Once the momentary shock wore off, Mike reacted swiftly. He whipped off his black vest and white button-down shirt. Replacing the vest, he began to rip the shirt into strips and push them into the wound. He glared up at his partners.
They responded with the speed of thought. Micky and Peter shot out of the open front windows, and Davy ran out the door.
Kate was trembling, in intense pain. But her eyes widened in shock. "Mickey..." she gasped, "they... can...?"
Despite his worry, Mike smiled. "Yeah, Aunt Kate. Mick and Pete can fly." He
stretched an arm across the room, pulling the phone across to him and dialing the
ambulance number stuck on it.
"There he is!" Peter yelled, pointing at the fleeing man, who was still clutching the shotgun.
"This worked on you, Pete," Micky said, eyes widening. "Albeit accidentally..."
The man suddenly tripped and fell over nothingness, shotgun flying.
"Gotcha!" Six-foot-tall Davy landed a hand on the man's shoulder and pulled him to his feet. Suddenly Davy grunted as the shooter struck him in the solar plexus, stunning the taller man long enough for him to break away and run.
The gunman suddenly cried out as Peter flashed down right in front of him. Recoiling from the intensely glowing eyes, the shooter changed direction and ran again...
Only to have Micky appear suddenly before him.
Panicked now, the shooter whirled in another direction-- there was Davy. He spun-- there was Peter. He went in still another direction-- and there was Micky.
The three closed in as the man began to flail. Davy held him from behind as Micky enclosed his wrists and ankles in invisible shackles. Davy released him, and Peter telekinetically pulled him back to the house.
Mike met them at the door, dark eyes smoldering with barely-contained fury. "This him?"
"Yep," Micky said.
The last thing the gunman felt for quite some time was Mike's fist smashing into his stomach, then the back of his neck.
"Feel better?" Peter asked.
"No," Mike said, flexing his aching hand. "Not till I know she's all right."
"Mickey..." came from inside. Mike turned and went in, the three others behind him. "We got him, Aunt Kate. The ambulance and police will be here soon."
"Mickey... if I don't... make it..."
All anger instantly evaporated from Mike. He knelt beside her and sat her up, holding her. "Hush, Aunt Kate. Don't talk like that. You'll be fine."
"Mickey... oil... under the ranch... Bart wants it..." She convulsed, and Mike gripped her tightly. Swallowing hard, she smiled up at him and shakily touched his cheek. "Save... our home... Mickey... I know... you can... Sit... Sit me ... up..."
Mike obeyed, and she kissed him lightly on the cheek. "I... love you... Mickey..." She sighed and sagged against his shoulder.
Mike's eyes widened, filling with terror. "Aunt... Aunt Kate?" He settled her down and her head fell back. Mike's voice rose, almost child-like. "Aunt Kate? Aunt Katie, come on! P-Please, Aunt Katie... you're all the family I gotT..." Peter fell to his knees on the other side of Kate. Mike looked at him, eyes huge with terror, grief and agony. "She's all I got..."
Peter lay a hand on the carotid artery in Kate's neck, as Mike had taught him how to do long ago. He was not surprised Mike hadn't done this, nor that Mike had forgotten that she was not his only family -- he had Phyllis and Christian back in LA. Peter understood that grief makes you forget things. "Lay her flat," he said. "I wanna try something."
Peter opened Kate's shirt slightly, exposing just a little of her chest. He looked at Mike, noticing the slight flutter of his bare chest where his heart beat. Peter looked at the exact same spot on Kate and concentrated. His eyes began to glow. His brow furrowed in deep concentration, and sweat popped out on his forehead.
After a few moments Kate's chest fluttered just like Mike's. Slowly, color returned to her cheeks and she took a breath. Mike let out a whoop of joy and reached for his aunt.
"Don't... touch her!" Peter gasped. "Where... is that... ambulance?"
"It's here!" Micky yelled from the window. "And so are the cops!"
"I can't.... do it..." Peter gasped. "Can't... see the heart... Michael... sorry..." His eyes stopped glowing as he slumped in exhaustion. "Too hard... N-Need to see... what I'm moving..."
But his telekinetic CPR had done the trick. Kate was breathing on her own, though still unconscious. Mike gathered her into his arms, sighing in relief. "Oh, man... thanks, Pete." He closed his eyes tight as he held her gently.
Mike rode with Kate to the hospital. Davy and Micky stayed behind to talk to the
police, carefully omitting any reference to their powers. Peter slept, exhausted.
After a few hours, the three drove to the hospital. Mike was sitting in the waiting room, an unreadable expression on his face.
"Michael..." Peter began.
Mike looked up at him. "She..." he said, voice thick with unshed tears. "She had a weak heart... She was almost seventy-five..." He lay his head in his hands and his shoulders shuddered.
