A/N: Alec Hardy looks like he did in the flashbacks in series two in the early stages of the story and we learn he's not so grumpy to start off with but he changes due to the fact his wife thinks he is having an affair and the effects of the two cousins going missing. Rose had obviously never met the Doctor in this story.
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Rose Tyler had worked hard to be accepted into the police training academy and upon her graduation, that her mother and her old boyfriend Mickey attended, she was assigned to a station in North London and spent the last two years there until she'd been promoted to detective constable and been told she had a new assignment, in the South Mercia police, in a town called Sandbrook. Alec Hardy had been promoted, much to his wife's dismay to detective inspector, she had put in for the promotion and been turned down. It had caused endless rows in the Hardy household and their daughter Daisy was always caught in the middle.
So Rose had arrived at the station on her first day after she had received her promotion to detective constable, being shown an empty locker and told to report to DS Henchard for assignment. Tess however was not impressed with the new arrival but could find no fault with her record, just the fact she was young and blonde and half the males in the station would be chasing her and since she was paranoid, her husband.
"So, DC Tyler, your first assignment as DC?"
"Yes Ma'am," Rose had replied after her induction.
"Well, we'll see how you get on, you're with DS Moore, he's retiring next week."
Rose wasn't too happy but she needed some experience. So she had been partnered with the veteran detective sergeant who was about to retire and they had made a name for themselves bringing in a ring of petty thieves who liked to go around waiting for pensioners coming out from collecting their money and he had been the bait, a task the chief had said was perfect for him.
Everyone had patted the detective sergeant on the back and said a 'well done' to Rose but Tess noticed her husband sit up and take a good look at the blonde and she was less than pleased. Alec though had better things to worry about than a new DC, even if she was young and blonde and was unaware the chief was going to partner her with him.
Now though, Rose had been there a week, earned her way into the station and Tess had no reason to object to her being made her husband's DC and called her into her office after the chief told her she had the pleasure of informing Rose. The chief didn't like doing petty things such as telling officers their assignments but since Alec Hardy's DC had just asked for a transfer to be near his girlfriend, he'd had to have a re-think and Tyler was the obvious choice.
So he'd called Tess in for a meeting to see if there were any alternatives but females tended to stay away from the DI because Tess warned them all off.
"Right Tess, you can tell her since you did her induction. She did well with that pensioner thing, tell her I said so."
"Yes Sir but about her being partnered with Alec?"
"Tess, you are paranoid, do you know that? Not every female in the station wants to steal your husband from under your nose, get over it. Ever thought of seeing a marriage guidance counsellor?"
"I'm not that bad, I just don't like the way they all eye him up and he sits in his office and smiles back at them."
"He's their immediate boss Tess, he's all there is between them and me, after you of course."
Tess was far from pleased she had somehow become the chief's go-between and got to get out of the station less and less and do his paperwork for him as she went off to her tiny office that had been found for her since the chief had decided to split the two of them up. She thought now DS Moore was retiring, she might get his job.
Even though she never used her married name, everyone knew they were married, including Rose, who was about to learn the hard way. Rose was sitting at her desk, listening to the office talking about the DS's retirement party that night. He'd invited Rose as well, telling her he couldn't have closed that case and gone out on a high level if not for her. Tess had got up and called Rose from her office door.
"DC Tyler, you report to DI Hardy on Monday morning."
Rose was a little surprised but she knew the other DC had already sneaked off without any fuss. She knew the two of them were married but didn't seem to get along, always carefully avoiding each other as they were on the same floor so thinking nothing of it she called to tell her mother, back in London.
"Hey Mum," she said cheerfully.
"So are you settling down then?"
She hated lying but all she could afford was a room in a boarding house and relied on eating cheaply at the station until her next month's pay went into her dwindling bank account since she'd had to move suddenly when her promotion had come up.
"Oh, you know, I'm getting by. Got my first big collar here today, been chasing a gang of thieves all week, finally got them locked up. I just got made the DI's new DC, the other one left. The thing is though, his wife's a DS and she's made it clear to all the female officers he's off-limits."
"Well that won't be a problem for you, will it?"
Rose had learned her lesson pining after a good-looking DS while she'd been a lowly WPC in the station she'd just been transferred from. She thought he must have been glad she had left, since he'd shown no interest in her.
