Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Steven Cawley, Rachel Solando, Teddy/Chuck, 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): 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: New facts come to light as Teddy and Chuck’s suspicions grow.
Date Of Completion: April 3, 2010
Date Of Posting: May 25, 2010
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Dennis Lehane, Paramount and Universal do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2277
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.
“Rachel, try and remember.”
John Cawley’s voice was soft as he tried to get his former colleague to focus, but she was drifting. Suddenly, she reached out and grasped Cawley’s arm.
“Is Jim all right?”
“He’s fine, Rachel. You and he caught that gang in Smallville, remember?”
“The gang…yes…I remember…they were after us…said we were dirty Feds…said…” She moaned.
Chuck and Teddy leaned forward.
“What did you and Jim do?”
“We made sure…they didn’t get away.” She grabbed her hair. “We got into a gunfight. Jim…he was almost shot!” Wild-eyed, she began to scream. “No…no!!!”
Teddy and Chuck restrained the thrashing doctor as Cawley tried to calm her, finally resorting to injection.
“Sorry, gentlemen,” Cawley sighed. “Rachel’s memories are scattered. She’s getting worse. I expect another few days at best.”
“We’ll keep trying, Doc,” Chuck said. “The Simmons family will be grateful if we can find where the bodies are buried. It will give them some peace after all these years.”
“You’re a good man, Marshal Aule.”
Teddy smiled and looked at his partner affectionately. “You’re right about that, Doc.”
Chuck blushed a little.
Out in the corridor, Cawley consulted with his two guests. “I’m afraid that Rachel may become more confused the closer she approaches death. Even with high levels of morphine, she will still be in pain.”
“We understand, Doctor.” Chuck consulted his notes. “We don’t have much here, but she seems to be getting closer to telling us something useful. We can’t give up.”
”Dr. Cawley, we’d like to request a master key,” Teddy said.
“A master key?”
“Yes, that way we don’t have to keep bothering your staff when we want to see Rachel or McKinney.”
“That is against protocol…”
Teddy smiled. “I can assure you, Doctor, we won’t abuse the privilege. Our only concern is our assignment.”
Cawley appeared torn, then made his decision. “Very well, I’ll trust you gentlemen, as you are duly-appointed Federal Marshals, but please be advised that if you enter patients’ rooms without proper security, you could be in danger.”
“Believe me, Doctor, Chuck and I don’t want any trouble. We’ve dealt with psychotic criminals and are happy to stay out of their way.”
“Come with me to my office and I’ll get you a set of keys.”
In the well-appointed office, Cawley presented them with two sets of keys.
“This is the master key for Ward A, the master key for Ward B, and you already have the key to Dr. Sheehan’s room.”
“Thanks, Doc.” Teddy felt a little more in control now. Ever since giving up his gun, he had felt on edge. Chuck seemed pleased with the keys, too.
“I’ll see you at dinner tonight?”
Chuck and Teddy followed Cawley out of his office. The rain was still steady and Teddy asked, “Do you have any slickers we can borrow, Doc?”
“Yes. Are you planning on a walk?”
“Yeah, we need some fresh air.” Chuck nodded his agreement.
“Good idea. We practice physical exercise on a limited basis here. It’s easier in good weather.”
Once the Marshals received their black slickers, they headed out as Dr. Cawley went to consult with another psychiatrist on another case.
The wind whipped rain into their faces and Chuck asked ruefully, “Are you that much of a health nut?”
Teddy laughed. “Sorry. Just felt a little cooped up.”
“Well, I can’t blame you.”
The rain rolled off their slickers, the grass bright green and autumn flowers drooping, heavy with water. They walked across the quadrangle, glad for the additional loan of galoshes.
“I heard someone at breakfast say that we’re going to get another storm,” Chuck said.
“Great. Maybe we should build an ark and start herding the animals two-by-two.”
They were buzzed through the front gates, and immediately both men felt freer. They walked down the muddy road, wide-open fields on either side, flanked by the woods.
They reached a section with an iron enclosure, and the rusted brass plaque with the motto, Remember Us, For We Have Lived, Loved And Laughed, Too.
