Spend the holidays with me

Rose Tyler has been popular since taking over some of her mother's charities so when she's invited to a Christmas event in Broadchurch she is happy to attend.  Alec Hardy gets roped into looking after her for the evening and is taken with her, then Rose invites him to spend Christmas with her and when he says they have no plans and has fallen for her, his daughter is delighted.

Chapter 1

It was always the same for Rose at the beginning of December. Every year, invitations to Christmas events from church fairs to charity dinners arrived by letter and email and she can never choose. Her mother had started most of these but it was getting too much for Jackie to handle on her own but they still had to turn a lot down.

"I wish I'd never agreed to anything now," Rose was complaining to her secretary Sally.

Sally just laughed as Rose said that every year.

"Well, they'll be wanting answers soon," she reminded Rose.

"Well start preparing the 'sorry I can't make it but here's a donation and good luck' response," Rose grinned over her desk.

"Larry in accounts at Vitex is going to be overjoyed again," Sally replied dryly.

"I've not got a time machine to attend every single one of them," Rose joked, wishing she still had access to one.

"You always seem sad this time of year," Sally told her. "You still think about him, don't you?"

With Sally having top clearance at Torchwood, having given up her job at UNIT after an incident, she was one of the few people at the top of the organisation who knew about Rose and The Doctor and how she came to be there.

"Yeah, it's strange how it still affects me. I mean we spent that one Christmas back on our old estate and…." Rose recalled sadly. "Never mind, I can't do anything about I now, can I?"

Torchwood had a team working on getting the devices that had been used to follow the Cybermen working but they had given up on Pete's orders. Rose was getting more disappointed as time went on and Pete couldn't bear to watch her every time there was the slightest progress.

"I'll start the responses then?" Sally asked her. "Want me to pick out a few you might be interested in?"

"Yeah but non where I have to take a date," Rose laughed.

"Still mad at Mickey for showing you up last year?" Sally smiled.

"What do ya think?" Rose laughed back. "I keep telling him to stop showing off but he takes no notice."

"Maybe if you go to a dinner dance you might meet a tall, handsome stranger?" Sally teased her.

"Chance would be a fine thing," Rose replied, giving up hope of either meeting the actor she really liked or the detective who resembled The Doctor but had a beard who had been in the news a few times.

"You never know," Sally told her. "This could be the year. I'll send you the good ones when I've gone through them all. You want to miss out all those too near to the holidays?"

"Yeah, I have to take Tony shopping for presents and to see Santa," Rose grinned.

"Is he writing his list of what he wants already?" Sally smiled at the thought.

"Yeah, mum says he'll be lucky if he gets everything," Rose laughed.

Sally went off to sort them all out and to warn the Vitex accountant. She wondered why Rose chose to do it through the company but supposed it looked better than coming from Torchwood as many people remembered the old regime under Yvonne Hartman.

Rose got home and told her mother she was prepared to attend a few events but not as many as in the past.

"Are ya sending a donation instead again?" her mother asked her as Tony was playing with his toy Zeppelins.

"Yeah, Sally's organising it but I did tell her before I left that if any last minute ones come in to let me know. There might be something interesting," Rose told Jackie.

"There's always some who leave it late," Jackie laughed. "What about last year when ya had to drag Mickey with ya?"

"Mum, don't remind me," Rose replied, going red. "He was so embarrassing."

They both laughed as they finished opening the cards that had arrived that morning.

"Rose, when can we put the trees up?" Tony then wanted to know.

"A few days, okay?" Rose told him.

"You will take me to the mall, won't you?" he asked her.

"You bet," Rose smiled, ruffling his hair.

Jackie thought Rose had better keep her promise to her young brother.

Down in Broadchurch a few weeks before, Ellie Miller was on the phone to Beth Latimer, since it was quiet in the police station and she knew Hardy was taking no notice of her.

"Beth, if you want to organise something, you'd better do it now," Ellie reminded her friend.

It was like the two of them had never fallen out when Beth had accused her of knowing what Joe had done.

"I want to do something different Ell," Beth was telling her. "What if we can get a special guest to a dance? Nothing formal or anything, just music and a bar. Where to have it though? How much should we charge for tickets?"

"Hold on Beth, when you say 'we'?" Ellie asked her.

"I can't do it on my own Ellie," Beth replied.

Ellie thought where she had heard that line before, when her boss had roped her into keeping tabs on Claire.

"Well give me details later when you find somewhere. How about that big house down at Axhampton? They hire it out for events. You might get it cheap if you say what it's for."

Beth said it was a good idea and went off think about it. Ellie went to knock on Alec Hardy's office door and let herself in.

"Nothing to do Miller?" Alec asked her, putting a folder down. "I hope that wasn't a personal call?"

"What's with you today?" Ellie grinned at him. "It was Beth, she wants to do something for Danny, she misses him even more at this time of year."

Hardy took his specs off and put them on the folder.

"I know how she feels Miller. I used to miss Daisy every Christmas, it was never the same without her."

"Well, she'll be here this year so cheer up," he was reminded. "What are you two doing for the holidays anyway? Not going to be a Grinch are you?" she teased him.

"Very funny Miller. It will probably be just the two of us but we can still enjoy it," he replied.

"You're just out of practice," Ellie laughed. "I'd invite you over but with my dad being here this year," Ellie replied. "He's a bit of a handful and easily upsets people."

Alec had previous experience with his DS's father.

"Heard from your sister?" Alec then asked her. "She disappeared fast."

"Yeah, with Olly away, she didn't want to stay, especially after Maggie went out on her own and she'd no job. I might get a card from her, if she remembers," Ellie told him. "So if Beth organises something, she expects me to help."

"Then do it in your own time," Alec told her.

Ellie wasn't sure if he was joking or not.

"You'll support it won't you?" she then asked him.

He wanted to say she had to be joking but put his specs back on and picked up the folder, meaning it was time for her to leave. Just let her try, he thought as she left. Daisy might want to go with Chloe but he doubted he needed to be there, wherever it was.

