Rose never meets 'The Doctor' and Alec Hardy needs a friend when he arrives in town and someone in his corner when a murder investigation takes it's toll on him. This story is from Rose and Alec's point of view and very little about the actual events.
There was a buzz in the office, Ellie Miller was not going to be pleased when she got back from her leave, Rose knew that. She was sort of friends with her, she sometimes went to babysit if Ellie and her husband were invited out on special occasions. Someone new had just been taken to the Superintendent's office and the rumour was, they were the replacement for the DI who had recently retired. She knew DS Miller was up for a promotion before she'd gone away but if the rumours were right, there was going to be trouble.
Rose kept an eye on the door, wondering who it was, they hadn't actually come into the main office. Was it male or female? Either way, if it was a woman, the claws would be out and if was a man, the equal rights card would be played. Bets were already being taken on it. Rose sat at her desk by the window, a pile of papers waiting to be approved to be filed when the door opened and the Chief came in followed by a tall man with a beard.
"This is Detective Inspector Alec Hardy, he's our newest senior officer, you all answer to him now. I'm sure you'll all make him welcome. Before he starts, I want no grudges that DS Miller should have got the job, I know you all think highly of her but DI Hardy has had a lot of experience and I believe he's the right person for the job." With that said, she left everyone looking at the Inspector.
He went straight into his office and sat down. Rose always got the job of welcoming new staff so everyone was staring at her by this time. She got up and walked over and tapped on the door then waited. All she got was a wave for her to enter. This was going to be a tough nut to crack.
"Good morning, Sir, I'm Rose, can I get you anything? A drink perhaps?" she asked as she closed the door behind her.
He looked at her, clearly not expecting any kind of welcome from the looks he'd just got in the office outside. "Tea would be nice, milk, no sugar. I don't expect any special treatment but just this once, since you've clearly been delegated to test the waters, so to speak. I don't bite, well not when I've had my morning cup of tea. What exactly is your job when you're not being the tea lady?"
Rose smiled, a Scot with a dry sense of humour, just what she needed – not. "Right, tea it is and I'm the filing clerk around here. You want files getting out or putting away, I'm the person you need. When I'm not doing that, I'm the welcome wagon, I sort of got stuck with the job. So I'll get your tea then shall I?"
DI Hardy just nodded and went back to looking at his computer screen.
Rose thought nothing else about it after she had taken him his tea and went back to work. She hardly saw him over the next few days, he went out a few times, when he came back in, he made his own drinks until he came back late on the Friday afternoon when there was only herself and the cleaner and he was making a drink when Rose was going to make hers and being an open area, there wasn't much room to avoid each other as she stood at the side of him. He took another cup, put a teabag in it and poured hot water and milk into it and passed it to her.
She asked how he was getting on. "Thanks. Are you settling down Sir? I could make your drinks for you, if you wanted. I used to do it all the time for the DI you replaced, it's really no bother."
"I don't want any special treatment and I don't want the rest of the office thinking you're fraternising with the enemy. I know I'm not exactly welcome here. You're the only one that's talked to me about anything other than they actually need to and certainly the only one who's made me a drink. Now we're even. I didn't want it to look like I was taking advantage of your good nature. It's Rose isn't it?"
Pleased he'd actually remembered her name instead of clicking his fingers and saying 'hey you, the filing clerk,' she said yes.
"So, Rose, tell me why exactly am I getting the cold shoulder from the rest of the office. Is it something to do with DS Miller? I was told she was in line for a promotion and she's back next Thursday, what can I expect? More of the silent treatment?"
"I wasn't giving you the silent treatment, Sir, I just assumed you wanted to be left alone. The other DI never wanted to be disturbed when he was in his office except for three or four cups of coffee a day. We all nicknamed him Kojak because when he went out he wore the same kind of hat and was always calling out for DS Miller like Kojak would call for his Sergeant." She smiled at him. "Not that we think you're anything like Kojak, Sir," she added hastily.
He cracked a smile and turned around to face her. "So what do they call me then? I assume it's not with any fondness they've given me a nickname?"
Rose blushed slightly, not wanting to reveal what some of them had taken to calling him when he was either out or had his office door closed.
"I don't think I should really say Sir but if it's any consolation, I don't agree with them and I've stuck up for you a few times and some of them are giving me funny looks now. Not that I got on really well with any of them, I'm not in their inner circle or anything. I'm from out of town too. Have you found a place to live yet or are you staying at a hotel? Only there are a few empty flats where I live, I could give you the number if you like?"
"Thanks but I'm not sure if I'm staying yet. This is just a temporary transfer but I can't get another one for at least three months so getting somewhere to live permanently is not something I've thought about. Anyway, what are you still doing here after hours on a Friday night? Not going out? No boyfriend?"
Ah! Now he was fishing, Rose was thinking. Keep him dangling and let him wait for the fish to take the bait.
"I have some extra filing to do and I prefer to do it when everyone has left. They leave their files on their desks for me in their top trays. I told you, some of them regard me in the same way as a newcomer. I guess we both belong to the outsiders club."
Rose picked up her drink and was just about to go back to her desk when he followed her. The cleaner had just left so they were on their own. Rose sat down and he pulled a chair from the opposite desk and sat down, putting his cup on her desk.
"So, Rose, are you going to be coming into my office to collect files? Only I wasn't aware that I was supposed to leave them out for you. Do you prefer to wait until I've left as well? I told you I don't bite." He looked across the desk and smiled at her.
