A Single rose

Share on Tumblr

Based on 'Single Father', Rose Tyler's best friend Rita dies in an accident.  She knows Rita's partner Dave Tiler and finds herself falling in love with him when she goes to find out where he is on the day of the funeral.  Her boyfriend Mickey suspects nothing even when she spends more time with the family but it ends in a bitter row when Rose discovers she is pregnant by Dave.

Based on 'Single Father', Rose Tyler's best friend Rita dies in an accident.  She knows Rita's partner Dave Tiler and finds herself falling in love with him when she goes to find out where he is on the day of the funeral.  Her boyfriend Mickey suspects nothing even when she spends more time with the family but it ends in a bitter row when Rose discovers she is pregnant by Dave.

Scroll down to read each chapter
Chapter 1
My first attempt at a Single Father/Doctor Who crossover because I just watched the drama again and it got me thinking.  Will not concentrate on the Tiler family as much as Dave and Rose with only slight mentions of them but mostly Evie.  In this story, Rita does not reveal anywhere who her eldest daughter's father is and Dave has not been married previously, this is just a re-telling of the brilliant drama.

Roses were Rita's favourite flower, red ones and whenever Rita and Rose were together, Rose would get teased. Rita would often talk to her partner and father to three of her children about her bubbly friend but they had hardly met socially except at Christmas parties and at the school as she was a teaching assistant the same as Rita but in the reception class below Rita's youngest, Evie.  Rose loved her friend talking about her four kids and the way she talked about Dave, she knew the two were made for each other.  Rita was going for a teacher's job, she just had to pass her exams so two days before, Rita invited Rose and her boyfriend Mickey around after Dave suggested Rose may be able to help her study and they all had a barbecue, Mickey getting on easy with Dave after helping him to try and get a tent up for the kids but they abandoned it in favour of food unanimously.

Rita and Rose were talking, Rose was sat with young Evie on her lap, twisting her hair around.  The young girl loved spending time with Rose as she always made a fuss over her and even though she wasn't in her class, Evie always called her Miss Tyler at school on her mother's insistence.  Evie had just got up, asking her mother for something and Rita went back inside, Mickey was kicking a football around with the two boys and Dave had gone back to try to get the tent up so Rose crossed over and called his name.

''Hello Dave, having fun?''

Dave looked up from trying to slot the tent poles together as Rose parted the flaps and stepped inside.

''Oh hi Rose, not my idea of fun I'm afraid, I said the kids could play in it but it may be their bedtime before I get this finished.  Any good at this sort of thing?''

Rose smiled.  ''No, not me, lived on a council estate in London before I came to Glasgow, this is my first time so far away from home actually.  Here, let me have a look.''

She picked up the instructions and saw where he was going wrong and smiled then she took it off him as he turned them around and they made more progress in ten minutes than he and Mickey had done all afternoon and they both laughed.  Evie had gone to find Rose and ducked through the flap, colliding with Rose and knocking her into Dave and they all started laughing as Dave tried to stop Rose falling over.  Rita had heard the laughing after seeing Evie disappearing into the tent and opened the flap, Rose was tickling the young girl for knocking her over.

''Oh here you all are, what are you laughing about?''

Evie stopped laughing long enough.  ''I knocked Rose over and she fell into daddy and we all started laughing.''  She looked up at Rose, who had just stopped tickling her.

''Sorry, she just knocked me over, it was funny.''

Rita smiled, they were just friends all having a laugh together and took hold of Evie.  Of course, the two boys had to come and have a look now the tent was up although it wasn't tied down properly and Dave said he must go see to the guy ropes and went to find Mickey.  Rita's eldest daughter Lucy was pretending she wasn't interested as Dave called her over to help.

Rose had forgotten about the incident in the tent by the time she and Mickey got home.  Dave had instinctively held out his arms to catch her as Evie ploughed into her and clearly neither of them thought anything about it at the time but two days later, all was normal and Rose had gone to her classroom where she was a teaching assistant, awaiting her exam results and Rita was about to take hers.  The two woman had hugged and Rose wished her good luck as Rita left the staff room and she was leaving later that morning, being in a different class to Rose and had to cycle across town.

The children in Rita's class, including Evie all said goodbye to her as she left the classroom to put on her cycle helmet and hi-viz belt and collected her bike.  She gave one last wave to her daughter as she wheeled it to the gate of the school.

While Rita had been getting ready to leave, Dave was across town setting up his studio for two young babies to have their photos taken and his assistant, Rita's other friend's daughter, was looking disinterested as usual.  He really thought about replacing her but put up with her for his partner's sake.  The two subjects of the photos were being placed by their parents but were both crying so Dave resorted to his hand puppet from a famous children's TV show to get their attention and suddenly, as he was about to snap the shutter on his camera, a strange feeling came over him.

At that exact second, Rita was crossing a section of road, the lights on her side being clearly green when a police car at the very last second came through a red light and put the siren on, colliding with Rita's bike, never giving her a chance.  As she was thrown in the air, she called Dave's name, saying she loved him.

Back at the school, after police learned who she was and failing to reach Dave, Evie, Paul and Ewan were taken from their classes and Rose was called, being a family friend and they were all taken into the medical bay, Rose being informed what had happened.  She was devastated but had to compose herself as the head teacher led her to where the children where.

''Rose, what happened?'' Paul asked, sitting by his younger sister.

''Let's just wait for your dad getting here, yeah?''

She was trying to be brave in front of her friend's children.  She thought about Lucy, in another school but she supposed she should wait until Dave got there.  Dave had been contacted and leaving his motorcycle, rushed by taxi to the school, walking in and seeing his kids and Rose, with her arm around Evie and looking at him.

''Dave, thank goodness you're here.''

''What's going on Rose?  I got a call from the school to come and collect the kids.''

''Dave, we'd better go outside,'' Rose insisted, surprised he'd not been informed.

She tried to lead him out as Evie clung to her but he shook her off.

''No, tell me what's going on, where's Rita?''

The head teacher was keeping back, obviously thinking he should already know by now.  Rose succeeded in getting him away from the children and the head thought it would be best coming from Rose.

''I'm sorry Dave, there was an accident, Rita was thrown from her bike, she's gone.''

''What?  That's impossible, she's taking her exams.''

''Dave, she never got there.  I'm gonna take the kids home, you need to get to the hospital, they'll be expecting you, give me your key.  You can tell them when you get back.''

Dave was in a trance.  ''Yes, ok, you take them back.''

''Dave, her sister's been informed, Anna and Robin, they'll meet you there.  The police tried to ring you so they rang her instead.  I'm so sorry.''

She turned to the three children who were all looking worried.

''Come on kids, I'm taking you home.''

''Why are you taking us home Rose?'' Evie asked, tugging at her jacket.

''Something's happened and your dad has to go somewhere so we'll go to your house and wait for him and Lucy.''

''What about mum?'' Ewan asked.

"It's ok, really, go with Rose, I'm going to see Lucy,'' Dave assured them.

After Rita's adoptive sister barged her way in, Rose decided it was time to leave. Lucy and Dave had got back from the hospital and Lucy had shut herself in her room, the two boys were arguing over the TV remote and Evie had made a mess pouring out some orange juice, which Rose had been cleaning up.  The doorbell rang again and it was Mickey.  Rose flung her arms around him and said she wanted to go home.

Two days later, Rose was feeling guilty about not seeing her friend's children so on Saturday morning, Mickey was working so Rose drove around and rang the doorbell.  Anna, who had made herself at home let her in.

''Hello Rose, where have you been hiding?''

Anna didn't like Rita's friend very much, mainly because of her choice in boyfriend, a mechanic.

''I didn't want to get in the way, you must have had a lot to do.  I came to see if there was anything I could do to help?  Maybe help with the kids?''

''I've got it all organised, thanks all the same, unless you can do something with him?''

Rose looked in the living room to see Dave, unshaven and slouching in a chair, the two boys fighting over a toy.  Rose liked nothing better than a challenge.  She sorted the two boys out quickly and leaned behind Dave, putting her hands on his shoulders.  He was wearing his jeans and a green striped shirt which Rose thought was rather tacky but he carried it well.

''Come on Dave, why don't we take the kids to the park?''

''What?  How can I go to the park?''

''Easy, get your jacket, boys get your coats and your football, Evie, get your wellies on and your coat and we'll all go to the park.  Where's Lucy?''

''She's at my mother's, she's staying the weekend,'' Anna called out.

Rose went to stand in front of Dave and grabbed his hands.  ''Come on, that includes you and if you stay there, I'll get the kids to jump on you.''

The kids were scrambling to get ready and Anna looked relieved she was getting rid of them.  Rose knew the woman was out of her depth but didn't want to interfere.  The funeral was to be next week, after an informal inquest on Wednesday and Rose was taking the morning off to attend, representing the school as well.  It would be opened and closed pending a police enquiry so Rita could be buried.

After Rose dropped them all off again, forgoing being invited in by a rather giddy Evie, Rose called in again after lunch the following afternoon to find the place in uproar and Anna gone.

''Where's Anna?'' Rose asked after Dave let her in.

''I sent her home, she was driving me mad.''

Rose patted him on the shoulder and walked into a mess in the kitchen.  She immediately took charge, getting the kids their late lunch and said she would go shopping the following evening and drop everything off.  Dave was in no position to argue with her.  So as promised, she made a shopping list before she left but the following morning, Dave was dropping Evie at her class when he bumped in to Rose.

''Hi, thanks for everything Rose but I really shouldn't impose on you.''

''Rubbish Dave, she was my friend, she loved those kids and I'm not gonna let them down.  Rita said you and Anna didn't get along too well, so join the club, she doesn't like me either.''

Dave smiled and went off to work, not that he could concentrate on work.  His sort of brother-in-law worked for a law firm so once the inquest was out of the way he was going to handle compensation for the family.  Rose had got everything put away by the time Dave got back from the studio, Lucy had let her in after Dave had gone off to make the final arrangements for the funeral so Rose was playing with Evie when he got back but she soon left.

The inquest was hard, Lucy wanted to know what had happened but not much was said and it was the funeral the following day, Mickey was taking the day off to attend with Rose to pay his respects and they were going from the Tiler house.  They were all getting ready to leave, Dave was supposed to be going with Anna, her mother, Lucy and Robin, they had decided not to use a funeral car, Rose was supposed to be taking the three younger children with them but when she and Mickey arrived, Dave was nowhere to be found.

