Rose decided to make an early start on dinner, cooking something simple and still hoping to impress him. Alec called to say he’d pick up some wine on the way back and while he was in the mini-market just around the corner from the station, he thought he’d get Rose some chocolates, see if he could get her in the mood to let him see her new nightwear before she turned out the lamp and got into bed.
He thought things were looking up though, at least she was ditching the pyjama bottoms for good. Rose had plenty of time to think about how the evening was going to go, stirring the pasta sauce just before six, hoping Alec wasn’t going to be late home. Just how exactly had she got to this? Was she giving in too easily? Tonight she had to talk to him about her theory the other Rose was long gone but that would just convince him even more she was here to stay.
With the other Rose and Jake long gone, there was no-one she could think of in the other world who would be able to help. Perhaps Alec was right, contacting others may just stir things up and have them going after her even more. Then it hit her suddenly. The enemies the other Rose had made and her suddenly appearing after four years would surely get them interested. She knew she shouldn’t think any more about this until Alec got home.
Alec noticed her mood as he kissed her after putting the wine and the chocolates on the kitchen counter. Rose put her arms around him.
“I’m worried Alec,” she said when her asked her what was wrong.
“Come and sit down then, turn down the stove first. Now tell me what’s bothering you, was it the newspaper editor?”
“No. It suddenly hit me Alec, the other Rose has gone, I’ve come from nowhere, those few calls you made could bring her enemies out.”
“Rose, I think you are over-reacting love, I never said where you were and I never actually said you’d come back, I just said I was following claims you may have been sighted. They would have to search the entire south coast to find you.”
“Well I’m glad I didn’t take your advice and go to the paper then.”
He pulled her close for another kiss.
“Why don’t I finish making dinner and you go get changed into the nightdress you bought?”
Rose smiled. “Don’t you think it’s a little early for that?”
He leaned round to kiss her neck. “Then tomorrow my lovely Rose, you go buy yourself something nice to wear in the evenings, yes?”
“If you like, I’ll get changed after we’ve eaten and had a few glasses of wine then?”
“That sounds like a very good idea. I bought you some chocolates, we can share?”
She reached out to put her arms back around his neck. “Mmm, yeah, we can share. So you don’t think anyone will come after me? I meant to say something Alec. The other day, it occurred to me she may have left before I even got here.”
“Right. You mean her device may not have activated the same time as you were trying to get back?”
“Well yeah, so if her device didn’t home in on mine as I was using it and dragged me here, what did bring me here? They were designed to take us back home, not for another trip, unless we needed to move a short distance.” She stopped. “Alec, that’s why it’s not working.”
She let go of him and sat down, Alec looking worried. Then she said quietly, “Alec, I am home.”
“What? What do you mean Rose?”
“There never was another Rose Tyler, it’s me Alec, I’m responsible for what happened, well not directly, those who supported me did it, for me. At least they thought they were doing it for me.”
“You’re talking about the world changing around you, aren’t you Rose?”
Rose nodded, putting her head in her hands and shaking him off.
“It was that mist around me when I left that other world, it has to be.”
“Then tell me again what happened, before you activated your device.”
“There was this other alternate dimension sprang up around someone called Donna Noble, are you with me?”
Alec listened while she explained what she’d gathered from the information she’d got before everything began to fade away.
“Don’t you get it Alec? My device didn’t activate, the world changed around me, from this Donna’s to mine. I’ve changed my whole world, it’s my fault for going on that last mission. How long is it gonna last though? Does it all disappear when I die or something?”
“Rose, calm down love. Let’s think about this eh?”
“You, you’re my Alec, the Alec that chose not to get married, chose to take the evidence from Sandbrook back to HQ himself and caught the killers so it didn’t make you ill. The Ellie here, she chose to have Fred later, her husband didn’t kill Danny. Don’t you see now?”
“I’m beginning to. That’s why no-one is that interested in you, the other Rose is fading away, like the world you were on faded away.”
“Alec, my family are gone.”
“No Rose, they never existed, they were the other Rose Tyler’s family, not yours but there’s one thing you have not considered.”
