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Strangers on a train

Alec Hardy is taking the night train to Fort William to travel around the Scottish highlands after he fails to reconnect with his daughter.  Rose Tyler is taking over a new Torchwood office there and they meet when they are in adjoining cabins.  Thinking they only have one night, they spend it together but when they reach their destination, they both realise they want more.  

Chapter 1
Alec thinks she just wants the one night and wouldn't want to give up her new job just for him.  Will she find him before he embarks on his travels when she realizes she also wants more two days later?

Rose was getting excited at the prospect of running her first office, since it was in the far reaches of Scotland – Fort William to be precise and she’d read up about the town and looked at local pictures and booked a nice hotel for a few nights just on the shore of the loch she had yet to learn the name of and would take her time choosing either a house or an apartment.

She’d persuaded her stepfather not to send Jake or Mickey with her just yet, she wanted some time on her own to get used to it and she had a few days to spare before meeting the team she would be in charge of.  Her mother of course had argued Rose’s need to be so far away but expected Rose, despite being in this new world long enough would never get rid of the travelling bug.

“Mum, I’m only going to Scotland,” Rose reminded her a few days before, since she had opted to take the overnight train to save driving and had got her secretary to book her a cabin until it reached Glasgow, around eight in the morning since the train was a slow one, then she had to get one to Fort William and hoped she’d be able to manage her luggage or find a porter.

She had learned that from the town she was going to, regular steam trains ran to Mallaig and from there, ferries to some of the islands so she had plenty of exploring to do plus some of the bigger islands to visit.  So the night before, since Pete was taking her to the railway station to board the train around eleven at night, she had read Tony a bedtime story but he wanted to know where she would be visiting.

“Aw, lots of places Tony,” Rose had smiled.

“Will you see the Loch Ness monster Rose?” Tony laughed.

Rose had been amused it had been rumoured to have existed in this world as well as her old one.

“I’ll take a picture if I see it but it might be a bit scary.  Tell you what, I’ll see if I can get a book about it and send it down, yeah?”

“Yeah, great, thanks Rose.  Dad said there’s a big mountain there as well, are you gonna climb it?”

Rose ruffled his hair.  “I don’t think so but I might have a ride on the ski-lift and there are loads of castles to look around.  I hope when I get settled, you can all come for a visit, yeah?”

Just then, Pete came in to remind Rose what time she had to leave, since the train was open for boarding earlier to give time for people who had booked cabins to find them and get a late night snack in the dining car.  She wondered if such trains still ran in her old world but doubted it when people could fly in a fraction of the time.  She could have done had she wanted but it all added to the excitement.

“So, looking forward to this?” Pete asked as they had said goodnight to Tony and Pete had switched the monitor on.

“Yeah, though Jake offered to keep me company again but I just want some time to explore.  I hope it’s one of those old- fashioned trains.”

“It will be, I’m surprised you didn’t look it up.  Got your ticket ready?”

Rose nodded.  “Best go say bye to mum, it’s a wonder she doesn’t want to see me off.”

“She would but she’d only make a scene and make a fuss like you said she used to do when you were going off in that police box,” Pete had to smile.

“Trust me, she would as well, you’ve no idea.  Just see me onto the train Dad, no point in waiting until it departs.  If there are any delays, I’ll miss my connection in Glasgow but half an hour won’t make much difference.”

“Well you call me right away if the train gets cancelled, we’ll leave it until morning and book a plane, which you could have gone by you know?”

“Since when did I ever do something the easy way?” Rose grinned as they entered the sitting room her mother was in.

They finally set off after her mother let her go and Pete drove toward the train station, easily finding a parking spot and surprised there was no charge at that time of night.  He went to get a platform ticket so he could help Rose with her luggage and find her cabin, which Rose had memorized the number and the carriage letter.

While Rose had been doing all that, Alec Hardy had left Sandbrook after saying goodbye to his daughter and leaving her to think of paying him a visit when he decided to go back to Broadchurch.  That all depended on if the chief there would forgive him for not revealing his illness then having the nerve to take over a custody suite to arrest those responsible for killing two cousins.

If he was really lucky and took his time, she might have left.  Why he’d suddenly taken up the idea of traveling around the Scottish Highlands, he couldn’t remember but he was going to end up in his home town of Paisley after a brief visit to where he was actually born in Bathgate, not that he remembered much about it, since he was quite young when they had moved.

He had decided to start off in Fort William, spend a couple of days going locally and have a car delivered to the hotel then head further north towards Inverness then around to the east coast and Aberdeen.  Well that was half his plan, he’d not decided if he was going to end in Paisley or go back to Fort William but he’d miss a lot out if he didn’t.  He had some savings he was going to fund his trip with and was now re-instated as a DI pending him deciding where he was going to apply and he had four weeks to decide or he’d been told he could end up anywhere where there was a vacancy for his rank.

He just hoped if he didn’t decide when he got back that it wouldn’t be in the same station as his ex wife, since he’d embarrassed himself and her by asking her to give them another chance.  What had he been thinking when he was one day away from getting himself fixed and asking Tess to give him another chance?

He was getting a late train to London and travelling overnight, thankful there still was an overnight train and he’d paid extra to get a private cabin and just hoped there wasn’t a couple in the adjoining cabin who were having loud sex all night, well not unless it was him and he somehow doubted that.

Rose and Pete where walking down the ramp to the platform as Alec's train from Sandbrook arrived and he just had to cross the bridge without exiting the platform area and Pete was helping her find her cabin as Alec was getting on from the other end.  Pete picked up the key from the inside and handed it to Rose.

“What are you going to do until the train departs?” Pete wondered.