Beth was pleased she'd got the big country house for the event and all the proceeds after costs were going to the sea scouts. The owner of the house said he wasn't going to rent it out anymore but after hearing what it was wanted for, gave in and said she could have it for free but she was responsible if anything was damaged.

"I've contacted her secretary," Beth had told Ellie one lunchtime at the café on the beach. "She said in the email that she'd speak to her when I said what it was for. I can't see her turning it down."

"She'll be popular this time of year," Ellie had warned Beth. "You've not given her much notice either."

"I emailed as soon as I got a date," Beth replied, sipping her coffee. "I'll have to give the go ahead on the ticket printing soon or I'll have to get them to put 'special guest' instead of Rose Tyler."

So Beth went ahead with getting posters printed and tickets were going fast after she'd contacted Rose's secretary. Ellie had asked her how she was going to get the famous Rose Tyler to attend.

Ellie knew her friend would be disappointed if the Vitex heiress had to turn it down due to other commitments. So as she had got back to the office and looked up Rose's public telephone number she gave out, Sally answered the phone, wondering who could be on the rarely used line.

"Miss Tyler's secretary, how can I help?" Sally tried not to sound so surprised.

She knew most people used the other line so it had to be someone trying to contact Rose herself.

"Oh, hi," Ellie found her voice. I'm Ellie, well DS Ellie Miller, from Broadchurch police. Is it okay if I talk to Miss Tyler?" Ellie asked hopefully.

"Can you give some idea of what it's about?" Sally wanted to know before Rose got annoyed anyone was getting put through to her.

"Well yeah, my friend and I are organising a dance for charity and wondered if Miss Tyler would be able to be a guest? Beth Latimer already emailed you."

"She is pretty busy this time of year," Sally explained, trying to recall the email but there had been so many and she may not have got around to replying yet.

"Well I expected that," Ellie tried to hide her disappointment. "Could you ask her for me?"

Ellie was put on hold, looking over to her boss, who was trying not to take any notice of her. She thought back to the accusations about them during her husband's trial and that if the barrister had seen herself and Hardy together, she would have known it would not be remotely possible there was any affair going on.

Sally pressed the button for Rose's phone and was greeted with Rose saying 'Watcha'.

It always made Sally smile that old habits died hard with her boss.

"Rose, someone called on that other phone number, wanting to speak to you about attending an event," Sally told her.

"No-one ever calls about an event, do they?" Rose replied.

"Well not normally, I expect people find it easier to email these days?" Sally agreed.

"Well go on then," Rose laughed.

"It was a police officer, down in Dorset. She and a friend are organising a dance for charity. Do you want me to say you can't attend? I mean you said nothing too near Christmas," Rose was reminded.

"Did they leave any more details?" Rose wanted to know. "When you say Dorset?"

"Oh, sorry. It's a place called Broadchurch, is that where that boy was killed recently?" Sally replied.

Rose knew her secretary knew full well it was but didn't like to remind her.

"You weren't gonna say where, were you?" Rose tried to sound serious.

"Sorry. It was just with you saying you wanted to be at home. The person's on hold, do you want me to put her through then?"

Rose tried to think why Sally was being hesitant and thought maybe it was Alec Hardy himself calling but she supposed not, why would he?

"Yeah, put her through then," Rose agreed. "Hi, who's that?" Rose asked when Ellie found her voice.

"Oh, it's Ellie Miller. I told your secretary," Ellie replied. "Sorry to bother you, I know you must be busy?"

"It's quiet at present," Rose admitted. "So go on, what's this charity event then? I don't get many calls about them, usually all emails, the few odd letters, those are the posh ones with formal invitations," Rose added with a laugh.

"Oh, it's nothing that formal," Ellie assured her. "It's just a dance my friend, Beth Latimer wants to hold, she gets a bit down this time of year, she misses her son," Ellie assumed Rose knew who she was talking about. "It also cheers the town up I expect? It's on the 21st, is there any chance you can attend? You must have a lot to go to?"

Rose thought she could tell she was talking to a detective, given all the questions.

"Well, I don't usually accept any invites that close to Christmas," Rose admitted.

"Oh, don't blame you," Ellie agreed. "It was with her leaving it late to get somewhere to hold it and getting it organised. She wants to get the posters and tickets printed and she was waiting for an email back. I thought I'd call, just on the off chance you'd decided?"

Rose hated being put on the spot. Why had Sally not mentioned the email? Sometimes her secretary shielded her a bit too well of anything that could remind her of The Doctor.

"So, she's doing it for her son Danny?" Rose wanted to make sure. "Okay, send all the details and I'll tell Sally to look out for it. Where's the best place to stay for a couple of nights?"

"Oh, The Traders is the best place but the venue's out of town. I can call for you and take you there if you like?" Ellie offered.

"Yeah, as long as I don't put ya out?" Rose agreed. "Is that other detective still there, I just wondered?"

Ellie wanted to say she thought she'd got rid of Hardy after the trial but no, he had to come back, didn't he?

"He's still here, is that a problem?" Ellie asked instead.

"No, it's fine. You can tell your friend I'll be there," Rose agreed.

Ellie thanked Rose for agreeing to attend and was feeling pleased with herself when she called Beth.

"You did what?" Beth quizzed her. "You have a nerve Ellie," she then laughed.

"Well you said you were waiting for an email back," Ellie reminded her. "She probably doesn't get to see them, her secretary deals with them. Rose said she'd not heard anything about it. You can get things done now."

Rose went out to see Sally.

"There'll be an email coming through with details of that event in Broadchurch," Rose told her. "I'm happy to go there, I should be back in plenty of time to spend time with Tony."

"Your mother will go mad if you aren't," Sally smiled.

"Tell me about it," Rose grinned back.

Ellie had just sent the email to Rose with all the details when Hardy came out of his office.

"Going somewhere?" Ellie glanced up at him.

"To get something to eat," she was told.

"Not making any toast then?" Ellie teased him.

"What, when you pinch a slice?" he raised his eyebrows at her, putting his jacket on. "Then you have the nerve to judge my tea making skills," he added for good measure.

"I don't call pouring cold tea into a mug and putting it in the microwave as being a skill," Ellie replied, the rest of the office sitting still and watching the two of them. "Then, well?"

