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Kermie's Girl (ushy-gushy fanfic)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Ruahnna, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Because of the embedding of the URL to Restoration in this post in KG, I got redirected to that other story. And why did I not notice a new Ru-story before now? *Goes over to happily read what our dear authoress hath posted in the PIG13 Rating.

    Hee, ziffled by WMG. :)
  2. Muppetfan44

    Muppetfan44 Active Member

    Wow! Ru that was wonderful! I always appreciate a quality one-shot full of frog-pig snuggling and whew....it's certainly warmer over there in that thread!!! Great job depeicting romance in a classy way as always and I can't wait to read more of KG!!!
  3. miss kermie

    miss kermie Well-Known Member


    Hey Ru, what was that word there?
  4. floyd<3janice

    floyd<3janice Well-Known Member

    More more moooooooorrrrrrreeeeeee soon please love this storrrrrryyyyyy <3
  5. muppetfan24/7

    muppetfan24/7 Well-Known Member

    Oh pleaseeeeee moreeee storyyy plesaseee. I can't wait wait any longer. Pleaseeeeeee!
  6. Muppetfan44

    Muppetfan44 Active Member

    Bringing this fic back to the top where it belongs! Hope you can post more soon!
  7. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Friendly bump back to the top for :) + :mad:
  8. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Chapter 122: Husbands, Wives and Others

    Scribbler dived into the waiting cab and barked out an address. Grinning, Sparky shot the little cab forward through the mostly-quiet street, but they soon hit traffic to make up for it. Scribbler knew better than to try to give directions to a New York cabbie, so he sat in the front seat sweating the time (and Sparky’s wide left turns). Sparky proved his expertise, however, and dumped the anxious reporter in from of his, er, dump with admirable aplomb. Scribbler patted his pockets, looking for another $20 to bribe the driver with, but Sparky just grinned.
    “Get on with you,” he said. “Anybody who can hold on to their lunch while I’m making tracks like that—I can wait.”
    Scribbler grinned back at him, feeling a little more plucky after his possible success with phone number one. Now for phone number two….
    Scribbler took the stairs two at a time, vaulting up without heed of the rickety railing or threadbare carpet. To his considerable relief, Harve waved to him from the fourth-floor landing.
    “Hey! Down here, Flash. I saw you pull up. Where’s the fire?”
    “Los Angeles,” Scribbler panted. He scooped Harve up and continued to spring up the steps two at a time.
    “Los Angeles?” Harve said, holding onto Scribbler’s trench-coat lapel. “What’s on fire in Los Angeles?”
    “My patootie,” Fleet grimaced. “My boss called—wants me back—NOW—for the Academy Awards. But look—I have to tell you what happened today.”
    “Your boss wants you in LA? Where does that idiot get off telling you—“
    Scribbler waved his indignation away. “I know, I know,” he said. “But it’s paying the bills, and look—Harve, the most amazing thing happened today, but I need your help—“
    “Sure thing, buddy-boy!” Harve said, and Fleet had to stop and grin.
    “Better hear what I need you to do,” Fleet said, grimacing. “Besides, I’ve probably slandered your good name today.”
    “Don’t tell the wife,” said Harve. “She’s house-proud and would defend me to the mob if she had to.”
    “Lucky you,” Fleet said, feeling more buoyant by the second. If Harve would help him, they might pull this off after all. “Look, some low-life tried to nab Missy today. He grabbed her and tried to chloroform her but I—“
    “Are you funnin’ me? Some crazy guy tries to hurt your girl and you’re here, talking to me? Are you insane?”
    “She’s not my girl,” Scribbler insisted absently, waving Harve’s outburst away. He wanted to get the thing said so they could plan. “No help for it,” he panted, looking up at the remaining stairs balefully. Three more flights to go. “The boss called me home, and home I have to go, but she’s—Missy’s got security out the wazoo at the theater now. Some big lug with a carrot-top tried to pulverize me just because I had my arm around her—“
    “You had your arm around her? Boy, you are one fast mover, buddy, cause last I heard—“
    “Yeah, yeah,” said Fleet, blushing and grinning. “I saved the day and all that. The hero du jour. Punched the guy right in the jaw, and it was like it didn’t even phase him. But he ran all the same, and then I helped Missy up. She was…grateful.” Remembering, Scribbler paused and swallowed, remembering the way she had looked at him….
    “She okay?” Harve asked. “Jeez-Louise—chloroform! What do you think he wanted?” Scribbler didn’t answer, but his jaw set in an angry line and Harve desisted, drawing the same conclusions and not liking them any better than his friend had. “But—but he’s still out there and you’re going out of town?” Harve finally said.
    “That’s why I need your help,” Scribbler said. He paused on the landing second from his own, chest heaving, to catch his breath. “She’s supposed to call me, but I gave her your name. Well, not her, that security guard, so she might call me any minute but I don’t want her to.”
    Harve had done his best, but he was lost. He put his little land on Scribbler’s cheek and patted. “You got to slow down,” said Harve.
    “Just…one…more staircase,” the out-of-breath journalist replied, but Harve pinched his cheek gently.
    “Not the stairs,” Harve said. “You need to tell me what’s going on—and slowly, so’s I understand—so I can help you do whatever it is you want me to do before you get on that plane.”
    Scribbler nodded, his hands on his shaking knees. “I will,” he promised. “Let me catch my breath a minute.” He sat on the staircase just below his floor and turned to Harve. Quickly—as quickly as was feasible—Scribbler explained what had happened, how he had intercepted the pig-napping, how Missy had been grateful but had—inexplicably—shielded him and his identity. He told Harve about using his name, to which Harve grunted, clearly amused but refusing to show it. Then Scribbler explained about the phones, and the tux he had to pack, and the waiting plane and—eventually—Harve was in the loop, thinking hard how to help.
    “So’s you want me to call the theater and tell how I’m Harve—which I am—and tell this Miss Piggy not to call the number you gave her.”
    “The number I gave Security,” Scribbler corrected automatically. “Yes—I want you to call her before she calls my phone.” He handed Harve the blue phone, which was about like handing a human an armchair to hold. Harve hefted it without difficulty, flipping it open and looking at the display.
    “That the number?” he asked, looking at “Recent Calls.”
    “No,” said Scribbler, heaving to his feet and waving the silver phone. “That’s my number.” Harve’s grunted, understanding, and waved away additional explanation. “In a minute. Here’s the number you want.” He rattled off the theater number and Harve punched it in, waiting until it rang. The first time they got a recording, so Harve hung up and called again. This time, a harried voice answered with the name of the theater and a hasty, “This is not the box office.”
    “Good,” said Harve, “because I don’t need the box office. I’m looking for Miss Piggy.”
    “Yeah, buddy—you and about 300 others this week. Write her a letter like everybody—“
    “This is Harve,” he said firmly. “She’ll talk to me.” Scribbler grinned ear to ear. In all his years of sweet-talking celebrating and selling, um, fake patents, he had never sounded as self-assured as choirboy Harve here lying through his whiskers, he thought.
    The voice on the other end of the phone paused. Clearly the name meant something to her; there was hesitation in her voice, but not certainty.
    “This is…Harve? The guy who—“
    “The same,” Harve said. “The guy that saved her bacon today—and your theater’s, too. I know she’s busy but I want to talk to her or leave a message.”
    Relief flooded the voice. “Oh. A message. I can take a message.”
    Taking a message is easy. Can you give the message to Miss Piggy?” Harve said, and Scribbler grinned in spite of himself at the little rat’s moxie.
    “I, um, certainly, sir,” said the voice, chastened. “What message would you like to leave?”
    “Tell her I’ve been called out of town but I have a new number for her. A new number. And here it is—I’ll repeat it.” He rattled off the ten digits easily. “Got it? Good—read it back to me? Uh huh. Uh huh. Uh huh—okay. Good. So tell her to call me on my new number and not my old number, okay? The old number is…it’s no good, okay? Tell her not to call the old number, capiche?”
    “Got it,” said the woman. “Um, I mean, um, capiche.”
    “Good. Thank you.” Harve hung up the phone and looked up at Scribbler, his little black eyes shining with mischief and his whiskers quivering with mirth. “How’d I do?”
    Scribbler just grinned and heaved himself to his feet. “You ought to be on the stage,” he teased. “You’re a natural-born liar!” He scooped Harve up and hurried up the remaining steps to his door.


