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  2. Sesame Street Season 47
    Sesame Street's 47th season officially began Saturday January 7 on HBO. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

A Heart of Gold

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by TogetherAgain, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Chapter Seventy-Five

    Pfc. John Holt had been serving under Major D. for over two months now, but he had spent most of that time behind a camera. For the most part, if he wasn’t eating or sleeping, he was seeing the world through a viewfinder. So although Kermit insisted that he was part of the unit, Holt himself still felt terribly awkward on the rare occasion when the camera had to be put away.

    Like right now.

    Kermit was pacing with one of his latest letters in his hands, and the rest of the unit had gathered around him.

    “Who is it, Frog?” Larsen asked. “Who wrote that letter?”

    Kermit stopped and shook his head. “Well—my dad wrote the letter,” he said. “But it’s about my brother, Noah.”

    Geraldson rubbed his forehead. “Frog, I can’t keep track of all your siblings. Which one is Noah? Have you mentioned him before?”

    “Maybe. Maybe not.” Kermit sighed. “Noah… He’s quiet. Always has been. Polar opposite of his wife. They only have one daughter, and she’s very, very spoiled.”

    “Oh, her you might have mentioned,” Emerson said.

    Kermit gave a tight smile—or at least, something that tried to be a smile—and shook his head. “I don’t know what to think, guys. Noah’s the last person I’d ever expect to even think about enlisting.”

    “Do you think he could handle it?” Pine asked.

    Kermit’s eyes flashed. “There’s no way to know if anyone would be able to handle what we do here,” he said quietly, his voice tense.

    “Of course not,” Pine said. “But I mean generally speaking, being in the military… Do you think he’d be up for it?”

    “In other words, do you think he could survive boot camp?” Casper said.

    Kermit frowned thoughtfully. Eventually, he shook his head. “I just don’t see it,” he said. “Noah… he’s never been the most active frog. I mean, even when we were kids, he wouldn’t so much play with us as he would sit and watch us play…”

    Holt, who had spent this whole time fidgeting and rubbing the back of his neck, quietly cleared his throat now. “He—he sounds a little like me, sir,” he mumbled.

    Everyone’s attention immediately turned to Holt, which did nothing to ease his nerves. “How so?” Kermit asked.

    Holt squirmed and set the camera down. “Well…” He sighed. “My family was pretty surprised when I said I wanted to enlist. I guess… they thought I was too… stationary. I mean… I didn’t play much, with my brothers or… anyone.”

    “Why not?” Larsen asked.

    Holt shrugged. “Nobody else in town liked baseball.”

    “How does a whole town not like baseball?” Pine asked. “It’s America’s favorite pastime!”

    Holt rubbed his neck. “They all played football.”

    “Oh… America’s other pastime,” Pine said.

    “I thought that was eating,” Casper said.

    “So why did you enlist?” Kermit asked.

    For the first time since he’d started speaking, Holt looked up and allowed himself to meet Kermit’s eyes. “It was important,” he said quietly. “It still is. If I knew what I know now, it wouldn’t change my mind.”

    Kermit nodded grimly. “But what made you decide to enlist?” he asked.

    Holt sighed and sat down, frowning down at his hands. “I don’t think it was one exact thing,” he said uneasily. “It just… I’d thought about it a lot, and it made sense to me. I mean… there had to be a reason we were staying over here… and I—I wanted to do something about it. Because it was important.”

    Kermit felt himself drooping. “You do sound like Noah,” he said miserably. “He only talks when it’s important.” He plopped down and slung his arm around Holt’s shoulders. “I guess, I just… I just don’t want him to see this… what we do here, and…”

    Holt picked up the camera and shifted it in his hands. “He already sees it, sir.”

    It was the last thing Kermit wanted to hear. He deflated even more, his hand slipping away from Holt’s back. “I guess so,” he whispered. “I guess they all do.”

    Larsen and Geraldson were immediately at his side, each with a hand on his back. “That was the point of this show. Remember?” Geraldson said with a quiet urgency. “Let the whole country see the truth, so they would support us. Remember?”

    “I remember,” Kermit sighed.

    “I know it’s tough, Frog, but it’s a step in the right direction,” Geraldson said. “You remember all the protestors? All the people arguing against this war? We’re here for a reason. Your brother sees that now, and he wants to help. That’s all that’s happened here.”

    “And if your brother sees it, then other people must be figuring it out, too,” Larsen said.

    Kermit nodded reluctantly. “I just didn’t think my own family would enlist,” he said softly. He twisted the letter in his hands. “Dad sure didn’t expect that, either.”

    “What does he say in that letter?” Larsen asked. “Is he asking you to talk your brother out of it?”

    Kermit frowned and smoothed the letter out, looking at it without quite reading. “Not exactly,” he said quietly. “He asks me what I think… asks me what I want Noah to do.” He sighed. “Dad… strongly implies that he would like me to talk Noah out of enlisting… but he also says that… that he understands he can’t… really ask me to do that.”

    “Because you’re trying to get people to support the war,” Geraldson reminded him. “And persuading someone not to enlist sort of contradicts that.”

    Kermit nodded. “I guess so.”

    “And enlisting doesn’t necessarily mean coming overseas, right?” Pine spoke up. “I mean, Rivers re-enlisted, and he’s operating a camera in Memphis.”

    “That’s true.” Kermit absently folded the letter. “He could get stationed somewhere on the home front.”

    “And even if he doesn’t… I mean, he might not be on the ground,” Larsen reminded him. “It would depend what branch of the military he enlists in. If he’s in the Navy, or the Air Force…”

    “Or the National Guard,” Pine said. “They’re all different. Chances are, your brother won’t end up on the front lines.”

    Kermit let out a quiet sigh. “That’s good,” he said softly. He frowned at his father’s letter. “Holt, when we send the footage in for this week, remind me to e-mail my brother. I guess I should let him know… if he does enlist… I mean, I’ll be worried about him, but—I think… I’ll kind of be proud of him, too.”

