?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Title: Rejuvenation
Genre: Broadchurch
Rating: T (subject matter, emotions, legal matters)
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: A chance thought of her assistant makes Jocelyn Knight ask Tom Miller additional questions to check his evidence. His answers lead to others bringing forward evidence that would otherwise have remained hidden until the Defence uncovered them. Will it be enough to reverse the damage done by Sharon Bishop and Abby Thompson?
Disclaimer: If I owned any of the characters, some of them wouldn't have gotten away with what they did. Of course, I'm not yet up to the story-telling abilities of Chris Chibnall. I would like to be, one day.
Dedication: tardis_mole, for betaing and being the reason I'm writing Broadchurch fanfic to begin with. Posted in honor of bas_math_girl's birthday.
Author's Note: Starts in Episode Six after Jocelyn speaks with the Latimers following Tom giving evidence against Mark. Written because I simply needed to right a few blatantly illegal things done. I may be an American, but I think we can all agree when something doesn't seem right.


Chapter One / Chapter Two / Chapter Three / Chapter Four


Rejuvenation

Start Date: July 11, 2015
Finish Date: September 4, 2015


Chapter Five: Blind Justice

The Judge looked at the clock and then at the Defence to see whether they would cross-examine Hardy. Not that she or anyone else in the courtroom doubted Sharon's choice.

The townspeople wondered whether Sharon would prod Hardy about the previous case. How would he hold up to more shame being brought to light?

Sharon slowly got to her feet. She knew as well as Jocelyn that how she handled this could be the difference between winning and losing. And there was more at stake than the case. She saw that tenth juror's expression by the end of Hardy's new evidence. That woman had come around to the Prosecution's side. She had to sway her back.

But she had a delicate balancing act to perform. She hated to admit it, but Hardy's evidence about how he ran an investigation was interesting and persuasive. So she had to poke holes in his story, and in her mind that previous case begged to be questioned.

“You allowed a lie to carry on,” Sharon began. “A lie that damaged your career. Why should anyone believe a word you ave said, in Court, when you admit taking blame for something you didn't do?”

“What I have said in Court can be verified. Every last word,” he countered patiently.

“Apparently not,” Sharon pointed out. “Since you have covered it up and taken the blame. If your blame is a lie then how are we to believe that anything you tell us now is the truth? Why should we believe a policeman who covers up the actions of his colleagues and lies to an internal inquiry, and repeated that same lie to a Court of law, under oath, and lied to the families of the victims, and still, to this day, does not reveal the full truth?” she enunciated. “Your last case was thrown out of Court, was it not?”

“Yes.”

“And exactly why was this evidence you mentioned lost?”

Jocelyn promptly stood. “My lady, the witness stated that he is not at liberty to speak of an ongoing investigation, and PACE forbids further questioning on the matter.”

“It is highly relevant when the matter sheds light on the witness' credibility,” Sharon challenged.

“PACE is very clear about what can and cannot be spoken of in Court where an open investigation is concerned,” the Judge interrupted. “You will cease all questions about DI Hardy's last case or I will be obliged to have you thrown out for Contempt of Court, Miss Bishop.”

Hardy hid a sigh of relief, noting the townspeople's relief that the questioning was halted. What they didn't know and he did was that if Sharon Bishop pressed on despite the warning the Judge would likely have to declare a mistrial.

Did Sharon value her career over the case?

She did, grimacing and backing off. “I put it to you that you have continued to lie, all through this case.”

“No.”

The difference between Hardy's previous time in the witness box and this one stood out starkly. Before he had seemed defeated, downtrodden. Now he had energy, vigor, and the will to stand up for himself. Here was a man the Latimers would've never disbelieved even if he was from London and speaking of crime statistics that never happened in Broadchurch.

Danny's death notwithstanding.

“You have not denied being alone with Ellie Miller the night you arrested her husband,” Sharon insisted.

He scoffed. “I have been alone with DS Miller dozens of times; in the office, in the car, standing on street corners, the beach; it means absolutely nothing. Why would I want to have an affair with a woman who threatened to piss in a cup and throw it at me?”

Anyone who knew Ellie wasn't surprised that she might feel provoked to say that. She flushed under the scrutiny, and gave a curious Tom a pointed look that silently said, 'You didn't hear that'. He just smiled.