    **************************
    “Gonzo,” said Kermit with his polite, Sesame-Street voice. “You’re really nice to babysit me but I think I’ll be fine until Scooter and Sara come to get me and drive me home.”
    “It’s no problem,” said Gonzo, cheerfully ignoring the signs that Kermit was about to lose his Sesame-Street veneer and erupt into arm-waving hysteria. “I got nothin’ better to do than hang out with you until Scooter gets back.”
    “Really, I’m fine,” Kermit insisted. “I’m just waiting for the back-up copy to finish so I can take everything by the editor’s tonight.”
    “Aren’t you supposed to pick up your tux tonight?” Gonzo asked, and his inflection was so much like Piggy’s that Kermit turned and stared at him. After a moment, Gonzo looked up from his sales circular and registered Kermit’s scrunchy face and arms akimbo. “What?” he asked.
    Kermit took him firmly by his furry blue arm. “Thank you for auditioning,” Kermit said in a monotone. “The part of my wife has already been cast, but if we have any future parts that call for your particular talent, we’ll be sure to give your agent a call. Don’t forget to send in your glossies and a number where you can be reached.” Attempts to propel Gonzo out the door were not as successful as Kermit had hoped, but Gonzo did not appear at all fazed by Kermit’s bad humor.
    “So is Scooter going to pick up your tux while he’s there?” Gonzo persisted. “And isn’t this the weekend that Thoreau and Howard were going to see Piggy?”
    Kermit sighed and—seeing as how it wasn’t doing him any good anyway—abandoned his grumpiness.
    “Yes and yes,” he said resignedly. “Scooter’s going to pick up my tux for me. Thoreau won’t like it but I can’t risk him noticing I sound like I have a head cold.”
    “Yeah,” Gonzo said dryly. “Being mostly frozen will do that to you.”
    Kermit ignored him. “If Thoreau thinks I have a cold, by the time Piggy gets the news, she’ll be convinced I have pneumonia.”
    Gonzo nodded. Kermit had been hospitalized for pneumonia once and it had sparked a rather…heated debate that still resurfaced occasionally at the The Frog household. After his health had declined appalling over the course of an unbelievably taxing week, Kermit had only allowed himself to be hauled (kicking and muttering, Gonzo and Rizzo had told everyone) to the hospital after Scooter had threatened to quarantine the entire cast and crew at the studio if he didn’t. This had followed an Oscar-worthy performance by the leading frog to convince his wife that he was not faint and ill and coughing so hard he thought he might split his gills open.
    Piggy had been slated to do a charity appearance and a talk show that day and—after seeing her off in Marty’s capable hands, and without consulting her or asking for her input, Kermit had allowed himself to be admitted to County Hospital—and banned Piggy from visitation as long as he was contagious. There had been, he’d heard, a sizable betting pool taking odds on whether or not he’d survive once he was released from the hospital—not because of the pneumonia that was wrestling him into exhaustion, but because Piggy was going to kill him when she got her satin-gloved hands on him. When she was really mad at him, the hurt of this betrayal surfaced—right after accusations of hankering for Annie Sue. Kermit was unrepentant, and it was this treason that made Piggy stomp and growl and want to murder him, but it did little good.
    “So you’re not going to tell her,” Gonzo said, glaring at Kermit, arms akimbo.
    “It won’t do any good, Gonzo,” Kermit shot back angrily. “What—if she thinks I’m in trouble she’ll break her contract and coming running back to protect me? I wish!” he snapped, too angry to be careful of his words.
    But Gonzo had noticed that Kermit would not look him in the eye. “That’s what you’re afraid of, isn’t it? That she will break her contract and come back and—“\
    “And ruin her career! That’s all! The career she’s worked for years to build! And if she thinks I’m not able to keep from falling into open freezers—“
    “You were pushed!”
    “—or keep from blowing up the laundry room—“ Kermit stopped suddenly, looking evasive, but Gonzo had heard enough to be piqued.
    “What about the laundry room?” Gonzo said, and Kermit squirmed and didn’t really answer.
    “Look, I don’t really wash that many clothes….” He muttered. “Besides, Zany says they’ll have the suds out of the guest room by—“
    Gonzo reached out suddenly and clamped Kermit’s lips shut so the distraught amphibian would look at him. “Okay,” he said gently. “I get it. This is a big deal to Piggy and you don’t want to do anything to spoil it. I got it. Really. But I think you ought to at least tell her you miss her and need her now that she’s gone.”
    “But I don’t want to make her feel guilty,” said Kermit, feeling guilty himself.
    Gonzo shook his head. “She’s a woman,” said Gonzo. “Feeling guilty is second nature.”
    The almost silent hiss of the machine ceased, and Kermit and Gonzo both looked down as Kermit removed the disc and wrapped it protectively in a paper jacket as well as a plastic case.
    “Looks like you’re done for the day, once way or the other,” said Gonzo. “I’ll go with you to drop this off, and then I’m going to take a look at your clothes washer.” He gave Kermit a coy look. “Sometimes I think you forget I used to be an amazing plumber.”
    “I didn’t forget, exactly….” the stressed amphibian muttered, bowing to the inevitable. “I was just sort of hoping you had.”
    Gonzo just laughed, irrepressible, and walked with Kermit out the door.

    *****************************

    “Wow,” said Scooter, for about the 42nd time. And Sara blushed, also for about the 42nd time, but she dared not move as Thoreau inspected the hem, walking around her and glaring at each little sequin and crystal in turn. At last, Thoreau declared himself satisfied, brilliant and busy, hurrying them, laden with packages, toward the exit.
    “Tell Kermit he’s on my list!” Thoreau said severely, then kissed a shocked Sara on each cheek and bustled them out the door.


    “So, what kinds of monsters are we talking?” asked Susie. “Anybody I could dance with without looking at the top of their head all evening? I’ve given up on my own species.”
    Clifford was thoughtful, half-turned around in the passenger seat of the van to face the others. “Maybe,” he said. “It sortof depends on who’s there. A couple of the guys that dance with us—they’re tall, and I heard Sweetums has cousins out this way. Sweetums would probably have to look at the top of your head, even in those heels.”
    Susie grinned, and wiggled her blue-painted toenails in the four-inch wedges. “Sounds promising,” she said.
    “As long as they don’t mess with my instruments or Bob,” said Tia. She had names for all of her horns and Clifford had learned that Bob was her saxophone and should be referred to as another member of the band.
    “I don’t think they’ll bother your instruments,” said Clifford, hoping it was true. “And Bob can usually handle himself in a crowd, right?”
    “He’s usually a popular guy,” Tia agreed dryly, and there was the sound of giggling. Despite the fact that the van was not roomy with all the band members crowded into it, they had managed—no, insisted—on shoehorning Clifford in with them instead of having him drive alone.
    “What’s the stage like?” Coraline asked. Tricia had been right—Coraline wasn’t the least bit put off by the monsters, but she was worried about the stage area and how much room she’d have to cut loose.
    “The manager said it’s modeled after the first Bat, Bolt and Skull in Hensonville,” Clifford explained, “so it should be pretty decent. We’ve had, maybe, six different couples doing a dance number on that stage at one time, so I think you’ll have plenty of room—and plenty of fans.”
    A lull fell on the ladies in the van, quietly contemplating their upcoming show. In the stillness, Tricia took one hand off the steering wheel of the van and reached out and took Clifford hand.
    “Thanks,” she said, squeezing his fingers. “Thanks for setting this up, Clifford.”
    Clifford just smiled, and kept hold of her hand until they pulled into the club.


    There was the sound of a doorknob turning and the lone occupant of the room startled at the unexpected noise.
    “Where on earth do you keep your dress socks?” Autumn demanded through the cloud of steam in the little room. Ed snatched at the shower curtain reflexively.
    “Top drawer on the left!” he said, then added, “You could at least wait until I’m out of the shower!”
    “But darling, I can’t, or we’ll miss our plane. I told you, we don’t have time to dither around.”
    “I was not dithering!” Ed snapped. “I was working on my collection when you barged into my apartment, threw me into the shower and started up-ending all of my belongings trying to pack for me!”
    “I’m sorry it was such a surprise,” Autumn said, not sounding sorry at all. She leaned on the doorframe and Ed could hear her smile. “You know how my schedule is—I rarely know from week to week where I’m going to turn up.”
    “Well…as long as you do turn up,” Ed said warmly, making nice after his earlier snarkiness. He turned off the water and reached for where he’d left his towel. His groping hands encountered nothing, then Autumn put a big, fluffy towel in his hands and kissed him on the cheek.
    “Oh, sweetheart—you even shaved!”
    “I don’t do scruffy,” Ed said with dignity, and Autumn kissed him again—not on the cheek. They lost a few moments of time there.
    “You know I’ll always turn up for you, dearest,” Autumn said. “But you’d better hurry. I’ve almost got you packed for New York, but I don’t think you’re quite ready to get on the plane like this.”
    Ed snorted. “You pack. I’ll dress. And for goodness sake, warm me a cup of coffee for the road. I’ve been up a while.”
    Autumn laughed her musical laugh. “Worried about staying awake on the flight?” she teased, but Ed’s answer made her smile even wider.
    “Not at all. I assure you, sleep is the furthest thing on my mind when you’re around.”

    ************************

    That’s odd, thought Scribbler. Someone dropped a colorful potholder out by the mailboxes. He bent to retrieve it and—somewhere between his bend and his reach—Harve let out a low moan and Scribbler realized with horror that it was no colorful potholder. It was Gladys’ apron, and was currently adorning Gladys’ crumpled form. What he had initially mistaken for a potholder was actually Harve’s wife Gladys, her tidy little form now pale and still. Harve had recognized the apron before his friend, and he ran down Scribbler’s sleeve and cradled his wife’s head gently in his arms, patting her face and making anxious sounds of comfort. With profound relief, Fleet saw the shallow rise and fall of her ribcage.

