Chapter 1: To Put It Simply
"DON'T WORRY MIKEY! I'M COMIN'!" Raph screamed, rushing into Donnie's lab, only to find Donnie nursing baby Mikey with a bowl of Nightcrawlers.
"Oh." Raph muttered, sitting on a nearby swivel chair and groaning. "Why are babies so difficult to take care of?"
"You're joking, right? You barely do anything to take care of Mikey! If anything, and I can't believe I'm saying this, LEO is the one who does nearly all of the work! It's literally the job that was given to him!" Donnie huffed.
"If that's the case, then why isn't Mikey with Leo?" Raph inquired.
"I offered to take Mikey off Leo's hands. He's literally passed out in the middle of the living room." Donnie replied, just narrowly catching a Nightcrawler that Mikey had dropped. "Leo's been working overtime, and I started to feel bad for him."
"Yeah? Well, maybe he wouldn't be working so much, if you hadn't done this to Mikey in the first place." Raph huffed.
"Oy... PLEASE stop bringing it up... the evidence is right here." Donnie muttered, holding Mikey closer.
Both brothers then began to recall how the family had gotten into this situation.
"Hey Dee! What're you working on?" Mikey asked, bounding into Donnie's lab.
"Death." Don replied, shutting Mikey up then and there.
Donnie snickered. That always left Mikey speechless. I mean, how was Mikey supposed to respond to that? When he tried, it was obvious that he was having a hard time, since he didn't really see the concept of death as a joke. When Donnie thought about it, he realized that the statement was a little mean, considering how Mikey was incredibly horrified of death, especially in terms of their family. Mikey had even said it himself, that he had constant nightmares about everyone being thrown in a vat of acid, or of each of them being beheaded, tortured, torn to pieces, etc.
Donnie really needed to have a serious conversation with the others about this sometime soon.
"Uhh... so... how has your day been?" Mikey asked awkwardly.
"Don't be like that. You know I didn't mean it." Donnie chuckled.
Mikey let out an audible breath, his body losing all hints of tension. Once he had completely calmed down, Mikey sat next to Donnie on a nearby counter. It was nice when Mikey sat and watched Donnie, mainly because Mikey was normally so quiet and polite when he was in the lab. Just like Donnie had taught him.
"And, because you've been good for the past few days, you get a treat." Donnie suddenly chimed, reaching down and opening a small refrigerator, making Mikey gasp and bounce excitedly.
With a smirk, Donnie pulled out a container full of Nightcrawlers, opening the container and pulling out one of the fat worms. It was a mystery in itself as to when Mikey had gained this incessant craving for Nightcrawlers, or as to when the idea of eating bugs in general ever even crossed Mikey's mind. The Box Turtle had been so against a normal diet for his species, and it was assumed by everyone that it would always be that way. But, then again, things change. And no one questioned it too much.
"Want it?" Donnie asked, holding the squirming worm.
Mikey nodded vigorously, smiling widely and whimpering with excitement.
"Then get off my counter." Donnie chuckled, watching as Mikey hopped down.
"Good boy." Donnie chimed, tossing the worm to Mikey, who snatched it up and swallowed it whole.
"Ew." a voice muttered.
Donnie and Mikey turned to see Leo, who was standing in the entrance of the lab, a playfully disgusted look on his face. Leo didn't really understand the appeal of eating bugs, as he had tried to do so once before. And didn't like doing it. The consistency and knowledge of what he was eating made Leo want to hurl, even when he tried different types. Raph and Donnie had attempted to eat insects as well, and it seemed that only Donnie was one to join in Mikey's bug eating habit. Now, both of them would share bags and containers of Crickets, Ants, Worms, and Beetles. They've even fought over a small nest of beetles that Mikey had managed to sniff out.
But, beyond that little fact, Leo just found it amusing that Mikey would willingly follow commands for nothing more than a few bug snacks.
"What do you want?" Donnie asked.
"I just wanted to be nosy." Leo replied, walking into the lab and petting Mikey's head.
"Mission accomplished." Donnie replied. "Alright, I'm starting to get annoyed, get out."
"Aww! But we were just gonna stay for a little bit! Please let us stay! I'll let you have the next giant moth I find!" Mikey whined.
"How dare you." Donnie huffed, turning to face some blueprints. "Just, try not to break anything."
"Can do!" Mikey chimed.
Leo looked to Mikey, smiling mischievously. Mikey looked back, sending a look that said "No! We shouldn't!"
"Oh, come on. It's not like he'll care if we... test out a few things." Leo whispered.
"No. We could get hurt." Mikey huffed.
"Only if we do something stupid. I mean, look at this. Does this look like it could hurt you?" Leo asked, grabbing a cup full of what seemed to be water.
But both brothers knew better than to assume. There was a 75% chance that this liquid was capable of making something explode. Or it really could just be water. They could never know.
"Unless we try it." Leo chuckled darkly.
"No! Don't drink it!" Mikey whisper-shouted.
"Why not? I bet it'll do something cool, like make me grow wings!" Leo replied.
Mikey pursed his lips. That was a true statement. And Mikey had become intrigued by the idea of what the liquid could possibly be.
"Let me drink it!" Mikey ordered, snatching the cup and looking at it, sniffing the liquid and wrinkling his nose at the vinegar-like smell.
"Go on. Drink it." Leo urged.
Mikey rolled his eyes, moving to take a small sip. At that moment, Donnie had turned to face his little brothers, something telling him that he should do so. Once he caught sight of what Mikey was doing, Donnie screamed for Mikey to stop. With a yelp, Mikey threw the cup in the air, and the liquid fell on Mikey's head. Donnie and Leo gasped, waiting for something, anything, to happen. When nothing did, everyone sighed with relief.
"Well, I'm glad that- OH GOD! THERE IT GOES!" Mikey screamed, groaning and wailing in pain as he felt his body shift and shrink.
A puff of smoke appeared, surrounding Mikey, and Donnie and Leo were forced to avert their eyes, coughing and wheezing at the awful smell of vinegar and burning scales.
"MIKEY!" Donnie and Leo screeched, waving the smoke away and coughing.
When things were clear, Mikey's gear and shorts were in a pile on the floor, and, for a minute, it seemed as if Mikey had gone the way of the Wicked Witch. Donnie then began sobbing, and Leo stood in shock, neither knowing what to do, until they heard a quiet giggle.
