A/n: I love how even after being through so much, the turtles somehow ended up arguing about which comic is better. Ah,The beauty of 2012 series.
Also, Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates and thankyou so much for all the wonderful reviews! They are what kept me going and motivated me to write more. A special shoutout to fireworksinthenight for her support and encouragement ever since I started writing and my greatest thanks to FlameShadowFireDragon for being a wonderful friend. And to the readers and reviewers who have taken time to enjoy this book, you guys are all awesome!
I have come to notice that turtle tots are way too adorable to resist, so here's another tot story. Enjoy!
Turtles are 4 years old in this one.
Disclaimer: I don't own them.
Things that go bump in the night
Young Donatello was sitting cross-legged on his bed, his blanket wrapped around his shoulders to keep away the cold as his eyes skimmed over the pages of a chemistry book placed infront of him.
His bedside lamp was turned on and the soft, yellow light emitted by it was enough to illuminate the off white pages showing tiny, printed text and diagrams of titration apparatus. He'd been absorbed in it ever since he had heard his father and elder brothers leave the lair to collect more algae and worms.
He was reading about the approriate types of indicators used in certain analyses when the sound of loud, terrified screams startled him. He looked up in alarm, only to see his door swing open and a green and orange blur rush inside his room. Before Donnie could comprehend what was happening, he had his lap full of a whimpering and crying tot who clinged to his plastron, tears running down his freckled cheeks.
He stared down with wide and concerned eyes, not knowing why his baby brother was so distraught but didn't dare to ask. Mikey was in no condition of answering him yet. He let it drop for the moment and wrapped his arms around the weeping turtle instead, hoping to give him some comfort.
"It's okay, Mikey. Shhhhh... I got you little brother."
"Hmm?" Donnie responded while wrapping his blanket around Mikey as well, pulling him closer. Mikey complied without a question and leaned his head against his brother's plastron, hiccuping as he shuddered.
"I-I'm scared..." He whispered as tears still cascaded down his face and Donatello wiped them away.
"Why are you scared?"
"There is a g-ghost in the lair. I heard one w-when... going to the k-kitchen."
Donnie frowned; So that was what had Michelangelo so riled up? It didn't make any sense! But then again, Mikey usually went to Leo or Raph when he got scared and thus, Donnie didn't know what ridiculous or unreal things could freak him out.
He decided to be logical to put Mike's overactive imagination to rest.
"Mikey, ghosts don't exist. It was probably your brain playing tricks on you because of being alone."
"B-But... I heard it!"
"But they aren't real, Mikey." The young genius tried to reason with the scared turtle, not understanding why he was getting scared about something that doesn't even exist.
"Ghosts don't exist." He repeated his previous words, assuming that the younger would believe him but Michelangelo was having none of it.
"Tell that to them!"
Okay, this wasn't working. He needed to try something else to convince Mikey and calm him down. His reddish-brown eyes quickly scanned his room to find something that would give him any ideas. An old, scavanged flashlight caught his attention and he perked up, coming up with a pretty good plan to prove to his little brother that ghosts don't exist.
But one look at Mikey's stubborn yet scared face had him rethink his previous method of approach and he figured that it would be best to indulge him for now.
"Hey, how about we go hunting?" Donnie suggested but Mikey only gave him a confused look, not understanding what his brother had meant so he elaborated, "Ghost hunting, Mikey. Like Ghost Busters!"
That put an excited spark in the youngest's eyes and a grin broke out on his face.
Donnie pushed the blanket away and hopped out of his bed with Mikey in tow. Both turtles ran towards a small metal cabinet and kneeling next to one of the drawers, they pulled it open and began to rummage through it, grabbing flashlights, tapes, helmets, straps, nerf-guns, etc.
In about ten minutes, two brave turtle tots were standing with determined postures, geared up with flashlights in their belts, nerf-guns strapped to their shells and helmets on their heads, their forearms covered in black, athletic tape.
"Lets move, team," Mikey spoke before he took his flashlight out with a twirl and switched it on, shining it at his face from below and whispering in a creepy voice, "For the Trek through the Haunted Lair."
Donnie good-naturedly rolled his eyes and grabbed Mikey's arm, pulling him along towards the door. "You've been hanging out with Leo too much. Haven't you?"