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~​

    “We’re sure about this?” Rowlf asked of the few Muppets who had gathered around Scooter and his laptop at the kitchen table.

    “Well, I’m sure,” Scooter said firmly.

    “It’s gonna take a lot of gasoline to get those supplies here,” Rowlf reminded everyone.

    “Which is why it’ll cost so much, too,” Miss Piggy said, and she sighed at the laptop screen.

    “Can we afford it?” Fozzie asked nervously.

    “With all the money we’ve been saving, staying home all the time? No problem,” Scooter said.

    “I still feel bad about the gasoline, though,” Gonzo said. “It should be sent overseas to help Kermit and all the other troops.”

    “Of course it should,” Rowlf said gently. “But not every drop is going there, anyway. And we use as little as possible in every other way.”

    “We use as little as possible in this way, too,” Scooter said with a fieriness they hadn’t expected. “This isn’t an option. It’s a necessity!” He looked around and lowered his voice. “It’s for Robin’s safety, guys.”

    Rowlf shook his head. “If it were just about Robin’s safety, we’d just stop bringing him to the park. This is about Robin’s quality of life.”

    “It’s about not telling Robin how worried we are about taking him to the park in the first place,” Scooter said. “It’s about not letting him know how bad people can be, and why we have to stay home as much as possible just because we support his uncle.” The look on his face and the way he was glaring at the computer screen made the others in the kitchen wonder if their go-fer wasn’t considering abandoning his general protectiveness of technology and non-violent demeanor.

    Miss Piggy put a comforting hand on his shoulder. “It’s worth it,” she said quietly. “Do it, Scooter.”

    So Scooter clicked on the button that confirmed their order for all of the wood and supplies they would need to build the elaborate swing set he had personally designed for the five-year old frog, using the components on the website. “Robin has a hard enough time, with Kermit being gone,” he said quietly. “He shouldn’t have to miss out on having a good playground to play on, too.”

    “He won’t now,” Gonzo said. “Let’s just hope things don’t get bad enough that we have to take him out of Frog Scouts, too.”

    “No,” Scooter said firmly. “I don’t care how many of us have to go with him to every meeting. We are not taking him out of Frog Scouts.”

    “No matter what it takes,” Rowlf nearly growled.

    Two weeks later, their order arrived just after Robin had left for school. Like many schools across the country, the school Robin attended had shifted to a schedule of much longer school days a mere three days a week to minimize bus rides, which meant that the Muppets had almost a whole day to assemble the swing set before the five-year-old came home.

    With a great deal of determination—and some help from Miss Piggy—Scooter managed to convince all of the Muppets to watch the assembly video and review the instructions before they set to work. Either for that reason, or because Scooter kept reminding everyone that this was for Robin’s safety, the swing set was completed without anything being destroyed… although Gorgon Heap did eat the rope ladder, but they didn’t think Robin would miss it too much. Ultimately, the most difficult part of assembling the swing set was waiting a full hour after they’d finished it for Robin to come home.

    As he usually did after such long days, Robin came home exhausted. Once he got off the bus, he dragged himself and his backpack across the lawn and plodded up the porch steps. He stopped and stared at the porch swing, thinking about just crawling up there and taking a nap. That was about all he felt like doing, but he knew from experience that the Muppets would be worried sick if he didn’t walk through the door soon. He sighed.

    The front door swung open in front of him. “Robin!” Fozzie said excitedly, ushering the little frog inside. “How are you? How was school?”

    “Fine.” Robin slipped his backpack off and let it drop on the floor.

    Scooter was immediately there to scoop it up and hang it on a hook. “Are you hungry, Robin? Dinner’s just about ready!”

    “I’m not hungry.” Robin started dragging his flippers towards the couch. Maybe he could curl up there.

    But Gonzo intercepted him. “Hey, Robin! You wanna see something really neat? We’ve got a really great surprise for you!”

    Robin took a step back. “Surprise?” he repeated warily.

    Scooter laughed. “It’s not that kind of surprise, Robin. It’s from all of us! Not just Gonzo.”

    “Oh… it is?” Robin looked cautiously optimistic now.

    “Yeah, come on! It’s in the backyard,” Fozzie said enthusiastically.

    Sweetums chuckled. “C’mon, Little Buddy,” he said, and he held his open hand down low for Robin to hop onto it without quite even realizing he had hopped. “You’re gonna love it!” the hulking beast declared, and he carried little Robin outside with a parade of Muppets following. Once they stepped into the backyard, he set his favorite frog down and gestured broadly with his arms. “Have a look!”

    As the Muppets excitedly gathered behind and beside him, Robin stared out at the familiar yard.

    The Jacuzzi was no longer its most noticeable or outstanding feature.

    Robin’s jaw lowered. He rubbed his eyes. He gaped up at Sweetums, and then at Scooter, who was also beside him. He tugged at the go-fer’s jeans. “Is that for me?” he whispered loudly.

    Scooter was grinning hugely. “Yup! It’s all yours!” he declared.

    “Wow!” Robin stared out at the yard, and his exhaustion from the day vanished as he bolted forward. “It’s a PLAYGROUND! It’s a whole PLAYGROUND!”

    “Playground” was certainly right; “swing set” was just too modest a term for the structure that Scooter had designed. As everyone had expected, Robin went straight for the steps, and—determining the outcome of quite a few bets—he was too excited to even pause halfway before he scrambled into the wooden structure those steps led to. To his left, a set of monkey bars led to a much smaller (though equally tall) structure, complete with a look-out post and a wooden bucket attached to a pulley. Robin grinned in that direction before bolting straight ahead to a ladder leading up to a bridge. He laughed as he hopped across that bridge, knowing that there were three beautiful swings hanging right below his flippers—and how nifty was that?

