Reviews for The More Things Change
LilFireFox09 chapter 11 . 6/6
There's a site called WatchCartoonsOnline where you can watch and anime pretty easily, no account or anything necessary. Idk if you need that input anymore, but there it is. Love your work :)
RobinNightingale chapter 13 . 12/2/2018
This is my favorite chapter. I love how you’ve dealt with Leo’s internalization of his issues like no one else has, and especially in a way that’s so relatable. And I especially loved the bar scene; the part where Leo catches the bottle out of the air plays so delightfully well in my head I get chills just thinking about it. The way you’ve written this entire story, if I were skilled enough at drawing I’d not hesitate to try turning it into a comic, with your permission of course.

Donatello has always been my favorite turtle, but weirdly enough after re-reading this story I found I enjoyed reading about Michaelangelo the most. The way you write his dialogue, internal or otherwise, is so fun to read and always has the best moments. I absolutely love his relationship with Leah. I love all the women you’ve written in. And I’m pretty sure we’re all eager to see if Raph finally completes the relationship quartet soon.

You’re not the only one with stories that have been stuck five years or more in limbo - just take a look at my own profile - so I’m not too worried that you’ve abandoned this fic. But many of us do hope you’ll return one day. You’ve got an ever-growing fanbase, and I think you’ve been a big influence on the human!turtle universes. A lot of art I see of humanized versions of the turtles draw them with the same descriptions as in your story, and if I’m to be honest that’s the only way I can visualize them as humans now.

I read more slowly this time around, so I was really able to notice how your writing developed as this fic progressed, and it was cool to watch. I think your writing of dialogue has vastly improved, and your pacing is excellent, of course. You’ve definitely been an influence on my own writing. I think the only criticism I have to offer is on the amount of description you give. It’s easy to lose the pacing and the reader’s focus with lots and lots of big paragraphs, as well as when you repeat dialogue or action sequences several times over. It makes sense that an event would need to be explained several times to different characters, but the same summary can also be explained away in a few sentences, or through a character’s reactions or thoughts on it afterwards. I think that’s the only thing you need to work on next, using fewer words to say the same amount of stuff while still making the same impact. It’s something a lot of writers have to work on, I guess, and from what I’ve seen in your writing process I have no doubt you’ll improve excellently.

As a last question, are you going to move your works to Ao3? I noticed you set up an account, right around the same time you posted the last chapter. I just set up an account myself, and I’m enjoying the site so far. I think it’s be cool to see your stuff there.
Book girl fan chapter 1 . 11/1/2018
Even though it’s been a decade since this was first written, and five years since it was last updated, I still love it. It’s so complex, and such an excellent character study of all the Turtles. It’s probably too much to hope it will ever be finished, but there’s so much of it that I hardly mind.
Merdeka21 chapter 5 . 7/22/2018
And I'm back! If there are any readers out here reading the reviews instead of the story, 1) why? I'm just spewing nonsense at the author as my own personal coping mechanism, get out of here, and 2) I am posting spoilers for the whole story, I've read it too many times to count and will reference things that happen later on. Case in point, the next paragraph! Stop reading my review and read the actual story, it's way better.

Hmm, some interesting things at play here, Leo doesn't want to be inactive in a hospital bed, hmm, wonder if that will come back around at some point, HMMM...

Leo finding things still familiar in his brothers when they all woke up, even though they looked completely different, was so comforting. Like yeah, they changed, but they're still them to their core. External changes only. And Mikey recognized him back.

Raph wins the bet! And is the tallest! I think the 2016 movie got their heights right: Raph, Donnie, Leo, Mikey. I'm a fan of shorty Leo, but for this story, I like that he and Raph are comparable. Their similarities while still be different thing suits them. And you got their coloring spot on - Leo should be the traditional black hair, but those blue eyes got me going heart eyed, so thanks for that; Raph is a red head, obvi; Donnie, brown, like super secretly really attractive and warm; and Mikey having more fun as a blond.

Haha, Leo's blushing and he's embarrassed. So cute.

Man, I can only imagine how anxious Splinter, April, and Casey have been these three days. But the big reveal is sooo satisfying!

Splinter loves the Joneses and they love him right back! The turtles gave their human friends a family, because the one thing the turtles always had was family and they shared it with them! So many happy tears!

April's gonna make sure her boys are alright and close enough for her to make sure of it. Love it.

