Never Travel With Friends Or Family

"Come ooonn. Aren't you guys ready yet?" Raphael grouched in the general direction of his brother's rooms.

"Keep your shell on, Raph, we're coming," Leonardo said calmly, joining his impatient sibling in the living area.

"So's Christmas. Don! Mikey! Move it!" Raph ordered.

Splinter hid a smile at his huffy son and addressed Leo from his armchair.

"My son, give my regards to Miss O'Neil, and be sure to thank her for her generous offer,"

Leo refrained from rolling his eyes.

"Yes, Sensei."

"Keep an eye on your brothers."

"Yes, Sensei."

"Behave yourselves."

"Yes, Sensei."

"Finally," Raphael complained as Don, Mikey and their bags made an appearance.

"Aw, you're kidding," he added with a moan.

Leo turned and looked at him questioningly.

"Get a load of these two wusses," Raph snorted, jerking his thumb at his little brothers.

Don had his pillow tucked securely under his arm, and Mike carried his brown teddy in the bend of his elbow.

"Uh, Raph," Leo said, pulling a threadbare bunny rug out of his backpack as Raph taunted his brothers.

"What?"

Leo held out the blankie with the faded "R" scrawled in a corner with marker.

"I think you hid this in the wrong bag," he said pleasantly.

Raph snatched it up, reddening, as Don and Mikey cracked up.

"My sons, you must not keep Miss O'Neil waiting," Splinter said, glancing at the VCR clock.

"Aaw, I'm gonna miss you Master!" Mikey exclaimed, as he and Donny bent down to hug the old rat.

"As will I, my sons," He said calmly, patting their shells.

Leo handed out their trenchcoats and fedoras.

The four headed off, shoving and picking on one another, after a flurry of good-byes, reminders, behave yourselves, look after yourself's etc etc.

Splinter listened after them until the tunnels had grown silent.

"YES! Peace!" he crowed ecstatically, pumping his paws in the air.

X
X
X
X

"Geez Donny, what'd ya pack? Bricks?" Raph winced, as his brother swung his bag over his shoulder and clipped his forearm.

"Yes Raph, I packed bricks. I'm planning on adding an east wing to the farm's outhouse," Don said calmly.

"Smart ass," Raph muttered.

The early-morning sun reflected off high rise windows, making the city sparkle as they made their way to April's neighbourhood.

"Did anyone remember the first-aid kit?" Don questioned, as the four wedged themselves into her building's small elevator, knowing full well what the answer would be.

"No..."

"Lucky you've got someone to do your thinking for you, then," he commented, patting his heavy bag filled with books and their well-used first aid box.

"That's why I don't do any dude!" Mikey giggled as he knocked on April's door.

'Tell us about it," Leo mumbled.

"Hi guys! Come on in," the attractive reporter smiled, gesturing.

There came another tap at her door just as she closed it.

Casey Jones blew in, along with a stuffed duffel bag, the ever-present hockey stick with mask attached...and a pillow under his arm.

"Not another one." Raph moaned.

X
X
X
X

"Ok, who's sitting where?" April asked as they were stuffing their bags into her van.

"I am not sitting with him," Raph declared immediately, jerking his head at Donny.

Casey snickered.

"I feel like a mother," April complained. "Ok...I'm driving. Casey, front seat. Leo, you and Donny in the middle, Mike and Raph in the back."

"Everyone happy?" She questioned her carload of little boys once they were settled.

"Define 'happy'," Don frowned as Leo shoved his pillow back toward him.

"Well how much room do you need Donny?" Leo asked.

"Same here Mikey," Raph complained as Mike began pulling things out of his backpack, and arranging them around himself on the old quilt they were sitting on.

April's old white van had no car seats in the back, and only the two front doors had windows.

"Come on guys, we've been in the car a whole five minutes and you're already fighting? Keep it up and we won't be stopping at McDonald's," April warned.

"Aw, no fair! I want a Pokemon Happy Meal!" Mikey grizzled as Raph turned his eyes heavenward, and Don and Leo snickered.

"Not to change the subject, Toots, but explain to me why I've got a box full of plastic containers at my feet?" Casey asked, shoving at it and trying make a comfortable space for his legs.

