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Bogen County Farewell

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by WebMistressGina, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Hattie’s response to that was cut off by the sounds coming from the living room, which reached the door to the kitchen before the new occupants even walked in. It was Piggy and Ham, both looking as though they’d just gone through an emotional ringer however it seemed they were in a better mood than when they had left.

    “There you are.”

    “Here I am,” Piggy said, walking towards where Kermit had taken a seat at the kitchen island. Despite repeated attempts to help with both lunch and dinner preparations, the frog had instead been turned down and literally benched while things went on around him.

    “Where’ve you been?”

    Shrugging one shoulder, she answered, “Around.”

    Kermit held up the fancy smartphone she had neglected to take with her. “You forgot your phone.”

    “Huh,” she replied, taking it from him and turning on the screen. The few alerts that popped up told her she had a few emails to look over, a text from Rowlf that she would need to respond to, and a few updates that she would need to authorize. “That’s not like me.”

    “It is completely unlike you,” the frog whispered, staring at her.

    She could clearly see the worry in his eyes, even if he tried to play it off in his expression. She figured she didn’t look any better, after the afternoon they had. After watching their older brother break down, she and Ham had consoled him – and ultimately each other – before heading back to the car, all three bundling up in the backseat just to be together. As with their late night snack a few nights ago, sitting in the quiet and warm backseat of her older brother’s truck made for a cozy confessional.

    Nate apologized for the scene he caused, however Piggy was quick to shush him and instead apologize for her own behavior, for not being a better sister, with Ham echoing her statements that they should have all been better siblings, not just to him but to each other. They had all let their petty resentments and jealousies cloud their minds far longer than they should have and now, they would never get the chance to put these things to rest between themselves, their sister, their mother, and their father.

    However, as Ham mentioned, they still had a house full of relatives they could start with and two sisters who had been mysteriously, and now worryingly, missing from the fray.

    The three hadn’t even wondered how long they had been out there until Nate’s stomach rumbled and, seeing the time, realized they had been gone for several hours already. Though they knew they needed to pull themselves together in order to look presentable – Piggy noting that Kermit would immediately know something had been wrong once he saw her tell-tale signs of crying – but ultimately, they didn’t care. They had spent the entire weekend trying to keep their walls up and now that they had crumbled all around them, they didn’t have the energy to build them back up.

    And just as suspected, Piggy knew Kermit was aware she had been crying, but she hoped that her relaxed attitude would show that the sadness was put to bed for the moment. Giving him a cheeky smile, she cooed, “Aw Kermie, were you worried about me?”

    He huffed, saying, “No” however the very look on his face told another story. Piggy was very familiar with a worried Kermit, especially when she managed to be in the circle of people that could worry him the most. It was just another reason why she loved him so – even if they never got back together again, she knew he would and could never stop caring about her.

    Stroking his cheek lovingly, she whispered, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to worry you.”

    “S’okay.”

    Shaking her head slightly, she said, “It’s not, it’s really not. And I am sorry. I’ll make it up to you.”

    Grinning, Kermit asked, “You’ll make it up to me?”

    Poking him in the shoulder, she amended that sentence. “I meant dinner.”

    Capturing the hand at his shoulder, he subconsciously moved it to cover his heart before covering it with his own. “Oh, I like dinner,” he whispered, his grin turning into a soft smile.

    Rubbing at one of the points on his collar, she said, “I know you do.”

    “I hate to break up romantic moments and such,” Ham interrupted, smirking at the two. “But I’d just like to remind you both that you’re standing in the very public kitchen, with two other people.”

    “Like that’s ever stopped them,” quipped Gonzo, as he and Fozzie walked through the door to hear the end of the psychologist’s remark. The weirdo gave the diva’s shoulder a squeeze as he passed by, while Fozzie threw his arms around her in a backwards hug, which caused her to giggle at his very audacity. At any other time, Piggy would never have revealed herself to be so vulnerable, but if she couldn’t be herself with three people she considered to be family, how would ever be herself with her actual family?

    Sunday night’s dinner was a far cry from Thursday’s when it seemed the entire family hated one another with a passion; what a difference a few days and a funeral could make. The house was once again full, but this time with family as Sarah and the kids stayed, making this a true family dinner. And, as promised earlier in the week, Hattie had made roast beef, something Hortense had loved eating as a child and loved making as an adult. The second girl in the Maline line admitted it wouldn’t be as good as her sister’s but the table dismissed the notion as they all helped themselves to seconds.

    This was the last night for the Gillespies, as they would need to drive up to Michigan and it was late in the day already. Blackjack exchanged email addresses and phone numbers with Gonzo, much to Piggy’s distress. “I promise nothing I tell him is gonna hurt him,” her cousin responded, knowing that it was never good to get on her bad side. “Besides, Zo looks like he can take anything that’s thrown at him.”

    “Everything but a wall,” Fozzie joked, reminding them of the one time the stunt weirdo hadn’t managed to avoid a wall.

    “If he does…” the diva threatened.

    “He won’t,’ Blackjack insisted, holding his hands up in surrender. “Besides, I know the consequences of getting on your bad side. Don’t want to make that mistake again. I like having full use of my arm.”

    “Don’t be so dramatic,” his cousin grinned. “It was just a little break.”

    The Maline siblings said goodbye to each other, themselves coming to some sort of understanding that hadn’t been there before. Hattie and Millie promised to keep in touch and to visit, with their proximity only a few hours away by car and a shorter plane ride. Millie then turned to her niece and nephews, promising to drop them a line more often, just to see how they were. Pulling back from the hug she was giving Piggy, the elder pig was suddenly struck by how much her niece resembled her sister.

    Oh, there were bits of her father there – from the eyes to the smile, but the face, especially in the curious look she gave her aunt spoke volumes of how much of her mother was inside. “What?” Piggy asked.

    Shaking her head, Millie whispered, “Sometimes I forget how much you girls look like your mother. Oh, you have your father’s eyes and his smile, but…you are your mother’s daughter.”

    Piggy ducked her head in embarrassment. She still wasn’t sure on her feelings in regards to her mother, but this was one of the few times that the comparison filled her with a sort of pride instead of abject horror and disgust. Ricky Lane also said goodbye, though he wouldn’t be heading back to Boston until tomorrow, he still needed to get sleep so he could make his flight.

