Alone in the world with just a friend

Chapter 7

Rose felt his lips brushing hers and felt like giving in but her Alec was still out there somewhere and he wouldn’t have gone off with someone within days of losing her, would he? Well there wasn’t another Rose Tyler where she’d just come from so that was not going to happen, unlike here were there was a very available Alec Hardy who was keen to make her his girlfriend and protect her.

She needed him, she couldn’t survive in this new world without him, she knew that but it could all be over tomorrow and Alec wouldn’t be able to do anything about it except go on the run with her but he was clever, he’d find a way. Why was he so keen though? He’d just accepted her within a few hours of her arrival, given her food and shelter and comforted her when she’d woken up from a nightmare she’d not had in a long time. Was there any harm in being just a tiny bit more than friends with him? She could never tell her Alec though. She found herself putting her hand on his shoulder and touched his lips back.

“I know you will Alec, thanks.”

Before she knew it, Alec kissed her back again, just short, sweet kisses until she snuggled into his neck and he snuggled into hers and began kissing it. She just hoped her stay here would be short before anything developed but it may already be too late for that. If she was going to pose as his girlfriend, there would be moments they would have to show each other signs of affection, it had grown so quickly between her and the other Alec, within days of her arrival when she had walked into the station to report there was a Torchwood agent in town, standard procedure.

The Alec on her adopted world had warned her not to get in his way and before they knew it, he was taking her out to dinner and sharing her hotel room, before she’d talked him into renting the chalet. She just hoped things wouldn’t happen so quickly this time, she was destined to keep meeting Doctor look-a likes. She also hoped this Alec wouldn’t turn out to be the boyfriend from hell, another drama she’d seen the actor who he resembled in.

After a few more sweet but short kisses, Rose fell asleep in his arms, Alec with a smile on his face. He felt sorry for her because tomorrow, it could be all beyond his control and she would be locked up, even if he tried to hide her, they would look here in Broadchurch before they looked anywhere else and the finger would point to him. His chief would call in Special Branch from London, the elite team who specialised in cases like the Tyler one, where an important person and their families had been indiscriminately killed and a powerful organisation sanctioned by the current president was destroyed.

His only hope was to be one step in front of them and get her out before they arrived. He had to plan it carefully, get her out of the country and either across into Wales or up to Scotland but being Scottish himself and Rose being English, the Welsh may not be so accommodating. While tourists were welcome on holiday or a day trip, he doubted they could live there but Scotland on the other hand, he still had a lot of contacts up there, his friend Alistair being one of them.

He needed to discuss this with Rose in the morning, no sense in waking her, she’d had enough but before he set off in the morning, they would draw up a plan. He hadn’t really got settled here anyway, it wasn’t a big town but he’d made few friends, Ellie Miller being ironically one of them, her fussing he had stolen her job then discovering she was expecting a baby and they’d sort of called a truce.

She’d like Rose and if he could convince his former DS she wasn’t the one who was wanted, Rose could use another friend apart from him, especially if she needed advice, probably about him knowing women. His past record wasn’t spotless on that score, best keep Rose and Tess apart or the claws would come out and fur would fly but he bet to himself Rose would come out on top though it could be interesting since Tess had on numerous occasions told him he was a loser, he’d love to see her face now, Rose lying asleep in his arms.

The kisses had been unintentional, more to reassure her but they had been nice but he knew she was still missing the other Alec Hardy, would she let him take the other one’s place? What did he want though? Telling everyone who cared to ask was one thing but as for her actually acting like it, well she’d agreed to it to a certain extent and it would save explanations but his chief would know the truth, plus those present in the office when he’d had her escorted to the station from the coach. As for anyone passing by and seeing two officers meeting her, he could laugh that off and go with the idea Rose had said, that he’d been keen to get her back, she would see the funny side of it, she had suggested it.

As Rose was falling asleep, Alec still pressing kisses to her forehead, she could easily pretend it was her own Alec doing it but that wasn’t fair, on either of them. She just had to accept that at least until she knew she was free to move around, she was here with this Alec and if someone from her world came to look for her, she just hoped he would be at work when they did but she’d have to say goodbye to him before she let them take her back.

It if was her Alec who had talked Pete into sending him, she needed to be as far away as possible from this one and just tell him she’d gone to him for help, he’d believe that. She would draw an imaginary line like this Alec had suggested and swear she would never cross it but where would that line be? A bit of kissing wasn’t so bad but anything else, she would have to think about but sleeping with this one wasn’t helping her stay away from that line.

