Alec Hardy's unexpected Christmas present

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Rose Tyler was passing through the town of Sandbrook on her way home from a conference and spends the night with Alec Hardy after going to report she had a minor accident with another car. Nine months later, a few days before Christmas, she travels to Broadchurch to tell him he's become a dad. Will he accept it?

Chapter 1
May be based on several of my other stories! Set in the alternate universe in 2013 before Alec goes to Broadchurch then after the Latimer case.

Rose was bored out of her mind. How had she ended up agreeing to speak to a dozen or so stuffy board members at their annual conference in not so sunny Weymouth in the middle of February? Mickey had conveniently said he had an urgent matter to attend, probably chasing poor Martha Jones again and Jake had said his boyfriend Simon hadn't forgiven him for going away for a weekend when they'd been trying to 'persuade' a group of mischievous aliens to go home when they'd had a stopover in Blackpool and were winning coins galore on the slot machines.

The arcade owner was at his wits end and had called Torchwood when he'd noticed the group weren't quite human and lucky Jake had drawn the short straw and had taken Chrissie and Ewan to try to persuade the aliens they couldn't take the coins with them as Earth currency had no value anywhere else.

"Miss Tyler," the secretary had nudged her when she was on the verge of nodding off while the others debated the finer points of diplomacy towards 'visitors'.

She'd laughed at Jake finally getting the latest of them to leave Blackpool by them giving most of the coins back and the grateful owner had given them sticks of gooey rock instead, which she'd found hilarious and they found it serious.

"May I remind you," the stuffy secretary continued as Rose tried to look awake. "May I remind you such incidents expose people to the fact visitors from other planets can just drop in whenever they want?"

"Oh come on Miss James," Rose yawned, checking her nails and playing with one of her hoop earrings. "It wasn't that serious. Jake and his team handled it quite well. It was a bit funny though, how they did it."

"We shouldn't encourage them," another delegate joined in as Rose wondered when coffee was being served – again.

She needed it to stay awake.

"Come on, it's 2013, the Earth's population get thrills out of alien sightings," Rose persisted, knowing the members of Torchwood weren't quite used to her way of doing things.

She had spent the best part of four years training on the job, under Jake's guidance after she and Mickey had 'arrived' on this alternate version of their home and her mother had married Pete so now she had a cheeky three year old brother called Tony who she would do anything for.

"What about those recent rumours?" one delegate raised a question.

"What would they be?" Rose tried to stifle a yawn and it was only eleven in the morning, the final day of the three day conference and how she'd survived, she'd no idea.

She'd been spotted twice the night before when she'd gone with her only ally, her PA Sally and they'd gone to a bar on the seafront and despite denying who she was, she'd had a crowd around her getting her autograph. Being the Vitex heiress took its toll on her. When she wasn't dodging the press for being a wild child with more money than sense, she was being chased for who she was currently dating or who she had been seen out with last. Being flung three years ahead and being only just turned twenty when she and her mother had arrived, with only the clothes they were wearing had been hard to adjust to.

Now she was only twenty three and supposed to be twenty six and she should be acting like it but she didn't care. She knew it would catch up with her eventually though and something was just waiting to happen.

Pete had let the press know they could only go so far before he put a stop to it but he could do nothing about her getting involved with Torchwood business when she'd kicked some alien butt back to their own solar system. She was brought back down to this Earth.

"Miss Tyler, I refer to the events a few months ago," she was reminded. "Those readings we were getting, signs from your old universe."

Rose wished they'd stop going on about it. Signs had appeared and had been gone in a few hours, leaving no time to get the project they'd been working on into action and she'd been let down again.

"Miss Tyler," another delegate addressed her. "The rumours were that a team was on standby to get you back from where you came."

"Don't be daft," Rose defended herself. "Do ya think I'd still be here if there was a way back? I don't know what ya all heard, we're nowhere near ready for anything like that and the fact we got those reading was never covered up."

"Can we be sure of that?" she was asked. "Who knows what your stepfather is keeping from us. We're all heads of departments, some of us have been with the organisation since before he took over."

"So?" Rose asked. "He wasn't the one who let the Cybermen infiltrate it and escape, was he?" Rose snapped back.

"I think we should take a break," Sally suggested, seeing Rose was getting flustered when things became personal.

She took Rose aside as she took her a coffee, Rose staring out of the window.

"Sorry Sally," Rose apologised. "I shouldn't let it get to me. Maybe getting totalled last night wasn't such a good idea without taking the anti-alcohol pills?"

"You don't have to apologise to me," Sally smiled. "It was my job to give them to you. I know it still upsets you that you can't get home."

"I'm gonna head back to London later, you stay tonight if ya want?" Rose told her.

"So you don't want to try your luck tonight with that dishy blonde-haired bloke in that bar again?" Sally grinned.

"I swear he's someone famous but I can't place him," Rose replied. "Never mind, at least he didn't ask for my autograph. I think I'll leave as soon as the afternoon session breaks up, pack my stuff up will ya?"

"Sure. It'll be busy on the roads though, is it a good idea to set off at that time?"

"Yeah, I need to wake up Sal, this is worse than kicking alien butt," Rose grinned.

Rose got the map up on her phone and plotted the least busy route, avoiding the motorway and seeing it took her though several towns but figured waiting at traffic lights would be less painful than sitting in a queue on the motorway for no other reason than some person in a control room miles away had forgotten to switch off a hazard warning to go 20mph and drivers were actually heeding the warning.

Sally spotted the route she was taking.

"You do know that route takes you through that town, the one where that girl was killed?" Sally asked her, seeing 'Sandbrook' in bold letters.

"Yeah, I'll be through it in no time and no, I'm not stopping there because that detective in charge could use our help finding the killer," Rose replied.

"Did I say anything?" Sally grinned, knowing her boss had noticed the similarities between the Scottish detective and a certain person she used to know.

Everyone who was important in Torchwood knew about the famous Doctor who had saved them all from being converted into Cybermen but no-one mentioned him in front of Rose. If they did, Rose would go off in a huff and they'd all know about it by getting a warning off Pete to leave it.

"That reminder about those signs," Sally continued. "They know not to bring it up."

"It doesn't matter," Rose sighed. "I have to face it Sal, it was just a fluke, nothing's gonna come of it, no matter how hard they try to get that dimension cannon working properly. When they got signs, well that was the longest we've had but not long enough. I'm here to stay and that's it."

Sally touched her arm. 

"Sorry, I know what it would mean, if there was a way."

"Yeah, Pete would never let me go anyway unless it was tested and by then, it could be too late. He may not be my version of the Doctor if I do make it, then what? Back to the boring conference then?"

Sally sneaked off to pack for Rose and was waiting for her just after three in reception.

"See ya on Friday?" Rose asked, since she'd given Sally the next day off to get home. "Sure you can hitch a ride?"

"Yeah, don't worry about me, I'll get back. Be careful, yeah?" Sally assured her.

Confirming the route on her phone, she attached it to the holder stuck on the car windscreen and started the engine of her metallic blue sports-type car. She debated if she should warn her mother she was coming back a day early but thought she'd surprise Tony. It was his fourth birthday in six weeks and she was charged with getting him a police boat for his bath and Pete was trying to arrange a short ride in a police boat for him.

Somehow, she'd got roped into going with him though she thought she might get Mickey to volunteer, if she could tear him away from chasing after Martha. She often wondered if that was what she and the Doctor had looked like to others, the way Mickey tripped up every time he saw the student doctor, who was Owen Harper's intern.

She got onto the main road once out of the seaside town, it taking her a while to get across since traffic was already building up and just after five, she was approaching the turn-off for Sandbrook and decided to take a break. Seeing a sign for the new shopping mall, she decided it would be easier than finding somewhere in the town centre and turned off, following the signs and driving up the ramp to the roof car park, seeing a lift area as she pulled in.

Meanwhile, in the town's police station, Alec Hardy was working late – again. He had nothing to hurry him back to his one bedroom flat, he was just biding his time until the chief could palm him off on another town, for taking the blame of letting evidence get stolen though his bosses had decided his intentions were good and had let him off lightly.

"Not going home?" his only friend in the department asked him.

"Not yet, what's the point?" he replied, pretending he didn't care. "I'll just catch up on a few things, see you tomorrow."

"Don't work too late then," his DS told him.

Back at the mall, Rose had queued for a famous chicken takeaway food stand and was enjoying the meal after two days of fancy food, which despite her new status, she didn't get what it was all about and loved nothing better than sneaking off with Mickey in their lunch break to go visit a local burger place. Once finished, she thought the traffic might still be a bit heavy getting back onto the main route so on her way to the ladies room, she browsed in a few dress shops and ended up buying a new top and some underwear, a nasty habit she had now she had some money to spend instead of raiding the local charity shops.

Pleased she'd not spent that much, she went up in the lift and once on the top floor, stepped out. Her face dropped when seeing there were only a few cars, she'd backed the car in to easily get out and saw a dent where the number plate was. Opening the rear passenger door, she put her new purchases in and went to inspect the damage.

The number plate was cracked but not in danger of falling off but the dent in the bumper was noticeable and would need repairing when she got home. Great, now she'd have to admit where she'd stopped off, not that she'd get away without paying for it herself, it wasn't worth claiming on the insurance.

She thought about calling Pete but that wouldn't do any good, she could safely drive the car home but what then? Would the person responsible try and blame her if they were that way inclined if they found out who the car belonged to? Going to sit in the car, she found the address of the local police station, seeing it was only about ten minutes away and thought she'd best report it before the offending driver did, if they hadn't already done so.

Alec was about to leave, closing his computer down and putting his jacket on when his desk phone rang.

"What?" he answered gruffly.

"Sir, can you come down to the desk?" the nervous night sergeant asked him, knowing Alec's reputation and his habit of being in a mood if he stayed late.

