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Kermie's Girl (ushy-gushy fanfic)

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

  1. newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    ------------
    LMAO at this whole post!

    Breakin' it down: Grinned at Clifford shamelessly not only NOT letting go of Tricia, but inviting Mabel to take his other side. Whadda flirt. Interesting that he noticed/recognized Piggy's awards outfit from more than one year back, apparently; and good for him for not being weird about underwear!

    Bears out of work! JANITORS out of work! LOLOL wonderful jokes!

    Rory's chat with his mom-in-law was nicely done, believable and touching. Yeah...I used to think Piggy was an insufferable diva too, but her performance in "The Muppets" convinced me otherwise. You go girl -- keep winnin' em over!

    The fight between Rory and Bobo was both funny and alarming. Bobo is, well, imposing, if a bit dense. Effective indeed...poor Rory. Loved how Darcy broke up the fight -- never seen that done before. And nobody else even noticing all this...well...that feels more like uneasy foreshadowing. After all, we DO still have at least one psycho stalker lurking somewhere, and what happens if he convinces Bobo he's on the list? :concern: The banter between Darcy and Harrison is wonderful; I don't think I've ever seen anyone make a proper pun using "berth" before! Kudos!

    So, on with the show, this is iiiiiiittt....
    -----------
  2. miss kermie Well-Known Member

    Oh Ru, I love it! Perfect!
    I especially love the comment about the feed sack!
    More please!
  3. Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    (Good grief--this one is so big I'm going to have to post it in two sections. Merci beaucoup for your patience and patronage!)

    Chapter 132: Muses and Musings, Part 1


    After Scooter left, Kermit locked up and made his weary way to his car, tired in body, mind and spirit. More than once, he turned and looked over his shoulder, unable to shake the feeling that someone or something unfriendly was watching. He shrugged it off irritably, determined not to let the willies get to him. Of course, his mind prompted, it wasn’t the willies that shoved him into the freezer, or made a run at Scooter, albeit with unsuccessful results. He thought again about what had happened, and was suddenly glad that Marty had ordered Piggy protection, even if she wasn’t actually in any danger. An unpleasant thought occurred to him, something about what Scooter had said earlier about Marty not telling him everything….
    He stopped in his tracks and frowned, thinking hard and unhappily that maybe there was more to Marty’s protectiveness than he’d let on, but after a moment he shoved the thought firmly aside. That was ridiculous. If Marty knew something, he’d have told him. And if Marty had known something about Piggy’s safety, well, he’d have known it, too.
    He and Piggy did not have any secrets between them. Why, he only had to look at her to know that she was holding back, and then he would take her firmly in his arms and remind her that she was safe and she was his and she would melt and tell him everything. For his part, he had never been a very good liar, and his guilty expression usually gave him away. Earlier, Scooter had known immediately that he had something up his, er, sleeve, and had winnowed out the truth without much trouble. Piggy only had to be in the same room with him to know he was not being up front with her, and it took little of her particularly devastating version of, um, cross-examination to have him spilling his guts.
    Again, Kermit stopped, this time with his key in the car door. Piggy had not been in the same room with him for a while now, and he wondered if there was anything he’d see in her face that he couldn’t hear in her voice. She had practically purred endearments into his aural organs earlier today, thanking him for the presents and promising to return his generosity in a mutually acceptable form of barter when they were together again, only…only Kermit didn’t know when that would actually be.
    He thought back to the time they’d been dating, when he had managed through sheer force of will not to continually betray his feelings for her. Even then, she had known, and the knowledge without the proof had made her crazed with frustration on more than one occasion. Absently, he rubbed his middle, and grinned when he realized he was doing it. She had proven her own ardor in quite another way! Kermit sighed with relief and opened the car door, slipping behind the wheel. She had known how he felt, and he had known what she felt. Even when she tried to pretend interest in someone else, all he had had to do was stand within touching distance of her aloof form before her blushing cheeks betrayed her. The heat of passion would flare between them, bidden or not, and neither of them had stood a chance of truly deceiving the other. He put the key in the ignition and he started the car.
    He sat there in the car and smiled, remembering how things had (finally) come together perfectly during the filming of The Muppets Take Manhatten. It had taken every ounce of self-control he’d possessed not to give himself away beforehand, holding back until the moment he’d proposed, to deceive her into believing the wedding was nothing more than a plot device when in fact he had plotted and planned for weeks (okay, months maybe) to change her from the divine Miss Piggy into the blissful Mrs. The Frog. Even with all his scheming, Piggy had been almost overwrought with bewilderment, sensing the ardor that had to have been radiating off him in waves but not finding what she wanted when she looked into his face. More than once, he had almost caved, wanting to run to her and throw himself down on one knee and beg for her hand (and the rest of her!), but the movie…the movie had been running on a parallel track in his little froggy brain and he had wanted that, too. He wanted the wedding scene to play out a certain way, had planned on having his wedding and Piggy too…. He took a deep breath, counting himself lucky, but remembered with a pang of anxiety how close he had come to losing it all.
    He hadn’t known the danger at the time, but Piggy had told him later. Weeks after they were married, snuggled into his embrace, drowsy and content, Piggy had confessed that she had almost run away, had almost fled the set and him and everything familiar in the hopes of escaping her feelings for him. He had been mortified to know how she had suffered, and had tried—again and again and in a thousand ways—to show her how sorry he was. Piggy had dismissed it as old news, obliterated in the happiness they now shared, but Kermit had tucked her revelation into that secret, hoarding place where he put uncomfortable emotions and there it had stayed, banished but not entirely forgotten. He comforted himself with the fact that even that truth had not managed to stay unspoken between them once they were together.
    But they weren’t together now. Piggy was There. He was Here. A Sesame Street skit bloomed in his head and he dismissed it savagely, not amused. Alone, in the quiet car, Kermit peered uncomfortably into that little maelstrom of emotional turmoil and wondered what would have happened if he’d been too late that fateful day and Piggy had made a mad dash for Paris alone. Would she have come back if he had asked? Of course, he thought uncomfortably. Of course she would have. Or would the act of leaving tear something that couldn’t be repaired? Kermit shifted, wading in emotional waters that were over his head and feeling as though he might be engulfed at any moment. He had talked to Piggy just a few hours ago, but he had an overwhelming need to talk to Piggy now, to know that she loved him and missed him and-- He took a deep breath, his heart racing, and looked at the clock on the dashboard with something like despair. Piggy was probably still in the matinee, as far away as the dark side of the moon, and there was nothing for it but to—
    His phone rang. Kermit startled, looking for it, and hoped and prayed it wasn’t Marty. He didn’t think he could stand up to Marty in the state he was in. He didn’t much want to talk to Scooter, either, truth be told. He felt guilty and hoped that Sara wasn’t mad at him. He dredged the little phone up and stared at it—stared at it and fumbled it and almost gasped into the phone.
    “Piggy! Sweetheart!”
    “Oh, Kermie, I only have a moment but—“
    “I love you! Are you okay?” Kermit blurted, and Piggy paused, her blue eyes widening. She had been resigned about the fact that someone might have told Marty, although now she doubted it. Marty would had said something when they talked, would have asked her what the devil she thought she was doing not telling him about the attack. But he hadn’t, and Piggy had gradually decided that Bobo was nothing more than a figment of the overblown worrywart imagination of Marty (and Kermit, despite what Marty had said). She had not actually counted on the fact that someone might tell Kermit. Rory had threatened, but she had been sure—earlier—that he hadn’t. Had someone else ratted her out? She thought warily of Scribbler, the sometimes-unknown quantity—but she could not imagine a circumstance that would cause him to want to reassure Kermit—not for any reason. She felt that Scribbler’s position was a little unfair, given the circumstances. Hadn’t she been honest with him about her feelings for Kermit?
    The thought of honesty made her squirm. Kermit was waiting for her to say something, to answer him, and she heard the strain of…something in his voice. How she wished she were there, in the same room with him! Then, she would know, would be able to see…. “I love vous, too, and Moi is fine, Mon Capitan,” she said in a rush. “But I have some wonderful news that I wanted to share.”
    “I—…okay, Piggy,” said Kermit. “I’m listening.”
    “Marty has made arrangements for Bobo to work at the theater here as a security officer! He has been here all afternoon, and he is taking such good care of Moi and all the other people backstage.” She blushed a little at the boldness of her lie. Darcy had told her about Rory’s run-in with Bobo, and she wondered if that was why he was being so sharp with her in his argument scenes. Actually, she liked it—it made their onstage fight more brutal and realistic, making their eventual reconciliation onstage more satisfying. Speaking of… “Mon Capitan, Moi must go. I am changing for the last number and can’t be late. Kissy kissy! Moi will call you after the matinee is over!” And she had hung up.
    Kermit stared at the phone for a moment, wondering if he had imagined the conversation. It had happened so fast, and so little had been said…. She had told him about Bobo, which made him feel better, and she hadn’t sounded angry. That was more cheerful than he’d expected. At least she had called, even though they’d already spoken this afternoon, when she was in the restaurant. Kermit felt his cheeks grow warm. They had spoken—at length, then--plying each other with plenty of mushy stuff. And like then, she had said she loved him, and he had told her he loved her. Kermit relaxed, satisfied at last. What else was there—really—to say after that?


