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Half of the Stairs are Missing

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Fan Art' started by TogetherAgain, May 23, 2009.

  1. TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    What a brave soul you are. I was just trying to predict what sort of reactions the next few chapters will get. Ah, the tortured screams...

    Me needs must get some food in me, and then just maybe I'll postpone the hard-core job searching a LITTLE bit longer for the sake of your misery--I mean, entertainment... Those are the same thing, right?
    redBoobergurl likes this.
  2. newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    -----------------------------------
    Nice to see you posting again.

    I do like the idea of Gonzo having a checklist of insanely dangerous acts labeled "requiring a helicopter"....

    --------------------------------------
  3. Katzi428 Well-Known Member

    :cry::cry:coming back from previous page with a tissue I've been away for a few days so I wasn't able to read this story. But all I can say is poor Robin!!!
    Toga...I beg of you PLEASE let Robin come out of it alive!!
  4. The Count Moderator

    It's been a week... So where's the update? Post now! :grr:

    Sorry for this post sounding more cantankerously than naggish, I'm going through a bit of a rough time.
    Please Lisa... :halo: Post more? Thanks. :sigh:
  5. TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Is coming, is coming! Got two hands only!

    Really, the last scene of the chapter is almost done. I'm hoping to post later today. <Hugs for the Ed and the rough time!>

    And Kathy... Keep in mind that Robin is my absolute, hands-down FAVORITE Muppet. There is a reason he is my avatar. And he's the only Palisades figure I own. Heck, I even have a picture of him hanging up in my room. And as much as I want to say more than that, I really can't, because it would give too much away.

    Anyway, I love this next chapter. Why? Well, because when I sat down to write it, I thought, "Aw, this chapter's pretty much just going to be filler..." And it ended up being anything but. So I like it. It's a good chapter. So I will get back to working on it.

    Yay! I am nagged, and can answer the nagging! YAY! Ah, that's a good feeling. It's been too long.
    Fragglemuppet likes this.
  6. The Count Moderator

    Do you have the Frog Scout Robin (S7) or the static-posed Robin that came with Rainbow Connection Kermit ("S10")?

    Thanks Lisa, it does help and we await the update eagerly.

    *Writes: Dear bears and chickens and whatevers... Is story! Is frog! Is big time!
  7. TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Chapter Eighteen

    It started with whispers.

    The Muppets couldn’t admit, to themselves or to anyone else, that there was nothing they could do to help Robin. What they could do was turn their attention to a frog that they possibly could do something for.

    So their reaction to the shocking deadline Robin faced was to whisper about Kermit—how awful he looked, and had he left the room at all since … this started? Had he eaten enough? It wasn’t like him to completely forget about the show. And he always spent at least an hour outside every day, no matter what the weather, but when was the last time he had even looked out the window?

    Time crept by. Every hour felt like an entire year. When Fozzie left the hospital and returned with Kermit’s banjo, which he brought into Robin’s hospital room and set beside the crayon-upholstered chair without comment, it felt like decades had passed since that awful ultimatum had been announced. It had only been a day.

    Room 396 slowly filled with get well cards, balloons, and bouquets. They did not pass the development of the one week decision on to the press.

    They tried to rehearse for the show. No one quite had the energy, the enthusiasm, the spirit. The drive. No one said so, but if they hadn’t arranged to perform for other patients in the hospital, they wouldn’t have bothered to put a show on at all. As it was, they settled for half an hour of singing. If the energy of the room demanded it on show night, they would dance, but nothing was choreographed.

    And, in a desperate attempt to save the only frog they could save, they constantly consulted Kermit. Which songs should they include, and who should sing which lines, and exactly how should they harmonize at bar twelve, and how should they arrange themselves in the given performance space? If they asked him enough, maybe he would come and look. Maybe he would acknowledge the world beyond the awful hospital room and his tiny nephew’s enormous bed.

    Somehow, Kermit always had an answer, but he seemed only half-aware of the conversation. He would usually manage to eat some of the food that they brought him, but never quite all of it.

