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A twist in the tale

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Alec Hardy has been followed to Broadchurch by Lee Ashworth, the main suspect in the Sandbrook case that fell apart.  Lee sees 11 yr old Danny Latimer with his friend's dad, Danny recognises him so Lee chases after him then accidentally strikes him with a boat oar and kills him instantly.  Lee then finds the perfect scapegoat but Rose Tyler comes to town and spoils his plans.


Chapter 1
A/N:  A mixture of series 1 and 2 all rolled into one!  Please note the killer is different in this story so please wait until the end before pointing it out as Joe is not quite so innocent.  The story also takes parts from the American Broadchurch - Gracepoint.  The main events of Sandbrook will only appear in flashbacks and may not be the same as in the series, just my take on it.  Some characters may act differently so be warned they may not be the same as in the series.


Alec Hardy was furious, not that it was doing his heart condition any good, though he wouldn't admit to himself it was a 'condition'.  His soon to be ex wife hadn't helped, he'd not even bothered telling her, it would make no difference since she obviously wanted to be with that over-weight loser Dave.

He sat at his desk, wondering how long it would be before they palmed him off to another department or worse still another division in some backwater town.  It had taken months of painstaking work gathering evidence to convict Lee Ashworth of killing his neighbour's daughter and having something to do with the disappearance of her older cousin.

Now, it had all been for nothing as the judge had said those two words – case dismissed.  How exactly had that happened?  Oh yes, he thought as he took off his specs and rubbed his eyes – Tess had stopped on her way home to meet that loser and had her car broken into, the stupid cow.

Of course, he'd taken the blame, he was in charge and how could he face his daughter and say that about her mother, unless Daisy already knew?  He answered his mobile when it buzzed, it being the chief.

"Alec, we need to talk," Chief Reynolds told him when Alec answered with a gruff 'what' as he'd not looked at the screen.

The chief was used to him these days and let him off again, thinking Hardy had probably not looked to see who was calling again.

"Don't tell me?  You are going to move me back to Glasgow?  When do I leave?" Alec asked dryly.

"You should be so lucky Alec," the chief almost laughed.  "Mind you, they may not have heard the news up there yet?"

Alec thought since it was only two days ago, maybe not but they'd soon find out and even they wouldn't want him back.  Why had he moved away after meeting Tess at a conference?  Now he wished he'd never got talked into going, well except for Daisy but her mother was turning the now teenager against him.

"So, what are we talking about?" Alec asked, needing a drink and wondering if he'd been found out because he'd refused medical help back when he'd found Pippa in the river.

"I wanted to talk about Ashworth.  We believe he's already left the country, there were no restrictions put on him.  Do you know what happened to his wife?"

"How would I know?  I got her to turn on her husband, she's hardly likely to want anything to do with me now he's free, is she?" Alec asked, wishing he could go home, well to his tiny one-bedroom flat.

It was now just somewhere to live until he got out of the town.

"Never mind then, it was just an idea if we want to have another go at Ashworth.  I was just letting you know all resources have now been pulled from the case, understand?  Without any new evidence, he's gone and if his wife won't talk again, we have to forget it.  I got your request for a transfer, it will go out to any station who needs a detective inspector."

"I doubt there will be a queue," Alec replied, going in his jacket pocket for the strip of pills his own doctor had recently put him on.  "Just don't send me by any water, I had enough being in that river."

"Yes, I know you did Alec, you should have got checked over afterwards."

Alec didn't need reminding of the fact.  He'd given in and gone to see his friend and been told he had a serious heart problem and he'd tried to hide it ever since.

"I'm fine.  Was there anything else?" Alec wanted to know.

"You might want to put out an alert if Ashworth returns," the chief suggested.

"You just told me the case was closed," Alec reminded him.

"Since when did you ever take notice Alec?  You may also want to find out where his wife went, if he comes back to bother her, who's the first person she'll turn to?"

Alec ended the call and thought about it.  Maybe it was worth a shot – unofficially.

So without anyone knowing, he put his plan into place.  He'd talked Claire Ripley as she now wanted to be known as into staying where she was although she wasn't happy at going to work in a hair salon instead of having her own business but she agreed on the provision if her husband came back, Alec would protect her.

Finally, after being harassed several times by an angry Ricky Gillespie for letting his daughter's killer get away and complaining his ex wife was still letting Claire live next door, mainly because no-one else wanted to rent it considering it had been the home of a suspected child killer, Alec's chief had some news for him.

"What?" Alec asked after being told there was a chief willing to take him as the commissioner for the area had made it top priority to move him after several newspaper articles by a certain London reporter had churned up the past.  "Where the hell is Broadchurch?"

"Calm down Alec.  It's in south west Dorset, it comes under Wessex police.  The chief there needs an experienced DI and there's only a DS who has put in for promotion.  I don't expect it will bother you?  You wanted to be out of the press if I remember correctly?"

"Not by that much," Alec replied, thinking it would be just his luck it was by the sea.  "Well if that's the only offer?"

"Yes, I'm afraid it is and if Ricky Gillespie comes in one more time or contacts the local paper about you still being in town, the chief constable will make you go on administrative leave, until someone will take you.  What I don't get is why he's so mad at you personally?"

"We did not get on right from the start," Alec reminded him.  "Well, I'd best take it then?  It should just suit Tess, she'll finally be rid of me."

"What about your daughter?" the chief asked, thinking Alec would have put up more of a fight.

"I already lost her, it does not matter.  When do I leave?"

"You start the first week in July, personnel will make the arrangements and put you up in a hotel until you find somewhere to live.  That will give you time to sort things out.  Alec, I'm sorry the way things turned out but maybe you need a fresh start?  Your daughter may even have more to do with you?"

Alec thought if only.  At least it would get Ricky Gillespie and Karen White off his back – maybe he should introduce them to each other?   As he went home, he called in to see Claire.

"What?  You're leaving?" Claire shouted, Alec wishing she wouldn't but Cate was probably already off her head drinking anyway.

"Claire, listen to me.  Lee's gone, we have people watching for him coming back.  The only thing I can do is help you relocate, if you want?"

"Where are you going Alec?"

"Over to Dorset," he replied, not wanting to say where.  "I'll find a cottage or something for you to rent, you should easily get a job."

"Oh great.  You mean you're just going to dump me in the middle of nowhere?" Claire wanted to know.  "Why can't I go to the same place as you?"

"Do I have to remind you Claire?  You can't be seen anywhere near me, think what it would look like eh?  What if Lee comes looking for you, or even me?  Think about it, if he looks me up, he may guess, you being a few miles away will throw him off."

"Well if that's the best you can do?  I don't want to stay here on my own Alec.  You promised Lee wouldn't come after me.  I often wonder why he just went off like that, after he heard me testify against him in court."

So did Alec.  When he thought about it, Claire must still have something on her husband, for him not to go after her and just leave her.  What it was though, he had no idea.

The final touches were being put together over the next few weeks.  Alec had taken Claire to a row of cottages a few miles outside Broadchurch and got her settled, having borrowed a plain police car and getting her a new pre-paid phone so Lee couldn't try to contact her.

He went to see his daughter the day before he was leaving, Tess leaving them to it.

"Will you come back for visits Dad?" Daisy asked him as they sat in the kitchen of where he used to live.

"As often as I can Daisy.  I have no choice where I'm being sent so we'll have to make the best of it.  Maybe I'll be able to come back at some point?"

"You mean when mum stops seeing that loser Dave?" Daisy tried to joke.

Alec had learned the hard way he should never have taken the blame for what Tess had done and losing the only evidence they'd had that Ashworth had killed Pippa.  At least he'd been cleared by the police commission, who had though failed to convince the families of the two girls.

So as Alec checked everything in the flat he was leaving, thankful it had been furnished, Claire was trying to settle in her rented cottage and got an interview at a hair salon in the nearest town, not knowing where Alec had gone, Lee Ashworth had found himself somewhere with a French woman much younger than he was and then, there was Rose Tyler.

Rose had followed the Sandbrook case, feeling sorry for the parents of the two girls and had tried to get Torchwood involved in finding the missing older cousin.  Pete had to refuse, saying her disappearance was not mysterious and to leave it to the police.  After it was all over though, Rose couldn't get it out of her mind and Jake had noticed as she had her monitor on a page that a certain Alec Hardy, double of someone she used to know, was being transferred.

"I suppose having police access has its advantages," Jake laughed when he saw it, Rose not even trying to hide the information.  "How long have ya been keeping an eye on him?"

"Stop it Jake.  He had a tough time, okay?  That reporter really tore into him, then when he gets cleared by admitting he covered for his ex wife, she doesn't even apologise," Rose replied.

"Maybe 'cos they never revealed it?" Jake suggested.  "It was only internally released he wasn't to blame, I expect if the press got hold of it, it would make it worse for the families?  So who picked the short straw?" he asked, trying to see the screen.

"That's not fair Jake.  I expect he had his reasons for covering for her?  Anyway, he's divorced now so why did he take the blame?" Rose wondered.

"Maybe to try to salvage their marriage?  Maybe to save embarrassment?  Who knows?  Why are you interested then?"

"It just came up," Rose tried to bluff, knowing he'd never fall for it.

"Missing Mickey?" Jake laughed, getting ready to duck if she threw something at him from her desk, probably a paperweight.

"Shut up Jake, it was his choice.  If he'd waited, he'd have known, wouldn't he?"

"That the Doctor's clone or whatever didn't want to stay here when you and your mother were brought back?"

Rose considered picking up the paperweight but decided against it. 

"Maybe he knew I could never accept him, not that he gave me much time to think about it, since the Tardis was screeching they should leave.  All that time I waited for a chance?  Why did ya have to bring it up again Jake?" she asked as she stared at a now bearded Alec Hardy, who had decided this was his new look.

"Maybe because you're considering going to see what that detective's like, now he's divorced and in the clear?"

"Stop it Jake.  Anyway, I'm glad he's finally getting away from that place, I hate to think how it's been for him, staying in the same town as the two families and his ex wife."

Jake already knew Rose had a soft spot for the now divorced and bearded detective.

"He doesn't look like he's relieved to be leaving," Jake noted.

"Yeah, I noticed.  There's something about him Jake, I'm surprised no-one's noticed."

"Maybe it's because that's what we do – study people," Jake mused.  "So, when are ya packing?"

"Why are ya asking?  It's not like Pete will let me just pack up and go, is it?" Rose asked him, wondering why she was even looking Alec Hardy up.  

"Who are ya tryin' to fool Rose?  Why don't ya just go down there?  It's not like his ex wife's gonna object is it?" he reminded her.

Was that what had been stopping her before?  She sat back in her chair, thinking about when she'd first seen Alec Hardy on TV.  Her mother had noticed at the time she was paying a lot of attention to the case that had been going on.

"Stop seeing him everywhere Rose," her mother had roused her from waiting to see if there had been any updates.

"I'm not Mum, I was thinking of that poor girl's family.  If the Doctor had been here, well do I need to draw a picture?  We'd have been out there trying to find her faster and still out there looking for her cousin.  Actually, I don't think he looks that much like the Doctor anyway," she had tried to deny.

Her mother had wondered who she was trying to fool ever since the Doctor's clone had whispered in Rose's ear, then they had kissed and he'd said he couldn't stay, that he didn't deserve to be happy after what he'd done.  She blamed the real Doctor for that, him saying his twin was dangerous and trying to palm him off on Rose.  Hadn't he taken her feeling about it into account?

When the case had been dismissed, Jackie had changed her mind about secretly thinking the clone had come back and disguised himself.

Jake was offering her another mug of coffee.

"Wake up Rose," he grinned.  "I bet your mum always thought the clone had come back."

"Why would he hide Jake?  He had his chance, he left.  Well, back to work then?" she half smiled.

Jake knew she still hurt from being rejected again.  She'd never said exactly what had happened on that beach for a second time but hadn't the clone taken into account he'd left her there before?  After Jake left, Rose stared one more time at the picture of Alec Hardy and bookmarked the page for if there were any updates.  What she wanted updates for, she had no idea but little did she know she was going to find out very soon.
Chapter 2

Just as Alec was settling down in the hotel in Broadchurch, Lee Ashworth had been unsettled, missing his wife even though he had a distraction.  He went to the nearest store to pick up an English newspaper, not one he usually read since it had no undressed model on page three, something he missed and saw an article – Alec Hardy had been reprieved and sent to another town to take up a post though he didn't know why that was newsworthy but it was to him.

Maybe Hardy knew where Claire was hiding out?  It could be worthwhile taking a trip to this town he'd never heard of and seeing if he could trick the detective into revealing if he was helping her or not or maybe he'd just follow Hardy around and see if he'd visit her.  Giving an excuse, he got on his motorbike and hoped he could get on the next available ferry back home.  Then he'd take a break and ride across to Broadchurch and see what he could find out.

Alec was doing his best to get used to his new station but there was very little going on the first week he was there.  He was going to regret thinking that the following Friday, the day his new DS was due back.  Ashworth had got himself somewhere to sleep, in an abandoned barn, which he quite liked and was doing odd jobs for the local farmers but he soon got tired and ventured further up the coast, coming across a chalet that looked like it was rented out to tourists.

Wishing he could get inside, he decided instead to just settle by his bike and was about to get his things from the back as it started to get dark, then the next day, he would walk boldly into the police station and confront Hardy.  He figured he'd waited long enough and he would spin Hardy a tale that he missed his wife and wanted to see her, so he could get his life back.  Hardy would probably flatly refuse to help him, which to him meant the detective knew where Claire was hiding or worse still, tell him to leave town and threaten to arrest him.

While he was sitting and smoking after eating the food he'd picked up, it was getting dark while Danny Latimer was putting his other phone in his pocket after getting a message from his friend's dad, well his ex best friend now he had someone who really understood him.  He trusted the man, he'd gone to him after his dad had hit him once and been promised it would never happen again.

He sneaked out of the house after picking up his skateboard while his mother and sister were watching TV and made his way to the High Street.  Knowing it was deserted at this time of night, he put the skateboard down and made his way to the harbour though he supposed he could have gone straight to the hut they'd been meeting in before his friend had gone on holiday but he'd agreed to meet there instead and get a ride.

He saw the car pull into the car park by the harbour café and went over.

"Hi, did you have a good holiday?" Danny asked Joe Miller.

"Yeah, except for Fred screaming when we took him on a ride," Joe joked.  "Did your mum see you sneaking out?"

"They were too busy watching TV," Danny laughed as they drove towards the hut and down the narrow lane.

As Joe was unlocking the door, having 'borrowed' the key from the cleaner and made a copy of it, Joe pulled Danny into a hug.

"I missed you," Joe smiled at the almost teenager.

"I missed you too but I'm not meeting you any more," Danny replied.

"What?  You don't mean that Danny," Joe told him putting his hands on Danny's shoulder.

"I know what you're trying to do," Danny admitted.

"Whoa, I'm not doing anything," Joe tried to tell him, raising his hands in defence.

"Yes you are, why don't you do them to Tom?"

"What are you talking about?  Calm down Danny, let's talk about this eh?  I'm not planning on doing anything."

"Then why have we been meeting in secret?  Why can't I come round to your  house any more?"

"You said you'd fallen out with Tom," Joe reminded him.  "It would make Tom think you wanted to make up."

"Maybe I should?" Danny replied angrily, trying to hold a tear back as Joe gripped him again.

"Come and sit down and we'll talk about this," Joe suggested, planning on locking the door.

He let go and Danny saw his chance.  Outside, Lee Ashworth had seen a few cars arrive.  The first one, a man had been leaning on it until a small sports car had arrived and the man had got into it and they had driven off then a while later, another car had arrived but had gone behind the hut.  Then he had seen what looked like a man and a boy walk around the front and enter the hut and the lights went on.

He was curious as to what was going on, what were they doing there?  It had to be something they didn't want anyone to know about, he smiled to himself.  Then people had the nerve to say he'd done something to Pippa.  He thought it might be worth creeping up and having a peek through the window, if he was careful.

If the man who had been with the boy was up to something, he could find out who the man was and either blackmail him or report it to the police.  That might just get Hardy off his case.  He approached carefully and stood by the side of the window, hearing voices inside and from what he could make out, the boy did not want to be there.  Maybe he had something after all?  He just had to follow them and find out who they were.

Whatever they were doing there, it wasn't anything good.   He heard raised voices and thought about leaving when suddenly, he saw the boy run for the door.  He froze against the hut as he heard the door opening and the man shouting "Danny." after the boy followed by a "Come back."

He then saw the boy run the short distance to the edge of the cliff, hoping neither of them would turn around as he backed up slowly to the corner of the hut where he'd still be able to see them but not the other way around.  He could see the man was keeping his distance and heard him talking to the boy.

"Danny, step away from the edge," Joe was panicking.

"No, go away.  You don't care about me," Danny replied tearfully.

"Let's talk about this," Joe replied, holding his hand out.

"Go away," Danny repeated.  "I'm going to tell my dad."

"Calm down.  What are you going to tell him?  That we've been meeting?  He won't understand Danny, he'll blame you and you'll get into trouble.  Who's he going to believe, you or me?"

Danny shook his head.  "I'll think about it, just leave me alone."

"Promise you won't do anything without talking to me first," Joe asked him.

"Okay, I promise.  I'll get home on my own, it's not far."

Lee saw the man backing off, hoping he'd go back inside and as Joe closed the door, he came from his hiding place.  He was glad there was a full moon and he'd seen everything clearly, this should peak Hardy's interest, there was obviously something going on.

He planned on sneaking back to his bike before the boy he now knew was called Danny saw him so he came out from the side of the hut to walk down the slope to where the bike was near some bushes just beyond the car park.  He was halfway there though when Danny turned around.

"Who are you?" Danny asked Lee.

"No-one.  What are you doing up here at this time of night?" Lee asked him.

"Is that your bike over there?" Danny wanted to know.

"Yeah.  Need a lift somewhere?" Lee offered, thinking at least the boy would get home.  "Or did your parents teach you not to accept lifts from strangers?" he tried to joke.

"Something like that," Danny replied, the tears subsiding a little.

"Who was that man you came out with?" Lee asked him, getting another cigarette out.

"Just someone I know.  Don't I need a helmet?"

"Not if we ride over the cliff top," Lee replied with a bit of a laugh as they reached his bike.

"Hey, I know who you are," Danny suddenly declared, stepping back.  "You were on TV last year."

Danny remembered clearly the two girls, one who had died and one still missing since his parents were upset by it, saying it could easily have been him and his older sister and they'd not let him go out of his own for ages.

"Are you sure about that?" Lee asked him as Danny stepped back.

"Yeah, I remember you, stay away from me."

Lee thought that was all the boy was bothered about, for some reason.  Maybe something had been going on between him and the man in the hut, which still had the lights on.  He thought if the man was waiting for the boy going back, it was going to be a long wait by the look of it.

Lee put his hands up.

"Okay, take it easy.  I know you came from that hut up there," Lee told him, hoping the man up there wasn't looking out but he thought they were out of sight by the angle of the window.

"You're just the same as him," Danny told him, spying the path down to the beach and the boatyard.

"Whatever you saw on TV, it wasn't true.  Those detectives got it wrong and I walked free," Lee reminded him.  "So do you want that lift?" he asked, thinking it was a good thing he'd not got his bedroll out that was strapped on the back of the bike.

Danny saw the edge of the cliff path clearly and thought he'd been down it enough times to get to the bottom in the moonlight.

"No!" he replied and disappeared down the path.

"Damn!" Lee called out, putting his cigarette out with his fingers and throwing it into the bushes.

He chased Danny down the path, hoping he wouldn't trip up before he reached the bottom.  When Danny got to the bottom, he ran towards the boatyard where he knew he could hide until the man he'd just recognised gave up and went back to his bike.

Lee wasn't about to give up until he had the boy's assurance he wouldn't tell everyone he was in the town.

"You may as well come out," Lee called as he approached the boats that were stored there, another row chained up by the cliff itself.

Then he saw a stray boat oar and picked it up, not that holding it would encourage the boy to give up.  He didn't know though if the boy had done the same.

Danny noticed it had gone quiet and wondered if it was safe to come out from behind a fishing boat and thought about making a run for it along the beach then thought he'd be best going back up the path and hoping Tom's dad had gone home, then he could run across the top of the cliff and go home.  Should he admit what had gone on though or keep quiet?

He'd get into trouble for sneaking out and his parents may not even believe him about meeting with Mr Miller and certainly not about seeing a man who had walked free from being accused of killing a girl around his age last year.

He edged his way around the boat and saw the coast was clear.  Lee was tempted to call the boy's name and tell him there was no escape and he only wanted to talk but the boy would never believe that.  Maybe he should just give up and climb back to his bike and try and get some sleep?

Thinking nothing of it, he began swinging the oar as he reached the edge of a boat, not knowing Danny was running towards it when suddenly, they both reached the same point and before Lee knew it, Danny had run smack into the blade of the oar and he heard a loud 'whack' as the oar was in mid-air and collided with Danny's head.

The boy slumped to the ground, Lee throwing the oar, which would surely have the boy's blood on it into the nearest boat.  He then kneeled over the boy, who was staring into space and checked his pulse.  He already knew the blow had been fatal but he had to check.  He'd not intended the boy any harm but there again, he'd not been the one who had wanted to dispose of Pippa and yet he'd been the one to get caught and put on trial.

How had he forgiven Claire for turning against him in court, when Hardy's wife had lost the only evidence they had against him and he bet Claire had been the one to steal it and hold it as insurance if he decided to tell the police Claire put him up to killing the girl.  He knew he couldn't have taken the chance but now, he had a dead boy with a head injury but it seemed to have stopped bleeding.

He'd seen the row of boats chained up and looked around for something to cut one of them free, well the one some idiot had left the outboard engine attached.  He saw a large rock and picked it up, going around the side where the chain was the tightest and brought the rock down on it, the chain giving way.  He put the remainder of the chain into the boat and began dragging it to the edge of the water.  He then went back to the still boy and gathering Danny up, placed him in the boat.

He just hoped whoever had been in that hut with the boy had left as he started the engine and on the spur of the moment, decided he'd leave the boy where he'd be found.  If he hid the boy, then it would be Sandbrook all over again and Hardy wouldn't stop until he was found.  That he didn't need, he thought as he approached the harbour at Broadchurch but he went beyond, a few hundred yards and steered the boat to the shore, just at the start of the next cliff.

Getting out, he pulled the boat onto the pebbled beach and picking up the boy, placed him face down so at first glance, no-one would see the blow to the head.  He knew he should feel some remorse, some pity for the boy's family but it had been purely an accident, unlike Pippa when Claire had rendered the girl unconscious with that stuff Ricky had told her to give the girl then Claire had told him to finish the job.

Taking one last look around, he walked back to the boat and wondered if he should just leave it there or find somewhere remote to leave it.  It wouldn't be wise to leave it where he'd found it but maybe, if he placed the boat very carefully, he could hide the fact the chain had been smashed and make it look like it had never moved.

Doing as he planned, he smiled to himself after using a rag in the boat to wipe his fingerprints off the steering then took the rag with him, throwing it into the bushes when he reached the top of the path.  There was no light coming from the hut now but as he went to his bike, he saw headlights coming down the narrow lane so he ducked behind his bike.

He saw a man and a woman get out, the woman driving and the two of them with their arms around each other, kissing.  The two cars then drove off and he was finally left alone.  He glanced at his phone to see what the time was, wishing now he'd stayed where he was but no-one knew him anyway, he could really go where he wanted.

Maybe he'd go back down the coast for a while, he'd seen another farm and may get some work but all there had been was the remains of a building though maybe the farmer would let him stay there?  The first thing he needed to do was get rid of the bike and get himself a cheap van, then at least he could sleep in the back of it if he needed to.  He didn't want to go too far away, he still needed Hardy to lead him to Claire and he could bide his time.

When Joe Miller had got back to the clifftop hut, he'd gone over the place to make sure there were no signs anyone had been there.  Then he'd glanced out of the window but there had been no sign of Danny so he picked up the skateboard and put it in the back of the car, meaning to put it in the shed before either Tom or Ellie saw it.  Just as he was about to leave, he saw Danny had dropped his phone just under the table so he picked it up and put it in his pocket.

As he was leaving though, he saw a bike in the far corner away from the car park and wondered who had left it there.  He thought maybe someone had gone for a late night walk along the cliff top so he didn't worry too much about it.  He got home, checked on the boys then went to clean himself up before getting into bed, his wife fast asleep after taking the sleeping pills as she suffered from jet-lag.

If anyone were to ask him if he'd been out that night should Danny try to say anything, they'd have a hard time proving it, it was as he'd said to Danny, his word against the boy's.

The next morning in the Latimer house, Beth had made Danny's lunch the night before and saw it was still there when she came downstairs after realising what the time was and got mad with her husband for not telling her.

"Have you seen Danny this morning?" she asked the other two, picking up Danny's lunch.

"No, not me," Mark replied, eating some toast.  "Chloe, eat something."

"I've got a temperature," the teenager declared.

Her mother went over and disagreed so Chloe tried her luck when her gran walked in.  Eventually, thinking Danny had gone straight to school from his paper round, Beth and Chloe set off for the last day of term, Chloe then going on to her own school when she didn't want to stay for the sports events.

Meanwhile, an angry Alec Hardy had been woken to attend a break-in at a farm on top of one of the cliffs then a call to go down to the beach.  As he stood over the still form of a young boy, who clearly had a head injury, he'd argued with his new DS, had the boy's mother screaming the boy's name and being dragged off and was already regretting taking the job.

Lee Ashworth had heard the news on his phone, which now needed charging that the traffic was at a standstill on the road he wanted to take back down the coast so getting to the top of the lane, he saw a sign for a free car park and public restrooms and was lucky there was also a sort of café to get something to eat.  He figured if he took his time, the traffic would be cleared of holidaymakers trying to get to the beach.

Then he wondered if the harbour had been cordoned off if they'd found that boy?  Well of course someone would have found him by now and Hardy would be at the scene but at present, he couldn't afford for the DI to spot him because he'd pin the blame on him right from the outset.  He decided to stick with his plan and go back down the coast and thought if he was really lucky, he might actually find Claire himself, Hardy would be too busy to be worried about her, if she was even in the same area.

He already knew Hardy had got her to turn on him, she'd not seemingly taken much persuasion though, had she?  When he got back to the road, the traffic had cleared so he set off and thought he see about a van later.  

Alec had got back to the station after arguing again over his new DS taking her time at the filling station, where she'd got a call from her reporter nephew but Alec blew up when he got a call from a distressed Mark Latimer to say their boy's name had been released on a social networking site.  He had chewed her out and slammed his office door, reaching in his pocket for his medication and hoping no-one saw him as he drank the tea he'd just made for himself before he found out.

Ellie gingerly knocked on his door.

"If you've come to apologise, save it for the Latimers," Alec told her.

"I told him not to do anything until we released the details," Ellie insisted, knowing she was not invited to sit down.  "I'll talk to them and tell them Olly was out of order."

"He was out of order.  They won't trust us now Miller.  Call a press conference for tonight, we have to smooth things over now, minimize the damage as best we can.  What do you know about Jack Marshall?" he asked, since they'd been to see him earlier.

"He's nothing to do with Danny's death, if that's what you're saying," Ellie told him.

Alec just raised his eyebrows and indicated for her to leave.

Rose had seen the news conference Alec had briefly held outside the police station and went to see Pete.

"You want to go down there, don't you?" Pete asked her before she said anything.

"I saw how he looked on TV dad, he looks ill.  I know I can't go down as a Torchwood agent but I can go down to help him.  I can take some leave?" she suggested.

"Say goodbye to your mother and Tony tomorrow, you can go down on Sunday and get settled in but no interfering with the investigation.  Rose, you think it's him come back, I know you do and so does your mother."

"Mum said she knows it's not him after that other killer walked free," Rose reminded him.

"Rose, the other Doctor could have made him come back and wiped his memory?  For all we know, he could have been given a whole new identity and set of memories."

"I wanted to think that at first, that he'd come back.  Maybe though he couldn't settle with the real Doctor and while there was still time, asked him to bring him back but he didn't think I'd accept him?"

"Yes, that could be what happened I suppose?  He did a good job though, landing a major murder case, an ex wife and daughter," Pete joked.

"Well I suppose it had to look good?  Well I'll go find somewhere to stay then?" Rose replied.

"Rose don't have your secretary calling every hotel in Broadchurch to see where he's staying eh?"

As Rose left, he knew that was exactly what she would do.

Chapter 3
Rose's mother was questioning if her daughter should be in the same town as the possible twin of the Doctor.

"I'm fine with it Mum," Rose tried to tell her that evening.

"Have you got a new boyfriend there?" Tony laughed.

"Tony, don't ask your sister such questions," his mother scolded him.

"But Mum," the boy protested.  "Some of my friend's sisters have boyfriends."

"They maybe have but we don't talk about it in front of Rose," his mother reminded him.

"Why?  Because uncle Mickey didn't come back?" Tony asked.

"He wasn't my boyfriend," Rose told him.  "Well he was, a long time ago.  You'll understand when you get older.  Tony, I'm going away to try to help someone, someone I might have known."

"Well at least ya accept it might be him Rose, ya never know," her mother replied.

"Well I'm not gettin' my hopes up Mum.  I'll make sure I introduce myself but he may not want anything to do with me.  He needs someone even if he really is just a detective."

Her secretary had only rung two hotels and been told there was a detective staying there.  The only reason she'd been told was she had informed the owners Rose Tyler was coming to town and she wanted to feel safe.  Rose had thanked the woman for being discreet as to why she really wanted to know.

"It was no trouble Miss Tyler," Angie had told Rose after getting confirmation and forwarding the email to Rose.  "I never specified how long you would be staying and I asked a Ms Fisher not to disclose you would be staying there."

"Yeah, thanks.  Just forward anything important, if not, send it to Gwen, she's taking over while I'm away."

Rose still hadn't got over the fact she'd seen the other Gwen Cooper on the screen of the Tardis as well as this one, reminding her of Gwyneth the serving girl. 

After breakfast the next morning, Rose put what she'd need for a few weeks into her sports type SUV and set her satnav for Broadchurch.  She hadn't decided just how to introduce herself to the detective short of walking into the police station and letting him know she was in town.  Maybe she'd try it and see what happened?

Meanwhile, Joe Miller was trying to avoid asking his wife questions as to how Danny had died.  He wondered if it was indirectly his fault for letting Danny go off the other night and Ellie hadn't said exactly how he'd died.  Before she set off for work the next morning, usually having weekends off and Tom, being upset didn't want her to go, Joe got her in the kitchen.  

"Ell, should we be worried about Tom?" he asked her.

"Just make sure he doesn't go out on his own, not that he'll want to for a while.  All I can tell you was maybe Danny's death was an accident."

Joe thought back to when Danny had stood at the edge of the cliff.  When he'd looked out again, there had been no sign of him and just maybe, the cliff edge had given way?  Now, he did feel guilty.

"Ell, can you say where Danny was found?"

"Didn't you see the news?  He was laid on Harbour Cliff Beach, well someone had placed him there.  I have to go now and I don't want my new boss getting any more grumpy for being late."

"Well, invite him for a meal one night, it might make him less grumpy," Joe grinned, now he knew he wasn't responsible for Danny's death.

It was obvious to him someone else had come along, whoever it was got into an argument with him and maybe hit him accidentally with a heavy object.  Now though, what was he going to do?  Find another boy who needed some sympathy and get them to trust him?  Danny had given him a taste of it, someone for him, not him and Ellie.

Lee Ashworth had heard the news down the coast a few miles from Broadchurch.  From where he was working, he could see a row of cottages from a distance and began to wonder if Claire was hiding there.  The police, especially Hardy had no reason to come after him, maybe he didn't need any help finding his wife?  He thought he'd feel full of guilt about the boy the other night but after Pippa?

