have my word on that, I've already told her. I'll keep Rose well out of the picture."

"Right, I'll trust you to keep your word then. Goodnight and don't let Rose's mother catch you sneaking around in the morning, she'll be up at nine," he warned, looking Alec in the eye.

Pete left the room and Rose smiled at Alec. "Well, we've got two nights together then, let's put them to good use."

They turned off the TV and the light and went quietly upstairs. Alec said he would leave her room at eight in the morning and meet her down in the kitchen. As they undressed each other without saying a word, kissing and Alec finally appreciating Rose as she got into bed, they still had one item of clothing on each on their lower halves but they agreed to wait until Rose went up to Glasgow and they were on their own.

Alec woke Rose at seven and they kissed for a while after he had got her untangled and admired her as she lay on her back.

"You're beautiful Rose," he said, leaning on his elbow as he traced his finger in circles on her tummy, making her smile. "I'm going to miss waking up with you when I go back."

"I'm going to miss you too Alec it will only be for a few days. What are you going to do when you get back? Will you have to stay there overnight?"

"I'll have to. I have to talk to Tess, tell her I'm leaving, I have to tell her to her face. Don't be worried Rose, I'm not going to get tempted to go back. I doubt I'll hardly be through the door before she's out of it. I'll be sleeping on the sofa and yes, we do have a sofa. Not a very comfortable one, but one none the less. Then on Monday, I'll pick Daisy up and watch her until her mother gets back then I'll leave, I'll find a B&B during the day."

Rose looked worried. Alec could tell by the look on her face she was scared he would back out and make up with his wife. He got out of bed and crossed over to the bathroom but before going inside, he turned around.

"I'm not going to sleep with her Rose, we stopped that a long time ago and I really don't know why I stayed. I've got no interest in her now. Besides, I have you to look forward to when you arrive on Friday, don't I?"

Rose stayed in bed, she was still worried but she had to trust him. She had just reason to be worried, Alec was worried himself, things were flashing through his mind and it had all started when Rose promised to stay with him forever. He knew he couldn't say anything to her until he had sorted things out himself and he had to get over his jealousy, they had both had lives before they had met.

After breakfast, with Jackie walking into the kitchen and seeing Rose stuffing a piece of toast into Alec's mouth and both of them giggling and after receiving their instructions for painting the nursery, they went to make a start and made good time and Jackie gave her approval, giving them a couple of hours to themselves before dinner to make more plans.

"Alec, you know I could come up on Thursday night after I finish my last exam. I could see what time I could get a train and you could meet me at the station. I'll look up the times and find out what time my exam will finish. I can be all packed and ready to pick up as soon as I get out. What do you think?"

Alec was delighted at the thought she would be there early, it meant less time away.

"I think that is an excellent idea, I knew there was a reason I liked you so much," he said as he put his arms around her and kissed her neck.

Rose broke away. "Wait a minute, what do you mean just like me?" she teased.

"Got you," he whispered in her ear and pulled her into a deep kiss.

Rose smiled when he let go.

It was to be their last dinner together for a few days, Pete said he had considered opening an office in Glasgow and providing Rose passed her exams, he would put her in charge and until then, Jake would supervise the opening and setting up until she was ready to take over which meant he would be spending some time up there and she wouldn't be on her own and give her something to do while Alec was at work. Alec had yet to meet him and Mickey, knowing Mickey used to be her boyfriend before she had come here but he was okay with it. So he said.

They didn't mess about that night, Rose was prepared to face her mother if she caught them and didn't care but thought Jackie might be in a good mood since they had painted the nursery for her anyway. They just lay in one piece of underwear each, not wanting to spoil things between them but Rose knew if she had made a commitment to him, she would have to give him something for him to remain committed to her because after all, he was leaving is wife for her. Admittedly she had only given him the push he needed to go through with it but he was doing it none the less. She was wearing the briefest of underwear in her wardrobe much to Alec's delight and it didn't leave much to his imagination as she lay on him as they kissed. At one point Rose almost gave in until he whispered for her to wait and they compromised.

"Rose, let's just wait until you come up to Glasgow shall we? I'll have put in my divorce papers by then and neither of us will feel any guilt. Just a few more nights Rose, that's all and when you get there, we'll go out on Friday night, somewhere nice then we'll celebrate. You are staying up there aren't you? I mean besides coming back down for your birthday, your 21st or 24th, whatever but I need to know one thing Rose, that whichever it is you're going to stick with it. I mean you might be 21 in your world but like you say, time passes differently here, are you sure you're ready to handle running Torchwood and making a home for us? I know you grew up quickly, you had to when you encountered the Cybermen but if we're going to make this work and you're coming to live with me, it's going to be difficult enough as it is with our age difference."

"It's nothing Alec, I don't care about our age difference, Mickey was older than me, so was the Doctor although we were only friends, we went everywhere together. It doesn't matter what people think when they see us together or they find out who I am, it's us that matters in the end."

He wrapped his arms around her and resumed kissing her all over and they fell asleep entwined in each other. Alec had set his alarm early so they could say goodbye properly before they went downstairs but Rose didn't manage to hold back her tears as she cried into his shoulder when he woke her.

"Please Rose, don't cry, it's only for a few days. You're going to be there a day early. I don't like leaving when you're upset. You knew I had to go back today."

