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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 Eight, Part Five: Word Spreads

Chloe ran down the stairs. “Mum! Dad! Daisy’s coming home!”

It had been two weeks since the case conference, and just hours since the emergency hearing that morning. And no one knew the outcome of that one yet. No one had even dared to hope for a good outcome. Even Beth had seen the glazed look on Hardy’s face. He had been given compassionate leave from work and Ellie... Beth couldn’t begin to know what she was going though. But on some level, deep inside her, she did know. And the shock of that realisation made her awaken from her own hell.

“Now?” she almost squeaked.

“Yes! She said she was in the car and on the road to Broadchurch. What else can it mean?”

“Where’s she coming from?” Mark asked.

“Preston in Weymouth.”

“Thirty-five minutes at the most,” Mark worked it out in his head. They’d need furniture, clothing, toys. “Beth, get on to your friends. I’ll call mine. Chloe, text all of your friends-”

“Done it.”

“What? You don’t even know what I’m going to ask yet.”

“Me and Lara have been planning it all for weeks, ever since Daisy told me her mum was arrested. Just in case,” Chloe admitted. “I had a what-if scenario with Ellie two weeks ago, the day before the case meeting. She wouldn’t talk about it until it was a what-if. She had a list of stuff she’d need if they got custody. And she hadn’t shared it with Alec, because he’d start crying every time she mentioned it. So I copied the list and passed it round. We all picked a couple of things off the list and it’s all sorted.”

Mark gaped at his daughter in shock. Suddenly his phone rang and he took it out. “Hello... Yeah...? I dunno, up in Bridport... Not in that time, no. They deliver direct on big items, and they take weeks... Just a second...” He turned to his daughter and wife, his phone to his chest, and whispered. “Hardy’s in a right panic. He’s got no clothes, no furniture, no nothing, and his kids are arriving in twenty minutes. He wants to borrow the van so he can go up to Argos.”

“What do we do?” Beth wondered. “Thirty-five minutes isn’t long enough, let alone twenty.”

“I’ll ask her to go the long way around,” Chloe decided, and had it sent as a text in just five seconds. Five seconds after that came a reply. And several more pings came at once. Chloe’s thumbs kept moving over the keys at a frenetic pace. “Dad, your van’s at Nigel’s. He’s got bunk beds. Pete and his mum’s got a chest of drawers and a wardrobe. Bob and Caroline’s got Lara’s old clothes, a chest of drawers, a tallboy and a single bed. They’re both bringing that over in ten minutes. My mates are coming down in five minutes with bags of stuff. Jake Crawley’s got a load of toys. And my stuff’s in the garage ready to go in the car. We’re all meeting at Ellie’s, but it’s a secret, so don’t let on until you get there.” She looked up at her dad. “Well, what are you waiting for?”

Mark turned and made off as fast as he could go for the back door, talking into his phone as he went. “Ok, mate. I’ll be down in about ten minutes,” he said before he hurried out the door. “I dunno, I’ll think of something. See you in a bit,” he added and ended the call.

“We need to get cooking,” Chloe said to her mum. “They’ll be in shock and not thinking straight.”

“I don’t have enough in to feed you lot and Hardy’s family!” Beth cried out.

“Mum, I told you. We’ve been having a whip round for ages.” Chloe threw open the dresser doors in the living room, once filled with stuff and junk, to show it stocked up with tinned soup, vegetables and fruit. “Gran’s been helping,” she admitted.

Beth looked at her daughter in awe and then at her mum, and then back again. She wrapped her in her arms and held her tight. “Oh god, you put us to shame, you do.”

/=/=/=/=/

Hardy looked at Ellie in utter nervous loss. He had no idea where to start. They had not given them very much warning at all. He and Ellie had known from the meeting with the Adjudicator - just two weeks before - that this moment was coming. But they had not been given a date. And then on finding the children gone from the hospital into emergency foster care, despite winning both cases, their life had gone on hold. Now, with thirty minutes warning, the kids were on their way.

They had both been working long hours to make up for the missed day at the custody and social services hearings. Returning home after the adoption hearing that morning had been good, but the children had still not been there. And now...?

The housework hadn’t been done. Even the weekly shopping had not been bought yet. Nothing was ready. Beyond clearing a space in Tom’s room and moving Fred in with him on the top floor. But they soon realised that there was not enough room for three single beds. They had half thought of returning Fred’s bed to the now empty room beside theirs. The bedroom was distinctly a toddler’s room and they had no time to redecorate. They had no suitable furniture for a teenage girl and nothing for her to wear.

“Oh god,” he breathed. “This isn’t going go down well. Social services will take one look at this and take them away again.”

Ellie hushed him before he could burst into another round of tears. Not that she begrudged him. She turned her head, hearing a vehicle in the driveway. “Who’s that outside?”

Hardy went to look. “Pete Lawson. With a van. My god, there’s another outside on the road. Uniforms! What is going on?”

Leaving Ellie with the kids, he rushed downstairs to the door and stepped outside. “What’s going on?”

