Fandom: Public Enemies
Genres: Fluff, Humor, Romance, Slice-Of-Pickle, er, Life ;)
Warnings: Suggestive language (just the way we like it!) ;)
Summary: Mel and Johnny enjoy a pleasant lunch together on a cold Chicago day.
Date Of Completion: August 2, 2011
Date Of Posting: August 3, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Universal does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1561
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: Written in the grand tradition of my Clark/Bruce stories, Spicy Peppers And Lush Tomatoes and "Where’s The Beef?" ;)
Onions and pickles,
Turkey on mayo,
Burgers in buns,
A side of fries,
I like yours, hon,
Cupcakes and pies.
You’re my ham on rye
And I’ll be your side dish,
If you’ll be my apple pie,
I’ll make every wish
Just me and you.
"Eat At Joe’s"
Mel welcomed the warmth of The Yellow Daffodil restaurant as he came in from the street. It was brutally cold outside, a typical Chicago winter’s day. He was wearing his black greatcoat and matching fedora, pearl-gray gloves on his hands and a matching scarf around his neck.
It was the height of the lunch rush, the yellow-and-white-clad waitresses hurrying back-and-forth from the kitchen to serve their customers. Every booth against the wall and table out in the middle of the floor was occupied, and every stool at the counter contained a hungry customer.
Mel scanned the crowd, seeing the usual secretaries, accountants, salesgirls, and other downtown office workers who frequented the modest restaurant.
The clack of silverware and conversation was a constant backdrop to the diners and the cheerful yellow walls with photographs taken at the World’s Fair by the owner of the place, and shelves holding blue willow plates and plants whose greenery spilled over in long, leafy vines.
Mel looked at the table by the big plate-glass window and nearly rolled his eyes. Of course Johnny would choose a seat right by the window. The man could not help himself!
Maybe that’s one of the reasons I’m so attracted to him. Risk-taking is in his blood.
Mel knew himself well. He liked routine and the comfort of knowing that he would sleep in his own bed at night, but a part of him craved excitement. It was why he had chosen to join the Bureau instead of practicing law in his hometown in South Carolina. John Dillinger represented living on the edge while he still enjoyed respectability.
Choices would have to be made down the line, but for now, he was going to enjoy every minute of his time with his outlaw lover.
He walked over to the table. “Is this seat taken, suh?”
Johnny looked up from his perusal of the menu with a smile. The winter sunlight caressed his skin, highlighting his hair. He wore round, wire-rimmed glasses, always keeping a regular pair like this one on hand in addition to his sunglasses. He wore a dark-blue suit, his matching greatcoat hanging on the coat rack close to his chair along with his fedora. Mel noticed that his chestnut hair was lighter, probably a dye job as part of his disguise.
"No, it's available." His eyes sparkled behind his lenses and his mouth edged toward his perpetual smirk.
Mel answered his smile as he placed his coat and hat next to Johnny’s on the rack. He took off his gloves and stuffed them in his coat pockets, and removed the scarf, draping it over his coat. He took his seat opposite Johnny and could not stop smiling.
Their harried waitress came over with a menu, greeting Mel, who smiled at her. She set down a glass of water for him and hurried off to the next table.
“How’s life at the office?” Johnny asked casually.
Mel studied the menu. He could sense Johnny studying him. Mel wore a dark-blue suit with tailored vest and a crisp, white, silk shirt, always impeccable in his taste.
“Like what you see on the menu?” Johnny asked.
“Hmm, yes, I do.”
“So do I.”
A little shiver of pleasure went through Mel at the sultry tone of Johnny’s voice. He looked up to see his lover’s eyes on him.
“What’ll it be, sir?” the waitress asked, a strand of brown hair escaping her ponytail, which she pushed back impatiently.
“The turkey club with potato salad, please. And coffee.”
The waitress looked at Johnny, who said, “I’ll have the same, and a refill of this coffee.”
“Yes, sir.” The waitress took their menus and headed for the kitchen.
“I like the variety of this place’s menu,” Mel said lightly.
Johnny smirked and took a sip of coffee.
“As for the office, things are quite busy.”
“Yes, I hear that John Dillinger was sighted in Wisconsin.”
“Yes.” Mel sipped his water. “Last week he was seen in Indiana, his home state.”
“This Dillinger fella sure gets around.”