"I'm sorry Alec, I thought I'd be okay," she said as she wiped her tears.

Alec eased out of bed as Rose threw on a top and he went to his jacket and pulled out a rectangular box.

"I've been saving this for you, I wanted to give it you before I left."

He handed the box to her to open.

Her face lit up when she took out a silver chain with a single silver rose pendant. She held it out for Alec to fasten it. As he did, he kissed the back of her neck and her shoulders and whispered, "I love you Rose, I'm going to miss you."

That made her even worse as she turned around and clung onto him. He got her to stop crying by kissing her and said they should go get breakfast.

"I wanted to take you out last night, to give you the pendant but after spending the day painting you were tired so I thought I would give it to you this morning. Please don't worry Rose, I'll be fine, just promise me you'll be there on Thursday night, no matter what time it is. I'll organise a nice B&B for a couple of weeks while we look for somewhere to live."

"I'll be there, I can get picked up after my exam finishes and call you when I get on the train. I'll book my ticket in advance, get an open return for when we come back down for my birthday."

"I can drive us down you know," he laughed, thinking what he'd do for four hours on a train then realising he would be with her and it meant they could relax a bit more.

They kissed again and got dressed, Alec had brought his things in that he hadn't packed and they went for breakfast. He went to get his case and said goodbye to Jackie and Pete, thanking them for letting him stay and Jackie apologised for being rude to him when he arrived and gave him a sort of hug considering her condition and telling him he'd better look after Rose or else! They went back inside, Alec put his case in the back of the car then turned around to Rose.

"Well, this is it then, the big test to see how long we can put up being without each other. I bet you'll be out of that college door without your feet touching the ground on Thursday, what time does it start?"

Rose smiled. "It would have to a late start, if it had been at nine it would have been better but it's at 10am and 2pm and they're about 90 minutes each so if I get about around 3.30, get to the station and get a train more or less straight away, I should there around 9pm."

It cheered her up and gave her something to think about and Alec knew it, she needed to take her mind off his departure.

"See, you're brighter already. Just think positively, concentrate on your exams and the time will go quicker. You keep saying it passes quicker here anyway," he joked.

"Yeah, maybe but it doesn't seem to go any faster to me, it's not detectable, there are still the same amount of hours in a day, it's hard to explain."

She put her arms around his waist and snuggled up, Alec kissing the top of her head.

"You'd better let me get off then, or you'll be there before me, it's longer to drive than travel by train you know."

Rose looked up and smiled. "Yeah, I know, sorry. I just don't want to let you go."

"I know. I love you Rose, don't get upset about me being at home tonight, there's no way I'll change my mind, I'll be out of there in the morning, it will just be too late when I get back and I need to speak to Daisy."

He leaned down and kissed her, never wanting to let her go but he knew he had to get it over with and clear the path for Rose. She had become the most important thing to him over the last few days, like somehow he had been drawn to her. He had protested against going to the conference but now he was glad he was forced into going, it was the start of a new life for him.

Rose let him go, still tears in her eyes. She had watched the Doctor fade away from view just a few weeks ago and now she was watching Alec driving away but this time, he wasn't going for good, he wasn't going to be trapped in another universe she was going to join him in a few days time. He got into the driver's seat and let down the window. Rose went right up to him and leaned down to give him a final kiss goodbye, lasting longer than any of their previous ones, almost like their lips were sealed together as the kiss lingered until one of them had to break it, neither of them wanting to.

Rose stepped back as he started the car, he had to be the one to decide he had to go, she would have kept him there all day given the chance but he had to go face his demons and get it over with. Just like Rose, he was going to put his past behind him. He looked in the rear-view mirror at Rose standing in the driveway, waving then moving her hands over her face. He knew she was crying but there was nothing he could do or say to make it better, all he could do was make the future better for both of them because he had never been surer that his life and hers belonged together.

As Rose watched him drive off, she began crying. She was letting yet another man who she loved go but only this time for a short while. She decided she would throw herself into things, get her exams over with and get to Glasgow as soon as possible because when she got there, she wasn't going to hold anything back.

Chapter 10

Rose went back into the house, thinking about Alec driving all that way on his own but he had driven down in the first place she supposed. Now though, he wasn't driving back to an empty marriage, he was getting out of it. She told herself she wasn't the cause of it, how could she be? He was already contemplating it when he asked her out he'd said, it wasn't as though she had anything to do with it, he said they hadn't been together for a long time. All she had to do was get through the next few days and get up there and hoped nothing would spoil it.

Alec called a few hours later, the traffic had been quiet and he'd made good time, he was just near Leeds and taking a break and said he'd call later then wouldn't be able to call until the next day and it would be better she called him so he wouldn't catch her in the exam room. He kept his promise and called a few hours after that, telling her he loved her and went on his way back to what was now his ex home. He knew Tess would not be happy but she had brought it upon herself and now she had to face the consequences. How she paid them was up to her, all he was going to do was offer money for Daisy's upbringing and nothing else.

He had been driving most of the day, had two stops and closed his eyes and reached Glasgow just before 7pm. He had called to say he was on his way, Daisy was looking forward to his return, however Tess was not. Alec could tell as soon as he had talked to her that he had messed up her plans by staying in London and he had spun her a story about being invited to stay the weekend at the home of Peter Tyler, the Vitex millionaire and it would have been rude to turn him down. He left out the bit that Mr Tyler had an attractive stepdaughter who had captured his heart and fallen in love with.

