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A Heart of Gold

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

  1. miss muppet

    miss muppet Active Member

    Wow this story has touched my heart ! :flirt:
  2. Vincent L

    Vincent L Well-Known Member

    [Finishes fantastic story]
    [looks at clock]
    [three hours, that should be used in studying for the high school entrance exam]
    [looks at huge pile of books on desk]

    Anyway, great story. Can't wait to see what happens next!

    [remembers that he promised self not to nag]

    Well, never mind…
  3. Vincent L

    Vincent L Well-Known Member

    To think that the protesters actually went to Robin! Are they out of their mind?
    “Robin, would your uncle kill YOU?”
    Boy, if that isn't awful, I don't know what is.
  4. miss muppet

    miss muppet Active Member

    LOL and ROFL
  5. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    Lisa? Lisa? Where are you? Are you posting more or will I show you my fisty-wist meaning I am losing my patience? (groans)! :excited: More pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee?
  6. Vincent L

    Vincent L Well-Known Member

    I do have one complaint: does there have to be so many Kermit & Piggy kissing around scenes?
  7. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    I do sometimes wish I could go backwards and trim some of those scenes down considerably. It's amazing how easy it is, when writing, to get carried away without even realizing it. Unfortunately, those chapters are all several years too old for me to go back and edit the posts. :p

    On the other hand, there won't be much more of that in any future chapters, what with the frog and pig being on opposite sides of the globe and all...
  8. Vincent L

    Vincent L Well-Known Member

    Well, that will be nice…if there are any future chapters written at all.
  9. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Oh, there will be. I have no idea WHEN those future chapters will be written... but they will be. I've put way too much thought and effort and planning into this particular story to abandon it completely. I have enough plot laid out in timeline form to cover at least another year in story time. What happens after that point is a lot harder to figure out... but at the rate I'm going, I've got a few years to work on it.
  10. miss kermie

    miss kermie Well-Known Member

    Muppetfan44 likes this.
  11. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    I'm sure there must be an Ushy-gushy warning somewhere in there...and if you think these scenes are kissy, you should have been an MSN friend of Lisa's back in the day when she used to line scenes at people :p
  12. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Chapter Seventy-Nine

    “Betty Sue?” Craig called as he came into the house.

    No one answered, but that didn’t worry him. Sometimes his sister came home a few minutes before him, and sometimes she came home a few minutes after him. Pa wasn’t due back for several hours yet.

    He checked his cell phone. If Betty Sue wasn’t home in a few minutes, she would probably call to say that she was at Stacey’s house. Craig was sure proud of his baby sister. She was a good student and a fantastic tennis player, and she was very mature for her age. Just yesterday, she had told him about how she’d convinced Stacey to spend less money on cheap jewelry and more money on supporting the troops. How many fourteen-year-olds were even thinking about that? He certainly hadn’t spent much money on anyone but himself at that age… well, except for the money he’d spent on spoiling his baby sister, of course.

    He set the mail down next to the house phone and played the new message that someone had left on the answering machine.

    “This is a message for Paul Rivers. If you are not Paul Rivers, please hang up now. By continuing to listen to this message, you acknowledge that you are Paul Rivers. You should not play this message if other people can hear it, as it contains personal information. There will now be a three second pause for you to play this message in private.”

    Craig stared at the answering machine in surprise. He was about to erase the message when the automated voice spoke again, identifying the caller as a collection agency and asking for their call to be returned as soon as possible.

    He frowned. Why was there a collection agency calling for his father? He hesitantly, reluctantly looked at the mail he had just brought in. Pa was paying the bills, wasn’t he?

    Craig brought the mail to the kitchen table, carefully checking what was addressed to him.

    The front door banged open and slammed shut, and Betty Sue let out an angry shout.

    Craig gripped the edge of the table and winced at the dizziness as that slam and that shout passed through his head and pulled forward a hundred awful memories that all flashed before him.

