Micky walked out of the Pad and down to the beach. He’d been learning some things about his auras that he wasn’t ready to show the guys yet.
For one thing, he didn’t want to scare them.
He’d discovered something the day before that delighted him like nothing else. He wanted to keep it to himself just a bit longer.
So he’d slid out of the house around midnight and crept to the beach. Facing the waves, he closed his eyes and threw a mental switch.
Black-dotted light flared around his body, leaving his hair streaked with red, yellow and blue and his body surrounded by a soft white glow. With a smile to rival the sunshine, he spread his arms and let his hidden ability come to the forefront.
Micky rose into the air and began to fly over the ocean.
He did all sorts of aerial tricks… dives, loop the loop… if a bird or a plane could do it, so could Micky Dolenz.
After he had finished, he landed gently on the beach, retracting his halo and heading back to the beach house.
“Did you hear about that UFO over the ocean last night?” Peter asked Micky at breakfast.
Micky paused, his forkful of eggs halfway to his mouth. “No. What happened?”
Peter shook his head. “They don’t know. All they know is that they saw a weird light over the water late last night… but it didn’t move like an airplane. At least, that’s what people are saying.”
“Man, what UFO would wanna come around in the middle of the night?” Mike asked.
Peter shrugged. “I don’t know.”
Suddenly, there was a scratching at the door. Micky looked up to see a German shepherd puppy sitting forlornly by the front door.
“Aww,” Peter said. “Mike…”
Mike nodded. “Yeah, why don’t you talk to him, Peter?”
Peter gave Mike a small smile. “I forget that you know what I’m going to say before I say it.”
Mike shrugged. “Comes with the territory. Go ahead.”
Peter approached the puppy. “Hi there, boy…what’s the matter?”
The puppy didn’t make a sound; he simply looked at Peter.
“What’d he say?” Micky asked.
Peter shrugged. “I don’t know. He won’t talk to me.”
“Maybe he needs some space,” Mike suggested. “Some food.”
“Hey, yeah!” Micky said, grabbing some bacon from the plate in the centre of the table and dangling it for the puppy to eat. The puppy came dutifully over and munched the bacon.
“I wish I knew why he won’t talk to me,” Peter said worriedly.
“Hey, anybody seen Davy this morning?” Mike asked.
“I think he’s still asleep,” Micky said.
Suddenly, the dog’s body shifted…stretched…and there was Davy, sitting on the floor. “No, he’s not,” Davy said blithely. “He’s right here!”
Mike choked on his drink.
Micky grinned. “Thought you could only become people!”
Davy grinned back. “Nope. Long as it’s male, I can become it.”
Peter laughed. “No wonder you wouldn’t talk to me!”
Davy shrugged. “Sorry, mate…would’ve given up the trick.”
“That’s okay… it was a good one,” Micky said. “Man…it looks like you’re discovering new things about your power.”
Davy nodded. “Yeah…and to think, I was a mere mortal last week.” He smiled self-deprecatingly.
“Oh…Micky,” Peter said. “That reminds me…be careful where you step when you get up in the morning. There’s a spider who lives by the foot of your bed, and your feet make her nervous.”
Micky gave Peter a dubious look. “You can talk to insects?”
Peter nodded. “Yes…the ants aren’t as interesting as the spiders. They’re nice, but they’re pretty single-minded. And the mice have some stories to tell…they’re a lot smarter than anyone gives them credit for.”
Mike was playing with his napkin. Picking up on his mood, Peter turned. “Michael?”
“Babbitt came by this morning,” he said softly.
“How’s our crusty old landlord?” Davy grinned.
Mike looked up. “He’s so sad, Davy… he’s in such emotional pain I nearly passed out looking at him.”
“What’s the matter with him?” Peter asked.
Mike shook his head. “I don’t know…the feeling was so strong I didn’t have the chance to read the whys and wherefores before he left.”
“Never mind the furthermore; the plea is self-defense?” Micky asked mischievously.
“Something like that, yeah,” Mike said with a wry smile. “I think we ought’a do something to cheer him up.”
“But how do we do that?” Peter asked.
Mike shook his head. “That I don’t know.”
“I think you should find out why he’s so sad,” Micky said. “Then we can go from there.”
“But the feeling was so strong…” Mike said.
Auburn’s head crept into his lap. Mike looked down at the little unicorn, startled by the action.
Peter grinned. “He’s right. Auburn can help you take the brunt of the feelings and let you find out the wheretofores.”
“So what do you suggest we do?” Mike asked wryly. “Sneak close enough to Mister Babbitt’s house so that I can pick up his feelings?”
