Author's note: This chapter, just like the part one of the same, was mostly written by Crystal Rose of Pollux in her story, Lone Star and Union Jack. Almost all of the dialogue (and some of the descritive stuff as well) was written by Crystal Rose of Pollux, the only exceptions being any part of the story where Peter and Micky are talking while Mike and Davy are gone.

In the last scene, when Peter and Micky are talking, Peter's response to Micky's desire to be a Monkee is actually a quote from Peter Tork's screen test when asked why he wanted to be a Monkee.

Malibu, CA, one year prior:

Peter was standing in horror as one of the three thugs pulled a switchblade out of his pocket, but he was soon distracted as Davy frantically shoved the jade into his hands.

At first, Peter was confused. Why would Davy give him the monkey? But then he realized that the thugs had probably seen him with it, and if they were going to protect the monkey, they would have to keep it hidden from the thieves.

So he hastily hid it behind his back as Mike seemed to find his voice. "Well, that's a lovely little knife you got there," he said.

"Shut up, Cowboy," the man holding the knife said. "We want the jade."

One of the other two thugs now stepped forward, pulling Davy out from where Mike was trying to shield him.

"No…!" the Texan exclaimed, reaching out to pull the boy back, but one of the thugs reached out and shoved the Texan, causing him to fall backwards into Peter and Mickey.

"Mike!" Davy cried, struggling with his captor, who hooked an arm around his shoulders, lifting him off of the ground.

The man with the knife now stood in front of them, holding the tip of the blade up, a few inches from English boy's neck.

"N-Not the throat, please…" Davy said, his voice quivering. "I need that throat; I'm a singer…"

"Then tell us what you did with the jade," said the thug with the knife. "You must've palmed it or something. And we want it."

"Let him go!" Mike ordered, as Micky and Peter helped him to his feet. "He's just a kid!"

He moved forward again to try and help him, but the third thug blocked his way.

"Davy!" Mike cried.

"The jade, Shorty. Where is it?" Knife Man asked again.

Peter was suddenly struck by a memory, and their positions were reversed. It was him and Micky surrounded by three thugs, two of them were holding him down, helpless as he watched Micky struggle with the biggest one.

"I have it!" He blurted out. He couldn't just stand by and watch, not again. "He gave it to me when you guys showed up. Please, let him go!"

He stepped forward, holding out the jade figure, but Mike held out an arm to stop him and took the figure from him.

"First you hand Davy over to us, and then you get your jade," He said.

"You ain't in a position to bargain, Cowboy," Knife Man said. "Unless you want your midget friend here receiving a tracheotomy, I suggest you comply with our demands rather than try making up your own."

Peter looked from Davy, who had just cringed, to Mike, who looked desperate.

"Okay, take it! Take it!" The Texan said. "Just don't hurt him!"

He handed the jade figure over to the man blocking his way. Knife Man put the weapon away and gave a nod to Davy's captor, who shoved the boy across the room, where he landed at Mike's feet.

"Davy…!" the Texan gasped, kneeling beside him. "Davy, are you okay?"

"I think so," the English boy said, bravely.

"I'm sorry," Peter said. "I know you gave the jade to me to keep it safe, and I tried not to say anything…"

"You did the right thing, Pete," Micky said, placing his hand on Peter's shoulder. "You couldn't let them hurt him—or any of us."

"Before we start relaxing, I don't think we're out of the woods just yet," Mike said, as he glanced back at the three thugs. They seemed to be discussing something.

"Just get rid of 'em; they know too much."

"We can't make any decisions without the final word from the boss," Knife Man reminded him. "We'll lock 'em up here until he tells us what to do."

"Lock us up?" Micky yelped. "In here? But there're no windows in here! We'll suffocate!"

"Well, that'll solve our problem, then, won't it?" Knife Man mused. "Saves us the trouble of finishing you off. Anyone will think you got locked in here accidentally—and that's what we're going to bank on."

The four boys charged for the door as the thugs departed, but Knife Man quickly locked the deadbolt lock behind him. They pounded on the door, hoping that someone would hear them, but no help came.

"What do we do?" Peter asked fearfully. "Micky's right; with four of us in here, the amount of air is limited."

