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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

    Quick question, is the name of Piggy's NYC cabby "Moisha" or "Moishe" Finkel? :search:
     
  2. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    So I finished rereading this vonderful novel from start to finish, no, not all in one day.

    We know that the next potential plotpoint for Kermit is the Hollywood party he'll be attending on Friday with Scooter at his side. I hope that this party ends up being a nice outing for both frog and gofer, they certainly don't need anything else bad right now.
    After that I dunno how long it'll take to fast forward through the weekend and week to get to Wednesday when the frog "should" finally fly up to see his wife on Broadway.

    *Waits patiently for the next chapter. BTW: Happy belated birthday Aunt Ru.
    *Leaves some pumpkin cheesecake squares, Uncle Deadly has been making a lot of it lately. :insatiable:
     
  3. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    *Bump.

    You know, after reading the fic again, I noticed something I goofed on during reviews/replies. I kept misspelling the name of the starlet family that caused such problems for Kermit during the Academy Awards, I now know it's "Kardashian" cause that's where they got the name of their chain of stores Dash from. All this time I've been writing it as "Kardassian" which I'm surprised Aunt Ru as a Trekkie didn't call me out on for confusing such a "famous?" celebrity family with the race of inhabitants from one of the major player planets in DS9's Gamma Quarter. Oh well. *Waits for next chapter.
     
  4. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Chapter 157: Insight Straits

    Scooter was pretty much indispensable, and he had been accused of being clairvoyant, but he did not have to be a soothsayer to see that Kermit had had a rough evening. Kermit looked up when he came in with a sack of bagels and smiled wanly. Scooter handed him the bag and Kermit looked inside.
    “There’s regular cream cheese and there’s that cream-cheese-and-lacewing stuff they make,” he said, hoping it brightened Kermit’s morning.
    “Sounds great,” Kermit said. “Coffee’s on already. Get a mug and we’ll get started.”
    “You’re the boss,” Scooter said, and went to get a cup of joe. They had a lot to do today, and he knew—regardless of how he felt—Kermit would plug away at it faithfully. Scooter had seen him work in conditions that would have felled lesser men (and frogs)—when he was tired, depressed or about to blow his stack. He had seen him manage the biggest theatrical scene of the season while wondering frantically if his girl was going to ditch the white satin and give him the slip, but he had somehow managed to get the film and the girl without losing his sanity. No matter what, Kermit made sure the show went on.
    Scooter wished that all of the people at the party tonight would see that—would see that Kermit would always live up to his obligations and be true to his word, even if it meant taking the hit personally, even if it meant sacrificing his own happiness. Scooter had seen Kermit leave to put Piggy on that plane to New York without wavering, and he had seen him work like a frog to meet commitments on the movie that had been changed time and again, all the while battling the hostile press and an unseen, adversarial presence that could give even the most stalwart champion a turn. There was a lot to admire about his boss, a lot to aspire to emulate, and Scooter hoped that he was making as good a showing as he could.
    Tonight, he’d do everything he could to make sure things went well, and that nothing—nothing—stood in the way of Kermit going to New York next week to see his girl.

    Fifteen minutes of awkward, careful politeness was about all that any of them could stand.
    “Okay, listen up, peeps!” Piggy growled. “Moi is marvelous. You are all marvelous. But can we please can it and get on with it?”
    There were grins and sighs all around.
    “Sure,” said Rory.
    Please,” said Kristen.
    “Good grief, yes,” said Harrison. “All this politeness is killing me.”
    Tell me about it,” Piggy growled. “I feel like Moi is back in charm school.”
    “You never went to charm school, ducky,” said Darcy. “But if you had, I’ll bet you would have kicked butt at it.”
    Trudy grinned. “She does that, too,” she said. She waggled her eyebrows at Piggy. “Heard you almost took out that sleazy tabloid journalist.”
    Piggy was suddenly busy with her gloves. She had just taken them off—now she put them back on. “Moi…took care of the problem.”
    She was aware of Rory looking at her, and knew she would have to tell him, and soon.
    Stacey poked her head around the doorway and smiled. “Hi guys—Mr. Lowry wants to do the beauty shop scene, run the intro scene, and then he wants to talk to all of us.”
    “Give me a sec,” Darcy said, still lacing up one shoe. “I’m almost ready.”
    “We all need to get ready,” Kristen grumbled. “Everybody out of the girls dressing room.” She grabbed Cordell by the arm and Harrison by his cuff, dragging them toward the door. Harrison slipped away with a grin to follow after Darcy, but Cordell had to be walked all the way to the door. “Go on,” Kristen said firmly. Cordell gave his best pollywog eyes, and Kristen grabbed his shoulders, turned him around and pushed him out the door.
    The room was suddenly quiet, and Piggy looked up and saw Kristen standing in the doorway, looking back at Rory. Piggy saw them exchange an enigmatic look, then Kristen went out and shut the door, leaving Piggy alone with her stage partner.
    Rory leaned against the door and crossed his strong arms across his chest. He looked tough but his expression was gentle.
    “Tell me everything,” he said. “What really happened last night?”

    Tricia rolled over and made a sleepy sound, but didn’t open her eyes. Clifford bent and pressed a kiss against her temple and she roused a little and smiled, squinting up at him.
    “Good morning,” she mumbled.
    “It is,” Clifford said. He leaned in for a kiss, hasty but thorough, then padded across the room to the door.
    “What time is it?” Tricia muttered, glancing at the clock.
    “Early,” said Clifford. “Go back to sleep.”
    “Don’t you—?”
    “Shhh,” said Clifford. “I’ll see you at breakfast."

    The muck-peddler was having a pretty good morning. The boss had been pretty happy about the picture. His article had been two-fifths innuendo, but Fleet was okay with it because he knew that Missy would be okay with it. All it did was imply that she’d been out on the town without hubby but with a well-known (that was pushing it, but what were they—the New York Times?) talent scout. He knew that Strathers was a lightweight—nothing to compare to his old man—but for those who clamored to play the strip, he was a familiar and sometimes necessary evil. Here, Scribbler felt a little bad. Strathers didn’t seem a bad sort—just ineffectual and over-privileged. If some trust fund babies were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, Seymour Strathers had been born with a marquee over his nursery door. All he’d had to do to become a player in the world of entertainment was to grow up. Scribbler felt his mouth twist sourly. Some guys had all the luck.
    He’d had to work for everything he’d gotten, and work he had. Fleet’s first newspaper job had been delivering them, and he remembered with a laugh how excited he’d been to finally get a job behind a desk. Obituaries might not be glamorous, but they sure were read. He’d been offered sports and declined—not interested—but when the grand old gal who’d written “entertainment news” for his small-town paper had dropped over in her popcorn, he’d been hauled to the forefront and promoted on the spot. He’d made the most of this strange stroke of luck, and pretty soon he was getting invites from all sorts of theater groups around the region. His boss had been ecstatic.
    There were times when, if he were honest with himself, Fleet would admit that he might have simply gotten complacent in that job, happy to be a relatively good-sized fish in a pretty small (and occasionally scummy) pond, but complacency had gone out the window the day he’d first seen Missy.
    It wasn’t even a big part. Yeah, yeah—there are no small parts, only small actors, ha ha ha, but Piggy had turned three lines into an art form, and everywhere they went, everywhere they played, she was always mentioned in the reviews. Scribbler’s review had not only mentioned her—he had gone so far as to suggest that the leading actress might want to invest in some walking shoes. He’d slipped the copy in late—he was almost always the last one to turn in his piece—and they printed it without bothering to edit it, just like they usually did. He’d been hoping for that, and well…you know what they say about being careful what you hope for? His boss had not been as ecstatic as before.
    When his review ran, the star of the show had pitched a grand diva fit—nothing like what Missy could throw, true—but alarming all the same, and the director had called a press meeting to assuage any rumors that Miss Norwich and Miss Piggy were anything but the best of friends, sharing the stage with a companionability that bordered on sisterhood. Everybody was going to get dressed up and play nice, trade air kisses and fond stories and pump, pump, pump the play.
    It was a good idea.
    It was an even better idea when Piggy broke script in front of the press and managed to imply that she would never—no, never—attempt to unseat her co-star. After all, her co-star was so experienced—remarkably so!—but of course she had been doing this show for a very, very long time….
    Associated Press picked up the story. The play sold out, not just in Fleet’s home town, but for the rest of the tour, and while Piggy never did anything other than her three lines, she made out like a bandit all the same.
    He’d seen her off at the tour bus—him and about 65 other members of the fourth estate—but he’d actually been surprised when her eyes had lingered on his for longer than necessary. She’d smiled at him and tossed her golden tresses, laughing at something one of the media boys had said before stepping onto the bottom step of the big omnibus. Again, she turned back, and this time her eyes definitely sought him out, sought him out and drew him forward as though pulled by a winch. Well, a wench anyway!
    He drifted up to the bus, aware that her pearls cost more than he had made last year, aware of the velvety pink inside her ears, the clean flowery scent of her hair. Her voice, however, was all business.
    “Thanks for the assist,” she murmured, and fluttered her eyelashes at him.
    “My pleasure,” he stammered then, emboldened, had blurted out. “Any time.”
    Piggy had giggled, biting her lip. “Not likely,” she said. “We’re playing every whistle-stop from here to Cali.”
    “Cali, then,” he’d said. “I guess I’ll have to catch you in California.”
    “If vous can,” Piggy had said gravely, and swept up onto the bus.
    He’d packed the next day.
    It was still hard to be sorry. There was work to be had in Hollywood, plenty of work. That was the problem. There was plenty of work, plenty of workers and enough starlets and reporters to cover the town like a plague, but he was talented—and hungry. He eeked along making do, trying to make a name for himself, keeping a low-grade radar on Miss Piggy’s career. Things weren’t easy for her in Hollywood either—not at first. She was, first and foremost, a theater actress, but her agent—an old grizzled legend named Marty—kept her in commercials and day work, keeping the wolves from her door. He also did a pretty admirable job of dealing with the wolves that came panting and drooling around her door, and those that slipped in in sheep’s clothing often emerged rather the worse for wear. Piggy didn’t put up with any funny business, and while that raised her in Fleet’s esteem, it didn’t always help her prospects.
    They’d seen each other around and he managed, somehow or other, to review everything she did for someone. At first, he’d tried getting some rag to agree to run the article before he’d written it, but eventually he just wrote the article and shopped it around. There was something about the way he wrote about her that made the words seem to leap off the page, and he often found his stories getting picked up by more than one paper. He’d made himself pleasant to Missy, respectful to Marty and had kept his distance. Only on paper did their lives intersect in any meaningful way, and Fleet had schooled himself to be content with that. Truthfully, whether or not she ever became a big star, he’d known from the start that she was out of his league. Miss Piggy was, in all ways, in a league of her very own.
    When she’d gone to New York—again—to try to break into theater there, he’d decided he’d had enough of silicone and Silicon Valley and bought a winter coat, a tan, fur-lined trench coat sort of thing which had—just barely—kept him from freezing to death. She’d not been there very long when they’d crossed paths again. She had caught him shivering outside when she walked out of an off-off-off-Broadway theater where she had managed to secure a bit part as a girl at a bar. She had a cute little toboggan on her head—more ornamental than warm—and he noticed two holes in her gloves where her lilac satin gloves showed through. Her boots were sturdy enough, but her coat was not completely suited to New York in the winter. She’d taken a quick, assessing look around—wanting to be aware of her surroundings on the city streets—and had caught him practically on her doorstep without any excuse or camouflage. She’d walked straight over to him, looked him up and down and sighed.
    “Can you even afford to buy Moi a cup of coffee?” she’d demanded.
    “Just barely,” he’d admitted, and smiled.
    Heaven help him—she’d smiled back.