"You're the boss, Sir, whatever you want and I don't care much what other people think, it's a job, I'm not here for the social aspect. To answer your question, no, there's no boyfriend and Friday night, I normally just work a bit later and grab something to eat on the way home and watch my favourite TV programme at nine. Have you made any friends yet, Sir?"
"You don't have to call me Sir all the time, I have got a name. Not that I like my name much, it's Alec but you can call me that, if you want, when there's no-one around," he winked at her.
Rose wasn't too sure about him, she'd heard everyone saying he was a grump and a misery guts but here he was, drinking tea with her at her desk and telling her to call him Alec. This was surely going to get complicated on Monday morning when everyone came back to work if she started going into his office several times a day, making him drinks and collecting case files. Still, he was being nice to her and that was all that mattered, stuff what everyone else thought, he was chatting her up.
"OK, Alec it is, if you're sure you're not going to fire me for getting too familiar with you, I am just one of the office staff," she laughed, picking up her drink. "I'll try to remember to go back to calling you Sir on Monday morning."
"How late are you going to be working?" he asked. "I still have some work to catch up on. We could go for a drink afterwards, if you don't mind missing your TV programme. That's if you want to be seen with me?" he added.
"I should be finished by seven if I get back to work and stop sitting here drinking tea with you, Sir," she laughed as she finished her drink.
He took the hint and finished his and put his cup down and took hers then gathered them together in one hand and got up. "Then don't let me stop you, what's your surname?"
"It's Tyler, you should really know that, you being a detective," she laughed.
"Well, I would have, normally but everyone here seems to have something against me and I thought I'd play it safe."
He got up and went back to the kitchen area, then popped his head around the corner. "Rose, why don't we go get a bite to eat before we go to get that drink? That's if you have no other plans. Do you know of somewhere? Preferably not where everyone else from here goes, not that I don't want to be seen with you."
Rose said she knew somewhere, down by the harbour, just across from their current location. She finished her filing in record time, hoping she hadn't put any files in the wrong places in trying to impress her new boss. When she'd finished, he was still in his office so she tapped on the door and waited. He switched his computer off and took his jacket from the stand and gestured her out of the door. They walked across the harbour to the pub, ordered something to eat and they went to a quiet corner as Alec continued to chat her up.
By ten, they were laughing and Rose noticed he wasn't drinking much and he said he couldn't, there was a reason for it that he couldn't tell her. He excused himself and when he came back said, "Rose, what else do you do to relax?" She looked at him as he continued. "Would you like to relax a little with me, perhaps? Maybe come back to my hotel room with me?"
Rose thought about it for a grand total of ten seconds before saying it wasn't a good idea. "Alec, I enjoyed tonight, I really did but you're my superior officer, I'm a filing clerk and it's bad enough in the office as it is, not that I care about what they think of me but it could get awkward for you." She looked at him as he had a look of disappointment on his face.
"Then I don't care either Rose, you're the only one who's even bothered with me since I've been here. Come back with me. You don't have to stay all night. Let's just relax a little more together, we don't have to tell anyone."
It didn't take long for her to relent when she looked into his brown eyes. "OK, just for a little while then."
They left the pub and walked back to his hotel, taking the side entrance and walked up to his room. Once the door was closed, he took his jacket and tie off then unfastened some buttons on his shirt. He went over to Rose and moved in to kiss her, putting one arm around her back and the other to start unbuttoning her blouse. She responded by putting her hand on his chest and unbuttoning the rest of his shirt as he leaned in to kiss her. They were soon on the bed, he finished with her blouse and unzipped the back of her skirt, pulling it down over her legs then reached to unfasten her bra kissing the exposed skin.
It didn't take long for Rose to unfasten his trousers and pull them down, leaving his shorts halfway down as he pulled her underwear down over her hips. They began kissing as he knelt between her legs, pulling her underwear halfway down her legs.
Then he stopped suddenly and Rose asked what was wrong.
"Nothing, am I moving too fast for you Rose, maybe we should just do more of this, it being our first time, if that's ok? I didn't mean to take it this far, it's just you're so gorgeous and I really want you Rose but we should get to know each other first before we have proper sex."
"Yeah, you're probably right and this is nice, maybe a bit more of what we're doing now is in order but you can go a bit further if you want I'm more than enjoying this."
Alec got the hint, moving both his hands as she whimpered for him to do more, quivering at his touch as she felt his fingers. She put her hands down the back of his shorts, pulling them down as he moved at her touch, forcing him to land fully on her as they both gasped when he moved his hands quickly out of the way and they both gasped again as their bodies touched.
He was now lying on top of her, Rose began moving her hips and moaning she wanted him as he reached up to kiss her lips.
"I want you too Rose but I can't," he said, raising his body slightly up and away from her then moving one of his legs to one side.
"Alec, why not, I want you, you want me, what's the problem? I do take precautions you know, if that's what's worrying you. I might not have a boyfriend, yet but I take the pill for other reasons. You're the first man I've wanted to go to bed with in a long time. I so want you right now."
He moved off her and lay on his back, Rose turned around on her side. "Why did you ask me to relax with you Alec if you didn't want to have sex with me? I'm not complaining, what just happened was more than pleasant, I've not felt like that for a long time and I get the feeling neither have you. Please tell me what's wrong and maybe I can help. You're not shy are you?"
He moved his arms from the back of his head and turned to face her, then reached over and kissed her. "Rose, it's not you and I so want to have sex with you, right now but I can't. Rose, I'm going to tell you something that you have to keep secret or I'll be kicked out of the police force. Promise me?" Rose nodded.