"What needs my attention?" he asked, feeling hungry all of a sudden, not surprisingly since it was after six now.

Rose had parked her car, making sure it wasn't for police vehicles only and gone inside, thankful Pete made her carry her driving licence and insurance with her and gone up to the who looked like he was as bored as she'd been at the conference desk sergeant.

"Can I help you Miss?" the sergeant asked without looking up.

"Yeah, I need to report a minor traffic incident," Rose replied, used to reporting things but this was a first and she didn't want anyone taking advantage.

"Name?" the sergeant asked, still without looking up.

"Rose Tyler," she replied, thinking he could at least look interested.

He was as he put his pen down.

"Miss Tyler, sorry, I didn't realise it was you. Please accept my apologies."

Rose was going to say he should have been paying attention even if it wasn't her. Things must be slow around here after all the media attention had died down.

"What can the Sandbrook police do for you?" the sergeant continued.

"Some idiot either reversed into my car or rammed it, in the shopping mall car park," Rose replied, hoping there was only one shopping mall as she couldn't remember what it was called. "The number plate is cracked and there's a dent in the bumper. I'm not that bothered but if they took my registration number, well they could try making it look like it was my fault. I just wanted to get in first," Rose replied, thinking this was a waste of time.

She knew the first thing Pete would ask was had she reported it. Since she'd learned to drive, sending Mickey and her driving instructor crazy, Pete had told her anything at all, she had to report it even if it wasn't an insurance claim, which this wouldn't be. He'd told her all the crazies would crawl out of the woodwork claiming for new cars should they discover who they'd hit.

"Just how bad is your car damaged?" the sergeant asked her, getting a traffic accident form from beneath the desk.

Rose got her phone out and showed him the two photos she'd taken before leaving the mall.

"I see Miss Tyler, just a moment then. Could you start by writing the registration number and the make and model?" he asked, picking up the phone.

Rose took the form and glanced at it, she was an expert at form-filling after working for Torchwood. She went to sit down and was just filling in her name and address when Alec came through the stairs door.

"What's so important?" Alec asked at the desk. "Why didn't you tell me on the phone?"

The sergeant nodded towards Rose, who hadn't glanced up.

"Is that who I think it is?" Alec continued.

"Yes Sir, someone bumped her car at the shopping mall."

"Well, what does she want us to do about it?" Alec asked dryly. "Is the car drivable?"

"So she says but given who she is, she thought someone may make a false claim," the sergeant told him.

"Why does that not surprise me? We must get half a dozen calls a day that someone blames someone else for a traffic accident. Leave her with me then and get someone to check the damage, I don't want her stepfather complaining we ignored her," Alec ordered.

Rose was now looking in his direction. It was just his luck she'd decided to stop in his town, she was all he needed and if the press got hold of it, well he'd had enough fending them off with a killer walking free and his almost ex wife saying she was glad to be rid of him.

"Miss Tyler? I'm DI Hardy, would you come this way?" he asked, pointing to the informal interview room. "Someone will check your car and make sure it's drivable. Can I get you anything?"

"No ta, that's why I stopped off. I can drive the car, I told your sergeant some idiot might find out it's my car and make a claim," Rose replied.

"Yes, I can see why you're concerned but now we have your report, I can assure you any false claims will be dealt with. If you don't mind me asking, what are you doing passing through town?" he asked, not that she was likely to tell him.

"A boring conference, I just wanted to get away so I took the scenic route," she grinned as she passed him the form. "Can you recommend a hotel, I might just stay here tonight, I'll have to call my stepfather."

"Then please do so, does he think you are still at the conference?" Alec asked her, gesturing for her to sit and skimming over the report. "You did not put your mobile number," he noted, since she'd put the Torchwood number as her contact and left that blank.

"Sorry, force of habit," she smiled. "I usually get away with it. You'd be surprised how many people don't notice. I don't give it out even though any number is screened first to make sure some stupid claims company's not calling."

She put her number in, Alec noticing she stuck her tongue out of the side of her mouth while doing so and gave himself a mental slap for watching. Hell, he'd really hit rock-bottom after his divorce and should try dating again. If Tess could get someone, there was no reason he shouldn't – at least he'd waited until after the divorce. Rose was looking at him.

"I will process this for you and file the report, you make your call. As for hotel's, the nearest is just by the shopping mall, they should have plenty of vacant rooms. I'll try not to keep you much longer Miss Tyler."

"Oh, call me Rose," she grinned at him, getting her phone out and seeing a missed call from her mother, since she'd put it on silent. "Best call my mum first, she has ESP and she probably already knows I'm not where I'm supposed to be."

"I expect all mothers do that, my ex keeps a tight reign on our almost teenage daughter. Since when did twelve year old girls need a mobile phone?" Alec grumbled, getting up and picking up the phone.

"Geez, when I was twelve, my mum used to shout over the railing of our block of flats when it was time to go in," Rose laughed.

"Well at least she knew where you were," Alec remarked.

Rose thought it was a good thing no-one knew that had all changed when she'd gone off with the Doctor.

Chapter 2

Alec went off and Rose put on a brave face and called her mother.

"It's no use trying to fool me Rose Tyler, I know what you're up to," her mother answered on the first ring.

Rose was about to ask who had squealed on her.

"You didn't answer your phone Madam so I called the hotel and they said you left just after three. So, where are you?"

"Mum, that hotel was too much, I was on my way home," Rose started to explain before Alec got back. "I stopped to get something to eat and some idiot hit my car."

"What? Pete, get here now," her mother shouted in the background. "Someone hit Rose's car."

Pete took the phone, which saved Rose another call.

"Are you okay Rose?" Pete asked her. "I'll call Jake, where are you?"

"I'm fine, I can drive the car, it's not that bad. I reported it to the police, just in case but I'm gonna stay here tonight, I don't know how much longer this will take. Tell mum not to worry."

"That's easier said than done," Pete replied, trying to keep his new wife taking her phone back. "Well get back tomorrow and I'll send the garage to pick it up. You've no idea how it happened?"

"Nope, I just got back and found it like that, I took photos and the police are just checking it. Being who I am has its advantages I suppose? Anyway, looks like I'll be away soon, the detective just came back," Rose grinned at Alec as he opened the door. "See ya tomorrow at some point?"

"Charge the hotel to your company credit card but I should be mad at you for not staying. I take it if any false claims are reported to the police they'll put a stop to them?" Pete asked her.

Rose said yes and goodbye as Alec sat back down.

"You can go now Rose, we'll call you if any such claims are made. Are you going to take my advice and use that hotel?" he asked.

"Yeah, it'll be easier than finding somewhere else," Rose replied.

"Then I'll escort you there, I go past on my way home, just follow my car," he suggested.

Hell, since when did he do that?

"Thanks. It's Alec, isn't it? Sorry, I saw ya on TV about those two girls. I'm sorry he got let off. Did the other girl get found?" Rose asked him.

"No, nothing yet. Maybe she was abducted by some of your off-world friends?" he asked dryly.

"You could request our help but if it's not alien related, we can't really help."

"Sorry, I did not mean to be sarcastic, it's been a long day," he replied.

"What are ya doing here so late anyway? Don't ya work nine to five?" Rose smiled.

"Paperwork?" Alec offered. "No, seriously, I was in no hurry to get home. I was on my way out."

"Really? Somehow, I doubt that. What were you planning then, once you got home?"

Alec couldn't answer.

"You need to relax a little, maybe we could go for a drink? I mean if ya have nothing to get home for?" Rose asked him.

"Maybe we could? Since I have nothing to do and you won't be driving tonight. I would hate to find you locked up in the morning for driving under the influence."

Rose couldn't tell if he was joking or not.

"Did that sound like I was trying to pick ya up?" Rose laughed.

"Nothing of the sort though you should have worded it more carefully," Alec joked as she got up. "I will lead the way to the hotel then, unless you maybe want to stay at a hotel nearer to where I live?"

"Thought ya said ya had to pass it?" Rose reminded him. "Anyway, if you stop for a drink, you'll be the one having to worry about getting home."

"Let me worry about that," he replied as he led her to a side door.

"Don't ya have to sign out?" Rose asked as they approached her car.

"I already did before I went back to see you. Your car is not that bad, if you get stopped on the rest of your journey, just refer the traffic officer to me."

"I will, thanks. So, which car am I following?" Rose asked, looking around.

Alec smiled, something he'd not been doing much of lately and indicated to a car a bit further down.

"Still want to go to that hotel?" he asked as he watched her unlock her car.

"Well, that depends on if ya gonna take things the wrong way, I mean me asking you?"

"I'm way past that Rose, the hotel or my place, your choice?"

"Geez, okay, just don't lose me on the way. You really do need to relax a little. Let's go somewhere and have a drink, me and my PA got totalled last night in a bar on Weymouth seafront, she forgot to give me the anti-alcohol pills," Rose admitted.

"Well I hope you're not taking any tonight?" Alec asked as she got in her car. "Just follow me, there's a pub just down the road from where I live."

"My stepfather said to charge the hotel to Torchwood, how am I gonna explain he doesn't get the bill for it?" Rose asked as Alec leaned on the car roof.

"That's your problem, not mine. Think about it Rose, you get recognised going into a hotel bar with me, it will be on the front page in the morning. Going to a local crowded pub near where I live is I believe the lesser of the two evils. So, are you coming or not?"

Rose waited for him getting into his car. She was way past due having some fun and relaxation and while the blonde bloke from last night had been staring at her and probably kicking himself for not joining in with the crowd around her or waiting until she was leaving, leaning heavily on Sally, who unknown to Rose had taken the pills to lessen the alcohol effects, he was cute but the way Alec Hardy had not even bothered who she was made her more interested.