    Hard to blame Strathers for losing his good sense last night, Scribbler thought to himself. Hard to blame anyone, (although he somehow managed to make an exception for Kermit). The guy might have strip cred, but he had very little street cred, and Piggy had probably bowled him over just by dithering over the menu and crossing her plump little ankles.
    True, the weasel had made a donkey of himself last night and upset Missy, but it was surprising how easy it was to lose your head when she flashed those baby blues and smiled at you. If it hadn’t been for the fact that Strathers had left Missy unprotected with some stalker lurking around Fleet would have felt some genuine sympathy. As it was, he was just a little sorry that he hadn’t popped the guy one, just on general principles. No means no, and let go means let go. He fought back a smile, remembering more than one producer type who’d found his head spinning and his teeth loose trying to put unwanted moves on Missy.
    Wanted moves…well, that was another matter.

    “You’d think two good-looking bachelors like us could scare up a couple of dates for Friday night,” said Rizzo.
    “You’d think,” said Gonzo, but he didn’t sound as chipper about it as he usually did. For the past few months, Gonzo had been…well, more normal than usual, which was, on the face of it, just weird. Rizzo worried about him a lot, worried that somewhere in the Weirdo’s furry blue chest there might be a broken heart.
    “So…what d’ya think? Pizza and a movie tonight?”
    “I don’t—”
    “I’ll let you put sardines and frosted flakes on your half.”
    “Strawberry milk in the cola and you’re on,” Gonzo replied enthusiastically.
    Rizzo shrugged. It all ended up the same place anyway. “You know best,” he said. “So—what’s good? Anything you particularly want to see?”
    Gonzo shrugged, opened his mouth to speak, then closed it.
    “What?” said Rizzo. “Go ahead—what?”
    “Just…no love stories, okay? I’m…not up for that tonight, buddy.”
    “Sure. No problemo. Anything else?”
    “Um…no sequels, if you don’t mind. They’re usually disappointing.”
    “Depends on whether or not you’re in them,” Rizzo muttered.
    “What?”
    “Nuttin’—just thinking out loud.” He looked up at Gonzo. “Want to get a cab?”
    Gonzo shrugged. “Plumbing truck’s out back.”
    Rizzo hesitated. Visibly. “When’s the last time you—?”
    “Oh…Tuesday. It’s fine. Hardly any smell at all.”
    “Whatever.”
    “What? I’m right here.”
    “Never gets old,” Rizzo said, and pushed Gonzo out the door ahead of him.

    “So…he…that little muck-peddler came to your rescue—again.” Rory had initially exploded with surprise and consternation, but he’d managed to tamp it back down by now.
    “Yes,” said Piggy. She looked up, her blue eyes wide. Rory sighed, knowing how irresistible that look could prove. “He…I was…I was trying to text you,” she admitted.
    Me? Then how…?”
    Piggy had steeled herself for this. She had already admitted he was right about Seymour being both useless as a protector and creepy in a clingy sort of way, and though Rory had had the good grace not to gloat, she had seen the gleam of satisfaction in his eyes. Now this…. She decided to grit her teeth through the worst of it and tell him about the little pink phone too. She did so, stammering only a little as she explained. To her surprise, Rory had not seemed to mind as much as she thought he might.
    “You need to tell that frog of yours what’s really going on,” he had said unhappily, and instead of disagreeing with him, Piggy had nodded at once.
    “Moi is going to,” she said earnestly. “As soon as he is here in person.”
    “If you tell him now, he’ll probably get himself up here sooner.”
    “He is coming,” Piggy said petulantly. Rory ground his molars, but managed not to say any more.
    “Piggy—look, I—that brings up something else. What do you think happened with your phone and keys? Why were they on the floor?”
    Piggy looked down and he thought, at first, that she wouldn’t answer, but she made a gesture of resignation and sighed. “I suppose Seymour—that is, Mr. Strathers must have picked them up when they fell out of the side pocket of my purse.”
    “Do you know they fell out of the side pocket of your purse?” Rory asked. “Or do you think he took them?"
    “Oh, don’t be silly,” Piggy said, clearly uncomfortable. She had admitted Strathers was a creep, but there was no reason to be paranoid. Clearly, the casino owner was a little infatuated, but he was hardly a real threat. She had acted—well, Fleet had acted as much to save her reputation, tattered though it currently was—more than her person. He had already acted once to save her from whoever had tried to pignap her, her conscience reminded her. Piggy had been dodging unwanted male attention for most of her life—it was no big deal. If it had come to it, she certainly could have just swatted Strathers into oblivion if she’d needed to. I could have, Piggy argued to herself. I could have if I’d had to. She just hadn’t had to.
    Because of Fleet.
    To her surprise, Rory didn’t argue. He just reached out and touched the back of one of her velvety ears, stroking the soft skin and then giving it a sharp tug.
    “Ouch! What was that for?” she demanded, hands on hips, flame in those blue, blue eyes.
    “Hard to not be silly over you, Piggy,” Rory said. “You’ve got your frog, your dressmaker, a reporter, a former boss, your current boss and your cabbie all wrapped around your little finger.”
    “And you?” Piggy asked wistfully, though it hardly needed to be asked.
    “And me,” Rory sighed. He pulled her in for a hug—a sorry-we-fought, what-am-I-going-to-do-with-you sort of hug.
    “Don’t forget Chad,” Piggy said against his chest. She had him wrapped around her little satin-gloved finger, too.
    “Don’t think for a moment I have,” he said with a sigh, and then it was time to go out on stage.

    It could have been worse, he supposed. As parties went, it wasn’t as horrible as they could be. His hostess appreciated the fact that he was currently hot news, but not enough to actually grill him on the state of his relationship. Everyone wanted to talk about the movie, or Piggy’s latest picture—or his—or Broadway or Piggy and “did he know that this bachelor-or-other was in New York for a season” or…. Kermit gritted his hard palate, smiled and nodded and tried not to snap at people who gave him looks that plainly said they couldn’t imagine what Piggy had seen in him in the first place. He consoled himself with the fact that he was going to talk to Piggy again soon—she had promised to call after her show to hear how things were going and shower him with sympathy.
    “You okay?” Scooter murmured, slipping up to him and handing him a grasshopper. Kermit looked at it, obviously debating, and Scooter grinned. “Go on—I don’t think one drink is going to make you lose your senses and jump into the pool with a bevy of starlets.”
    “One starlet would be enough, with Piggy in New York,” Kermit said, but he took a sip of the drink gratefully. “What’s the word where you are? People asking about the movie?”
    “People asking about you and Piggy,” Scooter said honestly. “But yeah, about the movie, too.” He hesitated, then plowed on through. “Um, there’s a charity thing tomorrow, and a couple of folks are trying to drive up celebrity attendance tomorrow—think you could go?”
    “What and when?”
    “Pediatric aids,” Scooter said. “For the kids. Tomorrow at 2:00—you could go by for a little?”
    Kermit nodded at once. He would endure almost anything for the sake of children. “Sure. Put me down and tell me when to show up.”
    “Thanks, Boss,” Scooter said gratefully. Although his main interest—like Kermit’s—was the kids involved, he thought it wouldn’t hurt for his boss to remind people of all he had done for children and children’s television.
    Kermit shifted uncomfortably, not wanting to ask again, but finally gave in.
    “So…people are asking about the movie?”
    Scooter played a whole game of table tennis in his head, debating giving specifics. “It’s not too bad, actually,” he finally said. “Most people here don’t really believe what they read in the tabloids—they’re too aware of how to manipulate them or how much of what they print is crazy or wrong. Mostly they just want to know if you guys are…okay.”
    Kermit frowned. “Define "okay",” he muttered.
    “Just—you know, are you two still, um, happy. Um.” Kermit was giving him a look that made him blurt out everything at once. “And are you, uh, are going to see her soon and if she’s going to stay on Broadway while you, you know, stay here and make movies.”
    “Scooter, that’s just—”
    “Don’t shoot the messenger,” Scooter said quickly. “I know. I know. It’s a stupid question, er, stupid questions but…well, people wonder.”
    “Sorry,” Kermit said, patting Scooter’s arm. “I’m just…I feel like people are looking at me and wondering why on earth Piggy would want to come back to California to be with her grouchy, dictator of a director-husband.”
    “Except for the ones wondering why you’d want her back.”
    Kermit’s mouth dropped open and he stared at Scooter, dumbfounded. Scooter shrugged, uncomfortable and cleared his throat.
    “Miss Piggy is…well, she’s…um…a little—”
    Here, Scooter stalled. Miss Piggy was not “a little” anything, but he debated the wisdom of speaking so frankly. Kermit looked at him, waiting him out, but his expression wasn’t annoyed—it was worried and sad and uncertain.
    “She’s a little high-maintenance, okay?” Scooter said, then rushed on. “Not that she doesn’t seem to be worth it, because she is, I get that. And, whew, when she brings it home on stage—”
    “Or when she brings it home at home,” Kermit murmured, and smiled. Scooter sighed his relief and smiled back.
    “Yeah—it’s usually a good day for everybody when that happens,” Scooter said. Kermit blushed and they grinned like truant schoolboys. “But not everybody, um, sees that part, you know?”
    “I know,” Kermit said. “It took me a long time to see it—even longer to admit it.”
    Scooter spoke without thinking, something he rarely did. “Yeah. A lot of people remember how long it took. They seem to remember you talking a lot about being too busy to be involved in a relationship.” Kermit looked thunderstruck and Scooter rushed in to clarify. “Back in the day, I mean—before you guys tied the knot.”
    Kermit clapped a hand to his forehead, seething. “Seriously? After all this time? Am I going to pay for everything I said when I was dating for the rest of my life?”
    Scooter was too smart to open his mouth, but his face said it all. Probably, his expression said clearly.
    Kermit glared into his drink, trying to keep his temper under control.
    “But most everybody seems to think it will all work out in the end.”
    “It’s working out now,” Kermit cried irritably. His voice was a little louder than he meant it and he cleared his throat and tried again. “Everything is going wellnow.”
    "Don’t have to tell me, boss,” said Scooter. “Front-row seat, remember? But I think people just, you know…you guys have been together for a long time. A lot of young couples look up to you. A lot of Hollywood couples don’t make it as long as you guys have.”
    “That’s right,” Kermit said. “Haven’t we proven…I mean, don’t they know that…oh, sheesh.” He took another gulp of his drink. “What does it matter?”
    Scooter’s voice was earnest. “It does matter,” Scooter said. “Not what they think. Not what anyone thinks. But it does matter. You two matter.”
    Kermit looked at him, not sure what Scooter was trying to say.
    “What you two have—that’s what matters. That’s what’s important.” He shook his head, feeling like he was doing a bad job of explaining himself. “When I came to you guys—well, when I was dumped on you guys by my uncle, I felt pretty unwanted. I didn’t know what it would be like to have a family that…you know, cared about me. Not just because I was useful—I tried really hard to be useful—but because somebody, you know, liked me. Wanted me around. You…you guys…practically adopted me. I used to trail after you like a puppy dog.”
    “You used to trail after Piggy like a puppy dog,” Kermit corrected, grinning, but Scooter’s grin widened even more.
    “True. Miss Piggy left better crumbs,” he said. “She included me in all of her—well, most of her schemes to get you to admit you liked her.”
    “You did all sort of gang up on me.”
    “Darn tootin’,” said Scooter. “Do you have any idea how grumpy you are when you’re jealous?—cause I do.”
    “But what does this have to do with what people are saying about—”
    “Because—in the end, it wasn’t what people said that mattered. It wasn’t about what anyone else thought or bet—”
    Kermit’s eyes glinted dangerously. Nothing had sent his blood pressure through the roof like catching wind of the weekly odds on whether he’d fire Piggy, propose to her, or both!
    Scooter—”
    “It wasn’t about what anyone else thought—it was about what you two felt. That’s it. Nobody gets to decide what you feel except you.”
    Kermit looked at him a long time. “You’ve got your mother's smarts,” he said at last, and then they both laughed out loud.

