Can't hide it much longer

Rose Tyler gets a surprise when Pete hires a new head of alien artefacts before he goes back to stop her from falling into the void. On Rose's first day at work, she almost faints to see Jamie Smith, who looks like The Doctor sat at a desk covered in bits of alien 'tech'. On their wedding day, Rose meets another double, Alec Hardy and Jamie gets jealous when he sees them talking.

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Rose does some training with Jake and Mickey while she and Jackie get integrated into society and get used to living in a new world and Jamie Smith is indifferent when told he'd be having someone working with him.

On Rose's first day at work, she almost faints to see who looks like The Doctor sat at a desk covered in bits of alien 'tech' as he calls it and he looks up and tells her he'll have a coffee, thinking she's his new assistant.

She puts him right, saying who she is and thinks there's no way she's going to be able to put up with a cross between The Doctor and a smart-ass. She soon sees a difference between the two although this one still goes looking for trouble by dragging her to alien crash sites and digs.

Chapter 1

Rose does some training with Jake and Mickey while she and Jackie get integrated into society and get used to living in a new world and Jamie Smith is indifferent when told he'd be having someone working with him.

On Rose's first day at work, she almost faints to see who looks like The Doctor sat at a desk covered in bits of alien 'tech' as he calls it and he looks up and tells her he'll have a coffee, thinking she's his new assistant.

She puts him right, saying who she is and thinks there's no way she's going to be able to put up with a cross between The Doctor and a smart-ass. She soon sees a difference between the two although this one still goes looking for trouble by dragging her to alien crash sites and digs.


Rose was never so horrified as the force of 'The Void' was pulling on her towards it, The Doctor calling out for her to hang on.

"Rose! Just keep hold for a few more minutes," he called out again as she was only hanging on with one hand.

"Doctor, I can't," Rose admitted as it was taking all her strength.

"You have to," he replied, wishing he could trade places with her.

It seemed like his whole nine hundred plus years as a Timelord were flashing in front of his eyes and in all that time, he'd never met anyone like Rose Tyler, well maybe Sarah-Jane was a close tie as he'd been reminded when he'd met her again recently.

"Doctor, I'm sorry," Rose called out as she willed herself to hold on to the lever.

He heard a loud noise and knew she'd let go and he watched helplessly as she was pulled in slow motion towards the last of the gap. Maybe it would close before she got there, he hoped. At least the last of the Daleks and Cybermen had gone, which might trigger the gap to close but Rose would crash into the wall or at least drop to the floor.

Why had it been her side that Dalek had bumped into the lever? Then, he saw a flicker of hope as a dark shadow appeared from nowhere and formed briefly as Pete Tyler, who had given in to Rose's mother nagging him. Pete had agreed to go talk to Rose and persuade her to go back with him and he'd hoped the Cybermen and those Daleks had been dealt with.

Pete quickly took in his surroundings and held his arms out to catch Rose as the backdraught from the force of The Void began to subside but Pete quickly activated his device around his neck before Rose had the chance to argue. He couldn't face Jackie if he returned without her daughter, even though Rose had chosen to go back of her own free will.

He'd already gathered this Jackie Tyler wouldn't accept no for an answer. As Rose realised she'd been taken back to the other universe and her mother dashed towards her she couldn't believe it.

"Mum, why did ya send Pete to get me?" Rose wanted to know.

"Too late," Pete told her as his device went dead. "You can't get back now and you heard what The Doctor said," he reminded her.

"It's not fair," Rose said tearfully. "I want to go back."

She walked towards the wall, where she knew The Doctor was at the other side.

"Leave her Jackie," Pete told her. "You both have to get used to living in this world now."

"Had those things gone?" Jackie wanted to know.

"I never saw any of them but think of what went on there Jackie?" Pete replied. "You'd best both come with me, until we get sorted out. Mickey, bring Rose."

"Leave me alone," Rose insisted as Mickey tried to lead her away from the wall. "He's still there, I know he is."

"Come on Rose, we have to go," Mickey still insisted. "He's still trying to get this place sorted out, me and Jake have been helping."

Pete drove them all to his mansion, which he'd been about to sell but now he wasn't so sure about it.

"You're both welcome to stay as long as you like," Pete told Rose and Jackie. "Unless you want to risk staying with Mickey?" he then joked.

Jackie had visions of green slime on the kitchen walls the last time she'd been in Mickey's flat.

"I've got control of Torchwood," he carried on telling them. "I'm hiring experts to sort things out and salvage anything that was left behind."

"How could ya let the Cybermen escape to our world?" Rose wanted to know as reality finally hit her.

"Nothing to do with me," Pete replied, knowing she was still angry. "I was still trying to get my company back after Lumic's demise, remember? Blame the population, they wanted to know why the Cybermen were locked up when they'd once been Human."

"I know, I was at the factory when they walked in to be converted," Rose complained. "Will you get those devices working again?"

Pete couldn't blame her for asking.

"No, I don't think so, Torchwood's not fully back yet, there's a lot to do," Pete admitted. "Mickey will bring you up to date but there's a job for you, if you want it?"

"Why would I want to work there?" Rose replied. Then she realised she was being ungrateful for being saved from The Void. "Sorry."

"Forget it. Here we are then," Pete replied as he pressed the remote on the dashboard and some tall gates opened. "I got the house sorted out," he told Rose.

"Have ya been here before then?" Jackie asked her.

"It's a long story Mum," Rose told her.

"Well I suppose I'll have time to find out?" Jackie replied as she stared at the house they were approaching. "You lived here, on ya own Pete?"

"After I lost my wife," he replied sadly. "She was converted, by the Cybermen."

Pete stopped the car and Jackie put her hand on his shoulder.

"I'm so sorry Pete," Jackie told him.

"Yeah. Well I have minimum staff, they'll make you both comfortable," Pete snapped out of it. "Are you staying tonight Mickey?"

"Yeah, I'll help Rose settle in," Mickey agreed. "Rose, you could have any job you want if you come and work at Torchwood."

"What about me?" Jackie asked as one of the male staff appeared from the house and helped her out of the car.

"Ah, Jackie," Pete thought about it. "Let's get you settled first?"

"Well I'm not gonna be the cleaner," Jackie replied as she looked up at the house, making Rose smile.

They were shown to some rooms and Pete then addressed the staff, who had been with him since he'd secured it from the Cybermen attack.

"My guests are to be extended every courtesy," Pete began to tell the half dozen or so staff. "I don't know how long they'll be here."

He then thought Rose would probably leave at the first chance she got after being here before. He still doubted she'd move in with Mickey though after being told they'd broken up after Rose had first met The Doctor. He'd already warned both Jake and Mickey not to say anything to Rose about the new head of alien artefacts he'd recently hired.

Although Doctor Jamie Smith resembled the Doctor Pete had encountered, he'd seen no reason why he shouldn't employ him. He'd no reason to think he'd ever see Rose or The Doctor again and the Cybermen when they had vanished three years ago, the only thing still to put right at Torchwood was the old abandoned lever room.

How would Rose react if she accepted a job?

"Pete, I'll think about the job but won't I need some sort of training?" Rose decided to ask.

"Mickey and Jake can sort that out," Pete replied. "Jackie, I wasn't suggesting you did the cleaning," he then laughed.

"I should hope not," Jackie complained. "Rose, what are we gonna do about the stuff we left behind? If I'd known I was gonna end up here, I'd rather have gone to Mars."

Pete looked at her.

"Mum, there's nothing on Mars," Rose reminded her. "If either of us knew what was gonna happen, we'd still have got caught up with the Cybermen fightin' everywhere. Pete's right, it's safer here but all the Cybermen went into the void. Don't know about the Daleks though. I'm gonna find a way back to The Doctor, can ya get those devices workin' again?" she asked Pete.

"It was just lucky they worked before," Pete told her. "I'm making no promises but I have someone checking for any signs there's a way through. It was just in case the devices didn't work and Mickey needed help."

"How did ya know all the Cybermen had got through?" Rose then wanted to know.

"There was no sign of them here," Pete began to tell her. "According to The Doctor, it had taken them three years to reach your world, that means we're three years ahead of your world, since it couldn't have taken them all three years. I reckon the first of them had some way of communicating with those left here."

"We started working for Pete when we got back from trying to rescue those who had been captured," Mickey explained. "It was a right mess, right Pete?"

"We'll talk more, meanwhile make yourselves at home," Pete told Rose and Jackie. "You can go shopping tomorrow but you might find things a bit strange, I'll get someone to take you."

Mickey took Rose by her arm and led her upstairs.

"Rose, you'll get used to it here," he tried to tell her.

"I don't wanna get used to it Micks, I wanna go back," Rose insisted.

"I know you loved him," Mickey admitted. "After he changed, so did you."

"That's not fair, I would have wanted to stay with him even if he'd not changed," Rose replied.

"You liked him then," Mickey reminded her. "He knew that Rose."

"Stop it, I'm tired and I don't even want to be here Mickey. He's back there, dealing with everything and he's on his own," Rose reminded him.

They were joined by Pete's housekeeper, who took Rose around a corner and opened a door.

"You'll be comfortable here, Miss Rose," Emily told her. "If you need anything, just ask, I'll have one of the maids find you something to wear."

"Not of Mrs Tyler's?" Rose hoped.

"Of course not Miss," Emily assured her. "We have a linen cupboard with nightwear, that was kept when Mrs Tyler invited people to stay. You know what happened to her?"

Rose nodded, looking at Mickey.

"Yeah, I was here that night, we tried to save her," Rose replied.

"Don't think about it Rose," Mickey insisted. "Pete told me most of it."

"If you leave your clothes, I'll have them cleaned for you by morning," Emily added.

"Thanks. What was your name?" Rose then asked.

"It's Emily, Miss," Rose was told.

Rose thought she would have freaked out if the woman had been called Flora.

"Dinner is at six," Emily then informed Rose.

"Thanks, I need some time to let it all sink in," Rose admitted, Emily looking at her.

"Rose, we need to talk," Mickey told her, leading her inside. "I don't think Pete will want the staff to know where you and your mother came from."

"Yeah, sorry," Rose realised he was right. "They know what happened to the other Jackie though."

"They'll have been told what they needed to know," Mickey replied. "You should go talk to your mother, at least you've been in similar situations," he reminded her. "Did ya tell her about this world?"

"Not much. Mickey, she'd have freaked out if I'd told her there was another Pete here," Rose had to smile.

"She did freak out when she saw him," Mickey laughed.

"So, what's been going on at Torchwood then?" Rose wanted to know. "Will someone try to get those devices working again?"

"Don't tell Pete I told ya but they may be on to something else," Mickey admitted. "I can't say much about it."

"Great, then I can get back," Rose replied. "I left a load of stuff in my room in the Tardis."

They talked for a while longer, Mickey trying to tell her the differences and who the president was, Rose not believing it was Harriet Jones. Then they went to find Jackie, who was trying to come to terms with where she was.

"Are ya gonna go work at this Torchwood then?" Jackie asked Rose.

"Mum, I don't know yet. I mean I might need some qualifications. What do you do there Mickey?"

"Security with Jake," Mickey replied proudly. "We sort out any trouble."

They went down to eat, Pete telling them he'd take care of them and get them set up if they wanted to leave but Jackie wasn't so sure she wanted to be out on her own just yet. As time went on, Rose was enrolled in a local collage to complete her education, Pete giving her a generous allowance and Jackie just did what she felt like doing but was spending more time in the evenings with Pete, who was careful where they went as he didn't want anyone thinking his Jackie had come back but then he had an idea, if Jackie agreed.

"Ya want me to what?" Jackie wanted to be sure she'd heard right one evening.

"Jackie, think about it? Things are still confused here after what the Cybermen did," he admitted. "Only the staff know apart from us. What do you think Rose?"

"Mum, think about it, you could be a reformed version of her. No offence Pete but the other one wasn't very nice, she was nasty to me."

"Yeah, sorry about that, she never treated any of the staff fairly," Pete had to admit.

"Well, that was the second time I was treated badly," Rose replied. "Never mind that now but Pete's right Mum, it would explain a lot of things. What about me though?"

"Well, no-one's seen much of you. You could be the daughter we gave up all that time ago," Pete suggested. "You could have found us that night you were here then in all the confusion, you decided against it and ran off. You could say we finally found you again?"

"Well if I have to have a cover story, so can you," Jackie decided.

So Pete went about sorting everything for them and he called a press conference to explain that he'd been keeping it all quiet until they had got used to the idea of being back together again and once they had, they'd decided to go public to avoid any speculation.

Slowly, Jackie began to settle down and decided it was time to play her part for real, which made Pete happy since things had not well between him and the other Jackie in the later years but then he wondered if things had ever been right from the start.

He now felt more at home with this Jackie and treating Rose like his long lost daughter made it even better, since he couldn't thank her enough for trying to save the other Jackie and helping to free those who were about to be turned into Cybermen.

Pete and Jackie had a private ceremony to renew their wedding vows and Rose was now officially their daughter. She'd done well at collage and was almost ready to join the team at Torchwood. It was now eighteen months Rose and Jackie had been in their new world and Jackie announced she was pregnant just as Rose swore The Doctor was trying to contact her.

She waited, thinking no-one would believe her at first then one weekend, Mickey was staying over and when she thought she'd heard The Doctor's voice calling her, she woke them all up and told them.

"Rose, you're certain?" Pete asked her after Mickey had.

"It's been happening a while," Rose admitted. "He told me to follow his voice."

"Well I'm coming as well," Jackie told them. "He owes us an explanation."

"Jaks, you were told to rest," Pete reminded her.

"Well I'll be resting in the car Pete," Jackie insisted.

"We'd best take my old jeep, if we don't know where we're going. Mickey, get dressed and help Rose and Jackie bring their stuff down, I'll get the jeep out of the garage. It'll be less conspicuous than either of the others."

They drove for hundreds of miles, across the water, Rose being pretty certain in her old world that such a journey by ferry was no longer in use then they finally ended up on a beach, Jackie trying to pronounce the name on the map.

"If ya ask me, that looks Norwegian for Dalek," Jackie pointed and laughed.

"Don't be daft Jackie," Pete insisted as he helped her out.

Rose was already at the water's edge, looking for any signs of The Doctor. She looked at her parents, thinking maybe she shouldn't have let her mother come with them. Then she turned back and a faint figure appeared in front of her.

"Ya look like a ghost," she told The Doctor.

"Hang on," he told her as he pointed his sonic screwdriver towards what Rose guessed was the Tardis control panel.

"Can't ya come through properly?" she asked him.

"Sorry, it's not possible, the two world's would collide," The Doctor grinned. "So, your mum and Pete are together?"

"Yeah, another little Tyler on the way," Rose smiled.

"You're not?" The Doctor acted surprised.

"No, you plum, it's mum. Anyway, this Torchwood's open for business and I'm about to join them."

"Good for you. In Pete's hands it will maybe do some good," The Doctor agreed. "I can't keep this projection much longer, there was so much I wanted to say to you."

"Yeah, so did I," Rose told him. "I'm gonna find my way back."

"If anyone can do it, it's you," he laughed.

He saw tears in her eyes and knew she was determined. He knew she needed some encouragement but time was running out.

"I'm in orbit around a nebula, I'm burning up a sun, just to say goodbye," he then told her. "It won't last much longer."

"Doctor. I…. I love you," she managed to get the words out.

"I suppose, since it's my last chance to say it," he began as he realised he wasn't going to be able to deny it any longer. "Rose Tyler. I…"

Time ran out just as he said 'love you' and he knew she'd not heard it. There had been a tiny gap, enough to talk to her but it must have taken a while for her to realise she wasn't imagining hearing his voice. It must also have taken them a considerable time to get to Norway. He'd hoped she'd seen the significance of seeing him at a place called Bad Wolf Bay.

Jackie had noticed Rose turn around and ran towards her, pulling her into a hug.

"He's gone Mum," Rose cried.

"I know sweetheart but maybe you'll meet someone who will take the pain away?" Jackie tried to console her.

The Doctor also had tears in his eyes at the thought Rose hadn't heard what he just tried to tell her. Why had he been an idiot and not told her when she was with him? He was just going around the console to get ready to take off again when he came face to face with a red-headed woman in a wedding dress who wanted to know where the hell she was.

As if losing Rose hadn't been enough.

Chapter 2

Rose started her first day at Torchwood going around with Jake. She'd fallen out with Mickey when they'd argued on the way back from Norway and despite Pete and Jake trying to mediate between them, nothing had worked so Mickey finally decided to leave.

He was just leaving Pete's office and Pete wished him good luck.

"Sorry it didn't work out. This place is big enough for you two to carry on avoiding each other," Pete suggested.

"I have to say no," Mickey replied. "I didn't mean for her to find who she'd be working with like that Pete."

"It's done now, it was just a bit of a shock," Pete tried to assure him. "She just took it out on you instead of us, what with Jackie almost due now. She would have found out when she got here, now Jake may find it easier?"

Rose and Jake were about to go to the tech lab when he stopped her.

"Are you sure ya wanna work here?" Jake asked her.

"Until I finish training," Rose replied. "I can handle it. Does he know?"

"Yeah, he's been told but not who ya are," Jake laughed as they arrived in the basement. "Pete thought it best not to let him know he'll be working with the boss's stepdaughter."

"Well he'd better not think I'm there to fetch and carry," Rose replied.

Jake went in first and called for Jamie Smith, who was just opening a new container for sorting that had been brought from the sub basement.

He picked up the first piece, shook it and threw it into an empty container.

"Rubbish," he said, looking disappointed. "Can't they do better than that?"

"Jamie," Jake called again. "Remember I said you were getting some help?"

"Ah, a new assistant?" he replied after he went to sit at his desk, which was covered in various articles. "Mine's coffee, no sugar."

"Excuse me, I'm not your assistant," Rose objected, making Jake laugh.

"Well what are you doing here then?" Jamie wanted to know. "Jake, I thought I had free reign down here?"

"Chill out Jamie, she's here to help ya sort this stuff out. There's things coming in all the time," Jake reminded him. "This is Rose. Say hello."

"Hmm, what does she know about alien artefacts?" Jamie asked, getting up and going to the coffee machine.

Rose went to pick something up.

"Well, what's this then?" she threw it to him, having recognised it as something she'd seen in Van Statten's museum. "Jake, where did this lot come from?"

"Hold on while I check," Jake replied, checking on his phone. "Some millionaire got caught hoarding all this stuff and we marched in and confiscated it," he grinned.

She took his arm and led him away.

"Jake, I know this stuff, it's from someone called Van Statten, right?" Jake nodded. "Jake, in my world, I went there, that's where I first saw a Dalek, he had one chained up."

"Rose, there we no Daleks, honest," Jake assured.

"Jake it was in a basement. Are agents still there? They have to check, I mean it. Tell Pete."

"Okay, I'll tell him. Geez Rose, you should tell him the rest, come on," Jake told her.

"Leaving so soon?" Jamie wondered. "Honestly, I don't mind having an assistant," he looked at Rose as he put something down.

"Jamie, don't touch any more of that stuff 'til I get back to you," Jake warned him.

"Why, what's wrong with it?" Jamie wanted to know.

"The source is questionable, that's all. Rose is an expert, she's had experience," was all Jake was willing to say.

"Oh, she's an alien expert?" Jamie laughed as he got up. "What do I do with this lot?"

"I'll send some men in to clear your desk, stay away from it," Jake reminded him. "Yes, Rose is an alien expert, thankfully, she knows where it's all come from."

"Then I thank you Rose," Jamie told her.

"That don't make up for ya thinking I was here to make drinks for ya," Rose turned on him.

Jamie put his hands up in defence.

"Come on Rose," Jake took her arm.

"Can I join you?" Jamie asked, thinking it would be interesting.

"Jake, he doesn't need to know," Rose insisted.

"Rose, he's been working on this stuff the last few days," Jake replied.

"Geez, I dread to think what else is in those containers," Rose shuddered. "Jake, ya have no idea. He collected one of everything, the only existing one of everything. He's a collector and he doesn't care where he gets things from. How did ya even overpower him?"

"Someone turned him in," Jake recalled. "He'd gone by the time we got there."

"Why didn't Pete tell me about it?" Rose wondered.

"Rose, ya were just gettin' over Norway and trying to get good grades at college," Jake reminded her.

"What happened in Norway?" Jamie wanted to know.

"It's private," Rose replied. "If ya wanna know about Van Statten's collection, I'll clear it with Pete."

They all went up to Pete's office, Pete surprised Rose hadn't freaked out at the sight of Jamie. Jake had called him on the way up that Rose knew where all the latest artefacts had come from.

"I didn't tell you because I had no idea you'd come across them before," Pete told her once they'd all settled down. "When we got there, the place was in chaos, staff were running in all directions trying to get out because the crazy collector's second in command was about to order the place to be set in concrete. Thankfully, it was stopped."

"Dad, we have to let Jamie in on my secret, so he knows I'm tellin' the truth. If ya don't agree, he has to leave now and everything has to be buried in a vault. There could be a lot of dangerous things," Rose explained.

"Calm down love," Pete told her. "We got word that Van Statten was becoming unhinged so we began investigating, he was nowhere to be seen. There were a lot of his collection in display cases, we were leaving them for now."

"Geez Dad, you know who nearly ended up in one of those," Rose sank back in her chair. "You're best burying it in concrete, trust me. Get some of the smaller stuff out but the large stuff?"

"Okay, take care of it Jake. Pass it on immediately that no-one is to go near any display cases. He tells me though that you're more worried about a certain enemy that might be there?" Pete asked her.

"Dad, if it is, the whole planet's in danger," Rose warned him.

"I've seen them, remember?" he reminded her.

"What are we talking about?" Jamie asked.

Pete went in his desk drawer and brought out a pad of forms.

"Rose's past is sealed, only a certain few know about it. Rose, do you want to tell him?" Pete wanted to make sure.

"Just what he needs to know," Rose insisted. "I just want that place and what's in it destroyed."

"We could use some of the things that were brought here," Jamie told her as he took the form.

"He didn't know what most of it was, he saw it and wanted it, he had to own it," Rose told him.

"You met him?" Jamie asked as he signed the form.

Rose looked over to Pete.

"Ya could say that," Rose admitted. "He almost wiped out the entire population for his amusement. No, it wasn't here," she turned to Jamie. "It was in a parallel world and he'd captured this creature called a Dalek, he was torturing it."

"You? You come from a parallel world?" Jamie sat down again. "You have no idea how long I have been trying to make people believe they exist."

"You never said anything," Pete reminded him.

"You would have thought I was crazy," Jamie admitted.

"It's what we do," Jake laughed. "Right now, we have to deal with that collection. Rose is right, it needs burying, I'll go supervise it. Want to come Rose?"

"No way Jake. I saw enough of it. You have guards on it?" she wanted to make sure.

"The same ones, they work for us now," Jake replied. "How about you Jamie?"

"Yeah, do I get to see any more?" Jamie asked.

"It's too dangerous. There's other stuff to go through besides that, I'll have some sent to you," Jake promised him.

"Then I'll stay here, if you'll join me and tell me more of where you come from, Rose?" he asked her.

"Jake, be careful," Rose warned him.

Jake went off and Rose followed Jamie down to his lab, why, she didn't know. He seemed a bit of a smart-ass to her but at least he believed where she came from.

"Well, well, well," Jamie grinned at her as he leaned on the elevator wall on the way back down. "Who would have guessed the Vitex heiress wasn't from around here?"

"You signed a confidentiality contract," Rose reminded him as she watched the floor indicator.

"So, what's with Norway then?" he still wanted to know.

"None of your business," she insisted as the lift slowed down.

"Touchy" he laughed as they got out. "Does that mean you won't tell me anything?"

"Hey, I hate to disappoint ya but there's not much to tell ya," Rose decided to put him right. "I came here because of those Cybermen, I didn't come here because I wanted to."

Jamie was not going to be satisfied with being told half the story. Pete had told Rose it was up to her how much she told him and now this world's version of Henry Van Statten may be on the loose.

"So you won't tell me about the Daleks either?" Jamie dared ask her as Rose sat opposite him.

"This is too much, I thought he'd gone," Rose admitted. "Van Statten I mean. If there's a Dalek in that place, every single living thing on this planet is in danger, if ya think the Cybermen were bad enough, think again. Daleks are completely crazy, they think only of themselves, that nothing but them should exist in the whole universe."

"Rose, I believe you," Jamie tried to assure her. "Maybe there isn't one though?"

"We can't be sure," Rose replied. "The whole of Torchwood may not be enough, unless the thing's chained up but if a time traveller touches it, it will be restored."

"Is that what happened on your world?" Jamie wanted to know.

Rose went quiet.

"Tell me Rose? I want to understand. I meant what I said, I used to wonder what it was like out there, what there was on other planets. Where did the Daleks come from? Who invented them and how did they come to Earth?"

"Whoa!" Rose told him. "Hold on. From what I know, they've never been here so I don't know how Van Statten got hold of one, if he did get one. As far as I know, a lot of things I've come across have never been here. This is crazy."

"You're not kidding," Jamie grinned. "So, will Jake just have that place buried?"

"Probably, it's the safest," Rose agreed. "That madman won't have known what he'd collected."

"So, what was that item earlier then?" Jamie grinned.

"You said I know nothing about alien artefacts," she reminded him.

"Oh come on Rose," he laughed.

"Oh, okay then. It was a musical instrument. You have to run your hands over it, very gently. It sounds beautiful."

"Really? Well no-one will ever hear it, lucky you," Jamie told her.

"Think what would happen if it was introduced to the public?" she asked him. "Who do we choose to give it to, so they can learn to play it?"

"You?" he suggested.

"Be serious," Rose warned him.

"Think about it? You would be world famous," he teased her.

"Stop it, smart-ass. What am I even doing here?' she questioned him.

"I thought you were going to come and work with me?" he grinned.

"Seriously?" Rose tried not to smile.

"You know you want to," he teased her. "There are other places other than that museum you know?"

"Yeah? Such as?" Rose tried not to sound like she was even remotely interested in going to find alien artefacts, especially with him.

"Could be fun?" he wondered what it would be like. "You might even know what some of it is? All this lot will be taken away then?"

"Nothing's to be touched," Rose confirmed. "We don't have a clue what that maniac collected. I only saw a few of the things the other one had."

"You could keep me out of trouble," Jamie suggested, waggling his eyebrows.

Rose did start laughing.

"Seriously? You got a girlfriend then?" she tried not to blush.

"Oh, why would you want to know?" he replied. "Not got enough boyfriends?"

"Do ya believe all that rubbish in the gossip columns?" she asked him.

"Mmm, should I? No, no girlfriend. She said I preferred artefacts to her so she went back to Paris. France – different planet," he laughed.

Rose knew that was something The Doctor had said one time. Why was Jamie reminding her so much of him? He got up and sat on the corner of the desk, holding his hand out.

"What do you say then? We'd make a good team, Rose Tyler."

"Do I have a choice?" Rose wondered. "I'll think about it. I'm gonna see all this stuff gets moved to a secure vault, it's dangerous. Wanna help?"

She called Jake's deputy and got half a dozen men down with trolleys to move all the artefacts on various tables and on the floor, one armed man on the door and one escorting the others. Jake had left word they were to follow Rose's instructions.

Jamie then sat back, his arms behind his head.

"Nearly lunchtime," he declared. "Care to join me?" he then grinned.

"You're so full of it, Jamie Smith," Rose laughed as he got up and offered his hand.

"Me?" he asked innocently. "I was trying to impress you. Is it working?"

"I'm not saying," she tried not to laugh, accepting his hand.

After lunch, Jamie looked on the internet for any signs of unusual activity.

"Ya should be looking on the Torchwood database," Rose decided to tell him, looking at her nails.

"I was never given access," Jamie admitted. "Then, they brought all that lot in. Do you know how long I worked on it and no-one knew about it?"

"Well, I've got full clearance, I'm senior management," Rose bragged.

"Well, you would be," Jamie replied, pulling a face. "I thought I was senior management. Seems not?"

"Ah, don't worry, that'll change if I come and work with ya," Rose then smiled.

"Was that the idea all along?" Jamie asked.

"I had to go through all kinds of training," Rose admitted. "Get one thing clear though, if I come and work with you, we'll be equals, neither of us will be boss. Got it?"

Jamie thought about it.

"Got it," he did a mock salute.

Rose thought at this rate, if he kept doing stuff like that, she'd start to call him 'Doctor' all the time, then he would start asking a load of questions. Then she did get a shock, like he could read her mind.

"Well, I don't really like being called Jamie. It's Doctor Jamie Smith actually, I prefer to be called just 'Doctor'", he declared.

"Geez, I can't call ya that, really I can't," Rose got up and crossed to the window.

He got up and stood behind her.

"Care to explain?" he dared ask. "Anything to do with Norway?"

"Stop it. I had this friend, everyone called him that and I lost him, when the Cybermen were leaving. I can't talk about it," Rose replied, thinking she'd said too much already.

"Was he made into one?" Jamie asked, wondering if he should pat her shoulder or put his arm around her.

"No. He was in the other world, with me. Pete and a team went there, he brought me and my mum here, The Doctor remained, to close the gap. I got stuck here. You have to swear you will never tell another living soul or I'll get Jake to wipe your mind."

He believed she would as well.

"You can trust me," Jamie grinned, using Pete's slogan. "So, what's Norway got to do with it?"

"Stop going on about Norway will ya?" Rose insisted. "If ya must know, there was a tiny gap left and he got a message to me. I told him I loved him but the gap closed before he could answer."

"Oh. Yeah, I can see that would be upsetting then?" Jamie agreed. "Well, you can still call me Jamie then," he grinned. "So, are you going to get me into the database?"

Rose got up and went to his computer, Jamie moving to one side while she typed in the password.

"I'll get the IT department to get you authorised," she promised. "Hey, you thought I was your assistant and I know more than you do. Ha!"

"Very amusing Rose," he replied. "Well, let's find our first project together?" he suggested as Rose moved.

Rose knew this was going to be a big mistake. A few weeks later, they had been on a couple of dates after work, Jamie had been introduced to Jackie, although Pete had told her about him looking like a certain Timelord just in case Rose couldn't cope with it. Jackie was quite pleased Rose seemed okay with it and he'd been invited to stay one weekend, arriving with Rose on the Friday night.

Jackie had given birth to a baby boy and a nanny had been employed to help her during the day, with Rose helping at night but now, Jackie had decided the nanny should live in, since Rose seemed to have got herself a boyfriend.

"Are you Rose's boyfriend now?" Jackie decided to ask.

"Mum, he's just a friend," Rose corrected her.

"Oh, well, that remains to be seen," Jamie grinned, looking across the table at Rose. "She may consider being my girlfriend, one day?"

"Yeah?" Rose questioned him. "I haven't said I would be yet though, have I?" she corrected him.

"What do I have to do?" Jamie then asked.

"Oi, you two, talk about it later," Jackie reminded them, making Pete smile as Jamie made a face.

"There's not much to discuss yet," Rose replied.

"I'm disappointed Rose," Jamie admitted. "We do have something to talk about then? Will you excuse us? Rose, where can we talk?"

"The conservatory," Rose suggested.

Jamie followed her, reaching for her hand. He was reminding Rose of The Doctor in so many ways but Jamie had a lot less patience, as she was discovering.

"Come on Rose, haven't I made it clear I want you to be my girlfriend?" he asked her once they reached the large conservatory, which was all lit up with tiny blue and white lights around the edges. "You like to come here a lot?" he noticed as she sat on one of the blue and white wicker chairs.

"Yeah, so I can look up at the stars and wonder exactly where my old world is out there. I expect all the stars are in different positions though," she replied.

"You still miss your old world then?" he guessed. "Rose, I thought you'd accepted being here?"

"I have, sort of. Doesn't mean I don't miss my home," she told him sadly.

He went to sit on the corner unit beside her and put his arm around her, prompting her to lean on him.

"I'm sorry Rose. Would it help, if I asked you properly?"

"Jamie, it's not a good idea, we work together," she reminded him.

"So? It could make it more fun. I mean when we eventually start going out looking for alien stuff?" he reminded her. "What do you think? Take your time, over the weekend eh? Let's go out tomorrow night, see a film or a show and maybe even stay out. See how we get on?"

"Separate rooms?" she managed to smile and nudge him.

"Now you're tormenting me," he laughed. "How do we get to know each other properly if we don't share? Tell you what. I promise to be on my best behaviour and if I'm not, you can either throw me out or I'll sleep on the chair? Can't say fairer than that."

"Well, okay then. I pick the show, you pay for the hotel and tickets and don't tell my mum we're sharing or it'll be a short date," Rose relented. "I'll get someone to drop us off if we find a hotel near the theatre, oh and somewhere to dine."

"Blimey, you're an expensive date, Rose Tyler," Jamie laughed. "Not that you're not worth it, you are. Mind you, I'll need to ask for a pay rise!"

Rose looked at him and tried not to laugh and patted his shoulder instead.

"You've been avoiding kissing me properly," he changed the subject.

"Have I?" she tried to deny it.

"You know you have. The moon is out, just those little twinkling lights. What's bothering you Rose?" he asked, touching her cheek gently.

"Nothing. It's just with us working together," she tried to bluff, knowing it wasn't just that and he'd want to know exactly what was holding her back.

The few dates they'd had, Jamie had thought had gone well but Rose had always shied away when he'd tried to kiss her, resulting in just short, sweet kisses. They had made him want more. Rose had loved The Doctor but the only kiss they'd shared was when she'd not even been herself so she didn't know why she was backing away from Jamie.

"Rose, we can still work together, can't we? Lots of couples work together, there's Rita and Steve in accounts who are always snogging in the cafeteria. Then there's Rick and James in IT, the ones who came to reset my computer. I saw the way they looked at each other," he grinned.

He slowly pulled her towards him, to see if she'd back away again but she didn't. Rose knew she'd have to trust someone at some point to feel the same as she did.

"Well?" he asked, stroking her hair back away from her face.

He kissed her cheek gently, then put his finger on her chin and got her to face him.

"Don't back away Rose, please," he whispered.

Chapter 3

Rose didn't back away and Jamie surprised her by taking things slowly.

"Let me see you to your room?" he suggested as Rose found it difficult to get to her feet after being kissed like that.

She vaguely remembered snogging The Doctor when Cassandra possessed her that time but that hadn't really been her in charge.

"Still a bit light-headed Rose?" Jamie teased her. "Oh, is it too early to go to your room? We could watch some TV or go for a walk around the grounds?"

"Dad doesn't like me going around when it's dark," Rose told him. "There are patrols going around the perimeter, after what happened with the Cybermen."

"So, you were here then?" Jamie asked. "That must have been very upsetting for you?"

"Yeah, I try not to think about it, thanks," Rose managed to smile. "Come on then, let's go find mum and dad and tell them we're going out tomorrow night. Mum will be overjoyed and ask ya a lot of questions, so be warned."

"Really?" Jamie sounded worried. Then he saw she was teasing him. "Really Rose. If you are trying to put me off, let me tell you, you are failing miserably."

"Aw, I was just having ya on," she giggled into his shoulder as he put his arm around her. "Are you up to being interrogated by my mother?"

"Try me," he replied, sneaking another kiss.

Jackie was waiting for Rose and who seemed like her new boyfriend to join them in the family room.

"Did ya do that on purpose Pete?" she asked him during an ad break. "I mean hire someone who looks like that alien?"

"Jackie, I wanted her to make her own mind up about him. She could have accepted him or gone to work in some other department. She did have a choice," he reminded her. "Besides, I had no reason to think she was ever coming back when I hired him did I? She took her time to decide about him anyway."

"Well so she should," Jackie told him as the door opened, hoping it wasn't about Tony, though how they'd shortened the poor baby's name so soon, she didn't know.

She still couldn't believe she'd become a mother again after so long.

"Oh, there you two are," she remarked as Jamie tagged along behind Rose, still holding her hand. "So, is it official then?"

They both sat on the small sofa, Rose curling her legs behind her, not leaving poor Jamie much room.

"I think that's a yes, Mrs Tyler," Jamie grinned. "With your approval of course? We plan on going out tomorrow night, my treat. See a show and have dinner, you know?"

"Oh and what about bringing her back?" Jackie wanted to know, forgetting all about the James Bond film she'd been watching for the twentieth time.

"Well, 'erm," Jamie stalled. "I thought maybe I'd treat her and we'd stay out? Save having to worry about getting back. I will return her after breakfast though. Rose invited me for Sunday lunch, didn't you sweetheart?" he grinned at Rose.

That was a surprise to Rose but she had to play along.

"Yeah, ya did invite him to stay the weekend Mum," she reminded Jackie.

"Well I thought maybe ya could look after Tony tomorrow?" Jackie objected.

"Leave them alone Jaks," Pete urged her. "Besides, they won't be going out until late afternoon, will you Rose?" he asked her. "They can babysit for a few hours if you want to go out shopping?"

"Okay, I suppose so?" Rose was forced to agree since she'd sprung it on her mother she was staying out overnight with Jamie and she'd not looked daggers at her yet. "Ya don't mind then Jamie?"

Jamie rather thought he'd been backed into a corner. They watched the remainder of the film then Jackie and Pete went off so Jamie tried his luck getting Rose where he wanted her for some more serious kissing.

"So, we'll choose a hotel near the theatre you choose in the morning then?" he suggested as he'd got Rose to unfasten some of his shirt buttons.

He then walked her to her room and they kissed goodnight. Rose was still a bit light-headed as she opened her door, gave him a smile then disappeared. Jamie thought maybe by tomorrow night, she would be more than willing to share with him providing they had a good time.

Rose sat on the edge of her bed, wondering what The Doctor would think of her agreeing to be Jamie's girlfriend but it had taken her some time to get over hearing his voice and just seeing his image when they'd arrived on that beach.

She had thought Pete was being insensitive by hiring Jamie and then seeing if she wanted to work with him or not but she had come to realise he was only trying to make up for her loss.

The next morning, Jamie had beaten her downstairs and was trying his best to feed an impatient Tony with his cereal.

"Aw, you were worried about lookin' after him later," Rose grinned, ruffling Tony's hair.

Jamie tried to look serious.

"There's nothing to it really," he tried to bluff. "So, you get your laptop out and choose somewhere to go tonight?"

"You're only just arranging it?" Jackie sounded confused.

"We only decided last night Mum," Rose told her. "Where are you off to this morning?"

"Just to the shopping mall. Pete's got work to catch up on. Jamie, you can manage to look after Tony if Rose comes with me?" Jackie turned to him.

He knew there was no escaping this if he wanted to make a good impression on Rose's mother.

"Yeah, no problemo," he grinned, flicking his hair back.

"Well I need a new dress for tonight," Rose then insisted.

"Oh, you two, be here after work on Monday," Jackie suddenly announced as she went to clean Tony's face. "I'm gonna arrange for Pete's PR team to announce that you're dating. They'll send a reporter and photographer to distribute to all the papers."

Jamie suddenly looked up from his own breakfast that had just been placed in front of him.

"What? You mean everyone will know about us? Blimey."

"We'll only have to do it once, then no-one will bother about us," Rose tried to tell him. "We won't have to sneak around or anything, the press know better than to go up against my stepfather."

"I suppose so then?" he had to agree, wondering what he was letting himself in for.

"Well we could leave it and have reporters following us everywhere?" Rose teased him.

"Very funny Rose. You'd best find us somewhere to go then?" Jamie suggested.

It didn't take long for Rose to decide what she wanted to go see at the theatre so she said she trusted Jamie to book dinner and a hotel so he thought he'd already gained her trust.

"Right, I'll be back as soon as I can then," Rose announced as she and her mother were about to leave and Jackie had picked Tony up. "We can get dropped off in town later."

"Don't spend up love will you?" Jamie teased her as he picked up Rose's laptop to follow Jackie to where she was taking Tony.

Why had he been roped in to look after a baby for the morning? Still, he supposed if he shouted one of the staff, they would find Pete Tyler for him and it would show he was taking an interest in Rose's family.

Once at the shopping mall, Rose arranged to meet her mother and went to try on dresses for a night out on the town. She also chose some suitable nightwear and hoped things wouldn't get too heated for a real first night together. She just hoped she was doing the right thing in agreeing so early in their new relationship. Once she had what she wanted, she found her mother sat in the café area.

"Are ya sure it's a good idea before ya go to the press?" Jackie wanted to know.

"Mum, hardly anyone knows me, remember?" Rose objected. "It's only since, well ya know?"

"Well once people start takin' an interest, ya'd better be ready," Rose was warned.

"It had better not scare Jamie off Mum," Rose replied, drinking her latte from a paper carton.

"He seems serious I suppose?" Jackie told her.

A driver picked them up outside, as arranged and they were soon back home again, Jamie having been relieved when Pete had gone to see how he was getting on. Jackie made a fuss over the boy when she got inside and Rose went to her room to pack, Jamie following her.

"Spent up love?" he grinned across at her as he leaned on the door, not daring to close it in case her mother was on the prowl.

"Not a chance," Rose joked back. "Are ya gettin' ready then?" she hinted at his attire.

"Oh? I suppose I should then?" he laughed, thankful he'd brought something in case she agreed to go out somewhere. "Everything's arranged, hope you like the hotel."

"It looked nice, I suppose it depends on the room they gave us?" Rose wondered. "I expect once everyone gets used to me being a Tyler, I'll only have to mention my name? I don't even know if I want that."

"Well if your mother gets her way, it seems she intends making a start," Jamie replied, hoping Jackie wasn't listening.

"She wanted to go public, a while back but I was doing my training and catching up with my education so there wasn't much point," Rose admitted. "Sorry she's draggin' you into it."

"Don't be sorry Rose," he told her, venturing into her room, thinking he was safe enough if the door was still open.

He leaned down as Rose went to him and they sneaked a kiss.

"Hey, get out of here before mum catches ya," Rose then laughed.

"I'm going," Jamie laughed back. "When we get back tomorrow, we tell her we're together and if she's putting us in the papers, she'd best get used to it," he insisted.

"You can tell her then," Rose dared him.

Jamie waggled his eyebrows, which always seemed to get him a smile from Rose.

Just after three, Jamie having been told they could book into the hotel near the theatre after four, he was waiting nervously downstairs for Rose to come down.

"You do know Rose has expensive tastes?" Pete laughed as Jamie was sat at the bottom of the stairs, an overnight bag beside him and wearing a jacket and trousers along with a fancy shirt.

"I think I'm about to find out Pete," Jamie replied nervously. "She said though she's not very well known yet, I hope it stays that way?"

"As long as we can Jamie but she'll soon start getting noticed if her mother gets her way," Pete smiled. "If you two are going to be serious, you and I need to have a talk."

"Oh? Should I be worried?" Jamie wondered where Rose had got to.

"No, it's not that bad," Pete replied. "Have a good night out then."

"Thanks, I hope she enjoys it, I'm still a bit nervous," Jamie admitted. "I am serious about her."

Rose finally came out of her room, having been wondering if she could share a room but maybe Jamie was right, they couldn't really find out how they felt if they avoided it. It was better to go out somewhere than go to his apartment.

When they got out of the car outside the hotel, Jamie checked them both in and they were shown to their room, which met with Rose's approval.

"So, we eat at six thirty, just in the dining room, thought it would save finding somewhere else, then it's a short walk to the theatre. Glad you chose a light romantic comedy over something serious like Shakespeare," Jamie told her.

"Wait until next time then," Rose warned him, seeing him pull a face.

Then he saw her smile at him as she hung her dress up in front of the mirrored wardrobe.

"Wow, is that your new dress?" he dared ask.

"Mmm, like it?" she teased him, glad she hadn't bought anything too daring for a first proper date.

"It looks very nice Rose. Oh, I have something for you. I had already made my mind up to ask you out properly tonight so, I got this for you."

He went in his overnight bag and brought out a small box wrapped in silver paper. Rose took it and opened it carefully and found a lovely delicate silver bracelet with a single heart on the clasp.

"It's lovely Jamie, thanks. Will you fasten it for me when I get changed?" she asked.

She sat in front of the window, since it was a bit early to get ready, she'd already had a shower, put some new underwear on to save doing it later so she just had to put her new dress on and put her hair up. Jamie was sat on the edge of the bed.

"Rose, come and sit with me?" he dared to suggest. "I just wanted to say that I'm happy you agreed to come out with me tonight."

"I'm glad ya asked. I mean the last few times we've been out have been nice enough though," she admitted.

"They have? Good, that's a relief," Jamie let out a sigh of relief. "I've not had a girlfriend for a while."

"Yeah, well. I sort of lost my boyfriend. I mean he's still around, somewhere. I don't talk about it. Sorry," she replied.

"Tell me when you're ready maybe? I'd like you to be able to trust me Rose," he asked as she got up and he held his arms out.

They kissed for a good while then talked about things they'd not yet told each other like what they liked and disliked, finding a lot they agreed on such as musical tastes.

"Ah, I must confess, I'm rather late to finding I like Beatles songs," Jamie laughed as he had his arm around Rose.

Rose had been glad they'd existed here as well as where she'd come from.

"Don't tell mum but she tried to turn me into a Cliff Richard fan," Rose giggled.

"Oh, I might have known," Jamie laughed some more.

"Yeah, we used to watch all his old movies every holiday," Rose admitted.

"Poor old you," Jamie tried to sound serious as Rose nudged him. "Why don't you go get changed eh?" he then suggested.

Rose was rather enjoying getting close. She took her dress into the bathroom and held it in front of her. It was a short-sleeved dark blue chiffon with gold trimmings and a black lining. She hoped it wasn't going to be too much once she had it on when the lining gave off a purple hue.

"Wow, look at you," Jamie looked at her. "You look amazing Rose. Here, let me put that bracelet on for you?"

They went to the dining room just before six thirty, telling the head waiter they were going out and Jamie put Rose's jacket on the back of her chair for her.

"Let's hope the service is fast," Jamie joked.

They were soon served and had plenty of time to walk to the theatre and find their seats.

"Looking forward to this love?" Jamie smiled as he took her hand, her jacket over his lap.

"Yeah, I wanted to see it a while ago," Rose admitted.

"What stopped you then?" he whispered into her ear, Rose trying not to shiver.

"I had no-one to go with – plum," she replied as the lights began to dim and people settled down.

Jamie just smiled to himself as Rose put her arm in his and the theatre curtain opened to reveal the first act of the play. Jamie had pre-booked drinks as well, thinking it may also impress his new girlfriend and when the play had finished, he delayed walking back to the hotel.

"We could go to a late-night wine bar?" he suggested as they stood outside the theatre.

Rose looked around and realised they were quite near one of the main squares.

"Can we go find a café? I'd love some hot chocolate," she insisted.

They found somewhere still open and sat with their hot drinks.

"Did you enjoy that then?" Jamie wanted to know.

"Yeah, it was good," Rose agreed. "So, want to do anything tomorrow?"

"Does it involve looking after your baby brother?" Jamie asked cautiously.

"Aw, not up to the challenge?" Rose teased him.

"Huh, I managed this morning," he objected.

"I'm just messin' with ya," Rose smiled. "Mum will be pleased ya managed."

"As long as she doesn't expect me to do it every Saturday morning?" he added.

"That depends if we decide to go shopping together again," Rose further teased him.

He saw her trying to hide her smile and let it go. They walked back to the hotel hand in hand and went to their room, Rose debating if she should retreat to the bathroom or not to get ready for bed.

"Rose, please don't hide," he asked her as he put his arms around her neck after taking the bracelet off for her.

"Sorry, I'm just a bit shy," Rose told him.

"You don't have to be. You could start by unfastening my shirt buttons," he suggested.

"Yeah, I can do that," Rose easily agreed.

Once his shirt was off, he went for the zip of her dress, thinking maybe she would tell him to stop but she didn't and once her dress was off, he admired her new lingerie set she'd bought as she slipped the nightdress over her head and led her to the bed.

"You can back out, if you still want to," he offered as he let her in first.

Rose just shook her head so he got in beside her, leaning with his arms behind his head as he let her make the first move. She did, by placing her hands on his chest and making circles. He moved one arm and put his behind her back, touching her skin that wasn't covered by the nightdress that was v-shaped at the back.

He then pushed her over onto her back and began kissing her neck and made his way slowly down where her skin was exposed. Then he decided to find out exactly how she would react to him moving the straps on her nightdress and when she didn't object, he pulled them down and began kissing her shoulders.

Just as nearby clocks were all chiming midnight, Rose whispered that she wanted more with him. She knew she'd been on her own far too long and she'd found someone who didn't seem like he was going anywhere. They could sort all the details out later, like working together as she felt him reaching for his shorts, then her underwear and suddenly, she thought she was going to melt.

Jamie could hear her making funny little noises and hoped they were a good sign. He thought she was responding to his moves anyway so he must be doing something right, unlike with that ungrateful French ex-girlfriend who had finally gone back home complaining he never treated her right. He didn't think he was going to have the same problem with Rose as she made more contented noises in his ear and thought they were sweet.

He allowed her to change places when she indicated she was getting over-excited and was starting to giggle.

"I get a giggle from you?" he teased her as she lay on top of him.

"Sorry, it was just too good," she replied, feeling happier than she had been for a long time.

"Well, I may let you off then," he replied as she began moving on him again, making him wanting to start again but didn't know if she was quite ready for him a second time.

He found she was, despite being on top of him and they both found it just as enjoyable when he'd given her enough hints.

"That was certainly unexpected," he had to admit when Rose rolled over to find her underwear, which was on the headboard – surprisingly.

They had left the bedside lamp on a very low setting, Jamie had wanted to be able to actually see where he had been kissing her.

"Rose, that was, well really incredible actually. What would you say to maybe staying over at my place at weekends?" he asked hopefully. "Do you need time to think about it?"

Chapter 4

Rose knew if she didn't take the plunge, so to speak, she never would get over being torn away from The Doctor but she could never admit to Jamie how much alike the two of them were. At least there was no Mickey to spill the beans.

"Well, you know my past?" Rose wanted to make sure he meant it. "You also know my mother's plans for putting us in the limelight. Does that put ya off?"

"It should," he replied, objecting to her putting her vest top on but Rose was not having this conversation with nothing on. "One thing though. When we first met, you kept staring at me, like I had two heads or something?"

Rose tried to make light of it despite her stomach doing somersaults.

"Geez Jamie, I thought ya were the most gorgeous bloke I'd met since I've been here," Rose managed to bluff.

"Really?" he beamed, flicking his hair and rolling his tongue around. "You did? I must have been a recluse too long, no-one ever said that to me before."

"Ya can't have got out much then," Rose teased him.

"Ah, you may have a point there but you solved that, didn't you, my fair Rose?" he grinned in the dim light. "Okay, I agree to your mother putting out some kind of statement but only because I don't want any men stealing you from under my nose."

"Aw, as if any of them could even tempt me," Rose smiled as she sat astride him and he held onto her hips. "She's only doing it in case we cause a stir wherever we go and I think now, she wants everyone to know more about me, to get me established."

"What as?" Jamie tried to pull her down. "My girlfriend?"

"Jamie, be serious." she told him. He shook his head. "As Pete's stepdaughter, he's still in charge of Vitex, in case ya forgot?"

"No but what has that got to do with you?" he wondered. "Everyone assumes you're the Vitex heiress."

"They tried to keep it quiet when I arrived here but rumours started going around, that's why I went off for training and all that, to give him time. I suspect he and my mum have come up with some kind of plan to introduce us as a couple at the same time."

"Rose, you've still lost me love," Jamie shook his head, wanting to go back to kissing her again.

"Vitex is where dad made all his money," she reminded him, making him stop. "When I arrived here, besides training, which I got paid for, I got a generous allowance and when Tony came along, he set up funds for us and my mum but she didn't want to be the main one and Tony's too young. So, I'm it – the heiress to his fortune and the company."

Jamie sat back on the pillow, not knowing what to say, which Rose thought made a change. Should she have told him? It was slightly better she did instead of her mother springing it on him at a press conference. She knew the day was coming but had hoped it would be a low-key occasion but not when Jackie Tyler was in charge of it.

"Rose, I don't know what to say," Jamie had to admit. "I mean it doesn't change how I feel about you and I did make a move on you before you told me. So the rumours are all true then?"

"Jamie, I'll try and stop her but if she's got Pete to agree to it while we've been out, that'll be it," Rose told him. "It doesn't change how I feel about you either. It just puts everything in perspective I suppose? I've tried not to think about it until now but once she mentioned the press conference, I had to warn ya what ya were gettin' into."

"Come here Rose," he suggested. "It won't change anything and we can keep out of the way of the press when it's been announced, can't we?"

"I hope so?" Rose agreed as she went to lie on him. "I hope dad can keep the press away once it's been announced, he carries a lot of influence."

"Yeah, let's hope so?" Jamie also agreed. "I hope we don't have to sneak out of here in the morning?"

Jackie had indeed been discussing things with Pete once Rose and Jamie had gone out.

"Jackie, back off for now," Pete was trying to persuade her. "Give them a chance eh?"

"Pete, the sooner the better," Jackie had disagreed. "It's better than some photographer learning who Rose really is and sneakin' photos of 'em snoggin' somewhere, or worse."

"Rose is sensible, she'll not get caught in public," Pete tried to convince his wife.

"It's not Rose I'm worried about," Jackie told him. "Ya know there's already rumours about her."

"Jamie seems to respect her," Pete tried to explain. "Well okay, we'll go ahead with what we planned when you and Rose arrived here. Still no telling him about who he looks like."

"As if I would," Jackie had seemed put out. "She'll tell him if she wants to."

"He was asking questions a while back when she mentioned Norway," Pete admitted.

Rose and Jamie fooled around the next morning then went down to breakfast.

"Want to go out later?" Jamie suggested as Rose looked miles away. "We could take your little brother to the zoo?"

"You enjoyed looking after him for my mum yesterday?" Rose teased him.

"We seemed to get on, he's maybe not so much of a baby after all?" Jamie replied.

"He's almost two Jamie, he comes out with all kinds of things," Rose smiled. "I missed a lot of him growing up while I was training."

"Poor you. I had no-one though," Jamie admitted to her. "Well, I suppose we go face your mother now?"

"If we say we'll take Tony out, it will please her," Rose smiled across the table at him.

"Well next weekend, you stay with me?" he reminded her. "My place overlooks the river."

"Show-off," Rose giggled as they got up.

"I was hoping it would impress you?" he tried not to look disappointed until she took his hand and squeezed it.

"I look forward to seeing it then," she agreed.

"I can see I'm going to have trouble with you, Rose Tyler," he replied as they went back to clear their room.

Rose had arranged for someone to pick them up at ten and were soon back at the mansion, where Jackie was having trouble with her young son.

"Want Jamie," the youngster was sat on the floor with his arms folded.

"Rose will be back with him soon," Pete tried to tell the youngster. "See what you did Jackie? Getting Jamie to stay with him?"

"Well if he's gonna spend time with Rose, he'd best get used to it," Jackie replied, trying to get Tony up.

"On their first proper date?" Pete asked. "Then you spring it on him about a press conference. If Rose comes back on her own, you're to blame."

"Well he didn't object," Jackie huffed.

"You never gave him chance," Pete replied as they heard Rose calling that she was back.

Pete was relieved Jamie was following her otherwise she'd want a new job from tomorrow.

"Jamie!" Tony shouted and shuffled around to get up, running to his new friend and grabbing Jamie's legs.

"Hey there sport, how are you doing?" Jamie greeted the boy. "How about me and your sister take you out later then?"

"Yeah!" Tony let go and jumped up and down, clapping his hands.

Then the boy ran to his blue pedal car and jumped in.

"Brum, brum," Tony made some sounds. "Go now Jamie?" he looked up.

"Hey, soon Tony, yeah?" Rose told him. "Want to go to the zoo and see the lions and tigers?"

"Elepants!" Tony laughed.

That made Jamie laugh and he stepped up to the toy car and started pushing Tony around the room, making the boy laugh and call out to go faster.

"What about lunch?" Jackie wanted to know.

"We can have it later or get something while we're out," Rose replied, hoping Jamie wouldn't get too dizzy that he wouldn't be able to drive his own car.

Rose went to get changed after Jamie escaped pushing Tony around, Jackie telling the boy to get ready to go out and they then set off, Jamie putting the stroller in the back of the car and Rose fastening her little brother in the car seat one of the staff had got from the storeroom.

Once at the zoo, Tony wanted to walk around for a while, holding Jamie's hand then being lifted on his shoulders to look at the penguins and sea lions then they stopped for a break.

"He's really enjoying this, thanks," Rose touched Jamie's arm as Tony sat happily in his stroller with a drink.

"He's a great kid," Jamie admitted. "I think we should make time to take him out, don't you?"

"Yeah," Rose agreed. "If mum doesn't put ya off tomorrow?"

"Don't worry love, she won't. Am I going to object being linked to you, eh?" he asked. "Rose, why don't you get a few things for tomorrow and stay with me tonight?" he dared to suggest.

"Really?" Rose was surprised. "Well, yeah, okay then, if ya sure?"

"I'm sure love. Rose, I want this with you," he whispered so no-one could hear.

Rose kissed his cheek then got up as she noticed Tony was falling asleep.

"So much for him seeing the elephants then!" Jamie laughed as Rose unhooked the back of the stroller to lay Tony back.

They walked around a while longer, hoping Tony would wake up, which he did in time to see a few more of the animals and they went back to a few he'd missed, then they went back to the car and took Tony back home. After getting something to eat, Rose admitted she was going to stay at Jamie's.

Jackie had to take her to one side though.

"I hope ya know what ya doin' Rose?"

"Yeah Mum. I like him a lot, you seem to like him," Rose replied.

"He's okay and he's good with Tony I suppose?" Jackie had to admit. "Let's see how he faces the press tomorrow night. Rose, ya do know that now, people will start to notice ya more?"

"I know and I've warned Jamie. He doesn't seem to mind Mum," Rose replied.

Jamie drove them just outside the other side of London, a bit nearer where Torchwood Tower was and Rose walked out onto the balcony of his apartment.

"Wow, my dad must pay ya too much," Rose joked as Jamie joined her, taking her hand.

"Ah, well you weren't here when he hired me," Jamie reminded her. "He stole me away from another employer. I told him I would be only too happy to work for the new Torchwood but I wanted certain things in return, which were my own department with free reign, a fancy apartment and a modest salary."

"So were you one of the first there?" Rose asked.

"Yeah, it was a bit of a mess. There was plenty to sort out, trust me but that stuff you had Jake dispose of could have been really interesting," he reminded her.

"Jamie, that man was dangerous, he was gathering the only one of everything in the universe and he wouldn't have stopped there. He could have got hold of Torchwood and got those devices working again. No-one would have been able to stop him."

"I get that Rose, really I do," Jamie tried to assure her. "We won't talk about it again, promise. There's a nice little pub not far away, we can walk down and sit outside for a while," he suggested.

When they got back, Jamie gave her the choice of getting changed in the bathroom or the bedroom.

"I think I'm over my shyness," Rose tried to assure him and herself.

"Then I'm glad to hear it," he told her as he put his arms around her. "Let's see how things go then maybe you can start staying over from next weekend?"

She wasn't really looking forward to her mother calling the press in but the PR team would have something for them to read out when questions were asked and only one reporter and cameraman would be allowed in, then the newspapers would get reports the following day.

She had been lucky so far but was her mother even aware that it could do more harm than good? Had she considered the social aspect like being expected to give interviews, be active on social media sites and appear on chat shows?

While she could get someone to update her social profiles every day, write responses to various subjects magazines would come up with, she wouldn't be able to pass someone off as herself on TV. Then Jamie would probably be expected to join her at parties she was invited to. So far, she'd only attended her mother's charity functions.

Unaware to Rose, a certain couple from the town of Sandbrook had attended one not so long ago. Tess Hardy had been elected to attend and she had dragged her husband along for support, to which he had protested that it wasn't his 'thing'. Tess had been asked at the last minute to accept a cheque from Jackie for the south west police widow's fund, a new charity Jackie had been asked to be the chairperson of and Jackie had a reputation of making sure it was well attended and a fair amount raised.

The following evening after work, Jamie pulled his car up outside the mansion, seeing a broadcast unit parked with thick cables leading inside and a satellite dish and a few people setting up lights.

"Miss Tyler," a woman shouted. "May we get a shot of you going inside?"

"On my own?" Rose asked, wondering if her mother had broken the news about Jamie yet.

"Why yes," the woman replied, wondering who was with Rose.

A cameraman came out of the van and began to follow Rose and Jamie to the front door and Rose was encouraged to give a wave as she went inside.

"So, it's started already?" Jamie turned to her.

"Well, they didn't know about you," Rose reminded him. "Ya can leave if ya want?"

"Rose, I've already told you," he replied, taking her hand again. "Your mother would be disappointed if I left now."

"Rose, come on," her mother called from one of the sitting rooms, Rose guessing poor Tony was with his nanny.

Once inside, there was a female reporter from a popular news channel and a cameraman, the reporter sat on the sofa going through her notes.

"Miss Tyler, nice to meet you. I'm Katie, may I call you Rose?"

She indicated for Rose to sit at the other end of the sofa so Jamie sat on the chair at the side.

"I have a set of questions for you, then you can give your statement. We'll be doing a special about you tomorrow at midday, my producer outside was very excited that you had decided to go public with your status," Rose was told.

"Have ya read my statement yet?" Rose wondered, since there was no signs of any PR team.

"We were going to let you do that," the woman beside her smiled, rather falsely Jamie thought.

