Yay!! Finally! We the authors (Splinter and Cynlee) present the long-anticipated final chapter of "Stuck on a Dare"! Alert the media! Pop the champs. corks! Bring in the dancing men... um, I mean, we hope you enjoy this short and final installment.
TMNT do NOT belong to either of us-- yet...
Sitting in the dojo, one wrapped in blankets and nursing a sore tongue ("Couldn't I have some ice cream, just for medicinal purposes?" he had dared to ask once they were home, earning the respect of his brother and the stern glare of his father), the two turtles waited parental justice.
"You think we're gonna get spanked?" Mikey, snuggling the blanket around his still chilled body, asked Raph, who snorted in response.
"Well, he sure ain't gonna hug and kiss us for goin' out of the sewers," he said, laughing at his brother. Then he sighed. "I deserve it, anyway."
Michelangelo stared in wide-eyed surprise.
"Deserve it? You deserve to be spanked?"
Many times Mikey had used those words with his older brother. "You deserve to be spanked! I hope Splinter spanks the green off your butt! I hope you can't sit down for a week!" invariably followed by pleading on his knees with Splinter to "PLEASE don't kill Raph!"
"You don't deserve it," Mikey now said. "I deserve to be spanked. I took a dare."
"Yeah, I do deserve it. I'm older 'n you, and I shoulda been lookin' out for you, not darin' you to stick your tongue to a dumpster."
"No, I'm the one who said I'd do it, and I didn't argue with you 'bout goin'. You didn't force me, and 'sides, I can look out for myself!"
"Nope-- I deserve it!"
"NO! I deserve it!"
"ME, STUPID DUMMY HEAD!"
The only thing that kept it from becoming a fight was sudden singing from the doorway.
"Raph and Mikey, with the tails of steel/soon a spanking is all they'll feel..."
Mike and Raph looked, startled, at the doorway, where their brothers were grinning-- and singing--
"HEY! That's the song I made for Raph!" Mike protested angrily. "You can't use it! That's plaguerhythm!"
The two nearly fell down laughing at that.
" 'Plagiarism', Mike," Don could barely say. "Unless you're tongue's still messed up from licking the dumpster. And 'sides, it's not plagiarism; it's 'copy write infringement'."
And the two brothers continued to laugh at the scowling others.
As if by magic, Leo and Don vanished-- ninja skills kicking in automatically in an act of self-preservation. Standing where they once stood was Splinter, with a chair from the kitchen. With a final shake of the head, he entered the dojo, paid respect, and then seated himself in the chair, facing the two very much in trouble turtles.
"What am I to do with you?" he asked.
They exchanged looks.
"How about some love and understanding?" Mike inadvertently said, and Raph cringed inwardly.
Splinter's tail began to swish at the tip, as the young turtle gasped at his own audacity, suddenly covering his wide-opened mouth with his hands and staring, shocked and horrified, at his father.
"Sorry, Sensei," Mike, recovering, immediately said, bowing.
"You two are not grown-up, yet you are not the same children you were three years ago," Splinter said. "When you were five, this sort of thing might have been treated with a bit more 'understanding'. But you are eight. You have seen more of this world, you are more aware of the dangers that face us, and you certainly know right from wrong!"
"Hai, Sensei, it's my fault," Raph immediately said, bowing. "I shoulda been lookin' out--"
"You are both at fault," Splinter cut him off, at the same time giving Michelangelo a warning look that the turtle knew meant "keep quiet". "You are both cognisant of your wrongdoing. There is no one person at fault. And to imitate, once again, something that you have seen on the television! I would have thought after that 'Peter Pan' incident that you had all learned your lesson!"
"But this worked!" Mike protested, unable to stay silent any longer. "You said nothing on the tv is real, but this was real!"
A sort of disappointed shock crossed Mikey's face as it occurred to him that Splinter had been wrong.
"You said nothing is real on tv, but it was-- you-- you didn't know?"
Oh, boy. We're dead. Why can't he learn ta keep his mouth shut?
Splinter stared at this one, and was not sure whether to laugh or start the spankings.
"No television for one month," he said instead. "No going out of the lair for one month. No scavenging with me for one month."
