Disclaimer - Yep, this is it, the epi. There are three parts to it, though, because I didn't know how best to end it. I had plenty of ideas floating around, but I chose these three, as they take up a few that people offered, with one that was my own. I hope you get a chuckle out of the last one, too. :0)
Once again, the TMNT's belong to others, not me. Don't sue. Please? Pretty please? Or, better yet, hire me as a writer, I won't mind at all. Yeah, as if…
Anyway...onward and forward…
Chapter 11 - The Revelation
Don smiled. With Splinter's punishment behind him, he was back in his favorite room with his beloved computer.
Life couldn't be sweeter.
Nearly three weeks earlier, it took him the better part of a day to remove all the cameras from their various locations in the lair. The only problem he encountered was with the twelfth one. In short, he shouldn't have found it, since it represented one more than he had originally planted. More puzzling, however, was that Don had found the extra device in his lab and not anywhere near where he had placed his.
It caused him a bit of worry.
At first, when he thought about calling April to verify how many she had purchased for him, he hesitated. He realized that if she confirmed the same number he should have had, then he would have to consider two other explanations.
Either April was lying to him or Leo had managed his way into an electronics store to buy the extra spy cam. Don laughed, thinking about that. He knew his brother wouldn't do that, not where it required a bit of knowledge about the technology. It was second nature for Don to waltz into such stores and get what he needed, pay for the item, and be gone without raising suspicions. But, he was certain that Leo - ninja or not - would be fumbling around.
Beside, where would he get the money to buy it in the first place? Don shook his head over that
Of course, Casey came to mind, too, but Don dismissed him. Originally, the man had seemed more than intrigued with the idea of spying on Leo and appeared just as surprised by the eventual outcome as Don and his two brothers were.
No, Case wouldn't even know where to begin in a store like that, Don mused, laughing softly. Maybe I did miscount. After all, I was a bit rushed to get them up and running before everyone came back home. He smiled to himself. That's what probably happened.
Yes, indeed, denial was more than just a river in Egypt and so Don dismissed his uncertainty, at least for the time being. He couldn't check his computer, anyway, to verify if Leo did happen to record anything, since Splinter had banned him from using it. It was a frustrating wait, too, because Don didn't like not knowing.
Yet, over the next couple of weeks, the problem kept pestering him. The more Donatello thought about it, the turtle was certain he hadn't miscounted. It wasn't like him to be so negligent. Still, he couldn't explain number twelve, not without putting April and Leo together in manufacturing the infamous DVD.
In either case, he pushed the thought from his mind. It was enough to know in finding the extra spy cam that it confirmed his suspicions. At the very least, he now knew that Leo had the ability to install and understand the nuances of such electronics. The fact that his brother had turned the tables on him frustrated Don initially, but he decided to accuse Leo outright would only have him denying it. Considering Don was already 'guilty as charged', it would have been a moot point, anyway.
Thinking back to that moment he had yanked the camera from where Leo had hid it, Don grinned wide. He wondered how his brother reacted when discovering his little payback no longer worked.
Pretty cheeky, planting it in my own room! There's certainly more to Leo that what he wants us to believe, that's for sure.
As he went about the task of booting up his computer, the turtle leaned back in his chair and sighed. Yes, indeed, he certainly had learned his lesson with spying on his family. He thought about all the cracks and electronic devices into which he had hid cameras. He hadn't counted on Leo finding any of them, of course, but in hindsight, he realized that that if a person had a mind and a reason to, they could find anything. It wasn't that hard, really - at least with his family, anyway.
Made my mistake right there, he laughed to himself. A ninja should always expect the unexpected and Leo's a master at that. Don chuckled lightly again, quite amused with himself. He then thought back to that day, when he discovered how his brother figured out what was going on.
As Don took the kitchen clock down from its place on the wall, he hummed to himself, trying to look on the bright side of things. He admitted to himself, shrugging, "Well, at least I'll be spending time with Father; I don't do that very much anymore…"
With clock in hand, he looked longingly at it, before stepping off the ladder. He sighed, "Brilliant technology, but I wish I could figure out how Leo knew about…" and then one of the hands on the face hesitated for a second, just before the third hour.
It caused Don to stare harder at the clock, "What the…?"
He stared harder, then, watching as the minute hand moved slowly, and when it hesitated a second time and then a third, Donatello's eyes widened even more.