''Ok kids, go with Mickey to my car and I'll go find your dad, ok?''

Mickey took them outside to join the others and Rose went to knock on what had been her friend's bedroom door.

''Dave, come on, it's almost time to go.''

She tried the door handle and found it opened, knocking as she did.  Dave was sat with his head in his hands, tears in his eyes.

Rose sat beside him and put her arm around him.  ''Come on Dave, you have to do this, for Rita and the kids, everyone's waiting downstairs.''

Dave turned to her.  ''How can I go on Rose?  Tell me.''

''I'll help you, we all will if you let us.  Come on, get your jacket on, you haven't even shaved, what's wrong?''

''I can't go Rose, I know I can't, go tell them.''

''Oh no you don't, come on, come down with me, they're all in the cars and we have to set off soon or we'll be late.''

''What do I do Rose?''

''Ssh, it's ok, you won't feel this way forever you know.''

''You've been so good Rose, more understanding than that Anna, bossing me around.''

''Yeah, well she's family, they tend to do that.''

He looked at her as she stood up and tried to help him up, he cupped her face in his hand and pulled her down, burying his head in her neck as Rose kissed his cheek. Rose thought he was going to kiss her cheek but his lips caught hers for just a second and Rose found herself letting him.  It felt sweet but Rose knew it was just their tears.  They stared in each others eyes for what seemed longer than a few seconds, it was only just over a week since Rita had died.  They heard Mickey shouting up the stairs and Rose pulled away as Dave went out, holding her back.

''Ok, I'm coming down.''

''Where's Rose, she came to find you.''

''Aye, she did, she's in the bathroom.''

He saw Mickey turn away and Rose crept out of the bedroom and into the bathroom, flushing the toilet and ran down the stairs, almost colliding with Dave again.  What had just happened?  They both wondered as Dave got in with the others and Rose into the front passenger seat of her car since Mickey had decided she was too upset to drive.

They both avoided each other afterwards, Rita's mother offering to let the kids stay overnight to give Dave some time on his own but Lucy wanted to go home.  Dave asked Rose to stay a while and try to talk to Rita's eldest daughter after she dropped Mickey off home but Lucy was too upset as Dave made them some tea.

''I'm sorry about earlier Rose, I was upset.''

''I know, it's ok, we won't talk any more about it, ok?''

''Fine, ok, I mean we were both upset and I would not have gone if you hadn't come to find me.''

Rose smiled.  ''Yeah, I know you wouldn't.  Rita wouldn't want you to cry at her funeral.  I loved the way everyone was given a single red rose to throw on the coffin, it was a lovely gesture, she would have liked that.  She was always teasing me about my name.''

Dave managed a smile.  ''She used to tell me.  So how long have you and Mickey been together then?''

''It seems like forever, we grew up together, we just sort of got stuck with each other.  Rita told me she met you when Lucy was little, you took photos of her.''

''Yes, she kept coming back saying they weren't right but then admitted it was because she fancied me.''

Rose knew she shouldn't be going down this particular road.  Her phone rang and it was Mickey.

''Yeah, I'm coming home soon, I'm just making sure Lucy is ok, she's pretty upset and she didn't want to be with the others, she said they don't understand.''

She hung up and got off the chair, picking up hers and Dave's mugs.  He grabbed her hand.

''I meant it Rose, thanks for everything you've done.  Don't take this the wrong way but perhaps you'd best stay away for a while, Anna said something earlier, saying you were getting too close to us.''

''Do you agree?''

''I can't answer that, Evie already thinks the world of you, she would miss you.''

''Would you?''

Dave heard a noise on the stairs, afraid Lucy was listening in.  ''I don't take much notice of Anna, you're a family friend.''

''Good, 'cos I'm gonna come round and help out for a few days, until you get back on your feet again.  I'll bring them home and get their tea for a week, see how you get on.''

''Thanks Rose that means a lot.''  He took her hand.

''Maybe I should get going yeah?''

They both knew she should.  So every night from the following one, Rose waited for the three children and took them back to their house, cleaned up and fed them so Dave could concentrate on his photography business, for which he was grateful but Rose was refusing to take money for groceries so he came in a week later and told her she took it or he wouldn't let her get any more.

''Dave, you can't force me to take your money you know, I do it because I want to, ok?''

''Just take it this once Rose, for goodness sake, don't argue over it, here.''

He thrust a few notes into her hand and she only took them because Evie was grinning at her.  The young girl climbed on Rose's lap.

''Rose, can I have a cuddle?  I miss my mum.''

''I think your dad needs one too but I get one first, yeah?''

The young girl was satisfied and moved to her dad.  Then Evie said innocently, ''Dad, Rose needs a hug too'' and got off his lap and stood with her arms folded.

Dave got up and put his arms around Rose then moved away and Evie went off to play happily.  Dave just smiled and went back to finishing his mug of coffee.  Rose finally left, begrudgingly with Dave's money in her purse and vowed she would just use it to buy things for the kids.  Another week went by, Mickey was getting jealous of Rose spending all her time at the Tiler house, not getting home until after seven when the kids had been settled in their rooms and she was sure Dave could cope with them but Mickey never said anything knowing Rita had been her best friend and if it was the other way around, Rita would have done exactly the same.

The following Friday afternoon though, Rose was called to the medical room and Evie had been sick.  They had called Dave who said he was on his way but could Rose drive her home as he was on his bike and would meet them there.   Rose took the poor girl home and laid her on the sofa with a blanket over her.

''Don't worry honey, you'll feel better soon.  Are you missing your mum?''

Evie nodded then curled up and closed her eyes.  Rose knew she should get back to school but Dave had got held up, he had run out of cash and was stuck at the petrol station when Rose got his call.

''I'm sorry Rose, I didn't know who to call, can you pay on your card and I'll get it back to you?''

He handed the phone to the cashier and Rose read her details out.  Dave thanked her and said he would be back shortly.  He hadn't said anything but he'd hardly taken any work since Rita's accident, not being able to concentrate and he had let his assistant go.  He knew that Robin was trying to get the police to admit it was their fault and pay the compensation but what was that compared to her loss?

Dave hastily rang Rita's mother to see if the two boys and Lucy could stay with her for the weekend and went to drop them off, Rose getting him something to eat while he was out and giving Evie some soup.  They sat in the kitchen talking quietly, Rose sending Mickey a message to say Evie was sick and she was making sure she was ok and would be home soon.  Mickey replied saying he was going to play darts anyway and would be back later.

Dave had given up his football since Rita had been gone and Rose was trying to encourage him to take it up again.

''Why don't we all go to the local match on Sunday if Evie's better?''

''Aye, ok, the kids like going.  We'll just wrap Evie up warmly and have a morning out.  About you bailing me out Rose, thanks again.''

''Yeah well you should have thought about that before you tried giving me money for the groceries, shouldn't you?  What are you going to do?''

''Get some more work, I fired my assistant, she was a liability, she was supposed to getting advertising sent out and all she did was update her internet profile, can you believe it?''

Rose smiled.  ''Aw, poor Dave.''

''Yes, well, I talked to Robin, I have a meeting with him in the morning, he thinks I can get an interim payment on the compensation but he wants to talk to me about handing it over to a larger law firm, he said I'll get more.''

''Dave, let him, you can't look after four kids without any help, you need a full time nanny.''

''Are you volunteering your services?'' he joked.

''Forget it, I'm a teaching assistant, not a nanny.  You could get one of those Swedish Au-Pairs to work for you.''

''No thanks, that I don't need.  I'll start looking for someone older with plenty of experience.''

''I'll get you the number for Mary Poppins shall I?''

''Who's Mary Poppins?'' a small voice asked as Evie stood in the doorway, rubbing her eyes.

''Rose will tell you all about her when she takes you to bed and tells you a story, won't you Rose?''

Evie went straight for her.  ''Will you carry me to bed?''

''You're too heavy for Rose, come here, I'll take you and if you feel better on Sunday, we'll all go to the football match, ok?''

''Ok.  Rose, tell me a story.''

Just after nine, Evie had fallen asleep and Rose tucked her up under the covers, Rose heard Dave come upstairs and Rose headed for the bathroom.  He was standing in the bedroom doorway when she came out and they looked in on Evie.

''You're good with kids Rose, have you heard about your exams yet?''

''I should get the results soon.  Rita so wanted to be a nursery teacher, she would have been good at it.  I really should get back before Mickey gets out of the pub.''

''You must hardly see him these days, looking after us.''

''He understands.''

Dave made no attempt to move out of the way to let her out of Evie's room as she turned.  She tried to get past him but he caught her arm and she brushed against him briefly.  He moved away from the door, still holding onto her and closed it behind him, his bedroom door open just opposite.   With his other arm, he slid it around her back and steered her towards it, backing her against the door frame. Rose looked into his sad brown eyes as she touched his cheek, Dave turning into it and found himself kissing her hand then up her arm.

Rose put one arm around his neck as he touched her cheek and then pulled her nearer.  Before either of them could stop themselves, Dave was pressing his lips against hers as she kissed him back, steering her into the bedroom and closing the door softly.
Chapter 2
Rose slipped Dave's t-shirt over his head, revealing the splattering of hair on his chest as he pulled Rose's top over hers revealing her black lacy bra and began kissing her neck as he leaned against the now closed door.  He reached for the zip of her black trousers and slipped his fingers down the back but on top of her stretchy black panties as she fumbled for the zip of his jeans.  He began kissing along her jaw line and below her left ear, whispering her name.

There was something in his Scottish accent, the way he said it that made it sound special and everything inside Rose was telling her this was so wrong, it was too soon, barely a month and she was betraying her best friend and Mickey but he carried on, pulling her unzipped trousers over her hips and kissing her neck, she could barely breathe.  She reached down the back of his jeans and he moved one hand to help her as her hand went down the back, being able to tell he was wearing briefs and not boxers by the material and feeling both his hands on her own as he inched down her trousers until they were halfway down her legs and he was holding her closer, kissing around the side of her neck further around.