    The show had been a smashing success that night. Ho hum, thought Piggy. She had been her usual charming self on stage, and her devastatingly charming self with the fans, and now she was pretty much done with everything required of her tonight. She had begged off being taken out dancing by her friends—she’d had quite enough sociability this week—and was actually relishing the quiet backstage. Well, relative quiet.
    Once the audience had cleared out, the set builders had gotton down to brass tacks. Well, crystalline staircases, as the case may be. The workers could be heard hammering and pounding away in the theater proper, building the newest addition to the set. That afternoon, she had watched and listened from the wings as Mr. Lowry and Lainie Kazan talked about the changes that would be made to the set and the choreography for “Beauty School Dropout". Piggy wasn’t in that scene, but it was interesting to see how they changed it for each new beauty school “angel". That part was even more of a revolving door than her role, and this was the last weekend they’d have with Pat Benatar. After that, Lainie Kazan was ready to debut.
    Pat Benatar had been a very energetic angel-godmother, but Lainie was going for a more old-style Hollywood glamor approach. They were building a new glassine staircase that she was going to descend in her four-inch sparkling heels, which Piggy had roundly approved. Piggy had lurked in the wings and hoped she’d get a chance to talk shoes and fashion with their newest co-star before the show that night.
    The chance had not quite materialized. Ms. Kazan and Mr. Lowry had been very absorbed in their discussion, and then, without warning, Ms. Kazan was allowing Mr. Lowry to kiss her gloved hand before disappearing down the theater aisle. Piggy had been a little disappointed, but had looked forward to seeing Ms. Kazan when she actually joined the cast. While they had been talking, Piggy had very much admired her soon-to-be co-star’s languid, graceful movements, her throaty, sexy laugh. Mr. Lowry had seemed equally enchanted, and Piggy had had to smile. Her newest boss obviously had a thing for divas, from babes to grande dames.
    It’s no wonder he thought of Moi, she had mused happily as she’d taken her mark for the opening scene run-through. Although Piggy would have been loath to admit it to him, she liked the fact that Mr. Lowry was always tweaking the show. The rehearsal that afternoon had been wonderful, and Piggy thought again how much she liked the immediacy of live theater. You got energy off other performers, like an electrical current, and when you were all on…it was incredible, amazing. Not only that, but each performance was nuanced and different, so you were continually creating new art.
    That was not to say, Piggy mused, trying to be fair, that there was not also a thrill in getting a scene down just so for a movie, to be forever immortalized on the silver screen. That was its own kind of wonderful, and she allowed herself—for a moment—to be grateful for Kermit’s insistence that Rainbow Productions venture into feature-length films as well as theater. They had been lucky, to have found success in both venues—phenomenally lucky. More to the point, she had been lucky.
    Working had always been a great panacea for difficult or uncomfortable emotions. She had used it in the beginning to fill up the great hollow inside herself, to substitute for the approval and affection she had craved but not always received. It had been easy, at first, to thrive on the outpouring of love she had received from fans, but that kind of love is usually love from afar. It wasn’t long before she recognized that what she really wanted, what she really needed was the kind of love that blooms when you are close to someone—close enough to be seen for who you really are. Knowing and being known are, perhaps, the highest forms of love, and even more important when you lived and worked in a world where most everything was artificial or make-believe.
    Fleet had known her, Piggy mused. Known her and—but she pushed the thought hastily away. She would not think about Fleet now. She wanted to think about Kermit, and she couldn’t seem to think of both of them at the same time.
    Kermit was, from the beginning, one of the most genuine, most fundamentally decent beings she had ever known. It was his sincerity as well as his decency which made it possible for him to be honest with her (and the other performers) about their performances. While she hadn’t always liked it, she had always recognized that he would do what was best, even if it meant sharing unpleasant truths. She had fallen for him with a suddenness and a violence which had sometimes alarmed her. It had certainly
    alarmed Kermit!
    What she hadn’t realized for a long time was that Kermit was, himself, avoiding an unwelcome if not unpleasant truth: he had fallen in love with her. Only her insecurity and his natural deference had kept that truth from shouting itself from the heavens. As it was, it had been, as Jane Austen would have said, “Every day implied but never spoken.” Piggy had come to believe that she was reading too much into what he felt because her own feelings were so overpowering. She had found her emotional equilibrium (more or less) as an actress playing on stage every day while her heart was breaking in two. Sometimes she had channeled that angst into trying to break Kermit in two, but mostly she had used it as fuel for her performance.
    Kermit’s party was tonight, and—though her co-stars had begged her to come out dancing with them, she had already decided that she’d had more socializing than she wanted this week. After the show tonight, she was going to talk to Kermit, go home and sleep like the dead. She’d not slept well the night before—too many unsettling emotions all churning around in her gut—but she felt confident that they had smoothed the rough edges away and everything was going to be better. Talking to Kermit had helped—oh, how it had helped!—even though he’d sounded irritated at her for a bit. Piggy felt vaguely discomfited, knowing it was probably her own guilty conscience that was making her sensitive, but Kermit had known what to say after all. She hoped she had not burdened him too much with her own loneliness when he was missing her, too.
    She heard a noise outside her door, shuffling and whispering, and went over to shoo whoever it was along. None of the workers—indeed, no one, had any business in this part of the theater now. She reached for the knob—
     
  5. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    One last chapter before I leave huh? This is all fabu and I have marked what little corrections need to be made, but it will simply have to wait until I return from vacation. Till then, thank you as always for sharing your magnifique writings with us Aunt Ru.
    And don't think I didn't notice that little cliffhanger at the end of the chapter either.
     
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  6. lady piggy

    lady piggy Well-Known Member

    Oh look! It's a new chapter from one of the loveliest stories on MC. I totally liked this chapter Miss Ru, very interesting and enjoyable to read. A couple of quotes that i loved

    "He drifted up to the bus, aware that her pearls cost more than he had made last year,.."

    Ahah that made me laugh so much , i can actually imagine Piggy strutting her stuff with her signature and expensive pearls. But again, i found it to be very humorous that her pearls were worth more then what he made last year .

    "Miss Piggy was, in all ways, in a league of her very own."

    Oh that line , i can not agree more with it . Yes indeed , Piggy is in a league of her own . I mean why shouldn't she be ? Piggy is definitely something special , something about that pig ( i use that term lovingly ) just captives people ,draws them in as if they were flys and she's the beautiful bright light bulb .ahah well ya get the general idea ahah.


    "Can you even afford to buy Moi a cup of coffee?” she’d demanded.
    “Just barely,” he’d admitted, and smiled."

    Ahah i love how she " demanded " , no not asked but demanded ahah so Piggy.
    And his response,ahah well he's honest and not to mention broke ahah.
    Thanks a bunch for the new chapter Miss Ru , i can wait to read what happens next.^-^
     
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  7. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    So...this whole week, I've been seeing this story on the fandom front page and going, "no way Ru went and did an update and the MC didn't tell me" and lo and behold *points* there it is.

    Of course, I can't tell you enough how much I'm enjoying this, from character development to the mystery of who's trying to sink the production to who's trying to kidnap Piggy (OMG, cliffhanger! It's totally Seymour!! Run, Piggy, run!!).

    I do have to say, gleefully, that I liked Kermit's last comment to Scooter, about having his mother's smarts. Now, he could have been speaking about Scooter's actual birth mother, but - and this could be me coloring the sentence - I'd like to think Kermit was talking about Piggy.

    If I hadn't before, I must again thank you for the image and growing seed in your interactions between Scooter and Kermit and Piggy, especially in Scooter's confession that he was and felt like the unwanted kid who was suddenly adopted into this big crazy family who have loved him forever. Those little glimpses is basically what started and colored many of my scenes between those three (especially the Monday and Pool Hall series) and made me go, "huh. these guys are really just a big ole family, with Daddy Kermit and Mama Piggy"

    I am on pins and needles for Piggy, however; where's my sassy kick butt, take names diva? These scares are gonna reduce her to nothing, nothing, I tell you! But yes, please continue. I am enjoying this :D
     
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  8. ReneeLouvier

    ReneeLouvier Well-Known Member

    ....omg, I finally have a chance to get fully caught up.....and I'm left with a cliffhanger!!

    I don't know what's worse: Undertaker's Wrestlemania streak being defeated last night by Brock Lesnar.....or finally catching up to one of my favorite stories and its latest chapter end on a cliffhanger!!!
     
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  9. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Dang, I knew I should have contacted you Sara before leaving to see if we could meet up, yes, I too witnessed in person the shuddering abomination that was the ending of The Streak rendering my newly acquired shirt null. (That should pretty much tell you where I was theis whole last week on vacation at).

    PM if you want to chat further on that subject Sara. ;)

    Will return to go through the latest chapter tomorrow as I work my way through various fanfics here and at fanfiction.net that have accumulated in my absence.
    *Leaves pecan prailine candies for everybody.
     
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  10. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Okay, finally did some typo-cleaning and can move on to reviewing mode.

    Absolutely love when there's a scene with Tricia, she's become one of my fave fic characters. And the relationship between her and Clifford is always a highlight.

    The contrast between Fleet's first boss and his current boss is interestingly played with in this chapter. Also, while I was away, I kept thinking of the entertainment reviewer/film critic who died, giving way for Scribbler's ascendancy within the journalistic ladder. And I kept thinking, that grand old gal would fit in quite nicely with the rest of the clients waiting for Juno in the Neitherworld waiting room. *Reference to Beetlejuice, the movie version. So my brain started thinking her name could be Cornelia Reddenbacher what with she'd still have that boxy bag of popcorn with her even in the afterlife as a sign of her means of death, much like the rest of the ecclectic clientelle.

    Another thing that you should be proud of is Scooter's frankness and the way he explained himself to Kermit's anger and frustration during their little chat at the party. Unfortunately, I forsee that this time the photo of Kermit without Piggy at his arm will be true, unlike what prompted the gofer to sprint with fiancée in toe off to Vegas back in Chapters 15-17.

