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Alec Hardy has gone for his pacemaker operation after sneaking out of court.  Rose Tyler has been attending a conference in Exeter but is taken ill, needing her appendix taking out.  They are both laid side by side in the recovery room, Alec saying he had been attending the Broadchurch trial but now, they are both waiting to be called to the other side when they think they've died.  

Chapter 1
He had finally booked his pacemaker operation and had managed not to tell his annoying ex DS he was going for it.  So as Alec Hardy left the court building, his overnight bag having been left in reception, mainly so Ellie wouldn't ask him if he'd finally stopped being a knob and getting his pacemaker, he felt pleased he was one up on her and she'd only find out when she got out of court.  No doubt she would be waiting though and throw another bunch of seedless grapes at him for daring to survive.

At least he'd managed to tell Tess the day before, though why he'd asked for all that information on the Sandbrook case, he didn't know but he'd left it in an envelope addressed to Ellie Miller with a note for her to promise she'd keep on at Tess to re-open the case and she owed him that much for being so annoying.

He got in the waiting taxi to travel the short distance to the university hospital at the same time Rose Tyler was about to rejoin the what she called pointless conference that her stepfather owed her big-time for and she expected a suitable reward, like a two-week all paid for holiday in a sunny resort.

She'd felt a bit off during the morning session, a pain in her side but had managed to get through it but her friend and assistant Sally, who had left UNIT to go work for Torchwood had told her over lunch she looked a bit pale.

"I'm fine Sally, honestly.  Just one more day then we can go home, are you missing Alex?"

"A little.  I'm glad I left UNIT though, it would never have worked out if we saw each other all day.  No-one here you fancy then," Sally teased her.

"You have to be joking!  There's not one here this side of fifty and I know I like older men but I have my limits.  Do me a favour and ask at reception if they have any painkillers, I'll be okay for the rest of the day," Rose insisted, holding her side as she grimaced at another sharp pain.

"Rose, I think you should get them to call for a doctor, let alone get any painkillers," Sally was insisting, seeing Rose's face.

"You're worse than my mum," Rose tried to smile, thinking her friend may be right but she was a Tyler, they never gave in easily.

Everyone began to leave their tables in the hotel dining room when Rose tried to get up, doubling over in pain.

"That's it, I'm getting you to hospital," Sally told her, calling for a waitress.  "Ask reception to call an ambulance, urgently," Sally ordered the woman.

"What's wrong?" the waitress asked as Rose collapsed on the chair.

"They'll find out when they get here, now go," Sally replied, getting a glass of water from the table.

Some of the other conference delegates wandered over.

"Is Miss Tyler okay?" one asked her.

"No, she's not okay, you'll have to manage without her," Sally replied, getting Rose's purse from the side of the chair then getting her own.  "Rose, can you hear me?" she turned back, seeing Rose was leaning over the table and getting no answer.

"Looks like she passed out?" another man suggested, getting him a funny look from Rose's worried assistant. 

She heard a commotion in the doorway, the waitress she'd sent out pointing two medics in Rose's direction.

"What seems to be the problem?" one of them asked.  "What's her name?"

"She's Rose Tyler, THE Rose Tyler, she's here at a conference," Sally started to explain.  "She had a pain in her left side then suddenly as she got up, she collapsed."

"Sounds like her appendix then?" the other medic suggested, trying to get Rose so they could see if her eyes were closed.

A mask was put on Rose as they got her on the trolley one of them went back for.

"Are you a relative?" Sally was asked.  "We'll need some details."

"I can give you her basic details, she has private medical insurance.  Don't you know who she is?"

"Yes, we do Miss but we still need her basic details," came the reply as they lifted Rose inside the ambulance.

"I'm going with her, I'll have to call her mother," Sally insisted, climbing in after them.

"We've radioed ahead, someone will be waiting for us to take her for emergency surgery," the medic who stayed with them told Sally, after they'd quickly examined her.  "Her appendix has burst."

"She'll be okay though?" Sally asked worriedly.

She may have worked for UNIT but she had no medical knowledge.

"Don't worry about your friend, we're taking her to the university hospital, it's the nearest.  You can call Miss Tyler's mother while we get her admitted."

Sally tried to relax on the way to the hospital and wished she was allowed to get her phone out but thought she'd best wait.  A small team were waiting for Rose, having been told who to expect and had got her details of her medical records and insurance but until she was in recovery, she'd get the same treatment as anyone else in an emergency.

Meanwhile, Alec Hardy was laid on the hospital bed, wires all over him and was being monitored until the heart surgeon was ready for him, Alec wondering why there were so many delays like asking him stupid questions like who was his next of kin and who to contact to collect him when he was allowed home.  He'd had to put Tess down, she was his closest relative and he certainly wasn't putting Ellie Miller down as his contact to collect him.

"We're taking you to the theatre now Alec," a nurse told him.

"You have all my details, if I don't make it?" Alec relented, thinking maybe he'd need them.

"Now, no talking like that," the nurse smiled as they took the brakes off the bed he was on.  "You'll be in the recovery room before you even know it and be sitting up drinking tea."

"Is that a promise?" Alec replied, thinking she was being a bit over-optimistic.

As they wheeled him into the outer room of the theatre, putting a mask over his face, he felt the anaesthetic take hold and his last thought when he was told to think of something nice was seeing Daisy again and being able to do things without collapsing outside his riverside chalet or at the bottom of a cliff.

Sally was waiting outside the emergency room, talking to Jackie Tyler, who had gone ballistic at the news.

"Have ya told them who she is?" Jackie was insisting, wanting to get off the phone and call Pete and was going to tell him it was all his fault for sending her to Exeter.

"She's in good hands Mrs Tyler," Sally was trying to tell her.  "They have all her details.  Rose was feeling off earlier but she said nothing to me.  Are you and Mr Tyler coming down?"

"When I can get hold of him," Jackie replied.  "Then I'll have to wait for him picking me up, I don't know what time we’ll get there, the staff will have to go pick Tony up from school.  Trust Mickey and Jake to both be away at the same time though."

Sally wondered what difference that would make?  Did she think they could get her down any faster than her husband could?  Mind you, she'd heard of Jake's reputation of him breaking speed limits and flashing his Torchwood ID at traffic officers.

"I'll be here waiting for you Mrs Tyler," Sally told her.  "Rose wouldn't have known what was wrong with her, she passed out quite quickly but she must have been in a lot of pain and not said anything."

"Well at least ya got her to hospital quickly I suppose?" Jackie replied.  "Why the university hospital though?"

"It was the nearest one, so I was told.  It should be well signposted."

As Rose was undergoing emergency surgery and Alec was undergoing having his pacemaker ready to be fitted, Ellie Miller was just getting out of the courtroom and was checking her phone.

"What?" she called out loud, making people who were leaving look at her.  "The stupid idiot," she continued as she read the short message 'Gone to get my pacemaker fitted – I don't want any grapes.  If I don't make it, I'm at the university hospital and if I do make it I'll see you tomorrow.'

"Something wrong?" Ellie's sister asked her.

"Nothing much.  I have to go," Ellie quickly replied.

Why the hell had he sent her a message when he knew she'd be back in court?  She wondered where he'd got to though when he'd not followed her back inside.

Jackie had finally got hold of Pete and he was on his way back home after asking how long Rose had been ill.

"I don't know Pete, Sally just said she'd collapsed in the hotel dining room.  Just get back as fast as ya can, goodness knows what time we'll get there?"

"Do you know how far it is?" Pete asked her, trying to close his computer down so he could leave.  "It could be early evening before we get there.  We're going to hit all the traffic.  Look, I'll come home and call that helicopter charter service, it has to be quicker than driving."

"I told ya to get ya own Pete, what about using the jet?" Jackie asked him.

"Jackie, it's not meant for short distances and the helicopter can land outside the mansion," Pete reminded her.

"Oh, ya have to be clever, don't ya Pete?" Jackie huffed.

"Jackie, we have to get there as fast as we can love, Rose will want us there when she wakes up," Pete tried to calm her down.

Pete finally got off the phone and went out to his secretary, getting her to call the helicopter charter company and have one outside the mansion in an hour, he knew they wouldn't refuse him, seeing who he was.

Ellie was just leaving court when she thought she saw Tess going inside and called after her.

"Did you know about your ex husband?" Ellie asked her.

"Did he tell you then?" Tess replied.

"He sent me a text," Ellie complained.  "Are you going to see him?"

"Trust me Ellie he won't want me there when he comes round," Tess insisted.  "Why, are you going over?"

"Well someone has to, even if it's only to tell him what an idiot he is," Ellie replied.  "What are you doing here?"

"I thought Claire may turn up again, Alec admitted she came here on the first day of the trial.  She wasn't at the cottage Alec said she was in."

"I know, he gave her forty eight hours to leave, seems like she actually took notice then?" Ellie replied.

"Why the hell has he been helping her Ellie?" Tess wanted to know.

"How would I know?  You know him better than I do Tess.  I'd better get off to the hospital then?"

Just as Ellie left, Tess got her phone out to call Daisy.

"He did what Mum?" Daisy asked her as she got out of class.  "Are you going to see him?"

Tess supposed she had no choice, what if he died on the operating table?  How could she face Daisy if she did nothing?  She turned around and headed back to her car, thinking it was a good thing Alec had text her where he was going and wondered what was in the message he'd sent Ellie Miller.

Sally was now pacing up and down the corridor, waiting to be admitted into the recovery room and seeing someone else on a bed also being taken in.  She'd heard nothing else from Rose's mother but expected they were busy making the arrangements to get there and knowing Jackie Tyler, she'd probably insist her husband have the Torchwood jet on standby.

"Can I see her now?" Sally asked a nurse who was coming out.

"Best wait until she wakes up," the nurse smiled at her.  "There'll be someone checking on her."

Sally supposed it was because she wasn't a relative?  She'd like to see them trying to keep Jackie Tyler waiting outside.  She saw what looked like a surgeon go inside but didn't know if it was Rose's or not, since there were at least two of them inside.

Sally didn't know it wasn't the usual recovery room though, which was full and they'd had to organise something fast for when Rose and Alec had got out of surgery.  Alec's surgeon was checking on him, quite pleased Alec was holding his own and turned down the sound on the monitor so as not to disturb him or whom the surgeon had been informed was Rose Tyler.

"Nurse, go check in the other recovery room and see if there are any spaces now.  Then get someone to move these two patients."

"Yes Doctor, I'll go see.  What about leaving someone here?" she asked.

"They're both still out of it, we'll hear if Mr Hardy's alarm goes off but he's doing fine.  He's hardly likely to get up and walk off, is he?" the surgeon smiled, not hearing of Alec's reputation for doing just that back in Broadchurch – twice.

The surgeon went off, as did the nurse but as she got to the other recovery room just down the corridor, she was called to help with some of the other patients who were just coming round and wanting to be out of there.

"I left two patients up in the other recovery room," she was insisting, not knowing as she was fairly new that it was just a spare room they'd got ready in a hurry.  "I was sent to check if there were any spaces here for them."

"They'll be fine, have they just got put in there?" the sister in charge asked her.

"Yes Sister," she had to reply and being pointed to a woman who was insisting on getting out of bed.

"Then someone will check on them, go help that lady over there."

Half an hour later, after Ellie went to the wrong hospital and being mad Alec hadn't bothered to tell her where he was even going as she'd missed that bit, she was looking for a parking space, missing having her police sign.  Sally had a message from Jackie that they were waiting for the helicopter to pick them up, since setting off by road was pointless at that time.

Alec woke first, hearing all was quiet when he'd expected if he did actually recover, there would be machines beeping away.

"Am I actually alive?" he almost laughed, aware someone was just at the side of him.

Things started to come into focus, seeing the white painted walls and thinking it was a bit on the cold side.  Then he heard a noise at the side of him, what sounded like a female.

"Where am I?" he heard the woman saying.  "It's freezing in here," she complained, since there was only a sheet and a thin blanket covering them.  "What happened to me?"

"No point in asking me," Alec just replied, feeling the cold himself.  Was he actually alive?

"I remember I had an awful pain in my side, maybe my appendix?" she wondered.  "Oh, they can't have got me to the hospital in time," she realized.  "What about you?"

"I went in for a pacemaker, seems they failed to bring me round?" he replied, taking it slightly better than Rose was.  "I expect they'll be contacting my ex wife?  Why are we not covered up?"

"Maybe they don't actually bother and they only do that on TV?" Rose mused.  "Can you move?"

"I've not tried," he had to admit, lying still on his back since he still had some wires in him.  "You would have thought they would remove the wires?"

"Yeah, ya would?  I still feel dizzy, I'm not even gonna try but I don't suppose there's any point?  My friend will have already called my mum, I wonder if they've been told yet, that I didn't make it?"

"I expect so.  Someone will have to claim us before they move us.  I hope there's no autopsy?"

"Geez, that gives me the creeps, I mean if we're still aware?  Thanks for that, whoever you are."

"Alec Hardy, or at least I was," he replied, wishing it wasn't so cold.

"I was Rose Tyler, nice to sort of meet ya.  Do ya think we're waiting to be called for you know what?"

"I expect so?  Have you anything to be worried about?" he tried to joke.

"Actually, yeah, I have.  They may not even call me, then what?"

"Of course they will call you, everyone gets called but where you end up is a different matter."

"Ah but not me.  I suppose I can tell ya?  I'm not from around here exactly."

"Of course you are, where else would you be from?" Alec replied, thinking the woman, if she'd been Rose Tyler was deluded.

"Another world.  I came here by accident from a parallel world a few years back.  I'm a Tyler by adoption."

She wondered why she still couldn't bring herself to tell the truth, since it no longer mattered.

"You mean you just arrived here?" Alec wanted to know, thinking she was definitely out of it.

"Yeah, I got here when the Cybermen escaped and came to my world.  This man I knew, he sent me and my mum through because the Cybermen were taking over my world and he was trying to stop them.  We were meant to go back when it was safe but the two worlds got shut off so we were stuck here.  Pete Tyler was on this side, he took us in.  Well, that's the short version," she added.  "He never had a daughter so I was never born here."

"Well, then you may have a problem?" Alec replied, thinking she had no reason now to lie about it.

"That means I'll just sort of roam around then?"

"I'm sorry Rose but you may have to face it?" Alec replied, wishing he could at least see her.

Of course he'd heard of her but her past was a mystery but at least he now knew some of it.

"Yeah, guess I will then?  Geez, what's gonna happen to me?  Aren't I supposed to be looking down on myself or something?"

"You watch too much TV.  Maybe it just takes some time?  I expect my ex will be out there, arguing about me?"

"My mum will be when she gets here.  I hate to think what time though, unless my stepfather hires a helicopter or something?  My poor friend will be going crazy on her own out there."

"My DS will probably be out there as well," Alec admitted.  "I sent her a message as she was going back into court that I was getting a pacemaker.  I did not want her coming and fussing over me.  We were in the middle of a court case, her husband killed that boy in Broadchurch."

"Yeah, I heard – sorry.  I hope they convict him."

"It was not going too well yesterday, it could go either way," he admitted.  "Did you leave anyone else?"

"Yeah, my younger half brother.  No boyfriend though, I never got that close to anyone when I left my friend behind.  Why do I feel so cold?"

"Maybe they lower the temperature in the room, to keep us in good condition?" Alec suggested.

"That's just creepy.  What am I supposed to do Alec?"

He heard her start to cry and wished he could get up.  Maybe he should try?

"Shush Rose, your mum may be here soon," he tried to comfort her.

"Yeah but I won't be able to talk to her, will I?" she replied.

"Sorry but at least you may see her?"

"Yeah, since they'll be calling you soon and not me."

"I wish I could stay with you, really I do but when someone is called, I don't expect they want to be kept waiting?" Alec mused.

"It's okay but thanks for the offer Alec.  Maybe they'll add me at the last minute though?"

"Yes, you never know," Alec had to agree.  "Can you hear anything out there?" he asked, since she was nearer the door.

They didn't know the corridor was hardly used from their end but further down, the nurse who was meant to be watching them was seeing the last of the patients out, waiting to be relieved.  The sister finally came back in.

"Excuse me sister but those two patients I left in the other room?  Can I go see to them now?"

"Yes, I suppose so, go see if they are awake then?  Would that be Rose Tyler and Alec Hardy?" she asked, looking at her list as they were the only ones not marked as discharged.

"Yes Sister.  Has no-one checked on them?" the nurse asked worriedly, since a surgeon had instructed her to get them moved.

"I expect someone made sure they were both still out, since nothing has been reported," the sister replied.  "Well go see to them and take an orderly with you, bring them down here so we can get Miss Tyler to a private room," she ordered the poor nurse.  "Find out if Alec Hardy has to stay in or if he can be discharged."

The nurse went off back up the corridor but Tess had been roaming around trying to find out where her ex husband had been taken.

"Excuse me, I'm looking for Alec Hardy," Tess told the nurse.

Tess had left Ellie sitting in the corridor with a still worried Sally Jacobs.

"Who are you waiting for?" Ellie asked Sally.

"My friend, she was rushed in with a burst appendix," Sally replied, well used to keeping Rose under wraps in public places.  "I called her parents, they're trying to get here from London."

"The traffic will be murder at this time of day," Ellie replied, not knowing what time the woman's friend had been brought in.  "Haven't they told you anything?"

"No, I expect they only tell relatives?"

"Well they should tell you if you came with her?  I came when my ex boss sent me a text to say he was having a pacemaker fitted.  Then his ex wife followed me and they've not told either of us.  She's trying to find out where they've taken him, the surgeon just said he was okay and taken to recovery," Ellie explained.