Giving Daisy the present he had got her, he went to face Tess. They had a bitter argument, she called him names and he ended up just going to what had been their room and packing everything he could find and gather his laptop and other personal items from the living room and asked her if she wanted him to pick Daisy up the following afternoon. She said not to bother, she would make other arrangements and she would now have to alter her working hours. Since it was his house, she couldn't throw him out on the spot, he had bought it before they had got married and told her he would let her and Daisy remain in it for however long she wanted or he would just sell it. She opted to remain there and Alec said they would sort things out with the divorce papers and that he was prepared to pay an amount set by the court for Daisy and told her was going for joint custody since he had virtually raised her himself the last two years.

His wife didn't seem to protest after that, she knew she'd got a good deal although she would have to pay the bills and Alec knew he had been right, she did have someone and probably move him in with her and if she did, he would sell the house, he wasn't going to let someone else live there and he did warn her what would happen if she did. She then had to admit she may just move out although she didn't admit anything else. Then she had the nerve to ask him if he had someone else. At that point, he'd had enough and although it was late, he put everything in the car and drove off to the nearest hotel and got a room for the night and called Rose.

Rose had been worried about what would happen when he confronted his wife but never expected him not to stay overnight and it was after ten when he called her.

"Alec, I thought you wouldn't be able to call until tomorrow?"

"Well I ended up packing everything and walking out, I couldn't stay there. I had chance to talk to Daisy, I told her it wasn't her fault and that her mum and I couldn't live together anymore. She was very brave about it all and just asked if she would still see me. I told her nothing had changed, I'd see her all the time, just not at home. If Tess moves out of the house, which I think she will do, I'll sell it and use the money to buy us somewhere. She even had the nerve to ask me if I had someone else, can you believe it? It just proves I was right, she doesn't love me anymore or she would have pleaded with me to stay not let me just walk out."

"Well why don't you stay at the hotel a few nights longer until I get there?"

"It's too expensive Rose, I'll go and find a B&B tomorrow, don't worry so much. I'll be fine, I'm just glad it's over with. I'll call you tomorrow night when I find somewhere, I'll book two weeks for two, tell them you're arriving on Thursday night and hopefully we'll find a place to rent before then. Even if I sell the house, it will take time."

They said goodnight, Rose feeling a little better now he was out of the house but felt sorry for him. He had a house and he couldn't even stay, he hadn't told her he owned the house, they hadn't gone into that.

Rose went off to her exams the next morning, Alec phoned her in the evening to say he'd found a nice place, on the outskirts of Glasgow and got a good deal for two weeks, just taking breakfast and not the evening meal and found out he could use the internet and they set up video calling so they could talk face to face which cheered them both up. Rose was at a loss on Wednesday as there were no exams that day but spent some time packing and deciding what to take with her and get the rest when she came back for her birthday. She had booked her train ticket and reserved a seat in the train's quiet compartment for the 5.20pm so she had time to get picked up from college, go say goodbye and Pete said he would take her to the station and put her on the train and she called Alec to say what time she would be arriving and would call him when she was nearly there.

The morning exam on Thursday seemed to last forever, the questions needed more consideration and the afternoon ones seemed easier and she had finished early and been allowed to leave. She got a taxi back home to save having to wait and had left everything downstairs so she could save time. She said a tearful goodbye to her mother, promising she'd be back for her birthday and she was only going to Glasgow, not another planet and made her promise that when they came back, she wouldn't talk about what Rose used to do.

Pete drove her to the station and they had about 15 minutes spare for her to find the platform and get settled on the train. Rose found her seat as Pete put her two cases on the rack and Rose hung onto her laptop bag and her purse while she was at the door with Pete.

"Call us when you get there, won't you?" asked Pete.

It was the first time she had been away on her own since arriving and he was a bit worried about her, she still seemed fragile since she had said goodbye to The Doctor.

"It might be a bit late, by the time we get to the B&B but I'll try and call you before I arrive, I'll have to call Alec anyway to make sure he's on the platform. Knowing him he'll probably use his Police ID to get on."

Pete smiled. He knew Alec made her happy and that was all that counted, he had just never expected to see her settle down so easily since she got here.

The train departed and Rose put her laptop bag on the rack and called Alec to say she had set off and got coffee and something to eat from the trolley and sat back to think about soon being with him. How had things happened so fast? Just over a week ago she had been on her own, still upset about the goodbye at Bad Wolf Bay and knowing she was resigned to being miserable on a world she didn't belong in until Alec had walked into her life with his flirting the first day of the conference. There had been times she thought she would never be happy again but Alec had changed all that. She had promised him what she had promised The Doctor but this time there would be nothing to spoil that. He had said that his wife wasn't going to contest the divorce, he had been and put the papers in laying out what he wanted from it, that he just wanted out and to see his daughter and Rose couldn't deny him that, Daisy had kept him going for two years.

She knew the train terminated at Glasgow so she closed her eyes for a while, thinking back at the last week and how her feelings had developed for Alec so quickly, having doubts at first that she was only attracted to him because of how he looked but he was so different though just like The Doctor, he was lonely even though he had a family. She just hoped that if ever there was a way to get back and The Doctor did get through he would forgive her for trying to make a life with Alec. Maybe somehow he already knew and wanted her to be happy, he wouldn't want her to remain miserable the rest of her life.

