Kermie's Girl (ushy-gushy fanfic)

Ruahnna

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Chapter 83: (Un)common Goals

Kermit hopped off the couch and held out his hand for Piggy. She took it, then stood and walked with him out of the improvised sound stage to where Marty stood waiting for them.
“Pure gold,” Marty said, leaning down to kiss Piggy’s cheek. “You kids were great.”
“Thank you, Marty,” Piggy said, batting her eyelashes at him. She looked at Kermit and his carefully neutral expression and then at Marty, looking for some clue as to what they were thinking. None were forthcoming.
“I think…” she said slowly, “that I’ll powder my nose before we go.”
They watched her go, both knowing that Piggy had manufactured this excuse to give them a chance to talk. They also both knew that—deep down—she was still furious and hurt, but that she had slapped her professional veneer over it all to protect them. When she had disappeared from sight, Marty turned and looked Kermit over pretty thoroughly.
“Last night was pretty tough, huh?” Marty said. It was not really a question. “She yelled at me plenty. She yell at you?”
Kermit shrugged, noncommittal and rubbed the back of his neck with one slim hand. Something about his posture and the way he did not meet Marty’s eyes must have clued Marty in, for Marty reached out and patted Kermit fondly on the back.
“Ah,” he said. “I see.”
The ride home from Roberto’s had been strained, the luxurious backseat full of secrets and good intentions. Piggy had continued to try to sustain the illusion of excitement and happiness about the job offer, and Kermit had continued to let her. Before they had departed the restaurant, Piggy and Kermit and Marty had examined pages and pages of legalese, but finally everything had been signed, sealed and delivered. Once dinner was over—and no one had mentioned that Piggy had not really eaten although everyone, including Roberto and his staff, had noticed it—Kermit had found himself alone with his wife and his thoughts.
Kermit handed her into Marty’s private car and followed her. Marty leaned protectively in the doorway, smiling faintly at both of them.
“Stephan will take you home,” he said, inclining his head toward the driver. “I’ll catch a cab. See you in the morning—like we planned.”
“We’ll be there,” Kermit promised.
Piggy made some vague sound of assent, but her eyes were far away.
“Doll?”
“Yes, Marty?” Piggy’s voice was polite and attentive but there was no…her behind her eyes or her voice.
Kermit and Marty resisted the urge to trade looks, but it was not at all necessary since they both knew her so well. Piggy had acquiesced but she was still hurt and angry, feeling betrayed by both of them. They would have to work through it.
“You’re a good kid,” he said gently, and closed the door.
Piggy had made no answer to Marty’s words, but immediately after the car pulled out she turned her face toward the window, away from Kermit, and Kermit was positive he heard a sniffle. Piggy let him hold her hand, but she was lost in her own thoughts on the trip back to their home and Kermit did not try to intervene.
Kermit unlocked the door and stepped back to allow Piggy to precede him, but once inside the doorway, he paused, not sure what to do now that they were well and truly alone. They hung up their coats in the hall closet like strangers, polite but indifferent to each other, and Kermit waited wearily for her to yell at him, or turn reproachful eyes on him and make him feel like a heel. He stopped, starting to reach for her but never quite completing the gesture.
“Piggy, I—“
But Piggy turned on him with ferocity that surprised him, grabbed him by his lapels and kissed him hard enough to make him take two quick steps backward for balance. He found his balance and his equilibrium in the same moment, planting his feet and letting his arms mold around her while he tried his best to answer her desperate kisses. Despite the furor with which their lips were meshing, Kermit knew to move gently, tempering his passion with tenderness and letting her drive the pace of this…whatever this was.
She was angry—he could feel the emotion coming off of her skin like a wave pounding the shore, but she was also needy and vulnerable. Kermit did his best to withstand the assault on his senses and be the rock that she could cling to in a storm. He locked his arms securely around her, holding her tight against him and offering whatever she wanted to take.
If her kiss on the set the other day had put a crick in his neck, this might nearly put him in traction, Kermit thought. He tangled one slim hand in her honeyed locks and let his mouth open under hers, yielding to her and making no move to set the agenda for this encounter. She…felt him yield, understood that he was giving way to her, and some of the franticness seemed to leak out of her. She kissed him again, one hand cupping the back of his neck and the other still tangled in the front of his shirt, and he drew on the depths of his love for her and…relaxed. It was not easy. Every impulse in his body said to return fire for fire, to bar the gate and storm her defenses instead, but Kermit fought not to fight, to show her that he was willing, was waiting, was hers for the taking—or not.
As abruptly as she’d started, Piggy pulled away, putting her hand over her mouth and stepping back. Though his arms tried mutinously to resist the impulse, Kermit willed them to release her, giving her what freedom she might need.
For a long moment, Piggy just stared at him, her eyes blazing with fury and desire, and Kermit, who loved her more than he would ever be able to tell her, simply looked back with no attempt to hide his own emotion.
Frogs are naturally reserved. If you have ever made the acquaintance of a frog, you will find them loyal and true, but not overtly affectionate and not overly demonstrative. Although he had said it many times, and shown it many others, Kermit still often struggled to let Piggy see inside to the inner frog. He did his best—his very best—to drop all defenses and let her see him as he was in that moment—worried, contrite and needful himself. He did not need words—there are not always words adequate for what we are capable of feeling—to communicate to Piggy the way he felt. While he watched, her blue eyes filled with tears.
Kermit might have rushed in at that moment, to wipe those tears away and comfort and promise and soothe, but he did not. He waited for her, as she had so often waited for him. After a moment, she wiped savagely at the tears in her eyes and looked up at the ceiling.
“I’m so angry right now,” she said, then shook her head.
“I’m sorry,” said Kermit. “It was…I’m sorry we tricked you.” He did not attempt to defend it.
Kermit was not a master of the outright apology. He was much more likely to act sweet and tender and turn those pollywog eyes on her until she melted, so Piggy was more than a little surprised. She looked at him skeptically for a moment, her brow puckering quizzically, and Kermit wanted to vault over the distance between them and kiss that pucker away, but he did not. After a moment, Piggy’s eyes flew wide for an instant, then narrowed dangerously.
“But not sorry about what you did!” she accused.
Kermit’s look was smoldering in return. “No,” he said flatly. “I’m not sorry about that.”
Piggy had hi-ya’d him into oblivion many times. Kermit was painfully aware of the consequences of attracting her ire, but he did not flinch from her anger now. Piggy stood there for a moment, panting with anger and indignation, but she mastered herself and took a step backward. And another. And another. Without another word, she turned and started up the stairs to their room.
Kermit watched, far from certain at this junction what was expected. He could taste her kisses on his mouth, still feel the lingering heat of her body against the parts of him that had pressed up against the fevered warmth of her skin. He did not know what to say to her now.
Luckily, Piggy told him what to do. She stopped about four steps from the top of the staircase and looked back down at him, her expression blazing.
“Come up here and say that,” she challenged, and disappeared down the hall.
For a moment, Kermit just stood there, stunned, then he took a deep, steadying breath, girt up his loins and took the stairs two at a time.