"My friend's parents have already set off, hopefully it won't take them too long," Sally replied, not wanting to say they were on-route in a helicopter.  "I should maybe go ask that nurse when your friend's finished talking to her?"

Tess was being told Alec was about to be moved.

"So, where is he exactly?" Tess asked when she was told the main recovery room had been full and they'd had to open up a spare one.

"He's just down there," the nurse pointed beyond Tess.  "Are you a relative?"

"I'm the closest he has, I'm his ex wife," Tess huffed, not liking being reminded of the fact.

"Well when we get him moved, you can see him Mrs Hardy," the nurse replied.  "Excuse me, I have to find an orderly to help me move both the patients."

"So you left two of them?" Tess wanted to know.  "Why weren't they moved sooner?"

The poor nurse wondered who the woman thought she was, asking so many questions.

"We were making room for them.  I should get going."

Tess turned around, looking for the room Alec was in but there were no signs of another recovery room and the curtain had been pulled across the door Rose and Alec were in.

"I thought I heard noises out there," Rose told him.

"Only because you wanted to," Alec replied, having to accept that he'd left his surgery too late but why did he feel normal?  "Hold on, can you feel your heart beating?"

"What?  Oh, I never thought about it.  Should we be able to?"

"Well I'm not an expert but maybe not, if we have passed away," he replied, wondering if he should try to move.  "Hold on, I will try sitting up."

He could feel whatever had knocked him out was beginning to fade.  He slowly leaned on one elbow and looked carefully around, seeing the monitor and despite not wearing his glasses, could see a steady rhythm on the display.  Now he felt like a complete idiot, the nurse or the surgeon had turned the sound off so as not to disturb them.

He sat up further, looking to the left and the door, with the curtain over.  No wonder no-one had been in, they'd either been forgotten about or left to come around.  Then he gazed over at Rose.

"Rose, try sitting up," he suggested, trying not to give her a shock and she be the one with heart failure.

"Why, what's the point?" Rose objected.

"Because I have signs on the monitor I'm not dead," he replied.

"What?  Are you being serious?" Rose asked, feeling annoyed if he was joking.

"Yes, sit up and since I'm hooked to this machine, see if you can make it to the door.  It seems we've been left here to recover."

Chapter 2
"What?" Rose managed to ask, trying to get up but immediately felt a pain.  "Geez the pain's worse than before I collapsed, there's no way I'm getting out of bed.  Besides, it's still freezing in here," she told him, trying to cover herself up a bit more.  "I suppose I wouldn't feel a pain if I weren't alive?"

"I don't expect so.  If I recall, it was you who said we'd not made it," Alec grumbled.

"Well, you're a detective, you went along with it," she reminded him.  "I was a bit out of it ya know?"

"Yes, I get that now, well so was I.  Seems we had best wait for someone to remember us then?  This must be a room they don't use much?"

"Yes, I think that's pretty obvious," Rose agreed.  "They forgot the heating to start with.  Anyway, we probably didn't feel anything until we woke up and I'm sorry, making ya think we were dead."

"You are forgiven," Alec replied, thinking it had been just as much his fault as hers and if his head hadn't been scrambled, he would have known right away.  "About what you said though?  I would like to hear more."

"Yeah, maybe I was a bit off my head?  Just ignore it," she tried to bluff.

"No way Rose, you were genuinely scared, that won't wash with me.  Look, I expect to be out of here soon, when they finally remember us but I would like to come back and see you.  I'll leave you my number, you can call me."

"I only told ya 'cos you're in the police, it's classified.  Pete's so gonna kill me that I told anyone.  So they won't keep ya in then?"

"I expect they will try," he replied.  "What's taking them so long?"

"I expect they're discharging those who were in the proper recovery room?  I don't fancy their chances of keeping you in," Rose tried to laugh but it hurt.

"Yes and I expect they are locating a private room for Miss Vitex?  Rose, I swear I will not tell anyone what you told me, you have my word.  I do want to know more though, about what you said.  Also, it's not a good idea to tell everyone you thought we were dead when we woke up."

"Yeah, I feel so stupid now," Rose admitted.  "So if you still live in Broadchurch, why are you in this hospital?"

"They can't do it locally and I was attending that murder trial," Alec reminded her.

"Oh yeah, sorry.  How was it going?"

Alec could have sworn she'd already asked him that.

"Things were not going so well for the prosecution but it could have changed.  I don't expect I'll get there tomorrow though but it will only be the closing arguments, then it's up to the jury.  Any noise from outside?"

"I can't hear anything, goodness knows where they've stuck us.  If they take me off before you get out, leave a card or something with your phone number or ask to see me."

"I expect your parents will be here by now?" Alec wondered.

"Yeah, Sally would have called my mother right away.   She must have been frantic if they've not told her anything."

"I expect my ex will be raising a fuss if she bothered to come and see me," Alec mused.  "I told her yesterday."

"How long had ya known you were coming in?" Rose asked him.

"A while.  I had not seen much of her but I was still working on an old case and I wanted some information."

"You mean Sandbrook?" Rose asked him.  "I thought he got away?"

"Yes but I know where his wife is, I was keeping an eye on her to see if she led me to him.  I was closing in on them."

"Well good luck with that then," Rose replied, hearing voices outside.

The nurse who was supposed to be watching Rose and Alec had got hold of an orderly.  She'd then checked that there was a private room ready for Rose and since she was staying in and Alec Hardy more than likely just staying overnight or going home, decided Rose should go first.

She had the misfortune though of Tess seeing her.

"Are you moving Alec Hardy yet?" Tess asked the poor nurse, who wished the hospital would get organised.

"I'm just going to move the other patient first, then we'll come back for him."

"Is there only you then?" Tess huffed.

"Well no but since Mr Hardy may be going home if the surgeon says he can travel and the other patient is staying in, we have to get her settled first," the nurse tried to explain.

Then they heard talking behind them as Jackie and Pete had arrived, Jackie going to give poor Sally a hug.

"Have they told ya anything?" Jackie asked her when she let go.

"No Mrs Tyler, only they took her into another room because the normal recovery room was full.  She's in with someone else," Sally tried to explain.

Ellie heard them talking.  If the young woman had said Tyler, was that Rose Tyler, since she thought she recognised Jackie.  That would be fun, Hardy in with the Vitex heiress.  No doubt they'd attend to her first, seeing who she was.  Wait until Tess found out, she could see that going down well.

Tess was just moving away, passing Jackie and had to look twice as the nurse went into where Rose and Alec were.

"Why have we been kept waiting?" Alec asked as they entered and the orderly was taking the brake off Rose's bed.

"Sorry Mr Hardy, I was kept busy in the other recovery room, someone will attend to you shortly.  Has someone come to collect you?" she wanted to make certain.

"I expect my ex wife is out there and probably my DS, if you know who I am?" Alec replied, making Rose smile.

"Alec, don't forget that card, will ya?" Rose reminded him as she was about to be moved.

"If I can't leave one, I will ring whatever ward they are taking you to," Alec assured her.

The nurse had to smile to herself – it seemed the two of them had been awake for a while and Hardy knew who she was.  Trust any male to want to leave their number with Rose Tyler.  Jackie was waiting in the corridor and saw Rose.

"Rose!  Are you okay sweetheart?" Jackie fussed, trying to get near the bed.

"I'm fine Mum.  Is Sally still here?  Bring her to wherever I'm taken will ya?  She probably saved my life."

"We know that," her mother replied.  "Give her your car keys, she can take your car back, someone will take her home from there.  I'm not leaving until you get out."

"Yeah, I never thought ya would," Rose managed to smile.  "I hope they give me something for this pain."

"It's just everything settling down again," the nurse tried to assure her.  "We'll take Rose up to the ward then someone will tell her friend and Mr Tyler where she is," she turned to Jackie.

Pete was sat next to Sally, thanking her for her prompt action earlier.

"It was Rose, she never said anything," Sally told him as he asked why it wasn't spotted earlier.

"Yeah, she does that," Pete had to admit.  "Seems her mother must have gone to the ward with her."

Ellie was asking how Tess had got on.

"They were moving someone else first," Tess sounded annoyed.

"Yeah, I think I know who it was," Ellie nodded to where Pete was sat.  

"I'm going to see if he can be discharged or if he's staying in," Tess announced as she got up again.

"I wish them luck keeping him in, when he discharged himself twice," Ellie replied.

"I might have known," Tess laughed as she went off.

The nurse had got back to Alec, who was now getting dressed as Tess knocked on the door and went inside, a curtain now around Alec that he'd not known was there before, since it was all the way back.

"Can I go home?" Alec was asking the nurse.

"The surgeon recommended you stayed overnight," the nurse tried to tell him.

"I've spoken to the discharge team, they gave you some painkillers and told you to rest for twenty four hours," Tess informed him.  "I expect the painkillers will knock you out."

"I have to go back to court tomorrow," Alec was insisting.

"There won't be anything going on," Tess replied.  "Do you happen to know where Claire went Alec?"

"Should I?  I told her to leave, I assume she's gone then?"

"I went to the court to see if she'd turned up there, Ellie reminded me where you were."

"So you would not have come otherwise?" Alec wondered.

Tess refused to answer him in front of the nurse, who looked amused if he was giving Rose Tyler his phone number whilst arguing with his ex wife and expecting her to take him home.  She thought he had some nerve.

"What do you take me for Alec?" Tess asked.  "How could I have told Daisy I wasn't there if you didn't make it?"

Alec thought she very nearly did have to tell their daughter, he'd believed Rose when she'd woken up all confused but her fear of not being accepted into the afterlife still puzzled him.  Surely it made no difference, she was here now.  He wanted to learn more but the way he was feeling now, he would be out of it tomorrow then Friday, he would have to finish up in court and hope there would be some justice.

Maybe Claire would turn up in court, if she'd left the cottage, since he'd made sure she didn't know where he lived.  Maybe he'd flushed her out, she would seek out her husband and now he had nowhere to go, she may give him up.  Well he could hope but he was already feeling the effects of the aesthetic had worn off and a pain coming on.

"Take me back home Tess," he asked her, coming out from behind the curtain.

"Well I doubt Ellie would take you home," Tess replied.

"What's she doing here?" Alec wanted to know.

"Maybe because you sent her a text at the last minute?" 

"I never told her to come," he complained.  "Can I go now?"  Then he remembered his promise to Rose but he never carried any cards on him since being on sick leave.  "I have to call at the main desk and leave a message for someone."

"Who do you know in here Alec?" Tess wanted to know.  "Oh, I heard you were in here with Rose Tyler.  What happened to her?" she laughed.

"A burst appendix, apparently, we didn't talk much, the nurse came in," he admitted.

"Then why give her your phone number?" Tess was curious.

"She wanted to know what happens at the court, I mentioned that was where I was going back to when I got out," he lied.

He had made Rose a promise and he wasn't going to break it.  Tess took him out to the main desk, Alec taking his notebook out of his pocket that he still carried with him.

"I need to leave a message for a patient," he told the receptionist as he scribbled his name and mobile number then folded it and wrote 'Rose Tyler' on the front.

The woman saw the name.  "Are you sure she's a patient here?" he was asked.

"Yes, I'm certain, check your computer," Alec suggested.  "She was admitted earlier today, make sure she gets this note, if you will?"

Ellie was watching with amusement as Tess shrugged her shoulders.

"What's all that about?" Ellie asked her.

"I don't know Ellie, he wakes up in the same recovery room as Rose Tyler and suddenly wants to leave her his number.  He came up with some lame excuse, not that I actually believe him," Tess replied.

"Are you taking him back to Broadchurch?" Ellie asked, hoping she would.

"I promised Daisy I'd look after him, that's the only reason," she told Ellie.

Rose was settling in her room as Sally and Pete joined them.

"Thanks for all you did Sally," Rose told her.  "Can you go back to the hotel, I left my car keys in my room."

"Sure Rose, your stepfather already asked me.  I'll see you when you get back to work."

"I could be a while," Rose smiled as her mother sat by her bedside.  "I reckon I'm owed a few weeks to recover, Dad?"

"Yes, okay, I get it Rose," Pete joked.  "Get fit to travel then decide where you want to go.  Sally, can you come back later and give me a ride back, then I'll drive back down tomorrow.  Jackie, while I was waiting, I booked a double room at a nearby hotel, just get a cab to it after visiting times are over."

That all arranged, a nurse asked them all to leave while Rose was given something to eat, Jackie saying she would go book in the hotel with Pete and Sally would collect him from there.  Rose was relieved to have some time to herself.  An auxiliary nurse came in with her food and a note.

"This was left for you at reception Miss Tyler."

"Oh, thanks.  Please call me Rose."  

She unfolded the piece of paper to see Alec had written his name and number.  Smiling, she put it on the over-bed table the nurse wheeled over to her. 

"Was it important?" the nurse asked her.

"A little, it was from someone I met earlier."

She felt like adding and not died with but stayed quiet.  It still bothered her, what she'd said to him as it was coming back to her.  How could she be accepted if she didn't belong there, let alone being called.  She knew Alec had only being trying to take her mind off it by saying she was here now and that counted but how could she be on the list if she was never born here?

She had to try to explain that to him, if he'd even listen but he'd not run when she admitted she was from another world but was that because he was still coming round, would he feel different about it when he'd recovered?  She couldn't tell Pete she'd told Alec, just in case if she rang him he'd tell her to forget it and she was still under the effects of the anaesthetic when she said that.

As her mother got settled into the hotel and Pete made sure she had enough money for cabs later, Alec was back at his riverside home, Tess making fun of it and he was sitting by the river talking to his daughter as Tess gave him some painkillers.

"So, no more grumpy dad?" Daisy was teasing him.

"Hey, less of the grumpy," he actually smiled.  "When I woke up, I was rather hoping you would start talking to me again?"

"Yeah, I'm sorry Dad, I'll answer the next time you call, I promise.  Any chance you'll come for a visit?"

"I have some things to clear up then I will, maybe next week eh?" he offered.

He ended the call, handing Tess her phone back.

"You'd better keep your word Alec," she warned him.

"It was you who kept her away Tess," he argued.  "Where are you staying tonight since you offered to look after me?"

"On your sofa?"

"Have you seen that sofa?  There's a room at the back, it's not much but it's comfortable enough for one night."

"I thought you'd be bragging to Daisy you met Rose Tyler in the hospital?"

"She may not have believed me," he replied.

"Well I'd say you imagined her being there but I saw her parents.  Get some rest Alec."

As he got into bed, all he could think about was waking up in the recovery room and Rose Tyler was in the next bed and wondered if she'd got his note.  His note had got put on Rose's locker, her mother tidying up having bought her some magazines downstairs and some drinks but just as Jackie was leaving, having brought her phone, Rose asked for her to pass them over.

"Don't ya think he'll be asleep by now?" she was asked.

"Yeah, maybe?  He said someone would be collecting him," Rose replied, not wanting to say it was his ex wife.

"Well you need some rest as well, I'll be back tomorrow afternoon, your dad will be back by then.  Since you're in a private room, I don't know why ya can't have extra visiting hours."

"I expect the staff have things to do Mum," Rose replied, not wanting her mother there from morning until night since she hoped she'd get a visit from Alec when he'd recovered.

Alec had settled down for the night, Tess putting her own and his mobiles on silent so as not to disturb him, since his bedroom door didn't seem to close properly.  She heard his mobile buzzing to see it was Ellie.

"Oh, is he asleep?" Ellie asked when Tess answered for him.

"Yeah, I don't really expect him to come round until sometime tomorrow, he's best sleeping it off.  Give me a call tomorrow, let me know how it goes in court so I can tell him," Tess replied.

"I might come over afterwards, I have to go see Tom anyway, he's really upset after the defence used him to try to win."

"Why, what did they do?" Tess asked her.

"Trying to get his dad off by twisting Tom's words, that was low even for them," Ellie told her.  "So, how was he when you got him back home?"

"Same as ever," Tess laughed, hoping he wasn't listening.  "Maybe he'll be different when he wakes up."

All the next morning, Rose was debating if she should call Alec or not but maybe he was still a bit out of it?  She fell asleep anyway and was woken by a nurse bringing her lunch.

"Has anyone rung and asked about me?" Rose asked hopefully, since she'd not given Alec her number.

"No, sorry Miss Tyler, where you expecting anyone to?" she asked, seeing Rose's phone on the bedside cabinet.

"Maybe?  It doesn't matter.  So, when do I get out of here?"

"I've not been told, sorry," she was told.

Rose waited until late afternoon and decided to at least send him a text to see how he was.

Tess picked up the phone and saw it was an unknown number, Rose forgetting to unblock hers from being sent to those not in her contacts.  She saw the message asking how he was though and assumed it could only be from who was in the hospital recovery room with him.  She thought she'd better not answer it though.  Just after four, Ellie tapped on the cottage door and let herself in.

"He's not awake yet?" Ellie asked Tess.

"No, I expect he'll be up soon though?" Tess mused.

Alec woke with a start, sitting up in bed and it wasn't from drowning in the river all over again or the panic his heart had stopped and it was all over for him.  He carefully got out of bed, put his jeans on and a jumper over his t-shirt, though he stood in the doorway as he did so.

"Welcome back," Tess told him, Alec annoyed Miller was there.  "I'll make you a cuppa then?"

"What are you doing here Miller?"

"Nice to see you too," Ellie huffed.  "I came to give an update on the court.  The jury have been sent home."