    Like his sister before him, he said goodbye to his family, promising he wasn’t going to let the years pass by the way he did with Hortense, making sure he had everyone’s numbers and contact info in his phone before leaving.

    The others began to clear up their dinner, with the group helping to wash and dry dishes, preventing Ida from lifting one finger to help. While they worked in the kitchen, the elderly matron took the opportunity to gather a few items that Hortense had given her, with the promise she would give them to the appropriate people when the time came. When she returned to the living room, she held three letters in her lap; Hortense had written them before her untimely death, eleven in the time Ida had seen her last – six for her younger siblings and five for her remaining children.

    There had been fifteen in total, with three of those buried in the graves of her father, her former husband, and her now deceased youngest daughter. The last she had read while Ida sat at her bedside, that letter being for her, her mother. Though Ida’s heart would always clinch at those last few days, the burden of guilt that she had carried about her eldest had been lifted, their issues with each other resolved before Hortense took her last breath. The matron knew whatever Hortense had written to the others were just words on a page, despite them coming from the heart, and there would be no way to show that those words had meant something and no way to back them up with the apologies that were needed.

    Ida knew that would be the case with her own youngest daughters, but she held out hope that perhaps Hortense’s children could see the light; she had originally thought to give them out tomorrow, on the leave of everyone, but seeing her family come together made her decide to hand them out sooner than later. She was waiting for them when they emerged from the kitchen, laughing at some joke they must have made while cleaning up. They of course immediately spotted their grandmother sitting on the couch, as though she had been waiting for them.

    For a brief moment, the remaining three grandchildren wondered if perhaps she had discovered their pie deception from the day before, however from the look she gave them, it was clear that there was something else she wanted to discuss with them. “Everything cleaned up in there?” she asked, waiting until they stood at her side.

    “Spit spot, Grandma,” Nate replied, giving her a small smile.

    “That’s what I like to hear,” she said, getting to her feet and waving off their offers to help. “When you get to be my age, it seems bedtime is earlier and earlier.”

    “You’re not old, Grandma,” Ham dismissed.

    “You’ll outlive us for sure one day,” Piggy added.

    “Flattery don’t work with me, Missy,” the matron quipped, patting her granddaughter on the arm. “I need to get going, but before I do, I wanted to give you these.” She gave each grandchild their letter, answering their confused looks and unasked questions with, “They’re from your mother. She wanted you to have them, before she left this world.”

    The trio looked at the letters in their hands before glancing at each other. “Hattie, you ready to go?”

    “I’ll be right there, Mama!”

    “Have a good night, piglets,” Ida whispered, giving each of them a smile as she and Hattie began to gather their belongings to head to their own homes, leaving the three to contemplate what to do next.

    “Well,” Nate replied, placing his letter in his back pocket. “I think Grandma has the right idea. It’s way past the bedtime for little piglets, especially those who have school tomorrow.”

    “Aw!”

    “C’mon Dad! It’s still early!”

    “Not for your sister,” Sarah chastised, picking up the little girl and carrying her over to the group. Knowing that she needed to go to bed, thus not being able to see Fozzie or Gonzo or Kermit the next day started a small tantrum for Ellie. Toddlers of course hated to leave the excitement being experienced by adults and this was especially true when the adults were their favorites.

    It took the combination of Fozzie, Gonzo, and Kermit to calm the girl and promise that this was not the last she would see of them; in fact, they ensured her that it would need to take a lot for them to not only return, but invite her to visit them in California. “Of course the baby gets what she wants,” Eli groused, good-naturedly. He knew they were most likely saying those things to get his sister to stop crying, but he’d be lying if he didn’t wish they were true.

    His aunt must have realized his dilemma or seen the slight look of disappointment on his face because she threw an around his shoulders in a side hug. “Moi shouldn’t even condone setting you loose on those poor, helpless girls in Hollywood,” she replied, winking at him. “But you are Moi’s nephew and I’ve already let loose Andy and Randy, so of course it wouldn’t be fair to keep you all to myself.”

    “No, of course not,” he quipped, returning the hug. “I wouldn’t want to put you on the spot, after all.”

    Giving him another squeeze, she whispered to him, “Clear it with your parents and I’ll buy the ticket. Just say when.”

    She had a lot to make for, especially with her nephews and niece and she was going to do a lot better at showing them that she did indeed care and love them. With a trip in the making, Nate and his family said their goodbyes, with her brother assuring them he would be back tomorrow in order to see them off; that left Ham and Piggy deciding what to do now.

    Looking down at the envelope in his hand, Ham nodded a goodnight to his sister, calling to his boys to come upstairs with him, the support he would need in order to get through this mysterious letter.

    Piggy sighed, her eyes being drawn to her envelope the way her brother’s had. These were apparently the last words and thoughts from her mother and she couldn’t lie that she was both curious and terrified to read what she had written. They had not parted on the best of terms and the diva was nearly sure that her mother had given just as good she had gotten, with a letter full of all the things Piggy wasn’t to her and maybe, some of the things she was.

    Piggy had never shied away at the fact of her persona being overt, doing what needed to be done in order to keep people at arm’s length, least they discover what truly lay in her heart. It had been something she’d been doing since childhood and being in the entertainment capital of the world made it all that much easier to hide herself away while the new celebrity persona took her place. This had been the most open she had probably been with anyone, even Kermit, who knew her better than herself sometimes.

    “Do you want a moment?”

    And just like that, there he was, offering her the space she might need in order to confront what could be harsh truths in the letter she held. Any other time, she would’ve agreed to it, told them to leave her to it, let her be alone with the past she had been so happy to hide and bury; this time, however, she decided she was done hiding. For this moment, she was going to let a little bit of that vulnerability show.

    “No,” she whispered, shaking her head slightly. “You can stay. You should stay; moral support and all.”

    “You gonna read it?” Gonzo asked, indicating her letter with a nod of his head.

    Opening her mouth to say something, Piggy once again shook her head, instead handing the letter to Kermit, indicating that she needed – trusted – him to read it for her. She did however over to the fireplace to lean against the mantel; while she wanted to head her mother’s words, it didn’t mean that she looked forward to hearing them.

