Share on Tumblr or follow me on Twitter

Share on Tumblr


Share on Tumblr

Rose Tyler has taken up photography and moved to the town of Sandbrook after she sets her up her own studio.  Alec Hardy has gone back after finally solving a failed difficult case and still trying to win his teenage daughter back.  Her mother wants some nice photos of their daughter so Alec makes an appointment at Rose's studio.  Needless to say, he is smitten by Rose and starts making up excuses to go back and see her.

Based loosely on 'Single Father' . Rose has never met The Doctor.

Scroll down to read each  chapter
Chapter 1
Alec Hardy had finally redeemed himself, despite being ill and had taken a cab to the nearest train station and gone back to Sandbrook, finally being able to face the locals after locking up two killers and an accomplice.  He doubted Claire would stay quiet and would protest her innocence and say it was all Lee's idea but her husband would take her down with him.

He got through the trial, thankful the three of them didn't get the same defense team as Joe Miller and started making his peace with his sixteen year old daughter, who was almost seventeen and due to start at the local college in September.  He had found a small studio flat near his new station, not the same one where Tess worked as he couldn't face her and Dave all the time but his new chief had accepted him and he'd kept his rank.

So one Saturday lunch time, he was meeting Daisy in the town as he'd promised she could start staying on his sofa bed and see how they got on overnight.  She was waiting outside a fast-food restaurant, not his favourite but it was marginally better than most and at least the chicken didn't have fancy names.

Daisy was checking her phone, leaning on the window.

"How many times have me and your mum told you not to do that?" Alec asked her as she took her earphones out.  "I could have been anyone and snatched the phone from you," he complained.

Daisy reached to kiss his cheek, wishing he'd get rid of his scruff permanently but no amount of dropping hints had worked so far.

"I saw you Dad, stop going on.  Who'd want this phone?" she smiled, holding up the phone in a pink plastic cover.

"They could take it out," Alec huffed back.

"It's old Dad, why do you think I keep it in the case?" Daisy asked him.  "Can I get a new one?" she asked cheekily as they went inside, Alec thinking it wasn't a good idea as kids were climbing everywhere.

He indicated to a quiet corner and went to claim a seat.

"How long have you had that phone?" he asked, putting his specs on and peering at the board on the side of the counter as Daisy took a seat.  He already knew what she wanted.

"I've had it almost a year Dad," she replied.

"Then think yourself lucky it's not on a 36 month contract and no, you can wait for your birthday, if your mother agrees," he told her firmly as he went off to join the queue.

"So, how's school?" he asked as he put the what he called 'tacky' tray on the table almost ten minutes later.

"I'm in the sixth-form Dad," she reminded him.  "I wish you'd not made me stay on."

"You could have applied for college, if you'd got your grades," he reminded her.

"You promised you'd drop that," she told him.

"Well concentrate this time and now you're away from that crowd, you'll do better."

"They were my friends Dad, I hardly see them now and when I do, they won't let me hang out with them," she told him sadly.

"Daisy, you don't need friends like that.  What would you have done if your mother had not bailed you out?" he asked as he stirred his tea.

"Yeah, well she did and they got into trouble, why do you think they don't want anything to do with me?  Now you know why I don't want to go to college."

Alec thought he may as well give up.

"Well I will qualify for a transfer soon, think about going with me eh?" he asked hopefully.

"Where to?" she asked.

"Anywhere, make a fresh start?  We could go back to Broadchurch, now the dust has settled.  No-one will know you there and they will have forgotten about me, well hopefully."

"What about that woman who you worked with Dad?  You left without telling her, she'll hardly be happy if you go back, will she?" Daisy smiled.  "Mum said it wasn't true, what that defense team said about the two of you.  She said having met her, you argued with your DS more than you did with her."

Alec would rather forget about that.

"Yes, well, she had to live there and she did not need me there.  Have you nearly finished?" he asked, trying not to be reminded of being accused of a non-existent affair.

He didn't even know what had happened to Miller, she could have finally got that promotion, it had been almost two years.

Daisy dragged him around a few shops, to see what he would buy her then they went back to his apartment, Daisy inspecting it.

