Life after regeneration

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What if after each Doctor regenerated, they lived on in other lives? What if ten was somehow transported across the void to become DI Alec Hardy, finding himself in Broadchurch and discovering he has a whole life and no memory of being a Timelord? He only knows to contact Rose Tyler, who realises he's really the Doctor but she can't tell him who he is even when he's ill. 

What if after each Doctor regenerated, they lived on in other lives?  The 4th Doctor was a curator, the 5th a cricketer and what if ten was somehow transported across the void to become a detective inspector, finding himself in Broadchurch and discovering he has an ex wife and a daughter whom he's never met and a whole life and no memory of being a Timelord?   He has certain memories and knows to contact Rose, who reluctantly goes to the town when a young boy has been killed after the Doctor, now Alec Hardy contacts Torchwood.  She can't tell him who he is when he knows something is wrong in case he's not really the Doctor but can she help him in other ways and can she save him when they discover he is ill?

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Chapter 1
Rose never gets back, the events of 'Journey's end' only briefly happened for her and there is no clone Doctor.

He made his way back to the Tardis, the Ood singing to him as he staggered across the courtyard, the same courtyard he'd walked across numerous times when entering and leaving Rose's flat, the same courtyard in his last regeneration, they'd been in the spotlight and 'escorted' to Downing Street and the same courtyard they had watched the fallout from the Sycorax ship and he'd held her hand and she'd asked if he still wanted her to travel with him.

He'd just seen her, with these eyes for the last time, minutes ago and she'd laughed and said "See ya!" after he'd asked the year and told her it was gonna be great.  It had been, 2005 had been the best year he'd spend on earth, he'd been lucky she'd wanted to stay with him when the year turned and became 2006, then he had lost her.  He was alone, he'd got his reward, seeing the love of his lives for the last time and he would never see her again because he had broken the rules and gone back in her personal time line but he didn't care.

She couldn't know who he was and hopefully, she'd never remember him calling out from the shadows and once he changed, he'd have to move forward and forget just like he always did but not the last time, because she had been with him when he changed but she was gone anyway, there was no more need to go back.  He reached the Tardis door, fumbling for the key, he had to get inside though he supposed he could just regenerate in the snow but he'd no idea what was going to happen. 

The radiation was taking its toll, he'd no idea in actual time how long it had been, going to visit all the people who had mattered to him in this regeneration.  He threw his coat over one of the struts, it had driven Rose crazy when he did it and he stepped up to the time rotor and put the Tardis into flight, just above the earth.  Looking down at his hands, the regeneration energy was beginning to show, something he'd managed to hold back but no more.

A million thoughts were going through his mind.  What happened to all his past regenerations?  Had they somehow lived on?  He had to believe it was possible and not like he'd told Wilf, that some new man goes sauntering away and he'd be dead, what was the point in that?  Just living a few years in a body and not even getting to live as long as a human without hiding away and keeping out of trouble?  

This was it, he could feel it as he stood in front of the console, his arms outstretched, the process was beginning, a new man would emerge when it was all over, it was legend that a Timelord could choose their appearance but his time was running out.  He could hear whispering, the Tardis was communicating with him.

"What do you want Doctor?" the ship asked him.

He could feel the last of his old self draining away, the longer he resisted, the worse it would be and he'd already held it back longer than he should have done.

"Take me to Rose, please, I don't care how, just take me to Rose."

The ship knew how much he'd loved his little companion, she had done him a lot of good and he'd never given up on seeing her again right up until the end so if anyone deserved to live on, he did.  She was quite pleased with herself, some of the past Doctors had conveyed to her as they regenerated what they wished they could have done and she'd had it in her power to grant it.  In his fourth regeneration, he'd expressed the wish to be an art curator and in his fifth, a famous cricketer back in the 1920's.

So this one wanted to be with Rose Tyler, then so be it but she never made it easy for them and this time, he wanted to go to the alternate universe, she had no idea what Rose would be doing with her life after so long but that was his wish.  As the ship exploded around him, he felt the very last ebbs fade away.  There was no way now he was going to survive this, he'd no idea how his fellow Timelords had controlled their regenerations and the ship was not going to oblige him, he'd left it too late.

"I don't want to go unless it's to Rose."

~~~~{ silversurfer60 }~~~~

Alec Hardy woke up in an unfamiliar bed.  He looked around him, he was in a hotel room, that was for certain.  He sat up, he was wearing boxers and a grey t-shirt and as he ran his hands over his face, a beard, a scruffy two day's old beard by the feel of it though he didn't know how he'd got one.  He'd been carrying a body out of the river and he was drowning.  There was a knock on the door.  He located his trousers on the back of the chair, light grey ones he noted and thinking they should have been brown ones with a blue stripe but as he called out "I'm coming, quit knocking" it came out with a Scottish accent as something completely different.

A tall woman was standing there with a bale of towels.

"Hi, sorry, did I wake you?  You missed breakfast, you must have been tired after your journey yesterday?"

How was he supposed to know?  He couldn't even recall how he'd got there.

"Yes, thanks, 'erm?"

"Blimey, did you empty the mini bar last night detective inspector?"

"What?  Oh, probably.  What time is it?" he asked, it not registering what she had just called him.

"Half nine and you said you had an appointment with your new chief super this morning at ten, you told me when you arrived not to let you sleep in and your phone's off the hook."

She nodded in the direction of the nightstand, the phone receiver dangling over the edge.  She moved past him, picked it up and put it back where it belonged and proceeded to the bathroom.  Maybe he really had been drunk last night, he'd no memory of checking in, asking not to be left to sleep in or the name of the irritating tall blonde woman coming out of his bathroom.

She smiled at him, he scowled.

"I'm Becca Fisher and your mini bar is not empty, what happened to you?"

"If you'll excuse me, I have an appointment in thirty minutes, so you have just reminded me," he quipped, still in the broad Scottish accent that sounded familiar to him but he wasn't sure it was actually his.  "Where was I going?"

Becca laughed.  "To the police station I believe?"

"So, where is it?"

"Seriously?  Turn right out of the front door, down the path at the side of the hotel to the Esplanade, turn left and walk until you see a new round building then up the steps, you can't miss it, there's a big blue sign that says Broadchurch Police."

"Broadchurch?  I'm in Broadchurch?  Where the hell is Broadchurch?"

"I think you need a doctor, you must have bumped your head," Becca offered, putting the towels on the chair and holding her arms out towards his head.

He grabbed her arms.  "Get off me, I never bumped my head but I've just got a headache, let me get dressed or I'll be late."

"Suit yourself but if you ask me again to spend some time and relax with you, I won't be so polite next time."

"I did what?" he asked, about to go into the bathroom and hoping who he'd now identified as Australian had gone by the time he came out.

"Last night after you checked in, you asked how I spent my hours relaxing and if I wanted to relax with you."

"So what did you tell me?"  He saw the look on her face.

"That you're new in town and I'd let you off this once, don't do it again."

"Right, I won't then.  I really have to get ready now.  I told you I was a detective inspector?" he added as he turned back again after another failed attempt to get into the bathroom, his hands on the door frame.

"Not exactly, the police pre-booked your room for the next three weeks, then I suppose you're meant to find a place of your own.  You came in late yesterday afternoon, said you were Alec Hardy and your stay had been arranged.  Then after dinner, you chatted me up then went off in a huff to your room."

"Oh," was all he could manage.

Becca left, shaking her head and wondered if it was just his way, maybe he'd been missing his girlfriend already, or his wife, just because he wasn't wearing a wedding ring, neither had her ex.

Alec stood in front of the mirror thinking he looked dreadful, with bloodshot eyes, a fringe that needed cutting and the beard, what the hell was he doing with a beard?  Well he didn't have the time to trim it or shave it off, it would have to stay for now but looking again, he rather liked it and if he didn't let it get too out of hand?  He went back into the bedroom and found four white shirts hanging in the wardrobe along with a darker grey suit and a dark grey overcoat.  He took the coat, noticing a clothes hamper in the bottom of the wardrobe with a room number on it, 203. 

Well that helped, he supposed, just as long as he took notice of the name of the hotel and where it was located on his way out.  There was a mobile phone on the nightstand, a wallet, which he opened to see a photo driving licence, in the photo he was minus the beard, the name Alec J Hardy.  Also in his wallet was a photo of a young girl, around eleven or twelve years old he guessed though he had no idea who she was and what he was doing with it in his wallet.  There was also a police warrant card with 'South Mercia Police' and his name.

There was about fifty pounds in cash in the wallet  a bank card with his name on it and when he'd put his trouser on, there had been some coins jangling about.  He looked at the time, he had ten minutes to get to his appointment.   How come the hotel owner knew he had one and he didn't?  Maybe whoever had booked his room and told her?  He stuffed his wallet and his ID in his right-hand inside jacket pocket, put the mobile in his outer one and picked up the overcoat, not knowing what the weather was like outside.  Then he found a strip of pills with some unpronounceable name in his other jacket pocket.

He took the stairs, went past whom he now knew was Becca, who was pretending to look elsewhere as he handed his key in and he walked out into the street.  There was damp in the air, he'd no idea what he expected it to be.  He followed Becca's directions, finding the path that took him a few minutes to walk down and saw the building ahead of him and as he walked through the door, the wall clock behind the desk was just on ten – his new lucky number.

~~~~{ silversurfer60 }~~~~

Rose Tyler had just stepped into her office at Torchwood, Mickey was waiting for her, a grin on his face.

"What's so amusing Mickey?" she asked, pouring herself a coffee.

"It worked Rose, it actually worked."

"Oh, that; good.  So are you leaving me as well then?"

"Come on Rose, I thought you'd be all excited?"

"About the stars going out then suddenly re-appearing?  Not exactly exciting stuff was it?"

"You only say that because that gap didn't lead to our old universe, I know how disappointed you were but we were close, I know we were, maybe it was an alternate reality?  You just got there too late, that's all."

"Yeah, too late to stop him getting killed with no chance of regeneration, how do we know it wasn't our world Mickey?"

"Don't blame yourself for that Rose, you were the one that didn't want to go back again."

"What was the point?  By the time the scientists knew what was happening, the stars were reappearing and now you're telling me you got one of the devices working again?  Well I'm not trying it this time Mickey.  I lost Ryan, remember?"

"Yeah, sorry.  How were we to know?"

"Yeah, well he's lost, just like the Doctor was and that's it, I'm through with men.  We were getting really close."

"I know, I also know it took you a long time to learn to trust him but maybe we've found the right universe or reality this time?"

"Yeah and what if it malfunctions again?  I don't know why Pete's letting anyone near it."

"It's what we do Rose, what Torchwood does, explore the unexplained.  It's that or do that other thing he wanted you to do and you know how quickly you'll get bored with that," he grinned.

"Shut up Mickey, at least I'd come back home again."

"Come off it Rose, since when did you take the safe option?"

"Since I lost Ryan.  Forget it Mickey, I'd rather act as consultant to the police than risk everything.  If Pete sends someone then fine, if they come back and tell me they found the Doctor or Ryan and the way is still open then fine, I'll go but not until then, why did he have to be the one to volunteer?"

"Seriously?  Because he loved you more than you loved him and he wanted to prove it to you by finding the man you left behind, hoping if he did, you'd still choose to stay with him, that's why Rose.  There's no point in arguing with you when you're like this."

"Like what?"

"You know like what.  Fine, tell Pete you'll take the consultancy assignment then."

"Right, I will and if you go, don't expect me to wait for you coming back."

"What happened to you Rose?"

"I lost two men that I loved and I never told them until it was too late and I'm never doing it again, not ever."
Chapter 2
Alec was shown to CS Jenkinson's office by a WPC, who was giving him the eye but he wasn't there to make friends, well he'd no clues as to why he actually was there, he'd barely had time to think since waking up in that hotel room and the owner telling him he tried to chat her up on his arrival, which he didn't remember.  The ID he had on him had indicated he'd come from a place called Sandbrook and he was a detective inspector but not many other clues as to why he was in a town called Broadchurch, by the sea of all places when he knew one thing, that he hated any kind of water.

When he'd woken up, gasping for breath as the knocking on the door had increased, he'd been in a river and was fighting to get to the riverbank and he was carrying a child, a young girl but that's all he knew.  Maybe he needed to see a shrink?  He'd not worried too much on his way to the station about the other details such as the strip of pills he'd found in his other pocket and he'd not looked at his phone properly to check for any missed called or contacts.  Why had he no memories though?  Had he been suffering some kind of trauma, from being in the water?  Maybe his new chief could shed some light.

"Ah, Alec, have a seat.  Have you settled into your hotel?" the CS asked as she'd called for him to enter.

"As well as can be expected.  Am I supposed to find my own accommodation?"

"We can keep you in the hotel for now while you find something suitable.  You have an excellent record despite what happened in your last case, that was very unfortunate but since you were not entirely to blame, I'm willing to give you this chance to redeem yourself.  There is one thing though."

He thought there always was.  "What might that be?"

"I've had to let one of my officers down, DS Miller, she was expecting to get a promotion when she returns from leave, she may be a little hostile towards you but she's a good officer, she'll work well with you.  You may have some misgivings about working with a woman though."

"Oh, why is that then?"

"Come on Alec, everyone knows what happened between you and your ex wife."

He wasn't one of them.  "What does everyone think happened?"

"That you took the blame for what happened over Sandbrook to cover for her so your daughter wouldn't find out, that was very noble of you."

That was news to him but now he thought about it, why didn't he know?  Had he suffered a blow to the head or had he fallen down a rabbit hole?  At least now he knew he had an ex wife and daughter, how old she was supposed to be, he'd no idea but maybe that was her photo he had in his wallet?

"Yes, well, I'd rather forget about that and concentrate on the future.  Do you want me to start right away?"

"You can start on Monday, get settled in."

"Well I would rather make a start, if someone can show me my office?  I do get one?"

"Yes, you do and I'll get your new ID with Wessex Police sorted out for Monday plus a work mobile.  Do you need a car?"

He had a driving licence in his wallet, did he actually know how to drive?

"Not now, someone can take me around until I get to know the area."  That was as good an excuse as any.

"Very well, your office is on the next floor, I'll let you get to it then, any questions?"

"Not at the moment but one thing puzzles me.  Why give me another chance?"

He thought it might give him some idea why he'd accepted the job or had he been forced to take it?

"I told you, the press were less than kind on your last case but when the truth came out, I expect you didn't want to hang around and it was thought best you should leave the area."

"Right, like I said, it's best forgotten."  He'd certainly forgotten but yet he knew the basics.

He was shown to his office, getting a few looks from those who were interested and probably couldn't wait for the sparks to fly on DS Miller's return.  Elaine Jenkinson had decided to go with him and did the introductions, warning one and all he was in charge now.

"Oh and furthermore, DS Miller will be working directly with DI Hardy, any problems with that, see me."

They nodded to each other and Alec went into his new office and closed the door.  He felt like he was in a goldfish bowl with the glass frontage and quickly pulled down all the accessible blinds, leaving just the door, which wasn't too bad.  He found the access code for his computer and logged on, being presented with the 'Wessex Police' logo.  Then a name sprung into his mind – Rose Tyler.  He typed the name into a search engine and got surprising results.

She had quite a following as a socialite, heiress to a fortune by her mother's marriage to a prominent businessman but what intrigued him most was the restricted access when it said she was associated with something called Torchwood.  Why had he thought of the name though?  He didn't even know what his ex wife and daughter were called but somehow, it wasn't bothering him as much as finding out about this Rose Tyler, like it was imprinted on his brain yet he'd not thought about her when he'd woken up or anything else for that matter.

