All I want for Christmas

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Rose Tyler goes off on a mission the week before Christmas but something goes wrong and she is injured and found on Broadchurch beach with no recollection other than her name is Rose and was travelling with a man called The Doctor.  Alec Hardy tries to piece things together and help her find out who she is and where she belongs.

Chapter 1

There was just another week to Christmas but of course, there were signs coming from the re-vamped dimension cannon that Rose's original world could be reached.  Mickey had volunteered to go but Rose always got sentimental the same time every year.

So, they were debating it in Pete's office, Pete warning Rose that her mother wouldn't be pleased. 

"Dad, if I had to please mum, I'd never go anywhere," Rose told him, getting a grin from Mickey, who remembered what Jackie used to be like.

"Then take Mickey with you," Pete insisted.

"Ya know we don't get along when we go together," Rose reminded him. 

"That's because you want to take charge," Mickey reminded her.

"Yeah, too right," Rose huffed.  "No Dad, I want to go on my own."

"I shouldn't let either of you go," Pete tried to convince them.  "Well okay Rose but any signs it's not your world, activate the return trigger, understand?"

"Ya know I will," Rose replied, getting one up on Mickey.  "Has that setting for getting transferred to another site been updated?"

"Mickey?" Pete asked, since he knew Rose was in a huff with her ex boyfriend.

"It's been improved, so Jake reckons," Mickey answered, not looking directly at Rose.

"Just don't stay away too long," Pete added.  "Shame we don't have a setting for getting back just after you left," he then joked.

"If ya think about it, I suppose the time differences wouldn't be taken into account," Rose replied.

"What time differences?" Mickey wanted to know.

Rose glanced sideways at him, not deeming to answer.

"What's wrong with you two?" Pete wondered.

"Nothing Dad," Rose replied as she got up.  "I'll let Jake know I'm going first thing in the morning."

"Are you telling your mother?" Pete teased her.

"She'll find out one way or another," Rose told him.  "I'd best face her."

She was regretting it when she got home and her mother questioned her decision.

"I could finally find him Mum," Rose defended herself.  "Ya know I've been disappointed in the past."

"Yeah, ya could be disappointed again," Jackie pointed out.  "Promise me you'll be careful and get back in time."

"Don't worry so much Mum, I'll be back before ya know it," Rose assured Jackie.

In the police station in Broadchurch, Ellie Miller was trying not to look bored.  A few more days to go, then she was taking some well earned leave but not so sure she could spend it all with her father.  Now she knew why Lucy had moved away to be nearer Olly.

She turned around and saw Hardy was pretending to be working, to which she thought he was more busy wondering why his daughter was leaving in the morning to spend the holidays with her mother.  She got up and tapped on his office door after debating if she should invite him for Christmas dinner.

Could he be any worse than her father?  The two of them didn't get on at all and they'd only met once or twice.  She supposed it was because her father rang her up for trivial things like getting more bread or milk.

"Nothing to do Miller?" Alec asked her as he looked up.

"Daisy still going away tomorrow?" she wanted to make sure.

"She's not changed her mind," he replied.  "I can't persuade her not to go, not this time.  Why?  You're not going to do something stupid like invite me to your house for Christmas dinner?"

"Rather be on your own then, opening a tin of something or other?" she asked him.  "Yes, I was going to ask you, at least Fred's still your number one fan."

Alec couldn't believe how much wee Fred Miller had grown from when he himself was ill and used the buggy for support when they went out anywhere.

"I'll think about it," he offered as he took his specs off.  "I expect I'll be holding the fort over the holidays?"

"You won't be entirely on your own and you don't have to stay here, you can just be on call," she reminded him.  "What can happen?"

"Don't tempt fate," Alec replied, leaning back in his chair.  "Just because things have died down after what happened here."

"Speaking of which, that garage where Jim Atwood worked was up for sale when I passed that way," Ellie informed him.

"Why am I not surprised Miller?" Alec tried not to sound bored.  "I expect that rope factory has gone bust as well?"

"Probably, it can't have got much good publicity after what happened," Ellie agreed.  "Are you letting Katie back in the new year?  Her probation period will be up."

"Do you really want her back, after what you said about her?" Alec was surprised.  "Let her apply and I'll think about it.  I doubt the chief will recommend her for another quick promotion?"

"If you'd been back when she was put up for promotion, you'd have probably objected," Ellie grinned at him.

"Too right Miller, I don't know what the chief was even thinking.  I don't recall seeing Harford at the training college when I was over there," Alec replied.

"Well you weren't looking for her, were you?" Ellie then laughed.  "Well let me know by tomorrow about coming over on Christmas day, I have to go shopping," she reminded him.

"Don't get anything special Miller," Alec told her.  "Tess always used to overdo it, anyone would have thought royalty was going to be visiting."

"Have you put anything in the collection box downstairs, under the Christmas tree yet?" she then asked him.

"I will do, when I have some change," he replied, Ellie recalling what he was like giving money to pay for drinks when someone was leaving a few years ago.  "What's it in aid of anyway?"

"The police benevolent fund, for families who have lost someone," Ellie told him.  "It's a good cause, the Vitex chairman's wife is the patron of it."

"Then I expect I should be impressed?" Alec replied dryly.  "At least that family don't make the headlines all the time, unlike some so-called 'Reality' TV stars do.  Daisy's forever going on about one such family who sound like they're a race of aliens from an old sci-fi series."

Ellie had to laugh at his suggestion.

"Right, I'll let you get back to what you were doing then?" she offered.  "Or are you as bored as I am?" 

"It just bothers me that after what happened, Daisy wants to go off for the holidays," he replied.

"After what happened with Tom, you're lucky she's still talking to you.  I won't be that surprised if he stays in his room all the holidays," Ellie told him sadly.  "Where did we go wrong?"

"I have no idea Miller," Alec shook his head.  "Why don't you get off early?"

"Wow, what's come over you?" Ellie laughed.

"See you tomorrow Miller, before I change my mind," Alec ignored her.

The next morning, he was saying goodbye to Daisy as they waited at the coach stop.

"You should have let me take you to the nearest train station," Alec broke the silence as Daisy sat on the bench in the tiny bus shelter.

"It doesn't matter Dad, it's easier from here and I never got to the train station last time," she reminded him.  "You went mental with those boys."

Alec would rather have forgotten about that.

"They had no respect for you or any other young women," he replied as he spied the coach making its way along the harbour.  "Call me when you get there."

"Yeah, I will," Daisy promised as Alec took her case.

She gave him a hug as she got to the coach door.  He waved as the coach departed, just as his phone rang.  He knew Miller had no patience as he was about to tell her.

"Shut up Hardy, this is important," Ellie chastised him as he spoke.

"Stop telling me to shut up Miller," he reminded her.  "This had better be good."

"Are you still by the coach stop?" she asked him before he could answer.  "There's an incident over on the east beach, a woman was found unconscious ten minutes ago, an ambulance is on the way.  I'll meet you there."

"Not again?  What is it with this place?  It's worse than that place on TV where there's a murder every week."

"Very funny Hardy, I'll be there in a few minutes," Ellie told him.

"Well stop and pick me up then," he suggested, since it would be quicker.

The ambulance had just arrived as Ellie and Alec were let through the police tape.  It wasn't quite where Danny had been found but it was close enough for both of them to clearly remember.  Ellie stood behind a paramedic, who was crouched down.

"She's breathing but unconscious," Ellie was told.  "There's a bump on her head."

"What is she doing lying here then?" Alec wanted to know as he went to get a better look while the paramedics prepared the trolley.  "Someone must have carried her here, otherwise there would be signs of a struggle."

Ellie was already searching the woman's pockets but found nothing.

"She may have been the victim of a robbery gone wrong," Ellie suggested.  "Want me to go with her?"

"No, I'll go Miller, you go see if anyone has reported anything," Alec insisted, wanting something to do.

"It's rather strange though," Ellie told him as the paramedics prepared their patient.  "She may have wandered around in a daze and ended up here I suppose?" she wondered.

"She may have been caught by surprise Miller, having no ID on her," Alec concluded.  "See what you can find out when forensics arrive."

Ellie preferred to have little to do with the leader, Brian Young, having once embarrassed herself by asking if his offer of going for a drink was still open.  Then she had found out later from her sister that he'd been asked some awkward questions in court at Joe's trial, which Hardy had not told her about.

Alec got in the back of the ambulance, not that he enjoyed being in the back of a ambulance.

"How is she?" he asked the other paramedic who had stayed with her.

"She may be out for a while Sir, it's a nasty bump she has.  She has concussion."

As the ambulance drove off, Ellie met Brian Young as she was leaving.

"Another body on the beach?" he grinned at her.

"Don't be insensitive," Ellie told him.  "Just do your job and see if there are any clues as to why a young woman was just lying unconscious over there," she pointed to where a WPC was standing over the spot.

"Okay, don't bite my head off," Brian replied.  "You spend too much time with Hardy."

She was about to say something else when a man and a woman interrupted her.

"Excuse me, are you a detective?" she was asked.  Ellie nodded as the man continued.  "We were taking our dog for a walk, a few hundred yards away and one minute there was no-one there, where you just found that young woman.  Then we got closer and there she was."

"Are you trying to say she appeared out of thin air?" was all Ellie could reply, thinking Hardy was just going to love this.

"That's what we thought," the woman agreed, holding a Yorkshire Terrier on a lead.  "We went up to the person and found it was a woman.  My husband checked for a pulse then called for an ambulance.  We didn't try moving her."

"You did the right thing," Ellie assured them both.  "Would you give your statements to the officer here?"

The officer still with her had his notebook out and took the couple to one side.  Ellie made her way to her car and cursed her phone ringing, as it was her father.

"I'm a bit busy now Dad," she told him before she got in.

"Charming," he complained.  "Fred wants to know when he can go see Father Christmas?"

"Dad, you can't keep calling me unless it's an emergency," Ellie reminded him.  "I check in with you at lunchtime, things like that can wait."

"I told him I'd ask you," her father insisted.  "I thought you would be home at lunchtime?"

"Just because I do sometimes doesn't mean I always get the chance," Ellie reminded him.  "I won't be back today, something came up."

"Doesn't it always?" she was asked.

Ellie finally got back to the station and started going through any missing person reports, there had to be something, she thought.

Alec was waiting for any news of the mysterious young blonde woman, not liking being stuck in a hospital but it was better than going through reports.

"Excuse me, are you with the young woman who was just found on the beach?" a nurse asked him as he played with his phone.

"Yes, is there any news?" he wanted to know.

"She's stable but still unconscious, though we don't know why," he was told.  "We're just finishing up and we'll put her on the general women's ward.  Will you want to wait and question her?"

"Yes, she had no means of identification on her and I need to find out who she is," Alec replied.

"Someone will take you to her when she's settled then," the nurse promised.

His phone buzzed so he excused himself.

"What Miller?" he answered Ellie's call.

"The couple who found that woman on the beach.  They both state she appeared from nowhere," Ellie tried to tell him.

"Are you serious Miller?" he didn't believe her.

"Yes, they said they were walking along and one minute she wasn't there and the next minute she was, as they got closer," Ellie insisted.  "Any news on her yet?"

"She's just being put on a ward," Alec replied as the door opposite opened.  "I'll stay and see if she wakes up.  If not, get a female officer here to wait with her."

Alec pulled one of his faces, as he always did at Ellie.  Ellie knew he did it, even when she wasn't with him.

"I could have gone with her then," Ellie pointed out.

"Any missing person reports of interest?" he then asked her.

"Not yet and we're still waiting for forensics," she told him.

