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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 nor 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 Five. Part Six: Small Town Paranoia

Hardy was waiting in the corridor when Ellie emerged from the interview room. He wasn’t back on the job yet, but he needed to come up to speed if he was to slip back into it, and he needed to do that quickly. And he happened to overhear someone mention that they thought the girl looked like someone on a missing person's report. He saw the one pointed at, and he swore. “Anything?”

“Daisy is definitely being threatened. The witness has confirmed it. And don’t try anything,” she warned quietly.

“Why, do you think I'll hunt the bastard down?! Who is this girl, anyway?”

Although the girl had asked – very nearly begged – to speak with Hardy, protocol said it could not happen yet. But they would keep it in mind if he was absolutely needed. “This witness has been through a horrible ordeal and is in fear for her life. Put simply, the fewer people who know her name, let alone that she's in Broadchurch, the better. She's going to be a key witness for the police in her area.”

Hardy closed his eyes and rubbed them. “Let me guess. Sandbrook again?”

Ellie nodded. No point in concealing that. “So you know the drill.”

“Yeah, I barely have anything to do because I've been prevented from doing my job. My daughter's not permitted to speak to me and she said she doesn't dare leave her brother alone with Brute.”

“Bruce.”

“Same thing in the end,” he said and continued with his list and tried to ignore the grin on her face. He was sure she needed the emotional lift, and his unintentional slip would have served them both well. “Connelly still thinks she's in danger. Almost the whole town is looking at me as if they think I committed the murders. And now my doctor thinks I need to have the paternity test redone. Do you have any idea what it's like to not be able to do your job as either a parent or a copper?”

“Maybe not to this extent, but I did feel like I failed Tom and Fred by not realising their dad and I should've split instead of going to Florida. Would have saved a lot of time and money. And not seeing any signs that Joe was off elsewhere-”

“Ellie, you had no reason to think that. I didn't know at first.”

“Well, I still feel amazed that Beth will even speak to me.”

“She spoke to you?”

“Yeah, at the Echo. Almost civil, it was. She’s still angry at me. Nothing much has changed since I went to see her after I found out what Joe had done. And you know what she said to me then? 'How did you not know?' I had asked that of Susan Wright that same day. It felt like a cruel twist of fate. I still don't have an answer for her.”

Anna rushed out of the office and almost barrelled into them. “Sarge. I got it. The bus ticket was bought in Finch Lane, but I got the destination wrong. It’s the bus stop on the High Street, outside the Trader’s Hotel.”

Ellie almost gave a victory fist. “Get a couple of uniforms up there and tell them to look for a gold chain. And a large seakale plant.”

/=/=/=/=/

The Super's eyes were wide. “A grooming ring?”

The words were a whisper, even with the door closed and their backs to the windows. This was too sensitive to risk detection.

“Sir, we don't know who owns that house, how many there are or their connection to the Sandbrook police. But if we can find it and keep their contact from learning about it, a raid could be done to free the girls. Hailey knows a lot. Names; addresses. And she came away with at least a dozen mobile phones, some of which belong to girls that haven’t been reported missing.”

“To completely put them away, another girl's testimony is needed,” Elaine mused aloud. “Maybe someone who hasn't yet been trapped.”

Ellie's face paled. “You mean Daisy.”

“Of course, I mean Daisy. Who else is there?”

“I need to warn Maggie and Olly to watch their backs.”

“Can we risk any of this getting out?” Sandra asked warily.

“They're our best chance at finding out what the connections really are between Sandbrook and our cases,” Ellie replied. “I'm going to give them the description of the house and its location. Maggie and her contacts can find out who owns it if I tell her. And Daisy and Hailey can give us more information on the names she gave us, groomers and girls alike.”

“We need someone to speak to Daisy properly,” Sandra commented. “Why haven't we managed that?”

Ellie's eyes hardened. “Because two someone’s are limiting her interactions with others. We need to change that and soon. Trouble is, some of the questions we need to ask, I don't know if I can let her mother overhear them, and definitely not Mr. Stratton.”

“Do you have an idea about that?” asked Elaine.

Ellie's eyes flashed as one hit her. “With all due respect, given the evidence, I think that idea should be on everyone’s minds.”