"Rose, I came here because of two reasons. One, I had a failed case in that I took the blame for because a member of my team screwed up and it was my responsibility but that doesn't matter. The other reason is and you have to swear on this you won't say a word. I have a heart problem, an irregular heartbeat to be precise and if anyone found out, I'd be forced to leave. I have to take medication for it but it's running low and I've not been to see any doctors since I got here, I've contacted someone and having them send me a prescription, someone who was helping me cover up my illness."
Rose reached over and put her arms around him. "Alec, I'm so sorry, I had no idea. I won't tell anyone, I'll help you. Tell me what I can do." She kissed him and settled her head on his shoulder.
"Just be here for me Rose, that's all I ask. Just be with me."
He pulled her close until she was lying on him and they fell asleep. The next morning, Rose woke up and panicked, she was on her own in Alec's hotel room and sat up, swung her legs out of the bed to put her underwear on then heard a noise coming from the bathroom. Alec opened the door two minutes later and smiled at her, a towel wrapped around his waist as she was sat on the bed.
"I was worried about you when I woke up and you were gone. We never got to finish talking last night. Tell me what I can do to help you. When are you getting more medication? Can't you go to a local doctor or the hospital?"
"Rose, I'll be fine, I have enough to last me another week, my friend will get me some more before I run out and if I don't do anything stupid, I'll stay fine. I just have to avoid strenuous activities and I really didn't intend to go so far last night, I'm sorry, I took advantage of you."
"No you didn't, I let you, there's a difference and I'd still have sex with you if you want. We can take it slowly and if you say your medication is keeping you from serious harm, we can try again, if you want. Isn't there something you can do about your condition? Isn't there an operation you can have?" Rose was sounding concerned.
"The medication will keep me stable until I have a better chance of surviving an operation for a pacemaker fitting. I've been under too much stress, that's why I came here, to get away from a big city police force to a quiet town. If I stay here a few months and take it easy, my doctor says it will increase my chances. If I go for it now, I only have a slim chance of surviving. What can happen in a quiet little town like this? Plus I'll have a partner, when she comes back, so I can let her do all the hard work and take it easy. Three months at the most, Rose, I need you to keep this a secret for three months then I'll take some leave and get my operation. Will you help me?"
"Of course I will but don't go relying on DS Miller, she's not going to be friendly when she comes back and finds you've got the job she was promised, well she told us it was promised to her. The office is already taking bets as to how long it will take her to blow up when she finds out. I'm not in on that, by the way. I've been sticking up for you, I told them to give you a fair chance. She's ok really, it's just she was relying on the promotion. She has a young family, I babysit for her youngest sometimes and she'll try and find out all about you but she won't get anything from me, you don't have to worry about that. I'm just saying I'll have to keep the peace between the two of you, she might be a bit off with you but I won't say anything about your heart condition. I'll try and get her to go easy on you."
Alec went to sit on the bed beside her and suddenly laid her down, leaning over her. "Rose, I appreciate what you're doing, I'll try not to put you in an awkward situation but if you help me, let me worry about what people say. If they give you a hard time, tell me. We'll just have to avoid each other in the office. You can bring me tea though if you want," he smiled, running his finger along the top of her bra then leaning down and kissing her cleavage.
"You're beautiful Rose and I'm sorely disappointed I can't do anything about it other than what we did last night. I'll understand if you want to back off. You're young, you don't have to stick around me, I'm older than you, I'm 38, I must be about 10 years older than you. You should be out every night with your friends or chatting up men who are here on holiday, going out dancing and drinking. You don't have to spend all your time with me." He reached up and kissed her as she put her arms around him and teasingly tugged at this towel around his waist, untucking it so it came loose.
"Rose, are you trying to make me have a heart attack?" he laughed, as he reached to unfasten her bra then leaned on her so his chest was touching her, then going back to kissing her.
They gently fooled around on the bed, Rose being careful not to overexert him. "There are ways of having sex that don't involve a lot of physical exertion you know," she giggled. "We could find them together, if you want? For the record, you're only ten years older than I am and I don't care about any age difference. You don't look older. Let's see how many ways we can find, say tonight, at my place?"
"Your place it is then. I have to go to my office for a few hours, can we meet for lunch? That's if you want to be seen twice with me?" he asked, reaching down to kiss her again, not wanting to leave her but he had to catch up on what was going on in the town for when the DS came back, it was going to be difficult enough as it was.
He prised his way off her, kissing her tummy as he got up and Rose let out a 'wow' when his towel moved, giving her a good view of him as he hastily pulled the towel back. Rose had gone to sleep on him but hadn't actually experienced him or seen him yet. He was thinking that this Rose Tyler would be the death of him. She called him a spoilsport as he covered himself and crossed over to the dresser to retrieve some clean shorts, turning away from her to put them on.
"Erm, haven't you forgotten something? You unfastened my bra so you can fasten it again," she said, getting up and turning around while he obliged, kissing the back of her neck.
"So, I'll see you for lunch then, the café across from the station?" He spun her around for another kiss. "That's if I can manage to pry myself away from you."
Rose finally left his room with him, going down the other staircase so as not to give him a reputation for bringing women to his room and Rose walked in the opposite direction back to her flat, Alec towards his office. They met for lunch and spent the rest of the weekend together in her flat, going out for Sunday lunch and a walk on the beach. It was still early season so there weren't many people around and no-one knew who he was anyway, becoming the town's newest Police Detective wasn't exactly front page news. Little did he know that he was soon going to become the centre of the media's attention for all the wrong reasons and he was going to need Rose more than ever.
