Disclaimer: I don't own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or any of its characters.

After watching the episode I, Monster featuring the Rat King, I decided to dedicate a fic for the guy. I have portrayed him almost like a little kid, with his emotions and thoughts switching back and forth, according to the situation. It's hard to depict a character that only appeared in one episode. I'm apologizing ahead of time in case I didn't do it right. I'll accept constructive criticism on how to improve on my writing. Until then, hope you enjoy and review!

Even Monsters Get Hungry

I dreamed, drifting from one hazy vision to the next. My fingers absently stroked my pets. They squeaked and shuddered from my touch, scurrying past my dangling fingers, disappearing once more into the shadows of their lairs. No one, not even the rats, wanted my caress, tainted with grime and filth. I believe myself to be a creature of abomination and monstrosity. I have no memory of my past life or any concept of my present, of who I am or how I ended up in my current situation. How did this happen? Did I deserve it? If not, then why? I tried to remember, to focus on something, anything, but I could only remember pain, anger, blood, confusion, screams, emptiness, terror, panic and death. Of feelings and emotions, not images and certainly not memories.

However, there is one thing that I am able to remember. The eyes of my prey, whether from the past or present, do not leave my memory so easily. I memorized the hollowness and the vacancy in the eyes as life is slowly snuffed out from them. But not all eyes died like that. Some ended with a choking fear. A few were already dead when they really did die. Others screamed out, begging, crying and whimpering until they were silent forever.

Their voices are a chorus, echoing, merging with one another, harmonizing so perfectly that I am at a lost. Their voices are but fluttering waves of resonance, rising and clashing against one another, whispering their sweet lullaby to me, lulling even the roughest storm within me. I once tried to warble a tune, but my own shrilly wail drowned out the beautiful melody and I never tried again.

Dissatisfaction gnawed particularly in me today. I am bored, lying idly on my throne, awaiting my next subject to approach me. Lately, I do not receive willing scapegoats to come strolling in my domain. It would be by accident and often by some sort of foolish mistake that would lead them to me. By then, it would be too late and they are trapped in the nightmare I have created for them.

The rats shared my discomfort. They are impatient, shifting restlessly in the darkness. I speak and their rustling instantly stops. I cannot blame them for their uneasiness, for I am as unrested as them. It has been long since I ate. Days? A week or two perhaps? I cannot remember. Nor do I particularly care. I am distracted - by what? I half-wondered.

Perhaps it is because I have not met any being worthy of being called my prey. They go down too easily, too weakly, too fragilely. To the point that the chase is the only thing that is satisfying. The capture and the fun afterwards no longer thrilled me. They screamed too credulously and begged too quickly. They groveled on the ground at the slightest hint of pain, crying out to me to spare them and to get their companions rather than themselves. Their selfishness and willingness to sacrifice the others, for some reason, sickened me.

A low creak awakened me from my doze. The rats stiffened, perking up immediately, tails and noses rising intently. I shifted, waiting. A chatter of voices grew louder as did my anticipation. The sounds of hurried footsteps padded on the ground, a shout of warning and a burst of laughter rang out just as four creatures burst into my throne, toppling over each other onto the ground.

I recognized them as the four creatures who had ran into me before and escaped from me, the only ones who ever managed to escape from me. Those creatures – the word for what they are lingered on my tongue and I ached to taste it again – they froze at the sight of me, shocked to come across me again. As am I. I stood, gazing curiously and with interest at them. Were they seeking me? How did they find me? None comes willingly to find me. I'm alone. Always alone. Perhaps it was by chance. Maybe it was by reason. I cared not. What happened was that they were here now and it was the king's duty to welcome his honoured guests.

Bowing mockingly at them, I straightened, a smile on my face. They hesitated, backing up slowly. My smile widened. Leaving so soon? I feel almost insulted. As the host, it is my duty to welcome them. And how else was I to welcome my guests than to play a game with them? It shall be the survival of the fittest. Only the strongest survive and the weak are eaten. My eyes flickered from prey to prey. Which one shall be the first to be greeted?

The blue one. I remembered him. We fought a good fight last time. However, he no longer emitted that dangerous aura, so chilling and piercing. I am slightly disappointed. I liked his rage, his recklessness, his thirst for battle. Those could always fulfill my appetite. However, this substitute of him isn't too bad. I can sense his need to protect, to defend. He was wary, both body and mind screaming at me to come after him and leave the others alone. If only he knew how inclined I am to do so.

