September 8, 1997.
Peter was in the shower when he felt a familiar tingle at the base of his skull. Michael, he thought. At that instant the phone rang.
"Val, would you get that please?" Peter yelled over the shower. He heard nothing but the insistent ringing and realized that his wife of twenty-seven years must have already left.
Sighing, Peter shut off the shower and opened the curtain. Squinting through the fog that had recently come over his vision, he spied the portable phone on the sink. He grabbed the towel Valerie had left for him and wrapped it around himself as his eyes began to glow. The phone rose shakily and floated to his hand. As it got nearer and he could see it more clearly, the floating stabilized.
Peter grabbed the phone and cut off the telekinesis. "Hello?"
"Guess who?" came the chuckle on the other end.
"Hi, pal," Peter said. "Thanks for letting me know it was you before calling. I was..."
"In the shower," Mike finished. "I know."
Peter smiled, crossing the bathroom and retrieving his glasses. "I'll never get used to that. We've been linked what, nearly thirty years? And I'm still not used to that!" He sighed as his vision suddenly cleared once the glasses were on. I'm getting old, he thought.
"You are not getting old!" Mike snapped. "So you're near-sighted. So what? Lots of people get that way as they get older. You'll never get old, Pete."
"Don't do that," Peter said, walking into the bedroom.
"Sorry," Mike said, chuckling. "Force of habit. I keep forgetting it's one-sided, that you can't read my mind."
"Anyhow, why'd you call?" Peter asked.
Suddenly he heard, "I'm home!"
"Hang on a sec, okay?" Covering the mouthpiece, he called, "I'm on the phone, Sweetheart!"
Valerie came in and kissed him briefly. "Who?" she asked, laying down a wrapped box on the bed.
Peter smiled. Even after nearly thirty years of marriage, he was still very much in love with this woman who had only gotten more beautiful as she aged. "Michael."
"Say hello for me."
"Valerie says hello." He chuckled. "He says he knows."
She cocked an eyebrow. "That link drives me nuts."
"You? How do you think I feel about it?" Peter closed his eyes. "Not you!" he said into the phone. "I know you know what I think!"
Valerie chuckled and kissed his cheek. "I'm gonna go start supper. Your outfit for tonight's in the box." She slid a finger over his wet shoulder and kissed between the blades. "See you in a few minutes."
Peter shivered involuntarily as she left. He sighed. "What's up?"
"Change of venue," Mike said. "The concert's at the club, not the gym."
Peter chuckled. They'd gone from arenas in their dimension to clubs and gyms here. They'd never made the same level of success in this dimension, but that was okay by them.
"I'll be there," Peter said. "See you at the Pad."
Three hours later, the Torks' red van pulled up outside 1334 Beechwood. Valerie shut off the van and gently elbowed Peter. "We're here."
Peter opened his eyes and sat up, sliding his glasses back up his nose with a forefinger. "That didn't take long."
"Never does when you fall asleep," she teased.
"Val, we only live ten minutes away!" he chuckled as they slid out and opened the back. Peter grabbed his bass, Valerie brought Davy's spare tambourine that had been left at their house after the last jam session there.
They went inside, where Davy and Mike were setting up for practice. Mike, who had never remarried, still lived at the Pad, as he had since they first arrived in that dimension. Davy, smarting from his recent third divorce, had moved back in.
"Don't you ever lock the front door?" Peter quipped.
Davy was startled. He automatically grew a foot, then shrank back to normal. "Don't do that," he growled. The others laughed.
"Sure I do," Mike answered Peter's question. "But you've still got the key."
"So that's how we got in!" Peter said, slipping into stupid character for a second, trying to get a laugh. He got one.
Suddenly a pounding erupted on the front door. "All right, Nesmith," came a familiar shout, "you're late with the rent! Pay up or out... you... go!"
Mike took a step toward the door, then froze. "Wait a second! That sounds like Babbitt!"
"But," Davy gasped, "Hank and Alice moved away five years ago!"
A female giggle erupted from the other side of the door, followed by a hissed, "Shhh!"
Peter threw back his head and laughed. "That's not Hank -- it's Micky and Mel, horsing around!"
