Alec Hardy and the Doctor's son

Share on Tumblr

Rose lied to the Doctor the day she said goodbye, she was pregnant with his child when she got rescued by Pete.  The doctors at Torchwood were worried she wouldn't be able to carry the baby but three years later, Rose and her 3 yr old son John have moved to Broadchurch and meet Alec Hardy as he arrives in town just when the boy needs a bone marrow donor and Alec is a match.

Rose lied to the Doctor the day she said goodbye, she was pregnant with his child when she got rescued by Pete.  The doctors at Torchwood were worried she wouldn't be able to carry the baby but three years later, Rose and her 3 yr old son John have moved to Broadchurch and meet Alec Hardy as he arrives in town just when the boy needs a bone marrow donor and Alec is a match. 

Scroll down to read each chapter
Chapter 1
The Torchwood doctors had advised Rose to terminate her pregnancy, stating the differences in the time would cause the baby harm plus her coming from another universe and the baby had some Timelord genes.  Rose of course was having none of it and she was going to have this baby – with or without the help of the Torchwood 'experts'.  What Rose couldn't quite get her head around was that it was 2010 here and she was six weeks away from giving birth to probably a half Timelord baby, or so Dr Harper, her Torchwood physician had declared.

Inside the Tyler residence, the nurseries were being prepared since Jackie herself was expecting a boy, Rose had opted not to find out what she was having though Dr Harper of course knew and no amount of persuasion would get Rose to give in and find out.  She'd had to make the gruelling journey to Norway, thankful in this world there was a ferry from the furthest reaches of Scotland unlike the world she'd come from where you had to travel through half of Europe to get there unless you flew.  Jackie of course had argued they should have driven to the nearest zeppelin port but at one in the morning, that had not been an option.

When they'd arrived on the deserted beach, Rose wearing a thick jacket to disguise she was three months pregnant, she'd waited to see him then broken down when it had only been his image and she'd not had the courage to tell him she was having his baby, he would have let the two universes risk collapsing to get to her if he'd known though she'd told him her mother was expecting.  Now she'd not long to go, Jackie was almost seven months as two nannies were being employed despite Rose's protests she wouldn't need one and had she been back home could never have afforded one but her mother had won in the end, saying she could still play a big part in the baby's upbringing and go out to work.

Rose though had other ideas and had only gone along with it to keep the peace though the said nanny she'd chosen seemed nice enough but would be sitting around doing nothing all day unless she wanted to go out on her own and one nanny could look after two babies, still that was up to her mother on that point.

Rose was sitting in the kitchen talking to one of the cooks when Jackie came in.

"Rose sweetheart, I'm thinking of organising a party, do ya want to help?"

"No, you go ahead though why do you want a party?"

"It will be the last one before the babies come along and you need cheering up, come on, you used to love a good old party back home, we don't need a reason do we?"

Every party and been a bore, they'd celebrated Christmas, Rose breaking down and running out crying when Mickey gave her a pink paper hat and asking what he'd done, getting him a scowl and a back-hander from an irate Jackie for upsetting her daughter but he'd apologised profusely afterwards, not that Rose had quite forgotten yet.  There were always going to be times she'd get upset and that was never going to change, baby or no baby to bring up.

Just under six weeks later, Rose had moved into the Torchwood med-lab and was under 24 hr observation, no chances were being taken as the baby's heartbeat was getting stronger and being half Timelord, now her life would never be the same.  Boy or girl, the child would always be protected by Torchwood and only their doctors would attend but while she was waiting for her mother to visit after she'd got settled, she was looking online and came across a quiet seaside town in Dorset that it got her thinking.

Why did she have to bring the baby up in London, just because she'd been raised there?  A nice cottage or something, close to the sea and maybe, just maybe, if the Doctor ever did make it back here, he'd think to look for her by the coast.

Two days later, Rose was lying in the hospital bed cradling her newborn son, whom she'd decided to call John, since that was the name the Doctor had gone by many a time.  Jackie was talking to her.

"Here, let me take him a while, you get some rest."

"I'm fine Mum, honestly.  When's Mickey and Jake coming to see me?"

"As soon as they can get downstairs, when do ya think?  Mickey had a big smirk on his face Pete said, you'd think the baby was his.  It's not is it?"

"Really Mum?  With what Dr Harper said?  They want to do some tests tomorrow, they wanted to do them now but I refused, I want this time with him."

"There's nothing wrong with him is there?"

"They never said anything though it took them a while to hand him over to me.  I wish you'd been here Mum."

"You know I wanted to be sweetheart but it all happened so fast, you going into labour at six this morning.  You were lucky it all went so well, being your first.  Now we'll have two boys running around, it's gonna be strange, mine being your John's uncle and two months younger, I mean, how weird is that?  It's gonna take some explaining I'll tell ya."

"Then don't explain it Mum, it's no-one's business.  Anyway, I've been doing a lot of thinking and when John's settled, I'm thinking of moving out on my own, I don't want a nanny looking after him."

"Then you don't have to, it was only to help you."

"I still want to get away Mum, I was thinking of moving down to the south coast."

"Where?  Brighton?"

"No, a quiet little town call Broadchurch, I'll ask Pete if I can do a bit of work from home, you know, consulting or something.  You can come and visit, it's only a couple of hours away."

"Travelling by car with a baby?  More like half a day, though I never had that problem with you."

"It's not that I don't want all the home comforts and I'm not tryin' to prove a point or anything, like you brought me up on your own so I can do but it's I just don't feel like staying in London."

"Well what about you know, John being only part human?  Won't someone pick up on that?"

"Why?  Torchwood will easily cover that up, if we need anything, someone can be down in a few hours and if he has to go to hospital or anything, it will only take one call to Pete and a private room.  I'm gonna talk to him about it."

"Well since I can't seem to talk you out of it, I'll help you talk to him, he only wants what's best for you.  You know we agreed he's taking responsibility for you until you're 25, I mean your real age.  It's taken some gettin' used to, being three years older I can tell you."

Rose smiled as John began to stir from his sleep that she never wanted to put him down again.  A while later, Jake and Mickey came to see her when Jackie went home, Jake with a massive blue teddy bear and Mickey with a brown floppy dog that was three times the baby's size and two big blue balloons with 'It's a boy' on them.

Jake went off and Mickey stayed to talk to her.

"Rose, I had something I wanted to say to you.  I know you and the Doctor, well it's his baby but he's not here to take care of you so, if you agree, I'd like to step in, you know, if he needs anyone to stand up for him, well Jake does as well, naturally but if he needs a father figure, I'd like to be it."

"That's really sweet of you Mickey, thanks.  You know there can't be anything between us though, don't you?"

"Yeah, 'course I do, I got over that and I've been here for you all this time, haven't I?  I just meant, if he ever needs anything and when he gets older.  Will you tell him when he's old enough, about his father?"

"Yeah, that goes without saying, he'll want to know why he's different but no-one will be here to teach him and it upsets me.  When I got together with the Doctor, I knew what I was doing, it wasn't an accident on my part, I just never told him I wasn't covered but it just seemed so right and when I got taken from him, I never knew, well I told you that bit.  I thought we'd have lots of times together but that never happened."

"You could have told him on that beach, if you'd wanted to."

"How could I?  It would have ripped him apart, he'd have broken his own and the Timelords rules to get to us, I couldn't have him doing that, it would have destroyed him and he'd still have found a way.  Now, I've got a part of him."

Baby John stirred in Mickey's arms, the closest he knew he'd get to having anything with Rose, he'd lost her the first time she'd run after the Doctor with the big ears then he'd known for certain that last Christmas and the Doctor regenerated into a pretty boy.  Putting the baby in the portable cot since Rose was looking tired, he kissed her cheek and left.

The following day, baby John was taken off for examination, Rose insisting on being wheeled alongside him but everyone remained tight-lipped about any of the results, Rose herself thinking he was too young to develop any Timelord tendencies but Pete had assured her as long as he remained director and Mickey and Jake worked at Torchwood, the baby would always be protected and no harm would come to him for being different.

Rose and her mother were also being protected, cover stories had been spread and the correct paperwork filled in, a second nature to Torchwood as they helped other humanoid forms and the odd friendly 'alien' looking ones settle on Earth.  Six months passed and finally, Dr Harper wanted to talk to Rose as she was getting ready to make her move to Broadchurch.  She had been down with Pete and Mickey to look for somewhere to live, finding a nice place in a row of cottages near the harbour, just two bedrooms but it was big enough for them and Pete arranging for it to be paid by Vitex, not wanting anyone there to know Rose was really part of Torchwood, there was no real need.

So Rose, baby John and Pete were sitting in Owen Harper's office, waiting for him to look up from his computer screen.

"Rose, I'll be honest with you, you all know we didn't want you to go through with this but you insisted, like your stepfather said you would and I'd really love to give the baby the all-clear, really I would but there are certain things we're not happy with."

Rose stared at him, the baby in his little fleece suit his grandma had got for him though being the beginning of August, Rose had questioned why she'd insisted he wore it.

"What are you getting at Owen?  He's always gonna be different, we all knew that.  What aren't you telling me?"

"It may be nothing Rose, it may be his Timelord part of him, he's too young yet to get any positive results but there are things we don't understand.  You do know that if he wasn't the grandson of the director, we'd insist on keeping him here?"

Rose was well aware of that but she'd never give him up without a fight, should Pete be ousted from the position and Jake and Mickey also fired.

"Yeah, I'd like to see ya try, you think I'm bad enough but going up against two Tyler women is committing suicide, trust me.  So, go on then, should I be worried?"

"No, not yet.  I'm aware you're moving away, we've been informed and that a plan has been put into place should the baby need any medical attention but as for any cursory examinations such as schools, he'll pass for fully human, at least for now, maybe even when he gets older, it's hard to tell.  Okay, I'll release him from Torchwood's specialist unit but I'll want to see him, when he reaches the age of three, no older."

"Right, okay then, you can send me a reminder but someone will have to come down and see him if I'm not already in London, we may not get back for every birthday."

"Fine, I'll make sure things are put in place.  Good luck to both of you."

Jackie had planned a farewell tea, nothing fancy.  Mickey was driving Rose and the baby down the next morning, most things had already gone down to her new house, baby equipment and most of his clothes, Rose was now learning to drive but not passed her test and Pete had promised her a car of her choice fitted with a baby car seat when she did and she'd already looked up driving schools in the town and was quite confident she'd soon pass her test.

As Mickey, Rose and the baby were approaching Broadchurch, DI Alec Hardy was sat in his office in a town called Sandbrook, thinking if nothing exciting happened soon, he was going to go crazy.  Things were not going well at home, Tess was always complaining about something or other and he'd taken to working late just to escape it.  He was quite unaware of what was going to happen as he stared at his computer screen, wishing for a newsflash something was going on and that he'd never moved to the town.

What was about to happen would change his life forever as Rose and Mickey had pulled up outside her new home and Mickey went to take the baby seat out after he'd awkwardly put the pushchair up while Rose opened the door and he wheeled the baby the short distance from the parking area as Rose needed to sort out her parking space when she got her own car.  Mickey was staying the night and going back in the morning, saying he'd sleep on the sofabed she'd opted to get if either he or Jake were to come down for a visit.

As she settled the baby in his new cot and Mickey had been to the nearby takeaway, she had no idea that in a few years time her life was going to change even more than she had expected and she would meet the second most important man in her life after baby John's father.
Chapter 2
As Rose settled down in Broadchurch, Alec Hardy was facing his worst nightmare.  Two cousins had gone missing and one was found in nearby woods three days later, Alec carrying the body of 12 yr old Pippa, the same age as his own daughter, near enough and it destroyed him.  Neglecting to get himself checked over after the ordeal coupled with the arguments at home getting worse and his wife being spotted getting up close with a male colleague all contributed to the main suspect walking free from court and his subsequent illness.

Not long after, it was all swept under the carpet and circumstances forced his boss to seek another police chief to take him on, well that and a certain big city reporter who hung him out to dry good and proper.  His friend and GP was keeping his little secret and filling in all the paperwork and supplying him with medication, when he remembered to take it but pushing papers around his desk didn't do anything to lessen his sour mood or get him over-excited so he kept out of trouble until one day, in July 2013, he was summoned to his chief's office.

"Ah, Alec, I've got just the thing to get you out of here."

"Really, do I not sharpen enough pencils and have a big enough pile of folders on my desk for you?"

"Your attitude doesn't help Alec, we've been trying to relocate you and get you back out in the field but it's not been easy to find someone willing to take you on after what happened."

"You want me to apologise for my ex wife losing evidence?  The stupid cow should have known better, she's a trained police officer but I'm not letting my personal feelings get the better of me.  So, what's in store for me then?"

"Pack your stuff, whatever you have and catch the train to a nice quiet coastal town down in Dorset by the name of Broadchurch.  The chief constable has talked the chief superintendent down there into taking you on, they need an experienced DI but she's had to ruffle a few feathers since a female DS put in for the job but don't worry about that, the DS is away on holiday, you'll be settled in before she comes back and there was nothing concrete about her promotion.  It should keep you out of trouble, nothing ever happens down there."

"Well that's what I was told when I came here and look what happened?  When do I start, anything to get out of here."

He regretted saying that a week later when he missed the connecting train to Broadchurch at Exeter and had to wait an hour, then it wasn't actually stopping there and he had to get a taxi back from Dorchester and wished he'd just got the taxi from Exeter and had done with it.  Some start, he'd thought as he got his key from the Australian hotel owner who was looking him up and down.

"Welcome to Broadchurch, hope you settle down here.  I know the police are paying for your room but I've given you one of the larger doubles, it's a bit quiet around here, it's not the holiday season yet.  Are you expecting anyone to join you?"

He knew she was fishing.  "Not that I know about.  I won't be in that much anyway."

Becca Fisher thought she was going to have her work cut out with this one and after picking up his luggage, she took her mobile and dialled Mark Latimer's number and arranged to meet him the following Thursday night at the cliff top car park.  A little annoyed to wait so long since he'd asked her several times, she left it.  If he wanted a 'fling' she was game, it beat chasing Paul Coates and maybe the town's newest detective.  Ellie Miller was going to be so pissed off when she came back from her Florida vacation.

Rose and her 3 yr old son had just got back from London, having be recalled for more tests Owen Harper wanted to conduct a few months after the boy's birthday and it had not been good.  Owen had wanted John to remain at Torchwood but Rose was having none of it, saying she'd await the results at home and didn't want to upset the boy but John was getting weaker and they all knew it.  She had been back two days when she got the dreaded phonecall – they were certain he had a form of blood cancer and he needed a bone marrow transplant.

Most members of Torchwood had been tested for a match, including Jake and Mickey who had argued who was going first it almost came to blows, Mickey protesting he'd know Rose longer and they'd had to be pulled apart.  After that, they'd made up and were preparing for the journey to Broadchurch to supervise the setting up in the local hospital of a screening programme for possible donors.  Owen was going to take charge himself along with a consultant from the hospital, who was being well paid by Torchwood for his co-operation and appeals were being prepared in the local press and local radio stations and a receptionist had been employed to handle appointments and specialist staff were being brought in.

Ellie Miller was Rose's best friend, her son Fred was younger than John but they had played together along with her eldest Tom and his friend Danny, who were wanting to teach the boy to skateboard, Rose had said he was too young but the truth was, she was scared of him getting hurt.  John Tyler never wanted for anything, Mickey often came down for long weekends it was all Rose could do to stop everyone thinking he was the boy's father and Ellie had questioned her repeatedly over it but Rose was adamant no-one knew who John's father really was, saying he'd disappeared when the Cybermen left.

That had caused Ellie to think the man had been 'deleted' or turned into one and after that, she'd dropped the subject, much to Rose's relief.  So when Rose had got the phonecall and John had gone to bed, she'd had no-one to comfort her as Ellie wasn't due back for a few days and she knew she would want to be the first to be tested when she did get back.

Alec had settled down in his new office, even though unless he pulled the blinds down he felt like he was on display.  Bets were on how long it would take Ellie to blow up on the morning she came back, a Friday of all days but she'd used up all her leave time.  No-one knew the town was going to be thrown into turmoil in more than one sense on her return until early Friday morning when Alec got a call to go to a cliff top farm, which got him annoyed and already about to chew someone out for daring to send him there – until he got another call to go to the beach and he met Ellie Miller.

Rose had been woken up and looked out of John's bedroom window to see police cars in the car park at the edge of the beach entry and a tall man accompanied by two police officers and wondered what was going on.  Maybe another rockfall but that wouldn't bring the police unless someone was injured.  Mickey was arriving later that day, followed by Jake and her mother the next, Pete was staying to look after Tony, Rose didn't want him getting upset because John was tired all the time.

Then Rose heard the sirens a while later going off into the distance while John was eating his breakfast and Rose was preparing hers.  Mickey called to say he was setting off.

"Hey Rose, just setting off, you want anything bringing?"

"Nah, I'll go shopping later, you can watch John for me, I don't want to drag him along on a Friday.  Have you seen Jake this morning?"

"No, I've not been in to work but he rang me."

"Oh, well there was something going on over on the beach but there's nothing on the news yet, you might not get into that car park so use the other one and get a day ticket and you can move later."

"Thanks for the warning, see you soon and don't worry, he's gonna be fine.  Got my results back, no match."

"Yeah, sorry but you tried.  Don't they tell you right away?"

"I went back to work, Jake told me earlier, he wasn't either.  Tell John I'm on my way."

Rose knew Ellie would be back today so sitting down, she called her but Ellie was rather flustered after getting in the station and being told the job she'd put in for had gone to a Scottish male DI and annoyed was not a strong enough word for it and when she'd got a shout to go down to the beach near Rose's house and actually met him, she instantly hated him.

"Rose, sorry, I can't talk now, there's been an incident and I'm down the other end of the beach."

"I know you can't tell me, don't worry about it, it will wait.  It's about John."

"I'll try and come over later Rose, it's just mad though."

"Yeah, well Mickey's on his way down, it's not good Ellie."

"Oh, sorry.  I have to go, my new boss is getting impatient, I didn't get the job Rose, a Scottish DI got it, I'm so mad and Olly has just been pestering him which went down exceptionally well."

"I can imagine but Olly would.  Pete's contacting Maggie soon anyway, it will be in the papers, Ellie, it's serious and I don't want to say anything over the phone but we're putting out an appeal for donors."

"Oh Rose, I'm so sorry, just let me know when and I'll put the word around the station, maybe even to my grumpy new boss, who's looking daggers at me.  Have you not seen him around town?"

"No, we just got back from London the other day.  I'll let you go then."

When Ellie got back home and told her husband about what had happened and about Rose's son, he seemed distant to her but they had just got back from holiday so she put it down to that.  She bought a takeaway for her seemingly ungrateful boss after putting her boys to bed and he asked what had got her so riled up.

"Seriously?  I come back from holiday to find someone got the job I wanted and my best friend's young son is seriously ill."

"What's wrong with him?"

"Why would you care?"

"Don't be like that Miller and for the record, I did not  ask for the job you wanted, I was placed here.  Could you have even handled this on your own?"

Ellie thought about it.  "Maybe not."

"It's not easy, the death of a child.  How serious is your friend's son?"

"He needs a bone marrow transplant, they're starting to test everyone in town from Monday onwards.  Notices will be going out and I'm making it my mission to see everyone here volunteers, starting with senior officers  - Sir."

"I'll be first in line after you then Miller.  How old is he?"

"He's three, he's called John and he's been through a lot since his birthday, that's when they suspected what it was but everything else had to be ruled out first.  Ever heard of Rose Tyler?"

"Really?  He's her son?"

"Yeah so money is no object when it comes to finding a match, they're already testing Vitex and Torchwood employees so a unit is being set up at the local hospital and I'll be the first one there along with my husband, my eldest son and Rose's other friend's family."

Alec had heard of Rose Tyler, who hadn't and he considered her to be outstanding, choosing to raise her son on her own away from the glamour of being the Vitex heiress and the rest of the Tyler family.  Nothing was known about the father though, she kept that very quiet and only that he'd been caught up in the Cyberman fiasco a few years ago.

When Ellie left, he looked up Rose and John, seeing a few photos they'd had taken for publicity in the local paper and that she had lived in Broadchurch for three years, since her son was six months old.  He wondered what had brought her to the town but it was about as far enough away as you could get from the spotlight he supposed and he had some room to talk about hiding away.  Maybe he could find the time to introduce himself, if he knew where she lived but this investigation would take all his time up.  Maybe he could make an exception though?

He never got the chance over the weekend, he even chose to work Sunday, regretting it because it ended with him arresting the boy's father for obstructing a police investigation and him losing his temper with the man. 

Ellie never got the chance to go visit Rose though her mother and Jake had arrived, booking into the hotel next door, Mickey debating whether to share Jake's twin room or be on hand and sleep on the sofa bed again, he'd not made up his mind yet and really wanted to give Rose a break from being on edge over John all the time, which she'd seemed grateful for.

They just left everyone at the hospital to get on with it, there was nothing any of them could do and Rose wanted to try and keep John away as much as possible.  It had been decided if a match was found, they would transfer down to the main hospital in Dorchester and Owen made the arrangements and if all possibilities were exhausted in Broadchurch and no match was found, they would begin the slow process of appealing to local villages and if not, then Dorchester itself because Rose was not giving up and Owen had agreed that they would pass each person that had been tested on to the national register, it was the least they could do since they had the money and the resources.

Rose was having her doubts though, the chances of finding a match were very low since the boy was not entirely human and it would take a miracle if one could be found.  That miracle was just a few days from being found.  Jackie had been fussing over John and Rose and Mickey had gone to do the shopping on Saturday afternoon, the whole town in shock of the news of Danny's death.  As Jackie and Jake had arrived in town they'd wondered what they had driven in to as Rose had only briefly told them as they were setting off and it was quite clear that at no point was John being let out of their sight and four pairs of eyes were better than one.

It was on Monday morning, Alec had been in town a week and now they were four days into the investigation that seemed to him one of the worse things that could have happened.  He'd not had time during the day to call at the hospital to get tested, he knew the chances of him being a match were zero but he'd do it none the less, the rest of the station seemed to hold him in low regard anyway, no need to make it any worse though he wasn't there to make friends.  Most of the people in the office had been before a more general appeal was being put out and Miller had just come back.

"So, how did it go then?"

"I'm one of many, they'll only call if a match is found but the good news is, if anyone matches any others who need a transplant, the details are being made available."

"That's good then.  Go home Miller, it's been a long day.  I'm still not happy about Mark Latimer's alibi, what sort of person would try and cover that up?"

He'd called his friend and they were meeting by the harbour later that night, Alec needed more medication and a friendly face.

"So you like it that much here do you Alec?"

"I hate it, I hate the sea, I hate the sun and I hate the never ending sky and don't get me started on the people with their stupid smiley faces."

"I won't then.  Don't you like anything about this place?"

"No, why should I?  I meant to ask you, have you heard about the appeal for a bone marrow donor for a local boy?"

"When did that start?"

"Today so I've been told, is there any reason I can't be tested?"

"You?  Have you gone soft?"

"Alistair, it's for a three year old boy, the son of Rose Tyler."

"No!  I didn't know, if it's local.  What's she doing in Broadchurch?"

"How would I know?  Probably to keep the boy out of the eyes of the media, can't say I really blame her, I know how she feels."

"Have you met her yet?"

"No, should I have?  I've been busy in case you've not noticed.   I doubt she'll be there during the testing, only if a match is found.  So is there any reason I can't have it done?"

"No, it doesn't involve a health check and all your medical records are up to date, you're keeping me busy Alec, when are you going to come to your senses?  The longer you wait the worse you'll get, I told you that.  You have to take it easy, no stress."

"You doctors, do as I say or you'll end up dead."

Alistair smiled and handed him the packet he'd brought with him.  "There's three months supply Alec, I can't promise they'll keep working.  I'll need to see you before then."

"You won't get me to change my mind."

"Not even if you were to meet Rose Tyler while you are here?"

"She's a friend of my DS, I expect I'll come across her at some point, she's rounding up the entire station and half the town for testing."

"Highly commendable.  Let me know what happens will you?  Where are they doing the testing?"

"Local hospital.  Word is there are more volunteers than staff, they may have to move it down to Dorchester, Miller said they were queuing up before they'd got set up properly and there are no complaints.  I'll go tomorrow morning first thing but this investigation comes first."

"Really Alec?  I know it's bad but another child's life is at stake here, go before you start work and get it done with."

"Aye, I suppose you're right, Danny's killer is not going anywhere and it's not likely I'll be the one who matches, is it?  It could be days before they get around to testing."

Ellie had been to see Rose that afternoon after leaving the hospital and greeted Jackie.

"You had a good holiday then Ellie?"

"Yeah though we didn't have as much saved up as we'd thought but still, we had a good time.  Then I came back to find my friend's boy had been murdered and got a prat for a new boss."

Jackie laughed.  "Poor you and this as well.  Rose is still upset, what with John being like this and then not being able to get over to see poor Beth."