    New York has been called “The City That Never Sleeps,” but that does not mean that the residents don’t. If you are planning on being up scandalously late, or you have been up scandalously late the night before, or both, then naptime is not only acceptable, but practical. Add excitement and a nervous disposition and…well. Thoreau crashed like there was no tomorrow. When he finally woke, tousled and grumpy, he found Howard lounging on the couch checking his email and leafing through an entertainment magazine in a desultory manner. He looked with longing at Howard’s coffee, and the boar merely smiled and pointed mutely at the steaming coffee pot. Ah! So that had been the siren song to waken him from his nap. Thoreau went to the kitchen and poured a cup, and Howard sat up and made room for him on the couch.
    It took two swallows before he was fully aware of his surroundings, and half the cup was gone before he became genuinely interested in them, but by the time the cup was drained, he was doing a reasonable facsimile of his inquisitive self.
    “Thank goodness for caffeine,” he said with feeling. “I don’t know what people did before coffee.”
    “Or tea. ‘I’m glad I was not born before tea.’” Howard quipped, and Thoreau agreed.
    “Me, too,” he said with feeling. “But coffee does the trick in a pinch.” He reached for the entertainment magazine, seeing a familiar silhouette. “Is that our girl?” he said, wonderingly. “It doesn’t—oh. Oh. I see. They used the old photo, with the other Rizzo, but the article is about Piggy.”

    Howard snorted. “If you can call it an article. One-third rewarmed leftover news and two-thirds speculation.” He handed the magazine over willingly, no longer interested, and Thoreau read the article out loud, his brow becoming more furrowed as he went.
    “The new new cast of Grease! is all gussied up and slicked down in time for the Thunderbirds to rule the roads. The addition of Miss Piggy, star of stage and screen and fashion darling, to the cast of Grease! has been a much-welcomed shot in the arm for this homage to the good ol’ days. The current Mrs. the Frog—“

    Thoreau stopped reading, sputtering instead. “What the devil is that supposed to mean?!” he cried. “They make it sound like she’s the current wife in a long string of floozies!”
    Howard patted him on the back, but his words were not comforting. “Keep reading,” he said dryly, and sipped his coffee.

    “—current Mrs. the Frog brings a knock-out punch to the production even in a supporting role. In addition to acting chops above reproach, Miss Piggy brings her years of experience supporting Rainbow Productions shows back to the stage where she belongs. This change of affairs comes, no doubt, in reaction to a brief respite from filming hubby’s films to doing a star turn in a holiday revue in Las Vegas. Lucky for fans, what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas—sometimes it escapes to Broadway! Tickets are sold out, but an unconfirmed source says scalpers are ready and willing to hook you up for any unused limbs just lying around—blah, blah.”

    Thoreau turned to Howard, all but livid with rage. He had taken Piggy’s side in the cab, willing to acknowledge Kermit’s sometimes inconvenient hold on the reins, but this was someone on the outside taking potshots at Piggy’s frog, and it was not to be borne without protest!
    “This is outrageous!” he fumed. “It makes it sound like Piggy’s been propping up Kermit’s productions for years without any credit. And it doesn’t even mention that the Vegas show was Kermit’s idea—and that he agreed to it mostly because he knew Piggy would enjoy it!”
    “I know,” said Howard. “It doesn’t actually say he’s a tyrant, but that’s been the verse and chorus for months now. I don’t like that ‘escape’ reference either. This is very unfair to Kermit, and Piggy’s not going to like it one bit.”
    “Piggy’s not going to see this—this twaddle!” Thoreau cried. “Why, I have half a mind to go down to—to—who wrote this anyway? If it’s that Scribbler character, so help me…huh? Huh. It’s not..it’s not him.” He looked at the byline, flummoxed, and then at Howard, his eyes worried. “It’s not him,” he said quietly. “That can’t be good.”
    “No,” said Howard. “It’s not, but I have to say it’s not entirely unexpected. You know, Scooter said this might happen once Piggy left.”
    “For Broadway!” Thoreau said defensively. “Piggy left for Broadway.”
    “I know,” said Howard mildly. “I wasn’t saying—“
    “I’m sorry,” said Thoreau, cheeks flaming. He patted Howard’s hand. “I’m sorry I bit your head off. It’s just that everyone seems to be twisting everything into something…something tawdry, making things out to be….” He made a sound of frustration. “This is maddening,” he said. “I’m surprised Piggy hasn’t gone all ‘Hi-ya’ on one of these reporters yet.”
    “Good thing she hasn’t gotten ahold of Scribbler,” Howard grunted. “There’d be nothing left but a greasy spot on the sidewalk.”
    At this, Thoreau actually smiled. “True that,” he said with a smirk. “It’s actually too bad their paths haven’t crossed.”
    Howard made a rude noise. “We can only hope.” He glanced at his watch, politely noting the time, and Thoreau caught the gesture and sighed.
    “I’m going, I’m going,” he said, heading for the bedroom to change into evening clothes. “I’m not about to be late for the show.”




    There was no point in supping at an elegant restaurant if neither of them noticed what they were eating, so it had been a unanimous decision to spring for drinks and appetizers before and have a late supper after the show. The thought of going backstage, of seeing Miss Piggy again, had given them both a flutter of butterflies swooping madly in their tummies, but while it had unsettled their digestion, it had only sharpened their interest in the show. They sat smiling at each other, trading their favorite scenes and reminiscences from The Muppet Show and the long string of successful movies out of Rainbow Productions.
    “I can’t wait to see how the new movie turns out. I’ve heard there are some wonderful action sequences,” Ed began, but trailed off when Autumn gave a little snort.
    “I think you’re thinking about the dance scene from the bar,” she teased. “There’s been more buzz about that than about the Academy Awards tomorrow.”
    “There’s a, um, dance scene?” Ed began, flushing a little, but Autumn burst into gales of laughter.
    “Why yes, Edward darling. However did you miss mention of it in all the dozens of magazines that wrote about it?”
    “I, um, suppose I was distracted by all the negative tripe,” he said shortly. “You know I’m more interested in entertainment news than entertainment gossip.”
    “One of the many reasons I adore you,” Autumn said, placatingly. “Besides, I know it’s not really the movie scene you’ve been thinking about.”
    “Well, I—“
    “I’m perfectly aware that you’ve got your sights set—so to speak—on one of Miss Piggy’s newest calendars.” She clucked sadly. “But those won’t come out until closer to Christmas….”
    “There’s talk that it might be a 16-month calendar,” Ed said breathlessly, but Autumn just smiled.
    “Wouldn’t that be nice,” she said. “Four more months of your favorite femme fatale.”
    Ed reached across the table and took her hand. He did his own best imitation of winning, pollywog eyes. “No, Sweetheart,” he said gently. “You’re my favorite femme fatale. Miss Piggy is my favorite movie star.” He lifted her slim white hand to his lips and kissed it.
    “No wonder I brought you to New York with me!” she said, more than charmed by his gallantry. “And you were so good this afternoon when I had to drop you off at the haberdashery.”
    “You didn’t have to buy the shirt. I was just killing time,” Ed mumbled, but Autumn cut off his sheepish protests.
    “Nonsense,” she said. “I can’t wait to see it on you. Although I am rather glad you didn’t get measured for a suit.”

    They had been returning from lunch, talking animatedly and at length about the almost miraculous turn of events that had put them at the same restaurant as Miss Piggy and her friends. Their good fortune had distracted them as they walked up the sidewalk, but Autumn’s instincts were only slumbering—not dormant.
    “Edward, darling, I want to stop and look in this store window,” she had said abruptly.
    Indulgently, Ed paused to allow Autumn a chance to window shop to her heart’s content, but when they stopped, he knew immediately that something was wrong. While her body may have been facing the window, everything in her demeanor said she was not focused on what was in front of her, but what was going on around her. Ed was instantly alert, rousing from contentedly idle to ready-to-go in an instant.
    “See anything you like?” he murmured, playing along with her window shopping and placing his hand lightly on the sway of her back. Anyone passing by would have seen a happy couple looking in the store window. They would not have noticed Autumn’s quick, darting eyes, which took in the entire scene behind them at a glance, perfectly reflected in the window pane.
    “Not yet, darling,” Autumn replied, happy to not have to explain. It was one of his most charming features—this ability to let her drift in and out of their time together at a second’s notice without pouting or complaining. People who did what she did didn’t expect to have a nine-to-five weekday, much less a carefree holiday.
    “Let me know if you see anything you want,” Ed said. An older woman, passing properly by with her packages, smiled fondly at the youngish lovers.
    “You are too kind,” she murmured in return, and stretched to press a quick kiss on his cheek. When her lips were close to his ear, she whispered, “I think he’s finally gone.”
    Ah. So Autumn’s meandering walk down the sidewalk looking in storefronts had not been as random as it seemed. He had thought their pattern of stops and starts a little artificial, but Autumn herself couldn’t have been sure or she’d have mentioned it.
    “I’ve been thinking of something new for my closet,” Ed improvised, loud enough for anyone within range to hear.
    “There’s a lovely men’s shop just next door. Would you like some help?” Autumn asked. Ed answered her as though she were sincerely asking.
    “Let me look a bit on my own,” Ed returned. “Then come and help me make the final decision.”
    “Of course, Sweetie. I’m going to…make a phone call. I’ll join you in a moment or three.” She drifted away and he walked confidently into the cool, slightly stuffy air on the other side of the revolving door. The place smelled of old money and newly-cured wool, and Ed worried belatedly if he’d be able to afford a tie in this place, but in a moment—less than, actually—a sales consultant stood at his elbow, helpful but not obsequious.
    “Can I help you, sir? Our tailor-made suits are exceptionally nice.”
    Ed imagined they were, but he did not think he had the endurance to feign his way through getting measured for a whole suit.
    “Some other time,” he said, smiling pleasantly. He tried to summon up all the “old, rich, pampered” genes he thought he possessed. “I’m traveling for pleasure now, and I think I’d like a new silk shirt—something lively.” He tried to sound offhand, casual, as though spending several hundred dollars on a single shirt was something he did every day.
    “Vacationing, then,” the man said thoughtfully. “We already have some lovely spring colors in….” He trailed off doubtfully, and Ed could feel him hesitating. He knew the man must have taken in the stylish cane and was wondering how much assistance to offer.
    “I’ll bet you have a particularly good eye for color,” Ed said, smiling. He heard the clerk smile broadly in return.
    “So I’ve been told, sir,” he demurred, with just the right touch of respectful deference. “What would you like to know?”
    “Well, I’m partial to lavender,” said Ed. “But I’d like to hear what’s new this season….”

