5-21 April 2008
Beta-Readers: Moonshayde from Livejournal, Amelia Roth, Meg Satine
Disclaimer: I don't own the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I don't even know them; I have just been a fan for seventeen plus years. This story is for entertainment purposes only, unless you want to give me a quarter. Then I'll tell you your fortune. I love quarters.
Summary: Leonardo's trust in Karai puts him and his brothers in danger.
Leonardo sliced his katana into the crimson stain, his muscles tense with determination. He scraped deeper and deeper. Sweat seeped from every pore of his green skin.
"Dude, what are you doing?" Michelangelo asked. He stood behind his brother and crossed his arms.
Leonardo turned from the refrigerator. "I'm trying to clean the fridge, Mike. You sure didn't make it easy on me, dumping pizza sauce down the side of the drawer." He gestured to the red mark. He picked off a chunk of gunk with the blade and studied it. "What did you put in this stuff?" he asked. "Cement?"
Michelangelo raised his arms. "Hey, dude, you know I can't reveal what goes in my secret sauce, not even to you. Sorry, bro."
"Well, next time, can't you clean it up when it's still wet?" Leonardo asked. Gritting his teeth, he sawed the tip of his katana across the dried sauce. "It's a pain the shell getting it off almost a week later."
"Now you know what I had to put up with last week!" Donatello's voice carried into the kitchen before the turtle entered the room. He was wiping his hands on a rag, which he then swiped across his forehead.
"It couldn't have been this bad." Leonardo shook his head. "Look at this mess!"
Donatello peered over his brother's shoulder. He shrugged. "Oh, that? That's nothing."
"What do you mean? 'Nothing'! I've been working on it for twenty minutes!" Leonardo protested. "I started with a Brillo, but that didn't even scratch the surface. I haven't done much damage with my katana…" He watched Donatello settle into his chair at the kitchen table. His brother wore a satisfied grin. "You're already done cleaning the bathroom?"
"Oh yeah," Donatello beamed. He leaned back in his chair and propped his feet on the table. "I took care of Mikey's soap sculptures and all."
"Dude, that's because you used your…"
Donatello widened his eyes at his youngest brother. "Hey, you have your secret sauce, and I have mine!"
Michelangelo nodded toward Donatello but looked to Leonardo. "He's invented a super duper powerful cleaner."
Leonardo's armed hand dropped, his katana clacking against the floor. "Don, you've got to let me use some!"
Donatello swung his legs to the floor and jumped to his feet in one fluid movement. "All right! All right!" He feigned a longsuffering sigh and headed for his lab.
"Thanks, bro!" Leonardo called after him. "I owe you one." He resumed scraping the pizza sauce. He bore down harder and harder. With a groan, he thrust his katana into one corner. The blade slipped off the edge and slid right over the top of the stain. Leonardo lost his balance and fell into the refrigerator.
"Holy!" Michelangelo exclaimed, rushing to his brother's side. "Leo, are you okay?" He helped the fallen turtle to his feet.
Leonardo rubbed his head. "Yeah, I'm fine, Mike… but I can't say the same for the fridge."
Both turtles peered into the refrigerator, at the six inch gash at the back.
"Maybe, if we stick the jug of milk in front of it, Sensei won't notice?" Michelangelo offered.
Laying a hand on his brother's shoulder, Leonardo shook his head. "No, Mike, I can't hide my mistakes," he sighed. "Thanks anyway."
Donatello shuffled into the kitchen, carrying a metal spray bottle. "Now, Leo," he explained. "You only need the slightest amount or else…" His words faded at the sight of the fridge. "Dude! You killed it!"
Leonardo rubbed the back of his neck.
"Um… Let me see if I have anything in my lab that might repair the damage." Donatello handed the spray bottle to his oldest brother. "Why don't you make your peace with the fridge in the meantime?" He glanced at Michelangelo. "Hey, are you finished cleaning your room?"
Michelangelo laughed. "Shell, no! I got the munchies and came down here for a snack!"
"Well, you should grab your snack and get back to work," Donatello advised. "Sensei won't be happy if he comes back and still can't see the floor of your room."
"Yeah, yeah!" Michelangelo snatched a box of cold pizza off the kitchen table and shuffled out of the room.
Leonardo watched his brothers leave before spritzing the dried sauce with Donatello's solution. The stain dissolved before his eyes. "All right, bro!" He whispered the cheer with a smile.
Leonardo wiped down the rest of the refrigerator with a soapy sponge and dried it with a towel in his other hand as he went. The job was done in two minutes. Soon, he was taking all the food off the kitchen table and restocking the refrigerator.
His shell cell beeped at his side just as he closed the refrigerator door. Leonardo pulled it off his belt and flipped it open. His eyes focused on the dark haired beauty staring back. "Karai?"
"Leonardo," she replied in an even tone. "Please, I need to speak with you. Meet me on the roof of the Motegi building."
The turtle's face tensed. "What is it? Is everything all right?"
"We will speak in person, Leonardo. Please, meet me in ten minutes." Karai's image vanished.
Leonardo stared at the blank screen for a few seconds before shutting the shell cell. He grabbed his mask off the table and walked out of the kitchen. As he rounded the corner, he bumped into Michelangelo.
"Ugh!" The both exclaimed as they collided.
"Mikey," Leonardo rumbled, rubbing his head. "Where the shell are you going?"
Michelangelo widened his eyes beneath the hand massaging his scalp. "Dude, I was just getting a snack!"
"Holy shit! What the shell!" The string of obscenities continued to flow out of the dojo.
Leonardo and Michelangelo exchanged glances.
"Yeah, Raph's not too big on polishing exercise equipment," Michelangelo explained.
"You're one to talk," Leonardo replied with a chuckle. "How many snack breaks have you had? Four or five?"
"You missed a couple when you were still cleaning your room," Michelangelo admitted sheepishly. He glanced at the mask in his brother's hand. "Hey, going somewhere?"
Leonardo nodded. As he tied the mask behind his head, he said, "Karai called. She wants to talk."
Michelangelo's body stiffened in its shell. "And you're going alone?"
"She says I'm the only one she can trust."
"Yeah, but can you trust her?"
Leonardo and Michelangelo turned toward the lab, where a stern Donatello stood with his arms crossed.
"No," Donatello repeated, making eye contact with his oldest brother. "You can't. Sensei doesn't want you getting close to her."
"He told me to trust my instincts," Leonardo replied. He approached Donatello and crossed his own arms. "He hasn't forbidden me from seeing her."
Donatello tightened his grasp on his biceps. "He didn't say it, but you know what he wants."
Leonardo nodded. "Yes, but in telling me to trust my instincts, Sensei recognizes that I'm old enough to make my own decisions."
Heaving a sigh, Donatello closed his eyes. He shook his head and lowered it to his chest. "I don't know about this, Leo."
Leonardo turned to his youngest brother and flashed him a smile. "See you later, Mikey! No more snack breaks. That room needs to be clean before Splinter returns." His smile faded when he turned to Donatello. "Later, Don." Leonardo slipped out of the lair.