The train guard announced they would be arriving at Glasgow Central shortly and she quickly rang Alec who said he was just getting onto the platform. The train pulled in and came to a stop, Rose was watching for him but she was at the back of the train, wishing she had thought to tell him that part and as the train guard was giving out announcements, Rose got up to get her laptop bag and heard a tap at the window. Turning around, Alec was looking at her, a big smile on his face as he disappeared to get on the train to help her, waiting for people to get off so he could get to her. Rose made her way to the door just as he got on and wrapped her arms around him, completely disregarding the fact people were still trying to get off as she told him which were her cases as he tried to pick them up while she was still holding onto him, like she was afraid he'd disappear on her.

Once on the platform, Alec took her shoulder laptop bag and the largest of her cases and they walked towards the exit, Alec showing his Police ID badge and Rose laughing as she handed in her ticket. Once through the barrier, he asked her what was so funny.

"I said you'd use your Police ID to get on the platform," she smiled, trying to hook her arm around his but the bag was in the way.

Alec saw the joke and let her get as close as she could as they walked to his car. Once her luggage was in, he put his arms around her and they kissed, not caring people were passing by. Alec drove just out of town to the B&B and took Rose up to the room he had got for them, calling to get something to eat on the way for Rose and she unpacked what she needed and they just went to bed. Alec kept his promise the following night by taking her out when he got back from work, Rose had looked on the internet for places to rent and got the names of two rental agencies but she wanted to wait until they had been back to London for her birthday before settling for anything and to wait and see if Alec was going to sell his house or not. She was leaving that up to him and failed to see why he had been the one to have to give up his home and move out as opposed to his wife but she had promised not to interfere.

The next week or so went by quickly, Alec took her to Edinburgh for the day on Saturday. Jake was going to be there looking for offices to rent after they got back from their visit for Rose's birthday so apart from looking for somewhere to rent she was going to help Jake once he found something. They got the train to London and celebrated her birthday, Mickey had got back and arrived at the party and not seeing Alec, went straight up to her.

"Rose, happy birthday!" he called out, handing her a present.

He had been away on a Torchwood assignment the week of the conference and then Rose had been busy with her exams. He hadn't known why she had been away.

"So are you back now? Your dad said you'd gone to Glasgow, what you go there for?" Mickey asked.

Rose looked around and saw Alec talking to Jake, she had introduced the two of them earlier. Alec looked round and saw Rose talking to someone, he still hadn't got rid of the jealousy bug, especially since they had been apart for four days. He excused himself from Jake and Jake looked on, amused that Alec had seen Rose talking to Mickey and gathered they'd not yet been introduced.

Mickey was trying to persuade her to go dance with him in the marquee outside where the disco was just getting started when Alec came up behind her and put his hands on her shoulders and kissed her cheek.

"Rose Sweetheart, you've not introduced me to everyone yet," Alec said, extending his hand to shake Mickey's but Mickey was too stunned to respond.

Mickey had not seen Alec as he came in and opened his mouth to say something but nothing came out. When he recovered he just realised Alec had his hands on her shoulders, kissing her cheek then slipping an arm around her waist.

"Oi, what do you think you're doing?" Mickey asked indignantly, trying to swat Alec's hand away.

Rose just looked up at Alec and put her arm around him.

"Sorry, Alec, this is Mickey Smith, remember I told you about him. Mickey, this is Detective Inspector Alec Hardy from Glasgow Police. Say hi and play nicely, both of you. Alec, can you get me another drink please, just tonic water, I want a clear head for dancing later."

Alec glared at Mickey, kissed her cheek again and went off to get her a drink. His resolve to stop being jealous had not worked.

"So when were you going to tell me about him then?" Mickey demanded, folding his arms in his famous stance like he always did.

"You didn't give me chance did you? We met at the conference the other week, I've been up in Glasgow with him, I'm moving there to live with him."

"What? But you just met him and why does he look like The Doctor? Don't tell me you never noticed?"

"Of course I did but he's nothing like him and Alec knows he looks like him. I'm going to be heading up the new Glasgow branch of Torchwood, Jake's coming up to get it all started, that's what he was talking to Alec about. Dad wants to work with the Glasgow Police and wants Alec to liaise with them."

"Oh and you two looked a bit too cosy, just how are you two involved?"

"Non of your business Mickey, I told you I was living with Alec, do I have to draw pictures?"

Alec came back and held her drink out for her.

"I hope that's just plain Alec, I want to dance with you all night," she laughed, putting her free arm around his waist and under his jacket.

Alec had a grin on his face and whispered, "I hope we'll be doing more than dancing later on Rose," to which she almost choked on her drink.

They went off leaving Mickey to wonder where he had gone wrong again. He had tried to cheer Rose up before Pete had sent him off, having been with Rose on the beach in Norway looking like it was the worst day of her life and he comes back to see her all over The Doctor's look-alike and if that wasn't bad enough, she had gone to live with him in Glasgow. He felt there was no justice in any world, he had lost Rose to The Doctor in one world and now to his double in another, the fates were not being kind to him.

Everyone was making their way into the marquee Jackie had hired for the occasion, Rose had never had a big party before and now they could afford it, Jackie was not sparing any expense. Even though they couldn't officially celebrate her 21st, they had come up with the idea it was not only a birthday party but a welcome to the Tyler family party as Pete had officially adopted her.