    Not once did he touch the banjo that Fozzie had brought him.

    While Jimmy paced and Leaper fretfully rocked back and forth in the waiting room, the Muppets took turns rehearsing, checking in with the swamp, and trying to coax Kermit into checking in on rehearsals or stepping outside for a moment.

    And all of them worried.

    An hour felt like a year. Days felt like decades. The first of the balloons drooped and the earliest bouquets wilted, only to be replaced with newer arrivals. Eventually, reluctantly, Friday arrived.

    Five days since the accident. One day until the show. Four days until it was too late.

    Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

    As far as anyone could tell, Kermit was oblivious to the passage of time. He seemed only vaguely aware of their visits. But he was perhaps more observant than they had thought. The Muppets were the ones who didn’t notice when he started to send them home when visiting hours were over, insisting that they try to get a decent night’s sleep in their own beds. Sweetums stayed anyway, and Jimmy continued to sleep in the waiting room, but the rest of the Muppets reluctantly allowed themselves to be herded out of the hospital, simply because it was what Kermit wanted. They didn’t notice that it was just part of his instinct to take care of them.

    Fozzie spent almost all of Friday by his best friend’s side. When visiting hours were over, as always, the bear and several others lingered.

    “I’ll be fine. Really,” Kermit said quietly, persuading them as he had to every night. “I’ll call if anything happens. Go home and get some sleep. You’ll need your rest.”

    “Kermit, what about you?” Fozzie pleaded, twisting his hat—or what had once been his hat—in his hands. “You need your rest, too.”

    Kermit put a hand on his friend’s shoulder and, with his other hand, patted the foot of the hospital bed. “There’s plenty of room for me here,” he said.

    None of the Muppets could argue with that. Kermit looked like he needed a hospital bed just as much as Robin did.

    But Fozzie was still reluctant. “If you’re sure…”

    “I’m sure.”

    With one more round of hugs, the Muppets reluctantly shuffled out the door. Fozzie was last, stubbornly wearing a brown rag on his head. The rag was no longer even remotely recognizable as a hat, but either the bear hadn’t noticed that or he didn’t care. He continued to wear it and to nervously twist it in his hands.

    “Scooter?” Kermit quietly called.

    The go-fer immediately scurried back into the room. “Yeah Chief?”

    “Could you do me a favor?”

    Scooter nodded fervently. “Sure, Chief. Anything. What is it?”

    Kermit put one weary hand on the go-fer’s shoulder. “Order a new hat for Fozzie,” he said softly. “Use my credit card. Make sure it looks like his old one. Okay?”

    Somehow, it made Scooter smile for just half a second. “I’ll get right on it,” he promised.

    “Thanks,” Kermit said. “See you tomorrow.”

    “Sure thing.”

    And with that, Kermit settled himself on his nephew’s hospital bed. “You want a lullaby, Robin?” he whispered, touching the tiny hand that still lightly held the ball.

    Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

    The heart monitor provided a steady metronome as Kermit quietly sang. “Halfway down the stairs is a stair where I sit…”

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Rowlf, Fozzie, Gonzo, and Miss Piggy were the first to return to the hospital the next morning.

    “I hope that waiting room is big enough for everyone who wants to see your show later,” a nurse near the front desk said when she saw them. “They’re buzzing about it in every wing. Even some of the doctors and nurses are going to try to catch at least some of it. A lot of our long-term patients are especially excited for it.”

    The Muppets stopped short and glanced at each other. Gonzo cleared his throat, knowing that the performance they had planned was fairly lack-luster. Fozzie wrung his rag of a hat in his hands. “I … I hope we don’t disappoint anybody,” he said.

    “I’m sure you won’t,” the nurse said. “We don’t have many performances here. In the pediatric wing, sometimes, but not for the older patients. Thank you so much.” She put a hand on Fozzie’s shoulder. “I don’t think you could know how much it means to us.”

