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Title: Broadchuch: 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 Broachurch 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. And sorry for the delay for this episode. I was at a New Year's party. Thank goodness I had WiFi access. :D

/=/=/=/=/=/

Previously...

Episode Five. Part Two: Fighting Panic

Her mobile rang just as Tom broke the hug with his dad. She was sure her husband could have done with one of her hugs, if she was honest, but they probably weren’t blessed for time. “Oh, let that be a break.” She glanced at the caller ID and sighed. “It’s SOCO, following up on the bus ticket.” She answered the call. “Miller.”

Brian was quick and straight to the point. “We may have another crime scene.”

“What's happened?”

“Officers responded to a call from a member of the public about blood at the bus stop in Finch Lane. They got there just before we arrived and found Chloe Latimer and Dean Enoch at the scene.”

Ellie groaned. “Don't tell me they've been arrested.”

“Well, they were canoodling in public, but that's not the reason I'm calling. As soon as they were arrested, we noticed that Dean's coat was resting in a pool of fresh blood.”

Hardy and Tom watched her expression turn shocked, and then horrified as she responded. “How bad?”

“Someone was injured here at very least. There's a lot of body fluid here, but mostly blood. No body and so far no trail of footprints leading away. Uniform is heading back to the station now.”

“I'm on my way.” She snapped the phone shut. “Alec, I may need you to make a call for me.”

“What's going on?”

She hesitated, but decided he would learn soon enough. “It sounds like Chloe and Dean decided to meet somewhere different and stumbled onto what may be another crime scene.”

Tom's eyes widened. “Someone else is dead?”

“We don't know. There's no body.” She hurried towards the door.

Hardy's eyes widened and he hurried to his own mobile.

“Who are you calling?”

“Trying to reach someone I'd rather avoid.”

/=/=/=/

Tess lifted her head at the sound of her phone ringing.

“Answer it,” Bruce growled, trying to go back to sleep.

She picked it up. “Hello?”

“Is Daisy with you?” Hardy's voice instantly demanded.

“I told you to not call us!”

“I just need to know that she's safe!”

Tess hung up on him, and switched her phone off.

“Who was it?”

“Alec,” Tess grumbled.

“What’s he calling you for?”

“In a panic over Daisy. Whatever it is, he can sweat it out for the night.” She exhausted and he could leave her alone to sleep. “Nothing is that important that it can’t wait until the morning.” She glanced at Ben in the bed and the monitors. Everything was fine. She adjusted the blanket the nurse had given her and her head sank back again. “Go back to sleep.”

/=/=/=/=/

Hardy listened to the dial tone following the disconnect sound, his other hand hanging limply by his side. He almost threw the phone at the nearest wall in a rage, but that wouldn’t help matters at all.

Tom watched as his dad sank into a chair, turning paler than he thought anyone could. “Dad?” he had flashbacks to when he was forced to watch him being wheeled off to surgery, and not allowed to see him after that. “Your heart?”

“It's not that,” Hardy whispered. “It's all emotional. I don't know if Daisy's safe.”

“What, you mean she wasn’t there?” Ellie spoke.

“I don’t know. Tess hung up on me.”

Tom did the only thing he could do. He hugged his dad, well aware that he was not the person his dad needed a hug from at that moment. But he could not risk something triggering anything like what happened before.

/=/=/=/=/

Old Enoch Grebes knew a fox when he heard one. But this was no fox. Unless it had been hit by a car. It sounded in a right state. Or maybe it was a stray cat. He took his wood axe, just in case. He’d heard about the murders in town. He’d rather not die unless it was under his own steam.

Just gone three in the morning. It was still dark out. And he was in his pyjamas and dressing gown.

“Anything?”

He turned at the sound of his sister’s voice. Lily was in her nightdress and dressing gown. Neither of them had married, and were both pushing one hundred. But it had been getting harder of late. She was a bit stiff in her joints, but her mind was as sharp as ever. “Nothing yet, Lily,” he told her.

