Alone in the world with just a friend

Chapter 17

The desk sergeant tutted but called two officers, who just happened to be the ones to ‘escort’ Rose off the coach and told them to get round to Hardy’s house pronto and deal with someone hanging around. Rose was still looking out of the window at the two men who had hardly moved since she’d spotted them, they could have been there longer than she’d thought. A few minutes later, she saw two officers approaching, speaking to the men and she went downstairs in case they knocked on the door but Alec had told her to wait for him before she let anyone at all in the house.

A few minutes after that, Alec tapped on the window and she went to let him in. He was followed by the WPC who she remembered from the coach. Alec turned to her.

“Stay with Miss Tyler while I get this sorted Stevens. Rose, make some tea love will you?”

Rose nodded, just wanting him to hold her in his arms but she knew he couldn’t be seen doing that, even though he was going on leave. It was bad enough everyone knew they were living together. The WPC thought the woman looked a little off, much as she’d done when alighting the coach.

“Are you ok Miss Tyler?”

“Yeah, I was just worried, it’s probably nothing. Did they say anything?”

“DI Hardy will explain it to you, best make that tea.”

She saw things packed in a box and looked. “Going somewhere?”

Rose had to think quickly. “Oh, we’re going off for a few days, he’s just putting everything away, just in case.”

WPC Stevens nodded.

Meanwhile, Alec was trying to get the two men to admit they’d been watching Rose. He should have known that James hadn’t come from London alone and didn’t trust him to report back where Rose was. She must have been followed from the station earlier, that was the only explanation. Alec gave them an ultimatum.

“Right you two, tell me who you are or I’ll send for a car and lock you in a cell until I get around to maybe coming back, interrupting my holiday plans to finally interview you.”

Just then, Inspector James came along the street.

“It’s ok Hardy, I placed them here. Tell your officer he can leave now.”

Alec shook his head at the suggestion.

“Please yourself. It’s not that we don’t trust you to report to us about Miss Tyler, I was just making sure and don’t look so innocent, her protests may have been genuine at the time but we were confident you’d get to her one way or another, then they called me to say they were following her and guess where she went?”

Alec just huffed, folding his arms and making it known he was not pleased.

“So? Your point being? I told you, I’m trying to persuade her to go away with me, she stayed over last night, what about it?”

James remember something along the lines of she’d rather be ‘deleted’ by the Cybermen, whatever they were, he’d never taken much notice and thought it was a group and it was a reference to a dance or whatever. Alec however had just hoped the remark she’d made would go unnoticed, he’d had enough to explain at the time.

“She doesn’t seem your type Hardy. Are you telling me she stayed willingly?”

“After a few drinks, I successfully talked her into coming home with me and now if you don’t mind, I have some persuasion to do to get her to go off with me. Are your two clowns thinking of following us? If they are, I hope they have their passports with them, they say Paris is good at this time of year.”

“I’ll call them off – for now but I want your word if anything happens you’ll inform me? If she doesn’t go with you, I’ll send someone back, what do you care?”

“I’ve only got one interest in her and we’re both men of the world, if she won’t come, I’m not going to waste my time on her. You will be the ones that need the luck, keeping up with her.”

The three men got in a nearby car and Alec got what’s his name, he could never remember the hefty male officer, to call Stevens on the radio to tell her she could leave. All he needed was for the WPC to see the way Rose would greet him, company or no company. The WPC came out and Alec just nodded his thanks to her, which she thought was strange, he was totally different now and Rose Tyler had been responsible.

Rose was waiting for him anxiously, relieved the two men had moved away. She threw her arms around him and they kissed for a while.

“It’s ok, they’ve gone for now, I told them we were going to Paris.”

“Are we?”

“Not until you get your passport but they don’t know that, do they?”

“Do you think I’ll be able to get one now?”

“Wait until we get to Scotland.”

“How will I get one there? Don’t you have to be born there to get one?”

“There are other ways, you can apply for citizenship after two years of living there or if you marry a Scot. It’s just a formality then. Now, we got rudely interrupted this morning did we not?”

