"Starsky! Hutch! My office -- now!"
Starsky and Hutch looked at each other and heaved identical sighs as they changed course and headed for Dobey's office.
"We just got here," Hutch growled. "What couldn't wait until we sat down?"
Dobey glared at them. "I expected that level of insolence from your partner, not from you."
"He's been hangin' around me too long," Starsky quipped as he poured himself a coffee and loaded it up. Carrying a second, black cup to Hutch, he sat down and sipped before asking, "So, what's up?"
"What's up is there's a new case for you." He slid a folder to them. "Slightly out of your parlance, but I'm sure you'll appreciate it."
Hutch picked up the folder and Starsky sighed. "You're all heart, Cap. What is it, a rash of old ladies muggin' Boy Scouts who don't wanna help them across the street?"
"Better," Hutch smiled. "We're goin' back to Malibu Beach."
Starsky visibly brightened. "Malibu Beach? Pete and Mick and the guys?"
"Yup. They asked for us by name to be with them for the cultural exchange."
"The what?" Starsky took the folder. "That doesn't make any sense! Bay City and Malibu Beach aren't that far apart!"
"But," Dobey put in, "you two qualify on a technicality. He's from Minnesota and you're from New York City."
Grudgingly, they admitted that to be the case.
"Besides," Dobey went on. "This time you're going to have company. Brown has a meeting in Malibu Beach, and I want to talk to Tork and Dolenz's captain."
"Reynolds?" Hutch frowned. "Why?"
"To see if they're loose cannons like you two. Now get out of my office."
As they left Dobey's office, Starsky and Hutch shared knowing smiles.
They couldn't wait till Dobey found out just how alike they were!
Micky laughed as Peter jumped at Reynolds' bellowed, "Tork! Dolenz! My office -- now!"
Giggling, Micky handed Peter a napkin. "You're not supposed to inhale your food, Peter!"
Peter glared at him as he wiped the salsa from his face. "I wonder what he wants," he groaned as he cleared his nose.
"You think our request went through?" Micky asked.
Peter held up crossed fingers as they entered the office.
A few moments later, a passing metermaid frowned curiously as she heard a double-voiced, ecstatic "YES!" from within Reynolds' office.
Mike grinned as the partners broke the news. "They're coming back?"
Peter nodded. "You're gonna have to put up with double doubles again."
Laughing, Davy shook his head. "Double doubles. I swear, that's hilarious. Seeing the four of you together last time was a wrench!"
"Till Starsky talked," Mike agreed. "No mistaking who was who after that."
Micky nodded, swallowing his mouthful of lasagna. "I can do a lot of voices – but Starsky's New York brogue escapes me." At their looks, he grinned. "Trust me – I've tried!"
Laughter rang out once more, interrupted by a knock on the door.
Peter and Micky both rose, pulling their jackets open for easy access to their guns if need be. Davy and Mike looked at each other, staying put. The first few times the cops had bared their guns in response to an unexpected knock had alarmed them, but now it made them feel safe – protected.
Of course, neither of them would fully admit it to themselves, much less to Peter and Micky.
"Yes," Peter called.
"Hey, m'quiet blond one," came a familiar voice. "How's it hangin'?"
"Huggy Bear!" the Monkees chorused. Peter flung open the door and the tall, thin dark-skinned man sauntered inside.
"What brings you back to Malibu Beach?" Peter asked.
"Remember last I was here, I promised to hook you up with the sweet underground there like I am in Bay City?" he grinned. "I'm workin' on that."
Micky's eyes widened. "A network of informers?"
"Among other things." Huggy sat down and helped himself to the last of the lasagna. "Not just informers. Gossips, shady characters -- working for you. That's why Blondie and Curly have such a terrific solve rate."
"Ours isn't so sloppy," Peter said.
Micky held up a hand. "You're right – but it can always be better."
Peter studied Micky's eyes, and began to smile as he nodded. "You're right. All right, Huggy, how do we go about this?"
"Trust," Huggy smiled. "You trust them and they'll trust you right back. But at first, they're gonna test you – see if they really can trust you."
"Expected," Mike put in. Eyes turned to him, and he chuckled. "Sorry. Not a cop. Shuttin' up now."
"No, no!" Huggy said, waving a hand. "You may not be a cop, but you're their partner just like you were when you was just musicians. You need to hear this, be part of this."
"So," Davy put in cautiously. "How do we get started in this?"
