My Pet Aminal
The life of Buffy, Xander and Willow if muppets were real. Disclaimer:
I, Sojogogo do not own the Muppets or anything in the Buffyverse. I… I really wish I did… *sniff*… but – I don’t. (wiping tears from eyes) No, I’m fine. It’s okay, continue reading. Author’s notes:
I bought the second season of the Muppet Show, while watching it I had been reading a fanfic story and this idea sorta came to me. Weird as it is, it makes me laugh. Mostly because I’m actually writing it. Changes to the Buffyverse and Muppetverse:
Miss Piggy and Kermit are married. They said they weren’t married on the Muppet Show to bring more drama into it. They have three children. Clarisse, (a pig) 10 years old, Tomas (a frog) 8, note that they are all French names, and the youngest is Buffy, (a human) 7. Buffy was Kermit’s goddaughter but the Summers died in a tragic accident and Kermit and Piggy adopted her when she was around two years old.
I know… I can’t believe I’m still writing.
Gonzo is a plumber by trade. His dream is to be a daredevil (see The Muppet Show). His dream before that was to be a father. That, however, became fulfilled one day six and a half years ago while driving through Sunnydale. He fixed some plumbing at the Harris’s house. The Harris’s didn’t have any money so he offered to take their infant son Alexander instead. They agreed since they really didn’t want him. Xander has only known Gonzo as his father and Camilla the Chicken (Gonzo’s girlfriend) as mom.
Yeah, I have a strange mind.
Lastly, Floyd and Janice of the Dr. Teeth and Electric Mayhem Band have always had a free relationship being ‘man and woman’ with each other. To their surprise they find out that Janice is pregnant. Born tiny and slim with Floyd’s flaming red hair. Being love children of the 60’s they name her… you guessed it, Willow Tree, or Willow for short. (she is human…)
So, no slayer, no watcher, no witch. However, the three are around the same age and all their parents work at the J.P Theater on the Muppet Show. I’m going to assume that everyone who reads this knows what all the muppets look like so I’m not going to go into any depth to describe them.P.S.
This should be interesting… Oh, and it takes place in the late 70’s. If I can remember back that far. And I’m assuming the theater is in New York.
Mid Afternoon, outside the J.P. Morgan Theater, New York City…
“Nah man,” Floyd Pepper said as he sauntered across the street from the backstage doors of the theater where he was working at towards the hotel where the Electric Mayhem Band was living at the moment. He was walking with one of the other members of the pit band. “My woman kept on about puttin’ our little sprout in a school and stickin’ around for a while is all. Dig?” he told him.
Behind them a wood paneled station wagon pulled up. Miss Piggy sat in the driver’s seat with her hair in curlers and cold cream on her face. Two cast extras waiting outside while having a smoke were looking her way. “Take a picture it’ll last longer!” she bit out at them sarcastically and the two scrambled off to be elsewhere, Miss Piggy was not one to be trifled with.
“Moooooommmm!” Buffy called out from the seat behind her. “Tell Clary to give me back my Barbie mirror!”
Piggy looked behind her as she shut the car off. “Clarisse! Knock it off!”
The two girls had silky blond hair and blue eyes, but that was where any likenesses ended. At ten years old Clarisse had quite a few pounds and inches on over her seven year old sister. Then again, Clarisse was a pig and Buffy a human.
“I was just looking at myself Mummy,” Clarisse replied in a young voice not unlike Miss Piggy’s own. “Link will be there.” She gave out an ‘in love’ sigh.
Buffy made a face at that as Tomas peered up over the back of the seat in the very back. “Can we go see Dad?” the mini Kermit asked. Robin, their cousin looked over the seat with him. He was four and usually with his older cousin.
“Maybe Xander can play,” Robin said. Tomas nodded at that. Robin was quite a bit smaller than Tomas and much smaller than Xander.
“And Willow,” Tomas finished.
“Tommy has a crush!” Clarisse sang out and Buffy smiled.
“Tommy and Willow sittin’ in a tree,” Buffy began to sing. Tomas blushed at that. Willow was just a little taller than Tomas and not much bigger.
“K-I-S-S-I-N-G!” the two girls began to sing together.
“Oh brother,” Piggy muttered as she got out of the station wagon and opened the back door. “Out! Out! All of you!”
There was a mad rush as the four children piled out and up the steps into the theater’s back stage doors. Piggy looked to her makeup kit and layers of clothes in the back of the station wagon and sighed as she looked around for an unsuspecting victim. Normally she’d have Kermit get it, but he was busy and with the children around him it wouldn’t make it in, in time.
“Oh Gon-zzzzoooo,” she sang out seeing the little weirdo coming from his run down Volkswagen Beetle parked on the other side of the road behind the Electric Mayhem’s bus.
“Miss Piggy,” he said looking her over, his eyebrows going up at the sight of her.
She knew he had a crush on her even if she was married to his boss. “Gonzo would you be a dear and take my things inside to my dressing room?” she asked sweetly.
“I’d be delighted Miss Piggy!” he said trying to act suave around her.
“Thank vous!” she sang out to him as she went inside. “Sucker,” she said under her breath. No one, not even the little weirdo would ever turn her eye from short, green and handsome.
She went up the steps and saw Kermit surrounded by the kids. Xander wasn’t too far away watching, his dark hair sticking up all over, he was dressed in dirty corduroys and a t shirt with what looked like soot. Honestly she couldn’t understand how Gonzo, of all people, could ever raise a child. The kid was a good kid but just as strange as his father.