While Tess was waiting for the kettle to boil, she spotted something on the 'incident' board Ellie had made a few days earlier.

"I knew I'd seen this name before," she realised as she picked up a 'post-it' note with Gary Thorpe on it.

"Tess, did anyone call while I was out?" Alec wanted to know, ignoring her comment.

"Sheesh Alec, this is more important than your social life," Tess replied, getting a smile from Ellie, who would have loved to have seen the two of them when they were still married.  "Yes, there was a message from an unknown number asking how you were and I can only assume it was from the woman in the recovery room?"

"It's nothing to do with you if it was," he replied, thinking he'd have to make his own drink since Tess had gone back to the wall.

Alec thought well at least Rose had got his number but she must have forgotten to unblock her number.  He'd just have to wait for her to try again or call the hospital and see where they'd put her.  As they made more discoveries about the Sandbrook case now Tess was interested, saying she still wasn't re-opening the case yet, Alec was determined he was going to light a fire under Lee Ashworth and Claire.  Rose was hoping he'd have woken up by now and before her mother came back later, hopefully with her stepfather, since her mother was a bit overbearing at times, she tried Alec's number again.

Ellie had finally gone to see Tom and Tess was getting ready to leave just before six, assuming he'd no longer invite her to stay.

"You don't have to leave Tess," he relented.

"Yes, I do, I have to get back to Daisy and you don't need me here now.  So, what are you doing about Rose Tyler?"

"What about her?" he asked, trying to get out of the fact he'd left his phone number at the desk for her.

"You wouldn't have left your number if you didn't want her to contact you Alec."

"So what if I did eh?  She was a bit scared when she woke up, she thought she was on her own and they'd just left her, since she woke before me.  I just tried to assure her she'd not been left and someone would check on us," he replied, not wanting to tell her the rest.

"If you say so.  Why didn't she leave her number then?"

"You know who she is Tess, she probably always blocks her number and not had time to put my number in her contacts.  She's probably only just coming around herself, she'll be on more painkillers than I am, she'll realise when I don't call her back."

"I'm surprised you've not called the hospital then," Tess smiled, thinking she'd leave him to it, he seemed to be infatuated by her. 

"I may do if she doesn't call back tonight."

When Tess finally left and had been to get him a few basic groceries, he tried to find out which ward Rose had been put in.  Rose's mother and stepfather had gone back to see her, Rose trying to persuade one of them to go home.

"Well I'm staying," Jackie huffed, Rose hoping her stepfather would persuade her Tony was missing them both.

"When are you getting out?" Pete wondered.

"Looks like it'll be after the weekend?" Rose wondered, feeling the medication was wearing off.

"They have to get your pains under control," her mother reminded her, having been told the doctors insisted they stabilised them before discharging her.

Rose was thinking great, her mother would be fusing over her all weekend but would be ten times worse once she got home.   Maybe she could ask Alec to rescue her by inviting her to spend a few days in Broadchurch instead of going home?  She dare not suggest it to her mother until she was sure he'd agree.  They were interrupted by a nurse tapping on the door with a portable phone in her hand.

"Miss Tyler, there's a call for you," the nurse held the phone out.

"Thanks.  Rose Tyler here," she continued without thinking.

"Hello, Rose Tyler, still in the land of the living then?" Alec tried to joke, since Miller had repeatedly told him he had no sense of humour whatsoever.

"Hi Alec, yeah, I'm still here," Rose grinned, Pete having been told what had happened and trying to grab her mother's arm and mouthing 'leave her Jackie'.

"Well, I am glad to hear you have not left us then," he replied, thinking that could mean anything if anyone was listening.  "I saw your message but you neglected to leave your number."

"Yeah, sorry, I've been a bit out of it and now the painkillers are wearing off."

"I can call back another time?" he offered.

"No, it's fine, they'll get around to it.  So, how are you then?"

"Much better, I sent my ex wife back home.  She knows it was you in the recover room with me, sorry."

"Don't worry about it.  So are you going back to the court tomorrow?"

"Yes, it should all be over.  I will try to come and visit you, if you want?"

"Well my mum will be here but I can talk her into taking a break.  Yeah, I'd like you to visit, just no talking about not making it."

"Yes, we will change the subject but I meant it, I want to know more as to why you were so worried."

"Then I'll talk to my stepfather about it.  You just get that court case over with, yeah?"

"Yes, I'm sure it will all be over tomorrow but something came up on that old case of mine, if the court is over first thing, I have a few things to finish."

"You mean ya might solve it?" Rose asked.

"Well hopefully get most of it out of the way, I may not be finished until late."

"Don't worry about it, do what ya have to do.  I'll be here over the weekend, then I was thinking instead of going home, maybe I could stop off somewhere for a few days.  Any suggestions?"

Alec let out a laugh.  Surely she didn't mean with him, in Broadchurch?  No-one, especially him could be that lucky.

Chapter 3
"Where exactly were you thinking of?" Alec dared ask her.  "You could go anywhere you want."

"Well yeah, my stepfather said he'd send me anywhere I wanted, when I recover but I don't want to wait that long.  I was thinking maybe somewhere relaxing, by the sea?"

Alec thought so she was inferring she wanted to visit where he lived?

"So you don't want to go home?"

"My mum will drive me crazy, I know she will.  If I had somewhere to go maybe?  Will you be there next week?"

Alec thought about it.  Would she be upset if he said no and that he was thinking of going to see Daisy?

"How long were you thinking about staying?" he asked her.

"If I get out on Monday, I could maybe stay until Saturday?  Then I'll have to go back, I don't have that much stuff with me, my stepfather took my case to their hotel but he's going home.  Honestly, I'd rather it was my mum who went home."

"So she's a little overpowering?" 

"You could say that.  So, would you maybe rescue me?  I know you're recovering yourself, is it asking too much?"

"No, not at all.  I will visit you over the weekend, we can talk about it, there are a few hotels around the harbour."

Rose tried not to sound disappointed he was going to stick her in a hotel but they could spend the days and evenings together.  What was she thinking though?  Was she expecting him to just drop everything and look after her?

"Can I just visit you first then find somewhere?" she suggested.

"Sure, it won't be that busy, there's a hotel right on the corner just near where I live."

"So, where exactly do ya live then?"

"By the side of the river," he admitted.

"That sounds nice, maybe I'll just want to stay there?"

Was she teasing him, he wondered.  Everyone who had seen his place criticised it, even Miller's sister.

"You maybe won't think that when you see it," he warned her.  "I could come over and collect you maybe?" he offered.

"Nah, it's fine, dad will be sending a car down to collect my mum, I can get dropped off but my mum's sure to object.  Did you have any plans next week?"

"Just seeing my daughter, I can do it at the weekend.  Will someone be collecting you?"

"Yeah, I won't be in a fit state to drive will I?" she laughed. 

Alec wondered if he would be?  He'd driven Miller's car despite her protests and had lived to tell the tale.  He had planned to go see the chief on Monday to get his job back but taking a week off first wouldn't do any harm, would it?

"I may be able to take you back," he offered.  "I never surrendered my driving licence when I was ill."

"You didn't want to admit there was anything wrong, did ya?" she asked him.

"Can you blame me?  If I drive you back though, I will have to stop off to see my daughter."

"Yeah, don't worry about it, I can look around the shops, I'll be fine by then.  Listen, don't worry about coming over to see me."

"I will come and see you, maybe on Saturday afternoon?" he offered.

"Yeah, I'll look forward to it then.  Call me later, if ya want?  Oh, ya need my number."

She had just given it to him when the nurse came looking for the phone.  Rose gave her a sheepish grin and handed it back with a 'sorry'.

She hoped the nurse wouldn't wonder why she was hogging the hospital phone when her mobile was nearby.  When her mother came back, she broke the news.

"Rose, what are ya thinking?"

"Mum, I'll be fine, just a few days rest away from everything.  I'll be back at the weekend, you can drop me off there on your way home."

"Well Tony was expecting ya coming back with me," Jackie complained.

"Mum, he can wait a few more days, surely?  Stop making me feel guilty will ya?  He gets used to me going away."

Rose knew her mother used Tony as an excuse for anything.  She was just thankful now she never had a brother or sister when growing up, her mother would have used them against her to stop her travelling with the Doctor.

"I need to talk to dad though," Rose continued, not wanting to tell her mother what about.

"About staying in that seaside town?" her mother asked.

"Yeah, partly.  I was a bit confused when I woke up, Alec was really good when I sort of told him something."

"Rose!  Be careful what ya say.  You didn't tell him where ya came from?  What were ya thinking of?"

Rose knew she'd made a big mistake, both in telling Alec and her mother.  She had to think of something fast.

"He asked what I was doing here in Exeter, I told him they didn't know where to send me 'cos I don't belong here.  I tell ya mum, I was well out of it and he wanted to know what I meant.  I told him to take no notice while we were waiting for someone to come and see us but he didn't believe me."

That was all she was going to admit to her mother, her stepfather though would be a different matter, since he'd gone to great lengths to cover hers and her mother's arrivals.

"Well Pete won't be happy, trust me, you know how protective he is.  Well I'm not gonna tell him."

Rose thought that made a change.

The next day, at the court, Alec was waiting around for the jury to decide Joe Miller's fate, after a false alarm where the judge instructed them to try to reach a majority verdict.  He was sat squinting at his phone after fending Ellie Miller off asking him stupid questions such as what he was doing there so soon after his surgery and trying to compose a text to Daisy to say he'd be over to see her next weekend.  He decided against telling her he may have someone with him though, she'd never believe him anyway.

He never noticed a figure marching towards him with a rucksack over their shoulders until he saw someone stop in front of him.  He reacted quickly as he saw who it was and them going into the bag.  Thinking Claire Ripley had gone completely crazy and she'd evaded the security check and had some kind of weapon inside the bag, he tried to dodge her, until he saw her bring out a plastic evidence bag and saw it was his writing on it.

"Here," she almost shouted.  "You wanted the pendant, well here it is."

She thrust it into his hands.

"What?  You had the pendant all along?" he demanded to know, thinking the whole place would hear him.

Ellie had been upstairs and had seen Claire walking towards him, also thinking the worst and almost spilling her drink as she left Tom with her sister.  She had just reached them when everyone attending Joe's trial got up as they were being called back inside.

"Oh, no, you're coming with me," Alec told Claire as she saw her chance to get away.

With one hand gripping her shoulder, he was trying to squint at his phone screen and thumb a message to Tess, grateful he had the word prediction still on the messaging as he'd thought of ditching it as it never said what he wanted.  'Need you at Wessex crown court – now' the message read as he sent it, forgoing the pleasantries.  He knew it would get Tess interested since she'd claimed she was looking for Claire.

Before he had set off for the court, he had sent a cryptic message to Lee Ashworth.  He guided Claire into the seat next to him, Ellie ignoring him and wondering what he was up to, since he'd evicted Claire from the cottage and assumed he'd actually been paying for some or all of it.

It was all over in a few minutes, cries of disappointment from all those involved and Beth Latimer screaming then rushing out, followed closely by Ellie.  As the court cleared, Alec nudged Claire out and found Tess and a WPC coming up the steps.

"What does it take to get someone off?" Alec wondered out loud.

"I'm sorry Alec, I just heard," Tess told him.  "So, what am I doing here?"

"I placed Claire under caution," he began, Tess wondering if he'd suddenly forgotten he was no longer on active duty but maybe that was why she'd been summoned.

"She had this in her possession," he continued, getting the plastic bag out of his pocket.

"The missing pendant?" Tess asked disbelievingly.

"You two should have plenty to talk about," Alec gloated.  "Take her to Broadchurch, I'll just finish up here."

"I had an idea it was something to do with you, Claire," Tess told her.  "I called Broadchurch station and told them to expect us, I'll sit in with you," she turned to Alec, the WPC taking Claire by the arm.

"No, I want Miller there," he replied as Claire was led away.

"Of course you do.  How's Rose anyway, have you kept in contact with her or didn't she call you back?"

"I called her, not that it has anything to do with you.  I have to go find Miller before she leaves."

Tess smiled to herself as she went to take Claire for a very interesting interview.  He was stuck on Rose Tyler and he wasn't going to admit it.  She bet anything as soon as she'd left his place he'd been on the phone to her and not even given her the chance to call back.

Ellie was leaning over the glass partition, watching Claire being led away.

"Come on Miller, we should go take it out on her," Alec told her.

"You think I'm going off to interview her?" Ellie replied, still in a bad mood.  "I'm taking Tom home and getting my life back."

"Yes, you can do that when we get her locked up.   You wanted to solve the case Miller, don't tell you are giving up now?"

"You’re so bloody annoying Hardy, do you know that?" she complained.  

"So I've been told.  The faster we get the truth out of Claire, the faster you can go home.  I have things to do as well."

"Such as chasing after Rose Tyler?" Ellie snapped at him, pulling her bag on her shoulder.

"Not you as well?" he complained.  "I only met her for a short time you know?"

"Did that stop you leaving her your number?  Tess said she saw a message come through on your phone."

Alec thought Tess had no right to tell his nosy DS who he was getting text messages from.

"Forget about it.  Are we going to get Claire and Lee Ashworth locked up or not?"

Rose waited all day and into the evening for Alec to get back to her.  She'd chastised herself for leaving the number withhold on her phone when she'd sent the message to Alec but at least he had it now but she knew he'd be busy or he would have called her back.

Her mother arrived early evening, going on about talking to Tony and that Mickey and Jake had got back from their last mission and were going to call her.  All Rose wanted was for Alec to call her.

"What's wrong with ya tonight Rose?" her mother asked her.

"Nothing much, I'll be glad to get out of here.   Mum, why don't you go home tomorrow?"

"Why would I do that?"

"I can get Alec to come and get me on Monday and Tony will be missing ya."

"What if he can't come and get ya?" Jackie wanted to know.

"Then I'll just get a cab to Broadchurch.  He'll probably come and see me over the weekend anyway, he just wanted to finish off a few things."

She didn't want to say he was probably putting Sandbrook behind him, just in case it didn't work out between them.

"I heard that bloke got off," her mother told her.

Rose had already heard the news.

"Yeah, Alec said it could go either way.  I bet if the bloke goes back to the town, they'll kick him out."

"I can't see how he'd have the nerve," her mother replied.  "Are ya sure ya want me to go home sweetheart?"

"Yes Mum, I want ya to go home.  I'll be fine, honestly.  Pop in and see me early tomorrow afternoon and bring my stuff then have someone pick ya up."

"Well okay then," Jackie had to agree.  "Do ya want anything else fetching?"

"I've got all I need Mum, if I need anything I'll ask Alec.  Mum, I just feel like I want some time on my own."

"Well ya won't be on ya own, will ya?" Jackie protested.  "Honestly, it's as bad as when ya met the first Doctor, running off the first time ya met him.  You do know Alec Hardy looks like him?"

"I know Mum but it's nothing to do with that.  I'd have woken up all on my own if he'd not been there.  Anyway, I still have to talk to dad, he'll be home now, I don't like bothering him at work."

"He won't have gone in for long, he'll have got home in time for Tony," Jackie reminded her.

"Yeah and Tony will be going crazy with you not being there.  I'll wait until you leave and call him."

She didn't want her mother present when she had to ask Pete if she could tell Alec about herself.  She knew how both of them felt about outsiders knowing but she needed someone to talk to about her feelings that had come over her in the recovery room and Alec would surely understand her concern, since he'd thought he was also waiting to be called to the other side.  

He'd been expecting it though and she hadn't.  Rose pressed Pete's number and hoped he'd forgive her for already making a start telling Alec.

"Rose, I'm surprised at you," Pete told her.  "How much did you go into exactly?"

"Dad, when I woke up, well I thought I'd died."

"What?" he panicked.  "Rose, have you told your mother?"

"I'm not that stupid as to tell my mother.  Dad, they left me and Alec on our own, in a room that was cold and had white walls, what would you think?  I had that terrible pain before I passed out, how was I supposed to know I got rushed to the hospital with a burst appendix?"

Pete supposed she did have a point.

"So let me get this right?  You told him you didn't belong here and no-one would be calling your name?"

"Well yeah, why would they when I don't belong?" Rose asked, being careful in case anyone were to enter her room.  "When we both realised we'd been left to recover, I tried to say I'd just been out of it when I came round.  He didn't believe me though.  Dad, I want to go see him and stay in Broadchurch for a few days, I told mum to go home tomorrow."

"I know, she's already complained," Pete laughed.  "So, are you getting involved with him?"

"I don't know Dad?  Something just drew us together and I want to be honest with him.  I'm also worried I may be right, about never being called."

"Rose, don't even think that," Pete told her.  "You're here now."

"That's what Alec said but it's deeper than that.  It made me realise for the first time that mum and Mickey are also involved.  They replaced someone else, yeah but what about them, when it's their time?"

"Rose, loads of people have the same name," Pete reminded her.  "How many John Smith's are there," he joked.

"I know that Dad but they were all born here.  I don't know what to think any more.  I told Alec I'd just be left to go wandering around with nowhere to go."

"Rose, it sounds like you need some help."

"I know I do, I was hoping Alec would listen to me, that's why I want to tell him the rest."

"Well if you're sure he can help you?  Okay then but you leave certain parts out, for now and you know what they are?" Pete relented.

Rose knew better than to mention time travel, they'd never even had the stories by HG Wells here, she assumed he'd never been inspired to write anything.

"Rose, I know it's been difficult for you, adapting to being here but don't for one minute think you don't belong here now.  That has to count for something?  Maybe you should talk to someone in the church?  I'll let you discuss some points but be careful how much you reveal, it could lead to things even I can't protect you from.  I know the population accept the fact we get the odd alien or two but never someone from another universe."

