Rose had been begging the Doctor to take them away for a few days break and he finally gave in.
"So, somewhere noisy or quiet then?" he asked, dancing around the console.
"How about a nice quiet seaside town in the not so distant future?"
"Well there are plenty of places to choose from, maybe somewhere on the south coast. How about Brighton?"
"Yeah, ok then, somewhere along there. Just don't let us end up in the middle of hurricane on a remote desert island, yeah?"
"Oh Rose, I'm not that bad, am I?"
Rose laughed and went to pack. Wheeling her suitcase into the console room, she asked where they had landed.
"Ah, well, it's not exactly Brighton but it does begin with a 'B' and we're a bit in the future, it's 2013. Seems it's a little coastal town called Broadchurch."
"Never heard of it. Is there much to do here?"
"Well it seems nice and quiet, you can do some relaxing on the beach. I've booked us a hotel for a few nights, I managed to get two single rooms, unless you want to share?"
"Best not, we might get a few stares."
"Well it seems the hotel owner was glad of the bookings, business is a bit slow apparently."
He had parked the Tardis behind the hotel but put it slightly out of sync just in case. After checking in, the hotel owner staring at the Doctor, Rose went to unpack then knocked on his room door.
"Why did she look at you like that? I thought she had seen a ghost or something."
"She must have mistaken me for someone or she fancied me?" he boasted.
"Yeah? Well she can keep her mitts off and get in line." She reached up and gave him a quick kiss.
Their relationship was still at the odd kiss stage and neither of them seemed to be in a hurry to up the stakes. Rose put it down to him wanting to take it slowly and the Doctor put it down to Rose wanting a normal human relationship called 'Going steady' and he didn't want to spoil it. It had taken them a while to even get to that stage.
"Well can we go down to the beach and check it out before we have dinner?"
He gave in and they set off, arm in arm as the hotel owner gave them another funny look.
Becca Fisher could have sworn when he had gone out that morning, he still had a beard and definitely no blonde on his arm with her hands all over him and why would he be checking in under another name? Was he playing some sort of charade with the blonde, someone called Rose Tyler and was he trying to impress her or fool her? She shook her head and went back to her cancelled bookings, this murder was doing no good to her hotel business and she would have to ask Paul to help her go through her not so good finances. She would be lucky if she made it through the summer at this rate.
Rose and the Doctor strolled hand in hand down the High Street and down onto the seafront, crossing over the river and to the harbour. Rose stopped to watch the boats bobbing up and down and looked across the road to see the harbour turned into a river and there were rowing boats out on it. Pointing to the boats, the Doctor promised he would take her out on one the following day.
"Aw, look at that quaint blue chalet over there. We should have rented that," said Rose.
"I'm sure someone already uses it and we're not going to be here that long," he replied, dragging her along.
They passed by the newsagents before crossing over the car park. A man was standing outside, tidying a rack of postcards and looked right at the Doctor, then shook his head. The Doctor spotted him out of the corner of his eye, just like the hotel owner had looked at him. Had he really been mistaken for someone else or was it his imagination?
They turned the corner only to be confronted with a large blue and white tent on the beach, police tape all around it. It peeked the Doctor's interest.
"Ooh! What do we have here then?" he asked, getting what Rose called his sexy specs out of his pocket and getting his psychic paper out of his other pocket. The uniformed officer let them through.
"Who does it say you are?" Rose asked, amused.
He turned the psychic paper around. "Detective Inspector Alec Hardy, apparently."
Without giving the game away, he asked how they were getting on. After finding out a young boy had been found on the beach a few days ago, it saddened Rose when she found out how young he was.
"Maybe we should go see the family, you know to offer our sympathy?"
"No, we'd best leave it Rose, let them grieve, we don't need to intrude on them."
He led Rose under the police tape and they walked off down the beach. A voice was heard behind them.
"Sir, are you going back to the station?"
He turned back to a man in a white suit. "Just taking a look further down the beach."
"Then who's this with you?"
"Ah, this is a new recruit – Lewis."
The man nodded and went back towards the tent. Rose giggled. "Best not let them see us holding hands then."
Back at Broadchurch Police Station, the real DI Alec Hardy was still not getting along with his DS, Ellie Miller. They were getting nowhere fast with this murder investigation and Hardy was not at his best. He knew he should have never taken this job, he was supposed to be keeping quiet, under the radar and now he was knee-deep in a murder investigation as if the last one hadn't taken its toll on him both mentally and physically.
