This is a darker story than I usually write. It's rated R for themes of hatred, child abuse, and insanity. I watched a documentary called "Hitler's Children" which told of the baby farms among other things -- and I had nightmares until I wrote this story. This is a VERY alternate universe, and despite repeated requests it is one I will NOT be revisiting. This was only to exorcise the nightmares -- and it worked. Enough rambling...here is "Angel".
Peter and Valerie were sitting under the linden tree in her yard kissing as the sun went down. She broke it and smiled, looking deep into his eyes as she caressed his cheek. "Mmm, Peter... my handsome angel..."
Grief and hurt flickered in his eyes as he pulled back from her. "Don't call me that," he whispered. "Please, honey -- never, ever, ever call me angel."
Startled, Valerie nodded. "All.... all right, Peter. What's ---"
He shook his head. "I can't tell you, Val. I... I can't tell you."
The nightmares returned the next night. They had been kept at abeyance for a long time, but now they returned with a vengeance.
Experts say that one can't remember things from infancy or from very young childhood, unless one has suffered a severe emotional jolt. In Peter's case, the experts are dead wrong.
Again, he and the black-haired boy with the large, soulful brown eyes were playing. The room was grey and bare --- not like a normal child's room should be. But again, Peter and the other boy weren't normal children.
He shouldn't be here, he knew that -- but he had no choice but to come. It felt like he had to -- he had to be with this dark-haired child at all costs. Why, he didn't know. And right now, as they played pat-a-cake on the cement floor, he didn't care. They were together, that was all that mattered.
Suddenly, the door blew open. Voices screaming in the language of his very early youth, which he still remembered but no longer spoke, rang into the room. The black-haired boy cringed and Peter stepped in front of him protectively. "*Don't touch him!*" he cried. "*I broke the rules, punish me!*"
"*Punish you?*" The man in the brown uniform laughed as he picked Peter up, nuzzling him lovingly, as if he were his own child. The man made Peter's flesh crawl. "*Little Angel, you have done nothing wrong. You can do nothing wrong. You and yours are the hope of our nation, don't you see that? This...mistake....on the other hand...*" His voice grew hard and his black boot shot out and kicked the black-haired child in the ribs. "*Take him away! Whip him!*"
"*No!*" Peter and the dark-haired child cried in unison.
"*Easy, Little Angel,*" the man said, caressing Peter's hair. "*He will not be killed. We do not wish to cause you undue agony. You are a special one, and your happiness matters. He broke the rules, playing with you, and he will be punished.*"
"*I broke the rules!*" Peter sobbed. "*Give me the whipping!*"
"*No, little one....only inferior ones as he is get the whippings. You are special, Little Angel, never forget that. Special.*" The caresses continued.
Words meant to soothe ached as if ice were poured on his spine. Each touch felt unlike a father's gentle hand --- and like nothing less than the hand of the devil himself.
Peter jerked upright, sweat covering his body as his mouth worked, syllable after syllable pouring from him at top volume. Davy struggled from his own sheets and made his way to Peter's bed, frowning at the unfamiliar language coming from his roommate. "Peter!" he shook Peter gently. "Wake up, Peter, wake up!"
Peter froze. He turned slowly to face Davy. "....D...Davy?........get away.... don't let him get you too....."
"Let who get me, man?" He shook his head and began to unbutton Peter's orange pajamas. "Sheesh, mate, you're soaked to the skin! Let's get you out of these and into dry clothes..."
A larger hand covered Davy's. Peter frowned at him. "........you're....real....."
"Yeah, Peter. I'm real. You were having a hell of a nightmare."
"Wasn't a nightmare," Peter sighed as he stood up and grabbed a towel out of the closet, heading out of the bedroom for a quick shower.
"No? What was it then?"
Peter froze in his tracks. He turned and looked at Davy with the eyes of one who's seen and done too much in too short of a lifetime. "A memory." Then he closed the bathroom door behind him.