Donnie and Leo looked to the pile, which had started moving. In response, Donnie reached out a shaky hand to separate the pile of gear, revealing a familiar human baby sized Box Turtle. The tiny terrapin was as happy as could be, and was waving its arms in the air.
"...Mikey...?" Leo muttered.
The baby squealed with delight, raising its arms higher, as if asking to be picked up. Donnie obliged, and stood from his kneeling position, cradling the tiny, naked baby. With a few look-overs, and a lot of processing, Donnie and Leo finally concluded that this was, indeed, Michelangelo.
"How is this even possible? That was supposed to be a growth serum!" Donnie shouted.
"Well, it obviously isn't, Donatello!" Leo screamed.
The two then started arguing, and baby Mikey whimpered, bottom lip quivering before he let out a small trill of discomfort, stopping his brothers' argument then and there. Both males looked down at Mikey with wide eyes, wondering what it was that Mikey had done to bring their attention to him so quickly. Mikey let out another trill, and this led to Donnie and Leo trilling back, confusing both of them.
"I didn't even know I could do that..." Donnie muttered.
"Same." Leo commented.
"Uhh, why is there so much yelling in here?" April asked, poking her head in the lab and gasping as she caught sight of baby Mikey.
April rushed up to Donnie and Leo, tearing Mikey away from them, and cuddling Mikey close.
"AWW! You're so cute! I could just eat you up right now!" April cooed, poking Mikey's snout.
Mikey laughed in response, nibbling on April's finger, and babbling nonsense.
"This is the best day of my life... how did he even get this way?" April asked.
"Uh... he... baby serum...?" Donnie replied, he and Leo still in shock by April's ability to recognize Mikey just from a quick, far away glance.
"What?" April replied.
"Hey, April, did you... find out..." Raph muttered, looking to Mikey.
Raph's pupils dilated, and he reached out to grab Mikey. April huffed, turning her back to Raph. Mikey babbled once more, moving to pull at April's glasses.
"No, we don't grab glasses." April scolded, lightly tapping Mikey's hand.
Instead of crying, Mikey hissed, biting April's hand. April yelped, accidentally letting Mikey go. Leo took no time to rush up and grab Mikey with the speed of a Swordfish. Everyone sighed with relief, and Mikey licked Leo's chin, playing with Leo's mask tails.
"Okay, new rule, let's try to refrain from hitting the baby, M'kay?" Leo muttered.
Everyone else nodded.
"So, what are we supposed to do? When and if dad finds out, he's gonna have our shells." Raph asked.
"Well, he's gonna find out eventually. He's a rat, his senses are highly developed, and Mikey isn't necessarily the quietest." Donnie replied.
"Don-on!" Mikey trilled.
Donatello took in a deep breath, a tear coming to his eye. Leo rolled his eyes, unamused.
"Don't get caught up on the fact that he knows your name. He knows everyone's name. Besides, with him being a baby, I can finally imprint on him." Leo chuckled.
"Wait, who says you get to imprint on him?!" Raph asked.
"I says! Because I'm the one who saved him from sudden death!" Leo responded.
"Maybe so, but you're the one who got him in this mess!" Donnie commented.
"You have no proof of that!" Leo shouted.
"You were going to let him drink the serum!" Donnie growled.
"Oh yeah?! Well, you-"
"DADA!" Mikey cheered.
The teens froze, and everyone turned to look at Splinter, who had no emotion on his face. Mikey began squirming, whining and reaching for Splinter, who walked up to Leo, calmly grabbing Mikey and sighing.
"I will be the one who determines the caretaker of Orange." Splinter announced, walking out of the lab.
"It's Leonardo." Splinter chuckled, poking his head in the lab once more before walking off once more, Mikey in his arms.
"WHAT?!?!" Donnie and Raph screamed.
Leo cheered, tauntingly laughing as he and April walked out of the lab. Donnie's eye twitched, and Raph hissed lowly.
"How come Leo gets to be the one to imprint?" Raph asked.
"I have no idea, and I don't think I want to find out." Donnie growled.
Both older brothers then followed Leo and April out of the lab, meeting the two and Splinter in the living room. There, Mikey was on the floor, a small onesie having been put on him to keep him from getting cold.
"I see that most of you are confused about my decision. But, it must be understood that I am doing this, only to teach Leonardo about responsibility. Taking care of Orange in this state will teach all of you something, yes, but it will mainly teach Leonardo how to look after things, and keep up with them without complaint..." Splinter explained, lip raising in a sneer at the last few words of his explanation.
Leo coughed, blushing and looking to the side.
"You will be able to see my point in the future. For now, as long as Michelangelo is in this state, you will each help to take care of him, but you will leave the guarding and protecting to Leonardo." Splinter ordered.
"And, as for you, Donatello, I expect you to be working on an antidote for as long and often as possible, without stressing yourself out. Do not be afraid to take a break and play with your baby brother." Splinter instructed.
"Hai." Donnie replied.
"So, with that out of the way, it is late, and Michelangelo needs his rest much more than ever at this age." Splinter stated.
"I'll make him a crib." Donnie announced.
"I can hold him until the crib is done." Leo added.
"I'll help Don." Raph hummed.
"And I'll look up facts on baby Box Turtles." April finished, pulling out her phone.
"Then it is decided. I expect you all to share responsibility equally, and to learn to cooperate in order to ensure Michelangelo's survival." Splinter stated before turning and leaving.
"Wait, ensure his survival?" April muttered.
The group of teens then looked to Mikey, who had a disturbing, impish smile on his face. With a few worried glances to each other, the group gulped, suddenly realizing that this was not going to be easy.
That was not only two days ago, and Mikey was already starting to try everyone's patience. He was constantly biting everyone, he had managed to learn how to break into Donnie's mini-fridge, and he had somehow consumed nearly half a container of mini-Legos... without getting sick. Something that killed the brothers inside.
"Yes. This seemed like it would be such a good thing. Until he started acting like a baby." Donnie groaned.
"Well, he hasn't been all bad, at least he hasn't-"
"...Nevermind..." Raph muttered.
"Hehe, and it all goes downhill from here." Splinter remarked, passing by the lab just to say that.
Chapter 2: How NOT to Talk to the Baby
Leo's got a LOT of learning to do about babies.