Splinter so concerned that he can't recognize his boys, but then finding them anyway. And their human descriptions! It's here! Hahaha, Splinter compares them to soap actors for being attractive. And of course the guys are going to stick out, human or not.

Mikey and Leo high five! Because it works now!

Their first training session as humans is hilarious. I wish this was animated in some way, because it would be so funny. Hmm, Mikey forgets he has a shell, wonder if that happens again, HMM.. Also, good call to Splinter for no weapons until they're back in fighting form. That would be disastrous. Even just hand to hand sparring did not go well for the guys this round, haha. Poor Mikey, also has to contend with a nose now.

Donnie's rooming plans! So thought out, so logically sound. I also love the Raph and Donnie pairing, cause like, we get a lot of Leo and Mikey content, but less so Raph and Don, which doesn't make sense since they've got the middle brother bond going. They really are the most different of all the turtles though, I'd say. It's good for them to get to know each other better during this transition. And Leo definitely needs someone to watch over him right now, and who better than Mikey? Mikey is the least resentful of Mama Leo, and Leo will be a good influence on Mikey right back.

April POV! Nice to get a glimpse of the outside here too. These brothers are always so caught up in each other, it's nice to see what someone slightly removed from that intense family dynamic sees. April is totally the best big sister though. That heart to heart with Leo in the barn proves it, even though Leo plays dirty and tries to trick her into giving him something to do.

Also, Leo, LET YOUR BROTHERS LOVE YOU. I'm glad Leo at least admits that he still needs his brothers. He knows why he's upset and is willing to admit it, to April at least, even if he doesn't think he deserves to be upset. And god, just the way you describe how Mikey's light won't be smothered in shadows, Donnie won't have to run away to the stars, Raph can be free of his chains, it's so poetic and beautiful (maybe Leo should be a writer).

April's Augie anecdote is so wonderful. You have to build yourself together piece by piece. It's never a clear picture when you start, you have to wait until the end.

April loves and admires her boys, and she's gonna make damned sure that NYC and the world loves and admires them too. Even you, Leo!
Merdeka21 chapter 4 . 7/22/2018
Will I do three chapter reviews in one night? Let's find out! (Spoiler: I do!)

You know, I'm curious too, and I don't remember if you ever addressed it: do the turtles get super flexible after the transformation? Like, will Mikey drag Leo to Naomi's yoga class for some PT and they absolutely crush it, and all the girls in class fall in love with both of them and demand private lessons and Naomi gets really mad? Hahahaha

I can't believe Splinter waited this long to tell them. What about all of Donny's tests, was Splinter just not participating?! Or did he let Donny do all this extra work for nothing? Also, way to make their last night of sleep in the Lair that much easier, jeez.

But yes, fine, Splinter deserves a happy, quiet retirement. Undergoing a change like that probably wouldn't be great for his health, while an isolated home in Japan so he could still enjoy nature and sunlight sounds idyllic.

Secret Mikey perception strikes again!

You laid the groundwork for all of Splinter's lessons so well in the preceding chapters, they all feel so perfectly tailor-made. And they work as such great catalysts for decisions and actions the brothers all take in later chapters. It's an excellent plot point.

Of course Leo doesn't understand his lesson, it seems too easy, and he's waiting for the catch! (I'm like that too.) He doesn't know how to be *just* anything because he's always been wearing about 80 different hats, but now he just has to be Leo, and that's the scariest thing of all.

Raph is the only one who hugs Master Splinter, it's so sweet. And the shell pun, I love it.

Mikey imitating Leo and then just sounding like he was choking, so good. But he succeeded in distracting and encouraging them to think positively about the future, instead of missing their home and being isolated and fearful. That's definitely one of Mikey's strengths, bringing everyone together instead of letting them wallow alone.

Hahaha, drunk Leo goals. Too bad all Leo does when he's drunk is talk about all the most terrible moments in their lives *face palm*

And Mikey is totally right, it totally fits their cover to be awestruck sightseers when they get back to the city, even if Donnie has his own to-do list of boring paperwork. And Raph and Leo are on his side!

Leatherhead! Casey's first appearance! Leo's Look number Seven! Leo, "Master of Destroying Mikey's Best Excuses" who deadpan "LIVES to make sure all of his experiences are as fulfilling and enriching as possible" - Leo and Mikey's whole interaction in this chapter makes me so happy. And Mikey's grumpiness melting away in the face of Leo's laugh. Ah, and I always forget about the Igor impression! It cracks me up.

