Same town, different people

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Rose Tyler is well known as the Vitex heiress so as Alec Hardy leaves Broadchurch he wants to know why the spoiled rich girl, who after she passed her exams to be a DC asks to be sent to the town. Rose is bitterly disappointed and can't get a transfer to Sandbrook. Ellie Miller thinks it's just her luck she comes back to have to train Rose but even more that Hardy comes back as suddenly as he leaves when he has second thoughts he can survive in Sandbrook.

Chapter 1

Rose had been inspired by Alec Hardy solving the murder in Broadchurch and had asked Pete to send her to the police training college in London.

Had she known the detective was teaching new recruits over in Exeter, she would have gone but she'd been totally unaware. Her Torchwood training had given her an advantage and she had passed the exam easily and applied to become a detective constable but she had one condition.

"So Dad," Rose confronted Pete one morning. "Can ya get the commissioner to ask if I can train in Broadchurch then? Alec Hardy must still be there, the trial's about to come to an end and I'd love to go down there and make sure that monster gets locked up."

"I'm making no promises Rose, I'll try but it may cost me losing to Sir Roger at golf," Pete laughed, not that he minded if it helped her.

"I'll just go down for a few days then and catch the end of the trial, it must be almost over. I'll go down tonight and book in a hotel and drive over to the court in the morning then. I'll come back for the rest of my things later."

Pete agreed and wondered how he was going to appease her mother and how much it would cost. He then went off to call his friend to set the wheels in motion.

Over in Exeter hospital, Alec Hardy had just woken up from his much needed surgery to find Ellie Miller throwing a bunch of grapes at him – again.

"Why do people insist on buying those in hospital grapes?" Alec moaned.

"So if the operation doesn't kill you, choking on the seeds will," Ellie grumbled back at him. "A text saying you're getting the pacemaker?"

"I made it Miller," Alec laughed, something Ellie had never seen him do. "Give me a ride back to Broadchurch."

"No, I have things to do, besides, you'll have to stay in," Ellie replied.

"I can take him," Tess said cheerfully as she appeared, Alec thinking she should be annoyed he'd had the nerve to survive.

So as Tess drove him home, picking fault with his riverside chalet, Rose had just arrived by the harbour and was booking into the pub, yards away from where Tess was settling Alec in. The next day, having located where the trial was taking place, Rose got a seat in the courtroom, which was fairly busy and wondered where Alec was and so by the time the court was adjourned, she'd been disappointed he'd not shown up.

Not one to give up and the jury being sent to deliberate, she decided she wanted to know the outcome as much as anyone else but she'd had to show her ID badge to get in since the trial was almost at an end. She saw who she thought was Ellie Miller, having found out it was her husband on trial and thought she'd introduce herself as the woman sat with a teenage boy.

"Excuse me, are you Ellie Miller?" Rose asked, with a coffee carton in her hand.

"If you're with the press, I've nothing to say," Ellie replied, since she'd had enough with her nephew.

"Mum, don't you know who she is?" Tom asked, leaning on the table. "You're Rose Tyler, right?" Tom asked.

"Well yeah but don't shout it out," Rose grinned, remembering what the Doctor used to say when he met anyone.

"Oh, sorry," Ellie apologised, thinking someone was trying to get an interview and wondering where Hardy had got to but since he'd just got over his surgery he'd not missed much anyway. "What are you doing here?"

"I came for the end of the trial, I'm in the police now, just finished my training. I just wanted to say hello, I'm trying to get in the Broadchurch station," Rose replied, grabbing a nearby chair.

Ellie could see her sister making faces at her as if to ask what Rose Tyler was doing talking to her.

"Why would you want to go there? Murders aren't that common and not likely to be if the jury makes the right decision," Ellie replied.

"Mum, it's dad that's in there," Tom reminded her.

"Sorry, that must be difficult?" Rose asked him. "I've got a young half-brother, that's why I was following the case. I thought Broadchurch would be a better place to learn, rather than in London. Do you still work there?"

"No, I'm in the Exeter traffic division, I've no plans to go back there, well not yet. They won't want me back anyway," Ellie replied, not realising her paper cup was empty.

"If you want to go back then apply, don't let what others think put you off. Do you like it in the traffic division?" Rose smiled.

"No, I hate it, it's not me," Ellie admitted. "Excuse me, my sister wants me. Come on Tom, you go back with her and Olly, I have something to do."

"So do you know where Alec Hardy is?" Rose dared ask as Ellie got up.

"I'd love to know that myself," Ellie bluffed, knowing full well where he was and was going over to see him. "Stop sniggering Tom, you know what they said in there was a lie."

"Oh, what was said?" Rose's face lit up. "Did I miss something?"

Ellie shook her head. 

"You must be the only person who doesn't know then. Good luck getting in Broadchurch CID."

Rose went off and called Pete. If she was going to complete her training, she wanted to learn from the best.

Ellie's sister nudged her. 

"What's she doing here?" Lucy asked her.

"No idea, maybe she wants to see Danny's killer in person? She's got a young brother," Ellie replied.

Ellie couldn't forget though on her way to see Hardy. Finding the door open and Tess sat reading a magazine, Tess shushed her.

"Did I wake him earlier when I called?" Ellie whispered, grinning.

Tess shook her head. "It takes more than that. Did you do all this?" she asked Ellie, who had taken over the wall with maps and notes.

