Okay, I think I’ll take a break from posting Muppet-y fanfiction for a while after I post this one.
As I mentioned in my previous story, I have been thinking about Nadya and her infatuation with Kermit. Even when she found out that Kermit was not Constantine, she kept him in the Gulag. So I’ve wondered if keeping Kermit locked up was done for her sake, to maybe fill a void left by Constantine? Perhaps not so seriously, but the whole point of the film was that the two do look strikingly similar. So I began to think about if Nadya had a relationship with Constantine that might have affected how she reacted to Kermit throughout the film. With that in mind, I came up with the following story.
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A Gulag Connection
A “Muppets Most Wanted” Fanfiction
Written by: Brittany L. Reid
Posted on 4/20/2014 at 3:23 AM
Nadya watched as the bus full of crazy creatures pulled out of the Siberian Gulag. She stood in attention, her arms behind her back and her stature stiff as the vehicle grew smaller in the distance. She tried not to think about the naively moralistic and kind-hearted frog that she had seen being smothered with cuddles by the pig in the front seat. Her heart thrummed against her ribcage as she swallowed the small lump in her throat. She closed her eyes, inhaled the cold, Russian chill, and held her breath, letting it settle in her chest for a moment before releasing it in a huff. She had no time to surrender her mind to thoughts of unattainable happiness. That had almost been ruined her, earlier. No, she had a prison to run. Speaking of which, she glanced down at the irritating Russian frog who was finally back in the clutches of her penitentiary.
“Well Constantine, welcome back. It appears that another one of your ridiculous crime sprees has come on an end.”
“Indeed, Nadya…it appears that we are….together again…huh?” Constantine sneered, looking up at her with a teasing, yet evil smirk on his face. Nadya frowned and her right eye twitched in agitation. Constantine chuckled.
“Yes, yes! I bet you just can’t imagine that I’ve ever been gone! But then, we’re not starting over, it’s just…”
“Can-it, frog! We will have no more of the Muppet foolishness, here,” Nadya said coldly. But Constantine wasn’t fazed. He narrowed his eyes at her a bit before smiling again. He chuckled,
“Ahhh, the Kermit frog…he got to you, yes?”
“Niet, you are imagining things” Nadya said, bending down and picking up the chain that was connected to the shackle that she placed around his neck. She gave the chain a hard yank.
“AGH! Geeze woman, don’t choke me!”
“To your cell, swine.”
“Ah see, now you’ve got me confused with the pig, AGH!” she pulled his chain again.
As Nadya led Constantine down the hallways of the Gulag, the prisoners all gave cheers and hollers at seeing their leader return. Constantine didn’t respond.
“Your comrades missed you again, as always.”
“Eh, they are merely underlings. They are of no real consequence,” Constantine shrugged. It was Nadya’s turn to smirk.
“You say that, but you know you like the attention, Constantine. You are a narcissist. Self-proclaimed ‘World’s Number One Most Dangerous Criminal-Frog,’ please.”
“Eyyyy! It is truth! I only speak truth!” Constantine protested, as they reached a vacated cell. There was a pause as Constantine did a double take, cringed, and looked at Nadya as she unlocked the door.
“Really? After my last escape, this is the cell you stick me with? It is minimal at best! A baby could escape from here! You mock me with this, Nady-ahh!” Constantine cried, as Nadya put her boot on his back and shoved him forward. The frog stumbled and tried to catch himself. Nadya closed the door and locked it.
“Enough with the pushing already!!” he cried.
“Your entrapment here is just temporary until the final preparations for your room in the maximum security prison have been completed. In the meantime, I shall be guarding you, to personally ensure you don’t escape,” she said. Constantine blinked before turning to face her fully, a smile on his face.
“Ah, so I shall have your full and undivided attention; don’t you feel lucky?” he asked before giving a snide chuckle. Nadya rolled her eyes,
“Thrilled,” she deadpanned. She then folded her arms as she leaned against the door.
“You do not prefer a cage that would allow an easy escape, such as this?”
“Eh, I prefer a challenge,” Constantine said as he looked around the cell. “But no need to fret, Nadya. Even criminals need time to recuperate before they tackle their next mission. Sooo, you can let your guard down. Relax, pull up a chair,” he suggested.
