A Weekend with Niblings

AlittleMayhem

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AN: In my current in-progress fic, Blissful Birdsong, I wrote Zoot being an Uncle to his sister Liza’s two children, Lily and Daniel. This story was something I just thought of as another short to go with the rest of my drabbles, mainly to show his relationship with them when they were a little older, several years down the line from BB. But the more I thought about it, the more it developed and gained two more chapters as well as maybe accidentally adding in some parallels and shameless foreshadowing for a future story that may not be written for a very long time. Oops.

Anyho, do enjoy!

Friday Night
“Psst! Uncle! Uncle Zoot! Hey, psst! Wake up!”

Zoot did wake up, feeling an unwelcome weight on his back. He forced himself not to move though, no matter how much his nephew nudged and pinched at him forcefully. Oh, no. That boy wasn’t going to win this time. Not tonight, no siree.

Then again, Danny was never known to be a quitter.

“Uncle, c’mon,” Danny whined, practically bouncing on him, making the bed groan in protest.

“Dan, m’sleeping,” Zoot grumbled, his limbs heavy and his head drowsy with sleep.

“No you’re not.”

“Yeah, I am”

“Then how come you’re talking then?” Danny said mockingly, as if he had won a game and was immensely proud of it.

Zoot groaned, wondering briefly if Liza raised this kid to have so much cheek. “It’s a grown up thing,” he replied, trying to draw up his blankets. “Go back to sleep.”

“But I can’t,” Danny sighed dramatically. He flopped his small body down on Zoot’s back, forcing an ‘oof!’ noise out of him. “I’m too excited for tomorrow.”

Zoot grunted. “It’s just the zoo.” (Though there wasn’t much point. The Boarding House was a zoo in itself) “Now count some sheep and you’ll be fine.”

“Nuh-uh. Tried that. Also, they kept telling me to go away.”

“Well try it again, this time in your head.”

At the last word, Zoot shoved Danny off his back and onto the spot in the middle of his bed. He heard Danny huff in annoyance and Zoot thought he had triumphed.

Then the sheets shifted as Danny wiggled closer and then whispered in his ear, “I want ice cream.”

“No,” Zoot replied, flatly.

“Please?” Danny persisted, clambering on Zoot again. “Mommy always lets me have ice cream to help me sleep”

“Uh-huh,” Zoot said, yawning. “And Floyd can actually write good music.”

There was a grunt from the other end of the room and Floyd grumbled, “Jus’ get the kid his ice cream, ya doof!”

“Yeah, what he said,” Danny piped up, that stupid smug tone back again.

Zoot groaned again, reaching out for his shades and putting them on as Danny slid off him. Still on his front, he propped himself on his elbows and turned his head to frown at his nephew. Through his bleary gaze, he saw the child sitting cross-legged and upright, beaming innocently with his unruly brown hair sticking up.

“If I get you ice cream, will you promise to go back to sleep?” Zoot said, grumpily.

Danny nodded enthusiastically, his hair ruffling about wildly.

A few moments later, Zoot tiptoed down the stairs (careful not to wake Gonzo and the chickens roosting on the steps) as he carried Danny in his arms, too tried to tell him off as he played with his long, curly, blue hair.

They entered the kitchen and flicked on the lights. Zoot wasn’t surprised when the Swedish Chef, who had been sleeping with his head on the counter, jerked awake and flailed about wildly with his meat cleaver at hand.

“Vhu's zeere-a?!” he yelped, making Danny squeak and bury his head into Zoot’s shoulder.

“Chill man,” Zoot said rubbing Danny’s back in comfort. “It’s just us.”

Spotting them, the Chef let out an, “Oh!” then shrugged and settled himself back on the counter again, cuddling his cleaver as he began to snore.

Going through to the joint lounge area, Zoot put Danny down on an armchair. “What flavour?” he asked, heading back into the kitchen.

He heard Danny scoff. “Vanilla,” he said, as if it were the most obvious question.

