GIVE THANKS

This is just a fun, fluffy little Thanksgiving story for all of you, who we are thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

"Are you sure this is such a good idea, Andrew?" Monica asked, her dark eyes filled with concern as she watched him lift the rather large turkey into the baking pan,
"Maybe you should do this on your own. You know how Tess feels about my cooking and with the mood she has been in lately, I feel as if I'm walking on eggshells around her anyway. I'm not sure I could bear her insulting my lack of cooking skills right now."

Andrew smiled as he took a stick of butter and began running it overtop the raw bird,
"That, my dear Angel Girl, is why you have me to help. It will be fine, Monica, I promise you. Being Tess said that since so many humans are not thankful for what they have that she wants no part of Thanksgiving, you and I will just take care of the meal for today," He caught his friend's eye and winked,
"And if we cook it, she will come."

She giggled, though somewhat nervously as she watched him working on the turkey. Giving out a small sigh, she nodded her head,
"Okay, what do you want me to do?"

"That's the spirit," He grinned, though he still saw doubt in her eyes,
"Okay, that bread you broke up earlier…I laid the other ingredients out on the counter for you to add to it, so there is no way you can make a mistake. Just put it all in the bowl and mix it up. Easy enough, right?"

"If you say so," Monica replied, surveying the things that he had put out for her,
"Just remember that I cook about as well as I sing…"

"Well, I happen to think you have a beautiful song, sweetie," He remarked over his shoulder as he finished buttering the bird, chuckling as he saw a blush rise to her cheeks.

"You're just saying that because you don't want to cook Thanksgiving dinner alone," She teased him lightly, picking up one of the eggs and cracking it into the bowl.

"Well, that too, Angel Girl," He replied, winking at her over his shoulder,
"But seriously, I think that this will cheer Tess up. It's happened before, when she's in one of her moods. Remember how it took all of us to get into the Christmas spirit several years ago? It took the birth of a baby for her to be cheerful again!"

"I just don't want her to shove this bird down my throat if it turns out horrible, Andrew," Monica stuck her tongue out at her best friend as he put the turkey on the counter near where she was working,
"But then, I'll tell her that you talked me into it."

"It won't turn out horrible," He reassured her, grabbing a handful of potatoes to peel and cut up,
"And if for some reason it does," He gave her a playfully pointed look that she returned with a glare of her own,
"I'll take full responsibility. Now, pay attention to what you're doing."

Realizing what he was referring to, as when she had glared at him she had managed to break an egg and half the shell into the bowl, she sighed with impatience as she set about trying to pick the bit of shells out of the bowl, thankfully never seeing her best friend grinning and shaking his head behind her,
"So who all is coming to this little adventure?"

"I invited Tess of course, Rose, Carla, Kevin and Sam," He replied as he went back to peeling potatoes, satisfied that most of the eggshells were out of the stuffing,
"Oh and the Sullivan's too of course." He added, knowing how much that would please her.

Moaning softly, Monica turned around to face her best friend and stuck her lower lip out in a pout,
"So every one of our friends has to eat something that I made? Won't they get sick, Andrew?"

Narrowing his eyes at the little Irish angel, Andrew folded his arms across his chest and shook his head in mock disappointment,
"Something WE made, Miss Wings."

"Okay, okay, something 'we made'...but if for some reason they end up choking on egg shells I didn't manage to get out of this-"

"Sweetie, sometimes I wish there really was such a thing as chill pills...because you really need some right about now!" The older angel quipped, glancing over at her and shaking his head as he chuckled.

"It's just that I've never been any good at cooking," Monica lamented, dumping the chopped up celery into the bowl,
"And Tess has been so grumpy lately and I always seem to be right in her line of fire the last few days, as I haven't been able to do anything right and now you're giving me something to do that I never do right. I've never developed that duck and retreat tactic that you have perfected when she is in this kind of mood and as my supervisor, it would nice if you would teach me that," She pointed out, pouring the melted butter into the mixture as well,
"But if Tess comes in here and so much as gives me one of her looks, Andrew, I might cry, so I'm warning you now…" She paused, looking at the spoon in her hand,
"How do I mix this stuff?"

"With your hands," He replied lightly,
"That way you know it is good and mixed together and then just stuff it in the turkey from both ends."

Silence passed between the two friends for the next few minutes as Monica began mixing the stuffing with her bare hands, while Andrew was contemplating over everything his friend was telling him. Finally, with a soft sigh, he turned back around and looked over at her with deep care in his green eyes,
"Angel Girl, I want you to trust me that it will be just fine tonight, okay?"