"Cannon-balling into your gene pool" is the best way to describe this, I love it. And what a perfectly sweet, wonderful last night for the boys.


Hi, Mortu! Thanks for acknowledging that the whole world owes the turtles a massive debt and that this is a great way to pay them back!

Of course Mikey trips.

The Utroms have done this procedure a bunch of other times? On Earth? Other planets? It'd be cool if the turtles met some of those other people now when they're all humans and compared stories, talked about their animal pasts. Might be a nice way to give them new people to talk to while still having a sort of shared experience. Or all of the other ones just be completely shocked at the ridiculous nonsense the brothers got up to while still turtles, when they were just like, "Yeah, I was a raccoon person on this raccoon based planet and now I'm here. What is wrong with your planet?"

I love how when the actual moment comes, Mikey's instinct is to turn to Leo. And Leo's calm is SHOOK. Wassup, Bishop reference?

Raph making jokes to calm Mikey down is super sweet. Of course the others would get wound up at this point and Raph would be the calm one. And the hair color bet, hahaha.

And this arc is done! Turtles no more! Now the real fun begins!
Merdeka21 chapter 3 . 7/22/2018

(Yeah, I'm probably gonna post this on the same day as chapter 2 because this is way more fun than grad school, so no greeting, just Mikey. Whoops. But it's also baby's first POV, so sorry not sorry :D )

I just love how individually you write all the turtles. Even without the character title at the top of each POV arc, it's still easy enough to tell who is who. Like, obviously Raph has the accent and Splinter uses full names, but also Donny is trying to figure everything out all the time, Leo is in constant moral dilemma crisis, and Mikey is rambling and curious and bubbly. They're all their own characters so fully, and that's a sign of good writing.

Don't have shiny stuff with buttons, Donny. Obviously. Hahahaha.

Listen, Mikey, baby, I'm sorry you come from a cryptic family, but where do you think Leo learned it from? And Donny doesn't try to be cryptic, but sometimes he just forgets that not everyone speaks super genius. Don't worry, there's plenty of mountains for all of them.

Mikey's so excited! And then almost immediately brought back down to earth. Everything's gonna change! Wait, everything's gonna change? I'm glad even Mikey sees the drawbacks to the change, even though unlike some of the others, it's less of an equal balance of good and bad and more mostly good with a couple of dents. It's such a testament to his outlook on life, really.

Obviously Leo and Don still should've told Raph and Mikey what the deal was, but I'm glad Donny explained it with the arguing vs. debating section. This was such a huge undertaking, they really couldn't let the two most impulsive turtles have their way with it and expect it to work. And at least the other two understood why their judgement maybe wasn't held quite as high as Leo's, even if it still wasn't fair.

"Will we have glowing green blood yes or no?" Spiderman vs. science, the perfect juxtaposition of Mikey and Donny, hahaha.

Aww, Mikey's trying to get into Leo's head. Careful, Mikey, that's a dangerous spot. But then Mikey hits on probably the whole core of the entire thing: in a way, they're erasing their past. Not in the sense that they'll forget it or lose it, but this change does kind of relegate it to a locked box in the back of the closet. For starters, they can't just introduce themselves to people like, "Hi, I'm Mikey, formerly mutant turtle, now Mr. Hottie." And their past is just so wild and crazy, there's gonna have to be severely edited versions that they tell people casually, and a lot of pressure and build up for the people that they let further into their lives. Like, sure as turtles their entire existence is a secret, but as newly made humans, they're gonna have to find a balance between what is and isn't safe to talk about from their past, and tbh, this is probably the only part that Leo-secrets-nardo will do better than the others.

Yay, Mikey the artist! Also his reasoning for drawing Leo first - only turtle sitting still doing nothing for a long time - is absolutely hilarious.

Mikey sneaking up - and failing to - on Leo is so accurate. Also I love all the drops you scatter in about Leo's shell wound. I have more thoughts on that, but I'll include it in more relevant chapters.

It's so sweet how Mikey wants these memories of how they used to be. He's the most gung-ho about the change, but he's also super proud of the way they are now and doesn't just want to forget about it all. I think this is a nice way of showing that he does have some maturity, even if his brothers won't admit it.

Mikey's last meal policy is perfect and definitely happened. And obviously Leo noticed and used that against him when he's trying to be sneaky. And Mikey's so proud of him for the reverse pranking, haha.

