Feedback for the author...
DISCLAIMER: This site is in no way affiliated with the Monkees or personal relations thereof. All fan fiction and fan art is intended for entertainment purposes only and no defamation of character is intended whatsoever. To break it down one more time: It's all just for fun, folks.
Title: Marked Man
Rating: PG-13 to R for sexual innuendo
Summary: It's Peter's birthday, and his desire to spend it with the chick he's seeing doesn't sit right with some of his bandmates.
Author's Note: Happy birthday Peter Tork! I hope he has many, many more healthy and happy ones! :D
"Yeah I'm angry, Peter. It isn't right!"
Mike stopped in mid-yawn when he heard Davy's outraged voice from the top level of the pad. He glanced over his shoulder at Micky, who was also just emerging from their room. The drummer raised his eyebrows and his shoulders and they both leaned over the railing to get a look at the action.
"Tell 'er you've already got plans. It's not like she's not gonna get you all to herself tomorrow!"
Taking that as his cue, Mike hurried down the stairs with Micky at his back and saw a visibly angry Davy facing down a remorseful-looking Peter. Mike frowned and interposed himself between the two bandmates.
"Hey, what's goin' on here?"
"Peter's gonna be spending the whole day with Roberta," said Davy, his face reddening. "The whole day!"
"So it's his birthday! We always go to Pop's and then to Santa Monica for Peter's birthday! It's tradition, you know!" said Davy. "And he's gonna be taking her to the drive in on Valentine's Day anyway -"
"Davy, she wants to cook me dinner. I couldn't say no," said Peter, with a sheepish smile. "All of her roommates are going out so she has her place to herself for the night."
"Say no more, Pete. Sounds like she's gonna be cooking up a nice birthday for you," said Micky with a leer before turning to the Brit. "Cool it, Davy. It's Pete's day. I could see why he'd rather spend the day with a chick than with us and Pop's meatballs."
"But we won't get to see him at all," said Davy, a little quieter. "It just seems a bit selfish to me. She knows she's gonna have him all to herself in just another day -"
"Micky's right," said Mike, cutting Davy off with a shake of his head. "It's Peter's birthday and he should get to choose where he wants to be without being hassled."
"Wait," Peter said quickly, noticing Mike's expression start to darken. "It's okay. I'll call her and just tell her that I'll see her -"
"- Right when you said you're gonna." Mike looked over his shoulder at Peter. "Pete, you're 20 now. That means you're an adult no matter how ya shake it and that means you can do whatcha want, where ya want and with whoever ya want. Dig?"
"Fine." Davy glared up at Mike. "Whatever. Let 'im be with her. It's not like she'll even be around that much longer."
Mike felt a hand grab his arm and only then realized he'd been moving, and had come dangerously close to punching Davy in his face. "Mike, don't," said Peter quietly, not letting go of his arm. Davy, wide-eyed, looked shaken and was about to say something else before he turned around and stormed to his and Peter's room, slamming the door behind him.
"Dammit," muttered Mike who was a little shaken-up as well, now. "What the hell's gotten into him?"
"Dunno. This isn't like Davy to get riled up about something like this," said Micky. "As girl-crazy as he is, you'd think he'd get it, huh Pete?"
"Yeah ... I guess ..." Peter murmured, looking worriedly toward the closed door. "He really seemed sore at me. Maybe I should -"
"Already a step ahead of you," said Micky, heading toward Davy's room. "Don't worry about it man. He'll come around. Don't let it ruin your birthday." He knocked on the door, and without waiting for an answer, opened it and quickly went inside, shutting it tight behind him.
Mike sighed and turned to face Peter. "You alright?"
"No! Davy hates me now." Peter's eyes were glassy. "Mike, I think we should just tell him and Micky the truth."
The Texan sucked in a breath. "Peter, I thought we agreed on that. To keep the fellas out of this for now."
"I know, I know, but it's getting really out of hand," said Peter, running his hands through his hair. "And now Davy's so angry ..."
"He don't have any right to be. It's your birthday and you get to spend it how you want."
"I want to spend it not lying to my friends," said Peter softly. "Mike, I want to tell them about you and me -"
"It's getting to be a drag. Telling the guys I'm dating a college girl, both of us having to make up stories when we want to see each other -"
"Y'think I like it, Pete? Havin' to be called Roberta all the time? There's a reason I don't go by my real first name, man."
Peter smiled. "Well, I thought Michaela would have worked, but even Davy and Micky would've seen through that."
