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Kermie's Girl (ushy-gushy fanfic)

Ruahnna

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Chapter 73: Role Call

It was hard to get back on track after that, but since the next track on their album was their show, and the next was “Merry-making 101” most of the cast and crew managed. The show was, at points, funny, touchy, Christmas-y and sentimental, not to mention wildly entertaining. The party—which, if anything—had increased exponentially as time went on made its noisy way up the elevators to the The Frog suite where mayhem (and Mayhem) had reigned most of the past 15 hours.
The train set was going full blast. Food was being consumed at an alarming (and satisfying rate). Presents and happy holiday wishes continued to be exchanged with abandon. Pepe had arrived after the show with not one but two dates who seemed thrilled at the chance to dance, munch and share in the festivities. The Elvi had come back, with armloads of presents, and each of them stooped to give Mabel a big Christmas hug.
Now that the shows were all over until the following night, champagne and eggnog began to flow. Kermit worried a little about the noise level but Mabel assured him that they ought not have a problem so long as they kept Animal (or Rowlf, for that matter) from howling at the moon. Rowlf seemed to be doing something else wolfish with his DNA, so Kermit allowed himself to relax. After all, surely everybody had someone to be with this Christmas, which ought to leave no one free to do them mischief. He snagged another couple of quiches—after all, this was suppertime—and surveyed his family with fondness.

Piggy didn’t know how Thoreau managed it, but his silk shirt was as pristine and unwrinkled as it had been at their champagne breakfast toast.
“Either you’ve got a wrinkled picture in the closet or vous are wearing synthetics,” Piggy accused, taking a mug of chilled cider.
“Perish the thought,” cried the designer, but he looked furtively around. “Not all synthetics are awful,” he finally said, and Piggy wondered how much champagne he’d drunk.

At the moment that Kermit was beginning to unwind, and Piggy and Thoreau were exchanging fashion-related banter, there was other banter going on inside that very hotel.
“I will not go back! No! I put my foot down!” Scribbler was standing on his dignity alone, which left him precariously poised.
His adversary looked pointedly at his foot, or rather his feet, or rather still the shoes in which said feet were clad. A sardonic eyebrow was raised.
“And would that foot be clad in—“
“I know what I’m wearing!” Scribbler shouted. Anxiety was making him bold but, unfortunately, not brave.
“Good,” said his tormentor dismissively. “Then you know what you have to do.”
“No, I—I won’t.” But this came out more like a whine.
“Won’t what? Eat? Yes—that’s entirely possible if you don’t do as you are—“
“But—you don’t…it isn’t…I don’t care about the job anymore,” Scribbler said desperately. He lifted his chin in what he hoped would be a final act of defiance. “Besides, this has gone way beyond a story.” He took a step forward, his voice lowered ominously. “I’m beginning to think—“
“Well, thank bedknobs and broomsticks for that,” snapped his boss. “But I don’t pay you to think. I pay you to do what I say.”
“But—“
“Just. Do. What. I. Say.”
The cold finality in that tone took the starch out of Scribbler’s spine and he wilted. Dejectedly he trudged for the door, each step preying on his conscience. His hand was on the doorknob when he heard his name again.
“And Scribbler?”
His hangdog look was answer enough.
“Have a Merry Christmas….”

“So Pepe,” said the tall blonde. “How long have you been in show business?”
“Show business is hin my blood,” Pepe said dramatically. He managed to dip his date and admire himself in the mirror at the same time. “So, how long have ju been working as a showgirl?”
“Jeanie and I have been dancing here for two Christmases. We got picked up for the show right before Christmas last year.”
“What a coincidence!” Pepe exclaimed, allowing the blonde to dip him. “Now I have picked you both up before Christmas this year!”
They were both still giggling when her friend cut in on the twosome. “C’mon, Nan. I want to dance with him, too!” Jeanie pouted, but her smile belied any real distress. Nan relinquished control of the king prawn with good grace.
“Y’all stay out of trouble while I’m freshening up,” she warned, and left them dancing.
From the far corner of the room, Clifford elbowed Gonzo in the ribs. “If you can explain how that little shrimp rates two dates this Christmas, I’ll give you my slice of pecan pie.”
Gonzo was thoughtful for a moment. “Maybe if there are two of them they don’t have to actually talk to him?”
Wordlessly, Clifford handed over his pie. “Go ahead,” he said. “Now I’m too depressed to eat.”