Plus the fact he'd more or less just saved her the embarrassment of asking if he wanted to spend some time with her, things were looking up. At least he was trying to keep his and her names out of the papers, not trying to make a name for himself claiming to be her latest fling.

Rose didn't have 'flings' they were invented by the media if she was out on the town with friends and some random bloke got pictured with her and never even got their name. Still, it kept everyone guessing and at least it didn't make her look like she wasn't interested in blokes.

She saw Alec pull out and he waited, Rose taking note of the registration number but she reckoned they wouldn't get too separated that she wouldn't be able to keep him in view. Jake had given her lessons in the art of surveillance, she could follow at a distance and not loose him if she really wanted but she didn't want him to think she'd changed her mind. She followed him past the shopping mall, thinking if she'd not stopped off there, she'd be almost home but she wouldn't have met the infamous Alec Hardy, whom she was in denial with that he looked like someone she had lost.

She turned off when he did and he pulled into a courtyard and Rose hoped she'd get away with using the guest parking spot. He got out and waited while she got her new purchases out of the back seat, figuring it was easier than getting her case out and she'd not much in the way of clean clothes anyway.

"Leave that for now, we'll get that drink first," Alec suggested. "Planned this did you? I mean a stopover?"

"Nope, not really, I just can't go past a dress shop without buying something," she quipped back. "I do have a reputation to live up to ya know?"

"Of course you do. The pub is only a few minutes walk but I need something to eat before I drink anything. Any objections?" he asked.

"No, not from me, I'll just get something light maybe? Will my car be okay here?" Rose asked, leaving the designer label carrier bag.

"If you mean will anyone ram it again then yes, it will be fine here. Are you sure that didn't happen before you left your hotel, in Weymouth was it?" he asked her.

"I think I'd have noticed, I'm a trained Torchwood agent," Rose grinned.

"If you say so. This way then," Alec replied.

After ordering some food and some drinks, they began to relax around each other and just before ten, Alec suggested they left.

"I apologise Rose, I should not have assumed you wanted to spend the evening with me," he told her.

"I've had worse offers," Rose smiled as he held out his hand to help her up. "Just one thing, well two things. No talking about who I am and no telling 'cos if I see it in the paper, I know where it came from. Second thing, no more asking me questions, got it?"

"Yes Ma'am," Alec mocked saluted her, gesturing for her to go first. "You could get a room here, if you wanted?"

"I left my car down the road and you offered to put me up for the night, detective inspector," Rose grinned, indicating she wanted the ladies room.

She got inside and rummaged through her bag to see if the anti-alcohol pills worked after she'd got drunk. Who was she kidding? Medical had already warned her about that plus, what she was contemplating, having a little fun with Alec Hardy, she could handle him and although she should have thought about it before agreeing, it would be nice not to worry about ending up in the papers for a change.

Alec was leaning on the wall opposite, waiting for the famous Rose Tyler coming back. No-one would ever believe him, that she'd been willing to go back to his place when she wasn't totally out of her head. It was documented she'd reported an incident, no-one would believe she'd not gone off on her own either to continue her journey or find a hotel for the night.

It was one night, they'd have a bit of fun, let off a little steam and he might, just might be relieved of the sexual tension that had been building up. It also might stop that nagging feeling there was something wrong with him that his doctor had said needed keeping an eye on and for him to take it easy now his big case was over. What did the medical profession know? He'd been given the 'slow down' warning more than once but he'd also read that having sex didn't necessarily make a heart condition any worse.

Rose got herself together, splashing cold water on her face and regretting not thinking about it but she really did want to spend the night with someone, even a Doctor look-alike. Ten minutes later, Alec let them into his flat, Rose retrieving the carrier bag and asking him if she could borrow a t-shirt.

"Maybe later?" he asked as she unbuttoned his shirt, admiring his bare chest and touched his belly, running her finger along the waistband of his trousers.

"Allow me?" Rose grinned. "So, how much do ya need to relax then?"

As if by mutual agreement, clothes were shed until Alec was in his shorts and Rose her more moderate underwear than was in the carrier bag. It didn't however stop Alec pushing her onto the bed and running his finger under one leg of it then the other. Rose grabbed his hand, making him lean on one arm to keep his balance and made him touch her delicate area, making her moan.

He saw the effect he was having on her as she touched his shorts, trying to tug them down. Before either of them knew it, they were both making noises and Alec then scrambled for the bedclothes, Rose not wanting him to move his hand.

"Rose, you'll have to let go or something will tear," he insisted as he tried to free his hand from her underwear. Rose giggled. "That's not helping," he pulled a face as she gripped him tighter through the gap in his shorts. "What are you trying to do to me, kill me off? You do know if you keep doing that, I'll start without you?"

Rose quickly let go, Alec saw his chance as she went for his already wet shorts to pull them off, him wondering why she'd not done that in the first place but he'd forgotten how pleasant playing around first actually was. Grabbing hold of her waist, he pulled her into bed, throwing her damp underwear over the side along with his wet shorts.

"Alec, I want ya to know, I don't normally ask a bloke to go to bed with me when we just met," Rose insisted on telling him as he went to kiss her cleavage. "I mean, I'm in the papers all the time but none of it's true. I've not had a boyfriend in years."

"You have nothing to explain to me. So, are you going on top or am I?" he simply asked.

"Mmm, that's a difficult question. How about we take turns?" Rose giggled as she went for him again.

Alec grunted something Rose couldn't make out that she assumed meant he agreed as she felt him move her legs where he wanted them and as he sank himself into her, Rose grabbed hold of him, trying to balance her heels on his hips and muttering back.

She tried to stop him going too far, she knew she shouldn't, she was only a few days from her monthly and although the injections she got were not what women normally were given, they had some limitations but it all went out of her mind when he whispered he wanted to go further.

Rose just did a 'Mmm' back to him, hoping it meant to him she gave her consent and hoped he'd realise she wasn't used to this. Alec totally forgot he'd been warned there may be something wrong with him but the way Rose was moving for him, he didn't have to apply much exertion. It was like she knew what he wanted, that she wanted all the same things as he felt no resistance from her.

She wasn't trying to stop him. Sure, he'd had girlfriends before Tess but he didn't recall any of them being as co-operative as Rose was being, letting him go further than they'd wanted as she made contented noises. As he felt her shudder beneath him, he knew if he did a good job, she wouldn't even remind him she'd also wanted to go on top. Her fingers were gripping his shoulders, her legs were exactly where he wanted them and for once in his life, a woman was actually wanting him without asking anything in return.

He didn't remember moving away from her and lying beside her but she spoke to him a few moments later.

"Alec, that was out of this world and trust me, I'm glad I let you go on top."

"Really? So no repeat performance then?" he managed to reply.

"Maybe in the morning but until then? Where's that t-shirt?" she asked.

"The famous Rose Tyler doesn't sleep naked then?" he grinned as he leaned over to kiss her.

Rose thought it was the best kiss she'd ever shared with a man. She couldn't have described it if anyone were to ask in the future, it was like the kiss melted on her lips leaving her slightly limp as he supported her.

"Something wrong?" he asked her as she touched his growing beard.

"No, nothing. That was amazing Alec, I mean the sex as well as the kiss. I won't forget that in a while," she grinned.

"I might just keep you to that," he replied. "Rose, that wasn't your first time was it?"

Rose knew it was but she did have a reputation to keep.

"No, what makes ya think that?" she lied. "It's just no-one's made me feel like that before and don't forget, it's my turn on top in the morning."

He leaned down to kiss her again. 

"If you say so, Miss Vitex."

They found kissing and touching just as enjoyable as the sex, Rose just getting up to put the t-shirt on and him taking advantage of her still being without her underwear, knowing she had some if she'd wanted to put it on.

"You are beautiful, Rose Tyler," he whispered as she fell asleep, resting her head on his bare chest.

She dug her finger into his side. 

"No, I'm not, I'm no-one special Alec. My mum married Pete Tyler, that's all and sometimes, I'd give anything for my old life, back on our old estate. You wanna know something?" she asked him.

Alec responded by kissing her again.

"I only met Pete through chance, I sneaked into his house the night the Cybermen invaded, I escaped with him and a friend and he repaid me years later when I introduced him to my mother. He said it had taken him three years to find me but the night he did, I lost my friend. Wanna know how?"

"I don't need to Rose, go to sleep, you don't owe me any explanations. I'll make you breakfast in the morning, I can't have you leaving and stopping off anywhere to eat and getting your car dented again, can I?" he asked as she fell asleep and didn't answer him.

Chapter 3

For once since his episode in the river, finding Pippa Gillespie, he didn't wake up panicking he was drowning all over again. He did move but felt someone lying over him, someone soft and warm and breathing and her hand on his chest. He hoped she wouldn't wake up and feel his heart wasn't beating at a regular pace, something he'd only noticed lately. Maybe the specialist was right after all?

Yes, he'd ignore all the warnings and only attended the hospital appointment to keep his friend from nagging him all the time.

"Alec," he'd been told just after Pippa had been found. "If ya don't slow down, it's all over for ya," his Scottish doctor friend had warned him when he'd gone for a check-up. "Take some time off, I'll cover for ya."

"I can't. I let a killer walk free, I have to prove it was him," he'd insisted.

"At cost to your health?" his friend had asked.

Rose moving on him brought him back to reality.

"Rose, wake up," he called quietly, not knowing how she'd react, either by slapping his face and storming off or a repeat performance of last night, preferably the latter, with her on top because he wasn't sure he could do the same as last night.

"What?" Rose asked, trying to remember where she was and she'd not even drunk much last night – had she?

Yes, she'd not taken the anti-alcohol pills again, had she? Blame it all on the rather sexy detective whom had obliged her last night.

"Rose, do you know where you are?" he asked, trying to get her to move as she was now arousing him – again.

Rose felt something in her lower area.