“But mama,” she heard spoken softly from the music storage room.
“No way little girl,” Janice said in her valley girl-60’s voice, but it was firm. “It’s good for you to go play.”
“But I don’t want to mama, I want to read,” Willow said.
‘The only sane one of the entire group of freaks was a six year old child’, Miss Piggy thought as she waved to Kermit who nodded to her as Buffy and Robin tried to compete in telling him a story.
Floyd thought it was cool to have a kid. He was a laid back father who doted on his girl. Willow could do no wrong in his eyes and if she was of the mind Willow could get away with murder. Janice, for all her air-headedness became the disciplinarian.
Not that Willow really needed it. Compared to her own offspring Willow was an angel. Piggy was up on the second floor in front of her dressing room by now as she looked over the banister to see Janice come out of the music room with Willow in tow. Like the other girl they were both in jeans, keds and flowery shirts. Willow was tinier than Buffy with beautiful red hair and deep green eyes. Those, Piggy didn’t know about, she never really saw either of musician’s eyes. Buffy hopped over Willow’s way, the two were best friends. Clarisse had deemed herself too old to ‘play’ with children, though she usually ended up with the pair to play dolls.
Janice handed the shy girl over to the rambunctious blond and Buffy led her off to go play. Tomas and Robin went with Xander to play hot wheels in the basement while Clarisse began to follow Link around, who was too stupid to realize just what the ten year old was going on about.
Miss Piggy looked at the chaos and nodded once before going into her dressing room, all was as normal at the J.P. Morgan Theater.
Alexander the Great, yes, it was his legal name though he just liked to be called Xander, sat down between his two best friends. It didn’t matter that they were frogs, his dad was a… a… he still wasn’t sure what his dad was, but he loved him. He always tucked him in at night and told him wild stories and said that he was his son and he could do anything he wanted to. And Xander believed him.
They never had a lot, but he never went hungry and the Theater had been the first place they had stayed at for the past year without traveling. He had grown up being his dad’s right hand man for many of his stunts when they toured. Xander knew how to dial 9-1-1 really well, even though his dad, while smoking and half burnt thought that the stunt went really well.
Yeah, he knew his dad was strange, especially after meeting Mr. Kermit and Willow’s dad, Floyd. You didn’t call him Mr. Pepper, that didn’t go down well with him so it was just Willow’s dad or Floyd. Even more so that his mom was a chicken, that got him into a lot of fights at school, a human with a chicken for a mother. But Buffy had stood up for him since her parents were a pig and a frog and she dared anyone to make her mad, which they didn’t since she was a mean hair puller. And if you got Buffy as a friend you got Willow and Tommy.
“Dad gave me a dime and look what I got,” Tommy said as Robin pushed two hot wheels along almost crawling over Xander who was laying on the floor with ten of his own hot wheels in front of him.
The boys looked to see a new Batman comic and squishing together they began to read it. Xander read out loud since Robin was still working on his letters.
The door to the basement opened and the boys looked up to see Kermit standing in the doorway. “Hey kids,” he told them. “Robin, did you want to be in the show this evening?” he asked.
“Yes, Uncle Kermit!” he said excitedly. He wanted to be a performer just like him. Robin hopped up the stairs as Kermit looked to his son and son’s best friend.
“You two okay?” he asked them and they nodded, neither wanted to be in show biz so they didn’t mind not being asked to be on stage. Kermit nodded and shut the door. The boys looked to each other and smiled. The comic was read and put away and then they went to where Gonzo’s stuff was stored. It was never locked, Gonzo didn’t care who used it, then again, most of it was dangerous, or broken.
Xander huffed as he pushed out a small car made to go really fast. This is what they wanted to do, they had decided to be mechanics and drive race cars when they grew up. Every day they came to the basement, swearing Robin to secrecy, and worked on the car. It was just large enough for a Gonzo, a frog, or a young boy.
It barely ran, but it ran nonetheless. Xander sat down taking in a breath as he looked to the clanker of a busted up car. “Should we paint it?” he asked Tommy.
Tommy had a helmet on as he got into the seat. “Driving is funner,” he replied. “We can paint later.”
Xander agreed as he shoved on his own helmet he had gotten for his birthday from his dad and mom. “Who’s driving first?”
Not much later, if the cast and crew upstairs had been listening and not getting the show ready they would have heard the whirr of an engine down below and two boys cheering.
Tommy was driving while Xander precariously sat on the front of the car to balance their weight. “Wheee!” Xander cried out as he hung on tighter as Tommy weaved them past an old prop almost slamming Xander into it. “Maybe they’ll let us drive this way when we’re big!” he cried out as Tommy turned sharply and they went under a small bridge prop. Xander wacked his helmeted head into the bottom of it. He shook his head blinking through the surprise as they cleared the bridge.
“You okay?” Tommy asked as he slowed down. He didn’t know it was that low, but then when Xander went under it with Tommy on the front, he always fit under it.
Xander motioned back to him. “Fine! Go! Go! Go!” he called happily to him even though his ears were ringing loudly.
He was his father’s son.
Miss Piggy was dressing behind the screen in her room as she listened to two girls giggling in the corner of her dressing room by the couch. She hummed to herself not minding them there. At six and seven years old Buffy and Willow were just too tiny to be out wandering around the theater. A few monsters had almost crushed them when they went on strike once and the theater was a madhouse, and one stupid moron had thought the girls would make a good meal.