“I think I’ll go find the restaurant car and get a snack and a coffee, then I’ll stay there a while, I’m not tired yet,” Rose replied, leaving her luggage by the window and pulling down the blind.

“Want me to pull the bed down for you?” Pete offered.

“I thought it would be like those old trains where there was a separate bedroom,” Rose mused.

“You watch too many spy films Rose,” Pete laughed.  “Well, I’d best be off then, call us when you get settled in your hotel.”

“Yeah, I will and I managed to get a room with a view of the loch, not the car park around the back,” Rose smiled.

She locked the cabin door behind her and followed Pete to the exit, giving him a hug.

“Just relax Rose, have a pleasant journey,” Pete told her.

After waving, Rose followed the sign for the restaurant car just as Alec was following her, seeing her trying to argue with a door.

“Do you need some help maybe?” a Scottish voice came from behind her as she tried to pull the door.

“The stupid thing seems to be stuck,” Rose replied without turning around.

“Ah, maybe you pull it instead of pushing it?” Alec suggested, Rose having stepped aside.

Rose thought he didn’t have to be such a show-off, did he?  Then she realized who he was.  Alec held the door through to the next carriage, seeing another door through the short gap.

“Allow me to open the next one?” he suggested as Rose stared at him.  “Have we met before?” he dared ask, also knowing who she was right away as she had turned.

“Don’t think so but I know who you are,” Rose had to smile, not believing her luck he was on the same train but considering he was Scottish and the train was destined for Glasgow, it seemed reasonable he was on board.

Rose followed him and he closed the other door behind her and indicated for her to enter the dining car.

“Would you care to join me, Miss Tyler?” he asked hopefully as a few tables were already taken.

Rose nodded and slid into a seat, Alec sitting opposite and taking the late-night menu which consisted mainly of over-priced sandwiches, which he hoped weren’t served in cardboard and plastic wrappers considering the prices.

A waiter came to take their order, Rose ordering tea since she wouldn’t sleep if she did actually go for the coffee so Alec suggested they shared a pot for two and ordered two egg-mayonnaise sandwiches.

“May I call you Rose?” he dared ask.

“Sure, why not, Alec?  So, what made you take this train then?  Did you leave Broadchurch after the trial?”

“Yes, I went to visit my daughter but she was having very little to do with me so I decided I would take a holiday and travel around Scotland for a while.  Are you going on holiday?” he wondered as their pot of tea arrived.

“No, I’m going to be working up there, team leader in Fort William.  I’m looking forward to it,” Rose replied, not wanting to mention Torchwood.

“I take it that’s not for Vitex then?” Alec smiled, offering to pour the tea.

“You’re well informed Alec,” Rose smiled as she watched him and the train began to move slowly.

Alec was hoping he wouldn’t spill the hot liquid on her or the white tablecloth, he’d surely suffer if he did either but he managed not to.  Rose was relieved she wasn’t the one going backwards but Alec had hardly noticed, trying to impress his new acquaintance with his tea-pouring skills.

“So why are ya going off to Scotland in the middle of the night?” Rose continued after their sandwiches arrived, on a ‘posh’ plate Alec was relieved to see and no cellophane in sight but with a side-serving of salad.

“I had been to see my daughter and thought I would take advantage and travel overnight, I too am going to Fort William,” Alec told her as they ate.  “I am going on a touring holiday, I am just staying there for a few days while I plan the best route.”

“Lucky you then.  I was just gonna look around the place for a few days, take a steam train ride and a ferry to one or two of the islands and maybe go part way up the mountain.”

Alec thought she probably would as well, she seemed to keep herself in good shape and now he was paying more attention to himself, he was a lot fitter than a few months ago when he’d escaped from the jaws of death.

“That sounds more interesting than what I had planned,” he had to smile as he offered to pour more tea.

“Best not, I don’t have my own bathroom.  Do these trains have private bathrooms?” she mused.

“If it is any consolation, neither does mine.  May I escort you to your cabin?” he offered as he got up.

“Can we talk a bit longer, I’m not really tired yet?” Rose asked him.

“Maybe we can sit in my cabin for a while, or yours, if that’s nearer?”

Rose thought that hadn’t taken him long, had it?  Still, he was cute, still had his scruffy beard and he reminded her of the man she had lost, who was part of the reason she’d taken up Pete's offer of being in charge up in Scotland since there had been rumours the canon project was showing some signs yet again after a few year’s silence and she didn’t want to be tempted.

“Are you in the next carriage then?” Rose wondered as he helped her up, getting a few stares from stuffy businessmen.

“Ah, yes.  I followed you, remember but I suppose you could have wandered down several carriages,” Alec replied as he held the door for her and having to remember which way the other door opened.

Walking past a few cabins after stopping at the restroom, Rose stopped outside hers.

“My stepfather came to see me off, I’d just said goodbye to him,” Rose admitted as she found the key.

“May I?” Alec offered, holding his hand out for the key.  “This door may also be a little tricky?”

Who was she to argue with him when he was being a gentleman?

“Alec, don’t take this the wrong way but I’m really not tired and could use some company right now.”

“Then I will not take it the wrong way,” Alec smiled as he allowed her inside first.

He was taken by surprise when she asked him to pull the bed down for her then fingered his jacket buttons.

“Alec, stay with me?”

Something inside him was telling him to leave.  She was Rose Tyler, the heiress to the Vitex fortune, well most of it since she had a younger half-brother and she could have any man she wanted.  Had it been fate that had caused them both to be on the slow overnight train to Glasgow?  If Rose Tyler wanted some company, he was more than willing to provide it but would she throw him out?