Teddy felt a sense of melancholy as the rain dripped off the trees onto the headstones. They were maintained well, but it was sad to think of patients with no families (or families that didn’t want them) ending up buried here.
He thought of Dolores’ grave in Newton. He should get over there soon and pull up any dead flowers and remember to put a Christmas basket on the grave in a few months. Dolores had loved Christmas.
Chuck tugged lightly on his sleeve. Teddy followed him out of the cemetery.
The unspoken was uncanny between them. They continued on down the road in comfortable silence, stopping to view the sea from a high vantage point.
As the wind whipped against their slickers, Teddy remembered his first meeting with the man next to him in the snowy Ardennes Forest in December of 1944. Both were leading squads of frightened, exhausted men, shell-shocked by the German Panzers and soldiers pushing their way through the forest. Chuck had been tired, unshaven, and ready to drop into the snow, but he’d been a natural leader, Teddy recognizing it right away. Despite the kid’s young age, he’d seen plenty, and fell right away into a working relationship with Teddy.
One that’s worked for a long time now.
They walked for a half hour more, hands brushing against each other at one point, a tingle going through Teddy.
The Victorian buildings loomed in the distance as they made their way back, nodding at the officers manning the front gates.
Chuck dressed in boxers and a warm robe, looking over the bookcase as he combed his wet hair from the shower. Teddy was still taking his shower. Chuck wiggled his toes in his slippers, glad to get out of those wet socks.
The good doctor was a mystery fan, both fiction and non-fiction. The entire bottom shelf was filled with mysteries, the ‘fun’ shelf as the top three held medical and psychiatry books.
As he looked over the books, he dropped his comb behind the bookcase and swore as he couldn’t fit his fingers into the tight space between the bookcase and wall. He moved the bookcase away from the wall, careful not to spill the books onto the floor. He saw a book standing on its side against the wall.
“Must have fallen behind,” he mumbled. He bent down and picked it up, along with his comb.
Teddy dried his hair as he entered the room, wearing a towel and slippers. “Good thing these old buildings are built so sturdy, otherwise the cellars would be full of water by now.” Teddy slipped on a pair of boxers and put the towel around his shoulders. “What are you reading?”
“That book that was missing from the library.” Chuck looked up with an odd look on his face. “Look at this picture.”
Teddy looked at the picture, his eyes widening. “That’s…!”
“You were right.” Teddy sat down on the bed. “Our Mel sure looks like this Mel.”
“He could be his twin, Teddy.”
Teddy gazed at the black-and-white photograph that showed a tall, slender man in an expensively-tailored dark suit and fedora, a slight smile playing around his lips, dark eyes sparkling.
“It’s the eyes,” Teddy said softly.
Big and dark, Melvin Purvis’ eyes were beautiful, and could easily be haunting if he was was suffering.
Teddy looked at Chuck. “Let’s see if we can do some digging at dinner.”
“We thought we might go Italian tonight.” Cawley smiled as he poured wine for himself and Naehring. Chuck and Teddy were still sticking to sodas, Teddy because of his alcoholism and Chuck wanting to support his partner. Besides, they were technically on duty, and he wanted to keep his wits sharp in this place.
“This antipasto is excellent.” Chuck took another bite. “Compliments to Mrs. Swenson.”
“She will be glad to hear it.” Cawley smiled. “Happily we were able to obtain some prosciutto and didn’t have to use Velveeta.”
“Doctor, can you tell me why there are Boston police here as your security force instead of, say, a federal force like the FBI?” Teddy asked.
“A very good question, Marshal Daniels. I’m not sure myself, but the set-up was already in place when I arrived in 1939.”
“It just seems odd that local police take care of things, here, instead of…”
“…Marshals?” asked Cawley in amusement.
Chuck and Teddy laughed. “Touche, Doctor." Teddy speared a piece of cheese. "Marshals or the FBI."
"I agree, it's odd, but we have never had a problem."
"Well, that's good to hear." Chuck took a piece of warm garlic bread. “It can’t be easy working security here.”
“Ah, but it is,” said Naehring. “If a patient escapes, where will he or she go? There are woods to hide in, but no way to get off the island. It’s ringed by sheer cliffs, and miles away from any land.” He lifted his wineglass. “So the job is quite simple, actually.”