"I know but I think Beth just wants to be left on her own, she knows you're all thinking about them."

Mickey was entertaining John and Rose went to sit next to Jackie.

"Ellie, has Beth said anything about what's going on over this appeal for donors?"

"Why should she?"

"I just don't want her thinking we're tryin' to take the media attention away, that's all."

"Rose, don't you worry about that, it won't.  The appeal is only going local as yet, it's not gone national."

"I know but we set it in place before all this happened, she knows that.  It's the last thing I want to take attention away from what happened but John's life is at risk as well."

"Rose, Beth knows that and I'm sure when the initial shock has worn off she'll be up there getting tested herself.  I thought I saw Chloe as I was leaving, she must be going mad at home."

"Well just as long as it doesn't interfere with your investigation.  How's your new boss?"

"A pain in the ass, trust me.  He says he's going to get tested tomorrow, there was a lot to get through today, we got new officers in this morning so I'll go round those in the morning as well."

"Thanks for all you're doing Ellie."

John came running over with a picture he'd drawn and gave it to Rose.

"Thanks sweetheart, is that Mickey?"

"No, it's a man.  Is he my daddy?"

"Sweetheart, we told you about your daddy, he had to go away."

Ellie looked at it.  "It looks like Hardy," she mused.

Rose looked again and thought she was seeing things – it looked like the Doctor and John had seen the few photos that Mickey had kept on the phone Rose had left with him the first time they'd been here and the few she'd had on her phone, thankful it hadn't fallen out of her pocket when she'd been rescued by Pete.  Now she was worried about what Ellie had just said.

After Ellie left, Jackie had plenty to say.  "So you've not met him yet, Ellie's new boss?"

"No, can't say I have, I've not watched the news."

"I saw him giving a statement to the press, well the end of it.  He promised to find Danny's killer," Mickey said, leading the boy back to the table where they had been drawing.

"You never said Micks.  Still, it's a bit strange John should be drawing him if he's not seen him, does this Hardy have a beard then?" Jackie asked.

"Yeah, it looked like it, didn't see him for long.  Maybe Ellie was wrong, it's just a kid's drawing and John's never seen him."

Rose decided to let it go, anyone who reminded her of the Doctor, that was all she needed.
Chapter 3
The next morning, Alec left the hotel and made his way to the community hospital, seeing a few he recognised from the station waiting around to be admitted to the small side ward that had been set up for the screening process.  Using his ID badge, he got past the Torchwood security men Jake had placed there and strode up to the already harassed receptionist sitting at a makeshift desk.

"Sorry Sir, you'll have to wait in line," a ginger-haired woman said matter-of-factly without looking up properly.

He got his ID card out and put it in front of her.

"Do you know who I am?"

"I don't care if you are the king of the Cybermen, you'll have to go join the queue."

"Listen, whatever your name is, I'm DI Alec Hardy and I'm in charge of a major murder investigation around here and those people out there are all giving up their own time before going back to work on the murder of an eleven year old boy so why don't you let them get it done so they can go back to work?  Who's in charge here?"

Owen had heard what was going on.

"I am.  I'm Doctor Harper.  It's okay Donna, let him through, I'm sure the inspector is keen to resume work, get these other officers processed as soon as you can, just the basics, we'll get details later."

Donna looked a bit miffed.  "If you say so."

Alec shook his head while she asked him the basics, his name, phone number and date of birth, he just hoped she wouldn't keep the phone number for herself and keep bothering him because he'd got the better of her.  The test over and pleased they hadn't actually given him a physical examination, which Alistair had said they wouldn't have the time, he was just leaving when his new chief was getting out of her car.  It seemed Miller had not left anyone to chance and insisted everyone gave up their time to attend and wondered if she would use her rank to get to the head of the line.

He saw others pulling up in cars, he doubted it was visiting time and that many people having appointments so the word must have spread unless the local paper had been published.

The Broadchurch Echo had indeed hit the stands after Pete's PR team had made the call to the editor but Maggie already knew of the situation and had immediately made room on the front page of the next edition to highlight the appeal for potential donors and she and Olly had already planned to go get tested themselves later.

Rose was up early again, taking the chance before John woke up to do a few things and one of them was to look up this Alec Hardy.  Mickey was watching her.

"Leave it Rose, why is it bugging you John drew a picture of him?"

"How did he know Mickey?  He's seen photos of his father but he's never seen this Hardy before, why would he draw him?  John looks so much like the Doctor, what about if we bump into the detective in the street or Ellie brings him over?  John's bound to say something and Hardy will see how he resembles him."

"No he won't Rose, you're worrying over nothing.  Me and Jake will take John out today, give you a break eh?  We'll take him up to the tramway or somewhere."

"Yeah but let's leave the tramway until Sunday, we can all go."

"You know your mum doesn't like it much, we'll take him somewhere else then, maybe to the tank museum."

"Well don't go tiring him out will you?"

"Nah, we can carry him on our shoulders if he gets tired.  I'll go see if he's awake."

"Thanks Mickey."

"That's why we're here.  You and your mum spend some time together, go shopping or something."

By Thursday, word had spread around the town and more people were lining up to volunteer than they could handle so the word went out to call a special phone number and it was being done by appointment only, which was what had first been planned.  The actual testing was going on and Owen thought they were going to have to move down to Dorchester at this rate, they were working flat out for twelve hours a day.

Alec was sitting in his office talking to Ellie.

"Any news of a match for the boy yet?"

"No, I spoke to Rose yesterday, nothing yet, she said they're about a day or so behind with the results but we won't get to know anything, only if a match is found.  It could take a long time and Rose is getting frantic.  I wish they'd found out what was wrong with him before, they could have started the testing earlier."

"I'm sure they are working as fast as they can Miller, we've done our bit."

Ellie had been surprised Hardy was actually quite concerned about the whole thing and maybe her initial hatred of him had subsided since the day they'd met on the beach not even a week ago.

"Well, I'd best get back to work, there's nothing else we can do about it and the Latimers won't thank us for sitting here thinking about it.  Beth has been too upset to go get tested but I think Mark and Nigel Carter have both been, the boy used to play with Danny and my boy Tom."

"Just how well do you know the family then, the Tylers?"

"Well enough when they come to visit, I get on well with her mother, she's got a much younger stepbrother who can't get his head around being her son's uncle, they gave up trying to explain it to both of them since they have older family friends they address as 'uncle'.  Why are you so interested, is it that boring around here then?"

"No particular reason Miller, I've not had time to read up about them and the search for a matching donor is the talk of the town behind Danny's death, I find it quite strange.  One boy is murdered then a few days later, there's a frantic search to save another boy's life, I'm surprised the rest of the media have not already picked up on it, her being who she is."

"They are trying to keep it as low key as possible, the last thing they want is to take the media's attention away from Danny, Rose has made that quite plain and she's already said she refuses to speak to the press about it.  The Latimers understand that and Rose is just hoping they can find a match locally but if it moves to the next town, she may not have a choice.  She really doesn't want it to get out of hand with the press, it's just really unfortunate it all happened at the same time."

"They may not have a choice in order to save the boy's life Miller.  Where are we on those other alibis then?"

Two hours later after he and Ellie got back from yet another failed alibi, that of Nigel Carter's and Alec getting annoyed the man was thinking it was funny, his phone rang with an unknown number.  He tried to ignore it but Miller was looking at him.

"It might be important Sir, go ahead and take it."

Alec reluctantly got up and took the call, hoping it was the killer turning themselves in.  It wasn't, well not unless Owen Harper was guilty and he had a solid alibi, he was at Torchwood when Danny was killed.

"DI Hardy, this is Doctor Harper in charge of the donation program.  I need to speak with you urgently, can you come up to the hospital right away?" Owen asked as Alec barked "Hardy" down the phone to the caller who had interrupted the interrogation and Miller had insisted he took it, her probably thinking that he could actually be a match for the young boy and it was the hospital, like that was ever going to happen or so he thought.

His irregular heartbeat almost caused him to have another episode.  "What?  You want me to have another test?  Have you lost the last one, it's been three days."

"No detective inspector and I don't want to discuss this on the phone with you, I need to see you in person, it's a matter of urgency."

"Did that ginger-haired secretary of yours make a complaint against me?  If she did, tell her to file a complaint – I'll even sign it."

Owen almost laughed as he remembered the run-in Hardy had with Donna, who was good at her job and volunteered to take over at the last minute but was a bit over-enthusiastic with it.

"No, it's nothing to do with that but we would like to run a few more tests."

Alec thought that was it, they had somehow discovered his secret and were trying to get him in under false pretences and get his pacemaker fitted.  He would get around to it eventually, maybe when he'd brought the killer in, whenever that might be and questioning Nigel Carter had proved to be a complete waste of time.

"Oh okay, I'll be there in half an hour if I must.  What sort of tests are we talking about?"

"Just confirmation of a few things we have to go through."

"Will it take long?  I'm in the middle of interviewing someone."

"No, it shouldn't take long, we can inform your chief if necessary, there will be no comeback on you for taking time to come in."

"I'm sure I won't be missed that much," Alec mumbled down the phone.

He went back inside.  "Miller, you'll have to finish this on your own, I have to be somewhere."

Ellie glanced up at him as she paused the recording.  "Go ahead Sir, we're almost done here.  Is it what we were discussing earlier?"

"How would I know Miller?  The caller never said."

As he left, shaking his head at being asked such a stupid question, Ellie turned back to Nigel, hoping it was but she pitied poor Rose if by some remote chance in millions Hardy was a match for John, Rose had jumped a mile at her suggestion the other day that the boy's drawing resembled her irritating boss.

Alec went back to his office and asked for a car to pick him up outside in five minutes and got himself downstairs after putting his coat on.  He got the driver to drop him outside the hospital, telling him not to say where he had been taken and he went inside, asking for Doctor Harper and noting it was a different receptionist.

"I've had a call to come in urgently, I'm Alec Hardy."

"Please Sir, take a seat, I'll let Doctor Harper know you're here."

When Owen had been handed the latest batch of results, wishing the whole process could be speeded up but the medical staff were working flat out and he really didn't want to have to move down to Dorchester but John had been steadily getting worse after he'd been to see the boy the day before.  He was tired all the time and despite everyone's attempts to get him to do things, he stuck by his mother and grandmother all day. 

Owen was taking this very personally and no-one was going to stop for any longer than necessary until a match was found and the top of the pile of folders he'd been handed a short time ago was a miracle.  The name on the folder had been Alec Hardy, a 42 yr old detective inspector who had ruffled Donna's feathers on Tuesday morning.

After Owen had called Alec, he called Rose but didn't want to get her hopes up too much, they had to be 100% certain they had the right results.

Rose had just ended the call, everyone trying to guess what the mostly one-sided conversation had been about as she sat back down, taking John from her mother and hugging him.

"Doctor Harper thinks they've found a match, he's just doing some more tests."

"Rose, that's great," Mickey and Jake said more or less together.

Jake had been at the hospital earlier to see how the testing was going.

"Yeah well he said not to get our hopes up too much just yet.  He never said any names, the person might want to remain anonymous."

"Well maybe that's right Rose, they might not want any publicity especially with all this going on as well," Jackie suggested.

John was clinging hold of Rose.

"Come on John, let's all go out for tea," Jake suggested.

John looked up and held his arms out to Mickey.  "Can we have fish and chips Mickey?"

"Yeah, we'll go across the road and sit at one of the stalls.  Coming Rose?"

"Yeah, we'll all go.  You three go ahead, I'll catch up with you."

Jake threw a glance at Mickey.  "You go with Jackie, I'll wait with her."

"I don't need babysitting Jake."

"I know you don't, I wanted to talk to you," Jake finally replied when the others had left.

"Sorry, I'm just edgy.  What if it's a false alarm?"

"Rose, he wouldn't have called you if it was.  Maybe you'd do better going back to London, away from getting in the way of this murder investigation.  Pete could put out a city-wide appeal without stepping on anyone's toes.  I know Beth is your friend and we've scaled this down as much as we can but it needs to go wider, you know that."

"Let's wait and see what happens.  If by tomorrow we've had no luck, I'll get Doctor Harper to move down to Dorchester over the weekend.  People at Vitex and Torchwood are still being tested anyway, we can just increase the program to their families and friends."

"We need to go full-scale Rose."

"Do you think I don't know that Jake?  What am I supposed to do?  I have to watch him getting worse, just like all the families of other sufferers and all the money we have can't buy a matching donor.  The only good thing coming out of this is that others might benefit from those already tested."

Jake put his hand on her shoulder.  "I know Rose, come on, we'll catch up with the others, Mickey's paying."

Rose smiled and gathered her things and followed him out of the house.  They'd all just sat down when Rose's phone rang.  It was Ellie.

"Hey, how's things going?  I don't want to be a gossip but Hardy disappeared a little while ago after getting a phonecall.  He didn't say anything but it could have been the hospital."

"I got a call from Doctor Harper a while ago, I'm waiting for him to call me back.  Ellie, just keep your fingers crossed this is what we've been waiting for, that's all."

"Yeah but he's my boss Rose, you don't know how grumpy he is, he'll be insufferable if he is a match, I'll never hear the end of it.  He's been asking all kinds of questions, it's strange but he seems convinced it's going be him but how could he possibly know that and how can John draw his picture?"

Rose never answered.  This was not even remotely possible, Ellie's boss being the match they needed to save John.  It worried Rose what she'd just said, that this Alec Hardy was half expecting it to be him.  John was trying his best to eat the food Mickey had put on part of the tray for him but she could see she was losing him and she couldn't, he was all she had to remind her of the man she'd loved and who had scarified everything in order to try and keep her safe only to lose her anyway.

Ellie got no further answers out of Rose and went back to work.  She did pity Rose if Hardy was actually who they'd been searching for but she had to put her feelings aside, this was her friend's young son and one boy in the town had already died, Hardy would not see another one die, not if he could prevent it.  She'd been waiting to bring up the subject of his last case and the two girls and their families it was said Hardy had let down but now was not the time.  Maybe he was here to try and redeem himself but the chances of him being sent here when John needed a donor had been uncanny.

Alec was only kept waiting a few minutes before he recognised the man who'd been in charge on Tuesday.  He was led back into the same room used for testing, a few other people now about to leave but no-one else had been in the waiting area so his suspicions were confirmed without him asking.  He was it.  It seemed only sensible anyone remaining to be tested were seen just in case and some more good may come out of all this and other lives be saved.

"Thank you for coming so quickly.  I won't beat around the bush DI Hardy but we believe you are a perfect enough match to save John Tyler."

"I sort of gathered that when you said you needed to see me again, I was told I'd only be contacted if that was the case.  So, what happens next?"

He was told the boy's family had been alerted and if he agreed, they would release his name or he could remain anonymous if he wished.

"You can give them my name but only on the understanding the media do not get a hold of it.  I'm in the news enough over this murder and they'll never let it rest.  Agreed?"

"You have my word.  Now, shall we proceed?"

An hour later, Alec was back at the station, Ellie watching him from her desk until she couldn't stand it any more and knocked on the glass door.

"Sir, well?"

"Well what Miller?"

"Where did you go?  Was it the hospital?  I'll just ask Rose if you don't tell me."

"I know you would.  Sit down Miller and don't you dare repeat any of this or I'll get you transferred to the traffic division in Devon and you'll be handing out speeding tickets until you retire, got it?"

Ellie was about to say fat chance and she'd love to see him try.

After Alec had left the hospital, the last few tests had been rushed through and Owen dialled Rose's number again.

"Rose, it's a positive match.  Can you bring John in first thing tomorrow morning?  Say around nine?"

They were all sitting on the harbour wall eating icecream as Rose took the call.  Mickey was trying to keep John interested by saying they'd catch some crabs the next day and Jackie saying they could leave her out of that thanks very much. 

"I have to take John to see Doctor Harper tomorrow morning, sorry to spoil your plans Mickey."

"Don't be sorry Rose, this is what we wanted."

They all piled into Rose's house again and she called Pete to tell him the good news and that the donor had agreed for them to know who it was but it had to stay out of the press.

"So it's someone from the town then?" Pete asked, trying to keep an eye on Tony who wanted to talk to his mum and his big sister.

"Yeah so you can understand this can't get in the nationals.  Dad, his name is Alec Hardy, the lead detective in Danny's murder investigation and I don't know how but John drew a picture of him the other day when Ellie was here, she said it looked like him."

"How could that have happened Rose?"

"I wish I knew, we have no idea but we're meeting him at the hospital tomorrow and I won't be able to stop John from thinking his dad has come back."
Chapter 4
A/N: I know nothing about these procedures so don't quote me on anything!

Alec was cagey the next morning, pacing up and down his hotel room.  He'd only been in the town a short time and so much had happened, one young boy killed and another seriously ill and he was at the centre of both events whether he liked it or not.  A family were depending on him solving their son's murder and a young mother was depending on him saving her young son's life.  Then Tess had the cheek to say he'd never make anything of himself after he covered up the fact she'd screwed up, how ungrateful was that?

He had to be at the hospital to meet Rose Tyler and her son at nine so he went down for breakfast to see Becca Fisher smiling at him.  Did she already know?

"Morning detective inspector or can I call you Alec?"

"I'd rather you didn't call me anything at all but call me Hardy, if you must."

"Ouch, you are touchy this morning."

"Is it any wonder around here?"

He was annoyed she was having the nerve to be so cheerful at eight in the morning and for having the nerve to act like she'd not just admitted to having an affair with the dead boy's father.

"Isn't it sad about poor John Tyler?  I went to the hospital yesterday, they've had that many queuing they had to start making appointments.  The chances are pretty slim though, I mean for a match to be found in a small town like this but I heard they might take it down to Dorchester.  I also heard Ellie has been rounding those up at the police station.  I take it you've already been?"

Alec thought it was none of her business but since he was stuck in the hotel?

"Yes of course I've been, what do you and this town take me for?  I may be new around here but I know what's going on.  I have to be somewhere so excuse me while I get my breakfast."

Becca shook her head and knew why he was annoyed with her, she'd let Chloe Latimer bribe her into getting her dad out of a cell.  Hardy had obviously wanted to charge Mark with something and was disappointed.

Alec called for a cab to take him up to the hospital and caught a glimpse of a blonde with a small boy and another woman plus two men, one he thought he'd seen the other day when he'd gone for the first test.  They were all sat in the corner as he went up to the desk – Donna was back.

Funny how her name had stuck out when he couldn't even remember half the names in the station or the name of his DS's husband especially since last night she'd invited him over for dinner next week, what was he supposed to do about that?  She might do something stupid like invite her friend Rose Tyler, then he'd really be flustered, he was hopeless around women now but it was Tess who'd made him like that.

"Mr Hardy, have a seat, Doctor Harper won't be long."

Well at least Donna wasn't mistaking him for the king of the Cybermen this time, he just hoped she hadn't really kept his phone number but she was marginally better than the flirty hotel owner he supposed but now the mission to find a matching donor was more or less over, she was probably going home.

He saw Owen come out of his temporary office and greet the group of people opposite, then he turned.

"Ah, Detective Inspector Hardy.  Everyone, meet the matching donor for John.  Alec, this is Rose Tyler, John's mother," he said, leading Rose towards Alec.  "And this is her mother Jackie and her two friends, Mickey Smith and Jake Simmonds." 

Then he saw John trying to hide behind Rose.  "Don't be shy John, say hello to the detective, he's a policeman."

John had been converted by Tony into being in awe of any police officer, a passion of his slightly younger uncle, which no-one had explained to either of them since they were only just gone three.

Rose held out her hand despite her misgivings of actually meeting him, Ellie talked about him like he was some sort of demon.

"Hi, call me Rose and I just want to say thanks, for what you're doing."

"Think nothing of it, I would have done it if I had been a match with anyone else needing the same.  Please, call me Alec.  Mrs Tyler, a pleasure to meet you."  He shook hands with Mickey and Jake then crouched down to greet John.

"And you young man, you are going to feel much better soon, is he not Doctor Harper?" Alec asked, looking up at Owen.

"Yes, indeed.  Sorry, my office is a bit cramped so we'll talk out here.  Donna, can you arrange some refreshments for everyone please?"

Donna was about to ask what his last slave had died of but since it was her last day and she was going home tomorrow, she decided against it since she wanted paying extra for coming down here in the first place.  Sheesh, everyone thought she'd actually volunteered for the job but someone had backed out at the last minute and now she knew why and she'd heard there was a big fat bonus for anyone who could go at a moment's notice.

As Donna went off after writing down what everyone wanted and to bluff her way into the staff canteen again, Jake and Mickey moved the chairs together.  Alec was still trying to get a response from John.

"So young man, I hear you've not been feeling too good?  Well if you let Doctor Harper tell you what is going to happen and why we are all here, that may change very soon, am I right?"

Owen nodded and John went to sit on Jackie's lap, he liked having her around when Tony wasn't there.

"Granny, is that right?"

"Yes love, you'll feel all better soon.  Rose, do you want me to take him home?"

"No, he can stay for now.  So Owen, how does this actually work, now we've got a match?  Alec, are you sure about this?"

"Absolutely certain but I hear from Doctor Harper I have a few more tests to do so I need to talk to him in private.  I hope it's nothing to be concerned about."

"So do I," Rose mumbled as John decided to crawl across her to sit on Mickey

The refreshments came and everyone got settled then Owen began to explain to everyone what was going to happen but the seeds of doubt had already been sown into Rose's mind, that of the DI was holding something back but so was she.  If John blurted out the fact Alec Hardy looked like his dad, he may not be able to get out of the room fast enough.

Just over an hour later, Mickey having to take John out, Owen had left them to talk and told Alec to knock on the office door when he was ready.  Jackie though was keeping him talking because if this man was going to save her grandson, she wanted his life story which Alec was trying to dodge telling her.  Rose decided the poor man needed rescuing from her mother's questions.

"Sorry about my mum, she gets a bit carried away sometimes," Rose apologised as she led him outside to see where Mickey and John were.

"It's quite understandable since he's her only grandchild, I have a fifteen year old daughter, I used to be the same when Daisy was his age.  Well actually I was probably ten times worse since being in the police.  So, are you happy with the arrangements?  We all meet at the hospital in Dorchester on Monday morning?  Do you think your son will be okay until then?"

"He'll be fine or Owen would have insisted on going ahead today.  I think we all need some time to let this sink in and you a chance to change your mind.  I have this nagging feeling you're holding something back."


"Well yeah, since you want to talk to Owen on your own."

"Don't worry, it's nothing that will stop the transplant, your son will get what he needs, I guarantee it and I know I'm in the middle of a complex murder investigation but I will not let you or your son down.  My DS says she's your friend?"

"Yeah, Ellie was the first real friend I made when I got here.  She looked after John when I was taking my driving lessons and introduced me to Beth.  Alec, you will catch whoever killed Danny, won't you?"

"Yes, I will, it just may take a bit of time, seeing where the evidence is taking us but I'm putting myself into saving your son first, that I can do something about.  Rose, if you don't object, I'd like to spend some time with your son?"

"Yeah, you're more than welcome but he's not got so much energy as he should but we were all going out on Sunday, up to the old tramway, you're welcome to join us, my mum hates it but she does it for John."

"I would be more than happy to accept though I don't have any transport."

"Don't worry about that, we can take two cars.  Listen, I live just down by the harbour, why don't you come over when you finish work and see him?  You can spend a bit of time with him, if you really want?"

"I'd like that.  Thank you Rose.  Now I have to go see Doctor Harper, why don’t I give you my phone number and you can text me your address?"

They exchanged numbers and Rose went off to find Mickey, who was in the small café with John.  Jake and Jackie had joined them, Rose not having seen them go past as she'd talked to Alec.  Jackie already knew there was going to be trouble, the way Rose had been looking at the inspector was the same way she'd looked at the Doctor all that time ago.

"All sorted Rose?" Mickey asked as John went to her.

"Yeah, come on, let's get you home trouble."

"But Mickey said we can go catch crabs.  Can we Mickey?"

"Okay, me and Jake will take you but you can't take them home, you know your gran hates them."

"And so I should, horrible little things crawling all over the place, just you make sure you put them all back Mickey."

"Oh, Alec's coming over after work to spend a bit of time with John and since I don't want to crowd him, can you all disappear for a while?" Rose asked.

Jake decided to tease her since they had been talking about the way she had been looking at the DI.

"We know when to make ourselves scarce Rose.  If you want us to disappear, we know you want to be alone with him."

"Stop it Jake, I just don't want him to feel he's under surveillance, I don't want to scare him away."

"Fat chance of that Rose," Mickey commented.

"I've invited him out with us on Sunday, none of you mind do you?"

"I thought you didn't want to scare him off?" Jake laughed, picking John up and wiping his face covered with a chocolate biscuit Mickey had let melt.

"Well not in the house, it's not big enough for everyone.  We can all meet over at one of the catering stalls then, I'll send him a message, then if he wants, he can come back with us afterwards.  Happy?"

They all agreed and Rose sent Alec a text message.  She got the reply of  'I look forward to it, I'm sure I'll find you all, say 5.30?'