    Fozzie looked down. How could he, or any of the Muppets, accept such gratitude? They had hardly cared about the show this week. It was going to be embarrassingly sub-par, even for them.

    “We’re entertainers, dear,” Miss Piggy said smoothly as she stepped forward. “It’s what we do.” She touched the nurse’s arm. “Will you be there tonight, too?”

    “I hope so. It depends how much sleep I get,” the nurse said. “I’d have to come in an hour before my shift starts…” She glanced at her wristwatch and winced. “And I was supposed to get off at four. I have to get going. I’m sorry for talking so long, but—I just wanted to thank you.”

    They said their goodbyes and watched as the nurse exited the building. “She stayed three hours past her shift,” Rowlf said softly.

    Fozzie was still wringing his raggedy hat in his hands when he finally looked up. “We have to make the show better,” he said.

    All of them nodded their agreement. Miss Piggy pulled herself up straight. “Well then,” she said, “Let’s go see Kermie.”

    But when they reached the pediatric wing and approached Robin’s room, Jimmy was just stepping out of the door. He saw them, shook his head, and gestured them toward the waiting room. “Kermit’s sleeping,” he explained as he walked with them. “He’s hardly slept at all since … any of this. I don’t want to disturb him.”

    “I’ll be quiet,” Fozzie said, and he went into the room anyway. The rest of the Muppets followed Jimmy to the waiting room.

    “Leaper’s coming later?” Jimmy asked as they situated themselves near a window.

    Everyone’s coming later,” Gonzo said.

    Jimmy nodded vaguely.

    “You holding up alright?” Rowlf asked.

    Jimmy scoffed and shook his head. “Three days,” he whispered. “Three more days of watching my son. Hoping he makes it. And if he doesn’t, I watch my son die.” He leaned against the window, staring out the glass without seeing anything beyond it.

    “Would you really do it?” Miss Piggy whispered. “Would you really pull the plug on him?”

    Jimmy continued to stare at the glass. “I don’t know,” he whispered. “I don’t know if I can.” He lifted his head and looked at the three of them. “I think … I worry … Kermit,” he managed to choke out. “You’ve seen it, haven’t you? You can tell. If … if Robin … goes … then at least—at least to some degree—” He looked out the window again. “Kermit will go with him.”

    Miss Piggy shivered. Rowlf nodded. Gonzo stared at Jimmy and said, “Wouldn’t you?”

    Jimmy didn’t answer.

    The tension slowly grew around them until Miss Piggy turned and walked away, determined to go into Robin’s room regardless of who was sleeping.

    Kermit was just waking up, rubbing his face. He had slept on the foot of Robin’s bed, where Fozzie now sat beside him. Sweetums was sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall. His eyes were closed, but since he wasn’t snoring—and everyone in the Muppet Boarding House knew that Sweetums snored—Miss Piggy presumed he was awake.

    “We need to change the show—make it better,” Fozzie was saying, twisting his dilapidated hat in his hands. “We talked to a nurse, on our way in, and—they’re really counting on us.”

    Kermit nodded vaguely. “I’m sure it’ll be great. Whatever you guys have planned.” He slid off of the bed and turned around to face his nephew.

    Fozzie looked at Miss Piggy, his eyes pleading. She understood. The show they had planned wasn’t great, and it needed some drastic improvements if they didn’t want to let Kermit down along with the rest of the hospital. The frog had just provided an opening, and it was her turn to try to shift his attention enough to take care of him. As things stood, Jimmy was painfully right—if Robin went, Kermit would go with him.

    “We would feel much better with your input, Kermie,” she said as she approached the bed. “We have a little something planned, but it really isn’t very good. We need your touch.”

    Fozzie nodded fervently, but Kermit slowly shook his head, his eyes never leaving his nephew. “You’ll do fine,” he said softly.

    Fozzie sighed and shook his head. “Kermit, is there anything in particular you want for breakfast?”

    “Not really.”

    Not surprising. “I’ll get you something,” Fozzie said, and he gave Miss Piggy another pleading look before he left the room. Sweetums stood and lumbered out after the bear with his head hanging low, dutifully getting his own breakfast. Miss Piggy was on her own.

