Mikey smiled, writing frantically in his books, the ideas coming so fast, he had to write them down. He sat there, concentrating hard. Then suddenly, he stopped, and frowned, he didn't know how to spell a word….or what exactly the word he came up with meant.

Sighing, he knew he needed to use a dictionary or one of the theras things, he decided he would go bug a brother.

Bounding over, still clutching his book to his chest, not wanting any sneaky brothers to read what he wrote, he bounded over to Don's lab. "Donnie?"

Don was working on separating some chemicals to make them crystallize when he heard Mikey talking from the door. Smiling when he saw Mikey actually standing in the doorway for once, and not barrelling in, he smiled, "Yes Mikey?"

Mikey smiled knowing that meant he can take a few steps in. "Do you know what kinda word can mean like, you know, scared but not scared. Like …scary scared." he said fumbling with his words, frowning at his own confusion.

Don smiled, "I don't understand what you mean Mikey. Are you trying to find a word that means more than scared?"

Mikey nodded eagerly, his smile exuberant and huge.

Don smiled, "Well, lets see, you can use petrified, terrified, afraid, fearful… why?"

Mikey was scribbling them down, already choosing the words petrified. "How you spell petified?"

Don smirked at Mikey's mispronunciation, and obediently answered, "P-e-t-r-i-f-i-e-d. Why?"

Mikey smiled, "No reason Donnie, I'm gonna go back to my room, okay?"

Don nodded, curious but left it. He returned to his experiment.

Mikey ran to his room and went to his desk and started to write again. He was literally bouncing with joy. His work was getting there, and he couldn't wait till his family heard his story.

He worked very hard for the next few days, his family often asking what he was working on, but he always replied with a "You'll see!"

But it was Mikey, and at 11 years old, you had to expect it from him.

But finally, he was finished.

He was almost bouncing off the walls waiting for their 'Turtle School' to start. He couldn't wait, and when Splinter asked if they finished their stories, he jumped up, "Sensei, Please, can I read mine? It's really long but I wanna read it….but I made copies, maybe you can read it for our bedtime story instead?"

Splinter smiled and was about to agree when Leo and Raph groaned out loud. Mikey stopped, a little curious and wondered why they groaned. "Mikey don't you know we're too old for a bedtime story?"

Mikey frowned; he didn't think any of them were too old for a bed time story, "Why? They're so much fun and it makes your mind imagine and it's like listening to TV and what's wrong with bedtime stories?" he asked very confused.

Raph blurted out, "Mikey, we're 11 now. We're too old for bedtime stories and fairytales! Its like believing in Santa Claus, we know it's not real!"

Mikey froze. He heard him, and Don and Leo gasping and yelling at Raph to be quiet. Mikey's lip quivered, his eyes wide, "Santa's not real?"

Raph groaned, knowing he was going to get lectures tonight from his brothers and father, but that broken look in Mikey's eyes hurt, but he was annoyed with Mikey believing in Santa. "No Mike, Santa's not real."

Mikey looked ready to cry and he clutched his stories to his chest, clinging to it for support, "What…what about the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny? And -" he said, trying to hold back the sob that wanted to emerge from his throat.

Mikey turned to Splinter and squeaked out, "Is that true dad? Is it true? They aren't real?"

Splinter had sadness and sorrow in his eyes and he sighed, about to speak the truth but Mike couldn't bare hearing it, "Its- its okay sensei….uh…here…" he said, handing over one of his books…."wait, don't read that one…I wanna do a new one…"

Splinter nodded and placed it on his desk to mark later. He felt great sorrow knowing the magic was spoiled, but he knew it was a matter of time that one of them would break it to Michelangelo, but to see the pain and confusion in his eyes ached.

Raph felt horrible, like he was about to puke. He knew what he did was awful. He shouldn't have said anything but it slipped out. But that look in Mikey's blue eyes absolutely killed him.

Mikey's head was down; sadness surrounded him as he ran from the room, rushing to go into his room.

He cried for a good few hours, hearing yelling and screaming outside, knowing that Raph was getting a beat down for telling the secrets he should not have told.

Mikey felt odd. Like the happiness was gone. He glanced down at his short story, the one he wrote. He knew it was long, almost 6 whole pages, front and back, and he was very proud of it, but now, he felt like the magic was gone.

Sitting up, he thought about what Raph said, and knew that he would have to see it eventually, but hated the fact he learned it this way.

Seeing a story forming in front of him, he started to write.

Later, when he was done writing, he got up, and left his room. He saw Raph and smiled at him, even saw him look ashamed, and his heart swelled.

"It's okay Raphie! I'm okay now…I thought the magic was gone….but its not." he said simply, knowing his story was going to explain his own reasoning's.