Rose seemed quite pleased as they went off, Mickey still teasing her she'd got herself a date with Alec Hardy.

"Huh?  Some date sat in full view of everyone and you lot there," she grumbled.

Jake and Mickey grinned to each other, they knew she was already taken with the DI and wished her luck as Mickey stopped to put John on his shoulders to go collect his crab bucket and net from the kitchen.  When they had gone back out again, Jackie decided to confront Rose properly.

"So, are ya gonna go on a proper date with him then?"

"Mum, this is not the time to be going on 'dates' with anyone, I have John to think about."

"Rose, you've been on your own all this time love, you have to think about yourself as well you know?  If you want to go out tonight, one of us will stay with John, you know that."

"Yeah, I know but I don't think he intends to ask me on a date Mum, well not if he's anything like Ellie described him."

"Well he seems okay so far.  Maybe it's because Ellie works with him, yeah?"

"Maybe but I'm not getting my hopes up, especially once the operation is over with, Alec will want to be left alone to find Danny's killer."

"That may be so Rose but maybe he'd be better if someone was on his side?"

When the others had left and Alec had told Rose he would see her and John later, he went back to the side ward and knocked on Owen's door, relieved to find Donna had not returned.  Why was he so bothered about her?  Rose, yes, he was concerned about her son, no child deserved to go through that and he hoped some good would come out of all the others who had been tested. 

Was it just concern?  She had just invited him to her house, she said to spend time with the boy so he was going to treat it as such, not that it would deter him from asking her to go for a drink with him later when the boy was in bed and had plenty of people to watch him for a few hours.  Would she accept though? 

Owen called for Alec to enter the office.  He'd just received a message to meet at 5.30 at one of the catering stalls alongside the harbour.  Maybe she was already regretting inviting him to her place but it stood to reason her house may get over-crowded with sightseers, mainly her friends and her mother.

Did she want to be alone with him?  Maybe not.

"Ah, Alec.  So what did you want to talk about then?"

"These other health checks, are they necessary?"

"Worried about something?"

"Should I be?  You can get my medical records from the police CMO."

"Yes and I suspect I'll get the unofficial ones.  The game's up Alec, I'm the head of medical at Torchwood, you can't hide from me."

"So you are not going to tell my bosses about me or stop me going ahead with the transplant?"

"No, under certain conditions.  The transplant is not life-threatening in any way Alec, we have to be sure you're otherwise in reasonably good health but maybe we can help you, in return for what you are doing?"

"If you want to put a pacemaker in me, think again.  I was told I had only a slim chance of surviving the surgery."

"Those health service doctors are all the same.  Over-worked and underpaid and they have limited time to spend with patients.  While you're having the transplant surgery, we can fit the pacemaker at the same time, you'll be in and out in no time, go back to work or whatever.  Since you'll be there anyway, you may as well take advantage of our offer."

Alec laughed.  "Aye, so you make sure the boy gets what he needed then finish me off?  I'm done anyway if my chief finds out."

"We won't put it on your medical record Alec, if that's what you think?"

"It did cross my mind.  Do the family have to know about me?"

"Only if you want to tell them but I think Rose should be told, she deserves that much."

"I would be taking a big risk, I have a murder to solve."

"I'm aware of that but you'd solve it much faster if you were 100% fit.  You're already off on Monday, I've cleared it with your chief, I made a hero out of you.  I said we'd need you the full day and Tuesday if need be, it's mainly preparation on Monday but we need you there in case we go ahead but she won't know that.  It will give you Tuesday to have a rest.  I can arrange for longer if you need it?"

"I'll manage but I'll go back to work on Tuesday unless you really do need me?"

"That would rather draw her suspicions and besides, John will still be in hospital, you can spend some time with him."

"He'll have enough people around without me."

"Trust me, the Tyler's will insist you stay, you've met the boy's grandmother," Owen grinned.

Alec scowled.  "I take your point.  So, what do I have to do?"

Owen picked up a folder on his desk.

"Sign these forms.  One is for the transplant, one for the pacemaker surgery.  We'll just do a pre-op on your arrival on Monday morning, we'll take you for the transplant when John is ready but you may be waiting around a while.  Then we'll do the pacemaker fitting, no-one will know about that part unless you agree to tell Rose."

"I may tell her, she invited me to spend some time with the boy, it seems only fair she knows."

He got a cab back to the station, thinking he may ask to borrow a car over the weekend, he was quite optimistic about his impending heart surgery, certainly he had more faith in the Torchwood doctors as they wouldn't waste money if they didn't think it would work.  Besides, it had been a while since he was first told he didn't have much of a chance and medical practices changed all the time.  What did he have to lose?   Maybe only a chance of Rose Tyler actually going out with him.

So as he was driven towards the station, he made his mind up if this was going to be his last weekend, he was going to spend it with Rose and her son, friends or not, he could easily get rid of them and he'd make sure her mother was occupied elsewhere.  If the worse happened, Miller would get what she wanted and be promoted and everyone would be happy, well maybe everyone except Daisy.  Now was the time to call her.

If he told her he as going to save a young boy's life, she might be suitably impressed enough to forgive him.  As he arrived at his destination, Ellie was waiting for him in his office.

"So, how did it go then?"

"Quite well, I met the boy, what else can I tell you Miller?  About that invitation to dinner, are you by any chance inviting Rose Tyler?"

"I doubt it, she'll be fussing over John.  Oh, I get it, you want to ask her out but you think she'll turn you down and you want me to play cupid?"

"Don't be so daft Miller.  Anyway, she invited me out to join them for tea later on and I accepted."

"What?  You eating fish and chips out of paper?" Ellie laughed.

"No, out of a carton Miller."  He shook his head and got back to work.

Ellie laughed to herself going back to her desk, the great Alec Hardy had been well and truly caught by Rose Tyler.
Chapter 5
Everyone had just got seated as Alec walked along the harbour-side, crossing the road bridge and seeing who he thought was the man called Mickey at one of the food stalls.  He then saw Rose, fussing over her young son, her mother and the other man, Jake.

"Alec!  Hi, come and join us, just tell Mickey what you want to eat," Rose greeted him.

He didn't normally eat from cartons and sit at the edge of the river but decided he would make an exception.

"John, say hello to Alec again," Rose encouraged the boy as he scraped his chair back to go sit on her lap.

"Hello," he managed, burying his head under Rose's arm and her pushing his hair out of his eyes.

"Hello again young man.  I'll go order my own, your friend had just finished placing your order," Alec noted, as Mickey was calling Jake to get the drinks.

They all settled down, Alec sitting next to John, who was kneeling on the chair and sharing Rose's meal.  He could tell the boy was not well, normally, three year old boys would be trying to get away.  Rose had already warned the other three not to say anything to Alec about looking like the Doctor, John was tired anyway so that wouldn't be a problem just yet.

Rose was staring at the blue chalet by the river's edge, thinking how quaint it looked but so impractical with a young boy.  Alec had noticed it earlier in the day and thought about maybe renting it for the rest of the holiday period, it was unlikely there would be an influx of visitors under the current conditions in the town.

John was looking at Alec, Rose hoping he wouldn't say anything.

"Are you really a policeman?"

"Yes, that I am.  Your mum says you like police cars." A lucky guess.

"I've got lots of different ones, so has Tony."

"He's my much younger brother Alec, it's sort of complicated." Rose tried to explain.

Alec put on his best smile and agreed it would be, thinking he was glad he wasn't the one that had to explain that to two young boys and not envying either of the women.

"Are you coming to my house?" John asked him as Rose wiped his hands before he wiped them on Alec's trousers, since the boy was edging towards him.

"Yes Alec, you're still welcome to come over, we thought it would be a bit crowded for you, eating there."

Alec had been more than grateful for that, he felt outnumbered.  Still, he couldn't very well back out now, the boy was looking at him and he wanted to ask Rose out for a drink later.

"Well, if you are sure?  Would you like some icecream John?"

Mickey was feeling left out but Rose had already told him he was not getting his nose pushed out, Alec was about to save John's life, a little attention was in order.  He had reluctantly agreed and let it go, for Rose's sake, since she'd not had a boyfriend since losing the Doctor.

While Alec went to the stall at the other side with John, Rose told the others they would meet them later, she wanted some time getting to know Alec and for him to spend a bit of time with them without him feeling like he was under suspicion.  They crossed over the road and Alec sat John on the low wall, facing the harbour and him wishing the boats wouldn't keep bobbing up and down, it had been bad enough when Miller had insisted on getting to Mark Latimer's boat by water and not that she climbed over several others to get to it.

"So, you've lived here a while then?"

"Yeah, since John was six months old.  It was a nice quiet town, nothing ever happened here, not like this."

"We are doing our best Rose, I promise you.  You are friends with the Latimers?"

"Yeah, did you need to interview me?"

"No, not as yet.  Were you alone last Thursday night?"

"I thought you weren't interviewing me?" she smiled.  "No, Mickey came back from London with us on Tuesday, John had been for more tests.  I got the phone call a few days later and you know the rest.  I just wanted to say thanks again, for what you're doing."

"Sorry, force of habit.  Seeing your son well again is all the thanks."

John had finished so they walked across the harbour, slowly, after Rose wiped his hands again as he wanted to walk in the middle and hold Alec's hand as well as his mum's.  Rose let them in, thankful Mickey had taken the hint and made himself scarce, which wasn't very often but she knew he was only trying to help.

"Nice place," Alec commented.  Any place was nice compared to his hotel room he supposed, now was the time to come clean with Rose about his ailment but maybe he could delay it until the boy was in bed.

"John, why don't you show Alec your room while I make us a drink?"

"Sure Mummy, come on Alec."

Alec smiled and followed the boy upstairs.  Once in his room, John sat on his bed.  Alec noticed the boy looked even more tired.

"So John, got those police cars?"

"Yeah, do you want to see them?"

He made the effort to go to one of his toy boxes and Alec followed him, John picking them out with ease.  Rose made some tea and poured some juice for John and called upstairs.

"Looks like your mum wants us," Alec smiled.

"Can you carry me downstairs Alec?"

"Well, just so long as you don't bump your head on the way down eh?  Your mum would not be pleased with me, would she?"

John laughed.  "Mickey carries me down when he's here.  Can you stay?"

"For a while, I could read you a story, before you go to bed?"

"Yeah, Mickey's stories are boring, I've heard them all before."

Alec picked the boy up, thinking he'd weigh more but he had some room to talk about that.  Just after seven thirty, having watched a few cartoons on TV John liked, Rose took him upstairs to get washed and brush his teeth, then she called for Alec.

"He's all yours Alec, good luck with the story, I hope you've got a good imagination?"

"Oh, I have plenty of tales from my childhood in Scotland to amuse him, trust me.  I used to keep my daughter busy with them when she was your son's age."

"You must miss her, or is she in Broadchurch with you?"

"No.  Surely you have read up about me?"

"I didn't want you to think I was checking up on you."

"You are trusting me to save your son's life, I expect no less from you.  My daughter, Daisy, lives with her mum up near Sandbrook, she barely talks to me unless she wants something."

Rose smiled and put her hand on his shoulder.  "I'm sorry, you should tell me to keep my nose out."

"It's fine Rose, really.  What is he doing in there?"

Rose smiled, John had insisted he got into bed on his own, after finding something in his toy box, the door pushed to.  Rose opened it to see the boy grinning up at them, another police car in his hand.

"Alec, can you tell me a story about a car chase?"

Rose knew he'd got that from Tony.

"Well, maybe not tonight, I was going to tell you one from where I come from, Scotland."

"Yeah, will you?" John yawned.

"I think you should say goodnight to your mum first eh?  Before you fall asleep."

Rose smiled.  "You're not that boring are you?"

"No but not everyone thinks I'm not."

Rose sat beside John.  "Night night sweetheart, see you in the morning and be good for Alec, okay?  You know I love you very much and so did your daddy, he would love to see you growing up."

"Will he come back one day?"

"I don't know that sweetheart, he was very clever though and so are you.  Sunday, Alec's coming with us to the tramway, would you like that?"

"Yeah, is granny going?  She doesn't like it very much."

"She'll go for you and sit downstairs, she just doesn't like sitting up on the top deck.  Now, listen to Alec's story and then to sleep."

Alec was taking it all in.  He'd read what he could about the boy's father but it was still a closely guarded secret, no-one wanted to let on who he had been and there were many rumours ranging from a work colleague to a friend she used to go travelling with but it was clear she had no idea if he was coming back or not.  Maybe the man didn't even know he had a son but he would have to be on a parallel world or another planet not to have seen the two of them in the media.

Ten minutes later, Alec was back downstairs, no wiser as to if it had been his boring voice, the tale or the boy was really tired.  So he had tucked the bedclothes around John, ruffled his hair and left the bedside lamp on, a dimly lit globe and closed the door.  He had seen Rose switch the child monitor on and hoped she hadn't been listening or he would find her asleep as well and he wanted her to get someone to look after the boy and take her out for an hour or so.

As Rose heard him come downstairs, she switched the listening device on.

"I hope I did not bore you as well Rose?"

"No, I wasn't listening."

Alec leaned back on both arms on the kitchen counter, he was still just in his shirt sleeves, rolled up to his elbows.  Rose thought how thin he looked, compared to the Doctor and she thought he'd been skinny.

"Not even just a wee bit Rose?"

She tried not to blush.  He reminded her of that silly accent the Doctor had put on when they'd been in Scotland. 

"So, are you in a hurry to get back then?" she asked, hoping he wasn't.

"No, I finished for the night, earlier than I have been doing, because I was meeting with you."  Then he added, "And your family of course.  I noticed your stepfather is not present."

"He's staying with my little brother, we didn't want to upset Tony, with John not being well and I'm glad he didn't come down with us now.  I don't need to ask your advice about keeping a close eye on my son."

"No, I can see that, there being four of you to watch him.  Is they maybe a chance someone would come over for a few hours perhaps?  I'd like to take you out for a while, if you wanted to come with me?"

"Yeah, I'd like that Alec, it's been a while since I went out properly.  I'll call Mickey or Jake though Mickey probably needs a break as well but we'll not go next door where they're staying."

"I should hope not, that would be rather missing the point.  We could walk across the harbour maybe?"

Rose picked up her phone and called Jake, who said he'd be over in ten minutes, Rose insisting he didn't tell her mother.

"What's it worth Rosie?" Jake teased when she said Alec had invited her out.

"Never you mind or do I have to ask Mickey?"

"Nah, I'm just kidding, he's watching TV.  I'll stay tonight, I think he's missed sleeping in a proper bed.  I knew I did the right thing booking a twin room and putting him down as sharing."

"I'll be okay tonight Jake, there's no need to stay.

"Whatever.  See you in ten."

"I'll just go get changed Alec, okay?"

Alec stood up straight and went for his tie, which Rose had already noticed he had the top button undone and the tie slightly askew.  Rose grabbed his hand as she passed him.

"No need Alec, it suits you."

"Miller keeps saying for me to tidy myself up."

"Aw, take no notice of her, it's cute.  John's dad used to do the same, try as I might, he wouldn't straighten his tie unless he was showing off."

She saw the look on Alec's face, cursing herself for making the comparison.

"Well, I'm sure lots of men do it, he did it to give himself something to do when he was trying to get out of something."

Alec wondered if she was saying it intentionally but it was bound to happen, he just had to accept that, the boy would want to talk about his father as he'd done earlier.

"Sorry Alec, I should go change, Jake will let himself in, he'll get the key from Mickey.  Just as long as he doesn't bump into my mother on his way out or if he thinks a police interrogation is bad enough, well, you had a sample of her earlier and I really am sorry about her being the one to question you."

"Not to worry, it's understandable, like I said."

Rose kissed his cheek then ran upstairs before he could either protest or try to kiss her back.  She hoped he might try to kiss her later, he was cute but she hoped she wasn't going out with him for all the wrong reasons.  She came down twenty minutes later after tossing three dresses back in the wardrobe and settling for a yellow dress with straps and a white thin jacket.

"You look very nice Rose.  You have a loyal friend here, he was concerned I would get you drunk and keep you out all night."

Jake raised his hands.  "I said no such thing Alec, what I really said was I hope he does get you drunk and keep you out all night, you deserve to have some time out.  Mickey might come over later so take your time, enjoy yourselves.  We'll leave when you get back, no worries."

That wasn't what Rose was worried about, she was worried Alec would leave before she got the chance to snog him senseless.  That was depending if she didn't ruin things by talking about John's father all night.   She needn't have worried because Alec was more than curious about her relationship with the Doctor, whom Rose had said she would tell him the name of when he had taken her home.

"I can't tell you now Alec, you never know who's listening, that sneaky reporter Olly could be lurking about on the other side of the bar.  I hear you've met him."

Alec saw her grinning, taking a sip of her drink.  "You heard correctly, I met him on my first day, he got in my face."

"Aw, poor Alec, he only stays away from me because Ellie makes him, he'd love to keep writing about me and John living here but we had to let him do that story last weekend.  My stepfather will put out another press release on Monday to say an anonymous donor has been found, we won't name you but he'll want to meet you."

"Will he be coming down, for the operation?"

"Yeah, Sunday night after Tony's gone to bed, his nanny will take care of him along with the staff.  I bet you're wondering, why I chose not to go for any of that for John?"

"You must have had your reasons, I respect that.  I thought you were very brave actually, you have all that money and yet you live in a simple seaside cottage.  Any reason you chose that place?"

"Yeah, long story, I'll tell you later.  Let's just say the sea is of significance to me and John's father."

"Then I look forward to hearing more later, if you care to tell me?"

"Well, I might but you have to tell me about yourself first Alec.  Such as why you stayed behind to see Doctor Harper earlier?"

"You are very smart Rose.  Yes, we had something to discuss but it will not interfere with helping your son, I guarantee that.  I just wanted confirmation from him, his assurance what I had to tell him would not make me exempt from going ahead.  I agreed with him it was only fair to tell you and I will but you have to promise me you will not tell anyone else, well I expect Doctor Harper will need to inform your stepfather, given he's funding the entire thing."

"I promise I won't tell anyone and you can trust Pete, he won't go back on his word."

"I know that Rose, he's a very influential man, not only in business.

The pub was quiet, there were only two more couples in the other corners, heads together and arms around each other.  Alec went to get more drinks and sat by her side when he got back, taking her hand.

"He's going to be okay Rose, you know that.  Do you have plans tomorrow by any chance?"

"Mickey and Jake are taking John up the coast to the fossil centre, me and mum were going shopping."

"Then may I ask you to alter your own plans slightly?  I have to work in the morning but would you meet me for lunch perhaps, opposite the station or maybe somewhere else?"

"Yeah, I'm sure I can tear myself away from the shops for a few hours," she laughed, leaning her head on his shoulder and putting her arm in his and taking his hand.

Alec thought he may well be in with half a chance to get invited in and maybe kiss her goodnight.  Was she just interested though in finding out if he had any secrets and help save her son?

Rose finished her drink, never even bothering to look at her phone and think of calling Jake to see if John was okay, she trusted Jake and Mickey completely where her son was concerned, even with a child killer out there in the town.  The other man she trusted besides her stepfather was sat looking at her with his arm now around the back of the seat and straying onto her shoulders.  She decided to relax and lean back and Alec saw his opportunity, kissing her just below her ear.

Just after ten, Alec suggested he walked her home and said he would tell her what he'd had to discuss with Owen.

"Yeah, I'm ready to go, I'll just go visit the ladies room."

"Fine, I'll wait here then."

Rose didn't see Olly Stevens around the other side of the partition but he saw her.  He waited for her coming out and then he noticed she was with the town's newest detective, whom his aunt had done nothing but complain about him taking the job that had been promised to her.  What was Rose Tyler doing with Hardy?  He and Maggie had been to the hospital as had most of the newspaper team, except the ones who had been cancelled late yesterday afternoon.  No reason had been given as the to cancellations, maybe they had discovered a match but he knew the boy's grandfather would be on him like a ton of bricks if the news leaked out before it was officially announced.

He hoped for the boy's sake a match had indeed be found, he just hoped it wasn't Hardy or his aunt would find the man even more insufferable that she thought he already was.  No doubt an announcement would be made by the Tyler's PR team sooner or later.  Despite that though, there was no harm in him seeing if Hardy was going to walk her home, was there?

As Rose and Alec walked across the harbour, Rose put her arm through his, occasionally putting her head on his shoulder then Alec's arm was around her.  For the time of year, it got a little chilly around the harbour area and Rose wished she'd brought a different jacket with her but it wasn't far.  Despite the chilly air though, Rose decided to stop and cross the road and sat on the wall at the start of the jetty.  Alec sat beside her.

"So Rose, what's on your mind?"

"It's been so long since I had a proper evening out, that's all.  I didn't want to go back home just yet.  Can we sit for a while?"

He was about to say as long as he didn't have to face the sea but it was too late for that.  Rose turned to him and kissed his cheek.

"What really brought you here Alec?"

"Well not the sea view.  I came here on holiday, when I was a boy around Danny's age.  We camped on top of one of those cliffs, can't remember which one though, I looked when I arrived, it freaked me out.  I used to sit under them to get away from my parents' endless arguments."

Rose took his hand.  "I missed out on that, my real dad died when I was a baby and now, my mum thinks she and my stepfather were made for each other but it freaked her out he had the same name, what were the chances of that?"

Alec smiled, kissing the back of her hand.  "Maybe you can tell me more?"

"Depends how much time you have, it's a long story."

"Well, until I solve this murder Rose, I'm going nowhere.  You might say you have a captive audience."

Rose turned to face him and leaned on him, Alec putting his arm around her again, putting his index finger on her chin and angling his head.  Rose hesitated for a few seconds and leaned closer, looking at him.  He was cute, really cute but he looked so like the man she'd lost, John's father, was it fair to him if he found out just how he resembled the father of the boy he was about to save?  She could assure the silence of people around her but once John was well, the boy would begin to ask awkward questions.

Did she risk it?  The choice was taken from her as his lips brushed against hers briefly, then, she let go and deepened the kiss, her first one since being stranded here for fear she would forget the man she had lost.  Now, here was his almost identical twin breaking the kiss to get a better angle and they kissed again, the moonlight shining on the water, no-one around them and no sounds apart from the water lapping at the side of the harbour wall.

Alec thought it was the best kiss he had ever tasted.  They were too engrossed in what they were doing to spot Olly across the other side of the road by the apartments.
Chapter 6
Olly found himself watching Alec and Rose from his vantage point, wishing it wasn't dark and could get a good photo of them but there would be plenty of time later.  He could make a start on his story and maybe do some digging on this new detective, who'd been in town just over a week and was annoying his aunt.

He knew Rose, not that well though and he'd interviewed her a few times, recently only last weekend about the sad news her young son needed an operation but did this mean Hardy was the one who had been a match?  He could only speculate at this time, he needed more proof but if Rose was seeking his company, surely there must be some reason?  Maybe his aunt might have better luck finding out but that would have to wait until Monday.

If Jackie Tyler caught him following her daughter and grandson around, he wouldn't like to think what would happen, he was more scared of her than he was Rose's stepfather or her two friends, one of whom was always visiting and he'd learned he was her former boyfriend before she'd met her son's father.  Maggie had already warned him to back off from finding out what the larger newspapers hadn't been able to discover – who John Tyler's father really was.

He was in the ideal position to find that out, being in the town and never done anything about it but now the boy was about to recover from his illness and he'd be writing about that, maybe now was a good time to get the scoop and beat all the nationals to it.  Hardy wouldn't be pleased though, after the stunt he'd pulled the day Danny's body had been found and he'd released the boy's name, his aunt had gone ballistic with him over it.  Now though, more reporters would be descending on the town once Pete Tyler had issued a statement to say a matching donor had been found.  He just wished he knew for certain it was Hardy.

Rose had recovered sufficiently from Alec's kiss, something she'd half expected but nothing like it had been.  He held his hand out, Rose taking it and he led her back to her cottage.

"So am I invited in then?"

"Yeah, I promised some answers.  Don't take any notice of Jake, or Mickey if he's there, they're not used to me going out.  Those two together are worse than my mum."

"I'll try not to let it bother me then."

Jake was on his own, Rose wondering if he and Mickey had been arguing again and hoping Jake wouldn't ask to stay.  She loved Jake like a brother but she really wanted to have Alec to herself.

"Has John been okay?" she asked him as he got up and switched the TV off with the remote.

"He's been fine, I just went up to him once to check on him.  See you two tomorrow maybe?"

"Maybe, what time are you taking John out?"

"We'll come over around nine and if John gets tired, Mickey's got the key if you're still out.  Got plans Rosie?"

"Yeah but I'm not telling you, I'll have enough with my mother when I tell her."

Jake just grinned at her.  "Yeah, well good luck with that Rose.  Alec, don't take any notice of us, we just look out for Rose, that's all and we can tell we've nothing to worry about."

"I can assure you of that, not from me."

Jake left and Rose went to make a drink, Alec watching her go upstairs to check on John.  He decided to follow her, seeing her leaning over the boy and kissing his forehead.  She was aware she was being observed.

