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Alone in the world with just a friend


Rose gets back from yet another dimension jump and finds herself in Canary Wharf right where Torchwood Tower should stand.  She gets a taxi to her home to find the gates chained up and no house.  She slowly realises she's on the wrong world when she makes her way to the coach station to go find the only person who might still help her - if she can convince the Alec Hardy on this world they were lovers in her own world and evade being captured for the death of the Tyler family and the destruction of Torchwood.

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Rose gets back from yet another dimension jump and finds herself in Canary Wharf right where Torchwood Tower should stand.  She gets a taxi to her home to find the gates chained up and no house.  She slowly realises she's on the wrong world when she makes her way to the coach station to go find the only person who might still help her - if she can convince the Alec Hardy on this world they were lovers in her own world and evade being captured for the death of the Tyler family and the destruction of Torchwood.  

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Chapter 1
A re-working of my other story - 'No Rose Tyler ever born here" but in this one, she's not the only one and instead of wanting to get back to the Doctor, she wants to get back to her lover – Alec Hardy.

It had been a difficult jump, first because before she had gone, she had argued with Alec that it was the last time but he'd been far from happy about her returning to London for her final mission.  She'd tried to get out of it, Pete had tried to get her out of it but she had signed the contract for the number of dimension-hopping missions, which she'd got out of when she stayed in Broadchurch to be with the broken detective, fresh from his putting a killer in prison.

It had started when Rose got the dreaded phone call just as Alec was getting ready for work one morning.  The director of missions for the dimension cannon was calling, the ring tone being Darth Vadar's march from StarWars, a franchise Rose had been only too happy was on this world and had dragged poor Alec to nearby Weymouth when he'd said he'd never seen it to go buy the DVD box set of all the movies and they'd spent a rainy Sunday between watching them and Alec getting compensation by groping her ass and stealing kisses until she wafted him away and told him if he didn't stop, she'd make him watch it again.

With a smirk on his face, just as Rose answered, he pinched her bum which got him a  'stop it' as he put his jacket on.  He knew who it was though, the person who may take her away from him, for a short while at least and he knew what the conversation would consist of, Rose trying her best to get out of it.

"Rose Tyler, what can I do for you Yvonne?"

Yvonne Hartman was the director of operations for the dimension cannon, Rose not being too happy about that since she, on another world, was responsible in part for her, Mickey and her mother being here in the first place.

"You know very well what I want Rose, don't pretend you don't.  You've been putting this off for too long now, you're in breach of your contract and not even your stepfather or your friends can save you.  We need you to come back to London, today, if you look outside that ridiculous riverside chalet you and your detective boyfriend call a home, there's a car waiting to take you to Exeter zeppelin port, flying is marginally quicker than driving.  You'll be briefed when you get here."

Alec wanted to snatch her phone from her, tell bossy Yvonne Hartman to go stuff herself and throw the phone into the river.  It was all Rose could do to retain it.

"Tell her you're not going Rose, or I will," Alec snarled as she shushed him.

"Yvonne, what's so important that you need me all of a sudden?  You've not found my original world have you?  If you have, I've already told you, send Mickey, I'm not going back now, I've got Alec and I'm not leaving him – for anything, not even for the chance to find the Doctor again.  We've been through all this."

"No, it's not about finding your original world, I can't tell you on the phone anyway, you'd just tell your boyfriend and believe me, he won't want to know.  Don't keep the driver waiting and no, it's not Jake or Mickey, I wouldn't trust them to bring you here."

"Does Pete know about this?"

Yvonne turned in her chair to see Pete Tyler glaring at her, knowing how he felt about her sending his stepdaughter on one last mission when she'd settled down in that quaint seaside town that had been in all the headlines for a young boy being murdered and Rose had fallen in love with the detective in charge.  As Pete stared at her, he knew that if at least Rose got this out of the way, she might actually get the detective to marry her, which would please her mother no end.

"Rose, this is Pete," he interrupted on the speaker-phone.  "Listen love, just get this out of the way, then you're free and I'm sorry, I really am but it's not even in my power to get you out of this, you know I would, if it were at all possible but you signed that contract, like you all did.  I take it Alec's listening?"

"Yes Pete, I am and I don't like it.  Can I at least come with her?"

He put his arms around her and waited for the answer.

"Pack an overnight bag and be ready in ten minutes," Yvonne relented, seeing Pete's face that had said if she didn't, she would more than likely be replaced at the next annual review.

Alec was ready in five, not bothering to take much with him and from what she'd told him, she could be away for any length of time, since it may be forty five minutes for her before her device would re-charge itself but it could be hours, days or even weeks for them but he would wait, no matter how long it may be because he loved her and when she did get back, she would no longer dread the phone call reminding her of her 'one more mission' obligation, she would be free of it and he would finally ask her to marry him.

He'd already called Pete, to ask his permission to buy Rose the engagement ring in his pocket but they all knew, the day would come when she'd get that final call and Alec wondered if it would be better she went off as his girlfriend or as his wife.  There was no easy answer, both were preferable to the thought she may never come back though so far, no-one had ever gone missing permanently, though what was permanent when it came to dimension hopping when mere minutes on another world could be agonising for a person to be waiting for their loved one to come back?

So they had got into the car, waiting behind their chalet, Alec calling the station to say something had come up and he was taking some leave, thankful if it got complicated, Pete would save his job for him and they held hands all the way from Broadchurch, onto the zeppelin waiting for them and the short car ride from Canary Wharf zeppelin terminal, where Jake was waiting for them.  Jake and Alec shook hands, clearly not happy himself Rose had been dragged back to fulfil her contract.

"Sorry Rosie, there was nothing I could do.  Nice to see you again Alec, when I heard Rose had been summoned, I knew you wouldn't let her come alone."

"You're damn right I wouldn't, what do you take me for?  You forget Jake, there's nothing I don't know about Rose's past life so if she's getting flung into another parallel world, I at least owe it to her to be there to watch and to wait for her coming back and she is coming back.  Well, shall we get this over with?  I'm looking forward to meeting this Yvonne, she's going to know exactly what I feel about this."

Jake smiled, patted him on the back and wished him luck with that, he had no idea about Yvonne Hartman.  They all filed into Yvonne's glass-fronted office at the far end of the dimension cannon room, the top floor that had once been home to the lever room, where on that fateful day, Rose had screamed at the wall for it to take her back to the Doctor but now, she was silent, still holding her lover's hand.  She didn't want to dwell on that day, when she'd stopped crying, her mother had led her downstairs, Jackie not trusting a lift operating on emergency power though recalling walking down identical staircases back in her own world.

"Ah, you must be the infamous Alec Hardy then?  You did a good job on that last case of yours.  Now you're all here, Rose, sign this please, it's your release from your contract – when you've completed your last mission, which we're preparing for at this moment, you'll be free to leave.  Any questions?"

Alec had plenty but let go of Rose's hand so she could lean forward and sign the release form, wishing the wording would change that said she was released before she went on her last mission.

"Just one.  Where am I going and why me?"

"Don't you want to be finally free?" Yvonne asked, tearing the copies apart, handing one to Rose and one to Pete and retaining the top copy for herself, she was a firm believer in doing everything in triplicate.

"Yes, she does want to be free so why don't you just get on with it?" Alec demanded, as Rose handed him her copy for safe keeping.

Rose trusted Alec with everything.  He took care of her, he put up with her when she was in a bad mood once a month, her saying he wasn't the one that had a monopoly on being grumpy and he was the one who she made love to every night and most mornings, unless she wanted to sleep in and he'd let her, never bothering about it and he was the one who was too stubborn to go get his heart fixed but she'd finally worn him down and it had been scheduled.

"I can see why you like him Rose, he's very impatient.  I'm sorry but I can only discuss the mission with Rose herself, even Director Tyler isn't privy to that information and only the operator knows where the cannon is aimed.  Rose, the cannon will be ready in twenty minutes, you might want to prepare yourself.  You can pick up your regular items as you are called forward.  Then, I'll tell you where you are going and why."

"Well I want to know why it's so secretive," Alec demanded, stroking the back of Rose's hand.

"I thought you knew everything Alec?" Yvonne smirked.  "We're a secret organisation what do you expect?  Well I know the police are aware but the general public are kept somewhat in the dark, except we're 'special ops'.  We'll leave you and Rose to talk."

Pete and Jake got up, both patting Alec on the back and hugging Rose until the two of them were left alone.  Rose moved over to the window, small zeppelins floating past and looking down at the river.

"This isn't goodbye Alec, I used to do this all the time, well not all the time, it was limited, the cannon uses a lot of power and every agent wanted a go.  You know why I agreed to do it in the first place, I wanted to get back, to the Doctor but you know I don't want that any more."

Alec put his arms around her and turned her to face him.  It reminded Rose of so long ago, standing in the other Torchwood, joking about her mother looking normal and the Doctor in his silly 3D glasses and then being torn away and her being stubborn and going back.  If only she hadn't taken off that device around her neck as she had been flung towards the void, she could have used it to get to safety, back to him.

"Rose, you know I love you darlin' ever since we met, when you get back, we have plans to make, ok?"

"Yeah, I want to make proper plans with you, you know I do."

She leaned her head on his chest, his heart was beating irregularly as she'd become used to all the time she'd known him, almost six months and she loved him unconditionally, the love she had felt for the Doctor but Alec returned that love with his broken heart and he was finally going to do something about it – for her because he wanted to make a life with her.

"Then when you get back, I've something very important to talk to you about and no, I'm not telling you what about, you have to come back to me to find out."

Rose stood on her tip-toes and kissed him.  "Mmm, you'd make a great Torchwood agent Alec, do you know that?  You're almost as bad as Yvonne out there."

She nodded towards the other woman, who was reading last minute adjustments out to the cannon operator and the assistants.  Pete and Jake were over the other side, talking, Mickey was away in Scotland sorting out some aliens who thought it was amusing to start dyeing sheep different colours.

"No way am I joining this lot Rose, I've seen what it's done to you and I thought we'd finally got it behind us, to start a new life – me after that last case and you, leaving Torchwood for good.  You know I accepted what you did though I hated it and you promised even though this was hanging over you that we'd ride it out and hopefully it would be forgotten about but I never expected for you to be called in for it so soon.  I've hardly got started with you, I love you Rose."

"I love you too Alec, you and your broken heart, that you're finally gonna get fixed.  I wore you down, the great Alec Hardy, ha ha!"

"Yes, you did, Miss clever clogs, don't be so smarmy about it.  When you get back, we'll go off for the weekend, ok?"

"Ok lover, now give me a good snogging and make sure Yvonne sees what she's depriving us of."

They only broke apart at the impatient tapping on the door and Yvonne pointing to her watch.

"Time's up you two.  Come on Rose, it's almost ready, go get changed, you've got five minutes, then pick up your things."

Alec mumbled something about she could have given them another five minutes snogging but it would never have been enough.  He knew when he'd accepted what Rose did, this was what it must have been like for her, getting ready to go.

"Relax, it's all routine Alec, honestly.  They do this all the time, it's very precise and as soon as my portable device recharges, which is forty five minutes, I press the button, the cannon receives a signal and when everything is checked, which only takes a few seconds, it brings me back but in emergencies, it can move us from one point to another by pressing it twice in quick succession."

Alec had so many questions but Rose just kissed him, picked up the purple long-sleeved jumper and the blue leather jacket and went off to the ladies room.  She got changed, looked in the mirror and smiled, surely what Alec had meant was he was going to propose to her when she got back – another incentive to get all this over with.  She loved him and nothing would make her happier than being Alec Hardy's wife, even if it was his second one.

The final calculations had been typed into the computer that controlled the cannon, Rose stuffed a universal credit card into the jacket pocket and a mobile phone, which had a sort of 'universal roaming' on it though it was dimensional roaming really which enabled her to be able to call any number wherever she landed should the need arise.  A team were working on agents being able to call inter-dimensional and it was close to completion so if they needed, the controller could move them to different locations, which was also being worked on but she would never get to use it, this was her last mission and nothing would persuade her otherwise, she was going to marry Alec.

One last kiss, in front of everyone, they didn't care.  Pete had told Jake that Alec had asked him for his permission to marry Rose, Jake had said if Alec asked, he'd be his best man and Pete had said Jackie hadn't been told yet or she would have the date set with the caterers already planning it.

All Alec could do after their last kiss was walk her across to where Yvonne was waiting. 

"Bye Rose, you will be careful?"

"Yeah, I will and you'll hardly miss me but if I don't get back for a while, promise you won't go back to Broadchurch without me, will you?"

"No, I promise, I'm sure your mother will be only too happy to put me up overnight."

"Oh, I'm sure she will and she'll have plenty of questions about your intentions towards me."

"You can bet on that sweetheart.  I'll see you soon.  I love you Rose."

"I love you too Alec.  Bye everyone, try to keep Alec calm while I'm away or he'll be having that surgery before I get back."

"Maybe that would be a good thing, eh Alec?" Pete smiled.  He had a feeling Alec would bring the surgery forward if Rose agreed to marry him.

Alec gave the best smile he could, mainly so it was the last thing Rose would see, not that he had anything to smile about except her maybe saying yes to him, which he doubted she'd refuse and maybe not even think about it.  As he watched Rose and Yvonne, Rose finally learning the nature and urgency of the mission, which to Rose didn't justify tearing her away from the man she loved, whom she was certain was about to ask her to marry him, he saw Yvonne move away, a buzzing on the dimension cannon itself and Rose disappeared in a flash.

He crossed over to Pete and Jake.

"I know you've done this before, not only with Rose but with others but how long does it normally take?"

"We can't be certain Alec, it depends where she's gone, I'm sure she's explained to you this world runs ahead of many others, sometimes it's behind and sometimes, rarely, there's no difference.  We're working on projects where we can communicate with the traveller, even move them short distances if needed but that won't concern Rose once she gets back.  Now, if she's gone a while, Jackie will insist you stay with us tonight and if Rose comes back, it will only take her half an hour to get home or you can come down and collect her, I'm sure she'll wait for you."

"Fine but we stay here, as long as we can, I'll not leave until I have to."

"I'm sure Yvonne will welcome your company Alec but Jake and I have to get back to work, we'll be called when she comes back and she'll need debriefing."

Alec crossed over and sat himself on the sofa in the corner by the window and waited for the love of his life to come back.  Only tiredness would get him away until she returned to him, he was way beyond annoyed with the whole situation but he'd promised her he'd put up with Torchwood for her sake and he had but now it was showing.

ooooooooo{silversurfer60}ooooooooo

As Rose had landed, having forty five minutes to wait and having to complete her mission, she knew she wasn't on her original world and had been surprised by what the nature of it had been and why her.  She knew the cannon measured timelines and they'd found one in particular that was mystifying to say the least and Rose soon found what she wanted, the cause of why a completely separate world was springing up but she was under strict orders not to interfere. 

There were no signs of a Doctor here but as her time was almost up, Rose saw a mist building up around her and she was counting the moments when she could activate her device, knowing it would take a few seconds for it to carry her back to her adopted world and her lover.  To Rose, it felt like the whole world was folding in on her and if she wasn't extremely lucky, she would be lost here forever.  Everything around her had been veiled by the mist, all sounds were muted, all except the beating of her own slightly faster than normal heartbeat and she knew what it must be like now for Alec.

Then she heard the beeping of her device, she'd never been so glad to hear it.  She pressed it once, waited and the mist was replaced by blackness and she knew after that, she'd arrive moments later in the dimension cannon room and Alec would be waiting for her.  She wondered as she pressed the button, how long she'd been away, it never normally was more than a few hours, a day or two at most, she was happy it was never too long, she didn't want to miss Tony growing up and now, she didn't want to miss Alec's surgery or him proposing to her.

The blackness cleared but instead of the familiar top floor of Torchwood tower, she was surrounded by rubble.  She was standing right where the tall building should have been, the other buildings intact all around her but as she looked up, there were no familiar zeppelins she'd become used to seeing in the sky and the device she was still holding went dead, which didn't bother her in particular as it only was good for one jump but where the hell was she and more importantly, where was Torchwood and Alec?
Chapter 2
Rose looked all around her, nothing else had changed, all the familiar buildings were there, the bank headquarters next door so whatever had happened, either Torchwood Tower had never been built wherever or whenever she was because if it had been demolished, someone had done a very good job with it.  Well the weather felt about the same as where she'd just left, which was March, the reason she was wearing a long sleeved insulated jumper and the leather jacket. 

Thankfully, no-one had noticed her arrival, she was debating making her way to the shopping mall, head for the underground station or just get a taxi back home, she still wasn't thinking straight.  Why was there no Torchwood?  Then she had one thought – what had happened to everyone there and the man she loved?  She just hoped that whatever had taken place, he wasn't there, nor Pete or Jake, she knew Mickey had been away in Scotland, an amusing assignment she would have gladly swapped for her own.

She'd gained nothing useful to tell Yvonne when she got back, the cause of the aspiring parallel world a human woman called Donna Noble but whatever had started it, it was ending since she'd got out just in time.  Her phone had come in useful, she'd connected to the internet and got what she'd needed but it was well and truly over, like the person responsible had been snapped out of it all of a sudden and it had never existed.  What would have happened had her device not activated in time, she dreaded to think.

Would the air have run out, would she have been in limbo?  Maybe it would have been similar to being in the void, there would have been nothing according to how the Doctor had described it to her.  Fingering the credit card in her pocket, she could at least get some cash and get a taxi home, or charge it to her father's account, since he had them with all the London cab companies in case Rose or her mother ran out of cash, Pete knowing now what women were like at going on spending sprees, something he'd not had to face with the first Jackie since she put everything on his accounts.

Making her way to the shopping mall, she located an ATM, got fifty pounds out and checked the time on her phone, which was updated by whatever network it switched to, which funnily was not one she recognised and saw the time was ten thirty.  She'd left nearer twelve, having been forced from the home she and Alec shared at eight but she wasn't too bothered, it wasn't the first time that had happened, she would check the date later.

She hailed a cab outside and gave the driver the address.

"Are you sure about that Miss?" he quizzed her.

"Yeah, why wouldn't I be?"

"Nothing, it's just no-one ever goes there now."

Rose knew most people who visited always had their own cars or drivers, especially when her mother held one of her famous parties, which were even more popular than the first Jackie Tyler's.  She just hoped Alec was there, having been prised out, forcibly knowing him as he'd been anxious to say the least and would have sat on Yvonne's sofa, glaring at her for her daring to send his girlfriend into the unknown.  She was surprised he'd not demanded to go with her but he wasn't well and he had to be careful.

She wouldn't have let him anyway, once he'd had his surgery though, well there was no telling what difference it would make to both their lives.  What Rose couldn't understand was how could the building just disappear like that?  Little did she know but when she had taken the cash out of the machine, the ball had started rolling.  As the cab drove down the familiar road to what had been her home, until she'd moved in with Alec, a strange feeling came over her. 

It looked different, she should be able to see the top of the mansion in the distance but couldn't and when the driver stopped at the gates, they were hanging off their hinges with chains holding them together – this was not good.  Panicking wouldn't do her any good, she knew that.

"Hey, don't you get out without paying first," the driver demanded as Rose put her hand on the door handle. 

"Where am I gonna go mate?  If you want paying, just wait here a minute."

"Huh, please yourself love but like I said, no-one's been here for years, where've you been?  Living on a remote island or something?"

Rose opened the door on the kerbside.  "Or something.  What happened here?"

"What do you think I am?  A newspaper?  If you don't already know, believe me love, you don't want to.  The meter's still running, in case you've forgotten."

Rose went up to the gate to peer through at the ruins, if you even could call a pile of rubble that, just like Torchwood Tower but that had been neater.  There was nothing she could do, where could she go?  She'd never even tried the phone, it had a few numbers in the address book and of course, she knew Alec's and her mothers off by heart, she could recite Alec's backwards in her sleep.  She reluctantly got back into the cab.

"Happy now?" the driver smugly asked her, as if to say he told her no-one wanted to go there, which he had.  "Where to then?  Want to see any more ruins do you?"

"Take me to the coach station then, thanks."

"Right, coach station it is, last time I checked, that was still standing, luckily for you."  He looked in the rear-view mirror.  "You ok love?"

"No, not really, I don't want to talk about it, if it's all the same to you."

"Suits me love."

Rose knew better than to tell anyone it had been her family home, that her mother, stepbrother and stepfather, possibly Alec had been there but the driver had said no-one had been there for years so how long had she been away?  She got her phone out and hesitated looking at the date.  It should have been the 20th of March 2014, two weeks since Alec watched Joe Miller walk free from court and the town had dispensed justice in its place and sent him away with a warning not to come back, Alec saying it was far more fitting than locking him up, since it was highly unlikely he'd even dare come back.

She didn't know whether to breathe a sigh of relief or not, it was Friday, 24th March 2014, four days had gone by.  What the hell had happened in four days?  Then it hit her.  No, it wasn't possible, was she on yet another parallel world?  No Torchwood Tower, no mansion and worst of all, no Alec or her family, she was all alone and by now, her device should have recharged but it had not beeped to let her know and even if it did, she couldn't activate it sat in the back of a taxi cab.

The driver pulled up outside the city's busy coach station and pressed the meter, just short of twenty pounds.  Rose got the notes out of her pocket, gave him a twenty without looking at it and got out after saying thanks.  If she'd been thinking straight, she would have examined the banknotes for the face of the president who had been 'deleted' by the Cybermen all those years ago.  She never even realised she was hungry until she passed a fancy bakery stand, smelled the coffee and gave in, getting a latte and a sandwich, which was over-priced whatever world she found herself in.

She sat on a bench, deciding what to do.  There was only one thing to do, find out the time of the next coach to Broadchurch and see if for some reason, Alec had gone back there, knowing she would follow but what if he'd been taken to hospital, when she'd not come back?  How would she even find out where he'd been taken, there were half a dozen hospitals he could have gone to but Pete would have taken care of it, made sure he got the best care available or he'd have to answer to her mother, Jackie had become very fond of Alec and if she'd got a whim Alec was going to propose to her, the arrangements would have already been made.

She got up and went to the departures board.  The next coach to Exeter, stopping at Broadchurch was in an hour so having spent most of her cash, she went up to the ticket office and got a return ticket to Broadchurch, wishing now the trains still stopped there, Ellie had told her the station had closed a few years ago despite attempts to keep it open.

"Hi, can I get a return to Broadchurch?  Open-ended?"

Another twenty five pounds gone, this was getting expensive.  She put her card into the reader and entered the number that worked anywhere she used it, on or off world, got the receipt and ticket and turned away but what she hadn't known was, the man behind the desk closed his partition, to the annoyance of the man behind Rose and checked the details that had just come up on his screen.  The woman he'd just issued the ticket to was Rose Tyler.  Still, all he'd been told to do was inform anyone in the place she'd got a ticket to and leave it to them, the authorities in London would just say it wasn't their concern after all this time, it was down to where she travelled to.

He looked up the number for Broadchurch Police Station, the desk sergeant answering.

"Hello, this is London Queen Victoria coach station, I have to inform you that Rose Tyler just bought a ticket, to your town."

The desk sergeant dropped his pen, had he heard right?  It wasn't his job to question what he'd just been told, he had to tell the person in charge, which unfortunately today was grumpy ass – Alec Hardy, since the chief was away at a meeting over at regional headquarters in Exeter.

Alec Hardy was sitting in his office, hands behind his head and thinking about asking Becca Fisher to spend the weekend with him though how many times she'd turned him down since his arrival, he'd lost count so it was probably the same routine of getting a cold shower again.  Now he wished he'd stayed in Sandbrook and tried to get his old girlfriend back from the DS who she'd run off with while he'd been taking the evidence back to the station and arresting Lee Ashworth and his accomplices.  Still, that's what you got for doing your job properly.  A tap came on his door, causing him to take his feet off the edge of the desk.

It was the DS, Pete Lawson, whom to Alec wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed.

Pete had been on the phone.  "Right, I'll pass that on, thanks for letting us know."  He got up and knocked on Alec's door, who was just about to go get some lunch.

"Sir, we just got a phone call from the coach station in London."

"Well, so what?  Out with it Lawson, I'm interested because?" Alec asked, now bored out of his mind. 

Why the hell had he taken this job?  Then he'd got left in charge while the chief went swanning off whenever she felt like it and as if that wasn't bad enough, the DS he'd been stuck with when he'd got here had gone off on maternity leave, leaving that idiot Lawson in her place.

"Sir, the caller said Rose Tyler had bought a ticket, to here."

"What?" Alec growled, his feet now touching the floor as opposed to resting on the litter bin under his desk and the said litter spilling under the desk.  "Is this someone's idea of a joke?  You mean to tell me she comes out of hiding, after four years and gets on a coach to Broadchurch?  You lot are having me on."

"No Sir, the caller said she used a credit card, the name on it was Rose Tyler, there was no mistake."

By now, half of the office were looking in Alec's direction.  He brushed his hand over his scruffy beard, that way now because since Tess walked out on him, he'd had no desire to try and catch himself another girlfriend, not because she'd broken his heart but because he swore blind he'd never trust another woman but maybe he'd make an exception if Becca were to ditch the local vicar.  He'd give it one more try this weekend, since he'd learned Paul Coates was attending a synod in Yeovil or was that an AA meeting?  It was hard to tell but it amused him that the local clergy were just like everyone else, easy to be tempted.

"Right, find out what time that coach gets here and have two uniformed officers, one of them to be female, waiting at the bus shelter in the square.  Then bring her back here to me and don't get rough with her, it may just be someone impersonating Rose Tyler, why would she want to come to this dead-end town?"

He didn't care that half the office actually came from there, it was the pits as far as he was concerned, he still hated the sea and the sand and as for the blue sky, well not so blue in March, well no-one had better even get him started on that.

"Sir, shall I issue a photo to the two officers?"

Alec thumped his fist on the desk, scattering folders and making poor Pete jump, not that Pete Lawson was scared of him – much.  It delighted Alec every time the man quivered when he got up to even make himself a coffee. 

"Well, since it's been four years since anyone has even seen her Lawson, what do you think?  That they'll remember her like they saw her yesterday?  Have you any idea how many wanted and missing persons photos the officers see every day?  Well do you?"

"No Sir, I'll get them from the file and have them copied shall I?"

Alec shook his head in despair, what had he done to deserve this?  Who had he got so riled that this was the only chief that would take him after putting two killers and an accomplice behind bars, was that all the thanks he'd got?

"Get out of here Lawson and when she gets here, treat her fairly until I find out if it really is her, understood?  If she's harmed, I'll string anyone up from the Town Hall spire.  Now go."

Pete went back to his desk, wishing he'd never even passed his sergeant's exams and that Ellie Miller would have her baby and come back to work or she'd never got herself pregnant.  Hardy was a total pain in the ass and he wished he'd get himself a girlfriend, then he might leave everyone alone and stop harassing the female detectives in the corridor, most of whom had made complaints about him but nothing had happened.

Alec heard the door closing behind Lawson and went back to his computer screen, now doing a search on Rose Tyler.  He wanted to be prepared for her arrival and since he hardly knew anything about why she was on the 'Most Wanted' list, was surprised at the charges against her and that very little had been done to bring her in when she'd gone into hiding with her trusted friend, Jake Simmonds, who he personally thought was the one responsible or he'd got her involved.

As Alec was looking it up, picking up the phone and calling the records department and then changing his mind until it was established if it was actually her or not, Rose had boarded the coach to Broadchurch.  In current traffic it was estimated she would get there around five or so and she just hoped her Alec was there but it was slowly dawning on her – this was not her adopted world, too many things were not adding up in her mind.  Torchwood being gone, no missed calls from Alec or her mother on her phone, which if she had been, Alec would have been frantically calling her and sending messages and her old home was gone.  How could that have possibly happened in four days?

She had chosen to sit at the back of the coach, the battery was now getting low on her phone so she couldn't even keep connected to the internet, desperately trying to find out if indeed her device had brought her to yet another world and if this was her original one, before she'd been torn from it unceremoniously all those years ago.  She'd found some information but the one thing she had not done was look up her family or Alec and most importantly, herself.

If she was indeed on the wrong world or something had gone badly wrong while she'd been away, phones and internet access could be traced and she could be in serious trouble from anyone who was monitoring for those keywords, even for Alec's name, which had been on numerous occasions alongside her own as the society columns speculated Rose was on the verge of marrying the detective but if this wasn't her world, maybe it wouldn't.  Maybe there was a Alec Hardy here who didn't even know her but there was only one way to find out, when she got to Broadchurch, she would go right to the police station and hope the detective there was like her own Alec, if he was even in town.

She was soon to find out as the coach left Dorchester, the last stop before Broadchurch and she was less than eager to arrive, if her Alec wasn't there but what of her family?  First things first though, if she found Alec, he'd know where they were, if it was her Alec.  What if the Alec Hardy here was nothing like the one she loved?  He could be really bad, he could lock her up for goodness knew what, she didn't want to think about it, she wanted the Alec Hardy who loved her, unconditionally, put up with her and was about to ask her to marry him.

As the coach turned left at the second roundabout, she passed the familiar town sign for 'Broadchurch – Twinned with St Vaaste La Hougue' wherever that was, Rose had never got around to asking any of the residents and Ellie had just said not to ask her.  That was a thought, Ellie may know what happened if she couldn't find Alec, at least Ellie would try and help her but that all depended now if she really was on the right world, which was looking more doubtful by the minute as the coach went around the mini-roundabout, along the road and pulled in front of the green where the bus shelter was.

As she looked out of the window, she saw two police officers, maybe Alec couldn't get out and had sent them to meet her but why would she even need an escort and how would he know she was on the coach, unless the ticket office had alerted him?

The driver of the coach called out "Broadchurch" over the speaker system and Rose got up, making her way to the front, her muttering a "thanks" as he opened the door.  Before she had stepped onto the short pavement, the officers approached her, the female with a photo in her hand.

As Rose had been getting up, the WPC had spoken to her colleague.

"Just you remember what Hardy said, no rough stuff, he has to be sure it's really her."

"Quit worrying Stevens, of course it's her, why wouldn't it be?"

"Really, after all this time?  Hardy must have his doubts."

"Stevens, Hardy goes after any female who doesn't bother covering herself up properly, even more so if they're blonde," he nodded towards Rose as she stepped off the coach.

"Yeah, well he won't be so keen if it really is her but she does look a bit different, though it's been four years."

"Miss Tyler?  Will you come with us please?  Don't make a fuss, it will be better for you if you don't resist."

Rose looked around, there were a few people outside the amusement arcade but there was no newspaper office next to it, the local paper where she had come from had recently relocated there – this was already a bad sign.

"I'm not gonna resist but am I under arrest?"

"No Miss but we've been instructed to take you to the station, the officer in charge wants to speak to you."

Rose thought at first Alec was either playing a joke on her or he'd been worried she wouldn't get off the coach but why wouldn't she want to see him, if it really was him?

"Yeah, well I'd like to see whoever's in charge as well, do you meet all visitors off the coach?  So go on then, who wants to see me that I need an escort?  I know where the police station is."

Stevens kept quiet, Hardy was most welcome to this one.  Her colleague spoke instead.

"You've been here before then?" he asked, as they crossed over the river, Rose unable to see the home she and Alec shared, since the male officer was quite tall.

"You could say that.  You didn't answer my question, who wants to see me?"

Rose was now getting worried she got no answer and as they approached the entrance to the harbour caravan park, it looked different, there was a barrier across and it was just re-opening before she'd set off for London.  They crossed the road, walked in front of the glass-fronted apartments and up the steps, where she and Alec had often greeted each other and kissed, much to the officers' outside amusement.  They escorted her up to the front desk, Rose didn't recognise the sergeant behind it.

"We've got to escort her to Hardy's office, his orders," WPC Stevens stated, taking Rose's arm and steering her towards the lift, obviously they thought she was going to get lost going to Alec's office on her own and at least she'd said Hardy, that was something.

The desk sergeant chuckled, everyone knew Hardy went after every woman in a skirt or trousers.

"Who's she then?  Another of a long line of hopefuls, on his part?" 

He also knew the DI's record on scoring, which was virtually nil to his knowledge.

Rose had kept quiet, trying to figure out what was going on, she was getting scared, this wasn't going to be her Alec after all.
Chapter 3
While this Alec Hardy had been waiting for who was believed to be Rose Tyler, he had not been idle, well he'd not had DS Pete Lawson be idle, he'd had him printing everything out he'd sent him links to and putting the papers in a folder and it was now in front of him after he'd finally got out for his lunch, albeit just across the road to the catering stall where that wimp of a junior reporter had tried to ask him again for the exclusive as to what had brought him to the town after his last case was over.

Olly Stevens (who repeatedly insisted he was no relation to WPC Stevens) had seen the detective inspector come down the steps, hold his hand up to a car driver who was coming up the road, getting him verbal abuse about looking where he was going and keeping out of his way while Alec ordered his food, waited until Alec was sat on the bench, playing with his phone and debating whether to warn Becca Fisher he was going to give her yet another chance to change her mind about him.

His last attempt had resulted in her telling him never in a trillion years would she go out with him even if the vicar turned out to be a loser, which Alec had already judged he was and she wouldn't even have a one-night stand with him.  He decided not to bother and instead, found himself watching Olly Stevens creep steadily towards where he was sitting and pretending not to have noticed.

When he got too close for Alec's comfort, he decided now was the time to warn him off.

"Go away Stevens, I don't talk to the press."

"Did I say anything?  You talked to Karen White but was that because she was just your type?"

Any woman who would give him the time of day was currently his 'type' but he'd even failed with the London reporter, well he'd got slightly further than he'd done with Becca, Karen White had let him take her out for dinner, taken him back to her hotel room where they'd snogged and groped each other for half an hour, then Alec had taken it she wanted him to have sex with her and she'd slapped his face and told him to go get lost.  That was a slight improvement he'd thought but it could have been the reason Tess had finally decided to leave him, she must have guessed.  That or him chatting up Sandra from the typing pool, she'd screwed a face at him and told him she'd rather date a toad.

He really didn't know why women kept turning him down so much, those who'd met him for the first time said he was charming, polite, very chatty and good-looking but after an hour, they'd just say goodnight and he'd never see them again and the women at the station just plain didn't like him.  Maybe Tess had rung them all up and told them he'd cheated on her, well he'd only done it because he'd suspected she was seeing Dave when he'd had to work and she was with him that night Ashworth was arrested.

He was just glad he'd not trusted her to take the evidence back to the station, she'd reportedly been meeting Dave and the stupid cow would have probably left the evidence in the car and knowing her, it would have been broken into – she was always leaving valuables on display and her being a DS, she should have known better, he'd repeated told her about it.

Still, if this Rose Tyler was a fraud, she might be worth asking out to dinner.  If she was on her way here at this time, the chances were she'd not leave until morning, she might stay the night with him, if it meant she didn't have to pay for a hotel but why was she coming to Broadchurch of all places?

There were plenty of other seaside towns along the coast, why had she picked this one?  Did she know someone here?  Little did he know his life was going to be turned upside down by her arrival.  As Rose was being 'escorted' in the lift to the second floor of the peculiar shaped building that was round at the front and looked like there was nothing to it, she looked at the two officers.  She should have known them but she didn't and she knew the regular desk sergeant as she often waited for Alec coming down if he'd said to meet her there.

"So, are either of you going to tell me anything then?  Are you taking me to DI Hardy's office?  If you are, I do know the way."

Stevens wouldn't have thought any woman would actually admit to knowing him, let alone where his office was.

"You'll find out Miss.  We're just under orders to escort you there, that's all, he'll be the one to judge what to tell you, or not."

"Great," Rose muttered to herself, what the hell was going on?  Was Alec playing games with her?  It was totally out of character for him unless he himself was under orders for some reason and maybe that reason was both Torchwood and her old home being in ruins and why had no-one even tried to contact her?  Not that her phone would last any length of conversation, she should get it charged.