He smiled, and played with his brothers for the rest of the night, enjoying playing and having fun.

The next day, at school, he sat down at his desk, clutching his new story. Splinter smiled at them all and returned their short stories. Mikey saw their grades. Don had gotten a B -, much to his disappointment, and Splinter had told him, "You must use more of your heart than your brain my son."

Leo got a B- as well. "You put too much fact into your story; it was hard to imagine my son. It's worded well, but a story must come from both your heart and your imagination, not just from your knowledge," he chided.

Raph received an A- on his report and he promptly stuck his tongue out at Raph and Don, smiling and proud of himself. "You did well my son, its story played itself out well and it ended excellent, but I do wish you used less curse words." Raph blushed but was happy.

Mikey received the story he had wanted to read out yesterday, before everything broke down. He saw he had gotten an A+ on it and was surprised. "It was extremely well written Michelangelo. Your story was interesting and inspiring. It made me want to be part of it….and I think you did so. I loved your use of well-known characters as well."

Mikey smiled, but asked, "Uh, Splinter," he asked quietly, "Can I read this short story Please? It don't have to be part of my grade or nuthin, but I was just wondering if I can read this one instead of my other one?"

Splinter went and sat down at his desk and nodded at Mikey.

Mikey smiled nervously at his brothers and pulled out this short story.

The Truth

I live in a small and dark place. It's very cool. I have 3 cool brothers and one awesome dad. I like where I live and love my family. One day though, the Magic disappeared. It felt like it was going to be gone forever. You see. I had written an awesome story about something, and I was gonna read it. But my brother Raph told me the truth. He told me that we were too old to believe in Santa, and the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny. I felt like I was broken, that something inside me was gone.

But my brother told me the truth. I know he got in a lot of trouble for spoiling the magic for me. But he didn't mean to. Even I know that.

I love my brothers. Raph's so tough and cool. Leo's perfect but he likes to help. Don's very smart. He helps me write….well, I shoulda got him to help me with this because I know I ain't too smart and I don't write or read well. But I can imagine.

I can imagine how we can live above ground. I can imagine that in the stories we read at bedtime were real and that we can have a Happy Ever After. I can imagine that we aren't the only ones in the world, and that one day, things are going to either be good or bad. I can imagine that we will have food always, even though we may not in real life.

I can imagine that I'm safe and warm when I am cold and lost. I can imagine that my brothers won't tease me all the time. I can imagine that this world will like us and we can make friends.

I realized that Raph didn't ruin the magic. The magic is always around us. It's in everything we do. When I read, draw or paint, I can feel the magic around me. When Donnie plays with his science thingies, he imagines that he can cure the world, that's magic. When Raph growls and gets protective of either of us, when we are sick or hurt, that's magic. When Leo is being perfect, when he works hard and stuff, that's magic.

I realized that the magic of Santa and all of that doesn't come from a made up figure. It comes from the love of that figure.

I know it don't mean much sense, but the magic is Love. Love makes us feel full inside (dad), and protective (Leo), and even growly (Raph) and knowledgeable (Don). You see, all the magic that you see, your birthday, your Christmas, and all of those, and how you feel now.

All the Magic is is love.

Raph did tell me the truth but he gave me something else. A better understanding of Magic, and imagination. And I love him for that. At least now, I know the Truth.

Mikey. Age 11.

Mikey glanced up from his story and was engulfed in a hug. By everyone. He yelped as he was squashed and he blushed.

"That was wonderful Michelangelo, it really was. I thank you." Splinter said, tears in his eyes.

But Don asked something, looking serious, "You forgot something though Mikey!"

Mikey glanced down at his story, scanning it to see what he had missed, and finally glanced up, looking worried.

Raph smiled, knowing what Don meant. He too had caught it. Leo smiled as well. He knew what his brothers were going to say. "You forgot you, and how you're so innocent."

Mikey smiled, and quickly wrote on the paper, right after his name and age: And you with your innocence, (Mikey).

They smiled, approving.

But Leo asked curious. "But what was your other story about?"

Mikey glanced at his desk, and saw his story there. Finally he replied, "The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, their First Battle!"

They all glanced at each other, not sure what to say. But Raph finally broke the ice, and asked, "Can we read it?"

Mikey burst into laughter, smiling and giggling, knowing his brothers wanted to read what he wrote. "But it's real long and kinda messy, but I thought you said we were too old for bedtime stories?"

Raph blushed, and looked away. Don broke in, "What he means Mikey, is, we're never too old to hear your stories!"

Mikey beamed!!

And that night at bedtime, Mikey started the first Epic Battle of the Turtles first adventure!