What was wrong with him?  Why did he have medication he couldn't pronounce the name of in his jacket pocket and what was this Torchwood?  He clicked the link to get access to the front page of the Torchwood website, the public one.  There were links to the profiles of the director, whom he noted was Pete Tyler, this Rose Tyler's stepfather, heads of the departments and security and since Rose had called Pete after her conversation with Jake, the police liaison consultant, Rose Tyler herself.
~~~~{ silversurfer60 }~~~
Mickey had left Rose's office after he had failed to get her interested in the fact one of the several devices Torchwood had come up with to travel across the void and to different worlds was indeed functioning.  So far, they had only been measuring timelines again and not sending anyone through, not that there weren't enough volunteers but Rose and Mickey always got first pick, which was why Rose was still annoyed her boyfriend Ryan Cooper, a cousin of her friend Gwen had got priority to make a trip when Rose had returned from narrowly missing the Doctor and hoping it was some sort of alternate reality.

Rose had picked up her desk phone and called her stepfather, who was half expecting her response to Mickey's offer to go bring Ryan back and probably find the Doctor at the same time.

"So, have you made your choice Rose?"

"Yeah, I'll take the consultancy job, I'm not going to risk getting lost like Ryan did."

"That was a fluke and you know it Rose, everything told us we'd got it right that time.  We're almost ready to send someone."

"Well it's not gonna be me, I've lost too much already and what if I get stuck and don't come back?  Mum's gonna be so angry with you."

"I know, that's why I understand why you won't go until someone comes back, with or without them.  How are you coping, really?"

"It gets a bit easier I suppose, I mean I hadn't really got that close to him but he was still my boyfriend.  It's like when Mickey stayed here the first time and I went back, it's something that won't go away entirely but I think if he'd stayed, I would have gone steady with Ryan, his Welsh accent was really cute but I'll never know, will I?"

"You still hold me responsible," Pete stated, not as a question.

"I hold Mickey responsible, he was in charge of the project, I still can't understand why he let Ryan go, even if he was trying to prove he loved me."

"We all know that was the reason he went, after you were devastated thinking the Doctor had died in that other reality.  Right, I've put the word out, you are our new spokesperson for the police, any calls that come in from them other than anything that they don't understand will go to you.  I'll have your extension put on the switchboard and make sure reception knows about it, you'll also be on the directory within the hour so you may start getting a few calls."

"Fine, I need something else to do, looking at online reports of people saying their cat has evil eyes is not my thing.  Haven't we found any new alien artefacts recently?"

Pete laughed.  He knew Rose was interested in anything that was unusual, anything they knew for a fact was not of this world and if Rose recognised it as from one she'd visited or from her own world, she could identify it and stop if falling into the wrong hands.  Pete had declared even when there was only Mickey here, anything that had been invented in that world and not this was dangerous.

Back in Broadchurch, Alec had followed the link for the police consultant, hoping to get more information.  There was a number to contact if her services were required and he made a note of it, he may decide to call her at some point, just to see if she knew him.  He came off the Torchwood website and fished in his jacket pocket for the pills, wondering if he should look them up but his search may be recorded so he decided to leave it and see if there was actually anything wrong with him.

His phone rang and he squinted at the screen, getting his specs out of his top jacket pocket and seeing the name 'Tess'.  Not knowing who it was, he just answered with "Hardy."

"What's wrong with you?" a female voice asked.

"Nothing, should there be?"  He had no idea who he was talking to other than it being his supposed ex wife.

"So, have you checked in with your new boss yet?"

"Are you implying I would not show up?"

"Nothing of the sort, you couldn't get away from here fast enough.  I was mainly calling to say Claire has disappeared, you wouldn't know anything about that, would you?"


"You know more than one do you?  Have it your way then, I'm referring to Claire Ripley, wife of your main suspect who's probably left the country by now."

He knew he had to just play along if he wanted any answers as to who she was talking about, it could have been the mysterious daughter he was supposed to have, with Tess, apparently.  He'd not even met her and he didn't like her.  How old was their daughter meant to be?

"How would I know?"

"Well she left town a few days ago and you took your time leaving, have you been stashing her away somewhere?"

"Why would I do that?"

"Well, you could be hiding her from Ashworth, she did take a big risk turning on him and you promised she'd be safe, maybe she got scared and went to you for help?"

"Well, if I were helping her and hiding her away, I'd not be likely to tell anyone, would I?" he snapped.

"That's just typical of you, I defended you from almost everyone in the station who said you and Claire had something going on."

"Am I supposed to thank you?"

"You could have denied it a bit more fervently than running to the chief and asking for a transfer.  It got to you, didn't it?"

"If you mean carrying a body out of the river than yes, it got to me.  Let me know if you find Claire then."

"You're more likely to see her than I am, she won't come to me for help.  When are you going to bother coming back to see Daisy?"

"I'll call you."  At least he knew the girl's name now.

"Well don't leave it too long or she'll forget what you look like, she's fifteen Alec."

He silently thanked her for those pieces of information.  Was this how it was going to be?  Relying on other people to tell him his life story?  How the hell had all this happened?  Surely he must have friends, a family doctor or someone close that knew what had happened?  Whoever it was, he'd have to find them and fast before he tripped himself up over something, he wouldn't be able to fool people for that long, they might think he was a fraud or he'd come from another reality or something equally stupid. 

Then it struck him – he was the one who was being stupid.  That was it, that explained why he had limited memories, he'd either been in some sort of accident and had his memory wiped but if that were the case, he wouldn't be in this job or he'd been deposited here, from another reality or whatever and taken over this Alec Hardy's life or even been invented.

Maybe Torchwood would come in useful after all, that was what they specialised in according to their public website.  He decided he'd had enough since he wasn't officially starting work until Monday.  He looked at the date on the computer monitor, Friday 11th July 2013.  It didn't seem of any significance but he somehow thought the year seemed odd.

Once out of the station, he saw some catering stalls opposite and crossed over, getting himself a tea to take away but it got him noticed by the town's junior news reporter, Olly Stevens.  He walked around the corner and came to the seafront and sat down on a bench, away from the sea.  It wasn't only the fact he'd dreamt of being pulled under the river but there was something else, a beach and someone with blonde hair, Rose Tyler had blonde hair but try as he may, that was all he could recall.

Whatever was wrong with his memory, it was selective because he knew plenty of other things.
Chapter 3
Rose had gone home that night and her mother noticed there was something wrong.

"Come on Rose, cheer up love.  I know it's been difficult since Ryan was lost.  Did you take that job Pete offered you or did that Mickey Smith talk you into going on another mission?"

"No, I took the job and that's not like me, you know it isn't Mum but since no-one has proved the right universe has been found, I'm staying here.  I might just take a break though, maybe next weekend I'll go off for a few days."

"On your own?"

"Yeah, I need time to think Mum, sorry.  Anyway, where's Tony?"

All weekend, Alec couldn't settle in the hotel, he felt like he was caged in, that he needed some space so on Sunday morning, he took a walk down to the harbour, since there was really nowhere else to go and came to the caravan site.  Maybe he could take one for a few weeks, until he decided if he was staying here or not.  Then he saw a blue chalet at the other side of the river and wondered if he could rent that instead.  He knew he couldn't do anything about it until Monday and when he got to the office he would look it up.  He thought he may as well take a look while he was out though, there didn't seem to be anyone around to ask about it.

It was then he decided he really did need a car, even though he wasn't familiar with the area and made his mind up he'd ask for one on Monday.  He went back to the hotel, getting his key from Becca, who was still trying to ignore him, though what he'd meant to have done to her, well apart from chat her up on his arrival, he didn't know.

What was really bugging Becca was the fact Mark Latimer had started taking an interest in her the other night when his daughter had been helping out at a function and he'd come to pick her up early and they had been talking, which was why she'd been annoyed when the detective arrived and had tried to get her to stay in his room because she'd fancied Mark for a long time and knew his marriage was going through a rough patch.

"Are you in for dinner?" Becca asked him.

"Yes, since it's included.  Do you know anything about those riverside chalets by any chance?"

"No idea, why?  Are you thinking of leaving so soon?  You just got here."

"I need my privacy, I don't like being stared at every time I go into the dining room."

What he really wanted to say was he didn't like her giving him the cold shoulder every time he went to get his key so he thought he may just keep it on him next time.  He went to his room and switched on the TV, wishing now he'd stayed out a bit longer and once he started work he would calm down hopefully, he didn't like sitting around doing nothing, it wasn't him at all.  He didn't know why he felt like that, this feeling deep down was telling him he should be constantly on the go and keeping himself busy so that's what he was going to do from tomorrow – keep busy and only go back to the hotel to sleep or hopefully find somewhere furnished to rent.

He was glad though that Tess hadn't rung back and hopefully she would leave him alone for now.  How was he supposed to explain to her he didn't remember her?

Monday morning, Rose entered her office and began preparing her statement to put out to police chiefs around the country, that she was ready to talk with anyone who was in need of her services to resolve any cases they were having problems with, no matter how big or small they were but she was still trying to finish it when Mickey came in.

"I hope you've not come here to gloat Mickey, I'm really busy and I'm not in the mood.  Sent someone on a mission have you?"

"No, not yet, it's not quite ready for another trip but it will be soon.  Bet you'll be interested then.  What are you busy with?"

She didn't want to answer him, he would only laugh at her, Rose Tyler, once defender of the alternate universe was writing police and press statements, since Pete had said it would be a good idea for the public to know what was going on and it would be good for their reputation, plus it was going on her web page.

"Nothing you would be interested in.  I have to do something or I'll go crazy soon, mum was looking at prospective candidates to replace Ryan, can you believe it?  I caught her looking through the Torchwood profiles of all the single blokes.  I swear if she sets me up with someone, I'm leaving home for good."

Mickey laughed.  "So, what are you doing then?"

"Not going on any dating sites if that's what you mean, I've had enough, thanks very much.  Anyway, I took that job and with a bit of luck, someone might call for my expertise in solving a baffling case.  Before you say anything else – don't bother.  It's not what I wanted but until you get that device working properly, that's my limit."

While Mickey was making fun of Rose's new role within Torchwood, Alec Hardy was sat at his desk, looking through rental property agents' websites, trying to find the blue chalet he'd seen.  When he did, he changed his mind when he saw a photo of water on the decking, not a very good way of getting someone to rent it but the rest of it looked ok, he was debating whether to risk it.  It was that or a caravan but he didn't want any noisy kids playing nearby or waking him up at the crack of dawn.

He noted the price of the chalet and picked up his desk phone to ring personnel to see if they would cover the cost and hoped they wouldn't laugh.  He was told they could pay half of it or when he said about a caravan and the price range of those he'd looked at, they would cover most of the cost.  Then he asked if they could arrange everything and he was told to leave it with them and asked which he preferred.  He just replied with whichever of the two he could get in the quickest and he could pick up the keys.

He got back to the hotel later that evening and had just finished his meal when he felt a little off.  Thinking it was just what he'd eaten, he tried to forget about it and had just got to his room when his mobile rang, the display saying "Alistair' and wondered who that was meant to be.

"Hey, Alec, I'm here waiting for you, where we arranged to meet, had you forgotten man?" another Scottish voice reminded him.

"Right, was that tonight?  Remind me where you are."

"I'm on the end of the walkway, in the shelter and I've been gettin' some funny looks, hurry up will you?  I thought this was urgent?"

"Is that the walkway by the harbour?"

Alistair laughed.  "What's wrong with you then?  Do you need some memory pills?"

"Very amusing, give me ten minutes, I'm on my way."

He just hoped this 'Alistair' recognised him and he didn't have to call him back.  He set off downstairs, walked the way he had to the station that morning and hoped for the best.  He reached the walkway and saw an older man in the shelter, it had taken him a bit longer than ten minutes but the man looked up and waved to him.

"You took your time.  So, are you settling down here?"

"What do you think?"

"Well you couldn't have stayed where you were or you would have been twice as bad as you are now.  I told you, getting out of a large town was the best option for you, it was doing you no good there, the endless arguments with your ex.  I saw her recently, she'd not changed her attitude towards you.  So, what did you want to see me for?  Do you need more of your pills?"

Alec looked at him and went in his pocket, pulling the blister pack out and holding it up.  "You mean these?"

The other man laughed.  "Yes, how many do you take?  You've let them get dangerously low Alec, what is it with you?  Have you actually been taking them?"

Alec wanted to know what they were for first.  He'd felt breathless earlier that day after he'd been out and thought he maybe had been stuck behind a desk for too long.

"When I remember them.  Have you brought more with you?"

Alistair went in his pocket and brought out a prescription and handed it to him.  Alec squinted at it in the fading light and noticed it was for two months supply, maybe he should have been taking them despite not knowing what they were actually for, they must be important.

"It's not going to go away on its own Alec you were told that.  I can fill in the paperwork for you, go on medical leave and get yourself sorted, you can get a transfer to the nearest hospital.  The longer you put it off, the less chances you have of getting through it."

Alec felt himself start to worry what the hell was wrong with him.  "Ah, you doctors, do what I say or you'll end up dead."

Alistair smiled.  "Well get that prescription filled tomorrow, go out of town if you must but get it done and take them twice a day, not when you feel like it, you know what they say about prevention?"

"So, if I take them, will they keep working?"  He hoped they would rather than him finding out the hard way - when something actually did happen.

"Up to a point Alec, as long as you don't do anything stupid such as pull someone out of the river again or go chasing a suspect."

"Well, it's quiet here, I only had a robbery to attend earlier, what's going to happen in a seaside town like this?"

"Be careful what you say Alec, you're tempting fate man.  Right, I'm off and remember what I told you, get something done.  I'll have you transferred to Exeter or Dorchester, then you'll get a letter from them."

"I may be moving soon, I'm not staying in that hotel any longer than I have to."

"Well, let me know but I'll tell them to call you and say you're in the middle of moving.  Don't worry, I won't have them sending appointments to the station."

Alec watched him walk away and sat for a while, no nearer finding out what was supposed to be wrong with him.  He should heed the warning and go get the pills tomorrow, go up into the town or maybe borrow a car and go down to Dorchester or somewhere else nearby.  He didn't fancy walking back up the hill again so he called for a cab to take him back to the hotel.  The next day, he went to the garage at the back of the station and put a request in for a car, being told he'd have one by the end of the day and a DS was going to be upset at losing theirs but he had priority though it would make him popular.

Picking the car up at the end of the day and getting another funny look, he drove down to the next town and discovered a 24 hr superstore on the way in and figured it would be safe enough to get this medication there and maybe he should start taking it, if he remembered.  He'd heard nothing back about moving and decided he'd go set a rocket under the personnel officer he'd left his request with if he heard nothing in the morning.  He was sat waiting for his prescription, having a pot of tea in the café when his phone rang.

He wondered what Daisy wanted, him now knowing it was the name of his daughter.

"Hi Dad, have you settled down?"

"Yes.  How are things with you?"

"You think I'm calling because I want something, don't you?  Honestly, can't I just call you?"

"I never said anything."

"You didn't have to, mum said you were grumpy when she called you but I wanted to tell you, I found out what happened.  Mum tried to hide it from me but I heard her talking.  I know it wasn't your fault."

"Right, okay then, I'm glad you found out."  At least one of them knew.

"Really?  You covered up for mum, to protect me and look what it did to you?"

This was his chance.  "What did it do to me?"

Daisy went quiet.  "You know what it did, I'm not going to remind you and I know you're going to deny it, mum said you would.  Well, I just wanted you to know, I won't bother you with it again, it's over with."

"You mean you're not going to talk about it any more?"  He was hoping she would, so he'd know why he was choking when he woke up.

"Is there any point Dad?  Are you coming back for a visit soon?"

He wondered how long it was meant to have been since he last saw her.

"I'll call you, okay?"

"Sure Dad, like you always do."

He heard the disappointment in her voice.

"I will this time, promise."

He called for his medication and got back in the car, sitting for a few minutes.  Why was his so-called daughter so upset with him?  Maybe he should go seek some help in remembering, this was doing him no good at all, it was one thing to block certain details out but this was his family, he should remember her.

Rose had got home from work to find her mother entertaining a guest, someone Pete knew from Vitex, not that he was there very much she'd noted.

"Rose!  You remember James?" her mother asked.

No, Rose would rather forget James, he was tall and thin, like someone else she'd known but that was where the resemblance ended.

"Hello Rose, not forgotten me had you?"

"How could I?  You tried to get me in the supply cupboard last Christmas at the Vitex party when I told you to get lost."

"Rose, don't be so rude," her mother chastised her.

"So you've not changed your mind about me then?"

She had told him to get lost because two nights before, at the Torchwood party, Ryan had got up the courage to ask her out on a date and she'd said yes because she'd fancied him for a while but wasn't sure she was ready to start dating.

"Look James, that wasn't the best idea you'd had, at the party but I'm not in the market for a new boyfriend just yet, I'm sure my mother has told you what happened to my last one?"

"Yes, I was sorry to hear about him getting lost.  Still, maybe you could just have dinner with me, on Saturday night?"

"I'm going away at the weekend but I'll think about it, when I come back."

"Good, that's all I ask and I'm sorry, about the party, I'd had too much to drink."

"Yeah, well I hadn't but I'll let you off.  Are you staying for dinner?"

Alec was in luck the following morning, he was called into the personnel department on his arrival and was told he could check into a two bedroom caravan that afternoon because the chalet was already booked for some of the weeks but the agency was keeping his details, that's if he was sticking around but with no memories, he'd be best staying until be started to remember.
Chapter 4
A lot of the events will be missed out, they don't need telling again and will be involved only when necessary and where Alec and Rose are concerned.

All was boring for Alec the rest of the week, his only excitement was picking up his caravan keys the following afternoon and finding his way to it, on the first roadway he noted, were personnel implying he'd never find his way out?  He got settled down that evening and got himself something from the convenient takeaway opposite and finding he could cut through the side of the camp supermarket to save walking all the way around.

Rose was finding it equally boring, wishing her time away so by Thursday night, she'd had enough and was already packing.  Her mother stood in the doorway.

"Tony thinks you're leaving him again."

Why did her mother always put the blame on her young stepbrother whenever she didn't want her to go on a mission?

"I'm not leaving home Mum, I'm just going away for a while, a week at the most, I feel trapped and trying to get me dating again isn't helping."