"Yeah, the Cybermen were more believable than aliens," Rose tried to laugh.  "I'll be careful but Alec may want to hear it from you.  He offered to take me back to London at the weekend, that's if he doesn't think I'm crazy and admits me for evaluation.  Hope you can get me out of that?"

"Rose, that's going a bit far," Pete laughed.  "If he's wanting to know more, he can't think that you're crazy.  You both had a near death experience and it brought you together, it happens sometimes.  It makes people feel close so be careful Rose, don't mistake it for something else unless you're sure."

While Rose had been talking her mother into going home, Alec had been alerted that Lee Ashworth had been turning Claire's cottage upside down and he'd been brought in for questioning.

"Nothing else to do Hardy?" Lee asked sarcastically.

Ellie thought Hardy probably did have something else to do – chase Rose Tyler.  How had he even stood a chance with the Vitex heiress?

Alec put a cassette tape on the table, wanting this to be over and try to go visit Rose or at least call her.

"This tape contains all Claire had to tell us, about the night Pippa was killed.  Where's Lisa?"

Ashworth laughed back.  "How would I know where that stupid cow went?  Why am I here?"

"I warned you earlier," Alec reminded him.  "Claire had plenty to say about you though, why would she suddenly do that after all this time?  Did you two have a fallout?"

Alec saw the reaction on the other man's face. 

"Where's Lisa?" Ellie tried again.  "Oh, you did have a fallout and Claire's sending you a message?"

Alec wondered if his DS had to look so smug about it, since she hadn't wanted to be there.  It was getting into early evening and he really wanted to call Rose, just to see how she was feeling but she'd probably have her mother with her and she wouldn't be able to talk until later he supposed.

Lee then Claire gave up the youngest girl's father, Tess had given up and gone home since she knew her ex husband wanted to do this on his own, seeing it had nearly killed him in the process.  Ellie had talked her sister into having Tom one more night and Alec finally got time to call Rose.

"Hey, sorry it's so late," he apologised just before ten.

"It's okay, good thing I have my own room though.  So, how are things going?"

"We've got two of them but someone we never suspected was given up.  We're just waiting for him to arrive.  Sorry I never got to visit."

"Hey, forget it, it's okay.  You get them locked up Alec, whoever it was almost killed you as well as Pippa or have ya forgotten?" Rose asked him.

Alec wondered how he could have got so lucky the other day and end up in a deserted recovery room with Rose Tyler?  Had fate intervened and placed them there or was it something else?  He still couldn't wait to hear the rest of how she thought she didn't belong here but would he be out of his depth if she expected him to give her some answers?

"No, that's over with now, I have them Rose and I can get three of them locked up.  I never really expected to see it through," he admitted.  "When I woke up in that room, I thought I was on my own but then I realised someone else was there.  It could have been anyone but it was you."

"Yeah and if it had been anyone else that spoke to me, I'd never have come out with anything like I did.  My stepfather sort of forgave me though but if it had been anyone else, they'd have been getting a visit from the ret-con team, trust me."

"Then I am fortunate it was me and you knew who I was," he replied, thinking he'd hardly believed it at the time who he was with but he'd been too busy thinking he was dead when Rose suggested they were in some sort of waiting room waiting for their fate to be decided.  "Rose, I was concerned about a lot of things you told me, would you maybe like to talk about them with me?"

Rose was relieved he even still wanted to see her, considering she was sending her mother home and was relying on him collecting her on Monday. 

"Yeah, I mean if ya want to?  I was really scared when I woke up Alec, it just hit me all of a sudden.  You must have thought I was crazy?"

"Maybe at first?  I was just as bad, remember?  I would be only too happy to hear more.  I will try to get to see you tomorrow, I have to go now," he replied as he was sat outside on the steps and he heard footsteps behind him as Ellie was coming out to find him.

Feeling totally shattered by the time all three responsible for causing him nearly two years of grief and ill-health, Alec was alone in the interview room and took the photo he had kept of Pippa in his wallet and placed it in the folder.  He was about to get up and go home when he saw a message from Rose as she'd woken up.

Smiling to himself, something he rarely did, he sent her one back saying he was about to go home and finally get some sleep and he would see her later.  He'd not been asleep that long when there was knocking on his door.  He peered through the window blinds to see Ellie standing on the deck and wondered if she'd even been home.

"Why are you here so early?" he asked her when he'd put his jeans and a jumper on.

"Did I interrupt your dreams of Rose Tyler?" she asked sarcastically as he prevented her entering.

"What is it with you and Tess?  I assume there's a reason you are here?"

"Yes, I didn't get much sleep either you know?  Geez Hardy, you're such a grump, no wonder Tess went off.  Beth called me, Mark went off and she thinks he's after Joe."

"What am I supposed to do about it?" he replied as he went to fill the kettle after reluctantly letting her in.  "You woke me for that?"

"If Mark's gone after him, Beth's scared he'll kill him or do something equally stupid.  I bet he went for Nigel?" she asked, wondering if yet again her ex boss was only going to make himself a drink.

He saw her watching and got another mug off the hook.

"Well someone has to dispense some justice, why aren't you with them?" he wanted to know, leaning back on the counter and folding his arms after getting two teabags and throwing them into the mugs.

"You're not bothered, after he got away?  Goodness knows what the pair of them will do to him."

Alec was about to reply with something sarcastic when Ellie's phone rang.

"I have to go, seems Beth's been let in on the plan.  So, are you staying then?"

"Yes," he replied, only putting the hot water into one mug and thinking it was just as well she was leaving since he'd not checked how much milk he had left.

"Oh please tell me you've not invited Rose Tyler to stay?" Ellie laughed.  "You have, haven't you?"

"I thought you had to be somewhere Miller?" he asked, not wanting to admit it.  "I'm going to see the chief on Monday morning to get my job back, I suggest you do the same, it's time to move on."

"Won't you have to go back to Sandbrook?" Ellie wanted to know.

"Tess will call when it goes to court, I'll send her all the stuff I had when I've packed it all away.  Don't let me keep you Miller."

"Will you be in later?"

"No, I promised to visit Rose in hospital, since I've not had the chance.  She wants to visit for a few days and she'll get dropped off when her mother leaves," he told Ellie, not yet knowing there had been a change of plans.

"Why would she want to come here?" Ellie wondered.

"How would I know?  She just does.  Maybe she wants somewhere quiet to recover and since the media have left town, she considers she'll be safe enough.  I'm surprised it's not been on the news."

Chapter 4
Rose had finally got her mother to agree to go home.  Pete had sent a car down for her and was waiting outside the hospital as Jackie took Rose's belongings in.

"Don't fuss Mum, I'll be fine," Rose was insisting.  "Alec will be here later, you get off home."

"Well if ya insist?  I don't like leaving ya."

"Go see how Tony is and tell him I'll be home soon, yeah?  I'll bring Alec to meet everyone next weekend."

"Aren't things going a bit fast?" her mother wondered.

Rose didn't want to think about it.  She supposed a scare like she and Alec had only a short time ago did that to a person?  Her mother left and Rose decided to call her stepfather again.  Pete was trying to calm Tony down when he'd been told his mother was on her way home but not with Rose.

"But Dad, why isn't Rose coming back yet?" Tony was asking him.

"She has to stay in hospital a few more days, then she wants to recover down there," Pete tried to explain, trying not to mention she wanted to recover with a police detective in a seaside town no-one had heard of until a boy had been killed last year.

He also didn't want to mention the fact the boy's sister thought she had narrowly escaped a brush with death.  So had the detective in question but he must have actually been expecting it, unlike Rose.

After Ellie had left him, Alec went to wake himself up by splashing cold water on his face and making himself a drink and some toast.  He thought he would wait a while before ordering a taxi to take him over to the hospital and used the time to look up car rentals though they were a bit out of his price-range at present since he wasn't yet back on full pay.

How was he going to keep his promise of collecting Rose on Monday plus going to see her over the weekend?  He found another website that offered a long weekend rate until Monday before 6pm and called them, thankful his licence was still in order.  Just after two, he got a call to say a car was waiting for him over in the pub car park so he made his way over to take temporary possession of it and was told to leave it in the car park before six on Monday and where to leave the key.  He thought at least he didn't have to drive to the hire place but what about the rest of the week?  

If he got his job back, maybe he could twist the chief's arm into letting him borrow a car, especially if he were to brag that Rose Tyler was staying with him.  Miller could back him up that he knew the Vitex heiress.  He drove to the hospital and parked up then went to see where Rose was.

"Visiting is only until three," a nurse told him as she told him which room Rose was in.

"Miss Tyler is in a private room," Alec pointed out.  "Besides, I'm a police officer and I could use my authority to stay."

"Sorry, it's the hospital rules but anyone could say that," she replied.

Alec wondered where the nurse had been hiding since last July, since he'd been in the news several times.  He begrudgingly went into his jacket pocket and brought out his ID he'd never got around to handing back.

"If anyone asks, I threw my weight around and you had no choice but to let me stay.  I will leave earlier if Miss Tyler insists."

Thinking he'd won that round, he went to find Rose's room and hoped her mother wasn't still there.  He peeked through the glass to see her with a tablet PC on her lap and some earphones in.  He tapped on the door and Rose looked up, taking her earphones out.

"Alec.  Hi.  I didn't expect you until later," Rose greeted him.

"Am I interrupting you?" he asked, wishing he'd called to get her more than the chocolates in his pocket.

He took them out and put them on the bedside table.  It made a change him being on the other side, so to speak, that of him visiting someone else.  

"Well sit down then," Rose smiled, handing him the tablet and earphones for him to put on the table.

Not knowing what to say after his display when he'd woken up and thought the same as Rose, he decided to let her start.

"Rose, I meant it, tell me where you came from.  Did you get permission?"

"Yeah, I can tell ya so much Alec.  I suppose I really started something?"

"Yes, you did and saying you don't belong here didn't help so tell me how you got here."

After being interrupted by a nurse making sure visitors had left and Alec getting his ID out again and saying he would leave when Rose told him to and not before, making her smile, she was telling him how a gap had opened between the universes by the Cybermen and she'd got caught up in it all and finishing with Pete rescuing her and her mother.

"So your mother resembled Pete Tyler's first wife?" Alec asked her.  "How was that explained?"

"I told ya Alec, it was easy for my mum to take her place but I was the one who couldn't be explained.  He and Jake had to come up with a story.  I had no choice but to accept I was stuck here and left my friend behind."

"Was he more than a friend maybe?" Alec wanted to know.

"Yes and no.  I think we both wanted it but never had the chance.  It doesn't change how I still feel about him but I've had to move on.  Everyone has someone they lost or a first boyfriend or girlfriend they got over.  I have to believe he's still there and he thinks about me.  He was someone really special."

"He must have been if you can't forget him Rose.  Do you think maybe we can spend some time together when you visit Broadchurch?"

"Yeah, I'd like that Alec.  I didn't mean anything, it's just he meant a lot to me and I've never really had a boyfriend since I've been here so I might be a bit out of practice," she smiled.

"Well I am just the same since my divorce Rose, it's not as easy as everyone thinks unless you are really lucky.  Spend some time with me and if you want to go back home next weekend on your own, I will understand.  I hired a car for the weekend, I'm not sure if I can borrow one if I get my job back."

"Don't worry, I'll get someone to drive mine down during the week, my two friends will be dying to visit anyway.  They can bring it down.  Mickey is the one who came with us but the only one who never wanted to go back.  Do I tell him and my mum what I thought?"

"Have you told your mother what you thought when you woke up?" Alec asked her.

"No.  She'd go crazy, trust me.  Mickey might understand though or should I keep it to myself?"

"It bothers you Rose, wouldn't talking to him make things seem better?  There is someone in Broadchurch who may be able to help you, the local vicar.  Did I mention him?"

Rose couldn't remember any names.

"My stepfather said I should talk to someone in the church but not reveal too much.  He said if I did, they may think the worse."

"Yes, I can understand that.  It could raise a few questions.  Be careful if you decide to take my advice and seek help with the church.  I can introduce you to the local vicar when you get to Broadchurch but take your stepfather's advice and miss a few things out eh?"

Rose had to smile.  "Yeah, maybe I should?  Even Pete can't protect me from the church.  So, do ya think I'm crazy?"

"I think no such thing," Alec tried to assure her.  "You just woke up in the wrong place and assumed the worse and so did I.  I should have realised before you did.  Rose, I never expected to come around, I let myself get really bad until I had no choice.  A few days before my surgery, I collapsed on the decking outside my home and DS Miller never even knew even when she was inside going over that old case."

"Geez Alec, no wonder ya thought I was right.  You had more reason to than I did.  Didn't you go see the vicar to tell him you were scared?"

"We never exactly saw eye to eye during the investigation into Danny Latimer's death," he had to admit.  "I would be willing to take you to see him though, you need more help than I did.  Rose, I was ready to accept my fate, I'd taken Danny's killer to court and I knew DS Miller wouldn't let the others from that old case get away."

"You chose to fight it though Alec," Rose reminded him as he sat facing her.

Alec took her hand.  "I wasn't going to.  Then something made me give in and go, the same time as you got taken into the emergency room."

"Yeah, I think that was me having a lucky escape and then you realising we were in the recovery and not sat awaiting our fates.  I probably wouldn't have spoken to anyone else but I recognised your voice."

"Really?  Rose, this is solving nothing, tell me how you feel now you know we weren't doing anything other than recovering."

Rose thought that may take some doing.  When a nurse frowned at Alec still being there and Rose persuading him to go eat and come back later, he had to reluctantly go find the café and tried to call his daughter.

"Dad, is something wrong?" Daisy asked him.

"No, should there be?  I was just checking in on you, can't I do that?"

"Well yeah, I'll have to get used to it, won't I?" Daisy teased him.  "So are you at home?"

"No, I'm at the hospital visiting someone.  Did your mother tell you who was in the recovery room with me?"

"Geez Dad, I don't know.  Rose Tyler maybe?" Daisy replied jokingly.

"Has your mother been telling you?" he asked, thinking Tess would have found it amusing to tell tales on him to a teenager who followed the every move of the Vitex heiress.

"What?  Are you telling me it’s true?  I thought mum was either winding me up or joking that she had been teasing you about it."

"Yes, it's true.  The regular recovery room was full and they placed us in another room.  She was scared when she woke up.  Daisy, she passed out in a hotel dining room at some meeting she was attending.  When she came round, she was well out of it.  I just reassured her, that's all.  I promised to visit her when I got out but I was in court yesterday then winding up that old case of mine."

"Yeah, mum told me.  I'm sorry that mum didn't find Lisa alive, after all that time everyone was hoping she'd be found safe.  You got them Dad, that's the main thing and I know you never gave up.  Mum explained you almost died bringing them in.  So, you really met Rose?  What's she like?"

"She's still recovering and I thought I would invite her to stay in Broadchurch for a few days instead of travelling back home," Alec admitted.

"Did she accept?  Where's she staying?"

"There are a few hotel on the harbour," Alec told her, even though Rose had indicated she wanted to stay with him.

"I hope you've not invited her to stay at what mum calls a shack?" she teased him.

"Will everyone please leave my house alone?" Alec replied indignantly.

Would Rose do the same though when she saw it?  He didn't think so, her official biography that her stepfather had put out when he'd adopted her stated she came from a humble background and grew up on a council estate and from what he'd seen of her so far, she had no airs and graces about her.

He heard Daisy laughing.

"Besides, she will probably book into the hotel just by me.  I don't expect her to spend all her time with me.  I'm going to see about getting my job back Daisy.  Would you maybe think about coming down for a visit if I do?"

"I don't know Dad?  So will you call in and see me next weekend?  Did you mean Rose when you said you may have someone with you?"

"Yes, I promised to see she got back to London safely, since she insisted on stopping off here.  You don't have to meet her, she'll be recovered by then and amuse herself by shopping.  She'll have a week or so to catch up on."

"I never said I'd object to meeting her Dad," Daisy laughed.

"I thought not.  Just don't bring a crowd of your friends with you, understood?  Where do you want to meet?"

Having agreed a meeting place, he saw he still had some time to spare and looked up the hotels close to where he lived.  The one closest to him seemed the most obvious and it had rooms that looked out onto the harbour.  Well that was if Rose would agree but staying at his place could raise a few problems – one being his bedroom door didn't close.  He could offer the room to Rose he supposed and squeeze into the spare one.

Then he had an idea that may solve his problem.  The caravan park would be opening and they would sure to have a nice three bedroom model with two double bedrooms.  Maybe he should get busy and see if their office was open tomorrow?

He went back to see Rose and asked what she would prefer – squeezing in his cottage, a hotel room or a caravan.  Rose considered the options.

"Can I see your chalet first?" she asked him as he sat down.

"Well yes, if you want?  I'm not sure about staying there though, not now.  I was planning on going back to Sandbrook for a while but now you want to visit, I'll put it off.  I want to get my job back but delay my start for a few weeks.  Rose, once I take you home though, what then?"

"What do ya mean Alec?  You think I'm going back to work or on holiday?"

"You mentioned you could go anywhere you wanted Rose," he reminded her.

"Yeah and I choose to go back to Broadchurch, unless ya don't want me to?" she replied, seeing he had some doubts.

