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The stars were going out

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Rose fell in love with Alec Hardy the first time they had met though it took them a week of arguments for him to get her into his hotel bed and then he had to admit what was wrong with him. It all started when Rose went down to dinner the night she arrived after a long drive from London. Her mother had questioned her destination.

"Broadchurch? Why the hell would you want to go to Broadchurch Rose? Oh don't tell me, it's that detective isn't it? I thought you were over that?"

"I am Mum, honestly. It doesn't bother me any more. I just want a week by the sea. It will be quiet down there anyway, no-one wants to go to a murder town. I've booked six nights at a hotel, The Traders and I'll be back next Sunday so don't worry. Crikey Mum, I used to go off all the time, it's not like anything's going to get in my way, it's just a normal holiday."

It was Sunday evening, Rose was packing and Tony wandered into his big sister's room.

"Rose, are you going away again?"

"Aw come over here big guy. It's just for a few days. Did mum send you up here?"

"No but I know she doesn't want you to go either. Will you bring me a present back?"

"Yeah, of course I will. How about a boat or something you can play with in the bath?"

"Yeah! Thanks Rose."

"I'll see you before you go to school in the morning, you break up soon don't you?"

"Yeah, Friday."

"Then when I get back, maybe me and Mickey can take you out."

The boy was satisfied and went back to his room. Rose switched on her TV to catch the news and saw the detective again – Alec Hardy. She no longer saw the Doctor in every man she laid eyes on and this detective was no different. If only they'd had more success locating her own world, she would have been joining the other teams being sent out to find him again instead of daydreaming that one of the teams would find the right one and she would find him again.

The thought of him made her shiver but what if he'd changed already?

The next morning just after breakfast and kissing her mum and brother goodbye, she put her cases in her Tardis blue car and drove to the coastal town of Broadchurch. She managed to balance her cases and her laptop bag and was about to close the back door when she heard a voice behind her.

"Can I help you with those?"

She turned around to see a young man with an ID badge around his neck that read 'Olly Stevens, Broadchurch Echo' and Rose realised she had parked right outside their office. Just her luck for a reporter to spot her.

"No, I'm good thanks, just going across the road to the hotel, 'erm Olly."

Olly stepped back and took the handle of one of her cases.

"It's no bother, Miss Tyler. Sorry but I know who you are, what brings you to our town?"

Rose was about to say something serious like she was here for bracing sea air or the golden cliffs but she was a bit tired from her journey and decided to be catty instead.

"Well Olly, I came to get away from nosey town reporters but so far I'm having no such luck but you might as well wheel my case over for me since I left all my servants at home."

Olly just looked at her and grinned. Whatever Rose Tyler was going to throw at him he was going to take it. He'd had a secret crush on her for years, following her in the social media and gossip columns for the last few years since the chairman of Vitex announced he had married her mother and adopted her even though he knew he would never get to meet her but now, she was in his town and he was helping her into the hotel opposite his office. Things were looking up for him.

Thanking him at the door, Rose went inside and checked in, telling Becca Fisher who she was but knowing she needed no introduction.

"Miss Tyler, welcome to The Traders. If there's anything we can do to make your stay more comfortable, please let me know. There's Wi-Fi if you want the access code and I've given you one of our larger double rooms. It's a bit quiet at the moment, what with thing's being as they are, there's only one person on your floor, the detective who's been on the news recently."

Rose thought she might have known, it was just her luck to be in the same hotel as he was and on the same floor. Oh well, he might be able to get that creep Olly out of the way. She didn't fancy getting chased around the town by the young reporter with a schoolboy crush on her all week. Anyway, she planned on getting out and about a bit to different places and wanted to go visit Weymouth and look around the shops, hoping they would have some different ones.

She went down to dinner and came face to face with the detective himself as he saw her come in. He got up and asked if she would like to join him.

"Miss Tyler, I never thought you would be gracing this small town with your presence. Are you staying long?"

At least he wasn't asking the same stupid questions as that moron Olly Stevens was, that was something she supposed. So much for keeping a low profile but the police would know her anyway and knowing Pete, he would have called the chief and demanded someone kept an eye on his stepdaughter and it seemed Detective Inspector Alec Hardy had drawn the short straw. She wondered if the detective was already staying here prior to him being notified of her presence or if he had hurriedly just got himself booked in.

"The infamous DI Hardy, nice to meet you." She held out her hand and instead of shaking it, he kissed the back of it.

If he didn't watch out, she would be actually letting him keep an eye on her for the rest of the week despite her annoyance with Pete, who obviously didn't trust her to spend a week on her own.

"Well I'm new here myself, I was here a week before all this happened but I'm surprised that you actually chose here for a holiday. Maybe you just wanted to witness a murder investigation first hand? Either that or you wanted to meet me?"

Rose smiled, he was being all smug so she was going to bring him back down with a thud.

"Well of course, that was my first reason, that of meeting the great detective himself but my second reason, I just wanted some time to myself and avoid meeting people who know who I am but I've only been here a while and three people already spoiled that. Are you supposed to be keeping an eye on me?"

He shook his head. "Not in the least, what gave you that idea?" He had clearly been caught out by the look on his face.

The waitress came to take their orders and Alec poured them some water each.

