Disclaimer: The TMNT, Casey Jones and all other related characters are the property of Mirage Studios.

Notes: This is set during the early episodes of the 2003 cartoon series. After Meet Casey Jones but before The Shredder Strikes.

Motor Oil and Midnight Junkyard Raids

Casey didn't really click with Donatello at first, thrown off by the big words and the way Don could just look at the world and see things that Casey'd never even heard of. He figured out pretty quick that Donnie wasn't the kind of smart guy who'd lord it over you – he just used big words because that's the way he thought. And he never seemed to think anyone was stupid just because they asked him to explain himself.

But at first he'd just thought Donatello was kind of odd and he'd mostly kept his distance. Easy enough to do, since he really only knew Raph.

One night he'd run across some strange activity in a junkyard downtown. It wasn't the nicest part of the city (nowhere with a junkyard could be considered a good part of town, so that went without saying) and he knew there were a bunch of homeless guys living there, so he thought maybe someone was trying to start trouble. The only thing Casey hated worse than Purple Dragons were rapists and the assholes who beat up homeless guys for fun, so he'd gone in at full force, with his baseball bat in one hand and a serious intention to bash in the first punk face he saw.

That first punk face turned out to be Donatello, digging through a pile of electronic parts like he was digging through a heap of Christmas presents. He was aware of Casey coming at him with a bat, but didn't seem too worried about it.

Casey checked his swing and said, exasperated and kind of put off, "I almost knocked your skull in!"

Donatello shrugged and a low voice growled in Casey's ear, "Not even close, hot head."

"Don't do that, Raph!" He clutched at his chest and glared at Raphael, perched behind him and grinning like one of those gargoyles on the old churches. Raph's weapons were still in his belt, but it occured to Casey to wonder if maybe they'd been drawn a second ago. Maybe Raph wasn't so sure Casey would pull his swing. "What are you two doing up here? It's three in the morning!"

"You're here," Donatello pointed out, and Casey blinked at him. How can anyone be that cheerful in the middle of a junkyard at three in the morning?

"Jimmy Neutron had a brain blast," Raph said sourly, and Donatello shot him a dirty look. Casey frowned but held his tongue; he was pretty sure Raph was making fun and that Don was supposed to be this Jimmy guy.

"You guys looking for something?" Casey asked instead, sliding the bat back into his golf bag and leaning back against the wrecked car that Raph was using as a perch.

Donatello rattled off a list of car parts and electronics that made Casey's eyes cross, but he latched onto a couple of things. "What, you working on a motorcycle?"

"Shell cycle," Raphael said almost gleefully, and Casey couldn't help but grin with him.

"We've only got the one," Donatello explained. "I like how the first one turned out, so I figured I'd add a few more to our collection."

"Wait a minute." Casey crossed his arms over his chest. "You customized Raph's bike?"

Donatello nodded but Raph snorted in Casey's ear. "Customized nothing," his friend said. "Donnie built the bike from the ground up. Spare parts and elbow grease."

Casey was a little surprised, but more by the fact that Donatello would even be interested in something like a bike than by the fact that Don can build a motorcycle. Something about the guy told Casey he could probably build a tank – or a nuke – if he felt like it. It has just never occurred to him that Donatello might be good at some of the same things Casey was – kicking in Purple Dragon heads, notwithstanding. "If you want," he offered tentatively, "I can show you a better place to look. The guys who run it are buds of mine and they don't mind if I scavenge for parts. I get a lot of good stuff for the bike there. I bet you could find something for the mot- uh, shell cycles."

Donatello exchanged a glance with Raphael and slung his bag over his shoulder. "Excellent," he announced. "Casey, you're a pal."

They spent the rest of the night digging around in old cars and bikes, bickering over tires and engines and whether or not to color code the shell cycles – "don't you ever get tired of purple?" Raph had asked at one point, his arms thrown up in the air – and lugging as much of it as they reasonably could back to the old warehouse the guys used to keep their van and Raph's bike. It was almost daylight before they were done and Raph'd been bitching about how much sleep he wasn't getting for a while when Don announced that he'd got enough to start working.

"Sorry for taking up your whole night," he apologized, ignoring Raphael, who was attempting to drag him off by his bandana.

Casey shrugged. "I'm kind of a night owl anyway," he said.

Raphael was growling low in his throat and he'd got a look on his face that promised ill to the both of them if they didn't stop talking, but Donatello just swatted at his hand and ignored him, a move that impressed Casey because he still figured Raph was more than half crazy and probably inclined to bite.

"If you want help with the bikes," Casey offered, "let me know, yeah? I like working with engines and stuff."

"His bike's almost as sweet as the shell cycle," Raphael said.

Casey glared at him. "My bike is a classic."

"A fancy word for old," Raphael shot back. "Can we have breakfast now, please, before I go back to bed?"

Casey wasn't not sure why, since Donatello seemed like the kind of guy who'd think nothing was worth having if it wasn't state of the art, but he gave the smart guy a glance and a smirk. "That guy ain't got no appreciation of the finer things in life."

Donatello planted his hands on his hips and shook his heads. "Kids these days," he said, and Raph's groan was worth the bad joke.

Casey still didn't understand the way Donatello's head worked, or the way he could just take a sideways step and be in a different world than they rest of them even while standing next to them. He still waited for the translation whenever Donnie launched one of his explanations or in-depth plans, but it didn't matter as much. There was bikes and grease and engines and ragging on Raphael and that made up a language that Casey could understand just fine.

c&c always appreciated