    Autumn had come in about 20 minutes later to find him getting measured briskly by the efficient clerk. His voice was calm, but Autumn could feel the relief radiating off him in waves at her arrival. He’d been putty in this master salesman’s hands, not sure how to extricate himself once the charade had begun.
    “Autumn, dear, come and see what you think,” he had murmured, and she had drifted over to look at the cunningly-displayed wares. Her hand reached out to touch the cool silk lightly, liking the texture.
    “The lady approves?” the clerk asked, although it was obvious from her expression that she did.
    “The lady approves,” she said, smiling. “I much prefer the slubbed silk in a casual shirt.”
    “An excellent choice,” the salesman demurred. “And the thread count is what makes the finish so brilliant.”
    “But not flashy,” Autumn said. She caressed the lavender silk again, thinking how nice it would feel to rest her palm on it when it had been fashioned into a stylish shirt. “When will it be ready?”
    Ed stirred slightly. They had not—quite—reached the point of no returns, and he had hoped Autumn would find some imaginary fault with the pattern or fabric or style, allowing him to disengage, but instead she had tumbled him neatly into the spider’s web.
    “A rush order usually takes two days,” he answered glibly, triumphant at the thought of closing the deal. He had not ceased to take minute measurements the whole time they had talked.
    “Lovely. We’ll be here through Monday afternoon. What time is good?”
    They talked schedules for a moment, with Ed between them hoping to insert a word edgewise, but it did not happen. The whole thing concluded with Autumn paying for the—up until that moment—theoretical shirt (in cash, no less) and bundling him out the door.
    “But—but you didn’t have to buy me the shirt,” Ed said for about the sixth time. “I was just....keeping busy waiting for you.”
    Autumn had waved his protests away like they were smoke. “Think nothing of it, dearest,” she said. “I’m sure you have a birthday sometime this year.”

    She was equally light-hearted about it now as they munched on mushroom-and-feta-cheese spinach puffs and quaffed Perrier.
    “You shouldn’t have,” he insisted. “You certainly don’t have to bribe me with expensive gifts.”
    “Be glad we didn’t stop in front of a jewelry store,” Autumn had teased. “You might be wearing a diamond.”
    And that ended the conversation about the shirt for good.
  4. Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Chapter 132: Muses and Musings, Part 2


    Decisions, decisions. Piggy had company this weekend, which meant she was too cossetted to be gotten to, but there was still her apartment to be isolated, and there was still the tantalizing possibility of the open backstage door that seemed to beckon to him every time he thought about it. Of course, now there was that stupid bear, but he wasn’t worried about him, not ultimately. In fact, he already had a plan for the bear, and it didn’t even involve getting his hands dirty. Although he was lacking in mere brawn, he was not without strength, and cunning and determination would often take you where you wanted to go when muscles weren’t enough. But, he concluded finally, there was no point in trying to get backstage tonight—not when she had company. He had briefly followed the couple Piggy had stopped to talk to in the restaurant but eventually dismissed them as nothing more than fans, mere distractions compared to someone like him, whose adoration was pure and unadulterated by adulation. Seymour paused on the busy thoroughfare and tapped his lip thoughtfully, thinking.
    So lost in thought was he, that when the matinee released he found himself inundated by hordes of chattering theater-goers, and it snapped him out of his reverie. He was surprised to find that he’d lost track of time—something that was happening more and more often lately. He heard snatches of conversation, squeals and peals of laughter, the sound of her name on the lips of passers-by. His lips curled back from his teeth in a snarl and he seethed. They had no right to speak of her, no right to praise her or think her wonderful. That right belonged to him and him alone! SHE belonged to him. He raised his arms to protect his head and “waded” upstream through the people, toward the theater, muttering and cursing under his breath. He did not like crowds—not unless they were paying for seats in his own theater, losing money in his casino. No, he preferred a more private life, and once Piggy was his, they would hide from the noise and chaos of the world where noone—not the frog, not her agent, not the bear—would ever think of finding them.




    “I see,” said Ms. Mansfield. “But when we complete the affidavit—yes. Well, that would be better. I mean, everything they work out beforehand is one less motion I have to file.” She paused, obviously listening to her partner, jotting notes on a legal pad. “Right, right,” she interrupted. “I still have to talk to the private investigator about that timeline. I thought it was a little open to interpretation, and you know how ol’ Broadside is about missing time in alibis…yes. I thought so, too. Just make sure—okay?” She laughed, clearly having been out-maneuvered. “Okay, okay. Yes. I am on vacation, and I know you’ve gotten everything all sewn up for court next week. I’m just—“ She laughed again, then grimaced. “Well, that was uncalled for,” she murmured, abashed. “I bow to your uncanny ability to pull the right rabbit out of the right hat. Satisfied?”
    There was laughter on the other end of the phone, then some comment that made her smile.
    “Point taken,” she said ruefully. “I withdraw my previous statement. I’ll be back in the office Tuesday. I will.” She paused again. “Yes. He was wonderful—as usual. I’m going to see my son-in-law tonight.”
    The person on the other line asked a question, and Ms. Mansfield smiled and shook her head.
    “Not yet,” she said. “Tonight, if I’m lucky. Tomorrow for certain. Speaking of—I’d better call a cab. Hold down the fort till I’m back, won’t you?”


    There are few things as satisfying as making a grand entrance successfully, and the thrill of that had never paled for Thoreau. He knew there would be photographers hanging around the theater entrance, and he had dressed to the nines. His reputation as a fashion guru could never be underplayed. The first time you decided to run to the grocery in your less-than-amazing denims and a comfy sweater was the time you ran into the paparazzi, and he knew it. Sitting in the back of Mr. Finkel’s taxi, he was outwardly composed, but his earlier indignation at the tawdry, muck-spewing tabloid article brought a tinge of color to his hollow cheeks. Beside him, Howard was somberly if impeccably attired, having asked Thoreau to vet his eveningwear before they’d left California. A lot was riding on this trip for his friend, and he did not want his fashionableness (or lack thereof) to be a distraction. A limo would have been delicious, but it was better to arrive in the cabbie’s capable hands and sort of stun the waiting crowd with their sudden appearance. Piggy created quite enough of a stir by herself, but he was not without his hordes of admirers, and the resultant publicity was not onerous to her dressmaker.
    After the show, they were hitting the town in the most extravagant, showy way possible. It had been deemed appropriate to tout their mutual celebrity in a very public way. Good for Piggy’s domestic image, and good publicity for Thoreau’s fashion line pitch. Howard, while a true hog of the spotlight onstage, did not clamor for attention from the maddening crowds. He was perfectly content to anticipate basking in the reflected glow of his luminous friends and felt no need to compete for attention himself. In fact, he thought that—of the three of them—he was going to have the more enjoyable evening. When he was not plying his trade—working out choreography or herding the choreographed--Howard was steady and dependable and calm, the perfect foil for either of his favorite prima donnas, but dealing with two of them at once was going to be a challenge. The cab pulled up near the entrance, artfully dodging the huddled masses, eager hordes and confident scalpers.
    “Here’s where you get out, gents,” Moishe said. “I’ll be here to collect you and the little lady afterwards.” He endured being extravagantly tipped—this time by Howard—and drove off shaking his head. These artsy types, he mused fondly. Not a lick of common sense among them.



    Jolalene tugged Rowlf by his collar and he submitted with relative docility. There was no sense arguing about it when she got an idea in her head, so he had learned to go along to get along. He was grateful, however, that she wasn’t dragging him by an ear.
    Truthfully, dragging wasn’t really a fair description. When their sultry singer had demanded an escort (and pack mule) for a trip through the quaint little shops downtown, the drummer had made himself scarce and Rowlf had made himself available. As a matter of fact, there were worse places to be than trailing along after Jolalene’s svelte form and watching her try on haute couture and pricey shoes.
    “I don’t see why you bother with shoes,” Rowlf had commented, his only contribution to fashion critique, but Jolalene had flashed her pointed canines at him in a toothy smile.
    “I like the way they show off my ankles,” she had quipped.
    “I’m pretty sure there are already plenty of people watching your…ankles,” Rowlf had grinned, but Jolalene had only laughed her open-mouthed laugh and swished her long, fluffy tail in amusement.
    Yep. Worse places to be for sure, Rowlf thought. It had taken a little maneuvering for them to set their mutual boundaries for being band mates, but they had finally reached an agreement that suited them both. Generally speaking, Jolalene felt free to accost his person and demand his presence when she wanted company. Generally speaking, Rowlf went along with whatever she wanted. It had been working pretty well so far—no drama, no strings attached. Rowlf was easy-going enough to not be flummoxed by demands or put off by being roundly ignored for several days if she found someone else more interesting at their current venue. She was smart and feisty and could run circles around him in Frisbee, so there was always something interesting to do, and it helped pass the long hours on the road.
    Truth be told, Rowlf loved the open road—especially if you could hang your head out the window on the way—but he had lost count more than once of where—exactly—they were that day. The music was good, and he had had his pick of slightly-out-of-tune pianos in honky-tonks where the food was cheap and plentiful and the audience knew how to whoop and holler their appreciation. For now, he was content to let himself drift, enjoying the music, the road and Jolalene. He was not anxious about the next project coming his way. Heck, he wasn’t worried about the next meal coming his way. Everything was nice and good and pretty darned easy, and it was nice to forget about all the recent trouble.
    Except that he hadn’t. When time and the gods of wi-fi allowed, he’d been keeping up with doings back home, and things had sounded kind of grim. The divine Mrs. the Frog was faring pretty well in New York from what he’d heard, but he wasn’t sure about Kermit, mainly because of what he hadn’t heard. So he had traded favors with the delectable Jolalene, to be her chauffeur/baghandler while she worked her way through the shops today in exchange for holding his hand tomorrow night while the Academy Awards were on. He had been nice, but firm that, if the afternoon set ran past showtime, he was gonna leave them to it and go on back to the hotel to watch the show.
    “They’re my friends,” Rowlf had said. “I wanna be watching and wishing them well.” Jolalene had looked at him for a long moment, her head cocked to the side and one ear perked appealingly, and then she had smiled her slow, easy smile.
    “I’ll move the crowd along, Rowlfie,” she promised, “and be there to hold your paw.”
    Rowlf thought that sounded just fine.



