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FanFic: Forgotten Wishes

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by ReneeLouvier, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. ReneeLouvier

    ReneeLouvier Active Member

    Chapter Nine

    Bert was sitting outside on the steps to his apartment, Bernice was beside him; eating birdseed out of his hand. He was a little bored, gently stroking Bernice's back while she ate. Ernie was laying down on the thick stone banister that was beside the short stairs. He was whistling softly, watching the clouds pass by.

    "Hey ol' buddy Bert?" Ernie asked, turning his head towards Bert a little. "Why do you think Mrs. Vines is late today?"

    "I don't know Bert. Maybe she couldn't find the books or something." Bert responded, frowning softly. Mrs. Vines was never late with the bookmobile. They both had books to turn into the main library, but she hadn't come today.

    "But she's never late, Bert. She always comes on Wednesdays around 2 pm." Ernie looked back at the sky for a moment, and sighed. "I really want to see if she had found that book on rubber duckies yet."

    "You've got late fees to pay too. You destroyed my pigeon book with that last thing you did." Bert said, a sly smile on his face.

    "Bert, I'm sorry I did that. I thought the book needed to be cleaned up!" He said, folding his arms behind his head now.

    "Yes, with a damp paper towel, Ernie. Not a soak in dishwashing liquid and soap!"

    "It was really grimy you know, Bert. Oh well, Mrs. Vines will understand I hope."

    "Don't worry, she always understands." Bert said, smiling softly. He watched as Bernice hopped onto his knee, and cooed softly; looking up at him. "You're all done Bernice? Okay then.." He said as he put what was left of the birdseed back into the small box that he kept it in.

    "Who always understands?" A lone voice said, as they turned the corner. It was Sara, smiling softly at them both. "Ernie! Bert! It's been a long time hasn't it?"

    "Sara!!" Ernie said, jumping off of the steps onto the ground. "Wow, it's so neat that you're here! Do you wanna play?"

    "Sorry, Ernie. I just came by to say hi to you both." She said, sitting down beside Bert on the steps. She frowned softly, and Bert tapped her shoulder.

    "Would you happen to know why the bookmobile hasn't come by today?" He asked her. Sara froze for a moment, and sighed deeply.

    "My Mother's gone, Bert." She hated to have to say that, yet again. But apperently not everyone knew what had happened to her mother, it was like ripping off a scab and letting it bleed anew. She wished she could leave Sesame Street now...she knew what was going to happen.

    "Well, where did she go?" Ernie asked her then, as he sat down on her other side. He was smiling, looking up at her.

    "She won't be back, Ernie. She died a few hours ago at the hospital." She looked down for a moment. No tears came, she was all cried out by that time. All she could find the energy to do was sigh again, and she placed her arms around the two boys gently. "I'm sorry you haven't heard yet."

    Bert and Ernie looked down at the ground as well. Bert sniffled softly, and Ernie lifted his head a little bit. "So....the bookmobile's not coming today? Is...is it ever going to come back?"

    Sara looked at Ernie, and wondered why he had said that. She knew he never meant that as rude, but it was a little odd that that was the first thing out of his mouth after she told him that.

    "I'm not sure, Ernie. Someone else I guess will run the bookmobile for my Mother." She smiled softly. "You guys really like reading, huh?"

    "Yeah...it's really neat." Bert managed to say. He stood up, and tapped Sara's shoulder. "We've got something inside...it...it was for Mrs. Vines. She's so nice to us and everything, we got her a little gift, for her birthday and everything."

    "Oh...um...." Sara wasn't sure what to say, but Bert just shook his head, and walked inside the apartment and got the small gift. He brought it outside and handed it to her.

    "I know this was for your Mom, but you'd probably like it as well.."

    Sara opened the small box, and inside of it was a few paperclips, a Figgy Fizz bottle cap in a clear plastic box, and a small rubber ducky. She smiled, and looked at them both. Ernie patted her back gently, and pointed to the rubber ducky.

    "It's the first rubber ducky I got from my ol' buddy Bert here. She bought me a new one, so I figured she'd love to have this one. I've not used it much, but she always said she liked how he squeaked." Ernie said softly, patting the rubber ducky.