"Well it's not just me," Rose informed her. "Mum, I thought ya had it arranged?"

"So did I," Jackie looked put out.

"Mrs Tyler, we were under the impression that Rose wanted to clarify that she indeed is the heir to the Vitex corporation and all that goes with it?" Jackie was asked. "It's been the subject of speculation for a number of years."

"Well yeah but that's not the main reason I called ya here," Jackie replied.

"Mum, if that's what she's here for, never mind," Rose tried to get out of the rest.

"Well, if there's more?" the reporter shuffled her notes. "Right, when you're ready."

Rose was asked a few trivial questions then was surprised at the next one.

"Hold on," Jackie interrupted Rose from answering. "This isn't what I agreed to. Jamie, can ya go find Pete?"

"Sure Jackie, I suggest this interview stops right now," Jamie replied as he got up.

"What's the problem?" the producer was asking over the two-way radio.

"Mrs Tyler says this isn't what she agreed to," Katie was saying as Rose got up to join her mother.

"What's going on Mum?" Rose wanted to know.

"I don't know Rose but your dad will insist that tape gets wiped or the station will be off the air for good," Jackie replied.

Jamie had found Pete and they went back to where Rose and Jackie were.

"I'm glad you came to get me Jamie," Pete was telling him. "What are they playing at? All Jackie wanted to do was put an end to the rumours about Rose and say you two were dating."

Rose couldn't hear what else was being said about them but she could guess.

"How did I know what they'd ask?" Jackie was saying.

"Come on Mum, I've been hiding away all this time," Rose almost laughed. "What else would I have been doing except blowing my inheritance?"

"Rose, they were told why they were here," Jackie reminded her. "That was uncalled for."

"I know Mum," Rose told her as Pete followed Jamie in, Jamie going to sit beside Rose on the sofa arm.

"Let me talk to your producer," Pete insisted to the reporter. "You know who I am. This interview is over, I want that recording wiped or I'll take legal action."

The media all finally left after Pete had gone outside to make sure all recordings had been wiped, Rose telling him how she'd been filmed on her way in.

"That should have been an indication I suppose?" Pete wondered.

"I had no idea Pete," Jamie assured him. "If I had, I would have stopped them. I thought it a little strange they never asked who I was."

"They were just using it as an excuse to fuel the rumours," Rose told them, leaning on Jamie, who put his arm around her. "Did ya get that statement back Dad?"

"Let them keep it, if they have any sense, they'll do what they were supposed to have done when they came here. I'll get the PR team ready to put out a statement that says that news channel were out of line and the interview will now go out to the papers. We'll pick another night," Pete told them.

"Sorry Jamie," Rose turned to him.

"It wasn't your fault Rose, forget it," he assured her. "It's okay Pete, get another news agency in if you want?"

A few nights later, Jamie returned with Rose to find the non-commercial news channel greeting them, not approaching as they arrived and being allowed to speak freely. It went on TV the following afternoon, Tess Hardy just happening to catch it.

"Just look at her," Tess was telling the woman next to her in the break room. "Just because her mother married into money."

"I heard they came from nowhere Tess," she was told,

"Well exactly. Who's that man with her?" Tess wanted to know, trying to get a better look.

"Hey Tess, he looks like your husband," one of the secretaries laughed.

"You are joking," Tess wasn't pleased. "We had to go to a charity function a while back, that man wasn't with Rose Tyler then."

"Sure you know where your Alec was last night," the first woman laughed.

"Shut up Elsie," Tess huffed, tired of being the subject of rumours she was on the verge of leaving Alec.

If he was going to ignore her all the time, why shouldn't she consider leaving him but she'd only gone to Dave because he'd offered to give her some advice. There was no other reason, she tried to convince herself and now, people were trying to convince her Alec was doing the same to get his revenge on her.

Alec was watching her as she returned to her desk. What was she getting up to when she kept disappearing by saying she was following a lead? Did he actually care, he wondered as he tried to get back to work. Were they only still together because of their daughter?

Chapter 5

Rose and Jamie's world was about to be set upside down as magazines and Sunday supplements lapped up the news that Rose had finally gone public that she was indeed heiress to Pete Tyler's empire he had made for himself, even though he now spent more time running Torchwood. He had got some good people in who he could trust to see to the day to day running of Vitex and it was going from strength to strength and several rivals were keen to buy.

Pete was having none of it, saying in a different interview that the future of Vitex was for his family. So Rose had been asked how she felt about the possibility of it being passed to her but she had declined to comment. She had met with Pete one night after work when the papers wouldn't leave it alone.

"I told ya Dad, I don't want it," Rose was insisting.

"Well none of my current rivals are getting it," Pete still insisted as he looked at Jackie.

"Don't let it just go Pete," she told him.

"The only thing I can do is hold off until I feel the time's right," Pete relented. "That's my final decision. Until then Rose, the news will soon die down about you being the Vitex heiress."

"I hope you're right," Rose had to agree. "I don't know what Jamie thinks about it, he's not said. He's just about got over us announcing we're dating."

"Well he'd best get used to it," Jackie told her.

"I'm staying at his place again this weekend," Rose then admitted.

"Well don't let any reporters catch ya sneakin' out," Jackie warned her.

"Well they don't know where he lives, do they Mum?" Rose asked her. "Well they'd better not anyway. I'll have to dash, he's picking me up in half an hour."

"Well call if ya gonna be late back," Jackie insisted.

As Rose left, Jackie questioned Pete about Rose's choice in boyfriends.

"Do ya think he's the right one for her Pete?" she wanted to know.

"Jackie, it's down to her, she has to decide," Pete reminded her. "I told you, I didn't hire him because of who he looked like, I never thought either of them would be back. Mickey never said anything to Jamie about who he looked like, there was never any need."

"Then how did ya explain Mickey going to stop the Cybermen?" Jackie wanted to know.

"Jamie had nothing to do with that. Mickey was just part of the advance team, as far as anyone else was concerned. Rose never went to Torchwood except for the time you both arrived. The lever room was just about the only place not cleared, there was no rush," Pete explained.

"Ya could have fooled me," Jackie laughed. "That and the underground garage were all we saw."

"There was no need," Pete told her. "Our priorities were to get up and running and to make sure the Cybermen didn't come back. I trusted The Doctor to take care of the other end but by leaving the lever room as it was, it meant nothing could get through from anywhere else. While Rose was away, we cleared it all out and made it into the cannon room by adapting the devices we used before."

"Well as long as she's happy I suppose?" Jackie replied. "Do ya think it'll make any difference to him, her being suddenly famous?"

Pete let out a laugh.

"Come on Jackie, it'll give him a chance to show off."

Jamie had taken Rose to a local wine bar and he was trying to get her to stay over at his place on Friday night as well.

"Come on Rose, then we can go somewhere on Saturday as well," he was trying to convince her. "Or if you want, we could maybe go somewhere for the weekend?"

"Jamie, slow down will ya?" she tried to tell him. "Okay, I'll stay over on Friday then but let's work up to going away for the weekend?"

"Fine. Why don't you think of somewhere then? You're always saying you enjoyed that Saturday night out the other weekend though. How about seeing another play, maybe Shakespeare? We could go to his home town, see it done properly?" he suggested.

"In a couple of weeks then?" Rose agreed as she sipped her wine and lemonade.

"Are you planning on going when your favourite actor's appearing there?" he teased her, making Rose blush. "Ah, I caught you out, Miss Tyler," he laughed as he nudged her. "Okay, have a think about it then?"

By the time the weekend came around, Friday morning, Rose was almost late for work as she decided if she was going to pack for an extra night as one of the maids knocked on her door to say Pete was waiting to set off for work.

"Miss Tyler, your father said you'll have to get to work yourself if you're not downstairs in five minutes," she told Rose.

"Will ya ask him to just hang on?" Rose called out as the maid was about to close the door. "Tell him I'm just coming."

She threw another dress and nightwear into the small case and grabbed the rest of her things then saw Pete pacing the hallway as she went down the stairs.

"Sorry Dad. I was deciding if I was gonna stay at Jamie's tonight as well."

"Are you?" Pete queried, as he headed for the door. "You'd best tell your mother, I'll wait in the car. She'll not be happy if you just call her later."

"I know Dad. Can ya take my case for me?" Rose asked.

"How exactly are you going to explain carrying it to your office or haven't you thought of that?" Pete raised his eyebrows.

"Can I keep it in your car and get it later?" Rose asked hopefully.

"I suppose so, just don't make a habit of it eh? Decide what you're going to do Rose," Pete agreed. "You can get Jamie to collect my car keys at lunchtime so he can put your case in his car."

"Thanks Dad. I'd best go face Mum then? I hope she had no plans for tomorrow?"

"I knew it," Jackie was about to object. "Is that gonna be every weekend? What about spending time with your brother?"

"I'll talk Jamie into coming over with me some Saturday mornings and maybe some Sunday lunchtimes," Rose suggested.

How he'd take that, she had no idea but he had to understand that her family were important to her. They didn't talk much about it during the day, Jamie agreeing to getting her case but when it was time to leave, people were nudging each other.

"What's wrong with you lot, not seen anyone leaving an' holding hands?" Rose turned on them.

"Leave it Rose," Jamie insisted.

"Well haven't they got anything better to do on a Friday night?" Rose replied as they waited for the lift after signing out.

"We don't usually leave together on a Friday," Jamie reminded her.

"They'd best get used to it then," Rose told him, loud enough for anyone passing to hear.

"I see you're taking all this admitting who you are and the fact we're dating seriously then," Jamie joked as he saw Jake.

"Rose!" Jake called out just as the lift arrived. "Don't go out the front way, there's loads of photographers out there."

"What?" Rose wanted to know as Jamie held the lift door open. "Can't ya get your men to clear them away?"

"They've already pushed them back but the press aren't on our property any more. Jamie, go around the back way," Jake suggested. "I thought ya gave interviews?"

"We did," Jamie told him, holding the door button and trying to get Rose into the lift. "What's your mother been saying now?"

"Hey, how do I know?" Rose huffed at him.

"What are you two up to?" Jake grinned. "Leaving together?"

"Stop it Jake," Rose told him as the lift door closed, even though someone else was waiting.

"Hey, I wanted the lift, the man objected. "Who do they think they are?"

Jake thought the man must be the only one who'd not read a newspaper recently.

"The boss's stepdaughter and her boyfriend?" Jake offered as he walked off.

Once at Jamie's car, he opened the grill with the remote he had and turned right instead of left, leading them to a side road, missing the press, who were getting impatient.

"I hate to think what they'll make up by Monday morning," Rose admitted.

"Hey, forget it Rose, I'll have to get used to it. There's something I want to talk to you about before I take you out. I thought we'd go to this nice quiet candlelit place I've been meaning to take you to," he smiled at her through the mirror.

"Sounds important then?" Rose replied.

"It's not that bad," he tried to assure her.

Up in Sandbrook, Alec was now staying at a small hotel after having a blazing row with Tess and walking out the previous Sunday night. He'd gone to get the police to pay for it, annoying Tess even more when she was called by the personnel officer dealing with it that she'd no longer get the full amount of her housing allowance.

On the same morning Rose was deciding to stay all weekend with Jamie, Tess was complaining to Dave about it when she got back to her desk.

"Well at least you don't have to argue with him," Dave was telling her.

He thought maybe that was what she'd been enjoying though.

"Stop it Dave, he did it on purpose, didn't he?" Tess snapped at him. "Why didn't they tell me before then?"

"Maybe he told them not to?" Dave smiled as he glanced over at Alec, who was sat in his office.

Alec had thought why should he bother telling Tess, she'd find out soon enough and she'd have to learn to cut down instead of wasting her money on things she and Daisy didn't need. He'd decided that if Daisy needed anything urgently, then he would provide for her but that was all. Daisy hadn't taken it very well when he'd told her he'd moved out but she was still just about talking to him.

He was about to go get his lunch when she called him and he rang her back.

"Dad, are you coming to see me over the weekend?" Daisy wanted to know.

"How about I take you out tomorrow morning?" he suggested, so he could avoid Tess. "Do you need anything for school?"

"I'll think about it, will you pick me up?" Daisy wanted to know.

"Sure. We can have some lunch as well. Daisy, you do know my leaving is not your fault? I thought it would avoid all those arguments with your mother, so you won't have to listen to them."

"Dad, she still goes on about you," Daisy admitted. "Can't you try and get on?"

"I'm sorry Daisy, she won't even stop arguing with me at work," he admitted as he saw Dave making himself at home on the corner of Tess's desk.

"I'm trying to understand Dad," Daisy told him. "Mum's not helping though. See you tomorrow then?"

Alec agreed then got up to get something to eat, hoping Tess wouldn't decide to go at the same time and drag that boring Dave Harris with her. That was all he needed. Dave had picked up a magazine from under a pile of papers on Tess's messier than normal desk.

"You don't believe all that about Pete Tyler admitting he has a stepdaughter do you Tess?" Dave laughed.

"I'm not interested Dave. Daisy made me get it, then I decided she was too young to read it all. Really, why do they make these things appealing to teenagers?" Tess objected. "Daisy says all her friends at school went crazy when they found out those silly rumours were true, the head teacher should put a ban on such nonsense inside the school grounds."

"Tess, you can't stop kids talking," Dave laughed. "Don't you think it will all die down eventually? I'm glad I only have a boy."

"Well I hope it does die down, goodness knows what will happen if Rose Tyler decides to get engaged then get married, teenage girls are so impressionable these days. It's okay for Alec, he doesn't have to deal with it now," she nodded towards him as Alec left his office.

Alec knew he'd been spotted, like a rabbit in car headlights he thought. Nothing much got past Tess these days. He decided to go tell her he'd be calling for Daisy the next morning.

"Well I wish she had discussed it with me first," Tess wasn't pleased. "Maybe you can come early, to discuss my housing allowance being cut?"

"You're on your own with that Tess," Alec warned her. "Sit down and work out where you can cut down eh?"

"Well really," Tess huffed as Alec walked off.

Dave tried not to laugh, well not too much anyway but failed and Tess indicated for him to go away.

By early Sunday evening, Rose was deciding if she should go home or stay another night and face everyone talking about them at work again.

"Rose, let's just get it out of the way?" Jamie suggested. "They'll soon stop."

"I hope you're right," Rose replied. "It's been nice though," she had to admit.

"I told you it would be. Relax Rose, it can only get better," Jamie assured her as they stood at the patio window. "Maybe next Sunday, we can take a boat down the river for a few hours, have a picnic?"

"Mmm, sounds good to me," Rose agreed as she put her head on his shoulder.

"Ah, that means you agree to staying all next weekend?" Jamie smiled.

"You knew I would," Rose knew he was just teasing her. "Are ya now gonna tell me what ya wanted to talk about?"

"Oh, we never had that discussion, did we love?" he realised.

"Ya were stalling," Rose reminded him.

"Maybe on Friday night you were in a good mood and I wanted to take advantage of it?" he further teased her. "Relax Rose, it was nothing serious, it was only about you staying over. I just thought that maybe you'd want to keep some of your things here? I mean so you don't have to pack on Monday morning and get your stuff back home?"

"Wow? Seriously? I was almost late for work on Friday morning, dad nearly went without me," she admitted.

"Well, there you are then," Jamie looked at her. "Rose, you know I'm already in love with you?"

"You are?" Rose sounded surprised. "I mean are you? Jamie, I think I'm falling in love with you as well."

"Well staying over at weekends will help you decide, won't it love?" he suggested. "How about next weekend, we go off and stay over Saturday night and spend the rest of the time here? Would that help?"

"Yeah, that sounds nice. We don't have to go see a play Jamie," Rose looked up and smiled at him.

"Ah but I promised you love. Besides, I can take you on that boat ride, just down the river Avon instead of this one, then have dinner and see any play you choose. Rose, I want to show you just how much I do love you."

"I don't know what to say Jamie," Rose was lost for words.

"Just say you'll agree to go with me," Jamie replied.

He held his arms out to her and then held her tightly, kissing the top of her head.

"I think I'd like that," Rose agreed as she looked into his brown eyes.

"Then I hope to convince you that nothing the papers come up with about you or us is going to make any difference to how I feel about you. Now, do you want to go out to eat or shall we make something?" he asked. "First though, how much do you like the view of the river from here?"

"Why are ya asking?" Rose giggled. "What are ya up to Jamie?"

"Ah, that would be telling," he teased, hoping to entice her into staying more than the weekend in the very near future.

He had fallen for her in a very big way and no-one could accuse him of going after her status and money, since that had been established after they had dated several times. The only thing that remained was Rose telling him more about the man she'd left behind in her old world. Maybe she didn't want to be reminded of him though, was it fair to make her if she had fallen in love with himself the way he had fallen for her?

As Jamie predicted, they were ignored on Monday morning as they signed in and collected their ID badges but Rose had a message to go see Pete upon her arrival.

"I'll see you when you've finished love," Jamie told her as he kissed her cheek by the lifts.

"He's probably got a message from my mum 'cos I didn't go home last night," Rose tried to laugh it off.

Jackie had complained that Rose hadn't gone home but Pete had told her to call Rose herself, he had something else to discuss with her.

"Ah, Rose. Get yourself a coffee eh?" Pete suggested. "Guess who I had a call from last night?"

Rose shrugged her shoulders. She'd had a good weekend but wasn't in the mood for guessing who'd called her stepfather. Pete could see she didn't want to answer.

"Okay then. Mickey called me. Seems he misses the excitement of being a Torchwood agent. What do you think about him coming back? We could put him in charge of that project again, step it up a bit?" Pete suggested.

"It's up to you Dad. I work with Jamie, it's up to you where you place Mickey," Rose told him.

"Are you ever going to forgive him for telling you about Jamie?" Pete asked her.

"He was never very tactful, ask mum," Rose replied. "Geez, the things he used to come out with when he used to tag along with me and The Doctor," she recalled. "Why all of a sudden?"

"He's been working on his own, sort of freelance but mainly for UNIT. A Colonel Mace asked me for a reference, I could hardly say no just because you and Mickey fell out," Pete admitted.

"Fine, just tell him to stay away from me and Jamie then," Rose gave in.

"I'll advise him. Are you afraid he'll still say something?" Pete asked her.

"Of course I am Dad, what do ya expect? I don't want Jamie to think I'm with him because of that. He may be okay with it but I'm not gonna risk it."

"I don't blame you really Rose," Pete agreed. "Jamie will find out you two used to know each other though."

"I know that but I've not seen Mickey for a long time, ya know that," Rose replied. "I don't have to be friends with him again, do I?"

"That would be a shame Rose. At least tell Jamie you knew each other back home eh?" Pete asked her. "I'll warn your mother shall I?"

"Yeah and tell both of 'em not to mention that Christmas or Jamie might leave me for good," Rose reminded him.

She went to join Jamie, who had started going through some notes from the week before.

"Ah Rose. I was just considering something. How do you fancy visiting some sightings of alien artefacts?"

"Really?" Rose handed him a drink from the coffee maker. "Hey, that would be great. Where are we talking?"

"Just around here for now but as more are found, maybe travelling around a bit? Won't that be exciting love?" he grinned.

"How soon would that be? I mean we were gonna try long weekends together," Rose reminded him.

"We'd come home for the weekend love," he replied, patting his legs for her to sit on them. "Well until we start going further away. By then, who knows? I might have talked you into moving in with me full time."

"Oh you will, will you?" Rose decided to tease him for a change.

"Oh, you mean you didn't know the weekends were going to lead to that eh?" Jamie went along with her. "Did I get the wrong message?"

Rose let a smile creep across her face.

"Ha! Gotcha there," she laughed. "Is that what ya intended then why didn't ya just say so?"

"I didn't want you to run away Rose," he admitted. "You were reluctant staying a few extra nights."

"Sorry, it's just all new to me," she replied. "It's all happened so fast."

"You noticed?" he laughed as Rose put her arm around his shoulder. "I'll pick you up later and we'll talk about it."

"Yeah okay. Dad wanted to tell me that someone's coming back. Remember Mickey?"

"Yeah, he left as you arrived. You knew him then?" Jamie asked her.

"Yeah. Jamie, he comes from the other universe, same as me and my mum. He helped defeat the Cybermen. He stayed here when me and The Doctor went back."

"Then I thought he would have been pleased you were here?" Jamie replied.

"He was, then we fell out. It's personal, sorry, I don't like to talk about it."

"Rose, you don't have to tell me, don't worry," Jamie assured her. "Forget about it. I'm sure you can avoid him?"

"I hope so, it's up to dad if he lets Mickey back or not," Rose told him.

"I'm sure Pete will bear it in mind if he takes Mickey back. Now, Miss Tyler, back to work eh?" Jamie smiled, going for a kiss. "I'll talk to him about us going where the artefacts are, instead of us waiting for them to come to us."

It went better than either of them thought when Pete agreed that Torchwood would fund any extra costs for them to attend where specially trained agents were working at uncovering items found with adapted metal detectors. So a few weeks later, after a weekend away as Jamie had promised, they were on their way to Devon as some unusual items had been uncovered.

Rose thought it was rather like being with The Doctor again but she couldn't say anything about it to Jamie. After their first week, they were about to make their way home again on the Friday afternoon. The agent in charge, called Simon had been warned by Jamie to stop watching Rose as she worked with a fine brush to get all the bits of soil off a strange object that was to be sent back to London. So now, he'd had enough as they stopped work.

"Oh come on Smith, everyone's staring at her," Jamie had been told. "Everyone knows who she is."

"That's still no reason," Jamie had objected. "And that's Doctor Smith to you, I'm in charge here now, ask the director. You'd do well to remember that."

"I was told you'd be working with us, that's all," Simon had reminded Jamie. "I was told nothing about you taking over."

"Well I suggest you call Mister Tyler then and if you don't like it, he'll send someone else on Monday," Jamie had told him. "Rose is my girlfriend so stop watching her Bailey,"

"She's with you?" Simon had then laughed. "I thought she worked for you?"

"What gave you that idea?" Jamie wanted to know.

"The way she runs after you? So that's why? Still, I suppose that's an advantage?"

"What's that supposed to mean?" Jamie had suddenly stood tall, Rose taking notice.

"Don't blame you Smith, having the little girlfriend fetching and carrying for you," Simon had laughed.

All of a sudden, Jamie had grabbed the other man by his shirt collar and Rose had grabbed another male agent and they'd run over to the two men.

"Jamie, what's going on?" Rose had asked him, Jamie still holding on. "Let go of him."

"Not until he apologizes," Jamie had replied.

"Me, apologize?" Simon had laughed. "Not a chance Smith. Now let me go or I'll call the director myself."

"Hold on, what are you two fighting over?" Rose tried again.

"Nothing Rose, I can handle this," Jamie still insisted, slackening his grip slightly as Simon tried to get him to let go.

"Well tell her," Simon mocked Jamie.

"Tell me what Jamie?" Rose had asked him. "If you two don't stop, I'll call my stepfather myself," she'd warned them both.

So Jamie backed off slightly, Simon straightening his shirt collar.

"This isn't over Bailey," Jamie warned the other man. "You had better change your attitude over the weekend or I'll have you removed. I'm in charge as long as I'm here, got it? Come on Rose."

"Geez, what was all that about Jamie?" Rose wanted to know.

"I didn't like his attitude," was all he'd wanted to admit.

How could he say it made him angry the way the other man had been looking at the way Rose was dressed and the way she was stood when she was working. It even drove him mad and he spent all night having sex with her and waking up with her tangled up in his long legs, a mouth full of her hair that always smelled of strawberries and the way she almost got him going as he was about to wake up if she didn't move first. If she wasn't fast enough when she felt him, they were almost late for work.

Sometimes he swore she did it on purpose and though he couldn't always see, he bet she had a wicked smile on her face because she'd be giggling into his shoulder as they both let the feeling wash over them.

Rose snapped him out of it as they entered the hotel.

"Forget it Jamie, we're going home, you can cool down over the weekend. What did ya pull him up like that for?"

"You really want to know?" he asked as they were halfway up the stairs. "I love you Rose, it drives me crazy if another man looks at you the way he was looking at you."

"Jamie, I love you too but I never saw him. No-one's gonna turn my head. There's only you," she tried to assure him. "You're so cute ya know, when ya look so moody and when ya shake ya hair. Then when ya fold ya arms and raise one of your eyebrows," she started to smile as they reached the landing and he did exactly what she was describing.

"You know me so well," he began to relax. "I'm sorry love. Want to go home or stay here tonight?"

"We'd best go home. If we see that man, I might have to bail ya out of a jail cell if ya beat him up," she tried to be serious as they entered their room.

"I might deserve to be locked up if anyone went near you," he leaned down to kiss her. "I love you Rose. Let's move on somewhere else? Maybe go abroad? What do you say?"

Rose was about to say as long as she wasn't travelling in a blue wooden box, she would go anywhere with him.

Chapter 6

Waiting until after spending their first Christmas together, Jamie certainly kept his word in dragging her around the country, then Europe and eventually the rest of the world. He had cleared it with Pete, getting himself and Rose fast-tracked into places it was difficult to get visas for, Pete himself contacting the embassies there and enabling Torchwood to join in local 'digs' as long as extra security was flown in for the pair of them.

They had taken a break the following Christmas for the holidays after spending the entire year away and gone home. Jamie had contacted Pete and got his permission to ask Rose to marry him but not to tell Jackie and wanted a special new year's party to be an engagement party. So Pete agreed to keep it quiet until Rose and Jamie had gone back to their place for a few days before the Christmas celebrations.

Jackie had clasped her hands over her mouth in surprise.

"Oh Pete! Why didn't ya tell me?" she cried at him, Tony looking up from playing with a puzzle Rose and Jamie had got him.

"Jamie wanted to surprise her Jaks, that's why," Pete replied. "Well, get onto the caterers then, you have a week or so, he'll make sure she doesn't find out."

"Find out what Dad?" Tony asked innocently.

"Never mind young man," Pete laughed as Tony seemed to know when Jamie was being talked about, let alone his sister. "It's a big surprise for Rose, we have to keep it secret. Can you do that?"

"Yeah Dad," Tony grinned back. "Does Jamie know?"

"Yes Tony, he knows," Jackie had to laugh. "It's going to make your sister really happy. Oh Pete, I thought she'd never be happy until she met Jamie, he was just what she needed."

"I know love. You may as well make a start but you're the caterer's best customer," Pete laughed.

"I'd better be," Jackie laughed back. "They'd better have a heated marquee as well. What about the invitations though?"

"Ah. I'll call Rose's secretary, she can get a rush job done on them and have the printers mail them direct and hopefully everyone will get them after Christmas and not before. We don't want Rose to find out," Pete replied.

"Well I hope they'll get them on time, I'll write a list and you find out who her friends are," Jackie suggested. "Then we can announce it in the papers."

"Do we have to Jackie?" Pete asked her.

"They'll have to get used to it. Maybe Jamie will stop draggin' her around all over the place now?" Jackie wondered.

"You know why she agreed," Pete reminded her.

"Well he doesn't know that, does he?" Jackie told him. "How no-one's ever mentioned it to him beats me."

"Because Mickey left and they went off when he came back, remember?" Pete asked her.

"Who's Mickey?" Tony wanted to know, since Mickey had made no attempt to be other than an employee when he'd gone back to work for Pete.

"Never mind," Jackie and Pete told the young boy at the same time.

Jackie knew Rose wouldn't want him on the guest list, whether she knew about the party or not. Would she want to go back to working in the same building as Mickey, Pete then wondered. At Rose and Jamie's apartment, which had been looked after while they'd been away, Rose was wrapping family Christmas presents, having just managed to post cards to her small circle of friends.

"I hope they get there in time," Rose mentioned to Jamie, who was catching up with the news.

"They only tell you to post them early so everyone's not rushing all at once," Jamie laughed. "Have you wrapped my presents yet?"

"Wouldn't you like to know?" Rose laughed back. "This one of Tony's is really a funny shape, he'll spend ages tryin' to guess what it is before he tears the paper off."

"Good, your dad will have time to charge the batteries," Jamie replied.

"Jamie, we should charge them before we go," Rose reminded him.

"I meant the spare ones Rose, the others will be flat in ten minutes," Jamie tried to be serious. "How did we manage before rechargeable batteries when we were kids?"

"We did without or we got toys that didn't take them," Rose replied, sticking the label on carefully and hoping it stayed on.

"Or got wind-up toys," Jamie added.

"You're showing your age again," Rose laughed at him.

"Come here and I'll show you how old I am," he replied.

Rose didn't doubt it. She loved him and wondered how serious he meant for them to get. They had been travelling around for quite a while and loving every minute of it but would Jamie want to give it all up and settle down at Torchwood again?

Maybe if an exciting project came along but they couldn't just invent one, could they? The cannon project had failed and had been shelved and Jamie might not have been interested anyway. He'd told her it was the prospect of discovering alien artefacts that had got him joining the organization.

Rose decided to take a break and went to sit beside him.

"I'm glad we came back for the holidays Jamie."

"So am I love, how could I have kept you away?" he replied, going to kiss her neck.

"Why do ya never talk about your family?" Rose wanted to know.

"Rose, you're my family now. I told you, we never got on, that's why they sent me away then to college and university. They thought by showing they were willing to pay for my education that was enough. They were not like Pete. Yes, he has money but he loves his family," Jamie told her.

"Sorry. I know ya don't like talking about it but do they even know what ya do now?" Rose asked him.

"Does it matter? Their solicitor knows how to reach me if the need arises, I passed your stepfather's details onto them rather than give yours, with his permission," Jamie replied. "Don't worry about it eh? Now, how about a lazy late afternoon snuggle or even more?"

Late on Christmas Eve afternoon, they made their way to Jackie and Pete's, Tony rushing to greet them while some of the staff unloaded the car and Jamie left the keys for them to put it out of the way before the evening guests arrived for the party.

"Jamie!" Tony called out excitedly. "You're back!"

"Hey, what about me?" Rose laughed as Jamie picked up the boy.

Tony held his arms out to her as well. Once inside, Rose went to get changed for the party and Jamie was grilled by Jackie as to the upcoming engagement.

"Sorry to spring it on you Jackie," Jamie was telling her.

"I should think so, you have no idea what a rush it's been, tryin' to get a marquee ordered for that day. The caterers had to pull a few strings, I'll tell ya," Jackie made sure he knew the trouble she'd had to go to. "Anyway, Rose's old secretary helped with the invitations, they've gone out, best hope everyone can cancel their arrangements and attend."

"I want it to be a real surprise for her Jackie," Jamie told her. "I think she's beginning to wonder if I'll ever get around to asking her."

"She won't," Jackie tried to assure him, not wanting to bring the subject up of the Doctor never doing anything. "What ya gonna do after the holidays? Are ya going away again?"

"We may but only until the wedding, well when we decide on a date. Maybe Rose will want to stay?" Jamie wondered. "Who am I to stop her, we had a good time while it lasted."

Jackie wondered just how much of her past Rose had told who was about to become her fiancé? The party lasted until the early hours of the following morning but Jamie was still up early as Tony came to find him to take him downstairs. When Rose emerged in the kitchen, the two of them were laughing about something and Pete was getting Jackie's breakfast.

"Rose, can I open that funny looking present?" Tony wanted to know. "Jamie said to wait for you."

"Let's wait for mum," Rose suggested as Pete drank his coffee.

"She could be a while," Pete admitted. "Why don't you help him with just your presents?" he suggested.

"Yeah!" Tony jumped onto Jamie. "Come on Jamie!"

"I'll catch up with ya," Rose told them both, getting some cereal, since the cook and her assistant were busy getting dinner ready.

"Hey, happy Christmas you two," Rose greeted the two surprised women. "Ya didn't have to volunteer to work today."

"It's no trouble Miss. Your stepfather's giving us time off when we’ve cleared up," Rose was told.

Rose knew only minimum staff were working and they were having the following day off. Jackie never overworked them except maybe the driver who kept taking her shopping.

While Jamie occupied Tony, Rose was wondering what Jamie had got her as a present. She was rather hoping he might give her a shiny diamond ring, she shouldn't get her hopes up though and shouldn't act disappointed if he didn't.

Pete went off with the breakfast tray so Rose hurried her breakfast and went to find Jamie and Tony, who was waiting for batteries being put in his new toy.

"This is great Jamie!" Tony was saying.

"Thank your sister as well," Jamie reminded the boy.

"Here Tony, this is just from me," Rose handed him another present.

The boy ripped the paper off, looked at it and gave Rose a hug. Then he went back to get the remote control for the off-road car they'd got for him.

"Show me Jamie," Tony was asking.

Rose went to sit on the stairs out of the way. Since Jamie had been introduced, when he was there Tony hardly had any time for her. She guessed she should be grateful Jamie was like a big brother to Tony when she'd had no-one when she'd grown up.

Pete and Jackie joined them at the tree and soon all the presents had been opened, Rose being given a diamond and sapphire bracelet by Jamie and guessed he wasn't ready to give her a ring yet. Jamie hoped she wasn't too disappointed since he intended asking a in a weeks' time to wear his ring.

Down in Sandbrook, things were not going so smoothly at the Hardy house. They were going to Tess's parents for Christmas dinner and as usual, Alec wasn't looking forward to meeting up with her relatives, even more so this year. They had tried to patch things together, Tess had promised not to see Dave out of work but they were still sleeping in separate rooms.

Alec didn't know how much longer things were going to hold together. It was a strain and they both knew it.

"Try to look interested Alec," Tess was telling him. "Who's driving home?"

"I expect that falls to me?" Alec replied as they waited for Daisy. "Daisy, get a move on," he called through the open living room door.

"That's not going to help." Tess reminded him.

"We need to talk after the holidays Tess. Things are not working out," Alec told her.

"It takes two to make it work Alec, I'm trying my best," Tess replied.

"You still work with Harris," Alec reminded her.

"I don't have any choice Alec," Tess told him. "The chief told us to put our differences aside at work, remember?"

He remembered all too well. Why had he ever agreed to give their marriage another chance when he was about to seek a divorce? Was it just the convenience?

"Daisy, you were told to be down here ten minutes ago," Tess reminded her. "Have you got everything?"

"Have you been playing on your phone again?" Alec asked her. "You should not be on those social media sites at your age, we never had them."

"That's because there was no internet back then," Daisy replied cheekily. "I was only finding out what Rose Tyler was doing for Christmas, if she's back home or staying in another country."

"Does it matter?" Alec asked as he held the door open. "What is it with teenagers and these celebrities?"

"Come on Alec, you must have had some interests when you were growing up, even in Scotland," Tess told him as they got in the car.

He mumbled something as he started the car then wondered when his daughter had taken a sudden interest in Rose Tyler. Had Tess even told Daisy she'd dragged him to a charity event the Vitex heiress had been attending? That had been the last time they'd been out, things had fallen apart even faster after that.

Then after going to see Daisy a few times, they'd sat down and he'd agreed to go back to help financially and since he didn't really like living in a small hotel room had taken the spare room. How was he going to break the news to Daisy that it wasn't going to last?

After Christmas dinner, Jamie asked Rose if she liked her main present from him.

"It's lovely Jamie," she told him.

"Were you expecting something else maybe?" he dared ask.

"What? No, 'course not," Rose denied. "What would I be expecting?"

"Well, I don't know? I'm surprised your mother hasn't been dropping any hints," he laughed.

"Take no notice if she does," Rose smiled. "I'm happy the way things are."

"Really? Then so am I love," he agreed for her benefit, hoping he could keep it quiet for another week. "Hey, why don't we go down to Brighton or somewhere for a few days until the new year?" he suggested, so Jackie could get on with the plans.

"What brought that on?" Rose laughed.

"Well we've travelling around all over the place, it'll be nice and quiet down there for a short break, maybe get a hotel on the seafront? We could look them up, go back home tomorrow night then set off. What do you think?"

"Yeah, sounds great, I'll need to go home and get my big coat," Rose agreed.

Rose went off to tell her mother while Jamie sought out Pete.

"Good thinking Jamie, things will be a lot easier with Rose out of the way," Pete agreed.

"I thought it would Pete, Jackie might give something away," Jamie told him.

"That's why I was keeping an eye on her last night," Pete told him. "So, are you going off again after the holidays?"

"It depends Pete, on how soon Rose wants the wedding to be. We've had a good time going around, maybe she'll want to come back?" Jamie wondered.

"Ah, about that? Mickey sort of took over in your old department for now," Pete had to admit. "I'll need to know as soon as you can so I can move him. I told him it may not be permanent."

"What happened between Rose and him anyway?" Jamie wanted to know. "I thought they came from the other world together?"

"Well no, Mickey came here first then went back to help over the Cybermen," Pete reminded him. "Well you know how Rose and Jackie ended up here, then we went up to Norway so she could say goodbye to her friend?"

"Yeah but she never talks about it," Jamie replied. "I don't push her on it."

"Good, she was heart-broken over it. Well she and Mickey got into some sort of argument on the way back, lord knows how it started and when we got back, Mickey quit and went off."

"Well, I suppose that explains a few things? I wonder if Mickey was still a bit jealous over this friend she left behind?"

"Probably. When the Cybermen got loose here, Mickey was one of the first to go with the advance party to try to warn the other Torchwood. They failed though because the head was unapproachable," Pete told him. "All they could do was keep an eye out for Rose and the Doctor and help them as much as they could without giving themselves away until it was safe to do so."

"Then something went wrong when those other creatures arrived there?" Jamie asked. "So Rose and Jackie may have stayed there?"

"Maybe? We would have still made sure the Cybermen left though," Pete assured him. "I may have charmed Jackie into coming back with me," he smiled. "As for Rose, she would have stayed."

"Yeah, I expect she would have done?" Jamie didn't look happy about it.

Rose was telling her mother they were going off again.

"You've really got the travelling bug again Rose," Jackie told her.

"I thought it was sweet of him," Rose replied as she twisted the bracelet on her wrist.

"When are you two gonna settle down?" Jackie wanted to know without giving anything away.

"I thought maybe soon Mum but all he gave me was this bracelet," Rose sounded disappointed.

"Rose, he loves ya, don't give up yet. Maybe he's waitin' for Valentine's day?" Jackie suggested, trying not to say it could be a lot sooner than that.

"Mum, maybe it's why he suggested we go away?" Rose suddenly thought.

Jackie hadn't thought of that and she bet Jamie hadn't either. Maybe she should suggest Jamie proposed to Rose in Brighton and come back on New Year's Eve to the party?

"I'd best go see what Jake and Tony are up to," Jackie suddenly got up. "It's a wonder Tony didn't want Jamie to play with his train set with him."

"No Mum, he likes Jamie to chase him around," Rose laughed.

Jamie just happened to be on his way to find Rose when he bumped into Jackie.

"Here Jamie, quick," Jackie pulled him into the now empty kitchen. "I hope ya already got Rose a ring?"

"Yes Jackie, I've got her a ring," Jamie looked surprised.

"Good. Then when ya take her to Brighton, take her out to the end of the pier and ask her to marry ya there," Jackie suggested.

"That's funny, Pete just said that," Jamie laughed. "That's exactly what I'll do then, the night before we come back. Then back home, grab a change of clothes and back here for the engagement party. Perfect!"

"I'm glad ya agree 'cos Rose seemed a bit upset ya only gave her a diamond bracelet for Christmas so don't let her down," Jackie warned him.

Jamie did a mock salute.

"Best go find her then? She said Tony likes to play games later on."

"Don't let him play Twister with ya," Jackie gave him another warning.

"Wouldn't dream of it," Jamie laughed.

He went to join Rose, who smiled when he sat beside her and took her hand.

"Okay love?" he asked her.

"Yeah, it's the best Christmas I've had for a long time 'cos you're here," she told him, leaning on his shoulder.

Two days later, they were looking out of their nice warm hotel room overlooking the pier that had just lit up in the late afternoon. Jamie had been lucky to find the hotel at short notice and was glad he'd looked on a late booking website.

"Let's go for a walk after dinner," he suggested as he kissed her cheek.

"I hope the rides will be open tomorrow," Rose smiled.

"Don't see why not, I bet there are plenty of people here," Jamie agreed.

Now, he wasn't sure if he wanted to wait a few more nights since Jackie had told him how disappointed Rose had been. If he did it tonight, they could enjoy the next few days even better being engaged and he could still keep the party quiet.

He was feeling a bit nervous now the time had actually arrived. They'd gone shopping separately and he'd gone to buy the ring and didn't want to wait too long to give it to her. So after dinner, he went to get their coats and they crossed the road and went through the small gate that was still open since there were plenty of people still around.

He wanted somewhere quiet though but didn't think it a good idea to go too far. So he found a spot under some lights and turned to face the way they'd just walked.

"Rose, remember what you said to me on Christmas Day?" he asked her, taking the glove off her left hand and rubbing it. "I know you meant it but maybe I should have done something special to make it even better?"

"Jamie, it was great, honestly," Rose tried to assure him.

"Rose, I saw the look on your face when you opened that box with the bracelet inside. You would have preferred something else with a diamond in it?"

"Jamie," she started to say until he put his finger over her lips and hushed her then moving his finger kissed her gently whilst fingering the small box in his coat pocket.

"Let me make up for it love?"

He kept hold of her left hand to stop it getting cold and brought out the box, Rose letting go of him to put her hands over her mouth. Since it was already frosty, he very carefully bent one leg instead of kneeling and opened the box.

"Will you marry me, Rose Tyler?"

Chapter 7

Enjoying the rest of their break, Rose decided it would be best telling her mother when they got back, Jamie agreeing since he'd admitted people were already expecting an engagement party.

"You sneak," Rose laughed when he told her.

"Well I had to give your mother some warning," Jamie laughed. "Tony's going to be excited now I'll be his real brother!"

"Yeah, bless him, he'll tell everyone at school, we won't need to announce it in the papers," Rose agreed.

"Ah. About that?" Jamie asked nervously. "Do we have to?"

"You know what my mum's like?" Rose reminded him. "We'll just put out a press release this time then, take a couple of photos showing off my ring and say we've not settled on a date yet," she suggested.

"Well I was hoping it wasn't going to be too long," Jamie admitted. "How about April or May? Well June at the latest?"

"Well? Yeah, okay then. Tony can be pageboy, we'll have the wedding in a large marquee in the grounds but what about bridesmaids?" Rose wondered.

"I will leave that to you," Jamie replied as he was more interested in turning the lamp out and just getting under the covers with her with only the light coming from outside.

He was hoping now they were actually engaged, she would finally give in to him, not that he didn't enjoy getting as close as she would allow but he tried not to be too disappointed when it all ended before he wanted. She had claimed he just got her too excited that she couldn't bear any more and he had to believe her. It wasn't as though she didn't take precautions, he knew she did.

They left Brighton and Tony was asking when they were coming back.

"They'll be here soon," Jackie was trying to tell him. "They might have a surprise for ya as well."

"A new boat?" Tony asked hopefully.

"What do you want the most?" Pete asked him.

"For Jamie to be my real brother?" Tony then asked, a big grin on his face. "He will?"

The boy began running around the room, first to his mother, then to the window looking for Jamie's car.

"Wait 'til I tell my friends I'm gonna have a real big brother!" he told Jackie and Pete excitedly.

"You'd better get them to do a press release before he goes back to nursery school Pete," Jackie warned him.

Pete had already thought about that, after the fiasco last time. He called the media department at Torchwood and got them to arrange something and told them he'd get them both to write a statement and hand it in with some photos after the holidays.

The day before the party, Rose was hunting for a new dress, her mother tagging along while Jamie watched Tony.

"Really Mum, I don't know what I'm gonna do about any bridesmaids, all my friends are older," Rose complained as she browsed the rails in her favourite dress shop.

"Well what do other famous people do?" her mother asked, making sure everyone could hear.

Rose hated it when her mother showed her off.

"Use that social media thing for some ideas?" Jackie then suggested. "Ya know, that twitted thing."

"Mum, stop it," Rose warned Jackie as everyone looked at them. "Ya know that's not me."

Rose had given in and got a social secretary to deal with things like that, such as answering mail and passing anything on that needed her attention. The young woman was quite up on modern ways of communication and Rose had been impressed when she'd explained what she wanted.

Things such as answers to simple questions on the two main sites were dealt with but it was made plain on the accounts that it was not Rose herself and that it was run on her behalf. She didn't want anyone misquoting her.

"Well, ya'd better think of something when ya decide on a date. I hope ya gonna announce it tomorrow night?" Jackie asked her.

"I'm not sure yet Mum," Rose admitted as she held up two dresses and went off to the changing room, Jackie following her.

When they got back, Rose took Jamie up to their room.

"Mum expects us to announce a date at the party," she warned him.

"I did say she would," Jamie laughed. "Why don't we just pick a month?"

"Well it might satisfy her for now?" Rose wondered. "No, you're not seeing me in my new dress or my new lingerie, forget it loverboy," she teased him.

"You are such a tease, Rose Tyler," he laughed, going for a kiss. "Let me see if I can entice you?"

She supposed she couldn't blame him for trying as he pushed her onto the bed. The following day, Tony was getting in the way of preparing for the party so Rose and Jamie decided to take him to the park to let him run around for a while. Jamie was pushing the boy on the swings, Rose leaning on one of the posts.

She knew the way he'd taken to Tony meant he was keen for them to have kids of their own but there was that one final hurdle to get over. Could she ever tell him she'd been abused back in her old world by that Jimmy Stone? Jimmy had hurt her but she'd never done anything about it despite her mother marching her into the nearest police station.

She had never forgotten it but he'd been drunk at the time, she'd tried to fight him off and she didn't know because she was so young what had actually happened. She had escaped, gathering what she could when he'd passed out and had gone banging on her mother's door at almost midnight.

She shook the thoughts from her mind as Jamie was teasing Tony about how high he wanted to go.

"Tony, ya know what mum said," Rose called over to him as the boy leaned over to stare at the ground.

"He's just excited Rose," Jamie told her as Rose tried to catch the swing. "He'll be fine. Come on Tony, roundabout next."

They got back and handed Tony over to his nanny, who had just arrived to take charge of him for the rest of the day and during the party. Rose knew her mother liked to take her time getting ready for a party. Maybe no-one noticed the difference between her and the other Jackie in that department.

"So, don't forget, we say May," Jamie reminded her before Rose went to get ready. "Want some help love?" he waggled his eyebrows.

"Ha, you wish!" Rose had to laugh. "Give me an hour to have a soak in the bubble bath."

"As long as you don't get out first eh?" he replied.

He went off to find Pete, who was in his study.

"Pete, can I ask something?" Jamie wanted to know as Pete turned the screen off. "What happened here that night? Rose was staring into space while we were out. I can only think something had reminded her of that night."

"I wouldn't worry Jamie, Jackie still remembers the other side of it," Pete told him. "I doubt it'll ever go away fully. Have you two started working on that press statement yet?"

Jamie just gave him a grin so Pete assumed not.

"I'd get on with it before Jackie gets the press in again," Pete laughed.

"Rose is worried that she's got no bridesmaids," Jamie admitted. "Maybe she should run a competition or something? Maybe those who follow her on social media?"

"Wouldn't that rule a lot of the younger ones out?" Pete wondered.

"She should run a competition in a girl's magazine or something," Jamie then joked.

"I'd be careful if I were you," Pete also laughed.

"It's not a bad idea though," Jamie tried to be serious.

Rose had got out of the bath and was just getting dressed when Jamie joined her. He'd been delayed by Jackie.

"Ah, Jackie. I was just saying to Pete about bridesmaids for the wedding," he told her.

One thing Jackie wasn't sure about this particular likeness of the Doctor was that Jamie wasn't afraid of her. He spoke his mind and hadn't run a mile after getting over the initial shock of announcing to the press that he and Rose were dating. She had put his reluctance down to the fact that he'd wanted Rose to himself and not for their relationship to be public knowledge.

"Well, what about it?" Jackie wanted to know, since she was about to check on Tony before getting ready for the party.

"I thought you might be able to talk Rose into agreeing for some magazine or website to run a contest, to pick some girls from different age groups. She has quite a following by all accounts," Jamie grinned at his almost mother-in-law.

That was another thing Jackie was going to have to face. A version of the Timelord as her son-in-law and none of them could really talk about it in full. What Jamie would make of it was anyone's guess. Pete was satisfied he knew enough of Rose's past that everyone was comfortable with but Rose had nearly given the game away after revealing too much when she'd first met Jamie.

Luckily, Pete and Jake had caught on and been able to cover it up but it had been a close call and it had led to Rose taking up with Jamie.

"Have ya said anything to Rose?" Jackie wondered.

"No, not yet," Jamie replied, sure that's what he'd already said. "We thought it would be better coming from you. What do you think?"

"It might be better in a magazine?" Jackie thought. "Not all kids are allowed on the internet and quite right if ya ask me. She could talk to her secretary about it, after the holidays," she suggested.

"Great, I'll leave it with you then?" Jamie seemed pleased with himself. "Best go make myself presentable for tonight then?"

Jackie thought that meant spending an hour in front of a mirror getting his hair to stand up how he wanted it. They were all going to have a light meal before everyone arrived, since there was only going to be party food being served to the guests. Jamie was then arranging with Pete when would be the best time to make the announcement.

"After everyone's arrived I suppose?" Pete thought the most likely time as Rose and Jackie went off to greet early guests.

Up in Sandbrook, Alec had just about survived Christmas but hadn't been happy about being dragged to a party of a friend of Tess's for the new year.

"Come on Alec, one more party is not going to kill you," Tess had argued during the day as he waited to take Daisy to Tess's mother's.

"Tess, this is the last time," Alec warned her while he waited.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Tess wanted to know. "I thought we may try and make up in the new year?"

"That was your suggestion," Alec reminded her. "It depends on a few things, such as how much time you spend with Dave at work."

"You know I've cut down, mainly because he doesn't want much to do with me now," Tess admitted. "See, if I try, then you can."

"I wasn't the guilty one, was I?" he replied as he heard Daisy's room door closing.

"Sometimes there's no pleasing you Alec," Tess told him. "I can't try any harder Alec, it's down to you now. We could make a clean break in the new year, you have to want to try as well though."

"Seriously, are you two arguing again?" Daisy complained as she came downstairs with her arms folded.

"Have you been on that phone again?" Alec wanted to know.

"Why do you care?" Daisy asked cheekily. "I bet wherever Rose Tyler was, she had a better time than I did."

"Stop going on about her," Tess warned the teenager. "Whoever writes on her social pages, puts what they want."

"Stop spoiling it Mum," Daisy huffed. "I know it's not her but they keep in contact with her."

Alec just shook his head in despair. Teenagers such as his daughter were so impressionable where the likes of reality stars were concerned. Why had the Vitex heiress become popular all of a sudden just because she'd chosen to admit she was dating? It surely had to be her mother behind it, if Daisy were concerned, it would be Tess.

The engagement party was a complete success, all the women admiring Rose's ring and the men patting Jamie on the back and telling him he was a very lucky man.

"I already know that," Jamie admitted to someone Pete knew as they refilled their drinks and Rose had a circle around her. "We went travelling a while back, keeping men away wasn't easy."

"I bet it wasn't," the other man agreed. "She was so shy when she arrived here with her mother, she's come a long way."

"I remember when she first arrived at Torchwood," Jamie smiled. "I could tell she fancied me."

They both laughed and Rose heard them, turning around to smile at Jamie. She thought she was the lucky one. Losing the Doctor had been hard and she'd gone off afterwards to learn to live in this world and Pete had never told her Jamie was already working at Torchwood.

She could have stayed away from him but she'd reckoned she deserved some happiness in the end. Pete had somehow come across Jamie after she'd gone back to her own world and he'd figured that if she ever did find herself back here, she might find some comfort in him.

Well, it had happened and Pete had got a bonus. Jackie had settled for him and he'd not only gained a stepdaughter, he'd gained a young son, who after Jackie and Rose had been taken care of would also get a share of his Vitex fortune and his shares in Torchwood though Rose hadn't been made aware of that.

Rose excused herself and crept up behind Jamie, putting her arms around his neck.

"Hey, enjoying showing off?" Rose laughed.

"You're the one wearing the ring love," he laughed back. "How long's this party meant to last?"

"No idea. Wanna sneak off to the conservatory?" she teased him.

They were about to but were caught by Jackie.

"Where are you two off to?" she caught hold of Jamie's free arm, Rose half draped over him.

"Just five minutes Mum?" Rose pleaded with her, half letting go of Jamie but Jamie still hold of Rose.

"It's your party," Jackie reminded them both. "At least wait until it's nearly over."

She pointed them both back inside the large room and went off to fuss over something else.

"She doesn't miss much, does she?" Jamie commented to Rose as he handed her a glass of champagne from a passing waitress.

Rose didn't take the glass off him, leaving him holding them both.

"What's wrong now?" he wanted to know.

"It just reminds me of something, that's all," Rose admitted. "That night, when I was here before."

"Rose, you have to stop love, every party reminds you of that night," Jamie warned her. "Once we're married, we'll have parties at our place."

"Yeah, sorry," she told him as she took a glass, thinking she'd best get over it before she told him too much.

When it was almost midnight, Rose holding off the drink until then, everyone was gathering in the large entranceway and Jamie had been elected to be the one to go outside and let the new year in. So he gave Rose a kiss and went out two minutes before and thought back to when Pete had sent Rose away to be trained and had never mentioned she may be going to work with him, let alone ending up agreeing to marry him.

In Sandbrook, Tess had been on at Alec about trying to look like he was enjoying the party and when he'd been asked to be the one to see the new year in because he was Scottish, he'd only agreed because Tess had scowled at him and he knew there would be trouble when they got home.

Earlier, she'd already had a bit to drink and she'd whispered that perhaps when they got home, they could make an early start on patching up their marriage. Alec though still hadn't decided if he actually wanted to or not or if it had been left too late.

Maybe Daisy was right, the life of a certain personality was more interesting than her own parents' one was and he doubted it would ever get better. He was determined he wasn't going to get the blame for it though so he would try and make the effort when they got home because the way Tess had been drinking, it wouldn't take much to please her.

Little did he know it was going to cause even more trouble for him than he already had.

The next morning, Rose was in a very good mood, now officially being engaged and Jamie had gone down to fetch breakfast for them both.

"Where's Jamie going?" Tony wanted to know as he and his nanny entered the kitchen.

"Never you mind," Jackie told him, not wanting to explain. "They'll be in before they leave."

"Can I go stay with them?" the boy asked.

"They have to go back to work," Pete told him.

"So they've finished going around then?" Jackie asked. "About time, I had enough of Rose before."

"Be careful Jackie," Pete warned her. "I've not broken the news to Mickey yet. I hope now he's got a girlfriend, he won't be too bad when I have to move him."

"So he was doing Jamie's job?" Jackie wondered. "Wasn't Rose helping Jamie but Mickey can do it on his own?"

"I don't get why Rose doesn't want to tell Jamie everything," Jackie admitted.

"Maybe she will, when they get married?" Pete wondered.

Jackie caught Rose before she left, trying to make out the idea for the bridesmaids was hers.

"Your idea?" Rose eyed Jamie as he tried to sneak off. "Not so fast you," she warned him.

"Well Jamie might have mentioned ya had no idea about where to get any," Jackie had to admit.

"So you two thought most of the teenagers in the country should compete against each other and I'm supposed to pick two or three?" Rose asked. "How am I supposed to pick them?" she wanted to know.

"Well maybe not compete?" Jamie suggested. "Have them answer some questions? Maybe such as why they want to be your bridesmaid, in their own words and pick them out?"

"You're gonna volunteer to judge 'em?" Rose asked him.

"No, not me," he grinned, looking at Jackie.

"Hey, it wasn't my idea," Jackie turned on him.

"Thanks Jackie," he mumbled, making Pete laugh.

"I ought to make both of ya judge them," Rose tried to be serious. "I have to do something though, I can't have all grown-up bridesmaids. If I choose a popular magazine and give them an exclusive interview, they might offer to judge it?" she wondered. "I'll get my secretary onto it maybe but besides choosing three girls to be bridesmaids, they'll have to be one special prize," she added, looking at her mother.

Pete could see where this was going and supposed Jackie deserved it for getting involved.

"The prize could be being the head bridesmaid and staying overnight for the evening reception," he joined in, making Jackie look at him. "Plus the girl's parents. None of it can be done without their agreement if they're under eighteen," he reminded them.

Jackie gave him one of her famous 'wait until I get you later Pete Tyler' looks and went to get Tony, who was diving a toy zeppelin all over the place. Pete gave Rose a wink, Rose smiling back at him and Jamie thought he was lucky to get away with it.

"Did you put mum up to it?" Rose asked him on the way home.

"Me love?" he asked innocently. "I was only trying to help, I thought it would be a shame having no young bridesmaids. Well, back to work tomorrow then? That's if you want to? What's Pete doing about Mickey's position?"

"He's not said anything to me. Maybe he left it to Jake, he's neutral in all this?" Rose suggested.

Pete had caught hold of Jake before the new year and had asked what he thought about moving Mickey.

"Want me to tell him?" Jake suggested.

"No, it's my responsibility," Pete had told him. "When he arrives after the holiday, tell him to report to my office. It's best he hears before Rose and Jamie arrive. It won't be so bad for Jamie but I don't want Rose to face him."

"Maybe they've both forgotten?" Jake had wondered.

"Would you?" Pete disagreed.

So the following day, Mickey was getting ready for work, Martha having stayed over and regretting it.

"I knew you'd make us both late," Martha was complaining he'd taken too long coming out of the bathroom.

"No-one will be on time Martha," Mickey objected.

"Huh, you won't have to deal with all the hangovers and those ringing in sick," Martha disagreed. "It should be compulsory they have a sick note after the holidays to get away with it."

"Come on Martha, we've all done it," Mickey laughed.

"You might have done," Martha muttered under her breath. "I wonder if those rumours are true?"

"What rumours?" Mickey stopped what he was doing.

"Oh, you've not heard then?" Martha knew she'd made a big mistake, having being told a few days before. "The boss's stepdaughter and her boyfriend coming back to work. They're due for a medical," Martha replied, not knowing Mickey's past history with Rose. "I thought they were still away."

"Hey, so did I, I took their job," Mickey huffed. "When was I gonna be told?"

"Maybe they'll keep you on?" Martha patted him on the shoulder as she looked for her car keys.

Then she saw the look on his face.

"Mickey, what aren't you telling me?" she wanted to know. "Did you know them? Oh don't tell me she's an old girlfriend or something? Are you kidding me?"

"Martha, it was a long time ago, forget it," he tried to convince her.

"You have some explaining to do Mister," she decided.

As Rose and Jamie went to work, Jamie wondered why Rose was so quiet.

"I'm sure Pete won't have you bumping into Mickey," he tried to assure her.

"Ya don't understand Jamie," Rose told him as they arrived at the underground car park.

"Then tell me," Jamie tried to get her to talk to him. "I know you fell out."

Rose let out a nervous laugh.

"He reminded me of something, I couldn't forgive him," Rose admitted.

"Has it to do with you coming here?" Jamie tried to guess as they heard another car following them as Jamie tried to remember where his parking space was.

Then he did remember as another car pulled into it.

"What?" Jamie called out. "I suppose that's him then?" he asked Rose as Mickey got out, since Martha was in her own car and Jamie was in the way.

Then, Jake arrived to see Jamie and Mickey in a stand-off, having just found out where Mickey had been allocated to park, since someone had thought the space went with the job and Jamie had been away.

"Ah," Jake grinned as Jamie got out to face Mickey.

"Who are you then?" Mickey dared ask before seeing Rose. "Are you that Jamie Smith then? Rose, is that you?" he then saw her trying to hide. "You did, didn't you? You had to find someone else who looked like him."

"Mickey, why do ya have to have such a big mouth?" Jake told him. "Rose, why don't ya go up to reception an' wait there? Mickey, you knew about Jamie," he reminded Mickey.

"I was away a lot, wasn't I? Finding a way back to warn the other world," Mickey objected.

Martha had got out of her car and joined them.

"I know the reason you went off Mickey Smith," Martha told him. "Everyone knew it was to find Rose."

"Hey, I never asked him to," Rose spoke up as she got out of Jamie's car.

"Hold on," Jamie looked at Mickey. "I know I look a bit like someone Rose used to know. Is this why you two fell out?"

"Jamie, I never even knew about ya," Rose reminded him.

"That's true," Jake backed her up. "Rose was catching up on her education then sent for training."

"So everyone was told," Martha said sarcastically.

"Keep out of it Martha," Mickey warned her.

"Charming," Martha huffed. "Forget it, get yourself another girlfriend Mickey," she told him as she got back in her car to wait for Jamie to move.

"Mickey, Pete wants to see ya, so move into a visitor spot until this gets sorted out then Jamie can park there," Jake decided.

"So I'm getting thrown out of my job?" Mickey wanted to know.

"No idea mate, more than likely get moved if Rose and Jamie are back," Jake replied.

"So they did decide to come back?" Martha asked. "It helps to be related to the boss."

"I'd watch it if I were you," Rose warned her. "So who are you then?"

"Martha Jones. You must be non other than Rose Tyler then?" Martha replied. "You got engaged?"

"They did what?" Mickey stopped staring at Jamie.

"The other day, Jamie asked me on Brighton pier when it was all lit up," Rose admitted, any chance to show her ring off again.

"I would have thought you'd be busy planning your wedding then?" Martha remarked.

"We've not got a date yet so work it is," Rose replied.

"Then why can't Mickey keep his job?" Martha asked, wondering why she was still defending him.