"You must be quite relieved it will all be over soon?"

They went back downstairs and Rose made some drinks.

"Yeah, it's been a worry for a while, all that not knowing and finally being told what's wrong with him.  I had him in a private nursery but I had to take him out, he was getting too tired, that's why Mickey's been down so much.  I used to take him to the park and the beach but Mickey kept him entertained so I could get groceries and things."

"It must be difficult, on your own but up until he got ill, you had no-one?"

"No, just him and me."

"You said you would tell me who his father is."

"Yeah but you have to tell me something about yourself first.  I know you're divorced and have a teenage daughter but I'm still puzzled about why you wanted to speak to Doctor Harper."

He knew she deserved to know and he was right to know he could trust her not to say anything.

"How have you got away with it?" she asked when he explained his condition.

"I have someone to cover it all up for me.  Doctor Harper says he can have my pacemaker surgery arranged for the same time as your son's."

"Yeah, he's probably got it all arranged, you'll get the best surgeon, my stepfather will see to that."

"I expect so but I'm not going ahead with it."

"What?  Are you serious?"

"I have to solve this case Rose and I can't do that, if I don't make it, I'm not done yet so I'm going to put it off, until I put Danny's killer behind bars."

"You need to put your health first Alec, you won't do anyone any good it you get worse."

"I'll make it through, I know why I'm here now.  To redeem myself, to find a killer and save your son and that's good enough for me."

Rose was appalled at his attitude and was determined to make him change his mind.  That was what she did, she cared for people and Alec Hardy had come into her life to save her son, who up until now was the most important person in her life but Alec had become a close second. 

"Well, why don't you see what they have to say, before you make your mind up?"

"They all say the same thing – have the surgery or die, I'll not be told anything different, I don't need to hear someone else saying it."

"Well have you even considered how it will affect anyone else?  Your daughter?"  She hesitated than added quietly, "Even me?"

"I said I will make sure your son is attended to so, there is no need for your concern."

How could he have an attitude like that?  "That's not fair Alec.  You asked me out, why?  Just to have one date with you so you can crawl back to work and kill yourself working this case?"

Alec swallowed.  Why should someone like her be bothered about him?  Maybe if she was actually bothered, so should he.  He could tell by her current expression she wasn't going to let this rest.

"What do you want me to say?  Yes, when we met earlier I wanted to ask you out for a drink and maybe a few answers but I was under the impression that was all it would be, one date.  Then you asked me out for the day on Sunday, so I had to reciprocate the offer and invite you for lunch tomorrow, you can bring your mother along if you wish by the way."

Rose looked at him.  Yes, he reminded her of John's father but with his scruffy beard, the anguished look and the hair getting in his brown eyes, he was looking less and less similar.  She was attracted to him, it had been a long time since she'd been kissed like Alec had kissed her not that long ago.

"You are such a plum Alec.  Yeah, I invited you along on Sunday, I never knew you were actually gonna ask me out, on a date, did I?  I don't need my mother tagging along tomorrow, I'd rather just it be the two of us."

She put the mug down and stepped nearer to him, fingering his jacket lapels and remembering being possessed and crashing her lips against the Doctor but this time, she was in complete control.  Alec looked at her inviting  lips and regretted what he just said.  He could at least have this coming weekend to remember and if he didn't screw things up, maybe a bit longer.  Maybe she was right, a new lot of specialists may have something different to say, he could hear them out and then decide.

If this weekend worked out, she may want to spend some more time with him and he'd wanted to get to know the boy he was saving.  He and Tess had never had another shot at any more kids, now he knew why but he wasn't going into that.  He saw Rose was wanting a repeat of what they had shared by the harbour, so he was only too willing to oblige her.

A few minutes later, he was leading her to the sofa, laying her against the cushion, reaching around the back of her dress and half expecting to get his face slapped.  He didn't as the dress came over her shoulders, revealing her strapless bra.

"You looked stunning this evening Rose," was all he managed to say when he was lost for words and didn't want to mess up and spoil anything.

Rose whispered in his ear, "Thank you Alec, it's been a while since I got dressed up to go out, John's dad wasn't big on going out."

That wasn't a lie as such, they hadn't needed to go anywhere, well not on earth anyway, he had shown her the stars and nothing could top that.

"You promised to tell me who he was and none of that work colleague nonsense either Rose.  I've told you my secret, now tell me yours."

"You have to promise Alec, this stays between us, right?"

"Right, you can trust me.  Do you think maybe Sunday, it could be just you, me and your son?  I would really like to spend the day with just the two of you?"

"Okay, I'll ask John and I'll tell the others but after what you hear now, you may just walk away."

He leaned over to kiss her, Rose finding herself raking her fingers through his hair.

"His name was The Doctor, we travelled together and he wasn't from around here."

"Really?  When you say 'around here' I take it you mean this world?"

"How'd you know?  Oh, you believed all that Cyberman stuff, about where they went?"

"Yes, I have always been fascinated with things like that Rose, I had all the comic books when I was a wee boy back in Scotland and watched all the TV shows.  Were you caught up in the attack?"

"Me?  Mickey and I were on the front lines, so to speak."

"You went after them then?"

"Not exactly, we didn't need to, we were already there."

"Then tell me more, this is better than I expected."

Rose smiled.  "You're actually enjoying this Alec."

"Of course I am and I want to hear it all."

"Well, I can give you the cut down version but if you want to hear it all, you're gonna need to have that pacemaker surgery."

He leaned over to kiss her again.  "For what you have to tell me, it sounds like if is worth the risk.  I'll see what they say on Monday, I promise.  You can tell me the rest tomorrow."

"Aw, I'm disappointed now, you unzipped my dress Alec."

"Sorry Rose, you know what's wrong with me, I just took advantage."

"Stay with me Alec?  Please?"

"Then you would be disappointed and you would hate me in the morning."

"I don't care, I'm happy with just being with you, it's been too long since I had any fun."

Once upstairs, they had kissed and Rose finally got Alec out of his shorts and made sure he'd taken the medication he'd admitted he had to take.  Rose was settling down in his arms, Alec was stroking her back, Rose's free arm wrapped around his waist after he'd persuaded her they should put their underwear and Rose a thin nightdress on in case John woke up.

"I'd never had guessed you were ill Alec, if you'd not told me, that was really, really nice."

"I'm glad I never disappointed you then.  You took some keeping quiet Rose, you could have woken your son, then how would you have explained me?"

"He'll see you in the morning unless you are going to hide or disappear?"

"Why would I?  I would like for him get used to me, since you seem intent on keeping me alive?"

"Yes I do, I'm making it my personal mission to get you through your surgery because I'll be there for John yes but I will also be there for you as well, we all will.  Can I tell them?"

"Well, your stepfather will already know so yes, if you feel the need to, well except John."

"That goes without saying, you plum.  We'll all have breakfast, he won't ask any questions but you have to understand.  He's used to having Mickey and Jake around since he was old enough to take notice, you are new to him and he might come out with all sorts of stuff.  I don't want you taking it the wrong way."

"Such as?"

"I don't know Alec, I don't know what goes on inside his mind.  He's curious, he'll ask you questions and I don't want you to have any surprises, he won't mean anything by them."

"Well I usually ask the questions but I will try my best to answer them so he understands.  Just one thing though, he won't ask me if I'm his father will he?"

Rose tried to look serious.  "Well not yet.  Alec, I can't promise anything like that but I'll try to explain it to him but he may ask if he can call you that, eventually.  That's if you intend sticking around?"

He flipped her over onto her back, hovering above her.

"Let's just see about that eh?  I have to get over this weekend first, don't I?"

After kissing a while longer and Rose settling under his arm again, they fell asleep.  It was Alec who woke to hear John calling out.  Rose had told him the boy normally waited, so moving from under what it seemed now was more than likely his girlfriend's arm that was across him, he got up and quickly got dressed and went in to see the boy.

"Hello," John said quietly, holding a toy car out to Alec.  "Where's Jake or Mickey?  Where's mummy?"

"Hey, it's okay, you remember me eh?"

"Yes, the policeman.  Mummy!"

Alec looked behind him, Rose standing in the doorway in her nightdress and dressing gown.  John was kneeling on top of the bed, holding his arms out, Alec holding one of them to stop the boy from falling down.  Rose asked Alec to go down and get John's breakfast while she got him dressed.

"Mummy, why was Alec here?"

"He came to see you honey.  Mickey and Jake are taking you out today and tomorrow, Alec's gonna take you to the tramway, just you me and him."

"Granny doesn't like the tramway, does she?"

"Not much but she'd go for you, she knows how much you like it but Alec asked to spend some time with you, you do like him don't you?"

"Yeah.  Will he be here every day?"

"I don't know sweetheart because Monday, we have to go to the hospital again, to see Doctor Harper and we're gonna get you well again."

"Will granddad be coming and Alec?"

"Yeah, granddad will be here tomorrow night, he has to see to Tony first.  You have to stay in hospital for a while but when you come out, well, you'll be all better and be able to run around and go back to nursery."

"Will I be able to play with Tom and Danny and have a skateboard?"

How could she tell him there would be no Danny to play with ever again?

"We'll see sweetheart but Danny, well he's had to go away for a bit."

"Is he in hospital too?"

"No, he's just gone away but Tom's still here and Fred is too.  Maybe you can go to the beach and play with your football with Alec, yeah?"

John nodded as Rose was showing him again how to clean his teeth, having dressed him in a pair of jeans and a cartoon t-shirt Mickey had bought him from the tank museum visit the week before.

"Come on, Alec will have your breakfast ready and be good.  If Alec asks you to do something, promise me you do as he says, okay?"

John nodded again, waiting to be told to rinse his mouth.  Rose smiled and offered him the clean water.  Alec was waiting downstairs, having prepared the boy's cereal he'd said he wanted and figuring the toaster was on the right setting, was making toast for the two of them, finding a jar of strawberry jam in one of the cupboards and wondering if she wanted tea or coffee.

Rose smiled at him when she saw it all waiting.  While John was finishing, she took Alec to one side.

"So, do you have to work this morning?"

"Yes, this case will not solve itself Rose.  We'll meet as arranged, where we met yesterday?"

"We can go to the café opposite the station, if you want?"

"No, it's fine.  Then if you want, we can go for a walk again?  Away from the police tent though perhaps?"

"Yeah, that's a good idea.  I talked to John and we decided we would like it if just the three of us went out tomorrow."

"I'd like that Rose but won't the others feel left out?"

"Nah, they'll be okay, I'll talk to them and explain and I've explained to John that when he's with you he's to do as you say."

"I'll only agree to that if you are not around, I would not presume to be in charge of him otherwise."

"That's settled then."  She kissed his cheek and went to John.

"Come on, Jake and Mickey will be here soon.  Will you bring me more shells for the bathroom?"

"Yeah and some crabs for granny?" he smiled.

"You know what she thinks about them."

"What does she think about them John?" Alec enquired.

"That they are creepy crawlies and she said if Mickey brings any more she'll set them on him.  Didn't she Mummy?"

Rose smiled and ruffled his hair.  "I'm sure Mickey is just joking with her.  Ready to go?  Up to the bathroom before you do."

"Rose, I have to go now, see you at one then?"

"Yeah and why don't you bring a bag down with you and stay again tonight, it's a long drive up to Seaton and we need to set off after breakfast."

"I'll do that then, after lunch."

John was calling for her but she stopped to kiss the man she was beginning to care about.

"Bye Alec, see ya later."

He was just opening the door when Mickey, Jake and Jackie were about to enter, Mickey with the key ready in his hand.

"Oh, wot you doing here then?" Mickey asked, a surprised look on his face.

"Yeah, what are you doin' here?  Where's Rose?" Jackie joined in, looking Alec up and down and failing to notice that 'just snogged' look on his face.

"Upstairs with John.  I came over early to see him.  Any objections?"

Jackie saw the look on Jake's face and decided to stay quiet, obviously he'd been babysitting last night, she'd get the truth out of him later and if she found out this Alec Hardy had stayed overnight, Rose would get a grilling like she'd never had over the Doctor, even when they had finally admitted their feelings for each other.

Jake came to his rescue.  "It's okay Jackie, I told you, he took Rose out for a drink last night, right Alec?"

Alec was not used to being ganged up on and it was three against one.  Was this what it was going to be like if he continued to see Rose?  He hoped not and would have to lay down the law, so to speak and defend himself.

"Yes, Rose and I went out for an hour or so and Jake kindly stayed with your grandson Mrs Tyler.  I have to go to work now, I look forward to seeing you later, after John gets back from his day out."

"Yeah, well me and Rose are going shopping.  Jake, you can drop us off in Dorchester."

Rose had said nothing about going to Dorchester, Alec thought.  How would she get back for their lunch date?  He'd have to trust she would break the news gently to her mother.  Jake patted him on the shoulder as Jackie barged her way in.

"Were you planning something Alec?"

"Well, we had a lunch date at one."

"Don't worry, Rose won't break it, trust me.  She'll get a taxi back in time if her mother's not ready to leave.  You're the first bloke she's gone out with since I've known her."

"You never knew John's father then?"

"I met him twice, once before they got together and the second time, just as they were about to get separated, it was sad, trust me.  She looks at you the same way she looked at him, you've nothing to worry about."

Alec went off, sort of relieved that he stood some sort of chance though he didn't want constantly to remind Rose of a man she had been separated from, especially not willingly from what he could gather.  He was still waiting to find out the rest, what the significance of the Cybermen was and why she'd mentioned the events.  She must have been young, to be involved with them so had she been involved when they'd been running riot in London or just when they'd disappeared?

He had to learn more so he went to his office and looked up the events of that terrible time and when the president had been 'deleted' three years before they'd disappeared and was blocked by Torchwood.  Just his luck but it was fortunate the man in charge would be in Broadchurch the following evening from what Rose had said and was paying for his surgery, should he choose to go ahead anyway?  He would find out more once he had talked the man into giving him access and if not, then he'd have to ask Rose herself.

He was not letting this go because he needed another reason other than his daughter to get through the surgery and Rose was becoming that reason as was her son and he wanted nothing getting in the way, if she wanted a relationship with him, which he very much hoped she wanted as much as he did.  She was getting to him and he knew it – he was going soft.
Chapter 7
Alec decided to go through some statements to take his mind off Rose and the lack of information about her and her son but his heart just wasn't in it.  What had she done to him?  He hadn't felt this way in a very long time, not even with Tess and he thought he'd loved her when he married her, maybe he'd been too hasty on that score but he didn't regret having his daughter.  That was something, how would Daisy react that he was starting to date someone who had a three and a half year old son that he was about to save the life of?

More importantly, he now had to tell her he was thinking of having pacemaker surgery and giving bone marrow, something he'd been told was quite rare as not many people were actual matches.  What had been the chances he was?  It was like he'd said to Rose, he knew now why he was here, in this town.  He was looking forward immensely to finding out more about where Rose came from.

After Alec had left, Rose had some explaining to do to her mother, telling Jake to get off with John and as they drove down to Dorchester she was telling her mother she had a lunch date with Alec and if she wasn't ready to go back when she was, she'd have to get a taxi back.

"I think you'd better tell me everything Rose.  Just how are you involved with this Alec Hardy?  You only met him yesterday."

"Yeah and I'd only known the Doctor a few hours when I went off with him.  I trust Alec and John likes him, that's important to me.  Mickey and Jake are fine but John needs someone else and I think Alec may want to be that somebody but there's something wrong with him Mum."

"Oh trust you.  Go on, what's wrong with him then?"

Jackie was hardly aware her mouth was open as Rose told her.

"So let me get this right.  He's only thinking of going ahead with it?" Jackie asked when Rose told her Owen was making the arrangements for the pacemaker surgery.

"He wants to find Danny's killer and I don't blame him but I've tried to tell him it's not worth sacrificing himself to do so.  He's gonna think about it once the surgeon sees him on Monday, they'll do it while John's in surgery.  I care about him Mum, you know there's been no-one since I lost the Doctor, I thought no-one could ever take his place but I can't help thinking that somehow, he knows and arranged for Alec to come to Broadchurch, to save his son."

"Have you heard yourself Rose?" Jackie asked as Rose pulled into the town's car park near the main shopping area.  "You never got chance to tell him."

"Mum, he's a Timelord, he knows these things, I think he suspected something.  Even I wasn't a matching donor and I'm John's mother, there would have been no guarantee the Doctor would have been either.  What if he did somehow know Alec was?"

Rose's heart was not in roaming around the shopping area so making sure her mother had enough cash on her to get a taxi back to the hotel, Rose went back to her car and called Alec.

"Miss me already?" he asked.

"Maybe.  My mum just pointed something out to me."

"Oh and what might that be then?" Alec asked, getting up to close his office door and twist the blinds closed so no-one could see him grinning as he flirted over the phone with maybe his new girlfriend.

"That I've only just met you and we spent the night together."

"Having regrets are you?"

"No, are you?  I shouldn't have insisted you stayed last night, I was being silly."

"No, you were just lonely, all your attention lately has been on your son, you should make time for yourself for a change.  I cannot imagine what it has been like for you Rose but it's time to focus on him getting well and being a normal three year old boy.  Can you do that Rose?"

"Yeah, I expect I can but I may need some help and I don't mean from my family or friends.  You can back out whenever you want, after the transplant on Monday."

He knew he could, if he actually wanted to, there was nothing that said he had to stay with her beyond then but something had indeed brought them together, some invisible force.

"Trying to get rid of me so soon?"

"No but you don't know what you're letting yourself in for Alec, I'm giving you chance to take a look."

"I don't need it Rose, I know what I'm getting in to.  Will you be back for our lunch date?"

"I'm leaving now, I'll meet you when we agreed or earlier?"

Alec was all for that.  "Make it twelve thirty then, maybe in the harbour café, it looks like it may rain soon.  I just have to go somewhere first."

"Okay.  Is Ellie working today?"

"Miller?  No, she's not been around so far, I think I may have upset her."

Rose laughed.  "Yeah, she's your number one fan, you should have heard her last week.  She said you were already convinced somehow that you were a match.  I won't tell her by the way, not with Olly hanging around anyway.  I told my mum though, she was a bit shocked but she'll make a fuss over you when she gets back."

"Great, just what I need.  See you soon then?"

Alec put his mobile back in his pocket and turned back to the screen he'd been staring at, Rose's picture on it.  How had this happened so fast?  As Rose was making her way back to Broadchurch, she was thinking exactly the same but it wasn't like she hadn't known who he was since Ellie had hardly stopped talking about him and he'd been on the news.  Alec though didn't know what to make of being thrown in the middle of all this.

He'd had a strange feeling since he'd gone to get tested that it would be ironic if he was the boy's match, him with the heart problem and being in a place he didn't want to be in and the news Doctor Harper had given him that morning when he'd arrived at his desk that everything had been approved and a heart specialist would be waiting to see him once the transplant had taken place.

He felt like it was some sort of reward, for helping the boy and it was the Tylers way of paying him back since you could not put any price on saving a child's life and he'd never expected any compensation for doing so, it hadn't been about that.  Now, he'd got slightly more than he'd bargained for, a girlfriend and her son but was he ready for both?  He supposed now was as good a time as any and he may not survive anyway which was why he was not going to go ahead and have the pacemaker fitted until he made sure the boy was going to be okay.

He expected Rose though would have other ideas about that.  What had started out with asking her for a drink had become so much more overnight.  He turned his screen off and put his jacket on to go get a few things from his hotel room.  He'd have to sneak out of the side door, he didn't want Becca asking him awkward questions and he didn't want that junior reporter spotting him so he'd call a cab and hope he wasn't spotted getting into it.

Olly was sitting at his desk, trying to decide if he could make more of what he'd seen last night without bringing Jackie Tyler down on him like a ton of bricks.  Maggie came up behind him, seeing the photo on the screen although it was difficult to make anyone out, the picture was dark.

"Who's that supposed to be?"

"No-one, sorry."

"Don't give me that Olly, tell me.  That looks like Rose Tyler and is that the new DI?"

"Yeah, I saw them in the pub last night.  What would she be doing with Hardy?"

Maggie smiled.  "More like what's Hardy doing to Rose Tyler?  You know if you print that, I'll be held responsible and we'll never get a job in the media ever again?"

"I'm more worried about Mrs Tyler but it may be worth it.  There's only one reason they would be out snogging down by the harbour late at night."

Maggie raised her eyebrows.  "You mean it's Hardy, he's the donor for her son?"

"Exactly, think about it Maggie, the testing got called off, well on a large scale anyway and I heard from my aunt that he sneaked off on Thursday afternoon, she thought he may be going to the hospital."

"Leave that to me, I'll call Yvonne, she volunteers on a Thursday afternoon, she may have seen him.  You'd better get ready for Mr Tyler's press statement then, they'll be releasing it on Monday probably and try and catch Hardy, ask him if he's got anything he wants to tell you."

"Are you crazy Maggie?  He's only been in the town for a week and he already hates me."

Maggie smiled.  "It's your job to be hated sunshine, welcome to the world of journalism.  Now, go get me a nice juicy story to go with that press release."

"Do you care how I get it?" he called after her as she retreated back to her office.

He was in luck as he hurriedly walked down the cliff path to the esplanade and saw Hardy come down the steps and was about to get into the passenger seat of a marked police car.

"DI Hardy, do you have a minute?"

"What do you want Stevens?"

"An exclusive.  Are you the donor for Rose Tyler's son?"

"What?  Your imagination is working overtime, where did you get that idea from?"

He wanted to say from his aunt but decided to keep her out of it for now.  He trusted Maggie's spy would come through.

"Well you were seen at the hospital."

"Really?  Most of the town were up there getting tested, so?"

"You went back, why?"

Alec was getting annoyed and this would make him late for his lunch date with Rose, now he'd brought it forward half an hour because his broken heart was pounding twice as hard at the thought of seeing her.  He hadn't bargained for the confrontation as he'd left her cottage earlier, narrowly getting away with saying he'd been visiting the boy but he expected now that Rose had told on him, not that he was bothered, they could hardly keep it a secret and it would do his crumbling reputation no harm.

Still, he wasn't going to admit that to the nosy reporter.

"Why I went back is no-one's business Stevens, now, I have to be somewhere.  Why don't you wait for the official version?  They will be issuing a statement I would imagine."

"I just wanted to get your side of the story.  If you are the donor, how will it affect your handling of Danny's murder?"

"Really Stevens, you are getting tiresome, now out of my way."

Olly watched the car drive off and got his phone out and opened the paper's social networking account.  He'd got blasted last week for releasing Danny's name, his aunt may never forgive him for that and Maggie had made him apologise to the snarly detective inspector and not made him too popular with the Latimers either but this was his job, whether anyone liked it or not.

He went to sit on the wall opposite the station steps and typed out the 120 character limit message 'Is the town's new detective a match for Rose Tyler's son? Are they more than friends? Is he the boy's only hope?'

There, he'd not mentioned his name so Hardy couldn't very well say anything.

Jake saw it immediately, he had an alert for John, wanting to protect the boy from any kind of media speculation and after he'd read it he showed it to Mickey.

"That came from the town's reporter?"

"Yep, looks like we'll be paying him a visit Micks.  Watch out, I think John is about to choose something."

They were in the visitor centre gift shop and Mickey had told him to get something for his mum, then they were crossing over to the outdoor café and afterwards, John wanted to get some shells and pebbles but the young boy was already showing signs he was tired.  They'd agreed after lunch they should all go lie down on the beach and let the boy have a nap but it was looking likely it was going to rain and they may have to take him back home or to the hotel if Rose's car was there. 

They'd figured she'd want to be alone with whom now seemed more than likely her new boyfriend after he'd made the poor excuse he'd been paying an early visit to see John, a likely story Jake had thought considering the 'just been snogged senseless' sign Hardy may just as well have had engraved on his forehead.  No-one was getting fooled by the way he'd calmly left after Jackie had asked him what he was doing there.  Jake expected Jackie had already got the truth out of her daughter.  Hardy was a police detective and trained not to give anything away but they were Rose's close friends, they knew these things. 

Jackie Tyler however was a law unto herself where Rose and John were concerned and Jake knew very well she would get the truth out of Rose and more than likely conduct her own interrogation when she saw Alec Hardy again.  He'd seen it in Rose's eyes last night, she was already falling for the man and they'd just met but he remembered the way she had parted from the Doctor that night and gone off with Pete to find the other Jackie and that was the way she now looked at Hardy.

Alec had gone to his hotel room and packed an overnight bag, well enough for two nights if he didn't screw things up, then he may not need any more, he was taking a huge gamble if he went ahead with the surgery.  He sat on the bed and was about to call Daisy and confess he was going to more than likely not survive the operation and he'd found someone who apart from her was maybe a reason to finally come to his senses and risk it.  Did he want to risk it though?  Maybe he should hear the alternatives first? 

Maybe Torchwood had some experimental drugs or something to get him through the investigation but then what?  Get close to Rose and John and then put them through maybe losing him?  Perhaps it was best to just get it over with before Rose and the boy got too attached to him.  If his new boss found out, he'd be invalided out anyway and then what would he do?  He could spend time with them he supposed and give him a reason to go on but having only a slim chance of survival did not help him in making his mind up.