"Rose, I would not mind if you came back but my chalet is not suitable.  I got it to punish myself for failing to find that young girl's killer but now I have them locked up?  I should really get somewhere else so if you insist on not being on your own, a caravan would be more suitable for a week.  Then I can take it from there.  I still get my housing partly paid for, a caravan would be cheaper, the price of the chalet will probably go up anyway, I wasn't intending staying there much longer."

"Don't make me decide for you," Rose insisted.  "I really don't mind anything apart from being stuck on my own in a hotel for a week.  If there's anything extra to pay for your chalet or a caravan, just say so."

"What about when you do leave Rose?" he asked her, thinking it would be a shame and she'd not even gone there yet.

"Trying to get rid of me already?" she teased him.

"No such thing.  I was being practical.  Won't you have to return to work?"

"Eventually but I can work from anywhere, I don't have to be tied to an office."

"Do you have any more meetings to attend though?" he wondered.

"Not as such, I was just doing it as a favour.  I wish I'd never gone now."

"You would have not ended up in the same hospital as I did," Alec smiled.  "Who would have convinced you that you were not waiting for your name to be called?"

"I may have been taken to a warmer room with someone in attendance," Rose smiled back at him.

"Then we would not have met and you would still have doubts about being here.  Rose, whatever it is you're holding back, you can tell me."

"I can't Alec, I wish I could but it's complicated and doesn't just involve me.  I have my mum to think about."

"So you, your mother and this Mickey all came here together?" he wanted to know.

"Pete said I could tell ya some of it Alec, I'll need to ask if I can tell ya the rest."

"Then call him Rose, I want to know what's troubling you.  You arrived when the last of the Cybermen left?"

"Yeah.  The Torchwood on my world thought they were harnessing some new power source – idiots.  They were pulling the Cybermen through as ghosts.  If it hadn't been for them, the Cybermen would have either gone somewhere else or got trapped between worlds."

"What's between the worlds Rose?"

"How would I know?" she tried to bluff.

"Something tells me you know and it scares you.  So they landed on your world and tried to take over?"

Rose knew he'd never rest until he got to the truth.  She picked up her phone and called Pete.

"Dad, will you talk to Alec?  He wants to know how the Cybermen were defeated and we got here."

"What have you told him?" Pete asked her, knowing the detective would want to know everything.  "Can it wait until you come up here?"

Alec was shaking his head, since Rose had the phone on the speaker.

"I don't think so.  Why don't ya get Jake to come down, he can bring me my car down, Alec's renting one for now and it will save him extending it.  I can tell him some of it, Jake can tell him the rest."

"You know Mickey will want to come down as well?" Pete laughed.  "Okay, tell me where you'll be staying on Monday, Jake can follow Mickey, I know you hate it when Jake drives your car."

Rose finished the call, Alec sitting back on the chair.

"So, I can trust this Jake?"

"Yeah, he's head of security and he played a big part in freeing this world when the Cybermen tried to take over.  Pete and a team followed them when they were escaping to stop them going back.  Short version, they were cut off between worlds when they tried to take over my world."

Alec knew that was all he was going to get out of her for now.

"Well, that's a start.  This is all part of what upset you so much.  When we get to Broadchurch, I will take you to see the vicar, you need to put it behind you Rose."

Alec stayed a while longer after he should have done and was about to leave.

"I will see you tomorrow then?  Should I go book that caravan?"

"What about your chalet?"

"I am sure they will be glad to have it back.  Just leave it to me eh?"

He leaned over and kissed her cheek.

"Thanks for staying with me."

"It was the least I could do," Alec replied.  "Can I bring you anything tomorrow?"

"I'm good thanks.  They'd better let me out of here on Monday."

"I'm sure they will.  Get some rest eh?" he suggested.

The next morning, he walked around to the caravan park office and asked about hiring one.

"Well we don't official open for a few more weeks but I'm sure we can arrange something?" the manager told him when he said who he was.  "Would the police be paying?"

He was shown a few models in the brochure though some, he didn't think the housing allowance he had would cover them but he settled on one that would be within the budget and he was told to call back the following day after four.  That meant he'd have to take Rose back to the chalet for the time being and it would be typical she insisted on staying there.

Rose was trying to explain to the sister on the ward why Alec had been caught leaving late the night before.

"Well I don't fancy your chances of throwing him out," Rose was telling her.  "He's in the police."

"Even so Miss Tyler, you need your rest," she was told.

"Well there's only tonight, he'll be collecting me in the morning.  I am getting out of here tomorrow?"

"As far as I know.  How's the pain anyway?"

"It's been worse.  I'll just be resting when I get out of here.  What time will I be able to leave?"

"After morning rounds, if the doctors are satisfied.  Are you travelling back home?"

"No, I'll be staying not far from here before I go home.  I'm not saying where though," Rose smiled.

Just before visiting time, not that she thought Alec would stick to the hours, she got a call from Mickey.

"Your dad wants me to bring your car tomorrow Rose, wots that all about?  Are you even allowed to drive yet?"

"Chill Mickey.  It's not for me to drive, didn't Pete tell ya?"

"Oh, you mean that detective?  Seriously?  You only let me or Jake drive your car," he reminded her.

"I'd rather you drove it, Jake messes with the seat.  Get Jake to follow ya down and yes, I'm gonna let Alec drive it, he's rented one over the weekend then next weekend, he's taking me back home."

"So how's he gonna get back?" Mickey asked her.

"I may go back with him but that depends on a few things.  I want Jake to tell Alec how we got here."

"What?  Are you crazy?  Geez Rose, you only just met the guy.  What happened to make you trust him that much?"

"I'll tell ya when you both get here Mickey.  Did Pete tell ya me and Alec got left in a recovery room all on our own?"

"No, how did that happen then?  Did you panic when you woke up or something?"

"Or something, Alec handled it better than I did.  See you both tomorrow, text me when you set off, I think I'm going to where Alec lives for now, he's trying to get a caravan."

"Why aren't you staying in a hotel?" Mickey wanted to know.

"Geez Mickey, you're more stuck up than my mother is.  I don't wanna be on my own in a hotel, that's why and Alec lives by the river and he says there's not much room.  Don't you dare mention who he looks like Mickey, I mean it and don't keep staring at him."

"Me?  It's your mother you have to worry about," Mickey reminded her.

That was the problem though.  Telling Alec of her past and why she was so worried wouldn't be easy since they had to miss out a few things such as time-travel and Timelords.  What had got her so worried though and brought all this on?

Chapter 5
Rose hadn't been worried about Alec meeting her mother until Mickey had gone and mentioned it.  Trust him to bring up the subject, she thought as she put her phone down.  She cheered up though when Alec tapped on the door.

"Hey, how are you feeling now?" he greeted her.

"Better, thanks.  Have you been hanging around the hospital?"

"There was no point in going away, I used the time to call my daughter, surprisingly she wants to meet you."

"Don't worry, the novelty will soon wear off," Rose smiled as he sat opposite and took her hand.  "Once teenagers have done the 'I met Rose Tyler' thing, they soon go onto something else."

"Well I warned her not to bring all her friends," he smiled back.  "Maybe I should leave on time tonight eh, let you get some rest?"

"Not used to visiting?" Rose teased him.

"Ah, you could say that.  Twice I ended up in hospital, there was someone there and I can't decide who was the worse, the hotel owner where I was staying or DS Miller but at least the hotel owner never brought me any grapes.  Why do people take grapes to patients?" he mused.

Rose tried not to laugh.  "Beats me but if it's any consolation, it's not exclusive to this world.  If it helps, there's not a lot of differences between the two, it's just some things never got invented here or people took different paths.  I wish I could tell ya."

"Maybe when your friend visits you will be able to?" he asked hopefully.

"Maybe?  The only problem is my stepfather says some things are best not mentioned, if this world is not meant to have something."

"Yes, that could be dangerous I expect?  Have you told him some things about where you come from?"

"Not everything, just important events if they're different.  You have no idea what me and Mickey know Alec that never happened here and we can never mention them, not ever.  We might be protected by Torchwood but some things are beyond even their control, such as the church.  There are only so many in Torchwood who know the truth about us, the rest just think me and Mickey are some kind of alien experts, having been on the front lines with the Cybermen."

"So talking to the vicar may not be a good idea?  I want to help you Rose."

"I know ya do Alec but I can only tell him so much and it may not even help me.  What then?"

Alec tried to pull the chair a bit nearer.  "Then tell me.  I can see how much it bothers you Rose, really I can.  Why does it scare you so much, not belonging here?"

Rose lifted her legs and leaned her head on them, observing him with one eye.  Could she trust him?  He was in the police, who was he going to tell?

"Jake will have to make you a member of Torchwood, then I'll tell ya Alec.  If ya decide it's too much, I don't have to remind ya what'll happen?"

"Then I accept the challenge.  What can you tell me now Rose?  What about this gap between the worlds?  How did you nearly get caught?"

"I let go of a lever, the force was pulling me towards it Alec, my friend could only watch without letting go himself but my mum got Pete to go back for me, just in time.  She never knew how close it was and all I could do was see the look on my friend's face as I disappeared.  I never got chance to say anything to him except to a hologram he sent through the gap before the last of it closed."

"I'm sorry.  So the gap is really gone?"

"Yeah and if it re-opened again, the Cybermen or something twice as bad could get through.  I wanted Pete to get the devices working again but even being the chairman didn't get him approval.  They could have got them working but what then?  What if they sent someone to the wrong world?"

"You would still be here.  There's no easy answer Rose.   What if it was you who tried and got stranded on yet another world, one not as friendly?  You would have no-one then."

"I know, thanks, I don’t need reminding.  Did ya take a crash course on temporal physics?" she teased him.

"I failed that one.  Your stepfather would have been responsible, maybe he never even asked?"

Rose hadn't thought of that.

"How do I even know where I am now Alec?  How do I know when Pete snatched me from falling into the void we didn't end up somewhere else?"

"Geez Rose, don't even think that.  How would he be the same and your mother and your friend Mickey be here?   Think about it, if this was yet another parallel world, then you must have replaced the Rose Tyler here for them to know you and it's Pete that's out of place?  Stop thinking the worse eh?  You must watch too many science fiction programs eh?"

Rose could think of a few where people had stepped through to other worlds and things had been changed when they got back – or had they?

"Yeah, sorry.  It's just gettin' to me.  So, where are ya taking me tomorrow?"

"To my riverside chalet for now, until I get the caravan keys, if they sort out the paperwork.  You may have to stay if not."

"Aw, I don't really mind, you're only really moving for me.  We can stay there until Jake and Mickey arrive, it may not be a problem after that."

"Don't say that, I am not going to run away, even when he tells me what he can.  What makes you think I will?  Have you told anyone else before?"

"There was no-one to tell Alec.  Pete put a block on how he met my mum and adopted me, he only released certain things."

"That you grew up on a council estate?  That makes no difference to me.  If you are trying to get me to back away, you will have to do better than that.  It does not say what your surname was back then though."

"It won't.  I'll be able to tell ya why after you meet with Jake.  You look tired Alec, why don't ya go get some rest?"

"You're the one in hospital and you're worried about me?" he smiled.

A while later, he took the hint and said he'd see her in the morning.

"Did they give you a time?" he asked as he was leaving.

"Just come after ten, I should be ready to leave by then.  When Jake and Mickey arrive, give Jake the car hire details, he'll take care of it.  Would ya rather keep it though?"

"No, I can use yours, no sense in having two.  Goodnight Rose, see you tomorrow."

He leaned over to kiss her cheek but she turned towards him, making him smile.  How had he got so lucky he woke up in the same hospital room with her and she wanted to be friends?  Well if for now that was all she wanted, he could live with that, if she was right and whatever he was to be told did make him run.

Alec had got back home, well his temporary one if he was actually moving out but he knew he had to clear out all the files he'd gathered from Sandbrook.  He had to call Tess, since he couldn't just send them back without telling her.

"Yes, I saw them all when you were out of it," Tess reminded him.  "Box them all up and I'll send the couriers for them tomorrow.  What time are you going to be there?"

"I promised to pick Rose up first thing, I'll be here most of the day until I hear if I've got a caravan or not."

He heard Tess laughing on the other end.

"Well you were the one who criticised where I live.  I was going to move anyway, if Daisy wants to come for a visit.  Rose doesn't want to stay in a hotel on her own, you can't blame her for that."

Tess supposed she couldn't.

"Well you volunteered to look after her Alec.  I hope this isn't just some kind of sense of duty?"

"Far from it Tess.  I will be going back with her on Saturday, I've made arrangements to see Daisy, she wants to meet Rose."

"Of course she does.  I've tried to tell her that everyone with a social media account with that name isn't really her.  Maybe you could ask her if she's on there, then Daisy can block all the fake accounts," Tess suggested. 

"Well it's safe to say if the last messages weren't she's in hospital, which has not been reported on, then it's not her."

"Good luck convincing Daisy then.  Are you meeting Daisy somewhere?"

He knew that was her way of saying was he going to be calling on her.

"Yes, I expect she will want bringing home afterwards?  I'll introduce you to Rose shall I?"

"If you must?  I'm not against you getting yourself a girlfriend Alec but just remember who she is.  She's never out of the celebrity pages."

"You read them do you?  Don't believe everything you see in them.  I doubt half of it's true and they just keep re-hashing old news.  See what they wrote about her this weekend when we know where she really was."

Tess thought that would be interesting.

"Bring her if you have to Alec, just don't expect Daisy to be bought so easily."

Alec wondered if she really knew their daughter.

The next morning, Rose was wanting to get out of bed and be ready for when Alec arrived.

"Miss Tyler," the nurse was trying to tell her.  "You have to stay in bed until you get discharged."

"I just want to be ready, someone's picking me up," Rose defended her actions.

The nurse had to smile.  "You mean that detective who has been showing his ID to stay after visiting hours?"

Rose thought Alec probably had, at least her mother had left on time.

"Did he really do that?" Rose tried not to smile back.

"Do you know him well?" the nurse asked, doing the usual checks before doctor's rounds.

"We met a few days ago, we both had surgery on the same day," Rose admitted.

She thought she'd best leave out what she thought when she'd come round.

"So why is he collecting you?" the nurse wanted to know, removing the blood-pressure pad from Rose's arm, wondering why it was a bit high but it was probably just the patient wanting to see him.

"My mum went home and he offered to collect me," Rose replied, not wanting to go into details.

She also didn't want anyone to know she was going to be staying with him.

"Well I'm sure he'll be here soon, since he never sticks to visiting hours," the nurse replied jokingly.

Alec was on his way after a quick breakfast, hoping not to get caught in traffic and was soon at the hospital, looking for a parking space, since he had to go in and collect Rose.  He found the ward and stopped at the desk.

"Has Rose Tyler been discharged yet?" he asked the nurse who looked up.

"She's waiting to be seen, did we call you to collect her?"

"No, we already had it arranged, she was unsure what time she could leave."

He saw a crowd going around and assumed they were on their way to see who could go home, hoping there would be no delays where Rose was concerned.  He'd heard nothing yet from the caravan park or the clerk who was unfortunate enough to deal with his housing situation.  He supposed he'd only hear from that person if his application to change homes was refused.

"You can wait over there," the nurse indicated to a few chairs.

Alec thought he'd rather go wait in her room but maybe that was a bit much?  The doctors and nurses had reached Rose's room and the one in charge had picked up her notes.

"How are you feeling Miss Tyler?"

"Fine, can I go now?"

"I see no reason why not, is someone collecting you?" she was asked.

"Yeah, he's probably already waiting," Rose smiled.

"Are you travelling back home?"

"No, not yet, I'm stopping off somewhere for a few days," Rose replied.

"Well, you'll be a bit sore for a few days, just be careful," she was warned.  "I'll have some medication sent over and we'll inform your local doctor's surgery.  I understand there was a delay in you being attended after your surgery?  Do you wish to make a complaint?"

Rose thought about it.

"No but maybe if ya have to find somewhere to put patients after surgery, ya can find somewhere not as cold?"

"Yes, we are looking into that, it seems the nurse who should have stayed with you got delayed, by the ward sister.  We will try not to let it happen to anyone else but we had two emergencies that day as well as scheduled operations.  Please accept my apologies Miss Tyler."

Rose decided to let it go, she'd never have met Alec had they not been put in the same recovery room.  She may have panicked even more had Alec not discovered the mistake before she had.

"Yeah, so can I go then?"

"Yes, indeed, the person collecting you will be informed."

Rose wondered if Alec had already asked several times when she'd be allowed home.  A nurse realised who it would be collecting her and went down to tell him.

"Miss Tyler can go now, she's just getting ready," the nurse smiled at him.  "She seems keen to leave."

Alec wasn't really surprised.  He walked off to her room and tapped on the door, Rose having the sense to pull the curtain around her.

"May I come in?" Alec asked cautiously.

"Hi Alec, I won't be long.  Can ya go check if they sent my medication?" Rose called from behind the curtain.

"Should I take your things?" he offered, seeing her case and a bag on the chair.

"Yeah, thanks, when ya come back maybe?"

So she intended for him to escort her out, he wondered.  Did Miss Tyler intend showing him off?  He supposed he should make allowances though under the strange circumstances they had met.  She'd obviously taken his invitation seriously and he was going out of his way to accommodate her, since she didn't want to be on her own or have her mother fussing over her.

"I'll be back soon then," he told her, going back out again.

Rose smiled to herself but she knew she shouldn't take advantage of him.  She didn't think he'd let her though.  Alec told the nursing staff he was collecting Rose's medication and asked how often she was to take it.

"She needs a close eye keeping on her for a few days," the sister told him.

"I'm aware of that, Miss Tyler will be taken care of.  When will she be able to get back to normal?" he asked.