    “Wow! LOOK at this!” Robin declared as he hopped down the ladder from the bridge to the next structure. “A trap door!” He closed and opened the door, laughing with delight. There was a ladder from this floor door to the ground, but there was no reason to use it to go down. For purposes of going down, this structure had not one, but two slides—a relatively straight, open slide, and a twisted pipe.

    “It’s a twisty slide! It’s a TWISTY SLIDE!” the little frog declared, and he hopped in to slide on down. “Wheeeeee!” He laughed as he reached the bottom, where Sweetums was already waiting for him. “This is GREAT!”

    Sweetums laughed a big, deep chuckle. “You wanna go back up?”

    “YEAH!” Before anyone could stop him, Robin had dashed to the ladder and was climbing up to the wonderful little trap door. “I’m gonna go down the OTHER slide this time! Ready? WHEEE!”

    This time it was Fozzie who caught him at the bottom. “Do you like it, Robin?” the bear asked.

    “I LOVE it!” Robin declared. “Can I swing on the swings? Let’s swing on the swings!” He hopped down and dragged the bear over to those three beautiful swings. “This is GREAT! I have a PLAYGROUND! My very own PLAYGROUND! Wait ‘til I tell Uncle KERMIT!” He hopped onto the center swing and laughed as he started to pump, and then Sweetums was behind him to give him a push. “Higher! HIGHER!”

    By now, more than a few of the Muppets were playing, too. The swings to either side of Robin both had someone to swing and someone to push, several Muppets were looking down from the bridge, there was a small line for the slides, and Sal was showing off his skills on the monkey bars. It was therefore with quite a bit of reluctance that they eventually went inside for dinner.

    Once they were at the table, Robin couldn’t manage to eat much. Now that he was holding still, he felt very tired again. In fact, when Jimmy called at the end of the meal, the young frog had to be woken up and have the mashed potatoes wiped off of his face before he could talk to his father on the phone.
     
  2. We Got Us

    We Got Us Active Member

    >jaw drops to the floor< Lisa posted on Heart of Gold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    -That should do it, I think. Oh you have no idea how happy this makes me. Today I was pacing the floor with the nagging stick considering whether to poke it here or on 'Half the Stairs Are Missing', but then I started reading 'Flippersteps' like I had been putting off for so long and was utterly captivated. Oh this makes my night!!

    Firstly: Noah. All the original characters you write have become so...real, and feel like family now, knowing one of Kermit's brothers is going into service has got me on edge...
    That bit is perfection.

    Secondly: Dear wonderful Scooter caring so much about Robin!!:flirt: >hugs imaginary Scooter doll close< And I love his over protectiveness about his idea. And also I see he's back to using his computer for the smarty-pants ideas he was so famous for as a child.
    Ninthly: (just to bother the Count ;)) >happy sigh< Oh...Robin and Sweetums, Gonzo and surprises, the swing-set, the slide, Rowlf...it's all just...well, I think you know. Your number 1 fan is doing something like a little Irish jig over here. I'm so in love with your writing today it's not even funny. Now, to call all my friends and try to make them understand what I'm so excited about...

    Oh yes, and: >stomp, whistle, cheer< Lisa made good on her Christmas promise!!...now for more HTSAM.....
     
  3. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    You're kidding. That's what I was doing today, too! I forgot how much comedy I put in that one.

    Also, I seriously considered blaming you entirely for Scooter's prominence in this chapter... but I can't. It's not YOUR fault that I gave myself a TMS marathon last week and HAPPENED to notice the sincerity with which Scooter comes in as the fourth whole person to believe in Robin in the Bernadette Peters episode, or that he was just as frantic as Kermit when the Swedish Chef tried to make frog's legs, or...

    So no, I CAN'T blame you... but you do benefit from it, now don't you? ;)
     
    We Got Us likes this.
  4. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Yay... A new chapter from der Liser!

    The first half with Kermit and Holt was nice as it helped the frog confront the prospect of an enlisting sibling.

    But I just adored the second half with the playground for Robin. It reminded me of similar structures at playground/mini-amusement parks my family would take us to in our younger childhood. That structure that had steps for you to run up and enter, the mesh netting tunnel to crawl through, the ball pit pool in the center heart of it all, a slide to exit, another pipe tube ladder to climb up, bridge to walk across to a second slide, it had them all.
    And then the image of Robin being woken up for someone to wipe the mashed potatoes off of his face, makes me think of when Big Bird ate them himself for the first time at Camp Echo Rock and got his beak messed too.
    Again, thank you for fulfilling our fanfic-ness tonight. More please!
     
    We Got Us likes this.
  5. We Got Us

    We Got Us Active Member

    Ooh ooh! Blame me Lisa! BLAME ME!! :D ;)
     
  6. We Got Us

    We Got Us Active Member

    Those are seriously two of my favorite parts of the show. And when they sing Just One Person again in the tribute to Jim Henson, he comes in second! I always figured being the youngest two in the group, they'd stick together pretty well. Maybe talk about what it's like to be raised by an uncle? ....If Scooter even is, we don't really know. >reminds herself she's supposed to be working on finals< Agh! Must...tear myself....away....
     
  7. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Whereas I am just figuring that out. Also... I figure Scooter has probably babysat for Robin more than a few times. He's old enough for that, after all... and, although I personally feel he's one of... um... like, ONE Muppets to have ever aged at all, and therefore is older now than he was at the start of TMS... For quite some time, I'm sure he was the only Muppet other than Robin to be under the legal drinking age, which would make it harder for him to go out with the others to par-tay... In fact, once upon a time when I was going to make Flippersteps a six-part series, there was going to be a scene in which everyone gave Scooter a funny look because he was drinking, and he had to remind them that he was old enough. But that was going to be in part two, and... yeah, part one just sort of stopped before it even hit the halfway point...

    ...Wiggie, you have a talent for making me ramble about my unfinished stories.
     
    We Got Us likes this.
  8. Muppetfan44

    Muppetfan44 Active Member

    YAY!!! An update to one of my favorite fics!!!