Maybe he'd be safe to go around the area, Hardy would be too busy chasing suspects and there would surely be no shortage of them in a town that size.  Maybe he should pin the blame on the man he saw talking to the boy?

Rose arrived at the hotel, asking Becca to keep her arrival quiet as there would already be some press in town. 

"So, there's a detective staying here?" Rose mused as she was given her room key.

"I thought it a bit odd someone would ask that but when I was told it was you, well I hoped it encouraged you that you were safe here?  I've just been to the newspaper office across the road, to sign a book of condolence."

"Well I'd love to sign it but I don't think it's a good idea me walking into the newspaper office," Rose smiled.  "Umm, do ya think ya can give me directions to the police station?"

"Sure, it's down on the seafront, just go down the path at the side of the hotel and turn left at the bottom.  Then it's just round the corner, up some steps.  Do you have to report you're in town or something?"

"Not exactly, I know they're busy with what happened.  I just thought I'd introduce myself, let them know I'm here."

"As opposed to letting the press know?" Becca smiled, the first time all morning.

She'd met the boy's father that night, maybe if Mark had stayed home, Danny wouldn't have obviously sneaked out and got himself killed?  She intended texting Mark later to get him to meet her, she needed to make some sense out of what she was feeling, was it some sort of punishment for them meeting?  Mark had suggested it and she'd finally given in after he kept flirting with her when he came to collect Chloe when she'd been helping out.

Alec had got back from chasing after Kevin the postman, trying not to feel dizzy when making himself a mug of tea and wondering what the hell he'd done to deserve walking into another killing of a child.  As to whether it was classed as murder or accidental death, he'd no idea until he got the results in.  Whoever was responsible, Danny certainly hadn't just walked into something on his own, he'd been hit with something.

At least this time there were no girls involved and the boy had been left where he'd be found easily, it wouldn't take them three days.  Three days they'd wasted in Sandbrook because of Ashworth and his wife messing them around.  Claire of course had tried to take advantage when her husband had walked free from court, he'd only partially helped her leave the town and had left her in a rented cottage a few miles away and told her to keep contact to a minimum unless for some reason her husband tried to contact her.

That was his priority, using her to make Ashworth trip up and make a mistake and no doubt he would eventually and so would Claire.  He was certain she wasn't as innocent as she'd made herself out to be.  His desk phone rang and he reluctantly  answered it.  He could have had the day off, relaxed a little but no, someone just had to go and spoil it.  When he heard what the desk sergeant wanted him for, he just knew the day was going to get even worse.

"Sir, I have a someone in reception who wants to speak with you," Bob had told him, other phones ringing in the background.

"Well who is it man?" Alec asked, having not learned the man's name.

Bob knew the gruff new detective would never believe him in a million years so he wasn't even going to try.

"Sir, I think you should come down," Bob insisted as he saw Rose taking a seat after she'd walked up to the desk and waited for Bob finishing yet another call.

"Can I help you?" Bob had asked as he finished writing yet another message for those investigating the recent death of a young boy.  He'd stopped as he was about to ask who she was.  "Miss Tyler?"

"Yeah but don't shout it out," Rose tried not to laugh as it was something the Doctor often used to say.

"Of course not.  What can we do for you today?" Bob asked her, which was why Alec had grunted down the phone there had better be a very good reason he'd been disturbed after he'd chewed Miller out for assuring the postman they'd caught up with it was nothing to worry about.

"Want me to go with you?" Ellie offered as he left his office, without his coat she noticed.

"No, I am only going downstairs.  It seems the desk sergeant thinks I have nothing else to do than see every person who comes in asking for me."

"Who's been asking for you?  Someone we've already interviewed?" she asked him.

When she didn't get an answer, everyone stopped to look at her.

"Get back to work," she warned them.

Alec decided to take the lift even though it was only one floor, since his annoying DS had made him take the stairs earlier.  He emerged on the ground floor to the sound of phones ringing and not enough staff to answer them.  All day, phone engineers were putting new wires in and he'd seen his DS seemingly telling one of them not to be nosy.

As Alec got downstairs, the engineer who she'd told earlier approached her desk.

"Finished?" she asked.

"It's not about that.  That boy who was killed, Danny Latimer."

"You have some information?" she asked, about to call Bob and get Hardy back upstairs.

Alec had taken a look around as he saw everyone was busy and spied Rose sitting by the door.  No wonder the desk sergeant didn't want to say why he was wanted.  Rose got up when she saw him.

"Miss Tyler?  May I ask what you are doing here?"

"You mean in the police station or Broadchurch?" Rose replied.  "I thought I would just let you know I'm in town."

"Yes, that was thoughtful of you but we are in the middle of a murder investigation.  You've not come as a Torchwood agent to try and take over have you?"  Rose did then let out a laugh.  "Oh, you have?"

"No, sorry.  I imagined that would be your reaction, that's all.  While I'm here though, if ya need any help?" she offered.

"Thank you for your offer but that won't be necessary Miss Tyler.  We have more staff arriving on Monday.  Thank you for letting us know you are here."

Bob was answering Ellie.

"I'll tell him, he's just talking with someone," Bob told her, thinking if he wanted to keep his job, he'd best not say who Hardy was talking to.

"Well tell him to hurry up about it," Ellie replied, the phone engineer sitting opposite and getting glares from his workmate.

"Sir," Bob called over from the desk.  "DS Miller needs you for something, urgently."

"She found who killed Danny?" he asked hopefully.

"Not exactly Sir, someone just told her he knows who did."

"What?" Alec asked, since no-one had come in while he'd been there.  "Who has she been talking to?"

"Apparently one of the phone engineers Sir.  He told her he knows what happened."

"Well tell her to bring him to one of the interview rooms then," Alec replied.  "How does he know?"

Bob looked around, not sure whether to say anything in front of the Vitex heiress but he knew she worked for Torchwood.

Alec went up to the desk.

"Sir, he told DS Miller that Danny told him."

"What?  So it's started already, all the cranks crawling out of the woodwork.  Miss Tyler, this is more your field is it not?"

Rose had a grin on her face.

While Bob was telling Ellie to bring the man down, Alec led the way to one of the interview rooms.

"I take it you can tell the cranks from the genuine?" he asked her, indicating for her to sit down.

"Yeah, I've had first-hand experience with a genuine psychic," Rose bragged.  "She saved a lot of people."

Alec thought he just bet she'd seen the genuine article.

"Well see what you make of this," he replied, Rose thinking he was going to crack a smile.

She thought this was going to be interesting to say the least as they waited.

"So, any clues yet?" Rose asked casually, as if he'd tell her if they did.

"The boy may not have been killed where he was found.  There was nothing around him that would have caused his death," Alec admitted, thinking why not?

"So, how did he die?" Rose thought she would push her luck since he seemed to want to talk.

"This goes no further, understood?" he asked her, wishing Miller would hurry up.  "A blow to the head with a blunt instrument.  A piece of wood, maybe an oar or a cricket bat but that would have only knocked him unconscious.  We are not ruling out it was accidental, he could have run into something but why place him on the beach?"

Now he was questioning himself for starting this.  Just why had he felt he could tell her?

"Maybe the killer came to town, knew you were here and thought after your last case it would throw you off" she suggested.

"You mean they thought I would suspect it was the same person or a copycat?" he replied.  "The Sandbrook killer left the country shortly after he was set free.  I'd know if he was back."

"Not if he slipped in when he found out you were here?" Rose grinned.

"You said you were not here to take over the investigation," he reminded her.

"Sorry.  Can I call you Alec?"

"I hate that name but if you must?" he relented, though he'd hated it more since Tess made a point of using it to berate him on the phone for not calling his daughter, not that Daisy would answer him.

Rose could think of a few names but restrained herself and calling him 'Doctor' would get her thrown out.

Ellie was on her way down with whom she'd discover was called Steve Connelly.

"Why are we going downstairs?" the man asked.

"Because the DI wants to hear what you have to say.  You'd better not be wasting our time," Ellie replied.

Ellie stopped dead in the doorway, seeing her new boss sat next to a blonde and not just any blonde.

"Excuse me Sir but what is she doing here?" Ellie asked him.

"You know who she is Miller.  I asked her to join us, this is her field of expertise.  So, who are you then?" Alec asked the man as Ellie sat next to him, thinking Rose Tyler was already taking liberties. 

"Hold on, is she in the police?" Connelly asked him, nodding towards Rose.

"No, she's from another organisation but she is also a expert on people claiming a dead boy told them who killed him," Alec replied, Rose trying not to smile.

"Sir, I think you should hear him out," Ellie insisted.

"Well?" he asked the man opposite.  "What do you have to say?"

After a slow start, Alec asked him how the dead boy had told him things.

"I have this spirit guide," Connelly started to tell him.

Alec shook his head, turning to Rose.

"Do you know the Latimer family?" Ellie asked him, a few questions later.

"No, I don't think so."

"Get him out of here Miller.  Miss Tyler here deals with people like you.  You stay away from the family, understand?  If I find you go near them, I will arrest you."

"Well?" he asked Rose as Connelly was being led out.

The man turned as another officer came to join Ellie.

"You both knew each other before," he told Rose and Alec.

Ellie let the other officer take the man out.

"Is that true?" Ellie wanted to know.

"Of course it's not true Miller.  I don't believe a word he told us."

"Well what are you doing here Miss Tyler?" Ellie asked her.

"I just came to let you know I was in town, then you got that crank and I was asked to join you.  So you are?" she asked Ellie.

"DS Miller, Ellie.  What brings you here?"

"Just a break but maybe I can help out?  I mean if that man's gonna be persistent?"

"There won't be any need, we can handle him.  If he gets out of hand, we'll let you know."

"Fine.  Well that made me hungry, I missed lunch earlier.  Anyone want to join me?" Rose asked them, hoping at least Alec would say yes.

Alec knew she was just seeing if he wanted to talk about what they'd just been told.  Maybe he should?

"I'm fine thanks," Ellie replied, thinking if Rose Tyler was asking who wanted lunch with her, she'd want some male company.

She'd followed the rise of Rose Tyler, from her mother marrying the Vitex chairman and her finishing school then joining Torchwood, becoming one of their top agents.  She'd read that a few years ago, one of her team members and herself had gone on a mission and she had come back alone.  It had never been revealed who that was or where they had gone, it was all hushed up.

She went back upstairs then onto the balcony, seeing the two of them cross the road to the outdoor catering area though she thought the café on the corner just outside would be more to Rose Tyler's liking, or did she like to go back to her roots?

Rose and Alec had sat at a table and Rose picked up the menu, since all the seating seemed to be reserved for a few of the stalls.

"So, what really brought you here?" Alec asked her as she chose something and passed the menu to him.

"I thought I'd already said?  I'm not here as a Torchwood agent, honestly but I can be if needed."

"Like you could not resist hearing what that fake psychic had to say?  You said you had met the genuine item?"

"Yeah, a long time ago.  Trust me, he's making it all up."

"Well DS Miller was saying something to him earlier when he was near a desk, he must have got the information from there.  Ready to order?"

They waited until their meals arrived and Alec soon discovered she could talk and eat at the same time.

"So, this is where they sent you?" Rose smiled as they ate.  "How long have you been here?"

"Ah, just over a week.  I was on leave before I came here, things were getting bad where I was.  I expect you've already read up about me?"

"I get more access than the public," Rose replied.

"I can imagine?  So, are you here because you wanted to meet me?" he asked, thinking she'd never answer that and he'd have to consider asking Becca to spend some time with him as certain things were beginning to show that he needed some female company.

"Alec, I followed the Sandbrook case, I was a bit concerned when this incident happened.  I don't just chase aliens, I try to help people.  If ya want me to back off, just say."

"I did not say that Rose," he replied, using a napkin and hoping nothing was on his beard he'd decided to keep.

He'd only just met her yet he could bring himself to use her first name and not Miller's.

"I know you're staying where I am Alec.  Care to meet up later or are you planning on working late?"

"I don't suppose I have to work all night?  So do you want to know what we have so far?"

He saw no harm in sharing information with another agency and if she wanted to keep him company, all the better.

"Yeah, maybe, if it's okay?  Alec, I know what happened to you back in Sandbrook.  Do ya think by any chance Pippa's killer followed ya here?"

Alec put his cutlery down across the plate and poured some more tea.

"Seriously?  Why would he do that?  As far as I know, he left the country after he walked free.  I have someone watching out for him coming back."

"Alec, not everyone who comes back into the country lets everyone know.  What if he had a motorbike and slipped off the ferry?  Anyway, can ya show me where Danny was found?"

That gave Alec something to think about.  Had Ashworth slipped back unnoticed? 

"Sure, we can take a walk across but the CSU don't think he was killed there.  He'd been hit with a heavy object, maybe by accident, that's still to be determined but there was nothing around that could have been used.  We also retrieved CCTV of him skateboarding down the High Street earlier that night, the skateboard is missing," he told her as they got up.

"Sounds like someone wanted him to be found then?" Rose asked.  "Maybe it's not him from Sandbrook?"

"It took us three days to find her.  There had been a heavy rainfall, maybe she'd been left on the riverbank but the river flooded.  She could have been left anywhere really but why the woods of all places?"

Rose wondered why he was asking her?

"To hide something?" she suggested.  "I'll be back in a tick."

Alec stood waiting while she went into the ladies room, wondering why he felt so at ease with her.  She was a trained operative from a top agency, maybe she just did it to everyone, well except maybe Miller, who hadn't looked pleased she'd had to sit opposite him in the interview room.

They walked across the harbour then across the car park to get to the police tent where Danny had been found.  They were let through the tape when Alec showed his ID, many of the officers not yet knowing who he was.  The man he knew as Brian came out of the tent when Alec made him aware he was there.

Brian looked at Alec, then at Rose.

"Were you wanting something?" Brian asked him, his face mask hanging loose.

Rose thought this was a far cry from watching CSI on TV and their own way of doing things at Torchwood.  If she was working officially, she'd just walk in and say she was taking charge but she couldn't take this away from Alec, not after he'd failed in Sandbrook.

"What have you found out so far?" Alec asked him, not introducing Rose and hoping the man didn't think he'd brought his girlfriend to see where the boy had been found.

"There's a lot to go through Sir.  We're sending sand to be tested from around where the boy was laid, it just takes time."

"How long had he been there?" Rose asked, her instincts taking over.

Brian looked at Alec.

"Well answer her.  She's here as a police consultant.  You said he didn't die here?  If the boy had been carried, someone would have seen them."

"Not if he'd been brought here in a boat?" Rose suggested.

"That phoney mentioned a boat," Alec reminded her, Brian wondering who they were talking about.

"Lucky guess, there are tons of boats around here.  Although?  Well whoever it was wouldn't take one from the harbour, would they?  They'd have to scramble over other boats, carrying Danny.  Where else are there any boats around here?" Rose wondered.

"About a mile up the coast, there's a small boatyard," Brian replied.

Alec already had his phone out, calling Ellie.

"Yes, I know there's a boatyard up there," Ellie replied.

Her ex brother-in law or whatever he was kept a boat chained up just by it and her sister let people borrow it to make extra cash.

"Well get someone up there and look for any missing boats.  We think Danny was taken in one, then whoever killed him dragged the boat onto the beach and lay him here."

"When you say we?" Ellie queried.

"Stop it Miller and get someone up there."

"Anything else up there besides a boatyard?" Rose asked her since Alec had put his phone on the speaker.

"Is Rose Tyler with you?" Ellie wanted to know.

"Yes, answer her question," he told her, already getting tired of it.

"There's a hut on top of the cliff, a holiday rental.  Why?" Ellie replied.

"If Danny was hit with a heavy object, it could have been a boat oar.  Get some officers up to the boatyard and send a car down to the scene where Danny was found, Miss Tyler and I will take a ride up to this hut.  Tell the officers they are looking for a boat oar that may have blood on it and check if any boats are missing."

"Yeah and check if any boats have had chains cut.  Someone may have borrowed one and tried to make it look like it's not been moved," Rose added.

"Anything else?" Ellie asked sarcastically, since Hardy was going to investigate with Rose Tyler and leaving her to arrange everything.

"No, we'll see what we can find.  Rose pointed out that whoever killed Danny would not have carried him from one of the car parks.  He had to been brought here by boat.  Rose also suggested the killer wanted Danny to be found, leaving him on the beach and not where he could have been killed."

"So is Miss Tyler working with us then?" Ellie wanted to know.

"For now.  I will see the chief on Monday.  I doubt she will object.  Find out who owns that hut and arrange to get the keys."  He then turned to Brian.  "You know the hut we are talking about?"

Brian nodded.  "Sir, we don't have the resources to look at two scenes."

"Well take whoever you have spare when DS Miller finds who has the keys," Alec told him, wishing he and Rose didn't have to do all the thinking around here.

Brian shook his head and went back in the tent.  They went back to the car park to see a marked car and Rose got in the back, Alec getting in the front.

"What do ya hope to find up there?" Rose asked they drove off.

"Signs Danny was there.  You were the one to say he'd been moved.  Maybe he was up there and went down onto the beach, we should look for a path when we get there.  Why was he skateboarding down the middle of the High Street though?"

"He might have been meeting someone?" Rose suggested.  "Then whoever he met drove him up there."

"Why would he be meeting anyone at that time?" Alec asked.

"It had to be an adult then?" Rose mused.

"Someone he knew which puts paid to your theory," Alec replied, wondering why he got on better with her than he did with his DS.

Maybe it was because Rose hadn't walked on that beach yesterday morning and told him he'd taken her job?  Then she'd not been the one with a reporter nephew who had released Danny's name.  He had gone crazy when the reporter had the nerve to apologise.

Rose didn't agree with what he'd just said.

"It could still be him.  Maybe this time, he thought he'd throw you off by taking Danny where he'd be found?  Anyway, back there, maybe there was another reason he hid the body?"

Alec was thankful she was keeping any names out of it.  He knew Claire had been up to her neck in it, she had to have known what Ashworth had done to Pippa.  He bet anything she'd been the one to encourage him.  Maybe Pippa had seen what happened to Lisa and they had to keep her quiet and it went too far?

"Rose," he half turned towards her.  "When we have found out what happened here, maybe I could ask you to help me with the other one.  Until then, let's concentrate on this one."

Rose was about to say something back but she was cringing at the driver managing to get down a narrow lane.  They got down to the bottom, turned a corner and came to a car park. Alec seeing a brownish coloured hut to the right.

"Come with us," he told the uniformed officer.  "Rose, take the front with the officer, I will look around the back."

Just then, his phone rang.  It was Ellie.

"Sir, I found who owns the hut.  He says the cleaner has the keys.  She lives on the caravan site just down the coast."

"Well take someone with you and get them, we should check it out.  What's happening down at the boatyard?" he asked her.

"Officers just arrived and they're searching for an oar with blood on it.  Do you think it was still an accident?"

"Whoever killed him could have been swinging the oar and Danny ran into it?" Rose asked.

Alec thought she was wasted as a Torchwood agent.

"Hold on.  So that means whoever met Danny may not be the one who killed him?" Ellie asked.

"Maybe he met someone and wandered off on his own but what was someone doing down there with an oar Danny ran into or was he hit on purpose?"

Alec wished he knew.  Now they may have to look for two suspects.  The one who brought Danny up here and the one who hit him.  The officers here were not equipped to go after two.  Maybe if he asked nicely, he may get Rose to bring some specialists in?

They split up, Rose looking through the windows while the officer checked the door and they met up with Alec on the corner.

"Guess we wait for the keys?" Rose told him as he stood with his arms folded.

All thoughts of him being the Doctor's clone were fast fading until he'd done that.

"So, tell me more of your theory," Alec suggested.

"Danny was meeting someone he knew well?  Maybe they argued and Danny went off?  Who would he be meeting though?"

"Someone up to no good?"

"Sorry but it sounds like that other killer to me," Rose told him.

"You can say it, everyone will know who I am by now.  Officer?"

"Yes Sir, we were told.  DS Miller mentioned it to someone."

Alec thought he might have known she would waste no time.

"Ya have to admit the similarities between the two cases?  I hate to say this but whoever he met, it was obvious."

"Obvious in what way?" Alec asked, wondering what was taking Miller so long.  

Then he realised she didn't mean the caravan park near the police station, the one he was considering asking about renting one to get him out of the hotel.  Maybe that wasn't such a good idea though, being on his own unless Rose was willing to share?

He was brought back to reality.

"You mean grooming him?  We suspected the suspect in Sandbrook was doing that.  I need to make a call."

He went off towards the car park, leaving Rose with the officer, who was wondering what the hell Rose Tyler was doing working with the new detective.

"Craig," Alec greeted the DC back in Sandbrook he had given the task of keeping tabs on Ashworth.  "Has Lee Ashworth got back in the country?"

"Not as far as I know Sir.  Is there reason to think he has?"

"Yes, a very good one since you know where I am?  Call the border authorities and passport control,  you were supposed to be informed by them if he came back."

Rose had wandered down and tapped him on the arm, Alec covering the phone.

"Alec, if he had a bike, he may have evaded customs and to get on a ferry, you can turn up at the last minute."

Now he suspected Ashworth had come back more and more.  Had he lured the boy to the hut then Danny had run off or had Danny been with someone else, seen and recognised Ashworth and been chased down to the boatyard?

"Rose, come with me, call the officer up there."

Rose went back a bit and called out.  Once they were joined, Alec went to the bushes at the top of the path that had been partially hidden.

"Whatcha looking for?" Rose asked him as he found a stick and poked the bushes.

"Signs a motorbike has been here."

"Ah!  So ya think I'm right?  I'll look for tyre tracks?"

"He will have covered them but when CSU get up here, they can go down the path, Danny may have dropped his phone down there."

"His phone's missing?" Rose asked, thinking he'd forgotten to tell her that.

"Did I not say?  He may have dropped it if he was running down the path.  What if Danny saw Ashworth, they spoke and Danny told him he knew who he was?"

"Then he chased Danny down the path, Danny hid between the boats and Ashworth picked up an oar?" Rose asked.

"Yes, then maybe Danny ran into it?"

"Is that accidental death?" Rose wondered.

"Maybe?  If Ashworth was intending to dispose of Danny though?"

"Well he wouldn't want Danny to tell everyone he was in town, especially if he was following you?" Rose wondered.

"Why would he follow me?"

"You went after him?" Rose suggested.

Then he realised.  Ashworth was looking for Claire after all.

"He wants his wife back and he thinks I know where she is."

"Do ya?" Rose smiled at the thought of him hiding someone.

"Yes.  I don't like this Rose, not at all.  Ashworth comes to town and we get another child killed.  You may be right, he came looking for me but he did not want me to know he was here yet."

"Yeah, he must have been hoping you'd lead him to his wife?  How did he know though?" Rose wondered.

"I got her to turn on him.  I promised she would be safe from him so I got this transfer and put her in a cottage just a mile or so away."

"Oh.  Well he took a lucky guess then – or not.  Alec, he didn't need to be a detective to work out you were hiding her."

Alec was now regretting helping Claire Ripley, as she now wanted to be known as.  He was grateful he'd sent the officer down the path.

"Sir," the officer called from below.  "I may have found something."

He officer came back up, holding a rag in his gloved hand.

"Put it in an evidence bag for testing.  Let's hope they also found something down in the boatyard."

He got his phone out to find out where his DS had got to with the keys for the hut.  Ellie though was not having an easy time.

"Yeah, I clean up at the hut," the woman was telling her.

"Well we need the keys, police business," Ellie told her, holding up her ID card and wishing Hardy hadn't sent her.

"Is this to do with that boy who was killed?" the woman asked.

"If I can just have the keys please?" Ellie reminded her.

"You'll have to sign for them."

She finally got away and drove up to the hut, wondering what Hardy was hoping to find inside.

Chapter 4
Alec was now pacing up and down the small area in front of the hut, Rose wondering why he just didn't go sit in the police car.

"I could do with a sit down," Rose hinted, hoping he would join her.

"The car's unlocked if you want to get in Sir," the officer told him.

Alec indicated for Rose to go first, figuring that was her way of telling him he was driving her crazy pacing about or did she want to talk?  He opened the back door for her then got in the front.

"Want to talk about what that psychic said?" he asked her.

"He's a fake, I thought we'd agreed that?"

"Well I'm sure I would have remembered if we had met before or maybe it was aimed at you?  Did you know someone who looked like me in the past he could have seen you with, in the papers maybe?"

"Not in the papers, no.  Alec, I'll be honest with ya, yes, I used to know someone who looked a little like you but he's gone now."

"When you say gone?" he wondered.

"As in not coming back, not ever.  I thought I'd got him back but he left again."

Alec wondered what man could be off his head leaving her  - twice.  Maybe he'd stand a chance with her but would it be fair reminding her?

"That man would not have known, would he?" he dared ask.

"I doubt it, the first time was before I became famous and the second time was only briefly.  Actually, make that three times."

Alec heard a sad tone in her voice and tried to turn around.

"I'm sorry to hear that Rose.  Was that the reason you were going to leave after you introduced yourself?"

"Forget it Alec, it doesn't bother me you look like him.  He left me once, not by choice, the second time, it was a sort of message.  The third time, I went to find him but he couldn't stay.  I thought for maybe a minute he'd come back and not told me, then I saw your name.  Sorry."

"There is no need to apologise Rose, I am sorry I disappointed you."

"What?  It was my own fault Alec, don't apologise.  We just weren't meant to be together.  I went a long way to find him last time as well but he thought I'd settle for someone else.  I can't tell ya any more."

Alec wondered what she meant but looked in the mirror to see another car pull up behind them.  Ellie had just got out when the forensics van pulled into the car park and Ellie handed Brian the keys.  Alec was already out of the car and holding the door open for Rose, which amused Ellie he was showing some manners, even if they weren't directed at her.

"What are we looking for?" Brian was asking Ellie, since Alec had all his attention on Rose, well so she thought.

Rose was also wondering why he was paying her so much attention.  Did he actually feel sorry for her?

Alec quickly told Brian what his small team were looking for.

"Miller, stay here and supervise, Rose and I are going to pay Mark Latimer a visit as to why he was waiting for someone that night.  It's a pity the camera doesn't move."

"Why, what else were you expecting it to pick up?" Ellie asked, a bit annoyed he was going  off and leaving her here.

"Call whoever is down in the boat yard and have some of them climb the path, a rag was found just in the bushes," he told her as the officer with them handed the evidence to Brian.  "Get that tested for fingerprints, it's got no blood on it but whoever hit Danny could have used it to wipe any from the oar.  We think there are signs a motorbike could have been by the path."

"Who would be up here on a motorbike?" Ellie wanted to know as Brian went off.

"Maybe someone camping?" Rose suggested.  "Hey, it could be who we talked about?"

"Who did you talk about?" Ellie asked.

"Miller, also have the officers see if Danny dropped his phone, if he was being chased."

"What?  Hold on, I think you need to explain a few things."

Rose quickly told her what she and Alec had been talking about since lunch.

"What?  You think the suspect from your old case is somehow involved?" Ellie asked.

"It was Rose who suggested it and she could be right Miller.  There are a lot of similarities we don't like."

"So she's suggesting the killer came here at random and killed Danny?  What for?"

"He thought Alec was here and came looking for him.  Say he did do, he was just camping for the night and Danny saw him?" Rose asked.

"As Rose says Miller, say Danny was meeting someone up here, he either ran off for some reason and Ashworth was watching?  He could have got into a conversation with Danny, maybe Danny was upset?  Then Danny recognised him and Ashworth did not want Danny telling anyone, especially me that he was in town?"

Ellie was trying to keep up, as if one crime scene wasn't enough, someone was following Hardy from his old case and they had a second crime scene with not enough staff to process it.

"Sir, we can't keep on with two crime scenes, they can't cope," Ellie told him.

"Well, I will see the chief super on Monday and maybe Rose can help out with that?" he replied.

"Alec, if I remember rightly, you more or less told me Torchwood wasn't taking over," Rose reminded him.

"Not as such but you have a lot more recourses than we do.  Maybe you can arrange for your labs to help?"

"Yeah, I'll see what I can do, my stepfather's always saying if there's any way we can help other agencies and what happened to Danny concerns him, because of my younger brother."

"Isn't he your half brother?" Ellie corrected her.

Alec saw the look on Rose's face.

"We don't refer to him as that.  To him, I'm his real older sister, it's complicated.  I'll do what I can Alec, if your chief agrees.  Right, we go see the boy's father then?"

"Yes.  So Miller, let me know what they find up there at the hut and if they find the oar that struck Danny, if it was an oar?  Has anyone looked for gaps where a smaller boat could have been or a cut chain yet?"

Ellie wondered if he knew he never gave anyone a chance to do anything?

"I'll find out while I supervise up at the hut shall I?" Ellie asked him, Rose suppressing a giggle.

Alec was opening the car door again for Rose, much to the amusement of officer with them.  Ellie thought if he kept on doing that, she would throw up.

"Ellie, about the boat oar," Rose called as Alec waited for her getting in, wondering if he should sit next to her or not.  "Get them to look in the boats themselves, whoever struck Danny could have tossed it over the side of one and it's got mixed up with others."

Alec knew she was definitely wasted as a Torchwood agent.  Who was she, really?  She was no ordinary agent, that much was certain.  No, Rose Tyler was something else and he was a reminder of who she'd lost, yet she was still willing to work with him.

Ellie was wondering who really was in charge around here, the annoying DI she'd met on the beach or Rose Tyler.  As he closed the door when Rose got in, she was surprised he'd not got in the back with her.  Ellie went off to find Brian and see if Hardy was wrong Danny had met someone there but what was he doing up here if he wasn't?

Rose and Alec arrived at the Latimer house, Alec letting her out again as she didn't have the heart to tell him she was capable of getting out herself.  Mark opened the door, expecting to see their friend Ellie with the detective.  Mark invited them in and Alec stood for a moment.

"Mark, Beth, this is Rose Tyler, she's acting as a consultant on the case.  You can talk freely in front of her."

Beth was the one to speak.

"Seriously?  What's she doing here?" she asked Alec.

"It's okay Mrs Latimer, I'm just here to help the police, I work for another agency.  DI Hardy thought I would have a fresh look on the case."

"Well have you found anything yet?" Beth asked Alec.

"Beth, calm down," Mark told her.

"We are currently searching another two locations in connection with that happened to Danny, it's too early to say anything else yet but we are searching for the object that killed him," Alec told them as Rose took the spare chair and he sat on the arm, which didn't help Rose forget he wasn't the Doctor.

"What was he hit by?" Mark wanted to know.

"We believe it may have been a boat oar.  The location where we think he was killed, he could have been chased into it and he was hiding.  He could then have been trying to run away and he was struck.  We don't know at this time if it was unintentional or not."

"You mean the boatyard?" Beth's mother asked.

"Possibly," was all Alec would admit.

"Then how did he get to the harbour?" Beth wanted to know.

"He was transported by boat," Alec replied, thinking he could thank Rose for that.  "Do you own a boat Mark?"

"What?  Yeah, I have a boat, in the harbour.  What's that got to do with what happened?"  

"We'll need to see it, to exclude it from the investigation," Alec replied, Rose thinking the head CSU would thank him for that at the weekend.  "Mark, may I have a word outside?"

As they left, Beth turned to Rose.

"What are you really doing here?"

"Mum, she's trying to help, aren't you?" Chloe asked Rose.  "I read about her Mum, she's in some organisation called Torchwood."

"I've heard of that," Beth's mother agreed.  "Doesn't it have something to do with aliens?" 

"Great, that's all we need, someone who chases aliens," Beth replied.

"That's not all we do Mrs Latimer.  We have a lot of different programs in research and helping other agencies.  I have a brother just a bit younger than Danny.  I'll give you my number, if you want to talk?" Rose offered.

"Will it get back to the police?" Chloe asked her.

"No, I won't share without permission.  Have you got any questions?"

Alec was outside, asking Mark a few questions.

