This is a story written by me and Michelle (Shells) Resene. Neither one of us is sure where we got the idea!
Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork were jamming on the bandstand while they waited for Davy Jones to get back from his date. Suddenly light flared around them and they saw a beautiful woman standing in the middle of the living room, holding something in her arms.
Are you the friends of David Jones? she asked in their minds.
"David Jones...David Jones..." Micky muttered, scratching his head.
"You know...little guy with an English accent, 'bout 5'3"," Mike answered, holding a hand out to demonstrate the approximate height.
"Oh, him! Yeah, Davy! What about him?" Micky asked looking up. Then, he realized that he had no idea who - or what - he was talking to.
She tilted a hand. I am Chronaeia, the daughter of Father Time. Your friend insulted my father a few minutes ago, and has paid the price.
"Is Davy okay?" Peter asked, eyes wide.
Yes... just... altered. There was sadness in her face.
"Altered?" Mike asked, furrowing his brow. "What do ya mean 'altered'? What'd you do to him? Where is he?"
I did nothing to him. My father changed him as punishment. It was his hope that as he grows, he will be taught more manners than he learned the first time.
"As he grows?" Micky asked, frowning slightly.
She walked closer to the bandstand, and they saw she held Davy's shirt in her arms. And in the shirt....
A baby boy.
She placed the infant into Mike's arms and stepped back.
Mike stared at the child, incredulous. "You...You can't be serious..."
"Davy?!?" Micky asked, leaning over Mike's shoulder.
That is David, yes. He shall grow at the rate of a standard year for every calendar month. It is our wish that he grows to learn love and tolerance. And you three have been chosen to be his parents. She waved a hand and a billfold appeared on the chaise lounge. One of these shall appear every month till he is an adult. Use the contents wisely.
She stepped forward and kissed the sleeping child's forehead. Good luck, little one. And to you, my friends. You will need it. She stepped back and ran a hand through the brown down on top of the baby's head. All he wanted was one kiss.... A look of profound sadness crossed her face.
Then she was gone.
Peter scooped up the billfold and his eyes grew huge. He had to sit on the chaise to keep from fainting. "Guys..." he whispered. ”There's money in here... Ten thousand dollars!"
"Ten thousand dollars?" Mike exclaimed, incredulous.
The tone of his voice startled Davy, who promptly began to cry. Mike looked to his friends for help. "Oh, man, what did I do?" he asked.
"You can't yell around a baby," Peter said. He got up and got some milk from the refrigerator, poured it into a pan, and heated it till it was warm. Then he poured it into a bowl and ordered, "Mike, come here and sit down."
Mike nodded, and with only minor difficulty, he situated Davy in his arms and walked out to the kitchen, taking the chair Peter proffered.
"Dip your pinkie into the milk and let him suck on it," Peter said. At Mike's skeptical look, he grinned. "Trust me; I've got two little sisters and a little brother."
Mike raised an eyebrow skeptically, but did as he was told. And, sure enough, Davy was only too happy to take the finger in his mouth and suck on it, as though it were the nipple of a bottle. Mike sighed. "I think we're going to need to go shopping...for one thing, we need some bottles..."
"And diapers," Micky put in. "And toys... and clothes..."
"And we've got ten thousand dollars to get the stuff with," Peter said, holding up the billfold. "And we can't forget food and a playpen..."
"And a crib," Micky said with a groan. "Till he's big enough for a bed..."
"And cloths for him to burp on..." Peter said.
Mike shook his head, looking from one to the other. "I had no idea that so much work went into raising a kid..."
"I think we'd better go on," Micky said. "That makeshift bottle won't satisfy him for long."
"You're right," Peter said. "You gonna be all right, Mike?"
Mike looked at him wide-eyed. "You mean, you're just gonna leave me with him - like this?!"
"We'll be back really soon," Peter said. "We're just going to Jacobson's... we'll be right back."
And with that, they left Mike alone... with the baby.
Twenty minutes later, they were back. Peter took the sleeping boy while Mike helped Micky unload the very full Monkeemobile.
Crib, playpen, high chair, seven bags of clothes, ten of diapers, three of bottles, formula and food, two of toys....
"Man, did you leave anything left on the shelves?" Mike demanded of Micky as they made the final trip in from the car.
"Yeah... the walker," Micky said.
"Those aren't safe," Peter said. "All this cost four thousand dollars."
"And we made a side trip to the bank," Micky said. "We put four thousand in a savings account... two in just his name, two in ours." He smiled. "Since we need money practically all the time, it seemed a good idea."
Mike nodded his agreement. "You did all that in twenty minutes?"
"Well, we would've been back sooner, but we had a flat tire," Micky cracked.
Peter grinned at the joke. The smile died, however, at the indignant pounding at the door. "Open up!" Mr. Babbitt's voice bellowed.
Davy began to cry again.
Peter laid him over his shoulder and began to bounce slightly, soothing him while Micky rummaged for a pacifier and Mike answered the door. "Oh, Mr. Babbitt, what a pleasant surprise," he muttered. "And to what do we owe this -”
He was interrupted by the sound of Davy's crying. Babbitt looked in over his shoulder. "What's going on here? Is that a baby?!?"
Micky handed Peter the pacifier, and Peter ran to the sink, warming/cleaning the rubber tip before tickling Davy's lips with it. Davy accepted it and instantly fell quiet, eyes closing in contentment.
"Yeah," Peter said softly. "This is a baby."
Their landlord looked from Peter, to Micky, then back to Mike. "What's going on around here, Nesmith? I'm sure there's something in your lease somewhere that says something about -”
"About what?" Mike demanded. "There are four of us living here...just like there were this morning...and as long as we pay our rent -”
"That's what I'm here for!" Babbitt said, smiling a humorless smile. "You're late on the rent...again! Now, I'm only going to say this once...Either you get it caught up and keep it that way or you are o-u-t out! Baby or no baby!"
"Is this enough to keep us caught up?" Peter asked, fanning seven bills in front of Babbitt with one hand while his other one cradled Davy.
Seven hundred dollars.
Mr. Babbitt's jaw dropped at the sight of the money. He quickly snatched it out of Peter's hand, counting the money for himself. "Where'd you boys get this kind of money?" he asked, suspicious. "Did you rob a bank or something?"
"No," Micky said. "The baby's... benefactor... helped us out."
Mike nodded in agreement. "Okay, Mr. Babbitt, well, you have your money, and the rent's all paid...through July ...so I guess we won't be seeing you for a while!" he said, trying to hustle the other man out the door to no avail.
"Oh, no, you don't," Babbitt said, "I want to have a look at the little tyke before I go."
Peter nodded. "It couldn't hurt, fellas," he said. Micky nodded, and Mike begrudgingly agreed, so Babbitt pushed past him back into the room.
Peter pulled the flap of the eight-button shirt aside so Babbitt could see the infant's face clearly.
"Cute little whipper-snapper," he murmured, bending down to get a closer look. "Almost looks familiar...Hey, where'd you fellas get this kid, anyway?"
For once in his life, Peter thought fast. "It's Davy's son," he said. "David Jr."
"D-Davy's son?" the landlord asked. He took another look, nodding his head in satisfaction. "No wonder he looks so familiar...Hey, where is my other tenant? Normally, I don't see one of you without the four. And, Jones hasn't shot his mouth off once since I got here!"