He picked up Willow first but before he even got the then 4 year old to his mouth a guitar was jammed into it by a very angry mother. Willow had been screaming her lungs out and Animal had attacked.
She stopped arranging her lacy camisole as she thought about this. Animal had dragged the monster out of the theater and no one had ever seen him again. Janice kept her daughter nearby but it was Animal that kept almost everyone at bay from the tiny redhead for many months until Willow seemed okay.
She made a face at the thought of the monster. She figured he was a family pet, and in a way he was. Willow treated him like one and he followed the tiny girl everywhere if she called to him. To everyone else, except her father Floyd, they were wary of the crazy drummer.
“You could kiss him and see,” she heard Buffy said to Willow.
“No,” Willow replied back worriedly. “Boys have cooties.”
“But he wants you too,” Buffy said coyly.
Piggy sighed. “Buffy,” she got out.
“But he does Mom,” Buffy told her. “Willow this, and Willow that.” She mimicked Tomas.
“And who do vous do that about, hmmm?” Piggy asked knowing that Tomas would be mortified if he knew Buffy was squealing about him.
It was silent and Piggy smirked to herself. A boy named Jason in her grade that Willow knew but she only told her mom about it.
“But then Willow could be my sister for real,” Buffy replied finally.
Piggy rolled her eyes. “You have a lot of years before all of that happens, missy,” she told her.
Buffy made a noise of displeasure but soon the girls were playing again.
Clarisse came barging into the room leaning against the door with her hand over her heart. “I think he loves me back, mama,” she said overdramatically.
Piggy rolled her eyes again. She knew she acted that way herself on the show and in real life on occasion, but Link?
“He’s a doody-head,” Buffy said and Willow giggled. Her younger daughter had said what she thought about Link in seven year old form.
“He is not! You take that back!” Clarisse yelled at her sister.
“You’re a double doody-head for looooving him,” Buffy taunted.
Clarisse made a noise and went after her sister. “Girls!” Piggy called out. Pulling on her dress she came out to see Willow standing out of the way as her daughters fought on the couch. Even for her size and weight Buffy could take on Clarisse if she tried hard enough. For the most part it was half fighting, half playing.
“Mom! Mom!” Tommy came in happily as the Clarisse put a fist back ready to try at get Buffy only to have her elbow connect with Tomas’ head and the little frog went down.
“ENOUGH!” Piggy warned them and the fight stopped as Tomas lay on the floor. Just like his father, he was not a fighter and didn’t do well with getting hit. “Tomas?” she said as she knelt down by him. Willow was on the other side as were his sisters.
“I didn’t mean too mummy,” Clarisse said softly.
“Go get a wet cloth,” Piggy said as she lifted Tomas up and onto the couch. Clarisse went off as the other girls surrounded him.
Wet cloth on his forehead Tomas’ eyes slowly opened as the first curtain call came up. Piggy wasn’t set to go on for a little while and he seemed okay. His eyes went to Willow who was looking worried and he smiled at her then kissed her and Willow blinked several times before running out of the room.
“I got cooties!” she yelled.
“I told you he wanted to kiss her,” Buffy muttered smugly to her mother. Piggy sighed.
Half an Hour Later…
Willow was chewing on her lip as she sat on one of the crates outside the props room backstage. The show had started and at the moment it was her, Buffy and Xander watching as everyone ran around making the evening’s show go. Clarisse was in her mom’s dressing room watching over Tommy who was still out of it. Willow chewed harder on her lip as she thought about that kiss. Gucky. She liked Tommy, but kissing – she sighed as she looked to her blond friend who teased her about it. It was a nice kiss, more like her first kiss.
Xander looked to them. “I’m bored,” he said honestly. He didn’t get to help his dad with his performance; Kermit told him that seven year olds didn’t get to be shot out of a cannon while Gonzo attempted to catch him while reciting the third act of Hamlet. Both Xander and Gonzo were disappointed at that. They’d practiced it all weekend and his dad only missed him twice.
“So, what are we going to do?” Buffy asked as she chewed on her fingernail polish hoping to wear it off faster so she could try out her mom’s newest sparkly purple color.
The three sat there for a while as a plume of smoke erupted from the stage into the staging area after a kaboom lit up the theater. “I told you no explosions tonight Crazy Harry!” Kermit was yelling at the weird man out on stage.
“At least it’s not the fish,” Buffy replied.
“The fish are cool,” Xander countered. Boomerang fish were always cool to a young boy. Then again most things were cool to a young boy that came through the theater. It was then that his eyes went wide and he dashed off down the stairs for the basement.
“Boys are weird,” Willow said lying back on the crate. Buffy nodded in agreement. Xander came running back up the stairs when he showed them with a flourish a magnifying glass he had from a detective kit he and his dad had gotten a few weeks ago. The two girls looked at him and it then back at him, neither were excited.
“It’s a magnifying glass!” he told them, just in case they didn’t know.
Willow yawned as Buffy nodded. “We know that, you can’t go burn ants now, its dark outside,” Buffy reminded him.
Xander stuck his tongue out at her. “Not for that! We could play Scoody-Doo!”
“Scooby-Doo,” Willow corrected sitting up. “We only get to go as far as the parking lot.” All their moms would kill them if they went any further. Especially at night.
“I can be Fred,” Xander continued on as if he hadn’t heard her. “Buffy can be-,” he looked to her hair. “No girls got blond hair on Scoob-Dee-Doo.”
“I want to be Daphne,” Buffy told him. “She’s pretty.”