"Tell me again where you were the other night, Mark."

"I told you, I was out on a job," Mark replied, Alec thinking he looked tired but he had some room to talk.

"Don't lie to me Mark, you were seen on CCTV standing by a car up on Briar Cliff that night."

"Oh, so you were snooping on me then?" Mark huffed, seeing Beth standing at the kitchen window.

"We were just checking CCTV for any signs of Danny.  Well?" Alec asked him.

"I'm all confused, the days are getting all mixed into one," Mark replied, rubbing his face.  "What's Rose Tyler really doing here then?"

"She's trying to help and she's been most valuable so far.  Mark, this is only about where you were, is there something you don't want Beth to know about?" Alec asked him.

Just then, Alec's phone rang.  He frowned when the display said 'Miller' but who did he expect?  He'd not even got round to swapping numbers with Rose yet.  Why was he even working with Rose?  Somehow, it just seemed right, that she'd come from nowhere and was offering to help with the case.

"What?" he just answered, since he did that with everyone these days but maybe not when Rose got his number.

"Sir, CSU found two sets of fingerprints, one near the sink.  They belong to Mark Latimer."

"Interesting," Alec remarked, turning to see Mark was trying to look innocent.

"Sir, the other set we need to identify, they're not on our records," Ellie continued.  "They could belong to the owner or the cleaner," she suggested.

"Then we need to eliminate them and get more fingerprint samples, make a start.  Miller, Danny had to be meeting someone he knew so no-one gets out of it, I will ask his parents who he was likely to be meeting.  We should get your boy, what's his name and your husband eliminated."

Ellie almost lost her temper.

"Are you serious Sir?  Do you want me to get the local vicar in as well?"

"Did Danny know him?" Alec asked her.  

He got no reply.

Rose touched his arm as she joined him, having got nothing out of the three women inside.

"She doesn't like that, does she?"

Alec raised his eyebrows, Rose wishing he wouldn't.

"She does not like me, full stop.  Just because she's a detective does not make her family exempt, we had to take fingerprints from Danny's family.  It's not easy Rose, it has to be done though, they may have been up there at some point."

"To ask him what he was doing in the car park?  You never mentioned it earlier."

"Yes, sorry, I neglected to say anything but at that stage, I had not asked you to get further involved.  You can back out Rose, I can get the driver to drop you at your hotel?"

"Alec, I'm in, I just have to clear it but I'll tag along, to observe.  Pete will let me anyway, let's say I'm doing it for my little brother?  If it's the same man from your last case, he has to be stopped.  Everything's pointing to it though, he's getting a taste for it."

"I know Rose.  Are you certain you want to get involved if it is him?" Alec asked her as he turned back to Mark.

Rose nodded.  "Let me talk to Mark."

"What are you really doing here Miss Tyler?" Mark asked her.

"It upset me, with having a younger brother and I thought I could maybe help, even if only in a small way.  I'm really sorry for your loss and I know what we'd go through if it was my little brother.  I grew up on my own, without a dad and when my mum met Pete Tyler, everything changed.  He lost his first wife so I do understand what it's like to lose someone."

"Thank you Miss Tyler, I think so far you're the only one that does understand," Mark replied, nodding at Alec.

"He's the best person for the job, despite what happened, it was just a technicality and this time around, well he's got me," Rose smiled.  

"DS Miller is our friend, we'd rather it was her who was in charge to be honest.  Do you two already know each other?" Mark wanted to know.

Why did everyone assume they did? Rose wondered.

"No, we only met earlier, I'd just arrived and went to say I was in town.  Mark, I'm a fully trained agent, I can help find out what happened to your son, you have to trust me and DI Hardy."

"Well, if you're working with him then?  I suppose I have to trust you.  Will you keep us informed?" Mark asked her.

Rose turned to Alec.

"They have a family liaison already but yes, I see no reason why not.  You never answered the question Mark, what were you doing up at the hut car park?"

Mark looked around at the kitchen window where Beth was looking out.

"Mum, come away from there," Chloe was trying to tell her.

"What do they want to speak to him for?" Beth replied.

"I expect it's important enough to ask him on his own," her mother told her.  "They may be checking where Mark was that night."

"He's already told them Mum, why don't they believe him?" Beth almost cried.

"Beth, it all has to be checked," her mother replied, looking at Chloe.

"Come and sit down Mum.  I read about Rose Tyler, she's not just the stepdaughter of the Vitex millionaire, she works for an agency.  Give her a chance."

"Well she has a nerve coming here," Beth replied, seeing Rose talking to Mark.

"What aren't you telling us?" Alec was asking Mark.  "There was no callout, was there?"

"I went out, for a drink with a friend," Mark finally admitted, his hands in his trouser pockets.

Rose studied people, out of habit and knew he was hiding something.

"Who did you meet?" Alec wanted to know.

"Ah, I can't remember," Mark replied.

Rose thought he had to be kidding.

"This was only a few nights ago," Alec reminded him.

"Everything's all mixed up," Mark claimed.

"Mark, it's important you remember," Rose told him.  "You may have seen someone on their way to meet Danny.  Alec, you have to tell him what we think happened."

"Rose, we don't normally go into such details," Alec replied.  "Well okay but Mark, this goes no further, not even to Beth.  We think Danny met someone, maybe down by the harbour, then he was taken up to the hut on Briar cliff and ran off.  We then think someone else was there, someone Danny recognised as should not be there and he was chased to the boatyard below and I'm sorry Mark but that person picked up a boat oar and Danny ran into it as it was either raised or swung."

"What?" Mark asked, trying to take it in.  "He ran from one person he knew and was chased by another?  That means both persons saw each other."

"Maybe not, if the second person was watching the hut and saw Danny come out with whoever took him up there," Rose replied, Alec thinking maybe she was wanting to take over after all?  "That person saw whoever took Danny up, yes but not the other way around.  Do ya know why Danny would be sneaking out to meet someone?"

"He has no grown-up friends, if that's what you mean," Mark replied.  "Maybe he and Tom sneaked up there?"

"Why would he go to the harbour to meet Tom?" Alec wanted to know, since he'd learned it was only across the field to the Miller house.

"Why would he go down there to meet an adult?" Rose asked him.

"This is getting too much," Mark complained.  "I met a mate, that's where I was that night."

"Does this mate have a name?" Alec asked him.

"I can't remember," Mark replied, Rose feeling sorry for him.

"Mark, I need you to come down to the station tomorrow morning and you had better have remembered who you met with," Alec told him.  "We found your fingerprints in the hut, can you explain that?"

"I mended a burst pipe up there, a week or so back.  I got an emergency call and picked up the keys from a woman in a caravan just down the coast."

Rose wondered how he could remember that and not who he'd met.  She knew as well as Alec did the man was hiding something.  They finally left, Alec offering to drop her at the hotel.

"There's nothing you can do at the station," Alec told her as he held the car door open.

"Yeah, I suppose not?  Will you be at the hotel for dinner?"

Alec thought he could try and make the effort or Miller would be feeding him fish and chips again.

"I will do my best to finish early.  Mark Latimer worries me though, if he won't account for where he was that night."

"Yeah, why's he doing that?  Want me to be there tomorrow?"

"No, it's fine, you came down for a rest.  I will see you tonight hopefully and we have something to talk about."

"Oh, ya mean about what that man said earlier?"

"Yes.  Was he right?" he asked her.

"We should talk later, I had another reason for coming down here."

"Are you contacting your agency?" Alec wanted to know.

"You need extra resources for two crime scenes?"

"Is that asking too much?" Alec asked as the car pulled up opposite the hotel, Alec having told the driver where to go.

"Well, we're always willing to help other agencies," Rose smiled as Alec got out to help her.

"I'm sure you are.  I will see you later?"

Rose went back to her room to call her stepfather, who would be surely mad at her for getting involved so soon.  Alec got back to the station to find a cross Ellie Miller.

"So, is Torchwood taking over?" she asked as she followed him into his office.

"Think about it Miller?  They can have a team here on Monday to work alongside our own CSU, I'm sure the chief will agree when I put it to her on Monday."

"Well I hope that means we can get finished at a decent time?"

"Have you spoken to your husband yet?  Oh and Mark Latimer will be here in the morning to tell us where he was that night."

"Seriously?" Ellie asked, already annoyed he'd called her husband and son into question.

"What's your problem Miller eh?  Just because I took Rose Tyler with me maybe?  She can be of immense value to us, she can keep that psychic away for a start, she knows how to deal with people like that and she has come up with several theories so far."

"Such as?" Ellie wanted to know, since he'd not told her any of them in great detail.

"That Danny ran away or walked away from one person to be confronted by another, someone who did not belong here and Danny recognised him.  Sit down," he gestured to her, thinking he must be going soft or was it because he'd just left Rose?

Ellie sat opposite with her arms folded.

"So, you really think it's the suspect from your last case?  Care to explain?" she asked.

"Rose and I both think for some reason, he came looking for me or followed me here.  He may think I know where his wife went after the trial collapsed.  She turned on him and wanted my help in return.  I set her up in a cottage just down the coast but I have had no contact with her.  If Lee Ashworth thinks I'm helping her, he's watching for me to lead him to her."

"What?  Why were you helping her?" Ellie wanted to know.

"To keep an eye on her if Ashworth came back.  They are both guilty Miller, if that evidence had not been lost they would have been locked up, then they may have admitted where the other cousin is.  They will make a mistake Miller and I think Ashworth already did, by Danny recognising him and Ashworth was not ready to come face to face with me."

Ellie couldn't believe what she was hearing.

"You dragged your old case into this?" she asked him, just to make sure.

"Ashworth got himself into it Miller, if he was up near the hut, he saw who Danny was with.  Had they not been there, Danny would still be alive so the person who took him up there is just as responsible for his death.  Ashworth may have been seen by Danny and they talked, Danny recognised him and ran off, to hide in the boatyard," Alec continued.

"You think Ashworth picked up an oar and swung it at Danny?" Ellie asked.

"Rose and I think it could have been accidental, he could have been swinging it when he couldn't find Danny, who came running around the corner of a boat and collided with it."

Ellie shuffled in her chair.

"So Ashworth threw the oar into a boat, then he put Danny in a smaller boat and took him to where he was found?  That's a bit far-fetched, didn't you find that girl in the river three days after she disappeared?"

Alec didn't want to be reminded of that.

"The weather was bad, it had been raining, heavily.  We think he was trying to put us off by leaving Danny where he would be found.  He could have put him in one of the boats, he wouldn't have been found for days.  We still need to find who Danny went up there with, they could have seen Ashworth, so could Mark Latimer.  If Ashworth was camping out for the night up there, someone may have seen a bike, Rose was looking for tracks but they could have been covered."

Just then, Ellie's phone rang.

"Right, I'll let him know," Ellie told the caller.  "Sir, they found an oar with blood on it, it's going for testing.  If Ashworth's so clever, won't he have wiped his prints off it?"

"Yes but we found a rag at the top of the path, which will have his DNA on it.  All we have to do is place Ashworth near the hut and we have him," Alec replied, thinking this was going to be easier than he thought.

Chapter 5
Lee Ashworth had seen the alert that a young boy had been found on the beach and the cheeky kid reporter had managed to release the name before the police – Hardy must be slipping up.  There was no way the detective could tie the accidental death of a local boy to him, he'd so far kept of his nemesis's way.  They would never even look in that boat for the oar that had struck the boy.

He'd not intended to actually kill who he now knew as Danny Latimer, though he'd heard the other man shouting after the boy to go back.  If by any chance Hardy wondered if he'd been followed, well he could blame the whole thing on the other man who had been there.  He only had to tell Hardy another man had been with Danny and that he'd seen the boy run away.  

He needn't tell how he'd spoken to the boy and chased him down into the boatyard and getting bored of the boy hiding from him when he'd only wanted to warn him to keep quiet he had been swinging the oar.  How was he to know the stupid boy would come running around the corner at the same time?  Well Hardy wouldn't put two and two together when he'd put the boy on the beach instead of hiding him.

Rose was waiting in the hotel dining room, wondering if Alec would actually get back in time to eat.  If he didn't, she planned on picking up some food and taking it to him in his office but she had just ordered when he stood in the doorway after telling his DS to go home.

"What's come over you?" Ellie had asked him half an hour earlier as he got his coat on.

She was beginning to wonder why he wore the thing in summer.

"I have to meet up with Rose Tyler, we have a few things to discuss," he'd admitted.

"Anyone would think she was taking over," Ellie grinned.  "She's not is she?"

"What?  No, neither is Torchwood but they can be useful.  There's too much going on for the CSU to handle, Rose can get their labs to process some of it.  Maybe they can send a mobile unit to save sending it to their headquarters.  Go home Miller."

So Ellie wasn't going to argue with him since it had been the early hours she'd got home last night.  Her husband looked up from feeding their youngest as she walked into the kitchen.

"Hey, you're early tonight.  Any news yet who killed Danny?" Joe asked her.

"No, Hardy decided to quit early, thankfully.  Why is Fred wearing his food?" she laughed as young Fred had spaghetti sauce all over his face.

"Yeah, he's been doing that lately.  So, Danny was found on the beach?" he asked, just to make sure.

He'd wondered if the boy had walked across the top of the cliff or he'd gone down and walked along the beach but how had he ended up dead?

"So, can you say how Danny was killed?" Joe wondered as Ellie wiped their son's face.

Ellie saw no reason why not.

"He was hit by something, that's all I can say.  How's Tom been?  Hardy wants to speak to him on Monday at some point."

She'd been annoyed when he'd got back from seeing Mark Latimer, that he'd not only said Mark was hiding something but he wanted to talk to Tom.

"Why does he want to talk to Tom?" Joe asked her.

That was what Ellie had wanted to know.

So now, Alec was sitting opposite Rose, who had spoken to her stepfather.

"We need to talk," Alec was telling her.  "Who are you Rose?  What did that psychic mean?"

"Nothing Alec, I'm who I said I am and there's no way he knew my friend."

"How can you know that?  He may have seen you two together in a newspaper or magazine."

"Alec, he can't have done, really.  Unless?"

Had the psychic been at Pete's that night and got out?  Still, there was no way he knew who the Doctor was since they'd been posing as servants.

"Unless what?  What are you not telling me?"

"Not here Alec," Rose replied as the waitress came back.

"Then you can explain to me later.  You said he left you?  Was that recently?"

"No, just after my mum married Pete, well the last was a few years later, it's complicated.  I went to find him.  I swear I can't say any more."

"Something is bothering me.  You went on some sort of mission, another friend of yours never came back."

How could she tell him Mickey had stayed where they came from?

"He chose to stay.  Alec, you're in the police, I think I can trust you.  My friend Mickey, well he stayed behind where we came from."

"Where you came from?  So you are not from around here?"

"You can talk," Rose grinned.  "No, me, Mickey and my mum, we were brought here when the Cybermen invaded my world.  We were supposed to go back."

"I'm sorry Rose, I had no idea," Alec told her, since no-one was near them.

"Yeah.  We have to keep it quiet Alec, you can't tell anyone else.  I just want to help down here, there's nothing else I can do to get back, I lost my chance a while back.   I thought I'd got him back but he ran away, it's complicated."

"I can only imagine.  You thought there was something wrong with me.  You trusted me, I can trust you.  We should not talk here though, we could go into the sitting room maybe?" he suggested.

Rose nodded her agreement and followed him out.

"Alec, we could just go to my room maybe?"

"My room, you will see why," Alec insisted, gesturing for her to go upstairs first.

Becca was just coming out of the dining room when she saw them, smiling to herself that if that wasn't giving the game away, nothing was.  Did they expect to keep it quiet?

Once in his room, he went for some water to take his heart medication, since there was no point in hiding it.

"What's wrong with you Alec?"

"Heart problem that can wait until I find Danny's killer.  Rose, there could have been two of them?  Say one chased Danny towards the person with the oar?"

"No, we know he went down that path Alec, I say he was running away from someone before Lee Ashworth saw him.  Did they find anything at the hut?"

"One set of fingerprints we identified and one we are still looking to see who they belong to.  They could just belong to the cleaner though.  We found the oar, in a boat as you suggested.  We have to hope the person who was holding it left some traces after thinking they wiped their fingerprints off.  Do you still think Ashworth followed me here?"

"I think he followed you at first to find his wife," Rose replied.  "Then Danny recognised him and he didn't want you to know he was using you to find her.  I bet he intended watching for any signs you were contacting her but it all went wrong when he camped in the wrong place.  If we find the person Danny was meeting, whoever it was could have seen Lee Ashworth."

"I know that Rose.  Hopefully one of those sets of fingerprints will tell us who that was but we can't charge them with anything, it's not a crime to be meeting someone even if it's an eleven year old boy."

"Yeah but it's a bit creepy why they were sneaking off that way, don't ya think?  They must have been meeting for a while though?  Alec, I hate to say it but maybe Danny was being groomed?"

"We suspected Ashworth and his wife were grooming those two girls.  I don't like this Rose.  Maybe Ashworth was the only one up there and Danny was on his own?"

"Why would he go in the opposite direction to the hut?" Rose reminded him.  "No, there had to be two of them.  Mark Latimer had to have seen something while he was up there, even if it was just Lee Ashworth's motorbike."

"He won't admit he was even up there meeting anyone Rose.  I think you should be there when he's interviewed, see what you can get out of him."  He stopped to sweep back his hair.  "As if being in this town's not bad enough, people are lying already.  He does not get the fact we don't care if he was meeting anyone, we just want to know what happened to his son.  If this was about my daughter, I'd tell the investigating officer everything, I just would."

"Yeah, I know ya would Alec.  Back to your heart problem though?  Maybe Torchwood can help ya?" Rose wondered.

"Why, do they have an invisible pacemaker they can beam in?"

"Very funny Alec.  They might have something you can put on, I mean not have inserted, I can ask?  They get all sorts of things coming in, it's all tested before it's used.  Say you'll give it a try?"

"Rose, I can't take time off, not now.  We have to find Lee Ashworth but where did he go after he was up by the hut?"

"Then let me find him?  Alec, he doesn't know why I'm here, does he?  If he's in the town or nearby, let the paper publish I'm here and he might think it's worthwhile looking me up?"

"No Rose, he's dangerous, I don't want him anywhere near you so forget it."

"Okay, fine then.  What if I make friends with his wife?  Get her to tell me the truth about Sandbrook?"

"That's not a bad idea Rose except she would never get why the Vitex heiress wants to make friends with her."

"Alec, I can tell her Torchwood can help her, if she's worried her husband's looking for her.  You tell her you suspect he's in town, see how she reacts?  I can take you to see her tomorrow evening, you introduce me and say for her to call me if he contacts her?  That gets her off your back.  How did ya end up hiding her though?"

"That's a long story and depends how long you are staying," he replied, taking off his tie and unfastening a few shirt buttons, Rose wishing he wouldn't.

"You mean in Broadchurch or your room?" Rose teased him.  "If it's gonna take a while, I'll go get a few things for morning shall I?"

"You may regret that, I can't do anything in my condition you know?" he reminded her, thinking his luck with women had changed but he was sort of handicapped in that department and why would Rose Tyler want him for anything other than having sex with her?

He thought she'd at least slap his face and tell him not to be a pervert.

"Alec, I know you're a bit limited, remember?  Besides, I don't have sex with someone I've just met, I'm not looking for anything like that just now but we can keep each other company, if ya want?"

"Really?  Well I am still capable of some things, Miss Tyler.  Care for a demonstration?" he asked as he stood in front of her.

Rose went to finger his shirt buttons, twisting one near his middle until it came undone.

"Oops!  Mmm, I think maybe you should demonstrate, Detective Inspector Hardy, after I pull some more buttons undone."

Rose finally parted his shirt, pulling it out of the front of his trousers, a wicked smile on her face.

"Finished?" he asked as he had his hands on her shoulders.

Rose was admiring the view.  Then she touched him, running her finger across his middle, Alec flinching slightly since even Tess had never done that.  When he thought about it, they had never really been that physical with each other and the last few years before she'd gone to Dave Harris, they were only really getting it over with for the sake of keeping up appearances, well he was.  He'd found out that so was she, since she went elsewhere for it while he'd opted to not trust another woman but now, that didn't include the one who was giving him that look that said she was interested even if having sex would probably finish him off.

He somehow though didn't think Rose would let it finish him off, so what did he have to lose?  If anything were to happen to him if he got carried away, she'd at least know what to do.  She maybe wouldn't let him get to that stage tonight though.

Rose was soon back after debating if she was doing the right thing but he needed someone and she could go for some male company.

"Well, are you getting changed in the bathroom?" Alec asked, since he'd got down to his shorts and t-shirt, Rose looking disappointed he'd taken his shirt off in her absence.  "Oh, should I have waited for you to take my shirt off?"

Rose stepped up to him, putting her arms around his slim waist.

"That was the idea, never mind but ya might lose the t-shirt later.  Alec, just tell me if ya need to stop, okay?  Don't try to prove anything, I told ya already I'm not looking for anything serious just now.  I'll be back in a minute."

Alec took that as she didn't want to get changed in front of him but what did he expect when she'd introduced herself that morning in the station and he'd questioned her motives for being in the town?  Rose Tyler could have any man she wanted but she was in his bathroom and offering to stay the night with him.  Things were definitely looking up.

Once Rose got under the covers, going to lie on him when he initiated the kissing, he lost the t-shirt as Rose kissed her way across his chest but then he flipped her over, saying it was his turn as he lifted her strappy vest top that already showed her cleavage in the light from outside.

"Why are you wasting your time with me Rose?" he asked as she sat astride him, his hand on her tummy under the vest top.

"Maybe because I feel safe with you?  Have you got any idea how many men chase me?  If I go out somewhere, they're always eyeing me because I'm on my own or with a girl friend just seeing a film or going to the theatre.  If I go into a bar, they always point or come over offering to take me back to their place.  I'm tired of it Alec."

"I can imagine.  I can't promise you a glamorous time in this town you know?" he teased her as he attempted to take off the top.

"Why do ya think I came here?" she asked guiding his hand under the top.

She prompted for him to remove it and he admired her in the dim light.  It seemed the Vitex heiress was trying to escape and the recent murder had given her the excuse.

"Rose, this town is going to be crawling with reporters soon.  If you are seen with me, they will speculate, you know that?" he asked her, running his finger down her cleavage.

"Good, then I can tell them why I'm really here.  Besides, Torchwood's press team will put out a statement I'm here on official business.  They won't go up against Torchwood, trust me.  I'll get onto the team to include you, just in case, no-one will bother you, that will leave you to contact them when you've something to tell them."

"I can handle a few reporters Rose.  Now, are you coming back to lie on me?" he asked as his hands began to wander now the vest top was on the headboard where he had tossed it.

Rose did as he suggested and they both moaned softly as they felt the sensations coming over them, even with their underwear on but as tempted as they were, it remained on and after Rose scrambled for her top, they fell asleep, Alec hoping he wouldn't wake her up if he panicked during the night.  He needn't have worried though as he woke up and his arm was numb where Rose had moved onto him and she was resting her head on his shoulder.

"Rose," he called quietly, not sure how she would react at being woken if she wasn't a morning person.

"Yeah?" Rose yawned, realising she was on his arm.  "Hi Alec.  Do ya need to move?"

"Only for you to come back and lie on me.  Rose, I promise not to attempt anything if you take off those skimpy panties you are only just wearing," he grinned as she leaned on one arm.

"Well I suppose I can trust ya then?"

"You have to trust someone Rose.  Why are you so insistent this is enough for you?  Have you had a serious boyfriend recently?  I have an excuse for not going with anyone though my ex wife does not believe I've not had a few flings since we divorced," he grinned.

Tess had repeatedly goaded him to find out if he'd got himself a proper girlfriend since their divorce or at least had a few casual encounters, since she flaunted the fact she was still with that loser Dave she'd left him for.

"Were you ill when you split up?  Alec, I've never really been with anyone though I dated a few male Torchwood employees when I first joined, then the novelty wore off.  They all stayed away when I was involved with a project and they thought I was crazy trying to cross dimensions to find the person I left behind."

"Rose, you missed your friend, I get that but did you have to go to extreme lengths to do so?  What happened when you went eh?  You told me you'd lost him more than once."

"I found him Alec, it wasn't easy when I got back.  Something had happened and there were these creatures called Daleks who had taken over my world and they were trying to wipe out the cosmos.  They were stopped but in the process, well let's just say he found out he had a twin and when I was coming back, he expected me to settle for his twin."

"He let you down?  He thought you did not really want him after you got parted from him before?  He was a fool to do that Rose, is that why you don't trust men now?  You turned down his twin and came back, to your family, did you not?"

"Not exactly, his twin didn't really want me because he thought I wanted the other one.  My mum and my other friend Mickey were with me, Mickey chose to stay and he went off before it all happened.  Alec, we didn't use one of the devices we had for crossing dimensions when we came back, we were brought back."

Alec tried to prop himself up, a smile on his face.

"How did you get back Rose?  Who was your friend and how did he discover he had a twin?  I think you had better explain because I think that friend of yours wasn't quite Human, was he?  How did he suddenly gain a twin?"

"Alec, he was a time traveller, he was a Timelord, with the capacity to change if he was injured or dying but something happened and when I was with him before, he'd got into a sword fight, lost his hand and someone we used to know had found it and given him it back.  Alec, those Daleks, well they took his time machine with a friend inside, she touched that hand and another of him grew out of it."

Rose looked at him, his arms behind his head as he was propped on the pillow.

"This is getting better.  So he had a time machine eh?  It's all true then, time travel was real?  Rose, you have no idea how many comics I used to read when I was a boy.  You travelled with him?"

"Yeah and we came here by accident once before, we met Pete and saved him from the Cybermen but we couldn't save his wife.  Then he came to our world when the Cybermen invaded and he met my mum.  Never mind that for now Alec.  The thing was, mum and me were brought back here, I wanted to stay with him but he thought I'd settle for his twin, who was part human."

"Then why is he not here or did he go off?  You said about it before Rose and you meant his twin, did you not?"

"His twin didn't want to stay, not even for me.  They both went off, back to my old world while there was still time.  I never really wanted anyone else to let me down like that again.  I would have settled for his twin, he had all the memories of when we were together."

Alec was about to reply when his phone rang.  He squinted at the screen, seeing 'Miller' as the caller and felt like ignoring it on a Sunday morning.  Rose decided to get out of bed, if he couldn't accept what she'd told him, it was best she was dressed as she gathered her clothes and clean underwear and went off to the bathroom, glad she was still in possession of her underwear.

"What do you want Miller?" he asked as it was only just after eight and things were getting interesting about this parallel world Rose came from.

"I don't like being bothered at this time either – Sir," Ellie complained as her youngest was awake and scrambling to get to her as he'd been brought in by her husband.  "I just got a call, someone walked into the station claiming they had information about what happened to Danny."

"Then deal with it Miller," Alec replied, annoyed Rose had gone off to get changed but in view of what had just been said, he could understand she probably thought he was going to say she was crazy.

"Sir, I would but the person asked for you, they insisted they only told you."

"Who would be asking for me?" Alec asked her.

"Sir, the man wouldn't give his name, he said you'd know who it was.  Is it the same person you talked about yesterday, the one from Sandbrook?" Ellie asked him as Fred crawled over to her.

"I expect so but why would he walk into the police station?  Meet me there in half an hour Miller and we'll find out what he wants."

"Sir, he said he'd only talk to you," Ellie reminded him.  "Why don't you get Rose to meet you?"

Then she wondered if the pair of them weren't already together in his or her room but Hardy wasn't likely to actually admit it.

"I'll go see what he wants but get yourself down there Miller, we thought he was up by the hut, he may be just trying to pin the blame on whoever else was there.  If he thinks I'm going to believe he had nothing to do with it, he can think again."

"What was all that about?" Rose asked as she came out of the bathroom and Alec was just putting a shirt on.  She couldn't resist going up to him and placing a  finger on his bare chest.

"Ashworth walked into the police station saying he had information.  Want to join me, though Miller probably already thinks we are together.  Rose, about what you said, I do not think you are crazy, I think your friend and his twin are the crazy ones for leaving you.  We can talk about it later, if you want?" he asked, trying to fasten his shirt buttons.

"There's nothing to talk about Alec, they're gone and that's it.  The devices we used don't work now, it was those Daleks that made it possible to go back, with what they were trying to do."

"What were they trying to do Rose?" he asked as he found his tie.  "You had best get changed or everyone will think you spent the night in my room," he smiled.

"Let them then.  Alec, the Daleks were trying to wipe out everything in every universe, parallel ones included that wasn't a Dalek.  Torchwood got signs something was going on, stars were going out, one by one in all the other universes, except ours and we don't know why it wasn't happening here except we're three years ahead of where I came from, it must have saved us."

"Well yes, that would explain it maybe?" Alec had to agree.  "I expect you stopped them then?"

"Yeah, we did but my friend's twin, he sort of wiped out the Daleks, with the exception of their crazy leader and one that had gone mad and he said his twin was dangerous, that's why he wanted him to stay here with me."

"Ah, then his twin thought he was being punished and you would not want him because he believed you thought the same?" Alec mused as he put his jacket on.  "Go get changed Rose while I call for a car to collect us."

"You want your officers knowing we left the hotel together?" Rose teased him.

"They had best get used to it but think about what I said Rose, it was not your fault he did not feel he could stay with you.  Have you forgiven both of them?"

"No, they both left me Alec, what do ya think?" Rose asked him, wishing she'd never told him now.  "His twin could have stayed, if he'd wanted but he chose to leave – again.  Alec, when the Cybermen were being got rid of in my world, I almost followed them by accident but Pete brought me here and I blamed my friend because he didn't try to come after me, it was me who went to find him.  All I got was a hologram through a tiny crack between our worlds."

"Rose, I know you blame him but look, I'm here, I am not going anywhere and if you think Torchwood can help me with my heart problem, I will give it a try, just for you.  I want to prove that not every man uses you or leaves you."

"I know Alec.  I'd best get changed then or should I just let them talk about me?" Rose managed to smile.

Alec called for a car to be outside the hotel in ten minutes then wondered what the hell two identical twins were doing leaving her behind, this time out of choice.  Well neither of them deserved her, that he was sure of but did he know all the facts?  Would she tell him the rest?

Down at the police station, Lee Ashworth was waiting not so patiently as he'd got on his motorbike at seven thirty, had rode up from where he was staying then walked into the place and asked for Hardy and was being kept waiting while Alec was summoned. 

"So, why is the station so empty if there's a murder investigation going on?" Ashworth asked the desk sergeant.

"A lot goes on behind the scenes Sir," Bob replied, wishing he'd not volunteered to work last night and waiting for his replacement to arrive.

"I suppose so?  What's taking Hardy so long then?"

"Sir, I had to call his DS first, it's protocol, she decides if she rings him for him to come himself.  Anyone can just walk in and say they have information and you won't give your name," Bob reminded him.

Ashworth thought if the man had followed the Sandbrook case, he'd already know who he was.  Rose had got changed and Alec was now helping her into the back of the police car, it being the same driver as the day before, who was trying to hide a smile the DI was fussing over Rose Tyler.

Lee Ashworth got up as the door opened, expecting to see the DI who had hounded him before.  He'd not been quite ready to admit what he'd seen that night but upon consideration, he thought he would get it over with and pin the blame on the other person who had been up on that cliff.

He was about to ask what had taken so long when he heard a female voice telling Alec they should go get some breakfast afterwards.  Who was Hardy hooked up with?  He'd always half suspected the DI had been interested in Claire and when she'd disappeared at the same time, it had seemed even more likely.

He wasn't though expecting Rose to walk in, closely followed by Alec who was replying they would find somewhere that was open to get breakfast.

"About time you got here Hardy but what is she doing here?" Ashworth asked him.