“I would like that Rose but are you sure you don’t need some sleep?”

“No, not yet, I’m still wide awake.  I know you’re only staying in Fort William a few days and I’m gonna be working there but are you opposed to spending one night on a train with me?”

“Certainly not Rose, I’m not opposed to it and you did have plans when you got there after all,” he agreed.

“Then take your jacket off Alec, tomorrow we’ll be in Glasgow and if ya want, we can travel on to Fort William together but after that?”

Alec wondered what she meant then realized she was offering him one night with her.  Who was he to refuse and maybe the loud sex he was opposed to would be with himself and Rose, if he was really lucky.

“It would be my pleasure to escort you on the rest of our journey,” he replied as he took his jacket off and Rose went for his shirt buttons.  “It would be my pleasure indeed to stay with you tonight and if that is what you want?”

Rose wasn’t sure but what was the harm in one night, on a train and pretending she was in a James Bond movie?  They would go their separate ways once at their destination, she to her hotel and Alec to his and she doubted he’d opted for one of the posh hotels on the side of the loch.

Before either of them knew it, Alec was pulling the covers back on the pull-down bed and allowed Rose in first, not that there was much room but he was down to his shorts and Rose was down to her underwear and she was about to lose it as he reached for her bra fastener and she reached for the waistband of his shorts.

“Just one thing Rose,” Alec spoke up as they had kissed several times and he was about to kiss her cleavage.

“Oh, what’s that?” Rose smiled in the now dim light.

“I am just getting over a heart operation, I don’t know how good a job was done.”

“Well, there’s only one way to find out, Alec,” Rose teased him as she pulled his shorts down and they touched.

“Right, don’t say I did not warn you, Miss Tyler,” he teased back.

All he heard was a soft moan as he parted her from her own remaining underwear and figured maybe there was no need to actually have loud sex after all.


TBC
Chapter 2
It was quite late as Alec came away from her, trying not to fall off the narrow bunk and Rose giggling to herself.

“I suppose you think this is funny?” Alec asked her as she held onto him.


“A bit, come on.  Haven’t you seen those James Bond movies?”


“I may have done but I don’t fancy having to throw someone through the window.  We had best put our underwear on at least, in case of an emergency.”


“Yeah, wouldn’t want anyone to think we just has sex,” Rose giggled.  “I feel great though, that was amazing Alec.  So when did ya get yourself fixed?”


“Not long ago,” he replied as he put one foot on the floor.  “I had best pass your underwear.”


“Yeah, where did it go?” Rose wondered, not remembering how they’d tossed things away when it became apparent neither of them could wait any longer.  “In case ya were worried, I’m on injections.”


“Then I am glad to hear it since I forgot to stock up on protection when I was planning an overnight train journey.  We seem to have stopped.”


“Yeah, it picks up other passengers at a few places.  One’s York but we can’t be there yet.”


“Well if I were dressed, I would open the blind,” Alec grinned as he found his shorts, Rose getting a good look at his rear.


“Nice,” Rose giggled, Alec thinking she was finding it all amusing.


“I should go to my cabin,” was all he could think of.


“To stay?” Rose wondered, hoping not.


“Ah, no, to get some clean shorts for morning and a t-shirt, unless you don’t want me to stay?”


“Please stay Alec, I don’t want to be on my own.  Whatever you read about me in the papers is just for show.  I don’t really have a new man every week.”


“Somehow, I believe you, judging by your reaction.  I thought I was the only one who’d not had sex in a good while.”


“Well, you’re not, are you?  I’m not on the town every night, I only go out with my parents and the odd dinner date if I get asked nicely.  Oh, the train's moving again,” she smiled as the carriage jerked slightly.  “I wasn’t going to travel by train but I thought it would be more relaxing, except for this thing I have about the carriage I’m in getting left behind.”


“Really?  We are more or less in the middle Rose, not the end one.  I will just slip my clothes on while I go to my cabin, I won’t be long.”


Rose scrambled into her underwear then went to her small case to get her pyjamas out, thinking Alec would be annoyed but what if there was an emergency?  Alec was soon back, having had a debate with himself at one in the morning and no clue as to where they were and the train was moving very slowly compared to a daytime one.


Why exactly was he going back to her cabin?  Did she really want to wake up with him in the morning?  Still, he had promised he wouldn’t be long but they wouldn’t get much sleep, he’d have to be back here at least half an hour before they arrived at Glasgow central.


Rose was wondering if Alec would actually return, had he any reason to?  It had been a nice surprise to turn around earlier and he’d been behind her but she’d never expected to actually meet him, having followed his last case.


They could only have the one night though, she was going to start a new job and she had no idea what Alec had in mind apart from travelling around and she wouldn’t find it the same as travelling the other universe.  She heard a tap on the door and opened it carefully to see Alec with a t-shirt over his arm and a pair of shorts sticking out from under it.


“I have set my alarm for seven, we had best get some sleep,” he told her as he took his shirt off, Rose staring at him and wishing he didn’t have to put the t-shirt on.


“Yeah, what about breakfast?”


“Ah, we should have time before we arrive in Glasgow, there is half an hour before the train to Fort William, we can eat then return for our luggage.  We should get a porter to help us, you seem to have quite a lot.”


“Well, I don’t know when I’ll get chance to go home.  What about you, are ya planning on staying in posh hotels that do your laundry?” she teased him, moving over.


“Something like that, don’t worry about it eh?  So, where are you staying for now?”


“At the Glen Morris Hotel on the shore road, until I get a place of my own.  I don’t suppose you’re staying there?”


