When Alec got back home, he wasn’t quite expecting the greeting he got as Rose kissed him, the first time she’d instigated it apart from the odd time in bed.
“What was that for? Not that I’m complaining or anything, it’s just a nice change.”
“You, pretending to go work on their side, that was quick thinking Alec. Hey hang on, you were only pretending weren’t you?” she added, putting herself at arms length.
“Only if you were love, you saying you’d rather be deleted by the Cybermen and begging them not to leave you with me.”
“That’s called improvisation Alec. What did you want me to say?”
“Well you put on a good show saying I was freaking you out.”
“Aw, you’re not really freaking me out Alec, if it’s any consolation. I said you owed me for snogging you in front of the others, I expect to collect.”
“Really? I wasn’t joking when I said it would be more than a pleasure to keep an eye on you, I think they were convinced.”
“Yeah, they’re probably wishing you good luck with that, you made yourself sound serious over it, like you had more than just keeping an eye on me on your mind.”
Alec pulled her back and kissed her again. “Rose, if I admitted that, they may have thought I’d already tried it on with you.”
“I suppose so. Well at least we can relax a bit now but I hope by trying to contact someone who may help me next week that I don’t get the wrong people after me. I was thinking maybe I would try and get a part time job to earn my keep.”
“I told you I’d take care of it Rose, you don’t have to go work unless you really want to.”
“I want to get out of the house Alec, I’ll go crazy if I don’t. I’ll have a look in the local paper tomorrow, I might get something where they don’t want a work history. I might need a reference though, do you think I should ask Ellie since I’ve only just met her?”
“Call her tomorrow and ask her, it won’t hurt. Now, about me owing you for showing off in front of the rest of the office?”
After dinner, Alec decided they should have some fun and finish the wine and he put some music on, dragging her up to dance. Rose noticed he’d chosen some slow tunes, on purpose she thought as he pulled her close and began kissing her neck, making her shiver.
“You may as well admit it Rose, it’s getting to you. How much longer can we both hold out eh? I’m trying my best here but it’s getting to the stage I don’t know how much longer and I don’t want to keep reminding you. I said we should talk, about what you left behind.”
She leaned into his shoulder as they moved in time to the music.
“What do you want me to admit Alec? There is no comparison between the two of you, you’re completely well, he wasn’t, you have the unfair advantage and if I thought about it I could take the easy option and just give in but how can I forget my other life?”
“Rose, I said I wanted to know things about your life and I do but I know it’s not fair to ask you to compare me with him. Neither of us can win Rose, not until you accept you may have to just move on and I’d like you to move on with me. Can you think about that?”
“Alec, if I have to move on, I’d rather do it with you than anyone else, I just don’t know how long I should wait.”
“Then come here and let me help you decide.”
Rose was wearing the dress she’d had on the other night at the Miller house and Alec leaned around her neck and began kissing just above the zip, then holding the top with one hand, slowly pulled the zip down and moving around further, kissed all the way down as the zip got lower, his lips avoiding her bra fastener. He soon discovered she had finally dared to wear the underwear she’d bought with the money left over he’d given her to buy a dress and he smiled as he pulled the dress away at the front and saw the black low-cut lacy bra. He slowly pulled the dress lower, kissing her shoulders and her neck until the dress dropped to the floor, revealing the matching underwear.
He let out a low whistle as she stepped out of it and he put his arms around her as she kicked off her shoes. He led her to the sofa, Rose stopping to unfasten his shirt buttons as he kissed her neck.
“You’re beautiful Rose and I hope you can just find it in you to move on with me? We can take this slowly if you still want to?”
Rose nodded and laying on her side on the sofa, Alec lay beside her after taking off his shirt and they began kissing. He never attempted anything else apart from occasionally kissing her neck and just above her bra as Rose ruffled his hair and took her turn kissing his neck until Alec said they should take it up to the bedroom and Rose began to panic.
What if he’d been waiting for them to go upstairs before he wanted to take things further? As he went to the bathroom, Rose got ready for bed, opting to just wear the t-shirt and thought she must get a nightdress the next day when she went shopping, a long one preferably and as he came into the bedroom, he whistled again.
