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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 Six, Part Six: Frantic Manhunt

“There you are.”

Ellie’s head snapped to the front to the sound of Young's voice. She didn’t see the point of telling him she had been standing there for nearly ten minutes before he’d noticed her. “What do you have?”

He waved her inside, and led her to the room from where Daisy had been sleeping. It was a single bed by the window, with a single pillow, a handmade cushion baring the legend ‘Daughter of a hero’ and a blue plushie dog wearing a tag that said ‘4 Today’ in worn lettering. The double bed had no augmentation at all, so it was obvious both children were sharing the single bed.

It was evident from looking at the bed that she had been solely responsible for her brother until he was hospitalised. Ben's small suitcase lay next to a medium sized one, both tucked under the bed. On the bed itself, several items of clothing had been left along with prizes from a visit to the arcades. With them lay two unopened bags of candyfloss. It looked like Daisy had not picked up or put anything away since the day of Ben’s first heart attack, even though she had been back here several times since. That level of devotion reminded her of Tom, only worse. But one other thing was noticeable and very alarming.

“Why am I not seeing any sign of foul play?”

“Because there isn't any,” Brian announced. “The door has been forced, so there was a break-in. But there’s no sign of a struggle or of anything being disturbed. There are two sets of foot prints overlaying the debris from the broken doorframe, one approximately size 6 and the other much larger, possibly men’s work boots, judging by the design of the sole. If someone did intent to rob the family, it didn't happen.”

“Do you think Daisy got scared and ran off?”

Brian looked dubious. “What's missing is the stride indicative of someone running from the scene. There’s nothing to indicate that. All I’m seeing is small steps. Daisy is not here, but she didn’t run from the room. She went willingly. There are no clothes or valuables missing. And the suitcases haven’t been disturbed.”

“No sign of a mobile?”

“Not yet, but if the mother took it off her, then Daisy wouldn’t have been able to call for help if there was an attack. Tess Hardy may have it in her bag.”

“I'll call tech and see if they can trace it. I’m hoping Daisy has it on her and, if so, that she left it on.”

“There is one thing that I need your opinion on?”

Ellie was confused by that. “You're the forensics expert.”

“But you're a woman, so you would know more about this than I would.” He moved into the en-suit bathroom and indicated to the several nappy bags in the sanitary disposal unit standing in the corner. He opened the lid to lifted out one of the bags. The contents were clearly not nappies, but rolled up feminine pads. Ellie frowned until he opened the bag.

Inside were at least half a dozen feminine pads. And the other bags were identical. All of the pads were soaked through.

Young looked up at Ellie. “I've lived with a woman while she was on her monthly and I don't remember her ever having anything like this. These all look pretty fresh. Is that within normal range?”

Ellie's eyes were wide. “From my experience no. But I could say I’m one of the lucky ones. I’d say either Tess Hardy or Daisy Hardy has endometriosis.”

“What’s that?”

“Hell,” Ellie replied simply. “Or there’s another possibility...”

Brian waited, seeing her face lose colour.

Ellie couldn’t find the words. She grabbed her mobile from her pocket and dialled the station.

Jenkinson was at her desk, pulling out instructions and gathering information so it was handy, when the phone rang. She grabbed it without checking the ID. “Chief Super Jenkinson.”

“It's Miller, sir. I need a trace on the mobile Hardy gave to Daisy.”

“She’s not a suspect.”

“I appreciate that, but this is urgent. She may be injured.”

Jenkinson stilled. “Is there evidence of foul play?”

“Not specifically. She might have merely gone for a walk, but it's not clear where she went. I can confirm that the room was broken into.”

“Then what’s the evidence she’s injured? Blood splatter?”

“ No, sir. Injured as in sanitary towels... There’s at least forty to sixty of them, all fresh... It's an instinct as a woman. Something’s not adding up.”

Jenkinson could barely find the words to say it but this was not a good sign. “When did this happen?”