"You must be joking, look at them," Rose laughed as they continued their staring contest. "No way."

"I still want to know how much I look like the friend you lost Rose," Jamie reminded her.

"Jamie, ya need to speak to Pete, mate," Jake told him. "Rose can't tell you."

"Then wait for me," Jamie insisted as he got back in his car, prompting Martha to back up.

After they all moved around, Jamie followed Jake and Mickey up to Pete's office, leaving Rose and Martha to go to their jobs.

"Men!" Martha laughed.

"Yeah, tell me about it." Rose agreed. "Jamie can get really jealous. When we were away, he nearly had someone fired 'cos of the way they looked at me."

"I wish I could get Mickey jealous. So, what's with you two then? I know you used to know each other before you came to work here," Martha told Rose.

"It's a long story, some of it I can't talk about, honestly. I'd best go get my ID or wait for Jake coming back. Nice to have met ya Martha."

"You too Rose. Do I get a wedding invite?" Martha asked cheekily.

"Yeah, sure. My mum and Jamie are plotting how to get me some bridesmaids by running a competition for teenagers," Rose laughed.

"Actually, it's not a bad idea," Martha agreed. "Get everyone involved, it'll be a great publicity event."

"Maybe too much," Rose laughed.

Chapter 8

Pete wanted to know why Jake, Jamie and Mickey were standing in his office.

"I nearly had to stop a fight downstairs in the parking garage," Jake laughed when he'd told Pete what it was about.

"Really you two," Pete looked at Jamie then at Mickey.

"You gave me a job, you said nothing about him coming back," Mickey pointed sideways to Jamie.

"Well what did you expect?" Jamie wanted to know.

"Stop it," Pete told them both again. "Mickey, I told you it was until Rose and Jamie came back."

"Well the way it was put, I thought they'd be away for longer," Mickey huffed.

"Well Rose wants to come back home to plan the wedding," Jamie replied sarcastically.

"Well I can see you two won't work together," Pete decided. "I'll give you any job you want, either of you but Jamie, you know more about the artefacts than Mickey does so Mickey, take some time off and think about it."

"I didn't have to come back," Mickey made a face as he clenched his fists.

"You asked to be let back mate," Jake reminded him. "How did ya know Rose and Jamie had gone away anyway?"

"I saw it in the papers, when there was an article about Rose," Mickey had to admit.

"You were still following what she did?" Pete was surprised.
"Well, what's wrong with that? Just because she took offence at what I said?" Mickey wanted to know. "You know I always did watch out for her Pete."

"That's my job now," Jamie objected. "I take great care of her, I don't need your help, Ricky."

That made Jake smile as Mickey had told him the old Doctor used to call him that, even though he himself had lost this world's version of Mickey, who had been called Ricky.

"Oi, it's Mickey," he objected. "Why'd ya call me that? What's Rose been telling ya?"

"Leave it Mickey," Pete warned him, knowing what he could be like.

He knew there were some things Rose had never told Jamie, he knew about the Doctor but not how he'd changed his appearance.

"Take my advice Mickey and go think about your position here, unless you want to move Jamie?" Pete asked his almost son-in-law.

"I don't know Pete, it's what I've been doing and Rose taught me a lot," Jamie replied.

"Well you come back to work then, you'll be on your own though?" Pete was sure Rose would be otherwise occupied. "Did Rose say anything about it?"

"She's downstairs, we left her talking to Martha," Jake grinned.

That made Pete smile, since she was meant to be Mickey's girlfriend and Martha had been excessively jealous that Rose had been Mickey's girlfriend at one point. No-one had bothered to actually tell Martha that had been in another universe.

"Well you need to clear them both," Pete told Jake.

"Well I'm not staying if they both come back," Mickey declared.

"Stop sulking mate," Jake advised him. "Just stay away from her."

"I'll make sure he does that," Jamie promised, not liking the thought of Mickey upsetting her when they had a wedding to plan. "She's only coming back for a while anyway, don't go upsetting her," he warned Mickey.

Jake went off to meet up with Rose, since he had to do a back to work assessment, telling Jamie he'd send for him later. Mickey caught up with Jake at the lifts.

"I thought you were on my side?" he asked Jake.

"I'm just tryin' to keep the peace," Jake held his hands up in defence as the lift arrived. "Go to personnel and tell them Pete's put you on paid leave, unless ya know what job ya wanna take?"

"I was doing okay in that one. You could've warned me they were coming back," Mickey complained as Jake pressed what floor they wanted.

"Hey, I only just found out myself," Jake told him as he pressed Rose's number on his phone. "Rose, meet me in my office will ya?"

Rose left Martha after laughing at the way Jamie and Mickey had been locking horns in the parking garage.

"I bet they're still both doing the same up in Pete's office," Rose laughed after Martha invited her to her office for coffee.

"Yeah, talk about taking an instant dislike to someone?" Martha agreed. "So they'd never managed to meet before?"

"No, Mickey just left after we fell out and no, I can't tell ya what it was about," Rose told her as her phone rang.

They agreed to be friends and Rose went off to meet Jake and Jamie had gone back to what had been his department. He didn't think he'd have been bothered if Rose hadn't been going back as well, not that they saw much of each other at work, Rose had her own job to do.

When everyone had left Pete's office, he had a feeling they wouldn't be seeing Mickey any more but that was his decision, he could stay away from Rose if he really wanted to. He called Jackie to warn her that there'd been a bit of a showdown, in case Rose called her.

"Well what did Mickey expect?" Jackie wanted to know. "He was the one who started it on the way back from Norway."

"I know Jackie," Pete had to agree with her. "According to Jake, he and Jamie were almost fighting down in the garage."

"That's not like Jamie," Jackie was surprised. "I mean I know he's defensive of Rose but still?"

"So he never mentioned he got into a fight with someone when they first started working away?" Pete told her.

"He never!" Jackie had to laugh. "Well at least he sticks up for her, can't say Mickey used to do much of that, except when the Doctor first came along," she recalled.

Jake was asking Rose some questions about going back to work and passed her to go back, which Rose said was a good thing he had.

"Ya know the rules," Jake grinned as he stamped the form to send to personnel that she was back and didn't need a living allowance any more.

"So, what happened in Pete's office then?" she wanted to know.

"Daggers at fifty paces," Jake laughed. "I think Mickey's left over it to be honest."

"He doesn't have to," Rose told him. "Can't ya tell him?"

"Rose, ya know what he's like," Jake reminded her. "Let him cool off for a while. So when are you and Jamie setting a date then? I was gonna ask him if I can be best man, or did I ask him before?"

"Me and Martha were talkin' about bridesmaids. Would ya believe Jamie told mum to suggest starting a competition in a teen magazine?"

"That'll cause a riot," Jake had to laugh even more.

"Well maybe not if I promise something in return for the magazine running it all?" Rose wondered. "How else am I gonna get any? I can promise the magazine an exclusive on wedding coverage."

"After the fiasco of your engagement?" Jake was still laughing.

"Don't remind me of that," Rose smiled. "Best get to work then?"

A few weeks later, Rose gave in and had her secretary contact a few of the most popular girls magazines that catered for 12-18 year olds and since one of them had several in the same group, she decided to go to them.

"So, Miss Tyler," she was being asked by the head of the publicity department. "What exactly did you have in mind?"

"Well, exclusive details of the wedding, photos on the day and since I want four bridesmaids in the age groups I mentioned, to choose a head bridesmaid who'll get to spend the weekend with us. Things like the dresses can be discussed later," Rose suggested.

"Sounds good," the woman agreed. "Then we'll talk again when we put a few ideas together but what kind of competition? Do you want them to answer a question, guess the date?"

"Hey, that's a good idea," Rose agreed. "We could give a choice of dates I suppose but maybe we should just keep it simple? Just have them send their name and age and where they live? They'll have to get to London themselves so they'll need their parent's permission. Have one of them sign the form giving consent maybe?"

"Well when do you want to start?" Rose was asked.

"Well it'll have to be soon, we wanted to get married no later than June," Rose admitted.

"Well, leave it with us, we won't do anything until we get your approval," Rose was assured.

She expected they'd keep their word, if they wanted to beat their rivals to the exclusive rights to her wedding.

That sorted, she went off to tell Jamie, whom she knew would be pleased his idea had worked.

"I just happened to think it may work," was all Rose was going to admit to him when asked how it had gone.

"Then we have to set a date," Jamie reminded her. "That will have to go in all the papers I expect?"

They didn't usually mess around at work but disappeared for a while as Rose told him all the preparations would be worth it.

Rose heard back from the magazine and the plans were put into place. Just a simple contest was arranged and Rose agreed only those with permission could enter and when the choice was made, it would be checked again.

When the twice monthly magazine appeared in the shops and newsstands, Rose and Jamie's photo's were all over the front page and a special four page pullout had been included with how they had met and their romance, how Jamie had formerly asked Rose to marry him and loads of other information that teenage girls wanted about a celebrity wedding.

It had been advertised in advance so newsagents had been swamped with orders from new customers not wanting to miss out on it as the contest had also been announced. The closing date had been issued, teenage and almost teenage girls were getting excited the date was going to be announced and teachers were trying to stop them whispering about it to each other in class.

Three such girls in the town of Sandbrook were all getting equally excited. Two were cousins, Pippa Gillespie and Lisa Newberry and then there was Daisy Hardy, who hadn't been very happy lately when she'd found out her dad was still in the spare room after having failed to make up with her mother in the new year.

Alec had tried his best but Tess hadn't been making it easy. He thought she'd rather had a nerve to tell him he had to want it to work when she put in minimum effort, especially after she had a false alarm at the end of January when she thought she may be pregnant. She had lost interest in him again after that. Daisy had gone to a friend's one evening when Alec had been finishing eating.

"Alec, I don't know about you but I think we should go for a proper separation," Tess declared.

"You want me to move out?" he asked, a bit confused.

"Well maybe not right away?" Tess supposed. "We should go apply for one, try not to let Daisy know just yet. Just act normally."

"She already knows Tess, in case you have not noticed," Alec pointed out to her.

"Well, just stay here then, as long as we both agree?" Tess relented. "We could get a separation any time I suppose?"

"Yes, we should try and keep as we are, at least for now," Alec agreed. "Were you thinking of going back to Dave?"

"No, what makes you think that?" Tess wondered. "Did you hear Daisy on the phone to her friend?"

"I gave up listening to her Tess, all she does is go on about that Rose Tyler," he replied.

"Well you've not heard the latest then have you?" Tess replied. "About the wedding. I heard her tell Sally the reason why she suddenly wanted me to go in the newsagents with her to place an order for that teen magazine so she wouldn't miss the next one."

"You agreed?" Alec was surprised. "What next eh?"

"Let me tell you the rest. There's some kind of contest to be one of the bridesmaids," Tess told him.

"You are not going to let her enter are you?" he asked.

"Come on Alec, how many are going to apply?" Tess wanted to know. "Let her spend the money on a stamp if her friends are doing it. Besides, she'll never forgive me if I don't let her."

"That's just it Tess, you give in to her every single time," Alec told her as he got up.

"You should try it sometime Alec," Tess replied, going to clear the kitchen table.

"Don't make me out to be the bad guy Tess," he objected.

Across the town, Pippa and Lisa were sat in Pippa's neighbours garden and Lisa was practising plaiting Pippa's hair as Claire was watching them while drinking tea.

"When's Lee going to be home?" young Pippa wanted to know.

"Any time now sweetheart," Claire smiled at her. "Lisa, that's very good, you should get some training."

"I don't know Claire," Lisa replied as Pippa tried to turn her head.

"Lisa, will you get that magazine for me then?"

"I'll try sweetheart but they may all sell out," Lisa told her, knowing how much of a fan her cousin was of Rose Tyler.

"What magazine's that?" Claire wanted to know. "There's a newsagents by the salon."

"Pippa, it's in those others as well," Lisa reminded her.

"They're for older girls," Pippa pulled a face. "I'll let Claire try, it might not sell out there. Mum wouldn't order it for me Claire," she complained.

"I'm sure there was a reason, did you tell her why you wanted it?" Claire asked her.

"There's a competition, to be one of Rose Tyler's bridesmaids. I'd do anything to win a place," Pippa grinned.

Claire had to let out a laugh.

"Sorry. Well I suppose you'd stand as much chance as anyone else?" Claire told the girl.

"Lisa could do my hair for me," Pippa smiled up at her cousin.

"So I'm out of a job then?" Claire teased her as she heard the front door open and Lee shouted for her.

"Oh, you have company?" Lee licked his lips as he stepped out to join them, putting his arms around Pippa and Lisa. "Hello girls."

"Give me the name of the magazine and I'll order it for you," Claire offered.

"Thanks Claire," Pippa got up from the stool she'd been sitting on. "Do you like my hair Lee?"

A few weeks later, Rose had been told how many entries had arrived at the magazine's office but as requested by Rose, none had yet been opened. She thought it best that she should go to the office herself, pick out four envelopes at random rather than hire staff to open them. Then with four envelopes on a table, before she opened them, she would pick one up for the prize of being the head bridesmaid and sort out the details.

Having picked one out of four, Rose opened it but handed it to the editor to read out whose name it was.

"Daisy's a nice name," Rose remarked. "Ha, that's gonna be funny, with my name. So has she got permission?"

"Yes, she has," the editor noted, making sure the entry was correct. "She lives in somewhere called Sandbrook, I'm not sure where that is."

"No, never heard of it," Rose agreed, using the letter opener on the next envelope.

She opened the next one, handed it over then went for the last one.

"Oh, this is strange," the editor remarked. "This girl is from Sandbrook too. Mind you, there's something strange, about the parent's signature."

Rose went to have a look. When Pippa had collected the magazine from Claire, Claire saying she didn't want paying for it, the girl had gone home excitedly to show her mother.

"Very nice Pippa but all celebrity weddings are the same," Cate had told her.

"This one's Rose Tyler's Mum," Pippa reminded her. "Can I enter the contest to be one of the bridesmaids? Please Mum?"

"What? How are you even going to get there?" Cate had then asked her.

"You or dad can take me and besides, parents are invited to attend," Pippa told her.

"Do you know how much a hotel will cost if we have to stay over?" Cate reminded her. "We have that other wedding soon, your dad won't want to attend another one so soon afterwards. Especially when we don't even know the people who are getting married."

"Mum, she's famous," Pippa had insisted. "My friend's would be so jealous."

"I thought you said that magazine would be sold out?" Cate had then noticed. "Did you get Lisa to get it for you?"

Pippa had then had a guilty look on her face.

"Claire got it for me," she had then admitted.

"Pippa, you shouldn't have asked her," Cate had been cross.

"Claire offered, when we were talking about it," Pippa told her. "So can I enter? I need your permission, you or dad need to sign."

"No Pippa, it shouldn't even be open to girls of your age, what is that woman thinking of?" Cate then told the poor girl.

Pippa had then got upset and gone to her room, tempted to forge her mother's signature but how would she get to the wedding? She dried a few tears that had formed and thought maybe Lisa would help her out and even if she didn't win, she could honestly tell her friends she'd had a go at it.

So Pippa's entry had been rejected when the editor called the number Pippa had given, since she didn't think it would do any harm if she didn't win.

"It's what magazine?" Cate answered, after her afternoon drinking session. "What do you want?"

She had forgotten all about Pippa's attempt to get herself invited to some celebrity's wedding.

"Is that the mother of Pippa Gillespie?" Cate was asked.

"What's she done?" Cate wanted to know.

"Well, she entered a contest, to be a bridesmaid at Rose Tyler's wedding," Cate was told.

"She did what? I told her she couldn't enter and no, I didn't give her my permission so you can pick someone else," Cate told the woman. "She's not been told she's won has she?"

"No, we had to check first," the woman told her. "Well, sorry to have troubled you. Please don't be mad with your daughter, I expect a lot have entered without getting permission as well."

"Well, they're not my problem," Cate told her before hanging up. "Pippa's going to know about this when she gets home," she turned to the man on the sofa, who was laid with one arm behind his head.

"Go easy on her Cate, I heard her talking about it with Claire and Lisa," Lee told her. "Have you finished that drink?"

"You'd better go before Pippa gets home," Cate told him as she went towards him.

"Trying to get rid of me so soon Cate?" Lee grinned as he pulled her down onto the sofa. "So, tell me again how things have got bad with Ricky that you've come to me to get back at him?"

Cate was about to raise her arm when he grabbed it.

"You're so full of it Lee," Cate told him. "I'd rather be staying here that weekend instead of going to that wedding with Ricky. I know what he'll be like, with that flask of his and what'll be in it."

"I could do with some more of that, for Claire," Lee laughed.

Chapter 9

It was Tess who took the phone call from the magazine, to say Daisy had not only been chosen as a bridesmaid but had won the special prize.

"She never?" Tess was trying to get Alec's attention.

Tess always had the home phone forwarded to her mobile in case the school rang it.

"We just needed to check she had your permission," the magazine editor was glancing at Rose.

Before the call was made, Rose was wondering if she'd have to pick another envelope.

"Well, I never expected her to actually win," Tess had to admit. "So she actually got chosen to be the head bridesmaid? Did you say she gets to stay at the Tyler mansion?"

She was wondering what it would be like, to get Daisy in the photos that would be all over the papers and magazines, not to mention the news, probably. Should she take advantage herself? What would Alec say, she wondered as she got up to go to his office.

"Well, yes. Daisy was chosen out of thousands of entries, by Rose Tyler herself," the editor told Tess. "She's here now, she'd like to speak to you."

Rose was passed the phone, hoping she wouldn't be shot down in flames like the last time.

"Hi, Daisy's mother," Rose greeted Tess. "I'll make all the arrangements, there's nothing for you to do, except get her to London," Rose assured her.

Alec was wondering what Tess was doing heading towards his office, with her mobile in her hand and talking into it.

"Tess?" he questioned her as she entered, not bothering to knock.

Tess put her hand over her mobile.

"Alec, I've got Rose Tyler on the phone. Daisy won a place as a bridesmaid, the head one," she told him.

"How do you know someone is not having you on Tess?" Alec dismissed the idea that Rose Tyler would be calling personally.

"Someone from the magazine put her on," Tess scoffed back. "Miss Tyler, my husband doesn't believe she actually won," she told Rose.

Rose let out a laugh.

"Then put him on. This is a genuine call, I'll give you my personal number, you can call me back. So, put him on if he's not sure," Rose tried to be serious.

Tess held the phone out to Alec, who reluctantly took it.

"I hope you are not going to be playing a joke on my daughter?" Alec questioned Rose.

"Geez, are you the police or something," Rose couldn't resist trying to get him back for doubting her.

"Yes, detective inspector," Alec replied indignantly. "I can easily trace this call."

"Hey, I'm who I say I am," Rose was getting furious he was being serious.

Tess was trying to take her phone back.

"Don't be so rude Alec," she told him. "Let me deal with this."

"Well I am not getting Daisy's hopes up if one of her friends is behind this," Alec insisted.

"I'm still here you know?" Rose reminded him. "Call the magazine if ya don't believe me. Fine, I'll choose someone else then, shall I? I had enough earlier when someone else from your town refused to let her daughter be one of my bridesmaids."

The way Rose was now talking, Alec was just starting to believe her. Anyone else would have laughed it off by this point, he supposed.

"Fine, I will pass you back to her mother then," he gave in.

Rose wondered why he'd said her mother and not his wife? Maybe something was not right in the Hardy household? That wasn't her concern though but she didn't want her wedding being spoiled by squabbling parents of the bridesmaids.

"I'm sorry about that," Tess apologised. "We can do this by phone for now, unless you need a photo of Daisy?"

"Tess, don't encourage the woman," Alec hissed at her.

"Yeah, I never thought of that," Rose laughed. "I won't recognise them otherwise, will I? You can send it to the magazine editor, then they can publish the results when we've got them all?"

"Fine, I'll get a few taken then," Tess agreed. "I'll tell her when she gets home or will you want to speak to her?"

"Ah, well yeah," Rose thought the poor girl wouldn't believe she'd actually won. "I'll call again later then, we were just checking for permission."

She still had two more to do plus get a replacement envelope chosen. How had she ever got herself into this, she should have made Jamie and her mother choose them, it was their idea. The next two calls were slightly easier and Rose had picked another entry, the editor seeing the consent looked genuine and told the winners they needed to send a photo.

"Well that wasn't too bad," Rose grinned as they looked at all the unopened envelopes. "I feel guilty now. All those hopefuls, what did my mother start?"

"So it wasn't your idea?" the editor Sophie smiled.

"Well I didn't know anyone," Rose admitted. "Imagine if all of them had to be opened if there'd been a question to answer," she nodded to the envelopes.

"Well I'm glad there wasn't," Sophie agreed. "Why don't we put a free gift inside the wedding edition?" she suggested. "A bracelet or something, not too expensive of course."

"How many copies are we talking about?" Rose asked. "Well I suppose it would also compensate those who weren't allowed to enter?" she added, remembering the first girl whom she'd chosen. "I hope that young girl doesn't get into trouble."

"Well we sometimes do put free gifts in," Sophie admitted. "If it's for your wedding special, we'll have no problem getting them made, probably at no cost if it's known who supplied them."

"I expect there'll be a lot of interest then?" Rose smiled.

Sophie was already planning the wedding special plus all the extra revenue from advertisers, they may run out of room. Rose finally left, feeling pleased with herself but she wished she'd talked to the mother of that young girl, Sophie had insisted on dealing with it herself. Maybe it wouldn't have made much difference though?

Pippa Gillespie was on the school bus, heading home since her mother had failed to collect her.

"Hey Pippa," some girls opposite her called over. "Did you enter that bridesmaids contest then?" the ringleader asked her as four girls were squashed up on a double seat.

"Didn't everyone?" one of the girls laughed. "Bet your mother didn't let you though?" she directed the question at poor Pippa.

"Yeah, I entered, I got her to give in," Pippa lied, since she'd finally got Lisa to sign it.

"Well, one of us is gonna win so you wasted your time," another girl laughed.

"And a stamp," the last one joined in.

They all turned away, hoping they'd upset Pippa sufficiently. That was why Pippa hated getting the bus on a morning as well, once a day was bad enough with those four. She was glad Claire and Lee dropped her off sometimes and wished Lee would get out of the car and escort her to the gate, to make those four opposite get jealous.

She got off the bus at the top of the road and walked towards home and was just entering the street when she was sure Lee had just come out of their house. Lee had nothing to do so he thought he'd waste his time with Cate, if she'd not drunk that much. He'd had the misfortune to be there when Cate had got the call from the magazine.

"I'm going to be having words with Lisa when she comes round again," Cate had told him. "She must have forged my signature on that competition entry."

"Come on Cate, they're just kids," Lee had told her. "I heard Pippa going on about it to Claire."

"I hope Pippa never asked you or Claire to sign?" Cate asked him.

Lee just laughed and got up to leave.

"You women and weddings," he told her. "You and Ricky still off to that other one then?"

"We already told them we'd go but I wish I'd said no now," Cate admitted. "I don't know if I can trust Lisa overnight with Pippa."

"Me and Claire can keep an eye on them for you," he offered, hoping to get in her good books.

"Well if you're sure?" Cate was tempted. "I suppose I can trust you?"

Lee held his hands up.

"I could take offence at that question," he grinned. "I'm off before Pippa walks in from school then? I could go out the back way."

"Get out of here Lee," Cate replied, seeing the look on his face.

As he went out, he was sure the young girl was just coming around the corner of the street so he quickly opened the door and hoped she'd not noticed him. Pippa got inside her house and called to her mother. She knew any time soon, the bridesmaids would be chosen but she'd be caught out if they bothered to check the permission part of the form.

Lisa had tried her best to copy Cate's handwriting but had said she wasn't promising anything.

"Come in here Pippa, I want a word with you," Cate called her before Pippa could get upstairs. "Who forged that signature on that silly competition I told you not to enter?"

"Which one was that Mum?" Pippa tried to act all innocent.

"You know Madam," Cate told her. "Was it Lisa?"

"How did you find out, did they check?" Pippa admitted. "Did I win?"

"Oh no you don't Pippa, don't think you got away with it," Cate faced her daughter and grabbed her arm. "So you thought you'd get Lisa to help you, did you? Well forget it Pippa, I told them I did not give my permission and to choose someone else."

Pippa pulled back, rubbing her arm.

"Mum, you mean Rose Tyler rang here?" she stuttered.

"Of course not, why would she? It was only someone from that magazine. When did you sneak off to buy it anyway? Did you get Lisa to buy it for you?" Cate wanted to know.

Pippa tried not to look guilty but it was better laying the blame on her cousin rather than Claire.

"Wait until I see her," Cate then told Pippa. "I should tell your father, young lady."

"Please don't Mum," Pippa pleaded with her. "I just wanted to try, all my friends were sending their applications. I never gave any details, just my age."

"I should think not, have you any idea what they use your information for?" Cate asked her. "They target young girls like you, with all kinds of things. I've a good mind to cancel that wedding and not let Lisa stay overnight with you."

Across town, Tess had just got home before Daisy, wondering why Alec hadn't believed Daisy could actually win something. After the call, he'd tried to get out agreeing to go.

"Why would I want to go to a celebrity wedding?" he had complained when Tess had gone on about it.

"We have to show our support to Daisy," Tess had tried to convince him.

"Well it won't look good if all we do is argue all the time," he had used the excuse. "Then there's the question of staying over. You did say the prize was staying overnight after the wedding?"

"Daisy and I can share, you can have the room they give to her," Tess had told him, beginning to enjoy herself to get back at him. "Spend some time with Daisy for goodness sake."

Daisy was delighted to be told Rose herself would be calling her when Tess told her.

"No-one's going to believe it Mum," Daisy had told Tess. "Everyone will be so jealous. Will dad be going with us?"

"I've tried to get him," Tess admitted. "You'll just have to work on him. When you get another call, ask when it is."

"Well I hope dad doesn't use the excuse he can't get the weekend off," Daisy then complained.

Rose had got home, pleased the plans were coming together. Now, she had to organise four bridesmaids dresses though. She'd discussed some arrangements with her mother and they had decided on an afternoon wedding so everyone taking part had time to get there and get changed. The other three bridesmaids could share a room and Jackie suggested they hired the dresses, since Jamie was hiring a wedding suit.

Then there was just Tony to sort out but he'd insisted he wanted to be like Jamie, which had made them laugh as getting Tony to wear a suit wasn't going to be easy. They may just have to leave that with Jamie himself.

So Rose told him the bridesmaids were sorted and he was going to have to take charge of Tony when he got home.

"Fine Rose but we still don't have a date, remember?" he asked her.

"How about the beginning of May?" Rose suggested, sure they'd already mentioned that.

"Rose, that only gives us about six weeks love," Jamie reminded her. "End of May?"

"Right but we stick to that, agreed?" Rose replied, putting her arms around his neck. "I'd best call mum, she has the wedding invitations on standby."

"I can imagine," Jamie laughed as he went to kiss her. "Best get the PR department to issue a statement then?"

Everything was going to plan over the next few weeks. The marquee was booked, the DJ and live entertainment for the smaller evening reception for specially invited guests, including a now nervous Daisy Hardy, who had been given a link to the dresses the bridesmaids would be wearing.

"That woman must have some money," Tess was telling Alec as it started getting into the newspapers. "You won't let Daisy down, will you Alec?"

"Of course I won't Tess. I know it's important to her. Have you been given the arrangements yet?" he asked.

"Only what time to get there and that Daisy has seen the dresses being worn. I'm sure no-one will notice us Alec," Tess replied. "Oh, an official wedding invitation arrived this morning," she added. "Best not say I've gone back to my maiden name."

"I'm sure they are not interested Tess," Alec replied.

He was going to regret that statement shortly. Cate Gillespie hadn't cancelled the wedding she and Ricky were going to after all. His only complaint was having to share a hotel room with her when she'd had too much to drink but then he'd made his mind up he was going to see which of the female wedding guests would invite him to their room.

Lee had mentioned to Claire that he'd offered to keep an eye on the two girls while Cate and Ricky were away.

"You should have told me Lee," Claire got angry with him when she found out. "I was going out with some friends and maybe staying overnight.

"Well that gives me more time alone with Lisa then," Lee taunted her.

"You would as well," Claire snapped at him.

"Come on Claire, why do you keep inviting them round then? I've seen the way you look at Ricky."

Claire raised her hand but he fended her off. She ducked out of his way but he pushed her against the wall, aiming his other hand up her back.

"I hate you sometimes Lee," she told him as they were getting dressed again. "Were you joking about Lisa?"

"What do you think Claire?" he replied. "Maybe she's ready? Maybe when you're out I'll invite them both over?"

Pippa had still been getting taunted about entering the contest but it was dying down slightly. She was relieved none of the four involved had won either and she'd told no-one she'd been turned down for it. In the next magazine edition, the names of the four lucky girls had been released and Pippa was upset someone from the town had won the special prize.

It was also announced a special gift, chosen by Rose herself would be given away in the wedding edition and for readers to place their orders so as not to be disappointed. Rose hadn't wanted any of them to be disappointed but expected it would be a free-for all if they didn't heed the warning it may sell out.

Pippa and her friend were talking about it, Pippa having to pretend she wasn't that jealous of Daisy Hardy from the same school but a higher class in a different building so she didn't have to see her being followed around everywhere.

Daisy was quite enjoying herself once the news got out but Alec wasn't pleased when Tess had allowed the local newspaper to interview her.

"Alec, she would have been in the wedding photos," Tess pointed out to him. "At least I made sure it was done properly."

"Well I hope so Tess. Does she know about us though?" he asked her.

"She knows something's going on Alec," Tess reminded him. "We can keep it civil, for her sake, can't we?"

"As long as you do Tess," Alec told her. "You knew it was coming."

"Yes and you had to be the one who made the first move, Alec," Tess reminded him.

"How do you expect me to feel when you don't even hide the fact about you and Dave around the station anymore," he asked her. "It's one thing you being work partners, you said there was nothing more and I trusted you."

"You always suspected Alec," Tess told him.

"You fooled me Tess. Enough though, I will go to that wedding with you and Daisy, for her sake, not yours. Clear?" he asked her.

The wedding plans were going nicely but on the day Cate and Ricky Gillespie were setting off for their friends' wedding, Ricky was determined Cate wasn't going to spoil his fun later on. Cate had argued about him driving but had won in the end and they had ordered a taxi. Cate was giving Lisa last minute instructions as Pippa was out riding her bike up and down the street.

"Keep an eye on Pippa," Cate was warning Lisa yet again.

"I know how to look after her Cate," Lisa told her aunt bluntly.

"Don't be cheeky Lisa," Ricky interrupted them. "Stay away from next door as well."

"Ricky, someone has to take charge if something happens," Cate insisted.

"What's going to happen Cate?" Ricky had wanted to know. "We're going to be miles away and you won't let me take the car so nothing had better happen."

"Will you two stop?" Lisa interrupted them. "Just go, we'll be fine. If there's any trouble, I'll just have to try and call you or go next door."

Cate shook her head and went to see if the taxi had arrived.

"Jealous if I go see Lee?" Lisa asked Ricky cheekily.

"You little tart," Ricky hissed at her.

"You think I'm saving myself for you?" Lisa laughed. "Well I've got news for you, 'Uncle' Ricky.

He was about to raise his hand to her when Cate shouted the taxi had arrived. Cate had called Pippa over to tell her to behave for Lisa.

"Don't worry Mum," Pippa had told Cate, going to give her a hug. "We'll go see Claire if anything's wrong."

"You do that then sweetheart. I'll bring you some cake back," Cate replied, kissing Pippa's forehead.

"Can I ask Claire to do my hair tomorrow Mummy?" Pippa then asked as Ricky came out with a small case. "Bye Daddy," she went to give him a hug.

As they got into the taxi and Pippa waved to them, they had no idea how events were going to turn out and Cate would never see her daughter alive again and that her husband would be partly responsible.

Alec had been looking forward to meeting Daisy in the town then she was going to visit his apartment for a few hours, just to see if she felt like staying over next time. Tess was giving the almost teenager a lecture not to be so hasty in making her mind up.

"Mum, he's been asking me for weeks now," Daisy was telling Tess on the way. "I still don't know why he had to move out though. Can't you two get on?"

"Daisy, we've tried but your dad insisted he moved out," Tess was trying to steer the blame away from herself. "Don't worry, I made him promise he’ll take you to Rose Tyler's wedding."

"I hope he won't let me down at the last minute Mum, he'd better not find something else to do," Daisy replied.

"I'll make sure you get there," Tess promised.

"I want him to see me in my bridesmaid's dress Mum. They look gorgeous on the website," Daisy was getting excited.

"Well, they could look different in real life," Tess warned her as they approached where Alec was waiting.

Daisy greeted Alec, then they went to look around the shopping centre and get something to eat.

"So, how are you getting on at school?" Alec was asking, running out of things to say.

"Fine Dad. I'm glad that wedding's during the holidays, I'm going to need time to recover," she told him.

"It's only a wedding Daisy," he replied, getting tired of hearing about it already and it was weeks away.

Why had he promised he'd still take her? Tess was quite capable of going on her own, weddings were more her thing than his. It was Daisy who would get all the attention, he and Tess would be seated somewhere with other guests the couple had invited, they wouldn't get to sit with family and close friends. Then they had to endure the formal evening reception, Daisy had been told that was only for special guests which even the other bridesmaids weren't invited to.

Why had his daughter have to be picked to be the head bridesmaid? Well he hoped the bride and groom wouldn't pay him and Tess much attention but knowing Tess, she would throw herself into it just to show him up.

Chapter 10

Just about a month to go to Rose's wedding and the news had come through on the radio – two young cousins had gone missing in the town of Sandbrook. It had now been going on for weeks and Alec still suspected the next door neighbours. He'd discovered the Ashworths rented the house from Ricky Gillespie, the youngest girl's father and Alec wondered if there had been a fallout and it was some sort of retaliation.

Tess also thought Claire was involved as well.

"Well, you wouldn't think she was involved Alec," Tess had told him when they were getting nowhere fast.

"Think about it Tess," he replied, taking his specs off that he'd taken to wearing more, since he had a permanent headache. "I told you, something is not right about those two. Maybe Lee Ashworth waited until his wife was out then he went too far and the girls ran off? He went after them, chased them through the woods and Pippa fell in the river?"

"Alec, that's another different version of events," Tess reminded him.

"Well you think of another scenario then," he invited her.

Tess shook her head.

"Don't you go forgetting we leave for London on Friday afternoon," she added.

"I know but why do you need me to go?" he wanted to know, still determined to get out of it if he could.

He was tired of seeing magazines and newspaper supplements lying around with Rose and Jamie's faces on the front and Tess was hoarding those with pictures of the bridesmaids on them. Her colleagues knew of her split with Alec and not said anything about it except the women were on her side and the males were patting Alec on the back and saying hard luck.

Rose had heard who was leading the investigation and had sent a text to poor Daisy, asking if she would still be attending the wedding. Daisy had replied she wouldn't miss it for anything, much to Rose's relief. Then Rose was fussing around, driving Jamie crazy that he had to go to work to get away. He loved her, he had no doubts about getting married but it was getting a bit too much when he got home and she'd changed her mind about something.

"Rose, sweetheart, will you please calm down?" he tried to tell her when there were only a few days to the wedding. "There's nothing else to do. Tell you what, why don't you go visit that spa you like tomorrow?" he suggested. "You'll feel more relaxed love for the big day."

"Yeah, maybe you're right?" Rose had to agree. "Everything's at mum's now and no, you're not seeing my wedding dress," she smiled at the thought of him sneaking in their room at the mansion and trying to find where she'd hung it up.

"I'm sure I can wait a few more days love," he replied as they ate breakfast. "I might take the day off to do a few things, just adding a few touches and a surprise for you."

"Aw, ya don't have to surprise me Jamie," she leaned over to take his hand.

"I'm the luckiest guy in this universe, marrying Rose Tyler," he grinned back.

"You're such a softie Jamie," she replied. "Remember, ya have to promise ya won't pick a fight at the wedding with every male who wants to kiss the bride," she teased him.

"I will try not to love but it won't be easy," he tried to be serious.

In the back of his mind, he was dreading it, having to shake hands with the men and watch them either kiss her cheek, which was just about bearable or kiss her on the lips. That was why Jake was his best man, to pull him back if he thought someone was taking a bit longer than the others.

There had been a few incidents of his jealousy but he'd not hit or threatened anyone. He had stormed off, leaving new Torchwood agents puzzled as to his behaviour and that was due to him overhearing them in the canteen talking about seeing her in a magazine.

Jake had told him to get used to it over the coming weeks leading up to the wedding. He was getting worried Jamie would do something stupid at the wedding reception and hoped he was worrying over nothing. They had gone to get their suits for the big day, Jake choosing a modern grey suit but they had all refused to wear tall hats.

Jackie had finally chosen her mother of the bride outfit, a light mauve shiny material jacket and long skirt and a blouse with a matching hat with big feathers. Rose had been there earlier and Jackie had modelled it for her.

"It looks great Mum, honestly," Rose had tried to assure Jackie.

"I hope no-one else is wearing the same colour," Jackie was worried, making Rose smile at the thought of clashing outfits.

"Mum, all the women will be wanting to know where you got the outfit, you'll be setting a trend," she laughed.

"Well it's not about me, is it? It's your big day sweetheart. You two look so happy together," Jackie replied. "What time are you coming over on Friday?"

"Probably before lunch, we have the head bridesmaid arriving, she has to try on her dress," Rose replied. "I should call them and see what time they're arriving. I feel so sorry for her parents, having to deal with that poor girl's death."

"Well no-one had better mention it to them," Jackie replied.

"Jamie suggested I go off to the spa tomorrow, to try and wind down. Why don't ya come with me?" Rose suggested.

"I don't know Rose, the house has to be decorated," Jackie was reluctant to agree.

"Mum, let the staff deal with it," Rose insisted. "Take some time off and relax."

Jackie reluctantly agreed and the next morning, they got Pete's driver to drive them out of the city to a country spa Rose had found online. Jamie had dropped Rose off at the mansion before going to work, telling her it was his treat as he wanted her to be nice and relaxed for the wedding .

"Have a good day out love," he had told her as she kissed his cheek before getting out of his fancy sports car.

"Aw, thanks for paying for it babe," she smiled at him. "You do know I'm getting butterflies in my tummy, the wedding being so near?"

"Yeah? Me too," he admitted in a voice that reminded Rose of the Doctor's when he got excited. "See you tonight love, I won't be late home, it's going to be our last night, before I make you my wife."

"Nothing's gonna change Jamie," Rose reminded him.

"I wasn't saying it was love but maybe more exciting eh?" he hinted. "You promised to give in to me, remember?"

"I remember," she teased him, kissing his nose. "Ya can't really blame me ya know? I wanted it to be special Jamie, we both have never really committed ourselves to anyone before."

"I know that Rose, it will be special, on our wedding night, or morning, depending when the evening reception finishes, knowing your mother," he laughed.

"Well that depends when the guests wanna leave as well," Rose replied. "They'll be a few guests staying over as well, including my head bridesmaid's family. I bet she's getting really excited."

"Yes, I can imagine love, she'll be more nervous than you," Jamie laughed as he could see Jackie at one of the windows. "Sure you don't want to sneak off early and book into a hotel?"

"No, it's best we stay there, then we won't have our luggage to move twice," Rose reminded him.

He went off, hoping Rose had nerves for all the right reasons and not that she was going to change her mind.

So Rose and Jackie had a nice day out, being picked up at four, Rose going in with Jackie to see Tony.

"You smell funny Rose," Tony joked with her. "So do you Mum."

"Come here you little rascal," Rose pretended to chase him. "Have you been practising holding that ring cushion like dad showed ya?"

Tony nodded his head, a big grin on his face.

"Yep, I'm really good at it," he told her proudly. "Dad even put two rings on it to help me, I never dropped them, did I Mum?" he asked Jackie.

"Great, Jamie will be happy about that. Well, see ya tomorrow Tony, we'll be over early to get ready for the party," Rose told him.

"Can I stay up then Mum?" Tony wanted to know.

"We'll see then but ya have to be up early on Saturday morning to get ready for the wedding," she agreed.

"Jamie will help me, won't he Rose?" Tony looked at her.

"Yeah, 'course he will," she smiled. "I have to go now, Mum, see ya tomorrow."

"What's Jamie decided?" Jackie asked as they walked out.

"Well we're staying here after the wedding," Rose told her. "I think he'll take one of the guest rooms tomorrow night, then he can drink all he wants at the party."

"He'd better be in a fit state to marry you," Jackie had to laugh.

When Jamie had got to work, Jake had lured him up to the staff cafeteria when Pete had given permission for them to put banners with 'Rose and Jamie' on them with wedding rings and other decorative items all over the place. Instead of individual presents, there was one large one, that Jake had been in charge of looking after in his security office and it had been taken up that morning.

So, Jake and Jamie were on their way to the top of the building and most people had already gathered for their lunch break, being told to act as normal in the memo that had gone around the building.

"Okay Jake, what do you want to talk to me about?" Jamie was getting suspicious already.

"My best man's speech, what do ya think?" Jake laughed, having slowed down the lift before he'd called for Jamie. "Anything you want me to add or avoid?"

"Just don't say anything embarrassing," Jamie replied, looking at the floor numbers. "What's wrong with this lift, isn't it the express one?"

"I'll take a look later, might need adjusting again," Jake tried to throw Jamie off.

When they got out of the lift, other employees were getting out of one of the lifts opposite, acting normally but as Jake pushed open the double doors, everyone stopped what they were doing and shouted 'Surprise!' at Jamie as Jake stepped to one side and started cheering.

Jamie was thrown off and ran his fingers through his hair then as they continued, he tried to motion for them to stop with one hand and raised his other.

"Thank you, everyone," he managed to say, looking at Jake. "I knew you were up to something, this has you written all over it Jake," he laughed as everyone went quiet, except for the staff behind the counters and in the kitchen area.

"Ya got me," Jake was laughing. "Shame we never got Rose here but Pete said you packed her and Jackie off to a spa for the day."

Everyone joined in the laughter. Then Pete had joined them, standing behind Jamie and put his hand on Jamie's shoulder.

"Yeah, nice one Jamie," Pete laughed. "How could I have told Rose and her mother not to go? Jackie was looking forward to it."

"Sorry about that Pete, I had no idea Jake had organised this. I suppose if he'd told Rose, she would have been bound to let it slip," Jamie replied.

"Well, since you two never have secrets between you, probably," Pete replied. "Well with you not being here tomorrow, we had to plan this in a hurry so on behalf of Torchwood staff and agents, everyone wants to wish you and Rose all the happiness in the world. It seems deciding to employ you before Rose even joined us, was the best thing I ever did."

"Thanks Pete, I really appreciate that. She even forgave me for thinking she was my assistant when we first met," Jamie admitted as everyone laughed. "You and her mother have always been family to me since Rose and I started our relationship and you both accepted me. I want you to know how much I love Rose and that I intend to keep her as happy as she's been ever since we saw each other."

"Well after what happened before she met you, she certainly changed that day she came to work here. Her mother and myself thought she would never settle down," Pete admitted. "Anyway, over to you Jake, this was your idea," he laughed again.

"Hey, don't blame it all on me Boss," Jake laughed. "I had some help from maintenance, who slowed the express lift and made sure no-one used it while I went to get the victim, sorry I mean the groom."

Everyone began laughing again as Jake went over to where the large present had been carefully wrapped with several rolls of silver and wedding paper with rings and champagne glasses all over it, a big red bow on the top that two secretaries had been working on all morning. Jamie was scratching his head, wondering if it was dozens of smaller boxes inside a large one.

"No Jamie, it's not something in disguise," Jake knew what he was thinking. "I heard ya saying that when you got married, you'd still go out as often as ya already did and that Rose would probably have other ideas about it. Well, what's under this wrapping paper may help with that. Don't worry, I'll have it delivered to your place."

"So we have to open it when we get back from our honeymoon?" Jamie asked.

"That was the idea," Pete told him, his hand on Jamie's shoulder again. "You can explain it to Rose."

"Ya are kidding?" Rose laughed when he got home and told her he'd been hi-jacked by Jake at lunchtime.

"No I'm not, he had it well planned," Jamie told her. "You should see the size of the present someone had the job of wrapping up. Jake's having it delivered so you'd best arrange it with him."

"He'll probably ring me in the morning," Rose replied. "Well, wanna see how good I smell after that spa treatment?"

"You know I can't resist you after one of those love," he grinned. "You would have been better going tomorrow I suppose?"

"We've too much to do tomorrow Jamie and besides, for what the treatment cost, you'll still be able to smell it on me by Saturday," she teased him.

"I'll be checking love, don't worry," he teased her back. "It will be worth every penny."

Over in Sandbrook, Daisy Hardy was driving her mother crazy.

"I wish it was already tomorrow Mum," she was telling Tess. "You are taking the day off?"

"Yes, of course I am but your father is working in the morning," Tess told the anxious teenager.

"I won't forgive him if he's late picking us up," Daisy huffed, folding her arms.

"Don't worry, he'll be here and if not, we'll go on our own," Tess promised.

"I want him to be there Mum, he can do this one thing for me, can't he? I mean it will the best day of my life, being Rose Tyler's bridesmaid and actually getting to stay there," she told her mother.

Tess shook her head. Just let Alec let his daughter down, she would be so mad at him. She called him to make sure he wasn't going to try and get out of it.

"Yes, I said I would be there Tess," Alec reminded her. "I know she's excited about it, I only agreed to keep her happy. I'm not one for weddings."

"Yes, I know," Tess replied, after he'd failed to go to her cousin's wedding a while back and she'd had to make excuses for his absence.

"I don't know why we have to go tomorrow though?" he questioned her.

"Alec, it's part of the prize, meeting her and her family plus we're invited to the party that they're having with just friends," Tess told him.

Alec was dreading it, he wasn't big on parties either. He couldn't bring himself to spoil his daughter's day but he wished Rose Tyler had been more mindful of what teenage girls were like about their idols. Didn't the woman have enough friends and relatives to be bridesmaids? He'd overheard Daisy telling Tess that Rose had come from a council estate before Pete Tyler had met her mother.

The next day, Alec worked a few hours though the chief was ordering the case was losing the extra backing and they should concentrate on the next door neighbours. Alec had told him Lee Ashworth now had an alibi, even though the man's wife seemed equally guilty. They had been talking when Alec had arrived.

"What are your plans for the weekend Alec?" the chief had wanted to know.

"Going somewhere with Tess and Daisy," Alec replied, thinking he was probably going to be asked to take charge over the holiday.

"You, going with Tess?" the chief had to laugh.

"It's more for Daisy, she's being a bridesmaid," Alec replied, not wanting to give too many details.

"Oh, the one Tess was on about?" the chief wondered. "Wasn't that the wedding of the Vitex heiress?"

"Did she tell the whole bloody station?" Alec was annoyed Tess couldn't keep her big mouth shut.

"Too late Alec," the chief patted Alec's shoulder. "I was going to ask if you could take charge if anything happens over the weekend though? I'll have to ask Harris I suppose?"

"Daisy won't ever forgive me if I don't go with her," Alec replied. "I don't really want to go."

"Never mind, they'll be plenty of booze," the chief assured him. "What's with you going to a wedding though? Tess complained you wouldn't go with her to one a while back."

"Never mind that, I have paperwork to finish before I go," Alec told him.

"Well, next time, maybe you will want rescuing?" the chief laughed.

Alec finished on time and set off to pick up Tess and Daisy. His case was in the back of the car, containing his best suit, dress shirt and clothes for before and after and the party. He thought he may as well be going for a week. Daisy had talked Tess into getting a new dress for the party so Tess had treated herself at the same time.

Alec set the car's navigation system with the address Daisy had been given and he'd been told by Tess to show the invitation if anyone was on the gate when they arrived. At the Tyler mansion, Jamie was keeping Tony occupied while things were being set up for the party that evening.

Jake was organising a security detail, having put someone on the gate to direct any deliveries to the marquee that had been set up and the kitchen door around the back of the house. Rose was inspecting the decorations in the large marquee.

"Is everything to your satisfaction Miss Tyler?" the head of the catering staff was asking her. "Of course, the staff will be in their uniforms at the event itself."

"Yeah, it looks really nice. So while everyone's outside taking photos and stuff, the tables will be brought out and the chairs moved?" she wanted to know.

"Yes Miss Tyler, we have had full instructions from your mother," she was told. "Any last minute instructions?"

"Not that I can think of," Rose had to admit. "You've all done a great job."

"Thank you. Now I will see how the others are getting on for this evening's party, if you will excuse me?"

Rose let him go and sat on one of the chairs on the last row, looking around her. In twenty four hours or so, the place would be full of people watching her marry Jamie. He was the love of her new life here when she had been so miserable after coming back from seeing the Doctor on that beach. She had gone up there, so full of hope he'd found a way of getting her back and then Mickey had opened his big mouth on the way back.

She got up and went outside, seeing that a car had stopped at the gate and one of Jake's men was leaning towards the driver's window.

"We are expected," Alec had told the man, being handed the card by Tess. "My daughter is the head bridesmaid."

"I was told to expect you, drive towards the house, someone will show you where to park," Alec was told.

Daisy was peering through the windscreen.

"Wow, look at the size of this place," she gasped.

"What did you expect?" Tess asked her. "Remember your manners when you meet Rose and her family."

Alec raised his eyebrows, hoping Tess would remember hers and their agreement that she and Daisy would share a room and he'd get the other room.

Rose had waited to see who was in the car and was half expecting it to be her head bridesmaid and was looking forward to meeting her and the two lead detectives in a murder investigation. She had been following the case in the news and nothing appeared to be happening at present.

She caught up with the car as Alec was guided into the large garage on its own at the side of the house.

"Hi. You must be the Hardys then?" she asked Alec as he got out first, holding her hand out.

"Alec, nice to meet you Miss Tyler," he replied going to shake her hand.

Rose shuddered for a second as it felt like the Doctor's had done. Who on Earth was her bridesmaid's father?

Chapter 11

Alec had felt something as well but recovered faster than Rose did, thinking it just seemed Rose's hand fit perfectly in his. He was aware Daisy was getting out of the car behind him and Tess taking her time around the passenger side.

"Ah, my daughter, Daisy," Alec felt Daisy put her arm in his.

"Hi, nice to finally see ya," Rose greeted the teenager.

"I thought I'd never get here," Daisy was all excited. "This place is enormous," she glanced behind her at the mansion.

"Yeah, I still get lost sometimes," Rose laughed as Tess approached.

"Nice to meet you Miss Tyler," Tess came forward, feeling left out and Alec was still staring at Rose.

Tess knew she was going to have more trouble with him than Daisy, he wasn't going to be giving her any attention, it was all on the bride to be. Maybe the Vitex heiress would mistake him for the groom, if Alec was actually going to shave for the actual wedding.

"Well, come inside then, I was just looking at the marquee," Rose tore her glance away from Alec. "Someone will get your luggage for ya. Your dress is in your room Daisy, try it on and if there's any problems, we can get them sorted. Come down to the kitchen when you're all ready, we'll be having afternoon tea soon, before the party."

Alec handed his car key to one of the male staff who had come out and followed the others inside, Daisy still staring at the open reception area and the ornate staircase. He decided Tess could explain their sleeping arrangements, there was no way he was sleeping in the same room just to keep up the illusion they were still married.

Tess held Alec back before following their luggage upstairs.

"I'll get Daisy's dress out of the room meant for her," she told him.

"Fine Tess, we may as well admit our arrangement," Alec replied as he went off, seeing Rose disappear around a corner.

"I saw the way you looked at her Alec, she's getting married tomorrow, that's why we're here," Tess reminded him.

Alec wasn't about to admit it so he went upstairs after Daisy, who was waiting for them.

"I think I'll get lost around here Dad," Daisy admitted.

"Don't go wandering into the wrong room," Alec warned her. "We don't know if anyone else has been invited to stay over who's invited to the party tonight."

"She will be with me," Tess reminded him. "We won't be staying up too late anyway."

Alec thought that was a good one for her, she was always hanging on until the last minute if they'd been invited anywhere. It was like she was afraid of missing something. Then he'd realised she was just delaying going home because she was seeing Dave.

Rose had caught up with Jamie and they'd gone into the conservatory.

"Hey, getting the wedding jitters yet?" Rose teased him as they sat on the wicker sofa.

"Rose, I don't get the jitters, as you call it," Jamie insisted. "Why are we hiding away?"

"Because mum will drive us nuts if we show up early for tea," Rose told him.

"Ah, good point then," Jamie laughed as he sneaked a kiss. "Well, this is it."

"Yeah, just think," Rose had a big grin on her face. "At least my head bridesmaid arrived, I hope the others do."

"Don't worry Rose, what teenage girl wouldn't kill to have got such an honour?" he reminded her.

"Do ya know what's sad though?" Rose asked him. "The girl who got killed, I'm sure she was the one whose mother refused to let her be one of the bridesmaids. I'm pretty sure she was, we thought it funny Daisy came from the same town."

"Sorry love," Jamie sympathised, knowing all the trouble she'd gone to just to select three girls out of all those readers of that magazine.

"I hope her mother doesn't remember," Rose told him, their arms around each other.

"I wouldn't have thought so," Jamie agreed.

Cate Gillespie had remembered that she'd banned Pippa from entering that competition, then she'd found out Lisa had helped her. Ricky had wanted to know what was wrong that same morning, though he was on the verge of moving out.

"Out with it Cate, you've been acting funny the last few days. Do you know something I don't?" he'd asked before going off to work.

"How can you go to work Ricky, when Lisa's still missing?" she wanted to know. "Do you think they'd still be here if we'd not gone to that wedding?"

"I don't know Cate," he told her.

Would they have still gone next door and would he have still caught Lisa having sex with Lee? He might not have lashed out and killed Lisa by accident and would have taken Pippa home instead of leaving Claire to deal with her. He knew Claire and Lee had killed her, despite what they'd said.

"Where did you get to all that night?" Cate suddenly asked him. "I never saw you."

"You were in no state to see anyone Cate," Ricky replied. "I was there."

"You can't prove that," Cate told him.

"Don't be stupid Cate, the police have already asked you where I was, you said I was with you," he reminded her.

"What was I supposed to tell them?" Cate wanted to know. "That you were probably off chasing one of the guests or bridesmaids? I saw you sneaking that flask of yours to the wedding."

"How would you know what I was doing that night?" he replied. "Why didn't you call Lisa and made sure she hadn't taken Pippa next door?"

"She still wouldn't have taken any notice," Cate insisted. "If she wanted to see Lee, she wouldn't have left Pippa on her own, you know she was devoted to Pippa. No, she would have taken Pippa with her, probably put her into their spare room, if Claire had been out."

"Didn't Claire tell the police she was in all night?" Ricky remembered Tess saying something about it.

"I thought I could trust her, so what the hell happened Ricky?" Cate asked, filling her glass again.

"Well the police aren't doing much now," Ricky reminded her. "I heard Tess say something about going to a wedding this weekend."

"Well it's hardly likely to be that Rose Tyler's wedding," Cate laughed. Then she went serious. "Ricky, Pippa would have been going to it if I'd not stopped her."

"What?" Ricky stopped what he was doing. "Why would Pippa have been going? What did Lisa put in her head?"

"It wasn't Lisa, not at first. There was a competition in that magazine she used to get Lisa to buy her. It was to be one of Rose Tyler's bridesmaids," Cate started to tell him. "She went behind my back and got Lisa to sign for her and she won. I got a call a while back and I went crazy about it and said Pippa couldn't go."

"Why did you never tell me?" Ricky wanted to know.

"Would you have been bothered?" Cate replied. "We'd have been invited as well but I was so annoyed about Lisa pretending to be me."

"Why was there even a competition, can't Rose Tyler even get her own bridesmaids?" Ricky asked. "Pippa never even mentioned it to me."

"Would you have let her go?" Cate looked at him.

"Maybe not, if you'd already said no," Ricky replied.

"You always gave in when I said no," Cate reminded him.

"Does it matter now?" Ricky was getting annoyed.

"Maybe it would have made a big difference if I'd let her go to that wedding?" Cate wondered as she took a sip from the glass.

"We'll never know, will we?" Ricky told her as he left her to drown her sorrows again.

He went outside just as Claire was coming out of next door.

"Ricky," she called to him.

"What do you want Claire?" he asked, not wanting to talk to her.

"Have you been told anything else?" Claire wanted to know.

"Why would we when Lee's still free?" Ricky snapped.

"I told you what happened," Claire reminded him.

"Do you know how hard it is, telling the police I have no idea who left Pippa in the woods?" he asked her. "I could have talked to her, got her to believe she was dreaming it."

"How could you be so sure?" Claire asked him. "It was your idea to give her that stuff anyway."

"Stay away from us Claire," he warned her.

Claire watched him drive off, just as Lee was coming out.

"What was wrong with you last night?' Lee complained.

"I was feeling off," Claire used the excuse.

"Not another monthly? I swear you have two every month. You're not pregnant are you?"

"What? You must be joking Lee, you were more into borrowing kids than having your own," she replied.

"I was joking Claire," he grinned. "Don't have that female detective asking you questions when I'm not there," Lee reminded her.

"I can't help it if she keeps coming into the salon," Claire reminded him. "You never know, she might be having some time off. I remember Pippa was all excited about that big celebrity wedding, it's this weekend."

"So it's being televised," Lee joked.

"No, Pippa wanted to be a bridesmaid, I bet she would have won as well, it Cate hadn't been so mean not letting her," Claire replied.

"How do you know Pippa didn't enter?" Lee asked. "Maybe the detective's girl entered and she won? That would get them away for the weekend."

"You wish," Claire laughed as she got into the car.

"Who said I was giving you a lift?" Lee turned serious.

He did remember Cate mentioning it a while ago, how was he supposed to know when it was?

Daisy was trying her dress on after they'd finished their afternoon tea, seeing Rose and her family weren't stuck up at all and Alec noticing how much attention the groom was giving the bride to be that he dare not even look at her for more than a second.

He didn't even know what had come over him. He was left in the dining room with Pete, Jamie and Tony as the ladies went off.

"You both look like each other," Tony laughed as he went to sit on Jamie's lap. "Jamie's gonna be my new big brother, aren't you Jamie," he glanced up as Jamie ruffled his hair.

"You seem very happy about that," Alec told the boy. "Are you going to be a pageboy?"

"Nope, I get to hold the rings," Tony beamed. "Jamie, did Rose tell you how good I was at it?"

"Sure she did sport," Jamie replied. "We're both proud of you."

"Want to play with my race track?" Tony then asked Jamie.

"Tony, don't be rude, we have guests," Pete reminded him.

"Rose will be ages," Tony laughed. "Want to come with us?" he asked Pete then Alec.

"No, you go ahead, I have to call Jake about the final security arrangements for tomorrow," Pete told them. "That's if you don't mind Alec?"

"Sure, lead the way Tony," Alec replied, not wanting to be left on his own, the women were bound to take their time discussing dresses.

Jamie wasn't sure about Alec. Not only did they look alike apart from Alec's beard and their hairstyles but he was sure the detective was looking at Rose a bit more than he should be. No, he had to forget about it, Rose was just being friendly to the whole Hardy family. She had answered all the questions her head bridesmaid had thrown at her and Alec had been paying attention but that was all.

Rose was right, he couldn't pick a fight with every male who lined up to kiss the bride after the wedding tomorrow. Tomorrow, Rose would be all his and she would finally be giving in to him. He'd agreed they would wait for their wedding night and had bought her a very special present of expensive lingerie and matching nightwear made of pure satin and lace. He couldn't wait to see her in it and hoped she'd allow him to take photos of her wearing it.

Jackie was fussing over Daisy's bridesmaid's dress and Tess was trying to stop herself taking over. She wanted to find fault with the mother of the bride but hadn't managed it yet.

"Do I look okay?" Daisy asked Tess then turned to Rose and Jackie.

"You look lovely," Rose smiled. "Tess, can I talk to you a minute?"

Leaving Daisy and Jackie, Rose closed the room door.

"That girl who was killed, I'm sure she was almost chosen to be one of my bridesmaids," she admitted.

"Oh. Her mother never mentioned it," Tess replied.

"Well maybe she wanted to forget about it, under the circumstances," Rose told Tess. "The magazine editor rang Pippa's mother and Pippa hadn't got her permission to enter. Someone else must have signed for her."

"It was probably her cousin, they were very close," Tess revealed.

"Oh. You don't think that was anything to do with what happened?" Rose was horrified. "I mean, maybe Pippa was going to run away because the wedding was getting nearer and she wouldn't be attending."

"Rose, it's not your fault," Tess tried to tell her. "Don't think that. Things were complicated in that family, trust me."

"Well it just occurred to me, when I heard the news, that it was the same girl. Things have been really hectic," Rose admitted. "Tess, if there's anything I can do, please let me know. Will you give the girl's mother my best wishes and tell her I'm so sorry for her loss?"

"Of course I will, though whether she remembers or not," Tess replied.

"When you catch who's responsible, will you let me know when Pippa's funeral is?" Rose asked. "So I can send flowers."

"I will, I promise. We're getting new leads all the time," Tess told her. "Don't blame yourself, we have a pretty good idea what happened. Her cousin wouldn't have let Pippa run away."

"I can't imagine what the family are going through," Rose added. "What about Lisa's family?"

"They're split up, we're doing everything we can to find Lisa and we're keeping her mother updated," Tess replied. wondering why she was discussing the case with Rose.