"Your mother has already approved," Alec told her as Daisy put her overnight bag on the sofa.

"I never said anything Dad," Daisy smiled.

"Well you did not have to, the look on your face says it all.  Is there something you want to tell me?" he asked.

"Should there be Dad?" Daisy answered defensively. 

He moved her holdall and motioned for her to sit down.

"This is me, not your mum so if something is bothering you, tell me.  I want to help you," he told her, taking her hand.  "I know things were difficult but those friends, they were not really friends if they encouraged you to get into trouble.  You do know that?"

"I've not made many new ones, some of those in the sixth form know the others.  It's not easy Dad."

"I know love, then think about going back to Broadchurch with me then?  Get your exams prepared for, you could always take them when we move, I can arrange for that.  The school have been very good about it and how the others got to stay in college is a miracle.  If I'd been in charge, I would have thrown them out."

"Yeah, I know you would Dad," she managed to smile.  "I think it was because they were older than me, sorry I caused all that trouble."

"Never mind.  When you go back tomorrow, I will talk to your mum, see what she thinks?" he asked.

Daisy moved away.  Alec knew there was something neither she or Tess were telling him.

"Can we watch TV?" she asked, trying to sit back.

While they had been eating and discussing the finer points of Daisy's 'friends', Rose Tyler was just finishing setting up her photography studio with the help of her old boyfriend, who had driven her down.

"Think yourself lucky your mother didn't want to inspect the place," Mickey Smith grinned.

"She saw the photos," Rose grinned back.

"Yeah, well she'd probably think it was tacky enough to get away with.  So when are you opening then?" he asked, picking up an album of some of her work back in London where she'd learned under a professional photographer who had told her she couldn't teach her any more and she was ready to go out on her own.

He looked around at the red brick walls, the red leather sofa and a small drinks fridge, wishing it had some bottles of lager in it, he'd have to tell her when he took her shopping.  There was a silver backdrop and some white lights above it and she had just set up the camera that had cost her a fortune on the tripod and her laptop was open.

"I hope those business cards arrive on Monday, then I can take some around, pin some to notice boards and I've still got those postcards to print out," she told him, since he'd just set up the printer for her.  "I'd better be able to pay for all this lot."

"Chill Rose, you'll do fine.  I said I'd help for a few days next week, we can go online and put small ads in the local classifieds section of the papers.  You said there were only a couple of other studios in the town.  This place has parking, it's an advantage when there are screaming kids in cars who don't want their picture taken."

"Yeah, just what I need thanks Mickey, screaming kids.  I hope I've made the right decision?  I mean I have to make a go of it, I have that business loan to pay back.  Good thing there's a studio flat above though."

"Yeah, you got a good deal and since everything's included.  Why did that other bloke want to get out in such a hurry?" Mickey asked.

"I dread to think, I hope he wasn't into nude photography, I don't want teenagers turning up asking for him."

Mickey laughed.  "Come on then, we'll go shopping since there's no lager or coffee," he suggested.

As Rose was just starting to get a few bookings a week later, Alec had talked Daisy into telling him what was wrong and he and Tess had been arguing again when he'd taken her back the following Sunday evening, since her house was nearer to the school.

"Why did you never tell me Tess?" he asked angrily.

"Like you would have done anything about it Alec," Tess argued back.

"I would have, had I known at the time.  So you thought you would leave it and let it all die down?"

"It has, more or less," Tess told him.

"Not for Daisy it hasn't.  I wanted to talk to you anyway, since you were out last Sunday when I brought her back.  She needs a fresh start Tess, somewhere where she's not known.  I was thinking of asking for my old job back in Broadchurch.  I spoke to my boss, it'll be another month or so but he said he would ask.  They have a new chief there now."

"Your old one probably got thrown out for allowing you to use her booking facilities for your old case," Tess smiled.

"That's not fair Tess.  Daisy's studying for her exams, I know that but if I can get the high school in Broadchurch to agree to let her take them there?  Then she can come back the odd weekend and holidays," he suggested.

"You mean turn the tables on me?" Tess wanted to know.