Alec of course wanted to start the toasts off and declared that since he had met her she had changed his life in more ways than one and reached for her hand for her to get up and kissed her in front of everyone. Jackie just looked surprised at his boldness, nudging Pete to stop them but Pete was clapping and everyone else joined in. Jake was filming the occasion and was grinning and cheering them on as Alec let her go, picked up their glasses and put one in her hand, linking their arms and said,

"Happy birthday Sweetheart," then he took the glass from her when she'd had a drink and leaned down to kiss her again.

Pete got up to wish her the same, revealing officially she had become his stepdaughter and also welcomed Alec officially to the family. The only one who hadn't been cheering was of course Mickey. It didn't matter which universe they were in, she was never going to go back to him, he just had to accept it but she looked happy, something he'd never thought possible again but she was smiling and now they were dancing, her arms all over Alec and looking at him the way she had never looked at him or come to think of it had looked at The Doctor except the night he decided to stay in this universe when he had seen the two of them when he'd turned around.

Rose was in a world of her own dancing in Alec's arms to Whitney Houstons' 'I will always love you' near the end of the party when everyone just wanted a slow dance. Poor Jackie was having to sit them all out and Pete never left her side. They had danced for over two hours, stopping for Rose to go to the table her presents were on, wondering what she was going to do with them all but most were small gifts of jewellery and delicate scarves and other trinkets even though most of the people attending didn't even know her. It didn't matter, she was Peter Tyler's stepdaughter, they had known the first Jackie Tyler and had been happy for Pete that he had found someone else and gained a family.

Rose had let Alec lead her outside for a few minutes and they had stood behind the marquee under the lights and kissed for what seemed like an age to Rose and they only went back inside when Jake said Jackie was fuming they had skipped out and thought they had better get back - quick.

Pete had all her presents gathered up and taken inside and one by one the guests left, Rose thanking them all for coming and the presents and Alec was at her side. Now he really felt like he had a proper family who all cared about each other and just hoped that Rose's mother wouldn't go ballistic when she found out he was in the middle of a divorce. The papers had been signed, to his relief by his soon ex-wife and had informed him through his solicitor she was moving out of the house and Alec was going to have to deal with that when he got back.

They had spent the morning shopping, Alec going off on his own to get her a present which he said he was going to give her after the party and Rose had been to buy a new dress for the occasion and some rather delicate underwear to surprise him and a late birthday gift for him since she hadn't known him then. They went back inside, Jackie had gone to bed and Pete was just talking to Jake when they walked in arm in arm.

"Enjoyed your party Rose?" Jake asked, holding up his video camera to which Rose went the colour of her name. "Don't worry, I won't put it on the internet," he grinned.

Rose looked alarmed but Alec saw the funny side and began laughing and Pete joined in.

"That was quite a kiss back there Alec and in front of all those people but I expect you're used to having an audience, being in the Police," Pete joked.

"Well it's a little different from giving a room full of officers a briefing but it got everyone's attention," he laughed, squeezing Rose around her waist. "Goodnight Mr Tyler, Jake, see you before we set off back tomorrow and I enjoyed our little talk Jake, I'm looking forward to helping you set up Torchwood." Then to Rose he said, "Come on Rose, you have to open the present I got you now."

Chapter 11

Alec took Rose upstairs to their room, there had been no arguments over it when they arrived late on Friday night, getting a taxi from the station and Pete waiting up for them to arrive. Once inside, he picked her up as she kicked off her shoes and he carried her over to the bed, unzipping her dress as she lay down. He was stunned to see her new underwear that hardly covered anything and whistled.

"You look amazing Rose. I didn't know what to get you for your birthday so I got you this."

He went to the top drawer and brought out a present wrapped in silver paper with a pink bow and handed it to her.

She sat on the edge of the bed, Alec sat beside her. She looked beautiful to him as he kissed her neck and then her shoulder. Rose unwrapped the gift carefully revealing a box which she opened and inside was a silver and glass photo frame with the photo Alec had taken when they went to Edinburgh for the day the week before of them by a fountain with the castle in the background. Rose looked at it and Alec had written 'To Rose with all my love, Alec' at the bottom.

She put it down beside her and turned to him and took his tie off and unfastened his shirt buttons, running her fingers across his chest.

"It's perfect Alec, thank you. We can put it in our new place when we find somewhere. I have a present for you as well since I missed your birthday."

"You didn't have to, you didn't know me then. Besides, I have everything right here that I could ever want. You gave me my life back Rose and seeing you, dressed just like that makes me very happy."

Rose kissed him and got up, going over to the bottom dresser drawer and taken out a wrapped present and handed it to him. It was a wristwatch, engraved with his name on the back 'To Alec from Rose'.

He put it on, taking off his other one, then put his arms around her and whispered, "Can I unwrap my other present now?" as he put his arms around her and kissed her neck.

"Well that was the intention when I went out and bought these this morning," came the reply.

The next morning, Rose packed some more of her things, bringing her two cases back with her to fill up. She was going to get anything else when they had found a place to live, they had extended their stay at the B&B. After saying goodbye again, Pete took them to the station and they were on their way back to Glasgow.


