Part 28

Lynne and Mimi sat wide-eyed on opposite sides of Jim in the taxi. Momentarily losing focus of the matter of Calli's injury as well as their being lost in London, the two Swoonies began firing questions at a smiling Jim.

"Would you give us your autograph, please?"

"What are you doing in London?"

"Have you met the Monkees before?"

"Do you know your way around the city?"

"A friend of ours would want to know if you enjoy waffles… Do you? With or without syrup?"

As Jim tried to answer their questions as quickly as the girls formulated them, Calli began to whimper. She looked very pale and uncomfortable. Kit sat quietly, staring out the window, consumed in thought. A few minutes passed.

"STOP THE CAR!" shrieked Kit to the taxi driver.

"A'righ', Miss!" the driver replied, slamming on the brakes, thus sending everyone forward in their seats.

All the passengers looked at Kit with surprise and mild annoyance. "I know how we can find them!" Kit explained. "Look out the window."

"I don't see anything special," said Lynne. "Just some old restaurant."

"But take a closer look at the sign outside of it!" insisted Kit.

"Ye Olde Chili and Malt House; Home of Europe's Finest Chili and Malts!" Mimi read.

"Soooo…?" asked Jim.

"Micky thrives on chili and malts. He can smell them up to ten miles away, I swear. I have no doubt he will find his way here when his stomach beckons… Which should be in about 27 minutes," said Kit, checking her watch.

The Swoonies and Jim hopped out of the car and paid the taxi driver. Calli, still in pain, hobbled over to the curb.

"Do you think they'd let me have some ice for my ankle?" she asked.

"I'll spring for dinner and we'll ask for some ice right away," Jim announced.

So the five entered the restaurant….

David Pearl wandered down the hallway of the hotel room. He walked into the darkened living room area, smashed his shin against a coffee table and let out a curse. A muffled gasp of surprise came from the direction of the couch and then Peter's recognizable laugh filled the room. David, recovering from his accident, snapped on a light.

"I just take a little nap and wake up to find this place evacuated! Well, practically evacuated…" he mumbled at Peter and Kat.

Kat, turning a few shades of bright red, explained, "Well, you see, we were looking at the stunning view of the lights of London… We figured we could appreciate it best with the lights off, so there wouldn't be a glare on the window."

"Aren't you facing the wrong way to be looking out the window?" David inquired, with a grin on his face. Peter laughed softly.

"I'm going to go grab a bite to eat…" David said, hastily exiting the room.

"You know, this is useless, we're never going to find them. Right, Micky?" asked Gleeby.

Micky did not respond.


Micky had his nose to the air and appeared to be gently sniffing the wind.

"What's going on?" Janine worried, watching Micky's bizarre actions.

"Chili… It's singing to me…!" he exclaimed.

"Your timing is terrible, Micky. No offense or anything, but you can eat chili any old day. Our friends need us!" Gleeby insisted.

Gleeby and Janine walked in the opposite direction, pulling Micky with them. When their attentions were focused elsewhere, Micky turned and followed the enticing chili aroma.

"It's no use," Janine sighed, as Micky fell into a chili-induced trance.

"Let's follow him, we don't want to lose him as well,' said Gleeby, resignedly.

After about five minutes, Micky led them up the steps of Ye Olde Chili and Malt House. Kit stood smiling at the top of the steps.

"You're three minutes ahead of schedule, Micky!" she exclaimed.

"Chili……." Micky moaned, with a glazed look in his eyes.

He pushed past Kit and found a seat next to the Swoonies. Lynne slid her untouched bowl of chili in Micky's direction. He inhaled the chili as if he were a vacuum cleaner.

Looking up from the empty bowl, his eyes refocused and he inquired, "Hey guys! What are you doing here?"

"Waiting for you, Micky," Mimi answered.

"I don't believe it!" The chili chef exclaimed as he walked by the table.

"Now that we've found each other, we should probably be heading back to the hotel…" Janine reasoned. "We have the hotel phone number, perhaps we should call and let everyone know that we're reunited."

"Hey, Calli, how is your ankle doing?" Jim asked.

"It's doing rather well, thanks to the ice. I don't think I hurt it that badly," Calli smiled.

"We should probably get a move on!" Gleeby suggested.

"Excuse me, Mr. Chili Chef, I'd like 8 malts to go, please," Micky called out on his way to the door.

"Gee, thanks, Micky! How considerate!" Lynne grinned at him.

"Oh, no, they're for me… Anybody else want anything?" Micky asked.

Everyone laughed as Micky took his malts outside. Kit located a phone booth and called the hotel room. While she explained the situation, the Swoonies and Micky said goodbye and thanks to Jim.

It was getting dark when Alison, Christine and Davy decided to stop their search.

"Of all people, I should 'ave been able ta find 'em. I know London fairly well. Sorry to let you down, luvs," Davy sighed.