Mike let in Micky and his bride of twenty years. Except for the grey in Mike's beard and Micky's expanding middle, and a few laugh lines here and there, the guys had aged slowly. Their powers seemed to retard the aging process.
Fortunately, time had been kind to Valerie and Melanie, and they also aged rather slowly. Melanie, formerly known as Mirrydor, had sacrificed her powers to save the man she loved some fifteen years earlier. Valerie had also had a brush with powers, after a blood transfusion from Peter had given her temporary telekinesis. Perhaps these brushes with powers had helped them age slower than most. The girls went to the upstairs bedroom to chat while the guys finished setting up and began their practice.
Suddenly, a flash of light appeared in front of the bandstand. The guys blinked as they saw a small female figure sitting on the edge of the bandstand. She had short blonde hair and huge slanted blue eyes. Her ears were larger than human, her nose was smaller. Her ears were also pointed rather sharply. Perhaps the most surprising things about her, however, were the fact that she was only three inches tall and that she had large gossamer wings emerging from her shoulder blades. She wore a green leotard that appeared to be made out of leaves.
"Who in the world," Mike gasped.
The tiny woman smiled and said in a gentle singsong:
"Phyllida is who I be
Faery is what you call such as me
Sing a song this magic night
And Magic will put my land aright!"
She took a small pinch of powder from a bag at her waist and blew it. It settled over the guys, causing them all to cough. Laughing, the tiny faery vanished.
Valerie and Mel came down the spiral stairs as fast as they could. "Mick," Melanie gasped, "what happened?"
"You're not going to believe this," Micky said. They told the girls what had just happened.
"Well," Valerie said, "sing then! Let's see what happens!" Micky counted off, and they began to play "Regional Girl".
The first hint that anything was different happened when Valerie and Melanie's jaws unhinged as they stared at the guys.
Mike noticed it first. His chin felt cold and his neck started itching. Dropping a note, he raised a hand up to scratch it and felt hair on his neck reaching almost to his shoulders! Startled, he brought the hand up to brush his forehead. The act caused a few jet-black strands of long bangs to fall across his eyes. Mike pushed them away, eyes widening. He slid his hand down and felt sideburns, but no beard!
Stunned, Mike whirled. Micky had lurched to his feet, knocking over the bass drum. He stood there, almond eyes wide, as the changes happened in him. First his paunch disappeared. His arms and legs thinned a bit. His face lost the laugh lines and crow's feet, becoming slender and expressive. The last to happen was the hair. It broke the ponytail holder with a loud snap! as it began to lengthen and curl.
The two locked eyes for a second, then Mike thought an attention-getting signal to Peter. Peter's head snapped up from the keyboards. He turned to see Mike --and rose shakily to his feet, blue eyes widening behind the glasses. Those eyes suddenly closed and opened again, confusion rearing within. Peter removed the glasses and was stunned as the world did not get blurry. His eyes were 20/20 again! He stood there, motionless, as he felt the changes. The deep laugh lines vanished, and his face smoothed. His receding hairline came back to the fore, and the bangs flopped straight across his forehead. He still wore his hair long, so he didn't really notice the slight lengthening. But Mike whistled as he saw Peter's hair lighten to blond.
Davy, lost as usual in the music, hadn't yet noticed the others had stopped playing.
"Davy," Peter said sharply.
Davy stopped playing and turned to Peter --and the tambourine hit the floor with a "chink". Davy turned to look at the others, and his jaw dropped. His face also lost its lines, his hair lengthened and lightened. By the time he turned stunned eyes to the girls, he had become twenty again!
The others were also now in their early twenties. Valerie gained her voice. "P-Peter-bear?" she stammered in a whisper.
"Valerie," he whispered back. "What... do I look like?"
"When we married," she said softly. "No... when we met! You look twenty-four again!"
Micky met Melanie's eyes. "Me?" he whispered.
Her lips tried to smile through the shock as she nodded.
A sudden flash at the base of the bandstand, and the faery was there again. "Hello," she said.
"You did this!" Davy said. "Why?"
"I needed you at the height of your powers," she said. "You are the only ones who can save my homeland."