“I never let my guard down where you are concerned, Constantine,” she hissed. The frog rolled his eyes and waved a flipper dismissively.
“Right, right, because you did such a good job with that last time.”
“That was merely a fluke!”
“Whatever,” the frog said, scanning the cage again. Nadya narrowed her own eyes. She had seen that look on his face before. ‘Criminals need a rest’ her foot. He was already plotting something; he always was. Constantine froze with his back to Nadya, there was a moment of silence.
“This is my old cell,” he stated. Nadya’s eyes grew wide. Constantine had been a frequent resident of the Big House for many, many years. As he became more dangerous over time, he had to constantly be moved from one holding unit to the next, each more secure than the last. But she hadn’t realized that she’d just placed him in the very same cell where she’d first met him all those years ago; she was more surprised that he remembered and recognized it.
“How can you possibly be sure?” she asked, her voice monotone. The frog shrugged and turned to face her.
“One never forgets his first incarceration in the Gulag,” he said, walking up to the door and threading his fingers through the caged door. He stared at Nadya for a moment.
“It has been a long time, yes?” he asked.
An 8-year-old Nadya stood at her father’s side, bundled up from head to toe. She hated coming here; all of the prisoners gave her the creeps. But her father insisted on bringing her to his job. As she was the oldest of her family, he was training her to take his position as a prison guard once he retired. Her mother strongly disapproved, but papa was head of the household. Currently, he was talking to one of his fellow guards and practically ignoring Nadya. The young girl looked around at the dank and cold surroundings warily. They were in her dad’s office and she was bored out of her mind. Suddenly, there was a commotion in the hallway. The adults in the room stopped talking and made their way to the door to see what was going on. Nadya wasn’t far behind. She pushed her way past their forms to peer around her dad’s legs and outside the door.
It appeared as though some officers were bringing in a new prisoner, but he wasn’t like anyone Nadya had seen before. They had him shackled up; his hands were chained together as were his feet. He also had a scowl present on his face as he kept his head to the ground. Nadya could hear the whispers,
“Is that the delinquent?”
“They finally caught him.”
“He doesn’t look so tough.”
“He’s just a kid.”
“That’s when they start. Doesn’t matter how young he is, he’s a menace.”
“They say he’s insane,” and so the hushed voices continued. To Nadya, however, he didn’t look insane; just irritated and quiet. But what stood out to her the most…was that he was a frog.
Nobody seemed to notice the amphibian’s shifty eyes, but Nadya did. What was he up to? Suddenly, the frog fell to the floor, as if to become dead-weight to those who were dragging him. Startled the officers stopped and bent down to yank him back up. But as soon as they were hovering over him, the frog moved again, charging forward and ramming his shoulder into one guard’s diaphragm. The man lost his breath and fell to his knees. A scuffle ensued as more men advanced on the frog. Nadya really couldn’t see what was happening, but she heard a lot of yelling and crying out. Somehow, they managed to drag him even further down the hallway to one of the vacant cages, and they threw him inside. He landed on the floor harshly, sliding across the ground before banging into the opposing wall. The guards then shut the caged door and commented a few Russian, derogatory terms to Constantine, before spitting through the cage and into his cell. With that, they turned around and left. The frog curled into himself on the floor. Nadya watched as her dad and his friend moved back into the room, unperturbed by the event. Absolutely no one was paying attention to her, so she decided to make her way down the hall towards the newest prisoner.
Constantine sat upright, leaning his back against the wall of the jail cell. He sighed, bent knees upward, and rested his arms on his kneecaps as he stared at the ground. Nadya walked up to the cage and threaded her small fingers through the door. She was fascinated. The only other creature she knew of who looked remotely like this frog was one she had seen on television not too long ago, on some variety show. She couldn’t remember the name, but she knew most frogs didn’t walk on two legs and have human-esque features, not like this one.
“Hi.” she said. Constantine looked up at the girl. Her eyes were wide and innocent, merely filled with curiosity. He scowled at her.
“Beat it kid,” he said, looking away from her.
“What are you in for?” she asked. He looked up again and just stared at her. Well she was a bold one. An evil smirk spread across his face. He knew how to get rid of her.
