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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 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 Four. Part Three: Confrontations

“You need some sleep.”

“I’ll sleep when I know my son’s going to be ok.”

“Funny. You never cared until now. You change your tune quicker than an orchestra.”

“Well, at least one of us is playing a tune,” she snapped back. The only thing lightening her mood was seeing Daisy approach, even if she was carrying another bag from the chemist's.

“DS Tess Hardy?” Ellie called out.

Tess turned to see the woman with short dark curls and a severe expression approaching. Her whole manner screamed cop. She looked down at the badge on her belt, and the person who followed her like she was the superior officer. These were not people to give the lie about her name. “Yes?”

"DS Ellie Miller, DC Anna Broome,” Ellie introduced.

“Oh great!” Bruce forced out, throwing his hands up into the air. “We’ve been up all night and now the coppers turn up. A little girls’ posse. And they grow up and still go around in posses!”

Tess scowled. “Bruce, shut up!” She turned towards the approaching women as a thought softened the scowl into a frown. “Miller? Isn't that the name of the man arrested here almost two years ago?”

Ellie was not surprised that other forces had heard about that. She did not react. “If you're really asking a different question, please have the honesty to just say it.”

The bluntness startled both Tess and Bruce. She replied, “Are you related to him?”

“I'm ashamed to say he was my husband. He's now my ex. Dumped him as quickly as I could.”

“And you're still wearing his ring?”

“Different husband.”

“And you're still on the force?”

“Exonerated of any wrongdoing,” Anna interjected. “She was the candidate for the DI’s position. A little more experience and she would have had it.”

Ellie did not want to get into old things, but she wanted to see whether Tess knew anything about her new marriage.

Tess bristled. “Oh, you were passed over for my ex. How like the higher ups to choose a man over a woman who’s forced to take leave to have kids, isn't it?”

That confirmed it for Ellie. Tess was bitter that she had been passed up for promotion. She shrugged. “It worked out for me. I wouldn't have a job now if I'd had to be in charge then.”

“You still go by Miller?”

“I've been known by it for fourteen years on the job. Seemed like too much trouble to change it. And to do so seemed like saying I did something wrong. So I still use it in defiance.”

Not really, but she was testing the waters. Just to be certain.

Tess smiled, almost like she approved of her actions. “What can we do for you?”

“I've been going over the witness list and I noticed that your daughter has not been interviewed as part of the investigation.”

“What can she add to it?” Bruce asked, voice sharp as cut glass.

“One of the victims was her friend.”

Daisy stilled, blinking hard and paling.

That caught Ellie and Anna’s attention, but Ellie continued as thought she had seen nothing. “Someone I understand her mother here once knew, so I assumed that you would have told her and both be glad to help an investigation given that girls Daisy's age are being targeted.”

Tess gave Bruce a cold look before slowly nodding. “Fine. Ask her right here.”

“I'm going to speak with her on that bench over there. You can watch us from here.”

“I'm her mother. I have a right to be here.”

“Some of the questions will be challenged in court if she has to rely on her mother's memory. Having you watch from that distance is a compromise acknowledging the rules.”

“Then you're not asking her anything.”

Ellie stepped closer. “Let me explain something about Broadchurch. I have lived here all my life. I know practically every person in this town. I've raised my kids here because it's safe. This is the second time Broadchurch has had to face murder in a two year period, and we get two murders this time. People are frightened and want answers. They're afraid that the killer won't stop with tourist girls but will move on to a local one. I have friends with daughters Daisy's age, and I promised I would find the answers to keep them safe. I want to keep this town safe, and ease the minds of current and future tourists. After thinking about leaving I stayed here for my sons because they didn't deserve to have their lives uprooted any further. As a DS yourself, you should know that anyone who interferes in the investigation can be tossed in a cell, and I'm here to tell you that you are a hair's breadth away from me slapping the cuffs on both of you and hauling you off for obstruction. Then I'd have Social Services sit with Daisy while I questioned her, on tape – including about why you wouldn't cooperate. But having said that, I’d much rather we kept this on a professional level of behaviour, wouldn’t you?”

She knew the words were dangerous, but she also knew that they had appearances to keep up. And there was an audience.

Tess and Bruce scowled before they glanced at Daisy. “She doesn't leave our sight.”

“Fine.” Ellie turned and held out her hand, her face breaking into a genuine smile even before it was returned. “Hello. Shall we take a little walk?”

Daisy nodded, eyeing the two people who were giving her hard glares before she joined Ellie, the chemist’s bag still in her hands.