Mel chuckled. They kept their voices low, though the buzz of conversation made it difficult for other diners to hear. A well-dressed woman walked by briskly outside the window, not deigning to look inside the modest restaurant.
“He is as fast as a jackrabbit, they say.”
Johnny nearly choked on his water. Coughing, he said, “Not like one in every way, I hope.”
Mel smirked as he innocently adjusted his tie.
The waitress appeared with their sandwiches, setting down a coffee cup for Mel and refilling Johnny’s. She hurried off again.
“Mmm, always good food here,” Johnny said as he took a bite of his turkey sandwich, the crunch of lettuce underscoring his satisfaction.
Johnny sipped his coffee. “Y’know, you suit this place, Sunshine.”
Johnny nodded. He waved his hand at the yellow-painted walls. “All this brightness ‘n’ cheer. Jus’ like you.”
Mel laughed ruefully. “Nobody has ever said that I was a cheerful sort.”
“Then they don’t know you very well, Sunshine.”
Mel smiled shyly, and Johnny’s eyes sparkled.
They spoke about politics and movies and the Cubs’ chances to win the World Series this year, just like any other young couple in love enjoying a pleasant lunch. The fact that they were the Bureau of Investigation’s No. 1 G-Man and Public Enemy No. 1 would not occur to anyone who watched or listened to them as they ate, which suited them just fine. Their relationship was so unusual that a touch of the mundane was just what they needed on this cold Friday afternoon.
Most people hurried by outside, the cold keeping them at a brisk pace, so few glanced inside the window. Even when they did, no one’s eyes took on the glint of recognition.
Mel picked up the dill pickle spear from his plate and bit into it, sucking the tart juices. He noticed Johnny watching him and deliberately took his time. Johnny hastily took a sip of water, his face flushed.
He put down his glass and said, “Y’know, I do like me some Southern dishes, like glazed ham and grits. I do like the bite of sweet Vidalia onions to mix in with it all.”
“Oh?” Mel took a bite of potato salad, the full, rich flavor filling his mouth.
“Yeah.” Johnny took a bite of his sandwich. “’Course, I could really go for a creamy moon pie right about now.”
Mel choked, hastily gulping down water. “Is…that so?” he sputtered, still coughing.
“Yep. Though I am partial to good, firm Georgia peaches. Or South Carolina ones, to be honest. Two’s just fine, so’s I can hold ‘em in my hand, just ripe for the takin’.” Johnny cupped his hand as if weighing the peaches.
“Would you like dessert, sir?” asked the waitress who had just popped over.
“Peach pie, if you got it. With vanilla ice cream.”
“And you, sir?”
“Indiana apple pie is good enough for me. With vanilla ice cream, too.”
Johnny smirked at Mel, who calmly finished his potato salad as the waitress went to put in their order. When the pie arrived, Johnny ate each bite with little moans of delight.
“Hmm, shoulda ordered some whipped cream, too. Oh, well. I’ll put some on my Southern peaches later.”
Mel shook his head, a bright smile on his face.
“I got us a room at the Biltmore, honey,” Johnny said.
Mel looked up. “For tonight?”
“You betcha. Tomorrow night, too. You got the weekend off?”
“I do.” Mel checked his watch. “I have to go back to the office. The Director will be calling me at two, but I’ll be free after that.”
Johnny smiled and took a key out of his suit pocket, sliding it across the table. “Room 602.”
“Thank you, darlin’.” Mel pocketed the key.
Johnny lazily drank his coffee, his relaxed posture igniting the fire inside Mel. His body language was insolent and loose-limbed, promising delights to come.
“I have to get back,” the agent said regretfully.
“That’s okay. Just don’t take too long. I need my dose of Southern honey.”
Mel finished his coffee. “I shall endeavor to finish my business as quickly as possible.”
He stood, leaving the tip as Johnny was paying for the meal. He walked over to the coat rack, his hip brushing his lover’s arm.
Mel leaned down and whispered, “I’ll be sure to bring the peaches and a moon pie, too."
Johnny laughed delightedly and said, "I'll bring the whipped cream, sugar,” as Mel put on his hat and coat, smiling at Johnny as he left he restaurant and emerged onto the icy-cold Chicago street, pulling on his gloves and winding the scarf around his neck.
Friday was the best day of the week.
It always held so much promise.
He whistled as he confidently walked away from The Yellow Daffodil’s picture window, giving his lover a good view of what was on the menu for tonight.