If he went ahead, he'd want at least a 50/50 chance so if he put it off until he'd solved this case, his chances may go up – if he let Miller do all the work.  He realised it was time he set off to meet Rose so the call to Daisy would have to wait for now, well that was if she answered and if she didn't he'd have to call Tess, they deserved to know if he went ahead on Monday.

Rose had got back and parked her car and taken the bit of shopping inside, she was letting the groceries run down since she didn't know how long they were going to be at the hospital and Jake or Mickey could nip out if they needed anything.  She was just setting off to walk the short distance to the café when she saw Alec getting out of a taxi with a holdall and as he turned from paying the driver she caught up with him.

"Nice timing Rose," he greeted her.

"Yeah, left my mum looking in the shops, I expect she'll come back sooner or later.  I couldn't concentrate."

"Why was that then?" he asked as Rose put her arm in his and they were almost at the café door.

"Seriously?  I had a lunch date and I could hardly wait."

Alec raised his eyebrows, opened the door as he got Rose to let go of him and threw his holdall onto the nearest chair to the door, which was at the table by the window.

"Really?  Who with?"

Rose pretended to ignore that remark.  The café was not that busy so they sat opposite each other, Rose by the window and studied the menu, Alec getting his rimless glasses out that made Rose smile when he'd squinted at first before putting them on.

"They suit you Alec."

"They just make these menus small on purpose."

Rose was just smiling when she got a message tone.  It was Jake telling her to follow a link he sent her.  She was not pleased as she saw the posting.

"What is it Rose?"

She hardly dare show him but he reached for her phone.

"I knew that nosy reporter could not be trusted.  He tried to ask me earlier, sorry love."

"I'd be more worried about him when my mum sees it."

"Will I have to arrest her?"

"Maybe, when she's finished with him, what's wrong with him?"

"I don't think he likes me much."

"He hardly knows you Alec."

"Neither do you.  Are you ready to order?"

He went off to the counter and Ellie chose that moment to come in, looking around then seeing Rose in the corner.

"There you are.  I came to warn you, about Olly."

Rose waved her phone.  She didn't have an account on the site but Jake did and he'd already replied to it saying it was wild speculation on the reporter's part and for people to wait for the official statement.

"Too late, we've seen it."

"We?"  She looked up and saw Alec at the counter.  "Rose, that's only part of it, Maggie said he's got a photo of you and Hardy from last night, just by the harbour.  It was all she could do to stop him publishing it."

"Publishing what Miller?" Alec asked as he came back.

"You'd best tell him Ellie, Olly is your nephew."

"Thanks Rose, I can't control him."

"We know Miller."

"Not all of it.  He followed you both last night and has a picture of you, getting cosy by the harbour.  What the hell were you two doing?  Being seen in public?"

"Yes and you are telling everyone in the café Miller.  Sit down."

Ellie squeezed between the tables as Rose moved over, Alec went to order another cup to be sent with the tea and both women waited for him.

"What did he see Ellie?  Jake just sent me a message to look at what Olly had written about John and Alec."

"I'm sorry Rose, really I am but you should have been more careful."

"What we do at ten at night on our own is no-one else's business Miller.  Rose and I are both adults and single."

"Yes but you're the lead detective in a murder investigation and so you're a prime target for this sort of gossip.  You both should know better.  Has your mother seen it yet Rose?"

Rose muttered an 'I hope not' as the waitress arrived with the tray of tea.

"I'm sure the town has better things to do than read that social media rubbish," Alec declared as he poured milk into the cups then stirred the contents of the teapot and wondered how they would have room to actually eat their food and not wanting to do so in front of his new DS.

"That's just it, any little thing to take their minds off what's happened here.  Beth is not going to be happy over this either, she's been okay  with John being in the news because she knows him and she won't see him suffer but this is different, this involves you personally."

"Leave it Miller, it will all die down once Rose's PR team put out a statement.  Won't they Rose?"

"I'll have to call my stepfather but I'm not gonna deny it, not the part about us.  As for the other, Olly had best watch out when my mum does see it."

"So are you denying that bit then?"

"Are you working for the newspaper now Miller?"

Rose smiled.  They had tried so hard to keep John out of it and now it was down to this.  She'd spent one night with Alec and he'd surely want out of this now, he didn't need this.  This was as good a way of putting their new relationship to the test as any but she didn't know how tolerant he would be over it.

"Ellie, I'm not saying anything other than a matching donor has been found, my stepfather's team are already preparing a statement.  John goes into hospital on Monday, we’re having a day out tomorrow, just him, me and Alec.  Alec's a good friend and if it becomes more than that, you'll be the first to know."

"It's okay Rose, I thought I was already more than a friend?"

"Well if you want to admit it then yeah, I'm not gonna deny it so Olly's photo won't have any relevance, will it?"

Their food arrived, making Ellie feel hungry so she went to order.  It wasn't what Alec had meant by a lunch date, having his DS tag along but he put up with it because he knew he did want more with Rose, that was getting clearer by the minute.  They were about to leave when it began to rain and Rose got a message to say her friends were going to head back to the hotel and did she want them to keep John for now?

Rose was torn between having Alec spend some time with him and having her new boyfriend to herself, now they'd admitted to Ellie they were more than friends.  She sent a message back saying to keep John for now and they could bring him round in a couple of hours when he'd had a nap.

After more brilliant snogging on the sofa, Rose decided to bring up the subject they'd avoided last night because if she didn't get this out of the way, there would be no relationship and she wanted one.

"So, where did we get to last night" she asked, pulling Alec's shirt reluctantly back on his shoulders and looking down at his belt that was undone and seeing the brand on the waistband of the underwear he was wearing as he'd stretched out, looking quite at home.

"You tell me Rose.  You said there were two versions, maybe you had best tell me the long version?"

"I'm not so sure about that, I don't want to scare you off."

"I tried to look you up this morning, I got blocked by Torchwood.  Can you get it lifted?"

"Why, what do you want to know that I can't tell you?"

He suddenly grabbed her hand that was on his chest and placed it on his irregular heartbeat.

"Everything Rose then I'll tell you if I need more time to think about having surgery or if I'll need it urgently.  I was telling you the truth when I said I wanted to spend time with you and John and I can't do that if I think I won't get through having the pacemaker fitted, the weekend is not enough time with you and I'm not willing to have this with you if it means having to leave you."
Chapter 8
Alec pulled her down to kiss her, Rose putting her arms around his neck.

"I don't know what to say Alec.  I want more with you as well, you must know that?  I want you to get yourself fixed, as soon as you can.  Please don't put it off if the odds are favourable?  Hear them out at least?"

"Aye, I will, I'll see what they have to say but will it be any different to what I've already been told?"

"I hope so Alec," she replied, leaning on his shoulder and putting her arms around his neck.

Just over an hour later, Mickey knocked on the door then let himself and John in, the boy running to Rose and looking shyly at Alec.

"Did you have a good time out sweetheart?"

John nodded, putting his arms around her as she picked him up and debating what Alec was doing sitting next to his mother.

"I got a present for you Mummy, didn't I Mickey?"

Mickey handed him the small paper bag containing the fridge magnet of a dolphin on it as Rose let him down.

"That's lovely John, why don't you choose a place on the fridge?  Ask Alec to help you."

John looked at him.  Alec got up and held out his hand to the boy.

"Don't be shy with me John, I want to be your friend, if you will let me?"

"Like Mickey and Jake?"

"Sure.  Now where shall we put this?"

Mickey took the chance to take Alec's seat next to Rose.

"Had a good shopping trip then?"

"Nah, didn't do much really, mum was dragging me around until I escaped.  I came back to have lunch with Alec."

"You left your mum down there?  Feeling brave then were you?" Mickey laughed.

"It's not a crime Mickey and if you'd paid attention earlier, you would have known.  John, why don't you get a drink, ask Alec to put the juice in for you, show him where we keep it?"

Mickey looked at her.  He knew she was getting serious with the detective and he had wormed his way into the house and Rose and John's lives.  Still, John would be getting the transplant he needed and that was all that mattered.

"I'm off then, do you want to meet later?"

"Actually, can you look after John later?"

"Yeah, no probs, you two going out again?"

Alec was standing behind Rose, his hands on her shoulders.  "I thought I would take Rose out for a meal but perhaps we can meet you across at the café for John to have his tea?  Say around five?"

It was now almost three thirty, it would give him time to talk to the boy with Rose, gauge his reactions to him being there for a while and maybe put the boy to bed again, with Rose's consent but she had said she wanted him and John to feel at home with each other and for John to be able to ask him things.

Alec proved to be a big hit with the young boy as they were setting off to meet the others, having to put their coats on as it was still raining and John insisting Alec fastened his and hold his hand the short distance.  Rose didn't normally go out to eat that much but thought Alec would feel more comfortable than them all cramming into the cottage to watch John have his tea and listen to her mother going on about things while drinking from the china cup she always insisted Rose gave her during her visits.

Mickey was glaring from the next table as Alec helped John with his meal, Jake smiling to himself.  Jackie was watching him as well, she was still miffed at having to get a taxi all the way back from Dorchester and seeing Rose with her new boyfriend going into the cottage, looking very friendly with his arm around her waist.

Jackie didn't know how she actually felt about this, it was sudden and the first time her daughter had showed any interest in going out with another man.  Why did she have to go choose a sickly detective who was now knee-deep in a murder investigation?  She knew John seemed to like him and try as she might, she could find no fault with the man.

John said goodnight to his granny and Jake then Mickey said he would see him in an hour or so when he was ready for bed.

"Are you going out Mummy?" he asked Rose, holding hers and Alec's hands as they crossed the car park.

"Just for a little while, do you want Alec to put you to bed again?"

John nodded as he stood in front of a puddle and debated if he'd get told off for jumping in it.  He looked at Rose, then at Alec.

"Ask your mum nicely but don't splash her, will you?"

Rose nodded and moved away, Alec not being fast enough and the two of them laughed as Alec tried to step aside, the water catching the side of his coat.

"I'll clean it off for you, it was your own fault for not being fast enough," Rose offered.

"No worries, it will dry.  Had enough John?"

The boy just grinned and took Alec's hand again.  Alec thought he had just scored extra points for that.  John watched some children's programmes for a while then asked for Alec to help him get ready for bed, saying he didn't want Rose to go with them.  When the boy was in bed, Alec sat on the end.

"Tell me a story Alec."

"Right, I'll tell you the story about two fishermen on a small island in Scotland."

"Mum said she went to Scotland once, with my daddy."

"I'm sure she did."

"They got chased by a werewolf."

Alec smiled, the boy had a vivid imagination if nothing else.

"Well I don't know anything about werewolves John, sorry.  What else did she tell you?"

"She told me not to say anything."

"Never mind, we'll ask her tomorrow shall we?  She said you like the tramway?"

"Yeah, Mickey sits upstairs with me, mummy says it's too cold and granny doesn't like it, she says it shakes too much."

"I can imagine it does.  We can sit upstairs, see if we can get your mum to sit up there as well eh?"

"Alec, are you my uncle, like Mickey and Jake?"

"Well, did your mum tell you that you should call anyone who is an adult that when you know them?"

"Yeah but they don't like being called uncle, Mickey says it makes him feel old."

Alec smiled, he'd seen the look aimed at him that morning as they'd met face to face as he himself had been leaving.

"You don't have to call me uncle, if you don't want to."

"Will you be at the hospital again?"

"Yes, I will be there but you may not see me much, I have to do something very important, to make you well again but I will be there, when you wake up."

Well he hoped he would, he had better get things in order then, make a call to his daughter and tell her what was going to happen and he'd met someone and he'd saved her son's life.  Rose was trying not to wonder what the two of them were talking about up there.  Alec had been a sport in letting John splash him, she'd managed to clean his coat, it wasn't too bad.  She wanted her son to like him and to trust him, it hadn't been easy trying to tell him his father was a long way from home and would love to see him.

Maybe what she'd said to her mother earlier was true, what if the Doctor had known Alec could cure John and he had known about her being pregnant that day on the beach or even as they'd landed at Torchwood in the other universe?  She should have realised she couldn't hide it from him, he had always known her too well and he must have been able to tell when they'd said goodbye on the beach.  Her thoughts were interrupted by Alec coming back downstairs.

"He wants to see you Rose."

"Yeah, I'll go right up.  He didn't ask you any awkward questions I hope?"

Alec put his arms around her and kissed her forehead.

"No love, he just said how you got chased by a werewolf."

Rose smiled.  "Aw, he comes out with some stuff, it was just a story I told him, he likes to hear about his dad."

"I understand that Rose but maybe you should be careful what you tell him eh?  Werewolves?  Really?"

He pulled her closer, putting his finger under her chin, Rose looking up at him, then he leaned down to kiss her.  Just as their lips brushed there was a "Mummy, where are you?"

Alec let her go.  "Don't keep him waiting.  Why don't you get changed while you're up there and call Mickey?"

"Yeah.  I'm coming John," she called upstairs, sneaking a quick kiss from him.   Alec patted her as she pulled away.

"Later Rose, I trust you bought some new underwear while you were out eh?"

"You'll find out, later."

He knew he was getting out of his depth here, taking on a much younger lover with a three year old son, what would Daisy think of him?  He didn't care what Tess thought of him, he could live with the insinuations from her, at least he had picked a younger woman as opposed to his ex wife choosing an older man.

He got his phone out and tried Daisy's number, getting her voicemail.  This was too important to leave her to decide when she was going to call him back, he may not be around to get an answer.  He called Tess instead, hoping Rose would take her time.

"What do you want Alec?"

"Nice to hear you too Tess, is Daisy there?  I need to talk to her, it's important."

"What's so important you have to call her on a Saturday evening?  I was just going out."

He wanted to say so was he, with Rose Tyler but didn't think it such a good idea as yet.

"You may as well get her Tess, put it on the speaker, I'm not going to say this twice."

"Crikey Alec, what's wrong?  Are you dying or something?"

Alec failed to answer.

"Tell me Alec, is there something wrong with you?  The chief said you refused medical assistance after you pulled Pippa out of the river, you tried to keep that from me.  Hold on, I'll get Daisy."

He waited a few moments, pacing Rose's living area carpet.

"Go on, she's here."

"Daisy, I'm sorry love, really I am, for letting you down but you need to know something.  It wasn't me that lost the evidence, it was someone else, I took the blame."

Tess heaved a sigh of relieved, he imagined.  She'd probably thought he was going to say it had been her.

"It doesn't matter the name of that person and even when I got cleared, I know you still blamed me.  I covered for someone in the team but it isn't about that.  You heard about an appeal for a donor for Rose Tyler's son, John?"

"Yes Alec, of course we did, what about it?  Don't tell me you're a match?" Tess asked.

"Yes, I go on Monday to get it done but there's more.  There's something wrong with me, with my heart and I need a pacemaker."

The other end went quiet, he could only imagine what they thought.

"Why did you never say Alec?  So when do you get it done?"

"The same time I give bone marrow, the Tyler's are paying for me have the surgery privately and before you say anything, it was not a condition I gave the donation.  It was offered to me by the Tyler's head of their own medical team, he knew there was something wrong with me."

"Dad, what are your chances?" Daisy asked, sounding to Alec she seemed more upset than her mother was.

"I'll know on Monday, won't I?  Don't worry, I'll be fine, they'll get the best heart surgeon to do it.  Tess, you know who my lawyer is, I'll call them before I go in, I'll leave my final instructions in case it doesn't go well but I'm not having it done until I know the boy will be okay.  There's one more thing."

"There always was Alec.  You want credit if I ever get enough proof over Pippa and Lisa?  Okay, you'll get it."

"No, that's not it and Daisy, this is not about you, don't ever think that but I met the boy's mother, Rose Tyler and I've been spending some time with her the last few days.  She's become more than a friend."

Tess had to laugh, didn't she? Alec thought.

"Seriously Alec?  She has to be ten years younger than you at least.  Tell me you're winding me up?"

"No, do you want me to put her on?  She's putting her son to bed, I've been spending some time with him, he's been really ill."

He was going to say he needed someone but thought how that would affect Daisy.

"Well that's very commendable of you, seeing you're saving his life but Rose Tyler?  I hope she knows what she's getting herself in to."

"Tess, I would say something if our daughter was not listening."

"Don't let me stop you Dad, I'm going.  Good luck on Monday then and tell her I hope her son is okay.  Call me when it's over."

"His surgery or mine?  I told you, I'm not having mine until I know he's okay, me, I'll be lucky if I make it.  Don't fuss Daisy, I'll call you before I go for it."

"You'd better Dad."

Tess took the phone from her.

"You are still selfish Alec, you could have told me."

"Why?  You were too busy getting rid of me, shacking up with Dave.  You never even tried to get back together, you knew how important getting Pippa's killer locked up was and you never gave me a chance, you just left, with Daisy."

"I'm not going over that again Alec, I wish you luck as well on Monday, give her my number and ask her to call me, you know, if something happens to you."

"I'll get her to inform my solicitor, she'll be too worried about her son to call you, it's not a good idea to have your new girlfriend call your ex if someone dies Tess."

Tess laughed.  "You've not changed one bit Alec and for what it's worth, I can't really blame you entirely, you covered up for me and I never thanked you so I'm saying it now, just in case."

Alec hung up and waited for his new love to get ready to go out.  Now he'd got that over with, his conscience was fairly clear, at least Tess had not wanted to be present during his surgery but he had a feeling she would turn up on Monday so he had to at least warn Rose she may do so.  He just hoped they could manage at the station without him, Rose had assured him there would be no comeback for him being absent.

He needed a serious talk with her tomorrow night and if all went well with John's transplant, he would go ahead with his own surgery and not before, even if it meant putting it off another day but perhaps that wasn't fair on Rose, having two people she cared about undergoing surgery on two different days.  She would be torn enough between the two of them, he'd have to insist if he was out at the same time that they would both be taken to the same recovery room.

Now he knew he had to make it through, for some strange reason, Rose had taken to him, what had been the odds of him being a match and they'd all got on so well?  The test would come tomorrow when they had a day out together for the first time though Rose had warned him John may take several trips on the trams as he liked to ride on different ones.

While Rose was upstairs after saying goodnight to John, she called Mickey.

"I'll be over in half an hour then?  Where's he taking you?"

"No idea, it doesn't really matter.  You jealous Mickey?"

"Me?  I got over it Rose, you know I did, a long time ago.  I've always been there for you and John, I just don't want Alec to get into something if he's not intending on sticking around, that's all."

"Yeah, well he does intend sticking around but when you come over, we've something to tell you."

"Already Rose?  You two are serious?"

"Well yeah but that wasn't it, there's something else as well, Alec has to tell you."

"Oh, he wants to take over my job, of looking out for John then?  I suppose it makes sense, if he's living here and I'm in London but I don't like it Rose."

"You daft thing, I know you're there for him, you always have been but I want John to have more than someone who's only here a few days at a time, he needs stability but I'm doing nothing about that until he comes out of hospital because things may change, very suddenly."

"What do you mean Rose?  Is Hardy gonna be around or not?"

Rose went quiet.  "We'll talk about this when you come round."

"That sounds serious Rose."

Mickey was intrigued but if this Alec Hardy thought he was going to mess his best friend around, he had another thing coming.  Rose and he may have split up before she had John but he still cared for her and for her son.  If Rose had given him the chance, he would have taken the place of John's father, he'd lost out to Rose but that had not deterred him when they had arrived here when Rose had only wanted him to look out for the boy.

He'd had to face the fact that up until now, no-one could have replaced the Doctor but Alec Hardy was beginning to make her change her mind if the look on their faces this morning had been anything to go by – Hardy's guilty look of the man who'd been snogging Rose and Rose's look that she had purposely let him be seen by everyone leaving and it was clear Hardy had spent the night there.  Jake had joked when he'd got back last night that he had seen the smirk Rose had given him that said that was going to be the case.

He was still jealous but it seemed to make Rose happy and there was no way now Rose and he would ever be more than friends and if he'd ever had got up the courage to ask her for more, to marry him and raise John as his own, he knew what the answer would have been, even for the boy's sake.  He expected it was in the back of Rose's mind that one day, the Doctor would make it through to this universe and the Doctor was clever enough to know Rose had lied to him that day on the beach but had chosen as usual not to say anything.

If he had, it would have made things ten times worse for Rose, knowing her lover and father of her child was going through the same anguish as she was and that he would break every law of his people to find a way to get to her.  Mickey knew the Doctor would have done so, even putting both universes at risk but just maybe, he was showing some restraint and was still there, heartbroken at never getting the chance to see his son.  He just hoped Rose would never tell Alec he was her old lover's double and hoped they'd not have to worry about John saying anything to him.

He made his way over to Rose's cottage, Alec getting up when the door opened as Mickey used the key and looking to Mickey like he'd made himself at home.  Alec had already taken his few things he'd brought with him up to Rose's bedroom, now looking more like it had become their bedroom overnight, something he'd never have expected.

"Where's Rose?"

"Still getting ready, you know her better than I do, does she always take that long?"

"Don't ask me mate, she never used to bother getting dressed up for me."

Alec suspected that was because Mickey had been going to take Rose for a night at the local pub with a pie and a pint and watching football on the big-screen TV as opposed to taking her for a meal at a fancy restaurant but he chose not to make the insinuation Mickey could never have hoped to be able to take Rose to the places she deserved to be taken to.

"Rose said she had something to tell me, about you and her.  Are you serious about her then?"

"Let's wait for her shall we?  I don't know if she intends for us to get along or not Mickey but I'm not your enemy, I have the feeling I'm pushing you out."

"I've looked out for John since the day he was born, Rose hasn't had it easy you know, she had a difficult time.  I've stuck by her but there's nothing between us now, it ended a long time ago, before she got together with John's father.  I hope you're not gonna mess her around?"

"I had no such intentions but there is something you need to know, I think you should hear it from her, her mother already knows."

Mickey thought that Jackie would.

Rose came downstairs, having heard Mickey's voice and hoping the two men wouldn't come to blows, she was still worried about Alec.

"Mickey, can I have the spare key back, if you don't mind?  I want Alec to have it."

That was a new one on Alec as Mickey was still holding the key on a keyring John had chosen for him with a tank on it from one of their many visits to the museum.  If he was handing the key back, he was keeping the tank.

"I don't expect I have a choice, do I?  What time are you two coming back?"

"I don't know, ask Alec," Rose replied, going for her jacket and watching Alec put the key on his keyring.

Alec looked at Mickey.  "We won't be late.  Rose, are you sure you want me to have the key?  You never said anything about it."

"Well when we get back tomorrow, you can let us in, it will show John if you have the key that you're gonna be sticking around."

Alec thought it was a bit short notice but in view of what they had talked about, it shouldn't really have surprised him that much.

"Sit down Mickey, Alec, tell him."

"You will find out on Monday anyway at the hospital and you can tell your other friend, Jake is it?  After I've given the donation, Doctor Harper has arranged for me to have surgery for the fitting of a pacemaker, I've got something wrong with my heart."

Mickey stared open-mouthed.  Trust Rose.  No wonder she hadn't been certain the detective was going to stick around.

"Sorry to hear that, they'll be able to fix you though?"

"I hope so but Rose knows the risks, she's willing to take a chance with me so I'm willing to go ahead with it.  We've talked about his and if it's successful, I'd like to take over some of the responsibilities you've assumed but when you come for visits, I'd like John to come to me, rather than you for the important things and I know you must be disappointed but I would like to take the role very seriously, with Rose's consent."

Rose knew they hadn't discussed things in greater detail, it depended on if Alec made it through the surgery or if he was going to back out and wait a while longer, getting the investigation out of the way first.

"Yes Alec, you have my consent.  Sorry Mickey but when John gets well again, he's gonna need someone, more than he has with you and I want Alec to be that someone.  I've already told Alec most of what things were like and there's a lot more to go through but I think I know why we came to Broadchurch and Alec knows why he got sent here to work.  It's not just so he could find out who killed Danny but to save John's life and I'm sure to save his own life too, to get his surgery that I know he would have put off.  We were all meant to find each other."
Chapter 9
As they walked to Rose's car to get up into the town to where Alec wanted to take her, Mickey was left to go check on John, the boy still not asleep.

"Hey you, why aren't you asleep?" Mickey asked him, pulling the covers up over him.

"Has mummy gone out, with Alec?"

"Yeah, she won't be long.  You know she never usually goes out, does she?"

The boy shook his head.  "Mickey, do you like Alec?"

"Do you?"

"Yeah, he let me splash him on the way back and he's taking me and mummy to the tram tomorrow.  He tells me stories too."

"Well me and Jake tell you stories."

"Mum wants me to do as he says.  Mickey, is he going to be my daddy?"

Mickey swallowed.  "Well mate, that's not up to me, that's up to your mum and Alec."

"Yeah, I like him and mummy's not sad any more.  I think she likes him too."

"Yeah John, I think she does.  Do you want him to be your daddy?"