“But Willow has red hair like Daphne!” Xander countered. “She’s pretty!”
“Fred has blond hair,” Willow replied.
Buffy scowled at her best friend. “I am not being a boy!”
“Fred’s a man,” Xander countered.
“I’m not a man either!” Buffy said glaring at him.
Xander made an annoyed face at her and the three sat again, instead of bored they looked annoyed. “Why don’t we just be Willow, Buffy and Xander?” Willow offered not liking to see her friends mad at each other. “And Aminal can be our doggy. We can still be the Scoobies.”
The other two nodded. “Where are we going to go to find bad guys at?” Buffy asked.
“We can pretend,” Xander told them. “The parking lot can be scary.”
The three stopped from going any further when they heard a ‘hi-ya’ yelled and soon someone was flung from the stage out to where they were, the actor groaned where they lay.
“Someone made Mom mad,” Buffy replied as a large group of dancing aliens made their way through the backstage to get ready for their act.
“I’ll have to tell my Mom if I want to go out,” Willow said as she got down from the crate.
Buffy nodded and soon Xander did too. Gonzo was easy going but he was a good dad and wanted to know where he was. The three went off to find a parent. Kermit and Gonzo were easy to locate as Gonzo was begging for a bigger cannon for his act at Kermit’s manager desk by the edge of the stage.
Kermit sighed as he looked to the strange creature who was his friend. “How are you going to get it ON stage?” he asked hoping Gonzo saw reason.
“Don’t you worry about it!” Gonzo said with a grin and he was off assuming that was a yes.
“Dad can I go outside and play?” Xander yelled as his father ran past him.
“Sure!” Gonzo yelled back. “I’ll come too if you wait!”
Xander grinned as he nodded to Buffy at how easy it was to get approval from his dad to do most anything. His mom Camilla, no.
Buffy went up to her father who was looking over the schedule for the rest of the evening. “Daddy?” Buffy asked.
Kermit looked to see his middle child there and he smiled. “Buffy, what are you and the other kids up to? Did you want to go out and watch the show?”
Buffy shook her head. She’d seen so many performances that she didn’t really care to anymore. “Can I go outside and play with Willow and Xander?” she asked.
Kermit made a little face. “It’s dark outside, your mom wouldn’t be happy.”
Buffy shook her head as Xander came up to them. “Just to the parking lot Daddy and Willow’s going to get Animal to come with.”
Kermit looked to his schedule then slowly nodded. “For a few minutes, Animal’s still part of the band and no further than the parking lot.”
Buffy grinned as she hugged her dad as Willow came up with Animal in tow by his leash/chain. Kermit looked to the crazy drummer that the children thought was a pet and he acted that way. “Animal, make sure nothing happens to the kids, okay?”
Animal nodded. “Okay….yah, yah, kids okay,” he told him in his weird way.
“We’re playing Scooby-Doo, Aminal is Scooby,” Willow told him.
“Doggy!” Animal said loudly.
Willow hugged him then dragged him along willingly towards the backstage exit. “You’ll be a good doggy.”
“Good doggy!” Animal agreed.
Kermit looked to his daughter who nodded that she understood just how weird Animal was as she and Xander followed them.
J.P Theater Parking Lot… a few minutes later
Willow sat on the curb with Animal crouched down by her panting as Xander was crouched over the ground with his magnifying glass looking at a normal crack in the pavement. Buffy was standing over him. “How can you seeing anything in that?” Buffy exclaimed waving her arms about. “It’s too dark!”
“Dark, baby too dark!” Animal told Willow.
“I’m not baby anymore, Aminal!” Willow reminded him. “We’ll go back inside in a minute when we’ve found the bad guy.”
“I think it’s a ghost,” Xander said nodding seriously.
Buffy looked suspiciously at him then his magnifying glass. “How did you see a ghost in that?” she asked.
“It’s night,” Xander told her. “Ghosts come out at night.”
Willow nodded. “They do,” she agreed. “Uncle Teeth talks about ghosts a lot when mommy and daddy come back from a gig at night.”
Xander stood up and pointed firmly in a direction that was another part of the parking lot. “The evidence leads us over there!”
Buffy still looked skeptical but she followed Xander as Animal yanked Willow to follow. “Evidence! Follow baby!” he told Willow.
“I’m not baby! I’m growed up, Aminal!” she reminded him. This was an ongoing thing she was correcting since he had known her when she was born.
“Look fingerprints!” Xander exclaimed looking an inch away from the brick wall of the building next to the theater through the magnifying glass again. He pointed to them as he looked to Buffy knowingly. “All the bad guys leave fingerprints!”
Buffy scowled. “How do ghosts leave fingerprints?” she asked.
Xander glared at her as he tried to say something when Willow spoke up. “Cause they’re always bad men in costumes, they’re not real,” she told them.
Xander nodded totally justified now. “If they glow then its paint. Dad got glowy paint once.” Animal sniffed the air and led them around the corner. There was a dumpster halfway down the alleyway and Xander ran for it. “Dumpsters always have the best proof of bad guys!” he told them motioning for them to follow. “We saw it on Kojak!”
Buffy followed with Willow and Animal not far behind. Buffy didn’t believe him, but it was better than being bored. “Don’t get dirty or stinky!” she warned Xander just before he tried to climb in the filthy container. “That’s gross!”
Animal laughed then ran up and threw the boy into the dumpster. “Dirty boy! Dirty boy! Stinky go!”