"I'm just tryin' to help sweetheart.  Bring something back for Tony then?"

"Yeah, I will and I'm only a couple of hours away, I'm not off to another planet this time.  Mickey said the project's nearly ready again but I'm not going, I can't.  I've lost too much already and I know you're tryin' to help but lining me up for dates is not the answer Mum."

"I'm sorry then but you look so sad sometimes, I just want you to be happy again, we all do.  Think about that date with James when you get back will ya?"

"I'll think about it, nothing else.  I'm gonna set off first thing in the morning, I've got the hotel booked early so I'll set off mid morning and miss all the traffic."

That was what Rose thought as she made good time, setting off just after ten, making a stop then as she approached the turn-off towards Broadchurch, there was a diversion in place, taking her around the back of the town and on some narrow road that she thought someone was having a laugh moving the 'Diversion' signs which brought her out just above where she wanted to be at the hotel.  She saw the sign for the car park and just bringing her hand luggage out, walked around to the front entrance.

Becca Fisher was in a panic, the phone was ringing off the hook with cancellations, people were checking out and she'd made a huge mistake last night having sex in her car with Mark Latimer on some back road leading away from the hut on Briar Cliff.  So when Rose walked in and she recognised her immediately, she was thankful for small mercies.  She thought though that Miss Tyler had not been listening to her car radio or she would have turned around and gone home.

"Miss Tyler?  Welcome to The Traders Hotel."

"Thanks.  What's with the diversion then?  I thought someone was having a laugh?"

"No, there's been an incident down on the beach, that's all I know.  I wouldn't blame you if you cancel, the beach as been cordoned off."

Rose was already intrigued even though she was officially on leave.

"No, why should I?  I'm sure you've got more than one beach here?  Is there anyone to help me with my luggage?"

"No, sorry but if you bring your stuff in bit by bit, you can leave it here while you get sorted.  I've given you one of the larger doubles, there's only one more person on your floor, the grumpy detective who was there moved out the other day and we have a few older residents who don't seem all that bothered by everything on the floor below."

"Well, I'll get sorted and go have a nosy around then, how do you get to the sea front?"

Becca gave her directions, thankful the Vitex heiress hadn't chosen to leave, well not yet.  There had been nothing on the news so far, they were keeping very quiet but suddenly, she got an alert on her social media account and when she looked, she almost missed the chair when she sat down.

'Suggestions are that the body found on Harbour cliff Beach this morning is that of 12 yr old Danny Latimer'

Becca stared in disbelief and put her phone on the desk, this couldn't be happening, it was punishment for starting an affair with the boy's father.

Alec had been aroused from his sleep at six thirty that morning, a call to go to a break-in on one of the clifftop farms though why they thought it needed his talents, he'd no idea but it served him right for leaving his phone on, he must get in the habit of turning it off.  He'd opted to have a squad car pick him up in front of the station and he had just walked back to it having taken some notes when the officer said he was needed on the beach.  Just what he needed, sea and sand, it reminded him of something though he couldn't think what.

He'd been dropped in the car park, walked around to see a crowd already gathered by the police tape and it was only just after nine.  Ellie Miller had just arrived at the station, handed out presents, been called to the chief's office and sounding her disappointment then getting the call to go down to the harbour.  She'd met Alec, taken an instant dislike to him, the scruffy beard not helping, then she'd had the pleasure of escorting him to see where the boy may have fallen from, being told it was impossible he could have fallen from there so that meant the crime scene was elsewhere and by the end of the morning, she'd had enough, especially when the gruff boss she'd landed herself with told her in no uncertain terms he was in charge.

By the time Rose got down there, a tent had been put over the scene and she thought of getting her Torchwood ID out and having a look but no, she was on holiday, she'd leave it to the experts unless her assistance was asked for. 

Then Alec lost his temper – someone had released the boy's name and when he found it was his new DS, he chewed her out in front of the whole office.  He stormed out to go address the media and made a short statement which Rose just missed as she went back to the hotel but Becca filled her in, keeping out the part she'd been otherwise engaged while the murder had taken place.  Rose noticed something was wrong when she asked for her key.

"Haven't you heard?  The incident on the beach, it was a local boy, Danny Latimer, he was found dead this morning, he was only 12."

"That's terrible, the poor kid.  I've got a younger stepbrother, the family must be devastated, do you know them?"

"Yeah, the father is the local plumber and his mother works at the tourist office opposite.  They have an older daughter as well."

Rose went back to her room to see if there was anything on TV about it, just catching the end of the news bulletin so she called Pete.

"Dad, did you hear about that boy's murder down here?"

"Yes, I was about to call you.  The lead detective down there, well he just called your office number and your secretary said you were on personal leave but she let me know he'd called.  Do you want to get involved?"

"I don't know, it's a bit close to home, with Tony not being that much younger.  Who's the detective in charge?"

"DI Alec Hardy, he's new to the town, I looked him up."

Pete was not going to tell his stepdaughter who the detective resembled in a very strong way, he could have been the Doctor's twin but she would find out when she met him.

"Rose, there's something you should know about him and you have to be sure you want to take this case and you can't let on."

"Can't let on what?"

"That he looks like someone you used to know, very well."

Rose went quiet.  How could this be happening to her?

"Rose, are you still there love?" Pete asked her, concerned that maybe he should let her get over the initial shock rather than do it in front of the detective himself.  "I thought I'd best warn you, you can come home if you want and I'll send someone else.  I had Steph call him back to say someone would be in touch with him shortly."

"No Dad, I can handle it, give me his number."

After Alec had faced the media, the office was in chaos and he closed his office door so he could think straight.  There was no way he could face this, he didn't have a clue what he was doing despite his gruff exterior that he was in charge, he was supposed to have handled a similar case in Sandbrook but he couldn't remember anything up until his arrival here, a week ago yet he was giving orders and knew exactly what to do and say so far but he would break by the end of the day, surely?

Then his 'condition' had steadily been letting itself known during the week that he started taking his medication and finally, he'd looked up what was wrong with him on his phone using the camp's free internet in the bar area.  He had something called heart arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat which explained a lot to him and why he had woken up panicking and he'd also looked up his last case, that of two young female cousins, one had been found in a river, the older one still missing.

Certain facts though had been withheld from the media and he knew he'd have to rely on others to fill in the gaps but since he dreamt of being dragged under the water, he assumed he'd been the one to make the gruesome discovery.  He shook his head and ran his fingers through his thicker than it had been beard.  How long had it been since he shaved?  Still, he wasn't entering any beauty contests and everyone was calling him after some American scruffy TV detective so he wasn't that bothered.

So, he had given in and called the number provided for Rose Tyler, only to be told she was on leave, what was the point if she was on leave?  Then he'd got a call back to say someone would be in touch with him shortly but if it wasn't her, he was going to forget the whole idea.

Miller had called him to go interview the local harbour newsagent whom Danny did a paper delivery for and the chief had caught him and asked if he wanted taking off the case.  They were walking along the harbour, which was surprisingly busy since the town was now in the news.

"Alec, you came down here to lie low, this is not helping your cause," Elaine Jenkinson told him.

"I can handle it, I'm not backing down, the press would be only too happy to report I gave up after my last case.  I hope you are not going to bring that up in great detail?"

He was hoping she would, since there were a lot of blanks to fill in.  Elaine was giving nothing away though.

"No Alec, there's no need to drag that up, well not unless the press do, which if a certain reporter decides to show her face, you'd better be prepared."

Alec was wondering what he'd done that one reporter should be on to him more than others.  How was he meant to know who that was?  He'd soon find out if she did show up he expected.  His mobile rang so he thanked Elaine for the icecream and politely told her to forget him handing the case over to DS Miller, who he was sure she was more than annoyed with him for taking her promotion away from her.

"Hardy," he barked into the phone at an unrecognised number, forgetting he'd called for the Torchwood expert and the name he'd had implanted on his brain since he found himself here a week ago.

"Alec Hardy?  This is Rose Tyler, you were trying to contact me?"

He went to sit on a nearby bench, trying to avoid facing the sea but found it impossible, being on the what passed for a pier.

"Yes, Miss Tyler, thanks for getting back to me.  I was told you were on leave, I expected someone else to call back."

"Well, since I just picked your town to take my time off in, I thought I would call myself.  What can I do to help you?"

Rose almost faltered at the accent, it wasn't what she'd expected, she expected the Doctor's Estuary English one, the one she'd loved to hear him with after the northern one of her first Doctor.

"Could we possibly arrange a meeting?  Say tomorrow morning, my office?"

He wanted to know if he looked familiar to her, if she knew him despite him only knowing her name and after he'd looked her up and seen her photo, he would have known if they'd met before, she was somewhat unforgettable.

"Yeah, okay, I can do that, say around ten tomorrow morning?"

"Fine, I look forward to it.  I read about how you could help with cases, big or small and I just wanted your insight, the case is being somewhat elusive as the actual crime scene could have been anywhere since the boy was found on the beach."

"I saw the police tent earlier. So you don't think he was killed there?"

"We are taking everything into account Miss Tyler.  Could we meet elsewhere though?  Say maybe tonight, across from the station?"

"Sure.  Don't you have your boss's approval to call in Torchwood?"

"Not exactly though I don't really need it unless you charge a consultancy fee?"

Rose laughed.  "Well if Torchwood charge one, trust me, I never see it though this will be my first police case.  Okay, what time do you finish work?"

Alec thought about it, he had a press conference to attend at six, which could take a while.

"Maybe we should leave it until tomorrow then, I have a media gathering to attend later.  Where are you staying?"

"At the Traders, I was told you used to stay there?"

He should have known Becca would make a point of telling everyone.  "Then maybe I could meet you in the bar later?"

"Yeah, why not?  I'll wait for you but don't arrest me if I'm fending off any male patrons while I wait, will you?  I'll say I'm waiting for someone but it may not put them off, I may have to get rough," she laughed.

"I'll try not to arrest you then but if you get violent, I may have to consider it, if you were to resist arrest."

Rose thought she would like to see him try.  She said goodbye and went on her laptop to look him up since she'd not had the time earlier and found he had an ex wife and teenage daughter and a famous failed case in a town called Sandbrook.  Well, it can't have been that famous, she hadn't known about it or the existence of a double of the Timelord she'd known in her old universe so where had he come from?

She called Pete back.  "I have a meeting arranged with Alec Hardy but one thing puzzles me Dad, where has he come from?"

"A place called Sandbrook?" Pete offered.

"No, I already know that but why didn't anyone know about him?  It says the last case he was on was very high profile, the press were all over it and I've looked up newspaper reports, it was headline news and especially in The Herald, one reporter called Karen White had a personal vendetta against him by the looks of it and if it was in the London newspapers, why didn't anyone from Torchwood spot it?"

Pete was wondering that himself and there was only one explanation he didn't think Rose wanted to hear.
Chapter 5
Alec was not looking forward to the media gathering.  He'd told Miller to go home and meet him back at the station afterwards, he'd have to put off his meeting with Rose Tyler for now though she may not be too pleased about it.  He got back before his DS, who came in with two parcels of food and put one on his desk.  He pulled a face.

"It was all there was, the Chinese was closed so eat or starve."

He opened the parcel, he somehow hated eating out of paper.  He looked at the time, nine fifteen, Rose Tyler would be giving up by now.

"What's wrong with you?  Got somewhere else to be?" Ellie asked him as he picked at the food and taking it as a sign he would rather be elsewhere.

"So, this is your first murder involving a child?  How are you finding it?" he asked, trying to find some excuse to go take his medication.

"It's horrific, a child is bad enough but when you knew him?  Aren't you afraid it will turn into another Sandbrook?"

"I wondered how long it would take you to bring that up Miller, I think Sandbrook makes me the best person to deal with it, don't you?"

Ellie thought about it.

Rose had been drinking coke in the bar and avoiding being stared at by a few of the locals, hoping that if Alec Hardy did actually turn up, there wouldn't be a pile of unconscious blokes littering the place.  By ten, she figured he'd changed his mind or maybe he really did know who she was, she was just getting over Pete's theory.

After some careful consideration, Pete had told her the reason he thought no-one, including them from Torchwood knew of Alec Hardy's existence and his involvement in the last case he'd been on.  Torchwood employees had training not to be fooled by such things as psychic paper or what Rose had taught them about perception filters, that even when something or someone was in front of you, you diverted your attention away from it and it made something virtually invisible.

"So, you think this Alec Hardy has had a perception filter around him until he arrived here?" Rose had asked Pete before she'd gone to dinner and to wait for the detective's arrival.

"Well it explains why we never heard of him before now.  Rose, you know as well as I do that if anyone resembling the Doctor made a public appearance, we would have known about it, someone from here would have brought it to our attention, well except for that Scottish actor you seem to like so much but we'd know if it was him, he was here long before you arrived and you said there was one in your old world.  I talked to Mickey and Jake about it, they think the same as I do, that Alec Hardy appeared to the world like he's always been here, only we can see that he didn't and that only means one thing."

Rose knew what that was.  The sudden appearance meant that somehow, the Doctor had made it through and had lost his memories, very elaborately and only one thing could have made it possible, the Tardis was here or had left him here either with or without his knowledge or consent, for him to find her, since he'd known to contact her.

"So what does Mickey think?"

"That he should come down and join you, you're too close to him Rose, if it isn't him, you'll want him to be and you may say something out of place."

"I can do this on my own, let me talk to him first.  If he's hiding himself for some reason, he may want to tell me, have you thought he's maybe making sure it's really me?"

"No, since he knows there's only one Rose Tyler here or maybe he's making sure he has the right universe?"

"Yeah, well I won’t be giving anything away, I'll see what he has to say first.  If he's lost his memory though, maybe he's lost it for a reason?  Maybe he came here to forget and somehow, he remembered me?"

"Well just be careful what you go telling him Rose, if he's trying to forget who he was.  We're only speculating, he really may be who he claims to be and we've got this wrong."

"Maybe he's running away from something or someone?  Maybe he was in danger and didn't want to regenerate, or he couldn't.  If he came looking for me, he wouldn’t want to risk me not accepting the change."

It was after ten and Rose was about to give in and go to her room and assumed he'd been too busy with the case when she looked up and saw him in the doorway.  He nodded to Becca and crossed to Rose's table.  He'd thought of calling her but he'd told Miller to go home, taken his pills and got in his car, he had to get this over with and find out why he'd wanted to meet her so badly.  It had taken a murder investigation for him to get around to it though.

"Miss Tyler, sorry to keep you waiting, I'm Alec Hardy."

"Yeah, so I gather, I saw you on the news earlier, that press conference."

Alec's already unsteady heart leapt, she didn't recognise him but what did he expect?  For her to get up, hug him and ask him where he'd been?

"I just wanted to say thanks for agreeing to this, since you're on holiday.  Why choose Broadchurch though?"

"I don't know, I just wanted somewhere quiet where I've never been before, seems trouble beat me to it?"

"Yes, it seems it did but why would you be interested in the case?"

The tiny bar was empty by now and Becca had gone off to check something or other and Alec thought she was still trying to avoid him but why?  Had he done something really stupid the day he arrived?  He only remembered waking up last Friday morning still, not how he'd got there, which wasn't by car since he'd had to borrow one and he'd had no car keys on him.

"It's a bit close to home Alec, I've got a younger stepbrother and it's my first case, as a consultant."

"Oh, so you are trying it out on me then?"

Rose wondered why Becca had called him gruff earlier.

Rose just smiled.  "Well, I have to start somewhere, don't I?  Anyway, it's only my first time as a consultant, I've had a lot of experience with Torchwood, trust me.  So, we'll meet at your office in the morning then?"

"Yes, I'll have my DS join us and let the chief know I've called you in, she can't complain about the extra help.  It's late, I should let you get some rest."

"Yeah, I wasn't expecting to drive right into the middle of an investigation.  I came to get away from certain things."

"Then maybe I should not have called you?"

"It doesn't matter, I was tempted earlier when I saw the police tent, I was waiting for an invitation."

"Consider yourself invited Miss Tyler."

"Please, call me Rose."  If this was the Doctor, he was doing a very good job.

"I don't usually do first names, I learned that lesson working with my ex wife."  He wondered how he remembered that?

"Well, I hate being called Miss Tyler, you can call me Agent Tyler if you really must."

"I'll consider making an exception, it makes you sound like a secret agent."

Rose laughed.  "The public think we are a secret government organisation, that's why we came up with this idea, the public face of Torchwood and I'm it, apparently.  My stepfather thought it would be a good idea to let everyone know we're not full of secrets and they have enough agents working on the unexplained, I used to be one of them so this is all new to me."

"So you got tired of chasing after little green men?"

"Not all aliens are green Alec, trust me, I've met a few."

Alec raised his eyebrows.  "I bet you have.  Goodnight then, Rose, I'll see you tomorrow."

He got up, taking her hand and kissed the back of it.  Rose thought there was no way he knew her, if it was the Doctor but who else could it be?  Another Timelord who'd found his way to this universe, they were certain there had never been any Timelords here, Rose had told the astronomers at Torchwood where to look for Gallifrey and there was no such constellation never mind the planet, unless it was somehow hidden.

Alec made his way back to the caravan, no wiser as to if Rose had known him before he came here.  Had he had no other friends apart from Alistair, whom he now knew was his physician and friend.  There were a few more contacts in his personal phone though he'd not tried any of them for fear of getting in too deep.  There was someone called Craig, first or second name he had no idea, then there was Claire, an old girlfriend perhaps?  He would have to wait for them to contact him he supposed.

Rose was still worried as she went back to her room, surely there should have been some recognition from him?  If he'd been wanting to make sure it was her, she'd not really given him any clues that it actually was.  Why would he be hiding though?  Was someone after him and he'd managed to make himself human and got the Tardis to bring him here, where he knew he'd be safe with her or was it something else?  It had to be the Tardis behind this, there was no other way he could have got here.  She'd have to try and get more out of him but the short time she had met with him for, one thing was obvious, he didn't look like the Doctor she had known and loved. 

There was the beard to begin with, the accent and something in his eyes, like he was tired and the spark that had been there had gone, whatever the reason he was now Alec Hardy, she meant to find out what had caused it.  It was too late to call Pete so she tried to get some sleep and bother about it in the morning.