    Betty Sue gasped. “Oh! Craig, I—” She went to drop her backpack, then caught it quickly before it could make another thud and gently set it on the floor and hurried to her brother’s side. She wrapped her arms around him and set her head against his. “I’m sorry, Craig. I didn’t mean to startle ya,” she murmured.

    Craig forced himself to stop shaking and tried to catch his breath. He gripped his sister’s hand. “Sor—sorry ‘bout that,” he gasped out. He gulped as if to swallow the panic. “Now—you tell me what’s wrong, Betty Sue.”

    Betty Sue stiffened. “…I… nothin’. Ain’t nothin’ wrong,” she said, and she slid her fingers through his hair, the same way he’d done to comfort her when she was little.

    Craig straightened up and put his hands on her shoulders. She wouldn’t meet his eyes, but he could see that his sister—his sweet, mild-mannered baby sister—was trying to stifle a boiling, raging fury. He tucked back a few loose strands of hair that had fallen out of her braid. “You can talk to me, Betty Sue,” he said softly.

    She shook her head. “Not about this. It ain’t… It ain’t somethin’ you need to know. I—I’ll be alright.”

    Craig frowned. “Is it a… a womanly thing?” he asked uneasily.

    “No, it’s a stupidity thing,” she spat, and she took a deep breath. “I’ll be fine,” she whispered.

    He tugged her a little closer. “Will ya talk about it with someone?” he asked. “Maybe—maybe with Stacey, or—”

    “I’m never talkin’ to Stacey! Not ever again!” she snapped. Her breath caught a little, and she clenched her fists and her jaw, but her lip still trembled, just a little.

    Craig stared at her for a moment and felt a chill settle over him. Betty Sue and Stacey had been best friends ever since they’d met in the second grade. What could shatter that friendship… and be something that she couldn’t even talk to him about? “Tell me what happened, Betty Sue,” he said quietly.

    Betty Sue started to shake her head, but she looked up just enough to meet Craig’s eyes, and she let out a single harsh sob before she dumped her head down against her brother’s shoulder. “Y’know how she said yesterday she was gonna give some money to the troops?” she said miserably.

    Craig nodded, gently smoothing her hair, bracing himself for what he knew had to be coming.

    “She ain’t gonna give one penny,” Betty Sue sobbed. “She said—her parents don’t want her to… to support…” She sniffled and hugged her brother tight. “I ain’t repeatin’ her exact words, Craig,” she whispered. “Not to you. Not ever. Gosh, Craig… How can she be so stupid? How can she—I mean—don’t she pay no attention—” She muffled another scream against his shoulder.

    He rubbed her back. “You scream all y’need to, Betty Sue,” he said huskily. “Go on an’ let it all out.”

    She didn’t scream anymore, but she did allow herself to cry and to curl up in his lap, like she was a little girl again.

    “I know it ain’t easy,” he murmured when her tears had subsided and her fists were unclenched. “But it seems like most everyone thinks like that these days… An’ it don’t so much sound like that’s her decision as it is her parents’ decision… An’ maybe that ain’t enough of a reason to jest walk away from a friendship like that.”

    Betty Sue straightened up and scowled at him. “I can’t stay friends with her!” she insisted. “She was sayin’ all sorts of awful stuff about you, Craig. She made me so mad—”

    “Did she say it about me?” Craig asked, wincing, “Or about all the troops?”

    Betty Sue looked down. “You are one of the troops,” she said firmly. “It’s the same thing.”

    In spite of everything, he smiled faintly. “She may not realize that, Betty Sue,” he said quietly. “Or at least, she may not think of things that way.”

    “Well then, where has she been?” Betty Sue demanded. “What kind of simpleton does she have to be to not figure that out by now?”

    Craig sighed. “Probably about the same kind of simpleton most of the world is tryin’ to be right now,” he said. “Nobody wants to really understand all this, Betty Sue.”