"Don't say anything to your husband, will ya?" Rose then smiled. "I don't want him thinking bad of me for Pippa being out of the contest."

"He won't and besides, we don't talk much outside of work, we're separated," Tess admitted.

Why was she telling Rose all this? Rose reached out and put her hand on Tess's arm.

"Sorry to hear that Tess. How's Daisy taken it?" Rose sympathised.

"Fairly well, so far," Tess admitted. "We're just keeping up appearances, we both promised we'd see her be your bridesmaid."

"She'll wonder where we've got to," Rose smiled, putting her arm in Tess's.

Tony was leading Alec and Jamie into the large attic that had his race track and train set spread all around. He'd wanted more track but Pete was running out of places to expand so some careful planning had to take place. As they reached the first floor landing and crossing to the attic stairs, Alec had seen Rose and Tess talking, then Rose link her arm with Tess's.

They seemed to be getting on well, maybe it was just him Tess didn't get on with then? Who would have thought Tess would make friends with the bride? He himself couldn't find fault with the would-be groom, Rose's younger brother seemed to idolise him but the way Rose looked at Jamie, he felt slightly jealous.

He had to get any ideas out of his head for tomorrow or he'd be the head of the queue waiting to kiss the bride and would probably get a warning from her new husband. Maybe it would be worth it? After Tony had gone to bed, he bumped into Tess as he was going back downstairs, Jamie telling him to join the party just after seven thirty.

Tess had been to get changed but Daisy hadn't wanted to wait for her and had already gone.

"What did you and Rose Tyler find to talk about?" Alec wanted to know. "Did you let Daisy go down on her own?"

"Stop all the questions Alec," Tess warned him. "We were just talking, mostly about Daisy," she bluffed.

She wasn't going to bother telling him about Pippa almost being a bridesmaid. If she'd been allowed to attend, maybe she wouldn't have got herself killed. Alec wouldn't be interested anyway, it had no bearing on the case now.

"You were the one who didn't want to come," she reminded him.

"We could have set off early tomorrow," Alec huffed. "All the other guests arrive then."

"I told you Alec, it was part of Daisy's prize, don't go spoiling it for her."

He shook his head and followed her downstairs, looking around and seeing people standing in the reception area holding drinks and a few serving staff going around. It made him shiver involuntary, wondering what had brought on the vision of the Cybermen going around electrocuting everyone.

It had been a long time since those monsters had made their escape and nobody had been bothered how they'd disappeared. He'd never been here before in his life so how could he picture the scenario? The other question was, how had he also seen Rose standing in a waitress uniform for just a moment, standing next to a man who look like himself all that time ago. No, he was certain where he'd been that night – on duty and waiting for any reports the Cybermen were going to invade outside London when they'd been put on alert.

The police in London were trying to cope with widespread reports all over the capital as word had got out. He shook the thoughts from his mind when he saw Rose, in a light blue evening dress holding onto Jamie's arm as he was talking to someone. Was she even aware what effect she had on men? More importantly, what effect she had on him and he had no business letting her get to him.

He took a glass of champagne from a passing waiter and looked around for Daisy, seeing Tess had found her so he thought he'd catch up with his daughter later. Then Rose, who had got tired of Jamie talking to a friend of Pete's and was walking around called him from behind.

"Hi, glad you could join us," she told him.

Had she thought he'd declined to attend, he wondered.

"I thought this was a small party?" he asked her.

"This is small, compared to one of my mother's usual ones," Rose laughed. "You have a great daughter Alec, she's lovely. Wait until you see her in her dress tomorrow, you'll be really proud of her."

"I'm sure I will," Alec agreed. "You seemed to have lost your fiancé," he nodded to where Jamie was still in conversation.

"Sheesh, he'll be there all night, trust me," Rose smiled from behind her glass as she took a drink. "No-one can talk like he can. He's worse than a friend of mine used to be."

Rose had looked around to see if Mickey had decided to attend, she'd made sure he'd got an invitation to both events. She had told her mother she could at least invite him to the wedding, then it was up to him.

Alec wondered if the man would miss her if she wandered off. Who was he kidding, why would she wander off? Her mother was probably keeping an eye on her.

"Can I ask something?" Rose interrupted his thoughts. "It's just Jamie won't have a lot of people sitting on his side tomorrow. Would ya tell whoever's doing the seating you're on the groom's side? That's if ya don't mind?"

"Sure, I would not mind what side we sit on," Alec replied, hoping Tess would go sit on Rose's side.

"Aw, thanks. Tess told me you're separated, sorry," Rose replied.

"She did?" Alec asked, a bit surprised. "Ah, I saw you both talking earlier. I was on my way to play on your brother's racetrack."

"He roped ya in then?" Rose thought it was amusing. "He gets Jamie every time. He thinks the world of Tony and Tony him, they're already like brothers. Jamie grew up on his own and he lost his parents when he was a teenager. He went to live with relatives and he started being interested in alien stuff. It took his mind off it."

"I'm sorry to hear that," Alec told her. "I also grew up on my own, my parents used to argue a lot, even on holiday. I remember one year, we travelled all the way down to the south-west coast for a camping holiday and I used to hide away under the cliffs. I could never remember the name of the place," he admitted.

"Maybe ya might remember one day," Rose smiled. "Ya might even visit it again."

"Ah, I have to find out who killed that young girl first," Alec replied.

"Yeah, it was sad. I hope ya catch the person Alec," Rose told him. "Ah, looks like I might have got Jamie back? The other bloke must have run out of conversation, it wouldn't have been Jamie who ended it."

"It was nice talking to you Rose, all the best for tomorrow," Alec replied as Jamie joined them.

"There you are sweetheart," Jamie greeted her by kissing her cheek. "Blimey, we look a lot alike. Rose, don't walk off with the wrong one tomorrow will you?"

"No chance," Rose laughed as she looped her free arm in Jamie's. "I was just telling Alec his daughter's lovely, she looks great in her dress."

"Excuse us Alec, Rose owes me a dance. Come on sweetheart," Jamie told her as Alec heard music from another room.

"Bye Alec, enjoy the party," Rose told him as Jamie was about to lead her off. "I hope we can have a dance at the wedding."

Alec watched them walk off, arm in arm and felt even more jealous. How was he going to survive tomorrow? Now, he wished Daisy had never entered that contest and Tess actually agree to let her.

"Something wrong Alec?" Tess asked as she joined him.

"No, why should there be?" Alec replied. "Where's Daisy?"

"Talking to that blonde man over there but she's barking up the wrong tree," Tess was actually smiling.

Chapter 12

Somehow, Alec managed to survive the rest of the evening. Tess was showing off, as he knew she would, given such a large audience.

"Oh, you've just got married then?" he heard her ask someone with a Welsh accent. "My daughter's the head bridesmaid, she's over there," Tess nodded to where Daisy was sitting near the DJ, probably hoping the blonde haired man was going to ask her to dance.

Well he knew that was never going to happen and she'd be upset tomorrow after the wedding. He went to stand at the side of her.

"Come on Daisy, don't waste your time," he urged her.

"Don't know what you mean Dad," she denied.

"Yes, you do. Don't hang around here, go dance," he suggested.

He saw Rose dancing with a group of women now and wondered if he could go steal her away or should he leave it until tomorrow? That was the problem, he'd probably back out tomorrow as well. He knew he would back out of standing in line to kiss the bride or should he give Tess something else to complain about?

"There's no-one to dance with," Daisy reminded him.

"Don't want to dance with me then?" he smiled as the music slowed down a bit.

Daisy rolled her eyes but got up, just to please him.

"You'll find someone more your age to dance with at the wedding," he told her.

"You think so Dad?" Daisy hoped.

"You have a lot to learn Daisy," he smiled back.

"Thanks for bringing me Dad, I guess when I entered, I never really thought I'd get chosen," Daisy admitted as they danced slowly. "I wonder if that poor girl who died entered?"

"I've no idea love, it's not something we would have asked," Alec admitted.

He had a feeling that if Pippa had somehow entered, her mother wouldn't have let her go to it. There was something very strange about Cate Gillespie, like one minute she was saying Pippa was a little angel and the next she wasn't. It was also strange that the Gillespies were making more fuss than Lisa's parents were.

He was glad another division was handling that mainly, since there was no evidence to say Lisa hadn't just gone off somewhere to leave poor Pippa to her fate. Maybe it was no wonder Lisa was hiding after the news. He and Daisy had just gone to sit down again when Tess joined them, Daisy getting up to get more party food.

"I hope you put Daisy right on that man she's been watching?" Tess asked him.

"Of course I did Tess. If he is one of Rose's friends, that will be why he's staying away rather than lead her on," he suggested.

Jamie had finished talking to someone from Torchwood and looked around for Rose, who had seen Daisy and Alec dancing and wished she'd invited some younger people, Daisy must feel out of place. Jake reached her before Jamie did.

"I see you had an audience," Rose smiled.

"Tell me about it," Jake grinned as he saw Jamie approaching. "Be glad it's not Jamie being stared at."

"Who's being stared at?" Jamie asked innocently.

Rose burst out laughing, grabbing hold of him.

"Never mind babe," she laughed, patting his arm. "Poor Daisy's waiting for Jake to dance with her."

"Oh, I get it now," Jamie also laughed.

"Why don't ya go and ask her to dance?" she suggested.

"Me?" Jamie acted surprised, pointing back at himself. "Rose, you know I'm all left feet," he laughed.

"You're a great dancer," Rose encouraged him.

She grabbed hold of him again and dragged him over to where Alec and Daisy were sharing some food, Tess deciding she wasn't going to watch them.

"Hi Daisy," Rose greeted the teenager. "Want to swap partners?"

"Oh, well okay I guess so?" Daisy seemed surprised. "Dad?"

Alec just nodded his head, he was also surprised.

"May I have this dance Daisy?" Jamie then grinned.

They went off to join the others, leaving Alec with nowhere to go.

"Guess that leaves us?" Rose smiled at Alec.

What was she trying to do, Alec wondered as he took her offered hand. Wouldn't her almost husband be getting jealous? Jamie was jealous when he realised Rose meant to dance with Daisy's father. It was bothering him more and more how much they looked alike. He had been joking earlier but he wasn't so sure now.

"So, are you getting nervous now?" Alec was asking Rose as they swayed to the music, Alec now glad it wasn't another slow one.

"Doesn't everyone when their wedding's the next day?" Rose admitted.

"I was more nervous than Tess was, apparently," Alec confessed. "I am not sure if you know but we are almost divorced."

"Oh, sorry," Rose apologised.

"We both promised Daisy we would see her be your bridesmaid," Alec explained, wondering what had made him tell her.

"She seemed really excited when she arrived," Rose smiled. "Oh, if ya need another room, just ask one of the staff."

"It's fine, Daisy and Tess are sharing," Alec assured her. "We did not want to make a fuss over it."

"I promise not to tell my mum," Rose laughed. "Ya should have said though."

"It was of no concern to your family," Alec replied. "Thank you for the dance Rose."

The music stopped and Jamie brought Daisy back to Alec.

"Rose," Jamie went to whisper in her ear. "We should dance with each other the rest of the evening."

"I know. See ya later Daisy, Alec," Rose told them.

Was that the last dance he was going to get with Rose, Alec wondered.

"You look all flustered Dad," Daisy laughed at him.

"What's that supposed to mean?" he wanted to know.

"Like you wanted to dance with her but didn't expect she would," Daisy teased him.

Alec shrugged his shoulders and tried to ignore the fact that Rose was now dancing with Jamie in the middle of the floor and the DJ had turned a spotlight on them and everyone was watching. Jake was leading the cheering as the couple danced to 'Moonlight Serenade', the DJ having been told to bring some 40's tunes with him as they were Rose's favourites.

Jake often wondered if Jamie knew the real reason she liked them so much, having been told by Rose about her dancing around the Tardis with her first Doctor but Pete had told him Rose had refused to tell Jamie anything at all about her travels. All Jamie knew was that Pete had rescued herself and Jackie after following the Cybermen.

"That was fun," Jamie admitted, then saw everyone was cheering them.

"Ha, admit ya took some keeping up with me," Rose laughed.

"If you let me come to your room later, I'll show you how I can keep up with you, Rose Tyler," he waggled his eyebrows at her.

"Ya know the rules babe, mum will kill ya if she catches ya," Rose laughed even more.

"Ah, speaking of whom, where is she?" he looked nervously around the large room that had been cleared earlier for the event.

"Probably putting Tony to bed," Rose replied. "He looked dead beat the last time I saw him."

"Yeah, poor kid!" Jamie agreed, grabbing two drinks from a tray. "He wanted to stay up late."

"Mum won't have let him, we don't want him falling asleep during the wedding," Rose told him.

"So, are we going to sneak off for half an hour?" Jamie asked hopefully.

"Wait until tomorrow Mister," Rose teased him.

"Aw, come on Rose," Jamie tried to get around her.

"Okay, we'll sneak off to the conservatory, I'll go first," Rose agreed.

Jamie gave her a satisfied grin.

"Right then. Thought at first you wanted another dance with that detective," he tried to joke.

Only it wasn't a joke to him, he had really got jealous because Rose had encouraged him to dance with the teenage daughter of the detective in charge of the Sandbrook case. He was certain she'd done so on purpose. Would they have had another dance if he'd not returned the girl? Had Rose planned it that way?

He noticed her slipping away and waited a few moments to see if she was followed. When Alec remained with Daisy, having restrained himself from getting up to see where Rose was going, Jamie thought he was not being observed as the dancing has resumed but he should have known Alec's eyes were on him.

Alec had a strange feeling coming over him as he saw Jamie heading in the same direction. He took a deep breath and tried to put it out of his mind. He couldn't afford to get tangled up in this if the other man accused him of something and they all got thrown out in the morning by Pete Tyler himself.

Daisy would never talk to him again for ruining the best day of her life so far and Tess would at the very least slap his face and made sure everyone knew what had happened. That would further ruin his already tarnished reputation and he may as well quit now or get a transfer to a quiet backwater town where he could hide away until the press went onto something other than the scandal at Rose Tyler's eve of wedding party.

Once in the conservatory, Jamie surprised that Jackie hadn't followed them, they kissed for a good while then Jamie looked down at Rose as she leaned on his shoulder.

"Not long now love, eh?" Jamie reminded her. "Have you got the shivers?"

"Whatcha think?" Rose replied, trying to look up at him.

"Me too," he laughed. "All those preparations going on in the morning. Still it'll keep your mother busy."

"Yeah and you don't have much to do in the morning so why don't you help her by keeping Tony occupied?" Rose suggested.

"You mean go up to her and offer?" Jamie looked shocked.

"Sheesh, you're not still scared of my mum are ya?" Rose laughed.

"What gives me away?" Jamie admitted. "Why don't you suggest it to her?"

"Chicken," Rose laughed at him. "Come on, before she comes looking for us."

They got back to the party and those who lived in London began to say goodnight to the couple, Jake was staying ready to start early in the morning organising security on the main gate and the early guests and service providers. Then, Daisy went up to Rose to thank her.

"Just do everything in the morning that my mum tells ya to do," Rose advised her. "If ya need anything, just ask one of the staff. Breakfast is from eight in the dining room so ya can please yourselves."

Alec stopped himself from asking is she was going to be present but thought maybe she would have breakfast in her room, to avoid the groom seeing her before the wedding. Why was he going to hang around in the morning until the ceremony began? Maybe he should remain in his room, out of Tess's way? She would be far too busy fussing over Daisy's dress since Jackie Tyler would be fussing over Rose.

He followed Tess and Daisy upstairs, Daisy giving him a hug before following her mother and Alec went around the corner, seeing Jamie leaving what he supposed was Rose's room.

"Ah, goodnight Alec," Jamie grinned, like he'd just be caught.

"Goodnight, I promise not to shave in the morning," Alec replied.

"Yeah, don't want the local vicar getting all confused," Jamie laughed.

Jamie patted Alec's shoulder and continued on to the room he was using until the wedding. Alec went in the other direction, past where Jamie had just been. He was slightly surprised when Rose opened her room door, making her jump that he'd stopped.

"Geez, I thought that was Jamie sneakin' around again," Rose admitted, now wearing a robe.

"Ah, just me," Alec told her. "Goodnight again Rose."

"Does being at a wedding make ya feel uncomfortable?" Rose wanted to know.

Was she trying to get him caught out by her mother or Tess by keeping him talking outside her room?

"It should do," Alec replied truthfully. "Don't let me keep you."

"Aw, it's fine, I'm not really tired. Mum insisted me and Jamie stayed apart, he was a bit annoyed about it," Rose admitted. "Sorry about you and Tess though but she seems a bit 'off'."

Alec thought that was an understatement.

"I was the one who filed for divorce. She was having an affair with another detective sergeant. Everyone knew except me at first," he admitted, though he didn't know why he was telling her.

"Well, you're both still talkin' to each other," Rose smiled. "Ya never know, there could be someone out there for ya."

"I am in no hurry," Alec replied. "You should try and get some sleep Rose, it's your big day tomorrow."

"Yeah. It's funny, when me and Jamie first met, we hit it straight off and we knew we were gonna get married," Rose admitted to him. "Night then Alec, I hope we can have another dance at the wedding?"

"Then I will try not to disappoint you," Alec promised.

Rose went back inside and closed her door, Alec standing there for a moment as one of the maids was passing.

"Are you okay Sir?" she asked him. "Are you lost?"

"Ah, no. I was just on my way to my room," Alec replied, hoping there would be no more questions.

"Well, if I can get you anything, just ask," he was told.

He thought no more of what Rose had just said. It seemed impossible to him there could be someone else out there for him, not now he'd actually met Rose Tyler and she was just hours away from getting married – to his double.

Rose thought she'd never get to sleep and would be feeling tired for the wedding but she knew her mother would be up early to check on her. It had already been decided she had breakfast in her room, it would be chaos enough Jackie had said. Besides, Rose wasn't sure it was a good idea for Jamie to see her, she would be nervous enough as it was.

The next morning, the staff already being given instructions, Rose was sat up in bed with a tray, Jamie had tried to get to see her but had been caught by Jackie, who'd had an idea he'd try something.

"Oi you, whatcha doin' tryin' to get into Rose's room?" she had asked him.

"Ah, Jackie? I was just going to see if she was up yet," he gave the excuse.

"Well she should be. I hope you're on your way to get breakfast? The staff don't have time to mess around ya know? They have enough to do once the caterers arrive," she reminded him.

"Would you tell her I was asking about her?" Jamie called after her as Jackie was about to knock on Rose's door.

"He's just as bad as that alien," Jackie mumbled to herself as she entered the room.

"I was just checkin'" Jackie told Rose. "Jamie was creeping around outside."

That made Rose laugh.

"Anyway, I'd best go and check on Tony," Jackie continued.

"Mum, why don't ya get Jamie to look after him?" Rose suggested.

"Yeah, he's only got to get into his wedding suit I suppose? It'll keep both of them out of my way," Jackie agreed. "The bridesmaids have to be supervised as well."

"Their mother's can see to them," Rose reminded her.

That agreed, Rose was left on her own to wait for her hair and nails doing and helped into her dress. Jackie went off to get Tony to tell him he had to behave for Jamie, Jake had been up early and was organising security and Pete was staying out of the way and waiting for the flowers and buttonholes to arrive.

Tess and Daisy were still downstairs when the other bridesmaids arrived and Daisy was soon chatting away to them about the party last night until they went off to get changed. Jamie was now getting Tony into his suit and they were laughing about him trying to do his tie.

"Are you nervous Jamie?" Tony asked innocently.

"Nah," Jamie laughed.

"Bet Rose is," Tony also started laughing.

Jamie was about to ruffle the boy's hair but thought Jackie may shout at him if he did.

Alec had found a quiet spot to keep out of the way, he had wandered into the conservatory and thought he'd be safe enough for now. He could see the large marquee with the flaps open as tables and chairs were being arranged so the while guests were taking photos, everything could be moved easily. He could also see the red carpet being laid and the flowers being arranged.

He had noticed several floral bouquets in the large entranceway but he didn't expect anyone would see them until the evening reception. He knew Tess had brought several outfits with her, she always did to weddings so as not to wear the same thing twice. He wished he didn't have to stay the evening as well, he would never survive at this rate.

Rose had hoped to have some time to herself but her mother had everything arranged so when the beautician had done her nails and a little makeup, the hairdresser arrived at the same time as her mother. She had decided just to have her hair in a few loose curls at the front and bunched up at the back for the wedding, then she was going to let it down later on.

"Rose, when ya've got your dress on, I'll send the photographer up," Jackie reminded her. "I'll have to see where Pete is and if the flowers have arrived."

"Won't he send them up?" Rose replied.

"Yeah, I don't know if I'm coming or going," Jackie laughed. "At least Jamie's watching Tony for me, I hope they're not in the attic playing with that race track though."

"I hope dad's coming up for some of the photos?" Rose was worried. "I never thought that if I ever got married, that I'd have my dad here."

"I know," Jackie agreed. "I can't imagine how Pete feels about it. I mean that he'd ever have a family and be giving his daughter away. Just think Rose, that if we'd never come here?"

"I'd never have met Jamie, would I?" Rose asked her. "I hope he's got over being jealous now."

"He's not done that for a while has he?" Jackie was concerned.

"I don't think so Mum but having that detective here was a bit of a fluke. I mean I didn't know who Daisy's father was when she won the prize."

"It's not your fault Rose, ya weren't to know," her mother assured her. "Jamie will be too busy to even notice."

"I hope you're right Mum. Can ya get me some coffee before I put my dress on?"

"Oh, I'll go myself and check on your dad," Jackie told her. "I hope he's not feeling left out, he'll have plenty to do later."

"I'm sure he won't Mum," Rose replied, checking her nails were dry and the silver sparkles on them were still in place.

Jackie went down the other stairs nearer the kitchen and bumped into Alec as he was leaving the conservatory.

"Crikey, I thought ya were Jamie then," Jackie laughed as he made her jump. "I was gonna tell him to get a shave."

"Ah, Mrs Tyler. I don't believe he had a beard last night," Alec corrected her.

"Well I'm not a bloomin' detective am I?" Jackie complained. "I don't remember."

Alec thought considering the mother of the bride always had a glass in her hand last night whenever he saw her, it was probably not a surprise.

"I've not seen him since breakfast," Alec told her. "Maybe I could look for him?"

"Would ya? Just go upstairs, then up the attic stairs, they're probably playing on Tony's race track," Jackie replied. "Tell Jamie there's only an hour and I want Tony with his dad so he can see if he's still presentable. If ya want a buttonhole, they'll be in the kitchen."

"Thank you. I will go find them both for you," Alec assured her.

Jackie went off, satisfied that at least with Alec being a detective, he'd find who he was looking for easily enough. She went into the kitchen, Pete sat drinking tea so he wouldn't get too stressed with everyone seeing him as the father of the bride.

"Can ya send Rose's flowers up?" Jackie asked him as she leaned on his shoulder and kissed his cheek. "Have the other buttonholes been sent to the marquee?"

She noticed there were only a few left in a box.

"Yeah, Jake took them out, some people are early, taking photos of each other probably," Pete told her. "How's Rose?"

"About to get her dress on," Jackie laughed as one of the maids made coffee for Rose. "Daisy's father's gone to get Jamie and Tony, so they need some buttonholes."

Rose was getting impatient for some coffee so she opened her room door just as Alec was looking for the attic stairs.

"Hi, forgotten something?" Rose smiled at him.

"Ah, I was sent by your mother to find your soon to be husband and your brother," he smiled back. "You look very nice by the way."

"Oh, I'm not getting married in what I'm wearing," Rose teased him.

"I most certainly hope not," Alec corrected himself. "That was not what I meant."

"Gotcha," Rose laughed. "End of the corridor, that's where the attic stairs are, that's where they'll be."

"Thank you Rose. I will see you at the wedding," Alec replied.

He heard footsteps so he went to where Rose had pointed out. He thought it would be her mother but it was Pete as they passed each other, Pete carrying the wedding bouquet.

As Alec went up towards the attic, he thought at least he had seen Rose before her intended husband had on their wedding day. If he wasn't very careful, he may give himself away and spoil not only her day but risk the wrath of Jackie Tyler. He had to keep telling himself Rose was out of bounds but he'd not been able to stop thinking about her since he had arrived here yesterday.

Chapter 13

Pete was a bit surprised seeing Alec Hardy walking away from Rose's room but he himself had used the other stairs. He thought he'd best not ask Rose if she had just seen him so he knocked on her door.

"Dad. I wondered where my flowers had got to," Rose greeted him.

"Most of the guests have arrived I think," Pete replied as he put her mug of coffee down. "It's a nice day out there," he pointed to the window with the curtains still closed.

"I'm not taking any chances there are any photographers climbing trees," Rose laughed. "They could have bypassed Jake's security team."

"He's doubled it, don't worry," Pete tried to assure her. "I'd worry more about the guests selling photos to the magazines."

"Thanks Dad," Rose laughed nervously.

"I think your mother's looking for Tony and Jamie," Pete told her, to see if she had noticed the detective passing by.

"They'll be in Tony's play room," Rose replied. "I suggested to mum that Jamie could keep Tony occupied."

"Ah. Did you tell that to Alec Hardy? He was just heading that way," Pete asked her.

"Yeah, I was out looking to see where you were with my flowers and some coffee," Rose had to admit.

"Well for goodness sake Rose, don't tell that to Jamie," Pete warned her. "You know how jealous he gets. Now I know why he hates Mickey so much."

"What?" Rose stopped smelling her bouquet.

"Come on Rose, you must have known?" Pete was surprised.

"I knew they hated each other Dad but not why. Just because I used to go out with Mickey, when I was nineteen?" Rose was even more surprised. "I didn't think Jamie would go that far?"

"Just you be careful Rose," Pete warned her. "Yes, I know he can be over-protective sometimes but there's a difference between defending you and picking a fight with a bloke over it."

"He's not done that for a long time Dad," Rose reminded him.

"I know, especially if it's with a Torchwood contractor," Pete tried to joke. "Well, do you want the father of the bride talk now or when I come back to escort you downstairs?"

"I thought we'd just had it?" Rose smiled.

"I know how much you love Jamie, I remember when you too first met," Pete replied. "I also know how Tony looks up to him. He's done nothing but go on about Jamie being his big brother for real."

"I know," Rose agreed. "Well, I'd better start getting changed."

She didn't want to tell him of the conversation she'd just had with Alec Hardy. Why had she joked about it so easily to him anyway? She should have just sent him to where Jamie and Tony were, not get involved in conversation with him. What was it about the detective?

Alec had gone up the attic staircase, hearing Tony saying he was going to beat Jamie on this lap and Jamie saying they had to go downstairs soon.

"Your mum will be looking for you," Jamie was laughing.

"Ah but Jamie, the wedding doesn't start for ages," Tony had complained.

"You have to get ready," Jamie was just reminding him as Alec walked in.

"That's why I'm here," Alec spoke up, making Jamie turn around and forget about the race.

"Right. I told you Tony," Jamie replied as Tony's car passed the winning line and he was jumping up and down.

"I won!" Tony was cheering.

"Hey, I got distracted," Jamie then complained. "Some timing you have Alec."

"I was not aware it was a contest," Alec told him. "Jackie sent me to get the both of you."

"Yeah, never shoot the messenger," Jamie then grinned. "Come on Tony, I'll help you get dressed. Have you seen Rose?" he then asked Alec.

"Very briefly and no, she had not got changed," Alec admitted.

Jamie was relieved to hear that, he didn't want anyone seeing her in her wedding dress until she appeared in the grand marquee Jackie had hired for the occasion. He hadn't known the reason why she had chosen that as opposed to having the ceremony in the mansion until earlier, when it had been chaos.

"Hey, Alec," Jamie called after him as Alec went to his room to change into his best suit. "Is your daughter getting nervous?"

"I've not seen her since breakfast, her mother is seeing to her dress," Alec replied.

"I bet it was a bit of a shock when she won?" Jamie asked him.

"Yes, she's never won anything before," Alec admitted.

"I would have thought a wedding would be the last place you'd want to be? I mean you and your wife don't exactly look happy to be here?" Jamie had observed.

"I could take offence to that but you're right, about myself anyway. I promised Daisy we would both be here for her," Alec replied.

"Hey, sorry pal," Jamie patted Alec on his shoulder.

"It's fine, believe me. No, I'm afraid Tess doesn't look at me the way Rose looks at you," Alec admitted. "You are a very lucky man."

"I know," Jamie laughed. "I'd best go see to Tony then."

Alec continued to his room and Jamie joined Tony.

"He looks like you," Tony told him.

"I know Tony, hope Rose doesn't get us mixed up!" Jamie tried to shrug it off.

Tony started laughing.

"Yeah, mum would get so annoyed."

Jamie tried to see the funny side but failed so he just helped Tony get into his suit as the young boy wanted to mess around.

"Your mother won't be happy if we're late," Jamie warned him.

"Aw, Rose will be late, dad said so," Tony replied.

"Did he?" Jamie asked.

"Yeah, dad said she's supposed to be late," Tony grinned.

"I hope she's not too late then," Jamie was getting worried as he'd not thought Rose would go with the tradition.

Then he thought she maybe would, to get him worried. He certainly hoped that neither Alec Hardy nor Mickey Smith would be in the line to kiss the bride, not that Mickey Smith had been sent an invitation as far as he knew anyway. Jackie wouldn't do that to him, would she?

He wasn't so sure though, they all went back a long way, would Jackie think it was being cruel or kind not to include him on the guest list? He'd just gone with the list he and Rose had come up with and left it with Jackie to get the invitations printed. He dreaded to think of the postage costs.

He'd been surprised that Pete had insisted on paying for everything, including the honeymoon, which Rose knew nothing of where they were going. He'd thought a nice ten day romantic cruise would do just the job, a couples only one that departed from Palma, then on their return, five nights in a holiday resort on the island of Majorca.

He'd even arranged a honeymoon suite but had insisted to Pete that he paid for that. Pete had just smiled and agreed whatever Rose wanted extra, Jamie was responsible for, not that Rose wouldn't pay for some things herself. Jamie now had to learn that Rose could be very independent, ever since she'd stopped working to plan the wedding. He suspected she still got a generous allowance from her stepfather or Torchwood were still paying her.

Alec had got changed and had made his way downstairs and gone into the kitchen to grab a cup of tea before the event. Jake had gone in for a break and was sat at the kitchen table.

"Just checking if you're Jamie or Alec," Jake grinned as Alec sat down, the buttonholes box still there. "Best get a flower, trust Rose to have picked roses and not red carnations," he laughed.

"Yes, very astute of her," Alec agreed, getting one from the box along with a pin.

"Did she look nervous at breakfast?" Jake asked, since he'd had his earlier.

"Ah, she was not present," Alec told him. "I expect she had hers in her room?"

"Yeah, that would have been her mother's idea," Jamie nodded as he joined them after handing Tony to his mother. "So we didn't see each other. Jackie thought I was trying to sneak in Rose's room last night. I was only saying goodnight to her."

Alec just bet he was.

"She didn't catch us in the conservatory though," Jamie then laughed.

Alec remembered only too well how things had been when he and Tess had got married. Tess hadn't gone for all that last minute sneaking around.

"You did well to stay away then," Alec replied. "I think I will check where my daughter is."

"Yeah, she's a great kid Alec, bet she's full of nerves now it's nearly time though," Jamie wondered.

"If her mother is fussing over her, then yes," Alec had to agree. "She will be ten time worse."

"You should have seen Tony when I handed him to Jackie," Jamie grinned as Jake got up.

Alec got up as well to see how Tess and Daisy were getting on but they were just coming downstairs, the other bridesmaids behind them.

"Dad, how do I look?" Daisy asked him, her hair now up loosely.

"You look perfect," Alec smiled, getting his phone out to take a photo.

"I hope you brought a proper camera?" Tess asked him as the others passed them to sit down without ruining their dresses.

Alec went in his pocket and brought a compact camera out.

"Yes, the batteries are fresh and I have spares," he answered. "It's also a new storage card. Stand right there Daisy while I take a few photos."

Jackie came out of one of the other room and seeing Jamie coming out of the kitchen, grabbed hold of him.

"Look after Tony while I go check on Rose," she told him, Jamie thinking he'd best do as she said. "I'll send Pete down and you can all go out to the marquee, I don't want you seeing Rose."

"What about the bridesmaids?" Tess wanted to know.

"They're supposed to wait here for Rose coming down. Her father will then escort her to the marquee and they follow," Jackie replied, Alec thinking she had it well organised, "Jamie, keep Tony with you and take him to sit at the front."

"Anything I can do to help?" Alec asked her.

"Yeah, can ya watch Tony when Rose goes to join Jamie?" Jackie asked him.

"Mum, I want to stay with Jamie," Tony complained.

"Jamie's going to be busy," Jackie told him. "Jake will tell ya when to step up with the rings."

Jackie went off to see to Rose, Jamie was stubbing his toe on the wooden floor of the hallway and Jake put his hand on Tony's shoulder.

"Don't worry mate, just remember what we practised," Jake advised the boy.

"I won't drop the rings Jake, honest," Tony promised.

"You'll be fine Tony," Alec agreed. "Come on then, we should get going."

Alec followed the others to the marquee and Jake led them past the guests, who were taking their seats after being asked whose side they were on. He found himself on the front row on Jamie's side but he wasn't going to insist he sat on Rose's side, no doubt all the chairs were reserved or Jackie was evening out the number of guests.

He supposed Jake was going to be Jamie's best man, though he knew nothing on the man's family. Jake came over to talk to him, glad that Alec was on the end.

"I'll bring Tony over to you when Rose appears in the entrance," he told Alec.

Alec nodded and put his specs on to read the order of the wedding ceremony. He saw Rose was walking down the aisle to a popular wedding related song, then the couple had their speeches they were giving each other. After that, they would make their vows if no-one spoke up to object to the marriage and they would finally be declared husband and wife.

After the register had been signed, Alec noticing a decorated screen in the corner, everyone would stand while he expected everyone would be throwing wedding confetti as the couple walked by, to another popular wedding song and the guests following the procession of the bridesmaids carrying Rose's dress.

He couldn't find fault with it, at least the guests didn't have to sing and the whole thing wouldn't take that long. He supposed some weddings did go on a bit, mostly for show but it didn't seem that Rose wanted to show off that much.

Pete had gone downstairs to wait for Rose as her mother helped her finish off putting a necklace on that Jamie had bought her, which was her 'something new'. She had borrowed a silver bracelet of her mother's, she had blue and flowers in her garters that were holding her stockings up she had bought for the wedding but she'd had trouble with something old.

"Rose, come on, we don't have time for this," Jackie was telling her as the time was drawing near.

"Mum, I need something old, it's tradition here as well as back home," Rose reminded her.

"I know, I got married a few years ago, don't forget," Jackie laughed.

"Well, what did you have that was old then?" Rose wanted to know, not being able to remember.

She thought she'd have trouble remembering her own name when the time came at this rate.

"Got it," Jackie declared as she went off, leaving Rose to worry even more.

"I found this in one of the drawers, it must have got left," Jackie explained when she came back with a small silky purse with a satin ribbon to fasten on a wrist. "It looks old to me."

"Geez Mum, it must have been one of hers," Rose put her hand over her mouth as Jackie went to tie it on her other wrist.

She didn't have time to argue as there was a tap on the door.

"Come on you two, the photographer wants some poses before you go downstairs Rose," Pete announced. "Then he'll wait as you walk downstairs, where his colleague will be starting the video recorder."

Rose thought that had to be her mother's idea, to keep a visual record. Then Pete saw what his wife had been doing.

"Jaks, where did you find that?" he pointed to Rose's wrist.

"In one of the drawers. Sorry Pete, I should've told ya," Jackie replied.

"No, it's fine. don't worry about it," Pete assured her.

"Dad, I can take it off," Rose was now worried over it.

"No love, you wear it," he insisted. "It had been given to the other Jackie by a great aunt, when…" he trailed off.

"I'm so sorry Pete," Jackie went to him and hugged him.

"It's the past, there's nothing I can do about it. You wear it Rose," he still insisted. "I know you two didn't hit it off that night. She came back inside, before you and complained about you speaking out of place. She never said what about though."

"Pete, we can talk about this later," Jackie told him as she let go. "We have to get going if ya want that film doing."

"Mum, leave the photos and do them at the back of the marquee before I go down the aisle," Rose suggested.

"I'll tell him, see you in the marquee," Jackie replied, trying to give her a hug. "You look amazing sweetheart, your real dad would be so proud of you. I'm glad you got to see him that one more time."

"What did she mean by that?" Pete wanted to know.

"The first Doctor, he took me back to the day my real dad died. I saved him but things started going wrong so he had to sacrifice himself to get things back on track," Rose admitted, giving him the short version.

"I see then?" Pete replied. "Rose, it would be my pleasure to escort you downstairs and into the marquee."

"Thanks Dad," Rose smiled back at him. "You're like him in so many ways, I sometimes wish I'd met ya sooner and my mum had met you when you first lost the other Jackie. Ya wanna know what she had against me?" she asked him.

"Later Rose, whatever it was, she would have taken it the wrong way, knowing her." Pete told her. "I don't blame you, she was getting very bitter towards the end but she didn't deserve to die like that."

"I know Dad, I wish we'd got there sooner," Rose replied. putting her arm in his.

"Well, this is it. Are you going to be Rose Smith or Rose Tyler-Smith?"

Rose thought that was a very good question. She hadn't yet decided and would see how she thought about it when it came to signing the marriage certificate. Trying to walk downstairs and lifting her dress at the back, she tried not to get nervous as the bridesmaids took hold of her dress for her, Daisy taking the centre, one at either side and the youngest in front with a basket of rose petals Jackie had ordered with the rest of the flowers.

Some guests had gone outside the marquee to get photos of Rose approaching it and Rose began smiling and stopping to pose for a few moments as the guests went back inside. There was a space at the back for her to compose herself out of view, Jackie waiting for her. She just had a few moments as the photographer got a few shots of her preparing herself, trying not to let it bother her.

She knew it was one of her mother's daft ideas to embarrass her later on. Pete took her arm and patted her hand.

"Well, everyone's waiting for you Rose," he reminded her.

Rose glanced down the dozen or so aisles on either side, seeing Jamie standing with Jake after Jake had seen her arrive at the back. Jake had sent Tony to sit with Alec, Tess had also sat next to Tony, leaning over to ask why the boy was there as they waited.

"I promised I would look after him," Alec told her behind Tony, who wanted to look for his sister.

"She's here!" Tony announced loudly as he caught sight of her walking with Pete.

Everyone stood up as Rose approached the front, Alec included but he had a large lump in his throat. Why hadn't he taken any notice of her before now? He'd not had any interest prior to Daisy being chosen to be a bridesmaid so why had he got any now?

If he admitted it, he was totally jealous of the man she was now getting married to. To make things worse, Jamie had stepped forward to greet Rose and took her hand and for a brief moment, Rose looked his way, smiling as she did so. Was the smile for him or the groom?

Of course it wasn't for him, he told himself as everyone was seated and the music died down. Why would it be? She was just being polite yesterday and this morning, she looked totally in love with the man she was standing next to as she was giving her little speech.

Rose had turned towards Jamie, him taking both her hands.

"Jamie, before I met you, I was sad because I'd lost a friend and I went away to try to forget and buried myself in training. Then on my first day at work, there you were and I didn't feel alone any more. You more than filled the gap that I thought would never close. I love you so much Jamie."

Alec felt like rushing out but Tony had sat on his lap without him noticing, the boy probably wanting to get to the couple standing there. Jake had noticed and thought if Alec didn't pay attention, the boy would be rushing forward before he was given the small cushion with the rings on.

Had he noticed Alec looked jealous earlier in the kitchen? This was turning out to be a jealousy match between the two men, something was going to give before the day was out, he was sure of it. As Jamie told Rose how he felt, Jake then picked up the cushion and Alec nudged Tony forward as the local vicar began the ceremony.

Now, Jake was just waiting for Alec to stand up and oppose the union but he saw the look on Alec's face when Rose was asked if she took Jamie to be her husband and she answered with an enthusiastic "Yes." Jake was certain Alec was biting his tongue and forcing himself to stay quiet.

Jake thought he'd have to keep an eye on the detective later on and in the evening, it was just a shame he himself wouldn't be there in the morning when Alec left. Alec had noticed Jake was moving towards him and got Tony to stand up, not that it took much effort on Tony's part. He'd heard the boy going on about Jamie becoming his big brother and idolised him.

Before he knew it, the vicar had declared Rose and Jamie husband and wife and everyone stood up to clap as more music began to play when they went to sign the register.

"What's it to be eh?" Jamie was teasing Rose as she signed first, Pete being there to sign for her.

"Are you not going to be Mrs Rose Smith?" the vicar asked cautiously.

"Yeah but I might use both names sometimes," Rose decided.

"Trust you," Jake was joking as Jamie signed.

That over with, they emerged from behind the screen and everyone stood again, both phone and camera lights flashing.

"Are you taking photos or not?" Tess was asking Alec as he was just standing there. "Daisy will be disappointed if you don't."

Alec got the camera out of his pocket and Tess grabbed it from him, turning it on as the bridesmaids took hold of Rose's dress again.

"Doesn't Daisy look lovely?" Tess was asking him.

"What? Yes, of course she does," he agreed, Tess glaring at him.

Tess swore that if Alec hadn't told her he'd not been keen attending the wedding, that he was miles away and daydreaming about the bride. She wished him good look with that as the happy couple were about to pass by them but they stopped to kiss so everyone could capture them with their various cameras.

Chapter 14

Alec tried not to take any notice and just let Tess take all the photos she wanted, seeing she was focusing more on Daisy and the other bridesmaids, who were giggling to themselves as Jamie decided enough kissing for the guests to take photos of.

Jamie made the signal that they were moving and kissed the back of Rose's left hand then showed her wedding ring off and everyone applauded as they carried on down the short aisle of the marquee.  The plan was that everyone moved outside, where the photographer would be taking photos of the happy couple before others were allowed nearer.

Rose had picked out the places she wanted the photos to be taken, like the fountain and a weeping willow tree.  She couldn't tell Jamie that the tree reminded her of those on a planet she'd been to with The Doctor.  Pete had advised her against a lot of things that could make Jamie even more jealous.  They were having some taken getting the whole house in and once finished on their own, others would join them.

Jackie had figured that would give the catering staff more than enough time to move the chairs and get the tables in and the food from the kitchen.  She saw Tony was still clinging to Alec, confused that his sister was kissing his best friend, who was now his big brother.

"Alec, I want to go to Jamie," the boy looked at him.

"Just hold on until they get outside," Alec told him.  "We'll find your mum when we get out."

Jackie had decided to trust the detective to look after her son while she went to remind the catering manager of what had been required.

"Yes Mrs Tyler, it's all in hand," he insisted.

Satisfied, she looked around for Tony and saw he was with Pete.  Tony had plenty to tell his dad and Alec was relieved of looking after the boy.

"Alec's cool Dad," Tony was telling Pete.

Pete smiled at his young son, since Tony said that Jamie was cool.  Was it the fact the two men looked like each other?  He had thought Jamie was a good influence on Tony, someone else for the boy to look up to.  He looked over at the crowd of guests watching the photographer arranging Rose's dress on the grass by a tree and the bridesmaids looking in awe of her.

He had certainly been blessed the day Rose had come back to this world.  Once Mickey had explained to him how he was Rose's father in another world, he'd begun to understand why she had taken to him and he might never see her again.

Alec was trying to avoid watching Jamie fussing over Rose, looking relaxed and smiling as her dress was being arranged and leaning back against the tree.

"Alec, are you taking notice of your daughter?" Tess asked him as Daisy was waving at them while she waited.  "She's going to be in most of the photos that will no doubt be a four page spread in all the glossy magazines."

"Do I detect a hint of self-satisfaction?" he raised his eyebrows to her.  "Daisy getting her photo taken with a celebrity?"

"Stop it Alec," Tess told him.  "Why shouldn't she?  She won the chance fair and square, she was picked out from millions of entries."

"So when she entered, you had already decided to give your permission, just so you could attend?" he asked her.

"What's wrong with that?" Tess wanted to know as the way was clear for her to take another photograph.  "It's a day Daisy won't forget.  She won't get another chance like this."

Alec shook his head, Tess trying to get Daisy's attention.  He was surprised she'd not gone to stand next to the photographer.  People were standing around talking and drinks were being served while he supposed the marquee was being readied.

Would he dare ask Rose to dance later or join the long queue to kiss the bride?  He doubted he'd go for the last one, her new husband had already looked daggers at him.  He had to attended the formal reception later that evening, in the house as well as the one that would start shortly.

"Haven't you taken any photos on your phone?" Tess was asking him.

"Why?  Haven't you taken enough?" Alec replied.

Tess ignored him as everyone followed the wedding party down towards the fountain, Alec hanging back.  He would hardly be missed, especially by Tess.  Everyone was calling Rose's name while her dress was being arranged and she kept looking forward and waving.  He could have sworn she waved at him but it was probably aimed at someone in front of him.

Why would she single him out, there was a big queue as everyone else got the message, those who had been talking and taking advantage of the alcohol already being served.  He didn't plan on drinking much anyway, his doctor had advised him to cut it out after he'd been to see him.

He thought the case was just getting to him but it could be more, so he'd been warned.  He'd said nothing to Tess though, she wouldn't be bothered anyway.  As long as he was careful, no-one else would find out but he was thinking of getting a transfer to somewhere a bit quieter.

Before he knew it, everyone was cheering and clicking away on their cameras as the newlyweds made their way to the large marquee for the reception.  They were holding hands and Jamie was waving and mock saluting and Rose was saying something Alec couldn't quite make out as they passed him.

Daisy looked happy, with a big smile on her face.  He had to commend Rose's choice in bridesmaid dresses.  His phone was in his hand so he quickly activated the camera and managed to take a few shots.  By the time he waited in line to enter the marquee once again, the wedding party were sat at a large decorated table, waiting for the bride and groom, who were greeting their guests and accepting presents at a table by the entrance, Jake standing by.

Alec knew Tess had already handed her present to them the night before so he bypassed the table and looked around for Tess, since Daisy was sitting with the other bridesmaids.  Tess was at a table with another couple and since there were name cards everywhere, he assumed he had to go and sit with them.

"Alec," Tess called him over.  "You took your time."

"There was a crowd outside," he made the excuse.  "You did already hand the wedding present over to them?"

"Yes, of course I did," Tess snapped at him.

Jackie was watching Rose and Jamie, Tony wanting to go to them.

"They'll be here soon," Pete told the boy.

"Is Jamie really my brother now?" Tony wanted to know.

"Yes, he is," Pete laughed.  "Though really, he's your brother-in-law," he tried to explain.

"Don't confuse him Pete," Jackie told him.  "What's he gonna say when Rose and Jamie have kids?"

"What do you mean Mum?" Tony asked as he tried to sit on her lap.

"Never you mind," she replied as Rose and Jamie finally finished greeting everyone.

"I didn't see Daisy's parents," Rose was telling Jamie.

"They went straight in," Jake told her.  "I expect they wanted to leave time for other guests?  Ya didn't put 'em on the same table," he then laughed when he saw Alec looking around and Tess was talking to the other woman at the same table.

"No, it must have been mum's idea," Rose replied.  "How was she to know before they arrived?  I expect she put them there to be near Daisy?"

"Come on Rose," Jamie reminding her, wondering why Jake brought up the subject in the first place.

Everywhere he'd looked before and during the wedding ceremony, there was the detective.  First he was looking after Tony then later, he was watching the photos being taking.  He'd noticed the detective was trying to look disinterested but he'd been looking just the same.

Pete called for everyone's attention by tapping a knife against a glass of champagne that had just been placed there.  He did his father of the bride speech, saying how proud of Rose he was and how much she had given him since they'd first met. 

He was also full of praise for Jamie, who had captured Rose's heart since the day she'd returned from her studies.  Then Jake, as Jamie's best man made his speech and finally, Jamie got up to speak.

"Rose, the day you walked into my department and I realised you weren't my new assistant," he grinned, stopping as everyone laughed.

He went on to say how he'd felt about her, making Alec more and more uncomfortable and he'd no idea why.  Rose had just got married and he'd only met her yesterday, though all the hype going on about it months before had been hard to avoid, especially from Daisy when she'd found out she'd won.

He thought about sneaking out later when everyone got up to dance, Tess probably wouldn't even notice but that was about to be tested.

"Don't you think about sneaking off," Tess told him as people were making their way to the food tables.

"How long does this thing go on for?" Alec wanted to know.

"I'd say it's only just got started," Tess replied sarcastically, just to annoy him.  "At least try to look like you're enjoying yourself Alec.  Are you going to join the queue to kiss the bride or dance with her?"

Alec just ignored her and took a fancy paper plate and a serviette from the pile at the side and looked at the various pastries and delicate sandwiches neatly arranged on large silver trays.  He'd been warned that there was going to be a proper evening dinner later on for those who had been invited to stay behind or those who weren't able to attend the main event.

He got what he wanted, having put a few things on his plate and a small piece of cake then he went to sit down.  Daisy caught him on his way back to his table.

"Dad, isn't this great?" Daisy beamed at him.  "Did you and mum get plenty of photos of me with Rose?"

"I'm sure your mother managed to get more than I did," he tried to assure her.  "Don't eat too much now, there's a big dinner party tonight."

"Aw, I'll recover by then Dad," Daisy laughed.  "You're not taking any chances though."

"I have enough here," he replied, thinking she was picking on him again.  "Are you enjoying yourself so far?"

"Of course I am Dad," she told him.  "I won't ever forget this.  I'm going to ask Rose if I can stay friends with her afterwards.  Do you think she'll agree?"

"I don't see why not," he replied, looking for the bride and seeing her talking to a dark skinned man with close cropped hair.

It didn't look like they were just talking though and the groom was taking no notice so he bypassed his table and got closer.

Mickey had decided the least he could do was attend the reception, even if he couldn't bring himself to watch the wedding ceremony.  He'd been tracked down at Rose's insistence and sent an invitation.

"I didn't think ya were gonna come Mickey," Rose had been telling him, unaware Alec was watching them.

"I came just for you Rose, I owed you that much," Mickey replied.  "The papers have been full of your wedding the last few months, I could hardly get away from it."

"Why did ya leave Torchwood Mickey?  Ya could have taken any job there," Rose asked him.

"I'm not saying anything Rose, it's just the way it had to be," Mickey told her.  "I wish you all the best, I'll not stay long."

Alec had found himself getting closer and was now worried whoever it was talking to Rose was upsetting her.

"Is everything okay Rose?" he had to ask her.

"Yeah Alec, it's fine, thanks," Rose assured him.

"Crikey Rose, he could be Jamie's twin," Mickey stared at Alec.  "Oh, aren't you that detective from that case where a young girl died?"

"So you watch the news?" Alec pointed out.  "Sure you are okay?" he asked Rose again.

"Hey Rose, what's he doin' here?" Mickey wanted to know.

"Oh, his daughter's one of my bridesmaids," Rose laughed.  "I mean she was picked before that case even came up."

"I will leave you then," Alec told her, seeing Jamie approaching.

Rose saw him as well and thought she'd be better asking Alec to stay but it wouldn't go down well with Jamie.  Just Mickey being there was going to be bad enough.

"Rose, what's he doing here?" Jamie indicated to Mickey, then looked at Alec.  "We don't need you here Alec, this is between us."

"Jamie, don't be so rude," Rose told him.  "He didn't know who Mickey was and came to see if I was okay."

"Of course he did," Jamie scowled.  "Well thank you for coming to Rose's aid but I can sort this out."

Alec thought that was the only apology he was going to get out of Rose's new husband.  When Alec had gone off, Jamie turned on Mickey and Rose was looking for Jake to come and break them up.

"Well, what are you doing here?" Jamie asked Mickey again.  "Rose, did your mother invite him on purpose?"

"Stop it Jamie, I put him on the guest list," Rose admitted.  "What is it with you two?"

Jake had been checking on his security men but Alec spotted him and tapped him on the shoulder.

"You should check on Rose," he told Jake quietly.

"Why, what's going on?" Jake wanted to know, looking around.

"She was talking to someone called Mickey, until Jamie came along," Alec replied.

"I'll sort it out, can't even get a day off from those two," Jake replied.  "I mean Jamie and Mickey," he then grinned.

"You know of him then?" Alec raised his eyebrows.

"They have history," Jake laughed.

"An old boyfriend?" Alec wondered.

"From a very long time ago," Jake admitted.  "They never got on."

"Why am I not surprised?" Alec replied as Jake went off.

Pete had noticed Alec walking off and looked for Rose, wondering why the detective was going in the opposite direction to where he had been seated.  What was going on?  He'd seen the detective walk away from Rose's room earlier and she'd admitted talking to him.  Then he spotted her and saw Mickey was there.

He wondered whose idea it had been to invite Rose's old boyfriend, when it was inevitable he and Jamie would fall out.  Seeing Jackie was busy, he went towards them, in time to see Jamie pushing Mickey away.

"You're not welcome here Mickey," Jamie was telling him.

"Stop it Jamie, I wanted him here," Rose was trying to tell her new husband.

"You never said anything about inviting him Rose," Jamie reminded her.

"I knew ya'd get mad if I had told ya," Rose replied.  "Just leave him Jamie."

"I'll leave," Mickey insisted.  "Just for your sake, not his."

"Have said hello to my mum yet?" Rose asked him.  "She'll be mad if she finds out ya were here and ya didn't speak to her."

"Can't think why," Jamie told her in a low voice.  "Oh great, here come Pete and Jake.  Now see what you've done by inviting Mickey, Rose."

"What's going on?" Pete asked before Jake got the chance.

"Mickey was just leaving," Jamie hinted.  "Weren't you?"

"Mickey, who invited you?" Pete wanted to know.

"I did Dad, I wanted him here," Rose admitted.  

"How did ya even find him?" Jake wanted to know.

"Never mind that Jake," Pete told him.  "Jamie, if Rose wants him here, he can stay.  He's her oldest friend, remember?"

"Doesn't mean I have to like it," Jamie replied.  "Fine, come on Rose, get some food."

Pete followed them before Jackie noticed anything, leaving Jake and Mickey.

"You don't think I should have come here either?" Mickey asked him.

"It's good to see ya though but ya were riskin' it a bit," Jake grinned.

"How could I let Rose down on her wedding day?" Mickey replied.

"Well just stay out of Jamie's way, he'll not change his mind about ya being here," Jake warned him.

"I know.  So, what's that detective doing here?" Mickey asked.

"Causing more trouble with Jamie, what ya think?" Jake laughed as he patted Mickey on the shoulder.  "Things never change mate."

"You mean Jamie's jealous because the detective could be another twin?" Mickey wondered.

"What do you think?" Jake replied.  "Alec's daughter won a competition to be one of Rose's bridesmaids and better still, the chief bridesmaid.  Part of the prize was she got to stay here for two nights, along with her parents but their just about divorced."

"So Jamie's jealous of him as well?" Mickey asked again.

"Hey mate, he's almost started a few fights with any bloke who looks or talks to her," Jake admitted.  "Good thing Alec's in the police," he laughed.

Rose and Jamie were at the food table, most of the guests had already got theirs, a few stragglers plus some who had gone back for more just in front of them.

"Really Rose, why did you even invite Mickey the idiot?" Jamie still wanted to know.

"I felt I had to," Rose replied as Jamie handed her a plate.

"You should have warned me love," he told her.  "Why was Alec leaving?"

"He saw me and Mickey and didn't know who I was talkin' to," Rose admitted.  "Leave it Jamie, he was just making sure I was okay."

"Of course he was," Jamie muttered to himself.  

Alec was watching them after he sat down again.

"What were you doing talking to Rose?" Tess wanted to know.

"Oh, you both know her?" the woman opposite wanted to know.  "I thought it was just you."

"We only met her recently," Tess replied.  "Our daughter is one of her bridesmaids."

"You must both be proud of her then?" Tess was asked.

"Oh yes, she was very happy about being chosen," Tess told the woman.

When everyone had eaten, Pete got up again.

"If I could have your attention, I have some greetings to read out from those who couldn't be with us today, though some guests did arrive eventually," he told everyone, Rose knowing he meant Mickey.  "There are a lot of cards still to be opened, probably from Rose's fans," he laughed.  "I'm sure she'll attend to them after the honeymoon."

Rose thought was he implying she was going to leave them unopened?  No-one had even mentioned any had arrived but she had been in her room all morning.

"Should I be jealous you have so many fans?" Jamie whispered to her.

"Aw don't worry," Rose laughed.  "Your name will be on the cards as well.  Mum, why didn't ya mention it?"

"I didn't know ya'd not been told they were brought by the post office in sacks, did I?" Jackie defended herself.

"Did ya say sacks?" Rose was surprised as Pete carried on reading a few she did know about.

"Shush Rose while your dad reads these out," Jackie urged her.

That was Jackie's way of saying don't blame her for putting out to magazines she was getting married.  In the last few months, Rose's photo had been everywhere, not that Rose would have noticed.

"Well, now that's all over with," Pete laughed as he took his reading glasses off.  "I see the DJ is ready to start so if everyone will remain where they are, Rose and Jamie will lead the dancing."

Rose looked towards him.

"Was this your idea?" she laughed.

"It's tradition love," he grinned back at her, holding out his hand to help her up.

Rose noticed the marquee had been extended so there was room to dance and some flooring put down.  Jamie surprised her by going up to the DJ to make sure the right song was about to be played.  Alec was watching, hoping Tess wasn't going to insist they danced together.  He would however make an exception should Daisy come over for him to dance with her.

As 'When I fall in love' by Nat 'King' Cole was being played, everyone had got their phones out to record the couple dancing slowly.

"Remember this?" Jamie was whispering to Rose.  "You said this was one of your favourites."

"Yeah, I love all the old ones," Rose agreed, her arms around his neck.  "I think everyone's recording this."

"Well, let's give them something to talk about eh?" Jamie grinned leaning his head to one side then kissing her forehead.

As the song came to an end, everyone watched as Rose reached up and they kissed, which went on for quite some time, well so Alec thought.  He tried not to watch as everyone stood up and cheered the happy couple, he knew he was jealous of the lucky man who had just married Rose Tyler and being here until tomorrow was not going to do him any good.

All he could do was wish her well, when he got a moment alone with her.

Chapter 15

Alec's thoughts were interrupted as Daisy had left the table to go to him.

"Doesn't Rose look amazing Dad?" Daisy asked him as she slipped her arm in his.  "She looks so happy."

He couldn't deny the bride looked happy as everyone was cheering.

"I'm so glad I was able to come, I don't think I'll ever forget this." Daisy added.

"It will be something to tell your friends," Alec agreed.  "Want to dance with me?"

The music had changed and people were gathering on the dance floor as Daisy led the way, waving to her mother but Rose spotted her.

"Hi Daisy!  Enjoying yourself?" she asked the teenager.

"This is great," Daisy beamed at her.

"I hope ya gonna let go of your dad so he can dance with me later?" Rose laughed.

"I am not a very good dancer," Alec admitted.

"Aw, you'll be fine," Rose laughed as Jamie turned back from waving to everyone.

Rose knew Jamie was always one for showing off at any event they went to.

"Now Rose, we've not finished dancing together yet," Jamie interrupted her.

Alec wondered if Rose ever spoke for herself.  As the event went on, Alec saw her dancing with her stepfather then some of the guests but Tess was keeping a sharp eye on him.  Even though they no longer were together, things could get nasty if Tess put her mind to it.

She would surely spin a few tales at work of how he had danced with the bride, whether it was true or not.  It had been bad enough she'd told everyone about Daisy and they were going to be at the wedding.

"Come on Rose, let's get out of here," Jamie encouraged her as people started to leave.  

They had cut the wedding cake together and Jamie had said a few words.  Alec's mind had been wandering so as the couple opposite were getting ready to leave, Tess said they should go have a rest before the evening event.

"Go find Daisy," Tess told him as she looked around the marquee.

"She is probably with the other bridesmaids, getting changed," Alec replied.

"Oh, are you two staying?" the woman sat with them asked as her husband went off.

"Yes, with Daisy being the head bridesmaid," Tess bragged.

Alec shook his head and went off, not wanting to listen to her.  Daisy wasn't in the marquee so he found Jake, who was watching everyone leaving.

"Yeah, they went off a while ago," Jake assured him.  "Jackie thought those who were leaving should get changed.  She's probably in her room."

Tony was running around outside and saw Alec as he left.

"Want to play with my race track later Alec?" Tony asked him.  "Mum said Jamie and Rose will be resting for later."

"Maybe you should ask your dad eh?" Alec told him, not wanting to make himself too at home in the Tyler mansion.

They would be leaving in the morning and he didn't want to get too attached to the boy.  He made his way inside, nodding to one of the security team and noticed most of the floral decorations had been taken from the marquee and placed all around the entrance and beyond.

Then he saw Daisy coming downstairs just as Tess joined him.

"Can I stay down here Mum?" Daisy asked Tess.  "I don't want to stay in our room."

"Don't get in anyone's way," Tess told her.  "Do as Mrs Tyler tells you."

Alec thought he'd be best going to his room until the evening event started, which he'd been told was seven thirty.  A buffet was being served for the evening guests in the dining room, Jackie had hired an elite group of musicians for those just wanting to mingle around the vast hallway and dancing taking place in a room that had been cleared.