As they walked Ellie took her own measure of Daisy. She had so much of Hardy in her, including the look in her eyes. It reminded Ellie of how he had looked when he asked to say good night to Tom and Fred before his operation, when he was uncertain if he would make it. And she looked at how the clothes fell on the girl's body. Crohn's, Hardy had said. The reason for her weight gain. But with a woman's eye Ellie thought the clothes almost looked like they were chosen to conceal just where the weight was being gained.

But without proof she was just speculating. And the human body was known for doing odd things when least convenient. Like hers. She had been expecting twins, but had been blessed with a smaller belly than she had had with Tom. And yet, Fred had made her look like she had been overdue with triplets. And Hardy, when he forgot to take his pills, had ankles that would put an elephant to shame.

She noticed that Daisy was also looking at her, but trying to not show it. Like she was very curious and afraid to let anyone know.

Ellie sat so Daisy was closer to the hotel entrance, which would mean she could look her way and not have her answers be lip read from that direction. The tension radiating from her was so present Ellie thought she could cut it with a knife. Pushing aside all worries, she smiled again, but tempered it with concern. “Not exactly the holiday you were expecting, I bet.”

Daisy nodded, her grimness once again proclaiming her genetic heritage. “There’s been two murders here since we arrived and another girl died up on the footpath. Everyone’s on edge. And now my brother could die. And I can't even speak to my dad. It all hurts.”

Ellie wanted to start with certain questions, but she decided to stick to the case to start. Maybe she could coax Daisy into easing her guard down just a little. “Louise's parents said they were meeting up with you here, and mentioned another friend coming to meet them. Did you all plan that?”

“Louise? You mean Louise Dusk? She hasn’t arrived yet.”

Ellie’s mouth turned dry. “I’m afraid she has arrived. I don’t know how best to tell you this, but your mum obviously hasn’t told you.”

“Told me what?”

“Louise died yesterday morning.”

“What!” Daisy cried. “How?”

“From what we know it was an accident. She was allergic to a plant she touched and suffered anaphylactic shock.”

Daisy whimpered and held back the tears.

For once Ellie thought the suspected truth, that it looked like a potential attack, might have been more comforting. Perhaps if everyone was not so scared. “I’m so sorry, Daisy.”

Daisy shook her head, gazing out over the field that sloped down towards the sea. She took a breath and wiped her cheeks. “I’ve lost a friend before. At least Louise was spared that. She always expected to die from her allergies.” She sniffed bravely. “Sorry.”

”No. Take your time. My questions can wait if you need time."

“You’re investigating two murders, what time is there before whoever did it strikes again?” Daisy reasoned. “Better to get it done now. I might hold vital information. Isn’t that what you’re here for?”

Ellie said nothing.

“I didn’t see the first girl more than a passing glance in the hotel foyer. And the second girl; wasn’t she the German girl?”

Ellie nodded.

“I didn’t see much of her either. And, no, I didn't plan on coming here. My mum planned it and told me. I went along with it, hoping I could come down and meet up with my dad. She contacted Louise and Hailey. I was afraid to ask. Bruce wasn’t even supposed to be here. In fact as soon as he heard my friends were coming he muscled in. I hate him. But my mum was adamant that she was taking a holiday with us and not him. Even though she hates going on holiday.”

“Why?”

Daisy clasped her hands together in a way that was very familiar to Ellie. “She's always hated small towns. Not a fan of the sea, either.”

Ellie suspected there was more to the story, but moved on. “Did anyone else know about you coming?”

“My mum said she’d written to Louise and Hailey, but she told me that neither of them could come. Until Bruce found the replies. I called Louise from a friend’s house and heard she was coming, but Hailey didn't answer.”

Ellie leaned in a little and angled her head to catch her eyes. “What's her name?”

Daisy hesitated, but exhaled the answer. “Hailey Bridgewater.” She glanced at her, as if looking for signs of recognition. She hoped to find none, because that meant Hailey was still alive.

“If you're wondering where she is, she's not popped up on our screens. That means she’s probably safe,” Ellie told her, though she was guessing. “You might have missed her here. I know some people have gone home or gone elsewhere. It happens when you get a murder. People shy away.”

“She’s in trouble,” Daisy blurted out. “I’ve been trying to find my dad, because I know he would help. And Hailey really needs help. Something happened. She said she was scared. But that was months ago.”

“Then if she calls you, let us know,” Ellie told her, but wondered if those words weren’t Daisy’s cry for help. But she couldn’t work out what she would be scared of. ”We'll place her in a safe house. You know what that is?”

Daisy nodded and sighed heavily. “Witness protection.” She was trying to look like she was crying, but Ellie caught the flash of relief in her eyes.