"Tell us what he did Ellie," the new officer laughed.

"Get back to work you lot," Alec warned them. "Miller, don't say another word," he turned back to Ellie.

They were all watching him as he went out then started laughing.

"He didn't really put cold tea in the microwave?" Frank wanted to know.

Ellie ignored him and went back to work. As Alec went downstairs, being lazy and taking the lift, he wondered what she was up to. She had better not try to get him to attend what she and Beth Latimer were planning.

Chapter 2

Little did Alec know just how involved he was going to get, whether he liked it or not.

Beth was pleased nearly all the tickets had sold, she had given a pair to Chloe and Daisy, who were as thick as thieves these days, with Chloe taking the exams she missed out on when her younger sister had come along. Now, there was less than a week to go and everyone was looking forward to the dance.

With Rose being confirmed as the guest of honour, Ellie and Beth were planning the finishing touches to the event. They were pooling Christmas decorations to go up and had been told they could go the day before and decorate the house and someone would meet them there.

"Have you got someone to cover the door?" Ellie wanted to make sure when she'd gone to Beth's house after work.

"Yeah, Nige and his mate volunteered, can you believe it?" Beth laughed. "Hope they don't get too enthusiastic though. Imagine if he doesn't recognise Rose Tyler?"

They both laughed at the thought, then Ellie was worried if anyone was going to try and gate-crash.

"Don't say that Ell," Beth went serious. "Who do you think would do that?"

Ellie could think of a few, including Hardy if he wanted to keep an eye on his daughter and tried to show his badge to get in. She knew he was being a grump by saying there was no way he was going to attend but he may just change his tune at the last minute.

Rose had got the hotel booked, she planned on getting to Broadchurch in the afternoon, have a rest then get ready to be picked up by Ellie. She wouldn't have minded getting a cab to the event but didn't want to offend the detective.

Now, Rose was looking forward to attending something genuinely intended to cheer up a small town instead of the dinner she'd attended a few nights earlier with her mother and Pete. It had been stuffy, full of endless speeches and the choice of music had been questionable.

She had heard from Ellie where the event in Broadchurch was taking place and tickets had sold out, which she was pleased about but hoped it wasn't just because her name was linked to it. She'd had to smile at the thought they'd hired a big country house for the venue.

Saturday morning, the 21st, Rose had an early breakfast, Tony getting up early to see her off.

"You will be back for Christmas, won't you?" Tony asked her again.

"I said I would be Tony," Rose assured him, glad they had got the mall out of the way by rearranging it.

She gave him a hug before she left, her mother telling her to be careful on the way down. The traffic was a bit heavy getting across London but once she got going, she made a stop about half way and finally reached her destination. Now, she wished she'd gone by train.

"Welcome to The Traders," Becca greeted her. "Hope you enjoy your stay."

"Thanks. Can I keep the room a bit longer in the morning? I promised I'd get something for my little brother while I'm here," Rose asked.

"Sure, if you don't mind paying for an extra day?" Becca told her. "You can stay as long as you want then."

"Yeah, good idea. I might have a look around tomorrow then take my time going back on Monday. Are you going to the charity dance tonight?" Rose asked Becca.

Becca put her hands up.

"No, not me, I've no-one to go with anyway. I split up with someone recently, I don't want people talking about me, it's only just stopped. That's small towns for you. I'll be gone soon anyway, I just realised I'm homesick," Becca admitted.

Becca had been unsure about her relationship with Paul Coates after he admitted he'd been visiting Joe Miller while the man had been in prison. She had said she'd forgiven him but it had never been the same between them after that.

Rose went up to her room to freshen up and looked out of the window at the view of the sea. She wondered if she had time to go down to the beach for a while, just to get some idea of what the harbour was like. Becca told her the quickest way to get down but said it would be getting dark soon and it wasn't a good idea to walk back the same way.

"I'll just have to go by road then," Rose laughed. "Guess I'll have to get back in the car?"

Daisy Hardy and Chloe Latimer were in Daisy's room, trying outfits on and doing their hair and Alec could hear them laughing. He'd just got back from the supermarket, without Daisy's help and thought he could have managed it on his own before.

He had offered to take the two girls but Chloe said she'd booked a taxi to the venue from her house, planning to go home first and Daisy had said she'd go with her. Alec thought well at least he'd offered and no doubt Daisy would get a ride back with Beth.

Should he have said he'd go to the dance? Miller had given up asking him. Daisy and Chloe left around five and Alec sat on the sofa after putting the TV on the news channel. Ellie had told him fine, if he didn't want to go out, he could handle any emergencies. He wasn't going to be in for a quiet evening though as just after five, he was annoyed when his phone rang and it was Ellie.

"What?" he greeted her.

"Charming," Ellie replied. "Look, I'm having trouble with Fred and I've got to pick up our guest for the dance," she told him, not wanting to mention Rose's name in front of her father.

She'd already had an argument with him over the dance and she didn't want another.

"Can't your dad sort him out?" Alec replied, praying this wasn't going where he thought it was going.

"I'm trying to calm Fred down but he's just hyper at present," Ellie replied. "I'm not hopeful, he won't eat his tea and he's saying no to everything. Look, Beth has to be at the venue early to organise things, so she can't collect our guest, I was rather hoping you could do it, if I've not sorted Fred out by seven?"

"You are asking a lot Miller," Alec replied. "Can't whoever it is get a cab?"

"Geez Hardy, I'm not asking you to pick up royalty," Ellie tried to keep her temper. "It's only," she stopped to look to see if her dad was paying any attention before saying who it was. "Rose Tyler. She should be just your type, all mysterious."

He knew very well who the guest was, Chloe and Daisy had talked about the woman non-stop since Beth had told Chloe.

"You had to go pick her," Alec complained. "Where is she staying?"

"Does that mean you'll pick her up then?" Ellie sounded surprised. "She's at The Traders. I said I'll pick her up at seven. I'll call her and say it will be you collecting her."

"I still say she could have either driven there or get a cab," Alec replied dryly.

"Don't be such a misery Hardy, what else do you have to do later?" Ellie wanted to know.