I probably should have mentioned this in the first chapter, but Mikey is around eight to nine months old in this fic. :)
Also, yes, I will have chapters dedicated to Mikey hanging out with Raph, Donnie, April, and even Splinter individually, I just want to get a firm establishment upon Leo's relationship with the baby.
Also, Also; I will tell a fortune! Let's look! Aha! I see a fight and a bit of hurt/comfort in the next chapter! Prepare for some light angst! *Insert evil laughter here*
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"Play! Leo! Play!" Mikey chimed from his crib in the living room.
Leo looked into Mikey's crib before returning his attention to the Tv. The Slider wasn't really one to humor Mikey with playtime. That was more of a Raph or April thing to do. Leo simply saw his role as protector of Mikey being only that. All he had to do was protect Mikey. There was nothing more to it.
"Sorry, Mikey, but I don't think you can play any of the games you used to." Leo commented.
Mikey tilted his head to the side. Sure, he couldn't perfectly distinguish what Leo was saying to a T, but he understood enough to know that Leo wasn't getting up any time soon. So, with a disappointed sigh, Mikey sat down, looking around and pouting. Leo looked back to Mikey after hearing Mikey's sigh, feeling bad for the baby and deciding to do something entertaining.
"FINE. What do you want to do?" Leo asked standing up and walking up to Mikey's crib.
Mikey stood, cheering and clapping his hands. Leo wanted to play! Leo really, really wanted to play!
"Epano! Epano!" Mikey giggled, grabbing at Leo's mask tails.
Leo mentally groaned. "Epano," was Mikey's butchered way to say "piano," and that meant that Mikey wanted to play the cheap piano that April had bought as a gift. It wasn't too bad to listen to, per se, it had a decent tone. The one thing that Leo hated about the thing, was that Mikey had no musical knowledge in this state, so he literally couldn't. Play.
"Uh... how about no? What about Mr. Cam?" Leo suggested.
Mr. Cam was a little stuffed Box Turtle that Donnie had created one day while he was playing with Mikey. It was incredibly adorable, and Mikey absolutely loved the toy.
"NO! Epano! EPANO!" Mikey whined, hopping up and down angrily.
"Mikey, I don't think your Epano can be played right now." Leo fibbed.
"EPANO!" Mikey shouted.
"Mikey, I'm starting to lose my patience." Leo warned.
"EPANO!" Mikey screamed.
"NO! SHUT UP, YOU STUPID BABY! " Leo screamed back.
Mikey silenced, backing up and falling down, pouting and whimpering before beginning to wail. This began to stir something in Leo that the Slider didn't even know existed, and he began to feel a HUGE wave of guilt flow over him.
"Oh no! Mikey, don't cry! Please don't cry! I didn't mean it! I swear I didn't mean it!" Leo pleaded, reaching into Mikey's crib and gently pulling Mikey into a tender hug.
Leo apologized softly and sweetly kissed Mikey's head, holding Mikey against his plastron and shushing Mikey. The baby continued to cry for around three minutes, and then began to calm down, sniffling and nuzzling close to Leo, looking for more comfort. Leo sighed, moving back and sitting on Splinter's chair, leaning back so that Mikey could lean forward and have an easier time calming down.
"Leo didn't mean to scare you. He didn't mean to scare the poor baby." Leo whispered.
Mikey trilled, earning a trill in response from Leo. This action continued on, and it started to sound like a conversation, one in which only Leo and Mikey understood. It was a nice little bonding moment, and Leo started to appreciate Splinter's decision much more. Having Mikey this close was nice.
Unfortunately, however, this one lesson in tone didn't last very long in Leo's memory.
"Leo! It's breakfast time, and I don't see Mikey in his highchair!" Raph shouted from the kitchen.
"I'll be there in a second!" Leo groaned, refusing to leave the warmth of his bed.
"NOW!" Raph and Donnie screamed.
Leo whined, rolling out of bed and grunting as he fell on the floor. Why was he being forced to get up so early, when Donnie or Raph could feed Mikey?! It wasn't that hard! Then again, Donnie and Raph could use that argument against Leo as well.
"You're such a hassle." Leo huffed, poking his head up over his bed to look at Mikey, who was happily sitting in his handmade crib.
"Awake already. That solves half of the puzzle." Leo sighed.
Leo then stood up, dressing himself and grabbing Mikey from the crib, carrying Mikey into the kitchen, and placing Mikey in his highchair.
"His oatmeal is on the counter." Donnie chimed, eating a piece of toast.
Leo said nothing, grabbing the bowl and placing it on the tray in front of Mikey, grabbing a spoon and preparing to start the feeding ritual. Which was as mundane as could be. It was literally nothing more than Leo blowing on the hot food before feeding it to Mikey, who would constantly try to spit the food back up as a game. This annoyed Leo to his core, but, normally, he could work with it.
Today, however, Mikey managed to accidentally push Leo past the limit.
When Leo tried to get the third spoonful of food into Mikey's mouth, Mikey slapped the spoon out of Leo's hand, projecting the utensil into Leo's face. Mikey laughed, clapping and slamming his hands on the tray, somehow managing to flip the bowl of oatmeal towards him. So, covered in oatmeal, Mikey laughed louder, gasping in shock as Leo hissed.
"WHY. ARE. YOU. SO. AWFUL?!?!? WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU?! I DIDN'T ASK FOR YOU TO BE THIS WAY! YOU'RE JUST SO FREAKISHLY ANNOYING, AND I WANT YOU TO STOP IT!" Leo screamed.
Mikey blinked, and Raph and Donnie stared at Leo with shock. Mikey then whimpered, sniffled, gasped, and wailed, attempting to back away from Leo.
There went that feeling again.
Leo immediately calmed down, lowering his head and lifting Mikey out of his highchair, shushing Mikey and whispering soothing apologies. Mikey screamed, wrapping his arms around Leo's neck and shaking, trying his best to calm down. Leo sighed, sitting on the floor and beginning to sing softly. This grabbed Mikey's attention, and the baby started to quiet, sucking his thumb and looking into Leo's eyes.
All Mikey saw was guilt and apologetic sympathy. And that made Mikey forget all of the mean things that Leo had said.
"I'm so sorry..." Leo whispered.
"It okay." Mikey replied softly.
Raph blinked, and Donnie dropped his toast.
"What did we just witness?" Raph asked.
"I think we just witnessed Leo learning a lesson." Donnie replied quietly.
"Holy cheese." Raph whispered.
"Holy cheese, indeed." Donnie replied.