    "And, and this is one of two of my Figgy Fizz bottle caps, it could be really collectible one of these days you know. And that's some of my paperclip collection. Some of my favorites. We...we weren't sure what to get her, cause she has all the books she'd ever want at the library you know. So we put this together, and...." He stopped talking for a moment, and looked away, a slight frown coming across his features.

    "..and it was for her birthday this year." Ernie finished up what Bert was trying to say. "We mean...she taught us how to read, when we were little."

    Sara nodded, and then her attention turned from Ernie and Bert to a noise coming around the corner. It was soft panting, and the thuds of rubber-soled sneakers squeaking on the concrete. She saw an orange hand grab the side of the wall, and pause, she heard a slight gasping noise.

    "..Scooter?" She asked curiously. Sara thought he was still back in the theatre, in Hensonville. She stood up from the steps, and excused herself; walking down the small way to the corner of the building where the orange hand led too.

    Scooter was grasping the edge of the building, softly panting, his jacket tied around his waist. He wished whatever was happening to him would quit once and for all. It was like it was eariler that morning, the redness; shortness of breath. He felt like he was going to pass out again. He looked up, and saw Sara standing in front of him, her hand over her mouth in astonishment. He nodded softly, smiling.

    That was the last thing he saw, before his vision went black
  2. froggiegirl18

    froggiegirl18 New Member

    This story really fits in with the other one, that focuses on Uncle Deadly. Thanks for writing so quickly and so beautifully. This is such a cute story. I really like the scenes with Big Bird. So yeah keep up the awesome writing. I can't wait to see how this one will turn out.:)
  3. ReneeLouvier

    ReneeLouvier Active Member

    So quickly and so beautifully? Thank you! I'm just so fond of typing, that's all I really do actually for the most part. Glad you love it, Sandee. (I think that's your name.)
  4. ReneeLouvier

    ReneeLouvier Active Member

    Chapter Ten

    Sara was pacing nervously in the waiting room of the hospital, her eyes glued to the clock. She felt like she was going to run a rut in the floor, but she didn't care. Bob, Gordon, Susan, and the rest of her surviving family were seated along the walls, watching Sara pace like that.

    "Being this nervous isn't going to help, you know." Bob said softly, looking at her concernedly. "You should sit down, try to relax some..."

    "Relax?! My husband could be in real trouble, and I have no clue what's going on with him!!" She said forcefully, going towards Bob for a second, before she resumed her pacing in the middle of the hallway.

    "Husband? You guys arn't married yet are you?" Susan asked, a slight smile crossing her face.

    "Well...no...no he's not really my husband just yet. But we've known each other for a couple of years now, and....the only thing between him really being my husband and not really being my husband is a sheet of paper with our names on it, and a preacher. Other then that, we might as well be." Sara said a slight frown crossing her features. James walked over, and placed an arm around her shoulders and gently led her back to a seat beside him.

    "Come on now, lass. There's no need to run that rut the time we're here. He'll be fine, I know of it. He's a tough lad, he is." He gave her a kiss on her cheek, and she finally settled down somewhat.

    "Ms. Vines?" A muppet nurse asked, coming from the top of the waiting room, a small clipboard in her hands. "He's awake now."

    "Oh, thank you!" Sara said, happily, as she went into the room quickly.

    Scooter was sitting up on the bed, a small pulse meter on his finger, but otherwise he was unattached to anything else. Sara walked over and gave him a tight hug, glad that he was okay. He wrapped his arms around her neck, and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

    "You know sweetie....there are way better ways to get my attention then that." Sara said softly, while he gave her another kiss on her cheek. She giggled softly, then patted his arm, looking at his face. "You didn't have to go to all that trouble."

    "You know I just couldn't help swooning for you." He said, smirking. He coughed a bit, and sighed. "They just think I might have gotten overheated. They can't figure out what's going on with me."

    "Either way, I'm glad you're still around sweetheart. They're having the funeral today. Traditional Irish funeral, they don't let us rest at all, till she's in the ground." Sara chuckled lightly, and sat down gently on the bed beside him. "When do they let you out of the hoosgow?"

