DECEMBER 12, 1967
The Monkees walked onto the repaired set to find Jim, a new orderly, leaving as fast as he could.
"Whoa, there!" Peter said, catching him. "Where are you going in such a hurry?"
Jim smiled. "Gotta hot date!" Peter grinned and let him go. Jim ran away fast.
Davy crooked a thumb after him. "He's got a hot date."
"That's what he said." Peter's attention was drawn to the bandstand. "Hey, what's that?"
Mike called, "Hey, man, be careful," as Peter moved toward the bandstand. Peter waved a hand to shush him.
"What is it?" Micky called.
"It's a box," Peter said. He reached for it. Suddenly the box exploded with a brilliant flash of light. Peter was blown backward into Mike. Waves of concussion force blew into the Monkees.
"Look out!" Micky shouted, shoving Davy down.
"G-d, not more radiation!" Mike gasped, feeling the same sensation as when they’d received their powers. His throat burned and his head pounded.
Davy's head was also pounding. He screamed from the pain.
Micky's hand burned where it rested on Davy's shoulder. The pounding in his head was worse than the migraine he had had weeks ago. "Pete, are you all right?" he mustered.
"Peter's out," Mike said wearily. Then all the Monkees passed out.
Sometime later, Mike raised his head. He found he was lying across Peter's legs. "Pete," he said, then cleared his aching throat. His voice was suddenly very scratchy. "Pete, wake up!" Peter moved his head and groaned. Mike sat up. "Wake up!"
Peter opened his eyes. He sat up and moaned, "I'm awake, I'm awake..." He rubbed his eyes. "Why's it so dark in here? Where are we?"
DARK? Mike thought. He laid a gentle hand on Peter's chin, and Peter started at the unexpected touch. Mike turned Peter's head so he could see his eyes. Omig-d, Mike thought.
Peter's eyes were silver. The flash, Mike thought. He's got cataracts. Pete's been blinded!
Suddenly those silver eyes welled up with tears. "Blind?" Peter gasped. "NO!"
"You... heard me?" Mike croaked. Every word was an effort.
"Of course I heard you!" Peter snapped. "You yelled in my ear!"
Pete, Mike thought, I didn't say a word! Can you hear me now?
"Sure!" Peter said, frowning. "Why?"
d buddy," Mike began. But every word hurt, so he thought, You're hearing my thoughts. You're telepathic.
Peter groaned. Great, he thought. Telepathic on top of being telekinetic! What's next? Then he dropped his head into his hands. One MORE thing for that nosy reporter to not get wind of....
Mike gasped. Wait a second. I heard that!
Peter's jaw dropped. *You can hear my thoughts, too?*
Mike grinned. And that means you're NOT telepathic. Our minds are linked!
Peter grinned. If that's so... Silver eyes suddenly focused on Mike's eyes. "YES! Mike, I'm not really blind! I can see what you see -- I can see through your eyes!"
What do you see?
"Me. Man, I need a haircut!" Mike chuckled, and Peter went on, "The house set -- everything but you."
Mike turned his head. Peter suddenly lost sight of himself, but Mike's face grinned at him from a mirror. Better?
A yell from behind them made Mike turn. "Davy!" he croaked. "Oh, man, we forgot about them!"
Davy was on his feet. Brown eyes huge, he stared at the floor. "What is it, man?" Peter asked.
Davy pointed down. Micky lay unconscious at his feet. "Micky's still out," Mike rasped. "So?"
The huge brown eyes turned to him. "You just don't dig it, do you?"
Mike frowned. "Dig what, Davy?" The frown deepened. Every word was getting harder to say.
The short man let out a very American expletive. "I'm not Davy, man! I'm MICKY!"
Mike, Peter sent, his eyes growing huge, d'you hear that?
Mike nodded. His accent's gone. "I*m sorry, Da... Micky," he croaked. "C'mon, let's get Mi... Davy awake."
Peter frowned. Mike's voice was getting softer and scratchier with every word. He kept clearing his throat, but it wasn't helping a bit. Mike, he sent, are your tonsils bothering you again?
Nope. It's from the blast. Mike smiled. It'll get better. Don't worry.
It better get better, Peter thought, trying to hide it from Mike. The Jacobs woman is too close as it is...the LAST thing we need is more strangeness for her to investigate!
Mike shot him a Look, and Peter sighed. Didn't mean for you to hear that.
I know. C'mon, man, let's get Davy awake.
A few minutes later, the four congregated on the living room set. Davy shrugged with Micky's shoulders. "I don't see what the problem is." The accent sounded all wrong in Micky's voice. "I can play drums, and Micky can fake my accent perfectly. He's done it before."