"A. Don't call me 'Toots'. B. The box is there because there is no room for it elsewhere. And C,

if you recall last time we were at the farmhouse, we couldn't find a single container to store any eatables in, remember?" April said evenly.

"Heeyy, speaking of eatables, what are we supposed to live on for the next week, dudette? I don't see any shopping bags here," Mikey said with a worried expression.

His brothers groaned.

"God Mikey, do you ever think of anything besides your stomach?" Raph said, crossing his arms and leaning sideways against the middle seat behind Don.

April chuckled.

"May -that's my neighbour- offered to fill the fridge and cupboards in return for us looking after her place."

"That was really nice of her," Leo commented.

I hope she put some pizzas in the freezer, Mikey said to himself.

X
X
X
X

They'd left the city and were on the open highway heading North.

Peacefully, so far.

Don and Leo were playing History Hangman; both being avid readers of various aspects of the subject.

Casey and April were chatting about jobs they'd had as teenagers, trying to earn some pocket money.

Mike was reading a comic book, and Raph was just letting his thoughts wander as he listened idly to Donny and Leo.

The peace was bound not to last long.

"C'mon Leo! This guy is going to have a Rod Stewart wardrobe, a wife, two cars, a house, a mortgage, two-point-three-kids and a dog before you get it!" Donny grumbled, crossing off yet another useless letter Leo'd chosen.

Leo glared at his brother.

"If you didn't pick what no one's ever heard of, maybe I would have gotten it by now!"

They dissolved into one of those sarcastic, superiority-toned arguments that are really annoying to listen to.

While they squabbled, Raph quietly drew his sais and drove one through the dangling purple mask tail and moth-eaten seat, burying it deep.

He leaned over and repeated the process with the blue one, as Mikey looked on with a silent thumbs-up.

"Donny? Leo?" Mikey asked.
"What?" they growled in unison, turning toward him.

But only so far.

"Funny, Raph," Leo scowled, trying to free himself as Mikey giggled.

X
X
X
X

Meanwhile, back in NYC:

Splinter had thoroughly enjoyed a large bowl of ice cream for breakfast (He'd have a fit if one of his sons tried that) and left the sticky bowl on the coffe table.

He was now settled comfortably on the couch- somewhere he never got to sit- with the remote, eager to watch the show he rarely got to see.

Or should he say, one he'd prefer his sons not to catch him watching.

He put his feet up -slippers and all- and clicked on the tv.

"Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street...."

X
X
X
X

Leo and Don had finished their row, freed their mask tails, gotten a dirty look from April for disturbing the peace and were now purposefully ignoring each other.

Mikey had switched his comic for his Walkman, and was rocking along with his eyes closed, oblivious to the world.

Casey was staring out his window, wondering why the heck he'd accepted an invitation to go back to that God-forsaken farmhouse again.

Raph, already sick of everyone, was trying to ignore them by having a snooze.

Leo glanced back at his quiet brothers.

Don, somewhat bored, followed his gaze...and slid his bo staff from under the seat.

Donny carefully rested it on top of their seat like a pool cue, waiting.

When Raph's chin touched his chest, Donatello struck quick as lightning, jabbing him on the shoulder and whipping the bo out of sight.

Raph shifted slightly, but otherwise didn't respond. Donny poked him again, just as fast, but a bit harder.

Raph glanced up.

Leo and Don were gazing innocently at the ceiling.

Rahael folded his arms and made out like he was dozing off again, keeping one eye open a slit.

Leo could see his brother in red in the rear-view mirror, and decided he looked a little too peaceful.

He carefully nudged Donny in warning, who nodded slightly.

After a minute or two had passed, they turned, and repeated the suicide attempt.

This time Raphael was ready, grabbed the bo, and pulled as hard as he could.

Leo grasped on, and he and Don leaned back strongly.

Raph kicked Mike out of his reverie to help him, and both sides pulled with all their might.

"Gimme!"

"So help me, I'll shove this where the sun don't shine! That goes for both of you!"

"That's physically impossible!"

"Not if I have two pieces!"

"Break my bo and I'll melt those toothpicks of yours into something useful!"

"Hey! Knock it off!" April ordered.

Casey turned around to referee.

"Yo! Settle down, the lady's tryin' to drive!"

