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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 Four, Part Eight: The Pawns And The Rooks

Hardy sat down in front of Elaine. The tasks of the day had been done. He had barely seen his wife in days and the last two nights not at all. She was still at her desk. It looked set to be another all-nighter for her. They had shared a longing look as he had passed her desk into the Chief Super’s office. And informal chat, she had said on the phone. It was her office rather than an interview room, but the recorder sat on her desk with discs and paperwork at the ready. And Sandra was her seconder.

Not an informal chat after all, then?

This was a new experience for Hardy. A suspect in his own case – not that it was his case, but the point still stood. Had to be up there with every other nightmare he had ever had. As a teenager, he had never gone out with his friends if he knew they were going to cause trouble. His desire to be a policeman had been so strong that he had been a bit of a goody-two-shoes about doing the right thing at the right time.

By that time his parents had divorced. He’d felt it had been wrong somehow. You took vows until death do you part and then broke them all. If you were that fickle with marriage, what else were you going to do? That was how his mind worked at the tender age of twelve. If you couldn’t keep your vows in the sight of God then you couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth in a court of law. On the other hand, why did people, like his parents, say they loved each other, made vows and then spent the next twelve years locked in an endless and worsening cycle of vicious arguments.

How times had changed. He had since learned that matters of the heart were more pliable and less set in stone. And God and the vows of marriage were mere ephemera. After having his heart broken by the one woman he trusted above all others, he was more cynical and less trusting of people in general. And then he’d met Ellie. He couldn’t put her into words. How she filled him, inspired him, completed him in a way Tess never had. His one regret was that he had married Tess instead of Ellie. He was willing to bet his salary that his divorce would never have happened. He would have been a better man all-round, although he perhaps would have been a different man all-round, never having been tested the way he had.

Thankfully, in some ways, he would never know.

He watched Elaine set up the recorder and open the interview in the formal manner. Sandra was sitting in as seconder, though she wasn’t going to speak. It was informal, with a formal edge. Or was it the other way around? Hardy was suddenly nervous. His palms were sweating and he could see blotches in front of his eyes, just like he did when his heart began to do odd things. But he forced himself to relax. His heart was fine, the pace-maker was fine, he was fine.

“Tell me about the photograph of the four girls,” Elaine spoke.

Hardy told her about the girls being firm friends since being in nursery together and then recited the tale of the holiday with them, just as he had told Ellie. There was no more to say about it. It was the last time the four friends had been together before Pippa had died and two of them had moved away. It had been a carefree summer. It brought a break to his voice. If only they had known what was coming. If only he had seen the warning signs. Only there weren’t any warning signs.

“I bought Daisy a phone, but she was less than impressed. I told her she could keep in touch with her friends, since they had all gone to different schools. She was so cross with me. Her uncool dad.” He gave a bit of a laugh. “She told me; ‘phones can be stolen, Dad’. She liked writing. Why couldn’t I have given her an address book or a writing set instead? People get their phones pinched all the time. And I had to agree. But she was so cross with me. She’d wanted a pack of envelopes and pretty paper, so she could write to her friends. I thought it was old fashioned and a sweet gesture, but I wondered if the other girls would join in. Seems that they did. They wrote to each other every week at first. And then Pippa’s letters stopped coming.”

He grew quiet.

“I couldn’t bear to tell her why,” he admitted. “What child wants to hear that? I told her that Pippa had died and was probably watching from Heaven, and to go on living for her.”

“You didn’t tell Daisy about the Sandbrook case?”

“No. I told her nothing. Even after the break-in I was keen to keep her out of it, oblivious. By the time the case was thrown out of court, her mother and I were at loggerheads and Tess threw me out.”

“Why did she do that?”

Hardy took a deep breath. “Because I questioned whether her baby was mine,” he revealed. “She was having an affair with another DS and I’m certain with another man as well, and I had already been sterilised. Tess never wanted kids. And she had resented Daisy’s coming along, resented the extra things she had to do to raise our daughter, resented the time it took. All she had ever wanted was a career. So when she found out she was pregnant a second time I knew it couldn’t have been mine. As soon as he was born I demanded a paternity test and the results came back telling me I was right. It hurt,” he said. He pressed his mouth shut against the pain he held back. “I wanted that baby to be mine. But I knew he couldn’t have been. Tess and I stayed together for appearances, for the case, but it all fell apart when the locket was stolen... I remember her face. Defiant, pale and angry. I took the blame. It was my car, but I couldn’t give any valid reason why I would be at the hotel, and no one could vouch for me being there. And the alibi I had given previously was cast-iron. Tess never thanked me. She threw my clothes out of the bedroom window. The Press got some lovely picture out of that and it just added fuel to the fire. I was moved to Westbury station to a desk job, covering burglaries and car crime.”