"Well tell them to get a move on then," Alec insisted.

"Easy for you to say," Ellie quipped.

He ended the call as a nurse indicated he could go in the side-ward the woman had been taken into.

"She'll come round on her own," he was told.  "Try not to disturb the other patients, I've put the curtain around but the others will wonder what's going on."

"Then tell them it's police business," Alec replied.

"I'll see what I can do," the nurse smiled.  "I'll get a report of her injuries for you."

"I thought it was just the bump on the head?" Alec asked.

"No, on examination, she had a few bruises on her arms and legs," the nurse told him.

"Thank you," Alec told her as they went into the four bed unit.

What the hell had happened to the woman, he asked himself.  It can't have been she had just 'appeared' out of nowhere, someone must have been responsible.  He looked at the mysterious woman again, now in a hospital gown and he could see a bruise on her upper arm, her hair partly covering the one on her head.

He'd just have to wait for her to wake up or for forensics to find something at the spot she'd been found.  What was it with that part of the beach?  Miller must have been winding him up at how the woman had been discovered.  Maybe the couple had stopped and faced out to sea and someone had carried her and they'd not been aware?

Whatever had happened, why had her ID been missing?  This was something they had to make a priority, the woman had obviously put up a fight if she had bruises, so how had it gone un-noticed?  Someone must be missing her by now, surely?

Brian Young was just approaching Ellie's desk so she looked up.

"There's nothing to suggest there was a struggle on the beach Ellie," he told her.  "It's like she appeared from nowhere," he grinned.

"Not you as well?" she asked as she had been reading the statement from the couple who had found the victim.

"Sounds like you and Hardy have your work cut out for you?" he joked.  "You'll have a full report shortly."

"Are you still mad at me?" Ellie dared ask him.

Brian stopped and looked at her.

"What for?  You mean you turning me down flatly then asking me out months later while I'm doing you a favour finding out who broke into Hardy's riverside shack?" he tried to be serious.

"If you put it like that?" Ellie replied.

"I was a bit put out but forget about it," he finally told her.  "Hardy never told you, did he?  That the defence in Joe's court case asked some awkward questions about it."

"My sister told me later," Ellie admitted.

"No wonder he got off, you being accused of trying to start an affair with me while you were supposedly having one with Hardy," Brian laughed.

Ellie put her head in her hands.  She had walked right into that one.

"There was never anything going on with me and Hardy," she insisted.

"I believe you, the way you two used to argue," Brian laughed.  "They should have asked me about it."

Ellie wished they had done but it had still been said and the jury had probably believed both accusations.  She started going through all the other missing person reports from other areas but there was no-one with the description of the young woman who had been found.

Alec had gone to get some tea out of the drinks machine and had just got back when he heard a sound from the unconscious woman and opened the curtain to call a nurse.

"Ouch!  My head," the woman spoke as she tried to sit up.

"Stay where you are and wait for assistance," Alec urged her as he tried to get attention again

A nurse came over stood at the other side of the bed.

"Welcome back," the nurse smiled at the young woman, who had opened her eyes.

"Where am I?" she asked shakily.

"You had some sort of accident," the nurse tried to explain as she checked vital signs.  "There's a detective here, who came with you.  Do you know what happened?"

"Well, where was I found?" the blonde asked, trying to turn the other way.  "I think I was travelling with someone.  Yeah, The Doctor.  Where is he?"

"There was no-one with you," Alec told her.  "You had no ID on you.  Do you know who you are?"

"Whoa, one question at a time," he was told off.  "My head hurts."

"Sorry but it's important we find out as soon as possible what happened to you," Alec explained.  "Do you know your name, Miss?"

She had no signs of any rings so he thought it safe to address the young woman as such.

"Can I get a drink?" she then asked the nurse, spying Alec's forgotten hot drink.

"I'll get you something," the nurse promised as she finished checking the woman's pulse and blood pressure.  "Just try to relax."

She made the woman as comfortable as possible and went off, Alec seeing his chance.

"You were found a few hours ago, on the beach in Broadchurch.  Do you know why you would have been there?"

"Where's Broadchurch?" he was asked.  "I have no idea what I would have been doing there.  I told ya, I was travelling around."

"Yes, so you said but could you have been left there, after an argument or something?" he tried to find out.  "Do you at least remember your name now?"

The woman folded her arms and tried to move down the bed.

"I'm sorry, it must seem a lot to take in?" Alec apologised.  "I was not implying the person who you were travelling with could have left you unconscious.  Maybe they had no choice?"

"I remember my name, thanks, you're just goin' too fast," he was told.

"Then I apologise.  Would you care to tell me your name then?" he tried to smile at her.  "I'm detective inspector Alec Hardy, from Broadchurch police.  Anything you tell me will give us a picture of what happened earlier.  You were found by a couple walking their dog, a few hours ago."

"I was?  Geez, I just don't remember anything other than I was travelling somewhere and my name."

"You had nothing with you," Alec reminded her.  "Now, can you tell me your name?"

"Yeah, my name is Rose," the woman smiled back at him.

"Thank you, Rose.  Do you remember your last name by any chance?" he asked hopefully so he could call Miller.

He was in for a disappointment when she shook her head and said 'No'.

Chapter 2

Well at least he'd made a start.

"Okay Rose, get some rest and I will come back later with my colleague," he told her.

"I might not feel as groggy then," Rose hoped.  "Who the hell am I?"

"We'll find out but with the holidays coming up, it may take a bit longer," Alec replied, knowing it was no consolation to her.

"What holiday?" Rose wanted to know.

"It's almost Christmas," he broke the news to her.

"So, I'm gonna be stuck here until ya find out who I am then?" she asked him.

"We'll try and get you discharged but you had no money or bank cards on you when you were found," Alec had to tell her.

"Just great.  So were they taken from me?" Rose wanted to know.

"I do not believe so, given that you appeared in front of that couple, they would have seen something," Alec replied.  "We can sort something out when I come back later.  Try not to worry too much."

"Easy for you to say," Rose muttered as Alec got up.  "Sorry, I sound ungrateful."

"It's understandable," Alec told her.  "Hopefully, we will find something out before we come back."

"Thanks.  Can ya leave the curtain around?  I don't feel like being asked a load of questions.  Can I call ya Alec?"

"Yes, please do although I don't like the name much," he admitted.

"What's wrong with it?" Rose smiled.

"It's just me, I will make an exception," Alec smiled back.  "I will leave you my number, in case you remember anything.  Get one of the nurses to call me."

"Okay, I'll try, Alec," Rose promised.  "Hope it's nearly lunchtime, I'm hungry."

Alec left the ward and called Ellie Miller.

"Send a car for me," he told her before she could say anything.

"Fine but I've found nothing out about her yet," she admitted.  "How can she just appear on the beach?  It sounds like something to do with Torchwood if you ask me."

"Come on Miller, even they can't make people appear from nowhere," Alec brushed it off.

"Yeah, I suppose not?  Mind you, there was that thing with them in Cardiff not long ago where someone was crossing a bridge and just vanished."

"Someone tampered with the camera for a laugh Miller," Alec dismissed it.  "We have to gather what we can and figure this out.  Apart from her name being Rose, she only remembers she was travelling with someone called 'The Doctor'."

"That's not much to go on," Ellie replied.

"Well you come back with me later, she may be more willing to talk then," he suggested.

"You mean to me?" Ellie laughed.  "I did offer to go with her."

Alec ignored her and waited for a car picking him up.   When he had left the ward, a nurse had taken a drink to Rose and said it was about half an hour to lunch and told her what was available.  Then she leaned back and tried to remember how she'd got here.

That morning, just after nine, Pete Tyler had driven himself and Rose to Torchwood, as he did most mornings except when his young son wanted him to take the boy to school.

"Sure you're not going to change your mind?" Pete was asking her about going off and hoping to get to the other universe.

"Ya know I can't Dad," she told him as they approached Torchwood Tower.  "This is the closest we've ever got and it's stable."

"Well we still have to do the checks, to make sure it will stay like that long enough for you to get back," Pete told her.  "All the safety measures have to be put into place.  It's for your own good."

"I know it's safe Dad, or ya wouldn't let anyone go," Rose assured him.

She went off to get ready while Pete talked to Jake.

"Were those two arguing," Jake grinned as Mickey sat in a corner.

"They always are these days, don't know why," Pete confirmed.  "Is everything ready?"

"Yeah Boss, she just has to get into position.  Wish I'd been at that meeting yesterday now," Jake replied.

Pete knew Jake was finding it amusing but it could affect how Rose looked at the mission she was going on.  Rose emerged from the changing room.

"In your own time Rose," Pete told her as the technicians were in their places.

He was glad the public didn't know about this and that Rose had chosen not to lead a lifestyle where she was always in the news.  She helped her mother out with charity events but still kept in the background despite Jackie giving her credit.

He supposed her reasoning was that she'd known she had never been born here and questions may be asked where she'd suddenly come from.  He didn't want her going through the nightmare of the Cybermen again.  Rose gave him a hug and told him she'd be back, hopefully having seen The Doctor once again.  What would she do if he'd already changed, he wondered as he heard the familiar whirr of the dimension cannon.

It never seemed to put Rose or anyone else off but he kept asking for the noise to be reduced.  Rose only had her device with her, it was Torchwood policy to take no identification and a modified credit card that would fool any ATM into giving a small amount of cash but it was just a plain card, like one that would fit in other devices.

Rose felt a little strange as the cannon started aiming her where the co-ordinates were set by the experts who were monitoring the operation.  She was also excited at the prospect of visiting her old world so she put it down to that.  She needed to know for sure what The Doctor was going to say to her.

If he'd changed, would he still want to tell her?  She came out of her thoughts with a bump, she had hit something, feeling her head hurting but that shouldn't happen.  Something struck her arm, then her legs as she let out an 'Ow' but heard nothing.

Then she realised what was happening.  The cannon was supposed to shoot a person across The Void at such a speed, then deposit them at their destination.  Nothing had gone wrong previously but it flashed through her mind that she might have collided with some objects that were going as fast as she was.

It was meant to take less than thirty seconds but this seemed endless as she started getting dizzy from being hit on her forehead.  Then she had landed with a 'Thud' on what felt like sand and nothing – she was out cold.  Rose had woken up in a hospital bed, a man with a scruffy beard at her side asking her name and what she remembered.

She had told him but he probably expected more, such as her last name and where she had come from.  She must have been going somewhere, to end up on a beach like she had done.  Then she'd remembered she'd been travelling with a man called The Doctor so she'd told the detective.  Had that been enough?  Another nurse came along and insisted she pulled the curtain back.

"Now Rose, how are you feeling?" she was asked.

Great, now everyone knew her name.

"My head still hurts, when can I have something for it?" Rose replied.  "Is it lunchtime yet?"

The nurse smiled at her.

"Very soon, then we'll see how you feel," was the reply.  "Is that detective coming back?"

"Yeah, with someone else, I think," Rose told the nurse.  "How long will I have to stay here?"

"When we find out who you are and where you belong, we can discharge you.  You'll be home for Christmas," the nurse promised.

"Will I?" Rose asked.  "What if I don't remember?"

"The police will have to sort something out for you then," Rose was told.  "Sorry.  Try not to worry too much."

At the police station, the chief had called Alec to her office.

"So, any news of the mysterious woman found on the beach?" she asked him.

"No more than her name is Rose," Alec told her since Miller obviously hadn't.  "She seemed to think she'd been travelling with someone but she may be confused.  Nothing much from forensics either."

He'd quickly read the report left on his desk, which hadn't been much help.