“Before she left. SOCO has confirmed her footprints and those of a tall adult, possibly male, left with her... He is...? That’s good. It’ll keep him occupied... Will do... Bye.” She ended the called. “The Super said to gather as much as you can and return to the station. We’re downgrading this scene as a simple break-in and splitting off for a search operation.”

“How is he?”

Ellie knew who he was talking about. “A mess when I left him at the station. The Chief Super says he’s at the whiteboard, talking with Daniels about the timeline we're working on. Daniels is doing everything he can find to keep Hardy busy.”

/=/=/=/

Hardy, as worried as he as he was, was impressed.

The notes he had been shown, the whiteboard organisation, the investigation routes, the utilizing of the information so far uncovered by Maggie Ratcliffe and Olly Stevens out in Sandbrook; the maths skills engaged to compare distances, speed, and travel times: this investigation had been run more smoothly than the Latimer case had been.

He might have worried that he would be faced with chaos, or that they had cracked it all and sent it to the CPS without him. Except he could see his influence on the case even without his working presence and that the investigation, although nearing completion, was far from ready to be sent on.

The team had been thorough. They had been asking all sorts of questions, including the ones that pondered his own possible involvement. It looked like asking those questions had led to uncovering important clues and eliminating additional suspects, some that even he hadn’t even considered.

“This may be the best detective work I've ever seen in a team. Is there anyone who hasn't been involved?” he asked Daniels.

“Except you,” he said as gently as possible, knowing it was a sticking point. “In one way or another, every last detective and uniform has worked this case, one or two only in a support capacity when they had a spare moment to make calls or help question witnesses.” Daniels paused a moment, and then pressed forward with his thought. “If I may say so, no one really believed that you were involved. Even if some of the officers don't quite like you we all respect you.”

Hardy turned to regard him for a moment, letting that give him a distraction from his wildly running imagination. So, he still had some way to go before he was fully accepted. At least he had worked hard and succeeded in reaffirming Ellie’s place on the team. That was more important to him than his own. “And how much of it was driven by no one wanting Miller to be married to the wrong man, for a second time?”

Daniels shrugged. Joe had been someone he had called friend, and the truth had left a bitter taste in his mouth. It was friendship to Mark and his own feelings as a father that had driven him to make it possible for Mark to speak with Joe without anyone knowing. If the DI had not been on medical leave and Ellie suspended he doubted he would have got away with it. “I think that drove us all to put in longer than normal hours. Just don't let Beth or Mark think we worked harder on these cases than on Danny's.”

“They're not stupid. Three girls dead, all tourists? Resources have to remain high for longer. What about the support officers from Weymouth?”

“They didn't have the motivation we had, but they were more than willing to put in nearly as many hours to hunt for the killers. And to make Broadchurch safe again. Like the good old days when a small castle looked to a bigger one for a support. Chivalry is not as dead as it was thought to be.”

Hardy refocused. “So... Sarah Wallace was not murdered by the same person who murdered Luiz Gotlieb, but the latter may have the same killer as Louise Dusk? And there are signs that it could have been murder and not just rape?”

“Yes. Second autopsy proved that. The sexual aspects of the latter two cases are not found in the first. Sarah’s killer had to be closer to Sarah's strength. She put up a tremendous fight. Shame it wasn't enough.”

The door to the CID room opened. It was PC Emma Shrove, their resident night owl. She preferred the night shift, but something had upset her. “DI hardy? Sorry to disturb you, sir. But you have a visitor.”

Hardy considered her tone. “Where?”

“I put him in Room One. He's insisting on speaking with you, said you’d want to hear what he has to say. I thought you'd rather this go straight to tape.” She indicated the interview pack in her hand. Discs, sheets of paper, disposable pen.

That told him enough. He rubbed his eyes, but held back any complaint. He wondered who it could possibly be at this hour, and then hoped it wasn’t Bruce Stratton. He dismissed that since he knew he was at the hotel. The only other man he could think of who wanted to talk to him was Steve Connelly. The man had been right about a number of things and could not have been involved. So... what could this possibly be about?

