Finally Christmas had arrived to The Big Apple. The city was blanketed in snow, the streets were crowded; business had begun to close their doors to the public and the families were all reunited in their warm and comfortable houses enjoying each other's company, singing carols and all the little boys and girls waiting excitedly for Santa to come over and bring their presents. But even with all this jolly vibe in the air, not everyone was celebrating happily.

I'll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents beneath the tree

I'll be home this Christmas, darling
I'll be coming home to you
And there's nothing in the world
Gonna get in my way

Leo listened to the words silently as he hung another ornament on the tree. That song reminded him of a promise… a promise he doubted it'd be fulfilled.

It all started the week before Christmas…


FLASHBACK

"Guys, seriously. We talked about this already!"

She was getting late, she knew she had to leave fast but having three ninja turtles walking behind her asking her questions and blocking her path to prevent her to go downstairs wasn't making things easy.

"I thought you were …"

"No kidding, Don. I'm dead serious" the black haired girl pushed Don gently away from her path and took two more steps downstairs.

"But… but it's… "

"Christmas time, I know Raph" the girl sighed heavily and grabbed the bag the red masked ninja had took away from her and she continued walking.

"You can't …"

"But I must, Mikey!" the girl sighed heavily.

"Can't you just…"

"Can't be postponed, guys" the girl said firmly to the purple and orange-clad teenagers behind her.

"But Whoey~" Mikey whined and looked at her with his puppy eyes.

"I'm sorry, kid" Who smiled "Whoey's got some very important concerts but I'll promise I'll make it up to you, ok?"

"It won't be the same" Don sighed.

"Aw, c'mon! You've had lots of Christmas parties without me in the past" Who replied.

"The party is not the problem" Don replied back.

"I'll buy you a nice gift" Who said.

"Gifts are not the problem either" Mikey muttered sadly.

"I'm trying to cheer you up, guys. You're running my job!" Who folded arms.

"YO DIVA, WE GOTTA GET GOING!" Casey yelled from outside.

"I HEARD YA ALREADY, KEEP YOUR PANTS ON!" Who yelled back "I better leave already"

She was about to pick up her bags again when she felt a tug on her right leg.

"NOOOO! I WON'T LET YOU" Mikey cried dramatically.

"Raph, Don… somebody!" Who yelled in distress. With all the noise outside, Leo interrupted his meditation session and went outside to investigate. He was very confused when he saw his baby brother clinging on Who's leg.

"What's going on here?"

"Please, reclaim the monster!" Who said pointing at the orange-clad turtle pulling her dark blue wool coat.

"NOOOO!"

"Let go Mikey!" Leo struggled with Mikey till the smallest turtle gave up allowing Who to run as fast as the wind.

"Finally, bye guys! Oh and T-girl will be here this Saturday to help you with the party!" The door behind Who closed.

"She's leaving! SHE'S LEAVING!" Mikey said while falling on his knees. This kid just knew how to make a scene.

"Uh… ok? So much drama just because she's going out?" Leo chuckled.

"But…"

"She probably has to do some last minute shopping" Leo said.

"She's not buying anything!" Mikey replied.

"Well, then… a little walk in the snow?" Leo suggested.

"NO! IT'S…"

"Aww c'mon Mikey. This is stupid even for…"

"SHUT THE HELL UP AND LISTEN, FEARLESS FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE!" Raph yelled while grabbing his older brother by the shoulders. Damn, he was tired of interruptions.

"Ok ok! Why Mikey didn't want her to leave?"

"Because she's not coming back for Christmas!" Mikey answered and fainted, a scene worthy of an Oscar.

"What!" Leo's eyes opened wide in realization.

"And she just left the lair" Don added.

"Why nobody told me?"

"Hey! I was crying my shell out and you interrupted me every single moment! So not my fault, dude" Mikey said from his spot in the ground.

It took Leo less than two minutes to catch Who, Casey and her were just about to leave to the airport.

"Hey wait!" Leo called.

"Now what?" Who rolled eyes.

"Mikey… the others…" Leo panted "… they said…"

"Yeah, I'm leaving but it's not my fault. I have to work!" Who said.

"On Christmas Eve?"

