Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Mel/Johnny
Fandom: Public Enemies
Genres: Angst, AU, Challenge, Drama, Holiday, Romance
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
Spoilers: For the movie, natch. :)
General Summary: Mel is invited to a Halloween party while nursing deeply-felt regrets.
Chapter Summary: Halloween magic is a beautiful thing.
Date Of Completion: September 3, 2009
Date Of Posting: October 13, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Universal does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 823
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for my 2009 Guns_Fedoras Public Enemies Fic/Art Halloween Challenge. Option 1: (Elements of Halloween used set in or around Halloween: Costumes, Masks, Halloween/Masquerade Party, Pumpkins/Jack O’Lanterns). Enjoy! :)
All chapters can be found here.
WHISPERING ON THE WIND
Especially on a night
Robin removed his mask, familiar amber eyes looking at him with concern…and love.
Mel stared, taking in the sight of the beloved face, suddenly feeling lightheaded, a buzzing in his ears as the shock went cold down his spine.
He staggered back. “I saw your body,” he murmured. “Are…are you haunting me?”
Johnny…the ghost…reached out and grabbed his arm.
“I’m real, darlin’.”
It was Johnny’s voice, the way he used endearments, concern in his eyes.
“J…Johnny, I saw you die!”
The hand on Mel’s arm was warm. He’d removed his glove. A familiar signet ring was on his finger.
“Come with me,” the apparition said.
Numbed with shock, Mel went with him on shaky legs.
They walked down the balcony steps into the garden, the apparition leading him down the path to a small arboreal alcove out of sight from the house, his hand on Mel’s back protectively.
Johnny sat on the marble bench, bringing Mel down with him, removing the shocked man’s mask.
“You’re shaking, darlin’.” Mel stared with big, luminous eyes. “I know this is a shock.”
Mel tried to speak. “How…what…?”
“Well, Sunshine, I guess it’s obvious it wasn’t me at the Biograph.” His thumb rubbed over Mel’s hand. “You see, Anna told me about the squeeze that Immigration was putting on her. She warned me to get away, which I did, of course, and then I heard about what’d happened on the radio. I’ll admit I was puzzled, but learned the whole story weeks later from a mutual acquaintance. You see, a small-time hood named Jimmy Lawrence looked a lot like me, and Anna arranged for him to take my place.”
“But…” Mel’s heart was racing, still unable to process everything.
“I don’t know how Anna persuaded Jimmy to play me. Poor soul got killed for his trouble, and I don’t know if your Mr. Hoover knows the truth.”
“He’s not my Mr. Hoover.” Mel was still shaking. “I should have checked out the body…I couldn’t bear to see you…I’m sorry, Johnny.”
“Don’t be.” Johnny’s expression was soft. “It’s understandable. Why would you dream up something like this?” He bit his lip. “And I’m sorry, too. I had to wait this long before I could come for you.”
Mel flung his arms around Johnny, who laughed and hugged him. A kiss came next as Mel hungrily put his mouth to Johnny’s, nearly dizzy with joy.
Mel hung on for dear life, passionately kissing Johnny as if still trying to reassure himself that his love wasn’t a ghost. Johnny kissed back just as enthusiastically.
When they finally came up for air, Johnny said, “Come away with me, Sunshine.”
Mel blinked, still gripping Johnny’s arms. “Come away with you?”
“That’s right, darlin’. Life isn’t as much fun without you, Mel.”
Mel thought of his career, already teetering on the edge, the loneliness of his life, all the regrets that had nearly been choking him for over a year, opportunities lost…
“Yes,” he breathed. “I’ll go away with you, Johnny.”
Johnny’s eyes lit up, moonlight shimmering down and silvering his face as he pulled Mel into a kiss, the night breeze stirring up fallen leaves, whispering through the trees.
“Wow, Robin Hood. You and General Lee here are really having a good time.”
Mel pulled back in shock, Johnny surprised, too. A tall princess in pink was smiling down at them, her tall conical hat perched on a cloud of blond hair, a pink streamer fluttering out behind her.
“Relax, boys, I won’t say anything.” She winked a silver-mascaraed eye. “I’m a believer in all kinds of love. And you two are very pretty examples of ‘special’ love. You fill out those tights nicely, Robin, and, General? You could impale me with your sword anytime, honey.” The princess laughed at Mel’s wide eyes. “Happy Halloween, luvs.” The princess sashayed away.
“Well, I guess we got lucky,” Mel said, still keeping a firm grip on Johnny’s hand.
“Very. I doubt that the gentleman will expose us,” Johnny said amusedly.
“Gentleman?” Mel’s eyes grew wide again.
Johnny laughed. “Oh, Mel, honey, never change. How you retain that innocence while being a top G-Man capable of running down hard cases like Pretty Boy Floyd is one of the most charming things I love about you.” He gently touched the side of Mel’s face, then stood, squeezing his lover’s hand. “Come on, darlin’, a whole new life awaits.”
Mel’s eyes were shimmering. “I love you with all I have, heart and soul.”
Johnny blinked, then pulled Mel up and hugged him tightly, whispering in his ear, “I couldn’t love you more, Mel.” Mel’s arms were tight around him.
When they parted, Johnny smiled his crooked grin and grasped Mel’s hand. They walked off into the moonlight-silvered garden, Halloween magic whispering on the wind.