A/N: Sorry, this chapter's a bit long but I wanted to wind up this part of the story, the reason will become clear.
Alec was anxiously waiting around for his daughter Daisy to show up, since Tess had insisted on driving her to meet him in town. He saw Tess's car and went to open the door.
"I'll be back in two hours for her," Tess insisted, since it was now six, him having waited for her to agree to meet him and he doubted he'd get back to Broadchurch that night so he'd booked a budget hotel room near the station, thankful he'd got an open ticket, just in case.
They went inside the restaurant and were given the menu.
"It's all chicken Dad," Daisy informed him as he got his specs out.
"Then why so many dishes?" he asked, peering over the top of them that always made her grin. "Whatever she's having then," he nodded to the waiter. "So, looking forward to going back to school?"
"You look different Dad, what aren't you telling me? Have you got a girlfriend or something?" Daisy laughed.
"I did have but she went home but do you know what?" he asked her. Daisy shook her head, not quite believing he admitted it. "I'm going to get her back. She went home because of a misunderstanding but I do not care about it and I am going to tell her."
"Wow, good for you Dad," Daisy grinned at him. "Does mum know?"
"No, I will tell her, when I get around to it. I hope you won't tell her?"
"What do I have to tell? So, who is she then? If you say Rose Tyler, I will disown you."
"Why? I thought you and you mum followed her on that tweet thing?" he asked, not knowing if Rose actually used it or not, he'd never asked.
"That's not her, it's a fan account, everyone knows that Dad. She doesn't use it, they just get bits from the press though she's been quiet lately. Oh, don't tell me it's because she's been in that place you went to?"
"Shush Daisy. Yes, she was in Broadchurch, helping with the investigation but she went back home. I was an idiot about something and I hope she will take me back."
As they were waiting for Tess to pick Daisy up, they stood by the restaurant window.
"So, can I meet her then?" Daisy asked him, holding onto his arm.
"If she comes back and when I have caught that killer. I don't want us to fall out again, now you are talking to me."
"I said I was sorry Dad but you spend too much time working. Is that what drove her away?"
"No, someone I work with drove her away but there was also something else. She was trying to get over someone and I did not help. I let her go to decide how she felt about it."
"She'll come back Dad, if she loves you. Well, here's Mum, when are you going back?"
"Tomorrow morning but I can put it off, if you want to meet up again?" he offered.
"Yeah, I'll text you in the morning. Night Dad," she told him, reaching to kiss his cheek. "You and Rose Tyler eh?"
"Not a word to your mother," he warned her, thinking she would tell on him, if not to Tess but to her friends and it would be all over the site he hated.
When he thought about it, if he and Rose were on it, he might be able to contact her. Maybe he'd ask Daisy tomorrow to set him an account up, as long as she didn't sign him up to anything else while she was at it. He went into a nearby supermarket to get a few things for his overnight stay and walked back to his hotel and wondered if he should try and call Rose. Maybe he'd wait until he had some news, like the CS accepting Torchwood's help again though?
The next day, he met Daisy at another eating establishment he wasn't keen on and they sat in a corner, Daisy trying to set him up a basic account.
"Right, you just add a profile picture and choose a user name," she told him.
"I thought you had done that?" he asked, thinking he'd never get the hang of it.
"Well it doesn't have to be alechardy alechardy Dad, you could use a nickname. So, what did Rose call you then?" she teased him.
"You are enjoying this," he smiled.
"Here, let me take your photo and I'll upload it for you. Then you just find someone to follow and send your first tweet."
"Is that all?" he asked, trying to pull a face as she took the photo.
"Dad, you want her to know it's you, don't you?" Daisy laughed.
"She does not use it, so you say so what is the point yet? Let me ask her first, I am not going to follow someone I do not know," he objected.
"Suit yourself Dad, right, you're done," she showed him, pointing to his profile page. "Just find a background picture and that's it. Why not put a picture of where you live now?"
"I hope you did not put too much personal information on there?" he panicked. "Is your mother on there?"
"Chill Dad," she laughed, finishing her drink. "I won't tell her but change the name, the first bit. Put a picture of Rose on there instead."