"I'm sorry but I don't make the decisions" Who shrugged.

"It's… it's…" Leo was on loss of words right now.

"This is hard, I know… but this is a new start for me and my new life" Who explained, trying to comfort him.

"I guess you're right but…" Leo rubbed the back of his neck and before he could continue, a couple of arms encircled him pulling him into a quick hug.

"I knew you'd understand" With this, Who jumped inside the car.

"But…"

"MERRY CHRISTMAS, LEO. JUST IN CASE I DON'T MAKE IT TO THE PARTY!" Who yelled while the car speeded, taking her away from the blue-clad turtle's reach.

END OF FLASHBACK


Those had been the last words the blue-clad turtle had heard from Who until today: Christmas Eve.

Christmas eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
And you'll be in my dreams

"Mikey, shut that off will you? It's bumming me out!" Raph snapped. He had been listening to Christmas carols since December 1st thanks to Mikey… and he was getting really ticked off.

"Awww, what's the matter Raphie? Not getting into the Christmas spirit? Don't be such a Scrooge!" Mikey teased.

"Keep that up Mikey and I'll be giving you your Christmas present early!" Raph growled balling up his fists. Suddenly the elevator doors opened.

"Hey guys, sorry I'm late" T-Girl said walking in.

"We're just glad you could come in time and help us" Don said. T looked around.

"I'd say you're doing a pretty good job on your own" she complimented them and started helping Leo decorate the tree.

"So... any word from Who?" the blonde girl asked. Mikey's smile vanished and Leo shook his head solemnly.

"Not even a phone call or an email! Just like her to make us wait" Raph scowled.

"She said it wasn't her fault. The Concert Hall had organized those concerts months ago. Those things happen when you're a musician" Don tried to be reasonable.

I'll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow
And mistletoe
And presents beneath the tree

"Mikey, I told you to shut that stupid thing off!" Raph said angrily.

Christmas eve will find me
Where…

Mikey turned out the stereo "Happy now?"

"Very, thanks" Raph said sarcastically. In the kitchen, the oven's bell announced the cookies were ready.

"My choco-chip cookies!" Mikey cheered while running to the kitchen.

"Sup guys!" Casey's voice came from the elevator's door.

"Over here, Case" Don called "We're almost done with the tree"

"Man, you're bluer than Leo's mask" Raph chuckled.

"Out there is freezing cold, man!" Casey said while rubbing his arms.

"Hi Casey" T-Girl waved and hung the last ornament on the tree.

"Sup blondie"

"Where's April?" T-Girl asked.

"In coming; her uncle called her and she had to rush but she'll be here on time… and I think I smell cookies~"

"You can't eat them yet!" Mikey said firmly.

"Aww man! I was gonna take just one!" Casey got closer to the tray but a shuriken landed inches away from his hand.

"Casey Jones, you touch one… JUST ONE… and you'll regret it!" Mikey said in a threatening voice.

"Better not upset the chef, Casey. Or you ain't getting dessert" Raph pulled his friend away from the place.

"Yeah yeah, whatever" Casey rolled eyes; though Mikey's threat had freaked him out.

"Hey, did you… eh… you know… bring the…" Raph said while looking at both sides kinda suspiciously.

"Oh… you mean…"

"Uh huh"

"Right here" Casey patted a small box he had placed on the table.

"Raphael, Mr. Jones…" Splinter's voice from behind made Raph and Casey froze.

"I expect you two to behave which means: No drinking contest. Did I make myself clear?" Splinter said in a calm yet serious voice. That voice meant business.

"Yes, sensei" Raph sighed.

"Good. Now set the table; our guests will be here soon"

"Busted" Casey mumbled.

"Keep the booze, though. He didn't say anything about a drinking contest the day after Christmas, did he?" Raph grinned.

Leo gave Raph and Casey the table cloth and the dishes "Less talk, more action"

"What's up with Leo's serious face?"

"Let's say he ain't getting fun under the mistletoe this year. Get it?" Raph chuckled… not really expecting the following hit on his head "OW! What was that for?" he glared at T-Girl.

"Since my sis is not here, it's up to me to hit you when you start talking nonsense" the blonde girl folded arms.

"But it's tr… OW!" Raph rebutted but got hit again.