He took a deep breath in an effort to curb the bitter note that had crept into his voice. Then he continued.

“I barely spoke to my daughter. I’d call her every week, but she never replied. When we did meet up she would tell me that she and her two friends were still writing, though by this time it was down to three or four times a year. Daisy had mentioned them getting together a couple of times, but that had stopped when Louise had moved to Germany. The last time I saw Daisy was when she was thirteen. Tess said I was a bad influence on her. I wanted custody, but I hadn’t a hope. I was homeless, beginning to feel the effects of my bad heart and she had no intention of letting Daisy go without a lengthy legal battle. I didn’t have the money. Tess was living with a bloke I knew from Sandbrook Labs, so she had two incomes to call upon. So I dropped it. She reneged on a court access ruling, but told them it was me who hadn’t turned up for access and she got it overruled. Until Daisy came to Brodchurch about a month ago, I hadn’t seen her in just over four years. I found out Tess had taken her phone off her. Daisy never got any of the calls I sent.”

“But the girls were pen pals?” Elaine clarified. “That is the link between them. Isn’t it?”

Hardy began to realise that fact as well. “Yes. Although they hadn’t seen each other for years, they’d kept in contact.”

“And Sarah Wallace?? Where does she fit in?”

Hardy slowly shook his head. “I don’t know. I’ve never seen her before.”

“What about Luiz Gotleib?”

“From the moment I saw Luiz Gotlieb; it was like I knew her face. And it took me ages to work out that she looked so much like Louise Dusk. But by that time you’d pulled me from the case and I couldn’t discuss it.”

“I can see why you were frustrated.” Elaine acknowledged. “But it does mean we have to re-separate Sarah’s murder case from Luiz’s.”

“Why is that?” Hardy wondered.

“Circumstantial evidence links them. We can’t prove they are one case. And we’re no closer to finding the murderer. There is something we’re still missing. A vital piece of evidence and I was hoping you would have it, or know about it.”

“I’m sorry to disappoint you, really, I am,” he said sadly. “I don’t know what it is.”

Elaine took from a drawer an evidence bag and pushed it across the table towards him. “Do you recognise this? Only we have never been able to trace it or find out who DGH is.”

Hardy’s face lost colour as he stared at the locket in the bag. “Where did you get that?”

“It was found next to Sarah’s body.”

“Oh god...” Hardy breathed. He fished into his pocket and drew out a broken locket. The front half of a deliberately broken locket. “It’s magnetic,” he explained. “Two halves of a whole. It was the birthday present I gave to my daughter on the last day I saw her. It’s her initials on the back. DGH; Daisy Gemma Hardy” His eyes lifted to Elaine. “Are you implying Daisy killed Sarah?”

“I’m not implying anything,” Elaine replied. “Until you identified what it was we had no clues about it at all.”

“But this makes her a suspect,” he managed.

“I’m afraid it does,” Elaine agreed. “But there’s a problem.”

What problem?”

“The footprint found on the bus ticket matched the pair of shoes found at the scene.”

“Those old things?” he blurted out. He had seen SOCO bag them up and hadn’t thought anything of it at the time. “They were found on my front door step, which is odd because that door is blocked off from the inside. It doesn’t open properly. Besides, I hadn’t worn those shoes in years. I left them behind in Sandbrook when my wife kicked me out.”

The room fell into a stunned silence.

/=/=/=/=/

Maggie and Olly were drowning in documents. Mick, although watching them like a hawk over his precious boxes, had joined in, gleaning reams of useful facts and giving them copies of the source documents. They had worked through the night and the following day and the following night and day, fed coffee and Bachelor’s chicken supernoodles in soup mugs. They kept going, on passed the need for sleep. They felt energised. The final piece of the puzzle was here. They knew it. It was just finding it.

Len had excused himself to get back to his work. He didn’t tell them about Karen’s response to the printed article. He never knew the woman could swear so much in one sentence and still make it a grammatically correct sentence. She’d live with it. He could. But then he was a newspaper editor. What man in his line of work had a conscience? Or woman, for that matter. Karen had to have worked that out for herself. She had bulldozed through the truth before and had the death of Jack Marshal to wear for the rest of her life. And now she was going to lead to another death, if she wasn’t stopped.

Len Danvers sighed. He had a conscience after all.