    Great as always- loved how Holt spoke up to Kermit about Noah and why he might enlist- good for him!

    Having the gang get Robin a playground was so adorable, and then all the Muppets playing on it with him was perfect, just perfect!

    Great update- please post more soon!
     
    We Got Us likes this.
  9. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Once again, you write to impress--and you always impress so impressively. Your characterization and work with Robin is ALWAYS perfect, but I always forget just how awesome you are with Scooter, too. It takes me back to Chasing Robin when he played Monopoly... Gosh, just great. And it does make all the sense (don't you dare) in the world for him to stick up for Robin, defend Robin, love Robin. Just great. Plus, Kermit with his unit is always excellent. It's amazing... we all feel like we know these characters because of how you present them, but that's because you know these characters that none of us know better than they even know themselves. (Goodness, the things they'd find if they could learn what you know.)

    Anyway... once again I've gotten overly-analytical and schmaltzy. So...

    *disco dances with a Bavarian penguin coddling a Chicano moose*
     
  10. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    ...But... but... But! ...<pouts>

    ...Except that I can't pout too much, because I'm so pleased and flattered that you even REMEMBER that scene of Scooter playing Monopoly in Chasing Robin from however many years ago. I mean, I think the only reason I remember it is that it was inspired from an actual Monopoly game... Gosh, that was a long time ago.

    And let's see, if the guys in Kermit's unit knew the stuff that I know about them... hm... Well, one of 'em would be traumatized, one would get angry, one wouldn't believe me... actually, two wouldn't believe me, and one would get a good laugh out of it... Oh, actually, three of them wouldn't believe me... Man, these guys have NO faith in their author!
     
    We Got Us likes this.
  11. redBoobergurl

    redBoobergurl Well-Known Member

    Yay update! I missed this over the weekend somehow, but found it today. I love the playground for Robin and just how much he became himself again just being able to play, it was so beautiful to read that scene. And the scene with Kermit talking about Noah - a bit heartwrenching, but a good read. Curious as to how that will play out.
     
  12. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Chapter Seventy-Six

    One short week after building Robin’s playground, the Muppets once again found themselves pacing restlessly while the young frog was away at school. Shortly after the bus picked Robin up, they gathered in the kitchen, waiting for the phone to ring and staring at the caller ID.

    The phone refused to ring.

    “It is today, isn’t it?” Fozzie asked, twisting his hat in his hands.

    “It’s today,” Scooter said firmly.

    “And they will call, won’t they?” Gonzo asked.

    “Someone will call. They did promise,” Rowlf said.

    Miss Piggy rubbed the tops of the chairs as she walked past them, pacing back and forth beside the table. “I don’t even know what to hope for,” she said quietly.

    All eyes silently turned to Kermit’s empty chair, lovingly painted with lily pads, standing at the head of the table.

    They were waiting to hear from someone at the swamp. Today was the day they would find out if the Marines were going to accept Noah the Frog into their ranks. They didn’t know Noah very well, but his wife, Ida, called multiple times a week.

    Noah’s decision to enlist had inspired quite a bit of discussion, both in the swamp and in the boarding house. Apparently, another of Kermit’s siblings was also thinking about joining the armed forces now.

    The Muppets, however, were not thinking about enlisting. Late one night, Clifford quietly confessed to Rowlf that he had toyed with the idea, but one single e-mail from Pfc. Bob Geraldson had ended even the mildest of speculation about it. Bob had written that, while Kermit had been struggling with the idea of one of his siblings enlisting, the mere mention of the possibility of one of the Muppets joining up set their leading frog to trembling.

    More than ever, the Muppets needed to stick together now. And even if they hadn’t needed to stick together, Kermit needed them to stick together.

    But his siblings had a different way of supporting him.

    “Well… whatever it is, it is,” Rowlf said quietly. “Nothing we can do about it either way, except—”

    The phone finally rang, and they lunged forward, all eyes bulging towards the caller ID screen. “It’s them!” Scooter announced, and he immediately turned on speakerphone. “Muppet Boarding House!”

    “Oh, hello. That’s Scooter, isn’t it?” the voice on the phone said.

    They let out a collective sigh of relief. The gentle voice on the phone had an incredibly calming effect on all of them, and while they hadn’t been talking to her for very long, all of them could immediately recognize this voice, and they knew they were only allowed to address her in one way. “Hello, Mom,” all of them said in unison.

    “Hullo, Mrs. the Frog,” Rowlf said.

    Kermit’s mother laughed. “Rowlf, you’re as stubborn as my son,” she said fondly. “I do love how you’re all always gathered ‘round. How are all of you?”

    “We’re anxious, Mom. What’s the news?” Gonzo asked.

    “Oh, goodness. There’s all sorts of news here.” Mom sighed. “Well, first thing first, I suppose. Noah failed his medical exam. The Marines won’t take him unless he loses some weight and—how’d he put it—increases his aerobic capabilities, or something like that. Apparently, he’s been too stationary for too long.”

    They each let out a deep breath.

    “So he’s not going?” Scooter asked. “Or is he going to lose the weight and try again?”

    “Oh, he won’t be trying again, I don’t think. Ida’s talked him out of it, for Roseanna’s sake,” Mom the Frog said. “He may try to lose the weight anyway, but that would surprise me.”

    “You’re sure he won’t try again, Mrs. the Frog?” Rowlf asked. “Or are you just hoping that?”

    “Rowlf, I’m not answering that until you call me Mom.”

    Rowlf groaned as the other Muppets chuckled. “Mrs. the Frog, I’ve known you longer than anyone in this room, and I’ve never called you Mom,” the dog said. “You used to let me call you Mrs. the Frog.”

    “Well, that was when you and Kermit were just friends. You’re part of his family now, and that makes you my family, too.”

    Rowlf grumbled and shook his head. “Old habits die hard.”

    “Yes, well, I think you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.”

    “How about a compromise?” Fozzie suggested. “Rowlf, call her Mrs. Mom.”

