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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. And have tissues at hand here. Fair warning.



Episode Six, Part Seven: Not So Innocent

Hardy swallowed as he put on the gloves. The letter was considered evidence until proven otherwise, so he had to avoid touching it. Like he hadn’t already. Or like the bag it was now safely ensconced in would make any difference to where his prints went next. But as the intended recipient at least he was at least allowed to handle it read the contents. He knew he should at least be grateful for that small mercy.

It still felt like hell to have to be watched and listened in on. He felt like he was on trial, though he couldn’t decide what he should feel guilty about or for. He had proven his innocence. Hadn’t he?

Around him was seated the entire team. They had gathered uniforms and CID alike, ready for something big. After his interview with Connelly and his report to Elaine all hell seemed to break loose. And while they waited for the proverbial to hit the fan, SOCO had dropped his bombshell on the table in front of him.

“Read it aloud, if you will, Hardy?” Sandra instructed.

“It was not a question, but an order.

“If she tells us anything we need to know, the sooner we know the better.”

Sighing, he sat down at the table, feeling the eyes of the entire team, uniform and CID, on him. Each of the pages had been unfolded with tweezers and bagged separately for ease of viewing. And SOCO stood nearby ready to take them back, like crown jewels, into their lair. Hardy hunched over them, like a hen desperate to hold on to her fresh clutch of eggs, and began to read.


My hands are shaking. There's so much to tell you and I don't know how much time I have to do it. I can't even tell you where I'm hiding right now to right this because of that. Yes, I'm hiding in order to write to you. That's what my life is like now. And I want to get back to Ben before someone else does.

You wanted to know what's happened since you left. After you came round on my birthday, Mum took my phone away. She told me you walked out on us, that you'd had an affair and didn’t want me anymore. I protested in your defence, but she refused to listen. I was grounded and she told me to never write to you. Well, I tried to write to you anyway, but she began watching every note I wrote. I had to ask for paper for school, and she said no. I had to ask for paper at school and ended up in detention several times a week. The other kids used to make fun of me because of it.”

He lowered it a moment. “She did break the arrangement. I knew it!”

Ellie got him back on track. “Let's hear the rest, Sir.”

He gulped, now very worried about what he would learn.

“Bruce moved in almost immediately after you left. At first I didn't know what to make of him, but I thought that if he was supposed to be Ben's dad he was awfully distant. I mentioned once that I thought he looked more like you and nothing like Bruce and Mum shouted at me, slapped me and told me never to mention you again. He said something about a DNA test proving you weren't Ben's dad. I had to ask a teacher at school what it meant. I didn't want to believe that someone so sweet as Ben could come from someone so nasty as Bruce. You taught me that anything is possible, but something felt wrong about what Mum claimed about Ben.

“I tried to get help from my teachers, but they weren’t interested. And Mum had excuses for my education, that I had appointments or I was unwell, anything to prevent me from telling anyone what was going on. I even went to the police station to try and talk to you, but the woman at the desk told me to leave, said the police station wasn’t a visitor’s centre. I overheard Mum telling Bruce that you’d moved away. She relaxed on her grip on me then, because she knew no one I could speak to knew where you were. I started reading newspapers and that’s when I found out what had happened to Pippa and what they were accusing you of. Especially that woman, Karen White. I didn't believe what she said about you. You’re a good policemen. I thought something else must have happened, but I didn’t know what.”

Hardy exhaled and shook his head. “I should've never taken the blame. I should've trusted that Daisy could face the truth. Anything would be better than this.” He felt increasingly heavy in his chair as he continued:

“Ben never trusted Bruce. There's this vibe about him that just isn't dad material. He soon proved he has a temper, but he limited it to bullying us at first. And then he’s lash out when Mum was out. I started making sure Ben was never alone with him. And over time I was doing everything in the house, while Mum did practically nothing. I tried talking to Mum about him, but she called me a liar. Bruce has a sterling reputation, apparently, and she didn’t believe me. I felt like no one believed me when I said anything. And if I said anything outside the house about it, Mum always found out. She locked me in the shed as punishment once and didn’t let me out until gone midnight. I had a doctor’s appointment the following morning, but Mum cancelled it. I tried to Granny Nutkins that I wasn't happy and told her and Granddad about Bruce, but no one believed me. They thought I was just missing you or going through puberty or just jealous that my mum had found someone new. It's like adults won't even bother listening to kids anymore, unless forced to.

