Notes: This piece was inspired by two requests, first from a reader who requested a scenario with Davy being very ill, and a second request for a piece inspired by "Monkee Mayor." The first half also focuses on my headcanon for TV-Davy, and why he was raised by his grandfather.
Malibu, CA; four years prior:
Since their friendship had formed, Davy was spending noticeably less time away from the Pad and more time working on the music with Mike. As the gigs started increasing thanks to word of mouth, they found themselves busier than ever before, even though they each divided the work—Mike doing the writing and guitar-playing while Davy focused on developing a song-and-dance routine for each song.
This often led to them pushing each other to the brink of exhaustion—Davy especially, who also had school to deal with. Mike, having quit his waiter job, could now use the day to focus on his writing. But Davy often had to develop his routines well into the night. He was very careful not to let Mike know this, however; he knew the Texan would berate him for not getting enough sleep.
But Mike wasn't as unobservant as he seemed; he noticed the days when Davy hobbled out of the Pad half-asleep. He had intended to say something about it—especially one morning when Davy looked rather pale as he headed out.
"You okay, Tiny?"
"Yeah, I'm… just a little under the weather," the boy said. "It's nothing, though; I'll be fine."
Mike knew that it was anything but fine; Davy really did look as though he in desperate need of rest. But before Mike could tell him not to go to school, Davy was already out the door.
Both common sense and a sixth sense told Mike that he ought to go follow him and bring him back; he ignored both of those, instead deciding to whip up another batch of Aunt Kate's remedy; it had helped Davy feel better the last time, and it would hopefully work its miracle again.
As he spent the next several hours tending to the remedy and to straightening out Davy's room so that he could go straight to bed upon his return, Mike had to take a moment to reflect that, somewhere along the line, he really had taken on the responsibilities of an elder brother. It was… new, really. Sure, he had grown up with his younger cousins in New Gallifrey, but Lucy and Clara often went about their own business and let Mike go about his; Mike never really caught on to Lucy's love of nature walks or to Clara's love of baking soufflés, and they didn't share his passion for music, either.
Davy had been the first one who cared about music as much as he did—and, more than that, he had been the first true friend that Mike had made outside his family; the fair-weather friends Mike had grown up with had no further place in his life.
The Texan sighed, reclining on the backless couch once his tasks were done. Malibu was a very long way from New Gallifrey, but his journey had been worth it. He had sought fame and fortune as a musician, and though seeing his name in lights still eluded him, Mike had found something far more precious instead.
With these thoughts in mind, Mike decided to let himself doze off; Davy would be back soon; it was almost 2:30. But the sound of the opening door—which Mike had been planning to use as an impromptu alarm clock—never came, and when Mike opened his eyes again, it was almost 4:00.
He swore under his breath as he got up; ever since the first time they had been worried about each other, they had never failed to let the other know if they were delayed or would be late. This… this wasn't good.
The Texan grabbed the phone and called the school. His frustrations were quickly growing by the second as he was being given the runaround; just about every person he spoke to refused to tell him anything, saying that as he was not a relative or legal guardian of Davy, they were not at liberty to tell him anything.
"His family and legal guardian are plumb on the other side of the world!" he finally bellowed over the phone. "Where is he?!"
Finally a secretary answered him with a squeak.
"He… he's in the school infirmary, Sir; he took ill this morning, shortly after classes started."
"Why wasn't I called?!" Mike demanded.
"Because, Sir, when the school term began, he didn't list anyone as an emergency contact other than his grandfather—and we can't seem to get ahold of him."
Mike blinked. Of course—that had been before their friendship had formed.
"Well, good luck trying to get ahold of a guy in England," the Texan said, at last. "Never mind that; how is Davy?"
"I'm afraid I can't tell you, Sir; you're not—"
"Oh, forget it!" Mike snarled, slamming the phone down.
This was getting him nowhere, and he wasn't about to stand for it any longer. It wasn't that he didn't trust them to take care of Davy; heck, they were far more qualified to look after him than Mike could ever hope to be. But that didn't change that poor Davy was lying sick and alone.
Mike had quit his job just so that Davy wouldn't have had to tackle the flu on his own. He certainly couldn't let this go any farther.
Unfortunately, when Mike arrived at the school infirmary, the runaround was even more prevalent. Once again, no one was telling him anything as to where Davy was or what was wrong with him, and the real slap in the face was their insistence that only family members were allowed to visit infirmary patients.
So desperate was Mike that he resorted to using a spare food cart as an impromptu cover as he covertly traveled the halls, looking for his friend. His efforts were, eventually, rewarded; he found Davy resting in one of the rooms, looking far, far worse than he had in the morning. It suddenly became clear that exhaustion was not the problem here, but that the sleepless nights had been the straws that had broken the camel's back.