Xander laughed as he easily went in. He’d been thrown around enough training with his father to roll with it. Buffy made a gagging face. “Ew!” she got out as Animal followed by climbing in and Willow let his leash go.
“I hope he doesn’t eat anything that’s bad for you,” Willow told Buffy as she stood next to her.
“Animal?” Buffy asked.
“Him too,” Willow replied.
They could hear the two laughing in the dumpster when there was talking heard down at the end of the alley. Xander and Animal’s heads popped up from the dumpster, they heard it too. Xander climbed out covered in bits of paper and trash as he jumped off the side onto a trash bag that wouldn’t fit in the dumpster. “A mystery,” he said with a smile pulling out his dirty magnifying glass.
Animal jumped out and followed the three as they crept down the alley and quietly peered around the corner. It was your typical alleyway, dark, with a single streetlight, trashcans and a few back entrances into building. There was no one else about but two men by a tan van. One was short and a little fat with a thin mustache. The other was taller and lean; they were both in brown raincoats and black hats. They looked around the place nervously.
“Now look,” the fat one told the thin one who was holding some shiny golden thing in his hand, “every policeman in the city is after this golden AN.” He looked around to see if they were being watched. So far three children and a crazy man weren’t noticed. “So don’t tell anyone the plan.”
Xander looked to his friends and grinned. A real mystery! Fabulous!
The fat man looked around and then left leaving the skinny guy alone. They listened as he literally told them the plan as he tried to get it straight in his mind instead of just leaving. He got half of it wrong and then Animal stepped on some trash and the man skittishly jumped looking around until he spotted them.
“Who’s there?” he demanded nervously walked towards them.
“Run!” Buffy told them and the four headed back down the alley.
“Hey!” the man yelled and he chased after them.
The man got closer and just before he could reach them Animal turned on him having enjoyed the thrill of running but the stranger was too close to Willow. “Bad man! Bad man!” Animal yelled as the man stopped and ran off to get away from the crazy man who came close to biting his hand.
“Aminal!” Willow called out and went running after him. And of course, her two friends followed.
They ran until they were exhausted, all three of them panting and puffing as they came to a street corner. Animal was nowhere in sight and Willow looked worried.
“Where are we?” Xander asked as he looked around the area. The three had gotten lost.
Buffy and Willow looked around as a familiar growl came from a dark alleyway. Willow’s brow furrowed. “Aminal! Come now!” she demanded pointed at the ground in front of her.
Animal came out from the garbage cans looking only slightly repentant with a bit of cloth and a gold medallion in his mouth. “Man bad,” he said after Willow took the medallion and Animal licked her face.
Buffy and Xander made faces at that, but Willow absentmindedly wiped the slobber off her face looking in awe at the pretty golden AN. “Looks like Aminal got it from him,” she said. “A gold AN.”
Xander took it from her to look at it through his magnifying glass. “Do you think he was bad?” he asked.
“Of course he was, doofus,” Buffy replied as Willow put her arm around hers.
“How are we going to get home?” Willow replied.
“Home!” Animal yelled. “Baby go home!”
Willow shook her head. “Willow! Not Baby!”
“Baby!” Animal yelled back. “Little baby, no eating!”
Willow laughed as she squeeked his nose and Animal laughed with her. “Of course you wouldn’t eat me, silly Aminal!”
Xander and Buffy looked to each other then to the weird ‘owner-pet’ relationship of their friend and Animal.
“Now, can you get us home, my Aminal?” Willow asked hugging him close.
Animal closed his eyes and relaxed with a big sigh. Willow was the only one he knew that loved him that much. “Ahhhhh!” he got out then opened his eyes. “Home!” he yelled as she let go. “Baby go home!”
He was off again running at full speed down the sidewalk and the three children looked to each other then followed at a run. “Maybe we should have held onto his leash on first!” Xander replied.
They caught up with him as Animal was panting by a crosswalk along a main road where there were several businesses. There was a café, a donut shop and a Laundromat across the street and the aroma of food hit them.
“Hungry,” Animal got out looking around tiredly.
Xander nodded as all three kids stopped by him heaving in deeply for air. “Yeah, I’m with Animal. I don’t have any money though.” He looked to the golden AN still in his hand.
Buffy shook her head. “We can’t trade it or sell it, it’s stolen!”
“I have twenty five cents,” Willow told them as a way to avoid doing anything with stolen goods.
Animal nodded as he looked around. “Food, hungry.”
Whether it was karma, fate or bad luck a king prawn in a jacket and humming a jaunty tune to himself came up to stand at the crosswalk with them waiting for the light to change. He looked to them and nodded. “Hola, ju okay little ones?” he asked in a heavy Hispanic accent.
“Fishy,” Animal said, his eyes locked onto him looking very hungry.
“I am Pepe, a king prawn okay?” Pepe insisted straightening himself up proudly. “Not of the fishy, okay?”
“Fishy,” Animal said as he panted in hunger now. “Hungry.”
“No thank you,” Pepe replied. “I just ate okay.”
“No Aminal,” Willow said reaching for Animal’s chain.
“Fishy hungry!” Animal yelled and Pepe realized that he was hungry to eat him. He screamed running away as Animal chased after him before Willow could get his chain. Not like it would have made a difference, he would have dragged her along.
“Help!” Pepe screamed as he ran as fast as his legs could take him. “Big scary monster wants to eat me!”
“Aminal no!” Willow said taking off again after him and her two friends followed all of them exhausted.
By the time they’d gotten close enough to see, Animal had cornered Pepe in front of a store wall. “I am not all that tasty for ju, okay!” Pepe begged looking for a way out.