    “Awww…. How come you didn’t bring tall, purple and handsome with you,” Tootsie complained.
    “Yeah,” Tia said, polishing Bob with a fine-textured cloth. “He’s a real sweetie.”
    Sweetie is at home recovering from the afternoon,” Tricia said airily, but stammered and blushed when the Indies all giggled.
    “Care to share?” Susie drawled.
    “Yeah, spill,” said Coraline.
    “That’s not what I meant!” Tricia sputtered. “I just meant that you all, well, all of us wore him out this afternoon !”
    “I wish,” someone murmured, and Tricia rounded on them.
    “Talking about the record deal!” she snapped. “Give him a break—he’s not used to putting up with…with all of us at once.” Noone said anything to this, but Susie and Tootsie traded quick looks. Tricia saw it and scowled fiercely at them.
    “Oh, leave it,” she groaned. “Look—can we just start practice already? I wanna get the order solid tonight so we don’t bumble around when we get to the studio.” She stomped over to her place and fiddled with the neck strap of her bass without looking at any of them. Noone said anything else, but there was plenty being thought at her. Tricia knew it an tried to push the thought away. Okay—so she’d been the dateless wonder for…well, for a while. She guessed it wasn’t the end of the world if they teased her about Clifford. She tightened a string that didn’t need tightening, then had to loosen it, feeling her cheeks still hot with embarrassment and…something else. Something new. She puzzled on it till her puzzler began to ache while they dove into the first song, and somewhere around the chorus it hit her. Jealousy. She was feeling jealous. She had not liked it when they had commented on Clifford’s rating on the hunk-o-meter, and the hot stab of indignation she had felt was not actually indignation. It was way too soon and way too fast, but she was already feeling rather proprietary about a fellow that she knew good and well wasn’t interested in anything serious. It made her sober, and cleared her head. Good thing we’re going on the road, she thought, relieved and disappointed by the same thought. The last thing I need right now is another complication.



    “Ed, Darling,” Autumn murmured, her lips moving against his ear. “The only thing I regret more than the fact that you can’t see how stunning I look tonight is that you can’t see how wonderful Miss Piggy looks tonight.” She proceeded to describe, in exquisite detail, what Piggy was wearing in the first scene. So discreet was she, however, and so conscientious of the other patrons, that even her seatmate on the opposite side was not disturbed by her play-by-play. This necessitated, however, sitting exceptionally close to her fashionably-dressed companion and letting the soft skin of her lips brush against his, um, aural organ. Ed found her focused attention understandably distracting, but he listened with all the attention he could summon to what she said. He could hear the show perfectly, and liked the strong soprano voice of the woman who played Sandy. The playbill said it was Kristen somebody-or-other, and Ed liked the mental image of her he was getting just by listening to her sing.
    “I’m sure you’re doing a superb job of explaining everything,” he whispered back. Autumn was telling him about the stage set-up, the other actors, her impression of the fellow that played Kemickie. “Lovely brawny fellow—lots of reddish-blond hair. Looks like a farm boy.”
    “A fan boy?” Ed teased, and Autumn nipped him smartly on the outside edge of his ear. Surprised, Ed yelped, attracting the interested looks of other theater-goers. He could feel himself blushing, but Autumn was unrepentant—and she was moving on, describing the change of scene without so much as a fare thee well. Ed made a disgruntled sound but kept future teasing to himself—at least until intermission.



    So this is what it’s like when you belong to somebody, Scooter thought. He shifted slightly and Sara stirred, burrowing deeper into his arms, but did not awaken. Carefully, Scooter pulled the quilted cover over her shoulders and pressed his lips against her temple. For almost as long as he could remember, Kermit and the other Muppets had been the only real family he’d known. Nepotism had gotten him the job as Kermit’s gofer eons ago, but it had been born of convenience more than affection, and Scooter had always suspected (but never really wanted to know) that it had had as much to do with keeping him out of sight and out of the way as giving him a leg up on his career. Little could his birth family have suspected how successful their attempts to farm him out had been. He had put down roots in that motley garden and had flourished, blooming in the knowledge that he was wanted and needed and genuinely loved.
    That had been amazing, life-sustaining—but it was not as good as this. This was like being at the absolute center of a benevolent universe, with the planets tilting wildly around him. This was like having the best dream in the world and discovering it wasn’t a dream. This was like…like nothing else. He didn’t think there were enough words in the world to describe how he was feeling.
    It had been an emotional evening. Sara’s fear had turned to dismay, then anger, then outright terror, and it had taken all the resources he possessed to comfort and reassure her that he was here, and hers, and not leaving this mortal coil without a fight. He had always known that Kermit depended on him, and that he was loved, but he had never felt so vitally important to someone as he was to Sara. It made him realize, suddenly, what it might be like to have had that and to have lost it, and the universe really did spin around him, making him dizzy with comprehension. He wasn’t just aware of the way he felt about Sara—he was extraordinarily aware of how she felt about him.
    He suddenly understood why Miss Piggy had been so, well, irrational during the filming of The Muppet Show. He had known—they had all known—that her moods were tied directly to Kermit’s behavior, and that his behavior was tied by unseen threads to her moods, but that mystery had been, well, a mystery before. Now it made sense. Scooter did not think he would be able to stand loving Sara the way he did and not know that she felt the same way about him. Just proposing—when he had been fairly positive of her affection and regard—had been excruciating. What would it have been like to propose and not know for certain the answer to your question?
    Scooter lay in bed with his arms around his soon-to-be wife and thought about all the years he had assisted Kermit and run interference for him, and partnered with him in the pursuit of whatever it was he was trying to do at that moment. He thought about how he had helped Kermit with the ultimate proposal, when he had finally asked for Piggy’s hand in marriage. While Kermit had not seemed calm at all leading up to the big day, Scooter nevertheless marveled that he’d still been able to even function with that sort of uncertainty looming over him.
    He hoped Kermit had talked to Miss Piggy about what had happened that day with the freezer. Although their comfort would have to be offered long distance, Scooter knew that Piggy would do many of the things that Sara had done—cry, shout, smother Kermit with affection. He thought Kermit was making a mistake, withholding the knowledge of what had happened, but he had not been able to convince Kermit of that. He felt a twinge of guilt and quickly shifted his mind away from it, knowing it for what it was. It was the impulse—however treacherous—to call Miss Piggy himself and tell her what had happened, and let the chips—and the frogs—fall where they may.
    He’d thought about it, but he hadn’t done it. Kermit had been right about the proposal, but was he right about this? Maybe, Scooter admitted. After all, after Piggy had yelled and cried and sent her frog scores of kissy-kissys over the phone, they would still be on opposite ends of the country, unable to do more than talk. And unlike his situation, they still didn’t know who had attacked Kermit. There would be no peace of mind for Piggy if she knew what had happened in her absence but had no reassurance that it wouldn’t happen again. In the darkness, Scooter shivered, and Sara responded, even in sleep, by tightening her hold on him. Scooter smiled, feeling safe, and wished the same for Kermit.




    Kermit walked in the door and made a beeline for the bedroom. The thought of a beeline made him hungry, but he walked determinedly up the stairs, intending to drown his unsettledness in slumber. The sooner he went to bed, the sooner this day was over. The sooner this day was over, the sooner tomorrow came, the sooner tomorrow came…. Kermit stopped, staring at his phone. Piggy would still be doing her show, and they had already talked several times today. He didn’t want to appear needy and clingy, and the thought of appearing so repelled him. It was part of his nature, part of what had made admitting he wanted and needed Piggy so difficult in the first place. But Kermit sat for a moment and stared at the phone, wanting reassurance from some quarter that the day hadn’t been a loss or a waste or—
    He dialed.




