Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Teddy/Chuck, Mike McPherson, Steven Cawley
Series Notes: My notes grew too voluminous for the header, so you can find them in a separate entry here.
Fandoms: Public Enemies/Shutter Island
Genres: Angst, AU, Drama, Hurt/Comfort, Mystery
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
Warnings (this chapter): None
Spoilers: For Shutter Island, some scenes were tailored by me to fit this story. Nothing in this story references the major plot twist of the book or movie. I used the same settings and characters, but in a very AU way. For Public Enemies, nothing except for the ultimate fate of John Dillinger, and that’s historical fact, anyway.
General Summary: U.S. Marshals Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule are sent to Shutter Island on a unique assignment, and while there, discover shocking answers to a decades-old mystery.
Chapter Summary: U.S. Marshals Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule arrive on Shutter Island.
Date Of Completion: March 23, 2010
Date Of Posting: April 30, 2010
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Dennis Lehane, Paramount and Universal do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2135
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: This is a story that started running through my head as soon as I left the theater after my first viewing. Like the patients on Shutter Island, I can’t escape! ;)
The entire series can be found here.
"WELCOME TO SHUTTER ISLAND"
Saying amongst the patients
On Shutter Island
19th-20th Centuries C.E.
U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels staggered toward the railing of the ferry, grasping the cold metal with a shaking hand. His stomach was doing rollercoaster revolutions. Damn seasickness, anyway!
“Not feelin’ so good, huh, Boss?”
Teddy looked over at his partner, Chuck Aule. He immediately felt a little better. Chuck always projected a sense of calm, even when all hell was breaking loose around them.
That was good. A man was supposed to go to the wall for his partner, watch his back, share his cigarettes. It was an underwritten rule, an unspoken code. It helped when you liked the other guy.
“No, not so good.”
Teddy rubbed his stubbled chin. The mirror in the head had told him that he looked like hell, like an unmade bed. He glanced down at his light-gray suit and overcoat. Clean, but a little rumpled. He was wearing the ugly-ass purple-and-green tie that Dolores had given him years ago.
He quickly fought down the stab of pain at the thought of his dead wife. He looked at Chuck instead.
His partner was wearing a crisp brown suit with a faun-colored overcoat and matching fedora, his tie a splash of red against his white shirt, his shoes shined. Clean-shaven, with his thick, wavy, dark-brown hair neatly combed, he was a sharp dresser, unlike his companion.
Teddy ran a hand through his own disheveled dark-blond hair. “You got your sea legs.” He clutched his stomach. “Reminds me of the choppy seas before we hit the beach at Normandy.”
Chuck nodded. His chocolate-brown eyes twinkled. “I transferred here by way of Seattle, but I was born and raised right in Gloucester.” He jerked his thumb in the direction from which they’d come. “The other branch of the family’s in New Bedford. This is all old hat to me.” He took a drag on his cigarette. “This fog reminds me of that morning off the coast of Normandy, too. Nineteen years old and my first combat.”
“Jeez, talk about being dumped into the frying pan.” Teddy patted his pockets. “Where the fuck are my smokes? I coulda sworn I put ‘em in my coat before we shoved off.”
“Here, have one of mine.”
Chuck handed his partner a cigarette and used his lighter to ignite it.
“Thanks.” Teddy blew out a puff of smoke. “When we first met in the Ardennes during the Bulge, my cigs were all wet from fallin’ in the snow. You had a dry pack.”
“Hey, Boss, it was Kismet, our patrols stumbling over each other.” Chuck’s smile was easy and affectionate.
Teddy chuckled. “Sure was.” He closed his eyes, turning his face up. The fog was cool on his skin. His stomach was still iffy, but he was feeling a lot better.
Opening his eyes, he took another drag on his cigarette. “So, looks like we’re hittin’ the beaches again.”
Chuck nodded. “Have to keep on our toes in a mental institution.”
“Especially one for the criminally insane.” His smoke disappeared into the mist. “This place is unique, takes the worst cases. Kind of like the Alcatraz of insanity.”
“I guess if all they did was chase butterflies with a net, they wouldn’t need us. Do you think this Rachel Solando will give us anything useful?” Chuck pulled out his notebook, the pages covered with his neat handwriting.
