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Tired and alone, Rose Tyler arrives in Broadchurch six months pregnant with the Doctor's child. Alec Hardy takes pity on her when he finds her sitting in the bus shelter near his riverside chalet and offers her his spare room when she leads him to believe she has very little money. He finds himself falling in love with her but will he change his mind when he finds out the truth?











Tired and alone, Rose Tyler arrives in Broadchurch six months pregnant with the Doctor's child.  Alec Hardy takes pity on her when he finds her sitting in the bus shelter near his riverside chalet and offers her his spare room when she leads him to believe she has very little money but finds himself falling in love with her.   Rose finally reveals who the baby's father is when he tells her he wants to take care of her.

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Chapter 1
A/N: Set in the present day, Rose has been left all alone in the alternate universe when her mother refused Pete Tyler's help but Pete has set her and her mother up with bank accounts and they fall out over it, Rose saying she'd been given another chance but Jackie doesn't want it when she discovers they are seven years in the future.

It was all too much for Jackie Tyler, being torn away from her home by the Doctor landing them in that Torchwood place and into the middle of a battle between two lots of aliens, one she remembered Rose being terrified of and another human-like race who everyone thought were the ghosts of their loved ones returned to them.  Even she had been fooled into thinking one was her own father, mainly because as Rose had pointed out she wanted it to be him and she'd wanted Rose to see it.

The Doctor though had spoiled the illusion, trust him when she knew more than he did and he didn't like it and they'd been revealed for what they were.  That was almost six months ago and Rose had thrown all her belongings she'd gathered in that time into a suitcase and had stormed off after yet another argument about Pete Tyler, money and missed opportunities, that of her becoming Pete's second wife and having a comfortable lifestyle.

How could she take the other Jackie Tyler's place?  She had heard about the woman from Rose and had been appalled at the woman's treatment of Rose and of Pete but it didn't make any difference, how could she take her place and be regarded with the same distaste everyone had felt for her?  No amount of explaining could ever cover up the fact she had somehow returned a changed person.  As for Rose, well that was going to take some getting over, six months pregnant with the Doctor's child.  He'd never get to know, never get to take responsibility for it and she would never get to slap the alien silly and insist he looked after her daughter.

Jackie looked out of the window of the two bedroomed apartment above the hairdressing salon Pete had set her up in, Rose had been her assistant until she could no longer bend over the basins to wash customer's hair and she'd had to take on another trainee, Sandra in her place.   She'd had to accept his help in some respects, they had arrived without a penny or whatever she'd thought at the time was the currency here and it had partly been his fault and he could afford it but Rose had explained they'd had very little choice but to accept it.  That was easy for Rose to say.

Rose had just left, after yet another argument that her mother should never have sent Pete and Mickey after her, she should have left her with the Doctor then the baby, whatever she was having as she refused to find out, would have known him.  She'd had every confidence he would have let go of his own clamp and dived after her before she either collided with the wall or been sucked into the void and after six months of falling out with her mother, even that was preferable to being without him but once she'd discover she was pregnant, her attitude had changed somewhat.  They had been there five weeks when she found out and there was no Mickey, he'd also got left behind as before he'd had chance to re-activate his own device, it had stopped working.

Now she had something to remember the Doctor by, something to remember that one night they'd had before landing behind the Powell Estate and finding her mother had gone loopy and talking about her father coming to visit when he'd been dead over ten years.  She also remembered the look on the Doctor's face as one of the 'ghosts' walked right through him.  Sitting on the tube after getting the bus three stops and carting her suitcase and shoulder bag plus her handbag, the man getting off behind her had lifted it off the luggage rack for her and given her a smile, the underground train was approaching Victoria coach station.

Where she was going, she had no idea.  She was grateful her mother had accepted some compensation for getting dragged here and Pete had offered them both a generous monthly allowance, paid by Vitex into the accounts he'd set up for them and he'd bought Jackie a well established hairdressing salon with living accommodation above.  They'd had no further contact with him though after Rose had met him and Jake Simmonds to get their ID from him, passports, driving licences and everything else they needed to become members of a new society.  She only vaguely remembered Jake from their first visit.  Pete had said he figured he owed them at least that much and for Rose trying to save his first wife.

She thought her mother's main problem was being thrown seven years into the future, who wouldn't have had a problem with that?  How had that happened?  Hardly any time had passed for them before it all kicked off, well not that she had noticed anyway, the Doctor always tried to take her home in some sort of order, well with a few exceptions.  They had arrived in October last year and now it was March 2014.  Her stop was announced so she wheeled her case to the door, not expecting any help this time but at least there was no step.

So opting to get the lift rather than face the endless steps of the escalator and spying a woman getting ready to step in with a toddler in a pushchair, she smiled at the woman and got in after her.  She had a bit of a shock when she found herself in the coach station.  She had been vaguely aware a trial had been going on somewhere on the south coast, a man had just walked free after being accused of killing a young boy and the town was in outrage but there it was on the morning chat show.

She turned away from the screen only to see another smaller screen with the name 'Broadchurch' and some pictures of golden cliffs, the commentator was relaying the events of what had happened but Rose wasn't really interested in what had gone on before their arrival in this alternate world they'd been brought to.  Still, the place had looked nice when they had showed the harbour area, the catering stalls and the cliffs and Broadchurch seemed as good a destination as any since she'd no idea where she was going.

She wheeled her case to the ticket office, got her debit card out and asked for a one way ticket to Broadchurch, missing the next part of the feature on Broadchurch – a brief interview with DI Alec Hardy, who had just about been ready to leave but had second thoughts before he'd handed in the key to his riverside chalet.  Two days after travelling to see his daughter again, he had just returned to discover Ellie Miller was redecorating her old family home and Tom had finally moved back.

What Rose thought she was going to do when she got there was anyone's guess.  She figured she would locate a B&B and sort herself out and try and forget the row she'd just had with her mother which had caused her to pack and leave.  She just had time to grab a bite to eat, pay a visit to the restroom which was a bit awkward with a case but no way was she leaving it outside the cubicle and make her way to the departure point.  The driver put her case in the cargo hold but Rose couldn't manage the steep step since the coach door was away from where it was supposed to be, to help passengers get on and off and she had to wait for the driver coming back.

She closed her eyes once the coach set off and before she knew it, the driver was announcing the next stop was Broadchurch.  Alighting the coach was no easier but someone helped her down and she went to retrieve her case, sitting in the bus shelter after the coach departed and getting out her phone to find somewhere to stay for the night.

Alec Hardy had just had a meeting with his old CS – Elaine Jenkinson.

"So you want to come back then Alec?  I heard you weren't so successful at teaching new recruits, what happened there?"

"Do you really need to ask?  I had a trial to concentrate on then I got dragged into Sandbrook again."

"You're very lucky I don't kick you out for good for that stunt you and Ellie Miller pulled but since DS Henchard arranged to use the station for the interviews and she's since got a conviction out of it and found the missing girl, I'll overlook it and not reprimand you and DS Miller over it.  You may want to thank your ex wife Alec."

"Yes, I'll be sure to do that.  When can I see the CMO and get cleared to come back?"

"You got yourself fixed then?"

"I saw the error of my ways and I was not going to let Ashworth walk away again.  I surprised myself getting through it, I thought Sandbrook would be the death of me.  So what about it and if I get back, can you clear the way to getting Miller sent back?"

"That may take some doing Alec but we've not replaced either of you permanently yet, just someone filling in as acting DI and doing both jobs, it's been quiet over the winter months.  Very well, come back on Thursday morning and see what he says and I'll see the chief constable about it but I doubt he'll object now we are back within our budget again.  You still have a place to stay?"

"Yes, I'm still renting somewhere, can you arrange for me to keep it for now?  The owner may put the rent up soon."

"I'll get personnel on to it.  When you've see the CMO, come back and see me and try and stay out of trouble for two more days?"

Alec smiled inwardly, he felt better in himself and going back to work near Sandbrook would never seem right, despite him trying to make up with Daisy, Tess had made it clear she would never take him back and did he want her, now she had been with Dave?  He didn't care if the town was ready to have him back or not, they would get over the defence's accusations he and Miller had been having an affair.  Where they'd got that from, he'd no idea but it was never going to happen, it was unbelievable yet the jury had been swayed by it probably because it was juicy gossip and another town.

He walked out of the station and down the steps where a few days ago, he and Miller had been sitting debating the finer points of trapping Claire into giving up Ashworth and he'd gone off to catch the man in the act of tearing up Claire's old cottage to find the missing pendant.  He walked along the harbour road, seeing his chalet and thinking it was a good thing he'd kept the key but now though it seemed empty after everything from the case had been sent up to Tess.

He wouldn't however miss Miller using his wall as an incident board, finding her son in his bed and her drinking all his tea and making toast.  He also wouldn't miss pushing the boy along in his stroller, mainly for support at the time and thankfully the funfair had departed.  He crossed over the road bridge and was about to turn at the side of the catering stalls when he glanced over at the new office of the newspaper, hoping Stevens wouldn't spot him, it had been bad enough he'd been caught by a film crew doing a piece on the sorry outcome of the trial and had cornered him just before he left the other day.

Looking around, he saw the bus shelter, which was usually empty and spotted a young woman there, looking at her phone then suddenly looking like she was about to throw it away as she looked angry.  She also looked like she was about six months pregnant and he really should know better than to get involved but she was shaking her head and burying her head in her hands.

Against his better judgement, he crossed over and came level with the bus shelter, which was at the edge of the green.

"Are you ok Miss?"

"What?" she asked, turning to see where the Scottish accent was coming from.  She wasn't quite prepared for what she saw but kept herself in check.

"I'm fine thanks, just leave me be."

"How long are you planning on staying there?  Are you leaving or arriving?"

"I've been here about half an hour, is it against the town's bye-laws to sit in bus shelter then?"

"Maybe, I will have to brush up on them but you can't stay there, do you have somewhere to go?  You need to find somewhere, if you have nowhere planned."

Alec noticed she was wearing a black wool coat, ankle boots and black trousers and could see a purple sweater under the coat.  It wasn't really that cold for mid-March but her being pregnant, she may feel the cold more he supposed. 

"Where's the tourist office then?  My phone's about to give out on me, I've been looking while I was on my way here."

Alec was about to retort that maybe if she hadn't been 'updating' her social status on the networking sites, the battery may have lasted longer.  What people saw in telling the world every time they did the most trivial thing, he had no idea and in the hands of Olly Stevens, well, he'd had first hand experience of that and had no desire to join in.

"It was up in the town but it moved I believe, try the newspaper office just behind you, they may have some ads in the latest edition.  Are you here on holiday?"

"Depends, I may stay here, if I can find somewhere to live and it depends if I can get my benefits transferred."

She had no intentions of telling this stranger her business or the fact she wasn't exactly short of money.  Her only benefit was the maternity allowance she had just started to claim, she couldn't get Pete Tyler to help with that.  Alec stood his ground, just what the town needed, an unmarried mother on the social register, were they even allowed to move to the coast like that?

"Do you need some help with your case Miss?"

"It's Tyler, Rose Tyler and before you ask, no, I'm not related to the Vitex chairman, worse luck.  I wish I were."

She was going to add that was her mother's fault but thought maybe not, it would take too much explaining.

"Alec Hardy, I was the DI around here but I'm on medical leave."

Alec went for the handle of her case, seeing she wasn't objecting as she got up.  So, he'd take her to the newspaper office, leave her with Miller's sister and go home, right?  Wrong.  Walking around the green as there was a wall around that part of it, he led her towards the newspaper office, passing the entrance to the footbridge to his chalet.  Could he really leave her there?  Maybe he should stick around, she may need help getting to wherever she found.  Why was it even bothering him?

Lucy Stevens was putting her coat on, Maggie had not yet sorted the heating out.  When she saw Alec, with a blonde pregnant woman walking towards the door, she stopped.  She'd told her sister she sort of fancied the troubled detective but she thought he'd left town.  Maybe he'd gone to collect the blonde and the defence's suggestion he and her sister had been having an affair was totally out of the question, if he'd been hiding this one.

"What can I do for you then?" Lucy asked Alec cheerfully.

"This is Miss Tyler, she's new in town and looking for somewhere to stay.  Do you have any papers she can look at to see if anyone has any room vacancies?"

"Why can't she stay at one of the pubs?"

She was about to ask 'or with you' but saw the look on his face.

"I can't afford their prices," Rose decided to speak for herself.

"Hang on, I'll see if we've got a copy of the last edition somewhere.  So, you decided to hang around then DI Hardy?"

"I would have thought that was obvious?  Your son's not around then?  Is he hassling someone else?"

"How would I know?  I didn't even know he'd brought that barrister's assistant home."

Alec raised his eyebrows.  That was a new one on him, no wonder the defence team had brought up the fact Miller bribed her sister into giving information.  Now he knew why.  Rose was handed a copy of the paper and took a seat by the door.

"You can go now if you want, thanks," she told Alec.

"I'll wait, you don't know your way around, do you?"

Rose was getting more uncomfortable by the minute with his presence.  It was quite unnerving, looking at the twin of the father of your baby.

Chapter 2
Rose was looking though the latest edition of the paper, not having much luck as it was out of season and not many people were advertising, well not in the local paper anyway.  She put it back down on the desk.  She was tired, hungry and in need of taking off her shoes and that wasn't going to happen any time soon at this rate.  All she could do was ask the detective to help her next door into the pub and take a room there for the night until tomorrow but she'd given him the impression she was short of funds.

She would just have to come clean or get rid of him.

"Never mind, thanks anyway.  Can you help me over to the pub detective?

Lucy looked at him.  All the time he'd been in town and he'd never once looked in her direction and now he was a blonde, pregnant at that and getting his attention.

"Good luck," Lucy called after her as Alec took the case handle.

"Are you hungry?"

"Yeah, just a bit, had something but it was hours ago.  I need to use the ladies as well, I went when I got off the coach but the baby's sort of in an awkward place, if you get my drift?"

"I'll take you across to the café, you can use theirs.  Then we'll find you somewhere to stay."

"Shouldn't you be at work?"

"I told you, I'm on medical leave until next week."

"Oh, sorry.  I shouldn't take up any more of your time."

"I had nothing to do and I have to eat.  Come on, it's not far.  So, why Broadchurch then?"

"Why not?  I saw it on TV, it looked nice."

"You heard what happened here, last year?"

"No, what happened?"

"You from Mars or somewhere then?"

"No, parallel Earth, where do you think?"

"Sorry.  A boy was murdered, the killer walked free a few days ago, I was the lead detective on the case."

"Oh, so you're not actually on medical leave then?  Is it their way of kicking you out?"

"No, I just got a pacemaker fitted."

"Sorry, I was joking, about a parallel earth."

"I wasn't joking, I really did have surgery, last week."

They reached the café and Rose headed for the ladies room and Alec went to stow her case in the corner and went to order some tea and sandwiches.

He'd just sat down when Rose came out.

"Better?"

Rose gave him a weak smile.  Over the tea and sandwiches, Rose told him she'd done nothing but fall out with her mother over her current condition and her boyfriend going missing.  She had agreed with her mother that would be the official story, that he'd got caught up when the Cybermen disappeared.  She'd got the details from Pete Tyler and he'd said he would play along with it, that the Doctor, or John Smith as she was going to refer to him as, had been part of a team to follow the silver menaces as they'd broken out of the factories slowly and made their way off the planet, to an unknown destination.

They just weren't going to let on how long it had taken, seven years, the new Torchwood had put a lockdown on any information after Pete took over the abandoned building.  He told her he'd estimated it had taken three years for them to make their plans and four years almost to transport all five million or so of them.  That was also how the disappearance of Mickey or 'Ricky' was also going to be explained.  Rose thought she would have been able to cope a whole lot better had Mickey still been around but no, he had to follow Pete Tyler and hesitate and get himself stuck there and Pete had to give in to whom he probably hoped was going to replace his wife.

"I was a bit out of it Alec, I know it didn't affect the rest of the population but it affected me.  Then he'd been gone a few weeks before I discovered it."  She pointed to her baby bump.

"So why did he volunteer to go?"

"I wish I knew, I begged him not to but he wanted to get into Torchwood, Pete Tyler had just taken control after getting the president's go ahead.  John never came back and neither did my other friend, Pete wouldn't tell me anything when I confronted him, me and mum fell out, she was beginning to fancy Pete."

She hated lying to him but he wouldn't be around long enough to make anything of it.  If he was, he'd just have to accept she was protecting herself.  Alec looked at her, she was young, yet she was being very grown up.

"Listen Rose, I have a spare room, it's yours, if you want it, just until you get sorted.  You can trust me, can't you?"

"I suppose so, even if you aren't on active duty.  It will be a bit pricey at the pub I expect.  I can start looking again tomorrow."

"Let me help you Rose?  I've spent the last six months doing practically nothing but teach recruits and solve an old case.  I need to feel useful again."

"Ok, just tonight then."

"Good, I'm glad you're being sensible.  Tomorrow, I'll call my friend, she can come over and help you find somewhere, she may have a spare room herself.  She's just redecorating but her loft might be free."

"Yeah, great idea genius, two flights of stairs, in my condition?"

"Well maybe she can persuade her son to let you have his room and he can have the loft.  You can repay her by looking after her youngest when he's not at the childminder's."

"It will give me some experience then.  Thanks Alec."

He led her across the car park and back towards the bus shelter and to the gap in the wall.  Rose stood as he was about to cross.

"Seriously?  You live by the river?"

"Not you as well?  What is it with people who criticise where I choose to live?"  At least four people had questioned his living arrangements.

Rose saw he looked serious.  "Sorry, lead the way, it's up to you where you live."

"Thank you, at least you apologised I suppose."

Once inside, for some strange reason, she was reminded of the Tardis that had been her second home.  He led her to the back bedroom with a single bed, just enough room to get through.

"It's not much Rose but it's clean and dry.  My ex stayed here when she brought me home from the hospital.  Just unpack what you need and I'll show you where the bathroom is."

"Yeah, hope it's not far, I tend to need it a lot these days," she managed to smile.

"I know the room's small but it's free."

"Sorry, I'm not complaining am I?"

"You may not have said anything."

He put the case where she could get to it and left her.  Rose sat on the bed and debated what to tell him.  She should at least tell him she wasn't that short of money, he could think she was taking advantage of his generosity and he'd tell her to leave in the morning.  He was a police detective, she just had to trust him.  She got what she needed out of the case and left it on the bed, hoping he'd come and move it off.

"Rose," he called from the doorway.  "I need to go get groceries, I'm just going to the mini-market.  Do you need anything?"

"No, I'm good thanks.  Can you get decaff tea?"

"Seriously?"

"It's better for me and it wouldn't do you any harm either."

"I don't know what you mean, I've calmed down a lot over the last few days.  You should have known me before."

"Really?  Bit of a grump were you?"

"For someone offered a free night's accommodation, you are risking it."

Rose stuck her tongue out of the side of her mouth, something she used to do to the Doctor.

"Sorry, I'm just tired.  Just get whatever tea you want but normal tea means more calls of nature."

"I'll try and get some, I could go to the other shop I suppose and I'll get something for dinner later.  I'm not much of a cook, I've had to be careful what I ate over the past few years, it will take some getting used to, being able to eat normally again.  My friend got tired of me offering her salad all the time."

Rose smiled.  "I bet she did and thanks Alec, I'm not normally so disagreeable, you didn't have to help me."

"It's nothing, really.  It will be nice to have company not called Miller, the last few weeks she's been helping me with an old case, she was my former DS."

"Did you solve it, your old case?"

"Yes but at a cost, you would never have heard about it, it did not happen here."

Rose approached him but he backed off, he knew he couldn't afford to get involved with her, she would probably give up and go back to where she came from, especially if she was refused any benefits.

"Why don't you have a lie down and I'll go to the shop, I'll take the key and if anyone knocks on the door, just ignore them, it will only be my friend but she doesn't know I'm back yet."

"Have you been somewhere?"

"I left, over the weekend to see my teenage daughter but it didn't work out how I imagined so I came back."

Rose smiled and sat on the bed after he moved the case for her.  Alec went off to walk around to the mini-market and Rose laid back on the bed.  She thought about calling her mother but what was the point?  She would just talk her into going back but it had gone too far this time, her mother had wanted her to give the baby up for adoption but how could she?  The baby was all she had left to remember the Doctor by and besides, there could be some Timelord tendencies for all she knew, she'd have to be very careful.  That was the reason she'd not wanted to find out what she was having, in case they went into too many details, she was also due for another scan.

Before she knew it, Alec as trying to wake her.  It was after six and he was trying to cook a simple meal he'd got from the store.

"Wake up Rose, dinner is almost ready."

"HI, did I sleep for long?"

"No matter, you looked like you needed it.  I've been thinking, about getting a room with my friend, I've called her and she'll come around in the morning, I've told her about you."

"I dread to think what she makes of me."

"Rubbish, she felt sorry for you because I was the one to find you, she said I should have taken you directly to her house but I pointed out the smell of paint would do you no good."

"You told her I was pregnant?"

"Come on Rose, I had to, she'll find out in the morning, you can hardly hide the fact, can you?"

"I suppose not, sorry.  So if she agrees, I can't move in yet?"

"She will finish in a few days I expect, you should be able to move in by the weekend, she's taking time off.  Tell you what, you could look after her youngest for a few hours and let her get on with it."

"Where do you suggest I do that?"

"She can leave him here, I used to watch him for her, we can go for a walk around the seafront."

Rose held her hand out for him to help her up.  "Won't everyone get the wrong idea?" she smiled.

"No, everyone knows me so take that smirk off your face."

After he managed to make a reasonable meal, he let Rose put her feet up on the sofa, put the radio on and he found a book to read, Rose playing with her phone she'd got him to recharge for her.

"So, what did your friend say then?" she asked.

"Told me off for not letting her know I'd come back for one, then she said I was a fine one to be taking in someone in your state to a riverside chalet and she hoped I'd tidied up properly."

That wasn't quite how the short conversation had gone as he recalled.  While Rose had still been asleep earlier, he'd put the few groceries away, followed the instructions on the meal for two he'd got from the frozen section of the mini-market, that was overpriced he'd thought and had managed to note the time he needed to put the prepared vegetables into the microwave.  Then he called maybe his only friend in town, well maybe now he had a new one.

"Hardy, where are you?" Ellie Miller had asked as her son Fred wanted to help with the painting of his room.  She knew he couldn't sleep there tonight now, it would still smell.

"Back in my chalet, what do you care?  Listen I need a huge favour."

"Whatever it is, I'm not doing it, geez Hardy, you're a pain in the you know where.  I had enough with Sandbrook, what case have you dug up now?"

"None, it's not a case.  You should call Jenkinson by the way, get your old job back."

"Why would I want to do a stupid thing like that?  I'm not ready to come back."

"Yes you are and you know it Miller, I go back on reduced hours from next week, I see the CMO on Thursday."

"Isn't that a bit soon?"

"No and if I get back, I requested she gets you back as well."

"Why would you want to do a stupid thing like that Hardy?"

"I'd say it was because I missed you but we both know that's a lie.  Have you made up with Beth Latimer?"

"Yeah, we're good, we threw Joe out of town."

"A bit 'wild west'?"

"But necessary, he won't be back, Mark and Nigel threatened him and I wasn't there as a police officer.  What did you want, just to have a dig at me?"

"No, I need you to do something.  Have you sorted your loft?"

"No Hardy, you are not coming to live with me, not now, not ever and I don't care how close we got during the trial or what the defence suggested, that is never going to happen."

"Let me finish first Miller will you?  I sort of took someone in."

"What?  What is it with you, you prat?  Wasn't hiding Claire enough for you?  Go on, what have you done now?"

"I found this young woman, sitting in the bus shelter by the square, she was about to burst into tears, she was trying to find a place to stay but she was tired so when we'd looked in the paper, I brought her back here."

"You did what?  After what the defence accused us of and you walk around with someone?  Did anyone see you?"

"Yes, your sister."

The line went quiet.

"No Hardy, whatever it is, you got yourself into this, I'm not baling you out this time, I had enough with Claire.  Anyway, I may have something to tell you."

"Tom moved back?"

"Yeah but it's something else but it may be nothing."

"You discovered your husband didn't actually kill Danny?"

"No, never mind me.  So, what did you expect me to do about you picking up a woman?  She'd not one of those is she?"

"Get your mind out of the gutter Miller.  She needed help, I offered her my spare room for the night but that's not it."

"It wouldn't be, would it? knowing you.  I hope you're going to send her on her way in the morning?"

"I was going to but then I thought maybe she could have your loft, if you've cleared it out and she could look after wee Fred."

"I'm getting a minder sorted and I've dumped everything into the loft while we finish decorating so no, I can't take a lodger and how would she pay me?  Don't say you're going to pay for her to stay here?"

"No, I didn't say that.  She needs help Miller, she's about six months pregnant."

"What?  Are you completely off your head?  Send her back where she came from."

"I can't, she fell out with her mother.  Well if you won't help her, she'll have to stay here for now, I can't turn her out."

"Ok, I'll come around in the morning, see how she gets on with Fred but if she's six months, he'll be a handful for her."

"I managed."

"Well you weren't six months pregnant, were you?  I'll see you in the morning, I still think you're a knob."

"Thanks Miller."

"Don't thank me just yet, I've still no room for her."

Alec shook his head, he'd found some use for Miller after all.

While Alec was reading his book and recalling his conversation with Ellie, Rose had not been idle, looking up the nearest doctor's practice, health clinic and the social security office, thinking maybe she'd have no luck on that score unless Pete Tyler's 'help' had provided good documents but she'd not worked for some time according to her records so she may be out of that luck.

"I'm tired Alec, I'm off to bed.  I'll be out of the way when your friend's been to visit."

"You found somewhere else that's free?"

"No but there are a few places that have rooms to rent.  I may be able to afford them until I get my benefit sorted."

"Tell me the truth Rose."

"What are you talking about?"

"You have money, you would not have just set off with nothing so come on, tell me."

"Why?  I'll be leaving soon."

"What are you going to do eh?"

"Have my baby in three months.  I'll get by why should it bother you?"

Alec knew he was going to regret this.

"On your own?"

"If I have to, you don't want to get involved with me Alec, I'm complicated."

"I specialize in complicated."

"Yeah?  Got a degree in it have you?" she smiled, doing that thing with her tongue again that used to get the Doctor going.

"Get some sleep, we'll talk in the morning after Miller's visit and decide what we are going to do."

"We?  Do I get a say in things?"

"Yes but you need help and I'm going to personally see you get it."

"So you're gonna take charge then?"

"If I have to.  Look Rose, I was married, I've got a teenage daughter so you being pregnant is nothing new to me."

"You don't know me Alec, why are you doing this?"

"I have my reasons."

He knew he was doing it because he had let Lisa Newberry down, Rose really didn't look that much older but he'd seen her driving licence, she was supposed to be twenty seven and there was no way this was all adding up.
Chapter 3
"So, Rose Tyler, tell me the truth, about where you come from and don't leave anything out."

"You seriously expect to believe what I have to tell you?"

"As long as you don't really come from Mars, that's a bit too much don't you think?"

"Parallel Earth?" Rose offered as Alec made her move her legs and sat next to her, putting them back across his own.

"It's true Alec, think about where the Cybermen just went to?  They didn't fade into oblivion and my boyfriend, he didn't go following them, he was already there, with me and my mum."

"Ok, I'll buy it so far.  Tell me how you got here."

Rose quickly told him how Pete had discovered the Cybermen had been mapping themselves onto her world and they'd appeared there as ghosts, being accepted as everyone's loved ones coming back and how even her mother had been fooled.  She explained she and her boyfriend had been away and had got back in time to see whom her mother had thought was her dead father.  She told him her boyfriend was a brilliant doctor of everything and had worked out where the ghosts were coming from through a device he'd invented and they'd followed the signal to their world's version of Torchwood and a battle had followed.

Then she told him Pete had found out where they had gone and followed them and how she and her mother had been swept up in it all, her mother had been taken away to be turned into one of them while Rose herself had been held in the basement after trying to find where her boyfriend was.  She ended it all by telling him her mother had got a shock when she'd seen Pete Tyler looked like her own dead husband and a battle was raging outside.  Since there was a likelihood out of the two universes his was the safest as they had cut off any means of the Cybermen returning there, he had put a device around their necks before they could argue the point and her boyfriend had stayed to seal their end of the gap the Cybermen had made.

She explained there was a space between the two worlds and their only hope was trapping the Cybermen between them which could only be done from there and that her boyfriend and another friend had stayed to seal it off.  They had been left portable devices to let Rose and her mother know it was safe to return, saying there should have been time to return but it had been miscalculated and Pete had realised the devices no longer worked when her mother had insisted he took them back.

Alec listened, absent-mindedly rubbing Rose's aching feet as he used to do with Tess when she was having Daisy.

"So what happened when you got here then?"

"Pete drove us to his mansion, mum was awestruck, he gave us a room for the night and the next morning, it hit us we were stranded here.  Mum was still in shock she was facing the double of her dead husband, with the same name but he let us stay with him while he made arrangements for us to settle here.  He gave us everything we needed including setting my mum up with her own hairdressing business and he gives me an allowance every month when I found out I was pregnant and wouldn't be able to work for long.  Sorry about letting you think I had no money Alec but what was I supposed to do?"

"Never mind that Rose, so Pete Tyler is in charge of Torchwood?  I thought it had been destroyed?"

"There was a lot going on and once we left, I didn't take much notice, he may have got it back together again."

"I heard rumours it was starting up again, it's all been hushed up after the organisation let the Cybermen escape but that was seven years ago since they were let loose and rounded up, why did it take so long for them to escape?"

"The plotting and the number of them all took time, imagine making five million phone calls then organise them," she smiled.

Alec saw her point.  "Wouldn't like to have their phone bill then.  As far as I know, the last of them got away around six months ago, that's when you arrived.  Did you know you were pregnant when you got here?"

"No, I found out just before we left Pete's house, he sends me money from Vitex every month, he put me down on their payroll to make it legitimate.  He thought my mother was going to take to him but she couldn't get past it all.  Then yesterday morning, we had a big row and I left, she wanted me to give up the baby."

"I take it you wanted nothing to do with that then?"

"What do you think?  Sorry Alec, I never meant for you to get involved in my problems."

"Is that it then?"

Is wasn't but at present that was all she was willing to tell him.

"Pretty much, you don't want all the boring details like I didn't want to know what I was having the last time I went for a scan.  I'm due another one, I'll have to get myself booked in at a health centre, I've been looking them up but to do that, I need an address."

"Look Rose, I get you were just trying to protect yourself and I'm not mad with you for misleading me.  I know you could have afforded to go stay at the pub but that's not the point, your money would soon run out if you did.  You can stay here for now though I may not be here much longer, once the rate goes up the police won't pay, I'll have to find somewhere else so until then, you are more than welcome."

"Thanks Alec but I don't want to be a nuisance."

"You're not so forget it.  Go get some rest, we'll talk in the morning when my friend comes around and I won't pass you on to her unless you want.  She can drop her youngest off for a while if she wants but I'm going back to work next week, hopefully anyway.  Let me up then."

Rose let him move her legs and she held her hand out for him to help her up.

"Thanks Alec, you didn't have to do this."

"Don't make a fuss of it, I'll see you in the morning then."

He leaned down and kissed her cheek.

"Goodnight Alec, can I ask you something?"

"Sure."

"You said you had a teenage daughter, what happened?"

"She's with her mum, a case went wrong and I got ill.  It's all over now, the case got sorted and the culprits got locked up, Miller was helping me."

"So she's just a friend?"

"Yes, despite the defence in the trial of her husband trying to suggest otherwise."

"You must tell me more then, that sounds interesting," Rose smiled, hanging onto him while she tried to slip her shoes on but gave up.

"I told you, it was just the defence.  It was Miller's husband who killed the boy, Danny last July."  Alec bent down to pick up her shoes and handed them to her.

"I must have missed all that, I never heard any of it, it was the end of September when we arrived here, the funny thing was and what my mother couldn't get over was seven years had gone in those few seconds it took to get here."

"I can imagine it was a shock to both of you, then you finding out you were pregnant on top of that."

"Yeah but it was no excuse for my mum to throw it all away then try to talk me into giving up the baby, it's all I have of my boyfriend and our old life."

"Do you think the gap will ever open up again?"

"I don't know, maybe Pete will find a way without letting the Cybermen loose again but what then?"

"Your boyfriend could get here and you could go back, maybe no time will have passed in your own world?"

"That's a long way off Alec, I know you're only trying to make me feel better though."

Rose was more tired than she'd thought and was woken the next morning by Alec bringing her a cup of tea after he'd tapped on the door and go no answer.

"Hey come on Rose, wake up."

"Sorry, thanks," she managed, trying not to move so fast.

"Need some help?"

Rose had to agree to let him help her, how was she going to manage on her own she didn't know but she supposed other women did.  After he left her to go make breakfast, Rose unpacked her other belongings and joined him in the kitchen.  They had just finished when Ellie knocked on the door, her youngest sitting in the pushchair.

The young boy went straight to Alec as Ellie got him out.  "Hardee!" Fred called out, waiting for Alec to pick him up.  Rose smiled.

Ellie Miller had still been trying to get over Hardy befriending a young pregnant woman whom he'd found in the bus shelter late yesterday afternoon but as she looked at Rose, she instantly knew why.

"Hi, you must be Rose, I'm Ellie.  What are you doing with him then?  Fred, get down, uncle Alec shouldn't be lifting you yet."

"I'm fine Miller, don't fuss.  So have you come to help or criticise?"

"Both.  Take no notice of him Rose, he's always such a grump, isn't he Fred?"

The boy struggled to get out of Alec's grip and went to stand in front of Rose.

"Hello there, so is uncle Alec a grump?"

The boy nodded.  They talked a while and Ellie agreed to make friends with Rose and she apologised for not being able to offer Rose a room.

"It's ok Ellie, thanks.  Alec offered to let me stay here for a while but I'd be happy to watch Fred for you if you need to.  Are you going back to work here then?"

"I've got a meeting with the chief tomorrow, someone has to keep him in line.  I hope you're fit to go back to work?"

"I will be.  So, can you take Rose up to the health centre and get her registered then?"

"Yeah, you can watch Fred for a while and we get her sorted.  What about benefits Rose?"

"Oh, I don't think I'm entitled to anything, I worked for my mum, she's a hairdresser."

"Rubbish, you'll get something and you'll get an allowance for baby stuff, you may as well claim it."

Rose had no idea how this world's social security worked, she'd never gone into it and supposed it would be totally different.

Then Ellie asked the ultimate question.  How they were going to explain Rose living with Alec.

"So no-one else here knows about you, why you came here?"

"No, I should call my mum I suppose and let her know I'm ok."

"I wouldn't worry too much Rose, lots of mothers and daughters fall out but you losing your boyfriend like that, it can't have been easy."

She had told Ellie the same story she'd tried to tell Alec and she hoped she wouldn't have to tell her the rest.  Alec though was the one to suggest how they explained she was staying with him, just as long as his ex wife didn't find out until he could explain it to her.

"That has to be the worse thing you've come out with Hardy," Ellie scoffed at his suggestion that after the Latimer case had concluded, he'd met Rose and they had spent the weekend together in nearby Weymouth and she'd just arrived in town having seen him on the news when the Sandbrook fiasco had been put to rest finally.

"Hey, I think it's a good idea," Alec defended himself, looking at Rose, who was just rolling her eyes.

"Can I say something?" Rose interrupted.

"Go ahead, it can't be any worse than his idea, who's going to believe that?" Ellie asked.

"Do you not think I can get a girlfriend and get her pregnant Miller?"

"I don't even want to know thanks and how do you explain she just found you after six months?"

"Well I would not be going around bragging I met a woman and spent the weekend with her and never saw her again, would I?"

"I suppose not.  What were you going to say Rose?"

"Oh, I do get a say in it then?  As stupid ideas go, can you think of a better one Ellie?" Rose asked.

"Thank you Rose, at least it's a feasible excuse, it would explain her not being around but I don't want Tess finding out, I went back to see Daisy and asked her if she wanted to get back together again."

"After what she did?" Ellie asked.

"Well it was partly my fault I suppose but the reason I came back was because I arranged a meeting and she turned up with Dave, can you believe it?"

"Having met her?  Yes, probably though I thought she would be pleased you handed it all over to her.  You'll have to go up there if it comes to a trial."

"I've had enough of trials but at least if I get accused of having an affair I've had some practise on that.  I just hope Claire won't try anything stupid like suggest I tried to get her to turn her husband in so I could move in on her."

Ellie was the one to roll her eyes.  "I thought that when I first met her, well you were hiding her so hiding Rose won't do you any good, maybe you should just be up front and admit it."

"Miller, that's not what really happened, tell her Rose."

Rose was suppressing a giggle.

"I should let you squirm but no Ellie, what I told you is true, I really am running away from my mother, even though I'm old enough to make my own decisions, I'm scared she'll get me to change my mind and give up the baby and I can't do that.  I'm going to keep it and I don't care what it takes.  I have some savings, I'll manage for now."

"You'll get help Rose but if you tell them your boyfriend is a police detective, you'll only get the minimum."

"I wouldn't have got much more if I'd stayed at home Ellie.  Shall we set off now, your son will be ok here won't he?"

"No matter Rose, I may as well come with you, get it over with if we are going to pass you off as my girlfriend.  Thanks for coming down Miller but I'll take care of Rose."

"Are you sure you're telling the truth Rose?" Ellie mused.

"Stop it Miller but you can give us a lift up into town to the health centre."

"There are other doctor's offices around you know?"

"Yes but that's the easiest one for Rose to get to her appointments and they can book her into hospital, will she get into the local one?"

"I expect so but it's only a small unit.  Are you going to stay here?"

"No, not much longer, I'll help Rose find somewhere first, I'm sure she won't want to keep sharing with me, she'll need her own space."

"Won't that look a bit odd?" Ellie queried.

"We can have a big row then, Tess said I'm good at that."

Rose was a bit confused, was he just saying that to Ellie or did he mean it?  Still, they'd only just met and he'd said she could stay there for the time being but it didn't mean he wanted her to stay with him on a permanent basis, he had his own life to lead and maybe he'd want a girlfriend for real.  He certainly wouldn't want one who was six months pregnant and it wasn't his baby.

They got into Ellie's car, Alec helping Rose in the back and Ellie dropped them at the health centre.  Rose went to get a form to fill in, being told she'd need to wait and see the nurse for a check-up so Alec decided he may as well register as well.

"So you never bothered before then?" Rose asked as she was at a bit of a loss what to put down on several of the questions.

Pete had provided the name of a practice in London where he'd registered them both but she was hoping it would hold up if her records were to be sent for.  Alec cheated by putting his friend in Sandbrook who had been covering for him.  He got up to hand the forms in and once seated, Rose put her arm through his and whispered to him.

"Better make it look good I suppose, do you know many people in town?"

"Not personally but I was in charge of a major murder investigation, everyone knows me but don't worry too much, remember, you just came to find me yesterday, it will save a lot of explanations we hardly know much about each other." 

They were called in individually and Rose went in first, being told she was in good health and being thankful the background radiation wasn't showing up or had proved harmful to the baby.  Once Alec had finished, complaining he'd have to go through the same again when he saw the CMO, they went in search of the benefits office and on finding it packed out and the next ticket number was fifty behind the current number being called, Alec pulled her back outside.

"Don't bother yet Rose, do it online or call them, you can't sit there all that time, there were only two counters open, you could be in there for hours.  We’ll get the number and you can call them since I've no internet at home."

"That could cost me Alec, I'm not on a contract phone."

"Well I am, you can use mine.  Come on, we'll go get a few groceries then I'm going to see about hiring a car since I'm staying or maybe I'll just wait and get one from the station.  Are you ok to go around the supermarket?"

"Yeah, I can manage or are you trying to hide me?"

"Nothing of the sort, people can either accept it or not, I don't really care."

They got a taxi to the supermarket and Alec thought he'd got away with it until he saw Beth Latimer fussing over her new baby on the way out.

"Oh, hello, thought you'd left town?"

"No, I came back on Monday.  Oh, this is Rose."

"Hi, I'm Beth, nice to meet you Rose, how long have you to go?"

"Another three months, it seems endless.  What's her name?" Rose asked Beth, wishing she could bend down to touch the baby.

"Lizzie, after my mum.  I've not seen you around town, have you just got here?"

Beth looked at Alec as if to ask where he had got her from and what he was doing with her.

"Just arrived yesterday, took me a while to find him."  Rose thought if he'd come up with the idea, she was going to contribute towards it, he wasn't getting it all his own way.

"Oh, you already knew each other then?"

"Come on Rose, Mrs Latimer doesn't want to be bothered with our problems."

Beth looked rather disappointed.

"Come round for coffee sometime Rose, he'll give you my address.  Have you met Ellie yet?"

"Yeah, earlier, he introduced us."

"So you're staying then?  Both of you?"

"Yes, I'm going back to work next week, Rose was lucky I was still here when she came to find me."

"You must tell me more Rose."

Rose saw the look on his face, Alec wondering what she would come out with so between them, they were going to have to go through the finer details so they didn't trip themselves up continually.
Chapter 4
Once back in the chalet after having lunch in the supermarket café, Alec put the groceries away while Rose sat with her feet up on the sofa.

"You didn't seem to want to tell Beth much, considering you weren't going to hide me Alec."

"We have to establish a few details, I'm out of practise with having a girlfriend," he called from the kitchen as he made some tea.

"Yeah, well let's not make it too complicated shall we?  Like you said, we can just say after you finished the murder investigation, we met in Weymouth, at a bar or something, we hooked up and we spent two nights together but you never gave me many details.  I'll say I went home and didn't know where to find you and decided to go ahead and have the baby anyway, then I saw you on the TV a few days ago when the trial was over and decided you should know but I didn't know how you were going to take the news."

"That could work I suppose.  Just don't say anything without telling me.  Like I was saying earlier, it will explain why we don't know much about each other.  Tomorrow, just take it easy, I'm going to see if I can get to see the CMO early and make sure I'm allowed to drive then I'll get a car.  Did they tell you which hospital you'd be booked into?"

"No, I'll get an appointment sent, I hope you got the address right Alec."

"Very amusing Rose, I've been here for six months, they found my address to keep reminding me to go get my pacemaker fitted."

"How long did it take, to make you change your mind?"

"Almost too long, I kept getting worse, I passed out on the decking while Miller was here."

"Crikey Alec, you let it get that bad?"

Alec put the mugs on the coffee table and moved her legs, taking her shoes off and making her smile as he began to rub her feet.  She wondered if that was for her benefit or his.

"It's over Rose, that part of my life is gone and I was under the illusion I could get my ex wife back now I was no longer disagreeable but she threw it in my face.  It was never about me being too engrossed in that case, it was always about her and what she wanted.  They had an affair right under my nose, how did she make me think she'd come back to me?"

"I'm sorry Alec, at least you tried.  I'll never get him back, unless Pete can ever get those devices working without endangering everyone again and he won't do that, not even if it means they can cross dimensions but what then Alec?  I have other things to tell you but I'm not ready yet."

"It's fine Rose, tell me when you're ready eh?  Am I being too forward, rubbing your feet?"

"No, it's nice, thanks."

He leaned forward to hand Rose her drink but she caught his arm and pulling him close, touched his cheek and kissed it.

"You're a good man Alec and I'm glad it was you who found me in that bus shelter."

"So am I Rose, I dread to think if it was Miller who'd found you."

Rose smiled.  "Why don't you call her Ellie?"

"I've only called her that twice and she got mad at me both times, I learned my lesson.  I took her job when I came here."

"Ouch, that must have annoyed her."

"Aye, she's never really forgiven me for that but we got through the trial together, she even helped me with that old case and if you were wondering who Claire is, she was the wife of the main suspect, I was protecting her from him but she messed me about and it turned out she was just as guilty as he was in the end and no, we weren't involved."

"Never said anything did I?  What was that about an affair though?"

"The defence in Miller's husband's trial tried to insinuate we were colluding to put him away because we were having an affair.  You saw us together Rose, would you have believed it was true?"

Rose smiled as Alec never attempted to move, leaning with one hand on the back of the sofa.

"No, I guess not but I didn't want to assume anything and I didn't want to get in the way."

"Rose, you are not in the way, in fact, you pretending to be my girlfriend could disprove that theory, it was a shame you never came along before now, the defence would have had to eat their words.  They were just inventing it all, they were losing and were trying to discredit us.  Now drink your tea."

"If I do, you'll just have to let me up."

"Don't worry, I've been through it all before, it's nothing new to me."

Rose touched his cheek again.  "Ever think about getting rid of some of that Alec?"

"No, why?"

"Nothing.  It makes you look older."

"I was hiding the fact I was ill."

"You've no excuse now."

"Yes I have, I still have no-one to impress," he smiled, touching her cheek.  "Anyway, talking about looking older Rose, you gained seven years somehow so come on, tell me how old you really are."

"Old enough to have had a boyfriend and got pregnant."

Rose let go and tried to move back.

"That's no answer Rose, I saw your driving licence, it came out of your purse when I was moving it."

"You were checking on me?  Should I be worried about you?"

"You've nothing to fear from me Rose, I'm the one who is trying to help you here.  I could have let you go this morning instead of offering you my spare room you know."

"Yeah, I'm sorry Alec, you should have.  You really don't want to know how old I was when I came here, my mum's so annoyed about being older."

"So she didn't take kindly to the fact she looked like Pete Tyler's first wife then?"

"Not exactly.  Pass me my drink and I'll tell you."

Alec was about to pass the mug but he kissed her cheek.  He knew she was far too young yet he was attracted to her.  He'd more than likely have to arrest himself at this rate when she did eventually tell him.  Before either of them knew it, Rose had reached her arms around him and was leaning on his shoulder as he was kissing her neck, which turned into him trying to avoid crushing her by moving one hand behind her on the sofa arm, causing him to start by kissing her cheek then suddenly, she moved and they looked at each other.

"Sorry, I got carried away," Alec apologised, trying not to look embarrassed and thankful he'd pulled the curtain over on the door in case Ellie was lurking around.

"No Alec, don't be sorry.  It doesn't matter how old I was, officially I'm almost twenty seven in this world and the medical experts at Vitex, who used to work for Torchwood assured me when I crossed over I would age as if I was born here but how it didn't affect the baby is anyone's guess.  Physically, I can pass for the age I'm supposed to be, that's why my mum's so annoyed."

"Yes, well that answers some of my questions I suppose but let's just take this slowly shall we?  Being my pretend girlfriend to actually being it is a big step Rose.  Are you still thinking about your old boyfriend?"

"Yeah, I think about him Alec, sometimes I wake up and I can hear him calling me but it's only because I miss him and want to hear his voice.  While we were staying with Pete, I heard him clearly, it was like a dream but mum convinced me I was just upset.  Then after we moved to live above the shop, I could still hear him.  I was convinced there was still a gap somewhere and somehow, he was actually calling me, telling me to follow the sound of his voice but being three months pregnant at the time and neither me or mum having a car, well I began to question my sanity."

"It's understandable Rose, you were torn from him and your own world, maybe you should have followed his voice eh?"

Rose smiled, kissing his cheek.  "Yeah and have my mum drive me hundreds of miles and for what?  She wouldn't have thanked me, would she?  Then if I'd finally got there, what then?  Stand around and hope I wasn't crazy?  Alec, you need to know something, what I told you last night, there's more but I'll only tell you if it becomes necessary, ok?"

"Then I'm intrigued Rose.  Just as long as you don't tell me your boyfriend was actually from Mars?"

"Not from Mars exactly, maybe 50000 light years or so away."

"Be serious.  I'll go make some fresh tea shall I?"

"Actually, can we go out?  Can we go to one of the catering stalls, I could really fancy a waffle with loads of cream on top and strawberry sauce."

"Get many cravings do you?"

Rose smiled.  "On and off, you'd better get used to it or disown me."

"Just as long as you don't eat pizza with pineapple, it made me sick just looking at it when Tess was having Daisy."

"Yuck, no but I did have a craving for cheese and beetroot sandwiches, I'm over it now though, it's waffles and warm doughnuts."

"I'll try and remember that.  You'll have to keep telling me things Rose, we just got back together again, supposedly.  I have an excuse if I don't know things about you."

He was just about to lean over and attempt to kiss her properly when his phone rang, the display saying 'Miller'.

"Miller, what do you want?"

"You two went shopping together, how sweet!"

"Yes, what of it?  She is supposed to be my girlfriend."

Ellie was going to enjoy this.

"Beth called me, asked if I knew if you had a girlfriend and where you'd met her.  I told her not to ask me, I only found out this morning.  Seems you passed the first hurdle then, the whole town will know soon if she tells Mark."

"Thanks for the warning Miller but that was rather the point of me telling her who Rose was."

"Yeah, well make sure she knows what she's in for, the town likes to gossip especially now, they've stopped talking about me now Beth's speaking to me again.  We were all going to have a barbecue on Sunday if the weather's fine, round at Beth's, she said to invite you and Rose."

"I'll ask her then, is that all?"

It wasn't but maybe Hardy was not the one to talk about her current problem to, especially when he was trying to pass Rose off as a woman he met in a bar in Weymouth and got her pregnant, she should have known better that night Claire found those two blokes and invited them back to her cottage.  Claire probably took precautions but she did no such thing since Joe was locked up.  She could be wrong, it had been almost three weeks and she could be just going through some changes.

"No, don't let me keep you, I'll pop round and see Rose later on in the week, I've got a meeting with the chief in the morning, maybe you can watch Fred for me?"

"I'm bringing my medical forward, I want to know if I can still drive."

"Well you did when you weren't supposed to, my car is still complaining, what the hell did you do to it?  I could hear the gears grinding even when I was in the house."

"Stop complaining Miller, I brought it back didn't I?  Bring wee Fred round before you go, Rose will watch him for you."

He could see Rose was dying to know what they were talking about.  He finished the call and helped Rose put her shoes back on since he'd been the one to take them off and they went out, crossing the footbridge and Alec spotting a stall that sold waffles.  Ordering what Rose wanted, they sat down by the low wall, Rose facing Alec's chalet.

"It looks nice from the outside," she commented.

"Not from the inside?  You should have seen it when Miller had used it as an incident room."

Rose smiled.  They had almost just kissed, not that she thought it would have been a bad thing but was she ready to move on yet?  Alec was right, there was still the matter of the age gap but she'd looked in the mirror that morning and she swore she looked more like the age she was meant to be in this world than when she'd arrived but something Alec had said bothered her.  She'd been here six months, he'd said maybe no time had passed back on her own world, that meant roughly it was one year here to one month back there, barely time for the Doctor to have missed her or find a way to get to her.

Maybe she really had heard him calling, it was feasible he would have got back in the Tardis to locate any remaining gaps and at least try to get a message through to her and she'd ignored them, the few times she'd heard what she'd thought was him calling her name, her mother had her believing she'd just wanted to hear him because she was upset when she found out she was carrying his baby.  Had she missed several opportunities to talk to him?  It could have just made her worse but now there was no chance any such gaps remained.

Alec had got up and put the waffle in front of her along with a carton of tea without her noticing.

"Are you still with me Rose?"

"What?  Oh, yeah, sorry.  I was thinking about something you said, about no time passing where I came from."

"That's ok.  Maybe when you've eaten that, we could go for a walk?"

"I'd like that."

Alec watched silently as Rose enjoyed her treat then led her across the harbour road and along the jetty.  He sat her down at the end and asked if she was ok.

"You said you had other things to tell me Rose."

"I do Alec but I'm not so sure you want to hear it though."

He turned to face her, brushing her hair back.

"I asked you earlier, am I rushing things for you?"

"No Alec, I need to move on, I know that and I was thinking back there, maybe I didn't imagine he tried to contact me."

"Then how would he have done that?"

"There would have maybe been a tiny gap still between the two universes, I never told you because you'd think I was crazy."

He touched her cheek gently with his thumb.  "Then tell me, you said he wasn't quite from Mars.  Where exactly did he come from?"

Rose looked around, there was no-one else who had ventured right to the end where they were now sitting.

"He was from another planet Alec, he was a time-traveller and he looked like any normal human male but he could change his appearance.  He looked different when I first met him but he almost died, because he was stopping the creatures who finally fought the Cybermen in my world.  I didn't tell you the truth Alec, we'd been here before, that's how I knew Pete Tyler and how he knew about my mum.  She couldn't accept it all though."

"Right, so your baby, it is all human?"

"Yeah, I wasn't told otherwise when I went for the last scan but I was only three months then, I should have gone before but I put it off, I was scared Alec."

He took hold of her hand and put an arm around her shoulder, kissing her forehead.

"I'm glad you could tell me Rose, it's ok, I'll take care of you now.  Tomorrow, we'll go to the rental agency and look for a bigger place, you can't bring a baby up in that tiny chalet and I'm not going to let you do this on your own.  That's if you want my help?  You can tell me to back off, if you really want to?"

"Alec, I don't know what to say, you don't have to do this."

"I want to Rose, let me take care of you, who else do you have?"

"No-one Alec but what about everyone talking about you?"

"I don't care what others think Rose but I have to tell Tess, before she hears about it from the newspaper.  Miller's nephew is the nosy town's reporter and that woman we met yesterday in the newspaper office was his mother."

"I gathered that but I didn't know about Ellie.  She won't say anything will she?"

"I hope not.  So, no more arguments, I'll take full responsibility for you, if you'll let me?"

Rose managed a nod and leaned into his shoulder, Alec kissing her forehead.

"Right, that's settled and when you get your hospital appointment, I'm coming with you, let everyone talk if they want."

"Why are you doing this Alec?"

"Because I let someone down Rose, I almost let a killer get away because I was too busy chasing the main suspect, I thought he'd killed both those girls but he only killed one, with some help from his wife but Lisa, her uncle killed her out of jealousy and he buried her in a churchyard and left her there for two years.  All that time he was hounding the other suspect for killing his daughter, he was guilty of killing his niece."

"I'm so sorry Alec, I knew nothing about it but you got them yeah?  That's what counts."

Rose looked up and Alec moved slightly, looking into her hazel eyes.

"You are far too young for me, Rose Tyler, woman from another world, do you know that?"

"So what, my last boyfriend was nearly 900 years old than me."

"Be serious Rose."

"I am, he had a much greater lifespan than us, he looked around your age."

"Really?  I suppose you are going to tell me he looked like me or I look like him?"

"I told you, he could change, when he needed to, he looked completely different when I first met him."

"That does not answer my question Rose."

"If I say yes, then you'll leave me."

"No I won't but I would rather you be honest with me here, do I remind you of him?"

"No, not really, he didn't have a thick beard like yours or a Scottish accent, well apart from when we went back in time and went to Scotland, met Queen Victoria and got chased by a werewolf."

"Now I know you are not being serious Rose."

"Suit yourself but I could tell you a few tales."

"I just bet you can, save them to tell the baby when he or she grows up."

"You don't believe me then?"

"I can go for the time travelling Rose but werewolves?"

"Ok, no more tales but yeah, to be honest with you Alec, you look a little like him but he wasn't a brilliant detective who solved a boy's murder when he was ill and then solved an old case and brought two more killers in and gave closure to three families.  That's quite something Alec, you solved those cases against all the odds.  What were the girl's names?"

"Pippa was the one I found in the river, Lisa was her older cousin who we thought was missing."

"Sorry Alec.  You must tell me, about how you found Pippa."

"There's nothing to tell, she was left in the woods, it rained and the river broke its banks and carried her downstream, we don't even know for certain where she was left originally, it could have been miles, the river ran right through the woods."

"Did you ask the man who killed her?"

"It was dark, he wasn't certain where he left her but Lisa's uncle drove her off to a churchyard he was working on, left her in one of the graves."

"That's awful, what happened to Lisa?"

"Her uncle came home from a wedding, drunk and found her with their next door neighbour, got in a temper and bashed her head on the wooden floor.  The youngest, Pippa, woke up, the neighbour's wife gave her something to calm her down and then he went up and smothered her because they thought she would tell someone.  When the other man came back, they told him she'd reacted badly to the drug.  They all had to keep each other's secrets and I tried to get the woman to turn her husband in but she gave me the run-around, changing her story, it was Miller who figured most of it out."

"Was that Claire who Ellie was referring to?  Would she try and get you into trouble by saying you were wanting to start an affair with her?"

"Yes and in view of what just happened over Miller's husband, the jury would more than likely believe her, having been accused before, Claire played the innocent all this time and she's rather good at it."

"It sounds like she had you fooled.  Look Alec, it makes no difference to me and I believe you about Ellie and this Claire, well if you were trying to get her to turn on her husband, goodness knows what that looks like but if you tell me there was nothing there, then I believe you on that but I didn't know you then.  If we say we only met that weekend then I've just come back, no-one can say anything."

"I won't get you involved with it Rose, when the trial starts, I want you well away from it."

"Yeah but think about it Alec, if you turn up with a pregnant girlfriend or one with a young baby, they'll know it's not true."

"Yes and Claire will want to know where I was hiding you all that time while I was hiding her."

"You were hiding her?  From her husband?"

"She was my only hope of flushing him out when he left the court and disappeared to France, I knew he'd come back for her and I was right.  I hardly had any contact with her until recently, she got an unknown call and thought he was trying to find her, the day the Miller trial started.  Rose, I don't want you involved and that's the end of it, it's not your fight."

"Tough, I'll stick up for you, if she accuses you of anything."

"You can't Rose, she'll say if was from before I even came here, it won't help me."

"Never mind Alec, I do believe you but we can say I just went back home and you did know about the baby, you were keeping me from the trial and the Sandbrook case."

"It still won't work Rose, there are plenty of flaws in your idea."

"Yeah, I suppose there are, sorry.  Let's just not say we had one wild weekend, that we kept in touch and you were trying to persuade me to come back?"

"Aye, if you want, it would explain a few things, like where I used to disappear to.  We can say I finally wore you down eh?"

Rose looked up and touched his beard.

"We can say we made up but only if you get rid of some of that Alec."

"You don't like my beard then?"

"You'd look a lot cuter if you had a shave."

"I'm not getting rid of all of it."

"Just some then?"

"If it means you might actually kiss me?  How about a before and after?"
Chapter 5
Alec thought it was the sweetest kiss he'd ever tasted even though it was short.  Maybe it was the fact it tasted of waffles, cream and strawberry sauce but he didn't care.  He smiled at the young woman whom he'd just taken in.  "Now we're in trouble," he thought to himself.

They walked back to the chalet to see Ellie sitting waiting for them.

"You two took your time."  She was minus her youngest son.  "How did you get on Rose?"

"Fine, got myself registered at the surgery, managed to get him to register as well," Rose smirked as Alec opened the door.

"You wanted something Miller?"

"Yeah, can we talk Rose?  Out here and not in front of your new boyfriend."