“For cutting out the tongues of nosy little girls who don’t mind their own business!” he spat. She gave him a deadpanned expression.
“Mister, I’m around meanie goons like all the time. My dad works here. You’re not gonna scare me.”
“Heh, perhaps that is because you simply have not met the face of true evil,” he said, giving her his best menacing stare. She tilted her head before giggling,
“That’s not an evil face! It’s silly. A little creepy, yeah but-” she trailed off. Constantine scowled and muttered to himself before turning his back to her.
“Pesky brat,” he muttered. There was quiet.
“You don’t want to get tangled with the likes of me, kid. Go on back to your papa,” he said. Nadya pouted a bit.
“How old are you?” she asked. The frog didn’t answer.
“’Cause you look really young. Where are you mom and dad?” she added. No answer.
“Don’t you have any family?” he cringed at that.
“Little girl, do I look like I am wearing sign that says I want to be IRRITATED?! Now beat it before I rip that scraggly hair out of your thick head!” he cried. Nadya jumped a bit at his outburst and he panted heavily. There was a beat. He leaned against the wall again with his back turned to her, hoping she’d leave him alone.
“I can come talk to you tomorrow if you want,” she said. She didn’t know why, but she was really drawn to him. Maybe because he seemed like something out of a fairy-tale: a talking frog? What kid wouldn’t be interested in that? Constantine said nothing.
“Okay, well bye,” Nadya said, turning and walking away. She didn’t even see Constantine reach into his sleeves and pull out the key ring he had lifted off of the guard during the earlier scuffle.
Later, she had gotten a hold of Constantine’s file while her dad wasn’t looking. The frog was only 12 years old, and apparently had gone around stealing from stores and blowing up food stands. He had quite the rap sheet for such a young kid. There didn’t seem to be any trace of family in his file though. Was he all alone? Maybe that’s why he was bad, he wanted attention?
The next day, when Nadya stopped by his cell, he wasn’t there. She blinked in confusion, wondering what had happened when she heard voices behind her. The guards were approaching again, but this time, they had Constantine wrapped up in a crazy jacket. They pushed Nadya out of the way and shoved him into his cage again. Constantine chuckled evilly,
“You fools. If you think these binds will hold me you are sadly mistaken. You will never know what I am plotting…or when I’ll strike,” he hissed. The guards just rolled their eyes and walked away. His escape the previous night had been pure luck. It wouldn’t happen again. As they left, Constantine’s attention was drawn to the little girl.
“Eh?! You still here?”
“You escaped last night?” she asked.
“Ooh, aren’t you a sharp one?” he said, sarcastically. Her eyes grew wide.
“You’re not like the normal bad guys, are you?” she asked. He grinned,
“You are just now figuring that out? Little girl, let me tell you something. Take a good look. Embed this picture in your mind, because this will be the last time you’ll ever see the face that is Constantine…ever,” he hissed.
“But it never was last time,” Nadya said. Constantine shrugged,
“Eh, Gulag came to be like a vacation home for me,” he said, sitting on the cot against the wall of his cell.
“Three meals a day, plus I get to work on my guns, huh? Heheh!” Constantine said, flexing his bicep. Nadya scoffed, and Constantine looked at her.
“Tell me Nadya, did you ever miss me when I was…away?” he asked. She shot him a glare.
“What are you talking about? Why would I miss a scumbag like you?” she asked.
“Hmm…perhaps because you still find me…enticing? Admit it. Is why you could never leave me alone, ” he said, his voice in a teasing lull. Nadya’s cheeks flushed and she turned away.
“You… are nothing but a lowlife criminal.”
“Ah yes, this is true. Buuut has nothing to do with my question,” he said, standing and walking up to the door. “I seem to recall annoying little girl always nosing around my cell where she didn’t belong.” Nadya turned to face him fully, and bent down to his level.
“Let me be perfectly clear. I am not little girl anymore. I am not fascinated by talking frog. I am cruel and cold-hearted. And above all else, I will do everything in my power to make sure you are punished for your crimes,” she said, sliding her taser out of her pocket just enough for him to see it. Constantine looked at the taser before glancing back up at Nadya, unfazed.