"Davy?" he asked, softly.
The younger boy's eyes snapped open in surprise.
"Mike…!" he quietly exclaimed. "You mean they actually called you in after all?"
"You kidding? No one told me anything, so I took matters into my own hands—came here to check on you after you didn't show up. How are you?"
"I feel like I'm twisted up in knots inside," Davy replied, wincing in pain. "I… I heard them mention something about transferring me—that I needed my appendix out."
"They don't know for sure…"
Mike just cursed under his breath again, grateful that he had taken action as quickly as he had; if Davy had been shipped off to a hospital, there's no way the school would've bothered to tell him which one.
"…Okay," he said. "Well… The first thing we gotta do is not panic—"
"Excuse me!" a voice exclaimed from behind him, causing the Texan to jump a foot in the air.
"Don't do that…" he said, as Davy gulped; the one who had just entered was a nurse, who glanced at Mike, unimpressed.
"What are you doing here?" she inquired. "Only family members are allowed to visit patients in our infirmary. Just who are you?"
"Me? I'm, uh…" Mike trailed off as a lightbulb went off in his head, and he gestured to Davy. "I'm his brother."
Fortunately, Davy was too ill for his face to betray his surprise.
"…His brother?" the nurse repeated.
"Well, yeah!" Mike said. "You know how it works, right? I look out for the kid, make sure he's okay, and all of that." He now stood beside Davy's bed. "If y'all hadn't given me the runaround, I could've told you that!"
The nurse arched an eyebrow in suspicion.
"Well, never mind." She turned to Davy. "We're going to be transporting you to the nearest general hospital; we really don't have any time for a delay. Do you want your… brother to go with you?"
"Yes, please," Davy said. "Well… If he wants to, of course…"
"You think I'd let you go alone?" Mike asked. He turned to the nurse. "I'm going with him."
She nodded and left the room again.
"Thank you," Davy said, quietly.
"I'm not about to let some arbitrary rule stop me from being there for you. You're going to be okay, and I'm going to be right there."
"That's not what I meant—though thanks for that, too. I meant… what you said just now, about being my brother—I could tell that you meant it."
"I was just realizing how much you've grown on me," Mike mused. "I mean… First we were just roommates. Then we were friends. Then we were bandmates. I'd say we've reached the point of brothers, wouldn't you?"
"Yeah," Davy said, softly. "I always wanted one, you know."
"You know, you've never really told me much about your family, other than your gramps being your guardian."
"Well, he had to be my guardian," Davy sighed. "My sisters were away at boarding school for most of the year, and, well… I… didn't really have anyone else after the accident." He looked away.
"I was five when I lost them. I… guess I was a bit angry, you know. I know they didn't mean for it to happen, but it really felt like they'd just… left. For a very long time, I tried to make myself believe I didn't want or need anyone."
"…And that's why you came to California," Mike finished. He sympathized with his friend; Mike, too, had come to California to get away from his life, albeit for a different reason—the friends he had made had been poisonous ones, and Mike had attempted to seal his heart away to prevent another such betrayal.
"I figured that if I didn't get close to anyone, they couldn't possibly leave," Davy explained.
"But then I came along and messed up your plans, huh?"
Davy's answer was preempted as the medics came in, preparing to move him.
"Mike…?" Davy whispered, softly.
"…You're not gonna leave, too, are you?"
He was scared—anyone could see that. Scared for his own fate—whatever it may be—but also scared that he was, one day, going to lose the brother he hadn't intended to find.
Mike gave him a reassuring smile.
"Of course not. You're stuck with me, Tiny. Better get used to it." He felt a sense of accomplishment as Davy let out a slightly relieved smile.
Mike eventually got a chance to sigh in relief later, at the hospital, after the procedure was done and he was informed that Davy would be just fine. Mike spent every moment by his side as he recovered; there was little he could do other than offer some brotherly words of comfort.
But, in the end, it turned out to be more than enough.
Malibu, CA; four years later:
Much like the flu incident, Davy never forgot the words of comfort Mike had given him through his terrible ordeal. Their friendship had emerged even stronger after that. And Mike soon found himself playing big brother to Micky and Peter as they came along and ended up staying.
Mike prided himself in being the leader of the band, and it was a responsibility that he took very, very seriously. Needless to say, the times when he felt as though he had let the down were the very worst moments of his life.
It was after his failed bid as Mayor of Malibu that he hit one of those points—being forced to admit on live television that he had been tricked by Mr. Zekenbush and would, therefore, withdraw his candidacy.
