The fire cracked as the smell of its burning cedar filled the house. The warmth was more than welcomed in the old, drafty farm house. Don, Mike, Leo and Casey sat around the coffee table in the middle of the floor, playing Scategories; Donatello fighting with Michealangelo once again, insisting he was making up words.

"Dude, Shwasted is totally an adult term!" Mike said making quotation symbols with his fingers when he emphasized the two key words.

Crossing his arms Don glared at him "Really, what exactly does Shwasted mean then?" Donny mimicked his quotations with a challenging glare.

"Shit faced and wasted… naturally!" he giggled.

Casey reached for a potato chip and put his bottle up, clinking his beer with Mikey's.

"He's gotcha there Don." He pointed it at Don then pulled it back taking a sip.

"Ah… next." Donatellos shoulders fell with his defeat. Leo smirked.

Splinter chuckled, glancing up from his book, covered in a blanket next to the fire. April walked in, holding the last of the ornaments.

"All….. Done!" She exclaimed standing back and looking at the tree.

For the last seven years, they had all been coming to the farm for Christmas. It was the perfect setting and place to spend the holiday. The smell of the ham whiffed through the house, mingling with the crackling wood scent.

They turned as they hear muffling coming from outside, foot steps on the porch then the front door swung open, the harsh wind dumping the couple into the house.

"Ya said that ya didn't wanna talk 'bout it, so I stopped talk'en bout it!" Raphael stood staring at her as he slammed the door behind him.

Tearing off her coat, Shay narrowed her eyes "Well, perhaps… when I say 'Fine…' that doesn't mean I'm fine!"

He pulled his boots off and tossed them on the ground, throwing snow all over as he went. "I asked a simple question, ya answered it?! Where's the damn fight?!" he flailed his arms, as he pulled off his coat.

Mikey and Don looked at each other with smirks of interest. They loved watching their brother squirm at the mercy of Shadow Jones.

"The fight started…when I asked you why you were being so quiet… and you bit my head off and said 'Whats it fucken matter to ya?'" Shadow crossed her arms stating the last part by deepening her voice, taunting him with his harsh words.

"Ok… ok, I get it! I didn't mean'ta be a dick…" he tossed his coat on the floor, looking at her. The deep scar only a few months old on his left arm was staring straight at her.

"Ah ha ha hem…" They both turned to look at April as she cleared her throat. The whole family looked at her as she pointed for them to look up.

Glaring at one another, arms crossed, they glanced up. Mistletoe hung from the rafter, its red bow and fake snow mocking them. Raphael looked back down at her and uncrossed his arms. She lifted at eye brow at him, not moving a muscle. Leaning forward he pecked her on the cheek.

"Happy?" Raph turned and asked the group in the living room.

"Cheaters!" Mikey pointed as Casey shut his eyes and turned toward Leo who gave him a sympathetic smirk.

Shadow looked at Raphael, still harboring a look of anger.

"S'cuse us…" he said bitterly squinting his eyes; grabbed her head with both his hands, he planted one right on her, in front of everyone.

It had been a fight about a month ago. They never gave each other any physical attention when anyone from the family was around. Raphael had said it was 'weird'. Mikey would tease them, telling them their whole relationship was just a 'scam' to send Casey to an early grave. Shay wanted him to show just a little bit more affection towards her in front of others; the whole time he claimed that it was intimate, just for the two of them.

She uncrossed her arms, wrapping them around his waist as he kissed her.

"Gross! It's not a scam… its real! I believe!" Mikey said all dramatically sitting beside the table, as he pretended to fall over to the floor, bowing down.

Donatello started to laugh along with Leonardo. April snickered at Mikey, turning to look at the others. She hadn't seen Don and Leo laugh this hard in years, which brought her to laugh harder. Soon they were in tears.

Shadow giggled between kisses. Raph put his middle finger up, flipping them off.

Splinter shook his head and looked back down at his book "Kids."

They pulled apart as Raphael dove for his brothers, they all laughed as the wrestling ensued. Very rarely was there infectious laughter around for them like tonight. April smiled, supposing it was the Holiday, or perhaps the farm, or it could be that they all realized that they were grown ups; with real problems, threats, issues, relationships, and dreams, and once in a while, they need that child-like behavior to remind them that their a family that loves.

Shadow walked behind April to the kitchen "It smells amazing in here!" she said watching as the older woman pulled a dish out of the over, on the rack above the ham.