    "In a little while. They're doing a few more tests, then I'm free to go."

    "Glad to hear it, Scooter. I guess we'll take it easy, go to Mom's....funeral. Then we'll finally go back to Hensonville. I think Dad would find it best to move back there and live with my sisters." Sara said, smiling over at her father.

    "Ahh...no lass. You shan't be ringing me into this. I'll stay here at Sesame Street! The Count would miss me, I know it. And the others, they'll miss me too." He said, crossing his arms, a faint frown crossing his lips.

    "Dad....you've got no family here. Friends, yes. But no family. You won't be staying where you have no family." Kim said, smirking. She brushed her long wild red hair out of her face, and gave him a hug. "Plus...we're only an hours drive away from Sesame Street anyways. And you know it."

    Lisa said nothing, but gave her father a very tight hug. She looked up at him and gave him a very puppy dog eyed look. James looked down at her, and frowned.

    She looked back at him, her eyes widening a little bit.
    He frowned even more.
    She started to frown herself, and hugged him tighter.
    He gently pulled away from her grip, and sighed deeply, still frowning.
    Her lower lip trembled slightly, and she looked up again at his face with her sky blue eyes, and her flaxen blonde hair.

    "Awww....fine! Fine, ya little scheming brat!" James snarled, but not too meanly, as he gave Lisa a hug so tightly that she shook slightly. "I'll come and live with ya. Just don't think I'm going to get into that bookstore like your mother would. Got it?"

    "Certainly Dad. I would expect no less from a man of your stature." Kim said, smiling widely.

    "When's the funeral though?" Scooter piped up, asking anyone who knew.

    "It's at 4:30 boy. We'd best not be late to it." James said, as he settled down into a chair within the room. He ran a hand through his graying red shock of hair, and sighed. "I just hope it goes alright."

    "I'm sure it will, Dad. I'm really sure it will." Sara said, as she settled down beside Scooter, and they waited for 4pm to roll around. They would leave then to get to the funeral itself.

    ---------------------------------

    Kermit was so restless just then. He was glaring at Scooter's clipboard, wishing he could extract some information from it, but it was merely a cardboard and metal thing that held sheets of paper. It had no brain, and he felt like he was like it. Brainless. Dead from the neck up. Fozzie ran by, with his joke book in his hands; he stopped suddenly and looked at Kermit for a moment.

    "Is something wrong Kermit?" Fozzie finally asked.

    "I don't know Fozzie. I've got this....really terrible feeling." He said slowly, still looking over the clipboard's contents.

    "The show! It's about the show isn't it?" The loving bear said, slapping his paws together, while looking quite determined about something.

    "No...I don't think it's that." He frowned, and scrunched his face softly. He saw everyone doing their job, and for once, even without Scooter to help him, it was going relatively smooth.

    "Then what do you think it is, Kermit?" He asked quietly.

    "I...I guess we'll know when it happens." The head frog said quietly as well, as he turned back towards the stairs and started to take them slowly, heading towards Piggy's dressing room.
  5. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    There's some rully beautiful stuff here Sara. The scene with Bert and Ernie was great... Though when Bert's speaking at first, saying he doesn't know when Mrs. Vines will get to SS... Me thinks you meant "Ernie" when Bert was replying to the question posed by his friend, not Bert himself?

    And the scene in the hospital with Scooter and the Vines was well done... Just thinking of Lisa using the puppy dog eyes method... Hee.
    Hope everything's all right over at the theater though... Would hate for Kermit's fears to be confirmed.
  6. redBoobergurl

    redBoobergurl Well-Known Member

    Wow! I'm not able to be on my computer as much so I've missed all these updates! Great chapters! Really liked the stuff with Ernie and Bert, more about the history of the Hensonville residents, touching stuff with Sara's family while Scooter's in the hospital and now Kermit as this feeling and wow! I really, really like this one. I'm enjoying the tie-in to Sesame Street so much!
  7. Bill Bubble Guy

    Bill Bubble Guy Active Member

    This is going so well Sara. I agree with Beth. The tie-in with Sesame Street is wonderful. Gives significance to the small references to it in the final installment:cool:

    You're doing great Sara. Can't wait until the next chapters:excited:
  8. ReneeLouvier

    ReneeLouvier Active Member

    Chapter Eleven

    Solemn bagpipe music filled the air, it was lilting and flowing; like water through a river. It was haunting, and to some degree it was calming as well. No one wore black, but instead wore red, and blue, and all the other colors of the rainbow. Lisa was shaking softly, holding onto Kim by her arms. She was crying again. Sara was standing still as a stone, her hand clasped in Scooter's. Her face was expressionless, as she stared towards the gravestone.

    It was inscribed with an open book, with letters and numbers coming off of the pages. Underneath it read these words: "Loving Mother, Wife, and Teacher. She taught the world to read, and sing. R.I.P."

    Big Bird was shifting slightly, he was uncomfortable. He was always uncomfortable at funerals, and at weddings. He couldn't keep still. Ernie and Bert were quiet as well. The casket lay in it's straps, awaiting to be put beneath the ground. All of Sesame Street was around, mourning and honoring the woman who helped teach many of them to read. She was their libarian, the mobile-bookseller. The sweet part-time teacher at the elementary school.

    She was their friend.

    James stepped forwards, and looked down at the casket. It was a beautiful carved wooden casket, inlaid with some glass flowers on it's top. He kneeled down and placed both of his hands on the top of the casket, and laid his head down on it, staring at the wood.

    "...my dear rose.....Brenda....I'll miss you something terrible, I will, I will." He patted the casket, and sat back, as it was slowly lowered into the ground. He placed his forehead on the ground, weeping openly.

    Kim and Lisa walked closer to James and wrapped their arms around his shoulders. Sara came from behind him, and was joining them in this group hug. Scooter meandered over to them, and gently placed a hand on Jame's shoulder. He nodded softly, and looked out over the green fields of the cemetary, and sighed softly.

    "May you rest in peace, Mrs. Vines..." He said quite softly. The four of them nodded their heads, and stayed still for quite sometime.

    -------------------------

    "Oh, this will never work!" Kermit was starting to break down mentally, as he juggled with his many different tasks that evening. He wondered when Scooter was going to finally get back to the theatre. He threw the broken pencil he was working with across the room. It stuck into a huge block of foam that was against the wall. He heard a soft knocking, and looked towards the door. "I don't have time for this....come on inside!!" He yelled out.

    The door swung open, and five men were standing at the doorway. They walked inside and grabbed some seats and stools and one of them even sat on the floor. Smiling and laughing softly, they turned to Kermit for a second.

    "Okay, Kermit? Have you figured out exactly what you're going to do with the show this week?" A younger man asked, looking up at Kermit through his thick glasses.

    "No, Frank. I'm afraid I have no clue what we're going to do exactly..." He said, frowning softly. "Plus our gofer is out of town right now.."

    "Scooter's gone? Where did he go to?" The other young man inquired, running a hand through his slight tightcurled afro. "Why would he leave so close to the show's opening."

    "Something with family. His girlf---fiancee's mother died. And he accompanied her to the funeral. I think they're having it today, Richard." He said a little softer, while looking down at the phone still in his hands. He had a phone call to make, and they interrupted it.

    "We're still catering, right?" A tall, thin man said, his eyes sparkling. "At least the coffee and dessert part, of course."

    "Yes, you're still catering, Jim!" He was getting more cranky as the seconds rolled by. "And we're still doing the show! And I've no clue what we're going to do, but we're still having it!! I need somebody, other then that hack husband and wife team to do a duet of "It Had to Be You"!!! Now, I've got some stuff to do, so would you all PLEASE LEAVE MY OFFICE!!!!!!!!!" He was yelling at the top of his lungs, waving his arms, as he shooed the five men out of his office. He slammed the door on them, and slumped down onto the floor with a loud sigh.

    -------------------

    "Goodness. You'd think he'd never had pressure before..." One of the other men, with a scruffy beard and thin glasses remarked; after being shoved out of Kermit's office.