Alec supposed she was right but wasn't going to admit it to his DS.

Rose had parked on the sea front and was sat with a hot drink, being surprised a little kiosk was open nearby. She thought what a lovely peaceful place it seemed after all that had gone on in the town recently. She and Jackie had been very concerned about what had happened to poor Danny and that had been the main reason Rose had accepted Beth's invitation.

She had talked Tony into going to see Santa early so she wasn't in that much of a rush to get back, an extra day wouldn't do any harm and would give her a day to herself. Things would be hectic once she got home, her mother would be giving last minute instructions to the staff and 'supervising' the making of the Christmas cake, much to the cook's annoyance.

Tony had picked the icing decorations for the cake when they'd been shopping and this year was being allowed to place them on the icing. She'd laughed at the thought of how it would turn out. She got up and decided to walk around the harbour, there was still enough time before it got dark, passing over the river and seeing a blue chalet then coming to the pier, the lights just coming on.

She was about to turn back when her mobile rang. It was Ellie.

"Rose?" Ellie asked cautiously. "It's Ellie Miller."

"Oh hi. Is it about tonight? It's not been cancelled has it?" Rose was worried.

"Oh no. It's just I can't pick you up, my youngest is playing up," Ellie replied. "I don't think I'll get to you on time."

"Oh, don't worry, I can get there on my own," Rose offered.

"Someone else can pick you up, my colleague, Alec Hardy. You might have heard of him?" Ellie told her, being certain someone like Rose would have kept up with the news.

"Yeah, I've heard of him. I don't want to put him to any trouble Ellie," Rose replied.

"Oh, it's no bother, he volunteered when I told him I wouldn't be in time to pick you up," Ellie smiled at the thought Hardy would volunteer for anything but would make an exception for a young blonde.

"Well okay then, same time?" Rose asked.

That agreed, she made her way back to her car and to the hotel to get ready. Since Daisy and Chloe had gone off to Chloe's house, leaving Alec on his own, he was getting bored of the TV so he went on the internet on his phone to look up Rose. If they were to talk on the way to the venue, he had to know what he was up against.

Daisy had told him not to worry and she'd get a ride back and maybe stay at Chloe's anyway and if he changed his mind, she'd see him at the dance. Would Rose expect him to escort her inside, he wondered. It would be rude of him to just drop her at the door he supposed. Then he thought Miller would find some excuse for not taking their guest back to the hotel so he'd end up staying.

Rose got herself ready and went to wait downstairs, watching through the window for a car stopping.

"Not driving there?" Becca asked a nervous Rose.

"No, I'm getting picked up. It was supposed to be Ellie Miller but she got held up so now it's Alec Hardy," Rose replied, still watching for him.

"Lucky you," Becca laughed. "You are honoured then, he's not the sociable type if you ask me."

"Why, is he a bit of a hermit?" Rose laughed back. "Oh. A car just stopped, I wonder if it's him?"

Rose didn't know why she was nervous, she wouldn't see much of him once inside the venue. Should she insist he stayed with her? He would keep all the local men away from asking her for a date, not that she was staying but they might try something and she'd be safe enough with a police officer.

She turned when the door opened, Alec having thought he'd best collect Rose in person rather than beeping the car horn and expecting her to just come out and get in the car. It wasn't that cold really but it would be later on, it even got cold at night during the summer sometimes, he recalled as he opened the hotel door, looking around for Rose.

He saw Becca behind the desk as usual, bringing back memories of when he was ill and had stayed there himself.

"Becca. I'm here to collect Rose Tyler," he told her, not seeing Rose behind him.

Becca nodded towards Rose, a smile on her face.

"That would be me," Rose grinned, giving a little wave. "You must be Alec then?"

Alec thought who else did she think it was? This was going to be a long night.

"We should get going," Alec told her, not sure what time he was supposed to get her there for.

"Fine, is it far?" Rose wondered.

"A fair way, a small village further down the coast," Alec replied, having looked it up after he'd finished reading about Rose.

He'd already known most of her story, who didn't? Daisy had been excited at meeting the Vitex heiress and was glad she hadn't known he'd got roped into driving Rose there but he would be able to hide from his daughter if he were to stay a while.

Little did he know what Rose was planning once at the dance as he opened the car door for her then got in himself.

Chapter 3

Ellie had finally settled her youngest, giving her father strict instructions not to give in to Fred and give him anything else to eat but read him a story.

"I know what to do," her dad insisted. "What about Tom? How late can he stay up?"

"Dad, he's old enough to decide when," Ellie reminded him as she looked in the hall mirror. "If he's still up at eleven though, tell him."

"I don't know why you have to go to this event Ellie," he then complained.

"How often do I go out Dad?" Ellie asked him. "Except when I have to do so for work."

"Well I hope you're not working over the holidays," he further complained.

Ellie shook her head and picked up her keys.

"I won't be too late," she told him before he could say any more.

As she got into the car, she wondered how Hardy was getting on with Rose. It should be interesting to say the least.

Beth was telling Nigel to make sure he let Rose into the house and that Ellie would be with her.

"I know who she is," Nigel insisted. "Maybe I can get away later and have a dance with her," he grinned as he bragged to his mate.

"You and me both," his mate laughed.

"Don't go leaving the door unattended," Beth warned them, thinking they had no chance with someone like Rose. "Let me know when she arrives."

"I'm first then," Nigel's mate laughed.

Beth shook her head as she went off to the bar area and told the staff to make sure Rose was looked after and not to charge her for any drinks. The manager wasn't too pleased, since he had to give half the profits for the night to Beth's charity.

Alec was hoping his phone was giving him the right directions to the big house at Axhampton, it would be embarrassing if he got them lost but he saw the sign of the turn-off and drove down the narrow road, seeing lights in the distance.

"Wow, Beth was lucky to hire this place then?" Rose pointed out as Alec tried to find a space to park.

He had thought maybe most people would get a taxi to the event as only one was dropping two women off. He bet his passenger had offered to get one but Miller was determined to rope him in somehow and he'd let her. He went to let Rose out of the car and she took his arm as they went to the main entrance, Alec seeing who was standing there.