"So what are we going to do with her?" the chief wanted to know.  "No missing person reports on her yet?"

"None so far.  The hospital can't keep her forever," Alec replied.

"Can DS Miller help with putting her up for a few days?" the chief suggested.

"She has her father staying with her," Alec reminded her.  "I have a spare room, my daughter's gone to visit her mother."

What had he just said, he regretted it instantly.  It had been one thing debating it but to say it out loud was another.

"It would only be until she gets her memory back Alec," the chief seemed to agree.  "What other alternative is there?  It seems a bit unkind to put her into a hotel at our expense and just leave her there.  She must be scared."

"She did seem scared," Alec recalled.  "I don't like to think how she got those bruises either, especially the one on her forehead."

"Yes, she could be disturbed by them is she remembers how she got them.  I think someone has to keep an eye on her until we find out who she is," the chief also agreed.

"I'm taking DS Miller with me later to see her," Alec told her.  "There may be some things she would feel more comfortable talking to her about and she will maybe need some more clothes, she only had a thin jacket on her."

"I'll let you and Ellie sort that out.  Now, about Katie Harford?  She's almost completed her refresher course."

"What about her?  I can't agree for her to get her rank back, not after what happened," Alec insisted.  "Her attitude also lets her down badly and she has very little respect for senior officers."

"Not even on a trial basis after the holidays?" the chief tried to persuade him.

"She can't take orders," Alec argued.  "She just does as she likes and she insulted DS Miller by not following a direct order."

"Well we'll leave it for now then," the chief decided.  "I will be on leave from the 30th so you'll be in charge Alec, unless anything urgent comes up?"

Alec thought it would be just his luck, as if looking after someone who had lost her memory wasn't enough.  When it was decided when Rose was being discharged, he'd have to go do some extra shopping.  He went back to his office just as his phone was ringing.

Rose was feeling a little better after having something to eat and had asked for a nurse to get Alec on the phone.

"Alec?" she asked cautiously.  "It's Rose.  I think I remember something.  I saw the bruises I had, I think I might have bumped into something hard but it's still a bit fuzzy."

"That's okay Rose, it will come back to you," he tried to assure her.  "Try not to think too much about it, let it come back to you gradually."

"Okay, I'll try then," Rose agreed.  "I dread to think what happened though."

"I can understand that," he told her.  "You don't remember who your friend was, so we can contact him?" he asked hopefully.

"No, sorry Alec.  What's gonna happen to me, the nurse said it's almost Christmas."

"Yes, it is.  Don't worry, I won't leave you there," he promised.

"Are ya gonna put me in a hotel room or something?" Rose was worried.  "I'd rather stay here."

"I won't leave you in a hotel room either.  I will sort something out, I promise.  We will be there to see you soon."

Rose sat back, she had to trust the detective, she had no choice unless she remembered who she'd been travelling with.  She closed her eyes and tried to picture whoever was called 'The Doctor' and why she'd called him that.  Nothing came to her so she dozed off until a nurse was waking her up.

"You have visitors Rose," she was told.  "The detective from earlier and another detective."

The nurse turned to Alec as she pulled the curtain back over for some privacy.

"Try not to stay too long please.  Have you had any luck identifying her?"

"Not yet but no-one may know she's missing yet," Ellie replied, getting her a look from Alec.

He knew Rose had heard what had been said, Miller could sometimes outdo him in the offending department.  He glared at Ellie as if to say well done.  He let Ellie take the chair and looked around for another but since visiting hours had just finished, any spare chairs hadn't been put back so he sat on the end of the bed, making Rose move her feet.

"Hello Rose, I'm DS Ellie Miller," Ellie introduced herself since she knew Hardy wouldn't.  "How are you feeling now?"

"A bit better," Rose admitted as Alec got his notebook out of his pocket.

Rose thought it reminded her of something, maybe The Doctor was always taking notes?

"I've not remembered much else," Rose admitted, in case he thought he had a lot to write down.  "So, no-one's claimed me yet?"

Ellie knew that was directed at her.  On the way down, Alec had admitted maybe it was best Rose stayed with him until she either remembered or someone said they knew her.

"That has to be the most stupid idea you've had Hardy," Ellie had told him as traffic built up behind them.

"Really?  Have you got a better one apart from putting your two boys into one room and offering her either of their bedrooms?  What about your father?  You always complain he swears too much."

"Thanks for that," Ellie huffed as she almost missed the turning to the hospital.

"I've got a spare room, Daisy won't be back until after the new year.  That gives us time to find out who Rose is.  What gets me is why no ID of any kind on her?  Did she lose it before she was found on the beach?" he wondered.  "Just park by the main entrance."

Ellie got her police sign out then went for the carrier bag from the supermarket where she had got a few things she thought Rose might need before leaving hospital.  Now, she was handing the bag over to Rose, who was looking inside.

"Oh, thanks Ellie," Rose looked please there was a comb, some toiletries, feminine items and a pack of underwear Ellie had guessed the size of.  "I looked in my jacket and there was an odd looking card."

She handed it to Alec, feeling a shiver when his hand touched hers but not showing any outward signs.  A flash ran through her.  Was that what The Doctor's hand had felt like?  That meant she had been close to him, maybe even lovers?

Alec looked at the card, which was plain with a chip in the middle, like a bank card but nothing on the back either.

"Unusual," he had to agree.  "It looks like one of those cards people used to pay for telephone calls before bank cards were accepted."

"Oh, I know the ones you mean," Ellie agreed.  "They were green and silver, I remember carrying one with me in case I had no change."

Alec looked at her as if to say not to ramble on.  Rose looked at them both.  Was something going on between these two, she wondered or did they just not get along?

"Well it won't be any good if I don't know what it's for," Rose told them.  "The nurse offered to get my clothes washed for me later.  They want to make sure I've recovered from the concussion but I still don't know how it happened, sorry."

"Rose, I had an idea, for you getting out of here," Alec told her.  "That's if you agree."

"Not a hotel?" Rose hoped not.

"No.  DS Miller would offer but she has a houseful so since my daughter has gone off for the holidays, maybe you would agree to come and stay with me?"

"Oh.  I don't want to put either of you to any trouble," Rose replied, a bit surprised anyone would want to take her in when they didn't know her.

"It's no trouble Rose.  A hotel is no place for you but we could arrange for you to stay here a bit longer?" he offered.

Rose thought about it.  Which would be the worst, not that she had anything against the hospital and the staff but they didn't need her there.

"If ya sure Alec?  Thanks for the offer.  Ellie, will I be able to get a few more clothes?"

"Well I'm on leave after tomorrow but if you get DI Hardy to call me, I can take you down to the superstore, you'll get what you need there," Ellie offered.

"We have a fund for people like yourself," Alec told Rose.  "So get what you need for a few days.  I have officers watching out for any reports where someone is missing who matches your description."

"Is it that quiet around here then?" Rose smiled.

Ellie knew the young woman was paying much more attention to Hardy than herself.  There was going to be trouble now he'd offered to let her stay with him.  Rose may have lost her memory but she still knew how to flirt.

"The town has its moments but is thankfully quiet at the moment," Alec assured her.

He didn't want to mention what had happened in the town in the past few years.

"We'll check up on you in the morning then," he continued as he put his notebook back in his pocket.  "If they are satisfied your injuries will heal on their own they may discharge you."

"I hope so.  Thanks for visiting, both of you," Rose told them.

"You have my work number, my work mobile number is on the back, don't hesitate to call if you want to talk," Alec replied as he got up.

"Thanks Alec.  I'll maybe see you both tomorrow?" Rose asked them.

They went off but Ellie stopped outside the ward.

"Don't you think you're getting a bit too involved?" she challenged him.

"We have to gain her trust Miller," Alec disagreed.

"So you'd have offered to put anyone up then?" Ellie asked him.

"Stop it Miller.  What was I supposed to do?  Put her in a hotel when she's scared?"

"Well I don't think it's a good idea," Ellie replied.  "So what's this fund you're on about?  Oh, it was so Rose didn't think she'd have to pay it back?  Well I have enough to pay out, thanks."

"Just get receipts and I will give you the money," Alec snapped at her.  "How much can it cost?"

Ellie could tell his ex wife used to take their daughter shopping, he didn't have a clue.  There was silence on the way back as Ellie dropped him by the harbour and she went off home.  He had known his decision wasn't going to go down well with her but it was almost Christmas, it was the right thing to do.

Rose managed to get to sleep but woke up with a start, wondering where she was.  It came back to her but she wished she could remember more.  The consultant saw her the next morning and Rose said she didn't feel too bad.

"Have you somewhere to go?" Rose was asked.

"Yeah.  Someone offered to let me stay with them.  Is that okay?"

"As long as you take it easy for a few days?" the consultant agreed.  "Can someone collect you?"

Rose thought maybe Alec would send Ellie to get her, then they could go get a change of clothes.

"Can someone make a phone call for me?" Rose then asked.

"They're letting you out?" Alec sounded surprised just after ten.  "Then I will come and get you."

"Thanks Alec but maybe Ellie would be able to take me shopping?" Rose replied.

"One thing at a time eh?" he suggested.  "Let me take you to my place first, then go out later?"

"If ya think that's best?" Rose agreed, thinking she may be pushing things a bit.

Alec went off to get his car, then he decided he may as well have brought it with him that morning and got a uniformed officer to drop him near home as he was leaving.  Ellie had noticed him leaving and caught up with him before he left.

"Is Rose out so soon?" she asked as he pressed the lift button.

"She just called.  I'll drop her at home then come back and tidy up.  I don't think she should be left too long on her own."

"Be careful Sir, don't let her get too attached to you," she warned him.

"What does that mean Miller?  You can come round later and take her shopping, if you don't trust me," he suggested.

"Well since you're down that way, why don't you take her?" Ellie replied.

"Fine," he answered as he got in the lift.

He was on his way to the hospital, wondering if he was doing the right thing by offering Rose a place to stay.  Had she been flirting with him earlier?  Unless someone claimed to know her in the next few days, he was going to find out.

Chapter 3

Rose was getting dressed, hoping Ellie would come down as well so she could go shopping.  She was surprised when Alec arrived on his own.

"DS Miller said I was capable of taking you shopping," he explained on the way out.

"Don't worry, I'll just get what I need," Rose promised as he opened the passenger door for her, since he'd parked in the 'official vehicles' spaces.

He drove off to the supermarket then left her in the ladies department while he went to get a few groceries.  She was waiting for him when he'd finished.

"Aren't ya getting a turkey?" she wondered.

"Oh, did I not say?  We were invited to DS Miller's house for Christmas dinner."

"Oh.  I was probably still out of it," Rose smiled as they waited at the checkout.  "Are you going back to work?"

"After I settle you, just for a while," he admitted.  "No-one will bother you, I live on the side of the cliff."

"What?" Rose spluttered with laughter.  "Sorry.  What made ya move there then?"

"It seemed a good idea," he replied as he put things on the conveyor belt.  "I used to live at the side of the river."

"That would have been nice," Rose smiled.

"If you like water.  I don't," he told her.  "Sure you got enough?" he asked as she piled her purchases behind the groceries.

They put everything in the car and headed back to Broadchurch, Rose having to believe him about where he lived when they stopped at the bottom of some steps.  She got out of the car and got the bags with her clothes in and Alec got the groceries.

"After you," he offered.

They got inside and he took a key off his keyring.

"Take this for now," he offered.  "If I had known, I would have got my daughter to leave her key.  This is for the patio door, in case you want to go out."

"I think I've had enough for now," Rose admitted.