"Don't make me hit you harder" T-Girl threatened.

"Guys, the table needs to be ready this year" Leo called from the living room.


The hours passed by and the guest had finally arrived… all but one.

"So I'm guessing Who won't make it to the party, right?" Don said; T-Girl shook her head.

"So when is she exactly coming?" Casey asked.

"Beats me" Raph shrugged.

"She sent me an e-mail with the same story; concert this, work trip that… blah blah blah" T-Girl commented.

"You haven't opened your presents, Mikey" Angel said taking a sit next to the youngest turtle.

"Maybe later, Angel" Mikey got up and walked upstairs leaving the others with puzzled faces.

"Didn't know Mikey was taking this hard too" Don said.

"And here I thought he was just being a drama queen" Raph added.

The orange-clad turtle sat on his bed, his forehead resting on his knees. The room was dark, very un-Mikey like; in the floor, Klunk meowed insistently wanting his master to pick him up and pet him or at least smile at him. Klunk was no dumb cat, he knew when his "daddy" was sad but not even his persistent purring and rubbing on Mikey's leg was enough to cheer him up. The door opened slowly allowing a faint light to bright the dark scenario.

"Mikey?"

"Leave me alone, Leo" Mikey muttered.

"C'mon Mikey. The party is outside, not here" Leo said sitting beside his brother.

"Not in the mood right now" Mikey sighed. Both turtles stayed in silence for a while until a giggle caught Mikey's attention. Leo… giggling? Now, that was weird.

"What's so funny?"

"Nothing" Leo answered.

"Tell me…" Mikey insisted.

"Well, it's… nah! Forget it" Leo attempted to get up but Mikey's grip on his wrist stopped him.

"What?"

"You know that Silver Sentry has X-ray vision right?"

"Yeah, so?" Mikey arched a brow.

"He told me he saw what Raph got you for Christmas" Leo continued. Mikey's eyes opened wide.

"Dude, I won't prank him for a year if he bought me Portal 2. I wanted to buy it myself but I had to pay Don for this experiment I ruined and…"

"And you better ask Silver Sentry if you want to know. Or you can just stay here… alone… curious…" Leo said innocently.

In a matter of seconds, Mikey was downstairs ripping open the wrappers and revealing his gifts one by one. Even Klunk had seemed to have recovered his joy and now chased the laser's light he had gotten from Don.

"YES! PORTAL 2! Raph, you just freed yourself from pranks the next year! Love you, love you, love you!" Mikey bear hugged his red-clad brother.

"Man, what did you do to this kid? Suddenly he's all bouncy and annoying again" Raph turned his attention to Leo after escaping from Mikey's grip.

Leo chuckled when Klunk bumped against his leg "Well, nobody should be sad on Christmas" he said.

"What about you?" Raph asked; Klunk purred loudly and nuzzled Leo's hand.

"I'm fine knowing you guys are fine" Leo answered.

"That was corny" Raph mocked him.

"Sue me" Leo shrugged and continued playing with Klunk. Raph handed his eldest brother a green and red package with a golden ribbon.

"Raph, you didn't have to…"

"Just open the damn thing" Raph replied. Leo placed the cat in the floor who immediately ran towards Angel's fluffy boots.

"How did you know I didn't have Murasaki Shikibu?" Leo asked after opening his gift.

"Hey, I'm stuck here with you 24/7. I'm supposed to know something about you, right?" Raph rubbed the back of his neck.

"You say I'm corny and here you added a dedicatory? Way cornier" Leo teased. The darker turtle couldn't hide the blush on his face.

Leo's smile softened "Thanks Raph. The dedicatory is perfect; you should keep writing"

"But I just wrote a few words and I don't think it's good enough" Raph said sheepishly.

"A writer is always his own worst critic…I can tell you about it"

Both turtles turned their attention where the voice had come. A dark blue hooded figure standing in the lair's entry made everyone froze.

"Uh... What's up with those faces?" The hood went down revealing a familiar face "I ain't the Ghost of the Christmas yet to come… I think"

"Yay, she's here!" T-Girl ran excitedly and hugged her friend.

"Sorry I'm late" Who hugged her back.