"Granny says he looks like him."

"What?  When did she say that?"

"I heard her saying that mummy likes Alec because he looks like daddy."

Mickey wondered what Jackie had been thinking of, saying something like that around the boy, he was too easily led.

"Well, let's just keep that a secret, between us eh?  We don't have to tell Alec, do we?"

John yawned.

"Off to sleep you, I'll come back up later, you have a nice day out tomorrow, yeah?"

John was already asleep.  Mickey sat and looked at the boy, he was so much like Rose in some ways but his dad in others.  What would Alec think if he knew?  When he got chance in the morning, he'd have to talk to Jackie about being careful what she said in front of her grandson, three year olds were apt to taking things seriously.

Rose parked outside the restaurant Alec had chosen, him having looked it up that morning when he couldn't think about anything else but seeing Rose again.  It had been quiet compared to the Saturday before, the day after Danny had been discovered but now Rose had put it that they knew why he'd ended up in this town, it didn't seem so bad.  He could put up with Miller he supposed but she hadn't been in that morning so she'd not drilled him about him suddenly taking up with her friend.

What would she make of it though?  He just hoped she wasn't as hostile as Rose's friend Mickey had been, what had the other man against him?  Was he still jealous even though Rose had assured him she'd not been out with Mickey since before she met John's father?  They were shown to a table by the window and he got his glasses out to read the menu, Rose smiling at him.


"Nothing, those specs make you look, well, you know?"


"Nah, I can't say in public, wear them later and I'll tell you, you might arrest me if I say now."

Alec smiled, something she was making him do a whole lot more in the short time he'd known her, not even two days ago and he'd readily agreed to gather a few things from his hotel room and stay another night, what was happening to him?  He'd not even had time to think about this properly but it felt right but what was going to happen, should he survive his surgery?  Was Rose intending for him to be a surrogate father to her son right away?

Things were happening too fast and he'd not had time to think about the consequences, that of if he didn't survive or he changed his mind and put the surgery off until he'd solved this case because yet another killer was going to get away.

"Earth to Alec," Rose smiled as the waiter approached and Alec was still balancing his specs on his nose, Rose thinking how cute he looked.

Alec put the menu down, thinking this was a big mistake and he really shouldn't be eating any of this rich Italian food.

"What are you having sweetheart?" he asked, hoping Rose wasn't one for fancy food.

Rose made her choice, Alec hoping what she'd ordered wouldn't land him in hospital.  They talked over their meal, Rose had still not told him anything about what she had joked about last night and he'd not wanted to press her for information, she would tell him in her own time but he still wasn't sure he had much and now John was asking him what he should call him, it was bound to turn into the boy wanting to call him dad.  Was he ready for that after only knowing them a short time though?

After their meal, Alec suggested calling in the hotel bar for a drink and he'd get a few more things.

"Alec, I want you to think about moving in with us, if everything goes okay on Monday or is that asking too much?"

"Well I don't pay for the room, I expect my chief will be only too happy not to pay for it, if I'm not going to get much use out of it but what about you?  Are you really to share?"

"Yeah, I want you to, if things get too much, you could always rent something, can't you?"

Alec smiled.  "You mean like that blue chalet you were staring at?"

"You noticed?  It looks nice, it's not practical for me and John though, I can't risk any accidents with him being so young and besides, he'd probably be chasing ducks all the time."

"When we get back Rose, I'd like for you to tell me more, about what we talked about last night."

"I'll answer any of your questions Alec, I'm sure you're used to asking them?"

"I'm not going to interrogate you, just so you know."

"I'm not saying you would but some things, you'll have to ask my stepfather, he'll be here tomorrow night.  It's not that I don't want to but some information is classified and even I can't break the rules."

"Then that's good enough for me.  I'll go get a few more things and I need to tell Becca, in case I don't come back."

"Then check out now Alec, I can take care of things but no talking about not coming back because you are, you have to."

"I know and I've got more than enough to come back to now, you made me see that.  Wait here and I'll break the news to her but I'm not telling her where I'm going."

He made his mind up to quit the room while he gathered his belongings, what did he have to come back here for?  He had someone to take care of everything for him and he still had to warn Rose that Tess may try to put in an appearance at the hospital on Monday.  If he wasn't ready for this now, he never would be but now he'd more or less promised he was coming out of the hospital on his own and Rose would grieve more than Tess would if he didn't.

He carried his case downstairs then went to get his holdall and Becca was waiting for him.

"You could have given me some warning inspector, things are bad enough.  Where are you moving to at this time of night?"

"I'd rather not say, just send anything to the station that comes for me will you?"

"Sure but I'll have to charge for the weekend.  Why the hurry?"

"Because I can get a ride to where I'm going and I'll thank you not to gossip I was sitting in the bar with Rose Tyler."

"I'd never say anything.  Do you know if the rumours are true though, that a match has been found for her son?  Maggie was talking about it earlier."

"How would I know?  Ask her yourself."

"I would but she doesn't look like she wants to tell, they'll make us wait for the official statement like they always do but Olly was in earlier as well, he reckons they have found someone, from the town."

"Well if it was you, you'd already know."

Becca knew she was going to get nothing more out of him, no wonder everyone thought how gruff he was and to think she was contemplating asking him if he wanted to spend some time with her, despite her confession to save Mark getting locked up for not saying where he was when Danny had been killed.  He'd been the only man to stay recently she had really fancied and Mark had been a big mistake, they both knew that.  It was a pity the detective had shown no interest on his arrival a few nights before it all happened.  She shuddered to think of what had happened to Danny while they'd been in bed.

"All ready Alec?" Rose asked as she'd finished her drink and had seen him go towards the door.

"Hello Rose, how's John?" Becca asked innocently.

"He'll be fine, thanks.  If you went for the testing, I want you to know we'll be putting a statement out on Monday to thank the whole town for volunteering, hopefully other sufferers will also benefit."

"So you found someone then?"

"Well yeah though it's unofficial yet, only a few people know so far.  Come on Alec, let's get you settled."

"Oh, you're taking him off then?"

"I offered, don't make a big deal out of it but you may see us around town together, he's just moving a bit nearer to the station.  Aren't you Alec?"

He thought he'd leave Rose to fill in the details.  She would be more of an expert at covering everything up than he was, well except for Sandbrook but he'd had that covered for him, he'd had very little choice in the matter.

"So you two, you're an item then?" Becca mused.

"You spying for the paper Becca?" Alec asked, putting the holdall down while the two woman had a staring contest.

"No, of course not, well wish John a speedy recovery from me then.  I bet you're relieved Rose?"

"Yeah, it will all be over soon, we just got lucky."

"I'll say.  So was is someone local then?"

"I've no idea Becca, we just got told a donor had been matched and to go to the hospital on Monday, the donor wishes to remain anonymous.  Can't say I blame the person really, it's not about the publicity it will attract and I don't want the attention on John any more than we have to, I've always kept him out of the news until now but we had very few options this time.  It's time for the media to focus on Danny again, I'm sure Beth is far from pleased this all happened at the same time."

"Yeah, I bet.  Have you seen her?"

"Not really, I've talked to Mark and I heard they'd been up to the hospital, him and Chloe but they understand.  That's why I want to put out the statement for the press to go back to concentrating on Danny.  I've not been able to tell John his friend's gone.  He asked me if he'd be able to go skateboarding with him and Tom when he got well, I had to just tell him Danny had to go away for a while and hopefully, John will forget about it."

"Let's hope so then.  Well don't let me keep you and I won't say anything."

Rose took Alec's holdall while he wheeled the case across to the car.

"She'll guess you know," Alec remarked as he put his case in the back.

"Don't worry about it, we're not going to keep things quiet are we?  Everyone will see us together, they'd better get used to it."

"Well for the record, they won't hear anything from me but I won't deny it, if I'm asked directly although it may not be for long anyway, one way or another.  If things don't work out Rose, we will have had this time together at least."

"Don't you go getting all gloomy on me Alec, you have to think positively, for yourself and for us.  You'd better get used to it yourself and like I said, if things don't work out with you moving in, you can always rent that riverside chalet."

"Thanks Rose, you know I hate the water."

"Well you seem intent on punishing yourself Alec."

Rose drove them back to the cottage that was to become Alec's albeit short-term accommodation depending on what happened on Monday.  Mickey heard the door opening, Rose coming in carrying Alec's holdall.  Then he saw Alec behind her with his suitcase.

"Wot's this then?" Mickey asked as Rose put the holdall on the chair.

"What does it look like Mickey?  I asked Alec to move in with us so while we were out, he went to get his things."

"Don't you think it's a bit soon?"

"I'm here in case you forgot," Alec butted in.  "Rose, I'll take my suitcase upstairs and check on John then would you make some room for my things?" he asked, starting up the stairs.

"Sure, I'll follow you up.  Thanks for staying with John but Mickey, this has got nothing to do with you, it's about me and Alec and yes, we are sleeping together but that's all, not that it's anyone's business but ours.  I already told you, we know why we're here, this was meant to happen.  I'm not gonna waste any time, Alec may not have it and I want to make him feel wanted, to be part of the family.  I hope you can see that and treat him as such?"

Mickey took a moment to respond.  He knew he didn't have a say in this and neither would her mother.  Once Rose made her mind up, there was no going back and no debate about it.

"If it makes you happy Rose, then I'm all for it.  You can tell your mother, I'm too much of a coward.  John was awake earlier, he asked if Alec was going to be his dad.  You know he's too young to understand Alec can't be his real dad but when he sees other kids with theirs, well I know what it's like and so do you, make sure Alec is the right person for the job."

"He is Mickey, I just know he is.  So you're okay with this?"

"I have to be, for both of you and you're right, John needs someone and it will never be me, we both know that, just make sure you're not doing this for the wrong reasons."

"I'm not and you know it.  See you tomorrow sometime, we're setting off after breakfast, you know John's always keen to get off.  What are you and Jake doing?"

"We'll take your mum out somewhere, probably to some posh gardens or fancy mansion knowing her."

Rose laughed.  "Yeah, I remember the look on her face seeing Pete's house for the first time, she thought she was going to get charged for entry."

Mickey also remembered that day.  It had been okay for him, he'd already spent some time there before getting a place near his gran when she'd finally been persuaded to go in a home and that was only because they were individual flats and she was left to her own devices.

Rose said goodnight to him and took Alec's holdall upstairs to see him sitting on the bed.

"Not backing out already are you hun?"

"What?  No, I just dare not move your underwear around in the drawer in case you got the wrong idea I like to finger it, I'd much rather finger it while you're wearing it darlin'."

"Yeah, I just bet you would, should I be worried about you?"

"About what?  I may have something wrong with my heart Rose but everything else is in perfect working order, care for a demonstration my love?"

"Well maybe just a small one, I want you alive to go to the hospital on Monday morning and John will wear you out enough tomorrow, don't you go thinking you'll have an easy time with him."

"I would not be doing this if I thought your son was going to be on his best behaviour around me, I want to see him as himself, not someone who has been told to be good around me.  I remember what my daughter was like."

"You never said Alec, were they okay with you telling them?"

"I left a few things out but Tess knows we're together, I think I surprised her sufficiently enough to make her realise I'm not as bad as she made me out to be.  She may try and find out which hospital I'm going to and turn up, just be warned."

"I can handle her and besides, Jake will be overseeing any security, I can tell him to keep her out, if you want?"

"No, best let her in, I should say goodbye to her at least if things do go wrong, not that now I expect things to go wrong.  I'm going to fight this Rose, you know I am, I'm not going to just give in to the inevitable."

"Good, 'cos me and mum don't give up easily and if John's gonna get well, then so are you.  You think this is all too much at once, don't you?"

"The thought crossed my mind for a few moments but I realised this was what was meant to happen, who am I to fight destiny?"

"Yeah, there's some cosmic plan out there that drew us together, like lines of a pattern meeting up.  Do you believe in that sort of thing?"

"Rose, you are talking to THE champion comic collector of my old school, if not the town where I grew up, I spent all my allowance on them.  No matter what you think, I believe in it all.  So are you going to tell me the rest?"

"Well that depends if you're planning on staying around, after your successful pacemaker insertion and if you're prepared to sign the Torchwood official secrets act."

"It's that bad is it?"

"Oh yeah, there's some serious stuff Alec, you have no idea, especially about John's father.  You never asked me again last night."

"You took me by surprise Rose, inviting me to stay over and I did not want to push my luck with you and have you throw me out."

"I wouldn't have done that, I would have told you but maybe you'd best hear some of the other stuff first?"

"Well yes, maybe I should, after you make a space for my clothes in your wardrobe before my shirts get creased and you clear me a drawer in your dresser?"

"Alec, I'd better tell you before you unpack, if Becca is charging for the rest of the weekend, you may just run back up there when I've finished."

He put his arm around her as she sat down next to him.  "Did you turn out the light downstairs?"

"No, not yet, just in case you wanted to make a hasty retreat."

"Never Rose, I want this with you and yes, I believe there is a cosmic plan for us, so stop stalling and tell me what you can."

"Okay, you asked for it, don't say I never warned you.  Where do I start?  Oh, I know, when I met a man in the basement of the store I used to work in, just before the place blew up.  He rescued me from shop window dummies that had come to life, they were being controlled by this alien but we stopped them.  To cut a long story short Alec, he himself was an alien and he had this time machine, a ship in the shape of a police telephone box and I know, you never had them here."

Alec listened as she told him about when it was all over, after a copy of Mickey had lost its head and melted and they'd got back to their estate.  He went down to put the lights out and made sure the door was locked.  Then came the crunch.

"He invited me to go with him and at first I said no.  Then he came back and told me the ship could travel in time and I went running inside and never looked back."

It was after midnight and Rose knew they were meant to set off early the next morning but it had to be done, if she wanted Alec to be in hers and John's lives.

"So, let me get this right.  You travelled, in time and space with a Timelord?  Then something happened and he changed, to look differently and you fell in love with him?  What took you so long to get together?"

"Lots of things but the major drawback was Mickey and my mother and you've met her."

"Yes, haven't I just?  So she's going to treat me the same way she did him then?"

"No, I won't let her and she did relent, just before that day when the Cybermen were about to take over the human population and turn everyone into them.  Again."

"Yes, I know what happened here Rose and I heard how a group contained them all and they got locked up, I just did not expect it to have involved you and the Doctor.  So he is John's father?  So, how come John is not like him?"

"A few things but Doctor Harper reckoned it was because of what happened to me, when the Doctor changed.  It somehow got left in me and when John was conceived, it protected him, made him 99% human, there's only a bit of Timelord in him.  Unluckily, it affected him, that's why he needs the operation and it's all my fault."

"Listen to me Rose, it is not your fault.  You never gave up when they told you to, you carried John full term and he's a great kid, his father would be proud of him, you know that.  I'd best leave my unpacking until tomorrow, well except for my shirts.  I'm staying Rose, you can get your stepfather to tell me about Torchwood tomorrow, I want to hear the rest."

"You will, I'm glad we got this out of the way.  I'll just go to the bathroom while you rescue your shirts, I can go over them with the iron when we get back tomorrow."

They got up and Alec put his arms around her and kissed her neck.

"No matter Rose, I may not be needing them."

"Stop talking like that, I've not told you everything just for you to quit on me Alec Hardy.  You're gonna be around a while longer yet.  So, are you gonna be signing up then?"

"To be told about Torchwood?  Yes because I want no secrets between us Rose, none at all and I want to hear about what you got up to and the places you went with him.  I promise not to say anything to John unless he asks me but try not to tell him about anything other than werewolves eh?"

Rose smiled and reached up to kiss him.  "Too late Alec, he knows some of the funnier ones, about the Slitheen.  He thinks it was hilarious when one exploded over Mickey and my mum and his kitchen wall, he thinks it's better than jokes normal three year olds come out with."

"I hope he never told anyone?"

"No, he knows not to say anything.  We just laugh it off and say it's a secret about his dad.  He just laughs and says it's about the stuff that comes out of your nose, the other kids love it."

"So, he went to a private nursery?  Did he get too bad to stay there?"

"Yeah, he was missing out so I gave up, there's still a place for him though, when he gets well.  So, you're in then?"

"Yes, I am in.  We had best get some sleep or you will be in no state to take him out tomorrow."

"Yeah, I suppose.  We're good then?"

Alec dropped his arms to her waist.  "Yes, we are good, I hope you are not wearing much under that dress?"

"Just you be careful, you still have to get through tomorrow yet."

"I will darlin' don't you worry about that, I'm looking forward to spending the day with my new family."

He let Rose go and unfastened his case, retrieving the shirts and hung them up, then decided to hang his other suit as he wondered how he'd just gained a new family so quickly.  This was surely the work of the Doctor, whether he was back in another universe or not, this was not a coincidence by any means, this had been carefully planned.  His being assigned to the town and days later being a match for the son of a Timelord, whatever one of those was as Rose still had to give more details and them accepting all this was something he had to come to terms with and he would, with Rose.  She was just as confused with this as he was.
Chapter 10
While Rose was in the bathroom, she took a moment to reflect on what she had just told Alec.  How had this happened so fast?  She hadn't planned on this, any of it.  Meeting Alec yesterday, going out for a drink and inviting him to stay, which had been spontaneous had resulted in him moving in but she had wasted too much time dancing around the fact she'd loved the Doctor and she was not going to be making that mistake again.

She had been given another chance of being happy and she fully intended to take it.  Ellie had noticed that John's drawing looked like Alec, would Alec himself notice if John were to draw more pictures?  The boy would surely want to, especially with their day out tomorrow and he was bound to say something sooner or later, what would Alec think?  Maybe John thought nothing of it, Alec had a beard, he'd not seen that many pictures of his father and never any of him with the makings of a beard.

She hoped Ellie wouldn't say anything to him but she wouldn't see him for a few more days anyway.  She'd not asked him how his absence was going to be explained, she was leaving that to the experts, probably Jake was going to take care of it but Alec's chief had probably already been informed and sworn to secrecy.  She knew she should talk to Pete first thing in the morning, to let him know she'd trusted Alec and told him most of it, all except what she wasn't allowed to say about Torchwood.

She knew now it was just a matter of Alec accepting everything, he'd not said much since her revelation.  She finished in the bathroom and debated if she should risk getting undressed in front of her new boyfriend, would he think she was being too forward though?  Maybe not.  Once in the bedroom, Alec was already in bed wearing just his shorts and eagerly awaiting to see what Rose would do, either grab her things and run out again or undress in front of him.  He was pleasantly surprised as she began by asking him to unzip her dress.

Rose soon forget about any doubts she'd had in telling him about her past as they came closer and gently made love for the first time, Rose promising she would act quickly were something to happen to him but when they stopped, Alec thought he'd never felt better since he was diagnosed with heart arrhythmia, the second worse day of his life, the first being pulling twelve year old Pippa out of the river.

"Are you okay Alec?"

"What?  Yes, don't fuss Rose, I'll be fine, I just was not expecting that."

"Oh, you should have said you weren't ready, I would have understood."

"It's not that, it was more than I could have imagined, I just thought you would not be ready, to make that sort of commitment, that's all."

"I'm ready Alec, I thought you made it obvious you were."

"Was that some sort of dig at me by any chance, Rose Tyler?"

Rose giggled.  He had made it obvious the moment they had woken up that morning but he'd sneaked off to see to John, she didn't need to be a genius to work out that he was sorely lacking in the attention department.  Now they had remedied that but she had the feeling he was holding back so as not to set himself up for any sort of attack.  He was being admitted to hospital on Monday anyway, no need to get him worked up and having to go in early, they had a 'family' day out to look forward tomorrow.  She just hoped the rain would stop so they could enjoy it instead of riding up and down the tram track all day to keep dry.

After putting on their underwear and Rose a thin nightdress, Rose went to check on her son then they kissed some more and Rose got comfy on him and they fell asleep, Alec's free arm across her waist.  Rose was awake first, trying to extract herself without waking Alec but he felt her move.

"Going somewhere darlin'?"

"Just to see if John's awake, he's usually calling by now, they must have tired him out yesterday."

"Best check on him then, I'll go."

He began to get out of bed but leaned down to kiss her, Rose putting her arms around his neck.

"Do you think this is all happening too fast?"

"No, do you?  If you want to slow down Rose, you only have to say the word love."

"No, I want this Alec, I think we both needed it, me to prove I've been on my own too long, because I've always been worried about John and you, you needed it to prove despite your illness, you've still got it."

Alec tried to get up.  "Oh, I've still 'got it' then have I?"

"Yeah, you have, I was just going easy on you last night."

"That was good of you, to spare me the full works.  Tonight Rose, it could be the last time, I don't want you to spare me."

"We'll see about that, you may regret it, I don't want to have to get you to hospital early, do I?"

"Maybe not be we need to be serious about this Rose, I may not get out of hospital tomorrow."

"Stop that right now, you don't get to wallow in self-pity Alec, you have someone to think about now, me and John."

"I know Rose, I'm sorry, I still can't get it in my thick head someone actually cares about what happens to me, that's all."

"Yeah, well you'd best get used to it, hadn't you?  I'll get dressed and make breakfast, you get John up, he'll like that."

Alec grabbed his t-shirt and pulled on his trousers, he knew he must really get some more casual clothing if he was going to be seen with a young boy and his gorgeous mother and she was surely thinking he dressed a bit oddly.  He pulled his clean socks on and his shoes and decided before going in the bathroom he would see if John was actually awake and if not, he'd gently nudge him and then go back.  Rose had warned him what the boy could be like when he got woken up but he thought John would be keen to go out.

Rose started to dressed, smiling at her new boyfriend and quite pleased at what had happened last night, it was long overdue, on both their parts.  She was about to go into the bathroom in just her t-shirt and underwear when Alec called out so suddenly, she thought he'd had an actual attack.

"Rose, get in here now!" he called from John's room, the door wide open.

Rose could only run in and see Alec leaning over the still seemingly sleeping boy, one hand on John's forehead and the other feeling his pulse.

"John!" Rose cried out, scrambling past Alec.  "John sweetheart, wake up."

No response. 

"Rose, call an ambulance, now then call Doctor Harper and you'd best get dressed, I'll stay with him."

Rose stared at Alec, holding John's other hand, which felt all clammy.

"Rose, did you hear me?  Where's your phone love?"

"On the dresser, did you find him like this?  I should have checked earlier."

"Don't blame yourself Rose, you were not to know.  Here, stay with him, I'll call the ambulance."

Alec got his phone out and dialled the emergency number, asking for an ambulance before the operator had chance to ask which service he required.  Barking his orders down the phone, telling the other person who he was, what was wrong with the boy and the ambulance was to take him to the hospital in Dorchester and which unit he was going to, Alec remained calm, this was what he did, he just wasn't used to doing it for someone he now cared about.

The operator told him the ambulance was on its way.

"Rose, love, listen to me.  Go get dressed now, I'll call your friends, they can tell your mother.  He's got a pulse, a faint one, now hurry before the ambulance gets here, I'll stay with him."

Rose reluctantly let go, kissing John's warm forehead.  She dashed into the bedroom, pulling her jeans on and a pair of soft flat shoes, grabbed her purse and mobile and went back to John's room, where Alec was trying to tell Mickey what had happened as luckily, Rose had given him her friend's number.

"Yes Mickey, Rose is here, we just found John, Rose checked him late last night, he was asleep or we thought he was asleep.  He never called out and yes, the monitor was on, Rose made sure it was.  Tell her mother will you and will you wait for me?"

Mickey had already woken Jake, who had run into the bathroom to hurriedly get dressed and was already on the phone to Jackie.  Jackie was shocked this was happening and that Alec had been the one to call – she would be having words with Rose, when the panic had subsided.

"Rose, go and wait for the ambulance love, let them get him out of bed, I don't want to move him, okay?  Mickey will bring me down to the hospital, you go with John.  You should call Doctor Harper."

"Yeah.  Alec, what you said, to Mickey, I should have checked properly, he could have been unconscious last night."

"Rose, stop blaming yourself, we don't know that.  Go on love, go let the medics in."

They heard banging on the door as the ambulance had just pulled up and Rose ran downstairs, unlocking the door.

"Miss Tyler?  Where's the boy?"

"In his room, this way.  DI Hardy is with him.  You need to contact the specialist unit at Dorchester hospital, where they've been testing for matching bone marrow donors, the south wing and ask for Doctor Harper, my son is to be taken directly there, nowhere else."

"We get it Miss Tyler."

"Good, I'm going with him."

Alec was sat on the bed, still feeling the boy's forehead when one of the medics went in.

"We'll take care of the boy now, are you going with him?"

"No, let his mother go with him, I'm just a family friend, I'll follow."

Rose was on the phone to Owen Harper, who was trying to calm her down.

"Listen Rose, no-one knew this was going to happen but to be honest, I half expected it, he's had a lot this last week with all the tests.  I'll be waiting for you both."

"Thanks Owen, they're bringing him down now and before you say anything, Alec already knows, he was the one who found him."

Owen managed to chuckle to himself – he could have told Rose she'd taken a liking to the detective before she'd known it herself.

