?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Title: Rejuvenation
Genre: Broadchurch
Rating: T (subject matter, emotions, legal matters)
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: A chance thought of her assistant makes Jocelyn Knight ask Tom Miller additional questions to check his evidence. His answers lead to others bringing forward evidence that would otherwise have remained hidden until the Defence uncovered them. Will it be enough to reverse the damage done by Sharon Bishop and Abby Thompson?
Disclaimer: If I owned any of the characters, some of them wouldn't have gotten away with what they did. Of course, I'm not yet up to the story-telling abilities of Chris Chibnall. I would like to be, one day.
Dedication: tardis_mole, for betaing and being the reason I'm writing Broadchurch fanfic to begin with. Posted in honor of bas_math_girl's birthday.
Author's Note: Starts in Episode Six after Jocelyn speaks with the Latimers following Tom giving evidence against Mark. Written because I simply needed to right a few blatantly illegal things done. I may be an American, but I think we can all agree when something doesn't seem right.


Chapter One


Rejuvenation

Start Date: July 11, 2015
Finish Date: September 4, 2015


Chapter Two: Redeeming Himself

Mark Latimer entered Jocelyn's house, let in by Ben. He took in the grim faces and chose to remain silent for a change. Might as well wait and see whether she was going to let him give evidence.

But he had a bad feeling about what this meeting would entail.

Jocelyn waited only for the men to be seated before she launched into the reason for calling him there. “I cannot have any more surprises, Mark. I've gone over the time-line you've given, and there is a whole hour you have never accounted for that the Defence has every right to pounce on. I must call you to give evidence in light of the meetings staying in, but you must tell me everything. If I have to act like Sharon Bishop to get you to tell it, I will. It's your choice, but failing to disclose all to me could lose the case.”

Mark cringed, took a deep breath and exhaled shakily. “Where do I start?”

Two long hours later, Mark was still sitting down but now emotionally exhausted. Jocelyn had spared no punches, being as harsh as she felt Courtroom etiquette permitted to make him admit to the truth. Being herself, gentle and compassionate, would not work. So, she had pretended to be Sharon Bishop and pounced on every last thing – proper or not – that might be questioned.

It was entirely fitting with what he had seen, and what Beth and Ellie had been put through. He went pale and muttered, “I feel like I won't be able to eat dinner.”

Jocelyn sat down finally as Ben rubbed his eyes and demanded his own answers. “Mark, how could you keep this from us? It's possible that this could've eliminated you as a suspect early in the investigation, something that could have been mentioned and removed any possible grounds for having you face giving evidence!”

Mark had no answer. The shame of his secrets now paled compared to the thought that people might think he killed Danny.

“There is one more thing you must do before tomorrow, Mark,” Jocelyn stated.

“What's that?”

“You must tell Beth.”

He swallowed hard.

Jocelyn's eyes bore down on him. “Would you have her find out in the Courtroom, and endure even more humiliation by making the Defence's shoddy ideas seem believable?”

Ben thought it was a miracle that Mark did not pass out on the spot, he lost so much color.

/=/=/=/=/

Courtroom the next day was no better an experience for Mark. His secrets aired, his shame under the spotlight, Beth's angry eyes on him when she could hold her head up, and the townspeople staring at him in dismay.

And that was just with Jocelyn's questions.

Ellie was as stunned as anyone about the revelation that Mark was thinking of leaving Beth. And when he admitted it, she noticed that Beth's eyes drifted to her with a watery expression. They locked eyes for a long moment, and Ellie realized that Beth had forgiven her.

It was welcome, although Ellie would've wished for it to come in any other way. It hurt to know that she was gaining that forgiveness for not knowing about Joe's secret because Beth hadn't known about Mark's. And that man's shame and remorse were no consolation.

Ellie marveled over how much Jocelyn covered, and how many questions she threw at Mark. Most seemed odd coming from the Prosecution, but she slowly realized what Jocelyn's aim was. By controlling how the damaging information came out, she could negate the harm to the case and cut off avenues for the Defence to proceed.

And the stony expressions on the Defence solicitors' faces as they exchanged glances between them said they knew it, too.

But the worst news to Ellie was yet to come.