It could all be over tomorrow anyway, despite his promise he would look after her, they could lock him up as well for helping her, she wouldn’t blame him if he distanced himself from her, she wouldn’t drag him into it, he was only trying to help. That was why she didn’t want to get too involved with him.

Alec’s alarm woke him at seven and he tried to get his arm from under his sleeping house guest, without disturbing her, unlike he’d done with Tess because it annoyed her. What he’d seen in her, he couldn’t for the life of him think but was just relieved they’d never got married and had any kids. Rose jumped up as he moved his arm.

“Hey, I’m sorry, I never meant to wake you. Go back to sleep Rose.”

“S’ok, I’m awake now. Morning Alec.”

He silenced his alarm and kissed the tip of her nose, causing her to say ‘yuck’ and try and wipe it on his t-shirt. He laughed.

“Is that all I get out of you? A ‘yuck’? That’s charming Miss Tyler. How about a little morning kiss?”

“I need the bathroom first and don’t you have to go to work?”

“It takes me five minutes to walk so I have time to spare or don’t you want us to get that friendly? You never objected last night.”

“No, it was kinda nice but that’s all it was Alec, just a few nice kisses.”

“Are they restricted then?” he asked, leaning over and putting his finger under her chin as she sat up, hugging her knees.

“S’pose not then but best not do it in public, until it’s established I’m not a wanted criminal. I was thinking, that if I get detained at the station, I’m not dragging you into this Alec.”

“What? Too late Rose, you did get me into it but you never dragged me into helping you, I did it because I wanted to. We are in this together Rose, no matter what happens today. Now, do I get a kiss?”

Rose raised her head and looked into his brown eyes that had a little more sparkle in them than the other Alec’s. She had to stop comparing the two men, just as she’d never compared her Alec with the Doctor. It had been tempting to catalogue the similarities but she’d never actually done so and she shouldn’t start, this Alec was all she had. She leaned forward and he moved his finger onto her lips, then got close.

“Is that a yes then?”

Rose grabbed his finger and kissed it, smiling at him and thinking how cute he looked with his hair all over the place and she really shouldn’t be doing this at all but desperate times and all that.

She met his lips, just like last night but couldn’t resist making the kiss just a few seconds longer, then another as Alec put his hand gently on her shoulder and nudged her for another, a few seconds longer than the last one then repeated it as he put his other arm around her back, easing her down and leaning over her, Rose’s arms around his neck as they continued. It was Alec who stopped.

“Sorry, we got a bit carried away. I should go get ready for work so I’ll use the bathroom first, unless you are in a hurry?”

She had almost forgotten. “Yeah, just give me a minute, I promise I won’t take long and don’t be sorry Alec, it was nice.”

He let her up, giving her nose another kiss and Rose giggling. He sat on the edge of the bed, waiting for her to come back since he wanted more but he had to go face his chief or she really would send uniforms out for both him and Rose. Elaine Jenkinson was not a patient person, especially on a Monday morning when she had been away and she would be in a bad enough mood when she got in and found out Rose Tyler had been in the station for an interview and been allowed out over the weekend, he’d surely get chewed out over that but he had a counter argument ready.

He would say he’d seen no need to detain her over the weekend and she had promised not to leave town but if Elaine picked up the phone for someone to come and get Rose, he would beat her to it and tell Rose to get out as fast as she could because over the weekend he’d grown really fond of her. It wouldn’t matter what they did to him, he had her phone number, he would take her name and photo off if he needed to. Now it was time to face the music.

So Rose got breakfast ready while he went over their plan if the worst were to happen.

“Right, if I think this is going to go badly, I’ll send you a text message telling you to get out, you get a taxi up to the supermarket, get as much cash as you can from your credit card, then get another taxi to Dorchester and wait at the superstore café where we went the other day and I’ll be there as soon as I can. Hopefully though, it won’t come to that but you have to be ready so just grab what you need and I’ll get the key from you when we meet up.”

“Ok, if you think that’s the best thing to do. Alec, do you think she’ll believe you?”