    "Yeah, Dave. I mean....that was a bit rude almost." The last man remarked, as they walked down the stairs.

    Richard shrugged his shoulders a little bit. "He's just worried. The poor frog always is. I mean...really Jerry. If you had to deal with pigs, bears, chickens, and whatevers day in and day out, you'd probably go nuts too!"

    The men agreed, and they finally headed out the front door, to help Jim with planning the partial catering he was to do.

    --------------------

    Kermit sat down on the floor, phone in hand. He frowned softly, and dialed a familiar number. He waited and waited for it to ring. He smiled when it was picked up.

    "Hello there?" A soft voice asked, as it picked up the phone.

    "Hi ho there, Nanny..."
  9. Bill Bubble Guy

    Bill Bubble Guy Active Member

    AH-HA! So Nanny Nancy is coming into this installment via a phone call with Kermit. We just don't know who or what to expect.:D

    And the use of Jim and company while Kermit was on the phone is very well done. Richard's response to Scooter running off before the show was in character. Though of course technically we're not supposed to know yet that he is Scooter's Dad. But it will compliment the revelation in the stories we've already read beautifully.:cool:

    Keep it up Sara
  10. ReneeLouvier

    ReneeLouvier Active Member

    I changed it BACK. I'm doing this as if it's the printed version. :concern: *Sarscastic* God save me, I might end up with an anryusm when this is over with.

    I offically HATE prequels. But, I will not stop writing this story, trust me.
  11. Muppet Newsgirl

    Muppet Newsgirl Active Member

    You hate prequels, do you? For some, strange, peculiar and perverted reason, George Lucas seems to love them.
  12. ReneeLouvier

    ReneeLouvier Active Member

    Chapter Twelve

    "Well, hello there Kermit." Nanny said softly, smiling. She sat in her chair at her house, as she sat her magazine to the side so she could focus on the converstation.

    Kermit fiddled with his collar a little bit. He felt weird calling his Nanny, when he was a fullgrown frog and all. "I'm really worried."

    "About what? Is it the show?"

    "It is. We're trying to put on this Winter Splendor show, Nancy...and we haven't gotten the lighting right, or the scripts completed. Scooter and Sara bolted out from town, I mean, for good reason of course, but now we might very well not have anyone to do a duet with!"

    "Kermit you need to calm down a bit. Jane was right when she had told me your a worrywart." She laughed softly. "It can't be that bad you know. Look at the positive things. You're not needing actors, right?"

    "No, we've got enough people to do it. Missing the duet...but that might not be a problem if they get back within the next couple of days though."

    "Okay then. The sets are done?"

    "Yes, they are."

    "Alright. Then, everyone is in good health, the theatre is clean, and you've got the music, sheet and otherwise?"

    "That's all fine Nanny! I...I'm just so worried....that it'll be a flop. We're already somewhat in debt now, and J.P. is breathing down our necks with every passing day. He's keeps on threatening us to pay him. He wants that theatre to be paid off as soon as possible. Scooter's told me that his uncle's told him that he's done business with some odd man, who really wants that place paid off, and quickly."

    "I see. Just don't you worry about that theatre, Kermit. I'm sure you and it will be perfectly fine!"

    "Thanks Nancy...tomorrow I guess?"

    "Tomorrow, Kermit. I'll talk to you again then. Bye sweetheart."

    "Bye, Nanny." Kermit shut the phone off, after a few seconds of silence on the other end. He stayed seated on the floor, and he curled up a little bit, frowning. Nanny was his rock, so he thought. Everyone wondered, who did he go to, when he worried? Although he never said it, it was her. Standing up, he set the phone back on it's cradle, and opened the door, a slight smile playing across his face.

    It will work, and he knew it.

    --------------------------

    They were walking down the street, slowly; taking their time. Each of them had a suitcase in their hands, and a reluctancy in their hearts.

    "I canna believe I'm leaving Sesame Street, girls." James said, as he took one last look down the main street. He still had to move his possessions, but his daughters were going to do that. They knew if he came back too soon, he would stay behind. Sesame Street wasn't a bad place at all...but they really wanted their father to stay with them.

