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"Dreams of Bluer Skies - Part 2"
Title: Dreams of Bluer Skies – Chapter Two
Author: Myo (Renee)
Genre/Pairing: The guys with OFCs
Rating: PG or R
Warnings: Drug use, sexual situations (but pretty tame ones)
Disclaimer: I do not own the Monkees, or any of the characters from the show. I only own my OCs.
Summary: A group of friends trying to figure out life and love, in the 1960s and beyond. Micky's cousin Delilah comes into town and gets Peter's attention.
Author's Note: This is an AU fiction. The guys are somewhat like they are IRL but the settings and scenarios are mostly a product of my own warped imagination.
What Peter learned about Micky was that he was difficult to categorize. The beach house was like hippie heaven – there were always folks milling around, coming and going, parties every night, an endless supply of beer, wine, pot and acid. The place was decorated really groovy, too – beads in the doorways, Indian print pillows and blankets, psychedelic artwork adorning the walls, incense, candles, lava lamps. The beach house was the archetype of a swinging 60's abode.
And while Micky was perfectly comfortable with the parties and the atmosphere, somehow it wasn't really him. Peter picked up on this right away, the first week he was there. It wasn’t that he was a phony as Peter had briefly suspected the morning they met, it was simply that while Micky in this atmosphere, he wasn’t truly a part of it.
One night Micky and Peter were on the patio, sharing another joint and a couple of beers while festivities raged indoors. “I appreciate you letting me hang out all week. This is a great place,” Peter pointed out.
“Yeah, it's good,” Micky said. “Guess I'm not really into the party much tonight, though.”
Peter regarded his new acquaintance. “If you don't mind me saying so, you don't really look like you belong here. I mean, if I didn't know this was your house, I would think that you walked into the wrong place or something.”
Micky raised an eyebrow and at first Peter thought he had caused an offense, but then the laughter came. “You, my friend, may be on to something.”
“I'll drink to that,” Peter said, relived that he hadn't said anything inappropriate.
“I guess I do sometimes feel like a fish out of water,” Micky elaborated. “I love this place and I wouldn't give it up for the world. I like these people that come around. I know I’m not exactly a hippie, but I like them. They’re cool. Oh, I know that some of them are taking advantage of me, but I don't care. It's better than being alone.”
It was surprising to hear Micky talk this way. Peter wasn't gay or anything but he could acknowledge that Micky was a good looking guy. He knew lots of chicks, the house was loaded with women; Peter knew that Micky often ended up with a different girl each night. Why not try a relationship with one of them? Why settle for a bunch of strangers invading your house in lieu of female companionship?
“I know what you're thinking,” Micky cast a knowing glance Peter's way. “Why don't I just get myself a girlfriend, right?”
“Yeah,” Peter admitted sheepishly. “Something like that.”
“I've heard that before,” Micky snorted. “And I guess it makes sense but I haven't been able to find any one woman that I'd want to be that involved with.”
Kathy's face flashed before Peter's mind and he considered how difficult it had been to replace her. It was silly for him to judge Micky for not having a girlfriend when he himself had no interest in one, at least not at the moment. “Yeah, man, I dig that,” Peter said.
Micky was intrigued. “Do you now?”
Peter could have kicked himself. Not that he wanted to keep his affair (or whatever it had been) with Kathy a secret, but he hadn't planned on rehashing the whole scenario to anyone; seemed too soon even though a year had passed since he left the Village.
Then again, Micky was a decent enough guy. He was being pretty open and honest, the least Peter could do was reciprocate.
“I told you I came out to California from Greenwich Village.” Micky nodded. “Well, this chick there, we had something going but it fell apart.” It was amazing how even now thoughts of Kathy could well up emotion inside him.
“Is that why you left?” Micky asked.
“Part of the reason.” No one else that Peter had met thus far in California had asked so many questions. It was a bit strange opening up like this, but Peter found it was not entirely terrible to talk about the past after all. “The Village scene was cool but then it started to change. It wasn't as intimate anymore, if you can dig that.”
“I can,” Micky concurred. “Believe it or not when I first started having these parties it was maybe five people at the most. You can see what that's ballooned to.” The joint had gone out so Micky paused to relight it. “It's okay, though. I don’t mind it, at least not most of the time.”
To Peter, Micky sounded almost sad. Here he was, with money, popularity, and yet he didn't have happiness. It was probably the beer and the pot that loosened his tongue, but Peter found himself asking Micky if there was something he was searching for.
“What, you mean like the meaning of life?” Micky smiled. “I don't know. I could have pursued an acting career but I didn't feel it in here.” He pointed to his heart. “Maybe you were right before, that all I need is a good woman. Who knows? In the meantime, though,” he stood up and stretched, “I'll go find some feminine companionship for the rest of the evening, smoke some more dope, and just drift away.” He patted Peter on the shoulder. “I suggest you do the same, friend. I'll catch you later.”
