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Title: Broadchuch: 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 Broachurch by Chris Chibnal, with added clues from the novel by Erin Kelly. We gain no 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 Two, Part Six: Late Night Questions


Night, Miller,” Frank yawned, who tugged his jacket on as he spoke.

Night,” she answered instinctively, not taking her eyes off the photos before her.

As a matter of procedure, photos of murder victims and the associated files could be seen by other investigators so if they happened to have information they could share. Most of the time, the files were locked away and only scenes were on, but switched off if someone outside the team came into the room. And Chief Super Jenkinson was willing to let Ellie see whatever she needed, and she had requested the Sandbrook files.

Ellie looked at the German girl, the confirmed tourist. She then held up the photo of the four girls. She frowned harder.

Despite the passage of time, there were undeniable similarities between the fourth girl in the photo from the first scene and this victim. Same hair color, facial structure was close even accounting for a girl growing out of childhood plumpness, and the eyes were close.

Were they the same girl? Or could this be a case of mistaken identity? Maybe a good facial recognition scan could tell. Or better light in the morning.

She dropped the photos and rubbed her eyes. A quick glance at the clock made her straighten. It was 7pm already?!

Groaning, she looked over at the DI’s office. Hardy was pulling his own late night, looking at notes and documents of his own. The second murder, just as she was, but he was reviewing interview transcripts. She thought for a moment. This was as good a time as any.

But first she would slip out quickly. There was one thing she had to do before it got any later. Might make her necessary task go easier.

A moment later Hardy was startled by a knock. He looked up, and saw his wife standing with a bag in her hands. He snorted. “Tell me there's something in there that's not fried. Just because I had the operation, it hasn't changed my diet.”

I know you can have a chippy every so often, but it's sandwiches this time.”

He began carefully placing things in piles to make room. “I called Tom earlier. Your sister is babysitting and your nephew went over to help with dinner.”

Ellie smiled as she put down the bag and opened it. “See, Olly has his uses.”

As long as he learned his lesson from last time.”

Trust me, I think the experience with that reporter made him want to prove his worth.” She handed him his sandwich. “Did you know he's working on a book about Sandbrook?”

He groaned. “Why?”

Maggie said he was thinking about how the press could be used for and against the public interest during any investigation. He wanted to figure out ways to keep the public informed without harming the chance of a conviction or seeing an innocent person gaslit.”

He wants to prevent another case like Jack Marshall. Does he feel guilty?”

I think a bit.” Ellie sat down with her own sandwich. “It's his effort to make it up to Jack's memory, he said. And I think he also wants to repair your reputation.”

Hardy paused just before he could take a bite and gave her a dark look. “It's taken another hit from this.”

As they started eating, each thought about what they wanted to say.

He broke the silence first once he had chewed enough. “Your case. Do you think I did it?”

Ellie had to smile. “Taking the direct approach as always. Well, as far as I know you have an alibi. Unless you think I did it.”

I know I told you anyone is capable, but there are exceptions. You're not capable of killing a child in any way.”

Then either neither of us did it, or we both did it and have almost everyone fooled already.”

He had to smile. She was right, she was effectively his alibi. Although the timing was still up in the air until they found the murder scene and had the autopsy results.

After a few more bites Ellie felt ready to ask what she came in to learn. “You looked like you were seeing a ghost when you saw that group photo. You really don't remember that day?”

He slowly put down his sandwich. “The truth?”

She nodded.

He reached for his wallet and tugged out a small photo that had been tucked behind a school photo of Daisy. He held it out to her.

Ellie stilled. “It's the same photo.”

It was one of the few photos of Daisy I was able to get before I had to leave. I'd nearly forgotten about this day.”

What happened?”

Daisy had a birthday party at the holiday park at Durdle Door. Her eighth birthday. Three of her best friends were there. I'd forgotten that Pippa Gilespie was someone she knew. They all went to different schools after that, moved to different areas by... a year later, I think. One was a German girl whose father remarried and moved them back to Germany. I think her name was Louise. The other girl... I want to say she was called Helen, but I don't trust my memory. I've been trying to remember all day. It might be a lead.”