"Carter, I'm escorting Miss Tyler inside," Alec told him before he was asked for his ticket.

"You got a ticket then?" Nigel grinned at him.

Rose was still holding onto Alec's arm.

"He doesn't need one, he's with me," she insisted. "Ya know who I am?"

"Did Beth not leave word?" Alec wanted to know, since it was cold standing in the doorway.

"Well yeah but only for her," Nigel nodded towards Rose. "I had to let Beth know when she arrived."

"Well do so Carter and stop messing around," Alec insisted. "Don't keep us waiting out here, there are other people waiting to get in," he now noticed.

"What's the hold-up?" a woman's voice behind wanted to know.

"Probably some VIP," the older woman who had got out of the cab laughed in reply.

"Mum, it's her, Rose Tyler," the younger woman told her, nudging her arm.

"Of course it had to be," the original woman replied. "Babe, you look fab," she then greeted the woman from the cab.

Rose was taking it all in while Alec argued with Nigel Carter, who insisted on calling Beth.

"Has she arrived?" Beth wanted to know when she answered her phone.

"Well yeah but Hardy's with her. Thought you said it would be Ellie?" Nigel replied.

"There must have been a change of plan then? Well have you let them in?" Beth asked him, making her way to the door.

"Hardy's not got a ticket," Nigel complained.

Beth let out a laugh.

"He's the police Nige, he doesn't need one," she told him. "Well let them in, before he complains to me."

Nigel moved to one side to let Rose and Alec in, prompting the two complaining women to utter a "Finally" as they moved to the door.

"Did you have to make such a fuss?" the husband of the third woman wanted to know, to which he got a smack on the arm.

Once inside, Alec helped Rose off with her coat and Beth caught up with them, having spotted Alec.

"Inspector, what happened to Ellie bringing Rose?" Beth wanted to know.

"Trouble with her youngest," Alec told her, looking for somewhere to put Rose's coat.

"Well never mind, you're here. Welcome Miss Tyler," Beth greeted Rose.

"Thanks for inviting me and call me Rose. Wow, this place is bigger than where I live."

"I was lucky to get the place," Beth admitted. "You can put your coat behind the bar if you want?" she offered, seeing Alec holding it over his arm and smiling to herself that Ellie had succeeded in getting her grumpy boss to attend.

She bet anything Fred was just an excuse to get the detective to pick up Rose from her hotel.

"Has your Chloe arrived with Daisy yet?" Alec asked Beth as they approached the bar.

"I've not seen them yet, I left early," Beth replied. "Order whatever you want Rose, the least we can do is provide you your drinks for coming tonight," she smiled at Rose.

"Thanks. Don't think I'll be drinking a lot though. I'll just wander around then when people arrive? I hope they all don't try buying me drinks," Rose then laughed. "You'll have to stop them Alec," she patted his arm.

"Well, I did not intend staying, I was just escorting you inside," Alec insisted.

Beth could see where this was going and made her excuses to leave.

"Aw, I thought ya were staying?" Rose sounded disappointed. "Who am I gonna dance with? Ya not gonna leave me to fend for myself, are ya?"

She used to be good at getting The Doctor to do as she wanted, Alec was no different. He looked a lot like The Doctor but she had never seen him with a beard. She had to forget about it, she was only here until Monday.

What could Alec say? It would seem rude to just leave her here on her own and what else did he have to do? Sit at home being bored as usual? Just then, he heard Daisy call him.

"Dad, what are you doing here?" she asked as Chloe just grinned.

"I had to collect Rose," he admitted. "Have you two just got here?"

"You're not going to keep an eye on me all night?" Daisy looked horrified.

"I'll make sure he doesn't," Rose laughed. "I was just sayin' I need someone to dance with."

"Ah, well," Alec was trying to make excuses up for not dancing.

"Sure, he'll be fine, won't you Dad," Daisy teased him. "Come on Chloe, let's get a table."

Alec went off to get Rose a drink, saying who it was for and got one with no alcohol for himself. Rose wanted to go in the room where the music was but tables were filling up fast until Alec spotted one at the back and Rose followed him.

"Look, I said it was her Mum," Leah was telling her mother.

"She's right Trish," their friend agreed. "Isn't she with that detective?"

"I wonder how come he brought her?" Trish wondered, downing her second drink and looking at her friend's husband to buy her another.

Trish just hoped her friend Cath wouldn't find out the two of them had slept together the other Saturday morning when she'd asked Jim to look at the boiler instead of paying a plumber. It seemed Jim hadn't wanted any money for fixing the thing and they'd ended up in bed while her daughter was off with friends for the weekend. Neither of them had talked about it since, it had just been a fling after Jim admitted his wife wasn't interested any more.

"Bet they'll end up in bed together," Cath laughed as she finished her drink and put the empty glass in front of her husband.

"You think?" Trish laughed, sliding her empty glass across the table.

"Okay, I get the hint," Jim complained. "I might ask Rose Tyler for a dance later," he told them. "Leah, want another?"

"You wouldn't have the courage to talk to her, let alone ask her to dance," Cath told him as he got up.

"Serve you right if I did," Jim replied as he went off.

"Sorry Babe," Trish told her friend.

"Don't be, he's getting worse and I don't know how much longer I can keep on," Cath replied.

"Maybe you both need a change of scenery?" Trish suggested, thinking that would get her off the hook.

Rose was moving in time to the music, glad she recognised most of them after thinking they would be obscure.

"Well, can ya dance then?" she smiled at Alec, who was watching for Daisy.

"What? Oh, not really, I'm out of practice I'm afraid. I had a bad heart a while ago and not got used to the fact I can do things again," he replied.

"Oh, poor you. Are you okay now Alec?" Rose sounded concerned.

"I'm fine, really. Maybe a slow dance later? Please, you go ahead if you want to dance, I won't mind. After all, that is why you are here."

"I have to admit I was hoping I could just dance with you," Rose smiled at him. "I did read you'd been ill, after you caught that boy's killer. Wanna try a dance or two? It's slowed down a bit now."