Jocelyn's voice turned a shade colder when she brought up the thing that made her the angriest the previous night. “Mr. Latimer, is it true that you talked a police friend of yours into letting you speak to the Defendant in the holding cells on the day of the arrest?”

Several gasps escaped the Courtroom, and the Judge was horrified. The Defence grimaced over losing the chance to be the ones to disclose that detail.

Mark closed his eyes. “Yes.”

“After you were told to not interfere in the investigation?”

“Yes.”

“Did your friend point out that if it got out, he would be in trouble? Which he now is?”

“Yes.”

“Why did you insist anyway?”

Mark sighed, focusing on what he went over the previous night. “I had spent an hour at the beach, throwing random pieces of wood and debris into the sea, screaming to the air, 'Why?! Why?!' I wanted answers, you know? I had just been told someone I called a friend had killed my boy. My police friend, he caved under my pleas but made it clear that I could only speak through the opening in the cell. The door would be closed at all times. I couldn't speak but nodded.”

“So what did you say to the Defendant?”

“I reminded him, accusingly, that he had been in our home, that he'd been our friend. He kept saying, 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry.' And I... God, I'm not proud of what I said next, but anger just made it come out. I asked if he hadn't been man enough to kill his own boy.”

The loudest individual sound came from Ellie.

Mark continue, heedless of the horror. He had to get this next bit out. “And Joe said that he left Danny on the beach so he'd be found.”

“Objection!” cried Sharon, bouncing to her feet over the gasps in the Courtroom, and unaware of Joe Miller flinching. “My client's confession has been struck from record. This line of questioning interferes with that decision!”

“If the Defence had been the ones to disclose this incident Mr. Latimer would have the right to defend his own actions,” Jocelyn argued. “Furthermore, he is not of the police, and therefore the conversation referred to includes a statement against interest by the Defendant.”

Judge Sharma was silent for nearly twenty seconds, weighing the two arguments. The incident did not look good for the Prosecution, but their admitting to it made it less damaging. And while the words in question could be taken as hearsay, so could a great deal of both sides' cases.

She made her decision. “Overruled. Continue, Mr. Latimer.”

Sharon's jaw dropped as she slowly sat back down. It was a partial confession, as damning to her case as the revelation that Mark had visited Joe Miller was to the Prosecution. Maybe more so.

“He challenged me, pointing to my hitting Danny that one time. I said, don't give me that excuse.” He choked on a cry. “I'll be paying for that one moment for the rest of my life, wondering if I'd held my temper then would Danny still be alive. If I'd been paying more attention instead of thinking with my... other head, would I have spotted that Danny was sneaking off? My wife kicked me out of the house last night, forcing me to sleep in the car. I couldn't sleep, though. All I could think of were my mistakes, of what I could've done different. I thought about what really mattered to me, and all I could think about was my family. Beth... Chloe... and little Lizzie. They're all I have left, and I will work every day of the rest of my life to regain my wife and eldest's trust, and to never lose Lizzie's.”

Beth's expression was stony, hiding her real feelings.

“No further questions,” Jocelyn declared, sitting down.

Judge Sharma addressed the Courtroom. “Given the time, Court will rejourn for an hour.”

Mark looked like he would rather have got the whole thing over with right then.

/=/=/=/=/

In the lower lobby of the Courts, Lucy and Tom stood around.

“Why are we waiting here, anyway?” Tom asked, wondering why his aunt insisted on bringing him here.

Lucy patted his shoulder. “Just hang on for one minute.” She turned in time to see Ellie descending on them, like a storm front, and she didn’t blame her for a minute. But she knew that there would be details Ellie was not aware of. “Now, Ell, before you say anything-”

Tom turned, his eyes wide and fearful. “I don’t want to talk to you,” he told his mother weakly.

“Sit down!” Ellie barked.

Tom sank to the bench in astonishment, and hoped he would not be on the receiving end of the fury he had described in Court.

“Do you see what you put Mark and Beth through?!” Ellie demanded. “He wouldn't be on the witness stand if it wasn't for you! I know you want to protect your father, but he is a murderer and a shit and he deserves none of your feelings for him. Look what you ended up doing! You lied, on oath, in a Court of law and I hope you're ashamed! Are you?”

Tom was silent, staring at her.