“Hungry!” Animal demanded and ran for him. Just before he could grab him Pepe ran to the side and the children watched as Animal ran into the side of the building. More surprisingly the siding gave way and he ran through it into the store.
The kids followed through the hole to find they were in the donut shop. Customers were screaming and running about as Animal chased people around the place knocking over everything confused as to where the prawn went. Xander snagged a few donuts on the way as Pepe looked in through the glass front window in shock only to have Animal stop right in front of him. “Hungry fishy!” Animal yelled crashing through the glass by Pepe and the chase was on again.
They saw Sam the Eagle come out of another store almost running into Animal and his focus went from a tiny prawn to a huge bird. “Birdy! Hungry! Doggy get!”
Sam threw his purchases into the air and ran from him, Animal chasing him around the street barking at him as he followed him into another store, the crash of things being broken or destroyed ringing through the air.
Buffy held onto a freaked out Willow as she tried to follow to stop her pet and would have gotten trampled in the chaos. The three made it outside the donut shop as they saw people running out of one of the nearby stores and Willow started to cry.
They headed for an out of the way place where they wouldn’t get hurt as Willow finally screamed and they saw the bright red of Animal’s hair stop. “BAD ANIMAL!” Willow cried out.
Big eyes looked out of the window at her as three store employees jumped Animal to stop him, seeing that Willow screamed louder in panic. Even with the noise of all that was going on a loud growl could be heard.
“BABY!” Animal called out and the employees were scattered as Animal plowed out of the store, glass, siding and all as he headed for them.
“Better move,” Xander told them around a mouthful of donut and they hid back a bit as Animal ran for them.
Animal picked Willow up and they ran for a bit away from the turmoil until the world was quiet around them down another alleyway and the two children stopped as Animal put Willow down. She had tears and a pout as she looked to him. “Bad! Sit!” she told him.
“Bad! Sit!” Animal replied and did so.
Other than panting from all of them running so much it was silent. “You were bad! Bad Aminal!” Willow reprimanded Animal.
Animal whimpered and his head hung like a bad doggy.
“Donut?” Xander asked holding up the last of his stolen treats. It was smushed in his hand from running so much. He fed it to Animal and he took over getting them home now that he wasn’t deathly hungry.
The show was over and six worried parents were outside looking around. Janice and Camilla were going to head in one direction looking for their children, while Kermit and Gonzo were going to go in another as the children and Animal showed up. All of them dirty, tired and hungry.
Willow went into her mother’s arms crying as Buffy’s and Xander’s surrounded them. “What happened?” Kermit asked as Piggy stroked back Buffy’s tangled hair cooing over their daughter.
Buffy shook her head. “I don’t want to play Scooby-Doo again, Daddy. It’s too hard.”
Kermit and Piggy looked to each other totally confused as they took their respective kids home.
The Next Morning…
Kermit and Piggy came into the theater the next morning alone. Camilla and Gonzo had the children at their place after their time lost in the city. They came in to see most of the people standing around looking at something backstage.
“Wonder what’s going on?” Kermit murmured to Piggy as he moved forward. “Excuse me… pardon me,” he said trying to nudge his way through until Piggy strong armed them away so Kermit could get up front.
“Move buster!” Piggy called out and everyone let them through where they could see the crowd was watching the small TV they had in the theater. Janice, Floyd and the band were closer to the front as Kermit and Piggy stopped to see the news on showing a picture of a golden medallion with an AN on it, on the screen.
“The authorities are still on the lookout for the thieves that took an ancient Snuffleupigan golden AN. Worth over a million dollars and the Chief of Police has informed the public there is a reward for its safe return,” the reporter reported.
The image changed to show several buildings ruined. Windows broken and paper flying around the street, there was even a fire in one store. “In other news there was an attack on several businesses early last evening just after nightfall when a crazed maniac came through and destroyed over a hundred thousand dollars in damage,” the reported continued on. A sketch appeared on the screen showing a man with lots of hair with a hooked nose and narrow eyes.
“Doesn’t that-,” Kermit started seeing the stores and the damage.
“Um-hum,” Piggy let out as the two realized that this was probably where Buffy and her friends had been last night. Buffy had been silent about it all and pleaded to just go to bed.
The view closed in on an outline of a figure shaped hole in the wall of the donut shop that looked exactly like the shape of Animal.
“Isn’t that-,” Floyd said, totally stunned as Janice, Kermit and Piggy nodded.
Animal came up to look at the picture and laughed. “Baby go home! Little fishy! Woof woof, go doggy, bite birdy!” They switched to a close up of the golden AN again and Animal nodded. “Bad man! Bad man tan van!” he said as he slapped something onto the crate the TV was on and he knocked it off and wandered off. The group saw he had put something down, and there it was. The golden AN, dirty, dented and with some teethmarks on it that were Animal sized.
Kermit gasped at what was there and he looked to the other parents there. “I’ll – um – find a way to get it back.”
“And we’ll never speak about it again,” Piggy said, her voice was low which meant their child was going to get a stern talking to when they went home. Janice nodded as Floyd looked confused at the damaged building on the screen once more with the recap of the news flash. Apparently Willow was going to get talked to as well.
“Man, they got good donuts!” Floyd exclaimed not getting it that his child was involved in it all. Janice shook her head at him as she left the area.