Tess got up to have another look at something she'd noticed earlier and was going to ask Alec about it.

Ellie turned when she heard a noise, the bedroom door being open.

"Back with us Alec?" Tess asked him, since he'd slept all day. "I'll make you a cuppa, you have a visitor."

Alec groaned something that Ellie thought resembled she was the last person he'd wanted to see when he woke up twice but let it slide.

"Hey, you'll never guess who I saw at court today?" Ellie asked Tess, since Alec had disappeared behind the door to get dressed, emerging putting his blue jumper over his head and his hair all messed up.

Somehow, Ellie thought he suddenly looked human.

"Rose Tyler?" Alec asked sarcastically, since the Lady Gaga gag had gone a bit stale.

"How did you know?" Ellie laughed.

"Stop winding me up Miller," Alec replied, taking the drink and Tess taking something that was pinned on the wall.

"No, seriously. She said she's completed her police training and she wants to get experience, here in Broadchurch," Ellie continued.

Tess stopped what she was doing. 

"You're not serious?" she asked Ellie.

"Well you'll find out if she's accepted. It might be worthwhile coming back to work here. Anyway, what were you looking at?" she asked Tess.

Alec finished his drink as Tess passed him something. "Well, once we get Lee Ashworth, I'll be gone," he declared. "It's not like they'll let me back, even if Rose Tyler gets the job. They can find another DI."

"Thought you'd want to stick around and meet her?" Ellie grinned, getting a smile from Tess.

Rose had got back to her hotel room, having persuaded Pete to stick his neck out that if she asked, Ellie Miller could get her old job back.

"So, is the trial over?" Pete asked, scanning the news headlines.

"No, they sent the jury home, I hope they can decide. You should have heard the defence lawyer, she was a right cow. I can't understand why she'd stand up and defend him. Yeah, I know, everyone gets a defence but I hope she can live with herself if he gets off."

"Well the town will move on Rose," Pete told her. "So, you still want to go and work there?"

"Yeah, it's as good a place to start my first job in the police as any."

"What if he doesn't stay Rose?" Pete asked her. "It'll be too late to get you transferred to wherever he goes. Sure you'll want to stay there?"

"Dad, I'm not going there just because of Alec Hardy," she tried to convince him and herself.

"You might fool yourself Rose but not us. Just be sure what you're doing," Pete replied.

The next morning, Rose almost came face to face with Alec Hardy, who had Claire Ripley in tow as she'd marched up to him and handed him the missing evidence bag from the Sandbrook case but Rose only just got a seat as everyone was let in the courtroom, Alec just behind her as he was talking to Ellie, who had nudged him and one hand on Claire's shoulder.

"Aren't you going to say hello," Ellie teased him as they saw Rose waiting to go in.

"Hasn't she got anything better to do?" Alec replied dryly, Claire looking back at him.

"She's trying to show an interest Hardy," Ellie chastised him. "If she goes to work in Broadchurch, she'll have to deal with the aftermath. What are you going to do anyway?"

"Get out as fast as I can," Alec quipped back, seeing Rose in front of him.

Ellie tapped his shoulder as Rose took a seat and he headed to where he'd sat previously.

"You might regret that," she told him, going to sit with Maggie and Olly.

Everyone was astounded after the jury were asked to deliver their verdict, Rose feeling sorry for the boy's mother as she cried out and dashed out, followed by Ellie. She could see Alec, who also had an astonished look on his face, wondering who was sat next to him and the judge was waiting for everyone to settle down.

Rose stood up with everyone else then followed the crowd out, looking for Ellie but she guessed she was consoling the other woman. After going halfway down the stairs with Claire and handing her over to Tess and a uniformed female officer, Alec couldn't resist going up to Rose after telling Tess he'd see her at Broadchurch station.

"Got something to do Alec?" Tess teased him, seeing Rose looking around.

"Miss Tyler," he greeted Rose "If you came to see justice being served, you were badly let down."

"Yeah, I'm sorry, I know you all put in a lot of hard work on the case. Tell DS Miller I was glad to meet her, I hope she can go back to Broadchurch now."

Alec assumed Miller had told the Vitex heiress she'd taken a reduction in rank to try and come to terms with what happened. Rose was about to leave as he called after her.

"Don't do her any favours, she'll go back if she wants," he told her, since he'd figured if she'd got a job, her stepfather had something to do with it.

"I wouldn't dream of it," Rose replied, not certain even Pete could get the former DS her old job back.

Alec raised his eyebrows, somehow doubting that.

"What about you, now it's over?" Rose asked him as he was about to go find Ellie to go question Claire after telling Tess he wanted her to be present.

Tess had called after him of course he wanted her to be there.

"Look Miss Tyler, I don't know why you wanted a job in Broadchurch but as soon as I wrap up a few things, I'll be leaving so if you wanted to drag yourself down by working with me, then you are out of luck."

He turned to leave but Rose called after him.

"You did what you could, it's not your fault the defence lawyer was determined to get him off."

"Was this your first day here?" Alec asked, thinking he should go find Ellie before she disappeared.

"No, I was here yesterday, you weren't. I saw what she was like, you can't blame the jury for being fooled by her. Who was that woman in court with you?"

Alec thought she was being rather personal.

"Someone from an old case, which I have to get back to before she also escapes. Excuse me, Miss Tyler."

She watched him go back up the steps, since she'd seen Ellie leaning over the balcony then saw him catch up with her.