Rose had protested to her mother about employing outside staff to help, it reminded her too much of when she and The Doctor had gate-crashed a party when she'd been here before.

"Alec, are you having a rest?" Tess wanted to know.

"I may as well stay down here with Daisy," he replied.

He didn't fancy coming face to face with the bride if she were to leave her room for any reason.  Not that she would want to, would she?  He survived until the evening event guests began to arrive, hoping none of them mistook him for the bridegroom.  He was sat with Daisy when Jackie approached them.

"Have you both been looked after?" she wanted to know.  "Daisy dear, Rose might want you for some more photos taking."

"Does she want me to get changed again?" Daisy wondered.

"No, you look fine, Rose won't be getting into her wedding dress again," Jackie laughed.

Rose was still deciding what to wear for the evening event.  Jamie was hoping she'd make her mind up soon, he wanted to sneak her off for a surprise he'd arranged later.  He'd got one of the staff to keep a box of rose petals and some scented candles and place them on and around the bed after red satin sheets and a red counterpane had been put on.

"Rose, just wear the silver sparking one eh?" Jamie encouraged her.  "Didn't you buy anything to wear to tonight's party?"

"I didn't have time," Rose replied, holding up the silver one, knowing Jamie didn't mind she was just wrapped in a towel after getting a shower.

He went up behind her as she posed in the mirror, kissing between her shoulders.  He'd done very well she'd thought at not getting jealous as other men danced with her earlier but maybe that was because Alec Hardy hadn't been amongst them.  Neither had Alec been one queuing to kiss the bride shortly before the daytime event had ended.

Was she a little disappointed after she'd hinted for him to do so?  Well at least it hadn't given Jamie the chance to blow up and start a fight she supposed.  Maybe he'd stop that now they were actually married, she hoped.

She finally chose the silver dress as Jamie put a wrapped box in front of her, Rose wondering what he was up to now.

"Well open it love," he grinned.

She found the reason why he'd been pushing her into choosing the silver dress as she unwrapped the gift box to find a matching silver underwear set that there was hardly anything of.

"You," Rose turned towards him.  "I'll put it on then?" she teased him.

"Need some help love?" he offered with a big smile on his face.

"Come on Jamie, be serious.  Mum will go mad if we're not downstairs when the evening guests start arriving."

"Don't remind me.  She'll get Alec Hardy to pretend he's me if I'm not careful," Jamie complained.

"What have ya got against him?" Rose wanted to know.  "Jamie, he goes home in the morning."

"Sorry love, I know.  I didn't start a fight with him, did I?" he asked innocently.

"Did ya see the way he was looking after Tony?" Rose asked him.  "I expect mum thought Tony would be near the front and not want to come and join us?"

"By leaving him with my double?  Rose, it's a wonder the poor kid wasn't totally confused.  She sent him to find me and Tony earlier, what was she thinking?" Jamie wondered.

Rose thought she'd best not admit she'd seen Alec on his way to Tony's play room.  It was bad enough her stepfather had said something.  They were finally ready to go downstairs, Jamie looking out of the window at all the people arriving.

"Does your mother think this place is bigger on the inside?" he joked at all the cars being parked around the side as what had been Rose's room faced the gardens and fountain.

"My mum loves a good party," Rose laughed as they stood at the top of the stairs.

"Tell me about it," Jamie laughed as well as he took her hand and led her downstairs.

Pete had been waiting for them with Tony and saw them, calling for everyone's attention.

"If everyone will take a drink and raise their glasses to the bride and groom," Pete announced.

"Can I take one?" Daisy asked Alec as a waiter passed by with a tray of drinks.

"I don't see why not," he replied, wondering where Tess was.

Did she want to make an entrance behind the newlyweds?  He wouldn't be at all surprised but then he saw her across the other side of the stairway.  The couple stood halfway down for guests to take photos, Daisy nudging Alec to get his phone out and take some.

"Haven't you got enough pictures of them?" Alec asked her as people were crowding around the staircase.

"They're all of Rose in her wedding dress," Daisy pointed out to him, Alec not wanting to be reminded.  "That silver dress is gorgeous."

"I'm sure your mother will get plenty," Alec assured her, since Tess had got closer.  "Where's your phone anyway?"

"Dad, I couldn't use it earlier, could I?  Besides, the camera's rubbish," Daisy complained, hinting she wanted a new phone.

Rose was whispering to Jamie that she could see Daisy and wanted the girl to join them so Jamie tapped Pete on the shoulder and told him.

"Daisy, come here and join us," Pete called out to her, Alec giving her a nudge.

Alec knew she should get used to being known as Rose Tyler's bridesmaid for a good while as the newspaper supplements and magazines would be full of nothing else, like they had been weeks before.  As the evening went on, Daisy was being asked to join Rose and Jamie when people were asking for individual photos that Tess was complaining she'd hardly seen her all night.

Eventually, she mentioned it to Alec and sent him to look for her when Rose seemed to have vanished as well.

"Leave her be Tess," Alec told her, not wanting to search all the rooms and embarrass himself if Daisy was only dancing.

"Alec, we've hardly seen her," Tess told him.

"She's enjoying herself," Alec reminded her.  "Fine but if she's dancing, I won't disturb her."

He wished he'd not gone into where the disco was, it was crowded and lights were flashing around a disco ball hanging from the ceiling that gave him a headache after only glancing around to see if Daisy was there.  He supposed she could be at the front but he couldn't spot her so he tried where people were scattered around talking.

He went in the kitchen that had security restricting access but was allowed in and Daisy wasn't hanging around there so he took the turning towards the back of the house, passing a few closed doors until he got to the end where there was a glass door and what looked like a conservatory lit up with blue and lights all around and potted plants.

Then he saw Rose sitting on one of the Whicker chairs and she turned towards him as he put his hand on the door handle.

"Hi Alec, whatcha doing down here?" Rose asked him.

"I did not mean to disturb you, I was looking for Daisy," Alec explained.

"She's either dancin' or flirting with the fellas," Rose laughed.

"Hopefully not the latter," Alec smiled.

"You have no idea how many times my mum used to tell me to stay away from the boys," Rose admitted.  "Doesn't your wife know where she is?"

He wanted to say he didn't need reminding Tess should know where their daughter was.

"She was the one who sent me looking for her," he admitted.  "I have to tell you how Daisy looks up to you, she would not dare tell you herself."

"Aw, at her age, I was into all kinds of celebrities.  I'm no-one special Alec, I was just a shop girl until my mum met Pete."

Alec suspected there was more to that but let it go.

"I should go look for her," he replied after a few seconds.

"Alec, can I ask ya something?" making him turn back to face her.  "Why didn't ya ask me for a dance?"

"You seemed quite busy, I did not want to add to the number of men watching for you to finish a dance."

"I wouldn't have minded," Rose smiled, her silver sparkly dress glittering in the soft lights.  "Ya didn't queue to kiss the bride either."

Alec tried not to look embarrassed.

"You had a long queue," he tried to make the excuse.  

"I wouldn't have minded one more," Rose tried not to blush.

"I should get going," Alec told her.  "Daisy has probably returned while I have been looking for her."

"Did ya try where the disco is?" Rose asked him.

"It was too crowded," Alec admitted.

"Yeah, it would have been compared to the alternative," Rose laughed.  "My mum went from one extreme to the other.  I just came in here for a few minutes to myself."

"Then I apologise for disturbing you," Alec replied.

"It's okay Alec, really.  See ya?" she told him with a smile.

Alec went off but Jamie saw him and went down the corridor, wondering what the detective was doing wandering around, then he saw lights on in the conservatory.

"Rose?  I've been looking for you, what are you doing in here love?" he wanted to know.  "Was Alec Hardy just here?"

Rose knew what he was up to.

"He was just looking for Daisy," Rose told him.

"Won't she be in the disco?" Jamie wondered.  "How did he even know about this place?"

"Jamie, he probably saw the lights were on and thought she was here," Rose replied.  "Come on, we'd better get back to the party."

"Yes, let's go dance?" he suggested, hoping Alec was there so he could show off.

What was it that worried him about the detective?  It had been bad enough Mickey had turned up but every time he saw Alec Hardy, it was like having a mirrored twin staring back at him.  Couldn't the man at least grown a bit of a beard so they looked slightly different?

As they made their way into where the disco was, Rose could see Daisy dancing along to the music at the front so she went over to the girl.

"Daisy!" Rose tapped her on the shoulder.  "Your dad's looking for ya."

"This is great Rose," Daisy laughed as she waved her arms around.  "What did he want?"

"He probably just wanted to know where ya were?" Rose replied as Jamie took her hands.

"Can I have some photos taken with you?" Daisy wanted to know.

"Yeah, sure.  Jamie, get ya phone out," Rose laughed.

After several poses of being silly, pulling faces and standing arm in arm, Daisy seemed satisfied and Jamie promised to send them to her phone before they left in the morning.  Just before eleven, Jamie said he'd be back in a few minutes and Rose took the opportunity to sit on a chair in the corner, Daisy following her.

"Daisy, did ya know that poor girl who died?" Rose wondered as she took her shoes off and rubbed her feet.

"No, I think she went to my school but I wasn't friends with her.  My parents don't talk about it much to me, well when I see my dad anyway," Daisy answered sadly.

"She almost got to be here today but her mother wouldn't allow it," Rose admitted.

Daisy wasn't taking any notice as Alec was walking towards her through the crowd.

"Sorry, what did you say?" Daisy asked her.

"Nothing, it doesn't matter," Rose replied, trying to get her shoes back on but her feet wouldn't co-operate.

"I'm gonna have to get Jamie to fetch me some more comfortable shoes," she then laughed as she nearly lost her balance but grabbed hold of Alec's arm as he saw her and offered it to her.

He soon let go, hoping Jamie hadn't seen him.

"Having fun?" he asked Daisy.  "You should have said where you were going."

"Dad, you should have known I'd be where the music was," Daisy laughed.  "I've been with Rose and Jamie."

"Yes, I can see that," he replied.  "Half an hour then come and find me or your mum."

"I'm never gonna forget this," Daisy turned back to Rose.

"Sorry, for grabbing hold of ya," Rose giggled to Alec.

"Don't worry about it," he assured her.

He went off, passing Jamie in the doorway.  Jamie had been to find one of the staff with whom he'd arranged the surprise for Rose so now, he was going to get her to say goodnight to everyone, lead her upstairs and cover her eyes when he opened their room door. 

"Find your daughter?" Jamie asked Alec.

"Yes, she is still with Rose," Alec told him.  "She has been here for some time but I did not see her when I went looking for her."

"She was near the front when we saw her," Jamie replied.

Alec went off and found Tess talking to Jackie so he left them alone and went into the dining room to try to get a hot drink.  He saw Rose and Jamie pass by the door, Rose was laughing, her arm in Jamie's then Jamie began laughing.  Alec wondered if it was for his benefit but they probably didn't even know he was there.

Chapter 16

Alec decided after his drink he should maybe go to his room.  The bride and groom had probably been on the way to theirs so he went to try to find Daisy again and saw her with Tess, going up the grand staircase.

"There you are Alec," Tess told him as he caught up.

"Dad, where have you been?" Daisy wanted to know.  "I had loads of photos taken with Rose and Jamie, it was such fun, my friends are going to be so jealous.  Jamie took them on his phone, he promised to send them to mine before we leave in the morning."

"I'm glad you've been enjoying yourself," Alec replied as they stood at the top of the stairs.

"Rose is so lucky Mum," Daisy laughed.  "Jamie's such a dream, they make a great couple.  Just think, they're going to be in the magazines for a while now."

Alec thought more expense for him and Tess buying endless copies of magazines and weekend newspapers for their bridal specials.

"Well if you want them, save up your allowance," Tess insisted.  "If you're getting pictures sent to your phone, ask for the wi-fi password instead of using your data allowance."

"Mum, it doesn't cost anything to receive messages," Daisy laughed.

"It does to run the app," Tess reminded her.  "I'm surprised the two of them weren't going off tonight."

"They no doubt stayed to make sure all the guests had left and any reporters," Alec suggested.  "Some of the guests are still here.  They would not want to be followed to a hotel."

"Well I'm glad they'll still be here in the morning so I can say goodbye to them," Daisy told him.  "Rose promised to stay friends with me."

Alec hoped she wouldn't be disappointed when Rose soon forgot about it.  Would he himself be any less disappointed once Rose got settled down to married life and forgot about him?  She had sounded a bit sad when he'd talked to her but maybe she'd just been tired?  She had been surprised he'd not danced with her but it wouldn't have been wise to make Jamie any more jealous than he already was.  He had to admit he would gladly have danced with her, had he known she'd been disappointed but she was only being friendly, it wouldn't have meant anything.

Now, he had to go home in the morning, back to a murder investigation and forget about her.  Would he be able to?

Rose was pleasantly surprised when Jamie opened the bedroom door and he had picked her up and carried her inside.

"Wow!  You did all this for me?" Rose asked him as he put her down.

"Well I arranged it for you," Jamie replied.  "Do you like it love?"

"Aw, it was really sweet of ya Jamie," Rose told him, smelling a handful of rose petal she picked up from the bed.  "It's the perfect end to our wedding day."

She went to put her arms around him, Jamie lifting her up.

"Ah, wait until tomorrow, when we go on our honeymoon," he laughed.  "No, I'm not telling you where we're going but you had best hand me your passport, you won't be needing it."

"Ya mean where staying in the UK?" Rose sounded disappointed.

"Well, not exactly but I had Jake arrange to get you a new one rushed through," he grinned.

"Cheat!" Rose laughed.  "Well, tell me where we're goin' then?"

"Oh no, can't spoil the surprise," Jamie laughed back.  "So, need help getting undressed love?"

"You've been waitin' to ask me that all night," Rose teased him.

Jamie wasn't going to be disappointed as she let him help her and once he'd blown out all but a few candles that could be safely left unattended as he'd arranged, they got under the covers, leaving the petals to fall on the floor.  Rose thought he couldn't have got any more romantic on their wedding night and hoped now they were married, he would not stop when he usually did, something they had agreed on that they would wait as they knew they would get married.

Rose thought she felt a little different as she fell asleep, Jamie still nibbling at her neck and ear.

"Okay sweetheart?" he asked her.  "Bet you were surprised with all the petals and candles?"

"Yeah, they were lovely," Rose agreed as she yawned.  "This has been the best day of my life Jamie."

"Mine too love.  I meant what I said earlier.  My life changed the day you walked into my office," Jamie admitted.

The next morning, having a repeat of the night before, well Rose thought it was a repeat as she felt the same, they went down to breakfast, having left their cases outside the door for them to be put in Pete's car.  He was taking them to the airport for the plane to Palma, where they were joining the cruise which set sail early evening.

They'd paid for extra luggage allowance, since they would be away for two weeks and Jamie had expected Rose to bring back presents for everyone, as well as even more clothes than she'd gone with.  Daisy was waiting eagerly for Jamie to send the photos from the night before to her, Tess warning her not to bother the newlyweds too much.

Alec had woken early and felt no differently than the night before, which was trying to get Rose out of his mind and failing.  What was he going to do when he got back to Sandbrook and Rose got on with married life?  The only way he'd ever see her again was either in the glossy magazines or if by some chance Daisy was invited to spend the weekend with them.  Tess would probably volunteer to take her anyway so that was out.  What other excuse did he have?

He just had to face the truth, why would Rose be bothered with him after today?  He looked up as Daisy and Tess entered the dining room, followed by Pete and Tony.

"Alec!" Tony greeted him as he tried to get away from Pete.

"Calm down Tony," Pete laughed.  

"It's okay Pete," Alec told him as Tony wanted to sit next to him.  "Are you still excited from yesterday?" he asked the boy.

"Yeah but Rose and Jamie are going away," Tony complained.  "Dad said so, for two whole weeks," he sighed, looking disappointed.

Daisy went to sit next to him and patted his back.

"Never mind Tony, you'll see them when they get back, won't he Dad?" she asked Alec and smiled at Tony.

"Sure you will Tony," Alec tried to assure him and thinking how lucky the boy was.

"What time are you all leaving?" Pete asked Alec.

"After breakfast," Tess told him.  "Daisy, make sure you've got everything."

"Don't worry about it," Pete laughed.  "You'd be surprised what visitors leave behind.  Jackie says it's like a hotel sometimes."

"Ah, where is she?" Tess wondered where Jackie had got to.

"Bit of a sore head this morning," Pete grinned.

Alec thought no wonder after last night.  On the way downstairs, Jamie stopped to ask Rose something.

"Are you going to stay in touch with Daisy then?"

"Yeah, I promised her Jamie," Rose reminded him.  "Why not?"

"Just wondered.  Do you think she'll tell her dad?" Jamie wanted to know.

"Why do ya ask?" Rose asked him.

"No reason," Jamie tried to bluff.  "I just wondered, I mean after I saw him leave the conservatory last night."

"Jamie, what ya mean by that?" Rose questioned him.  "I told ya, he was lookin' for Daisy, that's all.  In case ya never noticed, he never asked me to dance at the reception and he didn't queue up to kiss the bride."

"Okay, I'll give him that," Jamie admitted.  "Did he talk about anything else though?"

"I'm not having this conversation with ya Jamie.  Dad will be waiting to take us to the airport."

"We don't check in until two," Jamie reminded her.  "I expect they'll be gone by then?"

Rose set off down the stairs, wondering what had come over her new husband.  Jamie had it in his head that Alec being in the same room as her last night was more than it had actually been.  This wasn't the first time Jamie had got jealous but she was hoping he would start to trust her more.

She tried not to let anything show when she joined everyone in the dining room.  Daisy waited to ask Jamie for the photos and was making sure Rose had her phone number.

"So, is it okay if I call you sometime?" Daisy wanted to make sure.

"Yeah, 'course ya can," Rose laughed.  "I'll call ya back to save the credit on ya phone."

"Great and I'm glad I got chosen, it's been a great weekend," Daisy told her.  "Last night, were you saying something, about someone else almost being chosen?"

"Oh, it doesn't matter," Rose insisted.  "I'm glad you all enjoyed yourselves.  Ya should have seen all the entries we got from the competition.  There were millions and I'd love to have been able to choose more bridesmaids but what number would I have stopped at?"

"You never opened all the envelopes?" Daisy went all serious.

"No," Rose laughed.  "I just picked three envelopes, then chose one for head bridesmaid.  Sorry, I had to check it was okay with your mum."

"I'm glad she said yes," Daisy looked at her mother.

"I would never have heard the end of it if I had said no," Tess replied.  "It gave us all a break from work."

"Yeah, I bet," Jamie joined in.

"It's awful what happened to that girl," Rose told them.  "Please give my condolences to her parents."

"We will," Alec assured her.  "If I don't see them, Tess will pass it on."

"Alec, if there's anything Torchwood can do to help, don't hesitate to call," Pete told him.

"Thank you, I appreciate that," Alec told him.  "I should start packing the car."

He didn't know what else to say.  His chief may not like Torchwood taking over the investigation.  It may also involve sending Rose to assess the situation and she would have her husband with her, unless she left him at home but that would be dangerous.

He was going to have enough problems getting Rose out of his system once he got home.  He just hoped Ricky Gillespie wouldn't start going on again about how Lee Ashworth was responsible for Pippa's death.  Maybe he should take up Pete's offer of help and get a confession out of the main suspect.

He just hoped that when they went back to work, they could get some solid evidence from the suspect's wife turning on him, Torchwood would surely have ways of doing that as well.  He made his excuses and went back to the room he'd been using, seeing all the case's outside the newlywed's room and thinking he hoped they'd got extra baggage allowance if they were flying somewhere.

When Tess, Daisy and Alec were ready to leave, Jamie went to help the staff bring down their luggage and Rose was talking with Daisy as they went outside.

"Well, have a good journey back," Rose was saying, her arm in Daisy's.  "So, are ya gonna follow your parents into the police?"

Daisy was sure Rose had asked her that before.

"I don't know yet, maybe?" Daisy replied.  "I'm glad I got to be here this weekend, thanks for everything."

Daisy gave her a big hug and Tess was waiting to shake her hand, that turning into a hug as well.  Alec though was trying to stay out of the way but failed.

"Aw, it was nice to have ya all here," Rose laughed at Alec's awkwardness as he pulled the back door down and turned to meet her face to face.

"I hope ya catch whoever killed that poor girl.  Ya will call if ya need any help, won't you Alec?" she asked him.

"Yes, I will pass it onto the chief," Alec replied, holding his hand out but Rose took him by surprise and reached up to hug him.

She hadn't realised that Jamie had gone into their bedroom and was watching them.  He was thankful the detective was finally going home but could he forget seeing him leaving the conservatory last night, then finding Rose alone in the dim fancy lighting.  He shook his head and let the net curtain go and thought he'd just have to let it go or it would be bothering him all through the honeymoon.

"Bye Alec, take care," Rose told him.  "Daisy, I don't want to see your story of this weekend all over the papers," she then laughed.

Daisy saw the funny side and got in the back of the car.

"Thanks for letting her come Tess," Rose then turned to her.  "Bye everyone."

"Bye Rose," Daisy called from the back.

As Alec went around the other side of the car, she didn't hear him saying goodbye.  He hadn't wanted to hug Rose, it was just making things worse and he didn't want her or Tess hearing him say goodbye.

"You didn't have to hug her back Alec," Tess told him as they drove off and Daisy had put her earphones on and was messing around finding something to listen to.

"Why are you so bothered?" he wanted to know as the satnav told him to turn right when he'd hit the 'Home' option.

"Are you two going to fight all the way home?" Daisy asked them both.  "Geez, I should have stayed a bit longer where we've just been."

"Don't be cheeky," Alec told her, not wanting her to remind him he wished he was staying as well.

He hoped the further away he got, it would lessen the fact he hadn't wanted to leave.  He had to go home and forget about Rose but how could he when there would be a constant reminder of the offer of help from Torchwood and she might be in charge?  Then there was the fact she had an interest in the case by saying to give Pippa's mother her condolences.

Perhaps he should leave that for Tess?

As Rose got back inside, Jamie was coming downstairs, followed by one of the male staff.

"Blimey Rose do you need so much?" Jamie asked her.

"Ya said we were goin' for two weeks," Rose reminded him.

Now he wished he'd only booked one week, she would be bound to be buying presents and new outfits for various occasions.  Tony had worn Pete down and was going to the airport with them.

"Don't bring him back any tacky presents Rose," Jackie told her when she emerged from the kitchen.  

Rose remembered all the 'Tacky' things her mother used to bring back from a day out at Margate or some other seaside town they'd been to on the train.

"Mum, I want a t-shirt with Majorca on," Tony blurted out, getting a frown from Jamie.

"That'll teach ya not to tell him where ya takin' me," Rose laughed.

"How was I to know?" Jamie defended himself.

"Quiet Tony, ya know what your father said," Jackie reminded Tony.

"He's not given it all away," Jamie told her.  "Thanks mate," he then grinned at Tony.

"Sorry Jamie," Tony grinned back.

"It's not your fault," Jackie then told him.  "Really Jamie, ya can't expect to tell him something and not tell Rose."

"Never mind Mum," Rose told Jackie.  "I'm sure it won't spoil it."

"Well that was only part of it," Jamie then admitted.  "We should set off soon, at least I booked the VIP lounge!"

"Trust you," Rose laughed.

"We get well looked after in there," Jamie reminded her.  "Remember?"

Rose did remember he used to book the VIP facilities on their travels.  She couldn't decide if it was because he didn't want to sit with the locals and all their baggage strewn around the airport lounge and kids climbing on the seats and jumping on or over the cases or if it was for the air conditioning and cold drinks.

Jamie could be more of a snob than her mother at times.  Once at the airport, Pete helped Jamie load everything on the baggage trolley while Rose kept hold of Tony, who wanted to go see the planes.  At one time, it was the zeppelins he wanted to see but planes were becoming more popular even on the shorter routes.

"Shame there were no zeppelins scheduled today," Jamie was telling Pete, regretting not booking another flight instead of this one. "Rose would have loved that, I might see if I can swap the flight coming back.  Tell Tony it's okay, he wasn't to know where I was taking Rose was a secret."

"I will, don't worry Jamie," Pete agreed as they headed to the VIP desk.

They got booked in and said goodbye to Pete and Tony then were allowed in the VIP lounge, where they had about an hour to wait for their flight to Palma.  Jamie went to get them some drinks and sandwiches and Rose was hoping Pete had taken Tony to see all the planes at the gates.

"Well, ready for this?" Jamie grinned.  "I thought you might like the first part of the honeymoon, where we can just relax, eh love?"

"If ya told me where exactly we're going?" Rose smiled as she finished her coffee, which being in the VIP lounge was served in fancy cups, not cartons.

"You'll find out love," Jamie smiled.  "We should have had champagne instead of coffee,"

"I think we had enough yesterday," Rose told him.  "Don't you go asking for some on the flight."

"I'll try not to love.  I hope it was a wise move booking seats with more leg room," he then laughed.

"Yeah, you and your long legs," Rose smiled.

They were called forward to board the plane, Rose not surprised they were in first class and a few hours later, they were stepping out into the bright sunshine, Jamie going first and then helping Rose off the bottom step.  They were directed to the VIP lounge and their luggage was waiting for them, then Jamie pushed the trolley towards the exit where they were greeted by the travel company's rep.

"You sneak!" Rose laughed when Jamie put his hand up in response to their names being called.

"I said it was something nice and relaxing love," he grinned.  "What better way to enjoy our first week of being married than going on a cruise?  We can wake up in a different place every morning without having to drag our luggage around," he pointed out.

As they went out to the coach that was waiting to take them to the port to board their cruise liner, Rose began to wonder if that was what had been on Jamie's mind, to wake in a new place every morning or was it because she hadn't wanted to go on any expeditions since they started planning their wedding?  Who knew where Jamie was concerned?

Chapter 17

Rose thought Jamie had been right about the relaxing cruise, which included shore trips to Barcelona, Rome, Tunisia and Monaco, though Rose could have done without Jamie complaining there was no leg room on the coaches.  Jamie bought a toy camel for Tony and Rose insisted on putting it in the window of their cabin so she could see where it was from outside the ship.

Barcelona reminded Rose that The Doctor promised to take her to the planet but she couldn't let on to Jamie.  Jamie took too much time looking around a shop that they almost lost the tour guide, making them laugh while everyone looked at them.

"Ah, just like the old days when we used to travel around, eh Rose?" Jamie nudged her as they sat on the sun deck of the ship when they got back.  "I was right about not having to trail our luggage around."

"Yeah, ya were," Rose had to agree, still not over their trip to the Vatican and seeing a weird photo on her camera that looked like she'd seen an actual ghost.

"Come on Rose, I explained about that photo," Jamie went serious.

"I don't remember seeing anyone pass me, well not in a robe," Rose insisted.  "I'm gonna have Jake examine it when we get back."

"He'll tell you the same as me," Jamie replied, waiting for afternoon tea to be served, then he'd be first in line.  "Only he'll laugh at it more then I did."

"Be serious Jamie," Rose tried to tell him.  "Sure you weren't just larkin' around though?" she then wondered, knowing what he could be like sometimes.

"Rose, I wasn't wearing , remember?" Jamie reminded her.  "Try to just forget about it eh?  I told you we weren't going home when we get back to Palma and I promise no more visits to churches, okay?"  

Rose had to agree though maybe if she told Alec Hardy, him being a detective, he'd probably launch an investigation.  She dare not mention him to Jamie though, he'd not even mentioned the detective since last Sunday.  She hoped that it would be the end of Jamie getting more jealous of the detective than all the others put together.

The rest of their honeymoon seemed to fly by, with a week in a resort hotel when the cruise ship docked in Palma and Jamie said they could sit by the pool and relax for the next week, though Rose wished they were staying on board for another week and visiting different places.

Had she really missed travelling around that much?  When they got home, she was going to have to decide if she wanted to get her old job back or do something new.  Maybe she could find another position within Torchwood, then Jamie might not get the urge to go off anywhere again?

Soon, they were on their way home and Jamie had yet another surprise for Rose as they waited for their ride to the airport.

"So, are we gonna go see mum and Tony tomorrow?" Rose was asking.

"Yeah, Tony's gonna love that camel," Jamie laughed, seeing it sticking out of the top of a bag.  "Mind you, your mother will still complain it's tacky."

"Hey, she'd complain even more if ya'd got her that camel ornament," Rose tried to be serious.

They both laughed as their luggage was put in the back of the coach for the ride to the airport but once there, they were directed to another lounge, Rose thinking it was the VIP one.  It was but it also doubled for the zeppelin port as well, one being on the ground in the distance.

"Jamie, are we going by plane or that?" Rose pointed out of the large window in the corner.

Jamie held his hands up.

"Oh, so you guessed then?  I thought with all the extra stuff we'd be bringing back, it would be good to have a generous baggage allowance."

"We'd have got away with it," Rose replied.  Then she realised the trouble he'd gone to.  "Aw, it was a nice thought, thanks," she then told him.

Once home, Rose was glad they didn't have to rely on the laundry service in the hotel and they went to visit Tony and her parents the next day.

"This is cool," Tony was admiring the toy camel.  "Did you get me a t-shirt as well?"

Jamie ruffled the boy's hair.

"Think it'd forget that mate?" he laughed, as Rose handed a plastic bag to him.

Then she stood and stared at it, Jackie noticing.

"Rose?  Ya look like ya saw a ghost," she laughed.

"I think I did Mum.  Jamie, are you thinking the same as me?"

"It would explain it," Jamie had to agree, thinking she would now maybe forget about the photo.  "Rose took a photo and when she looked at it, she thought it was a ghostly figure, since we were in the Vatican.  Bet you anything someone passed by holding a plastic bag?"

He was glad Rose could finally get over it and she was accepting the explanation.

"Yeah, what else would it be Rose?" Jackie wanted to know, remembering the 'Ghosts' back in their old world that were actually Cybermen trying to break through from this one and the Torchwood there had let them.

Jamie hadn't been told of those events so they had to keep quiet.  It wasn't that Rose didn't trust him but she could never admit she'd been here before, in a time machine with an alien.  They had all stuck to the same story that Rose and Jackie had the misfortune to get mixed up in those events and they wanted to forget about it.

Even though Jamie was now family, Pete was still reluctant to tell him everything and if the time came, he'd be the one to break it to his now son-in-law.

Rose went back to helping Jamie for a while, then took over Mickey's new department when he decided he couldn't work there any more.  Rose had been hoping she could give up work and concentrate on having a family but even though Jamie made a fuss of Tony, it seemed he wasn't that bothered about having any kids of his own.

Back in Sandbrook, the investigation into the death of Pippa Gillespie had ground to a halt, with nothing going on now Tess had managed to lose vital evidence to convict the neighbour.  Alec had thought of taking all the blame but then decided he was not going down alone.  Tess was still annoyed at the way he'd acting after getting home from Rose Tyler's wedding.

He had decided to let Tess tell Cate that Rose had sent her condolences.  Cate had then questioned how on Earth Rose had asked for them to be passed on.

"Cate, my daughter was one of her bridesmaids," Tess had told her late one afternoon.  "Well she was the head and we were there for the weekend.  She said she was quite sad to hear about it."

"Well I suppose she was trying to apologise then?" Cate had asked.

"How do you mean?" Tess wondered.

"Well, she had the nerve to put that silly contest to be a bridesmaid in those magazines and send every teenager into meltdown at the thought of winning," Cate complained.  "Then Pippa disobeyed me and applied and she'd won a place."

"Really?" Tess was surprised.  "She never said anything to me about it.  She was probably too busy to think to mention it?"

"I can believe that," Cate told her.  "Typical.  I mean she had the nerve to get the magazine to call me, I had no idea Pippa had applied.  I bet anything it was Claire and Lisa who encouraged her."

"Was she disappointed she couldn't go?" Tess had dared ask.

"Oh no Tess, I'm not answering any questions on the subject so forget about it," Cate had turned on her.  "I don't want to hear anything else about it.  You don't get to make me feel guilty I didn't let her go Tess.  Had I known something was going to happen, well, I don't want to think about it.  Now please leave."

Tess had known she'd hit a sore point and wondered if it was worth mentioning to Alec.  Had it made a difference on how Pippa was the night she went missing?  She thought about if Daisy hadn't won or she'd not been allowed to go and Daisy would probably not talked to them until she'd forgotten about it.

Instead, all the news coverage afterwards, double page spreads and magazine specials about the big day and Daisy's photo had been in them.  She had been grateful Rose's PR team had left out where the bridesmaids had come from but their names were mentioned.  Luckily, the local paper hadn't figured out Daisy was the daughter of the two lead detectives in a murder investigation but it was only a matter of time.

As Rose was getting back to work again, the subject came up as Alec remembered Rose had asked for them to tell Cate how sorry she was for their loss.

"Yes, I remembered Alec," Tess was insisting.  "I've not had time to tell you about it and I've only just managed to tell her anyway.  I was waiting for the right time."

"Well I hope you didn't tell her it was you who lost the pendant?" Alec asked sarcastically.  "Well, what did she have to say?"

"Stop going on about that.  She didn't say much.  Oh, she did mention something odd though.  Apparently, Pippa had been picked for being one of Rose Tyler's bridesmaids but she'd applied behind Cate's back and Cate had refused to let her go.  I wonder if that was why Daisy was chosen instead?  I'm not sure I like the fact Daisy may have been second choice," Tess then complained.

"Is that all you're bothered about Tess?" Alec asked her.  "She was picked, end of story and if you'd not let her go, she could still not be talking to us.  What else did Cate have to say about it?" he wanted to know, wondering why Rose had never said anything.

"She wasn't happy that Rose had sent her sympathy," Tess replied.  "She was really annoyed about being contacted that Pippa was invited to be a bridesmaid when she knew nothing about it."

"You need to ask her more about it," Alec decided.  "It could have affected how she was before she was killed.  Had she still been talking to Lisa about it?  If she was still unhappy, she could have got Lisa to take her next door despite being told not to."       

"I'll see if Cate will talk but she may want to forget about it," Tess told him.  "We never took any of this into account, I mean how the girls were up to that night and we never asked if they'd blamed Lisa for Pippa putting her name forward either," Tess realised.

"Rose mentioned she only picked out the winning envelopes but nothing about seeing Pippa's name," Alec remembered.

"She must have forgotten," Tess realised.  "She did have a lot going on and we weren't there to ask questions."

Alec thought she could speak for herself.  He'd had plenty but hadn't dared, the Tyler family had been more than generous opening their home to guests and Daisy had been treated like one of their own.  It had been a bit unnerving to look at Jamie but when they'd first met, he had a feeling the other man hadn't taken it very well.

They'd had staring contests on several occasions, even Tess had noticed but he couldn't imagine how Rose had felt.  If she'd had danced with him, what then?  No, it had been best he'd held back from dancing and especially kissing the bride.  What had brought it on, he had no idea, maybe it had been Daisy going on non-stop about it?  He was now once again in his daughter's good books for keeping his promise to take her to the wedding but it had cost them a fortune buying all the newspapers and magazines so she could keep them.              

Then, Tess changed the subject.

"Oh, Rose's mother sent some photos that had been taken during and after the ceremony," she told him.  "Daisy looks so happy in them, they've come out really well."

"Well the Tylers would have used the best photographers in London," Alec replied.  "You wouldn't expect anything less than perfect."

"Do you want to see them?" she wanted to know.

"I'll look when I come and see Daisy," he replied, not wanting to seem over keen.

"Alec, won't you change your mind and not pin all the blame on me for the missing pendant?" Tess then asked him.

"Tess, you were responsible," Alec reminded her.  "How can you say otherwise?  You volunteered to take the evidence back when you were on your way home, there are no excuses.  You chose to stop and carelessly leave it in the car."

"I wasn't thinking Alec," Tess admitted.

"No Tess, you weren't," Alec agreed.  "You were too busy wanting to meet Dave, you see him all day."

"Stop going on Alec.  It's different seeing someone at work," she told him.

"You had best hope we can do without it," Alec replied.  "Someone needs to keep going on at Claire as well.  She knows more than she's letting on."

"We already know that Alec.  "I can't work on Cate and Claire.  You might have better luck with her."

Alec was already worried, the way Claire was giving them the run-around.

"If Lee Ashworth gets off, he'll go straight for her.  Then we watch them," Alec suggested.

"You can't just leave it until then Alec," Tess told him.        

"Have you got another idea?" Alec asked her.

Things didn't get any better concerning the ongoing case.  Alec had considered getting help from Torchwood but doubted it would do any good.  They had looked into what had happened over Pippa being chosen to be one of Rose's bridesmaids and Alec was glad when the subject had been dropped.  It was doing him no good being reminded of her all the time.         

He'd had to accept even though Tess had agreed finally to a divorce, Rose was married and apart from keeping in touch with Daisy, probably never gave him a thought.  Daisy had become popular amongst her friends, showing off the photos Jamie had sent to her phone and she'd bought a special photo album to put the official wedding photos in. 

Before any of them knew it, a year had gone by and it was Rose and Jamie's wedding anniversary and Jamie had planned a host of surprises, including a night time special flight on the London wheel, complete with champagne and chocolates, then staying in a top London hotel.  The next day, he'd planned to take her via the channel tunnel to Paris for a few days and the day before they were leaving, he'd told Rose to pack for a few days.

"I can't believe it's a year already," Rose had told him before he'd gone to work.

"I know!" he laughed as he spiked up his hair.  "This time last year, everyone was rushing around, especially your mother.  Tony was getting really excited about it."

Then, for some reason, he thought back to coming face to face with Alec.  Rose saw the look on his face.

"Ya not still bothered about Daisy's dad looking like ya?" she asked him.

"No, why should I be?" Jamie denied it.  "Okay, it was a bit disturbing, like looking in a mirror all the time I suppose?"

"I bet he never bothered about it as much as you did?" Rose laughed.  "Daisy will probably remember."

"I bet when you go to your mother's she's sent you an anniversary card," Jamie laughed back.

Rose thought that was enough on the subject as she kissed him goodbye.  She had been hoping that by the time their anniversary came around, she might at least suspect she was pregnant but nothing was happening in that department.  She knew Jamie loved her, there was no reason why they shouldn't start a family.  Maybe he just wanted to wait a bit longer, while they had some time to themselves?

Alec had remembered it was a year since he'd taken Daisy to Rose's wedding and it didn't make him feel any better.  He'd seen a few things in the papers about her, one being a recap of the wedding last year and he'd not forgotten any of the events, which he knew he should have done.

So the morning Rose was packing, he was facing his chief, who had noticed Alec was still attracting the media over what had happened at Lee Ashworth's trial.  He had been defiant and pleaded not guilty to killing Pippa, Ricky Gillespie had threatened to kill him, in front of the judge and had been held back by security, a London reporter had done nothing to help Alec's cause by putting him down every chance she got and Jamie had been trying to ignore the headlines every time Alec's name was across them.

Rose had hoped he'd got over his jealousy but she had no idea things were going to blow out of all proportion.  It had been agreed that Alec needed to get away and forget about the disaster of a trial and the fact Tess had done nothing but complain.  Ricky Gillespie had turned on him so it was time to leave.

"I'm sorry Alec," he was being told.  "It's best all round and I've found someone willing to take you on.  Elaine Jenkinson is an old friend of mine, she knows what happened wasn't your fault.  She'll try and keep it quiet and she's risking upsetting one of her officers, who was due a promotion.  She doesn't think the officer is quite ready, the female officer could benefit from your experience."

"Then what?" Alec wanted to know.  "I get moved again or come back here?"

"No, of course not Alec, unless you want to come back?  I've arranged to give you a week to settle in, you'll only be on call if something major happens, otherwise get to know the area and settle in.  They'll arrange a hotel for now, you can look around for something suitable.  Jenkinson says it should be quiet, nothing ever happens there."

"So where is this place then?" Alec dared ask, thinking it would be just his luck it would be the back of beyond, a place no-one had ever heard of.

"It's called Broadchurch, on the south west coast," he was told.

"A seaside town?" Alec didn't like the idea already.

"It's just a small part of it by the sea, there's also the rest of the town.  It's not Blackpool Alec," the chief laughed.

"Easy for you to laugh," Alec mumbled to himself, it wasn't the chief who was being bundled off all of a sudden.

Was it all of a sudden, he wondered.  Or had the two chiefs been planning it for weeks?  Maybe this friend of his chief's had owed him a big favour, one that would get himself off the hook and away from the likes of Ricky Gillespie and the nagging reporter, Karen .

Neither of the latter would let it go and Karen brought it up at every opportunity she got.  Well just let her find him once he moved.  Maybe it was time to start fresh and maybe Daisy would want to visit, once he got settled?  After all, what could happen in a small seaside town with the name of Broadchurch?

Chapter 18

Rose was glad that Alec was finally out of the news headlines.  She knew it wasn't fair on him and he'd have done his best to get a conviction.  She didn't think it a good idea to ask Pete if they could get involved, to help Alec and it would have just made Jamie even worse.

They were trying to get back to normal, now all the wedding photos for the press had finally all been published and Rose thought that now, Jamie might want to bring up the subject of having a baby.  She cornered him one night when they got home.

"Well, what do ya think then?" Rose wanted to know, trying to judge the look on his face.

"Ah, well?" he began nervously.  "We've only been married a year Rose."

"Well, what's to stop us?" Rose wanted to know.  "It could take a while ya know?  We should both get checked over in medical before, ya know."

"Well?  We'll have to move, you know?  This place isn't suitable for kids running around.  Well when I say kids, I mean one kid to start with and maybe another one later."

"Jamie, I'm not asking ya to start our own version of The Waltons ya know?" Rose had to laugh.  "We shouldn't decide how many we're gonna have just yet though.  Well, can I at least tell mum we're thinkin' about starting a family?" she asked hopefully.

"If it stops her going on about it?" Jamie relented slightly.  "I mean looking after Tony's one thing, we can hand him back at the end of the weekend," he laughed.

"Well, we can't stop having Tony over, he'd be upset," Rose reminded him.  "Let's tell mum then?"

Rose thought it was all agreed, so after Sunday lunch a few days later, Jamie was off playing a new game with Tony and Rose and Jackie were in the family room.

"Is that for real?" Jackie was making sure she'd heard right at the prospect of being a grandmother.

"Yeah but it may be a while yet Mum," Rose assured her.  "Don't keep going on at Jamie, will ya, or it might put him off."

"Well I don't know why," Jackie laughed.  "Oh, so he's still not that keen then?"

"I really don't know what's wrong with him Mum," Rose admitted.  "I mean I thought he'd be more enthusiastic."

"He'll come around Rose," Jackie tried to assure her.

Rose made appointments for them in medical and they were both declared fit to be parents, Rose thinking it might prompt Jamie to be a bit keener.  It wasn't happening though as Rose started a course of vitamins that would help and she knew Jamie wasn't taking what he'd been given by Doctor Harper.

She went back to see the head of medical, to see if Owen could tell her anything.

"Give him time Rose," she was advised.  "I can't tell you much without his permission, you know that."

"I just want to know there's nothing wrong with him," Rose insisted.

"There's nothing wrong with him, physically," Owen told her.  "Has it occurred to you two that it might be something romantic?" he then smirked.

"Shut up Owen," Rose laughed.

"Well, there's nothing I can do about that," he then told her.  "Anything else I can do for you today?  Do you want me to give him a psychiatric evaluation?"

Rose got up, trying to stop laughing.

"Good luck with that then Owen.  It took some doing getting him to our last appointment."

"Get your friend Jake to talk to him then?" Owen then suggested.

"I'll see how it goes.  Jamie's never been one to be over-romantic though," Rose admitted.  "Well except for our wedding anniversary.  Can I tell ya something?"

Owen nodded, trying to be serious.

"Go ahead, it won't leave his room," he promised.

"It had better not Owen," Rose warned him.  "Well, he got jealous of someone at our wedding, someone who looked a lot like him."

"You mean more jealous than usual?" Owen wondered, remembering what Jamie was like with Mickey.

"Well yeah, he hated coming face to face with his twin.  Owen, there are a lot of things we never told him about the Doctor.  Well there was that detective, Alec Hardy, he brought his daughter to our wedding, she was one of the bridesmaids.  I thought it was gonna be guns at twenty paces.  Ya should've seen them."

"I never saw them together," Owen admitted.  "So, this detective, he's the one from that case with the two missing girls?"

"Well yeah.  Jamie said it was like facing himself in the mirror and they were both on edge when they saw each other.  If it had been somewhere else they'd met, well I don't know what would've happened," Rose explained.

"It was that bad?" Owen had to laugh.  "They've not seen each other since though?"

"No, thank goodness," Rose replied.  "Geez Owen, ya think that's the problem?  That somehow, Jamie's still got the jealousy bug?  I mean there were those times, before the wedding when he'd got jealous but with Alec Hardy, it was different."

"I can imagine," Owen grinned.  

"Owen, I don't even want to go there.  How can I ask Jamie if he's still jealous?  I mean he's fine with other things, why that?"

"You know him better than I do Rose," Owen reminded her.  "Get Pete to talk to him then?"

"Well dad knows what happened, well some of it," Rose recalled.  "Is it a good idea though?  I mean to bring it all up again?"

"Rose, talk to Pete about it then?" Owen then suggested, feeling out of his depth.  "I'm not the one to ask for help."

She thanked Owen for his input and went back to work, meaning to visit Pete later on or wait until the following weekend.  Jamie would be keeping Tony occupied as usual so she should be safe to find Pete and see what he thought.

Alec's transfer had been delayed but now, he was on his way to Broadchurch but as he arrived, he got the strangest feeling he'd been there before and forgotten all about it.  He'd settled in the hotel he'd been put up in and gone back down to the beach, even though now, he hated water more than he'd already done.

He walked along the beach, since the tide was out but thought he'd best not take too long or he'd have to be rescued.  Then, it would be in the local paper and Rose may get to see it.  For some strange reason, he still thought about her most of the time and he thought a move would help clear his head.

It didn't and now, he was stuck in a small seaside town and when he'd seen a certain cliff, he knew exactly why he remembered it.  It was where he used to escape from his parents arguing all the time they'd been here, camping at one of the farms.

He had been too young at the time to understand why they'd argued but it had been his mother getting ill and his father was in denial.  He got back to the hotel, the owner staring at him.

"Have you been to Broadchurch before?" Becca Fisher asked him.

"Ah, not exactly," he admitted, thinking it wasn't really a lie, since the small village they'd been to was called Eype.

His dad would never go up or down the narrow road in the car after dark so once they'd got back, they were stuck where they'd camped.

"Well, if you need someone to show you around, just say, yeah?" she then asked hopefully.

He thought it would be a big mistake to get involved in any way with the Australian hotel owner, who if she talked to everyone, word would soon get out.  Maybe though, he could get over Rose Tyler once and for all?  It was doing him no good thinking about her and that it was just over a year since he'd been at her wedding and he'd refused to dance with her or line up with the others to kiss the bride.

If he'd been brave enough to do the latter, would he have felt any different?  It may have only made her husband even more jealous and he'd not wanted that.  He'd thought about her, yes but only because he'd regretted not saying anything to her.

Becca brought him back down to Earth.

"Well, I'm off most evenings for a few hours," she was telling him.

"Ah, don't take this the wrong way Ms Fisher but I moved here to get away from my ex wife, I'm not looking to replace her just yet," he told her.

Becca then changed her mood.

"Well, if you say so?  Don't let me keep you then, inspector.  Call if there's anything you need.  Don't take my asking you the wrong way, will you?" she then added, thinking he might spread rumours about her and that would ruin any chances that Mark Latimer would somehow follow up on his flirting with her when he'd come to collect his daughter the other week.

How long was a woman supposed to wait, she asked herself as Alec went off to his room.  She may have to take matters into her own hands, if the new inspector wasn't interested.  He did look familiar though and she meant to look him up.

Alec was glad when the weekend came around, it had so far been boring, having a sergeant showing him around while waiting for the DS whose job he'd taken to come back from her vacation.  Then the sparks would fly.  It would be on a level with facing Rose's husband before and after the wedding.

He still couldn't forget that morning, when he'd talked to her then gone off to find her brother.  It was like neither he nor Rose wanted anyone to know that he'd seen her and talked to her and she'd probably made up some kind of excuse to her stepfather, whom he'd seen as he gone off towards the attic room Tony had been in.

Then to make things worse, he'd found her in the conservatory later on and had prayed Jamie hadn't seen him leaving.

As usual, Rose and Jamie had gone to her mother's on the Sunday and she'd gone off to find Pete.

"Rose.  What can I do for you?" Pete asked when she knocked on his study door.

"Dad, can I talk to ya?" Rose asked him.

"Is something wrong?" he wanted to know, since she usually called him Pete.

"It's about Jamie.  I don't know who else to talk to.  We went for a physical, to make sure we were both okay before we decided to start a family," Rose started to tell him.

"You were both okay Rose, Owen sent me a copy of your results, it's standard," Pete admitted.

"Dad, I think I'm keener to have kids than Jamie is.  I mean he borrows Tony every Sunday and when Tony's with us, he goes more to Jamie," Rose told him.

"That's only natural, Tony looks up to him," Pete reminded her.  "So, what else is bothering you?"

"Remember Alec Hardy?" Rose asked him.

"Of course.  I wish we could have helped him Rose but we couldn't interfere," Pete told her.

"I get that Dad.  No, it's something else, how Jamie got jealous and they almost started a fight," Rose admitted.

"I didn't know it was that serious Rose," Pete replied, closing down his laptop.  "I know Jamie found it difficult with Alec looking like him but why would he be jealous?"

"I don't know why Dad, really.  I mean he got jealous when we were working away that time.  Why did he think Alec was there to make him jealous?" Rose asked him.

"That's between you and Jamie to settle," Pete advised her.

"I can't ask him Dad," Rose admitted.  "How can I?  I don't know why but I really think it's stopping Jamie thinking about starting a family.  I mean why?  Neither of us has seen Alec since."

"Rose, he was in the papers when the case fell apart," Pete reminded her.  "Maybe that triggered something in Jamie?"

"Geez Dad, why would it?  Unless he really thinks somehow I'd go off with Alec?  Tell me it's not that."

"I wish I could tell you Rose, really I do," Pete sympathised with her.  "Only Jamie can answer that question and you said you can't ask him.  No-one can Rose, not without causing trouble between the two of you."

"So I have to keep quiet about it and hope Jamie comes round?" Rose guessed.  "Well I just hope it manages to stay out of the papers then," she tried to joke.

"Yes, you had better hope so Rose.  Then Jamie might be willing to go ahead starting a family," Pete agreed, wondering what Rose wasn't telling him.

There had to be more to it, to make Jamie so jealous that he wasn't even sure he wanted kids with his wife.  What had happened on the weekend of the wedding?  He'd seen Alec leaving the direction of Rose's room and then seen Rose at her door a few moments later.

Surely nothing had happened, like Alec being stupid enough to cause even more trouble for himself with Jamie.  Then later, he'd seen Alec looking for his daughter and Rose had been missing.  He had to give Rose the benefit of the doubt, that it had just been coincidence.

Rose kept quiet about her concerns but no-one knew what they were going to wake up to the following Friday morning.  For Alec, all he'd needed was being called to the beach early in the morning, then the DS who had just come back to work had started an argument with him and kept it going all morning.

The worst thing for him wasn't finding a young boy on the beach, which had been too like finding young Pippa in the river but following close behind was word getting out via the local paper before the official statement and Rose would know where he was.

Rose and Jamie had got to work and Rose had meant to drag Jamie off somewhere for the weekend, a last minute idea to try to convince him he wanted a family as much as she did.  He had caught her looking at her phone as she looked at hotels that had late offers.

"I know you're up to something Rose," he told her, trying to get her to look away from her phone.  

"Well, I was gonna surprise ya," Rose admitted.  "Let's go somewhere in the morning and stay overnight?"

"Oh.  Well, okay but what about seeing Tony?" he then remembered.

"Jamie, he'll survive for one Sunday without ya," Rose reminded him.  "I've found a nice hotel, right on the seafront in Brighton.  It won't take us long to get there, we can be there in an hour or so."

"Well okay, I'll pay, if you want?" Jamie offered, Rose wondering what was wrong with him since he'd agreed then offered to pay when it was her idea.

Then, Rose jumped as she got an alert on her phone.

"What is it love?" Jamie wanted to know.

Rose could hardly believe what she was reading but it was just the news saying something had happened in a place called Broadchurch.  Alec couldn't be there, could he?

"Ah, nothing, it's not about Brighton, it's about another place beginning with 'B'," she told him.

"That's okay then.  Call the hotel and tell them we'll pay when we get there.  Tell them who you are if they want a deposit paying," he then joked.

"Very funny Jamie," Rose laughed at the idea.

She went off to her desk, thinking nothing more of the newsflash of a place she'd never heard of.  Then her social media alerted her about the same place and she followed the link to a local newspaper in the town that a young boy had been found on Broadchurch beach and that police, led by DI Alec Hardy were investigating.

She knew she couldn't tell Jamie, not yet anyway.  He had to find out for himself, she wasn't going to be responsible for making jealousy raise its ugly head again.  It wasn't until later that afternoon when they took a break and went to the canteen and people were talking about it and reading news headlines.

"What?" Jamie said to no-one in particular as he picked a paper up off a table.  "Rose, have you seen this?  Is this what you saw earlier?" he showed her.

"I didn't read it all Jamie," Rose defended herself.  "It wasn't about Brighton, it was only saying there were long tailbacks on a road leading somewhere."

"Well, I suppose you wouldn't have read any more then?" Jamie seemed satisfied as he skimmed through the headlines.  "It's a place called Broadchurch, a boy's been found on the beach.  Blimey, hope they've not got Alec Hardy on the case, with what happened with his last one."

"Don't talk like that Jamie, it wasn't his fault, Jake found out the truth, remember?" she replied.

Jamie just pulled one of his faces and went to get his lunch, passing the paper to her.

"Did you ask him to?" Jamie then asked her.

"Stop it Jamie.  Let's not spoil our weekend, yeah?"

They finished eating and went back to work but when Rose was about to finish for the day, Jamie didn't want to leave.

"I'll just finish off a few things, then I'll be home," he promised her.  "Sorry about earlier love."

"Yeah, forget about it Jamie.  It's hardly likely to be Alec, is it?  He took the blame officially, they cleared his name but he insisted Daisy didn't find out," Rose reminded him.  "He'd do anything for his daughter, even come to our wedding when he hadn't wanted to."

"Did he tell you that?" Jamie raised his eyebrows.

Rose refused to answer, she didn't start domestic arguments at work, for fear Pete would get to know and send Jake to break them up.

"See ya at home," Rose replied instead, which was her way of saying it wasn't up for debate.

When Rose had left, Jamie got his phone out to see if there was any more news and caught the beginning of a press conference.  There was Alec, right in the centre, promising whoever was responsible would be caught.

"Hope you have more luck this time around pal," Jamie stared at the image.

Was Rose right and she'd not seen Alec since the wedding and it was pure bad luck the Sandbrook killer had walked free?  It had been at the back of his mind though, Alec leaving the conservatory that night and when Rose had been messing around when they were all dancing, making Daisy laugh.  Had she done it just for the teenager's amusement?

Rose had got home and was tempted to call Alec but it would just make things worse, were Jamie to follow her home.  She switched on the TV as they were showing the press interview again, making Rose feel sorry for poor Alec.  He looked tired but she thought that was only to be expected after the day he would have just had.

Alec was tired, he just wanted to get back to his hotel room and hope the owner wouldn't quiz him for ages about what had happened.  He'd noticed she'd been missing the night before but she had pointed out she took a couple of hours off and he wasn't bothered anyway.

Then when he finally escaped the press conference, having avoided a certain London reporter who must have had her bags already packed the moment word had got out earlier, he thought this time, the killer wasn't going to get away.  For one thing, Tess was miles away and another, maybe he could call Rose and ask for her help.

Chapter 19

Alec leaned back on the bed, after getting his phone out of his jacket pocket.  Should he risk calling Rose or just Torchwood in general?  No, he had to face his demons and get over this nonsense about her.  She had got married, in front of him and that was that.  He had to let it be or risk Jamie coming down on him like a ton of bricks. 

He stared at his phone, cursing himself for even daring to put her number in his contacts.  He'd convinced himself he'd left it there in case Daisy wanted it, like she'd ever lose or forget it, since it was probably engraved on her brain after all the excitement of Rose and Jamie sending her wedding photos the public were not privy to on that video chat app she'd tried to teach him to use. 

He scrolled through his contacts and stopped at Rose's name and number.  Should he call or delete it?  Maybe he'd be best deleting it and have done with it?  That would be the most sensible thing he'd done since he'd met her over a year ago. 

There had been no more news about her, well nothing new anyway.  The papers re-hashed wedding photos every now and then in case anyone out of the seven billion people on the planet had dared to miss them the first time around.                

He'd only just managed to stop his daughter going on about the wedding on the weekends they met up and then he'd had to insist and offer to pay for her to have them printed off at a photo shop's automated machine.  He suddenly jumped as his phone rang but he was annoyed it was Tess. 

What had he expected after the events of the day?  That Rose herself would call with the offer of help? 

"Alec, what's going on down there?" Tess wanted to know. 

"As if you did not know Tess," he replied. 

"It's typical of you to walk into another child being found Alec.  What were the chances of that?" she then wanted to know. 

"Your point being?" he replied.  "Get on with it Tess, I've had a hell of a day.  The DS I'm working with has not stopped reminding me that I took her job from her."  

"You never?" Tess almost laughed.  "No wonder she's pissed off at you then?  So, have you established what happened or have you been too busy arguing who's going to be in charge?" 

"Stop it Tess.  Watch the main news later on at ten, you'll find out just as much as everyone else, won't you?" 

"Don't take it out on me Alec," Tess reminded him.  "Well, who's the victim?" 

"Eleven year old Danny Latimer, lived in the town.  He was found on the beach but he wasn't killed there, we've established that," he admitted. 

Well he thought the chances were slim the boy had been killed there, judging by the way the body had been laid out on display.  It was like the killer was a bit of an amateur but knew some things, enough to try and throw them off. 

"We're just waiting for forensics to finish up and CCTV to be collected from cameras owned by businesses," he added, to convince her they were already doing what they could.  "He did a paper round, I'm going to walk his route in the morning, see where it took him." 

"It's not likely it's someone who got the wrong paper delivered Alec," Tess started her usual sarcasm. 

"Was there anything else Tess?  I'm tired, I got woken early this morning," he just replied, instead of giving her chance to go on at him. 

He thought he was over Tess going on at him. 

"I suppose there's no possibility of any connection to your last case?" she asked out of the blue. 

"Not unless the Ashworth's have changed their style," he replied.  "Does Daisy know?" 

"Yes, she's a bit upset, since she knows it's similar to your last case.  I don't suppose you'll be coming up next weekend unless you clear it up quickly?" Tess then asked him.               

"I will call her and explain," Alec told her. 

"Why don't you call Torchwood and see if they can offer any help Alec, since you're well in with them?" she then suggested. 

"There's nothing they can do Tess, don't even go there," he warned her. 

Since it was getting late and he had to go out early the next morning, he put his phone on the bedside table and went into the bathroom.  No, he'd have to mange without any help from Rose or Torchwood, if he was to stay sane, Rose would just be a distraction and she may bring Jamie with her.  Then what?  He'd achieve nothing 

It was late and there was no sign of Jamie as Rose tried calling him. 

"I'm sorry Miss Tyler," the night security officer on reception was telling her.  "There's no answer from his desk phone.  I can try his work mobile for you."         

"No, it's okay Carl, I've tried both his mobiles.  Can ya check if he's still logged into his computer?" 

She waited but she already knew the answer.  Jamie was sulking that Alec was in the news again, for all the wrong reasons.  She had thought she might get a call but maybe Alec didn't want to cause any trouble.  Well he had, whether intentional or not, Jamie had seen the newspaper headlines and was blowing off some steam before he came home by burying himself in his work. 

Well she hoped that was it.  Carl had got back to her. 

"He's still logged in Miss Tyler.  Should I get someone to check on him?" the guard offered. 

She and Jamie knew the night security, Jake had hand-picked them for the job. 

"Yeah, can they tell him to get his ass home?" Rose laughed.  "We're supposed to be going off for the weekend." 

"I'll have them call you back when he's been told.  They should use those exact words?" Carl sounded serious. 

"Yeah and that they came from me," Rose agreed. 

Jamie was blowing off some steam after he'd insisted Rose went home.  He had a lot to think about but why was he still jealous of someone who had come to their wedding over a year ago?  Then there was Rose, going on about starting a family.  When had all that started?  Jackie hadn't yet given him a lecture about how she wanted to be a grandmother, which she would have done.  Unless Rose had told her not to go on about it?                     

He stopped what he was doing when he heard a noise outside, possibly a security patrol, he thought.  They would probably stick their heads around the doorway and ask if everything was okay, nothing got past Jake's men anyway.  Well not unless those creatures Rose had told him about decided to invade and materialise in front of him. 

Then he'd only get worried if the Cybermen also came back and declared war on them.  He laughed to himself and looked up as two security officers were watching him. 

"Hey fellas, what's up?" he greeted them. 

"Good evening Doctor Smith.  Everything okay with you?" the larger of the two asked him. 

"Fine.  Oh, my wife called, right?" Jamie then grinned, looking at his phone and seeing he'd left it on silent.  "Bet she told you to kick my ass home? 