Ugh, and Mikey and Leo would have the same fear of all the brothers going their separate ways. I don't know if it's because they're the oldest and youngest and so don't have middle sibling complexes getting in the way, or what, but they love being part of their family and they realize that everyone has different interests that might take them other places. I think it's good for those two to lean on each other in this change and realize that they both have some letting go to do. They both tend to base their identities on their family hierarchy, and while Mikey has an easier time of finding independence, he also has to learn how to stand alone and apart from his brothers - which is something Leo has a lot of experience doing. Oh my god, this family dynamic is so fascinating, I just love turtles.

Raph's got a good point, if they have to enter society anywhere, might as well be NYC. Leo can worry all he wants, they really won't stand out that much.

Another piece of the Raph vs Leo puzzle! Leo's intentions and the way Raph takes things are not the same, so of course they're gonna fight and not understand each other! Who'd've thought all they needed to do was talk about it?

Leo wanting to protect Raph from hating Splinter breaks my heart. Of course he wouldn't want his little brothers to go through that shame. King of the Guilt Leo knows what that's like all too well.

Okay, I could comment on every piece of this conversation, so I won't, I'll just leave it at, I love Raph and Leo actually talking to each other.

Oh, but Raph calling Leo out on if he even wants to change! And then Leo's tirade about how he couldn't have what he wanted, so he made what he did have the things he wanted so he could be happy, and Raph always realizing that eventually you had to express your anger before it kills you. I've always thought that at the end of the day, Raph has a healthier relationship with anger because he's had to learn how to deal with it in ways that Leo just shoved down. Also, I really like that Raph makes Leo admit that he wants this too, when it was Donnie at the end of the other chapter who was going to figure it out. Raph confronts the issue head on, while Donnie wanted to intellectualize it.

Yay, Leo teasing. It's nice to have a moment of levity amongst all this deep, philosophical thinking everyone - yes, even you, Mikey! - has been doing for the last three chapters. And I'm totally with you, Raph had a thing for Joy. She's sooo his type. And it would be kind of cool if you brought her back, since she already knows about the turtle part. The others are gonna have a hell of a time explaining this whole turtle past thing to future significant others (and I know Leo has sort of tried already in later chapters, but he still left out the mutant turtle part) and it would be nice to give Raph, who has had the most trouble with acceptance, have someone who already knew and accepted that part of him. And of course Leo knows exactly who it is too. And Raph's immediate response is fratricide, hahahaha.

Cool uncle Raph forever.

It's always such a nasty bit of reality, thinking about the turtles' early years, before Donny really got handy with stuff and they could help Splinter scavenge for food. Never dreaming about what they wanted to be when they grew up because they were just concerned with growing up at all is so heartbreaking.

The older brothers being realistic while the younger ones are excited really encapsulates the Hamato family dynamic, I think. I've said before, Leo and Raph are more similar than they think, and this is one of those instances. And they aren't going to stand in the way of their little brothers, and let both of them flourish and grow and stand apart from their crazy older brothers. It's interesting to me how Donny and Mikey have pretty obvious paths (science and arts, respectively), while Leo and Raph have a lot of stuff to figure out (another reason why I think they're gonna get super close and they'll both be so happy but still try to play it cool around each other because Feelings are still weird for them).

And that's chapter 3! I have a lot of reactions that I actually didn't include because I could go, "I love this!" to every single line, and I feel like these are long enough already. It's only been a few days since I posted the review for chapter 1, so you haven't had a chance yet to tell me to stop, so I'm going to cram as many in as I can before you do! ;D
Merdeka21 chapter 2 . 7/22/2018
Okay, chapter 2! Spoiler warning for everyone else!

I'll be honest, I tend not to reread the opening few chapters just because I want to get back to the action and the ~drama~, but even this chapter is so wonderfully rife with brotherly interaction, I really should come back to it more.

I like how you explore the positive aspects of them remaining turtles. Donnie will never look at those, because he can't see them. He's a pacifist, and even his scientist side won't let him be objective about this amazing opportunity to get out of the fight. But Leo would see these things, and while they all feel trapped, there are a few freedoms that ninja turtles would have over average humanity. BUT, maybe that's also a good metaphor for moving from childhood to adulthood. I've definitely felt that way. And it would be impossible to be a vigilante and a functioning adult human, so their contribution to the city would have to change. But also like... hospitals and grocery stores should probably have priority.