    She stepped closer to Kermit, carefully averting her eyes from Robin. She knew too well that one glance at the six-ounce frog on a respirator would cost her entire will power and ability to lure Kermit out of this room. “Kermie?”

    “Mm-hm?”

    She took a deep breath. “We really need your help downstairs,” she began. “We have some numbers planned, but—they’re not even choreographed.”

    “You’ll come up with something,” he said.

    She wished he would look at her. His eyes never wavered from his nephew, perhaps for the same reason that Miss Piggy would not allow herself to look there. “Kermie … We appreciate your confidence in us, but—”

    “It’s not just confidence,” he mused. “It’s trust.” He stepped closer to the bed and touched his nephew’s hand. “It’ll be great, Piggy. Knowing us, if you improvise something, it’ll turn out better than if you’d rehearsed it. We’re all entertainers.” He nodded. “It’ll be great.”

    He’d unknowingly used the very words she had told the nurse. His almost blind trust in them somehow made her hurt even more. “You’re an entertainer, too, Kermie. You’re the entertainer.” She looked at her gloves, well aware that her voice would tremble with her next words. “More than any of us, Kermie, more than even me—moi. You’re the entertainer.”

    She knew that he heard her only from the way he gently rubbed his nephew’s hand. He was quiet for so long that she could feel herself breaking. “I’m an entertainer,” he finally whispered. “But so are all of you. You’ll do fine.”

    Getting desperate, she reached her hand across to his shoulder, fully intending to turn him towards her. To her surprise, his own hand intercepted hers.

    “Piggy,” he said sullenly, still not looking at her, “I know what you're trying to do…”

    Her other hand was on his back. “Kermie, please—”

    “Piggy,” he interrupted. He turned his head towards her, but refused to look to her face. “I do appreciate it,” he whispered. “But … I have … different priorities now…” His eyes drifted back to his nephew's face.

    She couldn't help following his gaze. It took a deep breath to steel her nerves for the sight. It hurt so much to see Robin like this…

    He finally looked at her face and was surprised to see the pain there. Pain, not for him, but for Robin. He couldn't see why it surprised him, and on second thought, couldn't find any reason that it should have surprised him. So he forced his dropped jaw shut and lightly squeezed her hand.

    She wrapped her arms firmly around him and tucked her head behind his, giving him very little choice but to lean against her.

    It seemed like the only support he would accept.

    “Keep the dream alive, Piggy,” he whispered. “I need to be here.”
  8. The Count Moderator

    Thank you so much. You don't know what getting this story in particular updated means to me given what my family's going through at the moment. You manage to capture a parent's deep anxiety over their child who's been strapped in for an indeterminate duration of hospitalization—of course, now we know it's until the end of the weeklong deadline Leaper imposed upon the rest of her family, if it can be called that.

    Among the lines that hit me most would have to be:
    "He finally looked at her face and was surprised to see the pain there. Pain, not for him, but for Robin. He couldn't see why it surprised him, and on second thought, couldn't find any reason that it should have surprised him. So he forced his dropped jaw shut and lightly squeezed her hand. She wrapped her arms firmly around him and tucked her head behind his, giving him very little choice but to lean against her. It seemed like the only support he would accept. “Keep the dream alive, Piggy,” he whispered. “I need to be here.”"

    Fanfic like this is, as always, very much appreciated. *Leaves cinnamon pecan muffin, like I said, I bought a case of them at the Muff YN Fluff Bakery in town the other day.
  9. redBoobergurl Well-Known Member

    It might be filler but it was GOOD filler. They all just want to help Kermit soooo badly. I adore the part about Kermit asking Scooter to buy Fozzie a new hat. Just the whole thing was great and the line "Keep the dream alive, Piggy" is perfect.

