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A New Normal

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“Where to, sir?”

“Sandbrook”, he grumbled, and he smoothed at his hopelessly-wrinkled suit as he ducked into the back of the cab.

It was warm—the sort of thick and stagnant warmth that could only come from having spent the day baking in the end-of-summer sun. It was the sort of warmth that embodied Broadchurch, he thought: endlessly cheery and overbearing. Suffocating.

“Anywhere in particular?”

Alec rolled the window down, and propped his elbow on the ledge. “I’ll let you know when we’re close.”

He was sure the driver’d rolled his eyes; he could read it in the way the man gripped the wheel. He wasn’t doing it now, but it was clear from the faded leather that he gripped it often, and the bits of fluff bursting from localized cracks suggested he did it with force. The man had a temper, then, with a tendency toward the passive-aggressive.

Because of course it would be his luck to get stuck with some grumpy bastard of a cab driver for the lengthy ride to Sandbrook.

Alec settled his chin in his palm, the rugged breeze tickling at his beard while it tugged his just-trimmed hair. The scent of salt hung heavy—as it always did, in Broadchurch—but it smelled of something else, too. Something he knew, without needing a word for it; a storm was brewing, somewhere far beyond the pristine blue of sea-and-sky, and it would rain tonight.

He’d be long gone by then.