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for A Hallmark Holiday

5/14/2014 c5 Nissandra
I must say, it's refreshing to have an optimistic ending for once. Don't get me wrong, Winter's Eve and Gypsy are remarkable stories, they just aren't all that well, happy. Anyway, loved the fic and I'll keep an eye open for your future tales!
5/12/2014 c5 19Lexifer666
This was an amazing story that many people can relate to. I love the interaction between the brothers and the focus on family.
5/8/2014 c5 26SewerSurfin
Raph totally just made me smile. :)
5/8/2014 c4 SewerSurfin
I think this was very well done!
5/8/2014 c2 SewerSurfin
I so love Mikey...3
5/8/2014 c1 SewerSurfin
Amazing beginning! Off to read more! You have captured Don's voice perfectly!
4/18/2014 c5 4Jay Jones
This story started out as a thoughtful, lovely piece of Apriltello but, by this chapter, it's clearly arguable that this story shines brightest as a brilliant piece of "Raphatello" :-) The brotherly love and reconciliation here was perfectly unexpected and so well written that one might (might!) even suspect that the carefully crafted April-Donnie arc was arranged simply to catalyze what happens between Raph and Don.

The themes you explore here are so rich and relatable, including that sense of 'drowning without knowing', a quiet spiritual disintegration that happens when the veil falls and harsh reality looms. This 'drowning' theme was a perfect foil to Raph and Donnie's rebirth - a new start for both of them; and April, actually. I like how, in truth, the three of them saved each other: that was clever, insightful writing.

I also appreciate how you used Raph's repair of the boiler as a platform for his work on the stealth cycle - that was nicely and subtly done! Raph's a fun character to read and muse about - he runs deep, even if he wouldn't want anyone to think so :-) It makes perfect sense that Raph would internalize April's rejection of Donnie, and suffer emotionally for it, if he pinned his hopes of future love and acceptance on the success of their romance.

Lastly, even while in the last sentence Donnie muses about Raph having his brotherly support, it's like the penny still hasn't quite dropped in the Genius Turtles' brain that Raph's renewal is facilitating his own recovery, lol. Looks like Donnie's still got some 'knowledge of self' to gain, which rings true and is exciting in terms of future stories about him that you might consider writing :-)
4/17/2014 c5 21The Nerdfighter
Ahh, and here it is set before me: a neatly wrapped, perfect little package with a big sparkly bow on top. Now that this fic is complete, it's like a nice little gift for any readers who haven't read it yet to sit down and marvel at how beautiful and intricate the detail is before they open it and are awarded with a magnificent prize. Man, it's not every day one gets to read such a terrific story from start to finish and I'm glad you were able to wrap this story up rather nicely.

I LOVED the interaction between Raph and Donnie. After all the high strung tension between the two, it was nice to see some closure as we, the readers, already got closure with Donnie and April patching things up and sealing their passions with a kiss. Gah! The romantic in me simply swooned. lol It was nice to see what it was that drove Raphael to drink and his reasons really touched me and made me feel sorry for the poor guy. I've read fics where the Turtles all touch base on this fear: the fear of being alone for the rest of their lives. Although they're not PHYSICALLY human, their emotions, thoughts, dreams, desires ARE human in every way, shape, and form. The only obstacle standing in their way is what would other humans think of them? If they were to find love, there's still that wall that separates them from their potential lovers simply because they are not physically compatible. Realistically, the woman would have to give up her sense of normalcy such as that whole white picket fence type of future because none of the guys can go out and do normal things that lead up to that. Everything would have to be cloak and dagger. But here comes April giving everyone that sense of hope when her and Donnie start getting close and then it just explodes in everyone's faces. I can see where is coming from having been effected by the aftershock of the whole situation and I think it's rather touching that he'd be rooting for his brother because - not only does it leave Donnie happy - but it gives both himself and Leo and Mikey a glimmer of hope.

Another thing I really liked is when you had Raph mention that having his brothers poke and prod him about his drinking habits wasn't helping the situation and that he had to figure it all on his own before he accepted the fact that he had a problem and needed to deal with it. That made me think of my sister, because right now, she's at that magnificent age where she's transitioning into the teenage years. She'll be starting high school this year and from the way she talks and carries herself now, I can tell she's going to be quite a handful; more than she already is. But scolding and yelling at her never does anything and it's gotten to the point where my parents kind of gave up. While I don't approve of this method, sometimes you just have to give people their space and let them figure their shit on their own. You can't hold their hand throughout their life and fix every single problem that comes their way. Sometimes, it's best just to watch from a distance and wait until they come to you for help, otherwise, they'll just feel bombarded.