“Sure thing.” Peter also prepared to go back inside, but then Micky turned back to him.
“Listen, why don't you just plan on staying? I know you had friends on the beach, but you've been here a week already as it is. I have an empty bedroom if you're interested.”
Micky's offer took Peter by surprise. He had correctly surmised that the people filling the beach house did not officially live there; it was one thing to crash on the couch, another thing to have one's own room. Micky had only known Peter for a short time, surely he knew most of these others much longer. And yet here he was, offering Peter a permanent residence.
“I can’t,” Peter said, as much as he found himself wanting to move in. “I don’t have a job so I couldn’t pay you rent or anything.”
Micky scoffed at this. “I don’t need money,” he said. “I wouldn’t charge you anything.”
This seemed too good to be true, but then again, Peter supposed Micky did have a point. He wasn’t hurting for cash. Whatever Peter could pay him, even if he did have a job, wouldn’t make much difference to his bank account.
“Well, yeah, if you're sure,” Peter said. “But as soon as I get a job, you have to let me contribute.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Micky said. “The bedroom's on the first floor. Go ahead and take it. It's yours.” And with that he disappeared back into the house.
Peter also went back inside and surveyed the scene. There were a few couples strewn about, the Beatles were on the stereo, the scent of pot and incense was in the air. “Well son,” Peter said to himself, “you're home.”
“Peter, you're impossible.”
“What?” Peter was sitting on the bed in his room in Micky's beach house. His back was against the headboard, guitar in his lap. He was wearing nothing but shorts and love beads, blue and purple ones now, along with the sparrow necklace, and trying to work out lyrics to the melody his fingers were creating.
In the doorway stood Karen Tyndale, his latest girl. She stood with her slender arms crossed, ash blonde hair slung over one shoulder, blue eyes sparkling with mock annoyance. She was dressed in a turquoise and green sari. Gold hoops hung from her ears.
“You've been playing that song over and over again for the past hour,” Karen pointed out. “Everybody's going down to the beach.”
“Great, groovy,” Peter said, distractedly. “Go ahead. I'll catch up with you later.”
Karen shook her head. What had she been thinking, getting involved with a guy who was obviously a serious musician. Oh she'd dated guitar players, drummers, singers, but most of them weren't too dedicated to the craft. They might jam or panhandle here and there, but she'd never dated a musician who was as intense about playing as Peter.
The thing was, he wasn't a serious kind of guy. He was nothing like some musicians who seemed to have a black cloud over themselves even during happy times. Karen couldn't deal with that. She knew lots of girls who went for the brooding types but that wasn't for her. She wanted a guy who knew how to have fun, and Peter was fun. He was jovial and sweet, but nothing came between him and his guitar. That much was certain.
For his part, Peter had to admit he liked Karen as well. He wasn't sure if she was “the one” but that was okay. They'd been pretty much exclusive for three months, almost as long as he'd been a resident in Micky's house. He still wasn’t working, though he’d had ever intention of getting a job after he moved in. Of course most hippies didn’t work, but Peter truly did believe that since he was living in Micky’s house he should be somewhat responsible. However, time kind of got away from him. There was a party every night and the days were spent lolling around on the beach. Before Peter knew it, months had passed. Though still, Micky didn’t seem to mind. In fact, Micky told Peter he would try to get him a music gig somewhere. “I have connections,” he’d said.
Karen wasn't like the other girls Peter had met in California, or the girls he'd dated back in Glastonbury for that matter. She wasn’t like Kathy. She wasn't a space cadet and she wasn't trying to prove anything. Cool and intelligent – and at the same time a free spirit – Karen and Peter had made an instant connection the second week he was at Micky's place. Instead of bonding over marijuana or acid, they had split a bottle of wine and spent the evening sitting on the patio talking. Karen seemed classier than most of the girls in the house and wine suited her more than other substances. They had shared a lot that night, stories of their childhoods and what led them to The Golden State.
Dreams of becoming a model had taken Karen to California, from her home state of Georgia, she'd done some work as a child and thought that maybe a career in fashion was in the cards. “I left home with my much older boyfriend when I eighteen,” she'd revealed. “Frank was going to be my agent. He was a businessman back home, a friend of my father's actually, and he had some connections out here. That’s how I met Micky, you know he still goes to industry parties. Anyway, Micky introduced me to the hippie lifestyle which I wanted to explore further. My dear Frank just wanted to go home.” Peter recalled the way Karen tipped back her glass then and how her throat had rippled slightly as she swallowed the red liquid. A rush of warmth had hit him all at once and he hadn't waited to hear the rest of her story. He’d risen from his chair and strode over to where she sat. Brazenly leaning over her, Peter placed his hands on either side of Karen’s face and kissed her, deeply and slowly. Though most girls would have been taken off guard, Karen was in total control. She responded in kind, with a passion that was almost fierce. Peter was the one to break the kiss; he took Karen’s hand into his own and led her to his bedroom.
