Since the day of their engagement went horribly wrong, Alec decided that the following weekend he would make it up to Rose so he told her to pack some things and pick him up at the station at one o'clock on the Friday for a long weekend and he'd drive them somewhere nice. He'd been right that the staff in the station had not let him live down the events of last Sunday asking if his future mother-in-law was in law enforcement and was it a jealous ex-boyfriend who was upset that the Inspector had got his ex-girlfriend pregnant but they soon went onto something else when they discovered that two other Officers were having an affair.
So Rose, not knowing whether to pack a bikini or not, chose a bit of everything including Alec's swim shorts which she reluctantly packed, the usual holiday stuff and got everything ready. She didn't know where they were going but she thought it strange he had asked her to pack his best suit. It was mid July so she figured they might need summer clothes even staying in England.
Friday, she set off down to the station to pick him up and he came out exactly on time. The officer on duty had got used to her and nodded to her. Rose greeted Alec with a kiss as he took the driver's seat. Just over an hour later, they arrived in sunny Torquay and Alec pulled up at one of the fanciest top hotels in the town, complete with swimming pool, sauna, spa and the works. Rose was glad she'd not wore a skimpy dress for the drive there. After they checked into their room, they went to try out the swimming pool.
Over their dinner later on, Alec asked Rose is she had any preference as to where they got married and she said she didn't mind, just so long as it was somewhere warm and quiet. Alec said it was warm here, Rose laughed.
"Rose, sweetheart, do you know why I chose this hotel?" Rose shook her head. "Because they do weddings here and we can get married tomorrow if you say yes," as he took her hand.
"Are you serious, Alec, we only got engaged two weeks ago, you don't waste any time do you, Inspector? Besides, I didn't pack anything to wear for a wedding although I did wonder why you asked me to pack one of your suits, which I thought a bit odd. Should have known."
"Then you go shopping in the morning to find the best dress in town for you to wear. We can get married at three o'clock and Ellie is getting Olly to look after the boys and she's going to meet us here to be our witness. Then we go back home on Sunday, pack more clothes and drive to Southampton to join a 12 night cruise around the Mediterranean and before you protest that your mother will go ballistic over this, I have your step-father's blessing and he helped me arrange it so quickly. He felt so bad about what happened and wanted to help me make it up to you. So Rose, what do you say? If it's anything other than yes I'll be sorely disappointed. We can have a big reception at your parents house on the Saturday afternoon when we get back, invite Ellie and the boys for the weekend and everyone will be happy. We can drive straight there when we get back, sweetheart. Your dad isn't telling your mum yet until Monday or she'll be down here before we get down to breakfast in the morning. It will give her something to do and appease her. Is that a yes then?"
Rose couldn't believe what Alec had just come out with as she said yes to him. How had all this been arranged in less than a week, she had been used to things happening so fast when she had travelled with the Doctor, apart from the time when she'd missed a year and Mickey had been taken in for questioning several times at her mother's request. She knew her dad could get things done quickly but this was off the scale even for him so he and Alec must have been on the phone non-stop without her knowledge to pull this off. Still, she had thought the night Alec proposed to her that it would be a short engagement and this was breaking all records. Another sign surely that this was right, just as Alec had wanted to give her time to think about it and she hadn't needed it, telling him on the spot that she would. She thought that must have been his best birthday present ever.
As she stood facing him as they had gone up to their room, Alec having let the hotel Manager know they were going ahead with the wedding, he took her hands in his and they looked out over the balcony to the sea, he put his arms around her and asked her, "Rosie, can you imagine travelling and waking up in a different place every morning?" He hadn't realised what he'd just said.
Rose did indeed know what it was like, waking up on a new planet every morning but she didn't mention it to him. He sensed he'd said something. "I'm sorry, sweetheart, I didn't mean that you'd not travelled before it's just the first time I've done it. Sure I've been different places but not on a cruise and I'm sure you have, even to different planets but it's all new to me. Travelling with someone I love."
Rose soon recovered. "It's ok, Inspector, I know you didn't mean anything. It's just I haven't travelled since I've been here except to Norway and I'd rather not go there again."