Mike grinned in spite of himself. Peter smiling at him brought the blood to his face and made his tummy flutter as if he'd swallowed a bowl of feathers. He reached out to stroke Peter's bright hair and had to resist the urge to kiss the sweet, smiling lips. At that moment, Mike wouldn't have cared if Peter wanted to call him Maggy-Mae - anything, including the various subterfuges they'd been using to keep Micky and Davy in the dark, was worth it.
"Don't let it get to ya, Pete. Think about tonight." Mike grinned slightly. "Got somethin' planned that I think you're gonna like."
"Yeah," murmured Mike thickly, seeing Peter's eyes deepen. "Just hang in there, shotgun. Whatever's eatin' Davy isn't your problem."
"But what if -" Peter began, but both jumped back, startled when the door to Peter and Davy's room banged open and Micky leaned through the doorway.
"What?" His voice came out sharper than he'd expected it to, but he didn't care. He was nervous about what Micky might've seen because the drummer looked agitated. But he wasn't really looking at Peter at all.
"Get in here, willya? We need to talk." Micky gestured toward the inside of the room, still not looking over at Peter. He disappeared back into the room without another word. Mike could hear Peter gulping next to him.
"It's alright. Mick just needs some backup." Mike gently steered Peter over to the kitchen table where a large breakfast was set up. Mr. Schneider was seated at the table, an envelope in his front pocket with PETER written on the front in large, block letters.
"Eat up. We made your favorite." Mike nodded toward a plate piled high with french toast with a candle on top. "And looks like Mr. Schneider's got a card for you."
Mike loved seeing Peter's face light up as he read the card and thanked Mr. Schneider for what appeared to be a very sweet birthday message. He waited until Peter was seated at the table and digging into his food before going into the room Peter shared with Davy.
"Alright, now what the hell's your damn issue, Davy," Mike began barely before the door was closed. "It's Peter's birthday, and you're -"
"Mike, cool it." Micky's voice was surprisingly hard. "Sit down and be quiet. We got a big problem. Pete's in trouble."
That took the wind out of Mike's sails and he sat down heavily on Peter's bed, opposite Davy. "What kinda problem?"
Micky nodded toward Davy who immediately answered: "It's this Roberta chick!"
Mike felt the anger start to rise again. "Davy, it ain't none of your business ..."
"It is if she's hurting him!"
That brought Mike up short. "What?"
Micky took over. "Davy's seen ... marks on Peter. Bruises. Bad ones."
Mike blinked. Micky's face was pulled in tight, serious. He glanced over at Davy, whose hard expression was unwavering. Serious. They're serious about this was Mike's hazy thought. "Bruises?" he repeated. "Where? I haven't seen anything."
"You don't share a room with him," retorted Davy. "The first time I saw anything was when he first started seeing her. He had these little marks on his neck and I had a bit of a go at him over it, but he got really quiet, like he was afraid to say anything about it. I let it go then, but the next time he was with her, when he came in that night and took his shirt off to go to bed, I saw these black and blue marks all down his back. I asked him what happened and he got all red and flustered the way he does when he's trying to think up something to say."
"So that makes you think s-she's hurtin' him?" Mike's voice was gruff but his mind was racing. Since he and Peter had become "involved," things had gotten pretty intense between them. Since they were keeping it a secret from Micky and Davy, they had to snatch opportunities to be alone when they could - at gigs, when the others were out on dates, in the Monkeemobile, etc. He recalled that some of the venues weren't all that conducive to comfort. Mike winced at the memory of a rushed encounter backstage at a discoteque while Davy and Micky had been chasing a couple of chicks they wanted to get to know better. He and Peter had nearly knocked over their guitars, and one had clipped him on the hip, leaving a nasty-looking cut there. It had been pretty painful. It had been totally worth it, however.
"And he's been spending all his free time with her," continued Davy. "We barely see him except for at practice and gigs. If she's knocking him around and making him spend all his time with her, she's bad, bad news."
Mike shook himself out of his daze. "Look. D'ya really think Pete would let a chick knock him around? He's not into any of that -"
"Yeah, but Peter's not the most, y'know, experienced with chicks," said Micky. "Maybe this girl's into some weird scene and to make her happy, Pete's going along with it. He did say she's older than him."
"Not that much older!" Mike reddened when Davy and Micky looked at him oddly. "I mean, I just can't see Peter going along with something that could hurt him badly. Maybe this ... girl doesn't even realize what's goin' on. Or maybe there's been some ... accidents."
