Hi, it's me again-- this place is addictive! I have had a nice time putting my stuff up, and I have appreciated all the reviews you have ben so kind to send my way-- and forgive me that I don't thank you all in this opening the way better-mannered writers here do. But Many Many thanks!

Oh, yeah-- TMNT are owned, operated, and carefully guarded by Mirage. That goes for Casey, April, and any other characters who might show up in this little exercise, like a guardian or a familiar type of bad guy. You have been warned.

Mikey: How can a skilled Ninja who has fought, survived, and defeated the Shredder, the Elite Foot Guard, Hun, tons of Foot Ninja, multitudes of Triceratons, Bishop, the Federation, the Purple Dragons, the Ultimate Ninja, the...

Raph: Mikey, they get the idea!

Mikey: Okay... I'm just saying, how can such a skilled Ninja get so hurt on one little toy?

Don: Perhaps because his brother, and not his enemy, is the one to cause the accident in the first place?

All: Let us tell you a story.

"Leader of the Pack"

Raph: Master Splinter was training us as usual. We were demonstrating our skills, coordination, and concentration. Well, all except Mikey.

Mikey: Well, it was boring waiting for my turn!

Don: We were all excellent-- but Leo was particularly skilled this day. He managed to navigate the entire obstacle course that Master Splinter had designed without one mistake.

"Man, this is the worst Sensei has ever created," Raph says to Don.

"You said it! I wonder if he's really training us, or if we're being punished for something we've done lately."

"Concentration!" Splinter sternly reprimands the two, and they once again make their way through the increasingly difficult course, as Splinter varies his attacks and weapons used.

"Donatello! You must focus on the possibilities as well as the actual dangers!" as Don is taken by surprise by a flying bag of flour, causing him to fall to the floor from the high beam he was crossing, covered in white.

"Raphael, nicely done, but be alert to potential traps!" he both commends and reprimands Raph, as he skillfully engages the hand-to-hand attack of his Sensei, yet manages to step on the spot of the beam that Splinter had rigged to collapse at a moment's notice.

"Michelangelo! Put that toy car away and get ready for your turn!" he shouts as Mikey is playing with his latest toy-- a mini-remote control racer.

"Aww... how much longer are we gonna have to be knocked off that beam, anyway?" he grumbles, and then he successfully maneuvers the course, dodging the flour bag, deflecting the weapons and other objects thrown at him, and landing on his feet after making a rather showy flip through the air to avoid the final attack of his Sensei.

"Leonardo, this time with the blindfold!"

Don: And Leonardo, blindfolded, showed why he was the most skilled at this particular exercise.

"Showed up once again by Fearless Leader," Raph grumbles to Don, who nods in agreement.

"How come we don't get to try blindfolded?" Don asks Sensei.

"Because you are not ready. Because you are not willing," Splinter says mysteriously.

"But Sensei, what makes you think we're not willing?" Raph asks, as they watch Leo dismount the beam and remove the blindfold.

For an answer, Splinter points to Mikey playing once again with his toy car.

"Well, yeah, but that's Mikey!" protests Don. "Raph and I are willing!"

"It's like you think Leo is the only one who can do this stuff, just like you think Leo is the only one who can be leader," Raph says, frowning. "It's favoritism. I thought you said you treated us all the same."

Raph: Now Master Splinter is nothing if not fair, so he seriously considered what I'd just said.

"Yes, perhaps I have been rather unfair in your training," he concedes. "Perhaps I have been unfairly judging you all. Very well, which of you wishes to go first?"

"Me! Me! Me!" Mikey suddenly shouts, grabbing the blindfold from Leo and racing to the starting point.

"Did he even appear to be listening?" Don says to Raph.

"Leonardo, make sure he has actually covered his eyes," Splinter says, preparing his attack weapons and traps.

Don: That's when it happened. Leonardo, the skilled, the nimble, the great Ninja Warrior-- stepped on Mikey's carelessly left in the open mini race car and...

(WHOOP--BAM--OW--blackout and "flashes")

"Leonardo! Leonardo, my son! Can you hear me?"

"Wow... look at the pretty colors..."

"Leo! Snap out of it!" Don says, waving some smelling salts from the first aid kit under his brother's nose.

cough-cough-gag-cough

"I'm--cough cough-- okay," he manages, and tries to get up off the floor-- only to cry out in pain and sink back down. "Oh, man! I think my back hurts worse than my head!"