"Oh yeah? Why don't you come back here and make me!" Raph taunted.

Casey, being the big help that he was, began frantically maneuvering over his seat, catching his foot in the process, and nose-diving into Leonardo's lap.

"Yuk, put him down Leo, you don't know where he's been!" Donny said, cracking up Mike and Raph.

April rolled her eyes and shook her head.

"We're almost at McDonalds, children, so start deciding what you all want."

"Great! I'm starved!" Mikey, obviously.

X
X
X
X

They ordered and made their way out of the drive-through without dramas.

Then the whining began.

"He got more French fries than me!" Casey accused, pointing at Leo.

"You all got Happy Meals. They are all the same size," April said through clenched teeth, juggling a McChicken.

"Awww, I wanted the blue one," Mikey grumbled as he pulled a green Pokemon thing out of his Happy Meal box.

Leo shook his head and fished his burger out.

"Mikey, I can't believe you're going on about a two-cent plastic toy. How childish. How immature. How - hey, I got a yellow one!"

"Great, Mr. Maturity." Mike groaned.

Raph and Don, fussy eaters compared to the other two, removed the pickles from their own cheeseburgers, and inspected them before taking the first bite.

"Look at this- there's a black speck in the bun," Raph frowned, leaning over and pointing it out to Leo.

"So pick it off," Leo said, who'd probably eat something that had been rolling around in a mud puddle.

Casey sniggered and took a gulp of his thickshake -and proceeded to spray it across the windshield.

"EEewww, chocolate! There's nothin' worse than chocolate milk! Idiots! We ordered strawberry!" he palpitated, swiping his sleeve over his mouth.

"You are disgusting," April grimaced. "Clean that off so I can see where I'm going!"

Casey sopped up the mess with a handful of McD's 'absorbent' serviettes.

"You know what they say about men who drink strawberry-flavoured milk, dontcha, Space-Case?" Raphael put in.

Casey ignored him. "Anyone want this?" he offered.

"Sure dude! Swing it back here," Mike said, already having slurped up a vanilla shake.

Casey leaned back and handed it to Leo, who juggled it for a second and proceeded to spill the whole thing over the carpet at his and Donny's feet.

"Oops..." he said sheepishly, and Don gave him a you're-so-lucky-that-missed-me look.

Count to to ten... April said to herself, gripping the steering wheel harder than necessary.

X
X
X
X

"What are you looking for? Most of your stuff is here sticking into my butt," Raph complained as Mike began scratching in his bag.

"Dessert, of course."

"God Mikey, you're a bottomless pit," Raph groaned. "Where do you put it all?"

Mike ignored him and pulled a king-size Mars bar out of his bag.

"Anyone wanna split a Mars?"

"No"

"No"

"No"
"No"

"Donny?"

"Hm?" he was scribbling at a notepad.

"Mars bar?"

"Huh...?" Donny mumbled, frowning at the page.

"Do...you...want...to...split...this...Mars...bar?" Mikey said, as though he was talking to a three- year- old.

"You can't divide Mars...," Don said vaguely, studying a second scribbled page.

Mike leaned right over.

"DONNY! DO YOU WANT HALF OF THIS!?" he bawled in his ear.

Don jumped three feet clear of the seat, sending the notebook flying.

"Mikey! Geez! You don't have to yell! That was almost as bad as when Raph scared me out of my skin that night at the construction site!" Don raved, one hand pressed over his pounding heart.

"And you haven't had the hiccups since, have ya?" Raph put in.

Don turned and gave him a Look.

Mikey rolled his eyes.

"Don. Would you like half of this Mars bar?" he asked, sarcastically sweet.

"Yeah, ok. See, all you had to do was ask," Donny said, collecting his notebook and missing the glare Mike shot at him.

"Oooh, just for that-", Mikey said, peeling the wrapper and holding the bar in the middle by thumb and forefinger. He waited till Donny turned to him, deliberately ran his tongue down the long side, and passed it to him with an angelic smile.

"Gross," Leo moaned, watching.

Don held it the same way Mike had, gave his brother a disgusted look, brightened, spun the bar around, and ran his tongue along the opposite, unlicked side.

He offered it back to Mike.

They looked at it, then at each other.

"Good one!" they complained in unison.