Stepping out of the lift and walking down the corridor, they entered the squad room, Rose expecting to see Ellie sitting there with a big smirk on her face and shouting "Surprise" for some strange reason but the only ones she recognised were Frank, whom she had never learned his surname and a shy Pete Lawson, who to say he was shy, had apparently been the Latimers family liaison officer throughout the murder enquiry.  Now he was sitting facing who she thought was Alec, the door slightly open and he sat there, a file open on his desk and no glasses, which seemed a bit odd to her.

The WPC tapped on the door and he looked up, he really wanted to go home, it was after five and he'd been bored all day, well apart from when he'd learned who was supposedly on her way here, the infamous Rose Tyler – wanted on numerous counts of manslaughter, including her family and close associate, whom Alec had assumed must have been a former boyfriend, the destruction of property, namely the Tyler mansion and Torchwood Tower and treason.

"Sir, we've got her, she's all yours now."

"Thanks, whatever your name is, Stevens is it?  I know, you're not related to that clown of a junior reporter.  Leave her with me, you can go now."

WPC Stevens had every intention of leaving, she should have been off duty half an hour ago if Hardy hadn't sent her to get the blonde, who she thought looked nothing like Rose Tyler from the photo and she swore he'd picked on her because she'd refused his advances – twice.

"Miss Tyler, have a seat,  Stevens, before you go, get Miss Tyler some tea or coffee."

If Alec was playing some kind of game with her, he was doing it very well and he'd shaved most of his beard off, there was only about a day's growth while her Alec's was about two.

"So, what am I doing here then?  How did you know to send someone to get me off the coach?"

"We were alerted when you bought the ticket and since then, the cash withdrawal you took from a machine at Canary Wharf, returning to the scene of the crime was not one of your best ideas Miss Tyler but why now, after all this time?"

"All this time?  What's everyone talking about?  Ok, I was there, the tower I left a few hours ago was gone, like it never existed, then I get in a cab, the driver tells me I don't want to go to where I used to live and when I do get there, it's a pile of rubble.  So, explain to me why and how that's happened in just four days."

"Hang on, you said you left the tower a few hours ago, so what's with the four days?"

Rose's drink was brought in so she remained silent, the only person she may possibly trust was sitting looking amused at her.  Did she trust him though?  She had very little choice, this was not the Alec Hardy who was her lover.

"Can anyone hear me out there?"

Alec got up, closed the door and pulled down the blinds.  "Right, why don't you start by answering a few of my questions?  You are Rose Tyler are you not?"

"Well yeah but hang on, you answer my question first, since I'm not under arrest, what happened to Torchwood and my family and you're not the Alec Hardy I know."

"You think you know me?  Oh, did my old station put you up to all this?  I knew that cow would get me back, she did, didn't she?"

"Who are you talking about?  No-one put me up to anything, apart from that stupid woman at Torchwood who sent me on my last mission.  Oh, didn't I mention?  I was an agent, one who went on special assignments, I left just before midday and the next thing I know, I'm standing in a pile of rubble where less than an hour before, I'd been on the top floor and it's four days later and if that wasn't enough, my family home's gone.  If you're really Alec Hardy, something's changed while I've been away."

"I'd say that was a bit of an understatement, wouldn't you?  I am Alec Hardy, trust me, sometimes I wish I was someone else but I'm still here.  Ok, let's say I believe you, how do you explain this?"

He passed the folder he'd got Pete Lawson to compile of all the things he'd thought relevant, maybe he'd missed something.  If she really was Rose Tyler, why had she come out of hiding after four years, risk getting arrested for what was claimed she'd done and then ask where Torchwood and her family were?  Things were not adding up in his mind and then it hit him.  She could have lost her memory or just got it back, having no real knowledge of what had gone on four years ago.  If that was the case, could she be held responsible for it?  More than that though, she claimed she knew him but he'd remember someone like her.

Rose stared at the contents of the folder as page after page revealed newspaper reports, claims of Torchwood being split into two factions, her and Jake against Pete and Mickey, claims that her mother had disowned her, employees had taken sides and what devastated her was the next set of reports.

Alec sat and watched her, there was no way she was the same Rose Tyler who all the claims were about as he saw tears in her eyes as she read first, how she and Jake had supposedly planted chemical explosives under Torchwood Tower and waited until the minimum of staff had been inside and remotely set off the explosives when at the same time blowing up the Tyler mansion with her mother, father and young brother along with her old friend, Mickey Smith.

Then the reports read that a massive hunt had taken place for her and Jake and anyone who'd been on their side and she'd gone into hiding and four years later, she was still on the Interpol 'Most Wanted' list but police resources in big cities such as London were stretched to the limits with false reports and sightings someone had seen her, it had been decided wherever she turned up, they were responsible for handing her over as a terrorist.

Rose flung the folder on the desk, they thought she was responsible for all this.  Maybe Rose Tyler was but it wasn't her.  There had never been another Rose Tyler on Pete's world but here, there apparently was but surely she hadn't been responsible either?  Just because she'd disagreed with how Torchwood was run didn't mean you blew up the place and killed your family, including a four year old boy?

Then it struck her.  The reports said it was four years ago, Tony was only just going on towards five and it said father, not stepfather.  She'd been flung onto yet another world.  She was devastated, not only at what had happened but she wasn't in Kansas any more and this most definitely was not her Alec.

"I can see by your reaction you're not her so why did you have her credit card?  Where is she?"

"I've no idea, I told you, I just got here, weren't you listening to me?  Look, I'm tired, I'm confused as hell and I'm hungry so lock me up, at least I'll have a meal and a place to stay tonight because I've got no place else to go and right now, that's looking good."

Alec swallowed.  He half believed her, he should hear her out and there was nothing to say he couldn't try and spend the night with her, if she wasn't who everyone thought she was.  He had no idea what that was going to involve.

"Right, first explain to me how you claim you left at midday, then claim four days have gone by.  Are you a time traveller or something?"

At least it sounded like he might actually believe her, the other Alec had.

"You might say that, of sorts, I've travelled in time more than you've had hot dinners though you're not quite as skinny as my Alec."  There again, her Alec was ill.

"Your Alec?  Oh, I get it, you're going to tell me you've travelled from my future and we're together?"  That would be a change he thought, a woman actually being in his future who'd still want him.  Maybe he just tried too hard to get one.

"No, not exactly, you're not my Alec because……..  How do I put this?  You believe me about the time travelling bit then?"

"If I have to.  Look. I believe you're not her, so who are you?  Just another woman who happens to have the same name or did you steal her identity and thought it would be fun to come down here and wind me up?  As if I didn't have enough with all the incompetent idiots I have to work with.  If you've stolen someone's ID, why hers when it could get you arrested?"

Rose was tired, hungry and longed to fall asleep with the man she loved but that wasn't going to happen in a hurry, she might get something to eat, if he locked her up.

"I didn't steal her ID, I am Rose Tyler, from another world, a parallel one but hey, if I'd known there was another one here who was on the most wanted list, I'd have gone somewhere else.  I was the only one where I came from.  The reports say Pete Tyler was my father, well mine was my stepfather, he adopted me when my mum married him and Tony Tyler was my half brother and he's not even five yet, I'm gonna miss his birthday next week and my Alec wouldn't be questioning me, he'd try and make some sense of it all and you're not him."

"Yes, I'm getting that bit, so you keep telling me.  He must have been something."

"Yeah, he was gonna ask me to marry him.  We lived here, in Broadchurch and when I landed in London, I thought he'd come home but this isn't home.  If you're not gonna lock me up, I'll get out of your way, since you say you have enough going on right now."

Alec got up and sat on the corner of the desk, how the hell had he got lumbered with her?

"Ok, so where are you going to go at almost six in the evening with I guess, no money?  The credit card you used will probably have a trace on it now, since you got caught using it to buy a ticket here.  The authorities left it to the police force wherever you went to and right now, that's me.  I have to decide if you're really her or not and right now, let's just say it's going in favour of I don't think you are her but you've got to help me out.  I'm going to let you go on the provision you don't leave town and since you've no money, that won't be difficult.  When did you last eat?"

"I got an over-priced sandwich at the coach station, why?"

"There's a takeaway around the corner, my treat, I'm a sucker for hard-luck cases.  We can get fish and chips and then we'll decide what to do with you.  I live down by the river, we can get them to take out and I'll make you a cup of tea."

"Yeah, then what, you'll throw me out to fend for myself?  No thanks."

"What other choices do you have?  If I pick up that phone and tell them I have Rose Tyler in my custody, how long do you think it will be before men in black come to haul you back to London?  I'd say my offer comes out on top, wouldn't you?  Look Rose, I'm not trying to back you into a corner, despite my reputation around here, I'm not trying to pick you up, honestly, though the others would say I was but I genuinely want to help you.  I don't think you're her and I don't think she's responsible for what happened.  I read up about her, most people just assumed she was guilty but I think she just got caught up in it all and she got the blame, because it was easy to place it all on her and she never protested her innocence, she went into hiding."

"Can't really say I blame her, do you?  Ok, you can buy me something to eat, then what?  Lock me up in one of the cells?  Believe me, I know what they're like, I had to get my Alec to lock me in when my little brother wanted to know what it was like."

Alec smiled, he could just imagine.  "Well, I think I can do better than a cell for the night, you can use my spare bedroom, in return you can make me breakfast in the morning and when we leave this office, no more talking in public about your brother or your family, if you want to convince everyone you're not the Rose Tyler who's wanted for acts of terrorism."

"They thought I was a terrorist?  For blowing up Torchwood?"

"Well I don't know about where you came from but the Torchwood here was very powerful here, under the direct leadership of Pete Tyler, the vice-president."

"Pete Tyler was president of Vitex, not the vice-president and Director of Torchwood where I come from."

Alec got up, offering her his hand.

"I don't mean of Vitex, whatever that might be, I've never heard of it.  No, I meant he was the vice-president of Great Britain and the home that got blown up was his London residence.  That's why I, personally don't think Rose Tyler did it, what did she have to gain, destroying her home and family, to oust him?  She wasn't known for being political, all she cared about was chasing all the celebrities and getting her name in the paper with them, the last one was an actor, who by some strange co-incidence, looks a bit like me, they were even talking of getting married from what I read, not that I was interested.  They say he was devastated when it happened."

What Rose wouldn't have given before she met Alec in her world to be associated with the handsome Scottish actor, whom this Alec looked like more than hers did.  Maybe it was really him, what better way was there of hiding in plain sight?  That got Rose worried, what if the other Rose Tyler were to use her to get the authorities off her back?

This Alec was opening the door, the folder he'd had created in his hand.

"Right, you lot, I've spoken to this young lady, she is not Rose Tyler, well she is, she just unfortunately happens to share the same name but that's all it is.  Lawson, get rid of these files, I don't need them any more and no-one is to take further action – understood?"

"Yes Sir.  So who is she then?"

"That's not your concern, I'm satisfied she is not the Rose Tyler in those files, I'll speak to the chief myself on Monday morning.  Since it's the weekend, don't bother calling me unless the south coast is in danger of falling into the sea, got it?"

He got a chorus of 'Yes Sir's' from those present, no-one dare leave before he did, if he decided to work late, they had to come up with a reasonable excuse as to why they shouldn't and most of them never got away with the same one twice.  He knew them all.

As they rode down in the lift, Rose wondered when he'd said he lived by the harbour if it was the same place she'd lived with her Alec.  She didn't think she could even set foot in there now, she would burst into tears.

"So, where do you live then?  If you say that blue chalet by the river, I'm out of here, coach or not, I'd rather sleep on a bench."

"What blue chalet?  No, I live behind the pub, my back garden edges onto the riverbank.  Is that where you lived?"

She hadn't been able to see as they'd crossed the river, the male officer who'd escorted her was rather large and tall but if what he'd just said was right, there was no blue chalet, the home she'd shared with the man she'd loved for six months.  As they walked down the steps and around the corner, she could see across the way, he was right, her home wasn't there.
Chapter 4
The Alec Hardy in this world is completely different to the one Rose knew and was in love with.  This one is not ill, never been married and a bit of a womaniser (in case you'd not already gathered that) but he has very little success with them.  I've based this one more like a cross between David Tennant and his portrayal of the tenth Doctor – well David was meant to be the tenth Doctor really, if you believe in the cosmos and destiny!  Certain things will creep into the story about Rose comparing him to both her Doctor and David Tennant and no intrusion to his personal life is intended, it's just Rose's mind at work!  I won't be going too much into the other Rose Tyler story and how Torchwood was destroyed – I can make another story out of that!

Alec led her to the takeaway around the corner from the station, bought two lots of fish and chips (in the paper bags that her Alec always hated eating out of) then over the river, it seeming strange there was an empty space where her and the other Alec's home had been for six months.  Rose wondered how many other differences there were, well there was the newspaper office for one that she knew about.  He led her left at the side of the wall, past some catering stalls, where the gap was when she'd crossed the footbridge, seeing a white wooden building that had been a fish restaurant in her adopted world but this was boarded up with a 'coming soon' hoarding, then they walked around the corner and up the path of a row of white painted cottages, where her Alec had originally wanted to move before she'd talked or bribed him into taking the chalet.

He stopped at the second one in and asked her to hold the packages while he got his key out, grinning as he did.

"Here we are then, home sweet home, I'll put the kettle on shall I?"

Rose looked around, it was nice, just like she'd seen on the website when they'd been looking for somewhere to rent.

"Since it's the weekend, I can't meet with my boss until Monday so you can stay until then, if you want?  Like I said, you can repay me by making breakfast and the odd meal, if you feel like it, I don't live on take-outs all the time.  First though, eat something and you can tell me more about how you found yourself standing in a pile of rubble in Canary Wharf, I'd really like to know how that was possible.  Where did you come from?  Did you time travel then?"

"Not exactly but how do I know I can trust you?"

"Who else can you trust?  Look, I really believe you're not her, the other Rose Tyler, she wouldn't come out of hiding to travel here for one thing and another, you are tired and upset, you need a good meal and some rest.  We can talk another time but I'm just curious.  I'm not going to turn you in Rose, that's not my intention and Monday, we'll put it to my chief and she'll agree with me and we can get that out of the way.  You can't use that card of yours though, if you do, you'll just draw more attention to yourself."

"Do you think I don't already know that?  So what am I supposed to do?"

"Well, not go back to London to start with but just how did you suddenly find yourself there?"

Rose reached into the pocket of the leather jacket she'd put on the back of the chair.  It was nice and cosy in the cottage, she assumed unlike her Alec, this one knew how to program the heating to come on, something she'd tried repeatedly with her version.  Her Alec just left it on low all the time, saying it was more economic than heating the whole place then letting it go cold again.  Rose had despaired at him sometimes but she loved him.

"I used this but it's dead, it must have shorted out when I landed.  Something threw me off course, so to speak, pulled me here instead of my own world.  If I could get it working again, I'll be out of your way."

Alec was enjoying her company already, maybe in the past, he had been in too much in a hurry but this one was going nowhere fast, well until at least Monday.  Then if his chief couldn't be convinced this was not the Rose Tyler who was wanted for unspeakable crimes, she'd been handed over to his superiors who would then hold her until they gathered all the evidence and charged her but he didn't think this Rose was capable of being behind what had happened and neither probably was the other one.

"Here, let me take a look?"

"Why, you can't take the back of it off like changing a watch battery, it needs a special tool and there was only one, back in the Torchwood I left standing in one piece this morning.  My stepfather and my Alec will be going crazy now, I wouldn't like to be Yvonne Hartman at this time, Alec was already mad with her for dragging us from our home first thing this morning."

"So, what were you doing?  Besides apparently dimension hopping?  Is that what this is for?"

"Yeah, there's a main device, back in my Torchwood, this sort of homes in on it, don't ask me how, but since it's probably shorted out or something, it's lost the signal.  I wish now they'd got those other things sorted, I could have called them."

Alec smiled, something Rose thought was infectious about this Alec Hardy, it reminded her of someone else, well two someones and by the minute, Rose was being convinced this was the actor pretending to be a DI.

"In other words, inter-dimensional calling?  Oh, this just keeps getting better by the minute.  You have some more explaining to do, I want to know everything, do you know how I dreamt of this when I was four years old?  It's like Star Trek."

"You have Star Trek here?  My Alec had never seen Star Wars, I made him watch it with me.  I take it you've gathered by now, he was my boyfriend?  Well he was more than my boyfriend, he was gonna ask me to marry him, when I got back.  He had a bad heart, that's when I fell in love with him because he was too scared to go get anything done about it and I finally got him to give in."

Alec could see it all over her face, she'd been in love with his counterpart where she had come from – lucky him.  He'd had no such ailments, thankfully.  As Rose told him about the other Alec battling his illness and solving a major murder enquiry, he had to give the other man his dues, to come though all that but when she said he had a failed case, one almost identical to the last major one he himself had successfully solved and that the other Alec also had a failed marriage and a teenage daughter, he thought the man deserved a medal.

"You must love him very much.  I want to help you Rose, really I do, if you'll let me?  What can I do, besides fix this device for you, which if I could, believe me, I would but I can't.  You said the main device, back in your Torchwood, I don't know much about what went on in this one, I was never bothered about all that but maybe, they had one here?  Maybe somewhere, it's still operating and it drew you here, interfered with yours."

"Yeah, maybe the other Rose Tyler is the only one who can help me, or Jake, he's probably more knowledge than she has.  Can you tell me more, about what happened?  I can't understand how she would turn on her family, just because of a fall-out in the way the organisation was run.  Me and my stepfather fall out all the time but I wouldn't blow up his house with him in it.  Who is the president here?"

"Harriet Jones, she's on her third term, everyone loves her but they're all blinded, like she's got some sort of hold over the entire country but thankfully, I don't get to vote, being from Scotland but I have to abide by the rules until such times I can get another job there.  Maybe the other Rose Tyler is hiding there, or in Wales.  What about where you come from?  Did you have a president?"

"Yeah, after one got assassinated by some metal monsters that got loose, we got another good one, she just lets Pete get on with running Torchwood but the only thing he didn't have control over was the dimension cannon project, that was Yvonne's and we all signed contracts, for so many missions and I had one left.  When I came to live in Broadchurch, I thought I'd got away with it, I resigned from Torchwood, to look after my Alec but apparently, I didn't read the small-print regarding my contract with the project, saying it was not terminated even if I left Torchwood."

"So, you were called back, for no other reason that she was just being bloody-minded?"

"Yeah, since you put it like that, my Alec was furious, it was all Pete could do to get her to agree to let him go with me.  He really tried to get me out of it, I know he did.  My mum will be frantic by now, though sometimes, we could get delayed in getting back, they may not be panicking yet, well Alec will, he'll sit in her office and refuse to leave, they'll have him camping there until I do get back.  Pete and Jake will have to drag him out and my mother will make a big fuss over him, like she always does.  She thinks he's gonna break."

Alec smiled again.  It sounded like this Rose Tyler had a happy home to go back to but she was well and truly stuck here by all accounts.  He knew from then on, he had some sort of duty to take care of her and for the first time, in a long time, he wasn't going to take advantage of her.  She was lost and a very long, long way from home.

As the evening went on, she told him more about where she came from, avoiding the whole bit where she'd come from another universe before she'd arrived at the last one, otherwise he may well have locked her up.  She told him of the rise of the Cybermen, how she'd helped stop them and they were all locked up in factories, until they'd escaped.  At that point, Rose decided to quit, she was tired and just wanted to curl up in bed with her Alec.

"I'll lend you one of my t-shirts to sleep in, you can wash your underwear, it should dry overnight and don't worry, I've had girlfriends, it's not the first time I'll have seen someone's silky knickers drying in my bathroom, well not this one, I've not had a girlfriend since I've been here.  To tell you the truth Rose, I've had no-one since my last one broke up with me, she thought I was cheating on her so she did the same to me.  I wasn't though but I almost did, when I found out.  She thought I was cheating on her with the wife of the main suspect."

Rose thought that sounded vaguely familiar but Alec had never admitted he fancied Claire Ripley.  Rose decided she'd been sad enough for one day and to lighten the mood.

"So you weren't?  Go on then, what was her name?"

"The suspect's wife or my ex girlfriend?" he grinned, taking the empty plates as Rose had learned he may accept fish and chips in paper bags but he didn't appear to like eating out of them, some things never really changed.

Rose smiled, Alec thought she was never going to.  "No, your ex.  If you say Tess, I'm gonna scream."

"Ok, I won't say Tess, that was the name of his ex?  Poor bloke, I feel sorry for him.  Did you ever meet her?"

"You could say that, she decided since his daughter was now almost sixteen she could choose if she wanted to visit him, she was coming to stay over the next holiday weekend.  I suppose he'll put it off now, it was only really for her to meet me, since I was going to be her stepmother."

Alec was feeling sorrier for her by the minute, there was no way she was making all this up.  Putting the plates to soak, he checked his phone for any missed messages, not that he'd even have any unless Tess was having a change of heart, which he sincerely doubted, he went upstairs to air the bed in the small bedroom, chose a spare white t-shirt, since most of them were of his favourite bands and some cartoon ones, got a new pair of boxers he'd never worn and put them on the spare bed.

Any thoughts he'd had of getting her into his bed were now gone as he realised she was vulnerable and needed his help.  He was perhaps the only one who would be prepared to help her since her stories were far-fetched but she was the only person he'd ever met who believed time-travel and hopping to and from other dimensions were even possible and she apparently had done both.  She'd travelled four days into the future and came from a parallel world, just how much better was it going to get?

"Rose," he called from the top of the stairs.  "I'm running a bath for you, why don't you have a nice relaxing soak in some bath salts I bought, then it will help you to sleep."

Why he'd bought them, he didn't know but now they were going to come in useful.  Shame he'd never get to see her in the bathtub.

Rose couldn't believe how good he was being to her but did he have an ulterior motive?  She hoped not, she might be missing her own Alec but she was nowhere near being ready to accept another one in his place but she'd done that with her Alec, accepted him when the two universes took the Doctor away from her but it had taken her years of being so angry at being torn away from her own planet to find him.  If this universe thought it was going to just dump her here and she was going to accept this Alec in the other one's place, it had another thing coming.

After Rose relaxed in the bath, she put the t-shirt and shorts on then washed her underwear and smiled to herself, this Alec was around the same size though since hers was ill, he was a lot thinner than he should have been but he'd gained some weight recently, now the stupid trial that should never even have taken place was over.

He had been so worked up the last week of the trial, he'd taken to eating snacks, much to hers and Ellie's amusement.  That was a thought, was there even an Ellie Miller here?  Maybe she hadn't chosen a police career in this world.  She towel dried her hair and went downstairs, hearing the kettle boiling.

"You're just in time, I was making some tea.  Feeling better?"

"Yeah, a bit.  What's gonna happen to me?  I can't stay here forever."

"Why not?  I get most of the rent paid, there's just me and nothing to say I can't have a house guest.  Stay over the weekend, see what happens, you might be begging to leave by Monday morning, I'm not the easiest person to live with, so my ex kept telling me."

"Aw, I'm sure you're not that much different to my Alec, he was a bit of a recluse until he met me.  How come you've no girlfriend?"

"I told you, I don't have the best record for keeping girlfriends, Tess was the longest, almost two years then that last case, we worked it together and it got to me, pulling that young girl out of the river.  I hounded the suspect, I almost got suspended but I got him in the end.  I expect if your Alec's suspect got away, that was what made him ill?"

"Yeah, it didn't help his marriage either, she lost the evidence and the killer walked.  We were going to try and get the case re-opened, after his surgery.  I was gonna help him go through it again, see if he missed anything.  Now you know why I have to get back.  This world's Tyler family might all be mostly gone but mine are still out there, the man I love is out there, waiting for me."

"Rose, if you've travelled four days into the future, they may not even know you're gone yet."

"That's supposed to make me feel better?  Thanks, that's a great help."

He would have normally given some quip back but this woman sat on his sofa was broken and certainly didn't need his usual brand of sarcasm that Miller had hated so much about him.  In the end though, before his DS had left and she'd been replaced by that moron Lawson, they had learned to tolerate each other.  She'd even called him the other day to invite him for dinner, now he might have to explain why he may be taking Rose with him.  Geez, he must be going soft in the head.

"I know it's been a bad day for you but you have to think positively, if they don't know you're missing yet, they still have some hope you've just got delayed, you said it wasn't exactly guaranteed you'd be back within the hour."

"Yeah, if it gets late, they'll check all the readings and if it still looks like I'm out there, they'll give me more time but Alec still won't leave without a fight, trust me.  Pete will threaten he's gonna send for my mum to drag him out.  I wish I'd taken more notice of how it all worked."

"You say the device is dead?  Does it send out a signal even if it is?  As an emergency?"

"I don't know, they never said.  It might give out something but it might be weak.  Like if we don't land at Torchwood, they can locate us but if it gives out, a backup could have been put in without us knowing.  We can also use them to jump short distances, if we land somewhere unfriendly, it's complicated."

"I can imagine.  Go get some sleep Rose, you're safe here for now and we'll get all this cleared up on Monday."

"That's easy for you to say, you haven't got a double who's wanted for goodness knows what.  How did it all happen?"

"I'll tell you tomorrow, no more talking or I'll carry you upstairs and tuck you in."

"Ok, I'm going and thanks, for believing me, I thought you'd be horrible and lock me up or kick me out."

"Well it's not guaranteed my chief won't do that.  She may believe you're not the other Rose Tyler but she might ban me from associating with you.  Not that I'll take any notice of her.  Goodnight Rose and I'll excuse you from making breakfast in the morning.  I need to go to the supermarket anyway, we'll get you a change of clothes, I doubt anyone will recognise you, it's old news now.  You were just unlucky your name came up when you used that credit card."

Rose got up, quite aware she was now only wearing his t-shirt and his shorts and he'd probably been staring at her legs.  She loved the other Alec Hardy, she wasn't looking for a replacement for him.   It was when she climbed into the inviting single bed, surprised for a single male how well kept the place was and wondered if he had a cleaner, it all hit her in the face, the gravity of it all and like being sent to Pete's world all those years ago, she had to learn how to live all over again but without Pete's powerful position and Jake's ingenuity to help her.

Everything had been done for her, her past life invented, everything she needed to be integrated into society and all the money she would ever need and here she was, in borrowed clothes and a few pounds to her name, an unlimited useless credit card in her pocket and depending on her lover's counterpart.  She tossed and turned most of the night but around six, she screamed out and Alec came rushing in, forgoing the customary knock on the door.

"Rose, it's ok, wake up," he called, as he could see from the light on the landing she was tossing her head and raising her arms.  He grabbed hold of them and almost got hit in the face, narrowly avoiding them.

"Rose, come here, it's ok, you're safe.  What the hell happened to you?"

"Alec?"

She grabbed hold of him like her life depended on it.  Then she realised it wasn't her Alec, this one looked different.

"Sorry," she muttered, trying to get free of his grip as he held her to his chest, luckily he'd put a t-shirt on before going to sleep, since he had a guest and she was missing her boyfriend.  He didn't release her though and she didn't try again.

Still snuggling in his arms, she relaxed into his chest and neck.

"It's ok Rose, you've had a bad dream.  Have you even had any sleep?"

She looked up slyly at him and he knew the answer.

"Move over, I don't bite.  Try to get some, I'll stay and make sure you do, I don't trust you."

Rose was too tired to even argue with him and woke up two hours later, still wrapped in his arms.

"Hey, you're awake, feeling better?"

He released her from one of his arms as she yawned.

"Yeah, thanks, sorry about that."

"Don't be, this is the best offer I've had in a long time, trust me. Your Alec is a very lucky man and I can see you're loyal to him but you have to come to terms with the fact, you may never get back."

After Alec made them tea and toast, he drove them down the main road to the superstore, sending Rose off to buy herself some clothes and another pair of shoes then in the afternoon, they ventured for a walk on the beach, it all seeming very surreal to Rose.  She was home and yet she wasn't and somewhere, there was her adopted world with her family and her Alec and it made her even more determined to get home but at least she had one friend in this one, who was impossible to hate.

She wondered what was wrong with other women as they'd chatted in the harbour café over lunch and he'd told her all the women in the station had turned him down flat, including Becca Fisher.

"Seriously Alec, they must be either very fussy or there's something wrong with them."

"Well you can tell them that then," he smiled as they sat on a rock, Rose realising they'd walked a fair distance, past the clifftop hut where in her world, Danny had been killed before her arrival there.

He took her hand and squeezed it.  "If you want to get home, you need to find the other Rose Tyler, maybe she's got another device, just like yours and you got intercepted."

"Yeah, well if she has, how's that gonna help me?"

"Maybe the Jake Simmonds here can fix yours?"

"Maybe he can but if hers doesn't work, I may just show them how to get it working, then what?  It could do more harm than good."

"Oh, I'd not thought of that.  You mean she may have been responsible and she may go to your world and destroy your Torchwood and family?"

Rose turned to him, pulling her hand way but he held onto it.

"Yes, she could, then I'd really be responsible.  So what do I do Alec?"

"You'll just have to wait and see if your device sends out a signal, will someone come looking for you?"

"Yeah, knowing my Alec, it will be him, illness or no illness."

That's what Alec was afraid she'd say.  Did he stand any kind of chance with her?  All he could do was wait and see.
Chapter 5
After their day out, Alec decided she needed cheering up and took her to the nearby pub, ignoring the likes of Nigel Carter and his cronies, none of them were to be trusted in his books and he suspected Carter was the ringleader of the local poachers club as he called it.  He'd tried several times to cut off their buyer with warnings he'd close down the butcher just off the High Street and now the shaven-headed man was leering at Rose, he just might do it.

As Alec reluctantly got up to get some more drinks, he went off and knew instinctively the other man would get up and cross to where he'd just been sitting.  Rose was fingering the beer mat and never noticed the surly man approaching her.

"Hello darling, you all alone now then?"

Rose thought it was a bit obvious, was he thick or something?

"No, my boyfriend will be back in a minute, I wouldn't let him catch you there if I were you."

"Him?  Wot you doing with him?  Why don't you come outside with me for a while?"

"Why would I want to do a stupid thing like that?  Get lost you creep."

Nigel didn't take too kindly to women turning him down and more often than not either dragged them around the back of the pub or followed them home.  He didn't know however that Rose was staying at Alec's place.

"We can do this the easy way or the hard way love, your choice."

"Then I choose the hard way, I just love a challenge but I don't know about him."

Alec had come back in, put the glasses on the next table and was stood behind Nigel.  Before Nigel could turn around, Alec had grabbed him by his collar.

"Are you having trouble Rose?"

"Nah, he was just leaving."

"Get out of here Carter before I throw you out and if I see you bothering her again, I'll lock you up and forget where I put the key.  Got it?"

"Get off me Hardy, she's fair game, knowing your track record.  Everyone knows what a loser you are."

That might have been true in the past but things were looking up as he saw Rose would be impressed if he roughed the idiot up a bit.  Hauling him by he collar, he pushed Nigel in front of him and to the side exit.

"Get out of here Carter and leave my girlfriend alone and if I see you as much go near her again, I'll drag you out and throw you in the river, now get lost."

Nigel was a bit of a coward when his friends were out of sight, they thought he was tough but he was scared of the detective's reputation.

"I'll finish my drink first Hardy.  Since when have you had a girlfriend?  Was it you that got Ellie Miller pregnant then?"

Nigel felt the blow before he'd seen Alec's hand even move as his face impacted with Alec's fist.

"I was not even in town then Carter so keep your mind out of the gutter.  Stay away from my girlfriend or next time you won't get away so lightly."

Rose had heard a noise and thought this Alec must be getting violent but the bloke had suggested she joined him outside and there was no way she'd go outside with him so she figured if Alec was warning him off, he deserved what he got but she'd only just met this Alec, what if he was taking this a bit too seriously?  Did he think just because she'd agreed to stay with him, albeit she'd had very little choice over it, that he somehow thought she now belonged to him?

She'd have to have a serious talk with him and get a few things straight.  Alec retrieved the drinks and sat beside her.

"Are you ok?"

"Me?  Yeah, I'm fine, what did you do to him?"

"Nothing.  I suggested he stayed away from you, that's all.  I think he got the message though I've had trouble with him before, just not over a beautiful woman."

"Well, thanks anyway, though did he seriously think I'd get up and leave with him, conscious?  He's got a bit of an ego problem.  He won't wait outside for us, will he?"

"No, he's not got the brains for that, trust me.  Some evening out this turned out to be, I can't take you anywhere, can I?" he smiled, taking her hand.

When she didn't pull it away he assumed he'd got away with her thinking it was just a friendly gesture.  Maybe he'd get away with a few more 'friendly gestures' but he was going to have to change his tactics somewhat and not seem so obvious he was desperate for a woman's company and definitely not come on to her when she never stopped talking about the other Alec Hardy where she'd come from.  No, he'd have to try and win her over, slowly if he had to and be patient with her.

She was all alone here and depending what happened on Monday, she was here for a good while so he could bide his time, it might just be worth it but how long would it take for her to discover he was nothing like the man she'd left behind?  The other man had been ill, seriously ill and she'd loved him non the less and it would be difficult for her just to forget him but did he want to be her second choice, a substitute for her lover in another world?

The stories she had told him so far, about metal men taking over her world and then just vanishing, maybe to yet another parallel world were incredible.  He'd sat and listened to her on the beach earlier and despite it being chilly, he'd not let her leave until she'd told him how she'd tried to rescue the Pete Tyler on her world's first wife but she'd not revealed how her own mother had come to meet him and marry him.  She must have led a very different life to the one the Rose Tyler on this world had done.

He'd read how the one here had led a privileged life, never wanting for anything while this Rose had been brought up by a single mother on a London council estate with no luxuries, only surviving day to day then finding herself out of her depth with her new life and having no purpose, until she'd met the other Alec Hardy and he had given her that purpose.  What reason did she have to settle here though?  Maybe she would find one but would it be him?

The prospect of taking responsibility for her was a daunting one, what if she didn't really want his help beyond Monday?  If the chief agreed with him she wasn't the Rose Tyler who was wanted, what then?  She'd want to clear her name first of all so she wouldn't be hounded but would she want his help or want to do it herself?

"Come on Rose, have you had enough yet?"

"No, I want to get totalled, what have I got to lose?"

"Don't be like that.  I said I would help you and I will but you have to let me.  Drowning out your sorrows doesn't help, trust me, I've had previous experience but I sobered myself up and realised an empty whiskey bottle wasn't the answer after Tess dumped me."

"I've not been dumped though, have I?  It's not the same, he didn't leave me, I left him."

"Only because you had to.  Let's get you home."

Rose refused to get up.  Here she was again, ripped from her world and leaving the man she loved behind, was this always going to happen?  She thought once she'd finally settled with Alec, it was all over but that stupid Yvonne had done it to her again and to make things worse, here was her lover's double wanting to take her home.

"I want another drink Alec, it will help me sleep."

"Warm milk will help you do that, I'll make some for you when we get back, alcohol won't help you, trust me."

He held out his hand and she took it, reluctantly.  "I'm only going with you because I've nowhere else to go and it's late."

"Yes, you've made that perfectly clear and I wish I could really send you home, really I do.  The best I can offer you is my spare room until you find what you want."

"Sorry, I shouldn't take it out on you, it's not your fault I'm here."

"No and it's not my fault I just happen to remind you of your boyfriend either but it should bother me and it doesn't.  You need to remember Rose, I'm not your enemy and I'd like to be your friend, if you'll let me?"

He led the way out of the pub, checking Nigel Carter wasn't around and back to his cottage.  He was suddenly aware someone was following them though and pushing Rose in front and handing her the key, he turned around to see the other man.

"Don't you ever give up Carter?  Go home.  Rose, go in the house and dial the police and tell them to send an ambulance as well."