The Monkees and Auburn crouched by the side of Babbitt’s house, trying to remain discrete.
“I can’t believe I let you guys talk me into this,” Mike groused.
“Hey, it was your idea,” Davy grinned.
Micky glowed light blue and cast an illusion of them crouching beside a tree across the street.
“Here he comes,” Peter whispered.
As Mister Babbitt passed, Auburn touched Mike gently. Slowly, Mike’s eyes widened.
“Oh,” Mike said softly, “so that’s it.”
“What’s it?” Davy whispered.
“Mister Babbitt…he…he got in an argument with his wife over….something silly….” Mike wrinkled his forehead. “I can’t make it out. Anyway….they’re at odds, and …she’s moving out and she says she wants a divorce.”
“Does she really?” Peter asked.
“Don’t know,” Mike said. “I’d have to see Mrs. Babbitt to know that.”
“I’ve never seen Mrs. Babbitt, have you?” Davy asked. When the others shook their heads, he sighed. “So how do we get in there to talk to her?”
“In a sneaky and underhanded way!” Micky said.
“What would that be?” Mike asked.
“Hey, I didn’t say I had one. I just said we needed a sneaky and underhanded way,” Micky said.
“Well, if it were me, I’d turn into a cat or something and just go in,” Davy said.
“Yeah, but Mike’s the one who needs to be close to Mrs. Babbitt,” Peter said.
“So…I project us outside, doing something across the street,” Micky said. “Davy lets us in by pretending to be some kind of stray animal…like he did this morning.”
“I was a perfectly respectable dog,” Davy retorted.
“Anyway, even if she doesn’t let us in, that should still give you enough time to read her emotional state,” Peter said.
“Let’s do that,” Mike said.
Awhile later, they were supporting a visibly shaken Mike as they walked back into the Pad. Davy came running in five minutes after that. “What did he find?”
“She’s suicidal…” Mike whispered.
“What? Why?” Davy asked.
Mike shook his head. “She thinks…she thinks Mister Babbitt don’t love her anymore…”
(Don’t,) Davy told himself as he felt his mouth open to deliver a cheap shot. (This must’ve been a really hard one for Mike.)
“We have to fix it somehow,” Micky said. “Maybe if we can convince her that he does love her….that he thinks she’s the one who doesn’t love him….”
Mike nodded, swallowing hard. “I think that’ll work…yeah….”
“Michael,” Peter asked gently.
Mike shook his head. “Peter…I hope you never have to feel anything like that. She was torn up inside.”
“It’s okay. Don’t listen to her right now. Listen to me,” Peter said, resting a tentative hand on Mike’s shoulder.
Mike smiled wanly. “Thanks, man….”
Auburn lay his head in Mike’s lap and Mike found himself running gentle fingers along the tiny horn between the foal’s eyes. “Your feelings…all of them….I’ve never felt so much love….”
They looked at each other, and smiled.
“I never had any brothers or sisters,” Mike went on. “….so this is…warm. I’ve never been a brother before…an’ now I got three….”
“Come on, Mike.” Micky used a dark blue beam to pull Mike to him. He supported the Texan up the stairs. “You’re worn out.”
“Love you guys,” Mike mumbled before falling asleep as Micky towed him up the stairs.
Peter chuckled softly. “He really was worn out.”
“Yeah, he was,” Davy said. “We’d better not tell him what he said tomorrow.”
Peter nodded. “You’re right. It might embarrass him … unless he remembers saying it. I think he meant it, though.”
“Of course he did. I’m just so lovable,” Micky said with a smirk.
“Mike did mean all of us, you know,” Davy said, laughing nonetheless.
Mike was laughing as he slid down the banister the next morning.
“Whoa!” Davy gasped. “What in the world….”
“Now I see why Micky likes that so much!” he laughed. “That was fun!”
“Mike?” Davy asked.
“Don’t worry, I’m not freaking out,” Mike grinned. “I’ve just been wrapped in Micky’s ‘aura’ all night and I’ve got some residuals. Did you know all that energy’s for real?”
“What do you mean?” Davy asked.
Mike opened his mouth to reply, but then he grinned again, shaking his head and making a ‘forget about it’ gesture. “I’ll explain it to you over breakfast, man…I’m starved!”
“You’re…starved. Sure,” Davy said, feeling as if he were in the middle of a Twilight Zone episode.
“Would you relax?” Mike chuckled as he poured a monster-sized bowl of cereal. “I promise you, I’m fine.”
Davy eyed the cereal bowl dubiously. “Okay…”
“Good morning, Mike!” Peter said as he came into the kitchen. He then blinked at the bowl of cereal. “Wow…you must be hungry.”