    “That don’t mean they should ignore it!” Betty Sue said angrily. “And even if they don’t agree with the war, can’t they jest support the troops?”

    Craig sighed. “Oh, Betty Sue… I wish they would,” he said quietly. He gently rocked her back and forth. “It ain’t right, how this country’s turned in on itself because of this war. People oughta take care of each other.”

    Betty Sue nodded and hugged her brother. “What am I gonna do about Stacey?” she whispered, something resigned and forlorn in her voice. “I’m so mad at her, Craig…”

    Maybe he was biased, but his sister’s anger just made Craig even prouder of her. He couldn’t quite put his finger on his reasoning. “I know,” he said quietly. “Give it time, I guess… Maybe she’s upset now, too. And when you’ve both calmed down some… I dunno.” He sighed.

    He wanted to tell his sister that it would all work out, and that everything would be alright. But he didn’t really believe it.

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

    The next mail call came with the usual excitement. Mail deliveries had gotten to be a rare thing, with the scarcity of fuel, but someone pulling strings on the home front felt that letters from home were just as essential as food and water. The troops were grateful for that.

    So all of them eagerly gathered around to retrieve their letters, and then settled in to read them. Pine showed off another picture of his now-nineteen-month-old daughter, but kept the details of his wife’s letter to himself. Emerson grinned as he read about his little sister’s plans for the summer. Plank seemed to relax—an increasingly rare thing for him—as he read his mother’s description about how well her new job was going. Holt distractedly kept the camera trained on his fellow Marines with one hand while he studied a few letters from his parents and siblings in his other hand. Casper laughed at something his aunt had sent, and Geraldson intently studied a letter from his mother. Even Cogswell, with his arm in a sling, made it out of the medical tent to retrieve his mail. And Larsen, of course, counted his letters and went straight to Kermit to see who had “won” this round of their on-going competition. “So Frog, how many letters did you get from your siblings?”

    “Hmm?” Kermit distractedly paused his reading and flipped through his un-opened envelopes. “Ah… Three. Four.” He frowned, counted again, and nodded. “Four.”

    “Aww, you win this one. I’ve got three letters and a postcard.”

    Kermit gave him a blank look. “Doesn’t that mean we’re tied?”

    “Postcards count as half, remember?”

    “Oh yeah.” He bent his head and went back to his own reading.

    Larsen frowned. Kermit didn’t seem to share the communal enthusiasm for this batch of letters. In fact, the announcement of mail call seemed to have intensified—rather than dispelled—a sort of cloud that had been hanging over him lately. Larsen touched his elbow to the frog’s arm. “Who’s that one from?”

    “Robin.” Kermit didn’t even look up.

    Larsen’s frown deepened. A letter from Robin should have had Kermit grinning from ear to ear—well—figuratively, anyway. He slid his thumb into the top envelope on his stack and gently tore it open without looking to see who it was from. “Frog?” he said, his voice casual but quieter. “Somethin’ going on back home?”

    Kermit’s whole body seemed to tense up. “I don’t know.” He looked straight at Larsen. “I think so… But I don’t know.”

    Larsen studied his face. “Well, they would tell you if it was something serious, wouldn’t they?”

    Something seemed to cloud the frog’s eyes for a moment. “Not… not necessarily,” he said uneasily. “They… we… we’re pretty protective of each other. They wouldn’t want me to worry about them. So they might not tell me… everything.” He looked at his nephew’s letter without exactly reading it, trying to puzzle out what hadn’t been written.

    Larsen understood. If something was wrong with their respective families, both of them would have been able to tell, regardless of whether or not someone actually told them that something was wrong. Knowing nothing except the gut feeling that something was wrong, Larsen would have worried anyway, just like Kermit was doing now—but he also would have been reluctantly grateful for his family’s protection and grudgingly accepted his ignorance of the problem, just like Kermit was struggling to do. “Any clues?” he asked.

