Rose Tyler was sat in the squad room of the Broadchurch police station, waiting for something exciting to happen. She had been in Broadchurch less than a week and there was no senior DS or a DI, well not that you could count the part-time sickly DI as actually being in charge. From what she had been told, he'd just solved a major case of a young boy's murder that she'd been following back in the north London station she'd just been transferred from.
She should be grateful her request for a DC's job had been taken seriously and she'd had to move at short notice over the last weekend when on the Friday before, her boss had called her into his office.
"Tyler, you still want that DC's job?"
"Yes Sir, has one come up?"
"You could say that. How soon can you pack?"
"It's not in London then?"
"What do you think Tyler? Remember that murder case that was finally solved a few days ago?"
"Which one was that?"
"The one in the Dorset seaside town, Broadchurch where it was the husband of a DS."
"Oh yeah, me and my mum were following that. Wasn't the DI taken ill?"
"He's on sick leave but since the DS in question is also on leave, he's back on a desk job from Monday. So, do you want it or not?"
"Has anyone turned it down?"
The DI shook his head. From what he knew about Alec Hardy, Tyler wouldn't last five minutes, not even making his tea.
"I'll be honest with you Tyler, I offered it to DC Bryson but his girlfriend's pregnant and he doesn't want to move now."
"Right. So when do I start?" she'd asked, hoping she'd get some time to make the move.
"Monday. Someone from personnel will book you into a B&B down there and since it's short notice, Broadchurch have agreed they will pay the costs for two weeks, until you can sort something out, then you'll get an allowance for being away from home. Go see Sandra before you leave, she'll give you the details and arrange for your train ticket, just tell her when you'll be going, you'd be best going on Sunday when it's quiet."
"Do they even have a train station in Broadchurch?"
"I've been told it's in the town itself, the police station is down by the harbour. Good luck Tyler and don't think we're trying to get rid of you, you deserve this promotion so make the most of it."
"Thank you Sir, I will. I expect it will be quiet now the fuss is over?"
"From what I'm told, the boy's funeral is today, the press will have left by Monday and that DI won't give you any trouble, he's got a bad heart."
Rose had smiled to herself as her boss told her to pack her things into a storage box and after seeing Sandra in personnel, take the rest of the day off. Rose had said she was going to need it – to explain to her mother she was going away. After saying goodbye to the few people who actually talked to her, she had gone home to break the news to Jackie Tyler.
"Hi Mum, guess what?" Rose had asked as she put the box on the kitchen table, her mother staring at her.
"You got fired?"
"Nope, I got my promotion but it's not in London."
"Then where the hell are they sending you?"
"Remember that case we were following of that young boy?"
"Oh yeah, poor kid and it being a family friend, isn't it always a family friend?"
"I suppose a lot of them are known to the victims, I feel sorry for the wife of the killer, how is she gonna cope?"
"You'll be able to find out if they're sending you there."
"She's been put on leave until it dies down, she's got two young boys, one was the dead boy's best friend."
"So what happened to that other detective, the one who nearly died?"
"I wouldn't believe everything you read in The Herald Mum, that Karen White had a real go at him early in the investigation, remember?"
"So you didn't agree with her?"
Rose smiled – Karen White had not met half the detectives where she had just been working who could easily oust Alec Hardy from that elite title of being the worse cop in Britain. So Rose had packed what she could into a suitcase and a large holdall, Sandra had given her the address of the B&B down by the harbour and she was collecting her ticket at Waterloo Station on Sunday morning so she could have the rest of Sunday to settle in before reporting to her new chief superintendent on Monday morning.
She'd managed to take a quick look around the harbour on the Sunday afternoon, hoping she might bump in her new immediate boss and introduce herself but there had been no sign of him or DS Miller, whom she would have liked to have met. On Monday morning, her initial meeting with CS Jenkinson had gone reasonably well.
"Ah, DC Tyler, welcome to Broadchurch. I trust you are settling in?"
"Yes Ma'am, thank you. It seemed fairly quiet yesterday when I arrived."
"The reporters have finally left town, well most of them, we still have the local one who is related to the DS whose place you will be taking while she is on leave."
"Oh, is the position not a permanent one? I was not told that."