"What did she want?" Ellie asked, still not believing what had just happened.

"Never mind her Miller, let's go take it out on two very deserving people. While you are there, get your old job back."

"Thanks for the advice, you could get a job as an agony aunt. I won't get it back, not now."

"Well you won't know unless you try, you can give me a ride back to the station," Alec told her, sure that Rose Tyler would interfere but it was of no concern to him.

Rose had to admit defeat – for now but did he mean it and that he was leaving? Maybe he was going to finally solve his old case and he was going away for that? She drove back to her hotel and told the manager she'd be leaving in the morning, after speaking to Pete who told her she had a meeting with the new chief superintendent, whom he said was very keen to have her, given Rose's Torchwood background and who also thought Ellie Miller should put the past behind her.

Rose was already home after her successful interview and had agreed to start the following Monday, the new chief welcoming her.

"I had a request to consider you for my new fast-track program," the new chief had told Rose. "They'll only be two of you to start with, I want to see how it goes. Have you met Ellie Miller by any chance?" Rose was asked. "Only I got asked to take her back suddenly."

"I met her at the court, Ma'am," Rose replied, remembering her training and not to use first names unless instructed by the officer concerned and CS Clark didn't look like she was one of them.

The chief smiled. Knowing Rose Tyler's reputation, she must have had a hand in the former DS being approved to get her rank back.

Ellie Miller and Alec Hardy were just saying their goodbyes the next day after getting three confessions and discovering the missing cousin, well Tess had.

"So, where are you going then?" Ellie asked as she leaned in the doorway and seeing his bags were packed. "Not tempted to stay and see if Rose Tyler got the job?" she grinned. "I'm going back, the new chief called me earlier and it's not really worked out in Exeter, I really hate it there."

"Do you think she had anything to do with it?" Alec asked, looking at the time since he'd booked a taxi.

"Well if she did, I'm not going to go easy on her, I'll have to train her and another newly qualified DC. They'll both get the same treatment. So are you going to see your daughter?" Ellie asked him.

"I have to try Miller. Thanks for helping me solve that case," he replied.

"Yeah, you'd never have done it without me," Ellie agreed, holding her hand out to shake his. "I'm still not hugging you."

"Wouldn't expect you to Miller. Go on, get out of here, my taxi will be here soon."

As he walked across the footbridge for what he hoped was the last time, he couldn't help but wonder what working with Rose Tyler would be like. He could have fun kicking her ass when she screwed up, just because she'd worked at Torchwood and had plenty of money.

The taxi driver waited for him to straighten his tie and fasten the top button of his shirt, then as he got in the back seat, asked Alec where he was going.

"The nearest train station," was all Alec replied, thinking it would be ironic if it was in Exeter but somehow doubted it.

Chapter 2

Rose was getting a little apprehensive over the next few days. Not only saying goodbye to her mother and Tony but if Alec Hardy had really been leaving. The day before she was moving, she went into Pete's study.

"Nervous?" Pete grinned as she stood in the doorway.

"I always get nervous coming to your office. It reminds me of that night. I told ya that The Doctor disappeared for a while, he'd come in here and seen about the Cybermen, hadn't he?"

"I expect so, I may have left something on the screen but if he hadn't seen it and known what he was up against, well, we wouldn't be here, would we? Anyway, this is about you, leaving home," Pete replied.

"He might have left," Rose stated. "I thought I'd go work there and try and get it out of my system that he's anything like The Doctor and I could learn so much from him. You know he's part of the reason I did the training."

"Yes and the other part was me saying no to re-starting that project and it's still the same answer. There's not just you to consider, others would have to test it and your mother wouldn't thank me if I let you go without testing. All those years ago when we got signs then they vanished as quick as we'd got them, that should have been a sign to not go any further."

"I know Dad. Then I saw Alec Hardy on the news about those two cousins. I should have done something then. Well, I'm off to get settled in tomorrow, I'm surprised I got that apartment so fast," Rose grinned, knowing Jake had rushed all the paperwork through for her and she'd got a nice view from the apartment right on the harbour that was only supposed to be a holiday let.

As she was finishing her packing on Friday afternoon, her mother joined her.

"I won't give ya the don't go speech," her mother told her. "It never worked the last time, did it?"

"I have to do this Mum, I can't stay here forever and now I'm qualified, I have to make use of it," Rose replied. "I'll make some new friends, I hope Ellie Miller took advantage of getting her job back. I can learn so much from her."

"You said that about Alec Hardy," Jackie laughed. "I know it's no use giving a lecture about Doctor clones."

Ellie was still in the process of moving back into their old house. While she and Tom were decorating, she got a visit from her sister.

"Hardy's place looked empty," Lucy informed her.

"Yeah, well no-one can blame him for leaving. What are you here for?"

Lucy had got her act together and sobered up along with agreeing to pay back her gambling debts after Maggie gave her a chance in the newspaper office.

"Olly swore he saw that rich Rose Tyler a few days ago," Lucy replied, inspecting her fingernails. "What would she be doing hanging around? It was bad enough she was hanging around the trial."

"Leave it Lucy, at least she's spending some money in the town," Ellie replied, trying to decide where to start next.

"Well is she coming back?" Lucy asked, not offering to help.

"Maybe? Keep this quiet but she applied to work here, she qualified in the police. I got my job back so now I need another minder for Fred. Are you still working at the newspaper?" Ellie asked her.