Marty seemed to intuit what Kermit’s silence meant. He let his hand rest on Kermit’s shoulder for a long minute, not saying anything.
“I can’t know what this is costing you,” he said at last, “but I can guess. All I can say is that Piggy was right about you from the very beginning.”
Kermit looked up, his eyes bleak.
“You’re one in a million, Kermit. She’s lucky she has you.”
“Piggy’s lucky to have you, too, Marty. I know you’ll always do what’s best for her.”
Marty smiled. “You mean professionally?”
Kermit finally smiled. “No. Just what’s best for her.”
“Well then,” said Marty softly. “We’ll always have a common goal.”

“How many days is jet-lag supposed to last?” griped Statler.
“We drove you imbecile,” snapped his companion. “You can’t jetlag from driving.”
“Figures,” grumped Statler. “You can’t get anything you used to get anymore.”
“No,” muttered Waldorf snidely. “That’s just you.”

“I don’t care what you have to do—I don’t care who you have to bribe—I need everything we’ve got on the frog and the pig pronto!” screamed a network executive. “If we don’t have something one the air in ten minutes, every other cable station in the world will beat us to it!” Around him, underlings fled for their lives, pulling reports and uploading photos and articles with nervous fingers and twitchy mouses.
“I have photos from the theater days!”
“I have press releases from their studio.”
“I have the Brenda Starr article!”
“I have a headache!” moaned someone else.
In an obscenely short time, the newsroom was covered in papers and information.
“There’s so…much….”
“There’s…too much.”
“Yeah. Too much….”
She’s too much,” said a young reporter longingly. Two of the women shot him dirty looks, but no one argued with him.
“Okay—executive decision,” said the news editor, with a cautious look toward his boss. “Can the frog—let’s just go with the…with Miss Piggy. Let’s just run with her.”

“So who’s working this one with us?” asked Jacques. “Claude coming on this shoot?”
Daniel was suddenly busy cleaning his lens cap. He looked furtively around. “Um, it depends,” he muttered finally, satisfied that no one was near.
“Depends on what?” demanded Jacques. “Doesn’t he want the work?”
Daniel snorted. “Oh, he wants the…um, work all right, but it depends on whether or not the fro—the, uh, her husband is coming.”
“Oh.” Jacques was suddenly busy cleaning his lens caps. “So…so is he coming, do you think? The fro—er, her husband?”
Daniel’s shrug was elaborately casual. “You want me to ask Marty?”
Jacques nodded at once. “Yeah—I think everybody will want to know.”

Kermit and Piggy came in the soundstage entrance quietly, but everyone in the room seemed to know it at once. They surged toward the couple like one living body, enveloping them in furry, fuzzy, anxious warmth, dozens of eyes looking at them for some sign of how to react.
“Um, hi ho,” said Kermit. His voice stuck a little and he cleared his throat. “I guess you heard our big news.” This was harder than he expected. Today’s announcement had ostensibly been good news, happy news, but he was never going to sell that interpretation acting like the world was coming to an end. He gave the best smile he could muster.
No one seemed to know what to do first, and Kermit was pointedly reminded of the day he and Piggy had returned from their honeymoon and been greeted with such interest and awkwardness. Like then, Fozzie saved them all, plowing forward through the crowd and giving first Piggy and then Kermit a big, warm bear hug.
“Congratulations!” he said earnestly. He looked back to the cast and crew congealed behind him. “Let’s, um, hear it for Miss Piggy and her starring role on Broadway! Wah-ha-ha!”
Obediently, everybody clapped and murmured, and a genuine thrill of excitement rippled through the crowd. Broadway was Broadway, after all. Piggy did her best to preen and bask in the attention, but it was still more of an imitation diva act than the real thing. “You two looked great on television,” Fozzie added loyally. “Everybody said so.”
“Um, thanks, Fozzie,” Kermit said, smiling. He looked tired and rather subdued, Scooter thought, then Kermit caught his eye as well. “Thanks, Scooter,” he said, his voice carrying over the crowd. “Thanks for rounding everybody up.”
“Um, sure thing,” Scooter said. Scooter’s eyes strayed to his PDA and Kermit nodded almost imperceptibly. Kermit’s personal assistant took a deep breath and raised his voice to be heard above the crowd. “Okay, everybody,” Scooter barked. “Listen up. Our schedule is tight and we’ve lost some time this morning. If you’re on the schedule for today’s shots, looks at your schedule and figure out where you were supposed to be—“ He consulted his PDA again. “—an hour and a half ago. We’ll try to get through the morning stuff before we break for lunch.” He took a deep breath. “If you aren’t filming today, please accompany Miss Piggy off the set.” Scooter saw Piggy look up when he said her name and he grinned at her with as much enthusiasm as he could muster for something that was going to wound his boss so much. “Congratulations, Miss Piggy. Break a leg on Broadway!”
In spite of her mood, Piggy gave him a genuine diva smile. “Thank you, Scooter!” Knowing what was expected of her, she swept from the sound stage with all non-essential personnel in her wake. Kermit had to work, and it was up to her to provide the distraction.
 