“Yeah, sort of. Are we still leaving tomorrow?”

“I think it will be best if we did but I’ll make a point of calling Inspector James to tell him you’ve succumbed to my charms and are going with me or maybe I’ll just tell them I gave up and they’ll sit out there for the next three weeks.”

He smiled at the thought of that but it would be a waste of the taxpayers money.

“Do you think Torchwood will still come after me?”

“Best not risk it eh? Now, shall we go upstairs or do I pull the blinds over?”

“Mmm, upstairs but I have something else to tell you. I got followed back by that reporter.”

“Oh, well he was not the only one following you, those two men were. What did Stevens want?”

“He implied Ellie told him things, about why I came here.”

Alec looked shocked. “I knew we should not have trusted her, please tell me she didn’t reveal everything?”

“I hope not Alec, he didn’t say much else but I stuck up for you.”

“I knew you would have love, it’s ok. We won’t tell anyone where we are going. I got a call from my friend, he’s setting everything up. We’ll drive as much as we can tomorrow and stop over somewhere for the night, then once we’ve crossed the border, we’ll stop at the first place for another night, then carry on to Fort William, Alistair will book us a hotel there for however long we need it, then we’ll find a place to rent for a few weeks, until we decide if we are coming back. That will be up to you love.”

“I’ve nothing to come back to Alec, not even Ellie now. I thought we could be friends.”

She leaned on his shoulder and he held her close.

“I’m sorry Rose, I thought we could trust her but blood is thicker than water, I should have known she would talk to him.”

“Are you still going to see him?”

“I have to, if I don’t, he’ll think he’s getting away with it and I can’t let him.”

“Will your chief let you know what happens with Nigel Carter?”

“When he sees you’ve made a charge against him, he’ll back down. I’ll call her in the morning before we leave but it does not interfere with our plans. Do you want lunch first?”

Rose put her arms around his neck. “Nah, let’s work up an appetite and I’m really sorry, for being so hesitant, I know it’s all true now, what we thought. This is it Alec, this is where I belong, there’s no going back.”

“Did you get your device from the kitchen drawer?”

“Yeah, I’ve put it in my purse. It won’t ever work again Alec, there’s nothing for it to home in on now, it’s all gone. I never called who we think is my mother though.”

“You should at least try.”

“What if I make things worse Alec? What if she’s not the same? What if Torchwood got to her afterwards and convinced her I did those things, if there really was no other Rose Tyler? Everything’s mixed up, I’m so confused.”

She rested her head on his chest. “Then let me help you clear your head love? Allow me to take you upstairs?”

“We’ll have to go in the spare room, I’ve left clothes everywhere on our bed.”

“That does not matter, the less room the better.”

An hour or so later, they went over to the harbour café since the weather had turned a bit damp and over lunch, they discussed the route they would take.

“So, we don’t have to go to Wales first then?”

“No, I don’t think we need take a detour, I think I’ve thrown then off sufficiently for now. I just hope no-one else saw that article. When we finish lunch, I’ll go pay a visit to the newspaper office and you go finish packing.”

“I think I’d better come with you, don’t want to get you hauled back to work.”

Alec smiled. He knew she was scared, not only of Special Branch but the remains of Torchwood, wherever they were and the suggestions made by that idiot Stevens had made it even more likely someone would make a move but by then, they would be on their way to Scotland and safety. Neither Special Branch or the British police could get to her up there and they were going quite far up in the country, to one of the larger towns in the Highlands. He’d been there before and it was a place he hoped he and Rose could eventually settle down in or maybe move up to Inverness but Rose probably would think it was too cold up there. Maybe if they stayed up there, he could take her sometime. Now they had real plans to make, Rose had come to realise there was no going back, her device was not actually ‘broken’, it had stopped working because there was nothing for it to connect to.

She’d said she didn’t know exactly how it worked but she had explained how when she’d first arrived in the other reality that when the walls of the dimensions had closed, the devices they’d used then had stopped, he expected this was the same, like walls closing again. He smiled across the table at his girlfriend, she was really something else, beautiful, intelligent, fun to be with but also lost and alone, apart from him and she’d lost the only other person she’d thought was her friend.