“What? I’ve lost my best friends, my mum, Tony.”
“You’ve not lost me love.”
“No, I haven’t, have I?”
He put his arm around her shoulders and this time she didn’t back off.
“You have still missed them obviously Rose. Do you remember your mother’s phone number?”
“Don’t be daft Alec, it’s been four years.”
“Call yourself a Torchwood agent Rose?”
“Stop it Alec, I’m not in the mood for you playing games.”
“I’m not playing games Rose. I meant the number your mother had when you lived on that council estate, well maybe but not the number of the woman who married this Pete Tyler, vice president and the one who had Tony.”
“I know what you mean Alec, you mean the Jackie who never got caught up in the Cyberman invasion and never left the London she grew up in and who still lost her husband, my dad.”
“Exactly Rose, think about it. We never had Cybermen here.”
“Forget it Alec, she’s not my mother.”
“Rose, the other Jackie who got killed, on you’re adopted world, the one who scorned you at that party you told me about, she must have chosen to have children, you and then Tony, years later. That’s the Jackie who got killed here, the Pete Tyler here still became head of Torchwood, not Vitex and worked his way to become vice president. It all fits into place and now, it’s all fading away, you are taking over and I don’t know how long it’s going to last.”
Rose shook her head, not wanting to believe this. Alec got up and turned the stove off and opened the bottle of red wine, bringing two glasses over.
“This is your world Rose, at the very least a mix-up of your original one and the one you adapted to, I can’t explain it.”
“But Alec, the mansion, in a pile of rubble, Torchwood Tower in ruins. How do you explain that?”
“I can’t, unless the two worlds have merged into each other somehow, now you are here.”
“I don’t like this Alec, I’m scared.”
“Oh Rose, you shouldn’t be, honestly. The world still goes on, in some form. You told me that every decision we make can create an alternate reality, you said there could be thousands of them, billions of them even. This is just one of them love.”
“I realise that Alec. How is this even possible? I’ve lost everything.”
“Call your mother, your real one, it’s still her, before you left to go off travelling with the Doctor.”
“It doesn’t feel like that Alec, trust me. You had to exist, before I got here?”
Alec smiled. “Of course I existed, I was the one you left behind, everything has changed Rose, I’m still the same person, I just changed. Rose, you have not invented everyone, they already existed, everyone changed, except you, apparently.”
“Alec, I need time to let this sink in, please?”
“I’ll finish making dinner before it gets ruined. It could have been worse Rose, I could have wanted nothing to do with you, then where would you have been?”
She knew he was trying to make light of it but it wasn’t working. They finished eating, Rose opting for more wine and thinking she would wake up back in their old chalet, the other Alec making his funny little noises and more beard, her mother on the phone asking when she and Tony could visit. This was something she had not reckoned on at all.
There were flaws in their reckonings though but as they watched some TV, Rose curled up and leaning on his shoulder, she thought just how easily she had got on with him and how he had accepted her just like that, fresh off the coach and Special Branch hot on her heels but there were still a lot of things that couldn’t be explained and she expected they never would be.
Alec had one eye on the TV and one on Rose.
“Just call her Rose.”
“I can’t Alec. What do I even say?”
Alec smiled and turned his attention to her, pushing her against the cushion. “Why don’t you go get changed then have another glass of wine and we’ll see what happens?”
“This doesn’t alter anything Alec, we’re not 100% certain of all this.”
“I know, it’s just a theory and maybe some things have changed more than others, maybe we’ll never know for certain love. All we can be sure of is each other.”
Rose went to put the new nightdress on and stood in front of the mirror. Was he just making all this up to get her to give in to him? This was getting too weird but if he was actually right? It was the other Rose, the one who now clearly had not gone off that had caused her family’s demise, directly or indirectly and now Alec was saying her mother could still be out there, wasn’t it better if she at least tried?
Looking one more time, she let out a sigh and went to face who could be her Alec after all. If he thought she’d looked good in her underwear, she looked even better in the pink nightdress. He got up and led her to the sofa.
“Wow Rose, you look gorgeous love. What can I say?”