"Those exact words," both men replied.  

"Ah, sorry, didn't realise the time," Jamie used the excuse.  "You know what it's like?  Okay, I'm going." 

Rose was happy when she got a call back to say Jamie had been reminded to get himself home but she knew Jake wouldn't let her forget she'd had to call in the first place.  She had just gone in the bedroom when she heard the outer door opening.                  

"Rose, where are you?" Jamie called as he locked the door and threw his keys down on the side table.  "Got a bit carried away after you left, sorry love."                   

Rose waited then stood in the bedroom doorway, in her nightdress and silky robe. 

"I shouldn't have had to get someone to check on ya Jamie," she reminded him. 

"Then why did you Rose?  So we can have another discussion about starting a family?" he wanted to know. 

"What is it you have against the subject?" Rose wondered as she sat in front of the mirror and picked her hairbrush up.  "If ya don't wanna go off tomorrow, we'll stay home or go some place else." 

"Such as Broadchurch?" he replied, throwing his jacket over the purple velvet chair, followed by his tie. 

Rose had always thought he was messier than the Doctor sometimes and there was no Tardis to clean up after Jamie.  She wasn't going to get pulled into this argument, she decided.    

"There are plenty of other places on the south coast Jamie," she reminded him.  

"Southend, Bognor to start with." 

Jamie made a face. 

"Who makes up the names of some of the places?" he asked as he took his shirt off, which usually got a response from his wife. 

He knew he was in trouble as she remained seated, with the brush still in her hand. 

"Okay, I'm sorry I didn't come home earlier Rose.  I thought if I stayed late, we could take Monday off as well?" 

Rose wondered if she'd got it wrong but she somehow doubted it. 

"Well maybe?  Jamie, I was worried you were avoiding me," she admitted. 

"No, it wasn't that love," he replied, leaning down to kiss her cheek.  "You're not going to chase me with that brush, are you?" he then laughed. 

"Not unless ya want me to?" she teased him.  "Sorry, I'm just a bit off.  I mean when I saw what happened earlier.  Why did it have to happen where Alec had just moved to?  I wonder how long he's been there?" 

Jamie wondered what difference that made.  The event would have taken place, no matter how long the detective had been there. 

"Forget it Rose, Pete won't send anyone to help, it's just down to Alec to solve it on his own.  Well unless there's evidence of alien activity," he then laughed, hoping to take her mind off it. 

He knew of only one thing at present to take her mind off the current events and that meant being serious about starting a family.  Then he realised he was being cornered when she'd suggested going off for the weekend.  Well, wasn't she being the sneaky one? 

Was that going to be the only thing to get her to forget about Alec Hardy as well?  He was well and truly stuck, she knew it.  Maybe he should just make things easier for her or had that been on his mind earlier when he knew full well what the time was?                                  

Unless she got her own way and they had a baby, she was never going to give up.  It must be her way of saying she was committed to himself as long as they started a family but did he want it that way?  Did he want to be cornered like that?                  

He knew she wanted this weekend away from everything but why had Alec Hardy have to come into the equation at the last minute?  She had chosen it to get them in the mood, he knew what time of the month it was, he kept up with that so he was prepared for her change in mood. 

"Well, do I cancel in the morning?" Rose wanted to know as she got into bed. 

"We might as well go," he agreed reluctantly.  "I don't think our presence in Broadchurch will be appreciated unless we turn up with a load of alien tech?" 

Rose wasn't sure if he was joking or not, when it came to being jealous.  She'd had enough experience of it.  She could justify not telling him more about The Doctor, she had no idea what he would do if he ever found out everything so it had to remain a well guarded secret. 

She supposed she'd been thankful Mickey had never said anything.  Jamie was bad enough Mickey had been her old boyfriend, she had no choice but to remain silent.  Jamie got into bed and lay with his hands behind his head, like he was thinking.  Rose often wished he'd stop doing things that reminded her of the time she'd spent with the Doctor. 

"One thing Rose," Jamie finally broke the silence.  "Let's not argue tomorrow, okay?  I mean over starting a family.  We'll both know when it's time, won't we?"                                

Rose thought he had no idea how she felt about it, did he?  She shouldn't have to keep going on about it, he should take the hint and at least consider it.  Not wanting to hold a grudge, she lay on her side and put her arm across him, noticing he'd put a t-shirt on.          

They set off the next morning and booked into the hotel, just as Alec had got back from walking the paper round of the deceased boy.  DS Miller greeted him with a carton of coffee she'd brought in with her.  He just grunted as he took it from her. 

"There's another CCTV camera overlooking a hut, on the side of the cliff.  Do you know where that is?" he asked as Ellie Miller stared at him. 

Ellie thought no wonder they'd been keen to get rid of him at his last job, he didn't give anyone a chance to say anything.  She could have sworn he was the one from the Sandbrook case but what would he be doing here, apart from stealing her promotion from her? 

Had he been sent here just to annoy her if no-one else was willing to take him?  His name sounded familiar other than that though.  Hadn't there been a young girl with that surname in all the papers about being the bridesmaid of the Vitex heiress?  She pitied the poor girl for her father spoiling the headlines with his own that he'd let a killer walk free.   

"Yes, I know where you mean, up on Briar Cliff," Ellie replied, snapping out of it.  "What were you doing up there – Sir?  Was it on Danny's paper round?" 

Alec thought of saying no, he was out for the exercise but changed his mind, it would just make her worse. 

"Oh, the newsagent called to say he remembered something," she then told him. 

Alec got up and went for his coat.  Why was he even putting it on?  He should have ditched it before he got it back from the cleaners, after it had been taken off him when he'd got Pippa out of the river.  He'd thought of calling Rose, to say it had been him but she had probably already known who it had been.  Had he mentioned it at her wedding? 

He took the piece of paper from his DS and waited to see if she followed him.  They were just leaving when the chief stopped them. 

"Alec, a word," the chief hinted for him to remain. 

"I'll wait downstairs," Ellie decided, thinking she wasn't wanted. 

"How are you coping so far?" Alec was then asked. 

"Fine, why would I not be coping?" he replied.  "Has DS Miller made a complaint?" 

"She's not happy about things," the chief admitted.  "I stuck my neck out to accept your transfer Alec, she's bound to be resentful.  I need your reassurance you can handle this, after Sandbrook. 

"That's why you need me on this," Alec told her.  "Would DS Miller be able to handle a murder investigation?" 

He saw the look on the chief's face. 

"Don't let me down Alec.  You'll have more staff from Monday, they're being brought in from surrounding areas.  Be ready for them," she suggested. 

He caught up with his DS and they went to interview the newsagent, Alec thinking it was a waste of time but they went off in search of the postman, who had been seen arguing with the boy a week or so previously.  By the time they got back, there were wires everywhere and a phone engineer was caught snooping around a desk. 

"What are you doing?" Ellie wanted to know. 

"Ah, fitting new phone lines," the engineer looked surprised. 

Ellie gave him a warning then went to Alec's office.  As they were arguing over something, there was a knock on the door and Ellie got up. 

"Have you finished?" Ellie wanted to know when she saw who it was. 

"It's not that.  You're investigating that boy's death," the engineer stated. 

"Why are you asking?" Alec wondered, taking his glasses off and rubbing his face. 

"It's about Danny.  He wants you to know he was put in a boat," the engineer told them. 

"There are dozens of boats out there," Ellie reminded the man. 

"He lived by the sea, he is bound to have been in one," Alec told the man. 

"No, you don't get it," the man insisted.  "After he was killed." 

Alec got up to confront the engineer. 

"Who told you that?" he wanted to know. 

"Danny told me," came the man's reply. 

"Get him down to the interview room," Alec told his new DS. 

"You think he can tell us something Sir?" Ellie sounded surprised. 

"If he's not making it up," Alec replied.  "You go ahead, I'm going to call an expert.  Is it written down anywhere that Danny may have been put in a boat?" 

"No Sir, no-one's even suggested such a thing," Ellie told him.  "You think he could have been put on the beach after being transported from where he died?" 

"You tell me Miller?  He was not killed on the beach but the question remains as to where he was killed.  Have someone chase up that CCTV footage from where I was earlier and find out who owns that cottage."

The phone engineer was waiting outside Alec's office but he knew he had them.  It had suddenly come into his mind and they might believe him, that was if they didn't call Torchwood in.  Then he'd get some recognition and write another book and this time, people would buy it, this was a high-profile case, unlike the others. 

"Which do you want first?" Ellie forgot to call him 'Sir'. 

"Just get someone on both Miller.  If Danny wasn't killed on the beach, what better place than a remote cottage on the top of a cliff?  The CCTV may have captured Danny and his killer up there on Thursday night." 

"Sir, you want me to take the phone engineer downstairs before or after carrying out your orders?" Ellie dared ask. 

Alec just looked at her and she knew the answer, she would just have to get used to his way of working.  He then got his mobile out of his pocket.  He'd made a note of the Torchwood number after the wedding, in case he ever needed them.

"Who did you say you were calling?" Ellie wondered who the expert was and why they needed one.

"Think about it Miller.  We said nothing of Danny not being killed on the beach.  Either the phone engineer is the killer or he guessed about the boat being involved.  My bet is the latter but we have to make sure.  That is why I am calling the experts in.  I'm going to call Torchwood, Miller."

Chapter 20

Rose and Jamie were just packing the car, Rose trying not to get mad that Jamie wanted to drive when he was still in a mood.

"There's no rush to get there Jamie," Rose tried to tell him when he told her to hurry.

"I know but why waste time here when we can spend the time there, on the beach?" he wanted to know. "You do want to go on the beach?"

"Well yeah, that was the point of going Jamie," Rose replied.

"Geez Rose, if you don't want to lie on the beach in your bikini, you only have to say," he told her.

She felt like saying exactly that, if he was going to be in a mood. The last time they'd been anywhere, he'd chased her into the sea trying to splash her.

"I don't wanna spend all the weekend on the beach Jamie," Rose finally replied after they had set off.

"Fine, have it your way Rose," he gave in, clinging hold of the steering wheel. "Oh and can we please not talk about what's going on down in Broadchurch, eh?" he added.

"I wasn't gonna Jamie," Rose insisted, determined he wasn't going to win this game he seemed to be playing, that of bringing up the fact Alec was in charge of the case and there was no getting away from the fact.

Ellie Miller was still not impressed with the way her new boss was handling things. Did the man ever stop barking a dozen orders all at the same time? She had gone back to her desk after getting a uniformed officer to escort the phone engineer downstairs and wondered what Hardy was up to. Why would Torchwood be interested?

Alec had been put through to an agent, hoping he could use the fact that Rose had told him he could ring any time.

"Yes, this is DI Hardy, Wessex police. I have a murder down here in Broadchurch and during the investigation, something has come up regarding a man who claims that the victim has contacted him," Alec explained when asked the nature of his call.

"I see then, detective inspector," the male agent was telling him. "Can you give more details?"

Alec repeated what had taken place and waited for the agent to tell him they couldn't get involved.

"So, this man claims the boy told him he'd been put in a boat but the police have not yet determined the fact?" Alec was asked.

"I know it sounds vague but I was hoping you may have heard of such a thing before?" Alec replied. "Maybe you have heard of this man, his name is," Alec stopped to put his glasses on to see what Ellie Miller had hurriedly scribbled down. "Ah, the name is Steve Connolly."

"I will have to look the name up," the agent told him. "So, he was caught glancing at papers on desks?"

Alec knew where this was going already. If it hadn't been for the fact Rose had told him if anything bothered him for him to get in touch, he wouldn't have bothered.

"No, before you say anything, the officer concerned had not left anything in view, the man had moved several papers and was purposely snooping," Alec insisted.

"Just one moment while I look up the name then," the agent then told him.

Alec waited, wishing they would just hurry up. Ellie knocked on his office door to ask if he was ready to interview the man just taken away.

"I am waiting to find out if Connolly is known to Torchwood," Alec told her. "If not, they can investigate him for us and save us the time. They can also then warn him to stay out of the way of a murder investigation."

"You mean you hope they can – Sir," Ellie replied, thinking he was just wishful thinking and Torchwood would tell him to handle it himself. "We should be getting down to interview him, or he may decide he wants a solicitor."

Alec didn't need reminding of that. He had to wait a bit longer, listening to boring music before the agent got back to him. The agent had consulted the Torchwood database but found nothing on Steve Connelly but was making an entry to watch out for the man in the future and that he'd tried interfering with a murder investigation.

"Sorry to keep you waiting Sir," the agent apologised to Alec. "We don't have anything on the man but I've made a note of it. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

Alec felt like saying a fat lot of good that was going to do him.

"Well can you investigate the man?" Alec wanted to know. "I really don't have time to deal with someone who claims he's spoken to a recently deceased boy. I can see this man is going to be trouble and keep coming back if we ignore him."

"I understand your concern, detective inspector," the agent sympathised. "I can speak to my supervisor and get back to you. Given the circumstances, I can see how you think this person may just be trying to get some recognition from his interference."

"Exactly," Alec agreed. "Then I would appreciate some help from Torchwood in keeping this man in check. We have to concentrate on how the boy died, not some fake who says a dead boy told him he'd been put in a boat."

"I see then?" the agent replied. "Then I will make it a priority to get my supervisor to call you personally. Please expect a call later today, when we hope we can resolve this for you. Was there anything else we can do for you?"

Alec wanted to say yes, get Rose herself to call him back or did Rose no longer work for Torchwood? He knew she'd taken time off to plan her wedding but had she gone back?

"If you could just do that, that's all I ask," he said instead. "Does Rose Tyler still work there by any chance?"

"I'm sorry Sir, we can't say about senior agents," was the reply.

"Look, I was at her wedding, my daughter is a friend of Miss Tyler's so now can you tell me?" Alec got annoyed.

"I apologise Sir but we get asked questions like that all the time," the agent apologised. "Yes, she does still work at Torchwood but she is not an active agent."

So, Rose was still working with Jamie then, Alec pondered.

"I see then?" was all Alec could say.

"Should I pass a message to her telling her you called?" the agent wanted to know.

"No, it's fine," Alec thought better of it in case her husband got to know about it. "If you could just get your supervisor to call, I may have more information for you by then."

Ellie was getting tired of waiting and saw he was still on the phone. So, what did he think Torchwood was going to do over the man downstairs, who was surely a crank. Alec suddenly got up and opened his office door.

"Come on Miller, let's get this interview over with, then you can go home."

Ellie got up in shock. So, he did know it was a Saturday and she didn't normally work at weekends? She was going to say she was the one who had been waiting for him to get off the phone.

Alec had left his mobile number with the Torchwood agent but hoped the man kept his word and didn't let Rose know he'd called and asked for her.

"Do you think Connolly is a crank then?" Ellie dared ask him on the way down.

"What do you think Miller? I know he moved papers out of the way to find information he could use but I hope he found none?" Alec replied.

"He couldn't have seen much, I caught him before he could look for more," Ellie insisted.

After advising Connolly of his rights and getting him to state his address, Alec soon found out the man didn't know much.

"So, you don't know Danny or the family?" Alec asked the man.

"Ah, no, I don't think so," Connolly admitted.

"Then why claim Danny told you he'd been put in a boat?" Alec wanted to know. "Was that before or after he was killed?"

"You think it's funny," Connolly dared tell Alec. "I get these messages, I don't choose to get them but I couldn't ignore this one."

"So, all he said was about a boat?" Ellie wanted to make sure.

"Get him out of here Miller," Alec told her when he'd had enough.

Connolly was just leaving when he turned back to Alec.

"She forgives you, about the pendant," he told Alec.

"What?" Alec stopped. "What does that mean?"

"You know, I can see it. That and someone you know will come back."

Alec shook his head as the man was led out.

"What did he mean Sir?" Ellie asked him.

"Never mind Miller. Just keep him away from the Latimers," Alec warned her.

Alec thought if the man meant Rose, then yes, he did want her to come visit him but would she think this was important enough? He set off for his hotel and had just got to his room when his phone rang. He stared at the caller display and saw it was Torchwood.

"DI Hardy?" a female voice asked when he answered. "You were asking about a certain person?"

"Yes, someone who claims he has psychic abilities in no uncertain terms," Alec replied. "There is no other explanation for him to be snooping around on desks and claiming to have spoken to a dead child. I find it rather disturbing."

"Yes, of course, it's only natural," the agent told him. "Do you have any more information so we can fully check him out?"

"Only that he still insists he's telling the truth. I do not want him giving the family any grief," Alec replied. "I was hoping Torchwood would be aware of him?"

"No, we've not come across him but I can promise you, we will send agents down there, keeping out of your way, of course," Alec was assured. "We will get to the bottom of it if he's telling the truth or not. Would you be able to keep us up to date with the latest developments?"

"You mean if we actually discover the boy was in a boat after he was killed?" Alec wondered. "That would prove Connolly was right and I was too hasty to seek Torchwood's help."

"No, detective inspector, you were right to turn this man away until you gather the facts," he was assured. "You have a job to do and this man is getting in your way. We can deal with him for you and if we find he was right, we can keep him from retaliating and claiming you didn't listen to him. If he is right, he may try and seek some kind of fame and give his side of the story that you dismissed him.

Alec wondered how they knew what he was hoping the agency could do but this was Torchwood after all.

"Then I would appreciate anything you can do," Alec replied.

"That's what we're here for, to help fellow agencies," the supervisor told him. "We'll be in touch, just leave everything to us. Was there anything else you needed help with?"

"Well, there was just one thing," Alec thought he may as well include.

After all, if Rose took an interest in what went on there, she'd find out he'd called.

"Would this be mentioned to Miss Tyler herself?" he asked.

"Not normally, unless things escalate. If we have trouble with the man, she may take an interest herself. I could let her know about it, if you wish?"

"Ah, maybe not yet?" Alec changed his mind.

What would Rose say about being told he had a crank to deal with and he couldn't handle it himself?

"We'll let you know how things go but hopefully, after a visit from our agents, you won't have any more trouble with Mister Connolly."

Alec just hoped the agent was right. Would it get as far as Rose's attention? Not if it was resolved quickly and he didn't hear from Connolly again. Was he secretly hoping Connolly would take no notice and then Rose would get involved?

Down in Brighton, Rose and Jamie were sat on the pier, having a drink and Rose watching the rides.

"We can go on later, when they're all lit up," Jamie suggested.

"That's if they're open late?" Rose wondered.

Was he just trying to get out of going on?

"We should be getting back to the hotel anyway," Jamie then told her. "You can catch up on the news."

Rose knew what he meant by that.

"There's no rush Jamie," she insisted. "Why did ya even mention it?"

"You know why Rose. Don't you want to know if they found that boy's killer yet?" he replied.

Rose got up.

"I'm going to the ladies room," she huffed. "Geez, Jamie, it's not a crime to watch the news ya know?"

She knew why his mood had changed but he was the one who had brought it up, not her. Jamie watched her go off, wondering if he should ease up a bit. Tony wasn't much younger than the boy who had died so she was concerned but why had Alec Hardy been put in charge?

Rose would be following the case even more closely with knowing the detective in charge. He could tell she'd probably try to get Torchwood involved in some way. Maybe someone would try to interfere with the investigation by claiming to be psychic, he laughed to himself at the prospect. Then Rose would volunteer to take the case herself, never mind the work they were continuing.

She'd then find some excuse to go down to the place the murder happened and work alongside the police, Alec Hardy to be precise. He had to face it, Alec hadn't gone away when he'd gone home after the wedding, he was just waiting for a way to creep back and get Rose's attention.

Why had he never bothered asking Rose what had taken place before he'd seen Alec leaving the conservatory? He'd just settled for her saying Alec had just been looking for his daughter. Maybe he should have insisted Rose told him everything but it was too late now.

They went back to the hotel for a rest before going down to dinner, Rose wishing she'd brought more dresses with her had she known the hotel was a bit posh. She thought she might sneak to the shops in the morning and get something for tomorrow night. Maybe she'd let Jamie choose, it might lighten his mood a little. There again, he'd only let up when Alec was out of the news again.

"Jamie, ya did book Monday off?" Rose suddenly wondered.

"Yeah, did it before I left," he replied, thinking she didn't trust him to do so. "I said we'd be in late on Tuesday as well, if we leave early on Tuesday morning, we can go straight to work. Bet you didn't think of that Rose?"

"Well, it makes sense. Come on Jamie, ya all tense, what's really wrong with ya?" she wanted to know.

She put her hands on his shoulders after hanging her dress up.

"Nothing," he insisted.

"Are ya gonna get changed?" she changed the subject, looking at his jeans and purple t-shirt.

"I suppose so?" he thought he'd maybe better and trust her to find a posh hotel.

She kissed his cheek and went back to the wardrobe to decide between the two dresses. Now, she did need another one if they were staying another night.

"Hey, we'd better make sure the room's free for another night," she then realised.

Jamie picked up the room phone and thought he'd better check.

"Rose, I thought you were going to book a long weekend?"

"I thought we'd be here last night," Rose laughed, putting a dress away.

After checking they were okay to stay an extra night, Rose went to get a shower before getting changed and Jamie put the TV on. Of course, Alec Hardy was on the news, giving a press conference.

"I still bet you're gonna call Rose for help," he thought out loud.

Rose came back out, wrapped in a towel and one on her head.

"Oh. Is that from last night?" Rose wondered.

"Don't think so," Jamie replied, his feet on the small coffee table. "He's been asked a load of questions. This woman's been on giving him a hard time."

"Aw, poor Alec," Rose sympathised.

"He can take care of himself Rose," Jamie told her. "Are you thinking of offering help?"

She knew he was going to keep asking.

"Not me but if he wants Torchwood's help, he'll call, same as any other senior police officer. Dad said he'd give help if asked," she reminded him. "I'm not on the active list and you know it Jamie."

He bet it wouldn't stop Alec from asking if she'd get involved.

Alec had finally got away from the press conference, glad it was over since people had found out where he'd just come from. He caught up with the chief before she left.

"You did well fending off awkward questions Alec," the chief had noted.

"How many new officers are you expecting on Monday?" he asked her.

"A dozen or so, more if they can be spared," she replied. "Why do you ask? Alec, people will lose interest if the killer isn't found soon and the resources will be scaled back. You know that already."

"What if we had outside help?"

He saw her reaction.

"Tell me you don't mean Torchwood Alec? What can they do?" she asked him.

"Did you see the report from earlier? It's day two of a murder investigation and the cranks are out already. We don't have the time for one, let alone any more who come crawling out," Alec told her. "Torchwood can keep them away. I just need your approval, I already contacted them, they are willing to help."

"Really Alec, the chief constable for the area disapproves of them. You should have checked with me, with you being new around here," she reminded him. "Don't let him find out that you're using them so no complaints from this person who came forward this morning."

"They can take care of him and warn him off," Alec was confidant.

"As long as they stay out of the way, you'll be responsible for them," the chief warned him. "You had better hope they don't send their top agents Alec. The press would just love Rose Tyler to come to town."

"She is no longer an active agent," Alec admitted.

"You sound disappointed Alec," the chief smiled as there was hardly anyone left in the school hall. "Oh, you already asked for her?"

"I just enquired if she would get to know I had requested help," he had to further admit. "My daughter made friends with her, we were at her wedding last year. She may take an interest but stay back."

"Be careful Alec, if she gets involved, the media will soon catch on. Don't let her come to town," the chief advised him.

"She may not even get involved," Alec reminded her.

If Rose did come to town, what then? If there was any more trouble from Steve Connolly, she'd get another agent to help and that may also bring Jamie to town. Then there would be a showdown, involving himself and Rose would be caught in the middle of it.

Chapter 21

Alec lay back on the hotel bed, his arms behind his head. No, he had to redeem himself and find the killer on his own. Torchwood wouldn't get involved anyway, they'd not offered last time and it wasn't a good idea to see Rose again.

Why couldn't he stop thinking about her? Jamie finally got home but used the excuse he'd lost track of time, which Rose had to believe. They set off the following morning and were soon checking into the hotel and Rose wanted to go explore the pier and the rides at the end.

"We should have brought Tony," Jamie remarked as most of the rides were closed until later in the afternoon.

"Maybe another time we can just come for the day?" Rose wondered, disappointed she had to wait to go on the Ferris Wheel.

She thought that was just typical of him. He spent far too much time with her younger brother at weekends. He should be concentrating on having kids of his own. The weekend didn't go too badly, they went off the following day then were preparing to leave on the Monday morning.

"If you're going to be unpacking and doing the laundry, I may as well go to work," Jamie decided. "I don't want to get in the way."

Rose knew he was like The Doctor, he didn't do domestics very well and she'd had to train him to work the washing machine more than once.

"Fine but don't work late again, will ya?" Rose asked him.

"Don't worry about it Rose, if I'm not back, I have a lot of work to do," he replied.

Was work becoming more important than her or thinking of starting a family? While their love life was really good when they got to bed, she wasn't sure why he always seemed to hold back but put it down to him being tired.

Alec hadn't had a very good weekend. He'd had problems with a man claiming to have been contacted by the murdered boy and had thought maybe he was justified calling Torchwood so he took a gamble when he got back to the office of calling Rose's work number but was told she wasn't available.

He thought maybe she was busy or seeing her parents and didn't want to try her personal number. Why she'd given it to Daisy, he didn't know but he had sneakily got it from his daughter on the pretence of having it were Daisy to accidentally delete it.

It wasn't any better for him on Monday morning, having his DS do a briefing to new staff, which he thought wasn't very inspiring and told her so afterwards.

"Don't do that to me again," Ellie Miller complained as he made himself a drink.

"Well you wanted to be in charge," Alec reminded her. "What time is Mark Latimer coming in?"

"Why did you call him in?" she wanted to know. "Do you know what it's doing to the family?"

"He won't give his whereabouts for when his son was killed," Alec replied. "That worries me that he can't remember who he was with."

"He's confused, what do you expect?" Ellie asked him. "He got confused with the night he was working late."

"Well, to change from working to going out with a mate whose name he can't remember is strange," Alec told her. "Tell me when he arrives."

He went back to his office and started to find Rose's number in his contacts. Would she be annoyed and tell him to call Torchwood? He backed out and dialled the number he'd found for the reception, asking if they had anyone who could deal with psychics.

"Yes, we have agents who deal with them," he was told. "What can we help you with?"

Alec explained what they'd been told by the telephone engineer on Saturday and that if he had any more trouble, he could call for someone to deal with the man.

"Then if you call back, we can have someone with you in a few hours. Just give us the details," the woman told him.

"Thank you. I don't suppose Miss Tyler deals with this kind of thing?" he asked hopefully. "I know her through my daughter, who was one of Miss Tyler's bridesmaids."

"I'm sorry, Miss Tyler is on leave until tomorrow but she doesn't deal with your kind of problem. I can tell her you called when she gets back," the woman suggested.

"No, leave it for now. I'm sure your agents can deal with the problem," Alec decided.

No, he didn't have the courage to call her after all. What was wrong with him? It wasn't like he was asking her on a date or anything but calling her because something was beyond him seemed trivial. Ellie knocked on the door to tell him that Mark Latimer was downstairs and in an interview room.

"Are you making this formal?" Ellie wanted to know, looking displeased with him that he'd dared to include the boy's father as a suspect.

"If I have to," he replied, pressing the lift button and Ellie thinking he was being lazy since they were only going down one floor.

"Had you heard of that psychic before?" he asked her as the stepped into the lift, pressing the ground floor button, twice Ellie noticed.

"Why would I? He's not a local," Ellie replied. "You do know the town consists of more than the harbour?"

Alec shook his head as the lift arrived in reception and Ellie got out first. The interview with Mark Latimer didn't go well, with him being detained while they went off to see Nigel Carter, whom Mark had called earlier to give him an alibi, since he'd been with the local hotel owner on the night in question, in the back of her tiny car.

Ellie had gone inside to calm Nigel's mother down while Alec tried to get the truth out of the man. Ellie soon learned Nigel was making up a story to cover for his boss.

"Stop messing about Nigel," Ellie faced the two men who were going head to head. "Your mother said you only went out for last orders."

"I think you had better come with us," Alec told Nigel.

So, not only had Alec to deal with the phone engineer, he had to deal with a cover-up and couldn't call Torchwood over this one. When Mark was detained overnight for not being willing to say who he was really with, he finally got back to his hotel, wishing he had someone to talk to.

He bet Rose would understand his problem. He hadn't wanted to lock the boy's father up but he'd had no choice. The chief had questioned him about it but he'd persuaded her he needed to get to the truth and it was only about who was where on the night in question.

Jamie had buried himself in his work, not really in the mood for it but it was better than facing Rose. Yes, the weekend hadn't been too bad but he knew she'd had other things on her mind, like planning a family and Alec Hardy, who by the sound of it was having a rough time. He'd accessed the police website to get more news than the public did and knew if Rose had done the same, she'd pack up and go to help the detective.

Why had the man's daughter been chosen as a bridesmaid, then been invited to stay the weekend? Maybe he should just go and leave her to it? He could go to a hotel tonight, then go get his stuff when Rose set off for work the next morning? He needed to think about this and he didn't think he could just come out and accuse Rose of having her mind on Alec Hardy and not him.

Jackie would take Rose's side so there was no point in talking to her and Pete would also take Rose's side. He packed his stuff from his desk and left just after nine before security threw him out, probably on Rose's orders. He handed his ID in at the desk, not that he usually did but the man behind it said nothing.

Getting into his car, he stopped to locate a nearby hotel and made sure they had vacancies. He would decide what to do in the morning so checking in and getting his key-card, he entered the room and lay on the bed.

When Jamie didn't return by nine, Rose started to call him to see where he was. All she got was his recorded message, Jamie ignoring it when he saw her name come up. She waited another two hours, then decided to go to bed, thinking he really was stuck at work and forgotten to get himself home. She was sure he'd wake her up when he crawled into bed.

The next morning, Rose really did wonder where he was and tried calling him again but thought he would probably be using the facilities at Torchwood to freshen himself up but when she got there, he wasn't at his desk so she called Jake to ask if he'd seen him.

"He didn't go home?" Jake almost didn't believe her. "Sorry, I've not seen him this morning." Then he realised what had been in the papers the last few days. "He saw the news then?"

"Don't you start Jake," Rose told him. "He mentioned it a few times over the weekend and ya know we went off for a few days."

"Tell me you never went there," Jake had to laugh.

"Stop it Jake, it's not funny," Rose scalded him.

"Sorry. I can put out for anyone who sees him to tell him to switch his phone on?" Jake suggested.

"No, it's okay, I'll give him a bit longer Jake. He's probably sulking if Alec Hardy's in the news again. What is it with him?" Rose wondered.

"Ya know it's the jealousy bug Rose," Jake reminded her. "You'd best tell Pete that there could be a problem or do ya want me to tell him?" he offered.

"No, it's okay, I'll go up and see him and Jamie had better be here when I get back," Rose replied.

She went up to Pete's office and his secretary told her to go right in.

"Had a good weekend?" Pete greeted her as Rose helped herself to coffee.

"Yeah, apart from a certain person deciding to hit the headlines," Rose sighed as she sat on the leather couch.

Pete got up to join her.

"Come on Rose, what's going on?" he asked her. "Is Jamie that jealous?"

"I thought he was over it Dad," Rose replied.

"I saw Alec coming from the direction of your room that morning," Pete revealed.

"What?" Rose was concerned. "What do ya mean by that Dad?"

"Calm down Rose, I was just saying," Pete defended himself. "What if Jamie found out?"

"Dad, Alec was only looking for Jamie and Tony, mum had sent him to get them," Rose explained.

"See, you could have said," Pete smiled and squeezed her hand when she put the coffee mug on the table.

"What was I supposed to say that morning?" Rose asked him.

"Never mind, I doubt anyone saw Alec apart from me so Jamie couldn't have found out," Pete replied. "What about later? I noticed Alec was watching Tony during the service. Was there anything else?"

Rose dare not admit Alec was talking to her in the conservatory. What would he make of that if he was already suspicious, she decided.

"Just later, we were messin' around taking photos with Daisy and Alec came to find her," was all she would admit. "Geez, Jamie couldn't have been jealous of that, could he?"

"I don't know Rose, really I don't. Look, if Jamie's not around by this afternoon, I'll get some agents on it. I was going to call you anyway, it seems Alec Hardy called reception over the weekend and yesterday. Seems he has a problem with a local telephone engineer who thinks he was contacted by the dead boy."

"Seriously?" Rose tried not to laugh. "Has anyone gone down there?"

"No, not yet and don't get any ideas Rose, it's not your field of expertise," Pete reminded her. "I did ask the weekend staff and apparently on Saturday, he called your work number. Did you give him it?"

"He may have got it from Daisy," Rose admitted. "Why would he call me on a Saturday?"

"You tell me," Pete smiled. "Does Jamie have a reason to be even more jealous?"

"Dad, how was I to know Alec was gonna get my number from Daisy?" Rose asked him. "Why would he ask for me?"

Pete thought it was fairly obvious but Rose couldn't see it.

"Rose. Are you sure you have nothing else to tell me?" Pete asked her again. "You may as well admit anything, if you want me to help you. There has to be a reason Jamie would go missing."

"We don't know he's actually missing Dad," Rose told him.

"If he's not answering his phone to you," Pete replied. "Tell me Rose, did something else take place that day?"

"I was in the conservatory when things were winding down," Rose started to tell him. "Alec wandered in, looking for Daisy and we talked for a few seconds, then he left."

"Why couldn't you have said that?" Pete wanted to know. "Rose, if you're going to be secretive, no wonder Jamie's jealous."

"Dad, Jamie came in a few minutes later and said he'd seen Alec leaving," Rose revealed.

Pete shook his head.

"Rose, you knew Jamie was already jealous," he reminded her.

"I told him Alec was only looking for Daisy. Then we went to where the disco was and joined her and Jamie was taking photos," Rose told him. "I thought Jamie was over it, then Alec was in the news."

"Sorry but it seems to me that Jamie's just cooling down instead of arguing," Pete suggested.

"I hope you're right Dad," Rose leaned on his shoulder. "I really thought it was because Alec looked like him."

"It may have started out as that," Pete replied. "Goodness knows what it is now. Why don't you go home? I'll get someone to drive you."

When she'd collected her things, an agent was waiting to drive her home, another car following them. She wondered if she should call Alec and ask him why he called her and that she wasn't the person to help him. She should forget about him altogether if she had any sense but something was stopping her.

She thanked the agent and went up to the apartment, narrowly missing Jamie. She didn't think of checking the bedroom and if she had done, she would have seen most of his clothes were gone, not that he had much in his wardrobe anyway.

She finally went to bed, after pacing up and down with her phone in her hand, hoping Jamie would call even if it was just to say he'd be back in a few days.

Alec of course had no idea what was going on. Then a few days later, he'd had to warn the psychic about bothering Beth Latimer when she insisted he listened to the man. He'd had Ellie checking up on the man and while she was telling a distraught Beth, he spoke harshly to the phone engineer.

"Get in your van and drive away and do not bother the Latimers again, do you understand?" he asked the man.

"I needed you to listen to me," the man repeated.

"Leave now before I call someone who can really deal with you," Alec promised, tempted to make the call right now.

Then the man looked at him.

"You've been here before," he said to Alec.

"What does that mean?" Alec wanted to know.

"Just that and she forgives you, about the pendant," the man replied.

Alec thought everyone knew about his last failed case so he brushed the man off, grabbing his arm as the man protested.

"Pete here is going to escort you to your vehicle, don't let me catch you around here again," Alec warned him.

He got his phone out, still tempted to call Rose but called the main reception instead. He gave them what he knew about the phone engineer and he was told they would investigate and get back to him.

By Thursday, Rose not returning to work, she packed a bag and drove to her mother's, Jackie greeting her.

"Pete told me some of it Rose," Jackie sympathised. "What happened sweetheart?"

They went to the family room, one of the staff bringing them some tea.

"Jamie's totally crazy because Alec Hardy's been in the news, that's what Mum," Rose told her. "Why did he have to walk into another murder? I didn't even know he'd moved until he hit the headlines."

"Rose, I saw the way Jamie was at the wedding," Jackie reminded her. "Ya know Jamie didn't like the way Alec looked like him."

"Ya sent Alec to find Jamie and Tony Mum, remember?" Rose replied. "Did ya think it was a good idea?"

"He was looking lost, I was just making him feel useful," Jackie defended herself.

"Well that depends how Jamie took it, doesn't it?" Rose asked her, Jackie blushing. "Can I stay a few days? I don't wanna be on my own."

"Yeah, 'course ya can, Tony will be all excited, well except for Jamie not being here. He's out with his nanny, he'll be back soon."

"I'll take my things to my room then. Dad's had agents tryin' to find where Jamie's gone but maybe Alec can help, with being in the police."

"Rose, he's got a murder to solve," Jackie reminded her.

"I know that Mum but he said if ever I needed anything to call him," Rose admitted.

"Well having Alec trying to find Jamie ain't gonna help," Jackie laughed.

Rose went upstairs and retrieved Alec's number, wondering if her mother was right. She hoped Alec had solved his other problem so he could help her with hers. Alec had just got back to his office and fished his phone out of his jacket pocket, getting a surprise when he saw Rose's name.

"Rose. It's very nice to hear from you," he answered when she said hi, "What can I do for you?"

"Alec, it's Jamie, he's been missing since Monday night, we've tried everything to find him. Can you help me?"

"Rose, I have a murderer to catch and the press and my chief are on my back," he told her, regretting it immediately. "I'm sorry, it's just getting to me. I already called Torchwood to get a psychic out of the way."

"Yeah, I know. Please Alec, I don't know what else to do," Rose told him.

"Okay, I will try to get away on Saturday, I can come up there, if you want?" he gave in.

"Thanks, I'm at my mum's. I hope Torchwood can help you and if there's anything else, ya can talk to Pete while you're here."

"Rose, was Jamie off, when he saw the news?" Alec wanted to know.

"Only the usual," Rose tried to laugh it off.

Alec already knew why the man had gone missing and wished now he'd stayed in Sandbrook.

Chapter 22

Alec continued to ask Rose why Jamie would suddenly go off on his own.

"Rose, I have to ask this and trust me, I don't want to," he warned her, already regretting it. "Did he know we were talking in the conservatory that night and outside your room that morning?"

"Pete already asked me that," Rose told him sadly. "Jamie saw ya leaving the conservatory but honestly, he can't have known about outside my room. Besides, what difference would it have made? Pete saw ya coming from that direction but I didn't see any of the staff around, mum was keeping 'em all busy."

"Which was probably why she sent me to get him and Tony," Alec mused. "Rose, is it possible Jamie came back down from the attic room, saw me and rushed back up?"

"How could he have done?" Rose replied. "I really can't understand it. I'm worried he'll do something stupid Alec."

"I understand Rose. I'll be with you some time on Saturday then but I don't know what I can do that your agents can't," Alec promised.

"Get access to the police database?" Rose tried to joke.

"Well, if your agents can help me with that fake psychic, I suppose I owe you?" Alec replied. "Rose, I know you're worried but let me know if he turns up before I get to you eh?"

"Yeah, I will and thanks Alec. I hope Torchwood can help ya," Rose told him.

All she could do now was wait for Alec to arrive, she'd done all she could trying to contact Jamie on her own.

For some reason, Jamie had got in his car on Tuesday and driven up towards Scotland and found a hotel just over the border. Then the following day, deciding to miss the big cities, had driven up towards Fort William and located a hotel just on the edge of the loch.

"Welcome to Fort William, Doctor Smith," the receptionist had told him as he checked in. "How long will you be staying with us?"

"Ah, not sure just yet," Jamie had grinned at her. "That depends but certainly a couple of nights."

He still wasn't answering any calls where he knew who it was, including Jackie, Pete and Jake. He wondered if Rose would even get Mickey the idiot to try to call him but his biggest worry was she would contact Alec Hardy. Who was he trying to fool? Of course she would contact the detective, the man was what all this was about.

He'd always been jealous when any man had dared to look at Rose but it was something else about Alec Hardy. This time it had been the way Rose had looked at the detective, not the other way around. He had lived with the knowledge he himself looked liked someone Rose had once known and knowing that man was totally out of the picture but Alec Hardy was very much around and now back in the news.

They weren't going to be able to avoid him this time and Rose would have forever been checking the news and knowing her, she'd get Pete to send some agents to help find the killer. She may even decide to go down there herself and there would be nothing he could do to stop her so he may as well save himself some bother.

He thought he had always known it would come to this one day, maybe even the impossible happening and her friend would find a way to get back to her. Maybe Rose saw Alec Hardy as a more suitable replacement than himself. He thought he would spend a few days waiting to see if the killer had been caught then if not, decide what was the best thing to do.

While Rose was worth fighting for, he'd already let her know how he felt, now it was up to her.

When Pete had got home after Rose had called Alec, she told him what she'd done.

"Are you sure that's a good idea?" Pete asked her.

"I don't know what else to do Dad," Rose admitted. "He said he'd come up here at the weekend so can Torchwood do more to help him catch the killer?"

"Rose, I've put agents on it," Pete told her. "He'll have the help he asked for but it's up to him how much help he gets. He has to ask for it."

"Well I hope he asks then," Rose smiled, going to hug him. "Thanks. I hope agents can find Jamie before Alec has to come up here."

"I expect Alec will see it as getting away from the case he's on for a few days," Pete hoped.

Rose wondered what he meant by that. Pete though knew what was in Rose's mind. The wanting to get Alec Hardy involved was a bit of a giveaway and he thought she was making a big mistake getting the detective involved. Jamie may hide away even more if he discovered who she had looking for him.

He had to admit it was partly his fault hiring Jamie in the first place but how was he to know how things were going to turn out and that Rose would come back? They seemed to have coped with Jamie looking like The Doctor but Alec Hardy was a different matter.

Alec sat back and wondered what had made Jamie finally flip and leave Rose. Surely it can't have just been the fact the man was so jealous that a newspaper headline had made him pack up and disappear? Had it been so bad that Jamie was willing to lose everything he'd had with Rose?

Yes, he himself had been jealous of the man and shouldn't have even been thinking about Rose but it had happened and he'd not been able to stop himself. Those meetings though had been totally innocent and unplanned. Yes, he'd been seen leaving the conservatory but Jamie can't have known about earlier in the day and even if he had, the situation had been totally innocent.

He was interrupted by Ellie Miller tapping on the door and letting herself in.

"What do you want Miller?" he asked, rubbing his hands over his face.

"I'm still not happy about having Tom lead the re-enactment," she admitted.

"It's the best way of jogging people's memories," Alec insisted. "Has Beth Latimer heard anything else from that psychic?"

"No, thankfully. Why, what did you threaten him with?" Ellie grinned.

"You've heard of Torchwood?" Alec raised his eyebrows.

"You never contacted them?" she laughed. "Seriously?"

"We don't have time for him Miller," Alec reminded her. "We can't have Beth getting false hope."

"How did you manage to get Torchwood involved?" Ellie wanted to know.

"If I said I know Rose Tyler herself?" Alec told her.

"Don't be stupid – Sir," Ellie didn't believe him at first. "No way."

"Why does that seem unlikely?" Alec wanted to know. "In fact, my daughter is in regular contact with her. Daisy was her chief bridesmaid last year, her mother and I both attended."

"Wow, she must have been excited then?" Ellie asked him. "So you called Rose Tyler?"

"Not at first but it helped knowing her," Alec didn't want to admit too much about how he knew Rose.

"Sir, are we going to be working again this weekend?" Ellie changed the subject and hoping the answer was no.

"Not unless something else comes up," Alec replied.

"Good, I'd like to spend it with my family, after last weekend," Ellie was relieved.

So on Saturday morning, Alec set off early and arrived at the Tyler mansion just after midday, being greeted by Rose as he was let in.

"Hi, thanks for coming," Rose greeted him. "I hope ya didn't change any plans?"

"Ah, no but my DS was pleased we weren't working this weekend," Alec replied.

"Well, come and join us for lunch in the kitchen, Tony will be happy to see ya. He's been a bit down since we had to tell him Jamie's gonna be away for a while. We didn't know what else to tell him."

Alec wasn't that surprised but he failed to see what difference his own presence would make. He followed Rose, one of the staff taking the bag he'd been holding from him. Tony started to get up but Pete held the boy in place.

"It's not Jamie," Pete reminded him. "You remember Alec, from Rose's wedding, don't you?"

"Yes Dad," the poor boy seemed confused.

"Hello again Tony," Alec greeted him. "I know you must miss Jamie but I'm sure he'll be back when he can."

"Dad said he didn't know, didn't you Dad?" Tony looked at Pete.

"We're doing everything we can to get him home," Pete promised.

"Isn't Alec a policeman?" Tony asked Pete.

"Yes, I am Tony," Alec replied as he sat at the table next to Jackie, to be on the safe side. "Nice to see you again Jackie, Pete," he added.

"We were a bit surprised that ya were coming this weekend," Jackie told him.

Alec was glad she'd not come right out and said Rose had called him to help find Jamie.

"Alec, will you play football with me later?" Tony asked him. "Rose can be in goal, can't you Rose?"

Alec suspected Rose would do anything to cheer the boy up.

"Sure, if Rose wants to be in goal?" Alec agreed with a smile.

"Only if you two go easy on me," Rose laughed. "See who scores the most goals between ya but don't expect to get many in the net."

"We will see about that, won't we Tony?" Alec laughed back.

Alec suspected also that Rose would rather be talking about her problem but it seemed her younger brother came first. Alec was showed to the room he'd stayed in before and then went down to find Rose and Tony, Tony dragging him outside and behind the house to where a goalpost was set up along with an elaborate climbing frame complete with swings and a slide.

"Some playground you have Tony," Alec told him, having left his jacket inside and Rose had changed into a sports top.

Tony of course had the full kit of his favourite football team on. Pete came out to join them as Tony was kicking the football to Alec when Rose said Pete would be out soon. After about half an hour, Pete declared Tony the winner and Alec lifted the boy onto his shoulders, Tony lifting his arms as Rose and Pete cheered him.

While Pete went to see to Tony, Rose and Alec went into a small sitting room overlooking the garden.

"So, any news yet?" Alec wanted to know as Rose poured cold lemonade into two tall glasses.

"Nothing at all. No-one can find him Alec. I'm sorry I dragged ya up here now. There's just no trace of him, we have no idea where to look," Rose told him sadly.

"I shouldn't really use police resources to find someone who has not been reported missing," Alec replied. "I will do so as a personal favour to you. Was Jamie off before he disappeared?"

"Only when he saw the news headlines," Rose tried to joke. "Sorry. Ya think I'm blaming you for all this, don't ya?"

"No, I'm not," Alec put his glass on the small table and leaned over, taking her hand. "Rose, it's Jamie's problem, not yours. He should have trusted you and that eventually, the boy's killer will be caught and I will fade back into the background again."

"He could have talked to me about it," Rose told him. "He never gave me chance, we came back from that weekend away and he went straight back to work, then he was really late home."

"Now you are blaming yourself," Alec replied, leaning back. "Rose, did he give you any indication he would not be returning home that night?"

"No, nothing. So why didn't he come home then?" Rose began to sob, Alec reaching for a tissue on the table and passing it to her.

"Have you talked to your mother about it?" he then asked, thinking maybe she should have done and not called him instead.

What did he know about such matters where they had both been seemingly happy but maybe things hadn't been as they seemed after all.

"I thought Jamie was only jealous when I was around?" Alec then tried to joke. "Did all this start when I was in the news?"

"Yeah, at least I thought so," Rose tried to dry her eyes. "Maybe it never went away but he never said anything."

"He must have been bottling it up then?" Alec mused. "Is there anything else you want to tell me?"

Rose shook her head, not wanting to say Jamie didn't want to talk about starting a family and their other problem – that of Jamie backing away all the time in bed and not being as spontaneous as he was when they'd first met. It hadn't been a question of starting a family back then though, had it, Rose thought. She was still on her monthly injections back then.

"Rose?" Alec then brought her back to reality.

"I don't want to talk about it Alec," she then replied. "You won't wanna hear it anyway."

"Try me," he smiled, reaching for another tissue and resisting drying her tears still on her cheeks.

"I can't Alec, sorry. It was only about starting a family, that's all," Rose admitted, thinking he wasn't about to quit asking her.

"Fine, you don't have to tell me then," he agreed. "I gather you were more keen than he was then?"

"Ya could say that?" Rose tried to smile.

"Rose, I'm sorry but that makes a difference to how his mood was before he went off. He may not want to be found now but he may just be thinking things over," Alec told her.

"Yeah, you're probably right then," Rose had to agree. "I'm sorry I dragged you all the way here."

"Don't apologise Rose, it's a pleasure to be here again and to see you," he told her. "That brother of yours has grown."

"Yeah but he misses Jamie, we're tryin' to make up for it," Rose told him. "Come on, let's go join them for tea in the kitchen, I never realised what time it was."

"Well, after playing football with Tony, that is hardly surprising," Alec laughed.

After having tea, cherry scones and cake, Tony persuaded Rose and Alec to play with his car track up in the attic, showing Alec how to work the control and Rose cheering when Tony won. Rose thought Alec had let Tony win but he confessed he'd never played before.

"Ya didn't do too badly," Rose patted him on the back as they let Tony go downstairs first. "I think you're about as good as Jamie was and he'd had plenty of practice."

Alec then couldn't understand that if Jamie was close to Tony, why not want kids of his own? Then he wondered if Rose realised that maybe Jamie thought he'd be letting her brother down if they did have any kids. Surely that wasn't the only reason? Still, he had no right judging if he didn't have all the facts, Rose didn't want to say any more.

Alec then said he should go freshen up before dinner later on so they parted company, though Rose seemed reluctant.

"Come on Rose, what's really bothering you?" Alec then asked outside his room. "Did playing with Tony remind you of something?"

"Yeah, a bit. They used to do something together every Saturday afternoon and me and mum would sometimes go shopping. Never mind, it's done with now," she told him.

"What do you mean by that?" Alec wanted to know.

"He's not coming back, is he?" Rose replied sadly.

"Why do you say that?" Alec asked, pulling her towards the door by the arm. "Rose?"

"I just know. Even when we were discussing having a family, he never went off," she replied. "He avoided the subject, yeah but he didn't say anything. I just assumed he wanted to wait."

"Maybe he did?" Alec wondered. "Rose, I will try and find him, I promise but if he doesn't want to be found, then you will just have to wait and see."

"Yeah, I know. Thanks Alec. I'll let ya get changed then."

He watched her walk off. What did she expect him to do? Jamie had obviously run away from his responsibilities as a husband. In his own case, it had been Tess who had walked off so he'd had no personal experiences to go by. He couldn't stop thinking about poor Rose though, what she must be going through but he was thinking more and more that she was right.

Maybe Jamie had no intentions of returning but they had to give him chance to contact her. He joined the family for dinner then Tony wanted him to tell him a bedtime story so afterwards, he went looking for Rose, going into the family room.

"Hello Alec," Pete greeted him. "Looking for Rose?"

"Well yes. Has she gone to her room?" Alec tried not to sound disappointed.

"She'll be in the conservatory, where she always is these days," Jackie told him. "Lord knows why she spends her time in there."

"You know why Jaks," Pete laughed.

"Oh," was all Alec could say.

"She likes looking up at the stars," Pete told him. "She won't mind if you go looking for her."

Alec went off and Jackie turned to Pete.

"What ya tell him that for Pete? He's supposed to be here to find Jamie."

"I know he is Jackie. We know why Jamie went off," Pete replied.

"Well yeah, 'cos Alec looks like him," Jackie laughed. "Ya don't think Jamie was right to be worried?"

"I don't know Jaks but at the wedding, Alec and Rose had been talking outside her room in the morning," he admitted. "You sent him to look for Jamie and Tony."

"Don't go blamin' me Pete," Jackie replied. "What else?"

"Rose admitted Jamie saw Alec leaving the conservatory that evening," Pete told her.

Alec had found Rose, just as on the night of the wedding.

"Rose. Tell me why else Jamie would have gone off, please? I want to help you."

"I can't Alec," she told him tearfully.

Alec took her hand and she stood up as he attempted to dry her eyes. Then, without saying anything, he held his arms out and Rose leaned her head on his shoulder.

"Rose, is it something Jamie hasn't done?" Alec then asked her as he held her.

Rose managed to nod.

"I don't know Alec, maybe?"

She looked up at him, he was so much like Jamie but where Jamie had been spontaneous at first, he had got less and less over the last year or so. She couldn't help looking into Alec's eyes and didn't resist when Alec leaned forward and kissed her lightly on the lips.

Chapter 23

Rose felt all flustered when she had kissed Alec back then pulled away.

"I'm sorry, I should not have done that," Alec realised she was embarrassed.

"No, it wasn't your fault Alec. I think right now, I trust you more than I trust Jamie to come back," she admitted.

"You really don't believe he will come back, do you?" Alec asked her.

"Honestly?" Rose looked at him. "I suppose he wanted to avoid a confrontation, that he wanted to spare me an argument? Maybe he even wanted to spare himself?" she wondered.

"I did not realise how serious things were," Alec admitted. "Did you ever argue over anything?"

"Not really," Rose recalled. "Maybe that's just it though? Maybe he had a temper I never saw, that he didn't want me to see? You have to promise not to repeat what I'm gonna tell ya."

He took both her hands.

"I promise Rose. Is it something to do with Torchwood? I told my DS we were getting help, although she never believed I knew you," he smiled.

"Yeah, it's to do with Torchwood. Ya could say they're responsible for me and my mum being here," Rose admitted.

"You mean with Pete?" Alec wondered, though he suspected there was more to it.

He'd read how Pete had lost his first wife to the Cybermen and how it was strange he'd met Rose's mother a few years later, who could be the first Jackie Tyler's double.

"Alec, that's only a part of it. Me and mum got caught up with those Cybermen, when Lumic set them loose, well it was just me, an old friend and someone I cared about. Anyway, we helped Pete and that group of freedom fighters, then we left. When the Cybermen got loose, Pete helped us when we found ourselves in the middle of it," she started to explain without giving too much away.

"Let me get this right. He wanted to repay you for helping him previously?" Alec wanted to know. "Who was this person you cared about? A boyfriend?"

"We were really good friends, we just never got around to admitting anything," Rose told him. "Anyway, the Cybermen disappeared, remember?"

"Yes, only too well," Alec admitted. "Go on."

"Pete had got a team together to take over Torchwood and they followed the Cybermen and this friend of mine volunteered to go with them so I said if he was going, so was I. He just never got back, he stayed behind to close this gap the Cybermen had made to escape."

"Are you trying to say you know where they went?" Alec wanted to know. "People said they could not have just vanished."

"Yeah, they went to a parallel world, exactly like this one," Rose confessed, thinking he'd get up and walk out and that kiss had been for nothing.

Alec sat back, not attempting to move as Rose had predicted.

"I might have known it would be something like that," was all he could say. "I think you are not telling me everything Rose."

Rose knew he'd caught her out.

"I got back Alec, he didn't. My mum had been with us, she kept going on at Pete for letting me go so this other friend of mine came after us and finally Pete, who dragged me back before the gap actually closed. We all got back except the one I cared about."

Alec listened to what she had to say but he knew she was covering something up. He was willing to leave it for now and to assure her he believed her so far.

"Alec, I was screaming at my friend to come back with us, Pete gave in to my mum because he couldn't face her if he'd come back without me. I didn't want to leave the most important person to me behind. I never got to tell him how I felt about him."

Alec could tell she was trying to hold back the tears.

"I am sorry you lost your friend Rose and now I understand why you want to find Jamie. Did he know what happened?"

"Yeah, I met Jamie not long after that, Pete had hired him 'cos he didn't know I would ever meet him. He and mum were really happy when me and Jamie started going out," Rose told him.

"I expect your stepfather thought he had made it up to you? Maybe he did have an idea he'd see you and your mother again? How did you meet up again?" Alec was curious.

Rose knew she had well and truly been caught out this time.

"Alec, can we leave this for now?" she used the excuse.

"Of course. Maybe I can escort you to your room?" he suggested.

"Yeah, it must be gettin' late," Rose realised. "What time do ya have to leave tomorrow? Mum will insist ya stay for lunch."

"Well if she insists?" Alec smiled. "Are you sure only your mother will want me to stay?"

"Well Tony will be pleased," Rose added as he helped her up.

"I was not talking about your brother," he teased her.

"Don't know what ya mean," Rose blushed the colour of her name.

"I'm sure you do," Alec replied as he let her go first.

Jackie and Pete had given up and gone to bed after checking on Tony.

"Maybe they've already gone to their rooms?" Pete suggested.

"Come on Pete, do ya really think so?" Jackie replied. "After what ya told me earlier? They'll still be talking."

"I hope Alec doesn't do anything stupid then," Pete told her.

"Do ya think something happened that night, enough to get Jamie really worried?" Jackie asked him.

"I really don't know Jaks," Pete replied as he turned out his bedside lamp.

"Well ya said yaself he was coming from the direction of Rose's room that morning," Jackie reminded him. "Why was he coming from that direction do ya think?"

"He probably just got lost. Rose said she'd been looking for someone to get her some coffee. He maybe just saw her and asked the way to Tony's play room," Pete suggested. "I don't think there was anything to it."

"Yeah but Jamie maybe took it the wrong way, ya know what he was like Pete," Jackie replied. "He can't have seen them that morning, can he?"

"I'm beginning to wonder about that," Pete told her.

"So ya don't think he'll come back then?" Jackie was worried as she turned out her lamp. "Poor Rose. Do ya think she's realised?"

"Maybe?" Pete pondered. "She was worried enough to call the person who maybe caused Jamie to go off."

Rose and Alec had reached her room.

"Alec, I'm not mad at ya for kissing me earlier ya know," she admitted.

"I should not have assumed anything," Alec replied. "I did wonder though, since I resemble Jamie. Rose, do we both look like the friend you lost?"

Rose didn't want to answer that but Alec put his hands on her shoulders.

"Rose? You said Jamie knew what happened to your friend, did he know he looked like him?"

"What do ya want me to say Alec?" Rose asked him. "Do ya want me to say ya don't look anything like the friend I lost?"

"Rose, don't take it the wrong way eh?" Alec tried to calm her.

"Sorry. So it's not about you looking like Jamie, ya think he never got over looking like someone else I cared about and you just made it worse?"

"I don't know, maybe?" Alec wondered. "It makes sense Rose. Now, can I kiss you goodnight?" he smiled.

"Geez Alec, he would have left me even if you'd never come to our wedding?" Rose asked him.

"It looks that way I'm afraid," he replied. "I'm sorry Rose."

"Yeah but I never blamed you for Jamie going off," Rose reminded him.

Jackie had gone to sleep but Pete couldn't help but wonder if Rose and Alec were still talking downstairs or if there was no sign of them so he got out of bed and was about to go downstairs when he heard talking.

"It's all my fault Rose," Pete admitted as he got near them, Alec moving his hands from Rose's shoulders.

Alec was just relieved Pete hadn't waited until he was about to kiss Rose again or he'd be asked to leave tonight, let alone in the morning when Jackie would have a go at him for ruining her daughter's marriage.

"Dad, ya didn't know," Rose reminded him.

"Know what?" Alec wanted to know. "Rose, Pete?"

"How much did you tell him?" Pete asked Rose.

"Not nearly enough," Alec now realised Rose had indeed been hiding something.

"Rose, if you trust Alec, then tell him," Pete suggested. "I know you never wanted to tell Jamie everything, just enough."

"Rose, I won't run away, from what you already told me. How much was true?" Alec asked her.

"All of it, just the fact Pete did rescue me from a parallel world, just that me and mum came from it and got brought here. I did go back for my friend, he was there all on his own but I would have stayed there."

"You two talk it out," Pete suggested before Jackie went looking for him and dragged Alec back to his room. "Alec, you can ask me anything you want in the morning. Goodnight both of you."

Pete went off, wondering what he'd have interrupted if he had got there earlier. Something was about to give between them, he'd seen all the signs at the wedding. It seemed Jamie had realised it as well, since the detective had got himself in the news again.

He just hoped they knew what they were doing. Alec seemed a sensible man, at least he was divorced but if the media got hold of this, he'd have more to worry about than catching a killer.

Rose was dying to retreat to her room but had a feeling Alec had more questions about where she came from, amongst other things.

"So, you want to know more?" Rose dared ask.

"Rose, I knew those Cybermen never just disappeared. You were on the front line, so to speak?" he wanted to know.

"Ya could say that," Rose answered quietly, hoping her mother hadn't noticed Pete had sneaked off and followed him. "We can't talk out here Alec, ya never know when my mum's on the prowl," she tried to joke.

She opened her bedroom door, leaving it for Alec to follow. He closed the door and stood behind it, his foot resting on it.

"Then tell me what you can. So you got brought here, when the Cybermen crossed to your world? Rose, was there a Torchwood there? There were rumours going around the old regime here had something to do with it but it was never proved. Then your stepfather took over and it was all hushed up."

"Not by Pete it wasn't," Rose corrected him. "He said he had no choice than to let the government sweep it aside, in agreement that he took over and changed Torchwood for the better. Pete had the backing and the money once he got his company back from when Lumic had control."

"Ah, Lumic?" Alec mused. "He had a lot to answer for, it was a good thing he went missing after what he did. I expect you were involved with that as well?" he smiled, moving towards her.

He put his hands on her shoulders.

"It's a long story," Rose yawned.

"Then you can tell me in the morning? Unless?" he replied as he leaned down to try to kiss her again. "What are you afraid of Rose? You say you think Jamie has gone for good, are you afraid there will be rumours? It does not bother me, he left you, remember?"