“Come on then love, let’s go see that clown of a reporter, or shall I just leave him to you?”

“I’ll let you have that honour Alec, I’m not in the mood. There was a time I would have really laid into him and sent certain people to sort him out but not any more, I have to trust you. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

They walked across the harbour car park and stopped in front of the newspaper office.

“You don’t have to come inside Rose, I can deal with it. I promise not to break any bones. I want you to know, I’m not a violent person but anyone messes with my girlfriend, I’ll make an exception.”

Rose took his hand and they walked into the building, next to the amusement arcade. Alec recognised Olly’s mother, Lucy, sitting at the desk in the doorway.

“DI Hardy. To what do we owe the pleasure?”

Lucy Stevens, the only woman in Broadchurch who was eager to seek Alec’s attention willingly and the only woman he’d never asked to spend some time with him. Apart from her being Ellie Miller’s sister and the mother of the scourge of a reporter who constantly gave Alec a headache, she was not his type, that of being flirty, a gambler and alcoholic, though she seemed quite sober since taking up her new job. Besides, being seen with the mother of a twenty something man was not his idea of boosting his reputation, however jaded it was.

“Where’s that son of yours?”

“Upstairs in Maggie’s office, she’s gone to see her new girlfriend. Are you annoyed about what he wrote about you? Oh, this must be the woman at the centre of attention then?”

She looked Rose up and down. “You keep turning me down for her? What’s so special about her then?”

“She doesn’t have a grown son who’s a nosy reporter who can’t keep out of anyone’s business for starters. Rose, wait down here love, I won’t be long.”

“I think I’ll come with you, the air down here you could cut with a knife.”

“Suit yourself dear, I don’t bite, usually. Told your little girlfriend you secretly fancy me?”

It was Rose who laughed. “Seriously? Does that mean you’re the reason he tried to chat me up when I’d only been in the town half an hour and got me into his bed?”

Lucy huffed. “Tart,” she hissed under her breath as Rose followed Alec up the stairs.

Alec was smirking, it was sort of true, he’d offered Rose a bed for the night and they’d eventually ended up sharing.

Olly looked surprised at hearing footsteps on the stairs, knowing he shouldn’t have trusted his mother to keep unwanted visitors out. Then he saw who it was and took his feet off the corner of Maggie’s new desk.

“You know why I’m here Stevens?”

“No, enlighten me.”

If he hadn’t already got up, Alec would have dragged him up. Still, he had no need to impress Rose any more, she was already his, well with a few minor details still to sort out but once in Scotland, she would be.

“Really Stevens? Let’s start with you writing a retraction of those ludicrous fairytales you churned out this morning eh? Also, I want you to apologise to my girlfriend for harassing her this morning and following her home, I’ve had to talk her out of bringing charges of stalking against you because I can’t be bothered with the paperwork. As for your mate Nige, as we speak he’s being interviewed about sexual harassment charges and several other women have come forward to press similar charges so I expect the ones he brought against me for defending my girlfriend have already been dropped. Anyway, he was the one that threatened me, he does not have a leg to stand on.”

Olly went to sit back down again. Maybe he’d been a bit over-enthusiastic taking Nigel’s side in things.

“Ok, I’ll put another piece in the next edition that Carter attacked your girlfriend, I’m sure readers will enjoy reading that. Anything else?”

“Yes, I want that other rubbish taken out as well, about Rose.”

“That stays.”

“Really? It that’s what you want, I’m arresting you on suspicion of inciting mass speculation against Miss Tyler. She is totally innocent of everything you have written about her, she has a signed statement from Wessex Police clearing her of any involvement over the deaths of the Tyler family and the destruction of Torchwood.”

Alec got his phone out to call for someone to come and collect the annoying reporter.

“Ok, I’ll issue another press release saying I got it wrong, satisfied?”