Alec knew all about Bad Wolf Bay and what it had meant to her. When she had told him her story, that had been the part that stuck in his mind. She had not only lost her Doctor and had her heart broken once but twice and he'd been a complete ass and made it three times, something he couldn't now forgive himself for. He had done everything in his power now to mend her broken heart. "You're a fine one to be talking about hearts," he thought.
"Then my sweet Rosie I will order the Captain of the ship not to anywhere near Norway, not that it's in the Mediterranean but just in case he decides to take a detour." He kissed her forehead and sat her down on one of the chairs and sat opposite her. Not letting go of her hands, he kissed the back of her left hand and put his fingers between hers and touched her ring.
"I suppose you've already got the wedding ring, Inspector?" Rose asked. Alec nodded. "Then I'll have to go do some shopping of my own tomorrow when I go choose a dress. That's if you want a ring? she teased. Alec smiled and nodded again as he leaned over and put his other hand around her shoulder.
Then he whispered in her ear "I love you Rose Tyler and of course I want to wear a ring, I want everyone to know I'm married to you," and kissed her cheek.
Rose looked up. "You do know that you're not supposed to see the bride before the wedding don't you, Inspector?" she teased.
"Well if you go into the town in the morning, you can meet up with Ellie and choose you dress and a ring then I won't see you, will I? Besides, it's supposed to be that you don't see the bride in her wedding dress and since I won't then there's no problem, is there? Why don't you send her a text and get her to come down early and help you choose a dress? Then when you're on your way back, I can leave the room so you can have it to yourselves for an hour of so. I can go wait downstairs for you. Ellie can help you get ready."
"Great, there's just one thing though, Inspector," as Rose stood up, pulling him up with her.
"What's that my sweet?"
"It means you are going to have to behave yourself tonight and save it for our wedding night. You managed it once before, when I let you stay that first night so it's keep your shorts on night tonight, Inspector," she giggled.
Alec pretended to be disappointed but he knew she was right. It would be worth it in the long run. "OK, Rosie, I'll agree but under protest. We'll just keep it the same as we did that night. Besides, you need to save your strength for our wedding night." They both smiled as they thought about that first night when they had just fallen asleep in each others arms.
That agreed, Rose sent a text to Ellie who agreed to meet Rose around 11 am outside the hotel to go shopping. It was only about an hour's drive and she said she would get Olly to take the boys early.
That night, they just lay together, kissing, touching with Alec in his shorts and Rose borrowing one of his t-shirts that was loose fitting on her and just her knickers, Alec never breaking his promise and Rose not even worried that he would. She trusted him beyond any doubt. It had been a long time since she had trusted anyone and she liked it.
Alec woke her at 8 am and they went to breakfast. Alec stopped off and made the final arrangements with the hotel staff. They were going to have just a few drinks in the bar but Ellie of course would be driving. They were going to stay the night and drive back on Sunday morning and join the cruise ship late that afternoon as the sailing was at six. That would give them time to pack and get down there and leave their car. Alec had already put in for two weeks leave and Rose didn't have to worry about the shop but sent a text to Clare that she wouldn't be in for the next couple of weeks and left Ellie's number if there was a problem.
Ellie arrived on time and Rose kissed Alec goodbye and the two of them went into the town. Ellie insisted she had learned of Alec's plan only on the Friday morning when he announced he had been granted leave and asked her to drive down to Torquay and be their witness. She said he must have the powers of persuasion to get leave so quickly but Rose suspected her step-dad had a hand in that.
Rose was stood with Ellie in a top of the range dress shop having just come from the shoe shop, getting a cream coloured pair of sandals then the jewellers and choosing a ring and a wedding present, an expensive wrist watch for Alec. While she was trying a dress on, deciding this was definitely the one, her mobile rang and it was her mother. Knowing better than to refuse the call, she gingerly answered, hoping her dad hadn't squealed on her and told Jackie about the wedding. "Better face the music," she told herself as she pressed the answer button. "She'd better make it quick, I'm getting married in just over two hours and I've got to get ready."
"Hi Mum, what's up?" she asked innocently.
"You know very well what's wrong Rose Marion Tyler."
Now Rose knew she was in trouble when her mum used her full name, something she rarely did.
"Did you really think you were going to get away with it? I should come down there right now and smack the pair of you," came Jackie's dulcet tones. "And don't think your dad's going to get you out of this one because he's just as much to blame. I've just found out your little arrangement, Lady."
"Erm, what arrangement is that Mum?" Rose tried to ask innocently. She was running out of time. She pulled back the curtain, beckoned Ellie and mouthed "My mum" to her and with one hand took off the dress and handed it to Ellie mouthing "Ask the assistant to wrap it, I'll be out in a min," as a bewildered Ellie took the dress from her and saw the price tag them remembered who Rose actually was and didn't think she had even looked at the ticket.
"Are you even listening to me Rose?'' her mother demanded. "I'm talking about your dad buying you a house and you paying him back – well?"
"Mum, it was his idea to save us getting a mortgage, we were just going to pay him instead of the bank. He didn't want us to have to go through applying for one, that's all. Alec agreed to it." Rose breathed a sigh of relief, pleased she had got away with the wedding but she was running against the clock and they had to get back to the hotel, do her hair and some makeup and get dressed and the clock was ticking. There was a time when she wouldn't have worried about 'Time' because she could go back and do it all again.
"Well, I've just found out and I'm surprised your dad even wants you to pay him and I've told him not to take anything from you, it will be our wedding present to you so pick the most expensive one you can find. The money will be yours one day anyway, might as well have some use out of it, never mind letting it sit in the bank and tell Alec he'll have to argue with me if he doesn't like it." She finally stopped for breath. Rose took the chance to escape.
''OK, I'll talk to Alec and to dad but I've gotta go now, I'm a bit busy, give my love to him and Tony," and she pressed the 'End Call' button gratefully.
She quickly finished getting changed, caught up with a dazed Ellie, paid the assistant and pulled Ellie out of the shop thinking thank goodness she went to get his ring and present and her shoes first. They were about a ten minute walk from the hotel and Ellie had left her car there so they hailed a taxi and were back in a few minutes. Ellie had taken the opportunity of ringing Alec to warn him Rose was nearly ready to return while she was paying for her overly priced dress. Creeping past the bar and lounge area, Ellie quickly peeking in and seeing Alec sat in a corner pretending to be reading a newspaper and a cup of what was probably coffee, they got into the lift. They had just under two hours to get ready. Ellie had stopped at her car to get her dress out which she had hung up by the back seat and once in the room, Rose went to wash her hair while Ellie got changed. Then a wedding bouquet arrived for Rose.
Thankful that the hotel supplied a hairdryer, Rose blow-dried her hair and began twisting it round with a brush while Ellie had hung up Rose's dress while she was in the bathroom and Rose was putting on a bit of makeup. She surveyed her new dress, hoping in her haste she had chosen the right one but once she put it on and looked in the mirror, Ellie assured her she looked great and Alec would love it. Forty minutes to go and Rose was getting nervous. Not that she didn't want to marry Alec, she so wanted to but because it had been all so sudden. Engaged for only two weeks and just about getting used to it, feeling the ring on her finger and people staring at her, probably remarking she had thawed the ice detective who everyone had loved to hate when he first came to town.
Ellie asked if she would be ok for ten minutes while she went to check on Alec who unbeknown to Rose had sent about 50 texts to her during the short time they were out asking if Rose was ok. She had only replied once saying "If you keep on like this you won't be in a fit state to marry her – Sir," so she disappeared to go check on him.
While she was gone Rose realised this was it. No going back now, she was fully committed to spending the rest of her life with Alec Hardy who she loved deeply. For the first time in her life there was a man with a face she loved and he wasn't going to leave her, wasn't going to change his face, well maybe grow back his beard but she doubted it. He wouldn't feel guilty about being happy, wouldn't have aliens and monster chasing him, he would grow old at the same rate as she would and he only had one heart and it belonged to her. Most important of all, he could spend the rest of his life with her.
As a knock came on the door and Ellie stood there, Rose knew it was time. She was marrying the man she loved – Alec Hardy.