Turning around as well to look up at him, the younger angel wiped her hands on the apron tied around her waist and shrugged her shoulders,
"It's not that I don't trust you about it, Andy...you know I trust you more then anyone else, other then the Father. But what good can come out of this tonight if I have a breakdown because of one of Tess' bad moods?"

"I'll figure something out, Mon'. I promise I will," Andrew replied gently, reaching over to lay his hands on her shoulders,
"We're going to have a great Thanksgiving, and that includes you."

Looking up into his eyes, she smiled sheepishly,
"I'm sorry. Here we are, able to spend some time together and all I've done is complain, Andrew and that isn't fair. It just gets to me when she is this irritable and I know deep down that it isn't even me or any of us she is irritated with, but the human race," Reaching out, she took his hand and laced her fingers, which were still somewhat messy from the stuffing through his,
"Thanksgiving is supposed to be special, so can we start all over and I promise to not be such a shrew?"

"I wouldn't say you were a 'shrew', sweetie," Andrew shook his head as he gave his friend's hand a gentle squeeze,
"It's perfectly all right to be feeling this way; but trust me on this one. By the time Tess sees this, her yearly bad mood will be on the back burner for the rest of the day...and maybe for the rest of the year."

A smile slowly spreading across her lovely face, the Irish angel nodded her head in agreement before reaching over and wrapping her arms around her best friend, her stuffing covered hands now dirtying the back of his shirt; but Andrew didn't pay any attention to that as he tightly hugged her in return,
"I love you, Mon'."

"And I you," She smiled in return, finally gently pulling away and turning back to her work on the counter,
"Now let's get going with this. There's a lot to do before everyone arrives, you know."

Grinning, Andrew ruffled her hair lovingly, before he returned to his job of chopping up the potatoes to boil but a moment later, he became aware of the fact that she was watching him. Raising an eyebrow over his shoulder, he waited to see what was on her mind.

"So where did you learn to cook?" Monica asked curiously, a handful of stuffing in her hand.

"A couple of assignments," Andrew explained patiently, despite the fact that if the turkey didn't get in the oven soon, they might be eating at midnight,
"It was part of my job to help them in the kitchen and I discovered I rather enjoyed it. I found it relaxing….you got that bird about stuffed, Angel Girl?"

Sighing softly, she turned back around and looked at the stuffing in her hand and then at the orifices on the turkey where her friend had said it would go,
"I'm really sorry about this, Mr. Turkey…" She said softly to the raw bird, as she bit her lip, trying to summon her courage to do this,
"It just seems a wee bit disrespectful to you…"

Turning around as he heard his best friend speaking to the dead bird on the counter, Andrew raised an eyebrow at her as she seemed to be examining the openings in which she was to put the stuffing, all the while a look of sadness was crossing her face,
"Mon', the thing's not alive, you know? I don't think it'll mind if you stuff it..."

"But he's still an animal, Andrew," She replied softly, although she finally found the courage to put the stuffing inside,
"Animals have feelings, you know?"

"I'm sure they do when their alive, sweetie," He replied, his lips twitching in a smile,
"That one however, is not."

"Oh sure, hold that against him," Monica replied as she finished stuffing the bird,
"I'm sure he didn't even have a choice in the matter," Picking up the empty bowl, she headed to the sink to wash it and her hands,
"So, where is the second turkey then?"

Andrew's head shot up in utter confusion as he looked over at her,
"2nd turkey?"

"Well, you said Kevin was coming. Can't expect all of us to eat one turkey and still have him get full now, can you?" Her eyes flashed with mischief,
"Don't tell me you don't have a 2nd turkey, Andrew. Didn't you plan this out at all?"

"Monica, do you really want to see Kevin explode?" Andrew teased as he finished chopping up the potatoes, and stuck them into a pot on the burner, turning it on high,
"I told him that angels couldn't explode, and he would be the first one to prove me wrong if he ever did. That would be very nasty if he did explode this Thanksgiving, you know?"

"And you'd have to clean it up," Monica quipped back, a mischievous twinkle in her brown eyes as she flicked some water from her wet hands onto her best friend.

"Why me?" Andrew shot a pretend glare her way as he shook the droplets of water off of him,
"Why do I always have to do the dirty work, Angel Girl?"

"Cuz you're the boss," She grinned impishly, as she tried to pick up the roasting pan with the turkey, but found it to be too heavy for her,
"You'd better do this or else you'll have another mess to clean up while I high tail out of here before you kill me," She teased, going to the refrigerator for something to drink while he lifted the turkey to place it in the oven. Grinning, she grabbed an ice cube from the freezer and just as he was standing back up from placing the bird in the oven, she nonchalantly dropped the cube down the back of his shirt,
"Teach you to glare at me, Angel Boy!"