"This time's different Tess.  She needs this and she told me you don't have much sympathy for her situation.  It still bothers her you know?" he asked her.

"What do you want me to do Alec?  She was with me after you left here and it never bothered you," Tess argued.

"Who ran off with another man eh?  You think that helped?  I'm through arguing and Daisy is over sixteen, she can choose who she wants to live with and this is what she wants.  Don't make things difficult Tess."

"I'm not being difficult Alec.  If that's what she wants?  Try and keep her out of trouble there then."

"Is that all you have to say about it?" Alec dared ask.

"Well if you're taking her off, do me a favour and go have some nice photos taken of her, professionally, not from your camera phone and printed at the supermarket.  I want them suitably framed, well cardboard ones I can put into a glass one and some smaller ones I can give to my mother and one to put on my desk.  Can you do that?  I heard there is a new photography studio opened, not far from where you are and they have a special opening offer.  I picked up a card somewhere."

Tess went into her handbag and produced what to Alec looked like it was a little fancy for a new photo studio.  He took it and squinted at the print.  One side had red roses with silver lettering 'Red Rose Photography' plus the address and phone number and the other side giving the proprietor's name – Rose Tyler and the business hours.

"I will call and make an appointment then, I expect even with opening offers it will be expensive and some woman will expect a big order to qualify giving a discount," he huffed.

"Yes, well you can hardly blame anyone when they have a new business Alec.  Make it for next Friday afternoon after school or Saturday morning, Daisy can meet you there, I'll drop her off," she offered.

Alec shouted goodbye to his daughter, hoping she would agree to her mother's wishes of having her photo taken and not take it the wrong way that it was some kind of photo shoot to become a model.  He also hoped the studio owner, a Rose Tyler wasn't either old and would come onto him or too young to know what she was doing.  He made his mind up to call the number the next morning and hope for the best.

Chapter 2
The following morning, Tess informed her daughter she wanted some nice photos of her if she was determined to go back to Broadchurch with him.

"Mum, I'm not even sure I'm going yet," Daisy insisted.

"Well he seems confident you will, have you discussed it?" Tess asked her.

"Not properly, he thinks I'll do better at school if I leave it all behind but I won't know anyone at all Mum," Daisy told her.

"Well if you ask me, that's a good thing, really Daisy, why do you want to be friends with them again?  Why did you insist I kept most of it back from him?"

"He'd just got here Mum, I wasn't sure about him then," Daisy admitted.

"Yes, well, I suppose he's only got himself to blame for that but he wanted to make his peace with you, I suppose he made an effort?  Think very carefully Daisy, leaving town may not be the right thing to do."

"What do you want me to do Mum?  I can't just find a new set of friends here, can I?  I have to go to college, they won't forget easily," Daisy reminded her. 

"I don't know what else I can do Daisy, I tried my best to keep you from getting a juvenile record," Tess replied.

"That's the problem Mum, why they won't talk to me," Daisy tried to tell her.

"I give up, let your father sort it out for a change," Tess gave in.  "I still want photos, he'll call when he gets an appointment, a new studio opened near where he lives."

"Great, so he won't have far to drag me then?" Daisy asked.

Alec had some time to himself when he got to his office and brought out the card Tess had given him.  Why did she suddenly want photos?  There were a few school ones around the house even before he'd left and he'd spotted a few new ones on his recent visits, not that he went inside much.  He supposed some done properly wouldn't go amiss but why did he have to take her?  He dialed the number on the card, hoping miraculously they were fully booked.

Rose had been doing well with bookings, wishing she could afford someone part-time just to keep up with them but since most were using the online booking system she'd subscribed to, she hadn't had that many actual calls apart from enquiries as to if she did baby portraits. She swore she had already mentioned that on the website she'd proudly made herself. The calls for bookings she had taken on Friday, she'd easily logged in and made them while they waited.  

She was just setting up for the day, Mickey had persuaded her to invest in some professional background images and between them, they'd figured out how to take the images she took and once downloaded, put them onto the backgrounds.  She also had an arrangement with a specialist printers who would print them and set them in cardboard frames or onto canvas, for a price but when she'd worked out her prices, she'd made allowances.