“No, sorry.  Just a budget hotel for me near the loch.  I booked two nights then I’ll have a car delivered and be off.  We may bump into each other?” he tried to hint.


As he climbed back in the bunk, he thought who was he kidding?  They were a couple of strangers on a train, sharing a bunk for the night and had a pleasant time letting off some steam that had been building up since they met on the way to the dining car.


“Alec, can I lie on top of you, I’m right at the wall.”


“Sure, just don’t roll over and fall out eh?”


It didn’t take Rose long to roll his t-shirt up and rest on his bare chest.  She’d often imagined lying with the Doctor but it had never become reality, not for the lack of trying on her part though.  This was nice, she thought as she snuggled up to him, shame he only seemed to want one night but he wasn’t staying and she was.


All too soon, Alec heard his alarm and tried to get from under a still sleeping Rose, whose hair was all over the place and didn’t appreciate him trying to move.


“Come on Rose, rise and shine eh?” he asked her as he tried not to end up on the floor.


“Yeah, is that your alarm?”


“Whose else would it be eh?  Morning.”


“Yeah, hi, morning,” Rose yawned, trying to figure out if she should get out or hide until Alec got ready.


“You can watch if you want but I expect the same in return.”


“Fair’s fair I suppose?” Rose grinned, getting ready for the show of the century as he took his t-shirt off and reached for his shirt.


To her disappointment, he turned slightly to change his shorts, smiling to himself.


“I don’t think you are ready to actually see me Rose, do you?”


“Well maybe not?  Bet you’re a ten though?” she teased him.


“Really?  I may be, I never bothered, what with being married.  I’m divorced by the way, well and truly, she turned me down a while back when I suggest trying again.”


Rose had got out of bed and was getting her clean underwear and a t-shirt she’d left in the small case.  She was just going to throw her other stuff in and sort it out at the hotel.


“Blimey, well at least ya tried?  Anyway, last night was really good, ten out ten.  Give me a hand with my fastener?”


"With pleasure but we will have to hurry to get breakfast or have to wait until we get to our final destination.”


“Yeah, I’m really hungry but we won’t have a lot of time.  I meant it Alec, it was really nice.”


“Yes, it was for me as well.  My daughter was teasing me about one of those dating sites but I told her it was a waste of time.  I’m undecided where I go after my travels.”


“Not going back to Broadchurch then?”


“I may do, it’s as good a place as any.  Ready?” he asked as she picked up her purse and phone, Alec having already picked his phone up.


After a quick breakfast and being told they were waiting to be allocated a platform, they went back to their cabins, Alec stepping inside Rose's for a moment.  He leaned down to kiss her, making Rose melt.


“Mmm, that was nice too.  I don’t expect we’ll get a private carriage on the next train?”


“We can try to sit out of the way?” he suggested.


“Yeah, we could.  So, whatcha gonna do today and tomorrow then?”


“Ah, organize a car and go find somewhere to buy a good  map of Scotland.  The car will have a navigation system but I would rather plan some sort of route.  What about you?”


“Heading for the shops?” Rose mused.  “We may bump into each other?”


“Yes, probably, before I leave.  Best call a porter to help,” he suggested as the train came slowly to a halt, hopefully at a platform or they’d miss their next train.


Alec was in luck as he went to his cabin and caught the guard, saying his next door fellow passenger needed help with her luggage.


“I’ll call a porter for her, are you both together?”


“Ah, we met last night and at breakfast.  I would offer myself but I have my own to manage.”


Rose had her door open, having dragged her things over to the doorway.


“Any luck?” she asked as the guard went off to tell everyone to not forget anything as they departed the train.


“Hopefully.  Sorry, I have enough with my own but we still have time to get the other train.  If we miss it, I will hire a car to get us there.”


“Aw, ya don’t have to do that, they’ll be another one.”


“At what time though?” he asked, raising his eyebrows and seeing a porter passing the window.  “He had better be coming to help you.”


He saw the porter enter the carriage and waved as people were getting off.


“My friend here needs some help,” Alec told the man.


“Of course Sir, that’s why I’m here, I know who she is.  Can you manage the smaller items Miss Tyler?”


“Yeah, I’m heading for the train to Fort William, which platform is it?”


“I will help you over Miss Tyler, I have a trolley waiting.  Are you catching the same train Sir?”


Alec wondered why he’d not been recognized, he’d been in the papers recently but maybe just not in Glasgow.  The porter piled everything onto the trolley, Alec still carrying a shoulder bag and offered to take Rose's but she said she would manage.  They waited for the lift to take them up to the footbridge, Rose looking around as it was quite busy.


They were soon on the platform, their train already there but the doors were closed.


“I thought it would be open?” Rose asked the porter.


Alec just smiled at his new friend.  The driver came along a few minutes later and the porter indicated to the trolley so the doors were released and the porter and Alec soon had their cases in the rack by the door, Rose hoping no-one else needed it.


Alec gave the porter a tip and Rose sat just behind the rack.


“Not taking any chances?” Alec wondered.


“No, would you?  Sorry, I’m a bit irritable when I wake up early,” she smiled, slipping her arm in his.


“That’s okay, I used to wake up like that before my surgery.  My DS could tell you a few things about me, trust me.”


“Yeah, I bet she could as well.  I wonder if there’ll be a tea trolley comes around, it’s a few hours until we get there.”


“Ah, almost four hours I believe.  It wouldn’t have been much faster by car I suppose?” Alec replied.


“No, it would have been tiring, we didn’t get much sleep.  Do ya mind if I just close my eyes for a bit?”


“No, go ahead, I may do the same but if a tea trolley does come round, I may miss it.”