That was it now, he knew that besides being the Vitex heiress, Rose Tyler was a top agent with the agency known as Torchwood so all he could do was try to play the innocent husband who wanted his wife back and to admit he'd chosen the cliff where the boy had been at random and the boy had run off after being chased by the man he was with.

He just hoped Hardy would believe him but would Rose Tyler, as she stared at him, probably for interrupting her screwing the detective.

Chapter 6
Rose had stayed quiet during the short journey to meet Lee Ashworth although she thought the driver would be getting used to them, it being the same one as before.

"What's your name then?" she'd asked the officer.

The driver glanced through the mirror, surprised Hardy had chosen to sit with her again.  

"It's Daly, Miss Tyler."

"Yeah, seems like you're becoming our regular driver, we'll ask for ya next time," Rose laughed, getting a look from Alec, who didn’t want to get too friendly with anyone, since Tess had betrayed him and most of his old station had talked about it behind his back.

"I'm sure he has other things to do Rose," Alec had told her.

So now, they were about to walk into the station, Alec not bothering to wait for his DS.  When Ashworth asked what Rose was doing there, he knew he had Ashworth spooked.

"Miss Tyler is an advisor to the police," Alec replied, not that he'd cleared it with his chief yet but she'd get to know about it sooner or later.

"Need some outside help?" Ashworth joked.  "So do you want to hear why I bothered the two of you on a Sunday morning?  I'll tell you what I saw the night that boy died and you tell me where Claire is."

"No Ashworth, it does not work like that.  We'll go to the interview room when my DS arrives.  What were you doing up by that hut?"

"Who said anything about being outside a hut?" Ashworth replied smugly.

"Got a motorbike?" Alec asked him.

"What if I have?"

"We found tyre tracks near the hut on Briar cliff.  If we match them with your motorbike, that's all the proof I need so stop wasting my time."

Ellie chose that moment to come through the door, seeing Alec and Ashworth face to face and Rose standing there looking amused.  She thought it was a safe bet the two of them had arrived together.

"Are you his DS then?" Ashworth asked Ellie, who didn't find it amusing, unlike Rose.

"Sir, we should take this to the interview room," Ellie reminded Alec.

They all went off, Ashworth first, followed by Ellie, then Rose, Rose holding Alec up.

"Sure this is a good idea?" Rose asked him.

"We can find out what he claims to know, he will trip himself up, trust me."

"Are ya gonna tell him where is wife is?"

"Should I?  No, not yet but she should know he's around.  Rose, I still want you to make friends with her."

Rose shivered at the thought.

"I'm not keen on it," Rose tried to smile as they followed Ellie into the interview room.

Ellie switched on the recording equipment, not happy at sitting next to Ashworth but it seemed Rose Tyler thought she had the right to sit next to Hardy.

"So, tell us what you saw that night," Alec started the interview.

"Okay, I was on top of a cliff and near a hut.  There were two cars, someone was waiting and got into another car.  Then another one arrived and went around the back of the hut.  A man came around to the front, a young boy was with him and they went inside."

"Go on," Alec encouraged him, since they had already guessed Danny had been meeting someone.  "What did this man look like?"

"It was dark but I'd say the man was around his late thirties, wearing a black jacket.  They went inside but not long after, the boy came running out and the man was shouting come back Danny."

"Was the man still wearing his jacket?" Rose wondered, Alec thinking that was a good question.

Ashworth shook his head.

"I want something in return for this, Hardy.  No, the man had a t-shirt on, there was light coming from the hut, it was dark blue.  The boy ran near the edge of the cliff and the man shouted for him to step away.   I was a bit further down the slope, he wouldn't have known I was there.  I didn't hear what else was said but the man walked away."

That was as far as he was going with the truth.  Now was his chance to pin the blame on the other man.  Everything now depended on Hardy believing his version of what happened and while the detective may go for it, would Rose Tyler?

Everyone who read a newspaper knew of her rise to fame after her mother's marriage to the Vitex chairman and head of Torchwood, since it had come out of hiding after those metal monsters had gone off somewhere else.  She was supposed to be an expert in aliens though so what was she doing here, well besides probably screwing Hardy.

He'd suspected Claire fancied the detective and when she'd turned on him, he was pretty sure about it but he'd no proof.  Then the two of them had disappeared, so where had he stashed her?

"What happened next?" Ellie asked, since Alec was writing something down.

"The boy went back inside," Ashworth lied, to cover the fact Danny had spotted him.  "Around five minutes later, the man came rushing out and went around the back of the hut.  Doesn't it have a back door?"

"Whoever it was probably didn't have the back door key," Rose offered.

Ellie thought that was rather obvious but didn't dare say anything.

"Back to the point Ashworth," Alec replied wearily, since he'd been about to learn more about time travel plus Rose hadn't objected to the idea of him ridding her of her skimpy panties.

"The man came back with something and went back inside.  Then he came out, carrying the boy," he lied again, having had time to think about this and it was close to what he'd done with Pippa. 

"Where were you when this took place?" Alec wondered, thinking Ashworth would have been seen at this point.

"Didn't I already say?  I was trying to look through the window but when the door opened again and the man was carrying the boy, I hid around the side of the hut.  He walked off towards the path, I don't know if he saw my bike or not."

"So when you say he was carrying the boy, was the boy showing any signs of moving?" Alec wanted to know.

Ashworth thought back again to when he carried Pippa out to the car.

"No, the boy wasn't moving.  About half an hour later, he came back, since he'd left the door open.  I was at the other side of my bike."

He wondered if anyone believed him, this was getting more complicated than he'd thought.  Alec though wasn't so sure and he bet neither was Rose.  For now though, he had no proof unless the other person could be identified.

"So, this man carried Danny out and down a path?" Alec asked to make sure.

He knew Danny had been struck with an oar so how could the boy have been hit with it inside the hut?  He wasn't going to mention that to Ashworth though, the oar was still being tested and the other man's fingerprints being identified, since they so far didn't match any on record.

"What did he look like?" Alec asked again.  "Did he have short hair, long hair, no hair," he added.

"He didn't have much hair, come to think of it," Ashworth laughed.

Ellie looked up.  It sounded like Nigel Carter

"Are we finished ?" Ashworth asked Alec.

"For now.  Did you walk down that path to the beach below?"

"No, why would I?" Ashworth asked.

Alec already thought Ashworth was going to deny it.

"You can go for now but don't leave the area," Alec warned him.

"Why would I?  I came looking for Claire," Ashworth replied as Ellie ended the recording, wondering why Hardy had dragged her out, just because she'd disturbed him.  "I know you're hiding her.  Tell her I want to see her."

"What makes you think I am hiding her?" Alec asked him as he got up – slowly.

"Don't make me laugh Hardy, you both left Sandbrook at the same time," Ashworth reminded him.

"That doesn't mean anything," Rose joined in.

"So, he brought Claire nearby and ditched her for you, did he?" Ashworth replied.  "Does Claire know?" he grinned, getting up.  "You got her to turn on me Hardy."

"You want her back?" Alec asked him, putting his pen and notebook away.

"Tell me where she is," Ashworth insisted.

"Not until I ask her if she wants to see you," Alec relented.  "Rose, it would be better coming from you."

Rose wondered why he was making her do it but Claire might be more agreeable.

"Yeah, okay then.  If she turned on you, why do ya want to see her?" Rose asked.

"Does it matter?" Ashworth snapped.  "Just tell her I want to meet with her."

With that, Ashworth walked towards the door.

"Just one thing Ashworth," Alec called out to him, trying not to turn fast and have a dizzy spell.  "Are you willing to give a DNA sample?  We are asking all males to give one."

"Don't you have one from before or did that get lost as well?" Ashworth joked.  "What do you want one for?"

"To eliminate you from the investigation," Alec replied, though it was more like to prove he was the one who carried Danny down the cliff path. 

"I'll think about it," Ashworth replied.  

Rose and Ellie had stayed where they were so Alec sat back down as the officer outside escorted Ashworth back to the reception area.

"Do ya believe him?" Rose asked Alec and Ellie.

"Sir, the other man could have been Nigel Carter," Ellie told him.

"Who's he?" Rose asked, feeing hungry.

"He works with Mark Latimer," Ellie replied.

"It does not matter, until we get prints back to prove who else was in that hut.  Miller, organise more fingerprints to be taken, get some officers onto it.  Anyone who knew Danny, even if he only delivered papers to them.  Ashworth's description though can rule some men out."

"It was dark though, he could have been mistaken," Rose reminded him.

"No, I think he saw who was with Danny but did whoever it was really go out and went back, after Danny ran off?"

"Maybe only to cover they'd been up there," Ellie suggested, wanting to go home but now, Hardy had her doing something else.

She went back up to their office to make a start but she wasn't happy about it, her own husband didn't have much hair and when Hardy asked if she knew where Joe was that night, she'd been asleep.  She knew she'd nothing to worry about though.

As Rose and Alec went off to find something to eat, Lee Ashworth had got on his bike but saw them come out of the station, arm in arm.  Why should Hardy get another woman when he'd lost Claire?  He didn't think they would contact Claire today so he decided he'd just go to one of the catering stalls and get some breakfast then head back to the farm he'd been staying on.

Olly Stevens was down by the harbour, seeing what was going on.  It was now after nine and as Ashworth parked his bike with all the others outside a pub just by the river, Olly was certain he recognised the man going to a stall just on the corner.  He waited until Lee went back to his bike and leaned against it.

"Are you Lee Ashworth?" Olly dared to ask.

Ashworth was wondering who could possibly recognise him.

"What do you want to know for?" he asked as he opened the carton he was holding, a plastic fork in his other hand.

Olly got out his press badge he had hung around his neck, that was under his jacket.

"Olly Stevens, Broadchurch Echo.  What are you doing in town?"

"Go away," Ashworth told him, trying to ignore the reporter.

"I think readers have a right to know, when you were set free," Olly replied.

Ashworth stood up, closing the carton and putting it on the seat of the bike, since the seagulls were gathering on a nearby wall.

"I'm warning you, now go away, there's nothing your readers need to know.  Go bother someone else."

"Oh, I don't know, I think they'll find it interesting.  How long are you here for?" Olly insisted.

Ashworth looked around.  There were too many people, for a town that was the subject of a murder investigation.

"I won't tell you again.  Now leave, while you still can."

Olly wasn't going to be deterred.  Ashworth couldn't stop him from a story that was of the public's interest, people deserved to know an alleged child killer was in town – when a young boy had been killed.  He could see the headline now.  He couldn't wait until the next morning to tell Maggie, now he had a story to compose before then and have it all ready for her approval – 'Man accused of Sandbrook killing in local area'.

If that didn't boost sales, nothing would and neither his aunt or the disagreeable new DI could object.

Rose and Alec were sitting in the harbour café, just across the harbour from the police station, Rose looking out of the window.

"Alec, I was thinking of renting somewhere, want to share?"

"Around here?  I suppose it would be nearer?" Alec mused over his breakfast.

He figured until he got himself fixed, he was safer sticking with her, plus he wanted to know more about how two men had left her.  All the times as a boy he'd read about going to different dimensions but now, Rose was back where she belonged, well her adopted world, since she'd said there was no longer a way back.

"We could go see about a caravan," she suggested, since they'd passed the campsite entrance.  "I bet they had a load of cancellations."

"Rose, it's not a good idea.  I came here as a boy, we camped on top of one of those cliffs."

"You came all the way here on holiday?" Rose asked him as she turned back, certain she'd just seen Lee Ashworth talking to someone.

"When I arrived here, it freaked me out because I could never remember the name of the place.  I used to hide under those cliffs to get away from my parents arguing."

"Alec, the caravans will be different from when you were last here.  We could go over and ask?  It'll get us out of the hotel, did ya see how the owner looked at us?"

"I was taking no notice," Alec replied, thinking she'd talk him into it anyway.  

He realised he needed her now, what were the chances she'd choose to come to the town and offer to help him?

That got him a smile from Rose.

"Yeah, 'course not.  She was probably wishing she'd asked to spend some time with you when you arrived."

"Who says she never tried?" he replied, raising his eyebrow.

"That could have been embarrassing?  I mean if it didn't work out?" Rose tried not to laugh but failed.

"Thank you for that.  Who says I did not consider it until you came along?  You never objected last night."

"I told ya, I was worried about you.  You never objected either."

Alec just pulled a face.  She had already got to him and he knew it and that he'd agree to anything she asked.  They finished in the café and walked across to the caravan park, Rose asking about an extra large model caravan with a full kitchen so she could do her laundry.

The woman recognised her and Alec knew that was going to happen everywhere they went so he had to get used to it.  The woman on reception showed them a few models and Rose settled on a new model, not caring how much it cost.

"How long are you wanting it for?" the woman asked her, since Alec was staying out of it.

Rose thought about it – Alec was feeling left out so she nudged him.

"What do ya think?  Are the police paying for your hotel room?"

"Yes, though how long for, I have no idea.  What are you getting at?"

Rose figured he was a man who paid his own way.

"Well, get that allowance changed to a caravan and I'll pay the rest," Rose suggested.  "Can we do that?" she asked the woman, who was looking pleased since they'd had a lot of cancellations.

"We're always happy to work with the police.  We can contact your personnel department for them to apply your living allowance then charge the rest to Miss Tyler."

"Yeah, well about that.  Just send it to the accounts department at Torchwood, mark it for the attention of Jake Simmonds.  So, when can we move in?  We'll want it for a few weeks."

Alec thought he might have known she would charge it to Torchwood.

"You can collect the keys after four tomorrow, we'll sort it all out in the morning for you.  We'll make it available for as long as you need it, it's a private one anyway.  Anything else we can do for you?"

Rose then dragged Alec across the road to sit on the wall.

"Are you going to take charge of everything?" he asked her when she'd been for some more drinks.

"Sorry, I'm just used to it.  Anyway, that's all sorted now and if your chief doesn't agree to me working with you, I can always use the pass for the swimming pool," Rose smiled.

"I can't see her objecting if it costs nothing.  We'll go see her first thing but there will be a lot of new arrivals tomorrow, she may see no need."

"Well she'll accept a mobile lab but where can they base it?"

Alec was sure she'd asked him that before.

"Miller is the best person to ask.  Try calling her."

Alec pressed Ellie's number, though Ellie was about to go home and scowled when she saw his name.

"I was about to go home – Sir," Ellie answered.

"Hi Ellie, sorry, it's Rose."

"Sorry Rose, I'm not used to working on a Sunday."

"Never mind.  If your chief agrees to getting help from Torchwood, where's the best place to park a mobile lab and possibly a mobile base?"

"They'd be best contacting someone on the council who deals with parking.  There's the old station car park on the way out of the harbour area, I expect they could close it off or at least part of it.  You were told we had extra staff coming in tomorrow?"

"Yeah, I was just told.  Still, you're not getting extra labs are you?" Rose replied.

"Well no and now we have two new areas of interest, Brian's not too happy about it, he complained when I left yesterday."

Brian Young had caught Ellie before she had left the day before.

"What's going on Ellie?" she'd been asked.

"All I know is that Danny may have been in here, ran away and down to the boatyard," Ellie had told him.  "We've got officers searching down there for what might have killed him.  You may be getting some extra help if the chief agrees."

"Then what was Rose Tyler doing here with the new DI?  Is he letting Torchwood take over or is she his latest girlfriend?" Brian had joked, thinking that was very unlikely.

"All you need to know is Hardy says she's consulting on the case," she had replied.

Ellie was now about to leave for home when Brian came along.

"We're getting nowhere up at the hut Ellie," he told her as Ellie got up.

"Well, if Hardy has his way, he'll bring in every male in the town and fingerprint them.  We need to find out who was up there with Danny."

"I know that Ellie but he's going to ruffle a few feathers in the process," Brian replied.  "Need a ride home?"

Ellie looked at him.  "I've got a car, thanks, Brian," she replied, wondering why he'd asked.

"Well I thought you might have got a lift here or did Hardy have you working early?"

"We had someone to interview, it couldn't wait, apparently.   I'm going home to see my two boys before Hardy finds me something else to do."

She had hoped now her annoying boss had taken up with Rose Tyler, he'd have left her alone on a Sunday but Lee Ashworth had already spoiled that.  Ashworth was a cool customer, very sure of himself.  No wonder he'd got away with it back in Sandbrook and was out to get his revenge on Hardy.

She could already see there was going to be trouble between the two of them, they would be trying to get the better of each other and she hoped Rose knew what she was getting into.

Lee Ashworth had gone back to what was his temporary base, an abandoned barn but as he stood by his bike looking across the fields, he wondered if he should take a walk and see where Hardy had been likely to hide Claire.  He knew now that following the detective would only make Hardy more suspicious and he'd not reckoned the man had brought Rose Tyler into the investigation.

He knew what Torchwood did – they played with your mind and he been surprised she'd not already started – or had she?  He was determined she was not going to get in his head but he had to be careful now in case she already suspected he'd made some things up.

Now he knew it had been a big mistake admitting he'd been at the scene and had to make up something on the spur of the moment to make it look like the other man there had been responsible.  Surely there couldn't be that many men with hardly any hair who knew the boy?

Since there wasn't much they could do until Rose got permission from Alec's chief, they went back to the hotel for Rose to call her stepfather.

"So, you want us to get involved then?" Pete asked her when he'd got his phone back off her mother.  "Rose, we need a good reason."

"I know Dad but they have three scenes to investigate, can you at least send a mobile lab?  We have an idea who's responsible, someone from Alec's last big case."

"The one from Sandbrook, he's there?" Pete asked as Tony tugged at him to say hello to his sister.

"Yeah and he admitted he was at the scene where Danny was but we already guessed he was there.  We just need to find whoever took Danny up there.  Alec's DS is organising bringing people in for fingerprinting but we may have narrowed it down a bit.  So, what about a bit of help?"

"Rose, I'll have to consider it, you know that?  We're always willing to help the police but where would we put a mobile unit?"

"Alec's DS says ask the council if ya can use the station car park.  I need to ask you something else Dad.  Alec needs medical help, he's hiding something from his boss."

Pete thought he might have known Rose would find someone to look after.

"So you want a medical unit as well then?  We may as well send a mobile ops centre, you can use it as an office.  Leave it with me then.  Are you staying in that hotel?" Pete asked her.

Rose explained they'd been to see about a caravan and gave him the details to pass onto Jake.  Pete ended the call and rang Jake, who was amused.

"Want me to go down?" Jake asked him.

"Not yet Jake, get something organised in the way of a lab and call the council tomorrow when Rose gets the go-ahead.  Look up Lee Ashworth from the Sandbrook case, Rose says they think he's involved and he could have killed the boy."

"Seriously?  Why don't they arrest him then?" Jake wanted to know.

"They've not got enough evidence yet Jake.  Rose said they think Ashworth followed Alec to Broadchurch, hoping he would lead him to his wife.  Rose says Alec hid her nearby but then Danny recognised him and Ashworth didn't want to boy telling anyone he was in town, especially Alec.  She never said anything else."

"I read what happened Pete, that man should never have walked free.  It never said who lost the evidence."

"No doubt Rose will find out," Pete laughed.

"Yeah, she'll have practised her interrogation skills on him," Jake agreed.

"I'm sure she will have Jake but I'm not sure her working with him is a good idea.  She lost the Doctor and his twin, did she ever get over it?" Pete asked him.

"She never says anything Pete.  Maybe Alec Hardy's what she needs though?  He's fresh from that bloke walking free of at least one crime, now he might be responsible for another and if Rose is there to help him?"

"Yeah, sounds like it's just what he needs – someone on his side.  Make all the arrangements Jake and she's moving out of the hotel, make sure everything's paid."

"Yeah, will do Pete.  Bet she's found an expensive rental apartment?" Jake laughed.

"No, she found an expensive caravan," Pete also laughed.

After relaxing the rest of the day, Rose took some of her things to Alec's room after dinner and Alec wanted to know more about where she had come from.  Rose explained how she had escape the basement of the store she had worked in before the place got blown up and how she went off with the first Doctor she met.

"So you could not resist?" Alec asked as they lay on top of the bed.

"Well, I turned him down at first but he came back.  Then I found out I was the first one he'd asked twice.  Alec, he looked different when I first met him, I made him change.  He said Timelords have this trick of cheating death, they can change.  I stood there, just watching and didn't believe it was still him.  Remember the stars were going out, a few years ago?"

"Yes Rose, I remember, what was all that about?  The police were never told."

"Me and a friend of mine went to find out but my mother insisted on following when my friend joined me.  That's when the Doctor's twin was created.  It's difficult to explain."

"Yes, I can imagine Rose but I would still like to know.  You mentioned something about this twin growing out of the Doctor's spare hand?  How did he have a spare hand?"

"When he was regenerating, well it was Christmas and this big spaceship was hovering over London and we got transported onboard.  The Doctor challenged their leader to a sword fight, for the planet, his hand got cut off but he managed to grow another one.  His other one fell to Earth and an old friend found it at preserved it.  He got it back eventually and his twin grew out of it when Donna touched the container.  Alec, his twin was only part Timelord, he could have stayed here if he'd wanted to."

"Yes, I get the picture Rose.  He never thought he was what you wanted, did he?  You may have wanted him to stay but he thought otherwise.  What did the Doctor say to him?"

"Alec, his twin destroyed a race of beings call Daleks, he wiped them out before they wiped us out, that was what was going on, they had this device that when activated would wipe out all matter across the universe and every alternate universe."

"So why was the Doctor annoyed with his twin if he stopped them?" Alec wanted to know.

"I don't know Alec, he just was.  The Doctor always gave everyone a choice to stop what they were doing, his twin just did it but they wouldn't have stopped, their leader was too egotistical to agree, he was mad.  So, I didn't agree with his twin being accused of anything but I never said so to him but I bet he noticed."

"Well, I don't get his twin wanted to go back with him, if he'd been accused of something.  Was he punishing himself?"

"I don't know Alec but when he got created, well Donna became a part Timelord or Timelady as well.  Maybe he wanted to make sure she was okay?  He could have stayed with me though, after I went to find him."

"You are never going to understand why he chose to leave Rose," Alec told her, putting his arm around her.

"I spent all that time Alec, hoping to get him back.  Why would his twin think that?"

Alec knew he had no easy answers for her, both of these Doctors had chosen to leave her and only they knew why.  Maybe they both thought they did not deserve her.  Rose went off to the bathroom to wipe the tears from her eyes and to get ready for bed.  They made some progress when Rose got in beside Alec, though Rose was ready to get him some help if he got too carried away, since he got her to part with her skimpy underwear.

Early the next morning, Lee Ashworth was planning what his next move was.  He'd wandered across the fields and came to a ridge, seeing a row of thatched cottages in the distance and wondering if that was where Claire was hiding out.  It stood to reason Hardy would want her close by but not too near and somewhere remote.

Maybe he should move a bit nearer and see if he could spot her or Hardy going in or out?  Maybe now Hardy was screwing Rose Tyler, Claire would be on her own.

Over breakfast, Rose and Alec were discussing how they would get his chief to agree to getting help from Torchwood and if it was a good idea for Rose to get to know Claire.

"Rose, you need to know that Claire Ripley as she likes to be known as is unstable.  She lied where she was the night Pippa and her cousin went missing and she has a temper."

"Then she needs someone who's not in the police Alec.  She may tell me more."

"Yes and when she finds out you told me or that we are involved, she will turn on you.  Maybe getting Miller to make friends with her is a better idea?"

"You won't get Ellie to agree to that," Rose replied.

"Then you can persuade her," Alec suggested.

"No way Alec, she won't agree if I ask her," Rose protested.  "Well, take me to meet Claire, see how it goes.  She might not guess we're involved.  Best hope we don't make the front page of the local paper then?"

"She will know who you are Rose.  I will take you after you meet with my chief.  Will your stepfather call her first?" Alec wondered.

"Yeah, I think he will Alec, it usually helps if he offers some help.  I have to ask him again if there's anything we can help you with as well.  If your chief agrees and dad sends a lab down, he can get someone from medical.  Did I tell ya that at least two Torchwood employees look like people I met when I went back?  I nearly freaked out."

"I can imagine it felt like when I realised I had been here before."

"Yeah, that's really weird that you'd been here before Alec.  When I saw them, I couldn’t say anything though.  Actually, one of them might come down to see you, she's a junior doctor and she has access to all sorts of things.  Maybe she'll know what can help you?"

"Then I will agree to go see her.  If your lab parks in that car park, I will have an excuse to visit."

As they finished breakfast and Alec called for a car to take them to the police station, Rose laughing and saying they could walk, Pete was already on the phone to Elaine Jenkinson, Alec's boss.

"You make a very generous offer Mr Tyler," Elaine was telling him.  "So, you have an agent in the town?"

"Yes, my stepdaughter is already there, she was supposed to be taking some time off though but she is keen to help in any way she can.  I believe she has already met Alec Hardy, she never went into any details though.  I can have a lab and a base sent down there by late afternoon, your own crime unit can have access and work with our people."

Pete thought it was best for Torchwood not to take over completely.  If it worked there, that could encourage other police forces to do the same.  So when Alec knocked on the chief's door, she had plenty to say to him as Rose waited outside.

"Well ask her to come in," the chief told him.  "I heard she's already been helping you?  Did you know what you were doing by finding two other possible crime scenes?"

"I'm not to blame.  Trust me, there is a reason and Miss Tyler getting involved gets you some help at no cost to you.  We have reason to believe that the suspect from my old case in Sandbrook, Lee Ashworth is responsible for the death of Danny Latimer."

Chapter 7
"What?" the chief asked him in disbelief.  "Why are you dragging him into it?  Really Alec, have you no other suspects?  Do you think it's him or is it all Miss Tyler's idea?"

"We both think it's him.   He may have got away before but we think he came back to look for his wife."

"Why would he come looking here Alec?  You didn't bring her here did you?"  She saw the look on his face.  "Tell me she's not living with you?"

"No, of course not but she's nearby.  I wanted to keep an eye on her, to see if he contacted her."

"Well it looks like you got what you wanted then?  Now we have the main suspect from your old case in town and the press will have a field day with it.  Well, I suppose I can see why he'd be of interest but why would he kill Danny?" the chief wanted to know.

"We think he was up near the hut, Danny ran off from someone we have yet to identify and recognised Ashworth.  We then think Ashworth chased the boy down to the boat yard and hit him with an oar.   We are testing the oar for Ashworth's fingerprints but he may have wiped them off, we found a cloth halfway down the path but there was still blood on the oar."

"Well, we'll have to wait and see.  We need to find the other person Danny was with.  How is that going?" the chief asked him.

"Slowly, it was the weekend.  That's why Miss Tyler offered Torchwood's help.  They can have a mobile lab here and take the pressure off."

"Yes, well Mr Tyler has already contacted me, he's making all the arrangements but let's hope this will be resolved quickly.  Ask Miss Tyler to come in then."

Alec opened the door and gestured for Rose to join him.  Alec did the introductions after offering Rose his chair.  The chief asked Rose if she would co-ordinate between the police and Torchwood.

"Yeah, I've done it before," Rose assured her.

"Well, the less disruption the better.  One thing though Miss Tyler, I will only allow you to work directly with us, I don't want Torchwood agents all over town asking questions.  I suggest you go around with DI Hardy and DS Miller.  Alec, I heard you've already interviewed a few people?"

"Yes but I am now waiting for more males to be fingerprinted, so we can find the person who lured Danny up there that night.  I have Mark Latimer coming in later to answer a few questions."

"Really Alec, can't that be done at his home?" the chief asked.

"We went to his home, he was refusing to give some answers, ask Miss Tyler.   We have him on a recording, waiting up by the hut before another car arrived and he went off.  The tape ran out so we don't know when he got back.  I've also already interviewed Lee Ashworth over it."

"Why didn't you say so?" the chief wanted to know.

Rose had to smile.  Alec was testing his new chief to see how far she'd let him go.

"He came in of his own accord and tried to pin the blame on the other person with Danny.  It's imperative we identify this other person, Ashworth said Danny came running out of the hut.  He said it was too dark to see whoever it was but I think he's holding back."

"Yeah, I thought so too," Rose agreed.  "He wants to know where his wife is in exchange."

"Well, are you going to tell him?" the chief asked.

"When I've asked her if she wants to see him.  Rose is going to make friends with her."

Rose still hadn't decided if it was a good idea or not.  If it helped move the investigation along though?

"Well, if it helps?" Rose wondered out loud.

"Alec, you are trying to run two investigations and three crime scenes," the chief reminded him.

"He doesn't have to, he's got me," Rose replied for him.  "First, we find who killed Danny.  If it was Lee Ashworth, like we suspect, then let's tell him where his wife is.  I can talk her into seeing him."

Alec wondered how she was so confident.  This could be the big difference between the two investigations.

"I should go check if we got any results back from the oar that was used," Alec told the chief.

He wasn't looking forward to meeting Brian again.  He and Rose said goodbye to the chief and went up to his office.  They were just passing the one next to it when Brian called after him.

"You wanted some results?" Brian asked him, seeing the DI still had the blonde in tow.

"Yes.  What have you found?  Tell me whose fingerprints were on that oar."

Rose followed them into the office, Alec allowing her to sit down and standing behind the chair.

"We only got partial fingerprints from the oar, not enough for a positive match but the blood was Danny's.  Whoever hit him probably wiped their prints with that cloth that was found but we got nothing from that."

"So has the boat used to move Danny been found?" Rose asked.

Brian looked up at Alec.

"You can answer her, she's consulting on the case."

"No, not yet but there were signs a chain was cut where there was a row of small boats.  Sir, we need more fingerprint samples if we're to identify who was in the hut."

"Yes, we are working on it.  If you get any more information, let us know.  Come on Rose, we have Mark Latimer to interview.  You will be getting extra help later, you've heard of Torchwood?" Alec asked Brian as he held Rose's chair for her.

"I know who she is," Brian nodded towards Rose.  "Are they taking over?"

"Not exactly," Rose replied.  "We're here to offer all the help we can to catch whoever killed Danny.  Brian is it?  I've got a younger brother, I know how the Latimers feel.  Let's go," she turned to Alec.

Mark Latimer was waiting downstairs for them, talking to Ellie, who had been informed of his arrival.

"This is a waste of time Ellie," Mark was telling her.  "Why aren't you finding the person who killed my Danny?"

"We are Mark, we've had new information early yesterday morning, we're working hard to get the person responsible.  Just answer the questions DI Hardy has for you.  Why are you here anyway?"

"Your boss didn't believe what I had to say about where I was."

"Mark, we saw you waiting for someone that night, just a few yards from where Danny had been.  Just tell us who it was."

"Does it matter Ellie?  I really don't remember with all this going on, I can't think straight any more, we can't even make any arrangements, how's that fair?"

"It's not Mark but you've had all weekend to remember, that's why he gave you time probably.  We've got extra help in now, I can tell you that much."

"You mean that Rose Tyler?  What's so special about her, except she's got a rich stepfather and she's in the papers all the time with a new boyfriend?"

Ellie wondered how Hardy was going to cope with the fact he seemed to be her latest one?  It wouldn't take long for Olly to disobey any warnings he'd had to stay away from the pair of them.

"That's beside the point Mark, she's a top agent and she's here to help.  We should go to the interview room, they were just talking to forensics, they may have some more news," she suggested.

Rose and Alec were talking on the way down, Rose questioning if he should be taking the stairs.

"Rose, get one thing straight, I have to act normally or people will begin to suspect there is something wrong with me.  I did not ask to come here to find myself investigating another murder.  I know you are here to help, that is going to make a big difference."

Rose was glad he felt that way.

"Alec, no-one but my stepfather knows about you, anyone who he sends down here will keep quiet, they answer to him, not your chief.  So, what do ya think Mark Latimer's hiding?" she asked as they emerged into reception.

"Sir," the desk sergeant called over to Alec.  "DS Miller's taken Mr Latimer to interview room one.  I have a pile of message here for you as well."