    Kermit settled himself on the couch, while Fozzie and Gonzo sat nearby, hoping to offer counsel, when or if she asked. Then Kermit began to read –

    My dearest daughter,

    If you’re reading this, then I am dead.

    It was my own stubborn pride that led me to keep my health woes to myself, a mistake I’m sure, as you, your siblings, and mine are reading these things instead of me standing there and telling them to you in person. And these things I’ve said are words I wished, longed, to tell you in person. But it’s not to be and now, I so wish I could have seen you one last time.

    I know what you think of me and in my deepest heart, I wish I could change your mind. I know I can’t and I wish I had made a better effort when you were still here, to tell you my hopes and wishes for you. And though late, I think now is the time, one last time to tell you of my heart.

    Did I ever tell you that I was once the runner up to Miss Iowa? I was much younger than and it was before I met your father, but it was something that I still hold dear. It wasn’t going to be a career, mind, just something I wanted to see if I could do, see if I could win. When I introduced you and then Virgi to it, I only wanted you to have the same sense of accomplishment and pride that I held, never thinking this was a path that you never wanted to take.

    The truth is, you’ve done just fine without my guidance.

    I’ve followed your career, Piggy, and you have achieved more than I could have ever hoped to be possible. What mother wouldn’t want to state that her daughter had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; that she was the star of stage and screen? I am so proud of you, Piggy Lee; proud and awed so much by you, words can’t begin to explain. I have always known you would go on to do great things; you are my daughter, even if by now you’d want to deny that.

    Despite your best efforts, darling, you keep within you my stubborn streak and unapologetic pride, coupled with your father’s charm and mischievousness. I know you blame me for his leaving and maybe even his death. It was wrong of me to keep him from you kids, worse for trying to make it seem as though he never existed. The truth was I was just as hurt, saddened, and betrayed as you kids were and I let my hurt dictate how he should have been remembered.

    I loved your father, more than I had ever loved anyone in my life. The only time that was eclipsed was when I held you and your siblings in my arms. For all his faults, your father loved you and he would be as proud as I to have a daughter as good as you. I let my hurt block my fears and feelings, heighten them until I was making the choices for you and that, I think, is when you all stopped loving me. I should have been a better mother to you, I know this now, and as I die, this is my greatest regret. Please allow me to rectify it, even if it’s only words on paper.

    You, Piggy Lee Hogglesworth, are one of a kind. I know you felt as though I let your sisters off the hook sometimes, let them get away with things I never would have tolerated from you; this might be true, but only because I expected you to succeed at everything you ever did. You weren’t one to give up, even when people told you to do so. That stubbornness is all Maline – we don’t back down from a fight and our prides won’t let us apologize for it either.

    Thankfully, you got all that charm from your father, the type of charisma that can charm the pants off of anyone. Why do you think you have four younger siblings?

    “Really?” Piggy murmured, turning to look at Kermit, as the other three grinned.

    “Well, I’m sure if wasn’t for lack of trying,” Gonzo deadpanned.

    “Don’t add,” Piggy chastised.

    You are everything I could have asked for a daughter – smart, beautiful, funny, sweet; if that frog of yours isn’t aware of it, maybe you need to tell him. Malines don’t know the meaning to the word ‘subtle’; not usually at least. I wish I could have met him; he seems to care about you, even he tries his best to deny it. If he truly loves you, he won’t hesitate to tell you because you’re so easy to love, it would be hard not to.

    And I do love you, my girl. I’m sorry that I didn’t say it more and that you felt as though I didn’t, because I do, with all my heart. There hasn’t been a day gone by since you left that I wish I had told you, wished I had been able to stop you from leaving the way you did. But if it meant you wouldn’t be the wonderful person you are now, then that decision is something I won’t change, because it made you you. And that is a person I hope to meet one day, far, far, far into the future.

    I know there’s more I could say and maybe I haven’t said enough, but if this has helped, if you can find it in your heart to forgive me, than its done the job. If not, I understand and it’s no one’s fault but my own.

    I love you, Piggy.

    Yours,

    Mother


    [hr]


    It had been an emotional day and Kermit was looking forward to getting into bed, taking Piggy in his arms, and going to sleep. While reading her mother’s letter had affected the diva more than she probably let on, he was surprised when he seemed to be affected as well. Though it was only a small passage, at most two sentences, the fact that her mother had been aware of him and their relationship hit him harder than he expected – she had wanted to meet him and he always had the small inkling of want to meet the people that had brought this uncontrollable hurricane into the world.

    Kermit had always wondered what parts of her parents made up his former – current? – girlfriend. It was rare for him to have met the parents of everyone who worked with him; many of his cast members had come from broken homes, which made their association that closer and equally important to each other. But because of that, the frog had often wondered what part was parental and which part was their association that made his friends the way they were. For example, how much of Scooter was made up of his parents, Royce Grosse and Belinda Horton?

    From the moment he met her, the frog had wondered what made Miss Piggy who she was, what kind of childhood did she have that made her the diva he knew?

    Now he knew and once again, it made him love her even more.

    He had kept a close eye on her ever since finishing her mother’s letter, wondering if she was going to break down like she had the night before, but other than a few tears, Piggy seemed to be in control of her emotions, with no signs that she was just waiting for the others to leave before her tears would really start to flow. It was either a testament of her being a great actress or she had – for the moment – come to grips with her mother’s death. He was hoping it was the latter, though he knew she would never truly feel at peace with it, knowing there had been things Piggy wanted to say or know, questions that she would never know the answers to.

    Piggy seemed to be on automatic as they went through their night time ritual – getting dressed into another one of his random t-shirts that had ‘mysteriously’ disappeared and a pair of black yoga sleep pants, brushing her teeth, and setting the alarm on her phone. She was turning back the covers on her side when she suddenly stopped and whispered, “Oh my god. I remember.”

    “Baby?”

    Looking up at him, she repeated, “I remember.”

    “Remember what, hon?” he asked.

    “The other day,” she explained. “When Hattie asked if we had any stories of our mother? I was so…I couldn’t…” Shaking her head to clear it, she started again. “I remember.”