    Carefully, using a manila envelope, Scribbler lifted the rats off the floor, grateful to find that she was still warm, still breathing. She stirred restlessly, moaning, and Fleet almost cried out himself at the sight of her writhing in pain. Harve’s face was a study in anguish, devastated by this horror, but his voice and his hands were steady.
    “I’m here, Honey,” Harve said. “I’ve got you now.” He checked her over, fingers probing gently. “I think she must have fallen,” Harve said hollowly. “I—I think I feel broken ribs.”
    Gladys moaned again, not quite conscious, and Harve flinched, then turned wet eyes up to Scribbler. In a split second, Scribbler made a decision. Plane be durned. He was going to do what he could to help, and if the plane was still waiting—fine. If not—so be it. Hastily, he opened the apartment door, careful not to jostle the rats. Once inside, he ran to bedroom and place Gladys and Harve gently on his pillow, then carried the pillow back into the living room and set it on the couch.
    “What can we do?” Harve said. “She needs a doctor, but I don’t think we can move her.”
    “I know a guy,” said Scribbler. “He…he might know someone. Stay with Gladys and let me check.”
    He pulled out his old phone—his “real” phone—and looked up a number, but when he dialed it, he used his new silver phone. The party answered on the third ring.
    ‘Yeah—who is this and what do you want?” the voice demanded.
    “It’s Scribbler. Fleet Scribbler. We talked the other day.”
    “Oh.” The voice did not sound enthused. “What do you want?”
    “A favor.”
    “Figures,” the voice sighed. “What do you want?”
    “You—you used to know a guy—“
    “I know lots of guys,” interrupted the man.
    “—a guy who used to do some, um, body work—off the books like.”
    “Oh.” The tenor of the voice changed, sounding surprised.
    “Do you still have a number for him?”
    “It’s been a while.”
    “Do you still have a number?”
    “I still have the number. But I don’t—“
    “Please,” said Scribbler. “Give me the number. I will owe you a favor—a huge favor, if you can please just give me the number.” He did not say, “before it’s too late,” but it hung there in the silence.
    “Fine,” the voice said. “Give me a sec—“
    “Hurry! Please, I—“
    “212—“
    Scribbler repeated it, and continued to repeat the other numbers until he had them all. Frantically, while still on the phone, Scribbler typed the numbers into Harve’s blue phone and pushed “Send.”
    “Thanks,” he said breathlessly. “Thanks a bunch. You need a favor—you call!”
    “I will,” said the man dryly, and hung up.
    The phone rang once, twice, then--
    “Who got shot?” the voice demanded. Scribbler’s mind scrambled for a moment.
    “Um, no one got shot,” he said, then—sensing he was about to be hung up on—he blurted out. “We think she’s been kicked.”
    He felt as much as saw Harve give him a quick look of horror and surprise and…certainty. Scribbler had not wanted to say it, to suggest it, but it had been there in his mind the whole time. He saw on Harve’s face that his buddy believed his guess to be accurate.
    “Aw. A dame. That’s a shame,” said the voice, sounding genuinely sympathetic. “Where you at, buddy? You know how this works—right:?”
    Scribbler hesitated for a split second. “Sort of,” he admitted. “You, um, help my friend and I, um, I do a turn for you in turn.”
    “That’s about right,” said the voice, clearly amused. “Give me an address and I’ll run on over.”
    In a surprisingly short period of time, a second taxi pulled in front of the shabby apartment building. Sparky eyed it suspiciously in the rear-view mirror, and was about to get out of the car and defend his fare when he saw Scribbler run out of the building toward it. Before Sparky could protest, however, the taxi was driving away, and his fare turned and ran up to the cab window. No one appeared to have gotten out of the cab—it must have been a delivery.
    “We’ve got a little bit of an emergency,” said Scribbler. “Hold fast until I can come down again.”
    Sparky looked at his watch, and raised his eyebrows at Scribbler.
    “I’m good,” he said, “but maybe not good enough if we don’t hit the road soon.”
    Scribbler’s face was solemn. “I have implicit faith in you,” he said. “I’ll be down as soon as I can.”
    The cabbie shrugged, mollified, and sat back to read the sports page, then grinned. “Implicit faith,” he muttered. Sheesh! I’m driving a hot-shot English Professor!


    The lower half of Gonzo protruded from behind the washing machine, but his voice carried through the hollow metal of the machine drum.
    “I’ve cleared out the drain line of all the soap crystals,” he said. “I think you’ll be fine next time, just maybe extra sudsy.” He wriggled back out and looked at Kermit. “Now I’m gonna clean out your dryer hose.”
    Kermit shrugged. “You don’t have to,” he said, but Gonzo just grinned, his eyes widening in excitement.
    “I want to!” Gonzo said, then turned and wriggled into the lint tube. Gonzo’s voice carried from inside the tube as well as it had from behind the washer.
    “So how come you’re having domestic disasters? Wow! Look at the size of that dust bunny! Neat! I mean, Piggy doesn’t do this stuff when she’s here either, so why are you doing it? Where’s the maid service?”
    Kermit sighed. It seemed that there was not going to be one aspect of his personal life that was not commented on, so he sighed, gave up any claim to privacy and answered his friend.
    “I gave the maid service a break. I really don’t need all of the things they do when Piggy isn’t here. I’m a pretty low-maintenance guy,” he said.
    Gonzo emerged, covered in damp lint balls and looked at Kermit carefully.
    “A paid break—am I right?”
    Kermit squirmed. “It’s—they’ve been really nice, but the first week they came after Piggy left the house seemed so…clean and…empty,” Kermit said. “I felt sort of guilty having them come over when there really wasn’t that much to do.” He colored, remembering his first week of bachelor suppers. “I’ve, uh, got the kitchen thing under control and once that’s done, well….”
    Gonzo was looking down at himself with satisfaction. “Wow,” he said. “I look really good covered in lint. Look at the way the grey really sets off the blue of my fur.”
    In spite of himself, Kermit smiled. “You’re a regular fashion trendsetter,” said the amused amphibian. “You’ll put lint brushes out of business.”
    “Really?!” Gonzo’s eyes widened even more. “Maybe I could start a line of lint brushes that actually put link on your clothes! What do you think?!”
    Kermit smiled and clapped his damp, linty blue friend on the back. “What I always think, Gonzo,” Kermit said. “You never cease to amaze me.”

    The penguins had made themselves at home in the living room, and Kermit was on the verge of politely inviting them to leave when the doorbell rang. He went to answer it, unfearful of paparazzi. Now that Piggy was gone, reporters no longer camped on the lawn or followed him to work. He did see the occasional photog snapping a picture when he and Scooter wandered down to Starbucks or he dropped into the bait shop for a snack, but he was acutely aware that his life was far less interesting without Piggy in it.
    Scooter and Sara stood on the front porch, garment bag in hand. Kermit smiled and welcomed them into the living room full of penguins, and it was a testament to Sara’s sangfroid that she took this in stride without so much as turning a hair. Shortly after their return from Vegas, he and Piggy had talked about Scooter’s new love and new living situation, and how things seemed to have fallen into place so easily. Sometimes Piggy seemed to know just what he was thinking and what he wanted to talk about.
    “But Sweetie,” Piggy had said. “Sara is a magazine reporter. She is used to unusual people and unusual situations when she is doing a story.”
    “Yeah,” he said. “But we’re just a little more unusual than most. I hope that doesn’t scare her off.”
    “It didn’t scare me off,” Piggy had said, matter-of-factly, then shrugged and kissed him. “The heart wants what it wants,” she added. “And Sara’s heart wants Scooter. Putting up with penguins in the bathroom and drummers on a leash and insecure bears on your sofa after a PG-13 movie—“
    And when he finally laughed, she had kissed him again. Kermit was thinking about that now as Sara came in, hung Kermit’s tuxedo in the coat closet and greeted her host, a host of flipping penguins and a lint-covered Gonzo without a raised eyebrow. Scooter grinned, watching her.
    “Wait until Sunday night!” Scooter said. “Sara looks like a million bucks in that dress!” He did not mind at all the way she looked now, wearing jeans and a light cotton sweater. “And Thoreau said to tell you you’re on his list, but he wasn’t really that mean about it.”
    “Thoreau’s bill is worse that his bark,” said Kermit.
    “Yeah, but is his bark worse that his bite,” Scooter teased.
    “I don’t know,” Kermit answered seriously. “He’s never bitten me.” They stood and grinned at each other, impressed with their own cleverness. Kermit realized suddenly that it had been an incredibly long, trying and fairly awful day, and gave an involuntary shudder when he remembered the cold of the freezer. Scooter steered him toward the living room.
    “You can fire me tomorrow but I’ve ordered pizza all around,” he said. Scooter looked around the enormous house which usually seemed so full of life when Piggy was here. Fuller, still, when Robin cam and claimed his room downstairs. Even with the penguins, it was quiet in comparison.
    “Pizza sounds wonderful,” said Kermit honestly, and went and sat down on the couch. Word of food travels fast, and before long, the living room and most of the downstairs was full of muppets and pizza and penguins and lint. Link and Strangepork had arrived, bored now that filming was over and catching wind of the pizza party Bored now that filming was over, Link and Strangepork had caught wind of the pizza party and arrived to add to the noise and confusion. Kermit found it oddly comforting to have pigs in the house, and wondered idly how Thoreau and Howard were doing. They were going to see Piggy tomorrow, going to give her the present he’d sent, and he envied them without malice. Sunday night, he would see Piggy during their live shoot, and though it wouldn’t be in person it would be in real time and he was looking forward to it. The party (which this impromptu gathering had surely become) swirled around him, but Kermit didn’t mind. It made the house feel useful and happy. He consumed another piece of mushroom and snap-bug pizza, liking the crisp texture of the bugs alongside the mushrooms and tomato sauce, and closed his eyes in contentment. The day had been miserable, but right now wasn’t so bad. When all of these, er, people left, he would call Piggy when her show was over for the night and hear about her day. It made him smile, and sigh and slip silently into slumber.


