Alec was pleased when Rose got into bed beside him and as he put his arm around her, she leaned over to him.
“Alec, I’ve had some time to think about this. Will you give me some time? Can we just take this slowly?”
“Yes, I can do slow, the slow path it is then as long as there’s lots more kissing and snuggling?”
“Yeah, I can do kissing ‘n’ snuggling.”
This Alec was turning out to be more like the Doctor every day though he’d not done the kissing bit. Rose fell asleep on him, he’d not even asked anything else for now but he planned on it in the morning as she’d seemed in a better mood that morning when she’d just woken up. He decided to try his luck, maybe she was more susceptible to his charms when she’d just woken up?
As she did awaken, she was aware he was stroking her back with his hand under the borrowed t-shirt as he had been awake a while and not realised she was. Rose was just lying in his arms sort of enjoying it, it was doing no harm and he was probably thinking he’d got away with it so she let him.
“Hi, that’s nice Alec.”
“Oh, you don’t mind then?”
“No, I don’t mind. What time do you have to go to work?”
“Not just yet, tryin’ to get rid of me?” he asked, leaning down to kiss her neck.
The neck kissing turning into a snogging session, Rose again letting him pull her on to him and they changed places again several times before he broke it off.
“I’d love to stay here all morning but I have to go. Will you find something to do today?”
“Yeah, I can go find a laptop if you like?”
“With an unlimited credit card? Best be careful love.”
“I know, I won’t go mad, don’t worry.”
“I am worried Rose, if Special Branch investigate your transactions. Just get cash out and when you’ve got the laptop don’t buy anything else with it. You may be best getting the limit out each day and we’ll stash it away, in case we have to leave.”
“You still think they might try and drag me back to London then?”
“I can’t say, it’s just a precaution, I won’t let them take you. If they turn up today I’ll call you but if I think they are not going to be friendly, I’ll come and get you and we’ll leave.”
“Alec, I don’t want to go on the run, not unless I have to. They can’t prove anything.”
“Ok, relax love.”
He started getting out of bed, sitting on the edge as Rose got up behind him and put her arms around him, kissing his cheek and ruffling his hair.
“That’s easy for you to say, you’re not the one they’re coming to see.”
“I’ll insist I’m there during the interview representing Wessex police, they can’t refuse to let me sit in on it and we won’t let on we’re involved with each other. I’ll stop the interview if I have to and so can you, if you’re not happy about something, tell them you want legal representation and I’ll get a duty solicitor in.”
“What about the one you told me about the other day?”
“She’s a barrister, we’ll only call her if we have to. I really have to go now love.”
As he got up, he suddenly turned around, pushing her backwards and leaning over her then risking putting his hand under the hem of the t-shirt and splaying his fingers over her stomach then daring to lift it slowly and placing a kiss. Rose responded by reaching her arms around his neck and pulling him down to do it again. As he kissed her tummy again, Rose put her arms around his shoulder and kissed his neck. He looked up and grinned. Now they were making some progress.
He sat up and Rose returned the favour by bringing her hands around to his bare chest. He leaned on one arm over her and took one of her hands, holding it just near his heart.
“Rose, I know you’re used to the other Alec and I realise you had to be careful but I’m perfectly fine, you know that and I know it’s not fair to ask you to get as close to me as you obviously were to him just like that so I’ll give you the time you need but I would like to do more of what we just did, if you agree?”
“Ok, I can do that, we’ll just do more of that, for now.”
“Then there’s hope for me?” he smiled, leaning down to kiss her again.
Rose had never had to worry about the other Alec, they’d started their relationship very quickly, especially with him coming out of hospital and moving into her hotel room and then Rose getting the chalet. Being with this Alec felt strange but he was being very understanding under the very unusual circumstances and it was quite obvious he wanted the chance to prove he was more than interested in getting to know her a whole lot better.
After kissing him goodbye, Rose wandered up the road into the town, hoping she would be able to pick up a laptop but finding nowhere, she had to resign herself to waiting for Alec coming home and going down to the big superstore in Dorchester. She took his advice though and going inside a bank, got the daily limit out of the cash machine, pleased her card didn’t get chewed up.
She’d been a bit alarmed at the thought of getting money out each day but Alec was right, if they had to leave in a hurry they would need to fill the car up and maybe buy things on the way and before he’d left that morning, he said they should come up with an escape plan and head for Wales or Scotland if they weren’t in a hurry. He’d said Wales would be the nearest, then head up the motorway from there, hoping to throw anyone off who may be following, there were several ways out of Wales and even Special Branch couldn’t watch them all.
Rose had thought that would be the best plan rather than risk going straight up into Scotland, there was less risk of being caught but only if it was only Special Branch after them and not half of Torchwood.
Alec was not having such a good day. He’d chewed Lawson out for ratting on him to Elaine, telling him in no uncertain terms to keep out of his business and for the record, he was not screwing with Rose Tyler, as much as he wanted to though whether anyone actually believed Rose Tyler would even want to, there was some debate going on and a betting pool started up as to if she would or not.
