Hello everybody! So in honor of my birthday tomorrow and probably cause I may not get to this until next weekend, here is an extra long portion of MDD! When did having dinner with Kermit become awkward? When did spending time of any sort with the frog become…awkward? Piggy couldn’t exactly put her finger on what still remained uneasy betwixt them, but it was obviously still there. It wasn’t as heavy as before, however; maybe it because the elephant has been exposed – she had been dreading about telling Kermit about her plans to return to Paris for nearly two weeks and had actually put it out her mind until the frog had invited her to dinner that morning. But while the elephant had indeed been discovered, it was still hanging out in the room. Now that Kermit was aware of Piggy’s departure, their conversation was easier but still strained. She knew he was avoiding the topic and she certainly knew that he knew she was avoiding the topic and they both knew they were avoiding the topic. So they each took great pains to avoid saying the words they didn’t want to hear. She was leaving. And there was a very slim – slim – chance that she would not be returning. “I am coming back, you know.” “I…I know that.” “Do you?” she asked, knowingly. The very fact that Kermit hesitated showed that he still wasn’t convinced of the fact. And he had good reasons as to why, too! He hadn’t been the greatest of romantic interests, only having recently admitting to the world at large that he and Piggy had been dating for as long as people thought they had been dating; ironically enough, having to state that while they were actually in the process of not dating had seemed a weird parallel to the many times in which he had denied it. He had taken a lot for granted, that he knew now, from his friends to their productions, but definitely to her. She had been the light at the end of the tunnel through many a bad time and he had essentially made her leave her own house. “I wouldn’t fault you if you didn’t,” came the whispered reply. “What happened to ‘you don’t need the whole world to love you, just one person’ speech you gave me?” “I still believe that,” he insisted. “Piggy, all I’m saying is…actually, I’m not really sure what I’m saying actually, only that I feel horrible about the way I’ve treated you, both now and in the past and…I wouldn’t hold it against you if…if you didn’t want to come back.” “Haven’t we already discussed this?” she huffed. “We gonna land this plane or just keep circling the airport all night?” “Piggy…” “Kermit,” she began and right off, he knew she was serious. When Piggy wanted his attention, undivided, there were only two ways to go – devastatingly flirty or deadly serious. “I told you I was going to stay,” she continued. “And I meant that. I’m only going back to Paris because I’m obligated by my duties and responsibilities as the editor to do so. So don’t think for one moment that I’m leaving because I want to; I have to. Got it?” Kermit fought hard not to smile. “Got it.” “Good.” The seriousness was gone and the way she tossed her hair over her shoulder signaled the conversation was over for the moment. “I owe you one.” “Yeah you do.” “I will definitely make this up to you.” “I’ve already started the clock.” “Need a ride to the airport tomorrow?” “You don’t have to do that.” “I know I don’t have to do that. I want to.” This time the appreciation had registered on her face. “That’s very kind of vous.” “Think nothing of it,” he said. “I would’ve done it even if you had said no.” She smirked, knowing full well he probably would have. “I know you would have.” “What you think you’ll have to do?” he questioned, looking genuinely interested. He hadn’t had the chance to ask what everyone had been doing while they had been on semi-permanent hiatus; other than seeing what Fozzie, Gonzo, and Piggy had done and knowing about Scooter, Sam, and some of the others, Kermit had yet to physically sit down and ask what it was he taken so many people away from. “In Paris, I mean?” “Oh,” she sighed, waving a hand as though the details were unimportant. “Probably some sad goodbye party in which Moi will need to participant in; you know, the show of solidarity of quiet, dignity, and grace that Vogue is known for.” “Really?” “No, not really,” she said, this time there was no mistaking the teasing in her baby blues. “Well, I’m sure there will probably be a party and perhaps some of Moi’s friends may take her out as a last goodbye, but honestly I have no idea. The fashion season will start rather Moi is there or not, though it of course won’t be much of a show if Moi is not a part of it.” “Of course.” Piggy looked at him shrewdly. “You’ve never been interested in Moi’s modeling career before.” “Yes I have!” “Really?” Kermit opened his mouth to counter that statement – and the raised eyebrow that went with it – but he stopped himself short. Truthfully, he had always been interested in what Piggy was doing, regardless of whether she was working with them or not. He had always been amazed at the range and versatility that she could show when she really put her