AU - Rose Tyler was a normal 27 year old from London who never met The Doctor. She lost the love of her life in an accident and vowed she'd never love again but then she moved to a small seaside town called Broadchurch and learned to love again with Alec Hardy, not realizing he looked like who she had told Alec was her dead fiancé until her mother points it out. What will she do?
This one is a weepy so get your tissues out!
Takes place in the real world where Rose never met 'The Doctor' and it's a tale of sadness that turns into happiness in a short space of time until events threaten to tear them apart as Rose cannot entirely let go of her past. Will Alec Hardy finally run out of patience with her? How will he cope competing against her dead husband when he finds out her mother has told her he looks like him but Rose can't see it? Does he confront her with it, does Rose fall out with her mother for telling him when she didn't want him to know?
The day Rose lost the love of her life was the day she lost interest in everything. They had been happy, looking for a house to buy, Rose had her qualifications and worked in a bank as an assistant small business advisor and John was an college tutor who she had met in her final year just a few weeks after the start of term. She was nineteen and he was twenty six. They had planned to wait for Rose to go on study leave before they had started dating properly in public, just appearing to be friends when they were out, until he had finally swept her off her feet and they got engaged on her twentieth birthday and they were saving to buy a house. That had been seven years ago and now she was alone with only his memories. She didn't need to keep working to stay in the one bedroomed flat they had been sharing because he had left her well provided for plus their savings but every day there were reminders of him. Their laughter, the teasing as she tried to get him to let her out of bed and Sunday mornings when he'd make her breakfast and they'd eat in bed and she felt some comfort in it and couldn't bare to leave.
Rose had been on her own for two years and no further from moving forward with her life. Plenty of men asked her out and she would go out for the odd date but ran a mile at anything else and never go on a second date. She would visit her mother every Sunday to take her mind off Sundays with him, her mother lived in the same flat Rose had grown up in and was proud when Rose did well at school and went to college. She had been nervous about her daughter's relationship with an older man although John was only six years older but had accepted him in the end. She knew Rose loved him.
Rose was doing well at work but was still only an assistant and really wanted to move on. So she had asked several times and finally she was told the next vacancy to arise would be hers but she may have to move or travel. She wasn't bothered, perhaps getting out of the flat would be better for her. Two years had passed and still no nearer a promotion and she had even tried other banks but there were so few vacancies because people loved their jobs.
Then suddenly out of the blue, she was summoned to the Manager's office and was told there was a vacancy if she wanted but would have to relocate. A place called 'Broadchurch' she was told, a small seaside town down on the Dorset coast. She was told that the bank would keep her on full pay while she relocated and give her two weeks to move and find a place to live and in the meantime, they would put her up at a local hotel and pay half the costs plus make it easy for her to rent a place without all the usual credit checks. She said yes.
Rose decided to go down for the weekend before she finally moved so she took her mum with her and they stayed for two nights, looking around and in the letting agents window but Rose saw nothing she really liked. On the Saturday night they had sat down for dinner when a tall man with a scruffy beard sat down opposite and Rose thought there was something very familiar about him but carried on talking to her mum as the man was glancing at something on his phone. She had seen him the night before but thought nothing of it, he was just another guest staying there.
Eventually everything was arranged and the wheels were set in motion. She would drive down on the Saturday morning and set up in the hotel and start looking for somewhere to rent. Her mother wanted to go with her but she refused her help saying she had to do this on her own. She gave a month's notice on her flat and arranged for her belongings to go into storage until she found somewhere and since she was getting a promotion and property would be cheaper she would have more choice.
So everything was packed up and she moved out of her flat and said goodbye to her mum and drove down to Broadchurch but something was still familiar about the name but she couldn't quite put her finger on it. She checked into the hotel and the woman on the desk asked if she had much luggage as she knew the reason Rose was staying and had remembered her from a few weeks ago.
"Can I leave these two bags here while I get my suitcases out of the car?" asked Rose. The woman nodded and said they'd be fine.
So Rose walked back out to her car and opened the back door and was not looking forward to lifting either of the cases out and was wondering which would be the lesser of the two evils. Suddenly a voice behind her made her jump.
"Do you need some help there?" asked a man's voice that sounded Scottish.
Rose didn't even turn, she just froze. She was not accustomed to asking for help. "No, I've got it thanks," she replied as she struggled to get to one of the handles as they had wedged together.
"Yes, I can see that," the voice said sarcastically.
Rose turned around to tell the owner of the Scottish voice she was quite capable of getting a suitcase out of a car and changed her mind. It was the man with the still scruffy beard she has seen a few weekends back sitting at the table opposite in the hotel dining room.