"Great, then everyone will think I am her," he replied, thinking maybe it wasn't such a good idea.
"Well send her a text and ask her. Geez Dad, lighten up a bit."
After Daisy left, he walked to the train station and decided to take her advice and sent Rose a message, inviting her to join the site but warning her someone was using her name, well sort of, they had the decency to put a dash between her first and surname he supposed but Daisy had explained Rose could prove to the site it was her and stop anyone using it.
Rose didn't get his message though, she had turned off her phone on the way to the holiday resort and not turned it back on so when she didn't reply, Alec felt a bit down two days later when the chief said she'd contacted Torchwood about using their lab again and Rose could be the liaison.
Elaine had called him to her office.
"So, she's back in if she wants Alec," she told him.
"I will tell her when I get to talk to her, she may be away with her family, she mentioned she may be going with them," he replied.
He went off to his office, sending another message but if she was in Spain, she no doubt would be leaving her phone off. It was Thursday before Rose thought about being back in touch with reality and found two missed calls from Jake and two texts from Alec, which surprised her.
She smiled at the first one, that he'd joined a social media site, asking her to do the same but a bit annoyed someone had pinched her name. So sitting by the pool watching Tony with a group of children and their supervisors when Jackie and Pete had gone into the nearby town, she connected to the free wi-fi and began setting up her profile and objecting that someone had her name.
Finishing up and deciding to use another name so she wouldn't get bothered all the time, she found Alec's profile page and noted he'd set the background with a photo of the cliffs in Broadchurch and smiled to herself as she clicked to write the short message which read 'Hi, sorry, I just switched on my phone, hope you read this. Sat by the hotel pool watching Tony – love R'
Alec had left his phone on the site and was alerted he'd got a new message and that Rose was the sender. Good, at least it wasn't Tess who had found him. He sent one back asking if he could call her but she replied saying it would be expensive and she would call him when she got home. He could only agree but that he would look forward to it. Rose could only agree back that she would message him when she could.
Thinking he'd at least taken the first steps, he sat back in his chair, feeling pleased with himself as Ellie watched him, wondering what he was up to. As if he was going to tell her. He wondered how much it would cost him to call Rose or if his phone plan included overseas calls but maybe he should let her call him, he didn't want to push her away again but by the following Thursday, he had reason to call her.
He was fairly sure he knew who the killer was and he had to tell someone. He'd just sent Tom Miller's laptop to be analysed after he'd retrieved it, in bits, from the vicar and was waiting for the results. So when he got back to his caravan, he decided he had to let Rose in on it and pressed her number, waiting for her to answer wherever she was, Alec not recalling exactly where.
Rose was sat by the pool, waiting for him to message her. They had exchanged messages every few days, not too much and nothing personal, Alec thinking it was not a good idea to keep telling her he missed her repeatedly and scare her off again. Tony had gone off to the kids club and she was waiting for him to finish as Jackie and Pete had gone to the supermarket to get a few drinks for later and Rose was trying to avoid a group of four youngish men who had been eyeing her all week and she was getting tired of it.
She looked up from the book she was reading, her phone under the sun lounger and saw a tall man stood in front of her whom she recognised was one of the group.
"Hi, can I join you?" he asked her, pointing to the lounger she had another towel on for Tony, who would want to jump into the water when he got the chance.
"Nope, I'm waiting for someone," Rose replied, not willing to say it was her four year old brother.
"I've not seen you with anyone all week," he grinned, trying not to look back at his friends but Rose knew what he was doing – he'd been elected to try his luck with her.
"I never said who it was, go away," she snapped, wishing Alec was there.
"Oh come on, don't be like that, I know who you are," the man persisted.
"Yeah?" Rose asked. "Am I supposed to be impressed? Go away before my dad comes back and kicks your ass."
She heard her phone start to buzz and hoped it was Pete saying they were on their way back but her mother and supermarkets, domestic or foreign were like magnets drawn to each other.
"That'll be my boyfriend back home, if I don't answer, he'll have the entire Spanish police force here, he's a detective," Rose bragged.
