A/N Don't own 'em but love em.


Cool water sprinkled down on an overly relaxed raccoon, who took no notice.

Hammy emerged from the water, spewing the remaining liquid out of his mouth. RJ vaguely heard Verne scolding him and instructing him again on proper water safety. He partly was too relaxed to care and partly too distracted to notice. Not one to dwell on distractions, he flipped over on his stomach, arching his neck up so his face wasn't submerged.

"Hey Verne, when you're done?"

The turtle stopped his water etiquette lecture and looked over at the raccoon. He had learned that although they were more unconciously driven than conscious, RJ's sudden bouts of serious behavior was not to be ignored any more than his tingly tail was. Much to Hammy's delight Verne ended his lesson abruptly and swam over to RJ leaving the squirrel to see how long he could hold his breath under water.

"What's up RJ?" Verne asked curiously.

The raccoon shrugged. Only RJ could be so lazy about his own topic of conversation.

"Dunno. Just curious how your tail was. My keen animal instincts are telling me something is up.

"Keen animal instincts?" Verne muttered. "Spidey sense or did you eat some bad cheese?"

"Please Verne, don't mock me" RJ said flatly. "You know I don't eat cheese."

"I saw you down an entire bottle of squeezy cheese yesterday!" Verne exlaimed.

"That's not cheese, besides, I don't eat anything that expires within a decade."

Verne smirked. "So now that we know it's not cheese, what is it?"

"I dunno. All I do know is that I learned something with my misadventures with Vincent. I have this voice in my head that seems to know better than I do."

"It's called your concious and instincts RJ. It tells you what's right and wrong and what to do."

"Whatever Verne...but I know it was right about you guys. And about that incident with the Schneider cat Charlie."

"That didn't end well." Verne said recalling the failed attempt to hack into their cable internet connection. "I assume you didn't listen to the voice that day?"

RJ shrugged. "I can't help it if I'm a rebel

Verne knew that RJ was no more a true rebel than Lucy from 'I love Lucy' was graceful. Lazy? Yes. Selfish? Sure fire. Rebelious? That would require far more time and energy than his friend could muster without the reward of something high in sugar.

"So...should we tell everyone, should we do some, what do you call it...recon?"

RJ nodded, flipping back over and staring up at the clouds. The serious moment had passed. Verne knew it would be no good continuing the conversation. He rolled his eyes as he heard RJ start to snore and laughed as he heard him choke as Hammy pulled him under water, mistaking his tail for floatie toy.

Later that evening when RJ was scouting the Jensen's weekly grocery run Verne instructed everyone to be careful and on the lookout. When he relayed his warning to the raccoon later that night RJ was livid.

"You WHAT? Now everyone is going to be all freaked out about it and think I'm all like, like..."

"Don't worry, I didn't tell them about your 'keen animal instincts."

"Whew..." RJ sighed. "I wouldn't want anyone thinking I'm all..you know.."

"Like..me?" Verne said, annoyed. RJ grinned.

"I couldn't be the fun crazy uncle RJ if i was telling everyone to be cautious now could I? You, my man, I am happy to let be the bad guy."

The turtle gave up. He had no problem being the downer, the cautious one, the old grumpy one. He understood he no longer had the answers for his family and that RJ did. He trusted the raccoon and gladly shared the leadership role with him and he now saw it as his contribution to the family to second quess RJ's crazy plans and to put an end to situations that would turn out bad before they began. He sometimes thought he was the only one who ever thought past the sugar rush or caffeine high to the consequences of their actions. RJ, as oblivious as he could be sometimes, saw the wheels turning in his fellow head of the household's noggin and left him to think.

"Thanks Verne." he said quietly, suddenly uncharacteristicly sober as he slipped into the log and curled up next to Stella and Hammy's warm bodies. He usually preferred his own little haven to the log, but for some reason he felt like being close to them. He hadn't gotten used to the feeling of sleeping surrounded by others, but he saw the appeal and occassionally came over to enjoy it, though it usually ended badly with himself sprawled out on top of the others and waking up to their annoyed glares. But tonight he didn't care. He nudged his way between the skunk and squirrel and quickly fell asleep.

The next morning RJ woke alone. Although by nature a nocturnal animal, he had never quite been able to strictly keep the schedule. Learning from the middle aged men who stayed up late playing video games for a bit of peace and quiet, RJ tended to spend the day doing nothing, the evening and late night entertaining himself with TV and eating, and falling asleep in the wee hours of the morning. This of course caused him to rise much later than the rest of his family who hadn't yet gotten away from their natural timetable, even if he did fall asleep at the same time. He yawned and slipped outside the log, rubbing his eyes as the adjusted to the light. He was greeted by the whole family standing unnaturally stiff on top of the hedge, staring at something. Curious, he climbed up and looked over them into the yard.

"What IS that?" asked Bucky

"I don't know, but Steve and Tiger turned out ok and they were new and different!" Hammy chimed, eager to make the best of the unknown.

"It's just a dog guys, why the big deal?" huffed Stella.

For a moment, RJ wasn't sure what they were looking at, but after staring into a familiar yard a few houses down he finally saw what had caught their attention.

"Oooh nooo" he groaned. "THAT is not a good thing"

The others jumped and turned to look at him.

"That, my dear family, is a pitbull. Let no one go near it and let no one speak of it further. That house is now off limits."

There was a momentary silence.

"Did we ever actually go to that house?" asked Hammy.

"Hammy..." RJ said sarcastically, "I said let no one speak of it further"

A/N This is actually a completed story but i wanted to put it up bit by bit!