He had been with the war office during the war, and nights still gave him the chills even now. And his sister had been a nurse. She still hated the fireworks, thought it was a cruel reminder, thought they should stop them being sold to children. He agreed with her about that. None of the kids these days knew what it was like to have bombs exploding and fires all around them.

“Probably that fox in the shed again,” he said and took a step out into the darkness. “Oh my giddy!” he shrieked.

“Enoch?” she cried after him.

“Oh, Lily, come quick,” he said, even though that was barely possible for either of them at their age.

Lily moved with her frame to switch on the light in the hallway. She didn’t really need the frame, but Enoch had insisted on getting her one. She looked out through the open front door to find her brother picking up a small bundle of cloth. “What is it?”

“It’s a baby, sis,” he said. “Someone’s left a baby on our doorstep.”

“Well, it’s not mine!”

Enoch blinked at her. “Well, I think that’s obvious, sis. Get the police on the blower.”  He stepped into the cottage and closed the door. “Poor little mite. He can’t be that old. He’s still got blood on him.”

Lily turned back and shuffled towards the phone on the hallway table. She picked up the receiver in one hand while the gnarled arthritic finger of the other turned the old dial phone from nine all the way around, three times.

“Hello...? Get me the police. Quick!”

/=/=/=/=/

Strictly speaking the Supers should have kept him out of this, but Ellie had convinced them that Hardy needed to be given something productive to do until they could work out what had happened.

Before he could question why or how, he had found himself walking into a room with DC Frank Williams at his side and found
Dean sitting there, sans his favourite jacket.

Dean remained quiet. He just knew that the DI was not up to being evaded. But he knew they had done nothing really wrong.

Frank recited the details of the interview for the record, and sat back to let Hardy ask the questions.

“What were you doing at the bus stop on Finch Lane?”

Dean squirmed. “Me and Chloe were kissing.”

Young love had little sympathy from him right then. “And you didn't notice anything wrong?”

“No.”

“What made you take your jacket off?”

“It’s a bit thick... Well, and I was working up for a bit of sex,” he admitted. “No one was about, so I didn’t think anyone would see us. It wasn't till that police car turned up that I knew something off. I mean we hadn’t been there that long. We only got as far as kissing and they arrested us. I turned back for my jacket and the bloke in white said I couldn’t have it.”

“So there was no sign of a body or anything amiss?”

Dean shook his head hard. “No. We didn't see anything.”

“Did you see anyone loitering around that bus stop when you arrived?”

“No. It was quite dark. But I don't think whoever left that blood is dead.”

Hardy frowned. “Why do you say that?”

“I've seen dead things,” Dean said. “If it was a person there would have been a lot more blood than that. The puddle wasn’t big enough even for a gutted rabbit.”

Hardy did not know how he managed to say the next question with an even tone. “Maybe the killer wrapped the body?”

“Except the blood was fresh and wasn’t disturbed, apart from my jacket! Even that bloke said so. It was all collected in one place, in like a neat circle.”

“A regular fountain of knowledge, Dean. Care to tell us how you learned this information?”

Dean paused. “Well, I got to tell you, ain’t I? Since you’re going to find out anyway. I’ve been poaching. Times have been a bit hard so I’ve had to find alternative ways to make enough money to eat. So I’ve been killing rabbits on the farm. Not with wire or nothing,” he added. “Coz that’s cruel. Makes them die slowly.”

“What do you use?”

“I use a crossbow. You don’t need a license for one of them, and it’s an instant clean killing. I cut the rabbits up and sell them on.”

There was a knock at the door and Chief Super Jenkinson entered. The look in her eyes told Hardy the interview had to end. So he silently sighed and officially brought it to a close.

“A word, DI, DC?”

They both stood and followed her out into the corridor.

Once she had closed the door, Jenkinson looked them in the eye. “We don't have a crime scene at the bus stop, exactly.”

“Then what do we have?” Hardy demanded, barely able to keep his patience. “You asked me to interview him.”

“A call from a bit further along the lane. Someone left what caused that mess in the bus stop. But it’s not a dead body.”

“Another victim?”