Huggy grinned. "That's where the Bear comes in, gentlemen."
Huggy smiled at Peter and Micky's grins as the car pulled up outside the Wild Honey nightclub. "You know this place?"
"Oh, yeah," Micky chuckled. "We play here three or four times a year."
"We have since 1966," Peter grinned. "Back when this was still the Vincent Van A-Go-Go."
"Ah, sweet memories." Micky got out of the car and looked back at Peter. "Were we ever really that young?"
"We're still young," Peter said as he got out and made sure his loaded gun was in place. "Trouble is, we see so much bad in our line of work we feel prematurely old."
Huggy sighed. "I know the'feelin', dudes. I know that feelin' well." He grinned irrepressibly and rubbed his hands together. "Your new link t'the shady side waits inside. You ready?"
"Let's do this," Peter said, striding toward the entrance with Micky right behind.
Huggy approached the corner table with a grin. "The Bear keeps his word, m'friend," he announced. "I brought the fuzz."
Three pairs of eyes widened as recognition struck them all. The contact spun to Huggy. "What is this, some kind of joke? I know these guys -- they're musicians, not cops!"
For his part, Micky chuckled. "Well, well, Jason Johnson -- owner and proprietor."
Peter sat down across from Jason and smiled. "No joke, Jason." He slid his billfold to Jason.
Jason picked it up, opened hit, and his jaw fell open. "I know fake IDs... this is the real McCoy! Holy cow!" His eyes met theirs. "You really are cops!"
"Still wanna work with us?" Micky asked as Jason handed the billfold back to Peter.
"Are you crazy?" Jason laughed. "I thought Brown would be bringing me some cops that I'd be able to control, to hoodwink!" He spread his hands. "And instead, he brings me friends!" He leaned forward. "I'll work with you in every way. There's just one thing."
"What's that?" Peter asked.
"You'll have to play here more. I'm known for intense negotiations with my musical acts -- nobody'll think twice if they see me 'negotiating' with the Monkees. Although...." He turned thoughtful. "I usually deal with Nesmith and Tork, not Dolenz and Tork."
"Mike's still involved in our 'day job'," Peter smiled. "Just more unofficial than official. He'll be involved and you can tell him anything you need to tell us. It'll get to us."
Jason smiled. "Then here's to a long and prosperous alliance, Detectives!"
Captain Reynolds stood and shook Dobey's hand. "Captain Dobey -- welcome to the Malibu Beach branch of the LAPD."
"Glad to be here. So." Dobey clapped his hands together. "Where is this pair my men will be partnering with for the next week or two?"
Reynolds blinked, startled. "You mean you've not met them yet?"
Dobey frowned. "No -- should I have?" His frown deepened when Reynolds burst into laughter. "Did I miss something here?"
"You've not met them. You have no idea...." He moved to the window, parting the slats of the blind and grinning. "Ah, yes. C'mere, Captain." He walked to the door that led to the bullpen. "And brace yourself."
"Brace myself?" Dobey asked as he followed Reynolds to the door. "Why?"
"That's why," Reynolds chuckled, pointing. "That's Peter Tork."
Dobey's eyes widened to see Hutch sitting on the edge of a desk while a second blond man with straight hair pointed out some things in the case files.
Off against the wall, congregating around the coffee pot, were two tall slender men with headfuls of curly brown hair. Dobey's eyes widened as he realised these two had even dressed alike!
"What...what the hell...?"
Reynolds chuckled, nodding at the man with Starsky. "That's Micky Dolenz."
"They look almost exactly like..."
"I know. We found that out on their first visit. They're my dream team -- their solve rate is phenomenal!"
"Sounds like another dream team I'm familiar with," Dobey hmphed, crossing his arms and looking at Reynolds. "Now if you were a fat black dude, I'd really be freaked."
Reynolds threw back his head and laughed. "Nope. Just a skinny Lakota."
Dobey nodded and walked back into the office. "So -- departmental exchange. Maybe my mavericks will learn something from their lookalikes." At Reynolds' snort, he frowned. "What?"
"Good luck -- my pair are about as maverick as they come!" At Dobey's look, he spread his hands. "It's true. They were rock musicians before they became cops. They're still in the band -- comes in handy for Vice assignments. They brought that spirit of rebellion with them."
Dobey groaned and dropped his face into his hands. "Four of them. I feel sorry for your city...."
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