Teddy shrugged. “The head man, Dr. Cawley, says we can probably sift through the chaff to get enough wheat.”
“Very Biblical, Boss.”
Teddy grinned. Yes, definitely feeling better. ”Well, it’ll be a deathbed confession. Cawley says she’s got a week at most.”
Chuck nodded soberly. “I hope there’s something useful. The Simmons case is still wide-open.”
A foghorn sounded mournfully across the harbor. A little shiver went through Teddy.
The ferry cleaved through the cold waters of Boston Harbor, Teddy’s shoulder brushing against Chuck’s. If he was going into the belly of the best, he was glad to have a man by his side he trusted with his life.
The fog parted, and Shutter Island loomed close, dark and forbidding. Cliffs of solid rock made up the foundation of the good-sized island, tall pines, spruces, and evergreens growing in the topsoil. The tops of several buildings could be seen, dominated by an old stone fort.
A wide dock was at the foot of the cliffs, several uniformed men with rifles waiting, a jeep and truck parked on the wood.
The ferry captain squinted. “The whole island’s ringed by the cliffs. Devil of a place.” He rubbed his beard. “Once you get ashore, I’ll be casting off.”
“What’s the hurry?” asked Teddy.
“Storm’s comin’.” The captain pointed to the horizon.
The Marshals saw the storm clouds gathering out to sea. Chuck hunched his shoulders against a sudden gust of wind.
”Not good?” Teddy asked.
“Sorry, Boss.” Chuck held on to his hat. “Summers on fishing boats taught me when to batten down the hatches.”
“Well, let’s hope the buildings on Shutter Island are good and sturdy.”
The ferry docked and Teddy let Chuck precede him down the gangplank, both men carrying suitcases. One of the policemen came forward, his eyes hard but his gait relaxed. He was solidly-built and looked as if he’d seen it all.
“Welcome to Shutter Island, gentlemen.” The officer gestured to the truck. “I’m Deputy Warden McPherson.”
All the men standing around in policemen’s uniforms were hard cases, their fingers on the triggers of their rifles. Teddy and Chuck got into the back of the flatbed truck, followed by two officers, McPherson and another man climbing into the passengers and driver’s seats.
“Your men seem a bit on edge,” Teddy observed.
“We’re always on edge, Marshal.” McPherson lit a cigarette.
The truck bounced up the rocky incline, passing forest on both sides. A cemetery with timeworn headstones was on the right, a forlorn patch of real estate. A bronze plaque read, Ashecliffe Hospital Cemetery. Remember Us, For We Too Have Laughed, Loved, And Lived. A mournful whistle went through the trees, Teddy shivering slightly. Chuck looked like Teddy felt.
The truck passed a field where patients were working, guards all around toting rifles. High walls appeared, topped by barbed wire.
“Electrical fences all around the perimeter,” murmured Teddy to Chuck.
“How do you know?”
“I’ve seen something like it before.”
The walls converged into a tall iron gate. McPherson stood up, gesturing to open the gates.
Inside were lush, well-manicured grounds. Red brick buildings flanked the quadrangle, and a large main building faced them several yards away, a more elaborate Victorian structure. A smaller building, a house, was aligned diagonally several yards beyond that. The stone fort loomed in the distance.
“Welcome to Shutter Island, gentlemen.” McPherson faced them at the entrance as they all climbed out of the truck. “Identification, please.” They produced their badges. “Never seen a Marshal’s badge before.” As the lawmen pocketed their I.D.’s, he continued. “While you are here, you will observe protocol. That means surrendering your firearms.”
Teddy and Chuck exchanged wary glances.
Teddy spoke up. “Warden, we are duly appointed Federal Marshals. We are required to carry our firearms at all times.”
McPherson quoted a regulation that gave the penitentiary the authority to override their regulation.
“Gentlemen, if you do not surrender your firearms, you will not get past this point.”
With a sign, Teddy handed over his gun and holster. He nodded to Chuck, who did the same.
“Thank you. Your bags will be taken care of. Now, over to the right is Ward A, the men’s ward. To the left is Ward B, the women’s ward. The fort is Ward C, where the most dangerous prisoners are housed. No one goes there without written authorization and Dr. Cawley and myself or the Warden.” He turned. “All right, gentlemen, this way.”