"So that's how he knew!"
It becameDon's 'ah ha' moment. He was sure that Leo would have noticed the hesitation, too, especially where his brother sat facing the camera. And, until Don had installed the camera and even afterwards when he checked it, the minute hand had never hesitated, not even once. It was a foregone conclusion, then, that his brother would wonder about it.
"Humph, sharp-eyed little twit!" he mumbled softly in reflection. Yep, I need to make sure there aren't any more mishaps like that again.
Once his monitor screen bloomed to life, Don moved his cursor around, clicking an icon. Next, a picture suddenly jarred into view. It shuddered at first, before breaking into four parts, and then Don smiled wider.
In the upper left-hand corner, a square one quarter the size of the screen appeared, showing a picture of Leonardo's room. It seemed to take in nearly all of his personal space, showing Leo's bed and desk along the left, while the door leading to the hallway outside was on the right.
Then, on the opposite side of the screen from Leo's was another same-sized square, but this time it showed Raphael's bedroom and with the same amount of coverage, too.
Likewise, the bottom left displayed Mikey's quarters, leaving the square directly below Raphael's for Donatello's laboratory. The genius of adding his own room was that it showed his workstation and in the same way as the twelfth camera had. He wanted to find out the identity of 2Hot2Handle, among other things, certain it had to be Leo, despite his brother's insistence to the contrary.
Don smiled againLeo might be smarter than he wants us to believe, but he's no techno genius.
Yes, indeed, Don had certainly learned his lesson well and with the most important one with where to place such wonderful devices as spy cams. After trading out the old ones for smaller, better cameras - thank goodness April included the receipts when she gave them to him initially - Don installed them in such a way that even Leo wouldn't suspect a thing.
He had learned his lesson indeed!
As he continued to watch the screen, after a while, he realized nothing of great importance was happening. Raph had his headphones on, probably listening to his hard rock music. His lips were moving and it made Don wonder if Raph was singing along. He chuckled, imagining his surly brother in a karaoke bar, wailing away with microphone in hand. The more he thought about hit, the more he giggled.
When I get the extra money, I'm going to add sound, too, Don grinned.
He then looked down at the bottom left screen and noticed Mike seemed engrossed with a comic book, only it appeared as if his brother had fallen asleep, with the opened magazine covering his face. One of Mike's arms draped off the bed and hung limp, his fingers twitching sporadically, while the other one rested across his midsection. The gentle rise and fall of his plastron confirmed Don's suspicions that his little brother was indeed napping.
Finally, he glanced above Mikey's screen and noticed saw that Leonardo was out of his room, since the room appeared empty.
Nevertheless, despite the absence of one and the serenity of the other two, Donatello was certain in time, one brother would do something 'memorable', memorable enough to glean payback material for future use.
Brilliant idea, these spy cams!
He smiled a little more, And maybe I'll find out where the signal from that twelfth cam went to, as well. Leo must have a computer; he would have to, because I certainly didn't find anything on my lab's.
Feeling thirsty, he reached under his make shift desk to the small, efficiency refrigerator he kept there. Opening the door, he quickly procured a can of soda, and then closed the appliance. While he popped the tab, he thought back to when he acquired the convenient little box. It was the best find he had made in quite a while, a reject, something someone had discarded a few years ago, assuming it was beyond repair. To Donatello, though, nothing was ever beyond fixing and, so, he had happily carted the small refrigerator back to the sewers.
Then, on those days when he wanted a break from fixing things, Don would come here, to his little hideaway not far from the lair. Like his home, the city had abandoned it, only it was smaller, like a utility room, but big enough for him, a desk, a chair, some shelves, and another restored computer. Anytime he needed some peace and a break from fixing things, he would use his junkyard excursions as an excuse to get away.
So far, no one knew about his little retreat. He always made sure to bring something back to the lair, too, just to give the illusion that he had indeed been dumpster diving.
Looking over at his shelf and assessing his collections, Don pondered what to bring back this time. There were toasters and motherboards, with radios and other electronics from which to choose. He thought about the lair and its needs and decided that maybe he would pick the radio. It worked just fine, but he would tinker with it anyway once he was back in his lab. He had to keep them believing, after all. Don smiled and decided he would tune it to Leonardo's favorite station and give it to him as a peace offering.
Don chuckled again and took sip of soda, then continued watching his monitor, Takes a ninja to fool a ninja, that's for sure!