    Kneeling on the bed, Kermit held out a flipper to her. “Tell me.”
     
    The Count likes this.
  2. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Hmmm...well I guess I'll just keep posting, shall I? We're nearing the end kids! This picks up immediately after last scene -


    Summers in Iowa were sunny and full of things to do, everything from festivals to the state fair, the summer months were a great time for families and individuals to come from being stuck inside during winter.

    Hortense Hogglesworth loved these months the most. Being a native of Iowa, the former beauty queen thrived during the spring and summer, when the sun was high and the temperatures warmed through the valley and her children seemed to have inherited that love of the sun. Her eldest daughter, even at her tender age of five, hated being cooped up inside, preferring to run around outside with her brother and younger sister if she could.

    Piggy Lee was a miniature Hortense in the making – the piglet enjoyed some of the same things her mother did and it seemed that she was looking to follow in her mother’s pageant footsteps, interested in the pictures of her mother wearing a crown, back in the days when only a certain type of contestant could enter – and win – pageants. It was getting progressive, but effective change wouldn’t be seen until Piggy herself was crowned Miss Bogen County, during an age where she, Vanessa Williams, and others were the first of their kind to enter and win these.

    Bogen County always had a fair during the summer, a lead up to that of the state fair that came through. In many cases, these fairs would hold their own pageants and the winner, if they wanted, could head to the state fair where representatives of the state beauty pageant were on hold to grab submissions before the official ceremony was held to crown Miss Iowa; from there, the winner would head to the Miss America pageant, where fame and fortune awaited. Piggy Lee liked the aspect of being famous – the apple of her father’s eye, the budding diva was already an attention seeker, always with a little song on her lips, made with her own lyrics.

    Her brother often helped, the two of them seemingly having their own private language and gestures with each other. Nate would often provide the rhythm for his sister’s daily anthem, sometimes even joining in the song, despite not knowing the words beforehand – or so Hortense thought. Watching the two of them interact was certainly interesting, even more so when it seemed Piggy had picked up her skills on a runway. It was this reason Hortense decided to enter the toddler in the Bogen County Little Beauty contest.

    Open to children ages five to nine, the Little Beauties was a child version of their adult pageant for young women. Hortense wanted to give her daughter the chance to shine, if she wanted, even if it was only this once. It would be something that Piggy would hopefully remember for the rest of her life and something she could use as a teaching lesson – pageants weren’t for the weak; it was a competition, after all, so it was important to be on the top and win.

    And that was how their Saturday started, with Hortense taking Piggy up to Des Moines where the state fair was being held, so Piggy could compete in the national competition. Her little piglet had managed to win the Little Beauties in Bogen and had gotten the right to go up to the capital in order to participate in the Iowa Regional Little Beauties, with the winner being entered into the Little Miss America pageant, the younger version of the more famous version.

    It had been the perfect mother/daughter outing, with Hortense and Piggy going up to Des Moines, while Lee stayed home with Nate and Virgi and Hortense’s sister Hattie looked after little Roseleen. Piggy had been chatty the entire trip, talking about nothing and everything all at once; she was the more outgoing of the twins, with Nate often putting words into action, the man of action to his sister’s woman of words. They made a wonderful team, however Hortense thought perhaps they spent too much together and needed to spend time with other children. Lee, of course, thought there was nothing wrong with the three spending time with each other, especially when they would be separated by school come the fall; he felt it was important that they spent as much time together before they grew up.

    Hortense had guessed his reasons – Lee was technically the baby of the family, until his older brother had died. It was something that had hurt him and his parents both and his wife could see that even now, after all this time, the loss of his brother still hurt. It was probably the reason he had been making overtures about having another child; Hortense already came from a big family – the oldest of seven herself – with several uncles and aunts from both her mother and father's sides. To be honest, the pig wasn’t sure if she wanted more than the four they had.

    It took a few hours to drive from Bogen up to the capital, especially with a five-year-old in the front seat. By the time they reached the fair, the piglet was cranky for missing her nap and being stuck in a car for several hours; however, the sight of all the rides, people, and of course, sweets, seemed to temper the little girl until they got to the registration for the event. The older pig held no allusions for the day, knowing that her daughter had a chance, but there was always the chance that she would lose; her daughter of course had been going on and on about how she was going to win because “Daddy says I’m the most boo-tea-full of…all the other piglets!”

    The elder pig could strangle her husband sometimes, but Lee had shown that all three of his daughters had him wrapped around their fingers and he would anything and everything for them if they only asked.

    Piggy Lee was up against ten other little girls, with only another in her same age category. The older girls, being older, had far more elaborate routines put together and even with Piggy’s own song thrown in, her little piglet was no match for the other nine. She didn’t even make the finals, the poor little dear. And leave it to Piggy to be upset about the loss – even if she didn’t recognize it, Hortense knew her daughter already had that competitive nature about her, that would see her win no matter what she did and if she didn’t, she would take it to heart.

    That was her father’s personality in her. But she was also Hortense’s daughter.

    And Hortense’s daughter was standing backstage, sniffling with tears streaming from her eyes. “And why does my girl cry so?” she asked, kneeling to her daughter’s level.

    “I losted,” the piglet cried, hiccuping through her sniffles.

    “It doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, darling,” she cooed, wiping a few tears away. “Winning is only as good as a prior loss. Sometimes we need to lose something to understand why winning is so worth it.”

    “But what if...I don't ever ever winned?” Piggy pouted.

    “Well, that’s just not gonna happen.”

    “Why?”

    “Because you’re my daughter,” Hortense replied, sending a smile the child’s way. “And my daughters are the most beautiful of all daughters. Take heart, Sweets; one day, you’ll be the one with the crown on her head and then you’ll make your own path, no matter what that path shall be. I know this hurts, but you know what would make it better?” The child shook her head. “What about some cotton candy?”

    “And fun cake?”

    Hortense laughed, grabbing her daughter by the waist and hoisting her on her hip. “Not sure if I want to give you all that sugar,” she commented, heading out into the sun once more and looking for a cotton candy seller. “But just this once. Don’t tell Daddy.”

