Okay-- those writers know how to tell an exciting story and all, but the bite when it comes to mushy, sappy emotional stuff. That is why the world needs fangirls and fanboys, to write what should have been shown! Read at your own risk, but I had to do it!

EDIT! I forgot to thank Splinter for beta work and suggestions, and I forgot to thank Machias Banshee for similar stuff! Sorry, guys!

TMNT are the property of Mirage. The story "Good Genes" part 2 belongs to 4Kids/Funimation and Mirage. There is a stupid parrot outside my window at six-thirty AM making a God-awful noise! I wish Mirage owned him and would make him shut up!

Welcome Back

The smoke begins to clear in the chamber. Leatherhead, eyes on the containment unit, hears the alarms, hears the announcement that the entire base is going to self-destruct in less than fifteen minutes.

He hears the Turtles running up behind him, hears their anxious questions. But he keeps his eyes on the slowly dissipating fog that surrounds the body of his friend.

In the shifting clouds, he can see that he is smaller-- less monster-like--

More Turtle-like--

The door hisses open, and in a swirl of ever thinning remnants, Donatello steps out, rubbing his eyes as if just awakening. He is unsteady on his feet.

Everyone holds their breaths, as the Turtle opens his eyes. Then that goofy smile lights up his face; that sentient, goofy smile!

"Hi guys. What's happening?" Weak, wondering, and with a soft groan he starts to collapse, but L.H. is quick to catch him.

"I have you, my friend."

The celebrations ring out, even as the time runs out. And through it all, two brothers part at their father approach, allowing him to step forward to get a good look at the son whom he has been staring at for so many days, the son who now is returned to him.

The smile on Splinter's face is indescribable. And yet there is no time for a PROPER reunion!

As the alarms blare, and the recorded voice counts down the minutes, they run for the 'copter, Don half carried, half supported by Leo.

Then they are strapped in and on their way.

It happens so quickly. The base below them begins to explode, but the 'copter is fast and they are soon out of the shock wave range.

Over so quickly-- what has seemed like Eternity, watching his son exist as a mutated monster, is gone in an instant.

They stand, relieved to be away from that place.

He clasps Donatello's willing hand; he wants to pull him to him and hold him in his lap, as if he is still an infant, but he refrains- the ride is smooth but they are still in a 'copter.

"Welcome back, my son," he smiles into the intelligent eyes of Donatello, who smiles back in return.

"I hope you guys didn't go through a lot of trouble because of me," Donnie voices, and then he notices the grins of his family and friend suddenly freeze; he sees, all too painfully, the haunted look come into his father's eyes, the overwhelming sadness and delayed reaction to the dangers that they have faced; the deal with the devil that they had had to make; the possibly deadly mission his brothers had had to undertake in exchange for saving his life.

All too quickly, he sees it fleet across all their faces-- and then Mikey, in typical fashion, grins and says, "Naaawww!"

One hour later...

The 'copter was fast, but it was still a 'copter. It would be several long hours before they reached home.

Splinter, seated next to a sleeping Donatello, tucked a blanket around his son, who appeared to be shivering. Donatello stirred, shifted, and settled again, coming to rest with his head on his father's shoulder.

Splinter put his arms around his child as best as he could; he could not stop gazing at him, staring and staring to make sure that it was really him; sleepy himself but afraid that if he closed his eyes even for a moment, his son would revert to that former creature that knew them not.

He had spent many sleepless hours for several days, staring and staring at the creature that his beloved son had become; staring and staring at him since that horrible moment when Leonardo had come to him...

"Master Splinter?"

Splinter, hearing Leonardo address him like that, knew that something was wrong. He could not explain it, but after all these years, he had learned to read the tone of voice as well as choice of words his sons used with him to break bad news...

"Master Splinter? It's about Don... he... he..."

Splinter closed his eyes roughly, and tightened his grip on his newly renewed son. The thought that had gone through his head at that moment when Leonardo had come to see him was a wound that was still fresh and painful and the stuff of parental nightmares! And yet the reality had been worse than his imagination had prepared him for.

Finally they reached home... Splinter, exhausted physically and mentally, managed none the less to walk home, staying close to his son who was so exhausted that he slept through the journey, carried with the most tenderest of care by Leatherhead.

"Oh, Donnie!" April forgot herself, and shouted as they entered the new Lair, rushing the Crocodile as if she would pull the sleeping turtle from his arms and carry him herself to his waiting bed.

"Gee, April!" Casey kindly chided her in a whisper, almost physically pulling her off her favorite of the four. "I understand how glad you are, but let him sleep!"

"Put him in my room," Splinter finally spoke, and the sound of his calm voice did little to calm their nerves; they knew that Splinter usually requested such arrangements when he feared for the life of a son!

But they also knew that Don was NOT in danger! This was just parental angst. This was just Splinter in Mother Hen Mode...

So they obliged him. And Donatello, so sound asleep he didn't notice that he had been placed in the bed of his father, was covered and tucked in and fussed over by the Rat that had first found the four of them as helpless infants.

Three hours later...

Leo couldn't sleep-- he kept replaying the incident in his mind.

Everything was going their way-- everything! Even though they were surrounded by the enemy, their escape was so certain that Leo had NOT been worried...

And then SHE had challenged him; PLEADED with him!

"Leonardo! FACE ME!"

Oh, he was willing; MORE than willing to face her, to put a final end to this blood feud-- but Mikey, the unexpected voice of reason, reminded him: "Get in and get out, right? It's not about Karai, right?"

And they had left.