    But the little bit of suspense at the end when Piggy reached for the knob of her dressing room door…. Your evilness is showing once again, much like when Kermit gripped the door before leaving the studio, I think when Jerry as the beaver first showed up for security detail. At any rate, I know she'll be safe. For now.
    Thanks for posting. *Leaves pecan prailine candies from NOLA.
     
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  11. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Chapter 158: It's Not What It Sounds Like, Either

    Bobo watched the carpenters hammering away on the crystalline staircase under the watchful eye of the set designer. That was going to be some entrance, he thought, and had a moment’s satisfaction imagining Miss Piggy sashaying down that staircase. She could do it, too, and own that moment, but he was liking her as Betty Rizzo. This sure had turned out to be a plum assignment, he mused. The other fellas on security were pretty good guys—Harry had even offered him the spare room at his place for a share of rent—and once he had vetted the cast and crew, it was pretty much an easy job. Sure, sometimes the reporters got out of line, and sometimes the fans were a little overeager out front, but Piggy had been amazingly accommodating. She had not smacked him once, and had only yelled at him half a dozen times. He felt like he was getting the hang of things.
    There was a sound from the hallway—a shout or something. He turned from the sound of hammering to go see what the ruckus was about.

    It would have been hard to say who was more surprised—Piggy, who opened her door to a pack of rowdy young men or the young men who suddenly found themselves face-to-face with the personification of porcine pulchritude. Their mouths dropped open and they gaped at her, too stunned to even stammer out a hello. Her blue eyes went wide with surprise, then a moment of panic.
    “Oh my—”
    “Gosh. She’s even more—”
    “—most beautiful woman I’ve ever—”
    “—seen anything like it,” said the last of them, pushing his glasses back up on his nose. They stared, mesmerized, at her shocked expression.
    Piggy started to slam the door, expecting security to be hot on their heels, but one of them had the presence of mind to put his size 14 Bapes in the door.
    “No—wait!” he cried. “Don’t shut the door! We just wanna—”
    “Moi is not receiving visitors,” Piggy said, striving for calm. Where was Bobo? Where was Harry? Although she tried not to think about it, she was assessing each of the four males for height, trying to decide if any of them might be the one who had grabbed her before. She was thinking about screaming, but she hadn’t decided to do it yet.
    “Please! Please come out!” the tall one in the back cried. “You can come out, can’t you?”
    “Just for a minute!” said the short stocky one, putting his hand on the doorknob. “It will only take a moment.” He grinned. “Gosh, you’re pretty.”
    “Moi is busy. You should go,” she said, tucking as much of herself behind the door as she could without taking her eyes off them. “The show is over and Moi is tired.”
    “Aw, c’mon,” a fellow in a blue oxford-cloth shirt wailed. “Please! We came all this way to see you. Come out for a minute—please?”
    “Yeah, we just wanna—“
    She saw one of them reach into his pocket and terror swept over her like a wave. She wrenched the door open, and the young man who had been holding the doorknob went staggering forward, tripping over her foot. He bumped his head against the makeup table in the middle of the room and crashed to the floor. Piggy ducked under the next young man’s oxford-cloth sleeve, elbowed the young man behind him—the one with the glasses—in the gut. When the young man turned around she shot her gloved fist up under his chin and cold-cocked him. The tall one in the back gaped at her but, seeing his fallen comrades, put his hands up defensively. Piggy swept her foot out in a graceful arc and cut his knees out from under him, then pinned him to the floor with an elbow against his neck. The whole thing had taken about eight seconds.
    “Bobo!” she bellowed. “Harry!”
    Bobo rounded the corner, saw Piggy on the floor amidst a pile of bodies—a pile of unfamiliar, un-vetted bodies—and saw red. He waded into their midst and began plucking them up as though picking daisies. When he had all four of them tucked under his arms, he slammed them casually against the hallway wall, where they quaked and tried to catch their breath. Harry arrived, panting, on the scene, but stood back, letting Bobo deal with it his own way.
    I don’t see any backstage passes,” Bobo rumbled, his snout mere inches from the cowering young men’s pasty faces. “And I’m pretty sure you don’t work here—” he began. The quiet menace in his voice seemed to loosen their chattering jaws.
    “Sorry! We’re sorry.”
    “Please—don’t kill us!”
    “We didn’t mean to bother her—we just wanted—”
    “I know what you wanted,” Bobo said grimly. “You were trying to get Miss Piggy out of her dressing room!”
    “She was signing autographs out front,” one of them quavered. “I lost my program, so I had to go buy another one so—”
    “—when we came back from the swag booth, she was going back in and—”
    “I just wanted to have my picture taken with her!” The one with the glasses looked like he might cry.
    Piggy surveyed them from behind Bobo’s broad back. Both the panic and the combat high were rapidly dissipating, and she looked at their earnest and terrified faces and thought she had—perhaps—over-reacted. Still, there was enough of a tingle of fear for her to look at them all searchingly, trying to match their arms with the arms that had grabbed her and tried to drag her away.
    “If you expect me to believe that—,” Bobo growled. They whimpered pitiably, cringing from the enraged bear. Piggy put her hand on his back.
    “Moi believes them,” she said quietly.
    “Moi!” whispered the one in blue. “She’s so cute when she says that!”
    Bobo glared at him and he shushed immediately.
    Piggy started to walk around the bear but he put his hand out protectively, keeping her behind him. Piggy took his hand and stepped around him, and two of the young men looked longingly at the bear’s big paw held in her pink-gloved hand.
    “It’s okay, Bobo,” she said. Harry started to step forward, but she shook her head, blond curls bobbing. “Harry—it’s fine.” She stopped in front of the interlopers, arms crossed over her chest, foot tapping angrily. They stared at her, transfixed, penitents before an angry goddess.
    Vous,” she said, pointing to the tallest, the one she had pinned on the ground. “How did vous get in here?”
    Vous,” moaned one of the others, sotto voce. “The way she says it is so sexy!”
    Mutely, the tall, gangly one started to point, but when he moved his arm both Harry and Bobo tensed so he kept his hand at his side and gestured with his chin down the hallway. “The door down there was propped open,” he mumbled. “Miss Piggy—gosh, we’re sorry! We didn’t mean any—”
    “Who left the dad-blamed door open?” Bobo ground out, glaring around as though looking for the culprits among the shadows.
    Harry grunted. “They were cutting some pieces for the staircase,” he said unhappily. “They could’ve left the door open.”
    Piggy did not tell them that sometimes the back door was open to let in a little air to cool things after the hot stage lights. There was no point in giving a focus to Bobo’s rage. She pulled on the big bear’s hand until he straightened up, then let it go.
    “We—we weren’t trying to scare you,” blurted the one with the glasses. “Honest!” His face was flushed, making him look younger than he had earlier, and for an instant, he reminded Piggy of Scooter. It softened her features a little and the line of her body relaxed.
    “Moi was not scared,” she said coolly, “but vous are lucky Moi did not hurt you.”
    “Very lucky,” said the stocky fellow, who had a knot the size of a goose egg on his forehead where it had struck the table. “Thank you, Miss Piggy,” he breathed.
    Piggy felt a smile tugging at her lips, but fought it.
    “Vous were very foolish,” she insisted.
    “We’re idiots,” said the young man in blue.
    “Complete imbeciles!” agreed his taller buddy.
    “Total chuckleheads,” said the stocky one. “But…but we’re—”
    “But we’re…fans.”
    “Yes—fans. We’ve seen all your—”
    “—movies are the most—”
    “—amazing coincidence that you—”
    Piggy held up a gloved hand and they stopped talking instantly, eyes wide with fear. The smile was still tugging at the corners of her mouth and, seeing it, their fear turned gradually to hope.
    “You all just wanted autographs?” Piggy asked, her lips pursed.
    “And a picture with you!” the tall one blurted. Bobo growled and the young man looked at him nervously, but then back at Piggy. He licked his lips. “Um, if you don’t mind?”

    Kermit looked over and caught Scooter's eye. Scooter was talking to a producer from the WB, or rather, being talked to by the producer. He looked for signs that Scooter wanted to be joined—or rescued—and found none. They were old hands at this, and it took no more than a couple of miniscule tilts of their heads and a raised eyebrow from Scooter to communicate perfectly. Kermit nodded and glanced toward the patio door. He was going to slip outside, away from the crowd, and talk to Piggy. She had been upset last night, and he didn't want her to have another night with things unhappy or unsettled. Telling her about his planned visit next week would surely cheer her up. The thought of it had certainly cheered him up.
    Kermit stepped outside and pulled out his cell phone, counting himself lucky that he'd been able to escape the sea of eager conversationalists. He didn't usually find himself as sought-out as he had been today and, away from watching eyes, he grimaced. Although he had never been one to air his laundry in public, the public had always shown more interest in his personal life than he'd been comfortable with. Piggy had not minded public interest—at least, not usually—and it was both ironic and painful to find himself correct about the cold-heartedness of the fourth estate. Well, in less than a week, he’d be with Piggy, and he doubted they’d spend a lot of time reading the papers.
    He slipped around the corner of the house and almost tripped over a couple leaning artfully against the garden wall, their tan, golden bodies intertwined in a way that suggested he was most certainly intruding. Kermit withdrew, all stammers, but they merely giggled and waved him languidly away. He marched determinedly toward the gazebo in the corner and mounted the steps, glad for the moonlight instead of the harsh glare of lightbulbs, but even the moonlight revealed a pudgy, balding, middle-aged producer in earnest conversation with a young starlet who seemed to be doing an admirable job of putting all of her most attractive features forward. Kermit apologized and hot-footed it down the steps. The far edge of the pool looked unpopulated, but when he got there, he was too close to the musicians and he started back toward the house, his face scrunched up in consternation. He was sorry he had ever come to the party, sorry he had agreed to come out and rub elbows with the masses when the truth of the matter was that every moment not working seemed like one more minute he couldn’t get to Piggy.
    While he stood there, grumpily pondering, it occurred to him that he was exactly in the center of lots of activity, but not in the middle of any activity. No one was close enough to talk to him, no one was looking in his direction or trying to pass him a drink, an hors d’oeuvre or an unsolicited script. The sound of the band was far enough away, the sound of the pool comforting to him in the moonlight. He looked at his phone—four bars—and decided to call right there.