Over the next few weeks, Alec's divorce was going through, they went to see two apartments, one overlooking the river which Alec wasn't keen on but Rose seemed to like it but they settled on a two bedroom house, just to rent for the time being with a view to buying it eventually. Jake was setting up Torchwood, Rose was spending time between moving into their new home and helping Jake. They were lucky that the owner of the house was leaving the country and leaving all fittings and furnishings so they had nothing to buy, Rose loved it but just wanted to change a few things. Alec put his house up for sale and had got a day's visit with his daughter, taking her out every Saturday and really wanted her to meet Rose but they decided to keep it quiet until everything was settled.

Two month's later, Alec's divorce came through and they went out to celebrate, the house was sold and they were going to keep the money until they decided if they wanted to buy the house they were renting or somewhere different and Alec said he would give some money to Daisy when she reached 21. Slowly, Alec had introduced Daisy to Rose, first as a friend and someone he was working with, which was true as they talked often with Alec being the Police liaison with Torchwood but in general, they didn't see each other during the day.

Alec was feeling happier and they decided to go away for a week to Spain in September and when they came back Rose discovered she was pregnant four weeks later. Alec was over the moon as now Daisy had accepted Rose as her dad's girlfriend. They carried on renting while looking for a bigger place so Daisy could come and visit at the weekend and Rose cut down her hours at Torchwood, doing some work from home.

They went down to London for Christmas, Alec getting some extra time off and since they were driving, they would able to take some more of Rose's belongings back with them. Jackie had given birth to a boy, Anthony, Tony for short and Rose was making a fuss of him since she was now 3 months but even though Alec was now divorced, they had decided not to say anything to Jackie about it and they hadn't talked about getting married. That was what Rose thought. Alec had a big surprise for her on Christmas Eve.

Jackie and Pete had got one of the staff to babysit Tony and they all went out to a top London restaurant. Alec had already spoken to Pete even though he wasn't her real father but he wanted to do it properly and as they finished their meal, Pete had ordered some champagne and looked across the table at Alec who took his prompt and got up. Rose and Jackie stared at him as he took Rose's hand and stepping around the back of her chair, put his hand in the top pocket of his jacket and brought out a ring box.

Rose just gasped as he opened the box and took her ring finger. "Rose, will you marry me?" he simply asked.

Rose was lost for words. She hadn't been expecting anything, he had only just got his divorce, she didn't know he was ready to get married again. Everyone was looking at Alec who by now had gone down on one knee to put the ring on her finger and the whole restaurant was watching them, including the waiters who had stopped what they were doing. He stood up again, motioning for Rose to stand as well, waiting for her answer.

"You mean everything to me Rose, please say you will."

Rose looked at him, his brown eyes almost had a tear in them. She loved him so much, how could she say no?

"Yes Alec, I will marry you, you're everything to me too."

With that, he pushed the ring all the way onto her finger then leaned down to kiss her as everyone clapped and cheered, leaving the two of them blushing when they finished kissing.

Christmas Day, they had Jake and his friend over and Mickey accepted their invitation, congratulating Alec and Rose on their engagement and on the baby and they drove back to Glasgow the day after Boxing Day so they could see Daisy and she spent New Years Day with them. She was excited about having a baby brother or sister after they explained it to her.

They had a simple wedding the following April on Alec's birthday with the Tyler's travelling to Glasgow because Rose was getting sick all the time at this stage. They had a private wedding at a top hotel and they had to finally confess to Jackie that Alec had been married before. Surprisingly, she didn't go crazy as Alec thought she would have done mainly because of her daughter's current condition but she more than made up for it by taking charge of the wedding and keeping Alec and Rose apart the night before and the few hours the morning of the wedding. They couldn't go far for their honeymoon, they just went to the edge of Loch Ness for a week with Alec promising they would take a proper one once the baby arrived but Rose said she was content.

It was during their night apart before the wedding that Pete had a good talk with Alec, revealing things to him about Rose's past that she wouldn't talk about and about what really happened the night the Cybermen had invaded the Tyler mansion. Alec was amazed at the things Rose had done in an effort to save Pete's first wife and Pete explained that he probably owed his life to Rose for saving him that night and that he thought he could never repay her. Alec promised he wouldn't tell Rose but said she had saved his life too, in many ways. Pete also told him about her tearful goodbye at Bad Wolf Bay and told him the Norwegian name for it - D rlig Ulv-Stranden and how to get to it if ever Alec thought he would want to take Rose there. He also told him about The Doctor and his time machine though if Alec had heard it from anyone else he would have had them locked up.

It was during that talk that Alec realised why Rose had been reluctant when they had first met at promising him forever because if she had promised that to this Doctor and had been literally torn away from him he could see why. He also promised Pete he would take great care of her and the baby and he told Pete he had finally made sense of all the things that had been troubling him and that he had always thought since meeting Rose that they were meant to be together and if The Doctor had been watching over them, he was seeing that Rose was finally happy.

Rose gave birth to a girl in June, just before her own birthday and just a year after they had met and they called her Flora after Alec had decided he had a thing for girls names that were also flowers, Rose said she could have told him that all along. Alec was present for the birth, holding her hand and calming her down. They were in the process of buying a house which they thought would be quicker since they had the money and they didn't have a house to sell but it was still taking a while. Pete had insisted on putting some money towards it so they could get a nice house but they were managing in their rented one. The owners were a bit upset they weren't buying it at first but when Alec had explained Rose was pregnant and his daughter would be staying weekends, they were okay.