"We've got to try to break that door," Mike said. "If not all the way open, then at least get it off one of its hinges to let some air in here. Peter, I need you to help me try to kick it. Davy, you and Micky look for an ax."

"An ax?" Davy repeated.

"Anything that can hack into this door!" Mike exclaimed. "There has to be something remotely sharp among those props! I'll even take a screwdriver to undo the hinges—just look for something!"

"Right," the English boy said.

With that, Micky and Davy started searching through the shelves as Mike and Peter took turns kicking and tackling the door—and then trying to do so in tandem. Time ticked on and on; all four of them were sweating from their seemingly fruitless efforts and the stuffiness of the room they were in.

"It's not even weakening," the Texan grumbled, massaging his shoulder after having charged into it repeatedly. "Are you guys having any luck?"

"Nope," Micky sighed. "It's like they child-proofed this room and locked away anything remotely dangerous."

"…That's it, then," Peter said, sinking to the floor in despair. "There's no way out." And all because we wanted to get something from my case, he thought. The thought made him cringe. "This is all my fault! Why'd I have to go store my guitar case in here? Argh! I really am stupid…!"

"It's a prop room, Shotgun; you did the logical thing," Mike assured him.

"If anything, it's my fault for ever giving that jade a second look," Davy sighed, kicking a small storage box. He seemed to notice something. "Hey, what's this?" He asked.

"Eh, it's just a ventilator shaft," Mike said, casting a glance at it.

"Oh," Davy said.

A moment passed, and the four looked from the grate, to each other, and back again.

"A ventilator shaft!" they repeated, in unison.

"Air!" Micky added, staring at it with almost-shining eyes. "We're saved!" He pushed the box out of the way and sighed as he felt the breeze from the grate. "Ahh… …Hey, look, Guys! There aren't any nails or screws holding this grate in."

"So?" Mike asked.

"Oh, come on!" Micky said, pulling out the grate with a few sharp tugs. "I've seen this in a ton of movies—you get someone to crawl through the air ducts and get out at the next grate—and then he's free!"

"That's an awfully tight fit," Peter said, looking at the rather skinny duct. "We'd need someone really small and skinny…"

"I bet I could manage it!" Davy said eagerly.

"Okay, hold it…" Mike said, turning to Davy. "Davy, don't do this. You don't know what's in there—fan blades or venomous spiders or… all sorts of nasty things. We don't need to try to recreate the Great Escape; we've got a source of air in here, and that's the most important thing. Yeah, those creeps are going to get away with that jade statue, but at least we're going to get out of this eventually."

"Unless their boss says they should make sure we're out of the picture," Micky said. "And then they come back here and see we've got this vent. Then they'll find some other way to finish us off…" He shuddered. "Okay, I'll go."

"Be careful!" Peter pleaded. He had known Micky for more than two years, and he didn't doubt the younger boy's ability to crawl through air-ducts, but Mike's earlier description of fan blades and venomous spiders had him worried.

"Look, I don't think this is such a good idea…" Mike said, but Micky ignored him. If the situation hadn't been so serious, Peter would have found it funny. He had given up reasoning with Micky years ago.

Micky tried to scrunch up his shoulders and fit through the grate, but it soon became clear that his shoulders were too broad; he only made it about a couple feet down the duct before he couldn't move any further.

"…Uh, Guys? Guys? …I'm stuck…"

"Well, stop kicking, and we'll get you out," Mike said, dodging one of Micky's flailing feet.

As they tried to pull Micky from the ductwork, Peter almost laughed, remembering his first day of work at the hotel, when Micky had been in a similar situation under a bed.

Finally, they got Micky out and Peter sat down against the wall. It was all for the best anyway, who knows what kind of trouble Micky could have gotten into?

"Guess it's back to me," Davy said, moving to try. Peter blinked. Hadn't Mike already established he didn't want Davy going into the ducts?

Apparently, Mike thought the same thing, because he seized Davy by the collar of his costume.

"Don't even think about it, Tiny." He said.

"Why is it with him you just said it wasn't a good idea, and for me, it's 'don't even think about it?'" Davy asked, frowning. "It's because I'm short, isn't it?"

"No; it's because I've only known him for half an hour, and, because of that, I can't tell him what to do."

Internally, Peter snickered. He had known Micky for years, and he still couldn't tell Micky what to do either.

"Well, you can't tell me what to do, either," Davy informed him. "You're not my mum!"

"Yeah, well, I'm the closest thing you've got to one over here!"

Peter frowned in confusion, as Micky snickered behind his hand. Davy also seemed a bit perplexed.

"…Somehow, I don't think you quite meant to say that…" The English boy said.

Mike massaged the bridge of his nose before trying again.

"Okay, I'm the closest thing to family you've got," he said. "I know we didn't plan for that—in fact, we tried our best to avoid it, but there's no going back now. And that means that I can't let you go crawling around in the ductwork."

"So, don't let me," Davy said. "I'll still go, anyway. You can ground me after I free you all. And I will get you out of here."


The English boy leapfrogged into the open duct, prompting Mike to grab him by the boots and try to pull him out. Micky and Peter moved forward to help him, but Davy slipped out of his boots and kept crawling down the ductwork.

"Davy! Man, you'd better get back here, or you're in big trouble!" Mike called angrily after him.

But Davy had gone selectively deaf, whistling as he worked his way further down the duct. Mike gritted his teeth and let out a frustrated growl.

"You must really care about him a lot," Peter said, softly.

Mike looked surprised, but then he nodded. Peter could understand why Mike was so frustrated, he had felt the same way about Micky from time to time.

"You know, if it wasn't for the obviously different accents, you probably could pass as brothers," Micky said. He, like always, didn't seem to understand the gravity of the situation. Micky took a foolhardy approach to just about everything in life, he truly didn't see why crawling through the ductwork could be dangerous.

"Pete and I have been asked if we're cousins before," he continued. "I guess the hair was different enough that they didn't have to guess that we were bro—"

He was cut off as, from within the ductwork, came a horrible creaking and groaning of metal, followed by a cry of alarm from Davy, which was then cut off and followed by a thundering crash.

Peter's heart practically stopped beating as no more sound came from the vent.

"Davy!" Mike cried. "DAVY!"

Micky and Peter watched on, horrified, as there was no reply. Mike made a fruitless attempt to try to fit through the duct, but couldn't get more than his head into the space. Then he stood up and crossed to the door. He began to pound on it, trying again to break out.

"Why didn't you listen to me?" he hissed, but there was no mistaking the horror and unbridled worry in his voice.

Peter bit his lip as Mike continued trying to get the unrelenting door to budge. Finally, he stopped trying and sunk to the ground, the ultimate picture of hopelessness and grief.

"I'm so sorry…" Micky said, blinking back tears. "I shouldn't have come up with that dumb idea; I didn't think that… this would happen…"

"Maybe he's okay," Peter said, trying to hang onto some thread of hope. "Maybe he just ended up somewhere out of earshot…"

But Mike either ignored them or didn't hear them, he sat against the door and said and did nothing. Peter turned away, he wasn't sure he could handle looking at the dejected form any longer.

He and Micky sat in silence, unsure what they could do to try and comfort their new friend, and even unsure as to whether they should. After what seemed like an eternity to Peter, they heard the deadbolt on the door unlock. Mike got to his feet, ready to tackle their captors if they were about to enter, but he halted in his tracks as Davy stood on the other side of the door—covered in dust and cobwebs, but grinning from ear to ear.

"Davy!" Micky and Peter exclaimed, grinning with relief to see him safe and alright.

"I told you I'd get you out, didn't I?" Davy said, as he nonchalantly picked up his boots and put them back on as though nothing had just happened. Did he have any idea what they had thought, what Mike had thought? "Piece of cake, that was; there's a whole level of rooms down there—some of them run right under the stage. That's where I landed, actually—right on a pile of old stage curtains. I would be lucky enough to get a soft landing…"

He trailed off as Mike suddenly seized him by the shoulders.

"Davy," he said, in a dangerously quiet voice. "You have no idea how much I want to absolutely throttle you right now. We are going to discuss this later, but for now, we're getting out of here."

Mike released him and stormed out of the room, leaving Davy standing there, stunned. Peter didn't blame Mike, if it had been Micky who had fallen, Peter would have felt the same way.

"Mike…?" Davy asked in bewilderment. Peter clapped Davy on the shoulder, he had to try and explain, he had to tell Davy what it had sounded like. For the other big brother of the four of them.

"He was really worried," he said. "And he had every right to be; from where we were standing, it sounded really bad."

"Yeah, and seeing as though he warned you about going in there…" Micky joined in. "Well, you know…"

Davy blinked, stunned, and then picked up Mike's guitar, case and all, running after the Texan.

"Mike!" Davy called. "Mike wait!"

Peter watched as Davy ran to catch up to Mike, who was walking very quickly. Micky began to run after them, but Peter held him back. "Let's just... walk," he said. "You know, give them a chance to talk..."

Micky nodded and as they walked down the hallway, he chuckled. Peter looked at him. "What's so funny?" He asked. Micky shrugged. "I was just thinking, what would you have done if I had been in the ducts?"

Peter took a deep breath. "Well, I wouldn't have been as determined as Mike," he admitted. "I don't know if I would even be able to move. I think that if I thought you had fallen, it would have broken my brain."

"Yeah, what's left of it, right?" Micky joked, elbowing Peter's ribs. Peter chuckled. "Yeah," he said. "What's left of it."

They caught up to Mike and Davy, who were standing in the hallway, they seemed to have worked it out.

"Hey, you're both smiling again!" Peter said. "That's great! Now we can all get out of here!"

"Oh…" Micky said, wincing. "My drums are still in the wings. I know I should be more concerned with getting out of here, but if I don't have those drums, we've got no act! And if we've got no act, we won't be able to get any money for food or lodging or anything once we do get out of here!"

"Well, maybe they'll give us a reward once we return this," Davy said, pulling the jade monkey figure from his pocket.

The other three stared at him.

"I thought I gave it to them after you gave it to me!" Peter said, scratching his head. "How did you get it back?"

"It was down in the storage room I fell into," Davy said. "They must've left it there while they called their boss."

"We need to get out of here-now!" Mike said suddenly.

"I thought we already established that?" Davy asked.

"No; they're going to head to that room after hearing you fall in there—and then they'll see the missing jade and the broken ductwork and figure out that we must've gotten out—if they haven't already! They're probably on our way up here!"

"Then let's grab my drums and split!" Micky suggested.

Mike nodded and the four hightailed it to the stage, where Micky gathered his drums onto the wheeled cart he had brought to store them on.

"Ah, there you are!" a voice said.

The boys jumped, but calmed down as they realized that the one talking to them was the talent show judge.

"Are you going somewhere?" he asked, seeing them pack up.

"Uh, yeah, we're leaving. Extenuating circumstances," Mike said, tipping his hat. "Thank you for the lovely time."

"You can't leave!" the judge said. "You're both scheduled to open the show in less than ten minutes!"

"What?" Peter asked. "You mean we made it past the preliminaries?"

"Never mind that; you mean it's 8:00?" Mike asked.

"That's right; where've you boys been? You—Connecticut Yankee and California Dreamer—you're opening. And Lone Star and Union Jack, you're right after them," the judge said.

"Look, that's great and all, but we're really going to have to withdraw," Mike said. "So thank you and good evening!"

"You can't withdraw!" the judge exclaimed. "Boys, I have our show's sponsor—the owner of the Vincent Van Gogh-Gogh Club—in the audience. I was absolutely raving to him about your two acts; he's expecting to see you. And if he picks a favorite, that lucky duo might end up with a summer-long gig at his club."

Four heads turned to the judge's direction.

"You must be joking!" Davy exclaimed. "Solid source of money for the entire summer? As in, our rent payment?"

"As in, our food and lodging money?" Micky added.

"Fellas!" Mike said, sharply.

"Mike's right," Peter said. "Money won't mean anything if we're… well… not here to spend it."

Mike nodded and moved to lead them off, giving his apologies.

"We're really sorry for running off like this, but we've got circumstances beyond our control… Sweet mother of mercy…"

Mike now pulled an about-face, dragging the others back.

"Actually, we can play," he announced.

"What?" Davy, Micky, and Peter asked, in unison.

"Excellent!" the judge said.

