Four Sick Turtles.

"Hey, guys," April called, trying to negotiate the turtles' front-door ladder while carting one bag filled with videos, and one stuffed with library books.

"How's everyone feeling?" She said, managing to descend in one piece.

"Hi April," three pitiful voices answered.

Mike and Don were sharing the old couch, one up either end, legs meeting in the middle, buried under several blankets, while Raph huddled in an armchair with a quilt.

"Are you feeling better?" April asked warmly, depositing the bags on the floor, feeling unduly sorry for them.

"On the road to recovery! Won't be long before I get re-acquainted with an old friend called pizza," Mikey said with a big smile.

"Ohh...please don't mention pizza," Donny grimaced, hand on stomach.

"Don't you feel any better?" April asked gently, smoothing back his mask tails.

"I guess so...at least I've stopped throwing up," Donny moaned.

The four had managed to pick up and share some sort of stomach virus.

Raph snorted.

"Yeah, and too bad you didn't stop yesterday," he growled.

Mikey giggled.

Don tipped his head back and groaned.

April looked from one to another. "Why? What happened?" She hadn't been able to visit them since the day before yesterday, and was in the dark about recent events.

Mike sat up, laughing, while Raph shot Donny a black look, and Don hid his face with the book he'd been reading.

"Donny puked in Raph's lap!" Mikey piped up, giggling, unable to contain himself.

April bit her lip numb trying not to laugh at the priceless look of pure disgust on Raph's face.

"Oh...um, how did that happen?"

Raph flung off the quilt and stretched his legs, still glaring at Don.

"Boy Genius, here, and I were watching tv on the couch, sharing that big wool rug, because someone-"he turned and gave Mikey the evil eye- "Was hogging the other blankets to himself. Don's stomach got the better of him, and instead of trying for the bathroom, or warning me, or even just leaning the otherway, noooo, I caught the lot!"
"I told you, I had no warning. It wasn't on purpose," Don mumbled sheepishly.

April patted his arm, imagining the profuse and embarrassed apologizing he must have done afterwards. "Poor Donny."

"Poor Donny? What about me? He barfed on me, which made me barf on the floor! And I hadn't chucked up for two days! I'll never sit next to him again." Raph declared, scowling.

Mikey snapped his fingers. "See, you can be lucky sometimes dude!" he said cheekily to Donny, who had to laugh in spite of himself.

"Where's Leo?" April asked. She hauled the books and videos into view and sat herself on the floor near the coffee table

Mikey's eyes lit up. "Cool! Distractions!" he said happily, sliding off the couch.

"Leo's in bed, sulking," He answered, digging through the tapes. "He's like a dying duck in a thunderstorm when he's not well."

Raph snorted. "I'd hate to see how he'd act if he was really sick," he said, joining Mike in investigating the videos. "You're not dying yet Leo!" he called.

"Shut up," drifted from Leo's room, and he wandered out, shrouded in a fuzzy pink rug printed with bunnies.

Donny glanced up from perusing the bag of books. "That really suits you Leo."

"This from someone who's wearing fluffy duck slippers," Raph sniggered.

Leonardo ignored them.

"Hi April," he said forlornly, gazing at the katanas gathering dust that he hadn't been well enough to handle for several days.

April smiled at him. "Hey Leo. How are you doing?"

"I've been better," he admitted, breaking his gaze and plunking onto the couch.

"You're taking a risk," Raph muttered, examining a video case.

Donatello shot him a dirty look.

"Good evening, my child," Splinter greeted tranquilly, carrying in a tray on which sat four mugs of clear, rich-smelling plain soup, and a collection of cracker biscuits.

April returned the greeting and jumped up to take the tray from the elderly rat.

"Aw, Sensei, when can we have some real food?" Mikey whined, reluctantly accepting the mug he was handed.

April saw the rat lay his ears back slightly, and realized that taking care of four sick teenagers all week must be wearing even his patience thin.

She handed out the rest as Splinter settled in his chair, muttering something about kids.

April patted his paw sympathetically, and decided to make her announcement.

"How would you guys like to spend a few days up at the farmhouse? I've got a vacation due, and my old neighbour up there is going away for awhile. She asked me to keep an eye on her house and feed the animals. I told her I had some good friends who could help me. How about it?" She looked around as eyes began lighting up.

"Awesome!" Mikey exclaimed.

"That'd be great," Leo said, managing a smile.

"What about you, Master? Will you come too?" Don asked Splinter, who'd perked up at the thought of a small break from the sons he loved dearly, but who were also especially skilled at raising his blood pressure at times.

"No, no, my sons. You will go without me, and enjoy yourselves. The country air will do much to restore your vitality also." He said pleasantly.

April looked at the four considerably happier faces.

"When do we leave?" Raph asked, as he and Mikey swapped high threes, and then began wrangling over which movie to watch first.

"Do you think they'll be ok by then?" April asked Splinter in an undertone.

Splinter looked at Raphael and Michaelangelo tussling over the remote, Leonardo looking on in disapproval, and Donatello examining three books at once.

"They will be fine."