“Aw, it’s okay, you didn’t get much sleep either, did ya?”


“It was you who said you weren’t tired, if I remember correctly?”


It was too late as she leaned on his arm and closed her eyes.  Alec smiled to himself, thinking it was a shame all she seemed to have wanted was last night, she certainly wouldn’t want to tag along with him, wherever he was going first but he may head towards the tip of Loch Ness and take it from there.


Rose woke up and nudged Alec, who smiled and said he would go see if the trolley had missed them, since he spied someone with a paper carton.  As they approached their destination, Rose hoped there would be a porter or at least a luggage trolley and a taxi-rank outside the station.


As the train stopped, Alec got up to try to catch the attention of a porter but no-one was around so he suggested Rose took the light things and waited on the platform while he got the three large cases one at a time.  Luckily, there was a taxi rank outside as Alec did the same again, seeing no spare trolleys.


“Do you need dropping somewhere Alec?” Rose turned to him as the cab driver took Rose's two large cases and her other things to the back.


“No, I can manage, it’s not far.  So, I may see you around before I leave?”


“Yeah, I’ll probably get settled then come back for a walk around.  It was really nice meeting you Alec.”


“You as well Rose, take care and if I come back this way, I may run into you?”


Rose was hoping so.  Now she was regretting not saying anything.


“Bye Alec, take care on your travels.”


The driver got back in, having left the door open for Rose.


Alec leaned over to kiss her cheek but caught the side of her mouth.


“Bye Rose, it was more than nice.  Here, take my card, if you want to know where I have got to, maybe?”


Rose took the card and kissed his cheek back.  Alec stood holding the taxi door while she got in, Rose leaning over to tell the driver where she was going, which wasn’t far but she couldn’t have walked.  He watched as the driver indicated to pull out then turn left out of the station forecourt then waited to join the main road.  He set off in the general direction of his hotel, seeing it in the distance and hoping it was nearer than it looked.


Would Rose bother to call him?  If she did, he’d maybe be a good distance away, then what could he say?  He did hope he’d get back this way, Rose being here should help him make up his mind.  The taxi arrived five minutes later in the driveway of her hotel and seeing a porter coming out to greet her.  She paid the driver extra for him waiting for her to say goodbye to Alec, probably amusing him.


What could she do though?  She’d not come all this way to take a touring holiday like Alec had done.  Pete would be annoyed to say the least after giving her priority when the vacancy had arisen, though she’d no idea why she’d wanted it, it just sounded different.


“Miss Tyler,” she was greeted when Rose went up to the desk.  “This is a pleasure to have you staying in our hotel.  I’m Donald, I hope you had a pleasant journey?”


Rose was about to say it had been more than pleasant.


“Thanks.  How long does it take to walk back to the shopping area?”


She half expected a funny remark.


“Around fifteen to twenty minutes depending on your pace.  We can call a cab for you if you wish?”


“I’ve been stuck on trains for a long time, I need a walk, thanks.  What time are the meals?”


Once in her room, she took what would get creased out of her cases and left the rest in favour of getting a cab to the town centre and finding something to eat and figuring walking around the shops would be enough exercise.  Alec had hung up his shirts that weren’t too creased and looked up the car hire company and checked they had his reservation and asking if he could leave it at another office if need be.


Then he decided to take a walk around, wondering if Rose had got unpacked but why was he still thinking about her?  It had made the journey up here more enjoyable than being on his own, even the second train where Rose had been leaning on his for a good while.  He knew he had to forget about her, then if he still felt the same way when he got to Paisley, he would consider continuing and coming back but what then?  No, he should forget about her altogether but if he were to bump into her before he left, he may ask her out for a meal, if there was anywhere to go.


Despite having a late lunch, Rose had found herself in the outdoor centre that also had a book department and thought she would get something to read to help pass the time, spying the centre also had a café.  Alec had been looking around the same place and got himself a compact map that was readable and thought he’d study it later if he had no luck bumping into Rose again.


He’d given her his phone number, it was up to her if she used it but he had just got himself a pot of tea and a pastry when he swore he saw Rose going towards the counter.  Not wanting to shout out, he tried to get her attention.  Rose turned around and saw him waving and waved back, getting a latte and a piece of cake.


“Hi, fancy see you here!” Rose greeted him.  “I came to get something to read, how about you?”


Alec held the plastic carrier bag up.


“Map, easy to read,” he grinned.  “So, how is your hotel?”


“Good, a bit posh even for me.  Maybe I should have gone to where you are?  I only got it because I could get a view of the loch.  So do you get meals included?”


“No, only breakfast.  Did you walk back?”


“Nah, I’m still a bit tired and I walked the length of the main shopping area.  Bet ya I can sleep tonight?”


Alec thought he wouldn’t mind finding out but dare not suggest it.


“I will have to find a place to eat later.  Rose, would you care to join me somewhere?  I could maybe call you at the hotel when I have found somewhere?”


“Oh, you can have my number, you gave me yours at the last minute, remember?”


Alec did remember, he hadn’t thought she would have any need for it or she would have given him the card right back asking what the hell he was thinking.


“Why don’t I look something up now?  Would you care for another drink?”


“No, I’m good, thanks.  I’ll write my number down then?”


“Am I going to need it?” Alec smiled, thinking she was tormenting him.


“Well it’s not compulsory,” Rose grinned.  “Have you found anywhere?”


“There are quite a few but there is one called The Stables that seems nice.  Shall we meet at say seven thirty?  We can have a drink afterwards maybe?”


“Yeah, that would be nice.  I’ll have to find out if I need a code or anything for the hotel after a certain time.”