He was waiting for her when she came back and got into bed and Alec wasted no time in resuming what they had been doing on the sofa only now he wasn’t in danger of actually falling off the sofa. He leaned over her, feeling her close to him now she was no longer wearing the pyjama bottoms and he’d already ditched his a few nights ago.
As Rose was lost in the kissing, he pulled her on to him and she let out a gasp as she realised his hand was up the front of the t-shirt, a fraction away from his intended target, his little finger just brushing against her. Then his other hand was on the small of her back, resting on the waistband of her underwear, the back of the t-shirt already raised. She knew this was getting intense, he wanted more but seemed willing to leave it for now but how much longer could she hold out? He’d already asked her that and she still didn’t know the answer.
If ever she got back home, could she forgive herself for letting him get too close to his ultimate goal? The kissing and what they were doing so far, she could live with that but if she were to go further and beyond what she’d had with the other Alec, could she forgive herself and expect to be forgiven? She hadn’t given any commitment yet to the other Alec, she’d only assumed he was going to propose to her but they’d been happy, would he just as easily go off with someone else who offered to comfort him while she was missing?
No, he’d trust she could keep herself loyal to him and now she was already betraying him but she had to survive here until she could find a way back. Was this the only way she could survive though? Being in close proximity to the man now kissing his way across her stomach after he flipped her onto her back as she raised her leg slightly at his touch, Alec taking advantage and rubbing his hand on the back of it, his other hand on her shoulder and making it’s way under the sleeve.
She was already turning to jelly as he rubbed the back of her leg and the hand on her shoulder was moving onto her back and now slowly down her side. Then without warning, he nudged the t-shirt higher and began kissing even higher, Rose’s hands now on his shoulders. She knew they were getting into dangerous territory and she may not be able to stop him or herself from going any further.
“Rose, you seem very tense love.”
“No, I’m fine, it’s just, well this is a bit faster than I thought, that’s all.”
He looked up for a second. “Do you want me to stop?”
“I didn’t say that. Let’s just stay where we are, ok?”
“Fine, why don’t we swap places again and you can get your revenge?”
“Oh, you’re giving me a choice this time?” she smiled.
She got her revenge, kissing her way across his chest until she rested under his arm, her head on his chest and they fell asleep, his other arm across her, Alec contented she was beginning to accept him.
Rose woke up suddenly, making Alec jump.
“Rose, what’s wrong?”
“Sorry, oh, I didn’t mean to make you jump.”
“No, it’s ok, just tell me love.”
“Pete wasn’t there to save me Alec, I was being dragged into the void and the Doctor was shouting my name, it was the last thing I heard.”
She buried herself into him as she pulled her closer, kissing her forehead.
“You’re safe Rose, I’m here. Do you often have nightmares about it?”
“Yeah but it’s been a while, I think it’s all this being stuck here, not that there’s anything wrong with being stuck here with you. When I travelled with the Doctor, we got stuck on this planet, a black hole above us and the only way off was on a rocket back to an earth we didn’t belong to, centuries after I was born.”
“You have to tell me more about what you did but not now, try and go back to sleep, I’m worried about you love. You’re keeping it all to yourself and there is no need, I said I wanted to hear it all and we’ve never discussed it again, I don’t want to hear about it at two in the morning when a nightmare has woken you up, not that I mind you waking me but you don’t have to do this alone Rose, you already know that.”
“Yeah, I know. Trust me, you don’t want to hear half of it.”
“Yes I do, I’m not going to be put off by any of it so forget that idea, you are not getting out of it Rose Tyler. If you’re going to stay awake, we could do some more kissing?”
“I’d love to but let’s leave that until morning, I need my beauty sleep.”
“Trust me Rose, you’re perfect as you are but since you insist, I need my beauty sleep as well, I have to work hard at looking this good you know.”
“You are such a show-off Alec Hardy.”
“Maybe but it never got me a girlfriend until you came to town, did it?”
“I told you, you worked too hard at it, you should have let them come to you.”
“Well I know that now and I don’t want anyone else Rose, I just want you.”
“Yeah, you’ll just have to be patient with me then, I told you, this isn’t easy for me.”
“Get some sleep Rose, I have to go to work in case you forgot.”
