Disclaimer: I claim no ownership of TMNT. They belong to Nick. I just borrow them for fun. I don't own Mortal Combat, either...just borrowing it for a quartet of mutant teenagers to play with.
A/N: This little one-shot takes place in the 1987 show, really any time in the show...maybe in season 5ish (however, in my own personal head canon, Michelangelo never stops using the 'chucks, and that is a running theme in my 87 'verse fics). The scenario was inspired by a conversation I had over dinner with my eldest son while we were eating pizza (Ninja Turtles are a common dinnertime topic haha). He thought up the basic idea, and I have added a lot to it from my own mind. I hope you enjoy.
"There's no way either of you guys are are going to win!" Leonardo proclaimed confidently as he gripped his twin katana securely in his hands.
He positioned them with one trained on each of the two brothers which opposed him, swinging the blades smoothly a few times in a silent demonstration of his assured upcoming victory. The metal sang as it whooshed through the air.
Michelangelo's eyes narrowed in determination as his pupils darted between his two elder brothers. Nunchucks at the ready, he stood with his knees slightly bent, his muscles twitching for release like a restless horse just before the big race.
Donatello pulled his bo out from behind himself, the wood of the stick creaking from the pressure his sweaty palms were exerting on it. He wore the expression of intense concentration he normally reserved for the inventions in his workshop. His ever calculating mind was sizing up his opponents, observing for any openings in their defences or possible strategies they may have been cooking up.
Speaking of cooking up…
"No way, Leonardo," Michelangelo spoke up between gritted teeth. "Haven't you learned by now that you don't come between a dude and the last slice of pizza, especially when that pizza happens to be sausage smothered in caramel fudge with just a touch of garlic?"
"Hey, hey, now come on, you two!" Donatello interjected. "You both got full reign of the pizza, that last piece is rightfully mine! It's not my fault I was busy fixing Leonardo's electric toothbrush again!"
"You snooze, you lose, dude!" Michelangelo gave his 'chucks a warning whirl. "That pizza is oh so delishioso...I nurtured that baby from the bag of flour all the way to the perfect bubbling of the mozzarella right before I took it out of the oven…"
"Well, I'm the leader," Leonardo argued simply, as if that should have been enough for the other two turtles.
"Well then, gentlemen," Donatello said diplomatically, "it appears to me that there is only one fair way to settle this."
Michelangelo's and Leonardo's eyes widened as they lowered their weapons and stared at their genius brother in shock.
"You don't mean…" Leonardo breathed in disbelief.
"Yes, Leonardo," Donatello answered gravely. "The ultimate contest of cunning and wits…"
"But, dude," Michelangelo objected, "the last time we did that, none of us slept for days...we were like...zombies…"
Donatello sheathed his bo and crossed his arms across his plastron. Leonardo and Michelangelo exchanged anxious expressions. The orange masked brother was shaking slightly, attempting to hide his discomfort. The chains of his nunchucks clinked together from the tremors of his body.
"Unless either of you have a better resolution?" Donatello uncrossed his arms and placed them flat on the checked table top. He gave his brothers a level stare, his eyes hard. "I didn't think so…" the brainiac added after several uncomfortable moments of silence.
"Very well…" Leonardo sighed in resignation. He placed his katanas back in their customary crossed positions behind his shell.
"Good!" Donatello grinned triumphantly. "I challenge the two of you to a video game tournament! Winner gets the last slice of pizza. Do you accept? The challenge has been presented. It is now a matter of…" Donatello made sure to make eye contact with Leonardo: "ninja honor."
"I accept." Leonardo made a slight nod of his head.
Michelangelo huffed and turned away from his brothers. "That ninja honor stuff means nothing to me, dude. It's a matter of...of...prin...princib...princibible…"
"Principle?" Donatello supplied the correct word to his brother with a sigh of exacerbation.
Michelangelo twisted back around as he gave his genius sibling and pointed glare. "Yah, that," the surfer mumbled. Raising his tone he continued, "Anyways, I totally made that pizza, dude. This shouldn't even be an argument at all."
Donatello knew he needed to change tactics. Luckily he knew exactly how to motivate his younger brother.
"Gee," the purple masked ninja grinned wickedly, "is the party dude afraid he'll lose at video games against his straight laced older brothers? Are you sure you're Michelangelo and that you're not some evil alien clone?"
"Negatory, dude!" Michelangelo was clearly affronted. "I could beat both of you with one arm tied behind my shell. I am the video game master." His voice dipped lower at the word "master" for added effect.
Donatello leaned in closer to his brother. "Prove it." He enunciated each word to rile Michelangelo further.
"Fine! I will blow you two losers out of the sewers with my mondo amazing video game skills!"