Of course, Leo didn't completely learn from this moment, either.
Leo flipped a page in a book that he was reading to Mikey. Things had been calm that day, and Leo had decided to snuggle up in his room with the baby, reading short stories, and placing the occasional sloppy kiss on Mikey's forehead, making Mikey squeal and giggle.
"The Big Bad Wolf then smiled at Red Riding Hood, All the better to hear you with, he said, chuckling to himself. My, what big eyes you have!, Red Riding hood exclaimed. All the better to see you with, my dear, the wolf replied. My, what big teeth you have, grandmother!, Red Riding Hood gasped."
Leo then looked to Mikey, smirking mischievously.
"All the better to... EAT YOU WITH!" Leo screamed, playfully nipping at Mikey's neck.
Mikey screamed, surprised by Leo's sudden actions. At that moment, Mikey panicked, raising his hand- which was decorated with sharp claws, mind you -and swinging his hand at Leo's plastron, scaring Leo enough to let go of Mikey, causing Mikey to land on the bed, face first.
Mikey whimpered, but didn't begin to cry. Instead, he looked to Leo, afraid of how Leo would react. Leo groaned, making sure he hadn't been scratched too bad, before sighing.
Mikey tilted his head. What was so funny?
"Don't be upset, Mike. I get that I scared ya. I'll remember not to do that next time." Leo chimed.
Mikey smiled, crawling onto Leo's lap and babbling. He was glad that Leo didn't get mad and turn into a meanie.
"Leo scary!" Mikey happily giggled.
"No, Mikey scary! Mikey's a big scary monster!" Leo replied.
"Leo scary! Leo scary! Leo big scary!" Mikey cheered, chewing on his fist and squealing.
Leo picked Mikey up, kissing Mikey's cheek and laughing along with Mikey.
He'd remembered and learned from every moment this time.
Had to keep Leo's short attention span, and slightly short-tempered personality in there somewhere. :p
That last one had you there, didn't it? Admit it, it did.
Chapter 3: He Swim
It doesn't take much common sense to know that you should NEVER take your eyes off of a baby for more than five seconds...
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
"How did you even find this place?" Raph asked, looking around the beautiful landscape that April had discovered.
"I have no idea. I was just walking around, and somehow managed to end up here." April replied, smiling as she watched Mikey roam around in the grass.
The teens had sat on the grass of a peaceful clearing, agreeing that this would be the perfect place to take Mikey as a safe haven. The baby had most certainly loved it, and had taken no time at all to start rolling in the grass. A few sneezes escaped from Mikey, which scared his brothers intensely, but they were quickly reassured when April managed to keep anymore grass from getting up Mikey's nose. The baby had discovered and successfully caught a few beetles that were scuttling about, and happily hummed as he munched on the bugs.
"I'm glad to see that he's putting that Box Turtle sense of smell to good use." Donnie chimed, lying on his plastron.
"Don-on want eat?" Mikey inquired, picking up a large beetle and pressing it against Donnie's snout.
"Eh, why not?" Donnie replied biting the beetle in half.
Mikey then chomped on the other half of the beetle, babbling as he waddled off in search of more. Leo gagged, pretending to hurl in disgust.
"What is it with you two and bugs?" Leo asked, shivering.
"They're good to, and for, us! To each his own, sure, Leon, but I don't understand why you have to voice your disgust about it." Donnie replied.
Leo shrugged, lying back on his carapace and staring up at the sky. So what if he was being honest about his stance on bugs? If anything, Leo should be asking Donnie why it was such an issue to voice said stance.
"You two, I swear. You could love each other like the best of friends one minute, and fight like enemies the next." April chuckled. "You're like eight year olds."
"It isn't my fault that Leon is so immature." Donnie commented.
"And it isn't my fault that Donnie is too smart for us." Leo added.
"Hahah. Exhibit A." Raph chimed.
The four then bantered playfully for the next few minutes, and then laughed at an honestly terrible joke that Leo had told. At this point, it seemed as if everything was perfect. As if nothing bad could possibly go wrong.
"And then when he fell off the table, and landed on his face!" Raph cackled. "It was like watching a pancake falling off of the ceiling!"
Leo doubled over, April snorted, and Donnie shook his head with a wide smile.
"You three, I swear." Donnie sighed, looking to a nearby pond and tensing.
There was something wrong with this scenario.
Something very wrong.
"Where's the baby...?" Donnie asked, near silently.
The others then stopped laughing immediately, looking around with wide eyes.
Michelangelo was nowhere to be seen, and he wasn't making any noise whatsoever.
This drove the teens to jump to their feet, screaming Mikey's name as loud as they could. Everyone looked everywhere possible, finding nothing, and almost dying of horror as they got the same idea. The teens looked to the river, rushing over to the rushing water, and gasping as they found Mikey's tiny bow that they'd put on him before the outing.
"He fell in..." April whispered.
Donnie, Leo, and Raph took no time to start racing downstream, looking and listening for their baby brother. The boys were traveling for at least five minutes, before Leo stopped, swearing that he'd heard a small trill of discomfort. Leo trilled back, gasping and rushing into the river as he heard a feeble trill in response. Leo swam across easily, coughing as he ended up on a small, sandy bank on the other side. When he looked around, Leo saw nothing, beginning to panic. Then, he caught sight of Mikey, who was lying, plastron down on the sand.
"Mikey..." Leo gasped, standing and rushing up to his brother.
"Leo... me foot hurt..." Mikey whimpered.
Leonardo looked down, gasping in response to the sudden sight of Mikey's twisted ankle.
"Kiss the boo-boo?" Mikey asked softly, whining in pain as he was picked up. "Leo hurt! Me hurt!"
"I'm sorry, Mike! Come on, let's get you to Donnie." Leo apologize, holding Mikey close. "We're gonna have to cross over the river, okay buddy?"
"NO! Me no want water! Bath time mean!" Mikey wailed, holding on to Leo tightly.
Leo inwardly flinched, holding onto Mikey tightly and stepping into the water, trying to ignore Mikey's screams of fear. The two got across, and Leo did his best to calm Mikey down as much as possible.
"Foot hurt! Foot hurt bad!" Mikey sobbed as he was sat down in the grass.
"I know, Miguel, I know. We'll fix you. I promise you, okay, sweetheart?" Leo whispered.
"Leo! You found him!" Raph gasped, rushing over to the two and near fainting as he noticed Mikey's twisted ankle.