    Scribbler sighed and pushed back from the little formica-topped table wearily. He wasn’t sure what was hurting the worst—his ear, from talking on the phone, his wrists, from typing on the not-quite-level table, or his soul, which was stewing in misery. He’d once been at the top of the heap—well, within sight of the top, at least—and now he was down below ground level chasing after the almost famous, the not-quite-talented. Time was, he had been welcomed in almost any after-party, had noticed the talented and beautiful waiting surreptitiously for their turn at his mic, but that time had run out.
    After several hours of slogging around with agents and publicists and idiots, he’d finally had a glimmer of inspiration. He’d fed it liberally with a lot of, um, fertilizer, and the little idea had positively blossomed into a full-fledged plan. A few phone calls to shore up what he had, a few texts and tweets to plant an idea or an insinuation or to pretend interest, and he was pretty satisfied with the day’s work. And exhausted. And hungry. He wondered if Harve wanted to split a--
    Scribbler looked up and around his apartment as though suddenly realizing where he was, and it was as though he were seeing the place through new eyes. With the possible exception of better furniture—which was highly debatable—his apartment here was no better than his apartment in New York. In fact, his apartment there was now cleaner than this one…and more inviting. He looked around the apartment, thinking that there was nothing here save a few clothes in the closet that looked like he lived here—that looked like anyone lived here. The little apartment in New York was positively homey in comparison. The thought was sobering.
    In New York, there was Missy. True, she hadn’t made it over to his place yet, but when he got back…. He grimaced a little, wondering if she would be horrified by his reduced circumstances, but a sudden surge of pride and anger flared. It had been good enough for her once—he had been good enough for her once—and it would jolly well be good enough for the way she had treated him! He felt the bile rise in his throat and stood up, as much to force his mind to veer off as to move his body.
    The cabinets had little to recommend them, but he eventually found a can a soup with a questionable expiration date on it. He was tempted to eat the soup, cold, right out of the can, but smiled at the thought of what Gladys would say to that. She’d been horrified at his bachelor ways, and had made no secret of the fact that she was trying to “civilize” him. Scribbler smiled in spite of himself, remembering her fierce expression, and then his mind flashed on the sight of her, crumpled, on the hallway carpet. He felt a pang of sorrow and emptiness that the promise of food could not alleviate, but there was noone here to share it with.
    He was spartan as well as tidy, and found one of his two bowls stacked where he had left them in the warped cabinet. It looked a little dusty, and he wiped it out, poured the soup into it in a big glob and added some water from the sink, thankfully remembering to let the pipes run a moment beforehand. He caught himself watching the bowl trundle around the glass microwave plate and made himself stop. Gladys would have fussed at him and over him, and Harve would have given him a hard time. Scribbler sighed, feeling lonely, and reached for his phone to call Harve, but the microwave beeped and he opened the door.
    Back in New York, Gladys had stitched together about sixteen little potholders from her kitchen to make one patchwork one that was suitable for Scribbler-sized hands, and it hung on the hook next to the stove. Here, there was nothing but a roll of wrinkled paper towels, and he burned his thumb a little getting the food out. The bowl was hotter than the food, but it was food and he was hungry and he grabbed a plate, slid the bowl onto it and carried the whole thing with him. He did not want to eat at the table—he had spent the better part of the afternoon working at the table—so he sat on the couch, and kicked his shoes off and ate his soup and, when the soup was all gone, he called Harve and checked on Gladys and felt better about everything.
    The soup had taken the edge off—or fatigue had—and he thought—he thought—he could actually sleep tonight. Tomorrow he had a lot to prove, and proving it might get him closer to what he wanted—on all fronts. He sighed, and let his head rest against the back of the couch. In a minute, he was going to get up and go into his bedroom and fall—face first—onto the mattress and sleep until morning. In a minute. In a minute, he might call Piggy’s phone just to see if she had picked it up, or maybe leave her a message. In a minute, when he wasn’t so sleepy. In a minute, he was…asleep.




    Something was buzzing. Reluctantly, he surfaced from the depths of the dream he’d been having—something to do with monsters and ice cream sundaes—and slipped out of bed to look for the source of the noise.
    “Oh, hey boss,” said Scooter, pulling his phone out of his pants pocket and slipping into the hall so he didn’t disturb Sara. “Hang on a second,” he whispered, his lips against the mouthpiece of the phone. Carefully, he closed the bedroom door behind him and edged down the hall so he could talk.
    “Sorry to bother you, Scooter. I just wanted to make sure everything was…okay. With, um, you and Sara after the, um, you know, incident today.”
    Someone else might have waved it away, but Scooter did not. He had felt his own mortality today in a way he hadn’t before, and it had sobered him a little. “I’m fine, Kermit,” Scooter said gently. “Really. It’s okay.”
    “Good. Is Sara okay?” Kermit asked. Scooter heard the worry in his voice and felt his mouth tug up a little at the corners.
    “She’s…well, she’s fine now,” Scooter hedged. It had been rough going there for a while, but things were okay now. Kermit was quiet, waiting and listening, and Scooter sighed and told him. “First she cried,” he admitted. “Then she yelled at me—a lot. Then she cried some more and, um, kissed me…and, um….” He broke off, wondering if Kermit could hear him blush.
    “Is she still mad at you?” Kermit's voice was grim.
    Scooter looked back down the hallway toward the closed door and his face softened. “No,” he said quietly. “She’s not mad anymore. I…I sort of had to prove I was still alive and breathing and in good working order….”
    He heard Kermit relax and—finally—chuckle. “Okay,” he said. “I understand. So I take it you’re back on…speaking terms?”
    “You could say that,“ Scooter admitted, and could not help but grin before sobering a little. “Look, she knows I work with monsters. It’s got to have crossed her mind.”
    “Maybe,” said Kermit. He had sometimes been surprised to find that many people assumed that all monsters were like Elmo, or Cookie Monster or Grover—good-natured and friendly. “Is she mad at me? Scooter, I am really sorry about--”
    “I’m fine, Boss. Really. I’m fine and Sara’s fine.” He hesitated. “How about you? Did you tell Miss Piggy, yet?“
    “She’s still doing the show,” Kermit said evasively, but he hadn’t outright shut the conversation down. Emboldened, Scooter tried again.
    “Look, Boss, I’m not trying to be a pain—“
    “You’re not a pain.”
    “And I’m not trying to tell you what to do.”
    Kermit said nothing in response, and Scooter could practically feel him digging the heels of his little flippered feet into the carpet.
    “But I’m just saying—again--that you should tell her.”
    “I’m glad that you’re okay,” the amphibian interrupted. “I won’t keep you.”
    “Tell her!” Scooter urged, but Kermit had already hung up. He sighed and gritted his teeth, then shook his head sadly. Kermit might be easy-going most of the time, but his stubbornness was well-documented among those who loved him best. “This is not going to end well,” he muttered, then shrugged. Kermit was a grown frog and he would do what he would do. There was nothing for it unless he decided to rat Kermit out to Piggy, and he didn’t think that was called for—yet. He sighed, put it firmly out of mind and went back down the hall to join his sleeping wife.
  5. miss kermie Well-Known Member

    Oh my glob! Ru Ru Ru RU! I... omg!
    Kermit is Desperately needing her! Kermit GO to her you amphibious love muffin!
    And then there's the issue with the newspaper...
    That Scribbler did NOT write?
    Then who?
    Oh my Great Gonzo...


    And then Kermit has to tell her... Oh boy...

    More please Ru!
    *hands Ru a muffin*
  6. The Count Moderator

    *Dies in wrapture from the bouqou post. The little typos have been fixed, I've read and loved everything, will have to post reviews later while cleaning this super-large chapter. Suffice to say, thank you for such wonderous writings.
  7. Davina Member

    loving this.. and so nice to be caught up again.. (realized I hadn't gotten any notifications about this thread in ages.. so came to see what was up... and found out I hadn't gotten any of the updates since like a year and a half ago... (it's been a busy, busy year.. *sigh*) so had to get all caught up.. during nap times.. but have finally made it and can't wait for more.. didn't realize how much i'd missed it.. (we are now fostering dogs and a 3.5 year old little girl, not sure we'll have her for much longer, but, yeesh.. toddlers are tiring.. lol)
  8. WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    You know...I didn't even know you had updated, if it wasn't for the nice Counter Man fer telling me.

    Darn you, MC notifications!

    Um...what is there to say really? Other than, whoa. And whoa! And...whoa.

    and like...whoa.
    miss kermie likes this.
  9. newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    ------------
    Magnificent. :news:

    I adore and enjoy how skilfully you unwrap Kermit's emotional life. That whole section of his unhappy introspection was gold, lady. Brava! Love the whole ironic situation: things WOULD be all out in the open and reconciled IF the two of them were physically together, but since they're NOT...both sides are playing a dangerous little game, which I'm sure will prove worse than the harmless white lie both think they're feeding the other.

    Nice segment with Thoreau and Howard, reading between the lines! I always enjoy spin being exposed. :news: Even fictional spin.

    Not gonna comment on every little bit as there's simply too much of it, but you have some sweet lines mixed in here. And lots of wonderful character development! Finally, we get to see Scribbler again, and him being nostalgic about his rat roomies already was very nice. Autumn and Ed's flirting, recklessly buying silk shirts (jealous? me? 'course not...d--it I miss my own silks...), and noticing Seymour noticing them was fun and even suspenseful. Er...what the heck, WHO the heck is Mrs Mansfield up to? I recall she's Chad's mom (yes?) but have no clue what the aside could be about. Yet you surely included it for a Plot Point...hmmmm.

    Lovers and strangers and things that go bump in the night! Excellent chapter. Looking forward to all heck breaking loose!
    --------------
  10. Muppetfan44 Active Member

    Ooh an awesome 2-part update! So much torment and torture between my favorite love-birds. Part of me secretly wishes that Scooter would rat out Kermit and that Rory would rat out Piggy just so they could fight about it then kiss and make up ;). Always amazed at how much emotion and plot twists you effortlessly create with each new chapter.

    I am going crazy waiting for the academy awards where Kermit and Piggy can at least SEE EACH OTHER!!! Please don't let them wait much longer!!! (for their sake and mine :))
  11. The Count Moderator

    Are you mortal foolish like all the rest?
    And dare open this fearsome demon's chest?
    Then read as I present this review.
    Of the 13 boasts of Chapter 132.
    Written by Auntie Ru!

    1. A ghost of frogdom past.
    One of the things I like is how she weaves threads together. For example how Kermit wanted the wedding to be real and have Piggy too, to the point he wanted so to run and throw himself down and beg for Piggy's hand (and the rest of her).
    That makes me chuckle, remembering an old skit from Whose Line is it Anyway? where one of the guys asked for just a father's daughter's hand in marriage. He didn't want her or her body, just the hand.
    And then there's the reference to an old Sesame sketch, I think it's called They Live In Different Places Now about a birdie's divorced parents living in opposing trees.
    But best of all is how transparent the frog and pig are to the extreme that they can't even lie or keep secrets from each other when in close proximity. This rully speaks to the depth of their relationship.
    And before I forget, I give you points on incorporating a twinge of feeling from the newest movie when Kermit wonders would she have come back from Paris, if something had torn that couldn't be repaired.
    *Listening to Pictures In My Head on MCR.

