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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 - continued

Later Ellie came home, and sighed heavily. She had missed bedtime again. This case was getting to her, and she hated that coming home often felt like walking into a minefield. Or to a stranger’s welcome. Coming home had felt risky, but she knew she needed another change of clothes. And to prepare more food for the next day. And likely the following one as well.

She noticed the light was on in the room they used as the home office. Curious and hoping to make a peace offering, she walked in to find her husband staring at a pad of paper he had written on.

Who's that for?” she whispered.

He started. “Oh, bloody hell, Ellie!” he whispered loudly as he caught his breath. “Give a man some warning!”

Only the lack of serious paling in his face allowed her to be a bit flippant in her answer. “Should I apologise?”

I wouldn't believe you. You've never been sorry for interrupting me.”

Only the lack of real venom in his voice allowed her to smirk just a bit. “It would help if you stopped giving me reason to knock you down, you knob.”

His lips cracked into a pained smile. “God, it almost feels like old times.”

Well, if this case would pick up again maybe we can get that back.” She walked further into the room. “So do I need to back away from that note, just in case it’s a Dear John?”

He sighed and almost smiled. “No. No, it’s not a Dear John. It's for Daisy.”

Somehow that never occurred to her as an option. “I thought you said you didn't trust any letters to get through to her.”

Chloe met her at the hotel and came to tell me about it. She offered to pass a note. I can't not do it.”

Ellie drew up a chair and sat down. “You're not going to get in trouble for this, are you?”

I checked. The agreement says that there is supposed to be contact. I haven't heard from Daisy in years, and now I have a chance. I got to speak with her briefly at the hospital, but she didn’t feel she had the time to say much to me. And it appears that Tess never told her about the paternity test. She was... horrified by the news that Ben isn’t mine.

Poor thing. But why wouldn't her mother tell her?”

That's only one more question on my mind. I need to know what's happening, and Chloe's given me hope that my daughter wants to talk to me. Seeing Daisy only confirmed that, even though she fled from the shock I gave her. I only hope she can find enough time to pen a reply.”

The lost look in his eyes broke her heart. She covered his right hand with hers. “May I see it?”

He sighed. “It'd be a bad idea to hide it from you right now anyway.” He handed it over.

She read silently to herself, though she could hear his voice in her head as she did:

Daisy,

I don't have enough words for how much it means to me just to see you even for a moment. It's been too long since the last time, and I've thought about you every day. I didn't even know if you wanted to talk to me at all, and that hurt. I know Chloe told you about my family here. I didn't plan this, but the only thing I would change would be having had you with us. I don't know how you feel about having a step-mum or new siblings, and if you are upset by this I hope you can forgive me one day.

Chloe said it seemed as if you're scared and unhappy. I know that you've lost friends, and in a way lost me. One of our contacts is afraid that you are in serious danger, and knowing that you're in town now is scaring me. And you know me, I never admit to being scared.

Daisy, if something's wrong I need to know. If your mum's the reason I haven't heard from you in over three years and you're not happy where you are, I can fight to change the custody arrangement with some testimony from you. I left because I thought I had to, because I thought you needed to be protected from some knowledge about the Sandbrook case. And your mum made it untenable for me to stay.

I don't know if that was the right decision anymore, or whether I should have fought harder. Only you telling me how things have been will answer that, and guide me in what to do next. I want you to know that I wanted Ben to be mine, because I could've pretended your mum hadn't broken her vows to me. It was her reaction when I confronted her that was why the marriage ended. I would have given anything that what happened never did. Now I just wish there had been a way to keep you with me.

Please, Daisy, find a way to tell Chloe what's happening if you can't write. If you can, slip Chloe a reply to this note.

Missing you and praying for your safety,

Dad”

Ellie looked at it for a long moment before handing it back. “I hope she answers. For both your sakes.”

Me, too,” he whispered, folding it carefully.

/=/=/=/=/

Are you sure this is a good idea?” Lara asked again.

Chloe sighed. She had received the note earlier that day. She had to make the most of whatever opportunity she could find to get it to her new friend. Now if Lara, Chelsea and Sonya would be a little more cooperative.

This will make it harder for either of them to tell who hands her anything or that anything is handed over. And we all have to be willing to speak with them to give Daisy a chance to get this note. And later for when she gives her answer.”

You're certain she'll write back to him?” Sonya, their long-standing mutual friend whispered.

You didn't see the look on her face when I told her that her dad was here. Or read the texts she sent after she saw him. She wants to speak to him properly. Can you imagine being denied contact with someone you love?”

Sighing, Chelsea spoke for them all as they lowered their gazes. “Just lead.”

They all walked up to the chemist near the hotel and Chloe stopped them when Daisy came out, carrying a small bag. She started wildly on seeing them.

Chloe was alarmed. “Daisy, are you all right?”

Daisy blushed. “Um, yes. Just... a difficult...” She moved her hands a bit, like she was trying to find the words.

Chloe made an assumption. “Oh, no need to explain. We've all had problems with... that.”

Some of the tension left Daisy's frame, but by no means all of it. “Thank you. Are these your friends, Chloe?”

Chloe performed the introductions. “Yeah, this is Lara, Chelsea and Sonya. Where's your mum and... who's the man to you?”

Daisy lost her smile. “Bruce. And he’s nothing to me. He's... my Mum's boyfriend. They let people think they're married. She tells people she's Mrs. Stratton, but it's not legal.”

Most girls would have spat more than a few of those words, Chloe thought. But Daisy still had that scared vibe from the other day. She decided to ask again. “Where are they?”

At the hospital, with my little brother.”

We heard he collapsed,” Lara said.

Chloe nodded when Daisy gave her a questioning look. “I mentioned it. My dad said it was the scariest thing he ever saw, and... the most disturbing since he had to ID Danny,” she finished, choking a little on the last bit.

Daisy smiled weakly. “He was nice. I'm glad he was there. I think he kept my mum from panicking. I felt so helpless. And Bruce didn’t do anything.”

Chloe cleared her throat. “Anyway, I thought I'd bring them by to meet you, and...” She glanced around and pulled a folded paper out of her pocket. “I have this for you,” she added on a whisper.

Daisy looked at it and then at her with hope. “Is it...?”

Chloe nodded. “And if they're not here, we can offer you a little privacy to read it.”

But Daisy just seized it and opened it right away.

Chloe and her friends watched the play of emotions on the girl's face: fear, sadness, relief, pain, grief, and hope all raced across her face in a random fashion. It was like she was so full of feelings that she could not contain anything.

Tears were in Daisy's eyes as she handed it back. “I can't risk my mum or Bruce finding that. And I need to get back to the hotel. Can I see you tomorrow? I'll try everything to have a note for him.”

Okay. If that's what you want.”

It's not what I want. It's what's possible. I have to make sure I can write without being found out. Thanks for bringing the note. I hope we can talk properly soon. But I’ve got to go. See you tomorrow outside the hotel, Chloe? I’m still waiting for my friends to arrive. And... one of them's scared.”

Sure. Take care, Daisy,” Chloe said, pretending she was not horror-stricken at the admission.

Thanks. See you,” Daisy said weakly, and walked off slowly and deliberately.

Sonya leaned in to Chloe. “You weren't kidding. She's living in terror of something.”

Or someone,” Chelsea whispered.

Chloe took a deep breath. “Dean comes with us tomorrow. If he can't, we find someone else big who can be close by.”

My dad. He’d do it,” Lara replied.

Yeah, but he’s police,” Chloe reminded her. “One glimpse of him and Daisy will run a mile. Assuming no one else did anything...

ĐĐ

To be continued...

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