"Oh, sorry, it's just I don't accept help from strangers" as she turned back and was just about to get hold of a tyre wrench in case he tried anything, when he spoke again.
"It's ok Miss, I'm a Police Officer," he said behind her.
"Oh yeah," she thought, "I've heard that one before" and picking up the object was just about to turn as an I.D card was thrust in front of her nose. It read Detective Inspector Alec Hardy. Rose dropped the tyre wrench, quietly and turned around to face him.
"Sorry, can't be too careful" and stood to one side, indicating the cases had wedged together and there was no room to manoeuvre them out.
He leaned down over the two cases and with one tug, pulled them apart, loosening one of them. Rose gawked at him. He looked kind of nice but his face looked sad. He stood back, not offering to lift either of the cases out.
"Right, you should be able to manage now then," he said and stepped to one side, looking at her and indicated to the separate cases. Rose continued gaping at him and wasn't aware her mouth was open. He stepped away from the car and started walking off but Rose found her voice before he had got two steps away.
"Well, some help might be nice after all," she admitted quietly and wasn't sure he'd heard her.
He had. He turned around and walked past her and picked up the case from the back, put it on the ground then lifted the other one out and placed it alongside. Rose closed the back door and looked up at him and quietly said "Thanks."
He picked up the largest of the cases as Rose picked up the other one and he said, "Right, you'd be taking them into the hotel then? It's a lot of luggage for one person on holiday, especially at this time of year." It was early March.
Rose never answered and started to walk off in the direction of the hotel entrance, thinking to herself, "I've picked a right one here. Blooming Detective Inspector that's sarcastic and asks a lot of questions." He followed three paces behind thinking he'd picked a right one as well.
Rose wheeled her suitcase and rested it by the reception desk and Alec Hardy placed the one he was carrying down beside it. Becca Fisher eyed the pair of them and said slyly, "You making yourself useful, Inspector? Since Miss Tyler is in the room opposite yours, perhaps you can give her a hand to her room?"
Alec Hardy just gave her filthy look. Rose could see quite clearly they didn't get along, just quite why she couldn't figure. Maybe they'd been involved and fallen out or maybe one of them had turned the other one down and it was sour grapes.
Becca turned around and picked up Rose's room key and handed it to her. "Room 203 on the second floor. I'd show you where it was but the Inspector's going your way and we've no porter on duty. Oh, by the way, Miss Tyler, don't forget your other two bags," as she pulled them out from behind the desk.
There was one large holdall and one smaller one. Alec Hardy just looked at them, then at Becca, then back to Rose who was picking up the larger one which was heavy. Alec stopped her and took it from her and indicated for her take the smaller one then said sarcastically, "Right, this way then and I'll be charging this to the hotel Ms Fisher," as he headed for the lift with Rose following him.
Becca just said quietly, "Good luck with him love" and rolled her eyes.
Rose was wondering what she'd walked into the middle of. It was clearly a war between the two of them.
Alec Hardy was holding the lift impatiently waiting for Rose to catch up. She could tell by the way he had one finger on the hold button and one on the second floor button. They rode silently, never even speaking when they got out and Alec indicated to Rose which was her room. Rose stood there awkwardly and thought she would break the silence with a little humour as he put the suitcase and the holdall outside Rose's door. Rose put her bags down and released the key pressed into her hand, which had left a mark. "Well thanks, I suppose it's customary to offer you a tip then?" It didn't go down well.
He grunted something she couldn't quite hear and he disappeared into his room, leaving Rose standing outside her room door with four bags. "Well, so much for making friends with the natives," she thought as she dragged the bags in one by one.
She started to unpack the things she was going to need, there was no sense in unpacking everything and began organising the drawers and wardrobe. It was when she realised she was hungry and looked at the time that she'd forgotten to ask what time dinner was and assumed it was the same as the last time she'd stayed so she checked her room was reasonably tidy and picked up her purse and room key and opened the door just as Alec Hardy was coming out of his room. He nodded to her and they headed for the lift. It was the same silent ride as they'd had earlier. Rose was thinking he was quite the frosty detective and couldn't imagine he had many friends but maybe he was only visiting. What would a Detective Inspector from Scotland be doing in Dorset? Was he grumpy because he'd asked Becca out and she'd turned him down? Rose was smiling to herself. "Can't say I blame her," she thought.
She followed him into the dining area seeing plenty of empty tables and asked him if she had to stick to any particular table. He just replied that she could sit wherever she wanted but he crossed to a corner table by the window and she followed.
"Do you mind if I sit with you? Only if it starts getting busy I don't want to take a table to myself."