    “She gave me that nickname,” Piggy whispered, mouth and eyes slightly wide.

    At some point during her story, Kermit had managed to get her to lay down and turned the lights out, so now they were snuggled under the covers as Piggy described her first ever pageant loss and the memory of her mother soothing her hurt feelings afterwards. It wasn’t just the nickname of ‘Sweets’ that Hortense had given her, but a piece of advice that Piggy had lived by ever since – every loss she took to heart, because the next time she won made it all the sweeter in hindsight.

    For every failed project she was attached to, for every appearance that didn’t net some kind of sale, and for every show or movie that didn’t bring in the box office big bucks, she had turned around and given the masses the performance of a lifetime, making the fans stand up and cheer, while the critics took a step back and shut their big, fat mouths. Even her relationships – if you counted anyone other than Kermit – held the same adage; she had lost Kermit, but as they worked their back to each other, it was even better and sweeter than before.

    They still argued, of course, but the normal insults they hurled at each other weren’t tipped with poison and they appreciated each other more and weren’t prone to take the other for granted as they had before.

    “All this time,” she continued. “I had thought my father had given me that nickname and it was her all along. I’ve been wrong about a lot of things.”

    “It’s better for you to know now,” Kermit whispered.

    “Is it?” she questioned. “With Daddy gone, Mama, Marjie…”

    “You still have your brothers,” he countered. “Your other sisters, your cousin, your nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles…and you got us. And if you don’t know by now, Piggy, you are never getting rid of me.”

    The diva chuckled, turning her head to plant a kiss on his forehead. “And I’ve tried,” she joked. Only waiting a beat, she couldn't help but ask, “You believe in soul mates, Frog?”

    “Not until I met you.”

    Looking at him with fondness, she sighed. “See, it’s words like that that make me love you forever.”

    “I’m gonna hold you to that, you know,” he smirked, leaning in to kiss her goodnight.


    [hr]


    Monday was the last day for everyone, with Ham and the Up Late cast needing to be back to their own homes the next day. There was still some time before their departure, with Ida and Hattie over to help the cleanup for the house; as was the way of the Maline women, Ida had taken charge of the house, taking it under her care and leaving it as a lasting reminder for her daughter and grandchildren. Despite it being early in the year, the elderly matron was already making plans for the holidays, arranging both Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations for the family.

    Piggy had been drawn to the family photo albums for the last twenty something minutes, flipping through pages until she had landed on the images she had been looking for. After her memory had resurfaced last night, Piggy didn’t feel it right to leave without a picture of her mother; before coming here, she never would have gone looking for anything that reminded her of Hortense. Now…now, she wanted to remember the sow from that memory, the sow who had given her such sage advice that had carried her through her adulthood.

    And while she was looking for images of her mother, she managed to find more of her father, this time with her other siblings. Two images caught her attention, both which she grabbed before closing and replacing the book under the coffee table. Finding her twin as he cleaned up the kitchen, she handed it to him, waving off his protest that he didn’t want the reminder. “Take it, Nate,” she said, pushing it to his chest, stopping the complaint before it started.

    Equal parts defeated and grateful, her brother took the image, gazing at it in confusion. It was an older picture, one from when he was a child; in it, his father sat on the porch, arm wrapped around his eldest son’s shoulder as they both smiled at the camera. They were both wearing Chicago Cubs baseball jerseys and caps, sparking Nate’s memory of going to an actual professional baseball game in Chicago with his father. Iowa didn’t have a professional sports team, however their own Iowa Cubs was currently a franchise of the same Chicago team.

    Because of this, much of the state was split between liking teams from their neighboring states, like Minnesota or that of Missouri. Nate himself was a huge Cubs fan, though he knew Piggy was generally more of a Royals fan (though he didn’t know why and it wasn’t as big to her as football was. In fact, the only reason he tolerated her choice of the New Orleans Saints was because he was sure that was Kermit’s influence, when she should have been routing for the Packers like any sane and normal person) and for some reason, he had thought the alliance was because all the Hogglesworths were Cubs fans.

    In thinking back, he now realized that wasn’t true. Iowa was such that they could have a multitude of teams as they didn’t have any themselves, which made sporting events all the more hostile.

    Before he had a chance to thank her, his sister was already heading out of the kitchen and upstairs to Ham’s room, where he was finishing up packing. Trying to wrangle two twin boys that obviously didn’t want to leave was hard enough, but Ham hadn’t begun to pack himself, so having to do both jobs was wearying on his nerves. Hearing what sounded suspiciously like the two of them fooling around next door, the psychologist was just about to shout at them to get a move on when his sister apparently did it for him.

    “Hey, stop lollygagging! You got fifteen minutes to finish up or we’re taking off without you!”

    One of his sons must have started mouthing off because Piggy quipped back, “Well, the place is haunted when only a few people are here, so if you wanna tangle with him, be my guest. He’s a mean devil of a spirit and he doesn’t take kindly to children…” Once she appeared in front of his door, she gave him a cheeky smile.

    “You’ve terrified them,” he deadpanned. “Expect a call if they wake me up after midnight.”

    Chuckling, Piggy took that as a sign to enter, walking over to her brother and saying, “I got them to pack, so you’re welcome. Wanted to give you this before we left.”

    Taking the picture, he asked, “What is it?”

    “That my dear brother, is called a photograph,” she explained. “You see, back in the 1800s…”

    “How and why they keep you on the air, I don’t understand.”

    “Charm and good looks,” she replied. Nodding to the image, she whispered, “Speaking of…”

    The younger pig looked at the image, but couldn’t place it. It was of an older pig, maybe not so old as himself, holding a baby piglet wrapped in a blanket. “That’s you,” Piggy whispered, nodding to the babe. “And that’s Daddy. I know you don’t remember him and while Nate has his own, separate issues, I didn’t want you to leave thinking our father didn’t love you, because clearly he did.”

    He wasn’t sure what to say to that, though the sentiment – along with the image – went a long way in proving that their father, despite his faults, loved them, all of them. It almost made Ham’s heart hurt knowing that he didn’t and wouldn’t have the same memories the others had of him and not for the first time, he was envious of that. “He…he was a good father, wasn’t he?”