Rose's hands were pressed firmly on top of his briefs but she found herself wanting to do the same to him so she moved them to the waistband of his jeans, tugging them down.  He called her name again as they slid down his legs and he let them fall off his slim frame as hers also dropped to the floor when he moved slightly, then he pulled her even closer and they touched through the material of their underwear, Rose on her tiptoes then he let go, grinning at her as if they both had the idea it might be just as well they took off their shoes and avoid tripping over their clothes.

Rose clasped his shoulders to balance herself then Dave did the same then he picked her up, carrying her to the bed then pulling back the bedclothes, hovered over her and began kissing the skin exposed by her black lacy bra, never attempting to take it off, knowing his young daughter was just across the landing.  Then lowering the arms he had been propping himself up on, he let himself gently down on top of her as she tried not to gasp at the contact, although they were still partially clothed, both sets of underwear seemed thinner than they had thought as he pressed himself onto her, Rose gasping again.

She knew this should not be happening, she had told Mickey since the day of Rita's death she didn't want to have sex with him, that she was too upset to think about it and he had made an allowance for her and last week she hadn't been bothered anyway, being that time of the month but next Tuesday, it would be exactly four weeks since her friend had died.  The first week, she had left Dave alone, then she had begun helping him by shopping and looking after his kids because that was what friends did for each other, they cared for those left behind to cope but this was more, ever since that innocent kiss the day of her friend's funeral and now she was under Dave, his hand was reaching around her back to get his hand down the back of her underwear and she was letting him, enjoying the feeling of him touching her, knowing he had needs he badly needed to attend to.

He was a 39 year old man who had just lost his partner of over ten years, she was a 27 year old single woman with a long-term boyfriend since she was 19 and it seemed to have all gone stale since her friend's death yet somehow, fate had thrown them together to cope with the loss of a friend on Rose's part and a partner and lover on Dave's part but as Dave continued to kiss her exposed cleavage spilling over the top of her bra, he pushed her over onto her side, her arms around his back and they began kissing, deeply, their tongues entwined.  Rose thought she heard a noise and just as the bedroom door opened slightly, she ducked under the covers, hoping Evie was half asleep and wouldn't have seen her as she nudged Dave and whispered to him as he was busy following her thinking she wanted him to go on top.

''Dave,'' she hissed.

He realised the door was open.  ''Ssh, get down,'' he whispered back as the door closed to.

He scrambled out of bed and struggled into his jeans then threw his t-shirt over his head, still bare-footed and opened the door, just as Rose got out of bed and scrambled for her own clothes.  He dashed out, Evie's bedroom door was slightly open but the girl was back in bed as he looked in on her.

Rose quickly got dressed and ran into the bathroom, wondering how the hell they had managed to get so carried away so quickly, Dave should still be grieving, not contemplating having sex with his partner's best friend, especially with his youngest daughter in the next room.  Dave had gone downstairs and was in the kitchen, it was after ten and Rose was going to have some explaining to do if Mickey had got back to their flat before she did.   Dave sat at the kitchen table.

''She went back to sleep, I don't think she actually saw you, she'll probably think it was just me or she imagined it.  Don't say anything to her about it.''

''Such as?  Tell her we were just about to shag each other but not to worry about it? It was a big mistake Dave, we should have known she would wake up.  I'd better get going.''

He got up as she went towards the door and grabbed her arm.

''No kiss goodbye Rose?''

''It was nice Dave, it really was but that's it.  I'm not even having sex with Mickey because I've been too upset, we should just forget about it, we were both just seeking some comfort, that's all.  I'll meet you at the football ground on Sunday if you still want to go?''

''We promised Evie now.  Don't leave like this Rose, please?''

''Like what?''

He leaned over and kissed her cheek.  ''I'll see you on Sunday, ok?''

''Ok, goodnight Dave.''

''Goodnight Rose, I'm not sorry for what happened, you shouldn't be either.''

He kissed her lightly on the lips and let her go.  When she got home, Mickey was making some toast and tea.

''I expected you to be here when I got back.''

''Oh, can't I go out now?  Is it only you who's allowed?''

''Don't be like that.  Where have you been?''

''I told you, Evie was sick, she's six and she misses her mum, I was making sure she was ok, I was reading to her.  She's never heard of Mary Poppins.''

''So you told her the whole story?''

''Goodnight Mickey, I'm too tired to play stupid games with you.''

''Huh?  What's wrong with you Rose?  You don't want sex any more, why all of a sudden?''

''My best friend died Mickey, just give me time to come round, that's all.  We're going to take the kids to the football on Sunday morning, you coming?''

''Yeah, 'course.''

The next morning, Dave went to see Robin, Rita's brother-in-law, after dropping Evie, who was feeling better at her granny's house and Robin offered him the use of his company credit card to tie Dave over until the compensation claim went through, which he was confident it would.

''What happened to work Dave?'' Robin asked.

''It's been quiet.  Rose has been looking after the kids but bills have been going out faster than I can send invoices out, I've no-one working with me now.''

''Look, take my credit card, here's the pin number, you can't keep relying on Rose to bail you out.  You know Anna doesn't approve of her, especially since she started taking charge when you threw her out?  Anna thinks you're spending too much time with Rose, what does her boyfriend think?''

''I don't care what Anna or Rose's boyfriend think, she was Rita's best friend, they were more like sisters than she and Anna were, Anna is just jealous of that fact.  She misses Rita as much as anyone and she loves those kids.  Now, I need to get them a nanny, it's not fair on Rose to keep asking her but she's keeping the kids going, Lucy is too young to take responsibility for them on her own, they get on well with Rose.  Look, never mind going for more compensation, just go ahead with it, ok?''

''I know how you feel about it Dave, it won't bring Rita back but a nanny is expensive.  You may have to pay more legal fees if I pass it on but it would be worth it, I know someone who can take it on, if you want me to go ahead?''

''Fine, just let me know when the hearing is going to be reconvened and thanks for the credit card, you'll get it all back.''

''I know, Anna reads all the statements,'' Robin grinned.

The next morning, the Tiler's met Rose and Mickey outside the local football ground and they all got seats on the same row, Evie shuffling her way down to sit on Rose's then Mickey's laps.

''Someone's feeling better today,'' Rose smiled, pulling the young girl's woolly hat.

Evie giggled and wriggled her way on to Mickey, who also pulled her hat since it was now making his chin tickle.  Dave was at the other end, Lucy was at her friend's so she hadn't wanted to go with them and the two boys were looking at the football programme.  Rose offered a weak smile in Dave's direction, she hadn't seen him since Friday night and almost getting caught by the young girl now being held by Mickey.  It got to half time and Rose had the job of taking Evie to the girl's room and Dave took the opportunity to excuse himself a few minutes later.

Evie was taking her time as Rose waited outside, Dave coming out of the gents.

''Hi Rose, are you ok?  You've hardly spoken since we got here.''

''I'm fine.  Why don't you all come over and I'll make lunch, just something quick to warm up, I prepared enough earlier.''

''Are you sure your flat can stand three kids in it?'' he tried to joke.

''Yeah, anyway, how did your meeting go yesterday?''

''Fine, I can pay you back now.''

There was no-one around as people were going back to their seats and Rose called Evie again who shouted not to hurry her.  Rose smiled.

''You should get back Dave.''

''Afraid someone will see us going back at the same time?''

He moved her against the wall and Rose let him kiss her but they heard Evie coming out and Dave backed away, slipping up the steps as the girl emerged.  They never got chance to be alone again during the following week what with Rose leaving just as Dave was free from helping the boys with their homework and him eating.  Mickey was still complaining Rose was ignoring him in bed, something he was getting fed up with but Rose assured him she didn't want him to leave.

Dave invited Rose and Mickey back the following Sunday.  He had heard back from Robin and the law firm he had recommended was prepared to represent him at the upcoming inquest which was to finally be in two weeks.  He had also got a contract to take photos for a tourist brochure over in Edinburgh so he was arranging to send the kids to their granny again and spend the weekend, getting a room in one of the city centre hotels and thought about Rose.

After he dropped the kids at school the next day, he decided to ask her when he got back that night since the boys were at soccer practice and Evie was watching TV, Lucy in her room so before Rose left, he got her in the kitchen and closed the door.

''Rose, I have to go away this weekend, come with me?''

''What?  Seriously?''

''I have to go to Edinburgh to take some photos, I got a new contract, come with me?''

''I can't, you know that.''

''I'll be there from Saturday afternoon until Sunday, call me if you change your mind.  I got a room at one of the hotels.  I miss being with you Rose.''

''Shush, you don't want Evie to overhear.  Has she said anything?''

''No, not a word although she almost said something the other day but changed her mind.''

''Well I'm off now, see you tomorrow then?''

''Rose, I really feel like I should be paying you, are you sure you don't want the nanny's job?  I'm going to go to an agency, after the hearing is over and get someone before and after school and during the holidays.  Work is beginning to pick up slightly now.''

''Good, you need someone and I don't want paying or me and you will fall out, got it?''

Evie chose that moment to come into the kitchen.  ''Are you going Rose?''

''Yeah, have to go see to that Mickey, you're more house-trained than he is.  Give me a kiss before I go.''

Evie planted a kiss on her cheek and put her arms around her as Rose leaned down. ''Bye Rose, see you tomorrow.  Daddy, kiss Rose goodbye.''

Dave looked at Rose then went up to her, kissing her cheek.  ''Bye Rose, thanks.''  Evie was smiling as Rose went off.

The next night though, Anna decided to pay a visit since it had been a while and she glared at Rose.

''So have you been here every night then?''

''I bring the kids home, watch them until their dad gets home, it's the least I can do.''

Rose was rescued by Dave coming in but Evie innocently almost said something to her aunt when she was messing about with Dave.

''More cuddles, Rose likes cuddles, don't you Rose?''

Dave wondered if the girl had seen something after all.  Anna just stared at the young girl.

''What do you mean Evie?''

''Rose gives me cuddles, like mummy used to do, don't you Rose?''

''Yeah, come here you, my turn.''

Evie rushed over and Rose picked her up but Evie reached her arm out to Dave. ''I miss cuddles with you and mum.''

Dave took the girl from Rose.  ''I know, I miss them too.''

Anna could see she wasn't wanted, Rose Tyler had wormed her way into the Tiler family.

