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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 Seven, Part Seven: On The Brink

Daisy gazed at the baby in the bassinette. He was awake and pulling faces, entwining his own fingers while he laid there calmly looking around him. He was dressed in a blue knitted cardigan over a white body suit and blue socks. He had a birth hat on, which didn’t quite hide the dark blond hair at the top of his forehead. The rest of his hair was black. On his wrist and ankle were the identity tags, as well as the bulky security tag on his other ankle. On his name tags was written Baby Enoch Daniels, named after the man who found him and the policeman who had responded to the call.

“Can I hold him?” she asked after a long silence.

Her father, standing by the window flinched, though he wasn’t sure if that was in response to a thought that she might want to keep her baby, or the thought that she wouldn’t.

“You’re sure?” the midwife asked kindly.

“I’m not sure,” Daisy replied honestly. “I just think it’s the right thing to do. He looks very small.”

The midwife helped her to position the baby in her arms and Ellie took a picture of them together. But Hardy felt frozen in place. His little girl, the girl he had been forced to leave behind, was now a mother. She had not even finished school yet. How could she have gone through all of that - the rape, the pregnancy and her illness - and not one person notice? In his mind he seethed, but his police training kept it under wraps. He would vent later. Go up to the cliff top and scream at the sea. He would have Ellie hold him for a while, perhaps a long while.

Who would hold Daisy? There had been no decision as yet where she and Ben would go. He was going to fight for custody and would have to fight the Social Services as well, and that could take months. Ben did not have months, and Hardy knew Daisy would not leave his side. There had been talk earlier about placing them with Hardy for the interim, but he was not going to hold his breath. Given how they had dragged their feet and ignored the warning signs and the statements from his ex-wife’s mother, he did not think his son would be alive by the time they came to a decision.

“How do you feel?” the key worker assigned to Daisy’s case asked. Asema Kumar had been given Daisy’s file just that morning after the duty manager had taken it from the duty officers who responded to the emergency.

Hardy liked her. She was nice. Involving Daisy had been her main aim. She gave suggestions and then stepped back to allow Daisy the room to make the decision herself. His daughter was still seventeen, after all, almost eighteen. He could tell Ellie, for all she talked about being done, would not mind another baby in the house. She had had it all worked out in her head; school, college, child care, costs. She had been amazing while he had gone numb from the neck up. He was in two minds. This child had been conceived without consent, or with dubious consent. In his mind it was black and white whenever it was someone else. Adoption, every time. Let the girl grow up first. But this was not someone else. It was his own flesh and blood.

If Daisy brought her baby home, they would cope, but he worried Daisy might come to resent the child. If she placed him up for adoption would someone always be there for him? Would his genes play the heart card? What would happen if, at some point down the line, the adoptive family, if he got one, couldn’t care for him? What then? What if he was never adopted? What if he spent the next sixteen years being moved from one foster family to another and resented Daisy for his life being ruined? What if Daisy came to hate herself for giving him away?

Hardy allowed himself a sigh. These questions were not his to ask, in the end. It was her decision and he would support her in either case. His mind turned to Tom’s response that morning when he had explained where he and his mother would be that day. For Tom, it was a no-brainer. Daisy and Ben should come and live with them and bring the baby. Hardy tried to explain things objectively, telling him that while he would love to have Daisy back there were legal roadblocks, and to have Ben with him would be a little more complicated. Having the boy adjust to him was one thing, but to suddenly have a new mum and four extra siblings as well has having to deal with his serious heart condition and a progressive disability might actually be too much for Ben to cope with. And say nothing of a newborn baby when they already had two babies in the house. Ellie had only just gone back to work, after all.

Tom had been confused. As far as he was concerned the role of raising a baby was the parent’s. Was not it? 'With the dad in prison, wasn’t it supposed to be Daisy’s responsibility?' It was hard to explain matters of the heart and mind to a boy who had already gone through so much in his short life. He was still bitter and angry at his read father. Hardy and Ellie had not confided in Tom the full nature of the circumstances that had created Enoch, including telling him that it hadn’t been any permission or fault of Daisy’s. It had been faintly amusing to see Tom puffed up with rage and threatening to punch a man he had never met or knew the name of for hurting his sister. Hardy had commended him for his loyalty and asked him to support Daisy in any way he could to make her feel welcome and comfortable, whether she decided to keep the baby or not. He was lucky to be able to call Tom his son, and Daisy and Ben would benefit from him being in their lives.

