Pairings/Characters: Mel/Johnny, J. Edgar Hoover
Fandom: Public Enemies
Genres: Angst, Challenge, Drama, Romance
Claim: For the 12_stories Challenge (Mel/Johnny)
Prompt: T 7; P 2: Decisions
Prompt Count: (8/12)
Summary: Decisions must be made.
Date Of Completion: December 18, 2011
Date Of Posting: May 24, 2013
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Universal does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2086
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The entire series can be found here.
Is full and fragrant,
Until the withering
Of winter comes
On a cold March day.
Sarah Jean O’Reilly
The gray March day turned to warm spring as the sun broke through the clouds. Johnny turned up his greatcoat collar as the wind gusted. While the temperature was slowly rising, the wind still had bite. He gratefully ducked into The Haverill Arms, an old but respectable hotel in a slightly shabby section of Chicago.
Inside it was warm, and Johnny unbuttoned his coat. He looked around the vestibule but no one was around. The dark wood was worn in spots but the walls were clean and freshly-painted in pale yellow.
Johnny went up the staircase, looking for Room 16. He knocked and seconds later the door was opened and he hurried inside, the door shut behind him.
Mel pulled his lover into a kiss. “C’mere, Jackrabbit.”
Johnny laughed and kissed back enthusiastically.
Johnny smiled up at Mel, who was leaning on his elbow and smiling down at his lover. Mel ran his finger down Johnny’s bare chest.
“Louis handed over the money without a word.”
“Good.” Johnny sighed happily.
“He doesn’t approve of me, I think.”
“He thinks you’re a risk.”
“Well, I suppose I can’t blame him for that.”
Johnny cupped Mel’s chin. “It’s been almost three months since you threw in with me.”
Mel’s eyes were fond as he gazed upon Johnny. “It has been a wild three months, to be sure.”
Johnny slid his hand down Mel’s neck, shoulder and arm, the Southerner shivering in delight. “I’ll show you a life you never dreamed of, honey.”
Mel leaned down and kissed Johnny. “I know.” He chuckled as Johnny’s hand cupped his buttocks.
Johnny smiled as he squeezed, Mel’s groan like music to his ears. Mel pressed close and their cocks rubbed together. Mel’s dark eyes sparkled as he kissed Johnny hard.
The wind rattled the windowpanes as the temperature heated up in the hotel room.
“And just where are you goin’?” Johnny asked lazily as he lolled in bed.
Mel smiled as he pulled his coat on over his clothes. “I am popping out, as the British say, to get us some coffee. Also, doughnuts.”
Johnny’s eyes lit up. “Coffee ‘n’ doughnuts! You do know how to spoil a man, darlin.’”
Mel chuckled as he put on his fedora and pulled on his gloves. “You are easy to spoil, my love.”
Johnny smirked but was pleased. “Watch yourself out there now.”
“Always.” Mel leaned down and kissed his lover, who kissed back with ardor. Mel reluctantly pulled back and admonished, “You keep that up, Mr. Dillinger, and I won’t be able to leave the room.”
Johnny smirked again and played with Mel’s tie. “Maybe that’s my thinkin’, darlin’.”
Mel shook his head and headed for the door. “Behave yourself, Johnny.” He picked up the thermos from the dresser.
Mel shut the door with a grin on his way out and Johnny pulled the blanket up. The sky was gray instead of blue now.
Typical March day in Chicago.
He yawned and rolled out of bed, pulling on his underwear and pants. He slipped on his undershirt and brought his suspenders up over his shoulders. Coffee and doughnuts sounded like heaven.
He looked out the window, seeing a small coffee shop on the corner. He watched the pedestrians on the street and the passing of cars, keeping his eye out for any enemies, whether on his side of the law or Mel’s.
He still couldn’t quite believe it. Beautiful, cultured, and sexy, Mel had given up his privileged life to be with Johnny.
You’re one lucky bastard, Dillinger.
He daydreamed about the places he and Mel would go. After one last big score, he would take Mel away from all this craziness and they’d live good, happy lives. They would take care of each other and Johnny could say, “Fuck you!” to Mr. J. Edgar Hoover.
Yeah, life was good.
He relaxed as he saw Mel come out of the coffee shop.
Mel waited patiently for the waitress to fill his order. Everyone was too absorbed in their own business to pay any attention to him, which suited him just fine. He knew that he was taking a risk but he craved some coffee, the hotter the better. The nice spring day had turned gray and cold. He was glad he had put on his gloves.
The harried waitress brought over the thermos and a box. “Half-a-dozen doughnuts.” She took his money and rang it up on the cash register.
“Thank you.” He took the thermos and box and walked back out into the cold.
As he walked, he kept a careful eye out for any police and other not-so-friendly gangsters. He kept a normal pace so as not to attract attention.
Mel turned into The Haverill Arms and was up the stairs and into the room in record time.
”Nice, hot coffee. And apple cinnamon and lemon doughnuts.”
“Mmm, baby.” Johnny smiled as he greeted Mel with a kiss.
“I take it you’re happy to see the doughnuts.”
Johnny laughed. “You bet.”
Mel took napkins from his coat pocket and spread them out on the small table. Johnny poured the coffee into two Dixie cups. He took a sip and opened the box. “I think I’ll start with the apple cinnamon.”
“Good choice.” Mel picked out a lemon doughnut. “And so is this.” He bit into it. “Mmm.”
They enjoyed their coffee and doughnuts and Johnny began to yawn. “Hmm, good food and coffee’s making me sleepy.”
”Me, too.” Mel yawned.
“Let’s go to bed, Sunshine.”
Mel nodded and kicked off his shoes. He and Johnny climbed into bed, removing their shirts but keeping their pants on. They fell asleep quickly.
When Mel awoke, he felt groggy. His head felt like it was stuffed with cotton. He could feel Johnny’s warmth curled up against him, which soothed his sudden anxiety.
Maybe the coffee wasn’t such a good idea. Got the jitters.
He started to snuggle back against his partner when a large hand clamped on his shoulder. His eyes flew open as he gasped. His vision was blurred but he would recognize that silhouette anywhere, and the smell of a distinct brand of pomade.
“That’s right, Melvin.” The voice was triumphant and angry at the same time. “How droll to find you in your illicit lovers’ nest.
Mel desperately tried to clear his vision. He could see two other figures flanking the door. He dearly hoped that they weren’t Carter and Charles, dragged along on this assignment. Or mission, as Jayee was a zealot on this subject.
The hand on his shoulder slid down to his bicep. “Get out of that bed of iniquity.”
Mel was grateful that he had his trousers and undershirt on. Hoover dragged him out of bed and he struggled but his muscles were lethargic. Confused, he tried to return to bed, stretching his arm out blindly toward Johnny. Hoover yanked him closer.
“Your days of consorting with this gutter trash are over.”
“Why am I so groggy?” Mel mumbled.
“One of my men was in the coffee shop and saw you come in. He managed to put sleeping draughts in your coffee. And we will ensure that your gangster continues his beauty sleep.”
One of the figures moved and hovered over Johnny. Mel thought he saw the glint of a needle.
He lunged for the agent but Hoover was strong. He nearly yanked Mel off his feet.
“Now, you have a decision to make, Melvin.”
“What decision? You’ve caught us,” Mel answered bitterly.
“That’s right.” Mel wanted to punch his old boss for his smug tone. “And now you’re going to make your choice.”
Mel’s head was clearing. “I choose Johnny.” He struggled again but Hoover yanked him around to face him. He could see Hoover’s face clearly now and was taken aback by the zealous light in his eyes. Fear tightened his gut. He would have to tread very carefully.
“I have a proposition for you,” said Hoover.
Mel tugged his arm, trying to get out of his captor’s grip. “I know what the nature of your proposition is.” He looked at the two agents. Neither one showed any emotions. No doubt Hoover had chosen them for their loyalty and discretion.
“You’d be right, though that’s only part of it.” Hoover’s smile was predatory. “My proposition is this: you come back with me, be my star agent again, and I’ll let your farmboy go.”
Mel stared at Hoover. “Do you take me for a fool?” he snarled. “You would put Johnny away as soon as I left this room.”
“Do you think so little of my word, Melvin?”
“What do you expect me to believe? You’d never let Johnny go.”
“I will if you come back with me.”
“I won’t.” Mel glared at Hoover.
“Then you’d rather see him in prison, possibly in the electric chair?”
Mel’s stomach turned. “What guarantee would I have that you would let Johnny go?”
“My word.” At Mel’s skeptical look, he said, “Besides, if I brought Dillinger in, you’d certainly know it.”
“Would you leave him alone?”
“That would be up to you. As the Chicago Special Agent-In-Charge, you could guarantee he’d always get away as you did before.”
Mel flushed a little at that barb but said nothing. It was true, after all.
“Johnny would never believe I’d leave him to go back to my old life.”
“You’ll write a note explaining that you can’t take this kind of life anymore.”
“And how do you explain my running away with Johnny? I can’t be an agent anymore.”
“Dear Melvin.” Hoover patted his cheek, Mel pulling away. “We just say that you were kidnapped. That’s already been the speculation, anyway.”
Mel felt coldness seep through him, colder than the street outside.
“So that’s the bargain?”
He was on the edge of an abyss, all his hopes and dreams fluttering down into the darkness like petals falling from a rose. There was no way out. There would not be another Crown Point, of that he was sure. Hoover would call out the Army if he had to instead of the National Guard this time in order to keep Johnny in captivity. He might end up in prison for his betrayal, but Johnny’s future was even bleaker. Hoover would see to that, and he had the power to do it.
Hoover smiled that evil smile again. “Oh, come now, Melvin. You know the other part.”
Mel’s stomach churned. He knew exactly what the other part was: life in Hoover’s bed, doing exactly what he said whenever he wanted to do it
Mel looked down into the abyss, dark and endless. He looked over at Johnny and his heart broke. “All right,” he said softly.
Hoover patted his cheek again. “Good boy.” He took a folded piece of paper out of his pants pocket and handed it to Mel. “Copy this.”
A piece of blank paper and a pen were shoved toward Mel by one of the agents. Both burly, one man had a small scar under his eye and the other had a misshapen nose from too many times being broken. Neither man was Jayee’s usual standard of good looks. These two has been hired for strictly muscle.
Mel sat down at the table and wrote out what Hoover had dictated:
I am leaving to return to the Bureau and my old life. I have tried to live your kind of life but I just can’t. I’m sorry. My conscience won’t allow me to continue.
You had better get out of the country. The Bureau will be coming after you.
Mel’s hand was shaking by the time he had finished. He stood and shrugged on his suit jacket. He shook off Hoover’s hand on his arm and stalked over to the bed. He leaned over and ran his fingers through Johnny’s silky chestnut hair.
“I love you,” he whispered, then turned away, keeping his head down to hide his shimmering eyes. He put on his greatcoat and fedora and stiffened as Hoover put his arm around his shoulders and led him out, followed by the two agents. One of the agents glanced back and closed the door behind them, leaving Johnny in the bed and the note on the table as the wind rattled the windows.