A week later, Micky and Davy were playing volleyball with some teens they met on the beach. Mike watched them from the window, smiling as he saw Davy miss and land on his stomach in the sand. Micky ducked under the net to see if he was okay, and was beaned by the ball. He did a 'dying' skit so corny the game was called for a few moments, everyone was laughing too hard.
Mike was laughing too. He turned from the window, shaking his head. "Those two...." he chuckled, crossing to the kitchen to grab something to eat. He froze, his smile turning into a frown as he heard something that puzzled him.
"Peter?" Mike closed the refrigerator and went into the downstairs bedroom. Peter'd lain down an hour or so earlier, complaining of a headache.
He found Peter thrashing in the bed, the covers down to his waist and rapidly becoming entangled with his legs. His orange pajama top had fallen open, and he was covered with sweat. His dark blonde hair was plastered to his forehead, his eyes squeezed tightly shut as if in pain.
Peter was also crying out. Mike recognised the language as German immediately, but he could only understand a handful of words.
"*No....no.....never.....please no....*" In between were words Mike didn't know.
"Peter." Mike sat on the bed and put his hands on Peter's shoulders. "Peter, wake up!"
The reaction he got wasn't one he was expecting. Peter reared up and tackled Mike, throwing them both to the floor. He wrapped his hands around Mike's throat, applying pressure as he kept screaming the same thing over and over. "*I'll kill you, you bastard!*"
Mike blinked, trying to get some air into his lungs. One look at Peter's eyes, and he realised the blonde was caught in the twilight zone between sleep and wakefulness --- not fully aware of his actions. "...s-sorry....man...." he gasped out, doubling up a fist and striking.
Peter was thrown backward, freeing Mike as he went down. Mike sat up, scrabbling backward a bit as he gulped air greedily, a hand rubbing his sore throat. "Pe...Pe...Peter?" he gasped out. "Are...are you...okay?"
A nod, and Peter sat up shakily. "M...Michael.....oh my G-d, I thought you were Me---" He broke off and rubbed his sore jaw. "Are you okay? Michael, I'm so sorry..."
Mike waved a hand in dismissal. "Forget.... about it." He cleared his throat. "Must'a been one hell of a nightmare."
"It was." Peter leaned against the wall and closed his eyes, shaking his head.
"You were screamin' in German."
His eyes snapped open. "I was?" At Mike's nod, he asked, "What did I say?"
"I don't speak too much," Mike admitted. "I recognised 'no' and 'never' and 'please no', then you grabbed me and screamed out --" He repeated the unfamiliar syllables.
Peter nodded. "That would fit with what I was dreaming." He stood, holding onto the dresser for support. "Michael -- you know I'd never harm you ---"
"I know." Mike walked over and helped support him till he could stand alone. "I'm sorry about your jaw, but I was tryin' to save my neck."
"Literally," Peter chuckled weakly. "Seriously, if I'd been awake --"
"Forget about it. I dig." He released Peter, nodding in satisfaction as the blonde's legs held him at last. "What were you dreamin'?"
"I... I don't want to talk about it." He met Mike's eyes. "It was ... too awful."
Solemnly, Mike nodded as he held Peter's eyes. It would have been so easy for Peter to blow it off, say he didn't remember the dream --- but these two had never been able to lie to each other. "When ya feel like it, you know you can come to me."
"I know, Michael." Peter hugged him tight. "And you'll never know just how much that means to me."
Mike returned the hug briefly, then broke it. "I'd better go rescue Micky and Davy before that game of volleyball kills 'em."
"Why, the ball loaded with TNT?" Peter said with a smile.
Mike smiled in return. "The way they play, it might as well be. You gonna be okay?"
"Yeah....just give me a few minutes."
Mike squeezed Peter's shoulder and left the room.
Peter watched him go, then keeled over backwards onto the bed, pressing the heels of his hands into his eyes. ".....damn dreams......"
The older man raised his head from the records in the library and smiled. It had been a long road, but it had been a fruitful one.
The hunt for the Special Ones, the ones most suited to rebuild and rule, was nearly over. All but one had been tracked down -- sadly, to find them dead by their own hand. The one had seemingly vanished from the face of the earth.