They arrived separately at the station on Monday morning, Alec had to go back to his hotel to change. They were playing at dodging each other, Alec had said it was best she didn't bring him drinks into his office but they somehow got away with Rose getting up to make a drink whenever he was in the kitchen area, just talking shop for a few minutes. For the next two nights they would meet up by Rose waiting outside his hotel for him, outside the newspaper office opposite then walk up to her flat, calling at the Chinese one night or Rose would cook for them. He would stay the night, gently getting closer to actually having sex but Rose didn't want him to overdo it, he was running out of his medication and had to urge his friend to get a move on and send him some more.
On Wednesday night, he got back to his hotel to find an envelope waiting for him with the prescription he had been waiting for giving him 3 month's supply of the tablets he needed. He went across to meet Rose and asked where a pharmacy would still be open. She said the supermarket had one so they got a taxi to the superstore just outside town and he got them there. He got a funny look though when his prescription was marked with a surgery's stamp from Glasgow but had to say he was down from there visiting his girlfriend, holding Rose's hand. He couldn't show his Police ID, even though no-one knew him, just in case. Small towns harboured a lot of gossip.
Rose was slightly relieved that he'd got his medication which would last him until he was strong enough to have his operation and she was going to make it her responsibility to make sure he got it and that his secret would be safe, no matter what. What she didn't know was that it wasn't going to be as easy as she thought, events were about to unfold that would threaten their relationship and Alec's health despite her best efforts.
It was fortunate that Alec got a call first thing to go investigate a break-in at a farm just outside the town, so he wasn't in his office when news reached the office staff, including Rose, that a body had been found at the bottom of a cliff and after that, all hell broke loose but not before Ellie Miller waltzed into the office bringing sunshine and smiles, handing out presents including one for Rose, her favourite perfume. Rose felt guilty about accepting it but didn't say anything, she was sleeping with who was about to become Ellie's number one enemy and Rose was about to get right in the middle of it, maybe forcing her to choose sides. She was in love with Alec Hardy so she would have to try to keep neutral.
DS Miller was called over to see the chief so Rose went back to work but everyone knew what was going to happen and that she wouldn't take it well and someone was due some money for guessing correctly what her reaction time would be. Then, the news got round, everyone was in shock that such a thing could happen in the town and DS Miller was taken to the scene, all thoughts of the betting pool forgotten as phones started ringing and people were wanting answers. Even Rose had to join in, no-one needed files now.
She guessed Alec would be at the scene, goodness knows how he was going to cope in his condition, he came here to rest, not solve a murder case and he was going to be in charge of the biggest case to hit the town. She knew she would have to be there for him more than ever and it meant his secret may come out along with the revelation of their relationship, which was now bound to spill over into the office environment. They had spent almost a week together and he was meant to move out of his hotel at the weekend but it might have to wait, he didn't want anyone to know about them.
As a full scale murder investigation was now under way, Alec and DS Miller were already fighting each other, starting at the scene and continuing until they got back, with Alec discovering someone had told a local newspaper reporter and Rose knew who he meant. Ellie admitted that it had been her nephew, Rose knew him because he'd asked her out several times when Ellie had tried to play matchmaker but Rose had found him too immature for her liking and turned him down every time. She knew now that he'd use that against Alec once the story took hold because he would dig up Alec's past and anyone he was involved with so she would have to warn Alec but maybe now, he was going to have to work late and they wouldn't see much of each other but she had to try to warn him anyway.
Luckily for Rose, new files were being created so she was finding extra room for them so she was going to have to work late as information was starting to pour in. Alec had told everyone they'd have to pull out all the stops and went to do a press interview, everyone left in the station was watching it as he said they would catch whoever had done this. Rose stayed behind after everyone left but Ellie was still there and she couldn't get into his office without her noticing.
"Rose, why are you still here? There's no reason why you have to stay, why don't you get off home?" Ellie said. "See you in the morning."
Rose glanced at Alec, dying to say something to him then, taking a chance she asked if she could get Ellie anything before she left. Ellie said she was fine so she pushed her luck and stood at Alec's door and asked him, "Can I get you anything Sir?"
He looked up from his computer screen. "Ah, Rose isn't it? If I remember correctly you make a decent cup of tea. Yes, thanks" and went back to what he was doing.
Ellie watched her as she stepped away from the door, closing it behind her. "You're making a rod for your own back if you start making him tea all the time you know. Don't let him walk all over you, not like our last leader did. I'm surprised you put up with that. I've been out most of the day with him." Ellie stopped and nodded towards his office. "He's a pain in the arse. He got my job Rose, I come back from extended leave to find he's pinched my job and then I find I've got to drive him around all day then my best friend's son is murdered. This day couldn't get any worse if it tried. Then he's telling me how to do my job."
Rose didn't know what else to say except she was sorry. Sorry that Ellie hadn't got her promotion but if she had, Alec would never have come here and she wouldn't have met him and fallen in love with him.
"Ellie, I'm sorry you didn't get the job, I really am but maybe you should just give him a chance. There might be a reason why he's come here."
"Rose, don't defend him, I've had enough today and I really just want to go home but I can't until he does. Make him a drink then he might go home, wherever that is, probably the hotel, anywhere as long as he's out of my way."
Rose just smiled at her and went to make Alec a drink. She took in into his office, making sure Ellie was occupied. She put the drink on his desk and asked if there was anything else she could do for him, hoping he'd catch her meaning. He did as she mouthed to him that she wanted him to go home with her. She was just getting her jacket and saying goodnight to Ellie as he came out of his office, putting his jacket and coat on.
"Go home Miller, it's late, get a fresh start in the morning." Then he passed Rose and said, "Thanks for the tea, that might just get you elevated to my personal drinks maker." He held the door open for her shouting, "Night Miller" after him.