He called Rose just after twelve to say no-one had yet turned up to interview her and arranged to meet her for lunch. He greeted her when he crossed the road and Rose said they’d have to go out of town for the laptop.
“Never mind, we may as well leave it until the weekend now. You won’t get a lot done tomorrow anyway, you can make a start on Monday.”
“I’ve wasted this week Alec, I could have been trying to contact some of them.”
“Yes and you could also have been attracting some unwanted attention as well. Leaving it a few more days won’t make any difference, there has been no comeback from those I contacted so far, give it a few more days then if anyone wants to make something of my call, it will give them time and we’ll know if it’s safe for you start contacting others.”
“Yeah, you’re right, they may have talked to each other I suppose, maybe this Gwen Cooper has talked to some of them, was she friendly?”
“Not exactly, she was no friend of the other Rose but she did not sound like she was against her either. Maybe you should try and talk to her?”
“Maybe she’d be less willing to talk to me than the police though. I’ll stick to sending emails next week.”
Alec’s phone rang, it was Elaine to say two men from Special Branch had just arrived though he’d not seen anyone go up the steps from the road but they could have gone around the back, there was the vehicle entrance to the police garage.
“She’s with me Elaine, we’ll be over in ten minutes. I’m sure you can keep them entertained?”
“Don’t get smart with me Alec, just bring her in, they don’t like to be kept waiting.”
“Fine but I’m going in with her, I’m not leaving them alone with her, I’ll represent the station, say we are satisfied who she is.”
“Ok, you do that then but I’m not 100% happy about the tests being inconclusive, she could still be the real one, with all that money she could have got herself altered.”
“Yes Elaine but if she were to do that, she would have changed her appearance as well.”
He hung up and turned to Rose. “They’re here Rose, are you ready for this?”
“No, of course I’m not ready but I have to get it over with. Don’t leave me with them will you Alec?”
“No love, I won’t leave you in there but we can’t be too friendly and I may not be able to say much other than I believe who you are.”
He didn’t care who was watching, he pulled her up and kissed her then led her across the road. Once inside, he asked where the visitors were and without knocking, entered the interview room where he should have taken Rose last week instead of his office.
“I’m DI Alec Hardy, who are you two then?” Alec asked as he stood in the doorway and indicated for Rose to enter first.
One of them stood up. “Inspector Farrell and Inspector James, Special Branch. So Miss Tyler, have a seat. DI Hardy, your presence is not required.”
“Maybe not but I stay, you’re in my station and the chief insists someone represents her and I’m here to tell you we do not believe this is the Rose Tyler who is wanted.”
“We’ve read the reports and the DNA results, we’re here to determine as to how close the results were, 85% possibility of a match, just 2% outside the parameters. Can you explain that Miss Tyler?”
“No more than you can. I’m not the one you want, would I be stupid enough to let myself be taken to a police station after hiding for four years?”
“I don’t know, would you? Can we call you Rose?”
“No, can we get on with this or are you gonna ask me stupid questions all afternoon?”
Alec smiled to himself. No matter what happened, he was not going to let them take her away, she was something else despite all the trouble she’d landed herself in through no fault of her own. How she’d got there had been a million to one fluke, she could have ended up anywhere and she’d sought him out, the first time in his life he’d had a woman come to him and not had to do all the hard work. He was going to find it difficult to ever let her go.
The questioning continued, asking her where she came from, about her upbringing and it didn’t match the history of the other Rose Tyler.
″I’ve been tryin’ to tell ya, I’m not her. He believes me, well he says he does, though he’s been keeping tabs on me on his chief’s orders since I arrived, I can’t get rid of him, he’s freakin’ me out. The women here have even warned me about him, he’s a creep.”
Alec hoped she was only trying to throw the two men off the scent. Rose continued.
“Can’t I make a complaint about him? No-one took any notice of me downstairs, he even waited for me to bring me here to see you two.”
The one called James smiled. “He’s not our concern Miss Tyler. We’ll let you go for now but this is far from over, we’ll be keeping a very close eye on you.”
“Oh yeah? How ya gonna do that from London eh?”
“Oh, I think we already have someone. DI Hardy, we’re making you responsible for keeping tabs on Miss Tyler here.”
“What? You can’t leave me with him.”
“Oh, it will be my pleasure to keep an eye on Miss Tyler for you, trust me, it will be no trouble at all.”
“No, please, find someone else.”
“Not unless you choose to go back to London and I expect you came down here so you wouldn’t be detected when you came out of hiding. What made you decide now was the time?”
“I told ya, I wasn’t hiding, I’ve been living with my mum on a London council estate. I was away when you said that touchdown or whatever it’s called was blown up and I’d no idea someone else shared my name. I was up in Norway just outside Bergen when this other Rose Tyler did those things you claim she did. I think I have a right to find out who she is.”
“Do as you wish, if you want to look her up, be warned though, she had a lot of enemies. I don’t expect you’ll get any help from the local police though so having DI Hardy keeping tabs on you may not be all that bad.”
“Geez, I’d rather be deleted by the Cybermen, thanks all the same.”