    "It's no different then when you left Ireland, Daddy." Lisa piped up, looking up at her gruff father.

    "I guess you're right, Lisa. It was much harder to leave Eire behind. But I did it for your Mum. She missed Sesame Street, and Hensonville....so we moved here. She almost felt like...like moving back one day, but....I convinced her to stay here. Too much moving with you little'uns would have messed you up right. So we stayed." James said, looking towards the highway with a soft wistful expression.

    "Oh...man." Scooter stated as he picked up his cell phone from the Jeeps' glove compartment. It had 55 new messages on it. "....wow. I think they missed me."

    "You think they missed you?" Sara asked with an incredolous smile on her face. "They must've thought you were dead or something!"

    Scooter laughed softly, then just slipped the phone into his pocket. Then the other four of them got into his jeep, and then they split later on into Kim and Jame's car to go back to Hensonville. All packed and ready to go, the five made their way home, finally.
  13. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Huh? You hate prequels Sara? For some reason or other... I'm rully liking this one. And with such a wealth of range... From the lovely yet touching scene at the funeral... To the Muppeteers at Kermit's office at the theater... To Kermit breaking down and calling Nancy at the end... And was that a reference to Wayne and Wanda there?
    So much goodness in this story... You sure we can't convince you to post some more?
  14. Bill Bubble Guy

    Bill Bubble Guy Active Member

    I'm really on the edge of my seat Sara. I hope the rest of it is finished as soon as possible.
  15. ReneeLouvier

    ReneeLouvier Active Member

    Oh, I'm not stopping my posts, Ed. I'm just getting frustrated because it's hard for me to keep up with ALL these DIFFERENT points and sub-layers of plots. It also dosn't help that I have severe ADHD. This really is testing just how well can one concentrate on something, you know?

    Just a mini-rant, because I was worrying over that I put Richard in there, when in the last story he's supposed to be dead, and he died before the twins were born, and he's their father. So, why is he at the theatre? (close promixity to Scooter) and why is he alive? (he's supposed to be DEAD!) You know?
  16. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    And here you went and posted some more before I even got to read it...

    *Offers Sara fresh apple-cinnamuffins.

    The conversation with Nancy and Kermit was the best part. She was his rock... Everybody wondered who he turned to when he worried... It was her, though he never told anybody.
    Some of the most beautiful stuff... And now the Vines are headed back...

    Rully looking forward to how you continue this one... To manage to tie it to Remembering the Good Times.
  17. Bill Bubble Guy

    Bill Bubble Guy Active Member

    Yeah and how you presumably end up being sent to prison on trumped up charges until A grand adventure in life.

    Going offline now. Check up on this later
  18. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Well... You can fudge with that bit of continuity a little... I mean, is he rully supposed to be dead before the twins are born? Then he wouldn't be their father would he? Actually, I think it's OK to have Richard there with the other Muppeteers, it connects sorta fine with the flow of time and events in your other stories... So Richard's just alive for a bit longer... So's Jim in case you didn't notice.
    Don't worry, it's coming along wonderful so far... Besides, you can add a chapter later tieing those loose threads of when Jim and Richard died, as we learn in Grand Adventure In Life.
    Hope this helps... And here are some chocolate sprinkles, if you like that for your muffins.
  19. ReneeLouvier

    ReneeLouvier Active Member

    Thank you, yes. This is somewhat going to tie into Grand Adventure. But I'm also going to stretch it out a little bit. Perhaps....ooh. I know....perfect, perfect....

    more soon.
  20. ReneeLouvier

    ReneeLouvier Active Member

    Chapter Thirteen

    The jeep, and the two other cars came pulling into the theatre, after an hour of driving. They were all so tired, and they just left their suitcases in the vehicles.

    "I'm glad to be back....that....wow." Scooter managed to say as they were nearing the doors. Scooter was in front of everyone else, with Sara right behind him. He reached forward to open the door, looking back at Sara. "I just hope Kermit can for---"

    The door slammed into Scooter's face, and he fell backwards suddenly. A curly haired man stuck his head out from it, and his eyes went wide.

