Yvonne Hartman had worked her way up from being Pete Tyler's PA to being deputy head of Torchwood in less than two years. She had taken over from Jake Simmonds, who had never wanted to be the deputy director but he and Mickey were the only ones Pete could trust with his family secrets.
The new Tyler family had more than a few secrets though, the latest edition, six year old Tony Tyler had no idea who his mother and half-sister really were and no-one planned on telling him, well not now anyway. To him, Rose really was his sister and everything that had happened in the past was to stay buried in the past and a whole new life had been invented for Rose in more ways than one.
Rose thought it was going to be easy, once her mother had decided to stay with Pete but to anyone outside the residence, she was the original Jackie, back from an almost full recovery but to cover the fact she didn't quite act the way the other one had done, it was agreed the Cybermen invasion had more than a little effect on her personality.
Rose worked at Torchwood after she completed her education and training, under Jake's guidance and the two of them had become best friends. Jake would do anything for her or Jackie so when there were rumours Yvonne was going to take over from him, a few plans had to be put into place.
Now, the time had arrived and Yvonne was going from strength to strength, gaining new supporters at every meeting she fervently addressed.
"So, who's with me on this?" Yvonne had asked one morning, Jake, Pete and Mickey sitting at the back and hopefully out of earshot. "Who agrees that any aliens who have not declared themselves should lose their liberty?"
She got a few mumbled 'here, here's' from the older members who had come back when it had been safe to do so after Pete took over and now, he thought he was being betrayed.
Torchwood was a haven for 'Aliens' who had either planned to come to Earth after being persecuted on their home planet or been stranded by one means or another and after being held in quarantine for six months, were allowed to integrate into society, well the humanoid ones anyway. Rose and Jackie had been spared, Pete being able to protect them but now, Yvonne was on the warpath, for reasons only known to herself and her new inner circle of advisers.
As the meeting broke up, the three of them tried to slip away quietly to discuss how they were going to handle this, Rose being of the most concern as everyone, including Yvonne laughed off Jackie's little 'turns' when she came out with something the other Jackie wasn't known to have done. Yvonne had learned all she could about the director's wife and had so far been convinced she was actually recovering nicely from her three year ordeal where she'd not known who she was and Pete had thought she was dead.
That was where Rose had come in. Now, she was in danger because once Yvonne started digging into anyone with a mysterious past and she ran out of real aliens, she would start on others and being the director wouldn't spare Pete's family.
"You could send her away Pete," Mickey suggested as they went to his office to discuss things in private.
"What good's that gonna do?" Jake asked, shaking his head.
"Let's not be hasty, it's not come to that yet and if Rose disappears, it will raise more suspicion. I think though we can put a plan into action, if things begin to escalate. There's something I have to tell you two and you have to swear to me not to tell Rose."
"About you hiding her?" Mickey asked.
"No, about me hiding someone else for almost four years."
Mickey and Jake looked at each other.
"You mean Jackie?" they both said together.
Pete smiled. "No, she's been here longer than that. Remember when we got those strange readings that stars were disappearing, then they came back?"
"Yeah, no-one even noticed, well except for the experts and they all blamed us for it," Mickey laughed.
"Too right they did," Jake joined in. "They thought we were doing some experiments at bending the fabric of space. Don't know how they came up with that one," he laughed.
"Joking aside, there was something to it that even our experts don't know," Pete admitted, unlocking his desk drawer and handing a folder to Mickey. "The stars were going out, not just here but in every other universe, including where you come from."
"What? You mean we could have got back? Did you give the go ahead for that cannon thingy?" Mickey asked.
"Hang on Pete, I should have been told," Jake objected, wanting Mickey to hurry up and read the contents of the folder.
Mickey was staring, not believing what he was reading.
"What we were blamed for happened unnaturally, we had nothing to do with it but there were consequences. Not grave ones but rather a pleasant one, well for those of us in the know and no Mickey, they are not written down, as if I'd put something like that in a report."
"So what's the big secret?" Mickey asked, flicking through the pages containing details of where and when the stars had gone out but Pete had left a few important details out.
"Well, you know this universe runs ahead of yours Mickey? What if, the stars going out originated from your world and when they were put back into place, time caught up?"
"What? How do you mean by caught up? As in no time had passed?"
Pete tried to explain. "Back in 2009, when you, Rose and Jackie arrived here, it was 2006 in your world, right?"
"How do I know?" Mickey laughed, handing the folder to Jake.
"Well trust me, according to Rose it was and if she found out we were having this meeting, she'd be mad. So, what if by the stars going out, something happened for just a few minutes and both worlds caught up with each other and something could get through and someone got left behind."
Both Jake and Mickey looked at him again. "The Doctor?"
"Not exactly but close. Imagine something happened to him and he has a clone."
"I remember now," Mickey interrupted. "Rose and I were with him on that spaceship and he had his hand cut off and grew another one. Had that something to do with it?"
"According to what I was told, someone called Jack found it and somehow, another Doctor grew out of it but that's a tale for another day. He knew enough to contact me and I've been helping him."
Mickey wasn't surprised. "You didn't want Rose to find out?"
"Can't say I blame you," Jake agreed. "Imagine if she had, he'd be in just as much danger right now as she is. So, how long's he been here?"
"Like I said Jake, just over three years. You wouldn't recognize him now though, he settled in Glasgow for a while, established a cover story and then he relocated recently."
"Not here?" Mickey asked.
"No but don't you watch the news?" Pete laughed.
"What? You mean that detective Rose tried so hard to ignore last year?"
"Exactly, though why she didn't drive down there to check for herself is beyond me. Maybe she finally gave up hope?"
"No, she wouldn't Pete, trust me. She's more scared if it is him that he'll be exposed," Jake told them. "So, what now?"