A few days later…
"Raph, hold still…"
"I'm tryin', but ya keep stickin' me!"
"Oh for heaven's sake, Raphael, you've had worse things sticking you!" April chuckled, "Besides, it has to be snug on you, so it doesn't swallow him up."
Raph glared at the woman and grounded his teeth, trying not to say something he would later regret. Nevertheless, the turtle knew she was right. He had indeed experienced worse things than tailor pins, even though they reminded him of needles and God only knew how much he hated needles.
After another agonizing ten minutes enduring April's brand of torture, the ninja finally grouched, "S'how long do I hafta stand here like a stupid store mannequin?"
"Just until…" April replied, pins poking from between her teeth, "I get this side done."
After a long moment, she finally straightened, hitching herself a bit to ease the stiffness from her back. She studied the hemline critically and then took the last remaining pins from her mouth.
"There, perfect!" she declared, looking triumphantly up at Raphael. "You can relax, now," April smiled hugely, "I really do appreciate this, Raph."
The turtle, clothed from neck to knee in silken, embroidery-rich material, shrugged, "Figures…but why me? I'm taller than Masteh Splinteh, and - rounder, too, fer that matteh. Mike would have been a betteh fit; and he's not as muscled as I am, eitheh."
Raph tried to flex his arm to prove his point but instead found another pin. "OW! Damnit'all…" He grabbed his sleeved arm, rubbing where the pin had poked, and tried not to stick himself again in the process. As he did, he caught the subtle smirk on April's face.
"S'not funny, Ape!"
"Oh if one of your brothers were modeling this it would be."
Smiling, Raph couldn't help but chuckle, "Yeah, yer right, s'pecially Leo." He sighed, however, "But why me, again?"
"Like I said when I asked you, Case refused. He - um - said he wouldn't be caught dead wearing a…a kimono and I know the others wouldn't volunteer, and, besides, you did say you'd assist me whenever I needed help, since I helped you spy on Leo…"
"You mean helpin' Donnie spy, 'cuz he's the guy who recorded him."
April scowled a bit, measuring tape in hand. Then, with the other planted firmly on one hip, she lowered one eye, "But it was your idea, Raph. You even said so, you were even proud of the fact!"
"But, the bottom line, April, is without Don, the plan wouldn't even've gotten off th'ground," Raph rolled his eyes, "'Sides, the whole friggin idea got shot t'hell with that DVD Leo switched ours for."
April's head snapped up, surprised "He admitted that to you?" but then she regretted her actions and swallowed nervously, realizing she had reacted too quickly. Great, now he's gonna think I…
"You knew?" Raph stared, gaping at the woman. She looked away suddenly, as if to inspect the hem she had just worked on, but Raph caught her blush. "Hey," the turtle quirked a brow, "did…did you have anything t'do with that other DVD, Ape?"
April shook her head and tried to smile, meeting his accusing gaze, "No, um…no of course not, Raph, I mean…" and then shrugged, "…wh-why would I do that?"
Smiling at her obvious lie, Raphael chuckled, "Leo got to you, didn't he?" He laughed, throwing his head back, "I knew he'd figure it out, somehow, someway, and sooner than we thought he would." He looked straight at April, now, squinting one eye, "I bet Leo found one of th'cameras, didn't he? Which one was it?"
The woman tried not to look away, but she couldn't help it, if only for just a second. It was enough, however, to let Raph know he had assumed correctly. Sporting a huge grin, the turtle chortled, "Guess it doesn't matter what one he found, I knew ya had somethin' t'do with it, Ape. It's not like Leo could waddle into an electronics store to buy a spy cam anyway; he's not like Donnie."
"Raph," April pleaded, her hands supplicating, "you can't say anything to Done about this…I-I'm serious." She glanced anxiously over at the opened window for a second, fearing someone overhearing her. Her eyes slightly wide at that prospect. She then looked back at Raph again, keeping her voice low and her face sobered, "I feel bad enough that Splinter punished him like he did."
"Hey, April," Raph assured her, "you don't have t'worry about that. Fer once, our genius brother's on the rough side of Splinteh; which doesn't happen very often, know what I mean?"
"Still," April shook her head, "you and Mike should have taken some of the blame, just so Donnie didn't have to take it all."