"No, it's permanent, you will be partnering with DI Hardy, he's back today though he should be on sick leave until he gets himself fixed. He stayed for the boy's funeral last Friday and since he still is in the hotel we put him up in, the chief constable decided we may as well put him to work rather than get another full time DI from another area."
"When you say partner, do you mean I go with him if he has to go out? I was led to believe he was on desk duty."
"Well he's supposed to be but if anything comes up, he'll have to attend if the other DS's can't handle it, I understand you can drive?"
"Yes Ma'am, I passed my police driving test but I don't have my own car."
"Well you can get one if Hardy needs to go anywhere but he's only allowed to work four hours a day, from ten until two. When he arrives, just let him know he needs to see you if he has to go out and don't let him have you making his tea all day either."
Rose had smiled. "No Ma'am, I'll make that clear to him but if he tells me that's what I'm here for, I'll refer him to you."
"Yes DC Tyler, you do that and congratulations on your promotion, which is now official. Just go see personnel when you find somewhere permanent to live, if you've not found anything in two weeks, we will pay your maximum housing allowance and you'll have to pay the rest if you stay at the boarding house."
Rose had made her way to the CID squad room on the first floor and found the desk with DS Miller's name on, which she'd been told to take since it was the nearest one to Alec Hardy's office and having taken off the name plate, had got a few stares.
"I'm DC Rose Tyler and I'm filling in for DS Miller until she comes back or she's replaced. Any questions?"
Everyone had shaken their heads and gone back to work until a woman had come up and stood beside her desk as she was arranging her things.
"Hi Rose, I'm DC Francine Booth, welcome to the lion's den. Hardy's back this morning, watch out for him though."
"So I've been told, nice to meet you. Does everyone go by their titles here?"
"We all use first names, well except for a few but Hardy will probably call you 'Hey, you' like he does everyone else, he's hopeless at names. He worked with Ellie Miller all that time and he still called her Miller. So where have you come from?"
"North London, I've just been promoted and no-one else wanted the job since it's so far away. What's the mood like here, now it's all dying down?"
"Recovering from the aftershock. Watch out, here he comes."
Alec Hardy had just walked in, without clutching the door or stumbling over. He'd been on his new medication since his last incident and warned by his CS he'd better take it or he'd find himself over at the academy teaching new recruits. He'd been summoned to her office last Friday afternoon and offered his job back at reduced hours. The conversation hadn't gone well.
"So Alec, do you accept coming back for four hours a day?" he'd been asked.
"I suppose so, if that's the best I'm going to get offered. Have you heard from Miller?"
"No, did she go to the funeral?"
"No but Tom was there, he was very upset, he was with his aunt and cousin. I just came from the Latimer house, they are lighting a bonfire on the beach tonight as a memorial to Danny but I don't intend being there. Your call came as a surprise."
He had been at the wake and had just escaped Karen White when he'd got the call to go see her.
"Well you can come back but someone is going to have to work closely with you."
"Not Frank or Pete Lawson?"
"No, someone new, I've not got all the details yet but it's a newly promoted DC by the name of Tyler, from north London."
"Great Elaine, I have to break in a new DC. He'd better be worth training. How long for?"
"Until it's decided if DS Miller keeps her rank or if she's transferred elsewhere, I've been told she doesn't want to move back to the family home."
"Is that so surprising? So, what about this new DC?"
"I'll let you meet DC Tyler on Monday. Are you staying in the hotel for now? You are going to have to pay towards it next week, we can apply your housing allowance towards it. There's always the guest house nearby, we're putting DC Tyler up there for now."
"What has that to do with me, am I suppose to seek out his company?"
Elaine was dying to tell him DC Tyler was young, single and blonde but she didn't want to spoil the surprise. He had just assumed he was getting a male partner, so let him think that until he met her. If he found out he was getting another female partner, he might well ask for a teaching job.
Alec had left her office and was surprised to get a call from Ellie Miller.
"Not left town then?" Ellie asked him.
"I stayed for the funeral, it was the right thing to do."
"Can we meet up later?"
"If you want to talk but not at my hotel."
"Feeling paranoid? Ok, on the pier after dark. Tom said they're lighting a bonfire for Danny on the beach, I can get Lucy to watch Fred."