On his way to the kitchen (he still got lost-- despite the fact that he had found this place for them to live in, he still had more trouble than the others remembering where the rooms were) he noticed that there was faint light coming from under his father's door...

Candle... he's always preferred candle light to electric...

Leo entered Splinter's room to find his father sitting by the bed, staring at a sleeping Don as if he were afraid...

"Father? He's all right," Leo said softly, approaching Splinter and sinking down onto his knees.

Splinter, eyes never leaving Donatello, nodded in acknowledgment.

"I know, my son. I know this very well-- but for some reason, I cannot help myself," he replied, needlessly smoothing the blanket that covered the sleeping Donatello.

Leonardo enveloped his father in a hug, and Splinter returned it tenfold.

Five hours later...

Raph awoke with a curse and a punch!

The vision of Bishop, so vivid before him, faded quickly-- but not quickly enough! He could still here the oily voice of that "human" taunting them, holding as it were the cure for his brother over their heads while at the same time demanding tit for tat!

Raph got up, and headed to the kitchen for some water.

On his way back to bed, he saw that the light was on in Splinter's room. And it was not a sign of weakness that he decided to go check on his father and brother.

Splinter seemed to not need sleep. He sat there, watching Donatello who seemed to be sleeping peacefully-- until something crossed his dream memory-- then his face contracted in a scowl, his body began to move as if fighting an enemy, and he moaned angrily.

"No! Father..."

Raph almost beat Splinter to Don's side, and Splinter was sitting right there!

"It is all right!" they said in unison to this nightmare, and then looked in utter surprise at each other; the father equally as stunned as the son at this situation.

An awkward moment; then Splinter wordlessly enveloped Raphael, the hothead, the "unemotional" one, in his thin yet strong arms, and hugged him to himself, as if this son were in danger.

"Gee, Dad," Raph finally responded gruffly, once he regained his traitorous voice.

" 'Gee, Dad', what?" Splinter replied in typical fashion.

Raphael merely sighed and smiled and hugged his father as tightly as he dared; after all, Splinter wasn't as young as he used to be--

Ten hours later...

Sometime during this watch, it became morning, and then afternoon. Yet Donatello slept on, and Splinter could NOT be persuaded to leave his son's side, despite the pleadings of his other sons and the patient urgings of their very good friend Leatherhead.

It was going on supper time when Mikey, who had decided that Donnie would wake up if he fixed a meal that would so appeal to Brainac that he'd burst forth and rejoin his family, entered the room of his father with a heavily laden tray of rice, Miso soup, teriyaki beef and (thanks to the help of April and Casey) freshly prepared sashimi!

"No thank-you, my son," Splinter, eyes so tired looking that they were barely slits in his furry face, politely refused his son's pleas to eat a little something.

"He's going to be all right," Mikey finally said. "You know Don, Master Splinter-- I wouldn't be surprised if he starts writing it up and trying to figure out how to do it again, only in a controlled manner. You know, press a button, and we all become Mutant Super Heroes or something-- yeah! We become bigger, and stronger, and we could have robot suits that--" and he slyly looked at Splinter, hoping to see some sort of reaction. But though these words made Splinter smile, they did not cause him to get up, to get some rest.

To even take some food.

Instead, he turned his gaze to his youngest.

"You may not remember," he said softly. "But you had a bear..."

"Yeah! Mr. Growlly! I remember him!" Mikey frowned, even as he added some of the rice to the soup, just the way his father liked it. "Raph destroyed him when we were seven."

"Raphael did not mean to do it, my son," Splinter reminded him. "But you brought him to me and I stitched him up for you as best as I could, considering that a leg was missing."

Michelangelo's face lit up at the memory.

"Yeah! I remember! And then Don put him in the closet in a box that he'd made into a bed! He called it our 'infirmary'."

Splinter nodded, absently taking the bowl of soup that Michelangelo serepticiously held out to him, but still not eating.

"You sat by his 'bedside' as it were, and you endured the teasing of Raphael and Leonardo," Splinter said. "I could not persuade you to come and eat. You wanted to be there for him, in case he had nightmares, or needed something."

Splinter returned his gaze to Donatello.

"I understood this feeling. How often had I sat by your beds when you were very sick? How could I deny you that same gesture?"

"Yeah, but I finally ate something," Mikey pointed out, nudging a spoon into his father's hand and dipping it into the soup. "Come on, Dad! Sashimi is hard to prepare-- though I think I'd make a pretty good sushi chef!"

And Splinter finally ate.

Six hours later...

Don wondered if he were late for training. He knew that he'd overslept; his body was stressing the need to get up and go to the bathroom now, buster!

But we're not ready to open up just yet, his eyes insisted, remaining closed.

NOW! the rest of him ordered, so Don pried open his reluctant eyes-- and saw an extremely exhausted Splinter looking at him, his own eyes fighting a losing battle to close and remain so.

It did not take long for the brainy turtle to understand what had been going on.

He sat up in his father's bed, and reached out to Splinter, who wordlessly held out his own arms, gathering his son to him and holding him the way he had wanted to hold him when he had first changed back.

"Welcome home, my son," he whispered, almost falling asleep with relief on Donatello's shoulder.

"Thanks, Dad," he whispered back. Then he scooted out of the bed and got Splinter to lay down. The Rat was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.

Then he was off to the bathroom!

Four hours later...

He hadn't slept long, but he had slept deep. Splinter opened his eyes to find Donatello sitting by the bed, staring at him.

"Is something the matter, my son?" he asked. Don shook his head, grinning.

"Nope. Just returning the favor."

Splinter smiled in return, and went back to sleep.