Raph quirked a grin, "I'm not tellin' unless pressed t'do so and Don's already said he ain't gonna spill the beans. He's leavin' it up to Mike and me t'decide and - we've decided to play innocent!"
April narrowed her expression a bit, "You're both hopeless, you know that?"
"Yeah, whateveh, I figure we're all on th'same page, now, anyways." Raph sniggered under his breath, "'Bout time Wonder Boy gets caught doin' somethin' naughty. Too bad Splintah Junior got off easy, though. I thought fer sure we had 'em, too."
The woman bit her tongue and then motioned quickly with one hand, "Raph, could you turn around half-way, I think the right sleeve is hanging a bit long in the back."
"Hey," Raph complained, as he turned, "I thought you said it was perfect?"
"The hem is perfect, the sleeve is not."
"Ah, geeze, com'on, Ape, Sensei won't notice…OW! HEY, WATCH it with those pins!"
"Sorry, it kind of slipped," April replied sweetly, securing the material.
After a few more pins - and as many pricks later, Raphael was ready to call it quits. Still, he remained standing faithfully a top one of April's dining room chairs, gritting his teeth. The more she pricked him, though, the more he grumbled under his breath in irritation. In fact, the last one almost had him whipping around in protest, but he inhaled deeply, hoping and praying April would hurry up.
Finally and with Raph's shell to her, April stopped to evaluate her handiwork. "Thank you for your patience, Raph."
"Yeah, whateveh," he snarled, fisting his hands in aggravation.
Nevertheless, had he eyes in the back of his head, Raphael would have seen a small smile spread along April's face and even more so as she secured one…last…pin into the kimono's sleeve.
"OW! Jeeze," Raph jumped and turned to face her, "Ape, fer cryin' out loud, I'm not a frick'n' pincushion!"
April chuckled to herself, But, you sure are a pinHEAD, Raph!
Later on that night, a hooded figure moved quietly into the shadowed room through an opened doorway, the robe effectively shrouding his identity. With the room's regular occupant gone for the evening, at least for a few hours, his absence would give the interloper enough time to do what he wanted to do.
Moreover, where the others were visiting with friends, he could work undisturbed, as well.
He chuckled gleefully.
Rubbing his hands together expectantly, he quickly sat down in the chair. Then and without further hesitation, as if he knew the routine by heart, he reached over and pushed a button. While he sat there waiting for the computer to boot up, the robed figure leaned forward a bit more, almost impatiently, resting his elbows atop the table. With hands clasped in front of him propping his chin up, he hummed a bit to pass the time.
After a minute, the monitor screen finally glared to life and the figure nearly leaped from his chair in excitement. In the next moment, his fingers moved under the oversized sleeves, flying over the keyboard in a rush, . Soon, a website materialized and caused a smile to crease the operator's face. He happily read the title aloud, "World of Warcraft, my home away from home!"
Quickly typing his name and password into the member's box, he waited, his knees bouncing a little in anticipation. He turned then, looking over the room curiously, visually inspecting the various object-laden shelves. As he did, though, the hood slipped back away from his head, exposing a fuzzy, elongated muzzle.
Not too far away in a different part of the sewer and entrenched inside a small abandoned, but homey, utility room, another figure hovered in front of his computer screen. His smile was clearly one of satisfaction and victory. Unsatisfied with the broad view of the room, however, he took the mouse and zoomed in on the computer area. Now, he watched as the person in his laboratory waited for the computer to boot up. Soon, he would know who it was who had bested Mike at his favorite on-line game. Don would finally have some leverage.
"Revelation time, my friend!" Donatello grinned.
However, as the person on the screen turned his head, apparently to look at something off camera, the hood on his head slipped off.
Don blinked. "Can't be…true."
Then, as a furry hand further pulled the hood from its head and exposed a pair of all-too familiar ratty ears…Don nearly fell out of his chair.
"Master Splinter…is…is 2Hot2Handle?"
As it finally occurred to him the futility of his quest, Don slumped in his chair and muttered, "So much for blackmailing."
A/N - Bwahahaha! My thanks to Midnight Air for the karaoke idea and modeling gig. LOL Sorry about not using for Leo. And, again, my thanks to Ame Musashi for her thoughts on World of War Craft and to Midnight Air, too, as I just discovered she had offered it up as one of her first suggestions. Sorry about that, MA. :0) Seems Splinter liked it, as well:0)