“Well, Dr. Naehring, I’ve been in the business a long time, and trust me, pulling security duty here is not easy.” Teddy said. He was being polite but Chuck could hear the brittle edge in his partner’s voice.
Naehring smiled. “I will bow to your expertise, Marshal.”
Before there could be any awkwardness, two of the kitchen staff arrived with the entrée.
“Smells delicious,” Chuck said, his mouth watering.
“Mrs. Swenson went traditional. She chose ziti with tomato sauce, seasoned with herbs from the kitchen garden, and used our latest shipment of ground beef for the meatballs. The sausage was ordered from Boston’s North End.” Cawley was proud of the meal.
“Then we’re in for a real treat, Doc,” Teddy said.
“I agree.” Chuck picked up his fork “The North End is filled with wonderful little Italian hideaways.” He refrained from mentioning that quite a few of the restaurants were run by the Mob.
The waiters set down the plates. Even Teddy, who sometimes lived on cigarettes and coffee, seemed eager to dig in. Chuck took a bite of sauce-covered ziti.
“Oh, wow! Once again, my compliments to the chef.”
Cawley smiled and Teddy said, “I’ll second that, Doc.” For the next few minutes, everyone concentrated on eating, then Teddy asked, “So, do Hoover’s boys show up here at all?”
“They do on occasion, but not on any sort of regular basis.” Cawley cocked his head. “Why so curious?”
“Oh, just professional curiosity.” Teddy smiled. He could be disarmingly-charming when he wanted to be, Chuck thought amusedly. “So are they amused by our resident G-Man?”
“I’m not sure they even know he exists. Whenever the FBI comes to Ashecliffe, Mel is quite scarce.”
Chuck didn’t look at Teddy, concentrating on the wonderful food. He could feel Naehring’s eyes on him.
“So they don’t know about Mel Parker?”
“No. And I’m sorry about that scene he created the day before yesterday. He is usually not violent, though he has his episodes.”
“Not a problem, Doc. I guess the patients here can lose it just like the rest of us.”
“True. We sometimes forget that ‘losing it’ happens to all of us.”
“But of course that is rarely the case amongst the doctors here,” said Naehring.
Chuck knew why Teddy was so annoyed with the German.
Bet he is a Nazi.
He tried not to get worked up. This food was too good to eat on a nerve-tightened stomach.
“So the FBI did not set up anything here?”
“No, Ashecliffe’s Government ties stretch back to its inception so a mental institution right after the Civil War. I believe the FBI was created decades later.”
Teddy cut up a meatball. “Yeah, Hoover has power now, but in the early days he and his Bureau were just afterthoughts, a corrupt little department not even allowed to carry firearms.”
“Yes, sir.” Teddy sampled the meatball. “Mmm, spicy. I hate bland meatballs.” He cut another piece. “The Bureau was rife with corruption. Hoover was brought in to clean it up.”
“Apparently he succeeded.” Cawley poured himself more wine.
Teddy, Chuck, and Naehring exchanged glances, for once on the same side. Steven Cawley was a smart man, but could he be so naïve?
Maybe this place even gets to the head man.
Chuck sat cross-legged on the bed as he read through the book, Whatever Happened To Melvin Purvis?
“It just doesn’t make sense for Purvis to have vanished without some clue. If Dillinger’s friends or the Mob took him, someone would have talked eventually, even through back channels. We would have heard something. The Federal cop services have grown, but we’re still a small enough community to hear things.”
“Agreed.” Teddy fished around for a cigarette. Chuck pointed to his jacket hung up in the wardrobe. Smirking, Teddy went over and took out the pack. “So, maybe it wasn’t Dillinger’s boys or the Mob.”
“You know the rumors we’ve heard over the years, Chuck. The FBI covers up mistakes all the time. What if they really did shoot Purvis by mistake?” He shook out a cigarette, offering the pack to Chuck, who took one, too.
“And killed him?” Teddy lit Chuck’s cigarette, then his own.
“Maybe.” Teddy tapped the picture in the book. “We need to talk to Mr. Melchior Parker.”