I do not own TMNT
Life in the lair had always been loud and rambunctious, though this was something to be expected as there were four teenage boys living there, but it was something that Splinter had grown accustom to over the years. The near constant laughter that came from his youngest, Michelangelo, the yelling and arguing that came from his two oldest, Leonardo and Raphael, and while he didn’t hear Donatello raising his voice often, a week wouldn’t go by without the second youngest turtle exploding something in his lab.
Today was no different. Splinter’s ear twitched when he heard the first sounds of an explosion, all his sons yelling as they no doubt ran for cover. Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, he waited a moment longer before standing up and going out into the main part of the lair to survey the damage.
The first thing that Splinter saw was Donatello running out of his lab. “Is everyone okay!?” Donatello asked frantically, looking around for his brothers.
“What the shell happened, Donnie?” Leonardo asked, as he came out of his hiding spot behind the pinball machine. Mikey came crawling out from behind the TV and looked around as well.
“I think we’re alright, dude, but you owe me a new pizza!” Mikey said as he looked at a box of pizza that was now a smoldering pile of ash.
“Just be glad that it wasn’t you, Mikey,” Leo said shaking his head before looking up to see Splinter watching not them, but Raph, who was currently still kneeling on the floor, his pet turtle Spike held in his hands.
“Raph?” Leo asked, concern for his brother showing clearly on his face. Raph, however, ignored him as he continued looking down at Spike, shaking the little turtle gently not wanting to hurt him any more than he already might be, but wanting him to wake up.
“Spike? Come on, little buddy,” Raph said softly, ignoring the fact that his family was standing around watching him. Donnie came closer and he frowned when he got a better look at Spike; he could see a spot on the small turtle’s shell where he had obviously been hit by part of the explosion that had shot off sparks like fireworks all over the lair.
“Raph, let me see him,” Donnie said as he stepped closer. Raph didn’t react until he saw Donnie reaching to take Spike from him. The red banded turtle pulled Spike closer to his plastron with one hand and shoved Donnie away with the other.
“This is your fault!” Raph shouted as he stumbled to his feet, glaring at Donnie. “Spike never would have been hurt if you didn’t have to go explodin’ things every other day!” Raph continued yelling, his hands shaking from anger at his brother and fear for how badly hurt Spike may be.
“Raphael.” Splinter spoke before the fight could progress any further. “I understand that you are upset at the moment, but Donatello is the best qualified to look after Spike.”
“But Master Splinter, it’s his fault that-”
“Raphael,” Splinter said, firmly cutting off his angry son’s protests; reaching out, he placed a hand on Raph’s shoulder. “Allow your brother to help, and then we will discuss what happened,” Splinter said and watched as Raphael gave a reluctant nod of his head before looking to Donnie. The purple banded turtle said nothing and didn’t attempt to take Spike from Raph again, instead he led his older brother back toward the lab where all his medical equipment was.
“Leonardo, Michelangelo,” Splinter said, looking at his two sons who were still standing in the room; he looked them over briefly making sure that neither of them were hurt. “I would like the two of you to start cleaning up this mess,” Splinter said as he looked around at the damage that the explosion had caused.
Leo and Mikey looked around the room as well frowning at the damage before Leo nodded. “Hai Sensei,” he said and went to get a broom to start cleaning.
“Aw man,” Mikey complained but moved to start picking up anything that was broken, separating things into what was trash, and what Donnie might be able to fix.
Splinter watched them for a moment before he made his way toward Donnie’s lab, stopping just inside the door to watch his two sons, Raph staying close to the table where Spike was laying down while Donnie worked quickly.
“Come on, Spike, just open your eyes,” Raph pleaded softly, his hands twitching with the effort of holding himself back from picking up his pet, knowing that he couldn’t hold Spike while Donnie was working.
Donnie frowned as he continued looking over the small turtle. “I’m not finding anything wrong with him, Raph,” Donnie said, earning a glare from his older brother.
“What the shell do you mean there’s nothing wrong with him!? That explosion of yours hit him! And now he won’t wake up!” Raph shouted.
“I’m telling you, there’s nothing physically wrong with him,” Donnie insisted. “He could just be in shock,” Donnie continued as he gently turned Spike over and looked at him carefully; he could see where the explosion had hit him. “But the only thing I can find wrong is he has a small crack in his shell, it’s not even that bad of a crack and will heal on its own,” Donnie said.
“Then why ain’t he wakin’ up, brainiac?” Raph growled.
“I told you, I don’t know!” Donnie snapped. “I can keep him in here and keep an eye on him…” Donnie suggested but Raph shook his head.
“No,” Raph snapped and picked up Spike. “I’m not going to leave him anywhere near you so you can actually blow him up next time!” Raph said and turned to see Splinter standing in the doorway.
“Raphael, I am going to speak with Donatello, then I wish to speak with you after,” Splinter said. Raph made no reply as he stormed out of the lab, leaving Splinter alone with Donnie. Splinter sighed, waiting a moment before closing the door to Donnie’s lab and turning to face the olive-green turtle, who was standing there with his head lowered, already waiting and willing to accept whatever punishment Splinter gave him.