The Count

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It's great to get all of this reading material. There's definitely some scheming afoot. Seems like everyone (Seymour, Scribbler, Claude) are forgetting that Piggy's married... Or perhaps they're banking on a longshot, just as well, they were in Vegas not that long ago and the bookies are probably taking down bets on what the Broadway news will bode for the The Frogs.
Regarding the play... I'll just wait for that to be surprised with the cast, although I've got some names in my head, influenced by previous Vegas performances in this fic.
Kermit will have to show his Atlas qualities, shouldering the weight of his world as Piggy's out and about on the boards. The depth of character is definitely coming forward and it helps deepen the scope of the story.

Thank you. Hope everything's okay for you and yours. :sympathy:
 

Ruahnna

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Chapter 84: Running the Gamut

Marty had been worried when Piggy called and said she wanted to talk to him. It had been two days since the announcement of her upcoming star turn on Broadway portraying Betty Rizzo in the revival of Grease!, and it was patently impossible for her to leave the house and come to him.
The The Frog home had already become a media circus. The day after the announcement, Kermit had been awakened at dawn to the sight of some 200 different news organizations and their sycophants parked as close to their front lawn as the law allowed. If the scrutiny had been uncomfortable before, it was miserable now. It would actually be a relief—Kermit began, then cut the thought off savagely. It would NOT be a relief when she was…when she… Miserably, he pushed the thought away. When the doorbell rang, he turned and stared at it in disbelief, enveloped in cold fury. They were NOT ALLOWED on his stoop, and he was going to take that scum-sucking, sensation-driven parasite and hurl him bodily down the
Kermit wrenched the door open and blanched. Marty looked at him apologetically and sidled past.
“Sorry, Kermit,” Marty said. “I couldn’t get closer than the corner, and I figured I might as well come in the front door since it’s closer.”
“Um, sure, sure,” Kermit said, trying to sound calm. Marty stepped back and scrutinized him, taking the unlit cigar out of his mouth.
“You almost took me out, didn’t you?” he asked, his mouth twitching up in a smile.
Kermit gritted his hard palate. “Yeah,” he said shortly. “I, um, thought you were one of them.”
“I’m offended,” Marty said, grinning broadly. “But glad to see you have a plan of action if they try to storm the house.”
In spite of his mood, Kermit grinned. It was impossible not to like Marty, who seemed to read every line of his body language almost as well as Piggy. “You have no idea what I’d like to do if they try.” He waved Marty ahead of him toward the kitchen.
Marty gave Kermit a penetrating look and some hand signals. “So how’s it been going?” Marty asked casually, while his hands clearly said, “Is she upstairs? Is she in hearing range?”
“She’s upstairs,” Kermit murmured. “The, um, exercise room doesn’t have any windows facing the street, so she’s up there.”
“Good, good,” said Marty, making his gravelly voice surprisingly soft. “Any idea what she wants to talk to me about?”
Kermit shrugged and shook his head.
“She’s not trying to weasel out of the deal, is she?”
“What?” said Kermit. “Oh—oh no. She’s definitely going.” There was a stubborn look to his jaw that made Marty believe him. “I think….” Kermit hesitated. “I think this is about the bikini shoot.”
“Oh.” Marty’s eyes climbed to the ceiling. “Oh—good.”
“Good?!” Kermit snorted. “I don’t think it so good.”
“Marty—is that you?” Piggy called. She peeked around the back stairs into the kitchen from the turn in the landing. “Come on up and see Moi,” she insisted.
Kermit motioned Marty up the stairs, the only male he was likely to allow alone with Piggy under his roof, but Piggy’s next words stopped him. “Vous too, Mon Capitan,” she called. “I need your advice, Sweetie!” She disappeared from view.
The two mean exchanged puzzled glances. Piggy sounded positively chipper, which meant she was either happy or scheming. Happy, they wanted. Scheming, they expected.
Again, Kermit waved Marty up the stairs, but Marty deferred.
“Your house,” he said.
Kermit appreciated the gesture, but tried to be polite in turn.
“Your client,” Kermit said.
Marty put a hand on his shoulder.
“Your pig,” he said. Kermit grinned and started up the stairs.