    2. The red-eyed monster of rage in a pig's eye.
    What I took away from this is the air of indignity Thoreau automatically lapsed into after the insinuations from that article.
    Howard: If you can call it an article…."
    This segment shows how you're handling those two er, men who have come to Piggy's aid in the big rotten apple. And I very much like how you're writing them together.

    3. The teasing of a love spell cast by a beguiling bewitching beauty.
    No, I don't read mags. I just check up on the headlines constantly being refreshed at FilmForce's site and if there's something that interests me then I go and read their articles there to stay up-to-date on what's coming next.
    One of the benefits of a mental calculator combined with or making up for lack of sight is no real need for owning a calendar, even though there have been some nicer calendars made with the Muppets in the 80's and 90's, not so much nowadays from the threads in the Muppet Merchandise section. But I wouldn't say "nooo" to one of my own girl. :coy:
    Posted by Catherine the Great:
    "Wouldn't that be nice," Autumn said. "Four more months of your favorite femme fatale." Ed reached across the table and took her hand. He did his own best imitation of winning, pollywog eyes. "No, Sweetheart," he said gently. "You're my favorite femme fatale."
    And don't you forget it! Although I do have several other crushes, but that's normal. Right?

    Hmm, from the window shopping going on, I'd say my girl spotted that sleaze Seymour slinking about the sidewalk in much the same fashion he spotted us as mentioned later on in the chapter.
    *Laughs at the whole clothings charade going on at the men's shop. *Imagines doing a passable Bruce Wayne impersonation for that whole scene with the sales consultant.
    You know, I'm half tempted to change that shirt to indigo as it's both my Ranger color and the color of Moondust House. But I'll leave it as lavender, it suits me just fine as well.
    Mmm, spanakopita with shrooms. And enough fizzy to wash it down.
    *Chuckles at the mention of the jewelry store and diamond. Yes, touché, well played madame.

    4. The creeping snatcher, with his false ideals of possession and jealousy.
    As vehemently as you seem to want something bad happen to the good Dr. van Neuter in Kris's story, that's how much you've perfected the equal feelings in us against Mr. Strathers. Thank you for allowing us to give him the slip. But why do I feel like that song by Debbie Harrie will come to awful fruition some point in this fic? With bad results for the starring pig?

    5. A devil's advocate who would proudly wear Prada.
    So Chad's mom is involved in the judicial employment system. Wonder if she's a public notary or an office assistant/paralegal assessor.
    One less motion, one less court date, one less day wasted in getting the suit scheduled for another time when the court's calendar's cleared.
    Methinks that last bit of dialogue refered to her meeting Piggy. Saturday night at the show if she's lucky, Sunday morning for sure for the brunch Chad already penciled with the diva a few chapters ago.

    6. The unspeaking ferry allowing you to collect your thoughts across the quiet murmurs.
    Nice to see how Thoreau and Howard differ in internal opinion as to how they'll "enjoy" themselves in Piggy's company out on the town during the cab ride to the theater to catch the show.
    And Moishe probably wins Quote of the Week honors with "These artsy types, not a lick of common sense among them."

    7. A hecuba woman of a wharg marking her territory, defending her pack.
    This segment, me likes it because of the reappearance of Rowlf and Jolalene in the story.
    Like any protective dog, Rowlf's got his ears up should he need to be warned if anything happens to Piggy and Kermit, and he's right to be worried for the news he hasn't heard. Yet.
    *Is just as anxiously awaiting for the Academy Awards as everybody else. :sympathy:
    BTW: I'll contact you to get a good descript for Jolalene as I've got a spot for her in the ol' hauntlist. :batty:

    8. The sirens' song calling out to troubled heartstrings.
    And here's another segment I like because it brings us back to the Indy Vittles, and Tricia in particular.
    Oh Trish, can you rully be sure that Cliff's not interested in you the same way you're interested in him?

    9. A silver screams hostess who'd just as soon steal your soul as keep you glued to your seats.
    Again, it's nice to have a fic-self I can aspire to better my own self. I've probably been spoiled due to years of conversating reactionarywise with whatever TV show I'm watching and all those episodes of MST3K to the point that I try not to go to the movies unless there's one that I reeeeeally want to go and watch.
    And yes, there are times when I'm with my friend or brother and I ask them what exactly is going on at that moment during the movie.
    *Notices a bit of devil-may-care turn in Autumn, will have to remember that when the holidays come around.

    10. The master mage manipulating all cosmic spheres set to spin upon his miniscule whims.
    Given that Scooter's taken on a starring turn in WebMistressGina's Pool Hall fic series, it's refreshing to read a part with him and Sara here, even more so when you write him in a rare introspective jaunt. The point gets driven farther in when he realizes he now has what his boss frog and hog have, to speculate on what it would be like to have loved and lost versus never having loved anyone at all.

    11. The specter of doubt who rears its hooded head, sinking its fangs to spread serpentine dread.
    What happened to that beeline straight for the bedroom Kermit?
    :p: Beeline!
    :(: Bedroom!
    *Both: Excellent B-words.
    This just continues the subtly mentioned theme from that first segment back at the top of Ch 132 Part 1, where Kermit keeps feeling his green's maybe gray today.
    Also, props to you for the terminology of in "the sooner today's over, the sooner it'll be tomorrow"mode of thinking that hopefully helps the weary trudge on with their lives.

    12. The tik-tik-tok of the doomsday clock as it ticks its way down to your end.
    Another interesting cross-section of this novel is how you've taken Fleet Scribbler, made him a source of antagonism throughout the story's sequence, and then added a backstory and a present story that soften off those coarse edges, changing him into a likeable character. At least, that's how it comes, sometimes. This right here where he's tired from a full day of his rather questionable work and comparing his conditions between LA and NYC, calling Harve to check on Gladys, it goes to show that the little muckraker can be cleaned up into someone who's not all too bad.

    13. The frightful feature of future fibbing come face to face, the fear that goes beyond all fears.
    Loved that Scooter and Kermit got a chance to patch things between them, allowing the frog to get that breath of relief he sought when dialing his gofer earlier in the chapter. Though I don't think the conversation ended the way he really wanted.
    "This is not going to end well," Scooter said. Famous last words.

    And with that we conclude the review.
    Of this colossal chapter posted by Aunt Ru.
  12. Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Awwww. You worked really hard on that and I'm so touched!
    Rizzo: Yeah--you said it, not me!
    Ru: Hey! I resemble that remark!
    Rizzo: Watch it, lady--that's my line!
    Ru: What was that? The last show to ask you to guest star?
    Rizzo: Ooh! Ooh! Below the belt! Below the belt!
    Ru: There hasn't been a belt that fit you in--
    Piggy: Um, pardonez-Moi, but I must interrupt this little spat in order to bring Ru an important announcement.
    Ru: Yes?
    Rizzo: I'm listening?
    Piggy: There is no food on the table at home.
    Ru: What? Oh! Oh, um, I've been sort of busy writing.
    Piggy: AND--
    Ru: And?
    Piggy: And there are NO cookies in the cookie jar, either!
    Rizzo: I'll be there's no pie in the fridge, either, huh?
    Piggy: It's true.
    Ru: But, but...I made a cheesecake.
    Piggy: That was yesterday.
    Ru: Yes, but...I was, um...
    Rizzo: (putting an arm around Piggy and giving Ru a mean look) Poor thing. How does she expect you to get on without pie?
    Ru: (grousing) Okay, okay. I'm coming! Sheesh! Try to take a little creative time and look what it gets me.... Apple or blackberry?
    Piggy: Um, both, I think.
    Ru: BOTH?
    Rizzo: Good answer. Hey, okay if I tag along with you? I want to talk to Kermit about that show....
    miss kermie, newsmanfan and The Count like this.
  13. The Count Moderator

    Hmm, wonder if I should send over some of our joint's 4 and 20 Blackbury Pie.
    :batty: It has that many fruitlings?
    Yeah. But you shouldn't eat it all in one go or your mind will be swimming in a dizzying vortex of Poeish nightmares.
  14. newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    "Recipe Found in a Bottle"?
    --------------
  15. The Count Moderator

    Nah, it was something Little Ghoul cooked up one time we stayed over at hillhearse House.
  16. newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    -----------
    Is it true that demons are a ghoul's best friend?

    *tossing pumpkin cranberry muffins*

    -------------
  17. The Count Moderator

    Well, I've heard that a bite off the hand may be quite detrimental.
    And a boo might be grand, but it won't help sway the mentals.

    *Puts up clawed hand to snag one of the pumpcranberry muffins.
    newsmanfan likes this.
  18. Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Knock knock.
    Whose there?
    Police.
    Police who?
    POLICE stop these terrible puns!

