Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Teddy/Chuck, Mel/Johnny (Johnny does not appear in this chapter), Steven Cawley, Teddy/Dolores
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): R
Warnings (this chapter): Holocaust imagery.
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: The strange story of ‘Melvin Purvis’ is told.
Date Of Completion: March 25, 2010
Date Of Posting: May 4, 2010
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Dennis Lehane, Paramount and Universal do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1729
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.
Rose petals falling,
“Melvin Purvis?” Chuck asked.
“Yes.” Hope leapt into the man’s voice. “I’m Melvin Purvis, the top G-Man in the Bureau!”
Teddy almost felt sorry for the guy. Well, at least his delusions weren’t small.
“Umm, I’m afraid that…”
He began to pull his arm away, but the patient tightened his hold. “No, please, you must believe me! Johnny and I have been here so long!”
Both Marshals gaped.
The door to McKinney’s room opened and the patient let go of Teddy’s arm, melting back into the shadows. Cawley came out, his eyes searching the darkness.
“Ready to go, gentlemen?”
A little shaken by their encounter with the mental patient, Teddy and Chuck nodded. They followed the psychiatrist, Chuck glancing behind them.
The trio stepped outside, the orderlies herding their charges back to their respective wards. The wind had picked up, Teddy pulling his collar up, Chuck doing the same.
The ocean was choppy, the dark clouds getting closer. Chuck grabbed his hat before it blew off.
“You’ve got a nasty storm brewing, Doc.”
“Yes." Cawley hunched his shoulders. “Let’s get back to my office.”
They hurried across the quadrangle and into the main building.
Up in Cawley’s office, they settled into the chairs they’d used before.
“Do you think that you’ll be able to get anything useful from Rachel or McKinney?” Cawley asked.
“Possibly.” Chuck opened his notebook. “It would certainly help us close the book on the Simmons murders.”
“That would be a good thing indeed.” A knock on the door interrupted the conversation. “Come in.”
A thin blond nurse poked her head in. “May I see you, Doctor?”
“Of course. Excuse me, gentlemen.”
Cawley went out into the hall, closing the door halfway.
Teddy and Chuck looked at each other. “Well, it’s been quite a day,” Chuck said.
“Tell me about it, partner.” Teddy rubbed his face. He could feel a headache starting and prayed it wouldn’t be a migraine. His hand brushed against the small bandage at his left temple, covering a cut he’d gotten from their last assignment.
Chuck held out a bottle of aspirin and Teddy smiled his thanks, shaking out a couple of pills. Chuck poured him a glass of water from a silver pitcher on Cawley’s desk. A flash of lightning arced in the distance.
“Melvin Purvis?” Teddy asked.
“That’s some delusion.” Chuck straightened his tie. “Interesting one, though. Melvin Purvis is a mystery.”
“Yeah, didn’t he disappear?”
Chuck nodded. “The night John Dillinger died.”
“That was at the Biograph Theater, in July of ’34, wasn’t it?” Teddy frowned.
“Yeah. Right in the heart of Chicago. Hottest night on record, they say.”
“Hoover’s boys cut him down that night.”
Chuck nodded again. “Between you and me, it was more like an execution than an arrest.”
“I’m not surprised.” Teddy gently rubbed his right temple “The FBI aren’t the Boy Scouts they’d like the public to believe.”
“No kidding.” Chuck crossed his leg, rubbing his ankle. “Y’know, that patient looks like Purvis.”
“Yeah, I’ve seen the old pictures. It’s been awhile, though. I could be wrong.”
“If he thinks he’s the top G-Man from the gangster days, why insist that John Dillinger’s still alive?”
“I dunno, Boss. He’s a sick man.”
“Yes, he is.” Steven Cawley re-entered his office. “Gentlemen, I must caution you against falling for some of our patients’ stories.” He went to a wooden filing cabinet and pulled out a file folder. He sat down behind his desk.
“We understand, Doc,” said Chuck.
“I’m not sure that you do, Marshal.” Cawley pushed the folder across his desk. “Melchior Parker was committed here twenty years ago after he and a partner murdered the Sullivan family in Smallville, Kansas.” His tone was wry. “Yes, it was another murder in Smallville. Sadly, that town has had more than their share of tragedy.”
Chuck took the folder and opened it. “So he killed the parents and two teenagers, one a boy and one a girl?”
“Yes, along with his partner Jack Mellinger.”
“Motive?” Teddy asked.
“We think robbery was part of it, but they were delusional, thinking they were law enforcement officers, agents of the FBI, destroying vicious gangsters.”
“Destroying them?” Chuck asked.
“Yes, they thought they had come upon a hide-out containing the criminals from the Kansas City Massacre.”
“Wow, that was a big deal, Doc,” Teddy said. “Several FBI agents were killed in an ambush at the Kansas City train station.”
“Yes, in 1933. Mel and Jack believed they were in a shoot-out with the criminals, which might have been true to some extent. Patrick Sullivan was found with a shotgun by his body, as there was one beside his son Daniel’s body.”
“So they weren’t tied up like the Simmons?” Chuck asked.
“No. They probably broke into the home and found themselves in a gunfight.”
