Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Teddy/Chuck, Trey Washington, Mel/Johnny (Johnny does not appear in this chapter), Jeremiah Naehring, Steven Cawley, George McKinney, Bridget Kearns, Teddy/Dolores, Rachel Solando, Ellie Marino
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: The hurricane hits!
Date Of Completion: April 10, 2010
Date Of Posting: June 14, 2010
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Dennis Lehane, Paramount and Universal do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2041
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.
"BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES!!!"
As tree branches
Tap the glass.
Batten down the hatches!
The hurricane’s approach had everyone on edge, which wasn’t a good thing in a mental institution. Teddy and Chuck were frustrated as they tried to figure out what their next move was going to be.
Cawley had his hands full with directing the preparations for the storm. Cots were being set up in the cellar. Soon the order would go out and the staff would bring the patients downstairs, and the buildings had to be ‘battened down’, as Trey cheerfully put it.
The Marshals took the opportunity to visit Mel again.
“Do you have a plan to get us out of here?” Mel asked as they entered his room, Chuck nearly wincing at those hopeful eyes.
“Not yet.” Teddy pulled up a chair. “Are you sure that Dr. Clausen knew the truth about you and Johnny?”
“I do.” Mel rubbed his forehead. Teddy could recognize the signs of an impending headache. He could feel one coming on, too. “He didn’t make a secret of it, at least to us. He taunted us, said we’d die on this fuckin’ island.” Mel shakily wiped his eyes. “He enjoyed saying that.”
“Sounds like a nice guy,” Teddy observed.
“Oh, he was the best.” Sarcasm dripped from the honeyed Southern voice. “He was in cahoots with Jayee, for sure.”
The Marshals exchanged looks. The name ‘Jayee’ made shivers run up and down their spines. It sounded vaguely…obscene.
“Dr. Clausen tried to ‘cure’ you?” Chuck asked gently.
“Yes, but not the mental illness we were supposed to have, the delusions that supposedly made us kill that poor family.” Mel’s eyes grew darker with anger. “He knew our illness was a fake, but it wouldn’t have mattered either way. He would have fixated on our orientation.”
“Sexual orientation?” Teddy asked, and Mel nodded.
”He…he wanted to ‘cure’ us of our love for each other, said it wasn’t natural. Johnny and I know what society thinks of us, but it’s natural for us.”
Chuck felt a tingle go through his stomach. Why wouldn’t it seem natural? Not everyone fit in a neat little box.
“He tried to keep us apart but we caused too much fuss. He could have kept us drugged all the time, but he was obsessed with us. We couldn’t be ‘cured’ while drugged into oblivion.” Mel ran a hand through his raven hair. “Besides, he liked to see us suffer.”
Chuck’s stomach tightened. He despised cruelty in all its forms, but especially to those truly helpless.
Mel shook his head. “It certainly wasn’t your fault, Marshal.”
Mel’s lips quirked. “Chuck.” He rubbed his fingers between his eyes. “It’s been so long…and I’ve been put on drugs…sometimes my life before this place seems like a dream.” He sighed. “I miss wearing nice, crisp suits and doing useful work and being with Johnny without people thinking we are sick. His gang loved Johnny and didn’t care that he loved a man, even a cop. We were good for each other, and they were happy for him. And some of my friends were happy for me.” His voice grew even softer. “All we went to do is live in peace.”
Chuck put a hand on Mel’s shoulder and squeezed. Mel closed his eyes.
“We’re going to help you, somehow, someway. That I promise, Mel.”
Mel nodded and put his hand over Chuck’s. “Thank you.”
Footsteps sounded outside in the hall.
“We’d better go,” Teddy said. “We can’t let the docs get wise that we’ve been seeing you without permission.”
Mel nodded. “Thank you so much.”
Chuck smiled. “You’re very welcome.”
He and Teddy left the room after checking the hall. “Let’s go see if we can help with the storm preparations,” Teddy said.
Chuck grinned. “And volunteer to escort patients to the cellar.”
Teddy nodded with a grin of his own. “We keep Mel close to us. I know that Cawley is a good man who is a helluva lot better than Clausen, but we still don’t know if he’s in cahoots with Hoover.”
“Yeah.” Chuck’s anger boiled up. “Hoover’s such a fraud, Teddy!”
“Grade-A, my friend.”
They hurried to find Cawley.
The doctors were consulting in Cawley’s office. Teddy and Chuck entered quietly. Naehring complained, “If we don’t chain them up, we could be in trouble.”
“And what if the building is flooded? They would all drown,” Cawley argued.
“If the generator goes, the patients of Ward C will be free. And I don’t like our chances against them.”
“Excuse me, Dr. Cawley. Your staff isn’t considering chaining up those patients in Ward C?” Teddy asked.
“I’m afraid so.”
Chuck and Teddy frowned. “That’s pretty barbaric, Doc.” Chuck crossed his arms.
“Is that something you learned in Germany, Doc?” asked Teddy, his voice hard.
“Your German phobia is showing again, Marshal.” Naehring took a puff on his pipe.
“You bet, Doc. Any vet of the European theater of war will feel the same way.”
Naehring snorted. “You cannot be gentle with the criminally-insane. They are too clever, too cunning.”
“Our back-up generators will work,” Cawley said. “Now, on to preparing our buildings…”
Chuck and Teddy helped boarding windows and securing doors. They aided in setting up cots in the cellar, and tried to ignore the howling of the wind and rattle of windows too high up to board up. When Cawley gave the order to bring the patients in from the wards to the main building, Teddy and Chuck hurried to Ward A.
Mel was ready and waiting, his coat and fedora on. Teddy also released McKinney, figuring it would make sense to take care of their potential informant and bring Mel along from next door.