They kissed again and Rose settled down though she couldn’t get back to sleep, she’d lied to him about having a nightmare of falling into the void, she’d dreamt she was standing in front of the dimension cannon and seen the other Alec for the last time and she had to resign herself to never seeing him again. Even if by some remote chance she got back, could she go back to him after being with this Alec without lying about what had gone on and who he was?
Rose was woken as he brought her a cup of tea.
“Come on sleepy Rose, time to get up. Did you still want to go look for a job today?”
“Hi to you too DI bossy.”
“Really Rose, is that the best you can do?”
He leaned over after putting the cup down and putting his hands on the pillow, leaned down to kiss her, still just wearing his shorts and a t-shirt he’d put on to go downstairs. Rose giggled as he rubbed his nose to hers instead, rubbing his stubble on her chin.
“Ouch, that’s prickly, get a shave.”
“You were not objecting last night darlin’ if I remember correctly, you were pulling me down for more. In fact, you couldn’t seem to get enough of me doin’ this.”
He suddenly pulled back the duvet and lifted the t-shirt and began kissing her tummy. Rose giggled again, pretending to fight him off but gave in and ran her fingers through his hair then onto his back, tugging at his t-shirt until it was over his head and she pulled him back into bed. They carried on kissing until she was sat above him, smiling.
“Well good morning to you too babe,” he grinned, fingering the hem of the t-shirt she wore and putting one hand under it.
Rose grabbed the hand, half-heartedly trying to stop it going any further until his fingers intertwined with hers and he carried on.
“Tut, tut, Rose baby, you see me all the time, why are you hiding from me?”
“That’s different. You can see me in my underwear again, whenever you want.”
“If that’s the best offer I’m going to get, I’ll take it then but you don’t have to hide yourself fully, do you?”
He let go of the hip he was holding and lifted the hem of the t-shirt, then letting go of her hand, he pulled her down so skin touched skin.
He whispered in her ear, “Why don’t you buy yourself something nice to wear in bed love?”
“I want to please you Alec, I’m just a bit shy about this, I can’t get past it that easily.”
“I know and not that you don’t look good in my t-shirt but you’d look even better in a nice silky nightdress. Now, I should go get breakfast before I’m late for work and then I’ll just have to blame you.”
After arranging to meet for lunch again, they kissed goodbye and Alec said it would be a good idea if she went to the local newspaper and told her side of the story of how she got mixed up in all this and she was not the one that was wanted, if the other Rose was even still on this world. Rose still hadn’t talked to him about what she’d thought about her being gone right after she’d gone into hiding, it was just a theory. If she was right though, all chances of getting home were already gone before she’d even found herself here.
She cleared up, put the washing machine on and made her way up to the High Street, sincerely hoping no-one had been hired to follow her. She walked into the newspaper office, which was in a turmoil, desks being moved and only two or three people there. The tourist information office were also clearing out and she recognised this world’s version of Beth Latimer.
“Hi, I’m looking for the editor.”
She hated all this pretending she didn’t know people and places but it had to look like she really had just arrived.
“Oh, hello. She’s in her office shouting at someone down the phone I expect, probably at her ex girlfriend. I’ve not see you around before, new in town then?”
“Yeah, about a week. Where is everyone moving to then?”
“Me, back to the Town Hall, well not for long, I hate that place. This lot are down-scaling and moving to a pokey little place down by the harbour but I really couldn’t care less, at least I’ll get away from the Olly Stevens, he’s a creep. You weren’t in The George last Saturday night were you? Nige said he saw a blonde he fancied and hard ass Hardy almost broke Nigel’s nose over it.”
“Why do you think that was me?”
“I don’t know, he said she was blonde, he was pissed she wouldn’t go outside with him and Hardy threw him out. Nige went to put in a complaint about Hardy but he always gets away with everything, even sexual harassment of the women in the station. Here, you’re not his new girlfriend are you? The word is going around he was snogging someone in his office doorway for everyone to see.”
Rose knew since she was staying in town she could hardly deny she was with Alec and they had already been seen down by the harbour at lunchtime all week.
“Ok, you got me and your friend Nige is a creep, as if I’d go outside with him without being comatose and blindfolded.”