Sweetums and Robin were enjoying the train set. Fozzie had ordered Kermit’s nephew a conductor’s cap, which Robin had been wearing all day, and was now wearing backwards. It took all of Howard’s self-control to not run over and turn the cap around.
“What is this look?” he demanded. “Urban train conductor?”
“What?” asked Dr. Teeth amiably. “Too hip-hop for you?”
“I like it,” Zoot said, zoning back in for a moment. “It makes a whimsical statement about the fleeting nature of childhood.”
For a moment, no one said anything, then Howard let out a sigh and looked down at his froth-lined cup. “Either I’ve had too much eggnog, or not enough. That almost made sense.”
Dr. Teeth smiled his brilliant smile. “Allow me to cast a vote for ‘not enough.’ What’ll you have—nog or cider?”
Howard hesitated, sorely tempted. “Maybe half a cup of nog?”

“Ewww,” said Gloria Jean, her cute little nose wrinkled up in distaste. “What is that disgusting smell?” She tried to look around as she and Rizzo danced across the floor.
Rats have an incredible sense of smell—it just isn’t a discriminating one—but Rizzo obediently sniffed the air.
“It’s not me,” he said helpfully. Gloria Jean gave him a smack on the shoulder. “And it’s not you, Honeybunch, cuz you smell scrumptious.” The smack morphed into a caress, and the pretty chorine stroked his neck while he put his nose to good use.
“Um, I think it’s coming from, um, Floyd,” he opined at last. “Or maybe Janice.”
“It’s not Janice,” said Gloria Jean. She had stood next to Janis in too many dance numbers to not know that Janice smelled like sun and vanilla and something wild and sweet. “Janice smells good. This smells like…”
“Like rock and roll?” Rizzo asked.
Gloria Jean looked thoughtful. “Yeah,” she said at last. “I guess so.”

As usual, Kermit grumphed to himself, some of his presents came with strings attached—figuratively speaking. He looked doubtfully but dutifully at the new mobile phone in Scooter’s hand that Piggy had presented to him with such pride and what he could only assume was sinister intent. He sighed and tried to pay attention.
“So if you touch the little button there, then you can go online and update your status,” Scooter explained.
“On a phone?” Kermit asked. “You mean text messages?” The CEO of Rainbow Productions had been inordinately proud of mastering texting the previous year. Using the phone to access the internet might take some time.
“No, not texting. I meant—“
“And what do you mean, update my status. I’m a happily married frog.” The number of tabloids that had attempted to disprove in the past year had made Kermit more than a little touchy about the subject.
“And don’t you forget it, Mon Capitan,” Piggy said firmly. She leaned in and kissed his perplexed froggy brow, and Kermit turned around and grinned at her.
“As if I could!” He leaned forward to collect a smooch but Scooter cleared his throat noisily behind him, no doubt reminding Kermit that he would like to be done, too, so he could go and smooch.
“No, I meant your Facebook status,” Scooter said patiently.
Kermit immediately looked wary. “Oh. No no. No—I don’t do that stuff. Way too complicated for me.”
“It’s not,” Scooter insisted. Now that he was happily and completely affianced, he seemed like his normal self, helping Kermit become more technologically aware than the reluctant amphibian wished to be. “Managing your Facebook page is easy.”
Something—perhaps Scooter’s furtive tone—alerted Kermit to something that he had heretofore missed. “What do you mean, ‘your Facebook page.’ I don’t have a Facebook page.”
Scooter squirmed. “Well, actually…you do.”
Kermit made a face. Piggy would have recognized that face and sent out an all points bulletin to man battle stations.
“How can I have a Facebook page if I don’t know about it?”

“The cook is pooped and the kitchen is closed,” said Mabel with panache. “I’m going to do what Santa does and have myself a nice, long nap when this is over.
“Oh dear,” said Dr. Honeydew. “Then I fear I’ve come to late to claim a dance.”
Mabel smiled and stood back up. “You’re on,” she said with a grin. “I’m never too tired to cut a rug.”

