There was a lot of discussion going on in the Tyler residence, particularly from Jackie Tyler, who was more than upset at her husbands decision – to send Rose away. Neither Jackie or Rose had got used to this world running ahead of their own, both had lost three years of their lives, Jackie had given birth to a boy, Tony and in their world, it was 2013.
Pete had stuck to both his new wife and his now stepdaughters' original birthdays, Jackie objected at first since she was only 40 but since she had replaced the original Jackie who had been 40 before she died and whose birthday party had been crashed by the Cybermen, Pete argued she couldn't just come back as the same age.
Rose's new life in what they affectionately called 'Pete's world' since Rose and the Doctor accidentally crash landed and Rose and her mother's sudden unexpected return several years ago thanks to the Daleks and Cybermen had never been easy. While Mickey and Jackie had taken to life here like ducks to water, Rose had not had an easy time.
An elaborate plan had been put into force just after their arrival, Jackie had been easy to take the place of Pete's first wife though she was not happy about the woman's treatment of him and had said it was a good job she was no longer around. The problem was Rose. There had never been a Rose Tyler ever born for her to replace. They had come up with all kinds of reasons for her sudden appearance from adoption to a secret child but they had decided for the matter to remain a secret and a press blackout had been put into place.
Pete Tyler had the money and the power to do it and only a selected few, being Mickey and Jake and a Dr Owen Harper at Torchwood knew the truth. Now they were faced with another dilemma. Someone had sent an anonymous letter to Pete saying they knew Rose was not who she appeared to be and it didn't appear to be coming from the press.
Pete had Jake run some discreet enquiries to the top newspapers and even Mickey had been roped in but they could not find out where the accusations had come from. It appeared whoever it was didn't want a big payoff or using physical threats against her – they were threatening to have her declared an alien and have her thrown in prison for the rest of her life as this world did not take too kindly to anyone not born on this world since the Cybermen invasion.
Just after the invasion and they were all locked up, the governments of the world had made a treaty that anyone not from earth would be tried and imprisoned and would not get the benefits of what was on offer from a now peaceful planet. Torchwood was instrumental in the treaty – for allowing the Cybermen to infiltrate them and escape and no-one cared where they had gone to, they were just glad to be rid of them so the organisation had been rebuilt by Pete Tyler with the help of Jake and Mickey and Pete was able to cover up the fact he had rescued Rose and Jackie from certain death on the other side of the void.
While Torchwood had free reign, world government approved, they had to submit a report every year that any alien threats had been dealt with and any intrusions curbed and that any alien beings had been sent packing with a warning never to return and so far, they had been successful.
The truth was, people were scared after the Cybermen so easily took control and they had forgotten it was a human that had invented them. It had caused the governments to panic that there would be a mass protest if things were to get out of hand again but Pete knew the truth, he knew who had invented them and had himself disposed of the culprit but he couldn't admit it publicly, only that he had been a part of it because they had taken his wife, who had come back a changed woman and gone into hiding for three years.
Now Pete and Jackie Tyler were faced with losing Rose, one way or another. If whoever had threatened to expose her after all this time got enough evidence, Rose would be taken and tried and they would never see her again so after summoning Jake, Mickey and Owen Harper to his office, Pete had come up with a plan – to hide her. Now, everything was in place and Pete had called in some huge favours, mostly from personal friends with influence and one of them was the chief constable for the Wessex area.
Without giving too much away, he had told the man that Rose was in danger but not exactly what from. He had just said someone was threatening her and that she needed to go into hiding and the chief constable knew exactly the place to send her – the place where a young boy had just been killed and after a two month investigation had just been solved by who had been dubbed 'The worst cop in Britain' who had redeemed himself but was now declared unfit for active duty and just been placed on medical leave three days ago and was still in the town.
So the chief constable had called Chief Superintendent Elaine Jenkinson and told her to tell the said lead detective on the case not to leave town and to be prepared to still earn his keep and be kept on full pay for a special assignment and for him to find a place to rent and move out of the hotel he'd been put up in and it would be paid for. What he didn't say to her was what it was about and who was paying for it.
The chief constable had not had a pleasant conversation with the chief superintendent on the same morning Pete Tyler had told Jackie and Rose about his plan after being told of the idea of Rose being installed as a witness to the care of a police detective who had been placed on medical leave with a serious heart condition.
"But Sir, Alec Hardy is not fit for work," Elaine Jenkinson had declared after her boss had said he had a special assignment for the detective. "Furthermore Sir, he's had several heart attacks while he's been here and told no-one, not even his then partner. She was the one that found out and told me, I had him medically declared unfit for duty, he's cleared his desk and is now just hanging around until the end of the week to attend the boy's funeral."
The chief constable was not going to be swayed. It sounded like the detective was just the person he needed for the job. DI Alec Hardy was a maverick, a loner and now it seemed he was very good at keeping secrets and giving nothing away, he had just eluded them for goodness knows how long over his health and solved a major murder investigation.
"I'm well aware of the Elaine, he's just what I need. You do know we're prepared to keep him on full pay and pay for him to rent a holiday cottage or something for the duration of this assignment, it's that or we put him in the police training college giving lectures, I'm sure he won't want to be just sitting around until his last case goes to court and that could be months away. Has he got anywhere else to go?"