    “Yes,” the diva whispered, voice hitching at both his question and her answer. “And deep down, Nate knows that, too. Our family is by no means perfect, but…we love each other. That…that I’m sure of, if nothing else.”

    The packing and cleaning continued until the house was good and ready for the next time the family came together. And Ida was insistent and adamant that the family was going to indeed come together. “No excuses,” she said, as the group lingered at the door. “Unless one of you is contagious, I want to see every single one of you here for Christmas. That especially goes for you, Frog; I’ll give you Piggy Lee for Thanksgiving, but you are spending Christmas here.”

    Not about to go against the word of his elders, Kermit responded, “Yes ma’am” without so much as a complaint. If he was honest with himself, he had thought about inviting Piggy to Leland with him, though he had been thinking the summer for her birthday, but the idea of spending the holidays together – something that, even when they had been dating, they rarely did – seemed like a perfectly good idea.

    Ida then wagged a finger between Fozzie and Gonzo. “And I expect to see you two later in the year sometime, yes?”

    “Aye aye, Captain,” Gonzo responded.

    Ida nodded in satisfaction before hugging both comic and head writer. “You’re both good boys,” she whispered, patting Fozzie on the cheek. Nodding her head towards Piggy, she said, “Keep an eye on her.”

    “We always do,” Fozzie replied.

    “That goes double for you,” Ida said, giving Kermit a hug as well.

    “I usually count it as my real full time job,” he joked, winking at the diva next to him.

    The three said goodbye to the other family members before heading outside with their various forms of luggage to the car, leaving the family in the house. Nate had gone outside to help, though he really just wanted to have the few words between his brother and sister without the extra eyes on them. Hattie hugged them all, despite the fact that she wouldn’t leave until she was sure her mother was fine.

    “You kids be good,” Ida said, giving both Ham and Piggy a look.

    “We will, Grandma.”

    “And Christmas, yeah?” she reiterated. “I expect to see you both back here.”

    “Nothing would keep us away, Grandma,” Ham answered, sending a look to his sister. December was nearly eight months away, but after this, they weren’t about to get on their grandmother’s bad side again; calendars had already been marked that they would be here for Christmas.

    Giving them one last deep look, Ida murmured, “Your parents would be so proud of you.”

    There was nothing left to say after that, other than the standard talk of seeing their grandmother and aunt later in the year, with Piggy lingering to speak to her aunt. Hattie normally lived in Connecticut, but had been toying with moving back to Iowa for Ida’s sake; it was a conversation the now eldest girl wanted to have with the rest of the family, but something later down the road. But as long as she was still there, she wanted her niece and hopefully her other nieces to come visit before her ultimate move.

    Making her way outside, Piggy wasn’t surprised to see her twin loitering against the porch railing, much in the same way he had been when she had first pulled up a few days ago. “Is this your permanent loitering spot?” she asked.

    “Loitering?” came the chuckle. “I am simply taking in the day air, thank you very much.” Nate took in a breath. “You all set?”

    Glancing at the Prius confirmed that the three Muppets were just standing around, waiting for her and giving her the time to say goodbye properly. “As much as I can be with those guys around.”

    The twins stared at each other for a moment, suddenly brought back to happier times when they hadn’t wanted to be separated; twins always made instant friends and playmates with each other and that was how much of their life went, even when they had gotten older and began to drift apart. “Are we okay?” she asked. With everything that had gone on between them, their younger brother, and everything in between, it would be so easy to leave things unfinished and go back to the way things had been.

    “We’ll always be okay,” he said, giving her a smile. “We’re always going to know each other better than anyone else. Blessing and a curse.”

    “More blessing than curse,” Piggy admitted, shyly. No matter what life could throw at them, she hadn’t really regretted being a twin nor the fact that she was the oldest. Yes, her sisters and brothers could drive her insane, but if this experience had taught her anything, it was that life could throw you a curve ball when you least expected it.

    They had lost Marjie, which meant maintaining the relationship between her other siblings was paramount and Piggy took her winning knowing that the previous loss is what made the win possible.

    Her mother had taught her that.

    “I had better see you this Christmas,” he continued. “You and the frog, that is. However, I don’t want any extra ‘presents’, if you get my drift; at least not without a ring on it.”

    “Honestly?” Piggy sputtered. She wasn’t sure if she should have been offended or flattered.

    “Don’t think we didn’t notice how the two of you got nice and cozy.”

    “Shouldn’t you be having this talk with Kermit?”

    Nate chuckled. “You got Mama’s brains, but also her looks and Daddy’s smile,” he quipped. “No, I’m more worried about Mitt to tell you the truth.”

    “Keep it together, Piggy,” she mumbled to herself. “He only needs to live ten more years and everything is yours…”

    “Not giving up without a fight,” he joked, standing and gathering her in his arms. Dropping a kiss to her forehead, he said, “I love you, Sweets.”

    “Love you too, Junior,” came her reply, as well as the squeeze to his midsection. Pulling back, Piggy took in the still handsome face, the same blue eyes, and the same smile that she remembered from her father; it was a miracle her brother managed to get married at all, with all the attention he got and continued to get when they were younger. “I told Eli all he had to do was get permission and I’d fly him out. Same goes for you.”

    Letting her go, Nate watched as his twin took to the porch steps and headed towards the SUV in order to say goodbye to Ham. “You do know that I don’t need my wife’s permission to do anything, yes?”

    Piggy of course ignored him, having turned her attention to her nephews who seemed to be trying to get her attention anyway. “Aunt Piggy,” Randy – Andy? – called, pulling her over where they stood just about to get into the car. “It’s Iowa.” At his aunt’s confused look, Randy said, “It’s Iowa. The state we’re in.”

    “We didn’t want you to think that we didn’t know that,” Andy added. “Cause we totally did.”

    “We just…” here, Randy fidgeted a little, throwing a look to his older brother before he continued. “We were just fooling around. We…we don’t want you to think we’re idiots or something.”

    And just like that, decades of misunderstanding her nephews had the diva rethinking their entire intelligence. Sure, they could just be saying this in order to get Piggy to actually give them the dollar that was promised or, what she was starting to now suspect, they actually were a lot more on target than they let on. Were Ham’s own children putting on an act in order to get much needed attention?