"Oops! Yeah, I know exactly where I am, detective inspector. I hope ya gonna do something about that?"

She couldn't help herself as she moved after hurriedly pulling off her underwear she'd insisted on putting back on before going to sleep, remembering him teasing her about not sleeping naked. She'd let him get away with that remark but only because he was cute.

She giggled and moaned as she sank onto him after he'd almost not got his now wet shorts off in time and he'd still had to rely on Rose grabbing them and him wriggling them down his legs as he could hardly move but a part of him was starting without the co-operation of his legs.

Rose sat up on him, leaning back and him pushing her over, still sort of attached to her as she raised her knees around his side, he reached up to kiss her as they continued until after what seemed like ages, he flopped down on the pillow, trying not to let his casual sexual encounter for the night know there was now most definitely something wrong with him.

If he was very, very lucky, he could claim she was younger than him and she'd worn him out but he hoped she'd give him ten out of ten for effort. He let out a 'huh' as she landed on him.

"Alec. Are ya okay?" she asked, struggling herself.

"Yes, I'm fine," he lied, hoping he wouldn't be any worse for it.

His friend had warned him as he got worse, he would start getting chest pains and tightening and had given him some pills were that to happen but he'd not had any need for them so far. After Rose left though, he might be tempted to take some – as a precaution.

"Wow, that was some repeat performance – sneaky how ya managed to end up on top again," Rose giggled.

"Well, it was too tempting, I also have a reputation to maintain, I can't have you thinking you got the better of me, can I?" he asked, calming down slightly. "Do you always giggle after having sex?" he asked, trying to change the subject.

"Nope, I told ya, I've not been with anyone for a long time. Even then, it was never as good as that. So, are ya making me some breakfast then or shall I do it?"

"What are you trying to imply?" he asked defensively. "I am capable of making breakfast for two. I used to get my daughter's when her mother was working a different shift."

"Oh. So your wife's a detective as well?" Rose asked, hoping that new underwear she'd brought in with her actually fitted.

"My ex wife, did I not already say that?" he asked, thinking there was no point in retrieving his damp shorts.

Maybe Miss Tyler would be suitably impressed were she to see what she'd felt just now? While he might or might not have developed a heart problem there was no doubt now there was nothing wrong with the rest of him.

"I don't remember," Rose lied, since she couldn't remember if it had been mentioned at some point before she'd had the best sex of her life last night. "Oh, you said something about her keeping a tight reign on your daughter, I think."

Alec tried to sneak out of bed, with his rear to her.

"Not trying to hide are ya?" Rose giggled, going in the fancy carrier bag, most of her covered by his t-shirt.

Alec still wasn't done with her, since she'd be leaving in an hour or so and she'd go back to her life and he to his. He scrambled over the top of the sheets and grabbed her from behind, going to put his hand under the t-shirt. If he got a slap, at least he'd tried.

"Hey, thought you'd have to go to work?" Rose asked as he groped her ass and kissed her neck.

"I can go in when I please. I could always say I was making sure you left town," he replied, hitching up the t-shirt and lining himself up against her, making Rose go wobbly at the knees until she thought he was going to do something else.

"Hey, don't do that, I don't go for that," she told him firmly as she felt him.

"Sheesh Rose, you almost gave me a heart attack," he replied as he came away.

"Hey, I'm sorry Alec, I just don't go for that, I didn't mean to snap at ya," she tried to turn. "You can stay there as long as ya don't do anything else, okay? It's not you, it's a rule I have, I just make it a rule."

"Fine and I am sorry. I don't normally try it either but it was very tempting. It was my mistake. Friends?" he asked, not wanting her to leave because he'd made a stupid move.

"Friends then. Sorry, you probably weren't gonna try anything but you surprised me. The first bit was nice though. Sorry."

"It was my mistake Rose, I wasn't going to go any further but when you responded? It was entirely my fault and I don't want you thinking anything bad of me."

"I wouldn't do that Alec. Last night and just earlier, well don't go gettin' big-headed but it was the best sex I've ever had."

"You don't have to make me feel better by saying that," he replied, now aware at least she had a t-shirt on and he had nothing.

He let go of her arms and went to the drawer but not before she'd seen him.

"Well, I don't normally tell a man I think he's a ten," Rose giggled.

"Then I will take that as a compliment," he told her, stepping into his clean shorts awkwardly as he tried not to turn away from the set of drawers.

"Afraid I'll come over and grab ya?" Rose teased him, finding thankfully her underwear fitted.

Alec tried not to be disappointment that she hadn't. So she went for that but not the other? Well he'd just learned something maybe no other man had, that was something he supposed.

While Rose went in the bathroom, Alec went to switch the kettle on and hoped she drank tea, since he'd stopped buying coffee and put bread in the toaster. It had been a pleasant encounter, which he'd almost ruined by being stupid but had got away with it – just.

He didn't think Rose was the type who held a grudge and she certainly wouldn't go bragging to the newspapers about it, since she was always denying things on a daily basis.

Rose was trying to compose herself. Yes, that and last night had been nice but she had to leave. She had a job to do, she had to report on the boring conference and Alec had to get back to his job. She knew all about what had happened and wished she could help but Torchwood never interfered with police investigations, well not the new Torchwood - the old one she wasn't so sure about. She went to join him at the kitchen table, Alec just retrieving the omelette he'd made and was just cutting it in half.

"Thanks, I hope I didn't make ya jump when I yelled earlier?" Rose asked shyly.

"Maybe a little?" Alec tried to smile. "I hope I did not upset you?"

"Nah, forget about it, you were right, it was my fault for tempting ya."

"Then I am glad we cleared that up then? Remember, if you get stopped on your way home, have them contact me or does Miss Vitex usually get away with things?" he joked.

"I don't use my status all the time Alec," Rose replied, wondering if she should sound serious or not. "If I did, I wouldn't have reported that incident with my car and just paid up if someone tried but since it wasn't my fault, they can get stuffed. My stepfather will probably take it out of my allowance for leaving the conference early and being in the car park when I should have stayed at that hotel."

Alec smiled. Rose Tyler was certainly down to Earth and it was a shame she was leaving. Still, what would she be wanting to take up with an ailing detective for when she had a glamorous life and a career in alien chasing? What did he and Sandbrook have to offer the Vitex heiress and Torchwood agent?

Alec put his jacket on when Rose said she should have missed the morning rush hour and the roads should be clear just after nine. Alec had put his phone on silent, he knew people would be trying to call him but he would claim he was busy. He had been as he'd just finished snogging Rose within an inch of his life.

"Are ya trying to make it difficult for me to leave?" Rose grinned as he had her against the wall, feeling up the front of her new top she'd bought and his fingers straying under her bra.

"Just saying goodbye," he grinned. "Bye Rose, it was really nice to have met you. Had you not left that conference early and stopped off here, well I would not have had such a pleasant evening."

"Yeah, it was nice and I'm glad I stopped off now, not that I'm glad my car got hit. Now I'll have to give another report - to my mother as to what I was thinking by leaving the conference early," Rose smiled, pulling her bra back into place.

She couldn't blame him for having one last feel, could she? Alec smiled as he watched.

"Let me walk you to your car? I'd best get to work anyway, my boss is looking for the tiniest excuse to be rid of me. I'm supposed to be lying low until the murder investigation dies down."

"Don't let it get ya down Alec," Rose told him as she kissed his cheek. "You'll get the person, some day."

As they went back to their cars, Alec just hoped she was right. He still had some guilt for letting Ashworth go free but that was his stupid ex-wife's payback for being found out she was cheating on him and he'd gone for a quick divorce, which would be final by the end of the week. He watched her drive off as she'd kissed his cheek again, not blaming her for trying to be discreet.

"Bye Rose," he said quietly to himself as she stopped to check the road after she'd set her sat-nav for home. He got in his car, not bothering to check for missed calls telling him to get his ass into work.

Just let anyone come in today to report someone hit their car and drove off and gave her registration number – he'd book them on anything he could think of but she was just someone he'd spent the night with, there couldn't have been anything else.

Rose finally got home and called the garage herself to pick up her car after getting it cleared and called Pete to say she'd done so.

"It was very responsible of you for reporting it," Pete told her. "What were you even doing there?" he asked when she admitted where it had happened.

"I told ya Dad, I just needed to get away, I only stopped for something to eat. Oh, I had enough cash on me so I paid for my own hotel room, since it was my fault. I just didn't fancy continuing after the police had finished with me."

"So, do I get a copy of the police report?" Pete asked, grinning as Jake was listening.

"Why? I'm not involving the insurance company. Let the idiot who bumped into me just try anything, I have a report that says it was their fault," Rose replied.

"Even so Rose, it's best we have it, just in case. I'll get Jake to send for it, just as a precaution," Pete told her.

"Fine. See ya when ya get home," Rose agreed. "Don't tell mum where I stayed though."

Pete stopped Jake as he was leaving. "So, what do you think?" he asked about the incident.

"Seems reasonable," Jake replied. "Rose is a careful driver, she knows all the defensive moves, I taught her in that advance tuition. She won't have reversed into anyone, I'm sure of it. So where was she?"

"Somewhere that has a certain detective inspector who reminds us of someone. I'll let you take care of it but just to prove a point, she pays for the repair, don't go feeling sorry for her," Pete grinned. "If someone finds out whose car it was and complains, deal with it and tell them to be more careful who they hit next time."

"Yeah Boss, got it," Jake grinned back, knowing Pete would have his work cut out not telling Jackie where the incident had taken place.

He'd just pressed the lift button when his phone rang, it being Rose.

"Really Rose, I thought ya knew better than that?" Jake greeted her as the lift arrived.

"Jake, I need a favour. Pete's insisting on a police report but I don't want him to know who the officer was who took it."

"What are you hiding it for?" Jake wanted to know.