    That made everyone laugh, and having made everyone laugh made Fozzie stand a little taller and straighten his tie.

    “Mom, did you say there’s other news?” Scooter asked.

    “Oh, yes. Apparently, Roseanna thinks SHE ought to be in some sort of armed forces, since that seems to be the thing to do around here these days.”

    The Muppets groaned.

    “How old is Roseanna? Ten?” Clifford asked.

    “Eleven, but still far too young to enlist, thank goodness,” Mom said. A faint trace of something almost bitter slipped into her voice. “Ida promised to look into some sort of junior program for her. I’m not at all fond of the reasons she’s gotten this idea, of course, but I suppose if it can teach my little spitfire of a granddaughter some discipline… well, there’s some good in that, I guess. We’ve got to take whatever silver lining we can find anymore.”

    “That’s the truth,” Rowlf sighed. “Anybody else trying to sign up?”

    “Well, there’s still Greg. He hasn’t decided completely, I don’t think,” Mom said, and she let out a heavy sigh. “You know, we were all so shocked when Noah said he was thinking about it, but we should’ve been expecting Greg. He always did want to be just like… just like his brother.” The last few words were a whisper. “Anyway, how are all of you? Is Robin still enjoying that playground you made for him?”

    They assured her that he was. And yes, Robin was still doing alright in school, and yes, they would keep her grandson safe. They would keep each other safe, too. And no, they hadn’t quite decided what their next fundraiser would be or how public to make it, but they would be sure to keep her informed.

    They didn’t discuss the latest news until they had hung up the phone.

    “Rowlfie, does Greg have tadpoles?” Miss Piggy immediately asked.

    “Well, they’ve dropped their tails, but yes,” Rowlf said. “A little younger than Robin, I think.”

    They sighed. “What’s going on in that swamp?” Rizzo said. “I thought we were the crazy ones.”

    “No kidding,” Scooter said, and he sighed. “Poor Mom. She sounded miserable about Greg.”

    “Yeah… but with Kerm where he is, doin’ what he’s doin’… we can’t really complain about it,” Clifford said reluctantly. “We almost have to stand by it.”

    “We do have to stand by it,” Fozzie said firmly as he twisted his hat and tugged at his tie.

    Rowlf nodded. “That’s why Mrs. the Frog changed the subject,” he said quietly.

    “It always throws me off when you call her Mrs. the Frog,” Gonzo said to the dog.

    “Well, it throws me off when all of you call her Mom,” Rowlf teased.

    “Yeah… it does feel a little strange to call her that,” Fozzie said.

    “It doesn’t feel strange to me,” Gonzo said.

    “Gonzo,” Miss Piggy said, “If something feels strange to vous, that probably means it’s completely normal.”

    “It doesn’t feel strange to me, either,” Scooter piped up. “It’s what she wants us to call her. And she’s right—we are Kermit’s family. So she’s our family, too.”

    “That doesn’t necessarily make her our mom, though,” Clifford said. “Not that it bothers me. Just thought I’d mention.”

    Miss Piggy sighed and looked at the diamond ring on her finger. “She would have been moi’s mother eventually, anyway,” she said quietly. “Might as well get used to it.”

    “Well, I don’t mind it, but it sure confuses Animal,” Floyd said.

    “How does it confuse him?” Gonzo asked. “Does he think that Mom is his mom?”

    Animal lifted his head and his eyes flew open. “MAMA? MAMA?”

    “No, no, Frog Mom! Frog Mom!” Floyd said hastily.

    Animal tilted his head. “Frog Mom?”

    “Yeah, Frog Mom!”

    “FROG MOM! FROG MOM!”

    “Yeah, alright, heel! Animal, down!”

    “I think d’at’s a yes,” Rizzo said, and he slid under the table and popped up on the other side, putting a little extra space between himself and the drummer.

    The phone rang, and they gave it a confused look.

    “Five bucks says it’s Maggie,” Rizzo ventured.

    “Ten says it’s telemarketers, hokay.”

    But Scooter was frowning at the caller ID. “It’s Robin’s school,” he announced, and he picked up the phone. “Hello? Muppet Boarding House.”

    “Robin’s school?” Fozzie repeated. “Why would they call? I know he didn’t forget his homework—”

    “Scooter Grosse,” Scooter was saying. “Yes, I’m a Muppet.” He gave the rest of the room a worried look, and the other Muppets edged closer. Suddenly Scooter’s arm shot out and he grabbed the nearest hand. “Is he okay?” he demanded.

    “Oh no.”

    “What happened?”

    “Is he hurt?”

    “Okay. We’ll be right there,” Scooter said, and he hung up the phone. “We’re picking Robin up from school. NOW,” he said. “And I want every single monster in this house to come with!”

    “Scooter, what happened?” Miss Piggy demanded, not bothering to wrench her hand free from his grip. And that was good, because his grip only tightened as he glared at her and spat out the answer.

    “Protestors.”
     
  13. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Ugh no... *Groans at the chapter.

    Wonderful to have the Muppets all gathered around the phone urgently awaiting Mom the Frog's call. Have to respect Rowlf being the only one to address her formally. It had an endearing Muppet Babies feeling to it, all those main Muppet characters talking to a motherly figure they look up to, getting important news from her about the other frogs in the swamp...

    And then you have to go and introduce the plot point of the protesters. I groan, not because of the complication, but that you added such complication. Great, Robin's never going to survive these fics what with being hooked up to a life support machine and now being beset by angry protesters.
    :rolleyes: Ju is a bad bad woman okay.

    Post more!
     
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  14. redBoobergurl

    redBoobergurl Well-Known Member

    Both sides of the coin in this chapter - a little humor with the "call me mom verses Mrs. The Frog" and Animal going "Mama" like in the Bohemian Rhapsody video. Much emotion with the discussion of being like family, the members of the Frog family wanting to enlist and then....protesters...and Robin....oh my. More please!
     