Show me,” Kermit demanded, hands crossed belligerently across his chest.
“It’s not just Facebook,” Scooter said placatingly. “You can find all sorts of stuff on the web. Okay, look—first you press this, then this one, then click the arrow button over until it asks you what you’re looking for, then type in, say, Muppet Christmas Show and see what comes up.”
They watched, sorting resignedly through other Christmas programs, other shows that had come and gone. At last, Scooter seemed to identify something that he wanted, clicked on the link and there—there on the screen—were snatches of their Christmas show, obviously taped illicitly on cell phone or ipods. Scooter hit the back button and clicked another link. There was youtube footage of Piggy buying Christmas presents with Dr. Teeth and some of the others. Scooter clicked the mouse again and Kermit’s jaw almost hit the floor—it was backstage footage from one of their recent rehearsals.
“What the hey?” he exclaimed. “Scooter—where did that come from?” He watched himself and Piggy trying a dance move several different ways for Howard’s approval. In the background, you could see Sara and Scooter laughing and joking, but you couldn’t hear any real words.
But if Kermit was astonished, his assistant was flabbergasted. “But, but, but—“ he sputtered.
“That’s a really good imitation of a motor boat,” Kermit snapped, “but I want to know who took that film footage!”
Scooter’s fingers were flying over the keys and he was muttering to himself, his cheeks as flaming red as his hair.
“—can’t even imagine who would do something like…and the angle is weird, plus there’s no sound. Did you notice there’s no sound?”
“I don’t really care about sound,” Kermit said, but then felt a sudden chill. He did not necessarily want to be caught on audiotape while he was rehearsing with Piggy. They were both apt to say things that they would not wish to have overheard. He stared at the footage for a moment, trying to place it, but Scooter whisked it away almost instantly, and another video bloomed on the screen.
If the first one had caused consternation, this new video inspired cold fury. It was video of the party—of THIS party, today. Kermit and Scooter exchanged horrified glances, then immediately hunched towards each other as though to protect the rest of the cast and crew from the images. Kermit was glad they’d pulled away from the fray before Scooter started trying to show him anything technical. That impulse had been purely self-interested: Kermit hated feeling like a nitwit when trying to learn something new in the technology department, but now he was more than glad that everyone in the room didn’t know that someone might be secretly filming them.
Being a public figure is often thrilling. Kermit still loved the sound of voices—especially children’s voices—calling to him as he stepped out of a cab onto a red carpet, and Piggy adored the pop-pop-pop of cameras as much as photographers seemed to adore her. Still, being a public figure had a price, and one not always easy to tally. Loss of privacy, loss of autonomy, loss of status if something looked wrong or sounded wrong or even looked like it sounded wrong. Kermit had not been a stranger to intrusive reporting before, and once he’d started dating Piggy it had escalated ten-fold. Although Piggy had initially courted photographers, it wasn’t long before they were chasing her—and him—desperate from some unguarded moment. But this—this was…chilling, icky even, because this—this came from INSIDE.
Scooter grabbed his arm and dragged him further over into the corner of the room. His voice, while urgent, was pitched too low for anyone else’s aural organs to hear.
“It’s recent, but it’s not a live feed,” said Scooter. “That means someone here could be taping us now, but it’s probably not broadcasting anywhere this minute.” While they talked, they both scanned the room, eyes flicking from one person to the next.
“Good,” whispered Kermit grimly. “That gives us a little time to find whoever it is and stop the next video.” He took a deep, painful breath and held it, then let it out slowly. “Scooter—do you think someone is doing this for…money?”
Scooter snorted. “You’ve been watching too many of our old movies,” he insisted. “No one here needs money bad enough to do this—not after those Christmas bonuses anyway.”
“Then…what, Scooter?” Kermit was angry. He sounded angry. But underneath the anger Scooter, who knew his boss so very well, heard the hurt and confusion as well. “What would make someone do this?”
“I…I don’t…notoriety? Fame? I…I can’t imagine, boss. I really can’t.” Scooter’s face was open, an honest hurt showing on his features. Kermit put his hand on the younger man’s shoulder for a moment.
“Look—I have an idea,” he said firmly. “See if you can cut Piggy away from her, um, posse and tell her what’s going on. Then—“ Kermit leaned in and whispered something in Scooter’s ear, and his assistant’s eyes grew wide.
“Gee, boss—are you sure? It’s kindof risky, don’t you think?”
Kermit shrugged, more a gesture of irritation than nonchalance. “I have to do something. And if this doesn’t flush out the culprit…?” He let the question hang there in the air. “You with me?”
“Always,” said Scooter, and grinned. “Except on my honeymoon,” he added for levity. “When that time comes, you’re on your own!”
They grinned darkly at each other, two knights advancing into battle against perilous odds, then separated and did what had to be done.