“Yeah,” Mike said.
“What did you mean about the energy?” Davy asked. “Is it something about the powers?”
“Huh?” Mike asked. “Oh, no…it’s just that Micky’s always bouncing off the walls, and I could never tell whether that was cause he was pretending to be energetic or because he really was…but he really was, man, because I feel like I could swim across the English Channel or something.”
“You feel…” Peter smiled. “You’ve been basking in his energy again, haven’t you?”
Mike paused between bites. “Is it that obvious?”
“When you’re talking a million miles a minute, yeah, it’s pretty obvious,” Peter said.
Micky dragged himself into the kitchen, plopping into a chair. Davy could see the dark shadows beneath his eyes. “Morning,” Micky said hoarsely.
“Micky, you look awful! Are you okay?” Davy asked.
“Yeah…just…beat,” Micky said, suppressing a yawn and rubbing his gritty, bloodshot eyes.
“I did this,” Mike gasped, horrified. “I thought I was just borrowing your energy…but I was taking it…I’m sorry, man.”
Micky, however, had already fallen asleep at the table.
Mike suddenly got up and stood behind Micky, cradling his head in his hands. He closed his eyes and concentrated fiercely.
“What are you doing?” Davy whispered.
“Trying to give it back…” Mike whispered back. “But it’s not working…”
“Mike, be careful, you’re projecting again,” Peter said.
Mike looked down. “What do you…?” He trailed off once he saw that Micky was mouthing Mike’s words in his sleep, letting go of Micky and backing away.
“It’s okay, man. Micky’s resilient,” Davy said.
“Yeah, but right now, he’s not, and I am, and…” Mike’s frustration combined with Micky’s hyperactivity made Mike look as if he were about to implode.
Peter placed a gentle hand on Mike’s shoulder. “Mike. Take a deep breath. Relax.”
Suddenly, Micky opened his eyes.
“Micky?” Davy asked in a whisper.
He nodded and sat u, rubbing his eyes. “I feel like I’ve gone five rounds with Cassius Clay,” he groaned. “What’s…?”
“He’s okay!” Mike laughed, breaking from Peter and hugging Micky, practically vibrating with joy.
Micky looked baffled, even as he petted Mike’s arm. “I’m okay…what’s this all about? Why are you so bouncy?”
“He’s operating at your energy levels,” Davy said.
“And I guess you’re operating at his,” Peter finished.
Micky looked at Mike. “Wow…how long do you think this’ll last?”
“Who knows?” Mike said, shrugging. “I don’t.” He was unable to keep still, tapping out a beat on the edge of the table as he spoke.
Micky looked at Mike dubiously, then at Davy and Peter. “And I’m always that hyper?”
“Usually,” Peter said.
“Huh. Right now, all I feel like is sitting still…and maybe going back to sleep.”
“Right, well, I gotta go bang on the drums or I think I’ll explode,” Mike said, getting up and taking his cereal bowl to the sink.
He was halfway out of the kitchen before he froze and turned to face the others. “I don’t…play…the drums…”
Micky smiled up at him. “It’s a kinesthetic experience. More feeling than playing. Right now, you need an outlet and the drums will give it to you. Go ahead – sticks are under the stool.”
Mike nodded and all but raced to the bandstand. The rhythms that poured from it a few minutes later were disjointed at first, but soon merged into a beautiful cohesion.
Micky smiled at the others. “He’ll be okay. This’ll calm him down like nothing else will. Trust me. He took a sip of coffee and made a face. “Cold.”
Davy chuckled. “I never thought there’d come a day when I’d see a calm Micky.”
Micky shrugged immodestly. “Well, what can I say? I’m a very deep person.”
Peter chuckled. “Oh, Davy… if you don’t have a good comeback for that, I’ve got one…”
“Go ahead,” Davy said. “I’m all ears.”
“I’ve known puddles that were deeper than you,” Peter said, looking at Davy for reassurance that his joke was good.
“Very nicely done, that was,” Davy said, nodding intently.
Micky chuckled. “Yep.”
“Hey, Mick, thanks,” Mike called from the other room. “No wonder you like drumming so much.”
Micky smiled wryly. “Yeah, it’s a pretty good use of my energy, I’d say. Or yours; whatever.”
“I just hope this wears off,” Mike said, already bouncing slightly again. “Being hyperactive is giving me a headache!”
Micky, Peter, and Davy couldn’t help laughing at that.
“Anyway, we can’t just sit here,” Mike said. “We have to help Mrs. Babbitt somehow before she does something really awful.”