"I know. You have enough problems Alec, without me adding to them," Rose replied.

"Rose, let me worry about that eh?" he told her as their lips met.

This time, the kiss lasted longer, making Rose feel light-headed.

"Alec, it's not fair," she tried to back away but he still held on to her.

"Rose," he shushed her, putting his finger on her lips. "I will give you time to think about it, you can come down to Broadchurch any time you want. If Jamie does come back, I will understand you wanting to stay with him."

"I don't know Alec? Could I trust him again, if he wants to make up?" Rose wondered.

"I can't tell you that but you must know I care about you?" he asked her. "Why do you think I was willing to come up here and help you?"

He went towards her and put his arms around her.

"Rose, tell me what it was, I mean about Jamie?" he urged as Rose leaned into his shoulder.

"I can't," Rose replied as she looked up at him.

"I'm sorry but I think I already know," he admitted. "You said he was always backing away."

"I don't know Alec, honestly. It could just have been me," she admitted.

Alec held back slightly.

"Rose, don't take the blame for him. You would know if it was you."

"I would?" she asked innocently. "Geez Alec, I don't know any more. So if he comes back, should I say something?"

"Rose, he may already know that you have realised," Alec replied. "Do you honestly think he will be able to face you? What are you going to do, if he does not come back?"

"Come and see you in Broadchurch?" Rose tried to joke. "Seriously, I don't know Alec."

"Well, I meant it Rose, I won't care what is said in the papers, if it gets out," he told her. "I do care about you, I think you already know that? You need time to think, to sort out your feelings but I think Jamie let you down, badly."

"How do you know Alec?" Rose asked him.

"You did not have to say anything, it was the way you reacted," he replied, stepping back closer to her.

Before either of them knew it, they were under the sheets, Alec kissing her all over and afterwards, pulling Rose on top of him.

"Is something wrong?" he asked as she was reluctant to stay there and rolled on her back again.

"Nothing, it's fine. It's not you Alec, it's me."

"Oh, I was right then?" he replied, hovering over her, propped up on one arm and tracing her curves with his finger. "Ah, that would be the point your husband would shall we say 'back off'?"

Rose remained silent and started to get out of bed.

"Rose, don't run away eh?" he called after her.

She went to a drawer to get some clean underwear and a vest top, then put on her silky blue floral robe.

"I'm just going to the bathroom Alec, I'm not running away. I just need to freshen up."

"Something happened to you, yes?" he wanted to know as he watched her.

If he could have seen her face in the dim light from the lamp but he didn't need to see, he knew he was right.

"Rose, it's only natural, you don't have to run away. I did not cause you any discomfort?"

"What?'" Rose was still confused as to what he was saying. "If ya meant did ya hurt me, then, well just a little at first," she admitted. "I have to go now."

As she disappeared, Alec scrabbled under the bed for his shorts, thinking if they were going to discuss the event of them having sex and Rose not knowing she'd just had her real first time, he was not doing so not wearing anything at all.

He had suspected the problem was that one of them hadn't wanted to go the whole way but from what Rose had said and just done, he guessed it hadn't been her. Or had it, he wondered as Rose emerged from the bathroom. Maybe she had just been reluctant and Jamie had sensed it but he was no therapist.

"Hey," Rose greeted him as she got back into bed. "Was that what it's supposed to be like?" she asked innocently.

"Yes, so I guess it was Jamie who either thought he should back off and give you time or he sensed you did not want to give in?"

"I don't know which Alec," Rose admitted as he put his arm around her. "Hey, don't you go gettin' caught by my mother in the morning, she'll be up about eight to sort Tony out."

"I have no intentions of getting caught," he laughed.

"Well it's usually earlier than that but Tony just plays when he wakes up. When he was younger, he used to jump on my bed to wake me up. Mum told him he's too big to do that now but it was just to stop him pouncing on Jamie really."

"Well I will leave in plenty of time then, unless you wish me to leave now?" he asked, not wanting to take advantage.

"No, I don't want ya to go now. What do I do now Alec? Do I wait and see what Jamie does or just accept it's over?"

"Rose, it's up to you but you have to be realistic. How long do you wait eh? He may be waiting for you to make the first move," Alec suggested.

"Do ya think so?" Rose wondered. "I can't face it Alec, if I do make the first move, I'll have to get Pete to get me a good divorce lawyer. Then keep it out of the papers, stay out of the way."

"Then come down to Broadchurch," Alec offered. "The press are too busy going after the boy's family, trust me."

"You have too much to do already without worrying about me," Rose replied as she put her arm across him and laid her head on his chest.

"I will worry about you," he told her as he kissed the top of her head. "Get some sleep, we can talk before I leave tomorrow."

Alec woke early and tried not to disturb Rose, who had somehow crawled over him and was half on, half off him. He had to smile at her and moved some hair gently off her face, making her move slightly.

"Rose, I have to go back to my room now," he reminded her.

"Yeah, okay," Rose replied with a yawn. "Alec, we need to talk about this before ya leave."

"I know, don't worry eh? I would worry more about your mother catching me sneaking back to my room, especially from the direction of yours," he smiled, kissing her cheek. "Rose, last night was really something special and I regret having to leave but you need to talk things over with your parents."

He got dressed then leaned over her and gave her a kiss.

"Just remember, come down to Broadchurch any time," he told her.

"Yeah, I will, when I get sorted. Do ya think Jamie's waiting for me to make the first move then?"

"He may be but it's down to him, he was the one who went off," he reminded her again.

"Yeah, maybe he just wanted to prove a point?" Rose wondered.

Chapter 24

Alec could already see where this was leading. Did he want to be in the middle of any divorce between the woman he'd already fallen in love with and her errant husband? It seemed clear to him that Jamie had been confronted with Rose wanting to have children and him not agreeing.

"Rose?" Alec reminded her he was still there.

"Oh, sorry. Yeah, ya'd best go before mum or Tony catch ya, it'd be better Tony did, then mum wouldn't get suspicious," she smiled at the thought.

"Rose, we won't be able to hide you know, not if I come back. Well if I am invited back?" he wondered.

"Alec, you'll always be welcome here, Daisy too if she wants? It was just us being at work all the time, I never got around to asking her," Rose admitted.

"Well Tess maybe would have objected," Alec replied. "It was I who was reluctant to come to your wedding but now, well I think I know why I gave in. Rose, I hope you do not think I came to the wedding just to meet you?"

"No, I don't think that Alec," Rose assured him. "Can we talk before ya have to leave, I really don't want ya to get caught sneakin' out of here."

"I understand your concern Rose but it does not bother me, really," he told her as he leaned over to kiss her. "See you at breakfast then?"

"Yeah, okay but let me talk to mum first?" she asked him. "I think they both know Jamie won't come back but I'll tell them you and I are just friends, for now."

"If that is what you want?" Alec had to agree.

He supposed it was better than Jackie Tyler giving him a grilling over his intentions towards her still technically married daughter. He had been a witness to Rose's marriage, he had danced with her, much to Jamie's dismay and Jamie had seen him as a threat even back then.

He had however had no intentions of breaking up what seemed like a happy marriage but now he understood what Rose had to put up with, if Jamie had objected to everyone Rose spoke to. After another quick kiss, he left her room and prayed Jackie was not already on the prowl, if she had discovered he hadn't been in his room if she'd knocked on the door.

Jackie was just getting up, luckily for Alec but she had already told Pete she was worried about Rose.

"Jackie, she'll be okay," Pete tried to assure her.

"Ya mean if she relies on Alec?" Jackie wondered.

"She'll do what it takes Jaks," Pete told her as he tried to beat her to the bathroom, knowing how long she took.

"Pete, ya'll have to wait for ya shower, I'm busting," Jackie then laughed as she dashed towards the bathroom door.

"Take your time, I'll use the main bathroom," Pete replied, putting his dressing gown on. "I'll check on Tony first."

"Make sure he wears something decent will ya?" Jackie shouted behind her as she closed the bathroom door.

Pete wondered what she meant by that remark. He'd arranged with one of the female staff to help get Tony up and dressed, since that usually fell to Jamie when he and Rose visited. Tony hadn't let anyone else get him up on a Sunday since they'd been together and Jamie had stayed over.

Tony was already in a mood because Jamie wasn't there.

"But Nancy," the boy had been objecting to being shaken awake by the young woman. "I want Jamie to get me up."

"Well Tony, you know he's not here this weekend, don't you?" Nancy tried to convince him.

Just then, Pete came in, seeing Tony sat up in bed with his arms folded.

"Dad. Why isn't Jamie here?" the boy wanted to know.

"Come on Tony, do as Nancy asks," Pete insisted. "We already explained Jamie couldn't come this weekend."

"But Alec's here," Tony complained.

"You know Alec from the wedding," Pete reminded him. "He's a friend on Rose and Jamie's. You remember Daisy?"

"Why isn't she here?" Tony then wanted to know.

"Tony, you'll be late for breakfast if you don't get a move on," Pete insisted. "Sorry Nancy."

"It's okay Sir, my brother was the same at Tony's age," Nancy smiled. "Come on Tony, let's get you dressed then."

"I can do it," Tony replied, moving slowly out of bed.

Alec was just outside his room when he heard them talking and rushed inside. When was the last time he'd been sneaking back without being seen by a girlfriend's parents? It had been a very long time. For Rose, it was maybe worth it, Pete may be more willing to let it slide than Rose's mother.

Pete heard a room door closing and went around the corner, thinking it could only have been Alec. Maybe their guest had already been to see Rose? He hoped for Rose's sake if the pair of them had spent the night together, Jackie didn't find out about it. It would be better if Rose admitted it herself, she was old enough to make her own decisions but he bet divorce was on the cards.

Jamie should have faced up to it rather than run away from the problem, he had only himself to blame for getting jealous over Alec Hardy, Pete thought. Now, it was his fault for hiring Jamie in the first place and not daring to think Rose may come back to this universe one day and meet The Doctor's double.

Maybe Jamie had finally discovered the secret they'd all tried so hard to keep from him? Alec already had his suspicions something was going on, after all, he was a detective, Pete mused.

Alec got changed and went down to the kitchen, after asking one of the staff where breakfast was being served. Rose was already seated next to Tony, waiting for the cook to finish doing the boy's eggs how he wanted them.

"Tony, you're just being awkward," Rose insisted as he played with the remainder of his cereal.

"I like them best like that," Tony replied, looking up when Alec walked in.

"Hello Tony," Alec greeted the boy. "Good morning Rose."

"Hi Alec, help yaself to cereal," she indicated to another smaller table with various boxes and a jug of milk.

"Alec, you can have some of my choco-pops," the boy then grinned, Rose nudging him.

"I will save them for you," Alec laughed as he helped himself to another box.

He went to sit at the other side of Rose, hoping no-one would notice something was already going on between them.

"Are ya sure ya didn't see Alec creeping along the hallway?" Jackie was asking Pete, just to make sure their guest had slept in his own room last night.

Pete was hoping he'd been wrong about almost catching the pair of them outside Rose's room.

"Jackie, you have to trust Rose," he reminded her as they went downstairs, nodding to one of the male staff. "I can't think why Jamie would just go off like that other than what happened at the wedding. Alec's not entirely to blame, Rose talked to plenty of other people that day."

"Yeah Pete but non of the others looked like Jamie," Jackie insisted. "Do ya think Jamie thought Alec looked too much like him or do ya think seeing Alec made him think he looked like The Doctor?"

"We've never talked about it in front of Jamie," Pete replied. "Alec already suspects something. I told Rose she should tell him, if he asks. Jackie, she trusts Alec, leave them be for now eh?"

"Well there'd better not be anything already going on between them Pete, Rose is already fragile after Jamie left," Jackie insisted.

After breakfast, Jackie looking to see how Rose and Alec reacted to each other as they ate, Tony wanted Alec to play football outside with him, poor Rose having to go in goal.

"Tony, don't aim the ball at your sister," Alec was telling him in the middle of the pitch marked out.

"Aw, she doesn't mind," Tony laughed back. "Will you come and see us again Alec?" the boy then asked.

"As long as I am invited," Alec replied, throwing the ball he'd been handed onto the grass.

Rose declared she'd had enough and they left Tony with the ball to kick around, walking to the fountain. They sat down, being careful Tony wasn't watching as Alec tried to kiss her.

"He already misses Jamie a lot," Rose told Alec. "Dad said he wanted Jamie to get him up this morning."

"Well, I think Jamie was being pretty selfish, going off without saying anything to your brother," Alec had to admit. "Sorry Rose but you both deserved better than that, Tony does not understand."

"Yeah, we've been tryin' to cheer him up, it's gonna be a long school holiday," Rose agreed. "I wish ya could stay a bit longer."

Alec took her hands, making sure Tony was occupied and seeing Pete standing at one of the patio doors in the distance.

"So do I Rose but I have a case to solve. Maybe Jamie would still be here if I had not made the news again."

Rose thought he'd already said that once but it wouldn't have made any difference.

"Alec, ya showed me last night why Jamie probably left," she reminded him. "He just didn't want kids but we could have discussed it."

"He may not have changed his mind you know?" Alec told her. "What are you going to do now? Will you come down to Broadchurch by any chance?"

"I will Alec, when I sort things out. I'm not going back to our apartment, I'll get dad to handle it all, he'll get Jake onto it. I'll just have to go get my things. Anyway, ya don't want me gettin' in the way down there," Rose replied.

"You would not be in the way Rose," Alec assured her. "I meant it, come down any time eh? Maybe then you will be ready to tell me about the friend you lost, who myself and Jamie look like? It does not bother me."

"Alec. Yes, Jamie was more like him than you are, he must have suspected. When I met Jamie, I missed my friend so much and there he was, right in front of me in Jamie. They were so much alike, always showing off, causing trouble, getting told off by my mum," Rose recalled with a smile.

"You thought you had got your friend back?" Alec asked. "You see none of those things in me then?"

"Don't take it the wrong way Alec, please? It's just, well you act more your age, unlike Jamie and my friend. I think I needed someone like that really but I let myself be led by him. How could I tell him Alec?"

Alec was at a loss what to tell her. He'd already gathered she missed her friend and had seen Jamie as a substitute, maybe Jamie had finally noticed now that he himself had appeared? Had Rose given Jamie an indication of that, even accidentally? Maybe he was right and Jamie had wanted to slip away quietly and not cause a big argument?

Jackie would be on Rose's side, that was for certain. Pete would be feeling guilty for employing Jamie but surely he'd known Rose may meet him one day? He still wanted to know how Rose and Pete had met in the first place but there wasn't time today, he had to leave soon and there were more important issues to resolve, like persuading Rose to visit him in Broadchurch, murder investigation underway or not.

He held his hand out to help Rose up as Tony came towards them.

"Come on Rose, I'm hungry," Tony laughed as Rose dropped Alec's hand.

Tony ran ahead of them and Alec took her hand again.

"You won't fool your parents as much as your brother," Alec reminded her as they approached the house.

"You're not kidding," Rose replied, smiling at the thought of her mother's face if she saw them. "Mind you, mum will already suspect something, you just being here."

"Now you tell me," Alec remarked. "After I went to great lengths to avoid being caught by her earlier. I heard Pete talking to your brother, he must have heard my room door closing and he did see us last night."

"He won't tell tales on us Alec," Rose assured him as Alec opened the patio door where Pete had been stood earlier.

"I expect he will be impartial?" Alec wondered. "Rose, I do want to know how you met Pete but I have a feeling you hushed all that up with Jamie?"

"I wanted to make a fresh start Alec," Rose told him. "I wanted to forget the past. It was too much of a reminder about the Cybermen, we all wanted to forget them and I wanted to forget what part me and my friend played in the whole thing."

"I do not blame you Rose," Alec replied. "Then tell me what you are comfortable with?" he suggested.

"I will Alec, I promise," she smiled as Tony waited in the room doorway.

"There you all are," Pete greeted them as he caught up with them. "It seems your mother wants you Tony," he grinned.

"Aw Dad, I can wash my own hands," Tony insisted.

"She's not waiting to wash your hands young man," Pete told him, looking at his dirty football shirt and shorts.

"About time," Jackie told the young boy as she was waiting at the bottom of the stairs. "Look at the state of ya."

"Sorry, we left him to play with the ball," Alec apologised.

"Rose, you were in charge of him," Jackie insisted. "What were you two doin'?"

"Let the boy have some fun Jaks," Pete intervened. "He just misses Jamie. He got messy all the time."

"Well Jamie's not here, is he Pete?" Jackie told him as Tony went up the stairs.

"How can we tell Tony why he's really not here?" Rose wanted to know, Alec taking her arm.

"Leave it," Alec insisted, having a feeling this was about him.

"Well you two have some explainin' to do," Jackie turned back to them.

"Sorry," Pete turned towards them as Jackie went off after Tony. "It's getting to all of us Alec, don't take it personally."

"It's fine Pete, I totally understand," Alec agreed as he put his arm around Rose's shoulder. "Does Jackie think something is going on between Rose and myself?"

"Honestly?" Pete smiled. "I wouldn't try hiding anything if I were you Alec. If she suspects something, she'll tell you, won't she Rose?"

"Sorry Alec, dad's right," Rose had to agree.

"Rose, it will take more than that," Alec promised as Pete went in front of them towards the dining room. "Is this a formal lunch?" he then smiled.

Rose nudged him, calling him a plum and making Alec feel better that Rose was being herself. He had showed her last night how he felt about her and he hoped it was enough to make her realise that while Jamie had abandoned her, he himself wasn't about to do the same.

"Rose, you won't get rid of me that easily," he then whispered to her as they entered the dining room.

He held a chair out for her then sat beside her, opposite Pete.

"So, what are your plans Alec?" Pete wanted to know. "You're not fooling me or Rose's mother you know?"

"I was not trying to fool anyone Pete," Alec replied. "Rose asked for my help and I will do my best to try and find Jamie, if he wants to be found."

"He won't want to be found," Rose had to admit. "I'm sorry I dragged ya all the way up here Alec."

"Don't be sorry Rose," Alec insisted, hearing a noise outside. "I promised to help you."

Tony was chattering away as they ate, then asked about Daisy.

"Will she come and see us Alec?" the boy wanted to know.

"Ask your sister to invite her to visit," Alec turned to Rose, having taken her hand behind the table, not that they were fooling Jackie.

"I will, now I'm not working," Rose agreed. "Alec, do you see much of her now?"

"No, sadly," Alec replied, wondering how long Jackie would be before she erupted. "I invited her to visit me in Broadchurch but she has not got back to me yet. Maybe you will have better luck inviting her here Rose?"

"I'll call her, I promise," Rose replied, wondering why her mother was so quiet.

Jackie had been trying to get information from her young son while he'd been getting washed and changed.

"So, what did they do after Rose said she'd have enough?" Jackie had asked him.

"They went to sit by the fountain," Tony had told her.

"Then what?" Jackie kept on at him.

"Well, I was playing with my football," Tony hesitated, Jackie knowing he was holding something back. "I think they might have been holding hands Mum."

"They were, were they?" Jackie had huffed.

"Well they might have been getting all kissy," Tony then laughed, making faces.

"I don't need the details," Jackie told him, wiping his face and making him drop the big grin.

"Is Jamie not coming back Mum?" he'd then asked her.

"I don't know Tony, none of us do," Jackie admitted as Tony went to put his arms around her neck.

"I miss him Mum," he replied. "Does Rose miss him? I mean if she was with Alec?"

"I can't explain it Tony," Jackie hesitated, giving the boy a hug. "We'll just have to wait and see. I'm gonna find out though."

"Pete, can ya take Tony to his playroom?" Jackie suddenly spoke up, making Alec think she was about to say something.

"Aw but Mum, I wanna stay," Tony insisted as he sat back on his chair.

"Come on Tony," Pete grinned, knowing what his wife was up to.

No amount of keeping silent would spare Alec if Jackie wanted to know something, Pete thought.

"Well? You two have some explainin' to do," Jackie reminded Rose and Alec, Alec with his hands now on the table.

Rose though looked less than innocent to her mother.

"Ah, Jackie," Alec started to explain. "I assure you, Rose and I are only just friends. I respect the fact that Jamie may come back at any time and then, it is up to Rose what happens. If she decides to patch things up, then all well and good but if not, well I will be there for her."

Rose just looked at him. He was still willing to step back if she decided to forgive Jamie for going off without saying a word but did she want Jamie back? Alec had given her a taste of what it really felt like when someone loved a person and Jamie had always backed away. Did she want things to be the way they had been or did she want more of what Alec could give her?

Both her mother and Alec were looking at her, she couldn't decide right now. Jamie leaving her had upset her though Alec had been there for her in more ways than one. She had loved Jamie as she had loved The Doctor but now, she had a choice to make.

Chapter 25

"Rose?" Alec was looking at her.

"What? Sorry. Alec's right Mum but I can't decide now and when I can, you'll be the first to know Alec. Mum, I have to accept Jamie may not come back," Rose admitted.

"Ya have to give him a chance Rose," her mother told her, still eyeing Alec. "As for you," she pointed to him. "Don't you go upsetting her by going back to that seaside town and forgetting her and not being there if she needs ya again."

"I have no intentions of going back and forgetting about her," Alec replied, facing up to Jackie. "You are right, Rose has enough to deal with at present and Jamie may come back on his own but I will try and make a few discreet enquiries and see if he has been spotted anywhere."

Rose remembered she'd told Jamie about going to Norway and how she'd said goodbye to The Doctor there but what would make Jamie go there? Jamie knew very little about the friend she had said goodbye to there.

"Rose, can you think of anywhere he may have gone?" Alec asked her again.

"I told ya Alec. We went loads of places when we were working for Torchwood, he could have gone to any of them or somewhere completely different. Call Torchwood, they'll be able to give ya all names of the place we went. Tell them I said for them to co-operate with ya."

"I will," Alec agreed, hoping she was right and Torchwood didn't hang up on him. "I will call you if they can't help me. I should be getting ready to leave."

Jackie gave another glance at Alec as if to say she knew the pair of them were up to something, then she went off. Alec took Rose's hands and she leaned on his shoulder.

"Promise me you will come down to Broadchurch if things get too much," Alec reminded her.

"Yeah, when I sort myself out," Rose promised, looking up at him. "Last night was really special, no-one has ever treated me like that before."

"Then I am glad it was me who made you feel like that," Alec replied, kissing her forehead. "Rose, when I see you again, tell me more about this mysterious man Jamie and I look like, I promise I will not run away."

He thought if Jamie had already been the jealous type, knowing Rose had probably loved this other man, it wouldn't have helped. Jamie obviously got worse when he himself had come along to their wedding. That had been purely by chance when Daisy had been chosen out of all the entries to be a bridesmaid and they had all been invited to stay.

"I will just go get my bag," Alec broke the silence, disturbing Rose.

"Yeah, then I'll walk ya out," Rose replied, Alec letting go of her and glad no-one had yet come in to clear up.

He thought he had best go back upstairs on his own, before they were tempted to have a repeat of last night and this morning. He leaned down to kiss her, knowing they could have some explaining to do if Jackie caught them or the staff told her. At this present moment, he wasn't really bothered. When he'd told Jackie he and Rose were just friends, until Rose said otherwise, that was all they were.

"Don't wait too long before you visit eh?" he reminded her. "May I call you, even if I have no news for you?"

"Yeah, 'course ya can," Rose smiled, looking up at him again. "I'll let ya know if I hear anything but ya know I can't go down there yet Alec, not until ya get that case over with. We don't want to attract any attention, the press should concentrate on that poor boy, not me."

"I understand Rose but I can keep the press away from you, when you do come and see me," he promised.

Rose watched him walk upstairs and was tempted to run after him but she would have some explaining to do if her mother saw her. Alec had gone to his room and sat on the bed. He had not come here to see Rose with the intention to have sex with her but it had been out of the control of both of them as nature had taken over. He had never been with a woman who had not had her first time before and it had made the occasion all the more exciting.

When Rose had fallen asleep in his arms, he had thought he was indeed lucky that Rose had allowed him to show her how it really felt after she had admitted Jamie had always backed away. He had smiled at her giggling when he had moved away from her, like she had never experienced anything like it before and now, he wished he could stay longer but he did have a case to solve.

The quicker he found Danny's killer, hopefully Rose would agree to visit but he really hoped it would be sooner. He wondered what Rose had felt like when she had woken up earlier and they'd had a repeat of the night before, after she had been worried about her mother catching him leaving.

He couldn't remember feeling like he had done after he'd made love to Rose and now he didn't want to feel that way with anyone else but her. Rose had been the only one who had made him feel like it was about her and not himself, he couldn't really explain it. There was a knock on the door and his heart skipped a beat, hoping Rose had followed him and he could say goodbye the way he really wanted to.

He opened the door but found one of the male staff standing there. Was Jackie making sure he left, he wondered.

"Excuse me Sir but I was asked to see if you needed any help with your bags?" the man asked him.

So Jackie had sent the man then, Alec mused.

"No, I can manage, thank you," Alec insisted but saw the look on the man's face that told him Jackie was insisting. "Well you can take that bag there," he pointed to his large holdall at the side of the door.

"Very good Sir, I will wait with it downstairs, when you are ready," the man replied, going for the handles.

He had never thought Jackie would let him get away with it, she must suspect something by now but she was being tactful at making sure he left. Was it so Rose could concentrate on the matters at hand, like finding her husband and having a reconciliation?

He just had to be prepared to let her go if she decided to go back to Jamie, if he came back that was. In his mind, the man didn't deserve someone like Rose. He checked he'd got everything and picked up his jacket from the bed. Then he followed the servant downstairs, he didn't know if Jackie referred to the staff as servants or not, he expected she spent most of the day in the kitchen chatting to the cook and drinking tea.

All Rose's family were down to earth, from what he'd learned, this Jackie Tyler was completely opposite to Pete's first wife but he had a feeling it was no coincidence the Vitex chairman had met both Jackie and Rose and had adopted Rose even though she was an adult. He expected it assured her the title of the Vitex heiress. He knew Rose had been out of the press until she had taken up with Jamie. Now, he was going to have to keep her out of the news, which would be no easy task once the press found out Jamie was missing.

Rose was sat in the reception area, waiting for Alec coming down. She had been the one to send someone to help Alec, though she hadn't known why she'd done it. She had caught Colin, the head of staff as he had passed the dining room.

"Would ya do me a favour Colin?" Rose had asked the tall man in a suit.

Rose knew her mother had never been one for formality but Pete had insisted on some sort of dress code for the senior staff.

"Certainly, Miss Tyler. What is it?"

"Can ya make sure my guest is helped with his belonging?" Rose had replied, not knowing if Alec wanted help or not and he'd think her mother had decided to make sure he left.

Rose didn't want him to leave and was trying to delay his departure.

"I will see to it personally," Colin had told her, a slight smile on his face.

He wondered if she had taken a shine to the detective who looked exactly like her husband, who seemed to be no longer around, according to the gossip from the kitchen staff, who he thought was a reliable source of information as Mrs Tyler spent all her time drinking tea with the cook.

Rose looked up as she saw Colin with Alec's bag.

"Is he on his way down?" Rose asked anxiously.

"Yes Miss Tyler, I believe he is following me," was the reply as Colin put the bag down on the floor by the bottom step.

Rose had to smile at the fancy wooden holder at the end of the staircase where she tended to leave a wet umbrella when she'd dashed in from the rain, leaving Jamie to park the car. She had known he could run faster than her but he still complained it spoilt his hair. She was sure she'd seen a bunch of flowers there when she had gate-crashed the other Jackie Tyler's party on that fateful night, something she didn't want to remember. Alec would be sure to ask questions, would she be able to tell him more than they had told Jamie? She had agreed with Pete that if Jamie showed more interest, he would be the one to explain things to Jamie.

She looked up and saw Alec at the top of the stairs, his jacket slung over his right shoulder and his shirt sleeves rolled up. Why did he have to look so hot, she thought to herself. What was it about Alec that she'd never seen in Jamie? Jamie had reminded her too much of The Doctor and although she had loved the Timelord, had she wanted an exact double of him, a sort of clone who did exactly the same things?

Alec was so different, the beard to start with and the Scottish accent, better than the one The Doctor had put on when they had met Queen Victoria. She had thought it a shame they had been vanquished from the land but they had got away with it and now, royalty took second place after the president and was just for show.

After she had seen the then president killed, she had never really taken much notice. When she had come back, Harriet Jones was in charge but it wasn't the one she remembered averting world war three with and running from the Slitheen with.

"Alec, where did ya get to?" Rose greeted him with a smile and put her arm in his left one.

"I was on my way down when your man came to offer to carry my bag," Alec smiled back. "Ah, it was you who sent him?" he asked as her smile widened and she had that look on her face.

"Did ya think my mum was makin' sure ya left?" Rose teased him.

"The thought crossed my mind," Alec replied, moving his jacket and now holding it in his hand.

"She'll be cross she didn't think of it," Rose laughed as Colin had now disappeared.

Colin thought now, he could join in the gossip that Miss Tyler and the detective were being coy around each other, which meant something was certainly going on between them.

"See me out?" Alec suggested before they were caught by her mother, or even worse, Tony.

"Best say bye to everyone first," Rose insisted, leading him to the family room.

"Alec!" Tony rushed towards him. "Will you come back and see us again? Will you bring Daisy with you? Please."

"Whoa," Alec warned the boy as he caught Tony. "Let your sister invite Daisy to visit eh?"

"Will you Rose?" Tony turned to her. "She's fun."

"I'll try Tony, now say bye to Alec," Rose told him.

Pete had got up and went up to shake Alec's hand.

"Thanks for taking time to visit," Pete told Alec. "I know you must be busy."

"Yes but I did promise Rose that if there was anything I could do for her, she only had to call me," Alec replied.

Rose tried to recall when he said that but she was sure he would have done, even in front of Jamie as it was clear they were never going to get on no matter how they both tried. Now she thought about it, Alec did seem to get the better of Jamie to the point she thought Jamie would start a fight like he had done with Mickey that time.

"Yeah, thanks again Alec," Rose nudged him.

"I will do my best to try to locate Jamie, I promise. Jackie, a pleasure to have seen you again," Alec replied as Tony went to her.

He went to pick up his bag and Rose grabbed his other arm again, having put his jacket on.

"I hope I will see you soon," he told her as he neared his car.

He wondered if she would dare to kiss him before he got in the car.

"Yeah, I promise Alec, when everything's died down a bit," Rose replied.

He had to settle for a kiss on the cheek but Rose went to do the same, only half getting his mouth instead. He really hoped her mother wasn't looking out of the window.

"Call me," Rose added as he put his jacket in the back of the car, wanting to kiss him properly but anyone could have seen them.

"I will be sure to," he promised. "Think about what I said Rose, if you have anything you want to tell me, I can assure you I will listen. I have plenty of questions for you, about this place," he nodded towards the house. "I know something happened here, years ago when the Cybermen were let loose upon the population. Something tells me you were somehow involved?"

"Yeah, I was but Pete should tell ya, ya'd never believe me," Rose smiled as he got in the car and opened the window.

"Then I look forward to it," he smiled back. "Bye for now Rose."

After Alec had left, Rose went to join her mother since Tony and Pete were playing in the garden.

"Ya'd better be careful Rose," her mother warned her. "Ya lettin' Alec get too close to ya. No wonder Jamie got jealous when Alec got himself in the news again."

"Jamie should've trusted me," Rose complained. "He made something out of nothing."

"Did he?" Jackie wondered.

"He was the one who kept going on about it Mum, not me," Rose defended herself.

"Are ya sure ya weren't payin' too much attention to what the papers were sayin'?" Rose was then asked. "I was worried about Alec being here last night."

Rose thought she herself had been worried her mother had sent Pete to spy on her. Pete had been more tactful than her mother would have been as she and Alec talked outside her room. Her mother would have warned Alec in no uncertain terms. Before he had left, he had got away with it lightly.

"You had no need to be Mum," Rose replied, picking up the puzzle supplement of a Sunday newspaper her mother still insisted on being delivered even though Pete shook his head in despair.

Old habits still died hard even after all the time that had passed of Rose and her mother being in this world. Jackie still had to watch different versions of the soaps she had watched before and got one of the staff to record them if they were going out, even though there was a catch-up service.

Alec got back to Broadchurch but stopped off by the harbour, having thought about getting a place of his own and leaving the hotel. He had no privacy there, the place would be swarming with reporters as the hotel owner had rooms to fill now holidaymakers were few and far between.

He'd had an idea as he'd approached the harbour area, that of the caravan park being almost next to the police station and it may be faster to take one for a few weeks until the HR department could sort something out for him. He parked up just by the park's reception and hoped they were still open.

After negotiating a two bedroom model, extra wide, he felt pleased with himself as he was told to just let the HR department contact the office the following morning and he could collect the keys after 4pm. He could then call Rose and maybe persuade her to join him. That was going to be harder than he'd thought.

When he'd been to the HR office the next morning and they said they'd let him know, Alec arguing it was going to be less expensive than the hotel, his DS was waiting for him as he entered the CID department.

"Sir, I tried to contact you earlier," Ellie Miller told him. "You told me to always keep my phone on."

"What are you getting at Miller? I had something to attend to," he replied as he saw his work phone was off. "Nothing you couldn't handle?"

"Well I could have done but it needed a senior officer and you took my job – Sir," she replied sarcastically.

Alec was not in the mood for her. He wondered if he admitted he was involved with someone and had left them behind, which was now true, if his annoying DS would leave him alone. Then he thought better of it.

"Well, what was so urgent?" he replied instead of hoping she'd think he was Human after all.

Another three weeks went by. Nothing was happening over the death of Danny Latimer, the case was drying up and so were the extra resources they had been given.

"Sir, are you coming to the pub with us, for Finlay's leaving do?" Ellie Miller had knocked on the door and asked him.

"What? No, you all go ahead, I have a call to make," Alec insisted, going in his jacket pocket for his wallet.

He fished a few notes out but she insisted it would cost more.

"Alright?" Ellie then asked him as he went to get some coins out of his pocket.

"Yep. I just have something to sort out Miller."

"Phoning your daughter?" Ellie managed a bit of a smile, after he had admitted he didn't see much of Daisy when he'd been invited to dinner one night.

"Ah, no, someone else," he replied, handing her the one pound coins.

"Did I take all your money – Sir?" Ellie then wanted to know.

"No, just didn't get to the cash machine," Alec admitted, not wanting to say he'd forgotten the last of the extra staff was leaving that day.

"Funny thing, Sir. I came across an old magazine in the dentist's the other day when I had to take Tom. A Daisy Hardy was on the cover of a supplement as being head bridesmaid at Rose Tyler's wedding last year," she told him, hoping he'd take the bait. "Is that your daughter?"

Alec sat back in his chair, observing her and the others outside sat on various desks waiting for her.

"Yes, it was her Miller, it was a long time ago, before her mother and I divorced. She was over the moon at winning that silly contest that was held," he admitted.

"She was really lucky Sir, I bet she won't ever forget it? Rose Tyler has gone very quiet lately, not like her to miss the chance of being in the society columns," Ellie grinned.

"They're waiting for you out there," Alec reminded her before she asked what he thought of Rose Tyler, her wedding and in particular, why Rose had fallen off the radar lately.

He had promised Rose in his last call to her that no-one would learn from him the reason why she had chosen to take time off work and more importantly, stay out of the news. He wasn't about to break that promise for anything.

When Alec had last called Rose, she had been unsure as to tell him she suspected something had come of their night together. She was sure she'd told him she wasn't taking any precautions because she'd been trying to get Jamie round to her way of thinking about starting a family but after being with Alec, she now knew that was never going to happen, unless Jamie got over his jealousy.

She also knew that Alec hadn't been the cause of Jamie holding back before they'd met so she had wondered what had caused it initially. A few weeks later though, she knew for certain something had happened with being with Alec as she sneaked out to visit the nearby clinic.

Who should she tell first, Alec or her mother? Then, one morning, Pete brought the post into the kitchen and handed Rose an official looking large envelope. He'd glanced at it and saw it was from the local court.

"Sorry Rose," Pete whispered in her ear and patting her shoulder as she took the envelope.

"Well open it then," her mother seemed to sense why Rose was being hesitant. "Ya have to face it sooner or later."

Chapter 26

Pete knew Rose didn't want to face what was certainly in the envelope that was stamped with the local court seal. He hoped the postman wasn't the type who would gossip about what was delivered.

"Give it to me," Pete offered as Rose sat back in the chair.

"What have you got there Rose?" Tony was curious. "Is it some photos?"

"No Tony, it's not photos," Jackie replied, trying to get him to finish and get ready for school. "Rose, why don't you drop Tony off this morning?" she then suggested, looking at Pete as he tried to take the envelope from Rose, who was staring at it.

It had her married name on it and she'd not used it for a few weeks, knowing Jamie wouldn't come back now, with Alec still being in the news. She had been outraged that a reporter had branded Alec the worst cop in Britain and had Pete's PA lodge a complaint to the editor, stating Alec was a personal friend of the Tyler family and did they want a legal fight on their hands if they didn't issue a statement saying it had been the personal opinion of the reporter responsible?

They had kind of backed down and issued an apology to Alec, saying they understood the pressure the police were under and they had been a bit harsh on him. It hadn't satisfied Rose but Pete believed it was the best that would happen. Alec had to smile when he'd seen it, his DS making a point of asking if he had friends in high places. He'd not mentioned it to Rose that he thought she was behind it, let her think she was helping him.

"What?" Rose snapped out of her daze. "I suppose so, are you ready Tony?"

"Yeah, Rose is taking me," Tony jumped off his chair, dropping his spoon in the bowl.

Jackie supposed Tony was still missing Jamie but glad Rose was back home. It had been heartbreaking to see Rose coming back with things from the apartment she'd shared with Jamie. She had since been told by Pete that Jamie had cleared his things out, although if he'd done so in person, Pete didn't know.

He was surprised Rose hadn't packed a case and gone down to see Alec in Broadchurch but the detective still hadn't caught the killer. Maybe Rose was staying back to give him time?

"Come on Tony, get ready," Jackie encouraged him as she got up. "Don't get him all giddy on the way," she then turned to Rose.

"He gets giddy on his own Mum," Rose reminded her.

When Jackie and Tony had left, Pete sat beside her.

"You knew this was coming Rose," Pete told her. "Best get it over with. I can get the lawyers to handle it all for you, it's doubtful Jamie will want to go through the divorce court."

"This is what I was dreading Dad," Rose admitted as Pete opened the envelope.

"I'll get someone round to read the documents to you and you can sign in front of them. How about before Tony gets home from school, say two?" Pete suggested. "There's no need to appear in court, if the press get hold of it, you'll need to go further than Broadchurch to escape," he smiled.

"Thanks Dad. What else can I do but sign?" Rose wanted to know. "How did things get so bad? It's not Alec's fault Jamie didn't like him being at the wedding."

"Rose, have you considered Alec may have only made things worse?" Pete asked her. "Maybe Jamie never got over the fact you told him about The Doctor?"

"Then it's a good thing I never told him who The Doctor was," Rose replied. "Leave that here Dad, I'll be here when someone from the legal team arrive."

"Right then," Pete agreed. "Want me to be here? I can if you want?"

"Will you? Thanks, I don't think mum can help me with this," Rose smiled. "What you said, about Jamie being jealous. Alec thinks the same, that he only made things worse."

"We'll never know," Pete put his hand on her shoulder.

When Rose had dropped Tony at school, telling him to have a good day and his nanny would collect him, she decided to go back to the local clinic.

"Name?" Rose was asked as she stood at the desk.

"Rose Smith," Rose replied, hoping she wasn't recognised. "I came the other day but I have some questions, if that's okay? I was a bit stunned."

"Everyone is," the receptionist smiled at her. "Take a seat over there."

Rose crossed over and sat on her own, everyone else sat playing with their phones. Should she text Alec and say she wanted to talk to him? She couldn't face him right now, not until the divorce papers were filed. If she went to Broadchurch, she would attract some attention.

If she had at least agreed to a divorce, maybe not too much damage would be caused and Alec would maybe be relieved she would soon be free. That had been one of the reasons she had stayed away from him, that of being married and starting a relationship with him.

Alec was running out of ideas for excuses to keep calling Rose, she had got to him and he really needed to find Danny's killer. Would it be better if he could get Rose to come and stay with him? If would cure his anxiety if nothing else but how would they explain her being here? Ellie Miller was onto him, bringing up the subject of Daisy being one of Rose's bridesmaids.

Maybe they would get away with saying Rose had come on her own at his invitation as her husband was busy? He stared at his phone, willing it to start ringing and it be Rose calling him. How had he got this bad at missing her?

Rose heard her name being called, putting her phone away as she tried to get the courage to call Alec.

"Rose Smith?" the nurse wanted to make sure. "The Doctor will see you now."

Rose almost shivered at the term but recovered as she was allowed to go in first.

"So can I keep coming here?" Rose finally asked after listening and being checked again.

"Yes but you'll get a hospital appointment and you'll be booked in for the date you're due," she was told.

"Well, I might not be here," Rose admitted. "I might be moving away."

She was really hoping she hadn't been caught.

"Just let us know if you do," she was told. "Any more questions?"

Rose was sure they had better things to do than listen to her so she got up and thanked them.

"Oh, there was one thing," Rose remembered partly why she'd gone back. "The dates are right, yeah?"

She had to be one hundred percent the baby couldn't be Jamie's but Alec was certain she'd had her first real time with him. She had told him she had never felt that way before, hadn't he guessed she didn't take anything, with wanting a baby? Neither of them knew in advance that they would start an affair that night Alec had stayed over.

She went off, being told the dates were right, she had to tell her mother she was pregnant, just not who by. She got home, finding her mother in the kitchen.

"Where did you get to?" Jackie wanted to know. "Ya weren't gossiping at the school were ya?"

"No Mum, I had to go somewhere. Can we talk?"

Jackie saw the look on her face and sat at the table, the cook and her assistant busying themselves.

"I know what ya want to talk about," Jackie leaned forward and put her hand on Rose's. "That Alec Hardy, that's what. Ya've fallen for him, I knew something was goin' on when he was here. Why didn't ya just admit it sweetheart?"

"How could I Mum? I didn't know what ya'd think, ya could have been mad at me and told me to find Jamie and go back to him. Well I can't now, can I? We all know what's in that envelope that came this morning."

"Ya already sound like ya gonna sign," Jackie replied. "If ya ask me, he doesn't deserve you, if he can't keep his jealousy under control. I mean it was only by accident Alec was at your wedding. What did Jamie expect, to have Alec banned from the ceremony?"

"I don't know Mum, I only know it got the better of Jamie, since Alec got in the news again. Ya should have seen him when we were away, he couldn't stop staring at the news headlines everywhere we went. He wouldn't leave it Mum."

"Sorry sweetheart. Your dad will keep it quiet, ya can be sure of that. What are ya gonna do?" Jackie wondered. "Ya know ya can move back here properly."

"I know Mum but I may take Alec up on his offer of going down to where he is," Rose admitted.

"Rose. That's only gonna make things worse," her mother warned her. "Everyone might think it's Jamie."

"Mum, they look different," Rose disagreed. "I bet Alec doesn't spend hours in the mirror spiking his hair up."

"Jamie only did it to make ya laugh," Jackie pointed out. "Well to make Tony laugh and want to copy him. Poor kid doesn't know Jamie's not coming back."

"Do ya want me to tell him?" Rose offered.

"No, it's best we do it," Jackie assured her. "Well, where did ya get to earlier then? Ya might as well tell me."

"Mum, I went for a test the other day, a pregnancy test," Rose admitted as she put her arms on the table and then put her head on them. "Go on, yell at me."

"Why would I do that?" Jackie wanted to know. "I hope it's Jamie's? How far on are ya?"

Rose was sure her mother was trying to catch her out. The last time she was with Jamie was the night before they came back after their short break. Now she knew it couldn't possibly be Jamie's, even if the date was slightly out. She had told the doctor at the clinic it was the night she spent with Alec but there was only just over a week's difference. From what Alec had said, it was doubtful Jamie would have made the extra effort, so to speak.

It had slowly dawned on her that Jamie had never intended for her to get pregnant, maybe he had hidden the fact he couldn't cope with a baby? Why hadn't he just come out and told her instead of forever putting it off? She glanced up at her mother.

"I might have known," Jackie looked at her. "It's not his, is it? Did ya mess around with Alec when he was here then?"

"Don't put it like that Mum," Rose replied. "We didn't 'mess' around as you put it. I was upset, I already knew Jamie wouldn't come back, he was obsessed with Alec being in the news again. He didn't trust me Mum."

"Well ya must have done something at the wedding," Jackie pointed out.

"We were all just messin' around dancing, that's all," Rose admitted, not thinking it was a good idea telling her about the conservatory. "How do I tell Alec?"

"Really Rose, ya should've been more careful," Jackie told her. "What if Jamie had come back? Would ya have gone back to him?"

"I don't know Mum, maybe if he promised to forget about Alec," Rose replied.

"He might have done, what about you?" she was asked. "Admit it Rose, when Alec was here the other week, I told Pete I wasn't sure about him being here."

"You sent dad to see if me and Alec were together?" Rose sat up properly.

"Well I may have hinted," Jackie had to admit. "Ya can't blame me."

"Well me and Alec were just talkin'," Rose replied, flopping down again. "Have we got any tonic water?"

Her mother called over to the cook's assistant, who found some in the large refrigerator and brought a glass over. Rose drank it and grinned at Jackie.

"Should I call Alec, tell him I have to see him or just go down there?" Rose wondered.

"Don't ya think it's best to tell him to his face?" Jackie replied. "Are ya up to having some lunch later? Elsie's makin' that soup ya like."

"I'll try Mum. I should at least call Alec but I'll do it later, when dad comes back. Alec needs to know a few things."

"Ya mean things ya never even told Jamie?" Jackie wanted to know. "Why did ya never confide in Jamie?"

"It didn't seem important Mum," Rose raised her head slightly, pushing the glass away. "Anyway, Alec's been askin' questions. I think he might believe what he's told, I don't think Jamie would have, he'd have dismissed it."

"Ya know what I think?" Jackie leaned forward, taking Rose's arm. "Jamie was in too much of a rush to go off here there and everywhere. Ya were never at home for months on end, it was like when ya used to go missin' before."

"It wasn't the same Mum," Rose reminded her. "Anyway, Alec's more serious than Jamie, he'll at least listen."

Later, down in Broadchurch, Alec had been distracted by going out after getting a call from the local vicar, who said he had something of interest to show him. He was handed a box containing a smashed up laptop.

"You say you took it from Tom Miller, last night?" he wanted to make sure.

"I found him smashing it with a rock while I was walking home," Paul Coates explained. "He threatened if I gave it to the police he would say I was abusing Danny."

"I hope that's not true?" Alec asked, putting the box under his arm.

"Really?" Paul asked him.

Alec made one of his faces and squinted at his phone after putting the box in the back of the police car he'd arrived in.

"What?" he answered as he saw it was Ellie Miller.

Ellie was tired of him not bothering to see who was calling.

"Sir, Mark Latimer just called. He said Chloe's boyfriend told them that Danny used to go off with him and Nigel Carter at the farm he lives on. They knew nothing about it, Danny had said it was okay. Seems a bit strange, Danny wasn't like that," she told him.

"That you know of Miller," Alec replied, leaning on the car roof. "I've just seen Paul Coates, he said he had to stop your boy and Danny fighting in computer classes. He said he reported it to you and the Latimers."

"No, he never told me," Ellie sounded surprised. "I'll have to ask Joe when I get home, whatever time that's going to be," she added, hoping to get home early for a change.

"Get your husband to bring Tom in for another interview at some point," Alec then told her. "Get Nigel Carter back in as well, I want to know what he was doing taking Danny with him on a farm. Was he into poaching?"

"How would I know?" Ellie huffed. "Are you on your way back? Only I'd like to get away early tonight, my youngest is giving Joe some trouble putting him to bed."

Alec would have thought with Joe Miller being at home all day with the young boy that he would be used to it. He ended the call and called his old friend back in Sandbrook.

"Can you get some information from a smashed up laptop?" he asked hopefully.

"Hello to you too Alec," another Scottish voice replied. "Got yourself another girlfriend yet? Ya might not be so grumpy then," his friend laughed.

"I'm working on it. If I send you the laptop, can you retrieve data, especially any messages."

"I can try Alec. Is it for that case you're working on then?" Alec was asked.

"Yes and it might be the answer to a lot of unanswered questions. Can you put a rush on it?"

"Don't I always?" his friend laughed.

Alec went off to arrange to get the evidence to his friend then went to his office. Ellie was waiting to see him but what he really wanted to do was call Rose.

"Miller, can you bring your boy's laptop in at some point?" Alec asked her before she got chance to say anything.

"I'll ask him. Why the sudden interest?' she wanted to know, forgetting her annoyance at him.

"Well we're running out of clues, in case you forgot Miller," Alec replied, looking at a folder on his desk. "If Danny was hiding something from his parents, maybe he told Tom?"

Rose had finished her meeting with Pete's law team, the main man himself plus an assistant had left, with the divorce papers.

"Can ya take care of everything?" Rose had asked after signing where indicated.

"Of course Miss Tyler, just leave everything with me," she had been told.

Pete had got back before their arrival and asked Rose if she was sure about signing.

"I don't have much choice Dad," Rose had sighed. "It doesn't even say where Jamie's living. Doesn't he have to put an address on them?"

"Ask when the legal team arrive," Pete had smiled. "I know it's not easy for you Rose, you did your best but it was Jamie's choice not to make it work."

"I know Dad. When I call Alec, can ya talk to him? I want him to know some of how I came to be here."

Alec had been about to leave when his phone rang and was pleased it was Rose. He had been wanting to tell her he'd got out of the hotel and a caravan was slightly better at present.

"Rose. How are you?" he asked with a grin on his face.

"Alec, I'm fine. I wanted to talk to ya," Rose greeted him.

"I hope it's that you are coming down to see me?" Alec smiled, hoping no-one left in the outer office was watching him.

"I was thinking about it," Rose admitted. "What if I'm spotted though?"

"Rose. You will be fine, I promise. I may have some news for you, if you do come down. I can't say over the phone love. I miss you Rose."

"I miss ya too Alec. Are ya still in that hotel?" Rose asked him.

"No, did I not mention I moved into a caravan? A few weeks ago, to get some privacy, the hotel owner was letting reporters stay there and there was a chance you may decide to visit me."

"I had things to sort out Alec," Rose made the excuse. "Anyway, I have news as well."

"Then I await your arrival," he replied. "Is the news about Jamie?"

"Some of it is," Rose had to admit. "Some of it's about what ya were askin' me when you were here."

"Ah, then I really cannot wait to hear it. Come down this weekend?" he asked hopefully.

"Friday then," Rose agreed. "I have to talk to Tony first, he'll be upset about Jamie, we have to explain Jamie's not comin' back."

"That is certain?" Alec wanted to make sure.

Rose went quiet. She had signed the divorce papers but she couldn't tell Alec on the phone.

"See ya Friday Alec," Rose then replied.

Alec supposed he wouldn't get her to come down before so he had to agree. He knew it wouldn't come soon enough but now, he had new leads such as why Nigel Carter was taking Danny out poaching and why Tom Miller was smashing up his laptop.

With a bit of luck, he should get the boy's messages sent to him and he could interview Tom again and see if he gave anything away. Was Tom protecting someone or was he still just being loyal to his school friend? He'd had the contents of Danny's laptop, including an online account but he wanted to know what had been said between the two boys.

Ellie Miller had got home and while Tom was eating, went to his room to find his laptop but there was no sign of it. Her husband went to join her while Tom was watching TV.

"What are you doing Ell?" Joe wanted to know.

"Looking for Tom's laptop," she replied, getting up from under the bed.

"Just ask him," Joe insisted. "What do you want if for?"

"Hardy wants it for the investigation," Ellie admitted.

"Are you being serious?" Joe looked at her. "What does he hope to find?"

Chapter 27

Pete had persuaded Rose to wait until she was with Alec before telling him anything.

"It's for the best Rose," Pete had told her over dinner. "Are you going to tell him the rest of it?"

"Yeah, not much else to tell really," Rose had agreed.

"Are you going to see Alec?" Tony had wanted to know. "Will you bring him back with you? I miss him, I miss Jamie too."

"I know sweetheart," Jackie had sympathised. "Rose'll ask Alec, won't ya Rose?"

Rose had just nodded, not sure Alec would even be talking to her after the news she was expecting his baby. How had it even happened, she'd wondered. She had been missing Jamie but things had just got out of hand that night, when Alec hadn't held back like Jamie had. She hadn't wanted to stop him either, even though she wasn't taking anything.

Now, she doubted Jamie would have been pleased if she had tricked him and would have still left. That would have made things difficult, Rose was sure of that. While Alec seemed different, she still wasn't sure about telling him but better now than later.

The next morning, Ellie had gone to work without Tom's laptop. She hadn't said anything before she'd left, wanting to talk to him later for an explanation, since her youngest was acting up over breakfast.

"He just misses you Ell," Joe had tried to tell her. "Can't someone else fill in for you once in a while?"

"It's my job to support the lead detective," Ellie had reminded him.

"Until late at night?" Joe argued when Tom had gone to the other room. "What do you find to do at that time?"

"It's complicated, we have to wait for lab results and other things," Ellie told him as she combed an unhappy toddler's hair.

"If you didn't hate Hardy so much, I could be suspicious," Joe half joked. "Hope he's got a girlfriend?"

"If he has, she's not in town," Ellie admitted as she put her work bag over her head. "I'll try and meet you at lunchtime."

"Hope so," Joe replied, trying to get Fred to eat more cereal. "Tell your boss you have to eat."

Ellie was wondering if Hardy was actually going to produce his so-called girlfriend but she doubted it. So now, she was standing in front of his desk.

"You could not find your son's laptop?" Alec was repeating what she'd said, knowing where the item actually was.

"I can't watch him all the time – Sir," Ellie was losing her temper with him. "Not with working all hours. My husband's been complaining about that again."

Alec thought maybe when Rose arrived, he'd be keener to finish work earlier than they had been doing but he wasn't going to tell his annoying DS that. It had been enough he'd admitted he sort of had a girlfriend.

"When he finds the laptop, bring it in," Alec ignored her remarks. "We need to get Nigel Carter back in, about taking Danny out with him."

"I know, I'll call him," Ellie tried to calm down. "Sir, about Tom and Danny falling out, Joe never said anything to me about it, I forgot to ask him, I'll ask him later."

"Yes, do that," Alec agreed, putting his specs on and reading something on his screen. "Have you see this?"

Ellie went around to join him, to see what he was talking about.

Rose was seeing Tony off to his football practice her mother had signed him up for then she went back into the kitchen.

"More tonic water is it Miss Rose?" the cook smiled cheekily at her.

Rose tried not to blush as she headed for the fridge.

"I was worse than that when I had my eldest," the cook continued.

"I feel like I want to throw up all the time but nothing comes out," Rose complained as she opened the bottle.

"Oh, poor dearie," the cook replied as she flattened some pastry for an apple pie she was baking. "Will you be in for lunch?"

"Yuck, don't mention lunch," Rose made a face as she took the glass over to the table. "Maybe some of your veg soup, I might keep it down."

She had felt worse than normal when she'd got up. Now, how was she going to manage to drive down to Broadchurch? It was over a hundred miles, she may have to be driven down there. Still, it wouldn't be too bad, she wouldn't be going far without Alec once she was there and she could call the driver back if things didn't work out.

Jackie had been looking for her as Rose left the kitchen.

"What was wrong with you this morning?" she asked a pale looking Rose. "Blimey, you look worse than earlier."

"Gee, thanks Mum, that makes me feel a lot better," Rose told her. "I think I'll go lie down again."

"Do ya want me to call Doctor Blake?" Jackie asked.

"No Mum, I'll be fine but I might have to be driven down to Broadchurch," Rose managed a smile. "The only thing is, I'll have to call Alec to show me where he's stayin'. Then he'll wonder why I've not driven down myself. I can hardly drag my cases into the police station and ask for him."

Jackie laughed at the thought.

"Look Rose, he seems a decent man, he'll stick by ya," she told Rose.

"I know Mum but what if he's not ready to be told about the other stuff?" Rose replied.

"If he cares about ya, he will be," Jackie patted her on the shoulder. "Go upstairs then, before Tony gets back, he'll be giddy if his team wins. I'll be glad when it's Monday and he goes back to school. These summer holidays are far too long."

"They never seemed long enough," Rose disagreed. "I might text Alec and warn him I'm getting a lift down there."

"Great idea," Jackie laughed. "Don't ya think he'll ask why?"

Rose thought she may even feel better by then, well she hoped so anyway. She had a few more days to wait and wondered if maybe she should surprise him by turning up early. No, it wasn't a good idea, she decided as she lay on her bed, hugging a pillow and hoping the sickness would subside.

Tony was a bit of a handful when he came back from playing football but she loved him dearly, having grown up on her own. She hoped Alec might take Jamie's place of being her younger brother's hero, since the boy needed someone to look up to now.

At least Alec would be more sensible with Tony than Jamie had been, sometimes it was hard to tell who was the kid and who was the adult.

She picked up her phone and started composing a text to Alec, wondering how he'd react if she went down a day early. Alec was just interviewing Nigel Carter, who had taken his time coming in.

"I saw nuthin' wrong," Nigel was being unrelenting. "Danny said it was okay."

"You took the boy's word?" Alec then asked. "You never thought of calling one of his parents? Do you know what it's doing to them now, knowing you put Danny in danger? How do we know you're not responsible for Danny's death hmm? To stop him from telling Beth and Mark?"

"Why would I kill my best friend's son?" Nigel objected, banging his fist on the table and his solicitor giving him a warning look.

"What were you doing, going into the woods on that farm?" Alec wanted to know.

"What you think?" Nigel sat back on the chair. "After birds, the farm belonged to Dean's uncle, he said they wouldn't be missed."

Then Alec had an idea.

"Do you want to change your statement from the night Danny died? We know you were not with Mark Latimer."

Nigel whispered something to his solicitor, who nodded back.

"I was up at the farm on the cliff top, going after pheasants," Nigel finally admitted. "I ran out of diesel so I took some from the tractor and cut the fence, to make it look like a robbery."

So that was what had happened that had taken himself to the farm on the morning Danny had been found, Alec realised.

"Miller, make sure he's processed for the offence, read him his rights," Alec turned to Ellie, who thought she could trust Nigel.

"Did you ever take Tom with you?" she wanted to know as she got up.

Alec let it slide, her asking personal questions but she had a right to know.

"No," Nigel insisted. "I would've told Joe, wouldn't I?"

Now Ellie was beginning to worry, since Paul Coates had supposedly told Joe that Tom and Danny had fallen out and Joe hadn't bothered telling her. Her husband now had some explaining to do, including why he'd never finished decorating their bedroom if Fred was having a nap during the day. What else hadn't Joe told her, she now wondered as she followed Nigel out after telling the officer outside to inform Nigel of his rights.

Alec sat a while, wondering what was going on now Nigel had admitted taking Danny out without the boy getting permission. What with his DS's husband hiding something from her, what else was Joe Miller hiding? He was getting more questions than answers and he wasn't too happy about it.

He was about to get up when his phone buzzed that he had a message. He smiled when he saw it was from Rose. He quickly read it and replied asking if he should call her. Rose thought if she said no, he'd think she was having second thoughts about joining him, so she agreed and her phone rang a few seconds later.

"Rose, are you okay?" Alec asked her, hoping nothing was wrong.

"Yeah, I'm fine. I was thinking, about when I come down there."

"You're not having second thoughts?" he wanted to make sure.

"What? No, it's not that," she tried to assure him. "I was thinking about maybe coming down a day early. Is that okay?"

"Rose, I would love for you to come down a day early," he almost laughed. "Are you driving? It's a long way you know?"

"Well you came up to see me that weekend," she reminded him.

"Ah, that was worth it," he did laugh. "I keep thinking about it, if I could have stayed longer, I would have done. Can you get someone to bring you maybe?"

Rose thought it was going to be easier if he was asking her that.

"Yeah, someone can bring me down, not dad though or Tony will want to come as well," Rose laughed.

"Maybe he could come another time?" Alec suggested, wanting Rose to himself. "You sound a little off, are you sure you are okay?'

"I just miss ya," Rose made the excuse.

"Are you sure that is all?" Alec wanted to know.

"Is that you playing detective?" Rose teased him.

"I will show you how to play detective when you get here," he teased her back.

"Promise?" Rose laughed. "I can't tell ya what's wrong on the phone Alec," she then went serious.

"Then tell me when you get here. Call me when you are on the way, then I will meet you at the caravan, I will text you where it is. The site is almost next to the police station, it will be easy for you to find. Maybe your friend Jake could bring you?"

"I can ask, see ya then? How are ya gettin' on with the case? Need any help?"

"Things are coming together, finally," he admitted. "Everyone is hiding something, two things have come to my attention since yesterday."

"Things are looking up then?" Rose hoped.

"Yes but when you arrive, it will give me a reason to finish work early," he then told her. "My DS has been complaining she never sees her family."

"She'll be happy then," Rose replied. "Bye then, I'll let ya get back to work."

"I was just interviewing someone, who may hold some clues," he also admitted. "I look forward to seeing you, we have a lot to discuss."