Alec stood up while she seated herself and Rose could see this was going to be hard work to actually strike up a conversation with him. She went for it, taking a chance.
"Listen Inspector, I know you might not be in a talkative mood and I don't want to seem ungrateful for the help earlier so I just wanted to say thanks." She looked at him as he was studying the menu like he was reading 'The Times' newspaper with his rimless glasses and thought he looked kind of sexy in them.
The dining room was starting to fill up and she was glad she'd chosen to sit with him instead of complete strangers. They had sort of been introduced and then three men came and sat down across in the opposite corner and were eyeing her so she felt some comfort in his company.
"That's quite alright, Miss Tyler, I was just passing and saw you struggling. I was just being polite but you insisted you were ok so I wasn't wanting to interfere. I was waiting to be asked to help you." He was trying to be as tactful as he could.
The waitress came over to take their orders and left. Alec picked up the jug of water from the table and offered to fill Rose's glass. She nodded. He too had noticed the three men watching them, particularly at Rose and was watching them, at least the policeman side of him was and he was thinking there may be trouble as they were egging each other on.
"So Miss Tyler, what brings you to Broadchurch with so much luggage? I gather you're not on holiday then?" he asked as their first course arrived.
Rose shook her head and started to attack the slice of melon she had ordered.
"Please, call me Rose," she insisted. "No, I'm moving down here actually, from London. What about you, you're a long way from home aren't you? What's a Detective Inspector from where, Glasgow, doing in Dorset?" She had finished attacking her melon and looked at him curiously.
"I hate being called Inspector but there again I don't like my first name either which is Alec. Don't you read the newspapers or watch the news Rose?" he asked her, being careful to avoid her questions.
"Not really, been pre-occupied. I don't read newspapers, they're full of sad stories." She stopped and realised he was looking at her again. "Sorry but somehow you do look familiar, like I've seen you before. I noticed when I was here a few weekends ago."
Alec smiled, the first time since they had met a few hours earlier in the car park. "So much for remaining anonymous then. So you do watch TV?"
Rose shook her head as their main course arrived. She picked at her food hoping to avoid any further questions but he continued. "Then why do I look familiar to you then? Do I remind you of someone? Or have you seen my picture somewhere, I was all over the news last year," he asked.
Rose was thinking hard, but his face didn't look that familiar. Then it struck her what he'd said about being in a newspaper and it reminded her of that dreadful night and the subsequent story that followed and she dropped her knife and fork and scraped her chair back, bumping into the chair behind at she got up. "Excuse me," was all she said as she grabbed her purse that was hanging over the chair and made her way though the dining room as people stared.
She took the stairs, not wanting to wait for the lift and fumbled with her room key, tears welling up in her eyes. When she got inside, she flung herself on the bed and sobbed uncontrollably. She must have been crying for about twenty minutes when a knock came on the door. She dried her eyes on a tissue she grabbed as she got off the bed and went to the door. It was Alec Hardy, standing with a bottle of wine under one arm and two glasses held upside down in his other hand. He smiled as she opened the door and he could see she had been crying.
"Thought this might cheer you up, Rose," he said, holding the items up. Rose held the door open for him.
Just as he was standing in the doorway, the three men from the dining room came out of the lift and saw them. One of them whistled at Rose and Alec turned and looked daggers at him. The other two men were digging their elbows at the one who had whistled, daring him to do more. Rose had seen them and taking no notice, took the bottle from Alec with one hand and with the other, grabbed his jacket lapel, jerked him forward and planted a kiss on his lips. The man who had whistled said something garbled and went into his room, leaving Alec with a look on his face that was a picture.
Alec was still standing there, dazed at her sudden reaction. Rose managed a "Sorry" and indicated for him to enter the room. She put the bottle down and Alec put the glasses down next to it, wondering whether to say anything or not or if he was going to get thrown out. Rose went to sit in one of the chairs.
"Why did you run off Rose?" he asked. ''Do I remind you of someone?'' Rose nodded. He crossed back to the table and opened the bottle of wine and poured two glasses, passing one to Rose. "You never finished your meal," he said as he took a sip and pulled a sealed sandwich carton out of his jacket pocket that she hadn't noticed and handed it to her. She looked surprised and accepted it.
She might have just met him a few hours ago but she was already growing fond of him despite her sadness and she needed a friend. "No, you don't remind me of anyone, Alec but I lost someone and it was in the newspaper and when you were going on about you being in the news, I just snapped," she explained tearfully.
