A/N: So this story is somewhat earlier and has a different inspiration and will feature a song other than the one received... But still, I dedicate this to the talented Kris, known as newsmanfan. The day was serenely beautiful, clouds drifting past as fluffy little cottonballs in an ocean of serulean splendor. Two people strolled down the sidewalks of town—well, one human female and one golden male Muppet—en route to the verdent pastures of Hensonville City National Park. She had been worried for his safety recently. The entire underrealm investigation had put a further noticeable strain on her faithful reporter. Yes, he had found his long-lost cousin, even at the cost of endangering both of themselves once brought into direct conflict with such an icky plot as supposed sacrifices to the almighty Underruler. It had been difficult, but she'd finally managed to coax Newsie to leave the relative sanctuary of their shared apartment. She suggested a picnic on the sprawling greens of the local park. He cringed at the thought of leaving his safety zone. He doubted anywhere they went would ever be safe ever again. He knew his lady love was upset, and that in turn made him upset. Realizing they had overcome so much already, Newsie began to rationalize that there was pretty little else that could stand in their way of happiness. Shaking off his bunny-festooned blanket, he had approached Gina to say he'd agree to picnic with her—evident traces of hesitation on his face in spite of his attempts to brave it all for her. The particular morning in the month of May saw the couple making their way down the sidewalked streets, pausing every other second, checking for any potential prying beady little eyes. Gina assured Newsie nothing was following them, as she'd arranged for the townhouse's manager to take in the blue and pink raggy tentacled things during their outing. The move had calmed Newsie's nerves, and a kiss from her on the nose had put such concerns behind them. The Newsman had been further convinced to wear a crisp light brown polo shirt and matching belted shortened khakis. His glasses on his face and comfortable socks and shoes on his feet, he was ready (if a bit uneasy) to go. Luckily for him, he had a beautiful girl on his arm. Gina chose to let her auburn tresses flow freely, matching her mood. She plugged in a pair of rose bloom earrings that complimented the copper beaded necklace she always wore when around her lover. Newsie blushed a little when she stepped out in her rose-patterned dress, making her smile at his cute abashedness. Quickly slipping into her own heeled footware, she snapped up the food hamper, linking arms as they descended in the elevator out onto the city streets. Setting up wasn't that difficult. Just a flip of the blanket on the grassy grounds and up went the parasol providing shade from the sun, and they were golden—well, Newsie was anyway, and that was good enough for Gina. "Ready to capture the queen?" she teased, seated on the opposite end of the checkered cloth. "Only if you king me," he replied. "Newsie, this isn't checkers, it's chess," she giggled. "No, this is chess," he countered, zipping diagonally over to her side. Both dug out the provisions they'd brought along for this little luncheon. The chicken salad had been spiked with black pepper, but not so heavily so as to cause either eater sneezing fits. Bringing extra paper cups had proved useful since globlets of mayonnaise mixed with the cutlets and onions dripped out of the toasted hogie rolls. Before he could spoon it up, Gina snatched it away so as to add the sliced cucumbers and carrotsticks and cabbage she packed. Newsie thanked her for not making the sandwiches out of that awful fluff called "white bread". When in need of drink, he was nicely surprised at the Blueberry Megarumble Cola. He was touched she remembered it was his favorite. The capper were some blueberry-lemon bar cookies she'd made the week before, "borrowing" as he'd overheard the recipe from the motherly mole in Vegas. Newsie was now beginning to lose all sense of trepidation he'd left with earlier that morning. The Newsman had also thought ahead, as he employed help from Scooter and Walter (the "new kid") in procuring to purchase a Kermit The Frog frisbee. Such simpler games were suited for the enjoyment of days like these. Left aside on the blanket, the reporter rested peacefully, his head in his lady's lap. Tracing semi-swirling symbols through the strands of his hair, she was glad she hadn't had chance to make use of her secret little licqeur in order to soothe Newsie into his own little happy place. After a while, she heard him humming a tune under his breath. "What's that song?" "Hmm?" Newsie absently said. "That tune, the one you were just humming." "Oh, that. It's, well, did you see the show we put on once with Brooke Shields, the Alice in Wonderland episode?" "Of course I did. I managed to get it from the Time-Life DVD volumes." Newsie