"Sure Ellie, is there something wrong?"

"There might be, I'm not sure yet, I just need someone to talk to other than my sister, I won't get any sympathy out of her.  I may have done something really stupid Rose.  Did he tell you about that witness, well not so much as a witness now we know, Claire?"

"Not much really, I know he was hiding her from her husband when she turned on him but it all fell through, since she's been arrested."

Alec had told her briefly what had happened on the way back, so there were no misunderstandings about him being accused of having a 'fling' with Claire after being accused of the affair with Ellie, which Rose had found amusing, much to Alec's relief.

Rose made sure the chalet door was closed then she and Ellie sat at the bench.

"While we were trying to get Claire to tell the truth, just over two weeks ago, we went on a night out to a bar in Weymouth.  We both got totalled and picked up these two blokes who'd been giving us the eye.  Well to cut a long story short, we took them back to Claire's cottage and the one who I ended up with, well we had sex and I wasn't protected."

"Blimey Ellie, weren't you taking anything?"

"Rose, you have some room to talk, don't you think?" Ellie asked indignantly.

"Sorry.  So you think?"

"Well yeah but it may be too soon to tell and I thought nothing of it until, well Hardy introduced me to you and you're more understanding than he is.  I know you made that story up, about you and him spending the weekend together but you're going to be telling that story to everyone, if you're going to pull this off and here am I, well it really happened to me and then there was the accusation me and Hardy had an affair, they'll think, well you get my drift?"

"I see you're in a bit of a mess then?  Especially with me being away six months and turning up claiming Alec is the father of mine.  Hell, what are we gonna do with you?" Rose smiled.

"It's not funny Rose, be serious."

"We have to tell Alec."

"Why?  I can insist all I want but I might not be believed."

"We have to bring him in on it, if he's gonna get the blame.  We have to come up with another story about him and me.  We were talking earlier, we were gonna say he knew about it and he kept sneaking off to see me, to explain his absences and that he was trying to make me see sense and go back to him and he finally wore me down and I came back."

"Yeah, well that might help you, it's believable I suppose, he did used to keep to himself and he went away last weekend.  That might actually work but it doesn't help me."

"That's why we need to tell him Ellie, we can make this work and before you say anything, we made a few other decisions.  I'm gonna stay with him, he's gonna take care of me and I have something else you may as well know, I'll go get him."

"Stay there Rose, I'll go get him.  This is so embarrassing and if he says anything, I'm pushing him in the river, phobia of water or not."

"I know what happened Ellie, he told me about finding Pippa and it ripped him apart."

"Yeah, I know, he took me to where he found her, sorry.  I'm so going to regret this."

Ellie got up and called Alec.  Alec had been on his phone, looking up Pete Tyler and not getting much except he was assembling the most brilliant minds and getting the disbanded Torchwood back up and running, with the now president's approval.  He wondered why Rose's mother had not jumped at the chance of replacing the man's wife but he'd heard the first Mrs Tyler had been a bit of a cow, almost as bad as Tess.

"Hardy, get out here will you?  Rose and I need to talk to you."

Alec put his phone away and looked up.  What would both women be wanting with him?

"If you are going to interfere and tell Rose to stay well away from me Miller, forget it.  I'm her best chance of getting through this without her being an outcast."

"Shut up Hardy, it's not about her, well not all of it.  She told me your little plan, you accepting responsibility for it and that she's staying with you.  That's something, knowing you but your other plan, to say you knew all along and have been trying to get her back at every opportunity you've had, well you have to make that totally believable because people may start to talk."

"How will they talk Miller, if we establish I'm the father of her baby and I've already admitted responsibility?"

"Because there may be other accusations Hardy, I think I might be pregnant."

"What?  No Miller, I'm not taking the blame for that so forget it."

"Hear her out Alec, please?" Rose begged him, taking his hand as he sat on the bench next to her.

"When did that happen Miller?"

"Well it's partly your fault, telling me to go out with Claire and get her drunk so she might tell the truth about Sandbrook.  We picked up a couple of blokes."

"Oh for goodness sake Miller and you talked about her and Ashworth.  That was only a couple of weeks ago, how can you tell?"

"Because I don't take anything you idiot, not since Joe's been locked up.  I knew this was a big mistake Rose, see what I've had to put up with?" Ellie asked, shaking her head.

"So, what do you want me to do about it Miller?  Say the accusations we were having an affair were true?  Forget it, I promised Rose I would stick by her and I mean it."

"I know that, I'm not asking you to admit to it, hell, who'd want to, you know, with you?"

Rose began to giggle.

"Thanks for your support Rose," Ellie huffed.

"Oh come on, you have to admit it's like a sit-com.  Ellie, just wait until you confirm it, you could be completely wrong about this.  Alec, where were you the night they went out?"

"Oh, so you're interrogating me now eh?"

"Don't be daft Alec.  Just say you'd gone to see me and I'll say you were with me, simple.  Did anyone see you?"

"No, I was in all night but you say you came down here, then we don't have to establish how I got to London and back."

"No Alec, we can't say I've been in London for six months.  We'll say I lived in Weymouth, worked in a hotel or something, it's only a short distance, that we saw each other most of the time and I had to give up work and you talked me into coming to live with you over the weekend and here I am."

"That might work Rose, now all I have to do is wait until I take a test," Ellie agreed.

"Well I'm glad we got all that cleared up but why did you bring me in on it?  You could have told me what the two of you had brewed up between you."

"Because I want to tell Ellie the rest, about, well Ellie, I'm not related to Pete Tyler but I know him, he's been helping me and my mum, shall we say 'resettle'?"

"What do you mean by 'resettle' exactly?"

"Be careful Rose, think very carefully about this," Alec warned her.

"I thought you fell out with him over your real boyfriend?"

"That's not exactly true Ellie.  I did lose him, honestly but it wasn't Pete's fault.  He saved me and my mum when the Cybermen finally materialised at the other end where they'd all escaped to, my world."

After Rose briefly told her about the battle and Pete Tyler helping them and his plan to save them, Alec put his arm around her and Ellie reached her hand across the table.

"That must have been terrible for you, so when did you find out?"

"Two weeks after we got here but time's moved on Ellie, I can't explain it but it was late 2006 when we left home, it was late 2013 when we got here, those few seconds and we'd lost seven years."

"So you travelled in time then?" Ellie joked.

Rose thought if only she knew but the look she was getting from Alec made her stay quiet.

"I suppose so, if you can call it that, it's just the time differences between the two universes.  In case you're wondering, in the six months I've been here, I've aged, don't ask me how.  Mum's so annoyed with being seven years older.  Pete took us in, gave us everything we needed to blend in but mum didn't want to get involved with him."

"What?  Because she had the same name?" Ellie asked innocently.

"No, because he looked like her dead husband and she couldn't get over it."

That was a new one on Alec, he wondered what else she hadn't told him yet.

"You have to swear to me you won't tell anyone Ellie."

"I won't Rose, I swear I won't.  This isn't helping me though."

"Wait and get tested Ellie, you may be worrying over nothing," Rose offered, squeezing Ellie's hand.

"I hope so, how embarrassing is this?  I didn't think at the time and with me and him just getting accused of having an affair, that if I did get pregnant everyone would think it was true."

"Well I'm glad I came to my senses and came back to Alec then," Rose smiled.  "I'll have to lay it on a bit thick, that I always intended to give in and move in with him, I'll tell everyone I was waiting until he promised to get out of this chalet and I wasn't having the baby live here."

Ellie gave Rose a hug, carefully and went off,

"So, have you got anything else you want to tell me Rose?" Alec asked as he helped her inside.

"Such as?"

"Oh I don't know, maybe without my beard I'm your lover's double?"

"You already suspected that Alec and I don't want you to shave off your beard to look like him, it doesn't work like that, you're not him.  You're a human police detective who while suffering an illness brought a killer in and chased another.  I told you, I loved him, he's gone and there's no getting him back and I'm not agreeing to let you help me because I want you to replace him."

"Good because I'm not a replacement Rose, I want to take care of you but I am going to get rid of some of this beard, I told you, I had no-one to impress and what were you laughing at out there?"

"What?"

"You know very well what, when she suggested nobody wanted me, in that way."

"Nothing, it was just the thought of you two, well the defence must have had a very good imagination, that's all.  Come on Alec, the people who knew both of you must have thought it was unlikely."

"Yes Rose but the jury were not from the town were they?  They didn't know us did they?"

Rose tried to put her arms around him and Alec leaned down.  "So, what now Rose?"

"Now you go get a shave and we'll see about the kissing, before and after."

He kissed her forehead.  "Well I'm all for that then, if you are sure about this?"

"Yeah Alec, I need to move on, I know that and I want to, with you."

"Well that's good enough for me though what my daughter will think of this, I have no idea."

"We'll have to tell her some of it, I don't want her thinking you're responsible, we'll just tell her the first version."

"If that's what you want?"

"Yeah and tomorrow, we'll visit the agency and see if you can do a swap on this place."

"So you don't like my place then?" he asked as she leaned into his shoulder.

"I do like it but it's not practical.  Can I share with you tonight?  There's not much space between the bed and the wall in that other bedroom."

"Sure you're ready for that Rose?"

"Yeah, we can have a cuddle or will it make you nervous?"

"No, you're supposed to be passing yourself off as my girlfriend after all, we should make it look good."

Alec made them some dinner and Rose settled on the sofa again, listening to the radio.

"You missing your soaps Rose?" Alec asked as he moved her legs to sit down.

"Nah, never liked them much, mum's the one who watches them but she says they're not as good here."

"So what have you found that's changed?"

"Not an awful lot, we're still learning the differences, it's not easy for us."

"I can imagine.  You sure you want to share tonight?" he asked, having taken her shoes off for her and was rubbing her feet again.

"You seem to like doing that," Rose noted.

"Complaining?"

"Nah, not me, It's nice."

Rose finally declared she was tired and went off to get changed in the bathroom, not quite ready to let him see her.

"No need to hide Rose," he called from the bedroom.

"Maybe not but I feel I should, for now at least."

Alec let her get comfy on him and said he would go see the CMO early the next morning then come back for her.  He put his arm under the pillow as Rose lay on it after getting as close as they could, kissing for a while when Rose had approved his trimmed beard.  So after helping her out of bed the next morning, he left her to get dressed and went to start breakfast, calling the chief.

"I thought you were seeing the CMO tomorrow Alec?" Elaine asked.

"I need to find out if I'm allowed to drive.  I want to borrow a car."

"Well I can't authorise a police vehicle Alec, not until you come back on full duties.  Why the sudden request?"

"Because my girlfriend came to join me and I need to be able to take her around.  I'll just have to hire one then, can I get some of the cost back?"

"Only if you agree to use it for official purposes as well, I'll see what I can do then.  Why does your girlfriend need driving around anyway?"

Rose had just joined him in the small kitchen area.

"Because I need to take her to doctors and hospital appointments Elaine, she's six months pregnant."

"Crikey Alec, you kept that quiet and after the accusation against you and Ellie, I'm not really surprised but maybe if you had declared you had a pregnant girlfriend, they would not have come out with such a ridiculous idea."

"I'm glad someone didn't believe it then but I wanted to keep her out of it, we met shortly after I locked up Joe Miller and it was nobody's business but ours."

Alec hung up and Rose smiled across the table at him.  "So your boss didn't believe the bit about you and Ellie?  I should hope not if she worked with you.  See, it's not so bad.  It was nice waking up with you this morning Alec."

"It's been a while, well except when I had to share a motel room with Miller."

Rose almost spat out her eggs.

"What?  What were you doing in a motel room with Ellie?"

"Relax Rose, we were on our way to Sandbrook, she booked two single rooms, they claim they never got her booking and all they had was a double.  We were too tired to argue over it, I slept on top of the bed."

"Well that doesn't help your cause any, does it?" Rose giggled.

"It was after the accusation was made.  I told you Rose."

"Oh don't worry, I'm not jealous, I didn't really know you then did I?"

"You were supposed to, you should be worried.  You may as well know when I first arrived here, I asked Becca Fisher, the owner of the Trader's Hotel to spend some time with me."

Rose smiled.  "Oh this is getting better Alec, you're human after all."

"Thanks, I think.  Miller will be here with her youngest soon, you sure you can look after him?"

"Yeah, I'll be fine then we go look for another place to rent?"

Alec got up and kissed her forehead, taking her plate.  Ellie arrived and the two of them went off to get their respective jobs back.  Rose thought though as she watched them walk across the road bridge it was doing them no good walking together and she and Alec should now start to be seen out more as a couple and spread the word and maybe letting the nosy town's reporter see them after all.

Alec's examination went well, he was cleared for part-time light duties from Monday but Ellie had to struggle whilst arguing the point she should come back.  She won in the end but she was told she would have to finish over in Devon and take some leave but Ellie said she'd already moved back to her former family home and was busy redecorating it.  They both met outside the station to compare notes.

"So you're back as well then Miller?"

"Someone has to keep you in line but don't you say a word about what we were talking about yesterday."

"Why are you so worried?  You have Rose's secret to keep remember?  We don't need anyone discovering the fact she's not exactly from around here.  I think though that we need to start letting people know we're together, just in case you are not imagining things."

"First sensible thing you've said Hardy.  You should go announce it in the paper, let Olly do an article on you saying you rebut the accusations of the defence."

"That makes sense I suppose, I'll see what Rose says.  She won't be too happy when people see us going around and they start talking about what happened at the trial."

They had reached the footbridge across the river and Ellie stopped him for a minute.

"So you two, I mean are you serious, already?"

"She needs my help Miller, I let Lisa down.  Anyway, she needs somewhere to stay, you are busy painting, which you should hold off on if you are, you know and I really need to get out of this place now I don't have a death sentence hovering over me."

"Yeah, you got a reprieve Hardy, don't go stuffing it up."

"I'm not going to, I have another purpose now, Rose."

Alec tapped on the door.  He'd left her the key in case she wanted to take the young boy for a walk but she was still there.

"Hey, how did it go?" she asked them both.

Fred was playing with one of his cars on the coffee table.  He looked up and saw Alec.

"Hardee! Up, up."  Fred held his arms out.

Alec was getting way too uncomfortable with the young boy, the last thing he wanted was for the boy to mistake him for his father, not now he'd taken this on with Rose.

"You need to talk to your son Miller."  He bent down anyway to pick Fred up, who proceeded to show Alec his toy car.

"What's wrong Hardy?  You should get some practice in, isn't that right Rose?"

Rose smiled and held her hand out for Alec to help her up.  Alec passed the boy back to his mother.

"Yeah, Fred just misses his dad probably and you said you'd been spending some time with him recently."

"Yes but I don't want people getting the wrong idea.  Miller was just saying, we should go to the paper and make it known we are together, what do you think?"

"That's a good idea, especially if Ellie's right, before the gossips start, this being a small town.  He's been really good Ellie, he's a great kid."

"You grew up on your own then?"

"Yeah, my dad died when I was a baby, mum never re-married.   Maybe if she'd taken up with Pete Tyler but she probably thinks it's too late now."

"Right, I'll be off then, do you two need dropping off on the High Street?"

Ellie left them outside the letting agency and told Rose she'd let her know the results when she got them.

"Poor Ellie, I feel really sorry for her, if it's positive."

"She was a little irresponsible Rose, I only asked her to get Claire to talk, not to take a bloke back with her."

"Aw, have some sympathy Alec, her husband's been locked up for six months.  She needed to let off a little steam.  What about you, now you're well again?"

They were looking at the board with all the current house and apartment lettings, Rose pulling a face at some of them.

"I've only been well just over a week Rose, I've not had chance yet.  Before, it would have killed me, probably."

"Yeah but you asked someone, what about before you came here?"

"I don't want to talk about it, I took cold showers."

Rose smiled and took his hand.  "Wrong answer Alec, you were with me the last six months."

"I meant before I met you, sweetheart."

"Yeah I know babe, just checking.  Look at that one there.  Two bedrooms with an attic room, a garden and driveway.  Is it too expensive?"

Alec looked at the one she was pointing to in the 'Just In' section.  It was a bit over-budget but Rose had said she got an allowance from Pete Tyler and was willing to pay towards it.  After all, he was basically moving for her sake.

"That's not too bad, I can claim an allowance for you now and when the baby comes along."

"Don't get too carried away Alec, they might get a bit suspicious."

"Of what?  Come on Rose, we still have a lot to establish but if we keep wasting time out here, it will be gone.  Are you willing to put your allowance towards it if needed?"

"Yeah, of course.  I'd have to pay to rent a place of my own and I can ask him for an increase when the baby arrives."

Alec was about to open the door but stopped.

"Even if you tell him you are living with a police detective?"

"Alec, the money will be for the baby, it will make no difference if I'm living with you or not.  Shall we go ahead?"
Chapter 6
Alec was amazed it was so easy to swap his chalet for the house they'd seen advertised, though it was classed as just two bedrooms, which had kept the cost down and they would be easily be able to afford it when he got back to work full time.  That now gave him an incentive to get back into it after being off for six months or so.

When he'd thought back, Rose had arrived in this universe at more or less the same time he'd finished the Latimer case.  So many things had to be more than a coincidence, Rose's arrival, him mooching around until the trial and then coming back after he'd rushed to go see Daisy then him thinking perhaps he'd made a big mistake and moving back to finish the notice out.

The letting agent was only too glad to take back possession of the blue riverside chalet since the holiday season was coming up.  She of course knew who Alec was and a bit surprised to see him with a pregnant woman, she'd heard of the alleged affair but she knew Ellie Miller well enough not to have believed it.

"So, would you like to take a look around the house then?"

Rose was keen.  "Yeah, is it furnished?"

The few photos showed it was carpeted and a few pieces of furniture.

"It's part furnished plus there's a fridge/freezer and a washer/dryer, it has a double bed in the main bedroom and a single but the attic was used for storage."

"We may need some more furniture Rose but we can get by for now."

"Yeah, I'll have to ask my uncle if he can help us out."

Alec supposed Pete Tyler was a bit like a benevolent uncle in some respects.  The man had brought Rose and her mother here against their will, more or less but he'd accepted responsibility for it at least, despite her mother not wanting to get cosy with him.

"I'm sure if you call him he'll be happy to help love."

Rose smiled and took his hand, the agent looking at them and dying to know how he'd kept her quiet but with the accusations recently, she couldn't really blame either of them.

They arranged to meet the agent at four, Alec asking if they'd need to pay a deposit and hoping he'd get away with it.

"We can sort that out since the police are paying for it and there's no need for any checks.  Are you both signing for it?"

"Will that take longer?" Rose asked, hoping not.

"No, you can add yourself later, you'll just need a guarantor."

"Oh, my uncle will do that."

Rose wondered if she hadn't been expecting too much from 'Uncle Pete'.

Alec took her into a nearby café for some lunch and asked Rose if she had thought about contacting Pete Tyler yet.

"I should let him know where I am."

"So he knows you were pregnant?"

"Yeah, I was at his house when I found out, I thought I'd told you?  He gave me the allowance because I couldn't really do much.  I should call my mum too, even though we fell out, she needs to know where I am."

"You are going to need her when you have the baby Rose.  We have a lot to talk about and she needs to meet me."

"She'll go crazy when she finds out.  How am I gonna explain this to her?"

"Well don't go worrying about me, I can look after myself.  Tell you what, I'll tell your mum, you tell my daughter?" he smiled.

"Very amusing Alec.  Come on then.  I need a rest before we go see that house, is it far?"

"No, just near the mini-market on the road out of here, we can walk or get a taxi."

"I thought you were getting a car?"

"That depends if I have to pay a deposit on the house.  I should call the station and tell them I may be moving."

They went back to the chalet so Rose could have a rest and Alec sat outside, having to face up to telling his daughter he was involved with Rose.  Perhaps he was better telling her the first version.  He knew she wouldn't be out of school yet so he called Tess, the girl would only ask her mother if she knew.

"What?" was Tess's only reaction when Alec said he'd met someone and she needed his help.

"You've taken in a stranger, one who's six months pregnant because you felt sorry for her because her boyfriend got caught up in the disappearance of those Cybermen?  Are you completely crazy after you were accused of having that affair with Ellie?"

"No, I've thought it through and we are going to say we already knew each other but I wanted you to know the truth from me before you hear it from someone else."

"So, you think that's going to work?  How exactly are you going to say you already knew each other?  That you knew her boyfriend?"

Actually, he'd never thought of that, trust his ex to come up with that idea.  Still, they'd not really told anyone yet and they were changing their story as often as Claire Ripley had over Sandbrook.

"Well that wasn't what we were going to say but there are going to be two versions, I want you to hear what we are going to tell people around here, to explain her living with me.  We're going to say we met six months ago, after I put Joe Miller away and we spent the weekend together and we kept in touch and I knew she was pregnant and I've been trying to get her to come and live with me."

"What?  Well it's a good thing you told me the truth.  It is the truth isn't it?"

"Tess, you knew I was ill, how would I get a woman pregnant?"

"How would I know that Alec?  So, what's her name then?"

"Her name is Rose Tyler and no, she's no relation to Pete Tyler but she knows him, she blames him for losing her boyfriend and he's been providing for her, as compensation, when she found out she was pregnant."

"I should think so as well, she must have been devastated.  So you can assure me you are not the father then?"

"Yes but enough has happened in this town Tess, Rose does not need to add to it.  We're thinking of going to the local paper, it will take some of the pressure off both of us and prove the defence for Joe Miller were just making it up."

"Well one look at you and Ellie could have told anyone that."

"Daisy has to know the first bit but I'll tell her myself.  It will be better coming from me.  How do you think she'll take it?"

"She's almost sixteen Alec, she can handle the truth."

"Really?  She hardly said two words to me last weekend, that's why I came back.  Well that and you turning up with Dave, what was all that about?"

"You know what it was about Alec, you saying we could be a family again."

"It bothered you that much?  I thought you had softened when you came to the hospital because you thought I might die.  Would you have felt guilty if I'd not made it through?"

"You know I would, you covered for me and it caused you a lot of problems, you didn't have to do that.  Well, I wish you luck telling Daisy.  I hope you're moving out of that chalet?"

"We see a place later on today, a two bedroom house with an attic room with a dormer window at the back.  Daisy can come down for visits if she wants?"

"That depends entirely on how she takes it.  She might believe the first story but if you tell her the second part, she may never speak to you again so tread very carefully Alec."

"I will, don't worry.  Right, I'll call her later then or do you want to tell her?"

"Oh no, she needs to hear this from you."

"Fine."

While Alec had been talking to Tess, Rose had been giving her mother much the same story, only it hadn't gone down as well.

"So you're living with him?  That detective who got accused of having an affair with his married DS?"

"Oh come on Mum, the defence were just saying that to get him off."

"How do you know?"

"Because I've met her and there is no way they had an affair, they can't stand each other but over the trial they just managed to get along, mainly so they'd get a conviction but it all fell through anyway.  She's nice, I looked after her youngest boy earlier when she went to get her old job back."

"Well I hope you know what you're doing?  He must be mad taking you and a baby on when you just met him."

"I think he just needed a cause, he'd let a killer walk free and he'd just got two others and an accomplice locked up, I think he's relieved to get back to normal and help someone.  I need to call Pete Tyler, I'm gonna need some stuff for the baby.  He said if I needed anything I'd to call him."

"Yeah well I don't want to see him.  Did he really think I wanted to take his dead wife's place?  It's too weird Rose, me being her double and him being your dad's, I can't get my head around it."

"I know Mum.  Anyway, you know what the truth is, don't worry about anything you may read, it's just to stop the town talking about us, Alec doesn't need it.  He's a good man and I know we're doing the right thing."

Alec had just come back inside and heard her saying goodbye.

"Everything ok?"

"Yeah, she just finds it hard to believe I got everything settled so easily.  What about you?"

"Fine, Tess took it quite well, considering."

"When do we meet the agent?"

"You need to take your time Rose but have a rest first, we'll set off half an hour before we need to be there.  It's not far, just past the mini-market on the road out of town.  We can get a taxi back if you want?"

Rose nodded and smiled as she spread out on the sofa, wagging her finger for him to join her.  He did and she pulled him close, Alec leaning over, his hands on the back of the sofa.

"Want your feet rubbing darlin'?"

"Mmm, that would be nice.  What's with the pet names all of a sudden?  Not that I'm complaining or anything but I thought earlier was just to make it look good?"

"You called me one back – 'babe' so you are one to talk."

"Yeah, I was just going along with it, you called me 'love' in the agency."

"I think the woman knew me, I'd seen her during the investigation.  Besides, if we go to the paper, everyone will start taking notice, we have to act the part.  I shaved again, in case you'd not noticed?"

"I noticed, come here and I'll show you how much."

Twenty minutes later, Alec had her shoes off and she was halfway on him as they got down to some serious kissing, more than the night before.  Rose grinned as he kissed her neck, careful not to crush her.

"Yes, I'd say it may have paid off then?  Is this what you want Rose?"

"Yeah, unless it's too much?"

"No, it's not too much, I want this with you Rose, I meant what I said.  I want to take care of you."

Alec was aware the blinds were still open even though the door curtain was closed and was tempted to make more of it but decided he'd best not.  There was always later.  They set off to meet the agent and were looking around when a car pulled up, Rose had like the street name, a wildflower.  They were let inside, Rose wanted to see the attic in case Alec persuaded his daughter to come and visit, then wishing she hadn't with the extra stairs but it was a big enough room for a visit.  They asked for some time to talk after they'd finished in the bathroom.

"So, what do you think?" he asked Rose.

"I like it, the back bedroom for the nursery where it will be quiet, we can move the bed up to the attic but that needs decorating."

"I can get Tom to help me, he's been helping his mother decorate.  You decide what colour you want the nursery then but we go for it, yes?"

He leaned down and kissed her.  Now he knew this was right.  The agent came back in and asked if they were going to sign and was pleased when Alec asked how soon they could move in.

"I can try and rush it through for you, say Saturday afternoon?"

"Fine, it will give us time to pack.  I take it holidaymakers are wanting to rent the chalet then?"

"Are pets allowed?" Rose asked as the agent got the paperwork out of her shoulder bag.

"Small pets, say a small dog or a cat but in moderation.  The owner doesn't object to one pet of a reasonable size as long as they behave."

"I just thought about maybe a dog, when I have the baby."

"Cats are easier to look after Rose," Alec informed her.

"Yeah but I can't take a cat for a walk or have it bark if someone comes to the door, can I?"

Alec smiled.  Here he was, he thought, signing to take possession of a house and his new girlfriend already had everything planned, right down to what pet they would have when the baby made an appearance, how domesticated was that and in only three days.  That was some kind of record, even for him.  The agent went off, quite pleased with herself that the detective had finally given up the holiday chalet and they could get full rent out of it, charging per person per night, not at the single rate that had been agreed although now, he appeared to be sharing.

Alec saw Rose looked tired so he sat her on the low wall in front of their new house and called a taxi, hoping he wouldn't get a snide remark from the operator that it was only a few minutes to where he was going.  He felt like adding the cab was for his pregnant girlfriend but the driver would see that as soon as he pulled into the cul-de-sac.

He had the driver go down the field at the back of the chalet, wishing the back door wasn't fenced off and taking Rose right up to the gate to go around to the decking and paid the driver the flat rate, the driver not looking too pleased.  Alec knew he had to get a car, one way or another and wondered if Pete Tyler was willing to oblige.  Settling Rose down on the sofa, he made her some tea and said they now had plans to make.

"So, we get packed on Friday, I go get the keys on Saturday afternoon then we take everything over by taxi when I get back, yes?  Unless you want to pay towards me hiring a car?"

"Well I would have done but for now, I have to pay towards the rent, you have to pay a month in advance when you pick up the keys, she's letting you off the deposit."

"Yes, only because I'm in the police love, besides, once I go back to work on Monday, I can get everything changed over and I'll claim for you.  I'll also put you down for my benefits.  Why don't you have a rest then you can call Pete Tyler later or in the morning.  There's nothing to do tomorrow now, we'll have a quiet day in, you can sit outside for a while."

"Yeah, ok.  I could ask Pete for a hire car, if you want?"

"Do you think he'll go for it?"

"He said he wanted to help, that's helping.  We can't keep getting cabs everywhere and I can ask him for the baby equipment we're gonna need."

"What if he says we should get that ourselves?"

"I don't think he will, he genuinely feels responsible for us not being able to get back and my mum refuses his help.  That's what me and mum argued over some of the time, I was willing to let him help me.  She said I'd be on my own if I'd stayed there or we'd got back."

"Yes but you are here and you do need help, Pete sees that.  If you'd stayed there, would you still be travelling?"

"No, I'd be grounded until I have the baby, he wouldn't take me anywhere into danger."

"Good, I'm glad to hear it.  Do you want to eat yet?"

"No, maybe later.  Can we have Chinese?"

He put the tea in front of her and moved her legs.  "Anything you want Rose."

He leaned over to kiss her.

"Alec, what would I have done, if I'd not found you?" she asked as she ruffled his hair while he kissed her neck, being daring and going for the top button of her shirt.

"Well you did Rose, it was your lucky day.  Why don't you call Pete while I go to the takeaway?  Ask about the car as well, he can only say no."

Just after six, Alec somehow managing to be the one to have all the shirt buttons undone compared to how many he'd undone of hers, he reluctantly got up and passed her phone, giving her another kiss before he went.

Rose smiled and found Pete's number.

"Hello Rose, how are you?" he answered her.

"Fine, hope I'm not disturbing you?"

"No, I'm still at the office, nothing to go home to.  I've put the mansion up for sale."