"Alec, please don't fight, he's not worth it.  Look, whoever you are, just go home, there's no way I'd ever go off with you, have you looked in the mirror lately?  I've got a boyfriend already, just leave me alone."

"You heard her Carter now go before I really get angry with you and think yourself lucky she stopped me."

"You think you're so tough Hardy, getting your little girlfriend to stick up for you."

"Trust me Carter, even she couldn't stop me if I really wanted to get rough with you.  Now are you going to leave or do I have to call for backup?  Trust me, on a Saturday night, the boys at the station will be dying to have something to do."

"I'll leave for now but this isn't over Hardy.'"

Alec checked to see if Rose had gone inside.  Then suddenly, he grabbed Nigel again.

"Listen Carter, get this in your thick head, come near her again and you'll see just how tough I am.  I patrolled the toughest areas in Glasgow, I eat punks like you for breakfast."  He pushed Nigel away just as suddenly that he fell against the low wall.

Alec just turned and knocked on the door, Rose checking it was him.

"I'm not used to men fighting over me but thanks Alec."  She reached up to kiss his cheek.  "I'll skip the hot milk, thanks, goodnight."

"Rose, you can talk to me, if you want to?  I know you must miss him.  It's ok, you can talk about him, I don't mind."

"I can't, sorry.  I have to believe I can still get back.  I'm sorry I've been so ungrateful Alec, you've been really good to me."

"It's ok Rose, I understand how this is upsetting for you.  Are you tired?  You could tell me more about where you come from, if you want?"

He went to make some tea and joined Rose, who was curled up on the sofa, moving her feet so he could sit down.  After telling him more about how the Cybermen had been created, he asked her what she was calling out for earlier.  She couldn't tell him she had dreamt she was falling into the void because Pete hadn't been there to catch her.

Suddenly, she didn't want to fight him any more as she leaned over and landed her head on his shoulder.  He instinctively put his arm around her.

"Come here Rose, you need a shoulder to cry on.  What don't you want to tell me?"

When Rose woke up the next morning, she was aware someone was next to her.  She'd bought a pair of pink pyjamas on her visit to the ladies department of the superstore but Alec was just in his shorts and t-shirt, wishing he'd bought some pyjama bottoms.  She was also aware his arm was around her.  Alec had been awake for a while, having been undisturbed unlike the morning before.

"Hi, you slept better than last night.  I guess you can't sleep on your own?"

"Hi, I should let you have your arm back, again.  Don't think I'm making a habit of this, will you?"

"I had no such thoughts.  We'll go out after breakfast, if you want?"

While Rose went to get dressed, Alec stayed in his own room.  She was beginning to trust him and he didn't want to do anything that might push her away.  He just hoped tomorrow morning when he spoke to his chief, he wouldn't be having to lock Rose up.  It was then he decided that if his chief thought she was the person they wanted, he would help her get out of town and hide her somewhere.

"Rose, tomorrow, I want you to stay here while I talk to my chief."

Rose came out onto the landing.  "Why's that?  I thought you said she'd believe you that I'm not the one who's wanted?"

"She may do.  Does that phone of yours work?"

"It needs charging but it seems a bit out of date compared to yours."

"Yes, it might stand out.  We'll pick up a pay and go one while we're out.  I'll also take you to the best coffee shop in Weymouth."

Rose smiled.  Her Alec didn't drink coffee, it was bad for him.  "Is that one with the red logo by any chance?"

Alec popped his head around the door.  Yesterday he had worn his other suit jacket, black jeans and a shirt but today was Sunday.

"Ah, some things are the same wherever you go.  Yes, the one with the red logo, is there any other?  See, that's cheered you up.  Things are not as bad as you thought, are they?  The reason I wanted you to stay here is just in case my chief does not agree with me.  I'm not going to give you up if she decides she wants to detain you."

"You mean you'd hide me?  I can't go on the run Alec.  I can prove I'm not the one they want but it means I'll have to give up my secrets."

"No, you can't do that, what if they still lock you up?  No, I'll keep you safe, I promise, even if I have to hide you somewhere.  I'll say I had no reason to hold you and you were gone when I got back.  I can get you out of here."

"I hope it doesn't come to that."

"Neither do I, it's great to have some company." 

He came out of the bedroom, wearing his tight jeans and his favourite t-shirt and Rose giggled.  He looked down at it and assumed there was the same band on her world.

"Oh, I've got plenty more, you can borrow some if you want?" 

"I may just take you up on that since I didn't buy a lot yesterday.  If I'm still free after tomorrow, I'll have to get a job where they don't ask too many questions, like my name."

They drove down the Weymouth, which had been Rose's favourite shopping area, he bought her a phone and set it up with his phone numbers while they were in the coffee shop then as he put the number into his, he took a photo of her.

"Cheat, now I'm gonna have to take one of you."

"You know what I look like Rose, don't break the camera."

Rose smiled then made a face at him as he took two photos, him doing the same when he passed the phone back to her.  He gave her some money and said he'd meet her in an hour as he refused to be seen going into the discount store with her, Rose telling him not to be a snob, having being used to her own Alec holding the chain store in the same regard but Rose liked the nail polish and other bits and pieces from there despite being able to afford the full price brands.

While she was in there, Alec went to get some sleepwear if she was going to continue to sleep in his room.  It had been innocent enough, it was for her benefit he told himself, to make her feel she could trust him and that she wasn't alone.  He was waiting for her when she came out with a carrier bag, checking his phone. 

"Miss me already?"

"No, I mean yes, well I was just checking I'd had no missed calls from the station."

"Yeah, 'course you were.  Were you worried about me?"

"I may have been but I was more worried you'd buy the store out."  He gestured towards the carrier bag.

"I really need to get shoulder bag, I just bought a purse, not that I've got much to put in it but I feel weird without one.  Can we go somewhere I can get one?"

Alec shook his head.  "Why not?"

Luckily for him, they found a store down a side street and Rose found one with owls on it, Alec shaking his head again but didn't mind so much when she looped her arm in his.  They continued down the narrow street which brought them out by the small park and the carousel.  It had just stopped and Alec grabbed her hand and pulled her towards it.  He took the carrier bag from her and put it beside one of the horses along with the bag he was carrying and helped her up, then got on behind her, first taking out his phone and telling her to smile.

Rose knew she shouldn't be liking this so much.  This Alec was so different than the one she had left behind, she almost felt like she had the Doctor back again, the crazy things he would say and do and dragging her on a carousel, complete with two bags of shopping, was just the sort of thing he would do.  Then there he was, laughing as he leaned over to find out why she was hanging on so tightly as the ride began.  Before she realised, he had looped one of his arms around her and was laughing again and she couldn't help but smile.

Perhaps being flung onto yet another world may not be so bad after all but she couldn't just forget everything, forget her Alec but she was finding it difficult to ignore this one.  Maybe this is what her Alec would be like, if he'd not been ill or when he got well again.  Either way, this Alec was already getting to her but she couldn't give up hope her Alec would come and find her.
Chapter 6
When they got back to Broadchurch, Rose was in a slightly better mood.  The day out had cheered her up but it had brought back memories of shopping trips as Weymouth had been the favourite shopping place for both of them – minus the ride on the carousel, which she had to admit was totally unexpected and not something her Alec would have done spontaneously.

Alec told her not to bother cooking anything, he'd go up to the Chinese later and get a takeaway which prompted Rose to tease him.

"Thought you didn't live on take-outs Alec?"

"I'll make an exception.  I wouldn't want to spoil the nice day we spent out, that's all.  You did enjoy yourself did you not?"

"Yes, thanks for that.  I think I needed that but it's back to reality tomorrow though.  We need to talk about that."

"We'll talk after I've met with my chief but be prepared for the worse.  I might convince her but she may report it to her boss and him I can't guarantee."

"In my world, my stepfather played golf with most of the police chiefs.  Now I've got no-one to protect me."

He put two cups on the coffee table and sat next to her.

"Yes you do, you have me and I'll do everything I can.  It's been four years Rose, most people have forgotten your name and didn't even know what Torchwood was until it got destroyed and then they were not that fussed about it.  What did the Torchwood on your world do besides dimension hopping?"

He took her hand and she didn't resist, like all the fight had gone out of her and she was accepting she was stuck here with her lover's double, just when she'd told herself that was never going to happen.

"That was something separate, which was why I couldn't get out of it and why Pete's influence carried no weight.  Yvonne was a law unto herself and only the board combined could oust her and up until I got sent off again, they'd had no cause to."

"I can't understand why you would want to be blasted to another universe anyway, what made you do it?"

Could she tell him she was trying to get home?

"It seemed quite appealing at the time and plus, wherever those Cyberman went to, we owed it to the people there to help them since someone from our world invented them."

Alec didn't quite believe her but let it go. 

"Yes but you said Torchwood did not invent them but they took responsibility for them.  Why?"

"The old regime let them infiltrate so easily and take over and eventually, the last of the Cybermen destroyed it so they couldn't be followed.  Pete and a few others took over using the technology left behind and they began looking for where they'd gone."

Not quite true but she didn't think he was ready to accept the rest of it.

"Come on Rose, do you expect me to believe that?  If you want my help?  Tell me the truth and don't leave anything out, who am I going to tell?"

So with Alec taking a break to go to the takeaway an hour or so later, Rose told him everything except the part where she'd been there before and been forced back again and that she was not ready to tell him, maybe later, if he stuck by her.

"I knew it.  So is that it?  You left a member of your team behind and you were trying to find him?  Was he your boyfriend?"

"Sort of, we were very close and my mum said everyone knew he was apart from us and she threatened on more than one occasion to knock some sense into us.  That was why when I met the Alec in my world, I wasn't going to waste any time because you never know how long you've got to tell someone that you love them.  You think you have all the time then things can change before you even get the chance to say goodbye never mind tell someone you love them."

Alec put his arm around her and pulled her onto his shoulder.

"I'm so sorry Rose, really I am and now you've lost someone else.  I know it can't be easy for you and I've just made things worse by looking just like him."

Rose thought it couldn't get any worse if she said he looked like the Doctor as well but decided to spring that on him another time, he'd heard enough already, perhaps too much.  He'd already accepted he looked like the actor but she'd not told him she'd suspected it was him, playing the role of a detective.

"I told you, it's not your fault.  I should never have come here but when I got on that coach, I still wasn't thinking right and I really thought he'd be here.  It wasn't until I was halfway here before I accepted this could be the wrong world, I wasn't taking too much notice before I did have time to let it sink in.  I even thought my Alec had somehow come home and had sent a police escort to meet me."

"So he was in the habit of sending an escort was he?" Alec smiled.

Rose dug him playfully in the ribs.

"No, not really.  When I think about it, if he'd found out I was on that coach, he'd have got in a car and stopped the coach wherever he met up with it or called the coach company to tell the driver to wait for him."

"Can't really say I blame him, I never thought of that but there again, hauling you off a coach would have got attention, your Alec would have got away with it."

"Yeah, he'd have hauled me off then snogged me senseless in front of everyone," Rose mused, aware this Alec's arm was around her shoulder.

She was too messed up with this to stop him but knew she should, before it became more than him trying to just comfort her but he was only trying to help.  It could have been a lot worse she supposed but she had to remember he'd admitted already he'd not had a girlfriend in a while but she wasn't ready for that.

Alec laughed.  "I know you miss him Rose but there's no harm in us being friends, is there?  You said you and the one you lost were more than just friends but I just want you to know, I'll give you some space, it's up to you just how friendly you want us to be.  Now, are you sleeping on your own tonight?"

"I should let you have your bed back, you only offered me your spare room."

"I don't mind, it's comforting and saves me running into your room when you scream in the middle of the night."

"Sorry but I was dreaming no-one was there to bring me home when I let go of that lever.  I haven't thought about that for a long time, my Alec kept the nightmares away because he had his own."

"He was haunted by finding that girl in the river, wasn't he?"

"Yeah, what about you, how did it affect you?"

"It did, for a while but it went away, I suppose we're both very different.  If you're sleeping with me again, I bought some pyjama bottoms, thought my hairy legs would put you off."

He grinned and kissed her forehead.  "You go get ready for bed then and I'll bring you some hot chocolate up, you should have said last night you preferred that to tea."

"I would have done but I didn't want to offend you when you started making the tea.  Thanks Alec, you really don't have to go to all this trouble."

"I may not be after tomorrow.  Even if my chief believes you, a lot of others in the station know who you are, it could still get difficult but I'll try to warn them off.  You just stay here in the morning and I'll call you, since you know the way."

"Yeah, been enough times.  Do you have an Ellie Miller here?  She was my best friend where I come from."

"Yes, she's on maternity leave, actually she invited me for dinner next week, if all goes well, I'll tell her I'm bringing someone and I think it will be best for both of us if I say you're my girlfriend, it will save a lot of explaining.  Just say you've been back home for a visit."

"How long have you been here?"

"About eight months or so, I came here last July and thought it was the most boring place they could have found for me."

"So you had no murder to solve?"

"No, I'd had enough in Sandbrook thanks very much.  Your Alec stepped right into another murder?  No wonder he was so ill then, it can't have helped.  Best not say you've been away then, we can have just met."

"Yeah, well that's sort of true, I'll leave you to fill in all the details, I'm off to bed though I've not made my mind up yet which one."

"I'll be disappointed if you choose yours but it's up to you, the offer still stands for you to use my spare room but tomorrow, just remember it might be a single bench in a cell and although I'll try my best, I can't guarantee I'll be able to get you out.  My chief may call you in then have you arrested but if I think there's any danger of that, I'll warn you to stay away but it may not come to that."

"I hope it doesn't, I've never been a wanted person before though once, I went missing for a year and my mum had my ex boyfriend arrested several times for my murder."

Alec smiled.  "You must tell me more sometime.  Don't worry, I'll do everything I can to help you, whatever it takes and if it means getting you out of Broadchurch, then so be it."

"I know, thanks Alec, you're a real friend and if it's ok, I'll stay with you tonight, if it's my last night of freedom but if you try anything, I will be getting arrested for kicking your ass out of bed, got it?"

He got up and gave a mock salute, holding out his hand.  "Whatever you say Rose, I promise to behave.  I've missed waking up with someone in the morning."

While Rose was in the bathroom, she took stock of her current situation.  Alec had tried to explain as far as he knew, what had happened in the power struggle for Torchwood and how this world's Rose had fallen out with her parents but when she thought about it, it seemed a bit extreme she would destroy her home and her family along with it.  Maybe this Alec was right and someone else was responsible but that wasn't her job to find out who had but maybe if she did, she wouldn't be in fear of tomorrow.

Her only hope was to contact the Rose Tyler or Jake here and offer to help clear their names in return for maybe helping her get home but what if she was right and if this Jake helped her, he could be helping himself to getting any devices they had working and then them going to her adopted world or her original one.  Could she actually risk it, if this Rose was actually guilty of at least destroying Torchwood?  Maybe she'd not killed her family, maybe that was retaliation or a very bad coincidence.

She heard Alec tapping on the bathroom door – just as impatient as her own Alec.  This one wasn't accustomed to sharing.

"Come on Rose, how long does it take you?"

"Quit asking or I'll take longer, you're such a grump Alec."

"Only when I'm wanting to use the bathroom.  Geez, how did your Alec put up with you?"

Rose opened the door, now wearing her pyjamas as there was no way she was getting undressed in front of him.

"He learned the hard way and he never complained as much as you.  It's all yours, don't wake me when you get into bed."

"What the hell's wrong with you all of a sudden?  Look, I'm sorry, ok?  I'm not used to sharing."

"Then I'll let you have your bed back shall I?"

"I didn't mean I didn't want to share my bed with you did I?  Ok, that's maybe why Tess left me so next time, I'll just use the bathroom first then you can take all the time you want."

Rose looked at him.  "There might not be a next time Alec.  I'm sorry too.  You're my only friend and I'm pushing you away."

He held out his arms.  "It's ok, forget it.  I know how long you women can take in the bathroom.  You go ahead, I won't disturb you when I get into bed."

"I don't mind, I'm just tired and irritated and I shouldn't take it out on you.  If I drive you away then I really will be on my own."

"You won't drive me away Rose but tomorrow, if all goes well, you'll be free to do what you want."

"So if your chief believes me, I am on my own?"

"If you really want to be?"

"No, I don't like that idea at all.  I still need you Alec.  You won't throw me out will you?"

"No, I won't do that, don't worry.  We'll get this sorted Rose, I promise."

"What if we can't?  Say she does believe me, what then?  I've got no money, no ID and I still share the same name."

"Then I'll get my chief to agree to issuing some sort of statement you're not the one who's wanted and make sure all the authorities know."

"I hope you know what you're getting yourself into Alec?"

He kissed the top of her head.  He knew exactly what he was getting into and he'd never felt more excited at the prospect of having something to do other than bide his time to yet another transfer and get away from this boring town.  This was exactly what he needed, pretending Rose was his girlfriend and no-one would be any wiser and he was the only friend she had as she was totally reliant on him.

Maybe that was where he'd gone wrong in the past.  He'd tried too hard, especially with Tess until he'd worn her down and they'd moved in together but here was Rose, alone and vulnerable and totally dependant on him but best of all, she trusted him.  He could take advantage of her but he wasn't going to and she would be the one he could be himself with.  He didn't have to impress her, he didn't have to chase after her, she as here, sharing his house and his room.

In any other situation, he would have taken her out a few times, see if she ran away which she probably would, like all the rest of them but Rose was different, even if she'd not found herself in this mess through no fault of her own.  How was she to know that when she'd landed on this world, another woman with the same name was a wanted person?

Rose was laid on her side when he got into bed and turned out the lamp.

"Are you really tired Rose?"

"Yeah, a bit but is there anything you want to talk about?"

"Me?  Oh, I thought this was all about you?''

Rose digged him in the ribs again, not so playfully this time.

"Hey, what was that for?  I may need to retaliate for that."

He pulled her towards him and went to tickle her but she raised her arms, trying to fend him off.

"Oh no, you are not getting away with that."

They finally called a truce when Rose said she gave in, then got him one more time.

"Thanks, I think I needed that.  Goodnight Alec."

"Any time Rose.  I know you start off over on your other side but somehow, you creep over to mine.  Any reason?"

"Nope, should they be?"

"Maybe you could save some time?  This could be your last night here Rose."

Rose felt him move closer and in the dim light could make out his features as he put his arm around her, pulling her head into his shoulder then nuzzling her cheek.  Rose wasn't entirely sure about this but it felt comforting and she needed it but the last two mornings, she'd woken up thinking it was her Alec that had his arm around her, protectively like he'd always done since they'd been together but now, she was fully awake and not moving in her sleep instinctively towards the man she had loved in another world.

"Alec, I'm not ready for this."

"Shush, I know.  Just relax Rose, it's ok.  I know how much you must miss him but I don't want you to think I am him."

"I don't, don't go thinking that.  I know you're not him.  This is nice but it can't be anything else, not now."

"Are you saying never?"

"No but maybe my device is giving off a signal, even a weak one and they'll come looking for me eventually, they'll track me down and then what?  No Alec, I can't get close get you."

"How long are you going to wait?  Is it not better to make the best of things while you do wait?  It could take months or even years.  I'll stay by you Rose, for as long as you want but how would you feel if I met someone else and you didn't like it?"

"I'll not get in your way, if that's what you're worried about."

"But I would be leaving you on your own and you'd hate that, hell, I'd hate to do that to you but I can't wait forever.  Ok, I know I've waited a while, getting over Tess but did you ever think you'd end up on another world and find another version of your boyfriend?  It's against all the odds Rose, just think about it."

"I have thought about it.  When I lost that friend of mine, I thought no-one would ever replace him then years later, I met Alec but it took me a long time to stop seeing my friend in him and do you know why?"

"Because he looked like him?  Geez Rose, how many versions are there of me out there?  That's kind of creepy, do you know that?  Looking like that actor was bad enough, I'm surprised you didn't think I was actually him."

"I did, when I first met you.  What better way was there to get out of being associated with the other Rose Tyler?"

"True but why a detective?"

"Because he'd make a great detective, he played one in a drama series about a Scottish detective who went to a northern England seaside town.  It was sort of a musical drama, it was good."

"Blackpool?"

"You've seen it then?"

"No, as if I'd actually want to watch that?  My girlfriend at the time was a fan."

"Yeah, sure, if you say so."

"Do you want me to tickle you again?  You are asking for it you know?"

"No, no more tickling and I know you're trying to take my mind of things, thanks.  I just can't give up and accept things, not without giving them a chance to find me.  Pete rescued me when I stayed to help my friend, mum sent him after me and she'll do the same this time, she won't let him sit by and do nothing and neither will Alec.  They'll have teams out trying to find where I've gone and someone scanning for my signal."

"I get that Rose but how long will it be for you, compared for how long it will be for them to realise you are missing then try and find you?  I'm just trying to say, I can make things better for you by being here, that's all but I can't help it if someone does take an interest in me, despite me saying to everyone you're my girlfriend.  I just don't want you to think I've abandoned you.  I can make this so much better for you, if you want and you can draw an imaginary line and resolve never to cross it.  I'm sure your Alec couldn't blame you, when you thought you'd never see him again."

"Maybe not but I'd know so I'd never be able to tell him and if he discovered you have the same name, I don't know what that would do to him, he might never forgive me and take me back."

"Then you'll just have to tell him I'm that actor, won't you?"

"Only if I have to, it may not be him that comes and he may not be the one you have to convince.  Ok, I'll be your girlfriend but that's all though as you pointed out, we may not have that problem tomorrow."

"I won't let them lock you up, we'll get out of town if we have to.  I'll come with you."

"Yeah, then you'll be wanted for helping me."

"I'm sure it will be worth it, I can't see you getting locked up for something you had nothing to do with.  How can it be you when you've just arrived?"

"Just how friendly is this world towards those who have just got here?"

"Not so good since Torchwood went down, that was part of the argument.  From what I heard, Rose Tyler wanted to make it easier to welcome those from other worlds who found their way here, Pete and that Mickey Smith opposed her."

Rose thought that was a bit ironic since Pete had hidden them all, Mickey when he'd stayed behind but she'd not yet told Alec that bit though she'd admitted she'd been to another world to help them with the Cybermen but she'd also admitted she'd been to lots of other worlds.

"Still no reason to blow up a building and kill your family over it, wasn't there an investigation?"

"Not really, the president wanted it wrapping up as quickly as possible.  Pete Tyler was the vice-president, Rose Tyler turned against him, case over.  I wouldn't have thought they would even look anywhere else."

"Maybe someone should get then to take another look?"

"Hey, you had better not mean me, I am not getting involved in that.  I have enough with you, thanks very much.  Do you know what they would do to me?  I'm sorry Rose but that came from the president herself and even though I don't agree, I can't go up against them – no-one can."

"Sorry, I wouldn't ask you to, I was just saying and it's nothing to do with me, I'm just the one that may well have to hide while I'm here."

Alec leaned forward, kissing her cheek and pushing back a strand of hair.

"You may be worrying over nothing Rose and all I can do is make your stay here better, for however long you are.  So, you agree to say you're my girlfriend then?"

"I said didn't I?  Can I go to sleep now?"

He kissed her forehead and she raised her head, their lips just a fraction apart and Alec touched hers very lightly.

"Goodnight Rose and try not to worry, I'll take care of you no matter what happens tomorrow."
Chapter 7
Rose felt his lips brushing hers and felt like giving in but her Alec was still out there somewhere and he wouldn't have gone off with someone within days of losing her, would he?  Well there wasn't another Rose Tyler where she'd just come from so that was not going to happen, unlike here were there was a very available Alec Hardy who was keen to make her his girlfriend and protect her.

She needed him, she couldn't survive in this new world without him, she knew that but it could all be over tomorrow and Alec wouldn't be able to do anything about it except go on the run with her but he was clever, he'd find a way.  Why was he so keen though?  He'd just accepted her within a few hours of her arrival, given her food and shelter and comforted her when she'd woken up from a nightmare she'd not had in a long time.  Was there any harm in being just a tiny bit more than friends with him?  She could never tell her Alec though.  She found herself putting her hand on his shoulder and touched his lips back.

"I know you will Alec, thanks."

Before she knew it, Alec kissed her back again, just short, sweet kisses until she snuggled into his neck and he snuggled into hers and began kissing it.  She just hoped her stay here would be short before anything developed but it may already be too late for that.  If she was going to pose as his girlfriend, there would be moments they would have to show each other signs of affection, it had grown so quickly between her and the other Alec, within days of her arrival when she had walked into the station to report there was a Torchwood agent in town, standard procedure.  

The Alec on her adopted world had warned her not to get in his way and before they knew it, he was taking her out to dinner and sharing her hotel room, before she'd talked him into renting the chalet.  She just hoped things wouldn't happen so quickly this time, she was destined to keep meeting Doctor look-a likes.  She also hoped this Alec wouldn't turn out to be the boyfriend from hell, another drama she'd seen the actor who he resembled in.

After a few more sweet but short kisses, Rose fell asleep in his arms, Alec with a smile on his face.  He felt sorry for her because tomorrow, it could be all beyond his control and she would be locked up, even if he tried to hide her, they would look here in Broadchurch before they looked anywhere else and the finger would point to him.  His chief would call in Special Branch from London, the elite team who specialised in cases like the Tyler one, where an important person and their families had been indiscriminately killed and a powerful organisation sanctioned by the current president was destroyed.

His only hope was to be one step in front of them and get her out before they arrived.  He had to plan it carefully, get her out of the country and either across into Wales or up to Scotland but being Scottish himself and Rose being English, the Welsh may not be so accommodating.  While tourists were welcome on holiday or a day trip, he doubted they could live there but Scotland on the other hand, he still had a lot of contacts up there, his friend Alistair being one of them.

He needed to discuss this with Rose in the morning, no sense in waking her, she'd had enough but before he set off in the morning, they would draw up a plan.  He hadn't really got settled here anyway, it wasn't a big town but he'd made few friends, Ellie Miller being ironically one of them, her fussing he had stolen her job then discovering she was expecting a baby and they'd sort of called a truce.

She'd like Rose and if he could convince his former DS she wasn't the one who was wanted, Rose could use another friend apart from him, especially if she needed advice, probably about him knowing women.  His past record wasn't spotless on that score, best keep Rose and Tess apart or the claws would come out and fur would fly but he bet to himself Rose would come out on top though it could be interesting since Tess had on numerous occasions told him he was a loser, he'd love to see her face now, Rose lying asleep in his arms.

The kisses had been unintentional, more to reassure her but they had been nice but he knew she was still missing the other Alec Hardy, would she let him take the other one's place?  What did he want though?  Telling everyone who cared to ask was one thing but as for her actually acting like it, well she'd agreed to it to a certain extent and it would save explanations but his chief would know the truth, plus those present in the office when he'd had her escorted to the station from the coach.  As for anyone passing by and seeing two officers meeting her, he could laugh that off and go with the idea Rose had said, that he'd been keen to get her back, she would see the funny side of it, she had suggested it.

As Rose was falling asleep, Alec still pressing kisses to her forehead, she could easily pretend it was her own Alec doing it but that wasn't fair, on either of them.  She just had to accept that at least until she knew she was free to move around, she was here with this Alec and if someone from her world came to look for her, she just hoped he would be at work when they did but she'd have to say goodbye to him before she let them take her back.

It if was her Alec who had talked Pete into sending him, she needed to be as far away as possible from this one and just tell him she'd gone to him for help, he'd believe that.  She would draw an imaginary line like this Alec had suggested and swear she would never cross it but where would that line be?  A bit of kissing wasn't so bad but anything  else, she would have to think about but sleeping with this one wasn't helping her stay away from that line.

It could all be over tomorrow anyway, despite his promise he would look after her, they could lock him up as well for helping her, she wouldn't blame him if he distanced himself from her, she wouldn't drag him into it, he was only trying to help.  That was why she didn't want to get too involved with him.

Alec's alarm woke him at seven and he tried to get his arm from under his sleeping house guest, without disturbing her, unlike he'd done with Tess because it annoyed her.  What he'd seen in her, he couldn't for the life of him think but was just relieved they'd never got married and had any kids.  Rose jumped up as he moved his arm.

"Hey, I'm sorry, I never meant to wake you.  Go back to sleep Rose."

"S'ok, I'm awake now.  Morning Alec."

He silenced his alarm and kissed the tip of her nose, causing her to say 'yuck' and try and wipe it on his t-shirt.  He laughed.

"Is that all I get out of you?  A 'yuck'?  That's charming Miss Tyler.  How about a little morning kiss?"

"I need the bathroom first and don't you have to go to work?"

"It takes me five minutes to walk so I have time to spare or don't you want us to get that friendly?  You never objected last night."

"No, it was kinda nice but that's all it was Alec, just a few nice kisses."

"Are they restricted then?" he asked, leaning over and putting his finger under her chin as she sat up, hugging her knees.

"S'pose not then but best not do it in public, until it's established I'm not a wanted criminal.  I was thinking, that if I get detained at the station, I'm not dragging you into this Alec."

"What?  Too late Rose, you did get me into it but you never dragged me into helping you, I did it because I wanted to.  We are in this together Rose, no matter what happens today.  Now, do I get a kiss?"

Rose raised her head and looked into his brown eyes that had a little more sparkle in them than the other Alec's.  She had to stop comparing the two men, just as she'd never compared her Alec with the Doctor.  It had been tempting to catalogue the similarities but she'd never actually done so and she shouldn't start, this Alec was all she had.  She leaned forward and he moved his finger onto her lips, then got close.

"Is that a yes then?"

Rose grabbed his finger and kissed it, smiling at him and thinking how cute he looked with his hair all over the place and she really shouldn't be doing this at all but desperate times and all that.

She met his lips, just like last night but couldn't resist making the kiss just a few seconds longer, then another as Alec put his hand gently on her shoulder and nudged her for another, a few seconds longer than the last one then repeated it as he put his other arm around her back, easing her down and leaning over her, Rose's arms around his neck as they continued.  It was Alec who stopped.

"Sorry, we got a bit carried away.  I should go get ready for work so I'll use the bathroom first, unless you are in a hurry?"

She had almost forgotten.  "Yeah, just give me a minute, I promise I won't take long and don't be sorry Alec, it was nice."

He let her up, giving her nose another kiss and Rose giggling.  He sat on the edge of the bed, waiting for her to come back since he wanted more but he had to go face his chief or she really would send uniforms out for both him and Rose.  Elaine Jenkinson was not a patient person, especially on a Monday morning when she had been away and she would be in a bad enough mood when she got in and found out Rose Tyler had been in the station for an interview and been allowed out over the weekend, he'd surely get chewed out over that but he had a counter argument ready.

He would say he'd seen no need to detain her over the weekend and she had promised not to leave town but if Elaine picked up the phone for someone to come and get Rose, he would beat her to it and tell Rose to get out as fast as she could because over the weekend he'd grown really fond of her.  It wouldn't matter what they did to him, he had her phone number, he would take her name and photo off if he needed to.  Now it was time to face the music.

So Rose got breakfast ready while he went over their plan if the worst were to happen.

"Right, if I think this is going to go badly, I'll send you a text message telling you to get out, you get a taxi up to the supermarket, get as much cash as you can from your credit card, then get another taxi to Dorchester and wait at the superstore café where we went the other day and I'll be there as soon as I can.  Hopefully though, it won't come to that but you have to be ready so just grab what you need and I'll get the key from you when we meet up."

"Ok, if you think that's the best thing to do.  Alec, do you think she'll believe you?"

"It's difficult to say Rose, she may, we get on ok, she leaves me to my own devices most of the time, she may trust my judgement though she's still a bit miffed at being the one who had to take me on the last time I applied for a transfer and trust me, this was not my first choice.  I have about three months before I can apply for another, not counting if I were to go back up to Scotland but the Glasgow police and I did not exactly get on, after I exposed some corruption going on up there, which was why I left after I applied to Sandbrook."

"The Alec I knew never told me why he left Scotland.  So is Scotland independent then?"

"Yes and so is Wales so if things get bad, we can head for one of those countries but I'd favour Scotland, Wales is ok for a few days if we really have to, then we could get a boat up to one of the Scottish ports."

"I never thought I would be preparing to go on the run when I left home the other morning."

Alec smiled.  "Well I never thought I would have my boring day broken up by your arrival either.  If all goes well, I'll take you out tonight, ok?"

"Yeah, thanks."

He got up and kissed the top of her head as Rose turned, getting up and putting her arms around his neck as she reached up and kissed his cheek.

"I don't know what I would have done if you'd turned me away when I met you."

"How could I have turned you away?"

"You could have, if you'd wanted when all I did was rave on about my Alec."

"Yes, about that, I noticed you've hardly mentioned him."

"It wouldn't be fair to you if I did, I realise that it's not easy for you to listen to me going on about him.  I'm not promising I won't be thinking about him but I have to face the facts, you're the one that took me in and been looking after me all weekend, I know you have feelings."

"Then that's most considerate of you Rose.  Now, I really have to go, I'll call you when I've spoken to her, one way or another.  Let's just hope we've made those plans for nothing but if things do turn bad, at least we've talked about it."

He looked down at her and nudged his lips closer, Rose not resisting as he brushed them against hers.

"Bye then and don't worry too much and I know you can't just forget him, I don't expect you to and if you get back to him, there won't be much for you to tell him yet anyway and if there is, maybe it would be best if you didn't."

Rose had plenty to think about, if she ever did make it back.  She kissed him lightly again and backed away.

"Bye, I trust you Alec, I know you won't turn me in but you said about that friend of yours, do you think we can trust her enough to tell her some of it?"

"I think so, yes, we'll talk about it later."

So as Alec went off, leaving her the key and meaning to call at the agency later to get another key, if they had one or get another one cut if all went well, Rose set about cleaning away the breakfast things and set the washing machine going and waited for her fate to be decided, the first time she'd really been away from this Alec since she got here on what he'd said was a Friday when she'd left on the Monday.

She picked up her device from the kitchen drawer where Alec had placed it the other day and looked at it for any signs it was working again, it was still blank as she pressed the 'On' button that tested the device to say it was functioning before pressing the button to activate it.  Maybe he was right, maybe unknown to anyone except Yvonne, there was an emergency function built in to it and it was giving out a low signal.

They'd talked about the fact it may be very weak and may take some time to even reach where she had come from and then it would take time to actually locate which world she was on and find her.  She knew no-one back home would have been idle in trying to locate her but that depended entirely on how long she'd been gone in her own time, still not being used to being on that one, let alone another one.

She'd been here four days so maybe she would be missed by now, if that was how it worked but she knew her mother and Alec would both be frantic by now and Alec would be demanding Yvonne be removed from her post and telling Pete to send him to look for her.  She knew he couldn't be put in front of the dimension cannon in his current condition so he'd have marched into the nearest hospital and finally got the pacemaker fitted, something she'd not been able to get him to do while she had been with him.

Then she realised why she couldn't compare that Alec with this one, this one was more lively, had no burden of an ex wife and teenage daughter and no failed case and it had made all the difference but now she had a difficult decision to make, to stick to her resolve of not crossing the line or not with this Alec because if she did, she could never go back to the other one with a clear conscious.  If they just kissed a bit and shared a bed, then she could live with not telling the other one about it but if not, if it became more than that, she couldn't face the man she had left behind.  Just how far could she go though?

She needed this Alec to help her and if that was the price, of being his girlfriend, then she was willing to pay it, it wasn't like he was coming on to her, it wasn't like he was a complete stranger, he acted and sounded like the other one but this one was a bit more outgoing, more like the Doctor had been and she'd missed that about the Alec she'd left behind, not that he didn't have a sense of humour, it was just a bit different to what she'd been used to.

So, she decided if everything went ok this morning, she could spend her time waiting with this Alec and hope the other one wouldn't come looking for her and meet him, she'd have to tell him this one had just helped her or that she'd finally met the actor she'd had more than a crush on in both worlds, he might believe that.