    Knock knock.
    Whose there?
    Pun police.
    Pun police who?
    What?
    I said, Pun police who?
    Ma'am--I don't know what you're talking about, but this is the Pun Police, and we understand that your thread is harboring a couple of persons of interest....
    Ru: Um....
    newsmanfan, The Count and miss kermie like this.
  19. The Count Moderator

    *Fixing a couple of cups of hot chocolate.
    Monsters go cold.
    As ghouls groan old.
    With all types of ills and decease.
    But hunchbacks or haunched knees.
    You scare straight at... Vampiffany's.
    Cause demons are a ghoul's best friend.
  20. Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Chapter 133: Staying in Character

    There is always something special about having family in the audience. Piggy was flushed with triumph when she took her last bow with Rory and left the stage lights. The crowd had roared its approval of almost everything they had done tonight, reacting with gasps and groans to both their make-out scene in Kenickie’s car and their heart-wrenching, coolly-played break-up. Mr. Lowry, usually very hands-off during performances, could be seen backstage, smiling broadly at the audience’s obvious enjoyment. In the same way that Piggy had always been tuned to Kermit-the-director, part of her was very aware of his presence backstage, and she made sure that her performances were as generous as they were grand. She and Kristen both went for the jugular in their little good girl/bad girl spat, and when Piggy gave Harrison a physique-raking once-over with her sultry baby blues, she would have sworn he blushed underneath his slicked-back do. His brush-off was all-the-more brusque, but Piggy’s knowing smirk behind his back was true Rizzo. The audience ate it up and begged for more. But they were respectful of the other lovers onstage, rooting for Sandy and Danny to clue in and kiss and make up. Emotions and tensions were running high backstage, and when the curtain came down at last, the ebullient feeling backstage was as exuberant as the hysteria in the audience.
    They made curtain call after curtain call, only giving way when Mr. Lowry gave them an “Okay, let’s wrap this up” look from the wings. The audience was herded expertly out into the lobby to buy tee-shirts and programs and glossies and keychains, and finally expelled into the cold night air to wait wistfully for a glimpse or the impossible hope of an autograph. Piggy started down the hallway toward her dressing room, intending to grab her Pink’s jacket—at least—to fend off the cold, but when she rounded the corner a figure darted swiftly down the hall and banged out the backstage door. Piggy startled, looking behind her for another witness, but there was noone in sight. Since the…the incident, Piggy’s street smarts had surged back to the surface and she had prided herself of knowing who and what were near her at all times. She had not felt the need to be vigilant backstage, but the furtive way the figure had moved had caught her eye and she looked around nervously.
    She did not want to go to the ladies dressing room alone, and she turned back and started back toward her gathered castmates backstage. Just before she reached the stage, a figure moved in the shadows from the main curtain and Piggy almost shrieked and hurried nervously to join her friends. Once in the crowd of performers, her nerves seemed silly, however, and she looked back the way she had come sheepishly. There was no one in the hallway, and the figure in the shadows turned out to be Mr. Lowry, talking to one of the union fellows. Piggy felt silly and embarrassed, but tried unsuccessfully to shake off her discomfiture.
    She needed to stop being so melodramatic, she chided herself. "It wasn’t melodrama that tried to pignap you," her brain prompted, but Piggy pushed it away. She felt silly for being worried, but equally silly for not worrying…. She made a sound of frustration and reached a sudden decision. Piggy grabbed Harrison’s wrist and Rory’s, and scooped her arm around Darcy as she passed, moving them all toward the waiting crowds outside.
    “Beat feet—Moi must go and visit her public, but I am not going out there without some backup.” Cordell, Kristen and William, who played the hapless Eugene to klutzy perfection were all swept along by the force of Piggy’s will. She did not change her costume tonight, but she did shed her dark wig, letting her shining blond locks shake free. Her hair was past her shoulders now, rapidly growing out from her shorter do, and she had experimented with the best way to put her hair up under the wig so that she could take it down to meet the audience. Piggy was smart enough to know that they wanted Rizzo on stage, but Miss Piggy out front to sign autographs and pose for pictures. She fluffed her loose curls, shaking them out into a more natural shape.
    “Wish I could do the same,” Kirsten muttered darkly. Her own tresses were pixie-short and white-blond, but the audience expected Sandy’s bouncy curls when she went out front. They were almost at the door when Bobo interposed his furry bulk in front of Piggy.
    “Now, hey there, Missy—“ he began, but Piggy merely let go of Harrison’s wrist and grabbed Bobo’s tie, hauling him along. "Where the heck had he been when someone had been lurking backstage?" Piggy thought irritably, then waved the thought away. No one had been lurking backstage. She was simply letting her nerves run wild—that was all. Someone had tried to bother her, but that had failed, end of story. She needed to stop being such a ninny, and a dose of fannish adoration would surely snap her out of her funk, and then she could go out and spend a lovely evening being coddled and petted and adored by Howard and Thoreau. They crashed out the front door of the theater to thunderous applause, and several taxis stopped with screeching brakes so that their passenger—initially thrilled to have caught a rare, waiting cab—could join the mob on the street all clamoring for a chance to gush or gape at the glamorous Mrs. The Frog.
    Piggy signed autographs, posed for pictures and twirled her hair around one gloved finger prettily while scores of fans surged to get closer to her. If those who managed had to go through a veritable gauntlet of fierce protectors to get to her, no complaints were heard. Rory and Kristen and Harrison had their own share of admirers, and more than once, Piggy reached out and put her cool, satin-gloved hand through the arm of one of her co-stars, mugging shamelessly for the cameras and phones all battling to get a clear shot at her. She felt Rory’s grim amusement and dared a look up at his face, but he merely grinned cheekily and then ignored her, signing autographs and fending off a bevy of young ladies all vying for a chance to have their picture taken with him. At last, Mr. Lowry and Bobo succeeded in herding the talent back inside the theater, much to the chagrin and teeth-gnashing of the insatiable crowd. There, an even more appreciative audience awaited Piggy and Rory.
    Chad’s mother kissed Rory’s flushed cheek and embraced him, but Piggy was met with tut-tuts and scolds by her admirers as Howard and Thoreau fussed over her. She gave Rory a mock-cranky look.
    “How come you get hugs and Moi gets fussed at?” she demanded, but it was really just a charming prelude to being introduced to Rory’s company. Rory did the honors politely, proud to show off his well-turned-out mother-in-law to his greatly-celebrated co-star, then Piggy turned and made her own set of polite introductions. If Ms. Mansfield had not already been well-known backstage—Kristen greeted her with a hug and a press of her alabaster cheek—and if Piggy had not already introduced Howard and Thoreau around, things would have taken on a positively circus air when Harry arrived, solemnly escorting Piggy’s Las Vegas champions. When she had gone outside to make merry with the fans, she had sent Harry to wait for the charming couple and bring them backstage, and he had taken his charge seriously. Ed and Autumn were, in turn, introduced all around, and swept along with the crowd of performers as they made their way backstage.
    Scolds and tut-tuts notwithstanding, Thoreau was having a field day. Autumn could not have been more exquisitely attired if he had dressed her himself, and Ms. Mansfield's broad-collared off-the-shoulder silver-grey shantung was imminently well-suited to her trim figure. Kristen and Darcy he had already assessed—had even done a couple of sketches from his earlier meetings--but more than once Howard caught him looking speculatively at Ms. Mansfield. Howard had looked a question at him, amused, but Thoreau had frowned charmingly and shaken his head the merest of shakes, puzzling something out.
    Mr. Lowry was—again—ever-present, but he was urbane and charming to old and new alike. “Always a pleasure,” the director intoned, bending over Ms. Mansfield’s slim, well-manicured hand. Chad’s mother laughed her throaty laugh and put a hand to her slim throat.
    “You say that now, but later on …," she teased, and they both laughed, sharing some private joke. He started to make a retort, but when Piggy passed with her friends in tow, he straightened and stepped forward to intercept them. Piggy’s steps seemed to slow somewhat reluctantly, but when she turned to smile at her director there was no sign of annoyance on her lovely face.
    “The play was simply marvelous, and it’s so very nice of you to invite us backstage,” Autumn was gushing, envious of Ed’s apparent self-control. She could not know how close he was to falling to his knees and grasping Piggy’s beguiling ankles in abject subjugation, but at the moment he was faking calm better than she was.
    “I’m glad you enjoyed the show,” the director said, interposing himself between them and Piggy’s dressing room. He took Autumn’s hand gravely and kissed it as he had Ms. Mansfield’s, and his handshake to Ed was firm and dry.
    “You know Miss Piggy from Las Vegas, is that right?” he asked, his grey eyes flicking from one to the other. Before either could answer, Piggy slipped her hand solicitously through the crook of her director’s elbow, taking hold of the situation by the simple act of taking hold of his arm.
    “Yes,” she said simply. “These are friends of Moi’s from Las Vegas.” She smiled a brilliant smile at Ed and Autumn, and Autumn adjusted her own surprise to answer appropriately.
    “How wonderful to see you again, Piggy dear,” she said, leaning forward to both proffer and receive an “air kiss”. Piggy’s free hand found Autumn’s shoulder as their cheeks touched, clasping it a little convulsively.
    She’s nervous, Autumn realized, surprised by the revelation. She wondered and worried how to telegraph this to Ed, but he seemed to have picked up the cue at least as fast as she had.
    “Piggy,” he said warmly, daring her first name. He put one hand out toward her, and she disengaged from her director to step neatly into his embrace. Their cheeks touched briefly, and he sighed as her perfume filled his head….
    “Edward, dearheart, how positively sweet of vous and Autumn to come to the show tonight and see Moi! And thank vous for waiting for Moi to meet her adoring public! I would have been sooo disappointed if we had not had a chance to catch up.”
    Mr. Lowry’s eyes flicked quickly from Piggy’s profile to the couple in front of him and, for a split second, Autumn saw…something in his eyes. Concern? Suspicion?
    “Not at all,” Ed murmured, still pleasantly befuddled. He reached for Autumn’s hand and clasped it tightly, wanting to be sure he was well-grounded for whatever came next. “We wouldn’t have missed the show for anything. You were, as usual, a delight for the entire audience.”
    “Oooh!” Piggy cooed, blushing prettily. Ed would later swear he could feel the heat coming off her skin. “You are both kind and correct to notice!”
    Everyone laughed at this shameless lobbying for praise, but it was impossible—really—to deny her when she was determined to be charming. And Piggy seemed very determined to be charming.
    “Are we having a gnosh, then?” she asked, implying they had already made plans. “Or must you go back to your hotel right away?”
    Autumn might never have been on the stage in her life, but she was excellent at reading people. She felt Piggy’s desperation without understanding the cause, but reached out immediately to a fellow creature in distress.
    “A gnosh would be lovely,” she said.
    Ed smiled broadly, on cloud nine. “I could eat,” he intoned. He turned toward Howard and Thoreau. They had no real idea what was going on in Piggy’s fervid imagination, but they had nevertheless closed ranks expertly, united in their support of her. “But I see you have other company. Perhaps we can have a drink?”
    “We must have champagne, at least,” Howard insisted, and deftly turned their little party of five toward the door. He did not know why, but Piggy seemed suddenly anxious to leave. Mr. Lowry made as if to stop their departure, obviously on the verge of saying something, but he was only Piggy’s boss. He was no match at all for Howard, who was her choreographer. Howard had the instincts of a purebred cattle dog, and he could herd anyone he wanted anywhere he wanted, Piggy thought smugly. She allowed herself to be pulled along with her buffer of friends, stopping only when Chad—who had arrived in the midst of the chaos backstage—reached out and clasped her satin-covered elbow, halting forward progress.
    “Not so fast!” he cried. “We haven’t decided about breakfast!”
    “Ooh!” Piggy said, contrite at letting the heebie-jeebies push the assignation out of her mind. “We are supposed to go to breakfast tomorrow so Moi can visit with Rory’s very charming Mother-in-Law,” she demurred, giving Rory a sly smile around Chad’s curly head.
    "Rory’s Mother-in-Law" will kill me if I forget to remind you of our breakfast date,” Chad said, flashing reproachful eyes at both Piggy and his mother. Ms. Mansfield smiled at him fondly, grinning back at Piggy. Chad was obviously feeling the pressure of so many people who had his number—both figuratively and literally—and he wasn’t above pouting. The ladies had only managed to exchange well-bred greetings earlier because of the general mayhem backstage, but they were sharing a friendly smile now, enjoying teasing Chad.
    “Brunch, dear,” Piggy corrected, (bravely, thought Rory). “But early brunch, because of the matinee. Moi is at your disposal after nine. Do you want Moi to meet you?”
    Here, Rory stepped in. “Could you and Finkel pick us up?” Rory asked. He very wisely did not say, "So we won’t have to wait for you to finish getting ready," but Piggy knew he was thinking it. She gave him a look.
    “But of course,” she said, then smiled and batted her eyelashes at Ms. Mansfield prettily. “It was lovely to meet you. I look forward to having time for a real chat tomorrow!”
    “A distinct pleasure,” said Ms. Mansfield, her smile broad and friendly. “We’ll dish over coffee tomorrow!”
    Piggy giggled, then made a point of turning and surrendering herself once again to her friends, who surrounded her and carried her forward. They waited for Piggy to make a quick change from Pink Lady to glamorous socialite, exquisite in a form-fitting cobalt blue evening gown with an ice-blue faux-fur jacket. The stunning bauble from Kermit glittered on her wrist, accentuating the shimmering pearls she always wore around her throat.
    “Oh—oh my, Miss Piggy,” Autumn said softly. “You look beautiful.”
    Piggy might have made a modest reply—might have—but it would have been drowned out in the chorus of praise and adulation being heaped on her by the present company. Later, Piggy would feel sheepishly proud of how they had all made over her, affirming her divahood in the most obvious way possible, but it did take a lot to make up for Kermit’s everyday, run-of-the-mill adoration and she felt entitled.
    They bustled out the back door happily, ready for an evening on the town. Most of the others had gone by now, but Ed was aware of someone’s eyes on their backs as they made their way out, that eerie feeling you get when you are being watched. His arm tightened protectively around Autumn’s trim waist, and she turned and smiled at him, using the opportunity to glance surreptitiously behind them. Mr. Lowry and Bobo were planted in the hallway, watching them leave. Bobo’s expression was satisfied, but Mr. Lowry’s was…not. Autumn could not place the expression on his face, but it was not satisfied. She filed it away for later, and followed Piggy and her friends into the night.