"Still, I don't like it. It's tradition that we spend Peter's birthday together. He knows that," said Davy. "She's gotta know that he'll be all hers for Valentine's Day, but he said he promised her he'd spend it with her! Selfish bint."
"Gotta say I'm with Davy. There's something off about this girl. Pete hasn't even brought her around," Micky said, looking thoughtful. "First, I thought maybe she was just a beat-looking chick ..."
Mike bit his lip. Hard.
"... But now I'm thinking maybe she's some kinda sicko. I mean, right now it's bruises, but what if she does something really far out and he breaks his arm? He could be done as a musician if that happens. And we're done as a group!"
"So now do you see? We've got to tell Peter it's no good for him to keep seeing her. It's for his own safety."
Mike took a long, deep breath. "Pete's ... not gonna go for that."
"He won't have a choice," said Davy stonily. "It's either her or us, and I know Peter won't choose her. He would've stayed with us to go to Pop's if you hadn't butted in. If he gets hurt really badly by her, it'll be your fault, Mike."
Mike started to speak, then stopped. In his own ridiculous way, Davy was right. Obviously their antics had taken more of a toll on Peter than he'd realized. They'd been accidents, but still ...
He quickly stood up. "Alright, maybe y'got a point there. Listen - I'm gonna talk to Pete."
Micky's eyes widened. "And say what? 'Pete, we know your chick's been wailing on you and we want her to quit it?' He hasn't said anything because he's embarrassed, man."
"He hasn't said anything because you haven't been askin' the right questions." Mike removed his wool hat and mopped his brow. "Just leave it to me, alright?"
Micky and Davy looked at each other and shrugged, following Mike out of the bedroom and into the living room. Peter was still seated at the table, polishing off his breakfast and reading through some of the birthday cards that had arrived from his family. Mike motioned for Davy and Micky to stay put while he sauntered into the kitchen.
Peter looked up with questioning eyes. "Is ... is everything okay?"
"Er, not exactly." Mike glanced over his shoulder. Davy and Micky were standing around staring hard into the kitchen, both of them looking somewhat tense and dubious. He raised his voice. "Pete, we've all been talkin', and I gotta ask you somethin' about this ... chick y'been seein'."
Peter's eyes widened. "What happened?"
Mike sat down and leaned close, lowering his voice. "Pete, Davy's seen bruises on ya. He thinks Roberta's kickin' your ass. That's why he made such a fuss - he's afraid you're bein' ... abused and he wants Roberta out of the picture."
"Bruises?" Peter frowned, then his jaw dropped. "Oh! Yeah - that, um, night in the Monkeemobile -"
"After the gig at the Club Cassandra -"
"Oh that one. I ... hurt ya?" Mike's voice was barely a whisper.
"No! I mean, I know you didn't mean it -"
Mike felt as if someone had punched him in the gut. "Dammit, shotgun, why didn'tcha tell me-"
"Mike, it was okay. I just kinda hit up against the steering wheel a few times. It wasn't a big deal."
"I coulda stopped ..."
"I didn't want you to. It felt too nice." Peter smiled dreamily. "I didn't notice until later, and it didn't really hurt. Honest!"
"Still, y'gotta tell me if anything feels weird. We can ... adjust."
"Mike, that time backstage at the Van Go-Go, my bass hit you in the head! You didn't say anything then."
"Well, my hat kinda cushioned the blow." Mike briefly put a hand over Peter's. "I'm serious, Pete. The last thing I ever wanna do is hurtcha. He might be wrong about everything else, but Davy's right in that we gotta be a little more careful."
Peter nodded slowly. "All right, but Mike, I don't want to do this anymore - lie to Micky and Davy, I mean. I do want to break up with Roberta ... and be with you."
Mike's eyes shut briefly. What Peter was asking ... the dynamics of the band would change. If word got out, things might get uncomfortable. If word got to their families, things would definitely get uncomfortable. He opened his eyes and stared into Peter's, seeing a determination and strength there that nearly took his breath away, and just like that, all his fears didn't matter a damn.
"Fine. Give Roberta the boot then." Mike paused. "But not today."
"It's your birthday, Peter. I wantcha to enjoy it. There'll be plenty of time for what's gonna come after everyone finds out. It can wait at least the one day. This one day."
Peter sighed softly. "Okay. But what about Davy and Micky? Now both of them are worried."
"You leave them to me. C'mon. Let me do most of the talkin'."
Mike stood up and waved at Peter to do the same. "Alright, that's all settled then," he said in a voice he knew the others could hear, and walked out to the living room, Peter trailing behind him. Davy and Micky looked from Peter to Mike anxiously.