"Weren't you rhyming before?" Peter asked.
Phyllida laughed. "I only do that when I'm casting a spell."
"Why us?" Mike asked. She turned the blue eyes to him, and Mike felt a chill of recognition. He knew her...
"You are the only ones who can help me. You are the only powerful four I trust."
"All right," Peter said, "give us the details."
She sighed and smiled. "I am the queen of Faeryland. My insane brother, Praeton, has launched a bid for the throne. He has injured my son in his attempt and has tried to kill me. I am too weak to fight his magic alone. I need your help."
"It goes deeper than a matter of trust, doesn't it?" Mike said.
She turned the unsettlingly familiar eyes on him. "It does. My son needs his father's help."
"Where is his father?" Micky asked.
Phyllida's wings launched her into the air. She chanted under her breath, and was instantly their size. "His father is here," she said. She met Mike's eyes. "My son is named Christian."
Mike blanched. Peter was instantly at his side and Mike leaned on his shoulder for support. "Oh... my..." Mike stammered. "Ph-Phyllis---?"
"Help me, beloved," she said. "I am only permitted to visit your realm one time as queen. I took my only chance to get you. Please... please come back with me." She reached her hands toward Mike.
Mike stood, and took a step forward, off the bandstand. He took Phyllida's hands and squeezed them. "He is my son, too," he said. "I'll come."
"So will we," Peter said, stepping forward.
"And us," Melanie said.
"No," Phyllida said, turning. "Only the powerful ones may come. That is the law of the magic."
"We'll be fine," Peter said, kissing Valerie. Micky kissed Melanie and stroked her black hair. They then stood beside Mike. "We're ready," Peter said.
Phyllida smiled. She raised her arms.
"Magics of the earth and sky
Magics now hear my cry!
Take myself and this mortal band
Bear us away to Faeryland!"
"I liked the way your watch teleported us better," Davy quipped to Mike as they vanished.
Valerie and Melanie joined hands and prayed for their husbands and friends.
The instant the five arrived in Faeryland, Praeton's forces attacked them. After a swift and savage battle, the five were defeated and captured. The Monkees were locked into iron chains, and Phyllida was imprisoned in a glass dome.
Praeton looked at Davy. "You, size-shifter, are a thorn in my side!" His voice deepened as he intoned:
"Though a giant did I see
Mortal size now art thee
Now be thou inches tall
Hence no threat to me at all!"
Davy was instantly shrunk to two inches tall. Hiding his strength, he pretended to strain at the bonds. Praeton then turned to the others.
"You, telekinetic... You fought the bravest of all. I respect your bravery, so I shall kill you honorably." He raised a hand over Peter's head.
"Tho mortal ere, no more are thee
Honor now will come to thee
Be ye now one of this land
And die here as an honored band."
Phyllida's eyes widened. "No!"
But the transformation had begun. Peter screamed as his ears and eyes grew larger and his nose shrank. The ears came to delicate points and his shirt ripped as two gossamer wings appeared on his shoulders.
Praeton lowered his hand and smiled. "I have yet to come up with fitting punishments for the twain of you, and for you, dear sister. I shall return when I have such as these." Gloating, he left.
The instant the door locked behind him, Phyllida was on her feet, screaming, "Davy! Is your strength also greater when you are small?"
For an answer, Davy snapped the heavy chains like they were spaghetti. He looked up. "Hey... what's wrong with Peter?"
Peter was slumped in the chains. His breathing was becoming labored. His eyes were rolling back in his head.
"He's a fey!" Phyllida screamed. "Davy, get that iron away from him! As far away as you can!"
Mike's eyes widened. "Davy, he's being poisoned! Break his bonds --get him out of those chains, now!"
"Poisoned?" Micky asked as Davy broke Peter's leg chains and began to climb up Peter's leg. "How can you tell?"
"The empathic link," Mike said. "He's in a tremendous amount of pain --and getting weaker by the second!"
"Iron is as deadly to a faery as cyanide is to a human!" Phyllida shouted through the glass.