"Well you can go outside if that's all you want?" he replied.  "Hungry?" he then asked as he got two ready-made sandwiches out of the bag.

After they had eaten, Alec showed her Daisy's room and pointed out the spare bed.

"Thanks for letting me stay Alec, I think I'd have gone crazy staying in hospital."

"It's no problem Rose, I'm sure my daughter wouldn't mind you sharing.  Have you remembered anything else?" he asked her.

"No, sorry.  I wish I could, my family could be going all over the place looking for me," she told him.  "I heard what DS Miller said."

"Yes, I apologise for that," he replied.  "I'm sure she never meant to upset you?"

"Well at least I'm out of hospital," Rose smiled.  "How does my forehead look?"

She went towards the mirror on the wardrobe and pulled her hair back.

"It looks better," Alec tried to assure her.  "Try to remember how you got it?"

"I wish I could.  So, two days until Christmas Eve?"

"Yes, both the chief and DS Miller finish tomorrow.  So, you are stuck with me," he tried to joke.

"Aw, you're not that bad, are ya?" Rose laughed.  "Anyway, ya said we were invited out.  What about Christmas Eve.  Were ya planning on going out?"

"We can go out, if you want?" he offered.  "There is a choice of pubs around the harbour."

"Thanks.  I am causing trouble, aren't I?" she realised.

"Don't think that Rose.  It is not your fault you ended up here," he assured her, putting his hand on her shoulder.  "You could have ended up anywhere.  You could be alone right now.  If you'd been taken to hospital some place else, the police could have left you there."

"Yeah, sorry.  I think I'll a lie down, thanks," Rose decided.

"I will be back in a few hours, I have to re-arrange some things over the holidays now you are here and do not say anything," he almost smiled.  "Some of the junior officers can take more responsibility."

As Alec left Rose in the bedroom so she put her new clothes away in the spare wardrobe, she thought maybe she'd overdone it by going shopping since her head hurt.  Alec went off and Ellie followed him into his office.

"How's Rose?" she asked him.

"She was going to have a rest for a few hours.  She still can't remember what happened.  Think Miller, has anything like that happened here before?"

"You mean someone appearing from nowhere?" she wanted to know.

"Exactly.  We could be right, it could have something to do with Torchwood but how do we find out?" he asked her.

"Ring them up and ask if someone's missing?" Ellie suggested.

Alec gave her one of his looks.

"Well do you have a better idea?" she replied.

"They are not likely to admit it, even to the police," Alec told her.

"Well what do we do?  Wait for them to ask us?" Ellie asked sarcastically.

"Let's wait and see if she remembers anything," Alec suggested.  "I told her we were invited to your place on Christmas Day.  You had better give me a time."

Ellie agreed, saying any time after two but the place might be in chaos.

"I'm sure Rose won't mind," Alec told her.  "I said I would take her out for a while on Christmas Eve."

"Wow, you going out," Ellie mocked him. "Done all your shopping?"

"There is still time if anything is needed," he replied.

"You should get a present for her, make her feel welcome," Ellie reminded him.  "Chocolates or something."

"Right.  You had better know that I intend making some of the junior staff do their fair share over the holidays."

"I wouldn't have expected any less," Ellie told him.

When he got back, Rose surprised him by putting her arms around him and kissing his cheek.

"Hi, glad you're back," she greeted him.  "Geez, it's quiet up here, don't the birds make a noise?"

"In the mornings, for a while," he told her, glad she had let go.  "Have you been alright?"

"Yeah, I feel a bit better now but I had this strange dream.  I could see these silver shapes but I couldn't make out what they were supposed to be.  Bit weird."

Alec led her over to the sofa and sat beside her.

"Rose.  Try to remember something else about it.  Silver shapes?  Did they look like people?" he wanted to know.

Rose was about to get up and run off to the room she'd been given but he stopped her.

"Rose, they weren't just shapes, were they?  You remembered something from your past."

"Can't ya stop being a detective?" she asked him, leaning back against the cushion.

"I'm sorry but it could be important Rose.  A few years ago, the planet was almost taken over by a race called the Cybermen.  A man called Lumic invented them, as a way of preserving himself, then he had the idea to extended that to the population, to convert everyone."

"Geez, did someone try to stop him?" Rose asked.  "Sorry, well we're all still Human so I guess they did?"

"Some say it was just a small group of freedom fighters," Alec replied, making allowances for her.  "They invaded so easily due to Lumic inventing some earpods, as a way of controlling what people saw and heard.  Once people were rounded up to be converted, it was easy for them to amass an army."

"So people just walked in to be converted?" Rose asked him.

"It's said that this group got in and broke the hold over people and were able to escape.  The Cybermen were then rounded up and locked in the factory they were using but slowly, they began to escape.  Enough of that for now Rose.  If you saw them in your dreams, you may be starting to remember."

"Not just about that I hope?" Rose managed to smile.  "Why would someone invent something like that?"

"I told you, he just got carried away with things.  He had some good inventions but no-one could have guessed his motives behind it.  He was buying up big companies and no-one objected, he even bought Vitex, the health drink company.  When he was killed, some say by his own Cybermen, everyone got their companies back," Alec explained.

Rose studied his face, he was beginning to look a little familiar.

"Ya said they escaped though Alec.  Where did they go?" Rose asked him.

"They disappeared, by means of an organisation called Torchwood.  It's thought they all went to some other world though it's never been confirmed.  Peter Tyler, who is the head of Vitex took over the running of it when it fell apart and was abandoned.  Since then, no-one asks any questions, everyone is glad they are gone."

"What about where they went Alec?  Did no-one think of that?" Rose wanted to know.

"Rose, don't worry about it eh?  There is no proof where they went, they could have just disappeared into space.  Those freedom fighters saved a lot of lives the night when they infiltrated that factory."

"Sounds like they did then?" Rose agreed.  "Sorry I brought it up."

"Don't be sorry Rose," Alec assured her.  "How about we go out and get something to eat?  Unless you want to make something?"

They walked down the steps and to the pub in the corner by the sea-scout hut which had been newly-painted and a new leader appointed.  Alec was surprised she knew what she wanted to drink and thought her memory loss was most strange and meant to call the hospital to check up when she would get her full memory back.

It seemed to him that if she could remember the Cybermen, her loss was only short term and that maybe in some way she had been involved with the incident either at the factory or Torchwood itself but the organization had been nothing like in recent years.  Pete Tyler had changed it mostly for the better but it still had its secrets, like secret projects and the way he kept his new family out of the newspapers.

He looked across at Rose and thought it a shame he couldn't find out a bit more about her.  She smiled across at him as she finished her dessert and hinted she wanted another drink.

"More white wine and lemonade?" he smiled back, remembering his fateful blind-date via the dating app.

"Actually, some coffee would be nice," Rose decided.  "Have ya been here before then?"

"Ah, no," he admitted.  "Maybe I should have done?"

"Well it's right on your doorstep," she pointed out with a mischievous smile.

"Yes but not ideal for having too much to drink with all those steps," he replied as he got the attention of the waitress.

They finished their drinks and since Rose was feeling tired, they got up but Rose wasn't quite ready to go back.

"Can we go for a walk?"  she asked him.

"Rose, it's cold out there, you only have a thin jacket," he reminded her.  "Why were you only wearing that?"

"Maybe it was a bit warmer when I set off to wherever I was going?" she suggested as they stood in the doorway and she fastened the zip right up.  "Sorry.  Maybe we should go back then?"

"Rose, it's fine, I understand this is difficult for you," he assured her again.  "It will keep happening.  I will make an extra effort tomorrow to see if anyone is missing you, I promise."

"Thanks Alec," Rose replied, putting her arm in his, Alec thinking it was because her hands were cold.  "When we were talking earlier, about what those Cybermen were, well ya gave me a funny look, like ya thought I knew something."

"Did I?  I never noticed," he replied.  "That is just it though Rose, do you know something?  I do think there is more to it and somehow involves Torchwood."

Rose stopped at the bottom of the steps.

"You think I belong to it?" she asked him, trying to keep her hands warm.

He noticed and took hold of them.

"There is a possibility, when you think about it," he told her.  "Miller and I were discussing it earlier.  It would explain a lot.  What if you were part of it and it was part of their secrets?  They still keep some aspects away from even the police."

"You're scaring me Alec," Rose replied.  "Can we go inside or won't ya help me if it turns out you're right?"

"Don't think that Rose," he urged her as she took one hand away from his.  "I promise I will still help you but we have to get to the truth."

"So ya can get rid of me," Rose told him.

"That is not the reason," he assured her.  "Come on, let's get you inside before your hands get any colder."

He let her go first, Rose wondering what he'd have to say when they got inside.  Had she said something wrong?  Once she had warmed up, she tried to excuse herself but he kept her talking.

"I was not implying there was anything wrong, if you were working for Torchwood," he reassured her.  "You may have just been doing a job.  I don't know a lot about them but I will find out, especially about their involvement with the Cybermen," he promised her.

"Geez, I think I'd rather forget about them," Rose tried to joke.

"So would everyone, believe me," he replied.  "A lot of people died but a lot were also saved.  They were stopped because they were controlling the earpods everyone wore and transmission was broken, making everyone realise what they were doing walking into the factory to be converted."

"It sounds like something out of a horror film," Rose told him.

"There was a rumour that it all started at a party Pete Tyler was hosting for his then wife.  Some say the president was killed when Lumic was refused permission to begin his program of transferring people's memories into his Cybermen when they were dying, a way of living on," Alec explained the best he could.  "Then he went completely mad and set the ones he had already created on the people at the party."

"Why did so many even get made, if he'd not got permission?" Rose wanted to know.

"It was said he rounded up the homeless, those who would not be missed and converted them," he admitted.  "That was what the police were told anyway.  There was an enquiry afterwards into how he did it so easily but he was gone, thought to have been killed when he was turned on.  No-one admitted anything to the contrary."

Rose was trying to take it all in.  Had she really been a part of it and that was why she'd thought about those Cybermen?

"I'm sorry if I upset you Rose but you wanted to know," he apologised, touching her shoulder.  "If you had been involved, you must have been very young."

"That doesn't make me feel any better Alec," she replied.  "I don't know if I want to hear any more, if ya find out."

"I can understand how you feel like that," he agreed.  "I will make some enquiries tomorrow, though I won't contact Torchwood just yet."

"Ya said I might not be missed yet," Rose reminded him.  "Did ya mean by my family or by Torchwood?"

Alec thought she had a point.  Wouldn't her family be missing her by now, even if Torchwood was involved somehow and they didn't know she was?  Things were beginning to add up but he didn't want to say anything until he was sure that they were one of the same.  Rose was one of the Tyler family, she had to be.  That was the only explanation.

"Want some tea before you go to bed?" he asked, wanting to change the subject.

"Thanks, yeah.  What do you really think about it Alec?" she asked him.

"That we should leave it until I get some answers," he smiled, going into the kitchen.

Rose had to let it go, she was tired and even more confused.  Why hadn't her family been looking for her unless they didn't realise she was actually missing?

Earlier that day at Torchwood, Jake was going through the readings from the dimension cannon while Rose was gone.

"Are there any signs she's got there?" Pete asked him.

"Not yet but ya know how it can go?" Jake replied.  "What with the time differences."

"That's what Rose and Mickey were going on about," Pete laughed.

"I swear those two are gonna swing for each other one of these days," Jake also laughed.

"Well I don't know what's got into them both either," Pete admitted.  "Maybe it's because she's so near to finding The Doctor and Mickey's still jealous?"

"Yeah, that has to be it," Jake agreed.  "Rose knows it gets to him but it won't stop her.  So is Tony getting all excited then?"