Zoot opened the freezer, took out a tub and shut it without waking the penguins inside. There was enough for one person, so he got a spoon and went back to Danny.

Dan reached for the tub eagerly and snatched it from Zoot’s hands. “Ah! Let it soften a bit,” he warned. Danny pouted at him, but let it rest on his lap. Zoot pulled up a stool and sat down, yawning again. The air was cold in here but Zoot was about ready to drop off.

“Uncle Zoot?”

Zoot snorted and blinked, realising that he nearly had. “Yeah?”

Danny snapped the tub open, took a spoonful and stuffed it in his mouth. “How come you wear shades all the time? It’s night-time now,” he said though a full mouth.

Zoot frowned, not sure whether to answer honestly about that. “Err, why’d you ask?”

Danny swallowed and ate another spoonful, looking thoughtful as if trying to figure out a really hard sum. “Hmmm. Well, Mommy says it’s because you can’t see without them. But I think she was lying.” He swallowed again and looked at Zoot expectedly. The boy was born with Liza’s eyes, green, bright and clever. For a moment Zoot felt nostalgia rush through him, remembering a little girl Dan’s age, begging him with those eyes for candy. “Sooo…?”

Zoot coughed uncomfortably and tugged at his hair. “I don’t like the colour,” he said, looking anywhere but his nephew’s gaze. “And I don’t like anyone looking at them.”

Danny’s face fell, his lips smeared with ice cream. “Oh. Is that it?” he said, disappointed. “I thought you were like Cyclopes.”

Zoot gave him a bewildered look. “Er, like what?”

Danny rolled his eyes. “Oh, come on, Uncle Zoot! You know him from X-Men! He has to wear red shades all the time because he has lazar eyes!” he exclaimed. He put down the now empty tub and wiped his mouth with his sleeve. “He can’t open his eyes because he’ll destroy everything so he has to wear the glasses so he can see and not destroy stuff!”

“Yeah, and he also dies a lot too!”

They both jumped at the new voice. Lily, Zoot’s niece, walked in, wearing her fluffy robe and PJs with her strawberry blonde hair in braided pigtails.

“Though Uncle Zoot can seem really dead most days so I guess there’s not much difference.”

She grinned cheekily at him, patting his bald spot. Zoot glared at her in return and said, “You’re not getting ice cream.”

“I don’t want any anyway. I was just wondering why you two were up.”

Zoot grumbled, standing up. “Well, we’re not gonna be anymore. C’mon, bed! Both of you!”

“But I’m not sleepy,” Danny griped, but his droopy eyes and yawning betrayed him as Zoot gathered him up again. “I wanna play.”

“Yeah, sure ya do,” Zoot said, taking Lily’s hand and making their way back to the Electric Mayhem’s room. “Keep that up, trooper, and we might be up all night.”

Danny didn’t answer. He was fast asleep, drooling on Zoot’s shoulder.
 

AlittleMayhem

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Saturday

The day was warm, bright and perfect for the Zoo. In fact, it was so bright and perfect that pretty much the whole town had the same idea. It was a hive of activity with families bustling about and trying to get the best view of the animals.

Zoot almost regretted taking Lily and Dan here. Twice he lost them in the crowds and just about had a heart attack when he found Danny leaning far too close over the wall of the alligator pit.

Luckily for him, Rowlf had tagged along with them. Mainly because he had nothing else planned and also knew that Zoot’s attention tended to drift if no one was there to nudge him. And he was very good with children, since he managed to engage Lily in reading the information signs and encouraging Dan in the feeding of a giraffe (“Ergh, gross! Mister Rowlf, It’s so slobbery!”)

In fact, he was so good that Zoot got a little ashamedly jealous.

“Don’t worry, I’m not taking them away from you!” Rowlf later said to Zoot when they were at the reptile house. “Trust me, looking after kids alone ain’t easy. I don’t give up a whole day away from the piano for nothing.”