Seemingly. The man chuckled as he grabbed a pencil and paper. He'd finally located the last one that had been smuggled to America so long ago. The name had been changed, but after a long search he'd uncovered the missing one's new name. Now all he had to do was find him, convince him to take on the role he'd been born to play.
The pencil scratched over the paper as the man recorded the missing one's name.
Young Peter winced with each blow he heard from the room next door. He heard the screams and silently begged them to stop hurting him. The man who had held him had set him down and gone to supervise the dark-haired child's beating. Peter was alone.
He sat down in a corner and drew himself into a ball, crying as silently as he could. He put a hand on the wall and willed some of his own strength into the dark-haired boy with no name.
Peter had been told ever since he could remember that he had been the firstborn of the pair of twins and had been nicknamed 'Angel' because of his 'perfection of face and form'. When his brother had been born -- dark, too thin and too long -- their handlers' scorn had been so deep they had refused to even name him. They had not destroyed him, however, because to even separate them at first caused 'Angel' agony.
The brown-suits called him 'The Mistake'. Peter called him 'Mein' -- My.
Finally, the awful sounds stopped. Peter wiped his face and stood up, waiting. He didn't have to wait long.
The dark-haired boy was flung into the room and the door slammed shut. Peter allowed himself a small smile -- he knew if he'd hide in the corner, they wouldn't know he was there.
The boy lay on his side, his back to Peter, sobbing in pain. Peter's heart shattered as he saw the angry, bleeding marks criss-crossing the boy's back. Four perfect X's, one after the other, marched down his back, each one weeping its distress.
"Mein...Mein..." Peter whispered as he pulled off his own shirt. He moved to the meager sink and wet the fabric. "*My, it's me. I'm going to have to touch you, to make the marks wet. It'll help, I think.*"
The boy nodded. "*I... I trust you, brother. Hold....hold my hand?*"
Peter did. He reached across the boy and held his hand tight. "*Now, My.*" And he touched the wet cloth to the savagely wounded back.
The dark head arched backward, as the boy screamed again in pain. His hand clamped down so hard on Peter's that it was a wonder nothing was broken or dislocated.
With a moan instead of a scream, Peter opened his eyes into the bedroom he shared with Davy. Shakily, he got out of bed and crossed to the bathroom, where he washed his face and looked into the mirror.
The dreamed memories were progressing now. Peter's heart squeezed. That was never a good sign. Before, when that had happened, they'd progressed all the way to ----
No. No, Peter refused to think of that right now.
A gentle knock sounded on the bathroom door. "Peter?"
Peter gasped and whirled. Mike stood there, squinting in the light, dressed only in his black pajama bottoms. Peter couldn't help but smile at his rumpled appearance and mussed hair. "Sorry, Michael...didn't mean to wake you. Didn't hear you come down the stairs."
"I didn't," Mike admitted with a rueful grin. "Been sleepin' on the couch since your dreams started gettin' bad -- thought maybe I could help."
Peter frowned. "How come I've not seen you there when I've gotten up?"
"Cause you've lost so much sleep you get up later than normal. I'm able to sneak upstairs without your seeing me." He chuckled as Peter stuck his toungue out. "Serious, man, you okay?"
"No," Peter sighed. "But I will be." He smiled at the taller man. "Go on back to bed -- or couch, or whatever. I'll be back to my bed in a few minutes. I just gotta wash the sweat off."
Mike nodded and turned around to go.
"Wait!" Peter's voice held alarm.
Mike whirled back to find Peter blanched so pale his hair looked almost as dark as Mike's own. His eyes were huge and he was trembling so hard he had to hold onto the sink to keep upright. "Peter, what...."
"Turn around!" At Mike's hesitation, Peter's voice grew sharp. "I said Turn around!"
Mike did so, and he heard Peter breathe something in German. Then he felt Peter's finger on his back, tracing the white marks there.
Marching in a straight line down his back, one after the other.
"Michael.....where did you....."
"I don't know," Mike said over his shoulder. "I've had them ever since I can remember. Mom told me I'd probably gotten them before she adopted me."
Peter nodded -- he'd known Mike was adopted. "Where...did she adopt you from?"
"I don't know," Mike repeated, turning around. "Mom never told me that." He smiled as a pleasant memory tracked across his mind. "She doesn't even know my real name -- she would often laugh that I was named Michael because the only word I could say was --"
"....was My," Peter whispered.
"Yeah!" The smile faded. "....how'd you know that, I never told you that before!"
"Oh my G-d," Peter's eyes met his, tears welling up. "....oh my G-d, you're My.....you're.....you're my brother...."
And Mike lunged forward, catching Peter as he collapsed into a dead faint.
Two weeks passed, and the dreams continued. Somehow, they seemed more painful now that Peter knew the boy in them now wore the face of his best friend.
Peter chose an afternoon when Davy and Micky were raiding the grocery store to sit Mike down and tell him of the dreams. He never looked at Mike as he related every detail, keeping his eyes on the floor and his voice a trembling monologue as he held his trembling hands clasped between his knees.
Mike listened in silence until the flow of words ceased. Then he reached over and squeezed Peter's shoulder. "And... I'm... the boy who was whipped?"
"My younger brother -- by about fifteen minutes," he managed a small smile and a weak chuckle.
"I... I don't understand. Who were they? why were they hurting me and calling you 'Angel'?"
Peter flinched at the name. "Know the reason I scream in German when I dream those dreams?"
"I have kind'a been wonderin' that. But what does that have to do with ---"
"It has everything to do with it." Peter finally met Mike's eyes, and his normally placid tawny ones blazed with rage. "I told you the truth about when I was born -- but not the where. I was -- we were -- born in a clinic on the outskirts of Hamburg in early 1942."
Mike frowned for a second, then his dark eyes widened and he paled. "You mean ...."
Peter nodded slowly, not breaking eye contact. "We come from the Nazi baby farms. I don't know who our mother and father are. My earliest memories are the ones I dream --- a three-year-old child who got to see his brother get scarred for life as a birthday present." His eyes squeezed shut and his voice grew thick with emotion as he finished, "....My vanished a week later. Nurse K told me he'd been taken to a mommy who would love him. Meng ---- I was told that My was taken away because he was a distraction -- that I couldn't learn to be a 'good boy' with him around." He shrugged and took Mike's hand. "All my life, I clung to Nurse K's word --- and I'm so glad she was telling the truth."
"Man, Pete..." And Mike squeezed his hand. "That makes two of us...." He shook his head. "I don't remember anything till I was six --- I was in an orphanage in Georgia, I know that. I remember coming home with Mom --- and that's about it."
"You're taking this a lot calmer than I expected you would."
Mike sighed. "I gotta admit, man, all I wanna do right now is go screamin' up and down the beach. Knowin' I came from there -- and so did you...." He shook his head. "But right now, you're freaked out and you need me calm. I'll react later." Then he met Peter's eyes and dropped his hands. He pointed a long finger at Peter. "And let me tell you something, Peter Tork. I don't care what those idiots told you --- far as I'm concerned, you grew up to be one of the best."
Peter's smile was his warm, genuine one. "I know," he chuckled. "I remembered the earliest male role models I had -- and determined to be the opposite of them."
"Good. Can't go wrong doin' that, considerin' who they were." Mike chuckled and the brothers shared a warm hug.
At that moment, the door swung open. Micky walked in and whistled. "Look, guys," he quipped. "Keep it where we can't see, huh?"
"Shut up!" Peter and Mike chorused, then joined Micky in laughing.
Davy walked in and frowned as he sat down his bags of groceries. "I've obviously missed something here."
That set them to laughing harder. The phone's jangling interrupted their mirth. Micky picked it up, still giggling. "Monkees' Pad, state of insanity!" he chuckled. He listened for a moment, then frowned as he pulled the phone away from his ear and stared at it for a moment. "Pete, it's for you. Some guy with an accent."
Frowning, Peter shot Mike a look before he crossed the room and took the phone. "Hello?" His eyes widened, then blazed with fury as his jaw set. "Dammit!" he swore as he slammed the receiver into the cradle with such force the phone bounced off the table. Before anyone could react, he overturned the table and whirled on his heel, storming into the bedroom.