"Sorry to hear that, I know you loved the place.  Were the memories getting too much for you?"

"That and other things.  So, you must be six months now?  How are you keeping?  Found out what you're having yet?"

"No, I never bothered the last time but I've got another appointment coming up soon, I'm gonna find out.  I found someone Pete."

"Really?  I'm pleased for you then, who is it?"

"Alec Hardy, the police detective inspector from Broadchurch, the one who was involved with that boy's murder."

"Yes, I heard the killer got away despite their best efforts.  If you ask me, that barrister also needs locking up, she was a liability, getting him off like that."

"I'm sure the town agrees with you but I've been told they dealt with the situation themselves.  Anyway, I'm calling because I need some help.  You said to call?"

"Just name it Rose, why don't I put Jake on, he'll take care of everything?  How's your mother?"

"She was mad at me when I walked out on Monday morning."

"You've only been in Broadchurch for two days and you've met someone?" Pete half laughed.

"Well I sort of live with him, he found me at the coach stop on Monday afternoon and took me in, we've become good friends."

"Friends?" Pete laughed.  "Like you and the Doctor were only friends the first time you came here, then you come back pregnant?  Whatever you need Rose, baby equipment and if you're moving, I'll increase your allowance.  I've got nothing else to spend my money on, like I said, I'm selling the mansion.  I was going to put half the proceeds into a trust account for you, it's yours whenever you need it.  I'll have Jake work out the details.  I'll put him on now, he'll sort everything out.  Do you need a car?"

"Yeah, Alec was going to hire one, I need to get to my hospital appointments, I don't know where they'll send me.  I hope I'm not asking too much?"

"No Rose, it's the least I can do."

"There's something else you need to know.  Alec and I have talked things over, we're gonna say the baby is his, there's enough been going on in this town as it is, he doesn't need the gossips saying he's taken up with me for all the wrong reasons, we're going to the local paper."

"I can handle the press for you, if you want?"

"I think it's best if we go local, thanks anyway.  So Jake still works for you then?  How's Torchwood doing?"

"We're getting there, we have some interesting projects going on.  Pay me a visit when you've had your baby, let me know what you have.  You can keep in touch with me through Jake, I know you want me to keep my distance."

"That's not fair Pete, that was my mum, not me, I only kept my distance because of her, to keep the peace.  I'd like to stay in touch with you."

"Then I'd like that too Rose so anything you need, just tell Jake, it's yours.  Do you need furniture for your new house?"

"We need a few things and Alec could use some help with the decorating, the attic's gonna be a bedroom for if his daughter wants to visit."

"Right, I'll leave you and Jake to fill in the details.  Call me soon, when you know what you're having."

"I will thanks."

Pete handed the phone to Jake.

"Hello Rose, so, what do you need then?"

Rose turned to Alec and asked him what type of car he wanted.

"Anything as long as it's automatic," he smiled back, putting an arm around her.

"Hey Jake, nice to hear from you again.  I'll make a list of the baby equipment I'm gonna need and we need a few bits of furniture but we can get that locally.  Any chance you can come down for a visit?"

"Yeah, I'll deliver the stuff personally and don't worry about the decorating, I'll contact a local firm to come and do it, you just tell me when.  Pete's increasing your monthly allowance now, with a little extra to put you on.  Right, get to work on that list of yours and I want to be your baby's godfather."

"Did you hear what I told Pete?  About us telling everyone it's Alec's?"

"That's your decision Rose, Pete will stand by you.  I look forward to coming down for a visit and I'll find you a local decorator.  When do you move?"

"Saturday, when Alec picks the keys up."

"I'll have a car with you in the morning, just give me your current address."

"Have it delivered to the car park pub," Alec told her as he kissed her cheek before setting off for the takeaway.

"Yeah, Jake, make sure it's an automatic and have it delivered to the George pub car park and give them Alec's number, I'll text it to you, thanks.  Oh and a big enough car for a baby seat."

That sorted, Rose relaxed and waited for Alec's return.  How had this all happened so quickly?  From a few days ago arguing with her mother about keeping the baby to this – making real plans with a man who hardly knew her and had taken her in.  She was starting to care for him, the kissing earlier had been really nice and unfastening his shirt buttons had been a nice bonus, his smattering of chest hair much like the Doctor's had been and he was well toned in the right places.

She thought back to all the opportunities she and the Doctor had missed out on, after adventures, losing her face to The Wire, when the Doctor fell down the pit, which had admittedly brought them to realise they needed each other and after he got sucked into a drawing.  That night when they'd got back to the Tardis, they had kissed properly for the first time, all culminating in the baby growing inside her now that Alec seemed to have accepted.

Something was going on here and she meant to find out, had the Doctor really somehow arranged this when she'd not responded to him contacting her when she arrived?  He must have been waiting somewhere for him, maybe he'd seen how despondent Alec was after he caught the boy's killer and thought Rose could make him better.  He always said she had made him better after the Time War.
Chapter 7
Alec came back and they ate, Rose regretting it later when she was getting ready for bed and Alec searching the chalet for a remedy, ending up telling her to drink lukewarm water and promising he'd go get her something in the morning.  He knew then what it was going to be like, just how Tess had been when she was having Daisy and this one wasn't even his.

"Try to get some sleep Rose, it will go off," he assured her as she arranged herself to get comfy.

"I hope you're right, I should have got something earlier when we were out.  I can't believe Pete agreed to all that."

"I told you, he still feels guilty, this is his way of making up for it, just be grateful.  Tomorrow we'll look through the baby catalogue and you can pick out what you're going to need."

"Yeah, Jake sent a text from his number when I sent him yours, he'll get the car hire people to call you when they arrive, Pete's taking care of the cost."

"Well I was going to charge the police but they wanted me to use it for work so I won't bother now.  This is all happening so fast Rose."

"I know but I spent a long time avoiding my feelings for the Doctor, I'm not gonna make that mistake again.  You don't think I'm over-compensating?"

"No, at least I hope you are not.  We should get comfortable around each other."

"I am comfortable with you Alec," she replied, touching his cheek.

"Yes, I gathered that when you almost got my shirt off earlier."

Rose let out a giggle.  "Almost.  You won't escape next time," she added, thumbing the hem of his t-shirt.

"Well you only have to ask Rose."

"Then I'm asking now, lose the t-shirt will ya?"

Alec did as she asked and Rose rested her head in his shoulder, just touching where his pacemaker was.

"Does it bother you?" he asked as she ran her finger over the ridge.

"No, should it?  I'm not squeamish if that's what you think?  How did you live without it?"

"Very carefully but I'm here Rose, I don't plan on going anywhere.  When the car arrives tomorrow, we should go down to the furniture store in Dorchester and order what we need for the new house."

"Mmm," Rose replied as she tried to kiss his neck without moving.  "Pete was putting some extra money in my account, though I don't know how much.  We'll just order what we need and I want some garden furniture so I can sit outside when the warmer weather comes."

"Then I can't wait to see you in your skimpy tops."

Rose giggled again.  "Like this?"

"Yes, like that, before and after eh?"

"Yeah, ok.  Now can we do some more kissing?"

"I'm all for that, I thought you didn't feel well?"

"I'm ok for kissing, you can help me take my mind off it."

"For you, anything.  Just say when you've had enough eh?"

It took her quite a while as Alec was finding out, leaning into him and letting out soft sighs when they stopped to catch their breath.  It wasn't long before Alec thought she had the advantage and reached for the hem of her nightdress.

"Don't be shy Rose," he said softly as she tried to protest and tug it back.

"You don't want to see me like this."

"Yes I do and it's dark, there's only the light from outside."

"I'm too big."

"You are beautiful Rose, don't hide yourself from me."

"I don't want to but you might regret it."

"Never, I told you, I want this with you."

Rose gave in as he slowly pulled her nightdress up, trying not to have her move too much until it came over her head and he could see her in the light filtering through the wooden slats of the window blind.  He leaned over to kiss her exposed skin, Rose putting her arms around his neck.

"Please Rose?"

They came as close as they could, Alec taking his time over her and trying not to crush her.  They came away from each other, Rose still shivering from the sensations she'd felt and Alec moving carefully so she wouldn't make any more sudden moves but he'd let her get in a comfortable position.

"OK Rose?  You don't feel uncomfortable?"

"No, I'm fine, you were so gentle Alec and I know we can't, well get really close but that was good enough for me."

"Well when you've had the baby, I'd be happy to show you what you've been missing.  So, I guess there's no going back now?"

"Nope, you're stuck with me, ha!  Hope you know what you've got yourself into Alec, you've got to put up with me for the next three months."

"I'm more than willing love, believe me.  I didn't have much to do with the preparations for Daisy, Tess worked until she was around the time you are, then she and her mother shut me out."

"So all this bit's new to you then?"

"Well yes, we'll just have to go through it together for the first time."

"Yeah, I'd like that.  Don't ever think you're gonna be a substitute will you?"

"No, I won't but don't you think I don't care about you, we'll probably fight over things but it's part of the process, trust me."

"I will and I'm sorry, for hiding myself, I wasn't sure you'd be ok with it, wanting to see me like this."

"Well I do, that's part of it as well.  I know you'll get bigger still, it won't bother me, remember that."

"I'll try Alec.  I've still got heartburn."

He kissed her forehead and started to get out of bed.

"I'll get a taxi down to the 24 hr supermarket."

"No, don't do that, it will cost a fortune."

"You're worth it love."

"I'll be ok until morning, just get me some more lukewarm water instead?"

"If you are sure?  I don't want you having any discomfort all night."

"You were supposed to be taking my mind off it," she grinned.

"I thought I had?  Not had enough then?"

Rose finally got to sleep, feeling happier than she had done since arriving on this world and not feeling as guilty as she thought she would be since meeting Alec.  How he'd managed to keep up with what she'd told him the last few days, she didn't know but he was a trained police detective, it was his job to believe the unbelievable she supposed.  She was just glad he did, it had made being here so much more bearable now she could no longer rely on her mother.

The next morning, Alec got a call just after nine to say a car would be with him shortly and to have his driving licence with him and the paperwork had been taken care of, he only have to accept delivery of it.  So after signing for a new shiny black SUV type car, he drove to the mini-market then back down the field behind the chalet having got Rose some heartburn remedy he wished they'd got yesterday, he knew she'd not had a very comfortable night.  He'd thought of teasing her and say it was her own fault for having that chicken chow-mien, that would teach her.

Rose decided to spend the morning sitting outside and Alec was on his phone looking up the local furniture stores, meaning to ask Rose if she also wanted to pick up a tablet PC so she could occupy herself when he went back to work and look up what she needed for the baby.  They'd talked earlier about getting moved in then getting the attic decorated and if Jake was coming down, he could help Alec take the single bed up there.

Rose couldn't believe it was only Thursday but she'd gone off as quickly with her first Doctor as she'd done with Alec but something was niggling her at the back of her mind about it all being carefully arranged and she was having trouble shaking it.  She didn't want to bother Alec with it, they'd got things more or less settled minus a few details.  She knew she still had to tell him things and she would.

She was closing her eyes after her heartburn was finally coming under control, Alec had been lucky to get something that didn't warn against being taken during pregnancy, he'd even got his glasses out to read the directions for taking it.

"Rose, do you want to go out now love?" he called from the doorway.

"Yeah, ok.  Are we going to the furniture store?"

"Yes, there's a small retail park where there are two or three, unless you want it from the catalogue store?"

"Is that some kind of dig Alec?"

"No, definitely not, what are you getting at?"

"Just teasing Alec, with me being from a London council estate."

"I wouldn't do that Rose, you don't live on one now.  So, we know what we need?"

"Yeah, a wardrobe and dresser for the attic room or we could get a bigger one for our bedroom and take that one to the attic, what do you think?"

"That it's getting very domestic Rose, I'm out of practice love."

He smiled and stood behind her, rubbing her shoulders and kissing her cheek.

"Can we go to the garden centre as well?  I could do with another chair for out here."

"Sure, we can manage that but you might be tired by the time you've finished at the furniture store."

"I'll manage.  So, what's your new car like then?"

"New, shiny and black?" he offered, helping her up.

They stood for a moment with their arms around each other until they heard the gate opening.  It was none other than Olly Stevens.

"Oh, am I interrupting something?" Olly gloated, seeing the detective in an entirely new light.

Olly had been slightly upset the defence for his uncle had implied his aunt and the grumpy detective had been having an affair and thought it was ludicrous to say the least, had the barrister not done any real research?  He was beginning to think he could have been wrong now he'd seen Hardy might be capable of it, until he saw Rose when Alec moved away and noticed she was quite pregnant and had thought his mother was just stringing him along for a laugh.

"What do you want Stevens?"

"A story?  My mother mentioned you'd been in the office the other day, she thought you were trying to help someone but I see that's not the case now.  You two obviously know each other."

"Yes, well done, very observant but why would I give you a story?"

"Alec, we were talking about this, remember?" Rose reminded him.  "Hi.  I'm Rose, Alec's girlfriend and don't mind him, we were going to go and see if we could talk to you or your editor, weren't we, honey?"

Alec glared at her, he thought she could come up with a better pet name than that, if she really tried.

"I suppose but we were on our way out, another time."

"What did you have in mind?" Olly grinned, setting his phone to 'record' and seeing the two of them were still arm in arm.

Rose was the one to take the lead, explaining how they'd met after Alec locked up Joe Miller, laying it on a bit thick that Alec went down to Weymouth most weekends to try and talk her into coming back to live with him when she found she was expecting.

"So, last weekend, I finally gave in after he left on Sunday night.  I'd had to quit my job anyway, it was getting too much, they had to give me light things to do and I was a liability so I got the bus on Monday and here I am."

"So that's where you kept sneaking off to after the trial ended for the day?" Olly asked Alec.

"No, I was pursuing the Sandbrook suspect, keep up Stevens.  I only saw Rose at weekends, I wanted her to stop working, she only had a room in a boarding house, I had to pay the extra weekend rate and it was getting too expensive.  She took some persuading, trust me.  Then when she got here, she didn't want to share, did you 'honey'?"

Rose glared back at him.

"No-one knew where you'd gone last Friday night, after we threw my uncle out of town, there were rumours you'd gone to see your daughter."

"Well it was no-one's business where I was going, I let people think that.  I was trying to protect Rose after those stupid accusations about me and your aunt and you did not help."

"I report the news."

"Even if it involves your family?  While we're at it Stevens, why did you release the fact Ashworth was in the area?"

"Everyone needed to know if the suspected Sandbrook killer was in the town."

"And scare everyone?" Rose asked, sitting very carefully on the bench.

"She has a point Stevens."

"I tried to get his side of the story, he wasn't interested plus I came to you and you threw me out."

"Think yourself lucky I never threw you in the river," Alec muttered under his breath, getting a look from Rose.

"Well you can print that, exactly as I told you and if Alec doesn't take up on his threat, I will if you make any more of it.  We knew what we were doing that weekend, there's no juicy gossip to be had, we just wanted some time to work everything out before we told people.  I came back to Alec on my own, I was just too stubborn to see sense that I needed him and with the accusations at the trial, we thought it best to leave things as they were."

"OK, I'll go with it then.  How about a photo of the happy couple?" Olly asked hopefully.

Alec knew it would be best if they did, to prove they were happy, well he was.  He held his hand out to help Rose up.

"Why don't you stand with your backs to the river?" Olly suggested.

Alec guided Rose in front of him and put his arms around her baby bump and put on his best smile, then changed to press a kiss into her hair.  Rose was smiling and put her hands on top of his.  After Olly left, which Alec thought he would waste no time and it would be in the next edition and the nosy reporter would probably twist Rose's words anyway, Alec suggested they set off on their furniture hunting trip.

In the second store they visited, Rose having to sit down and have a drink at one of the catering vans that had set up in the car park, they found what they wanted, Alec deciding they would just get a new double wardrobe for their room and this Jake could help him move the other one with the bed, they set off for the nearest garden centre to get Rose a lounger so for the rest of the day and tomorrow, she could relax on the decking outside the chalet.

"We can get the rest of the garden furniture later Alec," Rose mused when they were on their way back.

"What other garden furniture?" he panicked.

"You know, a glass table and some chairs and maybe a garden swing, then when I've had the baby, I can sit and rock him or her to sleep."

Alec smiled at the thought of watching her.  As he drove back, he thought just how easily this had come about, he'd never had all this with Tess, her mother had practically taken over during her last few months and when Daisy was born, he'd only had the first few weeks with her and was never given any real responsibilities then when he'd gone back to work, Daisy was being bathed and put to bed by the time he'd got home.

Well now, he had another chance to prove he could be a good father and Rose didn't seem the kind of person who would object.  Plus, her mother was over a hundred miles away and hardly talking to her, he was all she had and she was becoming totally dependant on him and he liked it.  He just hoped he wouldn't drive her away.  He had something he wanted to ask her, when the time was right and would make or break their new relationship and he hoped she was open to the idea.

He set the lounger up for her when they got back and he went across to one of the catering stalls to get them some late lunch, it was after three when they'd finally got back, having called into the catalogue store in the town itself and got a reasonable priced tablet PC and a hard copy of the catalogue.  Then Alec had put the simcard into the tablet and got connected to the internet.  He'd already checked with the rental agency there was a phone line already activated and they just had to take it over when they moved in so he wasn't too worried if Rose used up the credit before they actually moved.

"Are you going to be ok when I go back to work?" he asked while Rose was lounging in the late afternoon sun, Alec sat in the chair as there was no room for two loungers out there.

"Yeah, I'll be fine though I wish now we were staying here a while longer, I like it here, it's so peaceful.  Alec, I was thinking, about when I was imagining the Doctor calling me."

"I thought you had got over that Rose?"

"So did I but being by the water, it makes me think that's where he was calling me."

"Why the water?"

"Well I don't know do I?  Sorry, I didn't mean to snap at you."

"It's ok, it happens.  I'll be glad to get away from it personally."

"I can imagine.  What if he intended to have me come here, to the town?"

"Seriously?"

"Well yeah, it makes sense Alec, I didn't come here by coincidence, I saw the town on TV at the coach station and felt I had to come here, like I was being compelled somehow.  Time is different here Alec, what if it's taking longer to reach me, his messages and what if he's still keeping on trying?"

"Then if he is Rose, the next time you get one, don't ignore it and tell me."

"Maybe I wasn't going crazy after all.  He may well have been calling me here or he could have been calling me to, oh I don't know, Norway or somewhere."

"How would you have got to Norway love?" he asked, taking her hand from across her tummy and leaning over to kiss it.

Rose touched his hair, then took his hand and put in on her baby bump.  Alec smiled as he felt the baby moving and sitting forward, leaned over to kiss her, not caring the entire town may be walking past and seeing them, they would be in the paper soon enough anyway and everyone would see they were hopelessly in love with each other.

That was when it hit him like a ton of bricks.  He was falling in love with her.

"He maybe thought, well intended for my mum and Pete to get together, then I'd have been at his place still and he would have taken me then it all went wrong but he doesn't know that, does he?"

"How would he?  You said the walls are sealed permanently and without letting the Cybermen and those Daleks through, they remain sealed and for good reason.  Would he risk that to come through?"

"No but if he knew, about the baby, nothing would stop him."

"You forget the time difference Rose.  It's like you get on a zeppelin in London and step off it in New York, going to a different time zone."

Rose smiled, his hand now back on her tummy.

"Yeah, a great big time zone, seven years in-between them, some difference that is.  He used to tell me when the Timelords were around, you could step between realities like walking through a door and be back for tea, it was like visiting a different country."

Alec smiled back.  "The Isle of Wight maybe?"

"Well technically, that's part of Britain but close enough, yeah, near but not part of this country, so to speak.  Anyway, it's never gonna happen, he doesn't know about the baby so even if he is still trying, he won't see any urgency and he's seven years in the past, well almost eight."

Alec didn't know what to say, some part of her would always pine for the real father of her baby so maybe now was the time to ask.

"Rose, I'd like to take his place, as the baby's father, since you are telling everyone I am.  What do you think?"

"I'd like that Alec, I know you'll be there for it, when it comes along.  I have to find out what I'm having now, we can't keep calling the baby 'it' all the time."

"I meant more than being there for you and the baby.  I want in Rose, to everything, the scans, the doctors' visits, I want to be there when you have the baby, hold your hand while you scream the place down and call me names.  What I'm trying to say is, I'm falling in love with you Rose, I want you to think about something and no, it's too soon for you to be any more than my girlfriend but I want this for real love, with you and the baby when he or she comes along, to be a real family, I missed out the first time."

"Oh, I'm sorry you did Alec, really I am and yes, I want you there when I curse you and probably put the blame on you to make it look good but there's more you want to ask me, isn't there?"

"Yes Rose, I want you to think about the baby taking my name, when it’s born."

"Yeah, I can think about it, if you really want to and by that time, everyone will believe it anyway.  Is that it?"

"Well, now you ask, then no.  I didn't mean for me to adopt the baby or you just say that, I'd be honoured if you would put down on paper that I'm the baby's father."

"For real?  Why would you want to do that?"

"I want a real chance Rose, of being a proper father, not a part-time one and maybe you are right, you did come here for a reason, so the baby would not grow up without a proper family.  You said your real dad died and the Doctor knew that, he didn't want you to do it alone."

"Alec, that means he knows, somehow."

"Yes, I believe he does, just think about it Rose, he's a time traveller, of course he knows."

"Then why is he hiding?"

"I can't tell you that Rose, maybe he can only do things from the other world?"

"Yeah, maybe he still can't get through in person and even if I'd followed his voice the first time I heard him calling, I would only have got an image of him and then what?  I would have felt just as bad, maybe worse if he'd not been able to come through properly.  Do you think he knew that?"

"Maybe but maybe also there's still a tiny crack between the two worlds and he's keeping watch over you?"

"You mean like watching me on TV?" she smiled as the baby moved again, their hands entwined and Alec's directly on her tummy.

"Exactly love."

"Well I hope he wasn't watching last night then, that was x-rated."

They both laughed.
Chapter 8
Friday evening, they were packing to move into their new house the following day.  Alec had persuaded Rose to take it easy, he'd get everything in the car and they'd take their time unpacking on Sunday, just getting out what they needed.  Rose was panicking though.

"Alec, I have to tell the hospital I've moved," she called from the bathroom as they were getting ready for bed.

"I have to give personnel the address as well, you should call them on Monday but you might still get a letter tomorrow before we leave?"

"Yeah, I suppose so.  When's that new furniture coming?"

"Next Thursday but they will bring it in for you though how I'm going to get that other wardrobe out of the way, I don't know.  I'll have to ask someone from the station to come and help me.  When are you arranging for the decorators?"

"I was going to call Jake tomorrow, ask them to come on Tuesday, it shouldn't take them long, we can do the nursery later."

"We may as well get both of them done.  Make it Wednesday then I can get some help to move the stuff out of the way."

"That's not gonna help Alec.  Why don't I ask Jake to come on Tuesday?  Then get the decorators on Wednesday?"

"What good's that going to do Rose?" he asked as Rose came out and made her way to the bedroom, putting his arms around her and kissing the top of her head.

"Ok genius, you figure it out then."

"Right, I will, just you wait and see Miss Clever."

Rose was too tired to still argue with him, this is what couples did, argue over furniture moving and decorating as she got into bed and tried to get comfy and Alec was not helping by sticking his hand up the back of her nightdress and trying to get it around to the front as opposed to just trying to get it up the front but she thought he rather enjoyed the challenge.

They'd got over the fact Rose didn't want him to see her or touch her that morning when the daylight filtered through the slats of the blind and he'd taken her by surprise and pulled up the nightdress to take a good long look at her and had been surprised she'd not slapped his face.  She had just smiled at him, ruffled his hair and pulled his head down for him to kiss her exposed parts, which he'd wasted no time in doing and told her she was beautiful again.

So after a quick breakfast on Saturday morning, Alec called the agency to see when he could pick up the keys and was told any time after midday, a bit later than he'd hoped.  Rose had the catalogue she'd got the other day open at the baby goods and was hurriedly making a list, showing it to Alec.

"Do ya think I'm going overboard?"

"No, if that's what you think you will need.  Are you going to send him the catalogue numbers as well?" Alec grinned, handing the list back.

"Very funny Alec.  I don't know where he'll get things from do I?  He might get them locally or bring them from London."

"Well it would make more sense to go locally.  You had better call him if you want him here on Tuesday.  He'll have to contact the decorators unless he's going to do it."

Rose took the hint and called Jake, who was happy she'd finally wanted some contact with him and Pete.

"So, give me the catalogue numbers then or why don't you reserve them and I'll call and pick them up from the Dorchester branch?" Jake suggested, Rose getting a smirk from Alec as she had him on the speaker.

"Ok, I'll reserve them on Monday, they give 24 hrs for collection and I'll give you the reservation number, I'll put your name shall I?"

"No, put Tyler, it's Pete's accountants who will be paying for them from his personal account.  I'll have them pay for the goods before I collect them.  I'll be there some time on Tuesday afternoon then, give me your new address.  I'll call a local decorators as well, did you say Wednesday?  Won't it be better on Monday?"

It was Alec who answered, telling Jake what he had planned.

Jake had a better idea so Alec just agreed, seeing Rose pull a face at him.  Then there was a tap at the door, it was the postman.

"So see you on Tuesday then Jake?" Rose asked him as Alec handed her a letter from the hospital and she smiled.

Alec was certain it was Kevin, who he'd interviewed during the Latimer case as the postman looked at him.  Now it would be all over the town but the paper came out today anyway and Miller would surely call him or Rose soon enough, not that he was going to buy a copy of The Echo just to see it but Rose might.

After Rose had sent a text with their new address, she took the letter and opened it.  Alec looked at her and took the letter from her.

"So, next Friday then eh love?"

"Yeah.  Will you be able to come with me?"

"Well that was the idea, I'll get time off once I've declared I want to put in for leave.  We are going to make this look good are we not?"

"Well yeah but you're just going back to work."

"So, it makes no difference Rose, I told you, we are in this together."

He put his arms around her and leaned in for a kiss.

"You can still back out if you want?" he asked her.

"No chance Mister, you're stuck with me."

"Good because being stuck with you is what I want, now we still have things to do."

Alec was gathering things from the bathroom and Rose was putting things from the kitchen into a carrier bag when there was another tap at the door and since Rose was the nearest, she came out of the kitchen to see it was Ellie, with Fred in the pushchair.  Ellie was holding a copy of the local paper.

"Hi Ellie, you're just in time."

"For what?" Ellie asked as Fred wanted to get out to see Rose, whom he'd spent a few hours with and had taken a liking to her.

"Oh, didn't we tell you?  We're moving, got a house just on the road out of town.  Alec did a swap, I think they want to rent this place out to holidaymakers.  Alec!  Ellie's here."

Alec came out with a box full of bathroom accessories including the shampoo and other stuff Rose had bought since her arrival, less than a week ago.

"Just in time Miller, though I was hoping we could sneak away without telling anyone where we were going."

"Very funny Hardy.  If you wanted to do that, why did you do an interview with Olly?"

"That was Rose's idea.  Besides, he came to us."

"Alec, we were going to anyway, he saved us a trip.  I got my next scan appointment Ellie, next Friday at two."

"That's great Rose, do you want me to come with you?" Ellie asked her.

"No she doesn't Miller, that's my job," Alec interrupted her.

"Oh, you are really taking this thing seriously Hardy, who would have thought?  You're trying to make it look good then?"

"May as well now the whole town will have read the paper and Kevin the postman will tell the rest on Monday morning.  Right, I think we have everything.  Rose, take a look around while I go get the keys then I'll come back for you."

"I can stay and help you load up, are you getting a taxi?" Ellie asked.

"No Miller, did you not see the large black car behind the chalet?" Alec asked her as Fred decided he wanted Alec to pick him up.

"No, I walked across the bridge, I saw a car but didn't know it was yours, when did you get that?"

"The other day, Rose arranged it, I'll leave her to give you the details, I should go."

Fred started to cry as Alec ignored him.  Rose noticed and sat on the chair by the door.

"Never mind grumpy uncle Alec Fred, come here."

She held her arms out and the boy went to her as Alec took his car keys and put his jacket on, stooping down to kiss Rose's cheek.

"See you in a bit love."

"Yeah, Ellie can keep me company.  Say bye to Fred."

Alec ruffled the boy's hair and went out onto the decking.  Ellie handed the paper to Rose.

"It's on page seven," Ellie hinted as Rose looked at the headlines about more cutbacks at the hospital.

Rose pointed to the headline.  "That's why they sent me to Dorchester then?  Hope I can get there in time."

"Well if he has a car now, you should be able to and if you need an ambulance at least they won't have to come down a field or across the bridge to get to you."

Rose found the page and saw the photo of Alec with his arms around her baby bump and thought about how they'd fooled around earlier, Alec leaning across and kissing her tummy and saying hello to the baby.  He had promised he was going to do that every morning from now on and the first thing he was doing when he got back to work was changing her to be his next of kin instead of Tess.

"You both look happy there Rose," Ellie commented.

"Yeah, Olly caught us in a good mood.  Alec's quite taken with it all, I can't believe he did."

"Well maybe he knows now why he got through that operation.  So you went with that story then?"

"Yeah and I called Pete Tyler, that's how Alec got the car, I'm also getting a load of baby goods delivered next week.  Pete wanted to help, he didn't let the fact my mother rejected him get in the way, he's even getting some decorators in to do the nursery and the spare room."

"So you're getting a three bedroomed house then?"

"No, two and an attic but the attic will be ok if his daughter wants to visit.  Have you ever met her?"