And then there was Daisy herself. He could see the confusion on her face, the detachment. Already the social services had found a family able to take Enoch in with a view of adopting him. But Daisy had said nothing for or against. She was still too afraid that the police had missed someone; that a member of the grooming ring had eluded police who would then come after her and Hailey. She had barely slept, calling her dad at all times of the day and night. And this on top.

He felt she was too calm. Daisy and Hailey had acted bravely throughout their ordeal, displaying a collectedness and clarity of mind that was beyond their years. Something had to give. Hailey had her crying release earlier in his arm because he was the only man she felt safe with, and both girls had cried when he took Hailey to see Daisy. It was a matter of time before Daisy followed suit.

And then it came. Daisy broke down in tears. Hardy took a step closer to consol her, but had to hold back. The midwife took the baby back to the crib as the key worker sat Daisy down and talked to her. This was taking all of his willpower to watch and not intervene.

“I don’t know,” Daisy sobbed. “I want to, but I don’t.”

Hardy tried to work out what question she was answering.

“I feel like I should try to be a mum, but I don’t want to because I didn’t want to be a mum. He deserves better than that. And I don’t want to be reminded all the time. But I don’t want to grow up wondering if he’s all right.”

“You’ve spent a long time looking after your little brother. Do you think maybe it’s time for you to step back and let your dad and step-mum take over so you can be you?” Aseema asked.

Hardy lifted his eyes to Ellie and could see in her impassive face that utter joy of that. He had no doubt in his mind that she would be a good mum to his kids. And he wanted so much to have Daisy and Ben at home with him. If the baby went to another home he would feel the loss as much as he had felt the loss of Daisy. Perhaps more so.

“Yes, but what would happen to him if I gave him away?” Daisy asked. “Will I be able to see him or find out how he’s doing?”

“We can arrange that,” Aseema replied. “Open adoptions are the norm these days. So if there’s a question about Enoch’s heart we can come and ask you, and your family history of heart problems will be on file.”

“I just don’t want him to be angry with me for what I’ve done or for giving him away. I don’t blame him, but... he looks like Godfrey. And I don’t want to see his face every day. It’s not fair. Why couldn’t he have looked more like me?”

“It upsets you that he reminds you of Godfrey and what happened?”

Daisy nodded. “Does that make me a bad person?”

“No, I don’t think it does,” Aseema told her. “What happened to you doesn’t make you a bad person. It happened to you, not by you. It will take time to heal those feelings, to be able to face those memories, and you have to give yourself that time. Understand?”

Daisy nodded. “But if I give him away, won’t he grow up thinking I blamed him for it? I don’t want that. He’s innocent.”

“Yes. He is,” Aseema agreed. “What do you feel for him, as he is now?”

Daisy got and approached the baby, now fast asleep. “He looks like my dad,” she said.

Hardy almost smiled at that, and turned his head to gaze out of the window until the urge died down.

“Is that anger still there?”

“No. But I think I will miss him when he goes.”

“We all feel that. If you give him up for adoption, you will feel grief and disappointed with yourself, and you’ll feel like a failure. But all of that is perfectly normal. Equally, if you keep your baby, you’ll still feel the same. Grief at your loss of freedom, disappointed that it happened and how you can’t do the things you want to do.”

“I’m used to that,” Daisy told her. “I had my little brother to look after. A baby isn’t that different,” she countered gently.

“And now you can decide not to,” Aseema said. “Now you can do the things other people your age do; you can go out, be yourself, do what you want to do - have parties, stay out late and meet a new boyfriend - and not have to worry about it.”

Daisy gazed at her seriously. “Should you be suggesting that with my mum and dad in the room?”

Ellie managed to hide her laugh, Hardy’s erupted just a fraction of a second before he could swallow it down. He remained facing the world outside. He relished having to tell his daughter off for any number of those on the list, because it meant he had her back.

Jolt just smiled. “What do you want to do with your life? Have you thought about it? Do you need more time?”

“No, I want to do this now. I want to finish my A-levels and go to university or join the police force. Looking after Ben and protecting him I hadn’t thought that would be possible before. But when me and Ben go home, I can do anything.”

“We will support you in any way we can whatever you decided.”

“Without bias?”

“No bias at all. This is about you and what you feel you can do and what you want to do.”

Daisy gazed down at the tiny baby for a long minute. She already sent texts to Hailey, Chloe and Beth - whose input was sought since she had been a young mother once - and had long conversations about her options and who would help when where what and how. But they had all told her that the decision was ultimately hers. She had been faced with support from all quarters, but now she had to decide on her own.

/=/=/=/=/

Hardy and Ellie stepped out into the corridor. She stopped in the middle of it while he lowered himself into a wall mounted folding chair, placed for the comfort of patients and visitors alike. It had been a long morning. He had insisted on being here for this, to support his daughter, to show her that he cared and wanted what was best for her.