    “You were right about the broken ribs,” said the little rat, whiskers quivering. And her collarbone might be fractured, but I can’t tell. Arms and legs are okay,” he said, smiling. “A concussion, maybe, but mild if at all.”
    “Thank you,” said Scribbler. “I—thank you.”
    The rat had regarded him kindly but calmly. “You’re welcome,” he said, “but remember how grateful you feel right now when I call in my chits, okay?”
    Soberly, Fleet had nodded, determinedly pushing the thought of what might be asked away.
    Between the time of the rancid phone call and now, the whole thing had taken about an hour—a surreal hour, Scribbler thought later—where time stopped and everything that was important happened, or was happening, in this room. But Gladys had been bandaged, dosed with a few grains of something for the pain and released into the care of her husband. She had revived enough to tell them what had happened—how she’d found the landlady going through Fleet’s mail and protested, how she’d been swept angrily from her perch on the mailboxes, and kicked twice by the landlady’s shoddy shoe. That had been about two hours ago when Harve thought she’d gone to the store, so they were all aware—though no one said—that there had not been any internal bleeding. Harve sat beside her, patting her hand and kissing it every so often until they had arranged a comfy bed for her in the folds of Scribbler’s pillow.
    “Buddy, you go to go,” said Harve. “Go or you’ll lose your job.”
    “But—“
    “I’m fine,” insisted Gladys, wincing. It was obvious to everyone that she was not fine, but might become so with care. “Go on with you. We’ll hold down the fort.”
    “If you go now, we can share a cab,” called the little rat physician. “You going to the airport, right?”
    Finally, in an agony of indecision, Scribbler had bolted for the cab downstairs, been driven like the cab was on fire and run through the airport like some sort of action hero. He sat currently wedged into his seat in coach and thought back along the day and everything that had happened.
    He pulled out his phone and dialed a number he still remembered.
    “Yeah—what do you want?” growled a once-familiar voice.
    “I need to tell you something.”
    Marty was too hard-shelled to give a sharp inhale of surprise, but Scribbler felt the wariness, the watchfulness in the silence that followed.
    “You know who this is?” Scribbler asked.
    “I know who this is,” said Marty. “State your piece.”
    “Someone tried to chloroform Missy today,” he said. He wondered if she would ever forgive him for this betrayal.
    Marty’s control was phenomenal, but not perfect. He inhaled sharply and Scribbler almost smiled as he heard his fingers squeak as he gripped the old-style phone tighter.
    “I assume she’s okay.” She had not called him, so she must be okay.
    “She’s okay, but—“
    “Spit it out, man and get off my phone!”
    I don’t know who it was. Whoever did it, he’s still out there.”
    Marty let out a low whistle. “But she’s okay?”
    “She didn’t call you, and she didn’t call him,” Scribbler said, feeling suddenly mean. “I guess she must be okay!!”
    He actually heard Marty choke back what he’d started to say, then Marty’s voice softened. “How come you told me? Especially when you know she didn’t want me to know?” Piggy’s agent asked.
    Somebody ought to be looking out for her and I…I can’t. I’m…on assignment.”
    Marty held the phone away and looked at it, flummoxed, but before he could speak, Scribbler spoke again.
    “Because you’ll do something about it,” he said. Marty heard the note of pleading in his voice and almost felt sorry for the cad.
    “I will,” Marty said. “Thanks for calling.” He hung up the phone.
    As the plane raced toward California, Scribbler closed the silver phone and slept the sleep of the righteous.
  9. miss kermie

    miss kermie Well-Known Member

    More.... please!
  10. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Hooray!

    Love squeezing in a new segment during lunch - though I had to speed read in order to actively get back to work. Brilliant!

    I still think Scribbler's a creep. But a nice creep. Sheesh!:attitude:
  11. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    ------------
    Holy @#$#&*^^#!!!

    MAN you packed a lot of wonderfulness into that! Brava! Okay, break it down now...

    Fleet actually said "My patootie"? Has he spent time in Georgia lately or something??
    LOVE the rat/hack dynamic with Harve and Fleet. LOVE the brashness of the rat's phone call to the theatre.

    Rhonda: What have I always said? Ya want something done right, call a rat.

    Er...right. Interesting and funny as heck that the mob doc Scribbler now owes a favor to is also a rat. (Wouldn't they just, um, eat the bodies instead of needing help burying them? Just sayin'...)

    Kermit's "Sesame Street voice" and his telling Gonzo the part of his wife has already been cast was classic, classic Kermit. As was his reluctant admission that yet another aspect of modern technology, namely washing machines, has frustrated his efforts to comprehend it. Also love the phrase "kicking and muttering" en route to the hospital...is this pneumonia bout the one referred to in your short fic a short while back? Or something else?

    "At last, Thoreau declared himself satisfied, brilliant and busy"... heh heh heh. Nicely phrased; you capture the essence of the mad designer in that simple sentence quite well.

    Clifford musing over the possibility of monster dates is amusing--
    :news: WHAT?

    Whoops. Didn't know you were here, Newsie...um...remember, it's JUST A STORY. Okay?

    :news: Innocent young girls dancing with MONSTERS? It's...it's...

    Before you go all Eagle, consider that some people think Muppets shouldn't date the nonfelted.

    :news: *grumbling* That's different! I'm not likely to eat a date!

    Rhonda: Some people here are disappointed to hear that.
    :news: Huh?

    *clapping hands over Newsie's ears and glaring at the rat* Really? You went there?
    *Rhonda chortles and traipses smugly off*

    Sigh...back to the review...

    Naturally, Ed has no problem undressing in front of Autumn, as we know from another thread around here. *waits for sputters of indignation* Hah. I can HEAR you blushing, you know...

    Whoa. Scribbler is taking names and owing favors all OVER the frickin place. I wonder what he'll be required to do? And will it be as much fun as sticking his thumb up his nose at his mysterious uberboss?

    LMAO at Gonzo eagerly wriggling into the dryer clean-out tube and rejoicing in newfound lint. Ahhhh heaven! I wonder if Camilla would appreciate him in a lint-suit? It would look a little more feathery, maybe...

    Hurrah for the intrepid Sara greeting "her host, a host of flipping penguins and a lint-covered Gonzo without a raised eyebrow"! The interaction of the nonfelted with such, um, various company always amuses me. She's handling it better than many of the TMS guests ever did. Yay! And Kermit and Scooter trying to out-clever one another on what must be a cusp of exhaustion brings a smile. Soldier on, boys!

    And finally, BRAVO to Scribbler for putting Marty in the know. Yeah, Piggy will be ticked, but better that than her suddenly being a kept pig for someone nefarious...maybe. *weighing potential karate chops vs potential karate chops at someone else's expense* Well maybe not..she'd only need one good shot...but what heartache it would cause Kermit were she abducted. Yeah, it was the right move. Scribbler should watch out; he's ruining his rep.

    Rhonda: So much for his street cred. I admire his ability to work well with rodents, though.

    I thought you left the room?

    Rhonda: Wanted to see if yellow ears were still burning when he finally figured out the quip.

    :news: Quip? What quip?

    *sigh* Okay you two. Storytime's over. Ice cream!
    -----------------
  12. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Ch 122 Thoughts.
    1 "Sparky dumped Scribbler in front of his, er, dump."
    :boo: Look at this place, what a dump!
    :o: If that's the Happiness Hotel, I'd hate to see the sad one.

    2 "Harve had done his best, but he was lost."
    Has he tried Harry Krishna?
    :cool: The old ones are the best ones.

    3 "Taking a message is easy. Can you give the message to Miss Piggy?"
    This anaforism is so true. We all fall in the trap of taking the message, but not delivering it or garbling it up causing further confusions or grumbles.

    4 Oh boy, Kermit about to blow it at the furry blue whatever. The frog seems to lose it when paired with furry blue monster-types if you've not noticed that before.
    *Laughs fully at the Hollywood-type shpiel Kermit rattles off to get rid of the weirdo.

    5 Oh. So this is where Restoration, (PG-13ish, Please) fits into the overall story arc.
    But Kermit, didn't that particular hospitalization end rather, er, conducive to your full recovery?

    6 *Chuckles at Kermit blowing up the laundry room.

    7 "Besides, Zany says they'll have the suds out of the guest room by—"
    Yay! An appearance by Muppet Central's honorary Muppet smilie mascot!