“Did you get to speak to Sarah Wallace at all, when you got here?”

“Yeah, at the hotel the day we arrived. I showed off Ben to her, like he was a trophy. It was stupid, really, but Ben’s my little soldier. Even my mum greeted her with a smile.”

“She doesn’t smile much?”

“Not really. Bruce just argues with her all the time. I don’t think my mum has much to be happy about. So getting out for a few minutes to talk to someone new was fun.”

“What did you talk about?”

“Nothing much, because I was tired. I don’t travel well. But we chatted about school mostly and MTV. I kept asking her questions about the things girls my age always talk about. I don’t have friends at home who share my taste in music.”

“Did you hit it off, then, with Sarah?”

“Not really, she was shy. She did mention that she liked Olly Murs. I’m not a fan.”

“Did she ask you any questions?”

“Yeah, but my mom or Bruce tend to answer for me.”

“They don't let you speak for yourself?”

She shook her head.

Ellie decided this was as good a time as any. “What about your real dad? Why can't you talk with him?”

Daisy looked at her for a long moment, definitely assessing her. Finally her face fell into a pout. “Mum doesn't want me to. Says Dad walked out on us and I shouldn't even speak to him.”

“Do you agree with her?”

She shook her head, ever so slightly but with decided conviction.

“When's the last time you saw or spoke to your dad?”

“It was on my thirteenth birthday, when he gave me a mobile. We spoke twice. Then...” She cut herself off and cleared her throat. “The most recent was... yesterday morning, when I saw him at the hospital. That was the first I ever heard about his heart. Is it true that he had to get a pacemaker?”

The eyes were begging for answers, even though she was not giving enough of them. Ellie nodded sadly. “Yes, I'm afraid so.”

Daisy's eyes watered. “My mum claimed to that reporter that he’d had a breakdown.”

So she had overheard that. Ellie could not completely conceal a frown this time. “As far as I can tell, the only thing that might make him break down is the thought that you want nothing to do with him. The lack of contact has hurt him.”

“How do you know?”

“It's less what he says and more what he doesn't say. Or what he says with his eyes and face when he forgets to control his expressions.”

“You work with my dad?”

She nodded again. “He's the DI here.”

Daisy swallowed like she had something caught in her throat. She lowered her voice to an even quieter whisper. “Are you his new wife?”

Ellie blinked, barely controlling her reaction. She did not hesitate with her answer though. “Yes.”

“Do you love him? Will you never hurt him or try to cut him off from his own child?”

“I would never do any of that. The man is a right pain and a bit of a bully professionally, but he's a good man and I fell for him. Much easier and sooner than I care to admit to.”

“Did those feelings exist before your first marriage ended?”

Ellie slowly leaned forward to clasp her hands between her knees. Make it look like she was contemplating her next question. “This is embarrassing, but yes. The... spark in my first marriage had been gone for a while, and I didn't want to admit it. Your dad and I had to keep things quiet until they couldn't be.”

“You had twins together, right?”

Ellie straightened and looked Daisy right in the eye. “How do you know when your mother seems ignorant of who I am to him?”

I’ve seen you in town with two babies. I don't know how my mum doesn't know, but I know because of a local girl. Chloe's her name.”

“Chloe Latimer?”

“Yes. I’ve spoken to her a couple of times. She told me loads about my dad.” She sucked in a breath. “He told the truth when he said he wants to hear from me, didn't he?”

“Of course.”

She took a deep breath, and then another. After a moment she asked, “Do you have any other questions about the case to keep me here?”

“That's it. But... I want you to know something. If your mother has actively prevented you from contacting your dad, if you tell me or any authority here about it then your dad could go back to the court. He’s your father. He has the right to see you. Or, if you wanted, he could fight for custody. He couldn’t before, but he can now.”

Her eyes had a longing look, but it was chased by panic. “I can't leave Ben all alone. I won’t.”

“Your dad is still named on Ben’s birth certificate, apparently. Your mother never changed it. I've watched him lately, and I think he’s beginning to doubt the results of the paternity test. Just don’t tell anyone I said that. But if he contested it and it turned out Ben is your father’s son, he would include Ben in that demand. At the very least, he could convince a judge to force your mother to accept regular contact between you two.”

Daisy looked like she did not like that thought.

Ellie noticed, and considered what she thought was going on. “I'd give you my card, but I suspect it will be... taken. Am I right?”

The answer was a slow nod.