"We leave things for now, I'll contact him and see if he's willing to help her, should it come to it but until Yvonne either backs down or we oust her, he has to remain as he is, he has to convince the world he is actually Alec Hardy. Jake, I want you to sound out those who are undecided about Yvonne's ideas and those who suddenly turned. Mickey, you have to keep quiet about this, Rose can't know. I'm going to contact him now and see how he's doing and we have to come up with a convincing story for Rose."
"Well good luck with that," Mickey told him, hardly believing what he'd just heard.
He'd been the one to stop Rose falling apart all this time, making her laugh, taking her on holiday when she didn't want to go with her mum and he'd been the one to never complain when she only wanted him as a friend.
Rose was in her office, going through some reports and had stopped to browse the news items, seeing the trial of the man who'd killed that young boy was over and he'd walked free. She couldn't imagine how everyone felt about it, those closest to it and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't for one moment believe that the lead detective, Alec Hardy could possibly be the Doctor in hiding, he was so different and Scottish.
The Doctor couldn't do a Scottish accent for more than a few minutes at a time, which had got them banished by Queen Victoria to start with, then there was the beard but she had to admit it was a good disguise if it really was him but he wouldn't hide from her.
Pete picked up his mobile, his private one and called the detective whom he'd helped a few years ago. Now, Alec Hardy was on his way to Sandbrook because he was expected to go see the teenager who'd kept encouraging him to sort himself out.
"Alec, how are you doing?" Pete asked him as Alec packed his things to leave his riverside home of the last few months.
"Pete, to what do I owe the pleasure of your call?"
It had been agreed that they would keep contact to a minimum.
"I may have to call in a few favours, concerning a certain someone."
"I thought we'd agreed she would never know?" Alec asked him.
"Something's going on here, I can't talk about it on the phone. We have to meet."
"Well I was going to visit Daisy, you could meet me in Sandbrook."
"Still seeing her and Tess?"
"They are all I have at present Pete, you know that? How is your daughter anyway?"
"She's fine, a little edgy under the circumstances, which is what I wanted to talk to you about."
"You know how difficult this is for me Pete, not being able to see her?"
"You think I don't know that Alec? We agreed it was the best thing for her and when the time is right, then we'll see."
"Are you telling me the time is right then? Has something happened?" Alec asked hopefully.
"You could say that, yes. You go ahead and visit Daisy, she was a big part of your life and you can't let her down. Whatever's going on, don't let it spoil your plans but I'll meet you on Friday night, I'll tell Rose and Jackie I have a meeting to attend."
"How is Jackie these days?" Alec asked, throwing his shaving kit into his wash-bag and thinking maybe it was about time he used it.
Rose would be appalled he'd grown a beard and let it get wild. When he'd first arrived in Broadchurch, at least it was manageable but even Ellie Miller had told him he was almost unrecognisable, which had been the idea to throw Rose off the trail. He was still annoyed Miller's husband had got off and had to be content in the fact the town would now probably deal out a suitable punishment. If he'd still had the Tardis, he would have thrown the man into a black hole.
"She's not aware of what's going on, Rose herself barely knows how serious things are getting but she'll hear soon enough and we have to be ready to move things along."
"I see then. Well you can count on me Pete, I would have never got by without your help, you know that. Do Mickey and Jake know?"
"I just told them. Things are plotting against us Alec, we have to be ready at a moment's notice but Mickey got confused when I told him how you'd arrived," Pete laughed.
"Mickey the idiot. Did Rose tell you how that name came about?"
"Yeah, she brings it up now and then, to his embarrassment though he's grateful she doesn't call him Rickey. See you Friday night then, give my regards to Tess."
"Aye, I'll be sure to do so. She's also grateful for what you did for her and Daisy."
"Well she helped you, it was only fair after all."
Pete hung up and Alec went back to packing, his taxi would be arriving shortly but Ellie knocked on his door.
"Thought you'd have gone by now?" she asked, letting herself in.
"Ten minutes or so. So, did you deal with him?"
"Yeah, all taken care of. Are you coming back?"
"Don't tell me you'll miss me Miller?"
Ellie smiled. "Fred will, I won't, well not that much. See, you'd never have solved that case without me, would you?"
"Okay, I admit you were a big help. What do you want, a medal?"
"Hell no. So what will you do when you get the all clear to go back to work? Will you come back here?"
"I may do, I still don't think Cate Gillespie likes me that much and they'll be a lot going on over there, Tess will need to concentrate."
"You'll distract her that much?" Ellie laughed. "There's one thing I don't get between you two. She never even bothered when you got accused of that affair and she brought you back here insisting she looked after you, even though you're divorced."
Alec knew he was going to have to be very careful, things between him and Tess Henchard were not all they seemed to be and he didn't want anyone, especially Ellie Miller nosing around too much. Now it looked like he would be coming back, if Pete Tyler had anything to do with it. He could only guess something was wrong with the story they'd come up with for Rose, Jackie was safe enough as was Mickey but if someone who worked at Torchwood dug a little too deep, well even Jake's work would come apart.
Rose was going to need his help after all, it had saddened him how Pete had explained to him that his appearance would do her more harm than good and his timing always was a little off but how he'd arrived had been unusual to say the least, that little fluke the other him had detected when they had been in the Tardis after dropping everyone off.
The last few years had been difficult, knowing where Rose was but Pete keeping her out of the news and refusing to discuss how he'd adopted her that he'd not even trusted him with the story they'd come up with but he knew they were claiming Jackie was the original one, even though Rose had been upset by her.
Now it seemed he was going to get the whole story and so was Rose, well if Pete agreed or maybe he thought she would be better discovering it on her own, that he was her Doctor's twin, or clone, whatever. Even after all this time, he still loved her as much as the day he'd cruelly left her on that beach in Norway.