    8 "She's a woman," said Gonzo. "Feeling guilty is second nature."
    Okay, glad Ru said this. Moving on...

    9 The conversation between Kermit and Gonzo really does help drive the story further... But why is the frog so recalcitrant? Thought he was already calling Piggy to talk about their respective days as evidenced in previous chapters. This whole being pushed into a freezer and almost being chloroformed have created a bigger distance than just the geographic one between husband and wife.

    10 Huge Cheshire grin at the segment where Clifford's riding in the Indy Vittles' van off to the new club in town. *Eagerly awaits what you may have in that clever bag of tricks for their next appearance.

    11 *Is melted, you should know why. It's nice to have a fic self-version that makes my own real self aspire to do/appear better. Yeah, sometimes my snarky grumbliness comes out when not told about pending appointments, having to be made to clean up nice on the spur of the moment for some family outing or the like. Funnily enough, I *might* be headed to NY next spring, no word fer sure at this time.

    12 Wha?! Gladys got kicked? I smell a...
    :shifty: Ahem.
    Oh, sorry.
    :shifty: S'alright.
    Okay, let's track down the one who did this. You know the saying.
    :batty: Which one?
    They put one of ours in the hospital...
    UD: And we put one of theirs in the morgue. *Smiles wickedly.

    13 So now Scribbler owes two favors. He should learn to heed the advice he dispensed to Harve earlier when he arrived like a demon at the apartment.

    14 And here's more of the banter between frog and weirdo. When Gonzo brought up the maid service, I thought it was a sort of joke among friends. But then Kermit reveals he gave them a paid break. Yep, the frog does know how to practice philanthropy. Lucky we didn't have to spell that for our readers. Like they'd know what the word means. Not from hanging around Scribbler's boss. Would you get out of here and continue the review?! Geez, touchy touchy.

    15 Nice to have some commentary here on the Muppets as a whole entity coming to terms with Scooter and Sara as a couple as one of the Muppet clan here since that's kind of the main focus in WebMistressGina's Seven Ball Tango.
    *Cheap plug.

    16 Sara's a mag reporter in your ficverse? You learn something new every day.

    17 "Bored now that filming was over, Link and Strangepork had caught wind of the pizza party and arrived to add to the noise and confusion."
    Not sure I understand why you repeated this phrasing twice, within the same sentence structure. Was there a point to having it repeated like that?

    18 Mushroom and snap-bug. Well, it's not the same as Hawaiian with pineapple and octopus and shrimp, but as long as it's not plain cheese pizza.
    :shifty: You got anything against cheese pizza?
    Yes. It's so…plain. Pizza is such a wonderful culinary canvas, to leave it blank like that, eh, if it's what we got then I'll eat it, but I guess I'm just more artistically inclined to gutsy it up.
    :concern: You want gutsied up pizza, you should try my peanut butter and jalapeño and anchovy.

    Hunger calls, back in another 15.
    WebMistressGina likes this.
  13. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    If you're just dropping in, be sure you caught the last chapter....

    Chapter 123: Comings and Goings: Airports, Hotels and Bars

    Chad scuttled in the back stage door, hopefully unobserved in all the after-show comings and goings, and slipped along the hall to Piggy’s dressing room. Rory let him in after a tentative knock, practically hauling his partner into the room. Chad walked straight up to Piggy and put his arms around her, patting her back gently and murmuring soothingly. “Poor thing,” he said solemnly, and set her back from him holding her elbows. Piggy winced and Chad let go immediately, turning on Rory swiftly.
    “What’s wrong with her elbow? Did you drop her?” Chad demanded, and Rory looked horrified, then offended.
    “As if!” he said stiffly. “What makes you think I had anything to do with it?”
    “Because sometimes you don’t know your own strength,” Chad said, and turned teasing eyes on Rory. Rory blushed, looking abashed, but no longer angry.
    “She hurt her elbow hanging onto the stupid purse,” Rory said, gritting through the lie unwillingly.
    “Not the little ruffled one?!” Chad cried, and Piggy hastened to reassure him that it had not been snatched while Rory rolled his eyes.
    “Well, I hope you know you’re coming with tonight!” Chad said peremptorily. Piggy started to protest but he overrode her. “Mother won’t mind—she’s dying to meet you anyway.”
    “Your mother’s in town? Did she come to see your show?”
    “She’s seen my show,” Chad said dismissively. “She came to see yours.” He sneaked a cheeky smile at Rory, who shook his head in amusement but did not allow himself to be baited. “And take us to Four Seasons and shop.”
    Trust me,” said Rory, and it was possible there was a little snarky edge to his voice that he hoped Piggy would catch. “You wouldn’t be intruding at all. Chad’s Mom would adore you.”
    Piggy sighed wistfully and disentangled herself. “Although I can tell that your mother and Moi would hit it off,” she began, “I refuse to intrude on your family time. Moi is going to go home, take a hot bath, read a trashy novel and eat bonbons. That can make anything all better.”
    Rory shot her a warning look and opened his mouth, then shut it with effort. He had promised to keep the true version of things quiet, but he was not going to allow her to go home alone. He scowled unhappily, then his face cleared suddenly and he stepped to the dressing room door.
    “True that,” said Chad, “but Mother will be so disappointed. She’s coming to see Rory tomorrow night, and she wants to meet you.”
    “I, um, think I left my lunch bag in my dressing room,” Rory mumbled. “Be right back.” Trying to fend off Chad’s hospitality, Piggy barely noticed as Rory slipped out into the hall and came back a few moments later.
    “Moi would love to meet your mother but I have company coming myself tomorrow,” she was saying as Rory edged back in the door.
    Chad pouted. “She’s going to be sooo disappointed,” he said, “but I understand about company. So—the frog’s finally coming, is he?”
    Evidently, Rory had not caught Chad up on much of anything except the mugging, so Chad’s assumption that her company was her hubby was understandable, but the sharp sting of having to admit that it was not and he was not almost made her tear up again.
    “Kermit can’t come this weekend,” she said. “I—some friends of mine—friends of ours—“ she corrected, “are coming here to see me. My friend Thoreau is coming to make the final arrangements for launching his own ready-to-wear line.” Piggy babbled on, eager to get the part about Kermit’s non-appearance behind them.
    “You are putting me on!” Chad exclaimed. “I knew he dressed you—that’s dress your wore to the Pediatric Aids Benefit was tres magnifique—but I didn’t know you were friends.”
    That made Piggy smile. She might be a diva but she was on excellent terms with her agent, her designer and her frog—regardless of what the tabloids said.
    “We are ol--, um, long-time friends,” said Piggy. “Moi likes clothes and he likes to make them for me.”
    “Sounds like a match made in heaven,” said Chad, his eyes twinkling with mischief.
    “Almost,” Piggy admitted. “When Kermie pays the bills, then it’s a magic triangle!” They laughed and Piggy felt her spirits lifting. She was almost tempted to go with them—almost, but then she remembered how special it was to have family time in the middle of the chaos of a major show. “Your invitation is too kind, Chad, but Moi simply must refuse. How long is your mother going to be here?”
    “Through Monday afternoon—maybe we could have brunch of something after the matinee on Sunday?” Chad wheedled.
    “Brunch sounds wonderful,” said Piggy after careful consideration. She would want something to distract her while she worked up to her on-screen meeting with Kermit. There were secrets between them now—things she probably ought to have told him—but it was too late to have that conversation with him now. After their taped interview, when they were talking quietly on the phone, when he could see that she was fine and everything was okay here—then she could tell him and make him be okay about it. Of course, she’d have to leave out the part about the chloroform….
    With difficulty, Piggy turned back into the conversation and say Rory leaning on the back wall, inexplicably smirking with satisfaction. Piggy narrowed her eyes at him, wondering what he was up to, but she did not have to wonder long.
    “Piggy, honey, bonbons are going to have to wait,” said Kristen, leaning in the doorway. “You’re coming out with us.” She reached around Rory and snagged Piggy’s wrist on her uninjured side, sneaking a kiss onto Chad’s cheek. “Sorry, Chad—I’m stealing your date for tonight,” she teased. Rory grinned, loving the way Kristen could silence them both in one smooth move. Piggy gave Rory a mean look, certain that Kristen’s appearance had not been entirely serendipitous.
    “Not my date,” Chad said primly. “She’s married and I’m spoken for.”
    “Spoken about, more like!” Kristen teased, and they all laughed.
    “As long as they’re talking about you, it doesn’t matter what they’re saying!” Chad sniffed.
    Oh! But it does! It does! Piggy thought. She didn’t say it out loud, but she thought it, worried about what Fleet might write next. She tried again to excuse herself to go home alone, wondering what Fleet was doing at this hour and what he might say if she dared to call him. She’d been steeling he resolve all evening, but it was shaky, at best. “But Moi is going home,” Piggy protested, completely ignored. She thought irritably that she was going to have to throw a few more fits around here because people did not seem to appreciate how very determined she could be. She was used to getting her own way, and no one here seemed to know that—or care.
    Moi is going with me and Trudy and the rest to The Grill to eat and drink and devour a chocolate fudge cake,” Kristen countered. “C’mon—it’ll be fun. Then you can go home and eat bonbons.”
    Piggy wavered. She did not like being dictated to, and she knew that Rory had somehow set this up, but she did like chocolate, and the thought of relaxing among friends and then relaxing at home didn’t seem like too much of a compromise. And going out with friends might save her from what—in her foolishness—she might say or do. Fleet had not asked her to call tonightshe had been the one to initiate contact. And maybe contact was a bad idea on an empty stomach and stretched nerves.
    “Well….”
    “Good. It’s settled,” said Rory, and Piggy could have sworn he winked at Kristen. She had been played, and played effectively, but the end result seemed benevolent enough. Besides, she had managed to get into trouble on her own, so perhaps a crowd—tonight—was better than going solo. Piggy sighed.
    “You boys have fun,” said Kristen archly. “Your Mom coming see the show again soon, Chad?”
    “Tomorrow night,” said Chad. “Better be brilliant!”
    “As if I could help it,” said Kristen, and pulled Piggy after her down the hall.