Micky was pacing Davy's body around the room like a caged animal. He whirled to face his own body. "You’re our problem, Jones!" he snapped. "Your accent's so thick we could cut it with a knife, and you don't lose it when you sing!"
Peter sat on one end of the couch, Mike on the other. Peter chuckled. "Yeah, and Micky's new voice is gonna sound strange on 'I'm a Believer'."
Duck, Pete! Mike sent. Incoming boot!
Peter ducked and Micky's boot went sailing over his head. Thanks, buddy!
Mike sighed. He stretched his arm out and picked up the boot, returning it to Micky. Hiding your blindness is really becoming a pain!
You wanna tell them? Peter shot back, sinking onto the chaise lounge and closing his eyes.
Davy reached for Micky. "Micky?"
Micky pulled away before Davy made contact. "I don't wanna hear it!" he snapped. "LEAVE ME ALONE!" He raced up the stairs to the bedroom set and slammed the door.
Davy turned to the others. "He is not taking this well."
Peter sighed and stood up. "I'd better go talk to him."
Mike stood up as well. Pete, let me. In your condition...
Peter whirled to him. "Hang my ‘condition’, Mike! I don't need sight to tell he's hurting and needs someone!" He turned to the spiral staircase.
Mike nodded, understanding. With the cataracts on his eyes, his telekinesis was neutralized, even for flight. Peter was grounded. Mike gazed steadily at the stairs till Peter was safely up and at the bedroom door.
Davy asked, "What did he mean, ‘I don't need SIGHT’?"
Mike bit his lip, not knowing how to tell him of the change in Peter. Neither of them had looked closely at Peter, and the odd eye color had gone unnoticed. But now....
The odd thought crossed his mind that he was sure glad he didn't have to explain this to that reporter!
Peter sighed and opened the door. He disengaged the link, and Mike's vision disappeared. All was dark again. He fought down the momentary flash of panic and took a deep breath. There was no telling where Micky was. If Peter took a wrong step, it was a long way down through the nonexistent fourth wall. Man, he thought idly, you never know how much you miss flight till you can't do it anymore!
Shut up, shotgun, rang in his head. Some of us never COULD fly!
Peter grinned and mentally kicked Mike. Then he took a deep breath. "Micky?"
"Go away!" The voice was thick with tears. Peter's tape-recorder ears triangulated the directions. Two yards ahead, three feet off the floor. Muffled slightly by cloth. Micky was lying down on the nearest bed. Peter took three steps forward, hands reaching. He found the bed and sat on the edge. "Go away," Micky repeated.
Peter turned around. He'd been facing the foot of the bed. "No," he said gently but firmly. "Listen, pal, you think you got it hard? You just gotta adjust to looking like someone different. Try going through what I am."
"Yeah?" Micky challenged. "What's that?"
"Without Mike, I can't see."
Peter heard a gasp. He sensed the movement as Micky turned to face him. He couldn't see it, but he sensed Micky stare into the silver eyes, registering their color for the first time.
"You're..." Micky whispered. "You're blind?"
Peter nodded. "Sort of. I can see what Mike sees, but I can't see on my own."
Micky sat up. "Man, why didn't you tell us?"
Peter shrugged. "You had your own problem."
Peter! Get down here! NOW! The staircase, seen from below, suddenly appeared before Peter.
"Pete?" Micky asked, a hand touching Peter's arm. "What is it? You...stiffened...."
"Mike. Something's wrong." Peter stood up and groped for the door. He suddenly saw himself appear at the top of the stairs and knew he was back in Mike's field of vision. He slid down the banister, ignoring Micky's drop-jawed gape behind him, and grabbed Mike's shoulders. "Mike, what is it? Tell me!"
Tell you? Tears welled up in Mike's eyes. That's the problem, man -- I CAN'T!
Peter shook his head. "Oh, Mike... no!"
Oh, yes! I can't talk! Can't make a sound! You're the only one I can communicate with, thanks to the link!
"WAITAMINNIT!" Micky exploded.
Davy shook his head, brushing the curls out of his eyes. "That's twice that's happened! Peter responded to Mike..."
Micky frowned, even as he nodded. "But Mike's not said a word! Spill it, guys... what's going on?"
After a swift mental conference, Peter sighed. "Sit down." Davy sat down in a chair and Micky sat on the couch. Peter began, "Since the explosion, my mind's not been wholly my own. Mike and I... we're linked. If we weren't, I couldn't see through his eyes."
Davy opened Micky's almond eyes wide. "Wow!" he gasped. "That's gonna take awhile to digest! But.. why didn't Mike just..."
"Mike can't talk now," Peter said. "Except to me. That's because we're linked. He's been losing his voice since the blast, and it's finally gone."
Micky sat up and smiled so like Davy that Mike had to remind himself who was in there. "Pete... why do you put up with your blindness?"