Alec had walked into his office to wait to be summoned to the chief's office, Lawson watched him make himself a drink and thrown the teaspoon into the sink, the cleaner would be complaining again no doubt.

"What?" Alec asked him as he went into his office.

"Nothing Sir, what happened to that woman who came in on Friday?"

"She's coming in to see the chief after I've talked to her, I told you, she's not the one who is wanted."

"I know Sir but don't you think it's strange she had the same name and looks a bit like her?"

"We all have a double Lawson, mine's apparently a Scottish actor though who you look like, I've no idea.  Have you got work to do?"

Pete knew that was not a question and he also knew Nigel Carter had been in the station first thing and made a complaint about Hardy busting his nose, not that anything would happen about it, the desk sergeant usually screwed up the complaints form and tossed it in the bin because he couldn't be bothered to file it in the 'Pending' file any more.  Hardy had complaints about him several times a week, mostly from the female officers and the civilian office staff, who now roamed about the station in pairs whenever they went somewhere.

Come to think if it, Pete wondered why there had been no such complaints over the weekend, Hardy usually haunted the station on Saturday afternoons, hoping to come across a WPC who he hadn't already been turned down by or who may have unfortunately decided to change her mind in the hope he'd then leave her alone if she went out for a drink with him.  Then he'd learned from someone downstairs, who had come in behind Nigel Carter, that he'd complained Hardy had roughed him up on Saturday night over some blonde when he'd tried to invite her to go outside with him and Hardy had lost his temper and told the man to stay away from his girlfriend.

Pete thought that alone was a laugh, Hardy claiming to have a girlfriend and that other Rose Tyler had been blonde.  Well good luck to him, he might leave the women in the station alone from now on if they'd taken up with each other but did the blonde know what he was like?  She'd find out soon enough, the hard way.

Alec typed his report out then tossed a few files around on his desk, trying to see if Lawson had got rid of those about Rose and waited for his phone to ring.  Twenty minutes after he was already bored, he was summoned to the chief's office.

He pulled a chair up to her desk and folded his arms as she read what he thought could be the files he'd had Lawson compile for him on Friday – so that was where they had gone, along with the report he'd just put on her desk, which was why he was keen to get in before she had.  He couldn't tell what she thought about it but his report had given his opinion he didn't believe it was her.

"So Alec.  I've read these files and your report and from what you say, the woman you had brought here on Friday is not the woman everyone in the country is looking for?"

"No, I interviewed her, it's definitely not her, even allowing for changes in the four years since that one disappeared."

"Well, you would have noticed Alec, she's blonde.  I take it you didn't let her leave town?"

Elaine had heard about his scuffle with Nigel Carter but chose as usual to let it slide, it was getting tiresome and Hardy had come highly recommended but she'd had her mind made up for her when it was suggested the man had solved a double murder and locked up three people for it and her station could benefit greatly from his vast experience.  She'd had nothing but complaints from the female staff and locals since his arrival eight months ago and it wasn't likely to stop.

Still, if this pretend Rose Tyler was still in town, it might keep him out of trouble for a few more days, that would be nice indeed.

"No Elaine, she's been staying with me, do you want to speak to her?"

Elaine might have known.  "Yes, ask her to come in, I'll speak to her and see what the chief constable has to say about it while we wait for her."

"Do you have to involve him yet?"

"Alec, she may well be the one we've been looking for, I have to inform him but he'll leave it to me to handle things.  Just out of curiosity, how did she convince you?"

"Seriously?  The woman that arrived by coach on Friday afternoon was tired, confused as to why she was escorted off it and knew nothing about what the real Rose Tyler had done, she was shocked when she came in and I told her."

"Why was she on her way here?"

"She thought I was someone she used to know, she'd seen me in an old newspaper.  She said she'd been travelling around and had no idea her double was wanted for those crimes."

"Well you might believe her but I can tell when someone is lying Alec."

He thought she had better not mean him, he'd just made that up on the spur of the moment but it was sort of true, she was looking for someone, that Doctor she'd left behind and now, she was looking for a way back to her own world to the other Alec and he found he didn't want her to go.
Chapter 8
A/N:  For those concerned Rose is moving a little too fast in her new liaison with the Alec she just found on this new world, she is lost and alone and has to forge a friendship of sorts with someone and Alec is Alec, no matter where she finds herself!  Please don't be quick to judge, she is trying to survive in yet another world she's been thrown in to and her using this Alec she's found is no different really to using him as she uses him in numerous other stories to get over losing the Doctor.  As for her doing more to get herself back to where she just came from, Torchwood here is gone and her device is broken!  I will be going into more details in the upcoming chapters.  For the record, this Alec looks a lot healthier and tidier.

Alec made the call to Rose to tell her for now, it was safe for her to walk over to the station and ask for him and he would come out and meet her but Rose wasn't so sure about it.

"It's ok Rose, trust me, nothing will happen," he tried to assure her when she went silent at his request.

"Yeah, you say that, how do I know your chief isn't making you say that?"

He got up and went into the corridor since Elaine had just got through to her immediate boss.

"Ok, if it makes you feel better, wait there and I'll come and get you, you have to trust me Rose, I'm not under any pressure to get you here under false pretences so they can lock you up.  I know you are scared but what do I have to gain in turning you in eh?  I don't get a reward or a promotion, I'm not even eligible for a transfer out of this town, I've got nothing to gain by lying to you to get you to come in.  Stay there and I'll be there in ten minutes, just don't let anyone in if you don't feel safe and if she turns on me, don't go with anyone who claims I sent them, not unless I tell you exactly who it is."

Rose knew she had no choice, she had to trust him.

"Ok, I'll wait for you.  Alec, I never told you this but I was never like this, back home, I've never been as scared in my life, for being the double of someone who's wanted."

"I know but hopefully, this will all be over soon, my chief is talking to her bosses.  If things change for the worse, I won't bring you back here but try to relax."

"That's easy for you to say."

Alec said goodbye and went back in Elaine's office.

"I have to go collect her, she's a wee bit nervous over this.  What did the chief constable say?"

"He'll trust my judgement, to a certain extent but he wants a full report and a DNA sample analysing.  If she's not the Rose Tyler who is wanted, the differences will show up but that's up to the experts."

"Then what if by some chance it's almost identical?"

"They will study a certain number of common markers in the samples, thankfully, the other woman's were still on public record before Torchwood was destroyed, if there is the slightest inclination there is very little difference, it's up to higher powers to decide what to do.  You've already taken her side Alec, if it's proven she really is the one we want, there will be very little you can do about it.  Don't get attached to her, giving her a place to stay over the weekend was a bit irresponsible but I should have expected no less from you.  At least I've only had one complaint about you over the weekend, it's a refreshing change and it wasn't from one of the female staff."

Alec thought that had to be a first since his arrival eight months ago, he now wasn't proud of the vast number of complaints about him that thankfully nothing had come of them.  Rose must have done him some good then.  He walked back to his cottage and decided she did need another friend if all went well and would call Ellie Miller and trust telling her at least some of Rose's story, maybe not the bit about her appearing from nowhere but that was up to her as to how much she revealed.  He knocked on the door, Rose anxiously looking out of the window through the slats of the window blind.

"Hey, are you ready to go?" he asked, kissing her cheek and running his finger down it in reassurance.

Rose tried to smile back at him, having had time to think after he'd left an hour or so previously.  The kisses they'd shared earlier had been kind of nice but it couldn't go beyond that yet, not until she was not in fear of running for her life and she'd tried to find something to repair the device but it needed a special tool, like she'd described to him and no-one here would have one and even the destroyed Torchwood may not have had one but what if Alec was right?

What it the Rose Tyler already here had a similar device and had drawn herself here and the Jake here could fix it?  She put her jacket on and picked up the mobile Alec had bought her, the other one was in the kitchen drawer with the device.

"Best not walk into the station holding hands Rose," he remarked as they'd walked across the harbour and were in front of the glass-fronted new apartments. 

Rose thought in her own world she could have afforded to rent one of those but had chosen the blue chalet because Alec had needed to confront his fear of the water and she'd said there was no better way than stepping out on the decking every morning after she'd given him a good snogging and sent him on his way when he'd wormed his way back to work for a few hours a day before the trial had commenced.

She thought back to how annoyed they'd all been it had come to that when it was cut and dried but Ellie attacking her husband when he'd confessed hadn't helped.  She'd not even been there much during the investigation but the aftermath had hit them all hard.  Then it had looked like he'd wanted Sandbrook reopening and she'd promised to help him but now, he would have abandoned everything and camped out at Torchwood until her return.  How long had she actually been away though?

Alec was asking her something.

"Come on Rose, are you ready for this?" he asked as they stood outside the station.

"Yeah, let's get this over with and hope I'll be walking out and not dragged out to a waiting car to whisk me off to wherever."

"You just answer her questions, don't volunteer anything and stick to what we talked about and you'll be fine.  Just act all innocent in this because I know you are and you'll have to give a DNA sample and I'm really sorry Rose but it's necessary and it will prove you are not her, hopefully.  There's only a very slight chance it won't.  I'll be with you in there but maybe not make it look like we are too friendly until we get the DNA results back but she knows you've been staying with me.  If we get you through this, we can tell everyone else what we discussed before, you're my new girlfriend."

"Well you'll have to come up with all the details, I don't know what you've been up to here, do I?"

"Well, just ask any of the female staff and you'll find out but that's all over now Rose, I promise.  I was just seeking out some company and it wasn't my fault they didn't appreciate how I tried to procure it."

"Got a bit over-enthusiastic about it did you?"

"You could say that but it was all Tess's fault," he smiled as he held the door open.

"I'm sure it was," she smiled back.

He led her to the chief's office and knocked on the door, for a change.  Elaine looked up and asked her to sit, Alec getting another chair and sitting beside her.

"You caused quite a stir on Friday Miss Tyler.  I'm Chief Superintendent Jenkinson, may I call you Rose?"

Rose nodded and glanced at Alec for reassurance. 

"I'll get right to the point.  As you are aware, there is another Rose Tyler out there somewhere who is wanted for killing her family and friend and destroying a top government agency and DI Hardy here says when he questioned you, you were totally unaware of any of this and claimed you'd been travelling around.  So why come here, to Broadchurch claiming you know nothing of the events four years ago?"

"Like I said to him, I've been out of it, doing research for my employer, Dr Smith, we've been in the northern hemisphere for the best part of that time, in remote places."

She couldn't tell if the woman believed her or not as she continued, lacing in parts of her old times of travelling in the Tardis and nipping home for a few days at a time, even Alec looked stone faced as he'd no idea what she was going to come out with and it was best he didn't since he wanted Elaine to know as little as possible about his and Rose's 'arrangement' they'd come up with over the weekend.

A good while later, after coffee had been sent in, Rose was through answering the chief's other questions.

"So are you prepared to give a DNA sample?"

"Yes, Alec explained to me that's the best way of proving I'm not the one who's wanted."

"I'll send a WPC in to do it when we move you to the interview room."

"So are you keeping me here then?"

"We have to establish who you are and I have to submit a report.  It's the interview room or a cell Rose.  It should take a few days to get the results back then I'll consult with my bosses.  If it's proved you're not her, you'll be released."

"Hang on, you don't have to detain her here, I'll take full responsibility for her until the results come back, she's been with me all weekend Elaine, she could have run off on Friday but she stayed to be seen by you today."

"Very well then Alec, she's your responsibility until the results come back, don't let her leave town."

"Where would she go?"

"Yeah, where would I go?  I came here because I mistook Alec for someone, got escorted from the coach and found out it wasn't him but he still helped me when I thought I was going to get arrested for a case of mistaken identity.  I wouldn't try and get him in trouble by leaving town, I've nowhere else to go after I lost touch with my friend, Doctor Smith."

It was sort of true and a story she planned sticking with at least as far as the authorities were concerned, it was easier than inventing the one about being Alec's old girlfriend who'd just come back, something Alec would have to invent anyway since she knew nothing about this one.

"Besides, I've run out of money now since I can't use my bank card without someone reporting me."

"If you are cleared, your account will be released from the alert we have out, it's just a formality.  If you have any other ID such as driver's licence and passport, they will be re-issued to you in person, accompanied by DI Hardy, who will be able to vouch for you."

Well that was something she supposed and she wouldn't be locked up until they decided who she was.

"I'll do the DNA test in my office, no need to get anyone else to do it.  Can she go then?"

"Yes and since you seem to have nothing better to do and it's in your interest to keep an eye on her, it's your job to look after her so take some time off."

"I'd rather just work, I trust her.  I'll work a few hours during the day or I'll drive her crazy," he smiled.

"Yes, she has my sympathy putting up with you all the time Alec, try not to annoy her."

Alec got up and gestured for Rose to do the same, opening the door for her.  He led her upstairs to his office, getting looks from the others.

"Have you lot nothing better to do?  Get back to work oh and spread the word, Roberts, the women can start walking around the station on their own now."

Marie Roberts was relieved to hear that since she'd been cornered by him several times lately and no longer worked Saturday afternoons.  It seemed the detective had found new prey and everyone would be relieved.  She pitied the poor blonde now sitting on the sofa in his office as he made coffee and took two cups in after asking for a DNA kit.

"It's just a cheek swab Rose, don't worry and all this will soon be over."

"I hope so.  Do you want to meet for lunch?"

"I'll just send this off and finish some paperwork then I'll join you, why don't you wait across the way?"

"OK, what was all that as we came in?"

"Nothing, well let's say I used to seek a little female company and no-one wanted to oblige."

"Why not?  Is there something wrong with them?"

"Apparently there was something wrong with me but that seems to have disappeared, since you agreed to stay with me.  You could have opted for the cell."

"Yeah, I figured staying with you was the least painless."

"So I'm just marginally better than being left for a few days in a cell?"

"I didn't mean it like that Alec and you know it."

"Rose, you'll have to get used to my sense of humour, Miller used to tell me I didn't have one."

Rose smiled, the other Ellie had told her Alec much the same until she'd arrived in town.  The Ellie Miller she knew had said what a grump he used to be until she'd walked in at the close of the murder enquiry and been with him when he'd come round after collapsing chasing the suspect.  She hadn't intended staying more than a few days for a rest but she'd stayed and on his release from hospital and moved him into her hotel room.

She remembered clearly the day she'd walked into the station and been shown to his office and here she was, sitting in the exact same office with his double, waiting for him to leave.

"Rose, you look miles away."

"Yeah, it's just this office.  Can I leave now?"

"It makes you feel uncomfortable?"

"You could say that, it brings back too many memories, sorry."

He got up from behind his desk and pulled the blinds down then sat beside her.

"It's ok Rose, I told you and I know it's not something you are going to forget easily.  I'll finish here and come over and meet you."

He opened the door.  "Roberts, escort my friend here downstairs will you?"

Marie knew who she was and wondered what she was doing with the station's Casanova and why she was still free.

He kissed Rose's cheek and said he'd see her soon, the door still open.  She was led out and Marie chose to wait for the lift.

"So, are you with hard-ass then?"

"Excuse me?  Do you always address your boss like that?"

"So you really are with him then?"

"That's no-one else's business if I am."

"You do know his reputation?"

"He did mention it to me earlier and it's all in the past now, he deserves a chance, now he's got me as his girlfriend."

There, she'd admitted it and whatever had gone on here, he'd been honest with her so far, she had no reason to think now she'd agreed to play the part, he'd carry on seeking other women's company.

"Well don't say you weren't warned love.  We're all sick of him here, his ex warned us about him."

So he'd been right, Tess did have something to do with women turning him down though she'd best not tell him, he was mad enough about it as it was and she didn't want him having a show-down with his ex girlfriend and drag her into it.  Fortunately, she'd avoided the other Alec's ex-wife but she would have met her sooner or later if Sandbrook had been reopened.

Maybe though it would make him feel better to know it was nothing he'd done but he'd said that was all over now, well until she found a way home.  She thanked Marie and said for her to wait and see before she judged Alec further and went to sit at one of the catering stalls opposite, a favourite place of theirs in the other world.

Alec was about to leave when Lawson tapped on his door.

"Sir, the chief wants you before you leave."

"Why didn't she call me?"

Lawson looked at him.  Alec knew why she'd not called him.  Surely they'd not got Rose's DNA back already?

"So, she's your girlfriend then?"

"What's so surprising about that?  We did spend the weekend together."

"Nothing Sir.  The chief said right away."

Twenty minutes later, he'd joined Rose across the road and sat beside her.

"My chief had a call from her boss.  There may be someone coming from London to interview you when your DNA comes back, just in case it doesn't prove who you really are and I'm so sorry Rose but you may have to tell them the truth, of where you really come from.  I'll do everything I can to help you, you know that."

"Yeah Alec, I know.  We need to talk about this when we get back and think about trying to contact her."

"I thought you didn't want to?"

"I know but I may have no alternative.  Do you want a drink or anything?"

"No, I'm fine, let's go."

As they walked back Rose told him that Marie Roberts had tried to warn her off.  He wasn't surprised.  Once back he told Rose what his chief had said.

"I was right though, I thought they would send someone from the Special Branch, this is their sort of thing.  You don't have anything to worry about though, just tell them how you got here."

"Seriously?  They'll lock me up, you said they don't take kindly if you're not from around here."

"Rose, it's the only way to prove you are not her if the DNA test is inconclusive.  I don't know if you had such a police department where you came from but this is what they do and unlike any other department, they don't pursue people who don't belong on this planet if they can prove they are human, they sort of took over from Torchwood on a much smaller scale."

"So if I tell them, they won't do anything like lock me up?"

"From what I know about them, then no but they may take a while to come to a decision, they won't just say ok and let you go."

"Then how long could it take?"

"I really don't know, it's hard to say but I'm sure when they do, everything will be ok.  They'll take into account you were interviewed with your co-operation and you are sort of in police custody, I'm sticking my neck out for you and my chief knows it, she's already picked up on the fact I told those in my squad room you were my girlfriend though I tried to tell her it was just to save answering any awkward questions but I don't think she believed me.  What about you saying earlier, about contacting the other Rose Tyler, how will you do that?"

"She may find me, if she's got a device similar to mine and it's giving out a signal, it will be stronger here than on my world.  Even if it is weak, it will be easy for her or the Jake here to find me."

"Yes but you didn't want them getting their hands on your own device, you did say she could still be responsible for what happened here and if she somehow got to your world, then what?"

She moved closer to him and rested her head on his shoulder, Alec kissing her forehead.  She glanced up at him before she spoke.

"Alec, I have no choice, I want to be able to go home.  What else can I do?"

He put his arm around her.  "I know Rose, I know you do."

All they could do now was wait for her DNA sample coming back and it that proved nothing, for Special Branch to arrive and risk telling them where she really came from.  Alec knew that could go either way and she could wait months for them to conclude their investigation, they weren't known for their rapid decisions.  He'd only heard of rare cases where they intervened, if the police commission couldn't get the facts from DNA testing and things were unsettled, the elite team were called in but were at least fair though time consuming.

Rose was leaning on his shoulder, she depended on him and if this wasn't resolved when she got her test results back, he would have to guarantee she stayed where she was so now, he had to take things very slowly and not make her run away from him so he'd have to let her get close to him, if she wanted then if not, it was back to the cold showers every morning because he couldn't bring himself to go look elsewhere and leave her alone every night, someone could still come after her from her own world and he'd never get to say goodbye to her or something worse could happen.

He hadn't wanted to tell her that former Torchwood employees who had been on her father's side were also still looking for the other Rose Tyler and they may not be as understanding as he was.  If she wanted to remain here long enough to maybe get back home, she was best staying in the town where he could protect her and if word got out she was trying to contact either of the other two she could bring them down on her.  Now he was going to have to warn her.

By the time he had, he wished he'd remained silent.

"I'm sorry Rose, I know you already have more than enough to worry about, I never meant to add to your problems."

"It's not your fault but thanks for telling me, I'd never thought there might be still people out there who had been loyal to Pete but won't she also have some on her side?"

"Maybe but they won't come forward.  I expect a lot that were neutral still remain that way, there were employees whom from what I know about the power struggle towards the end who never made up their minds who to support.  Who did you trust back on your world?  You must know their names?"

"Yeah but I left when I moved to Broadchurch to be with the other Alec, I can think of a few though but how do I know I can trust them?"

"You don't but you have to start somewhere and I'll be the one to contact them.  I can make some enquiries and say I'm leading a new enquiry to ascertain your guilt or innocent, not through official channels but they won't know that.  My chief told me to keep an eye on you, I'll bring a laptop home and we can see if there's still a record of who worked at Torchwood."

"Right and if they were anything like ours, a lot of records would have survived, they were on a separate server and still accessible.  I know how to get in to them."

"Well you would, wouldn't you?" he asked, kissing her cheek then stroking it.

"There's a lot we can do Rose though it may take time but while we do that, if your results come back and you're cleared, it's only a matter of locating Jake Simmonds and getting him to agree to help your repair your device without wanting something in return."

"Alec, we can offer him something in return."

"What's that?" he asked, nudging her for a kiss.

"Prove their innocence."

"No way Rose, I told you that already.  You have no idea what you are going up against.  Forget it we'll find another way."

"What do you expect me to do?  Offer a look at how mine should work so they can get their own working?"

"Have you thought theirs may actually work and they are no longer on this world?" Alec mused, more as an afterthought than anything else. 

Then he saw the look on her face.

"Don't say that.  You know what that means?"

Alec shook his head and pulled her closer.

"It means she activated her device and mine was drawn to it, she may have gone on to my world in my place and I'm stuck here forever, no-one else can help me and if she killed her family, mine could be in danger.  So, how do you think that makes me feel?"
Chapter 9
"Rose, you can't know that for certain."

"It's the only explanation Alec, the reason why my device was thrown off course, I activated mine on the last world I was on at the same time, I landed here, she went to my world."

"I'm sorry Rose but I'm sure she was not aware of that, maybe she came back?"

"Would you, if you were wanted here?"

"I suppose you have a point but what about Jake, can those devices carry two people?"

"Yeah, if they have to.  That's it, there's no-one more qualified than Jake would have been able to repair my device."

"I'm not having you give up Rose, we find someone else or we have a tool made, to open the back, it could be something really simple."

"Ever tried to repair a dimension hopping device?"

Alec grinned at her.  "Not lately, no.  Have you?"

"Not a clue but say we get someone to invent such a tool, where would we even look?"

"The list of former Torchwood employees to start with.  I'll get a laptop tomorrow and we'll make a start.  I'm hungry, coming for lunch?"

Rose got up, she was feeling hungry now he had to mention it.  They walked to one of the catering stalls, Rose sitting by the low wall overlooking the river and the empty space where the blue chalet had been, her and the other Alec's 'love nest' as Jake had called it jokingly.  She turned away towards the road, not being able to look at where she had lived a few days ago.

"Did you have to sit here and torment yourself?"

"Yeah, I need to be reminded of what I left behind.  Sorry, that wasn't directed at you."

"Don't worry about it, it will continue to happen, I know you can't forget everything just like that, I keep telling you.  Let's just eat then we'll go for a walk, since I've been ordered to take some time off."

"I'm keeping you from your job."

"No, you're keeping me from going slowly insane in this boring seaside town, I should be thanking you, trust me."

"Then why say you want to still work a few hours a day?"

"I thought you'd need a bit of time to yourself, you don't need me hanging around all day.  Well not unless you insist."

Rose smiled as Alec got up to collect the food.

"So, we go to the Miller's for dinner tomorrow night and see what she thinks, yes?"

"Yeah, ok.  I don't have to tell her everything do I?"

"No, just what you want.  Don't tell her too much though, she's been dying to know what I did before I came here and took her job."

Rose smiled.  "Maybe we should spin her a story then?"

"I knew there was a reason I kept you around."

They walked around for a while then walked up the hill overlooking the bay and sat down, Alec taking her hand.

"Don't give up Rose, we'll start contacting people, someone has to know something, they would have had people working on the project."

"What if those who are left were on Pete's side?"

"Then I leave you out of it for now, until your name's cleared.  I'll just make a few enquiries Rose, don't worry, just to ask if they know you and judge their reactions and if they sound hostile, I won't go any further."

"Yeah but if you say where you're from, they'll know where to find me."

He squeezed her hand.  "Seriously?  I'll withhold the number, I've got a Scottish accent in case you've not noticed, how will they know?"

"And you say I'm devious.  How did you even end up here Alec?"

"Just lucky I guess.  What would you have done had I not been here?"

"I don't know, I'd be all on my own."

"Exactly so less of the questions, I'm here, just be grateful I was willing to help you eh?"

"I am grateful Alec."  She turned and kissed his cheek.

"See that house there?" he nodded at the house on the side of the footpath.  "If you need a lawyer, she's the best person to help you."

"I'll remember that, thanks."  She leaned her head on his shoulder, it would be so easy to pretend he was her Alec but he wasn't.  She couldn't give up that easily and let a little thing like a non-working device get in the way.  She was Rose Tyler, Tyler women didn't give up.  She had faced the impossible numerous times and been on many missions before she'd been allowed to join the dimension cannon project and even then, she never stayed idle when awaiting her turn, since Yvonne was very strict how many times each member used it.

She'd been tired of waiting her turn again and seen Broadchurch on the news over the murder of a young boy, never bothering the lead detective looked like the very man she had been looking for and got in her car and driven down, booked into the hotel and found the police station.  That had been a few days before Alec chased the suspect and got taken to hospital, the night after he'd asked her out for dinner and stayed in her room, albeit he said he couldn't have proper sex with her but they came close enough for her to insist he moved into her room when she went to collect him from the hospital at two in the morning but persuaded him to rest and she'd get him back before his chief found out.

Ellie though had other ideas and had left when Rose had got there but had covered herself by telling the chief anyway, which had got her into more trouble with Rose than she would have from her boss but Rose had eventually seen her point of view and they'd become good friends, which Ellie had needed the next day.  Rose had even paid for her to move her two boys into the caravan park down the coast for two weeks while she got herself sorted and hired a car for her.

Now this Alec was talking of bringing this version of Ellie into their secrets and she wasn't so sure.  Alec had dragged her up and they walked back down the cliff, Alec stopping to buy icecream before walking back home.  Now Rose was faced with waiting a few days before her fate may be decided and she would either be free, questioned further or locked up and now, there was the added danger someone from the destroyed organisation would want revenge.

They passed the police station, Alec telling her to wait downstairs while he went to get his work laptop since they were passing and they could make a start rather than wait until tomorrow, him thinking it was just as well he'd opted for free internet when he'd taken the cottage but never got around to buying a home phone.  Once back, he set it all up, something Rose mused she'd had to do on mobile internet for her Alec when he'd become interested in reopening Sandbrook and then he'd argued about it.

"Rose, you said you knew how to get into the old Torchwood files, here's your chance to do it."

"Yeah, well I hope they use the same protocols and they never put a trap on them.  The Jake in my world was very crafty when it came to encrypting files.  He would set them up and it was Mickey's job to try to break them, it was a game to them.  I used to watch over Mickey's shoulder, I learned a few things.  He was my boyfriend, in the other world when I was nineteen, we got over it in case you're interested."

Alec smiled as she sat at the table and he sat opposite, watching her concentrate.  Ten minutes later, Alec could only stare as Rose showed him all the secrets of Torchwood, listed there in front of them.  All they were interested in was downloading a list of personnel, up to the day Torchwood was blown up.  Rose had to resist looking for anything to do with the power struggle, at least for now but Alec argued it could prove useful.

"Think about it Rose, find out who were opposed to the other Rose's changes in policy, see who was for them, it has to be worth it, it will give me some idea who to contact."

"Why are you doing this Alec?"

"Seriously?"

"Yes, I keep going on about getting back to my family and the Alec Hardy I left behind yet you share your house and you comfort me in bed and ask nothing in return."

"You want to know?  I'll tell you.  I was let down by someone once, ok?  The wife of the main suspect in Sandbrook, she turned against her husband and I was supposed to protect her and I never knew she was knee-deep in it until the truth came out and it turned out she was the one who encouraged him to kill that young girl so she wouldn't find out what the girl's father had done to her cousin.  They hid her body in the woods and left her there for three days."

"I know the story Alec, it's almost identical and the other Alec fell for her act as well, you're not on your own but you found out, it didn't make you ill."

"I know, I'm sorry Rose, I never intended for it to remind you of that fact."

Rose looked at him.

"Yes, well that's enough of that but I'm helping you because I let her get the better of me and I lost Tess because she thought I was having an affair before I found out I was being used.  You are innocent in all this Rose, you got here through no fault of your own, you never asked to come here.  The least I can do is make it less painful for you and help you find your way home."

Rose turned to him and kissed his cheek. 

"I'm not asking you to forget your Alec but I've given up everything for you Rose, just remember that though you've spared the women at the station I suppose.  I only did it because they'd already made their minds up about me, it made me angry.  Now you confirmed it was Tess putting them off, she must have been really mad with me but she was the one who actually went off with another man."

"I think I should have words with her," Rose smiled.

Rose downloaded the files they needed to start contacting some of them and decided to leave it until the next day.

"Rose, don't forget we are going to the Millers tomorrow night, I told her I was bringing someone with me, said you were my new girlfriend."

"Right, you can invent all the details then, I'll just play along but I thought you were letting her in on some of it?"

"Not in front of her husband, I don't trust him, he's shifty-looking," he smiled, kissing her cheek.  "Get her on her own, I've already told her you're new in town and need another friend besides me though she said you must be mad taking up with me but tell her about you being wanted as the other Rose Tyler and you're waiting for confirmation you're not her."

"I'll see how far I can trust her, I hope she's like the Ellie Miller I know.  I'll start making diner then?"

"Ok, I'll put the laptop away and come and help you."

They decided not to go out, just in case Nigel Carter was around again though Alec said he could handle him and as they'd got into the habit of Rose getting ready for bed while Alec was in the bathroom, he was waiting in bed for her return, hoping she wasn't in there crying again or gone back to her room.  He'd enjoyed sharing with her the last few nights, she'd started off away from him but snuggled closer during the night that she'd offered no resistance when he'd put his arm around her and they'd kissed a bit more that morning.

"Rose, do you object if I take my t-shirt off, I get too warm in bed."

"Alec, I don't think I'm ready for that just yet, turn the heating down."

"It's not the heating, it's me or maybe it's you being here."

"I can always go," she teased, leaning on his shoulder.

"Never mind, I'll manage but don't blame me if the duvet is on your side in the morning and you can't move."

"I'll just throw it back at you."

"Just you try, I may have to resort to tickling you again."

Rose swatted his arm away as he put it around her waist but he persisted.  "Come on Rose, you can't blame me, you have to give me something back, you said I never asked for anything and I don't, just for you show me a little affection, maybe?  Just a teeny bit?" he asked as he withdrew his arm, hoping she would pull it back.

She turned onto her back as he remained on his side, touching her arm.  It was one thing she drifted over to him in her sleep and had found herself close to him with his arm around her shoulder and the times she'd cried he'd put his arm around her, pulling her close and she'd snuggled into his neck but this felt different, this wasn't just him offering to comfort her and she didn't know how she felt about it.  He hadn't wanted anything back so far but he was beginning to make advances though she thought they were probably tame compared to what he was capable of, they were both on shaky ground here.

This was apparently his first attempt to get close to a woman since his ex dumped him but she was desperately missing her Alec at night and the signs were beginning to show although with Alec's health, they'd not yet cemented their relationship for fear of sending him to hospital again.  Rose had always taken the lead and known when he was showing signs of struggling and not let him go too far but she couldn't just forget everything they'd shared in the six months or so they'd been together, enough that he'd been about to ask her to marry him and she was going to accept.

He was stroking her arm, she had opted to just wear a t-shirt with her pyjama bottoms tonight, why she didn't know, it was one of Alec's plain ones he'd said she could borrow any time, he had enough of him.  The other Alec only had two or three plain ones and a couple of striped button-down one's she'd talked him into buying for a change of him always being in his work shirts.

She could look at this two ways, she could tell him firmly there was no chance whatsoever she would go beyond sharing his bed and a few kisses at bedtime or risk driving him away and him telling her to go back to her own room and not to blame him if he changed his attitude and seek another woman's company and even bring some back with him to the bed they had for the most part innocently shared and she would have to listen to them and bump into one or more of them in the morning.  How would it make her feel if he did that?  Should it even bother her?

More importantly, how would her Alec feel, wondering where she was, who she was with?  He wasn't a very understanding man but they'd compromised on a lot of things since they'd met, Ellie saying he was like a different person since he'd met her.  She had to play for time, at least for now and hope she could get back home before he wanted more.  She made her mind up and turned back to face him.

"I'm sorry Alec but I just need some time to come to terms with this, I can't just rush into it, it's only six months in my world since I met the other Alec and I'd just got used to it.  You're so different than he was, that's all because he was ill and knew his limits and I had to be careful with  him.  I think that's what drew me to him, because he needed someone."

"I understand that Rose but I need someone as well and I really don't want to resort to bringing other women back with me for the night, it would hurt you and I don't want that.  Can we compromise?  Just give me a hug now and then and a few kisses and whatever you're comfortable with when we're alone and maybe go to sleep on me like you did when you were upset?"

Rose smiled at him and touched his arm.

"Ok but you keep your t-shirt on at least for now and don't get any funny ideas, got it?"

She just hoped her Alec would forgive her for ensuring the only man she knew on this world wouldn't leave her alone and she'd tried her best not to give in so easily but how long could she hold out?  This Alec was fit and well and was showing all the classic signs of being so and he'd not had any contact with the opposite sex for a good while and she just hoped he could keep himself in check for a good while longer.

"Got it.  Thanks Rose, I just want you to be comfortable with me and be yourself.  You don't have to be afraid of me, I'd never hurt you, it's not like I'm the other Alec's evil twin or anything or do you think I am?"

"No, I don't think that.  I never told the other Alec about him looking like the man I was searching for, I don't know why.  I mean I told him I was looking for someone but not who looked like him, he'd probably have left me if I had but I may have told him sooner or later, when he was well.  I didn't want him to think I was using him and now, I've told you that you look like two men I've lost, why do you put up with me?"

After a few brief kisses and Rose relaxing into his shoulder as he put his other arm under her, knowing if she slept on it again it would be dead in the morning and not caring, Rose fell asleep but as Alec was drifting off, kissing her forehead, he was trying his best to think of a way to help her but not wanting to let her go was not helping.

The next morning, sharing a few more kisses, Alec went off to work for a few hours, leaving Rose some cash to buy herself a new dress to wear to go out in and Rose asking if she should get some chocolates and wine to take with them, remembering the other Alec saying he'd taken flowers as well, just to be on the safe side.

"We'll get some on the way, you know what chocolates women like, I've not got a clue."

"You never bought chocolates for your ex?  No wonder she hates you so much."

"Rose, I think it was more than the fact I never bought anything for her, judging by the effort she went to ensuring I never got another girlfriend.  Maybe I should give you her number, she can try talking you out of going out with me."

"I know what I would like to talk to her about, she's a proper cow."

Alec smiled, someone was on his side at last.  After arranging to meet at two opposite the station again, Rose said goodbye to him on the corner and he gave her directions to walk up into the town and told her to cut down by the side of the Traders Hotel and it would save her walking all the way back.

"Oh and Rose, if you happen to bump into a certain reporter, keep away from him until I'm with you, he may recognise you and follow you."

"Don't worry about me, I'm used to them, I eat reporters for breakfast." 

She kissed his cheek and he watched her walk off up the road.  This Rose Tyler was something else.  He turned back in the direction of the station and walked up the steps, waving to the startled desk sergeant as it was the first time he'd seen Alec come in at ten in the morning with a smile on his face and wondered if the detective had actually been screwing with this supposed version of the wanted Rose Tyler.

