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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. Now... here it comes...



Episode Seven, Part Three: The Last Stand

Hardy left Daisy to sleep and closed the door behind him.

Pete had remained in the corridor. “The crowd had been dispersed, sir. All’s quiet on the Western Front, as they say.” His joke fell flat, as always. He sobered. “Everything all right, sir, with Daisy?”

“Thankfully, yes,” Hardy replied. “Though there will be further legal procedures to get through before she can go home. And, I don’t know how much input I’ll have in that. How long have you been on duty?”

Pete thought about it. “Since yesterday morning, I think.”

“Go home and get some sleep,” Hardy said kindly. “I’ll be all right. No one’s going to try anything. Not while I’m here. And there’s staff on hand if there’s trouble.”

Pete reluctantly agreed. “Well, if you’re sure, sir?”

Hardy nodded. “Go on. I’m going to check on my son.”

He watched him go and walked along the main corridor towards the children’s ward at the far end. As he keyed the admittance button he felt a surge of pride.

“Hi, it’s Hardy, Ben’s dad,” he said into the speaker.

“Door’s open,” the voice announced and the door lock clunked open.

He pushed the door open, letting it close behind him. He could smell breakfast. He smiled a greeting to the nurses who were serving breakfast. They had all been informed that he was Ben’s real dad. Otherwise they would never have let him in.

He moved to the observation room behind the nurse’s station and was pleased to find Ben sitting up, eating toast and marmalade.

“Hello,” Hardy greeted. “May I come in?”

Ben nodded firmly.

“What have you got for breakfast?” Ben told him. “A bit early for breakfast, isn’t it?”

“The nurse said they have lots of breakfasts to give out so they do it early so it’s still hot,” Ben explained.

“That’s fair enough,” Hardy decided. “How are you feeling?”

“Much better, thank you,” he said politely.

“I need to tell you something, something very important,” Hardy began. “And I have to apologise as well.”

Ben looked up at him with large brown eyes.

“I’ve just found out that someone lied about you and me being related. I am your dad.”

“Yey!” he crowed, reaching delicately for a hug.

The sight broke Hardy's heart. He had just given the boy a dream come true. Holding back tears he carefully leaned in to hold him, being mindful of the equipment needed to keep Ben stable. The tears did fall at feeling just how weak his body was, and the love his son had for him when he had not been there to earn it. As it was, the little kiss on the cheek would have been enough to make him cry.

When they drew apart Ben looked at him with a huge smile, the same smile he had seen so many times on Harry's face. “Can I come and live with you now? Then Mummy will be happier coz she’ll have you instead of Bruce.”

Hardy nearly choked as he took Ben's hands. “Well, no, actually... That wouldn’t work, because I’m married to someone else.”

Ben’s face fell.

“But you can come and stay during the holidays,” Hardy offered. He would rather he had full custody, but he had no way of getting that. And he would not take the kids from Tess unless he had to. At this point he had no reason to suspect she had anything to do with the injuries found on Ben. Tess was uncaring and heartless, but she was not abusive. Not physically, at least.

Although he still did not know for certain what the investigation had found, he had a hunch what it led to. He wanted to be wrong, Even more so than with Joe.

“Please?” Ben asked with such trust and hope.

But before Hardy could answer, Tess and Bruce arrived at the hospital room. They saw him at once, no way they couldn’t in such a small space. What caught Hardy’s attention first was the long scratch on Bruce’s neck. It was healing well, but was still hard to miss. And Tess’s leg was still sore. She had a large gash on her thigh, visible at the hem of her skirt. It was surrounded by a bruising and was infected. There were tape marks around it, an indication that she had covered it up for a while, but had either run out of bandages or had decided to leave it exposed to the air in the hopes of it healing quicker.

“What are you doing in here?” Tess demanded.

A confrontation with his ex, Hardy thought silently. How his day was already shaping up. He kept silent about what he had learned mere hours before. Knowledge that their injuries were reminding him sharply of details he had learned about the murder case. “I’m not leaving,” Hardy replied, not letting go of his son.

“Get out of my son’s room!” Tess ordered.

Ben sat in the bed in shocked silence. He looked from his mum to his dad, wondering what was going on.

Hardy remained where he was and kept holding Ben’s hands. “I’m visiting,” Hardy replied. “Since my name is on Ben’s certificate, that means he’s also my son.”

“I’m not having my son anywhere near a child murderer,” Tess tossed across the room.

Bruce blinked. “He’s a what?”