"Then send them upstairs and have someone go through them," Alec replied, thinking they were disorganised.  "What are they still doing on your desk?"

Alec went off, leaving Rose to shrug her shoulders.

"Come on Rose," he called after her as he was halfway down the corridor.

He waited outside the interview room door for her.

"What do ya think he's come up with over the weekend?" Rose wondered.

"Hopefully he'll remember who he was with," Alec replied as he opened the door.

Ellie got up and went to sit next to Mark, since Rose had a habit of sitting next to Hardy.

"I was with Nigel Carter," Mark spoke up as Ellie started the tape.

"So, you could not remember the name of the person you work with?" Alec asked him.  "Where did you go?"

"Just around, then to the pub, down by the harbour.   What's this all about?"

"This is about where everyone was on the night your son died.  Wait here while we check it out," Alec told him, getting up then helping Rose.  "Why could you not have told us that the other day?"

"I told you, everything's mixed up.  The call-out was the night before."

Rose thought she needed to keep up.

"Come on Miller, we are going to check with Nigel Carter," Alec told her, opening the door for Rose.

Once in the corridor, Alec turned to Ellie.

"After we see Nigel Carter, I'm going to take Rose to meet Claire Ripley.  If she agrees to see her estranged husband, he may tell us more of what he claims to have seen that night."

"Do ya believe what he told ya?" Rose asked.

"Not all of it.  Do you?" Ellie replied as Alec's phone rang.

"It's Claire," he told them.

Claire Ripley, as she wanted to be known as had been looking out of the window and swore her husband was standing on the hillside but she supposed it could have been anyone – until she had a text message from an unknown number.

Alec answered his phone and Claire began telling him she was sure Lee had found her.

"Alec.  Why didn't you tell me Lee was in the area?" Claire panicked.

"Calm down Claire.  I only found out the other day and he has no reason to know where you are.  I'll be down later and I'm bringing help."

"What?  I don't want anyone else here Alec," Claire replied.

"Claire, it's someone who can help, trust me.  I have something to do first, we'll be down later.  Keep the door locked and don't answer any calls from unknown numbers."

"Alec, I had a message.  It said 'I'm close'.  It has to be Lee.  How did he get my number?"

Alec thought that was easy, since she didn't have an unlisted number.

"He is just guessing.  We'll be down as soon as we can."

"Who are you bringing Alec?" Claire wanted to know, going to the window again to see no-one was there.

"Someone you can trust Claire."

They got into Ellie's car and she took them to see Nigel Carter, whom Mark had decided that morning could provide him with an alibi while he'd been meeting Becca Fisher.  She'd hardly talked to him the last few days and to think he was going to maybe leave Beth for her.

After arriving at Nigel Carter's home and him making up a rubbish alibi for himself and Mark, Ellie remained at the station while Rose and Alec went to her car and he showed her the way to Claire's cottage.  Claire was out before Rose even put the brake on the car.

"What's she doing here?" Claire asked as she recognised Rose.  "Are you joking?"

"Claire, meet Rose Tyler.  We should go inside.

"Hi Claire, I'm here to help," Rose told her.

Claire was not looking happy as they went inside.

"What can she do?" Claire wanted to know.

"She knows why you're here," Alec replied.  "We believe Lee has some information we need, he wants to meet with you."

"What?" Claire asked in disbelief.  "Alec, I'm not ready to see him again, please don't make me."

"Claire, you'll be safe, we promise," Rose tried to tell her.  "You heard about that boy who was killed?" Claire nodded, eyeing Alec.  "Lee was near where Danny was killed, he told us some of what he saw but he said he'll only tell us the rest if he sees you.  Danny was with someone, Lee may be able to identify him."

Alec wondered if it was wise to tell Claire so much.

"Claire, you can help catch Danny's killer," Alec told her.

"Don't put that on me Alec.  Look what happened before."

"I know but we would not be asking you if it wasn’t important."

"I'll have to think about it, it's a lot to ask of me," Claire replied.

"We know Claire but if it wasn't important, we wouldn't be asking you.  Claire, we think he had something to do with the boy's death," Rose told her, looking at Alec.

"How can you be so sure?" Claire wanted to know.  "You were sure he killed Pippa," she reminded Alec.  "If that bitch of a wife of yours hadn't screwed it up, you would have proved it and I wouldn't be hiding from him.  Why does he even want to see me?"

"We don't know," Alec replied.  "We promise he won't hurt you Claire, like Rose says, it's important."

"I'll do it on the condition she's with me," Claire decided.  "I won't see him here though, I don't want him knowing where I live."

"We can see where you can meet him," Rose tried to assure her.  

That agreed, Rose and Alec left, Alec wanting to know where they could arrange the meeting.

"How about up at that hut?" Rose suggested as they got back in the car.  "You can get the keys back can't you?"

"They will have finished up there for now," Alec replied.  "It's not a good idea for you to go near him though, those two could be playing games."

"You think they've already made contact?" Rose wondered.

"I think he may have discovered roughly where Claire is living," he replied as they drove back up the narrow lane.  "He will not have been just waiting for me to admit I knew where she was.  He will have figured since we both left Sandbrook at the same time I was the one to hide her away."

"You were," Rose laughed as they headed back to the police station.

"Rose, it's not a good idea to take Ashworth and Claire to that hut."

"Well where else is there?  It's the best place Alec, we can't take them to the hotel.  We won't be there Alec, remember?  I'll drop you at the station and go see if I can get the keys early for the caravan.  What do ya think about taking them there?  It'll only be for half an hour or so, they can be in the living area and us in the bedroom."

Alec still wasn't happy about it though.

"No Rose, I don't want either of them knowing where we live, do you?"

"Oh, good point then.  Well we'd better think of somewhere, if we want Ashworth to talk.  Can't ya just arrest him on suspicion?"

"Rose, I tried that last time and he got away.  We have to be certain," he reminded her as Rose drove around the harbour.

"So, what are ya doing about Mark Latimer?" Rose asked him.

"Let him stew for a while until he comes to his senses.  He is lucky I never locked him up.  What is he hiding that is more important than finding out who killed his son?"

"Maybe that Nigel knows something?  Ellie may have got somewhere with him?" Rose wondered.

"Be serious Rose?  I bet Mark Latimer sent a text to him before his arrival asking Nigel to cover for him.  How can you forget the name of the person you were with a few nights ago?"

"I do it all the time," Rose smiled as she stopped in the lay-by opposite the police station.  "I'll text you with the caravan number, unless you want me to come back?"

"No love, you go get everything you can from the hotel, I will help you later.  Take my room key and get what you can of mine.  You can leave anything you are unsure of."

"That'll be most of it then.  I'll take the laundry though, may as well make a start with it.  Alec, I just thought.  Maybe Mark was meeting a woman?"

"Seriously?" Alec asked as he took the seatbelt off.

"Yeah, think about it.  Maybe he got tired of his home life and wanted a change?  That could explain his reluctance?  Can't ya get that recording enhanced to see who was in the other car or get a registration number?"

"Your experts would be better at doing that," Alec replied.  "Will they contact you when they arrive?"

"Yeah, someone will I suppose?  Actually, we can set up the meeting of Claire and Ashworth in one of the offices.  Alec, I have a feeling he won't wait for us to set something up, he'll be trying to find out where she is."

"Yes, I know.  Rose, that was the idea when I brought her nearby, that he would come looking for her.  If he killed Danny by accident or not, he is still responsible, if the intent was there he did not want anyone to know he was here."

"Yeah, well ya know now," Rose reminded him, hoping a traffic warden wouldn't creep up behind them, since she was on a double yellow line where there was a sign she couldn't quite make out.

"I will go find out what Miller has learned and see if Mark Latimer is tired of being in the interview room."

Rose kissed his cheek then went to turn around in one of the parking spaces around the corner and Alec went back inside, going to where Mark Latimer was.

"How is my being locked up helping you catch Danny's killer?" Mark wanted to know.

"Then tell me who you were with that night.  We've spoken to Nigel Carter, he's a bad liar and if you asked him to cover for you, you forgot about his mother.  Tell us who it was, it will be confidential."

Mark put his head in his hands then looked up.

"I don't want Beth to know, things are not so good, even worse when we found out about Danny.  I bet she thinks I had something to do with it, you bringing me in for questioning," Mark replied.

"I can keep you here for twenty four hours without charging you formally.  Do you want a solicitor?" Alec asked him, leaning on the desk.  Mark shook his head without looking up.  "Were you with a woman Mark?  It does not matter to me if you were or not, we just need to eliminate you from our enquiries.  If you have no alibi, I will charge you formally with obstruction.  Think about it."

At the Latimer house, Beth was trying to find out from their liaison officer how long Mark would be kept at the police station.

"DS Miller says Mark's being held for obstruction.  Until he says who he was with, he’ll have to stay there," Pete Lawson told them when he got off the phone with Ellie, who had been annoyed Hardy had gone off and left her to deal with Nigel while he was sorting out a problem with his old case.

Now though, she reckoned the two cases were connected, since this Lee Ashworth was under suspicion for killing Danny, accidentally or not.  She just hoped Hardy wouldn't just have him as the main suspect.  She had just dealt with Nigel when Alec walked in and went to his office, without Rose, she noted.

"Did you get anything out of Carter?" Alec asked as she followed him in.

"Only he was wasting our time.  He said Mark just sent him a text asking him to say he was with him that night.  What did he hope to gain from it?" she asked him.

"You know these people Miller.  If Mark was with a woman, who would it likely to be?"

Ellie had an idea but wasn't sure it was a good idea to say.

"Sir, about more fingerprinting of the local men, does that include officer's relatives?"

"What do you think Miller?  No-one is exempt if they knew Danny.  The sooner we find out who was in the hut with him, they may have seen Ashworth talking with him or Danny going off.  Ashworth claims Danny just went off on his own but that can't be right, who would be down in the boatyard waiting for him, with a boat oar in their hands?" he asked her.

"He may have disturbed someone down there," Ellie suggested.  "Maybe the person who broke the chain on that missing boat?  Maybe they were about to steal it when Danny came along?"

Alec was the one to put his head in his hands.

"I don't like this Miller, there are too many variables from Danny running off and seeing Ashworth, who won't tell us anything and the missing person who was in the hut with Danny.  Now you've brought up another theory."

"Well, I don't like this any more than you do, Sir.  I know them all and I don't think any of the locals would harm Danny so that leaves Ashworth, who you suspected killed a young girl.  I think we should go with the original theory, Danny saw Ashworth and he chased him to the boatyard, struck him with the oar.  The question is why?"

"Maybe Ashworth got tired of trying to catch him and was just swinging the oar when Danny ran into it?" Alec replied, thinking maybe he'd already suggested that or Rose had, no wonder Mark Latimer was confused, so was he with all these theories.

This wasn't what he needed, not at all so when Ellie left, he got two pills out of the pack he had in his pocket and tried to swallow them.  From now on, he had to start taking them properly before he left for work and tomorrow, Rose would be there to make sure he did.

Rose had got the caravan keys, then she had driven the short distance to locate it then decided to go get what she could from their hotel rooms.  She entered the hotel to see Becca looking at her phone.

"What's wrong?" Rose asked as the other woman seemed in a trance.

"What?" Becca looked up.  "Oh, nothing.  I hate to say this Miss Tyler but I had some reporters just turn up looking for rooms and I can't afford to turn them away.  Just be careful on your way up."

"Well I'm leaving anyway, so is Alec, sorry.  My office will be in touch to pay my bill.  Sure you're okay?" Rose asked her, nodding to the phone in her hands.

"Well, I'm not sure what to do about something," Becca admitted.

Rose made sure no-one was around.

"You can tell me Becca, I won't say anything."

"I had a message, saying I should tell the police something.  Rose, I was with Mark the night Danny died, I know he's got nothing to do with it but if Beth finds out?" Becca told her.

"Becca, you have to tell Ellie or Alec, Mark's being held for obstruction because he tried to get Nigel Carter to cover for him.  He's been tryin' to keep you out of it.  It's the least you can do."

"Yeah, you're right, I should go.  I just don't want anyone else to know, we could have been up there while Danny was being killed Rose, it's been bothering me since I found out."

"Becca, I can't tell ya much but the police don't think he was killed in that hut so no, you won't have been there.  I don't think Mark's a suspect either but if he won't say anything, Alec will charge him and he may have to go to court over it.  Trust me, Alec's doing all he can to get Danny's killer but something is in the way."

"You mean me and Mark?" Becca asked her.

"Not exactly but it's not helping," Rose replied, thinking she'd best not bring Ashworth into it.  "So who was the text from?"

"Chloe Latimer, she must have seen us talking, she was helping out at a function.  I had no idea Mark had been taken in for questioning.  I'd best get someone to cover for me and go down."

Rose saw her go off and went upstairs.  Once in her room that she'd hardly used, she sent Alec a message: 'You're about to find out who Mark Latimer was with.'

Alec looked at it, wondering who Rose had convinced to own up.

Chloe Latimer was sat in her room, having left her mother and grandmother wondering why Mark was being held for obstruction.  She knew all she could do was get Becca Fisher to admit there was something going on after she'd seen the way her dad had looked at her.

After Alec and Rose had left Claire, she got another message.  Ashworth had got lucky and seen the pair of them leave one of the cottages in the distance, Hardy was getting careless, since he was with Rose Tyler.  He smiled to himself as he sent the message: 'I'm closer than you think Claire.  I want to see you.'

He knew Hardy would take his time arranging a meeting, if Claire would even agree to it so he'd have to do it himself.  All this time, Claire had got the detective to hide her away down the bottom of a lane, a few miles away from where Hardy had got himself transferred, that had been very sneaky.

He'd walked across the fields and was stood overlooking Claire's cottage.  Should he wait until evening then knock on the door?  Then he had an idea, lure her into seeing him by getting her favourite food, then knock on her door.  His plan couldn't really fail.

Chapter 8
Reminder!  This story is a mixture of series 1 and 2 plus the American version, Gracepoint

Ellie had just got a message that Becca Fisher was waiting downstairs and looked in Alec's direction.

"Sir, have you still got Mark downstairs?" she asked him from the doorway.

"Yes but Rose just sent a message to say we are about to get an alibi for him," he replied, showing her the message.

"Well Becca Fisher is downstairs," Ellie told him.  "What did Rose do?"

"What we can't Miller, we had best see what Ms Fisher has to say then," he replied, putting his phone in his pocket.  "Now you see why Rose is of use to us."

"I hope you're not just using her," Ellie warned him.

"I never meant it like that," he told her, going for the lift.  "You were questioning her being involved."

Ellie tried to think back just a few days, when Rose had walked into the station and Hardy seemed to be taken with her.  She bet they were already sleeping together, he wouldn't waste any time making a move on the Vitex heiress, Torchwood agent or not.

"Becca, are you here about the offence we talked about?" Ellie asked her when they got out of the lift, her thinking Hardy was getting lazy.

"What?  No, I got a text message, from Chloe Latimer, can we talk in private?" Becca asked her.

Ellie led her to another interview room and Becca showed her the text.  Ellie wondered what Rose had to do with it.

"I didn't know what to do, until Rose Tyler came into the hotel.  She said if I knew where Mark Latimer was that night, well she said he was being held her over it.  He can't have had anything to do with it, he was with me."

"So, you were the one in the other car?" Alec mused, not wanting to say someone had told him even though it was on CCTV just as the tape cut out.

"I wish I'd never gone to meet him now," Becca sighed.

"Becca, if you hadn't, he would be a major suspect," Ellie replied, getting a scowl from Alec that she saw sideways.

"I met him up there and we drove off, back to the hotel, we went to my room and we had sex.  Satisfied?" Becca wanted to know.  "You can't tell his wife, you have to promise me.  Chloe knew something was going on when he collected her after she'd helped me out one night at a function.  You can thank her and Rose Tyler for me being here.  That night was the worst decision I ever made, he acted like nothing had happened the following day."

"Really?" Alec asked her.

"Well he was walking up the High Street and spoke to me but he seemed in a hurry, then all hell broke lose," Becca told him.

Alec was just glad he'd not done that to Rose after they had spent their first night together, even though they'd not really done much.  He supposed people reacted differently.

"Can I go now?" Becca wanted to know, hoping to get away with the drugs offence now she'd given Mark an alibi.

Alec nodded and Becca got up.

"Are you going to tell Beth who gave Mark an alibi?" she asked Alec.

"No, unless she asks," Alec replied.  "It's up to Mark to tell her."

After Becca left, Alec got up to tell whoever was on duty to let Mark go but decided he should tell him himself.

"You can go Mark," Alec told him as he stood in the doorway, hoping he could go find his new accommodation now and if Rose had managed on her own.

"Just like that?" Mark asked as he got up.

"You should have just said instead of wasting time," Alec replied.  "What do you expect when you keep secrets eh?  Your fingerprints were found in the hut."

"I told you, I had to attend a burst pipe up there," Mark told him wearily.

"You can see how it looks," Alec stated.  "Did you see anyone while you were waiting for Becca Fisher?"

"No, it was dark though there may have been a motorbike near the edge of the cliff.  I just thought the owner had been for a walk and was a bit late back."

"Were there any lights on in the hut?" Alec wanted to know.

"I never looked," Mark replied.  "Danny was in there while I was waiting."

"We don't know that for sure.  We think he was taken there but the camera only shows the car park," Alec replied, not wanting to say they had an eye-witness, if Ashworth could be trusted.

"You said he wasn't killed there though.  Where was he killed then?" Mark wanted to know.

"We believe he ran off, down to the boatyard.  He maybe disturbed someone or someone chased him down there," Alec admitted, forgetting what he'd told the Latimers over the weekend.

He didn't think Mark was in any state to remember anyway.  If his wife found out where he'd really been that night, she wouldn't remember what she'd been told either.  They had been understandably upset at the time.  He let Mark leave and went back upstairs to clear his desk.

"Leaving early?" Ellie asked him.

"I am moving out of the hotel, Rose may need some help," he admitted.

"Wow, that didn't take long then?"

"It's just a caravan, it's more practical than the hotel.  I expect Rose will also be checking if the mobile lab has arrived as well, then the CSU can send any more evidence to them, they will have been fully briefed."

"Well Brian's not too happy about it," Ellie replied.

Alec could have already told her that.  He went off to find Rose, who was now sorting everything out.  She'd left a few things in his room and just handed her own key in to the young girl on the desk.  She'd assumed Becca had gone to tell Alec where she and Mark Latimer were that night and hoped Alec would share the juicy gossip.

"Need any help?" Alec offered while he found some milk to make tea when he'd located the caravan.

"We have to go back and get the rest of your stuff," Rose reminded him, going to put her arms around him.

"You could have put it all in the large holdall," he replied, trying to turn to kiss her.

"I'm not used to packing for a bloke ya know?  I've not heard the mobile units have arrived yet, I expect it took a while to persuade the council to close the car park.  They'll get well compensated for loss of parking fees."

"We let Mark Latimer go, well done for talking to Becca, that was good thinking love."

"She was undecided," Rose replied as she put his arms around him.  "So, that's Mark out of the picture then?"

"What gets me is why get Carter to cover for him when he's such a bad liar?" Alec wondered, putting his arms around her and resting his chin on her shoulder.

It reminded Rose of what the Doctor would do on the occasions they hugged.  When they had been trapped on a planet under a black hole came to mind.  She still had to tell Alec who she really was but he'd not asked many questions so far.

"He probably thought Nigel would go along with him?" Rose mused.

"We still have to talk Rose.  I am letting you in on the investigation because I need your help.  I can't concentrate when I should because I have to keep calm and not lose my temper with all the incompetents around here.  A boy died Rose and all people want to do is keep secrets and cover for each other."

"Poor Alec.  It's a small town, they're bound to stick together when an outsider wants to know things.  Let's get to the hotel and call for some food on the way back?" Rose suggested.

Once at the hotel, Becca was back and stared at Alec.

"Are you both moving in together?" she asked them.

Rose thought considering she'd given Mark Latimer a solid alibi, she was a bit slow.

"Can we trust you to keep it quiet?" Alec asked, since she'd asked for him not to tell Mark's wife.

"Yeah.  If anyone asks, I'll say the press arrived and you moved out.  I did warn Rose earlier," Becca replied.

Alec wondered if he was supposed to thank her?  Rose nudged him.

"Thanks for that then.  Come on Rose, we should get the rest of my things."

As Alec was clearing his room, Lee Ashworth was planning his moves on Claire.  He knew she had a weakness for a certain Chinese dish and prawn crackers, so he walked to the nearby village and was in luck they had a takeaway.  He knocked on the cottage door he'd seen Hardy and the blonde come out of earlier and rushed up the nearby hill.  He reckoned Claire wouldn't come out in a hurry, if she wasn't expecting Hardy going back.

Claire had been thinking about the visit from Hardy and Rose Tyler.  What the hell was he doing bringing her here and her pretending she wanted to be friends?  Did she think she was fooling anyone?  She'd expected Alec to come alone, not with the Vitex heiress.  Now, Alec wanted her to agree to meet her husband, whom she'd not seen since last year.

She had been genuinely scared of what Lee was capable of, after he was so easily led into finishing Pippa off after the girl had heard too much.  She'd not wanted Lee to be found guilty because if he was, he would give her up and say it had been her idea.  She'd been surprised he'd not done that though but to make sure he wasn't locked up and her along with him, she'd followed Hardy's now ex wife and the stupid woman had been so busy kissing another bloke she'd not noticed the car pull up in the street outside and Claire had sat watching them.

Then when Tess had gone off, she'd made her move, smashed the car window and made it look like an opportunist by taking not just the evidence bag with the pendant in it.  She'd been so sure the car was empty though when Lee had sold it whilst out on police bail.  Then the idiot had gone and left it in when she'd heard the police were searching it after a friend on theirs who ran a car lot warned her.

Now she was glad Tess had left Alec, he knew what it felt like when she'd run away from Lee for fear he'd turn on her despite stealing the only evidence the police had to connect them to Pippa's death.  It had been regrettable but the girl was hysterical and she would talk, no amount of assurance from Ricky would keep her quiet.

She heard a loud knock on the door and jumped.  Had Alec come back without that Rose Tyler?  She'd heard no car though and why would he come back?  She got up slowly then cautiously unlocked the door to see a white plastic carrier bag on the doorstep.  She looked around and saw a figure in the distance at the same time her message tone went on her phone - the message just said 'Your favourite'.

She took the food inside as Lee watched from his vantage point.  He'd missed her but she had betrayed him though she had redeemed herself when he'd left the pendant belonging to Pippa on the back seat of the car he'd sold.  He crouched down and waited twenty minutes then he made his way to her cottage.  Claire had finished the food and had a feeling he would dare to knock on the door.  How did she feel about him though?  Was she ready to see him again?

She had been going to refuse Rose Tyler's offer of going with her to a meeting but deep down, she had missed him.  She took the chain off the door then unlocked it, opening the door slowly to see him standing there.  She let him inside and just went for him.

Afterwards, they lay together and Lee wanted to know about Alec.

"So, were you seeing Hardy then?" Lee asked her.

Claire burst out laughing.  "No, I told him things to get myself out of being arrested.  What did you expect Lee?"

"I should have known you only did it for yourself Claire."

"He was here earlier, he wanted to set up a meeting between us," Claire told him.

"I know, he was with that Rose Tyler.  She was with him when I went to the police station the other day.  Claire, I got caught up with that boy's death."

"What?" Claire shouted, trying to get up.

"Calm down Claire.  I just happened to be on that cliff top when he saw me.  I didn't want Hardy to know I was in town until I was ready to use him to find you.  The boy ran off down the path to the boatyard so I went after him."

"Tell me you didn't kill him Lee?"

"It was an accident Claire, he ran into the oar I was holding out, well swinging it.  I never expected him to run around the corner the same time I reached it, did I?"  

"Get out Lee, now," Claire told him.

"What?  Claire, they have no idea I was involved, in fact, Hardy wants me to identify someone who was up in the hut with the boy before he ran off.  Don't you see?  I can pin it entirely on whoever it was.  I got a good look at him but I'm not telling Hardy that."

"Are you so sure Lee?" Claire asked him.

"Yes Claire, now stop worrying.  Are you going to throw me out?" he asked, trying to climb onto her.

Ashworth laughed quietly to himself as his estranged wife slept.  She'd probably throw him out in the morning anyway but for now, if he could convince her Hardy wouldn't find out he'd killed that boy accidentally, she could be an ally. 

Rose was tired after moving everything and unpacking again so they just went out to the camp bar to get something to eat then had an early night.  They had made some progression, Rose telling Alec not to get over-exerted.

"Rose, I will be fine," he tried to protest as she insisted he moved off her.

"Yeah, I just don't wanna take any chances Alec.  Just wait for a Torchwood doctor to arrive and see what they say.  They can have a heart specialist here whenever you want.  Why not have it done Saturday morning, then you have time to recover?"

"That soon?" he tried to joke.

"We don't want any scares Alec, like you doing something stupid such as get annoyed with a suspect or chase them.  So, what are we doing tomorrow?  We should get you introduced to the forensic lab team and I should set up my office."

"Rose, you can use an office in the station, the one next to mine," he suggested, stroking her arm.

"I'll have everything I need at the mobile one Alec.  They'll be a laptop with a secure connection back to Torchwood to start with and an assistant who I can set things up with.  Alec, we'll do anything to help find Danny's killer, if we're wrong about Lee Ashworth."

"We're not but I just have to prove it," Alec replied, snuggling into her neck.

"You mean we have to prove it Alec," Rose reminded him.  "You're not on your own this time, you have me and the whole of Torchwood behind you.  Want to go have a look in the boatyard tomorrow?"

"They should have finished in there.  What do you hope to find?" Alec wondered.

"Clues Lee was down there and that he lied he stayed on top of the cliff.  What did Danny do down there then if he wasn't running away from Lee?"

"Well Miller's suggestion was, he disturbed someone else, the person who was stealing the boat but why would anyone be down there stealing a boat if not for putting Danny in it?  No, that does not add up Rose."

He was talking to himself as Rose had fallen asleep.  He planned on proving tomorrow it was Ashworth who chased Danny down to the boatyard.  It would have been helpful if someone had reported a boat was missing but maybe it had just been chosen at random?  If it was Lee Ashworth, he would have made sure the boat had a motor on it.  What got him most was, it was too similar to how the man must have carried poor Pippa from a car into the woods and laid her down.

He thought had it not been raining the day after she was reported missing, the river would not have burst its banks and she would have been discovered sooner.  Then they would have got more proof of how she died.  No, Ashworth was responsible one way or another for Danny's death, only he would have left the boy on the beach, like he left Pippa in the woods.

Did Ashworth actually think he was fooling anyone by leaving Danny where he would be easily found as opposed to hiding Pippa?  Tomorrow, he would catch up with the man and ask him a few more questions, after Rose arranged a meeting between him and Claire.  He would meet Ashworth somewhere and escort him to the mobile offices and see if the man would give any clues on the way there.

As Ashworth had predicted, Claire was planning on telling him to leave in the morning so he woke early and was gone by the time she woke up.  Claire just got up and hoped he wouldn't keep coming around with her favourite food but now, how were they going to fool Alec and that Rose Tyler when a meeting was arranged?  She picked her phone up and decided to try and get out of it.

She hadn't reckoned on Rose answering Alec's phone while he was taking a shower, something she would have joined him in if not for the fact the tiny cubicle only just had room for one person.  Rose had seen Claire's name come up on his phone and saw no reason why she shouldn't answer it.

"Alec's phone," she answered, trying to sound like she'd not just woken up and she was in her dressing gown, Alec's phone being on his side of the bed, well that was the side he'd got in the night before but they had slept in the middle.

"Oh, so you didn't waste any time getting in Alec's bed then?" Claire asked sarcastically.

"That's none of your business Claire.  I was gonna call later to say I have a place you can meet Lee.  I can come down and get you, say around eleven this morning?" Rose asked her, since it was now approaching eight.

Claire didn't usually get up at that time but she'd suddenly noticed Lee was gone.

"That's what I was calling about.  I'm not so sure I want to meet him."

"Claire, it's vital we get some more information out of him.  A boy died and we have to prove who the killer was," Rose reminded her.

"I know what Alec's up to.  He's trying to blame Lee," Claire replied.

"Claire, he's not accused Lee, he's trying to get the facts," Rose replied, wishing they could prove they were right.
         
"Well I'm sorry but he'll have to get them another way.  I'm not ready to meet with Lee."

Claire thought that was fairly true, since she'd not expected him to find out where she was and turn up on her doorstep last night.

"Claire, I can stay with you or have a camera on you.  You'll be safe," Rose promised her.

"Why is he insisting on seeing me?"

"I don't know Claire.  All I can promise is nothing will happen to you.  Look, I'll come down anyway, then if you change your mind I'll be there," Rose suggested.

"Well okay then but I'm not promising I'll go with you," Claire replied.

Claire hung up and sent a text to Lee – 'You will have to pretend you weren't here last night, Alec still wants us to meet so you'll tell him who you saw'.

Lee saw the message and replied with 'That's easily done Claire'.

Claire flung her phone on the sofa.  So last night was just sex to him, he was only acting like he wanted her back to satisfy Alec.  Lee would never admit he was near where that boy had been killed, let alone admit it was him who actually struck the deadly blow.  How stupid could Lee have got, going around a boatyard looking for someone and swinging an oar?

Well Alec would have to either believe Lee wasn't responsible or not and find whoever else was there on his own.

Rose and Alec set off for the boatyard below the cliff top hut, Alec wondering what Rose expected to find that uniformed officers hadn't, since the CSU would only just have arrived, having finished at the hut but up until now, they had no proof Danny had been killed there.  If it had been Ashworth, the fatal blow could have been struck elsewhere and he'd gone back and thrown the oar in one of the boats after he'd got back from leaving Danny on the beach.

This was getting more complicated by the minute, was there yet another crime scene, he wondered as they arrived where the CSU van was parked.  He got out and was greeted by Brian.

"Sir, we're just about to go over the boatyard.  We'll concentrate around the area the oar was found for now."

How was he supposed to tell the man about where the boat had been taken from?

"Right, you do that then.  Rose, can you get someone up from your mobile lab to look around where that boat was taken from?"

"Another possible crime scene?" Brian dared ask.  "How many more are there?"

That was what Rose and Alec were wondering though Alec was convinced now it was the boatyard and Ashworth had noticed the boats chained up.  So, Ashworth had thought he was being clever, taking Danny down the coast and trying to throw off suspicion?

Chapter 9
Rose decided now was the time to make her team work.

"Yeah, I can get someone up here," she told Alec.  "Brian is it?  I'll get them to report to you, yeah?"

"If you have to," Brian muttered, looking at Alec.  "Just don't keep on finding more crime scenes than we can handle.  We still have the oar in for testing, we should get some results back shortly.  So anything we find in the boatyard goes to the Torchwood labs?"

"That was the idea," Alec replied as Rose got her phone out.  "Rose, what time are you getting Claire?"

"I said around eleven.  Are you calling Lee Ashworth?"

"Is he a suspect?" Brian asked as he watched the pair of them and bet Hardy was already involved with her.

"Yes, that's what we hope to prove from the oar," Alec told him.  "What about the cloth you were testing?"

Brian could have sworn he'd already told the detective about that.

"Nothing Sir, its been well used, there's just smudges, oil and sea water.  I doubt Torchwood could do any better with it."

Rose wanted to ask him if he wanted to bet on that but maybe not.

"I can have someone collect it," Rose replied, making Alec raise his eyebrows.  "You'd be surprised what we can do."

Alec thought if they could prove Ashworth's fingerprints were on it along with Danny's blood, they had him.  There would be no denying it.  He saw Brian answering his phone so he waited, Rose going off to call the mobile lab.

"Sir," Brian called, holding his other hand over the mobile phone.  "We finished examining the rag, should I send it to the Torchwood lab, if you tell us where it is?"