"That's OK, Davy. It's getting cold and late. Perhaps we should go back to the hotel and call the police, if need be,' suggested Alison.

"Maybe they've already found their way back…" Christine put in optimistically.

"I hope so," Alison said.

Davy responded, "I'll ge' us a cab, luvs. Be ri' back!"

Jenna and Mike arrived back at the hotel, tired, cold and hungry.

"No luck findin' 'em," Mike drawled.

Jenna disappointedly plopped herself down on the couch. Not only had it been frustrating searching for the lost Swoonies in a foreign city, but sorting out her feelings for Mike was equally as confusing.

"What should we do? It's too dark to continue the search," she asked.

"Worry not," Peter comforted. "Micky found them, or rather, they found Micky with the help of some of Europe's finest chili."

"Thank goodnez, I mean, goodness!" Jenna quickly corrected herself.

"This calls for a party! Just like you suggested earlier today, Jenna! Remember?" Mike asked. Jenna nodded.

"Peter and I will go into the kitchenette and put some refreshments together," said Kat.

As the two exited the room, smiling at each other, the front door flew open and Davy, David Pearl, Christine and Alison came into the room.

"Are they back? Are they back?" Alison asked.

"Calli? Mimi? Lynne? Kit?" Christine added.

"They're on their way here, don't worry, shotguns," Mike reassured. "Tha's a relief," Davy remarked.

"I'm in the dark here for the second time, today. I just ran into this group in the elevator. Jenna, could you fill me in?" David asked, maneuvering widely around the coffee table to sit on the couch between her and Mike.

"Maybe I'll go change for the party," said Mike, feeling a little uncomfortable. "You know, for such a big celebration, I need as much fringe as I can find in my suitcases."

He quickly exited the room.

There was a knock at the hotel room door. Alison opened it.

"Micky accidentally drank the room key when he was guzzling his malts," Gleeby explained as the seven tired friends entered the room.

"A little mineral boost for my malts!" Micky grinned, suppressing a burp.

"You're alive!" Jenna shrieked.

"Safe and sound!" Mimi smiled.

" 'Ow's yer ankle, luv?" Davy asked Calli, leading her over to the couch.

"It hurts a bit, but I'm sure I'll be fine by tomorrow," Calli answered, touched at Davy's concern.

"Fajitas, anyone?" inquired Peter, as he and Kat entered the room, holding trays of steaming food.

Janine began laughing uncontrollably, yet managed to pipe in, "I'd like one!"

"Never fear, FRINGEMAN IS HERE!" Mike exclaimed, as he bounded into the room, covered head to toe in leather fringe. "Let's get this show on the rrrrrrrrrrrrrroad!" he growled.

The party moved into full swing with much laughing, cheering , fajita eating and loud music blaring. Kit, exhausted from the stress of the afternoon, felt the need to have a few quiet moments to herself. She stepped out onto the balcony and drew the curtains closed behind her. The lights of the city lay below, and she marveled at their beauty. Davy, noticing Kit's absence from the party, wandered out to the balcony as well.

" 'ello, luv. Care for some company?" Davy gently inquired, as he slid his arms around Kit's waist.

"Only yours…" murmured Kit, as she snuggled closer to Davy.

With the curtain separating them from the party, the two shared a few speechless moments together, oblivious to the festivities of their friends.

Abruptly, some loud knocks resonated from the door and the music was cut short. Curious about the situation, Davy and Kit stepped back into the hotel room.

"I... am... kicking… you…out!" bellowed the hotel manager.

"Hey! Sock it to me! Psycho-jello! You sound just like Mr. Babbit!" Micky exclaimed.

"There'll be no jello in here, you rapscallions!" ordered the manager. "Now, OUT!"

"Why?" inquired Peter, innocently.

"Because you're too darned loud, waking up my lodgers! The people on the level below you complained that their ceiling was shaking! You have 30 minutes to evacuate the premises, or I shall call the coppers!" the frustrated manager sputtered.

"Don't beat around the bush, man. Do you want us here or not?" Micky joked.

"Not now, Micky," Mike whispered.

"Get out of the hotel and get out of my life!" the now-enraged manager kooked.

"Well, the fajita supply was running low, anyway,' Kat added.

"Hey! This reminds me of a Monkees episode!" Christine exclaimed.

"Whoa, Billy. Then it's time for a romp!" Janine interjected.

In high speed, everyone cheerfully packed up and made for the door.

"Looks like we're headed for Paris a day early!" Mike laughed.

"Let's do it in style and abscond with these limos!" Gleeby jokingly suggested.

"I gleeb it, Gleeby!" Micky shouted as he hustled the group and their baggage to three nearby limos parked in front of the hotel.

"To the airport, Jeeves, and step on it!" Micky ordered in his best mock- British accent to each limo driver in turn.

In high spirits, the limo-ed caravan took off, full of excitement and anticipation of what might lie ahead.

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