Letting out a yelp as he felt the ice down his shirt, Andrew whirled around as he fumbled to get the ice cube out and as he tossed it into the sink, the older angel shot a mock glare at his best friend and took a threatening step towards her,
"Okay, little miss 'I want to play rough', you like ice cubes, huh?"

"Uh...no, not really," Monica shrugged as a giggle escaped her. Taking a sip from her juice and then setting it back on the counter, the Irish angel started to back away from her friend as she noticed the look of revenge in his green eyes. With a yelp of her own, Monica turned around and dashed through the kitchen door of the cabin and into the living room with Andrew on her heels.

"This was your idea, just remember that, Angel baby," He threatened, bringing the ice bucket out from behind his back and watching her eyes widen as she stopped on the far side of the couch.

"Hey now, I only used one ice cube, you have a whole bucketful," She pointed out defensively,
"That isn't fair."

"And it was fair of you to put that one ice cube down my back?" He countered, looking at her pointedly.

"No, but it was funny," She giggled nervously,
"Never knew you could move so fast…"

"Now let's see how fast YOU can move, Miss Wings," Andrew's eyes twinkled with mischief as he took a step closer to his best friend, the bucket raised high over his head. As he was about to dump it over Monica's head, the Irish angel let out a startled yelp and started to run past him instead; but as she did, she unintentionally bumped into him, sending the bucket of ice cubes raining down on both of them.

"Well, so much for that plan," Monica giggled, completely amused.

"You are so asking for it, little girl," Andrew fumed, grabbing a few of the fallen cubes in his hand and setting out after her again.

Sprinting away from him, Monica's foot came in contact with one of the small puddles already forming on the floor and she found herself slipping, landing on the floor with a startled yelp.

"You okay, Angel Girl?" Andrew asked worriedly as he approached her and laid a hand on her shoulder. Hearing her laugh as she nodded her head, he grinned evilly,
"Glad to hear it, Cupcake," He replied, quickly putting the handful of cubes down her back.

Letting out a yelp similar to Andrew's howl just a few minutes ago, Monica turned around onto her back and grabbed the front of Andrew's shirt, while with the other hand, grabbed a few fallen ice cubes that were by her side and quickly slid them down the front of his shirt,
"Happy Thanksgiving, Angel Boy!" She smirked as she got to her feet again and started to sprint towards the stairs, laughter tearing through her as she ran.

"Get back here, Miss Wings!" The older angel called, now shivering from the water down his front and back end,
"You're gonna pay now, and that's a promise! You won't want to see your Christmas present once that holiday rolls around!"

Though she had been perched to race upstairs and lock herself in her room until he "cooled off" so to speak, the younger angel hesitated as she turned around to look at him. He did look a little chilly and a slight feeling of guilt nagged at her, though she decided to work this to her advantage as best she could. After all, Kevin always said she had her best friend "wrapped around her halo",
"Oh Andrew, I'm sorry," She began, looking apologetic,
"I didn't mean to get you that wet; I just got caught up in the moment…"

"Monica, you're being warned now...do not shut your eyes tonight," He gave her a threatening look as he finally appeared at the top of the stairs and looked at her, all the while shaking his head,
"'Cause I may just have another bucket of those ice cubes ready with your name on it!"

"Andrew, really...I'm sorry about that, it got a wee bit out of hand, I guess," The little Irish angel shrugged her shoulders as a small grin appeared on her face, trying to look as sorry as possible.

Unable to help but laugh, Andrew shook his head,
"Don't even try that look with me right now, Monica, because it isn't working!" Turning around, he vanished down the hall and returned a moment with a dry shirt on, confusion filling his eyes when he didn't see her there any longer.

Coming downstairs, he heard a yelp from the kitchen and quickly went through the door to find her trying to take the overflowing pot of boiling potatoes that he had forgotten about, off the stove. She had apparently grabbed the handle with her bare hand at first and finding it hotter than she had anticipated, she had grabbed a dishtowel in order to take the pot away from the flames, and now the dishtowel was hanging precariously close to the burner flame.

"Monica, be careful!" He yelled, joining her at the stove and carefully, but quickly, taking the hot pot from her hands and bringing it over to the sink. As he watched his friend's eyes widen in shock as he she backed away from the burner, Andrew turned back to the stove and quickly turned it off as he waved away the steam with his other one. As a few coughs escaped him, the older angel put the pot of potatoes on a new burner and put the lid back on it before turning to face his best friend,
"You okay there? That dishtowel came awfully close to getting burnt, along with your hand! You're okay, right?"