"Waphie, leg hurt..." Mikey whimpered. "Leo no kiss..."
"Mikey, a kiss won't help this time." Leo sighed, making sure to hold Mikey in as comfortable of a position as possible.
"Kiss help better!" Mikey cried.
"Mikey! Oh, thank goodness you're okay!" Donnie shouted, rushing up to Mikey and picking the younger up.
"No pick up! Foot hurt!" Mikey shouted.
"He twisted his ankle..." Leo sighed.
Donnie looked to Mikey's ankle, which was swollen and most obviously in pain. With a heavy sigh, Donnie announced that the group should get home. The others agreed, and they made their way home.
"NO TOUCH! FOOT HURT! DON-ON MAKE HURT MORE!" Mikey wailed at the top of his lungs, a response to his ankle being set back into place.
Raph, Leo, and April all cringed, having chosen to sit in the living room so as to not jump Donnie in his attempt to fix Mikey's ankle. The sound of the baby being in so much pain shook everyone to their core, and no one wanted to say anything else on the matter.
"There. See? Does foot feel better?" Donnie asked softly, finishing up with the wrapping on Mikey's leg.
Mikey nodded, wiping his eyes.
"Don-on kiss boo-boo?" Mikey requested, sniffling as Donnie did so. "Foot hurt. No much more."
"That's good." Donnie sighed happily. "You must be exhausted. Let's get you in your crib."
Donatello then picked Mikey up, carrying Mikey into Leo's room, where the baby's crib was located. Mikey yawned, whining as he was set in his crib.
"Me sleep with Don-on! Big bwubber help foot better!" Mikey shouted.
"Big bwubber be sleepy buddy..." Mikey whispered, drifting off.
Donnie sighed, picking Mikey back up. The baby happily hummed, closing his eyes and falling asleep, mouth hanging open, and drool dripping onto Donnie's shoulder.
The Softshell didn't mind, though.
"Why isn't he in his crib?" April inquired.
"He wants to sleep with me, tonight." Donnie replied, smirking as he saw Leo slightly tense. "Don't worry. You know about the backup crib. He won't be in danger."
Leo looked to the side, his protective instincts kicked into high gear. No matter what his older brother said, Leo was still going to pop in and check on Mikey whenever possible.
"I'll get him in bed. After that, we need to talk about this." Donnie stated.
The others nodded.
"You were supposed to be WATCHING HIM!" Donnie screamed, pushing Leo back.
"WHAT?! It isn't all my fault! You should have been watching him, too!" Leo screamed back.
"Boys, cool it! We all should have been watching him! It isn't anyone's specific fault! We all played a part in this!" April shouted, standing in between the two quarreling brothers.
"April's right! If we had been paying attention, we would have at least heard something!" Raph agreed.
Donnie and Leo growled, turning away from each other.
After this, there was no way that Leo would let Donnie get anywhere close to Mikey! This was Donatello's fault, for sure! Donnie was the one who started yelling in the first place! If it hadn't been for Donnie, then none of this would have happened!
Donatello, on the other hand, was doing his best to reason out a truce between him and Leo. There was no doubt in Donnie's mind that Leo was going to be more protective towards Mikey than ever. The Slider rarely ever went anywhere without Mikey being even two feet in sight!
"Look, I get that you two are upset, but you can't let one shared mistake get in the way of your everyday lives with Mikey." April huffed.
"...Fine..." Leo muttered, turning and facing Donnie, who had turned as well. "Truce?"
"...Truce." Donnie replied, fist-bumping Leo.
"Good, since that's done and over with, we should all get some sleep. All of this shouting has no doubt kept Mikey up." Raph advised.
Everyone else nodded, retreating to their respective rooms (or apartment in April's case).
Leo walked into his room, groaning as he threw himself onto his bed. This was gonna be a pretty sleepless night for him.
Raph walked into his room, sighing as he climbed into his bed, looking up at the ceiling. Today had started off so well, and ended so badly. It was a good thing, however, that the brothers had a strong enough bond to forgive and- somewhat -forget each other's faults. So, with a huff, Raph closed his eyes, and fell asleep.
Donnie walked into his room with a slight anger radiating off of him. It wasn't Leo's place to tell him what to do! Assigned caretaker of Mikey or no! Mikey wasn't just Leo's brother! At this point, Donnie had become frustrated with his unturned family. Donnie looked to Mikey's crib, where the baby was currently tensed, obviously trying to make it look like he was sleeping.
"Michael, you don't have to be scared. Don-on isn't mad at you." Donnie assured, reaching into the crib and picking Mikey up.
The baby looked into Donnie's eyes, fear washing away as he saw the reassuring glamour in the light brown orbs. Donnie smiled, walking over to a nearby refrigerator, and opening it, pulling out a small vial.
With a mischievous look, Mikey pointed to the floor, and giggled as Donnie dropped the vial, both smiling as it spilled its contents onto the floor.
"Oopsie~" Donnie chuckled, reaching into a nearby drawer and pulling out a rag, wiping the liquid up, and putting the rag in a containment bucket.
The Softshell then pulled a bottle of milk out of the refrigerator. Mikey held his hands out excitedly, beginning to giggle loudly.
"Shh~ Be quiet, you know how the others feel about late night snacks." Donnie chided softly.
Michelangelo nodded, grabbing the bottle gratefully and drinking the sweet liquid down quickly. This little "tradition" of the pair had started around a week or two after Mikey had been transformed. No one else knew about it, and the two planned on keeping it that way.
"Drink it all. Otherwise, it won't work." Donnie chimed, tilting the bottle back.
Once the liquid was gone, Donnie placed the bottle on the floor, and settled Mikey back into the cradle. Mikey looked up at his older brother, smiling widely and making a shushing sound.
"That's right. Now, get some sleep." Donnie encouraged.
Mikey yawned, doing as told. Donnie smiled darkly, and lie down on his own bed after having shed his gear and battle shell. This was a neat little- for lack of a better term -experiment. Never before had Donnie been exposed to something so interesting and real. It aroused a new feeling of nothing but power in the genius, and made him crave more.
Yes, he had been working on the serum to change Mikey back, and yes, he had actually come so close to completing it...
But, like all living creatures, Donatello had made a mistake.
And had accidentally spilled two weeks worth of a retro-serum.
For the fifth time.
With the one witness, being the one he was supposed to fix.
