Just using my oh so valuable work time to write random little ficlets. This one's been sitting in my head for a couple of days. Enjoy!

Warning: If you haven't seen Samurai Tourist, this won't make much sense.

Disclaimer: I don't own TMNT or Usagi Yojimbo. Alas. I'd like being rich ...

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The Line You Should Not Cross

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Murakami Gennosuke was not having a good day. It had started out pretty damn fine - the innkeeper's girl had looked at him more than twice, and he'd started wondering if he could talk Usagi into staying another night. But his friend was insistent on making it to the river by noon for some meeting or other - one that Gen wasn't invited to, so why the hell did he have to tag along anyway?

Because we continue along the river afterward, Usagi'd said, and it will save time. And then generously, the long-eared samurai had added, You can wait at the northern cross-road.

Usagi wasn't going to be long, he said. Gen scowled. He could've spent the day lurking in comfort at the inn, but just because his friend was too lazy to backtrack to fetch him --

Bah. He paused to spit on the ground and continued stalking his way through the trees. The problem was, he wasn't at the cross-roads anymore. He was a lot further east. And he was continuing on, doing his best to stay as silent as he could, because Gen sure as hell didn't want to run into whatever was hunting him.

Gen wasn't the type to attract people stalking him, as far as he knew. But even he could see the warning signs in the shadows that were suddenly thicker on one side of the road, and when Gen realised something dark was staring at him with absolute menace from the leaves, he did what any noble samurai type would have done. He turned and fled into the trees. It wasn't that he was a coward - hell, hanging around with Usagi for any length of time had brought him up against far tougher opponents than this, surely. But Gen had a pretty good idea of what he was up against, and he wanted no part of it.

So here he was. Pushing deeper into the undergrowth, trying not to trip on the tokage lizards which seemed to take great delight in scattering away from the bushes just in front of him. Not only that, but they were a damn chirping nuisance, giving away his position. Just what had he done to deserve this kind of karma?

He heard the tree branches nearby creak under a sudden weight, and Gen froze as he saw leaves flutter to the ground out of the corner of his eye. Then he ran, plowing through the bushes in great haste, trying to somehow outrun the tenacious thing that was jumping from branch to branch, keeping up with ease. The bastard was toying with him. Gen picked up the pace, banking right to flee into the darker reaches of the forest, now in a full-fledged sprint, leaping across tree roots and swearing quietly to himself. How was the creature so fast?

It was only when he risked a glance over his shoulder and realised that the trees above and the ground behind were clear of pursuit that Gen began to slow, coming to a stop. The trees were silent, no bird-call, but then given he himself had come crashing through here a moment ago, that wasn't a surprise. It seemed his pursuer had given up. He allowed himself a smirk. And then, as his heartrate slowed a little more, Gen snickered.

"Typical ninja," he said aloud to the empty forest. "No staying power."

That was when he heard the low, feral growl from the bushes right by his ear.

Gen snapped around at the sound, one hand flashing up to his sword, but it was too late. He caught a glimpse of eyes, glistening white and rabid in the dim light - and then he was tackled by a howling blur of green and orange and bowled along the ground, rolling to a stop with a heaving, snarling enemy's full weight on his chest, thick green fingers wrapped in the collar of his gi.

He struggled for breath, and then tried for casual nonchalance. Impressive feat, given the slavering madman sitting on his chest, intent on squashing the very life from him.

"Greetings, Michelangelo-san!" he said cheerfully. "What brings you here to my neck of the woods?"

It was the wrong thing to say.

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Usagi and Leonardo both looked up and over the forest as the scream of terror echoed all the way to their vantage point. Artistically, a flight of birds chose this moment to flee from the trees, adding to the notion that something truly terrifying was taking place in the apparently sinister depths.

Then there was the sound of shouting, echoing across the rocks.

"Gimme back my Silver Sentry comics, you stinky-smelly thief!"

"No need to be rude about it--"

"Give them baaaack!"

"I don't have your comics--AAAHHH! I mean, I don't have them HERE! I can--"

"Gimme gimme gimme! Silver Sentry! Gimme!"

"STOP SHAKING ME!"

"SENTREEEEE!"

Leo listened to the sounds of possible attempted murder with a sort of grave interest, and then turned to peer at Usagi. "I don't suppose," he said casually, "That you warned Gen I was bringing Mikey with me?"

Usagi gave a serene shrug. "It appears to have slipped my mind. I am sure Gen will find it fair, as the ownership of these ... 'comics' ... slipped his."

Leo nodded wisely. After that, they drank tea together on the rocks on top of the waterfall and tried not to let the sounds of Gen being strangled get to them too much.

It was a beautiful day.

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This actually occurred to me while I was writing Underdark, given Mikey swears he'll give all his comics to charity if there's an elevator nearby. Then I thought, "Wait …didn't Gen steal those?"

So I figured I may as well write a story in which he gets them back. Hee. This one's just for fun.