“We need to co-ordinate this carefully,” Elaine cautioned. “Locate them all and hit them all at the same time. I’ll speak to Sandbrook myself. In the meantime, not a word. Get back to the murder inquiry and get the murderers behind bars.” She paused for a second. “Any word on the missing mother yet?”

“Not yet. Still looking. But we’re pretty certain it’s not a local woman. Everyone one of our expectant mums has been vouched for. It has to be a tourist or a midnight visitor.”

“Hmm. That would make things difficult.”

/=/=/=/=/

“Why is your dad staring at us so much?”

Daisy tried to ignore the feeling of the gaze and shrugged. “I don't know,” she answered in a whisper. “I stopped trying to figure him out a long time ago. Besides, he’s not my dad.”

She turned to look at the girl sitting at the table with her, panting a picture to pass the time. Ben had painted a picture for their mum, to make her smile. It had helped, though Daisy knew the respite would be brief. Especially when he fell asleep in her lap. Again. Her mum hated her for it.

The girl had a tube taped to her cheek and barely any hair, and she was very pale. She was in for cancer of some kind. Daisy didn’t ask for details. She could guess. She was about her age, probably a year younger, maybe two. It was hard to tell. She had talked to her for well over an hour about her home and family. The girl had been in hospital for months, and in and out of hospital for five years before that, so she assumed she missed her home and family a lot. She had not begrudged talking. And Melanie was nice. Wise for her age, as if being so ill had gifted her with sagely wisdom to make up for her short life.

“You haven't said anything for a while,” Melanie noticed. “What did you tell your real dad?” she asked.

Daisy had confided in her about the secret note. “I wrote about Ben.”

“But it's what you weren't saying that's worrying me, Daisy,” she said, as if they had been firm friends forever. “Knowing that you're keeping secrets and have a scary man in your life, who might as well be your step-dad, I don't know how safe my friend is.”

Daisy liked having a new friend, but she was not ready to have her as a friend if she wasn’t meant for this life for long. She had lost too many to shoulder another loss. On the other hand, Melanie couldn’t be blamed for things beyond her control. “I had three friends when I was little. Two of them are gone, now.”

“No reason to give up,” Melanie replied. “If you let it beat you then what’s the point of living? And if you get that far, what was the point of being born in the first place.”

“I know,” Daisy sniffed. “Life is for living and enjoying yourself.”

Melanie smiled widely. “Now you’re getting it.” She looked up at the sound of approaching footsteps, thinking it might be a nurse, but it was two visitors, one eagerly waving to Daisy. “Who are they?”

Daisy looked up and found a smile. “That's Chloe Latimer. I've seen the bloke with her a couple of times, but never really spoken to him much. He’s around to protect her.”

“I'd say he's her boyfriend.”

“He looks like he's good to her.”

Melanie noted the longing and sadness.

“Hi, Chloe,” Daisy said as soon as she did not have to raise her voice to be heard.

Chloe had to hide her relief at actually seeing her friend, even though she had heard it from Becca that she made it safely back – if rather late. “Hi, Daisy. Heard you got lost last night. Glad you're safe. I see you found a friend here.”

Daisy was grateful that her friend was concealing how much she knew. “Melanie Johnson, meet Chloe Latimer. And who's your friend?”

“Dean Thomas, my boyfriend.”

“Hi,” he said. “I’ve seen you around. I've not known anyone make a new friend so quickly before.”

“I have some good instincts,” Chloe said.

Daisy smiled. “Those are important.”

“Daisy,” Bruce called out. “Your mum wants you.”

Daisy's eyes dulled. She slowly stood, reaching her hands into her pockets like she was straightening them. “We have to try again sometime, Chloe.” She held out her hand as she stepped slightly forward.

Chloe spotted a thickly-folded note concealed in the palm of her hand, out of sight of Bruce’s never-failing eagle-eyed gaze. She took the note by pretending to merely shake Daisy's hand. “See you later?”

“Sounds great.”

“Daisy!”

“Got to go,” she whispered. “Bye.”

Chloe and Dean turned and walked away. But Dean looked back with a frown, like he was faced with a puzzle he could not begin to understand.

It was not too far from the truth. Only he was more aware than he was about to let on. “What now?” he asked Chloe.

“We have to get this to her dad. As soon as possible.”

ĐĐ

To be continued...

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