“That we’re wrong Alec.”
“Rose, I don’t think we are, everything is beginning to add up. Some things are taking longer to change than others and some things may never change, like us being together and your mother.”
“Alec, please, we should still take this slowly, until I’m sure. It’s like getting to know you all over again.”
“I understand you are still hesitant. Now, we’ll have another glass of wine and relax and just forget about all this. That’s an order Rose.”
“Yes, DI bossy.”
Twenty minutes later, Alec had lost his shirt, his jeans he’d changed in to unzipped and Rose was glad she’d kept her underwear on as they lay on their sides, arms and legs wrapped around each other, Alec’s hand on the leg that was raised, running his fingers up and down and the other hand around her waist. He helped her off the sofa, picked up his shirt and their mobiles and followed her upstairs.
Rose waited for him to come out of the bathroom but Alec was the one to be having an internal debate. Him, Alec Hardy, who was so self-assured, good at his job, had solved a murder investigation against all the odds but had sacrificed his relationship with his then long-term girlfriend in order to bring the killers in and never successfully got another woman into his bed until he’d met Rose, just a week ago. Then it had been her that had gone to him for help, willingly let him into her bed that morning and willingly let him comfort her the following night.
The comforting had developed into something more, he’d been trying to break down the final barrier of resistance, to get her to let go of the guilt she’d felt in betraying a man she’d left behind to discover he was that man. This was the only life he’d ever known, skipping most of the ranks to become a DC, then a DS and after that, exposed a few corrupt officials in the Glasgow police and had fled to Sandbrook, well not fled exactly but he’d felt the need to get out as fast as he could.
Now, all that had paid off, he’d found Rose Tyler and his world had been turned upside down and so had hers, even more so. This did not feel like a world that had sprung up around her. Changed? Maybe but definitely not just sprung up, how could it have done? He went back out to the bedroom.
“Ok love? The bathroom is all yours. Now no more talking of how the world is bending to change shape around you. Tomorrow, we go shopping, get a laptop so we can see if and how things are different, you get yourself something nice to wear and we’ll go out of town for a nice meal tomorrow night and forget everything.”
“Yeah, ok but I’m still not sure about all this.”
“I know and I’m not trying to convince you that it’s all true but we have to look at all the evidence, it’s what I do Rose, I gather the facts and make sense out of them and all the facts tell me that is what has happened, whether we like it or not.”
“I know, you’re probably right but some things don’t make sense.”
“We will talk about them tomorrow love, now, I’ll be waiting for you when you’ve finished in the bathroom and why don’t we think about in the morning, maybe taking a shower together, mmm? Since we have plenty of time.”
Rose smiled at the thought, how she’d enjoyed sharing the shower, well the overhead shower standing in the bathtub in the chalet anyway.
“It’s a bit cramped in there Alec.”
He crossed over to her, tossing his jeans over the back of the chair. “All the better to get closer babe and I finally get to see you, legitimately.”
He leaned closer and kissed the side of her neck, then whispered in her ear, “Just think Rose, you get to see me as well, this me, not the one you thought you had left behind.”
While she was gone, he got changed into a pair of boxer briefs he’d bought recently and got into bed. Maybe tonight she’d let him use what he’d bought the other night, so he got the packet out of the bedside drawer and placed a package where he could easily reach it if the subject got around to it. Even if she took her own precautions he didn’t want to have her making any excuses. He hoped he wasn’t out of practice at using the things he detested but if needs must, he could make the sacrifice and all that.
Rose was wondering what all this was now about and wished she’d never brought up the subject she thought the other Rose, well maybe now there never had been another Rose, had gone before her arrival. Had she actually ‘arrived’ though or stood still and let the world change around her because she wanted to get home?
Getting in the bed beside Alec, she turned onto her side.
“I know you said no talking but there was one thing.”
“There always is love. Go on, get it over with then I want your full attention, now I’m 99.9% certain I am ‘your’ Alec though I wish I could remember that, having spent six months with you and about to propose to you but maybe when we get all this out of the way, we can work up to that, eh?”