Mike took it, laid it on clean, flattened Happy Meal box, and carefully sliced it in half long ways with a handy katana.

"Hey!" Leo yelped.

Mike separated the sticky fingers, and handed Donny half.

They glanced at the bars, then at each other, both holding out his piece, not sure if they'd got his own licked half.

They each at aimed a head smack at the other, dodged, then shrugged and bit into their half-Mars.

X
X
X
X

Not much later:

"Don will please you stop poking at that? You can do it later with some warm water. I'll even help you. Just don't do it here!" Leo grizzled.

"Am I bothering you?"

"Yes! Why don't you leave it alone?"

"Do I tell you what to do with yours?"

"You act like that thing's your security blanket! Do you let go of it when you go to bed?"

"I'm not going to dignify that with an answer!"

"Just stop it already. You can't do that here!"

"Why?"

"Cause you'll make a mess."

"I'm going to use tissues!"

"No you're not. Now put it down!"

"But it's annoying Leo! Look, feel it,"

"I'm not touching that!"

"You were just offering me a hand two seconds ago!"

"I got a glimpse and changed my mind, ok?"

"It's going all hard and sticky. It'll just be worse later if I wait!"

"Did you try licking it?"

"Don't be disgusting Leonardo!"

"Well you're the one whining about it Donatello!"

"Because you're no help! I just want you to hold it like this so I can-"

"Gross!"

"Don't be a baby Leo! Are you going to help me or not?"

"Why don't you just put it away?"

"And how do you propose I do that?"

"Uh gee Don, where is it normally?"

"I can't when it's like this!"

"Try!"

Raph's curiosity finally got the better of him and he leaned over their seat.

"I hate ta break up ya intimate moment, but what the hell are you two doing?"

"I'm trying to get the chocolate thickshake off that someone spilled over my bo staff," Don grumped, "Why? What did you think?"

Raph sat back. "Never mind."

X
X
X
X

The highway was becoming more remote now, and any signs of civilization were few and far between.

They'd been on the road for quite a while, and there were definitely some sighs of relief as April pulled into a tiny service station.

Leo made no attempt to join the others as they headed for the rest rooms, set on getting the Mars bar off his katana.

"Why don't you wash it off in one of the sinks?" Mikey questioned, slipping on his trenchcoat and climbing out last.

"Right Mikey, I'll just stroll out with this two-foot blade and watch myself get arrested," Leo said in a wake-up-to-yourself-and-besides-it's-all-your-fault tone.

"Suit yourself," Mike shrugged, scurying over to the Mens.

April exited the Ladies and saw the three teens lined up for the single-cubicle bathroom.

"Why don't one of you use this one?" she suggested, "There's no one else here," she added, gesturing to the empty forecourt.

Men, she thought to herself.

Raph and Donny looked at each other as Casey opened the Men's room door and Mikey dashed in.

"Ok...but you go first," Don said to Raph.

Raphael shrugged and went in.

Basically, a toilet was a toilet, and did it really matter what the sign on the door said?

Don hesitated as Raph came back.

"Jeez Donny, I'll keep a look-out for ya ,Ok?" Raph offered, rolling his eyes and watching his brother sidle into "forbidden territory".

He glanced around, trying to look nonchalant, but as April had said, there was no one else here.

His gaze fell on a water fountain nearby, and the stack of paper cups supplied next to it.

Does anyone still drink out of public water fountains? he thought doubtfully.

A demon came into him and he quickly filled four of the cups.

He could hear Donny at the sink, still disinfecting his hands.

He carefully balanced the cups on top of the slightly ajar door, then escaped into the shop, where he had a great view of the action, but was out of range of immediate retaliation.

Donny pushed the door open and was treated to his own personal Niagara Falls.

Raph almost split his sides at his brother's expression, earning a strange look from the old guy behind the counter.

Don climbed back into the van, removing his soaked coat and flicking the water off his mask, amid questioning looks.

After a few minutes, Raph realized everyone else was back in the van, and went to join them.

His spot had been claimed by Leo, which meant he was now sitting next to Donny.

"Aw, is this the best revenge ya got? I was hoping for something with a bit more bite, even from you!" Raph said to his brother, hoping to get a rise out of him.