“Operation Hardy, sir,” Pete Lawson replied, as if it had been an official police case. “Been working undercover for about a fortnight. We have a delivery for a Ben Hardy. One wardrobe, bunk beds, two chests of drawers and a toy box. Where do you want them?”

Hardy could not find the words and simply pointed. Somehow he kept it together as he led the way inside. He waved to Ellie to not ask and led the odd procession up stairs. He practically watched them slot bunk beds together and put Tom’s things on the top bunk and dress the lower bunk ready for Fred. Fred’s toddler bed and Tom’s single bed stood in pieces against the wall with a new chest of drawers between the beds and a new but empty toy box, stood next to Tom’s and Fred’s boxes by the window.

And then Hardy orchestrated the makeover of the boys’ room as bobbies carried the dismantled beds to the garage, and within a minute other furniture arrived, apparently labelled “For Daisy” with pretty stickers, which Ellie shepherded to Fred’s old room. Chloe arrived with some pretty bedding she and her friends had made themselves. They had been decorated with names and phone numbers and messages from all her friends. A wardrobe and a chest of drawers finished the room off. But they were not finished. Clothing arrived and girls laid them all out on the bed for Daisy’s arrival, while another bag went upstairs into the boy’s room for Ben.

Hardy stood in disbelief as toys began the journey up to the turret room. He heard his name called from the bottom of the stairs. He descended to stare at his equally stunned and confused wife.

“Operation Hardy,” she managed, her lip quivering. “Chloe did it. And Beth’s in our kitchen making dinner.” She lost it then, sobbing quietly.

Hardy held her close. “Chloe is one amazing young lady,” he breathed. “I think she got the whole town involved. Chloe Latimer, officer-in-charge.”

Ellie giggled wetly. She pulled away and wiped her eyes. “Are you all right?”

He nodded. “I think... I will be once the children get here. You all right?”

“Yeah.” She glanced at her watch. “I don’t know what’s keeping them but the kids should have been here by now.”

“All done,” Mark announced.

“I can’t believe it,” Ellie voiced. She had barely noticed at the banging about and noise had ceased. “I can never thank you enough.”

“We needed to do it,” Beth replied. “Me more than most... I’m sorry. It’s been a horrible two years and I shouldn’t have let it draw out for so long. I know you wouldn’t have been with Joe if you’d known. I know you too well. But my head was somewhere else. My reasoning. But your husband’s right. We should help each other in times like this. And my daughter brought me back to myself. I’ve missed you, Ellie. Forgive me?”

“Oh, you silly bugger, there’s nothing to forgive,” Ellie breathed and hugged her old friend in fierce reply. “Sometimes, even in good light and with 20/20 vision you can miss things. I had wanted to be married for life, so badly and I tried to hard to keep my family together that I missed something in Joe. I wish I hadn’t. I wish I knew then what it was I should have seen. Even now I can’t see it. Now, I understand what many people go through that are questioned about their spouse’s actions and they swear they didn’t know. I always thought they were lying. But now I know there are many that weren’t. I swear I didn’t, Beth. If I had I would have stopped him. I would have done something. God knows, Hardy’s seen me at my worst. I would have killed Joe if he hadn’t stopped me.”

Beth stroked her face and silently wept with her as she shook her head. “No. Don’t do that. You’re better than that. Better than Joe.”

Ellie sobbed gently. “Do you remember that night when I told you I was going into the police force? And you said to me, marry a copper who was tall, dark and handsome.” She glanced over her shoulder for a second and turned back with a shrug. “Oh well. Two out of three, eh?”

Beth laughed with her as Hardy rolled his eyes. With his hands stuffed into his pockets, he didn’t dare ask which one he had failed on.

/=/=/=/=/

Two minutes later and the house was deserted again, save for Hardy, Ellie and the kids, all sitting in the living room in expectant excitement. Lucy and Olly had raced around to help, their lifeline again. The smell of soup wafted through the kitchen and living room and worked its way up the stairs. It was making their mouths water and their tummies grumble.

“Can we eat, yet, Daddy?” Fred asked.

Hardy almost flew across the room, his feet barely touching the floor as his heart skipped a beat at hearing the boy calling him that. It never got old. He smiled wiping tears from his face.

“Not yet, Fred. There’s someone coming.”

“We got some more vitizors?” Fred struggled to say.

“No, these ones aren’t visiting,” Hardy squatted to talk to him. “These ones are staying. Remember me telling you about Ben and Daisy?”

Fred nodded.

“Daisy and Ben are coming to live with us,” Hardy explained. “They’ll be here any minute now. So we’ve moved your bed into Tom’s Room, and Ben, your big brother, will share with you and Tom. And Daisy, your big sister, will have your old room. Is that ok?”

Fred thought about it and nodded. “Why can’t she sleep with Cattin and Harry?”

“Well, she’s a bit big for that room,” Hardy explained. “She’s taller than Tom.”

“Oh. Ok. But all my toys are in my bedroom.”

“They were, but now they’re in your new room.”

