Scooter and Fozzie watched nervously from the bar while Gonzo and Rizzo were chatting up a table full of ladies. Scooter was managing to look a lot less out of place than Fozzie—which wasn’t saying much—and he shifted around and looked toward where Kermit was sitting. Something about Kermit’s body language made him sure that things weren’t going well. Kermit looked flustered and seemed to be doing less talking than usual. “Shouldn’t those men be nodding and smiling by now?” Fozzie asked anxiously. Scooter opened his mouth to reply and his jaw suddenly went slack. “Would you look at that?!” he said excitedly. “Wow,” Fozzie said softly. Practically every eye in the room had turned at the same moment as Scooter’s, and followed Miss Piggy’s entrance into the room with bated breath. It was hard to say whether the most stunning feature of her gown was what it revealed, or what it covered. It was black and glittery, showed legs and shoulders to advantage and was shockingly low in back. She trailed a feather boa behind her carelessly, and all eyes followed her, mesmerized by the profusion of sex appeal she exuded. So intent were they on their discussion that no one at Kermit’s table looked up until Piggy stopped before them. Conversation stopped abruptly and they gaped at her in unfeigned admiration. “Oh, Kermie—I’m so sorry that I’m late!” She turned her big blues eyes on him and lowered her lashes demurely. “You didn’t tell me that you were expecting friends.” Kermit could think of nothing to say. He had never seen Piggy look more stunning. His heart gave a great thump in his chest, and—so grateful for her unexpected appearance was he—that he felt a lump rise in his throat. He stood and held out his arm to her. Graceful and demure, she slipped her gloved hand through the crook of his elbow in a way that was both possessive and submissive. Every man in the room felt his temperature rise and the collar of his shirt grow tight. “Gentlemen,” Kermit said, falling back on his good manners, “I don’t believe you’ve met my wife.” The three suits scrambled to their feet as Kermit made the introductions and Piggy received each of them gravely and with all her considerable charm in play. “These gentlemen are thinking about investing in the movie,” Kermit said, by way of explanation. “How interesting,” Piggy said, managing to sound anything but interested. She sat and the men followed suit, all of them pressed up cozily around the little table. “Should we get a bigger table?” Kermit asked, and four voices said “No!” in unison, then laughed nervously. Piggy was settled in next to Kermit around the small table, her drink was ordered and a lull fell on them all. “Please don’t let me interrupt your business, gentlemen,” Piggy said sweetly. “I know how hard it is to get a moment alone with Kermit.” They all laughed together and Kermit was amazed by how she had deftly shifted the balance of power at the table into his lap. “I’ll have to thank her for that,” he thought with great anticipation. The waiter arrived silently with Piggy’s drink. As soon as he had left, as if on cue, Gonzo appeared with Rizzo in his wake. “Miss Piggy,” he cried enthusiastically. “You’re here!” Piggy fluttered her eyelashes at him and Kermit fought the urge to giggle. Piggy was in fine form tonight and would not break out of character for anything. “Of course Moi is here,” she murmured. She turned her velvet gaze on Kermit, who lost all desire to laugh, and touched him lightly on the leg. Kermit just barely resisted jumping out of his skin. “My Kermie is here—where else would I be?” “But I thought you were in New York—on Broadway,” Gonzo persisted. “True," Piggy mused, “but Rosie was kind enough to take over for me in Grease so Kermit and I could keep our special date.” “Rosie O’Donnell?” Rizzo squeaked. Piggy fixed him with a stare. “No—Rosie the Riveter,” she growled. “Of course Rosie O’Donnell.” Again she turned her devastating gaze on Kermit. “She knew how important this date was to Moi and Mon Capitan.” Kermit felt himself blushing as she used one of her pet names for him, but the effect was not lost on the men at the table. He decided to bask in the attention, and beamed back at her. “Good ol’ Rosie,” he murmured. “Well, you look great!” Gonzo said enthusiastically. Gonzo always had an eye for a well-turned