Friday night though, Dave was setting off to take the kids over to Rita's mother's as Rose was leaving.

''Wait in the car kids, I'll be there in a moment.''  They all went out.  He turned to Rose, trying to kiss her.

''So, will you come to Edinburgh with me then?''

''It's not a good idea Dave.''

''I've hardly been alone with you since the other week.  We could have tomorrow night all to ourselves?''

''I'll call you, if I change my mind, if I can get away, ok?''

''Then I hope you can get away, if you change your mind.''

He gave her a kiss before allowing her out of the door before him.  Rose was thinking this may get it out of their systems once and for all but it would make things awkward.  He had said he planned to get a nanny, he could manage until he got one if things didn't work out.  She was miserable with Mickey, they both knew it.  He had asked her again but her monthly was coming and she had said for him to wait until afterwards but he gave her an ultimatum.

''Rose, whatever's going on with you, you need to get over it.  Rita is gone, you can't keep filling in as their mother, let him get himself a nanny.''

''He is, as soon as this inquest is over and he gets a settlement.  He told me he's also going to adopt Lucy, properly, child services have been on to him again and Robin is going to handle it for him.''

''Yeah, well that's good but it's not your concern Rose.  How about we go out tomorrow night?''

''What football final is on?'' Rose smiled, knowing that would be the only reason.

''I'm hurt by that remark.  I'm trying to make up with you Rose, not that I should be the one, I think I've been more than fair with you, waiting.''

''Look, I'm gonna go off for the weekend, give us a break.  I'll go over to Edinburgh and treat myself to a shopping day and a spa treatment, you go to your football and next week, when I get over my monthly, we'll talk about what we're gonna do, ok?''

''If that's what you want, ok, go have your spa treatment but next week Rose, we settle this, right?  I need to know one way or the other.  Tell you what, let's save some time yeah?  Get Rita's inquest out of the way, let Dave find a nanny, say a month, tops then either we start having sex again or I leave, deal?''

Rose had to agree.  ''Ok, we'll be civilised about it, it's just been so hectic and I can't just stop looking after the kids, they'd be devastated, they lost their mum so I'll encourage Dave to get a nanny sorted then I'll know they're ok.''

She couldn't decide whether to call Dave or not but since he was setting off on his bike, she decided to keep it to herself that she would meet him there.  So the next morning, she packed an overnight bag and set off to go to the capital and found a long stay car park, not knowing where Dave would be since he was supposed to be working but by two, she was tired of looking around the shops and sent him a message – 'I'm in Edinburgh.'

Her phone rang instantly.  ''Rose, you changed your mind.  I'm in front of the castle, by the fountain, come and find me.''

''Have you eaten yet?''

''No, where are you?''

''About five minutes away, don't you disappear on me.  Where are you staying?''

Ten minutes later, Rose saw him, taking photos of the castle and the fountain and went up behind him, putting her arm around him and kissing his cheek.  He spun around and told her to smile.  She did and waved at him, blowing a kiss and holding a bag containing sandwiches and bottles of flavoured water.  She handed him the bag and they sat on the edge of the fountain.  It was now in to June and it was a nice day so Dave took off his leather jacket for Rose to sit on as he reached over to kiss her.

''Hi, glad you came.  What made you change your mind?''

''Mickey, he gave me an ultimatum.  He gave me a month to start, you know and I'm not sure I want to.''

''Oh, I see and that depends on?''

''You said we could have the weekend to ourselves, no kids to worry about or wander into the bedroom, we cut it close the other day, I thought Evie was really going to say something.''

''So did I Rose, I'm sorry.   Listen, after the enquiry, will you help me choose a nanny for them?  Only it would look better if you were there.''

Rose let the words sink in, he was actually going to do it and after all that time, she would no longer going to be picking them up, getting their tea and helping Evie with her homework and her reading.  What was she going to do?  She had enjoyed being part of the family, Rita would have approved but maybe not of her stealing her partner but that never would have happened had Rita still been around.

Dave was messing around, pretending to take her sandwich and Rose smiled.  This was the first time they had been able to relax around each other without being spotted.  She just hoped Mickey wouldn't decide to come over and surprise her but since she hadn't said where exactly she was staying, the worst that could happen was he sent her a text or called to say he was in the city.

By five, Dave had finished taking photos and told Rose where he was staying, saying he was on his bike and would meet her there.  He got there first, getting the key and going out to get his overnight bag then Rose getting hers.  It was just an hour before dinner so Dave found the room and threw their bags on the chair, grabbing Rose by the waist and going for her neck.

''I've missed you Rose.''

''I missed you too Dave.''

She grabbed hold of him and he steered her towards the bed but she made him wait when he tried to unzip her dress.

''Later, we have all night.''

Dave gave her a grin and sat her on the bed.  ''Promise?''

Rose nodded and pushed him down playfully, pulling his t-shirt off.

''That's hardly fair.''

She leaned down and kissed him, they got so engrossed, they almost missed their evening meal.  Dave bought two drinks and they sat in a quiet corner of the hotel bar.

''So is this hotel expensive then?'' Rose asked.

''Booked it at one of those discount sites, Robin said Anna checks the credit card bills, I've booked in under his name so I hope he can convince her he wasn't sneaking off for the weekend.''

Rose smiled and put her hand in his.

He leaned over to whisper in her ear.  ''Had enough Rose?''

He took the empty glass from her, it was almost ten and Rose took his hand.  Once in their room, Dave wasted no time in unzipping her dress this time, something she had denied him earlier as he just slid his hand under her dress and down the back of her underwear, him just in his unzipped jeans and pulling up her floral dress.  This time, there was to be no stopping them as he sat above her, pulling his t-shirt off then toeing off his shoes and socks as Rose slipped out of her dress.  Smiling at him, she reached for the zip of his jeans as he reached around to unfasten her bra, smiling at her, the wait now over.

''Oh Rose, that day I kissed you, since the second time, I've wanted you.''

"It just seems so wrong, I keep thinking I'm betraying my friend's trust.''

''No, you were right Rose, she'd want me to carry on.''

He pulled off her bra, leaving her in her white lacy underwear as he wriggled out of his jeans, revealing his boxer briefs.  He smiled at her and reached for the bedside lamp.

''Dave, leave it on, yeah?''

''Oh Rose, I want to look at you, you're beautiful.''

They scrambled under the covers, Dave raising himself on his hands as he nipped at Rose's cleavage.  She ran her fingers through his hair and he looked up at her. She reached for the back of his briefs and he raised himself back up again.

''I want you Rose.''

''I want you too.''

He slowly pulled down her underwear, taking a long look at her then Rose pulled down his briefs as he turned out the lamp.  After they were both lost in each other, calling each others names, they tossed and turned, swapping places as Rose almost shrieked with delight, remembering where they were and as they finally collapsed, Dave back on top, he laid on his side, taking Rose half with him, his arm around her shoulder as she still came down from her high.

She knew she had never experienced anything like that with Mickey, they had come nowhere near, she had been so wrapped up in it all, she forgot it was her best friend's partner she was with.  Dave pulled her close to kiss her, she knew she had never been kissed like that before either and she felt different, something she had never felt before, real deep satisfaction and she knew she had never truly given herself to Mickey, she had just given herself to Dave.
Chapter 3
A new character in this chapter brings a new element into the story and Dave wonders what it exactly entails

When they woke up the next morning, Dave before Rose, they kissed again.

''Mmm, I think I like being awake before you Rose, just to watch you open your eyes, you scrunch up your face, it's adorable.''

''Thanks, I think, mmm, morning Mr Tiler with an 'I'.''

''Morning Miss Tyler with a 'Y', what are chances of that?''

''Zillions to one I expect.  Anyway, I never quite figured out exactly why you and Rita never got married?''

Dave moved onto his side.  ''Let's not talk about that, it's not important, is it?''

''Why isn't it?  Last night was good Dave but we can't keep sneaking off for the weekend, people will get suspicious, your kids for starters, Anna already doesn't like me much but there's Mickey.''

''You said you and he weren't exactly sleeping together.''

''We're not, not since Rita's accident.  Let's just wait a while, let things settle down. Get the kids a nanny and see what happens?''

''If that's how you feel about it.''

''It's not but we can't just start being seen together, it's different when the kids are there and Evie will say something soon, I think she's playing a game with us, I think she did see me in your bed that night, she's trying to see if we are going to play along, what with telling you to give me a hug and kiss me goodnight.''

''She's six Rose, it is a game to her, that's all, it doesn't mean anything.  Anna thought nothing more about it.''

''Yeah but what if she says something in front of Mickey?  He might not brush it off.''

''So what about it?  You said he'd given you time to go back to him, use that time Rose, decide what you want to do but I don't regret last night, do you?''

He traced his finger along her hip and down her leg then leaned over to kiss her. ''I meant it Rose, I liked waking up and seeing you there.''

He moved over and lay on her, pulling down the white cotton panties she had gone to sleep in then pulled down his boxer briefs and began kissing her.   They moved together, once more falling over the edge together then Dave pulled her on top, repeating the same sensations as last night.  By mutual agreement, they got dressed to go get breakfast, taking the opportunity to be seen one last time together in public where no-one knew them.  Dave went back to their room to fetch their overnight bags and he handed Rose's to her in the car park.

''See you tomorrow night then.  Don't forget the inquiry, you are coming?''

''Yeah, I want to know who the moron was who thought going through a red light was justifiable at the last minute.  I hope he's been suspended?''

''I left all that to Robin, you know I couldn't cope at the time.   I'm just getting by Rose, you make it bearable, I want to wake up more mornings with you.''

Rose couldn't say anything, this had been a mistake, they were both hanging on by a thread before they gave way.  She knew last night she was already falling for him, even that innocent kiss on the day of the funeral but that night when Evie had been sick, they both knew where it was heading and it could never get any further.

Wednesday was the day of the formal inquest.  Compensation was being discussed and when Rose arrived, Dave had Lucy and his eldest son with him and he was talking to the solicitor Robin had secured for him, Dave had not wanted to put a price on the loss of a mother of four, three with himself but they all needed looking after, their mother was not there to do it, he was leaving all the legalities to the experts and the judge would make the police pay up, it was all on CCTV.