“There were six officers in the CID room that day and all of them heard her say it,” Hardy continued, vaguely aware of the interest in that insult. “Ask them. I knew from the moment we met that she hated me. I knew from the moment she invited me to dinner that she didn’t do so under her own steam. After I tried to decline the dinner invitation she took offence. She didn’t want me interviewing her son, didn’t want me pointing accusations at anyone she knew, didn’t want me in that station, and certainly didn’t want me holding the job she had gone for. I was an outsider. To have an affair with a colleague would be very poor judgment overall, and that is one thing anyone who properly observed Miller in action would never accuse her of. And for anyone who knows me; I’ve been on the receiving end of that kind of behaviour. It cuts you up inside. I wouldn’t do that and I wouldn’t want to inflict that hell on someone else.”

Ellie was not the only person who sucked in a breath at his admission that his wife had been unfaithful, but she was the only person not Maggie or Olly who immediately guessed his real reason for taking the blame. Now the exchange at the cafe made more sense.

“Except for your claims that DS Miller's husband is a murderer,” Sharon pointed out.

“People can keep secrets. I learned that personally from my ex-wife; the woman who recently had the gall to tell me that she loved me for not telling anyone what she'd done to hurt me. She obviously didn't love me enough in the end.”

“Then why would she hurt you? Did you not fulfill your role as a husband?”

“She knew what kind of man and officer I was when she married me. There is no excuse for not having the honesty to admit that things are falling apart and that the two of you need to work on them. She didn't do that. She instead chose another road that didn't include me. Not that any of this is relevant to Danny's case, might I point out?”

“Oh, but it is relevant, DI Hardy,” Sharon returned smarmily. “I sense a lot of anger toward her.”

“What man wouldn't feel anger toward a woman who made him feel like less than nothing?”

The two jurors in the balance were both male. And both of them eyed Sharon with distrust and animosity. Male solidarity was kicking in, if not a higher human decency. And no one in the room missed that Hardy was silently accusing Sharon of doing that to every man she questioned.

Abby, noting the jurors' reaction, tapped Sharon on the arm and shook her head slightly. It was their signal to stop if she saw something to suggest that the Jury was turning against them.

Frustrated, Sharon tried a different tack. “So you never envied Joe Miller for anything?”

Hardy was silent for longer than Jocelyn or Ben was comfortable with. Let alone Ellie. “Only on one thing.”

“And what was that?” Sharon demanded, convinced she could make him say something that would turn things around.

“I envied that he had a wife who would never cheat on him.”

No one expected that.

Hardy took advantage of Sharon's stunned silence to add one more thing, something he felt that would seal things since he'd already spoken about so many shaming things. “Looking back on my entire relationship with my ex-wife, there were warning signs that she might fall out of love with me one day. But I was too in love to believe them until I had proof that she had lied about where she was. I kept silent and tried to be a better husband, but after she let slip that lie, she said the most cutting thing I've ever heard.”

“And that was?”

Jocelyn stood. “My lady, this is more harassing the witness than relevant questioning.”

Judge Sharma thought for several long seconds. “I will allow this last question to be answered, but then the topic must change unless you actually have something to present, Miss Bishop.”

A few quiet murmurs showed how relieved the Courtroom was that the Judge finally put a stop to something the Defence did.

Hardy glared at Sharon for making him say it, hiding his anger at himself for letting that detail slip. “Not only did she tell me that she'd paid off the mortgage and owned the house outright years earlier, never letting me know that the money I'd been paying into the joint account was going straight into hers, but she claimed something far worse: 'When we were trying to have Daisy, did I mention that the fertility doctor said you were sterile?'”

Horrified squawks erupted, even from members of the jury. The Judge's jaw dropped. Every man watching closed their eyes in empathy, including Joe, and the women's hearts broke for him.

Ellie's eyes watered, and Tom looked like he wanted to do something. He didn't know that his mother's tears were hiding her regret at being so harsh on her boss and for not finding a way to cut Tess back verbally. She vowed to find a chance, and now felt awful for not giving him that hug. No matter what it might've looked like. He must have been crying for days afterward. No wonder he never smiled.

Hardy took advantage of the shock on Sharon's face – who looked like she couldn't imagine telling a man she had been intimate with that – to add one final thing. “I'm the only dad Daisy has ever known. She's mine even if my ex-wife is telling the truth about that. And only this moment here, being forced to tell complete strangers about things that should never have had be to shared in this Courtroom if you had acted as I understand a solicitor is supposed to, comes close to the mortification I felt then. If you think that I would inflict that pain on another man, I can only compare you with the parasites of the Press who don't care about anything except their own agenda. Truth is nothing to them, and based on your performance here I don't know if you even know the meaning of the word given what you let your colleague encourage the Defendant's own son to do.”