Once they were downstairs they said goodnight and Alec crossed the road to walk back towards his hotel and Rose continued down the road and was going to collect some food from the Chinese and wait for him. She'd been back ten minutes when he knocked on the door. She let him in and threw her arms around him, kissing him for all she was worth. They ate quickly, it was getting late and they had so much to discuss now, they both knew this was going to change everything but not between them, it meant they'd have to be extra careful.
"Rose, I don't know what's going to happen now. All sorts of things are going to come up in the press from my past but I've told you everything, if you read anything else, you know it's not true, don't you Sweetheart?" Rose nodded and put her arms around him. "We have to be extra careful, we can't be seen out together, not until this is all over. You almost had a close call back in the office. You shouldn't have risked staying behind. Please don't do it again, Miller is hostile enough towards me, I don't want her turning against you." He kissed her and said this was going to be the last night they could meet at her flat, he'd have to stay at the hotel, he couldn't move in with her now. He said he'd have to sneak her in the side door of the hotel, he still needed to be with her.
Rose said she had something she needed to tell him, about Ellie's nephew, Olly. "I didn't think it was relevant until today but he's asked me out, more than once and I turned it down, every time. Ellie was playing matchmaker when I arrived here. I never once went out with him, I swear but if he starts digging, it may come up. I just needed to tell you. You can ask Ellie if you want, I'm sure he complained to her that I turned him down on more than one occasion. He was too immature for me. I've not been out with anyone since I came here, I'd had enough of men, my boyfriend back in London left me so I came here to start again. Dating wasn't on my list of priorities."
He said it was ok, he believed her, so they went to bed. Alec had discovered more ways than one to satisfy Rose without too much exertion, mostly with her doing all the hard work but they loved each other, it didn't matter. He'd more than make up for it when he was well again. He was going to need her more than ever over the coming weeks and their love was going to be put to the test.
Friday was a nightmare, more staff were going to have to be drafted in from other areas as enquiries and statements came in. Rose was inundated with files and she badly needed help but none could be spared. She barely had time for any lunch and no-one bothered about her, they were too busy calling for files. She was supposed to have the weekend off but was going to have to work Saturday morning at least to find new spaces to fit everything and maybe archive some older ones. It might give her a chance of being alone with Alec if DS Miller wasn't working.
Her plan failed though when she was told extra phone lines were being installed and some of the others would be working. She got home and waited for Alec's call to go to the hotel, using the side door, he'd come down to let her in. Once they were alone, they kissed for a while, then Alec laid her on the bed and told her he'd probably have to work all day Saturday but was going to take Sunday off and said he'd wait until late then come up to the flat so they could spend Sunday together. He'd had a fairly bad day, he complained about Miller again. Rose begged him not to get stressed, he needed to relax so she made him lie on his front and gave his shoulders and back a massage.
Saturday went from bad to worse. She heard one of the telephone engineers say he knew something about the case then a short while later, Alec came back in a foul mood, shouting at Ellie and went in his office slamming the door behind him. Rose was worried, she'd never seen him like that and it wouldn't do him any good. She got up and made him a drink but Ellie gave her a warning look as she was about to go in but she ignored it. She tapped on his door and went in, smiled at him and asked if he was ok. He said he was and said thanks for the drink but she remained worried the rest of the day.
Sunday was like a breath of fresh air as they stayed in bed until late, just enjoying each other's company but their day of rest was going to be one of their last together for a while as things developed the following day and their evenings together were to get shorter as the enquiry became more intensive with more staff arriving and the media descending on the town. One journalist was out on a vendetta against Alec and when he finally got to meet with Rose, he was in an even fouler mood than when he'd found out the boy's name had been released nationwide. Rose tried to calm him but he said he didn't want to take it out on her and it was best she left. She said no, she didn't care if he was in a bad mood, he needed her more than ever and just got into bed and let him lie on her and they fell asleep.
The case dragged on, no nearer to being solved and accusations were flying, fuelled by the media. Alec was labelled as 'The Worse Cop In Britain' and Rose had said who takes any notice of trashy newspapers? He had fought with Miller again and Rose was trying to keep the peace.
Rose and Alec almost got caught by the hotel owner as they were just relaxing late one night when a knock came on the door. Rose had to gather her things and dash into the bathroom while Alec fastened his shirt and trousers. It was Becca Fisher asking if he let the media stay in the hotel, she'd charge his room at half price and keep them out of his way. He had to reluctantly agree and she was just leaving when he noticed something that belonged to Rose and hoped Becca hadn't noticed but she'd probably thought he'd just had some female company.
One Sunday morning, they went to the church for a service for the murdered boy, arriving separately and sitting one row behind each other but afterwards they were talking outside, hoping they wouldn't get noticed but a photographer who was trying to snap the boy's parents, snapped them instead and the next day, they were on the front page of most of the newspapers with the headline 'Worse Cop in Britain seen with mystery blonde at boy's service' and somehow it got blown out of all proportion. They were both called into the chief's office the following day and grilled about it, both denying any wrong doing until they were told to stop pretending and that half the station believed they were involved with each other.
They were warned to call it off until the enquiry was over or Rose would be transferred and since the media were camped out at his hotel, she couldn't go there any more and she couldn't take him drinks into his office and no doubt, some pathetic loser of a journalist would be following him, he was going to have to come up with a plan. It transpired that Rose had defended him to her colleagues once too often that it had aroused suspicion and it had also come to DS Miller's attention.
