Disclaimer: I'm sure you all know the drill by now, but far be it from me to shun my lawful responsibilities as an author, tiresome and repetitive though they may be. So here goes: the party of calliopechild, who shall now be referred to as the defending party, denies any and all claims or ties of ownership to, concerning, or in the application of any juvenile genetically-altered martial arts practicing amphibians. Translation from the legal jargon? I don't own the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Unfortunately. If I did, the dollars in my bank account would have a lot more friends to keep them company. Nope, all I own is the idea for this story, the plot, and my character, who I've yet to think of a name for. . But never fear! When I do finally think of a name, it'll be a good one.

Leo walked into the main room of the lair to find his brothers in varying states of unproductiveness: Mikey was sitting on the floor, kept company by a rapidly disappearing mound of popcorn and watching some superhero film for what was probably the fifteenth time; Raph was lounging on the armchair, making snide remarks about the hero and twirling a sai in one hand; and Don was in the lab, goggles on and hard at work welding something. Leo figured now was as good a time as any to bring up his idea.

"Who's up for a patrol?"

Three green, bandana-wearing heads all popped up at the words, and three pairs of eyes all widened at the sight of the speaker.

"Are you serious, Leo?" Donnie asked in a curious voice.

Leo nodded. "We haven't had much Foot activity lately, and the Purple Dragons seem to be lying low. Either everyone's planning something, or we're just getting a well-deserved break. I figure now's a good a time as any."

Mikey put a hand to his chest, and said dramatically, "I never thought I'd see the day! Leonardo the Great has actually…loosened up!" He grinned, unable to stay serious for long. "Way to go, bro!"

A dark green hand reached out to smack him on the back of the head. "Would ya mind shuttin' up, shell-for-brains? Don't give him a chance ta change his mind," Raph remarked. Grinning at the thought of getting out for a bit, he asked Leo, "Are you low on sword wax or somethin', 'Fearless Leader'?"

Leo sighed at the overused nickname. "Very funny, Raph. It's a good opportunity to practice stealth and coordination, and we need to be prepared for anything…" he trailed off.

Raph snorted. "Yeah, yeah, 'a ninja is always vigilant' and all that crap. Only you could take fun out of goin' topside."

"And besides," Leo continued, a smile growing on his face, "there might be some disturbances down at the pizza place that we should check out."

All three of his brothers cheered at that comment.

"Alright, bros!" Raph commented, slinging an arm around Leo's shoulders. "Looks like 'Splintah Junior' here is finally developin' a sense of humor. I never thought I'd see the day."

Leo laughed as he pushed Raph's arm off. "Yeah, well, you know what they say Raph; the four "Ps" of Ninjitsu are pride, power, pals, and pizza!"

More cheers followed as the four brothers high-three-ed each other.

"My sons!" a sharp voice rapped out. All four turned to see Splinter walking out of his room, and they instantly winced at the tone in his voice. "What is the meaning of this? Am I to understand that you plan to risk being seen by humans for a mere meal? Have I not taught you better than this?"

"But Master Splinter," Donny protested, confused as to why their sensei was so angry about a simple pizza run, "we were just-"

"Master Splinter, it's my fault," Leo cut in, stepping in front of his master and bowing. "I suggested that we go patrolling and pick up a pizza for dinner."

"I see. Of all of you, I would have thought that you would have shown better judgment, Leonardo." His brothers watched as Leo cringed at the reprimand. They knew he hated disappointing Master Splinter, and they felt bad that he was getting chewed out, but no one was willing to cross an angry Splinter.

Except Raph. "But Master Splintah, what's the big deal? It's not like Leo's plannin' on walkin' down da street in broad daylight ta go take on da Foot and da Purple Dragons or nothin'. We're just goin' out for some grub!"

Don and Mikey's eyes nearly left their sockets. They were used to Leo always covering for them and taking the blame on himself. But Raph, sticking up for their eldest brother? Mikey leaned over and whispered in Donny's ear.

"Donatello, I think it's official. You'd better turn up the heat."

"What are you talking about, Mikey?"

"Raph's actually taking Leo's side. That can only mean one thing…Shell's frozen over," he quipped.

His older brother sighed. "Oh, Mikey. It's not like it's the first time it's happened."

"True," Mikey agreed. "But you must admit, normally Raph is the first one selling tickets to see Sensei chew out Leo."

Don had to admit that Mikey had a point. "Well, maybe Raph's finally learned how to control his temper and get along with Leo…"

Mikey raised an eye ridge at his brother. "Are you listenin' to yourself, bro? I thought you were s'posed to be the smart turtle." He paused and looked at Don closely. "We are talkin' 'bout the same Raphael we both know and tolerate, right?"

Donny stopped to ponder his own words, and realized what he had just said. He sighed, resigned, and replied, "I'll go get the heater."

But as he turned back to his two older brothers and his sensei, he was stopped by Splinter's next words.

"And to hear you speak so lightly of the art of Ninjitsu! Never have I thought my sons would dishonor me in such a way. As I have told you many, many times…" he paused for breath, and all four turtles braced themselves for the next wave of scolding, "the main principles of Ninjitsu…"

"…are pride, power, pals, and pepperoni pizza," Splinter finished teasingly.

Four sets of eyes nearly rolled out onto the floor at these words. Leo was the first to recover, controlling the grin on his face and bowing again to Splinter.

"You are right, of course, Sensei. I feel terrible about my mistake," he said as seriously as he could.

"All is forgiven, my son…as long as you bring home breadsticks as well." Splinter bowed back to his sons, and walked calmly back to his room.

Mikey finally found his voice. "Did Sensei just make a joke? Did he seriously just say something funny?"

"I don't know, Mikey, I'm still reelin' from the fact that Leonardo here has finally learned how to have fun," Raph said.

"Guys, how about we head out for dinner before we all end up with heart attacks?" Donny suggested. "We can make note of these momentous occasions on the calendar when we get back."

The four brothers gathered up their various weapons and Shell-cells, as well as a disguise for whoever ended up buying the pizza.

"And we're off! People and pies everywhere, beware! For we are the pizza ninjas!" Mikey joked.

As Splinter heard his sons leave the lair laughing and talking, he smiled to himself. Then, still sitting calmly in the lotus position, he prepared himself for his evening meditation.

"…Extra pepperoni…"

A/N: So, um, yeah! There it is folks, the FIRST ever chapter of my FIRST ever story on here. So be kind. I would be so very much obliged if you would review this and let me know what you think. Constructive criticism is welcome and appreciated; I'm still a little iffy on my POV in here, so let me know what you think. Also, any tips or comments on chapter length or character personalities would be great. Any flames will be used to make toasty S'mores and a bonfire. Why? Because flames suck, as do the people who write them; also, S'mores are awesome and it's cold out. :D Please review!