The Judge was close to cautioning him, but he fell silent. He also made a point that would be revisited in the hearing. But now he would plainly only speak if spoken to. She exhaled and looked at the Defence, as did the whole room.

Sharon felt the wind go out of her sails when she glanced at the jury. All twelve were looking at her in open disgust. Hardy had destroyed all credibility they had left, and yet had retained his dignity and won universal respect. She had no case now. “No further questions.” She sank into her seat, not even noticing that Abby had covered her face with both hands.

The room looked like they wanted to cheer Hardy for finally silencing Sharon Bishop, and for making Abby Thompson unable to meet anyone's eyes.

/=/=/=/=/=/

Once outside the Court, Hardy found himself approached by the Latimers, Becca, Paul Coates, Maggie, the Stephens, and Ellie and Tom. It felt like a mob, and his defensive instincts flared to combat the overwhelmed feelings that grew.

Chloe reached him first, tears in her eyes and an apology on her face. “You saved the case! Thank you, thank you! And I'm so sorry.”

Hardy wanted to say it was too soon to say that, but could not bring himself to say it. Not in the face of this new trust this girl whose world had been shattered suddenly had in him.

Mark, holding Lizzie in his arms, looked numb. “You are a braver man than any of us. If we'd had a clue none of us would've made things harder for you. I'm sorry I wasn't man enough to tell the truth.”

An admission made far too late, but better that than never. So Hardy simply nodded.

Beth waited for Chloe to step aside before speaking. “Please come for dinner tonight, even though the case isn't over. Don't bring anything but yourself. We owe you everything and gave you only headaches.”

Hardy had to interrupt. “You I can't blame. You were desperate for answers, and they weren't coming fast enough for anyone's liking. I should have warned you what talking to the Press does to a family.”

“I'm not sure I would've listened. I might've asked to speak with Cate Gillespe first, but I think if I knew what she went through and got no answers I might've thought twice. I shouldn't have cast stones. I didn't see anything either.”

That her eyes drifted to Ellie, who heard all, escaped no one's notice.

Paul approached and smiled. “I know you don't believe, but I think you were sent to teach us all a lesson. Thank you.”

Becca held back a bit. “Sorry for being so harsh.”

That she said nothing more was appreciated by Hardy.

Olly looked him in the eye, fighting to hold his head up. “If you don't want me to write anything about today, I won't.”

“Although you should be aware that word will get to Sandbrook eventually, if it hasn't already,” Maggie noted.

“If all goes well with my new investigation, the truth will come out soon enough. Just state the facts of what happened today. I'm tired of covering up someone else's mistakes, even though it means a very challenging talk with my daughter very soon,” Hardy sighed. “And the content could depend on what is in fact the truth.”

Lucy held back as well, but she was contrite. “If you have to arrest me for what I did, I'll accept it.”

“Get help, and return the money even if it's a strain.”

She nodded, lowering her head.

Tom came forward and met his eyes. “I'm sorry I lied. I should've told you all I knew. I just never knew anyone like you, and with my mum hating you-”

“You had no reason to trust me. I understand and forgive you, Tom. Learning a parent isn't who you thought they were is hard. I'm sure my daughter thinks the same about me.”

“She's not going to think that for long,” Ellie stated quietly, only letting those in the circle hear. “We're going to solve Sandbrook, and your ex-wife will have to answer for her actions. You haven't said what they were, but I can guess. We might be able to go over her head now, depending on how fast word gets to her DI.”

“Knowing Judge Sharma, she will have made a call to Met. HQ by now. Or South Mercia HQ, or even both,” Maggie declared. When everyone looked oddly at her, she smiled. “I heard from a friend in London that a hearing is already in the works for Sharon Bishop and Abby Thompson, with the motions begun the very day the Judge threw out the cheque as evidence. I wouldn't be surprised if your ex has to answer questions tonight from her boss, especially if she knows anything about the truth.”

Hardy was not comforted by that and it showed.

Becca's eyes widened. “That would explain the conversations I overheard them taking. Miss Thompson sounded panicked and Miss Bishop was having a... difficult time finding words to explain why she was not responsible for what her colleague did.”