Patients were working in the garden, chains clanking between wrist and leg irons. McPherson said, “This facility is unique in the country, in the entire world. We take the most damaged and dangerous patients, ones that other facilities can’t handle.”
The patients looked docile enough, but looked ragged and…broken.
A woman with wispy hair, her head nearly bald, put a finger to her lips. Teddy looked away, but was drawn back.
She smiled a gap-toothed smile.
Teddy nearly stumbled, Chuck catching his elbow. He smiled his thanks.
The largest building was their destination. The officer escorted them through security and up the grand staircase to the doctor’s office.
Dr. Steven Cawley greeted them warmly. He was about four inches shorter than Teddy, two inches shorter than Chuck, a slender man with a bald head and a goatee, brown eyes sparkling with intelligence. His office was filled with dark wood and rich, red drapes at the windows.
“Thank you for coming, gentlemen. And thank you for escorting them up, Captain.”
McPherson nodded, leaving the office.
“You’ll have a room of your own, one of our doctors’. We employ a rotation system here so as to keep our staff fresh and connected to the mainland.”
Chuck nodded. “Smart, Doctor.”
Teddy noticed the sketches on the walls: a man with a vise around his head while strapped to a chair, others naked and chained up, still others in the depths of despair.
“Those pictures show what was done to patients generations ago: literally putting the screws to their heads, dousing them in icewater, whipping them bloody as if we could beat the madness out of them.”
A little chill went through Teddy. “And now, Doctor?”
“We try to treat the illness without prejudice.”
“I hope so.” Cawley lit his pipe. “I’ll give you a brief rundown of Rachel Solando’s condition.”
Cawley invited them to sit down and took his own seat behind his oak desk. “Rachel Solando was a doctor at this facility from 1946 to 1950.” At their surprised expressions, Cawley smiled slightly. “Yes, she was a doctor, and one of the finest. She’d served in the Army Medical Corps, first in Washington, then in London. She worked with battle fatigue cases and those badly traumatized by severe war wounds.”
“Why did she work with the criminally insane instead of veterans after the war?” Teddy asked.
“She’d lost her husband to the war. Normandy, in fact.” Teddy and Chuck exchanged a look. “She decided to go into a different field, at least for awhile.”
“So she came here,” Chuck said.
“Yes, and she was one of our finest doctors.”
“So what happened?”
"She developed schizophrenia and believed one of our patients was her dead husband come back from the war.”
“And this patient was George Hunnicutt,” Teddy said.
Cawley sighed. “Yes. One of the most vicious killers ever committed here. An uneducated man, but naturally brilliant. He saw an opening and used it to his advantage.”
“Dr. Solando and Hunnicutt escaped from here, didn’t they?”
Cawley nodded. “We’ve always had tight security, but it’s even tighter now because of that incident. They escaped in July of 1950, a month after the Korean War began. Hunnicutt persuaded her that he would be called up from the reserves, and gave her the impetus to help him escape.”
“They were on the run for two years, weren’t they?”
Cawley nodded. “Hunnicutt committed several murders, Dr. Solando assisting him in some cases. She was highly delusional, Hunnicutt feeding her with stories of the Government sending agents after them, sometimes claiming Nazis or Communists were chasing them.”
“Poor woman,” Chuck murmured.
“Yes, well, the FBI finally caught up with them in Tulsa, Oklahoma, killing Hunnicutt. It sent Rachel over the edge for good as she believed she had lost her husband a second time.”
“You think that she has information about where the Simmons family is buried?” Teddy asked.
“Possibly. She has begun talking to us about that final set of murders, sometimes incoherently. She may not have anything of use.”
“That’s all right, Dr. Cawley. If we can get any scrap of information, it’ll be helpful.”
“Quite so.” Cawley set his pipe down on an ashtray. “She is dying of cancer. She has a week, perhaps two.” He stood. “I’ll take you to her.”
Teddy and Chuck followed the doctor out of the main building and over to Ward B.
A cold gust of wind blew, Teddy grabbing his hat. The storm clouds were getting darker and closer.
As they walked toward the women’s ward, Teddy noticed the patients in the gardens again. They were all damaged people.
As Teddy pulled his coat collar up, he thought, We’re all damaged, some just worse than others.
The wind blew harder as the men entered Ward B.