At lunchtime, they managed to grab a table by the playground and munch down their packed lunches (prepared surprisingly well by the Swedish Chef). Afterwards, both children ran off to play and Zoot watched them chase each other through the giraffe tunnel, squealing with delight.

Rowlf leaned back in his chair and heaved a great sigh. “Boy, is it hot? I could do with an ice cream. Hey, tell you what? I’ll get you all one, eh?”

But Zoot shook his head. “Nah, bad idea. I don’t want Liza after me if Dan gets stomach ache.”

He then briefly told Rowlf what had happened the previous night. Rowlf chuckled. “Ah, you gave into his cute charm, didn’t you?”

Zoot made a face. “Not cute, man. Or charm. Dan can be very persistent when he wants to be.” He then muttered under his breath, “Much like his mom when she was his age.”

“Ah, I hear you. They can be like that when they’re young.”

“Mmm-hmm,” Zoot agreed. He settled back and sighed. “I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it one day.”

Rowlf looked at him curiously. “The hang of what exactly.”

Zoot shrugged. “I dunno. Being an Uncle, I guess.”

“Oh, I would say you’re doing a great job!” Rowlf exclaimed. “Why, Lily was telling me yesterday that she took up the sax because of you.”

Zoot’s face grew warm, but he felt a little pride swelling in his chest. “Yeah, I suppose.”

“Also,” Rowlf added, leaning forwards, “you’re different when they’re here.”

“Huh? I am?”

“Sure! For starters, you’re more active, awake, on your toes…‘course compared to how you usually are, but still.”

“Thanks, but have you tried keeping up with two kids?”

At this, Rowlf smirked. “Try several litters of puppies.”

There was a long silence in which Zoot stared at Rowlf incredulously before saying, “Wow, you…dog.

Rowlf laughed uproariously. “Ahh, I do try!”

As Rowlf wiped a tear from his eye, Zoot asked, “Hey, Rowlf?”

“Yeah?”

“Thanks for coming over with me today. You’ve really helped a lot.”

Rowlf smiled warmly, taking a book out from his own backpack. “Hey it’s no problem! I’m just glad they allow dogs in this place.” He then glanced around nervously, as of expecting all the attendees to pounce at him at once. “I just hope I didn’t read the sign wrong and the dog catcher’s after me again.”

Zoot hummed in acknowledgement, shifting his hat over his eyes and settling back for a quick snooze. The sounds of animals and children around him soon merged into a meaningless buzz and the warm heat blanketed him comfortingly.

It was perfect.

Inconveniently, though, that’s when he heard Dan’s crying.

***

“I said leave us alone,” Lily yelled, picking Dan up to his feet and glaring at the taller, more intimidating human boy. Dan snivelled and whimpered, rubbing a noticeable bruise on his forearm.

The boy only sneered. “Oh, now it’s my fault! The little twerp should’ve known what he was doing. He provoked me.”

“Only because you wouldn’t go away, you fat lard!” Lily snapped, then instantly regretted it. The boy turned thunderous, stepping disturbingly closer than he did before.

“You wanna repeat that, tiny? Or are you asking for a thumping as well?”

Lily held Dan behind her, close to tears. “Don’t-”

“Hey!”

In an instant, the boy stepped away as Rowlf and Uncle Zoot came running across the sand. Lily didn’t know whether she wanted to laugh or cry.

Uncle Zoot knelt down to Danny’s level. “What happened?” he asked, worry written in his voice

Danny wailed. “He hit me!”

The human boy looked shocked, as if falsely accused. “Wha- Me?! Why would I hit a little guy like that?! He just fell over as I was passing by!” The change in act was so convincing that Lily was frightened that the adults would turn on her.

But it wasn’t my fault!

Instead, Rowlf gave the boy a sceptical look. “Now, we both know that’s not true,” he said in a calm but serious tone. “I saw what you did and I think you should apologise.”

The boy’s eyes went wide, mouth falling open. “Apologise?!” he said, as if the very idea was outrageous. “But it wasn’t my fault! She wouldn’t know when to shut up!”