They could all believe Becca's story, and suspected the only person more dubious about Sharon and Abby's words was whoever was on the other respective line.

Beth repeated the earlier invitation. “Promise you'll be at dinner tonight. Ellie, bring your boys. Lucy and Olly and Maggie, you're also welcome.”

Hardy sighed. “It's not exactly appropriate. Not until the sentencing, if Joe is convicted.”

“Please,” Beth pleaded. “I owe Ellie and her boys a lot, too, and I'd feel better knowing that I did something to help you regain your strength before finding the answers for your last case. And Paul has... something I promised to help him honour today. And Mark and I have committed to repairing our marriage. So this is not connected to Danny's case at all.”

Mark suppressed a grimace. He had to wait two days after giving evidence to be allowed back in the house just to speak with Beth. She told him she made him take that time to be sure he knew what was truly important to him, to understand what he'd done to her and Chloe. Only then did she say could forgive him, but it'd take time.

He would've accepted whatever she laid down. At least he was allowed back in the house and could be there for his daughters. Even though Chloe was a little cool toward him at first, but she could see he meant his promises.

Hardy glanced at Paul and guessed from the awkward expression that it was the anniversary of his becoming sober. He nodded to the vicar in acknowledgement that he would not say a word, who returned it with a grateful look. But his answer remained the same. “The Defence would be all over it in seconds. It wouldn't make a difference.”

“What if I host it at the rectory?” Paul suggested. “It's a neutral location and I can state that it's for community healing purposes, which is the truth..”

With his most socially understandable reason removed in the face of the others nodding, Hardy thought quickly to think of another way out. One that didn't offend, since he had only just earned respect from all of the people before him.

Becca cleared her throat. “Excuse me. I need to get back to the Traders.”

She walked off, giving off the impression that she knew she was not invited.

Ellie could see how much this meant to her best friend, and smiled as she thought of a way to bring him around. “Sir, Beth's dinners are not to be missed. If you'd rather, I'd sure there are cups I can fetch.”

He scowled at her, but silently exhaled and nodded at Beth.

/=/=/=/=/

He wasn't allowed to walk to the rectory. Ellie insisted on driving him, and she and the boys were prompt in picking him up. Fred started talking to him the moment he sat in the car, and Tom surprised him by adding to things by mentioning how school was going – much to his mother's shock. And relief, as things were still a little strained between them.

Tom turned around suddenly when Fred's chattering petered out, and blinked. “Mum,” he whispered. “Is this normal, him falling asleep like so easily?”

Ellie looked behind her briefly, at the only seat he could safely sit in to avoid harming his shoulder. She smiled softly. “Yes. He's been working himself to exhaustion and the surgery took a lot out of him. I'm surprised he wasn't asleep when we arrived. And after his lengthy time in the witness box, I'm surprised he was still awake at the end of that.”

The respective dinners at the Millers and the rectory could not have been more different. Hardy's health aside, he was greeted warmly by his host and the Latimers. Only the shortness of the time prevented him from looking for something to give as a thank you, but he figured he would have another chance if this went well.

And it did. He was ushered into the dining area and evidently given the place of honor despite the other avowed reasons for the dinner. It was embarrassing. But he enjoyed how much attention he got from the children. Even little Lizzie, lying in her dad's arm, was interested in him. Fred wanted to sit beside him during dinner, which helped him relax because the boy was so pleased to have his company. He hadn't realized he had made such an impression on the boy, who undoubtedly missed his dad. Although he was yet to hear the word 'uncle' out of him, much to Ellie's disappointment, he did hear Fred's version of his first name. Awec.

It was universally declared cute, even by Tom, and Hardy was almost disgusted over how much he agreed. A sure sign that he missed Daisy. Even if she did turn out not to be his daughter.

And dinner was also gentler on his stomach: no spices. Beth admitting to doing some research on not triggering a heart attack with food, and she also offered him non-alcoholic beverages only. It was not just for Paul's sake.

Hardy suddenly wondered whether he should have mentioned a little about his health last time. Or if Joe had any suspicion from looking at him, or had seen him buying his Aspirin from the chemist, and made an effort to make it harder for him to solve the case. He had no way of knowing unless Joe suddenly confessed – and he considered that unlikely. He preferred to think that his worry was too much.