"Davy's in ... England," Micky stammered. "Family emergency. He couldn't take the baby, so we're taking care of him."
"That's right," Mike said, nodding. "And as you can see we have our hands full, so if there's nothing else...?"
"No, no, that'll be all," Babbitt said, taking once last look at the child. "Cute kid he's got there - real cute!" With that he left, still counting the money Peter had given him.
Micky shut the door behind him, wiping a hand across his brow and leaning against it. "Whew! That was a close one! Man, what're we gonna say when people ask us what happened to Davy...eventually, he's gonna start growing up, and it's gonna be pretty obvious that this is him!" he said, gesturing to the infant in Peter's arms.
"How about we cross that bridge when we come to it?" Peter asked. "Right now, we've got a baby to take care of."
Three days went by, and the boys fell into a routine. Since Mike was the normal night owl, he handled the late night feedings/changings. Peter took over early in the morning, and Micky handled afternoon/early evening duties. The three of them discovered the hard way that even an infant could move pretty fast, and after Davy swallowed a button, they decided to childproof the Pad.
Of course, that didn't make the emergency room trip any less frightening for them....
Especially when the doctor came out and told them that they needed medical history on the child. They made up that he was David Jones Junior, he was three months old, and his father was away. They were told one or all of them had to legally adopt the boy or he would be removed from their household in three weeks. Then Davy was released to them.
Once they were home, Mike sank into the rocking chair, holding Davy, and began to rock as much to calm his own whirling thoughts as to settle the baby down while Peter got a bottle ready.
"Adopt?" Micky whispered, sinking onto the couch.
Mike sighed, shaking his head. He glanced down at the baby in his arms, the baby that had been a full grown man only days before. "What choice do we have?" he asked softly, talking more to himself than to Micky. "We've gotta do something...we can't let them take Davy away from us...Like it or not, we're his parents now!"
Peter came in with the bottle and cloth. "I'll do that if you want me to, Mike."
Mike shook his head, reaching for the bottle. "No, let me," he insisted.
Micky and Peter exchanged a surprised look, as Mike took the bottle, teasing Davy's mouth with the nipple until he took it. Then, Mike began to sing to him softly as he rocked the chair back and forth.
Davy gazed up at Mike with large blue eyes that were beginning to turn brown... eyes that were filled with trust.
And the look broke Mike's heart.
He looked up at Peter, suddenly, shaking his head. And, he spoke words he never thought he'd hear himself say. "Peter, man, what're we gonna do? We can't let them take Davy away from us! Not now...not ever."
Peter looked helplessly at Micky. Micky suddenly got to his feet, his jaw set. He pulled out the phone book and dialed. "If they're making us adopt him, then by golly, we're going to adopt him!" He spoke into the receiver and then hung up the phone. "I just retained us a lawyer... using more of that mystery money. He's going to file the papers in the morning declaring Davy an unfit father and severing all his parental ties... then we can adopt 'his' child free and clear."
"Just like that?" Mike asked, more than a little surprised. "Oh, come on, Micky, it can't be that easy..."
"I'm going to meet with him tomorrow morning," Micky said, coming and squatting beside Mike, running a gentle finger down Davy's cheek. "I'll tell him the mother died in childbirth and her records were destroyed in a hospital fire. Then Davy took off for England and never came back, never called, never nothing. They'll declare him unfit... then they'll file adoption papers. It's gotta be this easy, man. We can't lose him!"
Mike nodded, speaking with a confidence that he didn't feel. "Sure, Mick. You're right. I mean, after all, Father Time wants us to raise Davy properly...and, I mean, no one argues with Father Time, right?"
Peter grinned. "Davy tried to. And look what happened to him!"
Micky giggled in spite of himself. "Hey, what do you suppose Davy said to make a major entity so upset with him, anyhow?"
"I don't wanna know!" Mike and Peter chorused.
At that moment, Davy let out a loud hiccup and began to wail again.
Mike sighed again, looking to Peter for help. "Man, I know it's only for a couple of months, but caring for a baby is a tough job! How do all these mothers do it?!"
Peter draped the cloth over his shoulder and draped Davy over it as well, petting his back as he smiled. "Instinct. Us fathers, we have to learn the hard way."
"Yeah," Mike agreed. "But, if it's supposed to be Davy getting punished here, how come the three of us are doing all the foot work?"
"We're supposed to teach him manners... bring him up right this time," Micky said. "Not a punishment... a lesson."
"For all of us," Peter added.
And, Mike was forced to agree. "Let's just hope that everyone learns their lesson the first time around!"
By the twentieth day, the 20th of February, things were getting easier. Davy grew bigger every day, and stronger too. On the 20th, Peter's delighted cries drew Mike and Micky from upstairs.
"Pete, man, what's going on? What's the big idea?" Micky mumbled as he followed Mike downstairs, knuckling the sleep from his eyes.
"You ready, Davy?" Peter asked. He looked up at his friends and grinned. "Watch!" Then he set Davy on the ground.
And Davy crawled to Mike.
Mike's eyes widened in surprised delight, as he scooped Davy up off the floor. "Kid's a fast learner," he said, grinning at Davy. "He must get that from me!"
Davy grinned toothlessly and tweaked Mike's nose.
"Hey, leggo!" Mike protested, in a very nasal Southern twang. "Leggo my nose!"
Micky and Peter were powerless to help him, as they'd both collapsed into fits of laughter at the scene.
"We better get ready," Peter giggled. "Today's our hearing."
"Tha's today?" Mike asked, trying to free himself from Davy with no success.
"The twentieth," Micky breathed. "At two o’clock. We got five hours."
"I hope 'is lawyer of yours is good, Micky," Mike said. He caught ahold of Davy's fist, prying him loose, and deposited the child on the floor. "Because we're going to need a good lawyer."
"Soon as the child welfare lady sees the Pad..." Micky's expression took in the clean, childproof apartment, “And sees that we take care of Davy, I don't see the problem."
At noon, on the dot, there came a knock at the door. Peter went and opened it. "Hi," he said smiling.
The prim, unsmiling lady walked in. "I'm Julie Matthews, Child Welfare Services? You are Mister..."
“Tork," Peter said. "Come in."
She did and cast a critical eye on the apartment. "Where is the infant?"
Mike came downstairs then, carrying Davy is his arms. "Here is the infant. I mean, I've got him right here...This is Davy," he said, nervously.
Julie held out her arms wordlessly. And, with a glance towards Peter, Mike handed her the baby.
Julie looked down at him. She ran a hand through the brownish down on his head, checking the soft spots on top. She unfolded the blanket and checked to see if he was dressed warmly. He was.
She checked him out for bruises. None. She deliberately moved so that none of his caregivers were in his line of sight. He became instantly fussy, reaching toward where he knew they were.
"Well, Mister... ah..." she said, looking at Mike.
"Nesmith. Mike Nesmith," he said, quickly.
"Mister Nesmith," Julie reached Davy toward him. Mike took Davy, and with a contented sigh, Davy settled immediately. "I'd say you have a healthy, well-adjusted baby there who's already formed an attachment to the two of you."
"The three of us," Peter corrected as more steps sounded on the stairs.
"Hey, guys!" Micky's voice could be heard as he came down. "When's that chick from...Oh, hello, there," he said, spying the woman in the crisp business suit, standing beside Mike. "Wasn't expecting you to be so prompt! Heh, heh."
She nodded. "And you are..."