"I don't know, Maggie's not said. If she doesn't need me, maybe I can look after him for you? You could drop him off on your way to work," Lucy suggested. "Have you heard from dad lately?"

Alec was trying his best to make amends with his daughter. On his arrival back in Sandbrook, he'd found a budget hotel, which worked out slightly cheaper than renting and he'd been to see his old boss.

"You'll have to pass a medical," the chief had told him. "I should be mad at you, for not declaring you were ill, Alec."

"Can you blame me?" Alec asked. "So, what are my chances? I want a flexible term, if Daisy doesn't want to make up, I'll have nothing to stay for and I don't want my ex wife as my partner. Can you find somewhere for me? Can you take me on a temporary basis?" he asked hopefully.

So Monday morning, Rose, Ellie and Alec were all starting new jobs, well Ellie was only technically starting a new job but they were all nervous. Ellie was greeted by those who had remained but she found desks had been re-arranged and an extra kitchen area installed at the other side of Alec's old office.

The chief had sent for both Ellie and Rose.

"There's been some changes around here," they were both told. "We've no full-time DI so Ellie, you're in charge when he's not here. I was told Alec Hardy was a bit of a grump so compared to him, well you'll see. Rose, you'll be partnered with DS Miller here, Ellie, you got your rank back."

"Do I need a uniform?" Rose asked, having bought some grey trousers and a blue shirt.

"No, you'll do fine. Pick up your new ID from personnel, both of you. You won't recognise many faces Ellie, there's been a lot of changes so you can spread out a bit. Maybe it'll be a good idea though to put your desks together, until Rose gets used to things?" the chief suggested. "By the way, the other new DC starts tomorrow, she's also new to the area. Ellie, find someone to partner her will you?"

"So what's the name of this other DC?" Ellie wanted to know, now she had two of them to train despite not being partnered with the other one, since she was the senior officer.

"That would be Katie Harford, she just got transferred," the chief told her.

Ellie wondered if she was ready for this and if this other new DC had just transferred out of Sandbrook if she'd heard Hardy was going back there. Just over a week ago, she'd been debating what to do once the trial was over.

Rose had already claimed a desk in the CID so between them, they pushed them both together.

"Well, may as well get started," Rose grinned, going to make coffee. "Want one?"

Ellie smiled. This was going to be a cinch, Rose had already got the idea things were going to be easy and maybe the other new DC would make friends with her and she could shake them both up at the same time?

An office had been found for Alec, in another division, thankfully so he didn't keep bumping into Tess all the time though the first lunchtime, he'd had to carefully avoid her as she was sitting with the loser she'd left him for.

Rose spent her day going over old cases, to see what she was up against and Ellie had broken the news to Frank that he was going to have a new partner. By home time, Rose was getting her jacket on and Ellie was finishing up.

"I hope we can go out tomorrow?" Rose asked.

"It's not all going out Rose," Ellie replied. "Did you find a place of your own?"

"Yeah, just around the harbour, on the corner. I can see right across the harbour from my bedroom. So are ya settling down again?" she asked.

"Yeah, just about. I hope Tom's up for some more decorating," Ellie replied. "Will you try and make friends with this Katie when she arrives?"

"I'll try but I'm making no promises," Rose replied. "Night then."

Four weeks later, Rose and Katie hated each other, Ellie was forever stopping potential cat fights between them and was trying to avoid getting one of them transferred, though she knew who'd be out and it wouldn't be Rose Tyler. She had dragged them both into what had been Alec's office and tore into both of them, despite her slightly favouring Rose as she herself didn't get on with the other DC.

"For the final time, you two quit fighting," Ellie warned them. "What is it with you both?"

"Ask her," Rose replied, being an expert in cat fighting but Katie was giving her a run for her money.

"I think it's more like you," Katie mumbled, as she felt intimidated by Rose. "Just who does she think she is?"

Ellie was tempted to reply the Vitex heiress but Rose had made it clear no-one was to know who she was.

"No-one's better than the other, you're both the same rank but the way you're going, that could change," Ellie warned them. "I'm not asking you to be friends, just work in a civil manner with each other when I ask you to do something. Can you both do that?"

"Yeah, I can do that," Rose replied. "Don't know about her though."

"Katie?" Ellie asked her. "Well get back to what I asked you to do, no more fighting. You're both lucky the DI spends less time here than he should but think yourself lucky Hardy didn't return."

That was half Rose's problem. After the first few days, when Ellie wasn't looking and she wasn't giving Katie the evil eye across the room, she'd been trying to find out where he'd gone. Then, she'd come across an article in one of the police newsletters that he'd just bust a gang of dealers on an estate and his bosses were pleased with him. She discovered he'd gone back to Sandbrook and there was no way she would have got a transfer so she'd never tried to argue with Pete over it.

After that, she'd looked for anything else and slowly, she'd been asking Ellie about him without trying to give anything away. The first time they'd really gone out she'd tried tactfully to bring up the subject.

"So, do ya know where Alec Hardy went then?" Rose had asked as she tried to follow directions to a house.

"Probably to see his daughter," Ellie had replied, hoping Rose wouldn't get them lost.

After that, it had got easier and though they never discussed it inside the station, Alec was often the subject of Ellie's jokes.