The office staff were equally started when he shouted a "Morning" to everyone, threw his jacket onto the coat stand and went to make himself a drink and cleaned the spoon instead of just throwing it in the sink, a first as long as anyone could remember.  Even Marie Roberts stared disbelievingly at him and wondered what had come over him from yesterday and he'd been the topic of conversation in the women's locker room that very morning as her colleagues had not believed her when she said Alec Hardy was now off the market and everyone could go back to walking safely around the station on their own.

He set up his laptop and opened the file containing the endless list of all Torchwood employees up until the last entry just hours before its destruction.  He wondered if Rose could access security footage of what happened but would the files give her away if she tried to access them?  It may be worth mentioning it to her but not tonight, they had a dinner date and hopefully, she would make a new friend to share her problems with.  She was certainly growing on him and last night, she'd fallen asleep on him without crying, he must be doing something right.
Chapter 10
Rose walked up to the town and found a market with some dress stalls, a far cry from when her and her mother had gone to the fancy West End department stores when attending a charity dinner or enjoying a night out at either a Torchwood or Vitex event.  She found a nice red floral dress she liked and having some money left over, bought some accessories and some more underwear, not that she had a man to impress, this Alec only saw her in pyjamas or fully dressed.   She intended to keep that way for now, maybe for however long she was here, she didn't exactly know how long that was going to be now the only hope she'd had was maybe gone to the world she now belonged in.

How could that have happened?  It was some kind of fluke that the Rose Tyler from here had activated her device after four years and disappeared the exact second she'd found herself here but had the other Rose waited four years?  She had to talk to Alec about this as ideas came into her head.  She went down just before two and waited across from the station for him coming out, seeing him standing on the balcony and waving to her.  This was so strange to her, a healthy smiling Alec Hardy when she'd only just managed to get the other one to stop being such a grump but that was what she'd loved about him and this one, although a bit tough on the outside was exactly the opposite when on his own.

She'd still called him a grump that morning when he'd wanted his morning coffee which had got an extra kiss out of him afterwards and a 'sorry babe', something she'd barely registered until later.  She just hoped he wouldn't start calling her that in front of everyone but had a feeling he would, to add credibility to their supposed relationship.  She was determined to get him back for that, maybe in front of his friend Ellie, see how much of a sense of humour he really had.

Alec had to be very careful his boss or his nosy DS didn’t catch on what he was doing then it occurred to him he could actually get away with it saying he was trying to prove this Rose was innocent and kill two birds with one stone, brilliant!  It would save him having to explain the calls he was going to make and give him an excuse to contact them without giving away the fact he was after information on the real one.  That wasn't going to be as easy as he'd thought as he contacted the first name on his very long list and he knew this was going to take forever.  There was only one thing he could do, use the email addresses provided four years ago and see if anyone replied.

His first call though was to Gwen Cooper, listed as part of the research and development team.

"Am I speaking with Gwen cooper?" Alec dared to ask when a Welsh voice answered with a suspicious "hello" as he'd gone through the switchboard and the number was blocked.

"I'm no longer called that, I got married, who is this?"

"Detective Inspector Alec Hardy, Wessex police, I'm making enquiries about a Rose Tyler.  Someone who is claiming to be her has been reported and we are deciding if it is a hoax or it could be her."

Gwen laughed.  "Are you kidding?  That rich bitch blew up her family, do you think she'd still be walking around?  She went underground after it happened and if she has any sense, she'll stay there as long as she can, I know of people who would just love for her to show up again, trust me."

"So we can safely assume it's an impostor that is going around?" he hoped.

"If you ask me, whoever is pretending to be her had best watch herself, I hope she's got police protection but that might not be enough."

"Can you tell me more?"

"No, I've said enough already.  She was no friend of mine but if she didn't do it, she knew about it and got someone else to do it, that and blow up Torchwood.  Anyway if you're in the police, surely you know all that?"

"There are things that were not reported at the time, you should know Torchwood had its secrets, if you worked there," Alec hit back at her, hoping to trip her up.

"Listen, if you find whoever is pretending to be her, warn her.  Torchwood may not have set up again officially with the president's knowledge but some of them stay in touch and they will find out, be careful who you contact about her."

"Then if I can prove she's not her, no-one will go after her?"

"Maybe not but it won't deter them from finding out, maybe the hard way.  I can't help you inspector, there was no love lost between me and Rose Tyler but if it is her double, she'll need all the help she can get."

Alec was about to question her further but the line went dead.  He scrubbed his idea of emailing those on the list and sat back, wondering whether or not to risk calling anyone else and hoping Gwen Cooper or whoever she was now wasn't planning on alerting those who were against Rose.  Now it was another problem to add to the growing list of concerns.  Maybe he could still contact some of them though, he'd just have to change his line of questioning.

Rose was waiting for him when he got out and he told her of the conversation he'd had earlier.  Rose wasn't too happy at the news half of Torchwood could be after her.

"It's ok Rose, I never said where you were, Wessex police cover the entire south-west area.  I made a few more calls, I was careful but I never got very far.  I'm sorry Rose, this is going to take some time and that's even if nothing needs my attention, not that anything ever happens here."

"Be careful, that's what the other Alec thought, I told you what happened," Rose smiled, taking his hand.

"You don't have to tell me twice.  I don't know what else to do, I'll see if I can get someone to help but I'll have to make it seem like it's in our interests to discover the truth, maybe I won't get in any trouble for trying to prove your innocence after all?"

"I hope not, I'd hate to see you lose your job but now we've got something else to worry about, great."

"We half suspected that before.  Let's concentrate on clearing you with the police first, then we'll get them to issue a statement you're not her and that will satisfy anyone else who wants to find you, like I said, Wessex is a large place."

"I just hope you're right."

He squeezed her hand in reassurance.  "Did you get all you wanted while you were out then?"

"Yeah, I hung my new dress up before I came to meet you."

"Just be careful love, don't go anywhere that's quiet and don't take that shortcut back down to the seafront any more, ok?"

"Yeah, ok, I'll try to remember that.  Do you want to walk on the beach?"

"Ok, just for you but I'm not walking in the water, it's too cold to start with."

Rose smiled and dragged him up and they made their way around the corner, finding the way on to the pebble beach, taking off her shoes and handing them to Alec who just smiled.  He was getting quite used to this, Rose was very spontaneous and spur of the moment and he like that about her and he'd only just noticed he'd started calling her 'babe' and 'love' and she'd not hit him or told him to get lost.  That was surprising, his luck with women had finally changed when he'd met her.

Later on, Alec was watching the early evening news and Rose had gone to get ready to go out just before seven and they were calling in the mini-market to get something to take to the Miller house.  He thought he would send Rose off to pick some chocolates and he'd pick the wine, any wine and then sneak a packet of something and see if he could entice her over the coming nights.  While he was paying and Rose was putting the items in a carrier bag as she'd bought a few things herself, he picked up what he wanted and hoped she hadn't noticed as she was fussing over something.

Rose had seen him out of the corner of her eyes but said nothing, if he thought he was going to get her drunk tonight and try his luck he'd better think again, he'd no chance just yet if at all, she'd not made any decisions regarding that subject.  She still had not given up on the other Alec just yet, it may not have even been a day for him though however long it had been, he would be concerned after five minutes let alone how long it had been for her but here she was, five days on this world and going out to dinner with another Alec and he was making a lot of presumptions about their new relationship, such as calling her 'babe' this morning and 'love' while they'd been out earlier.

Arriving outside the Miller home, Alec had a few things to say.

"Don't forget, I'll do most of the talking in front of her husband then you can talk to her afterwards, I'll keep him talking.  Just act naturally, she'll probably seat us together so if I take your hand or something, just go along with what I say, I'll try and keep it simple, ok?"

"Ok, I'll try and keep up with you, don't get any funny ideas."

"Such as?" he asked, ringing the doorbell.

"I saw what you sneaked into your jacket pocket Alec, you're not the only detective around here."

Alec grinned as he heard someone opening the door.

"Hi, come in.  So this is your new girlfriend, you poor thing, putting up with him.  Did he drag you here tonight?"

"No, he told me I needed to make some new friends so here I am.  Hello, I'm Rose.  How long do you have to go now?"

"Two weeks, I'm going crazy.  Well don't just stand there, what is it with you Hardy?"

Alec allowed Rose in first, she handed the chocolates and wine to her and thought back to what her Alec had said when he'd made the mistake of taking flowers as well.  Ellie took them and led them to the dining room.

"You can come again, make yourself at home, you don't have to sit next to him if you don't want to, it's not compulsory."

Alec put his arm around her as Ellie's husband Joe came out of the kitchen with some plates of food.  They all chatted over dinner, Alec going easy on the drink as he had to drive home but he noticed Rose wasn't refusing her glass being refilled.

"So, how long have you two been together?" Joe asked, trying to refill Alec's glass and Rose looking at him as they'd chosen to sit opposite each other, well Rose had so she could kick him under the table if need be and Alec was hoping she wouldn't.

"Well, that's quite amusing, isn't it love?  She came down here last Friday and thought I was someone she used to know and, well you know me, I asked her out and she actually said yes, since she was here on her own."

"Well I bet all the women in the station are happy about that?  She does know your reputation?"

"Yeah, he told me, I said he was trying too hard."

"Didn't take much with you though, did it?" he winked.

Ellie laughed.  "Well if she's new in town, that explains it, doesn't it?  Are you staying though?"

"Yeah, got nowhere else to go, I was sort of running away from things."

"Such as?"

Alec gave her a warning look.  "She doesn't like to talk about it do you love?"

Rose shook her head, she wanted to talk to this Ellie on her own.  "No, I'd rather not, it's a woman thing, maybe we can talk later Ellie?  Alec said I need someone to talk to other than him."

"Sure, of course you can talk to me Rose, you can't talk to your boyfriend about other men, can you?"

Rose was grateful she'd got away with that for now.  Alec did as promised and got Ellie's husband talking and Ellie took Rose into the front room after introducing her to Tom, Ellie's 12 yr old son.

"So Rose, what did you want to talk about?  I know you didn't want to say anything in front of Joe, Alec told me when he phoned me yesterday it was something of a problem you had though he wouldn't go into any details about it."

"Did you not wonder about my name, Rose?"

"Oh, I thought you looked familiar but I wasn't sure but don't worry about Joe, he doesn't keep up with that sort of thing.  You're not her are you?"

"No and that's where the problem is, Alec's trying to help me prove I'm not the one who's wanted but we need some help and I know you're about to have a baby, I don't want to put you to any trouble."

"Let me worry about that, tell me how I can help."

Rose explained she'd come to Broadchurch thinking Alec was someone she knew, not wanting to reveal where she'd come from but Ellie suspected there was more to it.

"Come on Rose, that's not it, is it?  You need help proving you're not her but what aren't you telling me?  How have you got away with it for four years?  Don't try telling me you were in hiding as well?  I don't believe that."

"I should call Alec in here, can you trust your husband?"

"Well, he's married to a police detective but he's got a lot of friends he may talk to so we'd best keep this between us, I'll say it really is women's problems for now.  You talk to Alec about telling me the rest and we'll meet up tomorrow lunchtime somewhere if he agrees.  I'm on your side Rose, you can trust me.  One thing puzzles me though, if you've not been hiding, where have you been?"

Rose wanted to tell her of her arrival a few days ago but she'd agreed with Alec she wouldn't go that far without telling him.

"If Alec says it's ok, I'll tell you, he doesn't trust anyone but he wants me to trust you.  Everyone else just thinks I'm his new girlfriend, to cover the fact I've just arrived in town."

"So you're not?  I knew it was too good to be true but you both put on quite an act, you had me fooled though the female officers at the station had best not learn it's all an act.  Or is it?"

"For now, just when we're out but I am staying with him, I've got nowhere else to go, I arrived here with nothing, I went to him and he said he'd help me but I had to agree to pose as his girlfriend."

"Rose, you should not have agreed that, have you heard about him?  The women at the station were terrified he was going to corner than and try and persuade them to go out with him."

"Yeah and I know where it all came from, his ex up in Sandbrook, she called some of them and warned them about him and do you know why?  Because she accused him of seeing someone else so she went behind his back with another male DS and then had the nerve to make out he was in the wrong and when he didn't want to make up and left, she spread those lies about him."

"That's what he told you?  You believed him?"

"Yeah, someone called Marie told me she'd called them all and warned them, he was just angry and maybe a bit over-zealous in trying to get a date but they all took it the wrong way.  I'm from out of town, he never had to ask me out, I went to him."

"Good point I suppose but it's still no way of getting someone to go out with him though but it may have all been taken the wrong way if every one of them were against him, the desk sergeant got fed-up of filing complaints against him."

Rose smiled.  "So I've been told and now the bloke's out of a job and Alec said he's almost apologised for his behaviour and for them to go back to normal.  They've seen us together when I had to go see his chief yesterday.  He didn't press me into agreeing to pose as his girlfriend, I was willing to go along to get him to help me, we're just friends, honestly, there's nothing going on between us, I left a boyfriend behind where I come from."

"Where you come from?  You mean London?"

"Not exactly but I can't tell you that, not yet.  Best go rescue your husband from Alec, I used to know someone else who could talk as much as he does," Rose smiled.

She followed Ellie into the dining room, Alec stood up and greeted her by putting his arm around her and kissing her cheek. 

"Had a good chat did you?  Then you say I can talk, do you feel better now?"

"Yeah, what have you two been talking about then?  Football?"

She knew Alec never followed football but he liked to watch some of the highlights judging by the TV when she'd come back downstairs earlier, he'd said so he could join in conversations, not that anyone talked to him about it in the station or anything else for that matter.  They eventually said goodnight, Rose getting Ellie's number and arranging to meet tomorrow and Ellie saying she would introduce Rose to her other friend Beth then as they were leaving, Alec thanked them and said when Ellie had the baby, they should come round and Rose would make something.

"Right, thanks then, we'll be off."

"See you tomorrow Rose, I hope Alec bought you some chocolates as well?"

Alec wanted to say he'd bought more than chocolates but thought better of it, Rose may well be sleeping alone tonight since he'd been caught out by her.

"Oh, by the way Alec, I was talking to Mark, he said Nigel had a run-in with you the other night."

"Yes, so?  He made suggestions that Rose should go outside with him, what was I supposed to do, let him?"

"Mark said he had a bloodied nose, did you have to get so rough with him?"

"He should have backed off when he knew Rose was with me, I did warn him, didn't I Rose?"

Rose nodded, she'd had no intentions of going outside with the obnoxious bloke from the other night but if Alec wanted to show off in front of her, who was she to spoil his fun?  He was totally different to the other Alec she'd known and she shouldn't be liking him so much and pretending to be his girlfriend but acting more like she actually was.  At least Ellie knew now but who was this 'Mark', was he one of the bloke's mates?  She knew that Nigel had made a complaint about Alec but he had deserved what he got, Mickey would have done the same.

Once back home, Rose went to make some strong coffee since she'd had three glasses of wine to Alec's half a glass and if she was still sharing, she was going to make sure he didn't try and take advantage of her not knowing what she was doing.

Alec smiled and watched her drinking it, declining to join her.

"Come on Rose, do you really think I would try my luck?  You are still a trained Torchwood agent, you can fend me off if the need arises but I'd never force myself onto you, I'm not like that, that's not my style."

Rose eyed him warily.  "Not even when you've not had a girlfriend for a while?  How much longer can you hold out Alec?"

"How much longer can you?" he asked back, doing that funny thing with his eyebrows she noticed he did, much like the Doctor used to do and that her Alec hadn't.

"I've probably got more self-control than you'll ever know Alec, I was never with anyone back where I came from until I met the other Alec and even then, well let's just say certain things were holding us back."

"Such as his heart condition?  Then why are you feeling so guilty?"

"Just because we never actually went all the way doesn't mean we never tried Alec," she huffed, putting her mug down and folding her arms.  "You have no idea about him and me so don't you go saying I shouldn't feel guilty because I do, he was still my boyfriend, I would never have cheated on him, never."

She was about to get up when he stopped her.  "Rose, I never meant you weren't close, hell, what do I know?  I'm sorry, come here?  I know you miss him and want to get back to him but you're here, with me, what's so wrong about that?"

"Everything," she said quietly as she sat back and he folded his arms around her.  "I can't Alec, I can't do this, I'm sorry."

She started to cry, she was fighting an inner battle and was either about to give in, partly or lose her only friend apart from maybe Ellie, who tomorrow may turn against her when she learned the truth about where she'd come from, they'd not yet talked about Rose even telling Ellie that part.

He kissed her forehead and let her cry.  "It's ok Rose and I was wrong, to buy those things earlier, I was pushing my luck somewhat, I'm sorry.  Whatever is going on inside you Rose, you can battle it all you want but you can't win, not unless you get off this world and right now, there's zero chance of that.  I'm here for you, remember that.  Come on, you go get ready for bed and we'll talk in the morning as to if you should tell Ellie where you came from."

Rose went upstairs, she knew he was right, everything inside her was telling her to hold on, her Alec back home needed her or he wouldn't go for his surgery but her being missing would goad him into it just so he could stand in front of the dimension cannon to go find her and no Yvonne Hartman would stop him, he'd arrest her for obstruction or worse, kidnapping or anything else he could think of but first, he'd go down to the medical bay and Pete would bring in a heart specialist and get his pacemaker fitted, then fit or not, he'd set out trying to find her.

She was certain that was what he would do so would it be fair if he found her that she'd given in and settled for his double?  Maybe if it didn't go too far she could justify it or hopefully, this Alec would be at work and she would lie and say she'd taken up with the actor, to save the pain he would feel when he discovered she'd deserted him but this Alec was right, she was never going to win this one no matter how hard she tried, not until her device was fixed and from what he'd told her earlier, others from the defeated Torchwood would be watching for her and they may not be friendly.

She needed this Alec to protect her, that was for sure, even if she made friends with Ellie, she was going to have her baby soon and wouldn't want to get caught up with that and telling her was going to be a big risk, maybe not even worth it.  She'd already decided that the odd kiss and hug wouldn't go amiss but he was starting to want more, which was understandable since they did share a bed, something she'd agreed to but could she bring herself to offer him more?  Tonight would be make or break in their new relationship and if it was break, she'd find herself out on the streets, what other choice was there?

Maybe she could stall him a bit longer, tell him she was willing to work up to it and hope this world's Jake was still around and be able to get her home but how long would that take, if she could actually trust him?
Chapter 11
A/N: I know nothing about DNA testing, only what I've seen on TV!

Alec was still waiting for her to come to bed, she'd left the bedroom silently when he'd come out of the bathroom, noticing she was wearing his t-shirt again and seemed to like it better than her pyjama jacket, probably because she still didn't entirely trust him and she felt safer as he wouldn't be tempted to unfasten the buttons so easily.

Rose came to her senses and he heard her come out and she stood in the doorway.

"You're not thinking of creeping back to your room are you?" he asked, pulling back the duvet. 

The heating was at a comfortable level, it was still late March so he just lay there with the duvet half off while he let her make her mind up.  She leaned on the doorframe looking at him.  He was just as cute as her Alec had been and if she were to confess, maybe a little bit cuter without all the extra hair on his chin, he was always smiling and joking and trying to wind her up, much like the Doctor used to do but this was so wrong and she knew it.

Alec knew she was in turmoil between him and his double on another world, how could he make it any better for her though?  Nothing he could do or say could make her mind up for her, it was down to her in the end.  She seemed to have sobered up somewhat to how she'd been earlier, a bit chatty in the car on the way back and they'd been laughing as he tried to wind her up about knowing her drink limits and how she'd thought he'd answered Ellie's question about punching that obnoxious bloke on the nose though she'd not really known what had happened, only that Alec was obviously trying to impress her by defending her.

He seemed the defensive sort of person, totally different in his ways and she was just about getting used to it.  Alec watched her, patting the space at the side of him.

"Are you going to stand there all night then?"

"No but I just don't know about this.  What you said a while ago, I know I'm never gonna win this one, what am I supposed to do?"

"Come over here then while you decide then, not that you don't look pretty standing there but maybe I can help you decide?"

She closed the door behind her and got into bed, laying on her back and Alec turning onto his side with his free arm hovering above her, wondering if she would push him away.

"I told you, I just want to help you Rose, I can't tell you what to do, you'd hate me if I tried.  Let's just sleep on it eh?  You could come and snuggle up to me while you make your mind up though."

"Yeah, that's gonna help a real lot, thanks," she smiled, turning out the bedside lamp.

Alec risked putting his arm across her, pleased she'd not swatted it away.

"Are you going to face me then?  I look forward to my goodnight kisses you know?"

"Yeah, I know you do, you must have missed them a whole lot more before you met me then?"

"Maybe but I'd miss yours more if you were to stop though.  You won't, will you?  I mean while you make your mind up, you won't stop kissing me?"

"This isn't easy for me Alec, you know that.  Will you help me?"

She turned towards him and leaned into him and kissed him lightly on the lips but found herself making the kiss last longer as Alec moved onto his back and took her with him.  They kissed again, more fervently, each kiss getting longer by a few seconds as he put both his arms around her and she put hers around his neck.

Before either of them realised, she was lying on him as she melted into him until their lips finally parted and she leaned on his shoulder.  He moved her slightly and took his t-shirt off, his removing it nothing to do with the room temperature, pulling her back for another round of kissing.   He never attempted anything more, he knew she'd give in to him in her own time and now they were getting somewhere at last, he could bide his time and not scare her away.

She surprised him by settling on him and falling asleep with his arms still around her, nestling her head in the crook of his neck.  He smiled to himself to see she was beginning to relax with him and had not tried to get away to sleep on her side like she had been doing and he could live with that.  When Rose woke up, Alec was brushing her hair out of her eyes and kissing her forehead.

"Hey, feeling better?"

"Yeah, hi, I should move."

"No need, not on my account, stay there as long as you like, this is nice and there's no rush, is there?"

"No, don't suppose there is, since you're working part time," she teased, kissing into his neck.

"Do that again and I'll get you back."

"Really?"

He pushed her over onto her back and leaned over her, going for her neck as she pretended to keep him at bay.

"Not offering much resistance, are you?"

Rose giggled and ruffled his hair then putting her hand on his shoulder, let him kiss her neck.  That turned into another full-blown kissing session as Rose nudged him and he turned towards her.

"You're beautiful Rose," was all he said before tucking his arms under and scooping her up, both her arms around his neck as they began kissing, more than last night and leaving Rose breathless a good while later, a big smirk on Alec's face.  They changed places several times, Alec daring to lift the t-shirt she'd borrowed up slightly and put his hand under the hem at the back, Rose still offering no resistance, she knew she should be feeling guilty over this but she was still enjoying it more than she should be.

They were only interrupted by Alec's phone ringing, him trying to reach it as Rose was still kissing his neck.

"I have to get this love."

It was the chief and it was later than he'd planned on getting out of bed, they'd got carried away with what he had found most enjoyable, a long snogging session.

"Yes Elaine, I was aware you would be getting Rose Tyler's DNA results.  Is that today?"

"Yes Alec, where have you been hiding?  Be in my office in an hour and bring her with you, I expect she's still in your bed?"

"Jealous Elaine?  We'll be there in an hour and I hope it's good news for her."

"I can't tell you over the phone but if it wasn't, you being our senior detective or not, uniforms would have already been knocking on your front door Alec, believe me but it doesn't mean she's off the hook either, I'll tell you both when you get here."

"Fine, I'll tell her, when I let her out of my bed," he added for good measure, since she'd already made her mind up he and Rose were already screwing around with each other – if only he thought.

Rose smiled as she got out of bed, knowing his boss must have made some snide remark about them sharing a house and let it go.  Just under an hour later after a hurried breakfast, Rose was sitting in Elaine's office waiting her fate but since she wasn't in handcuffs and being escorted to the cells, she figured it couldn't be that bad.  Alec had been able to tell her very little on the way over but held her hand over the short distance and had stopped once up the steps and outside the main entrance.

"Remember Rose, whatever happens, I'm behind you all the way, even if she tells me to back off, I'll risk it for you."

"Even if there's still some doubt?  If it was certain, I wouldn't be standing here now but it may not be settled."

"I know, let's see what she has to say eh?  No sense in worrying too much, the worse that can happen is the test was inconclusive and someone from Special Branch may be on their way to interview you and that in itself means they're still not sure about you.  I won't let anything happen to you, I promise."

She'd heard promises from other men, the Doctor to say he'd get her and her mother from the original Torchwood Tower and Alec to say he'd take care of her after she left the Torchwood in her adopted world to look after him.

"I know Alec, I'll be glad to get this over with, come on then, let's face the music."

Alec squeezed her hand before letting go, thinking maybe it wasn't such a good idea to walk in hand in hand but changed his mind after opening the door, whispering, "We're in this together Rose, remember that."

Now, Elaine Jenkinson was looking through the folder in front of her, studying again the results of the DNA testing.  Her expression was giving nothing away and Rose thought she was good at reading people.

"So, am I under arrest then?" Rose queried, wanting to break the unbearable silence.

Alec remained quiet, it was Rose's liberty at stake but it also felt like it was his, he was getting way too deeply involved with this, he was falling for her and he knew it.  Rose Tyler taming the unswayable Alec Hardy, that had to be a first but he was struggling uphill against a gale force wind knocking him backwards to get to break her down and it had showed no signs of abating until just an hour or so earlier.  He thought they were finally getting somewhere after days of him trying to get through to her she was probably here to stay and it would take a miracle he didn't believe in to get her home.

"No, you're not under arrest yet but neither are you entirely done with this.  Your DNA is a close match, I'll be honest with you, it's an 85% match, the criteria for a positive match is 87% so it's inconclusive.  To that end, as far as the Wessex Police are concerned, you're free to go but I've been told members of the Special Branch team want to interview you further.  Someone will be here in the next day or so, they'll interview you here initially then they may take you back to London for further tests, DNA can be altered by the right surgeons and with the other Rose Tyler's money, she could have paid for it."

"Wouldn't she have lost everything when she went into hiding?" Rose wondered.

"We've no idea but I would have thought if she'd planned it carefully, she would have got funding in place and routed her bank accounts to a safe haven, maybe even Wales or Scotland, she won't give up her lavish lifestyle to go on the run."

Rose would have gladly given up her fairly new status to go back to her original world.

"So until then, is she free to go?" Alec asked.

"Yes, I'll call you when Special Branch get here unless you want to give me Rose's phone number?"

"No, I don't think so, no offence Elaine.  It's safer no-one but me has it."  Then he remembered she'd given it to Ellie Miller but didn't think there was really any harm in that.

"Good.  Meanwhile I'll take the alert off your credit card and Alec will help you get your ID back, it's just a formality but you may find you start attracting attention again so be careful.  You'll be safe with your driving license but I'd hold off renewing your passport and your bank account for now and you may want to think about going under an assumed name."

"Can't we help her with that Elaine?  The police relocate people all the time."

"Alec, we only do that with witnesses, not because someone happens to resemble someone else, you should know that.  Everyone thought you were that actor researching a role when you first came here or have you forgotten?"

How could he?  It had been embarrassing to say the least which was probably when the women in the station began taking notice of Tess.

"So she's on her own then?"

"I didn't say that Alec, I'm sure you'd be more than willing to look out for her but I need you back at work full time, starting now.  What's this I hear about you making phonecalls about her?"

"I was trying to establish if there was a possibility anyone else had seen her recently, why?"

"Stop wasting time and police resources Alec, you know full well if you start digging it could have serious consequences if it were to reach London and with Special Branch coming to town, you had better back off or they'll be questioning you as a sympathiser.  Seriously Alec, you are on very shaky ground and I don't care what your real intentions are, back off."

"I was only trying to prove Rose was innocent Elaine, it was in police interests to do so."

"Maybe in yours but contacting former employees of Torchwood is not the way to go about it.  I won't take this any further but if you insist on carrying on, then I won't be able to keep it quiet."

"Don't tell me, it was Lawson?"

"I'm not saying anything Alec.  Let's just say certain telephone numbers are being monitored and don't think about emailing them either, that's even worse."

She had him there but even with that, he'd have to be very careful.  Maybe he could be sneaky and go to an internet café or the library to do it but it was still going to take some time and he wouldn't be able to go back for the replies, if he actually got any so he'd have to set up a fake email account.  Maybe Rose would be better off doing that herself, it would give her something to focus on, not that he now wanted her to leave.

"Right, I'll just take Rose home and I'll get back to work, any objections?"

"No but take her to your office first and sort out her driving licence, if she even had one and leave the rest for now, I'll inform the banks and other places to take the alert off her bank cards, without your passport, you won't be leaving the country Miss Tyler."

"Where would I even go?  There may still be disgruntled Torchwood employees out there looking for me."

"You've managed for the last four years to stay under their radar, what makes you think they will come after you now?  How have you been staying out of everyone's way?"

"She doesn't want to talk about that Elaine, do you Rose?"

Rose shook her head.  She didn't know this woman – Alec did and that was good enough for her, he obviously did not want to tell his chief as much as she was about to tell Ellie Miller.

"No, I don't want to go into that if it's all the same to you.  Can I go now?"

Alec took her back to his office and began the process of getting her driving licence sorted, never even having asked her if she actually drove or not but it would serve as ID.

"So, how do I get my other documents then?"

"Well, that depends on what happens after Special Branch have finished with you.  If like you say the other Rose Tyler is gone, you can assume her ID, get another birth certificate but I'd be careful with the passport until we get things sorted.  There may still be an international alert out for you, Pete Tyler had many friends.  You might want to think about changing your name though."

"It's all I have Alec, please don't make me lose that."

"Ok for now, let's get started then.  I'll also print out a statement saying Wessex Police have done a thorough investigation and we're satisfied you're not a person of interest, that should satisfy anyone who comes after you and anyone else who may be interested.  What about your credit card?"

"It's sort of universal, Torchwood came up with it, it fools any cash machine or terminal it's from a well-known bank, it adapts, never raising suspicion and instantly taps into any unused accounts.  Don't ask me how it works, it just does but I've hardly used it, just when I arrived last Friday.  I got some cash out a while back when I was stuck on another world but I couldn't use the money when I got back, it had a different head of state on the banknotes."

Alec smiled, at least they shared the same president here but she'd not spoken much about it and he'd left it alone, no sense in bringing politics into it, things were bad enough but he for one did not want to go up against Harriet Jones, she was unscrupulous and anyone with any sense stayed on her good side, well unless you were the other Rose Tyler – apparently.

"Well with the alert for any bank or credit cards in your name being lifted it should make things easier for you but if you were dimension hopping, would it not have been better to not to have your name on it?"

"Good point Alec, I'll be sure to raise that question if I ever get back.  This is all well and good but it's not getting me home."

"You enjoyed my company that much this morning?" he smiled, doing that thing with his eyebrows again.

"You know I did but I can't just give up that easily Alec, you know that and now your boss has told you to back off trying to contact anyone who may be able to help me."

"She never told you to back off Rose, I'll buy a laptop and you can get an email address that's secure and you go through the list on your own or go to the library and do it."

"Yeah but I can't sit around waiting for someone to contact me, can I?"

"That's why you'll get the replies at home Rose, geez and you're supposed to be a top agent."

"Ok Mr smart-ass, you need to join the library to be able to use the computers and I've no ID remember?"

"No, anyone can use them, you're not at home now Rose."

"Oh but I can't just sit there sending mass emails from there can I?"

"No, you send a few at a time and check them when you get home."  Alec shook his head again.

"That's gonna take forever Alec.  I know, we could get one of those mobile devices then every time you reconnect, you get a different IP address and if we use a pay and go one, we don't even have to give any details, just use it."

"Right, we'll do that then, we'll go and buy a cheap laptop and set it up, I can't keep bringing my work one back every night and you can get on with it during the day.  Tonight we’ll compose the email and you can start tomorrow."

That settled, Rose said she'd see him across the road at one to meet Ellie and went off to get a much needed strong coffee, they'd never even got around to discussing how much Rose was going to tell her but she'd let him be the judge of that.  She hated being so dependant on one man, even when she was with the Doctor and the other Alec she'd had some independence but now, she only had one, maybe two she could trust out of how many billions there were on this world.

Alec called to say he'd be a bit late and not to start without him so she greeted Ellie, taking a table furthest away after ordering some food for both of them.

"So, what have you got to get Alec's permission to tell me then?"

"It's not a case of needing his permission Ellie, I trust him and he only wants what's best for me, it's complicated.  I've got no-one Ellie, I only have Alec and if I lose him, I don't know what I'd do, I'm totally alone apart from him and maybe you, if you don't get up and leave when we've finished."

"Finished what love?" Alec asked, coming up behind her and kissing her cheek and running his thumb on her shoulder a bit longer than was necessary, partly for Ellie's  benefit.

"Telling Ellie what she wanted to know, about where I've been hiding myself.  Is it ok to talk here?"

"It's as good a place as any I suppose.  Let's wait for the food first eh?"

At least this Alec liked his food, as opposed to the strict diet the other one had been on but she supposed that may have changed if he'd gone and got himself fixed to go to try and find her.

Alec decided he should start off by asking Ellie where she thought Rose had been hiding to keep out of the controversy of what had happened.

"Well it must have been difficult for you when it all kicked off, didn't you get hauled in by mistake back then, if you were in London?"

"Let me ask you a question Ellie, did you take any sides before it happened?"

"No, it was nothing to do with me, nothing to do with the police either, it was an internal Torchwood struggle though some people had their own opinions."

"Then you're open-minded?"

"Depends.  You're stalling Rose and as for you Hardy, what sort of hold have you got over her?"

"I've not got a hold over her, she's free to do whatever she wants, she's just been cleared, she's not the one who is wanted.  I'm just watching out for her, she can leave if she wants."

"I don't want to leave him Ellie and I was telling the truth when I said I thought he was someone else, I thought he was my boyfriend who was playing some sort of game, coming back here until I realised I'd missed one vital thing."

"What was that?  That you came to your senses?" Ellie laughed.

"Hey, I'm offended at that Ellie Miller, do you think it's beyond the realms of possibility I can get myself a girlfriend?"

"She told me she's not really your girlfriend so stop keeping up the pretence."

"Ellie, I'm not pretending any more, he's been really good to me, I can be his girlfriend without putting on a show.  Anyway, that's beside the point.  The thing I missed on the way down on the coach was, I don't belong here."

"In Broadchurch?  You thought he was your boyfriend who was running away from you then?"

"Not exactly.  I did live here and I was in London four years ago and I haven't been hiding anywhere, I wasn't here."

"You're going around in circles Rose, just get on with it."

"Tell her Rose, I think we can trust her."

"I just got here on Friday and I don't mean here in Broadchurch, I mean here, as in this world."

Ellie almost dropped her mug of tea.  "Tell me you're kidding?"

"Nope, it's no joke Ellie, I found myself here on Friday morning, a short time after I'd set off from my own world, my family and another version of Alec, my Alec, who was about to ask me to marry him and I'm stuck here."

"Ok, I'll go for it, I want details."

"Not here, come over to our house and Rose will tell you everything, I have to go back to work now."

Alec was upset she'd had to go mention him again and the fact she was about to marry him.  He shouldn't be feeling so jealous but he was and he knew it wouldn't get any better, especially after the brilliant snogging session earlier before Elaine had called and spoiled the moment.  Rose had hardly mentioned the other one for a while, not by name anyway though she'd hinted a few times but having her say it to someone else, it hurt.

"So you left another one of him behind somewhere?"

"Yeah, that's why I came here, I thought something had gone wrong and although I left him in London, I thought he'd come back here and it was only on my way down I realised what must have happened."

"Then tell me how you got here?"

Alec kissed her goodbye and said he'd see her later and he'd call and get another key cut while she got dinner ready.  Rose waited for Ellie to get settled and told her of her arrival on Friday morning and her shock that her family could have been lost.

"So, do you believe me then?"