April smiled as she set the hot dish down on the stove and pulled the oven mitt off, "Thanks!" she said sitting down, taking a few deep breathes.

"So, another fight, about… dumb things?" she asked.

"Yea… he asked if we could take a walk. At first it was sweet; we walked down by the barn and sat on some of the firewood thats piled up down there?" April nodded "Well…I asked him why he was being an ass. And I got a big'ol 'F- you'. Then after I ignored him, he asked if I was fine, and I said... I was fine. I wasn't, but if he woulda left me alone... I woulda been." Shadow shrugged "He didn't drop it."

April smiled at her "You gotta remember, he's never been in a relationship before. All these little things to you… are big to him; especially since he's already the silent, brooding type." April crossed her legs and began kicking her one foot. Shadow nodded her head.

"Besides… I see the way he looks at you." She winked at her. Shay felt her face grow warm.

"Yea well…I'm going to go upstairs and get warm clothes on. Raph also found it hilarious to push me down in the snow." She said backing up to the stairs.

"What do I think's funny?" he asked, as she backed up into him.

"OH… me in the snow." She said matter-o-fact.

"Hell yes it is!" he said grabbing her and picking her up over his shoulder. She started squealing and laughing as he went for the door.

"Raph… Raph! No nononono! Don't please?" she began to beg as he trudged outside. He jumped off the porch with her, landing into the one and a half feet of snow that lined the path that they had shoveled that afternoon when they arrived. She started laughed and squealing as he held her down.

"Waaahoooo!" they heard as a body landed right next to them, throwing an avalanche of snow onto them. Mikey giggled as he stood, then falling again, pretending to give Raphael an elbow to the back.

Thwack! " Hey! " Mike yelled as he was nailed in the back of the head; shooting a look to the porch seeing Don and Leo making snow balls from off of the railing. They both snickered and pounded fists as they pelted the other three with snow. Raph leaned over Shadow as she giggled, huddling under him.

"Ok! Hey… dinners almost ready… ya gotta clean up!" Casey yelled standing in the door.

His eyes flow open a second later as he slammed the door shut; five snow balls banged into the door.

Dinner was eaten in a fashion that made Splinters heart flutter. The large table was full of his family passing plates, grabbing spoons, laughing and the tossing of rolls. The old rat sat, enjoying Christmas, as it was his favorite.

After dinner, they sat, sometimes talking, playing cards or some other game. Like any other year, April had brought the old radio in, and set in on the floor, plugging it in.

Raphael sat on the couch, slouched as Shadow sat on the floor Indian style, between his legs.

"You! It seems we meet again!" She pointed at the radio as April attempted to dial into a station with Christmas tunes.

Raphael laughed as everyone else just raised an eyebrow at her. Soon she settled back down as his hand began lazily playing with her hair. Casey moved over on the loveseat so April could fit. Passing out gifts, they always pulled names out of the hat; it was always the only fare thing to do for the guys.

Leo had given Donny a subscription to a computer magazine. Casey and April gave Mikey a new game for his Xbox that they had got him a few years back. Don handed Casey and April two tickets he had ordered off the internet for them to go see a Yankee's game. At this point, you would have thought that Donny just gave Casey a million dollars. Mikey handed Splinter a new, warm fleece blanket and a home-made coupon list. Exactly like the ones people made in first grade. The dreaded 'I-O-U's'. Everyone thought it was pretty appropriate as they laughed. Splinter gave Shadow a mug with an assortment of delicious teas and a book on stress management with a sweet note inside stating that he felt the stress was his fault, since Raphael was his son and all. She had read it out loud at Raphaels' expense.

Raph turned and tossed Leo his gift. He pulled the paper off the box and opened it. A Scow crossed his face at first as he looked down at the Playboy that sat on top. He looked up at Raph who nodded for him to continue and he found himself staring at a new sharpening kit for his Katana. He had always used the old stones that Splinter had for him; however this was something that Raph had to have gotten Shadow or April, someone else to pick up for him. His smile to his brother said a million thank you's as Raph nodded.

Digging behind her, Shay pulled out her gift for Raphael, seeing as she pulled his name. He smiled at her as the box was flat and heavy.

"Dude… if theres chocolate in there, I'm so freak'en jealous." Mikey said in the most serious of tones. Shadow chuckled.

