A/N: The events of 'Broadchurch' have not taken place. Based on 'Blackpool'. My 100th story – enjoy!
Pete Tyler – arcade boss and entrepreneur had always wanted a son after his daughter Rose was born and ten years later, after much persuasion of his wife Jackie, along came Tony. Rose was doing well at school, Pete was always coming up with ideas and inventions and Jackie had threatened to divorce him several times until she had Tony.
He had started off small, buying a small arcade in the sleepy seaside of Broadchurch from someone who was retiring whom he'd met on a family camping holiday so Pete had packed up, sold the house and they had lived in a caravan for what had seemed like years but now, they had the biggest house on the side of the cliff and he was planning on expanding his little empire that consisted of the arcade in Broadchurch and a slightly bigger one in Weymouth plus other seaside towns in the Dorset area.
He only had one problem and that went by the name of Jack Harkness, who along with his side-kick, Ianto Jones, had moved in next door in Weymouth and was planning on expanding his growing empire of arcades that was mainly in Southend and neighbouring seaside towns. Rose could have had any job she wanted in her dad's empire but she had chosen to settle as a shop assistant when she left school and didn't want to give it up and now she worked on the High Street in a fashion shop called 'Cinders'.
Rose was very popular in the town and on her day off would hang around the arcade with her old boyfriend, Mickey Smith and when he was old enough Tony, her baby brother as she called him. Mickey, though unknown to either Pete or Rose, knew the time was coming for Tony to begin to realise there was more to life than tending his father's slot machines and other games of chance and he was trying to persuade him to take over, even though Pete had said that would never happen until he turned twenty one.
Mickey had been approached by Jack to help smooth the way for him to muscle in and get Tony to agree to help him and Mickey had said he could easily persuade the young man to do so for the right amount of money.
The local police force, led by a detective inspector who couldn't wait to get out of the place and had been sent from Manchester until his pension came through and a chief superintendent who let him get on with it never bothered about the arcade as long as things didn't get too out of hand. Pete had got his licence extended (since he had several council officials also in his pocket) to open until 10pm as there was very little else to do down by the harbour and a few of the catering stalls stayed open during the summer months.
Pete had become worried though when he got back from a trip to Weymouth to find Jack and his 'friend' were in the town and he caught up with Jack in one of the harbour pubs.
"Harkness, a word," Pete had said to him, Ianto looking on.
"Ianto, get some more drinks and none of that flat beer. Tyler, have a seat. How's that daughter of yours?"
"You leave Rose alone Harkness. Your little boyfriend might get jealous. What are you doing here, you don't normally stray this far."
"I heard you had big plans Tyler, very big plans for the seafront."
"That's none of your concern, why don't you go back to Southend?"
Jack just laughed. "Afraid I'll try and muscle in? Why don't we call a truce? You persuade that daughter of yours to marry me and we'll merge our empires."
"Never in a million years Harkness, you leave her alone, I already told you. You know I have the local police in my pocket, I could run you out of town."
"Relax, I just came to see if the rumours were true."
"Then I expect you to leave."
When Pete got home, Rose was watching TV.
"Hello sweetheart, where's your mum?"
"She went to bed. Dad, is something wrong?"
"No love, what could be wrong?"
"I heard talk today, the DI is retiring and they're bringing a younger, tougher one in, the one who caught the killers of those two cousins up in Sandbrook."
"You mean Hardy? Crikey Rose, he's tough, I'll never be able to get him to play along like the old DI. You stay away from him and watch out, Jack Harkness is in town though I don't know how long for so no hanging around in the arcade on your day off, he'll be watching the place. He's trying to find out what my plans are."
"You mean for the Esplanade? I thought you had someone on the council who was gonna help you with that?"
"He is, don't worry. I just have to get those investors to agree, I don't want to use all my own money, do I now? I have to go away again next week so I want you to keep an eye on Tony for me, in case Harkness tries to get at him. Watch Mickey as well."
"Dad, I thought you trusted Mickey and Tony?"
"Not with Harkness around. You've seen Tony lately, he wants to get out or take over, he may think Harkness can help him and as for Mickey, given the right incentive, he can be easily swayed. Night love, set the alarm before you go to bed eh?"