"Well it's a bit far-fetched if it's not true and trust me, Alec Hardy is not one for sob stories, he must believe you, even if it's only to get a girlfriend."

"That's not fair Ellie, he's grossly misunderstood, his ex made him like that and I've a good mind to sort her out, once I get things sorted."

Ellie laughed.  "He told me she was a piece of work but I never quite believed him though but you obviously do?"

"Why shouldn't I?  If the other women have pre-judged him, it's hardly his fault, if she didn't treat him right it's only natural he behaves differently around me, I never judged him."

"Yes you did, you judge him by your Alec's merits but you can't see that.  They may be two completely different people but I've worked with this one, he was disagreeable, annoying and the office Casanova."

"Now who's judging Ellie?  People change, he was in a strange town, no girlfriend and his ex was out to ruin any chance of him getting one, it's not surprising.  He's changed, I know he has, he takes great care of me and I trust him."

"Well don't say you weren't warned, that's all.  Look, I'm not saying for you to leave him if he's the only person you trust but just be careful Rose."

"Yeah but I think I may lose him anyway, I can't just forget the Alec I left behind but this one is getting serious and I don't know what to do."

"You're stuck somewhere you don't belong, I get that but you have to make the best of a situation I suppose, though I personally wouldn't have chosen Alec Hardy but you were drawn to him, it's only natural you went to him for help, a familiar face.  I suppose I've got a double as well then?"

"Yeah, you were my best friend, sorry.  I don't know what I should do Ellie, I mean I want to get back to my own Alec, I miss him but this one is growing on me and I'm beginning to take this pretending to be his girlfriend seriously, well like I said, I'm not really pretending any more."

"So he's worn you down then?  Just be careful Rose, I hope you know what you're doing."

"I'm walking a fine line Ellie, I have to do something, I have to survive here."

"What about getting home?"

"Know anyone who can open up watch-like devices and repair them?"

"Not really but have you tried?"

"Where would I go?  It needs a special tool to get the back off, something only Torchwood would have, if ever they did."

"Maybe they never went dimension hopping Rose?"

She hadn't been able to bring herself to say she suspected the real Rose Tyler was long gone, probably by four years.

When Ellie had left, Rose felt slightly better though not by much so she waited for Alec coming home and watched some TV.  After he got back with another key and picking up a bottle of wine and a takeaway, they set about composing the email Rose was going to send out, a few at a time and being careful how they worded it until Alec was satisfied it wasn't giving anything away about her and just enough so if anyone was against the other Rose, there would be no way of tracing it back to her.  Then all they had to do was for Alec to go down and get a new laptop and mobile internet and set up a new account in his name at a popular email provider and use disposable email addresses that went into the same account.

Alec was waiting in the bedroom for her, wondering if they would have a repeat of what had happened that morning, it had been very nice on his part and he hoped Rose had felt the same.  Tonight though, she didn't linger in the doorway, she'd had time to think and if a bit of snogging kept him happy, she could live with that, anything else though was on hold, maybe permanently, only time would tell.
Chapter 12
Alec was pleased when Rose got into bed beside him and as he put his arm around her, she leaned over to him.

"Alec, I've had some time to think about this.  Will you give me some time?  Can we just take this slowly?"

"Yes, I can do slow, the slow path it is then as long as there's lots more kissing and snuggling?"

"Yeah, I can do kissing 'n' snuggling."

This Alec was turning out to be more like the Doctor every day though he'd not done the kissing bit.  Rose fell asleep on him, he'd not even asked anything else for now but he planned on it in the morning as she'd seemed in a better mood that morning when she'd just woken up.  He decided to try his luck, maybe she was more susceptible to his charms when she'd just woken up?

As she did awaken, she was aware he was stroking her back with his hand under the borrowed t-shirt as he had been awake a while and not realised she was.  Rose was just lying in his arms sort of enjoying it, it was doing no harm and he was probably thinking he'd got away with it so she let him.

"Hi, that's nice Alec."

"Oh, you don't mind then?"

"No, I don't mind.  What time do you have to go to work?"

"Not just yet, tryin' to get rid of me?" he asked, leaning down to kiss her neck.

The neck kissing turning into a snogging session, Rose again letting him pull her on to him and they changed places again several times before he broke it off.

"I'd love to stay here all morning but I have to go.  Will you find something to do today?"

"Yeah, I can go find a laptop if you like?"

"With an unlimited credit card?  Best be careful love."

"I know, I won't go mad, don't worry."

"I am worried Rose, if Special Branch investigate your transactions.  Just get cash out and when you've got the laptop don't buy anything else with it.  You may be best getting the limit out each day and we'll stash it away, in case we have to leave."

"You still think they might try and drag me back to London then?"

"I can't say, it's just a precaution, I won't let them take you.  If they turn up today I'll call you but if I think they are not going to be friendly, I'll come and get you and we'll leave."

"Alec, I don't want to go on the run, not unless I have to.  They can't prove anything."

"Ok, relax love."

He started getting out of bed, sitting on the edge as Rose got up behind him and put her arms around him, kissing his cheek and ruffling his hair.

"That's easy for you to say, you're not the one they're coming to see."

"I'll insist I'm there during the interview representing Wessex police, they can't refuse to let me sit in on it and we won't let on we're involved with each other.  I'll stop the interview if I have to and so can you, if you're not happy about something, tell them you want legal representation and I'll get a duty solicitor in."

"What about the one you told me about the other day?"

"She's a barrister, we'll only call her if we have to.  I really have to go now love."

As he got up, he suddenly turned around, pushing her backwards and leaning over her then risking putting his hand under the hem of the t-shirt and splaying his fingers over her stomach then daring to lift it slowly and placing a kiss.  Rose responded by reaching her arms around his neck and pulling him down to do it again.  As he kissed her tummy again, Rose put her arms around his shoulder and kissed his neck.  He looked up and grinned.  Now they were making some progress.

He sat up and Rose returned the favour by bringing her hands around to his bare chest.  He leaned on one arm over her and took one of her hands, holding it just near his heart.

"Rose, I know you're used to the other Alec and I realise you had to be careful but I'm perfectly fine, you know that and I know it's not fair to ask you to get as close to me as you obviously were to him just like that so I'll give you the time you need but I would like to do more of what we just did, if you agree?"

"Ok, I can do that, we'll just do more of that, for now."

"Then there's hope for me?" he smiled, leaning down to kiss her again.

Rose had never had to worry about the other Alec, they'd started their relationship very quickly, especially with him coming out of hospital and moving into her hotel room and then Rose getting the chalet.  Being with this Alec felt strange but he was being very understanding under the very unusual circumstances and it was quite obvious he wanted the chance to prove he was more than interested in getting to know her a whole lot better.

After kissing him goodbye, Rose wandered up the road into the town, hoping she would be able to pick up a laptop but finding nowhere, she had to resign herself to waiting for Alec coming home and going down to the big superstore in Dorchester.  She took his advice though and going inside a bank, got the daily limit out of the cash machine, pleased her card didn't get chewed up.

She'd been a bit alarmed at the thought of getting money out each day but Alec was right, if they had to leave in a hurry they would need to fill the car up and maybe buy things on the way and before he'd left that morning, he said they should come up with an escape plan and head for Wales or Scotland if they weren't in a hurry.  He'd said Wales would be the nearest, then head up the motorway from there, hoping to throw anyone off who may be following, there were several ways out of Wales and even Special Branch couldn't watch them all.

Rose had thought that would be the best plan rather than risk going straight up into Scotland, there was less risk of being caught but only if it was only Special Branch after them and not half of Torchwood.

Alec was not having such a good day.  He'd chewed Lawson out for ratting on him to Elaine, telling him in no uncertain terms to keep out of his business and for the record, he was not screwing with Rose Tyler, as much as he wanted to though whether anyone actually believed Rose Tyler would even want to, there was some debate going on and a betting pool started up as to if she would or not.

He called Rose just after twelve to say no-one had yet turned up to interview her and arranged to meet her for lunch.  He greeted her when he crossed the road and Rose said they'd have to go out of town for the laptop.

"Never mind, we may as well leave it until the weekend now.  You won't get a lot done tomorrow anyway, you can make a start on Monday."

"I've wasted this week Alec, I could have been trying to contact some of them."

"Yes and you could also have been attracting some unwanted attention as well.  Leaving it a few more days won't make any difference, there has been no comeback from those I contacted so far, give it a few more days then if anyone wants to make something of my call, it will give them time and we'll know if it's safe for you start contacting others."

"Yeah, you're right, they may have talked to each other I suppose, maybe this Gwen Cooper has talked to some of them, was she friendly?"

"Not exactly, she was no friend of the other Rose but she did not sound like she was against her either.  Maybe you should try and talk to her?"

"Maybe she'd be less willing to talk to me than the police though.  I'll stick to sending emails next week."

Alec's phone rang, it was Elaine to say two men from Special Branch had just arrived though he'd not seen anyone go up the steps from the road but they could have gone around the back, there was the vehicle entrance to the police garage.

"She's with me Elaine, we'll be over in ten minutes.  I'm sure you can keep them entertained?"

"Don't get smart with me Alec, just bring her in, they don't like to be kept waiting."

"Fine but I'm going in with her, I'm not leaving them alone with her, I'll represent the station, say we are satisfied who she is."

"Ok, you do that then but I'm not 100% happy about the tests being inconclusive, she could still be the real one, with all that money she could have got herself altered."

"Yes Elaine but if she were to do that, she would have changed her appearance as well."

He hung up and turned to Rose.  "They're here Rose, are you ready for this?"

"No, of course I'm not ready but I have to get it over with.  Don't leave me with them will you Alec?"

"No love, I won't leave you in there but we can't be too friendly and I may not be able to say much other than I believe who you are."

He didn't care who was watching, he pulled her up and kissed her then led her across the road.  Once inside, he asked where the visitors were and without knocking, entered the interview room where he should have taken Rose last week instead of his office.

"I'm DI Alec Hardy, who are you two then?" Alec asked as he stood in the doorway and indicated for Rose to enter first.

One of them stood up.  "Inspector Farrell and Inspector James, Special Branch.  So Miss Tyler, have a seat.  DI Hardy, your presence is not required."

"Maybe not but I stay, you're in my station and the chief insists someone represents her and I'm here to tell you we do not believe this is the Rose Tyler who is wanted."

"We've read the reports and the DNA results, we're here to determine as to how close the results were, 85% possibility of a match, just 2% outside the parameters.  Can you explain that Miss Tyler?"

"No more than you can.  I'm not the one you want, would I be stupid enough to let myself be taken to a police station after hiding for four years?"

"I don't know, would you?  Can we call you Rose?"

"No, can we get on with this or are you gonna ask me stupid questions all afternoon?"

Alec smiled to himself.  No matter what happened, he was not going to let them take her away, she was something else despite all the trouble she'd landed herself in through no fault of her own.  How she'd got there had been a million to one fluke, she could have ended up anywhere and she'd sought him out, the first time in his life he'd had a woman come to him and not had to do all the hard work.  He was going to find it difficult to ever let her go.

The questioning continued, asking her where she came from, about her upbringing and it didn't match the history of the other Rose Tyler.

''I've been tryin' to tell ya, I'm not her.  He believes me, well he says he does, though he's been keeping tabs on me on his chief's orders since I arrived, I can't get rid of him, he's freakin' me out.  The women here have even warned me about him, he's a creep."

Alec hoped she was only trying to throw the two men off the scent.  Rose continued.

"Can't I make a complaint about him?  No-one took any notice of me downstairs, he even waited for me to bring me here to see you two."

The one called James smiled.  "He's not our concern Miss Tyler.  We'll let you go for now but this is far from over, we'll be keeping a very close eye on you."

"Oh yeah?  How ya gonna do that from London eh?"

"Oh, I think we already have someone.  DI Hardy, we're making you responsible for keeping tabs on Miss Tyler here."

"What?  You can't leave me with him."

"Oh, it will be my pleasure to keep an eye on Miss Tyler for you, trust me, it will be no trouble at all."

"No, please, find someone else."

"Not unless you choose to go back to London and I expect you came down here so you wouldn't be detected when you came out of hiding.  What made you decide now was the time?"

"I told ya, I wasn't hiding, I've been living with my mum on a London council estate.  I was away when you said that touchdown or whatever it's called was blown up and I'd no idea someone else shared my name.  I was up in Norway just outside Bergen when this other Rose Tyler did those things you claim she did.  I think I have a right to find out who she is."

"Do as you wish, if you want to look her up, be warned though, she had a lot of enemies.  I don't expect you'll get any help from the local police though so having DI Hardy keeping tabs on you may not be all that bad."

"Geez, I'd rather be deleted by the Cybermen, thanks all the same."

Both the other men smiled, James thinking it looked like Hardy was in for a difficult time but at least they would know where she was if they wanted any further information and if Hardy didn't get what he wanted, he'd surely gladly give the details and she looked like she wasn't willing to oblige him.

"Well, that's down to you, you have very few choices but if you leave town, I expect you Hardy to inform us immediately and put another trace on her."

"Oh I'll do that alright, she won't get very far, trust me, I'll make sure you know where she goes."

Rose crossed her arms and looked complete cheesed off.  Alec was hoping it was just an act, Rose hoping he wasn't acting, she needed him and he knew it and this was one way of getting them off their backs.  Maybe they wouldn't have to make a run for it after all, well not from them, maybe still from what remained of Torchwood.

Alec took Rose up to his office and closed the door and pulled the blinds to and then kissed her.  Even though the recording equipment was not in use in the interview room, Alec was taking no chances.  He sat down beside Rose.

"That was quite an act you put on down there.  I hope it was just for their benefit and not for real?" he asked, kissing her cheek.

"What do you think?  Of course it was an act Alec, do you think I would alienate my only friend?  Seriously?  I'm still not certain about Ellie though, what about you?"

"I don't know her that well, she left just when we had made peace with each other.  What about the Ellie you know?"

"Pretty much the same, they hated each other when they met, then I made friends with her and they tolerated each other for a while, until she moved to Devon with her youngest son, then we all met up again at the trial.  It had just finished when I got called back to Torchwood."

"You must tell me the whole story love, maybe tonight?"

"If I tell you, you still might leave me."

"Don't say that.  What could you possibly say to make me run away?  Ok, I admit I get jealous when you talk about him, what other man in their right mind wouldn't and it hurt me when you admitted it to Ellie but you can't really blame me.  I want to know where I stand Rose, we're getting closer than you care to admit and you know it, we need to have a serious talk about where we are going.   Tonight you tell me all about how you met and how you helped him and why you stayed with him even though as you admit nothing really happened between the two of you but you are fiercely loyal to him and while it's highly commendable, I need to know I stand some sort of a chance with you."

"I know it's not fair on you but it's not fair on him either, I didn't choose to come here instead of going home and back to him, he'll be going crazy by now and so will my mum.  She got used to me travelling with the Doctor but she always knew I'd come back at some point, although I did go missing for a year, which she never forgave him for really but this time, it's different.  This time she knows I'm not still out there in the same dimension."

"I get that Rose, really I do and until I met you, I had no purpose in my life, no girlfriend, no-one to care about or who cared for me but I believe now you are that purpose, the reason I came here.  We'll talk when I get back, you should go now or they will all think we're in here getting up to goodness knows what."

Rose smiled.  "Yeah, don't want them thinking any worse of you, do we?"

"Oh Rose, it could only lift my esteem in their eyes, there are bets going around as to if we are screwing the life out of each other or if not, if you actually would."

"Right, ok, let's keep them guessing for now shall we?  You open that door and I'll give you a good snogging in front of them, ok?"

"I'm not arguing with that."

Rose duly obliged so as Alec opened the door, she put her arms around his neck.

"Do you really want me to leave Alec?"

"No but you should, see you when I get home babe."

"Can't wait, this is some of what to expect when you do get home."

As Alec pulled her arms reluctantly from his neck, Rose tugged on his jacket and crashed her lips against his. 

Letting him go, she whispered, "You owe me for that."

"Always a pleasure to owe you Rose," he whispered back, kissing just below her ear that sent a shiver down her spine.

She wondered exactly what she had just started.  At least it would be Alec pretending to keep tabs on her and not a complete stranger but now he expected her to tell him everything about how she met the other Alec and she really didn't want to.  She wanted that to remain private and she didn't think it was fair to tell this one what she and the other Alec had shared, it didn't seem right so she would give him the least information she could get away with and if he didn't like it, she would tell him she wasn't prepared to tell him more.

After all, she wasn't asking for the details of his past with Tess, he shouldn't expect her to tell him what she and the other Alec got up to in bed, did he want her to compare the two of them?  She was definitely not up for any of that, there was nothing to compare since she'd never fully been with the other one, they had been waiting for him to get well again and now she regretted it.  This Alec could do things to her the other one couldn't and he'd already got started though it was still a little one-sided on his part, she wasn't willing to go any further just yet but he was wearing her down and she knew it.

With Special Branch off the case for now, she could breathe a little easier but next week when she started contacting former Torchwood employees, things could take a turn for the worse.  It was difficult to know who was for or against the other Rose Tyler, she sounded like she was a force to be reckoned with and that wasn't her but she didn't know the circumstances that led the other Rose to do what was claimed she had done.

The two men from Special Branch had given no clues as to how it had all happened, they must have supposed she already knew about it and Alec hadn't really said much over the last few days.  Tomorrow it would be a week since she arrived here and now Alec was wanting to up the stakes even more but she hadn't quite been prepared for it to all happen so quickly.
Chapter 13
When Alec got back home, he wasn't quite expecting the greeting he got as Rose kissed him, the first time she'd instigated it apart from the odd time in bed.

"What was that for?  Not that I'm complaining or anything, it's just a nice change."

"You, pretending to go work on their side, that was quick thinking Alec.  Hey hang on, you were only pretending weren't you?" she added, putting herself at arms length.

"Only if you were love, you saying you'd rather be deleted by the Cybermen and begging them not to leave you with me."

"That's called improvisation Alec.  What did you want me to say?"

"Well you put on a good show saying I was freaking you out."

"Aw, you're not really freaking me out Alec, if it's any consolation.  I said you owed me for snogging you in front of the others, I expect to collect."

"Really?  I wasn't joking when I said it would be more than a pleasure to keep an eye on you, I think they were convinced."

"Yeah, they're probably wishing you good luck with that, you made yourself sound serious over it, like you had more than just keeping an eye on me on your mind."

Alec pulled her back and kissed her again.  "Rose, if I admitted that, they may have thought I'd already tried it on with you."

"I suppose so.  Well at least we can relax a bit now but I hope by trying to contact someone who may help me next week that I don't get the wrong people after me.  I was thinking maybe I would try and get a part time job to earn my keep."

"I told you I'd take care of it Rose, you don't have to go work unless you really want to."

"I want to get out of the house Alec, I'll go crazy if I don't.  I'll have a look in the local paper tomorrow, I might get something where they don't want a work history.  I might need a reference though, do you think I should ask Ellie since I've only just met her?"

"Call her tomorrow and ask her, it won't hurt.  Now, about me owing you for showing off in front of the rest of the office?"

After dinner, Alec decided they should have some fun and finish the wine and he put some music on, dragging her up to dance.  Rose noticed he'd chosen some slow tunes, on purpose she thought as he pulled her close and began kissing her neck, making her shiver.

"You may as well admit it Rose, it's getting to you.  How much longer can we both hold out eh?  I'm trying my best here but it's getting to the stage I don't know how much longer and I don't want to keep reminding you.  I said we should talk, about what you left behind."

She leaned into his shoulder as they moved in time to the music.

"What do you want me to admit Alec?  There is no comparison between the two of you, you're completely well, he wasn't, you have the unfair advantage and if I thought about it I could take the easy option and just give in but how can I forget my other life?"

"Rose, I said I wanted to know things about your life and I do but I know it's not fair to ask you to compare me with him.  Neither of us can win Rose, not until you accept you may have to just move on and I'd like you to move on with me.  Can you think about that?"

"Alec, if I have to move on, I'd rather do it with you than anyone else, I just don't know how long I should wait."

"Then come here and let me help you decide."

Rose was wearing the dress she'd had on the other night at the Miller house and Alec leaned around her neck and began kissing just above the zip, then holding the top with one hand, slowly pulled the zip down and moving around further, kissed all the way down as the zip got lower, his lips avoiding her bra fastener.  He soon discovered she had finally dared to wear the underwear she'd bought with the money left over he'd given her to buy a dress and he smiled as he pulled the dress away at the front and saw the black low-cut lacy bra.  He slowly pulled the dress lower, kissing her shoulders and her neck until the dress dropped to the floor, revealing the matching underwear.

He let out a low whistle as she stepped out of it and he put his arms around her as she kicked off her shoes.  He led her to the sofa, Rose stopping to unfasten his shirt buttons as he kissed her neck.

"You're beautiful Rose and I hope you can just find it in you to move on with me?  We can take this slowly if you still want to?"

Rose nodded and laying on her side on the sofa, Alec lay beside her after taking off his shirt and they began kissing.  He never attempted anything else apart from occasionally kissing her neck and just above her bra as Rose ruffled his hair and took her turn kissing his neck until Alec said they should take it up to the bedroom and Rose began to panic.


What if he'd been waiting for them to go upstairs before he wanted to take things further?  As he went to the bathroom, Rose got ready for bed, opting to just wear the t-shirt and thought she must get a nightdress the next day when she went shopping, a long one preferably and as he came into the bedroom, he whistled again.

He was waiting for her when she came back and got into bed and Alec wasted no time in resuming what they had been doing on the sofa only now he wasn't in danger of actually falling off the sofa.  He leaned over her, feeling her close to him now she was no longer wearing the pyjama bottoms and he'd already ditched his a few nights ago.

As Rose was lost in the kissing, he pulled her on to him and she let out a gasp as she realised his hand was up the front of the t-shirt, a fraction away from his intended target, his little finger just brushing against her.  Then his other hand was on the small of her back, resting on the waistband of her underwear, the back of the t-shirt already raised.  She knew this was getting intense, he wanted more but seemed willing to leave it for now but how much longer could she hold out?  He'd already asked her that and she still didn't know the answer.

If ever she got back home, could she forgive herself for letting him get too close to his ultimate goal?  The kissing and what they were doing so far, she could live with that but if she were to go further and beyond what she'd had with the other Alec, could she forgive herself and expect to be forgiven?   She hadn't given any commitment yet to the other Alec, she'd only assumed he was going to propose to her but they'd been happy, would he just as easily go off with someone else who offered to comfort him while she was missing?

No, he'd trust she could keep herself loyal to him and now she was already betraying him but she had to survive here until she could find a way back.  Was this the only way she could survive though?  Being in close proximity to the man now kissing his way across her stomach after he flipped her onto her back as she raised her leg slightly at his touch, Alec taking advantage and rubbing his hand on the back of it, his other hand on her shoulder and making it's way under the sleeve.

She was already turning to jelly as he rubbed the back of her leg and the hand on her shoulder was moving onto her back and now slowly down her side.  Then without warning, he nudged the t-shirt higher and began kissing even higher, Rose's hands now on his shoulders.  She knew they were getting into dangerous territory and she may not be able to stop him or herself from going any further.

"Rose, you seem very tense love."

"No, I'm fine, it's just, well this is a bit faster than I thought, that's all."

He looked up for a second.  "Do you want me to stop?"

"I didn't say that.  Let's just stay where we are, ok?"

"Fine, why don't we swap places again and you can get your revenge?"

"Oh, you're giving me a choice this time?" she smiled.

She got her revenge, kissing her way across his chest until she rested under his arm, her head on his chest and they fell asleep, his other arm across her, Alec contented she was beginning to accept him.

Rose woke up suddenly, making Alec jump.

"Rose, what's wrong?"

"Sorry, oh, I didn't mean to make you jump."

"No, it's ok, just tell me love."

"Pete wasn't there to save me Alec, I was being dragged into the void and the Doctor was shouting my name, it was the last thing I heard."

She buried herself into him as she pulled her closer, kissing her forehead.

"You're safe Rose, I'm here.  Do you often have nightmares about it?"

"Yeah but it's been a while, I think it's all this being stuck here, not that there's anything wrong with being stuck here with you.  When I travelled with the Doctor, we got stuck on this planet, a black hole above us and the only way off was on a rocket back to an earth we didn't belong to, centuries after I was born."

"You have to tell me more about what you did but not now, try and go back to sleep, I'm worried about you love.  You're keeping it all to yourself and there is no need, I said I wanted to hear it all and we've never discussed it again, I don't want to hear about it at two in the morning when a nightmare has woken you up, not that I mind you waking me but you don't have to do this alone Rose, you already know that."

"Yeah, I know.  Trust me, you don't want to hear half of it."

"Yes I do, I'm not going to be put off by any of it so forget that idea, you are not getting out of it Rose Tyler.  If you're going to stay awake, we could do some more kissing?"

"I'd love to but let's leave that until morning, I need my beauty sleep."

"Trust me Rose, you're perfect as you are but since you insist, I need my beauty sleep as well, I have to work hard at looking this good you know."

"You are such a show-off Alec Hardy."

"Maybe but it never got me a girlfriend until you came to town, did it?"

"I told you, you worked too hard at it, you should have let them come to you."

"Well I know that now and I don't want anyone else Rose, I just want you."

"Yeah, you'll just have to be patient with me then, I told you, this isn't easy for me."

"Get some sleep Rose, I have to go to work in case you forgot."

They kissed again and Rose settled down though she couldn't get back to sleep, she'd lied to him about having a nightmare of falling into the void, she'd dreamt she was standing in front of the dimension cannon and seen the other Alec for the last time and she had to resign herself to never seeing him again.  Even if by some remote chance she got back, could she go back to him after being with this Alec without lying about what had gone on and who he was?

Rose was woken as he brought her a cup of tea.

"Come on sleepy Rose, time to get up.  Did you still want to go look for a job today?"

"Hi to you too DI bossy."

"Really Rose, is that the best you can do?"

He leaned over after putting the cup down and putting his hands on the pillow, leaned down to kiss her, still just wearing his shorts and a t-shirt he'd put on to go downstairs.  Rose giggled as he rubbed his nose to hers instead, rubbing his stubble on her chin.

"Ouch, that's prickly, get a shave."

"You were not objecting last night darlin' if I remember correctly, you were pulling me down for more.  In fact, you couldn't seem to get enough of me doin' this."

He suddenly pulled back the duvet and lifted the t-shirt and began kissing her tummy.  Rose giggled again, pretending to fight him off but gave in and ran her fingers through his hair then onto his back, tugging at his t-shirt until it was over his head and she pulled him back into bed.  They carried on kissing until she was sat above him, smiling.

"Well good morning to you too babe," he grinned, fingering the hem of the t-shirt she wore and putting one hand under it.

Rose grabbed the hand, half-heartedly trying to stop it going any further until his fingers intertwined with hers and he carried on.

"Tut, tut, Rose baby, you see me all the time, why are you hiding from me?"

"That's different.  You can see me in my underwear again, whenever you want."

"If that's the best offer I'm going to get, I'll take it then but you don't have to hide yourself fully, do you?"

He let go of the hip he was holding and lifted the hem of the t-shirt, then letting go of her hand, he pulled her down so skin touched skin.

He whispered in her ear, "Why don't you buy yourself something nice to wear in bed love?"

"I want to please you Alec, I'm just a bit shy about this, I can't get past it that easily."

"I know and not that you don't look good in my t-shirt but you'd look even better in a nice silky nightdress.  Now, I should go get breakfast before I'm late for work and then I'll just have to blame you."

After arranging to meet for lunch again, they kissed goodbye and Alec said it would be a good idea if she went to the local newspaper and told her side of the story of how she got mixed up in all this and she was not the one that was wanted, if the other Rose was even still on this world.  Rose still hadn't talked to him about what she'd thought about her being gone right after she'd gone into hiding, it was just a theory.  If she was right though, all chances of getting home were already gone before she'd even found herself here.

She cleared up, put the washing machine on and made her way up to the High Street, sincerely hoping no-one had been hired to follow her.  She walked into the newspaper office, which was in a turmoil, desks being moved and only two or three people there.  The tourist information office were also clearing out and she recognised this world's version of Beth Latimer.

"Hi, I'm looking for the editor."

She hated all this pretending she didn't know people and places but it had to look like she really had just arrived.

"Oh, hello.  She's in her office shouting at someone down the phone I expect, probably at her ex girlfriend.  I've not see you around before, new in town then?"

"Yeah, about a week.  Where is everyone moving to then?"

"Me, back to the Town Hall, well not for long, I hate that place.  This lot are down-scaling and moving to a pokey little place down by the harbour but I really couldn't care less, at least I'll get away from the Olly Stevens, he's a creep.  You weren't in The George last Saturday night were you?  Nige said he saw a blonde he fancied and hard ass Hardy almost broke Nigel's nose over it."

"Why do you think that was me?"

"I don't know, he said she was blonde, he was pissed she wouldn't go outside with him and Hardy threw him out.  Nige went to put in a complaint about Hardy but he always gets away with everything, even sexual harassment of the women in the station.  Here, you're not his new girlfriend are you?  The word is going around he was snogging someone in his office doorway for everyone to see."

Rose knew since she was staying in town she could hardly deny she was with Alec and they had already been seen down by the harbour at lunchtime all week.

"Ok, you got me and your friend Nige is a creep, as if I'd go outside with him without being comatose and blindfolded."

She'd of course heard of the Nigel Carter back where she'd come from but never really met him and had seen him at the trial.  She and the other Alec had very little to do with anyone, keeping to themselves and she'd only met Beth once or twice, not even aware what her husband was called until he'd stood up in court and had to confess his affair with Becca Fisher.  Then she'd realised he must have been the 'mate' Nigel was associated with.

"So, you didn't have to get Hardy to beat him up."

"I didn't need to, Hardy is very possessive of his property and your friend needs to learn to stay away from me or he'll just get more."

She hadn't condoned unnecessary violence but Alec had only been defending her, not that she couldn't take care of herself and no way that Nigel would have got her as far as the door, with or without Alec stepping in.

"Beth, who have we got here then?"

Rose turned, recognising Maggie Radcliffe's voice but this one had shorter hair that wasn't her style and was wearing a business suit.

"Maggie, meet the woman Nige got into a fight with Hardy about last Saturday night, the rumours are true."

"Really?  Hardy's finally got himself a girlfriend he hasn't had to coerce into going out with him?  That has to be a first.  So, what are you doing here, we're closed."

"Yeah, I can see that.  Never mind, I'll visit your new offices when you've opened, I have a nice big juicy exclusive story for you and I don't want paying for it, just a chance to tell it to you."

Maggie looked her up and down, Rose knew the other Maggie had recently taken up with the Latimer's defence lawyer after rekindling an old friendship.

"Tell me more first, come into my office petal."

Rose thought no way, this was a totally different Maggie to the one she'd known about who had come to interview the other Alec the morning the trial started.

"I can tell you when I come to your new office and I want a reporter there and my boyfriend."

"Your loss petal, come down on Monday, we're moving over the weekend, I'm sure Olly would just love to interview you, wouldn't he Beth?"

Beth cringed and thought even the blonde whose boyfriend had roughed Nigel up didn't deserve his attention, he was ten times worse than Hardy.  Olly Stevens only hit on women who were passing through, he never went out with them twice and never gave out his phone number and was conveniently elsewhere if anyone cared to call the office.

"Right then, Monday it is and like I said, Hardy will be with me."

She wondered if she should go ahead with Alec's idea, it didn't look like she would get any sympathy from the editor let alone the rest of the town, perhaps she'd best stay quiet.  Alec had given her some money to buy something to wear in bed so she found a shop on the opposite side of the road just below the market and picked something in pink that would show off her figure.  This was getting way out of hand but what was she supposed to do?

She had to keep him interested and they'd sort of come to an arrangement that morning before they'd got up, that they would continue much the same and they would both keep their underwear on no matter what and Alec had teased he was going to get to see without her wearing anything on top or at least have a better look.  Rose had teased back he was welcome to try but she knew teasing wouldn't last long and the novelty would wear off.

She made her way back to meet Alec and when he joined her, he was trying to peek into the small carrier bag, getting his hand tapped.

"Ah come on Rose, you can't blame me for tryin' can you?"

"No, I suppose not.  I went to the newspaper office, they're moving."

"Right.  So are you going to see them when they've moved?"

"Nope, I don't think I'll get any sympathy, they already knew about us."

"Why am I not surprised?  Small towns are all the same.  I should have warned you."

"Well it's not like I've not lived in one before.  The editor was different than I expected, this one is not hiding anything."

"You don't need to tell me.  It's the lawyer I was telling you about."

"I know, it was her where I come from only they weren't so obvious about it and the Olly Stevens here is supposed to worse than you, apparently."

Alec smiled.  At least when he'd chased after women he'd intended to keep them longer than one night.

"So how did they guess?"

"Saturday night when you had that skirmish with that bloke in the pub, Beth Latimer was there."

"Ah, I might have known, Carter and her husband work together there as well then?"

"Probably, I didn't know them that well.  I think I'll leave it Alec or go to another newspaper, maybe online."

"You'd be best waiting for a while, see what happens next week.  Cheer up Rose, you can show me what you bought when I get home, I can't wait to see what you picked out love."

He tried peeking in the bag again and Rose kissed his cheek.

"If you're lucky, you might even get to see it before I get into bed."

Alec smiled, helping her up.  "I live in hope Rose.  Maybe we can have an early night eh?"
Chapter 14
Rose decided to make an early start on dinner, cooking something simple and still hoping to impress him.  Alec called to say he'd pick up some wine on the way back and while he was in the mini-market just around the corner from the station, he thought he'd get Rose some chocolates, see if he could get her in the mood to let him see her new nightwear before she turned out the lamp and got into bed.

He thought things were looking up though, at least she was ditching the pyjama bottoms for good.  Rose had plenty of time to think about how the evening was going to go, stirring the pasta sauce just before six, hoping Alec wasn't going to be late home.  Just how exactly had she got to this?  Was she giving in too easily?  Tonight she had to talk to him about her theory the other Rose was long gone but that would just convince him even more she was here to stay.

With the other Rose and Jake long gone, there was no-one she could think of in the other world who would be able to help.  Perhaps Alec was right, contacting others may just stir things up and have them going after her even more.  Then it hit her suddenly.  The enemies the other Rose had made and her suddenly appearing after four years would surely get them interested.  She knew she shouldn't think any more about this until Alec got home.

Alec noticed her mood as he kissed her after putting the wine and the chocolates on the kitchen counter.  Rose put her arms around him.

"I'm worried Alec," she said when her asked her what was wrong.

"Come and sit down then, turn down the stove first.  Now tell me what's bothering you, was it the newspaper editor?"

"No.  It suddenly hit me Alec, the other Rose has gone, I've come from nowhere, those few calls you made could bring her enemies out."

"Rose, I think you are over-reacting love, I never said where you were and I never actually said you'd come back, I just said I was following claims you may have been sighted.  They would have to search the entire south coast to find you."

"Well I'm glad I didn't take your advice and go to the paper then."

He pulled her close for another kiss.

"Why don't I finish making dinner and you go get changed into the nightdress you bought?"

Rose smiled.  "Don't you think it's a little early for that?"

He leaned round to kiss her neck.  "Then tomorrow my lovely Rose, you go buy yourself something nice to wear in the evenings, yes?"

"If you like, I'll get changed after we've eaten and had a few glasses of wine then?"

"That sounds like a very good idea.  I bought you some chocolates, we can share?"

She reached out to put her arms back around his neck.  "Mmm, yeah, we can share.  So you don't think anyone will come after me?  I meant to say something Alec.  The other day, it occurred to me she may have left before I even got here."

"Right.  You mean her device may not have activated the same time as you were trying to get back?"

"Well yeah, so if her device didn't home in on mine as I was using it and dragged me here, what did bring me here?  They were designed to take us back home, not for another trip, unless we needed to move a short distance."  She stopped.  "Alec, that's why it's not working."