Raphael pulled the paper off and looked down at the wooden box almost two feet long. He glanced at her having an idea what was in it. Unclasping the latch, he pushed the top up to revel two, gleaming, black-leather handled, silver Sai's. They were the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, almost. He picked the first one up gingerly to inspect it, he noticed an engraving on the middle prong as the fire flickered off of it. Reading it, he looked at her as she smiled warmly at him. Looking into the case he noticed that the other was engraved as well. Tilting the box, he read the other as well. Splinter put his hand out, motioning for the box. He smiled as he inspected his sons' gift.

"Trust and Honor." Splinter read them, smiled again looking at Raphael and Shadow.

"A most amazing gift, with most appropriate reminders." He nodded as he handed the box back to Raphael. Leaning down he kissed her on the forehead. Picking them up, he stood, twirling them around in his grasp, feeling the metal between his fingers. He grinned.

"OH!" April said as she grabbed a box, "We have one more." She said sliding it across the floor to Shadow, who glanced down.

Picking up the box she looked up at them and smiled a small smile. Tugging on the bow, she watched as the red ribbon fell away. Lifting the lid on the white, unwrapped box, she looked in, finding and shirt and an envelope. She took out the manila envelope and set it aside. Looking down she started at the t-shirt that was in front of her.

"Sexy Sista?" she questioned reading the shirt aloud, cocking her head at her dad and step mother. They looked at her, waiting for her to get it. Her eyes flew wide as she gasped; the guys still looked around at one another, "Oh my god you're pregnant!" Shadow yelled standing and hugging April to her. The two women beamed, speaking almost a different language as they giggled at one another. Shadow reached for the envelope and pulled out the sonogram. There in the middle of the black and white photo was the smallest of life forms; her new sibling.

"OH just look at the little peanut!" she exclaimed and put a hand to Aprils stomach.

"What about me?" Casey said standing and looking at his daughter.

"You did enough!" Shadow said waving the photo in her hand at her father, joking with him. They all laughed as Caseys face turned red and fell.

"Yay dad!" she said hugging him. He brushed her hair over her head. Pulled her back and smiled at her, just admiring his first born.

"And if it's another girl… she's off limits!" Casey laughed, turning and pointing at Raphael who just lifted his eye brows at him with a smirk.


The night died down as Shadow heard the clock down stares ring well past midnight. She tiptoed back into the bed room as not to wake her parents, who insisted that Raph and her just share a blow up mattress on the floor of their room. They hadn't decided if it was Caseys' way of keeping an eye on things, or they just understood that the new couple didn't want to sleep separately.

Putting her contacts case on the dresser, she pulled back the heavy blanket to crawl under. She glanced to the door hearing the hallway floor creek; Raphael squeezing himself inside, moving silently to the air mattress and lying next to her. She smiled at him.

"Thank you…" he whispered.

She smiled back at him "Your welcome." She felt something land on her chest.

Glancing down, she reached to her collar bone area and felt something. Looking at him, he pretended to not pay attention, glancing at his nails.

Shadow pulled the chain up and looked at it. A silver chain with a solitaire, round cut ruby. She put her hand over her mouth.

"How did you… when?" she stammered as he smiled at her and pulled her under him.

"I saved for ah'while...ironically ah'few weeks before we first came up'ear." he nuzzled her neck. " So ya like it?" he asked, bringing his eyes into her view, sucking on his bottom lip with a wolfish grin.

"I love it and you know I do!" she whispered kissing him. Sitting up she placed it on top of the dresser as to not loose it, or break it in her sleep.

She turned the small lamp off and settled in next to him. He pulled her to him, kissing her neck. His large arm draped over her waist under the heavy, knit blanket.

"Love ya girlie…" he whispered the simple but sweet pet name he had been calling her when they were alone. She smiled.

"Love you Raphael…" She squeezed his arm.

All was quiet as they lay there, inching closer to sleep.

April shot out of bed, throwing the covers to her side and ran out of the room.

Casey sat up and ran a hand over his face and sighed, "Morning sickness…. Welcome to my hell!" He rolled out of bed as he marched away in the direction that the nauseous red head had just gone.

Raphael and Shay laughed at the expense of her poor parents. They both stopped abruptly and turned their heads looking at one another… and shuttered, thinking of that situation as the thought hit them both at once.

"Naw thanks..." He said settling his head back down.

"Yea, No… " she pulled his arm back around her as they drifted off to sleep.


Finished! i was going to keep going... but, perhaps a second story? I dunno... you guys think there should be a Shadows part II??