Chloe asked him questions about Daisy, and Tom added to them. So he ended up triggering a long string of shared stories about children. He learned more about Danny that day then he ever had during the investigation, and it was more satisfying this way. Never mind that he finally saw the proof that Mark was no killer, regardless of his temper.

He was enjoying hearing Ellie tell a story about her and Beth's days before their respective marriages, while Chloe was looking at a photo of Daisy on his phone when it rang. She jumped. “It's Daisy, Mr. Hardy.”

Eyes wide he took the phone and answered. It was hard to get up since Fred had planted himself on his lap. Luckily the boy willingly went to Tom, and so he could take the phone.

“Hello, darling... Daisy, what's wrong...? What? When...? How did you...? Okay, I did allow that to stand... Why? I couldn't let the Press go near you. It seemed the better choice... Oh, I... Okay, I didn't think of that. I only worried about what your life would become... I understand... What?! Are you sure...? Darling, it makes no difference to me. You're my daughter no matter what... Of course, it's comforting. Well, that doesn't surprise me. It was going to happen eventually, but the timing is sooner than I thought... You what...?! Daisy, she is your mother... Yes, even because they do something stupid, there's still some... Oh, fine. You've made your point. I won't ever do anything like that... You still have your exams. You might miss a whole year...! You are? Well, I could come and get you... I can manage perfectly fine. I'm recovering... He is...? Okay, when will you arrive...? Text me with updates the whole way... Love you, too, darling.”

He hung up and looked at a wall so he couldn't meet anyone's eyes.

Fred, who watched his expression the whole time, crawled out of Tom's arms onto Hardy's lap to hug his uninjured side. “Awec.”

Hardy lowered his phone so he could hug him back. The boy was too young to name emotions, but he could sense something wasn't right and thought he needed comforting. “Yes, wee Fred.”

Chloe, sitting close enough to overhear a little of the other side, looked at him sympathetically. “She found out about her mum's actions?”

“Chloe?” Beth rebuked.

“What? I'm nearly seventeen, I can work out what's not been said. The article said evidence was lost. It was her mum who let the evidence be lost, wasn't it?”

Mark, Beth, Paul, and Nigel's faces all slackened.

It felt like an eternity before the answer came.

“Daisy started following the Echo's Twitter feed to hear about the trial, and she saw Olly's link today to his article on Sandbrook,” Hardy spoke, his voice quiet and numb. “She thought her mother and her stepfather had moved far too quickly, but the detail about my taking the blame for a DS caught her attention. Today's posts from his feed confirmed it for her even before the Sandbrook Chief Super and Super both came to their house, along with Tess' DI, demanding answers from both her and her husband about the missing evidence. In earshot of Daisy. She confronted them, adding that she could only think of one reason I would take the blame so readily. Olly, did you mention what I said that my ex claimed?”

Olly flushed. “I... said that Sharon Bishop forced you to admit that she'd claimed you weren't your daughter's dad and took your money. No details.”

Hardy lacked the energy to glare. “When her suspicions about the evidence were reluctantly confirmed she was so furious she's now staying with her grandmother – who happened to be there. Especially after she found out that the custody agreement was actually shared, and that her mother refused to share. She overheard the Super ask Tess about my saying she claimed Daisy wasn't mine, and apparently Dave took offence. Apparently he said, 'So unless you were off sleeping with another bloke that neither I or Hardy know about, Daisy very definitely IS Hardy's daughter'. Seems he IS sterile. Tess, shocked, admitted to lying to me, and Daisy was... livid.”

Everyone else was silent at the thought of someone being willing to take a lie that far, causing so much pain deliberately. No one wanted to make any comparisons, nor think too deeply on it.

“Daisy told me she said she is disowning her mother for at least the time I'm owed with her until she's of age, which amounts to two and a half years. And she's declared she's going to come and live with me as soon as her exams are done, with a visit during her school's upcoming break at the end of the month.”

“With the case still ongoing? When we're not sure who broke into your cabin?” Ellie demanded.

“Wait, it was your cabin that got broken into?” Olly breathed.

Maggie glanced at him to check that he understood that was not to be shared. Given his shock she decided she would wait to say anything.

Hardy reluctantly nodded. “I think I know who did it, but there's no proof. Just suspicion based on hints I heard.”

Beth noticed his discomfort and changed the subject. “How is Daisy getting here?”

