Chapter One


A piece of furniture was thrown heavily across the room and smashed against the wall. The sound of the wood shattering echoed across the lair and made Donatello jump, his work on the computer momentarily halted.

He rolled his eyes in exasperation. Raphael and Leonardo had been at each other's throats for the last 45 minutes. Normally, it was just yelling and harsh words, but once furniture started being thrown, it meant that one of them had crossed the line. Usually, it was Leo who crossed the line and Raph who threw furniture.

The sound of the elevator sliding shut hit Donny's ears next, and he waited. . .

1. . .

2. . .

3. . . seconds passed before heavy feet stomped toward his room. Before he could see which brother was still around, he heard Leo's voice, cold and angry.

"Can you believe him?!"

Donny sighed. He had been right. Leo had crossed the line. "What did you say to him?" He asked without turning from his computer screen.

"What did I say to him?" Leo scoffed in disbelief. "You breathe wrong at the guy and he flips out!"

Donny signed again. "Yes, I know. But, at the same time, so do you."

Leo stared, his mouth slightly open. Donny could almost feel the fire begin to form in his eyes again. "Excuse me?" There was a bite to his words.

Donny let his shoulders drop as he lightly massaged his temples with his fingers. He really didn't want to fight. "Leo, you know what I mean. You don't need to push his buttons." He kept his voice soft and without confrontation. Apparently, Leo didn't hear the tone.

"Me? Push his buttons?!? What about him? He's the one walking around all day with a chip on his shell. Yet, we're the ones who need to tip-toe around on egg shells just to make sure his buttons don't get pushed?" Leo was almost screaming by now.

Donny spun in his chair to face his older brother. His words were almost pleading. "Leo, I never meant. . ."

He was harshly cut off by Leonardo's hand. "No! I see how it is. Of course, by all means, take his side. He is, after all, the tortured one!"

"I never said-"

"Whatever. I don't even want to talk about it anymore. You know, it's bad enough taking it from him, but I never expected it from you." His eyes in thin slits, he spun on his heels and was out the door before Donny could close his gaping mouth. He was speechless, absolutely speechless.

Leo was barely out of Donny's room when he saw the one face he did not want to see. Michelangelo grinned at his brother, a look of mischief on his features.

"Hey! Leo!!"

Leo shook his head, his mouth in a tight frown. "Not now, Mike."

Mikey's smile hardly faltered. "No, seriously, Leo. Taste this!" Suddenly, he pulled a large green bowl out from behind his back, and lifted a dripping wooden spoon toward Leo's face.

Leo wasn't sure which was worse, the way it looked, or the way that it smelled. It was a drippy white mixture with large, chalky lumps that smelled like a mixture of sweat and Mikey's socks. Leo scowled and pushed the spoon back toward his brother. The liquid in the bowl sloshed dangerously in the bowl from the sudden impact. "No. Now leave me alone."

"No, just taste it!!" Mikey thrust the concoction toward him again. A large, gooey blob fell from the spoon and landed with a loud SPLAT on Leonardo's foot.

Leo looked down, the fire rekindling in his eyes. "What part of leave me alone do younot understand?!" He bellowed before violently pushing past Michelangelo. Mikey stumbled backwards, nearly tumbling down the stairs, some of the mystery mixture splashing onto his hands.

"Geez!" He called loudly. "What crawled up your shell and died?!" The sound of Leo's door being viciously slammed was his only answer.