Notes: the characters aren't mine (except for the OCs) and the story is! After the emotional roller coaster of my last fic, I'm taking a breather with this comparatively lighthearted adventure fic—please excuse the slow start, as I want to build up to the action this time, rather than start in the middle of the action. Anything that looks like a reference to a certain song from the Pool It album is intentional.
It was nearly eleven in the morning when Mike awoke. He groaned inwardly as he realized that most of the entire morning had gone. Of course, he couldn't blame his bandmates for letting him sleep in. Mike had been suffering from insomnia for the past few weeks and had only recently started sleeping again; the others would, naturally, have insisted upon letting him catch up on his lost sleep.
After changing into some appropriate day wear and resting his wool hat on his tousled hair, Mike headed downstairs, surprised to see the Pad empty except for Micky, who was skimming through the TV channels while drinking a cup of coffee.
"Morning," the brunet called.
"What's left of it, anyway," the Texan mused. "Where is everyone?"
"Davy had a lunch date, and Pete went out to finally get that electronic keyboard he's had his heart set on," Micky relayed.
Mike glanced at their petty cash jar; it had been emptied, but he didn't mind. All three of them had long supported Peter's desire of adding a keyboard to their band.
"You hungry?" Micky asked. "We've got some breakfast fixings left."
"Eh, it's almost lunchtime; I can wait," Mike said.
"There's more coffee if you're not fully awake," Micky added.
"Oh? Who made it?"
"…No offense, Mick, but I think I'll pass. I'm just getting out of my insomnia spell."
Micky let out a mock sigh.
"Man, make the coffee just a tiny bit too strong once, and you never get trusted with it again…"
"Micky, that last time, you had poor Davy bouncing off the walls for three nights straight! Now I know why you seem to have an endless supply of energy—you drink your own coffee!"
Micky shrugged it off, and Mike just shook his head in amusement.
"So, it's just the three of us for lunch, huh?" the Texan asked, pulling out the used paper plates and setting them on the table.
"Yep; Davy said not to expect him back until late. I think he's going to try to convince Cyndia to go to dinner and a movie, too."
Mike stopped in the middle of place-setting.
"Cyndia?" he asked. "Not Cyndia Crowforest?"
Micky looked up at Mike, surprised.
"Yeah, that's her name. You know her?"
"She was Davy's alleged girlfriend a few years ago when they were still in school—this was right after I took him in. They were together for about six months."
"What happened? She was walking all over him so much, it's amazing he didn't have any footprints on him! She tried to blackmail him into taking a skiing trip to Lake Tahoe, saying she'd dump if he didn't go."
"And?" Micky asked.
"He didn't go, and she was true to her word. The only good thing that came out of that relationship was that I learned to care for the little guy with all the worrying I was doing for him. I don't know what he's thinking, trying to get back together with her now…"
"Maybe she's matured by now?" Micky offered.
Mike let out a cynical grunt.
"He's too good for her, even if she's turned over a new leaf," the Texan declared. "Why Davy would want to give a second chance to a chick like that is beyond me."
"A chick like who?" Peter asked, entering the Pad in time to hear Mike say those words. "You mean Cyndia?"
"Oh, you met her, too, huh?" Mike asked. "I'm beginning to think Davy wanted me not to know about this; he knew I'd be dead set against it…" He shook his head and now turned his attention to the case Peter was carrying. "Got your keyboard?"
"Oh, yeah!" the blond grinned. "Case and everything! Wait'll you see this; it's got a piano setting, an organ setting, a harpsichord setting—"
"Better yet, why don't you give us a demonstration after we eat lunch?"
"Well, can we wait for Davy to get back first?" Peter asked. "I've been teaching him how to play the bass; I want to see if we can pull this off—me at the keyboard and him on the bass while you two do your thing."
"Sure, but we've got a while to wait," Micky said. "It's like I told Mike—Davy told me he wouldn't be back until evening."
Mike's eyebrows arched as he glanced out the back windows of the Pad that overlooked the beach.
"If that's the case, then the day sure went by fast…" he commented.
The Texan was staring pointedly out the window, where they could see Davy heading back towards the Pad—alone.
"He looks terrible!" Peter exclaimed.
"He looks just how I looked that time that weightlifter stole my girlfriend!" Micky said. "…Hey, you don't suppose…"
"I'll bet money on it," Mike said, darkly.
"No way!" Peter said. "Davy Jones, chick magnet, lose to another guy? I mean… the world might as well stop turning now!"
Mike held up a hand to quiet him as Davy walked up the steps to the balcony and entered through the back door. He glanced at his comrades and gave a wan smile and a shrug.
"Davy…" Mike said, folding his arms. "Just tell me one thing. Why?"
"It seemed like a good idea at the time," Davy said. "I mean… Well, Cyndia had been asking to get back together for a while now, and I just decided to give her another chance."
"And this will hopefully write and end to this sorry tale, won't it?" Mike asked.
"That's the thing; it was going great until…"
"Another guy muscled in?" Micky asked, his eyes wide.
Davy nodded, glumly, and Peter shook his head in disbelief.
"That's it," the blond said. "The world did stop turning. The impossible has happened. The fat lady ought to be singing her swan song any moment now…"
"Pete, if you had been here the first time Davy and Cyndia broke up, you wouldn't be the least bit surprised," Mike said. "I'm sure not." He looked to the English boy. "I'd give you an I-told-you-so, but you never gave me a chance to find out about this bad idea of yours."
"But why would this chick pick some other guy over you?" Micky wondered. "I mean, sure, Brenda saw that a weakling like me couldn't compare to that Bulk guy, but look at you! You've got the looks, you've got the spunk, you've got that English charm—"
"That's just it; so did the other fella," Davy said. "He was from England, too—with looks and spunk. And something else that I didn't have."
"What was that?" Peter asked.
Davy responded by pulling the few crumpled bills from his pocket.
"Money. He was chucking it like confetti; he offered Cyndia lunch at this posh place that I could never afford. She took him up on his offer in five seconds."
"And that surprised you?" Mike asked.
"Well, I was more surprised to see another Englishman in Southern California," Davy admitted.
"That's not right," Peter said. "You oughta be able to trust your fellow countryman in a foreign land—not lose your girlfriend to him…"
"So who was this Girlfriend-Stealer-from-the-Old-Country?" Micky asked.
"Beats me," Davy said. "He introduced himself to Cyndia as Ricardo Alistair—only he requested that she call him Rico; it was embroidered into his suit." He rolled his eyes. "I ask you, who wears a three-piece suit in weather like this?"
"Rico, apparently," Mike deadpanned.
Peter bit his lip for a moment as Davy let out a sigh and sat down in one of the chairs, staring blankly at the ceiling.
"Hey, Davy?" Peter asked, softly. "If it would help you win Cyndia back, I could return the keyboard I just got—you could have the money."
The English boy looked back at the blond in surprise, but then managed a smile.
"No, Peter," he said. "I wouldn't do that to you—not even if it would help me win Miss World. I know how much you've wanted that keyboard."
Peter smiled back.
"I knew you'd say that. See, you're a nice guy; if Cyndia is too stupid to see that, you probably shouldn't even bother. And I'm supposed to be the dummy here…"
"You're not," Davy insisted.
Peter just shrugged it off, even as Micky and Mike also nodded in agreement.
"Well, anyway," the blond went on. "I've got something else that might succeed in cheering you up—something that could cheer all of us up and get us some money in the process, too!"
The others now looked to Peter in interest as he pulled a folded-up flyer from his pocket.
"This was on the bulletin board in the music shop," he said. "Since the auditions are today, the cashier said I could go ahead and take it down from the board. What do you guys think?"
Mike craned his neck to take a look.
"'Open auditions for The Art of Music Rock Festival tonight at 6:00 PM,'" he read. "Those who pass the auditions will be provided with payment for their performance at the festival in… Paris, France'!?"
"Isn't it great?" Peter asked, grinning. "We had such a great time in Paris the last time we were there; we said we wanted to go back again someday, didn't we?"
"Well, sure," Micky said. "But can we afford another trip to Paris?"
"Oh, it's no problem," Peter said. "The guy at the music store said that the chosen acts will be provided a travel stipend."
"It'll probably be deducted from the pay," Mike said, cynical about it.
"And that's no problem, either," the blond immediately responded. "We can save money by saying that there're only three of us, and have the fourth one travel in one of the overhead bins!"
Davy's eyes narrowed.
"Don't get any ideas," he ordered.
But Peter just laughed and gave the English boy a good-natured punch on the arm, and Davy managed to chuckle, too.
"Gotcha," the blond said. "Actually, I was thinking… We could go a day or two early and hop across the Channel to England. You could show us around Manchester."
The words had the effect Peter had been hoping for; Cyndia was forgotten as Davy's eyes glazed over at the thought of seeing his hometown again.
"You know, Pete's right," Mike said, liking the idea. "Mick's shown us all around his old haunts here in Los Angeles, and I took you guys to New Gallifrey, Texas. You two are due to show us around."
"Well, if we ever get to Connecticut, I'll show you around," Peter promised. "What do you say, Davy?"
"I say that I happily accept the role of tour guide," Davy answered. "…Assuming that we pass the audition, of course."
"And why wouldn't we pass the audition?" Micky asked. "We're good, and we know it."
"The question is, does the rest of the world know it?" Mike mused aloud. But regardless of his cynical words, he was feeling optimistic about the whole thing. "Never mind; we'll just have to show them."
"And, man, will we ever show 'em," Micky said, rubbing his hands together in gleeful anticipation. "Come on; let's chow down and get some practice."
"Ah, hold on a sec," Mike said, going to get a plate for Davy. "Looks like it's four for lunch after all…"
He reached into the cabinet for the plate, his elbow brushing against the switch for the new garbage disposal system that Mr. Babbitt had recently installed in each of the houses he had rented out.
The garbage disposal made a shaky, rattling noise, and Mike had barely glanced in that direction when it spewed out a volcano of silverware.
"Hit the deck!" the Texan ordered, diving to the side and covering his head with his hands.
Davy and Micky dove behind the backless couch as a fork was sent soaring over their heads. Peter scrambled under the table, clutching his precious keyboard in his arms. They didn't move until the silverware stopped flying, and it was then that Mike got up and turned the garbage disposal off.
"Peter…" he said, calmly. "This morning, in your understandable haste to get out the door to obtain your new keyboard, you didn't, perchance…"
"…Accidentally threw the silverware into the side of the sink where the garbage disposal was?" the blond finished, going slightly red. "…Yeah, I might've."
"Well, try to be more careful next time, okay?" Mike asked, and then he managed a good-natured smile. "Now that we've got that out of the way, let's eat."
"Now you're talkin'!" Micky said, as he and Davy got out from behind their shelter.
And as Peter crawled out from under the table and Mike placed the food on it, Davy soon found his mind drifting away from stolen girlfriends and flying silverware. Being poor didn't matter, he decided—not when you had people to share it with.
As he looked at their rations, he did have to concede that money was a useful thing, however. And, hopefully, this rock festival gig would provide them with that.