Alec got to the station the next morning to see the place in turmoil, desks being brought in, new telephone lines being installed and he was annoyed he had to walk around a bunch of cables on the floor.  Ellie had caught one of the phone engineers looking at a folder on one of the desks, chastising the owner of the desk but as they were discussing Alec's walk on the cliff top that morning, saying about a CCTV camera he'd spotted and telling her to get a hold of the tape, there was a tap on the door and Alec was hoping Rose was early for their appointment though he'd not yet got around to telling his new partner he'd asked the Torchwood agent to join in the investigation.

"Are you finished yet?" Ellie asked the engineer whom she'd seen nosing around earlier.

"Well no but all this, it's about that boy who as killed yesterday, his name was Danny?"

"Everyone knows that, where have you been?" Alec asked the man sarcastically.

"I know things, about what happened to him.  I was told."

"Who told you?" Ellie asked him.


"Miller, take him downstairs to the interview room, oh and there may be someone else asking for me."

"Really?" Ellie asked, wondering who the hell would be asking for him, she'd only known him for a day and he was irritating her.

Ellie took the engineer downstairs and waited for Alec, who had stopped by the front desk to say that Rose Tyler would be calling in, asking for him.  The desk sergeant thought the new DI was having a laugh and he didn't mean the famous Rose Tyler, did he?

"Yes, I mean that Rose Tyler.  Have her wait here for me, I have an interview to conduct."

"Yes Sir."

By the time Ellie and Alec had done with the psychic telephone engineer, Alec practically throwing him out when the man admitted he was 'told' things and knew nothing solid about the case, Alec leaned back on the door.

He'd been taken by surprise by the other man's claim about some pendant from his last case and wondered why he should be forgiven by someone for it, he had to find out what had actually happened, what wasn't in the press so he'd have to get hold of the case files under some pretence or another and take a look.

"Sir, are you okay?" Ellie was asking him.  "Who else were you expecting?"

"A Torchwood agent."

"What?  Are you crazy?  Why do we need to get them involved?"

"You know where the actual murder took place then do you Miller?"

"CSU are working on it, you have to give them time to do their jobs.  We're down on officers as it is with all the local events going on."

"Which is exactly why we could do with their input Miller.  They have a new department that offers to consult with cases, I think we may qualify.  The agent concerned was already in town when I contacted Torchwood yesterday."

"Does the chief know about this?"

"No, not until the agent agrees to work with us, which she may or may not."

"I might have known it would be a female agent.  So who is it then?  Rose Tyler herself?" Ellie laughed.  Then she saw the look on his face.  "You're having me on, why would she come to Broadchurch?"

"You can ask her when she gets here Miller, how do I know?"

He wasn't willing to share the fact he'd already met her last night.  If he was meant to have known Rose, why didn't she know him or was it the fact he'd read up about her before and her name had stuck in his mind, even when he knew no-one else?  They were about to go back upstairs when Rose walked in and up to the desk.

"Miss Tyler," Alec called, stopping Ellie walking into him.

"Hi, I'm not too early am I?  You said ten.  Hi, you must be DS Miller?  I'm Rose Tyler, nice to meet you."

"You too.  Have you and DI Hardy met before then?" Ellie asked as it looked to her like they had, trust Hardy.

That's what Alec really wanted to know.  Rose suspected he'd not told her about their brief meeting in the hotel last night and would be grateful if she didn't say anything.

"I saw him on TV and he mentioned you when he contacted me.  So, shall we go to your office?"

"Hadn't you better inform the chief Sir?" Ellie asked him as they waited for the lift.

"I'll leave that to you Miller, shall I?"

Ellie went off in a huff to find the chief when they got out of the lift, Alec escorting Rose to his office but Rose stopped him before he opened the door.

"I'm not here on a secret mission am I?  Only I thought your chief would have already known I was coming in today."

"I've been busy, I walked the boy's paper round this morning and there's a hut up on the cliff top, maybe the perfect place to commit a murder?  Plus there's a CCTV camera by the car park up there so no, I've not had time to tell the chief."

"You think he may have been killed up there?"

"I'm going to have CSU go up there when they've finished on top of the cliff above the beach."

"Right.  If you're short of forensic experts, I can have a team come down and help out."

"Let's just leave that for now, it could be nothing."

They had just got into Alec's office when Ellie joined them.

"The chief's not happy you didn't inform her Sir."

"Is she ever happy?"

"I can get my director to call her, smooth things over," Rose offered, getting her phone out.

"It can wait.  Maybe we have something interesting for you though Miss Tyler, how are you with psychics?"
Chapter 6
Rose smiled – this was more like it!

"Seriously?  You're asking me about psychics?  Go on then, I'm in."

"You find it amusing Miss Tyler?  Ever heard of one called Steven Connelly?  He claims the deceased boy told him he'd been killed by someone he knew and then been put in a boat.  We've not established where he was killed yet but most of the time a child has been killed by someone they know and trust."

"So, how did he die?"

"He was strangled, most likely by a man since the marks indicate large hands, too big for a woman or even an older child.  As I told you, we will be looking at another scene shortly."

"So anyone reported a boat missing?" Rose mused.

"We'll be looking into that as well," Ellie told her, amused that Rose and Alec were making eye contact with each other, they must have met previously she thought.

After further discussion, Rose got up.  "Well, I'll get my director to call your chief and assure her my being here won't interfere with police procedures and they'll be no costs involved.  I've already explained this is something new to us, this is a test, so to speak but you'll get our full attention.  I'll meet you back here on Monday morning and I'll have someone look into the Connelly bloke, see if we've heard of him.  Do you think he's a crank?"

"Well I do," Ellie replied as Rose got up and Alec did at the same time.

"Well if he's made any similar predictions, we'll have him on record somewhere and I'd seriously look into the boat being used.  Right, I'm off to find a decent latte, any suggestions?"

Ellie smiled.  "Try the bistro just outside, I go there."

"Thanks.  Would you like to join me?"

Ellie looked at Alec.  "No, I'm good, I have work to do then I'd like to spend the afternoon with my family," Ellie told her.

Alec also shook his head and Ellie looked at him.

"Guess I'm on my own then?  Can I see the CCTV footage when you get it back?"

"Sure and we're looking for any other cameras that may have spotted Danny shortly before we suspect he died.  We'll let you know if we find anything at the hut.  Good day Miss Tyler," Alec told her, holding out his hand.

Rose took it, wondering why he was being so formal with her to the point it didn't look like he was fooling his DS.  As Rose walked out, Ellie turned to him.

"Go after her you idiot, she meant for you to go join her, not me."

"Don't be so daft Miller, why would she be inviting me?"

"You're male, she'd hardly be inviting me, would she?  Go on, you'll catch up to her and don't screw it up."

"Miller, we have to work together."

"So?  You worked with your ex."

Ah, maybe he could find some other bits of information.  "Your point is?"

"Oh, that didn't end well, did it?"

"Is that a question or a fact Miller?"

"I don't know much, do I?  You kept everything under wraps when you left Sandbrook and the chief is hardly one to gossip but I know it wasn't your fault, I read up on you, you were cleared of any wrongdoing but no details were released to the public, the families still think you're to blame for the case falling apart."

He was no wiser.  Then he had an idea.  "Miller, I'm going to prove it wasn't my fault but I need help."

"What?  Haven't you got enough on?  Oh, I get it, you're going to get Rose Tyler to help you?  She can get Torchwood involved, good thinking Einstein."

That was even better than his idea.  "You saw through me Miller.  I suppose I can happen to call in the café for a decent pot of tea?"

"Talk about being slow on the uptake.  Get out of here – Sir."

Rose had just ordered her skinny latte and a pastry when she saw Alec pass by the window.  He stood in the doorway and she waved him over.

"Glad you could join me Alec."

"The tea is terrible in the station."

After he went to the counter and told them where he was sitting and to bring Rose's at the same time, he admitted Ellie had given him a nudge.

"So, you wouldn't have joined me otherwise?" Rose asked him as their drinks arrived.

"I may have done.  I'm going to be honest with you, Rose.  Do you know me?"

"What makes you think that?"

"I knew I had to contact you, even before all this happened.  Can we go somewhere and talk, properly?  Maybe I could take you out for a meal, tonight?"

"Is this your attempt to chat me up?" Rose smiled.

"If that's what you want to call it but do I have to chat you up?  Are you pretending you don't know me for some reason?"

"Why would I do that?  Blimey, you believe in being direct, don't you?  What makes you think I know you?"

"Quite a lot but I don't want to talk here.  Can you meet me this afternoon?  Come to my caravan."

"You're in a caravan?"

"Yes, what's wrong with that?  The other place I wanted to rent was taken, it wasn't you who booked that blue riverside chalet was it?"

"No but that's a thought, I should have looked it up before I booked the hotel.  Okay, give me the caravan number and I'll meet you there, say around four?"

"Fine but if for some reason you're playing games with me, I'll find out."

"Why would I be playing games with you?"

"Maybe my ex wife put you up to it?"

She'd read his marriage had ended quite badly, she'd been able to get more information than Ellie had got.

"Sorry but I don't know your ex wife, Tess is it?  All I know about you is what I've read but you think you used to know me?"

"Well yes, I don't know where from though, that's the problem, I just knew your name and to contact you and I was going to, when I had reason, I didn't want to just call you up and get you to talk to me on some false pretences."

"So you thought this murder investigation was just the thing?  Do you honestly need Torchwood's help with this case or was it an excuse to get me here?"

He couldn't tell how she meant that.  "Up until this morning, it was a little of both but since that psychic showed up, what were the chances he would be sent by the phone company to install new lines?"

"He's psychic?" Rose offered with a smile.

"Very amusing.  No, there's something else, he knew something about my last case that was never released in the media.  Something about a pendant."

"Oh.  Well I've not read up properly about Sandbrook but I'll get the case files sent to me but what about this pendant?"

"That's just it Rose, I don't know anything about a pendant and he told me I'd been forgiven over it, I really don't know what was meant by it.  Rose, I've got no memory of anything before I arrived here in Broadchurch last Friday morning."

There, he'd admitted it and if she really did know him and had been playing some sort of game with him, she would have to admit she'd been found out.  He tried to judge her reaction.

"Alec, I'm so sorry.  I'll meet you later and we'll figure this out.  What do you think caused it?"

"I've got no idea and I thought if anyone could help, you and Torchwood could.  Please Rose, I need your help."

"Yeah, of course, that goes without saying, I'll do whatever I can."

"Then answer me truthfully.  Do you know me?"

"Alec, it's not that simple, trust me.  If I just came out and said that I knew you, I'd be giving you false hope, you have to trust me.  We need to take this slowly and we can start by you telling me everything you do remember but not here.  Do you have to go back to work?"

"Yes, I have to see if the CCTV was recovered so I'll still meet you at four but we could meet elsewhere?"

"Yeah, what we have to talk about shouldn't be overheard, I'll still come to your caravan so you best call at the site office and tell them you'll be having a guest."

"They know I'm with the police, let them try to throw me out."

"Well if you put me as a guest, I can get a free swimming pass," she smiled.

"Oh, so that's your price for telling me everything is it?" he mused, pouring the last of the tea into his cup.

"Isn't it worth it?  Aren't you paying for the caravan not how many people are in it?"

"Yes but the police are paying most of it, they may not have made allowances."

"Oh, come on Alec, you let me get a pass for the pool and I'll help you remember things, deal?"

"Since it probably won't actually cost me anything, you have a deal.  Now I should get back to work, we have to go find the local postman up on the estate, the newsagent saw Danny arguing with him a few weeks back."

"Why would he be arguing with the postman?"

"That's what I intend to find out." 

They said goodbye and Rose walked back up the hotel to call Pete.

"How did your meeting go?" he asked her.

"He's definitely lost his memory, he admitted he knows nothing up until he arrived here last Friday.  I think he's genuine about it, he asked me if I knew him."

"You didn't tell him did you?"

"No, I just said it's more complicated than that.  Can you get someone to check out a psychic called Steven Connelly?  He's a telephone engineer, he tried to tell the police about Danny's murder but he also told Alec something about his last case only he had no idea what the man was talking about, something concerning a pendant.  Can you get me the complete case files?"

"Yeah, I'll have them sent to your Torchwood account.  Do you think he suspects something, like how he arrived there?"

"He's no idea, I think he's genuinely wanting to remember but how can I tell him?"

"You have to get him to ask all the questions Rose, it could send him off the rails if you tell him who we think he is."

"I already know that.  He sounded desperate to know if I knew him or not, he even thought his ex wife had put me up to it, to pretend I didn't know him.  What do we know about her?  Her name's Tess."

"I'll see what I can find out but how has he been able to get married and have a career?"

"He couldn't have, well not unless the Tardis took him back in time, wiped his memory and he really did live that life."

"Maybe he did?"

"Well the Tardis did a very good job then, taking him back and having a teenage daughter that he doesn't remember, I read that much about him but it does worry me, if he arrived all that time ago and he doesn't remember it."

"I'm sure you'll figure it out between you.  Don't jump to any conclusions Rose, it still may not be him."

"I know that, I'll tread carefully.  I'm meeting him where he's staying and I think I'd better stick around, so if anyone else calls for my services, someone else will have to take it, just add to my web page that I'm the head of the team and don't make it look like they'll get me."

"I'll get someone onto it and change the wording and stay there as long as you need to Rose, do you want me to have some more things sent down for you?"

"No, I can come back up next weekend, I have enough for a week and I can buy anything that's urgent.  Can you keep mum out of it for now?"

Pete laughed.  "You know if you withhold this bit of information from her what will happen?"

"I'll chance it.  Has she see him on TV yet?"

"She's not said anything so far but who knows?  She knows where you are?"

"Yeah, I'm surprised she's not rung to ask what I'm doing hanging around here.  I think I may book out of the hotel though, there's gonna be a lot of reporters hanging around and it's the last thing I need.  There's a riverside chalet down by the harbour, I may look into it."

"Have you seen it?"

 "Just a glance but Alec mentioned it, he tried to rent it, he thought I'd booked it.  He's staying down at the caravan park, I got him to agree to put me down as a guest and get me a pass for the swimming pool."

Pete laughed.  "Trust you."

"Yeah, well it's a fair exchange for my help and oh, can you call his chief?  She was a bit annoyed he'd called us in."

"I'll call the chief there myself but are you going to help with the case or just help him get his memory back?"

"Both, hopefully.  I may call for a forensic team.  It's funny, we were joking last night, he asked if I'd got tired of chasing little green men and when I said not all aliens were green, he laughed it off.  There has to be something there, in the back of his mind.  He knew enough to contact me and he admitted he didn't know how to and this was the perfect excuse.  Are you still thinking he just got planted here?"

"It's looking more and more like that's what happened, don't you think so?  I have to admit it's the only reasonable explanation but I'll leave it to you to decide.  Don't confuse him with all our theories though, will you?"

"I'll try not to but it's gonna be difficult though, I have to give him some options."

After Alec left Rose outside the bistro, he went back to his office and then he went back out with Ellie to see the postman, Ellie getting told off for putting him at ease.  She drove them back to the station and the CCTV footage from the car park by the hut had come back, showing Mark Latimer waiting by his car.  Alec was cursing the camera owner for it finishing where it did.

"Well, that's a funny time and place to be out on a boiler repair, don't you think Miller?"

"Yeah, I'd say so.  Why don't you go see him and I'll see if they've got around to the hut yet."

"Right.  When you've done that, get off home Miller and I'd like to see your son on Monday morning, have another adult come in with him."

"Fine, I'll have my husband bring him in then."

"Did any more CCTV come back?"

"No, it will be Monday now."

Alec went to see Mark Latimer, who was being very vague and he was getting very suspicious when his phone rang.  It was Ellie to say Mark's fingerprints had been found at the hut.  After telling the boy's father to report to the station on Monday morning, he made his way back to the caravan, stopping by one of the catering stalls for a late lunch and to wait for Rose to arrive. 

He knew he had to get some answers out of her, he had to know what she was holding back from him.  If he could just find out what had happened during his last case but how did that psychic know more than he did?  It had to have really happened and why did he know nothing else about the case?  He'd stopped by the reception and told them a friend would be joining him for an indefinite period and another car may be coming and going.

Rose made her way to the caravan park, hoping Alec had got a swimming pass or she'd have to go find the local sports centre.  She parked across from his caravan, noting he'd got himself a car but since he'd driven a scooter back in the 50's, she wasn't surprised he could actually drive, if it was actually him.  She'd known the Tardis was clever but this was on a massive scale, including a wife and daughter for him in the elaborate plan to either hide him or make him forget who he was.

Try as she might, she couldn't recall him ever mentioning if he could make himself human for any reason, such as hiding from an enemy or simply because he wanted to see what it was like, to experience it first hand.  Maybe he was just tired of being a Timelord and had begged the Tardis to make him human and forget everything but if he was here, that put the other universe in very grave danger because he wasn't there to defend it.  Then it hit her.
Chapter 7
Rose pulled herself together and knocked on Alec's caravan door.  Alec was also getting nervous, did he want to know the truth?  Yes, he had to and he really hoped Rose was the one to give it to him.  He'd already boiled the kettle and he switched it back on again and went to open the door.  Rose knew enough about caravans to step back as she knocked.

"Hi Alec, am I too early?"

"No, of course not, come in.  I got a visitor pass for you, you'll have to put your car registration number down so I'll make a note of it.  I was just making some tea, no latte I'm afraid but I can get some from the supermarket if you want to visit again."

"Won't they think it's strange if I just use the pool and no-one sees me going in and out of a caravan?  Besides, we can go to the swimming pool together if you want?"

"No, I have nightmares about water, the only thing I remember of my last case is being pulled under carrying that young girl."

"Sorry, I didn't know.  I have something to show you, when you've made the tea."

Rose got her pad out of her shoulder bag and set it up, using her password to get onto her Torchwood account and going to the folder marked 'Sandbrook', opened it up, seeing it herself for the first time.

"I've not seen this either but everything you need to know is here and I already downloaded all the press cuttings."

She passed the pad over to him, Alec getting his specs out of his jacket pocket.  Rose was wondering if he really needed them this time, the Doctor, well she swore he wore them to make him look brainy.  He finally passed the pad back to her and Rose glanced through the information.

"You were cleared Alec, that's good news yeah?"

"Yes, it is, that's some relief I suppose.  That's only one case Rose, what did I do, before that?"

"Alec, we don't know, honestly but we've got a team working on it, to see what you did before those two young girls went missing.  We also got your personal record.  You were married, to Tess Henchard, you have a fifteen year old daughter called Daisy and your wife cheated on you with a male DS on the team and she left vital evidence in her car, a pendant and it was stolen shortly after it was found in the main suspects car.  She wasn't admitting anything because you took the blame and said it was you but your bosses cleared you, it was just never made public and the families still blame you."

"Does that make things right?  What about that psychic?  How did he know about it?"

"He couldn't have, it was just a lucky guess.  The 'She' he's referring to must be your ex wife, she forgives you for something, maybe for covering up so your daughter didn't find out she was having an affair."