"I never said a word Rose, I'll be waiting."

As the medic carefully carried John and put him in the ambulance, wrapping a blue blanket around him, people were already out, watching and Jake, Mickey and Jackie were waiting by Jake's car, not wanting to get in the way but Jackie broke away from Mickey and ran over.  Alec was standing behind Rose as she allowed the medics to put a drip and a small breathing mask on John, putting his arm around her and Rose rested her head on his shoulder, Alec kissing her forehead.

"You go ahead love, I'll be right behind you, we'll meet you there and if they have to operate today, I'm ready for it but I'm not having my surgery today, you have enough to worry about without me adding to it."

"I know Alec, thanks, I'll see you there."

"Rose!  What happened sweetheart?  What's he doing here?" her mother asked, looking at Alec who was helping Rose up into the ambulance as the driver was waiting to close the door and get back to get in the cab and the medic was strapping John in carefully for the journey.

"Leave it Mum, Alec found him and I'm not in the mood to explain why just now, I'll see you at the hospital.  Alec, will you lock up please?"

"Sure Rose, don't worry.  Have you spoken to Doctor Harper?"

"Yeah, he's expecting us.  How can you be so calm?"

Alec smiled.  "How are you being so calm Rose?  It's my job to be calm.  Go on, you're keeping them waiting."

The door was closed and the driver pulled away, just putting the flashing light on until they got away from the houses.

Jackie was not finished with poor Alec.

"Go on then, explain why it was you who found my grandson then?"

"Mrs Tyler, I think we should just follow them, don't you?  I'll answer your questions but maybe not with half of the town listening eh?"

Jackie looked around, there had been a crowd gathering, mainly because it was only just over a week ago that Danny had been taken off the beach and it was fresh in everyone's minds.  Olly Stevens had been out for an early morning walk and seen the ambulance pull up and knew Rose lived there.  Alec went back inside the cottage, made sure Rose had taken what she needed and let himself out, to come face to face with the reporter.

"Stevens, have you got nothing better to do?"

"What's going on?  Why are you in Rose Tyler's house?"  He looked Alec up and down, Alec still in just his t-shirt and suit, his shirt probably where he left it on the back of the bedroom chair last night.

"Go away, I have to be somewhere."

Jackie was not in the mood for the nosy reporter to get answers out of Alec Hardy when she couldn't.

"What do you want Olly?  You'll be getting a statement tomorrow, now clear off and leave us alone.  Come on you, if you're coming with us, Jake's waiting."

Alec followed her and frowned as Mickey was about to take the front passenger seat.  Mickey got the hint, getting in at the side of Jackie and thinking Hardy didn't want to be messed with and it was best he kept the two of them apart, Jackie was surely having words over him being there this early in the morning – again.  Once was a coincidence, twice however, well the detective did not know what Jackie Tyler could be like.

Rose was holding John's hand, the medic was checking the boy's pulse.  He'd heard of the search for a matching donor last week and had been about to go get tested himself when it was announced the search had ended.  He'd seen Hardy before, he'd been one of the crew attending to take the boy, Danny, from the beach last week, a very sad occasion and no matter how long he'd been on the job, he hated attending to young children.  He tried to lighten Rose's mood but doubted it would do any good.

"Miss Tyler, do the hospital have all your son's details?"

"What?  Oh yeah, just take him to the south wing, someone will be waiting for us.  He was meant to go in tomorrow, for surgery, I just wasn't expecting this.  Do you need that mask on him?"

"It's standard Miss Tyler, just a precaution until we get him to the hospital, he's stable at the moment.  Did you suspect anything earlier?"

"No, I went to get him up, we were going out for the day, up to the Seaton tramway, he loves going on the trams, he's got models of most of them, we get one every time."

The medic smiled.  "He must have been a few times then, they're very popular, has he been to the special days?"

"Yeah, we went last year, we planned on going to the next one."

"Well hopefully he'll be well enough to go, it's almost a month away."

Rose jumped as the siren was suddenly engaged, the driver approaching the busy roundabout going into Dorchester.  She wondered how far behind Jake's car was, hoping Alec had been able to get a ride with them and her mother didn't have him held hostage in the back seat with her and was grilling him as to how he was the one to find her grandson and why he'd been staying over again.  She thought she had made it plain to her mother how she felt about him.  If she hadn't, well her mother was about to find out.

Owen had hurriedly got himself to the hospital after Rose's frantic call and was organising the staff who were meant to be attending from tomorrow morning, he was going to let them home for the weekend but had put a hold on it.  He just hoped Alec was on his way, Rose had said he was already with her which probably meant he was with her in the ambulance or following, hopefully not in the same car as Jackie Tyler.  He'd suspected the two of them would get together, the way they had been talking on Friday and wished it had been under better circumstances than those at present, it wasn't the ideal way of meeting someone as the man was about to help save her son's life. 

He didn't expect to have to bring Alec's own surgery forward, if the worse came to the worse, they could keep him in overnight if necessary if he didn't come around from the anaesthetic.  Alec Hardy though did not look like a man who would willing stay in unless he had to.  Maybe he'd take more notice of Rose than of him.  He made his way to the south wing entrance when he saw an ambulance turn around to back in. 

Rose let the medics do their job as the door was opened then she saw Alec approaching, him being the first one out and trying to avoid being stopped by Rose's mother, whom he thought had hardly stopped talking all the way down though thankfully, most of it had been directed at Mickey and not him but that would probably come later.  He'd no idea what Rose had told her mother about them the previous morning but up until last night, nothing much had happened and only his condition had prevented them from going the whole distance, something he hoped to remedy soon.

"Rose, any news?" Alec asked as he helped her down the step.

"He's stable, that's all they can tell me.  There's Doctor Harper."

They followed the hospital trolley John had been taken inside on and came to the room where Owen had conducted more tests the week before.  Owen though insisted they all waited outside and Alec led her to a chair as the others all sat down.

"You have to let them get on with it Rose, come on they'll take care of him.  How are you coping, really?"

"I'm not, I'm not over the shock yet I suppose and it will just hit me.  I've not had time to even think about it.  I still blame myself though."

"Why would you say that Rose?" Mickey piped up, suddenly getting up and seeing the look on Alec's face that told him to just leave it.  "Anyone want a drink?"

Rose shook her head but Alec got up.

"You have to drink something Rose, it won't do him any good if they have to keep you in."

Jackie was watching them, perhaps he was just what Rose needed but it didn't give him any hope of her going easy on him.  Alec just leaned down and kissed her cheek.

"I'll get you some tea, I hope the tea here is better than that in the station," he smiled.

Twenty minutes later, Owen came out and asked to speak to Alec.

"Alec, we're going to go ahead this afternoon, we don't want to wait until tomorrow.  Are you ready for it?"

"Yes, need you even ask?"

"I have to.  I'll fill in the paperwork, you just have to sign."

"I thought I did?" Alec mused, looking back at Rose and her mother now sitting arm in arm after he'd got up and she had taken his place at Rose's side.  "Whatever it takes, just do it.  Do you have to knock me out?"

Owen smiled.  "It's not that bad Alec, really.  We'll go ahead with your surgery tomorrow as planned, John will need to stay in for a while, just for us to monitor him."

"We were going out today, me, Rose and John, I gather you realise we got together?"

"Mm, I noticed that on Friday, you two were so obvious, are you sure you'd only just met?" Owen joked.

"Yes, I can assure you of that and she told me everything, last night.  Well almost everything, just not about Torchwood.  That reminds me, I still have to meet with her stepfather, he wasn't coming down until tonight."

He turned back to Rose after telling Owen to just let him know when they were ready for him.

"Rose, have you told your stepfather?"

Jackie looked at him.  "Oh, I forgot, I'd best call him but he might have taken Tony to the football."

"At nine in the morning?" Alec queried.

"It's just the locals on the common, Tony likes to go.  Go on Mum, you'd best let him know and he needs to meet Alec."

Jackie got up and Alec took his seat back, taking Rose's hand.

"Why won't they let me in Alec?" she asked him, getting him to put his arm around her and trying to bury her head in his shoulder.

Alec was quite aware everyone was watching him as he pulled her close.  "They'll let you in before they take him for surgery, it will be this afternoon, Doctor Harper just told me to be ready."

Rose glanced up at him.  "Why didn't he tell me?"

"I'm sure he will Rose, calm down love, he has to make all the arrangements and he probably figured I would tell you anyway.  You know how doctors can be?"

"I suppose so, are you ready though?"

"Yes love, I'm ready, it has to be done and he told me I've nothing to worry about.  He said I should normally have to visit for four days and have injections, to increase the chances but it's being rushed through, that's why I have more forms to sign.  I may have to stay in for a while and my side may be a bit sore, it would have been less painful the other way but time is limited, especially now.  Rose, you never told me exactly what was wrong with your son.  Do you want to tell me?"

"Yeah, I was going to, tonight but you may as well hear it now.  He has a rare disorder, you'll have to ask Doctor Harper, they don't know how he developed it, it's probably because his father and I were of a different species.  If he'd been around, John would have never got this bad, it would have been detected by the Tardis medical bay and he'd be cured.  It's just taken them a while to confirm it, to account for him being tired all the time and him getting dizzy and suchlike, when he got up suddenly."

"Was that why you took him out of school?"

Rose nodded.  "They tried to tell me, not to go ahead and have him, with me being human and his dad being a Timelord and then there's the fact I'm not from this universe, that didn't help."

"It's okay Rose, you are not to blame for his condition.  Look at me, they don't know how I got as bad as I did although they suspect it was the Sandbrook case, my problems at home and getting dragged under the water.  I was the one that chose to ignore all the symptoms and I know now, it could have killed me sooner.  I may not have needed a pacemaker if I'd got treatment earlier."

"Well, you're getting it now.  Won't you have to wait, after you've come around from giving the bone marrow?"

"I'll be out anyway, I suppose I should tell him to go ahead and do the pacemaker then, save them knocking me out twice eh?"

"How can you joke about it Alec?"

"I have to love, how else can I face it?"

Rose didn't care who was watching and leaned over to kiss him.  "With me."
Chapter 11
Jake had gone off to meet the team who were taking care of John and two of his own team had just arrived to stop anyone from straying into the hospital wing they had taken over.  Jackie had been on the phone to Pete.

"Tell Rose I'll be there as soon as I can, I'll have to tell Tony I'm coming down to see John but he wanted to know why he couldn't be with you," Pete told her after she'd said what had happened.

"I know he wants to come down Pete, maybe you should bring him?"

"No, I'd have to take him out of nursery and I don't want that yet.  I'll leave after lunch, get his nanny to take him and promise him I'll bring him a present back.  Maybe Rose and John can come back up with us?"

"I think we're gonna have trouble with that, she met someone.  The man who was the matching donor."

"Alec Hardy?  Owen told me about him, I'm authorising the cost of his pacemaker surgery but how did Rose get involved with him so fast?"

"Don't go asking me, he was in her house yesterday morning, when we all went over and he was the one that called the ambulance a while ago, Mickey said he found him.  I asked her about it, she didn't want to talk about it and she's hardly left him since we got here, they won't let us in to see John yet, he's being kept sedated.  I asked Hardy as the ambulance was leaving but he gave me the brush-off.  I hardly know anything about him but Rose has already made her mind up about him."

"I've read up on him, he had a failed case a while back but he was cleared of any wrong-doing.  Just leave her Jaks, she knows what she's doing and if he's about to save John's life, the least I can do is make sure he gets his operation."

"I hope you're right, I don't want him going off as soon as this is over but she said something about he knows.  Maybe she's already told him some of it?"

"Maybe.  I'll see her when I get there, don't worry, John will be fine."

Rose had been persuaded by Alec to go with him to get some breakfast, Mickey was waiting for Jackie, who had gone around the corner to call Pete.

"Mickey, where is everyone?" Jackie asked, looking at the empty seats.

"Jake's gone to do his security stuff and Alec talked Rose into getting something to eat."

"Huh?  He can get her to do that when I can't?  She's gonna be heartbroken if his surgery later on doesn't go well."

"You can't tell her Jackie, you know better than anyone what she can be like.  At least she's eating something, like Alec said, we don't want her to have to stay in.  I'm gonna ask to borrow Jake's car and go get her a few things from home, if she's staying here, Alec said it could be a while before he comes round from the first lot, never mind the other.  I think he's going to ask Owen to do it all while he's out cold, get it over with."

"Poor Rose, having two of them to worry about.  Did Owen come back out?"

"Not yet, I expect he's overseeing things, Jake's been talking to the medical team, John will have 24hr care but I expect Rose will be there and even sleep here."

"What they doing about Alec then?"

"He'll be out for 24 hrs or so, especially if they do the pacemaker, he's asked for them to put him in with John in the recovery room."

"Well she won't go in until John does, surely?"

"Think about it Jackie, she'd rather wait in the recovery room with Alec than sit out here with us, they'll alert her when John is coming out of surgery."

"Well I suppose so then, why would she want to stay out here with us when Alec's out of surgery?"

"Alec will be out first, John's will take longer.  Let's go find them, see if she wants me to go back to her place and see if Alec needs anything, he might want his shirt."

Mickey grinned at the thought that Alec hadn't had the time to get dressed properly but he must have been too concerned getting help for John.  He and Rose must have been sleeping together.

Meanwhile, Rose was eating some breakfast and Alec was calling his chief.

"Yes, Elaine, it's had to be brought forward, the boy was taken in a while ago, we found him passed out in his bed.  I take it you will keep this confidential?"

"Of course Alec, it goes without saying.  The hospital informed me of your involvement in the recovery of the boy.  I'll make sure it doesn't go against you, your job will be waiting for you."

"There's something else, it's not that straightforward."

"It never is."

"I'm having a pacemaker fitted when they've got what they need for the boy.  I may not survive."

"Good grief Alec, how long have you known about that?  Why wasn't it on your record from Sandbrook?"

"I had it covered up, I take the blame entirely, it was no-one else's fault.  I know I'll need a medical before I can come back but I've been assured all the paperwork will be filled in."

"All the same Alec, you'll have to be cleared for duty and it couldn't have come at a worse time, right in the middle of an investigation."

"These things can't be timed, how was Miss Tyler to know Danny Latimer was going to be killed just as an appeal for a donor was beginning?"

"You don't have to lecture me on that Alec.  I took you on on your merits but this puts things in a different light.  However, if you get assurance you can still do your job, you can come back on reduced hours and only on desk duty, understood?"

"Yes, I get it and I have someone who will make sure I stick to it."

He hung up and smiled at Rose.

All they could do was wait.  Alec tried to delay Rose in the café but she wanted to go back to the waiting area, now guarded by two Torchwood operatives with instructions only family, now including Alec and authorised staff were allowed through the double doors.  Just before midday, Owen, who had been in and out for a few hours as he was getting everything organised, came out to talk to Rose and Alec.

"I know you two are involved and Alec, I'm sure you want Rose to hear this?"

Alec nodded and put his arm around Rose as Owen began to explain how they would do the extraction from Alec and then he would be kept sedated while the heart specialist and his team arrived and made the preparations.  He would be present for John's surgery, handing over to experts in that particular field and Alec would be kept in intensive care while the preparations for him were being made, sometime in the afternoon and he explained the procedure for the pacemaker fitting wouldn't take that long but he may be in some pain when he woke up and would have to remain for 24 hrs while it was put under control.

"I'll leave you to talk but I'll send someone when they're ready for you Alec.  Rose, you can see John now."

Alec let go of her but she took his hand.  "No Alec, come with me and there's something I need to say to you, before you go."

"Whatever it is Rose, I'm coming back, to you and John and I'm sorry we didn't get to be together properly last night."

"I know, there's no need for you to say anything, you just promise me you'll get through this."

"I will love but just in case, you have my solicitor's details, they will inform Tess."

"Do you want to call her?"

"Aye, I should let her know I'm having it done early.  You go in and see John, I'll be in when I've spoken to Tess."

"Okay, don't let her get to you, will you?"

He leaned down, putting his finger on her chin and kissed her.

"I won't love and I'm getting through this for you, not for her.  This isn't how I wanted to tell you, I was looking forward to a nice day out but I'm falling for you Rose, you know that, don't you?"

"Yeah, I feel the same Alec, I don't know how this all happened so fast."

"We'll have plenty of time to figure it out, when I come round."

They kissed again, Jackie catching sight of them as they made their way to John's room and stopped outside.  Rose went inside and Alec got his phone out, wishing he'd charged it up now but time had been of the essence this morning.  Before he'd chance to find Tess's number, Jackie had got up and crossed over to him.

"I know you and Rose are sleeping together, don't bother denying it Alec Hardy, I've got my eye on you."

Alec was not in the mood to be confronted about his new sleeping arrangements with his now girlfriend, especially by her mother.

"I'm not discussing this with you, not now, your grandson is in there, your daughter needs you and so does he so maybe you should concentrate on them instead of having a go at me.  I don't mean any disrespect Mrs Tyler but mine and Rose's relationship has no bearing on what I'm about to do and in case you had forgotten, I may not even get out of surgery."

Rose had said she'd already told her mother about what may happen.  Jackie was taken aback somewhat, she wasn't used to having anyone turn on her, well not since the Doctor was no longer around and looking at Alec now, she could see the same look in his eyes, the look that said to back off and Rose was his.  She had come between Rose and the Doctor, she knew that now and Rose had chosen him in the end but had left it too late to have a proper relationship with him and now his son was fighting for his life and this man staring at her was about to save it.

"Sorry, I'm just looking out for her, I don't want her to get hurt again, you have no idea what she went through when we came here and she found out she was pregnant."

"Well I'm not going anywhere Mrs Tyler, providing I get out of surgery.  I want to take care of her and her son and I know you only have her best interests in mind but don't hold her back, she deserves some happiness."

"I know that."

"Yes, well, I have to tell my ex wife and my daughter the surgery has been brought forward and I'm not looking forward to it.  I promise you, I will look after them if I get through this."

Jackie looked at him as he went off, phone in his hand and knew he meant it.

Tess finally answered her phone, Alec wondered what she could have been doing on a Sunday lunchtime to take so long.

"What do you want now Alec?" she finally asked.

"To tell you the surgery's been brought forward, I'm just waiting to be called in, they had to bring the boy in early, he was found unconscious this morning."

"Blimey Alec, is he going to be okay?"

"Yes, Rose is with him, we've been here since early this morning waiting for some news.  I'm getting the pacemaker fitted while I'm under the anaesthetic, may as well."

"I'm coming down then, is it the hospital in Dorchester?"

"Yes, if you must.  Just park up and look for the south wing, I'll let the security detail know to expect you.  Don't make a fuss Tess, I'm with Rose and she won't take too kindly to you barging in saying you're my ex wife and you have more rights than she does.  She's got my consent to see to any arrangements that need making and I'm signing a form if the worst happens as to my wishes in the matter.  I doubt you'll be bothered anyway, Daisy will be taken care of.  Rose will be with me when and if I come round, it's up to her if she wants you in the recovery room with me, they will be bringing her son in as well."

"It sounds well organised Alec, just how far are you involved with her?"

"You're not the only one who can find someone else Tess, just remember that."

"Very well Alec, I'm going to set off now, good luck if I'm not there when they take you in."

Bypassing Jackie, he opened the door to John's room to find Rose sitting on the bed, holding his hand and pushing his hair back on his forehead.  She'd not spoken to him since last night, Mickey was the one to last say anything to him and he'd not said what they'd talked about.  Knowing Mickey, he would have been acting silly.

"How is he love?" Alec asked, putting his hand on her shoulder and rubbing it with his thumb.

"No change really, he's being monitored, his breathing's still a bit shallow but they're not too worried.  Alec, I dread to think what would have happened, had you not been here to be a match for him."

"Someone else may have been, how come you didn't match?"

"Only one in three people have a compatible parent, the Doctor was probably the one.  Alec, the more I think about it, the more I believe he somehow knew about it all and got you here, it can't have been a coincidence, what were the chances you'd be sent here?"

"Maybe we're not meant to know eh?  Okay, how about another drink?  Look Rose, maybe he did somehow sense before you got separated that you were pregnant and while he was waiting for you to drive up to meet him, he did some research and found me?  You say this world runs ahead, maybe he saw me in the past or he somehow knew I'd get sent here, let's just be thankful I was here."

Rose got up and let Alec put his arms around her.  "There's so much I want to tell you Alec."

"I know love, you can tell me every night when I get home from work, after we put John to bed."

"You plan on being around then?"

"Yes I do, you gave me new hope Rose, you are the miracle I needed to give me a kickstart to get myself fixed.  Once they put me under, I won't know anything, it's a great shame they can't wake me up to tell me and ask if I want to go through with it and if I want them to continue but once they start, there's no going back.  The very least I can hope for is that they can bring me back if the pacemaker doesn't fix me.  I don't want to upset you any more than you already are."

"It's okay Alec, I know what you're trying to say.  I'm staying here until they come for him.  You'll be okay Alec, you have to be, we both need you and I know he sent you, to be with me because he knew I wouldn't be able to face this alone."

"You have your mother, she tried to warn me off again," he joked.

Rose smiled.  "Did it work?"

He leaned down and kissed her forehead.  "What do you think?"

Alec went out and walked to the drinks machine, Mickey was already there, he didn't know where Jake was.

"How are you holding up Alec?" Mickey asked, handing Alec a tea and putting more coins in for another.

"Okay  I guess, could you tell Jake my ex wife's on her way here?  Her name is Tess Henchard but she'll probably try throwing her authority around and shove her ID card in someone's face."

Mickey smiled.  "Is she that bad?"

"Worse.  I'll take this to Rose, she's staying in with John.  Have you told her friend, my DS?"

Mickey hadn't even thought about that.

"I'll get Jackie to call her, Rose is in no state to think about telling people anything.  Tell her we'll stay with John, if she needs a break."

"I will, thanks."

Alec went off and nudged the door open, balancing two paper cartons of tea.  Rose took one gratefully, still perched on the side of the bed.  He sat in the chair, pulling it around to face the sleeping boy.

"Come and sit here for a while love?"

"I'm okay here.  I guess we just wait now?"

It was almost an hour before Owen came back in, smiling to himself as Alec had persuaded Rose to get off the bed and she was sitting wrapped around him, her head on his shoulder and her eyes closed.  She stirred suddenly as Alec was saying "Shush!" to Owen.

"Time to go get ready Alec, the nurse here will take you to your room and you can get undressed, then they'll wheel you to the operating theatre.  Last chance for you two to snog each other's faces off, I'll wait outside."

"Do you want me to come with you?" Rose asked as she tried to get up.

"I'll be fine, unless you want to make sure Tess doesn't try to take over, I thought I heard her voice outside, she should get on well with your mother."

"Very funny Alec.  I'll be there, when you come round, I promise.  I'm not going to pace the corridor with my mother while John's in there, I'd rather wait with you.  I'll come in your room with you, if you want?  Mum will sit with John."

"If you are sure?  Or do you just want to show my ex who's the boss?"

Alec leaned down and they shared a few more kisses, then Rose got up, pulling him with her.

Jackie had called Ellie, who had sent everyone her best wishes.  Jackie though didn't get the part that Alec's heart problem was a secret.

"What did you just say Jackie?" Ellie asked, thinking she'd misheard something about Hardy also having surgery.

Jackie managed to recover.  "Oh, didn't he want you to know?  I suppose not but he's the match Ellie, I didn't think with you two working together he'd want to keep it secret from you."

"Well I know that bit, he told me.  Are he and Rose seeing each other then?"

Jackie saw them come out of John's room, hand in hand and walk off, following a nurse.

"You could say that.  She'll be upset if it doesn't work out with Alec's surgery."

"Why wouldn't it?  What aren't you telling me Jackie?"

Mickey was now looking at her.

"I can't say any more, I'll let you know how they're both getting on."

"Jackie, you know Alec didn't want anyone knowing about his pacemaker," Mickey reminded her as she hung up.

"Why does he have to be so secretive?"

Mickey shrugged his shoulders.  "Don't ask me."

Alec was behind the curtain, getting undressed after he passed his personal belongings to Rose.  They had seen Tess in the corridor and Alec had stopped for a few minutes to introduce her to everyone.

"Rose, this is Tess.  Tess, this is Rose Tyler, her mother Jackie and their friend Mickey.  No fighting you two, I can't abide women fighting."

Tess tried to put on her best smile and held out her hand.

"Pleased to meet you Rose.  I hope your son will recover."

"He will, it will just take some time.  Alec has to go now but you can wait here."

Alec was certain Tess was going to insist she went with them but she didn't.  Instead, she reached and gave Alec a kiss on the cheek and wished him good luck.  Once Alec had got into the hospital bed, Rose went behind the curtain.

"Don't you go giving up on me Alec Hardy.  I'm not telling your ex wife you didn't make it."

"Don't worry love, you won't have to but promise me one thing?  I've made arrangements but I want you to take charge and take me back home to be buried, okay?"

"Only when you're old and grey Alec and don't you go arguing with me about it.  What we said earlier, about falling for each other, I meant it and I never thought I would love another man."