    *********************

    The inside of the Bat, Bolt and Skull was cool and dark when they arrived in mid-afternoon. There were a few patrons—some truckers, some monsters, some both—in the place, but it was mostly quiet and only the occasional clank-clank of glasses could be heard, a comforting sound. Coraline paced around the stage area, muttering, clearly please with everything, and the girls began to set up their set. Clifford tried to be useful and unload things, but his offers of muscle-y support were met with disdain and outright hostility.
    “We got it,” Tricia had insisted firmly, but mostly nicely. “We do this all the time without big, strong men to help us.” That last had been dripping with sarcasm, but Clifford decided to take it as a compliment. So she had noticed he was big and strong—not to mention handsome.
    He wandered over to the bar and ordered and iced tea, which the barkeep provided with a flourish and a nice enough grin, baring three rows of pointed teeth. Clifford nodded his thanks and walked toward the parking lot, dialing as he went.
    “Yello?”
    “You’ll never guess where I’m at, man!” Clifford said. There was a short silence on the other end of the phone, then Rowlf offered, “Jail? I’m a little too far away to bail you out.”
    Clifford laughed, half in amusement, half in outrage. “I am not in jail, man—but I’m surprised you’ve not been hauled in. Still driving with that expired license?”
    “Nope. I got that taken care of. But I’m still waiting for the results of my rabies test!”
    “Who bit you?” Clifford asked, but Rowlf’s rejoinder put his quip to shame.
    “Don’t know her name,” said Rowlf, “but she was a batty little thing….”
    “Speaking of…we’re here at the Bat, Bolt and Skull.”
    “Huh. Already? I thought you’d gone back to Vegas?”
    “What? Oh! I did, I did go back to Vegas. I’m at the Bat, Bolt and Skull in State Line.”
    “You said ‘we’ earlier. How’s Mabel like State Line?”
    “Not much to like, ‘cept here,” said Clifford, then added casually. “And it’s not me and Mabel here—it’s me and a band.”
    “Get out!” said Rowlf.
    “I would,” said Clifford, “but I’m in too deep.”
    “So we’re both on the road, playing for the real fans.”
    “Sort of,” Clifford admitted. “Only I’m not playing. I’m…I’m sort of managing. Sort of.”
    There was a silence on the other end of the phone, and Clifford wondered for a moment if Rowlf had hung up.
    “What’s her name?” Rowlf asked.
    And this time, Clifford told him.

    *************************************

    Autumn kept an eagle eye on their luggage, the other passengers and still managed to devote her unwavering attention to her swain. She stretch up to kiss him on the ear, and was delighted at his startled blush.
    “Thank you for letting me kidnap you,” she said. “I didn’t even know I’d get to be in this hemisphere, but a chance to see you—“ She stretched to kiss him again, but this time Ed was ready for it. He honed in on the sound, grasped her arms and kissed her, quietly but soundly. Around them, several airport patrons looked on in benevolent amusement as he released her lips and sat her back on her heels.
    “Sneaky,” she accused breathlessly, but Ed was sanguine. (!)
    “Yes,” he said. “Yes I am. But I’m more amazed at you getting tickets than I am about you, er, kidnapping me. I thought the run had been sold out.”
    “It had,” said Autum. “But I know a guy….”
    “Hmm,” Ed said, glad for the tickets but not especially thrilled at the way that sounded. “This is unexpectedly wonderful,” he added, not wanting to sound churlish. “But strange. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Miss Piggy perform without…everyone else.”
    “The reviews have been stellar,” said Autumn, “except for that one idiot who dissed Piggy’s hair. Oh! She’s brunette in this—did you know that?”
    “And I’ve always wondered what she’d look like as a red-head,” Ed teased. “From what I understand, Rizzo has to be brunette because Sandy is blonde? Something about contrasting the two characters?”
    Autumn shrugged. “Typecasting—what are you going to do?”
    Ed put his arm on Autumn’s waist, warm, but reserved. “I’m going to enjoy my weekend with the two loveliest women on the planet,” he murmured.

    **************************************

    Piggy hated to admit it, but some time after the salad, she began to have a good time. It was always fun to come out with the girls, fun to get dressed up and eat hot food and be flirted with by every waiter and half the patrons. Her stress and fright and anger from her earlier encounter that day had faded, washed away on a tide of other strong emotions. Being a celebrity had always brought some unwelcome attention, and Piggy began to minimize the creepiness of the earlier attack. Psychologically, this was good, because it calmed her and made her less anxious. Physically, it wasn’t so great, because it caused her to relax her guard.
    “I have the best job in the world tonight,” said Alexey, beaming at the table full of lovelies. They giggled and smiled back. Short, dark-skinned and mischievous, the Indian waiter somehow managed to snag their table at The Grill, no matter where they sat. His memory was superior, his manners sublime, and he managed to flirt and entertain in a way that was delightful and not offensive.
    “How come we always get you?” Darcy had asked. “Who’d you bribe this time?”
    Alexey bowed formally, but with such a flourish it was mocking and humorous. “I would never bribe anyone to wait on you lovely ladies,” he said solemnly. His eyes slid comically to the left. “Although…it is possible that the broom closet has more than brooms in it tonight!” He dispensed their drink refills, scooping up empty salad bowls as he went. “Next up, something hot from the kitchen!” he sing-songed.
    “Besides you,” murmured Stacey, and Alexey turned his long-lashed eyes on her and gave that quick, polite bow.
    In addition, I would have said,” he intoned solemnly, then grinned and made for the kitchen with the tray high over his head.
    “Cutie,” said Jan.
    “Shameless flirt,” Piggy murmured, amused.
    “Excellent service, I’ll bet,” said Trudy, and the entire table erupted into giggled.