And that was when it dawned on him—this wasn't just sitting around the house and failing. This was walking around the entire city and failing. True, the incumbent mayor promised him that the zoning plans for the parking lots would be changed, but, even so, Mike had wanted to be the one to win that crusade.
It wasn't the untold number of people watching his humiliating surrender that got to him; it was the looks upon his bandmates' faces—the ones who had been right by his side every step of the way, cheering him on and going all-out to help him win… The looks in their eyes were practically screaming "Why, Mike, why?"
And the drive home had been pure torture. People on the street who recognized him from the posters and the telecast were pointing and talking. Some of them laughed. Some of them sneered. And his bandmates obligingly snarled back at those who sought to ridicule him, only to be laughed at themselves for backing up Mike's failed campaign.
And there were the special late editions of the papers everywhere they went, displaying Mike's picture along with a snide headline. When Mike parked the Monkeemobile back outside the Pad again, he immediately got out and went for a walk.
"Mike?" Peter called.
"You guys gotta get everyone outta the Pad," the Texan said. "Help 'em pack; I'll be back in a bit."
"But—" Micky began.
"Just do it, will ya?!" Mike said, a little more harshly than he had intended.
"I'll handle this," Davy said, softly. "Get the packing started and then join us at the beach—give me fifteen minutes."
Micky and Peter nodded, and Davy quietly followed Mike down to the beach. He watched as the Texan angrily kicked a discarded soda can into oblivion. The English boy cleared his throat, causing Mike to whirl around and glare at him.
"I thought I told you to help with the packing!"
"I didn't quite fancy that job," Davy said, offhandedly.
"Well, I'd like to be alone, if you don't mind, so if you could go back and help the others—"
"I can't," Davy said, folding his arms. "It's my privilege."
Mike frowned, but said nothing, kicking another soda can.
So many times when Davy had been upset or hurt in the past, with no way to do anything about it, Mike had resorted to words. It had been Mike's words that had kept Davy calm during his ordeal in the infirmary, among other things.
And now it was time to pay Mike back.
"You know, déjà vu can be a very interesting thing," Davy said. "I seem to remember that it was right here, on this same stretch of beach a year ago, that you gave me a talking-to when I wanted to prove to the world that I wasn't a boxing sham." He suppressed a smile as Mike's shoulders went rigid. "You remember, don't you? My name was in all the papers, all of them trying to make me look like I was in on Sholto's scam… I was angry and upset, and I wanted to be alone in my misery, too. But you wouldn't let me."
Mike now looked back to him.
"You're not letting me, either, are you?"
"Nope," Davy said, with a smile. "I can't do anything to stop the papers ridiculing you, just like how you couldn't stop them from doing it to me. And that makes me feel terrible, because neither of us deserved that."
"You certainly didn't…" Mike agreed.
"And neither did you," Davy insisted. "The whole reason you ran for mayor was to stop the zoning project from tearing the neighbor's houses down. And you succeeded. More than that, you did the right thing by not playing Zeckenbush's game and telling everyone about it right there. It takes a good man to admit that he made a mistake." He smiled. "And you're the best man I know."
Mike just exhaled, not fully convinced.
"I'm not just saying that," Davy said, reading his mind. "Why else did Micky, Peter, and I back you up? Why'd we unanimously agree to have you lead us? You always figure out what needs to be done."
"I didn't do anything this time," Mike. "I was stopped before I could!"
"You said what needed to be said," Davy countered. "Just like you've always done. I know you want to be able to fix everything, but you can't. And when you can't, you always know what to say."
"And what difference does that make?"
"All the difference in the world," Davy said, softly. "You know, that day when I was in the infirmary, four years ago… If you hadn't shown up when you did, I don't think I would've been able to keep it together. And what about when I wanted to quit the band and become a real prizefighter to prove the papers wrong? You remember what you told me?"
Mike looked back at him as Davy placed gently placed his finger on Mike's throat.
"'What you've got here,'" he quoted. "'That's no sham.'"
At last, a smile began to work its way onto the Texan's face, and, encouraged by this, Davy continued.
"You're not a politician, Mike; that's not for you—just like boxing wasn't for me. We're musicians. …That's good enough, isn't it?"
"I reckon it's more than good enough," Mike said, the smile fully breaking through. "Ya know, you're not too shabby with the whole 'power of words' thing yourself."
"Well, of course," Davy answered. "I learned from the best, didn't I?"
And now the Texan found himself at a loss for words. Silently, he drew the English boy to his side in a one-armed hug, which he returned.
And when Micky and Peter showed up a few minutes later, as per Davy's instructions, Mike discovered that Davy was not the only one who had picked up on the power of words, as well.
And that was when the realization truly hit home. This wasn't the life of a failure.
He was a success.