“Then if you need to talk, ask Becca Fisher to call me. I can talk your mother into letting me speak with you again, officially, and she couldn’t stop me. If there's anything you need to tell us, including about what you know about Hailey's situation, or if you saw something or know something about the murders, have Becca call.”

“Why aren't you asking now?”

“I have a feeling you know more than you’re saying. I’ve heard things, Daisy, about the gangs. Why didn't you call the police or go to the local police station at home?”

Daisy shuddered. “I don't know who I can trust there. They all work with my mum. They know me.”

“And it's been that way for a while for you, in Sandbrook?”

She nodded.

Ellie exhaled deeply, but kept it through her nose to conceal from observers her real reactions. “Okay. Anything more and I need the interview to be recorded. Can you mother sit in on that?”

“No!” she whispered suddenly. The force seemed to startle her.

To keep her calm Ellie merely nodded. “Okay. I'll see about getting a little more evidence, and then we'll come back insisting that you come to the station. We'll have Social Services sit with you, and you can talk about anything you want.”

“Anything?” she whimpered.

“Anything.”

Daisy almost smiled. “Chloe said you're a cool mum.”

Ellie smiled back. “I’ll be sure to thank her. And remember, if you feel unsafe for any reason, tell Becca. She'll call us and we'll hurry over. All right?”

She nodded.

Ellie led her back slowly, choosing to talk a little more before they came into earshot. “What's the hospital saying about your brother?'

“They said he has arrhythmia and needs a pacemaker. And that it's likely genetic. They've asked Bruce his family history, but he's avoiding answering.”

Strange and stranger, thought Ellie as she kept a thoughtful look on her face.

“Here we are,” Ellie said. “Daisy, thank you for your time. I promise we won't stop until we've found who killed your friend.”

She nodded. “Thank you.”

“We'll be in touch if we need to ask more questions.”

With that Tess considered the interview completely over. “Of course.”

Daisy stood her ground. “Why didn’t you tell me Louise had died?” she demanded of her mother.

Tess blanched. “I didn’t know, love,” she said genuinely. “Honestly, I didn’t know. All I’ve heard so far around here is rumours, and you don’t need that. So I didn’t tell you. But, honestly, I swear I didn’t know it was your friend.” She put a guiding hand on Daisy's back and guided her back inside, and Bruce following them.

Anna watched with Ellie. “That girl is scared,” she whispered. “Can't we do anything yet?”

“Not yet, but I'm getting closer. We need some kind of statement from Daisy to go to Social Services with. And more evidence from Sandbrook.” She turned and led her off.

“Was it my imagination or does Tess literally not know you're remarried to Hardy?”

“You noticed. Well, I didn't keep the finger out of sight. She obviously didn't see how new they are. I have phone calls to make.”

DC Broome looked back, but the trio were already inside.

/=/=/=/=/

“What did she ask you?” Bruce demanded in their room.

“About the two murders, whether I’d seen anything, and about my friend, Louise, and about when I spoke with Sarah that day we got here. Or with the German girl who looked like Louise.”

Tess looked her daughter right in the eyes. “Anything else?”

Daisy met her gaze with her father's blank one. She had practiced it by watching him. “No.”

Their eyes were locked in a staring match, which Bruce added to the pressure by staring at Daisy.

A knock came on the door. “Daisy?” Chloe called out.

Tess sighed and opened the door.

Chloe rushed forward, meeting Daisy halfway as they embraced. “I heard about your brother. Is he all right?”

Daisy knew Chloe had heard sooner, but it covered how much they were really talking. And she noticed that Dean was with Chloe, so she felt a little better for her friend's safety. “He’s in hospital. We haven’t slept much.”

“My mum’s friend always says to stay awake until the evening, otherwise you mess up your body clock. Well, it works on jet lag, anyway.”

“I’ll try,” Daisy determined.

“Come on,” Chloe ushered. “You promised to see the photos I brought. It's been too long since I sat and shared silly pictures. And you look like you need a distraction and time with a friend.”

“Won’t be long, Mum. We’ll just be downstairs.” Daisy walked away quickly, and closed the door behind her.

Dean remained standing outside in the corridor, but was silent until the door was shut and they were walking a little away. “How are you holding up? You ok?”

“Sort of. It's so scary. With the murders and everything. They say she was killed in the next room. Is it true?”

Dean shrugged. ”The police are telling everyone not to talk to the Press this time, so there’s less rumours going around. Last time they made life hell.”

“Last time?”

“When my little brother was murdered, there was a reporter,” Chloe revealed. “Her name’s Karen White. She caused a lot of trouble and a nice man killed himself.”

“Oh my god, that’s horrible. I don’t like that woman.”