Mickey had tried to persuade her to buy an expensive printer but she'd argued before he left she wouldn't have time to do it herself, the print shop had sent someone round with samples, which she'd displayed.  Before Mickey had left, he'd promised to come back and bring her mother.

"Mickey, I'm not sure I'm ready for a visit from my mother just yet," she'd told him as he was leaving.

"Well if she insists, I'm hardly likely to stop her, am I?" Mickey had asked.

"Where's she gonna stay?  You were uncomfortable on that sofa bed," she argued.

"Well you have a double bed, you can share," Mickey suggested, not keen on telling Jackie Tyler she couldn't come with him next time.

"Great Mickey, thanks for that.  Don't you dare go suggesting that to her.  Well maybe you can get a cheap hotel and I'll sleep on the sofa?" Rose wondered.

"Sure you can manage?" he'd asked as he zipped up his holdall.

So now, she'd just made a cup of coffee and had logged in to see what appointments had been made over the weekend when the phone rang, a withheld number, which to Rose suggested it was someone trying to sell her something or to make a claim.  Either that or they didn't want anyone ringing back.  She answered and was surprised to hear a male Scottish voice. 

"Red rose studio," Rose had answered cheerfully that Alec thought sounded a bit bright for five past nine in the morning.

"Yes, I want to make an appointment, preferably late Friday afternoon or Saturday?" he asked, without trying to hint the woman on the other end of the phone sounded too cheerful.

"Hold on, I'll just check," Rose replied.  "Is it for yourself?" she asked, hoping he wasn't a male model or anything.

"No, for my teenage daughter, I don't like having my photo taken," he replied, having enough the last time the local newspaper editor had taken it on the beach after an interview.

"Oh, sorry, it's usually mother's that make appointments for their daughters and the dad's have to pay," Rose replied.

Alec was now wishing Tess had kept the card and called herself.  The chance would be a fine thing, now he had to book the appointment and pay.

"So have you any appointments for either of those days?" he asked again, hoping she'd say no.

"How about Friday at four thirty?" Rose asked him, thinking maybe she could fit another one in.

Well it would be a rush and he'd have to leave early but he didn't want to mess around.  He wouldn't mind Tess being in a rush to collect their daughter and get her there in half an hour or so.

"Fine, she will have to come from school, is there somewhere she can get changed?" he asked, thinking Tess wouldn't want her in her school uniform, such as it was.  

He swore young girl's skirts had got shorter than when he was at school but Daisy would tell him that was in the dark ages – the 70's and 80's.  His teachers had despaired at him because he was unsociable but he wasn't one for getting into fights or joining in after-school clubs, he preferred to go home and write his comic-book stories.  He'd shown his teachers when he'd qualified to be a police detective, skipping being on the beat.

He snapped out of it as Rose was asking his daughter's name after saying there was somewhere to change.

"Her name is Daisy Hardy, she's almost seventeen and she is sure to object to posing," Alec answered.

"Oh, it's okay Mr Hardy, six month old babies don't want to oblige either, trust me.  I got plenty of them at my old studio," Rose told him, booking the extra appointment before someone else saw it had become vacant.

"You've had plenty of experience then?" Alec asked her, thinking maybe she wasn't new at this after all.

"Yeah, I worked for a studio in London, I've just branched out on my own but I don't normally tell people that," she admitted, wondering why she was telling a complete stranger but the name Hardy and Sandbrook rang a bell.

She thought she'd best not admit she knew the name and wondering if she was right – he was the detective that had finally brought an old case to rest and more recently let another killer walk free but she didn't expect he'd want to be reminded of that and he may cancel and choose another studio.

"Then I promise not to spread the word Miss Tyler.  It is 'Miss' is it not?" he asked, seeing people stare in his direction because he was on the phone and not staring at the computer screen.

Why was he even asking?

"Yeah, it's Rose," Rose felt herself blushing, not that he could see her.  "So, see you both on Friday or will her mother be bringing her?" she asked, remembering something about he was divorced and had been ill.

She thought it not so surprising since he'd been accused of losing evidence then it had all come out he was covering for an unnamed detective, probably his ex wife if she were to take a wild guess.