Epilogue, Christmas Time, 20 years later (mid-90’s), a more rundown J.P. Theater…
There was a good layer of snow on the ground as a truck pulled up into the theater parking lot, it was early morning and surprisingly there were quite a few cars there. Xander, Willow and Buffy, all adults in their mid-twenties now got out and looked around.
“It’s been at least a year since I was here,” Xander told them. “Dad was touring for a few years then came back.” He had filled out showing a tall, fit man with just a little bit of a belly from too many twinkies. He could do just about anything with his hands, but his trade was as an auto mechanic and racing them when he wasn’t working.
Buffy nodded as she looked about. Long blonde hair, she shorter than the other two but she was beautiful in the height of fashion clothing for New York, then again she was a buyer for a large clothing store chain. “I come on occasion, but Dad sounded more worried than I’d heard in a long time. Says he had some crazy dream last night.” That was the reason they were there, she rounded up her friends at the word of her father.
Willow was the last out of the truck wrapping her heavy coat around her slender frame. She herself was dressed in jeans and a blouse with long red hair, she sighed. “Longer for me, Mom and Dad haven’t been back in a while. Last few months from what Uncle Teeth told me.” Her friends looked her way. That and her dad had a falling out with her when she started college and went into computers. He wanted her to go into art and music, better yet, no college at all. She could play the guitar, she was around them enough to learn, but it didn’t hold her interest and Floyd, while he loved her, was put out.
Buffy and Willow shared an apartment in New York, and Robin roomed with Xander when he was in the city at his place about a mile from Buffy and Willow. Clarisse and Tomas were both married; Clarisse lived in L.A. while Tomas was up in Canada.
The three found the backstage door open and went inside to see the backstage empty but there were voices from the stage and front rows. They peered around the corner to see all of their family growing up were still together and in front of them raving about was a woman they’d never seen before.
“You think you’re going to do something to get enough money to buy this place?” she growled out at them. Tall, thin and in a business suit, the woman was a corporate shark and not nice in general from the looks of it; the trio figured that out easily enough. “Look at you all, you’ve been out all night and what have you got? Two hours and then this place is mine and I’m tearing it down and there’s nothing you can do!” the woman laughed wickedly about it with a perverse kind of glee.
Buffy’s hand gripped into the stage curtain as she listened to her gentle father try and talk to the woman hoping for some way to save his beloved theater.
“We have to do something,” Xander whispered. They looked to Willow who nodded taking out her cell phone.
“Give me a minute,” she told them as she headed outside.
Buffy went upstairs to her mother’s dressing room as Xander went down the stairs to where his basement haven had been for the majority of his childhood. It was dark with shadows playing about. He easily found the lights and turned them on to see that it really hadn’t changed. Old props and new mingled together, dust floated everywhere. While some would see it as depressing, Xander saw it as a boy’s escape from the world who had an alien and chicken for parents.
He headed over to a corner and his adult hand had to squeeze to fit behind some boards to a little cubbyhole and he smiled as he came out with an old Batman comic and some matchbox cars left there from over ten years ago when he started high school and spent more time outside of the theater.
Sitting on the floor he flicked the cars to race across the dirty floor before resting against the wall and looking around. Willow would save it, if anyone could she could. He felt a small hand rest on his shoulder and he looked up.
“Hey son,” his father said sadly. “You heard?”
Xander nodded as he looked to the yellowed pages of the comic in his hand. “It’ll be okay Dad.”
Gonzo sat down by his son looking around the room. “Maybe,” he got an honest reply. Xander nodded again and they sat in a comfortable silence for a long moment. “Maybe if it isn’t, we should do something to celebrate our time here,” he said to his son. They looked to each other and grinned.*****
Buffy sat down at her mother’s dressing table, looking around as she remembered the times she and her siblings would play there while her mother held court with regular cast actors and rather famous ones at the time when their show was pretty popular.
So many memories, and the thought of it being gone… she took up her mother’s brush and ran it through her hair as she let her thoughts drift.
She wasn’t sure how long the time passed before the door opened quietly. Red hair and Willow’s face showed themselves. “Will?” she asked and her best friend smiled in return. Buffy stood up and came out to see there were a few others behind her. “Will?” she asked again as she stepped out.
Willow shrugged as she handed two papers over to Buffy. “I needed speed and they wanted to see it, be here with us.”
Buffy looked to them, a smile forming as she felt a comforting arm about her. “Then let’s help out,” Buffy told them.
Then went down the stairs and as they headed for the seating area Willow looked around. “Where’s Xander?”
Buffy shrugged as she went first letting the others stay at the back of the aisle out of view other than to be shadowy figures, even Willow who was nervous facing her father stayed back.
“Miss Bitterman,” Kermit voiced, you could tell he was frustrated. “Please give us more time.”
“You don’t need it,” Buffy said coming forward into the lights of that lit up the stage and band area where everyone was at.
The tall woman turned on her. “And who are you?” she bit out looking Buffy over when she noticed the clothes and her face soften a bit realizing she wasn’t just another poor actor.
“One of us,” Piggy ground out in annoyed tone to the woman, but smiling at Buffy happy to see her daughter there.
Buffy passed the woman and hugged her mom then her Dad. “I’m glad you came Buffy,” Kermit told her. “The theater is going to be sold, we tried -,” he started only to be cut off when Buffy smiled kindly at her father and handed him the papers.
“It’s okay Dad,” Buffy told him.
He looked them over and gulped when he realized just what they were. “Honey, this is-,” he stopped looking her way. “How did you do this?”
