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Title: Broadchurch: Sins Of The Father

Date of commencement: September 22 2013

Date of completion: December 24 2014

Series: Broadchurch, a sequel to the original, and following on from Life Without Joe

Rating: M

Authors: tkel_paris and tardis_mole

Summary: Two years after Danny's death, life is slowly getting back to normal in Broadchurch. But Hardy's happy life is about to be turned upside down by a spectre from the past he had hoped had been laid to rest. Someone from his past wants to talk to him, someone wants revenge, someone wants to see him ruined. But it's not one 'someone'. But first, he must face the girl in his garden.

Disclaimer: We own nothing, but this is based on Broadchurch by Chris Chibnal, with added clues from the novel by Erin Kelly. We gain no financial benefit nor gratuities, only the enjoyment from writing and working together on this epic journey, shared for the enjoyment of others.

Dedication: Chris Chibnal, long time friend. bas_math_girl, for her beta. And each other for hopefully not ruining each other's lives for too long during the writing part.

Warning: If you have not watched Broadchurch in its entirety, do not read this. We mean it. You will be spoiled. Stop and go back. Now. Ideally you have seen the entire show, not just what was aired on BBC America if you live on that side of the pond, but this is understandable in either case. Also, if you have not read tardis_mole's Life Without Joe, that's okay. It's possible to read this without reading that, if you're not on Moley's approved list. You'll probably find this makes a little more sense if you have read it, but you should be fine without it. Take the time to read Erin Kelly’s novelization, if you can, as it provided certain details that helped with writing this. Though you won’t need to rely on it.

Authors' Notes: See Episode One, Part One. They're a bit long to include in each post.

/=/=/=/=/=/

Previously...

Episode Four. Part Two: Girls On Phones

It had taken Hardy too long to move after Daisy had fled from shock. He now had his answer about what she knew about Ben. Her mother had let her go on believing it.

Why? Did she not want to admit to either affair?

Given the accusations and suspicious gazes thrown his way, it felt like a miracle that he could smile. Like the world was going to fall on him or swallow him up at any moment. Or someone was outright going to accuse him of something and arrest him. He might feel better if they did.

On the other hand, Ellie would hit the roof. He had seen her do that once, and he was in no hurry to see it again.

But how could he not smile at the sight before him? His boys at the skate park, enjoying life. Tom had showed off for a bit and was now keeping to a safer part so Fred could play with the skateboard a little. Mostly sitting on it while Tom guided him along, but it was making the younger boy squeal and the twins giggle from their pushchair. Any time spent with all of his children was worth it.

His smile faded. Almost all of his children. The only one missing was Daisy.

If he had been able to keep her, he wondered how would she have adjusted to Broadchurch. Would she have accepted Ellie and the boys into her heart? Would he and Ellie have had the twins?

But he would never have been able to hide his condition from her. Although she might have helped him take better care of himself, so it might have worked out better.

Should he have taken the harder road of telling the truth? Would Daisy have been able to take it after all? Would they all have been better off, even if it cut her off from her little brother?

So many unknowns. So many regrets. Although he doubted, given what he knew, that telling the truth would have led to a faster resolution to the Sandbrook case.

DI Hardy?”

The voice surprised him, but at least it was friendly. So he could smile at the newcomer, pleased to see Dean standing in the background as a sentry for her safety. "How are you?”

Fine, thanks,” Chloe said, looking somewhat awkward.

Didn't know you liked watching skateboarding.” He was still in awe that the bigger boys at the park were courteous and careful around his much smaller sons, but he had kept the twins in the pushchair since they had yet to learn to walk unaided.

I came every so often with Danny,” she said, softly as she stopped beside him. “Sometimes I sit here to remember the good times we had.” As she talked she leaned in to give the twins a good tickling. As they squealed she remarked, “They're getting bigger. What would you have said if anyone told you you'd be here today when you arrived in Broadchurch?”

Hardy hummed in thought. “Let's just say that I can't say it around their ears. You might hear such language from your friends, but I'm not going to contribute to it.”

She laughed. “Might be interesting, knowing how a Scotsman swears. Or a copper. Do copper’s swear?”