“—but Kermit wanted me to ask you something,” Scooter insisted, taking Piggy firmly by the elbow. There was an art to it that Scooter had never quite mastered, but he had learned to fake calm long enough to gently manhandle Piggy when the need arose. When they were sufficiently out of hearing of the other, Scooter told her what was happening.
She was good, Scooter thought. Although her gaze never appeared to leave his face he saw it make a quick circuit around the room, trying to decide who, if anyone, was in here with them wishing them ill.


Kermit hopped up on a table. His jacket was off, his sleeves rolled up to the elbow and his festive Christmas vest was unbuttoned. All eyes surveyed him with various degrees of affection, humor and interest. His expression was solemn, his words blunt.
“People—we’ve got a mole in our midst,” said Kermit grimly.
“I should hope so,” retorted Mabel tartly.
“No—I mean, yes, Mabel, we’re glad you’re here but I meant that there’s a ra—“ He broke off at a mean look from Rizzo. “Um,” he gulped, determined to plunge on. “I mean, something smells fishy about—“
Pepe joined the unhappy duo in front of Kermit and the flustered amphibian grew more flustered.
“Look,” he pleaded. “This is no time quibble over words. I’m trying to tell you that we’ve got a spy in our midst—someone who’s been feeding information to the tabloid.”
If he had expected a gasp of surprise, he was disappointed. So far, he had not told them anything they did not already know. Everyone knew that someone had been watching the show and turning in little bits of stray gossip. It had become so commonplace that they were not very moved by this pronouncement.
But in the midst of their nonchalance, Kermit turned suddenly, his eyes sweeping the assembled company. “And secretly filming us. Someone in this room has been making videos of us and uploading them to Facetube.”
There was a gasp and groan of alarm.
‘Youtube,” Scooter translated, but Kermit waved this correction away.
“Whatever. The point is—someone here is NOT who they claim to be.”
“One of us is a spy?” cried Laura May, clearly distressed.
“Oh—it’s not me is it?” wailed Fozzie. “I don’t want it to be me.”
Rowlf reached out and put a comforting arm about the rattle comedian.
An uneasy silence descended and the crowd shuffled nervously. Usually, when danger threatened, they clumped, but today everyone moved subtly away from their fellows.
“No,” said Kermit firmly. “One of us is not a spy, but there’s someone here who isn’t one of us.” There was a ripple of relief and widespread clumping. Forty-some pairs of eyes scanned the room, murmuring, then turned back to Kermit doubtfully. Other than Pepe’s dates and Mabel and Thoreau, it looked like home folks.
“But—but we’re just…us,” said Gloria Jean.
“Yeah,” said Gonzo. “There aren’t any strangers here.”
Now the group began to unclump in places, draw tighter in others. Scooter plucked at Kermit’s arm, whispering, then handed Kermit a sheet.
“There’s only one way to resolve this,” said Kermit. “When I call your name, I want you to—“
What he wanted them to do would remain a mystery. One of the Elvi broke from the crowd, tore open the door of the suite and hurled himself out into the hallway, followed by a flash of something red and hairy. There was a split-second of disbelieving silence, then the entire party tried to push through the door at one time.
Luckily for the Palace, the building was well-constructed. The walls held , but the door was jammed with angry, seething bodies.
“Ow!”
“He’s getting away!”
“I can’t breathe!”
“Hey! Get your hand off my—“
After a moment of absolute pandemonium, Sweetums waded to the door and began to pluck muppets free.
“I can’t believe it!” said several voices.
“I don’t believe it!” huffed Rizzo. “No way would one of the Elvises betray us.”
“That’s right, Little Mister,” said Deuce. “One of us didn’t!” He sounded mad.
“There was a loud sucking noise and the last of the party-goers were cleared from the doorway. Scooter went and peered down the hallway. “He’s gone,” he muttered disgustedly. No point in chasing him now.” Floyd Pepper joined him, mustering.
“I still can’t believe—“
IT WASN’T US!” three voices roared.
All heads turned toward the end of the room where every eye saw, bewilderingly, all three Elvi standing irately in a clump with Piggy and Kermit.
“Then who--?”
“But how did--?”
“Why didn’t we--?”
There was a loud, piercing whistle from the front door. All eyes swung around to the sound of heavy, raspy breathing. Tomorrow, Thoreau would swear that he had a mild case of whiplash.
Animal stood in the doorway, looking pleased with himself.
“Well, lookee here,” said Floyd Pepper. It took a moment, but he eventually coaxed the well-chewed item from Animal’s teeth and, after rewarding Animal with a couple of quiches, held up something black and rather raggedy-looking.
“What is it?”
“Ew….”
“Is it…is it…dead…?”
“Looks like a bad toupee,” said Mabel.
“It’s a wig!” said Piggy.
“A man’s wig!”
“Hey--it’s one of ours!” cried Trey.
“But you said—“
“Then who was—“
“Scribbler—it had to be him!”
“And to think that he was here, with us!”
“Gives me the shivers is what,” said Gloria Jean, and shuddered.
Rizzo came up and put his arm around her waist. “If anyone’s going to give you the shivers,” he teased, “let it be me.”
Despite their best efforts at lightening the mood, the humor fell short and the best they could do is to stand in the reflected glow of the Christmas tree and hug each other. After about fifteen minutes of trying to comfort each other, the party began to disperse. No one left alone, but clump by clump the The Frog suite boiled slowly down to its original occupants.
Putting Robin to be was actually surprisingly easy. Coaxing Piggy into bed wasn’t hard either but, once cozied up to her delectable form under the covers, Kermit found he could not go to sleep.
He might have come to leadership reluctantly, but he had succumbed to it at last, recognizing in himself what others had always seen. And though leading the muppets had often looked more like chaos than order, there was an order to it. Or at least there had been. Now, all bets seemed to be off, and Kermit felt just a little like the little boy with three fingers in the dike watching the water pour through many other holes. He did not feel in charge. He did not feel like the boss. He did not feel like the captain. He felt bewildered and scared and desperately tired. And sleep, like the thief of time it was, eventually stole him away, too.
 