"No, we went to see his ex wife but I never met his daughter.  How's she taken the news?"

"He called Tess the other day but he never said how the conversation with Daisy went.  I don't suppose he wants me to know."

The conversation the afternoon before between Alec and Daisy had not gone well at all Rose had thought, recalling the little he'd said.

It had gone along the lines of "When were you planning on telling me Dad?"

He'd told Rose he'd managed to smooth things over by promising when he and Rose had got settled, she could come for a visit and get to know his new girlfriend though he'd said he'd not told her all of it, one part had been quite enough.

Ellie laughed when Rose told her.

"I can just imagine explaining to your almost sixteen year old daughter that your new girlfriend was only just over ten years older than she was."

"Yeah, he left out the bit that he's taking it all a little too seriously."

"Oh? Do tell."

"Ok but don't you dare tell your nephew."

"I promise."

Rose told her how Alec wanted to take the role very seriously.

"Well I didn't think he had it in him to do something like that.  He's like a totally different person since you've come along, you've done him a lot of good you know.  He was a right old misery when I worked with him but I know now he was ill, it made a difference.  Have you got everything packed?"

"Yeah, I'm just waiting for him to come back and we'll be off."

"Well I'll hang on and you watch Fred while I help him load the car.  Is there a driveway?"

"No but there's a parking space opposite and it's an end house as well so only neighbours on one side.  I'll give you the address unless you want to follow us?"

"Yeah, I'll just take Fred to my sister's then I'll come and find you."

"Alec will have to go shopping anyway, I think I'll have had enough by then.  We were lucky it's part furnished but we've got some stuff ordered for the bedrooms and a friend is coming to help Alec move things into the attic when it's decorated."

"You should have got it decorated first."

"No, we just wanted to get moved Ellie."

Alec was in the agency, signing for the keys and paying the first month's rent, hoping he was going to get it back from Rose since most of his money recently had been going on cabs to and from court and chasing after Claire and Ashworth.  He went back to the chalet for the last time and found Ellie had gone.

"She's coming back, just wait for her, she's taken Fred to her sister's."

"Well I'll make a start I suppose, you just wait here love."

Rose got up and indicated she wanted a hug.

"Alec, are you sure you're ok with all this?  It's not even been a week and you're moving for my benefit.  The other day, you told Ellie you were going to find me somewhere first, I never thought we'd get something together."

"There are two bedrooms Rose."

"Nah, don't like that idea, where would Daisy stay?"

Alec smiled and leaned down to kiss her, putting his hand on her tummy.

"Were you ok this morning, me talking to the baby?"

"Yeah, it was nice though he or she can't hear you yet."

"How do you know?"

"Oh, you talked to Daisy like that did you?"

"No, I never got the chance."

Rose saw his mood sour.  "Oh, I'm sorry Alec, I didn't mean anything by it."

"Never mind.  I'll take some stuff round to the car, Miller might come back while I'm doing it."

"Alec, can't you call her Ellie?  Just for me?"

"She may throw something at me if I do," he smiled.

"No she won't, I like her."

"Then I bet she wishes you were here when the defence in the trial were accusing her of all sorts of things, like trying to bribe her sister to give evidence."

"Wow, did they stoop that low?  No wonder he got off."

"Well ten out of twelve jury members believed her, the other two probably never could make up their minds and didn't really think he was guilty.  It was full of flaws after they twisted everything to suit them and we let them do it.  There were things we never took into consideration, we were certain he was guilty after he confessed but everything was thrown back at us.  It happens."

Alec let go of her and took the large suitcase that was his and a holdall out to the car.  He was just locking it again when Ellie pulled in behind him.

"So, are you going to miss this place then?  You've been here six months."

"No, it was a place to stay, that's all.  Moving to a new place with Rose will seem more like a home, I've not had a proper home since Tess and Daisy left."

"Rose will help you, she's good for you Hardy."

"She wants me to start calling you Ellie."

"Really?  What do you think?"

"That you'll throw me in the river if I do."

"You're moving away from the river, how would I do that?"

"Well I may call you that by accident, don't think anything of it, I'll only do it for her sake."

"Sure you will.  Come on, Uncle Alec, we have work to do."

Alec made sure Rose was ok in the car then he went to lock up and get the few groceries that were left, locking the door for the last time after he checked again nothing was left behind except what had been there when he'd taken the chalet, a few days after the Latimer case came to an end and now supposedly when he'd had that weekend in Weymouth with Rose.

He was beginning now to wish it was all true, he could have done something like that, had he wanted.  He'd been careful but it wasn't beyond the realms of possibility he could have met her and got her pregnant, even in the condition he was in six months ago.  There was only one thing bothering him though, that one day Pete Tyler and Torchwood would open the gap again and the Doctor would come through looking for Rose.  Who would she choose?  The baby's real father or the man who wanted to be her baby's father?

Less than an hour later, Ellie had helped Alec upstairs with the cases and Rose was sorting out the kitchen and making a grocery list.

"Rose, why don't I go and help him with the shopping?" Ellie suggested as Rose was sat on a stool trying to think of what they needed.

"I can go to the supermarket you know," Alec grunted from the living room, thinking Rose would probably want to put up some pictures and stuff.

"Thanks Ellie, you've done enough already thanks.  So what do you think?"

"It's nice.  It looks fairly new, you were really lucky to get this."

"Rose, have you finished your list love?"

"Yeah, here and I owe you some money, I'll transfer it into your bank now we've got moved and I need to change my address."

"We'll have to ring and take the phone line over on Monday, have you still got credit on your tablet?"

"Yeah, I've hardly used it, I don't update my social status every ten seconds, I've not even got an account."

"Good, bloody Twitter."

Ellie smiled remembering what he'd said when her nephew leaked Danny's name.

Rose and Alec got closer over the rest of the weekend.  Alec went back to work on Monday, promising he'd bring some lunch back with him just after two.  Rose had been contacted by the decorator Jake had appointed and had told them what she wanted which was cream and mauve for the attic bedroom and green and yellow for the nursery as she'd ordered some large animal stickers to brighten it up.  She'd also ordered everything on her list of baby goods and sent the details to Jake, who'd replied he would see her the following afternoon.

Alec was looking forward to getting home after his first day back, which half the time was spent explaining to the personnel officer his girlfriend had come to live with him and was expecting so they'd had to move over the weekend, he'd finally got it sorted out and was getting half the rent paid and allowed time off to go with her to various appointments when needed.  He was quite pleased he got his old office back and Ellie was sat at her old desk like nothing had happened over the last six months, which was exactly the time Rose had been in this world and since Joe Miller had been locked up.

When Alec had a few minutes to himself, he'd sent a text to Rose to see how she was getting on, getting one back telling him not to fuss and did he know it was only seven days since they'd met?

Alec had just replied with a 'Don't remind me'

Luckily for him, Rose saw the funny side of it and sent one back 'I tried to warn you'

He'd replied with 'Too late now Rose Tyler – you're stuck with me - I love you'
Chapter 9
By the time Alec had realised what he'd just written it was too late – he'd sent it.  Well there was no going back now and he should have told her, not put it in a silly text when they were messing around.  Still she may not see anything in it, she might think he was just being daft which when he now thought about it he was.  Maybe he should send another saying 'Sorry, I was being stupid' then he remembered the old song 'Something Stupid' and hurriedly found it on his phone and sent it to her, hoping she wouldn't have packed and been on the next coach out of town.  It was at least an hour before he could get out.

He heard nothing back from her so either she had fainted, was never going to talk to or see him again or she was saving it and would snog the life out of him when he got back with lunch to their new house. 

Rose was smiling at the first text he sent, had sent one back saying it was his own fault and she had tried to warn him then when she got the last one, well she'd sat down on the kitchen chair and stared at it.  Surely he was still messing around?  What could she say in reply?  She knew she was falling for him in a big way, in a week he'd become the most important person to her in this universe, even overtaken her mother whom she'd not even told yet that they had moved, which she should do really she supposed.

Then her message tone went again, a link to play a song.  She followed the link to find it was 'Something Stupid' since the link itself made no sense and gasped as she listened to the words.  Alec had meant it or he was saying sorry he'd said it and she couldn't decide which.  What could she say when he got home?

When he got no reply back from the message or the song link telling him to forget the whole thing or she'd send him a song back which would be 'Hit the road Jack', he got up to put his jacket on and since it was his first day back, he thought he deserved to leave half an hour early and get away with it.  He decided not to say anything to Miller, she would just call Rose and tell her a 'Told you he was an ass' and the house would be empty.

"I'm off now Miller," he informed her as she got up and crossed to his office door.

"What?  Oh ok, it's your first day back.  I never thought I'd get back this fast to be honest but I got a call last night to say it had all gone through and to report here this morning.  How was Rose?" she asked as she pushed the door to.

"Fine but it's her first day alone in a new house, I was worried about her."

Others around were dying to know how he'd met Rose, got her pregnant and persuaded her to come back and live with him when they'd read Saturday's local paper.

"I'm off up to the florist then I'm taking lunch back, I may have just ruined everything."

"You idiot, what did you do?"

"I'm not telling you Miller but look up Nancy and Frank Sinatra."

Ellie almost choked.  "You didn't?"

"Oh yes Miller and before you call her, just leave her, I'm up to my knees in this, I have to get myself out of it."

"Yeah, well good luck with that.  Did you actually say it to her?"

"No, I sent her a text when we were messing around."

"Crikey Sir, you may well have blown it then but I don't think Rose will run away just because you did that, you only had to look at that photo of the two of you in the paper.  I saw Olly yesterday, he's quite jealous of you, says she's a wow."

"That she is Miller.  Now I'm off to get her a dozen or so red roses or an arrangement and hope she didn't take it the wrong way.  We were just settling down."

"She'll take it the right way.  So what exactly did you do, before you sent the song?"

He got his phone out, squinted at the screen and showed her.

"Maybe you should have just left it and not sent the song?"

"Maybe but there's only one way to find out so don't say anything to her."

"I won't, you got yourself into this one."

"Don't I know it Miller?  Her friend arrives tomorrow with all the baby stuff, I don't know where it's going when the decorators come."

"Bring it round to mine, there's plenty of room in the shed."

"I may just tell him to deliver it there then but I'm sure Rose will want to check it all first."

"Yeah, if she's still there.  You'd better be ready to apologise."

"I am Miller, I am."

So Alec went in search of a florist, getting a lovely rose arrangement that wasn't cheap, thankfully she'd paid him back for the first month's rent, then he stopped by the takeaway and drove to his new house.  If Rose was packing or already gone, there was no way he could afford the rent on his own, he'd have to go on his hands and knees and see if he could get out of it.  He wouldn't want to stay there anyway without her, they'd chosen it together and got lucky they'd both liked it.

So parking opposite and getting the flowers from the back seat in one hand and the paper carrier bag with two lots of scampi in cartons, he put the flowers on top of the car to get his house key out.  Rose was watching him from the window.  She had been trying not to pace around the living room and debating whether to ring him, ring her mother or go upstairs, pack and call a taxi to take her to Dorchester and get the next train home.

Something though had made her stay, perhaps he wanted to apologise but she knew he didn't have to, it had been heading that way since they first met.  One of them had to say it first, she'd wasted too much time telling the Doctor and almost left it too late.  Alec had accepted her and the baby, that alone was something.  She was still standing by the window as he crossed the road, trying to balance everything, the flowers now under his arm.

"Rose, sweetheart, I'm back," he called as he opened the door, the second glass one already open and he didn't see her until he caught the door with his foot.

"Hey sweetheart, I brought some lunch and these are for you."

Roe moved towards him, seeing the smile on his face.  She accepted the flowers, which he thought was a good start and he may yet salvage their new relationship.

"They're lovely Alec, I'll find something to put them in."

He was hoping the messages had somehow failed to reach her.

"How did your first day back go?" she asked as she went into the kitchen and he followed, putting the carrier bag on the kitchen table.

"Fine, Miller got her transfer back, she was there when I got in, I got my old office back.  Have you been ok?"

"Yeah, got loads done, got the baby stuff ordered and Jake's got the reservation number and the decorators called.  Then I was having a cup of tea when I got these silly messages, know where they came from?"

He didn't know if she was being serious or not at this point as he made some more tea and put the mugs on the counter where Rose had the flower stems all over the sink top.  He leaned back against the counter and looked at her.

"I'm sorry Rose, I'm an idiot."

"Yeah, my lovable idiot.  I've been worried you didn't mean it Alec."

He took hold of her arm and made her stop what she was doing.  "Oh Rose, I do mean it, I don't know how but it just came out before I realised I'd sent it, the song was to say how stupid I was that I didn't say it to you.  I do love you Rose."

Rose got nearer and tried to put her arms around him without stretching up.  He leaned down and put her arms around him then put his around her waist.

"I love you too Alec."

Despite their food going cold, they kissed.

"I thought you would tell me to hit the road and not come back," he grinned and led her to the table.

"I thought about it."

"That's a joke, yes?"

"Yeah, you're not the only one with a dry sense of humour Alec Hardy."

The next morning when Alec had gone off to work, Rose kissing him goodbye on the doorstep, she waited for Jake to call her.  While she was doing that, she decided to tell her mother she had moved.

"Oh, then that was fast, how did you get something so quick?"

"We didn't have to wait with Alec being in the police.  Jake's on his way with all the baby stuff I ordered."

"Oh, so you've made friends with him?"

"What have you got against Jake?  I wasn't the one who backed off Mum, you were and I only did the same because once we left, I didn't think they wanted me to stay in contact with them but they do.  I go for a scan on Friday afternoon, I find out what I'm having."

"Is Alec going with you?"

"Yeah, he's taking it very seriously.  I love him Mum."

"Well that didn't take you long either.  What if the Doctor ever comes back?"

"I'll just have to face that if it happens but I doubt I'll have to even worry about it.  I'm sure he'll understand why I've chosen to go with Alec."

"I hope so, still, it will be hard for him to accept Rose."

"I know that Mum and so does Alec, he's accepted everything and there's no signs the baby will be the same as the Doctor.  The chances of that were very slim and if there's anything unusual shows up on the scan, I'll have Pete send someone down to give me another opinion."

She said goodbye to her mother and just over an hour later, Jake called to say he was just putting all her order into his jeep type car.

"Good thing I've got a big car Rose, are you sure you're not having twins?" he joked as the last of the packages slipped in next to the cot that turned into a bed.

"Well not the last time I had a scan anyway, who knows?  I'm joking Jake, Alec will have a fit if I am, he's taking this all very well."

"Well I can't wait to meet him then.  I'll be with you shortly, it's not far now."

"I'll have the kettle on shall I?  Oh a friend's offered to store things in her shed until we get decorated but the cot can stay here, you can help Alec put it up when the bed and wardrobe had been moved to the attic.  The decorators are going to cover everything aren't they?"

"It's all organised Rose, relax.  I don't want to be responsible for you going into labour early, thanks."

Rose greeted her new friend when he knocked on the door.

"Hey Jake, come in."

"Nice place Rosie, you were lucky to get this.  So is Alec at work?"

"Yeah, he'll be home in half an hour, I'll call him and he can bring us all some lunch."

"I'll bring all the stuff in but he'll have to help me upstairs with the cot though.  What you got a big one like that for?"

"So I don't have to get rid of it when the baby grows too big for it, I'm being practical here as with the car seat that fits onto the pushchair frame."

"I knew there was a reason I liked you Rose, you'd make a great Torchwood agent."

"Forget it Jake, with a baby on the way, why would I give up this life I'm making with Alec?  We talked about it, I'm saying it's his and I'm putting him down as the father when it's born."

"So he's accepting responsibility?  That's very generous of him to say you've only known him for a week."

"Yeah well it only took me a day to go off with the Doctor, it's no different and I sort of get used to men very quickly.  I didn't know Pete for that long, just one night and now he's trying to make amends for stranding us here when it wasn't entirely his fault."

"He still feels responsible though plus he's trying to repay you for going after his wife.  You didn't have to face getting turned into a Cyberman to go with him."

"I know but I failed."

"No, you didn't, we're free of them and it was this world's fault they went to yours, if everyone hadn't been arguing over them.  I'll start bringing that stuff in then I'll move the car opposite or are the spaces reserved?"

"It gets full on a night but you can stay where you are.  Just take everything into the back bedroom for now, Alec will take it to Ellie's later."

Jake was just bringing the car seat in when Alec turned into his newly acquired parking spot at the end.  He hoped the neighbours would take the hint and leave it free.  He saw who he thought must be Jake just going back into the house.  Jake had just taken the car seat upstairs.

"Rose?"

Rose came out of the kitchen and greeted him with a kiss, just as Jake caught them.

"Ah, the happy expectant father I presume?" he grinned, holding out his hand to shake Alec's as Alec turned around.

"Alec Hardy.  You must be Jake then?  Good to finally meet you.  Do you need any help?"

"Only with the cot, trust Rose to get a large one but I'll lock the car and we can get it later."

After lunch, they moved the single bed and the wardrobe out of their room to the attic, leaving them in the middle for the decorators to cover and work around them, then they got the cot up the stairs, following the instructions to put it up and left it in the middle of the floor.

"Rose, why don't I get Ellie to come around and take the rest of the stuff?" Alec suggested, just stopping himself from calling her Miller.

"Will she be able to manage?"

"She has Tom.  I'll see about getting a shed put up then we can bring everything back, you don't need planning permission for one that's not permanent, I'll go pick one up from Dorchester on Saturday or get it delivered."

"Well it's not going in my car," Jake joked.

Ellie came around after she finished work and Alec and Jake had decided to just go get a small shed that would only just fit into his jeep and it wouldn't take them long to put it up.  Luckily, the ground was flat and the lawn freshly mowed so finding the way around the back without taking the large package through the house, they were almost finished as Ellie knocked on the door.

Rose and Ellie stood watching the two men putting the roof on the shed just after six.

"So you've got the decorators tomorrow then?" Ellie asked.  "You should go out while they paint you know?"

"Oh, it's ok, I'm gonna just sit outside or here in the kitchen, they're using the kind of paint that doesn't smell as much."

"So you forgave him then?" Ellie nodded in Alec's direction. 

He'd changed into a pair of black jeans and an olive t-shirt that Ellie swore she'd seen him in when he'd woken up after his operation when she'd been talking to Tess.

"For what?"

"I know about the text Rose."

"Oh.  I didn't know what to make of it and the song.  It cleared the air though, one of us would have said it, I guess we were both scared we'd rushed into all this too quickly."

Ellie laughed.  "Well you did.  After all he's been through though, you were just what he needed."

"What about you Ellie?"

"I got my son back and justice for Danny."

"It can't have been easy for you either Ellie.  One minute you're sharing your life with your husband and the following afternoon, he's locked up."

"I was angry, I lashed out at him and he got away with it, it was my fault he walked away but he wasn't going to get off that easily.  He thought he could come back and we'd carry on.  He was deluded Rose.  Me and Beth fell out but we made up because she realised I wasn't the one who'd turned their lives upside down, he'd done that.  You should come and meet Beth properly, you were invited on Sunday, she was a bit disappointed you never turned up."

"Yeah, I hope you told her we'd just got moved?"

"Yeah, she understood.  The invite still stands."

Alec and Jake had finally finished just before seven.  Ellie had gone home to pick up her youngest and Rose had cooked for the three of them after persuading Jake to just move the bed and sleep in the attic for the night.  The decorators arrived on time the next morning, Jake had said goodbye to Alec and was now just setting off back to London.

"Don't leave it so long next time Rose, stay in touch with me won't you?" Jake asked as he gave her a careful hug.

"Yeah, I will, Uncle Jake.  I'll call you when I've had the scan yeah?"

When Alec got home, Rose was all over him since the day before Jake had been there even though the decorators were putting the finishing touches to the nursery since Rose wanted the attic doing first.

"Everything ok sweetheart?" he asked as she let go.

"Yeah, perfect.  I love you Alec."

"I love you too.  After tomorrow, we get the house to ourselves."

The furniture arrived the next day, Rose directing the delivery men, who seemed a bit reluctant but Alec had already told the store assistant he wanted things taking upstairs and they could plainly see she was in no state to do anything.  She thought she'd best not tell Alec, he would have been on the phone to make a complaint, using his authority.

Since Rose's scan was at two the next day, Alec had to finish early again so just before one, Ellie came into his office.

"So, you get to know today then?  How come she never found out before?'

"Her heart wasn't in it I suppose, she was just getting used to being alone."

"Yeah, well I told you I thought I was as well?  I won't know until next week probably.  I wish I'd never let you talk me into going out with Claire, I still blame you."

"Thanks Miller.  Has anyone been talking about me around here?"

"What do you think?  They all think you've had a personality transplant, not a pacemaker.  Have you heard from Tess when Lisa's funeral is?"

"No but I don't expect they will want me there."

"Why not?  They would never have known if you'd just let go, look what it cost you?"

"Well all three of them have been charged, let's hope no-one gets to them and beats them up."

"Ouch!  Was there any need for that?  We were both to blame.  How did we know he was going to change his plea?"

"Well he got what he deserved in the end, being sent away is just as bad as being locked up, he'll still have it hanging over him.  He wouldn't have been safe around here, the mob would have got to him just like they did with Jack Marshall."

"Well I don't like him being sent to be anyone's else's problem but that's beside the point.  You're going to be late."

"Yes, Rose will be watching out of the window for me again."

Rose was trying to stay calm by looking online at baby clothes, deciding once she knew what she was having.  She didn't know Alec had bought a frame for her to put her scan picture into, it was in his desk drawer and he remembered it just as he was going out.  Rose saw him pull up ten minutes later.

"All ready love?"

"Yeah.  This is it Alec, last chance?"

"No way love, we are having this baby together and I want you to treat me in the hospital just like it was mine, we should make it look good."

"So you won't faint when they call you 'dad'?"

"No, I'm already called that, remember?"

"Yeah but if it's a girl, no flower names, two's enough, right?"

"What would you say if I were to suggest a girl's name?"

"Go on."

"How about Lisa or Pippa?  To remember them by?"

"Aw, that's really sweet Alec, I like that idea even though I knew nothing about them, I know finding who killed them made you ill and you lost Daisy because of it.  I like Lisa the best, what do you think?"

"Either love, you choose."

"Well let's find out first but if it's a boy, I'm not calling him Danny, right?"

"I agree, Beth may not appreciate it but I would ask her first if you want to make it an option."

"Won't you need to ask the two girls' parents?"

"No, they don't live in the same town, do they?"

"Right.  Come on then 'Dad' or we'll be late and they'll be keeping me in."
Chapter 10
On the way to the maternity unit at Dorchester hospital, Rose kept glancing at the man she had fallen in love with so quickly.  After that text he 'accidentally' sent on Monday (Rose had put it down to nerves and was cursing herself she'd made him wait until he had got home and left him wondering if they still had a relationship) their love for each other had grown steadily over the week despite it being filled with endless visitors and workmen.

They found 'Ultrasound' but Rose had to go get booked in first with her getting transferred from the hospital near her home in London.

"Name?" the receptionist asked, taking the letter from Rose and going through a pile of folders.

"Rose Tyler, I've just transferred my care here."

"Take a seat and the nurse will take you for an examination.  Husbands and boyfriends have to wait out here but he can go to the ultrasound with you."

"Thanks.  You need my new address, I just moved, I only just got this appointment."

The woman could have sworn she recognised the man with this new patient, it was the worst cop in Britain himself.  Well she wished the woman good luck with that and hoped he was a better father than he was a cop although he'd redeemed himself, twice apparently.

Alec picked up a magazine and squinted at it.

"Alec, put your specs on."

"I don't want to read it."

"Then put it down and stop sticking out like a sore thumb as a nervous expectant father."

"I am a nervous expectant…." He stopped and looked around, no-one was taking any notice.

"It's ok, I know you're nervous if you never did this the last time, with Daisy."

"I wanted to, Tess shut me out.  Then when Miller suggested she came with you, I bit her head off."

"She knows.  You want to see the ultrasound, yeah?"

"Yes, I do, I have a little present for you in the car."

"Aw, thanks.  I wasn't interested last time, my mum went with me but I didn't want to look or find out, I was still upset, you know."

"I can imagine.  Well that's not the case this time, we both want to know and you have to get those ideas out of your head that you are in this alone because you are not on your own.  We are in this together love."

He took her hand and raising it, kissed the back of it.  It was soon Rose's turn, Alec scowling when he wasn't invited into the examination cubicle and looking around at other men waiting.  He supposed it was just the lack of room that prevented others going in, it wasn't like he'd not seen Rose undress before.  She had been so shy the first time he'd suggested it, not that long ago but once he'd talked her into it, he loved seeing her in her underwear that she kept saying made her look like her mother.  He didn't mind in the slightest, he loved her and he'd almost blown it with that stupid text message the other day.

Rose was asked a few questions and her general health was checked, plus the female doctor listened to the baby's heartbeat and since she didn't call for a second opinion or for Torchwood, Rose assumed the baby only had one heart, thankfully.

"So you want to be booked in here, yes?"

"Yeah, they closed the unit in Broadchurch, I was hoping to go there."

"Well we'll make you feel welcome, it's not that far for you is it?"

"No, my boyfriend has a car.  I need to change my address, have reception told you?"

"Yes, it will be altered and future appointments will be sent there.  Just wait outside and the nurse will take you through to ultrasound shortly."

"Thanks.  So everything is ok?  Can I confirm the date?"

"Judging by your other records, around the middle of June, the 17th if you gave us the right information."

Rose didn't have a clue.  When she'd discovered it when they were staying with Pete, they hurriedly had to make a best guess to coincide with this world and a trusted doctor from the newly formed Torchwood had given her advice.

"Yeah, sounds about right.  It was definitely that weekend," she grinned, not wanting to say any more.

Alec had told her when he'd got the Latimer case wrapped up and when he'd supposedly gone to Weymouth to drown his sorrows and had a weekend in Rose's bed.  They'd not really gone into the sordid details of that passionate time they'd supposedly spent together or how they had parted on the Monday morning, never even exchanging phone numbers and not expecting to ever see each other again, well apart from if Alec got himself in the news again.

Rose was just glad she'd kept to herself once she and her mother had got settled in their spacious flat above the hairdresser's shop Pete had set them up in so it wasn't that difficult to get their story straight and both come up with the same answers.  She went back out to join Alec, who smiled at her.  She just wished he'd get rid of some of his beard and cut his fringe, then he'd look cuter than he already did.

"Ok love?"

"Yeah, everything's just as it should be, the date's right, more or less."

"Yes, well, neither of us were taking any notice that weekend, were we?" Alec retorted.

Rose thought that could have a double meaning but decided to lay it on a bit thick, since they had an audience and might be overheard.  She put her arm in his and leaned on his shoulder.

"Guess not, we were a bit engrossed in it all, that was a weekend and a half."

Alec was thinking if only it had been true but maybe once she'd had this baby, she wouldn't be opposed to the idea of actually having one with him for real, this could be a practice run.  He put his fingers inbetween hers and waited for her name to be called.  Once inside the ultrasound room, the nurse prepared Rose and Alec had to stand to one side while she got on the couch.

"Well, let's see how the baby's doing shall we?  You're just over six months so we can see what you're having.  You never found out before?"

It was Alec who answered.  "Well no, we didn't know where we were going at that point, did we love?"

"No but we want to know now, so we know what to buy in the way of clothes."

The nurse was running the scan, Rose thought it was a bit cold and they could have warmed the thing up.  Alec was standing next to her, holding her hand and staring at the screen.  Why the hell had he let Tess exclude him from this part?  This was the best thing he'd seen in his life and it wasn't even his.  Well that was settled, if he'd had any doubts about accepting this baby, they had all gone now, he was going to raise it as his own, he didn't think Rose wouldn't want to or she still had any doubts.

The screen showed a perfectly healthy baby growing inside Rose, no abnormalities such as two hearts, thankfully and Rose wondered how she'd got away with it or the fact those few steps coming here through the void had made her leap seven years into the future and the baby hadn't been affected.  There was no-one there to explain it to her but the Doctor would have said something silly like it was timey-wimey and outer-spacey and grinned at her.

"Congratulations both of you, it's a girl."

"Wow," was all Alec could say as Rose was handed something to clean herself up with and the nurse was printing out the scan results, putting the photo into a white folded card and giving it to him.

Now he knew he had to go into town tomorrow and get himself smartened up, get a haircut and get rid of most of his beard.  Rose had said the Doctor never grew a beard and it wouldn't be fair if he shaved it all off but most of it could go.  They were less than three months away from this baby girl coming into their lives and he knew he needed to look the part.  Once out in the corridor, Alec led her to two seats in the waiting area and sat her down away from everyone else, unfolding the card.

"Look at that Rose, you can see her fingers and her toes and she's making that face you do when you're sleeping."

Rose smiled and nudged him.  "Do I make a face like that?"

"Yes love, you do and it's adorable.  I love you Rose.  Now, let's get home and you can tell Miller and Jake the good news and your mother of course.  She'll have to meet me now, why don't you invite her down?"

"I'll ask her, she can put Sally in charge for a few days.  Wow, that's amazing, I wish I'd got a photo before now."

"Well, you had no incentive before, did you?"

"No and you're gonna be great at this, everything from now on is new to you as well don't forget, we can do all the wrong things together, such as you letting me eat waffles and cream, which by the way reminds me we've not had lunch yet."

"We'll go to the café then shall we?"

He helped her up and put the photo into his inside jacket pocket.

"Only if they have waffles," she smiled, doing that thing she did with her tongue that drove Alec mad.