They had met up and Alec was about to tell her it was all over for him, he was going to turn down the offer to go back to work.
"Where will you go?" he'd asked her.
"Somewhere else, give the boys a fresh start though Tom's hardly spoken to me since it happened, he's spending a lot of time with Olly. What about you?"
"It's all over, I'm done."
"Look at us, the former detectives club. Is that how they thank us, kicking us out like that?"
"Well I did not want to appear to be rubbing it in your face but I got offered four hours a day sitting at my old desk. It seems the chief constable is reluctant to set someone else on."
"Well at least you won't be chasing any suspects down a hill."
"No, my new partner is meant to be keep me chained to my desk or go out with me, to keep me out of trouble should I be called to something no-one else can handle."
"Who got the short straw? Frank?"
"No, a newcomer from London, name of Tyler."
"Male or female?"
"No idea Miller, I'll give whoever it is a week, they've just been promoted to DC."
Ellie had to laugh. He hadn't been able to put up with her, let alone a newly promoted DC. She just hoped whoever it was could put up with him until he left permanently or got himself fixed.
So as Alec had walked into the squad room on the Monday morning, he'd stopped at Rose's desk and had asked who she was and what she was doing sitting at DS Miller's desk.
"So who are you then? Are you meant to be sitting there?"
"This was the desk I was told to take."
"Where is this DC Tyler then, isn't he meant to have that desk, I was not told anyone else was starting today. No, wait, you are DC Tyler?"
Rose wanted to say something witty back but didn't want to risk it. All week it had gone downhill from there, they had been out twice to what he had called a complete waste of time and not worthy of his presence, complained about her driving, that it was worse than Miller's and made her fetch his tea three times when he couldn't be bothered getting up and had shouted for her through his office door, which he'd been ordered to leave open.
She was glad it was Friday, she had the weekend off thankfully and she intended looking around the shops and in the rental agency to see if she could find somewhere covered by her housing allowance though she somehow doubted it. She had heard Hardy's desk phone ringing but since he mumbled so much all she had heard was a "I will be there shortly" and he made her jump as he stood by her desk.
"Tyler, you're with me, come on."
Thinking they were going out again, Rose was about to have a car made available for them and was reaching for her desk phone.
"Leave it, we are going to see the chief."
Rose thought that was it, he'd already had enough of her insinuations he was a lousy boss and had been cheeky to him several times while they'd been out when he'd complained she stopped at a garage to get a sandwich and never offered to get him anything, then she'd ended up sharing it with him, rather reluctantly and offering him half the bottle of strawberry flavoured water to wash it down.
She had also mumbled back at him how ungrateful he was by never saying thank you for saving him from being hungry and reminding him he was supposed to take his pills, which the CS had told her he was supposed to take with or after food three times a day and she wasn't going to stick around and make sure he took his other two in the mornings and evenings, she was only responsible if she was out at lunchtime with him or saw him bring something back to eat in his office.
She followed him out into the corridor and he headed for the stairs.
"You're not supposed to take the stairs Sir."
"Quit going on Tyler, you are worse than Miller and my ex wife put together."
"So what did the CS want?"
"How do I know Tyler? I was just told to bring you to her office with me."
She followed him downstairs and along the corridor to Jenkinson's office where Alec knocked on the door and was told to enter.
"Ah, DC Tyler, DI Hardy, I have a special assignment for the pair of you."
"Together?" they both asked at once.
Elaine smiled. "Yes, together. I want you both to pose as a couple and go stay in one of the new houses just outside town. We have had several complaints about a foreign national couple having visitors at all hours and the chief constable wants it checking out. He wants to assure the other residents they are not a terrorist group plotting to blow up the town."
Alec pulled on his tie, unfastening yet another shirt button Rose noticed and if he wasn't such a jerk and her boss she could have fancied him, bad heart or no bad heart but she knew he was off limits.
"Is there no-one else?" Alec finally asked.
"Not up to the challenge DI Hardy?" Elaine asked him, seeing he was uncomfortable.
"I can do the job fine but Tyler here has little or no experience at undercover operations."
"Do I get a choice in this?" Rose dared to ask.
All she got was a "No" from Jenkinson and a "Does it have to be her?" from Alec.