"We need to get anyone back in here who doesn't have an alibi and we need to find out where that money came from."
Miller was tired of his questions, he never gave her time to answer. She had complained to her husband about it and all he'd suggested was to kill him with kindness and now he was telling her to invite him over for dinner.
"Come to dinner."
"What? Why would I do that?"
"It's what people do, they have their boss over for dinner. Pick a night."
"That's not a good idea Miller."
"Why do you have to be so bloody awkward. Know many people around here do you?"
Hardy shrugged his shoulders.
"Then just say yes unless you like eating hotel food all the time."
Hardy considered. "Yes."
"I said yes."
"Right, what was so difficult about that? Next Tuesday then."
Miller went out and kicked the waste paper basket, sending litter all over the floor under the desk. She called him a few choice names. She put her jacket on and picked up a bunch of papers with names of people without an alibi and went off to interview some of them. As she was walking out of the front door around to the police garage, she could see the pavement opposite and saw a man and a woman walking hand in hand, laughing and she could have sworn it was Hardy, without a beard, dressed in a brown pinstriped suit but she had just left him, grumpy as ever in his office. She shook her head and put it down to the stress Hardy was putting her under and walked around to her car.
The Doctor and Rose were walking past some new buildings toward the Esplanade, wanting to see the rest of the sea front. Rose was disappointed to see the ice cream kiosk was closed.
"It's nearly time for dinner Rose. You can't have ice cream before you eat. We'll come back tomorrow afternoon if you like. Now come on if we walk up this road, it will take us back to the hotel."
After a few more stares in the dining room, the Doctor wanted to go tinker with the Tardis controls to find out why the ship had brought them seven years into the future and supposed it may have been due to this murder that had taken place and they were somehow meant to help but he wanted to check anyway.
"Right, I won't be long but don't wait up, see you in the morning. Are you going to your room?"
"Nah, thought I'd hang around, someone might buy me a drink."
"Okey dokey then." He gave her a quick kiss on the cheek.
That was her problem, that was all he did unless she initiated it and then it wasn't a proper snogging, just a quick kiss and it wasn't likely to progress unless she did something about it. She went into the bar and Becca asked if she was drinking. Fishing in her pocket, she found some pound coins she didn't know she had and bought a lemonade, smiling at the woman.
"Oh, my friend's in his room, I forgot to get some money off of him."
"It's ok, don't worry. Is he your boyfriend?"
That was indeed a good question. "We're just friends travelling together. I'm sort of his assistant, he's writing a book, a travel book." It was all she could think of at such short notice and she would have to tell him later. "Sometimes we just get a bit carried away but it's nothing serious, worse luck."
Neither of them saw one Alec Hardy come in the side door and go to his room. He'd eaten earlier. Miller had brought fish and chips back, wrapped in paper and he hated eating them out of paper. He'd run out of bottled water so he made his way down to the bar to get a couple of more bottles so he could take his pills. He also hated the taste of tap water. He walked into the bar and saw a few people and noticed a young blonde woman sat on her own, playing with what he thought was an old model phone and thought she probably couldn't afford a new one.
Becca looked up, surprised. "DI Hardy, what can I get for you? Are you going to join your friend over there? And what's with the beard?"
"What friend? What about my beard?"
"Well this morning, you went out with a beard, then you came back without it around 3pm with Miss Tyler over there and now you have it again, what's with it?"
"Who is Miss Tyler?" a confused Alec Hardy asked.
Becca smiled. They were playing some kind of game. "Blonde, over there playing with a phone that's about 7 or 8 years out of date. She said you would be buying her more drinks."
"And what is she drinking exactly?"
"Lemonade. Said she forgot to get some more money from you."
"Did she now? What do you think she should be drinking?"
"I'd say white wine and lemonade, just a guess." She began pouring one.
Rose looked up and waved at him and he paid for the drink, asking her to keep the bottles of water and not to let him forget them. He walked over and sat opposite Rose and put the drink down.
"Ta. That didn't take you long then?"
Rose took a drink. "You remembered. I meant it didn't take you long to you know, do what you went to do. Where'd ya get that beard from? It looks very impressive." She put her fingers on his chin and ran than across his jaw line. "Very realistic."
She was going to ask him if he'd gone ahead a few weeks and grown the beard then come back to her, just to wind her up but they were in public. She would ask him later.
"I've had it a while. Have we met before Miss Tyler?"