She’d of course heard of the Nigel Carter back where she’d come from but never really met him and had seen him at the trial. She and the other Alec had very little to do with anyone, keeping to themselves and she’d only met Beth once or twice, not even aware what her husband was called until he’d stood up in court and had to confess his affair with Becca Fisher. Then she’d realised he must have been the ‘mate’ Nigel was associated with.
“So, you didn’t have to get Hardy to beat him up.”
“I didn’t need to, Hardy is very possessive of his property and your friend needs to learn to stay away from me or he’ll just get more.”
She hadn’t condoned unnecessary violence but Alec had only been defending her, not that she couldn’t take care of herself and no way that Nigel would have got her as far as the door, with or without Alec stepping in.
“Beth, who have we got here then?”
Rose turned, recognising Maggie Radcliffe’s voice but this one had shorter hair that wasn’t her style and was wearing a business suit.
“Maggie, meet the woman Nige got into a fight with Hardy about last Saturday night, the rumours are true.”
“Really? Hardy’s finally got himself a girlfriend he hasn’t had to coerce into going out with him? That has to be a first. So, what are you doing here, we’re closed.”
“Yeah, I can see that. Never mind, I’ll visit your new offices when you’ve opened, I have a nice big juicy exclusive story for you and I don’t want paying for it, just a chance to tell it to you.”
Maggie looked her up and down, Rose knew the other Maggie had recently taken up with the Latimer’s defence lawyer after rekindling an old friendship.
“Tell me more first, come into my office petal.”
Rose thought no way, this was a totally different Maggie to the one she’d known about who had come to interview the other Alec the morning the trial started.
“I can tell you when I come to your new office and I want a reporter there and my boyfriend.”
“Your loss petal, come down on Monday, we’re moving over the weekend, I’m sure Olly would just love to interview you, wouldn’t he Beth?”
Beth cringed and thought even the blonde whose boyfriend had roughed Nigel up didn’t deserve his attention, he was ten times worse than Hardy. Olly Stevens only hit on women who were passing through, he never went out with them twice and never gave out his phone number and was conveniently elsewhere if anyone cared to call the office.
“Right then, Monday it is and like I said, Hardy will be with me.”
She wondered if she should go ahead with Alec’s idea, it didn’t look like she would get any sympathy from the editor let alone the rest of the town, perhaps she’d best stay quiet. Alec had given her some money to buy something to wear in bed so she found a shop on the opposite side of the road just below the market and picked something in pink that would show off her figure. This was getting way out of hand but what was she supposed to do?
She had to keep him interested and they’d sort of come to an arrangement that morning before they’d got up, that they would continue much the same and they would both keep their underwear on no matter what and Alec had teased he was going to get to see without her wearing anything on top or at least have a better look. Rose had teased back he was welcome to try but she knew teasing wouldn’t last long and the novelty would wear off.
She made her way back to meet Alec and when he joined her, he was trying to peek into the small carrier bag, getting his hand tapped.
“Ah come on Rose, you can’t blame me for tryin’ can you?”
“No, I suppose not. I went to the newspaper office, they’re moving.”
“Right. So are you going to see them when they’ve moved?”
“Nope, I don’t think I’ll get any sympathy, they already knew about us.”
“Why am I not surprised? Small towns are all the same. I should have warned you.”
“Well it’s not like I’ve not lived in one before. The editor was different than I expected, this one is not hiding anything.”
“You don’t need to tell me. It’s the lawyer I was telling you about.”
“I know, it was her where I come from only they weren’t so obvious about it and the Olly Stevens here is supposed to worse than you, apparently.”
Alec smiled. At least when he’d chased after women he’d intended to keep them longer than one night.
“So how did they guess?”
“Saturday night when you had that skirmish with that bloke in the pub, Beth Latimer was there.”
“Ah, I might have known, Carter and her husband work together there as well then?”
“Probably, I didn’t know them that well. I think I’ll leave it Alec or go to another newspaper, maybe online.”
“You’d be best waiting for a while, see what happens next week. Cheer up Rose, you can show me what you bought when I get home, I can’t wait to see what you picked out love.”
He tried peeking in the bag again and Rose kissed his cheek.
“If you’re lucky, you might even get to see it before I get into bed.”
Alec smiled, helping her up. “I live in hope Rose. Maybe we can have an early night eh?”