"As far as I know, they have taken over the car park by the old railway station," Alec replied.

Well that was where it had been suggested they based themselves and Rose had said no different.  Rose had been calling Jake to find out who had been sent so see Alec.

"Doctor Harper sent Martha Jones down for now," Jake told her.  "She can confirm what he's been diagnosed with and send for a specialist.  Anyway, tell him he's nothing to worry about if something happens, the med lab will be open 24 hours for him, just get him there."

"Yeah, I will, we're in the caravan park now, it's not far and I'll go out the wrong way if I have to, just let them try and say anything," Rose replied.

Jake let out a laugh.  "I can see them trying.  Maybe you should get him to give you a police sign for your car?  Don't worry, he'll be taken care of until we can get a specialist to him, Doctor Harper's got someone on call from both Exeter and Dorchester hospitals, it'll be whoever can get there the fastest.  Tell him not to go chasing any suspects eh Rose?"

"Huh, that's easier said than done," Rose replied, seeing Alec watching her.  "Talk to ya later Jake."

"You should set off to get Claire," Alec reminded her.

"Want a ride to where ya think Lee Ashworth is?"

"No, he can meet me at the car park entrance.  How will we get in though, if there is security?"

"Just show your police ID, they're expecting you, ask them where the conference room is."

"I expect you have done this before?"

"A couple of times, yeah," Rose smiled.  "Are ya gonna wait there?"

Rose dropped him at the end of the road and hoped she remembered the way to Claire's cottage.  Claire had been annoyed that Lee had been stupid enough to get involved in another death, even if as he said it was an accident.  She only half believed him though but she didn't want dragging into it.  She had enough with this Rose Tyler butting in and trying to get her involved because Lee was trying to bargain with Alec.

Lee Ashworth had been hiding in the barn he'd been staying in when he'd got a call from Alec, after Claire had more or less kicked him out.

"What do you want?" Ashworth asked him.  "Have you arranged a meeting with Claire?"

He didn't really want one now, would Claire give the game away?

"Rose has gone to get Claire so if you want to see her, get up to Broadchurch and turn into the station car park just as you get to the harbour, there's a sign for it.  Wait there for me."

With that, Alec hung up and was listening to Rose organising things.  As Rose drove off after dropping Alec, she was hoping Claire would have decided to co-operate but Alec was hiding something about him hiding her and he wasn't yet willing to tell her.  Maybe she could chat to Claire on the way back and find out?

She drove down the narrow lane and stopped outside Claire's cottage.  Claire had decided to go along with it and hoped Lee wouldn't say anything about last night.  She went outside when she saw a car stopping, looking to see if it was Alec but Rose was on her own.  She thought he must be meeting Lee then?

"Hi Claire," Rose greeted her, getting back in the car.  "Are you sure about this?"

"If it's important," Claire replied, putting the seat belt on.  "I know what happened, to that boy, well what they said on TV.  So, are you and Alec sleeping together?"

"That's no-one's business Claire," Rose replied as she turned the car around in the narrow space.

"Oh come on, it was written all over your faces," Claire laughed.  "Don't be so shy.  When I met Lee, we were having sex a few hours later.  It was like we were drawn to each other."

"You must miss him then?" Rose wondered.  "What about when he was arrested when that girl was killed?"

"Why is everyone so sure he killed her?" Claire wanted to know.  "Alec hounded him over that and he still does.  He's trying to pin the death of that boy onto him as well."

"He knows Lee was there, he just wants to know what Lee saw.  A boy died Claire but it doesn't mean Alec has accused Lee.  Lee went to him to say he was nearby and saw Danny run off from someone and Alec wants to know who it was."

"How would he know, he's only just arrived here, well so Alec says.  I've been getting texts and calls for a while and Alec won't accept it, I tried to tell him."

"There's no proof it was Lee, Claire.  I have all my calls and texts screened though but it could be just sales calls," Rose suggested.

"Texts saying that someone is close?" Claire replied.  "It has to be him."

"Well maybe the last few days?  We know he's been here since last Thursday at least.  Alec thinks he followed him here, to get Alec to lead him to you."

"Why does Lee want to see me now?" Claire wanted to know.

"Think about it Claire, it was the perfect excuse to get Alec to tell him where you were, that's why I'm taking you to my temporary base.  Is there anything you want to tell me, that you don't want Alec to know?" Rose asked her.

"No, why should there be?  If you want to be my friend, why don't we go out tonight and have a few drinks?" Claire suggested.

"That's not a good idea Claire," Rose replied as they drove towards Broadchurch.

"So you don't want to be my friend?" Claire goaded her.  "You mean Alec wouldn't approve of you going out with me?"

"No, you're involved with a possible witness.  We can be friends, just no going out, sorry."

"Your loss, we could have picked up a couple of blokes," Claire joked, well Rose hoped she was joking.

"I don't need a bloke Claire, how about you?" Rose told her, hoping to get her to admit something.

"I don't know what you mean," Claire replied.

"I think you do Claire.  I think you really want to see Lee."

Claire thought Rose had already guessed she'd seen Lee last night.

"You don't understand so don't pretend you do," Claire huffed, folding her arms.  "I've not seen him in a long time, that's all, then suddenly, he wants to see me, to play games with Alec.  I'm a victim as well in this."  

Rose wasn't sure Claire was entirely innocent.  Had she already seen him?  She didn't think Claire would admit it though.  Rose turned towards Broadchurch then down to the car park, where Alec was waiting, not so patiently as Lee Ashworth sat on his bike just inside the car park.

"Where's Claire then?" Ashworth taunted Alec.

"She'll be here.  Why are you so keen to see her after all this time?"

"You kept her away from me, then you tried to hide her from me.  You took a job here just to do that?"

Alec was now questioning why he'd agreed to come here but he'd had no other offers.

"There was little choice," Alec had to admit.  "Claire was afraid you would go after her."

"It wasn't hard to work out she'd go to you for help.  Is this them?" Ashworth nodded to a metallic blue sports type car.

Rose stopped at the entrance and talked to the burly man, whom Alec thought must be tired of turning cars away, when there were two other car parks close by, one just behind them and one across the narrow road.  Rose got out and nodded to the large mobile unit on the left.  Ashworth got off his bike, making Claire step back.

"Will you go in with me?" she asked Rose.

Rose nodded and led Claire to the steps of the mobile offices, which consisted of an office for her, a conference room, a fitted kitchen and a small outer office for her assistant, who got up when Claire went in first, Rose just behind her.

"Miss Tyler," the woman greeted Rose.  "Everyone's been briefed, there's a secure connection to Torchwood on your laptop.  I'll organise some refreshments then?"

"Yeah, thanks.  We'll be in the conference room," Rose replied, since her office would be too small for all of them.  

Claire held back as Ashworth followed Alec into the conference room.

"Having second thoughts?" Rose asked her as Ashworth made himself at home.

"Wouldn't you?" Claire replied.  "Is there a camera in here?"

"In the corner but there's no sound, it's just for security.  We'll be in my office Claire, just leave when you feel like it, I'll come out."

Rose and Alec left, taking their drinks with them.

"So Claire, are you going to tell them about last night?"

"Yeah, great idea Lee.  I'll just go back out there and say, oh by the way, Lee came over last night and we had sex."

Ashworth glanced at the camera.

"You think they've not worked that out yet?"

"What are you going to tell them Lee?"

"What Hardy wants to hear, what else?  I got a good look at the other man, I can easily pin that boy's death on him."

Claire let out a laugh, also looking up at the camera and tempted to snog Lee in front of Alec.

"Why did you never tell the truth Lee?  About Ricky killing Lisa?"

"What?  It was your idea to stop Pippa telling what she'd heard Claire.  We should have left Ricky to deal with her."

"It's just like you to leave it to someone else Lee," Claire replied, about to strike him but he grabbed her arm.  "What did you tell Alec when he arrested you?" she asked, rubbing her arm when he let go.

Rose and Alec were watching with interest.

"Sure this hasn't got sound?" Alec mused.

"You wish," Rose smiled at his impatience.  "Why did he want to see her all of a sudden?"

"To cover the fact he followed me I expect?  He is going to pin the blame of Danny's death onto whoever was with him that night.  He'll come up with another story, like he did when he was accused of killing Pippa Gillespie."

"Oh, what did he say about that anyway?" Rose asked as she saw Lee and Claire were close.  "What does she see in him?"

"That's another investigation," he reminded her, wondering the same himself.  "Get her to tell you what she sees in him."

"She suggested we went out tonight and pick up a couple of blokes," Rose told him.

"Are you going?"

"Nah, I told her I already had a bloke, since she implied we were together.  I'm not gonna deny it Alec."

"Good, especially where Claire is concerned.  Look at them, this is not the first time they have met since Ashworth was arrested.  Why was he using me to get to her?"

"She claimed he'd been sending her messages," Rose reminded him.  "He must have known where she was."

Claire was observing her husband, running her finger down his torso.

"At least look like you're glad to see me Lee."

"Come off it Claire, we're not fooling Hardy.  Why go to him to hide you?  Why not go to Tess?"

"They got divorced, she was too busy and besides, I stole the pendant, I've hidden it."

"What?  It was you?"

"I did it to save you being found guilty.  Now I wish I hadn't."

"You're a piece of work Claire, you really are.  Why did you let me in last night?"

"I'd say it was because I missed you but I'd be lying.  Well, go on then, who did you see up at that hut then?"

"How do I know Claire?  Hardy will probably organise a line-up of a few locals.  It had to be someone the boy already knew."

"Yeah, good thinking Sherlock.  So, you're going to blame some poor local?"

"It's that or Hardy figures out it was me or do you want him to lock me up, Claire?" he grinned.

"I got you out last time Lee," she reminded him.  "I've hidden the pendant somewhere safe and that night, when you got rid of Pippa, I hid something of Ricky's as well, so he wouldn't tell the police."

"What did you tell him that night Claire?"

"That it was that stuff he gave her, she reacted badly to it and we couldn't call an ambulance with all the blood in the living room.  Did you kill Lisa or was it Ricky?"

"You have to ask me that?  It was Ricky, they were arguing."

"Over you I expect?  You did have sex with her then?"

"As if you never played around Claire," he gloated.

"I hate you Lee.  If you're not careful, I'll give the pendant to Alec."

"You won't do that Claire, he'd find out the truth," Ashworth replied.

"Just tell him about the other night and get it over with Lee," Claire told him, picking up her small backpack, Ashworth wondering if she carried the pendant around in it.

Alec saw them going to the door and went out himself.

"I'm ready to tell you who I saw that night," Ashworth told him.

Alec called the station to tell them to send a squad car, expecting the man on the entrance to have been instructed to let police vehicles in.

"I'll take Claire home," Rose told him as she'd stayed in the conference room.  "I'll meet you back at the police station then?"

"Does she have to be there?" Ashworth asked him when she'd gone off with Claire.

"Agent Tyler is conducting this enquiry with Wessex police," Alec replied.

On her way out, Rose saw a police car approach the entrance and called out of the car window for the man to let it in.

"I know to let the police in Miss Tyler," the man replied, moving the makeshift barrier out of the way.

Rose saw the smile on Claire's face.

"Enjoyed watching us then?" she asked Rose.

"Alec doesn't think that's the first time you've seen him since last year," Rose told her.

"He can think what he likes, he doesn't know how we were before he arrested Lee for killing Pippa."

"Do you think he did Claire?" Rose asked her.

"I don't know but I don't think he killed that boy, why would he?  He didn't know him, it had to be the other bloke who was there, if they knew each other," Claire replied.

"Lee knew Pippa," Rose reminded her.

"What's that supposed to mean?  You think he's guilty on both counts?"

"I don't know enough about Sandbrook Claire but I know enough about this.  Alec thinks Danny recognised Lee from the Sandbrook case and Lee had to silence him because he didn't want Alec to know he was here."

Had she told Claire that before, she wondered.  Claire let out a laugh as they drove out of the town.

"What else does he think?" she asked Rose.

"That back there, that wasn't the first time you'd seen Lee recently, was it Claire?"

"Lucky guess.  I tried to tell Alec Lee was nearby but he wouldn't believe me."

"Claire, Alec knew a few days ago Lee was in the town," Rose reminded her.

"I don't mean in the town.  I meant Lee knew where I was living, he must have followed you and Alec to my place."

"Come on Claire, tell me the rest," Rose asked her.

Claire looked like she was trying to decide as she pulled faces.

"He knocked on the door last night and left my favourite Chinese food."

"Is that all?" Rose asked as she watched for the turn-off for Claire's cottage.  "Did you let him in?"

Claire remained silent until they reached her cottage.

"Yes, I let him, we went upstairs and had sex, what do you expect?  I bet you and Alec are."

"We've spent some time with each other but no, not yet," Rose replied, not wanting to say Alec was ill.

"Yeah, if you say so," Claire laughed as she opened the door.  "Are you going to tell Alec what I just told you?"

"I have to Claire, it has a bearing on the investigation.  Lee still insisted on going ahead getting Alec to arrange the meeting."

Back at the police station, Alec was going ahead with Ashworth's interview, calling Ellie to come downstairs.

"Is he going to tell us the rest?" Ellie asked as she met Alec outside.

"If he does, you'll have to arrange a line-up Miller.  You know the men in the town, who was Danny likely to be meeting?"

"How would I know?  I can ask for volunteers and not tell them why.  If I tell them, they'll all refuse."

Alec thought if only one refused, they had to be guilty but left it to her as they went inside the interview room.  Alec started by banging his fist on the table as Ellie switched the recorder on.

"You've seen Claire, now stop playing games.  Tell me who you saw Danny Latimer run away from that night."

Chapter 10
Ashworth knew Hardy would want something now.  Even though he'd found Claire himself, Hardy had gone to the trouble of arranging a meeting.  Now was the time to get himself out of what Hardy obviously thought he was involved in other than just being there.

"Okay, Okay.  So where's your little girlfriend Hardy?" Ashworth laughed.

Ellie was trying not to smile but failing.

"Agent Tyler will be along shortly, she was taking Claire home," Alec replied, determined Ashworth was not going to get him riled up or she'd be taking him to the Torchwood med lab.

"Huh," Ashworth scoffed, thinking his wife was getting special treatment.

The news she'd taken the only evidence that tied them with Pippa's death shouldn't have been that surprising.

"This is your last chance Lee," Ellie spoke up.  "We let you meet with Claire so tell us who you saw Danny with."

"Well I don't know his name, do I?" Ashworth replied.  "Yes, I saw him clearly with the light coming from the hut.  I went to get a look through the windows, I saw the boy and this man in what looked like an argument, then the next thing I knew, the boy opened the door and ran to the edge of the cliff.  I saw the man as he followed, I'd rushed to the corner of the hut so they wouldn't see me."

"You got a good enough look to pick him out from a line-up?" Alec asked him.

"Yeah, I reckon so.  He wasn't that tall, he was wearing a blue polo shirt or t-shirt, he didn't have much hair," Lee laughed.

Ellie looked up from her notes.

"Miller, get those you've contacted in for a line up," Alec told her.

Ellie wondered when she'd had time to speak to anyone.

"Sir, it may take a while," Ellie protested.

"There can't be that many men in the town fitting that description," Alec replied.  "Get it organised.  What else did you see?" he asked Ashworth.

Ashworth thought Hardy was trying to catch him out.  He decided to stick to what he'd done with the boy and what the man would have done, had he actually killed the boy.

"They went back inside," Ashworth told them, trying to go through what could have happened.

"You said he ran off," Alec corrected him.

"Yeah, he did, to the cliff edge.  They went back inside so I looked through the window again.  The boy was backed against the wall, then he slumped, like the life had gone out of him.  He was put on the floor, then the man opened the door, picked him up and walked towards the cliff path."

Alec did wonder if Ashworth was playing them and he was guessing what might have happened.

"Then what?" Alec wanted to know.

Ashworth couldn't think of anything else.

"I don't know, I never followed.  If the boy was found further down, maybe the man stole a boat or something?" Ashworth replied.

"Did you see him come back later?" Ellie asked him, wondering if Rose was going to be joining them and that the interview would be over soon.

"No, it was late, I decided to get my mat and sleeping bag and get some sleep.  I never saw or heard anyone come back.  You get a few locals in then."

Alec thought that would be interesting, if Ashworth actually saw the person.  Meanwhile, Rose was about to leave Claire.

"So, is that it?" Claire asked.  "You're just going to leave me here?"

"Well you invited Lee in," Rose reminded her.  "I'll have to tell Alec."

"Is nothing private?" Claire wondered.  "No, don't tell me, nothing's private.  I expect Alec will want to know more?"

"I expect so," Rose replied, starting the car engine as she'd turned it off whilst they were talking.  "Is there anything else Claire?"

"No, why should there be?  Are you going to come back?  I could do your hair for you, I've not done anyone's hair for ages."

"I suppose so?  I have to get back now, call Alec if you need to but if Lee comes back, it's up to you if you want to see him."

Rose got back to the police station, asking where Alec was.

"He was in interview room one," the desk sergeant told her.

Rose was about to go down when Alec and Ellie were coming towards her, followed by Lee Ashworth.

"Right Miller," Alec was telling Ellie.  "I want at least half a dozen men here tomorrow morning for a line-up, I don't care what you tell them."

"I'll just have to say it's part of the investigation and we can't say then," Ellie replied.

"Did I miss the interview then?" Rose grinned when Ashworth had passed her on his way out.

"You didn't miss much," Ellie smiled.  "Now I have to go round up some locals, excuse me."

"Fancy some lunch?" Rose asked Alec.  "Then we can pay a visit to the labs if ya want?"

Alec thought that was her way of saying she was taking him for a check-up.  They went across the road to the catering stalls and ordered something to eat.

"Did you get anything out of Claire?" Alec asked.

"Yeah, plenty.  They were playing you Alec, she let him in last night."

"What?  I should have known by the way they acted.  Ashworth just told us he got a good look at the man with Danny, Miller is organising a line-up."

"That should be fun then?  So what did he have to say?"

Alec briefly told her then they walked across the harbour, Rose going into the medical bay where Doctor Martha Jones had been talking to Jake.

"So when is Rose bringing him in?" Martha had wanted to know.  "Do you want me to stay or go on standby?"

"Just stay normal office hours, you got in the hotel close by?"

"Yeah, it's not far, Rose has my number.  I'll get the two nurses to take it in turns to stay so there's twenty four hour coverage.  When's she bringing him in?"

"In a hurry to leave?" Jake laughed, knowing she and Mickey were just getting acquainted.

"Stop it Jake.  He was already dating someone when I joined Torchwood," Martha replied.

"He was only dating because Rose turned him down again," Jake told her.

"Yeah, I can hardly believe those two were together.  Why did they split up?"

"You'd have to ask Rose, it's up to her to tell.  You know her past is not up for debate."

"I know Jake, I've only read the official version.  Why is she so secretive though?  Never mind, I guess she won't be telling any time soon."

Jake had to laugh.  Rose wouldn't tell anyone about her coming here and the Doctor, well maybe she'd tell Alec Hardy?

Martha had just put the phone down when Rose put the access code in the door and she turned around.

"Alec, meet Doctor Jones," Rose told him as Martha got up.

"Nice to meet you, Alec.  We'll take good care of you if need be before your surgery.  You have nothing to worry about," Martha told him.  "Someone will be here all the time Rose, just bring him in day or night."

"Yeah, I'll have him here in no time," Rose smiled.  "I'm just gonna show him the other lab today though, he'll see the med lab when I bring him in."

"Have you decided when you're having your surgery Alec?" Martha asked him.

"Rose suggested the weekend though I've not decided which one yet," Alec replied.

"I would have thought you'd want to get it over with?" Martha suggested.

"When I was told I had very little chance I'd survive?"

"Alec, don't say that.  That's what you're here for, my stepfather has the best heart surgeons on standby," Rose told him.

"It's a simple procedure these days, it doesn't take long.  You'll be out in no time," Martha tried to assure him.

Alec thought that was easy for her to say.  That was the reason Rose had suggested a Friday, to have the weekend to get over it.  A holiday was coming up though, maybe he should wait?

"Rose, about that?  Maybe I should wait a few weeks, until the bank holiday?"

"Let's see what Doctor Jones has to say?" Rose suggested.

Martha gestured towards the med lab, since she only had a tiny office, which was why she had the door open.

"I could have got my own doctor down," Alec whispered to Rose as Martha indicated for him to unbutton his shirt.

Rose had to smile, since he was trying not to give in.

"Tough guy," Rose whispered back as she took his shirt and Alec climbed onto the examination table, Martha indicating he could sit up.

"Well, apart from your heart, you appear to be in reasonable health," Martha concluded.

Alec thought he could have told her that.

"Yes, I am aware.  Rose told me you would take care of me, should anything happen before my surgery," he replied.

"A nurse will be here but I'm only a few minutes away and the call will be made to the surgeon.  Well, I'll let you go back to work then.  I take it your bosses don't know?"

Alec raised his eyebrows.

"They must not know or I'll be out.  Rose is covering for me, getting me out of awkward situations."

"I bet she is," Martha smiled.

"It's the least I can do," Rose aimed at Martha.  "I can take the lead and no-one will suspect anything, they expect Torchwood to try and take over.  They're stretched as it is, they can hardly reject the offer of the lab being here and ready to test anything they find, they've got at least three crime scenes to cover."

"I thought the boy was found on the beach?" Martha asked.

Rose shook her head but Alec tried to explain.

"That's where he was placed by whom we think was a suspect in my last big case back in Sandbrook."

"What's he doing here?" Martha wondered.

"We think he followed Alec here, to find his wife," Rose told her.  "He thought Alec was hiding her nearby and when Danny saw him up on the cliff top, he had to be silenced.  He wasn't ready to let Alec know he was in town."

"So how was the boy killed then?" Martha wanted to know as she wrote Alec's results down.

"We think Lee Ashworth hit him with a boat oar, in the boatyard below the cliff," Rose replied.

"That's horrible, why do that?" Martha asked, hardly believing it.

"That's what we intend finding out," Alec told her.  "Come on Rose, we have work to do."

Martha rolled her eyes as they were about to leave.

"Alec, when can I expect to be calling for a surgeon?" she asked him as they went back in her office.

"Alec's right, we should wait until the bank holiday, it'll give him an extra day.  I can keep him out of trouble until then," Rose replied for him.

"Well good luck with that then," Martha laughed.  "I'll inform your stepfather, he can let the surgeons know, it'll be a case of who can get here the fastest.  Have you got enough medication Alec?"

"Ah, I may be a bit low," he admitted.

"Rose, I'll give him a prescription, make sure you get it for him, if he's going to wait for surgery."

She handed Rose the form.

"Yeah, I'll go later then," Rose smiled.  "Thanks Martha.  I'll try not to bring him back before his surgery and if he chases any suspects, he'll answer to me."

"Yeah, I bet he will," Martha laughed as she saw Alec was keen to go, since he was at the outer door.

Back at the police station, Ellie was sat with Frank trying to come up with a list of likely volunteers for the line-up Alec wanted so Lee Ashworth could pick out who he saw with Danny.

"Come on Frank, we've only got Nigel Carter so far," Ellie told him as he leaned over the two desks.  "We have to think of men who vaguely fit Ashworth's description."

"Your husband," Frank laughed.

"Be serious," Ellie told him.

"I am being serious, Ma'am," he joked.  "He's the least person we suspect."

"I bet Hardy doesn't think so," Ellie had to admit, reluctantly putting Joe's name on the list.  "We'd just got back from Florida that day, we were all tired, I was in bed by eight.  I had to be back at work the next day, I don't know why I bothered, I came back to be called to the beach and found Danny."

"I know, sorry Ellie," Frank told her sympathetically.  "Why not ring Nigel Carter and ask him to bring a few of his friends with him?"

Ellie thought the idea was so daft it might just work, if she told him it would help catch Danny's killer.  She didn't think he'd oblige though, since he'd given Mark Latimer a false alibi.  She waited for him answering his phone.

"Ellie, what you wanting?" he asked.

"I need you to come in tomorrow morning, to be in a line-up.  No arguments Nigel, you made a big mistake agreeing to cover for Mark and Hardy's still annoyed about it," she told him, thinking Hardy would indeed still be annoyed for wasting their time.

"When have I got time to come in?" Nigel asked her.  "I'm working flat out 'cos Mark's off."

"Then come in before you start work.  We have a witness from that night, do you want to help find out who killed Danny or not?" she asked him.  "Bring some of your friends with you to make up the numbers," she added, thinking Ashworth could have been mistaken about the man he saw having hardly any hair, since it was dark.  "Come in at eight thirty Nigel, we won't keep you for long."

That done, she had to call her husband, who was having a hard time with their youngest son and was about to take him to the park to watch Tom on his skateboard.

"You are joking?" Joe asked her as he strapped the boy in his stroller.

"It's only to make up numbers," Ellie replied.  "You weren't out that night, were you?"

"What sort of question's that?" Joe replied.

"Just come into work with me at half eight, I'll watch Fred, get it over with."

On their way back from meeting with Martha and Alec seeing the lab, since some evidence had just been received for testing, Rose was holding onto his arm.

"See, that wasn't so bad, was it?" she asked him.

"Don't go local for that prescription," Alec told her.

"No-one knows you're here Alec, well not up in the town and if I go."

Alec turned and gave her one of his looks.

"Okay, I'll go out of town then?  If you went back on Friday, you wouldn't need them, would you?   Besides, there's only two weeks to the holiday anyway."

"I've not got enough for two weeks Rose," he admitted as they approached the police station.

Rose stopped, almost tripping him up.

"What?  You let them get so low?  Geez Alec, what's wrong with you?" she asked him.

"Not here Rose.  I was going to get my own doctor to come and meet me, had you not arrived in town and taken over."

"That's supposed to make me feel better?" she asked him.

Alec put on his best smile, something he was out of practise with.  Rose just nudged him.

"Sorry.  What do you expect Rose?  I did not come here to have another child's death thrown at me.  Then you arrived in town and not only take over the investigation, you take over looking after me."

"You never objected," Rose grinned.

"To what?  Taking over the investigation or making sure I would survive?"

"Both, you plum.  Look, why don't ya take it easy and let me and Ellie do all the work?  You can just tell us what you want doing."

"Me, boss a Torchwood agent around?" he asked.  "You do what you have to do Rose, at least until I go for my surgery."

"If it keeps ya out of trouble?  Promise me you'll go out with someone and not chase anyone on your own.  Now Lee Ashworth's seen Claire, what do ya think he'll do?"

"Leave town, if we are not careful.  Let's go to my office and you can tell me what Claire told you."

They went inside and Alec wanted an update on volunteers for the line-up.

"I've got it arranged," Ellie told him as she sat next to Rose, not wanting to say she'd roped her husband in.

"Good.  By the way, your boy, he was Danny's friend?" he asked her.

"Yes, I told you they went to school together.  They were best friends.  Why are you asking?"

"I need to speak to him, get your husband to bring him in."

"Sir, I object to that, he's already upset."

"Miller.  We are trying to find out what Danny was doing up at the hut and who he was with.  Your son may know if he'd been in contact with anyone recently," he reminded her.

"He's right Ellie," Rose agreed.  "If Danny told him, we need to know.  He'll think he's breaking a confidence but he's not.  We're not saying whoever he was with killed him, we know Lee Ashworth had something to do with it.  What if that person saw him?"

"I agree with Rose.  We need that person to come forward and tell us what they saw after Danny ran off," Alec told her.

"They may have just left," Ellie suggested.  "If Danny ran off, he may have just thought Danny was going to make his way home on the cliff top path.  People who have rung in said it was a full moon that night."

"What else have they said?" Rose wanted to know.

"Nothing really useful except someone called to say they saw a dark figure putting something into a bin around two in the morning.  Frank's following up on it," Ellie told them.

"Do ya think it was Lee Ashworth or the man meeting Danny?" Rose asked Alec.

"It could be either of them.  Let's assume Ashworth took Danny down the coast in a boat he stole, why bother going back up though?  Any reports of missing boats yet?" he asked Ellie.

"None yet but whoever it belonged to may not have even checked yet.  The boat that was used is still being looked for but it could be anywhere."

"Alec, he'll have gone back for his bike," Rose pointed out.

"We don't know where he came from when he arrived at the police station," Alec replied.  "He doesn't know the area, why seek somewhere to dispose of anything?  No, I think whoever was with Danny would be more likely to do that, to get rid of any traces they had been in contact."

"What sort of contact?" Ellie wanted to know.  

"What do you think Miller?  Why take Danny up there in the first place?   Did we find out how he got a key in the first place?"

"Maybe the door was left open for him?" Rose suggested.  "He could have paid the cleaner."

"She wasn't so co-operative," Ellie told them.  "She may have been careless and he got hold of them and made a copy."

"Indeed," Alec agreed.  

"Alec, you think whoever was with Danny was trying to abuse him?" Rose asked.

"Ashworth claims he saw them looking like they were arguing," Alec told her.  "Danny could have realised what was going on and that was why he ran off."

"I bet you're right.  Then poor Danny spotted Lee Ashworth and Lee chased him to keep him quiet.  The poor kid didn't have much of a choice, did he?" Rose asked.

"Sorry Rose but no," Alec replied.  "If Ashworth had not been there and he'd run off home, he may have told his parents but there again, he could have been scared of what they would say."

"He's right Rose," Ellie agreed.  "These days especially, accusing an adult of inappropriate behaviour.  It's all taken very seriously and one wrong accusation can ruin lives.  Don't forget that the person he was with may have threatened him before he'd run off."

"Do we know if Ashworth heard what was said?" Alec asked. 

Ellie thought he should know, since he was there that Ashworth had already said he couldn’t hear anything.

"No, he said not but he could be withholding the fact, he may have heard something.  Should we call him back in before tomorrow?" Ellie wanted to know.

"No, if he points out who was there, we'll compare what they have to say," Alec replied.

"If we've finished here, I'm off to do some shopping," Rose told him as she got up.

"Why don't you two come over for dinner tonight?" Ellie asked them.

"Yeah, why don't we Alec?" Rose smiled.  "Thanks Ellie."

"I'll call Joe and tell him, he'll still have time to rustle something up."

"So do ya have any more kids Ellie?" Rose asked her.

"Yeah a cranky toddler," Ellie laughed.  "Joe was having trouble with him earlier."

"Aw, I remember when Tony was like that, my mum didn't know what had hit her.  I'm looking forward to seeing him then."

"Well Joe will have to bring him in tomorrow, since your boyfriend wants to interview Tom," Ellie replied, aiming it at Alec.

Chapter 11
Once Ellie had left Alec's office, Rose went to sit on the leather sofa, Alec getting up to pull the blinds over and joining her.

"Rose, it's not a good idea to accept her dinner invitation."

"Why Not?  You wanted to interview her son, see how he reacts at home," Rose protested.

"Oh, I'd not thought of that," Alec admitted, Rose giving him a nudge.  "We could probably learn something."

"Yeah, now ya gettin' it," Rose smiled.  "She doesn't like the idea, does she?  Kids admit things to their friends more than they do to their parents ya know?  Me and my best mate Shareen used to tell each other all sorts of things, my mum would cringe.  Tom might talk more at home than in an interview."

"That's if she lets him downstairs," Alec replied.

"Why do ya think I said I was lookin' forward to meeting them?  If she invites me to see her youngest, he might be around, I can ask him things without her realising."

Alec kept quiet for a moment.

"Is that what Torchwood does?" he asked.

"No, it's what I do to my little brother.   Trust me, Tom will talk to me so why don't you let me interview him tomorrow?  Ellie might not object as much."

"That depends what you ask him tonight Rose," Alec replied.  "Are you going to get groceries?"

"Yeah but I might go set my office up first and talk to my stepfather.  Martha will have let him know what you decided.  Please Alec, don't put it off any longer."

"I promise I won't, it just made more sense to have an extra day to recover.  Now I know my chances are better, I will go ahead."