It was about four years ago when Godfrey Ghosh first came round to our house. His real name is Godavari, or something, but he Anglicised it so he could fit in better. I was really lonely and barely got to see my friends, and only got letters out to pen pals if Mum saw them first; she even had me rewrite some of them to leave stuff out, and even then I don’t know how many were posted. I don’t think I’ll ever know now that Louise has died. I didn’t have any friends at school, so when Godfrey asked me out I said yes. He’s twice my age, but I thought any attention was better than no attention.”

“Oh, god,” Ellie muttered, a sinking feeling about what was coming next.

Alec was now shaking as he continued to read.

“It took a little while before he asked me to join him at places I'd never been to, and even do things I never did before. I didn’t want to do it, because I didn't know the people and some of what they were doing was legal! I tried to dodge him, but he kept pushing me into it. I mentioned it to Mum, who shrugged and said Godfrey was a good bloke and said a girl my age should go out with friends. I was fifteen by that point. She even encouraged me to get out more. But I kept trying to hold back.

“Then one day last year Godfrey came over, and I heard Ben cry out. I found him on the ground, crying. Godfrey claimed he tripped, but I knew he hadn’t. Ben was walking well by then. I even accused Godfrey of pushing Ben over, because I could tell from looking at Ben's eyes that he didn't fall on his own. Bruce had been telling Ben that he was clumsy for a while, but it must be why Mum didn't believe me when I said Godfrey did it. Godfrey told me that if I didn’t do as he said, Bruce would hurt Ben. So, to protect Ben I had to go along with what he asked.”

Alec let out a growl and slammed the paper down.

Ellie was at his side. “Sir, do you need someone to finish reading it?”

He shook his head. “No!” He wiped a hand down his face, knowing he wasn’t the only one in the room squirming. The difference was, they knew what Hailey had revealed in her interview. He didn’t. “I'll learn it eventually. Better now than later.”

He soldiered on.

“So that's why I have an arrest for shoplifting. You probably know about it already. Policemen talk to each other and it’s all national databases these days, isn’t it? I admit I didn't make much of an effort to hide what I was doing. I was hoping that someone would catch on to what was going on, but Mum seemed to make it go away – except for my record. I don't know if Mum is manipulating Bruce of if she’s the one being manipulated, but she only gave me a lecture on why I shouldn’t steal and that was it. She said I was lucky the shop didn’t was to press charges. And no one said anything about it after that.

“It was merely a reprieve, though. Godfrey tried to force me into going to a party at this friend's house for my sixteenth birthday. But I had heard stories of girls disappearing, and I saw stuff in the news about how it happened in other areas. I realised why he wanted me to go to the party, so I refused. I was suspicious that he was part of a grooming ring that he had been priming me. I think that’s what they call it. Godfrey always had loads of girls around him whenever we went out. I didn’t like it, but he told me to get used to it. He said I had to share him. So, anyway, I refused to go. This was a few months ago, my last birthday. Ben's injuries increased their frequency, and Godfrey told me that if I didn't do what he said, Bruce would kill Ben.”

That produced choking sounds in more than one listener. Ellie's fists were clenched and she was now trembling. She wanted so much to hold her husband, but she knew that would not be allowed. He looked sickly, if anything. Alec was so pale his freckles stood out like sunspots. He could barely speak the rest.

“Godfrey forced himself on me and had sex with me, even though I tried to fight him off. He told me to stop being so stupid and said it wouldn’t have hurt if I’d just let him do it. He shouted at me, called me a whore and I went home. About a week later, he climbed up the back of the house and got in through my bedroom window. He told me he was sorry. He said he shouldn’t have been so rough with me. He said he loved me and wanted me to go out with him again. He said there was a nice place he knew of, his boss’ house. He said no one would mind if we went there for sex. I was meant to go there in June. I think the only thing that prevented me from going was that Auntie Jess was visiting. And right in the middle of dinner Mum suddenly announced that we were going on holiday to a place called Broadchurch. I saw Bruce’s face. She hadn’t even told him, and I heard them shouting that night. Mum was telling him that she was going on her own with just me and Ben. Bruce accused her of trying to leave him to go back to her ex, meaning you. He accused her of sleeping with you behind his back. I saw Bruce talking with Godfrey that following day. Godfrey backed off a bit and left me alone. I was so relieved that I didn't stop to wonder about it. Instead I focused on letting Louise and Hailey know where we could meet up. Mum seemed so pleased that our holidays were going to be in the same place. I did think it odd that we were going to a place I’d never heard of. But then I remembered Durdle’s Door. I began to look forward to it. And then I found out during one of the many rows between Mum and Bruce, that you lived in Broadchurch. I began to hope you still did.