Hardy had to take another deep breath to calm himself. He was not used to his heart beating this fast and it not triggering a panic attack. “I was ready to find a way to go there and collect her, but she said she wouldn't make me stay in a car for that long. Instead one of my former DCes who's now a DS in Tess' CID team will drive her down in a week. It will let us decide how to prepare for when she's finished her exams and can transfer. He'll also look over the Sandbrook evidence on behalf of his superiors and assess whether it should be reopened.”

“Do you think he'll do it?” asked Maggie.

Hardy and Ellie exchanged a guarded glance, and then nodded. She answered for them both, “We have new leads that were missed. Should be more than enough. But will Tess be in even more trouble if he disagrees with her decision not to reopen? And what's happening to her and... the stepfather?”

He didn't have enough energy to have even a bit of satisfaction. “They've both been suspended pending an inquity. Her DI, who was on maternity leave during Sandbrook and that was why Tess and I could be on the same team, apparently had suspicions for a while. I'm not sure it would've saved the case if I had come forward immediately, but Daisy is convinced my health would be better today if I hadn't let her mother get away with... as she put it, 'being unwilling to control herself'.”

Beth sighed. “Let's hope things turn out in a way you can live with. Do you need anything for the cabin to prepare for her?”

“We'll get you whatever you need, mate,” Mark promised.

Hardy's face went through a series of emotions. “It's not necessary.”

“But we want to do it,” Nigel said. “We want to make up for how much trouble we caused you. Please let us show how a small town helps each other out.”

Lucy smiled wryly. “After today you're one of us whether you like it or not. I suggest finding a way to like it.”

Hardy wanted to give her a sharp glare, but decided it was a bad idea with Fred looking up at him, a book in hand for him to read to him. He paled, wondering how he could manage when his working hand was holding the boy steady.

Tom smiled and took the book, sitting next to him. Chloe took Lizzie and sat on the other side, leaving him with no choice but to read. But not before glaring at the giggling Ellie, who set Beth off. The men and Maggie merely covered their mouths to hide their smiles at the scene.

It was a needed tension break for them all.

/=/=/=/=/

The wait for Daisy's arrival seemed like a whole year. In hours, Hardy had gone from not being entirely sure where he stood to apparently being the best parent in the world, in her eyes. And with his arm still recovering, but freer than it had been, and the Sandbrook cases still up in the air it made the wait feel worse.

The Latimers and Nigel were true to their word. They organized a collection to put together a spare bed so Daisy would have a place to sleep without Hardy having to sleep on the sofa – something not advised during his recovery. It made the already small cabin seem smaller, but they found a way to make the furniture Hardy hated that came with the cabin work in Daisy's room. He hoped the more delicate touches that Chloe and her friends made would be appreciated.

“I hope she likes our welcoming gifts,” Chloe had said, motioning to the crafts put together at her behest and taking into account the few stories she had heard about Daisy from Hardy. He had to turn his head to hide the tears at how caring these girls were being.

In a way, it made the wait easier.

/=/=/=/=/

The jury had needed extra time to reach a verdict. The town couldn't understand why, but Jocelyn had quietly told the Latimers what she suspected was going on. While the Defence's claims had been rejected, two jurors were not quite willing to convict based on the evidence left – which was almost all from the Prosecution. But even if they didn't reach that point the other ten's verdict would stand.

They were not the only ones who were praying. But the wait would not have seemed as bad if they knew the content of the phone calls Sharon and Abby had each fielded. Becca, being the owner of where the two were staying, had relayed via the town grapevine that the two lowlifes appeared to be in hot water already, and Abby was the worse off. It sounded like while Sharon was facing suspension Abby was almost certain to be struck from the roll – never to practice law again.

Poetic justice it was not, given that she had not seemed to practice it in the first place. But it was satisfying to know she was sweating and probably cursing herself for putting together such a fight that affirmed why many hated lawyers. And rightly so.

Despite the work on Sandbrook, Hardy and Ellie knew they were at an impasse. The next step would depend either on what Claire or Lee did, or what DS Craig Harrison decided. But Hardy was hopeful:

“He has a sharp mind, is willing to look beyond the obvious, and at the time came the closest to protesting how I was treated. I think only how junior he was back then then halted him.”

“High praise from you,” Ellie snapped, although her heart was not fully into it.

They were standing a little off to the side, but near other officers. It provided a little privacy while ensuring that no one could accuse them of improper behavior.