"I think so…" She replied, a little shakily as she shook her hand where she had grabbed the handle,
"I heard a noise and when I came in there was water going everywhere. I just didn't realize how hot the handle would be…"

"Let's see," He took her hand to survey the damage, relieved to find it only slightly red and not a bad burn. Taking the dishcloth, he put a few ice cubes into it before wrapping it up and then pressing it into her palm,
"I think you're going to live." He teased gently, winking at her.

"Thank you," Monica replied, her lips twitching in a grin,
"Does this mean I'm forgiven now and can sleep peacefully tonight?"

"Maybe, maybe not," Andrew shot a wink her way before the two angels started laughing once again. Pressing his forehead gently against his friend's and looking deep into her laughing brown eyes, the older angel grinned as he added,
"I guess you'll see on Christmas day, won't you?"

Sticking her tongue out at her best friend, Monica quipped back,
"And so will you; all you're getting is a lump of coal in your stocking this year."

He rolled his eyes playfully,
"I think we both know better than that, Angel Girl," He grinned confidently,
"You couldn't be that mean to me if you tried."

She tried to look aggravated, but had to smile,
"Sometimes it infuriates me that you know me so well."

"Yeah, but you know you love me anyways," Andrew flashed her a toothy grin as he kissed her cheek quickly.

Rolling her eyes playfully, Monica shrugged her shoulders as she replied back, although her eyes were filled with love,
"Yeah, I guess so; I really can't help it."

"Well, it sure smells heavenly in here!" Rose exclaimed as she and her angelic friends entered the cabin some hours later and sniffed the air,
"I can only wonder who did the cooking!"

"As long as it wasn't Miss Wings' hands that did the cooking..." Tess grumbled in reply as she shrugged out of her jacket and hung it up in the closet.

Grateful that neither of his best friends were around to hear that comment, Kevin cleared his throat nervously as he gently nudged Tess,
"Oh c'mon, Tess, it's Thanksgiving! Get in the spirit of the holiday! And it DOES smell mighty good in here, you gotta admit that..."

His attempts only met with a "Humph," from the older angel, he sighed softly as he exchanged a look with Carla as Rose let the Sullivan's inside, as they had just arrived. Immediately, the cabin was filled with squeals from the three triplets as they greeted their angelic friends.

Slipping into the kitchen, Kevin grinned at his two friends who were putting the finishing touches on dinner,
"Hey you two, it smells great in here. I, for one, cannot wait to eat!"

"Really, Kev?" Andrew looked shocked,
"Now that is a surprise!" He chuckled as he winked at his youngest charge.

"Did you happen to buy 2 turkeys by any chance?" The angel with the huge appetite asked innocently, ignoring his supervisor's last comment. Coming over to the oven and peering inside, he frowned in mock annoyance,
"I can't believe you only bought one, Andrew!"

Covering her mouth to keep from howling with laughter, Monica clutched Andrew's arm tightly as she turned her head away from Kevin. Finally composing herself to look at her co-workers, the Irish angel giggled as she replied,
"I told you we should've bought two, Angel Boy!"

"It's a 30 pound bird, Kevin! I'm sure you will be full when you leave the table," Andrew retorted,
"And probably ready to explode, knowing you!"

"Yeah, I'm still trying to prove or disprove that theory," Kevin grinned mischievously.

After sharing another laugh, Monica looked at her younger friend, as her expression grew pensive,
"What kind of mood is Tess in, if I may ask?"

Raising his eyebrows slightly at his Irish friend's question, Kevin straightened up as he tried to find the right words to say,
"Uh...well, let's just say that she resembles the Grinch that stole Christmas at the moment."

Monica sucked in a deep breath at those words and turned hesitant eyes over to Andrew again, her face turning serious,
"Andrew, maybe I shouldn't go out there...she's probably going to know that it was me that did some of the cooking...I don't want her to be grouchier then she already is."

"Don't be silly, Angel Girl," Andrew scolded gently,
"Of course you are going out there-."

"Then at least tell her you did all the cooking. Please? She has had it out for me all week-."

"Monica, no," He stated firmly,
"I am not taking all the credit for this meal when you helped me. There will be nothing for her to complain about, sweetie, so just calm down."

"At least go out there before me, Andy..." Monica continued to plead, looking desperately from her best friend to Kevin, and back again,
"I can't face her when she's like this..."