"Because it was that detective, from those two cousins case – Alec Hardy," Rose admitted as she watched her car being taken.

"Geez Rose, trust you to find him," Jake laughed as the lift reached his floor. "Okay then but if Pete asks, I'm not gonna lie to him if he wants to see the report. You did give the game away when you said where you were when it happened."

"Thanks Jake, I owe ya. They have more than one detective there ya know? Fancy getting totalled tonight – I'm paying?" Rose laughed.

"Can't tonight and from what I heard, you'd best start taking those pills, according to your assistant."

"That was partly her fault, I should fire her." Rose replied, thinking she couldn't blame anyone else for last night.

Chapter 4

Six weeks later, it was Tony's birthday and Pete had arranged a boat ride in a police speedboat on the river and Rose was supposed to take him. The only problem with that was, she'd woken up at seven and was throwing up in the sink of her bathroom – again. She splashed water on her face and looked at the pregnancy test she'd sneaked in and hadn't had the courage to use – not that she wanted to know the result.

Her mother had let herself in her bedroom and was standing in her dressing gown, her arms folded and having left Tony's part-time nanny to dress him.

"What Mum?" Rose asked as she emerged from the bathroom.

"Don't you go 'What mumming' me Rose Tyler. What's been wrong with ya these last few days? Ya supposed to be taking Tony on the boat ride this afternoon and get him back for his party. Do ya know how much trouble Pete went to in order to get them to agree?"

Rose felt like throwing up again but wasn't going to do so in front of her mother.

"Then ask Jake or Mickey to take him. I'm just a bit off, that's all," she tried to bluff.

"It won't be the same for him Rose, he wants you to take him. Did ya eat something that was off?" her mother asked her.

Rose saw her chance but nothing much got past her mother, unlike Pete, whom she could and did run rings around him and she knew she should stop. She nodded, which was slightly better than lying to her mother's face – just about.

Down in Sandbrook a few months later, Alec Hardy was getting ready to pack. He thought the chief who had volunteered to take him on needed her head examining but as things went, he'd got off lightly and didn't want to dwell on a number of things. The first being his heart condition, now confirmed was getting worse and he kept wondering why he didn't take the pills he'd been given before he needed them, not after the attacks he was starting to get.

So he got the train down to a town called Broadchurch, by the sea of all places and thought maybe there would be less holidaymakers at the beginning of July than somewhere like Brighton and he'd stay until everyone had forgotten about what had happened.

Rose on the other hand had been ordered to stop working when she was three months pregnant, Pete stating it was Torchwood policy, which Rose swore had just been make mandatory as she reached the three month mark. Now at five months, there was no hiding so she'd dropped out of the social scene and stayed in most days and since she'd had nothing to do, did a bit of work from home but mostly, she looked for anything concerning a certain Alec Hardy.

She'd never even told her mother who was responsible for her current condition, claiming she'd met someone at the conference and tempted to blame it on the blonde-haired man she'd seen in the bar but her PA would go telling on her so she'd just said she'd met someone in the bar of the hotel she'd stayed at in Sandbrook but that hadn't washed entirely with her mother.

She was looking at the news one July afternoon and saw the headlines - a young boy had been found on Broadchurch beach and there was a clip of the investigating officer – Alec Hardy. She hadn't realised her mother was standing behind her.

"I saw that on TV earlier, how awful," her mother told her. Then she saw the look on Rose's face. "Yeah, he does look a bit like you know who Rose but he's that detective from that other case. Was he still in Sandbrook when you reported your car that time?"

"I don't know Mum, I just saw the desk sergeant, why would a detective have been called about it?" Rose asked her, feeling the baby moving.

Jake had already grilled her about it being Alec Hardy's name on the report but she'd never even admitted to her best friend who the father of her baby was. Jackie wasn't going to give up though.

"You'll have to admit it sooner or later Rose. You've only four months to go, who ya gonna put on the baby's birth certificate?" she asked Rose.

"No-one Mum, I never stopped to get his name," Rose lied, hating herself for deceiving her mother and Pete all this time.

"Listen here Rose Tyler, I raised you to be honest, what would the Doctor think of ya now? You kept your pregnancy from me for over a month, goodness knows why ya wanted to hide it from us but I forgave you but if you know who that baby's father is, you have to tell him."

"I can't Mum, it was just one night, he won't be happy," Rose admitted.

"Have you heard yourself?" her mother asked her, pulling a chair over and seeing Rose had stopped the video, Alec standing there talking to the press. "Please tell me it wasn't him? Rose, he was there when you were, I know he was. It was him, admit it."

Jackie leaned forward to put her arms around her daughter.

"I can't tell him Mum. He's got enough on with this now, he doesn't need me telling him he got me pregnant that night," Rose told her.

"Listen Rose, if it was him, he seems a decent sort of bloke, he'll accept the responsibility," her mother told her.

"I'll think about it but not until he's found that killer Mum," Rose relented.

Weeks later, as it was announced the killer had been found, Jackie tried numerous times to get Rose to contact him but she wouldn't do it. Jackie had even talked to Pete and Jake about it, since Mickey had his own girlfriend now and didn't spend much time with them.

"Jackie, she'll tell him when she's ready love," Pete had told her when Rose only had six weeks to go. "I've had Jake keeping an eye on him, after you said he'd had an incident during a police chase but there's nothing been said about it. He's still in Broadchurch, he's still down as being attached to the station there."

Alec had found a rental, by the river of all places. He'd considered it punishment for failing to get Pippa's killer when he'd found Danny Latimer's and ruined families lives but most of all, for not getting anything done and almost dying during the chase. He'd thought about the night he'd spent with Rose a few times, just after they had parted and he'd seen her smiling in some picture at an event somewhere and thought about what she'd said.

He'd not been sure if he believed her story about not going out with anyone, considering she'd chosen him that night to have sex with. He'd noticed several months ago she'd dropped out of the news, only the odd occasion when some editor had thought her silence needed to end and had churned up an old story that had been missed at the time.

Now, it was the beginning of November and although Daisy had shown signs of talking to him, he wasn't entirely sure if he should book a hotel room for Christmas, pay over the odds for the room and hope she'd see him on Christmas Day. He was sure if he left it, he'd get in somewhere and it wouldn't cost him much more, he'd think about it.

Rose now had only another week to go, she'd told the midwife several times she was absolutely certain of the date, well within a few hours, since it was either that night or the morning after and she was blaming everyone but herself now she was due to give birth in a week's time, the private room already booked at the nearest hospital.

Her mother was waiting outside for her as usual, giving her the lecture that the baby's father should be with her but Rose shook it off.

"I told ya Mum," Rose turned to her to let her help her on with her coat. "How can I say anything now?"

"It's not too late Rose, he's still there," Jackie replied.

"How do ya know?" Rose asked, finding it a pain to get the coat on.

"I had Jake keep an eye on him," Jackie quietly admitted.

"Mum! What on Earth for?" Rose asked her as they left.

"In case ya did the right thing Rose, what do ya expect me to do?"

Rose was annoyed. All her life, other people had told her what was best until the Doctor had come along but now, she had someone else to think about. Was it fair to keep her baby away from his or her father? She'd grown up without her own dad, she should not impose that on her son or daughter.

The baby, a boy, arrived on time the following week. Jackie had been with her through her yelling but never once asked for Alec to be contacted. Jackie had argued with Pete that someone should call him.

"Jackie, she won't thank us if we interfere," Pete reminded her yet again.

"I know Pete but she needn't have gone through it on her own."

"She had you love," Pete tried to console her.

Alec had woken up a few times, in the light coming from outside his riverside chalet, feeling like he was drowning but once or twice, he woke up shouting Rose's name, he had no idea why but at two in the morning on the ninth of November, he sat up in his single bed and this time, he wasn't having a nightmare he was drowning or yet another all too frequent attack.

He got up to make a drink to try and get back to sleep but as he waited for the kettle to boil, he glanced at his phone. He'd given in and put the number Rose had given on the accident form in his mobile, just in case she fancied calling him but she never had and he'd respected her decision to have just the one night and nothing more.

Two days before Christmas Eve, Rose was fastening her six week old son whom she'd called Ryan into the baby seat that went with the stroller frame into the back of Jake's SUV, while he put the things she needed for a two day stay in Broadchurch in the back.

She'd booked a family room, with a cot at the pub on the harbour for two nights and if Alec had left town or refused to see her, she'd just spend the next day looking around and wait for Jake to collect her the day after.

"Sure ya wanna do this?" Jake asked her yet again as he climbed in the driver's seat, Rose remaining at the side of her son.

"Yeah, you're all right, he should at least know he has a son. I was just being selfish Jake but what if he doesn't want anything to do with us?"

"Don't be daft Rose, who wouldn't want that cute bundle?" Jake grinned through the mirror at her but partly watching that Jackie wasn't going to suddenly jump up on them again.

He jumped as Jackie tapped on Rose's window again.

"Mum, stop it, I'll be back in two days," Rose told her again, opening the window slightly.

"Well make sure ya are, Tony will be upset if ya not. You drive carefully Jake," Jackie warned him. "If ya bring that Alec back with ya, give me some warning," she added.

"Sure ya wanna come back?" Jake grinned back at Rose as he drove off.

"Sometimes I wonder Jake," Rose smiled, taking the baby's tiny hands out of his gloves now the car was warming up.

The drive was uneventful, they stopped about halfway, not far from the turnoff for Sandbrook.

"Jake, are ya sure he's not gone back there?" Rose asked as she put Ryan back in the baby seat after feeding him.

"I'm sure Rose, he's still attached to Broadchurch station and I checked with Exeter headquarter's computer, not the station one, which could have been wrong. He's still there," Jake assured her, lifting the baby seat off the chair. "You go to the restroom, I'll take him back to the car. Don't forget where we parked," he grinned.

