The weather in Hensonville had turned into a mixed bag of warmer temperatures with cooling breezes in the morning, muggyness for the afternoonish hours, and dryer in the evenings. Still, it was liveable. But climate concerns weren't vexing to a certain frog. No, the dominating thought for him was... School had ended! Exams, classes, the term itself, çest finis. And on this particular afternoon Robin was loitering at his favorite spot in town, the walled bridge overlooking the river beside it. The river didn't seem so far away now that he'd done some growing. His flippered feet lazily dangled off of his perch, one toe just skimming the water's surface. "Hey Rob, you gonna give a lecture?" Robin rolled his eyes—hard to do when you're a frog, nictatating membranes and all—waving off the jive from Bobby. The bear, a classmate and close friend approached, stopping close enough to stay high and dry by the wall's edge. "So, any plans Rob?" "Nope," came the reply. Bobby grabbed a couple of stones, judging their weight, trying to find some suitable for skipping. At the moment, Robin spotted the third member of their band, Timmy a smart spectacled turtle approaching. Timmy, though slower on land—when recurring to all fours—could really motor down the waterway in his sailing shell. With a little assistance the boys just lazed together for a while, basking in their newly-won summer freedom. Eventually, a knot of girls from class passed by, carrying on as a pack of "mature" ladies are wont to do. Slight snickering escaped from the subordinates, the leading amphibian watching carefully. He recalled with fondness how last summer's season Nancy had been his first. "No, check that," he thought, there had been another who had been first if he was truly honest with himself. And now that she had transfered into their high school with a clique of fellow frogs, well... That just made things harder. He inwardly reflected upon the wisdom of that song he'd heard once. "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind". Once the cluster of femeninity passed them up, Robin piped up. "Guys, I know what we're doing this weekend." "What," Timmy asked first. "Lay it on us man," Bobby followed. "The drive-in downtown's having a double feature. The only way we'll survive it is if we get the courage to ask the girls for--" Here he faltered, adding the right amount of panic to his voice, "--a date!" Receiving dumb stares from his friends, Robin got that look, the one he reserved for when he was secretly scheming to take over the world, "Trust me lads, we'll recruit others to our cause. Oodelally, what a day it will be!" Bobby gave a crooked smile, Timmy timidly followed. The trio put their palms over each other sealing the deal before myrthful laughter rang out from the clearing. Contacting everyone was the easy part... Getting the girls to say "yes", that was what the party's members sweated. Robin in particular. Replies came in back to the The Frogs' household, confirming Mission: Movie Night was a-go. Saturday proved to be a flurry of activity for a change. Yes, the younger amphibian helped out with a few chores here and there, but the step-in parentals were aware of what the night would bring. "So who did you ask out?" was the first question, the only question his uncle wanted answered. "Nancy and I have an understanding Uncle Kermit." "Oh," was the elder frog's soft comeback. "Well, I erm, as long as you know what you're doing," he trailed. "Men often don't know what they're doing," groused his wife from behind. "Honey, please, let the boy make his own mistakes, I certainly had my fair share of them," Kermit reminisced. "And what will vous be doing tonight?" she interrogated. "Spending the evening with the world's greatest wife." Robin, fully dressed for his own date by now, chose that moment to extricate himself from the lovy-dovey sure to ensue. He knew when best to leave his uncle and aunt to their own devices. Scooping enough money from his personal money jar, he set the googly-eyed lid back down with care. Last was his jacket, his house key, and he simply hopped out the door en route to the drive-in lot. Walking the streets in town wasn't that much different from driving Robin thought. Cool breezes greeted the average pedestrian tonight. When he reached the lot, he waited in line for his date or to buy his tickets, whichever came first. He swept his gaze to take in who else had agreed to this friendly escapade. Bobby, wearing his signature varsity jacket and his uncle Fozzie's polkadotted tie in an attempt to appear dressed up, had a taffy-haired fox on his arm, Ember McVixen. Robin wasn't surprised to see that Timmy had snagged Lerissa Leppit, the cute little bunny who had a crush on the turtle. Robin was surprised to see Farley and Betty Lou, dressed in casual yet nice clothing had just pulled up to the counter. Next, he smiled at finding Alexander Moe arm in arm with a pretty light tan furred cat named Puffy Siammers. Those two could talk a mile a minute (at least she could) and every other line between them caused either or both to laugh jovially. The frog noticed Carimia "Carrie" to her friends Ham chatting with Aaron, an aardvark over in the corner... And Nancy leaning against the popcorn machine holding hands with Louis Squirrlnick. "Dern her, she looks soo good," he thought, fighting with himself not to go over and just…. "No, that wouldn't be fair to her or Louis," he continued with his inner conflict, until Megan was standing at his side. A pretty female frog in her own right, even if she wasn't as glammy as his aunt, giggled a little as she let Robin drink in the full sight