  15. We Got Us

    We Got Us Active Member

    Wheee! A great way to start the day....or at least, it was. Knowing I don't have worry about Noah was good. Knowing that know I am worrying about Robin, is so not good on so many levels! I'm in total agreement with Ed. (The Count the Count! >awaits authorization of first name using<) And redBoobergurl. I loved the Rowlf part and his crusty-old-dog stubbornness in not calling her Mom. I also found it interesting that Fozzie would think it weird, being the only one to have a known Mom, and Gonzo, well, did now. Maybe you thought of that and maybe I'm delving too deep, but it was just an interesting tid-bit. All right, now I'll stop beating around the bush and say what I really mean.
    1. Thank you for diligently posting story.
    2. Post more. Like, now. (please?)
    3. Robin had better not get trampled by angry protesters and end up on life-support...cause' that would just....uhg....I can find out where you live Lisa dear....;)
     
  16. Aaron

    Aaron Active Member

    Loving this story. Hope more isn't too far away.
     
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  17. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Good grief... you know how to build us up and then shoot us in the kneecaps and make us fall right back down. Hilarity ensued with Animal and Rowlf... heart-warming huggy feelings came with Mom (LOVE THAT THEY ALL CALL HER MOM!!!), and then... shot in the kneecap with those darn protestors. Sheesh. What a way to start my morning. :p EXCELLENT chapter, half. MORE please!
     
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  18. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Of course I thought about that. I put quite a bit of thought into which Muppets might feel a bit odd calling someone other than their own mother "Mom," and which Muppets would feel completely natural about it, and which ones might be glad to have someone to call Mom. So I am very glad you noticed!

    In other news, I don't remember the last time I got this many replies this quickly. I should post at one in the morning more often. But calm down, would you? I wouldn't put my dear little Robin on life support in more than one story at a time! ;)
     
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  19. Muppetfan44

    Muppetfan44 Active Member

    Aww, another adorable chapter- I love how the Muppets call Kermit's mother Mom and how Rowlf won't do it :)

    would have been?!!!!- WHAT?! Don't scare me like that dearie..She will be Piggy dear, she will be!!! ;)

    I could definitely see Clifford being the one thinking about enlisting-and Kermit's reaction to that was very accurate

    Protestors at Robin's school!- Hopefully we'll get to see Sweetums and Piggy kick a little butt if need be

    Great updates as always- excited to read a little more ush gush between my fave couple soon!
     
  20. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Chapter Seventy-Seven

    As the gaggle of Muppets marched towards Robin’s school, flanked on all sides by every monster associated with them, Miss Piggy was hard at work on her cell phone, using every contact she had to alert the media. She didn’t bother trying to be classy about it. “No, you twerp, of course Robin isn’t giving any interviews! None of us are giving any interviews to anyone until we are absolutely certain that we’ve done everything we can to fix what they’ve done to him!” She hung up and growled.

    No one else spoke as they walked, but even when Miss Piggy was done making calls, it didn’t feel quiet. They were too angry for that. And when they reached the school and saw what was waiting for them there, their anger only mounted.

    It was a small protest—a dozen people, at most—but they were right next to the school playground, kept away only by the chain-link fence. They were shouting to see Robin, and their picket signs had horrible phrases like, “Robin, would your uncle kill YOU?” The police had arrived, and a handful of officers was herding the group away from the fence, but they couldn’t make any arrests. Technically, no laws had been broken.

    “Freedom of speech, at its finest,” Clifford spat.

    Miss Piggy put one silk-gloved hand on her waist. “I think those officers need a teensy bit of help convincing those people to leave,” she said sweetly, and she turned to the monsters. “Boys?”

    With more than a few smug chuckles among them, the monsters were more than happy to join the police officers and stand with their backs to the fence, giving the protesters plenty of dirty looks.

    Fozzie was trying to hide behind his tie to avoid reading the picket signs. “Let’s go get Robin,” he said, and the remaining Muppets went inside. Sweetums was the only monster who joined them.

    The building was eerily quiet. They went into the front office, where two very tense women were sitting behind the desk. Upon seeing the Muppets, they both jumped to their feet. “Charlotte, go get him,” the older woman ordered, and the younger woman bolted through a back door. “Oh, thank heavens you’re here. We’ve been keeping him in the principal’s office so no one would see him if they tried to come in,” the first woman explained.

    “He’s not alone there, is he?” Fozzie demanded.

    “Oh, no, of course not!” the woman said. “His teacher, Ms. Stewart, hasn’t let him out of her sight. The poor thing! He’s so brave, you know. He hasn’t cried at all.” She wrung her hands together. “He may be the only one in the school who hasn’t,” she confessed. “It started during recess, you know. We brought everyone inside right away, and they’re in an assembly now…” She bit her lips and shook her head. “It’s just awful.”

    The back door opened, and the younger woman re-appeared. Behind her, a woman with puffy red eyes and her blonde hair tied back in a ponytail was carrying Robin in her arms. That was technically against school policy, but no one was about to say anything about that. She set Robin down, and he immediately ran to the Muppets and flung himself into whichever arms caught him first—which happened to be Scooter’s, although all of them were reaching for the little frog. Miss Piggy wrapped her arms around both of them, and Fozzie still managed to find enough room to put his hand on Robin’s cheek. They all crowded together in a tight group hug.

    Safely wrapped up in the center of the group, Robin clung to Scooter’s jacket and cried.

    No one tried to hush him. No one told him it was alright. It would have been a lie.

    “I’m Ms. Stewart, Robin’s teacher,” said the woman who had carried the little frog in, not expecting anyone to answer her or to really listen. “The police have agreed to guard the school yard for the rest of the year. Just as a precaution. There’s only three weeks left.”

    “We still might not send him to school on Wednesday,” Rowlf rumbled without looking up from the all-important group hug.