Rose noticed he wasn't drinking. "What's with the Miss Tyler? Are we playing games again?"
"I don't know, are we? You seem to know me, you have me at a disadvantage."
Rose giggled. "Oh come on, stop playing around, you're not fooling me for a minute. I know why and how you grew the beard in such a short space of time." She took another, rather large swallow of her drink and put the nearly empty glass down. "Buy me another and I'll tell you."
Alec Hardy did as he was bid. She may just be setting herself up for a night in his bed, not that he could actually do much but if she'd had a few, she would never notice and he needed to relax, Becca Fisher was the only other woman he would contemplate asking but she had just provided a main suspect with an alibi for the evening of Danny Latimer's death so he wasn't so keen.
Besides, he was intrigued as to her theory and more intrigued she thought she knew him. Taking another drink over to her, getting a non-alcoholic one for himself, he sat down beside her. He put his arm around the back of the seat and asked her to tell him more.
"Oh come on Doctor, it's not funny any more. How long were you away for?"
He took a drink. "Away from what? Look I know you've obviously mistaken me for someone else so I'll introduce myself. I'm Alec Hardy."
Rose almost choked as she swallowed her second drink. "I think you're taking this too seriously Doctor although it's quite good, for you that is. Just because you convinced the police on the beach doesn't mean you have to continue the charade."
"What charade? I really have no idea what you're talking about so perhaps you can enlighten me? Who's this Doctor? I can prove who I am. Becca, come over here will you please?"
Becca came over. "Tell Miss Tyler who I am please, she seems to think I'm someone else."
Becca was not the one to be asking, she was already confused. "Well I thought you were DI Alec Hardy, until you came in with her this afternoon without your beard so it's no use asking me. Unless you have a twin, one without a beard?"
Rose nearly choked again. "Oh no, I'm so sorry detective, you look just like him, my friend. I should have known but he's always playing tricks on me."
Alec was not amused. "So someone has been pretending to be me have they?"
"Well not exactly. I'm Rose by the way and my friend's called The Doctor. We travel together, I do research for him and well, I'm afraid we were on the beach this afternoon and someone mistook him for you. He did try to get out of it, sorry."
What else could she say? She couldn't just admit he'd used the psychic paper to find out what was going on. Becca was relieved she wasn't going mad.
"Well that solves that then. You'll have to get him down here to prove they are not the same person," Becca mused.
Alec was anything but amused but still wanted to know if Rose Tyler was free. Becca went back behind the bar, smiling. Hardy was wasting his time, judging by the display earlier when Rose had her hands all over this Doctor. Rose tried to explain to him how she was just travelling around the country, he was writing a travel book and they were really only friends. Alec saw his chance.
"So how long are you here for?" Alec asked, hopefully.
"Oh just a few days. I think we'll be gone the day after tomorrow, he doesn't like staying in one place for too long."
That was true, the Doctor hated being trapped in one place, something that stemmed back to when he was trapped on earth.
"Well that's a shame, since I've only just got to know you Rose."
Rose knew when she was being chatted up and DI Alec Hardy, well the real one, was definitely chatting her up.
"Well perhaps you can meet my friend tomorrow night, see how much alike you really look and again, I'm sorry for thinking you were him. I hope I didn't offend you?"
"No, not much anyway. Can I get you another drink Rose?" he asked, picking up her glass.
He soon came back and just as Rose was telling him about where she came from, she saw the Doctor go past the bar, not bothering to look inside. Well if he thought she was going to stay in her room all night watching TV, he had another thing coming. She had told him she would get someone to buy her a drink or two or three. Just after ten, Rose decided she'd had enough and really wanted to have a proper snog with Alec Hardy. It wasn't like she and the Doctor were an item, they hugged, held hands, wound each other up and sneaked the odd kiss now and then but nothing serious. Did he even think of her as his girlfriend? He'd never said anything at all to her, it had just become second nature to them and right now, she could just snog the life out of one Alec Hardy, beard or no beard.
She put her empty glass down. "Another drink Rose?"
"Na, I know my limit, I'm off to bed."
"Then can I at least escort you to your room?"
"Why not? I'm on the second floor, I think," she smiled.
Alec thought she looked very young and he had no business contemplating getting her into his room for some 'relaxation' or anything else for that matter but his body and his brain were on a different page. He needed to let out some of the frustration that had been building up inside since his divorce and his last disastrous case and she was leaving anyway, what was the harm?