Every instinct was screaming to Ellie that he was telling the truth. “And the photo? It looks like a photo booth picture.”

Alec snorted, a tiny smile of remembrance. “No, that was actually the shower cubicle in our caravan. The girls squeezed into it just for a laugh. Tess took that photo and had miniatures made for each of them. This one’s the original.”

Did they ever meet up after that? Keep in touch?”

They liked writing letters. In fact, when I gave Daisy a mobile phone, she was disappointed. 'Why can't you just write to me?' she asked. 'Phones can be tapped or stolen’. I thought all teenagers wanted a phone.”

Ellie paused in her chewing, a startled reaction. She quickly managed a swallow. “She didn't trust phones?”

She’d heard of the Milly Dowler case. Who hadn’t? I told her that I wasn't sure her mum would allow my letters through, so I wanted something that I could reach her with.”

Have you ever got through to her?”

Once or twice at first. Then... either I had the worst timing or...”

Or Tess found the phone and confiscated it?” Ellie finished. “Is that what you're saying? Even though she resented the delay to her career?”

Hardy slumped in his chair. “She was glad to play the role of devoted mother because she knew it would hurt me.”

So why did she have another child if she knew it'd be another hit on her career?”

He shook his head and shrugged. “I wish I knew. The hardest part of leaving was that Daisy was convinced that I was her brother's father. I don't know how she took the news of the DNA test, or even if Tess ever told her. I wish I could have comforted her.”

Ellie decided to chance a random question. “Have you ever wondered what would have happened if you had let her find out about the affair? Might she have insisted on staying with you?”

He thought about it for a moment and folded his arms. “She was so attached to her brother. She always wanted a sibling. I... couldn't take her from him.”

Who's the father on record for the boy?”

Tess put me down and I stupidly signed it. I don't know if she's gone and had it corrected.”

Ellie thought a moment. She had another question to ask in light of this. “Alec, if the only way to get custody of Daisy was to also take the boy in... What's his name?”

He paused to think. “Ben.”

If you'd had the chance to gain custody if you also took Ben, since you were the father on record, even though I don't know how custody works, would you have gone for it just to keep your daughter with you?”

Alec looked surprised. “I...”

Ellie took advantage of the hesitation. “You took in my boys and you had no ties to them.”

Yes, I did. You.”

Well, you have a deeper tie to Ben: Daisy. Wouldn't you be a better parent for him than a mother who won't let her daughter have contact with her father?”

Would you have accepted me if I'd come with them?”

Yes.”

Money would have been even tighter.”

I think if she'd been here we might not have fought and broken up.”

That left him silent.

Ellie finished another bite. “Poor Becca, first finding a victim practically in her car park and then learning she was kidnapped in her place of business. How's she taking it?”

He flashed her a hint of a grateful smile for the subject change. He needed to get off a topic that only left his heart feeling like it would try to overpower the pacemaker. “She's terrified that she'll be closed down. Someone already threatened to sue her.”

Having SOCO going all over the place isn't good for business.”

I suspect if it weren't for my expressly saying that no one was to leave Broadchurch in case they were needed as witnesses, every last guest would have tried to go home. As it is, they’ve all had to be moved to other guesthouses or bed and breakfast accommodation until SOCO have finished. I’m still concerned that a fair few will leave and never come back.”

Ellie sighed. “Both the Super and the Chief Super were afraid of this. I'm worried about how the town will react when word does get out that there's a second body.”

I think it's already out.”

Why do you say that?”

Brian was looking extra grim today at the hotel. Someone local has to have read their faces enough to know that something close happened recently. And he overheard someone in the bar tell Beth that this was the second body in the same day.”

Ellie sighed. “Well, get ready for the press to come pounding on our collective door.”

They shared a dark look. It was likely to get much worse than Danny's had. And if the town had nearly fallen apart because one of their own had been taken, what would the reaction be with two dead teenage tourists?

The word coming to both their minds was pandemonium.

ĐĐ

To be continued...

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