But, hey, as long as Mikey found it as nothing more than an innocent game, then Donatello wouldn't fret. Besides, it's not like Mikey's brain was put together enough to understand what was actually happening...
Is what any normal onlooker might say.
However, in a hilarious sense of dark irony, Michelangelo was perfectly aware of the fact, that whatever was in that bottle, was in no way, shape, or form, simply milk.
Which is why the baby accepted the drink so fervently...
Guesses as to what the liquid is? :3
Also, yes. I AM going down that rabbit hole in this fic. This shouldn't surprise my consistent readers at this point, as I almost ALWAYS have a plot twist somewhere.
Funny thing is- if you ask them, they WILL tell you -that I will add in something like this, and give little to no explanation about it until the time is right. Or I may never give it at all. You'll just have to read on and see. \(*w*)/
Chapter 4: A Villain's Revelation
Donnie, Leo, and Mikey go on a little trip to find some parts for Donnie's new drill...
For the musical number, you'll have to listen to "My Lullaby" in order to understand the beat. ^^
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"You shouldn't hold him like that. You'll make him spit up his breakfast." Donnie muttered, a sneer on his face as he and Leo walked into Repo's Car Lot, Mikey in hand.
"I know how to hold the baby." Leo muttered back, refusing to look at his purple clad twin. "You don't have the right to tell me how to carry my brother."
"He's OUR BROTHER!" Donnie screamed, stepping in front of Leo and growling.
"...My brother." Leo scoffed.
Mikey whimpered, nuzzling close to Leo's body, in an attempt to avoid eye contact with his angry older brothers. Not even two days had passed since the river incident, and the twins were still at each other's throats. The baby's ankle had gotten better, yes, but the twins didn't care. Ever since the incident, Donnie and Leo had been fighting like feral dogs. And that wasn't an overstatement. When the two fought, they would bite, scratch, and pin each other down, always having to be separated by Raph when they got too aggressive.
Which was always.
"Oh-ho, I'd take that back if I were you." Donnie growled, taking a step closer.
Leo didn't step back, unfazed by Donnie's sudden anger. This only drove Donnie further, and the Softshell began to circle around Leo, knowing what Leo was nonchalantly doing.
"You can't use Michael as a safe tool every time you try me." Donnie huffed, stopping his circling.
"I know. But I'm doing it right now. So, you can't really-"
"I'm sure that's all you see him as. A little tool that you can use to keep yourself out of trouble." Donnie remarked, unintentionally pushing Leo out of his calm state.
A second passed, before a war of rage and tension broke out between the twins. In the scuffle, Mikey had been carelessly dropped onto the ground. Mikey cried out, crawling away from the fight, and cowering in front of a car. As the fight went on, it got scarier, and much more intense, which led Mikey to cover his eyes.
The chaos drew the attention of a nearby mutant, and he sniffed the air, licking his lips deviously as he realized that he was catching the scent of the turtles.
"A perfect time for a little snack." Meat Sweats chuckled lowly, crawling over a few cars, and raising an interested brow once he caught the sight of the twins fighting.
Meat Sweats snorted, looking around, and stiffening once he heard the sudden cry of a baby. The pig mutant sniffed the air again, ears pointing forward. Yes, there was most certainly a baby around, and it was most certainly covered in the scent of the turtles.
"Talk about a little snack." Meat Sweats growled.
Surprisingly silent steps over the cars led Meat Sweats to the sight of a human sized baby Turtle, and he smiled. Dozens of recipes for turtle meat ran through Meat Sweats' mind, before he paused, realizing that he could use the baby as bait.
"Well hello there." Meat Sweats whispered, gaining Mikey's attention. "Are those big mutants scaring you?"
"Mm-hm." Mikey replied, nodding.
"It's okay. I'll take you somewhere safe. Come on now." Meat Sweats hummed.
Mikey raised his arms up, whimpering as he was picked up.
"We're going to a good place, okay?" Meat Sweats informed.
Mikey nodded once more, squealing as he was carried away from his brothers. Of course, while this happened, neither of the twins noticed. Donnie and Leo simply continued to fight until around midnight, when they tired themselves out. Both were covered in scratches and bites which would more than likely turn into scars.
"Don't think that this is over." Donnie huffed.
"I wasn't going to." Leo replied, shaking his head and regaining his senses.
Once he did, Leo's pupils constricted, and he began hyperventilating as he caught no sight of the baby. Donnie caught on to this fear, and he began looking around as well, screaming Mikey's name, and panicking even more as he got no response.
"We have to call the others!" Leo shouted.
"NO! They'll get here too late! God knows where he went!" Donnie shouted back, trying to think of how to find Mikey without alerting the others.
"Donatello, we aren't going to find Mikey on our own! We have to tell them!" Leo hissed.
"We CAN'T! If they find out, we'll never be forgiven! They'll hate us for the rest of our lives! Mikey's in trouble and I have to-"
"DONNIE!" Leo screamed, placing his hands on Donnie's shoulders. "Calm down. You know as well as I do, that we need to get the others. We can't do this on our own."
Donnie sobbed, accepting the hug he was pulled into.
"I'm scared too, but we can't let our emotions get the best of us. We need that big brain of yours, and we won't get that, unless you put aside your feelings." Leo sighed.
Donatello nodded, the two brothers making their way towards the lair. This meeting was going to go horribly, but they would face anything to get their baby brother back...
"So, how are we gonna use this kid to get the others?" Huginn asked, poking Mikey's cheek.
The baby whined, slapping Huginn's hand away, and hissing as it was replaced with Muninn's hand. The two gargoyles snickered, squeezing through the bars of the crib Mikey was placed in. The small henchmen teased and taunted Mikey, laughing every time Mikey babbled with anger. A snarl then escaped from Mikey, and he grabbed Muninn's tail, biting down on the appendage, and digging his claws into Muninn's sides.
"Whoa." Huginn muttered, watching as Muninn screamed in horror.
"He's gonna kill me! Get him off!" Muninn pleaded, grunting as he was pried away from the baby.
Draxum drew Mikey up, an impressed look on his face as he watched Mikey growl. The baby had a feral look in his eyes, and his pupils resembled that of a snake. The other villains hummed, gathering closer to Draxum in an attempt to draw in more of Mikey's behaviour.
"That thing's a menace." Muninn remarked, sticking out his tongue.