ankle, and Miss Piggy was displaying a great deal more than her ankles. Again the lowered lashes, a light touch on Kermit’s knee, and her low voice, laughing. “Thank you, Gonzo,” she said sweetly. “But—“ She looked around, her brow puckered attractively. “I seem to be interrupting here….” A chorus of protests arose from the men at the table but Piggy didn’t even acknowledge them. She held her gloved hand (black satin this time) out to Gonzo. “Perhaps you’d like to steer Moi around the floor so Kermit can finish his little business meeting.” To say that Gonzo was enthusiastic would be the understatement of the century. He took her offered hand and began to pull her onto the dance floor. “Miss Piggy, Miss Piggy!” one of the gentlemen called, standing up and calling to her. She stopped and looked at him guilelessly. “Yes?” “Are you—that is, you are planning to appear in Kermit’s next film?” Piggy gave him a sad, pitying look that managed to say plainly that he was too stupid to live but she was being gracious because she was, after all, a star and appreciative of her fans. When she spoke, her voice sounded cold and a little hurt. “Of course Moi is appearing in Kermie’s new movie,” she said distinctly, then her gaze slid over to Kermit. “That is—if he wants Moi.” After the briefest of pauses, she bit her lower lip and blushed becomingly. “I mean, if he wants Moi to be in his movie.” “Of course, Darling,” Kermit said. It was all he could do not to throw his arms around her. If he had ever doubted Piggy’s acting ability—which he never had—he would never have cause to again. Their eyes met for the briefest of instants and it was all there, all the love and fierce protectiveness that bound them together. “Why don’t you enjoy the orchestra while I finish up with this…gentleman.” Piggy leaned in swiftly and bussed him sweetly just below where his ear would be—if frogs had ears—and then she tucked her hand through Gonzo’s arm and let him lead her away. “Gonzo’s a weird little guy,” Piggy thought absently, “but he’s a good dancer—and a good friend.” When they were safely out of earshot, Piggy gave Gonzo a conspiratorial look. “How is he, Gonzo?” she asked softly. “Not good,” Gonzo said bluntly. “He’s been moping around the house—doesn’t like to go out.” Gonzo and Rizzo had moved into the house under pretense of having their digs repaired. “When he does go out, everybody wants to buy him a root beer, slap him on the back, try to cheer him up.” “Oh, Gonzo—I didn’t know.” She did not quite like to admit that a great deal of their conversations had been more mush than content. “When we talked, we didn’t…I mean, he never—“ “I know, “ Gonzo broke in gently. “He didn’t want you to worry. You have a lot on your plate right now.” He hesitated and fell silent, then began again tentatively, “What with the tabloid and everything, and that Fleet Scribbler—“ “That odious man!” Piggy spat. “—spreading wild rumors, everybody thinks….” He trailed off uncomfortably. “I know what everybody’s saying, Gonzo,” she said sadly. “It’s not true—you know it’s not true!” “Of course it’s not true,” he agreed grudgingly, “but in a town like this it’s not what’s really happening, but what everyone else thinks is happening that matters.” Once again, he fell silent, but finally burst out again. “It’s hurt him, Miss Piggy—he’d never say it but it—it has.” Seeing her stricken look, he hastened on. “Not you, but what everyone’s saying. When someone says something about you dating all those other men, well, it—it hurts him.” Piggy tried valiantly to cover her distress. “Kermit knows that I would never—“ “He knows,” Gonzo assured her, but the thought did not comfort them. He paused for a moment, debating the tactfulness of his next statement. “I think its hurting business, too.” “I know,” she said grimly. “That’s why I’m here. Do you think--?” “Hang on,” he murmured. “Let me check.” He turned her skillfully, dipped her slightly (Piggy let out a gay little laugh for effect) and righted them both. “Well, Kermit’s doing the frowning and head-shaking now,” he said with satisfaction. “That’s a good sign. You were pretty incredible back there.” He smiled at her at little lopsidedly, and it reminded her so much of Kermit that her eyes grew bright and she had to catch her breath. “Steady on,” Gonzo said quietly, holding