In the next room, the archivist carefully stacked another pile of documents and other papers back into the relevant box and place it into the filesafe container. He knew every piece, where it was and every detail about it. He loved his photographic memory. More than once it had help police locate a document in time to save someone’s life. And now he was helping to save a policeman’s reputation and career. That made him feel good about working in the Press industry. After all, it was a cut-throat business, where journalists regularly killed off - metaphorically speaking - their rivals to step over their bodies to get to a story. Often the louder they shouted and drowned out the others, the more they got from their press-pack victim.

And they had no qualms about that victim being a child. As certain other cases that came to mind had proven.

He wondered how affected Hardy’s daughter had been by Karen White’s interference. He knew Hardy’s wife had moved their daughter away, knew that Hardy himself had fielded the Press from his daughter. But still, cracks in the armour always existed.

But even now, his old friend and her protégé were loving every second in his maze of boxes and files. He didn’t need others to make him feel important, didn’t need compliments or ego-boosting. He did his job, simple as. But he was very glad he was here to see this. Justice. This was what it felt like. This was what it looked like. Hard slog and paperwork.

“Would any of this effect the conviction of Trevor Medley?” Olly wondrred.

“No,” Maggie replied. “The case against him hinged on that pendent found in his car. It was recovered and he’s in prison.”

“But he could have continued his criminal activities from inside,” Olly persisted.

Maggie frowned. She flipped back to her copy of the phone call printout. “No, his number remains inactive. But there is an odd collection of numbers between the pendant being found and when he was arrested. Who’s number is that?” she wondered. “0778459876.”

“I can check,” Mick offered. He had finished clearing up for the time being. “He took out his own phone and attached a small device to it.

“What is that?”

“It’s a scrambler,” Mick replied. “Not exactly legal, but it means the caller won’t be able to trace my ID or my number, without having to change the settings on my phone. It won’t register as a call, but it’ll activate the receiver’s phone to act as a microphone so I can either listen in to conversations, phone calls or hack into their phone remotely. Downside is, it only had five minutes battery life.”

Olly felt a suddenly jealous streak, but deep down he wasn’t that kind of journalist. In his opinion, any journalist who went to those methods was the worst kind of journalist. On the other hand, here he was turning a blind eye. Something else had caught his attention.

He picked up a document for Maggie to see. It was the crime report on the break-in of Hardy’s car in Sandbrook. There were details on there that didn’t add up. Maggie shoved that into the scanner for a copy and passed it pack. And Mick’s phone jumped into life.

...I told you, no,” a man growled.

He’s your son,” a woman replied forcefully.

The man huffed indignantly. “How long are you going to keep up that pretence?” he demanded. “Telling the boy one thing and Hardy something else. And you still have his name on the birth certificate! How long do you think it will be before he sues you? And where the fuck do I fit in?”

You make it sound like you don’t think Ben is your son.”

Pot meet kettle! Remember the day when you turned up on my doorstep with Ben in the carrier. ‘Look, you’ve got a son’, you said. Nice to have been kept in that loop! You use them kids like weapons. It aint right, and one of these days, Tess, you’ll get bitten on the arse!”

Where are you going?!”

For a fag!”

You don’t even smoke.”

Well, I can start, can’t I?”

The device fell silent. Mick switched it off. “That’s it, battery is flat. Recognise the voices?”

Olly and Maggie looked at each other.

“Oh don’t we just? Tess Hardy and Bruce Stratton. Looks like there’s doubt on who Ben’s father is. Interesting. Was he subject to a paternity test?”

“Ellie mentioned that he was. Hardy set out to prove that Ben wasn’t his and won.” Olly recalled. “Off-record, of course, but I’m guessing Bruce knows Ben isn’t his. Why he isn't correcting her, I'd love to know.”

“Where was the test done?”

Mick held out a piece of paper in response. “Sandbrook Labs. Bruce Stratton works there. He’s been suspended for mislabelling and tampering with samples. It’s not a police lab, but it does handle paternity tests.”

“I love you, Mick,” Maggie told him seriously. She made a copy and handed him the original back.

“Now we just have to work out if it’s her phone or his,” Olly added. He paused. “Or Daisy’s.”

“Why Daisy’s?”

“I overheard Daisy asking her mum for her phone. Her mum had taken it off her.”

“Three possibilities is better than several million,” Maggie lifted. “Thanks, Mick. Let’s keep going.”

“So, why were the girls being targeted?” Mick wondered almost to himself. “Have you worked it out yet?”

“Still working on that,” Maggie admitted. “And we still need to find out why Karen is so against Hardy.

“Oh!” Olly stopped. “Arrest document for Daisy Gemma Hardy. Shoplifting. Cautioned.”

“We’ll have a copy of that. Poor girl was shouting for someone to notice her.”