After Alec drove them back, Rose told Ellie she was having a girl and asked if she had any news yet.

"I don't want to know Rose but if I am, I'm not having it, it was a huge mistake, he wasn't even that good looking and he was a bit of a selfish pig, never even asked me and then he just left without a word, I didn't even feel better for it afterwards.  I'd rather pay the clinic to terminate it, it would be terrible bringing it into the world, mine's been turned upside down Rose, I don't have a happy ending like you've got, I'll have to tell people I had a one night stand at my age and I should have known better."

"I don't know what to say Ellie, I'm sorry.  I should have thought before I asked you but you must be able to tell by now?  Get one of those tests that give an early indication then think about it."

"I don't have to, I'm not having it and if I am pregnant, I'm going back on something once I'm back to normal, not that I'll be picking any more blokes up like that.  You can still show me the scan photo though, I won't get upset, promise."

"Alec got me a frame for it, he's put it on the window ledge.  I told him we're gonna need a display case if he keeps taking photos, he took some of me the other day and he's getting frames for those."

"He's really taken to this Rose, you're very lucky you know?"

"Yeah, I am and I'm going to ask my mum to come down and meet him though she thinks he's too old for me and in reality, he's only two years or so younger than she is."

"Well, I'll let you work that one out, have a rest this weekend, you've had a hectic week."

"Yeah, why don't you come round on Sunday afternoon?"

"I'm sure you two want the weekend to yourselves?"

"Well if you change your mind, come round for tea later."

She had to phone her mother next.

"So, it's a girl then?  Thought it would be a boy somehow."

"What made you think that?"

"I dunno, I just did.  Have you thought of a name yet?"

"Yeah, we have two in mind."

"We?"

"Yeah, I told you Mum, Alec's in this with me, he gets a say in it."

"Well if you ask me, it seems strange he's taken such an interest."

"I told you Mum, he missed out before, when his daughter was born."

"Yeah?  Does he even know how to raise a baby?"

"That's not fair Mum.  Does anyone?  Anyway, he suggested you came down for a visit."

"I don't know if that's a good idea Rose, do you?"

"I want you to meet him Mum, he knows everything."

"Everything?"

"Yes Mum, I trust him, with me and the baby."

"I'll think about it Rose."

"Ok but don't leave it too long will you?"

Rose was showing her disappointment when Alec came to join her in the kitchen, him having another conversation with Daisy.

"So Dad, is this baby going to by my stepsister?"

"Well, sort of.  I can't explain it.  I'm going to treat it as my own and you need to know the truth, I'm not the real father, I'm protecting Rose, we just told that to the newspaper."

"What?  Why didn't you say something?  You let me think you had an affair with her and you didn't?  You were trying to protect me from mum having that affair with Dave but I already knew, well I suspected anyway.  You didn't have to take the blame for her Dad, I would have found out."

"Yes, I know that now but none the less, I'm doing this for Rose, she needs someone, she lost the baby's real father, he went to stop those Cybermen coming back."

"Oh, sorry, that must have been hard on her."

"Yes, it was.  So now, you know everything and I didn't tell you because well, you've only just started talking to me again."

"I would have still talked to you, I'm sixteen soon don't forget.  Anyway, am I going to get to meet her?"

"If you want, we've got a spare room."

"Have you got a nursery as well?"

"Yes, some friends were helping her out, we have everything we need.  So, we'll fix a date for you to come down then?"

"Yeah, I'll give it a go.  Are you all better now?"

"Yes, I'm all better now.  No more grumpy dad."

The next two months went smoothly.  Ellie's pregnancy turned out to be a false alarm, much to hers and Alec's relief since people would believe the accusations had been true and he'd given up on Rose and no matter how hard they would have tried, people would think what they wanted.  Rose was now getting larger, trying to hide herself from Alec but he wasn't letting her and Ellie and Beth were giving her plenty of baby advice and Alec had his leave booked, with leeway but he was going to start it the day before she went in.

So the morning he was meant to finish for six weeks, he was briefing Ellie.  He'd been back full time for several weeks, not that he liked leaving Rose on her own all day, it got more difficult as the time got nearer to go off every morning.  They had decided on a plan if he was at work if she went into labour early, she would phone an ambulance and he could be at home as it was leaving or if he arrived at the same time, he would go with her.

They had also chosen to name the baby Lisa Anne and Rose had totally agreed when her birth was registered, Alec's name was going down without any arguments.  She thought it was for the best, they'd been together almost three months and they totally loved each other.  Rose had thought that was what the Doctor would want, she wasn't meant to have this baby on her own, she knew that now and Alec's theory that he'd known she was pregnant that day she came here, while he'd been trying to get her attention and call her and she hadn't responded, he had found Alec, his double and made sure the two of them met.

"Right, that's it Miller, don't get used to sitting in my office, you won't have time to paint your name on the door."

"Your name isn't painted on the door, it's on an interchangeable name plate."

"You always have the smart-ass answers Miller, don't you?"

"Yep, that's me.  Tell Rose I'll drop by later, if she's not already in hospital."

"Yes, I will but she's not due until tomorrow."

"How do you know you got the right date?"

"They did a lot of careful calculations when she arrived here, it may be a day or two out but the scans and other readings confirm the date.  If she's a day or two late they'll take her in."

"Well good luck then and don't pace the waiting room, go in with her."

"Don't worry, she'll make sure I do, she won't let me back out now."

"Quite right too, you've both come a long way in a short time."

"That we have Miller, that we have.  Well, I'm off now, I promised I'd finish early and take some lunch home."

"So the nursery is all ready?"

"Yes, stacks of nappies and baby wipes and the Moses basket is on the stand, it just needs bringing downstairs."

"Isn't the cot going to be too big?"

"No, it's got all that extra padding around.  Rose will want her in our room for a while anyway, the basket is big enough for now and I've been practising putting the baby seat in the car, I'm quite the expert at it."

Ellie smiled.  "And can you put the pushchair up?"

"Yes, I can, the car seat just clips onto it, Rose chose it well."

"She's more clever than you and I put together Hardy, just you remember that."

"I do, constantly, she's been through a lot, sometimes she seems like she's still adjusting."

"Maybe she is?"

"She doesn't talk about it much, we tried to put it behind us now and concentrate on the baby."

"As it should be.  Don't forget that gift basket for Rose."

Rose was laid on the sofa, waiting for Alec to come home as she was feeling rather uncomfortable and wondered if she should call the hospital.  Alec had got all the information that he could as to the signs to take her in and her bag she needed was all packed.  She heard the door opening and tried to peer over the top of the sofa as Alec closed the door behind him, awkwardly since he had a basket with a handle that was full of soft toys and baby clothes that Ellie had collected around the office for and had been delivered a few hours ago.

"Hi sweetheart, everything ok?  This is from everyone in the office."  He held the basket up as he came around and put it on the coffee table.  "I'll just go and get the food."

When he came back two minutes later, Rose was not looking too good.

"Alec, you'd better call the hospital."

"Why, are you getting pains?"

"I just feel weird.  Alec, what if something goes wrong?"

"Don't talk like that love, nothing is going to go wrong, we are having this baby.  Try to eat something, you may just be hungry."

"Ok, I'll try, just for you.  Did Ellie start a collection then?"

"Aye, she did, she never said anything, just called me out and shoved it in my face – typical."

Rose managed a smile as she accepted the carton containing a baked potato with cheese and salad.  Alec went into the kitchen and made some tea, Rose had been banned from drinking coffee some time back.  After lunch, Alec lay on the sofa with her and was playing with her fingers, wondering how she would react to seeing the ring he had in his pocket on her finger, a simple diamond solitaire he'd picked up when he'd been down to Dorchester to get a few things she may need for the hospital. 

He was going to ask her as she went into labour, if he had the chance so since she kept pulling faces, Alec telling her she'd go like that if she kept doing it, he decided the next time he got up, he'd do it.  He wanted her to have the ring before their lives were turned upside down with the baby's arrival.  Jake had been to see them a week ago, bringing two presents from himself and Pete which were still wrapped as Rose wanted to leave them and Alec promised he would call them when there was some news.

Daisy had been down for the weekend, she had taken easily to Rose and they'd managed a walk on the beach during the early May bank holiday and met up with Ellie and the boys and also the Latimers and their new baby, three month old Lizzie and Rose and Beth had become good friends.
Chapter 11
Alec was about to get up when his phone rang.  It was Tess.  They had been waiting for the Sandbrook case to go to trial, since Claire was trying to say it was all Lee's idea about Pippa and Ashworth was claiming if Ricky hadn't killed Lisa, which was not in denial, he wouldn't be in custody and wanted to tell his story to a jury instead of just pleading guilty.

"Hello Alec, how's Rose?"

"You didn't call to ask about my girlfriend's condition, did you Tess?" he asked, moving Rose carefully and going into the kitchen.

"Come off it Alec, I'm not that bad, I know she's due any time now.  I hope you're going to the hospital with her this time?"

Rose had a false alarm a week ago, getting an ambulance as Alec was on a call-out and she was ready to go home by the time he got there, it was just the baby getting into position.

"You know that was a false alarm, they said she may have a few, didn't you have any?"

"How would you know?  You never even came with me and I was your wife."

"Don't start all that again Tess, you shut me out, had your mother in with you and said you didn't want me there."

"That was my mother's idea."

"Well you never objected.  What did you call for?  Just to remind me of my responsibilities?"

"No, we have a date for the hearing for Ashworth and Claire Ripley.  Ricky's already entered his plea, says he's carried the guilt long enough."

"Well I don't know why they are contesting it, they both admitted their parts in it and they all covered for each other.  Did Claire tell you where she hid the hip-flask?"

"She's still playing us Alec, she keeps asking what hip-flask though Ashworth insists she went to give Pippa some 'medicine' Ricky had left for her.  Ashworth may not be telling the truth though but Pippa didn't die from being drugged, he finished her off.  Claire's also arguing over breaking into my car but since both you and Ellie were present when she brought the evidence, she can't get out of that.  So, it's in two weeks time, you and Ellie will have to attend to give evidence."

"Tess, I can't leave Rose on her own for goodness knows how long it's going to take, not with a new baby."

"Why not?  Anyway, it's at Wessex crown court again."

"Well as long as that Sharon Bishop doesn't get to know about it or they get the same judge, it should go smoothly I suppose.  If you ask me, they should have paid for that."

"You'll receive a notice to attend and a summons to give evidence but be very careful, you were on medical leave at the time, remember?"

"Yes and I was also supposed to be going down to see Rose but thankfully I never did much at weekends before Claire started contacting me."

"What about when you were interviewing witnesses?"

"I did that during the week, Claire was in custody when I was meant to be there trying to persuade Rose to come and live with me.  Rose will go with whatever I say."

"Well I hope so.  Let Daisy know when the baby comes."

"Aye, I will, at least she wants to know."

"You never wanted any more Alec."

"How would you know?  I'm not getting into this with you and I need not remind you of the facts."

He ended the call and made a drink and was about to pour the water into the mugs when Rose called him.

"Alec!  You'd better get in here, now."

"What's wrong love?  Is the baby coming?"

"Yeah, I think so, you'd better call the maternity unit."  She pulled a face as another pain hit her.

Alec calmly phoned the maternity unit and told them he was bringing her if he could get her up and into the car, if not, he'd phone for some assistance.  He went to collect her hospital bag and to back the car out to in front of the house then went back to get Rose, who was just recovering.

"We'll have you there in no time and yes, I am putting my siren and flashing light on, it's an emergency.  You know what those roundabouts are like."

Rose had thought it amusing when he'd insisted a few weeks ago he be allowed to get a siren and blue light, being told by the CS not to abuse it to get him out of traffic jams outside of working hours.  He didn't think his girlfriend going in to labour counted.  He managed to get Rose into the car, hoping they would get there without him pulling into a lay-by to deliver it himself, though he'd been shown in basic training what to do under the circumstances and to try and delay as much as possible.

He was about to get into the car when the woman next door was just coming out of her house.  They'd seen her a few times since they'd moved in and he knew her name was Jill.

"Oh, is Rose going to hospital then?"

"Yes, she's getting pains."

"Hope it's not another false alarm."

"So do we, we really have to go now."

"I just wondered if you knew there was a man hanging around earlier, across the road.  He was looking at your house."

"Really?  Well I've not got time to worry about that now, it was probably nothing. If you see him again, can you alert Broadchurch Police, tell them it's my house?"

The woman agreed and waved to Rose.

Once on the main road, Rose was doing her breathing exercises, trying not to call out too loudly so she didn't distract Alec from watching the road ahead.  Surprisingly, the next roundabout into Dorchester was quiet for the time of day, just after three and he was in the hospital grounds five minutes later, pulling into the maternity unit's car park and making sure his police sign was on the dashboard as he'd picked a 'No unauthorised vehicles' spot.

Rose just smiled and let him help her out, Alec spotting a porter helping someone into an ambulance.  They got Rose booked in and she was put into a side ward until she was examined.

"This is it Alec, the baby is getting impatient, I think she wants to meet you."

"Yes love, she wants to meet both of us.  It won't be long now and before the doctor comes to see you, there's something I've been meaning to give you."

"Another photo frame?" she smiled as she got another pain, this one lasting longer as she grabbed his hand and clutched her tummy.

Alec smiled as the baby did a somersault.  He let the pain pass before he swapped hands to get the ring box out of his pocket.

"No love, this."

He fished the box out and let go of her hand to flip it open, taking it out and picking up her left hand.

"Marry me Rose?  Before the baby comes, I want you to wear this ring."

"Alec, I don't know what to say, this is totally unexpected, we never talked about getting married."

"Oh, you don't think the last three months have been leading up to it then or the fact I want her to have my name?"

"I never said that Alec, we would have got around to the subject."

"Yes, we would and I've never been as sure about anything until now.  I want this Rose, I want a life with you and the baby and one day, one of our own but until then, I want to be a real father to her and when we go register her birth, I want you to have my name.  So will you Rose?  Will you marry me?"

The curtain was pulled back and the ward sister came in, clearly seeing she was interrupting something as Alec held the ring between his fingers and Rose's hand with the other.

"Oh, shall I come back?" she smiled, seeing Alec put the ring in his pocket.

"I don't know.  Rose, do you want to think about what I've just said?"

"Well you did spring it on me at an awkward moment Alec but yeah, I need a few minutes.  Am I going to the delivery room?"

"If you're ready?  I can come back in five minutes, just use the call button if you need me before."

Alec sat back on the bed again, taking her left hand.

"That ring would look good on you Rose."

"You're not doing this because you think it will make any difference to me if we're married or not when the baby has to be registered?"

"No, I'm not.  You said she would have my name and that's good enough for me but if we get married, you won't need to get the certificate changed when we do.  We can get a special licence, invite Miller and the Latimers, get Daisy and your mother down, she can't refuse to come to your wedding even if she has kept putting it off since you first asked her to come and meet me."

"Ok then but can't we call Paul and have him do it, unofficially and we'll fill the details in later?"

"You want to do it now?  No thinking about it?"

"Like you said Alec, we've been leading up to it for three months.  So, put the ring on then."

"What about a wedding ring?"

"Details."

She held her hand out for him to put the ring on but he stopped.

"We could use this as a wedding ring?"

"Alec, quit stalling and call Paul will ya?  It's gonna be too late if ya don't get a move on 'cos this baby is not gonna wait much longer.  When you call him tell him I'll be in the delivery room and I'll try and hang on a bit longer and call Ellie, we need a witness."

"Rose, it's going to take them half an hour to get here love, let's just wait eh?  Until you've had the baby?  I'll call them but if we're in the delivery room they'll have to wait."

He pushed the ring all the way on then had an idea.  "I'll call Miller, have her get a plain gold band shall I?"

"Won't she feel a bit embarrassed?  You'd be better asking Paul to call and get one, we can get another one later."

Alec called the ward sister back in and went off to phone Paul Coates, whom he still didn't see eye to eye with but Rose was insistent and although they were not able to marry in the church, Paul couldn't object to them getting married in the hospital.  Rose was taken to the delivery room and was being prepared when Alec came back in.

"Everything has been arranged, Paul will be here in about an hour and Miller's on her way, she was picking up Fred to take him to her sister's house.  So what's happening then?"

Ellie made good time getting to the hospital, wondering what had come over Hardy mumbling something about they needed a witness, then it had dawned on her, he'd finally asked Rose to marry him and they must have called for Paul.

After a lot of screaming, shouting and cursing on Rose's part, Lisa Anne finally put in an appearance just before five.  Rose was exhausted and was getting cleaned up, Alec had been handed the baby after Rose held her for a few minutes and a tag with Lisa Anne Hardy had been carefully put on the baby's ankle.

"Right, you're all cleaned up now, we'll move you to the ward," the nurse informed her.

"Well could we have somewhere private for a few minutes?" Alec asked, putting the baby in the clear portable cot the nurse had placed in front of him, not that he wanted to let the baby out of his sight for a second.  "The vicar from Broadchurch is waiting to marry us."

"Oh.  Well the side ward is still empty from earlier, we can put Rose back in there and I suppose she can stay there until we need it."

"I have medical insurance, can't she stay there?"

"Well not in that one but I can see if we have another one free.  Give me a few minutes and I'll be back."

"Alec, go out and see Paul and Ellie.  Paul may have had to leave if something came up, we've kept him waiting a while.  You can hand Lisa back to me now."

Alec leaned over and picked the sleeping baby up carefully.  Now he was going to have to get used to having two daughters and calling this one his own because he'd played a big part in this over the last three months and the woman he loved was minutes away from marrying him.  He'd not even expected her to say yes right away let alone agreeing to it and not wanting to wait but it felt right and they would only have waited a month at the most so he could get the license and get it arranged.

He didn't know how getting married in a hospital by the local vicar worked exactly but he assumed Paul had done it numerous times and knew what to do.  He smiled at Rose, kissed the baby's forehead and leaned down to kiss Rose.

"I'll go see them then and I'll call your mother or do you want to do that later love?"

"Let's leave it then I can tell her we got married as well but you can call Jake and Pete if you want?"

"Right, I'll do that then.  I love you Rose, I promise you, this is going to be great.  You won't regret marrying me."

"No, I don't think I will, we've been living together for three months Alec, it's the right thing to do, it just took me by surprise that you waited until now."

"Oh.  Should I have asked you before then?"

"Maybe we should have talked about it?"

"Yes and maybe we would have argued about when it was going to happen, we've avoided all that."

"Yeah, we did.  Go on, go put poor Jake out of his misery, he'll be looking up his godfather responsibilities."

When Alec finally went out, Ellie was talking to Paul.

"I wonder what's taking so long?  The nurse said Rose had given birth almost an hour ago."

"Don't you remember what you went through Ellie?" Paul smiled.

Ellie looked up when she heard the door opening.

"Well if it isn't the new father?  Congratulations."

"Thanks Miller, I mean Ellie.  Paul, did you manage to get a ring?"

"Yes, just a plain one, I've got the receipt and I've got everything I need to do this properly, I called at the town hall, they know me there."

"Rose is just getting moved into a private room, may as well use my medical insurance for something useful.  I have to go call her friend."

"What about telling her mother?" Ellie asked.

"Rose wants to tell her about getting married at the same time.  She never even wanted to come down and meet me.  Rose says she's changed a lot since, well you know, since Rose left home.  I have to call Daisy as well."

He was almost going to say since Rose and her mother came here but managed to stop himself.  Rose had told Ellie the entire story and not the one she'd tried to pass off to him about the Doctor getting left behind, something Tess and Daisy didn't even know.

He'd already got Jake's number and figured he may well still be at work and with Pete Tyler.

"Hello Jake, it's Alec.  I've got news for you."

"Alec.  She's had the baby then?"

"Yes, about an hour ago, a healthy baby girl, Lisa Anne Hardy."

"She's going by your name right away then?  How much did she weigh?"

"Six pounds seven ounces, they are both doing well.  She was in labour for over an hour, yelled her head off at me and well, it wasn't exactly my fault she ended up like that though we had to make it look good so I did the right thing and took all the blame.  That's not all I have to tell you Jake.  Are you with Pete?"

"No, he left a while ago but I can tell him.  Don't tell me though, you've asked her to marry you?"

"How did you guess?"

"I don't need to be a detective to work it out Alec.  Congratulations, on both counts and give my love to Rose, I'll come down and see you in a couple of weeks, let you get settled down."

"Well you are welcome any time Jake."

He went back to see if Rose had been moved yet but Ellie stopped him.

"She's just been moved Alec, I saw the baby for a few minutes, she's beautiful.  They're just settling Rose down, they'll come for us."

Alec waited as patiently as he could, he didn't want to seem overbearing and he'd stayed every moment when Rose was in agony bringing who he now considered as their daughter into the world.  Ellie was trying to get him to sit down.

"I had enough sitting on the side of the bed, I need to stand a while.  Paul, have you got the ring?"

"Yes, just a second."

He got the ring out of his pocket and handed it to Alec, with the receipt for fifty pounds, which luckily, he had in his wallet but she wasn't going to keep it, not unless she wanted to and he wanted to go get one as soon as Rose and the baby were allowed out.  A nurse came out of the main ward a bit further down and came towards them.

"Mr Hardy?  You can go in now, Rose is just trying to feed the baby, she wants you to be there."

"Right, yes, I should go to her then.  Sorry you two had to wait, she could be a while longer."

"Don't worry about us but you could have called sooner, if you intended getting married here," Paul smiled.

"We did not intend getting married here, I did not expect her to agree, not right away."

Ellie smacked his arm.  "Idiot, what did you expect her to say?  No?"

"Well I thought she would want to consider what she was getting into."

"She knew the day she got here what she was getting into, go to her."

They watched Alec walk off.

"What did you mean by that Ellie?" Paul asked.

"I meant after he'd gone to ask her to come and live with him, the day after the trial ended.  They don't like talking about it but I think that was what was putting her off joining him and once it was over, she couldn't get there fast enough."

Paul seemed satisfied with her answer.

"Hope you didn't have to be anywhere Paul?"

"No, not really but he sounded in a hurry when he called me earlier."

"I just got told to hurry up and get here, he wanted me to be a witness, never even said he'd asked her to marry him."

Rose was doing her best to feed the baby herself but Lisa didn't want to oblige.  The nurse was showing her the best way but as Alec came in, she looked at him, shook her head and went off to get a bottle.  The baby was obviously hungry as she was crying but Rose herself was in tears.  Alec sat in the chair close to her, Rose trying the quieten the still screaming baby.

"Hey sweetheart, what's wrong?  Won't she take it from you?"

Rose shook her head and Alec leaned over to touch her cheek.

"Here, let me take her, you're just tired love, that's all and she's in too much of a hurry to wait.  You can try again later."

"They will be taking her to the nursery later, to let me get some sleep."

"Rubbish, I'm going to stay with you tonight, you can get some sleep and I'll wake you when she wants feeding again."

"Yeah but if she gets upset again, then what?"

"Well at least you tried love." 

She let him take the baby, who was going red in the face just as the nurse came back.  Alec took the cloth Rose had and put it over his shoulder and took the bottle.  The baby stopped crying and was sucking away on the new source of milk.  Rose was too tired to argue.

"Alec, are Paul and Ellie still waiting?"

"I could tell them to go?"

"They've waited this long.  Nurse, can you ask them to come in?"

She went to get Paul and Ellie, who were both thinking the wedding had been delayed.  As they came in, Lisa was taking a break and throwing most of the milk back on Alec's covered shoulder and Rose had made herself presentable.

"Here, let me take her?" Ellie suggested, sitting in the other chair.

Alec got up and handed Lisa to her, complete with cloth.

"Nurse, would you stay as another witness?"

"I'd be happy to."

So as Alec sat beside Rose and Ellie finished feeding the baby, Paul performed the short ceremony and after Alec put the ring on Rose's finger, he declared them husband and wife.  Alec did not need to be told when to kiss the bride.
Chapter 12
Paul told them he would see to all the details and when they could go pick up the marriage certificate but it was now official.  Ellie was reluctant to hand the baby back to Rose, since she'd fallen asleep being fed but Alec took her instead.

"Thanks for coming Ellie and you too Paul, sorry you had to wait so long," Rose told her, watching Alec take the baby and sit down again.  She was really going to have trouble getting him to leave.

"No worries Rose and if you want to have a naming ceremony for her, I'd be happy to do it for you, it doesn't have to be in the church if you don't want?" Paul asked.

"We'll let you know, thanks.  I have to call Daisy and Rose has to call her mother," Alec told him, settling down beside Rose on the bed again, the baby still in his arms.

Once they had left, he got up and put her in the cot and Rose snuggled up to him.

"You go call Daisy."

"I will but come here first, Mrs Hardy.  Now it's official, you should tell them to change your name above the bed."

"They haven't put one up yet Alec and besides, they'll know by now.  I have to call my mother and I want you to go home tonight, I'll be fine, I'll get the nurse to bring her back when she wants feeding, ok?"

He leaned down to kiss her, noticing for the first time how thinner she looked.  He'd only ever seen her with her baby bump and he couldn't wait until they got home and he could see her properly for the first time.

"Well ok love, just promise me you'll get some sleep but I'm not leaving just now, she may want feeding again before they take her to the nursery for the night."

"Yeah, pass my phone please, I have to get this over with and tell mum."

"Yes, I should really tell Daisy, I won't be long."

"Bring me a cuppa back will you?"

Alec smiled and left, squinting for his older daughter's number, he really should get in the habit of putting his specs on, Rose said he looked sexy in them but she was biased.

Daisy answered.  "Hey Dad, did Rose have the baby already?"

"How did you know?"

"Wow, I was joking, has she?"

"Well yes, a couple of hours ago, you have a stepsister, Lisa Anne, six pounds and seven ounces, if you want the details and they are both doing well."

"That's great Dad, give her my love won't you?  Hang on, I thought she wasn't going to officially be my stepsister, you said, you know, with her not being yours?"

"Well, things changed Daisy and I didn't want to tell you, until it was all official but, well now it is.  I was going to adopt the baby but I talked Rose into marrying me, we just got married here in the hospital so Lisa is officially a Hardy."

Daisy went quiet and he thought she'd hung up and disowned him – again.

"Well, you kept that quiet Dad.  So you mean when you go to register her, she'll already have your name then?"

"Well technically but she was born before we got married but only because I delayed asking Rose and she was already in labour when I called for the vicar from Broadchurch.  I was going to wait and we'd delay the registration and get married first but Rose wanted to get married here and was going to try to hang on but the baby had other ideas."

"So, Rose is my stepmother, officially and Lisa is my stepsister?  This is gonna take some getting used to Dad.  You can tell mum."

He heard Tess's voice in the background.

"Tell me what Daisy?  What has your dad gone and done now?"

"Oh no Mum, he can tell you, you'll ground me for a week if I tell you."

Tess took the phone.  "What have you done now Alec?  Has Rose had the baby then?  Daisy's beaming like a Cheshire cat."

"Yes, Rose had the baby, they are both fine.  We just got married Tess, there, you know now."

"That was a bit sudden Alec."

"Why should you care just because Dave probably never talked about divorcing his wife."

"That's a bit low even for you Alec, you know he's separated and you know why he can't get a divorce, his wife's religion won't allow it."

"Yes very convenient for Janice then, isn't it?  Anyway, tell Daisy she can come down soon, if she waits until the school holidays, she'll miss out.  I took some photos, I'll send them to her.  I suppose a 'congratulations' is out of the question then?"

Tess had handed the phone back to Daisy and gone off in a huff.  She thought back to March, during him digging up the Sandbrook case and him saying he missed her and wanting her back, he'd been playing with her, he'd never wanted her back and she'd never go back.  No wonder he'd fallen so easily for Rose, he'd been waiting for an excuse to have a family again and she had provided him with it.  Rose would surely regret it since the baby wasn't his when the time came he suggested they had their own.

Rose was not having an easy time with her mother.  She couldn't understand how she'd changed since they arrived on this world, just nine months ago, the last three being very difficult for both of them, especially for her when she needed her mother more than at any time in her life.

"So, is the baby ok then?" her mother managed to ask when Rose broke the news to her she'd just married Alec.

"Yeah, you'll come down and see her, won't you?  I don't want you to miss out Mum, you have to meet Alec too."

"I'll see if I can get away then, send me a photo will ya?"

"Alec has them on his phone but I'll get him to take some on mine and I'll send you one while he's holding her."

"It just doesn't seem right Rose, him looking like, you know who and taking his place."

"What do you want Mum?  For me to be on my own?  We've talked about it, he's fine with it all, just accept it.  Alec's here to stay."

He'd just come back in, looking down at the sleeping baby and then sitting on the edge of the bed.

"Bye Mum, I'll send those photos soon.  Lisa's asleep now, she was yelling her head off a while ago.  She's officially Lisa Anne Hardy now."

"Oh well, I'll just have to get used to it then.  I'll send you a card and a present when I go to the shops tomorrow, do you need anything?"

"Some sleep suits would be great, can't have enough of them."

She said goodbye and leaned back into her new husband, looking at her rings.

"I never expected this when you went to work this morning Alec," she smiled, reaching for his cheek for him to lean down and kiss her.

"Me neither love but you were right, why wait?  It would only have been a few weeks anyway, now we can collect the marriage certificate and get Lisa's birth certificate but I'll have to show them proof of my divorce before they'll issue the marriage one so maybe it's not quite official yet."

"They'll have your divorce on computer won't they?"

"Well, yes but they'll still want proof but don't worry, it's just a formality.  Daisy sends her love and she’ll come down soon.  I'll just take a photo of Lisa in the cot, to go with the other ones."