"Yeah, I will, night."
Rose was worried about her little brother, he was easily swayed by Mickey and the last time their dad had been away she'd seen them talking in the far corner of the arcade. So the following Monday morning, Pete was getting ready to go back to Weymouth since he also wanted to visit his other arcades and was taking no chances Jack Harkness was going to muscle-in on his territory. He was considering taking Mickey with him but Tony had never been left on his own and while he was having doubts about Rose's old boyfriend, he was going to have to trust him for now.
Little did he know Jack was still in town and was planning on talking to the youngest Tyler once his father had left on his trip. When Jack untangled himself from Ianto, he told him today was the day they were going to begin tearing down the Tyler empire.
"We go for the kid while his dad's out of town, what better time? Come on Ianto, get your ass out of bed. We have work to do starting with making a call on Jackie Tyler. Don't go getting jealous, you know she likes to flirt with me."
"You don't have to flirt back, do you?"
"If it helps find out what her husband's up to, what harm can it do? Shame that Rose doesn't want anything to do with me, maybe I should work on my chat-up lines?" he asked, admiring himself in the mirror.
Rose had left for work, Tony was getting ready to walk down to the arcade, not that he really wanted to, he wanted out as soon as his dad got back from his latest trip and no amount of arm-twisting was going to change his mind. He was almost eighteen, old enough to do as he wanted and he wanted to leave the boring seaside town he'd grown up in.
He hardly had any friends his own age, his dad had insisted he hung around the arcade since he was old enough to remember and his school friends had done the same at first until their parents had banned them because he used to lend them money to play the machines kids were allowed on and charged them interest for every 50p they borrowed.
Over the weekend, Detective Inspector Alec Hardy had arrived in the town, booked into the hotel he'd been assigned and thought straight away he was going to spend as less time as possible in his room and had already been on the local property website to register. So as he walked into Broadchurch Police Station, he was already in a bad mood when he found out he was working with another woman, like working with his now ex wife wasn't enough.
As he sat in his office, she dared to knock on his door.
"So, how are you settling in?" she asked, taking a seat opposite him.
"You wanted something? Get one thing straight, I am not here to make friends or win popularity contests Miller."
Ellie thought he was going the right way then.
"Bring me up to date with what's going on in the town."
"Well, nothing much goes on up in the town, the harbour is quiet at this time of year, it's another two weeks until the holiday season."
"Is that why there was a crowd across the harbour on that patch of grass this morning?"
"Oh, they'll have been waiting for the arcade to open. I bet it'll have been late if Tony's opening up."
"Tony Tyler, the arcade owner's son. It's supposed to open from ten in the morning until ten at night but if his dad's gone away again, it's anyone's guess. Beats me why he doesn't get Mickey to open it."
The name Tyler rang a bell with Alec and he reached for a folder left by the DI who had just retired.
"What's all this?" he asked, holding the folder up marked 'Lucky Slots' then taking a look inside. "What? Do you know how many licence violations are in here? How do these people manage to stay open?"
"Ah, Mr Tyler had an arrangement with DI Hunter."
"He did, did he? Well he will have no such arrangements with me."
Ellie Miller didn't doubt it, things were about to change around here.
"Do you want me to arrange a meeting?"
"Mr Tyler, I think he was going off again."
"I need an appointment to speak to him with regards how many changes he is going to have to make?" Hardy asked, shaking his head.
"He's a busy man, he has several arcades on the Dorset coast, including Weymouth. He won't be pleased."
"I don't care if he is pleased or not Miller. I am going to pay a visit to the arcade, the ones not in this town are not my concern. Does the chief know about it?"
"Don't act dumb with me Miller, about the arrangements as you call them. How did they get a licence to stay open until 10pm? Who stays in charge at that time?"
"Mr Tyler has a night manager and security then a van comes in a morning after it opens. It does close early on Sundays."
"Well I am glad to hear that," he told her, getting up to put his jacket on. "I am going out, to pay them a visit."
"Mr Tyler won't be pleased."