“Donatello,” Splinter began, taking note of how his son’s shoulders tensed. “You have always been a curious boy, and have always had a thirst for knowledge that surpasses your brothers. I have always allowed you to pursue this, with the only guidelines being that you do not do anything that would bring harm to you or your brothers,” Splinter said.
“I know, Sensei, I promise I’m going to be more careful from now on. I will put more time into my research, run simulations before attempting to try it…” Donnie promised, only glancing at Splinter as he spoke.
“I am pleased to hear this; however, you should have been taking these precautions before things escalated to this level. What happened to Spike, that could have easily been you, or one of your brothers,” Splinter said, feeling pained as he watched his son shrink back slightly, putting in an obvious effort not to hide himself in his shell.
Donnie nodded his head slowly in understanding. The thought had occurred to him, as soon as he had seen Raph holding onto Spike the only thought that had been going through his head was how easily that could have been Raph; it was bad enough that his experiment had hurt his older brother’s pet, but the thought of how easily it could have been his older brother was something that was going to haunt him for a while.
“I do not tell you this as a punishment, my son,” Splinter continued. “I know that you and your brothers care deeply for one another, and would not willingly hurt each other, however, I think some time away from your lab may be beneficial. So, for one week you will have one extra hour of training in the morning, and every night you will spend one hour meditating with me in the dojo,” Splinter informed him and Donnie nodded silently, accepting his punishment.
Splinter walked the few steps toward his son and placed a hand gently on his shoulder, giving him as much comfort as he could. Donnie finally looked up at him, and Splinter could easily see how his son was hiding all his emotions behind the mask he kept so firmly in place. “I believe that you will be more careful in the future.”
“Hai Sensei,” Donnie said nodding again.
“Now, why don’t you go and help your brothers clean up the lair,” Splinter said, letting his hand fall away from Donnie’s shoulder and watched as the tall turtle gave him a weak smile before leaving the lab to go and help clean up the mess that his experiment had made. Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, Splinter silently prayed for the patience he was going to need while talking to Raphael.
If there was one thing that Mikey truly didn’t like, it was to see his brothers fighting, though if he truly thought about it, them not talking to each other was far worse than the normal fights that broke out. It had only been a single day since the accident that had hurt Raph’s pet turtle, and despite being ordered to leave his older brother alone and let him cool off, Mikey wanted to make sure that Raph was actually okay.
The red banded turtle had skipped practice that morning, and Splinter had allowed it to slide for that day, but Mikey was sure that their sensei was planning on speaking with Raph again later. Letting out a long sigh, Mikey lifted his hand and knocked on the door.
“Go away!” came the quick reply from the other side. Mikey frowned, hearing the voice on the other side of the door that was most definitely not his older brother. Curiosity piqued now, Mikey grabbed the door handle and gently pushed the door open.
“Raph?” Mikey asked, looking into the dark room.
“What the shell are you doin’, Mikey?” Raph’s voice demanded from behind him, making the orange banded turtle jump and spin around in surprise.
Before Mikey could even answer Raph’s question, something suddenly grabbed him from behind. The small turtle yelped as he was suddenly pulled into the room and slammed up against the wall, letting out a small grunt of pain as his shell connected with the stone wall, Mikey turned baby-blue eyes up to stare at the large angry, unfamiliar turtle that currently had him pinned to the wall.
“Spike, no!” Raph snapped when his brother was pulled into the room. Pushing the door open further, Raph reached out and hit the light switch. “Spike, it’s okay, it’s just Mikey, he ain’t gonna hurt ya, you can let him go,” Raph said, trying to calm the angry turtle down. However, Spike didn’t even look at him, continuing to glare at Mikey, growling softly.
“He’s worried about me hurting him?” Mikey asked, his eyes never leaving the turtle in front of him.
“Spike!” Raph snapped, demanding the larger turtle’s attention. “Let Mikey go,” Raph ordered; the last thing he wanted to do was fight Spike but after spending the whole morning with the larger turtle, Raph knew how unstable Spike was at the moment. Though he knew Spike wouldn’t hurt him, he didn’t know how his former pet would react to his brothers.
Spike stared at Raph before glaring back at Mikey before finally letting the younger turtle go. Mikey dropped the few inches to the floor before hurrying over to hide behind Raph. From here he could get a better look at Spike. “Is that really your pet turtle, bro?” Mikey asked.
“Yeah, I don’t know what happened. I woke up this morning and found him like this,” Raph admitted.
“Wow, dude, this is totally awesome!” Mikey said, grinning widely and Raph couldn’t help but smile a little, though that didn’t last long when Mikey suddenly turned his head and shouted. “Leo! Donnie! You two have GOT to see this!”
“Don’t go callin’ them in here, shell for brains!” Raph snapped, even though it was too late; he could already hear their other two brothers hurrying down the hall.