"That's probably it then, he could not have known anything else.  Where does that leave me Rose?  It's all very well showing me my last case but what about me?  Where do I come from?  I have all my details on my driving licence but that's all I know.  I know nothing of my family or how I got into the police, you have to help me."

"I'm trying Alec, really I am, we'll just have to wait until Torchwood get back to me but I'm no longer on holiday Alec, I'm staying here as long as you need me to, you're not on your own, I promise.  You have the whole of Torchwood behind you as well and I can get Pete to get onto the chief at Sandbrook to get it re-opened and offer our services."

"You're not going up there are you?"

Rose smiled and got up, sitting next to him and taking his hand.  "I'm not leaving you Alec but you have to tell me what you already know."

"Apart from waking up, that Friday morning in the hotel and recovering from that dream I was in the river, nothing.  Well except I was told I had an appointment with the chief here, hell, I didn't even know where I was and I was meant to have asked the hotel owner to spend some time with me when I'd got here the night before but I have no recollection of such a thing and she won't talk to me now, I don't have a clue what I said to her."

Rose let out a giggle.

"It's not funny Rose.  I know I'm a DI, I can do my job, I can drive and I remember everything since my arrival but that's it."

"Are you sure?  You can't hold anything back from me Alec."

He thought about it.  She'd find out sooner or later if Torchwood pulled his medical records.

"Okay, there is something.  Have Torchwood accessed my medical files?"

"I've not looked yet, should I?"

It was time to come clean with the one person in this town who could really help him.

"I found these pills, in my pocket and I had no idea what they were for so I never took them."

He let go of Rose's hand, which was soft and warm and fitted in his own hand perfectly and went to his jacket, pulling a strip out, the rest were in the bathroom cabinet.

"I kept feeling faint so I looked them up, I have a heart condition, manageable so far if I take these but who I think was my GP and friend came down to see me and said I'd have to get transferred to the hospital here, he knew about me and my ex, he'd been covering up for me but he wanted me to go on medical leave and I'm waiting for the hospital to ring, which I was going to ignore until I found out how bad I was."

"Alec, you can't ignore something like that.  Why haven't they contacted you yet?"

"Maybe I'm not that bad?  I read up about it, I need a pacemaker."

"Alec, you have to do something about it, before it's too late.  Let me get Pete to set up an appointment for you, is Dorchester the nearest?"

"I expect so but I'm not having surgery, not until I solve this case.  If I let one family down, I can't put another one through the same."

"It's not worth dying over, we can take over the investigation, see you get the credit for it and you get yourself sorted first.  What about DS Miller?  She can take over for a few days, have it done over the weekend and keep it to a minimum?"

"What if I don't survive Rose?"

"Don't go talking like that."

How could the Tardis have done this to him?  Planted him here with a bad heart and the attitude he wasn't going to do anything about it.  Well that was it, she was going to take charge, which was probably what the scheming ship had already planned, this was on a massive scale for it to be anything other than the Tardis interfering, making sure he got the help but why was he ill?

"So, are you going to tell me who you think I am, how you know me?"

"In good time Alec, I can't just come out with it, not until we've looked at everything.  Why don't you come up to Torchwood with me next weekend, I have to go get some more clothes anyway.  They can see if they can help you get your memories back but I'm warning you, you may not want them back, you may have lost them for a reason."

"It's not self-inflicted, if that's what you're getting at."

"I'm not saying it is Alec, you could have suffered a blow on your head or a rare occurrence where you just woke up that Friday morning and had forgotten everything.  That's what we do Alec, we figure things out and I'm here for you."

She got up as Alec put the pills back in his pocket and stepped up to him.  "I'm not gonna let anything happen to you, you have to trust me."

Alec instinctively held his arms out and Rose hesitated for a second.  Whether this was really the Doctor or not, he needed her help and badly and until it was established who he was she was all he had.  She let his arms fold around her, it felt like the hugs they often used to share but Ryan was still in the back of her mind.  It had taken her a long time to even kiss Ryan and it had never got to the serious stage, they had fooled around and he'd often got her to stay overnight in his apartment but they'd never had sex, she couldn't bring herself to fully commit to him.

As they clung hold of each other, Alec absent-mindedly kissed the top of her head, smelling her fragrant shampoo that reminded him of something.  He was now more positive than ever that she actually knew him so why wouldn't she say?  Rose found herself putting her arms around him, reminding her so much of the man she'd been trying to get back to.  She glanced up at him and smiled.

"I hope you haven't got any nosy neighbours Alec."

"Let them look, what do I care?  You have a camp pass, you may as well use it and stay here as long as you want."

"Yeah.  So, are there two double bedrooms here?"

"No, a double and a twin and trust me, you would not want to sleep in the twin room unless you enjoy being claustrophobic?"

"Ah, guess I'll have to put up with the hotel then?  I hope a load of reporters don't turn up, they'll spot me a mile off, I'll have to keep dodging them."

"Well, you could stay here and keep an eye on me, you could keep the bedroom door open or sleep in here."

"You could be a gentleman and offer me the double room?" she laughed back at him.

"Stalemate then?  Look Rose, I know you want to help me but I'll be fine, go back to your hotel room, at least until the press show up, even if it's just to sleep, I don't want you to be uncomfortable.  Would you like to go out for a meal tonight?"

Rose let go, much to Alec's dismay, he was rather enjoying it.

"Yeah, I'd like that.  Why don't I go get changed and you pick me up outside the hotel around seven?"

"Fine.  Are you going to take advantage of the pool tomorrow?"

"Why, want to come and watch?"

He knew he'd been caught out, what man in his right mind wouldn't want to watch Rose Tyler in her bikini?

"That's all I would be doing, believe me.  If you dreamt of being dragged underwater, you would also give it a miss but I don't object to you making use of the pool, you could have had my pass I suppose."

"It's best if I get one of my own, in case someone sees you going out and if my car's here.  I'll be off then, see you at seven."

She reached up and kissed his cheek, catching him by surprise.

"Just one thing Rose.  How long do I have to wait until you tell me everything?"

"I can't say, we've got someone working on it, they can make enquiries even the police can't and don't worry so much, we'll get to the bottom of it.  I'm not promising you'll like what they find though."

"I'm not bothered about that, I just want the truth Rose, I'm trusting you to give it to me."

"I will, when I get all the information.  So, where are you taking me?"

"Do you like Italian?"

"Yeah, should you be eating rich food?"

"You sound like my friend, you don't know him do you?" he smiled, kissing her cheek back.

He watched her walk back to her car, waving to her and going back inside, smiling to himself.  Would it be so bad with Rose at his side?  There had to be a reason he knew to contact her, what wasn't she telling him?  He got his phone out and looked up places to take her, the nearest Italian restaurant being on the outskirts of the town so he called the number and made a booking for seven thirty, giving him plenty of time to get there.  Then he looked up florists and asked them to deliver a dozen red roses to her at the hotel, cursing himself for not knowing her room number but the woman told him they would leave them at reception for her but now, the woman knew Rose was staying there.

Rose had just got back to the hotel, having stopped at a local dress shop to choose something nice for her dinner date with Alec, then she found she had no shoes to match and gone in search of some so by the time she got back, she had less than an hour to get ready so it was going to have to be a quick shower without wetting her hair too much and a quick change.

Becca stopped what she was doing when Rose entered with two carrier bags and got her room key.  The flowers had just been delivered and she'd seen who they were from.  What was he playing at?  He'd asked her to his room the night he arrived, she'd turned him down and he'd never bothered since.  Just because she'd said no once didn't mean never, even though she knew now she'd made a big mistake with Mark and then the detective had moved out, that should have made it easier if anything, they wouldn't run into each other the next morning.  She'd been annoyed at his advances at first but was now regretting it, well now he was sending flowers to Rose Tyler she was.

"Oh, these just came for you, there's a card.  I couldn't help notice who they were from."

Rose looked at the card which simply said 'Looking forward to our dinner date – Alec.'  There was one 'x' underneath.  She smiled and picked them up.

"I'd best go put them in some water then and don't get the wrong idea, I've agreed to help him with this murder investigation, it will probably be a working dinner."

Yeah, like Becca was going to believe that one, she told herself on the way up to her room.

Alec was getting nervous now, over a dinner date which would probably mean she either expected it to be a working 'date' or she would expect him to try to kiss her and who was he to disappoint her?  Rose didn't even have time to get an update from Pete as to Alec's unusual predicament he'd found himself in, was there really an Alec Hardy or not?  Pete did indeed have teams digging into Alec's past but they hadn't come up with much so far which had led Pete to believe more and more the detective had been deposited here.

They were looking into all kinds of possibilities from the Tardis leaving him here to the rift in time and space Rose had told them about in her world, which so far, to their knowledge, didn't exist here but it could account for his sudden appearance and all indications were, he was part of an elaborate fabrication of his past life and everyone around him believed he'd been there since the day he was born, all except the trained Torchwood operatives who were doing the research and Rose and Pete themselves.  There was no concrete evidence he'd been involved with other cases before his last one.

As Rose was getting ready, at the Tyler residence, Pete had been cornered by his wife.

"Have you been talking to Rose?"

"Yeah, she said she'd called you."

"Well not today.  How long did you think you could hide it from me Pete?"

"Hide what?"

"That town she went to and that detective in charge.  I do watch the news you know?"

Nothing much got past this new version of his wife. 

"She knows Jackie and she's okay with it, she's helping him."

"She's supposed to be having a rest.  What you letting her work for, has she started her new job?"

"Yeah, you could say that but it's personal Jackie, she's not just helping with the investigation, we think Alec Hardy really is the Doctor."

"What?" Jackie asked in disbelief.

"We think he got here somehow, we're trying to figure it out but he's no idea who he is, it's up to us and Rose to find out if it really is him or not and no-one is more qualified than she is so she's staying there a while longer.  We're sending a team down on Monday so she can concentrate on him.  She can do this better than anyone Jackie, you know that."

"So, he doesn't know he's the Doctor then?  How did he get here?"

"We're trying to find that out but until then, no-one must tell him so if she brings him here, don't say a word to him."

"No, of course not but what's it doing to poor Rose, she's just lost Ryan, what if it isn't him?"

"You ever heard of Alec Hardy before today?"

"How would I Pete?  I've not been here that long."

"Well the whole country thinks he already existed and he had a case that went wrong a few years back and he's still being blamed for it.  That's why Rose is concerned whether it's him or not but to everyone apart from Torchwood, he had a whole life before he arrived in Broadchurch and he doesn't remember any of it."

"Oh, the poor man, imagine that?  No wonder Rose got involved if it's the Doctor or not but if it's not him, she's gonna be upset.  Maybe we should go down there?"

"No, leave her for a while, she doesn't need us hanging around there, Tony will want to go as well and she won't be able to concentrate, she needs to give him her full attention because there's something wrong with him."

"What is it?  I've seen him ill before you know, when he regenerated, it's nothing new to me and I had to cope with him looking different as well."

"Yes, you told me about it but this is different and Rose doesn't know yet, I just got sent his medical report, he's got a heart condition."

"Well no wonder, when he's used to having two of 'em.  So when he got left here, he lost one of 'em?"

"Maybe but we don't think he's a Timelord any more, he appears to be fully human."

"Well that's different then, he's finally one of us, Rose always wanted him to be human, she finally got what she wanted."

"At a price Jackie, he could die if he doesn't have a pacemaker fitted and soon by the look of the reports.  I've sent them to her but maybe he told her, I hope he's been honest with her."

Rose had just had a quick shower, put on her best underwear and was combing her hair in front of the mirror, wondering if Alec was going to try something stupid like to kiss her.  The Doctor had never shown anything other than friendship towards her except on the odd occasion they'd looked at each other and their lips had grazed for a few seconds but she'd longed for more than snogging him when she'd not been in control of her actions but she wasn't ready just yet, not after it took her all that time with Ryan.

She took one final glance and picked up her delicate shoulder bag with the chain, containing her mobile and a few odds and ends she thought she might need and a clean pair of underwear, just in case but she'd no real intentions of kissing him, let alone anything else, he was ill and therefore she was responsible for keeping him calm.  Her door locked behind her, she put the keys in her purse, she'd have to use the side door after ten thirty if Alec kept her out later and getting downstairs, nodded to Becca, who noticed she was all dressed up to say it was a 'working' date, more like working on Alec Hardy and getting him into her bed.

Oh well, Miss Tyler wouldn't be here forever and the detective was here to stay, well at least until he found out who killed Danny and it wasn't her or Mark but she was worried now she'd have to give Mark Latimer an alibi.
Chapter 8
Alec was waiting in his car just before seven, the nervousness not yet wearing off but when he saw Rose in the doorway, some of it began to disappear, she'd at least turned up.  She got into the car and he greeted her.

"You look nice Rose, I hope you weren't too rushed?"

"No, it's okay and thanks for the flowers, they were lovely, Becca was jealous."

"I bet she was.  I can't figure out why she's so mad at me.  Can't you drop a few hints and find out what I'm meant to have done?"

Rose giggled.  "Yeah, you know what us women are like.  I'll see what I can get out of her in the morning, I'm sure I'll have plenty to tell her."

"I'm sure you will."

Alec pulled up near the restaurant and was surprised Rose didn't wait to be let out so he locked the car and held out his arm, which she took and smiled at him.  The evening went well, at least Alec thought it was going well, he couldn't for the life of him remember ever taking a woman out on a dinner date, he must have taken his so-called ex wife out on dinner dates, surely?  That was worrying him, meeting up with his ex or even his daughter and he'd have to try and put it off for as long as possible.  He was going to ask Rose if she meant to keep her word and at least tell him some of it.

They had moved to the bar area and Rose watched as he sipped a bottle of non-alcoholic lager, he was taking no chances.

"Have you thought any more about your condition Alec?" Rose asked him.

"No, should I?"

"Well yeah, that was the idea.  I can help you with your memory but that's it, the rest is up to you.  I'll talk to Pete tomorrow, maybe there are some experimental techniques you can try?"

Alec smiled and took her hand.  "You mean like beaming in a pacemaker?"

"Very funny Alec.  Pete will get someone onto it but it's up to you what you have done about it.  You've not actually heard what any of the experts have said, have you?"

"Not that I can recall.  I don't like this Rose, all this not knowing so when are you going to tell me anything?"

She felt so sorry for him – this was not his fault and she desperately wanted to tell him but it would do him a lot more harm than good at this stage as she couldn't come right out and tell him they thought he was an alien from another planet and an alternate universe, well not in his current state of health anyway.

"Alec, I'd like nothing better than to be able to tell you but we have to take this slowly.  We should go somewhere else and talk, my hotel room?"

Alec smiled.  "You intend parading me in front of Becca Fisher do you?"

"Well you wanted to know what you'd done to her," Rose teased, finishing her drink.

"I have a better idea, my caravan, you can show me off to her another time.  If I didn't know better, I would think you were stalling me."

"No I'm not, I genuinely need to get as much information back as I can because if I come right out and tell you, well it will end badly, trust me.  You could have an attack, you could flip out and storm out of here and crash your car and I would be responsible Alec and I can't live with that."

"Hell Rose, what are you not telling me?" 

"Let's get out of here and ok, we'll go to your caravan if you want to keep away from Becca."

"Fine then, let's go and I want some answers Rose because I'm running out of patience and I could ask you questions all night if I wanted to, that much I do know."

"Never doubted that," she replied as Alec took her hand and led her back to the car.

It was only just after nine so she couldn't even use the excuse it was getting late as Alec pulled up in his parking spot beside his caravan.  He let them in and even though it was July, it got a bit chilly by the coast at night so he put the heating on but took his jacket off.

"Right, start talking Rose, please because I really am at the very edge of my limits.  Just answer me this – do you know me?"

Rose had been dreading this moment almost from the time she suspected who he was and she couldn't keep putting him off.

"Alec, I think you are someone I used to know from a long time ago but you look different and you talk with a different accent.  Your appearance, well that's easily explained, you grew a beard and you're ill but your accent, if you are who we think you are, you once put on a Scottish accent to fool someone and if you've lost all your memories, then that's how you think you've always sounded."

She'd had a bit of time to think about this, that if the Tardis had brought him here with limited memories, the ship had wanted him to start all over again and give him another chance of being happy.  The Tardis had made sure he would find her and if he couldn't remember what his life had been like before he had been brought here, then it wouldn't upset her or bring back painful memories of his past for him.  She just couldn't figure out exactly why the ship had sent him here, unless that was his sort of dying wish, right before he changed again.

"Rose, this is how I think I sound and you are not helping me here.  So, you think you used to know me?  Did we lose touch or something then?"

"Yeah, you could say that.  Just hang on a second, I'm just gonna check something with Pete then I promise, I'll give you some answers."

Alec nodded.  Rose got through to Pete, who had been half expecting her call after she would have found out there was something wrong with Alec.

"I thought you'd call Rose and I've spoken to medical at Torchwood.  If you can get Alec up here, we'll have him checked out."

"Right but that's not why I'm calling.  I have to tell him a few things, just background stuff."

"Okay then, you go ahead but ask him about coming up here."

"Hang on.  Alec, can you get away next weekend?"

"I expect so, do Torchwood want to see me?"

"Yeah.  Pete, he's coming up with me next weekend.  I'll call you tomorrow."

She got up and sat next to him, taking his hand.  "Okay, are you ready for this?"

Alec took her other hand and pulled her nearer until she leaned on his shoulder and he put his arms around her, pushing her hair away from her neck.

"Tell me Rose."

He kissed her cheek and she turned towards him, catching the side of his mouth, he turned into it but Rose pulled away.

"Sorry, I'm not ready for this, I lost someone recently.  His name was Ryan and he went on a mission for Torchwood and never came back."

Alec backed away but she pulled him back.  "Alec, it has some bearing on what I have to tell you."

"What do you mean Rose?  Who am I?"

"At this present moment you are who you think you are, Alec Hardy, police detective but we think you used to be someone else and when you lost your memory, you became him because early indications are, there wasn't really anyone with that name until Sandbrook."

"Then why do I have an ex wife and daughter?"

"They exist, yes but only because they believe it and everyone around you believes it as well but Torchwood agents and most of the people who work there have basic psychic training, we can see beyond any illusions.  Alec, this is really difficult to explain without upsetting you.  Do you believe there are other worlds out there?"

"If you mean other planets then yes, there are other planets but if you mean different universes, I have to believe it may be possible.  Are you saying I'm from one of those and I fell to earth?"

He half smiled, not sure where this was going and coming from anyone else, he may have locked them up in a nice padded cell.