    Across the room, someone was not giggling. Seymour had watched with mounting irritation the way Piggy and the other girls—whom he blamed for leading her astray—had enjoyed the attention of the young waiter. In his anger, he assigned a much more sinister intent to Alexey’s harmless flirtation, and he was determined to do something about it. He noticed his grip on his wineglass was too tight, and relaxed it with effort. His own waiter, whose name he couldn’t care less about, approached rather cautiously as he set the glass down.
    “Another glass of wine before you order, sir?” the young man asked. Seymour looked down and discovered two wineglasses on the table. Funny, he thought. I don’t remember drinking a second glass of wine.
    In truth, it was this third, but Jules, his waiter, has whisked the first glass away so unobtrusively that it had gone unnoticed. Jules was to well-trained, and too wise, to comment further.
    “No…no. I’ll, um, order now,” said Seymour, and opened the menu. He pointed at the first likely thing.
    “Thank you, sir,” said Jules, and Seymour forgot what he’d ordered as soon as the young man walked away. He was not interested in food. He was hungry, but not for anything on the menu. He wanted her. He wanted Piggy in his arms and in his power, and it was all he could do not to march over there and demand she come home with him this instant. He was, after all, responsible—at least indirectly—for her being here, and she owed him for that, and her respect and so much more….
    There was the taste of bile in his mouth and he felt light-headed, and the shock of it shook him, nudging him back toward reality. He was…getting all out of sorts for nothing, he reminded himself. Piggy adored him. She wanted him, wanted to belong to him. He just hadn’t…set things up correctly for her to see that. If things had gone better today, why, they’d even now be getting better acquainted… He knew that Piggy would be thrilled to find herself in his thrall, but then that stupid reporter…! Seymour ground his teeth, fighting a surge of fury. He’d been a little slow, but he’d almost managed to knock that low-life reporter’s block off. If he had….
    Piggy stood up, and Seymour had a mouth-watering view of her low-backed evening gown, her generous curves that the dress hugged the way he wanted to hug them. She picked up her purse, a little ruffled-looking thing, and Seymour realized with elation that she was leaving the table! His mind raced ahead. The exit was not exactly close to the bathrooms, but it was closer and more private there than here. He didn’t have the chloroform on him, but how hard could it be to grab her and wrestle her out to the car?
    Seymour might have been delusional, but he wasn’t stupid. Too hard, he concluded, and too many witnesses. Besides, one of her girlfriends was getting up with her, and they were chattering their way toward the rest rooms while everyone in the room watched them go. Seymour realized he was half-standing and started to sit back down, but just at that moment, that noxious little Indian waiter—Alex Something-or-other—was walking by, his tray laden with food. So quick it was almost un-thought, Seymour stuck his toe out and Alexey stumbled, losing his balance. The huge tray wobbled, the nearby crowd gasped and—impossibly, miraculously—the man was finding his footing, holding the tray upright and stable and emerging from a bewildered crouch to a roomful of gasps of approval. Alexey stood there, panting for a moment from the adrenaline rush, then stood erect, smiled and took a small, sardonic bow with the tray held high over his head. Dignified and tony the restaurant might be, but it was still full of people. The crowd erupted into cheers and applause, and Alexey moved cheekily to the table Piggy had so recently vacated and began to put down their entrees.
    Seymour made a sound like a low growl. Everything was going wrong today! Everything! He was going to go outside—to wait and to watch. He stood again, just as Jules arrived with his entrée. He stared at it in confusion, having no memory of what he ordered and was about to berate the waiter when something amazing happened.
    “Seymour? Mr. Strathers?”
    He looked up and was immediately transfixed, caught in the fabulous blue of her eyes.
    “Piggy?” he managed. “Miss Piggy…how…how nice to see you!”
    And she was moving forward, putting her satin gloved hand on his arm and drawing her friend after her.
    “Kristen, Mr. Strathers is one of the owners of the casino where Moi performed during Christmas,” Piggy explained. “Mr. Strathers, this is Moi’s dear friend Kristen—“
    “Piggy,” Seymour said, and reached out clumsily to clasp her arms and kiss first on one cheek and then the other, but the second kiss landed awkwardly on her neck. He sighed with delight, but Piggy let out a little yeep and stiffened in surprise.
    “Oh, um, ha ha,” said Piggy. “Oh, Mr. Strathers. How, um, what brings you to New York? Are you scouting new acts for your casino?”
    Seymour relaxed at once. He knew how this was played, and what a charming coquette Piggy was! What brings him to New York indeed! As if she hadn’t moved here specifically to be available to him!
    “Why, yes—I am on a scouting expedition,” Seymour said, watching her. Little minx!
    Kristen didn’t like it. She didn’t like him. She disliked the way he was looking at Piggy, and the way he had practically dived into her cleavage. Piggy seemed oblivious, but there was something…off, somehow, about this man. He had ignored Piggy’s introduction, but Kristen moved solidly up next to her friend, making it clear that Piggy was not alone.
    “Charmed, I’m sure,” Kristen said, and while her smile was brilliant and her hand was soft, there was a hard, unfriendly edge to her greeting. She was watching this Mr. Strathers as closely as he was watching Piggy, and the tension in the air mounted.
    “Oh, um, yes,” said Strathers, making hurried eye contact with Kristen while he took her hand perfunctorily. The warning in the woman’s eyes froze him in his tracts and made him step back with an almost inaudible hiss, drawing out the “yesss.” He put his hands in his pockets, then took them out again.
    Piggy, usually so adept at social situations, didn’t understand what was happening, but she felt the awkwardness intrude again and made as if to extricate them.
    “You must come by and see, um, the show,” Piggy said. She had almost said, “see me,” but she was remembering a time backstage, when she and Kermit had been dancing and flirting and…and Mr. Strathers had emerged out of the shadows. Something about this encounter made her think of that encounter, but her brain would not track after the day she’d had. She filed it away to think about later, when she was by herself—if she remembered.
    He was losing her—losing her again to her friends and the crowd. Every impulse said to lunge forward and hold fast to her voluptuous frame, but it suddenly seemed too hot, too crowded, too…public. He grasped desperately at his decorum and smiled.
    “Lovely to see you again, Piggy,” said Seymour, striving for a calmness and suavity he did not feel. He was faking it effectively from twenty paces, but up close Kristen—and Piggy—felt the oddness. “I’ll come and see you.”
    Kristen’s eyes narrowed. I just bet you’d like to, she thought, but her smile was quick, if razor-sharp.
    “Yes—do come to the play,” Kristen said. “Piggy is wonderful in it.”
    Piggy blushed but did not deny it. She was wonderful in the play. She fully expected at least a Tony nomination.
    But Kristen’s pointed barb could not penetrate his elation.
    Or nix the plan that was forming even now in his fevered brain.


    “And this is your room,” Thoreau said, as the bellboy opened the door with a coded key. He and Howard had gotten on like a house on fire all the way here, full of ideas and excitement and punchiness at the lateness of the hour, but now that they were here, some awkwardness intruded. Traveling with someone is often revealing, sometimes inadvertently and, along with their fatigue and nervousness, there had been bursts of self-revelation from both of them. It had made them both more bold, and more shy.
    “How lovely!” Howard said, suitably awed with the suite, but not overawed. He liked nice things and he was used to them, but to have someone provide something so nice as a present…it made him feel a little giggly and nervous. “Well, come in, come in—let’s see what kind of view I have,” Howard had babbled, and Thoreau had tipped the bellboy outrageously and followed his friend into the room. They opened the curtains and looked out on the city, dazzled by the sheer enormity of New York.
    “Oh, look,” Thoreau said, passing the coffee table. “The hotel sent up champagne.” He sounded puzzled, but after peering closer, he let out a snort and a sigh of satisfaction. “Not the hotel,” he said. “Piggy!”
    “Piggy!” Howard said at the same moment. “Ooh! And I’ll bet she sent a muffin basket!” Food is such a common social custom that it can wipe aware almost all unnecessary worry, and the two men happily worked their way to the bottom of the enormous basket, examining each muffin, each chocolate, each piece of candied fruit.
    “Piggy certainly knows how to entertain,” Howard said. “If only there were—“
    “Coffee? I hope you like French Press in the morning?” He was peering into the coffee contraption in the little kitchenette.
    “I do,” said Howard. “You?”
    “Usually I’m a tea person,” said Thoreau, “but after tonight….”
    It had gotten quiet again in the room.
    “Well, let’s toast, and I’m going to eat a muffin. In fact, I’m going to eat a muffin and a piece of chocolate! I’m on vacation!” Howard said. “Pour the champagne!”
    Thoreau smiled and obeyed, popping the cork expertly and pouring two classes of the pale amber liquid. “The finest musketel in Idaho,” said Thoreau solemnly after the first sip, and it was all Howard could to not to shoot champagne out of his snout. They drank champagne and giggled.
    Howard ate his muffin and made Thoreau eat one, then they each ate a chocolate.
    “What kind of cookies were there?” Howard asked.
    Thoreau brought each (enormous) individually wrapped cookie back to the couch. “If you give a pig a cookie….” he teased, but Howard refused to be cowed.
    “It’s not a cookie—it’s a party. It’s If You Give A Pig A Party. The first one was If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, though why anyone would waste a cookie on ol’ big ears is beyond—“ He looked down to discover his wine glass was empty, so he poured for himself and poured more champagne into Thoreau’s empty glass.
    “I wonder what kind of cookies Minnie serves when they have company?” Thoreau mused. They had gone past awkward and were well into silly. It was unlikely that they would make their way fully to blotto, but it was a possibility.
    Howard snorted. “I’ll never know,” he said. “They apparently have their own choreographer,” he sniffed.
    “Well, she certainly doesn’t need me to design for her,” said Thoreau, twirling his glass. “She hasn’t worn anything fashion-forward in years. Piggy, on the other hand….”
    And that was a topic they could talk about all night.
    Well, almost.

    *****************************
    It had taken some fast talking, but Kristen and Stacey had finally allowed that Piggy could stay at her own place tonight. They had dropped Darcy off along the way, Mr. Finkel having come almost the moment Piggy had called him. He deposited all three women in front of the apartment building where Piggy was staying and promised to wait as long as necessary for them to see her safely into her unit.
    Oh, the joys of youth and strength and limber limbs! They were not even breathing hard when they finished the walk-up to Piggy apartment, and although Piggy rolled her eyes, she opened the door and allowed them to walk her in.
    “Are you going to check my closets?” Piggy said dryly, but Kristen just grinned.
    “If I did, would I find out all your secrets?”
    “Just my shoe size,” said Piggy, and they laughed. “Really, vous are very sweet to see me up and in and—you’re not planning on tucking me in, are you? Because I do like a mint on my pillow—“
    “Oh, dry up,” said Stacey, and leaned down to kiss Piggy on the cheek. “We’re just looking out for you, doll. It’s not every day someone tries to mug you—even here in the big Apple.”
    Piggy snorted. “Somebody tried to mug me the other day,” she said, then immediately regretted it when her two friends exchanged worried looks. “Moi flattened him with a solid Hi-yah,” she insisted. “It’s no big deal!”
    “It is a big deal!” Kristen said, and Piggy’s heart leapt into her throat. What had Rory told her? Did she know that today had not been a run-of-the-mill hold-up attempt?
    “It’s a done deal,” said Stacey, trying to fend off an argument. “With a happy ending. But not all muggers are going to go down on the first hit, Piggy. Be careful, won’t you? I don’t not want to meet your little green hubby over your hospital bed!”
    “Especially if Dr. Rowlf is operating,” Piggy quipped, determined to lighten the mood, but her friends exchanged looks again and she sighed in exasperation.
    “Arrgh!” she said, taking their arms and moving them toward the door. “I’m in, I’m safe, I’m going to get in the tub. Go let Moishe take you home.”
    They made their good-byes and left, and Piggy made sure to slam the deadbolts extra loud.