of her arrival. She led him up to grab the tickets, waiting for their car. Shaking his head to think straight, Robin did a double take as he angled back to catch Nancy one last time. He was understandably confused, as the older yet still young female vampiress at the ticket counter handed the last pair of stubs to a similar yet younger vampiress leading a young guy past them and into Car #8 as it came up to the kids lined up behind the batlike stancheon posts. This drive-in lot featured dual movie screens affording full view to all its customers. However, the good thing was that it also had an assortment of bumper cars each patron could take as their own before parking it in front of either screen. Luckily—or not so much so as this had been one of the parts of the plan—Robin's group had bought up all the available seats that night. The cars had speakers with a knob-switch for either incoming or outgoing audio and volume control, as well as convertible droptops. Sibella slammed the coffin top on her own car so the running commentary coming from it wouldn't ruin the movie for everybody else. The girls adjusted themselves, finding that comfortable spot in their seats, allowing the boys whatever contact (or lack there of for the moment) they wanted. And then the first feature started rolling. The title card projected on the screen caused Robin to let out a low chuckle, but that was only because he was far too familiar with this kind of Muppet humor. The screen read: Big Trouble for Medium-Sized Monsters in Little Muppet Tokyo Town. Yep, another corny Muppet monster movie that promised both sides of the spectrum. It started off simple enough. Two furry Muppet monsters worried about the trouble they could get into down at the local oriental grocery store. One of them was overcome by the cuteness of a small Mogwai... But soon backed off as a loud roar came out of the tiny thing's mouth. The kids laughed, the girls awed at the belieing cuteness, and then... The movie picked up in intensity as another pair of grouch goons marched in menacing the monsters. What would happen next? Enter the heroine, a dirty blonde rat action star with a tough-talking accented harshness. She sniffed after dispensing of the dumb patrol, taking the monsters to safety. Alex Moe chuckled, Puffy either cheered or criticized a couple of moves. Everybody kept their attention on what else was proceeding before them. The rat heroine confronted this massive orange monster wearing a golden-horned helmet, the apparent baddies' leader. When they saw her fighting against a water-based lion thing in the underground coliseum helped drive the plot forwards. She was then surrounded by a dozen more grouch guards and menacing foes, fighting through them all, only to fall seemingly defeated at Zostic's feet. In a breathtaking maneuver, she bit through the bindings, leaping on his throat in an instant. Slaying the underlord in an action that sold the apparent fakeness, everyone in the audience hooted in rapid appreciation. As the heroine broke camp before the end credits began, all looked towards Car #8. Robin was confused, but Megan in an armed embrace knew what they were expecting. Sibella nudged her companion. "What?" he asked at her prodding. "They want to hear it, the ending," she prompted, a sweet smile on her face. "Oh, okay," he said back. Sliding the knob-switch to "Outgoing", the boyish figure in batspecs named X started in a voiceover tone... "Come back next time when Ms. Cheesesteak returns in John Ham's production of Soft Pretzels and Hoooot Mustard!" As if knowing the barb slung, the rat's profile turned to the camera to say, "Oh I hope not." Everyone laughed as the movie died down. There was about a fifteen to twenty minute pause allowing the on-lot staff to retrieve the previous film's reel, rewind it into its canister, and load the second film onto the projector cameras. During this time, the kids got to chit-chat about this or that. "So, Carrie," started Aaron, "I know your name is meant to be 'Cara mia', but is that a reference to the old song?" "What old song?" said the porcine child thoroughly puzzled. To this, the male aardvark took in a breath to start out low. "Cara mia my. Must we say, goodbye? Each time we part. My heart. Wants to die," he sang, stretching out the last word. He continued with a bit more strength onto the last segment. "Darling, hear my prayer. Come to me and there. I'll be your love. Till the eeend ooof time!" Amazed that there was actually a song on her name, Carrie launched herself smothering Aaron in kisses. "Look at that, another pig who's gone 'hog wild'," joked Alex's half-barking voice. :Hush you," said Puffy as she wanted to discuss some of the action scenes before Alex excused himself to get them a couple of sodas. "Might as well get some drinks if I'm going to walk ourselves home," he thought, chuckling at the line his father had engrained in him. Farley and Betty Lou simply laced their fingers together, thinking back on fond memories from the street they grew up on. "Uh Robin," Megan said in a shy tremble. "Yeah Megan?" he said back to her. "Well, I never told you this before but…" "Yeah?" "I'm…I'm" "Uh-huh." "I'm kind of afraid of the dark." She gulped down the little lump of fear that had formed in her throat. As he looked around him, it had darkened considerably. Well, that was to be expected, they were at a drive-in movie lot during the evening hours. "That's ridiculous Megan, there's nothing out here to be afraid of--right?" But Robin had to admit to himself, it was a bit spooky out here now. He hesitated for just a moment, "Right?" But the preverbial