“The police found a body in his driveway,” Tess explained. “Everyone knows he killed her. The shoes on his doorstep will prove it.”

“They weren’t my shoes,” Hardy replied gently.

“Yes, they were!” Tess shot back. “You’ve had those shoes for seven years.”

Hardy found it increasingly alarming that Tess knew about the shoes found on his doorstep. No one outside the case knew about them. But the conclusion growing in his mind just didn’t fit the image he had had of her. The woman he had loved. The mother of two of his children. She had framed him for murder... No. There was more to it than that. The only way she could have known about the shoes would be if... she had put them there. He couldn’t speak for a moment.

“What are you doing in here, anyway?” Tess demanded. “Family visitors only.”

“As his dad I am family,” Hardy responded, hiding his turmoil.

“He’s not your son,” Tess reminded him. “You ordered a paternity test, or have you forgotten?”

“No, I hadn’t forgotten. But the result that came back was wrong. The test was contaminated and it was redone,” Hardy replied.

“So what!” Tess threw back. “Ben is Bruce’s son. So get out.”

“He ain’t my son,” Bruce shot at her.

Tess looked at him aghast. “What are you talking about. The test said he was.”

“I never took that test,” Bruce replied. “I knew he wasn’t mine from the beginning. I only went along with it coz I fancied you.”

Tess stared at him in shock. Her life was crumbling away beneath her feet.

“My god, woman, are you stupid? I did that test myself, so I know Ben’s your ex’s son. I swapped his DNA for mine. But I can’t get you pregnant. I don’t have the parts. I got testicular cancer when I was nineteen, had ‘em both removed. For nearly five years I’ve had to put up with that little brat getting in the way all the time. I should have been given a medal!”

At that moment, Ellie and Anna arrived with five of the biggest officers available as backup, gave a silent signal to the nurses that the situation was in hand and not to intervene. At this point only Ben and Hardy could see her as she stepped into the room. “Mr. Bruce Stratton?” she called out. Just as the wall clock ticked 06:00.

Tess and Bruce whirled, startled.

“Yes?” Bruce grumbled.

“DS Miller. You might remember me.”

“What of it?” Bruce put in with annoyance.

“I am here to arrest you for the murders of Luiz Gotleib and of Louise Dusk, kidnapping, false imprisonment, child abuse, grooming and obstructing a police investigation. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?”

“I did nothing!” Bruce shouted. He struggled to avoid the uniformed officers, but a movement in the doorway turned his blood cold. Hailey Bridgewater stood there, like an apparition. His guilt in solid form. Bruce could only nod as one uniformed officer strode in and slapped cuffs on his wrists.

“Grooming!” Tess wheezed. “Child abuse!” She glanced at her son, sitting in shock in the bed. “Oh god. If you’ve touched my kids, I’ll kill you!” she roared.

Ellie turned her head to look at her blankly. “Teresa Hardy. I am arresting you for the murder of Sarah Wallace and obstructing justice. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?”

It took Ellie, Anna and all five of the uniformed officers they had brought with them to subdue both suspects, but finally they were cuffed and silent. It was all she could do to hold her husband back from lashing out at either one of them. Or, in his case, lashing out with his voice.

Ellie panted as the officers, paired together, guarded Bruce and Tess to prevent them from killing each other or attempting to escape. She refused to show any more signs of effort than that. After a glance to confirm Hailey was unharmed she faced Tess, the most angry of the pair, and probably with good reason. “A word of advice: don't attack anyone when your target has witnesses to a self-defence claim.”

Tess struggled for breath, but managed to snap, “Oh, don't tell me you fight being arrested.”

“Just because you think about doing something don't mean you actually do it,” Ellie snapped. “It's called self-discipline. Something you obviously didn't learn properly. And your partner, here, didn’t learn at all. We already have evidence that he abused your son and enough evidence to put to the CPS that you ignored it. The Courts take a dim view of women who allow their children to be harmed by another person.”

Tess paled to chalk. But Ellie had more.

“It was not exactly smart to admit that you had fantasised about kicking your ex-husband's arse and get him removed from the Force. Your fellow officers were quite willing to give evidence to that fact.” Ellie silently gloated at the effect of that statement on Tess. It was not exactly smart, either, to admit that you had fantasised about kicking your husband's ex-wife's arse more than once, but she was enjoying the opportunity too much to care who knew about it. Ellie was never going to admit to how much enjoyment she was getting from this. “Take them away,” she ordered.