“Cruel, you may be. But cold-hearted you most certainly are not,” he said, knowingly. She frowned at him before aiming her taser at him
“You want to try me?” she hissed. And he couldn’t help but to smirk at her even more. He always loved getting a rise out of her; she was spunky. He could see that Kermit had really hurt her judging from the look she had on her face when the Mahppet van had pulled away. But Nadya was a lively person. If she was spirited, she could do her job well and it meant that he had a noteworthy enemy at hand. It helped him to up his game. Constantine knew she was a fighter, and hated to see her as less than anything but—which is why it didn’t sit well with him that Kermit’s presence in his absence had affected her so. He stared at her as he thought about this, and his face fell.
“You forget, I’ve known you long time Nadya. I can tell, the Kermit frog got to you, with his talk of the family and the friends, and yadda-yadda-yadda. It broke you!” Constantine said, throwing his arms out towards her. She took a breath and stood,
“I am perfectly aware that I have no family, Constantine. Do not worry. When I was rising in the ranks here, it was you who drilled it in that I had to care for myself alone. To think that Kermit frog would make me feel otherwise is ridiculous,” she said. For a while, there was quiet. Then, they heard the steps of two other guards approach them from down the hallway. One had a loose strait-jacket in hand, and the other was pushing a wheelchair. Constantine’s face took on a deadpan expression.
“Honestly, is this even necessary?” he asked. Nadya finally allowed a small smirk to grace her own lips,
“Now you know, we can’t take any chances with you,” she said, happy to have a distraction from the subject at hand. He sighed and waved a flipper dismissively.
“Alright, alright. I suppose. I have left you all no choice,” he said. With that, Nadya opened the cage door once the two men reached them. They went inside and warily approached Constantine who growled and hissed at them before saying, “boo.” At this, they jumped back. Nadya rolled her eyes.
“Oh, for the love of,” she started, and pushed her way forward to wrap Constantine up herself. He’d never admit it out loud, but he enjoyed the attention, and took in a whiff of her Coconut scented shampoo as she snapped on the last strap. With that, she placed him in the wheelchair before standing with her hands on her hips.
“There, you all are such babies. Must I do everything?” she asked.
“They do not know our dance, Nadya. We have done this for long time,” Constantine said.
“Yeah, yeah.” There was a beat.
“You do know, that the Mahppet family is simply not the one you belong too,” he said lowly. And she paused a moment before looking at him. He stared back with a neutral expression, but she knew he meant something behind what he said. She shook the thought from her mind.
“Take him away,” Nadya replied, gesturing as such with her hand. The two men nodded and pushed Constantine out of the cell and down the hall. Nadya couldn’t help but smile to herself as she made her way back to her office.
He was right. In every sense of the word, he was right. He knew her better than anyone else there. He was the one who, although he was a criminal, had pushed her to not be a pushover. So, when she reached her locker and opened it, she took a moment to stare at the shrine…the shrine she had made of Kermit. Though really, in her mind, it was Constantine.
She had let Kermit replace Constantine because of just that: he was a good place holder. And yes, he had brought a bit of warmth into her heart during his small stay there. It was nice, and she didn’t want that feeling to go away so soon. But they were of two different worlds, and he was not her Constantine.
Her Constantine was tough, and didn’t take orders from anyone. In fact, she didn’t start really feeling an attraction to Kermit until he began yelling at the prisoners. She honestly had a thing for men who could take charge. It was misplaced infatuation though, really…and she knew it. She knew it as she tore the pictures down one by one—as she peeled away the layers of playing the music and lighting the lights on a daily basis. Because in the end it wasn’t about the Muppets or their family, but about the stick-figure of the frog dawn drawn sloppily on a picture that was created when she was 8 years old, and was pasted to the very back of her locker.
Author’s Note: I sort of have this idea that Constantine breaking out of jail is a recurring thing, so it doesn’t really surprise Nadya. He breaks out and she’ll frequently try to stop him, but fails. But in the end the authorities always get him and he’s dragged back to the Gulag where he’ll stay a while until he formulates his next crime/escape.
Comments/Reviews are welcome! Thank you!
-Brittany L. Reid