This chapter belongs to Raphael. Sorry it took so long. There were so many possibilities with Raph, it took so long to settle on this one.
I hope you like it.

I do not own the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But Maddie's all mine.


It had been a long day. Raphael didn't know that he could be so tired out by anything but a fight. It was finally bedtime and both he and Maddie were yawning. He tucked the little girl into bed.

"But I'm not sleepy Uncle Raph." she protested.

"Yeah. I know. Try anyway." he said as she let out a big yawn.

He flicked on the two turtle nightlights. "See ya in the mornin' kiddo."

"Uncle Raph. Will you sing me the song?" she said.

"Of course I will." He pulled the chair over from her desk and sat down next to her bed. She nestled down deeper into the cocoon of blankets as he the big tough turtle began to sing softly.

You are my Sunshine,

My only Sunshine.

You make me happy

When skies are grey

You'll never know dear,

How much I love you.

Please don't take my Sunshine away.

Raphael watched as her breathing evened out. He repeated the song one more time and stayed until he was sure his getting up wouldn't wake her. "Sweet dreams Sunshine." He said quietly as he closed the door behind him.

(flashback- eight years ago)

"Hey. I'm Raph." The red-bandanna-ed turtle said awkwardly, pushing back the blanket just a bit so that he could get a better look at this strange creature's face. The little dark-haired baby reached up and grabbed one of his fingers. "Uh, April. It's got me."

"Awww, Raph, I think she likes you." April said, beaming down at the little girl in her arms. Raph just smiled nervously. "Do you want to hold her?" April asked. Raphael pulled his hand back with a start.

"What! You can't- I mean- She's so tiny. What if I break her?" He panicked. April just laughed.

"Take it easy Raph. It's simple. And you're not going to 'break her'. Here. Sit down on the couch and I'll show you."

"I still don't think this is a good idea." Raph sat down and positioned his arms the same way April's were. He then allowed the small bundle to be placed in them.

"You just have to support her head because her neck isn't strong enough to do that on its own yet." April explained. Raph was about to break a sweat.

"You're doing fine. Look. She's smiling at you. You're a natural." Raphael looked down at the little girl in his arms. She was smiling at him.

"Hey. I'm Raph. You don't know me very well yet, but if things keep goin' this good, I think you and I are gonna be okay."

Raph stayed for a good hour. He learned how to prepare a bottle for her, burp her (he had no idea it could be that disgusting), and he even watched April change her (he lived in a sewer, and that was just gross!). About an hour and a half after he'd arrived, the phone rang. April answered, and took it into the kitchen. She came back a few minutes later.

"I'm so sorry Raph, but Casey broke down on the Turnpike. He got a tow, but I need to go pick him up from the garage. You don't think that you could watch Maddie do you?" Raph looked down at the baby and back at the desperate look on April's face.

"Yeah, sure Ape. Just tell me what I gotta do." he said. April sighed with relief.

"She needs to go down for her nap in about twenty minutes. I just fed her and changed her, so if she wakes up it's probably just because she wants to be held. There's a rocking-chair in her room. Try that. You're a life-saver Raph!" April said as she grabbed her purse. Raph chuckled.

"Yeah. I save lives on a regular basis. It's a ninja thing."

Raph had been surprised how easy it had actually been to put the kid down for a nap. Of course, Donnie had made sure they all learned how to do everything the correct way. Raph shook his head. That brother of his might be good for gadgets and stuff, but sometimes *forced babysitting classes cough cough* all those smarts of his could be downright annoying.

Ten minutes later a wail echoed through the apartment. He'd had the feeling that things had been too easy. In seconds he was standing over the crib.

"Hey there. Why're ya cryin' kiddo?" That's right April said that she probably wanted to be held. He picked her up. "It's okay. I'm here. You can stop cryin' now." Still wailing. Rocking-chair! April said something about a rocking-chair! He sat down and started rocking back and forth. Still Maddie cried. Poor kid. Raph hated seeing anything cry. Except maybe Purple Dragons.

"Shh. Shh. I'm here. It's okay. I'm here." He whispered, holding the child closer to his chest "Ain't nobody gonna hurt ya while Uncle Raph's here." The wailing began to slow. Gradually it quieted down to gentle hiccupping, and then that too stopped.

"Hey. Look at you! You stopped cryin'. Think you can go back to sleep for Uncle Raph?" If Mikey ever caught him talking baby-talk like this he'd never hear the end of it. "Think you can go back to sleep?" The baby just blinked at him. "Aw, who'm I kiddin'? I can't keep up talkin' like that. So, you goin' back to sleep for me kid?" Hmm. How do you get babies to go to sleep? He was already rocking, talking in a soothing voice, what else.

Singing.

Oh man. If his brothers ever found out… Raph looked down at the little girl in his arms. Who was she going to tell? Now, what to sing? The remnants of a song tugged at the corners of his memory. He thought for a moment, waiting until he was sure he had all of it there, then he began the lullaby.

You are my Sunshine,

My only Sunshine.

You make me happy

When skies are grey.

You'll never know dear,

How much I love you.

Please don't take my Sunshine away.

Raph looked down. Still wide awake. He tried it again. And again. And again. Finally she yawned. Again.

You are my Sunshine,

My only Sunshine… drooping eyelids.

You make me happy

When skies are grey… that was a reeeally long blink.

You'll never know dear,

How much I love you… her breathing was evening out. This might actually be happening!

Please don't take my Sunshine away.

Finally, she was asleep. She looked so peaceful, restful, innocent. She was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen.
He laid her down in the crib and kissed the top of her head as he pulled the blanket up over her. Then he sat back in the rocking chair and watched her sleep.

"Hey there Maddie. Welcome to the world. I know it ain't perfect, but it's the only one we got. I'm your Uncle Raph and this I promise you: I'll die before I ever let anythin' hurt my Sunshine."

(Present day)

Raph lay on the cot in Donnie's lab, trying to listen through the door for any conversation out in the Lair. He hated being cooped up in here. Sure, only a half hour ago he'd had a bullet in his leg, but Donnie'd taken the thing out. Sure, he had a couple of stitches on his arm, but come on! Bed rest? He hated it when his brother tortured him like this. The leg barely hurt anymore. He tried to move it. *Groan* Okay. Maybe it still hurt. But that was no reason to lock him up!

The door creaked as someone entered.

"Hey Donnie? Is that you? You gonna let me out now?"

"Uncle Raph?" Aw shell. Who let her down here?

"Yeah Sunshine?"

"Does it hurt?" she was scared. He could hear it in her voice. He'd seen enough scared people to know fear when he saw it.

"Not really. Come on over kiddo. It's alright." She shut the door behind her and pulled over Donnie's computer chair.

"There you go. See? It ain't nothin' to worry about. I just got in a little over my head is all. I'll be fine."

The worry was still etched on her face.

"Promise?"

Raph smiled. "I promise."

She relaxed.

They sat there in the quiet for a while. Then Raph became aware that Maddie was humming. It was a familiar tune. One he'd sung to her more times than he could count. Softly he started singing along.

You are my Sunshine,

My only Sunshine. At first Maddie was startled, but then she smiled and her voice joined his.

You make me happy

When skies are grey.

You'll never know dear,

How much I love you.

Please don't take my Sunshine away.

"I love you Uncle Raph."
"Love you too Sunshine."

Splinter entered the kitchen and began making himself some tea. "Master Splinter, weren't you going to go check on Raph?" Donnie asked, glancing in the direction of his lab. "Maybe I should go-" "Later, my son. A wise man knows when not to ruin the moment."


Next up: Donatello

R&R please.