“It’s difficult to say Rose, she may, we get on ok, she leaves me to my own devices most of the time, she may trust my judgement though she’s still a bit miffed at being the one who had to take me on the last time I applied for a transfer and trust me, this was not my first choice. I have about three months before I can apply for another, not counting if I were to go back up to Scotland but the Glasgow police and I did not exactly get on, after I exposed some corruption going on up there, which was why I left after I applied to Sandbrook.”

“The Alec I knew never told me why he left Scotland. So is Scotland independent then?”

“Yes and so is Wales so if things get bad, we can head for one of those countries but I’d favour Scotland, Wales is ok for a few days if we really have to, then we could get a boat up to one of the Scottish ports.”

“I never thought I would be preparing to go on the run when I left home the other morning.”

Alec smiled. “Well I never thought I would have my boring day broken up by your arrival either. If all goes well, I’ll take you out tonight, ok?”

“Yeah, thanks.”

He got up and kissed the top of her head as Rose turned, getting up and putting her arms around his neck as she reached up and kissed his cheek.

“I don’t know what I would have done if you’d turned me away when I met you.”

“How could I have turned you away?”

“You could have, if you’d wanted when all I did was rave on about my Alec.”

“Yes, about that, I noticed you’ve hardly mentioned him.”

“It wouldn’t be fair to you if I did, I realise that it’s not easy for you to listen to me going on about him. I’m not promising I won’t be thinking about him but I have to face the facts, you’re the one that took me in and been looking after me all weekend, I know you have feelings.”

“Then that’s most considerate of you Rose. Now, I really have to go, I’ll call you when I’ve spoken to her, one way or another. Let’s just hope we’ve made those plans for nothing but if things do turn bad, at least we’ve talked about it.”

He looked down at her and nudged his lips closer, Rose not resisting as he brushed them against hers.

“Bye then and don’t worry too much and I know you can’t just forget him, I don’t expect you to and if you get back to him, there won’t be much for you to tell him yet anyway and if there is, maybe it would be best if you didn’t.”

Rose had plenty to think about, if she ever did make it back. She kissed him lightly again and backed away.

“Bye, I trust you Alec, I know you won’t turn me in but you said about that friend of yours, do you think we can trust her enough to tell her some of it?”

“I think so, yes, we’ll talk about it later.”

So as Alec went off, leaving her the key and meaning to call at the agency later to get another key, if they had one or get another one cut if all went well, Rose set about cleaning away the breakfast things and set the washing machine going and waited for her fate to be decided, the first time she’d really been away from this Alec since she got here on what he’d said was a Friday when she’d left on the Monday.

She picked up her device from the kitchen drawer where Alec had placed it the other day and looked at it for any signs it was working again, it was still blank as she pressed the ‘On’ button that tested the device to say it was functioning before pressing the button to activate it. Maybe he was right, maybe unknown to anyone except Yvonne, there was an emergency function built in to it and it was giving out a low signal.

They’d talked about the fact it may be very weak and may take some time to even reach where she had come from and then it would take time to actually locate which world she was on and find her. She knew no-one back home would have been idle in trying to locate her but that depended entirely on how long she’d been gone in her own time, still not being used to being on that one, let alone another one.

She’d been here four days so maybe she would be missed by now, if that was how it worked but she knew her mother and Alec would both be frantic by now and Alec would be demanding Yvonne be removed from her post and telling Pete to send him to look for her. She knew he couldn’t be put in front of the dimension cannon in his current condition so he’d have marched into the nearest hospital and finally got the pacemaker fitted, something she’d not been able to get him to do while she had been with him.

Then she realised why she couldn’t compare that Alec with this one, this one was more lively, had no burden of an ex wife and teenage daughter and no failed case and it had made all the difference but now she had a difficult decision to make, to stick to her resolve of not crossing the line or not with this Alec because if she did, she could never go back to the other one with a clear conscious. If they just kissed a bit and shared a bed, then she could live with not telling the other one about it but if not, if it became more than that, she couldn’t face the man she had left behind. Just how far could she go though?

She needed this Alec to help her and if that was the price, of being his girlfriend, then she was willing to pay it, it wasn’t like he was coming on to her, it wasn’t like he was a complete stranger, he acted and sounded like the other one but this one was a bit more outgoing, more like the Doctor had been and she’d missed that about the Alec she’d left behind, not that he didn’t have a sense of humour, it was just a bit different to what she’d been used to.