"Oh, I'm Micky...Dolenz. Micky Dolenz, that's me," he said, speaking a little too quickly in his nervousness.
"I'm sorry about us," Peter said. "We're nervous... we love Davy and we don't want you to take him away."
It was the first time any of them had spoken those words aloud. But they hung in the air now.
We love Davy....
"We love Davy..." Mike repeated softly. "He - he's become...well, like a son to us, these past few weeks..."
"And if the courts agree, he will become one of you’s son in real life. Which name will go on the records?" Julie asked. "Which of you is adopting him legally?"
"We could shoot fingers for it!" Micky cracked, but his two friends just looked at him.
"Micky, this is serious," Mike hissed.
"His last name we want to stay Jones," Peter said. "And we were kind of leaning toward... well, toward all of our names being on the papers."
"Do you two agree?" Julie asked.
"Well, yeah..." Mike began.
"Of course, of course we agree!" Micky added, nodding his head vigorously.
"I'll have to see the upstairs... to see if ...Davy?... if Davy is in danger up there..."
All three boys nodded their understanding. "Well, sure, of course you need to see the upstairs," Mike said. "Heck, we can give you a tour of the whole Pad if you want?"
"Let me see upstairs first," she said. Climbing the stairs, she frowned. "Hm... the stairs are very curvy. That could be good or bad..." She saw the gate at the entrance to the bedroom and nodded. "Very good." Opening it, she looked around. The three beds and one crib were in the room, and the fourth bed had been taken apart and was in pieces under Peter's bed. She nodded. "All looks in order here."
They did give her a tour, and at the end she was smiling. "This place is childproof. It's clean. It's filled with people who love the child. That is more than enough for me."
"Really? Does that mean you're going to let us adopt him?" Micky asked, his voice filled with excitement.
"It's not up to me, Mister Dolenz. But I'll make sure to do everything in my power to facilitate it. In my professional opinion, removing Davy from this house would harm him."
Relief flooded the boys’ faces. They had crossed their first barrier. "Thank you, Mrs., er Miss, er Ms. Matthews," Mike said, pumping her hand up and down. "That really means a lot to us...and to Davy, I'm sure."
"Now you boys put on your Sunday best. I'll see you at the courthouse in an hour... oh and make sure Davy has something to keep him occupied. It could be a long afternoon."
At two o’clock, the four filed into a courtroom. The judge ordered Ms. Matthews to remove Davy from Peter's arms and hold him herself. She politely declined, demonstrating rather vividly what would happen if she did.
Davy raised such a racket until Peter took him back that the judge ruled they could hold him during the hearing.
The Monkees presented their evidence. Ms Matthews presented hers.
The state presented evidence as to why Davy would be better off in a home.
The judge retired for 20 minutes to make his final ruling.
It was a long 20 minutes. Peter sat down and was feeding Davy some cereal while they waited. "What do you think he'll rule?" he asked worriedly.
Micky shook his head. "I don't know, man...but I wish he'd hurry up and make a decision! I hate waiting like this, not knowing what's going to happen..."
"And, I hate to think of what'll become of Davy if the judge takes him out of our home!" Mike put in.
"All rise," the bailiff announced. Peter couldn't just then... he had a dish of cereal on one knee and Davy propped up on the other! He looked embarrassed as the judge came in, but the judge smiled.
"Been there, son," was all he said. "You are dismissed from rising."
"I have made my decision," he announced, sitting down and waving the courtroom to sit as well. "I have studied the evidence thoroughly and have decided that... son, bring him up here, would you please?"
Peter handed Davy to Mike, who obeyed the judge.
"Hey there, little fellow," the judge cooed to Davy. Unfortunately, he leaned in a little too close, and Davy promptly caught ahold of his nose, flashing the judge a toothless smile.
Mike was quite embarrassed and tried to pry Davy loose, apologizing the whole time. The judge was laughing, however, and when Mike finally got Davy off of him, he gasped, "Go home, son. And take your son with you."
Mike's chocolate brown eyes widened in astonishment. "Really? Y-you mean, you'll let him stay with us? Do you hear that Davy?" he asked, holding the child up in front of him. "You get to come home with us!"
"All three of your names will go on the papers," the judge said. "All three of you are now Davy's legal guardians... technically, since you can't produce a pair of death certificates, and his father has not waived his parental rights, you cannot adopt him, but you are all three his legal guardians... Three fathers for one little boy. Good luck, you four."
Peter and Micky stood and cheered as Mike returned to his seat. "We won, guys," he said softly. "We won..."
Davy's four AM cries never sounded as sweet as they did that night.
On March 1, they baked Davy a cake. He had been fussy lately, and two teeth had already broken through. He was physically one year old now.
In the afternoon of March 3, Davy stood up alone for the first time.
At 11 AM March 5, Davy took his first steps. "Mike! Micky!" Peter screamed, ecstatic. "He did it! He did it!"
Mike came dashing out of the kitchen, and Micky down from the upstairs bedroom. In his excitement, he tripped, and almost flew head long down the stairs. "Did what, Peter?"
Davy sat down and clapped his hands, pointing at Micky and squealing with laughter.
"He walked! Davy walked!"
"Walked?!" Mike asked, eyes wide. "D-Davy walked? You walked?" he continued, turning to the child, as though he expected an answer.
He got one. Davy climbed to his feet and, face screwed up in concentration, toddled the five steps to Mike's outstretched arms, beaming in triumph when he reached them.
Mike scooped him up, swinging Davy around in a circle. "He can walk! Davy...I'm so proud of you," he whispered against the child's neck.
Davy's chubby arms went around his neck in a hug. "Mi-uhl," he said.
All three adults were staring wide-eyed. "D-did you hear that?" Micky asked. "He...he said Michael..."
"Mi-uhl," Davy repeated. He pulled back, two middle fingers of his left hand in his mouth as he looked with wide brown eyes at Micky.
After a moment, he removed his fingers and reached for Micky. Micky looked surprised, but quickly reached for him.
Davy curled into Micky's shoulder and sighed. "Mi-ty," he sighed.
Micky looked from Peter to Mike, suddenly overcome with emotion. "Aww...he knows my name..." he said softly. "The little guy called me Micky..."
"Sort of," Peter chuckled.
Davy reached for Peter. Peter took him and he hugged Peter, sighing against his shoulder, "Pe-tah."
"Yes, Davy," Peter smiled. “I’m Peter."
And Davy closed his eyes and slid to sleep, content.
“He's growing up so fast..." Micky said. "Why it seems like just last week he was crawling around on his belly..."
"Micky that was just last week," Mike reminded him, with a sigh.
Peter chuckled. "I'm gonna put the little guy down for his nap. He's had a busy day."
March 26, the three adults got a shock. Davy's speech became clearer the older he got.
And that day, he toddled down the stairs holding Peter's hand. "Look who's up," Peter called to Micky and Mike, whom he saw on the bandstand out of the corner of his eye.
"Hey, Davy-baby," Micky called, standing to greet him. "You come down to make some music with us?"
"Yeah," Davy said clearly, excitedly. He let go of Peter's hand and ran toward the bandstand.
Micky grinned. "See," he said to Peter. "He's got music in his blood...now let's see...what instrument can little Davy play...?"
Davy was having trouble climbing onto the bandstand. He sat down on his behind and raised soulful brown eyes to Mike. "Mike, help Dawee?"