They daren't even text each other so by the end of the day, Alec had to come up with a plan. He needed her, she was the only one that was keeping him sane and made sure he took his medication and remained calm. He couldn't do this without her or he'd end up in hospital or worse. Rose was upset when she got home. She couldn't go to his hotel so she had to wait up to see if he could sneak away. She was in luck. He'd gone out in a police car, pretending to follow the local vicar and he'd got the driver to drop him off at a late night shop, saying he'd walk back to the hotel and it was just around the corner from Rose. He went into the shop and bought a bottle of wine and checked carefully there was no-one around, it was after midnight and it was all clear.
It took him only five minutes to be calling her intercom and she let him in, falling into his arms as he put the bottle down. They didn't waste any time as they got undressed and fell into bed, Rose being gentle as usual. After they had discovered yet another way of making love, Alec got up and started to get dressed. Rose didn't want him to leave, he was taking a risk sneaking back into the hotel at two in the morning. Before he left, he said he had a plan so they could be together without any comeback. Make a statement to the local newspaper, the two of them and for Rose to resign immediately the next day. She had leave to come and would take it as giving her notice. It would solve their problems. Rose agreed because she couldn't be without him.
Alec managed to sneak back to his room without being seen and the next morning, Rose got to the station and typed her resignation letter and took it to the chief. She stared in disbelief at Rose, asking why she had gone so far just to be with Alec Hardy.
"We've been seeing each other for weeks, before all this started we were together almost a week. I love him and this investigation just got in the way and now you've told us to split up, we talked it over and decided this was the only way we could be together. I have some leave to come so I'm prepared to take it as part of my notice so I'll finish the day and get everything in order and let you draught someone in from another division to take my place."
"Rose, you don't have to go so far as to resign. Lots of the staff here are in relationships. You and Alec, it's just unfortunate you work in the same office and you've been singled out because of the position he holds and the spotlight is on him. Why don't you just take some leave and wait for this to blow over? I'm not against you two seeing each other, just until this case is solved and the hype dies down? Maybe appear together and show your support for him? If you're not working together then people can't talk. You can take unpaid leave if you want, come back when it's all over, no reprisals. I can get someone temporary in."
"We were planning on doing an interview at 'The Echo' to set the record straight. It's Olly Steven's fault, he asked me out and I turned him down when I first arrived here. I did warn Alec about it."
"Is he ok, he's looked a little off lately?"
"He's just tired and it's all getting to him. He'll be fine. That's why I need to be with him, he doesn't want to be on his own. I know the reason why he's here, why you took him on when no-one else would and I know the truth about it. We have no secrets from each other. When we leave tonight, we're leaving together and he's moving into my flat with me, we're not hiding any more. The press can say what the hell it likes, we're both single, we're not having an affair, he just doesn't want his ex and his daughter dragging into the middle of it. He's been trying to protect me, keep me out of this whole mess. I've told him I don't care, I'm more worried about him. The press are following him everywhere, he had to sneak out like a common criminal last night just to be with me and to tell me what he had planned."
"Well speaking to the local press may alleviate some of the problem. I'm not surprised he told you everything and he does need someone in his corner. I'm not saying you two are having an affair but when you sneak around, people assume there's a reason for it if you don't come out into the open about it."
"We were, until this all started. We were going out and being seen together, it's just between the local press and a reporter from London having a personal vendetta against him from his last case, it's getting him down and he wanted to shield me from it. I am worried about him, he was hounded over his last big case and it's happening again but this time, he's not on his own, he's got me. We're hoping that putting the record straight will help take some of the pressure off."
Rose went back to her desk to finish the day and while she had been away, the office had got fuller and someone had about to claim her desk, putting a cup on it and Rose asking whose it was, telling the offender in no uncertain terms to get lost. It might have been her last day but she wasn't telling anyone, wasn't going to give them the satisfaction of making them think she was leaving because of the rumours and the lies in the papers. She could see Alec from where she was sitting, he was in with DS Miller but she daren't go taking him a drink, not with new people in the office. Then she thought about slipping a note in with a file and taking it to him, just to let him know but she never got chance, so she wrote the note telling him she'd meet him outside the newspaper office at six, took the file in marked his attention and hoped he'd get it.
Hometime, Rose was emptying her desk, most everyone else was gone or not taking any notice. Alec had only been back a short time but she'd seen him pick up the file. He came to the door and shouted her over, everyone looked as she walked over as he said loudly, "Rose, my office, now," holding up the file.
She could feel the stares as she walked, hoping it was just a ruse by Alec to make it look good. She knew he wouldn't really do such a thing to her, shout at her in front of anyone and he'd waited until almost everyone else had gone. She went in and closed the door saying, "Yes Sir?"
He thrust the file in front of her saying, "You brought me this file, this one, what's this have to do with the Latimer case, well? I'm waiting for an answer?" Rose just looked at him, blimey, he was really getting into character.
"It's the file you wanted Sir, before you went out, the one you rang for, isn't it the correct one?" she asked hopefully.
"Can't you people here get anything right? Get me the right one now, this isn't the one I asked for, check your notes or don't you take notes here? Now get me that file, preferably tonight if it's not too difficult."
Rose muttered a 'sorry' and opened the door when he'd forced the file into her hands and he closed it behind him. This wasn't going to do him any good but Rose knew he'd had to put on a show.
Ellie looked at her and shook her head as Rose went back to her desk, pretending to look at her notes then crossing to the filing cabinets. He hadn't asked for any files, the one she had taken into him had contained one piece of paper, the note she'd written telling him she was taking unpaid leave until it was all over and she would go to the newspaper office with him and telling him she loved him.