Don looked at him passively. "Why am I supposed to get revenge on you?"

"Uh, the water?"

"Oh, that...no big deal," Don shrugged, tugging an astronomy publication out of his bag as April pulled back onto the road.

"Hey, there's going to be a meteor shower in a couple of days," he added.

"Thrills galore." Raph muttered.

X
X
X
X
X

"Uh, April?" Leo questioned hesitantly.

"What?" she growled.

"Ooh boy," Mikey murmured warily, smothering a giggle.

Leo squirmed. "Could you please pull over a sec?"

"Oh man Leo. We were at that gas station not a half hour ago. Why dinya go then?" Raph moaned as his brothers snickered.

"I DIDN'T HAVE TO GO THEN!"

"Ooh, touchy," Casey muttered.

"SHUT UP!"

Whoever said getting there is half the fun needs skinning, April thought to herself,

coaxing the van off the road.

"Could be worse, at least he doesn't wet the bed anymore!" Mikey giggled, as the oldest brother dashed into the trees.

He returned, climbed back into the van amid various sniggering and comments, turned around, and gave Mikey a sharp smack in the head.

"Ow! What was that for?" he yelped, trying to rub the sting away.

"Do you think I wanted the whole world to know?" Leo snapped, flinging himself back into the seat, preparing for a good long sulk.

Mikey wondered how he, his brothers, a reporter, and a head case could possibly constitute the "whole world."

"I'm not stopping again," April warned icily, starting up the decrepit van.

"It's ok, the rest of us had the brains ta use the facilities," Raph pointed out, as Casey, Mike and Don lost the fight to smother their laughter.

X
X
X
X

"Oh, that's it! I give up!" Casey exclaimed, fed up with trying to tune the radio into anything remotely worth listening to.

"So put a tape in," April suggested, sick of listening to him curse and whinge under his breath.

"Fine. I will."

Don glanced up from the night sky chart he was studying as AC/DC trickled out of the speakers.

"Hey, turn it up. Classic rock rocks!"

"You like this stuff, too?" Casey asked, grinning.

"Sure!"

A bit later:

"Pleeeaase pleeaase somebody kill meee," Mikey begged piteously as Don and Casey slaughtered yet another AC/DC classic.

"We're on the highway to Hell," they yowled companionably, in some unknown key.

"Tell us about it!" Leo, Raph and April moaned loudly in unison.

"Ahh, you wouldn't know good music if it jumped up and bit you in the tail," Casey put in during the riff.

"The music's fine, it's the extra singing that's hard to take!"

X
X
X
X

Meanwhile, back in NYC:

"I'm too sexy for my shirt, too sexy for my shirt, so sexy it hurts...."

An aged mutant rat gyrated across his living room floor, belting out an early nineties classic, impressing himself with his dance moves, and thoroughly enjoying his solitude.

X
X
X
X

"April told me you guys were a bit off-colour last week," Casey commented.

He and Donny had given up the rock act a few miles back, after numerous threats of violence with a range of within-reach instruments had been made.

"Yeah...some kinda virus laid us up for a while...four days without pizza, it was a nightmare!" Mikey gasped.

"I didn't think you guys got sick," Casey commented.

"We're not indestructible," Leo pointed out.

"But you're ok now, right? I don't do the sympathy thing too well," Casey pointed out.

"Never better dude!" Mike answered cheerfully.

"I'm fine," Raph shrugged.

"Me too," added Leo, and glanced at Don when he didn't volunteer a response.

"Donny? Are you ok?" he asked his little brother, who had both hands pressed to his stomach.

Raph eyed him warily.

"We-ell...um, actually..." Donny quavered, leaning forward slightly.

"Whu-oh. I think Donny's about to remind us what we had for lunch!" Mikey said blithely, poking Raph in the shoulder.

"Uh-huh," Don weakly agreed, hunching his shoulders.

"Aw hell- not again," Raph moaned, edging as far from his brother as possible without climbing out the window.

"April, please pull over," he begged.

"Sorry, we're on a bridge...a long bridge," April said grimly, and Raph stared, horrified, as Don crossed his arms over his middle and swallowed hard several times.

"Great, just great. Teenage Puking Whinging Turtle. I'm sorry I asked. Here, Barfaroni," Casey griped, hastily digging through the box at his feet and tossing a plastic container to the middle seat.