Lily whimpered, plastering herself against Uncle Zoot’s side as the Boy pointed an accusing finger at her. She felt arm around her and squeezed her shoulder, but it did nothing to comfort her.

I didn’t do anything wrong.

A human woman rushed over to the commotion, her blonde hair billowing in the wind. “What is going on here?” she asked, breathless and alarmed.

“Pardon me, ma’am,” Rowlf replied, politely. “Is this your son?”

“Yes, yes! I am so sorry, has he been harassing your children?”

“Ma, I didn’t do anything!”

“None of your excuses! We have talked about this!”

Lily shook all over, tears brimming in her eyes. Uncle Zoot must have noticed because he lifted her and Dan and carried them away. Over his shoulder, she saw Rowlf speaking with the mother some more.

She also saw the human boy glaring daggers at her and guilt rushed through her.

It’s my entire fault.

***

Thankfully, according to Rowlf, the mother had been reasonable and left the zoo early, dragging that awful kid kicking and screaming with her. With a band-aid over his bruise, Danny had calmed down when Rowlf offered to buy them lemonades, and then spent a long time giggling as he blew bubbles through the straw.

Lily, on the other hand, had gone quieter. Her tears had sustained but her eyes downcast to the floor miserably as she slurped her lemonade.

“Hey, er, do you want to talk about what happened?” Rowlf asked attentively. But she shook her head and shrugged off the paw on her shoulder.

Rowlf locked eyes with Zoot expectedly, but he shook his head in reply. He felt it wouldn’t be right to say anything right now. No, she would want to talk about it in her own time, even if it meant a few years down the line.

The rest of the afternoon was much more pleasant without any sort of bother. Well, maybe perhaps with the exception of prying Rowlf away from the wolves when he got into a strange argument with them via howling and barks, but otherwise, no trouble at all.

It was nearly dinner by the time they began to walk home, with Dan on Rowlf’s shoulders and constantly pulling at the dog’s ears while singing some of Rowlf’s old favourite songs.

“But I never harmed an onion! Oh, so why should they make me crrrrry!”

“Yay! Again, again!”

“Oh, not that one! I don’t think my emotions- Ow!- can take it anymore, kiddo! Ack! Not so hard on the ears!”

Zoot trailed behind with Lily as the two in front broke into song again. Despite having visibly cheered up earlier when they saw the penguin parade, she had gone back to quiet mode and her shoulders hunched, as if she wanted to sink into the ground.

Finally, they reached the Boarding House and they were at the porch when Zoot felt a tug on his sleeve. “Uncle,” whispered Lily, her head still downcast. “Can we talk? Please?”

Zoot nodded and motioned towards the swinging bench, which she went over to and sat down. Rowlf, noticing this, gave him a questioning look over his shoulder. “You got this?” he asked.

“Yeah. Can you watch over Dan for a while longer?”

“Sure!”

Just as the door closed and Zoot made his way to the bench, he pretended he didn’t hear Rowlf franticly yelling, “Danny! Get down from Thog!”

He sat down, rocking the swing a little. Lily curled up into a ball next to him, staring out onto the front garden and not saying anything for a while. The summer evening set an orange haze over the street, still warm and utterly peaceful.

Zoot waited.

Finally, she took a deep breath.

“Do you think that boy was right? That it’s my fault that Daniel got hurt?”

Zoot felt his teeth clench involuntary, remembering how the brat blamed her. “That depends,” he replied, keeping his voice calm. “Did you start it?”

“Well, no but-”

“Then it wasn’t your fault,” Zoot interrupted with what he hoped was a casual shrug. “Simple as, kiddo.”

“But I ran into him! That was my fault!” She buried her face into her knees, her speech turning muffled. “Then he got all angry and that’s when Daniel stepped in and tried to defend me.”

“Hey,” Zoot said, placing a hand on her shoulder. “You know Dan, he gets over things quickly. And I already told you, it wasn’t your-”

“Then why did he say it was,” Lily near wailed. “Why would he say that if it wasn’t!”

