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Alec Hardy's day off

Chapter Text

Rose had taken a liking to the town after just a few days but didn't fancy staying in the hotel further up in the town.

"Look for somewhere to rent then," her mother suggested, since she knew once Rose made her mind up, she'd want to stay there.

"Yeah, there's a few nice places down by the harbour, when dad sorts me somewhere to work. I asked him to pull in a few favours and get me a liaison job with the police, since I finished my training."

"Well what can happen down there?" her mother wondered. "Hasn't it all settled down after that poor boy was killed? Is that detective still there?"

"I don't know Mum, I've only been here a few days ya know? I've not seen him walking around but there again, if he's stayed here or come back, he'll be at work. I'll let ya know if I find somewhere then."

Jackie supposed she'd just have to get used to her daughter finally wanting to go out on her own.

Meanwhile, things were not working out so well for Alec Hardy. He'd got his job back, in a different station to his ex wife in Sandbrook and was trying to persuade his daughter to go back to Broadchurch with him.

"Well how about I go back, arrange a place to live and you come down for the holidays?" he suggested.

"I'll think about it Dad. It's just you'd been away so long, it's taking a bit of getting used to. So you're going back? Thought you hated it there?"

"I can't settle here again Daisy, it's just not the same. Even though I'm in a different station, people don't forget so easily. See you at the weekend then?" he asked hopefully, since she'd at least agreed to that since he'd been back.

So he went to his chief, who had claimed he'd stuck his neck out taking Alec on and offered him a job after pulling in two killers and an accomplice while on medical leave and asked if he could get transferred back to Broadchurch. His chief was somewhat amused.

"What was all that about you hating it there Alec?" the chief smiled.

"It's not the same here any more, it's no longer feeling like home. I may try and get my old cottage back or somewhere just as remote. I heard they got a new chief there?"

"Yes, lucky for you, we know each other, she may do me a favour. The thing is though Alec, your ex is up for a promotion, she's re-qualified after she admitted she'd lost that evidence. How did you get her to though?"

"It was not that difficult, since Claire Ripley admitted she followed Tess's car to the hotel and smashed the window, Tess could hardly deny it, could she?" Alec almost smiled. "So, how long will it take to get me back?"

Before he knew it, he was checking back into The Traders Hotel, surprised it was still open but even more surprising was the fact Rose Tyler was already checked in and somehow, they kept missing each other until a few days later, they were in the same letting agency, Alec having more or less followed her in and was about to ask about renting a white cottage on the side on the east cliff that was only accessible via thirty something steps.

Alec had seen it advertised, after discovering his old riverside cottage had been refurbished and beyond his allowance so as he waited to be seen, a blonde woman sat with one of the agents, he hoped she wasn't after the same place.

"Well Miss Tyler," the agent was telling her. "We certainly won't have to make the usual finance checks where you are concerned. The cottage though is occupied until Saturday, we don't get many requests to take it for three months. Are you thinking of settling here?"

"Yeah, I thought it would do while I find something permanent, the caravan park would maybe have been okay but with the school holidays coming up?" Rose smiled.

"Of course Miss Tyler," the agent smiled back. "If you call on Saturday, say around midday, we should have the keys back by then, we'll get the place cleaned and it should be ready to move into. I can't see there being a problem. We'll just need a month in advance."

"I'll have my accountant get in touch with you then," Rose replied, since Pete had told her Torchwood would pay and it didn't sound good actually saying it in public.

Alec had just sat down at the other desk when someone left.

"I'm interested in the white cottage on the east cliff," he told the woman.

Rose turned towards the voice that had just spoken, a Scottish voice, since she'd not noticed who had just sat down. He was here or had he just come back? How did she feel about it though, he was the Doctor's double and she'd tried to ignore it all through the murder investigation and the subsequent trial. She thought it was safe now, that he would have left but she should have known he'd be tempted to come back, eventually.

The agent attending to Rose heard her colleague's client.

"Sorry, it's just been taken," she called out, marking it on the website and would have to take the leaflet out of the window as soon as possible.