    It took a while to get them out the door, clutching their autographed pictures and their injuries, but eventually everything was quiet backstage. Bobo and Harry tried to chastise Piggy for rewarding the young men for their impudence, but Piggy waved their protests aside.
    “It’s fine, Bobo. Moi is fine now.”
    “They may have looked harmless—“ Harry began.
    “They were harmless,” Piggy insisted. “They just wanted autographs.”
    “I don’t like it,” Bobo muttered. “They shoulda come out front like everybody else.”
    “I’m fine,” Piggy insisted. She did not want to admit the thrill of icy panic that had coursed through her when she’d first opened the door. Being scared made her feel vulnerable, but being helpless or cossetted made her feel furious. Besides, she had dispatched them without any trouble, which had made her feel better. Her mind touched back to that day in the street, when the dark stranger had grabbed her. It was like a sore tooth that your tongue couldn’t stop worrying—an ever-present reminder of a painful event. If she had been paying attention, she told herself today, she would not have had any trouble, would not have needed Fleet to rescue her, would not have talked to him, would never have taken the pink phone— With a growl, Piggy stopped that train of thought. “Moi can take care of herself if the need arises,” she insisted with more harshness than necessary. Bobo and Harry looked down, ashamed to have failed her.
    “I’m sorry, Miss Piggy,” Bobo muttered, chastened.
    “You shouldn’t oughta have dealt with them yourself,” Harry said, embarrassed. He looked, for all the world, like a little boy told he’d been naughty and wasn’t getting dessert.
    Piggy rolled her eyes. Males and their egos! “Good grief, Moi is fine. Everything is fine. Everything is just fine. Now please stop hovering over Moi and go away!”
    They didn’t like it, but there wasn’t much they could do about it. She patted each of them once before disappearing into her dressing room, reappearing a few minutes later with her things. She started for the back door but thought better of it. Tonight she thought it might be better to go out the front door.
    Skirting the edge of the stage, she dialed Moishe. The sounds of hammering and power drills dampened somewhat as some of the union workers stopped working to watch her walk by, and though they enjoyed the graceful sway of her hips, they did not say anything bawdy or provocative. Word had already spread through the theater that she had just trounced four intruders, and none of them dared incite her ire by being disrespectful. Piggy barely noticed them, except to give the staircase an approving glance.
    Moishe answered on the second ring.
    “If vous do not have another fare—” Piggy began.
    “I’ve been waiting out front for your call,” Moishe said. “I was getting a little worried, you know?” Piggy sighed into the phone. When Rory had been naming off the people who adored her, he’d remembered to include Mr. Finkel, and Piggy couldn’t help but smile as she basked in that devotion.
    “Moi is coming,” she said.
    Before she could put her phone away, it began to buzz again.
    “Hello?” she said. “It is Moi.”
    “I wish you’d have come with us,” Rory said. “The crowd’s pretty calm tonight, but the music’s good.”
    “Rory….” She did not bother to hide her exasperation. “Moi is going home.”
    He was instantly on the alert. “What do you mean, going? What? Why are you still at the theater?”
    Piggy backpedalled madly, cursing her slip of the tongue. “I mean, Moi was just…was just—“
    “Did something happen? Are you okay?”
    “For goodness sake—!” Piggy’s phone began to chirp and she looked down in frustration, but her frustration was quickly replaced by pleased surprise. Kermit! Kermit was calling her!
    “Kermie is calling!” she cried. “Moi is fine, Rory. Get off the phone so I can talk to Kermie!”
    Somewhat mollified, Rory hung up and Piggy breathed into the phone.
    “Kermie!” she cried. “Sweetie! How are vous?!”

    It was late. Not late-to-be-at-a-party, but late-to-be-at-the-office. He was old and ought to go home, but there was nothing at home for him anymore.
    Marty sighed and rubbed his hands over his face, then scratched the back of his head. The portfolio of pictures from the calendar bulged on his desk. There was some real talent on display here, and not just on the part of the photographers, although they’d done their part. Piggy looked stellar in most of them. If she’d taken a bad shot, they had wisely not included it. The problem wasn’t getting enough material (unless you counted the bikinis!)—it was paring down what was there into a calendar that wasn’t too heavy to hang on the wall!
    He’d looked at the numbers for the calendar from every angle and it seemed obvious that it was going to need to be an 18-month calendar. There was enough footage to give plenty of variety, and enough demand to sell all they could print. Still, nothing could happen until he could get Kermit into a studio for his shots, and he wasn’t about to make any demands on Kermit’s schedule until the poor guy could get himself to New York for a visit.

    Scooter had said it would happen within the week, and Marty had tried to lay low—worried he might give the news away if she’d called him because she was unhappy. He didn’t think she was really unhappy. She was having a lot of crapola thrown her way—stuff she didn’t deserve—but once the frog was up there for a snuggle she’d shine those stupid reporters on. Even when she was mad at him, nobody could comfort her like Kermit.
    In spite of himself, Marty smiled. He had worried when Piggy had first fallen for Kermit, certain they were tragically mismatched, but he’d been proven wrong time and time again. What Piggy needed most was Kermit, and what Kermit needed most was her.

    It may sound like a cliché, but when Piggy talked to Kermit, the rest of the world faded away. Nothing existed for her except Kermit. It had always been that way for her. Kermit was arguably more distracted on a regular basis, but once Piggy got his attention, she usually had it until she was ready to let it go.
    “Piggy? Piggy—are you there?”
    “I’m here, Kermie, Mon Capitan. Can you hear me?” As soon as the glow had faded from watching her walk by, the union boys had gotten back to work, and the whacks of the hammers were only marginally off-set by the whirr of the screwdrivers. Piggy looked around in annoyance.
    “Just barely,” Kermit shouted. The party around him was loud and he cursed himself for the necessity of attending. “Piggy—you’re—I can’t hear you. Hang on—let me get somewhere quieter.”
    “What?” There was a rustle of fabric that told Kermit that Piggy had turned away from the phone. “Would you guys PIPE DOWN?” Piggy yelled, making Kermit jerk his head away from the phone momentarily.
    “Piggy—I’m losing you. Maybe we should talk—”
    A couple of giggling starlets ran past him, chased by a middle-aged action star, and their resulting plop into the pool made water geyser up around him. He turned and covered the phone protectively, and when he put it to his ear, Piggy’s anxious voice was speaking his name.
    “Kermit? Kermie, sweetheart?”
    “Yes. Yes, I’m here. Just listen a second,” Kermit said.
    “Kermit? Is that you? It’s so loud Moi can barely hear you! I am going to go outside where—“
    “Piggy, wait! Wait, please! Please don’t go anywhere—” He would leave this stupid party this minute—anything to talk to his girl!
    “Are you there, Kermie?” Piggy apparently still couldn’t hear him.
    “Piggy,” Kermit bellowed. In the split second that he took in air, he noted the sudden hush that had fallen over the crowd—noted it too late to stop himself, to call back his next words. “Piggy—you’re breaking up!” He looked up, crestfallen. “I lost her,” he murmured, unable to stop himself.

    It would be unfair to subject the reader to the intense misery that Kermit endured over the next few minutes. His much-anticipated phone call abruptly ended, he closed the phone carefully with unsteady hands and turned slowly to face the silence at his back.
    Not too bad, Kermit thought absently, doing his best to meet the eyes of the other party-goers that stared fixedly at him with pity, scorn or simple curiosity. There can’t have been more than, um, two-hundred people who heard that. He cleared his throat nervously and started for the gate, feeling the weight of all those eyes on his back. Once there, he found, to his horror, that the gate had been secured against—of all things—gate-crashers, and he was forced to turn around and walk back down the cobblestone path through the lines of onlookers. The stir followed him into the house as he made his way carefully in the back door, through the crowded dining room, the media room, the living room, the great room and—at last--to the front door. He had enough presence of mind to return his host’s manly grip and press the slender white hand of the hostess before escaping out into the darkness.
    Of all the rotten luck, Kermit thought miserably. He knew how that conversation would be interpreted, knew with certainty that they would be back in the tabloids tomorrow. He knew what the next few days, weeks even, were going to be like. The only thing he didn’t know—which was a real blessing at the time—was how exactly he was going to get through them without Piggy.
     
  12. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Oh hey, a new chapter to KG!

    It's fun how you switched from the Broadway theater with Piggy's departure to the Hollywood get-together Kermit's attending, then back to the other's predicaments.

    Those college guys trying to get Piggy's John Hancock and signed glossy... Guys, there's always an easier way to do things. Sneaking in through the back door? Grabbing the doorknob to the star's dressing room? Sounds like they got the ful VIP treatment. And they can certainly say they "paid full price" for their prize. Or you could call it, "getting a full bang for your buck(s)".
    :crazy: Did someone say "bang"?
    Nooooo!

    The producer from WB chatting with Scooter, is he from the movie studio or the TV studio? Just need to settle that little niggling doubt.
    Also, in the section where Marty's reviewing the photos for Piggy's calendar... What do you mean by this?
    Posted by Ruahnna:
    "If she’d taken a bad shot, they had wisely not included it."

    Thanks for posting as always.
    *Needs to think about finishing that scene for my own calendar girl.
     
  13. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Chapter 159: Business as Usual