frowned lightly. In all the hurrah brought about by the new movie's success, the parent company was still dragging its heels when it came to releasing the last two official on-air seasons of the show. "Well," Newsie continued. "Even though I had no part in that one, I still researched the source material before they told me there was no viable part to be had." Gina couldn't help but think he'd make a dashing White Knight, or Red Knight, whichever color he prefered. "The problem is," he kept going, "most productions, ours included, muddle both of Carroll's works. But there was a song from that craziness I ended up liking." "Oh?" Gina wondered, "which one would that be, my brave reporter?" He closed his eyes, concentrating on the melody playing in his head. Newsie started softly, but his vocals carried across sweetly to his gypsy girl's ears. "Little bread-and-butterflies kiss the tulips." The smallest two out of all the rolls flapped their way out of the wicker basket, blinking at the oddities around it before taking full flight around the slightly surprised picnickers. Shrugging it off, Newsie decided to plough through with his performance. "And the sun is like a toy balloon. There are get up in the morning glories. In the golden afternoon." Morning glories (or would they be considered afternoon glories at this time?) popped on the bushes near the blanket's border. Thinking of the naming possibility made Gina giggle once more. "There are dizzy daffodils on the hillside. Strings of violets are all in tune. Tiger lilies love the dandy lions." Newsie smiled at the funny flowers, picturing daffodils whose petaled heads spun around in slow circles; then the violets holding leafy limbs as if plucking at similarly-named string instruments; and tiger-faced lilies purring contentedly in the embrace of the dandy-lions. For some reason, his mind dressed those in Dr. Teeth's feather-topped hat. "In the golden afternoon." "The golden afternoon," Gina echoed, adding her voice to this last line of the introduction. "There are dog and caterpillars and the copper centipede." Newsie shook away the memory of one particular larger-than-life furried version of the insect who harried him and Rhonda during the last year's outrageous investigations. "Where the lazy daisies love the very peaceful life they lead." More flowers started to appear beautifying the spot they'd staked for such diversions from the regular routine of everyday life. Gaining confidence, Newsie began the proper chorus, the part had stuck with him after so many years of having seen the animated film. "You can learn a lot of things from the flowers. For especially in the month of June. There's a wealth of happiness and romance. All in the golden afternoon." Gina followed by reciting only one line after he'd finished, "All in the golden afternoon." They both harmonized in singing, "The golden afternoon..." Newsie silenced for a moment, allowing his beloved to sing the chorus a second time on her own. She obliged lovingly. "You can learn a lot of things from the flowers. For especially in the month of June. There's a wealth of happiness and romance. "The golden afternoon!," they both finished, rather happily holding each other's hands. She laughingly kissed the top of his head, pleased in that this little holiday had accomplished what she'd intended. To see her newsman contentedly smiling made her smile in turn. Yes, it certainly was a golden afternoon spent with her golden boy. Waking a little while later, both set to picking up the contents of their midday meal, putting away various leftovers back into the basket. They paused to sprinkle some sugary crumbs on their fingertips in an effort to feed the animated bread-and-butterflies. The little licking sensation tickled the tips of their digits, spreading the smile farther on their faces. Newsie spotted some white lilies nearby, plucking a pair, he offered one to his girl as a thank-you token for everything she'd done. When asked, he mentioned the other was for someone just as important…. He placed it at the foot of the statued landmark located within the park, a sculpted replica of the Muppets father figure. Whenever Newsie stopped in front, the dedication on the plack made him smile: "To the Lovers, the Dreamers, and You." His own was the latest placed there out of respect and honor by the many other Muppets who had converged on the park. Gina understood his gesture, touched by his genuine gentleness. That, among other things, was one of the reasons she had been attracted to him in the first place. Before heading home, she had asked him to tuck the lily behind her ear, which he readily agreed to (after blushing a few seconds). Humming happily, they returned home to the apartment they shared, saluting fellow friends—whether furred or feathered or felted or not. It made her heart swell to know that her Newsie had found his satisfied center once more. It made his heart swell to be loved by such a wonderful woman.