"As if, when ya park in the parents and baby parking spaces," Rose laughed. "I bet ya been dying to do that?"

"Ya caught me," Jake laughed back, since this was the first time she'd really gone anywhere since the baby was born.

He took advantage and sat next to the baby until Rose came back, Rose smiling when he got out.

"Aw, you'd make a great dad Jake," Rose teased him. "Why don't ya adopt one?"

"Why when I have yours?" Jake teased her back.

They made good time, Jake relieved there were no major traffic problems as he didn't fancy having a screaming baby on his hands when Ryan chose to wake up. He located the pub on the harbour, taking everything upstairs for Rose, who had to explain that Jake was a friend and she was hoping to meet up with someone, if by any remote chance Alec was interested why it was him coming back with her and not Jake.

"Sure you'll manage the stroller?" Jake asked, handing her the room key as they left, Rose having decided to leave the unpacking.

"Yeah. We'll be fine Jake. See you the day after tomorrow then?" she replied, Ryan having gone back to sleep.

"Miss Tyler, will you be wanting the evening meal?" the woman in charge asked her.

"I'm not sure yet," Rose replied.

"Well, there's not much else around here at night," the woman replied. "Just go to the bar and tell them what room you're in."

"Yeah, thanks. Can ya just tell me where the police station is?" she dared ask, getting a glance from Jake, who was sure he'd already told her.

"That wasn't a good idea Rose," he reminded her once they were outside, Rose covering up the baby. "Call me if ya wanna come back tomorrow, I don't mind."

Rose went off, over the road bridge, not realising she was passing Alec's chalet, where he was sat going over the case files he'd had sent to him. He'd just got back from getting a few groceries but had never noticed the SUV parked outside the pub. Rose arrived at the police station, pulling the stroller up the few steps as there was no-one around and wondering why there was no ramp. Then as she approached the door, she saw another way round – typical.

She went into the warm police station, the desk sergeant looking up, since the place was quiet.

"Can I help you?" he asked, seeing the baby in the stroller and avoiding if she was a Miss or not.

"Yeah, is DI Hardy around by any chance?" Rose asked, the first time she'd spoken his name properly since they'd met over nine months ago.

"I'm sorry, he doesn't work here any more Miss," Bob decided since she'd taken her gloves off and there was no ring. 

He saw she looked disappointed.

"Oh, I thought he was still here?" she asked, leaning down over the baby.

"Officially, he's attached to us but he teaches at the academy over in Exeter. They'll have finished for the term so I can't say what he'll be doing," the desk sergeant told her.

"I came all this way to see him," Rose admitted. "Do ya think he might have gone back to Sandbrook?"

"I don't know Miss. I have a number for him, I can try calling him for you?" Bob offered.

"Yeah, thanks, if ya don't mind?" Rose replied.

"Who should I say is asking for him?" Bob wanted to know.

"Just say it's someone he met in Sandbrook," Rose smiled as the baby was stirring. "Please don't say anything else?"

Bob thought it was non of his business what Hardy had got up to before he'd come here. It could be totally innocent anyway but the way she seemed disappointed told him otherwise.

Chapter 5

Alec heard his phone ringing from under a pile of folders, thinking he'd best answer it on the off-chance it was Daisy making some kind of effort. He had given up hoping Rose would actually call him and he'd almost forgotten the night he got woken up and had thought about her. He saw it was the station and since everyone was either on or about to go on leave and he'd been talked into supervising any incidents over the holidays, he thought they'd started early.

"What?" he answered, taking his specs off.

"Sir, it's Bob from the station. There's a young lady here asking for you."

"I know who it is, since the number came up," Alec replied. "What young lady?"

"She says she knows you from Sandbrook," Bob told him since Rose had gone to sit down and it was now apparent the baby was definitely hers as she was fussing over it.

"Is her name Claire by any chance?" he asked since he'd refused several times to help the estranged wife of his prime suspect and she'd gone off in a huff before he'd left Sandbrook.

He'd been surprised she'd not turned up during the Latimer case but he should be thankful she hadn't.

Bob covered the phone while he called across to Rose, who was getting Ryan out of the stroller.

"Are you called Claire he wants to know?" Bob asked her as she sat back down.

"What? Who's Claire?" Rose replied.

Now she was panicking. What if he'd met someone after she'd gone home and since she'd not been bothered at the time, this Claire could be his girlfriend or at least his ex girlfriend. Still, she could wait and find out without jumping to conclusions, she had the baby to think about.

"It seems not Sir," Bob had assumed at her reaction.

Alec got up, almost dropping his phone.

"Tell her to wait, I'll be over soon," he replied, not daring to hope it was who he thought it could be.

He'd ruled out Daisy, she more or less knew where he lived, that left Rose Tyler but was Claire just playing games with him?

Bob crossed over to Rose, smiling at the youngster.

"He's on his way Miss. Can I get you anything?" Bob offered. Rose shook her head. "How old is he?" Bob continued, since Ryan was wearing a blue fluffy suit his 'nanna' as Jackie insisted being called even though the baby wasn't old enough to understand yet who had bought for him.

"Six weeks, just about," Rose smiled, pulling the hood down and smoothing the bit of hair he had. "Thanks for not saying anything else to him."

"It's non of my business Miss. I think I know who you are though. You've been out of the public eye for quite a while," Bob told her.

Alec had put his jacket and coat on, cursing the fact he had to double-back on himself just to cross the river and made his way to the station. He'd swallowed some pills and hoped whoever it was, if it wasn't Rose, would then go away and leave him alone. It couldn't be Miller, everyone knew her but it could be a certain reporter who had nothing better to do.

Rose was just putting Ryan back in the stroller as the door opened, making her stop. Alec looked at the desk then to the side of him, seeing a stroller just by the wall.

"Rose. What brings you here?" he asked, seeing her holding a baby.

"Hi Alec. Can we talk somewhere?" Rose replied, finishing putting Ryan in the stroller.

"Interview room one's free," Bob called over as the phone rang.

"This way. What are you doing here? I was about to leave town for the holidays," he told her as he held the door for her.

He'd thought earlier if anyone needed any supervision, he could do it by phone, if Daisy would talk to him. At least they'd be in the same town.

"I got someone to bring me down. Trust me, I only made my mind up last night to come but well, everyone kept nagging me. This is Ryan, he's your son."

Alec had sort of gathered he was Rose's but gulped at the word 'his' as he sat opposite. He looked at the baby, who was nodding off again but Rose knew he'd want feeding again soon, it was after two and they'd stopped just before twelve.

"Right. Yes, it's more or less about that time since you, you know, stayed with me that night. Why did you never contact me?" he asked.

"You got mixed up with that murder here, before that, I didn't know where you were. My friend found out you were still here, well sort of. I thought you'd left when the desk sergeant said you didn't actually work here any more. Do ya wanna pick him up?" Rose offered, since the strap wasn't fastened.

Alec got up, leaning down then hesitating.

"He doesn't bite, not yet," Rose teased him. "I thought maybe you should know. My mum made me realise I grew up without a dad so I can't let Ryan do the same. Alec, I put you down as his father and I'll give you full parental rights, you can see him as often as you want. I don't want any money, unless you wanna open a bank account for him when he gets older? Oh and if ya wanna see him over Christmas, I'm here tomorrow as well."

Alec, still holding the boy sat next to her and put his finger over her lips.

"Do I get a say in this? Shush Rose, I get it but it's not good enough. Look, come back to my place, it's not much but we can talk and you can get him out of that suit and he looks like he wants feeding soon?"

"Yeah, I have a bottle with me and he might want changing though I get those better nappies for him. Do ya live far away?"

"No, just by the side of the river, you will have passed it. Where are you staying?" he asked, seeing the baby looking at him.

"The pub by the river," Rose smiled. "Yeah, okay then, let's go. Do ya wanna carry him?"

"Yes, indeed though we should put his hood back up and maybe cover his hands?" Alec smiled as Rose leaned over.

He took her by surprise and kissed her.

"I meant it Rose, I know you had rehearsed that little speech, in case I wasn't that interested but I am. I want to be part of his life and yours. We should talk about it."

As they left, Bob smiled to himself, seeing the gruff detective carrying the baby out carefully and allowing the young woman, who he knew was Rose Tyler to push the empty stroller. Rose wasn't amused at crossing the narrow bridge over the other part of the river and letting Alec carry her son. He handed Ryan to her while he got the key out, glad he'd left the heating on. He carried the stroller inside then took the baby from her.

"Well, this is different," Rose observed as Alec sat down to take Ryan's outer suit off.

It sort of reminded her of the Tardis but she could never say so. She went to warm the baby bottle and offered it to Alec, after he'd insisted on changing his newly discovered son.

"Here, you'll need this," Rose offered a towel to him. "He throws up over his uncle Jake all the time."

"I will take your word for that, eh Ryan?" Alec asked the boy, who was indicating he wanted feeding.

Rose watched him from the chair.

"I'm so sorry Alec, I should have told you."

"Yes, I think you should have? So, I want to know all about it. Rose, stay here, with me tonight?"

"I can't leave him in the stroller all night. Come back to our room, I booked a family one and there's a proper cot."

"Well, okay then but I mean it Rose, I want you and Ryan, well if you want me?"

Rose remained silent as Ryan was winded and was rubbing his eyes so Alec laid him on the small sofa, moving over to the other one and indicating for Rose to join him. She got up and got the blue bear from under the stroller.

"Did you have a hard time with him?" Alec wanted to know.

"No, not really, mum said she had a worse time with Tony," she told him as she sat beside him.

"I will come back with you Rose, if you really want me to? I'll make you something to eat before we go," he offered, putting his hand on her shoulder.

"I've no more bottles with me, I'll have to make some up when I get back or go to the supermarket to get ready made ones. I've plenty at the hotel though, there's a small bathroom and there's a kettle."

