Ellie Miller was not pleased as she set off for work, bumping into Rose as she left the school playground. Rose had asked her what was wrong but didn't have time to talk, she had a class of 4-5 year olds to handle and Ellie's youngest was amongst them, he wasn't old enough to stay all day so he was just there in the mornings until the new term in September. All she got out of Ellie was she had a new boss starting today and she wasn't looking forward to it, some grumpy male detective from Scotland, what the hell was he doing here of all places? Don't they need detectives in Scotland? Had they got too many and were palming them off down here? Rose had given her a sympathetic smile as she escorted little Freddie and some other children inside the school.
Rose loved her new job, it was miles better than handling aliens and monsters and she was very popular with the children, they loved her stories, well they weren't actually stories, just cut down versions of her adventures back in her old universe travelling with the Doctor. The teacher, Mrs Graham kept telling her she should write a book of children's stories and Rose thought she might actually do that during the long six week break that was coming up in a few weeks.
Thinking nothing else of Ellie's tale of woe, Rose was sat in the staff room, a few teachers were planning the annual school fete a week on Sunday, Rose's first one and were trying to rope her in. She gave up and agreed to run one of the stalls with another teaching assistant, it was only one Sunday, she went running on Sunday mornings with her friend Beth but she would be there anyway so she would be running on her own. She wondered how Ellie was getting on with her new boss and was probably already bossing him around knowing her.
She had quickly made friends with Ellie, she was more like a big sister to her when she had first arrived in the small seaside town last September and the year had gone quickly. She'd had help getting the job, she might have fallen out with Torchwood but never with her step-dad, he had saved her life and brought her here to safety and had done everything in his power to re-unite her with the Doctor after they had travelled hundreds of miles so Rose could say goodbye to him. He had put all resources at her disposal to find her way back but after the almost fatal disaster of their last field trip, the programme was banned and thankfully they had all made it back with two minor casualties, including Rose with a fractured arm after someone had forcibly grabbed her to save her life as the gap was closing and after that, it had scared the hell out of her step-dad Pete Tyler and that was the end of it, that and her mother threatening to divorce him if he didn't prevent Rose from trying again.
Rose had got set up with a nice quiet but never boring job, a nice flat on the seafront where her bedroom was facing the sea and life had been good for the past year, her nightmares of losing her best friend were subsiding, she thought it was the fact she was near the sea that reminded her of the beach in Norway where she had last seen him and if he ever found his way back to her, he would look for her near the sea.
She had tried dating a few locals but never got past a few nights out, no-one could compare to what she had lost. They had just got to the 'comfortable' stage in their relationship, going just a tiny bit beyond the hugging, holding hands and kiss on the cheek stage when danger lurked around the corner to doing it all the time for no particular reason and just before that fateful day, they had kissed for the first time, right before they walked into her mother's flat and walked into the middle of a Cyberman and Dalek invasion, the Doctor promising they would talk about their kiss later but there never was a 'later', they had never been alone again. That was what had made it worse, having to stand on a beach and say goodbye to him, telling him she loved him and he had just said it back when he faded from view. They never got their second kiss or to hold each other, he was only a projection and Rose would have collapsed both universes just for one more kiss but she knew he loved her and would do everything he could think of to get back to her.
The afternoon bell sounded, back to work, she looked up and realised she'd be late if she didn't hurry and the kids didn't like to be kept waiting for their afternoon story. Which one today? The Slitheen or the Absorbaloff? Or maybe where the Doctor came in singing when he rescued her from the clockwork droids?
Alec Hardy had checked into his hotel, noticing it was not a bad place as hotels went then he'd gone directly to the Broadchurch Police Station to meet with his new chief superintendent, the only senior officer who had been brave enough to take him on when everyone else had turned him down. It hadn't been his fault entirely, it was just on him to take the blame to protect his daughter, rather she hate him than her mother because he was not equipped to single-handedly look after a fast growing teenager. His work load for one would dampen any efforts, which was why his wife had left him for another man in the first place so a quick divorce had been on the cards and he was looking for somewhere to lay low for a while, he just didn't reckon on having to drive hundred's of miles to be accepted.