She was relieved she was right but was a bit surprised, since he'd managed not to call her while they had been sending messages.
"Hi Alec, what are you doing calling me when you should be at work?" she greeted him, trying to make it obvious to the annoying man she wasn't interested.
"Hello Rose, I missed talking to you and I am already out of work. Is the sun getting to you?" he asked.
"Nope, this bloke was trying to chat me up, he's just gone," Rose had to admit.
"On your own then? Where is everyone?" he asked, feeling a bit put out anyone would dare to talk to her.
"Kids club and the supermarket, need I tell you who's where?" Rose laughed, seeing the man giving in and going back to his mates and glad she was going home on Saturday.
"I can guess. I have some news for you Rose, I think I know who it is," he told her, not sure he should say a name.
"That's great Alec. Did you get your boss to use the labs again?" she asked him.
"Yes, she agreed and if you had come back, she had agreed to let you liaise between them but I might have someone locked up before you do get back. Rose, can we talk?"
"I'll call you back Alec, Tony will be here any minute now and mum and dad will be back soon. Do you miss me?"
"Yes, I do miss you Rose, you know I do? Call me later then and will you think about coming back to Broadchurch?"
Saturday morning, they were all getting ready to leave. Rose had called Alec back and agreed to think about going for a visit though she'd not promised she would. Alec thought it was a glimmer of hope she would and then he would tell her if she still couldn't say it was him she loved, then they would work on it. He'd had enough of being on his own the last few weeks.
Just after lunch the following afternoon, Rose wanted to talk to Pete.
"I'm going back Dad, will you let me work with the Broadchurch police again, as liaison for the two labs?"
"You know I will Rose. Now go tell Alec you love him and get him to have that pacemaker or the equivalent of it fitted," Pete smiled at her. "Don't come back unless he's with you."
Rose went to give him a hug. "Thanks, I have to tell him I've been unfair about all this, Alec was the one that was there for me, mum pointed it out and I should have listened to her weeks ago."
"Then go and tell him that Rose, I'll let you know what I decide about the cannon but if you accept Alec, then I will probably dismantle it, unless you want me to wait, until you come back with him?"
"Do what you have to Dad, I understand, I should have told you four years ago to do it," Rose replied.
A few hours later, Rose was stopping opposite the caravan, not sure if he'd even want her back. She went to knock on the door but got no answer, wondering where he was and was about to see if he'd by any chance gone to the club when he came around from the back of the caravan, a white plastic bag in his hand.
Rose went to greet him. "Hi, surprise. Is that job offer still open?"
Once they had kissed and Rose had unpacked, she curled up on the seating with him as he watched the news.
"Would you have gone off with a stranger from the hotel?" he asked.
Rose smacked his arm playfully. "What do you think? Have you been a complete grump while I've been away then?"
"Ask Miller in the morning love, I'm sure she will tell you how pleasant her life has been while you were gone?"
"Are you watching the news?" she asked as he began kissing her neck.
"You need to ask?" he smiled. "Rose, I am not going to ask you, if it was me or the Doctor you said you loved, I can live with the fact you came back to me. You don't have to say anything."
"I never gave the real you a chance Alec but I want to, if you let me?"
"You'll have to meet my daughter, I told her about you, she set up that social media account for me," he admitted. "She follows that fan account of yours."
"Yeah, I'll have to find out who that is, using my name but you should change yours, it's not very original."
"To what?" he asked, raising his eyebrows, making Rose smile.
"Come to bed and I'll tell ya," she teased him.
Two days later, the killer was in custody and Rose was trying to console poor Ellie.
"I'm sorry Ellie, he wanted to be wrong," Rose was telling her while they waited for her two boys to be brought in, having being taken to their aunt Lucy's house.
"I was mean to you and you're being nice?" Ellie questioned her.
"I get used to it but me and Alec are back together again, you didn't drive me away, we had something to sort out, from before I came to find him," Rose tried to explain. "What will you do now?"