Mike laughed in spite of himself. "Sure, Davy, I'll help ya," he said, reaching down to scoop him up. Davy squealed in delight as Mike turned him around and around before setting him down. He walked over to the tambourine and started beating it like a drum.
Peter smiled as he came over and picked up his bass. They'd not had much of a chance to practice since Davy's... transformation. And knowing how much Davy loved to hear one of them play, hearing all three might be a treat for him. They played "Sometime in the Morning", and Davy quit beating the tambourine halfway through. He just sat and listened wide-eyed as his 'fathers' played the music he'd only heard on tapes before.
"Like that?" Peter asked, sitting down beside Davy.
And it was then that it happened.
"Yeah, Peter!" Davy cried excitedly.
Micky looked from Davy to Peter, a hint of a frown on his face. "You know something?" he asked.
"What's that?" Mike said, glancing at him.
"Davy...he...he doesn't talk the same as he used to..."
“Of course not," Peter smiled, letting Davy play with the strings on his bass. "This is a boy of nearly two. Of course he doesn't sound the same as the 22 year old man did!"
"No! Not that!" Micky exclaimed, impatient. "I mean, he calls you Peter ...Davy always used to drop his r's...it sounded like 'Petah' instead," he said, using a poor imitation of an English accent.
Peter's eyes were huge as he raised them to Mike. "He's right," he breathed.
Mike nodded in agreement. "He...He sounds like, well, he doesn't sound like an Englishman, that's for sure!"
"Wonder if it's because the three of us are American, and American accents are all he hears," Peter asked, then chuckled. "No, Davy... don't chew on the bass!"
Micky laughed, too. "Well, I guess as long as Davy doesn't start talking with a Texas accent, we'll be all right!"
Mike glared in response. "Nothin' wrong with Davy talkin' like a Texan," he said, laying the accent on thick to prove his point.
"Nothin'," Davy grinned as Peter wiped his chin.
"You, son," Peter mused, "Are cutting more teeth."
"Teef," Davy said, sucking on his fingers again.
Micky shook his head. "They grow up so fast!" he said, to no in particular. He playfully dabbed at his eyes, wiping away mock tears.
And Davy reached up and wiped some away for him. "Micky cwy?"
"No, Davy..." he said, smiling at the child. "I was only fooling!"
Davy smiled. "Micky no cwy."
April 5 rolled around, and Peter was getting worn out. Davy followed him all around, and he talked incessantly! And everything was "Why"! And if he didn't get his way, he threw a fit.
The Terrible Twos had begun.
Mike and Micky returned from scouting for gigs to find Davy sitting by the door, playing with his blocks. He looked up and put a finger to his lips. "Peter's sleepin'."
They looked down at him, frowning slightly. "Sleeping?" Mike repeated.
Davy nodded and pointed a still-chubby finger toward the couch. "Sleepy Peter."
Sure enough, Peter was stretched out on the couch, sound asleep. He threw a hand over his eyes, mumbling something incoherent, as their eyes fell on him. Micky put a finger to his lips, tip-toeing over to the couch. There was a wicked smile on his face.
"What he gonna do, Mike?" Davy whispered.
"I don't know..." Mike whispered back. "But whatever it is, he'd better knock it off!" He said this just loudly enough so that Micky could hear. "Peter's been running his feet off lately. He needs a nap!"
"Aw, Mike," Micky protested. "I was just gonna have a little fun with him!"
"Aw, Mike," Davy repeated, tugging on Mike's jeans leg.
Mike shook his head firmly 'no'. "Sometimes, it's just best to let sleeping dogs lie," he said.
Micky heaved a sigh. "You never let me have any fun!" he protested, sticking out his lower lip and crossing his arms over his chest, in a child-like gesture.
"Newer lemme have any fun!" Davy repeated, imitating him.
"Will you two cut it out?!" Mike asked, forgetting to whisper and half-shouting the words.
"Sshhhh!" Micky scolded, shushing him loudly, and waving his hands in a vague gesture. "You'll wake him up!"
"Already have," Peter mumbled, not moving. "When'd you get back?"
Micky heaved a sigh, glaring at Mike. "Just a couple minutes ago. Why?"
Peter moaned. "Don't....say.... why!"
Mike glanced down at Davy, a knowing look in his eyes. He'd only been home a few minutes, and all ready his imitations of Micky were driving him buggy. "Long day, huh?" he asked Peter.
"Uh-huh. Can you take care of him and let me hit the shower?" Peter asked.
"Hey, no sweat, Pete!" Micky answered, grinning. "I mean he's a two-year old...how much trouble can he be?"
Mike glanced from Peter, lying exhausted on the couch, to Davy, who'd gone back to playing with his blocks on the floor. "Plenty, I'm sure."
"No!" came the indignant cry from the two year old as he clamped his lips together. "No green beans!"
Peter grinned as he watched Micky trying to wrestle the food down Davy. He'd fought that battle earlier.
"Awww...come on, Davy, they're great!" Micky protested. Mike, who was sitting in the chair next to him, opened his mouth to give a retort, and ended up with a mouthful of the vegetables instead. "Looook," Micky said to Davy. "Mike loves them, don't you Mike?"
"Mike can have them! I hate them!"
Mike couldn't answer...he was trying hard to gag down the mouthful of steamed vegetables.
Davy kicked the high chair as hard as he could, and food flew everywhere as the tray of the high chair buckled and came loose. Startled and frightened by the sudden mess, Davy began to cry. "Sorry," he wailed. "Peter..."
Peter picked him up, shushing him and carrying him into the downstairs bathroom, unbuckling his overalls as he did so. Seconds later, the other two heard the bath water running.
Micky sighed, shaking his head, as he got a rag to clean up the mess. "Pete's gotta be some kind of saint to have that much patience!" he muttered.
Mike, who'd finally managed to swallow, nodded in agreement. "It's no wonder he didn't want to eat, though," he muttered, making a face. "Those green beans are terrible!"
The cries turned to laughter and splashing sounds, and more than one indignant baritone shout.
A few minutes later, Mike and Micky turned startled eyes in time to see Davy streak across the living room with a soaking wet Peter in hot pursuit, flailing a towel. "Where are his pajamas?" Peter bellowed, trying to corner the slippery toddler behind the staircase.
It didn't work.
"I'll get the pajamas," Mike said, biting his lip to keep from laughing, as he watched the scene unfold. "But, you'll have to catch Davy!" With that, he started up the stairs to the bedroom.
Davy's little game came to an abrupt end. His still-damp foot slid out from under him and he landed in a heap on the living room floor. "Gotcha!" Peter grinned, wrapping him warmly in the towel and lifting him up.
Davy giggled and hugged Peter. "Peter?"
"I love you."
Peter froze. He pulled away slightly and smiled. "I love you too, Davy."
And Davy smiled warmly. "Peter?"
"You my Daddy?"
"Yes, Davy. All three of us are. Legally, we're all your Daddy."
"That's why you say call you Peter instead of Daddy, right?"
"Right." Peter reached for the pajamas Mike had appeared with. As he got Davy dressed, the little boy began to yawn. "Peter?"
"Can I sleep with Jeremy tonight?"
Peter smiled. "Yes, Davy, you may."
And Davy smiled. "Mike?"
"Yes, Davy?" he asked, gently.
"Will you read me a story?" the brown eyes were beginning to droop.
"Sure," Mike said, a smile on his face.
"Micky?" Davy asked.
"Yeah, Dave?" Micky asked, coming in from the kitchen, where he'd finally managed to clean up the mess.
"Will you chase the monsters and tuck me in?"
Micky gave him a mock salute. "George Michael Dolenz, monster chaser extraordinaire at your service!"
Davy smiled and held out his arms to him. “Ready."
And, Micky scooped him up, carrying him up the stairs to their room. He set Davy down on the nearest bed, and made quite a production of dropping to his knees and whisking up the bedspread, checking underneath the bed. "No monsters under this bed!" he said, in a voice filled with bravado.
"This one," Davy laughed.
So, Micky rolled across the floor, checking under the second bed with equal measure then the third. "Well, no monsters under the bed..." he said, winking at Davy. "But, what do you say we check out - the closet?!"
"Yeah!" Davy clapped his hands and grabbed Micky's pants, hiding behind him as Micky stalked over to the closet.
He flung the door wide open. "All right monsters," he said, in a mock growl. "This is your last chance...come out now, or I'm coming in after you!" He poked his head into the closet, and then climbed all the way in. "Hmmm," he said to Davy, poking his head back out. "I don't see any monsters..." He put a hand to his ear, listening intently. "I don't hear any monsters...Nope, I think you're safe, kiddo!"
Davy laughed as Micky scooped him up and set him in the crib, drawing the blanket over him. "Night, Micky... I love you."
Micky kissed his forehead. "Love you, too, Davy!" he whispered.
"Ready for story, Mike... and Peter, I want Jeremy now!"
Mike jogged up the stairs, followed by Peter. "Jeremy?" he asked, turning to face Peter, as he reached the top of the stairs.
"Jeremy," Peter said, moving past him to the bedroom. He picked up the teddy bear from his bed and brought it to Davy, who wrapped his arms around it like a life preserver. Peter leaned over and kissed Davy on the forehead. "Night, son."
"Night, Peter." Davy smiled and hugged the teddy bear closer. "Thanks for Jeremy."
"Welcome." Peter clapped Mike on the shoulder as he went out of the room.
Mike smiled, as he leaned against the edge of the crib. "So, what kind of a story did you have in mind? Action? Adventure? Romance?" he asked, raising an eyebrow at Davy.
Davy giggled. "Doctor Seuss!” he said.
"Doctor Seuss?" Mike cried in mock surprise. "Do we have some of his books around here?"
"Yeah!" Davy laughed, pointing toward the bookshelf. "There!"
Mike turned. "Oh, there," he said, smacking a hand against his forehead. He randomly selected a book from the shelf. "Okay, here's one, 'Mr. Brown can moo, can you?', it's called..."
"I love you." And he rolled over and fell asleep, clutching Jeremy tight.
Mike smiled at the little boy gently. "I love you, too," he said, feeling real tears of joy welling up in his eyes. He heard footsteps sounding on the stairs and quickly blinked away any trace of tears.
"Didn't get very far, did you?" Peter grinned as he entered the bedroom.
"Didn't even get past the front cover!" Mike answered, smiling back. "He's out like a light!"
Peter sighed. "We'll have to put up the bed next month... when he's three and a half."
Mike nodded. "Hey, you're right...I keep forgetting how fast Davy's growing up..."
"The good thing about that though," Peter grinned. "How many other fathers get a child who wakes up one morning completely toilet-trained?"
Mike chuckled. "Lucky for us..." he said, shaking his head.
Peter then sobered. "This won't last. He'll be a teenager in ten months... and 22 again soon after that."
"Yeah, but...things are going to be a lot different, aren't they, Peter? I mean...when he grows up this time, he's going to look at us, not like his pals, but like his parents!"
Peter paled. "I didn't realise that.... He talks different..."
"It's almost like he's a whole 'nother person sometimes," Mike said, nodding.
"A better person, I hope," Peter said, brushing the long straight hair out of the sleeping boy's eyes.
Micky burst into the bedroom, and then stopped short. "Hey, why the solemn faces?" he asked, looking from Mike to Peter.
"Micky, does Davy's personality seem... different to you?" Peter asked.
Micky shrugged. "Well, yeah, of course it seems different! I mean, he's two years old for crying out loud!"
"No," Peter sighed. “I mean his speech... the way he sees us... Davy would never tell us he loves us."
Micky's eyes widened with the realization. "Ohmigosh! You're right! It's like...it's like we really are his parents...Davy's not our friend anymore...he's like our kid!!!"
Peter nodded. "And you were right a few days ago, Mick... his speech is completely different."
"No accent," Mike said, nodding in agreement.
Peter looked down at the sleeping child. "I don't know what kind of man he'll become," he said softly, "but the Davy Jones we knew before... well, he doesn't exist anymore."
The thought was a sobering one.
Davy leaned against Micky as he watched Peter and Mike break down the crib... his only bed that he could remember. "Tell me again why they're takin' my bed away," he half-whined.
"Because you're a big boy now," Micky explained again, "and you get to sleep in a big boy's bed."
"Like yours?" Davy asked, huge eyes looking up at Micky.
Micky looked down at the three year old's face and smiled. "Yup. Like ours."
The mattress of the crib suddenly slid off too fast, sending Peter scrambling after it and accidentally performing a perfect pratfall as his foot caught on the wheeled leg of the crib.
"You all right?" Micky called.
Peter glared at them as he stood up. Pointing a finger at Davy, he ordered, "Don't even think about trying that one!"
Davy looked at him and, perfectly serious, asked, "Why?"
Peter closed his eyes. It was too soon after the month of the Terrible Twos... he wasn't ready to deal with that word yet!
After much wrestling of tools and a few muttered curses --- which were followed by Peter's admonition that there was a child in the house --- Peter and Mike managed to get the bed put back together.
Later that night, Micky was reading to Davy while Mike and Peter were finishing the dishes. "He's what now?" Peter whispered. "Three and a half?"
"Yeah...Must be," Mike whispered back. "Doesn't seem possible, does it?"
Peter sighed and looked at Davy and Micky on the couch. "No... Mike... he's so little now..."
"I know, man. And, he depends on us for everything...it's a huge responsibility...Sometimes I wonder if I can do it."
"Yeah, me too..." Peter then smiled. "But we don't have to do it alone. The three of us are raising him together...."
"Yeah, lucky kid's got three fathers who love him...I didn't even have one!"
Peter squeezed the lanky shoulder. "Hey... you've got a chance to not repeat the same mistakes your dad made."
Mike nodded. "I know, Pete. That's just it...I'm terrified that I'm going to end up like him..."
"You won't," Peter assured him. "If nothing else, we won't let you."
Peter began to join him... when there was a pounding on the door.
"Now who?" Micky asked in a groan. The door had been knocked on all day by solicitors.
Peter crossed the room and threw the door open to reveal...
"Mr. Babbitt?" Peter gasped, incredulous.
Babbitt strode in, grinning from ear to ear. "Just came by to see how the whippersnapper's doing!"
"Who's he?" Davy asked Micky, pointing at Babbitt.
Micky sighed, disentangling himself and climbing to his feet. "Our landlord, Mr. Babbitt...He likes to come by every now and again to hit us up for money!"
Davy marched right up to Mr. Babbitt. "Why d'you take money to hit my daddies?"
