Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Trey Washington, Teddy/Chuck, Steven Cawley, Jeremiah Naehring
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 Ashecliffe doctors tender hospitality as they invite Teddy and Chuck to dinner. Both sides learn a little more about the other.
Date Of Completion: March 26, 2010
Date Of Posting: May 6, 2010
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Dennis Lehane, Paramount, and Universal do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1329
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.
The Negro orderly smiled as he appeared in the doorway of the bedroom. “Are you gentlemen ready?” He glanced out the window, trees swaying in gusts of wind.
“We are, Mister…?” Chuck asked.
“Trey Washington. Trey’ll do.” He was tall and rangy, his brown eyes keenly observant.
“Thanks, Trey. We need our hats and coats, huh?”
“Yes, sir. Dr. Cawley’s private quarters are in the next building over.” He was wearing his own coat and hat, ready for the outdoors.
“Great,” Chuck sighed. He didn’t want to go out in that weather if they could avoid it.
“This way, gentlemen.”
The Marshals followed Trey out into the driving wind as all three men kept firm grips on their fedoras, hurrying into the Victorian house several yards away. Their coats and hats were taken by a kitchen staffer, and they followed Trey down the hall, taking a few twists and turns. Chuck was amazed by the size of the house.
They stopped at a set of intricately-carved oak double doors, the doors opening and Steven Cawley greeting them with a smile. The soft strains of classical music spilled out. “Thank you, Trey.” The orderly nodded and left.
“Wow,” Chuck said as he and Teddy followed Cawley into the outer room. “We’re in the wrong branch of public service.”
The room was richly ornate with heavy mahogany furniture, red velvet drapes, and a ceiling with teakwood chandeliers and colorful frescoes. Gilt-framed paintings lined the walls, and there was a billiards table with a red baize cloth to the left.
“The commander of this Civil War fort went all-out. When Congress got the bill, he was relieved of duty,” said Cawley amusedly.
“I can see why,” said Teddy.
Chuck looked him over surreptitiously with a practiced eye. His partner still had a headache, but it wasn’t a migraine.
Cawley led them into a room just as richly-furnished, bookshelves lining the walls. A fire crackled in the fireplace.
“What’s the music, Doctor? Brahms?” Chuck asked.
“No, it’s Mahler,” Teddy said.
Chuck smiled. He learned something new about Teddy every day.
“Let me introduce Dr. Jeremiah Naehring,” said Cawley.
A sixtyish gentleman with white hair and glasses leaned into view. He was sitting in an enormous leather chair facing the fire, and was holding a whiskey glass. His expensive suit fit his lean frame perfectly. “You are a fan of the classics, Marshal?”
Chuck felt the hairs on the back of his neck prickle. He could feel Teddy’s tension.
Once again, in perfect sync.
Something about Naehring set him on edge. Maybe it was the German accent?
“Somewhat, Doctor,” Teddy’s answered. He cocked his head. “Is that a German accent, Doctor?”
“Is not immigration from Europe legal?” Naehring asked coolly.
Chuck briefly touched Teddy’s arm, and his partner simply smiled.
Cawley crossed to the wet bar, rubbing his hands gleefully. “What’s your poison, gentlemen?”
“Um, thanks, Doc, but ginger ale’s fine.”
“Ah, duty and all. The same, Marshal Aule?”
“I’m surprised, Marshal Daniels. I thought your profession was made up of hard-drinking men,” said Naehring.
Teddy smiled. “And I’ve heard of your profession being filled with drunks and boozers.”
Naehring chuckled. “Very staunch defense mechanisms, Marshal.”
Teddy’s smile was brittle. Chuck knew that he was itching to ask the psychiatrist about his German background, but he didn’t want to alienate their hosts.
Chuck couldn’t blame him. Any World War II veteran who’d served in the European theater was wary of Germans who might have served in certain…capacities.
Cawley served them ginger ale and poured himself bourbon. He waved his guests to seats and took one himself.
“As you can see, gentlemen, we don’t get many visitors here. Dr. Naehring and I are pleased for your company this evening.”
“We appreciate it, Dr. Cawley” Chuck sipped the ginger ale. It was good and cold.
“So, you’ve been Marshals for awhile?”
“Yes. I joined in ’50 after I mustered out in ’46 and taken advantage of the G.I. Bill to go to college.”
“Ah, yes, the College of the Holy Cross?”
“That’s right. I see you’ve done your homework, Doctor.”
“A necessity here,” Cawley smiled.
“I was re-activated in 1952 and sent to Korea, where I did both combat duty and served as an M.P. for a few months.”
“And your time in Europe was on the front lines?”
“I read in your personnel file that you were present when the American POWs were returned from the North Korean prison camps.”
“Yes.” Chuck’s eyes grew shadowed. “They were ecstatic to be free.”
“And quite damaged.”
“Physically but emotionally, too.”
“The brainwashing techniques by Communist China were frighteningly effective.”
“They suffered pretty badly.”
“And you, Marshal Daniels. You have been a U.S. Marshal for a longer time?”
Teddy had been off in space somewhere, and now returned to the present. “Yes. I joined in ’39, then the Army in ’42, and came back to my old job in 1945.”
“You were on the front lines in the war?”
Teddy nodded. “And at Dachau,” he said softly.
The name hung heavily in the room.
Teddy shrugged. “A lot of guys had to liberate that camp, and others like Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.”
Chuck could see that Dr. Cawley wanted to probe further into Teddy’s experience but refrained, just as Naehring wisely remained silent.
“What about you, Dr. Cawley? Were you in the military?” Chuck asked.
“Yes, I was in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1942 to 1945. I met Rachel Solando there, and was glad to hire her when she applied after the war.”
“So you’ve been here since 1945?”
“And from 1939 until I entered the Army. There was an interim Chief of Staff here, but it’s been pretty much me for fifteen years.”
“Not much turnover here?”
“It’s a mix. Some people spend the majority of their careers here, while others turn over quickly. It’s a demanding job on this island.”
“I can imagine.” Ice clinked as Chuck lifted his glass.
Rain began to fall outside, thunder rumbling in the distance. The strains of Mahler were sweet and melodious, the rain drumming heavily on the roof. The silence was not uncomfortable, but Chuck was curious about something. He sipped his drink, glancing around at the walls.
Everything was so old here. Were the patients and staff ever haunted by the Civil War ghosts that must inhabit this place? Everything in New England was old and filled with history. History had a way of coming back to influence the present.
Oh, Chuck, that American History class you took with Professor Adams is still with you, huh?
He nearly smiled. Teddy would claim he was getting too high in the clouds and needed to stay on Earth and deal with the grittiness of fife, but Chuck knew his partner was a romantic at heart. A man who was truly hard-boiled wouldn’t grieve as deeply as Teddy did for his dead wife.
And the war had hurt him deeply, which Chuck could understand. He’d seen his share of horrors in Europe and Korea.
And then there was Dachau.
The closest Chuck had come to that was seeing those American POWs come back from North Korea, hollow-eyed and stick-thin and some barely able to stand, others completely broken in body, and all broken in their minds.
But what had it been like to see women, children, and old men looking like living skeletons, or piled up like cordwood, stiff with rigor mortis, the snow falling softly over their bodies?
What had it been like to see the ovens used to burn the flesh and bones after the gas chambers had done their work? To see those gas chambers, marked with the desperate scratches of the dying? To see the shiny canisters of Zyklon-B stacked up, ready to be pumped into the packed death chambers?
The shrieking wind rattled the windows fiercely.