How could he refuse, he wondered. He didn't want to offend her and have her going home and saying what a misery he'd been when he was supposed to be looking after her. After two dances, he decided he was enjoying himself and let Rose dance around him when the music got lively again.

Rose then wanted to go around saying hello to people, having Alec following her. She gave a few autographs and had photos taken when asked, Alec assuming she was used to it, then she wanted to go outside for some fresh air. Since she'd not collected her coat, Alec put his jacket around her shoulders.

"Thanks. I've had a great time, it's different to where I was the other night, that was so stuffy," she laughed, holding his jacket.

"It has been enjoyable," Alec had to admit. "Are you going home tomorrow?" he then regretted asking her.

Of course she was, just when he felt like asking her out before she left.

"Well, I promised I'd get something for my younger brother so I was gonna stay tomorrow and go home on Monday. So, where do you live then?"

"Ah, halfway up a cliff?" he smiled.

Rose nudged him.

"No! Go on, you're having me on Alec," Rose laughed.

"No, ask Daisy then. I used to live beside the river, then I went back to where my ex and Daisy lived but it never worked out so I asked to be transferred back here and Daisy came with me."

"She's a lucky girl, having you as a dad," Rose nudged him. "I grew up without mine, then mum met Pete Tyler and he's tried to make up for it."

"I'm sorry to hear about that Rose," Alec risked touching her arm.

"Can we go back inside? It's freezing out here," Rose shivered.

"Well you wanted to come outside," Alec reminded her, taking his jacket back as they went through the glass doors.

Beth had been looking for Rose, to thank her for being there and when she saw her coming back in with Alec, wondered what they'd been up to outside. She waved them over then got the microphone from the DJ.

"Rose, can you say a few words?" Beth asked her.

Rose thanked everyone for supporting the charity it was for, then she insisted on one more dance with Alec.

"Rose, you really did not have to stick with me all evening," he reminded her as she danced closer to him.

"I was enjoying your company Alec," she smiled as she turned her head.

"Well, in that case, would you maybe have dinner with me, tomorrow night?" he thought he would chance asking her.

Chapter 4

Rose was slightly taken aback but shouldn't have been that surprised Alec would dare ask her out. They had got on quite well and Alec had overcome his annoyance that his DS had dropped him right in it by getting him to agree to pick Rose up in her place.

He bet she'd made it all up anyway in order to get him to attend the dance and see if he'd actually do something about meeting Rose apart from picking her up. Ellie had been quite pleased with herself her little plan was coming together nicely when she'd seen Rose dancing with her boss, then dancing around him.

She'd been sitting with Beth and Beth could see the grin on her friend's face.

"What are you up to Ell?" Beth smiled. "Were you really having trouble with Fred?"

"What? Well I was at first so I called Hardy. He'd have been sat at home being a misery anyway," Ellie defended herself.

"Are we taking bets he'll take her back to the hotel?" Beth wanted to know.

"I'd say we bet he'll ask her out tomorrow night and she stays an extra night," Ellie laughed. "Just look at them, he is so taken with her."

Beth had to agree, the way Rose had been clinging hold of the detective all night like he was going to vanish. Alec was waiting for an answer from Rose.

"I've had a great time Alec," Rose admitted as she leaned on his shoulder when the music stopped.

"But not that great to stay another night?" Alec asked her, convinced she was going to say no.

"You caught me by surprise, that's all," Rose further admitted. "I never even thought I'd meet ya when I said I'd come here tonight."

"I would not have agreed to come," Alec told her as everyone was going off back to their tables.

"Did Ellie tell you I'd agreed?" Rose asked him as they realised they were the only ones still on the dance floor.

"She never stopped," he had to admit. "Now I know what she was planning all along."

"Ya mean she got ya to pick me up on purpose?" Rose smiled as she finished her drink.

"I would not put it past her," Alec replied. "I will go get your coat for you," he offered, still wondering what her answer was going to be, since she was evading the question.

Rose followed him to the bar area and he helped her on with her coat, seeing Beth and Ellie approaching them.

"Thanks again for agreeing to come tonight," Beth told her.

"It was a worthy cause, thanks for inviting me Beth," Rose smiled. "Ellie was very persuasive."

"Something you want to tell me Ellie?" Beth laughed.

"Yes Miller," Alec also wanted to know.

"I just rang her secretary," Ellie tried to convince them.

"You can tell me later," Beth told her. "Goodnight Miss Tyler. Come on Ellie, Rose must be tired."

Ellie wanted to stay to see what Hardy would do after he'd fussed over putting Rose's coat on her, he'd certainly taken his time.

"Alec," Rose turned to him as he stared at her while she fastened her coat up.

"What? Sorry. Ready to leave?" he asked her.

"I never gave ya an answer, about tomorrow night," she reminded him as they followed everyone else.

"I'm sure you have other plans," Alec resigned himself to her turning down his offer.

"I'd love to go out to dinner with ya Alec," she surprised him as they passed people waiting for cabs.

Alec stopped just before his car. It had got colder and frost was on the ground and forming on the cars, the headlights making it hang in the air but Rose also stopped.

"You would?" he asked, forgetting the cold. "Then I will find us somewhere to go and call for you?"

"Yeah, that would be nice Alec," Rose smiled. "Can we go now, it's freezing out here."

Alec remotely opened the car doors and helped Rose in, then put the heater on as he started the engine.

"I really did have a nice time Alec," Rose told him on the way back. "Do ya think I can maybe see where you live after we've been out tomorrow night? I've never been in a cottage halfway up a cliff before."

He saw she was smiling.

"If you wish?" he replied, wondering why she should want to see where he lived.

"Well I can meet your daughter properly then?"

They reached the hotel and he went to help her out of the car.

"I'm glad you came to pick me up tonight Alec," she told him. "I would have been fighting all the men off."

"Then I am glad I was there to rescue you," Alec replied. "You had best get inside. I will pick you up at seven tomorrow night."

"Yeah. Why don't ya give me your number?" Rose suggested. "Then I can text ya mine, ya can call me when ya get here."

Alec fished his phone out of his pocket. It was freezing cold and Rose wanted to swap mobile numbers.