On Flora's 2nd birthday, the Tyler's travelled up to Glasgow so they could all celebrate and Daisy wouldn't be left out. They were trying to persuade her to live with them when she was old enough but she was still undecided as she loved both her parents but had promised once she turned 16 she would spend more time with them.

Alec had put in for a promotion but was still waiting to hear about it and it was then that fate dealt them a cruel blow. It was just after his youngest daughter's birthday, Rose had found out she was five weeks pregnant, blaming it on Alec for getting her to have too much to drink the night of her birthday and she had forgotten to take her pill and Alec saying she was just as much to blame as he was until they both laughed.

Alec was called in early one morning, his promotion was still being considered and Rose had said to get Pete to get them moving but Alec wanted to do it on his own merits. Two young girls had gone missing.

Rose was horrified when she found out. Alec had not been able to call her and she never rang him at work unless it was an emergency and she saw him on the evening news. Alec was spending more time at the Police Station, Flora was always in bed when he got home and all he wanted to do was go to bed with Rose trying to comfort him. The first night he came home he was devastated and told Rose not to let Flora out of her sight for a second and if they went out she was to take her in the pushchair even if she wanted to walk and only to go where there were plenty of people and always get a taxi.

What made it worse was he couldn't seek too much comfort in his wife with her being pregnant but he understood and Rose felt really bad for him and tried her best. Then after a few months, they had a break in the case, some evidence was found and they thought they had solved it but the evidence was lost. Alec was devastated again, the evidence had been lost by his ex-wife.

She got reprimanded for losing it and Alec, who had been in charge of the operation got his promotion turned down because she was his responsibility but he didn't lose his rank but it would hold him back. It was almost Christmas, they were going down to London taking Daisy and Flora with them as Daisy's mother was now losing interest in the girl and she was spending more time with her dad and stepmother and step-sister and she would be fifteen next year and could make her own mind up.

Jackie immediately took to Daisy, treating her like her own granddaughter and fussed after Flora who was now two and a half and everywhere, chasing after her slightly older uncle Tony and Alec had despaired trying to explain the situation to Daisy how someone so young could be an uncle and was glad he didn't have to explain it to Tony. Tony had a passion for Police cars so Alec had got him a replica of a Glasgow Police car that couldn't be bought in any store and he spent all day charging up and changing the batteries in it as it was always Alec that he went to.

The previous Christmas, Flora hadn't take a lot of notice but now she was, Alec was almost in tears at watching her and Rose knew he had almost given up at having a proper family where they all loved each other and as they went to bed on Christmas night, Rose snuggled up as close as she could get and although she fell asleep in his arms like she always did, Alec did actually cry though he would never have admitted it to her.

They had got back home after Alec taking extra time off for the New Year to find he had somehow been reconsidered for his promotion and Rose suspected Pete had something to do with it. The only problem was, they would have to move to a place in Dorset called Broadchurch.

Alec couldn't believe it and he told Rose that when he had been a boy, his parents had taken him on holiday there. Rose said it wouldn't be too bad, they would be nearer her parents but Alec was worried about losing Daisy. Rose said there was only one thing for it, talk to his ex about taking Daisy on full time and for her to live with them permanently. Daisy was almost 15, loved her baby sister to death and would do anything for her, a fact that Rose had put down to her never having any siblings when growing up and not having a real family environment so they talked about it with her and she agreed that she would go with them then go visit her mother during the long school holidays and Alec said he would take her up there and bring her back. All they had to do was get Tess to agree which surprisingly she did and Rose thought she wasn't much of a mother to her then but she had some room to talk, she had gone off with The Doctor when she was nineteen despite her mother asking her not to go.

Alec put the house up for sale, after accepting the promotion and they arranged to rent a holiday cottage in Broadchurch for three months but Daisy and Flora would have to share but before they set off, Alec had a surprise for Rose. It was his last chance to take her to Bad Wolf Bay. So he packed them all up, strapped Flora in her car seat and told them he was taking them somewhere. Daisy couldn't go with them because of school and they were going to move to Broadchurch during the next school holidays and get her a place in the local one when they got there.

Alec had the route all planned out, where to get the ferry and the route and as soon as they arrived at the ferry port Rose suspected something although there were a few places they could have been travelling to. Flora was fascinated with the large ferries and Alec bought her a toy one while they were waiting to board. Then once on board Rose tried to get him to say where they were going but he refused to give it away. She even tried to bribe him but it didn't work.

They finally drove off the ferry, there were several routes they could have taken but Rose suddenly remembered where she was although the last time, Pete had taken a different route to get there.

"Alec, I know where you're taking us, how did you even know about it?"

He tried to deny it. "Taking you where Rose? I've always wanted to come up here and it's our last chance since were moving down to the south coast soon. Aren't you going to be cold in that jacket?"

Rose looked at her jacket, it was the only one that sort of fitted now. She wasn't being as sick this time around and she didn't have long to go now and hoped she would make it to Broadchurch without stopping off at a hospital on the way.

The tell-tale signs were obvious to Rose as they got nearer their destination. The heater was on in the car for Flora who was happily playing with her toy ferry in the kiddie seat and after a while, Rose knew exactly where she was and now Alec would know the truth despite hearing it from his father-in-law. As they approached the spot Rose was choking back the tears.

