Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Mel/Johnny (Mel does not appear in this chapter),
Red/Homer, Harry ‘Pete’ Pierpont, Charles Makley, Eddie Green
Series Notes: Tears Of The Saints will deal with the Outfit/Syndicate (aka the Mob) and how they cross paths with the Dillinger Gang and the Bureau of Investigation. It helps to have first-hand knowledge of Italian culture and Catholicism. ;)
Fandom: Public Enemies
Genres: AU, Drama
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
General Summary: When the Syndicate needs the special talents of John Dillinger, they take out insurance that he will do the job they want by kidnapping someone near and dear to his heart: Melvin Purvis.
Chapter Summary: Johnny plans the most important bank job he’ll ever pull.
Date Of Completion: February 1, 2010
Date Of Posting: March 11, 2010
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Universal does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 735
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
The entire series can be found here.
Johnny stared down at the ring in his hand. It was a beautifully-crafted piece of jewelry, gold and solid and embedded with chips of sparkling jewels of blue, yellow, red, and green, the letters University Of South Carolina embossed in stark relief, along with the graduation date.
His finger traced over the letters as he blinked back tears. It was a beautiful ring worthy of the son of a plantation owner, a cultured, educated man.
A beautiful ring for a beautiful man.
Who’d had the misfortune of falling in love with John Dillinger.
John Dillinger, a man who’d gotten his GED in prison, who knew bathtub gin better than champagne, prison gruel rather than pheasant-under-glass, and who was more used to hardscrabble than luxury.
He closed his hand around the ring and bowed his head, brow touching his tightly-clenched fingers.
“Johnny?” Red’s voice was soft. The big man came into the kitchen and put a hand on his friend’s shoulder. “You okay?”
“No.” He looked up at Red with shimmering eyes. “Where is he? What if he’s hurt? Nitti and the rest of those damned Sicilians despise what Mel and I…” He tightened his fist, the ring cutting into his palm.
Red squeezed his shoulder. “He’ll be all right. Your Mel has guts, Johnny, and is a smart cookie. He’ll find a way to get back to you.” He gave Johnny’s shoulder one final squeeze before removing his hand. “The boys are in the sitting room.”
Johnny nodded and Red left the kitchen.
Red had never seen Johnny so shaken up. He knew that the situation wasn’t good, and Mel could end up dead. The Syndicate played for keeps.
As he entered the sitting room, his gaze immediately fell on Homer. What if his lover had been the one kidnapped? His stomach tightened at the thought, understanding Johnny’s fears.
It was a shame. He’d meant what he said: Mel wasn’t bad for a Fed. He was risking everything for Johnny, but he would never betray the man he loved.
He put a hand on Homer’s shoulder, the blond looking up at him with a smile.
It was in that moment that Red knew whatever play Johnny made, he would back it.
Johnny was still sitting at the kitchen table, the metal of the ring cold against his skin. He had thought of watching The Montmatre Club to tail anyone to where they were holding Mel, but had nixed that idea when he realized they’d be spotted, and there was no guarantee anyone would go to the hide-out.
No, right now his only hope was to cooperate.
He opened his fist and carefully put the ring on the ring finger of his left hand.
Everyone was gathered in the sitting room: Red, Homer, Pete, Charles and Eddie. They were smoking and talking quietly amongst themselves when Johnny entered the room.
“Okay, fellas, you know the deal. The Outfit has Mel. They want me to rob the State Street Bank here in Chicago. Now, it’s a helluva risk, bigger than our usual jobs. If you don’t want to go, I won’t think less of you, that’s for sure.”
Eddie blew out a ring of smoke. “What if we all say no?”
“Then I’ll try to recruit some of the local yeggs. They’ll jump at the chance to go big-time.”
“’Never work with anyone you don’t know.’”
Johnny smiled slightly. “Yeah, but the stakes are high, at least for me.” He rubbed his face, light glinting off the ring. “Look, I understand if you don’t come along. Mel is my business.”
The gang exchanged looks, then Eddie spoke again.
“They way we see it, Johnny, you’ve always stuck by us, so we’ll stick by you. ‘Sides, we don’t take kindly to the Syndicate puttin’ the screws on ya. We’ve never crossed them before, always respected ‘em, and now they’ve pulled this. That don’t set well with us.” He took a drag from his Lucky Strike. “Agent Purvis ain’t bad…for a Fed.”
A slow smile crossed Johnny’s face. “Okay.” He held out his hand and Red placed the blueprint in it. Johnny spread it out on the coffee table, and they began to plan.