Babbitt looked down at him, incredulous. "Why do I...?" he began, dumbstruck. He looked at Peter for an explanation.
Peter was chuckling. "Davy, Mr. Babbitt comes by to get money from us. He doesn't hit us."
"Oh," Davy said. "I'm Davy!"
"Yes, I know," Babbitt said. "Why I haven't seen you since you were...Now wait just a minute! I just saw him three months ago and he wasn't even old enough to crawl!"
"He's a very special kid," Micky said.
Babbitt looked at him. "Just what do you think you're trying to pull here? How many kids have you got in this joint? What are doing? Running a baby-sitting scam on my nickel?"
"No," Peter laughed. "Just the one kid. Him."
Their landlord leaned down, eying Davy suspiciously. "Just you, huh?" he asked.
Davy beamed happily. "Just me! I'm their one and only Davy-boy!"
Peter and Mike looked at Micky, who hid his face in his hands and shook his head. He'd forgotten Davy was a very good mimic now....
Babbitt was looking at Micky, too. "Cute kid, you got here!" he muttered. "A regular comedian!"
"Thank you!" Davy cried, grinning... an eerie imitation of Peter.
Peter lowered his head and flamed bright red, grinning.
Mike was grinning, too. "Hey, he does a pretty good impression of you, Pete!"
"Got that right, shotgun," Davy said, climbing into Mike's lap.
Now, it was Mike's turn to duck his head. "Hey..." he said, looking at Davy, wide-eyed. "Kid sounds like me!"
"Like all of us," Peter said. "He's a mimic now... learning by doing."
They had forgotten Babbitt was in the room. He was staring from one to the other. "Well," he said, tugging at his shirt collar. "I just wanted to see how your charge was fairing...He's doing quite well, I see. Growing like a weed..."
"Yep!" Davy grinned at him. "'M gonna have another birthday soon!"
"A-Another birthday? How often do you celebrate - once a week?" Babbitt demanded.
"Once a month," Davy corrected before Mike's hand gently clapped over his mouth.
"Once a month..." their landlord repeated. "Well, the way he's growing, I'd swear he did get a year older every month..."
Mike tightened his grip on Davy, trying to keep him quiet. "Yeah, well...you know kids..." he said.
“So, how old are you now?" Babbitt asked, leaning towards Davy, a gentle smile on his face.
Davy held up three fingers. Mike caught his hand and pulled it back down.
"Three years old?" Babbitt asked, paling.
Davy nodded, looking a confused question at Mike.
"I'm sure he was only fooling," Mike put in quickly. "Weren't you Davy?"
Davy shook his head, looking at Mike with the wide-eyed solemnity of a child who knows he's right and can't understand why the adults around him are acting so weird.
Mr. Babbitt looked from Mike, to Peter, to Micky. "Something funny is going on around here," he said. "And, as your landlord, I think I'm entitled to know just what that something is."
The three adults looked at each other as Mike removed his hand from Davy's mouth. Unspoken, they decided to tell him the truth.
"Mr. Babbitt..." Micky said, running his hand down Davy's straight hair and mentally telling himself it was time to cut it, "this is Davy."
"That's what you said," Babbitt nodded. "Davy Jr., that Jones' boy's son."
"No..." Peter said. "Not his son. Him."
The other man looked at Peter, laughing nervously. "Right...Sure it is...Listen, I don't know what you boys think -”
Mike sighed, shaking his head. "Look, Mr. Babbitt, we're not trying to pull anything over on you. Fact is, Davy had a little, well, misunderstanding...and now, this is him." He looked to his friends for help, not knowing how to explain it any better.
Micky licked his lips. "Davy was trying to make a move on Father Time's daughter, and... well..." He shrugged.
"He decided Davy needed to be taught a lesson," Peter said. "And so he gave Davy to us to raise, and...." He trailed off.
Babbitt's jaw had dropped practically to the floor. "Davy?" he whispered, dropping down on one knee in front of the child, peering at him. "That's really you?"
Davy nodded innocently, still confused, but smiling now. "My name's Davy, yeah. It's really me."
Mr. Babbitt was frowning again. He glanced over at Micky. "He...he doesn't have an accent...he talks like an American..." he said, more to himself than to Micky.
"That's because all he's heard growing up are our voices," Micky said. "And not one of us is British."
It was all becoming too much for their landlord. "That's Davy Jones," he muttered, jerking a thumb towards the little boy and climbing to his feet. "He upset Father Time, of course, makes perfect sense...why didn't I think of that...?" His voice sounded far away and distant, like he was lost in some distant thought.
"Mr. Babbitt?" Peter asked.
Davy stepped forward and touched his arm. "You look sick, Mister."
Mike nodded, getting to his feet as well. "Maybe you'd better sit down over here...?" he said, coming forward.
"No, no..." Babbitt said, in the same foggy voice. "I'll be okay...Just a little stunned..." He looked down at Davy beside him. "That's Davy Jones..." he muttered again.
Davy wracked his young brain, trying to think of a way to make this gruff man smile. Finally he got an idea. "Wanna play with me?" he asked. "I gots blocks and I gots books and I gots Jeremy and...." He trailed off, chewing on his lower lip and looking at Babbitt with huge brown eyes.
"He-he wants me to play with him..." Babbitt said, looking at Peter. There was a ghost of a smile on his face. "You're a real cute kid, do you know that?" he continued, looking at Davy again.
Davy smiled, relaxing. "My dads tell me that all the time," he said.
"Your dads," Babbitt repeated. Micky, Mike, and Peter ducked their heads, feeling slightly embarrassed by their landlords scrutiny, but he just smiled. "Yeah, they're a good bunch of boys...not always on time with their rent, mind you, but they're a good bunch of boys. Now, if you'll excuse me...I think I'd better go home and lay down for a while..."
"Can I walk you?" Davy asked suddenly. "I can cross the street if someone holds my hand..."
"Kid wants to walk me home," Babbitt said, still smiling. He glanced at Peter, as though waiting for approval.
Peter looked at his friends, and received two nods. He nodded, looking at Babbitt.
Mr. Babbitt looked down at Davy, "All right, let's be off then, shall we?" he asked, holding out his hand.
Smiling, Davy took it. Peter grabbed a child's jacket and held it out. "Forgetting something?"
Davy groaned, but slid into the jacket. Peter slid his own on and followed them out the door, ready to walk Davy back home.
Minutes later, the small party stood outside Babbitt's door. "Wow," Davy breathed, looking way up at the building. "This place looks like ours!"
"Of course, I tend to keep a tighter ship than your 'fathers'," Babbitt said, smiling.
"Can I see the ship sometime?" Davy asked, wide-eyed.
This time, Babbitt chuckled in spite of himself. "Sometime," he said, simply. "Well, thank you, Davy, for walking me home. Quite grown-up of you!"
"Thanks!" he grinned. "Peter says I should treat people like I'd want 'em to treat me... and I want you to be nice to me!"
Babbitt looked a little surprised at that. But, he recovered quickly, and getting down on one knee he looked Davy straight in the eye. "It'd be mighty hard for anyone to be anything but nice to a good kid like you," he said, softly.
And Davy hugged him impulsively.
Mr. Babbitt had tears in his eyes as he hugged him back. "Thank you, Davy," he said.
Davy let him go and stepped back. He was grinning.
So was Peter, who held out a hand. "Ready, son?"
"Ready. Bye, Mister!" Davy waved with one hand as he took Peter's hand with the other.