“If it involves powers, I’m out,” Micky said. “I’m gonna need awhile.”
Mike looked extremely guilty. “I’m sorry.”
Micky laughed. “Don’t be Right now, you need it more than I do.”
Davy spoke thoughtfully. “Well… I think I could impersonate Mr. Babbitt if I knew a little more about him.”
“I can take care of that,” Peter said. “I’ll talk to some of the animals around the house….Animals are very observant, you know.”
“No, I didn’t, but I’ll take your word for it,” Micky said. Then he raised a hand to his head. “Ooh…Mike, I think your headache is catching.”
“Maybe you better go lie down,’ Davy said. “It is early for you both.”
“He’s right,” Mike said, bouncing up from the stool. “Come on, let’s get some more sleep.”
Micky nodded and drug himself up the stairs. Mike took them two at a time as they vanished into the bedroom.
“Now that was just strange to see,” Peter grinned.
“I know,” Davy said with a sigh.
“Feeling better?” Peter asked as Micky came down the stairs.
“Yeah, but Mike’s still hyper, not me,” Micky responded. “At least I don’t feel half-dead anymore.”
“That’s good,” Davy said.
“Yeah, I know how worried you are,” Micky said without thinking. “But it’s okay.”
“Wait a minute,” Peter said. “How did you know?”
Micky thought for a minute. “Oh…no….”
“What?” Davy asked suspiciously.
“Nothing to worry about,” Micky said, shaking his head. “But…I think…there’s been a total transfer of energy here.”
“What does that mean?” Peter asked, although he had the feeling he already knew.
“It means not only does he have my energy…he has my power…and I have his,” Micky answered.
As if on cue, there was a terrified scream from upstairs. Peter ran up the stairs to see Mike standing in the middle of the bedroom, staring at his glowing body, trembling with pure fear.
The brown eyes that raised to Peter’s were huge with fright, and the action revealed the tri-coloured streaks on the left side of Mike’s head. “Peter…” he trembled. “What…what….”
Without a word, Peter enveloped him in a hug, trying to comfort him.
“What’s …happening to me?” Mike asked, still sounding frightened.
Peter explained as quickly as he could.
Mike took several deep breaths. “Okay…if that’s all it is…I gotta get it together…” Mike shook his head. “Micky’s energy is fine when you’re feeling good, but when you’re scared, it just makes you feel twice as scared!”
Peter made a sympathetic face. “That must be hard.”
“Hard? Yeah, I’d say,” Mike said. Without any further ado, he shut off the aura. “Anyway, what am I standing here squirming about? We gotta help the Babbitts…”
As they headed down the stairs, Peter reached out and swatted Mike on the back of the head!
“Hey!” Mike gasped, whirling around. “What was that for?”
“Next time, you won’t bask in someone’s aura so hard!” Peter grinned.
“I can’t help it with Micky,” Mike grinned back. “He’s got so much energy it’s like… like getting a drug high!”
Peter gave Mike a look. “You haven’t been doing that lately, have you?”
“No,” Mike said, shaking his head. “Not since the unicorn thing…”
“That’s good,” Peter said, “because… think about it, Mike. We don’t know what drugs might do to your powers… or Micky’s… or any of ours. And if you couldn’t control them, that could be a serious problem.”
“I know, I know,” Mike said impatiently. “You don’t have to read me the riot act, Peter. I get it.”
“So? Gonna go talk to the animals?” Micky asked Peter once he was downstairs.
Peter nodded. “I think that’d be a good place to start. Then you can do your part, Davy.”
“Smashing,” Davy said, nodding succinctly.
A snake slid into the Pad twenty minutes later. Mike smiled at it. “Hey there, Jade,” he said, recognising the lady python they’d helped when Peter’s powers had first manifested themselves. “Here to help us out?”
“What’ve we got?” Micky asked, sitting down and tapping absent-mindedly on the stool in front of him.
Peter listened carefully. “Mr. Babbitt…oh. He went to a bachelor party for one of his tenants... I guess he wound up drunk, and…flirted with one of the female bartenders. She drove him home. That’s what started the argument. Mrs. Babbitt got so hurt she pretended she didn’t love him anymore, but the truth is, she thinks he doesn’t love her.”
“Oh, so that’s it,” Micky said.
Peter smiled. “And…Mr. Babbitt always calls Mrs. Babbitt his little petunia.”
Davy stifled his laughter. “I’m going to laugh aloud if I have to say that.”
“No you won’t,” Mike said.
“Why not?” Davy asked.
“Cause I’ll knock you down,” Mike said promptly.