The Count

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Ha... What a great surprise to find this posted naught bot an hour and a half ago. The party was a great diversion, for some like Scribbler more than others. And now that his Elvis disguise has been flushed, it'll be interesting to see what the next step in his dark employer's plan will be. It really helped bring back a bit of the story's main action, and you can feel how a betrayal of this kind affected everyone, even Kermit wasn't immune to the revelation.

Thanks for posting... More please?
 

Muppetfan44

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oooh, the suspense is intense. Scribbler got inside......

Poor Kermit! You are definitely still the leader!

Loved the update! Anxiously awaiting more!
 

Ruahnna

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Thank you for still reading!

I just wanted to say a great big thank you to all of you who are still hanging in there with me on this story. That last post went up at 5:40 AM my time (sorry about the typos)and I was positively drooling on my keyboard (sorry about the drool) but I really wanted to put Christmas to bed. The New Year is coming and it's full of surprises.

My humblest thanks for all of you who are still with me!

Oh-one more quick note. I think I meant to flip-flop the last two titles, so Chapter 70 should actually have been "Shaken, Not Stirring" and the last one should have been "Role Call." (And NO, that was not a typo--it was an ironic allusion.)
 

Muppetfan44

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You're very welcome Ru!

I always love reading your stories! I wish I could comission you to write another ushy-gushy one-shot someday. The lack of new kermit/piggy ush gush is very saddening and your ush-gush always helps me escape reality every now and then

keep up the great work on this story!
 

The Count

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You're very much welcome Miss Catherine. I've come to love and look forward to this story and whenever it is that it gets updated. Can't wait to read all about whatever surprises the New Year brings for the Muppet cast and all their friends/supporters currently in Vegas.

Have a good weekend and hope you get the rest you need.
 

Davina

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hanging in all the way.. i so want to know what happens next, no matter how long it takes :smile:
 

ReneeLouvier

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oh wow, I can't wait to read more on your story! So glad to be able to catch up and read more on the story which I've been missing for quite sometime now. =D
 

The Count

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Hello to whoever this may concern... Was wondering if we could mayhaps please get an update/new chapter? It's one of my favest stories here and should like to continue reading of it. Thank you and have a good day.

*Hoping to still be in the story.
 

newsmanfan

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wow

Miss Ru,

I've started reading your story at the Count's recommendation, and though I still have to catch up to the rest of you (as of last night, I've read thru ch. 51), may this newbie just humbly say:

This.
Is.
F'in.
BRILLIANT.

pardon my Mock French...

I'm impressed. The characters are all very much three-dimensional, even hangers-on like Fleet Scribbler and Sal. The romance is believable and not overly gushy, despite your title note, and the suspense well-paced.

May I just say -- if you're NOT already writing professionally...

WHY THE H NOT?

IF not, get an agent! Although obviously you can't publish this one real-world (at least, not without licensing), clearly you have a wonderful grip on everything a good story needs to not only entertain but INVOLVE the reader. Brava, brava!
 
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