Summary: What was supposed to be a pleasant Christmas Eve with family and friends suddenly turns to one of terror and uncertainty for the turtles. Will they make it through this Christmas together? Or will one fall? Mikey centric (as usual)
A/N: Alrighty dighty, people, I'm back in the world of TMNT! Sorry for my long absence... I've started writing Psych fanfiction, and that combined with an all-around busy life has pretty much sucked up my time. For those of you who are (hopefully) still waiting for an update on To Err Is to Be Human, I'm sorry to say I do not have an update ready, but I can say it has not been forgotten. It's on a brief hiatus, but hopefully it will not be for much longer!
So, in the spirit of Christmas, and after rewatching "The Christmas Aliens" episode, I've come up with this little story. At the moment, I'm only planning for it to be about three chapters long or so... if anything, it will be a little longer.
This story is currently running unbeta'd (sorry, mav, just had to post it!) so any mistakes are my own. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own TMNT or the rights to the songs "Let It Snow", "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" or "Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas". I also don't own to the rights to the song which the title comes from ("It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year").
Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful.
And since we've no place to go,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
"Mikey, I swear, if you don't turn down that dang radio, I will take a hockey stick to it!"
"Don't knock the classics, Casey!"
"If I want classics, I'll listen to Queen or the Rolling Stones, or even the Beatles, but not this crap, thank you very much."
"Boys, pipe down, already! Mikey, pass me the vanilla, would you? This caramel's almost ready."
"Sure thing, Ape," Mikey replied, reaching over and grabbing the bottle next to his mixing bowl.
"Thanks," the redhead replied, taking the bottle from the orange-clad turtle with a smile. "How are the Christmas cookies coming?"
"Good - finally got them all mixed. It's a pain in the butt mixing a double batch of dough, but it'll be worth it - if I didn't, there'd be mad fights over the cookies between me and my bros. The guys will probably be here in time to snag a few from the first batch out of the oven. I don't ever remember a Christmas where Raph and Leo didn't burn their tongues on hot cookies."
"You made a double batch? But I thought Splinter and Don were already making a batch back at the lair!" April exclaimed in surprise, taking her batch of caramel off the stove as the electric candy thermometer beeped.
Mikey grinned, itching his beak with the back of his hand. "That's the point. This way there should be enough to last until dinner."
April laughed. "Good thing you're here to help, or I'd never be able to make enough food for tonight. Oh, here," she added, reaching over to wipe the streak of flour Mikey's white hand had left on his beak.
"Thanks. And it's my pleasure, Ape. No offense to Donnie, but your kitchen appliances are actually reliable," Mikey replied, filling a cookie press with some of the dough.
"Don't worry, Mikey, I'm sure he'll have the kitchen fixed up soon enough," April consoled, pouring the caramel into a large pan.
"I hope so," Mikey declared fervently, turning to the older woman, a wooden spoon in his hand. "If I have to hear Raph complain one more time about something being burnt-"
"Whoa, cookie dough at three o'clock!" Casey suddenly exclaimed, reaching up to wipe off a small amount of batter that had landed on his cheek. Mikey blushed and dropped the spoon back into the bowl. "Ya need to watch your aim, bud," Casey declared with a smirk before sticking his dough-covered finger in his mouth. His eyes lit up and he smiled. "But you've definitely got cookie makin' down pat. Any chance I can snag some more dough?"
"Not unless you want to explain to Raph why the last cookie that should be his is in your stomach," Mikey warned, the cookie press clicking loudly as he started putting cookies on the baking sheet.
"Get back to stringing popcorn, Jones," April added sternly, thrusting her finger back in the direction of the living room. Mikey struggled to hide a snort at the dumbstruck look on Casey's face.
"But babe, I can't hardly move my fingers any more!" the man whined, holding up his hands, revealing numerous bandages on his fingers.
Both Mikey and April snickered. "Fine. Start hanging the lights. And don't call me 'babe'," April ordered, a smile playing at her lips.
"Sure thing… babe!" Casey laughed, jogging back into the living room.
"Casey Jones!" April called angrily, wiping her hands on the apron tied around her thin waist and striding forcefully after him. Mikey chuckled and shook his head, placing the tray of cookies into the oven, humming along with the last few bars of the song on the radio.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Toys in every store.
But the prettiest sight to see
Is the holly that will be
On your own front door.
Sure it's Christmas once more.
"Is this where you wanted them, babe?"
"No, put them around the window."
"Babe, who's gonna see them in this window? This one faces the alley!"
"Not that window! That one over there!"
Mikey laughed again as he moved to grab a clean bowl from one of the cupboards. He smiled as the song on the radio changed, and turned it up, although not loud enough to drown out the loud conversation coming in from the living room. After listening for a little bit, he started belting out the lyrics along with the singer.
Have a holly, jolly Christmas, Oh, ho, the mistletoe
And when you walk down the street
Say hello to friends you know
And everyone you meet.
Hung where you can see,
Somebody waits for you
Kiss her once for me.
Oh, ho, the mistletoe
"Ha, ha, very funny, Mikey!" April called. "Don't make any wise remarks, Jones."