    Kermit rubbed the back of his neck and grimaced. “Some… I don’t—I don’t like where they point.”

    Larsen immediately looked for Geraldson. The two Marines were close enough—and their families were close enough—that Geraldson usually learned about anything happening with Frog from his own mail.

    Geraldson’s expression was dark and grim as he read his mother’s letter now. He glanced up, noticed that Larsen was watching him, and looked at Kermit. The distress in the frog’s face made Geraldson turn pale, and his muscles visibly tensed as he stared at Larsen, his eyes demanding an answer to an unspoken question.

    Larsen discreetly shook his head. No, Kermit did not know what was wrong. Geraldson went limp with the relief this news brought, and he let out a deep breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding.

    Kermit did not notice the silent exchange.

    Geraldson stood up and came over to sit next to them. “Something wrong, Frog?” he asked, as if he didn’t already know.

    “I don’t know. I haven’t read very much yet,” Kermit confided. “But I’ve sort of gotten that vibe lately, from the e-mails. And this letter… I think Robin’s upset.”

    Larsen saw the brief flash of panic in Geraldson’s eye, and he bit his tongue to keep from cursing. The mysterious something wrong had to do with Robin. “It’s always tough, when we can’t be there,” he said. Hopefully, the frog would let the subject drop with that.

    Kermit nodded, resigned. “For the good things, too. There is good news,” he said, perking up a little and looking at the two friends beside him. “They’re all getting together. My families.” He had a faint, wistful smile as he explained. “As soon as Robin’s out of school, everyone from the Boarding House is all heading to the swamp for—for a couple weeks, I guess.” He nodded, trying to emphasize the enthusiasm he wanted to feel, but somehow couldn’t. “It’ll be great, for them. They’ll all—all get to meet…” He swallowed hard.

    “Have any of them met before?” Larsen asked.

    “Some of them,” Kermit said. “Rowlf knows most of my family, and Jimmy’s met a few of the Muppets, but…” He held up what was still the only letter he’d opened. “Robin is the only one who will know everyone.” He looked at the letter with the sort of fond pride he only had for his nephew, as if the young frog was right there sharing a private joke—just for a second. Then his shoulders sank again. “I always knew they’d all meet eventually,” he said quietly. “I just… I thought… I would be there to see it.” He sighed and looked down at the letter. His eyes were sad again, but at least he was still smiling.

    Geraldson gave him a sympathetic pat on the shoulder. “We’ll talk about it later, Frog. You’d better keep reading, or you won’t have time to finish before we move out.”

    “Sheesh. Ain’t that the truth,” Kermit muttered, and he immersed himself in his nephew’s letter once more.

    Larsen and Geraldson stood up and immediately pulled each other aside. Once they were far enough from the frog, they spoke in harsh, terse whispers.

    “What is it?”


    “How bad?”


    Larsen swore under his breath, repeatedly, and he glanced around at the others in their unit. His face turned solemn. “They all know.”

    “Yeah, everyone at home knows. Big public stink,” Geraldson whispered.

    “No—look.” Larsen nodded towards everyone else. “It’s in all the letters.”

    Geraldson looked up. Sure enough, everyone in their unit was glancing up from their letters and casting worried looks at the frog, who was thankfully too lost in his letters to notice. “We can’t tell him. Guss, this would kill him. We can’t tell him.”

    “I know. We all know that. Nobody will tell.”

    “Someone could slip up.”

    Larsen sighed. “We’ll have to risk it. Worst case, we’re all here for him.” He looked at Geraldson. “So what is it, exactly?”

    Geraldson scowled. “It’ll be in your mail, too, if it’s in everyone else’s. Protestors went after Robin. Right outside his school.”

    This pulled another string of scarcely-audible curses from Larsen, and most of them weren’t in English. Then he took a deep breath and blew it out. “Alright. Right. No wonder they’re all heading for the swamp.”

