Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Teddy/Chuck, Rachel Solando, Ellie Marino, Jeremiah Naehring, Trey Washington, Sam Drake, Mel/Johnny (Johnny does not appear in this chapter), 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: While Chuck does some investigating about Melvin Purvis, Teddy’s next encounter with Mel Parker doesn’t go well.
Date Of Completion: March 31, 2010
Date Of Posting: May 22, 2010
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Dennis Lehane, Paramount and Universal do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2116
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.
BLOOD ON THE SNOW
On the snow,
Can I hope
When there is
Chuck listened to the rain drumming on the roof as he lay on his back in the comfortable bed, the blankets pulled up to his chest. Next to him Teddy slept, for which Chuck was grateful. Teddy had restless sleep most nights, sometimes punctuated by nightmares. Chuck had been on enough stake-outs with him to know.
His thoughts drifted back to the conversation over dinner. He’d deflected questions about his sexuality, but he understood his own desires.
Chuck liked women, but he knew he liked men, too. The Army had offered him experiences he might never have enjoyed otherwise.
It was probably why he had vigorously defended those with different sexual appetites, though it was true enough that he didn’t need to be a member of a persecuted minority to feel sympathy for them.
Though he’d have to be careful. This was a dangerous place with lots of smart people who could see through a man.
He was grateful for Teddy’s presence. He could always count on his partner for support and protection.
If Chuck felt more than brotherly affection for his partner, only he knew it.
“So, Dr. Solando, what did you and your husband do with the gang’s bodies?”
Rachel rubbed her hand between her eyes. “We wanted to leave them there…as a warning, you know? Put them on display, like the authorities did…with Dillinger’s body.”
“And?” Chuck urged gently.
“The FBI is a good organization. It’s the Nazis who are only…always…hounding us!” Rachel’s voice rose progressively until she was screaming.
Ellie Marino put her hands on Rachel’s shoulders. “It’s all right, Doctor. Please calm down.”
Rachel thrashed as she screamed, and Chuck held her down as Ellie prepared a shot.
Once outside the room, Ellie re-pinned her cap that had come loose during the scuffle. “I’m afraid Dr. Solando is a very sick woman.”
Chuck smiled. “Ellie. Has she ever mentioned the Simmons family to you?”
The brunette looked thoughtful. “A few times, but she never game me details about where the bodies are buried.”
“Your profession requires great observational skills, Ellie. Think for a minute. Could you have heard something that on reflection might mean something?”
Ellie shook her head. “Nothing, but I’ll keep thinking about it.”
“Thanks.” Chuck put his notebook away, holding the mystery novel he had borrowed from Dr. Sheehan. “Is the library open now?”
Ellie nodded. “I can show you the way.”
She escorted Chuck to the third floor. “The library is all by its lonesome up here.”
“Dr. Cawley says it’s open to patients and staff.”
“That’s right. One of our nurses and an orderly worked in libraries as students, so they maintain order: shelving, keeping the card catalog up-to-date, that sort of thing. They are given time to do it, but it’s a low priority compared to their other duties, so you might find things a little behind.”
They reached a room lined with bookshelves, a desk in one corner and chairs and a couch arranged in front of a fireplace.
“Very.” Ellie waved toward the windows. “Good view from up here.”
Chuck looked out the windows. “You’re right. The island is beautiful.”
“A pity that it can’t be appreciated more.”
“By patients only, or staff, too?”
“The patients are too far gone, and the staff is over-worked.”
She smiled. “Don’t be. We’re well-paid for our trouble, even the orderlies, who generally are lucky to make minimum wage in other hospitals.”
“Thank you for escorting me, Ellie.”
She smiled again. “Any time, Marshal.” She almost sashayed out of the room, a la Marilyn Monroe.
Amused, Chuck went over to the card catalog.
Teddy left McKinney’s room. Still a dead end. He rubbed his stubbled face. Chuck shaved every morning, but that wasn’t his style. Maybe this was all a waste of time.