Moments later he entered the room with Daniels as his seconder, and he forced himself to not stop at the sight of Connelly. Or react beyond getting grimmer.

Connelly wanted to speak, but he held back. He had to let them start recording. He had been warned about that more than once. And he knew he had the look of someone who worried that they might be spending time in a jail cell. Again. He had been warned about that, too. He just hoped Hardy’s new wife wasn’t in the building. She really scared him witless. After his last encounter he had held his peace until he could do so no longer.

Hardy recorded the name, date and time and sat for a moment, regarding the man in front of him with a stony silence. He brought his hand back to clasp his other, and struggled to keep his breaths even. “The first time you came to see me, you insisted that my eldest daughter was in danger. The last time you came to see me, my wife and I found you loitering in the police car park, late at night. You were warned then not to approach me or my wife again or face arrest and charges of stalking and harassment and possibly hindering a police investigation. What made you decide to go against that warning and approach me a third time?”

He wanted to demand answers, but he had to act like a DI. The station needed him to, and he could not risk his job again. It would betray what he had taught Daisy, and what he was teaching his younger children.

Connelly immediately spoke. “She hasn't been abducted.”

Hardy blinked. “I’m sorry?”

“She just ran away for safety,” Connelly continued.

“What are you talking about?”

“Daisy, your daughter. Louise told me to tell her to get her out. The big man was coming for her tonight. She told me to go to Daisy and warn her. This was her last change.”

Hardy could not find his voice.

It was up to Daniels to continue. “How do you know she ran away?”

“I had a vision,” Connelly replied. “Louise said that if Daisy stayed at the hotel, harm would befall her. Louise was guiding me, like she was holding my hand, so I knew time was running out. There were three or four of them, all yammering at me to help Daisy.”

Hardy observed him become more and more distressed. He had never put much stock in mediums, but it was obvious that this man believed what he was saying. “Name them.”

“What?”

“Name the three or four.”

Connelly choked on a breath. “I don’t know them all. Pippa was there, and Louise Dusk. Helen Thatcher. Jessica Dicks. Ella Morris. Melissa Jakes. Kate Bryoni. Debbie Hickory,” he reeled, as if listening to a voice no one else could hear. “And there was another girl called Sarah Mullen. She spoke to me. She said she had escaped the house with the pink door, but the big man had found her. He’s hidden her under a patio and she can’t get out. She said he was getting impatient with Goddy and was going to dispose of Daisy tonight or tomorrow night. So I went to the hotel. I got a screwdriver and wedged the door open. She was there, in bed, asleep. I told her she had to run, to find her friend. I told her Louise had sent me. I told her she had to go or something worse than what had happened to her friend might be coming her way.”

“And she listened to you?”

“It took some convincing, but I'd been told of things about her. I told her that even her own mother had been lied to about who Ben's father is. I told her that her missing photo of her friends was found in the pocket of a dead girl, to make it look like she’d killed her.”

“Which dead girl would that be?” Hardy asked.

“Sarah Wallace,” Connelly replied. “She was dumped in your driveway. She’s been talking to me, too. She says the woman who dragged her off was stronger than she looked. Sarah kicked her in the leg, left her limping and cussing like a sailor. She said she’d been put in the back of a silver Renault Espace. Registration. LC07EXT.”

Hardy stiffened. He recognised that number place. He’d bought that car, had driven it practically every day for two years. Ben had almost been born in that car. Was Connelly suggesting that someone had been murdered in it? That car was still his. Technically. He felt sick.

“But it’s more than that,” Connelly continued. “Daisy and her friends saw something that day in the High Street in Sandbrook. And Louise said the big man wants them silenced.”

“What’s his name?” Hardy asked.

“They don’t know. They only know his as The Boss.”

Hardy’s face hardened even further. That could not be known beyond a select few in the Sandbrook police, and himself, Ellie, and the Supers here in Broadchurch. Maybe SOCO Young knew, but he doubted it went any further than that. “Which friend did you tell Daisy to find?” he demanded.

