Kermit and Cordelia
part of the 'Muppet Contracts' series.
main characters: Kermit the Frog, Cordelia Chase
disclaimer: If you recognize them, they aren't mine. Kermit is a Muppet, and therefore legal rights go to Henson Puppetry, Cordelia is the creation of Joss Whedon & his writers for the BtVS and A:tS television shows.
distribution: if you want this bit of insanity, just let me know.
notes: um, let's just say sort of AU after Wesley started working at AI in that they aren't working for W&H (because the evil law-firm are the bad guys) but that time has passed since Wes started working with Angel. The Muppet Theater has been closed.
Kermit had been relaxing in the sun for a while. Some of the commercials that his agent had found were rather stressful, both in terms of what they wanted him to do and in terms of who he'd be working with. Too many people looked at him and saw some sort of trained beast instead of a thinking person that just happened to not be human.
That was why he had this pond. The house wasn't much, but the large pond was the perfect place to relax. Cool, murky water filled with fish, snails, and ordinary frogs, edged with cattails on the west and holding scattered lily pads. This was home, not the little run-down house where he kept the paperwork and contact information, the telephone and his computer.
What else could be expected from a frog anyhow?
In the distance, he could hear cars on the road, engines rumbling, exhaust rattling, horns honking. One of them turned, tires crunching on the gravel of his property.
That didn't make much sense - who'd be visiting him? His friends normally called first, or invited him over to their places. After all, just because this place was perfect for himself didn't mean that most people enjoyed it very much. It wasn't the right time of year for Girl-scout cookies, thankfully. Last year he'd ended up getting so many that he'd been in danger of getting quite fat. He couldn't imagine any sort of traveling salesman staying after they got a look at the house.
Rising to his feet, Kermit looked at the house. There was a dark-haired woman looking at the house, arms folded over her chest. She had the same sort of arrogant dignity as Piggy - the one that insisted she was better than a place like this, and deserved more from the world. And he'd never seen her before in his life.
"An actor lives in a dump like this?" The woman's voice was dismayed as she stared at the little house. The paint had peeled, the windows were dingy, the steps crooked, and the chimney had crumbled a bit at the top. “I can’t imagine why.”
"Have you priced real estate in this area?" Kermit asked, walking towards her. "Nothing's cheap."
She spun around, one hand fumbling in her purse for something, the other raised in a clear blocking position. Her wide eyes and the startled yelp made it clear that she hadn’t been expecting a voice outside. “Who… what? You look like a frog. A giant talking frog.”
Kermit nodded, still wondering why this woman was here on his property. “That’s right.”
“Biology class wasn’t my idea. I flunked it anyhow…” The woman took a step backwards, still fumbling in her purse. “I’m going to kill Angel for this, if I make it back.”
“Instead of talking about angels and biology, could you explain why you’re here, Miss? I don’t get too many visitors, and most of them call ahead,” Kermit decided not to get any closer. Who knew what might lurk in the depths of her purse? His experiences at the theater suggested anything from old gum, keys, and spare change to rubber chickens, bowling pins, and cannon balls. And if strange scientific geniuses had a hand in the purse, it could be anything, but it probably wouldn’t do exactly what it was supposed to do. Considering some of what Bunsen and Beaker had made, he took a small step backwards.
“You’re Kermit T. Frogg? Who worked with Kent Lanomer?” The woman’s voice was still tense, and her hand hadn’t come out of the purse yet.
Nodding, Kermit wondered why she was asking about his agent. “Yes.”
“Nothing in the records said anything about giant frogs,” the woman muttered. “Maybe even demon frogs, considering my luck. Angel is really in trouble for this one.”
“Could you just tell me what is going on?” Kermit demanded, bouncing in place just a little. He hadn’t gone any higher than her shoulders; that was hardly leaving the ground at all.
“Wow.” Blinking, she dropped her purse. Things spilled out, including two spray cans and a sharp little stick. “Lanomer’s dead. Very dead of painful causes.”
“When did that happen?” Kermit shook his head, shoulders slumping. “Maybe you’d rather continue this inside? It’s not much, but there’s a couple chairs.”
“I’m Cordelia Chase, and I’m with Angel Investigations,” the woman said. “And I think inside might be better.”