    Piggy stared down at the phone in her hand, furious at having been interrupted. She opened her mouth to give the union workers a severe tongue-lashing when her phone glowed, beeped and flashed the “low battery” sign before turning itself off. Sheepishly, she realized that at least part of the problem had been caused by her failing battery. True, the noise they were making hadn’t helped, but she didn’t want to go all “hi-yah” on them just for doing their jobs. She could call Kermit when she got home. She put the phone down in the side pocket of her purse, thinking again how odd it was that her phone and keys had fallen out of her purse at the restaurant. She flushed, thinking again of Fleet running to her rescue. Durn the man anyway! He always seemed to turn up when he was least expected—and most needed!
    She heard a ruckus coming toward her. What—again? Did nobody watch the back door? But she turned and was surprised to see the stocky, irate form of Moishe Finkel advancing toward her with Bobo hot on his trail. She saw Bobo put a hand on Moishe’s shoulder, and the cabbie turned and raised his arm and his temper to the big brown bear.
    “Get off me! I told you already—“
    “But you don’t have a pass,” Bobo insisted.
    “I don’t know or care about a pass!” he was shouting into the bear’s neck, gesticulating wildly. Bobo’s snout was just above the top of Finkel’s cap. “Miss Piggy called me and said she was coming and then she didn’t come out! I came in to make sure she’s—oh! There you are!”
    Piggy had walked up to them, worried that they might come to blows, and at the sight of her, Moishe’s brow immediately unfurled, then squinched back up into a furious scowl. “Whatdya mean, calling me and then not coming out?” he said to Piggy. “I get worried, I go to the door and I hear there’s been some sort of trouble and—”
    “Moi is so sorry,” Piggy said, laying her hand on his arm. She put her other hand on Bobo’s arm, fearful he might try to pick her friend up and cart him away. “Mon Capitan called me right after I hung up and—“
    “Miss Piggy,” Bobo complained. “I know he’s a friend of yours, but he’s not got a pass. And after what happened—“
    “What happened already?” Moishe demanded. “They said somebody broke into Miss Piggy’s dressing room.” He gave her a reproachful look. “You’re gonna give me a heart attack, you are.”
    “Moishe—“
    I’m gonna give you a heart attack,” said Bobo with a growl. “You can’t come back here without a pass!”
    “Bobo—it’s okay! Moishe is a friend—“
    “Like those other guys?” Bobo cried. “The ones you just met?”
    “Bobo—“ Piggy began.
    “Marty told me this wasn’t gonna be easy, but how am I supposed to do my job if—“ the uniformed bear muttered darkly.
    What other guys?!” the cab driver snapped. He turned on Bobo. “So! You’re letting every Steve, Dave or Matt backstage, but I can’t come? Whatsamatter with you? Aren’t you supposed to be her bodyguard?”
    “Now look here, bub,” said Bobo with a glower. “Don’t you be getting all mouthy with me or I’ll—“
    “Or you’ll what? Huh? I been driving a cab in New York City half my life, and I’m not afraid of—“
    “Moishe—it’s not his fault! Moi was just signing some autographs—“
    “For four guys you just met!” Bobo almost yelled. Finkel stopped and looked at him.
    “She let four guys she just met come backstage for autographs? Are you kidding me?”
    “Yep,” said the big bear. “She sure did, even though I—“
    Moishe turned on her. “Are you out of your frog-loving mind?” he cried. “What’s the matter with you?” He crossed his arms over his barrel chest and glared at her.
    “Yeah!” said Bobo, planting his fists on his hips. “Why won’t you do what you’re supposed to?”
    Piggy's surprise was the only thing that saved them. She shrank back from the fury on their faces, thrust suddenly from her role as peace envoy into a new role defending home turf.
    “Moi was coming,” she said. “Kermit called me right after we hung up, and then I couldn’t hear him because those guys—!“ She pointed angrily toward the workers, shooting them an annoyed look…and discovered she had a rapt and fascinated audience. She glowered at them. “Back to work, buckos!” she bellowed. “Don’t you have anything better to do than eavesdrop on a personal conversation?” (Never mind that the personal conversation involved a lot of shouting).
    “—and she just signed autographs and let ‘em take pictures on their phones with her,” Bobo was complaining to the suddenly sympathetic cabbie. Moishe listened, shaking his head in disapproval. Piggy felt her hackles rise.
    “Moi does not need to be protected like I’m the crown jewels!” she said. “I can take care of my own self!” she cried. “What do you think I did all those years before Moi got married?”
    “Beat them off with a stick,” Moishe muttered. "Either that or give that frog of yours a heart attack.”
    Piggy thought of Kermit and their interrupted phone call. He would be wondering what happened to her, she thought. She needed to get home and plug in her phone and call him.
    “I need to call Kermit,” she said. “Moishe—please take me home.”
    Moishe nodded. “Alright Miss Piggy,” he said, starting toward her to escort her out.
    “Huh uh,” said Bobo. “You seem like a nice guy and all, but you don’t have a pass. I’m going to walk her out.”
    “To put her in my cab?” Moishe said, incredulous. “I been driving her every day almost since the first—“
    “Well, I see your point,” Bobo said. “But somebody’s got to walk her in.”
    “I do not need to be walked in!” Piggy said, stamping her foot. They ignored her.
    “She usually just calls me when she’s in,” said Moishe, “if her friends aren’t with her.”
    “Yeah, but her phone’s dead,” said Bobo. “First she’ll have to find her charger, then she’ll have to plug it in, then she’ll have to—“
    “I know where my charger is!” Piggy said, crossing her arms across her impressive bosom and tapping her foot angrily. “Just take me home!”
    “Well, you could come, too,” said Moishe. “Cause then you could walk her up and then I’ll take you home.”
    “Oh-that’d be real nice,” said Bobo. He held out a huge paw. “I’m Bobo, the, um, Bear—nice to meet you, Mr. Finkel. Oh—I know who you are. Piggy’s talked about you, but we’ve never actually met before.”
    “We’ve almost met,” said Moishe. “Out front—I seen you keeping an eye on our little star, here.”
    Piggy sighed. “Moishe, this is Bobo,” she muttered. “Bobo, this is Moishe Finkel, my cabbie.” No one was listening to her.
    “I hate to be a real hard-case,” Bobo said apologetically, “but I’m supposed to be looking out for Miss Piggy.”
    “Somebody needs to look out for her,” Moishe Finkel said earnestly. “There’s lots of guys in this city who would try to take advantage of a nice girl like her. Half of these young guys don’t have any raising at all—no manners to speak of!”
    “Moi can look out for herself! I just took out four guys by myself!” Piggy complained.
    “That’s the truth,” said Bobo, “and don’t even let me get started about their language—“
    “Moi would like to go home!” Piggy shouted. The hammering stopped and the workmen cast furtive glances at her. Bobo and Finkel reacted more to the silence than to Piggy’s shout, but they nonetheless turned to find her glowering at them. “My Kermie is waiting for me to call him and my phone is dead! I want to go home and—“ A sudden thought occurred to her. She might be able to solve several problems at once.
    “Moishe,” she said breathlessly. “Can you take me to the club where Kristen and Rory and Darcy are right now? They asked Moi to go dancing with them.” Kristen had the same type of phone as Piggy, and she was pretty sure she had taken her charger with her when she left.
    “Well, sure—if that’s what you want,” said Moishe. “I could drop you by the club.”
    “Well, I’m coming, too,” said Bobo, “to be sure you get there safe and watch out for you.”
    “Fine, fine,” Piggy muttered. The sooner they got this flying umbrella on the road, the better. Kermit must have wondered what had happened to her—she bet he’d left several voicemail messages by now. Once at the club, she could talk to Kermit, have a bite of dinner and relax with her friends. It had been a rough week.
    Moishe and Bobo seemed to have cemented their friendship without spitting into their palms, and they flanked her walking out to the cab. Despite the annoyance of being hovered over, Piggy was actually rather touched by their concern. Moishe had all but adopted her as his personal responsibility, and Bobo had apparently taken Marty’s edict to watch out for her very seriously indeed. There was no sense being mad at them for being serious about her safety. She heaved a sigh and vowed to try to stand up under it as best she could.
    But first, she wanted to call Kermit back and let him know that everything was okay.

    “Gee, Boss,” said Scooter, putting a hand on Kermit’s back. “I’m sorry about what happened back there.” Kermit acknowledged Scooter’s concern with a grimace.
    “Why doesn’t she answer?” he said. “It keeps going straight to voice mail.”
    “Let me try,” said Scooter, and dialed Piggy’s number from memory. “Same thing,” said Scooter. “Straight to voice mail.”
    “Do you think something’s happened?” Kermit asked. “Our connection was bad, and Piggy said something about telling some guys to ‘pipe down’ or something.”
    “Sounds like backstage,” said Scooter.
    “She was backstage, I think,” said Kermit. “She said something about going outside.” He looked at Scooter, his face worried. “I’m probably being silly,” he said.
    “Probably,” said Scooter, but he did not sound convincing. “Probably Piggy’s phone went dead or something,” he offered, although they both knew that was much more likely to happen to Kermit than Miss Piggy.
    A cab pulled up in front of the party and disgorged a couple of young men from a popular sitcom. One of them went straight into the party, but the other one smiled and waved at Kermit as he got out. He walked over.
    “Hey!” he said. “Good to see you, Kermit! Hi Scooter—what’s up?”
    “Um, hi Jason,” said Kermit. “Good to see you.” He turned back to Scooter. “Um, look—I’m going to hop this cab and let you take the company car,” he said. “I…I can’t go back in there.”
    “I don’t blame you,” Scooter muttered honestly. “You go on—I’ll go in there and see what I can do about damage control. Look—call me when you get in touch with Piggy, okay? Even if it’s late.”
    “I will,” said Kermit, hastening to the cab. He poked his head in and spoke to the driver, securing his transportation, then trotted back to Scooter and their friend. “Sorry, Jason,” he said, looking up. “I was just heading out. I’m trying to get a hold of Piggy. She’s, um, on Broadway right now,” he added unnecessarily.
    “I know,” said their tall friend. “How exciting is that? Everyone says she’s fantastic—but you already knew that, didn’t you, Kermit?”
    “I sure did,” said Kermit, relaxing just a little. It made such a big difference when people actually knew you as opposed to people who only thought they knew you. He accepted a friendly hug—some people were just huggers—and exchanged one more worried look with Scooter before starting for the cab.
    “Call me,” Scooter called after him before the taxi swallowed him up and took him away.
    “That…that sounded…not good,” said their friend. He gestured toward the party. “What just happened in there?"
    Scooter sighed. “Oh, well, you know,” he said resignedly. “The usual."
     
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  14. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    *Trumpeted fanfare.

    Once upon a time, in the Land of Eight.
    There stood a castle, very great.
    And eight flags waved in the air.
    For the King of Eight had put them there.

    *Second fanfare.

    K8: Oh, I'm the King of Eight, and I'm here to state.
    We've all gathered here to celebrate.
    A fanfic novel so grand and great.
    Its lifespan years number exactly eight.

    *Cannons shoot out trained bats in timed succession.
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8!

    K8: In this library in back of me, are eight screens as you can see.
    *The projector screens swivel around showing their blank canvas faces.
    K8: In those screens are selected scenes. Show yourselves my dears.
    *The screens light up with eight key scenes from the narrative.
    Bats: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
    K8: And each screen has a silver crown, with eight BK's twirling round.
    Bats: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

    K8: So I love eight, eight is great.
    Eight is the number I do not—.

    Jester: —wait!
    Important news comes from the queen, a new update that I have seen.
    She and the novel are doing fine.
    K8: Good grief, that's chapter 1-59.
    *The giant placard with an 8 displayed on it detaches from the castle's side, falling and clobbering the jester.

    Happy birthday to Aunt Ru's magnum Muppety opus!
     
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  15. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Awww...thanks, Countie! Yesterday's birthday "bash" got waylaid. (I think I might have overloaded my KG readers with new chapters!) I hope to post the "anniversary" post tonight!
     
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  16. WebMistressGina

    WebMistressGina Well-Known Member

    It was KG's b-day!? Well, HAPPPPPPPPPPPY BIRTHDAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

    Always look forward to see a new chapter and lo and behold, I gets two. Right on!

    Aw, the frog and the pig, so close and yet so far away....
     
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  17. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    At least in the in-fic calendar, the frog is one day closer to getting together again, again, with his girl up in NYC.
    :shifty: Place your bets! How many chapters!
    :concern: What are you doing?
    :shifty: Takin' bets on how many more chapters it'll take till Kermit and Piggy meet each other on Broadway.
    :concern: And how long before Ari bursts due to frog-pig separation anxiety.
    :shifty: Eh, ya get whatcha can. Any takers?
    *Gonzo watches, wondering how longer he'll have to endure his own romantic separation from :cluck: in Ru's opus.
    :shifty: Why dontcha talk to Ru about it?
    :concern: She's got enough on her plate.
    :shifty: I can help with that. Especially if she's got some hot apple raisin turnovers on that plate too.
     