    ************************************

    Drat it—there were still two of them, and a cabbie who had kept a pretty thorough watch on the street. Wedged into the narrow alleyway, Seymour shivered in the cold, but he did not feel it. Instead, he felt warm—warm and hot-blooded with triumph! He knew where she lived.
    Well, he knew the building where she lived. His plan of accosting whichever young lady came out and bullying the information about Piggy’s room number was not going to work. There were still two of them. And a cabbie.
    But now the cabbie was driving off!
    His heart and his expectations soared! All he had to do was count the lighted windows….
    He gave up, shivering violently, after 36, and that wasn’t even counting the top-most floors. Drat! Drat and drat and drat again! Would nothing go right today?
    As if in answer to his plea, Seymour saw an elderly Asian lady come around the corner, a white paper bag in her hands. She was heading towards Piggy’s building…going past the first apartment building…the second…oh! Oh! It was happening! His luck was changing!
    For the worse. Seymour bounded out of his hiding place and grabbed the woman from behind in a bear hug…
    …only to find himself flat on his back. He must have slipped or something—he was running ahead of himself. The lady was still there on the sidewalk, now behind him, but he was between her and the door. She made no sound as he reached out and grasped her arm…
    …and he was looking at the stars again, only this time with a Cantonese sound-track as the lady blessed him up one side and down the other. He staggered to his feet, and this time he saw it—saw her turn, one leg up and then…
    …he was face down on the pavement. When he had worked out whether he was going to throw up or not, Seymour thought he might just go back to his own apartment and crawl in bed.

    “Thank you,” said Tricia. “You’re an amazing audience. Okay, this one goes out to all the monsters out there who can count to 9—let’s give it up for the number 9!”
    And the crowd just roared, as the band launched into “Love Potion Number Nine.” Clifford sat at the bar, nursing his ice tea. He was driving, and he was responsible for a whole carload of femininity that needed to make it safely back into the van. Tricia was really belting out the songs, and the girls were laying down some serious, righteous tracks. Clifford thought for a moment that Susie could give Animal a pointer or two, and he could see now why Coraline had worried about the stage room. She moved, her feet as quick as her fingers flying over the strings. When Tia had brought out the oboe, a huge, shaggy orange monster in front of Clifford put his head (his head? He hoped it was a he.) on the table and began to sob loudly.
    “Boy, have I got a proposition for those ladies,” said a voice behind Clifford, and he was on his feet in an instant, fists raised, lips drawn back in a snarl. The little man in glasses and a business suit behind him smiled broadly and held out his hand. “You their manager? Because if you are, you are just the man I want to talk to….”


    Piggy heard the commotion as her friend stomped down the hallway. She had run her bath, but not stepped into it, and she looked out to see the little Asian lady from down the hall walking with quick steps toward her apartment door, muttering angrily. Without thinking, Piggy opened the door and looked out.
    “Mei-wah?” Piggy asked. “Is everything all right?”
    Mei-wah ranted in Cantonese for a bit, then switched to Engligh, from which Piggy could gather that she had come back from the restaurant where she worked with a sack full of steaming hot egg rolls, only to be accosted by some low-life on the street that had slowed her down, dared to put his hands on her, and made her egg rolls get cold!
    “I have a microwave,” Piggy said, and Mei-wah’s face brightened.
    “You a good girl,” said Mei-wah. “Use your microwave and we’ll share, okay?”
    “Okay,” said Piggy, then hesitated.
    But Mei-wah’s little dark eyes were dancing with mischief and understanding. “Only vegetarian!” she said, clapping her hands. “Today or tomorrow or the next day—all days, only vegetarian!”
    Piggy smiled and opened the door.


    Kermit woke up alone on the couch. Someone had draped a blanket over him, and the lamp in the corner was on, so he oriented pretty quickly when he sat up.
    “You awake?”
    Any voice but Fozzie’s would have shot him through the roof, but as it was, Kermit just smiled and rubbed the back of his neck.
    “It’s me. You get the short straw?”
    “The short--? Oh. Oh! No. I just…I decided to stay. If it’s okay?”
    “I order you to leave this house at once,” Kermit intoned, and Fozzie sighed in relief.
    “Oh, good,” he said. “You should go on up to your room. I’m gonna stay here in the recliner.”
    Kermit thought about saying something snarky, but what was the point? He felt hovered over and coddled and…loved. Yeah. He felt loved, and although it was not the same as having Piggy here, it was nice. Pretty nice.
    “Okay,” said Kermit, and looked on the coffee table for his phone.
    “Scooter put it on the charger for you,” said Fozzie sleepily.
    “Of course he did,” Kermit sighed. He made his way up the steps, wondering what time it was, wondering if it was too late to call Piggy.
    It was. It was too late to call Piggy. In spite of his best efforts, Kermit dialed the phone and to his overwhelming joy and astonishment, she answered on the first ring.
    “Kermie!” Piggy said, and Kermit felt his whole body relax.
    “Hi Piggy. It’s me.”
    “Hi me,” Piggy said, and giggled. Kermit could here a sibilant sound, like silk on silk.
    “Did I, um, wake you up or anything?”
    “No,” Piggy said. “I was…I was having an egg roll with my neighbor, Mei-wah.”
    “Oh. Quiet night then,” said Kermit, and Piggy did not correct him. Instead, she lead him further down the wrong path.
    “Quiet day,” Piggy answered, thinking about the terrifying stranger who had grabbed her, about being rescued by her hated adversary. “What about you? You do anything exciting today?”
    “No,” said Kermit. “The morning was busy, but I didn’t get a lot done in the afternoon.” He’d spent the afternoon thawing. “We did manage to get another batch of film to the editor.” He started to say, “We found out what the problem was with the film that got ruined,” but Piggy didn’t know about the film that got ruined. He tried to remember if he had told her about Fozzie’s tie tac, but honestly couldn’t remember. It seemed a bad idea to bring it up now.
    “Vous are so clever,” said Piggy, but Kermit heard her yawn and felt little twinge of hurt and indignation. If she knew I’d been frozen most of the afternoon, she’d be more impressed.
    Piggy had not yawned. She had tried to shift on the big bed and tried putting weight on her elbow, but the sharp ache of it had made her gasp and she had to bite her lip to keep from crying out. She almost told Kermit everything—about the chloroform, about Scribbler, about the apartment. But she didn’t.
    “I’m, um, sorry I’m calling so late. I, um, fell asleep on the couch.”
    “Oh! Poor thing! All alone in that big house. Moi was going to call vous sooner, Mon Capitan, but I was taking a bath.”
    “It’s okay,” said Kermit.
    “It’s okay,” said Piggy.
    But it wasn’t. It wasn’t at all.
    Muppetfan44 likes this.
  14. miss kermie

    miss kermie Well-Known Member

    Oh my gosh, I was half execting that Seymour guy to just... Kiss her or something...
    Bleah! Her lips belong to Mr. Frog!
    And then there's a drama end. Oh Ru, I'm such a bug a boo, but please do more!
    Ruahnna likes this.
  15. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hexcellent. Review of this will be forthcoming. And because I don't want to mess with the formatting, the typos have been cleaned in the extra copy I keep. *Time to beat feet back to the Sandman's.
  16. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    I'm WebMistressGina and I approve of this shameless plug.

    And why was I not notified of this ridiculous chapter epic!?!? I certainly can't read it all now, I gots a conference call to be involved in! I'm not sure I could get through it during lunch! Why Muppet Central? Why did you not tell me of this epically long chapter!?

    WHY??
    Ruahnna and The Count like this.
  17. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hee... The good news is it's happened to me as well. Even if you've got the thread on your Watched Threads list, you've got to come back into the thread once in a while to get the update notifications restored.
    The bad news is, there's an even ridiculously longish chapter posted, #123 after you finish with 122. Idn't fic updates great?

    And yes, I'll be going through #123 now.
  18. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    Wait. What???

    Oh I see; you're doing the editing. Okay, that's okay then. I was about to say.

    You have pleased me, sir, with the knowledge that more is await me when I come home. When I come home, yes? So you've got...like six hours or something. Yeah.
  19. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Er, did you read through Chapters 122 and 123 already? Cause that's all there is, the version I edit is a clean copy kept for Ru which could be shared... But I'm not Betaing Ch 124, only the authoress has that to herself, until she posts it.
    Ruahnna likes this.
  20. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    (Is embarrassed by dumb typos, but since I finished and posted at 4ish in the morning, I'm not gonna be too hard on myself.) More to follow this week! Comments? Rants? Lashes with a wet noodle?

    Coming up--the Academy Awards where we'll meet Oscar!
    Oscar: (emerging from trash can) I don't care what you say, I'm not renting a tux!
    Ru: We already rented the tux. You just have to wear it.
    Oscar: Can't you rub something stinky on it? It's all clean and new and fancy looking.
    Ru: Just put it on. Don't make me call Piggy!
    The Count likes this.


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