Just as the trio of mutant turtles were going to leave the kitchen for the den, a fourth turtle entered the kitchen whistling innocently. Donatello glanced at the newcomer suspiciously, knowing nothing good ever came when this one whistled like that.
"Hey Raphael," Michelangelo greeted his brother, but not with the normal cheeriness his voice normally held.
"Man, Michelangelo, your voice sounds different today...you finally going through puberty?" Raphael quipped with a mischievous glint in his eyes. "I really hope Splinter had the conversation about the turtles and Dimension X alien chicks with you…"
Michelangelo's cheeks brightened to a reddish green in his embarrassment. "Not funny, Raphael."
Raphael chuckled and shrugged as he pulled out a seat and plopped himself down in it. "The tension is so thick in here I think I'm drowning! Is Michelangelo's puberty really that controversial? I know he's the baby...but we all gotta grow up sometime…"
The blush on Michelangelo's face spread even further. He could even feel the uncomfortable heat spreading over his face. He shifted in his spot uneasily.
"Oh look!" Raphael exclaimed. "Pizza! I'm starving!"
The red masked turtle reached a hand out for the lone slice of pizza on the table, only to have his hand swatted away by Leonardo. Raphael turned his attention to the leader and glared at him in questioning irritation. Leonardo shook his head admonishingly at the wise guy.
"Unless you are going to take part in the contest of ninja honor the rest of us have agreed upon, you can lay no claim to that pizza, Raphael."
Raphael raised a bemused eyebrow ridge at the leader. "A 'contest of ninja honor', eh? Now this I have to hear."
"We are having a video game tournament."
Raphael took a split second to process the blue masked ninja's response before bursting out in laughter. His hand slapped against his knee as he took gasping breaths to keep up with the amount of oxygen he was expending. His eyes misted with tears of mirth.
"And you guys call me the kidder…" he managed to wheeze out as he wiped tears out of his eyes.
"It's completely serious, Raphael. Do you wish to take part?"
Upon realizing that Leonardo was, indeed, completely serious, Raphael managed to calm himself down. He glanced between the piece of pizza and his eldest sibling, but finally shook his head.
"Don't you guys remember what happened last time you did that? You guys were awake for days...I had to miss all of my favorite TV programs...and afterwards the three of you were like...mindless mutant rutabagas. And Master Splinter -" Raphael paused for a few seconds as the implications of that crossed his mind...all of it working to his advantage. "I'll pass guys," Raphael added sweetly. "There's just no way I could ever match any of you in video game skillage. Alas," he placed the back of his hand against his forehead in distress, "I was not gifted with the video game prowess of my amazing brothers. Poor me…"
"Suit yourself," Donatello shrugged.
"I suit myself very well," Raphael grinned. "I'm the best dressed one here!"
The genius rolled his eyes, deciding that one deserved no comment. He followed Leonardo and Michelangelo out into the den, leaving Raphael alone in the kitchen.
… … … … … … … … … ... … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …
*NINE HOURS LATER, AND JUST BEFORE DAWN*
Numerous empty soda cans clattered together as Michelangelo stretched his cramped legs. The hard concrete of the floor had numbed his legs and rear, and his eyes were rimmed in with heavy black bags of fatigue. His fingers flew across the controls with a grace only a master of the nunchucks could pull off.
Donatello was seated slightly behind him on the couch, his mechanics fingers mashing his own buttons with a deftness almost equalling his younger brother's. His eyes were bloodshot, and his wrinkled purple mask lay forgotten on the arm of the couch. His tongue was peaking out of the corner of his mouth in his deep focus. A half empty pot of coffee was sticking to the table in front of him.
Leonardo had just been eliminated from the contest, losing the last round of Mortal Combat to Michelangelo. He had accepted his defeat gracefully as he was wont to do, but had remained despite his own exhaustion to observe how the rest of the game panned out. When it came to video games, Donatello and Michelangelo were virtually evenly matched. He stifled a yawn as he took another sip of his soda, longing for the caffeine to take hold, but it had unfortunately lost its effectiveness a few hours ago.
As a ninja master, Leonardo was constantly aware of his surroundings, but with sleep threatening to take hold, his customary vigilance was dulled like an overused pizza cutter. He almost failed to notice the weight which added itself onto the couch cushion he was on. He started and turned his attention to the disturbance.
Raphael had lept over the back of the couch and flopped down in between Leonardo and Donatello, enthusiastically munching on a slice of pizza which was stuck through the middle prong on one of his sais. His expression was bordering on smug as he took in the disheveled state of his siblings. Leonardo's sluggish mind's first impression was that Raphael seemed awfully chipper for this early in the morning. Raphael was not a morning turtle and always had to be dragged out of bed for morning practice. Thus, the fact that the sarcastic sibling was awake at such an ungodly hour...and so cheery appearing at the same time...raised many a red flag to the leader. It was just taking longer than usual for the katana wielder to connect the dots. A piece of pizza, eh?