Raph leapt for it and thrust it under his siblings' nose.

"In there if ya gonna upchuck Donny, not in my direction!" he exclaimed anxiously, retreating.

"Not if...when," Don groaned, gripping the Tupperware container like a life preserver, and leaned over until his head was practically between his knees.

Leo reached over and gently pulled back the purple mask tails.

Raph panicked. "April! Pull over now! Anywhere!" he yelped, burying his face in his hands and praying he wouldn't need to use that bowl himself.

"Aw, poor Raphy. Here, you look like you need this more than me,"

Raphael looked up at Donny's broad grin as he sat the (empty) bowl in his lap.

"Gotcha!"

He slapped double high threes with Leo and Mikey.

"That's for soaking me back there," Don added and ducked as Raph hurled the plastic container at him.

"You wanted me to get revenge, didn't you?"

"Not like this, you jerk! You nearly had me chuckin' again! This was all your idea, wasn't it! And you were all in on it!" Raph exploded.

"Well duh," Mikey snickered, as Casey and April sputtered in the front.

Leo was helpless with laughter, wondering how such childish revenge could be so funny.

"I'm going to get you for this Donny. You just wait." Raph spat venomously.

"Can't talk-sleeping," Donny said, a la Homer Simpson, pulling his purple band around like a sleep mask.

Raph drew his sais.

"Hey! No playing with weapons in the car!" April warned, as she glanced in the rear-view mirror.

"Believe me, I ain't playing," Raph seethed.

Don set his mask straight and merrily waved at him, setting Mike and Leo off again.

Raph dropped the sais, snatched up Don's pillow, lunged for him, and began making his best attempt ever at asphyxiating someone.

Don raised his leg and forced him back with his foot flat against Raph's plastron, wrestled the pillow out of his grasp and clocked him with the Tupperware dish.

"No one touches my pillow!"

Raph grabbed him by the ankle and Don latched onto Raph's other wrist as Casey chanted "Fight! Fight! Fight!"

Mike and Leo bent over the back of their seat, trying to separate their struggling brothers while still laughing like loons. Mikey tried to snag Raph by the belt, missed, and seized him in a delicate area instead...and it was on for young and old.

"Aww I'm missing all the fun," Casey whined, stretching over his seat, backside braced against the glovebox, giving his utmost to try and join the struggle for supremacy.

April backhanded him on the thigh.

"How old are you? Five?" She snapped.

"Hey I'm trying to drive here!" She yelled as a large shell slammed into the back of her seat.

The kerfuffle didn't skip a beat.

"OWW!"

"I swear I'll murder you, you sonuva-"

"Gotta get me first!"

"What about me?"

"YOU TOO!"

"Hehehe, watch your blood pressure!"

"SHUT UP YOU LITTLE PISS ANT!"

"Oooh, touchy!"

"THAT'S IT! YOU THREE DIE NOW!!"

Raph tried to attack in three directions just as what was left of April's patience snapped like a frayed rope. She slammed on the brakes, sending everyone who'd removed their seatbelt to behave like pre-schoolers hurtling forward. She pulled off the road, parked, ripped off her seat belt and kicked her door open.

The four turtles froze, Mikey head down over Raph's seat, legs dangling over the back, Leo belly-up on the floor, Donny on hands and knees on the floor, shell wedged between the seats, and Raph head down, tail-up...upside down.

"Uh-oh..." Mikey said as April flung the sliding door open with a face like a thundercloud.

"Hey April...whatup?" Leo said sheepishly, and the others smiled at her, trying to look innocent.

"Oh boy! Bus-ted!" Casey taunted, extricating himself from the leg space where he'd slid.

April glowered at them and they could see the smoke rising from her ears.

"EVERYBODY OUT!" she roared, pointing.

No body moved.

She turned.

"NOW!!"

They disentangled themselves and climbed out smartly, April eyeballing their every move.

"Sit," she barked, pointing at the grass verge.

Casey was pissing himself laughing, hanging out the window and pointing at the teens, who glared at him.

"You too!" April snapped.

Casey pointed to himself with a "who, me?" look, as he joined the turtles.