"Well, we can go to the supermarket tomorrow and save you the trouble. I want to know everything Rose. Just one thing though, did you have him around two in the morning by any chance?"

"How did ya know that?" Rose asked.

"Something woke me, I don't know why. I wish I'd known."

"I know, I'm sorry Alec but we both just wanted one night, at least I thought we did?"

"Things change Rose. I put your number in my phone, in case you changed your mind," he admitted.

"You could have rung me then?" Rose replied.

"I respected you just wanted that one night, maybe I should have given you indication I could have gone for more?" he asked.

"Well, it's done now, I'm here so what now? Who's Claire?"

"What? Oh, from that case of the two cousins. It was her husband who was the main suspect. She turned on him and when it fell apart, she wanted help getting away but I couldn't help her. I just thought she'd found out I was still here and was trying again. Did you think she was a girlfriend?"

"I didn't know what to think Alec. If you'd found someone after I left."

He touched her arm. 

"You've not said you're happy to see me again Rose."

After a few kisses, they talked for a while then as it got dark, went across to the hotel, Alec folding the stroller and not letting on there was something wrong with him as he carried it to the room. They got something to eat and went back to their room and after settling their son for the night, they lay on the bed.

"Rose, there's something you need to know," he told her as she went for his shirt buttons.

Rose sat up, trying not to wake the sleeping baby as he explained.

"What? There was something wrong even when we met?" she asked. "Then you say I should have told you I was pregnant? I think a heart condition's a bit more important Alec."

"I'll be fine, I'm down for a pacemaker," he tried to appease her.

"I came to you because I wanted your son to know you and you might not even survive?" Rose asked, trying to hold back the tears.

"Rose, I will bring it forward, I just have to call them. I was just putting it off, I had no reason before now."

"What are your chances?" she dared ask.

"I'd say a whole lot better now," he tried to joke, letting her hand rest on his heart.

He thought she would flinch but she didn't. 

"I can get you help Alec, you don't have to wait. Come back with us, Pete can get you in at a private clinic."

"Rose, I should wait," he insisted.

"And risk you not seeing your son grow up? I'll call him in the morning, he'll arrange it all. Will you come with us?"

"I don't suppose I can persuade you to stay here with me?"

"In that chalet?" Rose smiled, running her finger across his chest.

"I will find us a place then, if you will come back with me?"

"Yeah, I'd love to bring up our son by the sea. So, Jake will be back to take us back to London, you pack tomorrow then?"

"I have nothing to take in the way of presents, you have a younger brother, yes?"

"Don't worry about that. We can go to the supermarket tomorrow and get what we need. Alec, you will let Pete help you?"

"You have given me a reason to agree, I would have waited," he smiled as she slipped his shirt off.

It was still early but Rose was tired as they settled down, Rose having made up several bottles after cleaning the empty ones as well and Alec saying if the baby woke, he would attend his son.

"Rose, I cannot actually believe anything came of that night."

"Well it could have been the morning after," Rose giggled into his chest.

"That still does not help Rose. I was getting ill at the time, I had already been warned."

"Well now, you're gonna get better and raise your son. Oh, you have a teenage daughter, don't you?" she remembered.

"Yes, I was hoping if I paid her a visit she would agree to see me," he admitted.

"Well, Jake's coming back the day after tomorrow, we could stop off, if you call her?" Rose suggested.

"You'd do that?" he asked, wondering just how far she'd go with this.

"Yeah, we can stop off for a few hours, Jake won't mind. Just one thing though. How will she react, you having a new girlfriend who turns up with a six week old baby?"

Alec hadn't thought about that. What would Tess say, let alone Daisy?

"Well, she could decide she either wants nothing more to do with me or she'll want to move here once we get back," he replied, not knowing which way she'd take it.

"Oh, I don't mind if she wants to come here, Ryan's her half-brother. I know what it's like, I've got one, that's why I never moved out. We could be a real family, if ya want?" Rose asked him, making a circle on his chest.

"I would like that very much. We still have to get to know each other though, we have some decisions to make. I know you had good intentions, offering me access to Ryan, did you think I would turn you away?"

"I had no idea how you'd react Alec," Rose replied. "It's a big step though, for both of us but we'll find a place together, yeah? Come back down here after you get yourself fixed and we'll look online for a place to rent for now. They'll be plenty of holiday cottages to let, we can take one while we find something permanent. You've not said much about Ryan yet, is it all sinking in?"

"Yes, you could say that. In my condition, I had no idea I could go as far as I did that night, let alone the morning. So, you miscalculated a little, when you said you were covered then?" he teased her. "Are you recovered from your pregnancy?"

"Yeah, I got the all-clear, I promise. Alec, it was a happy accident, neither of us expected it and I was wrong not to tell you, I know that now. So, are we gonna make a go of it?"

Chapter 6

"Yes, I'd like that Rose though we'll keep Daisy at bay a bit longer, until we settle. You have no idea what this means to me Rose," he turned slightly to kiss her.

"Well, bet ya can't top this for a Christmas present," Rose giggled when their lips parted.

"You mean you coming back or the fact you brought my son to see me?"

"Bringing your son to see you. Something just made me pack up and get down here. I thought you'd already left town, I'd have got Jake to do another search though the police database needs an upgrade. I also thought I'd already lost you when I was asked if I was Claire."

"Sorry, I dared not hope it was you waiting there. I had given up any hope of ever meeting you again, let alone you'd come back with my son," he replied, going to kiss her again. "Just how well have you recovered?"

He found out after he got back from checking on Ryan, Rose thinking it was rather sweet of him to do so. As they fell asleep after gently making love, Rose still a bit sore but not letting on as she insisted she was on top, Alec's arms were around her, holding her like she was going to disappear on him again.

The next day, after calling Pete, who told Alec to leave it with him and he'd find a nearby clinic willing to do the surgery, they walked around for a while, going around the harbour and past the police station and looking for any houses that had 'To Let' signs outside, now Alec was determined to find somewhere.

Alec called Daisy and said he was going to visit the next morning and for her to make sure she was at home. He'd decided to save the torment of wondering if she'd accept Rose and her baby half-brother and Tess may as well know, even if it meant they drifted further apart.

Rose contacted Jake, who agreed to take a detour and warned him they'd be bringing presents back with them and hoped there would be room for them.

"So, he took it well then?" Jake joked.

"Yeah, Alec's hardly put Ryan down all day," Rose laughed, smiling as Alec lay on the hotel bed playing with Ryan's toes as the baby, after he'd been fed had stayed awake.

There was a pile of presents by the wardrobe that Alec had insisted on getting for Ryan and Rose's family and he'd sneaked off to get something for Rose after settling them in his cottage for a while when they'd got back from the supermarket.

"Well, that's a good sign," Jake told her. "Rose, I'm sorry I never found out he was ill."

"It's okay Jake, he'd not made it known even when he got forced out of his job. He'll get better, I know he will."

"Yeah, he has you two now," Jake agreed. "See ya tomorrow and give Ryan a big kiss from me."

After trying to get to know each other a little better that night, Jake arrived earlier than planned, taking the stroller and the presents down to his SUV type car and only letting Alec carry Ryan downstairs while Rose took the baby bag and a present for Daisy, if she agreed to see her.

They made good time to Sandbrook, Alec directing Jake to where Tess and Daisy still lived, Alec having called Daisy after they'd set off.

"Daisy, I'm coming to the house, wait there for me," he'd told her just after nine.

"Geez Dad, like I'm going anywhere at this time?" Daisy had replied. "Why aren't you staying anyway?"

"Because, well you'll find out when I get there but I have something to tell you and your mum, well two things," he admitted.

Once outside the house, Alec turned to Rose.

"Let me go in first and tell them I'm having the surgery, then I'll come out for you, if they take the news well about you and Ryan. Jake, are you coming in with them, it's best they meet you as well, since you brought me here," Alec offered.

"Nah, I'll maybe go back down the road and get a coffee, Rose can call me when you're both ready to leave," Jake replied.

Alec thought if Tess threw him out before he'd got to tell them about Rose, Jake wouldn't be going anywhere and if Rose and Ryan were let in, they wouldn't be staying long but as he got out, with Daisy's present, it could go either way as Rose opened the passenger window.

"Well, good luck with your daughter," Rose smiled at him.

Alec put his free hand on the car roof and leaned down, giving her a quick kiss and seeing Ryan was stirring, now the car had stopped. He had a feeling where Tess was concerned, he needed all the luck he could get. He tucked the present of the gadget Rose thought was suitable for a teenager under his arm and rang the doorbell. It was just his luck Tess answered it. She looked at him as she opened the door, Alec being glad Jake had parked out of sight.

"Well, come in then," Tess told him, Alec not daring to look back where Rose was. "Daisy, your father is here."

Daisy came out of the kitchen, looking at the present under his arm.

"Thanks Dad," Daisy grinned as he held it out to her.

"Daisy said you had something to tell us?" Tess reminded him. "How did you get here so early?"

"Shall we go into the living room?" he suggested. He waited until they'd sat down. "I was taken off active duty, after the Latimer case. I have a heart problem."

"What?" both Tess and Daisy asked together. "Some news that is Alec," Tess continued.

"Yes but there is also good news. I need a pacemaker and after Christmas, I'm having it done. I'm going private to save waiting."

"Let me get this right. All this time, through that last case, you were ill? What about before you left here?" Tess asked him.

"I was getting ill, I didn't want you and Daisy to know so I left. Anyway, I'm getting something done about it before it's too late because I have another reason for not waiting."

"Well, have you got more than your police medical insurance or was that cancelled for not telling them you were ill?" Tess wanted to know.

"You could say that. I'm having it done in London, it's been arranged for me. Tess, Daisy, I met someone, before I left here to go to Broadchurch and we met up again a few days ago," he admitted.