“Ah, my hotel has twenty four hour access, so I was informed.  So have you had a good look around?”


“Yeah but I resisted buying anything, I was gonna do that another time.  I was thinking of getting that steam train tomorrow, want to come along?”


She thought it was worth asking, he’d be driving away the day after, wouldn’t he?


“Where did you say it went to?”


“Just to Mallaig, it’s only a tiny place but the ride would be nice.”


“After all that way we’ve come already?” Alec mused as he finished his pot of tea.


“Well I could wait and go on my own?” Rose teased him.


“Well since you put it like that?  I suppose it would be interesting?  Were you planning on shopping when you got back?”


“Well maybe but ya don’t have to tag along.”


“I could do with a visit to the supermarket, I passed one near my hotel.”


“Yeah, I saw it.  Anyway, I picked up a leaflet for the train, wanna meet me at the station?”


“Sure, just tell me what time but in view of waking early this morning, maybe we could have a later start?”


“Yeah, okay then?  So I’ll meet you at half seven tonight?  I should have hired a car,” Rose joked.


“I should have ordered one early or back in Glasgow?”


“Alec if we’d driven up here, we might have only just arrived?”


“True I suppose?  Am I keeping you Rose?”


“Well, I should be getting back and choose something to wear tonight?  I look forward to it then?”


“As do I.  May I walk you out?”


“I expect if I get a cab later, they’ll know where the restaurant is?”


“I expect so.  Until later then?”


As they got outside, Alec saw a taxi rank and walked her towards it.  The second time today they had said goodbye, thinking it was the last time and now, he’d have the pleasure of seeing her later.  At this rate, with seeing her tomorrow, maybe it would be more difficult for him to just drive off the day after?


Rose was thinking more or less the same thing.  She’d only half expected to meet Alec again and now he’d asked her out later.  Would she be able to let him just drive off after dinner tonight and another train ride tomorrow?


Chapter 3
As Rose went back to her hotel to get ready, hoping at least one of her dresses wasn't badly creased, Alec was planning their evening out.  It had been a pleasant surprise when she'd walked into the café he had stopped in, could he really have avoided her in such a small town though?

Her invitation to take another train ride with her tomorrow had also come as a surprise but the day after, he'd be gone and so he may as well make the most of it he supposed.  Maybe she would agree to go back to his hotel room or he to hers, though his was the nearest as he headed back there, he could leave getting the few things he needed until tomorrow as he bypassed the supermarket.

Rose was wondering whether she should just hire the car now and be done with it, she had to book a taxi for later then get one back.  She'd stopped off at reception to see about getting in if she was late back and had been told after eleven to ring the night bell at the side of the double glass door.

Maybe Alec would see her back though but would he want her to sneak him to her room of he sneak her to his?  Could she spend another night with him, albeit more comfortable than in a train cabin?  If he asked then why not?

Alec was wondering the same, would the famous Rose Tyler be willing to spend another night with him?  He was going away so what would it matter?  It would give him something to remember and may even encourage him to come back and not give the car back when he got to his home town.  Would she want him to come back though and if he did, what then?

He still had to decide if he was going back to Broadchurch though and Rose, well she was taking up a post at Torchwood, why wouldn't she want to stay?  Last night had just been his lucky night, a casual encounter but it could be stretched to another night, couldn't it?

Why was he even doubting it?  She had willingly joined him in the café, she could have just ignored him or told him it had been one night and that was it, if she'd wanted.  Why was he even worried about it though?  No, he'd not ask her to stay the night unless she brought up the subject, he didn't want to ruin everything but he hoped he wouldn't look nervous when they met later.

Rose went downstairs to order a taxi to take her to the restaurant, thinking the staff would be finding it amusing but she had been wondering why Alec hadn't volunteered to hire a car earlier?  Maybe he'd already arranged it though and didn't want to mess around?

Alec had got changed, had a bit of a shave and put some cologne on and hoped he was presentable.  After all, it wasn't like he was meeting someone he'd not met before, his daughter had been trying to get him registered with a dating app but he'd told her not to dare.  When she'd asked why, he'd made up the excuse he wasn't sure where he would end up.  

Maybe he should have waited for his touring holiday and brought Daisy with him?  He'd had to smile though when Rose had asked him how he was going to manage his laundry.  He'd been spoiled back at his riverside chalet, it having been equipped with a washing machine and a dryer but he couldn't have stayed there, there had been too much going on.

If he went back to Broadchurch though, where else could he find something remote, apart from that white cottage on its own halfway up the east cliff?  It was an idea though, no-one would bother him and the fair couldn't set up behind it.

He set off to find the restaurant and hoped Rose wouldn't change her mind.  He was relieved when he saw her getting out of a taxi just after he got there.

"Hi Alec, hope I'm not late?" she asked, Alec helping her and kissing her cheek.

He noted she was wearing very strong and probably very expensive perfume and he hoped between that and his own cologne, it wouldn't send her dizzy.

"No, I just arrived, we have a few minutes to claim our reservation.  I should have altered my hire car and got it today, to save you getting a taxi every time."

"It doesn't matter Alec, I'll get a car in a few days.  You look very smart by the way."

"You look very nice in that dress," he replied, out of his depth at complimenting his date for the evening.

He opened the door for her and saw the small reception table and a man all dressed up behind it.

"Do you have a reservation Sir?"

Alec thought of just asking the man if he recognized the woman who was standing in front of him but this was Scotland, not London.

He was sure Rose never needed a reservation in her home town.

"Yes, the name is Hardy," Alec replied instead, Rose holding onto his arm as if she was miffed the man didn't recognize her, considering even the porter that morning seemed to know who she was.