“Mikey?” Leo was the first to enter the room, eyes landing instantly on his two younger brothers, visibly relaxing when he didn’t see anything instantly wrong with them. However, he was on full alert when his eyes drifted up to look at the third figure in the room.
“Look dude’s! Another turtle!” Mikey said, pointing at Spike.
Donnie stood in the doorway, brown eyes widening slightly as he took in the large form standing in front of them. “Is that…” He trailed off, looking at Raph.
“It’s Spike,” Raph admitted.
“That’s Spike?” Leo demanded, also looking more than a little surprised to see Raph’s pet turtle now easily twice the size of any of them, and with more muscles than any of the pro-wrestlers he had seen on TV.
“Yeah, it’s Spike. No, I don’t know how this happened. You can drill me for more answers later, right now Spike’s a bit freaked out, so if you all don’t mind, could you get out?” It wasn’t a request, they all knew that, but still the three of them lingered; Raph standing and glaring at Leo; Donnie staring openly at Spike, his mind obviously working a mile a minute trying to figure out how something like this could have even happened, since as far as they all knew Spike hadn’t gotten into any mutagen since all of that was safely locked up in Donnie’s lab.
And Mikey, despite having just been pinned against the wall and having already seen a sample of how strong and how fast this lager turtle was, decided to take the chance and move closer. “How come when you mutated you got so big?” Mikey asked, looking up at Spike, who glared down at him, growling softly. The younger turtle didn’t seem to take heed of the warning as he moved even closer, only to be grabbed by the back of his shell and pulled back by Raph.
“I told you all to get out!” Raph snapped, shoving Mikey at Leo.
“Raph, we have to tell Master Splinter about this,” Leo said.
“I know that, Leo, it ain’t like I was gonna keep him secret forever,” Raph growled.
“Then how come you didn’t come tell us when you first found out he had mutated? You’ve seen what the mutagen does to others, Raph! He could be dangerous,” Leo said.
“I’m not dangerous,” Spike said, speaking for the first time, catching everyone except for Raph by surprise.
“That is yet to be seen,” Leo said, unwilling to trust Spike just yet, even if this turtle had been Raph’s pet for years; Leo had seen far too much involving the mutagen, had seen how it messed with people’s minds, and half the time those who were mutated were as far from being themselves as it was possible to be.
“It’s not for you to decide if Spike is dangerous or not!” Raph snapped clenching his fists. Spike reached out and put a hand on Raph’s arm, causing the red banded turtle to look back at him.
“It’s alright, Raphael, I’ve been around long enough to know that Leonardo isn’t going to trust me until I have proven myself,” Spike said, looking to the turtle in blue. “What do you want to do first?” he asked.
Leo gave him a suspicious look. “We go talk to Master Splinter,” he said. “Then we have Donnie take a look at you, and figure out what caused you to mutate like this,” Leo said and Spike just nodded his head in agreement.
“You don’t have to do this, Spike,” Raph said, not sure how he felt about the fact that Spike was going along with Leo’s orders so easily. The large turtle turned to look at him and gave him a small smile.
“Your brothers are not going to trust me any other way,” Spike said, watching as Raph’s shoulders slumped slightly, but he noticed that Raph still kept his hands clenched into fists.
“Fine, but I’m comin’ with ya,” Raph insisted.
“May I point out one slight problem with this plan,” Donnie spoke up. “I have been grounded from my lab for the week,” Donnie reminded them.
“Don’t worry about that, D,” Mikey said putting a hand around Donnie’s shoulder. “You can start doing all your doctor sciency stuff next week,” Mikey said with a grin.
Donnie sighed and shook his head, “That’s all well and good, Mikey, but that doesn’t solve the problem of figuring out how Spike got mutated in the first place,” Donnie pointed out. “Did he somehow get into the mutagen?” Donnie questioned taking a moment to glance over at Spike again. “Or was it something else that caused the mutation, and if so then what?” Donnie continued to question. Mikey didn’t say anything in reply to the questions though, because he knew that his brother was no longer talking to him.
Mikey couldn’t help but grin when he noticed how his brother’s expression started to change, Donnie hadn’t taken his eyes off Spike at all and slowly the puzzled look began to change, first being replaced with one of wonder, before changing to sudden realization, and Mikey knew what was going to happen before Donnie practically shouted out. “The explosion!” The purple banded turtle said louder than he had meant to
“How did the explosion yesterday do this?” Leo asked gesturing to Spike.
“I was trying to work on the retro-mutagen when the chemicals became too unstable, but if that was the cause of Spike’s mutation, then my theories about how to create the retro-mutagen are clearly way off,” Donnie said as he continued studying Spike looking like he wanted to head straight to his lab with the giant turtle right away.
“I will speak with Master Splinter, maybe he’ll lift your punishment enough for you to work on this new problem,” Leo said, giving his younger brother a small smile before looking back over at Raph and then Spike. “Let’s go talk with Splinter,” Leo said and he led the way out of the room, Raph and Spike following a moment later.