No, seriously, I've been dying to get back on here, but I've had the most shocking computer problems recently (Almost made want to put a bo staff through the thing...)
Anyway, I'm back, can't wait to read the new stuff on here, and of course put new stuff up!
Blue Red Purple Orange
"Donny, just what exactly are y'doin?" Raphael questioned from the floor, where he was sprawled on his shell, negligently balancing a sai by the middle prong, inches above his face.
The four were lazing in front of the tv, watching – or ignoring – "Wheel of Fortune"
"The Battle of Sterling Bridge," Donatello filled in for the tv contestant, where only the "F" and "S" had so far been revealed.
He was sitting, cross-legged, near Raph, squinting almost cross-eyed at his mask tail as he meticulously trimmed the loose threads.
"What does it look like, Raph?" he answered his brother.
"Raph, if you drop that-" Leo cautioned for the sixth time from his armchair.
"Yeah, eyes don't grow back, bro," Mikey chimed in, stretched full-length on the couch.
He thought for a second. "Do they?"
Raph ignored them both and continued the balancing act.
Leo gave an I-give-up shake of the head.
Mikey smirked, slipped off his mask, slid the knot out, and snapped it in the air a couple of times.
Leaning on an elbow, he flicked it toward the wobbling sai, wrapping the orange band neatly around the ninja weapon's handle, flicked his wrist, and caught it neatly as it flew toward him.
"Hey! Whaddya think ya doin', you little-" Raph sputtered while Mikey giggled and sat up.
"Hey Raph, think quick," he said, flinging the sai and pinning the red mask tail to the floor.
Leo could not keep back a snicker at Raph's expression as he freed it.
"Now you know how it feels," Donny added absently, still delicately snipping away.
"You know, if we hemmed these edges, they wouldn't fray," he added thoughtfully.
An instant later three other masks landed in his lap.
"Go for it," Leo said sweetly.
"I'm an scientist, not a seamstress," Donny declared, picking up the orange mask.
He studied it for a second.
"Mikey, what is this?" Donny asked, turning to his little brother and pointing out a strange stain near the stress marks left by the knot.
Mikey leaned forward to take it.
"Let's see-it's either toothpaste or guacamole."
Leo wrinkled his lip."Why don't you wash it out?"
Mike tied it back on.
"You can't see it when I'm wearing it," he grinned.
"Speaking of washing," Donny said with an almost identical grimace, picking the red band out of his lap by thumb and forefinger.
It was sweat stained, frayed, riddled with loose threads, and now also had a brand new hole.
"Who's wearin' it, you or me?" Raph snapped, sharp, as Don handed it to him.
"You, fortunately," he said calmly.
"Anyway, who are you to talk? Look at yours, dude," Mikey said, reaching over and tugging the purple band off.
He held it up and they could plainly see several scorch marks and a burn hole in the otherwise orderly material, from a recent experiment gone awry.
Don snatched it back, reddening.
"Yeah, well, burn marks are really hard to wash out," he grunted, slipping it back on and collecting the blue mask.
It was spotless, frayless, and much softer than the others.
Donny fingered it for a second and looked enquiringly at their biggest brother.
"Leo, have you got a thing going with fabric softener?"
Mike and Raph cracked up.
"Pansy," drifted from the floor.
Leo sat up straight and folded his arms.
"Would you like to repeat that?"
Raph felt too lazy, for once, to be bothered to defend himself so he decided to just shut it.
Don tossed Leo his mask, who smoothed it over his knees before carefully tying it back on, making sure the tails were even lengths.
"Hey, you dudes ever get sick of wearing the same thing all the time?" Mikey questioned the room in general, flipping the orange tail between his fingers.
"I mean, if you weren't wearing blue, or red, or purple, what would it be?"
"Black." Raph intoned, without hesitation.
"Hmmm. Maybe white. What about you, Mikey?"
"Yellow! Cheerful, bubbly yellow, just like me!"
Silently his three brothers just had to agree. Not that he needed to know!
"Leo? What about you bro?" Mikey inquired, and the three all looked to him curiously.
Leo smiled at his little brothers.
"I'd keep the blue, because it's what Master Splinter chose for me...or as he said once, it chose me."
He looked at three blank faces.
"Don't you remember when we got our masks? It wasn't that long ago," Leo pointed out.
"Sort of." Mikey.
Leo sighed and shook his head, lamenting his brothers' lack of sense of tradition, or even remembrance.
He leaned forward and cleared his throat.
"Oh, here we go. A remember-when story from Big Brother," Raph grumbled.
Leo ignored him.
"We were twelve, and we'd just completed some new techniques..."
Master Splinter watched with approval, his sons demonstrating with ease the ninjutsu moves that he'd taught this week.
One by one they came to a halt and bowed to their sensei.
The rat returned the courtesies and gestured to the mat in front of him.
"Gather before me, my sons."
When the boys were all seated on the mat, Splinter brought out a small wooden box and set it in front of him.
The young turtles exchanged curious glances, and shrugged.
"Your training progresses wonderfully," the rat stated, opening the box.
"You are learning easily and diligently, and are reaching maturity. I believe it is time to fulfill a clan custom, and present each of you with your masks."
He looked at the boys, and noted the excitement in their eyes, particularly Michaelangelo, who'd been begging for a "Ninja bandanna" ever since he'd seen his first martial arts movie at age seven.
Splinter took a light blue strip from the box and stood.
"Every colour has meaning, and often, my sons, it will choose you, rather than the other way around."
He could see the turtles did not really grasp what he was saying, and decided to just show what he meant, rather than try and explain it.
The boy came to kneel in front of his sensei.
"Blue for loyalty and confidence, its lightness represents the wearer is trustworthy and dependable, a leader in his own right. It is a great responsibility you will come to bear, but one you are more than worthy and capable of, my son."
The rat tied the material and Leo bowed.
"Thank you Sensei. I will honour it."
"Raphael. Red, for passion, energy, strength. You are possessed of all these admirable traits, but they must be controlled. Remember my words, my son"
Splinter looked deep into the youth's eyes as he tied the second mask, and briefly clasped his hand in both paws.
"Donatello. The purple will be yours, for wisdom, integrity, ingenuity and sincerity. These qualities will serve you well in the years to come; do not be afraid to assert them, even under severe opposition."
The bright one reached up to touch the adornment, and gave his master a shy but heartwarming smile before joining his brothers.
The boy jumped to his feet to receive what he'd been waiting years for.
The rat smiled as his youngest tried to control his wiggles of excitement.
"Orange, young one, for vitality, creativity, enthusiasm, the colour of sunshine. Do not ever allow that sun to set, my son, for it will see you and those you love through even the darkest days."
Michaelangelo threw his arms around the rat in a quick impulsive hug, then bounced over to his brothers.
Splinter looked at his young ninjas.
As one, they bowed to him, and he returned it.
Each looked at his brothers, thinking of the special traits that the masks represented, and how strong they could be when combined.
"Wear them well, my sons."
The four looked at each other, once more noting the colour on each brother's brow, and the special qualities that had caused Splinter to place it there.
"He chose them well," Leonardo worded the thought for them all.
The rat had been listening from his room, and chuckled softly to himself.
"Yes, my sons. And it is you who still wear them well and make me proud, and I know you will always do so."