She selected a file to do with the case and went back towards his office. Ellie stopped her saying, "Don't let him get to you, he's been in a foul mood all day. You know everyone thinks you and him are having an affair? Maybe you should douse the flames that are feeding the fire and do something about it."
Rose went back into his office and put the file on his desk, he just looked up and said, "Sorry, it's been a hell of a day."
Twenty minutes later, Rose was waiting outside for him but he didn't come down the steps. A few of the others did and so did Ellie Miller and she saw Rose and went over to her.
"Rose, if you're waiting for DI Hardy, he's still in his office and he wasn't looking too good when I left. I asked if he wanted anything but he told me to leave. You'd best go up. It's no good pretending with me, I know you two have something going."
Rose thanked her and ran back inside taking the stairs two at a time as the desk sergeant called after her. She was soon in the main office and looked over to Alec's. He was sat with his head on the desk and Rose burst in, shouting his name and thinking the worse. He looked up, running his fingers over his face and his hair and Rose breathed a sigh of relief as he said her name.
"Alec, are you ok? Ellie said you weren't looking too good. What's wrong?" Checking no-one else was in the office she asked if he'd taken his medication.
"Yes, I'm fine, it's just been a rough day and I've taken my medication but it's not having the effect it should. I think you should take me home Rose, back to your place, we'll have to leave the newspaper for tonight. Go downstairs and tell them I need a driver and I'll meet you down there."
"You're coming down with me, we'll get a car together. I've left now, remember? We'll call at the hotel and I'll go get your things while you wait in the car, just the things you need, we can get the rest later. You just need some rest and you need to phone your friend, maybe he can help. Come on, I'm not leaving you."
He got up and put his jacket on and turned out the light. They got downstairs and told the desk sergeant to send a car round to the rear and five minutes later, they had stopped outside the hotel and Alec told the driver to wait in the carpark. He went upstairs with Rose helping him and she packed his case while he got his things from the bathroom, Rose checking all the drawers as Alec said they may as well take everything while they had transport. She said she'd carry his case downstairs and he had to reluctantly agree then Rose went round and took his key back, making sure the press weren't around. Becca was a bit surprised but didn't say anything.
The police driver dropped them at Rose's flat and offered to carry the case up for them but Alec said they'd manage and swore him to secrecy, under threat, not to tell anyone where he'd taken them. Once inside, Rose pulled all the blinds down, taking no chances that the press were lurking around somewhere. She phoned the newspaper and re-arranged for the following evening and Alec called his friend who said he was going to come down and they arranged to meet, Alec saying he wanted him to meet Rose.
She made him lie on the sofa while she put some dinner on, something quick and easy to prepare and went to unpack his case. She told him she'd get him another key tomorrow and made him promise to take it easy, she was worried about him.
Rose called him from the kitchen as she was dishing out the food. "What brought this on Alec? It wasn't that little show you put on for the kiddies in the office was it?'' she asked, smiling. "'Cos that was quite a show, you almost had me believing you except for the fact you never called me for any files and there was only one piece of paper in it, which I shredded, by the way. I'm on unpaid leave now, she wouldn't accept my resignation and said she doesn't object to us seeing each other but not just now. Ellie Miller said she knows about us as well. She's the one who said you didn't look well. We'll have to tell her you were just tired." She walked into the living room with two plates and set Alec's on the coffee table.
He looked tired but he got up and picked up his fork to wrap some spaghetti around it. Rose just smiled at him and sat beside him. He ate his food and took a drink of water she'd brought in then lay back on the sofa with his feet on the table as Rose cleared the dishes away. When she came back, he'd put his legs back on the sofa and he moved them to let her sit down, wagging his finger for her to get closer and leaned forward to kiss her.
"You do know now that I'll have to break in another tea lady?" he joked as he sneaked another kiss.
"Just so long as you don't invite her out for a drink then end up moving in with her," she joked.
"Never, I love you Rose, now come here and give me your full attention 'cos if my heart's going to give out, I'd rather it be because of you, not this lousy job." He leaned forward and pulled her towards him and unbuttoned her blouse.
"I suppose trying to persuade you to take it easy is out of the question?" Rose asked. He nodded. "Guess I'll have to take the lead again but this time, we are going to take it easy. I don't want to have to phone an ambulance and have to explain exactly what you were doing."
They got up and Rose led him into the bedroom and unfastened his shirt and let him finish undressing her as he laid her on the bed, leaning over her and kissing her, telling her how much he loved her and she was the only reason he was getting through this. Rose moved over so he was laid on his back and then moved onto him, telling him how much she wanted him and that when his operation was over, she really wanted him to show her what he was capable of. They fell asleep holding onto each other, arms and legs around each other.
Alec felt much better the next morning. His new place of residence was a bit further down than the hotel so he'd rung and asked for a driver to pick him up. The case was no nearer being solved and now Rose didn't know what was going on, she'd have to rely on the bits he could tell her. She'd not officially left, she was just on leave so he could tell her some things. They met up at the newspaper office and Alec gave them the information about him and Rose and that she was now officially on leave, they were not having an affair because neither of them were married to anyone else and his ex had remarried and Olly Stevens had to admit he'd picked up on it when he'd see Rose with Alec and she'd been linked to him because he'd been jealous that she had turned him down several times.
The newspaper editor made Olly apologise to the both of them and Rose said was it any wonder she'd turned him down when he did childish things like that? Then Alec was asked about his failed case and said he'd tell them on the condition that no other names were printed. Maggie, the editor said he had her word.