“Yeah, but—“ Scooter said for the fourteen time. The yelling voice on the other end of the phone didn’t even pause. Scooter held the phone away from his ear and scowled at it. Sara came up behind him and put her arms around his waist. She did not try to distract him, although she was certainly capable of it.
“But that isn’t our fault—“ Scooter tried again, then had to hold the phone even further away. Sara heard a few of the words coming out of the phone and flinched. Scooter promptly put his hand over the earpiece, and used kissing her cheek as an excuse to push her away from him a bit. “I’m taking this outside,” he mouthed, and went out on the tiny balcony. Sara watched him anxiously for a moment as he continued to struggle to get a word in edgewise, saw him scowl at the phone again and then saw his expression darken.
“Now look,” he shouted into the phone. “If there’s a problem I’ll be happy to work with you but I’m not going to stand here and have you scream at me. Either get to the point and stop shouting or I’m going to hang up!”
Sara crossed her arms across her chest and smirked. “Go get ‘em, Tiger,” she murmured. She watched for a moment more, but the conversation seemed to have gotten onto a more even keel, and she saw Scooter nodding and talking and making notes on his screen. After a minute, he looked around desperately, saw her through the glass and pantomimed a pencil and paper. Sara snatched the message pad and pen off the countertop, wiped something—maybe dust? maybe potato chip crumbs?—off of it and handed it out the sliding glass door to Scooter. He gave her the ASL gesture for “thank you” and began to scribble furiously. After a moment, Sara went back into the kitchen and checked on their supper which was warming in the oven. While she was checking on it, Scooter came in from outside, looking unhappy.
“What’s wrong, Scooter?” Sara asked.
“There’s a problem with the company doing the special effects.”
“What kind of problem?” Sara asked.
“They’re saying some of the footage we sent them in bluescreen isn’t usable,” he muttered. “They can’t edit in the special effects because they say that the color gamut isn’t complete.”
“Oh,” said Sara, eyebrows raised in surprise.
In spite of the worry on his face, Scooter grinned at her. “You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?” he teased.
“I…I know what bluescreen is, or…does,” Sara said, blushing. “It’s that thingy the weather people use.”
Scooter allowed himself to look impressed. “Ooh—pretty and smart,” he teased, and Sara swatted him with a dishtowel.
“Pretty mad and about to make a smart comment,” she huffed, but she was trying not to laugh. The dishtowel snapped him in the abdomen.
“Hey—ouch. Stop already—I’ll talk,” he protested. He leaned against the counter, thinking. Sara didn’t interrupt him because she recognized that faraway look for what it was—in his head, Scooter was rerouting the problem, trying to figure a way to fix it. Patiently, she waited, then impatiently. She checked casserole again, deciding it was done and taking it out of the oven. While Sara would not have described herself as Betty Crocker, her culinary talents definitely exceeded Scooter’s, who tended toward microwave unidentifiables, sandwiches and canned soups. The delicious smell brought Scooter out of his reverie and he inhaled appreciatively.
“Mmmm,” he said.
‘Sit,” Sara commanded. Scooter sat. Sara dished out two bowls of whatever smelled good but did not put one in front of him yet. He looked up at her and reached for it but she pulled it back out of reach. “Talk,” she said, trying to look tough. She put the bowl down in front of him and he put a spoonful of it in his mouth before she could stop him.
“Wow—what is this?”
“Vegetarian chili.”
Scooter took another big bite. “This is way better than my chili,” he said.
“That’s because your chili comes in a can,” Sara said, then gave him a stern look. “But I meant talk about what’s wrong. Can it be fixed?”
“What? Oh. Oh…well, I’ve been thinking about the problem and I think there’s a way around it. When we digitized the content to download it for them, we might not have used the right resolution. I’m pretty sure I can just download it for them again from the files.” He looked sheepish. “I usually keep backup files, and backup files of backup files.” He paused, and Sara could tell that if he took of his glasses there would be a little indentation of worry between his eyes. “What I don’t understand is why there was a problem with some of the scenes but not others. I mean, most of that conversion is done automatically, although sometimes the color separation is manipulated ….”
“Mmmm,” Sara said, gazing at him fondly. “Smart and sexy.”
Scooter almost choked.

“So what do you think about Moi’s idea?” Piggy demanded. She was very pleased with herself, and very pleased with the dumbfounded expressions on the faces of the two most important men in her life.
“Well, I…I mean, what do you think, Marty?”
Marty was looking at the sketches Piggy had made. Well, to be honest, he was reading the notes. Piggy was a veritable artist when it came to her appearance or her craft, but her drawing was not going to win any awards.
“What’s this supposed to be,” Marty said. “Is that Elmo?”
“It’s a fire hydrant,” Piggy snapped. She snatched the sketch pad away from him and looked at it. “Well, it supposed to be one, anyway,” she admitted. She fixed him with a pouty, belligerent stare. “Do I have to do everything myself? If you don’t like it, hire me an artist!”
“No, no—I like it. I like all of them—well, most of them. I don’t know what they’re gonna say about this one at the Stanley Mosk courthouse. The mayor will have a—“
“I know the mayor,” Piggy interrupted. “Not a problem, I assure you.”
“And the one at the dog park—you gonna call your little girlfriend Foo Foo for that one?”
“She’d bite for exposure like this,” Piggy said coolly.
“No, no—I like it. I’ll bite, too,” said Marty. He looked at Kermit. “So what do you think? You willing to do it?”
“Yes, Sweetie—will you do it with Moi?”
While Kermit was the CEO of Rainbow Productions and Piggy’s Mon Capitan, he was not used to being deferred to by Marty or Piggy, and especially not by both of them at the same time. Also, it was a little daunting to face the thought of a battery of barracuda photographers.
“I’d like to,” Kermit said, “but—“
“But what?” Piggy demanded. “Wouldn’t you rather be with me during the shoots than let me go off all by myself with those photo hounds?”
That was a foul by anyone’s rules and Piggy knew it. Kermit felt his anger flare, hating being put in this position.
“I’d rather you didn’t do the calendar,” he snapped, “but nobody asked me that.” He took a deep, calming breath. “So if you’re going to do the calendar—“
I am,” Piggy growled.
“—then of course I’d like to be there, too, but the truth of the matter is…I can’t. I cannot come on your swimsuit shoot with you.”
“But—but you go to work naked almost every day. Surely it’s not—“
“It’s not about the wardrobe!” Kermit gritted. “Piggy—I have to work. We’re getting some pressure from the backers because we took that extra time at Christmas—remember? We extended the show so we could stay? Now we’re a little behind—“
“How much?” Marty interrupted. Kermit told him, and Marty’s bushy eyebrows rose.
“Hmmm,” he said. It was not a happy sound.
“And they’re talking about moving us up to an earlier release.”
“And earlier release? Why didn’t you tell me, Kermie? This will change all the publicity and everything. Marty—what if—“
“Honey—one problem at a time, okay? Grease! is already going to put a crimp in the publicity, so I told Kermit—“
“Wait—wait! You—you’ve talked to Kermit about this—already?!” Piggy’s face swung back and forth between them, her electric blue eyes snapping. “I am getting sick and tired of being…discussed behind my back!” she cried. She stood up, glaring at both of them. “I am not some…some puppet to be manipulated by you two!”
“Piggy, honey—“
“Look, Sweetheart—“
“Don’t you ‘Honey’ and “Sweetheart’ me!’ she fairly shouted. She stomped one beautifully shod foot. “I will not have it! I won’t!”
She stormed from the room, and there was the sound of a door being slammed loudly down the hall.
For a moment, silence reigned in the little room. Marty spoke at last.
“That went better than I expected,” he said conversationally.
“Yeah,” said Kermit. “I thought she’d at least throw something at us.”
“Who says I’m not going to!” Piggy shouted from down the hall.
They went on as though they hadn’t heard her.
“I like the idea,” Marty said. “It would sell a lot of calendars—don’t you think?”
“I’d buy one,” Kermit said dryly, and Marty smiled and took the unlit cigar out of his mouth. “Look,” Kermit said, trying to explain. “I’d like to do the shoot with Piggy—I love to be there while she’s shooting, but…I can’t.” He inclined his head the direction Piggy had stormed. “I really don’t want her to worry about this postproduction stuff—that’s my problem,” Kermit whispered.
“Stop whispering!” Piggy shouted. “I know you’re talking about me!”
“No,” Marty said thoughtfully. “If they’re pushing your release date back…look, here’s an idea.” He looked at Kermit, trying to think how to proceed. “Kermit—do you know what photoshopping is?”
 