Peter laughed. “Anyway…ready for your mission, Davy?”
“Never.” Davy grinned and changed into a duplicate of Babbitt. “Ooh man, I can feel my arteries hardening already….”
They all laughed, and Davy went on his mission.
Mrs. Babbitt switched off the radio. It was playing some Lesley Gore song, something sad that she didn’t want to listen to. She was already sad enough without the radio.
(I can’t live without him,) she thought. (Once he’s gone for good….that’s it.)
The door opened slowly, and her husband was standing there.
“What’s the matter? Did you forget something?” Mrs. Babbitt asked bitterly. (Pretend you don’t care….then he won’t get any satisfaction from hurting you…)
“No. But you think I have,” ‘Babbitt’ said. “I swear to you… I was drunk. That woman at the bar meant nothing to me.”
“I told you I didn’t care if she did. You and I are over,” Mrs. Babbitt said bitterly.
‘Babbitt’ came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her. “Remember how things used to be, my little petunia?”
Mrs. Babbitt could feel her heart beginning to soften. “Well…”
“They can be that way again,” he whispered, nuzzling her ear.
“Think this is going to work?” Mike asked in a whisper.
Peter smiled as he listened to the spiders. “So far so good.”
Micky grinned. “Now if only Davy doesn’t laugh….”
“Let me go freshen up,” Mrs. Babbitt said, heading to the bathroom.
Davy nodded, shaking his tingling left hand. (Must’ve fallen asleep.) Suddenly, a crushing pain hit Davy smack in the chest. The pain was so intense that Davy gasped and snapped back into his own form.
“Everything all right out there?” Mrs. Babbitt called.
Davy thought fast, shifting his vocal cords to those of his landlord. “I…left a surprise at the motel. I’ll be right back.” And he raced out the door.
“Guys, we’re in big trouble,” Davy panted as he rushed in the door of the Pad.
“How come?” Micky asked.
“I was…Mr. Babbitt was…” Davy gestured helplessly. “We were having a heart attack!”
“All right,” Mike said, standing up. “Micky, you call an ambulance – Mister Babbitt’s at that hotel down the street. Davy, you figure out how to get Mrs. Babbitt to the hospital. Peter… if Auburn or any of our animal friends can help, now would be a good time.”
Davy pounded on the Babbitts’ door. Mrs. Babbitt opened it, looking irritated. “Ma’am, you have to come quickly!” Davy cried. “Mister Babbitt’s had a heart attack!”
“Don’t be silly, he was just here—“
“I know -- we saw him leave! Mike called him about the rent when we saw the light go on at the motel, and while they were talking, he had a heart attack!”
Her eyes widened. “Oh, my stars—Henry!”
“They’re coming,” Peter reported. “The animals are relay-chasing the ambulance. They’re on their way!”
“Good,” Mike said firmly.
Micky chuckled. “You know what, Mike?”
“What?” Mike asked. “I don’t think there’s much of anything about this situation that’s funny, Micky.”
Micky was unable to restrain his laughter. “That’s exactly it… you didn’t even notice that you’ve calmed down! Whereas I am returning to my natural energetic state!”
Mike grinned. “With none of the nasty side-effects from a downer off a drug high.”
At that moment, the ambulance roared up. Davy and Mrs. Babbitt raced up at the same time.
When Mr. Babbitt woke up on the hospital, the first thing he saw was Mrs. Babbitt’s face.
“Susan,” he said huskily, his face pale. “Can you ever forgive me?”
Mrs. Babbitt smiled down at him. “I already have.”
Mr. Babbitt stared uncomprehendingly at Mrs. Babbitt for a moment, and then he smiled weakly. “Thank you…p’tunia.”
Mrs. Babbitt smiled, patting his hand. “You hush. When you wake up, I’ll be here.”
And Mr. Babbitt nodded and drifted back to sleep.
Seeing this, a delighted python in the ventilation duct gave a very human-like nod and wrapped her egg-laden body around the other way, heading back to the ground floor.
Peter’s head suddenly snapped up toward the ventilation duct in the waiting room. The others followed his eyes and saw two shining ebony eyes and the flick of a purplish forked tongue through the grate.
Peter broke into a dazzling bedimpled smile and gave a nod and a thumbs-up. The other three grinned as they saw a slender tail slide through the grate and jut upward for a moment before retracting. The rustling of scales showed the creature was leaving, her mission complete.
“We did it,” Mike breathed with a grin, collapsing wearily into a chair.
Seeing Mike’s weariness, Micky concentrated – and smiled as an aura formed ever-so-briefly around himself.
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