“Parker and Mellinger were caught after this incident?”
“Yes. The FBI caught them.”
“It says here that Parker was wounded?”
“Yes, so was Mellinger. They were brought here once they were deemed unfit to stand trial.”
“They’ve been here for twenty years?”
Cawley nodded. “Many of our patients have been here for long stretches of time.”
“Mr. Parker suffered a head wound?”
“That, and a shoulder wound. The head wound was serious enough that Melchior was confused and frequently blacked out. However, Jack Mellinger’s head wound was far more serious, and he also suffered a chest wound.” Dr. Cawley lit his pipe. “Frankly, it was amazing that he survived.”
“Some people might have preferred he die,” Teddy said.
“I’m sure, but it’s not a medical professional’s job to judge. We treat patients. Moralizing is for priests.”
“So both are in good health now?” Chuck asked.
“Physically. They received care in a Kansas City hospital and were transferred to Boston for Jack’s surgery. Once he could be moved, he and Mel were sent here.”
“So, Mel’s obviously still delusional.”
Cawley nodded. “So is Jack. He believes he’s John Dillinger.”
“One of the most famous gangsters of all time.”
“At least he picked one of the top dogs,” said Teddy dryly.
“So you see, gentlemen, it is wise to know the histories of the people here.” Cawley stood. “I’ll show you to your room so that you can freshen up for dinner.”
“Shouldn’t we stay by Rachel Solando’s bedside?” Chuck asked.
“She’ll be sedated all night. You can see her again in the morning.”
“Thanks, Doc.” Teddy stood, Chuck doing the same.
Cawley led them to a corridor where the doctors had rooms. “The nurses are in the west wing. You’ll have Dr. Sheehan’s room.” He opened the door, and the Marshals saw a room furnished with a maplewood dresser, rocking chair, wardrobe, nightstand, bookcase, and double bed. The walls were painted a pale yellow, and there were two sketches on the wall of birds. The Marshals’ suitcases were set by the dresser.
“Pretty homey,” said Chuck with a smile.
Cawley chuckled. “Yes.” He nodded at their suitcases. “I’ll give you time to unpack. Dinner’s at seven. I’ll send someone up for you. I’m sorry we only have one bed available. If you prefer, there’s a cot available in the orderlies’ quarters. One can stay here and the other can bunk there.”
“Thanks, Doc, but this’ll do. Chuck and I have bunked together before. Sort of an occupational hazard,” Teddy drawled.
“Excellent. I’ll see you at seven."
Cawley left, Teddy sitting on the bed. “Good mattress.” He rubbed between his eyes.
“Why don’t you stretch out and rest, Boss? I’ll unpack for the two of us.”
Teddy knew that if he didn’t relax, he’d develop a full-blown headache. He stretched out on the bed after removing his coat, hat, and suit jacket.
He listened to Chuck moving around as he unpacked. Somehow, the presence of the other man was soothing. He liked the idea of his partner having his back in this place.
The wind rattled the windowpanes. Maybe he felt on edge because of the approaching storm. There was electricity in the air with a storm, and it always seemed to spark his headache. Other people’s joints ached with the coming of bad weather. His head was his weather predictor. His thoughts drifted off…
It was cold and dark and the whispers curled around him, the barbed wire glistening in the moonlight. He tried to avoid looking at the bodies piled up against the fences, covered in snow and ash as the crematoriums glowed against the night sky.
“Why couldn’t you save me?” asked Dolores, and Teddy’s stomach hurt.
“I’m sorry, baby.”
Her brown eyes pleaded as she stood barefoot in the snow in her bright-red-yellow-and-black floral print dress, her blond hair stringy and wet as the ashes rained down…
…and mixed with red rose petals falling from the roof as the camp dissolved into their apartment, Dolores tilting her head.
“I’m sorry, baby.”
The red petals turned into blood raining down as flames started crackling.
“Why are you all wet, baby?” he asked, and Dolores began to turn to ash…
…and then he saw a gaunt Mel standing there with big, haunted eyes as he reached out a hand, pleading, blood trickling down his face…
“Whoa, Boss, it’s okay.”
“Huh?” Teddy’s eyes snapped open, his body rigid. His heart was pounding. “Wha…?”
“You fell asleep. Bad dream?” Chuck’s brown eyes were sympathetic.
“I…must have…” He rubbed his forehead. “Did I yell?”
“Yeah.” Chuck gently squeezed his shoulder.
“Eh, not a problem. I’ve had some of those myself.”
Teddy nodded. Yeah, Chuck understood. “What time is it?”
“Six-thirty. You still have time to wash up and change. There’s a bathroom down the hall.”
“Okay.” Teddy swung his legs over the side of the bed. “Thanks.”
“Any time, Boss.” Chuck gave his shoulder a final squeeze before standing up.
Teddy trudged to the bathroom at the end of the hall. It was a communal bathroom, with several stalls, showers, and sinks. Teddy washed up, grateful that his headache was just a dull throb. Hopefully it would stay that way as the evening wore on and disappear by morning.
Lightning flashed and Teddy wished he could forget a sad face with haunted eyes.