"Yeah, he's driving Jackie mad wanting to put the big tree up in the hallway but she won't do it until Christmas Eve," Pete told him.  "She wants to be sure Rose will be back."

"Well allowing for a difference in time, it could be a couple of days for us, ya know it's never exact.  I reckon if she's in the right place it will be slower for her.  I hope she finds him Pete."

"So do I Jake, then she can get on with things, maybe meet someone who'll take her mind off him?" Pete replied.

"Like that detective down in that seaside town," Jake laughed.  "She still keeps trying to ignore him when he's in the news."

"Well maybe she'll give in one of these days?" Pete wondered.  "Well, I'll leave you to it and call Jackie and say there's no news yet.  I don't think she'll ever get used to the fact her daughter still can't stop time-travelling."

"Yeah, she maybe thought it was all over with when they came here," Jake told Pete.

"Well it's still a mystery how that cannon started working again all of a sudden," Pete reminded him.  "If I didn't know better, I would swear The Doctor had something to do with it."

"I bet Rose thinks that as well," Jake agreed, looking at the screen and seeing a spike in the readings.  "Come and look at this Pete."

After several technicians looked at the data, they all came to the same conclusion that something had happened during transmission and only just been picked up.  What it was, they were still debating when Pete went to his office and called Jackie.

"What ya mean there was a spike?" Jackie wasn't sounding happy, since Tony was asking where Rose was and he wanted to go to the shopping mall to see Santa.

"Mum, Rose promised me," Tony was saying and grabbing her arm.

"I know Tony, let me talk to your dad," Jackie was telling him.

"We don't know what it means yet but half a dozen people are working on it.  It's probably a glitch of some kind," he tried to explain.

"Don't make up excuses Pete, just find out where she is," Jackie insisted.  "Why did she have to go off so near to Christmas?"

"Jackie, we've only just got the signs it's the right place and time," Pete replied, not wanting to explain things to her.

He knew she'd never get they had to make adjustments to get someone to the right time.  Then he had a thought and needed to talk to Jake again.

"Jackie, we'll do everything to get Rose back in time," he promised.

"You'd better Pete," Jackie warned him.  "I want her back in time for Christmas."

He went back to the cannon room to find Jake talking to another expert.

"Jake, that spike.  What if Rose got stuck and dropped out of the stream somehow?"

"You are joking?" Jake asked, knowing what it meant.  "She could have fallen out anywhere, in this dimension or the other one or worst still, still be in the void."

"I know what it means Jake, I hate to think about it but we may have to face the fact.  What if she collided with something, in the void and it threw her off course?"

"Pete, nothing's supposed to move as fast as the cannon sends someone," Jake reminded him.  "Ya think it might have been a stray Cyberman or Dalek?"

"I hope not Jake.  If it was, she may have been injured and she got deposited somewhere.  I sincerely hope it was in this dimension, if she's landed in the other one, she may have forgotten what she was doing."

"I hope so too boss," Jake agreed.  "If she loses her memory, she may think she belongs there.  Well I know she belongs there but ya know what I mean?"

"Yes Jake, I know.  It means she may not know what the device she has with her is for and forget to look for The Doctor.  We'll give her a few more days, then either you or Mickey will have to try to recreate what happened and hope you land in the same place to bring her back."

"Then it should be me," Jake volunteered.  "I was responsible for sending her."

"Don't blame yourself Jake, you couldn't have known, no-one could.  She may be okay and just waiting to see if there's any signs of The Doctor.  What we said before, what if he did fix the cannon for us if he was here without us knowing?"

Chapter 4

Jake did blame himself.  What if the readings had been wrong?

"I can't see how he got back Boss," Jake disagreed.  "Not if his ship doesn't work in this world."

"It was just a thought," Pete admitted.  "I'm getting as bad as Rose."

"Stands to reason," Jake laughed.  "I'll see what we can find out, you should maybe go home and prepare Jackie, if Rose isn't back in time for the celebrations."

"Tony wants her to take him to Santa's grotto," Pete told him.  "I doubt he'd let me take him."

He went home to try to get Tony to go with him but he knew the youngster wouldn't want to.  If Rose had known she'd get delayed, she wouldn't have broken her promise to take him.  There was nothing he could do, he had to trust Jake and the experts to get Rose back but if she'd fallen out of the stream, she could be anywhere.

He hoped it hadn't been a stray Dalek or Cyberman floating around that had hit her, she could have some nasty injuries but worst of all, she may not know who she was any more.  He had to face his wife and explain to her, one of the hardest things he'd had to do.

"Ya can't mean that Pete?" she asked him while Tony was off playing.

"I'm sorry Jaks, we have to face the facts.  That spike could have been something bumping into her that knocked her off course," he tried to explain.

"If she loses her memory Pete, what then?" Jackie wanted to know.

"We have to hope she landed in this universe and someone helps her," Pete told her.

"Well we'd best hope it's the police then," Jackie replied.  "Just how far was she anyway?"

"That's what Jake's trying to find out," Pete admitted.  "It's the time differences Jackie, between the two worlds.  The computers work it out, we have to depend on them, none of us can work it out.  Plus it depends when she was knocked off course, if she just dropped out or got sent backwards or forwards."

"It's serious then?" Jackie asked him.  "What are ya gonna do Pete?"

"Calm down love.  We'll try and recreate it and Jake will go after her," Pete assured her, not wanting to say Rose might not know who she is."

"Pete, if she's still here somewhere, why don't ya get onto the chief of police and have them watch out for her?" Jackie suggested.  "Why did she want to stay out of the papers, then anyone would know who she is."

"She had her reasons Jaks," Pete reminded her.  "She never wanted to be famous, that's not her, you should know that."

"Yeah, I know that Pete," Jackie told him.  "Why did that blasted cannon thing have to start working?"

"I know Jackie, we still can't figure out how it did.  I was saying to Jake that I'd swear it had been The Doctor who'd come back and fixed it," Pete laughed.  "The experts say it could have been the time when there were some disturbances, they're divided on that though."

"Well promise me if she's not back on Christmas Eve, that ya get onto your friend.  She could be anywhere and no-one knows who she is," Jackie reminded him.

Pete had already thought of that but his friend wouldn't thank him for a false alarm if Rose suddenly arrived back and every police force in the country was put on alert.  He went to find Tony, to try to explain why Rose wasn't back to take him out.

"I promise I'll take you if she's not back tomorrow," Pete was telling the boy.

"Well okay then Dad but Rose promised," Tony gave in.

"I know but she would be back if she could, it's just she got held up," Pete told him.

Back in Broadchurch, Rose had gone to bed and Alec was about to after disconnecting from his phone he'd been using to try to find out who Rose was.  To him, it was looking more and more likely she would turn out to be Pete Tyler's stepdaughter but there was very little about her new life or her past.

He had got onto the public website of Torchwood and seen her listed as an agent, specializing in alien occurrences including dealing directly with any strays who got themselves stranded here.  She also dealt in alien artefacts with whom she shared responsibility with a fellow agent called Mickey Smith.

He did wonder if that was whom she referred to as 'The Doctor' but there was nothing to indicated the man was anything but a colleague.  He knew the official story of Pete Tyler re-marrying and gaining a stepdaughter after his first wife had been taken when his home was invaded by the Cybermen on the night of a party he was holding for her.

He'd told Rose most of it to help her understand the dream she'd had but there was no point in telling her any more just yet.  He had just got to sleep after thinking how he could help her adjust until someone came forward when he heard her calling out.  He got up and put some joggers on and went into Daisy's room to see her tossing around in the bed, flinging her arms.

"Rose, wake up," he urged her as she shouted something about Daleks, whatever that was.  "Rose, come on."

She sat up, panic on her face that Alec could see in the light from outside.  He put the bedside light on as Rose grabbed hold of him.

"Who the hell am I Alec?" she cried as she clung to him while he tried to sit on the bed.  "Why am I remembering those Cybermen when I can't remember my name?"

"Shush, you're okay," he assured her.  "You had them on your mind from earlier I expect?  You have to try and forget about them and remember something else about your past."

"It's not easy Alec," Rose was still upset.  "You think I'm Pete Tyler's stepdaughter or something, don't ya?"

"Rose, I could be wrong but yes, you could well be," he replied, Rose now holding his arm and he had taken her other hand.  "That would explain why you had no ID on you, if you were working for Torchwood."

"Then can't ya contact them?" she asked him.

"Rose, I can't just ask the director if his stepdaughter's missing," Alec smiled.  "I will make some more enquiries tomorrow, I promise.  Now try and get back to sleep eh?"

"Alec, will ya stay?  I don't wanna be on my own.  Please?"

"Rose, it's not a good idea.  What if you left someone behind?" he tried to get out of it, not that the idea didn't appeal to him – it did.

Going out with her earlier had reminded him of that awkward date he'd had that Daisy had set him up on but Rose was different.  He didn't feel awkward with Rose, he felt protective of her.

"What if I did Alec?  You're the one that's here.  I don't want to be alone, that's all.  Are you involved with someone, Ellie maybe?"

"What?  No, never," he denied.  "We were accused once but it never happened, we just try to get on as best as we can."

"I'm just messin' with ya," Rose smiled, rubbing his arm.  "I noticed earlier and thought ya might have been involved at some point but I believe ya."

"Good.  Come into my room, I have a double bed," he replied, getting up and holding her arm to help her.

Rose was glad she'd chosen some pyjamas rather than a nightdress when she'd been clothes shopping earlier.  She followed him next door Alec pulled the duvet back on the other side.

"Sorry, is this awkward?" she asked as she got in.

"No, it's fine, really.  I just was not expecting any company.  If it makes you feel safer, I understand," he told her.

"When ya got back earlier, ya seemed surprised how I greeted ya," Rose yawned.

"Ah, yes, I was surprised but it was a pleasant one," he assured her as he turned the lamp out, thinking it was safer if he kept the joggers on.

"Alec, if I am Rose Tyler, what then?" she wanted to know.

"Then I'm sure he will want to see for himself but try not to worry about that yet.  Rose, I would call but if he doesn't know for sure you are missing yet, he may just brush me off if I ask to speak to him," Alec warned her.  "Also, even if he does know, he maybe won't want to make it public just yet because of all the crank calls he may get."

"Yeah, I get it Alec but it doesn't make me feel any better.  What if I don't start getting my memory back?  What if I'm not her?"

"Then we keep going to find out who you really are but everything is pointing to the fact that you are," he replied.  "Get some sleep eh?  Come here Rose, I know you feel all alone but you're not.  You have me."

"Thanks Alec, I was lucky it was you and Ellie who found me, I know that.  Can I ask ya something?"

"Sure.  Is it about my daughter objecting to you using her room?" he tried to guess.

"Actually, no.  I was gonna ask if I can have a hug?" she tried not to giggle.

"You may regret asking that," he teased her, trying to put his arm around her and kissing her forehead.

"Thought ya said it wasn't a good idea?" she teased him back.

"I know you need assurance you are not in this alone," he answered her.  "Just do not tell DS Miller."

"She won't get jealous will she?" Rose tried to be serious as she rested on his shoulder.

"Don't," he warned her.

When she didn't answer, he assumed she'd fallen asleep.  He laid awake, wondering what would happen to her if she wasn't who he thought she was.  How could he just abandon her if no-one came forward to claim her?  He decided he'd give it a few more days and see if the Tylers put out some sort of appeal for her.

When he woke up to his alarm, his arm was caught under Rose, who had only moved to claim more of it and he felt her arm around his middle.  He could also feel her hair under his chin and didn't want to disturb her too much as he tried to reach his phone to silence it.

