Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Teddy/Chuck, Trey Washington, Mariska Swenson, Rachel Solando
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: Teddy and Chuck ponder Mel’s story while a hurricane approaches Shutter Island.
Date Of Completion: April 6, 2010
Date Of Posting: June 9, 2010
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Dennis Lehane, Paramount and Universal do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1622
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.
STORM ON THE HORIZON
Airy as spun sugar,
Tinged with blood
As the screams
Off stone walls.
Teddy and Chuck returned to their room, shutting the door firmly behind them. Chuck collapsed on the bed while Teddy leaned against the wall, rubbing his face.
“Fuck it to hell.”
Chuck half-choked a laugh. “Really.” He sat Indian-style, still wearing his hat and coat as he huddled on the bed. Teddy still wore his, too.
“I can’t believe this.” Teddy’s hand shook as he fished for a pack of cigarettes. Chuck threw him his pack. Teddy shook one out and lit it, taking a shaky drag.
“Neither can I.” Chuck waved the Purvis book. “How could J. Edgar Hoover sentence the man he supposedly wanted in his bed to this hellhole? The only thing the poor sap was guilty of was loving a gangster.”
“It got him a twenty-year sentence.” Teddy puffed on his cigarette. “Can you imagine being stuck in this place for years?”
“I can’t even imagine being a doctor in this place.”
Teddy took another drag. “Do you believe Parker?”
“What about Dillinger? Do you think he’s still alive and not just a delusion?”
“What about the little fact that he was killed that night outside the Biograph? Do you buy that crazy story about a double?”
“I’ll admit that’s a sticking point, but wait a minute…” Chuck flipped to the footnotes. “Yes, here it is! A small footnote: that the dead man was the wrong height and supposedly had the wrong eye color.” Chuck looked up, brown eyes sparkling with excitement. “And that monograph in the Holy Cross library has more on this, I remember now. There’s a section about a possible double, though most people dismiss it.”
“Because it’s so fantastic.” Chuck nodded. “Chuck, if it is true that Dillinger’s alive and not just a guy who Mel thinks is the gangster, we have to see for ourselves.”
“I really think it’s him, Teddy.” Chuck sighed. “Damned if I know how we’ll check him out since he’s locked up in Ward C.”
“That’s not even the biggest problem. If all this is true and not delusion, how do we free these two? Even a smart guy like Steven Cawley didn’t figure out that Mel was really Melvin Purvis, and he’s observed him for years! How can we convince anyone else of their true identities, and do we want to?”
“What do you mean?”
“Think about it, Chuck.” Teddy dragged over the rocking chair and sat down in front of his friend. “Melvin Purvis might have been guilty of trying to help John Dillinger escape, and Dillinger himself’s a wanted man. And on top of it, they’re admitted homosexuals, which means that some people think they’re mentally ill for that alone.”
Chuck’s expression was troubled as he chewed his lip.
“And there’s the little matter of ‘Jayee’.” At Chuck’s startled look, Teddy elaborated. “One of the most powerful men in Washington would not want his part in all this coming out.”
Chuck shivered. “He deliberately committed two innocent men to Shutter Island.”
Teddy nodded. “And he and his agents conspired to hoodwink the American public about John Dillinger’s death, switching a wounded Dillinger with a dead Jimmy Lawrence.”
Chuck smiled a little. Teddy was buying into Mel’s story. “Not to mention the reason he did all this.”
Teddy nodded grimly. “It’s one thing for rumors to be floating around about him and Clyde Tolson, but to be rejected by his Golden Boy for Public Enemy Number One! Not to mention being exposed as a homosexual.” Chuck shivered again. “Here, let’s get you out of this wet coat,” Teddy murmured, helping his friend out of his greatcoat and draping it over the radiator, adding his own, and both fedoras. He returned to the rocking chair. “We gotta play this smart.”
Chuck nodded as wind rattled the windows.
“Looks like we’re gonna get socked.”
Teddy looked at Trey, the young orderly indicating the weather outside the window. They were standing by the kitchen door that led to the dumpster against the building.
“How so?” Teddy asked.
“Pop heard it over the wireless. A big ol’ hurricane’s headin’ this way.”
“Ouch.” Teddy looked outside at the darkening clouds. “Let’s hope it isn’t like ’38, eh?”
“Or last year’s tornado.”
“Oh, that was bad!”
“Yeah, I have a buddy who works at Worcester State Hospital, and he said that part of the state was devastated. They had to send in the National Guard to help with clean-up.”
Teddy ran a hand through his hair. “What happens if the power goes out?”