her a little more firmly as though to support her. “We’re not out of the woods yet.” Piggy composed herself and they dipped again to a small smattering of applause from the tables nearest the dance floor. Piggy turned limpid, adoring eyes toward Kermit, who looked up and smiled fondly at them, completely tuning out for a moment the men who were now clamoring for his attention. “Very nice,” Gonzo said, as they begin to dance cheek to cheek, “but don’t overdo it. I think you’re distracting Kermit.” “Good,” Piggy growled without moving her lips. “You do look great,” he said, sweeping her back into his arms for a showy piece of Fred-and-Ginger footwork, again to a smattering of applause. “Camilla says hello.” Gonzo’s face broke into a wide smile. “Hey—how’s she doing?” “I caught the matinee for State Fair last weekend. She looks great, and she’s getting good buzz.” “That’s fantastic,” Gonzo said, meaning it. Whatever the status of their on-again, off-again romance, Gonzo and Camilla had managed to remain close friends. When they were face to face once again, Gonzo shot a look back at Kermit’s table. “Good—they’re leaving.” The orchestra was winding down the song, and Piggy and Gonzo took a couple of modest bows before starting back to where Kermit was now standing at his seat. Piggy squeezed Gonzo’s hand silently and said, pitched for his ears only, “Thanks for calling me, Gonzo.” Gonzo returned the pressure on her hand and smiled again. “Thanks for coming.” Piggy’s composure lasted just long enough for Kermit to take her hand and lead her out onto the dance floor. He folded her tenderly into his arms and they began to move to the music. “Piggy….” He said softly, looking into her eyes. “You were magnificent. You are magnificent.” “Like you just noticed,” she murmured. Kermit gave a look that promised much and smiled, his eyes crinkling at the corners. “I’d like to make a few other…observations,” he teased. “What do you say we get out of here?” Piggy faltered for a moment, her eyes brimming with tears. “I can’t stay. My plane….” “Oh. How long have we got?” Kermit said, stricken. “I have to be at the airport in less than an hour.” The tremor in her voice made him anxious to comfort her. “That’s okay, Sweetheart. We’ll just make the most of the time we have.” They swayed for a moment, her soft curves pressed against him, the music swirling around them. “You flew in just for my meeting tonight.” It was almost an accusation, and Piggy looked up quickly. “Not just--” she began, but saw the softness in his eyes and broke off. “Did the meeting--?“ she began anxiously. “Super--after you came.” “Oh, Moi just—“ Kermit silenced her with a quick kiss, and could not help but overhear the pop, pop, pop of flashbulbs from the surrounding tables. They broke apart self-consciously, minding their footwork. “Who told you? Gonzo?” “Don’t be mad—“ “I’m not mad,” he reassured her. “Oh, Piggy, honey, I’m just so, so grateful and humbled and… I don’t know what to say.” “Then don’t say anything,” Piggy said, her voice beginning to break. “Just hold me.” She made a small sound and buried her face in his neck. He held her tighter, not believing his luck, and the orchestra played on and on. The next morning, stopping for some coffee and a bagel with sun-dried flies, Kermit was dismayed to see the following headline. “Kermit-Piggy reunion? Not likely!” The by-line read, “Fleet Scribbler.” Indignantly snatching up the slick little gossip rag, Kermit fumed, continuing to read. “According to anonymous sources, Miss Piggy is still signed to star in Rainbow Productions next film project, still untitled, but what started to look like an evening of romance fizzled, with Miss Piggy fleeing onto her New-York-bound plane in tears less than two hours after arriving. While here, Miss Piggy was seen dancing with one of Mr. Kermit’s close personal friends, whose long-time paramour is now appearing in State Fair.” There was a picture of Piggy and Gonzo, dancing very close. Kermit emitted a strangled grunt of frustration, huffing irritably while he crushed the paper into a ball. He looked up to find the cashier—along with all the other convenience store patrons—staring at him with undisguised interest. “Um—you gonna pay for that?” the cashier asked. Grumbling, cheeks flaming in anger and embarrassment, Kermit did.