They stayed for Danny's funeral, Beth apologising for being rude and they were packing everything to go up to London for Owen to arrange Alec's 'surgery'. They had found a house to rent that would be ready in two weeks so they had taken it and were leaving the next morning. Alec was worried about going ahead but Rose had assured him he'd be fine and they were in the middle of making-out when there was a knock on the door, just after eleven.
"Told ya to keep the grunting noises down Alec," Rose giggled as he moved the curtain.
He went to open the door, seeing it was Ellie. Rose went to make a drink and Ellie asked how long he'd known her husband was the killer.
"The last few days, for certain. I even called Rose when she was on holiday because I thought it was him and I had to tell someone," Alec admitted.
"So you didn't blame me for her leaving?" Ellie asked him.
"No Ellie, I told you, it was from before I came here. I'd lost someone before and I wasn't over him, it caused a few problems but I'm over it now," Rose assured her.
When they got to bed, Alec asked if she meant it.
"Yeah, I meant it Alec. I'm sorry I didn't realise sooner that it was you who was here, not him. I love you Alec."
"Then we will talk no more about it. I am driving tomorrow."
"Oh yeah?" Rose giggled. "Sure you need that surgery?"
On the Monday morning, Rose was pacing up and down outside the room Alec had been taken into, Jake not daring to tell her to sit down because when Alec got out, he had something to tell her, which was why Pete wasn't with her but he had problems of his own. Owen had gone in with Alec and the specialist who had been testing what Alec was going to be given, a device very similar to a pacemaker but needing no surgery to insert it.
After what seemed like ages, Owen came out, followed by his colleague.
"Alec's getting dressed, you can go in if you want Rose?" Owen asked her.
Rose dashed in to see a smiling Alec with his shirt open.
"I was waiting for you, so, what do you think?" he asked, holding his arms out.
"Where is it?" she asked, looking for the device.
"I was told it blends in and regulates my heartbeat. I also believe it will outlast me."
"Yeah? Good job you've only got one lifetime then?" Rose smiled.
"I do not care if I only have one lifetime Rose, I know you have been told this before, or so you said but I want to spend my one and only lifetime with you, if you will have me?"
"Are you sure, you only get one?" Rose smiled, reminding him.
"Yes, I know Rose and I would never leave you on a beach in Norway or any place else. Are you over him now?"
"Yeah, you're the one who's here now Alec. It's you I love."
They were about to kiss when Jake gave them a 'hmm' from the doorway.
"You two can kiss later, Pete wants to see you Rose, you too Alec," Jake told them.
"Am I being told off for something?" Rose asked him as Alec fastened his shirt, Rose pulling a face.
"No but it might involve both of you. Ready?"
Since Rose no longer worked at Torchwood Tower, Jake led them to Pete's office, where he was waiting with the technician in charge of the cannon project.
Pete had delayed the dismantling after he'd spoken to Rose about it but he'd not told her why since she'd just gone back to Alec and they'd closed the Latimer case. He wanted to tell her in person, not over the phone and Alec had a right to be there, since he knew everything.
"Rose, Alec, have a seat. I take it all went well down in medical Alec?" Pete asked him.
"Yes, thank you, I will be just fine now," Alec replied.
"So, what did ya want us for and what's Frank doing here?" Rose asked, wanting to take Alec home.
Jake went to stand by Pete's desk.
"We've been getting signs, from the device that something is trying to get through, or someone is and you should know Rose, it's not hostile and we think it's coming from your old universe."
"What?" both Rose and Alec asked at the same time, making Jake smile.
"Calm down," Pete asked them. "It's not dangerous, nothing has attempted to come through, we have a security screen around it and a full team ready. We'll give it until tomorrow and if everything checks out, someone can go and investigate. Rose, it could be him, opening the way for you."
"Hold on Pete, Rose is not going anywhere," Alec insisted.
"Alec, let him finish, please?" Rose asked him. "You said, before I went on holiday, you were going to dismantle it so why are you getting readings from it?"
"They had started just as we came back Rose, I had no time to think about it, not until I had spoken to you about it. You wanted answers Rose, maybe now you will get them?" Pete asked her.
Alec got up. "You are not even thinking about this are you?" he asked Rose. "After what we have just been through? You said you had finished with all that."
