Author's notes: I wasn't planning on posting this story until next month at least, but on a sudden fit of inspiration, I planned the whole thing out and wrote chapter 1. This story is based off a line of Crystal Rose of Pollux's story, Manchester Jones and the Golden Curse, in which Peter promises to show the group around Connecticut if they ever get down there. I consider this story to be part of a series of sorts, which include Crystal Rose of Pollux's stories, Manchester Jones and the Golden Curse, Red Sky: Take Warning, and Lone Star And Union Jack. Also included is my story, The California Dreamer and the Connecticut Yankee. This story was written with Crystal Rose of Pollux's permission.
Disclaimer: I do not own The Monkees, but all OC's are mine EXCEPT for the ticket master in this first chapter, who belongs to Crystal Rose of Pollux.
This story takes place about a year after the final season of the Monkees, which would make Davy 21, Micky 22, and Peter and Mike 25 by Crystal Rose of Pollux's stories.
"Mail's here!" Micky called, banging the front door open as he walked in. "Let's see, bill, bill, bill..." He counted out the bills as he handed them to Mike, who took them with a sigh.
"Oh, hey, Peter," Micky said, looking at the last envelope. "You've got a letter!" "Really?" Peter asked from the table, where he was playing a game of checkers with Davy. "Who's it from?"
Micky looked at the return address. "It doesn't say." He looked at the stamp and gasped. "Peter!" He exclaimed. "What, what is it?" Peter asked worriedly. Micky smiled. "It's from Connecticut!" He said.
Peter let out a deep breath. "Oh," he said. "You scared me there, Micky."
He looked back at the checker game as the other three watched him. Then the news sunk in.
"Connecticut!?" He exclaimed, jumping to his feet. "It must be from back home!" He ran over to Micky and grabbed the envelope. Mike set the bills down and walked over to stand behind Peter as he opened the letter, and Davy and Micky joined him.
As soon as he got it open, Peter read it aloud. "Love, mom," he said, smiling. "Wait a minute, wait a minute..." Davy said. "What do you mean, 'Love, mom?' Shouldn't that be at the end of the letter?" Peter shrugged. "She always puts that bit first, so I know who the letter's from."
"Well, why doesn't she just write her name on the return address?" Davy asked. Peter frowned. "You know, I don't know," he said. Davy nodded. "Right," he said. "Go on." Peter turned back to his letter.
"I just wrote you this letter because I missed you today. I'm still not quite used to having you gone, even though it's been nearly seven years."
"Seven years!?" Mike interrupted. "Has it really been that long?" Peter frowned. "You know, I think it has!" He said. "Let's see, I left when I was 17, I spent about 9 months on the road, and then I met Micky. We lived in Ventura for around two years, and then we moved here and met you guys. How long would you say we've lived here?"
Mike thought. "I'd say the two of you have lived here for around four years," he said, frowning. "So she's right, you've been gone for seven years." He looked at Peter. "Go on," he said. Peter went on.
"So I decided to write you this letter, after I cooked your favorite dinner, spaghetti with meat chunks." "Meat chunks?" Micky interrupted. "Yeah," Peter said. "She said it was easier than meatballs." Then he turned back to the letter.
"It doesn't taste the same without you here to enjoy it. I would send you some, but it would probably go bad in the mail." "Boy, I'm glad she thought of that," Micky muttered.
"How is life in Malibu?" Peter continued to read. "Are you having a good time? How's the band doing? Does Davy..." Peter trailed off and glanced sheepishly at Davy.
"What?" The younger man said. "Does Davy what?"
Mike looked over Peter's shoulder and gave a half smile. "Does Davy still snore?" He read aloud. Davy looked at Peter. "I do not snore!" He exclaimed. Peter shifted his weight. "How would you know," he said defensively. "You're always- you're always asleep!" Mike laughed as Davy blinked, unable to make an argument.
"Does he really snore?" Micky asked. Peter shifted his weight again. "Only sometimes," he admitted. "Not as much as you used to, Micky." "What!?" Micky asked, his eyes widening. "I used to snore!?" "Still do," Mike deadpanned. "Almost every other night."
Micky was at a loss for words, while Davy had finally come up with a counter argument.
"Well, snoring's nothing, you talk in your sleep!" He said to Peter. Peter blushed and went back to his letter.
"Does Davy still... oh wait..." He skipped over that part. "Have you played lots of gigs? Do you eat regularly? I expect an answer to each of these questions in a week. No lying, and no one-word answers. I want each question answered in detail."
"Huh, a little pushy..." Micky muttered. Peter shot him a glare and then continued reading.
"Life here in Connecticut is going well, although it's still pretty hot. The calendar says we just went into Autumn, but it still feels like summer to me. I can't wait for fall to really get started, I love fall. I love the colors of the leaves, I love the brisk wind, and I love apple pie. In fact, I have one in the oven right now. Maybe if I start pretending it's fall, I'll confuse the weather, and the seasons will change faster."
Micky glanced at Mike, who returned the glance. That had sounded like something Peter would say.
"With Marissa in preschool now, the house is too quiet," Peter read. "It reminds me of when you went to preschool. Do you remember?" He smiled as he read that, and then he turned to the others. "I do remember that day," he said. "Mom told me not to talk to strangers, and I didn't realize that didn't include the teacher. She thought I was mute until parent-teacher day. She taught me sign-language and everything."
"Oh, Peter..." Davy said, shaking his head. "I have a question," Mike said. "Who is this Marissa?"
Peter smiled. "Oh, she's my baby sister," he said. "Although, I guess she's not much of a baby anymore, now that she's in preschool." The other three looked at him. After a moment, Mike cleared his throat.
"Peter," he said. "You, um... You have a sister?" Peter smiled and nodded. Mike looked up and took a deep breath. "Okay, um..." He said. "I have a few questions for you, Pete." "Sure Mike, go ahead!" Peter said.
"First off," Mike said. "Why didn't you tell us you had a sister?" Peter shrugged. "I told Micky," he said. Mike turned to Micky. "You knew about Marissa?" He asked. Micky nodded. "Yeah," he said. "Peter told me about her a few years ago, but he never told me how old she was!"
Mike nodded. "Right," he said, turning back to Peter. "How old is this sister?" Peter thought. "Let's see," he said. "I think she just turned four." Micky and Davy stared. "Oh, okay, four," Mike said calmly. "And how long has it been since you were in Connecticut?"
Peter frowned in confusion. "Almost seven years," he said. "Didn't we already say that?" Mike nodded. "Yep, we said it," he said. "So you have a baby sister who's four years old, and you haven't been to Connecticut in seven years. So I take it you haven't ever met her?"
Peter blinked. "Now that you mention it, I haven't," he said. "I should ask mom to send me a picture." "I've got a better idea!" Mike said, putting his arm around Peter. "I think it's high time you visited your family!"
Peter's face lit up. "Really?" He asked. "You mean, we're going to Connecticut?" Mike smiled. "Yep," he said. "I mean, we've already been to Texas, and then we went on that crazy trip to Manchester, and we drove down to Ventura for Christmas last year. Besides, you promised to show us around Connecticut one day. So, let's do it!"
"Yeah, but can we afford a trip down to Connecticut?" Peter asked. "It's all the way across the country!" "Well, Manchester's all the way across the pond," Davy pointed out. "Yeah, and Ventura's halfway across the state!" Micky said. "Haha," Peter deadpanned at Micky. "Davy, we got paid to go to England."
"Well, it doesn't matter," Mike said. "It's been too long since you saw your family, and you haven't even met Marissa! We're going to Connecticut!"
Peter smiled. "Wow, thanks," he said. "I can't wait to write mom! She's going to be so excited!" Taking his letter with him, Peter went into the room he shared with Davy. As the door shut behind him, Mike turned to Micky and Davy.
"Can you believe that?" He said. "Seven years!" "Well, really, that's not so hard to believe," Davy said. "It had been four and a half years for me before we went to England for that one gig." Mike sighed. "Yeah, I guess you're right," He said. "But you didn't have a sister at home that you'd never met before!"
Micky sat down on the couch. "I still can't believe that she's only four!" He said. "I always just assumed she was around Jenna's age."
"Well, there's only one thing we can do now," Mike said. "What's that?" Asked Micky. "We've got to figure out how we're going to get to Connecticut," Mike said. "We can't go by plane, it's too expensive." "We could drive," Micky suggested. Mike shook his head. "It would take too long," he said. "Five days at the least. That's ten days round trip, add to that a proper visit, maybe about a week long, and we've already been gone two and a half weeks. Driving's out of the question."
"Alright, then how do you suggest we get there?" Davy asked. Mike thought. "We could take a train," he said. Micky and Davy looked at each other. "Alright," Davy said. "Let's take a train."
To say Peter was excited as they boarded the train would be an understatement. He had been excited for a week as he packed and unpacked and packed everything up all again, while Mike made all the necessary arrangements.
Peter had been the first to wake up the morning of the trip, and he had been so eager to get going that he was even more clumsy than usual, which resulted in him knocking over his glass of orange juice, tripping on his way down the stairs and falling the rest of the way, and now as they walked through the station towards their train, he ran into three passerby, tripped over two suitcases, and knocked over a rack of travel brochures.
The rack fell down on top of a man, who stumbled forward and pushed into a luggage cart, which zoomed across the station, people jumping out of its way as it crashed into a pile of stacked suitcases. The suitcase tumbled to the floor as Mike, Davy and Micky all rushed Peter behind a nearby wall so nobody would look around and see who had done it.
"Man, Peter, be more careful!" Mike admonished him. "I'm sorry, Mike," Peter said, still smiling. "I'm just so excited, I can't think straight!"
"Great, that's all we need," Micky said with a frown. "He barely thinks straight as it is!"
"Oh, lay off him, would'ja?" Davy said irritably. "You weren't much better on that road trip trip to Ventura!"
"Guys, stop picking at each other!" Mike said. "You'd think we were all a bunch of school kids, bickering and arguing up a storm."
Micky and Davy immediately looked guilty and apologized to each other as Mike peered around the corner.
"I think we're safe," he said. "Nobody's looking, and the security guards seem too busy to notice us."
They began to step out from behind the wall when Mike paused. "You know what, Pete?" He said. "Maybe you should walk in front where I can keep an eye on you."
Peter sheepishly moved to the front, and after a glance from Mike, Davy and Micky moved wordlessly to walk alongside him. In that way, they managed to make it to the ticket counter with no further mishaps.
"Excuse us, mister," Mike said to the ticket master inside, who was reading a letter or a note or something.
"Just give me a second," the ticket master said without glancing up at him. "I'm a bit busy right now, so you'll have to wait." With a start, Mike recognized him as the man from the bus depot, who had tried to con Davy the day he'd gotten here from England, before Mike had stepped in and set him straight.
He glanced at Davy, who also seemed to recognize the man, as he was staring at him with his mouth wide open.
Mike turned back to the ticket master. "Boy, you sure haven't moved up much in the world since the last time I saw you."
That got his attention. The ticket master looked up and frowned in confusion.
"What'cha mean?" He asked suspiciously. Mike smirked. "What, you don't remember me?" He said. "How about my friend over here, do you recognize him?" He pointed to Davy, and the ticket master frowned at him for a moment before turning back to Mike.
"Look, son," he said. "I don't know what your game is. But if you're not here to buy a train ticket, than I suggest you and Shorty here turn around and walk away, before I call security on you."
"Now, you don't wanna go and do a thing like that," Mike said. "Cause I think I've got something figured out here. Now, why would a man want to stay tied down to a job as a ticket master? It don't pay well, and a man's got to keep food on the table. Here's what I think: I think you're running a bit of a side business out of this ticket booth."
The ticket master gave a startled look around to make sure no one had heard. "Shh, kid, what are you doing?" He hissed. "You trying to blow my cover? Keep your voice down!"
"Still wanna call security?" Mike said grimly. The ticket master glared. "Fine," he said, putting down the letter. "What is it you want?"
"Four tickets, heading East," Mike said. "Cheapest we can get."
"The cheapest?" The ticket master said, one eyebrow raised. "Listen, sonny, I got the cheapest tickets in the world, I've got a sale. You pay half the fee, I'll take on the rest, and you just gotta do me a favor while you ride East. Whatcha think?"
Mike opened his mouth to say no, he wanted the full-price for the cheapest tickets, but the man spoke up before he could say anything.
"Wait wait wait," he said, "I can see that you're a smart kid. Not easily scammed. You know, you do look a bit familiar, now that I think about it. So let me explain a bit before you go making your decisions. I'm in a bit of trouble, you see. You weren't far off, about me being tied down to a ticket master, but it's not the way you think."
The ticket master looked around. "Yeah, I used to scam people," he said. "But I ain't like that anymore. This, right here," he pointed his thumb at himself proudly. "This is a new man. I got a different job, I work for the Good Guys now."
"What do you mean, the good guys?" Peter asked, not really sure how Mike and Davy knew the man, but still trying to follow along.
"I mean, someone caught me bein' crooked," he said. "Took me downtown, introduced me to somebody who cut me a deal. Told me about a gang who's been using ticket booths to get information out to the wrong kinds of people. Said if I help him round up this gang, he wouldn't send me to jail. "Of course, I took him up on that offer. I know a good deal when I see one."
He leaned in just a bit closer. "But today, I'm being watched," he said. "My contact can't come and get the information he needs to shut down the gang. They'd recognize him, they've been tailing him. But you... You're four new faces. I've got another contact on the train, all I need you to do is deliver a letter to him, and your part is over. I can talk to the boss, he'll make sure your fees are paid once I tell him about your half-off tickets. It's nothing illegal, all we're doing is splitting the cost up a bit. Now, what'd'ya say?"
Mike still wasn't sure he trusted the man. People could change, he believed that whole-heartedly. But he still couldn't get it out of his mind, fourteen year old Davy being swindled out of money practically for turning around.
"Sorry," he said. "You'll have to get somebody else to deliver your letter. We don't particularly like being spies."
"Shh!" The man said again, then he sighed. "Fine," he said. "I can get you four tickets East for forty dollars. Should get you as far as Abilene, Texas. That's the cheapest full price I can get you."
"Deal," Mike said, purchasing the tickets. Then, handing one to each of the Monkees, he turned to walk away. Davy and Micky followed, and Peter was about to when he tripped over his shoelace, which had come untied. He bent down and tied it quickly, but as he was about to join the others, the ticket man stopped him.
"Hey, kid," he said. Peter looked at him. "Me?" He asked. "Yeah, you," the man said. "Here, how about you take a travel brochure with you?" Peter smiled. "Thanks," he said. "But we're not stopping in Abilene. We're going to catch another train East until we reach Connecticut."
"Oh, this isn't a brochure for Abilene," The ticket master said. "It's for here, it's for Malibu."
Peter frowned. "Why would I want a travel brochure for Malibu?" He asked. "I live here."
"Well, the train ride is going to last for a long time," the ticket master said. "You might as well have something to read while you wait. Besides, there's lots of nice pictures to look at."
"Okay," Peter said, taking the brochure. "I guess I could take it. Thanks!"
"Peter, come on, we're gonna miss the train," Micky called, walking back towards him. "What are you doing, anyway?"
"Oh, well, my shoe was untied, so I stopped to tie it, and then he offered me a travel brochure, but I said-" "Never mind," Micky interrupted. "Let's just get going."
As the two Monkees ran off into the crowd and boarded the train, the ticket master watched them for a moment before he turned to the telephone and placed a call.
"Hello, it's Agent Pink Rock," he said into it. "I need you to get a message to Agent Storm Cloud. The information is hidden in a Malibu travel brochure, it's being sent to you by way of a clumsy blonde named Peter. He's got three friends, a short one, a poufy-haired one, and one in a green hat. Be careful, they don't know I sent it with them. The one with the hat is especially tricky."
He paused as the person on the other end talked. "Oh, don't worry about that," He said finally. "I know for a fact that Agent Cupcake is on the train to Abilene. He'll be able to figure it out, as long as you get him a message that his contact is changed. Oh, hey, I've got to go."
He hung up the phone and turned to the man waiting on the other end. "Hello, what can I get for ya?" the ticket master asked. "One thing," said the man, pulling out a gun and training it on the ticket master, who raised his hands with a scowl. "I want the information you had on our gang. Who did you send it with?"