“I will have to be for now, I’m not wasting my time on you, I’ve got better things to do and you are spoiling my holiday plans. I had better see a full retraction and apology in the next digital edition of your little ‘rag’ and the printed version. Come on Rose, we are leaving and if I hear of you following her again, I’ll be up on more charges than assaulting the town’s plumber for trying to attack my girlfriend. Got it Stevens?”

Olly managed a nod and decided he’d best do as he’d been asked, going up against Hardy had been a bit stupid in the first place, considering he had a temper he didn’t seem to be able to control but Nige had persuaded him to go along with it and dig up the dirt on Hardy and his girlfriend and his aunt had given him more than enough ammunition to go ahead with the story. He’d have to think twice next time.

When they got back home, Alec helped Rose finish the packing and he went to gather his personal items from the bathroom, just leaving out what was needed for the following morning. They had planned to get everything ready, walk across for breakfast at the café when it opened then put everything into the car, placing valuables at the back of the cases and the holdalls on the back seat. He’d not planned on leaving the car unattended where he couldn’t keep a close eye on it but there would be two overnight stops so he’d have to choose somewhere quiet both times.

Rose had put enough for two stops into a holdall so they didn’t have to take the cases in each time and by late afternoon, most of their belongings had been put away. Alec had planned taking the key with him, in case they came back but he was doubting that now, Rose had nothing to come back to and neither had he. Everything he’d ever wanted was now smiling at him, anywhere she was would now be his home.

That night, Rose told him she was no longer going to hold back but he’d have to be the one to take the precautions for now, until she got herself sorted.

“Oh I don’t mind love, that’s what I bought them for. Are you sure now?”

“Yeah, I’m sure Alec, I’ve no doubts now, you are my Alec and you have been since I got here, I just couldn’t see it. You’re the detective around here, remember?”

“Yes love, I know this is still confusing for you but not to me, it’s all I’ve ever known. I want to help you Rose, really I do. We can start a new life, up in Scotland, we don’t have to come back. The house came furnished, it was a holiday let originally, the police got a special rate for taking it. What do you say?”

“Yeah, I’d like to get away from all this, with you. Right, do you need any help with that?” she giggled as Alec reached for the small packet he’d had on the bedside table since he’d bought them what seemed like ages ago for him.

“No, I can manage, thanks or are you disappointed?”

“If you say so, now stop messin’ around will ya?″

As he gently laid on her, first hovering above and initiating the kissing, they were both lost and any lingering doubts this was not her Alec soon disappeared as he gave her endless feelings of pleasure, calling her name as Rose whimpered beneath him, gripping his shoulders. When they finally parted, Alec giving the extra effort just for her, all the pent up feelings he’d had since Tess had dumped him but this was something different he’d never felt with her, she had been nothing compared to his Rose. Rose was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life doing this with, well while he was able to, considering he was much older than she was.

Rose was still making wonderful moaning sounds as he moved away, she was trying to pull him back but he just smiled, saying he had to dispose of a certain item.

“Alec, don’t take too long,” she teased as he got out of bed and she got a good look at his rear since he’d not bothered to turn out the bedside lamp.

He retreated to the corner to grab some of Rose’s baby wipes to clean himself up then put his shorts back on, tossing the packet to Rose. Then she giggled, “Best clear the bin in the morning Alec!”

“Very funny Rose I’m sure. I haven’t used anything in a long time.”

“Don’t seem to have made any difference, you were amazing.”

He got back into bed and stopped Rose putting her own underwear on. “Oh no, I’ve not finished with you yet darlin’ you are all mine now.”

Still giggling, Rose just replied, “Yeah, that means you are now my Alec.”

“Good, I’m glad we’ve finally established that love. Don’t worry too much, in a few days time, we can forget all this, we won’t come back, unless you want to?”

“No, there’s nothing here, for either of us. What about your job here?”

“I’ll resign after my holiday period is up, I’ll have to in order to rejoin the Scottish police force. Alistair will sort things out for me, I should get a job in Fort William or nearby.”

“He sounds like a good friend, will I meet him?”

“Yes, he’ll meet us after we arrive and when we get across the border I’ll contact him.”

“Mmm, I’m tired, let me come and lay on you now.”

