Cleaning out my files and my imagination. Just a little piece of muppet fluffle.... Bargaining Chops Kermit banged after her into her dressing room, his bowtie dangling. “That’s that?”Kermit cried. “What do you mean, that’s that? Nobody says that’s that except me, and I most definitely did not say that’s that.” Piggy ignored him, rummaging in her closet for her other character shoes—the ones with the higher heels. “Well then you’d better say it now! You heard Moi! I am not doing that stupid skit!” “Oh yeah?” Kermit shouted. “Well, if you don’t do the skit, I’m cutting your big dance number!” He made an angry slash on the little notepad in his hand. “How do you like that, huh?” Piggy flushed scarlet and her eyes narrowed dangerously. “You wouldn’t dare!” she growled ominously, but Kermit had gone too far to back down now. “Ha ha!” he cried triumphantly. “I’m going to cut the dance number and your part in Veterinarian’s hospital! How do you like that!” He made another dark slash on the pad, laughing maniacally. “The next time your fans see you will be in a dinner theater!” “Is that a pig joke?” “If the platter fits!” “At least Moi has fans!” Piggy cried. “Which is more than I can say for your little two-bit theater which doesn’t even--” “Two bit? Two bit? I’ll show you two bit!” Kermit howled. “How about if I cancel your two-bit song in next week’s show, too? Huh? How about that!” He was trying to put the pen to the paper when Piggy reached around him and snatched them both away. Kermit made a wild grab for them, but Piggy held them over her head. She had height on him--but slightly--and he could hop. He gave an energetic leap but Piggy spun out of the way. Unfortunately, her spin put her slightly off balance. She crashed into the dresser and stumbled back. Kermit pounced, grabbing at the little notepad and pen. In desperation, Piggy thrust them behind her, out of his reach, but Kermit was too angry to be deterred by her voluptuous form. He reached around her with both arms, pinning her against the heavy dresser. Piggy’s arms were trapped behind her so she couldn’t push him away, but there was nothing to prevent her from expressing her unvarnished opinion of frogs in general and Kermit in particular. If he was aware of it, he gave no sign, grunting and straining for his writing tablet and pen with his body pressed tight against hers. “...cheapskate!” she panted. “...grandstanding, over-paid--” “Overpaid!” she shrieked! “I’ll show you overpaid, you uptight, unimaginative--” That last was probably particularly inappropriate. Kermit’s imagination was currently in overdrive, and he discovered too late that he had much less interest in his pad and pen than he did in the feel of her soft, luscious curves pressed up against him. He felt a surge of energy, remembered vaguely that he was supposed to be mad but couldn’t think why…. Piggy was a little slower on the uptake, but there was something in Kermit’s sudden stillness that penetrated the red haze behind her eyes. Piggy let out a little gasp as Kermit moved in suddenly and kissed her with unmistakable intent. So surprised was she that her mouth fell open. Far from helping her cause, it seemed to incite Kermit to greater effort, and he pressed her up against the sturdy dresser and kissed her like he’d been thinking about it all day. Truth be told, he probably had. Piggy let out a little whimper and heard a rustle and a click; the paper and pen slipped from her hands, forgotten by both of them. Thank goodness, she thought, putting her free hands to good use by cupping Kermit’s face and kissing him back like she’d imagined doing a hundred hundred times. Kermit let out a little moan of pleasure and his arms molded her gently closer. “Piggy,” he breathed. “Wow, Piggy....” “Oh, Kermie,” Piggy whispered. “Ooh, Mon Capitan!” The feel of his arms tight around her and the way his mouth moved purposefully over hers made her weak in the knees. She felt light-headed and dizzy, and did not protest when Kermit’s hand slipped to the small of her back, pressing her even tighter against him. It was impossible to pretend indifference to his kisses, but it was also impossible to ignore the mounting evidence of Kermit’s own interest. He wanted her--he did! Piggy thought with elation, but her euphoria was short-lived. “Veterinarian’s Hospital in ten, Miss Piggy,” called