“Not exactly.”

“Then what?”

/=/=/=/=/

Ellie was livid now. As if she and her team didn’t have enough to work on their hands. Now this. She hadn’t even got to speak to Chloe and Dean yet. Barely in through the front door and the phone started ringing. As she aimed straight for Natalie’s house behind the petrol station, she was still muttering her initial response.

“You have got to be bloody joking!”

There was only one mother-to-be in Broadchurch with a baby due right now, and that was Natalie Westford. She knew the girl was going through some hard times, but she had no idea the girl would have the temerity to dump her own child. She worked as a nursery assistant, for god’s sake. Natalie was CRB checked. She was only nineteen and this could finish her.

“Are we sure about this?” Ellie asked.

“She's the only pregnant woman in town who's anywhere close to being due,” Anna answered. “In fact, I believe she's looked like she was going to pop any moment for over a month now.”

Pursing her lips, Ellie shook her head. “How can anyone abandon their own child?”

She got out of the car, seeing red and almost huffing smoke like a cartoon bull. With Anna beside her, she reined in any and all comments until she got inside. She hammered on the front door of the house. At first there was no answer.

She pounded on the door again. “Police! Open the door!”

After a moment, the door opened and Paul Coates stood there. “I said it's unlocked!” he told them, frazzled and bleary-eyed.

They exchanged a look. Paul Coates, the vicar?! What was he doing here?

After a moment, Coates recovered his ability to speak. “About bloody time!” he blurted out as they pushed passed him. “We’ve been waiting for hours!”

Ellie ignored him and was already in the living room by the time he had finished the sentence. “Natalie Westford! What the hell do you think you’re playing at-!”

She didn’t get any further. She and Anna stopped cold. The fire left Ellie's voice when she found them. The wailing was making it hard for anyone to hear, anyway.

Sitting on towels was Natalie, covered by a blanket below the waist and cradling a baby wrapped in towels. A baby who began crying at the sound of raised voices. Coates knelt beside her, arms wrapped around her. And she could barely arrest the girl for child endangerment or abandonment if she was holding a baby.

“You have a baby,” Anna said.

“Yeah, I just had her,” Natalie said, blinking in confusion.

“Oh god,” Ellie muttered on an exhale as soon as she found her voice again. She would know that sound anywhere, especially having two under the age of one year. “Someone gave birth at the bus stop on Finch Lane. I’ve got to ask... was that you?”

Paul shook his head as did Natalie. “I got back from a home visit, one of my parishioners died tonight, during Corporate Mass. You can check with Dr. Martin. When I got in, Natalie was in labour, in a lot of pain. She’s called for an ambulance and I called again, but we couldn’t get through. It’s been engaged every time I rang 999.”

“Then where were you all night?”

“Here, feeling pains and trying to decide when to make any calls. They didn't seem bad when Paul left for Communion, but they got really bad by the time I got back from the garage shop. And Paul didn’t get back until really late. So I waited for him before I called for an ambulance.”

“Wait. Why the vicar?” echoed Ellie.

The two at first did not meet each other's eyes, but finally Coates sighed. “We can't hide it anymore, Natalie.”

Natalie nodded grimly, sighing as she tried to calm the baby.

Ellie's mouth dropped a moment before it snapped shut so she could talk again. “You’re the baby’s father?”

“Of course, I am,” Coates nodded, a mixture of pride and a little embarrassment in his manner.

“Then all the arguments people reported between you two...” Ellie trailed off, not sure what to make of this.

“I've been asking her to marry me for months now,” Paul explained. “She's been refusing. Didn’t want to leave her mum and doesn't want me doing the 'right thing' for the wrong reasons. But I love her.” He frowned, looking at Ellie and Anna. “You’re not here about Natalie’s baby. Are you?”

“Abandoned baby found in Finch Lane,” Ellie replied in short over.

“As you can see, it’s not ours,” Paul said.

“I’ve not been near the bus stop,” Natalie added.

“I had to deliver the baby myself,” Paul added. “My first child!”

ĐĐ

To be continued...

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