She thought about it. Perhaps not knowing Hardy. He would hardly be welcomed back to the Sandbrook area after the last time, she had been the only one prepared to take him on and if she had known, would have refused and given the job to Ellie Miller but she would still be one officer down, now Miller had been put on leave to sort her family problems out.
"So what kind of special assignment are we talking about Sir? He can't do much except maybe some paperwork and he won't be happy sitting behind a desk."
"That's not what I have planned for him. I need him to look after a very important person."
Elaine laughed. "What? Hardy babysit someone? That should be good. Is it someone who's wanted or a witness that needs protection?"
That gave him an idea he could put to Pete Tyler, he was sure the man would agree. After all, they couldn't just tell anyone but Hardy himself the true nature of his assignment.
"Yes Elaine, you've got me there, it's a kind of unofficial witness protection assignment, just you, me, Hardy and the witness's family will be in the know about it. Only Hardy will know the truth so I need to come down there when the witness arrives."
So Elaine got off the phone after being told exactly what he wanted and called Alec Hardy, she thought she had seen he last of him.
"Alec, how are you doing?"
"Why should you bloody care Elaine? You threw me out, before I could finish the case and look where that got you? You could have let me finish it properly instead of me going behind your back."
"You did finish it and went behind my back and you deserved the credit for it but that's not what I'm calling you for. The chief constable wants to meet with you, he has a special assignment for you."
"What? I thought I was out, you seemed to make that quite clear."
"I know but he's chosen you just because of that, he says you're just what he needs. All your expenses will be paid but he needs you to move out of the hotel and find a rental place as soon as you can, a two bedroom holiday flat or house so you need somewhere fairly close, he wants you to look after someone, a witness from what I can gather, he won't give me the details. He wants to meet with you on Friday, the witness is being brought down here first thing."
Alec swore under his breath. "Bloody hell Elaine, how I am I supposed to find somewhere in three days?"
"Get what you can Alec, it's being paid for, money is not the object."
"Why me and why here, in Broadchurch?"
"Because we've just been in the news, the whole country knows what happened here and he figured this would be the last place anyone would look for someone who was being protected."
"Well maybe if that bloody nosy town reporter wasn't still hanging around, all it takes is for him to come snooping around. Miller's still in town, I suppose he might leave when she does. Well I'd better go find somewhere then. It beats sitting around on my arse for weeks on end in a hotel while they debate the finer points of Joe Miller's incarceration though if it was up to me I'd hang him from the town hall and just let the mob at him, like they did with Jack Marshall."
"Yes, well I expect Ellie would be the first in line then, after you. Just do what's needed Alec, there's no need to get approval, just get whoever you rent a place from to bill us and tell them you need it indefinitely so make sure it's free and move in as soon as you can. Make sure it's fully furnished. Have you done anything about your health yet?"
"Why should you bloody care? No, I'm waiting for a letter from the hospital, since the CMO has referred me again."
"Are you going to go along with it?"
Alec laughed. "Well since you've just volunteered me to babysit someone, I don't have a choice though if it kills me, you'll have to find someone else."
"Well, I'll let you get on with it, be in my office 9am on Friday morning. When is the funeral for Danny?"
"Thursday. I was planning on leaving afterwards anyway."
"Well not any more, if anyone asks, you changed your mind."
"How do I explain there's another bloke suddenly living with me? I'm not telling anyone I'm gay or anything, I'd have to say it was my cousin or something."
Elaine laughed. "I don't think that will be a problem Alec, it's a woman."
"What? Oh thanks Elaine, just what I need after getting rid of Miller. Just let me die now."
"I don't know who it is, the chief constable wouldn't tell me but she's someone very important and it can't be handled through normal channels, so you're on your own. The police will have no part in it, that's why he chose you. He did tell me this much though, it's been decided her cover will be that she's your new wife."
The phone went silent, Hardy was stunned. "Repeat that?"
"I said the cover story will be that she's your wife, to give her your name so no-one will suspect anything and ask her name and so we don't have to invent one for her. You'll be given all the details on Friday but from what I gathered, the plan is that you got married just before you came here, in secret and she stayed behind to keep out of the way and you've been going back when you could."
"Bloody hell Elaine, Tess will go crazy when she finds out. Do you know what I went through with her before my divorce? She accused me of having an affair with one of the girl's mothers and the wife of the chief suspect. What the hell am I going to say?"
"That's your problem Alec, I take it that it wasn't true then?" Elaine smiled to herself. Who would want to contemplate having an affair with Alec Hardy?
"No it bloody wasn't, she was the one having the affair, under my nose and with the full knowledge of the entire police station, which makes it even worse. I suppose I'll have to admit she was right. How long have I supposed to have been married?"
"Again Alec, that's up to you but maybe just before you came here, that's two months so maybe three months might be safe enough, you work out the details. There is one more thing. She doesn't know it yet, she thinks she's just going to be sharing a holiday home with a police officer, she probably thinks with a female detective and if Ellie wasn't so wrapped up in her own problems, the chief constable would probably have put her with Ellie."