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  18. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Chapter 160: What It Sounded Like

    It goes without saying that the moment Piggy’s shoes emerged out of Moishe’s taxi, followed by a modest flash of her pleasantly plump legs, the crowd of hopefuls waiting in line to go into the club was put on hold until she could be escorted inside. She made such a stir herself that having Bobo hulking along in her wake hardly mattered. She smiled and fluttered her eyelashes at the guards manning the velvet ropes and slipped into the heat and noise and glitter of the club.
    After a moment, her eyes adjusted, but by that time, Darcy had already seen her, and she dragged Harrison—when had Harrison come?—over to where she stood. Darcy leaned forward and embraced her.
    “Oh—I hoped you’d come! No sense moping around at home! Let’s blow off a little steam!”
    Stacy and Rory arrived, then Chad sidled up and linked his arm with Piggy’s. “Thank heaven! Mother hen will be delighted you’ve come,” he teased, but Rory just rolled his eyes and beamed at them.
    “God looks after fools and children, so that leaves the two of you to me,” he said with a grin, and shepherded them both toward a table. Bobo was greeted with less effusiveness, but welcomed all the same, and soon the lot of them were squished companionably around a couple of semi-circular booths on the big wall that divided one half of the big dance floor from the other. The wait staff all converged on them and Piggy ordered a virgin strawberry daiquiri and looked at the menu. The desserts looked luscious, but she hadn’t had real food all day—the day had gotten away from them all.
    “How’s Kermit?” Rory asked. He knew Kermit was supposed to have called, and that she’d want to be asked about it.
    “Mon Capitan is fine,” said Piggy with a pout. “He is at some beastly party without Moi and our phone call was interrupted.”
    “A wild Hollywood party, huh?” ventured Kristen with a wry grin, but Piggy hastened to explain.
    “Not that kind of party,” she said primly. “The kind where everyone is always angling for something. Which brings me to my point—didn’t you bring your phone charger with you? My phone went dead while we were talking and Moi is sure Kermie is wondering what on earth happened to me. Can Moi borrow your charger?”
    Kristen fished it out of her bag and handed it over. Harrison leaned over the booth and plugged the cord into the wall, and Piggy snapped the charger into place. The phone sputtered, glowed, and started to power up.
    “Come out and cut a rug with me while your phone’s updating!” Harrison pleaded. “C’mon—when am I ever going to get a chance like this to get my picture in the tabloids?”
    “Trust me—it’s overrated,” Piggy said darkly, but then her snout wrinkled up and she smiled. “Okay, Danny-boy—one dance.” She let him take her hand and pull her into the crowd.
    “Don’t hurt him!” Darcy called gaily after them, giggling. Harrison gave her an aggrieved look but she was unrepentant.
    “Do her good to cut loose a little,” said Rory, leaning back in the booth. “Last night’s little dinner-and-dancing didn’t go so well.” It was a mastery of understatement—they had all been there after things had gone south, had helped in the aftermath and survived the fallout that morning.
    “No,” said Darcy sadly. “And Piggy was trying so hard to be nice for old time’s sake.” Although Rory hadn’t told them all that Piggy had told him, they all seemed to know that Piggy had been caught between the over-attentiveness of her date and the near-stalking of the paparazzi.
    “I suppose he was hoping to be a shoulder for her to cry on,” Stacey said pityingly, and sighed. “Oldest trick in the book.”
    “Well, you can’t really blame the poor sod,” said Chad. “She doesn’t even know she does it half the time.” Kristen and Rory burst out laughing, and Chad looked injured. “What?” he demanded. “Why is that funny?”
    “She knows,” said Kristen. “I don’t think she does it on purpose, but I’m pretty sure Piggy knows the effect she has on the male of the species.”
    “Well, sometimes,” said Rory, agreeing but trying to be fair. “Other times I think she’s clueless. She’s just…Piggy.”
    Piggy was giving Harrison a run for his money, and they danced and wiggled and shimmied to the loud, intoxicating beat. Those dancing around them did shocked double-takes to find themselves gyrating alongside an icon, but Piggy merely smiled lazily at them and kept dancing. Harrison was about to grin his face off. He was, in fact, quite a good dancer, and Piggy made him up his game to keep up. The crowd had peeled back from them a bit—the better to see them, my dear—and by the time the song was pumping to a close there were approximately 227 phones all trying to take videos or pictures. Some of the fans were respectful and she smiled and mugged willingly, but others were crowding her or shining lights in her face. She blinked several times and started to scowl, then jerked around as though someone had gotten too close.
    “Oops—better go rescue her before she gets annoyed,” Rory said, and bounded out onto the floor with Darcy in tow. Rory claimed Piggy with assurance, a firm arm around her waist, and whisked her into the next song in a different part of the dance floor. The message was clear. Show’s over. Back off. She’s just here to dance—like you are. The patrons grudgingly gave her up and applied themselves to their own dancing, murmuring excitedly but not trying to follow her.
    Darcy grabbed a grinning Harrison, threw her arms around his neck and pressed up against him in a way that made him grin and curve his arms around her.
    “Nice moves,” she teased. “I didn’t know you could move like that!”
    Harrison grinned, flushed and triumphant. “You didn’t?” he said with mock surprise. “Well, if you didn’t know I could move like that, you’re going to love this!” And they were moving to the driving beat, their bodies pressed close.
    When the second song ended, Piggy was deposited back at the table with her drink, her phone and her big, bodyguard bear. Bobo looked so very serious and determined that it was impossible to stay piqued at him, and she gave him a pat as she passed him and sat down. She picked up her phone immediately and looked at it.
    There were tons of missed calls—all of them Kermit—no, wait…. There were several from Marty. There was even one from Scooter. She looked at the phone in surprise. Why was Marty calling so late? What did Scooter want? Surely nothing was wrong? She scrolled through the missed call list, vaguely unsettled. She saw Kermit’s last call had only been a few minutes ago, and felt mildly guilty for her turn around the dance floor. She hunched into the corner of the booth, put a satin-gloved finger in one ear and hit send.
    He answered on the first ring.

    Tricia pulled the van into the driveway and turned the engine off. She hadn’t played the radio, but the interior of the vehicle had seemed loud all the same as her thoughts crashed and banged around in a jumble of mixed emotions.
    She loved him. Blast and darn and everything else. She loved him. What did that mean, and what were they going to do?
    The Indie Vittles were going on the road. That was great! That was grand! They were going on a real tour—opening for a real band. The enormity of it all swept over her. The contract. The tour. The way Clifford had looked, the moonlight from her window glancing off his shoulders as they…. She dragged herself back on track. The tour. The album. The tour….
    Two more songs down. Two more songs in the can, although she had not been at all sure today about the final cut of “Making It On Our Own". The others had been happy—Susie had been thrilled—but she had felt the plaintiveness of the song in a way she never had before. When they wrote it, it had been half in defiance, half in sleep-deprived punchiness, bumping along the road on the way home from another show. Coraline had started it, she thought accusingly.
    The turnout for their portion of the show that night had been sparse, and that was putting it kindly, but the other musicians and the owner of the bar had been pleased. On the way home, irritable and grouchy and hungry—both in body and in ambition, they had started writing the lyrics in a ranting sort of fugue.
    “Who needs fame!” Coraline had grumped.
    “Yeah—who needs a big audience,” Tia said. “Bob doesn’t even like crowds.”
    “I like ‘em better than the absence of them,” Susie had griped honestly, but she grinned when she said it.
    “Well, we don’t need anyone’s blessing to know we’re doing it right,” said Tricia stoutly. “We’re doing just fine.”
    “Right,” said Coraline. “We’re just fine, making it on our own.”
    Susie had picked up the cadence of the words, beating on the dashboard. Tia had put Bob to her lips and made a couple of riffs, picking out a melody. Coraline was playing air guitar and humming along, and she had started spinning words…banging out an anthem with attitude and determination and anger and…hope. It was the hope that had come through today in the studio, the longing for something, for dreams to come true now, and for true. The others had liked it, but it had hit shockingly close to the bone for Tricia, and she had loved the song, and hated it, and had felt the need of the thing pulsing through her, just like—
    Alone in the car, Tricia shivered. She was cold. Her head was in turmoil, her heart all but beating on her sleeve.
    There was a noise and she looked up. Clifford had heard the van pull in and had come out to greet her. He stood there in the moonlight and grinned at her, beautiful and wonderful and warm. Tricia clambered out of the car and ran to him.