"It will take a while for things to settle down.  Try to get her to rest as much as possible though she should have some exercise, just a short walk but not overdo it."

I will make sure she knows," Alec replied.

He went back to Rose's room, Rose sitting on the bed waiting for him.  She insisted on walking out holding his arm and they were soon at his hired car.

"When Jake and Mickey get here, give Jake the paperwork for the car, he'll get you the refund," Rose told him as he helped her inside, Rose grimacing at the pain.

Alec noticed.  He hoped he wouldn't hit any bumps on the way back so as not to make her any worse.  Once back in Broadchurch, he went around the back of his chalet and got her things, then helping her out.

"Just get settled here until your friends arrive.  I have to go get a few groceries later.  Why don't you stay here?"

Rose wished she could go with him but maybe it was it bit much for her first day out of hospital.

"Do your friends know where we are?" he asked Rose as he made a drink.

"I told them to call when they got to the harbour, you can tell them how to get here.  Last chance to back out," Rose smiled at him.

"Forget it Rose, I want to know.  You must know why?"

Rose had a fairly good idea.  She felt the same way but if he walked off after Jake told him, it was best she forgot about him.  If he came to terms with it, he'd come after her but to expect him to just accept it was asking a lot.  

Jackie had of course got to know Jake and Mickey were going down to see Rose as they called to see Pete and collect Rose's car.

"Don't you go upsetting her Mickey," Jackie warned him when they arrived.  "So is she having ya telling him about her?"

"Jackie, he needs to know if Rose wants to stay with him," Pete reminded her.  "She's told him some of it already."

"He's still with her?" Jackie asked.

Pete shook his head.  Alec seemed the sort of person who would listen even if it did sound a bit far-fetched.  He took Jake to one side.

"What do ya want me to tell him?" Jake asked him.

"What you think he needs to know, don't over-do it," Pete smiled.  "There's something you need to know but not a word to Jackie or Mickey.  When Rose and Alec came round in the recovery room they'd been left on their own and well, Rose thought the worse."

"What?  How did she think that?" Jake wanted to know, hoping he'd not alerted Jackie, who heard everything.

"Shush Jake.  Alec realised before she went too far but she told him some things, like she doesn't belong here and him being in the police wouldn't let her laugh it off as her coming round.  She told him no-one would be calling her name because she wasn't on the list."

"Yeah, I can see her point.  Why was no-one there though?"

"They were overcrowded in the recovery room.  It was lucky she was with Alec Hardy and not anyone else.  She might have been worse if he'd not been a detective and worked it out.  She's scared Jake, about when it really happens."

"Yeah, I'm not surprised Pete.  So she's staying down there for a few days?"

"Yes, she wants to go see the local vicar there, see if she can be assured it won't really happen but the damage may already have been done.  I want you to explain to Alec why Rose thinks that way, because of where she comes from.  He knows some of it, just fill him in on the rest.  You know how far to go and watch out for Mickey, you know what he's like," Pete laughed.

Mickey was still talking to Jackie, well the other way around as she made him listen.

"I mean it Mickey, don't say anything to spoil things.  I wanted her to come back with me but she insists on going there.  Is Jake gonna tell Alec Hardy about her?"

"Yeah, that was the plan.  If she comes back with us, it won't be because of me.  It's up to him if he accepts what he's told," Mickey replied.

"Well for her sake, he'd better believe it then," Jackie told him.

Jake and Mickey had made a stop on the way down and were talking.

"Do ya think it's a good idea Jake?" Mickey was asking him.

"Not my idea mate but Pete wants me to tell him.  Trust Rose to have to go and meet him, in a hospital of all places," Jake laughed.

"What if he won't accept it?" Mickey wondered.

"Then she'll come back with us and Alec walks away.  Pete would never agree to Torchwood dealing with him.  I'll have to make him a temporary limited member to be able to tell him, it's down to him if he believes it.  Give Rose a call, see if she's out of hospital and find out where we're going," Jake suggested

Rose heard her phone ringing, seeing it was Mickey.

"Are you two here already?" she asked him.

"No, we're about an hour or so away, where do you want us to park?"

"I'll put Alec on.  We went round the back way.  Alec, tell Mickey where the nearest car park is."

Alec was already getting nervous.  Yes, he did want to know about her past and why she was so troubled when she'd woken up a few days ago but over the weekend, he had developed feelings for her, not just because she was scared she didn't belong here but because she took to him in the recovery room and she seemed to trust him.

Something had drawn them together, not just a near-death experience.

Jake and Mickey were lucky to get in the car park near the pub and followed Alec's instructions to cross over the footbridge and through the gate.

"Trust Rose to pick somewhere near the river," Mickey joked as they crossed the bridge.

"Yeah, maybe it reminds her of something?" Jake wondered as he opened the gate.

Rose heard the gate.  "Last chance Alec."

"Are you afraid I'll back out?" Alec raised his eyebrows.  "As long as I'm not told you are an alien in disguise, then no chance.  You aren't, are you?"

"I'm as Human as you are Alec, just from another universe.  I'd best not tell ya about my friend I lost though," Rose smiled.

"Ah, that may be hard to believe.  Did you have aliens there, besides being invaded by the Cybermen?"

Jake was going to tell him anyway, what was the difference?

"Well when I was there, it started to happen.  Alec, when the Cybermen got through, something else was already there."

"Really?  Maybe your friend had something to do with it?"

"Yeah, he was like a magnet to them, trust me.  Looks like Jake and Mickey are here," Rose replied as she saw them outside.

Once they were introduced to Alec, Mickey suggested he and Rose waited outside or go get a drink.  Alec agreed, telling Mickey not to take her too far.

"He thinks I'm gonna break," Rose smiled, going to kiss his cheek.  "Don't say I never warned ya."

"I know but you may as well know, if I can accept what I'm told, you know I want you to stay here in Broadchurch with me?"

"Yeah, I sort of gathered that," Rose smiled.  "Come on Mickey, you're paying, I've not got much cash on me."

"I seem to remember you still owe me twenty quid from Christmas 2005," Mickey grinned.

"Yeah?  I'm good for it," Rose laughed, wishing she hadn't since she got a pain for her troubles.

Alec wondered what all that was about, since she'd apparently not been here back in 2005.

"Where do ya wanna start?" Jake grinned at Alec.

Half an hour later, Alec was sat on the doorstep while Jake went to fetch Rose.

"I can call her over?" Jake suggested, unable to judge Alec's reaction, it was worse than trying to judge how Rose would take it if Alec rejected her.

He knew once Rose made up her mind, if she wanted something, she got it but he wasn't sure it had been a good idea to tell Alec how Rose had come here, saved this world from the Cybermen then gone back, refusing to say how she, Mickey and the Doctor had got here and back.

"So why did she go back, if she was safe here?" Alec had asked Jake.

"Because she didn't want to lose him, it broke her heart when she almost ended up in the void and Pete brought her back here," Jake tried to explain.

Rose had been quiet while they waited, not being able to eat anything, unlike Mickey, who had said the service station breakfast was too expensive so he'd not bothered.

"Geez, Mickey, anyone would think ya didn't get paid," Rose told him as he had ordered the full works and Rose just had a latte' - not her favourite blend though.

"I like to get value for money," Mickey huffed.  "Need some cash for now or do ya think you'll be coming back with us?"

"I don't know Mickey, I mean it's not every day ya have to tell someone anything like that.  I do like him and no, not for what you think.  It's best he knows before it's too late for either of us to be able to walk away."

Mickey could see Jake crossing the footbridge.

"Well, you'll soon find out how it went, Jake's here.  Why didn't he just ring?" Mickey wondered.

"Alec wants to talk to ya," Jake told Rose.  "We'll wait here.  Mickey, I thought ya didn't want any breakfast?"

"It's a lot cheaper here, go get one, we could be here for a while," Mickey replied.

Jake saw Rose wasn't eating.  "Not hungry?" he asked her as he helped her up.  "Want me to walk ya over?"

"No, I can manage, thanks.  Did ya leave my car keys?"

"No, I couldn't tell how it had gone.  Take them, then if it doesn't go well at first, stay at the pub for a few days, he might come round, unless he tells ya to leave," Jake suggested.

"Yeah, I may as well, it might just take him some time?  I'll stay unless he insists I leave.  I'll call ya, then ya can bring my things over."

They watched her walk off slowly, shaking their heads.

"So, how did it go?" Mickey asked Jake.

"No idea mate, he wasn't giving anything away, was he?" Jake grinned.  "Want another drink?"

Alec was still sitting in the doorway as Rose opened the gate, getting up when he saw her.

"Hi," Rose greeted him as he indicated for her to go inside.  "So, do ya want me to leave?"

"What?  No, unless you feel you should?  You were right, it was best someone else told me but you have a few gaps to fill in.  I know what you meant about your friend but Jake would not tell me how you all got here the first time.  I take it your friend was an alien and had some kind of spaceship then?"

Chapter 6
"How do you think Rose is getting on over there?" Mickey nodded across.

"Beats me.  She could have given us some warning.  It's up to him, I told him what I could," Jake replied.

Rose really didn't know how to begin.

"Why don't you start from when you first met him?" Alec suggested, seeing she looked nervous.  "Rose, I want to understand and if you want, take things further between us?"

"You won't say that when I'm done," Rose replied.

"What makes you think that?  So your friend was a time-travelling alien, why am I not surprised eh?  Come on Rose, Jake trusted me to tell me some of it.  What are you afraid of?"

"That you'll leave me?  Did Jake tell ya we went back there and when I came back here, three years had passed?  It was easy for my mum and Mickey to adjust here but not me.  I gained three years Alec, I'm not as old as it says officially."

"Should that make a difference?  Are you telling me to back off?" he wondered.

"Alec, you know what you're up against, if I stay with you."

"You don't get it Rose, do you not understand I care about you?  If it's too much then you should go back to London with your friends.  If not then stay here with me and decide, no pressure.  Have your own room in the caravan, see how things go eh?  I invited you to stay after all.  You'll be safe from the press, I can keep them away from you."

"You know them?" Rose smiled.

"Yes, the local paper has down-sized, I expect the only reporter left won't be here much longer.  What do you say?  Tell me bit by bit if you want?"

"That might take more than a week," Rose teased him.

"Then tell me the short version?"

"Can we go get something to eat?" she asked, now feeling hungry.

"You didn't eat earlier?"

"Nah, I was too nervous wondering what Jake was telling ya and what you thought about it."

"That's understandable.  So, are you staying?" he asked, thinking she may have to use his room if he didn't hear anything soon.

"Yeah, I told ya my mum will fuss too much if I go home.  You'd be rescuing me – again."

"Then I will be only too happy to do so.  Shall we go find your friends?"

"Mickey's probably on his second breakfast by now," Rose grinned.

"Did they not eat on the way down?"

"He said it was too expensive, old habits die hard," Rose replied.

Alec thought Rose had been the only one but apparently not.  They went to join Mickey and Jake, Jake nudging his friend as Rose and Alec walked across the footbridge.

"Seems like she's staying?" Jake grinned.

"He may only be making sure she leaves with us," Mickey disagreed.

"Face it mate, she finally found someone she can trust," Jake told him.  "She's been hiding who she is all this time, she can be herself with him."

Alec went to order some food and Rose sat down at the table.

"How did it go then?" Mickey asked her.

"I'm staying, that's all for now.  You know what my mum will be like if I go home."

"Is that the only reason?" Jake asked her.

"It's not fair he doesn't know Jake, he's trying to help me.  Did my dad tell ya what happened in the hospital?"

Jake nodded.

"He never told me," Mickey huffed, folding his arms as usual.

"Probably 'cos Pete didn't think you needed to know," Jake told him.  "Rose will tell ya if she wants."

"It was nothing Mickey, it was just me coming round and not knowing where I was, since I collapsed in the hotel dining room," Rose told him.

"If you say so.  What's happening then?"

"Can you drive my car around Mickey?  Alec has to leave his hire car here later."

"Did he bring the paperwork?" Jake asked her.

"Ask him when he comes back.  I hope he gets that caravan today, I thought he would have heard by now."

"Is there room in that chalet for two of you?" Mickey teased her.

"Rose thinks it's bigger on the inside," Alec replied for her as he joined them.  "I tried to tell her otherwise.  I just got a call to collect the caravan keys, you will be glad to know, Rose."

"Great.  Why don't you show Mickey how to get to the back of the chalet after we've eaten?  Then you can go shopping then leave your car around the front?"

"Seems you have it all planned then?" Alec managed to smile, going to see if their orders were ready.

"Trust me, she's always like that," Mickey replied.

"Gee thanks Mickey.  Why don't ya tell him more?"

"That's up to you.  Is there anything to do around here?"

"Sunbathing?" Rose offered as Alec came back.

"Where are all the shops?"

"Up in the town I guess, it's not Blackpool Mickey," Rose teased him.  "I just want some peace and quiet, I can get it here."

"To tell him all your secrets?" Jake grinned as Alec sat next to her.

"If Rose wants to tell me?  She knows I will listen."

"Thanks Alec.  Are ya gonna get the caravan keys then go round with Mickey?"

Alec wondered if she was going to organise things all week then?  Was he going to object though?  After they had eaten, Jake and Mickey having got yet another drink, Alec handed Jake the paperwork for his rental car then walked across the road bridge to the caravan park, having given Rose the chalet key and told Mickey how to get round the back to save time.  Rose led the way to the front of the chalet, Mickey looking around.

"Bit close to the river," he noted, Jake shaking his head.

"I think Alec was right when he said you thought it was bigger on the inside Rose," Jake laughed as she let them in.  

He looked to the right as they entered, seeing the bedroom door open.

"Good thing you're not staying here then?  Me and Mickey can stay until Alec's got the groceries if ya want?"

"Yeah, thanks Jake.  He shouldn't be doing it really, he had surgery the same day as I did."

"So what's the big secret Pete won't tell me?" Mickey wanted to know.

"When I woke up, I thought I was in some sort of waiting room and someone would be calling my name."

"Well didn't they know you were there?" Mickey asked innocently, Jake rolling his eyes.

"She thought she was passing over to the other side Mickey," Jake enlightened him.

"Oh.  I thought ya said Alec was there?"

"He was, we were both out of it and the room was cold, no-one was there, what were we expected to think?" Rose asked him.  "Alec worked it out.  Someone was supposed to be there but she got held up.  It scared the life out of me Mickey."

"Geez Rose, why would it?" Mickey wanted to know, looking out at the river and all the ducks.

"You forgot something Mickey, Rose doesn't belong here," Jake reminded him.

"Oh.  Well neither does me or your mum," Mickey replied.

"Yeah but you two took someone else's names, like there could be millions of John Smith's but there's only one Rose Tyler and I won't be listed, will I?"

Jake and Mickey looked at each other.

"She has a point Mickey," Jake told him.

Rose sat on the sofa with her arms folded.

"So, what's gonna happen to me?"

"I think you're making something out of nothing," Mickey told her.  "You're here now."

"That's what Alec tried to tell me," Rose replied.  "It's not that simple Mickey."

After Alec finally got back, having been for the groceries, they got everything packed, Alec leaving the hire car in the car park as arranged and Rose was choosing which room to take in the caravan.

"This one has a small bathroom," Alec told her as he opened another door.  "You should take this one maybe?"

"Yeah, then you won't be waiting for me," Rose smiled as he brought her things in – again.

"Want to go out later?" he suggested when Rose finally got unpacked.

"Let's leave it tonight?  I don't want to get recognised."

"No-one will notice you, really.  We'll just maybe watch some TV then and you can tell me a few more things?"

Rose thought she'd rather go out then.

"I told Mickey about what I thought when I came round the other day," Rose admitted.

"What does he think, since he's the same as you?"

"He doesn't think anything's wrong.  It doesn't change anything for me though," she sighed.

Alec got up and crossed over to her.

"Rose, you are probably not alone on this, just talk to the vicar tomorrow, I'll call him."

He reached out and took her hand after he sat beside her.

"Well I'll try but it might not do any good.  I can only tell him so much."

"I know.  I'll make something to eat or do you want to go eat in the bar?"

They decided to have a walk down to the bar just at the entrance, the place being fairly quiet so they got served quickly.  Alec thought Rose looked tired.

"We should get back, before I have to carry you," he joked.

"Yeah, it's been a long day.  You’re not fit to carry me back anyway," Rose smiled.

"Ah, maybe not then?  You can lean on me though."

Since she really was tired, she took his arm when they got outside and luckily, they didn't have far to walk.

"I wish I'd had chance to look around today," she told him as they walked.

"There's really not a lot to see," Alec replied.

"Yeah Mickey was a bit disappointed there wasn't a load of amusement arcades," Rose laughed.

"Why am I not surprised?  So was he really not bothered what you told him?"

"He didn't seem to be, maybe he'll think about it?"

"Well he is not my concern Rose, you are.  Just have a few days rest eh?"

"Yeah, I think I can manage that," Rose smiled as he opened the caravan door.

"Tomorrow, I will phone the vicar then make sure nothing was left in the chalet and we can drop the keys on the way to see him.  Maybe after, if you're not tired we can take that walk?"

"Sounds good to me.  I think I'll just go to bed.  Can we go to the shop tomorrow, I need a few things."

"Sure, you should have said when I was out earlier."

"I just want some hot chocolate amongst other things."

"I can make you some tea?" he offered, going for the kettle.  "Why don't you go get ready for bed and I'll bring you some?"

"I can come back out for it," Rose smiled.

"I would not like you to think I wasn't looking after you," Alec smiled back.