“Or she was in Godfrey Ghosh’s gang,” Mick put in, showing her another document. “West Road Gang. Petty theft, happy slapping, mugged an old lady for her bus pass. Small stuff. It’s an initiation. But it’s the stuff that follows that you might want to see.”

Maggie recognised a warning note in his voice. She took the file he was holding out to her and opened it. “Oh god,” she breathed.

“What is it?”

“Child sex ring back in the 80’s. Never made it to court due to a lack of evidence. Four of the girls were never found; the fifth was left brain-damaged and unable to answer questions. And look at the defendant’s name? Godavari Ghosh. I wonder if it’s the same man?”

“I can check the records,” Mick offered and went to the phone, taking the already scanned crime report sheet with him.

“Looks like he regularly targeted police cars,” she continued. “He was being paid, he said here, to break into police cars and steal evidence bags. He was convicted for obstructing a police officer, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and in possession of stolen goods, tampering with police evidence and defamation of character. Got an early release from prison on good behaviour, after just six months.”

“Of course he was,” Olly grumbled.

“Let’s see if we can get Bruce done for the same,” Maggie continued searching. “There’s enough evidence here to question everything that man has worked on for the passed ten years.”

“I don’t envy the lab who has to trace requests and redo all of that work,” Olly intoned. “We still need to find a link to him and this Godavari bloke.”

“I think I might have it,” Mick replied. “I called a contact of mine. He does name deeds in Sandbrook. He had a Godavari years ago. Remembered the name well because it was so unusual. The client told him at the time that he wanted to simplify it so it was easier to say and he changed it to Godfrey. It wasn’t until the paperwork had been done that he heard about the man’s criminal history and saw his ID-fit on television in connection to the car break-in. He kept a copy of the deed, just in case the police ever came for it for the Sandbrook case, but they never did and they dismissed his evidence. He’s going to send it to me by courier tonight.”

/=/=/=/=/

Ellie sat hunched over her notes. She’d made plenty of them, but she was getting nowhere. Her mind kept wandering and her eyes kept shifting back to the photo from Louise’ mobile. The three girls were happy-go-lucky, not a care in the world.

She brushed it off. She couldn’t see how it linked to everything else, or to anything relevant. It nagged at her, but she was getting cross with herself for getting distracted. It just happened to have been taken in Sandbrook High Street. That’s all, nothing more. Plenty of stuff happened in Sandbrook High Street. That didn’t mean it was connected to the murder case.

She grumbled under her breath, urging herself to get a grip on it and get on with the task in hand. And then she grumbled to her self that one of these days she would be caught talking to herself.

She sighed and rubbed a hand over her forehead. She was talking to herself. She glanced at the clock. Coffee. And a sandwich and then back to it.

“Coffee?”

Ellie practically jumped out of her skin. “Brian!” she scolded. “You bugger! I nearly died of fright!”

“Sorry,” he said contritely, placing the mug of real coffee in front of her.

He’d brought one for Anna, too, but Ellie felt special. She eyed the mug and practically pounced on it. “Oh god, real coffee. I love you.”

“Really?”

“Not like that. But get me a sandwich and I’ll love you more.”

Brian grinned and trotted off. He was back two minutes later with a cheese sandwich, a chicken salad sandwich and a BLT. “Pick one.”

“You have no idea. I’m likely to eat them all and your hands.” She grabbed them and opened the cheese.

“Any headway?”

“None at all,” she said around a mouthful of bread and cheese. “I’m going around in circles. There are pieces missing. I’m sure of it. I just can’t tell what’s missing and what ties them together. Any progress on that bus ticket?”

“I gave that to Anna,” he admitted. “You looked snowed so I spared you that.”

She glanced at Anna, seated at another desk with a bus route map in one hand and a sandwich in the other, and gave him a grateful look. “Why are you still single? You’re wasted.”

Brian chuckled. “I’ll add that to my online bio.”

“Online bio?”

“Dating website.”

“Brian, that’s why you’re single. It’s all dicks and weirdoes on those sites.”

“Not all of them,” he protested. “Sometimes you get women as well.”

She threw the empty sandwich carton at him and he dodged, still managing to catch it. “Work on,” she reminded him, reaching for the coffee and another sandwich with a hand on each. “Did you want something in return for your peace offering?”

“Just to let you know that you can have your driveway back and the next lot of forensics are due within the next hour.”

“More work,” she bemoaned.

Brian held up both hands and backed out of the room.

Anna Broome tittered to herself.

“Shut up.”

Anna only laughed all the harder.

ĐĐ

To be continued...

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