My gaze turned on the red-masked one, who is shivering with excitement and anticipation. He would put up a great fight. That I know to be true, since I did fight briefly with him before. I want to challenge him now, to beat him to the ground, to press my hands to his throat, to squeeze every breath out of his lungs, to see the life leave his eyes … But no, I must single out the weakest first. Then, we can have all the fun we want.

Ahh yes, the orange one. I remembered him too. I captured him, strapping him to a door I personally ripped off for him. But somehow, he managed to escape. And a prey that has escaped once is bound to be quicker and smarter to avoid capture a second time. I was not disappointed to see his apprehension and hostility. I ached to fight with him, but once again, I must control myself. It wouldn't be any fun if all the enjoyment was wasted too quickly in the beginning, wouldn't it?

At last, my eyes finally rested on the purple one. I cannot recall if I fought with him before. My memory slipped, faded and whispered of things I do not comprehend. Or cannot remember. I focused on the purple one again. He seemed the smallest out of the four and his weapon, some sort of wooden staff, looked the easiest to break, as his bones will be. His eyes, however, tell me a different story.

Deep amber met with my own, smoldering and snapping against them. They gleamed of strength and stability, of aptitude and perception. They challenged me to go after the others and meet the hard end of his staff instead. He silently challenged me to attack, only for me to understand that he will retaliate quickly and painfully. My strength and blood lust will not help me in this fight, for his intelligence and determination will match them in the equation, canceling them out. I liked his boldness, his tenacity. I liked the way his head jerked towards him, the way his body was tense and guarded. But most of all, I liked his eyes.

I attacked. Too sudden and abrupt for them to realize what had happened until it has already happened. My body crushed again the purple one's frailer body and we tumbled to the ground, rolling, rolling, rolling. Surprised but not helpless, he lashed out, his staff smacking against my side. I veered to the left, hands pressing his head back, slamming him to the ground. He groaned, trying to pivot his arms to raise his staff once more. I shoved my face close to his, a wild maniacal grin fastened upon my lips.

A screech of metal gave me a split second warning as I dodged, a gash on my cheek. I landed on top of a crate, rubbing my cheek wistfully. Blood has already been split and for once, it was not my preys. Red and orange blocked my view of purple, stepping aggressively forward. Blue helped purple to stand, a glower upon his lips, directed towards me. The purple one silently thanked blue and also began glaring at me, his eyes burning in anger at himself and frustration at me. He doesn't know why I had singled him out (no one does, actually) and he doesn't like it.

Surprisingly, a sudden thought struck me and I began to giggle, another insane smile surfacing on my face, feeling nearly weak with euphoria and inspiration. Why didn't I think of it sooner? I mentally beat myself for not thinking of it earlier. Why not let all my preys attack at once? Then I can have the fun I want.

Circling around them, I crouched like an animal, arms and feet fanning out, moving rhythmically in perfect harmony. I shifted smoothly, silently. I panted hungrily. I loved the way they stiffened, weapons raised, eyes following me. They were meant to be confused, to be distracted. Until it was too late. I pounced.

Knocking the orange aside, I kicked the red one, clawing at his eyes before he stepped back out of instinctual fear. Purple met me head on, whipping his staff to my head, inches away from bringing it down to my shoulder. I stopped it, swinging him and his wooden pole into the blue, who had charged. They crashed simultaneously to the ground, while the orange one lunged at me, swishing his weapons at me in deadly accuracy. I allowed him to get close to me before I sidestepped him, yanking at his weapon, using his momentary surprise and lack of balance to throw him into a pile of crates, where he crashed into them, swallowed by the splintering wood.

I am now faced with a ferocious green blur that I have recognized as the red one, the headstrong, impulsive one. Much like me. He roared his vexation as I eluded all his blows, a bellow echoing in my ears. I sprung onto the nearby metal railings, stooping as a cat would. Red's weapon came down and I am forced to jump again, steel keening as it was hacked in half. He was quick, bounding up the stairs in a mad dash to catch me. I slithered from his grasp, giggling at the jolliness of it all. I haven't have had this much fun since the last time I had fought with the blue one.

Speaking of the blue one, he joined in our festivity, hurdling over the balcony where we were, his weapon hacking at my lower body. Effortlessly, I leaned back, the blade brushing past me, striking the wall instead, impaled deeply into the venerable cement. As he tugged strenuously at his sword, I used his distraction to kick him into the red one and with a brisk yank, I had stolen his sword for myself. The blue one instantly stiffened, bristling at the fact that I was cradling his weapon in my hand.