    Ms. Stewart nodded quickly. “That would be fine,” she said. “Would it—could I call, later tonight, to check on him? Would that be alright?”

    “Sure,” Rowlf said. “But we’ve been screening our calls lately, so don’t be offended if it goes to the machine.”

    “That’s fine.” Ms. Stewart wrapped her arms around herself.

    Robin sniffled and wiped his eyes, but the tears kept coming. “I wanna go home,” he whimpered.

    Scooter nodded. “That’s where we’re going,” he said quietly.

    “We’re here now, Robin. We’ve got you,” Miss Piggy murmured.

    “He does need to be signed out, before you can go,” Ms. Stewart said quietly, and Clifford reluctantly detached himself from the group to fill out a single line on a clipboard. With that done, they shuffled out of the office.

    Before they left the building, Sweetums bent down. “C’mere, Little Buddy,” he said, and he scooped up both Scooter and Robin to cradle them protectively against his chest. The rest of the Muppets gathered around him, so that he was at the center of the crowd. Between the arms of the go-fer and the huge monster, Robin was scarcely visible at all, and certainly couldn’t be reached by any outsiders.

    Together, they marched out of the school, where the rest of the monsters circled them once more before they went home to the Muppet Boarding House.

    Floyd and Animal were waiting on the front porch, and even Floyd’s white-knuckle grip on the chain couldn’t hold Animal back when the other Muppets came in the yard. “SMALL FROG! SMALL FROG!” he shouted, charging forward.

    The Muppets made a path for him, mostly to avoid getting trampled, and Sweetums knelt down so the drummer could see the little frog still tucked in Scooter’s arms.

    “SMALL FROG!” Animal declared as he came to a stop and stared intently at Robin. “Small Frog?”

    Robin peered up at him. “Hi Animal,” he said quietly.

    Animal tilted his head to one side. “Small Frog okay?” he asked, his voice full of concern.

    Rather than answering directly, Robin reached up and gave the drummer a hug. Animal gently cuddled him and settled him back in Scooter’s arms to be carried inside.

    They spent the rest of the day on the phone with the swamp. Robin was held and cuddled and given all the chocolate and milkshakes and cookies a five-year-old could want while he talked and listened to his family—both of his families.

    But the one family member he wanted to talk to most was the one he couldn’t reach at all.

    “Can I write a letter to Uncle Kermit?” he asked softly in a rare pause between phone calls.

    The Muppets looked at each other nervously, trying to communicate a thousand thoughts with silent glances. Miss Piggy put her hand on his back. “Of course, Robin,” she said. “But… but maybe… it would be best if… if you didn’t tell him what happened today.”

    “No. That isn’t right,” Rowlf said. “Let him talk to his uncle about this. He needs to, Piggy. You know that.”

    “Of course I know that!” Miss Piggy pulled Robin tight against her. “But I also know that if anything happened to Robin right now, Kermie would blame himself for not being here. Do you know what it would do to him if he knew what those people are doing—and doing to Robin—because of Kermit’s choices?” She let the fire go out of her eyes and her voice as she turned to the little frog, gently cupping his cheek in her hand. “Robin—do—do you understand what I’m saying?” she asked shakily.

    Robin nodded. “Uncle Kermit would be upset,” he said sadly. “And he would stop doing what he’s doing, which is important.”

    Miss Piggy nodded. “That’s right,” she said softly.

    Tears sprouted out of his eyes again. “I want him to come home, Aunt Piggy!” he said, pressing himself into her arms and hugging her with all his might, which was a great deal more than she expected. “I want it to be over! I want my uncle back!”

    “I know, Robin… We all do,” Miss Piggy whimpered, and she cried with him as she rocked him back and forth.

    That night, the Muppets all slept together in one big pile in the living room, with Robin safely nestled in the middle of everyone. And when they woke up with stiff backs from sleeping on the floor, nobody complained. The idea of going to their own bedrooms hadn’t even crossed their minds.

    The next day was Tuesday, and since Robin’s school only met three days a week now, he had the day off. He spent most of the day halfway up the steps on his new playground, sometimes just sitting, sometimes coloring, and sometimes very carefully working on a letter to Uncle Kermit. He was much quieter than he usually was between school days, not that anyone really had to wonder why. They offered to play all sorts of games with him, and to play with him on his playground, and to spoil him in just about any other way they could think of. He accepted most of the sweets they offered—he did stop before he got a tummy ache—but he had no interest in running or playing.

    So the Muppets were very surprised that evening when he got his backpack together and set it by the front door, ready for the next day of school.

    “Robin…” Fozzie took his hat off. “You don’t have to go to school tomorrow, if you don’t want to,” he said.

    “Yeah, we don’t know if—” Gonzo hesitated. “If those people will still be there or not.”

    But Robin stood up as straight and tall as he could. “I’m going to school,” he said firmly. “I don’t like those people. But they’re not gonna stop my Uncle Kermit, and they’re not gonna stop me!” He stared at all of the Muppets with his fists clenched, waiting for them to argue. For a moment, no one said anything.

    And then someone started clapping, and several others joined in. Miss Piggy laughed—not a mean laugh, but a happy laugh—and she scooped Robin up and kissed his cheek, which made him squirm. “That’s very brave of you, Robin!” she said. “I’m so proud of vous! And Kermie would be so proud of you, too!”

    “We’re all proud of you!” Scooter declared.

    “Yeah, c’mon everybody, three cheers for Robin!” Rowlf said. “Hip hip—”

    “HOORAY!”

    “Hip hip—”

    “HOORAY!”

    “Hip hip—”

    “HOORAY!”

    “HIP HIP HOORAY!” Animal belatedly shouted.

    Robin beamed as Fozzie scooped him out of Miss Piggy’s arms and into his own. “But if you change your mind, that’s okay, too,” the bear said. “Even if you’re already at school. You can still come home.”

    “I won’t come home,” Robin declared. “Not until I’m supposed to!”