“Do what?” Ms. Bitterman asked angrily as she yanked the papers from him and looked them over. She went pale at the first paper then bright red in anger at the second. She opened her mouth to say something as Piggy took the papers from her as forcefully as she did from Kermit to read them.
“I think that it’s time for you to leave,” Buffy told the stunned woman firmly. Ms. Bitterman looked like she was going to argue then her shoulders slumped as Piggy yipped in joy and hugged Kermit tightly as everyone crowded around wanting to know what was going on. No one noticed the woman leave.
“Just a moment! Wait a minute!” Kermit called out and the group quieted down as Piggy gave him the papers back. “This paper says- it says, that the theater is now a historical building, it can never be torn down,” he said happily. The crowd cheered. He waited a minute looking at Buffy. “And this one paid the title for the building in full. We own it now,” The crowd was stunned as Buffy’s parents looked to her. “I know you do well, Buffy,” he said. “But this is a lot of money.”
“You have a wealthy benefactor, Dad,” Buffy said and they looked to see Willow slowly come forward shyly looking at her parents. “Willow bought it, she’s loaded. The computer programming made her rich.”
Animal was the first one to move as he rushed the redhead. “Baby!” he yelled as he tackled her bringing her to the ground in the aisle.
Willow laid there as he licked her face. “Animal!” Floyd yelled. “Down! Back!”
Animal got off letting Willow sit up and she smiled at him petting his head. “I missed you too,” she told him.
They all look up to see three young people around Willow’s age come down the aisles. “We’re closed for right now,” Kermit told them holding on tightly to the papers that were some of the greatest gifts he could ask for.
Animal watched them warily sniffing at two of them headed for Willow as the other, a dark headed man went by Buffy. One coming toward Willow was a young man shorter than the dark headed man and a young woman with long flowing blond hair and soft blue eyes. “Baby?” he asked Willow.
Janice and Floyd look to Willow who blushed. “I’m not the man Dad,” she told him.
Willow sighed at that as she got up only to have Animal tackle her again. “Baby?” he said. “You stay!”
Willow was flat on her face this time. Animal was sitting on her back. “Off!” she told him. He moved as she got up but didn’t look to happy as the others came up and Willow hugged her parents happily.
“Mom, Dad,” she said looking to the group as the two people flanked her. “This is my boyfriend Oz,” she told them nodding to the young man with green colored spiked hair, amber tinted sunglasses, and an easy going nature. The entire band looked fiercely at him. “He’s a musician,” she told them.
“And what do you play?” Floyd asked looking at the slim young man closely.
“Lead guitar, but I’m working on my e-flat diminished ninth,” Oz replied and they both nodded approving of him. He really was a bit like Floyd.
“And this is my… our girlfriend, Tara,” Willow told them and they looked at Tara who was in a very 60’s looking skirt and blouse. “She’s wiccan.” It took a second before they accepted the young woman. Who couldn’t to one that radiated such kindness?
It took a minute when they realized that she was in a relationship with not just two people, but one was a woman and they were all together! “She’s NOT the man!” Dr. Teeth proclaimed happily. “All hail the lovely Willow Tree!”
Willow shook her head blushing at her nickname from when she was little as her boyfriend and girlfriend looked amused at this.
Piggy and Kermit looked to Buffy and the tall dark headed man that was a few years older than her as she took his hand. “Mom, Dad… this is Angel… my boyfriend.”
Kermit looked him over as Piggy looked defensive. “What kind of a name is Angel?” Piggy asked.
“Mom,” Buffy muttered at her.
Angel smiled. “It’s Liam Connor, but I go by Angel. I’m a private investigator.”
Piggy still gave him a look but the others surrounded them as Kermit came up to Willow who just smiled and hugged him. “Merry Christmas, Uncle Kermit,” she told him as a noise of car starting up came from behind the curtain on the stage.
“And now ladies and gentleman!” came Gonzo’s voice over the speakers. “The Great Gonzo and his magnificent son Alexander the Great will perform their death defying act!” The curtains opened and Gonzo standing on the front of a small old racing car from when he first performed, smoke trailing from the muffler. At the edge where the curtain had been was a ramp with a large circle at the top of it. He was in a sparkling white jumpsuit and helmet as Xander ran in from opening the curtain in a tight fitting vest over his shirt in the same sparkling white as his father’s with Alexander the Great stitched on the back, it was from his high school years and was about two sizes too small.
Xander straddled the car way to small for him to fit in and with a stick he pushed down on the gas pedal revving the car up.
“Oh dear lord,” Kermit muttered as Willow covered her eyes.
“Alexander and I will make the jump of doom to land safely in the aisles! But first he will circle the stage at frightening speeds as I recite Twas the Night before Christmas, backwards!” Gonzo said happily.
The car revved again and Xander took off, Gonzo laughing as he gripped onto the front of the car as his son expertly circled the large stage once. “Good-night a all -,” Gonzo started as Xander went by the ramp and it lit on fire from a button he had in the car. They circled again. “Not yet!” Gonzo was telling his son. Xander laughed as he headed for the ramp.
Tara held one of Willow’s hands. “You said they were different,” she whispered to her girlfriend. All three of the newest members to their strange family were looking on in awe and shock – well, Oz looked intrigued at most.
Willow nodded as Xander jumped the car up off the ramp tucking himself in tight to get through the fiery hoop. The car didn’t get that far with his weight on it as it went straight down crashing into the band pit and everyone started laughing as father and son soon joined in.
“That’s my boy!” Gonzo exclaimed.