"Well, you're doing a good job so far," Rose replied, going into the bathroom, forgetting she had her own, which made Alec smile.

He delayed making her a drink until she actually went into her bedroom, then he knocked on the door.

"May I come in?" he asked.

"Yeah, it's okay, come in.  I had enough being on my own in the hospital, I wish they'd just put me on the ward, that's my mum for ya."

"If you had been on the ward, I would not have been able to stay," Alec pointed out, sitting on the edge of the bed.

"Good point.  Can I ask ya something?"  Alec nodded.  "Will you stay for a while?"

"Sure, if you want?  No talking about the afterlife though," he joked.

"I think I've had enough of that for one day.  Can we just talk about normal things?  How are you feeling anyway?"

"I am a lot better than you are right now.  When you say stay for a while?  I thought you were tired?"

"Would you object if I fell asleep on ya?" Rose smiled, drinking her tea.

"Not at all.  Before my surgery, I used to wake a lot, I wish someone had been there with me."

"Aw, then I wish I'd known you then.  I can't imagine what that was like for ya.  I used to have nightmares about the Cybermen, amongst other things."

"Let me get ready for bed and you can tell me?  Don't fall asleep until I get back eh?"

"Gotcha, no falling asleep without ya then?"

He went to get changed, thankful he'd bought some pyjama bottoms and some new t-shirts and thought he'd best use the other bathroom.   He thought he would do the right thing when Rose fell asleep and go back to his own room, well if somehow she didn't prevent him from leaving by sprawling over him, though he should be so lucky.  Maybe his luck was changing though?

He'd got through surgery when he hadn't expected to and Rose was there when he'd woken up, maybe it had already changed?  Rose though was feeling a little guilty she'd asked him to stay but she thought he'd been willing enough to agree.  He was soon back and got into the double bed.

"We could not have done this at my old place," he reminded her as he lay back.  "The main bedroom only had a small bed.  So, what do you want to talk about?  Tell me why you had nightmares about the Cybermen.  You said something about they were not on their own on your world."

"This race called the Daleks had got through before them, that was how they got there so easily although Pete didn't know that at the time.  It turned into a battle, Pete brought me and my mum here but I went back, I didn't want to leave him on his own.  Then Pete gave in to my mum to try and bring me back.  I sometimes dream he didn't and I was screaming for the Doctor to stop me going into the void."

Jake had told him who the man was Rose wanted to stay with.  Now he knew why she was so scared.

"That's it Rose, that's why you are afraid of crossing over.  Can't you see?"

Rose shook her head, wishing the pain in her side would let her turn towards him.  She wished Alec had got in the other side instead.

"Want to change places?" he offered, wondering why she wasn't facing him.

When they had, carefully, Rose managed to turn to him.

"So, why am I afraid of crossing over?  I'm only afraid I won't be called, remember?"

"I think it's more," Alec replied, turning to face her.  "Rose, you were heading for oblivion, you said there was nothing in this void.  That would scare anyone, to be heading for it and your friend had to watch you.  You have to try and put it out of your mind, Pete got to you in time and I bet your friend was relieved.  When you were recovering that must have been on your mind?"

"Maybe?  He told me there was nothing in there, what would it have been like?  Alec, maybe you're right?  That if I'm never called, I'd be floating around, like in the void?  Where would I be floating though, in the void itself?"

Alec knew he could never answer that question and neither would the vicar, this was way beyond any of them as to where it would leave Rose.  The only one who may know was in another universe, if this Doctor really did know.

"Rose, have you thought this void expands to other universes, well I mean all universes?" he asked her, pushing a strand of her hair back.

"Yeah, I think it does, it's between the worlds, all worlds, it has to be, like falling through a gap into nothing, a never ending nothing.  Geez, that makes me feel even worse.  Is that what would happen if my name's not called?"

Alec was wondering what he'd started.  What was Paul Coates going to make of this?  Would the vicar thank him for taking Rose to see him?  He didn't think so.  This was getting even more complicated.

"Yes but if that is the case, then maybe the same can be said of a better place?  Think about it Rose, why would there be only one for each universe eh?  So, if that's true, then you will be called."

"How can there only be one for all the worlds Alec?  How many would there be with the same name and how would they know the difference?"

This was getting too much for him.

"Then talk to Paul Coates tomorrow, I'm not an expert.  I'm just trying to help you Rose.  Why don't you get comfortable and I'll stay until you go to sleep?"

He kissed her forehead and Rose settled down, half on him and drifted off to sleep, leaving Alec no choice but to stay, not that he really minded.  He was watching her when she woke up.

"Hi.  Did you stay all night then?" she asked, being careful how she moved.

"You could say that.  Good morning Rose.  Maybe I deserve a small reward for you sleeping on me all night?"

Rose decided to tease him.

"By making you a cup of tea?" she smiled into his arm.

"I think you can maybe do better than that?  Am I asking too much?"

He gently tried to move her onto her back and leaned over.

"Need some more painkillers?" he asked as she pulled a face as she moved.

"Yeah, soon.  So, this reward?" she smiled, reaching her arms up.

"You are teasing me Rose.  If I'm asking too much, just say."

"No, it's not asking too much, I just wasn't sure, ya know, where this was going."

"Well you asked me to stay, I did not know what that may involve.  So, while you are here, maybe we can see what happens?"

"Then maybe we should make a start?" Rose smiled as she pulled him towards her, Alec putting his hand beside her to keep his balance.

A while later, Alec was getting Rose some water as she complained her side hurt even more.

"Well you pulled me down," he teased her as she tried to sit up, Alec handing the glass and two painkillers.  "I will leave you to get dressed and make a start on breakfast shall I?"

"Thanks.  So, that was nice," she smiled, handing the empty glass back.

"Indeed.  So, do you want to share on a more permanent basis while you are here?  If so, we could have stayed where I already was."

"You said the place was too small and so was the bed," Rose reminded him.

"Ah, yes but it could have made things more interesting."

"Maybe it could?  Want to swap back?"

"The personnel officer may not appreciate it.  No, it's best we stay here, this is more practical, should I be able to entice my daughter to pay a visit.  After my visit, she may be a little keener."

"Alec, I hope she doesn't want to visit because of me?"

"I'm not going to lie Rose, the novelty may wear off but you will win her round, I'm sure you will.  I will make that call to the vicar, shall I?"

"Yeah, I should get it over with?  What do ya think he'll make of it?"

Alec personally thought the man would be out of his depth, even more than he himself was.

"You have to talk to someone Rose, I can't give you the answers you want."

After breakfast, Alec found he still had the number for Paul Coates, though he had no idea why.  The vicar was just as surprised Alec still had it, they'd not exactly got on.

"DI Hardy, what can I do for you?" Paul greeted him as he sat in the churchyard.

"I need a favour, not for myself but for a very good friend who needs your help."

"Not the woman I saw recently who had a fight with her husband?" Paul wondered.

"What?  Who was that?" Alec asked him.

"Never mind, I thought she had gone to make a complaint but you're not back at work yet are you?" Paul replied, wishing he'd not said anything now.

Claire had looked a bit battered when he'd last seen her, maybe she and Ashworth had a fight about the pendant, Alec wondered.

"Well this has got nothing to do with whoever you saw.  I recently had an operation and someone was in the recovery room with me and was afraid the worst had happened, that she was waiting to be called to the other side and she somehow thought she would never be called," Alec told him, not wanting to go into any details.

"Oh.  Well in that case, I would be only too pleased to help.  I'm free this afternoon, just come to my office, you know where it is," Paul told him.

Alec remembered all too well, having collected Tom Miller's battered laptop from him.

"Right, that's arranged," Alec told Rose, who was listening.  "Will you be okay while I go see the chief to ask about getting my job back?"

"I'll be fine Alec, you go.  I could get my stepfather on to it," she teased him.

"I do not think I will need any help," Alec replied, then thought he was being ungrateful.  "If she flatly refuses though, I may take you upon the offer," he smiled.

"Aw, I'm sure she'll be impressed at you locking those three from Sandbrook up," Rose assured him.

"For doing it while I was on sick leave?" Alec wondered, thinking maybe that hadn't been such a good idea.  "Then Tess took over the custody suite and then both Miller and I took it from there, while Miller was attached to another station.  Yes, I can see it will go down well love," he joked, going for his tie.

"Alec, you survived that operation for a reason, to get justice for those two girls," Rose reminded him, getting up to take over doing his tie.

Alec wondered if that was what she used to do to her mysterious friend?  She didn't seem to want to fasten it all the way and never bothered about the button he'd left undone.  Just how much did he remind her of him?  If it was only little things like a tie, then he could live with that but what if it was more?

Then he realised.  "Rose," he started, removing her hands from his jacket lapels.  "How much do I remind you of the friend you lost?"

"What?  Where did that come from?" Rose asked him.

"Please, just answer the question Rose.  I have to remind you, otherwise why are you here?"

Rose thought she should either slap him or walk out but Jake and Mickey had left and she'd been warned not to drive just yet.

"You remind me of him in lots of ways Alec," she had to admit.

"Well the last time I checked, I had not travelled in time," he smiled, wondering what she was getting at.  "You may as well tell me anything else about him.  Do I look a bit like him?"

Rose could answer that in a few ways and being honest with him could lead to him telling her to leave.

"When I met him, he looked different.  He had the ability to change if something happened to him."

"That is not an answer Rose," he replied.  "I know you have enough at present Rose but best get his over with eh?"

"Well, he wasn't Scottish and he didn't have a beard so he didn't look exactly look like you.  His hair used to be all over the place like it had a mind of its own and he used to babble on at fifty miles an hour.  So if that makes you look like him then no, not a great deal but you are both similar."

Alec wondered what sort of answer that was?  Was that all he was going to get out of her?  If so, then maybe he could live with it?

"If that's all then?" he smiled.  "Just tell me that's not why you are here."

"Alec, it's not why I'm here or why what happened this morning.  Ever since I've been here, I've just been the Vitex heiress, no-one was interested in me except for that fact.  You don't care who I am."

He thought maybe she was right?  She had been vulnerable when she'd woken up after her surgery and she had trusted him.

"Well, you don't care I was labelled the worst cop in Britain," he smiled, going to put his arms around her neck.

"Who called ya that?" Rose smiled.

"Just one reporter and it was brought up at the trial.  See, we both have titles," he smiled back.  "When I get back from seeing the chief we will talk some more.  I want you to tell me more about him."

"To see if there are any more similarities?" Rose asked innocently.

"No, there are bound to be more but if you say they make no difference, then they don't to me either.  We both have fresh starts Rose, let's concentrate on that eh?"

He leaned down to kiss her lightly on the lips, Rose thinking how sweet it was.

"Good luck getting your job back," she told him as she recovered.

"Promise me you will not call your stepfather and get him to tell my chief to take me back."

Rose held her hands up in defence.

"I promise, you can get it back on your own, you proved you still have it."

Alec just hoped she was right as he left and walked the short distance to the police station, Bob surprised to see him since the last time, he made the DI go apologise to who was now under arrest for killing a twelve year old girl.  He hoped the officer wouldn't make him do the apologies this time.

Alec eyed him warily as he approached the desk.

"Let the chief know I'm here," Alec told him.

"Yes Sir.  We all heard you got those responsible for those two girls in Sandbrook," Bob told him, Alec wondering if the man was just grovelling after dragging him to apologise to Lee Ashworth.

After Bob told him the chief would see him, Alec knocked on her door, surprised she was still there.

"Well, I wasn't expecting to see you quite so soon Alec," the chief greeted him.

"I'm well enough to go back to work, if the job is still open?  I have something to do next week though, do I have to see the CMO before I can apply?"

"Yes, the DI who replaced you is more keen to get out than you were when you first arrived Alec.  I should be mad at you for first not declaring you were ill then walking away while I was talking to you but well done in finally getting those responsible in your old case.  Will you have to attend the trial?" she asked.

Alec thought not if he could help it, he'd had enough recently but at least next time, he wouldn't get accused of having an non-existent affair with Miller.   He hoped Tess would keep him out of it.

"I hope not but who knows?  I take it you know what happened at the other one?"

"Yes, I heard and really Alec, you should have been more careful letting your DS into your hotel room at that time of night.  Did you not realise how it looked?" the chief smiled.

Alec thought she was rather enjoying it.

"She probably never noticed the cameras and why was Becca Fisher helping the defence by handing over the tapes?" Alec wanted to know, thinking he should go thank her for that although she was probably under threat at the time, the defence barrister was a nasty piece of work to say the least.

The chief tried to change the subject.

"Come and see the medical officer a week on Monday but light duties only for now, see how it goes.  I was informed you had moved.  Any reason?" she asked him.

"I have someone staying with me at present and my daughter may come for a visit," Alec replied, not willing to say who it was.  "Did DS Miller apply for her job back?"

"Yes, I'm thinking about it but she has to ask to be released from Exeter traffic division, she asked to go there but I think she'll get out of that, since she's owed some personal time to get her family back together.  Will she want to come back though if you do?" the chief questioned him.

Alec wondered if that was either a trick question or she was being serious?  In light of recent events, would Miller want to come back if she was told he was?  When the terms of his re-instatement were agreed, he called Rose to see if she wanted anything from the store, being given a list and regretting calling her.

After a light lunch, Alec thought he may give Rose's car a try, getting a frown from her when he moved the seat.

"I will change it back when you want to drive," he offered on the way to the church.

"Well, Jake never does, that's why I don't let him drive it.  I'm not sure going up there's a good idea Alec."

"Rose, you have to get this off your mind.  It's doing you no good," he reminded her.

She knew he was right but would she ever get it off her mind?  Alec parked up and helped Rose up the few steps into the churchyard.  Then he led her to Paul's office beside the church and knocked.  When Paul answered he was a bit surprised to see Rose Tyler standing there with her arm in Alec's.

"Miss Tyler," Paul greeted her, holding out his hand.  "DI Hardy did not say he was bringing you to see me.  Welcome to St Bede's."

Chapter 7
Paul offered them both a drink and wondered what the Vitex heiress had to worry about.

"So, DI Hardy only told me briefly why you wanted to see me.  May I call you Rose?"

"Yeah.  I was there when he called you and I do need help but I'm not sure even you will have any answers for me.  I was taken to hospital after collapsing during a break at a meeting I was attending and when I woke up, I saw white walls and it was freezing cold, I wasn't even aware at first someone else was there.  So, when I realised someone else was there who was in the same state as I was, I said a few things."

"Such as?" Paul wanted to know.  "I was told it was something to do with you thinking you were waiting for your name to be called?  What made you think it wouldn't?"

Rose turned towards Alec.

"You can trust him Rose."

"I told him I wouldn't be called because I don't belong here."

"When you say here?" Paul questioned her.  "Very little is known about your past Rose, it was all kept under wraps.  I looked you up, since it seemed rather important you wanted to see me but I have to ask, why are you here in Broadchurch?  There are higher ranking church officials you could go to."

"After we realised we'd just been left in a recovery room on our own and got moved, well I did, he went home," Rose smiled.  "He came to see me and invited me to stay for a few days but it bothered him and he said I needed help."

"You do need help," Alec agreed, drinking his tea.

"I tried to bluff to him that I was just coming round when I said I don't belong here and my name wouldn't be called but he didn't believe me."

"Well I can't say I blame him," Paul had to agree.  "You seem to have a few secrets if you feel you don't belong but what to?  Do you mean your position as Vitex heiress, being Pete Tyler's stepdaughter?  Surely he's accepted you if he adopted you?"

"She does not mean socially, do you Rose?" Alec tried to hurry the meeting along, since his last encounter with Paul hadn't been so pleasant.

"No.  My background is kept secret because I literally do not belong here, in this universe," Rose replied, hoping she wouldn't regret it.

How was she going to cover this?  She hadn't really intended telling him that part.  Alec looked at her, raising his eyebrows and Rose wishing he wouldn't do that.

"You started now Rose, you may as well tell him the rest," he tried to encourage her, since it was too late to back out.  "This goes no further," he warned Paul.

Paul nodded his agreement.  "Has this something to do with those Cybermen all that time ago?"

"Yeah, sort of.  They escaped and invaded my world, a parallel universe to this one.  A friend and I got caught up in another version of Torchwood who had somehow drawn them in through something stupid, a group from this Torchwood managed to follow them but didn't want to let them back.  So the only thing to do was trap them between the two worlds."

Alec thought she was good at this, why hadn't she told him this version instead of the truth?

"Go on," Paul encouraged her.  "So this group, they brought you here?"

Rose saw a way out.  She'd never really had to explain it before, there had been no reason.  She thought she should leave out the fact she'd been here before out of it, for the vicar's sanity.

"Yeah, the people on my world were being rounded up, to be converted and there was a battle going on.  There was me, my mum and two friends, we got caught up in it when Pete himself was trying to stop them.  One of my friends, well he was a bit on the clever side and came up with the idea using what Torchwood had used to draw them here.  There we all were, at the top of Torchwood tower, Pete didn't want me and my mum getting caught up in it so he put these devices on us and brought us here."

Now Alec was beginning to wonder if that was really true, it seemed more believable than what she had told him.  If that were true though, why had she told him the other version?   It seemed more likely this was a cover version Pete Tyler and her friends had come up with to get her out of certain situations.

"So, you got trapped here, you and your mother?" Paul asked her.  Rose nodded, she had no other choice if she wanted his help.  "So what about your friends?"

Rose felt like saying she was getting to that but she had to substitute Mickey for herself at helping the Doctor seal the gap.  Now she would be in trouble for making up such a story and would have to call Pete to tell him.  Why hadn't he and Jake come up with something?

