Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Mel/Johnny, Charles/Doris (Charles does not appear in this chapter), J. Edgar Hoover, Clyde Tolson
Fandom: Public Enemies
Genres: AU, Fairytale, Romance
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
Spoilers: Not really.
General Summary: The Grand Duke is charged by the King to bring in the Rogue Knight…but the fairest Knight in all the land falls in love with him instead.
Chapter Summary: Johnny rescues Mel as the snow begins to fall.
Date Of Completion: August 28, 2009
Date Of Posting: November 26, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Universal does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1546
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: I’ve written straightforward fairytales before in other fandoms and got an idea for this one, but then my Muses threw me a curve and insisted that this story become a hybrid of classical fairtyale and 1930s, so that’s why you’ll see Kings and Knights but greatcoats and fedoras instead of armor, and cars instead of horses. Hopefully it works! Enjoy! ;)
All chapters can be found here.
WHISPERED ON THE WIND
On the snow,
Lady Elsinore Allen
"Blood On The Snow:
The Legend Of The Rogue Knight
And His Dark And Beautiful Knight"
Mel watched the snow falling outside his small window, fists clenched as he cursed his helplessness. The oak door to his prison was unyielding, thick and implacable. The slot in the door had not produced any food for two days, and he was low on water.
“You’re so high-strung, darlin’, like a champion racehorse.”
He smiled as Johnny’s voice echoed in his head, his heart aching as his smile faded. He clutched his right side with a gasp as the ever-present pain flared up.
He moaned as the door opening shocked him, the pain increasing.
“Yes, m’lord. And I have a surprise for you.”
She stepped aside.
Johnny was like a vision, dressed in a black greatcoat over his dark suit, fedora at a jaunty angle. His skin was slightly pale and his eyes too bright but Mel drank in every inch of him, launching himself into his arms, ignoring his pain.
Johnny laughed, squeezing his lover tight.
“Darlin’, you are skin ‘n’ bones.”
Johnny was appalled at how thin his Beloved was, Mel's beautiful eyes huge in his gaunt face, cheekbones stark and razor-sharp. He could feel his ribs sticking out as he held his lover.
He fought his own dizziness as he kissed his sweetheart hungrily, cupping the back of Mel’s head. “I told you I would come for you.”
When they broke apart, Mel gasped, “How did you get past the Duke’s guards?”
“His guards are at the battle.”
Mel’s heart seized in fear. He gripped Johnny’s arms tightly.
“It is over, Precious.” Johnny’s eyes were shadowed with pain. “The Band of Merry Men is no more.”
“Oh, Johnny,” Mel moaned, a trembling hand touching his lover’s cheek.
“I have come for you, sweetness. We have to leave before Edgar gets back.”
“Yes.” Mel ran to get his book and accepted his fedora and greatcoat from Doris. He carefully put the book in his coat pocket. “We must. Doris, thank you for you help. I can never repay…”
She put a finger to his lips. “You have repaid me many times over with your friendship, Mel.”
He smiled and kissed her on the cheek. “You must leave quickly. Do not let the Duke catch you.”
She shivered. She had no desire to face J. Edgar’s wrath.
“I will. I must search for Charles.”
“He is missing?”
She nodded sadly. “I am heading for the battlefield. Wish me good fortune, my friend.”
“All the good fortune in the world, Doris. May you find that craggy old Texan.”
“Hurry, darlin’,” Johnny urged.
Mel hugged Doris, Johnny doing the same, wishing her good fortune, and then the two lovers clasped hands and ran off, Doris smiling.
Johnny drove the Buick over icy city country roads, the snow falling heavier. Mel’s hand rested on Johnny’s thigh, the Rogue Knight smiling as he concentrated on his driving.
Suddenly a flash of headlights appeared, headed straight for them, and Johnny swerved, the Buick plunging off the road into a ditch, the other car slowing, then speeding off, snow starring the car as the horn blared, slowly dying out.
Edgar railed as he ordered his driver to head back to the Castle.
“No, Clyde! We captured or killed most of the Band but John Dillinger got away!”
“I know, but he is on the run now.”
“And he will go right for his pretty boy.”
“You do not think I am right? If ever I saw a slut ready to spread his legs, it is that Dark Knight.”
Of course, the Duke had wanted that very same slut for himself. Clyde rolled his eyes.
Mel came to consciousness, horrified as he realized they were trapped in the car.
“Johnny!” he called urgently, gently shaking his lover’s arm.
Johnny moaned. “Sunshine?”