    "Oh...no...I...I'm really sorry!!" Richard said quickly, reaching down to help Scooter up. "Are you okay, Scooter??"

    "Oow...y-yeah...I'm fine." He stood up with Richard's help, and he looked closely at the man for a moment. "How do you know my name?"

    "We're good friends of Kermit's. And we're always at the shows too." Dave interjected, quickly getting outside, and also helping Scooter a bit.

    "Oh...okay...t-that's fine. I'm not hurt, but thanks for helping me." He said, a soft smile crossing his face.

    "Sure. I mean, I smacked you with the door anyways, I had to help ya!" Richard said with a smile, as the him and the rest of the muppeters made their way to their car. Scooter, and the rest of the Vines family made their way into the theatre quickly.

    "I can't believe you, Richard." Frank said, looking over his glasses at Richard as they sat down in their van. Richard frowned, and looked out the window then. It was an odd thing, to see Richard quiet.

    "Well?" Dave asked Richard as well. "Why didn't you say anything? It was the perfect time!"

    "I....I just couldn't." Richard said softly, looking down at his hands for a moment.

    Jim got into the driver's seat, and started it up. He turned back to his friends and smiled brightly. "Come on now. Let's not badger him anymore then he's been, okay? He'll tell him when he's ready."

    The rest of them agreed slowly, and the drive back to the studio was a somewhat quiet one. Jerry, who hadn't said a word was thinking.

    'Why didn't he say anything? It was perfect...but...then maybe he's waiting for them..'

    -------------------------

    "Scooter!" Gonzo yelled, and ran up to him, giving him a tight hug. "Where were you!?" He was one of the few who hadn't heard. He had just come into the theatre an hour ago, and no one would say a word about where the gofer was.

    "I was at her mother's funeral, Gonzo." Scooter said, frowning slightly.

    "Oh...wow....how did it go?" He asked, looking back at the sisters and James.

    "It was good, I guess." Kim said, a soft smile playing across her face. "They played her favorite song, 'Danny Boy' on the bagpipes.

    "That's really sweet..." Gonzo mused, then there was a huge blast coming from the basement. "Uh oh...I think the mad scientists are at it again. I'll see if I can't help them."

    "You mean see if you can't get blown up?" Scooter remarked, a sly smile on his face.

    "Got that right!" Gonzo said, as he leapt down the stairs in one leap. "BANZAI!!"

    "....he's a glutton for pain, isn't he?" Lisa said, staring after Gonzo.

    Sara nodded, smiling. Kim just laughed.

    "I see you've come back again." Uncle Deadly intoned, as he stood in the hallway, looking at them. "I heard about the funeral, so...sorry to hear of such a thing."

    "Thank you, Uncle Deadly." Sara said, smiling once more. "Did you miss us?"

    "Frightfully so." He said with a slight sneer. His voice was dripping with sarcasm. "I really missed all that smooching, and kissing you were making. It was so dreadfully quiet around here, I thought I might actually have to scare the pants off of someone just to get some action in this old place."

    "That seems a little hard, Uncle Deadly." Scooter remarked, looking at him deadpan.

    "What?" He asked, narrowing his eyes slightly. He felt like he was being set up for some stupid joke.

    "I mean, not many of us muppets even wear pants!" He responded laughing. Deadly just stared at him, and then turned to go across the stage.

    "Did that bear write that? It sounds so horrible." He said as he left them.

    "Ol' Sourpuss is certainly around. Why do you guys put up with him?" Kim asked, as she sat down on a stool in front of Kermit's desk.

    "We can't get rid of the old spook, that's why. He's trapped in this theatre." The young gofer said, as he found his clipboard and looked over it. Kermit had scrawled down stuff hurriedly, trying to keep up with everyone. He saw a small note at the bottom.

    'Scooter, when you finally get back and look at this, I REALLY need to have a little talk with you!! -- Kermit the Frog'

    Scooter gulped, and turned to Sara giving her a quick smooch on the lips. "I've gotta go deal with the Chief, Sara. Why don't you go and help your sisters and your Dad with the bags. I'll be over later, okay?"