"Mum wants some as well, can you send them to her?"

"Sure and when I get home, I'll download them to the tablet so I don't accidentally erase them from my phone, you know what I'm like love?" he smiled, standing at the side of the cot, looking down and wondering what he'd done to deserve this new baby who had come into his life from nowhere.  Well not from nowhere exactly but close enough, another world and was by rights half another species but no-one knew that and never would.

A few hours later, he was getting ready to leave after Rose tried again to feed the impatient baby but Lisa did not want to comply and wait for the milk to come naturally.  The nurse had tried to get Alec to leave but he sat by Rose's side with that look on his face and his arms crossed and Rose told the nurse she'd no chance he was leaving.

"Don't get upset love," he told her as the nurse had come back in to take the baby to the nursery for the night.  Rose had closed her eyes for a while earlier, Alec had just let her rest in his arms though he had cramp and his side hurt but he didn't care.  "You can try again tomorrow, when you're not as tired and she's had two good feeds, she may not be as impatient then."

"I know but the longer I leave it, the less chance she'll even want to try, if she's getting it when she wants it."

"Well, that's babies for you," he smiled, kissing her forehead.  "Get some sleep, I'll be back after your breakfast but I have something to do first."

Rose was curious, he knew she was but he didn't want to alarm her but while he'd been out earlier to get another drink, the station had called to say his neighbour had reported a man hanging around again outside their house and she'd said she'd already told him earlier and been asked to report it if the man came back.  Now, he wanted a description of the man but if somehow the Doctor had made it through to this universe, their neighbour would have asked if he had a twin brother so it couldn't be him but Rose had said something about him being able to change so he hadn't yet ruled out it was him.

So Alec went off home, to sleep on his own the first time in three months, well just short of.  It was too late to bother his neighbour but he was going to call the next morning and get a description of the man who had twice been looking at their house.  He wasn't too bothered, he'd had a monitored alarm installed with the landlord's permission and it went straight through to the station as well, one of the perks of being a DI. 

After her breakfast the next morning, being inpatient and wanting her baby to be brought in to try to feed her again, Rose had been a bit cross the nurse informed her Lisa had already been changed and fed.  Alec had managed to make himself some toast, Rose would not be pleased if he went to the hospital on an empty stomach.  She had already complained he was too skinny for his own good and tried to fatten him up when she was snacking, which had resulted in him bringing her a large packet of waffles and a can of cream home with him on his trips to the supermarket.  She also wouldn't appreciate him pinching her breakfast either, the staff had felt sorry for him yesterday and had kept feeding him.

He went out to knock on his neighbour's door just after nine when he'd seen her come back from taking her son to school.

"Oh, hello detective inspector, has Rose had the baby then?"

"Yes, a girl early yesterday evening, they are both well.  I had a call to say that man had been nosing around again.  I was just wondering if you could describe him to me?  Did he have a press badge around his neck by any chance?"

"No, it wasn't Olly Stevens if that's who you think it was.  No, he was dark skinned, close cropped hair, he was wearing jeans, a red t-shirt and a black jacket.  Had a bit of a scowl on his face when he saw me behind the curtain, huffed his shoulders and walked off.   Don't know if he had a car or not.  Do you know who he was?"

"No but Rose may, it could be someone she knows from London who's looking for her but she never mentioned anything.  Oh, by the way, we got married yesterday, in the hospital."

"Oh, congratulations then, on both counts.  If that man comes back, do you want to leave your number, then you can ask Rose if she knows him?"

"I haven't told her yet, she has enough to worry about, the baby won't feed from her."

"Aw, that's a shame but my boy was the same but it's not done him any harm little, rascal he is.  I hope he doesn't annoy you, playing on the grassed area across the road?"

"No, Rose never said anything about it but I'll be home for the next six weeks, I'm sure he'll be no bother."

"Well give my regards to Rose, I'll pop in when she gets back if that's ok?"

"I'm sure she'll be glad to see you, she doesn't know that many people around here."  He went in his jacket pocket and pulled his card out with his work mobile and office numbers.  "Give me a call if he shows up again, will you?"

Jill agreed and he got into the car, to go get some flowers and chocolates and a teddy for his new daughter.  There was no doubt now, she was in his life and Rose had chosen to be with him and marry him but if the man hanging around was from Torchwood, which he had a bad feeling he was right, there was no way they were getting their hands on the baby or Rose, he'd rather die first.

He called at the supermarket, not his first choice for flowers but hopefully she would be allowed home tomorrow, then he'd go up to the High Street florists and get some.  Going around, he picked some nice mixed pink and white flowers, a large box of chocolates and went to the baby department to look for a soft pink teddy, then when he asked, he was told they were in the toy department.  He wished he'd gone to the store in Dorchester now.

He had just paid and was pushing the trolley back to the car when he saw Beth Latimer, who when she saw the flowers and the carrier bag, came over to him.

"Oh, Rose had the baby then, congratulations inspector."

Alec wished they'd all stop calling him inspector and congratulating him but the baby was supposed to his, he just rather the whole town not be aware but it was his idea to go to the local paper.

"Thanks Beth, I'm just going back to the hospital, I thought you'd already know?"

"Ellie must have forgotten to tell me.  Why, did you let her know?"

"She came to the hospital late yesterday afternoon and you'll find out sooner or later, Paul Coates came down as well, Rose and I got married just after she had the baby."

"Oh, then double congratulation, that was a bit of a surprise."

"Not as much as it was to me when she said yes and insisted Paul came to marry us before the baby came but she couldn't hold on until he got there."

"Oh well, the thought was there.  Do you have any photos of the baby?"

"Yes, a few, Rose was very tired."

He got his phone out, carefully avoiding the one he'd taken of Rose trying to feed her very impatient newborn daughter, thinking he must put that one into another folder for his own viewing only when he got back home.  He was only just aware he was standing near his car, in the middle of the supermarket car park, showing off his new daughter, much to the amusement of the locals who knew who he was and that he was an expectant father, well maybe no longer expectant.

His phone rang, the display showing 'Miller' so he excused himself from Beth, who'd said she call and see Rose when she got home and answered.

"I'm on leave Miller, what do you want?"

"Morning to you too, Sir.  Geez, how does Rose put up with you in the mornings?"

"She's usually worse than me, that's why though that may change now she's had the baby.  You didn't tell Beth then?"

"I can't do everything.  Are you at the hospital yet?"

"No, I called to get her flowers and chocolates and a teddy for the baby."

"Hospitals don't usually allow flowers," Ellie informed him, looking at a report on what used to be his desk.

"She's in her own room, what difference does it make?  Do flowers upset people or something?"

"No but people may have allergies.  That and they probably got fed up of putting them in water when a visitor brought them.  Anyway, I got a report that someone had been watching your house, did you know about it before?"

"Yes, my neighbour told me as I was taking Rose to the hospital yesterday, I've got a description of the man.  I think Pete's sent someone else to keep an eye on her, either that or someone's doing it on their own without his knowledge, I may give him a call, I don't want to upset Rose."

"Well I'll try and get down to see her after work then.  Any more luck with the feeding?"

"Not as far as I know, she tried before I left last night but like she says, the baby doesn't want to wait while Rose is ready.  I told her it was because she was tired."

"Yeah, babies aren't known to be patient, trust me."

"I already know that Miller.  I've given our neighbour my work number and if whoever it is comes back, I'll go right home but I'm trying to avoid telling Rose until I'm certain her or the baby are not in any danger."

"Do you think Torchwood would want to bother with her, without Pete Tyler's consent?"

"I really hope not but I'll arrest whoever it is until I get some answers, you can count on that.  I'd best go before I have Rose wondering where I am, let me know if my neighbour calls my office, if I don't answer my mobile."

"Have you forwarded your work mobile number to your personal mobile?"

"No because I don't want to be bothered with work, do I Miller?  I'll screen the calls but if a local number comes up, I'll assume it's my neighbour.  Oh, I meant to tell you but with all that happened yesterday, I forgot.  Tess says the case for Ashworth and Claire comes up in two weeks, Ashworth wants the jury's sympathy and Claire is still playing everyone like a fiddle.  If we are not careful, she is going to talk her way out of it and unlike your husband, she'll have plenty to say for herself in court."

"Well, we half expected that.  That's going to be hard on Rose, you having to go up there."

"No, they're having the hearing at Wessex county court again, with us being involved I expect and them being interviewed and arrested here.  I'll be at the hospital but don't call unless you have arrested the person watching my house."

"Got it – Sir, give my love to Rose and tell her not to give up."

"I will Miller."

Rose was sat in bed, playing with her phone as the baby slept.  Lisa had not woken up again after Rose made it known she was far from pleased they hadn't woken her to try and feed the baby again.  She looked up when the door opened, Alec holding the bunch of flowers in front of him, the nurse saying she would try and find something to put them in and him waving the bear at her.

"Hello sweetheart, had a good night's sleep?  You should have called."

"I didn't want to bother you, you said you had something to do and I see what it was now.  The flowers are lovely and the bear is cute but I really want you right now, I missed you last night, come and sit with me."

He put the flowers and chocolates on the over-bed table, put the teddy in the cot next to Lisa and put his arm around Rose, nudging her over so he could slide on the side of the bed.

"Hey, you might want to pull the curtain over," she teased.

He grinned and pulled it over so no-one could see if they happened to glance in.  Then he leaned over her and she grabbed his neck and pulled him down, then they wasted no time in showing how they'd missed each other overnight.  Alec moved slightly so he didn't hurt her and she turned into him as he balanced on the side of the bed, the opposite to where he had been the day before.

"I missed you too love, ask when you can go home eh?"

"Yeah, I will.  We never really had the time to let all this sink in last night, did we?  I mean us getting married and everything.  You don't regret it do you Alec?"

"Oh no Rose, not for a second love, don't ever think that.  We're a proper family now and nothing's going to change that."

"Promise?" she asked, indicating she wanted another kiss.

"Nothing love."

He just hoped he could keep that promise if and when he found out who had been watching the house.  A nurse knocked on the door, bringing a vase they'd found in a storeroom somewhere, saying flowers weren't allowed on the main ward and Alec asked if the doctor had been to see his wife.

"No, not yet, it will be this afternoon now and if all's well and the baby is feeding properly, then Rose should be able to go home in the morning."

"Rose, did you manage to feed her?"

"No, they fed her before they brought her to me, in the nursery, I was a bit annoyed over it."

"I'm sure they were only doing it for her benefit love, they couldn't just leave her crying, could they?"

"They could have woken me, they said she was fed at seven, she must be due to wake up soon.  I'm gonna try again Alec, I'm not giving up."

"Good because I don't want you to love.  Why don't I pick her up and you can take a photo to send to your mum and Ellie?  I saw Beth earlier, I almost showed her a photo of you trying to feed the baby."

Rose smiled.  "I didn't notice you taking one of me, I hope you managed to hide it?"

"Yes love, I did, don't worry, I avoided sending it to Daisy."

"I should hope so Alec Hardy, what would your eldest daughter think of you?"

He got up to go around to the cot but turned back to her and sitting in front of her, leaned over so he was almost lying on her.  Rose held her arms out and he put his hands either side of her but she pulled him down for another kiss, this one lasting longer.

He managed to look up and smiled at her.

"That I love you?" he answered her.
Chapter 13
Mickey Smith hadn't believed his luck when suddenly, after all that had happened, the Doctor asked him if he wanted to go back to Pete's world, as it had affectionately been called.  The Doctor though could only land the Tardis for less than a minute or be stuck there but he was never going to stop looking for a permanent solution.

So as Mickey stepped out onto Bad Wolf Bay, wondering how he was going to get to London but the Doctor had done something with his bank card, which Mickey hoped would help.  He'd said goodbye to Donna, the Doctor was standing in the Tardis doorway, the ship screeching at him to leave.

"Be good, Mickey the idiot and tell Rose, I won't stop until I find a way."

"Yeah, 'course I will Boss, bye then and thanks for bringing me back, I can tell Rose now you still think of her."

With that, he stepped away and heard the all too familiar sound of the ship fading away, just in time.  Two days later, after staying locally for the night and getting a zeppelin to London, he was in his hotel room, not far from where he'd lived before all that had happened, finding where the Cybermen were going, crossing over to try and stop them and helping Rose and the Doctor and for what?

To see Rose being taken away across the void by Pete Tyler and being trapped there.  The Doctor had asked him if he wanted to travel with him but it would have done neither of them any good, Rose would always have been the root of constant reminders and arguments, one of them blaming the other for letting her go but Mickey knew she and the Doctor had finally got together, he didn't need a map drawing when he'd seen the two of them look at each other before Rose had gone off reluctantly.

He'd just been out to buy some new clothes, a new phone with a camera, got credit on it and was about to go on the internet and get Jake's number since he'd taken it out of his old phone, thinking he'd never need it again.  Then he was going to hire a car and go and find Rose and Jackie, figuring they may still be with Pete Tyler though how far ahead this world had got since he'd left, he didn't have a clue.

Jake was in Pete's office, just talking about Rose and she couldn't be far off having the baby now, if their calculations had been spot on.

"So, are you ready to be a godfather then Jake?" Pete teased him.

"I've already looked it up, I'll have you know I'm gonna take it very seriously.  Do you remember Pete, when she left your place and we thought we'd never see her again?"

"Yeah, I just wished I could have persuaded Jackie to stay.  Still, it wasn't meant to be but seriously Jake, how come Rose ends up with the Doctor's identical twin?"

"She got lucky, shame she never met him before, she told me the last time I went to see her that her and Jackie had never been the same after they got here, just when Rose needed her mother.  I hope Jackie gives in and goes to see them when the baby comes."

"Yeah, so do I Jake.  Right, I have work to do.  Are you going for a visit when you're invited?"

"What do you think Pete?"

Pete smiled, he'd been happy Rose had come back into their lives again and now the agreement was almost complete for the sale of the mansion, where he'd lost his wife all that time ago and met Rose, she was about to become very wealthy and she was the most extraordinary women he'd met in his life yet she was so humble.  He almost thought of not giving her the money but who else would he give it to?  He was about to call his accountant to see how the sale was going and to tell them that he only wanted so much from the sale of the house and the bulk of it to be put in a trust account and the details to be sent to Rose herself when Jake's phone rang as he was leaving.

Not recognising the number, Jake answered it cautiously until he recognised a familiar voice on the other end.

"Jake?  Is that you?  It's Mickey."

Jake sat back down and put his phone on the speaker.  Mickey quickly explained how he'd got back and that the Doctor had not been able to stay but he soon asked about Rose.

Jake looked at Pete.  "I think we'd best meet Mickey, there are things you need to know.  Are you ok for a place to stay?  What about money?"

"Oh, money's no problem, the Doctor did something with my bank card.  So, what have you got to tell me then?"

Two days later, Mickey found his way to Broadchurch after calling to see Jackie but she was not in the salon and he didn't want to alarm her by asking for her.  He'd looked through the window, pretending to look for his girlfriend if someone were to call the police for being nosy and not being able to see her, had got back in his rented car and made his way to Broadchurch to the address he'd got from Jake.  The shock hadn't set in yet that Rose had been pregnant, by the Doctor, was days away from having the baby and was living with an older detective inspector who wanted to take responsibility for her and the baby and was the Doctor's double. 

He'd also not got over the shock he was now seven years in the future.  He'd stood outside her house, there was no car outside or opposite, where he was standing but he saw the curtain move next door and decided he maybe should disappear, since this Alec Hardy was in the police.

Alec was preparing to leave the hospital for the night, after calming Rose down after she'd cried again because baby Lisa was not content to wait to be fed the natural way and was blaming the nurse in the nursery.

"Rose, calm down love, it's not doing you any good.  You just have to accept it, not every baby takes to it."

"Yeah, well how did they get fed before someone invented a plastic bottle and instant powdered milk then?" she protested as he tried to kiss her, the baby remaining asleep and Rose insisting she was not going to the nursery.

"Do you want me to stay a bit longer love?  They said you can go home after rounds in the morning."

"No, you go home, it will be the last quiet night you'll have for a long time."

"I don't mind that love, you know that, I've had three months to get used to the idea, I'm going to love every minute of it and the six weeks I'm off work, I'm getting up to her during the night, you need your rest."

Rose smiled at the man she loved, sitting with his arm around her, one leg on the bed, trying to hold on and now she'd finally got him out of his 'stuffy' suit and into a pair of black jeans, a white t-shirt under a red jumper and he'd trimmed his beard and had regular haircuts.  She loved him even more now though he'd protested and said she was just trying to turn him into her favourite actor instead of the Doctor.  She had just asked him which he'd rather be and he'd said he was quite happy being himself because he had her, the other two didn't.

It was just after eight, they'd had a drink and Rose was just waiting for the baby to wake up for her last feed.  Ellie had kept her promise and called in while Alec went to the café before it closed and she'd let Ellie feed baby Lisa.

Ellie had asked her how Alec was really taking it all.

"He's been great Ellie, I thought once the baby came, the novelty would wear off but after that stunt he pulled yesterday, well, what can I say?"

"Well, you've livened him up a bit, I hardly recognised him when he came in yesterday morning for his last day."

"Yeah, well he said now he's got a baby to keep up with, he'd better look the part."

Alec left after he'd fed the baby just after nine and said he'd bring the baby seat in the morning and a few more clothes for Rose, though she said they were all too big for her now and she needed a whole new wardrobe.  He got home, made himself a drink, he'd have to go shopping when they got back from the hospital or maybe it could wait until the day after.

He checked his phone, no calls from a local number so maybe the unwanted visitor hadn't returned or his neighbour had scared the man away.  It was still no reason to alarm Rose just yet but maybe tomorrow, he should call Jake and make sure it was no-one from Torchwood and if it was and neither he nor Pete knew about it, Jake would be down at lightning speed.

He went upstairs and decided he'd leave the small crib and the stand until Rose got home, plus he was tired and he didn't want to risk doing something stupid like falling down the stairs carrying it.  He picked up the baby seat though and took that down then went to pack a few things from Rose's drawer and got her a pair of trousers he hoped were not too big for her now but she was a lot thinner than he'd ever seen her and maybe he'd have to risk getting a few dirty looks and call at the 24hr supermarket in the morning and get her some new underwear before he picked her up.

He sat on the sofa they'd been lying on the day before, enjoying a few hours before he'd rushed her to the hospital and becoming a married man again and a father, well sort of father all within a few hours but holding the baby not that long ago had made the last three months all worthwhile.

Mickey had been parked across the street and had seen no lights in the house and wondering if Rose had been taken in to have the baby.  He hadn't wanted to risk being seen again but he was just leaving when a car pulled into the parking space opposite her house and a tall man wearing a red jumper under a black jacket got out and crossed over the street.  If he'd not just left the Doctor at Bad Wolf Bay a few days ago, he could have sworn it was him.

Jake had been right, Rose had found his double, fallen in love with him and was living with him, Alec Hardy, a detective of all things.  He gave the other man a while, saw a light go on upstairs then turn out again so he got out of his car and walked across, still debating whether to knock or not but it was late, almost ten thirty, he should leave it so he crossed back to his car and drove off.

Rose had a fairly quiet night, Lisa just waking once and Rose having to admit defeat and calling for a bottle, the nurse patting her arm sympathetically as she held the baby.

"Cheer up Rose, you're not the first and you certainly won't be the last.  You can't say you never tried.  You're a very lucky woman, having a husband like that.  Some men come and go in an hour, probably to celebrate at the pub with their mates."

Rose smiled, yes she was very lucky, Alec had hardly left her side and only when Ellie had called earlier and he'd probably only done that to avoid listening to them going on about the best way to get rid of stretchmarks and how she could still give the baby her own milk but she'd not relished the idea of doing that when she found out what was involved.  Instead, she'd chosen to grin and bear her upper half being uncomfortable and knew it would soon wear off, just so long as she could fend her new husband off.  Getting a shower was going to be painful.

Alec was up early the next morning, putting his t-shirt on, wondering how he was managing to wear them so often now and looking out of the window for anyone who was watching the house.  Maybe their neighbour was just being paranoid?  He finished getting dressed, used the last of the bread and the milk and went to put the baby seat in the back of the car, taking another look around.  He was suspicious by nature but the thought of someone who may be watching him and his new wife was making him even more so.

He drove to the superstore just outside Dorchester, went to the ladies department and spying an assistant stocking up, gained her help in choosing some plain white underwear and two vest tops, saying his wife had just had a baby and needed some smaller clothes.  The girl smiled at him, selected what he needed to which he added a pair of black trousers and a new nightdress and took him to the checkout.  He was in the hospital just after eight, Rose was sat having her breakfast but stopped to greet him.

"Had a good night love?" he asked.

"Yeah, she only woke once, I feel much better today."

He leaned down to kiss her, putting the bag on the locker beside her.  "I brought you a few new things, had one of the assistants help me and I'll go get you some more later if you need anything else.  So how's my princess?"

"She's just gone back to sleep again."

He smiled at her.  "I meant you."

"Don't be daft Alec, I thought you meant the baby."

"Well, I can call you both that, if you want?  No, maybe I'll call her something else, you can be my princess.  So, are you ready to go home love?"

"Yeah, I've just got to wait to be discharged.  I see you brought the seat?"

He went to her locker where he knew the holdall with baby clothes was and brought out a pink all-in-one suit and leaned down to start putting it on the sleeping baby, Lisa making a cute face that Alec thought made her look like a doll.

"Have you been practising?" Rose asked him as she looked in the carrier bag he'd just bought and pulled a face at his choice in underwear but it would have to do, she couldn't wear what she had on now.

Alec had accomplished his mission and was putting their new arrival into the baby carrier.  Rose took the new trousers and t-shirt and asked Alec to pull the curtain around.

"Rose, don't tell me you're going to hide from me love?"

"Alec, you've only ever seen me, well you know, when I was pregnant and I'm still not that slim.  This is something we'll both have to get used to so I'd rather just get dressed on my own, for now, ok?  I just need a bit of time to adjust."

He put the baby carrier on the floor and went to help her onto her feet, steadying her.

"Ok love and there's a new nightdress in there, maybe you can wear it for me tonight eh?"

"Well maybe not tonight, I'm still a bit uncomfortable, I think I'll stick with my old ones for now."

"If that's what you want sweetheart?" he asked, as he leaned down to kiss her.  "I'll go see how your discharge is going shall I?  I'll leave the baby here."

He went off and Rose felt guilty, she knew he was deeply disappointed she didn't want him to see her so tonight, she'd have to make the extra effort.  After all, he'd seen her trying to feed the baby, albeit she wasn't quite all uncovered at once but she really wanted to get back to her original size before he did but it wasn't fair to make him wait that long.  She knew he was taking his time out there on purpose, to give her the time she'd asked for.  She was dressed by the time he came back in, papers in his hands and some painkillers.

"Right love, let's get out of here shall we?"

He gathered everything from the locker and asked if she wanted the flowers.  She nodded and took them just as the nurse came in.

"Right then Rose, good luck, I'm supposed to see you out, do you need a chair?"

"I'd rather walk slowly, if you don't mind?"

She took Rose's arm as Alec picked up the baby and put the holdall on his shoulder and Rose took the flowers and the teddy and they walked out to the car.  He put the baby down to open the door then carefully fastened her in, his practise paying off, then helped Rose into the front passenger seat as the nurse said goodbye to them, amused he'd parked in a reserved spot but she knew who he was.

"Home, sweetheart?" he asked, starting the car engine.

She put her hand on his.

"I'm sorry, for back in my room.  I was wrong to insist you left me to get dressed on my own."

"No, sweetheart, I was wrong to make you think I couldn't wait to see you without all that baby bump, I'm the one who is sorry."

"No, you were enthusiastic to see your new wife properly for the first time but I was embarrassed, that's all.  Let's go home and get Lisa settled in her crib?"

Once they got home, Alec brought the stand down for the crib, though it was more like a basket to him, Rose didn't want anything too fancy and after making sure she was ok, said he should go get some groceries.

"I won't be long love, I'll be back before she needs feeding and I'll get some more baby formula, now we know what kind.  Want some waffles and cream?" he grinned.

"Yuck, I never want to see another waffle or a can of cream ever again."

He kissed her goodbye, telling her to only get up if she needed to and made sure the crib was by the side of the sofa so Rose could see the baby.

"Call me for anything love."

"Yeah, I will."

"Jill from next door may call in later, she was asking about you yesterday and I'm sure Ellie will be round at some point."

Alec set off to drive the short distance to the local supermarket, longing to be able to go with Rose again since she was fussy over what brands he brought back.  He pulled into the car park and decided he should call Jake before he went in for the groceries.

"Hi Alec," Jake greeted him, wondering if he should mention they may get a visitor but Mickey had said nothing about his plans to go see Rose, he'd not seemed to get over the shock.  He decided he'd wait until Alec mentioned it himself.  "So is Rose home yet?"

"Yes, I just brought her home, I'm getting groceries can you believe?"

"Poor you.  Has she opened the gifts yet?"

"No, we've not had the chance but the baby likes the crib, well she's asleep in it.  Listen, is there any chance you can find out if anyone from Torchwood is in our area?"

"Why, what's wrong?"

"I don't want to worry Rose but our neighbour saw someone hanging around the other day."

"Oh, I don't need to ask Pete, I know who it might be."

"Then tell me before I arrest him, after I bust his nose, I'm not having Rose getting upset someone from Torchwood is watching us.  So, who is it then?"

"Alec, you are not going to believe this."

"What?" Alec asked after Jake told him who it was.  "Why didn't he just knock on the door instead of creeping around?  I could have had him locked up."

"Yeah, Mickey never was very tactful.  I can't explain how he got back, it was a fluke, a tiny disturbance in the void.  He was dropped off a few days ago, the Doctor couldn't stay.  You'd best tell Rose to expect him."

"I will, the groceries can wait, well I'll just get the essentials, Rose will want to start drinking coffee again I expect.  I was going to get her one of those instant coffee makers."

Jake laughed. 

Alec said goodbye and tried calling Rose, to warn her.

Mickey had driven back to where Rose lived and had seen Alec come back, take a baby seat out of the back and help Rose out of the car, then he'd gone back for something.  Half an hour later, Alec left in his car and Mickey knew it was his chance.  He was out of luck as Jill saw him crossing the street this time and dialled Alec's number, Alec just hanging up after talking to Jake.

"Hi, it's Jill, your neighbour, that man just came back," she told him.

"Yes, thanks for that but I know who he is now, no need to call the station, I'll be back soon."

"Well I just thought you should know, how's the baby?"

"She's fine, why don't you call round later and see her?"

"Yeah, can I bring my son with me?"

"Sure, I have to go get groceries now, we ran out of milk and stuff."

Disregarding the twitching curtain from the neighbour's house, Mickey got up the courage to knock on Rose's door, wishing he'd known she had the baby and he could have brought a teddy or something.  Rose heard the knocking and wondered if it was her neighbour but Alec had told her to rest.  The knock came again so she took her time getting up and went to the door.

"Hello Rose, did you miss me?"
Chapter 14
Rose stood with her mouth open, clinging hold of the doorframe.

"Mickey?  How can you possibly be here?"

"I got lucky, I got dropped back here a few days ago.  Can I come in?  You don't look too steady on your feet."

She grabbed his arm and let him help her back inside, Mickey closing the door behind him.  He hoped the nosy neighbour had seen him go inside but she probably had Alec Hardy's number on speed-dial.  He let Rose sit down then glanced at the still sleeping baby, in her pink floral sleepsuit, her arms above her head, her hands making fists, moving her nose and her tongue just peeking through.  Mickey just looked in awe at the result of this union of Rose and the Doctor, Jake had told him.  He wondered if the Timelord ever knew.

"She looks just like you Rose, when you were a baby, I just about remember you when you were six months old, at a wedding.  I don't know what I was doing there, I was at the playground with my gran."

Rose smiled, she couldn't tell him she and the Doctor had been there.

"Alec should be back soon, he had to go to the supermarket."

"Yeah, I saw him leave, your neighbour probably warned him."

"What?"

"I was watching the house, to see if you were alone, I didn't know if you'd told him about me, I saw Jake, he gave me your address.  Jake also told me who Alec looks like.  Does he know?"

"He knows everything.  We got married Mickey, at the hospital when I'd had Lisa.  She's officially Lisa Anne Hardy now."

"Wow, that was fast then.  Jake never said how you two met."

"Well, I got on a coach, came down here and Alec rescued me, I fell in love with him.  Never mind that, how did you get dropped off here exactly?  Did you come back through the void?"

"Maybe we should wait for Alec?"

"Don't you think I can take it?"

"Well yeah but it will save me telling it twice and you may want him here when I do tell you.  How are you feeling?"

"A bit sore and I ache.  Alec told me to rest while he went for groceries."

Just then, her phone went.

"Rose, are you ok sweetheart?"

"Yeah, we have a visitor."

"Jake told me, then Jill from next door called to say someone was watching the house again, I should have told you but from what Jake said, your friend Mickey suddenly came back."

"Yeah, he's here with me now, are you on your way home?"

"Just finishing in the supermarket love, I won't be long.  Tell him he's lucky I didn't arrest him."

Rose smiled.  "Yeah, you can tell him that yourself.  Don't be long."

"I said your neighbour was watching me," Mickey grinned, leaning down to touch the baby's cheek gently.  "She's so tiny."

"Yeah, babies tend to be that.  I think I know Mickey, he brought you back, didn't he?"

"Yeah but he couldn't stay, he was here for less than a minute, you should have heard the Tardis objecting, she was screeching at him as he opened the door, he barely got away again.  He's sorry Rose, he has so much regret at not being able to get back to you but he said he won't stop looking for a way to stay next time."