Zoot jerked his hand off, as if her shoulder burned his skin. The words hit far too close to home, like a sudden punch to the gut.

He took a deep breath, the sudden wave of emotions overwhelming like boiling water but he was determined not to let them spill over.

Once he was calmer, Zoot sighed. “Look, I know what it’s like to be blamed for something someone else did to you,” he said. “And it’s never cool, y’know?”

Lily stared up at him, surprised. Her eyes were still shining with tears. Like her brother, she also inherited Liza’s brilliant green.

He coughed. “But, er, y’know, it even happens with people you care about. Or, y’know, you thought you cared about.” Then he stared back in what he hoped was a serious gaze. “But let me tell you now, kiddo. If anyone you care about does that to you, ever, you walk. Vamoose. You ankle your way outta their life and don’t look back.”

Lily bit her bottom lip. “But then I’ll be a coward!”

“Not if it’s only you! It’s better off being safe than being hurt.”

“But what if I can’t run?”

“Then come to me,” he replied. “Or call me…” He paused. “Uh, FaceTube me, I don’t care how. Just let me know and I’ll come a runnin’!”

Lily giggled, wiping her eyes. “Oh, Uncle,” she said, shaking her head but she was smiling again. “Thanks. I feel a little better now.”

Zoot gave her a small smile. “Good to hear,” he said, standing up and taking her hand. “C’mon. Let’s get back inside. I hear the Chef will be serving his specialty.”

“Isn’t that were he chases the chickens and cows with a knife?”

“Yeah, pretty much.”
 

AlittleMayhem

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AN:Last chapter! Thanks to everyone who read and spared some time to press the 'like' option! :smile:

Sunday
Sundays were normally a long and lazy day for the Muppet troop. In fact, it was going to be longer and lazier since the bright and perfect whether from yesterday turn a little rainy, thus no one was in the best mood to go out.

Zoot usually slept throughout most of Sunday, but Dan was still at that age of getting up stupidly early to clamber over him and then watch his morning cartoons. Plus, the band had to practice a new number for next week’s show so there was no escaping that.

Now he wished he had.

“No, no, no, no, stop, stop! It’s not workin’”

Zoot blew an ugly note from his sax that trailed off and died, frowning as the rest of the band finished in a crashing halt. Animal groaned and drove his head onto the snare drum, yelling, “COME ON!”

“Ah, what is it now, Doc?” Floyd chastised, glaring at Dr. Teeth. “It was sounding great!”

“Naw, man,” Dr. Teeth said, frowning at the music sheets and scratching his head. “It just wasn’t right. It’s not flowing, not streaming enough. No rhythm, no rhyme, no reason, you know what I mean?”

“No, wha-?! Urgh! Hey, give me that sheet! I’ll show you flowing!”

As they argued some more, Janice shook her head dismissively and put down her guitar, clearly fed up. “Rully,” she sighed, standing up from her beanbag. “It looks like they’re gonna be a while this time. I’m going to go downstairs and make some soothies. Want one?”

Zoot nodded, then settled back into his own beanbag as she left, intending on sleeping a bit until something important happened.

A while later, something prodded at his arm and he looked up from under his hat to see Lily, tilting her head questioningly. “Hey.”

“Hey,” he replied, stretching and re-settling himself. “You feeling okay?”

“Yeah.”

“I thought you were with Sam.”

Lily made a disgruntled face “He was so boring. Wouldn’t stop taking to me about the importance of ‘wholesome American entertainment’.” She then climbed onto Zoot’s lap, which he passively allowed. “Which he thinks should be a show about our founding fathers’ socks. I only escaped when Lew distracted him with a herring.”

Zoot snorted, amused. “’Sounds about right.”

Back behind the keyboard, Dr. Teeth scrunched up a sheet and tossed the ball right out the window. “This won’t do! We have to re-write!”

Floyd looked positively horrified. “Wha- but that was our best one yet!”

