This starts during the episode Case of the Killer Pizzas. For those of you sane enough not to have the titles of every episode memorized, that's the one where these little eggy things hatch into big evil yellow monsters, and Baxter loses the remote control and they go nuts. They turn on everybody, including Shredder, who ends up fighting on the same side as the turtles for a change. The rating is for gore and maybe a little language later on. Review and tell me what you think so far!

Leonardo would tell himself later that it was just what he was going to, that it was simply a matter of not reacting quickly enough. He told himself that, had there been time, he really would have thrown himself in front of the attacking monster for Raphael's sake…

But there wasn't time, or he wasn't willing…he never knew for sure which. All he knew was that the creature went by and then there was no more time for him to help, nobody else close enough and nothing between Raph and those killer spikes…

Except Shredder. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, Shredder was in the air. He landed a long flying kick straight to Raphael's chest, knocking him to safety, and turned to face the monster head on. He reached out fast and slashed once with the blades of his right arm, then raised his left to protect his face.

Not protection enough. As the monster's claws descended, there was a clash of metal and Shredder emitted a bellow that let everybody know he'd taken some damage. It wasn't until Raphael stood and put a sai through the creature's eye, though, that they saw exactly what had happened.

The monster fell in a heap and all eyes turned to Shredder. He was leaning against the wall with his eyes closed, panting heavily.

Leonardo broke the silence. "Correct me if I'm wrong…but human arms don't bend that way, do they?"

Donatello came closer. "And…was his outfit always that color or is that blood?"

"I've got to get to a hospital," Shredder grated.

"Want me to call 9-1-1 for you?" Michelangelo asked helpfully.

"He's a wanted man," Raphael reminded them. "If he goes to a hospital…" He went up and offered his shoulder for Shredder to lean on.

Leonardo immediately saw where this was going. He stepped up right in front of them and shook his head. "Are you nuts? Raph, you can't bring him to the lair. Splinter will kill you. He'll know where we live… you can't do it."

"He saved my life, Leo," Raphael argued. "Which is more than you did. So just back off, okay? I'll bring him if I feel like bringing him."

Shredder shook his head slowly, willing his vision to clear. "I already know where you live, turtles. But that's beside the point. Why would I go with you? Your rat is not a doctor, is he?"

Michelangelo shrugged. "He always fixes us up. And you do need some help, Shred-head, even I can see that. Should we take you to a mechanic, or do you want to come back to the lair?"

Shredder's eyes rolled back and he collapsed into Raphael's arms. Michelangelo scratched his head. "Does that mean no mechanic?"

When the door to the lair burst open and four screaming turtles surged through it dragging a half-conscious Shredder, spraying blood in every direction, it took all Splinter's training to appear unruffled. "Quiet, all of you!" he commanded, coming as close as he ever had to raising his voice.

"Sensei!" Leonardo was quick to take the floor. "Shredder was injured helping us fight the killer pizza-creatures, and Raph thought we needed to bring him home with us."

Donatello had lowered Shredder to the floor and was kneeling over him. "To be honest, he doesn't look so good. His arm's broken, badly, and he's cut all over the place. Some of it's deep, but some are just scratches from his armor while we carried him back."

"Yeah," Michelangelo spoke up unhelpfully. "Check it out dudes, I was trying to hold his head steady and his nasty helmet cut me in the shoulder! Like, I might be scarred for life!"

Raphael shoved Leonardo aside. "You listen here, Master Splinter, because they're not telling you the whole story. Shredder wasn't just injured helping us, he got hurt in the process of saving my life and I insist that we take care of him. At least until he's out of danger. It's not right otherwise."

Splinter made a quick decision. "In that case I think we have no choice. We will keep him here until his condition has stabilized. Michelangelo, go prepare the spare room."

"April's room? We're giving the creep April's room?"


He went off and Splinter turned his attention back to Raphael. "You must realize that your brothers are not comfortable with this."

Raphael swallowed. "Sensei, I will take full responsibility for anything that happens. I will keep track of him and I'll bandage him up myself if I have to, but it's a point of honor for me to ensure that he survives."

Impressed despite himself, Splinter patted him on the shoulder. "I would not and could not ask you to take full responsibility for a dangerous, vicious warrior like the Shredder. But I appreciate your dedication and I will rely on you to help me while he is here. Come. Let us draw a bath, because I cannot even begin to understand his injuries until some of this blood has been washed away." He bent over. "Can he be moved, Donatello? Is he still breathing?"

"He's fine so far, Master, but I worry about blood loss. And to be honest, I don't know how deeply some of these punctures are and he may have ruptured something vital. There's really no way to tell until we've cleaned him up, though."

Raphael sighed. "I can't believe this. Now I owe one to Shredder. Isn't that amazing?"

"If we don't hurry," Splinter warned, propelling him towards the bathroom, "you may never get a chance to repay that debt."

TBC. I already have the next chapter ready. Gimme feedback! What do you think so far?