Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Mel/Johnny
Fandom: Public Enemies
Genres: Challenge, Drama, Holiday, Mystery, Romance
Rating (this chapter): G
General Summary: A fortuneteller predicts an unusual twist.
Chapter Summary: Johnny finally sees his Mel…or does he?
Date Of Completion: October 6, 2011
Date Of Posting: October 16, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Universal does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1001
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for my 2011 Guns_Fedoras Public Enemies Fic/Art Halloween Challenge. Option 1: (Elements of Halloween used set in or around Halloween: (The Twilight Zone, Candles, Tarot Cards, Crystals, Crystal Ball, Jack O’Lanterns/Pumpkins, Black-And-Orange, Witches, Ghosts (Paper Cut-Outs).
The entire series can be found here.
I liked this scene between Mel and Johnny so much that I was inspired to write a similar scene in The Room Down The Hall, but the ending is very different! ;)
NOT QUITE RIGHT
Johnny drove his (or Mel’s) Pierce Arrow to North Halstead, parking several blocks away from Anna Sage’s boarding house. It would not do to have his car parked right in front of the place.
He went into the nearby hat store, the glittering lights of the Biograph Theater outshining the rest of the lights as darkness began to fall.
He kept an eye on the time, heading for Anna’s place at a quarter to six. His heart pounded as he approached the modest boarding house.
Wind gusted down the street, Jack O’Lanterns glowing in the windows of the houses he passed. Paper Witches and ghosts hung from porch ceilings and pillars and adorned doors. There was no one around the boarding house as he arrived. The front door was flanked by two large pumpkins, a glowing Jack O’Lantern grinning in the front window. He slipped behind the house and knocked on the back door, the door opening.
Johnny quietly went inside, going through the kitchen. He stepped into the living room.
The lights were dim, and jazz played at low volume from the Philco radio. Shadows danced on the walls, cast by the Jack O’Lantern’s candle. But it was the man sitting in a comfortable chair that immediately attracted his attention.
His beloved Mel was wearing a white shirt open at the neck, black pants and suspenders, and soft black velour slippers. Gold cufflinks winked in the candlelight. His raven hair was slicked back, and his dark-brown eyes glittered as a smirk curved his beautiful lips. He was devastatingly sexy.
It was a bit unsettling.
Mel’s smile was genuine. “Hello, darlin’.”
Johnny crossed the room as Mel rose to his feet, the two embracing and kissing passionately. He smelled and tasted like Mel, so whatever was happening, it was still his Southern honey.
“Oh, baby, I really needed to see you.” As Johnny nuzzled Mel’s neck, Mel breathily answered, “Me, too, sugar, me, too.”
When they parted, Johnny drank in the sight of his lover, who looked so incredibly sexy that he took Johnny’s breath away.
“Mel, I…you look amazing.”
Mel smiled lazily. “I can say the same.” His eyes glittered as his gaze raked over Johnny’s lean form. “It’s been too long.”
“Oh, I agree.”
Johnny wanted Mel so much. He could smell his subtle cologne, and his hugged him again, his body molded to his lover’s. He felt safe here. Mel was his anchor.
Mel gently eased away and sat down again as Johnny took the couch. Mel’s face looked even more beautiful in the shadows, and Johnny shivered.
“Could be.” Johnny didn’t understand his uneasiness, unless it was because of this bizarre situation. “Mel, everything’s all…topsy-turvy.”
“I feel like I’m in a dream.”
White teeth gleamed. “I’m glad that I’m a dream, not a nightmare.”
“Mel, I’m living in a world that isn’t right.”
Soft Southern tones chuckled. “Aren’t we all?”
Johnny studied his lover. Mel was still the man with the smooth accent that could send shivers of delight down his spine, but his mannerisms were not the endearingly nervous ones of his Mel. This man was supremely sure of himself, reminding him of himself. This man was a gangster, ruthless and with his own code of honor, different from ‘his’ Mel. He wasn’t quite ‘right’.
His heart suddenly ached. He missed his Sunshine.
“I mean…when I went to bed last night, I was the bank robber and you were the Fed.”
The liquid-dark eyes widened slightly. “Did you get hold of some bad bathtub gin?”
“Maybe.” Johnny smirked. “The Syndicate likes to get rid of its old stuff.”
Mel chuckled. “Yeah.” He leaned back, his face almost entirely in shadow. “That’s quite a dream.”
“It’s not a dream.” Johnny shook his head. “It’s real, Sun…um, Mel.”
The candlelight flickered over the walls, the Jack O’Lantern’s reflection grinning evilly in the window.
“There’s something very wrong here. I know it sounds crazy, but I’m in a different world. I’m not a Fed, you are. I’m the guy who spent nine years in prison for knocking over a grocery store for fifty bucks, not you.”
“It is?” Johnny frowned. “Went I went to bed, it was still a couple of weeks away.”
“Well, you did say everything was all topsy-turvy, right?”
Johnny shivered again as a gust of wind rattled the windowpanes, the light from the Jack O’Lantern flickering wildly. The shadows seemed to consume Mel, swallowing him up.
The darkness descended, and Johnny felt himself suffocating. All sights and sounds were blocked out as he screamed soundlessly…
Johnny swam up from the darkness, the blood thrumming in his ears. He struggled against a strong grip, suddenly registering the voice that was imploring him to wake up.
He opened his eyes. “Mel!” he gasped.
His sweet, gentle Mel was gripping his shoulders, worry in his beautiful eyes. “Johnny, honey, you all right?”
Johnny saw the expensive white shirt and red suspenders, his lover’s face far more familiar than his gangster double’s.
Same face but not quite. The other Mel…he’d been hardened somehow, probably prison, maybe a hard life before it.
He shook with relief, his own hands gripping Mel’s arms. He could see the room of the safehouse he had fallen asleep in the night before his bizarre experience, ready to wax rhapsodic over maplewood furniture and blue-painted walls.
“I’m home,” he breathed.
Mel blushed prettily. “That’s quite a compliment, thank you.”
Johnny laughed delightedly and pulled Mel into an embrace.
“Don’t change, Sunshine, don’t ever change.”
"Even a man of supreme self-confidence can learn something by walking a mile in another man’s shoes, which is what John Dillinger did when he lived the life of his lover, Melvin Purvis, and saw what the reverse did for Mel, courtesy of…the Twilight Zone."