    “Kermie, Moi is so sorry—”
    “No Honey—it’s completely my fault. I should have been paying more attention.”
    Piggy’s snout wrinkled in consternation. How could her phone dying be Kermit’s fault? And how could he have paid better attention when he was there and she was here?
    “But—”
    “Piggy, Sweetheart, I’m so sorry. I know you’re upset, but it will be okay—we’ll get through this. I promise.” He did not sound very reassuring, but he sounded very eager to sound reassuring. Piggy’s sense of unease grew.
    “It is charging now, Mon Capitan,” Piggy said. “No harm done.”
    “No harm done—? How…how can you even…um, well, maybe it’s not going to be so bad,” Kermit said, his voice hopeful. “I mean, maybe no one will even print it.”
    A shaft of apprehension shot through her and she grew quiet, still with one satin-covered finger in her ear. “Kermie,” she said slowly. “I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing.”
    “Oh!” She heard him think about it—could tell he was going over their conversation in his head. “Oh,” he said again, but unhappily. “I…I guess we’re not.” He sounded bone-weary and dejected, and Piggy felt her heart leap within her. If someone had been mean to him, she would rip them limb from
    “Um…Piggy,” Kermit said slowly. “Do you remember our conversation before—when I was at the party?”
    Piggy thought back along the phone call, trying to remember what had been said. “We didn’t actually get to have a conversation,” she said at last. “It was loud backstage.”
    “I couldn’t hear you very well,” said Kermit. “I kept asking you to wait a minute. I was going to go where the signal was stronger.”
    “Moi was going to go outside to do the same thing!”
    She heard him take a breath, then exhale slowly. “I guess you couldn’t hear me, so I was, um, sort of shouting for you to wait, to not go anywhere until I could get to, well, someplace I could hear you better, but I guess it sounded like I was, you know, asking you not to go.”
    “Oh!” said Piggy warmly. “How sweet! But I was—“
    “Piggy,” Kermit’s voice was gentle but cut her off mid-gush. “Piggy, other people at the party were hearing my side of the conversation, but only my side.”
    Piggy grew still, thinking. The noise from the club was suddenly loud. “So what did they…oh. Oh, Kermie—people at the party heard you…oh, Sweetie, they thought you were—that we were…breaking up?” Her breath caught in her throat.
    “Yeah. Well, that you were breaking up with me.”
    No….” The word escaped, although she tried to stop it, and tears jumped into her eyes. Poor Kermie! How wretched for him! She wanted to speak, to comfort him, but her voice was full of tears and she could not force the words out. She had turned away from the crowd, hiding her face in the direction of Bobo’s solid bulk until she regained some semblance of composure. Bobo was scanning the crowd for stalkers and paparazzi and did not notice her distress, for which she was grateful. She did not want to have to deal with anyone else at the moment.
    “I guess…well, guess it sort of sounded like I was begging you not to leave me.” The irony alone was crushing, that he, who had demanded that she go, was now the one who people thought was bitterly regretting that she had. “And then when I lost the call, I said, I don’t know, something about losing you.”
    “No! You could never lose Moi!” Piggy cried. Neither of them could know then how much that fervent declaration would comfort Kermit in the hours to come.
    “I’m sorry, Piggy,” Kermit said quietly. “This is all my fault.”
    Up until this point, it hadn’t been—not really. The incidents the tabloids had cited for months had been drummed up or imaginary. Even the incident with the cufflinks and the dress and the, um, starlet had not been his fault. But this time….
    “It’s not! This is—this isn’t right!” Piggy said indignantly. She had started to say “fair", but the ridiculousness of the word made itself felt. When had life ever promised to be fair? “Oh, Kermie—I—Moi should come home!”
    “No! You can’t. You—it would just add fuel to the fire. It would look like I—I don’t know, upset you, made you give up your big Broadway contract.” He tried hard not to sound bitter, but did not succeed.
    “But, but—” Piggy bit her lip, tears leaking down her face. Horrible as this was, she would not add to his distress by letting him know she was crying in public…oh. Oh! No! Piggy thought. Nonono! The awfulness of her next thought stopped her in her tracks. “Um, Kermie, Sweetie,” she said, suddenly calm. “Do you…guess where I am right now.”
    “Guess…?” Kermit stared at the phone. Piggy sounded suddenly composed, as though she had shut off her emotions at the tap. She sounded polite and distant and his heart clenched suddenly within him. While they were dating—well, before that, even—when they were, well, when he was still trying to admit they were dating, they had had some real humdingers, hurling all sorts of unkind things at each other. Afterward, Piggy would sometimes retreat to icy, polite professionalism—cold enough to make your teeth chatter. This sounded distant, but not cold, exactly, and he tried not to panic and overanalyze everything. “Um—at your apartment? Did you make it home?” He could not imagine what she was driving at.
    “Noooo,” Piggy said slowly. She turned microscopically and peered over her shoulder, but the presence of Bobo near her at the table and Chad and Rory dancing close-by seemed to have cured the gawkers of crowding her. “Kermie—when my phone died Moi didn’t want to wait until I got home to call you back. I left my charger at home, so I came down to, um….” She searched vainly for the name of the club, finally seizing on a cocktail napkin. “I came down to Dance-a-holic with, um, some of my friends from the show.” Her mind flitted to the young men who had stormed her dressing room but jerked away almost instantly, like a finger on a hot stove. If Moishe and Bobo had had a hissy fit about the fanboy brigade backstage, Kermit would probably have a seizure.
    “Uh huh,” said Kermit, sounding stiff. Piggy looked at the phone in annoyance. Was he giving her attitude for coming out with her friends? When he was at a party? Piggy shook her head, pushing her irritation aside.
    “So…so Moi was just, um, on the dance floor, er, dancing with, um, Harri—with the fellow who plays Danny Zucko.”
    There was a long silence on the other end of the phone and Piggy realized she was holding her breath. When Kermit spoke, his voice was tight and she knew—she knew—he had the back of his hand to his forehead in consternation. “So…let me get this straight…right after we had a conversation that sounded like we were breaking up you went out dancing?”
    “Yes, but—”
    Piggy….” Kermit said, half-groaning. “How could you—?!”
    “How could I? Moi did not know!” she cried, feeling defensive. “How could I know?”
    “I—I know, Piggy, but…sheesh, this is going to be….” He did not want to finish his statement. She heard him sigh, and he sounded so irritated and unhappy that she stuffed her own feelings away to tend to his.
    “There’s more,” Piggy said as matter-of-factly as she could. The first shock had worn off, and she was…she was able to look at things practically. They might as well get it all out in the open now and get it over with. “When I got here, people were excited to see Moi here at the club—”
    Kermit caught on right away. “So they were—people had their cameras out, didn’t they?”
    “Their phones,” Piggy said gently. “Yes. Lots of people had their phones out taking pictures and video.”
    “Of you…celebrating? Is that it?” Piggy knew exactly the expression Kermit had on his face at that moment, and she would have given her entire jewelry collection to be there beside him to kiss the grumpiness away, but there was no fairy hog-mother and no fairy bog-mother to spirit them magically together. There was just the two of them, sharing misery and consternation on the phone while they stood on opposite coasts.
    “Yes, Sweetie,” Piggy said, wishing she could have said something different without lying. “I mean, no—not celebrating. Just…dancing.”
    “So…right after you gave me the big kiss-off—”
    “Kermie! I didn’t! Moi wouldn’t!” The edge of his sarcasm, razor sharp, nicked her exposed feelings as surely as a scalpel. She knew he was angry at the situation, cutting a wide swath because he was annoyed, but it smarted all the same.
    “—you went out with your new friends to dance. Great. Just great.”
    “Oh, Mon Capitan…lover…Moi is…what can we do?” He didn’t seem to realize that he’d hurt her, but he was so hurt himself that she excused him, trying not to dwell on it. Poor Kermit—to be exposed to the wagging tongues of Hollywood, unable to defend himself in any meaningful way. People had never understood what they had—never. What hope was there of explaining it now?
    “Nothing to do,” Kermit said, and she was cheered a little that he sounded less indignant and more resigned. She knew what to do when he was hurting, but she did not always know what to do when he was angry.
    “Have you called Marty?” Piggy asked. She was glad, in a way, that she hadn’t spoken to Marty yet. That meant she didn’t have to tell Kermit what her agent had ranted about, and she suspected that rant would include Kermit, if only a little.
    “I’m afraid to call Marty,” said Kermit. “I…don’t think he’s very fond of me right now.”
    “Moi is fond enough of you for both of us,” Piggy said, dodging artfully. Her tears had dried and she had her game face on—impenetrable and strong. She would be strong for both of them if she had to. “He…he tried to call me—oh! So did Scooter. What did he want?”
    “He was with me. We were trying to see if it was your phone or mine that was the problem.”
    She heard the stress and weariness in his voice and knew that if she had him here and could put her arms around him that his back would be knotted with tension. She had had the stress of being away from home, but Kermit had had all the stress of work at home without the comforts of home. If she were there she would make him lie down and let her massage his back, let her press kisses on his neck and shoulder-blades while her fingers worked their magic. But she was not there, and he was not here and the world was a mean, obnoxious place.
    “Oh.” Piggy did not know what she could say. She thought about all the sweet and tender things Kermit had said the other night when she was blue, and tried to think of something she could say that would help. “Kermie, dearheart—“
    “So…so you’re out…dancing, huh? I was stuck at some lousy party and you’re…you’re kicking up your heels with some Broadway hunk?” He was trying to tease her a little, but she heard the jealousy underneath, the hint of disapproval and it stung.
    “I did not come here to dance. Moi came here to get a phone charger so I could talk to you!” She realized her voice had risen a little and stopped, continuing in a more normal tone. “Moi is at a club where there is music and dancing and hundreds of screaming fans, and I am talking to the only frog on the planet who matters to me right now.” There. Piggy thought that ought to cover it—at least for starters.
    Kermit’s ire melted away. “Sweetie, oh, Piggy. I’m…sheesh. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…this is awful.” He started to laugh, a helpless, irrational response to the impossible situation they were in.
    “It is. It is horrible, and rotten!” agreed Piggy, her curls bobbing in irritation.
    “And it’s only going to get worse,” Kermit said. Piggy thought he sounded weary and desperate and brave and lonely.
    Worse? How can it get worse?” Piggy demanded. “Vous are there and Moi is here and that’s bad enough without any of this other awful, terrible stuff!” Her voice broke and she began to cry in spite of herself. She was going to have her tear ducts surgically removed! What was wrong with her, crying in front of her dear unhappy Kermie….
    “Piggy,” Kermit said urgently. “Piggy, Honey, don’t cry—it’s not, it’s not that bad.” It was much, much worse, and tabloids were surely going to— “Piggy, Piggy, please—”
    It was the note of pleading, of genuine despair, that snapped Piggy out of her own misery and made her aware—again—of his. Instantly, she sobered, wiping hastily at her wet cheeks so she could hold the phone closer.
    “Moi is okay, Kermie,” Piggy said, willing her voice to sound normal to him, for him. “It’s just—I’m so sorry, Kermie. I’m sorry I wasn’t there. I’m sorry I’m here.”
    “No—don’t say that, Piggy. I’m not sorry you’re there.” Oh! Her brave Mon Capitan! Piggy’s heart melted. He heard her smile, knew the twinkle that would be in her eyes even before he could stammer out a retraction.
    “Vous are such a liar,” Piggy murmured, and the warmth of her voice enveloped him, supported him, reminding him that she would always, always be the constant he could navigate troubled waters by.
    “That’s me,” Kermit murmured back. “Oh, Honey, I…I just miss you like crazy. Work is no fun. The house is too quiet and empty.” Suddenly, he felt better. Telling Piggy, sharing things with Piggy, doubled the enjoyment, halved the sorrow. “Yesterday, Piggy—yesterday I went and stood in your closet just because it smells like you in there.” He had not meant to confess that, but felt immediately better when he had.
    “Kermie…Sweetie….” Her words were like caresses, soothing him even as his words comforted her.
    “And I’ve been sleeping on your side of the bed. It feels warmer.” She heard him smile. ”Not as warm as you…,” he teased.
    He heard her sigh, and the sound was like the satiny caress of her hand on his face. If he closed his eyes, he could almost imagine….
    “I miss you, Mon Capitan. I’ve been sleeping snuggled up with your shirt and wishing you were in it.”
    “Yeah—me too,” said Kermit, his voice shaky with emotion and relief.
    “Miss you bunches and bunches.”
    “Yeah—I’m a regular barrel of fun.” There it was, that little tinge of grumpiness that so appealed to her. She felt her heart ache, wishing she was there.
    There was a little pause. “Kermie, are you going to be alright now?”
    Kermit gave a mirthless laugh, but without bitterness. “Oh, sure. At least I’ll be ready for what’s coming.”
    “Sweetheart….”
    “You…look, don’t worry about this. This was just, just the stupid stuff we have to deal with all the time. Go on and, um, have fun with your friends.”
    “Moi doesn’t want to have fun with my friends. I want to be miserable with vous.”
    “If you were with me, I wouldn’t be miserable.” It was as close to perfect a thing to say as there was. For someone who had avoided ushy-gushiness like the plague, Kermit certainly could sling it.
    Piggy caught her breath, her eyes brimming with tears. “No, you wouldn’t,” she managed finally. “Love you, Kermie.”
    “Love you, too.”
    “Goodbye."
    “Bye.”
    On opposite ends of the country, they both stared sightlessly at the phone, lost in their own thoughts. The thing was, you never got ready—not really, for what was coming. But it came anyway. Ready or not, it came just the same.

    Kermit stood for a long moment staring at the little phone, half-comforted and half-eaten-up with jealousy. He had tamped back most of it while on the phone, but he had an overwhelming desire to run to New York and punch every man in the cast in the nose.
    It was irrational. It was inappropriate. It made him feel better to think about it.
    He was standing there, grimly trying to get himself under control when there was a knock at his door. He looked up in surprise. Who could be knocking on his front door at this hour?
    He went and peered through the keyhole, his eyes widening in surprise.
    “Oh!” he said. “Hang on.”
    He opened the door….
     
  19. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    What a nice surprise to find a new chapter, especially after finishing Sunday dinner.

    *Puts head in hands. Piggy dancing with Harrison, makes me feel just how I thought at Kermit's comments at the party when his conversation was abruptly ended. Old Chinese proverb say: "Open mouth, insert foot."
    Yeah, you're never really ready in that mean old universe for what's coming next... But you know it's coming, and the headaches from having to deal with another fresh round of tripe from the tabloids.

    *Loves the segments with Tricia and Clifford, only two songs left to finish off the album, and then?

    Glad that Piggy and Kermit had a true conversation. You manage to make those moments interesting and enjoyable, something that's become a hallmark of your writing style.

    No fairy hog-mother or bog-mother? Where's Celine Dion when you "really" need her? :grr:

    Another mystery guest at Kermit's door huh. This'll be good.
    *Waits for next chapter to find out.
     
    Ruahnna likes this.
  20. Muppetfan44

    Muppetfan44 Well-Known Member

    I'm starting to think that these two are gluttons for punishment! Please provide them some solace soon!! They deserve a break from your torture :p
     
    Ruahnna likes this.


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