Mikey screeched, causing the other villains, as well as Huginn and Muninn, to back away. Draxum, however, stayed put, not at all fazed by Mikey's bold attempts of dominance.
"Impressive, for such a young mind. This is exactly why I want you and your brothers to join me. You could be so much more than some underappreciated mutant turtle. I can make you something great." Draxum stated.
The growling ceased, and Mikey tilted his head, still untrusting of what he was being told. And, yes, he could understand almost every word that Draxum was saying. Whether this was because of the mood of the situation, or because of the translational brain waves being sent from Hypno, Mikey knew not. Draxum was making a compelling argument, yes, but Mikey still had the feeling that he shouldn't trust the large Yokai.
"Young turtle, if you couldn't trust me, then you would have been dead by now." Draxum chuckled.
Mikey let out one final growl, before he finally relaxed, looking over the faces of the gruff villains in the room, minus Todd.
"TODDA!" Mikey squealed, wriggling around.
"Mikey! It's really you!" Todd shouted, racing forwards and snatching Mikey out of Draxum's clutches. "What are you doing here, you little scamp?"
"This is disgusting." Repo muttered.
"If it keeps the terrapin on our side, you'll just have to deal with it." Draxum replied. "Now, why don't we make our little guest feel a bit more welcome?"
Draxum looked to Meat Sweats, ordering the pig to make a meal fit for a baby to consume. The chef turned mutant snorted, a bit unnerved by the order, but not willing to argue with such a powerful Yokai. With a nod, Meat Sweats walked out of the small building that the villains had invaded.
"We'll raise him under our virtues, and make sure that he turns out to be the perfect experiment." Draxum said to himself. "For now, you will have to earn your name back. You will now be referred to as 87-4 until further notice."
Mikey replied with a hiss. Draxum smirked, knowing that the baby was no longer being hostile.
"You're a fast learner. I may have underestimated you." Draxum chimed.
"Why do you say that, boss?" Huginn asked.
"87-4, I assume that you are aware of how generous I am being to you. For that, I expect to hear you refer to me how I was originally supposed to be. Are you aware of what that would be?" Draxum inquired.
"YOU WHAT?!" Raph screamed, staring the twins down with a look that harbored more than fury.
"It was an accident! We thought we were alone!" Leo shouted, trying to make amends for the mistake he knew was unforgivable.
"How could you do something like this?! Mikey is your baby brother, and he should be your first priority! No matter how upset you two were, you should have been able to be mature enough to end the fight then and there!" April scolded loudly.
"I KNOW! But we didn't-"
"Leonardo! Silence yourself!" Splinter then shouted, silencing the entire group of teens. "All of this arguing will not get you anywhere. You must go and find your brother as soon as possible."
"But, POPS! They're the reason that Mikey's gone in the first place!" Raph scoffed.
"I understand that, Raphael, but now is not the time to point out those faults. I know how upset you are, as I have felt the same, once." Splinter sighed.
"Really? Towards who?" April inquired.
"It does not matter. For now, you must go! Find your brother, before any other mutant can!" Splinter ordered.
"Hai, Sensei!" the boys shouted, running out of the lair.
"Do you think they'll be able to stop long enough to find him?" April asked.
"They may, they may not. Either way, they'll find him." Splinter assured. "I am just worried about what state of mind they'll find him in..."
"There we go little one! You must be so sleepy! All of that crying does stuff to a baby." Todd cooed, tucking Mikey in.
Mikey trilled, smiling at the soft kiss he received. Todd smiled as well, patting Mikey's head before leaving the room the baby was in, turning the lights out, and leaving the door slightly cracked.
"So, what are we gonna do tomorrow?" Todd inquired.
"Assuming that those pesky other turtles don't come and steal the baby back before then." Warren scoffed.
Draxum chuckled, standing from his sitting position.
"Tomorrow, and every day after then, as long as we have this baby, we will train him to be the most powerful creature he can be. The training will intensify as he grows older, and will stop once he reaches 13, so we can see how he's grown." Draxum explained. "Yes, with this baby being on our side, I see our glorious path, to POWER!"
The other villains cheered, watching with interest as Huginn and Muninn rolled Mikey's crib into the large room. Once the crib stopped, the band of villains piled around it, looking down at the baby with devious smirks.
"He certainly has enough spirit to be here." Meat Sweats muttered.
"And with that nose and intuition of his, he'll make the perfect tracker." one of the Seno Brothers commented.
"He can fool anyone with that cute face of his." Hypno stated.
"And he's crazy enough to trust any of us at this age." Repo added.
"So, are we all saying that he's-"
"The perfect weapon!" Draxum shouted.
A beat then rang throughout the building, and the others knew that a song was about to break out. Each of the mutants cackled, backing away from the crib, just enough for Draxum to glare down at the sleeping baby.
"We've been exiled, by the humans, left alone with no defense, When I think of what those idiots did, I get a little tense. But I have a dream so perfect, that I don't feel so upset, 'cause it soothes my inner "angel", and it helps me get some rest...
"The sound of this child's roaring shout, Lou Jitsu's shock ringing throughout, the other turtles' pain filled cry, that's why our flag flies! Now, the past I've tried forgetting, and our foes we could forgive. Trouble is, I know it's petty, but I hate to let them live."
"So you found yourself somebody who will bring them to their knees!"
"He may end up killing someone, but that doesn't bother me.
"The deafening sound of angry shouts, a counterpoint of scars throughout, a symphony of fear, oh my! That's why our flag flies!
"His brothers are dreadful, but Draxum is around, to train this little lad, 'til he learns to be a villain! With the instinct to be bad!"
"He'll be perfect for us! The great weapon for us all!"
"One day, when he's big and strong-"
"HE WILL BRING GREAT FALLS!
"The pounding of the drums of war, the thrill of Jitsu's waning score!"
"The joy of vengeance!"
"I can hear the cheering!"
"Mikey, what a guy!"
"Now our time is nearing! Come freedom for Yokai! Against the humans' cry! THAT'S. WHY. OUR. FLAG. FLIIIIIEEEES!"
"I should have known that you two would do something like this!" Raph roared, leading his brothers towards an abandoned building, where there had been complaints about loud disturbances.
"Raph, please! We didn't mean for things to get this out of hand!" Leo shouted.
"Then why did it?!" Raph asked, refusing to look back at his brothers.