Rose tried to smile at Dave, to reassure him she was there for him, they had not spoken much since their weekend together, only things concerning the children. Lucy looked over at Rose and let go of Dave.

''Hi Rose, I'm glad you're here.  I was going to ask you, when the hearing comes up for my adoption, will you come to it?''

''Yeah, wouldn't miss it, when is it?''

''I'm not sure, dad knows.''

They all went inside, sadly recalling the day Rita died, Rose wishing she could put her arm around him.  Only Dave and Robin were allowed to see the CCTV footage of the moment of the collision, Dave looked pale when Rose went back in and she wanted to hug him.  All the discussions about the actual amount had already been dealt with, it was up to the judge to rule the full lot was paid, to Dave, with all legal costs paid which was a surprise to him.  They had talked it out and what was due would cover Rita's loss of earnings until Evie reached sixteen but Dave had taken no notice of how it had actually been worked out.

It meant he now had the money to concentrate on getting them a nanny, part-time until the next long summer holidays then full time and they could afford to move to a bigger house if he could sell his but it was no substitute for four kids growing up without their mother.  Once outside, Rose volunteered to take Dave's son back to school while he took Lucy but he had got a taxi since his car had to go in for repairs, to where Mickey worked of all places so Rose dropped Lucy at her school then Dave got out when Rose pulled into the other school car park.

''I can get home from here Rose, thanks.   Thanks for coming this morning.''

''It was worth Anna glaring at me, I don't know what she has against me.  Do you need a lift to work?''

''No, I'll get a cab, thanks.  See you tonight and tomorrow, I have someone coming about the nanny's job.''

''Wow, that was fast.  Won't it take a while for the compensation cheque to come through?''

''Not long, I don't even have to pay any legal fees.''

''That's great, you shouldn't have to either.  It still doesn't make it right though.''

''I know, see you later then?''

They were standing out of view of the main area so Dave leaned down to kiss her, not realising from where Evie was sat in her classroom they could actually be seen as she chose that moment to look up.  The young girl smiled to herself and thought for a moment her dad was kissing her mum, she looked away and when she looked back, they were gone.

The following evening, Dave had got back early as he was interviewing a woman for the nanny's position, asking Rose to stay.  Rose went to let her in.

''Hello.  I'm Verity Newman, I've come about the nanny position.''

The blonde woman held her hand out but Rose declined.  ''You've come to see Dave Tiler, I'm just a family friend, I've been helping out, come in.''

The four children were all hanging over the banister, they had been told their fate, that someone was going to be taking charge of them and it wasn't going to be Rose any more so Lucy was planning a rebellion in her room, to get the others to agree to get rid of whoever was appointed as quickly as possible and get Rose back.

Evie was trying to be helpful.   ''I want Rose to stay, she gives me kisses and cuddles like mum used to do and she gives them to daddy too.''

''Don't be silly Evie,'' Lucy told her.

''She does, I've seen her.   She was going out one night and I told dad not to forget to kiss Rose goodnight and he kissed her cheek then she gave him a cuddle when she was giving me one.''

''That's ok Evie, grown-ups do that sometimes, to please the children, it doesn't mean anything, it's just a kiss on the cheek and a hug,'' Ewan offered.

Evie crossed her arms.  ''Even when daddy kisses her like he used to do mum and cuddle her like they used to?''

The other three looked at her.  Lucy stood in front of her.  ''Are you sure Evie?   Rose was mum's friend, maybe you just wanted to see it?''

''No, I saw them outside school yesterday morning, I saw daddy kissing Rose like he used to do mum, you know, like this.''

She screwed her face up and made kissing noises and the two boys sniggered.  Lucy frowned.

'This is serious you three.  Hands up all those who want dad and Rose to get together?''

They all put their hands up.  Lucy continued.   ''Then if dad gets us a nanny, which I certainly don't need, we all agree that if Rose stops coming around, we'll all make it plain we don't want her, we want Rose to look after us, ok?''

The other three all nodded.  ''What's a nanny, Lucy?'' Evie asked.

''Someone who looks after children when their parents are at work.  They're usually older and make you do things you don't want to do and you can't argue with them or get them on our side and they tell on you,'' Ewan explained.

''Like Mary Poppins!'' Evie exclaimed.

''Who's Mary Poppins?'' the others asked, looking at her.

''Ask Rose, she told me about her, she's magical she floats down from the sky using her umbrella and she has a bag that's bigger on the inside.''

Downstairs, Dave had plenty of questions, glancing every now and then at Rose. Verity had plenty to say for herself but since he kept looking at Rose, she had this nagging feeling.  Rose thought the woman had her eye on Dave and if she had, she had better watch out but Rose couldn't work out how she really felt about him.

Dave agreed to give her a week's trial, starting on Monday.  Rose looked at him after she had met the four children and left.

''There's something strange about her Dave.''

''In what way?''

''I don't know, the way she kept looking at you.''

Dave smiled and threw a cushion at her.   ''Rose, you're just jealous.''

''Shut up!''  She threw the cushion back and he retaliated, forgetting the kids were upstairs until he heard them.

''Well?'' Lucy asked, looking at Rose and Dave, who was just about to hit Rose again with the cushion and she was trying to fend him off.

''You have a new nanny starting on Monday.  She'll take you three to school, bring you back and make your tea so best behaviour, all of you.''

''But what about Rose?'' Evie asked, climbing on Rose's lap.

Rose hugged the girl.  ''You'll still see me at school.''

''It's not the same, we want you to come round.''

''Maybe I'll call in and see you some time, ok?  Hey, I got something for you Evie.''

She got up and went to her shoulder bag and brought out a DVD of Mary Poppins.

''Why don't we all watch it on Saturday afternoon?''

''Yeah, thanks Rose.  Can I have a cuddle?''

''Come here you.''

The others had left and Evie sprawled herself over Rose and Dave.  Rose knew if the nanny worked out, she would have no more excuses to come round and she would have to give Mickey her decision.  There were only a few weeks to the long school holidays, Rose hadn't known what Dave was going to do about them anyway.  The boys were going to sports camp the first two weeks, Lucy was going to music academy for two weeks which just left Evie.  Rose supposed Dave would manage somehow, probably leaving her with her granny but there was no need to worry now.

''Dave, did you get your car back?'' Rose asked when he had settled the kids in their rooms, just after eight.

Rose was expecting to get a call from Mickey and was surprised.

''Tomorrow but I expect I can get a new one now, maybe one with the extra seats, a people carrier.  We could all go out on Sunday and have a look at some.  I'll have to start looking at houses soon.''

''Don't you want to stay here?''

''Well yes but the house has too many memories, for the kids.''

''What about you?   You've been holding it all together since, you know, that day of the funeral.''

''I had to, I had no choice Rose but I still miss her, being here.  We need to move, make a fresh start.''

He moved closer and touched her cheek.   Rose leaned over and took his face in her hands.

''Not here Dave, the kids may come down.''

''When?  When can we have a repeat of last weekend?''

Rose got up.   ''You know it's difficult, I thought we were giving it some time?''

''I don't know if I can.''

He pulled himself up by her and walked with her to the door.

''Goodnight Dave, see you tomorrow.''

''Goodnight Rose.''  He leaned down to kiss her.

Saturday afternoon, Rose went round as promised and they all watched Mary Poppins then Dave said they'd all go out for burgers, Rose opting for the healthy menu and they all laughed and joked.  He didn't tell Rose but he had arranged for them all to stay over at Rita's mothers and went to drop them off then sent a text to Rose, who had gone back home that read 'Kids all out, come over?'

Mickey was about to go out just after seven.

''You coming to the pub Rose?''

''No, I think I'll go for a run, I've not been for ages, not since I used to go with Rita.  I'll see you when you get back, I might just watch a DVD when I do get back.   See you later.''

She gave him a peck on the cheek and went to get changed.  She did go for a run, she jogged around to Dave's house and rang the doorbell.

Dave opened the door but he had a disappointed look on his face as Rose saw that Anna had paid a visit.

''Oh hi Rose, come in, you've been out for a run?''

Rose played along.  ''Yeah, thought I'd come and see the kids.''

''They're all out, come and say hi to Anna, she's a bit upset.''

''Hey Anna, what's wrong?''

''It's Robin, I think he's having an affair.''

''What makes you think that?'' Rose asked.

Dave looked at her, willing her not to say anything since he wanted Anna to actually come out and say she had seen the credit card invoice for the hotel that weekend.

''Anna, like Rose said, what makes you think Robin is cheating on you?''

Anna went in her purse and pulled out a statement and handed it to him.  ''Here, he had a rendezvous in the premiere hotel and it wasn't with me, he said it wasn't him and said he'd given the company credit card to you but you never went away did you?''

''Yes I did, remember?  I went to take photos.  Anna, I stayed overnight.''

Anna tried to dry her eyes.  ''You mean when Robin said he was working, he really was?''

''Anna, you've nothing to worry about, really, it was me, honestly.   I think you owe him an apology, don't you?  Didn't you know I sent the kids to your mother that weekend?''

Anna went off, back to apologise to her husband and Dave went into the kitchen. "I made pasta, care to join me?''

Rose smiled as he went to the cupboard and brought out a bottle of wine and served up two plates of food.  He then led her upstairs.

''No interruptions this time Rose, just me and you, alone.''

''This doesn't feel right Dave, not here.''

''Come on Rose, ok, we won't have sex here if you don't feel comfortable but we can as least get close, can't we?''

He lifted her sports top over her head, revealing her black bra, then ran his fingers along the top of her shoulders, pulling the straps down one by one, kissing her neck then her shoulders and working his way down.  One hand was making its way down the back of her leggings she wore for running.

''Dave, I can't stay long, I have to be back when Mickey gets out of the pub.''

''It's only just after nine, I'll give you a lift home on my bike, drop you around the corner.  Why do you stay with him Rose?  You said you're not with him.''

''He pays half the rent, I can't afford it on my own.''

''Is that the only reason?''  He pulled her onto the bed.  ''I want you Rose.''

Before she knew it, she had let him take off her leggings and he had taken off his jeans without her noticing.  She remembered the last weekend, the night they had spent in that hotel room, posing for photos amongst the ones he was actually supposed to be taking, hoping he wouldn't use any of them.  He was running his long fingers down her legs and she was kissing his neck as he took off her bra and tossed it away, then kissing where she was exposed.