Peter and Micky sat on either side of Mike, each with a hand on his shoulder. Davy sat in front of him, and lay a hand on his arm. Then all three locked eyes-- Mike's grief was so great he was actually welcoming the physical contact.
"What am I gonna do?" Mike said through his hands. "I'm all alone now."
Peter's voice was soft. "You'll never be alone, Michael. You've got us."
"We're family, too," Davy said.
Mike dropped his hands. "We’re family?"
"Mike," Micky said, "you're the big brother who's always been there for us. Don't shut us out now-- let us be there for you."
Mike stood up. "Then help me save my home-- for her sake."
The others stood too. "We're with you, Mike," Davy said.
When Bart's Cadillac pulled up to the ranch, he found four grieving young men. "Well, well," he said, oozing out of the car. "What do we have here?"
Mike stepped forward, thumbs hooked in the pockets of his jeans. "I'm Mike Nesmith," he said. "And you are on my property."
"Nesmith, huh? I thought Kate was the last."
"No," Mike said. "And you will never take our land."
"We'll see about that," Bart said. "Who are these?"
Mike shot a sidelong glance at the others, who were coming down to stand beside him. "These are..." he began. Then a smile touched his lips and he said in a stronger voice, "This is my family."
At that, three pairs of shoulders straightened.
Bart took a step forward. "You think you can stop me?"
Mike took a step forward as well. "Yes."
Bart smiled coldly. "So did Katie-girl. And look what happened to her."
"Is that a threat?" Mike asked.
"You'd better believe it." Bart touched two fingers to the brim of his hat, and turned away.
"May I?" Micky asked. Mike nodded. Micky got a half-smile on his face and looked at Bart, almond eyes widening. Bart suddenly tripped over nothing and fell face-down in the dirt. He picked himself up and shot a glare over his shoulder as he made it to the Cadillac.
As the car quickly pulled away, Peter's eyes glowed. The tires on the right side both exploded, sending the car careening in circles. Then both left tires blew, bringing the Caddy to a screeching halt.
"Of all the freak accidents," Bart gasped, climbing out of the car.
"Yeah," Mike said. "Like the ones that killed Jackson and Aunt Kate."
Bart's cold smile returned. "You'll never prove a thing, Nesmith."
"Maybe not," Mike replied. "But you are going to go to the police and confess."
Bart laughed. "Yeah? And just what am I gonna confess to?"
"Oh, I don't know," Mike said sarcastically. "Murder, for starters? At least two counts, and goodness knows how many more! Land rustling, attempted land rustling, terroristic threatening..."
"And how do you expect you're gonna make me confess?" Bart asked, smirking.
Mike's dark eyes narrowed, and a humorless smile curved his lips. "I was hoping you'd ask that." He took a step back and cried, "Let's go, Monkees!"
Following the plan they had worked out the night before, Peter and Micky shot into the air. Each one grabbed one of Bart's arms and lifted him higher and higher into the air. Bart squirmed in shock and fright.
"Ick," Peter said, looking at Bart's holster. "We can't have that." Shifting position, Peter held out a hand. The pistol Bart wore flew from the holster to Peter's hand. Peter pointed it to an empty patch of dirt below and fired it till the hammer clicked. He also froze the fired bullets and guided the six-bullet stack to his palm.
Peter then passed the gun to fifteen-foot-tall Davy, who ground it to powder between a thumb and forefinger. "You want me to take care of the bullets, too?"
Peter regarded the spent shells and smiled. "No, I think I'll slice these into beads when we get home." He slid the shells into his pocket, and re-gripped Bart's arm.
Bart suddenly regained his voice. "Hey!" he yelled. "What in the world is goin on? How are you doin that?"
Peter grinned at Micky. "Shall we show him, Mister Dolenz?"
Micky looked into the glowing blue eyes and suddenly grinned back. "Yes let’s, Mister Tork!"
Bart found himself flying head-over-heels through the air.
"Hey!" Davy yelled. He shot up to his upper limit of twenty feet and caught the tumbling gangster by the ankles. Holding Bart upside down, he glared at the two fliers. "Next time, a little warning, huh?"
Peter and Micky laughed.
Bart looked down-- "up" to him, hanging suspended by his feet. The ground was awfully far away. "Help?" he squeaked.
Mike stood directly in front of Davy. He stretched his legs till he could look eye-to-eye with the dangling gangster. He smiled slightly, cocking an eyebrow. "Well?"
To his surprise, Bart laughed. "This... This is some kind of trick! You're... you're doin this with mirrors... wires... something!"
Mike shrugged. "Okay, if that's how it's gonna be..." He raised his eyes to meet Davy's eight-inch-tall ones. "Drop him."
"What--?" Davy gasped. This wasn't in the plan!
"M-Michael?" Peter gasped. Micky just stared at him, mouth hanging open.
"N-Now just a minute!" Bart stuttered.