He had watched her change, dress and feed the baby. Could tell a practiced hand when he saw one. It made him wonder exactly how much Tess had done herself. He recalled with exactness how often she had got up in the night with Daisy. Three. And only because he had been working late at the time. If there had been paternity leave at that time he wouldn’t have doubted for a second that Tess would have passed Daisy to him and left him to do it all.

He felt a surge of something akin to anger in his heart, but quashed it. The past was over and done with. He had to move on and put right what he could and be the best dad he could to all of his kids, and face together the consequences of this moment.

“She called me Mum.”

Hardy looked up at Ellie and realised he had forgotten the main ingredient in the outcome of all of this. His wife. She had tears in her eyes. Like that first day when they’d met on that beach he still could not walk along. But these tears now were joy, pride and overwhelming love.

He huffed a shocked breath and stood up, wrapped her in his arms and held her. “You can do it,” he comforted. “You can do anything. Look what you’d been through, eh? After all the hell of the past two years you can weather anything.”

“Yeah,” she sniffed. “I married you, after all.”

“Ye-well, I meant everything else,” he chagrined. He gazed at her with deep affection, feeling his eyes well up. He stroked her jaw line with the backs of his fingers. “Been good, though?”

“Better,” she assured him.

They shared a brief kiss.

“Are you ready to be a granddad?”

“No,” he said, trying to tug down the corners of his mouth. “Are you ready to be a granny?”

Ellie’s face crumpled. “Ugh! Don’t call me that,” she said quietly, glancing around to make sure no one heard her. “I’ve got kids who haven’t started school yet. How can I be a grandmother?”

They remained quiet for a moment, contemplating that thought.

“Daisy’s right, though. He does look like you.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah, and I had a feeling as soon as I saw him I recognised him from somewhere. Poor bugger’s got lumbered with your nose.”

“Thanks for that.”

“You’re welcome.”

“He might grow up to have your hair.”

Ellie frowned. “Mine? How could he possibly have my hair?”

“Transference,” Hardy replied.

Ellie gave him a mock glare. “Just be glad we’re in public, Alec, or I’d have thumped you one.”

Hardy grinned. He looked at his watch. “Case conference in a couple of hours.”

“Oh god,” Ellie moaned under her breath. “I swore blind when I was a kid I’d steer clear of the social services. Now we have them all over us like a rash.”

“Last one. The adjudicator makes a decision today. At least it’s not like Crown Court when you could be sitting around for months for sentencing. It’ll be over and done with. Daisy and Ben could be home, with us, tonight.”

“If we win, we could have three extra kids in the house.”

“We’ll have to sleep down stairs on the sofa.”

“No, I’ll sleep on the sofa. You can sleep in the armchair,” she corrected.

Hardy sighed dramatically. “It could go either way, and I don’t want to move anything around until we know for certain that Ben and Daisy are coming home with us.”

Ellie nodded. “And you’re not moving anything. I’ll call Olly to give me a hand.”

“You’re not moving furniture,” he argued, still keeping his voice low.

“Don’t be so sexist.”

“Don’t be so obstinate.”

“Don’t be so pig-headed... Knob!”

Hardy laughed. “So, you still call me that. That’s nice.”

Ellie smiled widely. “Honestly, though, if Daisy decides to keep the baby, are we ready?”

“As ready as we were when you had twins instead of one.”

“But we got rid of everything.”

“No, I told you I had,” he corrected.

“Where did you put all of it?”

“In vacuum-bags under the bed,” he admitted.

She opened her mouth to give him a rebuke, but then changed her mind. She was quiet for a second of two. “Knob!” she repeated.

Hardy burst into soft chuckles.

Suddenly the door opened and the social worker stepped out of the room with Daisy.

“Daisy has one request,” Aseema announced.

Ellie and Hardy waited, expecting something really huge and momentous, and costly given the look on her face.

“I want to make sure Godfrey and his gang can never find me,” she announced.

“I’ll do anything and everything in my power to make sure of that,” Hardy replied.

“Yeah, but I’ve thought about it, and I’ve come to a decision,” she continued. “I want to change my name. I want to drop Daisy and be known by Gemma, my middle name.”

“We can do that,” Hardy replied confidently. “As soon as you’re home I’ll arrange it.”

She lifted her eyes to the social worker, calm and determined, but looking for that extra nudge to say what she needed to say. She turned back and took a deep breath. “And I’ve made up my mind about the baby.”

ĐĐ

To be continued...

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