Ruahnna

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Ru: Aww, c'mon guys. Did I scare you with the lovey-dovey stuff or the technical stuff? I know you're out there--I can hear you breathing! Sheesh! Now I know how Fozzie feels.
Fozzie: (whispering) If you act pathetic, maybe they'll post a comment.
Ru: How do I do that?
Fozzie: Er, you're, um, doing fine on your own.
 

The Count

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:laugh: We're still here. Just been, checking on other things. But if you wanna post more story, by all means...
BTW: Any update for Err A-Parent in the future? :smile:
 

Muppetfan44

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Aww man, I totally posted comments last night but for some reason they didn't show up on here! I remember doing it because it was like 2am and I had just finished studying for the day :electric:.

Anyway, I wrote that as always, loved the updates. The intense romantic tension between Kermit and Piggy was, um, well, intense! Whew...is it hot in here! Loved you taking it up a couple of notches.

Concerned that the photoshopping might lead to a Scribbler frenzy down the line, but hopefully fans will be around the corner once again to stop him, :wink:

Great job as always and I can't wait to read more!
 

newsmanfan

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*Newsie surreptitiously taking notes in the corner of the theatre as the serial runs*
...hold her...yield...let her kiss all she wants; kiss back...
*looks up, startled*
Er...I didn't realize anyone else was in here...heh, heh...uh...thought...a few pointers...um...'scuse me!
*shoves notepad in inside coat pocket and flees out side exit, blushing*

Wow, that previous scene was steamin'! Marvellously well done -- not gushy at all, unless you consider molten lava "gushy"! And I love the interplay with the rest of the troupe, people secretly concerned about Piggy being separated from them. Very well considered!
*bringing in more popcorn and ginger beer*
On with the shows!

----------------------------------------------------
 

Ruahnna

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Okay--I have NO IDEA what is up with the type/font changes that are showing up when I post! Ed! Countie! Help me! I need you! (Posting it anyway....)
 

Ruahnna

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Chapter 85: The Best-Laid Schemes of Frogs and Men