"Good, 'cos I hate the thought that you'll suffer longer than you have to.  You have to trust Martha when she says they'll be someone there all the time.  What are you gonna do now?"

"Wait for results, I was doing as you suggested and letting others get on with it," he smiled.  "I'm waiting for both forensic teams to finish at the crime scenes, the results from the oar and the cloth once they are passed to your labs and also, who had a boat stolen.  That could take a while though, if whoever it belongs to does not use it on a regular basis."

"Yeah, that could be a problem then?  Still, if it was Lee Ashworth that stole it, the owner's not likely to know him, are they?  About Claire though, she offered to do my hair sometime, maybe I should let her?  She might let her guard down."

"Yes, do that then but be careful Rose, she's dangerous, especially if she is seeing her husband again.  She wanted nothing to do with him and she never even told him she was pregnant."

"Wow, that's some secret to hide.  No wonder she was wary of him?  If they saw each other last night though, they must have been planning something?"

"They were playing us Rose, well Claire was.  If she's taking him back, I am no longer going to vouch for her in that cottage."

"Then tell her," Rose suggested.  "Give her a choice, that she stays away from Lee or she leaves.  Alec, you were protecting her from him but she's seeing him again.  I thought on the way up here she was putting it on, that she wasn't nervous about seeing him today."

"Yes, now we know why," Alec agreed.  "Right, you pay a surprise visit to her in the morning after you talk to Tom Miller while I talk to Ashworth.  I just hope your lab will get more results than the police lab."

"They will, trust me, it's what they do, they find the impossible.  I'd better go then?" Rose smiled.

Alec got up and offered her his hand.

"You just be careful where Claire is concerned," he warned her, kissing her cheek.

"You be careful with Lee Ashworth, you're in no fit state if he starts a fight."

"I do not need to be reminded of that Rose."

"Yeah, well just keep out of trouble until you get yourself fixed.  See ya later and no working late as an excuse not to go to Ellie's tonight."

"That was a bit short notice," he replied.

"Well maybe that was just as well?" Rose asked him.

Rose went off back to her temporary office and checked in with Pete.

"Yes, I got the report from Doctor Jones," Pete told her.  "Let's hope he doesn't try to put it off.  If you need more lab technicians, just call Jake."

"Yeah, I will, I want him to run some checks anyway, about Alec's last case.  He's not said much about it but I know he took the blame, even though he was cleared.  Do ya think he'll be able to get me the full story?"

"I don't see why not?  So, how's it going?  You still think that Lee Ashworth's responsible?"

"Yeah, even more so now, he got to his wife before we arranged a meeting with her for him, then they had the nerve to pretend nothing had already happened.  Claire told me when I took her home."

"Sounds like those two are trouble," Pete warned her.  "Watch yourself with them Rose."

"Alec's already warned me Dad.  Hopefully the lab will be able to prove Lee Ashworth's prints or DNA were on that rag that was found, the oar's got Danny's blood on it so with the two items, we can prove he killed Danny."

"Then let's hope so," Pete replied.

Rose went to get groceries then she went to get changed to go out, calling Alec to remind him of their dinner invitation.

"Yes, I will be back," Alec replied just after six.  "Miller has already left."

"Well, get yourself back Alec, any news yet?"

"From your labs or ours?" he joked.

"I'm not saying ours are any better Alec.  If your labs had our resources, they'd get the same results but I don't like that Brian's attitude."

"No, he seems a bit off?" Alec had to agree.  "This may be his first murder investigation though."

"Yeah, maybe.  Have you contacted Lee Ashworth yet?" Rose asked him.

"I'll call him in the morning, what about you with Claire?"

" I think I may just turn up, see what she does?" Rose wondered.

"Well before you go see her, we'll get Tom Miller in first thing.  Rose, the thing about Danny knowing the man he was with fairly well?  What if it was Tom's dad?"

"Hey, we never thought of that," Rose replied.  "Let's watch him tonight then?"

"Yes, indeed, we should," Alec agreed.  "I wonder if Miller put her husband in the line-up?"

Rose let out a laugh.  "Yeah, bet she was pleased about that, considering him a candidate for meeting Danny?"

"Well, they may mention it tonight?" Alec wondered.

"Maybe I can ask her while she shows me her youngest son?" Rose asked.

"Is there any point in my being there?" Alec wanted to know.

"Sorry.  It's just she might talk to me more?"

"Yes, you are probably right, you women tell each other things," Alec had to agree.  "Just like teenagers tell each other.  Am I going to be able to ask any questions?"

"Don't be daft Alec, I'll need you there when I interview Tom.  I thought though if I took the lead, it would seem less formal?  About Ellie's husband though, we never did think about it.  I mean he knew Danny and whoever was there that night, Danny trusted him."

"Yes, he does seem a likely suspect in that respect.  We shall see though if Ashworth points him out but in that case, will he agree to appear in the line-up?" Alec wondered.

"It'll seem odd if he refuses," Rose replied.  "Maybe he doesn't think the eyewitness saw that much though, I mean Lee said he hid around the corner when Danny rushed out."

"Maybe he'll not suspect then?  Right, I will be back soon love," he told her, sitting back in his chair.

"Great, you can help me choose something to wear tonight," Rose replied.

"Then I will be there shortly."

Rose smiled, he had called her 'love' when they weren't in the bedroom.  The night before, Rose had felt happier than she had done since her arrival on this world.

Once Alec got back, he delayed her getting ready by them ending up kissing on the bed.

"Alec, I wish you'd get your surgery done earlier."

"I made my mind up Rose, you seem to forget I was not going to have it done at all," he reminded her.

"That's what worries me Alec.  Would you have got around to it before it was too late?"

Alec tried to get up.  "Rose, stop asking question eh?  Yes, I know I'm bad and could get worse but after being told my chances were not that good?  I expect they would rush me to the nearest hospital were I to collapse and they would have gone ahead, after getting Tess to sign the consent form."

Rose was horrified.  "Really?  What if she'd not got there in time Alec?  Geez, you are one stubborn man.  I used to have this friend who was almost as bad."

"This Doctor friend of yours?" Alec replied.

"How did ya guess?  Alec, he could have fixed your heart in thirty seconds, had he been around.  I'm sorry you never got to meet him."

"So am I Rose, three of us though, all looking the same is a little too much though.  We should be going."

"Yeah, we'd better call for a bottle of something on the way.  So, which dress?"

"You choose love, I don't expect they will be dressed up."

"I'm gonna sit opposite them, to study her husband," Rose grinned as he helped her off the bed.

"You are too suspicious Rose, you are almost as bad as me."

"Is that a compliment?  Are you gonna watch him as well?"

"That would make him suspicious, you go ahead."

After stopping at an off-licence, Rose going to choose some chocolates for Ellie, Alec rang the doorbell and took the bottle of wine from Rose.  Inside the Miller house, Joe had been questioning his wife's decision to entertain her new boss and his famous girlfriend at such short notice.

"Ell, you could have invited them another night," he had told her when she'd got home, Fred still in his chair.

"It was a spur of the moment thing, we were talking and Rose wanted to meet Fred.  She's got a younger half brother, she remembers what it's like," she'd replied, ruffling the boy's hair as he played with a toy police car.

Joe was now starting to get worried as he heard the doorbell.  Had his wife's new boss suspected it was him up at the hut and was using her invite to prove a point?  Maybe though, Hardy just wanted to show off his new famous girlfriend, how had that happened?

"Hi, come in," Ellie was telling Rose and Alec.  "Oh, you're all dressed up Rose," she pointed to her attire.

"This old thing?" Rose laughed, pointing to her designer dress.

"I wish I could afford to buy dresses like that," Ellie smiled.  "I might have splashed out while we were away in Florida but Joe miscalculated our spending money.  I gave it to him to save."

As Ellie stood back to let them in, Rose and Alec looked at each other, Alec thinking that may explain where the money they'd found in Danny's room may have come from.  Rose was thinking the same as Ellie led them into the kitchen, where Joe was just finishing off.

"Well, this is my husband Joe," Ellie told them.

"You need no introduction," Joe grinned at Rose, then looked at Alec.  "I meant Rose being famous and you're the one who kept my wife working late."

"Ah, that I did and I apologise but finding Danny's killer is a priority and while we delay, the killer is getting away with it," Alec replied as he handed Ellie the bottle of wine.

"These are for you as well," Rose smiled, handing her the chocolates.

"Thanks, you can come again," Ellie smiled back.  "Want to see Fred before dinner?"

"Yeah, I'd love to, as long as we're not disturbing him?  How's Tom anyway?  Is he nervous about tomorrow?"

"Why does he need to be interviewed?" Joe asked, stopping to take the bottle of wine from Ellie.

"Joe, I already told you," Ellie replied.  "He was Danny's friend, he may know something."

"Such as?" Joe asked.

"We can discuss that tomorrow," Alec told him, thinking the man was being a bit defensive.

What was he hiding?

"Yeah," Rose agreed.  "Come on Ellie, let's go see Fred."

She hoped both men would behave while they were gone, Alec didn't need to start any arguments.

"So, how did you get to take up with Rose Tyler so fast?" Joe asked him.  "Every single man in the country would kill to get a date with her."

"I am well aware of that," Alec told him.  "She took a liking to me when she arrived."

He hoped the man would not ask any more awkward questions.

"So, you chose to stay at home then?" Alec continued.

"Something wrong with that?" Joe asked him.

"No, not at all.  It's not for everyone."

Rose and Ellie were standing over Fred's cot.

"Aw, he's so cute," Rose was telling Ellie.  "It was a big shock when my mum announced she was pregnant, there's a big gap between me and Tony.  That's why I stayed at home, I knew what it was like to grow up on my own."

"There's not much of a gap between me and my sister," Ellie admitted.  "I think I was keener we had Fred than Joe was, I wanted another before it was too late."

"So, how did Tom take to having a baby brother?" Rose asked her, thinking she may as well do some snooping.

"I think it will have more of an impact when Fred's a bit older," Ellie replied.  "When Fred takes more of an interest, Tom will probably feel more involved, especially now Danny's gone."

"Yeah, I bet Tom's had a shock then?" Rose wondered.  

"He's not said much about it," Ellie admitted, leaning down to cover Fred.  "I don't know if he's said anything to his dad though.  We're not happy about bringing him for an interview tomorrow."

"Ellie, I'm sure Tom wants to help find whoever killed his friend?  We're pretty sure it was Lee Ashworth though but we have to find whoever took Danny up there in the first place.  Had Danny not gone out that night, well he'd still be alive."

"I know that Rose but if Lee Ashworth also hadn't gone up there that night, Danny would have gone home," Ellie replied, trying not to get upset.

"Yeah, sorry.  Lee Ashworth has a lot to answer for.  Why didn't he just warn Danny not to tell?  Mind you, Danny may have had enough being warned by whoever took him up there, he might have panicked and told his parents anyway," Rose suggested.

"He shouldn't have picked up that oar and not expected to use it," Ellie replied.  "What was he going to do with it besides warn Danny?  No Rose, I think Ashworth fully intended silencing Danny that night."

"So, you think Ashworth chased Danny down there and intended getting rid of him, just because he didn't want Alec to know he was in town?" Rose wanted to make sure.  "Yeah, I get that if Ashworth hadn't been up there, Danny would still be alive but what if the person who took him up there also didn't want Danny to tell anyone?  Who's to say that person may have also killed Danny to silence him.  That person's not wholly innocent Ellie."

"Wonder what's taking those two so long?" Joe joked to Alec, who was at a bit of a loss what to say to the man, especially since he and Rose were beginning to suspect he was the one to lure Danny up to the hut that night.

"Women and babies I expect?" Alec offered, leaning back on the counter.  "She has a younger brother, they are probably comparing."

"Well, best go back downstairs," Ellie was telling Rose, who was hoping to speak to Tom.

"Can I say hi to Tom?  Then when he sees me tomorrow, he won't wonder who I am?"

"Rose, even Tom knows who you are," Ellie laughed.

"Alec and I thought it would be best if I interviewed him, he might get scared if he thinks it's going into a police report."

"When did you decide that?" Ellie asked at the top of the stairs.

"Just before Alec got home.  It's best it's informal Ellie but if need be, Alec can take over."

Ellie tapped on Tom's door, not too sure about it.

"Tom, come and say hello to Rose Tyler," she called out to him, having said she'd invited Rose and Alec round.

Tom opened the door slightly.

"Hi, I didn't really believe my mum it was you," he admitted.

"Tom, why would I say that?" Ellie asked him.

"Sorry Mum.  Have you found out who killed Danny yet?"

"We're trying to.  Rose thought it would be a good idea you talked to her tomorrow," Ellie told him.  "She's not in the police but she's here to help.  Do you think you can talk to her?"

Tom nodded.  "Yeah, I'll try, if it helps."

"Great, see you tomorrow and don't worry, we only want to catch the person who killed your friend," Rose tried to assure him.

Joe and Alec were already in the dining room, having carried things in from the kitchen.

"So, you and Rose Tyler?" Joe was laughing as they waited.  "At least my wife's not having to work late, since you took up with her."

"We will only work late when necessary.  We may get some late callouts though, we can't predict when something new comes up.  Sounds like they have come back down."

Rose went to sit beside Alec, putting her hands on his shoulders first.  Alec got up and helped Rose with her chair, making Ellie smile, since he'd been helping her in and out of cars.  As they ate, talking about Rose's reasons for getting involved and how Alec had left Sandbrook, Rose was studying Joe Miller and the way he was asking questions.

"So, do you think other kids are in danger?" Joe asked Alec.

"All I can say is that we think the incident was isolated and Danny was just in the wrong place," was all Alec would admit.

"So was he killed on the beach then?" Joe wanted to make sure.

"No, we believe he was just placed there to be found," Alec replied.  "We can't reveal any more at the moment but even so, keep a close eye on your eldest."

"Yeah, it won't do any harm," Rose agreed.   "We were hoping Danny might have told Tom if he'd been worried about anything."

"I think he would have told me," Joe replied, picking up the bottle of wine.

He went to go refill Alec's glass but Rose stopped him.

"Alec's driving, you can refill mine," she offered.

Alec was wondering just how more tactful she could be.

They finally got ready to leave, Ellie and Joe seeing them out.

"Thanks for inviting us Ellie," Rose was telling her, with her arm in Alec's.  "Tell Tom not to be nervous tomorrow.  Did you get a line-up organised?"

"Yeah, it'll be ready for when the witness comes in," Ellie replied.

"Hey, you didn't get roped in?" Rose asked Joe.

"Seems no-one's safe," Joe laughed.

"That went well," Ellie breathed a sigh of relief as she put her arms around her husband's neck.

"Seems he didn't get away with the line-up?" Rose was asking Alec, who was relieved her car was automatic or he'd probably crash the gears and she'd never let him drive it again.

"We knew she'd have to include him Rose," he replied as he turned at the end of the street.  "Want to bet who Ashworth will pick out?  You may have to delay your visit to see Claire, I want you to deal with your friend, Joe Miller is bound to protest at being accused of meeting Danny."

"Yeah, okay then?  Did you hear Ellie saying they were short of money on holiday?"

"Yes, that's a coincidence," Alec agreed.  "I don't expect you can get her to admit how much but surely she will realise?  I think she is going to be in for a few surprises, don't you?" he asked as he drove back to the caravan.

"She's gonna be a bit upset but what can you charge him with?"

"Ah, that depends on what Ashworth heard them talking about?  I think he heard more than he was letting on."

Chapter 12
As Ellie and Joe went to bed, Ellie never noticed the worried look on her husband's face.  He was getting worried now about appearing in this line-up his wife had roped him into, since she'd told him they had a witness from that night.

Had whoever had been there seen him dash out after Danny?  He'd made a mistake and misjudged Danny would run off.  He thought things had been going well and Danny had warmed to the fact he cared about him but when he'd tried to tell the boy, Danny had turned on him.  The words "I know what you want" from who he thought loved him still echoed in his mind.

He'd tried to explain he didn't want anything, only to be loved back.  They'd talked on the way to the hut after he'd picked Danny up.  He'd not wanted anyone nearby to see them and had suggested meeting at the harbour.  If anyone had questioned him, he could have just said Danny had run off and he was taking him home.

He looked at himself in the mirror.  Now, he was partly responsible for Danny's death by taking him up there that night but how was he to know someone had been watching?  He'd just have to wait until tomorrow and if he'd be picked out but what then?

Ellie had some questions for him though.

"So, about tomorrow.  You're only there to make the numbers up," Ellie tried to assure him.  "You did stay in after I went to bed?"

"What sort of question's that?" Joe wanted to know.  "Why would I go anywhere and leave the boys?  Go to sleep Ell and stop being so suspicious."

"I had to ask," she replied, turning her lamp out and staring at the bare wall.  "When are you going to finish this bedroom?"

"Why are you asking me that now?" 

"You've been going to do it for six bloody months, that's why.  All you have to do is put Fred in his cot or why don't you call one of your friends to help you?  Ask Nigel Carter one evening then."

Joe turned his lamp out, not answering her.  If he got picked out at the line-up tomorrow, they would be having a different conversation.  He thought it had been safe enough meeting in a remote place, trust someone to have chosen that spot to maybe camp out for the night.

Rose and Alec got back to their caravan, Rose in a good mood as she'd had more to drink as a way of deflecting Joe Miller from refilling Alec's glass.

"They will be suspicious," Alec was telling her as they laid on the seating.

"Well we got away with telling him you were driving," Rose complained.  "Do ya think he was with Danny that night then?"

"It's hard to tell, we had better hope Ashworth got a good look at him," Alec replied as Rose snuggled up to him.

Once they settled in bed, Rose thought they could raise the stakes somewhat but she also warned him not to get too carried away.

"I will be careful love," he promised her.

"Yeah, well just because there's someone on standby to see to you if you need it," Rose joked.

"I will try not to disturb them if you make all the moves.  Come here love, I know you won't let anything happen to me.  Why don't you tell me more about this Doctor friend of yours who you travelled with?  You never really mentioned about this twin he had.  If he was meant to stay with you, why did he choose to leave?"

"I wish I knew Alec.  They were about to leave, The Doctor and Donna, who had helped create the other Doctor.  He'd just whispered he loved me but said he didn't deserve me after what he'd just done.  Alec, he wiped out this species called The Daleks but left their creator and this mad Dalek who probably got away so how's that wiping them out?"

"I suppose that was how he looked at it?" Alec suggested.

"They'll turn up again, they always do.  Some from another time period maybe?  Anyway, before I had the chance to say I didn't care what he'd done and that he'd saved everything from being destroyed, he walked away after Donna said they had to leave.  Even my mum couldn't believe he'd just go off like that."

"So, this gap between the worlds closed?" Alec asked as she'd previously tried to explain it to him.  "Will it not open again if you thought it had closed before?"

"No, it was the Daleks, they made it possible again.  Besides, it's dangerous to keep opening it, they might find their way here, well them or something worse."

"It sounds like there cannot be anything worse," Alec replied.

"You have no idea Alec, trust me.  Mind you, some are a bit funny, like the Slitheen, though they are dangerous, they have very long claws and I should know."

"You've been captured by these creatures?"

"Yeah, a few times.  The Doctor always talked his way out of it though, he was good at it although he got us into it most of the time.  There's a lot to tell you Alec and I will, like how we came here the first time and went back.  We almost got trapped here that time but we got back, only for me to get trapped here for real."

"I'm sorry you got trapped here Rose but you did get back?"

"I went to find him Alec, he thought leaving his twin here was a good idea but his twin had other ideas.  It's something, getting rejected like that after all that time."

"I can imagine love.  Still, you have me now."

"Yeah, I do and do ya know what?" she asked him.  Alec shook his head.  "I finally met someone who could say he loved me and he's willing to stay.  I'm not saying it was the Doctor's fault his twin didn't want to stay, I mean what's staying here with me compared to carrying on travelling?"

"I'm sure he did not think of it like that love?  Maybe he did not think after what had happened that he deserved to stay here with you?"

After some more kissing and getting as close as they could, Rose fell asleep while Alec considered how lucky he was.  This Doctor and his twin were in another universe and he, Alec Hardy was the luckiest man on both worlds.  Yes, he was ill but Rose was willing to help him and make sure nothing happened to him and she was keeping his boss from finding out.

He knew he'd never be able to repay her for what she was doing but maybe she'd settle for him actually staying with her and unlike the Doctor's clone, he was willing to make a commitment.  Maybe though, he shouldn't judge either of the other men, one who loved her but couldn't say it and one who could say it but wasn't willing to stay and prove it.

The next morning, Ellie was trying to organise her two sons, thinking she should maybe go drop Fred at her sister's house first so she gave Lucy a ring.

"You are kidding me," Lucy laughed when Ellie told her Joe was appearing in a line-up.

"Stop it Lucy, it's serious.  We have a possible witness as to what happened to Danny, Joe's just helping to make up the numbers.  My boss also wants to talk to Tom, in case Danny told him anything."

"Well, okay then, I can watch Fred for an hour or two.  Olly says Rose Tyler's in town what's she doing here?"

"I'm sure you'll find out when Olly puts it in the paper.  I'll drop Fred off in about half an hour then?"

Olly was just leaving home.

"Why are you looking after Fred?" he wanted to know.

"Your aunt roped your uncle Joe into appearing in a line-up, can you believe it?" his mother laughed.  "Don't you go printing that."

"Seriously?  Why would she do that?"

"She said to make the numbers up or something, there might have been a witness the night Danny died."

"Really?" Olly grinned.

"Talk to your aunt first," Lucy warned him.  "She might still be mad with you."

Olly knew she was but this would make a good story, it would prove something was being done about Danny's death.

Joe Miller however wasn't sure this was still a good idea as he fastened Fred into his car seat.  Tom went to get in the car beside his baby brother.

"Dad, do I have to do this interview?"

"Tom, your mother thinks it's important, so yes.  It's better than what I have to do," Joe tried to joke.

"Yeah.  Hey Mum, dad's getting nervous," Tom laughed.

"I don't know what he's worried about," Ellie told him as she got in the driver's side.

Joe thought that was easy for her to say, it wasn't her standing in the line-up.

Rose and Alec were making breakfast, bumping each other in the kitchen area and Rose laughing about it.

"Do ya think Joe Miller's getting nervous?" Rose asked Alec as they ate.

"Maybe?  If he thinks we have someone who can identify him.  You had better be ready to calm your friend if I have to ask him a few questions.  Like you said before though, what do I charge him with?"

"Yeah, that's the problem," Rose replied.  "If he'd met Danny before, he's not likely to give details, is he?"

"I will have to refer him to child services, they will have to inform Danny's parents.  As if they've not got enough to worry about.  I can't understand people like that."

"Neither can I.  My stepfather would go crazy if anyone approached Tony like that.  Meeting as a family is totally different."

"That goes without saying," Alec agreed as he cleared the table.  "What's wrong with people like that who have to meet kids in secret?"

"Guess we'll have to leave that to the experts?" Rose wondered.

"Yes, well, we may have to call them.  So, you talk to Tom while I see to the line-up.  Don't let DS Miller into the room.  Do you want me to be there?"

"I can manage but isn't one of his parents supposed to be there?"

"Rose, his dad might be the reason Danny was up at the hut the night he was killed.  We can hardly let him be present.  Okay then, get his mother to stay but I will make it clear to her you are conducting the interview."

"Right, gotcha.  Are ya calling Lee Ashworth?" she asked as Alec got his phone out of his pocket.

He nodded as he pressed the number, squinting and making Rose smile.

"What do you want?" Lee asked him when Alec said who it was.

"I need you in for the identification line-up, can you make your way to the station?"

"Bit short notice," Ashworth replied.  "Do I have a choice?"

Alec ignored the remark.

"Have you seen Claire?"

"She won't want to see me now you forced her to meet with me," Lee replied sarcastically.

"Come off it Ashworth, Claire admitted the two of you had met the night before last.   There's no use pretending otherwise.  Why did you go to her cottage?" Alec wanted to know.

"I missed her, why do you think?" Lee told him.

"Why keep up the pretence?  Stop playing games Ashworth, I should charge you with impeding a police investigation.  This line-up could have taken place yesterday.  Now with the games you and Claire have been playing you have delayed us finding who was with the boy."

"Suit yourself, as for finding Claire, you and your girlfriend were easy to spot leaving Claire's cottage.  You never told me how she managed to hook up with you."

"I'm not discussing that with you Ashworth, I suggest you set off now."

Ashworth smiled to himself as Alec hung up on him.  All that time the detective had been after him in Sandbrook, now he held all the cards and Hardy didn't like it.  Alec was asking Rose if she was still going to see Claire later.

"Well, I can't pass up a free hairdo," Rose smiled as they set off.

"Just be careful love, you don't know her like I do.  She could twist things around and don't believe anything she says about when her husband was locked up."

"Why, what's she gonna say Alec?" she asked as they crossed the road.

Alec thought it was better coming from him than Claire.  He waited until they got to his office and he closed the door.

"While Ashworth was locked up, she came to me for help," he admitted.

"What kind of help Alec?" 

"The night those two girls went missing, she told me she'd gone home to tell her husband she was pregnant.  When he got locked up, she was scared to tell him."

"So, why did she tell you?" Rose wondered.

"She wanted me to go with her to terminate it.  She had no-one else and Tess was on the side of the Gillespies, I doubt Claire would have got anywhere with her."

"So, you went with her?  Why would she bring it up?"

"She may make more out of it," Alec replied.  "You can't believe anything other than I took her there and tried to comfort her.  At the time, I had no reason to think she had anything to do with it.  Things have changed Rose."

"In what way?" Rose wanted to know.

"Come on Rose.  You are famous and you are with me.  What other reasons does she need?  She could threaten to go to the newspapers or worse still my boss and make ridiculous charges against me.  She is unstable and she's more dangerous than ever."

"Well, has she had psychiatric evaluation?  I can get Martha involved, get her to bring an expert down from head office.  Then if Claire wants to try anything, no-one will believe her."

"That could make her worse Rose and how do you get her to see anyone?" Alec asked her.

"Well I don't have to tell her she's being evaluated, do I?  Okay, let's get the line-up out of the way and get Tom interviewed, then I'll call Martha.  Do ya think Joe Miller's getting worried?"

"I think that's exactly what he is right now.  I bet anything Danny was meeting him, when you think about it.  Danny will have trusted him, maybe even gone to him rather than his dad.  Let's see what he has to say if Ashworth picks him out shall we?"

"Can't wait," Rose smiled.

Alec's mobile rang and it was the desk sergeant to say Tom had arrived with his dad.

"Right, I'll join you until Ashworth arrives," Alec told her.

When they got downstairs, Ellie was talking to Tom.

"Just answer the questions," she was telling him.

"Will they all be about Danny?" Tom asked her.

"I expect so.  You'll be talking to Rose, she's not in the police, it's just informal.  We just need to know if Danny told you anything."

"You already said Mum," Tom smiled.  "I don't think I have anything to tell her though."

"You saw Danny all the time," Ellie reminded him.  "Tom, what do you mean by that?"

Tom shrugged his shoulders just as Rose came out of the lift, followed by Alec.

"Right, you go ahead to the interview room," Alec told them, seeing Joe Miller was looking a bit too smug with himself for his liking.

Joe was about to follow Alec as Tom and Ellie went off.

"What do you hope to gain by getting me in a line-up?" Joe joked.  "Am I a suspect now, even with my wife being a detective?"

"No-one is exempt Joe, we just want a broad range of people for the witness to go through," Alec replied.  "Your wife says she went to bed early that night but swears you would not go off and leave your two boys."

"I wouldn't," Joe replied as Alec led him into a room with a height chart across the wall and a camera set up.  "No two-way mirror then?"

Alec let it go as he heard talking in the corridor, thinking the others who had been roped in for the line-up had arrived.  While they were being asked their names, Alec thought he'd go see how Rose was coping.  Ellie was sat beside her son, a camera pointing at Tom.

Rose switched it on.

"The camera's only here to make sure you're not uncomfortable talking to me," Rose explained.  "If you want me to stop, just say.  Don't worry, I've got a half brother a bit younger than you.  So, when was the last time you saw Danny?"

Ellie noticed Rose wasn't writing anything down, which meant she intended going through it with her boss later.  Tom noticed as well.

"Aren't you going to write this down?" he asked.

"I told you it was informal, I'll go through the recording later.  If you want me to stop recording, just say."

"It's okay Tom, you can talk to her," Ellie told him.

"Just before we went on holiday.  Then he sent me a message saying he didn't want to see me any more, he'd got a new friend."

"Tom, you never said, why not?" his mother asked him.

"I thought he was joking Mum but I never saw him, he never spoke to me at school," Tom admitted.

"Just before that, did he say he'd made a new friend?" Rose asked him, thinking Ellie didn't know everything about her son then.

Tom shook his head and looked up as Alec entered the room and leaned on the door, folding his arms.

"So, you fell out?" Alec asked him, getting a nod from Tom.  "When he went to your house, what did you both do?"

Rose let him go ahead, even though it was her interview.

"We played video games after school, then we'd do our homework," Tom replied.  "Then he went home after we kicked a football around on the field."

"Did anything change, the last few days before you went on holiday?" Alec wanted to know.

Tom looked at his mother.

"Tom, answer him," Ellie told him.

"I think he went to talk to my dad as I went back upstairs."

"Tom, was that in the house or outside?" Alec asked him, taking notes now.

They were interrupted by someone knocking on the door after trying to open it.

Alec stood to one side and wondered who had dared to interrupt him.  Then he remembered Ashworth may be waiting.

"What?" Alec asked.

"Sir, everyone's ready and your witness is in the other interview room."

"Right, I'll be there in a moment, don't let anyone leave," Alec ordered.

He waited as the door closed and looked at Tom.

"Tom, this is important," Alec reminded him.

"Outside, I think.  Yeah, he asked if he could get a drink, then I saw him going through the kitchen door.  Fred was asleep in his chair."

"Was he?" Ellie asked him, wondering what Joe was doing leaving him.

"Dad never said anything," Tom told her.  "I just went upstairs."

"How many times did this happen?" Alec wanted to know.

"A few times, not every day.  Then one night, I got a message after he went off early."

"Tom, can I see your phone?" Alec asked him.

"Hey, why do you want his phone?" Ellie wanted to know.

"It's okay Mum," Tom replied, getting it out of his pocket.  "I deleted the texts, I was angry with him."

Alec wondered why.

"Not to worry, I can get them from your phone provider," Alec told him as he got up to get an evidence bag and began writing on it.

"Are you serious?" Ellie asked him.

"I need to know what Danny said," Alec defended his actions.

He wondered why his DS was not getting the picture.  Did they all have something to hide, well with the exception of the baby.

Chapter 13
Alec went off with the phone after writing the details on the label.  He handed it to the officer outside and told him to make it urgent.  Then he went back to the line-up, where Nigel and Joe were complaining.

"Quiet please," Frank was asking them.

"You know me," Joe was telling him.  "This is ridiculous."

"Yeah, too right," Nigel agreed as he leaned back on the wall.  "Mark got annoyed I had to take some time off, he's hardly in any state to do the jobs himself.  Why are you here Joe?"

"My wife found it amusing," Joe tried to laugh it off.

"They've got nothing else to do," a man with grey curly hair told them.  "Who's in charge?"

"It's that new DI, the one who took my wife's job," Joe informed them.

"You mean she sat back and let someone take it?" Nigel asked him.

Just then, Alec walked in and spoke to Frank.

"You know what to do?  I will be with the witness."  He turned to the men who were waiting.  "When the witness is finished, you will be free to go unless you are asked to remain.  If you are asked to remain, you will be asked a few more questions.  This is only about finding who killed Danny."

"You think one of us done it?" Nigel grinned.

"You find this amusing Carter?" Alec asked him, already annoyed with the man for wasting their time.