Good job, Leo, just blurt out the human question to Mikey, who just woke up a minute ago. He won't suspect a thing... And Mikey is so sweet, he believes karma will make him hot. Don't worry, Mikey, it will!

Ahhh, and the crux of Leo's hesitation. He thinks his brothers are gonna leave him! And they probably will! But they'll come back! Also, I love the "Raph could be a better, healthier person without his anger and resentment" thing, because a lot of that stems from their living situation and how stifled and isolated they are. And poor Leo, he already gave everything up once to be the leader his brothers needed, and now he's facing giving everything up again to be the brother his brothers need. That's a lot to ask of one turtle. But Leo will "deal" with it, because the opportunity of a lifetime is another cross for him to bare for the sake of his brothers... I love this stupid martyr.

Hi Raph!

I love that his first POV opens with a list of idiots who piss him off, concluding with his own brothers. It still makes me laugh, and it's just so in character. And perceptive Mikey strikes again!

I know it gets even better in later chapters, but I LOVE SO MUCH Leo and Raph being friends. And how they're always cognizant of their history, but they love each other and are making efforts to put aside their differences (which are actually their similarities in many ways too) so they can be BFFs (which is why sometimes I headcanon for this story later on that of all the brothers, they actually hang out the most).

And bam! Leo in for the kill! I love that he point blank asked if Raph hated him though, since that's the kind of question that should be talked out. And Raph saying he never did, even if he thought he did, or wanted to.

Also, I'm glad you wrote so in depth about Raph's feelings, particularly in this chapter about how he hated humans, how all that anger and resentment was able to grow in him. And how his thinking started to shift with April, how he realized that even he was judging people from the outside, and that even in NYC there's some good. Also he got to get one on Leo with Mrs. Morrison, that's funny. And his thoughts on tea! That grass swill, hahaha. A related side note: Stash Tea makes a green chai and it's actually my favorite.

Raph's line of thinking actually lines up with Leo's! For a moment, anyway. He recognizes the freedoms being a turtle over human has, but he also sees the end of the line. Sure, those freedoms are great, but at the end of the day and even with all of their skills, there's still a whole other world completely closed off to them.

"He was gonna get punched in the face, an' he was gonna deserve it." I love Raph's inner dialogue so much. And how he has all these pissed off thoughts, but still tolerates Leo enough to answer his questions. And how Leo gets Raph to open up more than he means to, because older brothers are being weird and vague, but Raph cares enough to beat the stupid out and to spell things out for him, even if Leo is supposed to be the intuitive one.

Of course Leo tells Donnie his answer WHILE HE'S ASLEEP.

And Donnie needs Leo to want this too, but all Leo wants is what's best for his brothers. It's the most vicious of cycles, and it's gonna take ages to break it. Honestly, I don't think Leo will ever break it entirely, because he cares about his brothers too much, but I do think he will find things that he wants, that he'll learn at least a little selfishness. He's got three little brothers who are determined to teach him how, after all. And Donnie, and I'm sure the others, are tired of feeling guilty over seeing Leo sacrifice for them again and again, so there's definitely gonna be a little brothers gang up on Leo club formed someday to make sure Leo does things for Leo.

I always, always, always love the dichotomy of the older brothers vs. the younger brothers in TMNT fic (also, thank you for making Raph the second oldest, can you believe there are people out there who think Donnie is second? Just, what?!). Leo and Raph have to be violent and inscrutable, while Donnie and Mikey are perfectly happy being known to the people who love and care about them. Because that's what people who don't drive you insane are supposed to be like! Poor Donnie.

Ahhhh, Leo's bros just want to hang out with him! Dammit, Leo, stop resisting movie night! And they're all so happy when he says yes! OMG, for a family that loves and supports each other so much, you really have to beat them over the head that they ACTUALLY love and support each other, don't you?

Hi Splinter!

Leo trying to protect Mikey and Raph and Splinter starting to realize maybe the burden he put on Leo was too great, and that Raph doesn't need Leo's protection, he needs Leo's support, and this family, man, I just can't.

Splinter realizing he can't go with them! I'll be honest, I love that he retired to Japan, I think it's the perfect wrap up for him, but it still broke my heart a little that they have to go out into the world without their father behind them. But also, that he had been planning this retirement for a while, that was pretty shocking, and I wonder how things would have gone for the brothers if this story wasn't about them turning human, but about them figuring out the new family dynamic without Splinter around. Would the younger brothers still be tasked by Splinter to look out for Leo and help him figure out who he is, or would Leo's burden increase and all those strides he made towards being more brother than leader be reversed hard and fast? Oh, Splinter, your actions are super questionable sometimes, even if you were just trying to be a good rat dad.