“Just one more re-write-”

“If you say that one more time, I’ll set Animal on you and I won’t stop him!”

“FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!”

Lily looked on at the argument with wide eyes. “Err, does this happen often?”

“Nah, but it has been more lately.” Zoot replied, twisting a finger in his ear then flicking out the wax. “We’ve been trying to write somethin’ for the show next show, but it ain’t just- wait, what are you doing?”

As he had been speaking, Lily had taken one of the music sheets from his stand and began scribbling down notes haphazardly, using her lap to rest on. Zoot watched her curiously as her face scrunched up in concentration with her tongue sticking out and her hand flying over the page.

When she seemed to be satisfied, she trusted the page in his face with a, “Here! How’s that?”

Zoot took the page and read through it quickly. Then read it again, and again.

“Well?” Lily prompted, Zoot having not realised that he had gone speechless.

“You…you just wrote a number in thirty seconds,” he said, not quite believing that this little girl was the offspring of his average sister.

Lily waved it off as if were nothing. “I write songs all the time! Go on! Try it!” She jumped off her lap and handed him his saxophone eagerly, her eyes sparkling.

Nope, defiantly Liza’s kid alright.

Zoot took the sax and, with Lily holding up the sheet for him to read, began to play the first notes.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Floyd and Dr. Teeth stop arguing at once, their stares showing amazement as he played. Even Animal had paused in biting at Teeth’s arm, his wild eyes wide in surprise.

“That’s it!” Dr. Teeth yelled, jumping up so suddenly that he shook Animal off his arm and sent him crashing into his drum kit. “That’s exactly what I’ve been looking for! Zoot, you’re a genius!”

“Naw, man!” Floyd said. “Zoot doesn’t just improvise like that! I think the kid wrote it!”

There was a faint dusting of pink in Lily’s cheeks, but she smirked coyly. “I might have, yeah.”

Dr. Teeth flipped through his own sheets, his arms flailing and his eyes mad with excitement. “Oh, oh, we gotta copy this out! This is the most positively far-out thing that’s happened all day! Hey, where’s Janice? JANICE! GET IN HERE GIRL! WE FINALLY GOT IT! Animal, get off my arm! We’re done with that!”

Soon enough, the whole house was filled with the sweet sounds of Lily’s flowing, streaming, rhythm-ing, rhyming and reasoning song. Lily’s Song. That’s exactly what they called it and Zoot had never been so proud to be called her uncle.

***

After the god-knows-how-many-times they rehearsed Lily’s Song, the band split up to do their own activities while Lily got out her suitcase and began to pack. Zoot stretched and yawned, ready to take another nap but he knew Liza and her husband Andrew would be here soon to pick up the kids.

“’You seen your brother about lately?” he asked Lily. She paused, mind-way through packing her action figures, her lips pursed.

“Yeah…last I saw him; he was downstairs playing poker with Rizzo, Gonzo, Pepe and Statler.”

Zoot mumbled “Thanks,” and then set off to find his nephew. A few seconds later, he rushed back, now frantic. “He’s doing what now?!

***

“MOMMY!”

Liza, Zoot’s younger sister, knelt at the doorway and laughed happily as her son jumped into her arms and hugged her. “My goodness! Did you miss me, my little man?”

“Nah! I’m just really happy to see you!”

Zoot’s brother-in-law Andrew snorted, ruffling Dan’s messy brown hair, which matched his own. “Well, at least you’re honest.” He too knelt down and hugged Lily. “Did your Uncle sleep too much around you?”

Zoot harrumphed, crossing his arms. “’Didn’t get a chance. They wouldn’t let me!”

“Oh good!” Liza said brightly, standing up with Danny in her arms. “That’s just like I told them too.”

Her green eyes glinted mischievously, planting a kiss on Zoot’s cheek. Zoot glared at her as everyone began to snicker. “I really hate you sometimes, do you know that?”

“Love you too, brother!”