They were shown to a corner table near the window, Alec relieved it was not in a corner near the door with people going in and out all the time.

"This is very old-fashioned," Rose smiled as Alec held her chair until she was seated, something he had remembered how to do as Tess had insisted he at least did that if they went out.

"Yes, very authentic," Alec agreed, sitting opposite and handing the menu to her.

"Alec, you're not nervous are you?" Rose teased him.

"Honestly?  A little, not everyone gets the pleasure of dining with you."

"We were in the dining car last night," Rose smiled, looking at the prices and feeling guilty.

If she'd known, she would have insisted they had just a pub meal instead and hoped Alec wouldn't have to cut his tour down because of it.  Alec was just glad he had some savings plus he'd been pleased earlier that his salary had been made up and he was back on full pay since they owed him holiday payments.

"I'm sure that was different Rose.  Would you like a drink while you decide?" he offered as a waiter came towards them.

Getting their drinks ordered, Rose decided what she wanted, she still didn't like all the fancy dishes despite who she now was and Alec noticed.

"We don't eat fancy food at home, in case you wondered," Rose smiled at him as he took his specs off and put them in his top pocket.  "Me and mum didn't always have money.  So, are ya gonna tell me where you come from?"

"Did I not tell you?  Originally Bathgate, then we move to Paisley, I went to the grammar school there then to collage so I could join the police.  So what did you do before your mother met Pete Tyler?"

Rose always had trouble getting her head around the story that had been invented for herself and her mother but Pete had thought she was safe enough going with her original one, less her travelling in time and space and not being from this world.

"Oh, just a normal shop girl, mum just got lucky.  Pete made me finish college before he let me join the organization though but he let me do one day a week training.  I met my last boyfriend there but he went off exploring, I've not see him since.  He was the head of research and things were a bit slow."

Alec seemed to be interested more in the fact she was now on her own or not.

"Really?  He went off and left you?  That seems rather hard to believe."

That was what they had decided to say about the Doctor to anyone outside family.

"Yeah, it happens, even to me.  I didn't trust anyone after that.  Did I tell ya I don't have a different boyfriend every week?"

"You may have done but in a hurry last night," Alec smiled as their soup arrived.

Rose had been hoping to talk about him, not herself but she had to stick to certain facts and not trip herself up.  Alec paid close attention to her, telling her how he'd solved an old case while attending a trial and now he was just deciding what to do, even though he knew he'd have to attend another trial, unless he got really lucky and the three of them went down without a fight.  He doubted that Claire would go quietly though.

"So ya left your surgery all that time?" Rose asked him.

"Yes but I'm fine now, really.  The last suspect may have got away but the other three won't.  Enough of that anyway," he smiled as Rose sat back.  "Would you care for anything else?"

Rose was tempted to say only if he was on the menu but had to restrain herself.  Instead, she let him pass the menu and hoped he could afford the bill.  When Alec had seen the prices, he thought it served him right for not looking first.  Rose was surely worth it but when she said about her humble beginnings, he thought maybe she still felt out of place eating in such surroundings.

Alec paid the bill and suggested they moved to the bar area, Rose just opting for tonic water after the wine she'd had with her meal.

"Rose, if you want another drink, you only have to say."

"I'm fine with this, thanks.  It was a nice surprise being asked out."

Should she mention staying with him again?  Just after ten, Rose was feeling tired, not getting much sleep on the train.

"Rose, may I escort you back to your hotel?  The driver will have to return anyway.  Then I will see you in the morning."

"I feel you've paid for enough Alec.  If I'd known this place was expensive, we could have chosen somewhere else."

"You are worth it Rose," Alec smiled, helping her up.  "There is a taxi rank just nearby, I will only go with you if you want me to?"

"Yeah, if ya want?  Sure it's not too much trouble?" Rose relented, thinking he may take it personally if she said no.

"No trouble, there are some taxis waiting," he nodded down the narrow street.  "So, after our trip tomorrow, what do you have planned?" he asked as Rose put her arm in his.

"Ah, maybe some shopping?  Don't worry, I won't drag ya with me."

Alec thought he wouldn't mind if she did but having had experience with Tess and Daisy, thought it wise to decline.

"Then I will give it a miss.  Here we are," he told her, passing a few cabs to get to the one in front.  He held the back door open then leaned to the driver.  "We are going to the Glen Morris hotel to drop the young lady off, then the premier."

Rose tried to hide her disappointment he was not intending to try his luck gaining entry to her hotel.  She could see the driver through the mirror and wondered what he thought about it.  Still, last night had been an impulse to spend the night together, Alec may just like her company but didn't think she would agree to a second night.  Maybe if he asked her tomorrow though?

As the cab set off, Alec knew it wasn't far but it wouldn't be far enough to have time to ask if he could stay with her again.  Maybe she just wanted some company and that was why she had accepted the dinner invitation.  The ride was fairly short, Alec just holding Rose's hand but let go as the taxi turned into the driveway.

"Can you wait one moment?" Alec asked the driver.  

Alec got out and went to Rose's side, though she was used to getting out on her own but she thought he seemed disappointed enough but it was up to him to ask her.

"Thanks for a lovely evening Alec," Rose smiled, the light coming from what was probably the bar and the lanterns outside.

"Yes, it was very pleasant.  May I kiss you goodnight?"

Rose had noticed the driver had turned the cab around and thought Alec maybe shouldn't delay, if he wasn't going to ask to stay with her again.

"Yeah, I'd like that.  Night then Alec."

He leaned down and gave her a lingering kiss, leaving Rose slightly dazed.