Trey grinned. “Trouble. We’ve got a back-up generator, but it’s pretty old.”
“Great. And everything’s electrically-powered here?”
“Yeah, the gates are all zappers. The patients’ rooms are all old-fashioned locks, but Ward C’s cells were electrified. If the power goes out…”
Teddy shivered. He didn’t want to imagine.
“Well, let’s hope the power holds out. I’d better go join my partner.” Teddy started to walk back to the kitchen.
“Did you see anything unusual around Mel Parker’s room when you visited McKinney?”
“No. Why, did something happen to him?” Teddy hoped not.
“No, he just seemed jittery this morning.” Trey sighed. “Though he’s pretty high-strung. I know he’s a killer, but I can’t help but feel protective of him.”
“He does seem to bring that out in people.” Trey nodded. “He’s so thin.”
“Yeah, he’s been off his feed since they hauled his buddy Jack to Ward C.”
“Is Mellinger that dangerous?”
The orderly snorted. “Not unless someone’s dumb enough to hurt his Sunshine.”
“Yeah, he’s not shy about his endearments.”
Teddy leaned against the wall. “Does that bother you?”
“Nah. I know Dr. Clausen tried to ‘cure’ the two of them, trying to keep them apart until he finally figured out that if you wanted to control them, keep them together. Otherwise they’d just plot and scheme to get to each other.” Trey chuckled. “Of course they’d try and escape now and again, but there’s no way off this island except by the ferry.”
“Is their relationship normal? I mean, does it seem sick and twisted to you?”
“They’re obsessed with each other, but I chalk that up to this place. When your love is labeled ‘deviant’ and ‘sick’, you cling a little tighter to each other.”
“I gotta say, you’re very laidback about all this.”
Trey grinned. “Hell, Marshal, I’ve seen weird things in this job, people off-their-rockers, violent, sadistic…these two only get violent when one of them is threatened or this place just gets to them. And I can’t blame them for trying to escape.” He crossed his arms as he rested his back against the wall. “The only one who can calm Mel down without drugs is Jack.”
“So their love for each other doesn’t bother you?”
“Nope. I don’t mind two lovebirds compared to some of the psychos in this place.”
Teddy chuckled. “I think you’re right.”
“Eh, gotta go. I’m due to pick up Mrs. Kearns for therapy.”
Teddy and Trey threaded their way through the kitchen together. The pots and pans gleamed and rattled as lunch preparations were underway. The kitchen staff was efficient under the capable eye of Mariska Swenson, and laughter echoed through the spacious room. The refrigerator and freezer were enormous, dwarfing one end of the room, and a spice rack was on the wall next to the cabinets.
“Marshal! Do you have a preference for dinner tonight?” asked Mariska as she stood by the stove, a ladle in hand. Steam rose from a large pot.
“Anything you whip up will be perfect, Mrs. S.”
She laughed. “Flatterer!”
Teddy grinned as he followed Trey out into the rain.
They walked quickly to Ward B, Teddy thinking about the two lost souls on this island. Knowing the truth did them little good if they had to spend the rest of their lives here. What a mess!
He and Trey parted ways inside the building. Teddy trudged up the main staircase and joined his partner in Rachel Solando’s room. She was sleeping or sedated.
Chuck’s eyes were shining as he looked up. “She was able to give me some clues today.”
“That’s great.” Teddy pulled up a chair. “What clues?”
“The woods behind the Simmons house. She mentioned a huge oak and how Hunnicutt dug a grave.”
“That’s wonderful. That’ll give the Smallville Sheriff a place to start.”
“I hope so.” Chuck’s expression was sad as he looked at Rachel. “What a shame that such a brilliant mind’s been wasted all these years.”
“Yeah.” Teddy sighed. “It’s terrible for people to waste their lives in here.”
Chuck’s eyes met Teddy’s. “Yeah.”
A harsh gust of wind rattled the windowpanes. Teddy grimaced. “Hurricane’s on the way.”
“Great.” Chuck sat back in the rocking chair. “Well, we still don’t have all the information, though it might have to do.” His voice was sad, too. “She’s going downhill fast.”
“Maybe it’s for the best,” Teddy murmured.
Chuck looked stricken. Teddy felt a rush of affection for his partner. Despite what he’d seen in two wars and as a lawman, Chuck still had a soft heart. He needed protection from some of the harsher things in life, despite that war and law enforcement service.
“I guess she won’t suffer anymore,” Chuck said softly. Determination crossed his handsome face. “We can’t let Mel and Johnny suffer anymore!”
Teddy nodded. “We’ll figure out something for the living, partner.”
Chuck smiled briefly. “Right, Boss.”