After several hours of lovemaking, they finally lay still in the darkness, smoking (regular cigarettes, albeit unfiltered) and resumed their conversation.
“I didn’t want to go back to Georgia,” Karen said in a hushed tone. “There’s nothing for me there. I might be able to get some modeling work in catalogs or department stores, but eventually I’d have to settle down, raise a family, be a good little housewife.” There was bitterness in her voice. “No thanks. Not for me.”
Peter moved close and snuggled against Karen but she didn’t seem the type to cuddle. She died out her cigarette in the ashtray that was precariously balanced on her chest. “I like you, Peter,” she said, grabbing his hand and kissing it before turning over and going to sleep.
Peter was a bit chagrined to find that Karen wasn’t the most affectionate of girls; he liked a good snuggle as much as any other physical contact, but it was something he could live with. Karen was the type of girl he could both party and converse with. She understood he wasn’t looking for a permanent, heavy relationship which made what they had easy and fun. Karen also knew when to give Peter his personal space. Some girls wanted him to serenade them constantly or didn’t understand why he enjoyed simply practicing his guitar even if he wasn’t playing any particular song. Karen wasn’t like that. She might tease him good-naturedly or try to coax him to hang out if he’d been holed up playing for too long, but if Peter wanted to be left alone with his music, she respected that.
Like today. It was obvious that Peter would not be accompanying Karen to the beach any time soon, so she simply said she’d see him later and left the house.
For a minute or two Peter didn’t even realize she had gone, but then he looked up and saw he was alone. He ran through a couple of quick riffs and then decided that maybe it was time for a break.
Placing the guitar almost reverently on the bed beside him, Peter rose and stretched. He sauntered out to the bathroom and splashed some cold water on his face. For the first time he noticed that the house was getting kind of dirty and Peter wondered if any of the girls who hung around might decide to clean it.
He left the bathroom and walked through the living room to the kitchen where he grabbed a beer. It was unusual for the house to be so quiet, but it seemed that everyone had gone to the beach. Micky had mentioned something about a love-in that was scheduled for the upcoming weekend at a local park. Although it was only Tuesday, everybody seemed to want to start the festivities early.
Taking his beer out to the patio, Peter looked out over the beach. It was the height of summer so naturally the sand was crowded. There were some families but it was mainly kids, lots of hippies, and some surfers. Peter was again reminded that he was a part of something, a community. There were so many of them, it seemed. Could this group of counter-culture young people make a real difference in the world? It was an overwhelming thought to Peter that perhaps they actually could.
He was distracted from his thoughts by a frantic knocking at the front door. “Who could that be?” he said to himself. Micky always kept the door unlocked and anybody who knew their group knew that it was cool to walk in.
Not bothering to cover himself up, Peter opened the door and was surprised to be met by a young lady he’d never seen before. A young lady who was currently sporting the worst black eye Peter had ever seen and carrying two large tote bags.
“Is Micky here?” she asked, brushing past him.
“Uh, no, not at the moment,” Peter sputtered, taking her in. She was of average height, curvy, not super skinny like most girls he'd met recently. She had short, hacked up looking black hair; porcelain skin, another rarity in the Golden State; and the most amazing eyes Peter had ever seen, despite the bruise around the left one. They were violet without even a hint of blue and sparkled like amethyst jewels. She was dressed in blue shorts and a red halter top.
“He does still live here, though, right?” she asked urgently.
Peter nodded. “Yeah, he's down at the beach, I think.”
The girl paused to lean against the wall and breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness. It's been awhile since I've been in touch and I was hoping I didn't make a mistake in coming here.” She put her bags on the floor and held out her hand. “Oh by the way, I'm Delilah Dolenz, Micky's cousin. Anyway, I'll be Dolenz again once I get divorced. Maybe you've heard of me?”
“No, sorry,” Peter shook her hand. “I'm Peter, Micky's friend.”
Delilah looked past Peter into the living room that was currently vacant. “You're here by yourself?” she asked suspiciously. “I thought you people traveled in packs.”
“Uh, well, no,” Peter didn't know how to respond. “I like to be alone sometimes,” he said, hoping that didn't sound too ridiculous.
If Delilah thought so she didn't say. “I like to be alone, too,” she was on the move again. “That's why I left my husband. Well, that and...” she pointed to the black eye. “Being a human punching bag gets old after a while, you see.”