    It honestly wouldn’t surprise her after this visit.

    Leaning in closer to them both, she said, “I don’t. But if you were, you’d be my idiots. And I’ll defend you to anyone that thinks otherwise.”

    Giving the two each a kiss on the cheek, she helped to wrangle them into the car, just as Ham was finishing a phone call to what Piggy thought was his office. “All set?” she asked.

    “So far, so good,” he replied, putting his phone in the driver’s cup holder. “With any luck, we should be back home by tonight if not earlier.” Nodding to her rental, he asked, “Are you sure your little put-put here is gonna get you back to the airport?”

    Before their days together, that question would’ve been the jab it was meant to be, but Piggy could clearly see the hint of worry in her brother’s face, the eyes to be specific. “It’ll certainly make better time than your tank here,” she joked back. Giving his arm a squeeze, she said, “Give me a call when you arrive.”

    “It could be like midnight,” he said. “Especially given the time switch…”

    “I live in Hollywood,” she interrupted. “We don’t really sleep. Just…call me when you get home.”

    Ham nodded, noting that he’d certainly want Piggy to do the same once she arrived back in California. There was too much to chance, too much to lose should they have managed even the smallest of connections only to have it severed thanks to an accident. “If you’re ever in New York,” he began, but thought better of it. That sentence made it sound as though he didn’t want to see her, as though her traveling was just a side stop on a bigger trip.

    “You should come to New York.”

    Piggy nodded. “Maybe we can do something up there during the holidays,” she said. “Though obviously we’re going to be here for Christmas, unless we want to face the wrath of Grandma.” Ham shuddered at the thought. “You should bring the boys out west,” she continued. “It’s way warmer and I think you could do with some sun; you’re pale.”

    Glancing up at the sky, Ham huffed, “I will only use my comments for good.” Smirking at his oldest sister, he was surprised when she made the move and hugged him.

    “I love you, Ham.”

    Feeling her lips on his cheek, the psychologist sighed, contentedly. “I love you, too.” Pulling back to glance at her, he said, “And I mean that, even if you are a pain.”

    “Don’t take any wooden nickels,” she replied, giving his cheek an affectionate pat.

    “I wouldn’t give you the satisfaction,” came his retort.

    Both siblings got into their cars and started them, their engines revving as they warmed up. Piggy honked the horn to gain Nate’s attention, still standing on the porch and watching as his younger siblings headed off; she blew him a quick kiss, which earned her a wink, while he gave a slight salute to their younger brother. Ham gave his sister the go ahead to pull out first, allowing her Prius to leave the driveway, while he pulled out behind her; the two had one last goodbye as they parted at the stop sign, with Piggy heading left towards Cedar Rapids and Ham heading right towards the highway that would take them back to New York.

    The reverse trip wasn’t lost on the car’s occupants – their arrival had been nothing short of a rebellion with Piggy, but now, as they left even they could see some sort of peace had settled within her.

    “Baby, you okay?”

    Glancing at Kermit, who once again sat in the passenger seat, the diva nodded. “Yeah,” she said, honestly. Turning her eyes to the rearview mirror where she could see the worried looks coming from the backseat. “Yeah, Moi is just fine.”
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
    The Count likes this.
  3. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    And at long last, our Miss Piggy Adventure in Bogen County has concluded. And here's a question for you - obviously, I have ideas to spin this little tidbit into a sequel that would literally focus on Piggy, Nate, Ham, Virgi, and Ro, basically how their relationship is now with their sister gone and obviously being adults.

    Would that be something you guys would like to see? LMK

    Without further ado, our conclusion!



    It was a little after eleven at night when their chauffeur driven car pulled up into Piggy’s Beverly Hills driveway. After the quartet had arrived in Cedar Rapids, the diva had surprised them all by handing them tickets to Green Bay, Wisconsin, all for the purpose of getting Fozzie the coveted cheesehead he’d wanted since this trip started. The flight to Green Bay had taken a little over two hours and upon touchdown, it was already lunch, so the group stayed in the city, eating lunch and searching for cheeseheads.

    It was actually an incredibly enjoyable afternoon - while Gonzo, Fozzie, and Kermit could pretty much hang out at any time, this was the first time in a very long time that they had done so with Piggy. Since the group’s original split, Gonzo had found the additional comradery with Pepe and Rizzo, while Fozzie had gone on to meet Becky, and Kermit had gotten together with Denise; because of the latter and their rather painful breakup, Kermit and Piggy only hung out as part of their duties to the show.

    Now however, their dynamic had changed – once again – and it saw the four having lunch and hanging out together. If Rowlf had been there, it would’ve been like old times, back when they had just started the original Muppet Show and spent a relative amount of time together, rehearsing and really, just goofing off; it was times like these that Kermit loved being in show business. It was rare to work with people that you loved and cared about, especially when they happened to be your best friends.

    While they had only gone to get Fozzie a cheesehead, the comic would not be denied and insisted that they all get cheeseheads, even when Piggy protested that it would just lead her brother on and make him think that she had changed her allegiance to the Packers – though she did like the Packers, but she wasn’t about to let Nate know that – but the bear just turned his sad puppy look on her and she acquiesced.

    However, all three of them put their foot down in wearing cheeseheads on the plane. Luckily, the airlines thought the same thing and the comic was forced to put the head gear into his carry on.

    A six-hour flight back to Los Angeles allowed the group to search out dinner before they began to head home. Too exhausted to bother driving, the group agreed to just get their normal driver to take them home, with Piggy’s being the first stop before heading towards the studios where the guys lived. It was hitting about five after eleven as the car pulled into the diva’s driveway.

    Grabbing their bags from the trunk, Kermit announced, “Listen guys, I’m gonna hang out here for a few minutes. Why don’t you let Marky take you home?”

    Piggy had to force herself to not tell Kermit that she was perfectly fine to unpack herself, seeing the gesture for what it was – he just wanted to make sure she was okay and she wasn’t one to turn down his affections when he offered them. Another thing the diva had to force herself not to do was to dismiss Gonzo and Fozzie; they had been in her corner – not just now, but always – and even now, she was still surprised they managed to still talk to her.