"No, her mother is the one who wants the portraits, I'm the one who will be paying for them," Alec admitted but surely it made no difference?

"Well just press the buzzer when you arrive, there's parking outside, hopefully all the spaces won't be taken at that time.  I thought having parking would be an advantage but it gets full of shoppers until around four.  Thanks for your call."

"Thank you for fitting her in that late, until Friday then?" Alec asked, hoping it hadn't sounded like he'd just made a date with her, not that he had any idea how she looked but she had sounded young and bright and not annoyed someone had rung instead of making an online booking. 

He'd just found her website while pretending to do some work to stop the others wondering what he was doing, since the card had the website in small print and he'd not had his specs on but anyone could have missed it.  Well he had but Daisy was forever telling him it was trendy to wear rimless glasses.

"Yeah see you both Friday and you can either pay upfront or a deposit but I only take card payments," Rose replied.

"Very sensible in these times," Alec had to admit, even though it was in one of the better parts of town, young women working alone had to be careful.

He thought maybe he could give her a few pointers to improve her security but that would mean he'd have to admit what he did for a living but even in London, she must have read about his infamous cases.  Still, she probably had security cameras and a monitoring service and he really shouldn't go barging in and telling her where she could improve, Daisy would only complain.

Rose hung up, wondering why he'd not booked online but there again, not everyone liked doing so.  She got ready for her first appointment, twins who were just nine months and she was glad she'd been to the market and picked up a few cheap toys to amuse her younger portrait sitters, as she liked to call them.

Alec hung up and sent a message to Tess, saying he'd meet her there since she'd implied she knew where it was.  He was surprised when she rung him instead of just texting back.

"So you took notice then?" Tess asked him, smiling at Dave as he passed by her office and motioning him inside.

"Yes, meet me there at four twenty and bring her a change of clothes unless you want her wearing her uniform?" Alec replied.

"Well it's a bit of a rush but if she leaves her things in the car I can just make it.  You'll have to finish early as well."

"I'm aware of that, I will say I'm following a lead," he snapped back, the chance being a fine thing since there were no urgent cases that required his attention.

He thought this place was worse than Broadchurch but it was marginally better than being stationed with Tess, who made him feel sick at the thought of her leering at he still married boyfriend all day.  Why his old chief had not split them up was beyond him.  He thought now was a good time to remind his current boss he was serious about a transfer back to Broadchurch.

He never thought he'd see the day he preferred the seaside town to where he'd made a home with Tess and Daisy but she needed a change of scenery and coming here had not been one of his better ideas.  Daisy was still shy of him though the last two weekends had gone reasonably well but suggesting she moved with him an hour or two away from her mother was a big step for both of them.

He got up and made his way upstairs to the chief's office and knocked on the door, still not being used to waiting when he'd just barged his way into Elaine Jenkinson's office but she was gone, probably for letting him get away with working while not declaring an illness and conducting an investigation from another police force in her town.  Well he wasn't apologizing for either.

CS Barton looked up from his monitor.

"Alec, have a seat.  Bored again?" Alec was asked.

"Better than being in the middle of another murder investigation.  I want to follow up on that transfer, did you look into it for me?" Alec replied, thinking he'd best be civil if he wanted out of here.

"Yes, I called the new chief in Broadchurch, though it seems she's been there a while.  Did you drive the other one out?" Chief Superintendent Barton asked.

The chief knew Alec hated being addressed by his first name, something he'd insisted on many a time while he'd been here.

"Since she left after me, I can hardly be blamed," Alec replied dryly.  "So, what did she have to say?"

"Well DS Miller is already back there, she got her old job back and a new DI took over, riding out his last few years before retirement it seems and he's due to leave within 4 to 6 weeks.  CS Clark was at a bit of a loss whether to put DS Miller back in for a promotion in view of what happened but when I suggested you wanted to go back, well she wasn't sure about that being a good idea either."

"For what reason?" Alec asked.

Since there were several good ones he could tick off, he shouldn't be that surprised she'd be reluctant.

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7
Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20


Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

No comments: