Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Mel/Johnny, Red Hamilton, Russell Clark, Homer Van Meter, Eddie Green
Fandom: Public Enemies
Genres: AU, Captivefic, Drama, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
Spoilers: For the movie, natch. :)
General Summary: During the chaos of the shoot-out at Little Bohemia, Special Agent Melvin Purvis is captured by the Dillinger Gang and becomes a ‘Hostage To Fortune’…and ‘Johnny’s Indulgence’.
Chapter Summary: When Johnny falls ill, it’s Mel’s turn to take care of him.
Date Of Completion: August 7, 2009
Date Of Posting: September 17, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Universal does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1473
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: This story was inspired by Mary Renault’s The Persian Boy. Alexander the Great’s men accepted their leader’s indulgence, who happened to be Bagoas, the Persian Boy, an ex-slave who shared Alexander’s bed. They didn’t object to him being male but that he was a barbarian (non-Greek). It showed their love and respect for Alexander when they accepted Bagoas, and learned to respect him in his own right.
Canon is a jumping-off point but I changed several things, including the survival of Johnny’s gang, as their dynamic was important to this story.
Mostly this is drama with elements of romance, so I said what the heck and included that in the Genre. :)
Yeah, this was going to be a one-shot, albeit a long one, but the boys were just too much fun to play with. ;)
So, enjoy this story of seduction, sex, and a touch of Stockholm Syndrome. ;)
The entire series can be found here.
To cool me.
When I’m well,
To make me burn
And Other Poems"
Mel was surprised to see Red as his escort to the bathroom as morning sunlight poured in through his bedroom window. Johnny had already left before Mel had awakened.
On the way back to his room he asked, “Is everything all right?”
“Johnny’s a little under-the-weather.”
Worried, Mel sensed something worse than under-the-weather. He grabbed Red’s arm.
Red looked wary. “Agent Purvis…”
“Mr. Hamilton, I give you my word I won’t try anything. Please, just take me to Johnny.”
Red looked at him, then escorted Mel to another room.
Johnny was in bed, skin flushed and hair disheveled. “Hey, Sunshine.”
“Hey.” Mel sat on the edge of the bed. He put a hand on Johnny’s forehead. “You’re warm.”
“…under-the-weather, I know. Mr. Hamilton, may I have a basin of water and a washcloth, please?”
Red nodded and left the room.
“You were all right last night,” Mel said as he bit his lip, caressing Johnny’s brow.
“Mmm, came on me fast.”
“I’m going to wipe you down and then I want you to get some sleep.”
Mel was worried by the too-bright eyes and his lover’s fever. He listened for any rattling sounds as Johnny breathed, but he was clear. So far.
“So you’re going to take care of me, Sunshine?”
“Yes.” Mel pushed back strands of sweat-dampened hair.
“Good.” Johnny smiled.
Mel kept sponging Johnny down, reading and talking to him. Johnny slept part of the day, awoke, and refused food but drank a glass of water. He fell asleep again, clearly exhausted.
Mel rocked quietly in the chair that Red had brought from his room.
He was worried sick about polio. Johnny’s muscles were aching, and he was suffering chills. He kept his fears to himself, hoping that he was wrong.
He continued rocking, thinking about FDR and his struggles as he lived with polio every day. He had been up close to the President, seeing his wheelchair, but Roosevelt had been the picture of ebullient good health.
He couldn’t imagine Johnny in a wheelchair. The man was too vital, too alive, but if he ended up there, Mel knew that he would be as positive as Roosevelt, but it would take time.
Wrung out from worry, he fell asleep.
Mel awoke, a bit disoriented, then realized he was in another room. His reason for being here flooded back to him and he anxiously checked on Johnny, who was still asleep. He gently placed his hand on the other man’s brow.
Still too warm.
He picked up the cloth again as Johnny’s eyes fluttered open. “Mmm, how are you, Sunshine?”
Mel smiled. “I’m fine.” He gently wiped Johnny’s face. “Why do you call me Sunshine? I’m not a sunny person, alas.”
Johnny smiled. “You have sunshine in your soul, Mel. You should smile more.”
Mel pushed up Johnny’s undershirt, gently washing his chest. “You make me smile.”
Johnny grinned, grasping Mel’s arm. “C’mere…”
“I can still kiss.”
Fever-warmed lips touched Mel’s. When they parted, the agent touched his forehead to Johnny’s.
“You’re good for what ails me, Agent Purty.”
Mel ducked his head shyly. “You really think I’m pretty?”
“Oh, sugar, you’re incredibly gorgeous.” Johnny grasped his chin and lifted Mel’s head. “Don’t you know how beautiful you are?” He rubbed a thumb over Mel’s cheek. “These cheekbones are to die for. Your eyes…” He gently touched sooty lashes “…are luminous, little ribbons of gold running through amber. And this mouth…” he caressed Mel’s lips “…is bliss itself.” Johnny laughed at Mel’s blush.
Mel took his hand and brushed his lips over the fingers. “Do you always wax so eloquently when lying ill in bed, suh?” Mel’s accent grew thicker as it usually did in moments of intense emotion as Johnny had observed.
“The best place to sweet-talk, Beautiful.”
Johnny’s eyes widened in surprise, then sparkled as he lifted Mel’s hand to his lips.
“Oh, babe, you are wicked.”
“I hope so.”
Johnny sank against the pillows. “I feel better already.”
Red was impressed. The G-Man was tireless in his nursing of Johnny.
The gang was also impressed. They were worried about Johnny, who had always treated them right, fair in splitting the take and always looking out for their welfare. His method of robbing banks made them less likely to be killed than most gangs.
“How’s Johnny?” asked Russell one bright morning as the gang ate breakfast in the kitchen.
“Pretty Boy Purvis keepin’ him happy?” asked Homer cheerfully.
The laughter around the table was more affectionate than mocking.
“He’s been doin’ yeoman’s duty and happy to do it.” Red started making up a breakfast tray.
“Bet Hoover wouldn’t like to hear that.”
“Hoover isn’t our ‘guest’, is he?”
“Good thing,” Eddie said. “Purvis is easy on the eyes. Can’t say the same for ol’ J. Edgar.”
More laughter, Red joining in this time. He waited for the toast to pop up and put the slices on the plates on the tray.
“No eggs,” said Homer.
“No eggs for either of them. Johnny’s still too sick.”
“Did he catch a chill from that day in the rain?”
“Could be.” Red added a cup of fresh blackberries and two glasses of apple juice. “Russ, can you make a run for some new medical supplies?”
“Sure thing, Red.”
Red didn’t bother to add, “Be careful” because Russell knew that he had to be cautious or they’d all be cooked.
Red took the try into Johnny’s room.
“Thank you, Mr. Hamilton.” Mel took the tray and set it on the nightstand, helping Johnny sit up, Red arranging the pillows.
“Call me Red.”
Mel was startled, then smiled. “Mel,” he said.
Red nodded. “Still woozy, Johnny?” he asked.
“Some.” Johnny made a face. “Feels like my head’s stuffed with cotton.”
“Can you eat?”
“Some. Thanks for breakfast, Red.”
“Sure thing, Johnny.”
Red kept a close watch on his friend, coming into the bedroom the next day to find Johnny leaning on Mel as he walked.
“Lookin’ good, Johnny.”
The gangster chief flashed his trademark grin. “Gotta get my sea legs back.”
Red snorted. “You weren’t in the Navy that long.”
Johnny laughed as Mel helped him back to bed.
Once Red had left, Mel said, “Let’s get you back into bed, Prince.”
“Oh, babe, there ya go sweet-talkin’ me again.”
Mel tried to hide his smile but Johnny saw everything.
“When I’m better, Beautiful, you’ll see just how appreciative the Prince is.”
Mel laughed. “I look forward to it.”
“Oh, that’s a pretty smile, Sunshine.”
Mel blushed, but his smile grew brighter. He settled into the rocking chair, and a lazy grin spread across Johnny’s face.
“So, how do you think the Bears will do this year?”
Mel blinked, then chuckled. “I think they have a very good team: Monsters of the Midway. Probably go all the way.”*
“You know, I’d like you as a tight end, though come to think of it, I’d like you even better as a wide receiver.”
“You always do like to penetrate the end zone.” Mel’s eyes sparkled.
Johnny laughed, clutching his side. “Ooh, Mel, honey, they say laughter is the best medicine. You’re definitely good for what ails me.” He grinned. “You’re my Southern Comfort.”
Mel smiled as he rocked.
Johnny’s fever spiked that night, and Mel kept up his nursing, sick with worry. Frustrated that Johnny had taken a turn for the worse after getting better, he hoped and prayed for his recovery. His own fate was far from his mind. If Johnny died, he might end up dead as well if the gang decided he was more trouble than he was worth, but he doubted they would do such a thing.
He just didn’t want Johnny to die.
The night was long and lonely, Red checking in but Mel was the primary caretaker.
Johnny mumbled in his delirium, Billie’s name slipping out, and Mel gently rocked back-and-forth, hoping against hope that the charismatic gangster would survive. He kept up the cold compresses, his heart catching as Johnny breathed his name.
“I’m right here, Johnny.”
“Mel…so pretty…smile, babe…”
Johnny’s hand groped around for him and Mel grasped it, their fingers entwining.
Mel held on for dear life.
Mel fell into a restless sleep, still holding onto Johnny’s hand. He awoke with Johnny’s bright eyes on him and touched his face. The fever had broken.
*The 1934 Chicago Bears did go nearly all the way: they posted a perfect 13-0 regular season record but, alas, lost the National Football League Championship to the New York Giants. :)
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