"It's not what you think.  Yeah, there are other alternate universes out there, Torchwood have an ongoing mission to explore them, I was part of it.  We were looking for someone I used to know who got left behind on one of them.  I'd just got back from one universe, it didn't end well and I was upset and while I was getting over it, my boyfriend, Ryan Cooper did something really stupid, he went in my place and never came back."

"So you blame yourself for him getting lost, it should have been you?"

"Yeah, it should have been but I had more experience than him, we were trained for any situation but it was only Ryan's second mission.  He went because control thought they had found the right universe and he wanted to prove he loved me by going and bringing back the man I originally lost, thinking if he did, I would still choose him.  He couldn't get over the fact I still wanted my friend back after all this time and I couldn't settle for anyone else."

"So this friend of yours, was he your boyfriend?"

"No, he was my best friend and I loved him but we weren't romantic, not like that.  I wanted more but it didn't matter to me, we went everywhere together, we were inseparable and I was torn away from him.  I screamed for the device we were using to take me back but it was too late."

"So, he went on a mission then?"

"Not exactly, we were already there.  It involved the Cybermen."

Alec smiled.  "What are Cybermen?"

"Alec, you must be the only person on this world who doesn't know who they were and trust me, you don't want to.  It's a story for another day but basically, they were invented by a lunatic who wanted to preserve himself and they went wild and turned half the population of London into them and turned their creator into the cyber leader.  I know because I saw him but that's not important.  They all got rounded up and were locked inside the factories until they plotted to escape, using the old Torchwood, unwittingly at first but then the old regime abandoned everything and left the Cybermen to it, mostly but they used the resources to escape."

"Escape to where?"

"A parallel world, where do ya think?"

"Oh and you followed?"

"Not exactly, Pete did, along with a few friends.  The Torchwood in the other universe helped then, unknowingly, thinking they were some sort of power source until it was too late and the Cybermen took over.  Why haven't you thrown me out yet?"

"I'm wanting to hear the rest but what has this got to do with me?"

"I'm getting to that.  Alec, I can't just come out with how we think you're involved in this, not yet.  Let's just leave it at that yeah?"

"Okay then but I want the rest tomorrow, got it?"

"Yes Sir!  Now are you going to take me back to the hotel?"

"You could stay here, I'll sleep in here and you can have my room, you can borrow one of my t-shirts but first, I want to know why you backed away when I tried to kiss you?"

"I told you, I lost my boyfriend a while back, I don't know if he'll ever return."

"Are you going to wait forever?"

"I don't know, I spent a lot of time hoping to get my friend back but never did, it took a while for me to even consider going out with anyone else and Ryan, he was the first man I'd gone out with but I wanted to take it very slowly."

"He must have had some patience then but I know one thing Rose, there is a connection between us, how else would I know to contact you?"

"You waited a week Alec."

"Yes, I don't know why I did that, maybe because I was dealing with my health problem?"

"Yeah, about that.  Let someone at Torchwood take a look at you, no strings?"

"I'll consider it but maybe if I get my memory back, I'll know what caused it and decide against it?"

"You don't want to do that, you've been avoiding the subject and you can't keep it a secret much longer, I knew there was something wrong with you, other people will begin to notice, especially DS Miller."

"Ah, she's too busy trying to fight me to get her promotion she accuses me of taking from her.  Maybe you can make friends with her and get her off my case eh?"

He leaned forward again and took her hand.  "So, are you staying?"

"I have a perfectly good hotel room you know, breakfast included."

"I'll make you breakfast, if you'll stay?"

Rose smiled.  "How can I turn down an offer of breakfast made by you?  No more talking about Cybermen though, you can look up the whole thing tomorrow, I'll give you limited Torchwood access.  I want to go swimming tomorrow so you can drop me at the hotel to get my things, I'll go to the pool and leave you my data tablet and we can meet for lunch, unless you want to meet at the pool?"

"Okay then, I'll take a look at the files you have, I need to know about it but don't get mad at me if I try to kiss you again, will you?"

With that, he put his hand on her cheek, his thumb straying to the side of her mouth then onto her chin.

"Alec, it's not that, its just once you hear everything, things could get very awkward in a very short space of time."

"Rose, I don't think things could ever get awkward between us."

Rose looked into his brown eyes, the ones she'd stared into many times only they did look different and it wasn't the fact he was ill, it was something else, they didn't look as old and as worried.  She knew as a Timelord, he had carried all that guilt around for centuries in earth terms and now he had none.  That was what the Tardis had also done – erased all the pain and guilt he'd had and made him a new man.  Who was she to bring all those painful times flooding back to him?  She didn't resist as he got closer, almost like earlier but she didn't turn away, it had taken her a week to let Ryan even kiss her properly yet here she was, split seconds away from letting Alec kiss her.

He had enough to worry about, no memory, he'd no idea who he had been and the Doctor was long overdue a little bit of romance and he'd tried to tell her the reason why he hadn't been able to get close to her or anyone else, because he couldn't bear to let them leave or watch them grow old and die when he lived on but that seemed to be no longer a problem, if they were right, he'd never remember.

Rose gave in and he tried again, this time with more success as their lips grazed and she felt his warm lips on hers, just for a few seconds, an exploratory kiss to gauge her reaction and when she didn't resist, he did it again, this time lasting a few seconds longer as Rose relaxed into it.  A great sigh of relief washed over Alec because the last thing he wanted was to drive the only friend he had away and if he'd persisted and she slapped his face and told him to get lost, he'd be on his own again but she hadn't and he was more than grateful for that.

He pulled away and let it sink in, giving her time to react but Rose had a blank expression on her face, like she was trying to process what had just happened between them but he relaxed as she began to smile.

"That was some kiss Alec."

"Was it?  I have nothing to compare it with Rose, though it was more than pleasant, well for me it was."

"Yeah, it was nice, sweet and definitely pleasant.  It wasn't quite unexpected, I may have been disappointed if you'd not tried more than once.  I'll stay, because I'm worried about you after what I've learned today and I don't want to leave you on your own."

"Good and I'll give you the other door key, so if I'm out, you can come in and make yourself a drink or wait for me.  I'll go get you that t-shirt and I have some spare shorts you can borrow.  I'll go get them and a duvet and pillow from the other bedroom."

"Alec, I'll sleep in here, I was only joking earlier."

"No, I insist you take the double bed, there's plenty of room for me to spread out.  You do know I may wake you if I call out?"

"Why would you call out?  Oh, if you feel unwell?"

"Yes but not just from that, I wake up thinking of being in the river, carrying a girl out, now I know why after reading those reports but why do I only remember that?  I wake up, all wet from sweating and panicking that I was pulled under with her weight."

Rose looked at him – how could the Tardis do this to him?  Leave him with a bad heart and a false memory of something that never happened to him but then she realised, it was to make him think it was real.  The ship could have found a better way though but maybe it was all last minute.  She still hadn't gone into much thought of how the ship had even got him here and why, unless it actually was his last wish before regenerating because he would never leave the other universe totally unprotected.

She put her arms round his neck and kissed his cheek.  "Well I'm here if you wake up this time, I'll leave the door open so if you wake up I'll hear you."

"You don't have to do that Rose."

"Yes I do because you've had over a week of it, suffering on your own and now you don't have to, you've got me now."

"Thank you Rose, it means a lot to me and I'll try not to wake you unless I really have to."

"Don't worry about it.  Are you sure you'll be okay in here?"

"Yes, I'll go get those things for you and you can use the bathroom first.  You should think about moving out of the hotel."

"I just got there, what will Becca think?  If I get one glimpse of a reporter, I'll have an excuse to leave but I'd best wait for now, I've only been there one night, remember and she's bound to miss me in the morning."

"Well you could go back for breakfast, if you don't fancy my cooking.  I could get offended though."

Rose followed him along the narrow corridor to the end bedroom and he got a clean white t-shirt from the drawer and a new pair of boxers, to which Rose thought they'd hardly fit her, let alone him and took them from him, smiling.  She took the things into the bathroom while Alec pulled the duvet from one of the twin beds off and picked up a pillow, the twin room was only meant for kids or small people by his reckoning.  While he was doing that, he wondered why he knew things in general but not about his personal life or those Cybermen Rose mentioned earlier but maybe it was just as well from what she'd said about them.

He settled the bedding on the longest of the lounge seating and waited for Rose coming out of the bathroom – he was not used to sharing, that he was certain of.  Rose had been thinking about what she'd told him so far, he'd taken it reasonably well to say he'd no memory but she thought even more that what the Tardis had done to him was totally unnecessary, making him ill like that but he'd been left in a place that would attract attention and he'd been left the idea to contact her so that was something.
Chapter 9
Maybe the Tardis had rushed things but this had taken some doing, making everyone think he'd been around his whole life, well except for him, why was that?  Surely it would have been better for him if he remembered living his life?  Maybe not though, if the Tardis intended him finding her, he would have found it more difficult and if his memory did return, then he'd feel guilty for doing it and leaving her but she didn't think the Tardis intended for him to remember at all.

She came out of the bathroom, the t-shirt covering the top of her legs, she didn't have the nerve to wash her undies and leave them to dry in the bathroom so she'd left her spare pair in her purse and found Alec's laundry in the wardrobe and figured she'd just go find the laundry room on Monday morning and go drop it off for him.

"Alec, I've finished, I put my laundry with yours, I'll sort if for you.  I'm going to make some tea, do you want some?"

He got up and crossed to the kitchen area as Rose was filling the kettle.  He looked at her, in his t-shirt and just being able to see the bottom of the shorts.  He put his arms around her neck and kissed it, making Rose smile. 

"I'll take that as a yes then?  Don't you get any funny ideas mister, I'll still sort you out even if you are ill, got it?"

"Yes Ma'am, got it but I want a goodnight kiss."

"You'll get one when we've had our drinks and don't forget that key."

He went to the kitchen drawer and brought it out and put it in her hand.

"I meant it Rose, your name is down so you may as well take advantage, just make yourself at home even when I'm not here and think seriously about staying in the hotel, right?"

"Yeah, I will but you might regret inviting me, I could do something really stupid like be here when you finish work and have dinner ready for you."

"Then I wouldn't mind if you did.  I may have supposed to have been married but I really don't know what it's like so you may be the one who might regret it."

"I've lived with worse people, well not lived with a boyfriend, not since Jimmy Stone and I don't want to remember that but I had another boyfriend, Mickey, you'll get to meet him but he was a bit of a slob really.  Then there was the friend I lost, we sort of lived together but had separate rooms and Ryan, well nothing much happened, I stayed overnight a few times but we didn't get very far in the bedroom department, I was still reluctant."

"I didn't ask for your love life history Rose," Alec smiled.  "I've got nothing to tell you, sorry."

"It's ok Alec, I was only saying but on Monday, when we get more results back, we can start seeing if you can remember some things and if not, then you'll just have to accept that this is who you are, Alec Hardy – police detective and if you want the job, being my boyfriend, it will save any awkward questions that we spend a lot of time together because if Pete sends another team down, then I'll have more time to look after you."

He liked the sound of that, she was just what he needed, his first real solid relationship, well that he could actually remember.  He waited until she made the hot drinks and put his arms around her waist and nuzzled her neck.  She felt like home.

Rose kissed him goodnight and went off to the double bedroom, feeling a little guilty that she'd made him use the seating area for a bed but he would feel trapped in that smaller twin room.  She was going to think seriously about moving in here but how would other people react?  When did she bother though with what other people thought?

Alec had admitted earlier he'd followed her to the café because DS Miller had told him he'd stuffed up an invitation, would he still have followed her though?  She liked to think he would have done, he'd said he felt he had to contact her though not why he'd put it off.

She'd been asleep a few hours after they'd just kissed for a while which seemed strange to her, the Doctor had been one for excessive hugging, not kissing and she'd left her bedroom door open slightly and the door at the other end of the corridor had been propped open, warning Alec he'd better not snore, when she woke suddenly.

She could hear something in the living area and got out of bed, wishing she'd something else to wear but putting the corridor light on, couldn't see Alec from where she was, he was beyond the small kitchen area but she could hear him thrashing about and was worried he'd fall off the seating.

"Alec, wake up.  Are you okay?"

He opened his eyes and could make her out in the dim light.

"I'm fine Rose, go back to bed.  I did warn you."

"Well you didn't sound fine to me a minute ago.  Look, if you promise to behave yourself, come back in with me, you're gonna fall off there if you keep doing that."

"If I come in there I may thrash out at you, do you really want that?" he asked, getting out from under the duvet, not bothering he was just in his shorts as he'd taken his t-shirt off because he'd been too warm.

Rose was trying her best not to ogle him in the little light there was but was failing miserably.

"Never mind that, just leave the bedding here and come in with me and we'll discuss it in the morning because I won't go back to sleep for worrying about you.  Do you need your medication?"

"No, I'll be okay so stop fussin' about me.  I'll come and join you, when I've found my t-shirt."

She was about to tell him not to bother but went back to the bedroom, waiting for him to join her.  She heard the bathroom door open then she heard him moving around and coughing.  She hated seeing him like this and it looked like she had her work cut out for her keeping him safe for another week.  If not for this investigation, she would have marched him to the nearest hospital but he probably wouldn't thank her for it.

He was scared and he'd every right to be so, not knowing how he'd even got this way.  The bedroom door opened, the light in the corridor had gone out and he climbed into the bed.  Rose turned towards him.

"Just relax Alec, I'm here now.  We'll talk in the morning."

"Thanks Rose, I can see why your friend liked you so much, you really care about people.  So why weren't you and he more than friends?"

"I guess we were both afraid we'd lose whatever we had by crossing that line.  Go to sleep Alec."

"I will, if you come and lay on me so I know you're there."

"Okay but if you bash me in the face or anything when you call out again, I'll get you back."

"It would be worth it."

When Rose woke up the next morning, she was on her own but the door was open slightly and she could hear noise from the kitchen area.  She went into the bathroom then popped her head around the door to see him stirring scrambled eggs in a pan and checking the toaster.

"Hurry up before it all goes cold Rose," he called to her without turning.

"Morning Alec, I'll be right back then but I want a kiss first."

She went up behind him and put her arms around his waist, he was way too skinny.  He turned around and kissed her forehead and put his arms around her neck.

"Good morning to you too Rose.  Thanks for last night, I slept much better."

"It's always better with two Alec.  We need to talk."

"Yes, after breakfast then I'll take you back to the hotel and you can drive back down and drop me off that data pad of yours."

They finished breakfast and Alec drove her back though she was worried he was driving himself around but he'd shown her he'd taken his medication and it was a Sunday, he'd promised he was only going to call into the station for a short time to check on things then he'd take the rest of the day off.

Everyone who'd known Danny had all packed into the small church on the hill, including Ellie Miller and her family who hoped her grumpy new boss would be less sour if he were to take up with Rose Tyler.  She saw Becca Fisher as they came out and Becca stopped her.

"Where's your boss then Ellie?"

"How do I know?"

"He picked one of my guests up outside the hotel last night."

"Really?  Was she blonde by any chance?" Ellie smirked.

"Yeah, her name's Rose, she's quite famous.  I was a bit surprised plus he'd sent her a dozen red roses early yesterday evening."

"Did he now?  That's interesting.  Did she come back last night?"

"She may have used the side door but I didn't see her at breakfast.  Can I ask you something Ellie?"

"What about?"

"If someone thought they may have some information but wanted to remain anonymous, how deep would you go into finding out who had given it?"

"Any information is completely confidential Becca.  We still need to talk to you about what we discussed yesterday."

"Right, thanks.  I'll call in the station later then."

Becca hadn't been able to shake the guilt off but maybe if she came clean and said she knew where Mark had been on Thursday night, just saying she'd seen Mark with someone and not involving her.

Ellie had been called to the Latimer house the morning before where forensics had just found drugs and money in bedrooms.  She'd immediately gone off to talk to Chloe Latimer who said she got them from Becca, which didn't really surprise Ellie in the least but she'd had to go to the hotel with Hardy when he'd got back from having coffee with Rose Tyler and it was quite plain the two of them were trying to avoid looking at each other, which had amused her.

Alec had dropped Rose off and she'd gone to get her swimming things and her data pad and was meeting Alec back at the caravan but she wasn't sure how much access she should give him.  He'd been quite calm last night so she would try and tell him some more later that afternoon.  Pulling up opposite his caravan, Rose got out to find Alec had the door open as he'd seen her get out of her car.  She turned her data pad on and put in the password Torchwood gave to non-members which gave a menu of what Torchwood was really about and different topics.

She clicked on 'Cybermen Files' and Alec got his specs out and put them on.

"Right.  I'll leave you to it then and go to the pool.  Unless you want me to stay?"

"No, you go ahead and have your swim.  I'll come and find you when I've looked at these files.  I take it that this is just limited access?"

"Yeah, sorry.  See what you make of it but you can access your files again if you want?"

"No, I've seen enough and there wasn't that much.  I want to know why that is though."

"I know and we'll have some answers tomorrow hopefully.  See you in a bit then?"

Alec was already accessing the story of how John Lumic had created these metal menaces, since like Rose had said, he must be the only person on the planet who didn't know about them but it had been well documented.  It gave the story but no names were mentioned though Alec knew Rose had been somehow involved in it.  Then he read the second part where their escape had been made and Pete Tyler, who'd had a little to do with the old Torchwood and who'd been heavily involved with the first part, had followed them to a destination unknown but he remembered what Rose had told him.

The first part though, Pete's exact involvement and the invasion of his home and loss of his wife had been kept to a minimum.  After that, Alec followed other links to what Torchwood was involved with, including the dimension cannon project, which he learned the man Rose had said had been her boyfriend had never returned from a mission though his name was not given or the fact he'd been involved with Rose.  The full team were there though and she'd mentioned someone called Mickey.

Rose was enjoying relaxing in the pool, until a few families started coming in and considering what was going on in the town, she was surprised families were even still there.  She went down to the other end of the pool though and swam a few times from edge to edge before getting out and going to get her towel to lay on one of the loungers until Alec showed up, then she was going back in the pool again, wanting to show off in front of him.  She went back to her locker and got her phone out, seeing her mother had tried to call but no missed calls from Alec so she called him.

"When are you coming over Alec?" she asked when he answered.

"Soon, I'm just finishing up here.  Miss me already?"

"Yeah, I just wanted to make sure you were okay.  You'll be glad to know Becca wasn't at the hotel when I went in."

"Good.  Have you thought about moving out yet?"

"No, not yet.  I still have to think about it."

"So it was not so much of a pleasant experience going to sleep on me was it?"

Rose looked around, making sure no-one could overhear.  "Yes, it was pleasant but until we've talked further Alec, I'm not sure we should take things much further just yet."

"Yes, well that's something else we have to discuss Rose, I'll be over soon unless you're coming over here?"

"I thought you wanted to see me in the pool?" she teased.

He took off his specs after coming out of the file and closed the browser.

"I'm on my way now, don't go anywhere then."

Rose smiled, thinking he'd not be able to resist seeing her in her rather stylish in all the right places swimsuit and wrapped the towel around herself and went to sit on one of the loungers nearer the entrance to the pool.  Alec put the data pad away in one of the small overhead cupboards and got himself ready to go out. 

Rose was just closing her eyes when she was aware he was standing in front of her.

"Hi Alec, that didn't take you long."

He took his jacket off and sat beside her.  "I had an incentive.  Had a good swim love?"

"Yeah but it would have been better if you'd been with me.  I know you don't seem to like the water Alec but maybe it wasn't real?"

"Then why do I remember it so vividly?"

Rose reached for his hand.  "We'll find out Alec, I promise you.  Right, I'll just go do a couple more lengths then I'll go get dressed."

"I'm not going anywhere Rose, take your time."

As Rose was getting herself out of the pool, Alec came forward with her towel, getting a very good look at her and smiling.  They then made their way to the bar, Alec ordering tea for himself and remembering she liked skinny latte, they sat outside at one of the tables.

"I read those files you left me access for, they were very enlightening.  I'd like to read more, if possible?"

"You read about our project then?"

"Yes, it mentioned your one time boyfriend and I am sorry you lost someone else."

"Yeah, don't make it a third Alec.  You could see why I was reluctant to go out with someone else, when I'd already lost my best friend.  It's different with you though."

"Why is that then?"

"I've never had a friend who's lost his memory before," she smiled.

"Is that all?  I was hoping for something better than that."   

"It is more than that.  So, you want to learn more then?"

"Yes I do and you know it so stop trying to shield me from it Rose.  Can't you give me full access to the files?"

"Not yet.  Maybe when we get some results back.  Can I go dry my things in the caravan?  Then we can go for a walk."

Rose hung her things to dry in the bathroom then they walked out onto the harbour, walking along the stone jetty and sitting down at the end.

"What else do you want to know Alec?" she asked, taking his hand.

"That I am who you think I am, your long lost friend."

"You guessed?"

"I'm a detective Rose, that much I do know, it didn't take much working out, when you were trying to cover it up.  Did you think I would run when I found out?"

"Yes, I thought you would believe I was only helping you for that reason.  I left him behind on another world Alec, before we can establish you are him who has suddenly arrived here, we have to figure out how you got here."

"How is that even possible, if you left me somewhere else?"

"Alec, there are other things you need to know."

"Yes and I want some answers, like what really went on the night the Cybermen invaded Pete Tyler's home and his first wife went missing."

"Okay but not here.  I'll also tell you how we stopped them when they got away, if you think you can take it."

"I can take it Rose, I have to know."

It was almost time for lunch so they went into the pub across the road and ordered but Alec knew she was still trying to put him off.

"Please Rose, don't hold out on me, whatever it is."

"I won't but it will be easier if we did a conference call to Pete, you may not believe what I have to say."

"I agree then, whatever it takes."

She knew he deserved to know the truth and it would be better coming from Pete, given they had no real proof what she was about to tell him was going to help him understand.  The Tardis had done a real good job on him, protecting him from his past and she was on the verge of bringing it all back.  She could though leave out the fact of what he was, at least for now.

They got back to the caravan and Rose made a secure connection to Pete so they could do a video call.  Pete had been expecting this.

"Rose, your mother is going crazy, you should call her."

"Yeah, I will but we need to tell Alec, he deserves to know.  He's read most of the files."

"Have you shown him the footage from the party that night?"

"No, not yet."

Pete located the video file and the screen was replaced by it.  Rose watched it and also tried to gauge Alec's reaction of seeing himself on screen, including when he'd laughed when the first Jackie had called the little dog Rose.

"So, that's me then?" Alec asked as the Cybermen 'Deleted' the president and everyone began screaming.

It was Pete who answered.  "Yes, we believe that was you, a while ago.  You read the part where they escaped and we went after them?"

"Yes but how can Rose have been in your house but she said she was already there?"

"She went back, Rose and her mother and Mickey, they're from where the Cybermen escaped to."

Pete quickly explained, without using the words 'Time Travel' for now, claiming they had used similar devices still being used to travel to other worlds.

Alec sort of believed it.  Then Pete explained he'd gone back for Rose as she'd been about to join the Cybermen in the void.

"You went back for me?"

"Yeah, I did."

"You'd never see your mother and friend again.  You would have done that to stay with me.  Why?"

Rose looked at Pete, who nodded.

"The rest is up to you now Rose, it's between you and him.  Call your mother soon eh?"

"Yeah, thanks."

She ended the call, this wasn't going to be any easier.

"Please answer me Rose.  Why would you give everything up to stay with me?"

"Because I loved you."
Chapter 10
Alec just looked at her.  She had been willing to do that for him, well at least it had looked like him a few years previously it seemed, not that he remembered.

"You said you were never romantic."

"We weren't but it didn't stop me from loving you but we've not yet established it is you."

"Come on Rose, who else could it be?"

"Don’t you think I want it to be true?  I tried for years to get back, almost got stuck myself a few times when the device I was using wouldn't work properly but I never gave up.  You want to know what happened that Ryan went in my place?"

He didn't really, it must have been bad.

"I landed in a universe where he was dead, you were dead, I was too late and the world was thrown into chaos because you weren't there."

"What difference could I have possibly made?"

"Because of who you used to be."

"I take it I was not a police detective then?"

"No.  I shouldn't really tell you because it could make your heart give out."

"It's that bad then?"

"Yeah.  Okay, here goes then.  Me, mum and Mickey, like Pete said, we're from another parallel universe, right?"

Alec nodded.  She carried on explaining then came to the crunch.  He was a Timelord.  He listened as she tried to explain how they had travelled, in the Tardis and how they'd got here accidentally and helped defeat the Cybermen and how they'd come to be in Pete's house that night.  He remained as calm as he could, Rose trying to keep things simple and that when the Cybermen had escaped, they tried to stop them.

"So that's how we got parted?  Pete took you with him but you defied him and went back to help me?"

"Yeah, how could I leave you all on your own?"

"You could have been pulled in with them and who are these Daleks?"

"Worse than the Cybermen, believe me, you don't want to know about them."

"Then how did I get here?  Did I get left one of those devices and I got it working?  If I did, why don't I remember?"

She wanted to tell him that was how he'd found her but she couldn't lie to him like that.

"No Alec, we think the Tardis sent you here."

"The ship?  How could it do that?"

"You were a part of each other and we think something happened to you and you asked to be brought here, to me."

"Oh.  That makes sense I suppose but what happened to me?"

"That's something we don't know but you're here, that's the main thing."

It was early evening by now, they had talked for hours about when they had been in the other universe, Rose explaining how they'd met.

"So, how did we meet then?" he asked her as they lay on the seating, arms around each other.

"You blew up the store I used to work in and told me to run," she smiled, pulling him closer.

"Why don't you go get your things from the hotel eh?" he asked her, reaching for a kiss.

"Okay, I'll bring some food back, yeah?"

So just after seven, she kissed him goodbye and having driven back to the hotel, walked in and asked for her key.  Becca looked at her.

"I'm moving out in the morning, I've just come to get a few things."

"Oh, that's a bit short notice."

"Yeah, well things have changed."

"Are you leaving town?"

"What?  Oh no, I'm moving down by the harbour, I'm going to be helping the police with the investigation, it's close by."

"Well, I hated to break the news to you but I got some bookings from some of the news agencies and I can't afford to turn them away."

"Just as well then, I hate being in the news."

She threw most of her things into her largest case and her shoulder bag with her charger for the data pad and went into the bathroom.  Once back downstairs, she heard laughing coming from the bar and assumed Becca had already filled some of the empty rooms.  On her way back to the caravan, she stopped to get some food then knocked on Alec's caravan door for him to help her.

"Hey sweetheart, you brought the whole lot then?" he smiled.

She wheeled her case to the bedroom, handing him the packages of food, he'd already put some plates on the kitchen counter and the kettle had already boiled.

"I still want some answers though, it's been a lot to take in."

"Yeah, I didn't intend you heard it all in one go, it just happened."

"Well I wanted to hear everything but you are still treating me like I really am Alec Hardy."

"That's who you are now Alec, I could have told you all that for nothing you know?"

"Do you really believe that Rose?" he asked as she sat at the table.

"It doesn't matter what I believe Alec, it's up to Torchwood to get the facts, we just skipped ahead.  I want to believe it's really you."

"So, I was known as the Doctor then?  I think I prefer being called Alec Hardy," he smiled.

"Yeah, well let's not talk about that too much for now, let's see what they come up with about your past here?  I told Pete to make sure they'd gone through everything before telling me, I didn't want anything being left out.  How are you feeling anyway?"

"I guess I'm Okay, under the circumstances but this heart condition, is it real?"

"We have to find that out as well but we're gonna get you well again, you wouldn't have been left here to die, not after the ship went to all the trouble of getting you here."

"I hope not."

They finished eating in silence.  "Finished?" he asked, getting up and taking her plate.

They went to lay back on the seating and kissed for a while, something Rose was just getting used to, considering they had more or less established who he was but not how he had got there but she didn't care.     

"Rose, tell me more of what we did together," he asked her, stroking her back as she lay with her head on his chest, after unfastening his shirt buttons.

She looked up at him.  "No more talking tonight Alec, let's just spend some time together, I missed you."

"I wish I could say I missed you Rose but what about this ex wife I'm supposed to have eh?  How do you explain that?"

"To make it more real I expect but you don't have to meet her, if you don't want to?"

"So let me get this right, I just got left here, by my ship?"

"That's what we think.  Alec, as the Doctor, you had the ability to change, if there was something wrong with you."

"Then if I had a bad heart, why didn't I change again?"

"I think you got a bad heart becoming Alec Hardy."

"So the ship had me change into someone who was ill?  That's hardly fair."

"I know but the ship may not have done it on purpose Alec, as a Timelord, you had two hearts, maybe if was an effect of becoming human?"

"Still, it could have spared me all this."

"We'll get you sorted next weekend, I just have to keep you out of trouble until then and this," she kissed her way across his bare chest, "is not helping your health any."

"Who's the one doing the kissing eh?" he smiled.  "I want my revenge when we go to bed."

"So you're not sleeping out here alone again tonight then?"

He turned her slightly and unfastened the top button on her blouse.  "What do you think eh?"

The next morning, having made some progress in bed without Alec ending up in the hospital, they fooled around before Alec went to make some breakfast.

"I've got the boy's father coming in at ten, care to be present?" he asked, going for her neck as she prepared to go book out of the hotel.

"Yeah, it might be interesting I suppose, see how he reacts.  I'll meet you there then?"

"Okay love, I'll tell the desk to expect you.  When are your team arriving?"

"I have to check with Pete and I'll see what they found out about you as well."

So Rose went to retrieve the rest of her belongings and paid her bill, she'd only actually stayed for one night but it was more important than ever now she stayed and looked after Alec, or the Doctor as they had more or less established.  She'd enjoyed making out with Alec last night and again this morning, waking up next to him and fooling around, she'd never enjoyed it so much with Ryan.  She thought she would feel guilty but Alec really needed a friend right now.

What would she do though if Ryan came back?  It would have been the same situation if she'd gone on a mission and either found the Doctor and stayed with him or brought him back with her, she would have had to make a choice but she knew straight off who she would have chosen, which was why she'd been so reluctant with Ryan in the first place.  She could have had half a dozen boyfriends, there had been no lack of willing volunteers in that department but she'd given in to a certain degree with Ryan because she just missed male company.

Now Alec had become more than company, having first met him the other day, he was totally dependant on her and now, she had to tell him what a Timelord was and how she thought he'd got here.  She made her way back to the caravan, left all her things in the bedroom and was about to walk across to the station when Alec called.

"Are you on your way over?"

"Yeah, just about, got held up by Becca."

"She wanted to talk then?"

"Yeah, though she'd already let some reporters in.  Can't blame her really, she has to make a living, I'm just glad I moved out.  I don't want to take the headlines away from what happened, I'd feel awful if they turned their attention to me."

"Be careful, they still might, if you are seen with me."

"I'm not bothered about that, we're not keeping this a secret are we?"

"I hope not but I'm supposed to have had a failed case, remember?"

"Aw, are you afraid the next headline will be that I'm seen with the cop who let a killer go?  If you are, forget it, I don't care and we'll take care of that once we've solved this."

"Thanks love, now, get yourself over here yes?"

"I'm just going up the front steps, chill Alec."

The desk sergeant recognised her and gave her a visitor badge and told her where Alec was and she went to knock on the door.  After they both questioned Mark Latimer, Rose being amazed how bad the man was at covering up, she put the ultimate question to him.

"So, Mark, what are you hiding?" Rose asked him.

"Hang on, who exactly are you?" he asked, looking at Alec after she'd been sitting there for twenty minutes, letting Alec do his job.

"Miss Tyler is a police consultant, she's been brought in to help find your son's killer.  She's not bound by any police rules so answer her question, what are you hiding?"

Mark thought about it.  "I can't answer you."

Alec got up and gathered his folders.  "Mark Latimer, I'm holding you on suspicion of covering up the death of your son."

He called in the officer who had been outside.  "Read Mr Latimer his rights and keep him in here until he decides to tell me where he was that night."

"Yes Sir."

Rose followed Alec out.  "How long are you going to keep him here?" she asked him.

"Until he stops playing games."

"Do you know what I think?  I bet he was seeing someone, having an affair or a one-night stand."

"You have a dirty mind Rose though maybe you are right but who with?"

Rose smiled.  "Becca Fisher?  It could explain why she's been so off with you.  Maybe they were planning it the night you arrived and you spoiled it by asking her to your room?"

"Well I don't even remember that, do I?  It could explain though why she keeps giving me funny looks, does she think I suspect something?"

"Maybe.  Have you told the Latimers you're holding Mark?"

"I'll let them know.  Let's go to my office."

Ellie was waiting for them.  "Sir, we had an anonymous tip that Mark Latimer was with someone that night, he was seen driving away from the cliff top car park, with what looked like a woman."

Rose turned to Alec.  "See, told ya.  I bet we know who it was."

Ellie's phone rang.  "We'll be right down."  She turned to Alec.  "Guess who's downstairs?"

After Becca was processed for the drugs offence and admitted she was with Mark that night, Rose turned to her.

"So, is that why you were so off with DI Hardy?"

"No, what's that got to do with anything?  How do you know anyway?  Oh, so you two are?"

"Never mind about us.  I don't get why you wouldn't admit before now you were with Mark, it was only about his son's death.  Is this town so bored you thought you might get in the local paper?"

"Never mind that Rose," Alec told her.  "You can go Becca."

Becca got up and left.  "You spoiled my fun Alec," Rose smiled at him.

"You can have your fun later love, right now, let's go see if your team arrived eh?"

Jake, Mickey and Chrissy had been shown to the more comfortable interview room and were waiting for them.  Jake and Mickey had been warned who Alec may be but it showed on Mickey's face as Alec followed Rose in.

"Don't look so shocked Mickey, he knows."

"Oh.  Pete never said."

"Yeah, well Alec and I had a long talk after I spoke to Pete last night, he's good, aren't you Alec?"

Alec wasn't so sure he was, it hadn't all sunk in yet and he was doing his best to process what he'd learned so far.

Once they'd decided how things would go, that left Rose to work directly with Alec and keep him from doing too much and the rest of the day, Rose went out with Ellie a few times and to the hut where they believed Danny had been killed then back across to the harbour newsagent's, Alec thinking Rose may have better luck with Jack Marshall.

Rose was sat on Alec's office sofa just before four in the afternoon when she got up.

"Right, I'll go off to the supermarket and get something for dinner.  I did warn you I may do that."

"Yes, you did and we need to talk again tonight, I want to hear more."

"I know you do, I've got plenty to tell you.  Don't work too late."

She had dinner ready for him when he walked into the caravan just after six.  They talked some more, about the less strange things that had happened in the other universe she thought he could handle, until he asked again how it had been possible he'd even got here.

"Alec, there's only one thing I can think of – remember I told you that Timelords can regenerate, to save themselves?"

Alec nodded.

"Well, I think that you were about to regenerate again and the Tardis tapped into your mind and since she knew how much you like being who you were, didn't want to see you go so she sent you here."

"With a bad heart and no memories?"

"She maybe wanted to spare you from all the things that had gone on after I got brought here, maybe so that I could share my memories with you but the main thing is, underneath, you're still the Doctor.  I suspect the Tardis had done that before, let versions of you live other lives.  Alec, she wouldn't have sent you here if she'd known you might die from a bad heart, she sent you where you would get the best help - me."

"How did the ship know Rose?" he asked as they lay on the seating.

"The ship's telepathic, you must have asked her to send you to me instead of fading away."

"So, I was made human and sent here?  Why have limited memories of a wife and daughter and almost drowning, if it never happened?"

They were interrupted by Pete calling Rose for her to join a conference video.

"Rose, Alec, I have some news.  All the results came back of Alec's past and I had to make sure we had everything but Alec, you really existed before you woke up that morning in the hotel."

"So, I did all those things in Sandbrook?"

"Yes, we had to dig a little deeper than we thought, the whole thing was covered up but before that, well, I'll send the files to Rose but you definitely got married, to Tess Henchard, you have a teenage daughter called Daisy and you got divorced when your wife cheated on you, she took the girl with her, I'll let you read the rest.  Right, I'll leave you two to it then."

Alec was still trying to come to terms he never remembered getting married and began to think about it.

"Rose, is it possible that somehow, the ship transported me back, in time to meet my ex and get married?"

"Maybe.  It would explain a lot but how, when the only way through is using the devices we have?"

"Maybe one did get left behind or the ship used something similar?  Why wasn't it used before?"   

"It must have been part of the ship's plan, for you to arrive before I got here but I've been here all that time, on my own and you were married, I didn't know about you."

"Then why make us both wait, if I asked to be brought to you?  It seems a little cruel."

"Then we must be wrong about it, the Tardis wouldn't do that, on purpose, she knew how much you cared about me.  It has to be something else, we just have to figure it out and we will Alec."  She turned to kiss him.  "I still love you."

He kissed her back.  "I was a fool not to tell you when we were together.  I love you too Rose."

When they got into bed, they gently made love so as not to get Alec too worked up, Rose insisting she did all the moving and they both felt better the next morning.  The next few days, Alec had agreed to let Rose do most of the legwork with Ellie and the two women made friends.  On the Thursday morning, they were out and Ellie asked how involved she and Alec were.

"Pretty much, you should give him a chance Ellie, he got sent here, he wasn't out to take a job from anyone, really."

"It just happened to be mine then?"

"Sorry, I know it doesn't make it any easier for you.  At least since he's allowing us to go out on leads, you spend less time with him," Rose smiled.

"Well he's not as bad as he was those first few days I suppose, he's less grumpy now."

"Yeah?  I've done him some good then."

"Why don't you two come to my place for dinner next week?"

"I'll ask him shall I?"

When they got back, Alec was reading something on his computer.

"Ah, Miller.  Your boy, Tom, is he ready to do that reconstruction tonight?"

"I'm still not happy about it though."

"I think it's a great idea Ellie, it may jog someone's memory and the media are going to cover it.  Has the news got around?"

"We're all ready for it," Ellie told her.

They all met just at the end of the High Street at nine that evening.  Tom was holding his skateboard, looking at his mother, Ellie, Rose and Alec (who were holding hands) were standing behind him and Alec gave the nod for Tom to get on his skateboard.  Rose was worried about Alec walking all that way down to the harbour but they kept a steady pace and he'd had his medication.  The media were set up along the route and they crossed the harbour bridge, the lights reflecting in the river.

Alec thanked Tom for taking part and he and Rose went back to their caravan.  Alec looked tired and Rose knew it had taken it out of him so making some cocoa, they watched the end of the news, the camera showing them walking hand in hand.  Rose knew now it would be blown all out of proportion in the tabloids the next morning but she didn't care, it hadn't been about them.

They both woke up to the sound of their mobiles ringing the next morning.  They had planned to drive up to London that evening and a heart specialist would be meeting them at Torchwood after Alec's meeting with Pete and Doctor Harper.

Jackie had seen the morning papers.

"Rose, it was all over the news, what were you thinking?"

"We don't care Mum, it will all blow over, it was supposed to have been about Danny, not us."

"Then why walk hand in hand in front of the press?"

"They would have found out sooner or later."

"Well Pete's trying to smooth things over, he's putting out a statement you're in the town to help catch Danny's killer but I doubt it will do any good."

Alec was having a similar conversation with his chief.   

"Really Alec, you should keep your love life out of the media, the reconstruction was to jog memories, not parade the fact you and Rose Tyler are an item."

"There's no harm done Elaine, her stepfather's PR team will tone things down."

"Well I've already had a complaint from the Latimers, though there was plenty about them in the papers, including the fact Mark was with someone else the night his son died, how did he press get hold of that?"

"Not from me, blame Miller's nephew I expect.  I'm going away this weekend anyway, I have a meeting at Torchwood in the morning."

"Since when?"

"I wasn't aware I had to inform you if the director wanted to see me and some of it is personal, since the whole world now knows I'm in a relationship with his stepdaughter."
Chapter 11
Thankfully, the press didn't know which caravan they were staying at so they both went out together after a quick breakfast, cutting through between the camp shop and the swimming pool and going around the back of the station.  All the phones in the reception area were ringing, the desk sergeant was barking orders for any officers to grab a phone and he was trying to hand a bunch of messages to Alec.

"You need to get yourself organised up there Sir," he told Alec as Rose took the pieces of paper from the man.

Ellie was waiting for them.  "Before you say anything, I'm not responsible for what my nephew reports on."

"About what?  The facts about Mark Latimer having an affair or the fact Rose and I chose to show up holding hands?"


Rose went to make him some tea as he went in his office and slammed the door, making everyone look up from answering the phones.  Despite extra staff being brought in, phones were constantly ringing, most of them were asking about how the senior case officer was with the Vitex heiress and was he still fit to be leading the enquiry and others saying they passed Danny on his skateboard that night and thought it was a bit late for him to be out on his own. 

Rose was getting more worried about him but tonight, they would be in London and if he didn't change his mind, he'd agree to the pacemaker if the odds were in his favour and it would be all over by tomorrow afternoon.  They were planning on coming back late on Sunday night and Rose was determined she wasn't coming back without him, whether he'd got the pacemaker or not, preferably with.  He looked up as Rose put his drink on the desk and she kissed his cheek.

"You okay Alec?"

"I'll be fine love and we are still going up to London tonight.  Call Miller for me will you?"

She did as he asked and Ellie stood in front of his desk.

"Sit down Miller.  I'm going away this weekend, you're in charge until I get back."

"What?  Have you seen it out there?  It's crazy.  Where are your people Rose?"

"Working, where do ya think?  I've got two extra teams working with CSU and two teams going around where Danny did his paper round and the route he took to the harbour but we know he ended up at the hut, how did he get from the harbour all the way up there without being seen?"

"There are no cameras on the Esplanade, he could have doubled back and walked up over the cliff pathway."

"In the dark?" Rose asked. 

"There was a full moon that night, so I've been told."

"You don't know for certain?" Rose asked her.

"I was out cold by eight, I'd just got back from a long flight, I took sleeping pills."

"So, just like Beth, you can't say your husband was at home that night?" Rose asked innocently.

Ellie turned on her.  "Are you even being serious?  What are you getting at?"

Alec could see where this was going, only Rose would challenge his DS.

"I was just saying, since half the men in the town are under suspicion, does that exclude officers and their other halves?"

"She has a point Miller."

"You are both out of order, Joe was at home, he wouldn't go out and leave the kids when he knew I'd gone to bed."

"Tom's old enough to watch his little brother," Rose stated.

"Are you agreeing with her – Sir?" she asked Alec.

"Like I said Miller, she does have a point."

"Then what about you, you were on your own, in that caravan."

"Yes but I didn't know Danny, I'd never met him and it had to be someone he knew, someone he was meeting that night and someone who knew the area.  Have forensics got any more yet?"

"No, not yet.  They finished at the hut and the Torchwood team went over it again though they got nothing new."

"Was that a dig Ellie?" Rose asked her, a bit annoyed she could even suggest Alec had anything to do with the events of that night but thought she'd rather asked for it, suggesting it was Ellie's husband.

That's what it was becoming, she thought.  Neighbours and friends all suspecting each other, she was glad they were getting away for the weekend.  Ellie went off in a huff, Rose thinking that was the dinner invitation out of the window but she didn't think Alec would have agreed to go anyway.

"I think I upset her," Rose told him.

"Ah, she'll get over it, I may have trouble getting my office back on Monday morning."

Rose smiled and got up, going to kiss his cheek.  The people in the outer office were getting used to the two of them showing each other affection over the past few days and weren't hiding the fact they were together.

"Don't forget, you're finishing early tonight."

"Yes, Miss bossy boots, you already told me."   

"Good, don't forget I'm doing all the driving as well.  There's something I want to talk to you about before we leave, I was thinking about something."

"About how I got here maybe?"   

"Yeah, I can't let it go Alec, it's bugging me and it's making me crazy.  I'd like to get it sorted before we leave.  Right, if there's nothing else, I'm off to pack a few things for the weekend for us and talk to Pete, see if all the arrangements have been made.  You're not having second thoughts are you?"

"No, you were right, I would not be here if I wasn't meant to get help."

She gave him a quick kiss as he got up.  "Love you," she whispered in his ear.

He took her arm and pulled her closer.  "I love you too Rose, I won't be late back, I promise."

Once Rose had packed what they needed for the weekend, well mostly his things, she had plenty back home and it would be a difficult choice as to what to pack into the suitcases she was taking back with her to fill though Alec had questioned where she was going to put it all and resigned himself to using the wardrobes in the spare room.  She called Pete, still wanting to talk to him about how Alec had found himself here.

"Rose, don't you think the Tardis never meant for either of you to know how he actually got here?  Some things are best left alone."

"Yeah, maybe you're right Dad, it's just I know it's bothering Alec as well.  I can't believe he accepted everything so easily, especially when we have no real proof either."

"Well he seems to accept it, just be glad he has, it could have been a lot worse, the news could have given him a fatal attack or he could have walked away from you and this life he has now.  Owen's contacted a friend of his from the university hospital, he'll meet with Alec in the morning and if he agrees, we'll go ahead in the afternoon, it will give him time to recover before you go back."

"Yeah, well Alec won't agree unless he gets assured the odds are in his favour and I don't blame him.  We still have a couple of things we need to talk about, I have a feeling he'll want to talk about what happens if he doesn't go ahead, if he's advised against it and what he wants if it goes wrong.  I don't like discussing that with him, not when we know why he's here, I just don't understand why he was left here like that."

"There must have been a good reason though, maybe it was all rushed eh?  If it was all very last minute, the ship did what she could to make sure he'd find you."

"Dad, there was one thing we never considered but I can't say anything yet, I don't want to believe it and I need to talk to Alec about it first."

"Okay love, you talk to him.  Tony will be in bed when you get here but he's looking forward to you coming home."

"Tell him I miss him.  See you tonight then."

She'd been thinking about all the different scenarios of how and why Alec had no memories and why the ship didn't appear to want him to remember and also of him being sent back in time to really live part or all his life without her when he'd so obviously been desperate to get back to her and the Tardis knew it.

Alec was back just after four, Rose had made something to eat but they were going to stop on the way and eat again if they were hungry.  Alec pulled the curtains across and they laid on the seating after they cleared the dishes, they just wanted to relax before their journey.

"Alec, what did you want to talk about?" she asked as she unfastened his shirt buttons.

"About if things go wrong for me.  I want you to bring me back here Rose, it's the only home I remember and I want my ashes scattered in the churchyard or somewhere, don't bury me."

"Don't talk like that, if the surgery goes wrong, they'll be able to bring you back, won't they?"

"Do I want to be brought back if it means I have to live like this?  I could not have got through this week without you Rose, you know that?"

"Yeah, I know but if you choose not to go ahead tomorrow, then what?"

"Then I'll go on my own terms, not a surgeon's, you have to give me that."

She couldn't argue with him because no matter what, the Tardis wouldn't play such a cruel trick on them both by letting them find each other after all this time just for them to have only a week before he did die or would she?  Maybe as he was regenerating, he'd asked the ship to take him to her but at such short notice, it was all the ship could arrange, making him human but only having a short lifespan but she couldn't accept that, not after all he'd been through.

She was kissing his neck, Alec was kissing the back of hers, whispering he loved her.

"Alec, you know the surgeon won't go ahead unless he's going to be successful?  We have plans to make when we come back.  We need to find a house or an apartment to rent and we have a killer to catch."

"What were you getting at, with Miller?"

"What I said, that you can't rule anyone out who didn't know Danny, you half suspected his dad so why does it make the husband of a police officer exempt?"

Alec thought she did have a point but he was more interested at that moment when they were making out, since Rose had progressed to kissing her way across his bare chest.  It was over far too soon for his liking as they had to go pack Rose's car, Alec was leaving his where it was, Rose would see it got back to the police garage if need be.

They made good time back to the Tyler residence and were greeted by two of the staff, Rose asking for their things to be taken to her room.  Jackie managed not to stare too much as they were re-introduced to each other.

"This is just so weird," Jackie declared.   "It was bad enough when he changed before but he looks almost the same.  So, he's all human then?"

"You can ask him Mum," Rose laughed.  "Anyway, let's leave that until tomorrow, it was a long drive."

"It's okay Rose, I'm sure your mother must find the whole thing strange, I'm only just getting used to the idea I used to be someone else, I still have a lot to figure out myself."

"You and me both," Jackie replied.

They were both tired so they just kissed for a while after Rose told him this was the bedroom she'd heard his voice calling her to the beach in Norway a few years ago.  Alec couldn't believe he'd left it too late to tell Rose he'd loved her back then.

"I'm so sorry I never told you I loved you Rose but you knew though?"

"Yeah but it would have been better if you'd told me but I knew, that's when we started the dimension cannon project, so I could go find you again."

"You had a lot to do with it then eh?"

"You could say that and that was where I met Ryan, I would have gone in his place had I not been upset that day."

"Yes and we would have missed each other Rose, you would have been wherever it was you'd landed and I would have asked the Tardis to bring me here and you would have been gone.  That would have been very bad for me because I never would have told anyone I was ill and never found out who I am."

"We still don't know everything Alec and Pete reckons we never will."

"Then that's fine love, we can both live with that, the important thing is, we've got each other and you are right, I would not have been brought here just to die on the operating table, we have a lot of catching up to do."

"Well you need some sleep, you have a big day tomorrow."

After breakfast the next morning and Tony pretending to be shy of Alec, Rose, Alec and Pete all went in Pete's car to his Torchwood office, Owen was waiting for them.  After talking for a while, they went down to the fully equipped medical lab where the heart specialist, Mr Hughes assured Alec after he was examined that everything was looking good, under the circumstances and they agreed the surgery would go ahead at two that afternoon.

Rose wanted to show him her office so she got her secretary to bring them coffee and hot sandwiches from the canteen, they then curled up on Rose's leather sofa to wait to be called downstairs again.

"Last chance Alec," Rose teased him when they stopped kissing.

"No, I have to do this, I know that now.  I love you Rose, no matter what the outcome may be.  There will only be you and your family who will really miss me, though I expect my ex will make a fuss but I want you to take care of everything.  I gave you that card, with the name of that solicitor."

"Yeah, I'll take care of everything but there won't be any need, not yet.  Alec, there is something else but I didn't want to say anything."

"Then tell me love, what is it?"

"There was one thing we never even thought of.  Not the fact you were brought here physically, the fact that it was your mind or your essence or whatever you want to call it, what makes you, well, you, what you were and what if the Tardis took that out of you before the regeneration was complete so that part of you lived on?"

"I don't get your point Rose."

"I know it sounds so crazy but what if there really had been an Alec Hardy here, we have all the proof there was, we know that but not the fact the Tardis sent you back in time but what if what was you, the Doctor, became part of him?"

"What?  You mean like sharing?"

"Well not exactly.  What if?"  She stopped suddenly when she realised what she was getting at.  "Oh Alec, not sharing, as such.  Don't you get it?  What if, that morning you woke up in the hotel, you'd been sent by the Tardis to take his place?"

"Oh no Rose, I know where this is going and I don't like it."

"Alec, you woke up, feeling like you'd been drowning in that river, yet you didn't remember being there but what if the real Alec Hardy had woken up, struggling and having an attack?"

"That only means one thing Rose," he caught on, sensing what she was about to say and seeing the tears forming in her eyes.

"Alec, he woke up, had an attack because it was all too much, he must have been suffering for years, silently and his heart gave up but just at the last second, you took over and brought him back to life.  That's why you know about the river and not anything else."

She clung hold of him tightly and let the tears fall onto his jacket.

"Rose, I'm sorry but I think you may be right, it explains a lot of things, why I don't know anything else.  It's Okay, he didn't really die, he's still here, somewhere."

Rose looked at him through her tears.  "Yeah, he wouldn't have suffered, would he?"

"I don't think so love, at least I hope not but remember you told me when you met Charles Dickens, when those creatures were taking over people who had died?"

"That was different, they couldn't stay in them for more than a few minutes."

"The principle is the same, if like you say I was connected to the Tardis, the ship would have known about it and used the same idea, to transport me into someone who was about to die though how the Tardis knew, well you said she was clever."

Rose was sobbing quietly into Alec's chest, feeling his heart beating a little faster than it should be.

"You saved him Alec, he would have been totally gone, no-one to even care about him.  Maybe he just gave in to the inevitable or maybe it was supposed to be his time?  That's why you don't remember, it was like a fresh start, for both of you and the ship chose exactly the right person."

"Well, I guess I should go face that surgery then or all this was for nothing.  Are you going to tell Pete your theory?"

Rose stayed quiet, just hanging onto the man she'd loved as both people, the Doctor and now as Alec.

"You are him now, the Tardis didn't want you to remember either past lives because that's exactly what it is, it's over and you've got new lives.  You saved him.  The Tardis couldn't have you feeling guilty about what had happened when you were the Doctor and she couldn't have you knowing what your life as Alec had been like, you have a clean slate."

"Yes, I do and I love you Rose and when we get back to Broadchurch, we do have plans to make because I know it was a mistake, not returning your love as the Doctor but I love you as Alec Hardy now.  When we do get back, we'll solve that murder, solve Sandbrook and get married."

Rose tried to dry her tears, it was almost time someone would be calling to remind them.

"Maybe we could get engaged first, after a suitable length of time?  Not everyone knows we knew each other before."

"Why?  How do they know we weren't together before I got to Broadchurch?"

"Let's get this over with first, there's no rush, is there?"

"No love, I'm not going anywhere except back to Broadchurch with you."

Two hours later, Rose was laid at Alec's side, waiting for him to wake up.  The surgery had gone well and the surgeon had told Rose it had been straightforward and he could go back home with her after he'd been checked over and he'd had something to eat and drink.

Alec opened his eyes and felt someone beside him, smiling to himself.  Yes, Rose Tyler definitely felt like he was home.

A few weeks later   

Rose and Alec had returned to Broadchurch and Rose had found a nice house not far from the sea front and she had someone watching their main suspect, Joe Miller.  Rose had made Alec see something wasn't quite right about him after they were still invited for dinner and Alec trusted his girlfriend's intuition and Torchwood training and finally, they were working one night when Ellie came rushing in.

"Sir, I've just had a call, someone's up at the hut."

"Come on then Miller before they get away.  Coming Rose?"

"You bet." 

She was dying to see if she was right.  She sent a message to Mickey, who had been watching the Miller house and got one back saying Joe Miller had gone out and now, he knew where the man had gone.  Alec had got Ellie to call for backup and they drove up to the clifftop hut but somehow, whoever it was managed to elude them in the boat yard at the bottom of the cliff.

"How did he get away?"  Rose wondered, getting her breath back once in the marked police car.

"He must have doubled back," Ellie offered, talking to her through the open window.

Alec had deliberately had no-one at the bottom of the cliff, well not immediately and Rose was waiting for word from Mickey to say Joe Miller had returned home, which she got a short time later.  When they got home, they sat talking on the sofa, Rose asked Alec how much longer they were going to play this game.

"Not much longer love," he told her, kissing the top of her head.  "I told Miller to bring Tom back in tomorrow morning."

"Really?  I bet she was annoyed about that?"

"Aye, she was, very annoyed when I told her to get her husband to bring him in."

"Are you wanting to see how he'll react when you show him Tom's laptop?"

He answered by going for her neck.  "I'll tell you in bed shall I?"

"Oh no you don't, you'll tell me now because there are much better things to do in bed, now you're well again.  It's been two weeks Alec, ready to test what a good job was made on your pacemaker?"

"Oh yes Rose, I'm ready."

The End!