"Did I tell you just before the end of the trial, we were walking back to his house by the river and the fair had set up behind it on the field?" Ellie had laughed one time.

"I bet he just loved that," Rose had laughed back, trying to picture his face.

Alec meanwhile had got nowhere fast with Daisy. She'd agreed to meet him on Saturday mornings but had so far not progressed any further. In his first few days, he'd rounded up a local gang and seen them all get two years each so he was quite pleased with himself but it hadn't impressed Daisy that much. He'd also not known it had been reported on and that Rose had read it. He'd also helped prepare the case that had almost killed him and it was due in court.

He'd decided as soon as that was over, he'd give Daisy one last go and then maybe go back to Broadchurch, if the chief there would have him.

Rose had pleaded with Pete to put in a word for her to get sent to Sandbrook but had failed.

"Rose, you were told," Pete had reminded her after she'd been there a week. "You can't just follow him around. You said you'd make a go of it."

Three months after though, it was all over the news that those responsible for killing the two cousins had been sentenced, Alec having no choice but accept it was newsworthy as a certain Karen White saw him leaving the court building.

"Well you redeemed yourself," Karen called after him.

"I'm surprised you stayed away this long," Alec replied as she caught up.

"Want to give me the exclusive?" she goaded him.

"Why would I do that?" Alec asked, going to his car.

"You came back to see them get what they deserved, that would make a great story. Are you staying now?"

"Do you think I would tell you?" he replied, not that there was anything to keep him here.

He knew even now that all he'd get out of Daisy was the odd call she'd think about spending more time with him so if he decided to leave, it may prompt her to do something or drive her further away.

"I heard Rose Tyler joined the Broadchurch police," Karen called after him as he opened the car door.

"What has that got to do with me?" he asked without turning.

"She's training under your old DS. I heard she's taking the sergeants exam."

Alec wondered if that was supposed to mean something? Maybe it did, he'd done nothing but think about the fact he must be the only man in the country who didn't want to be in the same town as her but he'd had his reasons for leaving, the court case he'd just left for one.

Ellie and Rose were watching him making a statement that had been recorded earlier, along with those who were left, well except Katie.

"So that's why he went off?" Rose mused out loud, thinking it should have been obvious.

"Even to you it should have been obvious," Katie looked up from her monitor.

Ellie gave her a warning glance.

"Katie, it may have escaped your attention but that case almost killed him, several times," Ellie scolded her. "Back to work everyone. You too Rose, your exam's next week."

"Don't remind me," Rose tried to joke.

"Well don't let all that hard work go to waste," Ellie grinned, knowing she'd found it easy.

"What's so special about you then?" Katie asked, since she'd not been put in for a promotion.

"Maybe I pay more attention than you do?" Rose replied, going to the news on her computer.

Ellie let it slide. It was only a matter of time before Rose would be the same rank, only a junior DS but non the less an equal. Ellie's desk phone rang and was surprised it was the chief wanting to see her.

"Is this about Rose?" Ellie asked as she took a seat in the chief's office.

"DI Cole isn't coming back Ellie. Do you feel able to take on the job, with Rose coming up for a promotion?"

"Me? I thought I was last year when Hardy came and stole my job but now? After all I've been through?" Ellie asked.

"It's yours if you want it, I spoke to the chief constable. If you turn it down, you can still run things but he says it's about time we got someone full time. Are you in touch with Alec Hardy?" the chief asked her.

"No, I've not heard from him but we just saw him on TV," Ellie replied. "Are you thinking of asking him to come back?"

"The thought did cross my mind Ellie. I know he's a bit of a loose cannon but he gets the job done. I expect there would be no objections?" the chief asked her.

Ellie thought maybe not from her but Rose may have something to say about it. If Rose got her promotion, she'd be the one who had to work with him. Ellie left the office, promising not to say anything in case Hardy turned it down but she doubted it somehow. She'd been able to tell that both he and Rose had shown an interest in each other.

The day at the courthouse when she'd seen Hardy talking to Rose, then his reaction later had been signs of it. As she left, the chief looked up Alec's number and called, just as he'd got back to the station. He heard his mobile ring and didn't recognise the number. Ten minutes later, after pretending he wasn't that bothered about going back but if they needed someone, he'd agreed, though why, he didn't know.

Had he finally given in and his curiosity got the better of him to see what working with Rose Tyler would be like? Karen White had confirmed Rose was still in Broadchurch.

"Well Alec," Chief Clark had said. "The job's yours if you want it? Do you need time to think it over?"

Alec was only trying to fool himself when he replied he'd let her know by the end of the day and it was already late afternoon. Chief Clark smiled to herself and called the personnel office to arrange for his coming back.

Ellie sat down opposite Rose, looking across at her.

"What's wrong Ellie?" Rose asked her.

"I might be wrong but I think I just turned down a promotion to let Alec Hardy back." Ellie admitted.

Chapter 3
The date scene is inspired by Alec's mysterious date in series 3

Alec was trying to find excuses he should not go back to the town he'd hated but had failed to come up with any. Sandbrook had felt less than a home than Broadchurch had and now, there was one slightly appealing factor to going back – well apart from being offered the job and that was called Rose Tyler.

Had she played a hand in getting him to go back? Would she do such a thing and why him, of all people? His plan to get Daisy back had failed miserably and she'd not taken to him like she should have done. Had he really thought it would be that easy after all that time?