The four of them battled their way through the stiff winds, holding onto their hats and grimacing as the rain blew in their faces. Other staffers were escorting patients across the quadrangle, and Chuck kept a protective arm around Mel’s shoulders as Teddy kept his eye on McKinney.
Once downstairs in the cellar, Mel pitched in to help settle the patients, Trey and Ellie directing operations. The Security officers were present, keeping an eye on the patients, and Teddy and Chuck also kept their eyes open.
“Here’s your cots, Marshal.” Trey touched Teddy’s arm and pointed to the center of the room. “I see you’re keeping an eye on Mel.” Trey’s voice was approving as he watched the slender man helping settle the jittery Mrs. Kearns.
“Yeah.” Teddy felt his head throbbing. He sat down abruptly after a flash of lightning pierced the cellar. He closed his eyes, trying to catch his breath.
“It’s okay, Boss. Here’s some aspirin.” Chuck’s voice was calm.
“Wait, you need water.”
Teddy cracked his eyes open. Damnit, couldn’t they dim the lights? There were too damned bright. Damn fluorescent lights!
He almost recoiled at the sight of Dolores, wearing a slicker, the hood pushed back and her blond hair wet and stringy. She was looking at him with those sad, brown eyes.
“Why are you all wet, baby?” he whispered.
Suddenly her brown eyes were Mel’s. “Here’s some water, Marshal.”
“Teddy.” He swallowed the pills with the water. “Thanks, Mel.”
“You’re very welcome, Teddy.”
Chuck smiled. “Now, lay back down and rest.”
“How can I rest in the middle of a hurricane?”
“Cranky Boss.” Chuck laid a hand on Teddy’s shoulder as he gently pushed his friend down on the cot. “Mel, can you sit with Marshal Cranky here and make sure he doesn’t try to play Superman?”
Mel sat on the cot as Teddy grumbled, “Is mother hen still here?”
Amusement tinged Mel’s voice. “He’s helping Nurse Marino with the next batch of patients.”
Teddy was hoping that his headache would merely remain annoying instead of devastating. He kept his eyes closed and jumped slightly when something soft was draped over his eyes.
“It’s all right. Just my handkerchief. It’ll help cut down on the light.”
“Thanks.” Teddy tried to breathe deeply. He could feel the pain lurking at the edges, ready to explode like an H-bomb over Bikini Atoll. If the roots of his hair started to hurt, he was in trouble.
“Do you need more water?” Mel asked softly.
“No, but thanks.” Teddy tried to relax in the midst of chaos. He could hear the multitude of voices and movement all around him, the crack of thunder and the howling of the wind as the storm raged. A cool hand rested on his forehead.
“Just relax, Teddy.”
He tried, mind skittering away from Dolores as her image shimmered in-and-out. He wanted to reach out to her one minute and run away the next.
“It’s all right, Dr. Solando.” Nurse Marino’s voice was calm as a whimper escaped Rachel. She must be lying in the cot next to him. Poor woman.
Had Dolores felt great pain when she died in the fire, or had she died from smoke inhalation first? Mercifully, he had never seen the body. The police had advised him against it, and the casket had been closed.
He didn’t want to think of Dolores anymore. She was dead, reduced to something hardened cops had advised him against seeing. He would never forget her, but he had to concentrate on the here-and-now. Chuck needed him to watch his back in this place. Even a dying woman like Rachel Solando could be dangerous.
Mel’s hand on his head reminded him of his other responsibility. This man had been suffering for twenty years for the ‘crime’ of loving another man.
And he didn’t care that John Dillinger had been a bank robber. He’d done more than his time for his crime spree, and had been caught up in Hoover’s sick revenge.
Teddy let his thoughts drift, the noise of the people and storm surrounding him receding into the background.
How could Hoover have done such a thing? Condemn two innocent men to this place? Dillinger had been a criminal, but he was sentenced here for his romantic feelings, not for his robberies. Despite society’s contempt for homosexuals, it wasn’t right.
Especially since our esteemed Director is a ‘pervert’ himself.
He almost laughed at the irony.
When Teddy drifted back up from sleep, he could feel a hand resting gently on his arm. The storm sounded louder and there was a murmur of voices swirling all around him. There was still a handkerchief over his eyes.
“Does Teddy get a lot of headaches?” Mel’s soft Southern tones washed over him.
“Now and again,” Chuck answered.
“Johnny gets headaches, sometimes because of his head injury. That shot to the head…he has a few gaps in his memory, but he isn't missing anything important.”
“Ah, well, that’s good.” Chuck’s voice was warm and rich, the New England accent mixed a little with Pacific Northwest. “Tell me, was Johnny as dashing back in the day when he was robbing banks and getting on the front page?”
“Oh, yes! He was bold and dashing, and always wore the most fashionable suits.”
“I’ve read that Gentleman Johnny was a snappy dresser. You, too.”
“Ah, well, I’m afraid I have little opportunity to do so here, suh.”
“I can understand that. Yeesh, the stuff they issue around here.”
Teddy nearly laughed. Chuck was certainly the better dresser of their partnership.
“Dreadful,” Mel sighed. “The clothing offends the sensibilities of both Johnny and me.”
“I can see why.” A warm hand rested on Teddy’s forehead. “Damn this storm. Nothing for it but to ride it out.”
“The buildings here are quite sturdy. The 19th century knew how to build ‘em.” Worry laced Mel’s voice, no doubt thinking of his Johnny on Ward C.
“Very much.” A gentle caress from Chuck soothed Teddy. Thank god his migraine hadn’t burst to the forefront. He opened his eyes.
“Feeling better?” Mel asked.
“Much.” Teddy smiled at his companions.
A loud clap of thunder sent people shrieking as the lights abruptly went out.