    “It’s all over the media. Public outcry—on our side, sort of, for a change.” Geraldson smirked. “Robin wants to give an interview.”

    Larsen raised his eyebrows in surprise. Then he laughed, very, very quietly, and patted Geraldson on the shoulder. “Alright. If Frog hears about this, we’ll make a point to emphasize that part. That’ll make him proud.”

    With the matter settled—as much as it could be, for now—they returned to reading their own letters as quickly as they could before they were called away to their duties.
  13. Vincent L

    Vincent L Well-Known Member

    "You have one alert in A Heart Of Gold by TogetherAgain"
    Nah, probably she just saying why she's busy
    [faints again]
  14. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    <Laughs> Vincent, I keep making you faint! That isn't good. I must say it's enjoyable, though. Hmm... That doesn't say much about me as a person, does it? ;)
    Vincent L likes this.
  15. Vincent L

    Vincent L Well-Known Member

    Don't worry, I always wake up to read the story.
    Helps to have a big Muppet family?
    Somehow, gut feelings are often accurate.
    I hope the monsters won't destroy the swamp, and I can imagine Animal meeting FROG MOM!! FROG MOM!!
    Gee, I hope things go well.
  16. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Posted by more Toga: "Maybe he was biased, but his sister’s anger just made Craig even more proud of her."
    Er, hexcuse me for a sec... But as the English grammar graduate you profess yourself to be... Can you spot your mistake in the quoted sentence? I'll give you a second. Found it? No? It's the "more proud" portion. Now tell me why it's wrong please.
    *Uncle D mourns the death of proper superlatives use in today's language.

    *<3 the rest of the chapter's dual portions. So the unit's keeping secrets from the frog. That's bad news, he'll find out eventually, and then all heck will brake when we get an arm-waving hysterical amphibian Armed Forces member.

    On the other hand... Thank you for updating. Now would you please post Chapter 80 to get your story to a nice round number? *Leaves cinnamon pecan muffin.
  17. Vincent L

    Vincent L Well-Known Member

    Lisa just posted a chapter and you're nagging already?
  18. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Alright, alright... so I'm human, and I have issues with superlatives. ;) But, *** for tat here, heck tends to b-r-e-a-k loose, and very rarely does heck b-r-a-k-e... unless heck is driving a car. Or a motorcycle. <casually shows off new "M" class distinction on own driver's license> <ahem>

    That said, since it feels like ages since you've pointed out any spelling or grammar errors in one of my chapters and I do so hate having such errors... I'll go fix that.

    And I will be THRILLED to post chapter 80... just as soon as it's written! And hopefully, that will be very soon.

    And yes, Vincent, of course he's nagging already. If I'm not mistaken, fanfic readers are the reason we have a smilie for "insatiable."
    Vincent L and The Count like this.
  19. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    See? She knows, she gets it. And I often get the two brakes confused.
    :oops: Which one makes you stop?
    That's the one on the right.
    :oops: My right or your right.
    Yes, I am.
    :rolleyes: Sideways!
    Sideways? Where we're going, we don't need sideways. Roads either for that matter.
    *:eek: clutches at his still missing kidney.
    Zorak: Mmm, I'll take that kidney... And turn it into a kidney pie.
    :hungry: Der kidnee fer pie? *Dumps kidney beans and sheep into the piecrust tin instead of :cluck: for a change, he's making shepherd's pie.

    Sorry, please post more story when possible.
  20. Muppetfan44

    Muppetfan44 Active Member

    HOORAY for another post to one of my favorite stories!!! Definitely like how you describe Kermits' troop reaction to the public outcry at home...very powerful. There are definitely sometimes when you just know something isn't right and someone's out of the loop. Craig and Betty Sue are adorable as always..love the exchange between those two.

    Please post more soon- hopefully some frog-pig love letter writing, e-mail, or phone calls are in the works soon because I am seriously depleted on new frog-pig romance and that is a serious problem!!

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