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Worth a Thousand Words - Revealed - Not a rock, I'm just Ruth
All Me, no apologies
just_ruth
just_ruth
Worth a Thousand Words - Revealed
My Yuletide Fic that turned into a real challenge when I couldn't find any source material

Title: Worth a Thousand Words
Author: Just Ruth
Series: Kung Fu: The Legend Continues/Cover-Up
Rating: PG
Warnings: none
Disclaimer: Characters and situations the property of Warner Brothers Television and 20-th Century Fox Television no profit is being made from the use of them. You honestly think anyone would pay me for this?
*****

"So, where's Kermit?"

"I don't know, he said he had an appointment."

*****

He always kept this appointment, every November 11. His sister and nieces greeted him at the door of the Veteran's Home. Inside, the staff had dressed the old man in his uniform. He always insisted on his uniform. The dark blue jacket hung a little slack, but the gold braid and buttons were shining and he held his shoulders straight and proud. His pants were freshly pressed and had been neatly folded and pinned where his legs ended.

In 1944 Master Sergeant Kermit Griffin had been part of the forces that landed on a tiny coral island called Peleliu. He survived a battle that proved more costly than the Allies anticipated. He had come back to the United States to make a good name for himself. A name that lived on in his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren.

"Once a Marine, always a Marine," he said, adjusting his white gloves. His smoked glasses hid his eyes, also damaged in the battle that took his legs.

Kermit's uniform was the dark green of army special forces; his dark glasses a mirror for the old man's although worn for a different reason. He saluted the old man briskly.

"Permission to assist, sir," he said.

"Permission granted," the old man returned the salute. His wheelchair was freshly polished and the chrome sparkled in the early morning sun. Kermit and the family pushed him out to the van and made sure he was comfortably loaded inside.

There weren't many people at the cemetery, but the Boy Scouts in their fresh-scrubbed uniforms were there after having spent the morning planting small flags at the various headstones and a group of veterans in an assortment of uniforms from all the branches of the service and members of their families had come to watch. A local High School band struck up "the Star Spangled Banner" as Kermit pushed his grandfather to the flag pole.

A local dignitary led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave a speech about gratitude, blah, blah, blah, about as sincere as a salesman's smile.

Kermit spotted the woman in black while he tried to keep himself from getting bored during the blah, blah, blah. The graceful brunette was as beautiful as he remembered, even though he'd only seen her once before in person. He'd seen her pictures in various magazines over the years; fashion photographer Danni Reynolds – the photographer top models prayed would do their spreads.

It was "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month." A lone trumpeter began "Taps" slightly off key, but corrected himself as he continued with the tune.

With great dignity, Kermit's grandfather raised the flag to the top of the pole. He saluted the banner.

Kermit helped the old man back to the van and told his sister he'd catch a taxi later. He headed back to the military section, pausing every so often at a name he recognized. He knew too many of these names.

The woman in black was standing by the headstone he expected her to be.

Mac Harper
November 5 1957 – October 18 1984

Kermit saluted the stone.

She frowned at him, her brown eyes wary. There were small lines at the corners of the those eyes and a few threads of silver in her hair, enhancing what had always been enchanting.

"Ms. Reynolds?" he said.

"I'm Danni Reynolds, yes," she answered.

"I'm Kermit Griffin, ma'am, Mac saved my life."

"I see," she looked down at the stone.

"I was sorry I couldn't save him," Kermit was glad of his dark glasses. She couldn't read his feelings at this moment.

"How did he die?"

Kermit took a breath and tried to find the words.

"I was sent to retrieve a deep cover agent. Mac was to follow with the chopper for pick-up."
*****

The mountains of Afghanistan are beautiful. They were also torturous, rocky, full of caves and switchbacks. There were perfect for hiding; they were hell for rescue.

It was supposed to be quick. Go in, scoop up the operatives and get back out.

Naturally, it refused to be that easy.

"Leave me," panted Nassir, the Afghani descended American had been in deep cover for nearly a year. His information would be invaluable.

"No," Kermit shook his head. Nassir was to be evacuated at all costs, those were his orders. The two had been dodging Russians and their allies for three days while trying to stay in the area that rescue was supposed to be coming from. Nassir was bleeding down his leg; a rock fragment from a ricochet had sliced his calf yesterday. Kermit looked up into the night sky and resisted the urge to curse aloud. Clear again; a helicopter would be a target unless the moon was hiding the clouds.

There was the faintest scrape of leather on stone. Kermit whirled, his gun out and ready. He only had three bullets left in the magazine and he intended to make them count.

"Eagle One to Snoopy, do you copy?" a man's voice whispered in English.

"Roger, Charlie Brown," Kermit countersigned, lowering his weapon cautiously.

The man was too damn handsome for his own good, even in stealth black with black make-up smeared on his face. "Mac Hunter."

"Kermit Griffin, Nassir Malik."

"This way," the two men were led through a switchback to a small valley where a chopper waited.

"So much for the cold front," muttered the pilot as Kermit handed in Nassir.

"We landed earlier in the day," explained Mac. "There were supposed be clouds coming in tonight."

Kermit just nodded. "Anything on the radio?"

"Static and bits of Russian," reported the pilot. "Should we chance it?"

All four men froze as the drone of an engine echoed over the hills. Kermit swore softly as he hopped up on a rock to see better. "Natives in a Russian jeep. Can't tell whose side they're on from here.

"There's our answer," Mac muttered. "Come on! Louie, when you hear the boom, take off." He handed Kermit a grenade.

Lob the grenade into the jeep and get the chopper out in the confusion. Should have been easy.
*****

"We got the jeep with the grenade; but we were spotted and they launched a bazooka. Knocked me flying." Kermit paused, took a deep breath, and lied. "Mac never knew what hit him."

But he had. Both legs gone and most of one arm but still alive, still suffering.

"Do what you gotta," he whispered. Kermit pulled out his pistol and used one of his bullets.

"I knew his body was never recovered," Danni wiped at her eyes. "You got back to the helicopter?"

"No, ma'am," Kermit looked down at the stone. "I ended up hiding in the hills for another three months. Made my way to Pakistan with a goat herder and got out through the embassy there. By that time I'd been declared dead. . ." Less said about that the better. He still had the "Dear John" letter his "widow" wrote him when he was recovering in the German hospital.

"I'm sorry," she looked down.

"I saw you at his memorial service, ma'am," Kermit looked away.

"I didn't see you. I would have certainly remembered that attractive white blaze you have."

"That came later, ma'am," he was glad of his dark glasses again, although they couldn't hide the warm rising in his cheeks.

"I'm going to be publishing a book of my favorite photos. Sort of a pictorial autobiography, I'll be including some of my favorite ones of Mac."

"I'll be sure to get a copy, ma'am."

"Thank you," she turned from the grave. "Thank you, Mr. Griffin."

"Yes, ma'am," Kermit waited until she was almost to her car before he turned and saluted the stone.

*******

"Finished with your errand, Kermit?"

"I'm back here, aren't I?"

"How was the ceremony?"

"Good, brought back a lot of memories. A lot."

-fin-
2 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
darthanne From: darthanne Date: January 1st, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
*Hugs Kermit

This turned out well, poor guy. The story he tells is a little different from the events. I've been keeping an eye out for this fic as I remember when you were asking for information on the series.

Wish there was more out there.
just_ruth From: just_ruth Date: January 1st, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Kermit holds his secrets. Thanks for reading. I wish there was more references too. It's surprising because the show lasted on air longer than the original "Kung Fu."
2 comments or Leave a comment