"Sweetie, if she gives you a hard time, I'm right here with you. You know I'll stick up for you," The supervisor gave her a gentle, loving smile to try and encourage her and after several moments of silence, he gave a sigh of relief as Monica finally nodded her head 'yes',
"That's my girl." His smile spreading wider across his handsome face, Andrew reached out and gave her a quick hug before pulling away and reaching for her hand,
"Now let's get that bird out there before Kevin starves to death."

Reluctantly following him, Monica forced a smile as they greeted their guests, being careful to steer clear of Tess and it went fairly well until they all sat down to dinner.

Tess surveyed the meal in front of her, the disgruntled expression still on her face,
"Well, Angel Boy, it looks like you outdid yourself."

"Thanks, Tess," Andrew replied with a smile as he took his seat beside of his best friend,
"But I can't take all the credit as Monica did every bit as much as I did."

"And it's still edible?" Tess grunted, placing her napkin in her lap, and never noticing how the Irish angel hung her head to hide tears,
"Whose saying grace?"

"I am," Sam stated as he appeared in the room with him, startling all of them as he gave a look to Tess, who for the moment seemed oblivious.

As the seven angels and five humans all bowed their heads, each of them holding onto the hand of the one next to them, Sam then began,
"Our Heavenly Father, we thank You for everything that You have given to us this day; but not only this day, but for every day. We thank You for friends, for our health and for loving us like You do. Right now, we would like for You to bless this time we have together...as friends. In Your Name, Amen."

As he finished, a round of "Amen's" were heard, and as Andrew opened his eyes, he gave Monica's hand a gentle squeeze underneath the table, but still kept a reassuring hold on it as the food was being passed around.

As plates were heaped high, lively conversation ensued amongst most everyone at the table and Andrew noted that the only quiet ones were Tess, who ate silently, while listening to the conversation, and Monica, who had done nothing more than pick at what was on her plate. So, he was hardly surprised when a moment later, she laid her napkin on the table and whispered a soft,
"Excuse me…" Before getting up and disappearing into the kitchen.

"Everything is real good, baby," Tess remarked with a smile in his direction.

Andrew's eyes narrowed for a moment, though he managed to keep his cool,
"As I said, Tess, I had help. A lot of help, from an angel who spent part of the day worrying over whether or not our little surprise would please you. Now, I know we all lose faith in the human race from time to time and while it is sad, it isn't anyone else's fault," He stood up, managing to keep his voice calm,
"Today is Thanksgiving, and for many years, Monica and I have been thankful for you and this was our way of showing it, especially when you have been a little out of sorts the past week. But regardless of that, and any hurtful things you might say, we still love you," With that, he laid down his napkin and headed into the kitchen after his friend.

As Andrew entered the kitchen and saw his best friend standing with her back to him by the counter, the angel sighed sadly as he walked up behind her and gently laid his hands on her shoulders,
"Sweetie?"

"I knew this was a bad idea, Andrew...I just knew it..." She uttered, trying her hardest to hold back more tears,
"Nothing is going to make her appreciate this-"

"Now, hold it right there, baby girl," The older angel firmly replied, gently turning his friend around to face him,
"That's not true. Yes, Tess is being moody; but she still loves you, and I know that you love her just as much. Today is Thanksgiving, Angel Girl, and I think what she needs right now is to know how grateful we are to have her in our existence..."

"And this ol' angel is just as grateful to have you both in her existence." Tess' voice appeared in the doorway of the kitchen and both younger angels turned to the sound of her voice. With a sigh, the mahogany skinned angel stepped closer to them, a look of sorrow on her face,
"I'm sorry, Angel Babies...you were right, Andrew."

Andrew smiled softly, a twinkle in his green eyes,
"For once I get the opportunity to say 'I know'. Thank you for that, Tess."

Rolling her eyes at him playfully, she then turned her attention to Monica, seeing her tear-streaked face,
"You know, I have this terrible habit of getting into one of these moods and taking it out on someone I love, and this time, that someone was you, Angel Girl. I didn't mean it, baby, and you and Andrew did a wonderful job on the meal today. Rose and I couldn't have done any better," Reaching out, she pulled the younger angel into her arms,
"I love you, baby, and I am thankful for you, for both of you, each and every day."

"We love you too, Tess," Monica smiled, reaching an arm out to pull her best friend into the hug with them.

"And all is forgiven," Andrew added, kissing the top of Monica's head as he saw the smile on her face once more,
"Providing you don't try to steal Christmas…"