Rose woke with a start, wondering what the noise was and whose arm she was lying on.  She panicked for a second then she heard a Scottish voice telling the alarm to be quiet.  She dared to put her head on his chest as she felt him trying to move his arm.

"Hey, what's wrong?" she asked him.

"Nothing Rose, go back to sleep," he replied as he could only put his arm around her to get some feeling back in it.

"Want me to move?" she yawned.  "Do ya have to go to work?"

"There is no hurry, move in your own time," he told her, beginning to like having someone with him when he woke up who didn't start having a go at him.

He put his other hand on hers as she didn't make any attempt to move.

"Mmm, this is nice, ya don't mind do ya?" she wondered. "You kissed my forehead."

"I know, I was returning the gesture from yesterday," he made the excuse.

"Well I had thought of kissing ya but ya might have objected," she teased him.  "Would ya have?"

"Stop it Rose," he told her.  "I still don't think it is such a good idea."

"Maybe I can change ya mind?" she teased him even more.  "Aw come on Alec, what harm is there?"

He couldn't think of any at present but it was bound to start getting complicated, if she was Rose Tyler and she went home.  Was there any harm in making her feel more welcome while she had no-one else?  He knew his DS would disagree but Rose wasn't staying with Ellie Miller, was she?

Rose looked up at him and smiled, Alec picking some hair out of his mouth.  He gave her a smile and leaned down slightly until he was a fraction away.

"If I were to admit it, then maybe there is no harm in it but what if someone does claim you and you start to remember?" he asked.

Rose pulled back slightly.

"I'd still know who ya were Alec, I wouldn't just forget ya," she told him.

"Well you would go off to your family," he pointed out as Rose propped herself up.

"Maybe not right away," Rose replied.  "I wouldn't just go off ya Alec.  Don't think I only need ya right now, I'll need ya even when someone finds me.  I'll have to take their word for things, I can't just go off with someone I don't know."

"I would not let you Rose, things will have to be established.  I suppose you will be here a while, until you start remembering?" he had to admit.

"Yeah, ya great big 'nana," Rose laughed.

She leaned forward again until their lips met.  The next thing Alec knew, his phone was ringing and he was deprived of Rose kissing him, her arms around his neck as she lay on him and he'd lost his t-shirt.

"Hardy, where are you?" Ellie Miller asked him, sounding annoyed.  "Didn't your alarm go off?  I came in early to get finished and you're usually here already."

"What's the rush Miller?" he asked as he tried to get Rose to stop kissing his now bare chest, not remembering how he'd got like that.

"Well suit yourself then but I'd have thought you'd want to give Rose some time here to go through what happens when she starts remembering?"

"She does not have to come to the station Miller, not until we are sure who she actually is," Alec reminded her as Rose gave him a wicked smile.

"Well you'll have to do that yourself," Ellie told him.  "If I've left when you get here, I'll see you on the day."

"Have I made ya late?" Rose asked as she took his t-shirt from the headboard and put it on while trying to cover herself with the sheet.

"Rose, I am usually early, Miller is just annoyed she'd got there before me.  A bit late to be hiding," he replied as she pulled the t-shirt down.

"Well ya never actually saw me earlier," Rose insisted as she let him up.

"You got a very good view of my chest," he reminded her.  "It works both ways Rose."

"Yeah?  Does that mean it's not a bad idea any more?" she smiled as he got out of bed.

"What do you think?" he told her while raising his eyebrows.

Rose put her arms around his neck and leaned on him.

"I feel much better today.  I might go for a walk later.  Want to meet for lunch?  I mean I've no money for anything."

"Then I will leave you some but there is not much around here, apart from the newsagents and the bakery next door to it.  There is a café just outside the police station, I will meet you there at twelve thirty.  I will also leave you my spare phone, for if you need me."

"Thanks.  You get dressed, I'll make some breakfast," she offered.

He got his things from the dresser and the wardrobe and went off to the bathroom, knowing Rose was disappointed he'd not chosen to get changed in the bedroom.  He had to go easy on her or it would be difficult for both of them to part company.

He went off to work, Rose giving him a proper kiss this time and she put the radio on, wondering if any of the news reports would mention she was missing.  She heard nothing and went down to the newsagents, getting some magazines and a daily newspaper and waited until it was time to meet Alec.  She could see right across the harbour and tried to spot the police station but guessed it was hidden away somewhere but he'd given her directions.

She set off just after twelve, taking the phone with her and the change she'd got earlier.  She'd looked in the newspaper but there was nothing about her in it.  What was stopping anyone, especially this Pete Tyler Alec kept going on about.  Was she part of this organisation he'd talked about?  She just had to wait and see but how would she cope if it was true?

Alec was about to set off to meet Rose when the chief stood in his office doorway.

"What's happening over the young woman who was found?" she wanted to know.

He wished she would just leave it to him.

"I am working on it," he replied.  "I have reason to believe she might be Rose Tyler, stepdaughter of Pete Tyler."

"What makes you think that?" she asked him.  "What proof is there?"

"She had no ID on her, she could be working for Torchwood and lost her memory in some kind of accident," he replied, clearing his desk.

"Then why hasn't she been reported missing?  Surely they would have noticed one of their agents was missing by now?"  he was asked.

"Not if they don't know she's missing," Alec replied.  "If she was sent on some kind of mission, that could explain her memory loss.  There is something else, she seems to remember something about the Cybermen."

"I've not heard anything about them in a long time Alec.  No-one talks about them," he was reminded.

"I know everyone wanted to forget them but if she lost her memory, they could be fresh in her mind," Alec told her.  "I was going to wait until tomorrow and then try and contact Torchwood, see if they would admit that she is missing."

"You should do it now Alec," the chief insisted.  "The sooner she's returned to her family, the better."

"I don't agree.  What if she's not Rose Tyler?  What if they deny she's missing?"

"Then take whoever you need and get them working on a solution Alec," the chief suggested.  "Then contact Torchwood and see if it is her.  If they say no, then it rules them out.  Well you'll be responsible for her until someone does come forward.  Try not to get too involved with her other than being a friend."

She was about to leave when she turned back.

"What are you going to do over the holidays if she's still with you?"

"DS Miller invited us to her house," Alec replied, wanting to go and meet Rose.

"You really should have left her with Ellie," she told him.

"She does not have the room," Alec replied, getting his coat.  "Rose would not get her memory back with a teenager, a young boy and Miller's father around the place.  She needs peace and quiet, which what she will get at my place.  I am saving the police paying for a hotel room for her."  

The chief put her hands up.

"Fine, you're in charge until the 27th, then you can have some time off," she reminded him.  "Try not to upset Torchwood if they come for her."

"I won't let her go with anyone until I am certain they have the right person."

Rose had gone inside the café and ordered a drink and Alec saw her as he passed the window.

"I got held up by the chief," he explained.  "Want something to eat?"

Pete Tyler had gone to work after telling Jackie and Tony he would do all he could to get Rose home safely.  There was no news from Jake when he arrived.

"I want to try going after her Pete," Jake told him before Mickey joined them.

Mickey had been very quiet, which surprised both of them.

"Have they traced that spike?" Pete wanted to know.

"They think so," Jake replied.  "It was definitely a drop out, as they call it and before she crossed over.  Something got in her way but that's not surprising."

"It's never happened before," Mickey interrupted.  "It had to be a Cyberman or a Dalek to cause it." 

"We know that already," Pete told him.  "Jake, can it be recreated, without whatever interrupted her passage?"

"Only one way to find out and that's trying," Jake replied.  "Can ya stop someone when they reach that spike?" he then asked the lead technician.   "Mickey, you follow and get ready for anything floating about in there."

"You are kidding?"  Mickey asked him.

"Do I look like I am?" Jake shouted at him.

"Stop it, both of you," Pete ordered them.  "No-one's going yet, we give her another day.  She could be still in this time for all we know and just not knowing who she is.  Tomorrow I'll contact the chief of police and ask for his help in finding her.  Until then, the cannon is out of bounds unless Rose comes back through it."

Chapter 5

This chapter's a bit long but I wanted to wrap it up!

Pete knew both of them would do anything to get Rose back, even though things were for some reason difficult between Rose and Mickey.

"You can both prepare to go but only as a last resort.  I'm off to compose what I want to say if we have to put out an nationwide press release.  If we get nothing back from the police, then we have to be ready," Pete announced.

"How long are ya giving the police?" Jake asked him.

"Until Christmas morning.  Then I'll notify the press office and have them release a photo of Rose, saying she may have lost her memory and not know who she is so her surname won't be published.  I'll get the police chief to agree that it's a police matter and I'll offer a reward for any information that leads to her safe return."

"Isn't that a bit risky?" Mickey wanted to know.

"No-one will get anything until we get Rose back," Pete assured them.  "She'll need a lot of support if she's lost her memory."

"Yeah, she'll get it but Mickey had better not try and fool her into thinking they still go out together," Jake looked at his friend.

"I wouldn't do that," Mickey complained.  "She'll get help."

Pete shook his head at the two of them.  What was going on between Mickey and Rose and Jake was taking her side?  Had she told him something she'd not even told himself and her mother that had upset Mickey?  He went off to his office to write what he wanted to say, nothing too emotional, just that everyone missed her but without mentioning she was his stepdaughter.

That would do more harm than good but he hoped he wouldn't have to release anything to the media, that she may have already been found by the police.  She could have been anywhere since they realised she was actually missing.  Hopefully, she was in the present time or a few days out, if it was more, it could cause complications.

He picked his phone up and broke the news to Jackie.

"Just send me a recent photo of Rose," he told her after he said he was putting out an appeal for information.

"Well it was your idea she kept out of the papers," Jackie reminded him.

"She wanted it that way Jaks," Pete told her.  "She never wanted to be famous.  We'll get her back but you have to be prepared that it might take a bit longer.  There's something else, I'll tell you when I get home.  Has Tony mentioned seeing Santa again?"

"No, he's upset Rose can't take him," Jackie relied.  "He might let Jake or Mickey take him."

"I'll come home early, there's nothing much I can do here anyway.  I'll call my friend in the police and ask him to send her description to all stations, see if she's been found."

He called the chief of police, who was only too happy to help.

"Of course Pete, you want her home for Christmas," his friend told him.  "Just email me the details and I'll get my secretary to start sending it out to all stations.  Did you say she might have lost her memory?"

"We think she may have done Patrick," Pete admitted.  "There's one other thing.  I'm only allowing her full name to be released to your chiefs.  I don't want any false sightings."

"That's understandable Pete," his friend agreed.  "Given who she is.  So, she went missing on Torchwood business then?"

"That's all I can say," Pete replied.  "I'll attach a recent photo, I'm just waiting for Jackie to send me one.  I'll be grateful for your help."

"Think nothing of it Pete, we'll help you find her.  Are you taking it further if we don't have any luck?"

"I have to, she could be anywhere," Pete replied.  "I know you'll do your best."

Alec had taken Rose back home and he was encouraging her to try to remember something about herself.

"I just can't Alec," Rose told him sadly.  "Guess I'll have to believe anyone who claims to know me then?"

"I promise no-one will take advantage of the situation.  We can go out somewhere tomorrow, if you want?  Down the coast somewhere?  I will give you some money to get something to wear for when we go to DS Miller's house," he offered.

He imagined if she really was Rose Tyler, she would have expensive tastes.

"Yeah, I'd like that Alec, thanks," Rose smiled.

"Weymouth is quite large, you should find some dress shops there," he told her.

"I wish I could get ya a present Alec but I can't really buy one with the money you give me."