"Don't you have some mistletoe around, babe? Ya gotta have mistletoe at Christmas."
Mikey grinned when he heard April laughing nervously. He stepped out into the living room and saw the couple staring at each other. Mikey coughed loudly, causing the pair to jump and whirl to face him. The turtle bit back a laugh when he saw something green drop from April's hand.
"I'm gonna head over to the store - I need more powdered sugar for the cookie icing," he calmly declared, pulling on his snow pants draped over an armchair. "Ape, you're gonna have to pull the first batch out of the oven. And try not to be surprised when Raph and Leo appear out of nowhere - they have a sixth sense when it comes to sugar cookies. And Don's not much better."
"Mikey, there's another bag in the pantry," April said, puzzled. "You have plenty of sugar."
"Trust me - we'll need more," Mikey answered with a grin, pulling on his coat and scarf. "Don't worry, I won't be gone long - twenty minutes, max. Don't you two lovebirds kill each other now!" he called cheerfully heading for the door as he pulled on his hat and mittens. He winked as Casey gave him a thumbs-up behind April's back. "See ya in a few!"
"You better be quick, Michelangelo! I don't want to hold off your brothers and Casey all by myself!" April called as he swung the door shut.
Mikey laughed as he bounded down the stairs. He wove his way through the numerous antiques sprawled out in April's shop as he made his way to the door that led to the alley. He closed the door firmly behind him and shivered slightly, tightening the scarf around his face and pulling his hat low so only his eyes were visible. He squinted upwards, fat snowflakes falling into his eyes. "I love Christmas," he sighed, heading towards the sidewalk.
The street was relatively empty since it was Christmas Eve, and Mikey made it to the small grocery store two blocks away from April's shop in only a few minutes. He casually strolled through, pausing at the comic stand to peruse the latest selection. "I've already read all of these," he moped quietly, heading towards the baking aisle. He quickly grabbed a truly unneeded bag of powdered sugar off the shelf.
"Case so owes me big for this," he muttered, smirking under his scarf as he made his way to the registers. "Hope he realizes that was his Christmas gift from me."
"How are you tonight, sir?" the cashier asked kindly, her blue eyes sparkling. Her blond hair was flecked with gray, and the wrinkles around her eyes reflected her smiling nature.
"Just great, thanks. Just had to run and grab some sugar for the icing for the Christmas cookies - my brothers would kill me if we ran out of icing before they could lick the bowl," Mikey replied, handing her a few bills.
The woman laughed as she counted out his change. "Oh, my, yes, that would be terrible crime, wouldn't it?" she asked humorously, handing Mikey a small paper sack with the bag of powdered sugar.
"How about you? Working on Christmas Eve?" Mikey asked, loosely clenching the handles of the sack in his gloved hand.
The woman nodded. "I don't mind - my husband and I own this store. We always work Christmas Eve so our employees don't have to. And it gives us the opportunity to take all the money and food we raised for the homeless shelter over there after we close," she added, pointing over to a gigantic bin filled with food, and a money box next to it.
"That's awesome!" Mikey declared, his tone belaying his smile hidden under his scarf. "Well, I'd better get going before my bros eat all the cookies without me. Merry Christmas!"
"Merry Christmas to you, too! Thanks for coming in!" she called.
Mikey paused by the donation bin, then dug into his pockets for the change and dumped it all into the box. "Heh," he murmured, looking at the nearly overflowing box. "It's nice to help people without having to knock others out."
He moved through the automatic sliding door, but paused when he heard an all-too-familiar click behind him. "Alright, lady - give me-"
The gruff voice was cut off as the door slid shut, but the ninja had heard enough. Mikey bent down, appearing as if he was re-lacing his boot, and peered under his arm. Through the slightly fogged glass, he could see the store owner standing with her hands raised, a look of terror on her slightly wrinkled face as she stared down the barrel of a gun.
"Guess I spoke too soon," Mikey growled, digging into his other pocket. He pulled out a shuriken and used it to open the bag of powdered sugar. Then he tucked the shuriken back into his pocket and stood straight. He turned around and strode back through the door, purposefully looking around, although he saw the gunman whirl out of the corner of his eye. "I almost forgot food coloring! Can't have cookies without-"
"Don't move!" the thug barked, and Mikey brought his gaze down to the gunman. The gun was now leveled at his chest, and although it made him rather nervous, it was better than having it pointed at the woman.
"Whoa, easy, dude," Mikey exclaimed, holding the sack in front of him protectively. "Just take it easy."
"Get over here. Next to Granny. No sudden movements," the thief barked, waving his gun jerkily towards the store owner, who harrumphed at being called a "granny" but wisely kept silent.
"Okay. Okay - just take it easy," Mikey said soothingly, slowly easing his way over to the register, still loosely gripping the paper sack.
The gunman stared at them with wide eyes, pulling a walkie-talkie out of his coat pocket. "Alright, guys, c'mon in," he growled into it.
"Where's your husband?" Mikey whispered to the woman as five more men streamed in through the door, each armed with large guns.
"In the stockroom," she murmured, her voice laced with fear. "He won't be coming out for awhile."