"Would you prefer some wine Miss Tyler?" he asked, hesitating over hers.

"No thanks, I'm a bit tired after the drive down but I might just have one later in the bar. Care to join me? You can keep an eye on me then."

"Really, I'm not here to spy on you. What gave you that idea?"

"Oh, I don't know. Something to do with my stepfather maybe? I reckon he got your chief to tell someone to do it and if you were already staying here, which I presume you were, you seem the obvious candidate or were you just unlucky?"

The waitress arrived with their soup and Alec was thinking what to say in his defence. She was right of course. Pete had been onto his chief and she had hauled him into her office, telling him in no uncertain terms he was responsible for her safety while she was in their town.

"I'm sorry Alec," Elaine Jenkinson had said after she had told him the Vitex heiress was arriving shortly. "I only found out a few hours ago, Pete Tyler only found out himself yesterday that she had decided to bring herself down here and you are staying at the same hotel. I'd ask Ellie but you're already on hand. It's only until Saturday night and she'll probably be going out during the day, just keep an eye on her will you?"

"Do I have a choice? I've got enough with the Latimer case but as long as it's only in the hotel, I suppose it's not going out of my way by too much though I may have to work a few late nights."

"Well try not to make them too late, at least check in with her every night to make sure she's ok. It shouldn't be too difficult Alec, looking after a young attractive blonde."

"A spoilt one at that."

"Rubbish Alec. She didn't come from money, her mother just happened to marry into it since she bears a really strong resemblance to the former Mrs Tyler but that's not the point. Just do this will you please? You never know, she might actually take a shine to you and recommend our town to her friends."

"Great, just what we need, a group of rich kids in town."

"Well the town needs something now the tourists are staying away and I'm sure The Trader's Hotel needs its rooms filling and she will be spending money in the town."

Alec finally got out and back to his own office. He had been told to make sure he got back to the hotel in time for the evening meal and greet the famous Rose Tyler. Why did she have to pick the same town as he had been sent to? He had half a mind to give the job to Miller despite being told to attend to it in person. As long as she was in this town, he wasn't going to be able to avoid her. His boss had been right on one thing when he saw her walking into the hotel dining room, she was even more stunning than she was on TV and in the newspapers so as he stood up to indicate for her to join him at his table, he couldn't help but take her offered hand and kiss the back of it.

Their main course had arrived and Alec asked the waitress to bring Rose a glass of red wine. Rose smiled, so far he was being the perfect gentleman but if he thought it was going to be easy her taking to him watching her, he was in for a big surprise. Their meal finished, he asked if he could buy her a drink in the bar.

"Why not? It's still early. Is it ok if I call you Alec?"

"Well if you insist though I really hate that name. Can I call you Rose? It really suits you."

"Thanks though don't think just because we're on first name terms I'm gonna let you follow me around while I'm here."

Alec took a sip of his non-alcoholic lager. "You're free to go where you please during the day, I don't have time to follow you around but will you humour me by dining with me every evening?"

Rose took a sip of her white wine and lemonade. "Well I suppose I could do worse than to dine with you during my stay. I suppose I could have worse company."

"Really? Such as who?"

Rose smiled. "Oh, such as that nosey town reporter who didn't even wait for me to get out of my car before dashing out of his office to offer to help me with my luggage."

"Oh, him. I'd stay away from him if I were you, unless you actually want to be on the front page of the Broadchurch Echo as his latest conquest. Word is he already tried his luck with a big city reporter but he may just ditch her, you're far more newsworthy than she is. I can just see the headlines now."

"Thanks for the warning and I didn't mean it to sound like you weren't my first choice of who I dine with."

"I'll take that as an apology then. Can I get you another drink?"

"No thanks, I think I'll call it a night. Maybe we can have breakfast?"

"I have mine at eight sharp, I have to get to the station. I don't have to keep an eye on you all day, you're free to eat breakfast whenever you want."

"You like my company that much?"

"I didn't mean it like that. Look Rose, I'll tell you now, this was not my idea, ok?"

"Fine. I know when someone's been told to babysit me and I know my stepfather is behind all this. As babysitters go, you're not that bad."

"Thanks for the compliment, I think. I may see you in the morning then? Don't get up early on my account though."

"I'm used to getting up early. I'll probably be awake anyway, force of habit. Goodnight then."

Rose got up, Alec got up with her. "We're on the same floor, I can walk you to your room if you want?"

"To make sure I get there perhaps?"

Alec smiled. "If that's what you think but this is on the house."

Rose said goodnight again and went into her room. She debated whether to call Pete and tell him she felt like she was under house arrest or something, getting a detective to watch over her but decided against it. It was probably her mother's idea anyway. She got ready for bed and tried to forget about the man who was just across the hall. Rose hadn't been looking for a holiday romance, she still wasn't over the Doctor but had to accept she was never going to get back to him.

Alec was trying to do the same. It seemed his and Rose's paths were going to cross at least once a day, it should keep his chief happy but he wasn't entirely happy about it himself. He wasn't in the market to pick himself up a girlfriend but he was a man and she was a young blonde, things would get awkward at some stage unless he was very careful. Maybe he should get Miller onto this after all, it was going to be a long week and Rose Tyler was out of his reach.