Mike was on the move. "Davy, if he calls back, you or Micky get name and information!" With that, he entered the bedroom. "Peter?"
The blonde was kneeling on the far side of his bed. From where he stood, Mike couldn't see what his hands were doing, but he could see Peter's furious trembling.
Peter raised his eyes and looked at Mike before returning them downward. ".....son of a bitch thinks he's gonna come here and hurt me again, hurt my family again..." Peter growled. He met Mike's eyes again and brought his hands up. "He's got another think coming."
Mike couldn't stifle the gasp as he saw what Peter held. He barely held back a second as the bassist, with the ease of obvious long practice, twirled the fully loaded chamber of the pistol before closing it with a satisfying snap.
Mike took a shaky step forward. "Pe --" he began, then had to clear his throat to get his voice down into its normal register from the surprised squeak that emerged. "Peter.....where...where did you get that?"
"It was a gift from the man who adopted me and gave me my last name," Peter smiled tightly. "Mister Tork taught me how to shoot ----" The smile vanished behind another blaze of anger. "And I'm gonna go hunting."
"Peter, you can't ---"
"You're damn right I can't!" Peter blew. "I can't let that filth keep using the air and polluting the planet!"
"I've been to Bergen, My!" The eyes were still full of rage, but the tears filled them as well. "I've been to Auschwitz! I've seen things as --- hell, as barely a baby -- that nobody should have to see!"
Mike's eyes widened again. "You've been to ---- but you couldn't have been older than ---"
"I was three," Peter's voice softened and trembled. "Nurse K was told to come with some soldiers --- American soldiers. She thought she was going to a summer outing --- so she brought me." Now his body trembled and his eyes squeezed shut. "Those sounds.....those images....those scents....they'll haunt my dreams for as long as I live."
Mike licked his lips and took another step forward. "But Peter..." he said even as part of him marveled that he was beginning to sound like Peter. "You really don't want to kill him, do you? You'll be just like him if you do."
Peter met his eyes for a long few moments, then breathed heavily and shook his head. "You're right." He reached for the chamber of the gun, to open it for unloading.
The bedroom door flew open and Davy poked his head in. "He's called back!"
Mike and Peter ran back into the living room, and Mike saw Peter tuck the still-loaded gun into the back of his jeans waistband as they moved. A part of his heart shattered.
But there was no time to react. Micky hung up the phone and held up the pad. "All he said was 'Tell Angel' -- who the hell is Angel?"
"Never mind, Micky, what did he say?" Mike snapped in exasperation.
Micky lowered his eyes back to the pad. "'Tell Angel I wait at the park. It is time for him to embrace his destiny.'"
"Like hell," Peter growled, grabbing his jacket and pulling it on, hiding the gun from view.
"Peter, who is this guy?" Micky asked, confused by Peter's odd behaviour.
Peter's hand was on the doorknob. He didn't turn around as he uttered one word, which hung heavy in the silence as the door closed behind him.
The silence was broken by Davy's soft curse. "....bloody....hell...."
Micky shook his head. "I still don't get it. Who the hell is Mengele?"
Davy was ashen. "A Nazi," he said in a strangled whisper, his huge eyes never leaving the closed front door. "....a Nazi doctor.....the 'Angel of Death'.....infamous for...." He swallowed hard and slowly turned to look at Mike. ".....for grisly medical experiments...." Davy swallowed again and just barely choked out the last words.
Mike staggered back a step as if struck by a physical blow and his face drained of colour. He blinked owlishly for a moment, then screamed, "Peter!" as he bolted for and out the door, pausing only to scoop up the keys to Davy's jeep.
Mike was suddenly very glad he'd told Davy about him and Peter being twin brothers. It helped Davy understand the gravity of the situation. Mike assumed that was the number one reason Davy gave him no flack over the use of the beloved jeep that Davy would rarely let anyone else drive.