It wasn’t long before Kermit was perched on his old director’s chair, while Cordelia very gingerly sat on the faded recliner. He gave her a few moments to fidget before he spoke again. “What happened to Kent? I know he rubbed a few people the wrong way, but I didn’t expect anybody to do something about it.”
“Someone put him into a whole bunch of little boxes, each one numbered and sealed. It was gross,” Miss Chase shivered.
“Numbered? Regular counting, or with assembly instructions?” Kermit shivered when he realized that he was thinking of some of his friends and their habits. The Count with his counting and labeling everything with as many numbers as he could, the few times that Beaker had been told to take things apart, and the one and only time that he’d looked into Dr. Teeth’s dressing room. Of course the neat packaging completely ruled out Animal. “On second thought, I’m not sure I really want to know.”
“Can you think of any reason why someone would want to kill your agent?” Miss Chase asked, her purse clutched on her lap.
“He wasn’t the friendliest agent to work for,” Kermit mused, thinking of the many times that he’d heard Kent using uncomplimentary terms. He’d lost track of how many times he’d had to talk Piggy out of karate chopping Lanomer into orbit. There was also the fact that if he’d been so willing to use terms like that for his actors, who knew how he’d talk about people he had no obligation towards. “I think he also had a gambling habit, and he liked this one particular club… Something or other with a pink lizard on the sign.”
“A pink lizard?” She repeated, scribbling on a little notebook. “Why would a club have a sign with a pink lizard?”
“I’ve never been inside, so I don’t know any details. I think it was a pink iguana, actually. Considering some of the people I’ve worked with before, maybe it’s the owner.” Kermit shrugged.
“Good point,” she muttered. “He gambled? Did he win or lose most of the time?”
“Gambling’s not really my thing, but he didn’t seem very happy about most things. He wasn’t exactly a happy man.” Kermit paused, considering what he knew about his agent, make that former agent. “I know he had two ex-wives, and he never had anything nice to say about either one of them.”
For a moment, Miss Chase frowned, scribbling a few notes, and then she paused, asking, “Did he ever have anything nice to say about anybody?”
“That should really help us figure out what happened,” Miss Chase grumbled. “An arrogant, grouchy guy who never said anything nice, two exes who were probably unhappy with him or they wouldn’t be ex-wives, gambling… Was there anybody in the world who actually like this guy?”
“He had a dog,” Kermit offered. Considering what she’d said, he asked, “Aren’t the police supposed to figure out who the killer is?”
“And when things get just a little off from normal, the police get freaked out and find some other explanation. No, it couldn’t have been zombies. Not a magic talking stick. Certainly not an evil magic doctor. Like I’d trust them to get the right answer,” she snorted. “Putting someone into over a hundred little boxes, each one tied shut, given a little wax seal and numbered is weird beyond normal weird, even for someone from Sunnydale.”
Kermit looked again at the woman. Sunnydale… he’d heard that name a few times, and while there hadn’t been much, it had given him the definite idea that it wasn’t a good place. Animal had grinned before saying it was ‘wild’. Mad Harry ordered a lot of things from there, and given the number of things that he got that went boom, well, how did they send that sort of thing by mail? Weren’t there postal regulations against that? Bunsen had once said that Beaker had taken a few classes there, years ago, and Beaker had meeped and shivered. Sweetums said his uncle had bought a vacation house near a town called Sun-something.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’ve been much help,” Kermit leaned back in his chair. “If you have a card, I can call if I hear anything that could be connected.”
Digging a card from her purse, Cordelia Chase sighed, “Things would be too easy if you did know exactly what happened. Of course, that could also mean that you were what had happened and intended me to be next, but I’d rather not be dismembered and put into boxes. Call if you hear anything, and good luck finding a new agent.”
Kermit nodded, hopping from the chair to pin the card on the large bulletin board on the wall. He’d need to do a little investigation of his own, and not just for a new agent. “Good luck investigating.”
Kermit waited until he couldn’t hear her car anymore before he pulled out his address book. There were a few calls that he needed to make, and some questions to ask. He’d wait until later to call the Count.
End Muppet Contracts 2: Kermit and Cordelia.