As Piggy had observed, Marty usually had good ideas. Yesterday evening, she had finally been coaxed out of her room with entreaties and a cheesecake, and Kermit and Marty had settled her on the couch and explained their idea to her. Full of cheesecake, with Kermit’s arm warm and comforting around her and under Marty’s benevolent gaze, Piggy got over her snit and gave her approval.[/FONT][/COLOR]
“So, even though I can’t be with you with you, I’ll still be with you on the calendar,” Kermit said. Piggy allowed as how that was better than being left alone with alllll those photographers. She turned reproachful eyes on him, but Kermit managed to withstand it. He knew he was protecting Piggy from news that would worry her even if she didn’t know that. As for the photographic wolves, Kermit had another idea about that, which explained what he was doing talking to his old friend Sherwood on the phone.
“No—look Sherwood, this is great. It’s fantastic. I can’t thank you enough. Right.—uh huh. Miss Piggy can’t thank you enough either. Yeeessss. Um, right here with me,” Kermit admitted reluctantly. Wearily, he sighed. “Sure thing, Sherwood—here she is!”
Piggy took the phone from Kermit’s hand and cooed into it. “Oh Sherwood—Moi is soooo grateful for your help. We have been very anxious to talk to Kermit’s brother, so—no. No! No, never! Uh huh. When did that happen? Really? Really really? You are funning Moi.” Piggy giggled. Kermit fumed, but Piggy saw him sigh in frustration and cut the phone call short. “Um, look—no, really, Sherwood—Moi is so very thankful. Could you put him on?” She listened for a moment. “Right,” she said. “Is he there? Could you put him on for Moi?” She listened again. “On the phone, Sherwood. Put him on. Put. Him. On. Thephone!” She listened. “Yes—right now. Right now. Thank you! Kissy kissy! Merci beaucoup!” She paused. “It’s French. Right. French. It means you’re welcome. Right. You’re welcome.”
“Piggy, will you just tell him to put Jimmy on the phone!” Kermit exploded. “Sheesh!”
Piggy shot him a look and listened. “Hello Jimmy? Yes, dear—it’s Moi. What?” She giggled again. “Oh—vous are too kind. What was that?”
Kermit made a strangled noise and would have wrestled the phone away from Piggy but she handed it over to him with a dramatic roll of her eyes. Kermit didn’t know it but Piggy found him completely adorable when he came unraveled like that. Before, when they had been, well, almost dating, Kermit exploding was usually a precursor to admitting some uncomfortable emotion. Piggy had lived for moments when he was forced to reveal his jealousy or lack of indifference to her. While Kermit talked to his brother, Piggy snuggled up against him and put her arms around his waist. Kermit made a noise that managed to sound both grumpy and contented and put his free arm around her while he engaged in a few minutes of catch-up chit-chat with his brother.
“Look, Jimmy,” Kermit said seriously, coming to the point at last. “Here’s the thing. We—we need your help.”
There was a pause on the other end of the phone, and then Jimmy’s voice, firm and declarative. “Name it,” he said. Piggy’s head was resting against his chest, her eyes closed peacefully, but she smiled when she heard that voice, so like Kermit’s, through the phone.
Kermit told him. After a pause, Jimmy started to laugh. He chortled merrily at Kermit’s expense while Kermit stewed, waiting for his little brother to get it out of his system.
“Are you done?” he asked churlishly. Jimmy coughed and tried hard to straighten up.
“Yeah.” He cleared his throat. “Sorry about that, but it’s just…kindof a kick. When do you want me?”
They talked schedules and tickets, debating the merits of non-stops and red-eyes and the other sorts of things that men talk about when they can’t—or won’t—talk about other things.
“Got it,” Jimmy said at last. “I’ll be there.” There was a pause, and Kermit worried for a moment that Jimmy was going to let his mirth get the better of him again, but when Jimmy spoke, there was no trace of humor in his voice. “You know I’ll always be there if I can help, right?”
“Sure,” said Kermit automatically.
Jimmy persisted. “No—listen, Bro. I’m not just saying that. I mean it, okay?”
“Okay.” This time Kermit’s voice was very small, and Jimmy felt like he’d been heard.
“Anything else?” Jimmy asked. “Anything at all?”
Kermit heaved a big sigh. “Tell Mom not to worry?” he said, but without much hope.
Jimmy did laugh at that, but there was no mirth in it.
“Yeah,” he said. “Like that’s going to happen.”

“I like the sound of that,” said Rowlf into the phone. “When does it start?” He listened for a moment or two. “Uh huh,” he said. “Uh huh. Er, no—I don’t mind sharing a room with the drummer—if he’s housebroken.” Rowlf chuckled and then stopped. “Oh,” he said. “I see.” Then, “Sure, sure—bass player is fine.” He listened for a moment longer, nodding most of the time, then gave a little woof of laughter. “No—thank you,” he said at last. “It’s a pleasure doing business with you.”
Taking yourself for a walk was restful sometimes, he thought. He’d really enjoyed the stay in Vegas, the daily shows, the time with Foo, but it was nice to be back home and in his own place again. Not that he’d get to stay there for long. He smiled to himself, picking up the pace a little to work his gluts. Foo Foo had made some sort of comment about that….
Going on the road was going to be good, too. Nothing awfully big-time, but sometimes the real fans were in the trenches. On this stop, he’d get to play a little rag-time, a little rock-a-billy, and little jazz. Feeling jazzed, Rowlf gave a good long all over shake—and started to work on his gluts in earnest.

Scooter was at the studio earlier than everyone else. This was not unusual. He was often at the studio long before everyone else, but today he had come in and put in a good two hours work before anyone else so much as wandered in for coffee.
The last film would be shot today, and after that, this place would be a ghost-town compared to when they were thick in the middle of filming. Yesterday had been sparse—today would be stark, and after that it would mostly be him and Kermit and all the other technical end people; the acting talent would move on to other things. Times like that were a little creepy, but the solitude was kindof nice. Unlike other studios, they rarely shared space with other companies, so they would have the complete run of the soundstage, the editing rooms, the commissary. Scooter sighed. He missed Mabel and her always-open kitchen, but right now he wouldn’t have said no to a bowl of cold cornflakes.
Somebody grabbed him from behind, pinning his arms to his side. Scooter let out a “Gaaahhhh!” of surprise and broke their hold on him. He was no martial arts expert but he had been through a self-defense class and he succeeded in freeing himself and turning to face his attacker, arms raised.
“Scooter!”
Huh?! What the hey?! “Sara? Sheesh—you just about gave me a heart attack,” Scooter said, putting a hand against his pounding heart. “Did I—oh, gosh—did I hurt you?”
“No. I’m sorry,” she muttered, cheeks flaming. “Sorry—I didn’t mean to scar—um, startle you,” she mumbled. Sara looked mortified, which made him smile and reach out to pull her to him.
“You scared the heck out of me,” Scooter admitted. He did not feel obligated to pretend to be macho or fearless for her, and seeing her embarrassment tempered his own. “But it’s great to see you here.” He did not quite make it a question, but Sara looked up.
“I made muffins,” she said, looking uncertain.
“You…you made muffins?” Scooter asked. “For me?”
“It’s just a box mix,” Sara started to back-pedal, but Scooter put his arms around her and kissed her.
“I don’t care if you got them from Chef,” he said.
“Yes you would,” Sara murmured, but she was laughing.
“Okay, maybe I would. But…but that was really sweet.” He was kissing her again when Kermit walked in.
Scooter’s cheeks turned pink but he did not release her at once. “The Bossman cometh,” he said dryly, and Sara giggled. “I have to go.”
“Me, too,” Sara said. “I’ve got some errands to do after,” she said. “Work late if you need to.”
“Great,” moaned Scooter in mock horror. “Right in front of my boss.”
Kermit smiled, walking over. “I heard that,” he said with mock sternness, but Scooter and Sara only grinned. “Hi, Sara.”
For some reason, Sara felt shy, but Kermit put her immediately at ease.
“Scooter, I’m going to go poke my head into editing for a minute before everybody starts to arrive. I’ll see you on the set. Nice to see you again, Sara—I promise I’ll try not to keep him too late.”