There were several breakthroughs over the next few days but one sad event. The local newsagent near the harbour had been falsely accused and some of the locals had hounded him and he'd taken his own life. Rose attended the funeral with Alec, no longer hiding the fact they were together and the press were leaving them alone. Rose was concerned when the woman reporter who had hounded him from his last case had the nerve to try to speak to Alec when they went back to the hotel afterwards. Rose was immediately by his side and took his hand. The reporter looked surprised as she had seen the article about them but they were now inseparable even in public and the whole town knew about them, there was no gossip, both were single and it was no-one else's business and not news any more.
Alec was feeling better. His friend had come to visit, mainly because Alec had sent him some evidence to analyse and he'd introduced Rose to him as his partner, a sign that they had made a commitment to each other. It had been almost six weeks and the town was returning to some normality. Rose was still on leave, Alec was paying the bills and they were managing ok, he'd said he had some savings because he'd not spent much prior to arrival so they were going to have to stick it out until the end.
Now the newspapers were easing up on Alec, Rose was asked to go see the chief and was asked if she wanted her job back as her replacement was going on leave herself. She asked if she was allowed to keep her relationship with Alec and was told as long as they stayed professional at work there was no problem but she was warned that people would still talk about the two of them.
Then just days after Rose went back to work, ignoring all the stupid remarks, defending Alec on more than one occasion and deliberately finding excuses to make him tea or take files into him, the novelty was eventually wearing off, there was a major breakthrough in the case late one night when there was a break-in in at what they believed was the murder scene and Alec was called out. Ellie had called and a driver had been sent for him and Rose was worried about letting him go but he'd seemed a lot better the last week or two under Rose's tender care and he got back safely but whoever had broken in had got away before backup had arrived. Alec seemed a bit off when he got back but his medication was working again and he'd let his DS do most of the chasing after the suspect but he'd had to stop when he started getting pains during the chase itself. He thought now that Miller suspected something was wrong and he was called to see the chief the next morning and he had to admit he had a problem and was referred to the chief medical officer the next day.
Alec told her that he was so close and he wasn't leaving until it was solved and went back to work, saying he was on medication and was going for an operation in just over a month so the chief said depending on what the police doctor said, he might be able to stay on just on light duties if he could prove he was scheduled for surgery.
He told Rose what had happened and she said he'd been lucky he'd not ended up in hospital and begged him to be more careful and said she'd go with him for his examination the next morning. He didn't want her to go with him though but showed her he was now feeling ok by insisting on having an early night.
Alec was in the medical room being examined and was told that in view of his pending operation he was put on light duties only and that he took leave as soon as the case was solved. He told Rose when she brought his tea and then he went out to meet DS Miller who was down on the beach. While he was out, she got a call to say that the murdered boy's missing phone had been used and Alec closed in on the killer.
The whole station was in shock when it was revealed who it was. Alec came back into the office and asked Rose to go with him and led her to the interview room where DS Miller was interviewing someone. Everyone looked as the two of them left the office together. He thought it would be better having her with him than being on his own. They broke the news to Ellie, Rose had her arm around her as Ellie was in shock as Alec told her. He then asked Rose to go with Ellie to collect clothes for her boys and to a hotel where they had been taken. Rose went with her but they hardly spoke. When they got to the hotel, Ellie called her sister who arrived shortly and Rose went back home, giving Ellie her address if she needed to talk to Alec.
Just after ten when they were about to go to bed, the intercom buzzed and it was Ellie, so Rose let her in and made some tea then went into the bedroom to let them talk. Half an hour later, Alec came into their bedroom and just wanted to go to sleep in Rose's arms. He was tired and relieved it was all over. Rose just held him and they kissed for a while until he fell asleep.
The whole town stopped on the day of the boy's funeral. Alec and Rose sat together and went to the family's home after the service. Later that night, beacons were lit along the coast and Rose was asked to light one which she was honoured to do.
It had been exactly two months since Alec had arrived in Broadchurch and still another month before he could have his operation and keeping him quiet had not been an option. So he went for a check-up and was told he may have to wait a bit longer and they would re-assess him in four weeks and providing there was no more stress, they may be able to go ahead with it. Rose was going to have her work cut out for her as he was going to have to give evidence at the trial so she asked the chief if she could accompany him and she agreed that Rose could attend to keep him from getting too stressed. No-one else knew about his condition thankfully.
The trial was finally over, Rose persuaded Alec to take some time off and stay at home. There was just a week before he found out if they could go ahead with the operation and he was banned from all strenuous activities including their sexual ones that had to be toned down much to Alec's dismay but only on the promise from Rose that they make up for it afterwards because he said he'd been restraining himself and she hadn't experienced him when he was well. Rose said she looked forward to it.
Rose took a few days off to go to the hospital to see if he could have the pacemaker fitted. He was fortunate he was given the go ahead so he was admitted and scheduled for two days later on the condition he stayed in hospital and didn't discharge himself. Rose said she'd tie him to the bed if she had to and Alec just said was she trying to kill him and not to make such promises. Rose was allowed to visit when she liked so she stayed with him most of the time, going home late. She was there on the morning of his operation and never left until it was over, sitting outside the theatre until they told her it had been successful.
A few days later, he was allowed home, under Rose's care and he asked her how she felt about making their relationship official.
"Alec Hardy, are you asking me to marry you?"
"Well, that was the idea. What do you think? Do you think you can handle me now I'm well again because if you can't, say so now before it's too late because Rose Tyler, I want to marry you. Now I'm well again, you have no idea what you've let yourself in for and I don't want us to just live together. So what do you say? Or do I have to go find another tea lady?"
"I don't think that will be necessary, I'm quite capable of handling you, I've been going easy on you. I want to marry you Alec, I love you."
To be continued in 'Rose defends Alec Hardy again'