“You know her?”

“Yeah. She’s been hounding my dad for years. He never knew why.”

/=/=/=/=/

Back in the room, someone else knocked on the door. Tess opened it, think it was quick for the girls to be back. But standing on the threshold was a familiar face.

“Oh my god. Mrs Dusk.”

“I’m sorry if this is not a good time.”

“No, do come in.” She closed the door. “Bruce, this is Louise’s mum.”

Bruce stood stiffly by the window, looking across the room at her. “Morning,” he said. “Sorry about your daughter.”

Louise's mother nodded, keeping a tight hold, but a whimper escaped. “I wish I’d never told her to go off and explore.”

“I’m so sorry,” Tess told her in genuine sympathy. “Daisy was so looking forward to seeing her friends again.”

Mrs Dusk nodded. “Louise was so excited. But we knew the risks and still came. I keep asking myself why she didn’t use her epi-pen. And the police say it wasn’t found with her. So I came to ask, because I know you’re a police officer. What does that mean when they can’t find something that should be there?”

“I’m guessing she dropped it,” Tess said. “I’m not working on the case, so I wouldn’t know.”

“Oh,” Mrs. Dusk looked lost. “I thought the police told each other everything.”

“No, it doesn’t work like that,” Tess explained.

“We should get back to the hospital,” Bruce suggested. He was unaccustomedly nervous, but hid it very well.

“Oh?” Mrs. Dusk spoke.

“My son was taken ill last night,” Tess explained. “We haven’t slept much.”

/=/=/=/=/

Downstairs, Chloe and Daisy were in close cahoots over their photos. Daisy made the most of it since she rarely got to have her phone. They took pictures of each other and joked about, as carefree as she could possibly be. Until she yawned.

“You look like you’re ready for bed.”

“Sorry, it’s been a long night.”

“You won't be any help to your brother if you don't take care of yourself,” Dean noted kindly.

“He looks up to you, like my Danny did to me,” Chloe recalled. “So you'll just be worrying him when he needs to focus on getting better.” Chloe looked at her, seeing the exhaustion in her face, and it reminded her of her mum after Danny died. “You need a good nap. Maybe even sleeping until tomorrow.”

It was all Daisy could do to hide her relief. Even though it was just for the moment. “You're right. I am tired. I have this illness called Crohn's Disease. It takes a lot out of me, and I have to watch what I eat.”

“Tell me about it,” Chloe said. “My gran has diabetes. She can’t have anything she used to like.”

/=/=/=/=/

Mrs. Dusk looked at Tess. “How are you holding up?”

Tess smoothed her expression into an empty one. “Not the holiday we planned,” she admitted. “But I suppose it’s harder on you.”

Mrs. Dusk nodded. “Just a little.”

“If you want to talk... but I should get back to my son.”

Mrs. Dusk nodded and clasped her hands. “I hope they find out who the killer is before they strike again. I wish they’d told us what was happening when we arrived. Louise might still be alive.”

Tess clasped her hands in return. “I know. There must have been a reason why they didn’t,” she assured her. “Perhaps they had already arrested him? There haven’t been any more attacks.”

Mrs. Dusk nodded hopefully. “That is reassuring. I’ll get back to my husband. He’ll be wondering where I’ve gone. Bye.”

“Bye.” Tess closed the door again, troubled.

Bruce whispered in a hiss. “You're certain Daisy won't say anything about Louise to that girl?”

“And frighten a new friend who's already frightened? The whole town is scared stiff. No, me and Alec trained her too well. Besides, Daisy has been too occupied with Ben to care about what the world is doing. And as far as I know, Daisy knows nothing about your work problems.”

“That DS; she could have said anything to her.”

“Oh, stop your worrying! That woman was married to a child killer. I doubt she could fight her way out of a paper bag. We have nothing to worry about as long as you keep yourself together! And while we're at it, we should be talking to the doctors about your family's health.”

“Still certain he's mine?”

Tess' eyes flashed in anger. “I was only with three men at that time, and you know it. You heard the test results. He has to be yours.”

“Then stop him from calling your ex Daddy.”

“That has to be Daisy's doing. She has to be telling him about her father, and he's assumed.”

“Or she's telling him that. And if she is, I'll put a stop to it. Where no one can overhear.”

“Don’t talk like that,” Tess snapped. “There’s enough on her shoulders already without you threatening her all the time. Now let's go back to the hospital before either of us says something too loud to be taken back!”

She stormed into the loo, and he stared after her, shaking. And rather pale for someone who's eyes flashed in anger.

ĐĐ

To be continued...

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