"Yes, goodbye, Davy," Mr. Babbitt whispered. Then, he turned and disappeared into his own house.
Once they reached their place, Peter told Davy to go upstairs and change. They were heading to the beach.
With a squeal, Davy disappeared up the stairs. Once he was gone, Peter told Mike and Micky what had happened at Babbitt's.
Micky looked at Peter, more than a little surprised. "I guess maybe old Mr. Babbitt isn't such a sour puss, after all," he said, smiling.
"I think he's just lonely," Peter said.
Mike nodded in agreement. "Me, too. And, Davy just seemed to know that. He has a way of bringing out the best in people!"
"Kids do that," Peter said simply. And then Davy came downstairs in trunks, trying his best to carry a beach towel as he did. Finally he gave up and chucked the towel over the railing, producing laughter from everybody before one by one, the adults went up to change as well.
Then they hit the beach.
By the time Micky, the last one to change, got ready, Davy was practically vibrating in place with impatience. He wanted to get out to the beach now!!!!
But, at last, the three adults and one three year old boy went to the beach. Davy raced to the water, Mike in hot pursuit.
"Davy! Hey, now wait just a minute! You've got to wait for me!" he yelled, dashing across the sand.
Davy stopped, all wide-eyed seriousness. "Why, Mike?"
"Why? Well, because, Davy...The water there is, well, it's deep. And, I don't want you to get in over your head and all..."
"Okay." Davy sat down on the sand and started scooping it into a pile.
"Now, what are you doing there?" Mike asked, frowning slightly as he watched the small boy work.
Davy gave a one-shouldered shrug, so like Mike...."Just making a tower."
"A tower?" Mike asked, still gazing down at him. "Now that's all well and good...but I thought you wanted to go swimming?"
"I do. After I get the tower built. See without the tower, the princess can't get trapped by the witch and the prince can't climb her hair and get her out."
Micky and Peter joined them by this time, and both smiled at Davy's explanation, but left the parenting to Mike at the moment. "Uh-huh," Mike said, glancing at Micky and Peter. "And where's the princess now?"
"She's still at home," Davy said seriously. "I haven't got the tower built. I need to put a thorn bush at the bottom, though."
"Well, that's a mighty big job," Mike told him, doing his best to look serious. "You might need some help...Would you like me to help you?"
"Please," Davy said. "See if we don't get the thorn bush, when the prince comes back for the princess and finds the witch sent her off, he won't have anything to fall into and be blinded."
Peter turned to Micky. "You've been reading him Rapunzel, haven't you?"
Micky just shrugged, grinning. "Well, I read him 'The Three Little Pigs', too. But, you don't see him huffing and puffing and trying to blow the pad down!"
Davy suddenly stood up and regarded the lopsided pile of sand. "That's perfect!" he proclaimed, looking up at Mike. "Can we swim now?"
For answer, Mike scooped him up onto his shoulders, dashing down to the water. Davy's delighted squeals were music to their ears.
Micky tossed his towel to Peter, dashing after Mike down to the water's edge. "Last one in's a rotten egg!" he called over his shoulder.
"I'm always the rotten egg," Peter pouted for a second, and then raced after his friends.
They spent the better part of an hour laughing, splashing, rescuing Davy after he got caught in an undertow.....
Peter vanished under for a second, and then came up spluttering, with the little boy firmly in his arms. Davy spluttered for a second, then whirled and clung to Peter, wailing in fright.
Mike was by Peter's side in a matter of moments. "What happened? Is he okay?" he demanded.
Peter nodded. "He took in some water, looks like... but he's mostly scared." Davy buried his face in Peter's wet shoulder, adding his tears to the salt water already there. He cried so hard he was beginning to hiccup.
Micky had joined their little group by now, and he looked from Peter and Davy to Mike. "Is he okay, man?"
Mike sighed, nodding. "He will be...I should've been watching him closer!"
Peter glared briefly at him, soothing Davy with gentle rubs on the back of his head. "We all weren't watching... guess we forgot for a second he's a child."
Micky nodded, leaning over to tousle Davy's hair. "Yeah...I guess it's hard to remember sometimes. He's just so little now..."
Davy looked up. "N-Now?" he asked. "I'm bigger'n I was, Micky...." He hiccupped, fresh tears welling in his eyes.
"Aw, Micky didn't mean anything by it, Davy," Mike said, gently. "You're right...you are gettin' bigger. How old will you be now?" he asked, trying to distract him from his earlier troubles.
Davy grinned, hiccupped, and held up four fingers.
"Four?" Mike cried, in mock-astonishment. "That old? All ready?"
Davy nodded, leaning against Peter's shoulder for support. His large brown eyes were starting to droop.
"Hey, guys!" came a feminine shout from down the beach. It was Kathy, Susie and Bunny... three girls who lived down the street. "Wow... who's this handsome guy?" Kathy asked as the Monkees exited the water. She leaned over and touched Davy's back. "Hey there little guy."
Davy grinned shyly, curling deeper into Peter's shoulder and putting an index finger into his mouth.
"Oo, he's a cutie," Bunny squealed. She looked at Mike. "You babysittin'?"
"Well, ya see," Mike began, nervously. "The thing of it is...He's, well, he's Davy's son..."
"Davy's son?" Susie asked. "Yeah, I can see the resemblance... looks like Daddy just spit him out..." The other three couldn't repress the grins. Kathy held out her hands. "May I, little guy?"
Finger still jammed into his mouth, Davy shook his head and reached for Mike. Mike took him, shifting his weight so that Davy was resting comfortably on his hip. "C'mon, pal, they're not gonna bite," he teased.
Davy pulled his finger out long enough to whisper, "Don' wanna..." Then the finger went back in.
All three heard it, and all three remembered. Three year old boys were shy around girls. No matter what the girls' age.
Micky turned to Peter. "Who would've thought it..." he whispered, so that only the blonde man could hear. "Davy afraid of girls!"
Peter shook his head, grinning.
The girls giggled. "Well, we've got a date to keep," Bunny cooed. She waggled her fingers at Davy. "Bye, sweetie!"
Davy waved half-heartedly, and then buried his face in Mike's shoulder. Giggling, the girls walked off.
"Are they gone?" Davy whimpered.
"They're gone," Mike assured him.
Davy looked up. "Are you sure they won't bite?" he asked, in all seriousness.
All three of the adults had to laugh. "Well," Mike said, after a moment, biting back a chuckle. "Pretty sure...."
Davy nodded and squirmed out of Mike's grasp, yawning. "I wanna go home."
Micky nodded, glancing skyward. "It is getting to be that time," he said.
"I'm hungry," Davy whimpered, knuckling his eyes with one hand while his other hand grasped Micky's.
"Me, too!" Micky said. They both turned to cast soulful eyes on Mike.
He sighed. "All right, let's go home then and see what we can scrounge up for dinner!"
"I've got some cut up vegetables in the fridge," Peter said. "I could whip up an omelet."
All eyes were on him. "Peter, you want to cook dinner?" Micky asked. There was a hint of doubt in his voice.
"I can cook if I want to," Peter said. "I promise not to try any cream of whatever soups anymore. After all..." and he grinned, "I've got a little boy to feed now! And one thing is for sure," he added in a whisper for Mike's ears only. "With ten grand showing up every month, we're actually affording groceries for once!"