Pulling into the park, Mike parked the jeep beside the Monkeemobile and vaulted out. The park was a big place --- where would he even begin to ---
A smile pulled at Mike's lips. He turned and walked toward the duck pond. At one time or another, all of the Monkees had come here to think. Sure enough, there was Peter, curled into a tight ball, rocking slightly back and forth.
"It's me," Mike announced his approach, knowing Peter was still carrying the loaded gun in his jeans and afraid if he startled his twin, he'd find himself on the wrong end of the pistol.
"You shouldn't have come," Peter said tonelessly, staring over the water.
"Neither should you," Mike said. "Not like this."
The blonde's eyes closed tightly. "I had no choice," he said. "If I don't come, he'll come for me again and again and again. He might even use you to get to me. One way or another -- this ends tonight."
"What does he want with you? I thought Mengele had nothing to do with the farms."
A sigh. "That's where the history books are wrong," he whispered. "Mengele was fascinated with the farms because a high percentage of twins were born there. And usually they were like us -- one 'Aryan', one dark." His nose wrinkled. "Shit, My --- I hate that word. 'Aryan'. We're people who were, quite literally, born to serve ......" He shuddered. "....to serve that demonic regime!"
"You don't have to do this," Mike said. "Come back home and ---"
"And live my life in fear?" Peter stood. "I can't do that. Not anymore. He's found me and I have to live with it."
Mike stood as well. "At least let me come with you."
"No, My....this is something I have to do alone."
"Nein, *Angel.... you don't have to do anything alone again.*"
At the hated voice, Peter spun, drawing and cocking the pistol in one smooth move as he stepped fully in front of Mike. "Mengele," he growled, sounding nothing like Peter Tork --- and everything like an avenging Angel.
The man smiled and spread his hands. "*I'm unarmed. I'm alone.*"
"What are you doing here?" Peter snarled. The gun never wavered. "Why can't you leave me alone?"
"Because you are Angel," Mengele replied in English. "The most perfect of all of the Special Ones. Perfect in face and form, in intellect and cunning ---"
"In everything but caring," Peter interrupted. "Mercy. Justice. Love."
The older man waved a hand dismissively. "Things unbecoming a ruler."
"No. The things a ruler needs most." Peter shook his head. "And I'm no ruler....I'm just me. That's all I want to be." He lowered the gun. "That's all I will be."
"You can't deny what you are, Angel!" Mengele snarled at his back as Peter started to walk away. When Peter froze at the man's fanatical words, he laughed. "See? See! Even now you recognise I speak the truth! Come with me, lad --- we can rebuild!"
Peter turned to face him. "Rebuild?" Mike had to lay a hand on his shoulder to stop him from surging forward as all the anger came to the fore. "Rebuild? Why in the hell would I want to help you rebuild?"
The old man stepped one step forward. "It is in your blood, lad. You were born to serve the Fatherland, born to rule! You and those like you are our dream!"
"We are your nightmare," Peter corrected. "And I for one will not be part of it anymore."
Mengele laughed. "You can no more deny what you are than you can deny the sunrise! The pure blood flows through your veins, Angel! It cries for acknowledgement, for release!"
"It cries, all right," Peter snarled. "It cries for my mother, for my father, for those like me who never asked to be born! But we're here --- because you and those like you chose to play God!"
"You are better than your peers, better than..." He looked at Mike, and his lip curled. "Embrace your destiny, Angel -- or we may be forced to take drastic steps to ---"
Peter snarled in German, "*You can go back to the hell you crawled out of, Mengele.*" Before anyone could stop him, he brought the gun back up and shot twice in rapid succession.
Mengele bellowed as Peter's bullets shattered both his kneecaps. He began to scream in German, uttering curses and threats he could no longer carry out.
Peter turned his back on the ranting man and tucked the gun back into his jeans' waistband. The anger was draining rapidly, leaving only a dull tiredness in its wake. "Let's go home," he whispered to Mike.
Mike looked back at the old man. "What's he saying?"
Peter turned him around and steered him away. "Nothing important. Just the last gasps of a nightmare that should have died with a madman twenty-four years ago."
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