"Do not worry about it.  Maybe you can get something for DS Miller's young son and maybe some chocolates for her?" he suggested.

Rose agreed and said she wanted to watch TV and Alec said he should call his daughter.

"Hi Dad, how's things?" Daisy greeted him.  "Missing me already?"

"Yes, I wish you had stayed, I could have done with your help," he replied.

"Oh, what with?" Daisy was curious.  "You've not got yourself a girlfriend have you?" she teased him.

"That depends how you look at it," he admitted.  "We found someone the day before yesterday who was lost and who had no idea who she is.  I could not just abandon her so I invited her to stay here."

"What?" Daisy asked him.  "In my room?"

"Well yes.  She stayed in hospital the first day, she was unconscious when she was found.  They would have maybe kept her there but apart from the memory loss and a few bruises, she was fine.  I could not just leave her to fend for herself."

"Geez Dad, she could be anyone," Daisy told him.

"We think we know who she is but will have yet to confirm it," he admitted.  "Don't worry about it, if I am right and don't tell your mother," he laughed.

"Okay, I'll try not to, you can explain it to her," Daisy laughed back.  "Will she still be there when I get back?"

"I don't know.  If someone comes forward saying they are her family, I will have to be certain before I let her go.  So, call me on the day then?"

"Yeah, I will Dad.  Sure you're okay?"

"Yes, I'm fine.  I think you would like Rose.  She only lost her memory of recent events and her name, she knows everything else," he replied.

"So, you've made friends with her?" Daisy wanted to tease him even more.  "You said she wasn't your girlfriend.

"She's not but she had no-one else Daisy, she needs a friend," he replied.  "I took her out for a while last night and we had been shopping after she got out of hospital, she needed something else to wear.  We are going to DS Miller's house for Christmas dinner as well."

"Wow Dad, that's the most you've done since I went to live with you," Daisy replied.  "She sounds like a girlfriend to me then."

"I don't need you teasing me," Alec told her.  "She may be gone at any time, if someone finds her."

"You'll have to let her go Dad," Daisy reminded him.  "Let me know what happens."

Alec agreed and went back to join Rose, who was watching an afternoon movie of the disaster kind.

"Interesting?" he asked as he sat beside her.  "Want a drink?"

Rose nodded and leaned over to kiss his cheek.

"Yeah, it's good," she told him as the adverts came on.  "Is your daughter okay?"

"She is fine and I told her you were staying in her room.  She teased me that you were my girlfriend."

Rose started to laugh.

"Well, everyone's gonna think that, if we keep going out."

"Well, I guess I will just have to admit it then?" he decided.

Was there really any harm in it for a few days, as long as it didn't get serious?  He could keep in touch with her if she went home or maybe she'd choose to stay until she got her memory back?  He offered to take her out again later but Rose insisted they stayed in.

Pete had got home and told Jackie that he had set things in motion to try and find her daughter.

"I hope she's already been found Pete," Jackie told him.  "If word goes out tomorrow, we should get to know something.  Tony really misses her."

"I know he does.  I don't have to go in for long tomorrow, I will take him to see Santa.  Best not say anything about Rose until we know for certain."

"Will we have her back in time?" Jackie wanted to know.

"Let's hope so Jackie.  Where's Tony?"

When Rose started feeling tired, Alec gave her the choice of going back in Daisy's room or his.  When she said his, he gave her time to get changed so she was waiting when he got there.

"We should keep to what we were doing this morning," he reminded her.  "Let's see how things go?"

When Rose fell asleep on him, he had his arm around her and she had wanted him to keep his t-shirt off.  He was hoping when she went shopping again that she would get a nightdress.  The next morning, they fooled around for a while and Rose wanted to up the stakes.

"Oh, you want me to change my shorts in here?" he teased her as he nipped at where her pyjama top buttons were undone.

Rose giggled and nodded, her arms around his neck.  If it made her happy, he thought why not as he got out of bed and went to the drawer.  He took his time, knowing she was watching from where she was propped up on the pillow by her elbows.

"Enjoying yourself?" he asked as he went for a clean shirt.

"Um, yeah.  I should get dressed," she managed to say.

"Hold on there, now it is my turn," he replied.

"I'm too shy," she insisted.

"I don't think so Rose," Alec smiled as he saw she was watching him fasten his shirt buttons.  "I will let you off, just this once but you can start tomorrow morning."

"So, ya think I'll still be here tomorrow then?" she sounded worried.

"Rose, if someone comes for you today, will you want to go with them if you don't know them?" he asked her.

Rose shook her head.

"I suppose not?  I mean someone will be missing me by now but I still won't know them."

"Exactly," he agreed as he put his hands on her shoulders then pulled her close.

He kissed her forehead then leaned down to kiss her properly.  He was growing fond of her and may not be able to let her go.

She put her arms around him and looked up at him.

"I might not want to go with them Alec."

"Then I will not let anyone take you away if you do not want to go," he promised.  "You get dressed here, I will be in the bathroom."

He took the rest of his things and left her to get ready.  She wondered how she could have been so lucky to meet someone like Alec, he had been the perfect gentleman up until now.  She was going to have trouble leaving.  After breakfast, Alec promised he'd be back soon and they would go down to Weymouth.  Since neither the chief or Ellie were there, he soon got through any new missing persons reports that had come in but there was nothing that matched Rose's description.

He called Rose to tell her to be ready and they would set off and ten minutes after he left, he received an email.  He usually got them sent to his phone and he heard the tone but since he was driving, he left it.  They arrived in Weymouth and parked by the railway station, near to the shopping area.

"Want some time on your own?" Alec asked her.

He gave her some money and they agreed they'd meet in the coffee shop in an hour.

"Maybe get yourself something nice to wear in bed?" he suggested before Rose went off.

He decided he would go into a menswear store and see if he could get some proper sleep shorts, then remembered he'd got an email earlier and that he should read it, just in case it was about Rose.  So getting what he needed and a present for Rose, he headed for the coffee shop to wait for her.

He got his phone out and brought up the email app and went to the most recent one named 'Important information'.

There staring at him was a photo of Rose with the heading 'Be on the lookout for this missing person – Rose Tyler'.

Pete's friend had decided most senior detectives should be given Rose's name but have instructions not to pass it on to junior officers.  There was a description of her and it stated she may have no recollection of who she was.  It also said to approach her with caution if she was confused and to get her to the safety of the nearest police station and report directly to Pete Tyler.

So that's what the director of Torchwood suspected – that something had gone wrong with one of their experiments.  They were very secrecy minded when it came to what even the police should know but he intended asking some questions as to why poor Rose and been deposited on the beach with no memories.

He thought he should tell her before he rang anyone.  He couldn't just ring the number and say he may have found the man's stepdaughter.  Pete Tyler would ask a load of questions but Rose probably couldn't answer them at present.  She joined him in the coffee shop and he went to get her a drink.  Then he was trying to see what she had bought in the way of nightwear.

"Ah-ah, no peeking," Rose smiled and tapped his hand, making him smile as well.

"I take it that it's something interesting then?" he asked her.

"I might let ya find out tonight," Rose teased him.

"I most certainly hope so," he teased her back.  "After all, I have money invested in it."

That was the problem, he supposed?  She was fully dependant on him at present.  He did still wonder what the card was that she'd had on her, was it a Torchwood invention for getting funds or just for making a phone call?  How was he going to break the news to her?

He reached over the table and took her hand.

"We need to talk Rose, I have something to tell you."

"Oh.  Ya mean someone contacted the police about me?" she wondered.

He could hardly deny it.

"Yes Rose, I got an email about you, from the chief of police," he admitted.  "It has not been made public yet that you are missing, I expect Pete Tyler wanted to keep it quiet for now."

"I hope so, I don't want everyone pointing to me all the time," Rose was worried.

"They won't do that, they will give the police time to find you.  Well, let's go home and give Pete Tyler a call?" Alec replied.

"Do ya have to?" Rose was still worried.  "If you call, he'll want me to go to wherever he is and ya said it's Christmas day tomorrow.  Leave it for now, please Alec?"

"Rose, I am obliged to tell him love," he insisted.  "I can say I suspect it's you and for him to come down here, the day after tomorrow.  He will need to judge for himself, he can't do that over the phone or a video call.  He will want to ask questions."

"Well he'll be out of luck on that score," Rose replied.  "What can I tell him?"

"There may be one thing or two but we will save them until we meet him.  You are not in this alone Rose, I promise."

"Ya mean the card I had in my pocket?" Rose asked.  "Oh and the Doctor I mentioned though I don't know much, just that I travelled with him.  The rest is gone, sorry.  Do ya think he'll know who it is?"

"He may do but don’t mention either of them until we are sure," Alec warned her.

They got back to Broadchurch and Alec retrieved the special number given in the email.  Jake had set it up and was seeing to it personally.  Pete's friend had called him that morning after forwarding a copy of the email to him.

"Thanks for your help," Pete had told the chief.  "I hope it does some good."

"If she's somewhere in the country, every officer will be on the lookout for her Pete," the chief assured him.

"That's just it, we're not sure she is," Pete had to admit.  "We'll try this then go public after the holidays, I don't want to upset my wife tomorrow, things will be bad enough.  I don't want any false sightings."

"Yes, well I was glad to help and I hope if your stepdaughter has been wandering around that she's noticed by someone," his friend told him.

Pete just hoped that Rose was in this dimension, let alone in the country.  She could even be in the past or the future, which could be tricky, she could turn up tomorrow out of the blue somewhere or if she realised she was in the past, she'd stay out of the way until her future self had gone off but she would have appeared by now, not that he understood how things worked.

That was if she knew who she was and how she'd got where she was.  If she didn't, then it was down to his plan.  Jake had promised the phone number would be answered any time of the day or night until Rose was found.  He was about to take Tony to the mall when Jake called.

"Everything's set up boss," he told Pete.  "Let's hope someone's seen her in the last few days."

They had just finished talking when Pete got another call.

"Director, I have a DI Alec Hardy on the special phone number.  He said he may have seen Miss Tyler."

"Then put him through," Pete told the operator.

He'd heard that name before, the man had been in the media several times and Rose had tried to ignore him or she'd have been on her way to find out if he was The Doctor hiding himself.

"DI Hardy, you have some news for me?" Pete asked him.

"Sir, I have reason to believe your stepdaughter is here in Broadchurch.  She was found on the beach with no memories of who she was."

Alec went on the explain that Rose was confused and injured when she was found and gradually, he had wondered if she was indeed Rose Tyler and had been working for Torchwood.

"So is she with you now?" Pete dared hope.

"She is but at present, we can't say for sure when she will get her memory back.  Maybe we should do a video call?" Alec suggested.

Rose was shaking her head so he covered his phone.

"Best to get it out of the way Rose," he encouraged her.

"Well okay then, if ya think so?" Rose had to agree.

"I will contact you on a secure video call," Pete told him.  

Pete called Jake to set up the call and Jake sent the link to Alec to join them.  While Alec waited, he tried to assure Rose she'd be okay.

"Don't worry, everything will be fine," he told her.

"Will you talk to him?" Rose asked him.

"He will want to talk to you," Alec reminded her.

"What do you reckon Boss?" Jake had asked Pete.

"Let's hope it's not someone who's fooled the detective into thinking it's Rose," Pete replied.  "I didn't expect to get a response so soon.  Whoever's with him, if it's not Rose would have to have known she was missing so it narrows it down somewhat."

"Pete, no-one does know so if someone's tryin' to fool him, they're risking it a bit," Jake told him.  "They've got nothin' to gain."