"Rose, I thought when Tess left me I would never trust another woman to give my broken heart to but I did, when I found you.  Take this how you want but if I don't make it Rose, you were the one I could fall in love with.  Maybe we could have had a nice day out today, to see how we really felt about each other but it's been taken out of our hands."

"We'll have lots more days out Alec, John hasn't collected all the model trams yet."

They kissed one more time as they heard the door open and the orderlies came to take him, both of them hoping they would see each other again.
Chapter 12
Rose had been pacing the corridor, her mother trying to get her to stop and sit down.

"It won't do either of them any good you know, making a trench in the floor.  Have some more tea."

"Yeah, like tea's the answer to everything Mum."

Jackie wanted to hit back with the remark that a flask of her tea once save the world by reviving the Doctor but seeing Alec's ex wife staring at her decided she'd better not bring up the matter.  Jackie's phone rang, it was Pete to say he'd just made a stop halfway and would be with them soon.

"Pete will be here soon.  Mickey, why don't you get him to take you to Rose's place and get her a few things, you can show him the room I've been staying in, they're expecting him, take my key, you've got Rose's."

"Not any more, I gave it to Alec last night."

Jackie raised her eyebrows as only she could.

"Oh, you did, did you?  I might have known."

"Not now Mum, please.  Yeah Mickey, thanks, just throw a few things for me and Alec in a bag will you and bring him a clean shirt from the wardrobe will ya?"

"So he did move in did he?" Jackie asked, seeing his ex wife pull a face at the thought.

"Really?  Alec's moved in with you?" Tess asked Rose.

"Yeah, is it so incomprehensible your ex husband wants to move on?"

"Not now Rose, what did you just tell me?" her mother asked.  "I hate waiting in hospitals, it brings out the worst in everyone."

Mickey was rather enjoying himself, Rose and Alec's ex, claws at fifty paces.  He almost wished Jake was there.  Relief from the tension came in the form of Jake himself.

"How's things going?  How long will they be in there?"

"We don't know Jake," Rose replied, eyeing Tess and wondering why the woman was even bothering, it was obvious she didn't want Alec back or did she, now Alec was showing some signs of putting his life back together again with someone else.

The last thing Alec thought about when they began to put him under was moving in with Rose, properly as last night had been rushed, getting his things from the hotel and hurriedly hanging them in the wardrobe and Rose making him space in one of the drawers.  As he was losing his thoughts, his last one was that he was really falling in love with her and willed himself to come back and tell her, not in the hospital like he just had done but after a perfect family day out.

John had never come round, Owen had thought it best to save confusing the poor boy as to why everyone was gathered around his bed smiling at him, especially his grandmother, who seemed to make more fuss of him than Rose herself did but he expected Rose was just worried and grateful someone else was there.

What seemed like hours passed for those waiting, Alec's part in John's procedure was soon over and done with and he was taken into the recovery room to await the pacemaker surgery and Rose was allowed in but they didn't wake him up.  As soon as she was permitted to enter when they got Alec settled, Rose was by his side, holding his hand and willing him to get through the rest of it.  Pete had arrived and was taking Mickey to Rose's cottage, Rose telling him she wanted the key back and Pete wondering what all that was about, Mickey having had the key since the day Rose moved in.

Jackie of course had been only too happy to explain it to her husband, introducing Tess to him and Tess wondering what Alec had got himself tangled up in, it was totally out of character for him to be made a fuss of and get involved with a big family, he'd barely survived his own she thought.  When Pete had left, Jackie went to find Rose, seeing her facing Alec, holding his hand and with her eyes closed.

"How are you doing love?" Jackie asked her, putting her hand gently on Rose's shoulder.

"Me?  I'm fine and Alec's holding his own for now, they'll be ready for him soon."

"Mickey and Pete have gone to get your things and Alec's."

"Is Tess still there?  She must be feeling a bit left out."

"I've tried talking to her, she wants to be left alone.  I expect it's a bit much for her but she won't leave until Alec comes around.  She must have loved him at some point."

"I expect so, he hasn't talked much about her, he wasn't even gonna tell her until I said he should let her know."

"It must have all ended badly then.  Pete will be back soon, why don't you take a break?"

"No, I'm fine.  I know Alec won't come around just yet, there was no sense in waking him up for an hour or so, they'll be ready for him soon enough."

As if on cue, a nurse and an orderly came in.

"They're almost ready for him, we have to take him now."

Rose got up and leaned forward, kissing him lightly on the lips.

"Come back to me Alec, I need you."

She turned to her mother, who put her arms around her, remembering not that long ago Rose being upset when the Doctor had been laid in bed, unconscious that Christmas and again when she'd had to say goodbye on that beach in Norway.

"He'll come back to you Rose, not everyone leaves you."

"Yeah, I hope you're right Mum.  Any word about John?"

"These things take time Rose, he might be out by the time Alec comes back, I've no idea, it depends on what they're doing.  We'll know soon enough.  Are you coming back outside?"

"Yeah, I'd better though I don't fancy facing Tess if Alec doesn't make it, she'll just go blaming me for getting him into this."

"It's not your fault he volunteered when he was found to be a match so forget taking the blame Rose.  He chose to have his pacemaker done at the same time, you didn't force him to do both."

"I know that but he did it for me and John, you should have seen him Mum, he just accepted everything and he was excited to be part of a family again.  I don't know what Tess did to him but she didn't deserve him and he didn't deserve for her to treat him like that, leaving him for someone else when he was so ill."

"Well maybe she never knew just how bad he was, if he didn't say?"

"Surely she should have spotted the changes in him?  He told me he refused medical treatment after the incident in the river.  Wouldn't she have known about that?"

"Don't get involved in it Rose, it's over love and he's gonna be fine.  For yours and John's sakes, he has to be.  Now are you gonna tell me how you two got involved so fast and him moving in with you?"

Rose smiled and began to explain, claiming nothing had actually happened between them, they had just sort of cuddled in bed.

"So he knows about the Doctor, have you told him he looks like him?"

"I sort of touched on the subject, that John may start to ask him questions and want to start calling him that.  Alec was very good about it, he may get it on his own without me actually saying anything to him.  I know he'll take it well, if it does come to him finding out."

Well at least she hoped he would.  There was nothing from either of the two operating theatres until she saw a surgeon come out of the one John was in.

"Miss Tyler?  We're just about finished with your son, he'll be taken to the recovery room you requested shortly but we're going to keep him sedated until we're satisfied it's all gone correctly."

"Thank you.  Did everything go well?"

"Yes, as well as can be expected in someone so young, we got to him just in time, any longer, he could have been deprived of oxygen, have you any idea how long he'd been like that?"

"No, my boyfriend found him this morning when he went to get John up.  Can you go in the other theatre and see how he's doing?"

"I'll just finish up with your son then I'll find out for you."

She didn't have to wait that long, someone came out followed by the bed Alec was laid on.  Rose let out the breath she wasn't aware she'd been holding in and it seemed like a great weight had been lifted, the awful feeling of dread she'd had since they took him in draining away.  She got up and followed, anxious to get to him but was asked to wait outside while they hooked him up to the monitors and machines.

Once she was allowed back inside, the nurse explained he was on painkillers and that the anaesthetic would keep him out for a good while and he may not wake up until the following morning but he, along with John would be monitored constantly.  She was though allowed to pull the curtain around to have some privacy and pulling the chair closer, was almost on the bed with him, resting in his side away from the machines.  John was brought in a little while later, Jackie following but when she pulled the curtain back slightly, Rose was asleep at Alec's side and Jackie didn't have it in her to wake her daughter.  So Jackie sat by John's bedside, holding his little hand and waited for him to wake up.  Then she wondered what Rose would make of it all, having a son who was normal again and a new boyfriend who was well and if Rose would be able to cope with the two of them.

It was just after six when Rose was aware her mother was trying to shake her.

"Come and get something to eat Rose, you've hardly had anything all day.  They'll both be okay until you get back, Mickey's coming in to sit with John.  Are you staying here tonight then?"

"Yeah, I'll just sit between them, how can I go and leave them?"

"I expected that, I'll have Mickey bring your overnight bag in then."

Rose reluctantly went off with her mother and Pete while Mickey took over for a while, promising he'd come out and get her if either of them woke up.  Rose smiled at the thought of Alec waking up and complaining Mickey was there by his bedside instead of her.  Pete wanted all the details about Alec but Rose wasn't in the mood, Jackie silently telling him to back off.  Tess had gone home once Alec was in the recovery room, leaving her number with Jackie, who'd tried her best to get on with the woman.

In the café, she was telling Rose.

"She's not easy to get on with, is she?  Alec's ex."

"I tried to tell you that Mum."

"Yeah, well you didn't have to wait with her and see her face when you followed him into the recovery room.  She looked like all the fight had gone out of her."

Rose hadn't had much sympathy for Alec's ex wife and despite her promise to him she wouldn't fight, had the worse happened, she may not have been able to keep her cool had Tess started arguing who was actually going to take charge even though Alec had signed to say Rose was to.  Jackie stayed until just after eight, Jake saying he was going to stay with Rose for the night.  Rose had been brought some tea, made a visit to the ladies room and was just settling down when Jake came in.

"How are they doing Rosie?"

"The nurse said they'd probably both wake up in the morning but Alec might still have some pain where they gave him that injection to do the extraction."

"Yeah, well I expect that will be the least of his problems.  You ready to watch both of them when you get home?"

"Very funny Jake.  Alec will be wanting to get back to work, do you know if my mum's spoken to Ellie?"

"Yeah, she called her again to say they were both in the recovery room."

"I hope she never said anything about Alec's other operation?"

"Mickey said earlier she'd almost said something but stopped just in time.  Why doesn't he want anyone to know?  Did his new boss know?"

"Not until this morning when he said he may be off for a while.  Are you staying?"

"Yeah, you're stuck with me for the night but I'm just gonna go check everything first."

"What are you expecting Jake?" Rose laughed.

"You never know, do you?"

Jake couldn't settle, he was watching Rose as she'd put her feet up on a stool that the nurse had brought in, half covered with a blue blanket and trying to hold both Alec's and John's hands as best she could since Alec had a tube going into his and she didn't want to ask the nurse to swap them around.  It was just after six the next morning, Jake had tried to close his eyes in his chair at the other side of John's bed when Rose felt someone touch her arm.

Alec had woken up, seen the dim lights and was aware someone was holding two of his fingers.  He slipped them out of her grip and tried to move onto his side, touching her arm.  Rose was awake in a flash.

"Hey, you're back in the land of the living then?"

"You could say that.  How's John?"

"Holding his own now.  Do you have any pain?"

"A little, it's nothing, I take it that's why I have these tubes in me?"

Jake appeared at the end of Alec's bed.

"I'll leave you two then, call me if you need me."

"Yeah, thanks Jake."

When he'd left, Rose leaned over as Alec took the breathing tube out of his nose.

"How about a kiss love?"

"How can I refuse you?  I'm glad you came back to me and now, there really are things we need to talk about."

"I never expected any less Rose, now we have plenty of time."

The nurse had been out to let Owen know Alec was awake.

"Doctor Harper's on his way back in.  Would you like to try and drink something Alec?"

It wasn't long before Owen came to join them, Alec now sitting up and wanting to get out of bed and generally making a fuss.  Rose was smiling at him after Owen left.

"What?" Alec asked innocently as she held his hand, still trying to hold John's.

"Nothing.  Why don't you rest a bit longer then when mum comes back they might let you up and give you some painkillers to take when you need them?"

"I'm not staying in here any longer than I need to Rose but that trip to the bathroom, well I felt light-headed."

"Only because you've not eaten Alec.  The nurse will bring you some toast, then you can try getting up again."

"How long will John be out?"

"I'm not sure, they may start to wake him up soon, he'll still be a bit drowsy though."

"Then don't let him get of bed in such a hurry as I was, will you?" he managed to smile back.  "I'm glad it was you who was here when I woke up and not Tess."

"Mum doesn't like her very much."

"What about you?"

"I can take her or leave her, preferable the latter.  She left when they brought you in here yesterday."

"She would have done, she was just making sure I survived."

The nurse came in to bring Alec some breakfast and Owen came back to start the process of waking John.  He opened his eyes and called for Rose.

"Hey you, how do you feel?"

"Was I asleep a long time?"

"Well yeah but you're all better now."

"Where's Alec?"

Alec had pulled the curtain around and was getting dressed and heard John asking about him.

"I'm here John."

"Alec!  Can we still go to the tramway?"

Rose smiled to herself.

"Yeah, we can still go but maybe next weekend now, you have to stay here for a while longer, until Doctor Harper says you can go home.  Grandma will be here soon and granddad came to see you while you were asleep."

"Did Mickey and Jake come too?"

"Yeah, Jake stayed all night with me, he was at the other side of you.  So, when we get home, how would you like it if Alec stays with us?"

"Really?  Will he be my uncle?"

"No, do you want him to be?"

John sat up and looked at Alec.  John knew what he wanted him to be and didn't think it would ever happen.  What he really wanted was to see his dad for real and not in the few photos his mum had and cried every time she showed them to him and talked to his grandma about him.  When he thought really hard about it, Alec did look a bit like him, without the hair on his face, which there looked to be more of today.

He scrambled over to Rose, who was sitting on the end of his bed as Alec came from behind the curtain, now also wearing the shirt Mickey had brought for him.

"John, you don't have to call me uncle if you don't want to."

Soon, everyone else had arrived and Alec took Rose outside into the corridor as Mickey was acting around and making John laugh.

"He seems a lot better Rose."

"Yeah, thanks to you.  How can I ever thank you Alec?"

He leaned down to kiss her.  "By telling me more, about his father."

"I told you about him already."

"There's more Rose, I know there is.  The way everyone keeps looking at me.  Tell me the truth Rose, do I look like his father?"

Rose couldn't answer, she had no need to.

"Alec, I was going to tell you."

"When Rose?  When he started calling me his dad?  I need time to think about this."

"You're not supposed to go home on your own Alec."

"I'll get your friend Jake to take me back to the hotel, I'll be fine.  I was only too glad to help your son but I can't deal with this right now."

"I'm sorry Alec."

Alec left her in the corridor and went to pick up the small bag Mickey had brought for him.

"Where are you going?" Jackie asked him.

"Back to Broadchurch, I'll see you all later.  I'm glad you feel better John."

"Are you going home?" John asked him.

"I have some things to do first.  Bye John."

Rose was talking to Jake.

"You knew he'd find out sooner or later Rose, how long did you think it would be?" Jake asked her.

"I don't know, maybe John would have said something eventually, I tried to tell him, I just didn't want to drive him away."

"Well you did," Jake nudged her as Alec came back out.

"I'll call you Rose.  Jake, can you take me back to Broadchurch?"

"Sure, did you get your medication?"

"Yes, I'll collect my things from Rose's then you can take me back to the hotel."

"Alec, I'll be here a few more days, stay there until we come back.  You need to rest," Rose insisted.

"Right then, for now until you come back, then we'll talk.  You don't need me here, I should go back to work."

"So soon?"

"I'll take the rest of the day off, I'll take it easy.  Bye Rose."

"Alec, I want you to know, you are completely different to John's father, in lots of ways."

"I just need time Rose, it's a lot to take on and maybe you would have told me but this has all been rushed, we just need to take a step back."

With that, he leaned down and kissed her cheek.

"Let's go Jake."

Jackie chose that moment to come back out, seeing Alec and Jake walk down the corridor and through the double doors.

"What's with him?  He comes in, takes his stuff and says goodbye to John.  Rose?"

"Just leave it Mum, he found out he looks like the Doctor."

"I thought he knew about him?"

"He does, just not that he looks like him.  He's gone Mum, I lost him after all."

When Jake dropped Alec at Rose's cottage, handing him the key he'd got back from Mickey, Jake had a few words to say.

"Listen Alec, Rose thinks a lot of you, if you feel the same, don't let it get in the way."

"Did you know him then?"

"Yes, I met him twice and Rose loved him, I saw the way they looked at each other, it's the same way she looks at you."

"She's just seeing him."

"If that's what you think Alec but you're wrong.  Think about it mate."

Alec decided he needed to rest and went up to the bedroom he'd shared with Rose, laying down on the bed and touching the pillow Rose had been laid on the previous morning and decided he'd move back to the hotel tomorrow, he didn't want to be here when she got back.

Two days later, John was getting ready to go home.

"Will Alec be there?"

"I don't know sweetheart, he's really busy."

"But Mummy, I wanted him to be my new dad."

"I know sweetheart, come on, granddad's waiting to take us home."

When they got back, Rose found the note to say Alec had given the key to her friend.  When he'd tried to give the key to Ellie the day before, she'd had a few words of her own to say.

"Oh, so you moved in with her and when it's all over, you move out again?"

"Leave it Miller, it's none of your concern.  Just make sure she gets her key back will you?"

"You're an idiot," was all she said as she took the key from him and walked out of his office.

Maybe he was.  Did it really matter that much?  The boy was all that mattered, he'd never known his father and never would either and Rose had warned him John may want to call him dad and he'd more or less said he'd welcome it.  He'd been prepared over the weekend to take on the role that was about to be thrust on him in a short period of time.  Was it any different now?  He shook his head and went back to work, taking two more painkillers for the pain in his side and being grateful he no longer had to take his heart medication.

No-one had bothered him since he more or less locked himself in the office that morning.  He'd packed his stuff, got a taxi back to the hotel and avoided Becca's questions.  He'd still not called Rose so after Ellie left, he got his phone out.

"Hello Rose, how's John?"

"He's wide awake, Mickey's keeping him amused.  How are you?"

"Fine.  I gave your key to Miller, I left you a note, just in case."

"I'll be home tomorrow Alec, can we at least talk?"

"Call me when you get back then."

So as Rose found his note the following day on her return, she called Ellie.

"Hi Ellie, have you got my spare key?"

"Yes, Hardy gave it to me, what's going on?"

"I'll explain later but will you do something for me?"

"Sure, what is it?"

"Give him it back and tell him he has to give it to me himself."

"If you two fell out, I'm not getting caught up in the middle of it Rose so forget it.  You owe me an explanation."

"Never mind then.  You'll get one when I've sorted it all out."

Ellie decided to take a chance and walked into his office and put the key on his desk.

"What's this Miller?"

"Rose's key, you should return it to her yourself – Sir."

"You're her friend Miller, do as I ask and give it to her."

"No, you should go see her and whatever's going on between you two, you should sort it out."

With that, she walked out and left him to think about it.  He was looking at the key on the desk when Rose called him.

"We're back Alec, I'd like to talk to you.  Can you meet us?"

"You and John?"

"Yeah, can you meet us at the end of the Esplanade, say around four?"

"Right, okay then.  I have your key, your friend gave it back to me, told me I should be the one to return it to you."

"You don't have to Alec.  I have some things I want to say to you and I'm sorry I never told you, about John's father, I thought it would make you run and it did."

"I don't like secrets Rose, I had enough with Tess so if you are honest with me, we'll talk it out.  I'll see you at four."

Rose turned around to see the smug look on Jake's face and stuck her tongue out at him.

"What did you say to Alec when you brought him back?"

"Nothing Rose, just gave him a bit of friendly advice that's all."

"Yeah, I know you too well."

John came away from the table where he and Mickey had been drawing a picture of two adults and a boy.

"What's this sweetheart?"

"It's me, you and Alec.  Are we going to see him?"

"Yeah, when he gets out of work, then we'll have some tea."

"Can I ask him?"

"Ask him what?"

"If he'll be my daddy?"

"I don't know John, I really don't know what he'll say."

"Can I ask him though?"

"You can try sweetheart but I don't want you to get upset if he says no."

Pete and Jackie were packing, ready to leave the next morning, Jackie had wanted to stay but she'd been away from Tony for too long.

"I don't like leaving them Pete, not with things between Rose and Alec being as they are."

"They'll work it out love.  When she was here that time with the Doctor, I knew those two belonged together and now she belongs with him, she has that same look about her, they'll get it right."

"I hope so, John's never stopped talking about him."

Jake and Mickey left just as Rose was about to go out.

"Are you sure you want to do this on your own Rose?" Jake asked her as she locked the door and John was wanting to set off.

"Yeah, I have to.  I'll see you before you go in the morning."

"Don't you want a babysitter tonight then?" Mickey smirked.

"No, I don't think so.  Things may not work out."

"I'm sure they will, see you in the morning then."

Rose and John walked across the harbour, John seeming to be a lot better but it was the first time he'd been out since his return that morning.  They walked past the police station and on to the seafront and down to the end of the road that turned into just a footpath.  Alec was already there just ahead, sitting on a bench.  He saw them approaching and walked back to meet them, John letting go of Rose's hand and running to him.

"Alec!  I missed you," John said as Alec bent down so the boy could hug him.

That made Alec think exactly what he was throwing away.

"Can we go onto the beach Mummy?" John asked.

Alec led the way to the gap, helping John down first but Rose told Alec she wanted to just sit on the edge.

"You go and play John, get some more shells and things."

"Okay Mummy, then can I ask Alec?"

"We'll see."

"Ask me what John?"

"It's okay, it will wait.  You wanted to know if you look like John's father.  Yes Alec, a bit and John drew a picture of his dad and Ellie thought it was you."

"So even she saw the resemblance?  Ok, tell me more."

Rose told him how the Doctor had changed, right in front of her, into the most gorgeous man she'd ever seen in her life and how it had taken all that time for them to realise they loved each other.

"So you see Alec, when I met you, I didn't want to see him in you but I never intended to hurt you by not telling you."

"It's okay Rose, I understand, I was too hasty.  Maybe I was still recovering from being knocked out and the medication eh?"

He had just leaned forward to kiss her when they were interrupted by a small voice.

"Mummy?  Can I ask him now?"

"Ask whatever you want young man," Alec replied, ruffling John's hair.

John made his way on to Alec and he sat the boy in his lap.  John smiled and touched Alec's beard, which had been trimmed back to how it had been but only because Ellie had told him to smarten himself up.

"Alec, are you coming back to live with us?"

"I think you should ask your mum that."

"Can he Mummy?"

"Do you want to Alec?"

"Yes, Becca keeps giving me funny looks and your friend keeps asking me to tell her what's going on.  I have your key."

"Then keep it Alec.  Go get your things after we've eaten, you can borrow my car or get a lift from Jake."

"I don't think I'm ready to drive yet love, maybe in a few days time eh?"

"Yeah, I'll get you on my car insurance.  John, that wasn't what you wanted to ask Alec, was it now?"

John pretended to be shy and tried to get to Rose but Alec held him firmly, trying to ignore his still aching side.

"You may as well ask me John, if I'm coming to live with you."

John settled down again, reaching for Rose's hand.  She looped her arm in Alec's and leaned on his other shoulder and took John's hand, Alec putting his arm around her and trying not to wince.  Rose realised and moved slightly.

"Alec, will you be my daddy?" John managed after a few moments of silence.

Alec looked at Rose, who just nodded.

"Aye, if that's okay with your mum?  We'll have a few ground rules though.  First, your mum is the boss, what she says goes, right?"

John nodded and pulled his hand from Rose's and fingered Alec's beard.

"My real daddy didn't have a beard, are you keeping it?"

"Ask your mum.  Am I keeping it Rose?"

"Yeah but don't let it get any thicker, will you?"

"Just for you.  So, who wants fish and chips then?"

John struggled so he could get close to both of them and they all hugged, Alec in the middle as Rose got closer and whispered, "I love you Alec."

Alec turned to her and kissed her.  "I love you too Rose.  Come on then, let's go get those fish and chips."

"Can we get icecream?"

"Sure, no need to ask your mum for things like that eh?"

So they walked back across the harbour to the stall they'd all met at less than a week ago, John not being tired as he was back then and fidgeting in his chair as he shared his mum's and his new dad's meals.  Jackie was looking out of her hotel room window as she saw them walking back to Rose's cottage and called Pete.

"See, I told you it would all work out," Pete said to his wife, putting a hand on her shoulder.  "Rose has got her Doctor look-alike and John's got his dad.  Just as it should be."

Jackie smiled. 

After Alec had put John to bed when he got back from collecting his things, leaving a confused Becca, they curled up on the sofa and spent the rest of the evening just kissing and talking.

"So, you've nothing else to tell me then?" Alec asked her.

"No, that's it, so is it all sorted?"

"Yes Rose, it's sorted."

He lay on the side that didn't hurt, Rose up against the back of the sofa, kissing his neck after she'd unfastened most of his shirt buttons.

"I love you Alec.  You are so different, don't ever try to compare yourself with John's real dad, you're his dad now."

"Aye and it's going to take some explaining, especially to my daughter.  She'll have to get used to having a three year old stepbrother, eventually."

"So you plan on sticking around then?"

"That I do, any objections?"

"None from me and mum seems to like you."

"Well at least I've got that over with, meeting your mother."

Rose smiled and looked up from making a red mark on his neck.

"I'm going to get you back if you've left a mark Rose."

All Rose could think of replying was, "I hope so."

The End!