"Hey, it's fun. He let's me choose the game every time and the roles too."
Donnie looked at his brother knowingly, "The puppy eyes?"
"The puppy eyes."
Ooh, boy, Why did I think this was a good idea?
Donnie took a deep breath, trying to convince himself that he wasn't scared as him and Mikey stood outside the door of his room. With the exception of one light in the kitchen, the rest of the lair was dark. And he'd never been out in the dark lair before without having Leo or Raph beside him, big brothers always made him feel safer.
He reached out and took Mikey's hand in his, his wide eyes darting around to look at the darkness surrounding them. Mikey's flashlight was out and turned on, making more eery shadows around them as the youngest shone it upon the hallway, subconsciously moving closer to his smart brother at seeing the strange shapes.
"It's okay, Mikey," Donatello stated, his voice holding a slight tremble as he tentatively took a step forward, pulling Mikey along, "There's nothing to be afraid of."
Mikey audibly gulped and trudged forward as well, slowly, cautiously and entirely on edge. He knew he had heard a ghost and now that they both have left the safety of Donatello's bedroom, his fear was returning and taking away all the ghost hunting excitement. Maybe holding his nerf-gun might help with that?
Making up his mind, the orange-clad turtle looked up at his brother. "Donnie?"
"Can you be the flashlight guy?"
Not understanding what he meant, Donatello gazed at him with an eyeridge raised.
Seeing that his brother was clueless, Mikey elaborated, "I want to hold my gun but my hand isn't free."
"Oh." Realizing why Michelangelo had wanted him to do so, he took out his flashlight and switched it on, waiting for Mikey to place his own back in the belt and arm himself with his nerf gun.
"You good?" He asked once the freckled turtle had armed himself, a little bit of his excitement returning at the prospect of their upcoming adventure. Receiving a confident nod this time, Donnie continued forward, his companion falling in step next to him with gun aimed forward and ready to shoot at any creepy ghost that dares jumpscare them.
Feeling a bit more confident than before, both young turtles slowly made their way towards the kitchen, passing through the long, scary hallway and, after what felt like forever to the two, reaching the blanketed doorway across from which they could see the bright light, slivers of it escaping through the edges of the hung up blanket.
Michelangelo extended his toy gun with narrowed eyes and used it to carefully slide away the blanket, both boys roaming their eyes across their kitchen to confirm it was untouched. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, they stepped in, silent as ninjas, and looked around more easily now that they were in a lighted area. Having no immediate use of the flashlight he was holding, Donatello switched it off but didn't place it back, in case he had to use it to check the shadowed parts of the silent, empty kitchen.
"Huh," Donnie mused with a slight smile after he had inspected the place with his younger brother and nothing unusual turned up, "No ghosts."
"I heard one, brother mine. Those creepy monsters are here." Mikey stated firmly as he opened one of the drawers and glared into it before closing it and moving to the next one, doing the same. "Mark my words, ghosts," he whispered in a dramatically threatening voice as he stared down into the next drawer, "You cannot hide from Michelangelo forever. He shall find you."
"I told you. There is no such things as ghosts." The purple-clad genius sounded slightly agitated and tired as he said that, running a hand down his face. When he took it off, he let out a startled yelp at seeing Mikey's chubby face only inches away from his own.
"How do you know? Hmm?" Mikey pointed an accusatory finger at him, eyes narrowed, "Have you ever met them?"
Donnie sighed and pushed the finger away, "No, but-"
"Then you don't know if they are real." Mikey cut him off and moved away, getting into a crouched stance with his nerf-gun aimed straight at the the cabinet close to the sink, before he looked over his shoulder at Donatello, his helmet, gun and all the black-coloured gear combined with baby blue eyes narrowed in focus making Mikey look like a cute little soldier spy on a very important mission.
"That's where the sound came from earlier." Mikey gestured at the cabinet on which he had aimed his gun and Donnie moved towards it with narrowed eyes, tentatively reaching forward to grab the handle. He moved a little to the side as he took hold of the handle and looked back at Mikey. "Ready?"
The youngest nodded, nerf-gun at the ready. Donnie took a deep breath to steal his nerves and switched on his flashlight, bringing it forwards to shine the inside of the currently unopened cabinet.