"I talked to Pete. It's agreed that he's gonna tell Roberta it's over."
Davy and Micky looked at each other in disbelief. "Wait, just like that?"
"She didn't mean anything bad," said Peter, "And she never meant to hurt me, but ... I've been thinking for awhile that she's not really who I want to be with."
"That's all right then," Davy said, breathing a sigh of relief. "Peter, I didn't mean to yell at you, but you wouldn't tell me what was going on and when I thought you were going to skive off and be with her -"
"I understand, Davy." Peter smiled at his friend. "I'm sorry that you fellas were worried."
"I'm gonna drive Pete out to talk to her," said Mike casually. "Just so everything's clear."
"Why can't we all go?" Micky asked, looking puzzled. "What if she gets mad at Peter for breaking things off?"
"Er ... three against one? Kind of an unfair advantage." Mike laughed uneasily. "She's not that bad a ... chick. Seein' me there, she'll know Pete means business."
"And what about tonight? Does it mean we can go to Pop's?"
"Yep. I think ... that was sort of selfish of Roberta, wantin' Pete alone all day today." Mike stroked his chin. "Prob'ly didn't understand what it means to you - to us - to spend this day with Pete. It's not somethin' that'll happen again." He looked over at Pete and gave a small smile, which Peter returned to the full, making Mike's knees a little wobbly.
"Groovy! So when'll you guys be back?"
"In awhile. Get your jacket, Pete." Mike shrugged into his denim jacket and felt for the keys to the Monkeemobile. "By the time we're back and get changed, it'll be time for lunch."
"Right, well, good luck." Davy clapped Peter on the shoulder. "Y'know, it's a bit too bad that we'll never get a chance to meet this girl."
"But you will, Mike." Micky leaned close and whispered, "Five dollars says she's a beat chick."
"Forget it, man. Give Pete some credit. I know he's got good taste. I can guarantee this is one groovy-looking chick." Mike inclined his head to the door, and he and Peter took their leave.
Two hours later, Mike and Peter walked through the doors of the pad. Davy, who'd been on the bandstand inspecting his maracas, looked up.
"That took awhile." He stared at them both. "You fellas all right?"
"I thought I heard the door ..." Micky emerged from the washroom. "Oh, hey guys! So how'd it go ..." He tilted his head and studied them. "Geez, you guys look like you got caught in a wind tunnel."
Mike and Peter traded guilty looks. Both were somewhat disheveled. Peter's belt buckle was twisted halfway around to his back, his shirt had a slight tear in it and his hair was mussed. Mike was no less worse for the wear. His hat was askew and his belt was gone entirely, and one of the buttons on his jacket was strangely missing.
"Yeah, uh, it's pretty breezy outside."
"Um, and then we got a flat tire and had to change it ..."
"Yeah." Mike cleared his throat and tried to ignore the throbbing in his knee that had come when he involuntarily had hit the dashboard while Peter's mouth was working its magic well below his Mason-Dixon line. He cleared his throat again.
"How did things go with Roberta?"
"Fine. She understood. And apologized." Peter's eyes shifted over to Mike. "A lot."
"And she said Pete had really good friends and she was gonna miss him."
"So that's that?" asked Davy, still studying the two. "She just gave up without a fight?" He chuckled at the inadvertant joke then sobered up immediately. "Sorry."
"I think she knew it was for the best. But she said she still wanted to see the movie tomorrow, and I think that's all right. Then after that, no more Roberta," said Peter, hanging up his coat. "Anyway, I'm starving. I hope Pop made his special ravioli today."
"Hey, Pete - what's that on your neck?" Micky drew closer, his focus on an area right below Peter's chin. Everyone froze.
"This." Micky pointed to a reddened circle. "It looks like a little love bite."
"O-Oh." Peter forced a laugh. "Yeah, well, she said since she couldn't give me my present ... she just kissed me goodbye, and um, some other things. I didn't even notice that."
"What? Right in front of Mike?" Davy sounded scandalized. "What's this girl on about?"
"I didn't see nothin'," Mike said with a shrug. It was true. When he and Peter had gotten to a deserted stretch of road, he'd closed his eyes and lunged for Peter like a starving man.
Micky laughed loudly, shaking his head. "You musta had your back turned, Mike."
"Not hardly," retorted Mike, winking at a smiling Peter and pretending to ignore what looked to be a look of dawning comprehension on Davy's face. He shrugged out of his damaged jacket and whistled his way up the stairs, wondering if it was too early to start planning his own birthday celebration.