    Oh and muffining here, but Ed, hugs to you and your family in whatever you are going through right now.
  10. Muppetfan44 Active Member

    Aww so very sweet!! Not filler at all, wonderful contribution to the storyline. So sweet!- really touching moment when Piggy asked Jimmy wouldn't he lose a bit of himself like Kermit would if Robin was gone. The saddest thing about that is that a part inside all of us knows that he probably wouldn't, not like Kermit would anyway...

    Great job as always...patiently awaiting an update to Heart of Gold as always!!!
  11. Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Jimmy has so many walls built up around himself, that although he WOULD lose part of himself -- he wouldn't show it. Kermit has no walls.

    Also, as harsh as it is to say, Jimmy has lots of other kids to think about too, whereas for Kermit there is only Robin.
  12. newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    -------------------------------
    Very nicely done. A softer touch is always the right one in that sort of situation...

    -----------------------------
  13. theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    ...Darn it. Why do you have to be SO GOOD, Lisa? That's a dumb question, ain't it? Ugh. Sheesh. I love it. So much. TOO much. You're work with Piggy is so inspired, inspiring, and in...ovative? Sure. That. Gah. I love Scooter buying Fozzie a new a hat because Kermit asked... I love all of them doing things instinctively even without Kermit asking... I love it, I love it, I love it. Filler? My butt this was filler! I don't think I've ever felt that you had such a firm grasp on exactly who these characters are more than I have now. Brilliant, brilliant job, Half. You win.
  14. Katzi428 Well-Known Member

    ^ What the Prawn said about this being just filler. That was beautiful, Lisa!! I got tears in my eyes when Kermit played "Halfway Down The Stairs" on the banjo for Robin.
    It's so touching that everyone loves Robin so much & they want to help Kermit out.
  15. RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    *pant pant pant*
    Okay, I caught up. Haven't had much inspiration for my own fic, so it's good to see you're still doing awesome. Piggy's scene nearly made me cry. *huggles*
  16. Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Psssst, Toga love, get thee out of HoG and get thee to a HotSaM (*snort!* Hog and HotSam! What a fantastic anagrams your fics always have...)

    Bea:zany:{*is something of a HotSam myself*}regard
  17. The Count Moderator

    *Snorts at Bo's tag as he hasn't updated anything of his own Hot Sam and Janice fic since forever. *Pokes Toga with nagging staff. Poke poke poke poke poke. Hmm, guess Toga's asleep. On the other hand... Now she might be awake. If so, then post more story please!
  18. newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    --------------------
    OK, this has been bugging me for days...

    Um...WHY is Jimmy or the doctor or Kermit not bringing in legal counsel at this point? There is simply NO WAY Leaper has ANY right to simply shut off the machines in a week! None! I'm sure you have a happy ending planned (and not a Terri Schiavo, dragging-out-for-months-or-years legal battle)...but...hasn't anyone done an EKG or an MRI to prove Robin's still in there? Please, let Kermit or Jimmy frog-up here and tell the distraught mother she's being not only rash but irrational! Grief makes a poor judge of situations every time, and someone needs to tell Leaper that, and take a stand for poor Robin...

    Anyway. I do like the family drama and all, but...why does the mama frog even think she CAN make a decision like that on her own?

    Please keep writing!
    -------------------------------
    Katzi428 likes this.
  19. Katzi428 Well-Known Member

    Newsie has a point! I didn't think of that! Can't they run some kind of EEG or MRI to show that Robin is still in there? I KNOW you're busy but PLEASE keep posting this story!!!
  20. TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Oh, don't worry. I'm working on it. (Actually, maybe you SHOULD worry... I mean, knowing my stories, and how I delight in torturing my beloved readers...)

    If you re-read, you'll see that the tests taken shortly after the accident did show some brain activity. I only mention it because I don't expect anyone to remember the details from chapters posted over two years ago. And yeah, they could do another test, and in real life, they probably would before any decisions were made.

    But... this isn't real life. This is a Lisa story. So sit back, relax, and grab some teddy bears. We are nowhere near the end of this roller coaster. And in the next chapter, the Muppets put on a show! YAAAAAY!

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