She got ready to go out to the retirement party of the DS she'd been working with, not dressing up too much, she'd not really had the money to go out but he should be the one buying the drinks and he did owe her for catching that gang. She found the pub and hoped she could get a ride home with someone who was passing. If she got a taxi, it would be more expense and there was almost a week to payday.
Luckily, she'd got a weekly bus ticket so she'd caught the bus to the station, the pub being just around the corner, conveniently and she'd have to make an excuse to leave in time for the last one, which was 10.45 but if no-one took notice of her or she had to buy her own drinks, that wasn't going to be a problem.
A few of the female officers were in the corner with the DS who was retiring, all laughing and joking when he saw Rose looking around.
"Rose, come and join us, what are you drinking?" he asked.
Well at least she was going to get one drink bought for her, she'd maybe have to make it last. That was until Alec and Tess Hardy walked in, apart, Rose noticed. She'd also noticed at the station they hardly acknowledged each other during the day, maybe they made it a point of doing so and made up for it when they got home? Rose had also learned they had an eleven year old daughter, she'd heard the DS talking with someone about a birthday party next week in the station's canteen the other day.
No wonder she was warning off the female officers then but she seemed very insecure if she felt it was necessary. Tess went to sit at the next table to the crowd that was gathering at the tables, some of them still at the bar though the men didn't look like they were in a hurry to move. Rose had been surprised non of them had tried their luck with her yet, her being fresh bait, so to speak.
Rose was sort of sat between two tables, trying to join in the conversation about past arrests of the retiring DS and smiling every now and then but she turned around and Tess nodded to her so she smiled back as Alec brought two drinks to the table, then seeing Rose's glass was almost empty.
"Can I get you a refill?" he offered, Rose not quite being used to him talking to her, he'd barely said half a dozen words all week and she was meant to work with him from Monday. She hadn't even known he was Scottish until the day before when he'd been talking to Tess outside her office.
Alec had pointed out the new DC, who was gathering information about the robberies and Tess had warned him not to get friendly with her.
"So, who's the new DC then?" he'd asked innocently enough, sipping on the tea he'd just got up to make since he didn't believe in getting any junior officers to do it for him and it got him out of his office for five minutes since the latest case was being dealt with.
"Leave her alone Alec."
"What do you take me for Tess?" he'd asked quietly, at first. "You warn everyone off why? I'm surprised anyone wants to work with me and my DC leaves tomorrow."
"Well I don't do assignments around here, I just pass on what the chief wants," she'd told him back.
"I give up," he'd said out loud, passing by Rose's desk and not even looking at her.
Risking bringing Tess down on her she drank up and held out the glass. "Thanks, a white wine and lemonade, plenty of lemonade."
"Come now, it's a night out, enjoy yourself," he smiled.
Tess was not so pleased. "Don't encourage people Alec, you're always doing that."
"Well excuse me for being so polite. Maybe I should sit in my office and be grumpy all day, would that please you?"
He took the glass and went back to the bar, Tess muttering an "I thought you already did that?"
Rose tried not to laugh, they really were like that outside the station after all. When he handed her the drink, Rose very carefully tried to avoid any contact with him for fear his wife would say something to her and stop her working with him, leaving her to sit at her desk all day. It had been non-stop over the last week and she'd loved every minute of it, driving the DS around in an unmarked car and keeping surveillance at several post office's in the area where reports had come from until that morning when several units were waiting where the gang were seen heading in the general direction after their 'hits' and they'd all been taken away to be booked.
She caught Alec a few times, trying to avoid looking at her and she wished there was somewhere else to move to but all the seats were taken, apart from one in the corner next to DS Dave Harris and even though she'd only been there a week, he gave her the creeps. She thought if anyone was playing around, it was bound to be him.
Rose was about to get up to go to the ladies room when Alec got up, saying he was going in the same direction and she dare not follow him but Tess got a phone call so she risked not being noticed but he was coming out of the men's room after she'd picked her way through the pub lounge.
"Hello again," Alec said cheerfully, after he'd had two lagers and a whisky, well that Rose had noticed.