"But you need our help!" Raph protested.
"Yes, I need your help," Splinter replied. "But I shall have to do without it. That will be my punishment for believing that I could trust you."
OUCH! That hurt worse than any spanking! Raph and Mike (and Leo and Don) knew just how much Splinter depended on them to help scavenge enough food to keep them all fed. As they had gotten old enough to help, their food situation had improved. There were fewer times of having to carefully watch every crumb; fewer times when father, with an "I am not hungry, my sons, eat up" made sure that what little food there was had gone to them.
Raph in particular recalled the first time this had registered on him-- the first time when he realized that Splinter was not eating because there wasn't enough for them all-- and it was all he could do to keep from crying right then and there.
"Couldn't ya just spank me extra hard, and still let me help ya get the food?" he choked out sadly. "Or maybe spank me every day for a week?"
"Yeah, spank him-- I mean," Mike hastily corrected. "Spank US more and let us still help you!"
"After all, it's winter! You need us! Really!" Raph came as close to pleading as he ever did.
Splinter let them go on like this for another minute, then held up a quieting hand.
"We will revisit it later," he said. "Now. I also expect each of you to write a one thousand word essay on the dangers of imitating activities viewed on television, due in three days."
Both turtles responded with "Hai, Sensei."
"Very well. Now, come here."
Gulping even as they stiffened their resolve, the two turtles stepped up for their punishments.
So imagine their surprise when the rat, instead of bending each over his knee for the expected spanking, placed an arm around each and pulled them into a hug.
Both boys emitted a squeak of surprise at the embrace and returned it warily. Was Sensei setting them up? Or was this the "I'm going to hug you before I really lay into you" hug?
"Uh, Sensei?" Mike spoke up from where his face was buried in his father's chest. "Should we, like...um..well, ya know?" He motioned to Splinter's lap biting on his lip nervously. It seemed kinda cruel to the young turtle to make him have to ASK for a spanking and Raph glared at Mike for even bringing it up.
But the rat chuckled quietly and kissed the tops of their heads. "No," he answered. "There will be no spankings this time. I reserve the right, however, to double the punishment should you do something so foolish again."
He chuckled again at the relieved sighs of the two boys before they enthusiastically hugged their father.
Splinter kissed them again. "However, I think two certain turtles need some time to think about their actions, in the corner. For the next thirty minutes."
The boys groaned and Mike even considered arguing for a brief moment, but he reconsidered quickly. He and Raph both yelped as the stinging swat to their tails nudged them into their respective corners. Splinter got to his feet with the chair and left his sons to their meditation.
Michelangelo pulled the collar up on his coat a little and watched his breath cloud around him in the ice-cold air. He clapped his hands together and bounced from one foot to the other as he walked through the streets.
His companion, April O'Neil seemed slightly better off than he was. She was dressed warmly as well for it was very cold in New York this time of year, but she didn't seem to freezing as he was.
"Darn mammals," Mike gruffed.
April chuckled quietly. "Mike, I told you that I could make it home on my own. I am a grown woman, you know."
Mike smiled up at her. "Yeh, I know. But it was the least I could do after you sitting through seven hours of Friends with me. Everyone else vanished after two."
"Well, I can't take all the credit for that," April admitted. They turned down the street where her apartment was located. "Raphael dared me to do it." She had to giggle at Mike's expression. "Not that I wouldn't have anyway."
Mike scowled and rubbed his mittened hands together. "Never take a dare from Raph. Did I tell you about the time he dared me to stick my tongue to a dumpster?"
April blinked in surprise and turned to him. "No, why would he do that?" She had to feel bad for Splinter sometimes. She'd heard enough stories to know that the rat had gone through a lot when his sons were young. "That's an urban legend isn't it? That doesn't really work."
Mike laughed. "Oh yes it does! I am living proof. Here…look." He grabbed her hand and dragged her into the alley they were just passing by. "It was like this dumpster here."
April glanced around nervously. "Uh, Mike. Shouldn't we be going?"
"No, wait. Look. It really does work. All you have to do…" He demonstrated as he spoke. "You just stick your tongue out and touch it to metal and…" He pulled back or at least tried to. "Eh…A'el?"