She let go of him and sat down, Alec looking worried.  Then she said quietly, "Alec, I am home."

"What?  What do you mean Rose?"

"There never was another Rose Tyler, it's me Alec, I'm responsible for what happened, well not directly, those who supported me did it, for me.  At least they thought they were doing it for me."

"You're talking about the world changing around you, aren't you Rose?"

Rose nodded, putting her head in her hands and shaking him off.

"It was that mist around me when I left that other world, it has to be."

"Then tell me again what happened, before you activated your device."

"There was this other alternate dimension sprang up around someone called Donna Noble, are you with me?"

Alec listened while she explained what she'd gathered from the information she'd got before everything began to fade away.

"Don't you get it Alec?  My device didn't activate, the world changed around me, from this Donna's to mine.  I've changed my whole world, it's my fault for going on that last mission.  How long is it gonna last though?  Does it all disappear when I die or something?"

"Rose, calm down love.  Let's think about this eh?"

"You, you're my Alec, the Alec that chose not to get married, chose to take the evidence from Sandbrook back to HQ himself and caught the killers so it didn't make you ill.  The Ellie here, she chose to have Fred later, her husband didn't kill Danny.  Don't you see now?"

"I'm beginning to.  That's why no-one is that interested in you, the other Rose is fading away, like the world you were on faded away."

"Alec, my family are gone."

"No Rose, they never existed, they were the other Rose Tyler's family, not yours but there's one thing you have not considered."

"What?  I've lost my best friends, my mum, Tony."

"You've not lost me love."

"No, I haven't, have I?"

He put his arm around her shoulders and this time she didn't back off.

"You have still missed them obviously Rose.  Do you remember your mother's phone number?"

"Don't be daft Alec, it's been four years."

"Call yourself a Torchwood agent Rose?"

"Stop it Alec, I'm not in the mood for you playing games."

"I'm not playing games Rose.  I meant the number your mother had when you lived on that council estate, well maybe but not the number of the woman who married this Pete Tyler, vice president and the one who had Tony."

"I know what you mean Alec, you mean the Jackie who never got caught up in the Cyberman invasion and never left the London she grew up in and who still lost her husband, my dad."

"Exactly Rose, think about it.  We never had Cybermen here."

"Forget it Alec, she's not my mother."

"Rose, the other Jackie who got killed, on you’re adopted world, the one who scorned you at that party you told me about, she must have chosen to have children, you and then Tony, years later.  That's the Jackie who got killed here, the Pete Tyler here still became head of Torchwood, not Vitex and worked his way to become vice president.  It all fits into place and now, it's all fading away, you are taking over and I don't know how long it's going to last."

Rose shook her head, not wanting to believe this.  Alec got up and turned the stove off and opened the bottle of red wine, bringing two glasses over.

"This is your world Rose, at the very least a mix-up of your original one and the one you adapted to, I can't explain it."

"But Alec, the mansion, in a pile of rubble, Torchwood Tower in ruins.  How do you explain that?"

"I can't, unless the two worlds have merged into each other somehow, now you are here."

"I don't like this Alec, I'm scared."

"Oh Rose, you shouldn't be, honestly.  The world still goes on, in some form.  You told me that every decision we make can create an alternate reality, you said there could be thousands of them, billions of them even.  This is just one of them love."

"I realise that Alec.  How is this even possible?  I've lost everything."

"Call your mother, your real one, it's still her, before you left to go off travelling with the Doctor."

"It doesn't feel like that Alec, trust me.  You had to exist, before I got here?"

Alec smiled.  "Of course I existed, I was the one you left behind, everything has changed Rose, I'm still the same person, I just changed.  Rose, you have not invented everyone, they already existed, everyone changed, except you, apparently."

"Alec, I need time to let this sink in, please?"

"I'll finish making dinner before it gets ruined.  It could have been worse Rose, I could have wanted nothing to do with you, then where would you have been?"

She knew he was trying to make light of it but it wasn't working.  They finished eating, Rose opting for more wine and thinking she would wake up back in their old chalet, the other Alec making his funny little noises and more beard, her mother on the phone asking when she and Tony could visit.  This was something she had not reckoned on at all. 

There were flaws in their reckonings though but as they watched some TV, Rose curled up and leaning on his shoulder, she thought just how easily she had got on with him and how he had accepted her just like that, fresh off the coach and Special Branch hot on her heels but there were still a lot of things that couldn't be explained and she expected they never would be.

Alec had one eye on the TV and one on Rose.

"Just call her Rose."

"I can't Alec.  What do I even say?"

Alec smiled and turned his attention to her, pushing her against the cushion.  "Why don't you go get changed then have another glass of wine and we'll see what happens?"

"This doesn't alter anything Alec, we're not 100% certain of all this."

"I know, it's just a theory and maybe some things have changed more than others, maybe we'll never know for certain love.  All we can be sure of is each other."

Rose went to put the new nightdress on and stood in front of the mirror.  Was he just making all this up to get her to give in to him?  This was getting too weird but if he was actually right?  It was the other Rose, the one who now clearly had not gone off that had caused her family's demise, directly or indirectly and now Alec was saying her mother could still be out there, wasn't it better if she at least tried?

Looking one more time, she let out a sigh and went to face who could be her Alec after all.  If he thought she'd looked good in her underwear, she looked even better in the pink nightdress.  He got up and led her to the sofa.

"Wow Rose, you look gorgeous love.  What can I say?"

"That we're wrong Alec."

"Rose, I don't think we are, everything is beginning to add up.  Some things are taking longer to change than others and some things may never change, like us being together and your mother."

"Alec, please, we should still take this slowly, until I'm sure.  It's like getting to know you all over again."

"I understand you are still hesitant.  Now, we'll have another glass of wine and relax and just forget about all this.  That's an order Rose."

"Yes, DI bossy."

Twenty minutes later, Alec had lost his shirt, his jeans he'd changed in to unzipped and Rose was glad she'd kept her underwear on as they lay on their sides, arms and legs wrapped around each other, Alec's hand on the leg that was raised, running his fingers up and down and the other hand around her waist.  He helped her off the sofa, picked up his shirt and their mobiles and followed her upstairs. 

Rose waited for him to come out of the bathroom but Alec was the one to be having an internal debate.  Him, Alec Hardy, who was so self-assured, good at his job, had solved a murder investigation against all the odds but had sacrificed his relationship with his then long-term girlfriend in order to bring the killers in and never successfully got another woman into his bed until he'd met Rose, just a week ago.  Then it had been her that had gone to him for help, willingly let him into her bed that morning and willingly let him comfort her the following night.

The comforting had developed into something more, he'd been trying to break down the final barrier of resistance, to get her to let go of the guilt she'd felt in betraying a man she'd left behind to discover he was that man.  This was the only life he'd ever known, skipping most of the ranks to become a DC, then a DS and after that, exposed a few corrupt officials in the Glasgow police and had fled to Sandbrook, well not fled exactly but he'd felt the need to get out as fast as he could.

Now, all that had paid off, he'd found Rose Tyler and his world had been turned upside down and so had hers, even more so.  This did not feel like a world that had sprung up around her.  Changed?  Maybe but definitely not just sprung up, how could it have done?  He went back out to the bedroom.

"Ok love?  The bathroom is all yours.  Now no more talking of how the world is bending to change shape around you.  Tomorrow, we go shopping, get a laptop so we can see if and how things are different, you get yourself something nice to wear and we'll go out of town for a nice meal tomorrow night and forget everything."

"Yeah, ok but I'm still not sure about all this."

"I know and I'm not trying to convince you that it's all true but we have to look at all the evidence, it's what I do Rose, I gather the facts and make sense out of them and all the facts tell me that is what has happened, whether we like it or not."

"I know, you're probably right but some things don't make sense."

"We will talk about them tomorrow love, now, I'll be waiting for you when you've finished in the bathroom and why don't we think about in the morning, maybe taking a shower together, mmm?  Since we have plenty of time."

Rose smiled at the thought, how she'd enjoyed sharing the shower, well the overhead shower standing in the bathtub in the chalet anyway.

"It's a bit cramped in there Alec."

He crossed over to her, tossing his jeans over the back of the chair.  "All the better to get closer babe and I finally get to see you, legitimately."

He leaned closer and kissed the side of her neck, then whispered in her ear, "Just think Rose, you get to see me as well, this me, not the one you thought you had left behind."

While she was gone, he got changed into a pair of boxer briefs he'd bought recently and got into bed.  Maybe tonight she'd let him use what he'd bought the other night, so he got the packet out of the bedside drawer and placed a package where he could easily reach it if the subject got around to it.  Even if she took her own precautions he didn't want to have her making any excuses.  He hoped he wasn't out of practice at using the things he detested but if needs must, he could make the sacrifice and all that.

Rose was wondering what all this was now about and wished she'd never brought up the subject she thought the other Rose, well maybe now there never had been another Rose, had gone before her arrival.  Had she actually 'arrived' though or stood still and let the world change around her because she wanted to get home?

Getting in the bed beside Alec, she turned onto her side.

"I know you said no talking but there was one thing."

"There always is love.  Go on, get it over with then I want your full attention, now I'm 99.9% certain I am 'your' Alec though I wish I could remember that, having spent six months with you and about to propose to you but maybe when we get all this out of the way, we can work up to that, eh?"

"Mmm, maybe we can.  What you were saying, about me wanting the world to change.  I wanted to get back to an Alec Hardy who was well and that's what I got, I never expected to have to sacrifice my family and be a wanted person in order to get that."

"You didn't.  Yes, you found me but you are not responsible for what happened here, don't you ever go thinking that.  They were not your family, your real mother is still out there and you should call her in the morning, see if I am right.  Now, I absolutely forbid any more talking, see if you notice something.  Come here Rose."

He pulled her onto him, Rose immediately noticing what he meant, the material of his boxer shorts replaced by less of it as she could feel him.  Then, she felt his fingers on the back of her legs, lifting the nightdress up and him moving so it did the same at the front.  He had resolved if she had to get to know him again but this was the first time he was getting to know her, something was going to give tonight.

It did, as she offered no resistance as his fingers crept above the leg of her lacy underwear and around the front.

"Rose, I promise to keep my shorts on but please love, take these off eh?"

Rose giggled.  "Maybe you should coax me out of them?"

"My pleasure love but first, you are just asking to be teased."

Rose felt a shiver as his fingers worked their magic, giving her such sensations that she was moving to get the most out of it.  Then, he fumbled with his shorts and moved her underwear aside and they touched.  Rose felt like she had electricity running through her as he was whispering her name into her ear and then kissing just below it.  As they continued, Alec decided he did like teasing her and was getting as much pleasure as she was, in the little room he had to move as she pressed herself closer to him, whimpering her hesitation.

Alec was trying to reassure her.  "Shush love, shush, just relax into it, just enjoy this as much as I am."

"Alec, please?"

"Please what love?"

"Please, don't stop teasing me."

"Oh, no need to worry about that, I won't.  I think I may just resist coaxing you out of your underwear, at least tonight."

"I hate you Alec," she shuddered.

"Yes love, I know you do, that was my intention, to get you all worked up and bothered and begging for more of this."

He moved her underwear again to make more room.

"I bet it was, you've been tryin' to get in my underwear since I arrived in your office, a week ago," she hissed back at him.

"You noticed?  You are not offering much resistance, are you?  I kept my promise Rose, we are still wearing our underwear."

"Technically," she moaned into his neck as another jolt ran through her entire body, Alec's hands pressed firmly on her rear.

"You really need to get some bigger underwear Rose."

"Says you," she groaned again.

He pressed his hands more firmly on her, then began kissing her neck and noticing she was trying to make more room to accommodate him.  "Want to swap places?"

Rose gave him a firm 'No" as her reply, then began to moan again.

Alec was grinning from ear to ear, it had been well worth risking her going back to her own room.  It wasn't long before he gave in and began moaning her name as she continued to move around on him, all thoughts of disturbing what they had to rid her of the one article he'd intended getting her out of discarded for the night.  This was wonderful and far bettering his expectations as Rose somehow got her hands under him and was now pinching him down the back of his boxers, though how she'd managed to get them there, he didn't exactly care.

"Rose, we can do this whenever you want, just say the word."

"I intend to and I know what's on the bedside table Alec, you won't be needing that just yet."

"I can have it on standby can't I?"

"I'm covered Alec, I got a three month shot three weeks ago."

"Time's different here darlin' and you are four days at least ahead of yourself."

"Bother," she hissed as yet another wave crashed over her.  "That means you picked a fine time to decide to get in my knickers Alec."

"Oh, it's that time, is it?"

"Well, it would have been a week, now it's three days.  That's if my body isn't all squiffy, so make the most of it sunshine."

"Maybe we should just forget doing more of this then?" he asked hopefully, though it was very pleasant to say the least and much more than he'd dared hoped for on his first real attempt.

"Don't get ahead of yourself Alec, this is as far as you're getting for now."

"You are covered though, just in case you change your mind love?" he asked, hopefully.

"Yes but don't get any ideas just yet, I'm still not convinced our theory is correct."

"Then just relax darlin' and just go with it.  Now shush and let me hear you moaning again."

"Make me," was all he got in return.

All Alec replied was he just loved a challenge.
Chapter 15
The next morning, Alec woke her by kissing down between the v-neck of her nightdress, thinking how beautiful she was just lying beside him and how lucky he was that if this world she'd had created around her had included him.

Rose was stirring.

"Good morning by dear Rose, how are you today?"

"Hi, mmm, I feel great actually, must have been what you did to me last night."

"Care for a repeat my love?  Now, about taking that shower, are you ready to take the next step in our relationship?"

After kissing for another ten minutes or so, Alec said he would go run the hot water and tried to convince her to join him.

"Just think Rose, I can rub your back for you, then you can rub mine and see what happens," he called as he left the bedroom, leaving the door open.

"Alec, can I use the bathroom first?"

"Sure darlin' then maybe you can wait for me?"

She waited for him coming out, Alec feeling her rear as he came out and sneaking a kiss, which didn't help Rose any as she crossed her legs.

This was getting so domestic, something the Doctor would have run a mile at and Rose was surprised how they'd got into this in a week.  Now she was having trouble getting her head around the fact this was her Alec and had been all along.   She had been trying to resist him since she found him and she needn't have.  Alec was tapping on the door.  Did she leave him to shower alone or be already under it when she told him to come in?

"Rose, can I come in love?"

"Yeah, just a second."

"I hope you are going to be under the shower when I do come in love?"

She turned the shower on, picked up two towels and put them over the shower curtain.  Then she got under the stream of water, pulled the curtain over and called him.  Now she was going to tease him.

"You can come in now."

Steam was coming from above the curtain.  "You started without me Rose, I'm going to have to come in there."

Rose giggled, wondering if he was just wearing his shorts or had put a t-shirt on and her arm appeared from the centre of the curtain.

"Come on in then lover," she teased, wagging her finger at him.

Alec smiled and took his shorts off and grabbed her hand.  There was plenty of noise coming from above the sound of the water, most of it was Alec calling 'oh babe' and when they emerged, finally, Alec was puzzled as to how they had still managed not to actually have sex, not for lack of trying on his part.

Over breakfast, Alec asked if that was as far as she was willing to go.

"I said last night Alec, I still need to think about this.  We can carry on with that we did last night and in the shower."

"Well, maybe what we just did in the shower?  Right, let's go get a laptop and see what we can find out eh?"

Once in the superstore, Rose went to get some more clothes and underwear, Alec went to choose a laptop and figured since Rose had the credit card, she should pay for it, his only concession of using it himself.  Over coffee, when they had chosen everything apart from the food shopping, Alec said they should see about opening a joint bank account to make things easier for Rose.

"I don't think you need worry too much about your name, I think things will die down now."

"I hope you're right, anyway, you're the one who's supposed to be watching me, do I have to worry about you?"

"No love, you've nothing to worry about from me though I do rather like keeping a close eye on you in the shower."

Rose smiled and got up.  "I just bet you do."

They finished the shopping and were on their way back when Rose's phone rang and since only Alec and Ellie had her number, she took it out of her pocket, relieved to see Ellie's name come up.

"Hey Ellie, you ok?"

"Yeah, just wondered if you were busy?"

"We've just been shopping, I can call round if you want?"

"Well, Tom and Joe are out, I wanted to check how you and Hardy are getting on."

She glanced at Alec as he turned into the street.

"We're fine.  I'll get him to bring me over when we've emptied the car."

Just under an hour later, Rose was getting dropped off after arranging they would meet in the harbour café in an hour, Rose saying she would get a cab there.

"Sure you can live without me for an hour, lover?"

"I'll try darlin', don't go telling her anything about what we've discovered though."

"You mean about how we almost had sex in the shower and how much you like getting your ass pinched?"

"Very amusing Rose.  You know I mean about what we've discovered about this world, or rather how it's become.  I know we still have our doubts but it's becoming clearer.  I'll set up the laptop and later, we'll go though those Torchwood files properly."

"Well Torchwood existed here, we know that much and you've spoken to a few of them so I'm still convinced there was another Rose Tyler 'cos that wasn't me who did those things or got anyone else to do them for me."

"I know love, we'll figure it out.  I'll see you soon and no discussing our love life, now we've almost got one."

Ellie let her in and they went to sit in the front room, somewhere she'd hardly been in the other world since that Ellie had been in self-made exile over in Exeter.

"So, you two doing the shopping together?" Ellie mused.

"Yeah, why not?  He had to go do it before he met me, why should I go spoiling his fun?"

"Why indeed?  You know the town's reporter is my nephew, don't you?"

"Yeah, Alec told me."

"Well his editor said someone was in their old office yesterday, claiming they had a big juicy story to tell.  Was that you?"

"Yeah but I changed my mind, Alec said it would be a good idea, to tell my side of the story of how I was almost mistaken for a wanted person but when we thought about it, it could send half of Torchwood after me."

"A wise decision then but Maggie told Olly she thought she recognised you, just be careful Rose, I wanted to warn you both."

"Thanks Ellie but Alec can look after me, he even conned Special Branch into believing he would keep an eye on me for them."

Ellie laughed.  "They fell for it?"

"Yeah, they even wished him luck with trying it on with me."

"Seriously?  I take it it's too late for that then, since you're going shopping together?"

"Sort of.  Ellie, I'm falling for him in a big way and I don't know how to handle it."

Ellie still thought Rose was torn between this Alec and the one she'd left behind.

"Oh sweetheart, only you can do something about that.  If you're feeling guilty, it will just hold you back but what if there is no getting home?  What if this becomes your home and you drive him away?"

"I know that Ellie but what do I do?  We've been talking about that, I don't think there's anyone left to help me, I think the other Rose is already gone."

She didn't want to say that she might have been that other Rose but memories of that version were already beginning to fade away.  Talk about 'Back to the future' then.  Alec had theorised it would be gradual, she just hoped they were totally wrong about this but it was looking more and more like they weren't.

"Rose, just be sure how you feel about him, you know his reputation, it's not exactly spotless.  He's tried it on with every single female in the station at one time or another, they had to go around in pairs."

"Yeah, so I've been told but they weren't being fair to him, he just went about it the wrong way.  He said it was Tess all along but now he thinks that everyone believed he was that actor and were disappointed when they found out it wasn't him."

Ellie laughed, remembering the rumours the Scottish actor was researching a role of a DI in a seaside town where an eleven year old boy had been murdered by a family friend.  Nothing ever came of it though and she'd heard it had been sold to the U.S and good luck to them, they would probably get some unknown American actor to take the role or entice the said Scottish actor to be in it.

"Well, just so long as you know Rose, don't say anything to Hardy but I think he's improved somewhat since I worked with him and Marie said he'd actually smiled at her on his way out, so she told Beth last night in the pub."

She said goodbye to Ellie and got into the cab she'd ordered and was just getting out in front of the harbour café as Alec walked across the road and waved to her.  Neither of them noticed that Olly Stevens was just coming out of the new office and had seen Alec walk across the road towards the café.  He decided to follow him, despite being warned off before when he'd tried to get the low-down on the DI punching Nigel Carter's nose last Saturday night and he'd been asked if he wanted a demonstration.

He saw the two of them greet each other from his vantage point outside the harbour newsagents but he was about to have attention drawn to himself as the newsagent came out, his love for Olly well known in the town.

"What are you doing hanging around out here you little weasel?  Got no-one else to bother?"

"Ah, Jack, want to talk about your little band of sea scouts do you?"

"Get out of here before I toss you in the river.  You couldn't even tie knots properly when you were in the sea scouts."

"Well we didn't need to be able to tie knots to be asked to stay behind."

"Why you little rat.  Go on, clear out before I set Hardy on you."

Olly laughed, turning back to see Hardy with his arm around the blonde just going into the café and witnessing him putting his hand on her rear.  Well, Maggie had been right on one thing, the DI had got himself a blonde girlfriend and they were very friendly, plus Maggie thought she knew who the blonde was – none other than Rose Tyler, who was believed to have fled the country four years ago.  This was going to be his big shot at the nationals, up there with Karen White herself, the London reporter he worshipped from afar.

It was a shame Rose Tyler was with Hardy though, he wouldn't mind spending the night with her, wanted or not but since Hardy had gone all Bruce Lee on Nige last Saturday night, he thought he'd best keep his distance for now and get her alone, not be stupid enough to let Hardy catch him.  Surely the blonde wasn't serious about the detective?  He decided to go back and start work on his big story, that of Rose Tyler and the playboy detective of Broadchurch.

Over lunch, Rose told Alec about the chance Olly may be alerted to her being in the town.

"Don't worry too much Rose, he won't be interested in you if you are with me.  He'll know what happened to Carter and stay away from us."

"I hope you're right, all I need is for him to poke his nose in where it's not wanted.  Did you set the laptop up?"

"Yes, I'll set up an email address for you if we decide to still contact anyone but I think that now is a waste of time.  We'll also set up a joint bank account as well or maybe I can just get an additional card.  We can't keep relying on your credit card."

"Why not?  There's no alert out for it now, is there?"

"Not as far as I know unless Special Branch want to keep track of your spending?"

Rose smiled.  "Thought you were supposed to be spying on me?"

"Only in the shower love."

They spent the rest of the day setting up Rose's email and getting back into the Torchwood files, to see if there was anything that could solve the mystery of how a world had just been created around her and as they ate dinner, Alec decided the next day, they should go across into Devon and have a nice day out, just like they had discussed earlier.

When they got to bed, Alec wasted no time in making the most of raising the bedroom stakes as she went to lay on him.  This time though, Alec was the one making the most noise as she finally relented to let him remove her underwear on the condition he kept his shorts on.  There was little talking since he didn't have to reassure her this time that it was ok for her to relax on him and enjoy the feelings he was giving her and them enjoying himself.

"Rose, darlin' this is amazing."

"Yeah, now I don't think I have to compare you with anyone."

He gently kissed her neck as she moved on him without any restrictions on her part but he himself not doing any more than the night before.  He could have easily taken advantage but he knew she was just getting comfortable with him and it could set them back a week.

"You said you had to get to know me again but I'm just getting to know you, you've had that pleasure before."

"That's all changed now Alec, I'm losing all that guilt I felt."

"Then can I hope that it won't be long before you lose all of it?"

"Yeah, I don't feel so bad now but maybe after my monthly?"

"If that's what you want Rose, I can wait.  I hope you are not a grump during that time?"

Rose giggled as she moved again.   "I invented it and you, you were the grumpiest man I'd ever known and that was why I loved you, you were even grumpier than I was."

"Well that's nice to know, thanks for that.  I'm not grumpy, am I?"

"Nope but you might be in a few days time when you can't get in my knickers."

"Oh, so every night, I have to first get in them to get you to let me take them off for you?"

"I thought you liked a challenge?  Not up to the task are you?"

"Let me take my shorts off and I'll show you if I'm up to the task or not."

Rose giggled again, moving slightly that this time made him jump.

"What are you trying to do to me Rose?" he groaned.

"Getting back at you for what you did to me last night, lover."

"Geez Rose, a little warning would have been nice."

"Where's the fun in that?  Besides, you gave me no warnings last night or in the shower this morning, now we're even."

"You are so going to pay for that you little minx."

He recovered quickly and suddenly pushed her over onto her side and wrapped his legs around her, making her stifle a scream.

"Payback time Rose, you'll be beggin' me for mercy."

"Never."

"We'll see darlin' and as for waiting until after your monthly, for me to take off my shorts, I'll agree on the condition you at least let me get some use out of what I bought, just to be on the safe side."

"Don't you believe me, about the injections?"

"Yes but how much time has moved on Rose?"

"I thought it was just four days?"

"We don't know that for certain, do we?"

"Blimey, how much time have I lost Alec?"

"I've no idea but we know you were four days ahead, a week ago but your body clock may also have been thrown out, we don't know just how it affected you, do we?"

"I could have missed a whole month Alec, how am I ever gonna work it out?"

"You'll have to go by when it happens next, it may not be a few days, you may have already gone past it and never known, what do I know?  I'm male, you women know about these things."

"Yeah, well I might have done but the manual just got re-written.  So, is this all the payback you have?"

Alec mumbled something and pushed the two of them so Rose was on her back, her legs raised.

"You don't get out of it that easily babe, I want to really hear you moaning tonight and since you did not want me go easy on you, you may just regret it."

Rose reached up and ruffled his hair, then she said softly, "Never, make it so I can watch you."

He raised her against the pillow and moved her right where he wanted her, then he dived down to kiss between the v-neck of her nightdress as Rose watched him move down.  Then as she felt his fingers on her legs, she put her arms around his neck to raise her head.

"I didn't mean watch you kissing me there, Alec."

The lamp was still on and all Rose could do was whimper as he knew what she meant when she moved her legs right where he wanted them.

"You know we are amazing together Rose?"

She never answered since she was lost in his touch.  As they fell asleep, he whispered, "Still want to shower together in the morning my love?"

"Yeah but best save that for weekends or you'll be late every morning."

"Aye, there's that and the fact I'll go to work with a stupid grin on my face that everyone knows what it's about, that we've been screwing around with each other."

"Yeah, don't want to give them that impression, do we?"

The next morning, after their extended shower together and still both managing not to actually have sex, they set off over into Devon for the day, stopping at two small resorts and Alec buying lunch for them.  He'd started the process to add Rose onto his bank account and hopefully it would be accepted though Rose had agreed that it was a risk, putting her name on the application but Alec had pointed out lots of women could have the same name and not make a big deal out of it.

They had talked on the journey about others who could share her name, since she had practically had the world bend around her but Rose thought that was rather a daft idea, even for the Doctor to have come out with, let alone Alec.

"You have a different sense of humour than I'm used to Alec," Rose commented as they found a parking space and he'd wanted to use his  'Wessex Police' sign that got his hand tapped when he tried to get it out of the glove box and a scowl from Rose.

"That's cheating Alec."

"Huh?  I bet you let the other Alec do it?"

"The other Alec was a grump when he didn't get his own way."

"Well I can well see his point then, I may just try that in bed."

"Very funny Alec.  I'll go get the ticket then?"

"It's free on Sundays until the end of March, I was just making sure by putting the sign in."

"Cheapskate, trust you to notice that."

"What's that supposed to mean exactly?" he asked, locking the car with the remote.

Rose stepped up to him and kissed his cheek.  "Nothing babe."  Then she put her arm in his and since he was liking showing her off, he let it go.

While they were out though, Olly Stevens was hard at work on his laptop, having decided not to wait to break the news the irritating DI was probably screwing around with none other than Rose Tyler and was going to confront him in the morning by waiting for him outside the station to ask if he had any comments.  It was about to turn into a disaster for both Rose and Alec.
Chapter 16
Rose was trying to put everything behind her, the fact she had been so reluctant with this Alec and she had to face the reality this was her adopted world and she was like Alice down the rabbit hole, in a changed world that she had helped create and she was never going to see Pete, Tony, Jake or Mickey again  but what bothered her most was another version of her mother, what if this Jackie didn't even know her or they'd fallen out?  Alec was looking at her as they sat arm in arm eating icecream in the late afternoon sunshine in the Devon resort of Sidmouth.

"You look miles away love, what's wrong?"

"Aw, nothing.  We should be getting back soon before we hit the traffic, you know what that road's like going back into Broadchurch, some farmer will be out on his tractor."  That had been who she thought was the other Alec's pet hate when they had been out somewhere. 

Now it was slowly sinking in it had been this one all along, this was her changed Alec and it was taking some getting used to.  All the decisions everyone made that made a difference, how could she be so sure this wasn't another altogether different version?  She was so confused and she only had the man sitting next to her, in his sexy sunglasses eating a chocolate ice lolly and Rose just wanted to lick it with him, this Alec was very dangerously close to her giving in to him.

She had loved the version of him she'd spent six months with, she had been ready to give up everything and marry him, live in their blue riverside chalet and spend the rest of his life with him, however long he had, if he'd kept his word and got himself fixed.  Maybe that was why she loved him so much, he was broken, quite literally and this Alec was just as opposite as you could possibly get.

"Earth to Rosie baby?"

"What?"

"Come on, let's go back to the car since you are convinced we are going to get stuck behind a tractor.  I'll put my siren on if we do, how's that?"

"Why not?  I'm sorry Alec, all this is still throwing me off, I don't mean to spoil our day out."

He leaned over and kissed her cheek, his lips were cold from the icecream.

"It's ok Rose, I get you are all mixed up right now.  Let's go home then, we still have things to talk about and I'm sorry as well, I can't fix this love, I wish I could, I would do anything for you but it's out of my league.  I'm good but I'm not that good."

He took her hand and helped her up, walking arm in arm to where he'd parked the car.

No traffic on the way back, Rose thinking he was disappointed he didn't get to use the siren, she was stretched out on the sofa with her legs over Alec's as he watched the news channel, promising her that they would go out for a drink later and Rose saying he had to also promise not to bust Nigel Carter's nose again.

"I was only trying to impress you love," he chuckled, going for her bare toes.

"Yeah, I know you were but I could have decked him myself, you didn't have to go Rambo on him."

"Who's Rambo?"

"Forget it, he was a mercenary in a string of really crummy films, a bit like Chuck Norris."

"I've heard of him, never heard of Rambo, you need to be careful what you say."

"I know, I feel like Alice in wonderland."

Alec shook his head. 

"Dorothy then?"

He was too busy playing with her toes, discovering he actually liked it.

"The Wizard of Oz?"

"Was he in Harry Potter?"

"No you plum, it was a film.  Glad you've got Harry Potter or I'd go crazy.  You've never heard of Alice?"

"No, should I?  I'm not an expert in girl's names or is that a boy's name?"

 It was her turn to shake her head.  "It's like an anagram of Alec with an 'I' in it," she mused.

"I'll try and remember that then, for future reference.  Are we going out to eat?"

"Can we just get takeout?  You could order, nip up to the mini market and get some more wine and we can stay in, spare Nigel Carter."

"He asked for it, trying to steal my girlfriend."

"I wasn't your real girlfriend then, was I?"

"You mean you are now?"

"I thought we'd established that Alec?"

His hand wandered up her leg and under her black skirt, she'd taken her black tights off when they'd got back.  Then he leaned over and she put her arms around his neck and pulled him down for a kiss.

"Look at us, being all domestic."

"Really?  Is this what it's like, being a couple, not shouting and arguing?  Not being accused of things you've not done?"

"Yeah, like it?"

He gave her his answer as his hand reached the top of her leg and stopped, like he was waiting for her to slap it away but she didn't.  He carried on under the fabric and leaned down to kiss her again.

"In a hurry to eat Rose?"

Twenty minutes later, he was getting off her and Rose was adjusting her underwear, Alec pulling up the zip on his jeans, a big smirk on his face.  He knew she was close to breaking, since they had now started taking a shower the last two mornings but he knew they couldn't do that when he had to go to work, he would be late but would go to the station with a smile on his face.

After they had eaten and Rose had drunk two glasses of wine to Alec's one, they were dancing to some slow tunes, Rose's arms under his open shirt, Alec's around her waist, his hands resting on her rear, his fingers trying to reach under her short skirt but falling that bit short but didn't stop him trying.

He finally whispered he wanted to go to the bedroom and Rose readily agreed.  As they tossed and turned under the duvet, they had no idea what they were going to wake up to in the morning.  Alec woke first to the sound of his mobile buzzing and it wasn't his alarm, it was his chief who had been woken early by her boss.  The digital edition of The Broadchurch Echo was online just after seven and Rose and Alec were front page headlines, not only about their new relationship but a complaint from Nigel Carter about the bloodied nose he'd got the week before.

"Rose, you have to wake up," he called out, shaking her.

"What?"

He'd got out of bed and gone into the bathroom to avoid disturbing his now girlfriend.  Elaine Jenkinson had been less than kind, telling him to get his ass into the station, pronto but he wasn't worried about getting chewed out for the complaint from Carter now he'd read the headlines on his phone.  Now he was worried about protecting Rose.

"Get dressed Rose, we may have to leave," he told her as he got into his trousers, having tried to fasten his shirt one handed while trying to find his friend Alistair's number in his phone contacts.

"Alec, does this mean Pete Tyler's supporters may come after me?"

"What do you think Rose?  I know we thought all that would go away now, if we were right about this world springing up around you but it may take more time than we thought."

"But why me?  What has the local reporter got against me?"

"He's after me, you were just a bonus Rose, he's known Carter a long time, I'm fairly new.  I'm going to call my friend and get him to pull a few favours in, get me a job up in Scotland somewhere and a place to stay.   He'll take care of everything.  Pack our cases Rose and I'll be back before you know it.  It may also get special Branch interested in you again."

"I can't do this Alec, go on the run."

"I'm coming with you Rose, don't worry, we'll sort this love."

He leaned down to kiss her then let her get dressed.

He got through to his friend and briefly told him about Rose, who people thought she was and the trouble they were finding themselves in.

"Leave it to me Alec, I still have contacts though I doubt they'll take you back in Glasgow.  I know the chief up in Fort William, I'll give him a call."

"Thanks Alistair, this may be over nothing but I can't take the chance, not where Rose's safety is concerned."

"She's really got to you then?"

Alec remained silent.  Alistair continued.  "I'll call you, just get packed and I'll leave it to you how you get up here."

After kissing Rose goodbye and telling her not to open the door to anyone, even if they said he'd sent them unless he called her, he walked the short distance to the station.  Elaine was waiting for him, a printed copy of Olly's damning article.  Alec tossed it on the desk.

"You actually believe that garbage Elaine?"

"The chief constable does.  Really Alec, I did try to warn you, taking up with a woman called Rose Tyler.  The tests proved nothing conclusive, now he wants her out of the county, we don't want any trouble with special Branch, they will come back now."

"Let them, I'm not worried about them, that moron just told the remains of Torchwood who supported Pete Tyler where she is, we were trying to keep that quiet."

"Well, if she's innocent and not really her, she's got nothing to worry about.  You have her test results and I expect you printed out a statement to say we don't think she's the one who is wanted?"

She saw by the look on his face she was right, she'd expected nothing less from him, since it was obvious he was even more involved with her now.

"As for Nigel Carter, I've tried to persuade him not to press charges but now he's told his side, it will be difficult to clear you, the whole town will back him."

"The man is an idiot, he went after my girlfriend, what was I supposed to do, let him take her outside and assault her?  Ok, if he wants to play it that way, I'll have Rose come in and make a complaint about him, see how he likes that."

He got his phone out.  When Rose answered he said, "Rose, will you come over to the station and make an assault charge against Nigel Carter?"

Rose was a bit surprised but the man wasn't going to go accusing Alec for defending her.

"I'll be right over."

Rose was also amused, she'd read the article and was halfway filling the case Alec had bought her and had some of his clothes out on the bed.  She left what she was doing and walked across to the station, stopping at the front desk.

"I want to make a complaint."