Both the other men smiled, James thinking it looked like Hardy was in for a difficult time but at least they would know where she was if they wanted any further information and if Hardy didn’t get what he wanted, he’d surely gladly give the details and she looked like she wasn’t willing to oblige him.
“Well, that’s down to you, you have very few choices but if you leave town, I expect you Hardy to inform us immediately and put another trace on her.”
“Oh I’ll do that alright, she won’t get very far, trust me, I’ll make sure you know where she goes.”
Rose crossed her arms and looked complete cheesed off. Alec was hoping it was just an act, Rose hoping he wasn’t acting, she needed him and he knew it and this was one way of getting them off their backs. Maybe they wouldn’t have to make a run for it after all, well not from them, maybe still from what remained of Torchwood.
Alec took Rose up to his office and closed the door and pulled the blinds to and then kissed her. Even though the recording equipment was not in use in the interview room, Alec was taking no chances. He sat down beside Rose.
“That was quite an act you put on down there. I hope it was just for their benefit and not for real?” he asked, kissing her cheek.
“What do you think? Of course it was an act Alec, do you think I would alienate my only friend? Seriously? I’m still not certain about Ellie though, what about you?”
“I don’t know her that well, she left just when we had made peace with each other. What about the Ellie you know?”
“Pretty much the same, they hated each other when they met, then I made friends with her and they tolerated each other for a while, until she moved to Devon with her youngest son, then we all met up again at the trial. It had just finished when I got called back to Torchwood.”
“You must tell me the whole story love, maybe tonight?”
“If I tell you, you still might leave me.”
“Don’t say that. What could you possibly say to make me run away? Ok, I admit I get jealous when you talk about him, what other man in their right mind wouldn’t and it hurt me when you admitted it to Ellie but you can’t really blame me. I want to know where I stand Rose, we’re getting closer than you care to admit and you know it, we need to have a serious talk about where we are going. Tonight you tell me all about how you met and how you helped him and why you stayed with him even though as you admit nothing really happened between the two of you but you are fiercely loyal to him and while it’s highly commendable, I need to know I stand some sort of a chance with you.”
“I know it’s not fair on you but it’s not fair on him either, I didn’t choose to come here instead of going home and back to him, he’ll be going crazy by now and so will my mum. She got used to me travelling with the Doctor but she always knew I’d come back at some point, although I did go missing for a year, which she never forgave him for really but this time, it’s different. This time she knows I’m not still out there in the same dimension.”
“I get that Rose, really I do and until I met you, I had no purpose in my life, no girlfriend, no-one to care about or who cared for me but I believe now you are that purpose, the reason I came here. We’ll talk when I get back, you should go now or they will all think we’re in here getting up to goodness knows what.”
Rose smiled. “Yeah, don’t want them thinking any worse of you, do we?”
“Oh Rose, it could only lift my esteem in their eyes, there are bets going around as to if we are screwing the life out of each other or if not, if you actually would.”
“Right, ok, let’s keep them guessing for now shall we? You open that door and I’ll give you a good snogging in front of them, ok?”
“I’m not arguing with that.”
Rose duly obliged so as Alec opened the door, she put her arms around his neck.
“Do you really want me to leave Alec?”
“No but you should, see you when I get home babe.”
“Can’t wait, this is some of what to expect when you do get home.”
As Alec pulled her arms reluctantly from his neck, Rose tugged on his jacket and crashed her lips against his.
Letting him go, she whispered, “You owe me for that.”
“Always a pleasure to owe you Rose,” he whispered back, kissing just below her ear that sent a shiver down her spine.
She wondered exactly what she had just started. At least it would be Alec pretending to keep tabs on her and not a complete stranger but now he expected her to tell him everything about how she met the other Alec and she really didn’t want to. She wanted that to remain private and she didn’t think it was fair to tell this one what she and the other Alec had shared, it didn’t seem right so she would give him the least information she could get away with and if he didn’t like it, she would tell him she wasn’t prepared to tell him more.
After all, she wasn’t asking for the details of his past with Tess, he shouldn’t expect her to tell him what she and the other Alec got up to in bed, did he want her to compare the two of them? She was definitely not up for any of that, there was nothing to compare since she’d never fully been with the other one, they had been waiting for him to get well again and now she regretted it. This Alec could do things to her the other one couldn’t and he’d already got started though it was still a little one-sided on his part, she wasn’t willing to go any further just yet but he was wearing her down and she knew it.
With Special Branch off the case for now, she could breathe a little easier but next week when she started contacting former Torchwood employees, things could take a turn for the worse. It was difficult to know who was for or against the other Rose Tyler, she sounded like she was a force to be reckoned with and that wasn’t her but she didn’t know the circumstances that led the other Rose to do what was claimed she had done.
The two men from Special Branch had given no clues as to how it had all happened, they must have supposed she already knew about it and Alec hadn’t really said much over the last few days. Tomorrow it would be a week since she arrived here and now Alec was wanting to up the stakes even more but she hadn’t quite been prepared for it to all happen so quickly.