Scribbler’s boss sat back in the shabby desk chair and looked over Scribbler’s draft with something bordering on, ugh, respect. The little cockroach could write, that’s for certain—not that there was any intention of sharing that little nugget of approval. Since the news had broken about the silly sow running off to Broadway, the sullen, morose Scribbler had practically blossomed. He bounded into the office with a pep that was revolting, and spent hours writing, editing, rewriting and printing copy. Their rag had only done a couple of quick, snide announcement types of articles, praising Broadway’s acumen in pulling little miss porkchop away from her little froggy handler. Going for the jugular had been roundly vetoed by Scribbler with a decisiveness that had not been appreciated, but it had to be admitted that the little vermin seemed to know what he was doing. These features were poised for when she was already in the big apple, when it was too late to take precautions against them. As a strategy, it was underhanded and corrupt—two things heartily approved of in this office. Hmpff. The idiot had actually been humming yesterday. And today—this….
This was…good. More than good, actually. No one had ever captured Miss Piggy in all her glory and capriciousness the way Scribbler had. Why, in his time—in their time—Scribbler had been the master of his craft…and the slave to Piggy’s whims. There’s no telling where things would have led if it hadn’t been for that sneaky, underhanded, conniving frog. Fury, sudden and blinding, took hold. How dare he! How dare Kermit the dreamer disrupt other people’s dreams—scuttle other people’s plans like that! He didn’t know—couldn’t know—what it was like to lose…everything, but—
The red cloud receded in the wake of a terrible, awful smile, and two thin lips pursed in satisfaction.
--he was about to!