    And so it was that Robin marched to the bus stop the next morning with his head held high—escorted, of course, by eight other Muppets. He climbed on the bus without a second thought and even grinned at the other Muppets and waved goodbye as the bus pulled away.

    But his bravery had waned some by the time they reached the school. He gave the fence around the yard a long, hesitant look when he got off the bus, but the only people there right now were some police officers. So he went inside.

    For a few hours, everything was fine. He traced the alphabet a few times, and he sat with everyone else while Ms. Stewart read them a story, and then had a delightful time making a big mess with the glue and the glitter for an art project. He loved using glitter because it was messy, and because he was pretty sure it had something to do with the “razzle-dazzle” stuff they always talked about in the theater.

    But when he carefully carried his glittery creation to the window to dry before their first recess, Robin happened to look outside. There, beyond the playground, beyond the police officers… those people were back. He couldn’t hear them, even with the windows open, so they probably weren’t shouting this time… But just seeing them again, he didn’t feel very brave right now.

    “Clean up, everyone! We can’t have recess until everything is put away,” Ms. Stewart reminded them. Then she came and crouched down next to the little frog who was staring out the window. “Robin?” she said softly.

    Robin didn’t look at her. “Those people came back, Ms. Stewart,” he said.

    She glanced out the window, even though she had already seen what was there. “Yes, they did,” she said, and she took a deep breath. “Robin, I think it would be best if you stayed inside with me for recess today.”

    Now he did look at her. “For both recesses?” he asked. A second recess had been a necessary part of the longer school days.

    “We’ll see if they’re still here for the second recess,” Ms. Stewart said. “I’ll need you to line up with everyone else when it’s time to go to the playground… but don’t go outside, okay? Just stay right next to me.”

    Robin nodded. “Yes, Ms. Stewart,” he said.

    They were almost done cleaning up when Robin’s friend and fellow Frog Scout Andy hopped over to him. “Hey Robin! Wanna play on the monkey bars with me?” he asked.

    Robin shook his head. “I’m not going outside for recess,” he said.

    Andy frowned. “Why not?”

    Robin squirmed a little. He didn’t want to talk about the angry people, even with Andy. “Ms. Stewart said for me to stay inside,” he said.

    “How come?” Andy asked.

    Robin shrugged.

    “MS. STEWART?” Andy called out. “WHY CAN’T ROBIN GO OUTSIDE?”

    “Uh—inside voice, Andy,” Ms. Stewart said quickly.

    “Oh. Sorry,” Andy said. “Why can’t Robin go outside?”

    “Robin can’t go outside?” Charlie asked.

    “Why can’t Robin go outside?” Lila asked.

    “Robin, are you in trouble?” Tony called out.

    “Inside voices, Tony,” Ms. Stewart scolded.

    “Sorry.”

    “Why can’t he go outside, Ms. Stewart?” Andy asked again.

    Ms. Stewart took a deep breath. It wasn’t an easy issue to explain, but it didn’t look like she had much of a choice. “Calm down, everyone. Settle down,” she said, not entirely sure if she was addressing her students or herself. “Let’s all… Why don’t you all sit down on the rug with me,” she said, and she sat on her stool as if she were going to read them another book.

    The children quickly sat down on the rug, all peering up at her, silently demanding answers. Robin squirmed uneasily and finally sat down at the very edge of the rug, off to her side.

    Ms. Stewart folded her hands in her lap and took a deep breath. “Do all of you remember the people who were outside by the playground on Monday?” she asked.

    Two dozen students bobbed their heads.

    “Well, those people are here again,” Ms. Stewart said carefully. “They’re here because they’re angry at Robin’s uncle. But they can’t talk to Robin’s uncle about it, so instead, they’re being very mean to Robin.”

    “But that’s not FAIR!” someone in the back shouted out.

    For once, Ms. Stewart didn’t remind the offender to use an inside voice. “No, Gummo, it isn’t fair,” she agreed. “It isn’t fair, and it isn’t right… but there’s nothing that we can do to stop them. So instead, we’re keeping Robin in here, where they won’t say anything mean to him.”

    “So he can’t ever go outside, ever?” Kelsey asked.

    “He can go outside,” Ms. Stewart said. “But while… the angry people are here, it’s better if he stays inside, until it’s time to go home.”

    “But ROBIN didn’t do anything wrong!” Trevor protested.

    “No, he didn’t,” Ms. Stewart said, and she gave the frog in question a gentle, encouraging smile. “In fact, Robin is being very brave.”

    Robin hugged his knees a little tighter. Brave? Now, he was being brave? He didn’t feel brave.

    “But Robin shouldn’t have to stay inside!” Emily said. “That isn’t fair!”

    “Ms. Stewart?” Andy said, raising his hand like everyone had forgotten they were supposed to do. “If Robin has to stay inside, can I stay inside with him?”

    “Yes, Andy, if you want to,” Ms. Stewart said.

    “Can I stay inside, too?” Charlie asked.

    “And me, Ms. Stewart?” Trevor asked.

    “Yeah!” Emily said. “If Robin can’t go outside, then we can stay inside!”

    “Yeah, and then Robin doesn’t have to be all alone!” Raymond said.

    “Can we, Ms. Stewart? Can we all stay inside?” Sammy asked.

    “Calm down, everyone, quiet down,” Ms. Stewart said, raising her hands to quiet them. “Yes, anyone who wants to stay inside for recess is welcome to, but no one has to stay inside, alright? Anyone who wants to go outside can do that, too. Now, who does want to go outside?”

    She waited.

    Robin picked his head up. He started to smile a little.

    No one was raising their hand.

    “I want to stay with Robin,” Charlie said.

    “Me too,” Trevor said.

    Ms. Stewart let her hands settle back into her lap. “Alright,” she said softly as a smile traced its way across her lips. “Alright, then. We’ll all stay inside with Robin.” She beamed at her students, and the tears in her eyes had nothing to do with the headache she would surely earn herself by holding recess indoors.
     
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