Haha, Splinter is the first to really bring up the fact that jumping around on the rooftops and beating up people is ILLEGAL. I love how he thinks this is gonna be one of their hardest transitions.

Hi again, Ninja Tribunal reference! I appreciate that you included that they lost their powers with their amulets. A turning human story shouldn't have a side note they can also turn into dragons. At least not this particular one, hahaha.

I agree that there's no way that Mikey and Raph could've guessed at what Leo was really asking. Maybe if they compared notes on their separate conversations, but even then they'd just think Leo had been thinking too hard again and probably go double-team him and force him to eat some ice cream or something.

All of this set up is sooo important, and I'm glad you take the time and effort to do it right, even if it's all a lot of thinking at this point. It's all laying the foundation for the rest of the story, which is why all of it, from the beginning to where you left off just feels so rich and nuanced. I've already said how grateful I am for this story, but not just the story itself, I'm also grateful for how you've built it. It's so strong, the characters are so rich, and even the OC characters don't feel like an intrusion. Because this is a story about the characters, the brothers specifically, and how they feel about and interact with each other, and with all the new people who are going to be in their lives whether they like it or not. And the old people, because I know who shows up to make trouble in later chapters. ;)

I know I said I don't reread the opening chapters as much as the others, but that doesn't mean I love it any less. Off to chapter 3!
Merdeka21 chapter 1 . 7/17/2018
Hiiiii! I don't know if you remember me, but I sent you a message a couple years back thanking you for this story. I realized though that I had never actually left any reviews on it, and since ffn doesn't have kudos like AO3 does, this is an even greater travesty. I used to leave really long-winded and detailed reviews on other stories on here, so I thought I would do that for this story as well! Kind of like a reader's commentary instead of a director's commentary. Especially in my rereads I tend to skip around (and mostly just read Those Leo & Raph Scenes in the last few chapters if you know what I mean ;) ), so I think this would be a good way just for me to get reacquainted with all the brothers and their story as a whole and tell you all the wonderful things I love about it!

If this gets too long-winded and crazy, just let me know and I'll stop! I can't say how quickly I'll post reviews since I want to do a thorough one for each chapter, but I've been wanting to do this for you for ages, and now that I'm finally winding down with grad school, the time was finally right. Also, it's the 10 year anniversary from when this was originally posted, so congrats! Alright, on I go!

Also, I think it should go without saying, but to the other readers out there, post contains spoilers.

Okay, from the jump, you clearly have the characterizations down. Skeptic!Donny, check. Workaholic!Leo, check. Also, thank you for including the Ninja Tribunal arc as part of your canon. I know the 2k3 verse started to go off the rails for some people at that point, but I really enjoyed that arc. I think it was the dragons.

Professor Honeycutt! Also, no preface, just, "hey, humans, y/n?" I love it. And the Leatherhead! Ahh, I remember the first time I read this just being so happy LH got a happy ending. He deserves it.

Man, I don't know if your background is in science or what, but your explanation of the ooze being a two-fold process and this whole becoming human part was always meant to happen is so cool. I've never seen a turn-into-human AU be explained so smoothly. And then the Utroms pulling out because of WWII! Because they've been on Earth for ages! These subtle details are what make your story so strong and why sometimes I forget that it's not just a natural continuation of canon (and sometimes I don't forget and just insist that it is).

Leeeooooooo 333 Poor baby with his camomile tea and letting his little bros get away with stuff and "change is itself", god, he's already the old wise man on the mountain without a mountain or being old. I love him.

Uggggh, and Raph NEEDS change, but he also NEEDS his brothers, and that's just the whole of Raph's character and that makes him endlessly interesting and frustrating at the same time. Raph used to be my least favorite turtle, but over the years, I've come to understand him a lot better, and this story probably helped a lot with that, with the way you just GET Raph, and you communicate it so well. Raph's heart is just too big for the sewers. Raph and I also have the same giant defensive fort, so I think I was reluctant to love him because of how many similarities we shared. But he really is just a giant softie.