Trey waved from down the hall. “Hey, Marshal!”
“Hey, Trey.” Teddy liked the young orderly. He had a good rapport with the patients.
Another orderly approached with a patient in tow. Black like most of the orderlies, he talked quietly with Mel Parker, who noticed Teddy.
“This is Sam Drake, and you’re met Mr. Parker,” Trey said.
Teddy felt guilty as he looked at Mel’s pleading eyes. He knew how sick the man was, but wanted to help him.
Careful, Daniels, you’re getting soft. Chuck will be laughing his ass off.
“Please, Marshal.” Mel moved away from Sam and the glint of tears appeared in those haunted eyes. “Help Johnny and me. We don’t belong here!”
Mel grabbed his arm. “We can’t wait any longer. It’s been twenty years!”
Sam and Trey stated to move toward Mel but Teddy shook his head quickly, and they backed off.
“You’re in need of help, Mr. Parker,” he said gently.
Despair flooded the man’s eyes. “I need help, but to get Johnny and me out of here. Please, Marshal Daniels. I need your help. And Marshal Aule’s. I know you understand!”
“What’s going on here?” Naehring appeared. “Orderlies, return this man to his room.”
Pain sliced through Mel’s head and he clutched it with his free hand. “No, don’t patronize me,” he said to Teddy. “You’re just like the rest of them.” His breathing grew more labored. “You’re condemning innocent men!”
“Silence, Mr. Parker,” Naehring said coldly, producing a syringe from his white coat’s pocket.
“Doctor…” Teddy began.
Mel’s eyes flashed as he suddenly grabbed at Teddy’s shoulders. “Help us! Don’t turn away! I wear a badge, too!” Sam and Trey grabbed him and pulled him away as he fought. “No! No! Listen to me! God, why won’t anyone listen to me?”
Naehring approached with the syringe. “Time to calm down, Mr. Parker.”
Mel’s eyes were wild as he looked frantically at Teddy. “Don’t let him do it! Please, Marshal, I beg you! Help me!”
Teddy watched in shock as the normally-quiet man fought and screamed, tears running down his cheeks as he yelled when the doctor injected him. His wail of despair carried down the hall as he was forced back into this room, his ranting cut off as the door was shut by Naehring from the outside.
The steady sound of the rain was soft against the windows.
“Always keep a wary eye, Marshal. People are rarely what they seem here.”
Naehring calmly walked away, Teddy lighting a cigarette with a shaking hand.
Teddy was stretched out on the bed. “Get anything from Rachel?”
“Not before she completely lost it. Hey, you know what I found in the library?”
“Speaking of losing it, our soft-spoken G-Man went off and had to be sedated.”
“Wow! What set him off?”
“I think Dr. Naehring grates on some of his patients, especially the homosexual ones.”
Chuck made a face. “I can’t blame him.”
“What did you find in the library?”
“I looked for books on Melvin Purvis so that I could see a picture of him. It’s been years since I have and I’m sure that Parker looks like him.” Chuck loosened his tie and sat on the bed. “Anyway, there was a book about Purvis listed in the card catalog, but it wasn’t on the shelf, and it’s not checked out.”
“Well, maybe the records aren’t that well-kept there.”
“Maybe.” Chuck patted Teddy’s leg. “Just my cop’s nose for mystery, I guess.”
Teddy chuckled. “Well, keep diggin’ at it.” He looked out the window at the swaying trees. “I’ve been trying to remember the details about what happened to Melvin Purvis.”
“He disappeared the night that John Dillinger died.”
“When the FBI shot down Dillinger at the Biograph Theater.”
“Yeah. Purvis was there at the Biograph that night, in charge of the agents staking out the theater.”
“Why did he disappear?”
“That’s the mystery. Some people claimed he was screaming Dillinger’s name, and one witness claimed he was on his knees in the alley, his white seersucker suit soaked in blood, which was running down his face, too.”