    "Okay, hun. You're eating supper with us, like you promised. Do not forget, okay?" She said, with a note of finality that Scooter clearly noticed.

    "I promise I will not forget. Now...to go and deal with a very angry amphiban." He said, as he hurried up the stairs quickly.

    The Vines family made their way back out of the theatre, and they headed to the Bookstore, to unload and get James settled in.

    ------------------

    "What has gotten into that frog lately?" Frank said, as they sat in a circle, speaking.

    Jim frowned, and repositioned the Kermit puppet on his arm softly. "I'm not sure. He was really high strung about their winter show. Maybe we could help him some."

    "Yeah...like that frog will take help from us!" Richard said, as he picked up his Scooter puppet from it's box. "It's still kinda weird though."

    "What's weird, Richard?" Dave countered, as he sat back in his chair, smirking.

    Richard held up the puppet on his arm, and moved it's mouth lightly. "It's this." He pointed with his free hand to the puppet. "I don't see why we're doing this...why don't they just do public performances themselves?"

    "Kermit thought of this plan, because for one, they can't be everywhere at once, plus when they first tryed to do a public performance, the people didn't really....they thought they were fake for some reason. So he contacted me, and I figured I'd help him by doing this. It's just something for fun you know?" Jim explained, as he practiced Kermit for a second. "I mean, it's hard for us to do all this all at once, guys." He responded in a really good imitation of Kermit's voice.

    "It's a little raspy Jim. Try it again." Jerry stated, leaning forward slightly. Jim tried it again, and Jerry smiled. "I think you've got it just right, with that one."

    "Good, we've got an apperance at some bookstore or something in a week. Plus, Kermit liked having duplicates, it was a lot easier on them. The people think they are fake, well, all except Hensonville and Sesame Street...and we get a nice modest paycheck, and it's just plain fun too."

    Frank agreed, and gently lifted Piggy onto his arm, and made a weird face. "Wow...she needs to loose some weight or something. Any heavier and she'll break my arm."

    "She'll break your arm if she hears you calling her fat, Frank." Richard said with a gleam in his eyes.

    "You tell Miss Piggy that, and I will hurt you Richard. I've already gotten enough flak from her, cause she overheard me saying she needed to change her costume on the puppet to something less heavy! I do not want to have to go back to the doctor with more broken ribs!"

    "Fine, fine Frank! I wasn't going to say anything anyways. I mean...she'd probably hit me too!" Richard was grinning from ear to ear while he said that.

    "Lunch is ready guys!" Some stagehand yelled from the door to the room.

    "Awesome! Lunch!" Dave shouted, as he, Richard, and Jerry got into a running contest to the lunch room.

    They got their lunches, and they sat down, talking amongst themselves; when one of the caterers came over to them, and sat down eating his lunch as well.

    "...I do not want to do that skit live, Jim. My neck is killing me, and that monitor isn't helping either." Richard complained, as he ate his lunch.

    "I'll see what we can do, Richard. Maybe you should go see a massage therapist or something." Jim stated, as he drank another glup of water.

    "...Um...I...I think I could probably help." The meek looking caterer said, looking over at them. He had black hair, and pale baby blue eyes. He was wearing a clean pressed black buttonup shirt, with ironed black chef's pants. He wasn't looking directly at them, and he adjusted his glasses a few times, awaiting an answer.

    "Really?" Jim asked. "What do you know about massage?"

    "My sister, she used to do it sometimes. I learned from her. I could give you guys neck massages if you'd like."

    "Sure! That'd be great!" Richard said, as he craned his neck slightly. "It's so stiff lately."

    The meek black haired man stood up, and went over to Richard, and started to massage his neck gently, and dug his thumbs in carefully, rotating and massaging nicely.

    "There may be a few...prickling senstations...that's just the muscles relaxing." He said quietly, as he flicked both of his wrists quickly, before digging in once more into Richard's neck.

    "Ooh! What was that?" Richard asked, turning his head softly to look at the man.

    "Oh, nothing. Just the muscles, like I said." The man said, as he shoved his hands in his pockets quickly, before moving onto Jim. He did the same motion, and then as suddenly as he was there, he was gone.


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