You're already getting so deep into the connections between all the brothers and it's only the first chapter. You go even further in later chapters, so I'll make more mention of them later, but again, FROM THE JUMP, you know these turtles inside and out. Especially the Donnie-Raph and Raph-Leo balances in this chapter, they're so true to character, and yet I love seeing the different POVs from them to see how they see each other - and sometimes to shake them, lol.

Also, Raph's acceptance vs. approval inner conflict and why he gets along with the Purple Dragons in a way where they both hate each other, but still accept each other as a fact of life.

And Donnie wants to figure out his brothers because his older brothers are dumb and don't know how to feel correctly and he just loves his brothers and he's a scientist so knowing is loving and I cry.

"Oh. So that's what it looks like when Leo's mind shatters." - HAHAHAHA THIS IS MY FAVORITE LINE.

And then Leo with the double whammy! He knows his brothers think he's a stick-in-the-mud and he wouldn't mind saying no to the opportunity of a lifetime! Dreams are for suckers! What's a childhood? Ooof, that one hurt, and I know Donny felt bad, but daaaamn.

Hahahahaha, I know this story is still waiting for more chapters, but I would love a ficlet someday of Donny forcing the others to take the GED. He totally would, and it's so funny to me every time.

Okay, I've read this story like 80 times, but Leo's gonna think about it! Donnie's gonna go crazy waiting! How many ways can Leo's comfort zone be shattered before he drops everything and runs for his mountain?

Also, I just realized this year, in a massive epiphany, that instead of a job, Leo should just go to school. Why didn't Donnie think of that? Why didn't Donnie go to school?! That's where you figure out what you want to do! So I've been imaging Leo taking all these poli-sci and strategic classes and wowing the professors and them kicking him out of the intro class and letting him TA the graduate level ones instead.

I hope you don't think it's weird that I think about this story probably more than actual canon most days.

Alright, so that was chapter 1! Like I said, if this is too much, just let me know and I'll stop. This was fun though, and I like rereading for the details this time, unlike my past couple rereads which have mostly just been skims to find my favorite parts. It's after midnight here now, so chapter 2 will wait for another day, but I'm excited to finally get this project started!
Guest chapter 23 . 4/21/2016
somehow, a coldly-angry Don absolutely refusing to budge in protecting Leo sends chills down my spine :D great job on that bit of dialogue: assertive, cold, straight to the point and contemptuous. in terms of the younger ones defending Leo: in this story we've seen usually-unrestrained Raph, a Mikey that's had visibly learned from Leo, but never mild-mannered Don mercilessly bringing all of his steel and brilliance to bear, and it's captivating.
Guest chapter 15 . 4/20/2016
""Even the best planners and tacticians can only handle so much at one time. If you have three equally demanding, equally important problems facing you all at're going to be facing a considerable amount of stress. Add to that the fact that there is no easy or quick solution for any of them, and the fact that there's a time limit on one of the issues…that's a lot to deal with. And when you consider that the problems facing Karai are direct threats to her way of life..."
- it just occurred to me that this applies to Leo, too. But Leo will outlast Karai :)
Denise chapter 24 . 12/29/2015
More, please.
EmilyGrace18 chapter 24 . 12/25/2015
Wow. I started to read this last week and have hardly been able to put it down. I can easily say that this is one of my all time favorite fics. The storyline is intriguing, the characterization amazing, the tempo perfect, and the portrayal of the guys so incredibly wonderful. You have each of the boy's "voice" down pat, as well as all the little nuances about their charachters that make them so irresistible. I loved every minute of this story, and must admit that I didn't even realize it was an incomplete story until I was a few chapters from the end. Which of course left me feeling crushed. This is such an amazing story, I really hope that it can find an end. I want to know what happens to Leo. I want to know where Karai is and what she is planning. I want to know how or if the boys find their place in the human world. Literally I feel as though I am desperate for more!
You are truly an amazing and talented author and this story has inspired and thrilled me. Thank you for the hours of entertainment and joy I found. If you do decide to pick this story back up, please know I will be your most avid and enthusiastic fan. Great job!
Reigningspirit chapter 24 . 11/8/2015
I do hope you continue this.
imjustpeachee chapter 24 . 7/10/2015
I have just blazed through this entire story and am obsessed! The character development is fantastic, the chapter lengths are satisfying, and the plot is unique! Please tell me (despite the last update being in 2013) that this story is still going!
Guest chapter 24 . 6/11/2015
I really hope you continue this! You've done an amazing job with character development and describing how the relationships between the brothers has changed. I love it! Please update!
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