"Goodnight Rose, I will see you in the morning."

While she was still recovering, he got back in the cab, waving as she stood.  He wished she would just go inside, he'd been hoping maybe she would be the one to suggest he stayed.  As the cab drove off, he glanced around to see her going inside.

"No luck tonight then?" the cab driver asked him.

"Ah, sadly not but we only met last night, on the way here," Alec replied, wondering why he was discussing his lack of a love life with a cab driver.

"Well there's always another night," the cab driver hinted .

"No, I will be leaving soon, she will be staying," Alec told him as they approached his hotel.

"Well why waste time man?" the driver told him.

Alec paid the fare and thought maybe the man was right?  What did he have to lose if he asked Rose tomorrow night?  He got to his room and was surprised Rose sent him a message, thanking him for the night out.  Well at least now, he had got her number but what was he going to do about it?  Knowing his track record, probably nothing.

He composed a suitable response and went to get ready for bed, he was tired after the journey, Rose would have been too and that was probably why she'd not invited him in.  Maybe if he failed tomorrow night, he'd just have to come back and see if she still wanted anything to do with him.  Had she expected him to text her every so often to say where he was?

He'd only given her his number, why had she decided to give him hers if she didn't want to stay in contact?  Rose smiled at his response, he must be tired as well after the journey so she'd excuse him this time and hoped he'd get around to asking her tomorrow night.  It seemed to her after last night, they were being coy around each other but it wasn't very often she had a one-night stand so that was her excuse.

She looked at his text again – 'Tonight was more than pleasant – Alec – X', Alec having remembered taking lessons from Daisy in texting etiquette but he hoped he'd not presumed too much.  It had made Rose smile at his attempt though.

She decided if tomorrow went well, he might get the hint to ask her to stay the night with him but what then?  Say goodbye the next morning and him drive off?  She wasn't sure now that she could do it.  After an early breakfast the next morning, Rose set off for the station, determined to have bought the tickets before Alec got there.

"Rose, you should have let me get them," Alec told her as she waved them at him.

"I was the one who suggested it.  You bought dinner last night."

"I believe I asked you out Rose," he replied as they showed their tickets at the barrier and he saw an old steam train they had to cross the bridge to get to.

"Well, we're even then," Rose smiled as they climbed the steps.

Alec knew he wasn't going to win but what could he do to get her back?

"I looked up the place we are going to , there's hardly anything there apart from the ferry."

"Yeah, I know Alec, it's just I wanted to go on the train.  The train doesn't stay long anyway, we’ll have time for a look around and a drink.  Are ya mad at me for getting the tickets?"

"No Rose, I'm not mad at you but I should have paid."

"I'm very independent you know?" Rose smiled as he allowed her on the train first.

"Yes, I can tell.  Shall we get one of these compartments or do you want to sit elsewhere?" he asked as some compartment doors were open but some already had people settling down.

"Let's get one of these now and sit elsewhere coming back?" Rose suggested.

Alec gestured to an empty one and pulled the blinds down.

"That'll just make people curious," Rose teased him as he sat beside her.

"Let them be.  Do I have to ask you if I can kiss you again?"

Rose pretended to think about it.  

"Well if you are not going to answer me?" Alec teased her back.

"Well it depends.  Alec, don't get me wrong, I really like you but you'll be gone tomorrow."

"I am aware of that Rose but you knew that the night we met on the other train," he reminded her as the guard blew his whistle, then the engine whistle sounded.

"Yeah and we both felt the same, didn't we?  Let's not complicate things Alec, let's have a nice morning out, then you can buy me a late lunch."

Was that supposed to make him feel better she had beaten him to buying the train tickets?  He supposed that was all he was going to get but it wasn't going to stop him from trying to kiss her again.  He got her to turn towards him and found the right angle, hoping the ticket collector wouldn't choose that moment to open the door nor anyone looking for a seat.

"Mmm, that was nice," Rose smiled.  "Don't let me get used to it."

"Maybe we can have more before I leave?  I would be disappointed if you said no."

"Well maybe?  Alec, they are nice but what about when you leave?"

"You knew I was leaving when you agreed to spend the other night with me," he reminded her.  "You were right, let's have a nice morning out eh?  Don't get annoyed if I try to sneak in a few more kisses though."

Rose took his hand.  "Well okay then and ya did say ya may come back this way?"

"Yes, I did Rose.  Maybe now I have a reason to?"

"Yeah, maybe ya have?" Rose had to agree as they heard the ticket collector outside.

The train arrived at its destination and they walked the short distance into what Alec thought was only a village and Rose wanted to watch the ferry depart, him glad she'd not wanted to go on one.  She dragged him into a shop that had a few souvenirs, getting her mother a fridge magnet and a toy boat one for Tony then they found a café and got a drink.

Before they realized, it was time to get the train back and Alec insisted they got a compartment to themselves again, going for a kiss as it set off.

"You can't blame me for wanting more Rose," Alec smiled as Rose recovered again.

"No, I told ya, they're nice.  So what are ya gonna do after lunch?"

"Ah, try to make sense of the map I bought and plan my route.  I have no idea except I am going to head towards Inverness though I may take a detour from time to time.  So when do you start work?"

"Monday, though I'll have to call in and meet everyone.  I expect they'll be annoyed at an outsider taking over."

"So you may meet with some hostilities?  Were you aware of that?"

"Not at first.  One of them already there put in for the job, I expect they think I got it with being who I am."

"You’re not going to give in are you?" Alec asked, wondering if she'd be gone by the time he got back.

If that was going to be the case, what was he going to do about it?

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7
Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

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