    Surprising them both, she gave both of them tight hugs and kisses to their cheeks. “Thanks for having my back,” she whispered, embarrassed by the way her emotions seemed to be rolling with the statement.

    “Of course!” Fozzie said, giving her a strange look. “Why wouldn’t we? We love you!”

    Gonzo also gave her a look, one more telling than Fozzie’s. He always did seem to see her deeper than even Kermit sometimes. “You know that, right?”

    Smiling shyly, the diva nodded.

    “So about work tomorrow…” Gonzo began, but was immediately interrupted by Kermit.

    “I’m thinking we start pulling some of the reserves we’ve held on to,” the frog replied. “We can go over them and see where they stand, maybe revise them…”

    “I’m sorry,” the weirdo interrupted. “That wasn’t a question, but a statement, as in for work tomorrow, you two are not coming in. You are both staying here. Or at Kermit’s. Or wherever you want to stay, but it will not be at the studio.”

    “Have you forgotten that we have a show tomorrow?”

    “No, Kermit, we haven’t,” the head writer retorted. “In fact, we countered for it. The troops have been just fine without us for two days and they’ll be fine for a third. The boy has it all wrapped up and despite any reservations I may have had, Rizzo and Pepe have managed to turn out some good scripts since. Melissa was all set tonight and Rosie’s good to go for tomorrow.”

    “But…”

    “There’s nothing you can say that’s gonna sway us, Frog,” Fozzie piped up, throwing both the producer and star equal stern looks. “The two of you are staying here tomorrow and if we see even an inch of your shadows on the lot, we’re getting Sweetums to escort you back.”

    “I think they’re serious,” Piggy quipped, glancing at Kermit. While both presented the air of seriousness, it was extremely hard to take the comic seriously when he was wearing a giant cheese shaped hat on his head.

    It also didn’t escape either of their notice that they had both been banished from the lot, not just Piggy. While they could have gotten away with a show without Kermit – and they had, disasters and all – they couldn’t really do one without Piggy, being the star and all. But this was a special circumstance and despite Piggy’s otherwise upbeat attitude the last two days, both comic and writer knew she was far from fine and the best person to make sure she wasn’t circling the drain was the frog.

    Knowing a losing battle when they saw one, Kermit gave Piggy a look before nodding to the two. “If you’re sure you have it,” he said. “I mean, you’ll call if you need anything…”

    “No,” they both answered.

    “The two of you just do what it is you two do best,” Fozzie replied.

    “Whatever that might be,” the writer added, wagging his eyebrows at them.

    “Alright,” Piggy groused, though good-naturedly. “When Gonzo starts getting into innuendo, it’s time to say goodbye.”

    Bear and weirdo said their goodbyes, getting back into the car and driving off, leaving the two to head up into the house proper. “Sure you don’t mind hanging out with me tomorrow?” Kermit asked, grabbing one of her bags to carry it.

    “Moi will have to suck it up and take one for the team,” she sighed, bumping him affectionately with her elbow.

    Reaching the door, the frog held out a flipper for the keys, stating, “I promise to make it enjoyable for both of us.”

    “You know, Kermit, if I didn’t know better I would think you were flirting with me.”

    “And here I thought you hadn’t noticed.”

    A beep alerted Piggy that someone had texted her, with her reaching into her pocket to see who was texting her at eleven o’clock at night.

    Hammy: Three little piggies are safe and sound at home. You and the guys okay?

    Piggy Lee: Walking through the door with the frog.

    Hammy: Ooh la la ;)

    Piggy Lee: Don’t start :p I’ll give you a call tomorrow. Get some sleep, it’s late.

    Hammy: You too, sis. Love you.

    Piggy Lee: Love you, too. Night!

    “Everything alright?”

    “Yeah,” she replied, looking up. “Just Hammy.” Another beep had her looking down at her phone, wondering what else her little brother had to say. However, it was actually Nate who was texting her.

    Junior: I know it’s late, but just heard from Ro and Virgi. Gave them your number, so you might get a call from one of them – probably Ro – tomorrow. Be nice!

    Sweets: :p I know how to be nice to my own sisters, thank you. And seriously, thank you. *hugs*

    Junior: I am the awesome, I know this. ;) Go to bed.

    Sweets: YOU go to bed, it’s like 1am there.

    “Nate managed to get a hold of Virgi and Ro,” she murmured, turning her phone to silent, with exception to her alarm.

    “That’s good, right?” Kermit asked, taking one of her hands in his.

    “No, that’s…that’s very good,” Piggy said, taking a deep breath. “Ro may actually give me a call tomorrow, which is…really unexpected.”

    “But good?”

    “Very,” she said, nodding enthusiastically. Giving his hand a squeeze, she continued with, “I think I’ll need you tomorrow.”

    “You got me,” he said, pulling her in for a kiss. “Always. I love you.”

    “I love you, too,” she said. “And I am exhausted.”

    “Let’s get you to bed, sweet pea,” the frog replied, wrapping an arm around her waist and leading her down towards the bedroom. “Get a good night’s sleep and I’ll make you some pancakes tomorrow morning.”

    “I love pancakes.”

    “I know you do, baby.”

    They continued their banter, even as they went through their bedtime ritual. Piggy was fine, for the moment, though she wouldn’t ever be completely fine for a long time; however, things were looking up for her – her family seemed to be coming back together after so long and things were coming together for her professionally and romantically. Time would of course tell how it would all work out, but the diva had to be optimistic and hopeful.

    And when she slid into bed that late night, arm slung around Kermit’s middle and a kiss to her forehead, Piggy actually was.


    THE END
     
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  4. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Counters...I see you lurking around here. That's 3 stories down for me :p And yes, unless the muse has other ideas - which, duh, it will - 2ball is next.
     
  5. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    *Still lurking...Until Selena Gomez, my pet raven gets her iced cream, and daddy gets his fanfics, I refuse to comment. Hey, if Piggy can adopt a :zany: from Arr-hentina and name it after some famous pop star that was the first Spanish name that came to her mind, then why can't we have an equally named cute little raven? *Skulks away awaiting the update of 2-Ball.
     


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