Tess was dragged away, with Bruce led in front of her. But her mouth would not remain silent.

“Oh, look at him! Not so high and confident now! You'll be doubting yourself for the rest of your life, Alec!” she shouted. “The only reason I married you was because you were good in bed!”

“Shut it!” snapped Ellie. “You don't have any right to yell at him just because your superiors recognised him and your then DS lover as the better investigators. Your Chief Super had little complimentary to say about you other than your reputation as by-the-book. Which he realised would've been exposed had they looked more carefully at your statements about the evidence theft. Hardy wasn't driving his car that day and you know it.”

“What right do you have to wave that detail at me? You married a man on his way to being a ped-”

“Oh, how you forget your anger from moments ago! You had glaring signs that something was wrong, and you ignored them. I had none.”

“What makes you think your new husband is any better?”

“Because he is.”

“Then why don't you take his name?”

“I did. It'd just be a little confusing at work.” At Tess' look of confusion, Ellie decided it was time to reveal the truth. “See, my second husband, the man I will be married to for the rest of our lives, is the same man you tossed aside for this piece of garbage.”

Tess was shocked still. The officer holding her dragged her out of the ward, followed by a second. But they could hear her mutter, “How did she meet Victor?”

Ellie shook her head slowly. Anna pinched the bridge of her nose.

With Bruce securely held by two others, the fifth remained a moment. “Will the children need further police protection?” he asked.

“They’re safe, now,” Ellie replied confidently. “Good work. I’ll be back at the station shortly.”

The officer nodded and left to rejoin the others.

Once Tess and Bruce had been led away, the shock got to Alec and he wobbled on his feet. Hailey rushed to aid Ellie as she helped him into a nearby chair, where he could keep Ben calm. The boy was in floods of tears. Nurses rushed around him to ensure his heart was fine and he was unhurt. Throughout the confusion Hailey gripped Hardy's arm as a lifeline, staying quiet so the focus could be on Ben.

“Dad!” cried Tom, rushing in to hug Hardy. No one had known he was there. “Dad, she's worse than Joe ever could've been,” he whispered. It seemed that the actions he witnessed, the realisation of the crimes committed had allowed him to make the final break in how he spoke of the man who had been his father. “Don't listen to her! She's just bitter and jealous. The only good things she did were giving you Daisy and Ben.”

Hardy sobbed then, out of relief more than anything. He moved just enough to hug both boys and they shared the relief.

“Where’s Mummy gone now?” Ben sobbed.

“To the police station,” Hardy explained. “They’ll ask her questions and put her in a cell until the case goes to Court. The jury will decide of she did the crime. If they say she did it, she’ll go to prison. If they say she didn’t she’ll be free to go home.”

“What about me and Daisy?”

“You’re coming home with us,” Tom put in at once. “Aren’t they, Dad?”

Hardy hesitated for a moment. “That will be decided by another Court,” he explained. “And that will be one hell of a fight.”

Tom opened his mouth to ask why, but in lifting his head he became aware of the girl beside them because Anna was giving her a chair. He only knew that her hair was dyed and she was not Daisy. “Who are you?” he asked gently, noting how fragile she seemed.

Hardy met Hailey's watery eyes and could see the child she had been at sleepovers, the child who had needed to feel safe after a nightmare. “Hailey,” he whispered in empathy, raising his arm to offer a hug that he could tell she needed. Thankfully Tom understood he needed to back off to make room.

She broke down and clutched him. With his arm around her she could pretend she was nine years old again and needing comfort from what was merely a bad dream.

She would hang on to that illusion as long as she could.

Tom watched in shock. What kind of horrors had this girl, who must be one of Daisy's friends, been through? He lost himself in those thoughts, not feeling his mum put her hand on his arm or noticing Anna leave the room as she drew out her phone.


As they were led into the car park, Tess and Bruce glared at each other. Neither one wanted to admit any fault in the other's situation or their own. But as they were placed in separate police cars, both realised that their lives were in tatters. Nothing would ever be the same for Tess. Bruce silently wondered if his employers had found out about his meddling. He decided they probably had. He knew it would only be a matter of time. But the grooming... He was finished. Unless...

He manoeuvred his hands around his side to get out his mobile.

“No point trying to call your friends,” the driving officer told him calmly without turning. “We took the liberty of blocking all outgoing calls. Your network supplier was only too willing to help with that.”

Bruce sank back in the seat. He was finished.


To be continued...

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