Scooter from just outside the door. Piggy tried to formulate a response. “Yes, Scooter,” she said finally, when she had pried herself away from Kermit’s kisses. Kermit looked dazed, but he was surfacing slowly out of the fog. His gradual rise to consciousness was hastened by the sound of Scooter’s tentative knock on the door. “Um, Miss Piggy?” “Yesss?” Piggy said brightly, trying desperately to sound normal. To her complete horror, Scooter apparently took her response as an invitation to enter the room for a face-to-face conversation. The doorknob began to turn. She exchanged a look of terrified consternation with her frog, then--without warning--thrust Kermit behind her, behind the float-y folds of her evening gown, out of sight. By the time Scooter had entered the room, Piggy had her game face on. “What is it?” she growled, the picture of perfect divahood. “Um,” Scooter began nervously. “You haven’t seen Kermit, have you? He’s supposed to introduce the next act.” Piggy inhaled sharply. “Why are you asking moi?” Scooter looked even more nervous than he had when he entered the room. He shifted from one foot to the other, gripping his clipboard tightly. “Cause somebody saw you, um, arguing with Kermit a little while ago.” He cleared his throat, gulping a little. “You didn’t, um, do anything to Kermit, did you?” “Such as?” A dozen ideas popped into Piggy’s head. She tried valiantly to ignore then. “Um, karate-chop him down the stairs or, um, something?” “Moi?” said Piggy regally. Behind her, she was fairly certain she heard a snort. She put her heel back firmly and the snort segued into a gasp. “Uh, right!” Scooter said hastily. “I just wanted to, um, check. If you see Kermit, could you, you know, tell him we really need him on stage before Veterinarian’s hospital?” “Run along, Scooter,” Piggy said imperiously. “If I see the frog, I’ll tell him.” “Um, thanks, Miss Piggy,” Scooter said, gratefully fleeing the room. There was a long silence after Scooter left--as least it seemed long to the two uncomfortable people in the room. Piggy stood with her back to the dresser, her arms crossed tightly over her chest. Kermit walked around to face her, his expression sheepish. “Thanks, Piggy,” he said softly. “I--that was nice of you.” “Well,” she said softly. “I assumed you wouldn’t want to be caught in here. With Moi.” She wouldn’t quite meet his eyes. Kermit gulped, feeling ashamed. “Um, yeah,” he said, bumping his fingers together. “About that....” “Look at the time!” Piggy said suddenly. “Moi needs to get ready for her scene in Veterinarian’s Hospital.” She gestured to the door and she gave Kermit a look that was difficult to read. “That is, if Moi still has a scene in Veterinarian’s Hospital?” “Oh, Piggy,” said Kermit. “I--that wasn’t, um, sheesh. I didn’t really mean that.” Piggy shrugged elaborately, encouraging Kermit to continue. “No?” “No,” Kermit said firmly, reaching for Piggy’s hand. His fingers closed over hers warmly, and he smiled. “I wouldn’t take your part in the show.” “You could take that skit--” Piggy began, but Kermit gave her a hard look and she subsided. “Um, look--I’ve got to get downstairs and you’ve got to get on stage. But maybe we could, you know, go out after the show and get some supper after this. And we could talk.” “About?” Piggy asked archly. She tried to hide the hopeful look in her eyes and was almost successful. “Um, let’s figure that out as we go.” He smiled at her, the sweet unaffected smile that she loved so well. “Just like everything else,” Piggy muttered, but she smiled when she said it. “Yes,” she agreed. “That would be nice.” Kermit started for the door, but stopped in front of it without turning the doorknob. Piggy looked up to see him smiling at her so warmly it made her blush. “What?” she asked, surprised that her voice came out breathless and airy. “Um, maybe we could, um, sit out on the porch after supper and, um,…not talk? A little?” Piggy’s flush deepened, but her blue eyes were shining. “Maybe. We’ll see.” Kermit grinned and left the room, and a few second later heard him calling over the balcony. “Hey Scooter—were you looking for me?” Piggy gave a little sigh, then a little giggle. Kermie could be so impossible, she thought fondly, but today—today lots of things seemed possible. Except for one thing. She was not going to do that stupid skit!