He'd got an email just as he was leaving with confirmation his transfer would be completed and all he had to do was find a place to rent and send them the details. Maybe Miss Tyler had played a hand in it after all. Well he'd enjoy kicking her ass into place and would make a point of seeing how good Miller's training of the Vitex heiress had been and if she had deliberately taught the woman all her bad habits just to annoy him.

He'd called Daisy and she was meeting him so he could tell her he was going to give her some space and to think about paying him a visit.

"So, what do you think?" he asked hopefully over their meal.

He'd chosen the place he'd met her and Tess on his last visit, mainly because she knew where it was.

"I'll think about it," Daisy replied, after he'd asked her to get her exams over with and think about paying him a visit.

"Then that's all I can ask," he admitted, after three months of trying. "I'll rent a place, big enough for the two of us. Come down and if you like it, we can see about getting you into college down there, right?"

"Not in that riverside shack," Daisy laughed.

"Your mother over-exaggerated and no, I expect that's been taken," he smiled. "I suppose a caravan's out of the question?" he joked.

"What do you think Dad?" Daisy replied cheekily. "Why do you really want to go back?"

"There's nowhere else to go, I can't stay here. You heard your mother."

"Yeah, sorry, you always seem to be arguing about me," Daisy replied.

"No, don't think that. Things aren't going to get any better here, not now," he told her. "We can use the long holidays to get you settled, get you a place in college or sixth form."

"It'll go against me Dad," Daisy insisted, looking at the dessert menu.

He put his hand over hers. "No, it won't, it wasn't your fault."

A week later, everyone in the CID office, half of them not remembering the grumpy, sick detective were talking amongst themselves when the chief had told them Alec was returning officially on Monday morning. Rose already knew and Katie, already nervous Rose started her new job and would be giving her grief was even more nervous at Alec's reputation.

On the Friday afternoon, Rose and Ellie were in what passed as the conference room, having kicked out Brian from forensics.

"Don't mind me then," Brian complained as he gathered his papers he was trying to work on. "Why don't you use next door?" he indicated to the now tidy DI's office. "He's coming back then?"

"He's got a name you know?" Rose corrected him, now she'd gained her confidence of having her new rank.

"Get her," Brian quipped as he stood in the doorway.

"Ass," Rose replied quietly as he left.

Ellie tried to hold back a smile. She knew the two of them hated each other and now Hardy was coming back, it would be a contest to see who could annoy him the most. It would be close.

"Just a few things Rose," Ellie began. "You're still a junior DS but don't let Hardy treat you like the tea lady. Stay out of his way when you can, if he asks you anything, try to be tactful at calling him names, he'll expect a few anyway," Ellie smiled.

"How did you cope with him?" Rose asked her, drinking her coffee.

"Loads of sweet, sugary drinks, lots of coffee and even more swearing at him under my breath," Ellie replied. "He's hard work Rose, during his illness, when he'd admitted it, he mellowed a bit, well after a while. Don't let him make you feel sorry for him, if you want some advice how to handle him, you're on your own. He may be completely different with you."

"Why's that?" Rose asked, not sure what Ellie was getting at. "Because of who I am?"

"He won't do you any favours Rose, trust me," Ellie replied. "Don't go repeating anything I told you about him."

"As if," Rose grinned. "Do ya think he'll take his old place again?" she wondered.

"I saw someone in there the other day so I doubt he'll get it. He admitted he collapsed on the decking one evening while I was inside, working on that old case."

"Wow, he must have been bad then?" Rose asked her. "Well, at least he got something done about it. I heard he was teaching in the academy, if I'd known, I'd have done my training there," she smiled.

Over the weekend, Alec drove back to Broadchurch, having hastily arranged a large two-bedroom caravan for a week just to keep him out of hotels and he'd promised Daisy he'd be out of it before she arrived. He picked up the key from reception, followed the road until it curved slightly and took a sharp left turn and parked on the grass outside number eight.

"Better than nothing I suppose?" he mumbled to himself as he opened the door, noting the caravan had a ramp to a front patio door.

Rose had been for a walk around the harbour, calling in at the store by the caravan park and thought she saw him pass in a car into the grounds but she supposed he wouldn't want to be bothered if he'd just come back. They would be meeting again on Monday morning and she'd have her work cut out for her, keeping up with him.

Alec was in his old office bright and early on Monday morning, having called in to meet his new boss.

"I'll leave it up to you who you choose as your partner Alec," the chief told him. "However, DS Tyler is newly qualified, she could benefit from your experience."

Alec thought that was just great. That had been part of the reason he'd still left after he'd found out she wanted to work with him.

"Don't cut her any slack," the chief warned him. "You know who she is, her Torchwood training is a great asset to us Alec, she can handle herself, just ask Ellie Miller. I admit she's more of a negotiator than anything, she was the head of her department, handling difficult situations."

"Like little green men not wanting to go home?" Alec suggested dryly.

The chief had been expecting him to be sarcastic, her predecessor had warned her.

"Something like that," CS Clark smiled. "Think you can give her the benefit of your experience?"

Alec liked nothing better than a challenge. So as Rose walked into the CID, stopping to make her usual drink, Alec saw her and shouted from his office doorway. He was a firm believer in starting as he meant to go on so now was a good time. As he shouted for Rose, Katie had to smile.

"DS Tyler, my office," he told Rose as she waited for the kettle to boil. "Now," he added as he made it plain it was not acceptable to keep him waiting while she made herself a drink.