"Already?" Alec asked, not sounding too happy about it. "Why is it still down as available then?"

He looked at his phone, the website open on the page and noticed it was now showing as unavailable.

"Have you just changed that?" he asked, completely ignoring the blonde.

"Hey, excuse me, I was here first," Rose complained.

"Miss Tyler, please?" the agent objected, since she knew of the grumpy town's inspector's reputation, just when everyone thought he'd left. "Yes, you were fortunate enough to be the first to ask about it, since it only went on the website last night. I'm sorry, Detective Inspector Hardy, I'm sure we have other properties to suit your needs? Did you not have the riverside cottage before?"

"Yes but it's out of my budget range now you've done the place out. It's not out of some people's budget though," he hinted, since he recognised the name and the blonde and should have known.

His daughter followed the Vitex heiress on social media but he'd tried to tell her the woman would have someone to see to all that, surely?

"So you expect me to take the riverside one and leave the other one for you?" Rose huffed. "It's not suitable for me if my mum and my younger brother come to visit or I would have taken it." She turned back to the agent. "See you on Saturday then, unless you're gonna refuse my application and give it to him?"

"Of course not Miss Tyler, as you pointed out, you did apply first. Everything will be ready for you," the agent assured her.

Alec was not pleased and felt like going after the woman and either arguing with her or kiss her, he couldn't decide which. He could have sworn he'd heard her mention where she was staying – the same hotel he was in when asked her current details, though he shouldn't really have been listening but she wasn't hiding the fact.

Maybe he'd bump into her and persuade her to change her mind? Who was he kidding though? She was used to getting her own way, she'd never give in just to please him. What was she doing in the town though and why hadn't he known? Still, he had another meeting with the chief next week, she was away and he was sort of in charge until she came back but she'd told him she had something to discuss with him on her return.

He couldn't begin to imagine what that was, she'd been called to a series of meetings at headquarters over in Exeter, so her quick phone call had informed him that morning before she'd left. He wasn't that bothered, Miller could get him up to date with what had been going on there since he'd tried to make up with his daughter.

Over in Exeter, CS Clark was having her first meeting with the chief of police and other high ranking officers.

"I'll now reveal the nature of these hurriedly called meetings shortly," the chief told them as some staff served coffee and fancy food.

"I take it each of you knows about how important it is we engage with other agencies?" Most of them nodded or grunted their agreement. "We also are quite often called upon to co-operate with private agencies and the one I wish to talk about in these meetings is Torchwood."

There was a lot more murmuring around the large conference table, the chief from Broadchurch amongst them.

"Sir, they are a rogue agency are they not?" she objected, having been told the meetings were about agency co-operation but not with this one.

"Not exactly. I've been informed by their director that they are already working successfully with the metropolitan police in some areas. They have a number of agents who have been trained as liaison officers between the police and themselves. I've been asked to consider using them in our area, to include the whole of Wessex eventually but for now, one of their top agents who has just completed their training has expressed an interest in your area, Clark."

"Then I must object, if they want to use us to experiment on, Sir," she further objected.

"I can hardly refuse on those grounds," the chief replied, knowing the request had come from his old golfing friend, Pete Tyler. "If successful, a further number of agents will be trained to cover other districts, which we will talk about tomorrow but today, I want to talk about an agent working with us in general."

He saw she was about to interrupt again but she changed her mind. She knew Hardy would laugh at the idea, even though he'd only been back since Monday. She knew he'd had a difficult time back where he'd moved from originally and she'd been asked by his chief to take him off his hands and she had gladly done so, since she couldn't justify getting another DI from another area when DS Miller had asked to be reconsidered for the post.

The chief of police was looking at her again.

"I know you took Alec Hardy back, are you afraid the two of them will clash?"

"I expect they will, Sir, Hardy's not one for sharing as far as I've been led to believe. Do we know who this agent will be?"

She should have known by the smile on his face.

"I believe the director's stepdaughter, Rose Tyler was the agent who expressed the interest joining your team."

There were a few more comments from around the table.

"Why would she want to come to our town?" the CS wondered out loud. "Surely she's not heard Hardy's come back? We've not made it public yet that he's just returned. He only arrived on Saturday and he's got his feet back under his old desk already and it's only Wednesday. Maybe she'll change her mind when she sees she'll have to work with him? So when would she start?" she asked, still not keen on the idea.

"Next Monday, when you go back and ultimately, it will be Hardy's responsibility to make sure the two of them get on, we all know what he can be like. He'll also be responsible for any decisions as to if her expertise will be required or not. I've been informed that Miss Tyler will just be attached to your station on a needs basis, she'll also be doing her own work for Torchwood."

"Well I suppose if she's not in the station all day?" the CS replied.

"Well you will also benefit from a budget increase, as will those further chosen to participate in the scheme plus Torchwood will make their labs available to us and if anything happens, a fully trained team will be available immediate to work alongside your officers. I also expect Hardy to co-operate with them, he and Miss Tyler would be equally in charge in such cases."

The chief superintendent knew Hardy would just love that, he'd only been back a few days and everyone already knew about it and she'd left him to sort out his accommodation after being told the budget wouldn't cover where he'd stayed before. Maybe she could sweet-talk him into co-operating if the budget was getting a boost?

Alec had gone back to his office after his clash with Rose in the letting agency and had slammed the door behind him, making those who were left after the reduction in staff look in that direction.

"What's wrong with him today?" Katie Harford dared ask Ellie.

"You'll have to get used to him Katie, someone must have beaten him to a place to live he was interested in," Ellie told her.

"There are plenty of places to rent," Katie replied.

Ellie just shook her head. Hardy had already chewed out the new DC twice since he came back and had complained about her when they'd gone out the day before and he'd only been back a few days. Now the CS was away for some mysterious meetings and he was in charge.

Rose got back to the hotel and gave Becca the news she was possibly leaving on Saturday.

"That was fast," Becca replied as Rose got her room key.

She wasn't surprised though, knowing who Rose was.

"Is Alec Hardy staying here?" Rose dared ask her. "I just saw him in the letting agents, he wasn't happy I just beat him to a cottage."

"Yeah, he's staying here, have you not seen him?"

"No, I've not been that lucky," Rose grinned. "I think I'd best stay out of his way but I came down here for a job and I might just be working with him."

"Lucky you," Becca smiled back, thinking she'd love to see that – the Vitex heiress and the newly returned grumpy Scottish detective.

Somehow, the two of them still managed to keep missing each other. Rose had told her mother she was moving into a cottage that had a nice view of the harbour on Saturday and when Tony broke up for the holidays, she said they should come down for a few days.

Alec had gone back to the hotel, determined to find some accommodation to entice his daughter to come and stay with him and wasn't about to let Rose Tyler get the better of him. He did wonder what she was doing in the town though, was she doing some snooping around for Torchwood or had she found out he was coming back and decided to make life difficult for him by pinching the cottage he wanted?

Just after lunch on Saturday, Rose was already out getting a few things she needed and called to collect the keys for the cottage, being told everything was in order, the first month's rent and deposit having been paid by the accountant and them being told they would be paying if she decided to stay.

She decided to take a trip to the supermarket to get her groceries, getting a few stares as people recognised her, probably wondering what she was doing there. Maggie, the newspaper editor and sole reporter for the almost defunct Broadchurch Echo was amongst them and she was determined to find out, it could boost the paper's sales and stop the rumours the parent group were going to swallow the paper up.

Rose was now looking forward to starting work on Monday, even though she was probably going to have to work with Alec Hardy, who wouldn't be in a good mood with her. She'd talked to her stepfather, who had assured her that everything had been arranged when he'd spoken to his friend, the chief constable for the Wessex area.

"So, is that detective in town then?" Pete teased her on the Sunday morning.

"Worse luck. He was after my cottage, I just beat him to it."

"I'd watch out then, he may refuse to work with you and the chief will be complaining," Pete joked. "It took a lot of persuading Rose, don't let me down by arguing with the detective."

Rose already thought it wasn't going to be her who started it, if Alec Hardy didn't like it.