Neither of the twins responded, knowing very well that this was their fault. Had they not held on to their childish behaviours, Mikey would be safe at home. The twins sighed, silently following Raph up to the building, where, for whatever reason, the lights were dimly lit.
"They're in there. They have to be." Raph whispered. "Follow me, and don't make a sound."
The three turtles then snuck into the building, cautiously making their way up to the top floor, and gasping as they caught sight of a crib, which held Mikey. The tiny Box Turtle was unscathed, thank goodness, but he was surrounded by almost every enemy the turtles had made.
"What are we gonna do? We can't just go up to them and ask for Mikey back." Leo whispered.
"Yeah, we got that. Donnie, any ideas?" Raph asked.
"None so far." Donnie replied quietly.
"Well hurry up. Goodness knows what they're planning on doing with him." Raph huffed.
"How're we gonna train him, boss? Trial by Fire? Tests of Self-Control? Blindfold Method?" Huginn asked.
"None of those. We will use our individual powers to teach him how to be a villain. His training will start at 12:00 sharp tomorrow, and I expect you all to be present, so that I can show you what I expect out of it." Draxum replied.
"Oh, I can't wait! Why can't we just train him now?" one of the Seno Brothers asked.
"Because, you buffoon! He's a living creature! He needs to eat, sleep, and have time to breathe! Otherwise, he won't be of any good use!" Hypno scoffed.
"Precisely. Which applies to us all. I want you to get a full night's rest." Draxum ordered.
The other villains nodded, retreating to separate rooms to rest. Once they disappeared, Draxum looked to Mikey, smiling with what seemed like fondness.
"You're not gonna get all gushy, are you boss?" Muninn asked, snout curled in distaste.
"Gushy is weakness. So, no. While I admit, it is nice to have a son of my own, I will not let the bond go farther than a student to a teacher." Draxum responded.
"Good, 'cause that would end badly." Huginn commented.
"Yeah, badly because we'd beat his horns off if he ever tried to turn Mikey into some villain." Raph scoffed.
"I heard that." Draxum suddenly announced, turning to the rest of the turtles. "And I find it quite disappointing that you took this long to get here."
"Give us our brother back!" Raph ordered.
"Hmm, let me think about it..." Draxum sarcastically hummed. "How about no."
A snap was all that it took from then, to draw in the other mutant villains. The older brothers yelped, doing their best to fight off the villains.
"There are two options for you here, turtles! You can accept my offer, and join your baby brother, or continue to lose your battles against us!" Draxum shouted.
"We'd never join your crazy bunch of villains!" Raph shouted back.
"Very well then..."
After these words, the building creaked, and a sudden fire broke out, stealing the oxygen from the air, and blinding the turtles. With a roar, Raph gripped the twins, holding them close as he jumped out of a nearby window, almost forgetting to use his mystic weapons to call his aura and save the trio. Once they landed on the ground, the brothers looked up to see the burning building, the large band of villains resting on Draxum's vines behind it.
"It was your call, and now he's ours!" Warren cackled, he and the other villains taunting the turtles loudly as they were carried away, Mikey with them, in Draxum's arms.
"No... NO! LET HIM GO! GIVE HIM BACK!" Raph screamed, making a futile attempt to follow Draxum's vines. "MIKEY! WE'RE GOING TO SAVE YOU! BRING HIM BACK! BRING OUR BABY BROTHER BACK!"
The twins said nothing, tears streaming down their cheeks. The trio could now only watch as Mikey was carried away, disappearing into nothingness as the villains got far enough away.
"This is all your fault..." Raph growled. "If you hadn't taken him with you to that lot-"
"We had no way of knowing that any of the villains were there!" Donnie interrupted.
"But you could have stopped it with your petty fighting! Because of your lack of trust in each other, Mikey is GONE! Our baby brother is in the clutches of those insane mutants, and we have no way of getting him back!" Raph screamed.
"That's not true! We just have to train-"
"WHAT IS TRAINING GOING TO DO FOR US NOW?!"
"Raph, calm down. There are humans around here." Leo huffed.
"How could you be so calm at a time like this?!" Donnie asked.
"I'm not! I'm dying inside, Donatello! But you wanna know why I'm not showing it?! It's because of Mikey! Now, I don't know about you, but I'm sure as hell not gonna sit here and cry about our problems! We have to be strong, for Mikey's sake! Nothing will get done like this! So we have to forgive each other for the past, and look towards the future!" Leo yelled.
Raph and Donnie looked to each other, and back to Leo, sighing before nodding.
"Thank you. Look, I know that this is going to be hard, but we can't focus on that. We're doing this as a team, as a family, and with a few friends along the way. For Mikey." Leo stated, putting his hand out flat.
"...For Mikey." Raph and Donnie replied, placing their hands atop Leo's.
"Good. Now... let's go get our baby brother back..."
"It sure was sneaky of them to do that." Todd muttered, looking back to the direction in which the villains came.
"Yes, well, that's how it is in days of war." Draxum replied.
"I just don't get it, though. You offered such a fulfilling opportunity to them, and they just threw it away like that? Do they... not want us to survive?" Todd asked.
"It could be a possibility." Hypno remarked.
"I wouldn't be surprised, those jerks wouldn't know the definition of success if it slapped them in the face." Repo scoffed.
"Or if it broke them apart." Meat Sweats chimed.
"Heheh. Exhibit A." Shonin snickered, pointing to Mikey, who was still peacefully sleeping.
"He'll be a great addition to the team." Todd fondly sighed.
"If we can train him well enough." Warren huffed.
"Are you doubting Boss' skills?" Muninn scoffed.
"Ignore him. Just go look for a new area to raise the hatchling." Draxum ordered.
Huginn and Muninn nodded, flying off in search of a new home. No one said a thing after, they only looked forwards.
"The day I created you, I knew you were destined for greatness. Now I that I hold you in my arms once more, I see that once again." Draxum suddenly chimed. "But, you must learn the consequences of your betrayal."
Draxum unsheathed his claws, bringing the into the air, and drawing them down against Mikey's arm, earning a loud screech of pain.
"And I expect you to stay loyal to me, otherwise, I won't be as kind next time." Draxum growled, looking to his league. "A lesson to all of you. If he misbehaves, do not hesitate to punish him. We will break him, and we will do so with no mercy whatsoever!"
Is it me, or are Donnie and Leo TERRIBLE babysitters?
Also, yes. I AM that willing to play with your hearts like this.