"I'm so sorry Rose, do you want to tell me about it? Strictly confidential of course, I am a Police Officer," he smiled, pulling the other chair opposite hers and sitting down. He took the sandwich from her and opened the packet, handing it back to her. "Eat, don't mind me," he said. Rose did as he asked. He left her to finish her sandwich and then took the empty carton from her and went to put it in the bin.
"So, what was all that about in the doorway? Not that I'm complaining but it seemed a bit extreme," he laughed, trying to cheer her up as he could see something was very wrong with her.
"They were horrible and I don't need jerks like that giving me the eye. I could get plenty of that at home. Sorry, but it was just the spur of the moment and I apologise. I shouldn't have sprung that on you." She looked guilty.
"Well, we could have had a drink first," he joked and Rose began to smile. He noticed she had a beautiful smile and he didn't want to see her crying. So Alec Hardy was going to make it his personal business to see she never did, whatever the cost. He got up and picked up the wine bottle and refilled their glasses.
"I'm sorry, Alec, it's been a long day. I'm just tired, it was along drive." She drank some more wine and looked at him. "So, you didn't mind then? Being used as a scapegoat to get rid of those leeches?" She put her glass down.
"No, as long as you tell me what bothers you. You can tell me anything, it won't leave this room. Think of it as a private interview but if you want to kiss me again, do it without any warning after I've had a few more glasses of wine," he joked. Rose smiled again, something about her made him think she needed to smile more.
He'd some room to talk, DI Grumpy, his colleagues and DS called him, even though he'd been there the better part of a year and still wasn't settled, still refusing to set down roots and move out of the hotel and still wanting to get the hell out of Dodge. He was doing penance, he told himself, even though he'd been cleared of any wrong doing then solving a murder case, albeit, arresting the husband of his DS for it. Then he'd had the nerve to survive several heart attacks resulting in him being forced off active duty until his nemesis, Ellie Miller had told him not to be a git and have a pacemaker fitted. He'd told her she'd get his job, she'd said she didn't want it and she wasn't good enough and he told her no, she wasn't good enough and was surprised she'd not slapped him.
Rose was looking at him again. Him, with the scruffy beard because he didn't need to impress anyone, even Becca Fisher had turned him down and that was saying something considering she'd had an affair with a married man who was almost arrested until she bailed him out but that had been when she'd thought he was going to die on her so she couldn't really be blamed but it had been sour grapes since. On her part because she'd never offered again when he was well and his because he'd never asked again but he wasn't really interested in her, it was just spur of the moment, just like Rose had kissed him and now he found himself wanting to find an excuse for her to offer to kiss him again, unlike wanting Becca Fisher to offer again.
They sat staring at each other, Rose was drinking again and trying to think of something to say that didn't involve answering his questions. Alec broke the silence. "Rose, please don't think I'm being nosey, I hate nosey people but maybe it will help you to talk about whatever's bothering you. If you bottle it up, it will only get worse. Why don't you get some sleep and we can talk over breakfast, if you want?"
Rose nodded. "Thanks Alec, I think it's just because I'm tired and I was just being silly and I can't apologise enough for putting you on the spot."
"No problem, I didn't mind, really, it was, well, nice." It had been a long time since a woman had kissed him like that. "I'll leave you the wine in case you want to drown your sorrows but believe me Rose, you won't find any comfort in the bottom of the bottle." He opened her door and indicated to his door. "I'm right there if you need to talk, any time. I'll see you for breakfast then, say eight?" Rose nodded. "Goodnight then" and just as he left, he leaned down and kissed her cheek, feeling the tears.
He felt sorry for her and wished she would talk to him. He walked the few paces to his door, turning to see she had closed hers. What could he do to help her, she was clearly agonising over something. She said she'd lost someone, a boyfriend, husband, fiancé, someone she had loved had died and she was trying to forget and she was moving to get away from being reminded of it but something had triggered her reaction. He needed to know more and hoped she'd talk tomorrow when she'd had some sleep and felt better.
He tried to get to sleep but couldn't get her out of his head. She was young, very attractive and vulnerable and he really didn't want to take advantage of her when she had been crying. Some men would have done but not him. He was awake at six fifteen and what was he going to do until breakfast? Maybe he should check on Rose, make sure she was ok but she might get annoyed at being woken, or kiss him again. He got out of bed and strolled into the bathroom, thinking a cold shower would be in order but instead, he washed his face, brushed his teeth and went back out and pulled on his jeans and a t-shirt, not bothering to fasten the buttons, some canvas shoes because he couldn't be bothered putting his socks on and picked up his mobile and room key and went to knock on Rose's door. She could ignore him, tell him to get lost or invite him in. He'd settle for the last option, even better if she kissed him again. He knocked gently and waited.