So, she decided if everything went ok this morning, she could spend her time waiting with this Alec and hope the other one wouldn’t come looking for her and meet him, she’d have to tell him this one had just helped her or that she’d finally met the actor she’d had more than a crush on in both worlds, he might believe that.

Alec had walked into his office to wait to be summoned to the chief’s office, Lawson watched him make himself a drink and thrown the teaspoon into the sink, the cleaner would be complaining again no doubt.

“What?” Alec asked him as he went into his office.

“Nothing Sir, what happened to that woman who came in on Friday?”

“She’s coming in to see the chief after I’ve talked to her, I told you, she’s not the one who is wanted.”

“I know Sir but don’t you think it’s strange she had the same name and looks a bit like her?”

“We all have a double Lawson, mine’s apparently a Scottish actor though who you look like, I’ve no idea. Have you got work to do?”

Pete knew that was not a question and he also knew Nigel Carter had been in the station first thing and made a complaint about Hardy busting his nose, not that anything would happen about it, the desk sergeant usually screwed up the complaints form and tossed it in the bin because he couldn’t be bothered to file it in the ‘Pending’ file any more. Hardy had complaints about him several times a week, mostly from the female officers and the civilian office staff, who now roamed about the station in pairs whenever they went somewhere.

Come to think if it, Pete wondered why there had been no such complaints over the weekend, Hardy usually haunted the station on Saturday afternoons, hoping to come across a WPC who he hadn’t already been turned down by or who may have unfortunately decided to change her mind in the hope he’d then leave her alone if she went out for a drink with him. Then he’d learned from someone downstairs, who had come in behind Nigel Carter, that he’d complained Hardy had roughed him up on Saturday night over some blonde when he’d tried to invite her to go outside with him and Hardy had lost his temper and told the man to stay away from his girlfriend.

Pete thought that alone was a laugh, Hardy claiming to have a girlfriend and that other Rose Tyler had been blonde. Well good luck to him, he might leave the women in the station alone from now on if they’d taken up with each other but did the blonde know what he was like? She’d find out soon enough, the hard way.

Alec typed his report out then tossed a few files around on his desk, trying to see if Lawson had got rid of those about Rose and waited for his phone to ring. Twenty minutes after he was already bored, he was summoned to the chief’s office.

He pulled a chair up to her desk and folded his arms as she read what he thought could be the files he’d had Lawson compile for him on Friday – so that was where they had gone, along with the report he’d just put on her desk, which was why he was keen to get in before she had. He couldn’t tell what she thought about it but his report had given his opinion he didn’t believe it was her.

“So Alec. I’ve read these files and your report and from what you say, the woman you had brought here on Friday is not the woman everyone in the country is looking for?”

“No, I interviewed her, it’s definitely not her, even allowing for changes in the four years since that one disappeared.”

“Well, you would have noticed Alec, she’s blonde. I take it you didn’t let her leave town?”

Elaine had heard about his scuffle with Nigel Carter but chose as usual to let it slide, it was getting tiresome and Hardy had come highly recommended but she’d had her mind made up for her when it was suggested the man had solved a double murder and locked up three people for it and her station could benefit greatly from his vast experience. She’d had nothing but complaints from the female staff and locals since his arrival eight months ago and it wasn’t likely to stop.

Still, if this pretend Rose Tyler was still in town, it might keep him out of trouble for a few more days, that would be nice indeed.

“No Elaine, she’s been staying with me, do you want to speak to her?”

Elaine might have known. “Yes, ask her to come in, I’ll speak to her and see what the chief constable has to say about it while we wait for her.”

“Do you have to involve him yet?”

“Alec, she may well be the one we’ve been looking for, I have to inform him but he’ll leave it to me to handle things. Just out of curiosity, how did she convince you?”

“Seriously? The woman that arrived by coach on Friday afternoon was tired, confused as to why she was escorted off it and knew nothing about what the real Rose Tyler had done, she was shocked when she came in and I told her.”

“Why was she on her way here?”

“She thought I was someone she used to know, she’d seen me in an old newspaper. She said she’d been travelling around and had no idea her double was wanted for those crimes.”

“Well you might believe her but I can tell when someone is lying Alec.”

He thought she had better not mean him, he’d just made that up on the spur of the moment but it was sort of true, she was looking for someone, that Doctor she’d left behind and now, she was looking for a way back to her own world to the other Alec and he found he didn’t want her to go.

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