"How come there was a gap?"

"Let's wait for Alec, I really don't want to go through it twice.  I wish Jake had told me you were due, I'd have bought something for her."

"It's ok.  You didn't see mum then?"

"I went to the salon, she wasn't there."

"It was probably her day off, she's supposed to be coming down, I finally talked her into it."

"You mean she didn't want to come for you being in hospital?  That doesn't sound like her."

"She's changed Mickey, since we got here.  Pete set her up with a hairdressing business, I was helping her until I couldn't work any more but we argued all the time, over nothing and I'd finally had enough so I just had to get away and I ended up here.  Alec told everyone the baby was his and that we saw each other all the time and he talked me into coming here to live with him."

"So only you and your mum knows?"

"No, Pete and Jake plus a friend.  We were at Pete's when I found out but this seven year difference in time, it's weird, it didn't affect the baby."

"I knew you and the Doctor had got together, that day you came here."

"Well I was here two weeks before I discovered it, Pete helped me, got me a specialist and he gives me an allowance every month.  He even sent me a load of baby equipment, Jake brought it for me."

"So Pete and your mother didn't hit it off then, even after that display in our world?"

"No, she couldn't accept it, she couldn't wait to get out of his house, with all those servants and everything she needed, plus the seven years.  What did you do?"

"Oh, you know me, this and that.  It was two years for us, then something happened, well lots of somethings really, he was behind most of it but I found him and helped him and there was a tiny crack for us to get through so I took it.  He told me he tried to contact you after you'd gone but it must have been the time difference, you never responded to him."

"Oh.  I thought they were dreams, mum convinced me I wanted to hear him.  Was it really him?"

"Yeah, up in Norway, he tried to get you there, thinking if you were with Pete he'd take you but he couldn't keep the gap open any longer, he had to go, he had a hologram all ready to send to you so he could talk to you through it but in the end, the gap closed.  He was always looking for other ways."

"Did he travel with anyone?"

"There was Martha and Donna, they kept him company for a while."

"I'm glad he found someone."

"He said they weren't you.  He loved you Rose, he wanted to see you again."

"Yeah, I know."

The door opened and Alec came rushing in, staring at Mickey leaning over the crib.

"Mickey Smith I presume?"

"Yeah, you must be Rose's new husband, congratulations."

"Did Rose tell you I was ready to arrest you for stalking?" Alec grumbled, wishing the visitor would keep away from his daughter.

"Alec, play nice, I told you about Mickey, we used to go out in our own world.  Can you make some tea?  I'm dying for a drink babe."

"Right, I'll put the groceries away, I only got what we needed when I heard we had a visitor.  So, how did you get here then?  Did you come alone?"

Alec's newly mended heart had leapt when he discovered Mickey had come back through the void again, Jake only partly explaining but he was full of dread that Mickey had not come alone and the Doctor would also be looking for Rose and reclaim the baby.

"Yeah, he could only drop me off, his ship was protesting, strongly.  I don't want to alarm anyone but were the stars going out here?"

"What?" Alec asked, noticing the baby beginning to move.

"The stars were going out, in our old universe, Rose, it was the Daleks.  Some of them escaped and their leader went power crazy and tried to wipe out the cosmos, you know, typical tyrant but we stopped them.  The Doctor said it was every universe but obviously not this one?"

"Jake never said anything if this Torchwood had any idea what was going on.  I didn't contact them until I came here, Jake is going to be Lisa's godfather.  I think we're gonna have a naming ceremony in a few weeks, you're welcome to come to it."

Alec raised his eyebrows since they hadn't discussed it yet but he supposed she was right.  He went to pick the baby up, Mickey looking at him and offered to let the other man take her.  Mickey just grinned and held his arms out.

"She's really light.  So, did you have a difficult time with her?" he asked Rose as he sat in the chair and Alec went to finally make a drink.

"Not really, Alec was there the whole time, he's been really good.  Mickey, you have to understand, I didn't leave my mum to come down here and fall in love with Alec, it just happened.  He just happened to find me when I got here and he accepted everything I told him.   It was his idea to tell people we spent a weekend together and when I told him, he insisted I came to live with him.  How could I have told people the truth?"

"Yeah, I can see your point.  Does she want feeding?"

"Soon, Alec will get her bottle.  Do you want to do it?"

While Mickey fed the baby, Rose moving her feet to let Alec sit next to her, he told them what he'd been doing after he got trapped there with the Doctor.  He hated telling Rose the Doctor had been devastated and had stood with his head to the wall until Mickey had pulled him away.

"Yeah, I did the same, I felt like he was just on the other side of the wall, mum and Pete had to lead me away, the Torchwood here was a bit of a mess.  I've not asked Jake how they're getting on now, there was no need, I couldn't get involved with them, could I?"

Mickey laughed.  Baby Lisa decided she needed a break and Alec got up to show him what to do.

"I'm going back to London Rose, to see if I can get a job there, it was only a mess because the Cybermen trashed it so no-one could follow them."

"How did they even know about Torchwood?"

It was Alec that spoke up.  "Everyone was too busy debating the finer points of they used to be human, it gave them time to make their plans and gain information."

"What about the Torchwood back in our world Mickey?"

"Closed down but there's one in Cardiff and guess who's in charge?"

"No idea, tell me."

"Jack."

Rose smiled.  She should have known he'd get away from the games station.

"Did the Doctor know?"

"Oh yes, he knew.  He grounded him, twice," Mickey grinned.

"How do you mean 'grounded him'?" Alec asked.

"He had this teleportation device, a vortex manipulator but Jack didn't know you were here, the Doctor prevented him from coming here."

"Why?" Rose asked, a bit surprised the Doctor hadn't taken it from Jack and used it himself.

"Because it's dangerous Rose and he knew it.  Yes, he could have used it to get here but who knows what might have happened?  Anyway, you couldn't have used it to get back and what about your mum?"

"Wouldn't he have wanted to stay here?" Alec asked.

"He couldn't have, even Pete Tyler wouldn't be able to protect him.  There are no Timelords here Alec," Mickey answered him.  "What about baby Lisa here?  Is she completely human?"

"As far as we know, I expect Jake will try and talk me into having her examined by someone he can trust but Pete won't give us up.  I don't know much about how they treat anyone who isn't from around here.  Nothing showed up when I had her, unless someone wasn't saying something and informed Torchwood but Pete would have warned me, he won't let anyone take her from us, not without a good fight but the Doctor, well he would have been there prize exhibit, he's been captured before for being the last of his kind."

"So, what's a Dalek exactly?  You mentioned them before Rose, you said they were all in the void, how did they escape?" Alec asked.

"Their creator, Davros, was rescued from the Time War by one of them we faced back home and he created a fully fledged Dalek empire but they're all gone now, even Davros, hopefully.  Anyway, you don't want to hear about that, we won."

Rose smiled, watching Mickey trying to get the baby interested in taking more milk.  Mickey stayed most of the day, he and Rose telling Alec of what they used to get up to on the few adventures Mickey had been on with her and the Doctor and why he chose to stay the first time.

When Mickey had left, Alec got the baby bath out and they bathed her together for the first time, she seemed to enjoy it as Alec had got some lavender baby oil that Rose said she wanted some in her own bath.

"Well sweetheart, how about I help bathe you as well eh?"

"I'm really sorry about this morning Alec, I was completely wrong.  I just wanted you to see me again when I was slim, not all flabby after giving birth."

He finished dressing the baby in another sleep suit and took her into the bedroom, having brought the crib up beforehand, laying her down gently.

"Rose, it's fine, I understand your hesitation love, really I do.  Take all the time you need until you get your confidence back."

"I don't need to Alec, I want you to help me get it back.  Can you run the bath for me and put some of that oil in?"

Alec smiled.  "I'll have to get a bigger bottle next time then.  Why don't you put your dressing gown on and I'll run the water how you like it?"

"Yeah, thanks and just give me a while before I wear that new nightdress you got for me.  I'll try and get out tomorrow, I need some new underwear but I like the vest top you got me, it's more comfortable, I'll get a few more."

He went to run the bath water for her and called her when it was ready.  Rose smiled as he helped her into the bath, she was still sore and he asked her if she wanted him to leave.

"No, stay, please?"

He leaned over and kissed her, hoping she wouldn't pull him in while he was still dressed in a t-shirt and jeans but he wouldn't have minded if she did, she was only just hidden under the gentle bubbles and he smiled and got his phone out of his pocket.

Rose pretended to flick bubbles at him.

"Oi, don't you let anyone see that."

"Don't worry love, I'll not send that one to Daisy either."

He took a few, one with Rose holding the bubbles in her hands and blowing on them and they both laughed.  It was only just after eight but since she'd spent two nights in the hospital, she would be glad of the peace and quiet and he had already said he'd be the one to get up during the night.  The baby monitor was already switched on in the bedroom but the door was open.  Rose was using the soft sponge he'd got for her and Alec was just watching as she lay back.  He was so fascinated watching her, he got annoyed when there was a knock at the door.

Jill from next door had already been in to see Rose and the baby so that left Ellie Miller, unless someone else Rose knew from the other world had come back with Mickey, though that could only be the Doctor.

"I'll go see who that is love and if it's someone trying to get me to sign up for something, I'll make them wish they'd never bothered."

Rose smiled.  "It's probably just Ellie, go on before she knocks again.  Can you come back up and help me out of the bath then?"

"Not going to stay in then?  I'll warm the water up for you and get in myself," he grinned, as another knock came on the door.

He felt like shouting out of the bedroom window for her to go away but he knew she wouldn't. 

"Go on, I'll be fine, I won't get out on my own, I promise."

He leaned down to kiss her again.  "I'll be right back love, I'll make you some tea then."

Ellie was hopping up and down on the doorstep wondering if they were bathing the baby or putting her to bed.  She knew she should have come earlier but she'd left Fred with Tom for an hour and Fred wouldn't settle.  She was about to knock for the third time when she saw someone through the patterned glass.

"About time Hardy," Ellie remarked as he opened the door.

"A bit late Miller, we put the baby to bed."

He stood to one side to let her in.

"I had trouble with Fred, he's not sleeping very well," Ellie told him.

"It's not really surprising after all he's been through.  I have to go help Rose get out of the bath, I don't want her getting out on her own."

"Yeah, you go ahead, I'll put the kettle on shall I?  You did get groceries?"

"Very funny Miller.  By the way, that man hanging around outside, we know who he is."

"Then do tell," Ellie grinned, heading for the kitchen.

"When I come back down, I may be a while."

Ellie smiled to herself – newlyweds!

After Alec helped Rose out of the bath, carefully and making sure there was nothing for her to slip on, he left her to get dressed after checking on the baby.  Once back downstairs, he filled Ellie in on who had been hanging around.

Ellie listened in disbelief.  "Seriously?  He just got 'dropped off' here?"

"It's reasonably possible, there are some thing Rose never told you."

"Oh, I'd just love to hear all about it then." 

Rose came back down and Alec asked her to explain.

"So, you're telling me the father of your baby is not only trapped in another world but he's a time Traveller?"

Rose smiled and took Alec's hand.

"Yeah, takes a bit of getting used to, trust me, you should have seen my mum when she found out who he was.  Are you ready for something else?"

"Might as well I suppose."

"He looked just like Alec, minus the beard and when I first met him, he looked different, he can change his appearance.  He changed, right in front of me.  I know it's hard to believe Ellie but trust me, he appeared just as human as anyone."

Ellie eventually left and Rose spread her feet over Alec's legs.

"Tired love?"

"Yeah, it was too noisy in the hospital."

"Yes, I can imagine.  I'll get up if the baby wakes and wants feeding."

Rose smiled and indicated she wanted a kiss.

"You're far too good for me Alec Hardy, do you know that?"

"Never.  Get back on your feet again in a few days and we'll go to the Town Hall and get the certificates."

Over the next few weeks, they got used to being married and raising who was now officially baby Lisa Anne Hardy, on paper.  Pete had contacted them to tell Rose the sale from the house was complete and a trust fund was being set up in her name, being administered by his solicitors and being accessible as and when needed, with requests being granted under a certain amount without consent.  He had told her the payments to her would still be maintained to avoid the need to draw on the funds but Rose couldn't get over the fact of how much he'd put into the fund but he assured her, there was no-one else to give it to and Mickey had also received a substantial amount, as had her mother and no-one would ever find out and exploit them.  Alec wasn't so sure about that but he had to go along with it.

They talked about buying a house but were going to wait until after the upcoming trials as Alec would be too busy but he didn't want to look suspicious by being too extravagant though Rose said they could claim a rich benefactor had left her money in a will.

Alec and Ellie soon had to go over to Exeter to attend the hearings of Claire Ripley and Lee Ashworth at the Wessex County Court.  Alec didn't want Rose to bring the baby along and since she hadn't been around during the revived investigation, she had to agree with him to stay at home and if asked, he would stick to their original story that it was that and Joe Miller's trial that kept her away from Broadchurch and only agreeing to go live with him when it was all over.
Chapter 15
As Alec and Ellie had predicted, the pair accused of killing Pippa wanted to tell their story to a jury and the pleas of not guilty were entered and a trial date was set.  On their way back from Exeter, Ellie asked him what he'd do if Claire started to make allegations against him like she'd tried before.

"Ah, she won't bother trying it again, she knows she won't get anywhere with it.  If she'd wanted to do anything, she would have done it when we arrested her.  The both of them are just trying to get attention, they'll play against each other, trust me.  You saw her when we interviewed her."

"Yes but that was before she knew about Rose.  You're married now, it could have a vast effect on her if she's read the papers, she's totally unstable."

"Well if she does make allegations, I'll have quite a reputation, won't I?" he grinned.  "What with us being accused of having an affair, then keeping Claire hidden and getting Rose pregnant?"

Ellie laughed.  "Let's just hope Rose will see the funny side of it then."

Claire Ripley had indeed seen the local paper, after Rose and Alec announced their marriage and the birth of their daughter shortly after they contacted Olly again.  Claire was furious he was meant to have been seeing Rose, all the time she'd been in hiding and saying he couldn't come and see her and it wasn't a good idea, he was seeing this Rose Tyler.

On the morning of the trial of Claire Ripley, who was up on numerous charges, well anything Tess and Alec could throw at her after all the trouble she had caused them, Alec and Ellie met with Tess again outside the court.

"So, you didn't bring Rose then?"

"We have a month old baby, what do you expect?"

"Right,  I've spoken with the prosecution, there's too much against her, it shouldn't last more than a day or two, it's a shame they wouldn't put the two of them together in one go.  Since she handed in the evidence, let's see what her defence makes of it.  At least it's not the same team as you got before."

"We should be grateful for small mercies then.  Right, let's get this over with."

While Alec and Ellie were over in Exeter, Rose had decided to take a walk down to the harbour and found herself walking past their old chalet, seeing someone sitting outside and walking past the police station, went to sit at the far end of the Esplanade.  She was just fussing over the baby and noticed a man standing on the other side of the road.  She knew she shouldn't be so jumpy, there were people walking nearby and cars turning around.  She knew she couldn't call Alec while he was in court, either waiting to give evidence or on the witness stand but the station was only a short distance and she could set off and walk there if needed.

There was something about him though but Rose couldn't place it, then panic took over and she was about to get up when he crossed the road.

"Please, don't panic," he called, catching up with her.

Rose stopped and looked at the man with floppy hair and noticed he was wearing a bow tie.

"Who are you?  If Torchwood sent you, forget it, I know Pete Tyler and he would have told me he was."

"Oh, so Torchwood still exists in this universe then?  How is Pete Tyler?"

"What?"

"Rose, don't you recognise me eh?  Oh, the change, sorry!"

"Doctor?"

"I told Mickey I'd find a way and I did but something made me change, not long after he came back here.  Rose, the world you left is catching up with this one, well I think it is.  There was a side effect to something that happened.  Can we go somewhere and talk?  So, who's this then?" he asked, leaning down and looking at the now sleeping baby in her pink jacket.

"Lisa Anne.  I got married, just after I had her, a month ago."

The Doctor smiled.  "Don't tell me, you found a look-alike?  Someone who looks like I used to?"

"How did you guess?"

"It doesn't take much to work it out, you were rather fond of me when I looked like that.  So, who is he then?"

"Alec Hardy, a police detective."

"So, you must have met him when you arrived here then?  Didn't take you long."

"What?  No, it wasn't like that.  Come back with me and I'll tell you."

"Oh, shall we take the Tardis?" he grinned.

"No way, my daughter is not going in there.  How did you get it to work here?"

"Ah, I'm a genius that's how!"

"Yeah, I forgot.  Alec should be home soon, he's at a trial over in Exeter, I'll send him a message."

They walked along the harbour and followed the road and twenty minutes later, he was helping her inside with the pushchair.

"Nice house Rose.  I could never see you settling down."

"Yeah, especially after that conversation we had on that planet orbiting a black hole, remember?"

"Trust you.  So, are you going to tell me?  Were you pregnant before you came here?"

"Yeah, she's yours Doctor, well the other you."

"Really?  Wow!"

Rose's phone rang as Alec had just got out of the courtroom and got her message.

"What is it sweetheart?  What's wrong?"

"Nothing, we have another visitor."

Alec couldn't speak, the day he'd been dreading had arrived.

"Right.  I'm just setting of now, I won't be long.  Are you home?"

"Yeah.  Alec, he's changed again."

That was meant to make him feel better?  As he drove home, his mind was all over the place, Ellie noticed.

"You should have let me drive, what's wrong with you?"

"Nothing.  Well, I hope it's nothing.  He came for her Miller."

"Who came?"

"The Doctor."

"Well Rose is married to you, she'd hardly go off with him and take the baby with her, would she?"

Alec raised his eyebrows.  "You tell me Miller."

"Oh come on Hardy, Rose isn't like that, she's crazy about you."

"Yes, I thought she was but how can I compare with him?  She said he'd changed again but what if she likes the fact he can be someone else?"

"Well listen to yourself you idiot, how can you even think such a thing?  If you go home and say that to her, then she will go off with him so don't you dare drive her away.  She's the best thing that ever happened to you and you know it.  Now can we get back to Broadchurch in one piece?"

Alec was quiet all the way back and for once, he was going to take notice of his annoying DS.  Why would she want to go off with the Doctor and start time travelling again, with a baby?  Then a thought struck him, something that had been at the back of his mind since he'd discovered the fact he looked like the Doctor, well what the Doctor used to look like – that she had chosen to be with him purely for that fact that he reminded her of him.  How did he really feel about it?

The baby had woken up and the Doctor was holding her while Rose prepared the bottle.

"Do you want to feed her then?"

"No, I can't do that.  Here, you take her, I'm not very good with babies."

They'd talked about how Alec had taken her in, how she'd fallen in love with him and readily agreed to letting everyone think the baby was his to spare her feelings.

"He must be something really special, this husband of yours?"

"I thought you'd picked him out for me," she confessed as the baby was hungrily taking her milk.

"How would I do that?  Oh, you mean when I was waiting for you and you never showed up?  I waited as long as I could Rose, the gap was fading, I had to let it.  So, things didn't turn out between Jackie and Pete then?  That's a shame."

"No but he sends me an allowance every month and he set mum up with a hairdressing business.  Mickey came to see me, Alec almost arrested him for hanging around outside."

"Mickey the idiot!"

The door opened and Alec came in.  Some of his anger and disappointment had subsided since he'd dropped Ellie off to pick up Fred.  The Doctor got up, holding his hand out then changed his mind.

"You must be the Doctor?" Alec stated.

The Doctor stood in front of Alec, then circled him and stood by his side, comparing.

"Was I that skinny Rose?"

"Hey, I am here you know," Alec protested.

They sat down and Alec took his daughter.  The Doctor didn't want to upset Rose too much but told her of his meeting with The Master, whom he said he thought was dead and gone, about meeting Jack again and how the Timelords came back.

"So where are they now?" Rose asked.

"Went back to the Time War I expect but the radiation got me in the end, I couldn't hold it back any longer and here I am.  Still, I'm not completely gone."  He looked at Alec.

"That's not how it works Doctor.  Alec is not a replacement for you and he knows it."

Alec handed Lisa back to Rose and got up.

"That's just it Rose, all this time, that's been at the back of my mind."

"Seriously?  How can you even think that Alec?"

"Well, I should go," the Doctor interrupted, this was getting domestic.  "Alec, can you take me back to the Tardis do you think?  We walked here.  Rose, I'll be around for another day, then I have to leave.  You should know I came to give you the option to come with me but now you're married and Alec's adopted the baby, well, I can see you won't be needing that option but I'll come and say goodbye before I leave."

"No you won't and you know it, you'll go back to the Tardis and leave."

"No, I have to see Mickey and Pete first, I'll be here until morning.  You can come round and say goodbye, if you want?"

"Rose, I'll take you round in the morning before I go to the court," Alec told her, his hands on his hips, just like the other Doctor used to do. "Come on then, where did you leave your ship?  I won't be long Rose, then we need to talk."

Alec drove the Doctor around the other side of the harbour, wondering where he could possibly be hiding a blue box but as they got out of the car, the Doctor said it was behind the apartments.

"Right, this is where I leave you then," Alec told him.

The Doctor knew something was wrong.  "Alec, I'm not a threat to you, I'm not taking her with me."

"Even to get your daughter?"

"Yes, Lisa is my daughter but she's also Rose's and from what she told me, you spent three months looking after her when she was pregnant, that qualifies you just as much to fill the role.  Rose promised me she would tell her the truth when she's old enough and who knows, I could be able to come and go as I like by then, things are changing all the time."

"Rose won't stop you seeing Lisa and neither will I.  I'll bring them here early in the morning then."

"Right and don't worry, Rose is going nowhere."

Alec walked back to the car, wondering if he was right.  Maybe when he'd finished talking to her, she'd pack and leave anyway but was it worth saying what he was feeling to have her walk out on him and take the baby with her?  Rose was pacing up and down, dreading what kind of mood her husband would be in when he got back.  She almost jumped when the door opened.  She walked up to him and put her arms around him.

"Are you happy with me Rose?" he asked her.

"You know I am, why are you asking?"

"You had a great life, with him?"

"Yeah and I'm better for it but it's over, I'm here, with you Alec, I'm not going back with him if that's what you're getting at?"

"Then answer me this Rose.  If he still looked like me, would you stay with me or go with him?"

Rose dropped her arms and looked at him.  "That is not fair Alec, how could you?"

She rushed upstairs and went into the bedroom, banging the door to.

Alec was pacing the room, cursing himself for doing exactly what Ellie had told him not to do, drive Rose away.  He was still confused as to why Rose, who had been given the all clear from the midwife, still wouldn't let him touch her or start having sex again, well properly since they didn't and couldn't do much when Rose was six month's pregnant but they had come as close as was possible.  He felt like she was holding back and now he knew why, she'd loved the Doctor and didn't want to be with anyone else in case he found his way to her.

He picked the baby up and went upstairs, putting Lisa in the large cot and went to knock on the bedroom door.

"Can I come in?" he called.

"It's your bedroom as well," she called back.

He knew there was only one way out of this.  "I'm sorry I said that Rose, really I am, him coming here like that, it took me by surprise, we never talked about there being a possibility he'd ever make at and if he did, that he would look different."

"How could you think I'd leave you Alec?  Even if he came back?  I made my choice, he understands, I've already talked to him about it and he's happy knowing she's with me.  Yes, he'd like to be part of her life but that's not his style, settling down.  I told you, I never thought I could get pregnant when I was with him."

"Is that why you don't want to have sex with me?  I thought you were covered like that for a while?"

"Yes, I am but that's not it."

"I know why Rose, it's because I'm not him."

"Have you heard yourself?  Get it in that thick head of yours Alec, I didn't want you to see me until I as completely thin and I let you after a week, you made me realise that wasn't important to you but as for having sex, I'm scared Alec, I'm scared you'll be disappointed in me."

He stepped up to her, putting his arms around her waist.  Then he kissed her forehead.

"Rose, I could never be disappointed in you love.  What made you think I would?"

"I don't know, I just did.  Then can we just take it slowly?"

"Yes, we can take it slowly love but there are other thing we need to talk about."

"Forget it Alec, I'm not talking about the Doctor and comparing the two of you, not ever, you are my husband."

"I agree, no more talking about him but today, in court, the defence had got hold of the tape where Claire accused me of making her have sex against her will."

"Oh.  Well I know she was just saying that to get back at you, Ellie told me."

"Yes but that together with the accusation about me and Ellie, plus the newspaper article about you and I seeing each other for six months and you not coming to live with me until after the Miller trial, they are tearing me apart in there."

"Alec, I'm so sorry.  I'm coming with you tomorrow then."

"Well hopefully, the prosecution will turn the tables, state that Claire was just being spiteful and there's no proof plus she was given the chance to report me and she declined.  Then there's the fact she had the key piece of evidence."

"I'm still coming.  I can take the baby in with me."

"I'll call Tess, she can watch her while you go in with me."

"Ok then, if she agrees.  Can you go get something from the takeaway?"

"Sure sweetheart and no more of the Doctor, right?"

"Yeah and we can make a start tonight with the other thing."

"Really?"

So after they'd eaten and put the baby in their room, Alec saying they should start putting her in the nursery soon, they got down to some serious snogging on the sofa and he successfully got Rose to part with her underwear so when they got to bed, Rose was willing to go a bit further for the first time.  That relieved the tension on Alec's part that had been building up since she had the baby.

The next morning, they made an early start after Alec called Tess, who agreed she would sit outside with the baby in view she didn't agree that Alec should be tossed to the lions with all the accusations and deserved to have his current wife with him to show her support.  He drove them to where the Tardis was parked and they got out, the Doctor seeing them on the monitor and coming out.

"So, it's goodbye then?"

"Yeah, we get to say it this time," Rose smiled as Alec got the baby out of the car seat.

"Say goodbye to your daughter then," Alec told him, handing him the baby.

The Doctor kissed Lisa's forehead gently as he took hold of her.  "I know you'll take good care of them Alec and I will be back, when it's possible but you know I could change again?"

"Well, at least you've only changed once, so far," Rose smiled.  "Take care of yourself Doctor."

"Yes, you too Rose and look after him as well."  He handed Lisa back to Alec.  "Sure you don't want to come inside?"

"No, we'd best not but I wouldn't have changed those times we had for anything, I did love you," Rose told him.

"I know and now you love Alec.  Bye Rose, bye Alec."

Rose gave him a hug and clasping hold of the baby, Alec shook his hand.  They watched the Doctor disappear around the corner.

"Right, now to sort Claire out once and for all," Alec declared, fastening his daughter into the car seat.

Once at the court building, there were reporters gathering and when Alec approached, his arm around Rose as he had hold of the pushchair with her, he decided to give a brief statement, since Olly Stevens had asked him for an interview.

"I'm only going to say this once.  The allegations read out in the courtroom yesterday were complete fabrications made up by a mentally unstable accomplice to the murder of a twelve year old girl.  She was given the chance to bring charges against me and she declined because she knew they were lies.  I never had a relationship with Claire Ripley, when she claimed the events took place, I was already in a relationship with my now wife and we have a beautiful one month old baby girl.  It will be proved in court today the accused has no grounds to prove anything other than I helped her in a difficult time.  Thank you."

As he tried to move forward, photos were being taken but the baby was well covered safely with a blanket and the hood of her jacket and there were further questions being thrown at him.  Once inside, they were met by Tess, Rose meeting her for the second time, the first only briefly.

"Hello again Rose.  Nice one out there Alec, it will be all over the front page tomorrow."

"Which is exactly where I want it to be.  Come on, we'll take the lift."

Rose left the baby bag, containing a few bottles and some nappies and they went inside the courtroom, Ellie saving them two seats by showing her badge and scowling at anyone who dared to try and get past her.

"Had trouble getting in did you?" Ellie teased Alec as he went first, not wanting mainly to be sitting next to her but so Claire wouldn't glare at Rose through the glass.

"Should we?"

The court was told to stand while the judge entered after Claire was led in.  Claire stared at Alec and noticed he was holding Rose's hand, she clearly hadn't expected his wife to show up.  As predicted, the prosecution made light work of the accusations made by the defence about Claire and Alec and the jury were instructed by the judge to disregard anything they had heard the day before concerning the matter.  Rose was rather disappointed she'd not been asked to come to her husband's defence.

Once back outside, Rose was quickly reunited with her baby and thanked Tess.

"So, when are you coming to visit Daisy again?" Tess asked Alec.

"There's no reason why she can't come down again, she's old enough and she was fine the other week."

"Very well, we'll make the arrangements.  Sorry Rose, I have to be in there now."

"Yeah, thanks Tess.  I'll go get a drink before she wakes up and wants feeding, see you later Alec."

Alec put his hand on her shoulder and kissed her cheek.

"See you in a bit love."

As they were going back in, Tess stopped him.

"You were right to marry her Alec, she's good for you and she stuck by you after all that was said."

"Yes, Rose is something else, one in billions."

He turned around and saw her bending over the pushchair and fussing over their daughter.  A lot had happened in the past few days, the Doctor, who may have tempted her to go back with him, had he not turned into something resembling a young man in an old man's clothing and then the ridiculous accusations Claire had fired at him when he'd arrested her but they had got through it.  He was about to follow Tess back into the courtroom when Rose looked up and smiled at him and as long as he lived, he knew he was the luckiest man alive in two universes and when she'd asked him a while ago if he'd rather be the actor she liked or the Doctor, he'd been right in saying he'd rather be himself because neither of them had her for a wife. 

The End!

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