“I imagine it would,” Peter answered, again fearing that he sounded stupid. What was this girl doing to him?
She stood in the living room now, hands on her hips, a critical look on her pretty face. “Seriously? He's still doing this?”
“Doing what?” Peter asked trying to keep up.
“Having all these wild parties, letting people take advantage of him.” She shook her head. “When his parents died I knew it would only get worse.”
She turned her violet gaze back on Peter. “You aren't taking advantage of him, are you?”
“I...uh...I don't think so.” Again, Peter wasn't sure what to say. He suddenly felt super guilty about his lack of employment.
“Good. You don't seem like the type anyway. You're actually coherent.” With disgust, she picked up a blouse that some chick had carelessly left tossed on the sofa. “I'm sure he's still screwing anything with a pulse, too?”
She didn't give Peter a chance to answer. Instead, Delilah moved around the room, gathering up empty beer bottles and other various trash, then she started emptying the ashtrays. “I spent a lot of time in this house when I was a kid,” she said. “Micky's folks were more like parents to me than just an aunt and uncle. My own parents are alcoholics. My dad died when I was six and my mom, she's living somewhere on husband number four or something.” Delilah threw up her hands in disgust. “Anyway, Micky's parents were crushed when I started dating Solomon. If they'd still been alive when I married him, that would have killed them. They knew he was bad news but it took me awhile to realize it. You know,” again she pointed to her eye.
“Right,” Peter said. “Do you, uh, can I get you anything?” He couldn't believe how many words this girl could speak in a single breath.
Before Delilah could answer, the front door opened and there was Micky with two guys that Peter couldn't place. They were talking but Micky froze when he saw his cousin.
“Alright guys, out,” he said.
“What?” they grumbled.
“Back to the beach,” Micky ordered. “Go on.”
There was more complaining but they left. Micky walked up to Delilah. “Well, what have we here?”
“Micky!” she squealed and wrapped her arms around him.
He hugged her back. “I can't believe you're here, kiddo.” When they moved apart, he obviously got a good look at the black eye.
“Like you have to ask?” Delilah had the tiniest hint of sarcasm in her voice. “Look, it's over. For real. I'm not going back to him. That's why I'm here. I need a place to stay.”
“Of course. I guess you met Peter.”
Delilah nodded. “Yes, we've been getting to know each other.”
“Good,” Micky smiled. “He's good people.” He “grasped Delilah's chin and took a better look at her bruise. “Did Solomon know you were leaving or did you sneak away?”
“I left while he was at church,” Delilah replied. “I know that's cowardly, but I was afraid of what he'd do to me if I told him I was leaving.
Anger filled Micky's eyes. “If I had been there...” His hands clenched into fists.
Delilah put her hands over his. “I know, Micky. It was stupid of me to get involved with Solomon – and his church. It was a stupid move to marry him.”
“He'd better not show his face around here,” Micky's fury was not sated.
“I doubt he will,” Delilah tried to soothe her cousin. “He's back in Ohio, broke. And you know how that church is. They figure people who leave are going to hell and they don't pursue them.”
Micky did not seem convinced. “I hope you're right.” He paused, taking another good look at Delilah. “What happened to your hair?” he asked as if he was only just noticing it. “Is that some kind of disguise or something?”
Delilah shook her head. “No. Like I said, it's not as if anybody was coming after me. Solomon he...the last night, he got so violent. He dragged me by my hair and held me down...” Overcome with emotion, Delilah briefly could not continue. “Anyway, during one of the stops on the bus ride here I got a pair of scissors and cut it off. I don't know why, I just felt like I had to.”
While this exchange was going on, Peter stood off to the side, feeling like an intruder. He couldn't help but wonder what this “church” was that Delilah was talking about and what kind of man could cause such harm to such a sweet woman.
“Anyway,” Delilah obviously wanted to change the subject. She flashed Peter a grin, “where can I put my stuff?”
“Upstairs. Peter's got the room down here.”
Delilah's eyes got wide. “Well, an official roommate! That's a switch.”
Playfully punching her arm, Micky laughed. “Oh stop it. Come on, I'll give you a hand.”
Peter watched the cousins make their way up the stairs, clowning around like two kids. It was a side of Micky he had not witnessed. For the first time, Peter's friend seemed genuinely happy. Delilah was definitely the kind of girl who had an affect on people that was for sure. She was so full of energy and determination, Peter couldn't imagine her being in an abusive relationship. Stranger things had happened, he supposed.
Knowing that he wouldn't be able to settle down enough to practice, Peter went back to his room and put the guitar away, then grabbed a t-shirt and some sandals and headed down to the beach to find Karen and the others. But the entire time, he found that Delilah was on his mind.