lightbulb went off as he thought of something his uncle had said once. Sensing a cue, Alex who had returned to his car by now, whipped out his little portable keyboard. He was glad his parents had gotten him this to make up for the baby baby grand his father had attempted to pass down onto his son. Harmonizing briefly, the boys sang together... "Good things happen in the dark. Gooooodthings…." Bobby followed on his own, "Happen in the dark." Robin took lead for the first lines, backed by his bear best friend. "When you notice the daylight starts to fade." "In the dark." "Well that's no reason to ever be afraid." "Why don't you take my advice," Robin started joined by the boys next. "Nighttime can be oh so nice. Good things happen in the dark." "In the dark," Bobby finished once more, Ember gradually being impressed at his vocal chops. "Without the dark," Robin continued. "There'd be no gifts from Santa's sleigh," sang Farley and Betty Lou, they being familiar with the song. "In the dark," Bobby crooned. "There'd be no moonbeams," Robin sang solo. "No cricket--" he sang on his own, "serenade," Megan Betty Lou chimed in at the same time. "You know that life would not be groovy," everybody harmonized again. "There would be no drive-in movies," everyone sang, knowing smiles on the girls' faces. "Good things happen in the dark," they all finished the verse. Bobby added a few "da-da-da-da-dums" as the gang reached the bridge. "So sing a song of fireflies and thank the stars above. Cause darkness brings so many things. So many things to love. Many things to love." Boys looked at girls. Girls looked at boys. Boys got lost in the girls' looks. Girls got grins at the boys' lost looks. The gang then provided the chorus as Robin spoke to Megan. "Gooooood things happen in the dark." "So don't you worry 'bout those shadows on the wall." He held her tight as she leant into him. "You can make them into anything at all." "Goooood things happen in the dark." "And you will be happy as a lark. If you just remember this remark. Good things happen in the dark." The gang knew the big flourished finish was coming, so they took their places in vocal range. "Go-oo-oo-ood things," they sang together. "Happen in the…dark," said Timmy, echoed by Farley, Robin, and finally Bobby. Megan melted into Robin's arms. She was positively thrilled that here was a frog who had gone that extra mile to ease her of her own irrational fears, if only a little, if only for tonight. She saw twinkling lights around her and said frog. Recognizing the lights for what they were, and her stomach lightly rumbling, her tongue shot out catching a particularly bulbous firefly. Unfortunately, Robin had had the same idea, lashing out onto the identical insect. Not unfortunately, the bug's bulb zapped both tongues, overheated by the combined wettened saliva. The reaction, to the frogs however made them go "Ooh!" as they believed to have received a particularly sparked kiss from each other. But unfortunately again, their solo time evaporated like the collecting moisture as the second film rolled onto the screen. This time, the girls oohed in delight as Dances With Triangles flashed upon the title card. They instantly snuggled in closer to their respective dates as this was a classier romance filled with a wonderful waltzing debutant ball segwaying to the aspects most of these movies attempted to copy. None of that mattered. The ladies were starstruck. The boys followed the plot along, though they found it hard when amorously ambushed by their respective dates. After the double bill had concluded, the kids turned in the cars back to the lot, bidding farewell to the attendants. They slowwalked down to either the Flyburgers or Loving Kernel for a late dinner for all. When Robin reached his home, he asked Megan to stay so he could introduce her. Kermit was happy to see her again, Piggy received her with the air of grace. They talked for a little bit until a soft yawn escaped from Megan's mouth. Being the gentlefrog he had been brought up to be, Robin excused himself to escort her back home. Handing her over to her family's care, Megan bestowed her green knight with his due reward. Waving goodbyes, Robin waited until she'd gone inside. He hopped down the street back to his own pad, confident in the promise of a great summer. A/N: Cast Sources. Farley and Betty Lou come from Sesame Street/Sesame Workshop. Robin the Frog comes from The Muppets, though his teenage form has been seen before in other fics here at Muppet Central. Alexander Moe comes from Beth 'redBoobergurl's fanfic series Rowlf's Stories, particularly Book 5 as found in the Fanfic Library Index. Bobby Bear and Timmy Turtle come one of her other unfinished fics, I forget the title, the one where Robin was frognapped. Megan the Frog comes from Nicee 'greenstuff's fanfic Happily Ever After?, which I dearly miss not being updated. Nancy Kidd, Carimie Ham, Ember McVixen, and Lerissa Leppit all come from Catherine 'Ruahnna's fanfic Err A-Parent, though Ember and Lerissa appear as unnamed characters. Aaron Aardvark, Louis Squirrlnick, and Puffy Siammers are original characters of mine I'd gladly loan to fellow authors if they wish to ask. *Free cookie to the first person who identifies who the latter two are meant to be based on. *Extra free cookie to the first person besides newsmanfan who gets the MST joke. Sibella comes from Scooby-Doo and The Ghoul School. As for her beau, the mysterious X, that's another original character who I am very protective of and would only loan if contacted and consulted by fellow authors first. Hope you enjoy and have a great summer everybodeeeeeee!