“Well only if you promise not to put your underwear back on my love?”

“Just for you put if I get up during the night, you may have to help me out of it again in the morning.”

“We won’t have time in the morning love, we have to be ready to go right after breakfast but we can find time for a quick shower?”

“I’ll have to settle for that then, won’t I?”

They fell asleep, both feeling happy they had broken down the final barrier Rose had put up to keep the guilt away but she had none now, she had accepted this was her world and she would always be afraid Torchwood would track her down, especially after that idiotic reporter had told them where she was but they would be gone tomorrow so they could look all they wanted.

The next morning, after a quick shower, they went to get breakfast then they began packing the car. Rose had just gone back inside and Alec was arranging the cases to hide the boxes of his personal stuff and his CD and DVD collection when a car pulled up on the opposite side of the road.

His first thought that James had not kept his word as the blonde haired man looked across before getting out.

Alec pulled the back door of the car down and closed the back passenger door, remote locking it as the man got out.

“Are you Alec Hardy?”

Alec thought there was no point in denying it since he’d just been in the paper.

“Why would you want to know?” he asked, hoping Rose would not pick this time to come out, she was disposing of any remaining food and milk but may come out with a black bin liner to take to the rubbish bin.

“No need to be so defensive, I’m looking for Rose. Is she around? I’m an old friend.”

Alec sincerely doubted that since he was the only person she really knew.

“Tell me who you are first, I’ll not let you near her until I know.”

“That’s very commendable of you. Just tell her Jake is here.”

“Jake Simmonds? She’s talked about you but you still don’t see her until I say so. You saw the story about her?”

“Yes. Is she leaving?”

“We are going on holiday.”

“Permanently? That’s a lot of stuff for a week’s holiday?”

“Three weeks, a touring holiday you might say. What do you want with her?”

“To talk to her. I came earlier but no-one was here.”

“We were getting breakfast before we set off. You have not answered my question, what do you want with her?”

“To help her, I lost track of her, I thought she’d gone back to her mother but Jackie’s worried about her, Rose just left.”

Alec thought that wasn’t the first time Rose had ‘just left’ after what she’d told him. He wondered where this Jake had been while Rose had been here?

“I’ll go and get her, you stay here until I ask if she wants to see you. You already know of my reputation?”

“I’ve heard. I’ll wait then.”

Alec nodded and went in the already open doorway, wishing Rose had closed it and hoping she’d not heard what was going on outside.

“Rose love, where are you?”

“I’m up here, where did you think I was?”

“You should have closed the door Rose, geez.”

“You were outside, who were you gonna let in?”

“Seriously? What if there had been more men than yesterday and they outnumbered me? I can only defend you so much Rose, you have to help me love. Come on down, you have a visitor.”

She stuck her head around the corner of the stairs. “What? If it’s Ellie, I’m not talking to her ever again, she betrayed my trust, nephew or no nephew.”

“No, I think you may want to see this one, well maybe.”

“Quit messin’ around Alec, just tell me.”

“It’s Jake.”

“What? Are you crazy? What if he’s here to drag me back to Torchwood?”

“No he’s not, he’s against them, remember?”

“Maybe the old one was, things have changed somewhat Alec.”

“Yes, I’m aware of that but I told him to wait outside and he has done and he’s alone.”

“Ok, I’ll come down, I was just making sure we got everything. Fine time for him to pick for a visit. Can you take that black bag to the bin?”

“Yes love, when I make sure Jake is not here to hurt you.”

Alec went to the door and called Jake. Rose would have been eager to see him under different circumstances but was unsure about this one.

“Hello Rosie, how’ve you been? Your mother is worried sick about you. She’s been trying to call you.”

Rose let out the breath she’d not been aware she’d been holding in and crossed to Alec, taking his hand for reassurance. Now Alec was worried their departure was delayed and they wouldn’t get as far as he’d planned, at least as far as the north-east region but he may have to find somewhere around Leeds at this rate, which would be around four or five hours drive depending on traffic and how many times Rose would want to stop, knowing women.