''Rose, please?'' he asked as he fingered the waistband of her black cotton underwear.

It was over an hour later, they had tossed and turned, Rose had given in after being coaxed out of her last remaining piece of underwear and she had shuddered beneath the man she was falling heavily for, her best friend's partner and Rita, not three months gone yet but it just seemed so right as they both tumbled under the bedclothes.

Dave came away from her and laid on his back, tracing his finger down her arm as she put it on his chest.

''Well to say you didn't feel comfortable, that was quite something, Miss Tyler with a 'Y', you soon changed your mind.''

''Well I had a bit of encouragement.  You make me feel different Dave, something I never felt with Mickey, that was childs play.   I don't think we were ever like that, not even when we met.  I don't know Dave, where this is going.''

''Wherever you want Rose.  I told you, we can wait, if it makes you feel any better, we can just meet on weekends.  You are still coming round once the nanny starts?''

''I don't think I should, she might think I'm undermining her authority.   Maybe I'll let the kids get used to her first?''

''Then come round just to say hello, you don't have to stay, wait until she's gone.''

He pulled her close and they kissed but Rose's mobile started ringing and she realised what time it was.  She reached for her phone as Dave decided to kiss her cleavage.

''Mickey, what do you want?'' she asked, swatting him away as he persisted.

''Can you come and pick me up from the pub?''

''Why, can't you walk home?''

She heard a lot of noise before he answered.  ''Got a bit distracted.''

''I'm in bed, can't you get home on your own?''  Not an outright lie, she was just not in her own, she was in Dave's.

''Come on Rose, be a sport, we can make up when I get back.''

''I don't think so if you've been drinking.   Just get a taxi, I can't be bothered.''

''I'll have ages to wait.''

Rose was thinking that was good since now she was trying to get dressed one handed.  She hung up and put her leggings on, Dave was putting his jeans on.

''Dave, you have to take me back, now.  He thinks I'm at home.''

''Rose, we can't keep doing this, just tell him.''

''I will, in my own time.  Tonight was really good, again.''

Twenty minutes later, Rose was getting off the back of Dave's bike, having borrowed his spare leather jacket and helmet and flew into the bedroom and wasn't there five minutes before she heard Mickey come in.  He got into bed beside her and tried to get close but she shoved him away, telling him he was drunk.  The next morning, he was sulking, complete with hangover at the kitchen table.  Dave had gone back home, staring at where Rose had been laid a short time ago.  He was falling for her and he knew it, there wasn't much doubt about it but others would say it was too soon, especially Anna and what would the kids think?

Well it wasn't about Anna or Robin, it was about him and the kids.  They all liked Rose, especially Evie and she had spent a lot of time with them, letting Evie cry on her shoulder when something would upset her and they would start to remember, getting photos out of Rita and guessing what the occasion had been.  There had been one of Rita and Evie, on Rita's birthday, Rose had been there and they all had damp eyes when they thought back.

Over the last few weeks, Dave had found himself depending more on Rose, the weekend they had just had the week before had not been as guilt ridden as he had thought, he needed someone in his life but what was the correct length of time to wait after a loved one's death?  Could anyone honestly say how long he was supposed to wait?

Every night for the next week, Rose stayed away, even Saturday, she was nowhere to be seen despite Dave sending her text messages.  Anna and Robin had taken the kids out and he had gone to work, half expecting Rose would show up but she didn't.  He looked at the photos he had taken of her in Edinburgh two weeks ago, she was beautiful and he found himself daydreaming about her but it didn't bring her to the studio.  She never even went to the football match the Sunday before and by the following Wednesday, everyone was fed up, including Dave.

Verity had worked out just fine, well Dave thought she had even though the two boys seemed to play up slightly but by the end of the first week, she was charming them with her stories about her great grandmother, who back in 1913 was a nurse in a boys military school where she met a man called John Smith who revealed himself to be a time-travelling alien from another galaxy.  That certainly got the attention of the two boys but Dave himself knew nothing about it until the following week when he said he would be late home on Thursday night and had sent a message for Rose to meet him at his studio.

He still couldn't work out two things, one, the nanny kept staring at him when he came home and was going to give her until the end of the week to stop or he was going to tell her in no uncertain terms to stop of he would have to let her go, without telling her he was only interested in Rose.  The other was Rose herself, what was going on with her?  Were they getting in too deep and she was backing off?  If so, he needed to know if she had gone back with Mickey and if she had, he was going to fight for her when the time was right but when would that be?

He waited in the studio when the last client and her two daughters had left and he had let his new assistant, Ben, go for the evening, at least he was interested in photography.  It got to six and he sat with a bottle of light beer on the red leather sofa and thought about texting Rose again.

Rose meanwhile had got his message that afternoon 'I'm working late tonight, kids are with the nanny, come to the studio?'   She had sat in the staff room during play time, just being able to spot young Evie in the playground who had seen her and waved.  The girl looked happy, she was with another girl in her class but staying away for two weeks had been hard, watching them go off with their new nanny and she missed them all but she missed Dave most of all but he was now getting on with his life, as it should be, without her.
Chapter 4
As Dave waited to see if Rose was going to show up, she was sat at home, debating what to do.  Mickey was hovering around, trying to find his lucky set of darts and Rose wondered if he was doing it on purpose, to see if she was going out.

''You've not be round to see Dave's kids then?''

''No, they've got a nanny now, into her second week.  I've seen them going off with her, she seems ok.''

''Then are we getting back together then?  I mean, since you're in most of the time now, you know, maybe it's time.''

''I don't know Mickey, you said you'd give me a month.''

''What do you need to think about Rose?  What's so difficult?  Let me make it easy for you then shall I?  Sunday, I'll ask you again and if the answer is no, I'll leave.  I've been thinking of going back to London anyway, two years up here has been more than enough and since Rita died, you've hardly been here, you spend all your time round at Dave's.  Oh, now I get it, I've been so stupid.  It's him isn't it?  It's Dave, you've been seeing Dave?''

''Don't be so suspicious Mickey, the kids needed me, they lost their mum.''

''Yeah?  Well Dave lost his partner and it doesn't take a genius to work out why you've been going round now.  You wanted to see him.  Well get over it Rose, we get back together on Sunday night or I go.''

He decided to go without his favourite set of darts, settling for another and slammed the door behind him.  Back at the Tiler house, Verity had got the boys to do their homework, promising she had brought the book she had published earlier in the year with her to show them the drawings from the original journal she had found in her loft amongst possessions that had been her great grandmother's.  She had hardly believed the stories she had been told as a child, about Joan Redfern, a professor called John Smith and aliens who had been hunting him so he had made himself human so they wouldn't find him.

Gathering the children around, she showed them drawings from the book she had put together that had taken her years to complete, along with writings she had found by Joan alongside the writing in the journal itself.  Evie closed her eyes at a silver monster she saw and the boys were more than impressed with a drawing of a werewolf but she deliberately didn't show them the page containing a drawing of all the guises John had gone under previously.

''So children, Lucy, this man, he told my great grandmother he came from a planet called Gallifrey and his real name was The Doctor.''

''A real doctor?'' Evie asked, trying to look at a picture of a blue box.

''No, he said though he was a doctor of everything.  He had become human to get away from who he said were called The Family, they took over some of the villagers including a boy from the school, a young girl and a woman who worked at the school as a maid.  They went searching for The Doctor and found him at the village hall with my great grandmother, he had this friend, she was called Martha and he had got her employment at the school and that night, the family attacked the village and Martha gave him this watch.''

She showed them pictures of an old fobwatch and a picture of Martha.

''She got him to open the watch and he saved everyone by blowing up the spaceship belonging to the family and he gave them all suitable punishment because they wanted to live forever and that's what he gave them.  Back in the village, even to this day, they still talk about it and there's a scarecrow in one of the fields that residents say has been there almost 100 years and no-one looks after it.''

''So it was all real then?'' Paul asked.

''Who knows?  The journal is real, my great grandmother believed him but he broke her heart when he changed back into The Doctor.  He wanted her to go with him, in his blue box call the Tardis but she couldn't, she said he looked like John Smith but she knew it wasn't really him.''

''That's sad,'' Evie declared as Ewan clung hold of her.  ''So he went away?  Just like my mum did but he had that maid, Martha, just like dad has Rose.''

''Evie, that's enough,'' Lucy reminded her.

''No but it's true, daddy is sad but he had Rose, she hasn't been around, is she upset with us?''

Verity was out of her depth here.  She knew the woman called Rose, who had been with the children's father when she was interviewed had been watching her and the way the two looked at each other, there was clearly something going on between them and apparently, at least the youngest member of the family knew about it.  No wonder he had kept wondering why she was looking at him, he thought she was interested in him but it wasn't that, is was the fact that Dave Tiler could be this Doctor's double and Rose was clearly the character referred to in the book, her mother had told her that Joan had sensed she was someone special in his life.

Verity knew she could never confront either of them but if they saw the journal, she may be able to explain she was only wondering and not trying to get his eye, Rose had nothing to worry about on that score, that was not why she was there.  She had chosen this family, not the other way around.

''So, that's most of the story but there's a lot more, maybe another night?''

''But Miss Newman, this Doctor, how did he travel in this blue box?'' Ewan asked her.

''I'll tell you another time.  Now your dad's working late tonight so all go to your rooms until he gets back and tomorrow, I'll show you some more of the book and how when I was signing copies, a man who looked like The Doctor came in and asked for one.''

Verity got up and put the book on the coffee table at an open page and walked to the door.  Evie spied it and looked and was sure she saw Rose's face but shook her head, it was just another story.

Just after six, Dave heard the buzzer on the studio door go and was up like a shot.

''Hello, Rose, is that you?''

''Yeah, can I come in?''

He buzzed her in and wrapped his arms around her as she put her arms around his back then he leaned down and captured her lips with his own.

''Rose.  I've missed you.  Why haven't you been around?  You never called, you didn't come to the football last Sunday, what happened?''

''Sorry, I know but you're getting on with your lives now, the kids have a nanny, you're working again, you don't need me any more.''