Mike nodded in agreement. "I know, man..." he said in a soft voice. "It'd be like a dream come true, if it weren't for the circumstances!"
May 1. Davy's 'fourth birthday'.
Davy bounded out of bed, excited. He was so excited that he forgot Mike had installed a rail on his bed to keep him from rolling out, and he banged his knee as he was trying to jump out.
"Ow!" he screeched, grabbing his knee. "Oh, ow ow ow... oh shit, ow!"
Peter opened one eye and after making sure Davy was okay, he said, "Michael?"
Mike, who was not a morning person to say the least, gave a low groan in response. "What d'ya want?" he mumbled.
"Davy said the s-word."
Mike sat up on one elbow, regarding Peter. "The s-word?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Tell him what you said," Peter said.
And Davy repeated the swear word.
Mike's eyes widened in understanding. Now he was awake. "Davy," he said, in a firm tone. "You can't be using words like that! Where'd you hear that kind of language?"
Davy looked innocently at Mike. "From you."
Across the room, Micky gave up and giggled into his pillow.
Mike looked from Davy to Peter, feeling his ears begin to burn. "Oh, uh, well...Davy..." he sputtered, trying to think of a suitable reply.
Davy sat down on his bed, leaning against the railing. "It must be okay, if you say it, Michael. You always tell me to treat others like I wanna be treated, so if you say those words..."
"Kid's gonna be a lawyer," Micky giggled softly.
Mike glared at him. "Micky, you're not helping!" he snapped. Then, he turned back to Davy. "I always say treat others like you want to be treated, yes, but that doesn't mean...I mean you can't just..." he broke off, looking to Peter for help.
He'd been doing that a lot since Davy was turned into a kid, Peter thought to himself. "Look, Davy," Peter said. "Mike has a ... bad habit.... of saying those words. He's trying to break it, he really is... but none of us want you to pick it up, okay?"
Mike breathed a sigh of relief, shooting Peter a look of pure gratitude.
"I'll try," Davy said. "I'm hungry!"
"I'm hungry, too!" Micky piped up from across the room. He got up and crossed the room holding out a hand. "How's about we head down and get breakfast together, kiddo?"
"Okay!" Davy took Micky's hand and they left the room.
Peter sighed, lying back onto his pillows. Though he'd given it to Davy months ago, one arm still automatically crooked as if he were holding his teddy bear.
Mike swung his legs over the edge of his own bed, regarding Peter for a moment. "Hey, Pete?" he said.
"Thanks. I guess...Well, I really don't have a clue how to be a parent! And, I mean, you're really good with Davy...Thanks for bailing me out, that's all. You've been doing that a lot lately."
Peter smiled at him. "You're welcome. We all know it's your first taste at parenting. You never had a chance, being an only child and all... Micky and me, we've both had to take care of younger brothers and sisters. We're used to it."
Mike sighed, nodding. "Yeah. I guess I missed the boat on that one, huh?" He glanced towards Davy's now-empty bed, half expecting the four-year old to ask just what boat he was talking about.
Peter caught the motion and chuckled. "He is literal-minded. Most three --- excuse me, four year olds are."
"Yeah...Speaking of which, I think I'd better go downstairs and check on him. Who knows what sort of concoction he and Micky are having for breakfast!"
Peter pulled a disgusted face, remembering the frosted flakes with cranberry juice he'd discovered the 'mad scientist duo' trying out three days earlier. "You'd better."
Mike was remembering a similar scene, as he hurried down the stairs to the kitchen. "Micky? Davy? I hope you two aren't making a mess in here, 'cause I ain't cleaning up after ya this time!"
He stopped short. Mrs. Purdy and Mr. Babbitt were standing in the living room. Mr. Babbitt was holding Davy while Mrs. Purdy was setting the coffee cake she'd brought over on the table.
Micky grinned up at Mike. "Company," he said belatedly.
Mike glared at him, and then turned to their guests. Oh, Mr. Babbitt...and Mrs. Purdy, what a pleasant surprise." He turned toward the stairs, shouting, "Peter! Company!"
Peter appeared at the top of the stairs, holding his robe shut with one hand and throwing Mike Davy's robe with the other as he moved down and smiled. "Hi, you two," he cried cheerfully. "What are you doing here?"
Mrs. Purdy smiled. "Mr. Babbitt told me today was Davy Jr's fourth birthday, and I just couldn't resist bringing a coffee cake over!"
"Well, wasn't that thoughtful," Mike said, running a hand through his tousled hair. "You'll have to excuse me...I didn't know we had company," he continued, with a pointed glance in Micky's direction.
Micky shrugged. "I didn't know anyone'd be over this early!"
Peter smiled at Babbitt. "You seem to have taken a shine to the 'whippersnapper'," he teased.
Mr. Babbitt blushed slightly. "He's just such a bright boy...kind of reminds me of myself at his age!" he said, his chest puffing up with pride.
Peter whispered as he drew closer, "Does she know who he really is, Mr. B?"
Their landlord shook his head. "Thought we'd keep it just our little secret for now. In the best interest of the boy and all..." he said in an equally hushed tone.
Peter smiled in gratitude. "Thanks, Mr. B."
He nodded, turning back to Davy. "So, four years old today, eh?" he asked, smiling at him.
Davy nodded happily. "And they said they'd take me to the zoo!"
"The zoo?" Mr. Babbitt repeated. "Well, won't that be fun?"
"Yeah! We're gonna see the lions and the snakes and the birds and the lipperbottoms!"
Micky, Peter and Mike burst out laughing at that. "He means Hippopotamuses," Micky said.
"Ahhh," Babbitt said, nodding. "And then you can come home and have some of this delightful coffee cake that Mrs. Purdy made. Do you like cake, Davy?"
Davy frowned. "I... I don't know."
For the first time, the three adult Monkees' eyes met as they realised that Davy's memories hadn't just been changed when he had been turned into a baby, as they had assumed.
They had been erased!
"Blank slate," Micky whispered aloud.
Mike nodded. Quickly recovering, he turned to Mrs. Purdy. "I'm sure Davy will love the cake!" he said, to reassure her.
"Davy..." she said. "Oh how sweet. He was named for his father!" She looked at the boy and cupped his chin in her hand. "Oh, Daddy just spit you out, didn't he? You look exactly like the photos of him at your age!"
Davy frowned. "Which Daddy? I gots three."
Mike said to Mrs. Purdy, "Davy's been with us a long time...He sorta looks at us as father-figures!"
"They adopted him, Purdy," Babbitt explained, handing Davy to Mike.
Mike nodded, taking Davy. "Yep. When he was just a baby..."
"How sweet," Purdy said. She kissed Davy on the cheek. "I must be off! Toodles!" she cried, heading for the door.
"Bye! Thanks for the cake!" Micky called.
Babbitt turned to them then, smiling. "Well, I'd best be off, too. Just wanted to wish the little fellow a happy birthday and all!"
"Thanks," Peter said, grinning amusedly as Davy was furiously scrubbing the kiss off his cheek. "Um... we're paid through July, right?"
Their land-lord nodded, absent-mindedly. "Yes, right, quite so...Don't worry about being a little late on the rent, boys. It's obvious you have your hands full, right now..."
The three adults looked in shock at each other after Babbitt left.
Then they set about attacking the coffee cake. After all, they had a busy day ahead of them...
A birthday trip to the zoo!
Continue on to Part Two