Overall, Novus, I thought this was a delightful story and I'm a little sad to see it end. Though you've tied everything so nicely that it puts a smile on my face knowing you ended it all on a good note. Well done, dude. You did an absolutely amazing job and I hope your future fics are just as amazing as this one! lol

DFTBA, dude!

- The Nerdfighter
4/16/2014 c5 82SleepingSeeker
While I loved Donatello's reflections in this, it was his interaction with Raph that I was eagerly waiting to read. You did not disappoint. I thought the reasoning you gave us to explain his anger was perfect. And Don should really feel guilty for misreading his brother's motivations and for being so quick to peg him as simply dysfunctional instead of stopping to consider that maybe there was something deeper going on with his brother and not just accept 'whelp, Raph's a f ck up, so not surprise there!'

Can I tell you that I LOVED your take on Raph in this particular chapter? You gave us a fierce protective nature, a sensitive heart beneath the rugged exterior and a vulnerability that was very endearing. I could see him doing something so bold as to quit drinking cold turkey and hashing it out with the demons of withdrawal.

And you know what!? I would love a one- shot of just that: Raphael struggling and managing another day of not succumbing to the alcohol addiction that he's fighting.

Wonderful job, Novus! And congrats on placing in the Stealthystories competition. Your writing is as strong as ever and it is much deserved!
4/14/2014 c5 Juanita27
Oh my gosh that story was wonderful. And, it wrapped up nicely and had a happy ending- hooray! Looking forward to more stories from you!
4/14/2014 c5 LooksOnTempests
What a lovely story, and beautifully written too! I enjoyed reading this so much!
4/13/2014 c5 Pyreite
Beautiful. I don't usually like POV ficlets but you do it so very well. April is wonderfully sad yet hopeful, especially, in her desire to mend bridges with Donny and admit her feelings for him. Donny is in the middle of the ficlet being angry and unhappy. His 'attack' on Raph was brilliantly written, as it showed that the 'brainiac' turtle just like Raph, can crack under pressure. I adore how Donny goes from defensive to hopeful to forgiving with April, especially when he finally has enough patience to listen to her, to sit still for five seconds, and take in what she had to say. And all of it is thanks to Raph, who being on a cycle of self-destruction, changes from the pariah to the saviour for both of them.

Raph is especially powerfully characterised in this ficlet. He's uncouth, rude, crude, and disorderly but underneath he's so terribly frustrated, angry, and afraid. His ire is understandable, perhaps in essence, because of all of his brothers he is the realist. Raph knows what will likely happen if Donny and April actually admit their feelings for one another. He's hopeful but also terribly aware of the downside if everything goes wrong.

You capture his struggle wonderfully well.

In the end Donny resolves things with April, has new hope for their future together, and Raphael will come out of the other side of the fire, having been burned and scarred, but able to heal, to carry on, with Donny's help.

You really have shown their bond as brothers and as a family too.

Wow.

Awesome story.
4/13/2014 c5 11Terraform
A Novus update! Hooray! :D
Wow, what can I say? Such a fantastic and wonderfully written conclusion to the story! First of all, the parting moment between April and Donnie on the rooftop was incredibly romantic, and the language beautiful. That kiss (and their unspoken promise to begin afresh) was a long time coming and I felt it...and it was good. The descriptive imagery was particularly great here - the nip of the wind, the singed toast, the cacophony of awakening traffic. And his daydream of watching "Breakfast at Tiffany's" with April in his arms - beyond adorable, and now it can happen for him, bwahaha! Cash that raincheck while it's scorching, baby!

Back at the lair provides a very sweet moment with Mikey (trying to stay awake for his bro...aww), not to mention transitions beautifully into the meat and bones of the chapter: Raphael. You could not have handled this confession better, in my opinion. Not only do you nail Raph's awkwardness in apology or his cadence of speech, but also the sweetness that is usually buried deep deep within him under a layer of heavy duty cement. Kudos to him for planning and flawlessly executing a way to get Don and April some face-time (and kudos to you for writing it!). Having the Stealth Cycle as a way for Raph to both further connect to his brother and give up drinking is ingenious...and watching as this all goes down as he tries to contain the shakes, in it's own way, is heart-breakng. But thankfully not only has it showed a major turning point within himself but also between his brothers. You sum this up perfectly in the conclusion "no matter how things seem no matter how hopeless or cruel - he is never alone."

All kinds of love is spinning here: romantic, unrequited, familial. It's intense. Never stop writing, Novus, and I will happily continue to talk you off ledges! :)
4/13/2014 c5 I Love Kittens too
What a great ending! Raph will fix up his own issues. What April told Raph about the reason of quitting the university was a surprise for Donnie. She decided to come back because of him. She realized she have always love Donnie.
4/13/2014 c4 I Love Kittens too
April finally apologizes to Donnie for what he did to him. And later they kiss. What a chapter!
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