Both held their breaths as the elder of the two swang open the cabinet and shone his flashlight in it, the beam illuminating the inside to show a few, slightly wet, clattered pots.
The turtle tots relaxed visibly at seeing that and Donnie closed the cabinet door with a soft sigh, looking back at his baby brother with a flat expression, Mikey mirroring the same expression.
"Raph." They both stated simultaneously, recalling that their red-masked brother always put back the utensils without properly arranging them. That often resulted in them clattering around later on.
"It was his turn to wash the utensils today, wasn't it?" Donnie asked his brother to confirm and Michelangelo nodded, straightening up and strapping the gun back to his small shell.
"So that's what the weird noise I heard was. The pots and pans that Raphie washed." Mikey whispered to himself in realization as Donnie also stood up and approached him.
"See? I told you there were no ghosts." He placed a hand on his baby brother's shoulder and smiled at him comfortingly. "Nothing to be afra-"
A light thump followed by weird crunching noises suddenly sounded from outside, cutting Donnie off. Mikey, startled by the strange sounds, instantly grabbed his big brother's arm and clung to it, whimpering in fear as he looked at the kitchen's exit with wide eyes.
Donatello wasn't expecting something like this and, still being a four year old child who was at home without his daddy and big brothers, he also got scared, gulping in fright with his eyes wide in trepidation.
Looking down at his little brother clinging to his arm and depending on him to protect him though, made Donnie push back his fear. It was his responsibility to take care of Mikey and protect him.
Reaching up and releasing a trembling breath, the young, gap-toothed turtle adjusted his helmet. Prying his arm free from Michelangelo's tight hold, he once again switched on his flashlight and grabbed his baby brother's hand, squeezing it reassuringly.
"C'mon, Mikey." He moved towards the entrance to the kitchen, pulling his hesitant brother along, "Let's see what made that sound."
After a few gentle tugs and a small, soothing peptalk, Donnie managed to convince his little brother to step out of the kitchen. His flashlight was grasped firmly in his hand and was lighting up the shadowy parts of the lair, which were even creepier in the dark than the hallway they had trudged past earlier.
The two cautiously made their way to the pit, where Donatello predicted the noise seem to have come from, and searched with their eyes, not even daring to step away from each other as they climbed down the steps, never releasing each other's hand in fear of getting seperated in the dark.
The beam momentarily passed across the switches which were used to turn on the lights of their home but both brothers ignored them, knowing that neither was tall enough to reach them yet.
Donatello sighed. Oh, how he wished he would just grow up quickly and get even taller.
"You okay, Donnie?" Mikey's questioning voice drifted from beside him and he nodded absent mindedly.
"Yeah. I was just thinking."
"About scary ghosts?" The freckled tot asked innocently, making his brother smile.
"About being tall."
Donatello chuckled fondly at this, doing a quick swipe of the living area. He was just about to respond when another weird noise was suddenly heard, only a few feet away from them.
Both brothers let out loud sreams of terror and Donnie's flashlight dropped out of his startled fingers, clattering to the floor and rolling away. They paid it no mind as they turned around and fled towards Donnie's bedroom at breakneck speed, shoving the door open as soon as they reached it.
They rushed inside and jumped on the bed, scrambling under Donatello's blanket in a matter of seconds to hide from the spooky, creepy monsters. Now, both little tots were hiding together as they clung to each other tight, shivering in fright with small whimpers escaping them as they waited for their daddy and big brothers to come home and scare away the ghosts.
In the pit of the lair, the flashlight that had fallen out of the gap-toothed tot's hand rolled a little before it came to a stop and its yellow beam shone upon a small shell.
When hearing nothing but silence, Spike slowly pulled his head out and looked around cautiously before pulling the rest of his limbs out. He walked forward and took another bite from the lettuce which had fallen near the TV, wondering what sort of creepy, scary ghosts were making those high-pitched 'AAAAAAAA!' sounds and chanting in his head over and over again that he was tough like Raph and was not afraid.
A distant noise suddenly came from the rooms, which had the turtle flinching back into his shell, his lettuce forgotten.
OH GODS, WHY WASN'T RAPHAEL BACK YET?!