The desk sergeant expected it was about Hardy even though he'd seen the two of them together and half the station knew they were living together.  Maybe she'd finally had enough of him.  It had been quiet for the last week and all good things come to an end.

"Don't tell me, against Hardy?"

Rose shook her head.  "No, Nigel Carter, he tried to force me outside the pub with him.  He said I should go outside with him and when I told him no, I thought he was going to drag me out and I was scared.  Alec Hardy came to my rescue and now, he's been accused for defending me so I'm pressing charges against Nigel Carter."

The desk sergeant got a complaints form out and handed it to her.

"I'll send a WPC to interview you, just wait there."

He called the CS and was told to inform her when Miss Tyler had been seen.

"Well Alec, if she goes ahead, the odds may change to your favour, I doubt the CPS will take it any further, it's counter productive.  As for the other matter, I can't do anything about that, you're on your own with that one."

"I know Elaine, I'm always on my own except this time, I've got Rose.  Was there anything else?"

"No, once she's made it official, we'll bring Carter in, it may persuade him to drop the charges against you.  Trying to entice a young woman to go with him is a serious offence and though he's not squeaky clean, I doubt he'll want attempted sexual assault charges bringing against him."

"I would imagine he would want to avoid that.  I have things to do then I need to take a leave of absence, I have three weeks holiday due, I want them from lunchtime.  I'm taking Rose away for a while until all this dies down, she'll be safer there.  I'll keep the house for now, we may need somewhere when we come back, if no-one finds her and if they do, you'll be locking me up for murder because that reporter is not going to get away with this, putting her in danger."

He went downstairs to find out where Rose was and told the WPC to leave just as Rose was signing the complaints form.  After the officer left with the form, Alec switched off the recording equipment and pulled a chair around.

"Are you ok Rose?" he asked, putting his arm around her.

"Yeah, just a bit surprised.  Do I have to wait?"

"No, officers will bring Carter in, he'll be told a counter complaint has been made about him and he will probably withdraw the one against me.  He won't want to be branded in the same light as I used to be."

"So since he's made that complaint, are you afraid the women here will want their complaints taken seriously?"

"I expect so but you know that was not the reason I wanted you to press charges against him, he will just do it again and me, I've learned my lesson now, I have you.  I never actually did anything Rose, you believe that don't you?  If Carter had got you outside, well he would have been serious about it, he would have sexually assaulted you, you realise that?"

"Yeah, I know but he would have got a kick where it hurt the most before it got to that, he's gross."

Alec smiled and leaned over to kiss her cheek.

"I'm taking some leave as of lunchtime, we finish packing and leave in the morning, we should be safe for now but I'm going to pay Olly a little visit."

"No Alec, please, don't get into more trouble, he's not worth it.  Let's just leave."

"No Rose, I can't let it rest, he's endangered your life.  Ok, you can come with me, if it makes you feel better?"

"Yeah.  I'll go finish packing, I'll leave things out for morning though.  Are you keeping the house?"

"It's paid for another three weeks, we'll know if we are coming back or not by then.  I'll post the key back if I have to.  Now, how about a three week holiday in the Highlands of Scotland love?"

Rose reached to kiss him.  "Sounds good to me, bring some lunch back with you will you?"

"For you, anything."

Rose left the station, unaware she was being followed by Olly.  He'd seen her crossing the bridge from the new office of 'The Echo' and hadn't been surprised she'd gone to the station, probably to ask for protection against Hardy.  Why was she even hanging around with him?  He was quite proud of the article he'd put together, after seeing Nige in the pub last night and encouraging him to go make a complaint but he was more proud of how he'd put together why Rose Tyler was in the town in the first place.

He had surmised she was hiding from those left from Torchwood but as to how she'd hooked up with the detective, he could only make wild guesses.  His Aunt had said how Hardy had claimed Rose thought he was someone else she used to know and they had just taken up with each other after Hardy had almost arrested her.  He'd also learned Special Branch had been to see her and there was little proof she wasn't the one who was wanted.

He had no idea what he'd just messed with once Alec got hold of him and it would be all Rose could do to stop her lover from tearing into him.  Rose was just turning down the path to the home she now shared with Alec when she was aware of someone behind her.  She turned around to see a man with a badge around his neck and a digital recorder in his hand.  Rose was more than capable of dodging reporters when she wanted to, something she had learned very early on when she'd arrived here, well the other version of it.

"Miss Tyler?  Care to make any comments about my article?"

"No thanks, I'll give it a miss.  Why don't you crawl back into the hole you came from?"

"You do know Ellie Miller is my aunt?"

"Yeah but she'd never tell you anything, you're just bluffing."

"Oh, well how did I know you came here thinking Hardy was someone you used to know and that people are after you, whether you're the wanted Rose Tyler or not?"

Rose was horrified Ellie had betrayed her trust.  She'd told her other things, what had she revealed to her nephew?

"I've got nothing to say now get out of here before my boyfriend comes back because I can't guarantee he'll be so calm about it.  You know what he's capable of but I will say this, the charges against him are false, ask Nigel Carter what he was going to try and do to me if he'd got me outside.  Do you condone him committing sexual assaults against women?"

Olly suddenly found the ground was very interesting.  Nige had always bragged about how many women he'd got behind the pub but had never said they hadn't gone willingly.

"Alec said for me to put a complaint in about your mate, we'll see how that goes shall we?  Alec was just defending me and he didn't hit him outside the pub, Carter followed us home and threatened Alec, I also put that in my statement so maybe you should get your facts right before publishing."

Olly started to turn away but changed his mind.  "Well maybe Hardy had reason then but it was no excuse he harassed all the female officers in the station."

Rose was getting mad.  "He apologised to them and he didn't harass them, he just wanted them to go out with him, he didn't know anyone in the town.  Anyway, he's got me now.  They just took it the wrong way because a few turned him down.  How many women have you tried to chat up and failed?"

Rose was the one to turn away and opened the door, relieved she'd got away from him, he was a bit of a creep as well. 

As Alec was finishing up, he got a call someone was downstairs waiting to see him.  "Well send them up, who is it then?"

"Says he's Inspector James, Special Branch."

That was all he needed and that had been fast, he must have seen the article when it was first published.   He said for the Inspector to be sent up but it meant he wouldn't get away for twelve so he sent Rose a message to say he might be late.  Rose replied with an 'OK lover' making Alec smile.  They'd come a long way in just over a week but they still had the final hurdle to get over.  Once they were in Scotland and Rose felt safe, she would give in to him.

Inspector James was shown into Alec's office.

"I thought you were keeping us informed Hardy?  Why did I have to read in the local paper that you got into a fight over her?"

"Who says it was over her?  The man threatened me outside my home, I was defending myself and he'd tried to assault Miss Tyler inside the pub.  I saw what was going on and intervened.  She never even thanked me, just told me she could have handled it herself.  I won't be doing that again in a hurry I can tell you that much.  Then I get an assault charge against me, the man is crazy.  You came all this way to ask me that?"

"I came to see Miss Tyler, where is she?"

"Safe for now but that idiotic reporter just told the entire former Torchwood where she is and they'll be after her, whether she's innocent or not."

"That's not my problem and I didn't think it would be any concern of yours, unless you're not telling me something?"

"You told me to keep an eye on her, she doesn't make it easy, you heard her when she was being interviewed last week, she won't let me near her."

That was half the truth, she'd not let him do much the last time he'd been asked to watch her.  It was none of Special Branch's business how he kept an eye on Rose.

"I'm sure you could find a way, given your reputation with the ladies in the station."

Alec raised his eyebrows.  "That's over with now, I apologised.  Now, I'm focusing my attention on Miss Tyler, strictly officially of course but you never know."

"Well don't have her bring charges of stalking against you, we won't bail you out.  Like I said before, good luck with that one, you'll need it."

Rose had to go and choose that moment to call him.

"If that's all, I have to take this.  My travel agent, I'm taking some time off."

"What about watching Miss Tyler?"

Alec smiled.  "I'm working on it, why do you think I'm taking time off?  I'm hoping a free holiday will help her change her mind about me."

Rose was panicking, she'd looked out of the bedroom window and seen two men hanging around by the low wall Alec had pushed Nigel Carter into.

"Come on, come on," she hissed into her phone.  He finally answered.

"Alec, you need to get back here now, there are two men by the wall, they've been there about ten minutes."

"Calm down Rose, they may be Special Branch, I just had one of them here who came last week.  I'll be right there but if you are worried, call the station and they'll send someone but I'm just leaving now, I'll bring a uniform with me."

"Please don't be long.  I doubt they are waiting for someone, only me, to go out."

"It's ok Rose, I'm just clearing my desk, I'll call reception and have someone there in a few minutes."

He said goodbye and picked up his desk phone.  Rose had sounded really upset and he wasn't having any of that.

The desk sergeant answered.  "This is Hardy, get two uniforms round to my place, now, two men are hanging around and scaring my girlfriend."
Chapter 17
The desk sergeant tutted but called two officers, who just happened to be the ones to 'escort' Rose off the coach and told them to get round to Hardy's house pronto and deal with someone hanging around.  Rose was still looking out of the window at the two men who had hardly moved since she'd spotted them, they could have been there longer than she'd thought.  A few minutes later, she saw two officers approaching, speaking to the men and she went downstairs in case they knocked on the door but Alec had told her to wait for him before she let anyone at all in the house.

A few minutes after that, Alec tapped on the window and she went to let him in.  He was followed by the WPC who she remembered from the coach.  Alec turned to her.

"Stay with Miss Tyler while I get this sorted Stevens.  Rose, make some tea love will you?"

Rose nodded, just wanting him to hold her in his arms but she knew he couldn't be seen doing that, even though he was going on leave.  It was bad enough everyone knew they were living together.  The WPC thought the woman looked a little off, much as she'd done when alighting the coach.

"Are you ok Miss Tyler?"

"Yeah, I was just worried, it's probably nothing.  Did they say anything?"

"DI Hardy will explain it to you, best make that tea."

She saw things packed in a box and looked.  "Going somewhere?"

Rose had to think quickly.  "Oh, we're going off for a few days, he's just putting everything away, just in case."

WPC Stevens nodded.

Meanwhile, Alec was trying to get the two men to admit they'd been watching Rose.  He should have known that James hadn't come from London alone and didn't trust him to report back where Rose was.  She must have been followed from the station earlier, that was the only explanation.  Alec gave them an ultimatum.

"Right you two, tell me who you are or I'll send for a car and lock you in a cell until I get around to maybe coming back, interrupting my holiday plans to finally interview you."

Just then, Inspector James came along the street.

"It's ok Hardy, I placed them here.  Tell your officer he can leave now."

Alec shook his head at the suggestion.

"Please yourself.  It's not that we don't trust you to report to us about Miss Tyler, I was just making sure and don't look so innocent, her protests may have been genuine at the time but we were confident you'd get to her one way or another, then they called me to say they were following her and guess where she went?"

Alec just huffed, folding his arms and making it known he was not pleased.

"So?  Your point being?  I told you, I'm trying to persuade her to go away with me, she stayed over last night, what about it?"

James remember something along the lines of she'd rather be 'deleted' by the Cybermen, whatever they were, he'd never taken much notice and thought it was a group and it was a reference to a dance or whatever.  Alec however had just hoped the remark she'd made would go unnoticed, he'd had enough to explain at the time.

"She doesn't seem your type Hardy.  Are you telling me she stayed willingly?"

"After a few drinks, I successfully talked her into coming home with me and now if you don't mind, I have some persuasion to do to get her to go off with me.  Are your two clowns thinking of following us?  If they are, I hope they have their passports with them, they say Paris is good at this time of year."

"I'll call them off – for now but I want your word if anything happens you'll inform me?  If she doesn't go with you, I'll send someone back, what do you care?"

"I've only got one interest in her and we're both men of the world, if she won't come, I'm not going to waste my time on her.  You will be the ones that need the luck, keeping up with her."

The three men got a nearby car and Alec got what's his name, he could never remember the hefty male officer, to call Stevens on the radio to tell her she could leave.  All he needed was for the WPC to see the way Rose would greet him, company or no company.  The WPC came out and Alec just nodded his thanks to her, which she thought was strange, he was totally different now and Rose Tyler had been responsible.

Rose was waiting for him anxiously, relieved the two men had moved away.  She threw her arms around him and they kissed for a while.

"It's ok, they've gone for now, I told them we were going to Paris."

"Are we?"

"Not until you get your passport but they don't know that, do they?"

"Do you think I'll be able to get one now?"

"Wait until we get to Scotland."

"How will I get one there?  Don't you have to be born there to get one?"

"There are other ways, you can apply for citizenship after two years of living there or if you marry a Scot.  It's just a formality then.  Now, we got rudely interrupted this morning did we not?"

"Yeah, sort of.  Are we still leaving tomorrow?"

"I think it will be best if we did but I'll make a point of calling Inspector James to tell him you've succumbed to my charms and are going with me or maybe I'll just tell them I gave up and they'll sit out there for the next three weeks."

He smiled at the thought of that but it would be a waste of the taxpayers money.

"Do you think Torchwood will still come after me?"

"Best not risk it eh?  Now, shall we go upstairs or do I pull the blinds over?"

"Mmm, upstairs but I have something else to tell you.  I got followed back by that reporter."

"Oh, well he was not the only one following you, those two men were.  What did Stevens want?"

"He implied Ellie told him things, about why I came here."

Alec looked shocked.  "I knew we should not have trusted her, please tell me she didn't reveal everything?"

"I hope not Alec, he didn't say much else but I stuck up for you."

"I knew you would have love, it's ok.  We won't tell anyone where we are going.  I got a call from my friend, he's setting everything up.  We'll drive as much as we can tomorrow and stop over somewhere for the night, then once we've crossed the border, we'll stop at the first place for another night, then carry on to Fort William, Alistair will book us a hotel there for however long we need it, then we'll find a place to rent for a few weeks, until we decide if we are coming back.  That will be up to you love."

"I've nothing to come back to Alec, not even Ellie now.  I thought we could be friends."

She leaned on his shoulder and he held her close.

"I'm sorry Rose, I thought we could trust her but blood is thicker than water, I should have known she would talk to him."

"Are you still going to see him?"

"I have to, if I don't, he'll think he's getting away with it and I can't let him."

"Will your chief let you know what happens with Nigel Carter?"

"When he sees you've made a charge against him, he'll back down.  I'll call her in the morning before we leave but it does not interfere with our plans.  Do you want lunch first?"

Rose put her arms around his neck.  "Nah, let's work up an appetite and I'm really sorry, for being so hesitant, I know it's all true now, what we thought.  This is it Alec, this is where I belong, there's no going back."

"Did you get your device from the kitchen drawer?"

"Yeah, I've put it in my purse.  It won't ever work again Alec, there's nothing for it to home in on now, it's all gone.  I never called who we think is my mother though."

"You should at least try."

"What if I make things worse Alec?  What if she's not the same?  What if Torchwood got to her afterwards and convinced her I did those things, if there really was no other Rose Tyler?  Everything's mixed up, I'm so confused."

She rested her head on his chest.  "Then let me help you clear your head love?  Allow me to take you upstairs?"

"We'll have to go in the spare room, I've left clothes everywhere on our bed."

"That does not matter, the less room the better."

An hour or so later, they went over to the harbour café since the weather had turned a bit damp and over lunch, they discussed the route they would take.

"So, we don't have to go to Wales first then?"

"No, I don't think we need take a detour, I think I've thrown then off sufficiently for now.  I just hope no-one else saw that article.  When we finish lunch, I'll go pay a visit to the newspaper office and you go finish packing."

"I think I'd better come with you, don't want to get you hauled back to work."

Alec smiled.  He knew she was scared, not only of Special Branch but the remains of Torchwood, wherever they were and the suggestions made by that idiot Stevens had made it even more likely someone would make a move but by then, they would be on their way to Scotland and safety.  Neither Special Branch or the British police could get to her up there and they were going quite far up in the country, to one of the larger towns in the Highlands.  He'd been there before and it was a place he hoped he and Rose could eventually settle down in or maybe move up to Inverness but Rose probably would think it was too cold up there.  Maybe if they stayed up there, he could take her sometime.  Now they had real plans to make, Rose had come to realise there was no going back, her device was not actually 'broken', it had stopped working because there was nothing for it to connect to. 

She'd said she didn't know exactly how it worked but she had explained how when she'd first arrived in the other reality that when the walls of the dimensions had closed, the devices they'd used then had stopped, he expected this was the same, like walls closing again.  He smiled across the table at his girlfriend, she was really something else, beautiful, intelligent, fun to be with but also lost and alone, apart from him and she'd lost the only other person she'd thought was her friend.

"Come on then love, let's go see that clown of a reporter, or shall I just leave him to you?"

"I'll let you have that honour Alec, I'm not in the mood.  There was a time I would have really laid into him and sent certain people to sort him out but not any more, I have to trust you.  I don't know what I'd do without you."

They walked across the harbour car park and stopped in front of the newspaper office.

"You don't have to come inside Rose, I can deal with it.  I promise not to break any bones.  I want you to know, I'm not a violent person but anyone messes with my girlfriend, I'll make an exception."

Rose took his hand and they walked into the building, next to the amusement arcade.  Alec recognised Olly's mother, Lucy, sitting at the desk in the doorway.

"DI Hardy.  To what do we owe the pleasure?"

Lucy Stevens, the only woman in Broadchurch who was eager to seek Alec's attention willingly and the only woman he'd never asked to spend some time with him.  Apart from her being Ellie Miller's sister and the mother of the scourge of a reporter who constantly gave Alec a headache, she was not his type, that of being flirty, a gambler and alcoholic, though she seemed quite sober since taking up her new job.  Besides, being seen with the mother of a twenty something man was not his idea of boosting his reputation, however jaded it was.

"Where's that son of yours?"

"Upstairs in Maggie's office, she's gone to see her new girlfriend.  Are you annoyed about what he wrote about you?  Oh, this must be the woman at the centre of attention then?"

She looked Rose up and down.  "You keep turning me down for her?  What's so special about her then?"

"She doesn't have a grown son who's a nosy reporter who can't keep out of anyone's business for starters.  Rose, wait down here love, I won't be long."

"I think I'll come with you, the air down here you could cut with a knife."

"Suit yourself dear, I don't bite, usually.  Told your little girlfriend you secretly fancy me?"

It was Rose who laughed.  "Seriously?  Does that mean you're the reason he tried to chat me up when I'd only been in the town half an hour and got me into his bed?"

Lucy huffed.  "Tart," she hissed under her breath as Rose followed Alec up the stairs.

Alec was smirking, it was sort of true, he'd offered Rose a bed for the night and they'd eventually ended up sharing.

Olly looked surprised at hearing footsteps on the stairs, knowing he shouldn't have trusted his mother to keep unwanted visitors out.  Then he saw who it was and took his feet off the corner of Maggie's new desk.

"You know why I'm here Stevens?"

"No, enlighten me."

If he hadn't already got up, Alec would have dragged him up.  Still, he had no need to impress Rose any more, she was already his, well with a few minor details still to sort out but once in Scotland, she would be.

"Really Stevens?  Let's start with you writing a retraction of those ludicrous fairytales you churned out this morning eh?  Also, I want you to apologise to my girlfriend for harassing her this morning and following her home, I've had to talk her out of bringing charges of stalking against you because I can't be bothered with the paperwork.  As for your mate Nige, as we speak he's being interviewed about sexual harassment charges and several other women have come forward to press similar charges so I expect the ones he brought against me for defending my girlfriend have already been dropped.  Anyway, he was the one that threatened me, he does not have a leg to stand on."

Olly went to sit back down again.  Maybe he'd been a bit over-enthusiastic taking Nigel's side in things.

"Ok, I'll put another piece in the next edition that Carter attacked your girlfriend, I'm sure readers will enjoy reading that.  Anything else?"

"Yes, I want that other rubbish taken out as well, about Rose."

"That stays."

"Really?  It that's what you want, I'm arresting you on suspicion of inciting mass speculation against Miss Tyler.  She is totally innocent of everything you have written about her, she has a signed statement from Wessex Police clearing her of any involvement over the deaths of the Tyler family and the destruction of Torchwood."

Alec got his phone out to call for someone to come and collect the annoying reporter.

"Ok, I'll issue another press release saying I got it wrong, satisfied?"

"I will have to be for now, I'm not wasting my time on you, I've got better things to do and you are spoiling my holiday plans.  I had better see a full retraction and apology in the next digital edition of your little 'rag' and the printed version.  Come on Rose, we are leaving and if I hear of you following her again, I'll be up on more charges than assaulting the town's plumber for trying to attack my girlfriend.  Got it Stevens?"

Olly managed a nod and decided he'd best do as he'd been asked, going up against Hardy had been a bit stupid in the first place, considering he had a temper he didn't seem to be able to control but Nige had persuaded him to go along with it and dig up the dirt on Hardy and his girlfriend and his aunt had given him more than enough ammunition to go ahead with the story.  He'd have to think twice next time.

When they got back home, Alec helped Rose finish the packing and he went to gather his personal items from the bathroom, just leaving out what was needed for the following morning.  They had planned to get everything ready, walk across for breakfast at the café when it opened then put everything into the car, placing valuables at the back of the cases and the holdalls on the back seat.  He'd not planned on leaving the car unattended where he couldn't keep a close eye on it but there would be two overnight stops so he'd have to choose somewhere quiet both times.

Rose had put enough for two stops into a holdall so they didn't have to take the cases in each time and by late afternoon, most of their belongings had been put away.  Alec had planned taking the key with him, in case they came back but he was doubting that now, Rose had nothing to come back to and neither had he.  Everything he'd ever wanted was now smiling at him, anywhere she was would now be his home.

That night, Rose told him she was no longer going to hold back but he'd have to be the one to take the precautions for now, until she got herself sorted.

"Oh I don't mind love, that's what I bought them for.  Are you sure now?"

"Yeah, I'm sure Alec, I've no doubts now, you are my Alec and you have been since I got here, I just couldn't see it.  You're the detective around here, remember?"

"Yes love, I know this is still confusing for you but not to me, it's all I've ever known.  I want to help you Rose, really I do.  We can start a new life, up in Scotland, we don't have to come back.  The house came furnished, it was a holiday let originally, the police got a special rate for taking it.  What do you say?'

"Yeah, I'd like to get away from all this, with you.  Right, do you need any help with that?" she giggled as Alec reached for the small packet he'd had on the bedside table since he'd bought them what seemed like ages ago for him.

"No, I can manage, thanks or are you disappointed?"

"If you say so, now stop messin' around will ya?''

As he gently laid on her, first hovering above and initiating the kissing, they were both lost and any lingering doubts this was not her Alec soon disappeared as he gave her endless feelings of pleasure, calling her name as Rose whimpered beneath him, gripping his shoulders.  When they finally parted, Alec giving the extra effort just for her, all the pent up feeling he'd had since Tess had dumped him but this was something different he'd never felt with her, she had been nothing compared to his Rose, Rose was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life doing this with, well while he was able to, considering he was much older than she was.

Rose was still making wonderful moaning sounds as he moved away, she was trying to pull him back but he just smiled, saying he had to dispose of a certain item.

"Alec, don't take too long," she teased as he got out of bed and she got a good look at his rear since he'd not bothered to turn out the bedside lamp.

He retreated to the corner to grab some of Rose's baby wipes to clean himself up then put his shorts back on, tossing the packet to Rose.  Then she giggled, "Best clear the bin in the morning Alec!"

"Very funny Rose I'm sure.  I haven't used anything in a long time."

"Don't seem to have made any difference, you were amazing."

He got back into bed and stopped Rose putting her own underwear on.  "Oh no, I've not finished with you yet darlin' you are all mine now."

Still giggling, Rose just replied, "Yeah, that means you are now my Alec."

"Good, I'm glad we've finally established that love.  Don't worry too much, in a few days time, we can forget all this, we won't come back, unless you want to?"

"No, there's nothing here, for either of us.  What about your job here?"

"I'll resign after my holiday period is up, I'll have to in order to rejoin the Scottish police force.  Alistair will sort things out for me, I should get a job in Fort William or nearby."

"He sounds like a good friend, will I meet him?"

"Yes, he'll meet us after we arrive and when we get across the border I'll contact him."

"Mmm, I'm tired, let me come and lay on you now."

"Well only if you promise not to put your underwear back on my love?"

"Just for you put if I get up during the night, you may have to help me out of it again in the morning."

"We won't have time in the morning love, we have to be ready to go right after breakfast but we can find time for a quick shower?"

"I'll have to settle for that then, won't I?"

They fell asleep, both feeling happy they had broken down the final barrier Rose had put up to keep the guilt away but she had none now, she had accepted this was her world and she would always be afraid Torchwood would track her down, especially after that idiotic reporter had told them where she was but they would be gone tomorrow so they could look all they wanted.

The next morning, after a quick shower, they went to get breakfast then they began packing the car.  Rose had just gone back inside and Alec was arranging the cases to hide the boxes of his personal stuff and his CD and DVD collection when a car pulled up on the opposite side of the road.

His first thought was that James had not kept his word as the blonde haired man looked across before getting out.

Alec pulled the back door of the car down and closed the back passenger door, remote locking it as the man got out.

"Are you Alec Hardy?"

Alec thought there was no point in denying it since he'd just been in the paper.

"Why would you want to know?" he asked, hoping Rose would not pick this time to come out, she was disposing of any remaining food and milk but may come out with a black bin liner to take to the rubbish bin.

"No need to be so defensive, I'm looking for Rose.  Is she around?  I'm an old friend."

Alec sincerely doubted that since he was the only person she really knew.

"Tell me who you are first, I'll not let you near her until I know."

"That's very commendable of you.  Just tell her Jake is here."

"Jake Simmonds?  She's talked about you but you still don't see her until I say so.  You saw the story about her?"

"Yes.  Is she leaving?"

"We are going on holiday."

"Permanently?  That's a lot of stuff for a week's holiday?"

"Three weeks, a touring holiday you might say.  What do you want with her?"

"To talk to her.  I came earlier but no-one was here."

"We were getting breakfast before we set off.  You have not answered my question, what do you want with her?"

"To help her, I lost track of her, I thought she'd gone back to her mother but Jackie's worried about her, Rose just left."

Alec thought that wasn't the first time Rose had 'just left' after what she'd told him.  He wondered where this Jake had been while Rose had been here?

"I'll go and get her, you stay here until I ask if she wants to see you.  You already know of my reputation?"

"I've heard.  I'll wait then."

Alec nodded and went in the already open doorway, wishing Rose had closed it and hoping she'd not heard what was going on outside.

"Rose love, where are you?"

"I'm up here, where did you think I was?"

"You should have closed the door Rose, geez."

"You were outside, who were you gonna let in?"

"Seriously?  What if there had been more men than yesterday and they outnumbered me?  I can only defend you so much Rose, you have to help me love.  Come on down, you have a visitor."

She stuck her head around the corner of the stairs.  "What?  If it's Ellie, I'm not talking to her ever again, she betrayed my trust, nephew or no nephew."

"No, I think you may want to see this one, well maybe."

"Quit messin' around Alec, just tell me."

"It's Jake."

"What?  Are you crazy?  What if he's here to drag me back to Torchwood?"

"No he's not, he's against them, remember?"

"Maybe the old one was, things have changed somewhat Alec."

"Yes, I'm aware of that but I told him to wait outside and he has done and he's alone."

"Ok, I'll come down, I was just making sure we got everything.  Fine time for him to pick for a visit.  Can you take that black bag to the bin?"

"Yes love, when I make sure Jake is not here to hurt you."

Alec went to the door and called Jake.  Rose would have been eager to see him under different circumstances but was unsure about this one.

"Hello Rosie, how've you been?  Your mother is worried sick about you.  She's been trying to call you."

Rose let out the breath she'd not been aware she'd been holding in and crossed to Alec, taking his hand for reassurance.  Now Alec was worried their departure was delayed and they wouldn't get as far as he'd planned, at least as far as the north-east region but he may have to find somewhere around Leeds at this rate, which would be around four or five hours drive depending on traffic and how many times Rose would want to stop, knowing women.

"I lost my phone, Alec got me a new one.  Is she ok?"

"You could have called her."

"I forgot, I've been busy, you know?"

"Yeah, with a police detective.  You two are living together?"

"Well yeah, what ya think?"

"She just wants you to call her Rose, that's all.  Just to tell her you're ok."

"She's not mad with me or anything then?"

"Hold on Rose.  Jake, that story, about Rose, did it catch your attention that much?  Do you think former members of Torchwood will come after her?"

Jake laughed.  "Where have you been hiding?  That's well over with, those who are left want nothing to do with it now but I hear there is still some interest in what happened.  We all know Rose had nothing to do with it anyway, it was Smith, it backfired on him, he got caught up in it."

"What?  Mickey?"

"You knew him Rose?" Jake asked, looking confused.

"Erm, well I heard of him."

"Rose, I think this is getting confusing love, don't you?" Alec asked, putting his arm around her.

Clearly, things had already changed and he really did not want to know all the details for fear Rose would say something.  Jake though wanted to talk.

"Oh, I get it.  You really got caught up in all that didn't you?  That's what you get for being nosy.  Alec, did she tell you she sneaked into the other Jackie Tyler's' 40th birthday party to get a glimpse of what she thought should have been her life?"

"No, tell me."  He was interested in hearing this new version.

Jake explained Rose had been envious of the other Rose Tyler and disguised herself as a waitress to get into the famous party just months before that fatal day when the other Tylers had been blown up inside the mansion.

"So you were not friends with the other Rose Tyler?" Alec wondered.

"I was but she went missing just after, no-one knows where she went.  I met this Rose by accident, surely you remember?"

"It was years ago."

Jake did not want to go into too many details.  "Never mind, I'm keeping you both from your holiday.  Are you going to give me your new number Rose?"

Alec still didn't trust him.  "I'll give you mine, you can contact me.  You can give it to her mother if you want?"

"What's the problem Alec?  Scared Rose will run away?"

"No, Rose has not told me much about why she left London and until she does, she's trusting my judgement on this.  Right Rose?"

"Yeah, sorry Jake but you can tell my mum I'm ok.  We really have to go now, we're running late but thanks for coming down to see me."

"Where are you two going then?"

Alec raised his eyebrows, something Rose loved about him, he looked so cute when he did it.

Jake saw the look on Alec's face.  "Never mind, have a good time, Rose deserves someone to look after her, she had a tough time when everyone kept getting her mixed up with the other Rose.  So, you used to know Mickey then?  Your mother never said anything."

"I didn't know him that well, he was at that party."

Jake seemed satisfied with her explanation.  That meant she had never gone out with him in this world, unless she went out with Rickey, though she had always thought that Rickey had been on the other bus.  Maybe he hadn't in this version of it but she wasn't about to ask.  Alec was rather relieved, he had no ex to bother about and he'd known for sure last night, he was Rose's first.

Jake left and Alec put his arms around Rose.

"So, now we know.  The other Rose disappeared, she may be gone altogether now but she did not go to any alternate version of this world.  Time to leave sweetheart, I'll just go take this out, you wait here."

Two hours later, Alec pulled into a service station on the motorway before they had to turn off to make their way up to the north.  They were just finishing when Alec's phone rang – it was Elaine.

"You'll be pleased to know Carter agreed to drop the charge against you, if Miss Tyler drops the claims against him."

"She will think about it, Carter is a waste of my time, let him stew for a while, keep him under caution will you?"

"Whatever Alec, his charges were tame compared to the allegations Miss Tyler made I suppose."

Once back in the car, he told Rose the charges would go away on their own, Carter would get tired of waiting.

They made another stop three hours later, it was almost five and since the motorway stop had a motel attached, Alec went to secure them a room for the night.  They had just got what they needed out of the car, Alec bringing the new laptop out and connecting to the motel's wifi found their next overnight stop just across the border and made a booking.

They carried on the next morning, just fooling around the night before and several hours later, they came to the 'Welcome to Scotland' sign on the side of the road.  Alec pulled into a lay-by and insisted Rose got out, spinning her around.

"This is it Rose, a new life, just you and me.  Tomorrow, we'll be in Fort William, maybe you should call your mother then?"

"Maybe but I'm not too sure about that.  I mean, she's not really my mother is she?  She's just another version, she's no more my mother than the other Jackie Tyler was."

"She is all you have love, you have to give her a chance.  Maybe it's the version of your mother before you started travelling with the Doctor?"

"Maybe.  She might have turned out like that, if I'd not gone off I suppose and maybe Mickey found the other Rose Tyler more fascinating than me and went to join Torchwood.  He must have still grown up near me but maybe he never moved onto the estate?"

"Maybe love.  Now, one kiss and we'll go find that hotel I booked and we'll have some time to relax.  Tonight we won't be in so much of a hurry to be up early in the morning and I can give you my full attention."

"I look forward to it.  Come on then, I'm hungry again."

"It's only been a few hours Rose.

"Yeah but the food was awful."

Alec smiled and going around to her side of the car, he helped her in and leaned down to kiss her.

"I love you Rose."

"I love you too Alec, we're gonna be ok, aren't we?"

Alec smiled and said, "Yes love, we are going to be fine."

Once in Fort William, Alec called his friend, who said he would be there the following evening and gave him the name of the property letting agency who were expecting them and also said the police chief was expecting Alec's call.  By the following Saturday, they had found a nice two bedroomed apartment just across the river and using Rose's credit card, which she had been surprised had worked and they had found out the transactions were on a Scottish bank and therefore wouldn't get back to the English banks, they ordered the basic items they needed from the catalogue store and Saturday afternoon, things were being delivered and they went out to celebrate their moving into the first home they had chosen together.

***{ silversurfer60 }***

It was three days before Christmas, it was cold, colder than Rose had been used to but Alec hadn't seemed to notice and he had arranged to take Rose to spend Christmas in Inverness at a hotel for three nights and he was trying to get a case wrapped up before the day was out so he could go on leave.  They were leaving the following morning, the 23rd and travelling up, Alec hoping the weather would hold out and it wouldn't snow.  That was all he needed, his pregnant wife getting stuck in a snow storm the amount of times she needed the bathroom and at three months, she had just got over the sickly feeling stage, much to his relief.  It was going to be their first Christmas together, next year, they would have an addition to their family.  They had married a few days after Rose discovered she was expecting, Alec hadn't wanted to wait and neither had Rose, though she'd said she'd settle for getting engaged but he had said that wasn't enough for him.

He had bought her a beautiful silver heart pendant for her main present and they had agreed they would buy each other a 'silly' present so he had got her a t-shirt printed with 'Miss Bossy' on it and Rose had bought him a blue-faced watch and a silly present of an apron with a kilt on it, she was going to dare him to wear it with nothing underneath, since he had opted not to get married wearing a proper kilt.

Rose was waiting for him, a small case each packed for the time away and she was thinking of the time, nine months ago they had fled to Scotland and the life they had left behind them through no fault of their own.  It had been a fluke, the day Rose had been called back to Torchwood for one last trip using the dimension cannon and thinking at first she had lost her Alec and her family.  She had contacted her mother but never gone to see her, Rose couldn't face her, knowing it wasn't really her, Alec was a different matter.

She didn't think she would ever forget the other version of him, grumpy, stubborn and sickly but now, this is how he could have been once he'd got well and they never talked about it.  She missed Tony, it was only natural and they'd agreed if they had a boy, which Rose was going to find out when she went for her scan after the holidays, they would call him Anthony and if it was a girl, well Rose was trying to persuade her husband to call her Alice, which was Alec with an 'I' in it.

Alec had just laughed and said they should call a girl Dorothy, Rose was now living over the rainbow, she had told him the story to which she had replied that at least she didn't think the Wizard of Oz was in Harry Potter.

They had a girl, naming her Alice after Rose eventually won and a year later, another girl and then a boy and both got their wishes, never having any more contact with Jake or any member of Torchwood.

The End!




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