"Do I look like I care if I please anyone? Whose idea was it to stick me in a hotel up in the town?"
"It's nothing to do with me."
"Well find out, I want moving down here as soon as possible, if I can't find a place to rent."
"That's not my job – Sir, to make your arrangements."
"Then what is the point of you Miller? Get onto it. Find out if there are any places I can rent, not a caravan though, with all the noise, I want somewhere quiet."
As he walked out, Ellie thought maybe a hole in the ground might do the job, or that place by the river and he might sleepwalk and fall in, hopefully.
Since it was lunchtime, Rose had promised she would just call by the arcade for a few minutes while Pete was away then grab something to eat at one of the food stalls. She was just coming out when she almost collided with Hardy.
"Watch where you're going," Rose called out as he tried to dodge her again.
Hardy wasn't watching where he was going when he'd seen the blonde turn away from the change desk.
"Excuse me, you almost bumped into me when you were turning around."
"Well don't get so close next time. Tony, I'll see you later and don't forget what dad said, don't let Mickey choose the music or we'll get complaints again. You know what the kids like."
"Yeah, yeah, Sis, stop nagging me, you're worse than mum. If you'd not been talking you wouldn't have collided with him would you?" Tony grinned.
"I was making sure you knew what dad wanted."
"I should know by now and Mickey will be back with lunch in a minute, you could have stayed."
"I prefer to eat outside without a load of teenagers watching me."
"Have you two finished?" Hardy asked, getting out his ID card. "DI Hardy, Wessex Police. Who's in charge around here?"
"I am," Tony said proudly, trying to look taller than he actually was, getting him a look from the woman cashier who hated being bossed around by a kid, Mickey was bad enough.
"What do you want then?" Rose asked, thinking he might try bossing her brother around.
"Where is the owner?" he asked, testing Miller's theory he'd never get a straight answer out of any of them when she'd warned him on his way out.
"Away on business so you'll have to wait until he comes back. Tony, don't say anything until Mickey gets back," Rose told him.
"Would that be Mickey Smith?" Hardy asked, recalling some of what he'd read earlier about him being a troublemaker who hung around the harbour at night, got into fights and was always let off while the others got to spend the night in a cell and whose friends included the local plumber's mate who did a bit of poaching on the side and a less than reputable market trader.
Mickey was just walking in with two food trays.
"Someone say my name?" he asked, looking at Hardy.
"You're Mickey Smith?" Hardy asked, expecting someone with a bit more to them.
"Who are you then?"
"He's the new DI, Mickey, you knew the other one was leaving," Rose told him, thinking she'd have to be fast if she wanted to eat or she'd have to eat on the way back.
"I am just checking things out, I have a list I want to go through with you."
"What list would that be?" Mickey asked, finding which carton was his fish and chips smothered in ketchup.
"All the violations you have been getting away with. No matter, I will see Mr Tyler when he gets back. I take it you are Miss Tyler then?" he turned to ask Rose, getting his notebook out to remind himself to come back, if she was going to be here at the same time every day, it might be just worthwhile hustling the two males who were glaring at him.
"Hang on," Mickey told him, sticking the plastic fork into a chip. "What violations? The other DI never did anything if we made a few alterations."
"Well I am not the other DI. You can start by turning that racket down and bursting my eardrums and that sign outside needs moving so no-one will trip up over it. Don't the council say anything?"
"Why would they bother? No-one complains, it's big enough to see," Mickey told him smugly.
"Well trust me, they will," Hardy told him, clicking his pen and putting his notebook away.
"Mickey, I have to go or I won't get any lunch." Rose interrupted them.
"Yeah Rose, see ya. You want to go to the dance with me on Saturday night?" Mickey asked hopefully.
"Get lost Mickey, I wouldn't go with you if you were the only single bloke in town."
"Who you going with then?"
"I'll think of someone, even Olly is a better choice than you."
All three of them watched her leaving.
"So, she's your ex girlfriend then?" Hardy asked.
"Yeah, hey, keep your mitts off, her father won't be happy you coming in here ordering us around."
For a date with Tyler's daughter at the local dance, he was willing to risk it.