Connolly frowned. “I've never seen her. Not in person. She's not one of the murdered tourist girls. She's alive, but she was cruelly hurt by people she had trusted. And she's here in Broadchurch, too. Came as much to protect Daisy as get away from the people who hurt her. Jessica said he was on his way down here.”

Daniels frowned, but Hardy's eyes widened slightly. “Describe the girl who’s still alive.”

“She’s about 5’7”, sixteen years old, usually has blonde hair, but she’d dyed it black. Ice blue eyes. She was wearing one of Daisy’s hooded tops.”

Now Daniels blinked. He remembered a girl who looked like that coming in with Becca Fisher, looking very scared. He had not seen her since, but he remembered two people from Social Services coming in and talking to someone in protective custody. The girl had practically begged them for custody. She was seriously nervous, like she did not know whom she could trust. Was she connected to their case? Or was she only part of the latest Sandbrook mess? It was a loop he had been kept out of.

Hardy had little patience left, but he managed to keep it under reasonable regulation. “Is Daisy unharmed?”

Connolly frowned. “I'm... not sure. But although she's fled the danger I saw... there's another danger. And she only became aware of what caused it the other night. Her illness covered it, but her mother's actions permitted that.”

“You’re speaking in riddles, Mr. Connelly. “Give me a straight answer!”

Daniels wondered if Hardy would have the man arrested again. He looked ready to blow a gasket. Minutes later he took the man downstairs to the cells himself. Connelly went willingly enough until he stopped in his tracks as they reached Cell 6, apparently at random.

He paused there, rapped on the door and called out. “Hailey Bridgewater? Daisy’s gone.”

/=/=/=/=/

“Just let me go,” Daisy countered. “I passed out, that’s all. And I’m not talking about it you. Nothing personal, but you’re a bloke!”

“I’ll get a nurse, if that will make you feel more comfortable,” the male doctor replied. “But you must stay put.”

“My little brother is upstairs in the children’s ward. I need to get back to him,” Daisy insisted. She was off the bed before anything else could be said. She instantly sank to her knees, caught in the doctor’s arms.

“You’re losing blood,” he noticed, looking at the red streaks on the sheet.

Daisy flushed red. “I get heavy periods. Now, do you mind?” she retorted in embarrassment. “It’s none of your business!”

“Just... wait there. I’ll get a nurse.”

He rushed from the cubicle and just as Daisy thought she was fine to go, a nurse appeared. She was holding a feminine hygiene pack.

“Here. I think you might want these,” the nurse said kindly. “Men. Who’d have ‘em, eh?” she said kindly as Daisy got changed. “You can’t live with ‘em and you can’t live without ‘em.”

Daisy didn’t say anything as she quickly pulled the paper underpants and pad on.

“Do you always get heavy periods, love?”

“Yeah,” Daisy managed. “Always have had. I was supposed to go into hospital for this operation, but my mum cancelled it the day before. Said she didn’t have the time to take me.” She shoved the ruined clothing, pad and all, into the yellow incinerator bin in the corner. “I feel fine now,” she announced. “My mum usually gives me a bar of chocolate and a banana and I feel a lot better. My brother is upstairs. Can I go and see him, now?”

“Daisy, you passed out.”

“I know, but I have Crohn’s Disease. Sometimes it can be really painful.”

“Do you have something to take for that?” the nurse asked.

“Yeah, my mum’s got it in her bag. If I feel dizzy again I’ll tell the nurse straight away,” she promised.

Just a minute later the A&E doctor approved of her discharge and Daisy left for the children’s ward. She felt exhausted and weak, but she couldn’t let her brother go unprotected for any longer.

After she had gone, the nurse looked disapprovingly at the Doctor. “She’s under eighteen. The rules say we should keep her here until her parents arrive.”

“Allison,” the doctor said gently. “She was reported missing twenty minutes ago. Police are already on their way. And besides, I checked. She really does have a brother upstairs.”

ĐĐ

To be continued...

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