"Can't wait but I have to warn ya Alec, you may not like things about my past."

"Rose, we can start fresh, if you want?" he asked her. "Forget about your marriage to Jamie, it seems to me you made a mistake, if he was too similar to the friend you lost."

"Yeah, I realise that now Alec. I met him not long after I'd lost The Doctor, I suppose that was why I fell for him."

"It's okay, it happens love," Alec told her. "Can I just ask, are you doing anything about it?"

He didn't want to ask her if she was getting a divorce over the phone, just in case.

"Alec, can we talk about it when I see ya?" Rose replied.

"Sure. See you soon love," Alec agreed.

Rose ended the call, wishing he'd done a video but he probably wasn't used to it. Still not feeling too good, she called Jake. He could drive her car down there and either bring it back or get the train if she decided to keep it there.

Jake was amused when Rose asked him to drive her down to Broadchurch.

"So ya finally doing something about it Rosie?" he teased her after laughing.

"Stop it Jake, it's complicated and you know it. Will ya take me? Dad will give ya time off," Rose replied.

"I suppose so then? Seeing it's quiet here, now Jamie's not causing chaos everywhere or annoyed people 'cos he's in one of his silly moods," Jake laughed.

"Don't remind me Jake, I'd rather forget about it, why do ya think I've stayed away?" Rose asked him.

"Something to do with a certain document ya got?" Jake wondered.

"Dad told ya then?" Rose didn't sound surprised. "Did he tell ya the other thing as well?"

"What do ya think?" Jake replied. "No wonder ya want me to take you down there."

That agreed, she ended the call and thought she had better go back downstairs for Tony getting back. She had to tell him she was going a day early. After playing with him for a while, she went to start packing for her trip, since Alec had said he was in a caravan and there wouldn't be a lot of room, unless she used the wardrobe in the spare room.

Alec had been pleased Rose was arriving a day early, now he only had to survive until Thursday. He would then make it up to his DS for keeping her working late but he wouldn't let on why, Miller would think he was going soft and he couldn't have that.

He expected she and Rose would meet at some point, Rose would be hard to hide though they would have to come up with a reason she was in the town. Rose was probably good at cover stories, it seemed since her mother married Pete Tyler, her whole life and become one big cover story.

He now wished he'd met Rose sooner, before she had met Jamie. To him, the other man hadn't deserved someone like Rose and suspected Rose had got carried away with it all after losing her friend. Well if Jamie couldn't accept the similarities, that was his problem.

Had Rose been happy after the two of them had met? She seemed relieved it was about to all be over, putting up with Jamie's jealousy must have been tiring. He went back up to his office, Ellie following him in. She was making a habit of doing that, he noted.

"Everything okay Sir?" Ellie asked him as she took it she was invited to sit down.

"Yes, fine. Did Carter get processed?" he wanted to know without going into too many details.

"He's being dealt with. Do you really think he had anything to do with Danny's death? I mean he might be a bit of a rogue but he wouldn't hurt Danny. I've seen them together when we've been over for Sunday lunch," Ellie told him.

"There are two sides to most people Miller," he reminded her. "What happened about your son's laptop?"

Ellie wished he hadn't reminded her.

"I'll have to ask Tom when I get home, if I get home early again," she hinted.

She wished this girlfriend of his would put in an appearance, then he might get the concept of finishing work at a decent time.

"Do that then but I will need to interview him again," Alec replied. "He may hold some clues about Danny that we are not aware of. Your son may not even know himself," he added so as not to sound accusing.

When Ellie got home, she called Tom into the kitchen.

"Where's your laptop Tom? Don't lie to me, it could be important," she told him.

"Mum? Why would it be?" Tom wanted to know.

"Did you send emails and messages to Danny on it?" Ellie then asked him.

"Mum, that's private," Tom insisted. "Is it to do with Danny dying?"

"Yes and my boss wants the laptop to examine, so you had better hand it over to me by morning," Ellie then ordered him.

She didn't notice the guilty look on Tom's face as he went off. Tom was now worried that Paul had somehow handed the broken laptop to the detective already and was trying to fool himself into admitting smashing it up to get rid of the messages he and Danny had sent each other when they had fallen out.

After Ellie had left, Alec got the news he'd been waiting for – the breakdown of what had been said between Tom and Danny. There was an email from his friend, with attachments of the emails and a note that the laptop hard drive was damaged but he'd managed to get copies of the emails from the server.

Alec sent an email back, saying he owed his friend a favour. The reply was that if he had a girlfriend, make sure he held on to her. He fully intended holding on to Rose, he wasn't like her almost ex husband, going off and leaving her because he couldn't keep his jealousy in check.

Now, he had to get to the bottom of why Tom and Danny had fallen out and what they had been fighting about in front of the vicar. As he read the emails with interest, he was beginning to get the picture. Tom had got jealous that Danny had got himself a new friend, which could throw light on who killed the boy. He doubted the friend was Nigel Carter but the man had still committed an offence.

He now had to find out who that friend could have been and how jealous Tom Miller had got when he'd found out.

Chapter 28

Alec also wondered why Rose was being so mysterious. He supposed he didn't know her really well, they had just been attracted to each other and in his case from the moment he had gone to her wedding. Jamie must have felt insecure to just assume Rose would call the wedding off the moment his almost double had walked in on the preparations.

Something had come over him, that was sure. He had been indifferent at the news Daisy was to be Rose's bridesmaid and had only gone at her insistence but his mind had been changed upon meeting Rose. After that, until Rose had called him, he'd had to hide the fact he still carried a torch for her and something had given that night.

He had to get whoever had killed Danny locked up so he could sort things out with her, now he didn't have to pretend any more. He got up and put his jacket on and decided to call at one of the food stalls along the harbour and take something back to his caravan.

Rose hadn't said how long she would stay but he hoped there would be enough room for all her clothes. He had to smile at the thought of having to move his own things to one of the smaller rooms just so she could hang her things up in the double bedroom.

Ellie got home and since young Fred was in his chair, wearing the spaghetti rather than eating it, she asked her husband about what she'd been told about Tom going off.

"What are you talking about Ell?" Joe asked as he wiped Fred's face and getting objection from the toddler.

"What I said. Did you give Tom permission to go off into the woods with Nigel? We had him in today over something else and he said Danny had gone with him."

"Doesn't mean Tom went, does it?" Joe asked her. "Why don't you ask him?"

"I intend to," Ellie replied, still annoyed about being kept in the dark. "Oh and another thing. Did Paul say anything about Tom and Danny falling out?"

"Thought I'd told you?" Joe replied, moving the messy dish out of Fred's grasp. "See, you're working too hard these days," he added with a grin.

Ellie was pretty sure she would have remembered something like that but let it go.

"I asked Tom for his laptop this morning, did he leave it somewhere?" Ellie asked instead.

"Not with me, eh Fred?" he asked the youngster trying to get out of his chair. "What's with all the questions suddenly? Bringing work home with you?" Joe teased her.

"Hardy wants to look at Tom's laptop, to see if there were any messages from Danny on it," Ellie told him.

"Didn't he look at Danny's laptop?" Joe wanted to know as he put Fred on the floor.

"Danny may have deleted them," Ellie replied.

"Tom seemed upset over Danny, to say they'd supposed to have fallen out," Joe stated.

"Then he'd want to help find out who killed his friend," Ellie was a bit surprised.

When she thought about it, Tom hadn't seemed that surprised when he'd been told the news. Maybe it hadn't hit him at the time, she wondered.

"Can you bring Tom to the station in the morning, with his laptop then?" Ellie changed the subject.

"Who's going to look after Fred?" Joe wanted to know.

"I can watch him for a few minutes," Ellie replied.

Joe grunted his reply of he'd have to manage to bring Tom in if her boss insisted and went off to give Fred his bath. Ellie went to find Tom, who had been dreading she wouldn't give up if he said he'd lost his laptop. Had Paul ignored the threat and given the laptop to his mother's new boss?

"You have until morning to find your laptop Tom," Ellie told him when he said he'd forgotten where he'd left it.

"Okay Mum, I'll have it," Tom insisted. "Why do I have to see DI Hardy again?"

"You want to find out who killed Danny, don't you?" Ellie reminded him. "Did you fall out with him?"

"No, why?" Tom denied the accusation.

The next morning, Jake arrived early, being fed by Jackie because she always complained he was as skinny as a certain person they used to know, then he loaded what Rose was taking with her into the back of her car.

"Hey, I won't be away long," she told Tony, who didn't want her to go.

"Will you bring Alec back with you?" he asked her again.

"I'll try but it may not be right away. I'll tell him you want to see him, okay?"

Tony nodded and went to his mother. Jake thought they'd better set off before Rose changed her mind and stayed at home, then the baby she was having wouldn't know his or her father because Rose would back out.

Things were not going to go well when Ellie got to work and told Alec Tom was busy looking for his laptop.

"Did he leave it somewhere else then?" Alec asked Ellie.

"What do you mean by that?" Ellie wanted to know. "I trust him, he wouldn't have taken it anywhere, what are you implying?"

"I'm just trying to piece things together Miller," Alec reminded her, putting his glasses on the desk, a folder in front of him. "This folder contains the messages from Danny's social media."

"I've read them," Ellie reminded him. "I don't even know how Danny got an account, I wouldn't allow Tom to get one," she insisted.

Alec rubbed his face.

"Are you saying he got one and defied me?" Ellie then asked him.

"That is what I will be asking Tom. What time is he coming in?" Alec replied.

"When Joe can get him here, he has to get Fred organised," Ellie told him. "I'll have to look after him when they get here. I just hope Tom found his laptop."

Alec knew her son was never going to find it, the item was in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet. He'd got the results he'd wanted and his suspicions had been confirmed. The two boys had fallen out and that was what Tom was trying to hide from his parents.

If he was right, there were going to be repercussions. Ellie wouldn't want to hear the truth but she had to be told. Having Rose turn up later wasn't such a good idea now but she would have already set off and he couldn't very well ask her to turn back. It had sounded like there was something she wanted to tell him and hopefully it was that now she was going ahead with her divorce, it would be that she wanted to stay with him.

Rose wouldn't travel all that way just to tell him she was having second thoughts about their relationship, would she? Ellie had gone off to await her husband's and sons' arrival so he took a few minutes to go through the results he'd just got back.

Why wasn't he surprised that Danny seemed to have found another friend? Someone obviously older, an adult almost certainly who was turning the boy's head, filling him with promises and maybe that was where Danny had got the money found under his bed from.

That adult was becoming clear from the pieces he'd put together. Everyone in the town seemed to be harbouring secrets and the things that had been revealed during the investigation were astounding. Secret affairs, mothers with sons in denial, a newsagent with a secret past who had been hounded to death by the town turning on him and then there was the vicar himself, who had been trying to hold the town together.

He needed someone to talk to about it other than his friend. Rose was a Torchwood agent, maybe she'd understand but that depended what she had on her mind when she got here.

Rose was quiet once they'd left London behind, Jake thinking she was either still tired or she was planning what she was going to tell Alec when they got there. There was a 50-50 chance she'd refuse to get out of the car once there or that Alec wouldn't take the news very well and she would drive home herself.

"You're quiet Rosie," Jake grinned at her through the mirror as she glanced up.

"What do ya want me to say Jake?" she replied, easing the seatbelt slightly.

"You should get one of those pads for that," Jake advised her. "You're not gonna get any thinner ya know."

"Shut up Jake," Rose joked. "I don't wanna admit it yet, do I? What am I gonna do once I do get bigger? I'll have to try and hide it by wearing loose fitting clothes. Geez, my mum will want to take me to MotherCare," she then laughed. "I'm not gonna be seen dead in those frumpy maternity dresses."

They both laughed then Jake saw a sign for a motorway stop in just over a mile and suggested they pulled in.

"Are ya gonna call Alec?" Jake wondered as he put drinks on the table.

"He's probably busy," Rose replied, taking her decaf tea from the tray. "I'll call him when we get there. Am I doing the right thing Jake?"

"No point asking me," he grinned, drinking his coffee and knowing Rose was jealous she'd had to cut down on caffeine. "Where did ya say he was staying?"

"On the seafront, the caravan park. Should be easy to find," Rose replied.

They set off again then came off the motorway, since it went off in the wrong direction towards Somerset instead of Dorset, then Jake followed the directions from the map on his phone, passing signs for other seaside towns and soon saw a sign for Broadchurch.

They had made good time and were then finally on the road that led to the harbour.

"Gettin' nervous?" Jake teased her.

Rose refused to answer, just smiling to herself but she was getting butterflies in her tummy as well as already feeling off again.

"Ya should have had more than toast before we set off," Jake reminded her, since Jackie had put a plateful of breakfast items in front of him when he'd called and Rose was feeling sick just looking at it.

"Yuck," was all Rose had to say to him.

They drove along the harbour, across the river and Jake spotted the caravan park on the right but turned left to find somewhere to park and spotted a car park on the corner.

"Best call him," Jake told her as he was finding some coins in his pocket to pay for a parking ticket.

He pulled a face as he had to pay nearly as much for an hour as for all day parking and took the ticket back to the car. Rose was waiting for Alec to answer his phone but only got the answering service.

"Alec, it's Rose. Me and Jake are across the road, we just passed the police station. We're gonna go get a drink just opposite so can ya meet us there? Okay, bye then."

"He'd best not be more than an hour," Jake grinned as they set off back to the corner, coming out of the car park and thinking it was funny the car park was sort of just above the café area.

Rose decided to take her chances trying to eat something while she waited for Alec to call her back. Alec had felt his phone buzzing in his pocket and wondered if it was Rose saying she had arrived. He was still interviewing Tom and Joe Miller as the latter had taken his time arriving.

Ellie had gone down to meet them and Alec noticed she was gone for nearly half an hour. What was she doing, he'd wondered as he waited, having set the camera up.

"Tom, did you find your laptop?" Ellie had asked her son as she noticed he was empty-handed.

"I don't know where it is Mum," Tom admitted to her.

"Well DI Hardy's not going to be pleased," Ellie warned him. "Joe, did you help him look for it?"

"I was seeing to Fred," Joe replied as the youngster tried to get to her. "You try getting him ready when he just wants to play."

Ellie had often regretted going back to work, especially now she had a grump for a boss. She hoped Hardy's girlfriend was going to turn up at some point, if the woman was real.

"Well we'd better get upstairs then, before Hardy sends someone to look for us," Ellie decided as she pressed the lift button, Fred trying to reach it.

Joe stopped her as the lift door opened.

"Is this really necessary?" he questioned her.

"If Hardy says it is," Ellie replied, pressing the button to keep the lift door open.

"Kids lose things all the time," Joe reminded her.

"Don't defend him," Ellie snapped back. "Tom's old enough to take care of his things."

"I'm here Mum," Tom objected.

They finally got upstairs and now, Tom was admitting to Alec the laptop had been stolen at school.

While Joe was questioning how that had happened, Alec went into the drawer containing the smashed up laptop.

"You mustn't lie Tom," Alec told him.

"I'm not," Tom insisted, making Joe shift in his seat.

"Is this your laptop?" Alec asked Tom, putting it on the desk.

"Where did you get it from?" Tom nodded.

"From Paul Coates, who you threatened that if you gave it to the police, you would accuse him of all sorts of things," Alec replied.

"You threatened the vicar?" Joe turned to Tom.

"We found the messages you and Danny had been sending each other," Alec continued.

When he read them out, Joe was looking more uncomfortable than his son.

"Did you hurt Danny, Tom?" Alec then asked.

"What?" Joe stood up. "It's just kids messing about."

"I'm talking to Tom," Alec reminded him.

"No, this stops now," Joe insisted. "If you want to question him further, I'm getting our solicitor."

Alec put the laptop and folder back in a drawer and stood up to switch the camera off.

"Fine, do that," Alec told Joe.

Now he knew he had them, he knew he was on the right track. He just had one more piece of the puzzle to solve the case – Danny's missing mobile phone to be switched on. If his suspicions were right, whoever had it was going to panic very soon.

"How did you get on?" Ellie wanted to know as they headed for the lift.

"Not now Ell," Joe replied, trying to take Fred from her as the toddler squirmed.

Ellie looked puzzled as Joe steered Tom into the lift, meaning Ellie wasn't invited to go with them. Ellie stared after them then went back inside but saw Alec was talking on his mobile. He was calling Rose back.

"Hi sweetheart," he greeted her when Rose answered with a 'Whatcha'. "So you are across the road? Give me ten minutes and I will join you. Is Jake still with you?" he asked, not wanting to walk across and find she was on her own.

"Yeah, he says hurry up or he'll have to pay for an all day ticket," Rose laughed as Jake playfully hit her arm.

Alec thought it was a good sign Rose was laughing, she wouldn't have bad news.

Alec said goodbye and started by turning his monitor off and going for his jacket as Ellie came in without knocking.

"Sir, what happened?" she wanted to know as Alec continued. "Joe wouldn't tell me."

"Not now Miller, I have to be somewhere," Alec replied, going to straighten his tie.

"Is it more important than you telling me what you said to Tom and Joe?" Ellie challenged him.

"Tom lied about losing his laptop Miller," Alec replied, wanting to get past her. "He was caught smashing it up."

"What?" Ellie gasped.

"He was caught by the vicar, who handed it to me," Alec told her. "I really have to go now."

Ellie stood to one side but called after him.

"Is Tom now a suspect?" she wanted to know.

"No but he holds vital clues," Alec admitted. "I have something to take care of, when I come back, we have work to do. Go join your family Miller but be careful what you say in public."

Ellie stared after him, wondering what he meant by that. He wasn't going to meet his girlfriend, was he? She had convinced herself he was making it up but maybe now he wasn't. She dashed over to the balcony door and leaned over, just in time to see him crossing the road.

Rose and Jake were sat where they could see anyone coming from across the road, well Jake was anyway, Rose couldn't bring herself to stare in the direction Alec would come from. Jake was teasing her about it.

"Wanna swap places?" he asked without any expression on his face.

Rose kicked his leg under the table in response.

"Stop it Jake. What if he changes his mind?"

"Don't be daft," Jake replied. "I thought you were hungry," he pointed to the food that had just arrived. "It's gonna get cold."

"I'm too wound up to eat," Rose decided. "You have it if ya want?"

"Rose, ya have to eat, ya have someone else to think about now," he reminded her.

"Shush, don't tell everyone," she then hissed at him.

"Ya needn't worry, look who's here," Jake then pointed as he saw Alec looking around for them and waved.

"Jake," Alec recognised Rose's friend. "Rose?" he then looked at Rose who was trying not to look back.

"Want me to disappear?" Jake volunteered.

"No, it's fine," Alec insisted as he sat on one of the chairs and took a menu from the table.

Jake had thought trust Rose to pick a section of the catering area that had tablecloths on actual tables and had chairs instead of benches at the end nearest the road.

Alec could see already that Rose was nervous.

"I will just go order something," Alec told them as he got back up. "Not eating?" he pointed to Rose's plate.

"Yeah, best not let it get cold," Jake answered for her. "Rose, eat up."

Rose pulled a face at him as Alec went off.

"He's gonna know something's wrong," Jake continued.

"Only if you give the game away Jake," Rose told him.

"That won't need me," Jake then grinned.

Rose picked up her fork and dug it into the baked potato with cheese on top. Maybe she should eat something or Alec would notice.

"So, how's the investigation going?" Jake asked as Alec sat down again.

"Well, we have a few new developments, I would say it should be all wrapped up shortly," Alec told him.

"That's good then," Rose then found her voice.

"Yeah, well done mate," Jake agreed as Alec's order arrived.

"How was your journey Rose?" Alec turned towards her.

"Fine, we only stopped once," Rose answered him, picking at her food again.

Alec had noticed. Was she feeling unwell or was it just nerves, he wondered. If she was unwell, she would have put her journey off but something had made her go ahead, something important to bring her here a day early. It didn't take him being a detective to work it out.

"It's good to finally see you again Rose," Alec then told her. "Thanks for bringing her here Jake, I was worried about her driving all this way on her own."

"No worries Alec," Jake grinned. "She just doesn't like me moving the driver's seat, do ya?"

"Is that so?" Alec smiled, patting her hand.

Maybe Jake was giving him some clues, not that he didn't already have his suspicions, what with Rose picking at her food and eating mainly the salad and being quiet when she'd had plenty to say before. That was on the phone, now they were face to face and she seemed very nervous to him.

"I have to go move the car," Jake remembered. "Unless ya can get me out of a parking fine Alec?"

"Not my department," Alec laughed. "I'm sure the car park there is one of the last to be checked," he nodded above where they were seated. "Just drive it into the caravan park opposite and I will tell reception the number, I was not sure how Rose would be getting here. Walk across with me Rose?"

Rose got up when Alec stood behind her and moved her chair and she took his arm when he offered it.

"Are you okay Rose?" he whispered to her.

"Yeah, why?" Rose asked him. "I was just nervous about seeing ya again, that's all."

"You sounded fine when you called me," he reminded her as they reached the road and Jake had gone off.

They walked to the corner and crossed the road just as Jake caught up with them and he found a spot to park just by the reception building. Alec went inside to give the car details, he had already told them his girlfriend was arriving, getting him a funny look. They got into the car and Alec directed Jake to where he was staying.

"Think I'll stay for a holiday," Jake laughed as they got out once he'd backed into the parking space.

"Tony will be jealous," Rose smiled as Alec helped her out of the car, since he'd got in the front with Jake.

Jake started getting Rose's things out of the back while Alec opened the door. Rose looked around once inside, she'd not been in a caravan since in her old world they'd borrowed one of her mother's friend's caravan that shook every time they moved around.

"Leave those there Jake," Alec told him as Jake put two cases and a bag on the floor.

"Where's you're car Alec?" Rose wanted to know.

"In the police garage. Don't worry about it Rose, I can park opposite when I come back later. I have to get back to work, are you staying a while Jake?" Alec asked him.

"I'll have to check the train times back to London," Jake grinned.

"Jake, I really don't need my car, do I Alec?" Rose asked.

"Well, if you want to stay around here, then no and you can always get a cab up into the town," Alec suggested. "Jake, can you give us a minute?"

"Yeah, sure, I'll wait in the car then?" Jake agreed, knowing Alec already suspected something.

Rose watched him leave and sat on the sofa, Alec sitting next to her.

"Got a kiss for me?" he smiled. "It is good to see you Rose."

"I was fine when I set off," Rose began to tell him.

"I'm sure you were. You got more nervous as you got closer then? Why would you be nervous seeing me again?" he wanted to know. "You are getting a divorce from Jamie, are you not?"

"Yeah, he sent papers. Dad said he'd keep it all quiet. The last thing I want is for it to be all over the trashy newspapers in their gossip columns," Rose replied. "There's something else Alec and ya might not want me to stay."

Chapter 29

Alec looked at her wondering what it could possibly be. Was she trying to tell him she couldn't see him any more? She could have told him that on the phone, if she'd wanted to, after all, she had said Jamie had sent divorce papers rather than facing her.

"Then tell me Rose," he urged her. "What is it eh? If you have come all this way, arriving early then it must be urgent. Have I rushed you in any way? Were you not ready to come down and stay with me?" he needed to know.

"What? No Alec, it's nothing you've said and I decided to come down early," Rose sounded surprised.

"Then why have Jake wait for you, if you intended just coming to see me to tell me something?" Alec wanted to know, trying to move around. "Just tell me."

"Okay," Rose agreed, leaning back. "Can ya tell Jake to go get some food? I couldn't eat on the way down," she smiled.

Alec had noticed she'd left her food where they had met but got up and went over to Jake, who was trying to sing to something Rose liked on the radio and tapping his fingers on the steering wheel.

"Something wrong?" Jake asked him as Alec approached.

"Rose ask if you could get her something to eat. Bring it in when you return, she may be ready to leave anyway," Alec replied.

Jake turned the radio off. Had Rose backed off? He hoped not.

"Yeah, we passed some food stalls on the way in. I'll take my time shall I?" Jake grinned as he started the car. "I know what ya thinking Alec but trust me, she wouldn't have come all this way for nothing."

With that, Jake set off up the roadway, wondering why Alec looked puzzled. What had made the detective think Rose wasn't staying? If he knew Rose though, she would be stalling. Alec got back inside, finding Rose making tea, the kettle switched on.

"Leave that eh?" Alec suggested. "Don't put off what you have to say, please Rose. I have been wondering all morning if you were going to get here or turn around and go back home," he smiled nervously.

"Yeah, sorry. I really am nervous Alec, there's no easy way for me to tell ya. I did sign the divorce papers by the way."

"I never said otherwise Rose," Alec reminded her. "So why are you so nervous?"

"When ya came to see me, when I asked ya to help me find Jamie, why did ya agree?" Rose wanted to know.

"Need you ask?" Alec questioned her. "You must know I care about you Rose?"

They went to sit down again, Alec hoping Jake really would take his time.

"I know Alec and I care about you," Rose replied, taking his hand. "I know something gave that night Alec, I told ya I'd been tryin' to get Jamie to change his mind about startin' a family."

Alec knew what she'd told him meant and Jamie would have been trapped.

"You are trying to tell me he never would have changed his mind?" Alec asked, not remembering if he'd asked her before.

"I don't think he would've," Rose admitted. "Anyway, I'd stopped taking precautions, just in case and then he'd have no excuses but I know now that, well, something had been stopping him."

"He could not get over his jealousy, of me?" Alec concluded. "I think we both knew that Rose. So, you were not taking anything the night we were together?"

"No. Are ya mad at me Alec, for not saying?" Rose dared ask him.

Alec got up suddenly and paced the caravan, Rose thinking the worse. Then he suddenly held his hand out to her, a smile on his face.

"Mad at you?" he asked, as Rose got up. "Rose, did you think I had not known you were not taking anything? Of course I knew but I did not know at the time that Jamie held back on purpose. I thought it was due to him not wanting a family but there was another reason. Am I right?"

"What do ya mean Alec?" Rose asked him. "Ya think he always backed off because he thought I wanted to be with you instead of him?"

"Well partly," Alec replied, brushing her hair from her face. "There could have been another reason."

"Like he was happy enough with having Tony around?" Rose wondered.

"Well maybe but that was not it Rose. Did you ever consider that he could not have any of his own?"

Rose stumbled back, Alec catching her and sitting her down.

"I am sorry Rose but did you never consider that?" Alec was concerned at her reaction.

"I didn't want to Alec," Rose admitted. "So when he saw ya at the wedding and how much ya looked like him, he thought I'd run off with ya?"

"Well something like that," Alec replied. "He maybe thought he could hold off for a while and you would not notice and made excuses every time you brought up the subject."

"Well, I'll never know, will I? I mean I could have Jake find out for me, if anything came up on his Torchwood medical records, they didn't have to tell me if he'd told them not to. Alec, I might never have found out if he hadn't got jealous over you."

"You said he got jealous with other men," he reminded her, watching for Jake returning.

"Yeah but it suddenly stopped, I think dad must've warned him," Rose replied. "Why didn't he talk to me about it, he could have got some help. I don't know Alec, maybe we're wrong?"

Alec could see she didn't want to face the facts.

"So, what do you have to tell me Rose? Did something happen that night? I would have come up to see you, you know?" he smiled, forgetting about going back to work.

He knew he'd gone over his usual lunch break and Miller would be calling him soon. He'd have to think of some excuse or she would get suspicious and think she'd been right about him having his girlfriend coming to see him. That would please Miller no end, that she was right all along but what he was about to discover, that she wouldn't want to know about.

What had happened during Tom's interview was not adding up, the way the boy kept looking at his father. Ellie had taken the chance to join her family in the café just outside the police station.

"What?" Ellie was asking her husband and looking at Tom. "You threatened the vicar?"

"I've already asked him that," Joe told her. "What was Hardy implying?"

"He was in too much of a hurry to tell me," Ellie admitted. "I think his girlfriend's come to join him."

"I thought you said he was divorced?" Joe replied. "You should have insisted he came to dinner that time."

"We're not talking about that," Ellie reminded him, seeing Tom wriggling in his seat. "Why were you smashing up your laptop Tom? Do you know how much those things cost? Well do you? Where is it now?"

"Ask your boss," Joe replied for the boy. "You wasted your time looking for it, Hardy has it. He said Paul gave it to him. Why did you threaten him Tom?"

"I didn't want you to find out," Tom admitted.

"Well, what was on it then?" Ellie wanted to know as she took Fred out of his stroller. "Oh look, there's Hardy," she then grinned as Rose, Alec and Jake were emerging from the catering area. "I knew she'd be blonde."

Joe shook his head. If she was more interested in her boss's love life than her own son smashing his laptop up, she maybe wouldn't start asking himself any awkward questions. Had Hardy been trying to get to him through Tom?

Now, Ellie was back in the office, wondering where her boss was. He was taking liberties extending his lunch hour but what could she say? Of course he was going to take his time.

Jake had got back, knocking on the caravan door before entering. Rose had just told Alec why she was there early.

"Rose, why did you not think I would be pleased?" Alec asked her after he'd hugged her carefully and they had kissed.

"You are then?" Rose wanted to make sure. "I've been so nervous about springing it on ya," she admitted. "It's such a relief. I mean, I never expected anything to happen. So, what now?"

"Stay with me Rose? I will have this case over with very soon and I could do with your help. Only if you want?"

"Yeah, anything Alec," Rose agreed as they heard a tap on the door.

"Are ya gonna eat this now?" Jake grinned as he entered with a chicken salad sandwich in a carton. "Everything okay?"

"Yes Jake, everything is fine now," Alec smiled at Rose as he got up. "Stay a while, I should get back to work before my DS starts calling me."

Jake agreed and picked up Rose's cases after asking where she wanted them. He tried to ignore the two of them as Rose stood up and kissed Alec goodbye.

"Don't be late back, will ya?" Rose smiled at him, going to straighten his tie.

"No love, I promise I will not work late. DS Miller will be pleased to get home early but I expect something to develop in the case very shortly."

"Can ya talk about it?" Rose wanted to know. "I mean if ya want my help?"

"I will tell you when I get back but an interview I did this morning has significantly increased my sense of who was responsible for that boy's death."

"I hope ya right Alec," Rose told him.

Ellie was sat in front of her computer, her head in her hands as Alec walked into the office.

"Sir, I need to talk to you," she spoke up as he passed her.

She followed him and sat herself down.

"Is my Tom a suspect? I mean do you think he had anything to do with Danny's death?"

Alec closed the door then sat behind the desk.

"He knows more than he is saying Miller," Alec replied. "Your husband stopped the interview, said he wanted to get a solicitor."

"He never said that to me," Ellie told him. "Why would he say that?"

Alec thought if she didn't know the reason, his suspicions were confirmed. Joe Miller knew how to dispose of things, he was married to a detective. If he was right, he would need Rose's help very soon. Rose was a trained Torchwood agent and even if she hadn't suddenly become his girlfriend, he would have needed her help.

"You tell me Miller," Alec replied. "Tom is hiding something, do you want to see the contents of his laptop?"

Ellie shook her head.

"Tom wouldn't do anything to hurt Danny," Ellie refused to believe what had been suggested.

Alec raised his eyebrows. Now was the time to admit who his girlfriend was. He knew his DS would be in denial at who he thought was responsible. It wasn't Tom but the way Joe had reacted? He had to be right.

"Miller, have you heard of Torchwood?"

"Of course I have, they've supposed to have become better under the new regime, no-one would ever have forgiven the old one after they unleashed those menaces," Ellie replied. "What have they got to do with anything? You're not thinking of calling them in? Are you serious – Sir?"

"You know I was at Rose Tyler's wedding, with my daughter?"

"I remember you saying. She's gone quiet again, thank goodness. All that fuss picking bridesmaids, couldn't she have just got relatives?" Ellie wanted to know.

"My daughter was the head bridesmaid, we got to stay the weekend and she made friends with Rose Tyler. What I have to say does not leave this office, understand?"

Ellie nodded her agreement.

"Well? You mean to say she's your new girlfriend?" Ellie laughed. "You are joking? She's married. Seriously? There's been no gossip in the papers."

He knew she'd never have believed him.

"Keep this to yourself Miller, you cannot even tell your husband. It is being kept quiet to protect her from all the gossip. Her husband left her, the reason is not up for discussion but I went to see her the other weekend," Alec admitted.

Ellie remembered him sneaking off for the weekend, she should have known he'd been up to no good.

"So because you were at her wedding, she called you and you went?" Ellie asked him.

"Her husband did not just leave her Miller, she called me the other day, he left her for good and she received divorce papers. That is why it is being kept quiet. She wanted me to help her find him. We had talked at her wedding and I think her husband had got jealous because we look alike," Alec admitted.

"Joe said something about that but laughed it off," Ellie told him. "Why would her husband leave just like that?"

"Think about it Miller. It was shortly after Danny was found on the beach and I was back in the news again," Alec reminded her.

"Oh gosh, yes!" Ellie exclaimed, then covered her mouth. "Sorry Sir but that brought it all back up again?"

"Yes Miller, it did. He was missing, no trace of him then out of the blue, the divorce papers arrived. Rose took her stepfather's advice and signed them and he promised it would all be hushed up."

"Well, being head of a top organisation has its advantages," Ellie grinned. "That explains a few things then? So when you went to see her?"

"What do you think Miller?" Alec raised his eyebrows.

Ellie shifted in her seat, not believing what she thought he was trying to say.

"You didn't?" she then grinned even wider. "Who would have thought it? So that's why she's here? Her divorce is going through then?"

"She would not be here otherwise Miller," Alec replied, getting tired of all her questions. "Tell no-one she's in town, especially your nephew. If it's leaked, I know where to look."

He hoped his DS would heed his warning. Someone would be bound to spot Rose when she was out and about but if she kept low-key, she might get away with it and blend in with the few tourists who were still around despite the beach only just reopening.

Alec thought it was time to change the subject.

"Get anyone back in who does not have an alibi for that night, in particularly Susan Wright and Nigel Carter. I don't think either of them are telling the entire truth, they are both hiding something."

Ellie went off to arrange for the two of them to come in the following day, then called her husband to say she'd be home early that night, since Hardy seemed in a good mood.

"That'll make a change then," Joe told her. "Does that mean an early night?"

"If you're lucky," Ellie laughed.

At Alec's caravan, Jake was getting ready to leave.

"You'll be okay without the car?" Jake was making sure.

"I'll be fine Jake, honestly," Rose insisted. "Thanks for bringing me."

"I was making sure ya got here," Jake laughed. "Not that I don't trust ya."

They hugged goodbye and Rose went to unpack, hoping she'd not brought too much with her, they could always go back the weekend after this. She had to tell Alec that Tony was asking for him to visit. Alec told Ellie to go home just after five and put his jacket on to leave himself. Ellie was waiting for him outside.

"You don't really think Tom had anything to do with Danny's death, do you?"

"He knows something Miller, I'm sure of it. Talk to him when you get home," Alec replied. pressing the lift button.

Ellie got home and after tea, she knocked on Tom's bedroom door.

"Have you got more to tell me Tom?" he was asked.

"Dad said not to say anything else," Tom replied.

"This me Tom," Ellie reminded him. "Why can't you talk to me?"

"Dad said you'll tell DI Hardy," Tom replied reluctantly. "My laptop had messages on it from Danny, I didn't want to you worry about it."

Ellie told him not to worry about it and went to find her husband. What had Joe been thinking of, she wondered. As she got downstairs, Joe was putting his jacket on.

"Where are you going?" Ellie wanted to know.

"Nigel called, asked if I wanted to go for a drink with him," Joe laughed, holding his phone out. "I've not been out for ages Ell, you know that. Not with your boss keeping you working all hours anyway."

"Well what do you expect when we're in the middle of a murder investigation?" Ellie replied.

"Well you're not the only one on the case," Joe complained. "See you later?"

Ellie let him go, wondering what all that was about. She thought nothing more of it as she put the TV on but just after nine, her phone rang and it was the station.

"DS Miller, we've just had a call to say someone's seen a light on at the hut on the cliff top. You wanted to know if anything went on up there," the desk sergeant told her.

"Well I can't go, have you called Hardy?" Ellie wanted to know.

"Not yet Ma'am," the sergeant admitted. "Shall I send uniformed officers up there?"

"Yes but tell them no sirens and turn the car headlights off as well," Ellie replied. "I'll call Hardy myself and I'll have to call my nephew to come and babysit."

She called Olly first, who said he'd be right over, then she called Alec.

"What?" Alec answered her call, making Rose smile.

He glanced at her with her feet up on the coffee table and holding a cushion to her stomach. He'd had his hand under the cushion, trying to make out any signs the baby was moving, Rose's hand over his.

"You're gonna do this every night now, aren't ya?" Rose had laughed a while earlier.

"You can bet on that love," Alec had smiled at the thought. "I wish you had told me when you first found out."

"So do I now, I'm sorry Alec but I had so much to think about," Rose had admitted.

"Never mind love, you are here now and I promise I will take good care of you and don't even think about going to any appointments without me."

He had leaned over, being careful and kissed her. Rose had regretted not telling him earlier but what if Jamie had come back instead of sending divorce papers? Jamie would have known the baby wasn't his and would have known it was Alec's, that she had either been to see him or Alec had been to see her and there would have been a terrible argument.

She now knew the baby could never have been Jamie's, Alec had convinced her of that. They could have talked about it, there were medical answers to their problem but Jamie's problem was more deeply rooted than that. Why had he wanted to get married then, she had wondered. Now she was listening to Alec.

"Miller, there had better be a good reason why you are calling."

Ellie quickly explained what she'd been told.

"I'm just waiting for Olly to come and babysit Sir," Ellie told him. "Are you going up there yourself Sir?"

Alec looked at Rose, who was smiling at him.

"Alec, if ya have to go, then go," she told him.

"I am on my way and have officers waiting at the bottom of the cliff, I don't want whoever is in the hut getting away, understand?" he ordered her. "Tell the officers if they catch whoever it is, keep them there until I arrive."

"You go Alec, I'll be fine," Rose assured him.

Ellie was on her way as soon as Olly arrived. It never occurred to her that Joe being out and someone up at the hut were connected. Joe had got into the family car and driven up to the hut after he'd panicked and made an excuse up to go out. He could always get Nigel to say they were together at the pub.

When he got there, he went over the whole place again to make sure he hadn't missed anything, Hardy was surely already onto him after asking Tom all those questions earlier. He was about to leave via the back door when he heard cars approaching and ducked down, then made his way to the front. He had left the car further up the narrow lane, just in case and he wished it was in the car park now.

Was Ellie with them, he wondered as he dared to peek out of the window from behind the curtains. She would have called Olly if she'd been told someone was in the hut but he hoped she'd never put two and two together.

Chapter 30

A marked police car had made its way slowly down the narrow road and the driver turned off the headlights on approaching the clifftop hut. Luckily, there was a full moon so it made no difference.

"Sarge, are we waiting for the detectives to arrive?" the other uniformed officer asked.

"That was what Hardy said," Bob replied, putting his hat on. "Well, we didn't pass any cars or anyone on foot, whoever it was is still in there," he nodded towards the hut.

"He could have gone down the path," the officer suggested.

"We'd have heard it on the radio," Bob insisted. "The other car would have got there faster. Whoever's in there can't get far. Looks like someone followed us."

The car Ellie was in had made its way down the narrow lane but in the dark, she didn't spot the family car, which Joe had left on the corner by the entrance to a caravan park. He had hoped if someone saw it, they'd think it belonged to a guest there.

Ellie got out of the car and went over to talk to Bob.

"Anything happening?" she wanted to know.

"Nothing Ma'am," Bob told her. "Do you want to go look around?"

"We'll wait for Hardy," Ellie replied. "There was no car around the back of the hut?"

"No Ma'am, whoever it is either got dropped off or parked their car up the lane," Bob told her.

Alec was also being driven down, having called for a car. He'd been down that narrow lane before and didn't intend to drive down on his own at night, it was bad enough in the daytime. He'd seen all the caravans and wondered how they'd got there.

When he arrived at the hut, Ellie went over to him.

"No-one's come out yet," she told him.

"Good, we have him trapped then," Alec replied. "You take the front, we'll take the back," he nodded towards the other two officers.

Splitting up, Alec went with the officer who was with him, taking a torch from the back of the car. With a bit of luck, this could be over soon, then he could concentrate just on Rose. It had come as a huge surprise to be told he was going to be a dad again. How would Daisy take the news? She still got excited every time someone mentioned Rose and she was able to say she'd been at the wedding.

Would her enthusiasm fade once she was told she was going to have a baby sister? He was just trying to peer through the kitchen window when he heard a noise and assumed the intruder had been spooked. He saw a figure disappear and indicated for the officer with him to go one way while he himself went the other to the front of the hut.

He just reached the corner when he heard Ellie shouting. Joe had panicked at seeing Alec's face at the window, he'd been hiding behind the counter, hoping to make his escape when the police had gone around the front. Would Ellie be out front, if she'd called Olly to look after Fred?

There was only one thing for it, he had to fling the door open, surprise whoever was at the front, probably Hardy himself and make a run for it. Would there be anyone at the foot of the cliff though? If there was, he could disappear into the boatyard.

Ellie was just approaching the front door, trying to peer through it but the moon was reflecting in the glass. All of sudden, she felt the door handle moving and jumped back, making Bob move back as well then she let out a yell as the door flung open and she shouted after the quickly disappearing figure.

"Come back, this is the police. You can't go anywhere, we have the place surrounded," she shouted, just as Alec came around the corner.

"Well go after him Miller," Alec shouted as he prepared to chase the man as well but Ellie was now in his way.

The other two officers were down by the cars and saw the figure running for the path that led to the beach below.

"Hey look, someone's trying to get away," the one who had been with Ellie called to the other.

The other officer got on the car radio to tell those below the suspect was heading their way as Ellie, Bob and Alec followed the figure in black.

How did the man hope to get away, Alec wondered as he overtook Ellie and got to the path just as the other two officers joined them. He was determined that if it was who he thought it was trying to get away, Joe Miller was not going to escape capture.

"Sir, I warned the officers at the bottom of the cliff that someone was on their way down," Alec was told.

"Good, now get after that person," Alec shouted behind him as he was passed another torch by the officer who had been with him.

He intended having his driver climb back up the cliff and drive the car around to the beach, the man was younger than he was. If they caught the suspect, he wasn't letting the man out of his sight until he was in custody.

Joe was starting to panic as he'd taken the pocket torch out of his jacket pocket and was making his way down the path. How many were after him, he dreaded to think and he bet they'd have someone at the bottom as well. He was sure it had been Ellie who he'd surprised at the door, she would surely now think it was him. He neared the end of the path, seeing two police cars at the other entrance to the boatyard so he ran for the gate and pushed it open.

"You can't get away," Alec stopped to shout from the bottom of the path. "Miller, you're with me, the rest of you spread out."

"Sir, I caught a glimpse of whoever it was," Ellie admitted as they shone their torches around between the boats.

"Did you recognise him?" Alec wanted to know, hoping she would admit it was her husband. "Miller, you said you had to get a babysitter, had Joe gone out?"

"Yeah, he was going for a drink with Nigel," Ellie replied, stopping to look down a gap between the boats. "Sir, what are you suggesting?"

"Miller, what do you think?" Alec told her.

"Don't be daft Sir, what would he be doing up here?" Ellie couldn't believe what her boss was suggesting. "Are you serious?"

"It seems suspicious to me," Alec admitted, shining the torches everywhere as he heard Bob shouting out to whoever was hiding.

"Come on out, nice and quietly," Bob was saying as he saw a shadow.

Joe had frozen in the place he had chosen to hide in and had turned the torch off to avoid detection. Now it seemed he'd been found but he didn't move.

"We’ve got the boatyard covered," Bob carried on. "There's no way out."

Joe glanced around, seeing the wire fencing close by and wondered if he could get to it without being seen. It had to be worth a try, he couldn't let Ellie find him here, that was certain. He had known that morning when Tom had been questioned that Hardy suspected something. Had Ellie been told and she wasn't saying?

He heard nothing more so he moved from his hiding place and ran for the fence but Alec thought he'd heard a noise and turned to Ellie.

"Miller, you go that way," he pointed to a boat on the left. "I'll go the other and meet at the fence, if you see anything, shout but don't approach whoever it is, understand?"

"I know Sir," Ellie insisted. "He just caught me by surprise up there."

Alec thought he just bet she was caught by surprise, if he was right about it being her husband.

Alec started off in the other direction as Joe reached the fence. So looking behind him, he started climbing just as Alec reached the corner.

"Stop right there," Alec shouted at the figure in black.

The rest of the officers heard the noise and headed towards the fence as Joe wasn't going to take any notice and slipped over the other side, landing heavily but since it was sand, was able to get up and run up the beach.

"Get after him," Alec turned to the others as he saw the figure get up and run off.

Then he turned to his driver.

"Get back up there and bring the car around."

"Sir, it'll take some time," the officer insisted.

"Well who's got a car down here?" Alec looked around.

"We have Sir," another officer replied.

"Well don't stand there, let's get after him," Alec turned towards him. "Come on Miller."

Ellie thought why did he have to include her but turned and followed. Joe had stopped to get his breath back when he saw a signpost ahead in the moonlight. The path would take him back up the cliff and from there back along to the hut and to the car and hopefully, the officers that had been up there had chased him down onto the beach.

If everything worked out, he could drive back home before Ellie was any wiser that it had been him she'd been after.

Once in the car, Alec was sat in the front and could just make out a figure ahead, who had stopped. Joe saw the headlights and turned to the path.

"What's that signpost?" Alec asked the driver.

"It's for the path leading back up to the clifftop," Ellie replied.

Alec had no intentions of climbing back up there.

"You two go after him," he told the two uniformed officers. "Miller, you can drive us back down the beach and find a way back to the hut. If you catch him, hold him until we get to you. Miller, get on the radio and tell the others at the boatyard to head back up to the hut."

The two uniformed officers got out of the car and Ellie went to get into the driver's seat.

"Sir, whoever it was had to know there was a path back up the cliff," Ellie pointed out.

Alec ignored the remark, it was quite obvious her husband knew his way around. It would take a bit of time to get back to the hut, since there was only the main road then the narrow lane but before they got there, Joe was in the car and making his way carefully to the main road.

Ellie got a call on the radio to say when the two officers had got to the hut, there was no sign of anyone and believed whoever it was had a car stashed close by and had escaped.

"We may as well not bother going up there," Alec decided, thinking he'd left Rose too long already.

She had travelled all that way to see him and he'd had to leave her in the caravan.

"Shall I drop you at the station?" Ellie wanted to know, since she didn't know exactly where his caravan was.

"You may as well," Alec reluctantly agreed, in case Rose was looking out of the window for him to return.

Then he thought it was giving Joe Miller more time to get home so his wife didn't suspect anything. They arrived at the back of the police station so he got out before Ellie turned into the yard.

"We almost had the killer tonight Miller," Alec told her as he was getting out.

"You're so sure it was him?" Ellie disagreed.

"Who else could it have been?" he replied, wanting to know if she suspected anything.

He crossed the road and cut through at the side on the mini market to where he was staying. He tapped lightly on the door of the caravan, prompting Rose to turn off the TV and get up.

"Rose, it's me," Alec called to her when she pulled the curtain back before opening the door.

She let him in and greeted him with a hug.

"Well, did ya catch anyone?" Rose wanted to know.

"No but I'm even more sure it's who I think it is. He's spooked Rose, he will trip himself up."

"Well I hope so, I'd love to interrogate him when ya do catch him," she smiled, going to put water in the kettle.

"I may need you there anyway," Alec admitted, going to put his arms around her waist from behind. "If it's DS Miller's husband, she will be in denial."

"I'll call my stepfather in the morning and talk to him about it," Rose replied, turning around. "Let's have a hot drink then go to bed?"

"So, you took over my wardrobe?" Alec smiled, going for a kiss.

"Watcha think?" Rose laughed.

"Does that mean we are sharing?" he then asked hopefully.

"Well I didn't come here to sleep in the spare room," Rose teased him.

"Are you feeling okay? What I mean is do you feel sick or anything?" Alec was concerned.

"I'm fine Alec, a lot of it was just nerves, having to get up the courage to come and tell ya," Rose admitted.

"You need not have worried so much about it love," Alec told her as she rested her head on his shoulder.

"I didn't know what ya'd think Alec." Rose admitted. "I should've known though, I mean after that night we spent together, we couldn't go back to being apart and afraid to admit anything."

"No, we could not," Alec agreed. "You go sit down, I will make the drinks," he offered.

"That night was something though," Rose teased him again. "I just wanted to wait until ya solved this case Alec, I didn't want to get in the way."

"You would not have been in the way Rose," Alec assured her.

He made the drinks then set them on the coffee table and sat beside her.

"Come here Rose," he held his arms out to her. "Did you really not know why I answered your call when you wanted my help?"

"I knew ya'd come," Rose replied as he put his arms around her. "I think I knew Jamie had gone for good."

"He did not deserve you," Alec then whispered to her.

When Ellie got home, Joe had been back around ten minutes and Olly had gone home but not before Olly had said how his aunt had called him over because she'd had to go off somewhere.

"She did what?" Joe pretended he didn't know Ellie had gone out.

"She told me to get here in a hurry," Olly had told him. "She said it was an emergency. She just said you'd gone out."

"It's always an emergency," Joe complained, trying to avoid any questions as to where he'd been.

So Olly had gone off and Joe tried to compose himself for when Ellie returned. Ellie got dropped off, seeing the family car was now parked in front of the house.

"Now he's back," Ellie told herself as she went to the front door.

Joe had put the TV on and was pretending to watch the news.

"How long have you been back?" Ellie wanted to know.

"A while. Where did you get to?" Joe replied.

"I got a call that someone was up at the hut where Danny was killed," she told him.

"Why did you have to go?" Joe asked, turning the sound down on the TV.

"It's my job," Ellie told him. "I had no choice but to ask Olly to come over."

"Hardy asks too much of you Ell," Joe reminded her. "Did you catch anyone then?"

He had discarded the black hoodie he'd been wearing while he'd been out and hoped Ellie wouldn't notice it on the banister.

"You know I can't talk about it," Ellie replied as she took her coat off.

"Who am I going to tell?" Joe grinned.

The next morning, Alec woke up to Rose snuggling up to him, her arm across his waist,

"Rose, I have to get up love," Alec tried to move her arm.

"Mmm, what?" Rose stirred as she tried to open her eyes. "Oh, yeah, sorry."

"No need to apologise love," Alec smiled as she moved slightly. "It was very nice waking up with you."

Rose managed a grin as she pulled some hair from her mouth.

"I will go make some tea," he suggested, kissing her cheek. "You seem to have slept well."

"Yeah, you were very comfy and I had a furry pillow," she teased him, running her finger over his chest.

"I am glad I made a good pillow," he told her as he pulled the duvet back. "You stay there while I put the heating on love, it gets chilly in the mornings, even though it's summer. I shall make some enquiries about renting a house later on, we need a proper place to live now."

He moved the duvet back over her and went to get a clean t-shirt from the drawer. Rose was observing from over the top of the cover.

"Aren't ya changing ya shorts?" she teased him.

"Now Rose, have some patience eh?" he teased her back. "Tea and toast first."

At the Miller house, Joe was seeing to their youngest son. He had thought it over in bed when Ellie had just turned over because she said she was tired. How long could he keep this up? She was definitely onto him, she had to be but he couldn't just ask her. He'd tried before by joking about her suspecting everyone and they'd laughed it off but if he did ask her again, he may not get the same reaction from her.

"Do you think you'll find out who you were after last night then?" he dared ask her.

"Only if they hand themselves in," Ellie replied, trying to find the car keys.

"Why don't you get a car to pick you up?" Joe complained.

"Do you need it today?" Ellie stopped and looked at him.

"Well I may do," Joe huffed. "What do you think Fred?" he turned to the young boy in his chair.

Ellie shook her head and spotted the keys on the table. What was he asking for the car for when he'd never bothered before, she wondered, ruffling Fred's hair.

When she got to the station, she went to Alec's office, noticing something different about him.

"Sir, you seem in a good mood today," she grinned at him.

"Sit down Miller," Alec suggested if she was going to ask questions. "My girlfriend did join me yesterday but keep that to yourself. Not a word to your nephew, understand?"

"Why would I say anything to him?" Ellie wanted to know. "She's not famous is she? Oh, I was right," she grinned at his change in expression. "Why have you been denying it? I'm glad you have someone – Sir."

"I was not sure where things were going Miller," Alec had to admit. "She arrived early because she had something to tell me."

"That she's going to be staying with you?" Ellie guessed. Alec raised his eyebrows. "Oh, something else? She's not pregnant is she?" Ellie half joked.

"Yes and before you ask, her husband had already left her and she had asked me to help find him," he had to further admit. "He is not coming back, they are getting divorced so I asked her to come and stay with me. She only told me last night she is pregnant."

"Wow, you'd better hope Olly doesn't get hold of it," Ellie replied. "Well, I suppose congratulations are in order Sir?"

"We can discuss that later Miller. That was the killer up at the hut last night, what do you bet it will have spooked him we were so close to catching him that he will soon give himself up?" Alec asked her.

"You seem sure of that Sir," Ellie replied.

"Oh I am Miller, I am. All we need now is for the phone to be switched on. Go find out if that call last night was from it."

"I thought the call came from someone else up there?" Ellie asked him.

"Who else would have been up there Miller?" Alec wanted to know, leaning back in his chair.

Ellie went off to check and Alec called the personnel office.

"This is DI Hardy. The caravan I am renting is no longer suitable, can you find me a two bedroom rental house or cottage, preferably around the harbour?" he asked the woman who answered, who thought it was just her luck she had to deal with him again.

Before too long, Ellie was back to interviewing Nigel Carter again as Alec ordered that anyone who had no alibi for last night was brought in and she had asked him if he was with Joe, who'd not had chance to establish who he'd been with as a cover.

"I wasn't with anyone," Nigel was trying to tell her. "I want my solicitor."

While they were waiting, Alec had gone down to the beach to meet Rose, to tell her he was onto finding somewhere to live.

"Still need my help Alec?" Rose asked him as she leaned on his shoulder.

"Soon love, I'm sure of it. I asked DS Miller to join us when she had chance. You two should meet," he replied.

Ellie had read his mysterious message and was now walking along the beach, seeing two people up ahead.

"Miller, this is Rose Tyler, my girlfriend," Alec introduced Rose.

"Hi, glad to meet ya," Rose held her hand out to Ellie. "Ya do have a first name?" she smiled, looking at Alec.

"I don't do first names at work," Alec insisted.

"Hi, it's Ellie," Ellie replied, ignoring Alec. "Nice to meet you Rose. He told me you were expecting, congratulations. He's finally stopped pretending he's not got a girlfriend," she grinned.

"Oh, well, there's a reason for that," Rose replied. "I wasn't sure how things were going, well until my soon to be ex husband sent me divorce papers out of the blue. It took me a while to come to terms with it."

They were interrupted by Ellie's phone ringing. Before she had left, she had told Frank in the office to call her if the missing phone was switched on. She handed her phone to Alec when told it had been.

"This is Hardy, send the co-ordinates to my phone," Alec told Frank. "Miller, get back to your interview."

Rose looked at him, not sure why he hadn't used her first name. Ellie took her phone back, saying goodbye to Rose then Alec called her back.

"Good work on this Miller," he told her.

Ellie shaded her eyes as she looked at him, then she continued.

"Her husband has the missing phone and he turned it on," Alec admitted to Rose. "You go back to the caravan, I will call you later. Did you talk to your stepfather?"

"Yeah and I have his authority to act as a Torchwood agent again. I was so out of it when I was with Jamie, he wanted to focus on other things."

"No need to explain love," Alec told her. "I will walk back with you, I just have a call to make."

He ordered a car to meet him in front of the police station and arrived at the Miller house, not really needing to know where the signal from the missing phone was leading him. Joe was just standing in the shed, knowing that turning the phone on would lead Hardy right to him. As Alec made his way through the house, seeing Tom watching TV, he went to the back door, leaving an officer outside.

"I'm sick of hiding," Joe admitted as Alec came face to face with him.

"Joe Miller, I am arresting you on the suspicion that you killed Danny Latimer, read him his rights," he turned to the officer who had followed him.

"Dad, what's going on?" Tom wanted to know as Joe was led outside in handcuffs.

"Tom, sit down," Alec suggested. "Someone will be here shortly to take you and your brother to meet your mother and look after you for now. Is there anything you want to take with you?"

Tom shook his head, looking confused but Alec didn't want to say anything, that was up to the boy's mother. Alec then called Rose to meet him at the police station, calling the desk sergeant to say she should be given a visitor's pass.

"What's she doing here?" Joe wanted to know when Rose was shown into the interview room.

"Miss Tyler is here in an official capacity as an agent of an organisation working with the police," Alec told him.

Joe finally gave in and confessed, prompting Alec to have him detained while he went to see Ellie, Rose going with him. Ellie refused at first to believe what she was being told but broke down, Rose comforting her.

"Is this why you introduced me to your girlfriend?" Ellie asked Alec as Rose helped her up when Ellie crouched on the floor while being sick.

"I'm so sorry Ellie," Rose told her. "Alec asked for me to be here, he said you might need my help. I can go with you to see your two boys."

"You would?" Ellie tried to dry her tears.

"Take her to my office Rose," Alec suggested. "I will make some arrangements. The boys will join you at the motel just by the roundabout, you can go collect their things."

When Alec joined Ellie and Rose in his office, Rose was telling Ellie how she had met Alec.

"It was just pure luck that his daughter became my head bridesmaid," Rose was saying. "The only thing was, Jamie, my ex, hated the fact Alec looked like him and could never get over it."

"Is that why he left you?" Ellie wanted to know, thinking Rose was trying to take her mind off the fact Joe had killed Danny.

"I think so Ellie. I mean he was fine for a while but Alec got himself in the news again, didn't he?" Rose smiled as Alec walked in.

"Talking about me?" Alec asked her. "Rose, are you going with her?"

Rose nodded and got up with Ellie, everyone in the office watching them. Alec went off to formally charge Joe Miller with Danny's death and hoped his DS would come to terms with it. He got back to the caravan, having some news for Rose.

"There is a holiday cottage, not far away that is coming available, we can go look tomorrow, if you want?" he asked Rose.

"Yeah, is it still by the harbour?" Rose was curious.

"The back garden leads to the river," Alec smiled. "I could ask for something else? It is only a few minutes walk from the harbour itself."

"No, it sounds perfect Alec," Rose got up to hug him.

"Well, we have plans to make now," he replied as he went for a kiss.

The following weekend, they drove back up to see Rose's family and Tony almost knocked Alec over when they arrived.

"Alec, will you be my big brother now?" Tony was dying to ask him after Pete had said it was okay.

"Well, I would be proud for you to be my younger brother Tony," Alec assured him as he knelt down to face the boy. "It may take a while though, for it to be possible but meanwhile, I don't think there is any harm in us saying we are, do you Rose?" he turned to her.

Both Tony and Rose went to hug him and Alec knew he had a new family now, he had all that he wanted, with a baby on the way and he had called Daisy to tell her he and Rose were together. Whilst Daisy was trying to take it all in, she had cried for a while but said she was happy for them and agreed to visit them during the next school holiday.

Pete had instructed that the divorce was rushed through using his authority that he had Rose's word that her marriage to Jamie had never been consummated and it was all to be hushed up, Rose being free a few months later.

Alec took her out to celebrate and they had walked to the end of the pier that was all lit up. He took a small box out of his pocket and opened it, revealing a diamond engagement ring.

"Rose, I was waiting to give you this," he told her as the ring sparkled in the lights. "I know you are only just free but I would be very happy if you would wear it, while you come to terms with things."

Rose held her hand out and he placed the ring on her finger.

"It's lovely Alec and I'd love to wear it," she replied. "I think I was taken in by Jamie, after losing my friend suddenly and I never even considered that was what attracted me to him," she admitted.

"Forget it love, that's in the past, you have me now and the baby. You wanted a family, did you not?"

"Yeah, I did and now I've got one. I didn't mean to trick ya that night ya know?" she asked nervously.

"I know that Rose but after the way you told me about Jamie, well I had two choices, one being to just walk away and let you resolve your problems yourself or to show you how I had felt about you since we first met. I made the right choice, Rose Tyler."

With that, ignoring the fact it was getting colder, he got down on one knee.

"Rose, will you marry me, when you feel the time is right?"

With tears in her eyes as he got up after pushing the ring further on her finger, she managed to nod and say yes.

They married the first week in February at Broadchurch registry office, Daisy being their only bridesmaid and their only choice with no contest this time around. Pete gave the bride away, Jake was Alec's best man and Tony was put in charge of passing the rings to Alec and was beaming from ear to ear that he had a big brother again.

After the reception, Pete went to talk to Alec while Rose was her mother.

"Alec, I know you're not like Jamie and Jackie and I know that you're good for Rose after what happened."

"Thank you Pete and I will take good care of her," Alec assured him. "You have no need to worry that I will get jealous over anyone. I respect that Rose does not want to talk much about the friend she lost but maybe some day, she will and when she does, she will finally be able to let her past go."

"Good man," Pete told him as he patted Alec on the shoulder. "You should get off now, Rose is looking over," he grinned.

Alec smiled back at his new wife. She looked radiant, somehow the dress fitter had hidden her baby bump but he would have preferred it if on the wedding photos it had been showing, so they could look back on the day and recall how happy they were that Rose had agreed to reveal they were to have a baby daughter.

The End!