Pete supposed Jake was right.  No-one did know she was missing, she could have been delayed due to the time differences but it was looking like they were right at first, that she'd been knocked out of the stream by something.  He bet it was a stray Cyberman or Dalek and thank goodness they'd not fallen out with her, the whole world would be in danger because it would only take one Dalek to over-run the planet.

He knew Rose had been terrified of them at one point.  Alec had joined the video conference and Pete had introduced Jake to him.

"So, what happened to her?" Alec was wanting to know.  "She was found on the beach by a couple walking their dog.  They claimed she just appeared so I figured it had something to do with Torchwood."

"Yet you didn't contact us right away?" Pete challenged him.

"I was sceptical, since little is known about your stepdaughter Mister Tyler," Alec replied.

"For a good reason, detective inspector," Pete told him, making Jake smile they were challenging each other and very few people challenged Pete Tyler, especially about his stepdaughter.

"Well she was unconscious when she was found and quite badly bruised, like she had collided with something," Alec admitted.  "To just appear like that and being injured raised suspicions.  When she came round in the hospital, she had no memory of how she had arrived on the beach."

"I see then?  So she had no memory of who she was?" Pete wanted to make sure.

"No, other than her name was Rose," Alec told him.  "She did have a strange credit card or similar on her."

"Inspector, can you describe what she was wearing when she was found?" Pete then asked, remembering well what Rose had set off in.

"A blue leather jacket, black trousers and a purple top," Alec recalled, getting a smile from Rose.  "She is being looked after, I can assure you.  Myself and my DS worked out who she could be but we thought it best to wait until Torchwood or yourself made some kind of appeal about her, in case it was denied she was missing."

"Well, we weren't sure she was missing right away.  I will have to come down to where you are to discuss it further," Pete told him.  "It involves how she could have appeared as she did, it's best I talk to you both in person.  Unless you want to bring her up here?" he suggested.

"I think that will be a bit much for her," Alec told him.  "Besides, if things go wrong, both Rose and your wife are going to be disappointed."

"Yes, I expect so and we should be cautious?" Pete had to agree.  "Will she speak to me?" he asked hopefully.

"Rose?" Alec turned to her, moving his phone slightly.

Rose nodded and did a little wave to Pete.

"Rose, it's good to see you sweetheart," he told her, not wanting to overdo it.  "How are you feeling now?"

"A bit sore and my head still hurts," she admitted.  "So, you know who I am?"

"Oh yes Rose, I certainly do," Pete smiled.  "Your mother and brother both miss you.  Tony's waiting for me to take him to the mall to see Santa.  He was wanting you to take him."

"Sorry.  I guess if I'd been there he would have gone before now?" Rose asked.

"Never mind that now.  I'll come down there, the day after tomorrow then?" Pete suggested.  "Where should we meet?"

"It's very quiet down here," Alec told him.  "If you follow the road to the harbour, just use one of the car parks and call me and I will direct you to where we are.  Rose is staying with me for now, my DS would have offered but she already has a house full."

"If she wants to move into a hotel, I'll make sure it's paid for," Pete offered.

"I'd rather stay with Alec," Rose spoke up.

"Well, I'll bring your bank cards and driving licence with me and get your mother to pack some clothes for you and anything else she thinks you may need," Pete replied.  "You've no idea how relieved I am you're safe.  I'll go tell your mother but I'll put her off calling you for now, she'll have a lot of questions."

"I don't want Rose upsetting if she can't answer them," Alec told him.

"I understand," Pete assured him.  "Rose, Jake wants to speak to you, he's one of your friends."

"Yeah, okay then," Rose agreed.  "Did I know someone called The Doctor?"

Alec wished she'd not asked that just yet but it was too late.

"Yes but it was a long time ago.  You remember him?" Pete asked.

"Just that I travelled with him, nothing else," Rose replied, taking Alec's hand.  "Where is he?"

"Don't worry about that for now, I'll tell you when I get there," Pete promised.

"He's right," Alec agreed.  "Say hello to your friend."

"Hiya Rose, how are ya?" Jake joined in.  "Ya don't remember me or Mickey?"

"Sorry, no," Rose told him.  "I'm sure I'll start remembering soon though?"

"Yeah, we have some catching up to do," Jake laughed.  "If ya not coming home, what are ya doin' for Christmas then?"

"Staying with Alec.  We're off to his DS's house.  Are you coming down as well?" Rose wanted to know.

"It's best just your stepfather comes down," Alec told her.  "If all goes well, I will take you up there for the new year."

He arranged a time with Pete for meeting and Pete went off to tell Jackie, who gasped when he told her he'd just been talking to Rose.

"She's fine Jaks, she's being looked after by a police detective," Pete assured her.  "The only problem is she doesn't remember anything."

"I don't care Pete, I just want to talk to her.  That's all I wanted for Christmas, to have her back."

"I know but if she doesn't remember us, she's best staying where she is.  There's no point in upsetting her or you and Tony.  It'll just make things difficult.  Where's Tony, I've still got time to take him to the grotto."

Rose was still trying to come to terms that she had a family who had missed her.  Pete had said he'd bring everything with him that she needed and had offered to bring her car but Alec had said there was no need for it.  It left Pete wondering just how much the detective was taking care of her.

When Alec took Rose out later, she was still quiet.  He hoped she'd come round when she saw her stepfather but he was hoping she wouldn't leave suddenly.  When they went to bed, he gave her time to get changed again but she surprised him by sitting up in bed, waiting for him.

"So, do ya like it?" she pointed to the red silky nightdress.

"It's very nice Rose," he admired it as he pulled back the duvet.

"Alec, I'm not just gonna go off when my stepfather gets here," she promised.  "I want to stay with you."

"If he insists, I can't stop you Rose," he replied.  "It has been really nice having you staying here, when I thought I would be on my own."

"I can make my own mind up Alec," Rose insisted.  "He can't make me go back with him."

"He may make you feel guilty not seeing your mother," Alec told her.

"Alec, I want to know more, before I go back there, like who The Doctor was," Rose admitted.

"Well, it will have to wait, he did not want to say," Alec reminded her.  "Your friend must have been important to you."

"Alec, ya not jealous are ya?" Rose smiled.

"It's obvious he means a lot to you," Alec insisted.

"Ya are jealous.  If they didn't want to talk to him, maybe he's gone off and left me here?" Rose wondered.  "We might have only been friends anyway.  Alec, right now, I'm here with you and this morning was nice.  Can we go for more of that?  I'd really like to."

Alec supposed he should take advantage if she was going to stay when she got back to London.  After more the next morning, they got ready to go out and arrived at Ellie's house, where Ellie was far from ready to have visitors.  Her dad was supposed to be keeping Fred occupied but the young boy was getting in her way.  She was glad when Rose and Alec arrived as Rose took pity on her and offered to help.

Alec had taken Fred in the other room and was reading to him, the TV on in the background as Ellie's dad insisted on staying.

"So, is she your girlfriend then?" Alec was asked.

"At present," Alec admitted.  "I don't know how long she's staying here."

"Well don't let her leave then," Ellie's dad advised him.  "Get her to stay, no point in just letting her leave, when you'll regret it."

Alec thought for once, he might just take the advice given to him.  Rose took to Fred, making a fuss over him but when Alec won a pink paper hat in a Christmas cracker and offered it to her, she just stared at it.

"Aren't you going to wear it?" Ellie asked her.

"Rose, are you okay?" Alec was worried.  "She just found out who she is.  Are you starting to remember something?"

"I had one before Alec, one Christmas.  Someone else gave me one."

"The friend you lost?" Alec wondered.

He wondered if she would ever forget.  They left just after four and Alec took her for a walk on the harbour pier, which was lit up with white string lights.

"You are always going to remember him Rose," Alec told her.

"He must be gone Alec, or my stepfather would have said," Rose replied.  "I'm here now, with you and I want to stay, if ya want?"

"Yes Rose, I want you to stay but you have to go back next week, to see your mother, she will have been worried about you," Alec insisted.

"I can do that.  Can we go inside now, it's cold," Rose smiled at him.  "Tonight, I don't just want to fool around."

"Neither do I Rose but what about when you get your memory back?"

"I'll still want to stay with you Alec.  If I remember who I was before whatever happened to me, then I won't be any different, if that's what ya think?" she asked him.  "Oh, it's about how I was found?  You might not like what my stepfather tells ya about it and who The Doctor was?"

"It crossed my mind Rose.  It had to be some kind of secret project you were on.  I'll listen to what he has to say but if he says you were time travelling or something, I may have to think about it."

"What makes ya think that?" Rose laughed.       

"You said you were travelling, with this Doctor," he reminded her.  "The one thing you could remember.  I did not think you meant by car or any other form of transport.  Maybe Torchwood was experimenting?"   

"I was part of it?" Rose asked.  "So, I was on my way somewhere and something went wrong?"

"That would explain things.  Maybe you were trying to get to your friend?"

"What was I involved in?" she asked as she let him put his arm around her.

Much later, Alec had his arm around her and she was leaning on him as they lay together in bed.  He kissed her forehead and Rose put her arm across him.

"Whatever your stepfather has to say tomorrow, then I will still care about you.  I don't want you to leave Rose."

"I don't want to leave Alec, I'll have to get used to my family again.  See what he has to say when he gets here."

Pete set off early the next morning.  Christmas lunch had been awkward, he knew Jackie was missing Rose and he'd tried to make up for it.  Jackie had also found a pink paper hat that had brought back memories.

"Do ya think Rose is enjoying herself?" Jackie had asked as Tony played with a puzzle he'd got.

"I think she'll have been okay, have you got everything ready for her?"

"Yeah and just tell her I miss her Pete," Jackie had replied.

Alec gave him directions once he got to Broadchurch and Pete could see why Rose liked it.

"I'll get straight to the point," Pete began.  "Rose was a Torchwood agent and we were using a device that sends a person at great speed into another dimension or another world.  She must have hit something when she was crossing what's called 'The Void' and she fell through, landing on the beach."

"We guessed something like that," Alec admitted.  "Why was she using it?  Was it to find her friend?"

"Yes.  He's on a parallel Earth, he stayed there when the Cybermen left," Pete replied.

"I dreamt of these silver creatures," Rose told Pete.

"That's what they are Rose.  Cybermen and we all fought hard to get rid of them.  You played a big part in it.  You were on your way to find your friend, we got lucky and the way was open," Pete explained.  "We closed everything down except the signal you were ready to come back.  There had been a spike, we were trying to guess where you were."

"Is that where the Cybermen are, in that void?" Alec wanted to know.

"They were trapped there, they were going to take over another world, Rose's friend stopped them," Pete looked at Rose.  "I'm sorry Rose, you insisted on going to find him but it all went wrong."

"It landed me here and I met Alec," Rose smiled, taking Alec's arm.  "If there was anything I wanted for Christmas, before I went off, I think I got what I wanted."

Pete stayed a while, answering questions and telling Rose to used the bank cards he'd brought her and for her to call her mother.  Rose agreed and said she and Alec would go up for the new year.  When Pete had left, Alec had a few more questions that needed answering.

"So, you believe what you were told now?"

"Yeah, I have to Alec, that was what I did but now, I don't exactly know who I'm going looking for.  I mean it might come back to me but it seems like I lost him a long time ago now," Rose admitted.  "I want to stay here with you and just have an ordinary life."

That was good enough for Alec as he put his arm around her.  So what if she'd been travelling around with this Doctor?  She was here with him now and when Daisy came back, she'd just have to used to the fact he had a live-in girlfriend.  He had got what he wanted for Christmas – to not be alone.

The End!