The five of them nudged each other, grinning, for all the world like a group of third-graders called into the principal's office.

April just paced in front of them for a few minutes, fuming.

She knew anything she said would go in one ear and out the other.

"Right. You can drive the rest of the way, it might keep you out of trouble," she said finally, pointing to Casey.

She rounded on the teenagers.

"There isn't that far to go, do you think you can manage to be quiet and leave each other alone til we get there?" she questioned through clenched teeth.

"We can try," Donny shrugged, among his brothers smothered giggles.

"Right. Everyone back in the car before I decide to leave you here."

X
X
X
X

Donny had joined Mikey in the back and they were getting on just fine, as were Raph and Leo in the middle seat, surprisingly.

Actually...Leo thought, realizing his little brothers were being awful quiet back there.

He turned and copped an eyeful of turtle posteriors stuck up in the air.

Their owners were leaning on their elbows and gazing out the small back window.

A heavily loaded timber truck was gaining on the van, preparing to overtake it, probably.

"What are you doing?" Leo questioned suspiciously.

"Nothing," they chorused innocently, without turning.

The truck overtook the van, it's heavy-set male driver treating Casey to a rapid but choice display of obscene gestures.

"That's the fourth one," Casey said, mystified. "What's with 'em?"

Raph turned around as Don and Mike snorted into their elbow guards, and stretched over to grab a piece of paper near Mike's foot.

OUR DRIVER THINKS YOU'RE HOT!! it proclaimed in red texta, in Donny's impossibly neat handwriting.

Raph cracked up and nudged Leo, showing it to him.

Mike and Don were in hysterics as he passed it to April, who joined the hysteria.

Casey was completely lost until he glanced at the sign in April's hand.

"What! You little- wait til I get my hands on you two!" he threatened.

"It was his idea!" Mike and Don claimed in unison, pointing at each other.

"I'll de-shell you. I'll poison your pizza. I'll feed you to a chicken hawk. I'll-" Casey sputtered with threats.

"Sure, Aphid!" Donny laughed.

"Broomstick boy!"

"Cro-magnon!"

"Dipstick!"

"Oooh, not the Alphabetical Insult Game," Leo moaned.

"ET's love child!
"Frog's legs!"

"Gluteus Maximus!"

"Huh?" Mikey said, perplexed.

"Fancy name for 'ass'", Raph filled him in.

"Hallucination!"

"Ignoramus!"

"Jackass!"

"Hey, Mikey was in this too! Why am I copping this?" Don wondered.

"Cause it was in your handwriting," Casey growled.

"Right...Klingon!"

"Lead butt!"
"Oh, clever, Mammal!"

"Nit!"

"Onion!"

"Onion?" Leo questioned Don.

"Yeah, cause when he peels off his clothes, the girls cry!"

April broke up at that one.

"Piss ant!"

"Quagmire breath!"

"Reptile!"

"Duh....Snail brain!"
"Tortoise!"
"Uglified!"
"Volleyball butt!"
"Wanker!"

"What's a wanker?" Casey wondered.

"You know, I'm not sure. I heard it in an Australian movie...Y-chromosome deficient!"

"Can you at least insult me in American, Zip neck?"

"Ah, an oldie but a goodie,"

X
X
X
X

Meanwhile, back in NYC:

Splinter sniffed and dabbed at his eyes as Felicity and Brad finally tied the knot on Winds Of Passion, Change And The Writers Are High When They Come Up With These Storylines.

X
X
X
X

April had taken over the wheel again, having had it up to here with Casey's whining about her van's crappy steering.

"Are we there yet?" Mikey grumbled.

"NO!"

"What did you do on the way up last time?" Raph asked, thinking it might not have been a bad thing to be unconscious.

"Tried to keep you breathing," Don said.

"Tried to convince Casey he wasn't dreaming," Leo said.

"Tried to calm April down," Mikey said.

"Fun," Raph muttered, sorry he'd asked.

Donny and Mike glanced at each other.

Grinning, they began the chant in unison: "Are we there yet...are we there yet...are we there yet..."
Leo and Raph, unable to help themselves, joined in.

"Are we there yet...are we there yet...are we there yet..."

"No way am I ever taking you lot on vacation again," April promised as Casey took up the chant as well.

"Are we there yet..."