''Oh Rose, you are so wrong, we all miss you, I miss you.  Ever since that night, when Evie got sick, I knew it, Rose, I'm in love with you.''

''Don't say that.  Do you want to know why I stayed away?  Because that woman, the nanny, came every night to pick up the kids and I watched them walk away with her, after all those weeks when I took them home, they don't even turn around to wave goodbye, except sometimes Evie does but they go off and they're all talking, they don't need me.''

He leaned down to kiss her again but she pulled away.

''Rose, that's not true, they miss you.  Come back around tonight and we'll tell them.''

''No, I can't, they'll want me to go, they have Verity now, I saw the way she looked at you.''

''Rose, there's nothing to worry about, I was going to tell her if she doesn't stop glancing at me like that that I'll have to let her go.  It's nothing, really, it's you.  I did offer you the job, you turned it down, remember?''

He leaned forward again and she let him kiss her.  ''Rose, come back with me, I'll tell her, when the kids have gone upstairs but we tell them we're together.''

''No, I have to tell Mickey first, I can't let him find out from the kids.  I need to think about this Dave, just give it a bit more time, I have to be sure and don't say anything to the kids, please?  I'll tell Mickey, on Sunday to move out then I'll come round next week and we can tell them.''

Dave leaned down and buried his head in her neck, kissing it.

''Ok, if that's what you want?  I meant it Rose, I love you.''

''I'd best go, I just need some time Dave.''

''Stay a bit longer?  I missed you.''

He reached for the zip of her dress and steered her to the sofa, kissing her on the way then lay her down, putting a throwover on the seat and pushing her down.

''We have the place to ourselves Rose, the nanny is staying late and I want to take some photos of you.''

He let go and grabbed his camera as her dress dropped to the floor, leaving her standing in her white lacy underwear.

''Lay on the sofa for me?''

Rose smiled, she had not be asked to pose in just her underwear before.  ''Why don't I stand in front of the string lights?''

Dave smiled as she posed in several different positions until he got her to take off her bra.  She tried to cover herself with her hands and as he told her she was beautiful, she moved them as he snapped a photo.  He put the camera down and picked her up, carrying her to the sofa and unzipped his jeans then took off his shirt.

He lay on top of her and soon they were lost in each other and afterwards, somehow they had swapped places and she lay on him, closing her eyes.

''I missed you too Dave, just give me a bit more time, yeah?''

''Oh Rose, as long as you want, I'm not going anywhere.''

He noticed she had not said it back, that she loved him but it didn't matter, she had not run away and she had just given in to him.  They got dressed and kissed goodbye.

''When can I see you again Rose?'' he asked as they went to the door.

''Soon, just let me sort out Mickey, yeah?''

He had to settle for that but when he got home, he was just letting Verity go when Evie came downstairs.

''Nanny, show my dad the book.''

''What book is that then Evie?'' Dave asked.

Verity got the book out of her shopping bag.

''This Mr Tiler, it's just a book of stories my great grandmother wrote down, they're from her journal.  I was just telling the children.''

Dave took the book and noted the title – 'A journal of impossible things' and opened it.

''You've shown this, to my children?''

''Not all of it, they're just stories Mr Tiler, the boys especially liked them.''

''Right.  Evie, off to your room, please.''

''But dad, I saw a picture in there, lots of pictures but one was Rose.''

Verity and Dave looked at each other.

''Evie, how can Rose be in the book?''

''I did see her, tell him nanny?''

Verity took the book from him as Dave insisted Evie went to her room and then he turned to her.

''I think you have some explaining to do, don't you?  Filling my young kids, especially Evie, with this nonsense.  Show me what Evie saw.''

''Mr Tiler, you have to understand, my great grandmother wrote all this almost 100 years ago, any images that resemble your friend, it's just a coincidence, I'll show you.''

She went straight to the page, she had continually stared at it since she first met her employer's friend, well more like girlfriend though since she had been absent it appeared neither of them actually knew it.  Dave stared at the image in front of him, there was no doubt it was a younger version of Rose, with shorter hair.

''This can't be right.  How can you explain this?''

Verity had not yet finished since he had discovered the image of his friend and turned to where there were 10 images of the same man but with different faces.

''You have to understand Mr Tiler, my great grandmother knew this man in 1913, he was not of this world, he was a time traveller and he could change his appearance.  When she encountered him, he looked just like this.''

She pointed to the image and Dave just stared at it, it could have been him, just a different hairstyle.

''Mr Tiler, I think your friend misunderstood when I came for my interview, I was staring at you because I thought you were him.  He's real, I met him when I was signing copies of my book.''

Dave didn't know what to make of it, he was still staring between the image of who could have been him and going back to the page of Rose's image, wondering what to make of it.

Rose still stayed away, Dave didn't know what else to do, even after the evening in the studio, she had left without anything being settled.  He tried calling her on Sunday morning but she didn't answer so he figured he would give her another week, then he was going to do something about it because he knew now, he had to see her.  The kids and work kept him busy, Robin called to say the settlement cheque had arrived and wanted to discuss investing an amount for each of the children for when they reached 21 so Dave arranged a meeting with him.

Lucy's adoption hearing was coming up and she had asked if Rose was going to attend.  Dave sent her a message to meet them on Wednesday morning so she had agreed to go.  Waiting outside the court, Dave greeted her.  Rose had been tormenting herself, Mickey had moved out during the week after finally admitting defeat on the Sunday afternoon following another row about Dave.

''You might as well admit it Rose, so I'm clearing out, I'll get my things while you're at work.  We could have been good together Rose, we were, until your friend died.''

''That's not fair Mickey and if we were good together, why have we drifted apart?''

''I gave you time to get over it Rose, more than enough.  Talking about not being fair, you've been seeing Dave behind my back, how's that fair?''

''It's not like that.''

''You're not fooling me Rose.''

So as Rose showed up for Lucy's hearing, she sat at the back while Lucy was asked what she wanted.

''I want to stay with who I know as my dad, he's the only one I've ever known.''

Lucy looked across at Dave then she looked at Rose, not saying anything.

The judge ruled Lucy could stay with Dave, since he proved he had engaged the services of a nanny and the business was now picking up.  When they came out, Lucy rushed over to Rose before she left.

''Rose, where have you been?  We've all missed you.''

''Oh you know, I've been a bit busy, I'll see you soon, yeah?''

Dave stepped over and put his arm around Lucy.

''Come on, you have to get to school.  Another week and you'll be on holiday.  Rose, how have you been?''

''Fine, thanks.''

''Listen why don't you come over any more Rose?  The kids miss you, Lucy misses you, don't you Lucy?''

''I do Rose, please, come over?''

''I don't want to be in the way.''

''Oh Rose, you won't be in the way.  I want to show you something, come over tonight?''

''I'll see.  Dave, can I have a word, on your own?''

''I have to get Lucy to school.  Come over and you can tell me or come round to the studio?''

''Maybe next week, yeah?''

''Lucy, take the car keys and wait for me will you?''

Lucy took them and went off and Dave took Rose into a quiet corner.  ''Rose, are you mad at me for some reason?''

''No, should I be?''

''I haven't seen you since the night you came to the studio.  What's going on with you?''

''Seriously?  That woman, the nanny.  She comes every night and takes the children back to you and you're there, with them all.  How can I come around and interfere?''

''Rose Tyler, you are jealous!  There's no need to be, really, she's just the nanny and if you come around, I have something to show you.  She isn't interested in me, she thinks I'm someone else and she thinks you are someone else as well.  Come round and I'll explain it.  If you come round, I'll tell her, about us then we'll tell the kids.''

''It's too much Dave, what do you mean I look like someone else?''

''Verity can explain it better than me Rose, please, come round tonight?  I meant what I said, I love you Rose.''

Rose ran off out of the court.  How can he say he loved her?  She knew how she was feeling, confused and she had woken up feeling sickly again, which wasn't like her. Maybe going to bed with Dave that weekend in Edinburgh almost four weeks ago wasn't such a good idea after all.  Dave went off, feeling confused.  What exactly had he done wrong?

Rose surprised them all, including herself by ringing Dave's front doorbell just after seven as Verity was leaving.  She answered the door.

''Oh, Miss Tyler, come in, it's nice to see you again.''

''I was told you think I look like someone else, I'd like to know exactly who.''

Dave came out of the kitchen.  ''It's ok Verity, you can show her.''

Verity went over to the book case and retrieved the signed copy she had made out to the Tiler family and opened it at the page with the ten faces of The Doctor and began to tell her quickly of her great grandmother's story then showed her the image of Rose.

''But how is this even possible?  You mean like I'm some kind of re-incarnation?''

''Rose, you don't understand.  The girl in the drawing, she was special to The Doctor and he lost her.  She was taken from him and sent to another universe, a parallel one and she was never mentioned again.  When I saw you, the night I came for my interview, I thought somehow you had come back.  You two, you belong together, don't you see that?  You are this reality's version of The Doctor and this Rose, his true love.''

Rose looked at Dave, did he really believe all this?

''So what about this fobwatch you say he used to make himself human?'' Rose asked.

''When he became a Timelord again, the watch was just a watch.  I believe he gave it to one of his students.  There was nothing to say he wouldn't have used another one, had he the need to become human again.  I met him, just the once, not very long ago and he looked just like the drawing.  You can imagine what I thought when I met you two.''

''Well I'm definitely human, don't you think?''

''Rose was human, only the Doctor was from another world.''

Rose looked at Dave.  ''You don't really believe all this do you Dave?''

Dave looked miles away.  ''What?  No, of course I don't but you have to admit, it is plausible although I've never seen any of the creatures and I think we would have done, don't you?''

''Well I'll be off then but remember what I said, you two belong together.''

''Right, yes, about that.  Verity, you've done a great job, you really have but Rose has missed being with the kids so do you mind if she brings them home and stays a while?  You'll still do what you normally do but you can ask Rose anything regarding the kids.  We were going to tell them when you'd gone but now, you know and yes, I think we do belong together.''

Verity smiled.  ''Are you sure you'll be needing me then?  If Rose is here, that's all the children need.  The holidays are coming up, you said the boys and Lucy were going off for different activities which only leaves Evie and the way she goes on about Rose, it's clear the girl would rather spend her time with her and not me. Why don't I finish the week out and you can call me through the agency when you need me again?''