“Dad?”

The trial's timing had thrown their plans off in another way. Daisy had to be brought straight to the Court to be reunited with her father. The sound of her voice made Hardy stun everyone by beaming. “Darling.”

Daisy, a wobbly grin on her face, sprinted to his side, not caring what it looked like or where they were. She slowed enough to be careful while tightly hugging his good side. “I'm so sorry, Dad. There were clues. I should've seen them.”

“I didn't see the clues, and I was a seasoned copper,” he whispered. “Tell me later how you could see what your mother tried to hide. Let's not talk about it here, okay?”

She looked up at him and smiled weakly. “Yeah, I'm not up to thinking about what a shit she's been to us both.”

“Daisy,” he warned.

She lost her smile. “I can't think of a polite word for her actions. Can you?”

He grimaced. “Fine, but the language warning still stands.” He looked up to greet her chauffer for the day, and had to release her. “Craig, good to see you again.”

“Sir.” Craig shook his hand warmly. He was a little shorter than Hardy, blond hair with a hint of ginger, green eyes, and a very serious expression that could not hide a twinkle in his eyes. He walked with confidence, like an officer with a bright future. “We couldn't get out any earlier. I have an over the shoulder bag for myself and two suitcases for Daisy in the boot.”

Hardy nodded. “I'll see you to the cabin in a bit.”

“No verdict yet, then?”

“We're still waiting.”

Craig opened his mouth to talk, but any further discussion was halted by Hardy sensing someone else marching up to him. He turned to find Claire walking up with something in her hand. It was hard to tell, and Hardy went on alert.

“Here,” Claire snapped, tossing something at him.

He caught it with his good hand and went still at the sight of an evidence bag he hadn't seen in over three years. “The pendent. You had it the whole time!”

“The missing pendent?” Craig demanded, looking carefully at her as recognition hit. “This is Claire Ripley, isn't it?”

“Yes,” Hardy grated, eyes glaring like skewers and yet making no dent in her defiant stance. “Claire Ripley, I am placing you under arrest for theft of evidence and obstruction of justice. Craig?”

Craig was quick to place the cuffs on her. “I'll take her to the local station.”

Ellie spoke up. “I'll have one of the local bobbies call Broadchurch station, to know to expect you. You'll find it easily.”

“The jury has reached a verdict,” Ben announced, calling them all in and providing a welcome distraction to draw attention away from Hardy and Claire.

“Let me go in with you, Dad,” Daisy pleaded.

He had no time to argue. It wasn't like there was anywhere he could send her to. He turned to his former colleague. “Wait for myself and Miller to arrive to question Claire Ripley. And let the station know to be on the lookout for any sign of Lee Ashworth doing something once he gets wind of Claire's arrest.”

“How's he going to know?” Craig pondered aloud, taking Claire away before anyone could say anything else. A local officer followed to ensure that Claire did not try to escape.

Only Daisy and Ellie noticed the look in Hardy's eye. But only Ellie suspected that Hardy would be the one to tell Lee, to send him into a panic.


Chapter Six

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
bas_math_girl
Sep. 9th, 2015 12:46 pm (UTC)
[Sorry about that - my son started pressing buttons, the tyke!!]

Oh my! He turned things around in the courtroom. YAY!

I was half expecting Lucy to restate that she found him dishy. ;)

He hung up and looked at a wall so he couldn't meet anyone's eyes.
For some reason this was more upsetting then his court confession. I'm so glad you had wee Fred there to offer a hug. That whole family scene with the Latimers was gorgeous.

And what a glorious ending with Hardy off to face Lee and get the Sandbrook case closed. I can hardly wait... :DDDD

Edited at 2015-09-09 12:57 pm (UTC)
tkel_paris
Sep. 10th, 2015 12:04 am (UTC)
(It's okay. My laptop went weird on me, after I was running late due to traffic. Some of which wasn't being reported by the radio traffic centers.)

I knew if given the chance he could. :D

I think he figured that out from her tone. :P

The shame about his personal life would be stronger than his professional one, although Sandbrook was a heavy burden to bear by itself. I almost had to delete that scene. Thank goodness TM suggested Coates host the dinner.

Might have to. I need to polish something, and I have to get my edits done for my writing group. Not been a great day for me. :(

BTW, want a prompt? I'll email you if you say yes. It could involve smut.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

January 2018
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow