Alias Baby Face
Baby Face jumped back into the car and peeled away, anxious to put some distance between himself and the construction site. Someone had obviously found Dolenz's body, and there were bound to be cops snooping around. With a car as conspicuous as this one, it wouldn't do to get caught around here.
Baby Face made a quick stop and found a cheap rug to toss over Tork's limp body on the floor of the second back seat. Then, he headed back toward the house, trying to work out a decent story to explain why Tork wasn't in the passenger seat. He was still pissed that the little bastard had the nerve to fight back. As soon as things settled down, he was going to make an excuse to go "look" for Tork, and then the son of a bitch was going to pay. The original plan had been to just shoot him, since he'd only been a side character in the plot to get him put back in jail. Now, Baby Face decided, he was going to make it hurt.
Baby Face had made it back within the city limits when he noticed a cop driving just behind him. He scowled. The heat! He kept his cool, hoping that it was just a coincidence. After a moment, however, the cop turned on his siren. "Shit!" Baby Face slowed for a second, then slammed on the gas. No way he was getting stopped with a man beaten and tied in his trunk. Despite the fact that the band's car was a monster, it responded well, and he was able to get up a good amount of speed. He zoomed around cars that hadn't already moved to the side.
The cop kept pace with him for several blocks. When another one picked up the chase, Baby Face started to get nervous. He turned down several small streets, but the tail was still behind him, and starting to close in. Baby Face pulled out his weapon. It would be a shame to lose his last two bullets, but he wouldn't be able to use them at all if he got caught before he finished his plan. He waited until he could find a tight street to drive down, where the cops were forced to chase him single file. He eased up on the gas just a touch.
When the first car was close enough that Baby Face was sure he wouldn't miss, he reached back and fired. He aimed low, hoping to hit the tire. Nothing seemed to happen at first, so he fired again at the same tire. The cop swerved, and Baby Face was pleased to see the cop lose control of the vehicle and skid to one side. The space was too tight for the second car to get by, and he was too close to stop. Baby Face heard a satisfying crunch as he turned back in his seat. A second later, he heard bullets behind him. He slammed his foot down on the gas and sped out of the alley, turning off onto the main street.
Baby Face drove back to the beach-side apartment as quickly as possible, avoiding any of the city's ticket traps for fear that the car's description had been radioed to the other cars on the street. He let out a sigh of relief when he reached the house without any further trouble. He put his gun back in his pocket, knowing that even an unloaded gun could still be very useful. He smoothed his hair into place as much as possible and got out of the car. He took a moment to get back into "happy" mode and stepped into the house.
Davy had to force himself to stay seated when he heard the car pull up in the drive. He was on edge, to say the least. He looked toward the kitchen where Mike stood, ready to pretend he was washing dishes. Mike gave him a slight, reassuring nod, but Davy knew that his friend must be as nervous as he was.
Davy waited until he heard the door open. He looked up to see Baby Face walk in, looking a little mussed, but still pretending to be happy-go-lucky. Peter did not come in after him. Davy shoved down the sickly feeling in his stomach and got up. "Hey, Micky," he said, greeting the criminal with as much cheer as he could muster. He walked to the door, faking a curious expression, and peeked outside. No Peter. Just the car, parked in its usual place. Davy gripped the door handle tightly, trying to keep from shaking. "So," he said, shutting and locking the door. "Where's Peter?"
He turned to see Baby Face unzipping his jacket. "Oh, yeah," he said in a nonchalant tone. "Um... he wanted to look around at the music store for a while. I was pretty beat, so I told him I'd pick him up in a couple of hours."
"Oh?" Davy asked. "What store was it?"
"Um... let me see... I'm sure I can remember the name of that joint." Baby Face thought for a while, but Davy was no longer concerned with the answer. He already knew what he needed to know. Something awful had happened to Peter, and this man was responsible. Davy glanced at Mike for a split second, and saw that his face was bright red, and he seemed to be vibrating. Davy turned his attention back to Baby Face, not wanting to give Mike away. "I can't remember it," Baby Face said. "But it was right there on-"
Before he could come up with some phony location, Davy heard a growl from Mike. He looked past Baby Face to see his roommate vaulting toward them, one of the dining chairs held high over his head. Before Baby Face could get out of the way, Mike swung the chair at him, knocking him to the floor. Baby Face cried out and tried to get away, but Mike hit him with the chair again, bringing it down like a sledgehammer. "Where's Peter, you son of a bitch!?" Mike shouted. "Where is he??"
"What the hell's wrong with you, man?" Baby Face cried. "I just told you-"
"Don't play dumb with us," Davy snapped. "We're on to you, Morales!"
Baby Face scowled at Davy and reached for his pocket. "Ohhh, no you don't," Mike said, bringing down the chair again, this time right on the gangster's arm.
Baby Face let out a sharp cry. "Shit, I think you broke my arm!"
"You think you're the only one who can beat somebody?" Mike shouted, hitting Baby Face's broken arm again. "You think you're the only one who can be crazy?? Where's our friend? Did you kill Peter? Did you??" The very idea seemed to enrage Mike, and he slammed the chair down on Baby Face again and again, hitting the criminal so hard that the chair started to crack.
Baby Face struggled to get away, but Davy stood in his way, grabbing one of their end tables as a weapon. "Stop, stop it!" Baby Face cried. "He's not dead, okay? Tork's alive!"
Davy smiled and looked up, a wave of relief washing over him. Mike had stopped beating Baby Face, but he wasn't smiling. He kept the chair poised and ready, and Davy kept his eye on the Baby Face's hands to make sure he didn't try to reach for his gun. "You'd better not be lyin' to me," Mike said darkly.
"I'm not lying," he said. "He's just a few miles away. If you let me up, I'll take you to him."
Davy frowned. No. Something was wrong. There was something about the tone, or the twist of his mouth that just didn't seem right. He was going to say something to Mike, but before he could get the words out, Mike brought the chair down on Baby Face's chest. The chair finally broke apart, but Mike didn't seem to care. He hit Baby Face twice over the head with what remained, ignoring Baby Face's loud protests. The third time Mike hit him, Baby Face was knocked unconscious.
There was complete silence. Davy could see that Mike was shaken. His hands shook slightly, and he couldn't seem to take his eyes off Baby Face. "Mike?"
Mike looked up, and Davy was shocked to see tears in his eyes. "He was lyin' to me," Mike said shakily.
Davy could feel tears beginning to well up in his eyes as well, when he realized the implications of what that meant. If Baby Face had been lying just to save himself, it meant that Peter was dead. Just thinking the words was too much for Davy. He dropped the end table to the floor and covered his face with his hands, unable to choke back his sobs. In a moment, Mike's hand was on his shoulder, and Davy leaned on the older man, crying into his chest, at the same time wishing there was something he could do to stop Mike's tears.
Mike struggled to pull himself together, but it was almost impossible. In the space of three or four hours, he'd learned that one of his best friends was nearly beaten to death by a person they'd been harboring in the house for the last week, and from the sneaky expression on Morales' face when he'd said he would take them to Peter, he was certain that Peter was dead, or worse yet, somewhere mortally wounded, waiting to die.
Mike shuddered and fought a wave of nausea. "Come on, Davy," he said, giving his friend's shoulder a slight squeeze. "We gotta call the police and let them know he's here."
Davy nodded and let Mike go, lowering himself onto the couch. Mike looked at him for another second, hating to see him looking so upset. He went to the phone, literally shaking himself. Before he could dial the number, though, he was startled by the sound of a harsh voice.
"BABY FACE MORALES! YOU ARE SURROUNDED! COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP."
Mike stared at the door with wide eyes. Davy was staring at the door in shock, too. Mike walked past him, looking back to make sure Baby Face was still unconscious. He walked hesitantly to the door, Davy following right behind him. Mike opened the door slowly. As soon as he stepped out, several policemen aimed and cocked their weapons. "Whoa!" Mike's eyes widened. The driveway was blocked by police cars, and he could see several more lining the street. About fifteen policemen were positioned around the cars closest to the house, all with their guns pointed at Mike.
"GET YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR!"
Mike quickly raised his arms. "Now wait a minute!" he cried when a few of the officers started to come toward him. "I'm not Baby Face! Hold it, will ya please?" He edged back toward the door when the cops didn't stop coming.
"Hold it, men!" someone else shouted. "It's not him."
The cops stopped walking toward Mike, and an older man stepped out from the crowd of officers. Mike was relieved to see that it was the detective who'd helped them when this whole mess first started. "We've got him in the house," Mike said, when the detective was close enough to hear without him shouting. "He's knocked out, but I think... I think he might have... he went out with Peter, and when he came back, Peter wasn't with him." The man looked grim. "I'm sorry, boys. We'll do our best to find him." He entered the apartment, followed by three other officers. Mike showed them where Baby Face lay, still unconscious. "All right, men. Take him out."
The uniformed officers handcuffed Baby Face and dragged him away. The detective stayed behind to take their statements. Mike and Davy explained everything that had happened since the night "Micky" had come home late. Mike was concerned that he might face charges for attacking Baby Face, but the officer assured him he would not be charged. "Baby Face is one of the most dangerous criminals in America, and you captured him. I wouldn't worry if I were you."
After they'd finished giving their statement, the detective promised to do his best to find Peter again, and left them alone. Mike sat on the couch and looked across at Davy. He looked shell-shocked, to say the least. Mike felt pretty much the same. It was a relief to have gotten Baby Face out of the house without getting hurt, but that relief was already turning sour. Sure, he and Davy had escaped injury, but Micky was in the hospital, and Peter... Mike shuddered. He stood up suddenly and searched for the car keys.
Davy looked up. "What're you going to do?" he asked.
"I'm gonna look for Peter," Mike replied. "I can't just sit waiting for them to tell me he's..." He choked on the last word.
Davy was already on his feet and at the door by the time Mike found the keys. "I'm coming with you." Mike nodded and led the way out of the house.
Peter opened his eyes, but everything was so dark that it didn't make any difference. His head pounded, and there as pain in his wrists where the belt cut into them. He guessed he must still be in the back of the Monkee Mobile. Relief was followed quickly by fear. The car was still moving. He remembered Baby Face saying that he had "a few hours". How long had he been unconscious? Maybe the criminal had made some excuse to Mike and Davy, and now he was back on the road looking for another place where he could shoot Peter. Or what if he had gone back to the pad and shot Mike and Davy so he wouldn't have to make any excuses?!
The thought brought tears to Peter's eyes. His body trembled, and he tried to think positive thoughts. Maybe Mike and Davy had gone to the beach before Baby Face got back. Maybe they were still okay. Maybe... Peter's train of thought was interrupted when he felt the car stop. He started to shake harder, and struggled to get his wrists free. He could feel his panic levels rising as footsteps approached the back of the car. He was relieved when the sound faded away, but his fear did not abate much. He was sure that Baby Face was only scoping the place out to make sure that no one was around to witness what he was about to do to Peter.
Peter continued to try to twist his hands out of the belt. His wrists hurt terribly, and he thought they must be getting cut by the edges of the belt, but he still fought to get them loose. He let out a despairing sob when the footsteps returned. "What was that noise?" Peter gasped. Was that Davy's voice? Could Baby Face have brought Davy out here to do something to him, too? "And what's that? Did you buy an ugly rug?"
"Nope, I never did." Mike? Something was pulled off him, and it got a little lighter. "PETER!!!!" Peter smiled at the sound - definitely Mike's voice. He was almost immediately pulled out of the car, the jacket was taken off his head, and he was squeezed into a crushing embrace. "We've been looking for you for hours!"
"Thank heaven you're all right," Davy cried, also hugging him tight. "Here, I'll get you out of this." Peter felt Davy working to free his hands.
Mike finally let Peter go and looked into his face. His eyes shone with relieved tears. "We thought we'd never see you again. We'd just about given up hope. We were on our way to see Micky, when-"
"Oh, Mike." Peter choked back a sob at the memory of his conversation with Baby Face. "Mick- Micky's... gone. Baby Face k-killed h-him and..."
"Aw, Peter," Mike said, his voice filled with sympathy. "You've been in here this whole time thinkin' Micky was dead?"
Peter looked up, surprised. "He's not? But, Baby Face told me-"
"Baby Face tried to kill him," Davy said. "But he survived."
"He did? Oh, thank goodness!" Peter grinned and jumped up and down, overcome with relief and happiness. The motion made him dizzy, and he swayed. Davy grabbed his arm, and Mike helped him to sit down on the edge of the trunk.
"Take it easy, good buddy," Mike said. "Looks like he hurt you pretty bad. We oughta get you looked at when we go to the hospital. C'mon, I'll help you. Davy, could you put the food in the trunk?" For the first time, Peter noticed their picnic basket on the ground beside the trunk - probably dropped there when they first saw him. Mike helped Peter around to the side of the car, and supported him while he slowly sat down. Davy came around a few seconds later, and they headed to the hospital.
When they got to the hospital, Peter wanted to go see Micky right away, but Mike insisted that he be seen to first. He was bruised in several places, and his wrists were raw from being tied up. A nurse bandaged Peter's wrists and his hands, and told him that he needed to rest and take pain medication, and to come back if he felt dizzy after twenty-four hours.
Finally, they went to see Micky. They stopped short when they entered his room. Mike knew that his condition was bad, but he was still shocked by what he saw. He was bandaged almost from head to toe, and his neck was in a brace that kept him from moving his head from side to side. His face was bruised, as were all the other bits of skin that weren't covered by casts or bandages. Despite his obvious discomfort, Micky smiled happily when he saw them. "Hi, guys," he said softly.
"Hey, Mick," Mike said. "How are you feeling?"
"Okay. I'm so glad you guys are all right." They moved closer to the bed, and Micky frowned slightly at Peter. "What happened?"
"We'll tell you all about it later," Mike said. "Right now we just want you to concentrate on getting better."
"They said I could be in here for a few more weeks," Micky said. "And... they said I might n-need to learn to walk again."
They were silent for a few moments, and Micky looked like he was on the verge of tears. "Listen, don't worry about anything, Micky," Mike said.
"Yeah," Peter chimed in. "We'll help you."
Davy patted Micky's hand. "That's right. That's what friends are for."
Micky smiled again, and Mike thought he could see him relaxing a little. "First things first," Mike said, lifting up their picnic basket. "We brought you some goodies. We even have the cards in here in case you want to play a game or something."
"Mike, how can I play when I can't even move my arms?"
"I'll play your hand for you," Peter said.
"Yeah, that way we can be sure that Mike or I will win," Davy said.
Micky laughed, and Davy winked at Peter to show he was only kidding. Peter shoved Davy playfully, and they set about pulling the hospital chairs closer, and pulling out the odds and ends they'd gathered together from the kitchen. They spread a fairly decent meal (for the Monkees) out on the bed and Mike shuffled the cards and began dealing out a hand of Go-Fish.