Peter frowned. "Because I can see through Mike."
Micky shook Davy's head. "No, man... You're telekinetic!"
"Well... yeah..." Peter frowned, confused. "...but I can't TK anything I can't see. So I guess I'm not anymore."
Micky's smile grew larger. "And what do you see now? Without looking though Mike?"
"Nothing. These cataracts..." A slow smile spread over Peter's face. "I can't see anything but the cataracts! And what I can see..."
You can TK! Mike sent. Go for it, Shotgun!
Peter stepped away from the others and activated his power. A faint shine of blue appeared behind the silver in his eyes. The blue grew brighter and brighter. Suddenly the cataracts became streaks of silver on Peter's cheeks, and his glowing blue eyes were plainly visible. The glow died, leaving his eyes their normal shade of dark blue. Peter began to laugh. "I can see!" he cheered, wiping away the remnants of the cataracts. "I did it... I can see!"
Mike grinned. Great job, old buddy!
Micky sighed. "I wish our problem was solved as easily."
Pete, Mike sent, we're four pretty smart guys. Can't we figure out SOMETHING?
Peter suddenly smacked a fist into his other hand. "Jim! he cried. "Jim left just before the blast!"
Micky snapped Davy's fingers. "Hey, that's right! And in a big hurry, too! He must've known what was gonna happen!"
Davy stood up. "And that means he's probably the cause! Let's go!" He ran to the remains of the bandstand.
Peter shook his head, chuckling. "You're learning, David!"
The four spread over the bandstand, searching for clues. "Micky?" Peter asked. "Anything?"
"Nope. Just rubble. Davy?"
Davy brushed the annoying curls out of his eyes again and wished Micky would get a haircut. "Nope. But then, I don't know what I'm looking for. Mike? Oh, wait. I'm sorry. I forgot you can't talk."
Mike rolled his eyes. Thanks a million. Hey, Pete?
I think I found something. Use the link -- look through my eyes.
"Okay." Peter did, and whistled. "Guys, Mike hit the jackpot! Plastique explosives laced with pockets of radiation scarring!"
"Right, old pal," Peter said, nodding. "Jim."
"Yeah!" Micky exploded. "He planted that bomb... Released all that radiation -- tried to kill us! HE DID THIS TO US!" His gesture indicated Davy and himself.
Calm down, man! Mike said, stepping forward.
Mike, Peter sent, they can't hear you, remember?
Mike sighed. Great. Tell them we're goin' after Jim. He won't get away with this.
"I can't deal with this!" Micky sobbed, his emotions finally stretched beyond the breaking point. "Look at me! I'm stuck in a body that's almost a foot shorter than I am!"
Davy smiled at him. "Don't worry, man -- we'll be fine." Finally, Micky permitted Davy to touch him on the shoulder.
Pete sensed the flash coming and threw a hand over his eyes, sparing his sight this time. The short man looked up at his curly-haired friend and cheered. "I was right!!" he said, voice accented once more. "I had a hunch if I touched you it'd switch us back!"
Micky grabbed Davy in a bear hug and cheered, "We're back in our own bodies!"
Mike nodded. Ready to go get Jim, guys?
"Almost," Peter said after he translated for the non-linked ones. "There's one little detail to take care of, first."
Suddenly, pain blasted through Mike's head. He sagged to his knees, clawing at his temples. WHAT... he gasped mentally.
Peter was on his knees beside Mike, pain etched onto his face. Overloading the link... blowing it out... trying to do it without burning out our minds...
Suddenly there was no longer Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith. There was only one person simultaneously inhabiting two bodies, with the complete memories and impressions of each.
"What's... HAPPENING?!?" they cried, beginning to panic. Then the link dissolved, returning each to their own bodies. They looked at each other, gasping for breath and shaking, eyes wide as they each tried to deal with the maelstrom in their heads.
"Peter?" Micky gasped. Peter and Mike both looked at him, then Mike shook his head and dropped his eyes. "Are you all right?" Micky finished.
"No," Peter said slowly, "but we're getting there." He looked at Mike and shook his head.
"Man, this is weird," Mike said. "I know you better than..."
Peter nodded. "My own wife," he finished. Then he chuckled. "Hold on. You're married, I'm not."
Davy stepped forward. "Guys, now what's going on?" he asked.
Micky's almond eyes were huge as he stared at the pair. "Davy, our minds just switched. They were linked. But there, at the end, I think their minds... merged."
Mike and Peter both nodded. Mike said, "I've got two complete sets of memories in my head. It's going to take awhile to sort out mine and..."
"Reestablish my personality," Peter finished. "My identity. To sort out who Peter Tork is from who Mike Nesmith is."
Davy laid a hand on Peter's shoulder. "Do it fast. We have to go get Jim."
Micky nodded. "But where do we start?"