"Good. I'm Mikey."
The woman blinked, looking up at his eyes. "Amanda," she murmured back, the faintest of a smile pulling at her lips.
"Nice to meet you, Amanda. When I say 'down', duck down behind-"
"Stop talking!" the first gunman barked as the rest of the crew broke open the register and the cash donation box by the door and started stuffing the cash into duffel bags. Mikey and Amanda immediately straightened up.
The sack in Mikey's hands crinkled as his grip tightened reflexively, and a small puff of the powdered sugar shot out from the opening. Mikey winced inwardly as the thug's eyes narrowed. "What's in the sack?" he demanded.
"Powdered sugar. The bag must be open or something. Here, you can look if you want," Mikey offered, tipping the sack slowly forward, trying his best to keep his voice relaxed, even as his body tensed slightly. The thug eyed him skeptically, then leaned forward to peer inside.
"Down!" Mikey suddenly shouted, thrusting his arms forward. Amanda immediately dropped down as sugar seemed to explode from the sack, causing the gunman to shout in surprise as the sweet powder landed in his eyes.
The other thugs whirled as Mikey dropped the sack and leapt over the counter, knocking the gunman down with a swift kick to the jaw. "Get 'im!" one of the others shouted, raising his weapon. The others followed suit.
Oh, crud, muttered Mikey's inner Raph.
Bursts of gunfire echoed throughout the store as the five weapons released a deadly barrage. Mikey leapt high into the air and flipped, dodging the deadly slugs as he moved towards the nearest pair of thugs, Amanda's scream echoing in his ears. With a quick roundhouse kick, both were down for the count.
Immediately Mikey moved again, snagging a can of soup from a nearby display and tossing it at a third gunman. The can flew true, smacking into the man's forehead dead on, and he dropped to the ground, a few bullets flying into the ceiling. Two cans later, the remainder of the gunmen were on their knees, clutching at their heads and moaning. Mikey smirked, readjusting his scarf slightly as he stared at the soup display. "Clam chowder - good thing it's a heavy soup," he quipped.
Mikey's head shot around when he heard a faint gasp. Amanda had raised her head slightly over the counter and was staring at Mikey in wide-eyed disbelief. The ninja swiftly moved forward. "Are you-"
Suddenly there was a thunderous bang, and Mikey dimly felt something slam into his upper body, causing him to stumble and fall backwards to the ground. Amanda clapped a hand to her mouth in horror as silence descended over the store.
For a long moment, no one moved. Mikey blinked slowly, moving his right hand up to his left shoulder, looking from the dark hole in it to the first gunman, who was staring at him in disbelief.
Then time sped up again. Mikey became aware of a fiery pain racing across his body, originating at his shoulder as the other gunmen scrambled to their feet. "Come on, we've got the dough - let's get out of here!" one exclaimed frantically, snagging the duffel bag at his feet and scrambling out the door. The others quickly followed suit.
"Amanda? Amanda!" a male voice frantically screamed as the last of the thugs disappeared out the door.
"Ed!" the woman screamed, standing up and whirling around as a man appeared from behind one of the shelves. His glasses were askew, his dark eyes filled with panic.
"I heard gunshots - babe, are you alright?" Ed demanded, rushing forward and gathering his wife in his arms.
"Yes, dear, thanks to Mikey," Amanda replied tearfully, turning to face the ninja, who was slowly getting to his feet, a gloved hand still tightly pressed to his shoulder. Her eyes widened, and she pulled out of Ed's grasp to rush forward. "Quick, honey, call 911 - he's been shot!"
"I'll be fine," Mikey replied tensely, moving to the door. "But do call the cops!"
"But where are you going?" Amanda asked, grabbing at his arm.
Mikey paused and turned. "I've gotta go after those guys!"
"No, you don't - it's not worth getting yourself killed, son!" Ed replied firmly.
"I'll be fine, I promise," Mikey assured them, heading back for the door. He paused, then patted down his pockets and groaned. "Of all the days for me to not have my cell…" He trailed off as he felt a small object in his coat. "Sure hope Don realizes I took a tracker," he declared, taking off again.
He whirled when he heard tires squealing and saw the gunmen scrambling into a truck as it pulled away from the curve. Mikey let his hand fall from his shoulder, doing his best to block out the pain and the feeling of wetness spreading across his coat, and broke into a sprint. The van fishtailed as it pulled away, and the driver slowed slightly to get more traction.
It was the hesitation the turtle needed. He leapt up and landed in the bed of the truck, wincing as he landed on a bunch of junk. He quickly shoved some of it aside and grabbed a nearby tarp, pulling it over himself to hide.
As the truck sped around several turns, Mikey brought his bloodied glove back up to his shoulder. A large crimson stain had already darkened a good portion of his orange jacket. He grit his teeth as pain flared from the wound. "This is the last time I do Casey any favors."
A/N: There you have it! First chapter down! As always, feedback is appreciated and greatly encouraged (it really does speed up the writing process). Thanks for reading!
Merry Christmas! (And Happy Holidays to those who celebrate other holidays!)