She'd politely said she would drink what she had when he'd last asked her if she wanted another refill. She knew her limit and wanted to be able to catch the bus in half an hour. She hoped he was sensible and get a cab home, Tess had also had three drinks though what they were, Rose couldn't tell, something in a tall glass with ice and a black straw she kept moving the ice-cubes around with. It could have just been lemonade she supposed.
"Enjoying the party?" he asked as he blocked her way.
Maybe Tess had something to worry about after all. He was very good-looking, a hint that he'd not shaved but was only just showing, his hair thick and brown and instead of his grey suit she'd seen him wearing all week, he was wearing black trousers and a dark blue casual shirt with a tweed jacket and she thought his dress sense was a bit odd.
"Yeah but I've been to livelier ones. Thanks for the drinks by the way, I wasn't even gonna come here tonight, with just moving I'm a bit short of money."
"Oh, well you came and it was my pleasure to buy your drinks, it would have been rude to bring ours back and not ask you. Time for another?"
"No thanks, I'll finish that one, I have to go out to catch the last bus soon."
"Nonsense, get a cab."
"I can't really afford one."
"Then Tess and I will drop you off in ours, she will want to leave soon for the minder or she'll get charged another hour. We will finish our drinks and call a cab."
"Well if you're sure it won't be out of the way? I'm just in a B&B at the moment, I'm looking for somewhere to share, to keep the costs down."
"Have you tried the notice board in the canteen?"
"No, I never thought of that, thanks."
He let her past and five minutes later when she got back, Tess was getting her jacket on.
"If you want dropping off, you'll have to leave now," Tess told her, not looking happy when Alec had gone back and she'd noticed Rose was missing. Tess had got a call from the minder that in just over half an hour it was past their agreed time. She would normally leave Daisy overnight with her mother but she was away for the weekend. Then she'd been even more annoyed he'd told Rose she could share a taxi with them.
"Tess, it would not be polite to leave her alone at the bus stop, it won't take long to just drop her off where she's staying," he defended himself.
"You know where's she's staying?"
"No, of course not but how many boarding houses can there be within a reasonable distance of the station?"
Rose sat in the front of the cab, since Tess got in first and she didn't fancy sitting in the middle so she gave the address of the boarding house quietly to the driver, hoping her two superior officers in the back wouldn't hear and be taking no notice when she got out.
As the cab pulled up, Alec told the driver they were paying when they got to their destination and he leaned over to Rose as she was getting out.
"See you Monday morning then Rose?"
"Yeah, thanks for the ride home, goodnight Sir."
Alec was about to tell her not to call him that outside work when Tess pulled him back and reminded him they had less than twenty minutes to get home. He hoped they would get delayed and she had to pay for another hour, it would serve her right for being miserable and telling him he should know better than to buy junior officers drinks and talk to them all night.
Rose let herself into her room, hoping she'd be able to get out soon and would follow the advice she'd been given about sharing a flat or a house. Once her pay rise came through next week and her allowance for being away from home, she might even be able to get a place of her own.
Tess resumed the argument she'd been having with Alec once she'd paid the sitter but Alec just stormed off and went to bed, not wanting to get into the discussion about him talking to Rose, his new DC all night. He'd only been told as Tess was leaving the station earlier that he was getting one, since Tess had been otherwise occupied and had been out and she had casually gone in his office before she'd gone to collect Daisy.
"By the way Alec," she'd told him. "You've been assigned a new DC, Rose Tyler so just treat her like your last one and forget she's blonde."
"What is it with you Tess?" he'd asked as she'd got up to leave.
Monday morning soon came around and Rose had to report to DI Hardy's office, when he called for her. She had moved her desk around so she would face his what passed as an office, which was slightly bigger than the senior DS's and everyone had looked at her, not that she cared. Everyone knew she'd drawn the short straw to replace DC Jones, who had suddenly requested a transfer and the whole office thought he and the DI had not been seeing eye-to-eye lately.
Alec Hardy was still reading the reports and arrest sheets of the gang of five who had been plaguing the area attacking pensioners, pleased to see his new DC had played a major part and had been given the credit for it. He reckoned that the just retired DS had set her off on the right track and he was now looking forward to working with her, even if it was only to give his wife something to complain about – not that she needed anything these days.