Tess was trying not to laugh at the idea. 

"So, who is she and why are you telling us?" she wanted to know.

Alec saw it was amusing his ex wife and Daisy was trying not to laugh.

"Her name is Rose and she came to find me in Broadchurch, the day before yesterday. That's not all though. She came to find me to tell me I have a six week old baby son."

There, he'd admitted it and was waiting for Tess to erupt.

"Tell me you're not serious?" Tess finally asked, Alec hoping Jake had kept the heating on in the car for the baby.

He was already concerned even though he'd only met the baby two days ago.

"Yes, they are outside, in a friend's car. That's how I got here so early. We are on our way back to London so I can meet her family. Her stepfather is arranging the surgery for me," he replied.

Daisy burst out laughing. 

"So, I've got a half-brother? Really? Can I meet him?"

"Daisy, I thought you'd want nothing to do with him," Alec told her. "I can bring them in, if you want?"

Tess didn't look happy. 

"Well I don't want to meet them, I'll not stop Daisy though. Go get them, I'll be in the kitchen."

"Oh come off it Tess, it's not like you never used to act all innocent with Dave when I was around," Alec told her, getting up. "Please yourself."

"So does this Rose have a last name?" Tess wondered.

"Yes, she does, thought you weren't interested?" Alec replied, going to the door.

"Hang on, her stepfather's paying for it? So he's well-off then?" Tess asked.

"Dad, tell me it's not Rose Tyler?" Daisy stopped him leaving. "She dropped out of sight a while ago. There were all kinds of rumours."

"How would you know?" her mother asked. "I told you about reading the gossip columns and social media. If she's on there, it's just a fake account."

Alec hadn't discussed if it really was Rose or not but somehow doubted it was her. There were probably a hundred variations of her name, all pretending to be her.

"I'll go get her and you can ask. Want to come and help get the baby out of the car?" he asked Daisy.

"Yeah, let me get my jacket. So, what's his name?" Daisy asked, going to the coat hooks.

"He's called Ryan," Alec replied, opening the door.

Daisy followed him out, seeing Jake's car.

"Rose, looks like everything went well," Jake nodded as Daisy and Alec approached.

Rose began to unfasten the baby seat as Alec went round to that side of the car, Jake getting out.

"Daisy, this is Rose's friend Jake," Alec told her.

Daisy smiled, Alec knowing she was barking up the wrong tree.

"Yeah, hi Jake. So get the baby out Dad," she reminded him as he had his hand on the door handle, Rose leaning over to release Ryan as Alec finally opened the door.

"Aw, he's so cute," Daisy declared as Alec got him out carefully, since Ryan had fallen asleep again with the car still being warm.

"We should get him inside, coming Rose?" Alec asked her.

"I'll wait down the road then?" Jake asked, seeing the way Alec's teenage daughter was staring at him. "Gimme a call when you want to leave."

Alec carried his son inside and passed him to Daisy when she'd sat down, Rose going to take his outer suit off and revealing a blue and thinner one with animals on.

"I'll warm his bottle for him," Alec told Rose and Daisy, who was too busy to take notice.

"Whoa, he's cute," Daisy repeated as Ryan was taking notice now Alec had woken him up. "So, dad kept you quiet," she grinned as Ryan moved around. "Does he need changing?"

"He's fine for now, I use the better nappies. Sorry, your dad didn't know about him until the other day. I was gonna tell him, eventually but then I just made my mind up to go find him, my mum kept nagging me and saying it was the right thing to do. I'm not after your dad's money or anything, I just wanted him to know he had a son. Daisy, I'll be honest with you, I only stayed one night with your dad, it wasn't meant to be anything else."

"Then how do you manage?" Daisy asked.

Rose took off her coat and went into the baby bag to get a clean bib and a towel.

"Do you wanna feed him?" Rose asked her. 

Daisy nodded.

"I wasn't sure but when he said your name was Rose, you're her, aren't you, the Vitex heiress?" Daisy dared to ask as Rose showed her how to hold Ryan for his feed. "Then I believe you, why would you want money from my dad? So, where were you going or did you just come to see me?"

"Back home, well for now. I only went to find your dad, I didn't even know he'd accept this, me turning up with a baby. You can see why I was reluctant?" Rose asked.

She had no idea if the girl knew her dad had been ill or not.

"Yeah, I get it. So, are you keeping this a secret?" Daisy wanted to know. "I bet mum's steaming by now," she grinned.

"Yeah, I can imagine," Rose grinned back.

Tess had looked up when Alec had entered the kitchen, as if to ask how he had the nerve to show up with a new girlfriend and a baby, not to mention putting the baby bottle in the microwave for the time Rose had told him after putting water in the kettle and getting two mugs out of the cupboard.

"So, you had to go and show me up?" Tess asked him.

"What? Is that what you think? I came to see Daisy, you should be thankful I didn't forget about her and drive past the town," he replied, trying not to get worked up, since there was still a long way to go.

He didn't fancy spending Christmas Day in hospital in the town but Jake would look after Rose and the baby.

"I'm not hiding either of them Tess, just because you never chose to have any more. If you must know, it was just an accident, I helped her out once and she stayed with me one night. Neither of us thought we would ever meet again," he admitted.

Tess let out a laugh as he made some drinks and retrieved the bottle of milk.

"I can't imagine you going for a one night stand Alec. Was that after our divorce?" she scoffed.

"Work it out Tess. We were done, why should I answer to you? Excuse me, Ryan will be getting hungry," he replied.

"So are you staying with them?" Tess wanted to know. "What about Daisy?"

"Is that what this is about? That I'll forget about her? I'm going to spend the holidays with my son, Rose and her family."

"Why should I care?" Tess replied.

"Well you maybe should, seeing the day after Boxing Day, I'm going for surgery. I told you I need a pacemaker Tess, I'm having it done while I'm in London. Rose's stepfather has arranged it."

Alec saw Daisy sitting with her baby half-brother and smiled to himself. He passed the bottle after putting the mugs down and Rose showed Daisy how to hold it. Alec got his phone out and took a photo of her.

"Can you send that to my phone?" Daisy grinned. "My friends will never believe me."

After Ryan was fed and changed, Rose called Jake, who was on his second coffee and had got a pastry to go with it and asked him to come back for them.

"So, who's your cute friend?" Daisy grinned as she held Ryan again. "Will I be able to come and see you?"

"Yes, when we find a proper place to live," Alec replied. "As for Rose's friend, you're too young."

"Geez Dad, I'm old enough to know about boys," Daisy protested.

"Not Jake you're not," Rose laughed. "Sorry, he's spoken for, I don't think his boyfriend would be pleased."

Alec almost wished Rose hadn't burst the girl's bubble.

Jake gave Rose a missed call to say he was outside and Daisy helped Alec put Ryan's outer suit on. They walked out to the car, Jake opening the door for Daisy, who had insisted on carrying Ryan.

Alec took Ryan back and placed him in the baby seat, Rose taking over while Alec said goodbye to his daughter.

"So when can I visit?" Daisy asked him.

"When we get settled, things are a bit strange at the moment. Daisy, you need to know that I have to face some serious surgery soon, your mother doesn't seem to believe me but ask Rose."

Rose had turned around, since Jake had climbed in the other side to take over fastening the baby in his seat.

"It's true Daisy, I only just found out but my stepfather's arranging for it. Do you want to be there? Jake will come down for you."

"No, I can't, things are bad enough with mum as it is, she'd never agree. Will you call me?" she asked Rose.

"Yeah but call your dad if you change your mind," Rose replied.

Once they got to the Tyler residence, Jackie greeted Alec with suspicion. They had got Tony's part-time nanny to agree to have the baby monitor for the next few nights though Alec had expected him to be in what Rose said was now their room as she went to unpack, having left Ryan with her mother.

"It's just for a few nights, don't worry," Rose smiled at him now they were completely alone. "Well, get unpacked, the party starts at seven and Tony's allowed to stay up a bit later. You can meet Mickey and Martha and also Jake's boyfriend. Sorry to spoil Daisy's illusion."

"She would have found out," Alec replied. "So, Christmas party eh? Just how many people will be there?"

"Just some friends, Tony gets to light the tree. So, you telling Daisy you were having the surgery, you're going ahead then?" Rose asked him.

"Yes, I want the chance to see Ryan growing up and I won't have that if I leave the pacemaker too long. You made me realise Rose and I am pleased you finally told me. I do have one question though," he smiled as he went to kiss her.

"Oh, what's that then?"

"Well you gave me the best Christmas present any man could ever want. How are you going to beat that next year?"

"Oh, I'll think of something but maybe not another baby though?" Rose smiled back.

"Then what about the year after that, since you seem to think I'll still be around then?" he asked.

"Well maybe. Oh, just a warning, don't mind if Mickey stares at ya, you look like someone we used to know."

"Really? Well he'd better not stare too hard. I wish I was this person you used to know, then I wouldn't have missed you for the last nine months, would I?" he replied.

"I missed you too Alec, I was always looking you up, you disappeared after that murder in Broadchurch but Jake kept an eye on you though he messed up, you not working at the police station. Will you get your job back?"

"Yes, I'm sure I will. So, when does this party start then?" he asked, going for another kiss.

"Maybe you should go rescue your son from my mother playing pass the parcel with him?" Rose grinned.

"Rose, I'm serious, he's the best present I could ever have received but maybe next year, if things go well for us, well maybe we can make it official, I mean if he has my name?"

"We just got back together Alec but yeah, let's see how things go over the next year, yeah?"

"Agreed." Alec replied, thinking how had he watched her drive off, over nine months ago and never made any attempt to contact her?

Well he wasn't going to let her get away again, that was for certain. What more could any man want for Christmas but a gorgeous girlfriend and a new baby son?

The End!