"You give me yours," he suggested, hoping his fingers wouldn't be that cold he couldn't tap the numbers in.

Why couldn't she have done this in the warm car? Rose reeled her number off and Alec hurriedly saved it.

"Goodnight Rose, it was a pleasure to keep you company tonight and I look forward to tomorrow night," he told her.

As they stood at the side door of the hotel, Rose got the key out and Alec offered to take it and opened the door for her. She then surprised him by going to kiss his cheek.

"Night Alec, I'm looking forward to it as well. Ya'd better get out of the cold Alec," Rose replied, taking his hands as she got the key back.

Before he could stop her, she was warming them, since she was wearing soft velvety gloves. He felt some warmth coming back in his fingers, he would have had to warm them in the car before setting off back home and this was a much more pleasant way. He took his hands away, since he was feeling cold all over by now, just wearing his jacket.

"Sorry, I'll let ya get off then," Rose smiled.

He would have happily let her continue under other circumstances.

"Yes, right. I will call you," he replied.

Rose watched him walk off as she stood in the doorway, smiling to herself. Alec got back in the car, turning the heater up so the rest of him could warm up but wondering what had just happened. He had just stared at her as she warmed his hands and it had felt really good.

He had to remind himself she was only in the town for one more day, then she would be going home. At least he had Daisy with him this year, that was something. He hoped she wouldn't get them invited to spend Christmas day at the Latimer house, he didn't think it was a good idea.

He wasn't surprised to find Daisy wasn't home, she was spending a lot of time with Chloe lately. Rose was just as confused as Alec had been when she was rubbing his hands and fingers to warm them. She had to go home and she knew it. One date with Alec was all she could spare and if she got to see his cottage, then all well and good.

If he didn't think it was a good idea and he brought her back to the hotel, then at least she would have got a dinner invite out of him. She wouldn't forget him easily if nothing came of it though. The next day, she decided since there wasn't much open in the town she would drive down to Weymouth and have a look round there, finding something to take back for Tony.

She also decided to treat herself to a new dress, since she'd only taken something to wear for the night before. While Rose was down the coast, Daisy had got back home.

"I saw you and Rose going off last night Dad," Daisy teased him.

"I was taking her back to the hotel," Alec replied, wondering what she was hinting at.

"Well are you seeing her again?" she wanted to know. "Or are you going to let her just go home?"

"Since when did you start asking me questions like that?"

"Chill Dad, I was just wondering. Only if you're seeing her again, will you bring her back with you so I can meet her properly?"

"I may have asked her out," Alec tried to get out of it.

"You did!" Daisy laughed at him. "I think it's great Dad, especially after that disaster through that dating app."

"That was entirely your fault Daisy, you never put down I was divorced and had my teenage daughter staying with me," he reminded her.

He found somewhere to take Rose and sent her a text so she would get his number. Rose sent a message back saying it sounded nice and she was looking forward to it. Alec set off to pick her up at ten to seven and was thankful it wasn't quite as cold as the night before.

He let her know he was outside and went to the main entrance, seeing Becca coming out of the bar.

"Here again Inspector?" Becca smiled at him.

He didn't have time to reply as Rose came down the stairs, her coat over her arm. She had chosen a black sparkly knee length dress and Alec found himself staring at her.

"Hi Alec," Rose greeted him as she went up to him.

He found himself taking her coat from her and holding it out, Rose putting her arms in it. Becca was quite amused watching the pair of them and she bet anything something was already going on between them.

"Have a good time," Becca called after them as Alec opened the door.

"So, where are we going exactly?" Rose asked when he'd helped her into the car.

"Just outside town, on the way to Dorchester," he replied, hoping Rose was warm enough.

"I passed there today, I went down to Weymouth," Rose admitted.

She recognised the pub/restaurant she had passed earlier, just on a roundabout before the turnoff for Dorchester. Alec had made a reservation so they were shown to a table by a window that overlooked a lit garden at the back.

"This is nice Alec," Rose told him as they looked at the menu.

"I am glad you like it. So did you get something for your brother earlier?" he wanted to know.

"Yeah. Alec, ya know I can't stay. I want to, really I do but being with my family during the holidays is very important to me."

"I understand Rose, I was the same when Daisy was living with her mother. We intend to make the most of it this year," Alec replied.

Rose went quiet while deciding what to choose off the menu.

"I really like ya Alec," she then told him when the waiter had gone away. "What are you and Daisy gonna do, for the holidays?"

"Shopping," Alec smiled. "Nothing really fancy though."

"My mum will be going overboard as usual," Rose laughed. "We have a big party on Christmas Eve and a few friends over for Christmas dinner."

She leaned over and reached for his hands. He took hold of hers, rubbing his thumbs over them.

"Do you think you will come back here Rose?" he had to know, since Rose seemed to regret not being able to stay.

"I don't know Alec, really. Let's not get all gloomy?"

The trouble was, he did feel gloomy that she was going home. He'd never even intended meeting her, let alone beginning to have feelings for her. He let go of her hands as the waiter approached but knew asking her to come back wasn't going to work. Why did she have to look so desirable tonight?

They were quiet through their main course then Rose wanted dessert. While they waited, he moved his chair closer.

"You must know I like you a lot Rose?" Rose nodded. "Do you still want to see my cottage? Only Daisy wanted to meet you properly."

Rose decided since she was going home tomorrow, why not?

"Yeah, I'd like to meet her properly Alec. What's the view like from halfway up the cliff like then?" Rose smiled.

Once back in Broadchurch, Alec let her go first up the steps to the cottage.

"Is this someone's idea of a joke?" Rose asked as they set off. "They could have put a winding path or something here instead of all these steps."

Alec was smiling to himself, he hadn't even thought she'd agree when she saw how many steps there were, he thought she'd demand he take her back to the hotel. They finally reached the side door and Rose stopped to turn around.

"Wow, the harbour's all lit up," Rose noted. "You get to see this all the time."

Before Alec could stop her, she put her arms around him and leaned on his shoulder. He put his arms around her and she looked up at him and he leaned forward.