"Who cares about that? You're here!" T-Girl replied.

"I wasn't going to miss this but I'm afraid I didn't have time to get you something; I'm sorry Mikey" Who said sadly.

"Are you kidding me?" Mikey narrowed eyes.

"I promise I'll make it up to y…" Before she could finish the statement, Who found bear hugged by the youngest turtle.

"Just shut up, you silly girl" Mikey muttered, his voice breaking a little.

After he let her go, the rest of the guests welcomed the newcomer warmly, except for the red masked ninja who gave her a mild glare.

"Something wrong, Raph?" T-Girl asked. The latter walked towards Who.

"If you think you can walk in, hug everyone, acting jolly…"

"Raph…"

"…thinking you can get away without me giving you a piece of my mind…"

Who smiled and gave him a hug "I'm glad to see you, too"

"… then you're damn right. Yeah, that's what I was gonna say" Raph said; everyone looked at him not really believing him.

"What!"

"And what happened to 'I ain't talking to that witch for the next 10 years', huh?" Don replied imitating Raph's voice.

"Don't make me hit you, Don" Raph replied back.

"I thought you'd be working" Leo commented.

"I can leave if you want me to" Who said.

"No, no! Don't get me wrong. I'm glad you're here, really" Leo raised his hands defensively.

"I wanted to call but every time I tried to do so I had to go back to stage for another performance" Who explained.

"Guys, dinner's ready!" April announced and the guests walked towards the table.

"I still feel bad for not bringing something to you, guys" Who sighed.

"You're here; that's more than enough for me" Leo smiled. Raph, Don and Mikey smirked mischievously after listening Leo's statement.

"I-I mean… I don't know if Mikey still wants his gift…" Leo stuttered "…and I'm not a fan of gifts myself and…" The smirk was still plastered on the three turtles' faces.

"What! I'm serious!" Leo replied.

"Yeah, sure. Because 'your gift' is here already, right?" Mikey poked Leo.

"Hey, that didn't imply anything!" Leo rebutted. The others laughed at the leader's distress.

"Guys, that's not funny!" Leo folded arms.

"Leo, shut up and drink something cold before your face melts" Raph chuckled.

"Aww, how cute! He's blushing~" T-Girl poked Leo's cheeks.

"Quick! I NEED A CAMERA!" Mikey said between laughs.

"I'm always ready, bro! Say cheese, Leo!" Don giggled while taking a perfect photo of Leo's red face.

"DONATELLO, GIVE ME THAT CAMERA!"

The blue masked ninja started chasing his genius brother while followed by his others two brothers and T-Girl who continued teasing him. Who observed this and couldn't help but smile at the scene. In the background, there was the sweet melody of the strings playing a well known Christmas carol.

Christmas eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas

"Correction… I'm home already"

And you'll be in my dreams

Merry Christmas

With love:

Who


D: "Too slow, big brother. What's Who going to think of you?"

L: "CUT IT OUT! AND GIVE ME THAT CAMERA!"

D: "Nuh-uh"

L: "C'mon Don! This is silly"

D: "No… your blushy face is"

L: "I'M NOT BLUSHING!"

W: "Uhmm… guys? The fic is done! The end. Finito. Se acabó. Owari! Stop chasing each other already"

T-G: "Let them be; I'm recording!"

R: "I'm gonna need a copy of that"

M: "Hey T, Raph! Lookie where you're standing~"

R/T: *looking up/mistletoe*

M: "It's the rules~"

R: *evil grin* "You're right for once, knucklehead"

T-G: "Meep!" *runs for dear life*

R: "C'mere you blondie!" *chasing* "You can't skip traditions!"

T-G: "I WAS GOING TO KISS YOU BUT I DON'T TRUST THAT SMIRK AND THE DEVIL HORNS ON YOUR HEAD!"

M: *hangs mistletoe over Who's head*

W: "HEY!"

M: "Hey Leo! Mistletoe~"

W: "C'MERE YOU LITTLE…!" *chasing with swords*

M: "AHHHH! WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? IT'S TRADITION!" *runs*

W: "OH YEAH? WELL, NEXT YEAR YOU'RE GOING TO BE THE STAR ON TOP OF THE TREE!"