"D rlig Ulv Stranden" was all she said and Alec knew as she said it perfectly, not the translation and that he had been right, it held a special place in her heart that he could never have. He could have every single part of her but one and it would always belong to The Doctor.

Alec stopped the car and got out, he intended leaving Flora in the car as it was cold and knew that Rose probably shouldn't get out either but she needed to do this. He went around the car to help Rose out and she looked at him.

"Pete told you didn't he?"

"On the night before our wedding. He told me everything he knew Rose but he never told me about the parts where you were with The Doctor, he said only you could tell me that but he knew you never would and I can accept that Rose, I accept there will always be a part of you that will belong to him. I just wanted to bring you here one last time to say I love you Rose, I loved you the day I met you and we have a wonderful life together, one I thought I could never have but you and Flora and Daisy and soon another child, it was beyond my hopes. I'm not asking you to let go, I'm not asking you to forget him because I know you never will. I wanted to bring you here so you could say goodbye to your old life and ask you not to look back on what you lost but to look forward to our future. Can you do that Rose? I want all of you, completely and if you can't, well at least I tried and nothing will change, we have a new baby coming soon, another addition to the Hardy family. Can you give me all of you Rose?"

Rose was in tears, just like she had been all that time ago in almost the exact same spot. Over the last few years she'd had the life she wanted, the one The Doctor could never have given her or even had himself. There was still a tiny part of her she couldn't give to her husband and she so wanted to but something had been stopping her her guilt at telling The Doctor she loved him then a few weeks later meeting Alec and falling in love with him. She had promised Alec that if she ever got the chance to go back that she would never leave him. Alec was right, this was the place to finally let go and there was nowhere better and no better time to do it. She could remember The Doctor in so many ways, she could tell Alec everything they did and about their travels and where he came from because she knew now she could tell him.

"Alec, can you give me a moment alone? Just check that Flora's okay, she must wonder what the two of us are doing out here."

Alec knew why, Rose wanted to say goodbye on her own and he could live with that if he could have the part of her she was holding back.

"Take all the time you need Sweetheart, I'll just see to Flora."

It was difficult but she put her arms around him and kissed him long and deeply then whispered, "I love you Alec."

"I love you too Rose, every single part of me loves you."

He let her go and walked towards the car, Flora still playing with the toy ferry and talking to herself and Alec smiled at his youngest daughter. He never imagined he would get another chance of having another daughter let alone another arriving soon. Meeting Rose had been a miracle and now he just hoped she could finally let go of her mysterious past.

Rose was staring out at the water, imagining the Tardis was stood in front of her and The Doctor was standing in the doorway with that stupid grin of his, calling her to hurry up so they could get to their next adventure. This time she told herself she wasn't going and he went back inside and the Tardis began to fade from view. Tears were streaming down her face. He had simply gone back inside without either of them saying a word until there as suddenly an echo, very clear that Rose thought it was real.

The Doctor's voice sounded loud and clear. "I'll always love you Rose Tyler, I could never give you a life like the one you have with Alec Hardy so be happy, bring up your family and remember me and have a fantastic life."

Then the voice was gone and she realised Alec was standing behind her with his hands on her shoulders and his face at the side of hers.

"How long have you been standing there Alec?" she asked through her tears.

"Long enough Rose, long enough to hear what was said."

"You heard his voice?" Rose gasped as she thought only she had heard it.

"Yes, I heard him. Come back in the car Rose, it's freezing out here and just to prove I did hear him, you could do what he asked and be happy, with me, Flora and Daisy and the baby in our new home in Broadchurch."

He helped her back to the car and got in himself, reaching over to give Flora's tiny hand a little squeeze and said "Flora, let's get back on the ferry and go home and soon we'll have a new house by the sea and you can look at boats all day long."

Then he turned to Rose. "Rose, I'll make a deal with you. I'll get over my fear of the water and yes I know I got us here on the ferry as much as I hated it and you tell me about your life with The Doctor. Deal?"

Rose turned to her husband. It was now or never. Alec was getting over his worst fear for her.

"Deal. His time machine, it was called The Tardis and it was bigger on the inside than it was on the outside and it was in the shape of a Police telephone box."

That was her big mistake.

"What's a Police telephone box?" Alec asked.

Rose nudged him playfully. "Well it seems I have a captive audience then doesn't it? How long a journey is it back home then?"

Alec smiled. He knew he had all of her now and he would get to know her past finally. Rose didn't have to say anything to him, he just simply knew.


Rose gave birth to a boy and named him Jack after she told Alec about her old friend that used to travel with her a few weeks after their visit to Bad Wolf Bay, having just made the journey to Broadchurch and they had to put the baby's cot in their room with Flora and Daisy sharing a room and they finally sold their house in Glasgow and they moved just outside the town near the sea so Flora could watch the boats and Rose and Daisy would take Flora and Jack to the beach every day during the summer.

Alec had become the town's new Detective Chief Inspector working with a newly promoted DI Miller who Rose became good friends with. Alec had never looked back at his decision the day he first saw Rose in that conference room to leave his first wife and now he had everything he ever wanted. Rose gave Alec every single part of her with just a special place for The Doctor and began telling Alec all about their adventures together, starting with the day she had met him when he rescued her and told her just one word run!

The end!