Instead of being really pleased, Fred burst into loud wails.

Ellie scooped him up and shook her head at Hardy. “It’s fine. He’ll be all right once he realises nothing much has changed.”

/=/=/=/=/

“Where are you taking us?” Daisy finally asked, unable to handle the silence as they turned along a road that seemed to take them toward the sea. Asking them to take a longer route to enjoy the countryside had been met with a suspicious look. She had no idea why Chloe asked that of her.

Helen Jolt was now holding a map while her colleague, Mrs. Price, had taken over the driving. They were lost, but Mrs. Price smiled at them through the rear view mirror. “We're almost there. Just another minute or two.”

“Next left,” Helen spoke.

“I knew we should have brought the sat-nav.”

“Well, the kids wanted a detour. Unfortunately that last one turn off took us down a bridal path that even the sat-nav would have avoided.” She gave the kids a cheeky grin, which made Ben smile. “Not to worry. Next left will take us back to the road we started on. Ten minutes after that we’ll be at your destination.”

“Yeah, but you haven’t said where we’re going,” Daisy pointed out.

“It’s a surprise,” Helen said.

Daisy sighed heavily and sank back against the seat. She hoped it was not the nasty surprise they had had after Mrs Troup had driven them away. She kept holding Ben's hand, so sure she had been right and they were going home, but pretending for so long that she didn’t know was beginning to strain. It felt as if Ben’s hand was the only thing keeping her calm.

Within moments she observed the house where she had left her baby coming into view. But the car turned off the road up a lane lined by woodland on one side and a hedge of yellow Leylandii on the other. She could smell the scent of the evergreens as they flicked gently passed the window.

And there, ahead of them, was a whitewashed stone-build house. It looked as if it had once been one of a pair, one on either side of a grand entrance to a manor house, whose driveway began with a gatehouse, like a castle, but much less important.

The right hand side of the gatehouse was long gone, buried beneath the orchard at the end of the line of Leylandii, but some of the original arch still protruded from the upper wall of the house. And the house had three floors with a turret sticking up from the top bedroom.

“Wow!” Ben crowed gently. “It’s a castle!”

Mrs. Price switched off the engine and sighed with dramatic effect. “That’s it. I give up. I don’t know about you, Miss Jolt, but I am lost.”

Helen cleared a giggle from her throat. “Oh yes,” she added in mock seriousness. “We shall have to ask directions.”

Daisy looked between them and realised what they were up to. They were pretending. Ben giggled heartily. She wondered if this was yet another foster home. But then she saw people coming of the side door, most of whom hovered by the steps. The one leading was a tall man. He took a stunned step closer, afraid to be wrong, afraid to be right.

Daisy sucked in a loud gasp. She knew that man! She was sure she could have lost her memories and still known instinctively who it was.

Ben's eyes widened as he stared out through the window screen around the front seat. “Daisy, is it Daddy?”

Choking on her breath, she whispered to Helen. “Is this real? Please don't be joking. Don't tell me we're dreaming. I couldn't take either. Please!”

Helen turned in her seat and smiled widely at them. “It's no joke or a dream. Welcome to your new home. You can use your phone now.”

She was practically choking on her breaths. “Oh my God! Oh my God!” Daisy hurriedly whipped out her phone and tapped a fast text to three of the numbers she had programmed from memory, Hailey, Lara and Chloe. We're home with Dad! To stay!

Daisy got out of the car, she found Helen gently lifting Ben into his wheelchair, while her colleague strapped the oxygen tank into the compartment under the seat. “You got it back.”

“Along with everything else,” Helen alluded, changing the oxygen bottle, which she had resumed the day she had found out where the children had been taken without authorisation - thanks to Greg and Molly phoning her office with concerns just a few days before - for a fresh one.

Daisy wished again that the social worker hadn’t taken away Ben’s wheelchair. Her dad had always told her to hate the action not the person, but sometimes she found it impossible. But now that he had it back, he wouldn’t be confined to one room of the house.

Now, she could greet her dad.

ĐĐ

To be continued...

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
diane_dme
Jan. 6th, 2015 07:33 pm (UTC)
OK - Moley is forgiven, Tkel! :D I detect your hand in this lovely part 5. :)
tkel_paris
Jan. 6th, 2015 11:06 pm (UTC)
:)

Oh, and did you detect it in the previous part? Because part 4 included something I was very proud of, and an addition that delighted Moley. :D
diane_dme
Jan. 7th, 2015 07:06 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, quite delicious. :)
I particularly enjoyed the scene with Ellie scoring points against Tess Hardy and then, when Anna couldn't resist her parting shot, I grinned widely. :D
tkel_paris
Jan. 8th, 2015 02:40 am (UTC)
It was tweaked a little, but the majority of the original first draft made it in to the final version. :DD And I couldn't resist adding in that parting shot.

Although I will admit to feeling a bit... hasty in some of the things I had Ellie say. Of course, I knew NOTHING of what was going to happen in B2, so... *shrugs*
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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