''That's very good of you Verity.  What do you think Rose?  Are you up to the task? Let Verity pick the kids up the next two days and you can bring them home from next week?''

''I'd rather Verity did it next week too but I'll come round, is that ok?''

''That's fine, I'll leave you to tell the children then.''

Verity left and Dave called the four children downstairs and sat them on the sofa after they all hugged Rose and Evie settle on her lap, Rose with her arm around her.

''We missed you Rose, where have you been?  Don't you miss cuddling dad?''

''Evie, stop that,'' Dave requested.

''But I saw you that night I was sick, don't you want to cuddle Rose any more Dad?''

''Evie, you have to understand.  I loved your mum, you all need to know that but Rose, she's been a big part of our lives since your mum left us, you all know that. We've all missed her, the reason she stayed away was because she thought we were all managing without her but we haven't, have we?''

The kids are all turned to Rose but it was Lucy that spoke up.

''We want you back Rose, please?  The nanny is ok but she's not you.  Please come back Rose?''

Evie turned and hugged her.  What could she say?

''Rose, come back, why have you been away?'' Evie asked her.

''Ok, let her have some room Evie.  What do you all say to Rose coming after school and staying?'' Dave asked.

''Yeah!'' Ewan, Paul and Evie shouted at once.

''Then how about all night?'' Dave dared asked.

''Will you get us breakfast Rose?'' Ewan asked.

''Your nanny will still do that but how do you all feel, if me and Rose, well if Rose was to move in with us, some of the time?''

''Like you and mum used to be?'' Lucy asked.

''If that's not ok, we'll work around it, it won't be all the time, just some of it.''

''Actually Dave, I gave notice on my place last Monday.  Mickey left.''

''Why not all the time?'' Evie asked holding onto Rose.

''Yeah, why not Rose?'' the boys asked together.

''It seems unanimous Rose, we all want you to stay so what do you say?''

''I don't know.  I still have three weeks in my own place, let me get that sorted yeah?  I'll come and stay the weekend and see how we all get on, you might have had enough of me by then.''

''No we won't Rose, will we kids?''

They all went upstairs when told and Rose sat in the armchair, Dave sitting on the arm.

''Move up Rose, come here, I've missed you more than those four put together.  What did I do to make you stay away from me?''

''Nothing Dave, it was me, not you.  When I gave notice on the flat, I also gave word I might not take up the post offered to me at the school.''

''You passed your exam?''

''Yeah so since Miss Price leaves next week, they offered the job to me but I also applied to a school near my mum's in London.''

''No, please stay here Rose, don't go back there.  I thought we'd just settled all that?''

''That was before, now I don't know.  I'll stay tonight, if you want but I wasn't feeling too good this morning, maybe it was just something I ate.''

''Just stay tonight with me Rose, I've missed you more than you'll know.''

After the kids settled in bed, they lay on the sofa just kissing but had left the door open a crack.  Lucy had crept down and seen them then went to tell the others.

''It worked, Rose is staying.''

''Are they cuddling?'' Evie asked with a smile.

''Yeah and kissing?  Yuck!'' Ewan asked.

''That as well, we might as well get used it, Rose is here to stay.''

All was not going to go well though.  Rose went home on Sunday afternoon to pack some of her things and called at the pharmacy on the way back to her place.  She still wasn't feeling well and she was almost due her monthly but had this nagging feeling it wasn't going to happen.  She went into the bathroom, having bought one of the more expensive reliable tests and followed the instructions.  She was four weeks, what would Dave say?  He wasn't ready for another addition to his already large family, he would surely send her away and change his mind about them being together.  She was brought out of her thoughts when the doorbell rang. Thinking it was Dave, she forgot to put the test down, hiding it behind her back. She should tell him now so he had chance to leave and not throw her out of his own house.

It wasn't Dave, it was Mickey as she opened the door.

''What are you doing here Mickey?''

''Thanks, nice to see you too.  I came back to ask you to change your mind, I forgive you if you're not seeing him any more.  Are you going to let me in?''

''No, I've not changed my mind Mickey.  It's best you just leave.''

''Oh, you're expecting him to come around then are you?  Leave his kids on their own so you two can shag each other's brains out?''

''Get out Mickey, or I swear you'll regret it.''

''What you gonna do?  Get Dave on to me?''

He grabbed her arm, the one behind her back and glanced down at what she was holding.

''What's this?  A pregnancy test?  Well if you are, it's not mine so you really were shagging Dave, even before I left?  How could you?''

''Get out of here Mickey, he's more of a man than you ever were and do you know what?  I had my real first time with him.''

Rose looked beyond Mickey, the door still open and Dave was standing there.  Mickey turned to where she was looking.

''Oh great, if it isn't the man himself?  Pleased with yourself are you?  Not got enough kids that you want another?''

''Get out Mickey, now!''

She began hitting his arm, nudging past a confused Dave.

''Wait a minute Rose, what does he mean?'' Dave asked, scratching his head.

''Yeah Rose, tell him what you mean,'' Mickey mimicked.

''This isn't how I wanted it, '' Rose said quietly.

Dave looked at what was in her hand as it slowly registered what Mickey was talking about.

''How long have you known Rose?  Is it Mickey's?''

''Oi, don't blame me, she's not been near me since Rita died, she's been with you. How long for?''

''Wait a moment, we haven't been together that long, how far on are you Rose?'' Dave asked.

''I've just taken the test, four weeks.  No Mickey, it isn't yours now go.''

Mickey pushed past Dave, leaving him standing in the doorway.  Dave took the test from her hand, he had seen them before, three times.

''Were you going to tell me Rose?  Have you really just taken it?''

''I can show you the receipt if you don't believe me.  You might as well leave now as well, it's over.''

''What's over?  Do you think I'd walk out if you're pregnant?  Four weeks, that would make it Edinburgh?''

''Well done, give the man a prize.  Just go Dave, I don't want to argue with you.  I was stupid, I knew that weekend I was almost on my period, I knew what I was doing, I was just hoping I'd get away with it but I didn't, it's all my responsibility.''

''Can I talk now?  It takes two you know and that weekend, I knew I loved you Rose, I've told you three times now and you've never told me how you feel.  How do you feel?''

''Sick but besides that, I don't know, I'm all confused.''

''That was why you stayed away, wasn't it?  You knew you were taking a chance that weekend, that was why you said you couldn't go but you changed your mind, why?  If there was a chance, even a slim one you'd get pregnant?''

''Because you have four wonderful kids Dave and I love them all but they're not mine and I never wanted kids with Mickey.  It was only when we began being together I felt that way.  I'm sorry, you'd best go now.''

He moved closer after putting down the test.  ''Rose, I'm going nowhere without you. You want the baby?  I love babies.  I came here because I got Anna and Robin to come around so I could take you out tonight.  I told them about us or rather the kids did, they never stopped talking about it when they came round.  So why don't you go get dressed up, we'll go for a walk then have Sunday lunch and a drink and stay here tonight, away from the kids.  What do you say?''

''You're not mad at me, for that weekend?''

''Rose, I loved Rita, you know I did but I never thought I would fall in love again so quickly and it wasn't intentional.  You heard what Verity said, we belong together so Rose, we can make this work, I know we can.''

''Really?  I mean Verity offered to leave and I discover I'm pregnant, I don't know if I can cope with three young kids and being pregnant.''

''We can keep her on or take her back after the holidays but the funny thing was, after she left on Friday night, while you were upstairs with Evie, I forgot to ask when she'd be available and yesterday morning, I called the agency and they had never heard of her.''

''Then how have you been paying her Dave?''

''That's just it, I looked at my bank statement and the payments to the agency hadn't gone out so who was she?''

Rose smiled.  ''Another time traveller?  The real Joan Redfern?  Verity was the spitting image of her great grandmother, maybe she did go travelling with this Doctor and she's come forwards in time, just to get us together?''

''Oh no Rose, I don't think that's possible.  Do you love me?''

''Well it was a journal of impossible things after all.''  Rose held out her arms around him and they kissed.  ''Are you sure we'll make this work?'' Dave nodded.  ''I love you too, Dave Tiler with an 'I'."

''Well, it wouldn't take much to change yours to Tiler with an 'I', would it?''

''Why did you and Rita never get married?''

Dave steered her to the sofa and leaned her back on the cushion, touching her tummy.

''I don't think the subject ever came up, maybe she didn't want it or we didn't need it but I'm sure about it with you Rose and I know maybe it's a bit too soon but one day, will you change the spelling of your name to mine?''

''Mmm, well we were meant to be together according to that journal.  You haven't got a fobwatch hidden away anywhere, have you?'' she asked as she unfastened his shirt buttons.

''Not that I know of,'' Dave replied as he unfastened the buttons on her top and lifted it over her head and unfastened her trousers that were beginning to feel a bit tight on her, then unzipping his jeans.

Rose could feel him stirring through his boxers.

''One thing though, well two actually.  If Verity doesn't work for the agency, why did she turn up that night and is everything in that journal true or just not happened yet?''

''Good point Rose,'' Dave replied as he unclasped her bra and began kissing her exposed cleavage as Rose pulled his jeans down with his boxers at the back then he pulled down her underwear, both now touching.

''Mmm, I know why she turned up that night.''

Dave looked up from kissing her neck, one hand on her bum.  ''Really Rose, now? Tell me after, I want you.''

''I want you too Dave, I do love you but remember that film I bought for Evie?''

Dave did look up this time.  ''You're not being serious Rose?''

''Mary Poppins, she came out of nowhere when the family needed her and when she had achieved what she set out to do, made sure the family were ok, she went on her way.  We're going to be ok Dave, I know it now.  You adopted Lucy, the kids accepted me and we're having a baby.  I'd say she accomplished her mission and those stories, maybe her great grandmother did get given that journal from a man who believed it all and she got carried away, trying to make up for him leaving her.''

Dave let out a laugh.  ''I love you Rose and yes, we are going to be ok, thanks to Mary Poppins but she didn't look like Julie Andrews much.''

Rose smacked him on his bum.

''Hey, just you keep doing that and you'll be having more than one baby.''

''I should hope so.  Thank you Mary Poppins, wherever you are,'' Rose said as they came together.

The End!