"Gooooood morning, Leonardo!" Raphael sing-songed in between bites. "Quite a lovely day in the sewers, isn't it?
Leonardo's eyes narrowed warily. His fingers drummed on the arm of the couch.
"Raphael?" Leonardo asked accusingly.
"Yeeessss?" Raphael responded in a sickeningly syrupy voice.
"That's not...the slice, is it?"
Raphael gasped in offense. "Leonardo! I'm wounded that you would even entertain the notion that I would consume, the slice."
"I hope it's not, Raphael...ninja honor dictates…"
Leonardo was cut off by a bo staff slapping against Raphael's plastron and flattening him into the couch. The air in Raphael's lungs was forced out by the blow. His gaze was met by the clearly miffed eyes of Michelangelo and Donatello.
"I smell garlic, dude," Michelangelo ground out. A tired party dude was not a pleasant party dude.
"And caramel fudge," Donatello added venomously. An exhausted genius was not a congenial genius.
"And sausage," Leonardo finished. A fatigued leader whose ninja honor had been compromised was not an agreeable leader.
"Oh come on, guys!" Raphael asserted himself as he shoved the rest of the slice in his mouth. "It was cold and gross. I did you all a favor. All this -" he gestured to the mess in the room and the TV screen which was currently flashing with "game over" - "for a lousy slice of pizza?"
"Lousy slice of pizza?" Michelangelo echoed, his voice bewildered as if someone had just told him that the sky was red. "I made that pizza from scratch, dude. I worked mondo hard on it."
"And I was really hungry…" Donatello frowned.
"And I'm the leader," Leonardo chimed in.
Donatello removed his bo staff from Raphael's plastron. The red masked turtle took that moment to flip over the back of the couch in an attempt to distance himself from his angered siblings. Donatello continued to glare at Raphael, his expression growing devious as his mind settled on something. The look made Raphael gulp in nervousness.
"You know, guys," Donatello grinned toothily. "I've been waiting for an opportunity to test out my latest invention."
Donatello said those words often...but the evil tone in which the genius said them made Raphael all the more apprehensive. He could feel himself beginning to sweat, the drops trickling down his scalp and soaking into his mask.
"Wha...what's that?" Raphael croaked out.
"Oh, nothing much," Donatello paused, relishing in Raphael's blatant discomfort. "Only an automatic dissection device. I'm really hungry, and I really wanted that pizza...but now if it's in your stomach, I see no other way of getting at it…"
"Automatic...dissection?" Raphael squeaked in a manner that would have made the Rat King proud.
Donatello nodded in affirmation. He then turned to Leonardo and Michelangelo and addressed them, "And I could use some lab assistants…"
Michelangelo and Leonardo both mirrored Donatello's wicked grin. Raphael placed his arms straight out in front of himself in a self-defensive manner. He began to back up slowly, his eyes widening with each step. His siblings began to advance upon him. Raphael tripped over the threshold into the kitchen and began doing a crude crab walk backwards for a few motions before scrambling to his feet.
"Can't you guys take a joke?"
Michelangelo lunged forward and grabbed his ankle.
"Hmmm…" Donatello rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Nope."
"Guys...guys...come on…I didn't mean it...honestly…"
… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …
*ONE HOUR LATER, IN THE DOJO*
If there was one thing Splinter could be certain of, it was that life with a quartet of active teenagers was never dull. If there was another thing Splinter could be certain of, it was that sometimes it was better not to ask questions...and he knew that this was one of those times. The boys had made it to morning practice on time, and that was what mattered.
Even if Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Donatello appeared as if they hadn't slept at all. Donatello was missing his eye mask, and Michelangelo was missing a few of his orange bands. Even the normally poised Leonardo's head was nodding, fighting sleep, as he kneeled before his Sensei in the wait for training to begin.
Maybe I should ask this time…
"Raphael?" the aged sensei addressed his red masked adoptive son.
"Yes, Sensei?" Raphael muttered, his voice ashamed. From his kneeling position, he cast his eyes to the ground in front of him.
"Why is there...caramel fudge sauce and flour all over you? You know how I feel about you boys eating junk before training…"
"Don't ask, Sensei...just don't ask…"
A/N: So yah, pointless 1987 TMNT fun. That turned out WAY longer than I planned but I do I love writing these guys so much! I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing! :D Extra points to anyone who notices a few obscure references I threw in there to aspects of the 87 show.