"Once they made a plan, the idea was me and my mum would go back once it was safe but Mickey, one of my friends, he got here to tell us it was safe but before we had chance, the gap closed too quickly and the devices stopped working.  I lost my other friend."

"Was he someone special to you?" Paul asked, looking at Rose then at Alec.  Rose glanced across at Alec, who took her hand.  "So now, you're trapped here and you feel you don't belong?  What troubles you about not having your name called when the time comes then?"

"Rose seems to think if her name is not called, she will be left, like being trapped between the two worlds," Alec replied for her, Rose tightening the grip on his hand.

Paul sat back in his chair, this was getting above his head, all this talk of parallel worlds and gaps between them, he never studied anything like this in college.  As far as he was concerned there was Earth, Heaven and Hell, not other worlds and whatever else.  He wondered if she'd come to the right person?

"Rose, this would sound totally insane to anyone else.  I take it you believe her DI Hardy?"

"Yes, I do, those metal menaces went somewhere otherwise why did they escape and not try their luck coming back?  This is was Torchwood does, apparently, they explore the unexplained and if the Cybermen suddenly vanished, it stands to reason they would go after them to make sure they were gone.  Rose and her mother and friends were not to know what would happen."

"Yes, I get that," Paul agreed, trying to make some sense of it but what did she actually want from him?  "You want some assurance that when the time does come and you are really waiting to be called, you will hear your name?" he asked blindly.

"Well yeah, that's part of it but my name won't be called, will it?  Pete never had a daughter called Rose Tyler so why would my name be listed?" Rose wanted to know, wondering why she was even here.

"People change their names all the time Rose," Paul reminded her, hoping she'd go for it.

"Yeah but they were born with a name even if they changed it," Rose tried to argue.

Alec could already see the vicar was not going to win this one, goodness knows how many times he himself had tried to tell her.  Paul was looking at him.

"I've tried to tell her that," Alec admitted.  "It seems to make no difference."

Paul thought he might have known.

"What does your mother and your friend who stayed here with you think about it?"

"Mickey just sort of laughed it off but I can't tell my mother, she's still mad at me I came here instead of going home so she could fuss over me.  Besides, it's complicated and I'm not going into it with her."

From what Alec had heard about this Jackie Tyler, he himself wouldn't like to be the one to explain it to her.

"Then I see your problem Rose but how can you be so sure?  Okay, you coming here was unexpected and I take it things were covered up?"

"Yeah, that's what Torchwood does and Pete had taken it over after the old regime let the Cybermen take over and use them to escape.  Those members who weren't 'Deleted' who remained had plenty of questions to answer, trust me," Rose replied.

Pete had told her how somehow, Jake had managed to find a backup after the Cybermen had wrecked the place and they'd got those who had escaped rounded up to find out who was responsible.

"Rose, there is no easy answer to this," Paul concluded, thinking she'd be better talking to a therapist but she'd probably already seen one when she got left here.

"I told Alec this was a mistake," Rose replied, not wanting to be rude.

Alec shook his head.  He should not have encouraged her to come here after all.

"All I can suggest is that you are here now, that has to count for something?  Like I said Rose, people change their names all the time, maybe it goes on your name at the time?" Paul suggested.  "It's not like there is a written rulebook," he tried to joke, hoping it would make her accept his explanation.

"He's right Rose, who is to say how it works?  You assume, well people in general assume someone up there or wherever had a big book of names but when you think about it, how can they keep up if someone changes theirs several times like if a woman remarries or someone famous adopts a stage name as a legal one?"

"Yes and it would be one big book," Paul told her with a smile.

She knew they were just trying to reassure her, maybe there was no actual answer. 

"I've wasted enough of your time," Rose declared, getting up careful.

Alec was up first to help her.

"She's still recovering from surgery," he tried to explain to Paul.

"You're not?" Paul asked him.  "I wish I could have been of more help Rose but maybe that's why we are told we should have faith?"

"He's right Rose, if we knew everything, we may as well give up," Alec agreed, not knowing what he'd said as Rose looked at him.

Paul shook hands with Alec as they left.

"I will think about what you told me Rose but try not to worry too much over it."

"He's right Rose, your mother is unaware of it, your friend does not seem to bother.  You will have to wait like the rest of us."

Rose thought if that had come from the vicar, she'd have got mad at him.  Alec drove them back towards the caravan but Rose wanted to get some fresh air so he drove to the east pier and got a ticket for an hour's parking, deciding he'd go back to the station tomorrow and get a parking permit.

He wasn't sure she should be walking right to the end and stopped her halfway, where he'd met his friend a few months ago and Miller after Danny's funeral.  He wasn't sure facing the boats in the harbour was a good idea though.

"Still don't like water?" Rose smiled as she put her arm in his and leaned on his shoulder.

"No.  Why did you look at me like that when we were leaving the church?  Did I say something?"

"Yeah, the friend I lost, he told me that once."

"Rose, things are bound to remind you of him, especially if I am the one to remind you."

"Don't say that Alec.  Yeah, you look a bit like him, I already said that.  I made that whole thing up, what I just told the vicar.  I wish I'd never gone now."

"You were very good at it Rose, you could not have told him the real story.  Maybe he is right and you should have a little faith eh?  I know you did not get the answer you were looking for, I'm sorry."

"Well we tried, thanks Alec.  So, what are we gonna do the rest of the week?"

"Where you have little walking to do?" he asked her.

By Thursday, Rose was looking forward to meeting Alec's daughter, even if she did bring a load of friends with her but that night, things changed between them.  It had started innocently enough as they'd continued to share a bed, the first few nights just kissing and Alec trying to not let Rose's side hurt by him doing all the moving, though Rose had protested he shouldn't really be moving either so something was about to give.

Rose was gasping as they touched, Alec not knowing how much longer he could wait until Rose felt she could move enough on her own without her screaming out in pain instead of screaming his name she wanted more.

"Alec, it's okay, just let me stay on top, yeah?" she told him as she felt more than usual from him.

"I don't want to hurt you Rose."

"I know, the pain's not as bad."

"I do not want to cause it to start again love," he tried to tell her as another urge came over him, wondering how Rose herself was managing.

She obviously wasn't as she tried to move again.  

"Alec, I promise not to blame you if I do something stupid that makes the pain worse."

"Then I will try not to make you do anything stupid, need some help taking off your underwear?"

The next morning, both of them feeling better for having their first time together, Alec was wondering if it had been Rose's real first time but she would tell him if she wanted to.  They had breakfast and made their way to the letting agency to see if there was anything suitable coming up for them to rent.

As they looked in the window, Rose was questioning why they didn't just keep the caravan for now.

"The site will be opening in a few weeks," Alec reminded her.

"Well, you're in the police, won't it be worth their while to let ya stay?" Rose wondered.  "We could always ask?"

"Maybe it will be better if I get the personnel officer to ask if I can stay?" he replied, seeing nothing on the boards so far apart from the white cottage on the side of Harbour Cliff and there was no way he was climbing up there every night, even though he was now fit again. 

He supposed Rose would find it 'charming' and insist they took it.  He saw her looking at the details.

"Rose, please don't say it would be fun to live there eh?"

Rose turned to smile at him.

"Yeah, it looks nice but all those steps?  At least my mum wouldn't want to visit."

"You mean she would visit you in a caravan?" he asked, raising his eyebrows that was now sending Rose crazy.

"If I said no, will ya stay there?"

"Rose, let's agree when we have to move we will find something we both like, yes?"

"Yeah, okay then.  I haven't seen much so far, have you?"

Alec shook his head, taking his specs off.  They decided to drive down to the next town so Rose could get Tony a present and for Alec to get something for Daisy but having no idea what to get and relying on his new girlfriend, since they had established a few things last night.

"So, about meeting Daisy?" Rose asked.

"I will remind her not to bring her entire class with her tomorrow, though she has already been warned.  Just be yourself eh love?" he replied as they sat in a café just off the main shopping area.  "Have you got everything you need?"

"Yeah, we should head back and maybe call in the sales office, see about keeping the caravan."

"We can do that when we get back from our trip Rose or leave it to officer who is dealing with it, I will call on Monday.  You could live anywhere you want Rose, why a caravan in Broadchurch eh?"

"I just want to go back to normal Alec, I've had enough of being in the press.  I can get my stepfather to let me work anywhere remotely, my assistant can stay where she is.  Maybe I'll have a change of career though?"

"What exactly do you do anyway?  You never actually said Rose."

"I can't tell ya here.  I'm gonna speak to my stepfather when I get back, see what he thinks.  Hey, maybe if you get any spooky cases when you're back at work, you can pass them to me?"

"Then I will be glad to do so.  We should get back then, we have an early start tomorrow."

"So, are ya gonna admit to Daisy then that I'm your girlfriend?" Rose teased him when they got back to the car.

"Why wouldn't I?  She's old enough to understand and she knows her mother has a boyfriend.  I wish now I had never covered for Tess, Daisy probably knew before I did."

"Yeah, teenagers know a lot more than their parents think they do, trust me," Rose smiled.  "My mum didn't think I knew all the blokes she used to bring home weren't my uncles."

"That was different Rose, sorry.  I was just protecting Daisy, unlike her mother.  You do not want to know the finer details."

"We both have pasts Alec, mine just happens to be in another universe and it never bothered me until I woke up in that hospital."

"I still cannot understand why it bothers you so much Rose.  What exactly scares you so much that you will be left to wander around eh?"

Rose wished she could tell him but he would never understand she had been to another planet and been confronted by an entity claiming to be the devil.

"Alec, when I was back home and with the Doctor, we used to travel around and I swear to you, I can't tell you about where we went until you've cleared it with Pete.  Then maybe you'll understand?" she asked hopefully, wishing he would drop it.

"Yes I know who he was Rose and your travels were not conventional.  I also get you can't just tell anyone about them.  It does not give me any answers though as to why you think you don't belong here.  Is it because you have been to so many worlds?" he asked as they neared the turnoff for Broadchurch.

"Partly," she had to admit.

"I know it must have been difficult Rose, thinking you were going to be pulled into that gap but you were saved, that means you were not meant to go there."

Rose wanted to disagree and say no, it was her mother nagging Pete to get her back.  If she thought about it, Pete wouldn't have known what was going to happen and he'd never said anything about it, just as he'd been about to materialize, he'd seen her heading towards him and had caught her.

"Well I think it's what I said earlier Rose, we are not meant to know everything but maybe you are looking at it from the wrong angle?" he continued as he reached the mini roundabout by the harbour.

Rose wondered how many there could be.

"How should I be looking at it?" Rose replied as they crossed the bridge where the river met the sea.

"Maybe like Torchwood welcomes newcomers, the same could be said of crossing over to the other side?"

Rose was stunned as he turned into the caravan park and he noticed the look on her face as he pulled in beside the caravan.

"You know I'm right Rose."

Before he could stop her, she was out of the car and heading back the way they had just come, Alec hurriedly locking the car doors and going after her as she reached the corner of the driveway.

"Rose, talk to me," he asked as he caught up and tried to get her to stop.

"I need some air Alec, just leave me be."

"I can't just leave you, come back to the caravan or at least let me take you to get a drink and we can discuss this?"

"Fine, get a drink then," she replied as she reached the entrance.  

Rose thought that should satisfy him and it didn't mean she had to talk to him.  The tables by the catering stalls were all taken so he led her around the corner to the wall where the footbridge was, handing her coffee to her.

"You're not going to throw that at me?" he asked warily, seeing how mad she looked.  "Admit it, you never thought of that, did you?"

"I didn’t know what to think when I woke up Alec.  I told ya to leave it."

"How can I possibly leave it when it troubles you Rose?" he asked, taking a sip of his tea.  "You had best get used to it Rose, unless you want to go home without me tomorrow?  You can drop me in Sandbrook if you want?  Why don't I give you some space tonight and take the other double room?"

"What?" Rose asked as she came out of her daze.

"You are obviously mad with me," he replied.

"No I'm not.  Why didn’t I look at it that way?"

"Rose, I did say you were looking at it the wrong way love.  So, what do you think?  Are you going to try to put it behind you?"

After meeting Daisy the next day – minus all her friends, they decided to stay overnight to meet her for an evening meal where surprisingly, Tess turned up.

"So we finally get to meet?" Tess asked Rose as they got a table for four in what Rose laughingly called the posh chicken place, Alec having said Tess wouldn't be seen dead in the other one.

"Yeah, thanks for looking after Alec when he was discharged," Rose replied, seeing Daisy found it amusing her mother was facing her dad's new girlfriend.

"What did he expect me to do?" Tess replied.  "It wasn't like Ellie Miller was going to take him home.  Are you recovered now?" she asked Rose.

"My side still hurts a bit, I'll have to stay off work a bit longer but I'm thinking of relocating to Broadchurch.  I won't go back to work until we find a place to rent though, I'm not sure it would be legal to work from a caravan," Rose smiled, Alec having told her what Tess thought of his old place, let alone a caravan.

"Well I'm sure you'll find something more like what you're accustomed to," Tess replied, Rose thinking Alec was right – his ex was a bit of a snob.

"It doesn't matter to me where we live, seeing where I grew up," Rose told her, trying not to get catty but not by too much.

"Dad, can I still come down?" Daisy wanted to know.

Alec thought she was only asking him that to annoy her mother.

"Sure, you and Rose can make the arrangements, if that's okay with you love?" he turned to her.

"Yeah, any time but don't think it's got loads of things to do there, my friend was a bit disappointed when he came to bring my car down."

After a quick breakfast the next morning, they made their way up to London and were greeted by Tony, who had beaten his mother out when told Rose's car had just pulled into the driveway.  Rose introduced them all to Alec and they waited around for lunch to be served.

"So, are ya leaving again?" her mother asked after force-feeding poor Alec.

"I just came to get some more stuff mum but there's not a lot of room.  I'll just get enough for a few weeks, then we can come back."

"Can I come and see you?" Tony asked hopefully.

"When we find somewhere else to live," Alec replied for her.

Rose knew she had to start letting him make the decisions, if their relationship was going to work.

"Well Alec, you wanted to talk?" Pete asked him as Tony was wanting to sit on Rose but being told she was still poorly.

While Pete and Alec went to Pete's study, still a place Rose hated to go after what the Doctor had seen in there all that time ago, her mother had a few questions of her own to ask Rose once Tony was playing with something in the family room.

"Why are ya having Pete tell Alec everything?" she wanted to know.

"I can't lie to him Mum, I can't keep covering things up.  I know I made a mistake when I woke up but if it had been anyone other than Alec, I'd have got someone to wipe their memories, trust me.  He saved me, just like the Doctor used to."

"In what way?" her mother asked.

"From thinking I don't belong here," was all she was going to admit.

"Don't be daft Rose, of course ya belong here, so do me and Mickey now," her mother replied.

"Well when I woke up in hospital, trust me, I didn't think I did.  Talking to Alec these last few days has helped me more than he'll ever know.  I just hope when he's talked to dad, he won't demand someone takes him home."

Alec was now pacing the small study, making Pete smile.

"You took that better than I imagined," Pete admitted, the image of Rose and the Doctor still on the screen as the Doctor was grinning the first Jackie had called her yappy little dog Rose.  "Rose will tell you the rest now.  She never said exactly what hers and the Doctor's relationship was, I don't think they knew themselves."

"Then I will let her tell me.  This has made no difference how I feel about her Mr Tyler.  I should go find her and let her know she could be stuck with me."

Pete had to smile as he patted Alec on the back while opening the door.

"I'm glad you understand why it all had to remain a secret Alec.  If anyone got hold of the knowledge Rose, Jackie and Mickey have, well I don't need to tell you of the consequences."

"I know she can never tell them to anyone else, I'm just glad she can tell me."

"Good man," Pete replied as Alec was leaving.

He found Rose and took her out into the garden.

"So ya not going back without me?" Rose asked as they sat by the fountain.

"No, you do not get rid of me that easily Rose.  So, about you having time off the recover eh?  Sure you want to do that in Broadchurch?"

"Where else would I go?  You mean take a holiday somewhere?"

"Well yes.  Your stepfather promised you could go anywhere you wanted, did he not?"

"Mmm, I suppose a nice relaxing ten night cruise is out of the question?" she teased him, going for a kiss.

"Are you being serious?" he replied.

"Well these days, unless ya hang over the railings ya can hardly tell you're on one.  Think about it, waking up in a different port every morning."

"Rose, I hope you are not compensating for waking up on a new planet every morning?"

"What?  Nah, I'm over that, I'm grounded on good old planet Earth, well this Earth anyway and whatcha said, I'm sorry I got upset, you were right.  This is where I am now, I have to accept that and trust when it is time, they'll be welcoming me as Torchwood would welcome any visitors to this world."

"Good, I am glad you have finally seen you do belong here Rose."

He got up and stood in front of her, offering his hands to help her up.  Then he went to put his arms around her waist, making Rose put hers around his neck.

"So about this cruise eh?  You know how I feel about water?  Would you guarantee you will take my mind off it?"

"Yeah, I can do that, you'll hardly know you're on a ship, I promise.  I want ya to know some of what it's like waking up somewhere different every morning Alec, whatcha think?"

"Well, I could be persuaded love," he smiled, going for a kiss.  "On one condition."

"Oh, what's that then?" Rose smiled back.

"That when we do wake up in a different port every morning you will not look out and ask where you are?"

"Alec, I know where I am now, I'm here, on this world, with you.  I love you."

The End!

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