“I lost my phone, Alec got me a new one. Is she ok?”

“You could have called her.”

“I forgot, I’ve been busy, you know?”

“Yeah, with a police detective. You two are living together?”

“Well yeah, what ya think?”

“She just wants you to call her Rose, that’s all. Just to tell her you’re ok.”

“She’s not mad with me or anything then?”

“Hold on Rose. Jake, that story, about Rose, did it catch your attention that much? Do you think former members of Torchwood will come after her?”

Jake laughed. “Where have you been hiding? That’s well over with, those who are left want nothing to do with it now but I hear there is still some interest in what happened. We all know Rose had nothing to do with it anyway, it was Smith, it backfired on him, he got caught up in it.”

“What? Mickey?”

“You knew him Rose?” Jake asked, looking confused.

“Erm, well I heard of him.”

“Rose, I think this is getting confusing love, don’t you?” Alec asked, putting his arm around her.

Clearly, things had already changed and he really did not want to know all the details for fear Rose would say something. Jake though wanted to talk.

“Oh, I get it. You really got caught up in all that didn’t you? That’s what you get for being nosy. Alec, did she tell you she sneaked into the other Jackie Tyler’s’ 40th birthday party to get a glimpse of what she thought should have been her life?”

“No, tell me.” He was interested in hearing this new version.

Jake explained Rose had been envious of the other Rose Tyler and disguised herself as a waitress to get into the famous party just months before that fatal day when the other Tylers had been blown up inside the mansion.

“So you were not friends with the other Rose Tyler?” Alec wondered.

“I was but she went missing just after, no-one knows where she went. I met this Rose by accident, surely you remember?”

“It was years ago.”

Jake did not want to go into too many details. “Never mind, I’m keeping you both from your holiday. Are you going to give me your new number Rose?”

Alec still didn’t trust him. “I’ll give you mine, you can contact me. You can give it to her mother if you want?”

“What’s the problem Alec? Scared Rose will run away?”

“No, Rose has not told me much about why she left London and until she does, she’s trusting my judgement on this. Right Rose?”

“Yeah, sorry Jake but you can tell my mum I’m ok. We really have to go now, we’re running late but thanks for coming down to see me.”

“Where are you two going then?”

Alec raised his eyebrows, something Rose loved about him, he looked so cute when he did it.

Jake saw the look on Alec’s face. “Never mind, have a good time, Rose deserves someone to look after her, she had a tough time when everyone kept getting her mixed up with the other Rose. So, you used to know Mickey then? Your mother never said anything.”

“I didn’t know him that well, he was at that party.”

Jake seemed satisfied with her explanation. That meant she had never gone out with him in this world, unless she went out with Rickey, though she had always thought that Rickey had been on the other bus. Maybe he hadn’t in this version of it but she wasn’t about to ask. Alec was rather relieved, he had no ex to bother about and he’d known for sure last night, he was Rose’s first.

Jake left and Alec put his arms around Rose.

“So, now we know. The other Rose disappeared, she may be gone altogether now but she did not go to any alternate version of this world. Time to leave sweetheart, I’ll just go take this out, you wait here.”

Two hours later, Alec pulled into a service station on the motorway before they had to turn off to make their way up to the north. They were just finishing when Alec’s phone rang – it was Elaine.

“You’ll be pleased to know Carter agreed to drop the charge against you, if Miss Tyler drops the claims against him.”

“She will think about it, Carter is a waste of my time, let him stew for a while, keep him under caution will you?”

“Whatever Alec, his charges were tame compared to the allegations Miss Tyler made I suppose.”

Once back in the car, he told Rose the charges would go away on their own, Carter would get tired of waiting.

They made another stop three hours later, it was almost five and since the motorway stop had a motel attached, Alec went to secure them a room for the night. They had just got what they needed out of the car, Alec bringing the new laptop out and connecting to the motel’s wifi found their next overnight stop just across the border and made a booking.

They carried on the next morning, just fooling around the night before and several hours later, they came to the ‘Welcome to Scotland’ sign on the side of the road. Alec pulled into a lay-by and insisted Rose got out, spinning her around.