"The address!" Peter and Mike said together, snapping their fingers. As one, they bolted for the bandstand.
"There was an address on the plastique," Peter said, pawing through the debris.
"And it didn't completely blow away," Mike finished. "...Ah-hah!" He held up a bit of the explosive.
Peter read over his shoulder, "--ion Bay warehouse... --nwood, LA, CA."
Davy grinned. "There's a Scallion Bay warehouse in Glenwood."
"How do you know that?" Micky asked.
Davy blushed a little. "I dated a girl from that area once. We used to... uhm..."
"That explains it," Peter and Mike chorused as Micky just rolled his eyes and chuckled.
It took two hours for the Monkees to get to Scallion Bay warehouse. In those two hours, Peter and Mike managed, for the most part, to get their respective identities straight once more.
They came into the warehouse to find a blonde man glaring at them from on top of a stack of boxes. He wore a bizarre costume, and a mask obscured most of his face. "Jim?" Mike asked.
"No," the man said. Two teenaged boys and two teenaged girls stepped out of the shadows and surrounded him. "Call me Dragonman! Since you four survived my deathtrap, you pose a real threat to me. Your powers are all that stand between me and total subjugation of America's youth!" He sighed. "Ah, well, if we must fight, I want you in more practical fighting attire." Dragonman raised a hand.
Megalomaniac, Mike thought. Then he heard Peter yell in surprise. Mike looked at his partners and shouted, then looked down at himself. "Our costumes!" The light blue outfits the Monkees had worn as the Fantastiks, the ones they had safely locked in a trunk in the Nesmiths' attic, had replaced the street clothes they wore a moment before!
Dragonman laughed. "Before you blurt out 'How?', let me inform you that I can rearrange inorganic molecules -- your polyester clothes, for example. As for how I know who you really are? I was one of those who took Nesmith's son."
"That's where I know you from," Peter cried. "You slimy..."
Davy grabbed his arm, cutting off the tirade. He whispered in Peter's ear, "You're reacting like Mike."
Peter and Mike just glared at Dragonman. "Right now," Peter whispered to Davy, "I don't care."
Dragonman turned to the teenagers surrounding him. "Now, my pets... destroy them!"
The four surged forward -- then stopped. They looked confused.
"What are you doing?" Dragonman snarled. "I said destroy them!”
The teenagers didn't move. Dragonman hopped from his stack and looked wildly around.
The Monkees just grinned. "Even under hypnosis," Mike said, "people can't be forced to murder!"
"Check!" Micky said. "As for our costumes..." He clapped his hands over his head. Instantly the Monkees were back in their street clothes. "More hypnosis. We were never actually in them."
Dragonman suddenly scrambled for the door. Blast, he thought, they’ve guessed my secret -- all my powers are hypnotic! I'd best beat a hasty retreat before...
A hand as large as the door suddenly covered the opening. Dragonman looked up. Davy was so tall he took up half the warehouse. He was seated, a hand casually over the door. "You're going nowhere," he whispered, but his huge voice still rattled the roof.
Mike tied Dragonman up in an arm, and removed his mask. "Way t'go, Big Guy! It's back to jail for our nasty friend, here!"
After the turnover of Dragonman and the release of the teenagers to their parents, the Monkees headed back to the studio. They were surprised to find Phyllis there.
"What are you doing here?" Mike asked her, grinning.
She smiled. "I left Christian at Mom's. I thought you might like to go on a date tonight."
Mike smiled at his friends. "See you soon!" He vaulted into the convertible, and the Nesmiths drove away.
Peter stared after them. "Pete?" Micky asked. "You all right?"
Peter smiled at him. "Yeah. Just a remnant of the merge."
"Feelings for Phyllis?" Micky asked softly, a hand on his shoulder.
Peter nodded. "But fading. I'll be back to normal soon."
Micky and Davy said goodbye and drove their separate ways. Peter stood in the parking lot and frowned for a long time.
He had lied to his friends, and it troubled him. He had the creepiest feeling he'd never be the same again. He sensed the merge had given him a good deal of Mike's personality and leadership qualities. Peter had an unsettling feeling he'd need those qualities.
Peter shrugged and dismissed the feeling as his overactive imagination. Sliding behind the wheel of his van, he grinned, thinking, Whose imagination? Mine or Mike's? He laughed all the way to his apartment.
He turned the key in the lock, closed the door behind him, and threw the keys onto the coffee table. Suddenly, he cried out in surprise.
A woman, taller than Mike's six foot two, stood in the middle of the room. He could see right through her! She had platinum hair and a silver Grecian robe, both flowing as though in a breeze. Her lips moved, but Peter heard the words as a gentle whisper in his mind.
Peter Halsten Tork. I have need of your friends... And of you.
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