"Alec, spend the holidays with me, you and Daisy."

"In London?" he asked her, his lips a fraction away from hers.

"Well yeah," Rose smiled. "Watcha think?"

She closed the gap and Alec knew what his answer was going to be, if Daisy agreed. Rose thought it was the sweetest kiss she'd ever shared as they parted but Alec went to kiss her again.

"We should go inside," he reminded her as she held onto him.

"Yeah, it's still cold out here," Rose realised. "Did ya tell Daisy I'd come back with ya?"

"Yes, I just hope she did not invite her friend," Alec joked. "Daisy, we are back," he called out as they entered the kitchen.

"Dad. Oh hi Rose, I'm glad you came. I have so much to ask you," Daisy greeted them.

"Well before you start, Rose has something to ask us, don't you Rose?" Alec replied, wanting to make sure she meant it.

"Well, I just asked your dad if you wanted to come and spend the holidays with me, and my family of course," Rose asked the teenager.

"Really? Can we Dad, please?" Daisy pleaded with him.

He had already decided the answer was going to be yes.

"I have to go back tomorrow but why don't you two come over on Christmas Eve? I'll give you my address. You'll love it Daisy, my mum goes mad on the decorations," Rose laughed.

Daisy went to hug Rose, then Alec.

"I'm going to plan what I'm taking," Daisy told them excitedly.

"Well, that's settled then," Rose smiled. "Can you get the time off?"

"I will get another officer to cover for me, my DS was planning to be off for the holidays as well. Rose, would you maybe want to stay with me tonight?" he dared ask her.

After two glasses of wine, Rose went off to the bathroom and Alec to find a T-Shirt for her to borrow, not that he thought she was going to need it but he had to offer. A few kisses later, Rose forgot all about leaving the next morning as they gently made love under the duvet.

Alec woke the next morning with a mouthful of Rose's hair, smiling to himself that she was laid across him in just her underwear, which she'd insisted on putting back on before finally going to sleep.

"Rose, sweetheart," he called softly for her to move to let him up.

"Mmm?" was the reply he got. "What time is it?" she then asked.

"In a hurry to leave?" he teased her as he raised his eyebrows.

"Nope, I wanted to make sure we had time for a repeat of last night," she teased him back.

He hovered over her, going for her skimpy underwear and gave her his answer, Rose giggling as she put her arms around him and pulled him down for a kiss.

"You, Rose Tyler are amazing," Alec told her as he reached for his boxer shorts.

"So were you, I haven't felt like that before," Rose admitted.

"Really? Then I am glad it was me who made you feel like that. You get dressed while I get breakfast eh? Then I will take you back to the hotel."

"I really don't wanna leave Alec," Rose replied, sitting up and hugging her legs.

"Then stay a few days longer and we can go back together?" he suggested. "Rose, you must know how I feel about you? That I have fallen for you?"

Rose nodded and watched him getting dressed, smiling from behind her knees as he put clean shorts on but turned around, having second thoughts about letting her see him.

"Bloomin' cheek," Rose objected as she tried to peek.

"Maybe another time eh?" he teased her.

"I'll make ya keep that promise," Rose giggled back at him. "Can ya ask Daisy if she has any spare joggers or anything for me to wear?"

"I have some pyjama bottoms that are like that," Alec offered, going to the dresser.

He left her to get dressed and went to join Daisy in the kitchen.

"Is Rose still here?" Daisy teased him.

"If I said yes?" he just replied.

"Good, I'm glad if you had to get a girlfriend that it's her. Is she staying a bit longer then?"

Daisy got her answer when Rose emerged wearing Alec's t-shirt and pyjama bottoms. Rose finally had to put her dress back on and Alec dropped her at the hotel after she invited herself to stay at the cottage for another few nights, Daisy saying she'd wait in for her. Now she had to drop the bombshell on her mother.

"Ya did what?" Jackie asked her to make sure. "Ya met that detective and invited him here for the holidays?"

"You don't want me to?" Rose replied.

"I never said that. Well if ya got yaself involved with him, I want to meet him," her mother insisted.

"Don't go grilling him Mum, he'll know, with being a detective," Rose laughed.

Alec was already being grilled by Ellie Miller upon his arrival at the station.

"Well go on then, what happened," Ellie wanted to know.

"What are you talking about?" Alec tried denying.

"You and Rose Tyler," Ellie grinned. "Don't tell me nothing happened?"

"Miller, stop fishing," he told her. "By the way, tell Frank he's in charge over the holidays, Daisy and I will be away."

Ellie stood up in shock, since when did he take time off?

"You're spending the holidays with Rose Tyler, don't deny it Hardy," she laughed. "Well I never."

Alec decided he would take his leave that same afternoon, much to the chief's amusement and they all went shopping, Rose and Daisy going off on their own and Rose treating the teenager to a new outfit.

"You really like my dad, don't you Rose?" Daisy asked her as they were in the changing rooms.

"Yeah, I've never met anyone as nice as him before. I had this friend, a long time ago but that's all he was, just a friend. I think we're both serious Daisy, are you okay with that?"

"Yeah, I just want him to be happy again Rose," Daisy replied.

Rose got closer to Alec that night and they set off for London the next morning, Alec driving Rose's car after she promised someone would bring them back if she wasn't ready to leave home but on the way, the way Rose kept looking at him, he knew she would.

Everyone had a great time at the party Jackie was hosting, Alec sneaking into Rose's bedroom once everyone had left.

"I'm so glad I went to that charity dance Alec," Rose was telling him as they lay together.

"So am I Rose. I am just glad Daisy agreed when you asked us to spend the holidays with you."

"I would have stayed ya know, if she'd not wanted to come," Rose admitted.

"You would? You said spending time with your family was important," he reminded her, going to kiss her neck.

"It is but you've become important to me Alec, you and Daisy. Give me a few days to sort things after the holidays and I'll go back to Broadchurch. If ya have to go back to work, I'll bring Daisy back and someone will drive you home."

"I can stay off a few more days, my chief is big on family," Alec told her. "I want to take you back myself, Rose Tyler and I am glad I got to spend the holidays with you."

The End!