It had been five months since the Latimer case, but it seemed as if it were only yesterday to DI Alec Hardy. Closing the case had not been a time for victory speeches, far from it. When Miller's husband had been taken into custody, it left the whole town in disarray.
She claimed that she was going to move away, to take her two children and leave Broadchurch for good. But that wasn't the case. Hardy had practically begged her not to go. Because despite what he told himself and everyone else who cared to ask, Ellie Miller was and always would be his closest friend. He needed her. So that night, after the lighting of the fire for Danny Latimer, Alec visited the apartment she was staying at while the kids were asleep and brought along a bottle of wine. They talked about where they'd be after all of the news died down, a conversation like the one they had on the bench earlier that night, only more in depth. And sitting in her apartment, seeing the kind of life she was forced to live due to her husband's unspeakable actions, Alec could feel himself opening up more to her, telling her more than he had ever planned to tell anyone in this Godforsaken town.
He told her that he was going to quit his job and move somewhere closer to his family in Scotland. Miller said she didn't care where she lived, so long as it was far enough away from Broadchurch that no one would ever know what happened to her family.
It was that night that their supervisor called him and offered him his job, but only after he recovered from his heart trouble. He told her he'd think about it, and hung up. He hadn't even been sure why he'd even agreed to think about her proposal; the answer was going to be no. He told Miller as much, but she just smiled sadly at him and told him he should keep his job. But he was tired, he told her. And even if he did love the feeling he got when he brought someone in, how it made his heart flutter to think that he just put away someone who could have done a lot of damage to innocent people, the bad outweighed the good. Like the fact that the trail of dead bodies left him feeling hollow in ways he couldn't even describe to himself. Or that when he would go to sleep every night, the faces of those that he couldn't save haunted his nightmares. Maybe it wouldn't all go away if he left his job, but then again, maybe it would. Ellie's argument was that he was too good a detective to be off duty when he still had a few good years left in him, that he could do some real good in his position. When he retorted the same accusation at Miller, she huffed and looked into her glass of red wine and said that's different. He didn't believe a word of it, but best not to press it.
Sometime in the evening they decided to skirt away from work and delve into different topics; where were Ellie's ideal places to live, where did Alec's family live in Scotland, if Alec had any brothers or sisters, if he had a girlfriend. At that question Alec tried to steer the conversation away from himself. But that just made Miller more curious. He decided that if he didn't answer her, bad things would happen. So he told her that there wasn't anyone in his life, and that he wasn't even sure if he wanted there to be. At the topic of his wife, he was going to put his foot down, but decided that maybe talking about his dysfunctional relationship with that woman would give Ellie some insight on the fact that she wasn't the only one with a bad ex. So he told her everything, about how how he lied to cover her ass, how she never once thanked him, how she's been married twice since they were with each other and has a child now. He told her that despite being married to her, he was never in love with her. He loved her, yes, but there was never a deep love so strong that he thought they were soul mates. But that didn't seem to matter when he was younger. When asked that if he met her now instead of five years ago, would he marry her, Alec replied no. He was older and wiser now and if he were to marry again, he'd want to be one hundred percent in love with the woman. After talking well past 2:00 A.M., DI Hardy decided that it was time to head back to the motel he rented. On his way there, he began thinking a lot about what Ellie Miller had said to him about staying in the police force. And so, without really thinking about it, Alec called the chief, who was surprisingly awake, and told her he'd do it.
So the next few weeks that followed were filled with painful, agonizing physical therapy. He was to walk everyday, or bike if he wished, for an hour. To eat healthy, well portioned meals and to not do anything that stressed himself out. After what seemed like ages, the doctors told him that his heart looked to be back to normal. He was fine, and would get better over time, but he was definitely cleared for work. Besides monitoring his heart in high stress situations and taking a break when his heart began to go 'out of whack' there was nothing to worry about. Miller had stayed in Broadchurch though his physical therapy as a confidaunt and friend, hiding out in apartments to steer clear of press and angry members of the community.
On his first day of work back in his old position, Miller came in to tell him that she was going to take her old job back. He was so full of joy and glee that he jumped from his desk and hugged her. He was as shocked as Ellie and everyone in the office of his actions, but through Miller's shock there was happiness. But having a job in Broadchurch meant living in Broadchurch, which meant she'd need a house and had to be able to face the people of the town. So she moved back into her home with her children, but decided to have them homeschooled instead of going back to regular school.
And so the months for DI Hardy went by quicker than he'd anticipated. Sure enough, March turned to April, the May, and finally to June. Alec called Miller in on every case that was assigned directly to him, whether it be for her insight, opinion, or just so he had someone to shoulder the burden of their case. Because it's a small, quiet town, the cases they'd get called in on were never as bad as the Latimer case, and rarely needed the presence of the DI. But there was the occasional drug bust that required Alec's appearance at the crime scene. Hardy and Miller had solved a dozen cases, some old ones that Alec had personally reopened, in three months. The feeling was divine, and even if the cases were petty and maybe even a little bit boring, the duo always gave it one hundred percent.