Ellie also had to smile, looking around at other amused faces that he'd already placed his feet under the desk and was cutting no-one any slack, including the newly promoted DS Tyler. Everyone knew who she was, well almost everyone and took no notice – she was just one of the team now although she regularly battled with Katie over something or another, Ellie leaving them to get on with it but now, that would change.

Katie stood in front of Ellie's desk.

"Great, Rose gets her promotion and he comes back," she told Ellie. "Just what we need."

"I'd be careful if I were you Katie," Ellie told her. "Hardy doesn't go for first names so be careful and Rose is your boss now, your immediate boss so any problems, go to her and not me or Hardy."

Ellie was looking forward to Rose taking some of the responsibility and hoped she could take it easy. She was finding it difficult to balance her work and her father coming to stay with them although it was saving her after school care as he now walked to nursery school to collect young Fred for her in the afternoons.

"Well Tyler, seems you got your wish," Alec was telling her, looking at her file. "You qualified all on our own?"

"If ya mean did I have any outside help, then no, I did it on my own," Rose replied, trying to judge how far she could go.

"Good. You can start by being my DS, see how the practical side works out. Have you found your way around the town?" he asked, putting the folder down. Rose nodded. "Then you can drive if we get a call-out otherwise, you and Miller can attend if it's not urgent," he continued.

Rose wondered how often he was going to dismiss something as not urgent then?

"What have you been doing so far?" he asked.

"I only got my promotion on Friday but I've been doing plenty," Rose replied, not wanting to say most of it was looking him up. "DS Miller said I can practice some of the things I learned working for Torchwood."

"Such as?" Alec wanted to know. "Mind wiping and telepathic communication?" he asked dryly.

Rose decided to play along. 

"Sometimes, depends what it is. I prefer to study people, such as profiling and she always leaves it to me to interrogate a suspect."

"I bet she does," Alec replied. "Profiling though?" he mused. "What do you gain by that?"

"Guessing who people are by reading about them, whether they are capable of something or not. We've ruled a few people out and saved a lot of time doing that," Rose told him. "The chief was quite pleased as we've also caught out a few people who thought they were clever enough to get away with something."

Alec thought it was a shame she'd not been around when Claire was playing games with him. Rose would have seen right through the three of them. Still, that was in the past and he'd got there in the end.

"Well while you're perfecting your profiling skills, I expect you to do other police work, understood?" he asked.

"Understood. If I need to take you out, can I tell the traffic officer to keep a car for you?" she asked.

"I will leave that to you, one of the joys of being promoted. You get to tell them when you need a car, don't take no for an answer," he replied.

He let her go and she sat opposite Ellie, grinning.

"So?" Ellie asked, trying to judge how it had gone.

"Piece of cake," Rose grinned. "Told him my speciality was profiling, he fell for it. Actually, I was rather good at it back at Torchwood, I think I'll take it up again."

"He believed you?" Ellie smiled, glad they'd moved the desks so neither of them had to face his office. "Oh, you can separate the desks now if you want, now you're more qualified. You don't need any supervision. You didn't need any anyway did you?" Ellie smiled.

Rose smiled back. "I was happy to learn from your experience, DS Miller. Oh, he expects me to become his partner."

"You agreed?" Ellie asked, wondering what her answer would be.

She had suspected Rose's motives for being there although she'd never had them confirmed, Rose had been too good at evading the subject when asked.

"Well he did say anything not that important, we could still handle it," Rose replied. She looked across at Katie, who was pretending not to take any notice. "Maybe I should start taking Katie with me?"

"Good luck there," Ellie smiled.

Two weeks later, Rose and Katie had managed not to start another cat fight and Rose was getting used to Alec ordering her around. She thought she had over-stepped herself a few times though, which had amused Alec one day while investigating a complaint. He had asked her if she was still practising her profiling.

She had been, including trying out a new dating 'App' on her phone that didn't show photos of prospective 'Dates', only an avatar and a cryptic description.

"Why are you asking?" Rose wanted to know as she checked the mirror before pulling out.

"You seemed to have made your mind up about me," he replied.

"What's that supposed to mean?" she asked him.

"Maybe the way you avoid my questions?" was his only reply. "Has Miller been telling you things?"

Rose had a guilty look on her face. Right, he was just asking for trouble now. She'd seen a profile on the dating site and was trying to decide if it was him or not. She'd not been on any actual dates with any locals, she had figured out quite a few of them and avoided them when they'd replied to her profile but somehow, she'd not had anything from whom she thought was her boss.

When she had chance, she went on the website and clicked on whom she thought was Alec and indicated she wanted to meet, a first for her. She was dying to tell Ellie but thought she'd best wait, in case she was turned down. She wasn't as a reply came through that whoever it was wanted to meet that night at a pub up in the town. Now she had to confer with Ellie.

"No way Rose," Ellie had laughed at lunchtime. "Have you seen the description? What's he even doing on there anyway? I thought you said you weren't going to reply to any of them?"

"Well, only the creeps, I spotted two of them right off," Rose laughed back. "Wanna take a bet it's him?"

"Well if he leaves early, then it's almost a dead certainty, so we'll see," Ellie grinned.

The 'date' was set for seven thirty and Alec was nearly always the last one to leave but just before six, Ellie had delayed just to see if he took the bait.