Davy reached Peter's shoulders. He snapped the iron shackle around Peter's neck, then slid down Peter's left arm and snapped the manacle off his wrist. Having so much of the iron gone made Peter a bit stronger. He managed to shakily raise his head and focus on his right hand. But the glow he tried to muster merely flickered.
Suddenly a bright red light flashed across the room. The manacle was separated from the chain. Peter shakily brought the cuff across his chest, and Davy snapped it off.
Peter leaned against the wall, shaking. He smiled at Mike. "Thanks."
Mike smiled back. "Got so worried about you I forgot about my lasers!"
Peter managed a chuckle. "Thanks, Shorty," he quipped.
Davy showed concern. "How are you, mate?"
Peter smiled. "Getting stronger." He moved away from the wall and moved the new shoulder appendages back and forth, grinning as he felt the pull in the blades. "And I don't need these," he quipped.
The others laughed as Mike freed himself and Micky freed himself.
Phyllida blinked at them. "If you could do that," she yelled, "why didn't you just do it before?"
"And miss him gloating?" Micky cracked. "He has to feel like he's got the upper hand."
"Shield your face, Phyllis," Peter ordered. Phyllida did and Peter nodded at Micky.
"She's in a field, now," Micky said. "Go."
Mike sent a laser toward the glass dome, only to have it bounce away. Peter telekinetically tried to smash it --no luck. Peter then picked diminutive Davy up and telekinetically sent him sailing toward the dome. The teamwork finally cracked it. Phyllida fluttered free. She lay a hand on either side of Peter's face.
"Faery magic, hear my cry
Tell this faery form good-bye
Return him now to mortal form
Return him now to powerful norm!"
The faery features melted away. Peter stood there fully restored, with only two small tears in his shirt and two even smaller white scars on his back to mark the transformation. Phyllida then turned to Davy.
"David of the large and small
David with the strength of all
Return you now to what should be
Grow, David, to five foot three."
The freeze on Davy's powers was gone. He grew to normal size, smiling at her. Then Phyllida turned to Mike. "There is a way to defeat him. It has never been tried before. There is a saying here:
'Two hearts that beat as one
Two hearts' will surely will be done
The Power of one, the Magics of two
And Evil will be beaten by True.'
I have never understood that, but I think now I do."
"I think so too," Mike said. "You and I are the key. If our love has survived thirty years of separation, we should be able to combine our powers and defeat --"
She lay a hand on his lips. "If our love has survived? Michael, you could always see into my soul. Has our love survived?"
Tears sprang to Mike's eyes. He hugged her, careful not to squash her gossamer wings. "Yes," he whispered. He felt her arms enfold him --then her wings. His grip tightened as he felt their soul-bond stir to life -- identical to the one he'd had with 'his' Phyllis. "You... were faithful! All th-this time..."
"As were you, beloved," Phyllida kissed his neck, then broke the embrace. "Come then." She reached a hand over his hair. "Peter, may we borrow aught of yours?"
Peter, suspecting what she had in mind, smiled. "Of course."
Phyllida stretched her other hand over Peter's hair. "Then activate your power --and close your eyes." Peter's eyes glowed blue, then they closed. Mike closed his eyes as well. Phyllida chanted:
"Power of One, Power of Two
You know now what you must do
To defeat the evil one
Power of Two, now Power IN ONE!"
And Mike opened brightly glowing blue eyes. Davy and Micky gasped as they saw the eerie sight. Peter opened chocolate brown eyes and smiled at Mike. "They suit you," he quipped.
"Very funny," Mike said. "You guys stay here. Pete's powerless now, and you need to protect him if there's trouble."
Stunned, Davy and Micky could only nod as Mike rose into the air under his own power. He reached a hand out. Phyllida's wings beat as she went airborne, and she took her husband's hand. The two of them shot out the door, which exploded outward by telekinetic force.
Praeton was planning to himself how Faeryland would be different under his rule. The last thing he was expecting was to hear his name bellowed from above. He looked up. The light-shooter was hovering fifteen feet above him, eyes bearing the distinctive mark of the telekinetic.
"What?" Praeton gasped. "What in this land..."
Phyllida hovered up beside him. "Your rule is over!" she cried. Then she glided behind the mortal. Praeton could just hear the spell she cast.