"I know I did Alec but I could settle this, once and for all," Rose told him.
"Think about it until tomorrow Rose, I can send Jake but we decided we would give you first choice," Pete told her.
"You are never going to settle until you do, are you?" Alec asked her. "We need to talk about this Pete."
"I understand that Alec, come back in the morning but whatever you do, don't tell your mother Rose," Pete warned her.
Jake arranged for a car to take them back to the mansion, both Rose and Alec remaining silent until they got to Rose's old room.
"You can't do this Rose, please?" Alec pleaded with her. "We just got settled love."
"I know Alec, I need answers, I could finally find out why he ran off or if not, what happened to him."
"What if he has changed again Rose?"
"We're three years ahead, I don't think if he'd changed he'd be trying to contact me, I wouldn't know him. He said he got lucky the last time and he let me stay with him but he's not always so agreeable. It has to be him Alec. Come with me."
"Then we will ask your stepfather in the morning, I am not letting you go alone Rose. How long is it before your brother gets home from school eh?"
As they went to sleep that night, he had something to ask her.
"So this was the room he called you in the first time?"
"Yeah, he left something unsaid Alec, that's why I never gave up."
"I get that Rose but you are with me now. He said he loved you and he still left you because he wanted to carry on travelling, I am going nowhere."
"I know Alec but I have to do this. I love you."
After breakfast the next morning, saying nothing to Jackie, Pete took them back to the tower, Rose going off as if there was nothing wrong after telling Tony to have a good day at school.
They were taken to the cannon room where a team were already assembled, the guards standing back as the security measures were still in place while it was decided who would go.
"If Rose is going, so am I," Alec informed them.
"Sorry Alec, I know you want to but I can't allow it," Pete told him.
"Dad, I want him to go with me, he deserves to meet who I told him about," Rose replied.
"Sorry Rose, Alec has an alien device inside him, if it fell into the wrong hands? Both he and you would be in danger, not to mention what they could do with such a device. They could rip it out of him to see how it works, he would never survive."
Rose almost fainted, Alec catching her. "Then send Jake with her," he suggested.
"I can't, they are both team leaders, Rose has to go alone."
"Alec, I've done it before, I'll be fine. I have to do this."
"Rose, you have an hour to prepare yourself while we take the final readings to see where you land. Nothing much has changed from the last time and we'll land you in the safest place possible but if it's him, he'll be expecting you. We know why he won't risk coming here again," Pete told her.
"So do I, he can't face her," Alec spoke up.
"That's not fair Alec, he must want to explain, even if his twin has gone off, he'll know why. I have to know the reasons."
"You two go talk, we'll get everything ready," Jake told them, indicating for Rose to take Alec to the briefing room.
As they went in, Alec saw a change of clothes, they must have been expecting Rose to go.
"You know I do not want you to go love?" he asked her.
"I'll be back before ya know it Alec," Rose smiled at him.
"That's easy for you to say. I love you Rose, just come back safely."
They kissed for a while then Rose got changed, Alec disappointed it didn't include her underwear, which made Rose smile when she saw the look on his face.
"You'll introduce me to Daisy when I get back?"
"Sure, she is looking forward to meeting you though she may bring her entire class with her," Alec teased her.
"Aw, I don't mind, maybe I should take over that social media account?"
Jake knocked on the door all too soon. "Time to go Rose, we're ready for you."
The security measures were taken down and Rose stood in front of the device, Alec trying to figure out how it worked but not wanting the answers. It was taking Rose away and all he could do was watch again, like when he'd let her drive away.
Rose ran back to Alec, kissing him once again. "I'll be back before you know it Alec, don't worry."
"How can I not worry Rose?" he asked her as she was handed a small device to enable her to move or get back. "What if it closes?"
"It won't, we can keep it open to get her back, don't worry Alec, she'll be back," Jake tried to assure him.
All Alec could think about as Rose prepared to go was an old TV programme he used to watch where someone had stepped into a machine and vanished but he couldn't look as he heard a noise and turned away.
To be continued in 'A ripple in time'