"You heard me," Mike said. His face and eyes were utterly unreadable, totally shut down. "Drop him."
"Davy, don't!" Peter yelled.
"Y-Yeah," Bart stammered. "Davy, don't!"
Peter glided up beside Mike. "He can't drop him, Michael! It would be murder!"
"And what he did to Aunt Kate wasn't?" Mike snapped, eyes still locked with Davy's. "Davy, I said drop him!"
"Mike," Davy said softly, so he wouldn't blow Mike's ears out, "I... I can't!"
Mike wound an arm around Bart's waist. "Then I'll do it myself! Let go!"
Davy tightened his grip slightly. "No."
Bart yelled, "You're breaking my ankles!" Mike tugged slightly, producing a yell from Bart. "All right!" he screamed. "All right, I'll talk!"
Micky made the tape recorder he was holding visible, and Peter telekinetically turned it on. "I killed her!" Bart yelled. "I had your foreman and aunt killed!"
"Why?" Mike demanded.
"To get your ranch! To get the oil deposits! Please... let me go... killing my legs..."
"Who else have you done this to?" Mike demanded, still not letting up the pressure around Bart's waist and legs.
Bart recited the names of seven ranchers, finishing with, "and the Rocking J was next!"
"The Parker ranch," Mike said, "Diana's place." He wound his arm tighter around Bart's waist and said in a calm voice, "All right, Davy. You can let go now."
Davy looked at Mike for a second, then released Bart's ankles. Micky snapped off the tape recorder. Mike, with a little telekinetic help from Peter, turned Bart right side up and set him not-so-gently on the ground.
Bart got a stunned look on his face. "It... was all an act?" he gasped. "T-To get me to confess...?"
Mike looked up to where Micky was flying off in the direction of town with Bart's taped confession. "You'll never know," he said grimly. "Now the question is," he said to the others, "how do we keep him here till the police arrive?"
Davy shrank to ten feet. "Let me," he said. He took a metal beam from a stack in the yard and wrapped it around Bart as Mike retracted his arm. Davy then lifted the gangster and hooked him by his new metal bonds to a vertical beam standing in the yard. He then stepped back and dusted off his hands, shrinking to normal height. "There. Hey, Mike... how come you've got all these beams just lying around, anyhow?"
Mike was glaring at Bart, who returned it look for look. "Aunt Kate told me six months ago she was gatherin’ girders to build a new fence."
"You four think you've won!" Bart snarled. "If that confession comes out, I'll tell the world about your powers!"
Mike's eyes narrowed and his lips curved in a cold smile. "Just try it," he said, his voice low and intense.
Bart's eyes widened and his jaw dropped. For the first time in his life, he knew he had been beaten.
The three walked into the house. "I've really got to hand it to you, Michael," Peter said, smiling, "We really thought you meant it when you told Davy to drop him!"
Mike turned to face him and Peter's eyes widened as he read the emotion in the chocolate brown eyes. "Michael... you were only acting, weren't you?"
Mike did not answer. He merely walked into Kate's bedroom and closed the door.
Davy moved to stand beside Peter. "Peter... he was just puttin' him on, wasn't he?"
"I'm... not sure," Peter said. "Man, if I could only crawl inside his head..."
The last duffle bag was heaved into the back of the pickup truck. Davy and Micky clambered into the back. "Hey," Micky said, picking up a newspaper, "listen to this, Davy. 'Bartholomew Richardson pled not guilty today at his arraignment to charges of murder and land rustling. The police anonymously received an alleged taped confession by Richardson late last night, who later claimed the confession was coerced out of him by four men with super human powers. Mister Richardson has been remanded to the custody of the state for psychiatric observation.'" Micky threw the paper back onto the truck bed and he and Davy burst into laughter.
"What's so funny?" Peter asked as he, Mike and Diana Parker walked out of the ranch house.
"Tell ya later, Pete," Micky gasped, wiping tears. Peter cocked an eyebrow, shook his head, and climbed into the driver's seat.
Mike turned to Diana. "Thanks for everything."
"No problem, Mickey," Diana said. "You sure you can't stay longer?"
"No. After the funeral, we've gotta head on back to California." He smiled slightly. "I have a wife and a job waitin' for me there."
"Well," Diana said. "Don't you worry about the Lazy N. The Parker clan will look after the place for as long as you need us to."
Mike hugged her. "Thanks, kid. That means a lot to me."
She pulled away. "Mickey... I'm really sorry."
"I know." He ran a finger under the collar of the black suit he wore. "I hate these things." He looked over at the three black-clad figures waiting patiently in the truck. "At least I don't have to go through this alone."
As he moved to the truck, Diana called, "You got three good friends there, Mickey."
Mike smiled at her. "They're more than friends, kiddo. These guys are my family." He slid up beside Peter and closed the door.
Peter started the
truck, and the Monkees drove away from the Lazy N.
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