“This is it Rose, a new life, just you and me. Tomorrow, we’ll be in Fort William, maybe you should call your mother then?”

“Maybe but I’m not too sure about that. I mean, she’s not really my mother is she? She’s just another version, she’s no more my mother than the other Jackie Tyler was.”

“She is all you have love, you have to give her a chance. Maybe it’s the version of your mother before you started travelling with the Doctor?”

“Maybe. She might have turned out like that, if I’d not gone off I suppose and maybe Mickey found the other Rose Tyler more fascinating than me and went to join Torchwood. He must have still grown up near me but maybe he never moved onto the estate?”

“Maybe love. Now, one kiss and we’ll go find that hotel I booked and we’ll have some time to relax. Tonight we won’t be in so much of a hurry to be up early in the morning and I can give you my full attention.”

“I look forward to it. Come on then, I’m hungry again.”

“It’s only been a few hours Rose.”

“Yeah but the food was awful.”

Alec smiled and going around to her side of the car, he helped her in and leaned down to kiss her.

“I love you Rose.”

“I love you too Alec, we’re gonna be ok, aren’t we?”

Alec smiled and said, “Yes love, we are going to be fine.”

Once in Fort William, Alec called his friend, who said he would be there the following evening and gave him the name of the property letting agency who were expecting them and also said the police chief was expecting Alec’s call. By the following Saturday, they had found a nice two bedroomed apartment just across the river and using Rose’s credit card, which she had been surprised had worked and they had found out the transactions were on a Scottish bank and therefore wouldn’t get back to the English banks, they ordered the basic items they needed from the catalogue store and Saturday afternoon, things were being delivered and they went out to celebrate their moving into the first home they had chosen together.

***{ silversurfer60 }***

It was three days before Christmas, it was cold, colder than Rose had been used to but Alec hadn’t seemed to notice and he had arranged to take Rose to spend Christmas in Inverness at a hotel for three nights and he was trying to get a case wrapped up before the day was out so he could go on leave. They were leaving the following morning, the 23rd and travelling up, Alec hoping the weather would hold out and it wouldn’t snow. That was all he needed, his pregnant wife getting stuck in a snow storm the amount of times she needed the bathroom and at three months, she had just got over the sickly feeling stage, much to his relief. It was going to be their first Christmas together, next year, they would have an addition to their family. They had married a few days after Rose discovered she was expecting, Alec hadn’t wanted to wait and neither had Rose, though she’d said she’d settle for getting engaged but he had said that wasn’t enough for him.

He had bought her a beautiful silver heart pendant for her main present and they had agreed they would buy each other a ‘silly’ present so he had got her a t-shirt printed with ‘Miss Bossy’ on it and Rose had bought him a blue-faced watch and a silly present of an apron with a kilt on it, she was going to dare him to wear it with nothing underneath, since he had opted not to get married wearing a proper kilt.

Rose was waiting for him, a small case each packed for the time away and she was thinking of the time, nine months ago they had fled to Scotland and the life they had left behind them through no fault of their own. It had been a fluke, the day Rose had been called back to Torchwood for one last trip using the dimension cannon and thinking at first she had lost her Alec and her family. She had contacted her mother but never gone to see her, Rose couldn’t face her, knowing it wasn’t really her, Alec was a different matter.

She didn’t think she would ever forget the other version of him, grumpy, stubborn and sickly but now, this is how he could have been once he’d got well and they never talked about it. She missed Tony, it was only natural and they’d agreed if they had a boy, which Rose was going to find out when she went for her scan after the holidays, they would call him Anthony and if it was a girl, well Rose was trying to persuade her husband to call her Alice, which was Alec with an ‘I’ in it.

Alec had just laughed and said they should call a girl Dorothy, Rose was now living over the rainbow, she had told him the story to which she had replied that at least she didn’t think the Wizard of Oz was in Harry Potter.

They had a girl, naming her Alice after Rose eventually won and a year later, another girl and then a boy and both got their wishes, never having any more contact with Jake or any member of Torchwood.

The End!

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