    Kermit looked at the phone in his hand and debated dialing Piggy. They had texted after the matinee earlier, but they had not managed to talk again. He could call her now. He could call her now and—like Scooter suggested, "tell her everything!" In the mood he was in, he could say any true thing to Piggy that came to mind.
    He would tell her how much he missed her—again—and how proud he was of her. He could tell her that the editing was proceeding at a heroic rate and that he couldn’t wait until they would see each other in person. He would tell her about Thoreau’s froghandling of his tuxedo for tomorrow’s awards show—no, nix that—he wanted to stun her with his suave fashion sense when she saw him tomorrow. Well, Thoreau’s fashion sense. He couldn’t wait to see her in her costume, but he was a little nervous. Everyone had mentioned how spectacular and tarty and spectacularly tarty Piggy looked in her stage clothes, and he had been steeling himself not to erupt into a jealous snit or fall, groaning, to his knees at the sight of her on live television. It was a precarious balance, at best.
    Balance made him think of the freezer, and thinking of the freezer made him think of danger, and danger made him think of Bobo and Marty and what he might not know about what was really going on with her and the studio and…. Kermit sighed, sliding the little phone closed. He couldn’t call her now, because if he did he would certainly beg her to come home, and he couldn’t do that. He stared at the phone for a moment longer, then started a text message.
    “Love you. Miss you. Have fun with the boys and call me tomorrow.” Miss me. Love me. Call me tonight anyway, he managed not to add. He hit “Send” and put the phone away.

    “How ‘bout a cup of joe for a working stiff,” drawled a friendly voice, and Mabel startled out of her reverie. She’d been standing, distracted, with the coffee pot in her hand, but looked up now to see Forrest Canderling easing himself onto one of the barstools near her. He put his cowboy hat on the counter next to him and smiled at her.
    “Frosty!” she cried. “I hope I can do better than that! How ‘bout a cup of joe and a piece of pie?”
    “I’m much obliged,” Forrest said, smiling. Mabel had not tried to call him “Mr. Canderling” in years, and she was always glad to see him roaming the casino at night. He was conscientious and personable, and liked to take a hands-on approach to running things. Mabel beamed at him as she poured him a steaming mug of black coffee and placed a huge wedge of cherry pie in front of him.
    “My wife’s going to kill me,” he grumbled, but when she placed a square of hard, sharp cheddar cheese coquettishly on the side of his plate, he gave up complaining and dug in. Mabel checked on her tables, refilling a couple of iced teas and clearing away some plates. She took a dessert order from the party in the booth in the back, but one of the other waitresses took it out of her hands and shooed her away.
    “Catch up on the office gossip,” the young woman whispered near Mabel’s soft ear, and the diminutive mole just grinned and went and sat on a stool next to her boss. They caught up on everything—casino stuff, Mr. Canderling’s grandkids, the success of the holiday season and Mabel’s big news about Tricia’s band.
    “I’m pleased as punch to hear that,” Forrest said, smiling broadly. “Maybe the Indie Vittles can come and play here when they’re done with their tour. I’ll have to mention it to Seymour when he gets back—if he ever does.”
    Mabel chuckled. “Mr. Strathers on the road again?” Mr. Strathers liked to be called “Mr. Strathers”, and—unlike Forrest and Jack Littleton—was unlikely to be seen hobnobbing with the employees. In fact, he preferred to be out and about, unlike his father, who had had the same easy, friendly approach to relieving tourists of their money in a way that made both sides happy with the exchange as Frosty and Jack Littleton had.
    “He is indeed,” Forrest rumbled. “He’s in New York this time, trying to catch up with some stage acts.”
    “Hey! He ought to see Miss Piggy while he’s there,” Mabel said. “She’s on Broadway, now, starring in the revival of Grease! D’ya know that, Frosty?”
    Frosty laughed and polished off his pie. “Everybody knows that,” he said with a grin. “And I’m sure Seymour was right on the cutting edge of the news.” He hesitated, looking uncertain, then went on. “He, um, Seymour had quite a, um, thing for Miss Piggy—I guess you knew that?”
    Everybody knew that,” Mabel said with a smile. “And he ain’t the first to have his hopes dashed. I know her image is kind of flirty, but that’s a one-frog pig if I ever saw one.”
    “True, that,” said Frosty. “But maybe she’ll take pity on him and have dinner with him while he’s there.”
    “That would be nice,” Mabel said. “So when’s Junior coming back? Sounds like he’s been gone a while.”
    Mr. Strathers liked to be called “Mr. Strathers” to his face, but many of the long-time Palace employees remembered him as “Junior,” trailing behind his father during an awkward adolescence.
    “Eh, when he gets whatever he went after—or doesn’t,” Forrest said sagely. “He said he wants to score big this time—bring home a real show-stopper.”
    Mabel shook her head. “Looks like he’d want to rest on his laurels a little after scoring Kermit and the Missus and their whole troupe. We lit the strip up proper when they were here, didn’t we?”
    “We did,” Frosty said with satisfaction. They had already discussed the burgeoning profits from the holiday season in a congratulatory manner. “But you know Seymour—he’s restless. Can’t seem to settle down. Soon as he gets something, it’s not what he wants, and he gets rid of it and moves on to the next thing. You know what I mean?”
    “I raised 147 kids. I know what you mean. The question isn’t, "What do you do when you get what you want?"—It’s "What do you do when you don’t." That’s where your real character is, you know?”
    Frosty drained his cup. “Well, this character is gonna get back on my rounds. I wanted to watch a little blackjack tonight, see how the room is doing.” He smiled and put his cowboy hat back on his head. “And I wouldn’t worry too much about Junior,” he said to Mabel. “One way or another, he always seems to get what he wants.”
    newsmanfan, DrDientes and The Count like this.

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