“Checking the body?”
“So how did he disappear?”
“I don’t know, but that witness’ story was never officially taken as gospel. The books I read didn’t even mention the kneeling except in an obscure little monograph written by one of the faculty at Holy Cross. The only copy is in the campus library.”
“Hmm, interesting, but doesn’t tell us why Melvin Purvis would disappear, unless Dillinger’s gang was around.”
“Maybe. Red Hamilton and Homer Van Meter were wounded at Little Bohemia, according to Bureau reports, but they got away. Some of the other gang members were in jail by July of ’34.” Chuck shrugged. “It was chaotic that night, and the FBI always maintained that there was a gangster presence, whether Dillinger’s boys or not. It’s been suggested that Purvis was taken and killed as revenge, especially since Hoover was so high on him.” Chuck took off his suit jacket. “Some claimed Melvin had been hit in the head by a flying bullet, and was dead before any gangsters dragged him away.”
“Was it so crazy that night that they couldn’t find a trail?”
“It was, pretty much. Complete chaos. The Federal agents started firing at Dillinger, afraid he’d get away, and the crowd panicked. Dillinger ran into the alley by the Biograph while wounded, and for a matter of minutes no one could see what was going on in there. By the time the agents got to the alley, Dillinger was dead and Purvis was gone.”
“No kidding! Some of the nuts out there think magic or aliens spirited him away.”
“Maybe it was the Mob.”
Chuck frowned as he stood and hung up his jacket. “I don’t think so. They like to stay out of the Feds’ way.”
“Good for us.”
Chuck grinned as he returned to the bed. Teddy felt himself relax as his partner sat close to him.
“Anyway, the FBI tore up Chicago but never found even a trace. Hoover was on a rampage for weeks, but he finally had to admit that his Golden Boy was gone.”
“The whole thing’s strange.” Teddy rubbed a thumb over his eyebrow.
“It really is.” Chuck shrugged. “I heard rumors that Purvis was shot by a stray bullet from one of the his own men, and the Bureau wanted to cover it up.”
“Wow, imagine Hoover’s boys covering something up.”
Chuck laughed at Teddy’s sarcasm. “The public would be shocked, shocked at your cynicism about the FBI!”
“They don’t know the Washington rumor mill like we do.”
“Yeah.” Chuck rubbed the back of his neck. “Sometimes it’s better not to put your ear to the ground.”
“Yeah, you never know what will run you over.”
“Oh, Boss, you got that right.”
Teddy stood and began undressing. “We’d better get some shut-eye. The closer Rachel gets to checking out, we’ll probably have to pull all-nighters by her bedside.”
The bedtime ritual was quick and comforting in its routine, and Teddy was glad for his partner’s warmth as they pulled up the covers.
“Oh, Teddy, I’m sorry.”
“No, I’m the one to be sorry, baby.”
Dolores was standing in the snow as the rose petals and ashes fell, her dress soaked and her hair wet and straggly. The snow covered the bodies around the camp, piles upon piles, and the whispers swirled around as lightly as the snowflakes.
Teddy’s heart ached, and suddenly he was in his apartment, and Dolores looked at him with sad eyes as she dissolved into ashes, and then he was in the snow again, and where was Chuck? He needed to keep his partner safe as gunfire chattered in the trees, and then he saw Mel standing there with haunted eyes as the rose petals fell blood-red to the snow, blood running down his face as the ashes winked in his hair and on his white suit, and a body was face-down in the snow at his feet…
“It’s okay, Teddy, you’re all right.”
Teddy grasped Chuck’s arms as he shook. “Sorry,” he mumbled.
“Hey, we take care of each other, through the rough times. I know what’s it like. The Ardennes?”
Teddy nodded shakily, putting a hand over his eyes. “Dachau, too.”
Chuck hissed sympathetically. He rubbed his partner’s back, Teddy resting his head on Chuck’s shoulder as the rain glittered on the windows.