Alec Hardy put his phone down and rubbed his face. Geez, what had he ever done to deserve this? Daisy had just acknowledged his existence when she returned one of his calls, just to say well done for catching the boy's killer, Tess had actually done the same and had told him she was now in charge of the division he used to be the head of and that they had moved in with Dave. Well hooray for them, he could now top that, apparently he'd just got married again. He just hoped she wasn't an ugly cow who was twice his age and had half a dozen kids all under the age of ten.
Well if that was the case, Elaine would have had him renting a villa not a two bedroom holiday let but the woman still might be ugly or twice the size he was and she still might have kids. He would find out on Friday morning what his fate was going to be.
Back in the Tyler house, Rose was talking her mother into being calm.
"It's ok Mum, it's not like I'll really be gone. Remember that year I went missing?"
Jackie remembered it only too well, she'd had Mickey hauled in for questioning more than once.
"Mum, I won't be far away and I'll call you all the time and I'm sure dad can arrange so I can at least spend Christmas with you all if it's not been sorted."
"I'm not sure about that Rose, not unless we all go away somewhere in secret. You have to distance yourself completely away from us, you need to be given an unregistered phone, Jake's setting one up and he's also setting up another bank account for you and new ID. Once you're off the radar and things die down you can come back." He still didn't know how he was going to explain she had disappeared suddenly.
Pete had just got off the phone after being told that Rose would have to change her name, which he half expected and thought of using either Smith or Jackie's maiden name but when being told who the detective was and that she would also have to take his name, change her first name and pretend they were married, he had his doubts. He also had to keep this fact from his wife, Jackie would go spare, she had picked on the poor bloke during the murder investigation but never once mentioning who he looked like.
Rose hadn't taken much interest either, only she was glad the killer had been caught. When he had heard his friend's suggestion, they had come up with the idea between them but Pete still hadn't given the true reason, only someone was threatening her and had convinced the other man it was pure jealousy at her status and was probably an old school friend getting revenge that she had suddenly come into money.
Still, the chief constable knew that Pete had taken to Rose like she was his own, never really knowing how that had come to be but suspecting she was his illegitimate child from a previous liaison or she had been born before the couple had got married and been adopted out and then been reclaimed, he really didn't want to know.
Jackie was still being comforted by Rose, who seemed to be taking it somewhat better than her mother.
"Rose, you do understand why we're having to do all this, don't you?" Pete asked, taking Jackie from her and putting his arms around her.
Rose nodded. She knew what the alternative was and wished now she had been able to remain in her old world or that the Doctor would actually come back for her.
"I know Dad, I know there's no other way and it's heartbreaking. I thought we could be one big happy family, now you two have each other finally, just like it was meant to be but I guess that's the price we all have to pay. This world is balancing itself out, I'm just not meant to be here. It was bound to happen sooner or later."
"You know I have Mickey and Jake trying tirelessly to get this stopped, don't you? They won't stop until they find out who's responsible. Those two will do anything for you Rose, you know they will. You're like a sister to Jake and as for Mickey, well you know him better than I do. There are a few things you need to know before we go on Thursday night, well early Friday morning. We need to be at the place you're going to before nine in the morning. So we'll set off around five, have a couple of stops on the way."
Rose nodded and sat of the leather sofa.
"Just take what you need Rose, you can buy anything else. You'll get a new bank account in your new name, just a cash card, no debit card but you'll get online banking. Your accommodation is paid for, no rent to pay. It will be furnished, everything you need and if you get bored, you can take up your drawing again."
"Can't I get a job? Maybe as a volunteer or something?"
He hadn't thought about that. Since it seemed she was going to have a sick detective to look after, it was right up her street and she would have her hands full. "Well I suppose if you want to do some charity work where they ask no questions but don't answer any personal questions, just the minimum."
"Pete, what's her new name going to be?" Jackie sobbed.
"Jaks, I can't tell you that. From now on you only call her Sweetheart of something like that, I'll get you her new phone number. Rose, the phone won't be that secure so don't call her mum over the phone and when you call me, just be careful. I'll call you first, just call me if there's a problem. I'm putting Owen Harper as your sort of go-between. You're going to be his niece if anyone asks."
Rose liked Owen Harper, he was dependable and Pete and Rose trusted him. He wasn't that much older than her but the term 'niece' didn't have an age limit on it. You could be four years old and be an uncle under some circumstances.
So they had an early dinner on Thursday night, telling Tony nothing of what was going on. They would tell the boy that Rose had to go away for a bit and that she would see him soon, he was used to her going away on missions. Just after 4am on Friday morning, Rose was getting dressed for a car journey, where to, she didn't know. She was just glad she was staying in this country though Pete hadn't actually said she was, they could be going for the ferry, a zeppelin or towards the channel tunnel.
With her new ID and bank cards she wasn't allowed to use in a envelope she took another peek at her new name. She was apparently going to be called Claire Hardy and she made no association with a certain detective who had a few days ago been in all the newspapers and TV news as being the detective who had brought a boy's killer to justice.