"Right, I'm away," he declared as Rose was also delaying and it wouldn't take her long and she was going to get a taxi, just in case things got awkward and she didn't have to offer him a lift back. She'd learned a few days before that he'd taken the white cottage on the side of the east cliff and that his daughter was going to pay a visit, with a view to moving there.

She'd only found out by accident and she bet his daughter had talked him into joining the dating site. Katie was wondering what the two of them were talking about as they gave Alec five minutes before they got ready to leave.

"What are you two up to?" Katie asked, tired of being left out of everything.

"Rose has got a date," Ellie admitted, still amused Alec had left early.

"So you're on the new dating app as well then?" Katie asked, having only one failed date when it turned out to be someone on holiday who was trying his luck and put the town as his location.

Rose looked across at Ellie, willing her not to say any more.

"Hang on, Hardy's just left," Katie worked out. "It's not with him, is it?" she asked.

"Your guess is as good as ours," Ellie replied. "We'll find out tomorrow."

Alec had been surprised after Daisy sent him the details she'd put on his profile but he'd been grateful it didn't want his picture and she'd tried not to make it too obvious what he did for a living. So as he climbed up the steps to his new home, hoping Daisy would like the place when she came to visit, he decided he'd leave his car and get a taxi to the pub and hope he wouldn't have to walk the woman home too far.

He knew he was out of practice with this type of thing though and hoped whoever it was turned out to be the quiet type. He was in for a shock when five minutes after he got seated, Rose stood in the doorway looking around for him. He looked up as she approached the table.

"What are you doing here?" he asked as she stood opposite him. "If there's been a call-out, forget about it."

"Nope, not as far as I know. You asked how my profiling was going? Well I guessed right it was you," Rose grinned.

Alec wondered what he could say. He supposed that was what he'd deserved when he'd let Daisy talk him into it.

"So, you figured it was me and took pity on me?" Alec asked over dessert.

"Nothing of the sort," Rose defended herself. "Actually, I was only on the free trial, I'm not renewing it."

"Why's that then? Perfected your profiling?" he asked.

"Do ya think I'm good at it?" she grinned.

Two months later

Rose was trying to get her lover out of bed to get ready for their guest, well not so much of a guest but joining them more permanently since Daisy had been accepted into the local college. Daisy had been for a week's visit and got on well with Rose, much to Alec's surprise and they had ganged up on him several times to move into Rose's apartment since they told him during the winter, it wouldn't be practical to keep the cottage.

"Now who is being a grump?" Alec moaned as Rose came out of the bathroom and threw his clean shorts at him. "I don't see why it takes both of us to go meet her."

"Yeah but you could show some enthusiasm," Rose replied as she turned her bra around to fasten it instead of indicating for him to do it, which he would have gladly done from that side. "So, we agree then?" she asked, putting her white 'Miami' printed t-shirt on that Alec had tried to pinch off her several times when he couldn't find one of his plain ones.

"If we must," he replied, referring to getting a private tutor for Daisy for the last two weeks so she would be ready. "You know I don't like taking advantage of your money."

"Well I could teach her how to be a Torchwood agent, or a detective sergeant," Rose laughed, reaching for her black trousers.

Alec suddenly leaned over and grabbed her from behind, pulling her back on the bed and going for her rear.

"Now we'll be late," Rose grinned after ten minutes of him groping her ass.

"You always get up ten minutes early," Alec grinned. "One thing I don't get, even after all this time. Why do you put up with me?" he asked, kissing her hip and she tried to pull her black cotton knickers up one handed, leaning on the other hand to keep her balance.

"You really don't get it?" she asked as he shook his head and ran his finger along the leg of her underwear. "I became a police officer because of you," she reminded him.

"You were disappointed when I went off though," he tried to get her to admit.

"Is that why you came back?" Rose tried to act seriously.

"Sandbrook wasn't the answer. I tried Rose, I tried to make it up to Daisy but we were both different people than when I left and Tess didn't make it easy either. If I'd tried harder, maybe Daisy would have come round sooner, who knows. It was the same town as I'd left to come here but maybe everyone had moved on except me. Mind you, my mind wasn't fully on it," he confessed.

"Why's that then?" Rose asked as she finally got up and pulled on her trousers, which was what she'd tried to do over ten minutes before.

"You were back here," he admitted. "I couldn't stop thinking how much I would enjoy kicking your ass into place and not letting you get away with anything. When I came back, this was the same town but with different people, Broadchurch had suddenly twined with Sandbrook."

"I told ya I tried to get transferred to Sandbrook. Pete told me he'd warned me when I took the job here, he was doing it because I wanted to be a detective. I'm glad you came back Alec."

"So am I love. So now, the town's still the same, well one new addition. You two can go sort out what she needs, for college. I know to stay out of it."

"Yeah, same town, different people," Rose smiled, reaching for a kiss. "Talking of different people, what would ya say if I told ya there might be more than one new addition to the town?"

"What?" he asked, thinking he was hearing things. "You mean?"

"Maybe, well I'll know for sure in a few days. That'll be a surprise for Daisy," Rose grinned.

"That'll be a surprise for me as well. After you and Daisy getting me to move here, we'll have to move again then?"

"Well we're not going back to that cottage on the cliff, or the one by the river," Rose laughed.

"Thought not," Alec smiled, reaching under her t-shirt.

"Now we will be late," Rose laughed, trying to move his hand.

The End!