"Power of One, Magic of Two
Evil's reign is now through!
Our hearts no longer beat as two..." Mike's entire body began to glow...
"Love of my heart, fire NOW! STRIKE TRUE!"
Mike fired twin laser beams at Praeton. However, instead of the beams being the normal bright red, the lights were the shades of the rainbow.
Startled, Praeton did not get out of the way fast enough. The second the beams stuck him, Phyllida chanted:
"Power of Magic and Light combine!
Turn ye back the hands of time!
This fiend will start his life anew
To follow a Road both just and true!"
Then, to Mike, "Enough! It is done!"
Mike dropped his hands, and the beams died. The pair touched down where Praeton had been standing.
Mike cut off the borrowed power, and dark blue eyes sparkled in the sunlight. Chuckling, Phyllida produced a mirror.
Mike looked at his reflection and chuckled. "That is eerie," he laughed. "Thank goodness it's only temporary." The two of them looked down at the new baby Praeton and Mike picked up the protesting reborn faery. "You think you can raise him right?"
Phyllida took the baby. "This time he will be raised well. I did my best with Christian. I shall also do my best with Praeton."
Mike looked at her, and the blueness of his eyes emphasized his sadness. "You said you can not return to Earth. Can I live here?"
She shook her head. "The air is toxic to mortals. Over three days at a time, and you would die." She smiled. "However, there is a way you can be a part of my life again."
When Mike and Phyllida rejoined the others, Mike was wearing a new black opal ring on his right hand.
"What's that?" Peter asked.
"A gateway," Mike said. "To here. I can return any time I want, right?"
Phyllida nodded. "But never over two days at a time, and one month between visits. That's how long it will take the toxins to burn out of your system."
"But," Micky said, "I thought contact was forbidden!"
"I am queen," Phyllida said. "And a queen needs a king." She smiled at Mike. "But my king just happens to live on Earth."
"And I will be back," Mike said. "I will not lose you again."
"I know." She kissed him deeply, then studied his face before she let him go. "One other thing," she said.
"Power of Two, resting in One
Time to return to where you've begun." Mike and Peter closed their eyes.
"The time is past; the task is done
Power of Two, now One to One."
Mike opened his brown eyes, Peter his blue. A quick glance at each other to make sure the colours were where they belonged, then both smiled. Peter tested his telekinesis, and his smile was wobbly as he touched down.
"What is it?" Davy asked.
"Just thinking how strange it looked, seeing Mike use my power," Peter said. "And how glad I am that it's back where it belongs."
Phyllida looked at them. "It's time," she said. "But I'll send you one by one. There's one final thing that must be done."
Valerie and Melanie both jerked their heads as a glowing light appeared on the bandstand and Davy stepped out.
"Where..." Melanie gasped.
Davy held up a hand. "They're coming. Phyllida had something for Peter and Micky. You see..." and he smiled shakily. "We're stuck like this. We have to grow older the normal way. Her spell was a one-way street."
Valerie and Melanie looked at each other. They now looked twenty-five years older than their husbands. Would it make a difference?
Peter stepped out of the light. He raced over and embraced Valerie, then kissed her. Valerie broke the embrace. "Peter," she said softly, "we need to talk..."
"No we don't," Peter said. He held up a forefinger than he had held stiffly since he arrived. Something glistened on it. Peter rubbed the finger along his lips, then lightly kissed Valerie again. Stepping back, he smiled. Melanie gasped in delight. Valerie opened her eyes and looked from one smiling face to another.
"What is it?" she asked. Peter took her by the hand and led her to the mirror. Valerie gasped as a twenty-four year old woman looked from the mirror.
Micky arrived, and kissed Melanie. As he pulled away, Melanie instantly lost twenty-five years from her age, appearing once again as twenty.
Finally, Mike stepped from the light. He was smiling.
"What did she say?" Peter asked.
Mike looked at him. "She said she'd see me next month." The smile grew broader. "I found her, Peter... the other half of me...." Tears swam briefly in his eyes. "I'm... whole! After thirty years, I'm finally whole!"
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