Some of the other Muppets gathered around with Zoot to say their own goodbyes to the children. Janice had made both of them braided bracelets from eco-friendly thread. Robin gave them both honorary Friendship Frog Scout Badges, which Lily promised to sew onto her own Girl Scout sash. Rowlf allowed Dan to give him one last tug on his ear to amuse him and Sam had a book ready to give (‘Great American Figures and their Socks’) but Lily politely and a little desperately turned it down.

Liza turned to Kermit, smiling. “Thanks for letting my kids stay here with their Uncle Ze- I mean Zoot! I hope they weren’t too much trouble.”

“Oh no, Ma’am,” Kermit reassured her. “They were perfect little angels. Zoot defiantly has a way with them.”

Beside Zoot, he heard Rizzo mutter, “Yeah, one of them ‘angels’ wit’ too many cards up his sleeve.”

Zoot flicked at his head to shut him up, but Danny had already heard what the rat said. “Oh, I forgot about my winnings! Thanks Rizzo!”

Liza gaped at this statement as Danny wriggled out of her arms. “Winnings? What on earth is he talking about?”

“Nothing!” Zoot exclaimed, blocking Dan effectively. “He’s just-er-talking about-um-” He looked to the others desperately.

“Arcade winnings!” Rowlf chimed in. “Yeah, we visited the arcade after the zoo yesterday, didn’t we?”

“Oh, yeah!” Lily said, nodding a little too vigorously. “Danny got really, really lucky there!”

“You guys went to the arcade?!” Fozzie said. “Aw, now I wish I did come with you! Did you win me anything at least?” Rolwf nudged him in the ribs. “Ow, what did you- Oh! Ahhh, yes! That’s right! The arcade! Yes! And there was absolutely, positively no poker play-”

“Fozzie,” Kermit hissed.

“Real subtle, man,” Floyd muttered dryly.

But Dan didn’t catch on, switching his head back and forth between the exchanges, confused. “What are you talking about?” he piped up. “I won it in a-”

“Whoa, sweet mercy, is that the time?” Zoot exclaimed, less-than-subtlety pushing Dan to the door. “Shouldn’t you guys get going soon? You should probably beat the, uh, traffic. Yeah.”

***

Zoot watched from the lounge room window as the car disappeared from view, with both Lily and Daniel waving goodbye from the rear –view window. He then sighed heavily, walked over to the couch and slumped down on his front. “Oy, I’m gonna be in so much trouble when Liza finds out that Dan’s a professional gambler.”

Floyd let out a throaty laugh. “I think our ol’ saxman is back again, folks!”

“Yeah, didn’t I say you were different around those kids?”

“Humph! He certainly wasn’t around to catch Danny Boy cheatin’!”

“Speaking of which, Rizzo, what were you thinking teaching a five-year-old poker?”

“Hey, I ain’t taught him nuttin’, Kerm! He knew exactly what he was doing!”

“Uh, guys?”

“But despite that little mishap, thanks to Little Miss Lily, we now have a rockin’ tune to play for next week!”

“ROCKING! ROCKING!”

“Oh, fer sure! Y’know, I still remember seeing her for the first time when she was rully small! She’s, like, totally grown up to be a groovy young lady!”

“Guys?”

“Uncle Kermit? Do you think they’ll be back again soon? I’d like to spend more time with them again.”

“Oh, I’m sure if you asked nicely, they’ll be delighted to come back again, Robin.”

“Hmm, maybe I should have gotten them something about the First Wives’ Crochet instead.”

“Hold it!”

Everyone fell silent at Fozzie’s command. The bear put a finger to his lips, and then pointed to the couch. Zoot was already dead to the world, snoring at an impressive volume. Floyd chuckled, shifting Zoot’s hat over his already shaded eyes as Lips lay a blanket over him.

“Okay, now he’s back!”
 

Twisted Tails

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Yes! YES! YEEEEEES!

Finally some good stuff and you can't tell how speechless I am... you did an excellent job with this fanfic. Thanks for sharing, Ally!
 
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