Don: We carefully checked him for broken bones, and then just as carefully got him to his room and put him to bed. We called April and Casey, and they came over to give us their expert opinions.

Raph: And to baby-sit Fearless Leader-- Sensei knew Leo was going to have to stay in bed, and he knew from experience that he would need help keeping Leo in bed.

"I agree with you, Master Splinter. I think he has a concussion," April says, closing the first aid book. "Did he lose consciousness?"

"Not completely, but he was confused for a few minutes," Splinter replies.

April nods, then looks at Leo.

"You need to stay in bed and rest, Leo. For the first twenty-four hours we'll need to watch for any abnormal signs, and we have to make sure he doesn't sleep for long-- every two the three hours we make him wake up to be sure his head injury isn't more serious. Only water to drink, and light food, like soup. No strenuous activities, either.

"I think you've strained some muscles in your back from the fall, Leo," Casey says, straightening up from examining Leo's back. "Your shell is intact, and you can move your legs, right? No numbness? Yep, probably muscle damage. Fortunately, you're young, so this won't be a problem when you've healed up. If you were older, it might cause trouble with your training, but I know some things we can do to help you heal faster. But it's definitely bed rest for the next forty-eight hours, dude. In a little while we'll try a heat pack and a cold pack to see which you find helps the pain the most, then in a few days we'll start your strengthening exercises. But you're definitely bed bound for the next two days."

Raph: Man, Leo looked upset. Nothing bugs him more than not doing anything.

"I can't spend time in bed! Sensei needs me! I've got things to do!"

"My son, you must help me by getting better," Splinter comforts him. "The quickest way is to stay in bed."

"But Master Splinter, what about---"

"It is all right, my son. After all, Raphael and Donatello are here."

"Hey! I'm here, too, Sensei!" Mikey protests.

Splinter turns to face this careless turtle.

"Michelangelo, Leonardo is in bed because of whom?"

"But that's not fair! I didn't do it on purpose!"

Mikey: Well, I didn't!

"No, you did it on careless," Splinter says sternly. "You are a Battle Nexus Champion-- as you like to continually remind us. You are extremely skilled in your training and in actual battle. But you are careless."

Don: Mikey couldn't say much to that.

"That is why," Splinter continues, "you will be the first to take over Leonardo's responsibilities."

Mikey's frown suddenly vanishes; he grins as the implication sinks into his brain.

"Hey! Does that mean I get to be the-- the-- Leader?"

"Boy, he went from zero to sixty in two point five seconds," Raph observes to Don.

Splinter looks at his other two sons.

"You will all be taking turns assuming Leonardo's responsibilities. Perhaps this accident is a blessing in disguise. You are all skilled warriors who have proven yourselves individually and as a team time and again. In battle you have all shown leadership abilities. Yet I realize that I have never varied your responsibilities to this family. Yes, this will be an excellent opportunity for you to participate in the other responsibilities of leadership, indeed, to experience how the 'other half lives' so to speak."

"And who's other half am I getting to experience?" Leo grumbles, mortified at the prospect of bed rest for the next few days.

Master Splinter smiles.

"Whoever is in your place that day. For today, you will experience the life of Michelangelo. I gather that will involve eating, playing video games, and reading comic books."

"And being annoying," Raph grins.

"And making bonehead mistakes," Don adds.

"And getting into trouble," Raph continues.

"And talking way too much," Don nods.

"Yeah, definitely that one," Raph says, "and--"

"Yes, thank-you, my sons, I believe Leonardo gets the idea," Splinter intervenes.

Don: All of this sarcasm was wasted on Mikey, however.

Raph: What sarcasm? All that was the truth!

"This is going to be a piece of cake," Mikey says, beaming at the prospect of being leader. "Okay, guys, let's get started. First, you need to clean my room, then-- ow! Hey! You're not allowed to hit the Leader in the head, Raph!"

"Let us begin, as you say," Splinter says, smiling wickedly. "Raphael and Donatello, you have your chores to do. Michelangelo, Leonardo's first responsibility is to clean and put away the weapons and training equipment."

Raph: The look on Mike's face was priceless.

"Aww..."

"You know, this might not be so bad after all," Leo says quietly, smiling at April and Casey. "Wish I could see what's going to happen."

Well? I plan on adding to this in a day or two. Hope you enjoyed it so far. Thanks for taking the time!