mind and herself into something. As with many a thing, he hadn’t always shown he was interested. The answer to this question would hinge on how he worded what he wanted to say; he couldn’t just say he was interested. She would think he was just saying that just to make her feel better and in some instances, he had done exactly that in order to redirect her attention off of him and onto something else. “Anything and everything you do, Piggy,” he started. “I will always have an interest in; both personally and professionally.” That was purposeful, the entire sentence, but the last bit especially. If he had said the opposite, it would imply that their professional relationship took precedence over their personal one. If the years had taught him anything, it was that there was no way the two of them could split their personal and professional lives from each other and in many ways, they hadn’t even tried. Now of course, he needed to prove to her that yes, despite their often combative relationship, Kermit the Frog took their togetherness very seriously, in both regards. And it was high time that he made sure that the pig by his side would continue to stay by his side, in both regards. He had lost her and retained her more times than he could count, which is why her eventual and nearly permanent leave had left him so discombobulated; she had left many times before, but had always returned. She hadn’t done so last time and it had been a very long time before she did. And even now, the possibility that – despite her assurances – she could very well decide not to return again, well…it froze his heart. There were several truths that had been presented before him during this time and one of them was the fact that, no matter how much he wanted to deny it and tried to deny it, he could not live without her. Dinner dwindled down to its logical conclusion, with all food eaten and both diners happy with both the way the dinner went, as well as the meeting that went with it. There was still a lot to discuss, probably more than could adequately be done sitting there tonight, but it seemed clear that as soon as Miss Piggy returned from Paris, there would need to be ‘A Talk’ and Kermit the Frog found that, while a bit nerve racking, he actually looked forward to it. The two had continued discussing the show and some of the ideas that had been presented as the host saw his guest to the door. The end of their night was bittersweet, with her leaving the next night, however it also seemed to hold a promise that things could and would work themselves out between them. “What time’s the flight?” asked the frog, watching as their chef headed towards the car, thankfully leaving the two of them to their own discussion. “A little after ten o’clock.” Kermit nodded. “Nothing big, okay?” he said. He knew Piggy loved her adoring fans, but there were some cases in which those loving fans needed to be avoided. Being at an airport was just one of those places. Piggy rolled her eyes, though there wasn’t any malice in the gesture. “Moi planned it that way,” she huffed. “As much as Moi would love to see her adoring public, ten o’clock at night, in a busy airport is not a favorite place to meet and greet, don’t you agree?” “Wholeheartedly.” A short awkward pause was rare in their conversations, but seemed to happen more and more recently. Clearly his throat nervously, Kermit asked, “Know where you’re staying?” “Moi would of course close out her apartment in Paris…” “I meant when you come back.” “Oh,” she replied. “I hadn’t thought of it actually. I should make some reservations before I leave…” “You could stay here.” As soon as the thought and statement were out there, they both knew that arrangement would hold problems. “I’m not saying you should move back in,” the frog hastily countered. “Not that I’m saying you can’t move back in, because you certainly can. I’m saying…I’m rambling that…if you ever need a place to stay, you have one. All you have to do ask. You don’t even have to ask! This is your house, after all.” Piggy had half a mind to agree that, yes, this was indeed her house. However, never let it be known that Piggy wasn’t aware when Kermit was trying his best to get back in her good graces; while flowers and jewelry had usually worked in the past, this was another monster of another color and the fact that he was trying so hard had her inwardly melting. I’m a softie, she thought. “Our house,” she corrected him, not so subtlety reminding him the reason for the house being built in the first place. She expected him to balk at that or even throw a snappy comeback; she didn’t actually expect him to say what he did. “Even better.” The ride back to her hotel was spent thinking over those two little words and over the entire dinner that preceded them. She couldn’t help but want to just stay in California and say the heck with Paris, but she had spent far too long getting to where she was without Kermit to let him ruin this, even if he understood, stood aside, and let her do it. If she had dreaded going back to Paris before, the feeling had just increased ten-fold.