“Right here, sweetheart.” Mel’s hand trembled as he touched Johnny’s bleeding temple, ignoring the burning in his side.
“We have to get out of here. The Bureau will be after us.”
Mel tried to calm his breathing, pressing a hand to his side. The windows were frosted, the door jammed on Johnny’s side.
Mel gritted his teeth as he pushed open his door, a blast of cold air coming in like a slap in the face.
“Come on, Johnny.”
Mel sank into the snow, helping Johnny slide out, the two of them staggering.
“Let us be off,” Johnny rasped.
They struggled through the snow, clinging to each other as they fell and helped each other up.
Mel gasped as he saw a trail of blood on the snow.
Johnny attempted his trademark smirk. “It was quite a battle.”
“You have been bleeding since before the accident? Where are you hurt?”
Mel began to check Johnny’s body.
“Come, Beautiful. We cannot stop.”
Mel tired to ignore the hunger gnawing at him, feeling lightheaded. Pain flared along his side like fire. He gasped as he fell.
“What is it, love?” Johnny asked, feeling Mel’s arm shaking as he tried to help him up.
“What?” Snow flakes sprinkled their greatcoats, melting as they hit dark wool at first, but the snow was coming down so fast that it was piling up on their fedoras and coats. Snow frosted Mel’s lashes. Johnny’s eyes grew dark. “Did Hoover hurt you?”
Mel looked down. “I tried to escape…and he caught me…” His body trembled. “He used a club.”
Anger flashed through Johnny’s eyes and he grasped Mel’s chin, lifting his head. “He starved you, too.”
Mel blinked, the snow falling from the lashes. Johnny could see the truth in the large eyes set in the gaunt face.
He pulled Mel close, holding him tight as Mel’s arms went around his back, and they separated after several minutes, grabbing their fedoras as a heavy gust of wind blasted through the woods.
They started walking, holding on to each other as the drifts grew deeper and the spruces and evergreens bowed with the weight of the snow.
The Duke swore as he saw the empty Tower.
Fresh blood gleamed on the winding stone staircase.
“They cannot be far,” Edgar snapped.
The Rogue Knight and his Beloved fell, and lay in the snow, crimson blossoming around Johnny as Mel could barely breathe, fire clawing at his side with every breath. He reached out a trembling hand and touched Johnny’s face, Johnny sliding his arm around his waist.
“I am sorry, Sunshine,” Johnny said faintly.
“It is all right, Johnny.” Tears slid down Mel’s cheeks, mingling with the snowflakes. He gasped, whispering, “’Beloved/Speak…not my name/In…broken longing/Tears…like blood/On the…snow…’”
Johnny nearly cried, but smiled through his tears and picked up the sonnet.
“’Instead/Speak my…name/In…joyous song…’”
Together they spoke, “’My heart/Forever yours.’”
Johnny pulled Mel into a kiss, the snow silently coming down faster and faster…
J. Edgar Hoover screamed his rage, the Rogue Knight and his Beloved never found, only the broken Buick and a trail of scarlet on the snow that vanished into the Forest of the Snows.
Their Legend grew, the people keeping them close to their hearts, their names whispered as the Duke had spies everywhere, listening, always listening.
The Cabin in the woods in which the Dark Knight and his charming Rogue had first made love remained empty, but people told stories of seeing smoke curl from its chimney on cold winter nights, a cheerful glow in the windows.
No one was ever there.
And as the years went on, the Cabin became a Castle, a twinkling array of lights and delicate spires, like spun sugar, an airy confection that glittered under the light of the moon.
The tales were whispered of grand balls and soulful music, gleaming cars parked outside, ladies in glittering gowns and jewels escorted by men in jaunty fedoras and dashing greatcoats into the Castle that melted in dawn’s early rays.
The Grand Duke ruled the land with suspicious and distrust, controlling Kings and Queens year after year with his rumored Dark Files, and when things grew too dark, the people still whispered the tales of the man who charmed all who saw his smile, including the Dark Knight, who forsook the Bureau for whom he had been a shining paragon, the Duke’s Favorite, until the Rogue Knight stole away his heart.
As the Duke ruled with an iron fist, Bands of Rogues came together inspired by the tales, the Bards always ready to sing their praises.
Crumbled to dust,
To the winds.
Dropped on the snow
As the winds blew,
And if you listened
You would hear,
Speak not my name
In broken longing,
Tears like blood
On the snow.
Speak my name
In joyous song.
Whispered on the wind.