As Yoda would have observed, “Do or do not. There is no try.” For the third night in a row, it was late, even by Kermit’s standards, when he dropped Scooter off and made his way home. He hardly even noticed the paparazzi camped with increasing melancholia the exact number of feet from the house required by law. He and Piggy had talked by phone several times, and she knew not to wait for supper for him. Although still miffed at him about the way he and Marty had manipulated her response to the job offer, the job offer itself was becoming increasingly real to her. She was studying the script, working with her vocal coach on the songs and doing exercises every day that Kermit liked to watch if she didn’t catch him at it. Actually, it was kindof fun if she caught him at it, too, for there was bound to be an argument, and bound to be a kiss-and-make-up. Kermit smiled tiredly. They had always excelled at the kiss-and-make-up part of their relationship, and though she had been furious with him, Piggy had not wanted to waste their dwindling time together arguing. They had found…other things to do.
Tomorrow, Jimmy would arrive and the day after that, shooting would start on the calendar. Following Piggy’s example, Kermit had stopped arguing about the calendar. She was going to do it, and her fans were going to go ga-ga over it—as usual—so he frogged up and shut up about it. He had long ago resigned himself to sharing Piggy with the world—it was simply a matter of how much of her he was willing to share. Although he could hardly feel sanguine about Piggy being surrounded by hordes of drooling photographers while wearing nothing but beachwear, having Jimmy there would surely provide Piggy with someone she could call on if necessary. In spite of himself, Kermit’s mouth twitched into a smile. While he was enormously protective of her feelings, she had rarely needed a knight in shining armor for his brawn. People who crossed the line with Piggy once didn’t usually do it a second time—once they got out of the hospital. He was unreasonably proud of the fact that he had withstood more of her hi-yas than anyone who had lived to tell the tale, but he was smart enough to know that she had rarely meant to really damage him. Okay—maybe a couple of times, but only when he’d really deserved it. He came in the door to the sound of voices and was immediately on guard. He padded quietly toward the kitchen, listened for a moment, and then hurried into the room.
“Jimmy!”
Kermit’s brother stopped in mid-sentence, his mouth splitting into a broad smile. He stood up and the two men, er, frogs embraced. She saw but did not hear them whispering affectionate greetings, and she saw Jimmy’s hand clasp the back of Kermit’s neck in a way that reminded her forcefully of Kermit’s father, James. She sat quietly and looked at the table, letting them have a moment.
It was a moment only. “You look terrible,” Jimmy observed. He shot Piggy a cheeky look. “You’re working him too hard,” he teased.
Color flamed into Piggy face, but Kermit just looked at his brother mildly. “Not possible,” he said, and it was Jimmy’s turn to look scandalized.
“I am sooo out of here,” Piggy muttered, starting for the back staircase, but both of them reached out and snagged a hand.
“Sorry, Piggy,” Kermit murmured. He leaned toward her, brushing a kiss across her cheek.
“Sorry—sorry,” Jimmy insisted. “Just yanking the old man’s chain. I’ll behave.”
Kermit snorted. He looked at the table and the remains of something on Jimmy’s plate. His eyes must have looked hopeful, for Piggy got up at once and pushed him into her chair. The dining room would seat, oh, everybody at the same time, but the kitchen table was just a small family affair. Kermit sat, and though he and Jimmy launched instantly into all the news and gossip from home and here, interspersed with good-natured insults and rude observations, his eyes followed Piggy lazily as she heated a Styrofoam bowl of soup and brought him a sandwich from the white paper deli sack. Piggy was not very domestically inclined, but he had never starved.
She put it before him and started to lean against the wall, but Kermit reached out and pulled her onto his lap. If he found it difficult to eat one-handed, he gave no sign of it, and Jimmy was first tolerant and then amused and then touched watching Kermit come back to life in Piggy’s presence. One of her satin-clad hands rested lightly on the back of his head, occasionally caressing his smooth skin, and she watched him eat and talk with eyes that were amazingly soft. Kermit ate everything before him, and only reluctantly allowed Piggy to get up and bring him another sandwich. While she did, Kermit’s eyes followed her every movement as though afraid she might evaporate.
Piggy came back to the table and sat down in her own chair. Kermit supposed it might be difficult to conduct business in a professional manner while sitting on someone’s lap, so he didn’t complain.
“So—talk to me about this calendar,” Jimmy said. He saw Kermit grimace and quickly wiped all traces of mirth off his face. “Um, I mean, um, tell me what you need me to do on the shoot.”
Kermit started to speak, but his eyes sought Piggy’s, and she smiled at him, then turned to Jimmy.
“Moi is doing a bikini calendar,” she said by way of preliminaries.
“Here, here,” said Jimmy, getting a scowl from Kermit, but Piggy turned and regarded him levelly for a long moment. “Sorry,” he muttered. “I’ll just…you know, shut up and listen.”
“Yeah—do that,” Kermit snapped, but not quite audibly.
“What a good idea, Jimmy dear,” Piggy said, but she had carried her point. “Well, initially, Moi was planning on going to some exotic location—the white beaches of Zanzabar, the Amazon jungle, the banks of the Nile, St. Crois.” She shrugged. “Those are all lovely locations, but Moi doesn’t really need a beautiful location to stand out in a swimsuit.”
Jimmy kept his face carefully blank by biting his tongue hard. Who said Kermit had all the acting talent in the family? “No, of course not,” he murmured.
“So….Moi thought, ‘What does every hardworking man really want to see? Some girl on a beach somewhere that he will never go to? Or a real woman in a real, everyday setting.”
“Kermit said something about filming in city locations?”
“Aha—yes,” cried Piggy, delighted. “We are going to take pictures at a construction site, at a Court House, a coffee shop, a bakery….”
Jimmy started to grin. “Places everybody has to go by,” he said thoughtfully. “Everyday places.”
“Yes. Moi wanted them to think that in the middle of their mundane lives they might catch a glimpse of….”
“Paradise?”
Piggy blushed, but Kermit was grinning and it was he who had spoken. It was the first time that Piggy could remember Kermit smiling about the calendar.
“I…really like that idea. But what am I going to do?” Jimmy asked. “Kermit said something about being a body double…?”
“That’s right. Moi also thought,” Piggy began, and shot a surreptitious glance at Kermit’s face, “that it would seem strange that a lovely girl in an everyday setting would not already have company.”
“Piggy wanted me to be in the shots with her,” said Kermit, and it was his turn to blush a little. “Not…not all of me in every shot. Just the suggestion of me—a hand on the coffee mug at the coffee shop, a construction worker working on the sidewalk—just, you know, a presence.”
“So everyone would get to see Moi in a more, um, natural setting.”
“In a bikini and high heels in a grocery store,” Kermit murmured, and Piggy shot him an irritated look.
“So you need me to…be you?” Jimmy looked surprised, then amused, then incredulous. “Hey, hey,” he began. “I know that I am devastatingly good-looking—“
Kermit snorted and Piggy narrowed her eyes at him.
“—but I, you know, haven’t ever really done that kind of work in front of a camera,” he stammered. He looked a little discombobulated and flustered, and Piggy began to giggle. Kermit shot him a smug, self-satisfied look.
“Relax—you’re just going to stand in for me so they can get exactly the shot they need. Later, I’ll be photographed and photoshopped into the picture.”
“So…so, you’re saying I’ll be completed edited out in the finished copy,” said Jimmy. “You just need me to, er, hold your place.”
“That’s right,” said Piggy. “It will make their job soooo much easier to know exactly where Kermit ought to go in the picture.”
“But…okay, I’m not the sharpest shovel in the shed, but…why isn’t Kermit just going on the photo shoot?” He looked at Kermit quizzically. “Why aren’t you just going on the photo shoot?”
“Because he has to work on our movie,” Piggy said, sharing a look with him a look that was hard to read. “And because of my, um, because of my new contract we don’t have time to wait for his schedule to clear to start shooting. I have to be in New York in less than two weeks, and the play opens with me in three.”
“Oh.” Jimmy looked at Piggy, then at Kermit. “Wow—less than two weeks.”
“The schedule’s going to be fairly tight,” Kermit said. He started to speak, closed his mouth, opened it again and finally blurted. “It might look fun in the finished product, but this kind of shooting isn’t really all that much fun.” He looked at Piggy and there was, again, something that passed between them that Jimmy couldn’t name. “Of course,” he said slowly, looking only at Piggy. “It would be more fun if it was me….”
“Not for the photographers,” Piggy murmured. Jimmy saw Kermit’s eyes blaze with indignation for a moment and jumped in smoothly to intercede.
“Not to worry,” he said cheerfully. “I am the original fun guy.”
 
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