He wasn't going to give any clues as to why they were there, whoever had been with Danny already knew.  Ashworth was also getting jittery, sitting at the table and waiting for the laptop to be switched on, an officer in the doorway.

"Where is he then?" Ashworth asked.

"Someone will be with you soon," the officer replied, as he'd seen Alec come out of the other interview room.

"About time," Ashworth told Alec as he entered the room.

Alec set up the program then told Frank to get the volunteers to get back in line.

"Ashworth, look very carefully at these men, one of whom we believe could be the man you saw last Thursday night."

"What's in it for me?" Ashworth joked as Alec focused on number one, Frank having passed them some cards to hold.

"I kept my end of the bargain, I got Claire to meet with you, under false pretences seeing you knew where she was."

"So if I identify this other man, you'll leave me alone?" Ashworth wanted to know.

"That depends what he has to say for himself, you are not off the hook yet Ashworth.  By the way, I was only helping Claire because she was scared of you, she admitted she spent the night before last with you.  I think she'll be off soon, now you're around again," Alec told him.

"Yeah, she's even crazier than before," Ashworth joked.

Alec tried to ignore him.  He went slowly through the group of men until he got to Joe Miller.

"Ask him to turn to the right," Ashworth spoke up.

Alec relayed the message and Joe turned to the right, since Ashworth had seen him from the left.

"There was only light coming from inside the hut when the boy was chased, I never got a clear look inside but yeah, that looks like him.  He got the boy to go back inside, I got tired and bunked down."

"You mean no-one passed by you on their way to the cliff path?" Alec asked him.

Ashworth shook his head so Alec turned the sound back on the video.

"Tell number six to remain, the rest can go."

"What about me?" Ashworth asked him, hoping to get away with it.

"Don't leave town, I may have some more questions," Alec told him, hoping he and Rose were right about him.

"Have you seen Claire since yesterday?" Ashworth asked him.

"No, not after she left here.  Were you there last night Ashworth?"

Ashworth just grinned and declined to answer.

"I will find out," Alec told him as he prepared to leave.

"Going to use your little girlfriend?  Claire won't talk to her," Ashworth replied.

"We'll see about that, she is going to pay Claire a visit later, she's been invited."

Alec went off to where Joe Miller was waiting, having been read his rights.

"You are joking?" he asked Frank.  "Why am I being held?"

"You'll be told when DI Hardy gets back."

Meanwhile, in the less formal interview room, Alec was just telling Ellie that her husband was being questioned.  Rose had got up to sit beside her after Tom had been led out by a WPC and Alec wondered what it was about her.

"I can't believe you think he's the one that was with Danny that night," Ellie was telling them.

"I'm sorry Miller but Ashworth identified him, out of the six of them.  I know Joe and Nigel Carter look a bit alike but he picked out your husband.  Stay with Rose, while I go talk to him.  Do you want me to get someone to see to your son?"

"What?  No, he can wait here for now, how long were you planning on keeping Joe?" Ellie asked him.

"Rose, I need a word," Alec gestured to the door.

"So Ashworth got a good look at him?" Rose asked, looking over at Ellie.

"He could be playing games with us again and left it to the last one," Alec replied.

"Why do that?  Did he pick him out right away?"

"No, he asked Miller to turn, the way he would have been seen from the side of the hut," Alec told her.

"Well, there you are then, it had to be Joe that Ashworth saw that night.  Want me to talk to Joe with ya?" Rose offered.

"You had best stay here, I'll call if I need you."

He went off to where Joe Miller had been taken.

"What's going on?" Joe asked him as Alec sat opposite.  "Why did I get asked to stay?"

"Tell me the truth Joe, where were you the night Danny died?"

"What?  I already told you, I was at home," Joe replied, laying his head on the table.

"You may want to change that statement.  You were seen coming out of the cliff top hut after Danny that night," Alec told him.

"You are joking?" Joe asked him.  "What would I be doing up there with Danny?"

"According to an eyewitness, Danny came out and you talked him into going back inside.  Why had Danny run off Joe?" Alec wanted to know.

"How do I know?  Whoever your witness saw, it wasn't me," Joe insisted.

"Your wife can't say you were there," Alec insisted.

"She can't say I wasn't either," Joe replied.  "Look, whoever thinks they saw me was mistaken."

Alec banged his fist on the table.

"Why would someone who does not know you pick you out in a line-up?" Alec wanted to know.  "They had no reason to pick you out other than they saw you that night so, stop wasting my time and tell me why you took Danny up there."

He knew he shouldn't let the man get to him, he was supposed to be letting Rose do all the hard work.

Joe let out a laugh and Alec thought he was just as bad as Nigel Carter.

"You find this amusing?" Alec asked him.  "A boy died and as far as we can tell, you were one of the last people to see him, you and the witness.  Danny was seen running from the hut then being persuaded to go back inside.  What happened when you went back in?"

Joe straightened his face.  "I don't know what you're talking about.  I want my solicitor."

"Fine, call for your solicitor but I am holding you here until he arrives or until you give me some answers.  Why would the witness have any reason to lie about seeing you up there?  They have nothing to gain by it."

Alec got up and left Joe to wait for his solicitor.  He turned to the DS who was with him.

"Make sure he gets his phone call and place him under caution, then check how the CSU is getting on with their findings."

He then went back to where Rose and Ellie were waiting.  Rose had persuaded Ellie to let Tom be escorted to his aunt's house, Lucy was still finding it amusing her brother-in-law was helping the police with their enquiries.  When Tom had gone off, Ellie asked what Rose thought about Joe being held back.

"Alec must have a reason," Rose had told her.

Even though Rose knew what had most likely happened, there was nothing to say Joe was completely innocent.  Why had he lured an eleven year old boy up to the hut in the first place?

"Why can't you tell me why he's being held back?" Ellie asked her.

Just then, Alec entered the room and answered her.

"Your husband has asked for his solicitor," he told Ellie.

"What?  Why would he do that?" Ellie wanted to know.

Alec sat next to Rose, who kept quiet.

"Miller, we believe Joe was the last person apart from the witness who saw Danny alive that night.  We're not saying he had anything to do with Danny's death but he won't admit he was there that night and with Danny.  I can tell you that we have someone under suspicion for killing Danny but we need Joe's help."

"Then shouldn't you be holding that person?  Oh, you do think it was Lee Ashworth?" she asked.

Rose thought she already knew that.

"Ellie, we talked about that but we have to find out why Joe was with Danny."

"You never said you thought it was him.  I got him here under the pretence he was just making up the numbers," Ellie told them.

"Yes, we know," Alec replied.  "We could not tell you at the time but you admitted you never knew if he had stayed in that night."

"Alec's right," Rose agreed.  "We only have his word he stayed in and he was bound to say that to cover up going to meet Danny.  Sorry Ellie but Lee Ashworth got a good look at Joe that night, he has no reason to single him out."

"Yes he has," Ellie disagreed.  "He could have picked out Nigel Carter, why Joe?"

"Miller, listen to yourself," Alec told her, getting a scowl from Rose for not being so tactful.

"Can I see him?" Ellie asked him.

"You know the procedure, not while he's under caution.  He can clear all this up Miller, he can prove he let Danny run off."

"Then what?" Ellie wanted to know.

"Then sorry Miller but we have to question the reason he took Danny up there that night.  At the very least pass it to child services.  Why would he want to take Danny up there, we need to know if they'd met before.  You heard Tom saying Danny went to find Joe once or twice."

"Well I knew nothing about it, Tom said nothing to me," Ellie replied.

Both Rose and Alec thought Tom knew more than he'd let on.

"We'll need to speak to Tom again," Alec told Ellie.

"Why, when you're holding his dad?" Ellie asked.

"Miller, I can tell you this much, Ashworth claims a lot more than he first told us.  He said Danny went back inside the hut," Alec reminded her.  "He's trying to pin Danny's death on Joe."

"I know that," Ellie replied.  "I heard what he said about whoever he thought was there.  Ashworth has to be lying."

"I know," Alec told her.  "If we get the results back we can prove Ashworth killed Danny but if Joe will admit he was up there as well and tells us what happened after Danny ran out of the hut, Ashworth will have to admit it."

Ellie still couldn't believe he thought it was her husband that had been up there.  Rose got up and went to sit beside her.

"I know you don't want to believe it was Joe that Lee Ashworth was talking about," Rose tried to comfort her, trying to put her arm around Ellie's shoulder.

Ellie shook Rose off.

"All that talk about the person Danny was meeting and you believe it was Joe.  Tell me you're wrong?"

Alec nodded to Rose.

"Sorry Ellie but the evidence points to it being him."

"You believe Ashworth when he lied in the first place?  You let him get away in Sandbrook."

Alec wished she wouldn't remind him.

"I know but I'm going to get him this time, trust me.  Most of the evidence has gone to the Torchwood lab, if they can get something off that rag we found and the oar, we have him.  It will prove Ashworth was lying about Danny going back in the hut and him seeing Joe backing Danny against the wall."

"I should hope so.  Why would he have done that?" Ellie wanted to know.

Alec could think of a few reasons.

"Maybe Danny was going to accuse him of something and threatened to tell his parents?" he wondered.

"Accuse him of what?" Ellie asked.  "So, when can I see him?"

"After his solicitor arrives and he tells us what he was doing up there," Alec replied.

"What if Ashworth is wrong?  You're wasting time saying it was Joe, on the word of someone who got away last time." 

"Ellie, you have to face it," Rose tried to tell her.  "Ashworth had no reason to point Joe out.  Let's wait and see what he has to say?"

"Rose is right Miller, if he's asking for a solicitor, he knows he can't prove he was at home that night."

Ellie shrugged Rose's attempt to try to console her.  There was a tap on the door and a uniformed officer told Alec that Joe's solicitor had arrived.

"Why don't you go to your boys?" Rose asked as she got up.

"I'll wait here, they'll be okay with my sister," Ellie insisted.  "I'm only leaving when you stop accusing Joe of something you're wrong about."

When Rose and Alec got outside, Rose stopped him.

"She's gonna be in for a shock if Joe confesses."

"I know that," Alec replied.  "Well, let's go see if he'll admit anything."

Joe had been talking to his solicitor, the man listening to the accusations.

"So Mr Miller, were you out that night?" Joe was asked.  "If you tell me the truth, you'll stand a better chance with the police."

"What will happen if I admit I was meeting Danny?" Joe wanted to know.  "Not that I am admitting it."

"That depends if that was the first time," the solicitor told him.  "Was it?  Mr Miller, you have to be honest with me, if you want my advice.  Why did you send for me if you're not going to tell me the truth?"

"I was worried," Joe replied.  "I don't want my wife to know anything."

"She's a detective is she not?" his solicitor asked.  Joe nodded.  "The investigating officer is not obliged to tell her but she may get to know sooner or later.  They will have to ask her questions as to if she knew you were meeting Danny Latimer or anyone else." 

Joe saw he had no choice.

"There was only Danny.  He came to me one evening when he was leaving, to ask if he could talk to me.  He said his dad had hit him once and he was worried.  I told him if it happened again he could come to me and we'd tell my wife and get her to talk to his dad."

"Then why did you meet him in secret?" the solicitor asked him.

"Danny then hurt his knee while playing football with Tom so we talked a bit.  I told him we were going away and he said he'd miss me.  When we got back, my wife had gone to bed early so I suggested we met, I'd been up by the hut before we went away and saw the cleaner leaving the key so before I went to meet Danny, I went to check.  I think she may have left it in case the owner came back."

"So you took the key with the intention of taking Danny up there?" he was asked.  "Mr Miller, I think we should continue this in the presence of the police."

So Rose and Alec made their way to the interview room, seeing Joe leaning back in the chair.  Alec thought they were going to have their work cut out getting an admission out of him.  Alec was surprised when Joe's solicitor asked what they wanted to know.

"Well, why did you arrange to meet Danny that night?" Alec asked, since there was no doubt now that Ashworth had been right.

Joe told them about Danny going to him about Mark hitting him and when he'd been giving first aid to Danny's knee that something had come over him that made him want to take care of the boy.

"I wanted to meet him somewhere on our own, with no-one a round," Joe admitted.  "I just wanted to be his friend but he took it the wrong way and wanted to leave.  He ran outside and I called him back but he ran towards the edge of the cliff.  He told me to go away and leave him alone so I did, I went back inside to think what to do.  When I decided to try to persuade him to come back inside, he was gone."

"Did you not bother texting him to see where he had gone?" Alec asked him.

"No, I just tidied up a bit so there were no signs we'd been there and left, I figured he'd walked across the cliff top and gone home," Joe replied.  "I swear I never did anything but talk to him."

"We will have to inform his parents," Alec told him.  It's then up to them what they do about it but that can wait, they have enough at present but by not admitting anything, you can see how it looked.  When you were outside, did you see anyone else around?"

"I saw a motorbike by the bushes, I thought someone had gone for a walk and were late back," Joe told him.

Alec knew Mark had already told them that.

"There was another car in the car park, I didn't take much notice but it may have been Mark's car but why would he have been up there?" Joe wondered.  "Do you think Danny saw it and when no-one was there he just went home?  Did you already know there was a car there?"

"Our witness saw the car Joe," Alec replied.  "This is important, did you see anyone near the motorbike?"

Joe shook his head.

"I was only looking out for Danny, I never wanted to leave things like that.  He thought I wanted something."

"Did you?" Alec asked, raising his eyebrows.

"No," Joe defended himself.

"Have you finished with my client?" Joe's solicitor asked.

"For now.  I can't say what Danny's parents will make of it, maybe I should tell them right away?  Your wife wants to see you Joe," Alec told him.

"I can't face her, do I have to tell her?" Joe asked.

"That's up to you Joe," Rose told him.  "Tom already noticed Danny had gone to find you one night when he was leaving, she's gonna want to know what that was about.  When Danny's parents are told, Ellie will find out then." 

Everyone but Joe got up to leave.

"We'll send Ellie in," Rose told Joe.

When they got outside, Alec wondered if that was such a good idea.

"She has to know," Rose told him.

"We're still no wiser over Ashworth being seen.  That's three people who were up there and never saw him."

"It's like he was the invisible man," Rose joked.

"That's not helping Rose," Alec replied.  "Let's hope your lab has something to prove it was Ashworth but we know he was lying about what Joe was doing inside the hut and Danny going back in."

"Yeah, that's something," Rose agreed.  "I'll go back and see Ellie, then I think I'll go pay Claire a visit.  Are ya getting Lee Ashworth back in again?"

"When we get some results back, I want to be able to charge him and make it stick this time, then if you have some success with Claire, we'll get the pair of them for Pippa's death."

"Yeah, we make a great team," Rose smiled.  "Like Hope and Glory, Shiver and Shake."

She remember what the Doctor had said not long before she'd been parted from him but she couldn't let that get in the way.

"I thought you were going to say Starsky and Hutch or Turner and Hooch," Alec replied dryly.

"Who?" Rose teased him.

"Not from where you come from?" Alec asked her.

"Me and mum used to watch the repeats of Starsky and Hutch," she admitted.  "I wanted a cardigan like Starsky's so she knitted me one."

Alec shook his head and they went back to see Ellie, who had been talking to her sister.

"So they're holding him then?" Lucy asked her as she'd just got Fred to take a nap.

"Yeah, he asked for his solicitor.  Don't you dare say anything to Olly about it, he may take it the wrong way.  Lucy, I'm worried though, what if he did have something to do with what happened to Danny?"

Chapter 14
Lucy suddenly didn't find it was funny.

"Ell.  You're not serious are you?" she asked her sister.

"Well Hardy and his girlfriend are holding him," Ellie replied.

"Let me get this right.  They think Joe was with Danny the night he died?  What for?  Wasn't he at home with you?"

"That's just it Lucy, I don't know.  I'd taken those pills I have for jet-lag.  He could have gone off without me knowing."

"Crikey Ell, you told Hardy that?  So Joe's not really got an alibi?"

"Don't say that.  Someone is under suspicion for killing Danny.  No, they just think Joe was secretly meeting Danny, I don't know what he's said.  Even so, Joe may have seen the person responsible, Hardy just wants Joe to confirm it.  The suspect identified Joe as the person he saw with Danny."

"Sounds a bit complicated," Lucy laughed.  "If they have a suspect though, at least Joe's not being charged for that but seriously, he was meeting Danny?  What for?"

"You tell me.  Tom said one night before Danny left our house, he went to find Joe.  Maybe it's nothing?" Ellie wondered.

"Even so Ell, it's one thing Danny going to find Joe at your house and another if they were meeting in secret."

"You think I don't know that?" Ellie asked her.

She wondered if she should even discuss this with her sister, she'd surely be taken off the case now.  She looked up when Rose and Alec entered.

"You can go see him now," Alec told her.

"What did he have to say?" Ellie wanted to know.  "Was he with Danny up at the hut?"

Rose went to sit next to her, Ellie moving her chair away.

"Sorry Ellie but yeah, he was.  You should ask him why," Rose told her, going to touch her arm but Ellie moving away.

Ellie suddenly felt sick and getting up, dashed past Alec to the ladies room.

"Go after her Rose," Alec told her.

Rose nodded and got up.  Alec had wanted Ashworth to be wrong, that he'd just pointed Joe out because Joe was the last person in the line-up but no.  Tom must know something else but was it relevant now?  Maybe he should just pass it to child services to see what they made of it but that was now up to the chief, who he now had to go face.

Ellie had locked herself in a cubicle, being sick so Rose tapped on the door.

"Go away Rose," Ellie finally replied, getting some tissue paper.

"Ellie, I'm sorry, we wanted Ashworth to be wrong.  We hoped Joe had seen him up there but Joe never noticed him."

"Well, see what you've done by trying," Ellie replied, trying to wipe her face.

"Joe brought it on himself Ellie.  Danny would still be here if Joe hadn't taken him up there," Rose reminded her.  "Sorry but Tom must have had an idea, since Danny went to find his dad then Danny went inside when he hurt his leg."

"Tom's eleven Rose, why would he think anything?" Ellie wanted to know.

Rose was wondering that herself but the situation said otherwise, Tom must have thought something.

"I don't think Alec wants to ask him Ellie.  Joe admitted meeting Danny, he sent him a text after you'd gone to bed.  Danny must have deleted it so we'll have to contact the phone company but Joe's phone will be sent as well now.  Go see him Ellie."

Ellie opened the door and Rose saw her eyes were all red.

"I can't.  What did he want to take Danny up to the hut for?  I can't face him right now, I need to talk to Tom and ask him if he knows anything.  Do you know what this will do to him?"

"Sorry Ellie, really I am but it's not normal behaviour to arrange to meet a friend's son late at night in a remote spot.  I know things may have been different if Lee Ashworth hadn't also been up there that night."

"You think I don't know that?" Ellie asked her, still dabbing her eyes.  "I'm going to pick up the boys, I'll deal with Joe when Hardy lets him go.  Has he finished asking him questions?"

"I think so.  Alec will probably go see the chief about it," Rose replied.

"I'll get taken off the case or even suspended," Ellie told her.

"It might not come to that Ellie, you weren't to know he'd gone out."

Alec had gone to see the chief and was telling her that Ashworth had seen Joe Miller up at the hut but not the other way around.

"So, we're waiting for results of the oar and that rag that was found?" the chief was asking him.  "It's all resting on that?"

"Yes, the items are now at the Torchwood labs.  They will go through every fibre of that rag and every grain of wood on the oar.  Ashworth is responsible, I'm sure of it," Alec replied.

"You think he followed you here and Danny recognised him?  Don't blame yourself for this Alec."

"I am blaming myself.  Ashworth could have just let him go, I would have known he was in town sooner or later," he replied.

"It seems Lee Ashworth wasn't ready to let you know," the chief told him.

"He was playing games.  He wanted to find his wife so he thought he'd follow me," Alec admitted.  "She wanted to start over so I brought her down here, just outside the town.  She had no-one else to help her and it meant I could keep an eye on her, if Ashworth tried to contact her."

"I see then?  Seems like Ashworth gathered that?"

"Too soon, yes.  He could have walked away after chasing Danny, instead of as we believe, that of swinging the oar and hitting the boy.  We still think that's what Ashworth was doing and Danny ran into it.   We still don't have the boat used to transport Danny either.  Can you authorise the coastguard or the harbour master to search any moorings or coves for an abandoned boat?"

"It's a lot to ask," the chief told him.

"It may hold vital clues, such as Danny's and Ashworth's DNA.  He may have just tied it up somewhere but no-one has yet reported one missing.  It can't be far away, there were signs a chain was cut by the boatyard."

What Alec didn't know was that Lee Ashworth had changed his mind about leaving the boat he'd used where he'd got it from the morning following leaving Danny on the beach.  He had gone down and taken it up the coast a mile or so to a rocky patch of beach and dragged it into some bushes, then he'd walked back up the cliff to where his bike was.

Alec was just leaving when his phone rang.

"What?" he asked, having been told Chloe Latimer had called the station to say she'd been out and seen a boat stuck in some bushes up the coast.  "Has CSU gone up there?" he asked when the desk sergeant said a patrol had gone to investigate.

He ended the call and turned back to the chief.

"Seems the missing boat has been found, now we have whoever killed Danny."

"That may also have been wiped clean," the chief warned him.

"We should get something from it," Alec disagreed, wondering how Chloe Latimer had stumbled upon it.

He went off to find Rose, who had gone up to his office, thinking she may put off her visit to Claire until tomorrow.  Alec had figured where she'd gone, after asking if DS Miller had left.  Rose smiled as the office door opened, as she'd been playing with her phone.

"Updating your social profile?" Alec teased her.

"Nah, I only talk to my friends, my real friends, I have it set to private.  You'd never believe how many friend requests I get."

"Well, we found the boat used to transport Danny, we still have no idea who it belongs to though.  Going to visit Claire?"

"I'll leave it until tomorrow, ya never know, Lee Ashworth could be in custody by tonight."

Alec was hoping so, then he could go get himself fixed, now he was more confident about it.

"Then let us hope so?  Any news from your labs yet?" he asked.

"They'll notify CSU, I expect that Brian will be complaining of more work, with finding that boat?" Rose laughed.  "Do ya know where Lee Ashworth went?"

"To see Claire I suspect.  Rose, it's not a good idea you go back there."

"I might not need to.  If her husband's DNA is on the boat with Danny's, she'll leave ya know?"

"She won't get far.  If I get Ashworth to admit he killed Danny, I can get Tess to re-open Sandbrook."

Joe Miller had been let go with a warning he was still under caution and got a taxi home, where Ellie was sat in the dining room, waiting for him, the laptop on.

"Tell me the truth Joe.  Did you go meet Danny that night?" she asked him.  "He was eleven years old, what did you take him there for?"

"I never did anything but talk to him," Joe insisted.  "I swear that's all Ellie."

"How can I believe you?  You took Danny to his death Joe, there was no need to get him up there that night."

Tom was on the landing, tears in his eyes.  Ellie heard him get up and slam his bedroom door.

"See what you've done," she continued.  "He saw Danny going to find you one evening and he never told me.  Why not?" she asked him.  "Did you tell him not to?"

"What?  No Ell and it was only twice he came to me.  Mark hit him, did you know that?"

"No, I didn't but even so, was that any worse than what you had planned?" she replied.

"Ellie, I never planned anything," he laughed.

"Think I don't know your email password?" she taunted him.  "You were emailing him.  Want me to read some to you?"

"Dad, is it true?" Tom asked from the doorway.  "You took Danny to where he was killed?"

"Tom, go back to your room, I'm talking to your father about it," Ellie insisted.

"What's this?  A police interview?" Joe almost laughed.

"I could show these emails to Hardy but what went on between you and Danny now has nothing to do with him being killed.  I think you'd better leave Joe, I'm not covering for you when child services come after you."

"What?  Hardy won't go that far," he replied.

"Won't he?  He's working with a Torchwood agent, don't cross either of them, you know they're involved and Rose Tyler has a younger brother, she'll see you don't get away with it, especially when they get your texts to Danny."

Joe went to sit down at the dining table.

"You really want me to go?" he asked.

"Yes, until you're cleared, then after that, I don't know.  All I feel at present is disgusted.  You knew it was you who was up there with Danny, all that time we were talking about it."

"How do you think I feel Ellie?  Yes, I was with him, he ran away from me and I thought he'd gone home.  I was cleaning up while he was being killed.  I have to live with that now, for the rest of my life."

"What do you think I'll be doing?" she asked him.  "I have to live with knowing you could have prevented it.  How did you get Danny to meet you that night Joe?  What did you promise him?"

Joe got up and stormed out, going upstairs to pack a bag.  Tom heard him and went into his parent's bedroom.

"Are you leaving Dad?"

"Yes, for now, it's best I go Tom.  You lost your friend, it's my fault Danny was up there."

"You took him away from me Dad.  He sent me texts to say he'd got a new friend and he didn't want me to talk to him any more."

He went back to his room, slamming the door behind him.

Rose and Alec were about to call it a day when Brian knocked on the door.  Rose thought he'd come to make another complaint about how many crime scenes they had on the go at once.

"Sir, we have a preliminary report on the boat that was found earlier.  We found several prints, one set belonged to Lee Ashworth."

"So, he wasn't so clever after all?" Alec asked.  "Rose, care to accompany me to bring Lee Ashworth in?"

Rose smiled.  "Yeah, do ya know where he is though?"

"Yes, I got the chief to allow me to put a trace on his phone," he bragged.

"You sneak!  I bet he's with Claire?" Rose laughed.

When Lee Ashworth had been let go and told by Alec to stay in town, he'd got on his bike and gone back to Claire's cottage.  Claire was packing.

"Where are you going Claire?  You were going to say goodbye?"

"Why should I when you just turn up?" Claire asked him, looking out of the window.

"What were you looking for Claire?" he wanted to know as they lay in bed after he talked her into having sex.

"Nothing, I just thought Alec may have followed you."

"Don't worry about him Claire unless you were involved with him?"

Claire slapped his face and got up, grabbing her robe from the nearby chair.  She heard a noise outside and peeking out of the window, saw two marked police cars.

Alec and Rose were in the first one.

"Be careful Alec, he might be dangerous," Rose warned him, hoping neither of them would start a fight.

Alec knew what she meant as he went round to open the car door for her, something she was beginning to like.  Claire was already getting dressed, telling Lee to get a move on.

"I tell you, Alec just got out of the lead police car."

"Keep calm you stupid cow, don't let him see you at the window," Lee replied.

There was a loud knock at the door as Alec shouted for Claire to come out.

"She might be upstairs," Rose hinted, certain she had seen the curtain move.

"Claire, open the door," Alec repeated as he knocked again, Rose thinking she'd hate to be on his bad side.

Claire finally opened the door, half dressed.

"Alec, why are you shouting?" she asked him.

"Tell Lee to come out, we have a warrant for his arrest regarding Danny Latimer," he told her.

"What?" Claire spluttered.  "Why do you think he had something to do with that boy's death?  Didn't you hound him enough back in Sandbrook?"

"Step back Claire, we have a warrant to enter the premises and do a search," Alec replied, not wanting to mess around.

Claire began to panic.  She'd hidden the pendant she'd stolen from Tess's car back in Sandbrook in the kitchen drawer.  Alec saw Lee appear behind her so he motioned two officers to take him into custody.

"Lee Ashworth, I'm arresting you in connection with the death of Danny Latimer.  Read him his rights," he told the officers.  "Claire Ripley, stand aside while we search the cottage."

Another marked car had arrived and the officers entered, Alec already telling them they were looking for a police evidence bag containing a pendant.  Both he and Rose stood and watched as the officers began the search.

"Try the kitchen drawer," Rose hinted.  "That's where my mum keeps everything."

"I suppose you think you're clever, 'mate'?" Claire hissed to her.

"Stop it Claire, I know it was you who broke into Tess's car," Alec told her as she leaned on the back of a chair.

"Did your girlfriend work it out?" Claire asked sarcastically.

"Sir, we found it," the WPC told him, Alec glad she was wearing gloves so Claire couldn't say it was planted there.

"Claire Ripley, I'm arresting you on suspicion you aided and abetted Lee Ashworth in the murder of Pippa Gillespie," Alec told her.

Claire was led away and placed in the other squad car after the WPC escorted her to get dressed.

"Well, you got them," Rose smiled.  "Will Tess be joining you in interviewing them?"

"Well, Danny's murder takes priority, he and Claire will be charged with Pippa's murder," Alec explained.

"So, how about we pay a visit to Doctor Jones tomorrow?" Rose whispered to him.

It was late when Rose and Alec finished at the station, after they went to tell the Latimers they had charged someone over their son's death and Tess was facing a long drive back.

"Come and stay with us," Rose suggested as they went to find something to eat in the camp bar.

Alec was sure Tess would turn her nose up at the thought of staying in a caravan while her ex husband slept with the Vitex heiress.  Surprisingly, Tess agreed.  She had gone to one of the smaller bedrooms and Rose was in the bathroom when Alec heard a tapping on the door.  He thought maybe someone had seen Tess going in and complained to the security guard.  He unlocked the door when he saw it was his DS after looking out of the window.

"Miller, what are you doing here?" he asked, wondering who was watching the boys. 

Ellie peered inside.  "I got your address from Bob," she told him.  "Can I come in?"

Alec let her in just as Rose emerged from the bathroom.

"Ellie, what are you doing here?" Rose asked her.

"I told Joe to leave," Ellie replied.  "I got Olly round to look after Fred and Tom.  What do you think he would have done, if Danny hadn't run away?"

Rose indicated for Ellie to sit then sat beside her.

"Oh Ellie, I'm sorry," she told her, looking at Alec.

"I think you should be thankful Danny did run away but he ran to his death," Alec replied, sitting opposite.

"What's going on?" Tess wanted to know as she was about to go to the bathroom.

"Tess, this is DS Miller, she was working with me but she removed herself from the case," Alec started to explain.  "Her husband was the one who took Danny to the clifftop hut."

"Are you going to tell Mark and Beth?" Ellie wanted to know.

"I have to tell them, it's up to them what they do about it," Alec replied.

"He made me feel sick, meeting Danny like that.  What did he think he was doing?  Danny would have told his parents and according to Tom, Danny fell out with him because he thought Joe was his new friend.  Did you get the emails I forwarded?"

"Yes, if child services get involved, they will need to see them but I don't think anything will happen, apart from him maybe being put on a list," Alec told her.

"Danny would have stayed home that night if Joe hadn't sent him a message when I'd gone to bed," Ellie told them.

"Yeah, we know Ellie," Rose tried to console her.  "You can't blame yourself for what he did."

"I should have seen something," Ellie disagreed.

"Not if he gave no signs," Alec tried to assure her.  "I'll talk to Mark and Beth tomorrow, see what they want to do but now, they need to bury their son."

"Alec, can't it wait?" Rose asked him.  "Haven't they gone through enough?"

"They need to know why Danny went out that night," Alec disagreed.

"Did you both go see Mark and Beth this evening?" Ellie asked him.

Alec nodded.

"I'd better go before the neighbours complain," Ellie tried to laugh.

"Yeah, it could take some explaining," Rose did laugh.

After Tess left the next morning, Alec promising to call Daisy and get her to meet Rose, Martha was waiting for Alec's visit.  She arranged for Alec to be admitted to the hospital in Dorchester and it was up to Rose to make sure he kept the appointment.  Rose knew he would, she had fallen in love with him and he'd do anything for her, including getting himself fixed.

If everything went well, they'd take a trip back to London for her to get some more clothes and for Alec to meet her family, then back to Broadchurch and hopefully, his chief would never find out there had been something wrong with him.

When Lee Ashworth had been formally charged and transferred to the detention centre in Exeter to await his hearing first for killing Danny Latimer, he was cursing Claire for being so stupid and hiding Pippa's pendant where the police would find it and most of all, he was cursing Rose Tyler for turning up in Broadchurch just as he'd arrived looking for Claire.

The End!

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