“It seemed like a dream come true because two of my dearest friends wrote and let me know that they would be meeting me in Broadchurch. In fact, I knew about that several days before Mum. So I had hope that I could tell them what was happening and that I could find a way to somehow speak to you.

“Dad, I'm scared. I'm afraid that Bruce will hurt Ben really badly. Every time he gets angry, I’m scared he'll not stop at yelling at us. So I try my hardest to not leave Ben alone with him. If I know Mum's there I'm not quite so worried because I think he has to maintain appearances with her. I can only hope that she has some real love for Ben, because I don't think she loves me anymore. If she ever did. She only kept me because she knew it would hurt you, didn't she? It's the only thing that makes sense. I wish I could speak to you, that you could help me figure this all out. I need your help. Dad, I'm scared to go back to Sandbrook. If I have to go back I'm terrified that I'll be trapped in that house, too. I’ve heard rumours that there are as many as forty girls that have gone in there and never come out. Dad, Bruce owns that house. He has to know what goes on in there. Sometimes they’re moved to another house on the far side of Mitcham Common, in Clay Lane, where Bruce’s cousin used to live. That house is called Peterborough Lodge. It was done up as flats last year and it’s also owned by Bruce.

"I'm praying I can get this into Chloe's hands tomorrow, and that she and her friends can get it to you. Chloe’s been really nice. Her dad helped Ben the other night when Ben collapsed. It was terrifying and Chloe’s dad was so calm and knew what to do. Even Mum panicked. Bruce just stood there shouting at Ben for making a scene. He says Ben only did it for the attention.

Dad, I'm not angry that you remarried and adopted Ellie’s kids. Chloe told me about her. She sounds really nice. I hope she’s good to you. Gran always said my big heart comes from you, and I can believe her. I bet you wanted to be a dad again. Chloe says you’re happy here and that makes me happy. She said Ellie even beat up her own husband when she found out he’d killed Chloe’s brother. I wish Mum took even an ounce of interest in Ben. If Ellie's even half as cool as Chloe said I'd beg to live with you. Please, Dad. Get Ben and me out of here! I know that test was wrong. I know you’re his dad; you just have to look at him to realise it. Love you, Dad. Daisy.”

Hardy let go of the note, numbly placing his hand on the table as he shook in rage and grief.

Brian from SOCO, his hands also gloved, took the note in its clear plastic evidence bags and whisked them away. Hardy barely even noticed.

“Mary, mother of god,” Daniels muttered. Now his own earlier problems seemed a distant memory.

More than a few in the room were fighting their feelings on their DI’s behalf.

“I failed her,” Alec whispered. “It's all my fault.”


To be continued...


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2015 03:56 pm (UTC)
Poor Hardy, that letter was just heartbreaking. :(
Jan. 2nd, 2015 07:28 pm (UTC)
I know... It hurt to draft it. :(
Jan. 3rd, 2015 03:26 am (UTC)
It hurt to read it, too. tkel was utterly brilliant.
Jan. 2nd, 2015 04:38 pm (UTC)
Totally heartbreaking letter, and now Hardy is feeling guilty. He thought he was protecting Daisy, but it seems that she is in more danger than ever. Still, he did the best he could at the time with what knowledge he had.

To have to read it out loud in front of the whole team doubled the heartbreak.

And now I know who the parents of that baby are....
Jan. 2nd, 2015 07:29 pm (UTC)
Well, I have an idea for a story where he doesn't conceal what happened, but tells her the truth. The consequences could be interesting there.

And keep reading. More coming up tonight...
Jan. 3rd, 2015 03:28 am (UTC)
Really? Who do you think they are? Just curious. :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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