“Mmm, maybe we can. What you were saying, about me wanting the world to change. I wanted to get back to an Alec Hardy who was well and that’s what I got, I never expected to have to sacrifice my family and be a wanted person in order to get that.”
“You didn’t. Yes, you found me but you are not responsible for what happened here, don’t you ever go thinking that. They were not your family, your real mother is still out there and you should call her in the morning, see if I am right. Now, I absolutely forbid any more talking, see if you notice something. Come here Rose.”
He pulled her onto him, Rose immediately noticing what he meant, the material of his boxer shorts replaced by less of it as she could feel him. Then, she felt his fingers on the back of her legs, lifting the nightdress up and him moving so it did the same at the front. He had resolved if she had to get to know him again but this was the first time he was getting to know her, something was going to give tonight.
It did, as she offered no resistance as his fingers crept above the leg of her lacy underwear and around the front.
“Rose, I promise to keep my shorts on but please love, take these off eh?”
Rose giggled. “Maybe you should coax me out of them?”
“My pleasure love but first, you are just asking to be teased.”
Rose felt a shiver as his fingers worked their magic, giving her such sensations that she was moving to get the most out of it. Then, he fumbled with his shorts and moved her underwear aside and they touched. Rose felt like she had electricity running through her as he was whispering her name into her ear and then kissing just below it. As they continued, Alec decided he did like teasing her and was getting as much pleasure as she was, in the little room he had to move as she pressed herself closer to him, whimpering her hesitation.
Alec was trying to reassure her. “Shush love, shush, just relax into it, just enjoy this as much as I am.”
“Please what love?”
“Please, don’t stop teasing me.”
“Oh, no need to worry about that, I won’t. I think I may just resist coaxing you out of your underwear, at least tonight.”
“I hate you Alec,” she shuddered.
“Yes love, I know you do, that was my intention, to get you all worked up and bothered and begging for more of this.”
He moved her underwear again to make more room.
“I bet it was, you’ve been tryin’ to get in my underwear since I arrived in your office, a week ago,” she hissed back at him.
“You noticed? You are not offering much resistance, are you? I kept my promise Rose, we are still wearing our underwear.”
“Technically,” she moaned into his neck as another jolt ran through her entire body, Alec’s hands pressed firmly on her rear.
“You really need to get some bigger underwear Rose.”
“Says you,” she groaned again.
He pressed his hands more firmly on her, then began kissing her neck and noticing she was trying to make more room to accommodate him. “Want to swap places?”
Rose gave him a firm ’No” as her reply, then began to moan again.
Alec was grinning from ear to ear, it had been well worth risking her going back to her own room. It wasn’t long before he gave in and began moaning her name as she continued to move around on him, all thoughts of disturbing what they had to rid her of the one article he’d intended getting her out of discarded for the night. This was wonderful and far bettering his expectations as Rose somehow got her hands under him and was now pinching him down the back of his boxers, though how she’d managed to get them there, he didn’t exactly care.
“Rose, we can do this whenever you want, just say the word.”
“I intend to and I know what’s on the bedside table Alec, you won’t be needing that just yet.”
“I can have it on standby can’t I?”
“I’m covered Alec, I got a three month shot three weeks ago.”
“Time’s different here darlin’ and you are four days at least ahead of yourself.”
“Bother,” she hissed as yet another wave crashed over her. “That means you picked a fine time to decide to get in my knickers Alec.”
“Oh, it’s that time, is it?”
“Well, it would have been a week, now it’s three days. That’s if my body isn’t all squiffy, so make the most of it sunshine.”
“Maybe we should just forget doing more of this then?” he asked hopefully, though it was very pleasant to say the least and much more than he’d dared hoped for on his first real attempt.
“Don’t get ahead of yourself Alec, this is as far as you’re getting for now.”
“You are covered though, just in case you change your mind love?” he asked, hopefully.
“Yes but don’t get any ideas just yet, I’m still not convinced our theory is correct.”
“Then just relax darlin’ and just go with it. Now shush and let me hear you moaning again.”
“Make me,” was all he got in return.
All Alec replied was he just loved a challenge.