I have to be really frustrated. Or drunk, and I’m not allowed to get drunk. And yes, coppers swear. Obviously you've never been around Ellie when she's really angry.”

You mean her threat to those photographers was mild?”

You could say that. He frowned as he looked back at her. “You sounded like you were looking for me.”

Chloe took a breath. “Yeah, I was. I heard you got to speak with your daughter.”

His eyes widened. “She told you about that?”

Yeah. She doesn't believe that Ben can't be yours. And neither do I.”

I told you, there was a test.”

And I think someone lied. Look at Harry. I mean, really look at him.”

He could tell she would not tell him more about Daisy until he did. So he stepped around to face the twins head-on.

They immediately looked at him with big smiles, and as he smiled back he looked at Harry's face.

...That’s good. I’ll tell Daisy all about seeing you...

Although Harry did resemble Tom and Fred in his expressions and in the subtle details of his face, Alec could see why Daisy and Chloe were so convinced. The resemblance between Ben and Harry was not easily explained away. Tess’ male relatives looked nothing like Ben. No wonder even his doctor was convinced.

But why would the test say Ben was not his son?

Chloe was satisfied that the seed was finally, properly planted in his mind. “I talked to all my friends. They're willing to help if they can, so I can quickly pass any messages to them. We can gather and then scatter so your ex doesn't know. But we'll be careful. If you have a note for me to give her...”

He thought a moment about the custody arrangement, and whether Tess could have a go at him for trying to get around it. He was supposed to have access and contact, and so far there had been neither. And if this was the only way, then he’d do it. Except these were kids, not much older than Daisy herself. Tess had made efforts to stop him contacting Daisy and it seemed she had taken steps to stop Daisy contacting him. If Daisy was being prevented... On the other hand, he was tempted. But these were kids. Could he possibly take the risk?

I'll get a note to you, but I need a bit of time to think about what to say. But I need to know that your parents are still okay with this first, because I’m not willing to get on the wrong side of your mother. There's already too much history between her and Ellie to make it worse. Let me think about it.

This is important,” she insisted. “You’ve got every right to talk to your daughter as any dad.”

Yes. I know, but there’s bad air between your mum and my wife. It’s complicated and you know it. But... I am sorely tempted. There's so much to catch up on, and I need to keep it simple. So she can quickly read it if she has little time.

Chloe smiled. “Meet you before I head to work tomorrow so I can collect it?” she said, not caring that he hadn’t made up his mind.

Unless I need to get it to you some other way. You'll find a way to get it to her? If she doesn't want to reply, please confirm that.”

Chloe doubted he would get that answer, but after two years ago she hated anything that might be raising false expectations. “Of course I will.” She smiled and waved to Tom and Fred, and Harry and Catherine. “See you tomorrow. You know how to reach me so I know to expect you.”

Yeah. Be safe,” he replied.

She met his eyes, and her expression fell. She nodded slowly before she walked away. She knew what he meant, and having him say that confirmed what everyone was saying. Anyone could be a target.

He had to force his breathing to remain steady, to not raise any alarms in anyone watching him. He had a chance to know what was really happening. How could he not take it?

Maybe he should stop by the local solicitor. Just to be certain he was within the letter of the law. First consultation was free.

Then he remembered what he’d overheard about Ben, what the hospital thought was going on. Maybe he needed to speak to the solicitor about that, too, and book another blood test. If Tess agreed. Which he doubted.

But one more look at Harry's face, looking all inquisitive at him, brought another flash to Ben giving a far too similar look. It gnawed at his mind and heart.

/=/=/=/=/

With the children all in bed, Hardy sat at his desk at home. It stood in the alcove that had originally been the front door, though not long after moving in Ellie had found that the door did not open. It was easier and cheaper just to seal it in than to fit a new door. For the time being.

He also knew that SOCO had tested that desk. It needed two people to move it, even if Hardy had been well and fully able. He could only hope that detail worked in his favour with the murder inquiry.

Shaking off those thoughts as best he could, he pulled out a blank piece of paper and the nearest pen he knew worked, and then stared at the page for a long time. He had to get these words right, and there might not be another chance.

At length he finally started writing. In fits and starts.

On to Part 2b...

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