Especially this place, near the water he hated so much, he would have to overcome that fear if he was to live here. Six months at least until he could apply for another transfer so living in a hotel for six months did not sound appealing so the first thing he was going to do was find a flat to rent or failing that, a holiday rental he could take for six months, a bit more expensive but he might get a good rate, it was before the start of the summer holidays, someone might be desperate enough to let him have a place if they had been unable to take any bookings. After his meeting and arranging to start the next morning, he went in search of the local letting agency and put his name down, hoping his rank would pull some weight and cut the usual delays but he needed something partly furnished, he'd brought very little with him.
Rose had met up with Ellie and Beth for their usual Saturday morning catch-up in the café by the harbour and were laughing at poor Ellie who was complaining about her new boss, the Scottish detective who'd had the nerve to move here just to annoy her and was glad she was going away for three weeks just after the school holidays started. Rose and Beth went out for their usual Sunday morning run the following day, agreeing they were both going to miss the following week with it being the fete.
It was a fairly normal week leading up to the school holidays for Rose. She had seen Ellie a few times when she was bringing her young boy in and had just managed to catch up a few times when Ellie had got away to collect him at lunchtime. Rose had asked how she was getting on with her new boss and Ellie said she had got to the stage where she picked fault with everything he did because he was picking faults with her and she couldn't wait until next Monday when she would be flying off on holiday. Ellie had asked what Rose was planning on doing with her time off but she was undecided.
Rose thought about going home for a week to see her brother or have her mum bring him down for a week but her flat was too small for the two of them so they would have to stop at the hotel just down the road. On the last day of the school term, most of the children had brought her cards and a few small gifts such as a bar of chocolate and she was sad to see some of them move up to other classes.
The following Saturday morning, Rose thought Ellie wouldn't make it to their usual meeting but she had been glad to get away from all the packing and was still complaining about her boss who was insufferably getting too sure of himself and was told he was now staying for at least six months after she had been in to see the chief asking if he would be gone when she got back. Ellie said half the office wished they were going on holiday as well. Rose and Beth were trying their best not to laugh then Rose was asked if she was going to the school fete the next day and said she'd been roped in to help with one of the game stalls. After agreeing to meet them at the fete the next day, Rose went off to do her weekly shopping and was just pulling up outside her flat with her groceries when she saw a tall man with a scruffy beard, wearing jeans and a plain white t-shirt looking up at the building.
Rose thought nothing of it, she knew there was an empty flat just upstairs from her and that maybe the man was thinking about moving in but he looked a bit scruffy to afford the rents there, they weren't exactly cheap and Rose had only got hers through her step-dad arranging it and she got an allowance from him. Taking no notice, the man walked back to a car parked nearby and drove off and Rose took her groceries inside.
Rose was up early the next morning, well she was used to it, she normally went running every Sunday morning with Beth along the coastal path but today was school fete day. After setting up, she had a quick wander around before people started arriving and went to get a drink in the catering tent and saw the man who had been standing in front of her building the day before and wondered what he could be doing there so early, unless he was a parent or someone to do with the school. Sitting down at a table, having a few minutes to spare, she sent a text to her mother and she was just putting her phone away when the stranger passed by her and suddenly turned back and sat on the chair opposite her and said "Hello."
Never asking her name, he began asking her about the coming day, if she was running one of the stalls and if she worked there. Rose wasn't sure exactly what the point had been but just answered generally with yes or no and excused herself, saying she had to get back. During the afternoon, she was watching out for him but couldn't spot him anywhere, who on earth was he? It never clicked that he had a Scottish accent and Ellie's new boss was Scottish, well loads of people were on holiday, why would he stand out in particular?
The fete was going well, the children were winning prizes too easily Rose thought and they soon ran out so they closed the stall and Rose went off in search of Ellie and Beth. She found Ellie and asked her if she was ready to go on holiday, being told they were all packed and were off first thing in the morning and Ellie said she hoped the grumpy detective she was working with didn't expect her to bring anything back for him and hoped working on his own would suit him better than working with her. Rose patted poor Ellie on the back and said maybe she should try getting on with him by inviting him for dinner or something when she got back to which Ellie had replied with a 'fat chance' which had made Rose smile. She knew Ellie was usually easy to get on with and made friends out of nearly everyone, she was popular with her colleagues and with parents at both schools, her eldest son being at a different one so Rose couldn't understand why she wasn't getting on with her new boss.
Ellie said you can't get on with a person who thinks they are right 100% of the time and gave no leeway and never listened to someone else's point of view and Rose supposed she was right, it was a two way street. Wishing Ellie a good holiday, Rose decided she may as well go home since the fete was winding down but decided to have another cup of tea before leaving and now the catering tent were giving cakes away Rose had realised she'd had nothing since breakfast so she was grateful to be told to help herself.
That did not help when she sat down with three cakes on a paper plate and a plastic cup full of tea when the stranger with the scruffy beard appeared in the entrance to the tent and waited his turn to be served and all the cakes had gone, Rose having apparently over estimated how many she should take and now he was walking towards her and she daren't pick up one of the cakes and eat it. He took the seat opposite her again, despite there being plenty of spare tables now and she wondered why he was picking on her when all she wanted was to scoff the cakes that although were fairly plain looked very tempting when she hadn't eaten all day. Even the barbecue had sold out, she'd already tried without any luck and was going to call at the takeaway when she got back home.
The man just looked at her, then at the cakes, maybe he was hungry too, she was thinking, so she offered the plate to him and he took one of them muttering something that resembled a 'thanks' and Rose took one of the others. The man asked if she'd had a successful day and Rose said she had and was ready for home but she still didn't know who he was nor did he ask who she was and it still never occurred to her he was Ellie's boss, the grumpy Scottish detective. She was glad he was acting like a gentleman though, allowing her the remaining cake but it made her feel guilty while she ate it, he was watching her and Rose just wanted the ground to swallow her. They talked about nothing, Rose had been used to doing plenty of that in her old life and before she had realised, the tent was almost empty and chairs and tables were being moved around them as they sat in the middle of the tent, both tea and cakes long finished.
She got up, the man got up with her and asked if she had her own transport and seemed disappointed when she said she had her car with her and said he'd walk her to where it was parked. Rose wasn't one for being chatted up at a school fete, in the middle of the catering tent on a Sunday afternoon so she didn't regard it as such. As far as she was concerned, he was just a visitor to the event or he was on the board of governors or something and was just keeping an eye on things. She had seen him three times, twice that day and he'd been alone which meant he wasn't one of the parents.
As she was being walked to her car, several of her class came up to her to say goodbye, the parents shaking her hand and saying their child had enjoyed being in her class but eyeing the man she was with, like they knew more than she did – who he actually was. Was she the only person in Broadchurch who didn't know? He let her get into her car without saying another word, like he was just making sure she left and had reached her car safely and that was it, she didn't know his name, he still hadn't asked hers and she was no wiser as to what he was doing there than she had earlier in the day.
She had six weeks off now, to do what she wanted but what did she want? No point in going off somewhere, she was already by the sea, maybe she should write her adventures down, make them into children's books, it would give her something to do and no-one would believe the stories were real if she left out any mention of the word 'Cybermen' and she had already done extensive research to double check nothing else had happened on this world that she had experienced on hers.
When she came out of her flat on Monday morning, she half expected to see the man with the scruffy beard standing outside but he wasn't, there was no sign of him nor was there all week, not that she was looking for him. She thought she had seen him in the distance, going into the hotel down the street but it could have been anyone and never caught sight of him again all week. Sunday morning, Beth rang to say she wouldn't be going running so Rose set off on her own. It was a bit cloudy but it was early morning and she thought it would clear up and even when she reached the half-way point to set off back, she thought she would at least get back to the café before it did start to rain but she miscalculated the heavens opening and could see the café up ahead as she ran the last half mile or so and it starting pouring it down and there was no shelter until she reached it. By the time she got there, she was soaked and as she walked through the door, he was just sitting there.