"On one condition," Mike added. "We're not playing as two separate acts; we want both of our acts on stage together."

"What?" Davy, Micky, and Peter repeated, with more intensity. Peter stopped trying to understand. This made absolutely no sense.

Mike gritted his teeth and jerked his head in the direction of backstage. The other three took a look and there, angrily snooping around backstage, were the three thugs, obviously looking for them. Now it made sense to Peter.

"Both acts together?" the judge repeated.

"Yeah," Mike went on. "It's the best way to be able to compare us—side by side, rather than one after the other. It's a whole lot fairer that way, too—no worrying about first impressions or lasting impressions…"

Peter blinked. If he didn't know any better, he would have thought Mike had planned this. He was very convincing.

"Well, if that's what you want, have at it," the judge said. "You're on in five."

"And after that, we're splitting," Mike added. "And when I say we're going to run, I mean we're going to run."

"Fine. But I'll need your addresses and phone numbers so that we—and the manager of the club—will have a way to contact you as to the results of the contest."

"Mike and I are at 1334 North Beechwood Drive, Malibu," Davy rattled off, also giving their phone number, as Micky and Peter exchanged glances. As of this morning, they had no address or phone number.

"Got it," the judge said. He looked to Micky and Peter. "And you two?"

"…Can we get back to you on that?" Micky asked.

The judge gave a shrug and left the stage, and Mike motioned for the others to follow him onstage.

Micky set up his drums, casting a nervous glance offstage; any second now, those three thugs could make it to the wings and see them onstage. And if that happened before the curtain rose and they were in view of people… well, there was no telling what their fate would be.

To the relief of all four of them, the curtain did open, and as the emcee announced that the two favorites to win would be playing together, Mike turned to the others.

"Y'all ready?"

Three fervent "No"s replied him.

"Well, neither am I. So play like our lives depend on it," the Texan said, casting a nervous glance into the wings. "Because they do."

Micky gulped, and as Mike started to lead with a riff on his guitar, the brunet randomly played on his drums with a beat that he hoped fit. Peter joined in with the bassline, and Davy kept time with his tambourine, every so often casting a nervous glance at the jade in his pocket.

Mike gave a sigh and then started to sing something about a circle sky and extraordinary scenes. Once again, Peter found himself amazed at how easily Mike seemed able to come up with stuff. As he sang, Peter tried to focus on watching Mike's fingers and anticipating which notes he would play next. It seemed to go alright.

About halfway through, the three thugs did make it to one of the wings and saw them there onstage, but knew very well that they could do nothing in front of all of those witnesses. Peter breathed a small sigh of relief, they were alright as long as they played.

But the song couldn't last forever, and soon enough, Mike drew the song to a close. Somehow, they managed to stop playing at the same time rather than as an unorganized mess. Mike threw a thanks to the audience as Micky hurriedly stacked his drums on their little carrying cart.

"What now?" Davy asked. Peter looked back stage, the thugs were waiting for them. Knife Man had one side of the stage covered, and the other two had switched their positions to the other wing in order to prevent their escape.

"Tactical retreat!" Mike announced.

He grabbed his guitar case and leaped from the front of stage to the choir bleachers below them. Davy and Peter followed suit, with Micky taking the front stage steps so as to get his drums down without damaging them.

Everyone stared at them as they dashed through the aisles—some of them clapped and cheered, thinking it was part of their act. But the boys didn't stop until they were out into the evening air.

"We made it!" Micky exclaimed.

"We're not out of the woods yet," Mike informed him. "We need to deliver that jade to the police, and it's a cinch that our friends over there will be following us."

"But we'll never be able to outrun them!" Peter exclaimed. If they didn't have their instruments with them, that'd be one thing, but there was no way he was leaving his bass, and Micky would never leave his drums. "We don't even have a set of wheels!"

"But we do!" Davy said, indicating Mike's GTO.

"Oh, Man…" Micky breathed, staring at the car with wide eyes. "That is one groovy ride! Have you thought about getting it customized?"

"Hasn't really crossed my mind," Mike said, unlocking the trunk.

"It's one of Micky's life goals to customize a car," Peter explained. Micky had told him as much at a car show that had gone through Ventura the summer before. "He loves mechanical and technological things…"

"Yeah, unfortunately, I've never had a car to customize," the drummer said, with a resigned shrug.

"Well, if I ever decide that this thing needs anything added to it, you'll be the first to know," Mike promised, as he helped store all of the instruments in the trunk.

Davy suddenly let out a yelp.

"Don't look now, but they've found us!"

The front door of the theatre opened, revealing Knife Man and his two flunkies. Mike and Davy made a break for the front seats while Peter and Micky scrambled over the back of the car and into the back seats.

Knife Man made a grab for Micky as he ran towards the car, but Mike pulled out of the parking space and sped off, leaving him grabbing empty air.

"Uh-oh…" Peter said, turning around to see the thugs getting into a second car. "They've got wheels, too."

Mike responded by speeding up; as Peter turned back towards the front, something hit him in the face. He grabbed it with his hand, it was Mike's cowboy hat.

"Where exactly are we going?" Micky called.

"I'm hoping to get the attention of a traffic cop!" Mike responded.

"I don't think that'll be a problem," Davy said, flatly, as he was thrown against the car door when Mike made a sharp turn.

"Bite your tongue; at least I wasn't the one who wrecked the ductwork!"

"They're catching up! They're catching up!" Micky yelped frantically. He blinked in surprise as the crooks' car now pulled alongside them. "…They're passing us?"

"No…" Mike said, going pale. "They're trying to run us off the road!"

He slammed the brakes of the GTO just as Knife Man's car tried to sideswipe them; they had put a lot of force into their attempted swipe, which had missed the GTO by an inch; the momentum carried Knife Man's car across the lane, where it skidded off the road and got stuck in a muddy ditch.

"HA!" Micky exclaimed, all former feelings of fear gone now that the immediate danger was over. He stood up to glare at the thugs, who were unhurt, but well and truly stuck. "Now that's karma if I've ever seen it! Take that!"

"Micky, sit down!" Peter pleaded, as Mike sped the GTO up again; Micky obliged, and Mike didn't slow the car down until they were a safe distance away.

Mike eventually found a police station—it shone like a beacon after everything the boys had been through in the last several hours. Davy finally was able to get the jade monkey off of his hands, and after a few more formalities involving reports and statements as to what had happened, along with a description of the thugs and their car, they were finally allowed to leave.

It was nearly midnight by the time the four musicians headed out into the Los Angeles night air.

"Man, what a day…" Mike yawned.

"And night," Davy added.

"Yeah, that's right; it's past your bedtime."

"Oh, ha ha…" the English boy laughed, sardonically.

Peter and Micky both grinned, amused.

"You two are really lucky to have each other," Peter said with a small smile. "I know I've felt that way about Micky and me, too."

"Yeah, if you've gotta be broke and hungry, having someone to share it with makes it a whole less unbearable," Micky agreed, as he moved to open the GTO's trunk.

"What are you doing?" Davy asked.

"Getting my drums and Pete's guitar. Now that this is all over, we can go on to wherever it was we were going."

"…Where's that, Mick?" Peter asked, tired after all the excitement. "I didn't think we had plans to go anywhere…"

"Wherever the road takes us, Pete. Wherever the road takes us."

"Well, wait a minute!" Mike said, placing a hand on Micky's shoulder. "It's not over yet—not until we're sure those three who took the monkey statue are behind bars. What happens if you run into them?"

Micky looked to Peter, who gave a helpless shrug. He had no idea. "Keep running, I guess," he offered.

"Well, that won't do…" Mike said. Davy looked at him.

"Mike, are you thinking what I'm thinking?" The British boy asked.

"I think I am, Tiny," Mike replied, and he turned back to Micky and Peter. "Hey, uh… You know, we've got room at our place. It was pre-furnished, and had two sets of beds in each of the bedrooms; we've been using those extra beds for storage space, but we could easily make room for you."

"We couldn't impose…!" Peter exclaimed.

"Look, you can't stay out here with those blokes running around, and you can't afford to stay anywhere else," Davy pointed out.

"Yeah, but we have no way to pay you, either!" Micky said.

"Well, it's not like the rent is going to go up because we have guests," Mike pointed out. "You want a written invitation or something?"

Micky and Peter exchanged glances again.

"Well, okay," Peter said, at last, feeling a strange sense of deja vu come over him. "But just for tonight."

And so it came to pass that Micky and Peter arrived at 1334 North Beechwood drive, fully intending to leave the next morning. But they ended up never leaving; the next morning, as they were halfway through a breakfast of pizza that Davy had managed to salvage from the fridge, the phone rang. Mike answered with, drawling a "Hello" in between bites.

The three others watched Mike as he stopped eating and listened to the speaker on the other side. "I think we're all in luck," he said after awhile, glancing back at them.

"Gentlemen, we've collectively won the $250 prize, and, furthermore, we are all hired for the summer at the Vincent Van Gogh-Gogh—providing that we agree to play as a quartet rather than two separate duos."

He held the phone receiver out.

"We'll do it!" they all chorused, in unison.

That was more than satisfactory for the club owner; they would start the coming weekend, so as to provide them time to adapt their different setlists to their new arrangements.

"How about that…" Davy mused, after they had said their thanks and goodbyes to the club owner. "We all won the money, and we all got the gig." He looked to Micky and Peter. "Since we've got a lot of practicing to do, you may as well stay here for some more time."

"Yeah, we may as well…" Micky said. "But do you think we can really make this work—I mean really make this work?"

"Well, we made it work last night," Mike pointed out. "But we're going to have to come up with a name to refer to our combined act—referring to ourselves as 'The Connecticut Yankee, the California Dreamer, Lone Star, and Union Jack' is going to get old really fast…"

They pondered over this for a moment, and then Peter reached into the pocket of Mike's jacket from his costume that he had draped over one of the chairs the previous night, pulling out the newspaper article about the jade monkey.

"Well…" the blond said, after glancing at the picture of the monkey in the article. "Seeing as though it was this monkey that inadvertently brought us together onstage last night, I say we name our act after it! …But it shouldn't be too obvious, I think; we should probably tweak it just a little bit so that only we know the real significance behind it, of course…"

The other three exchanged glances with each other and then with Peter, nodding in agreement.

The decision was unanimous.

"So..." Micky said, lounging on the couch and looking at Peter. Peter glanced up from his toast blankly.

"Yeah, Mickey?" He said. Micky fidgeted for a moment before standing up and beginning to pace back and forth.

"Well," he said. "You see... the thing is... Fall's here."

"Yeah?" Peter said. "I like Fall. It's pretty this time of year."

"That's not the point," Micky said. "Summer's over. The gig is over. We don't... we don't have to stay here anymore."

Peter blinked. "Oh..." he said. "Oh yeah... That's... good, I guess..."

They sat in silence for a few more moments, before Micky spoke up again. "So, is this it, then?" he said. "Should we leave?"

Peter opened his mouth, but then shut it again. The original deal had been "just for the night," later it turned into "just for the summer," now that summer was over...

They'd been saving money all season, both of them with the excuse of "just in case," neither of them wanting to think about what would happen when the gig was over. They'd gotten comfortable.

"Well... we have enough money to afford a small apartment," Peter said thoughtfully. "We could manage for the winter, keep looking for work as a two man act..."

"But I don't want to be a two man act anymore," Micky exclaimed. "I want to be a Monkee!"

Peter felt the corner of his mouth turn up involuntarily. "Well, it's our natural inheritance!" He said. Micky ignored the joke.

"Let's ask Mike and Davy if we can stay," he said. "Let's ask if they want to keep being Monkees too."

Peter smiled. "Okay," he said. "let's do that."

And the rest, as they say, was history. Davy and Mike agreed immediately to Micky and Peter becoming permanent residents of the little beachhouse, and they all decided to stay together as the Monkees.

It was a testament to the power of serendipity—a chance meeting had led to the discovery of an amazing shared talent. Micky eventually got his wish of being able to customize a car; Mike eventually let him go at it with his GTO, which, by the end of Micky's project, had been named the Monkeemobile. And though Peter and Micky remained the best of friends due to having known each other the longest, as did Davy and Mike, there was no denying that all four of them shared a strong kinship with each other—and that, perhaps, had been the most valuable thing they had ended up finding that fateful day at the Great Oak Theatre.