“ARE YOU?!” she barked again, making him jump.

“Yes. Yes, Mum,” he replied. “But they tricked me.”

“Of course they did!” Ellie snapped. “If you had been with me it would never have happened. But no, you had to get an arrogant streak and think yourself beyond needing parental guidance. If I had been there I would have been able to show you who to speak to. And look at the mess you caused by ignoring me!”

“Y-yes, mum. I’m sorry. I put it right. I did.”

“He was brilliant in there,” Lucy put in. “You would have been proud of him.”

“Luce, shut up!”

Lucy fell silent. She knew it wasn’t her place. Tom should tell him mum.

“Right. Well, you are coming home with me tonight, back to the house,” Ellie blustered, her adrenaline levels already beginning to sag.

“No, we’re not, cos-”

“Yes, we are, because I am your bloody mother! If I have to drag you kicking and screaming, I will! Your father has done enough damage and I will not let him destroy us! Do you understand?!”

“Yes, Mum,” he responded, his lips quivering. She was right, of course. His mum had never failed him. He knew that now.

Lucy nodded in support, but she remained silent this time.

“Right, that’s good,” Ellie sobbed, trying to calm herself down. “I’ve been driving all morning and went straight in to hear the evidence. I need the loo. Wait here. I’ll be back in a minute.”

She walked away, still sobbing dryly, but she had questions, so many questions. Thank god Olly had sent her a text, because she could imagine this moment being very different.

She was also worried about what would happen once Sharon Bishop started questioning Mark. What else might she have up her sleeve?

/=/=/=/=/

Abby stood in the Defence office, looking over papers while Sharon paced.

“How shall I go after Mark Latimer?” Sharon pondered aloud. “Jocelyn Knight did a brilliant job of making it difficult.”

“Questioning his motives for befriending Tom?”

“She already asked.”

“Whether he befriended others.”

“Also asked.”

“Gifts?”

“She asked, and you would remember that if you were paying attention!”

Abby flinched, and thought back on the Courtroom from earlier. “His friendship with Nigel Carter.”

“Jocelyn already asked about when he had covered for him, and vice versa. She covered it all in so much detail that I'm left without much to cover. She knew exactly what she was doing. By being the ones to reveal those unflattering details and evidence, she and Ben Heywood had the power to control how they were presented. Now I lack an in that won't come across as overbearing or picking at something already talked about.”

“Can't we get into the details of their meetings?”

Sharon shook her head. “We have to be careful. I think Judge Sharma almost excluded Tom's evidence, and if we move the wrong way she might reverse her decision. We need that evidence to remain in, so I have to avoid the details, because we are running a high risk of losing pieces critical to our case. Unsettling Mark to trigger his temper will be key.”

Abby nodded and sat down to help prepare in the short time they had.

/=/=/=/=/

Sharon Bishop cross-examined Mark for almost five minutes, questioning his honesty, his integrity, even accusing him of being two-faced under pressure. But he had been well-coached. Even though he was angry, he didn't explode. Instead he let out other emotions: mortification, pain, humiliation in just the right measures to convince Sharon that she was wasting her time trying. But, above all, he showed determination. He insisted that he was on the witness stand, because someone had to speak for Danny, and as Danny's father he knew he would be giving Sharon his version of a thick ear over how she treated his mum. So Mark was doing that on behalf of his son.

Sharon finally sighed. “No further questions.” She wasn't going to get anything more out of him. He had held up better than she expected.

What she didn't know was that when a man had been beaten down as far as Mark had, he was impervious to further hits. Because the worst damage had already numbed him.

Chapter Three

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
bas_math_girl
Sep. 6th, 2015 02:04 am (UTC)
Yay for Mark keeping his cool in the courtroom. *glares at Sharon*

she was gaining that forgiveness for not knowing about Joe's secret because Beth hadn't known about Mark's.
This was such a powerful sentence when I read through this; resonating deeply. Poor Ellie, and poor Beth. :( So much loyalty and trust thrown to the wayside. But at least after this moment they had each other again.
tkel_paris
Sep. 6th, 2015 05:42 am (UTC)
Jocelyn wasn't going to allow for anything less.

Yes, painful and needed. Ouch for them both.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

August 2017
S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow