Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Mel/Johnny, Angelo Ricotti, Red/Homer, Eddie Green, Frank Nitti, Phil D’Andrea
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: The second exchange takes place.
Date Of Completion: February 7, 2010
Date Of Posting: March 29, 2010
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Universal does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1209
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
The entire series can be found here.
The door to his prison opened and Mel almost didn’t care. The blood loss had weakened him even further. He had nearly fallen asleep to the sound of the rain drumming on the roof.
He gritted his teeth and forced himself to sit up. If another battle was coming, he’d face it.
Ricotti sneered. “You’re leavin’ our hospitality, Pretty Boy.” At Mel’s skeptical look, the gangster laughed. “Seems your squeeze is demandin’ an exchange. Man, you must be somethin’ in bed. Personally, I can’t see it.”
Mel bit back a retort. Fuck this guy and his prejudices. He had a chance to get out of this alive.
He adjusted the tourniquet on his arm. Torn from his shirt, it had thankfully stopped the bleeding. He just had to hang on a little longer.
I’m coming back to you, Johnny.
Johnny appeared perfectly calm as he waited in the house, but Red could tell the signs of his friend’s stress: the grim line of his mouth, the rigid set of his shoulders and jaw, the reflexive clenching and unclenching of the gloved hand that wore Mel’s ring.
They were all dressed in their greatcoats and fedoras, guns at the ready. Red had set everyone in strategic spots as he stood by Johnny’s side.
Darkness was beginning to fall as a car drove up, parking at the side of the house and concealed by a fence from prying eyes.
Homer was at the window. “Damn, it looks like Nitti himself.”
Red cursed softly. The Enforcer showing up wasn’t good.
Johnny seemed unfazed. Situation normal.
Eddie opened the door, gun cradled in his arms.
Frank Nitti was flanked by Phil and followed by two bodyguards, dressed like the Dillinger Gang and carrying submachine guns.
“Come in, Mr. Nitti,” Eddie said.
Frank’s greatcoat was even more expensive than Johnny’s. He removed his suede gloves and said, “Let’s get down to business, Dillinger.”
“Would like nothin’ better, Frank.”
Nitti’s lip curled at the familiarity but he let it pass.
Johnny’s eyes were hard as he looked at the visitors. “Where’s Mel?” he asked bluntly. He was tired of pussyfooting around.
Nitti lifted a hand and one of the guards opened the door, two new guards bringing in a rain-bedraggled Mel, who was soaked to the skin.
Johnny was furious to see that he wore no hat or coat, and his arm was bandaged, blood seeping through the cloth. He growled, “You don’t take care of your hostages very well, Frank.”
“You’re lucky he got that much. We’re not overly fond of his…type.”
Johnny’s jaw worked as he glared at Nitti. “I’m his type, too.”
“Let’s not get into that. Now, where’s my jewel?”
“I want mine.”
Johnny locked eyes with Mel, who was trying to keep his teeth from chattering. Mel’s lips quirked into a small smile, and Red saw Johnny’s shoulders relax minutely.
Mel, you’re awfully good for our Johnny.
Nitti was at first a little perplexed at Johnny’s statement, then realized what it meant. Exasperated, he gestured and Mel was shoved toward his lover, who grabbed him and slipped one arm around his shivering shoulders, pulling him close as he kept his gun steady. He ignored the looks of disgust and amusement from Nitti’s men, Phil one of the latter.
“The Sapphire,” Nitti said, his tone indicating that his patience was growing thin.
Johnny handed his gun to Homer and reached into his pocket, producing the jewel.
Everyone’s eyes were drawn to the glittering gem.
Johnny smiled. “All yours, Frank.”
The mobster took the jewel and held it up to the light. Avarice gleamed in his eyes.
“Let’s go.” As Nitti turned, Johnny said, “Wait.” The Enforcer turned back with a scowl. “Don’t bother Mel again. He’s under my protection.” Beside him, Mel bored his angry gaze into his recent captors, standing tall and proud with Johnny’s arm around him.
Nitti started back hard, then bit out, “Keep to your own business, Dillinger.” He turned and walked out, followed by his men. Phil glanced back at Mel and Johnny, a slight smile on his face, and he closed the door behind him.
As soon as the door closed, Johnny tossed Homer his gun and hugged Mel to him, raining kisses on his face and then kissing him properly on the mouth, their kiss desperate and relieved. Johnny’s men smiled or looked down at their shoes in embarrassment.
After the adrenaline rush of the confrontation left him, Mel felt light-headed, his combined hunger and blood loss finally getting the better of him. His shiver wasn’t just from the cold or his wet clothes.
“Good to have you back, Sunshine,” Johnny said as he nuzzled Mel’s cheek.
“Glad to be back, love.” He smiled. “Careful, I need a shave.”
“You’re coming home with me, darlin’, for a shave and hot bath and hot food.”
“Sounds like heaven.”
“Good to see you back, Mel,” Red said.
“Thank you, Red.”
Homer smiled and Mel smiled back. The others nodded and Eddie clapped Mel on the shoulder.
Johnny frowned. “What happened to your arm?”
“It’s fine. The bleeding stopped.”
“C’mon, let’s get you home.”
The gang went out to the cars, Charles, Pete and Eddie taking one, and Red, Homer, Johnny and Mel the other, Johnny’s arm still around his lover. Red slid behind the wheel, Homer next to him, and Johnny opened the rear door. He checked to see that the others were set, then saw Mel shivering. He took off his coat and put it around the Southerner, helping Mel into the Ford.
“I’m all wet. Your coat…”
“Hush up,” Johnny said gently.
Once on their way Johnny wrapped his arms around Mel. “You’re still shaking,” he murmured.
“Just a little dizzy. Haven’t had much to eat lately.”
Johnny fished around in his coat pocket, anger blazing in him. Hell, even Alvin and the Barkers treated their hostages far better.
He triumphantly dug out a Hersey bar. “Here you go, sugar, dark and rich, just like you.”
Mel chuckled and took the candy, wolfing it down in seconds.
“Red, stop at the drugstore,” Johnny said.
Red complied, and once they parked, Johnny said, “Homer, go get some more candy bars, some bottles of Coke, and I don’t think they sell moon pies up this far North, so’s if you see Hostess cupcakes, get some of those.” He handed the blond a couple of crisp bills.
Homer got out of the car and trotted to the drugstore, shoes splashing in the puddles in the street and on the sidewalk.
“We’ll get you fixed up with some sugar, honey, and you can get some proper food at home: meat, potatoes, and vegetables.”
Mel nodded, the thought of food extremely welcome. He rested his head on Johnny’s shoulder.
When Homer returned, Mel ate the second chocolate bar, slower this time, and drank his Coke, the sweetness of both making him feel better.
Homer had bought enough for everyone and it was almost an impromptu party in the car.
As Red drove, Johnny drank his own Coke, arm still firmly around Mel.
It had been close, too close, but he had his Mel back and would take care of him.