We began our dance, all three of us, in such stunning perfection that it made my head whirl and spin in dizziness and amazement. Weapons clashed, screaming as sword fought against its partner unwillingly, forced to do so by its masters, like mindless puppets. The red one's weapons jabbed and snaked its way to me, reluctant and cautious. They know the pain of separation. They fought harder to return the sword to its brother. Their wish came true as one of the red's weapons slid neatly under my hand, twisting the sword from my grasp and yanking it away from me.

I am no match against their combined strength, unity and teamwork. I am solitary, forsaken by whomever I may have once called friend. Envious, I watched as the two swords returned to each other, singing in coexistence, pledging to never part again. Blue murmured quietly to red, thanking him. Shrugging, red smirked, teasing the blue one, as if they had already won, as if I didn't exist.

Something surged within me, so terribly harsh and forbidden. They don't know the pain of losing everything. Well, I'll make them lose something. I reached out and seized the supports for the balcony tightly, squeezing it. Immediately, the two creatures froze. One of them shouted something but it was lost as I easily snapped the defenseless supports. The whole balcony canted downwards, sending us scrambling wildly to hold onto something. Blue flung out an arm, grabbing a railing and with the other, clenched the red one's wrist. I leaped off. I don't have another to drag me down. I don't need another to bring me down. I could clearly see how those creatures depended heavily on each other. If one fell, the others will fall as well. And I already knew which one to pick.

The purple one had no notion what had hit him when I tackled him while he was busy fishing the orange one from the fractured remains of the crates. Orange yelled out in warning and hastily clambered from the ground. At my command, my darling rats sprung forth from the shadows, hissing savagely at the three remaining creatures, distracting them, leaving me to my prey. Funny how I started with him and now I will end with him.

He tried thrusting his staff at my face to knock me off balance, but I slapped it away, knocking his weapon far beyond his reach. My prey resorted to grunting and twisting, desperately seeking an exit. Like a caged animal. I dug my knees into his stomach, leaving him wheezing and gasping, unable to concentrate on anything else. My arms pressed down on his elbows, immobilizing him, as my knees did to his legs.

Grimacing, he glared at me, panic and self-restraint mingling in those divine eyes. I had almost forgotten how enthralling his eyes were. I wanted him to feel fear, to thrive in it, so I jerked his head to a side, exposing his neck. I vaguely heard him gasp as I trailed my tongue over his olive-green skin, savoring an odd, clammy sweetness in my mouth. Without thinking, without considering the consequences of my actions, I darted forward and clamped down on my prey's neck.

His reaction was simple and immediate. He yelled out, both in agony and shock. His fingers clawed at the ground, attempting to escape and failing. Warm blood gushed in my mouth, wet, sticky and coppery. I tilted my head, watching. His eyes were snapped shut, hiding his eyes, his pain, his terror, from me. I growled. I bit harder and my prey's eyes flew opened to my delight. He cried out again, but this time, weaker, softer. There was barely any energy in his eyes anymore. They were glazed over with pain, blurred of unshed tears and horror. The same raw, overwhelming horror that I longed to see in all my victims until I was done with them. But before I could relish in my newfound pleasure, a flying weapon shot in my direction and I regretfully released the screaming creature.

I landed not too far, licking the ruby-red liquid from my lips. The blue and red ones stood in front of my source of delight, separating me from him. Their eyes held a strange glint, different than before. They were filled with revolt, disgust and repulsion. The orange one crawling over to the purple one, knelt beside him, speaking too softly for me to hear, while the purple one moaned, clutching his neck, attempting to stop the blood from flowing.

No! I hissed, snarling and shrieking. Why is he doing that? Why must he cover up such a beautiful wound, the flood of that crimson ecstasy? With a roar, I rushed forward, sights only on the purple one. Red charged too, matching my movements. He slashed, one two, jabbing with his other weapon, up down sideways. I jumped over him, only to meet the blue one. He too swiped at my sides, in which I kicked out, one foot hitting both his swords and the other hitting him in the chest. He toppled, orange now joining the fight, leaping over the fallen, ducking from my punch, returning one of his own.

I cocked my head, curious. Why should they be so eager to attack and hurt me? Their approach and fighting were unusual now. It was more violent and erratic, with more force, snipping at my neck, arms and legs. The red one punched me hard in the stomach, knocking me down. He said something, hissing words through his clenched teeth, eyes blazing. The blue one bobbed his head in agreement, angling his swords towards me. I don't understand. Their killing intent is unclear to me. I had attacked only the purple one, not either of them. Shouldn't their strength be waning because one of their own had fallen? But instead, they grew in power while I diminished in it.

This was no dance, like the one from before. Nor was this a game, a plaything that I had enjoyed to participate in. This was a hunt, where I had become the hunted and my preys the hunters. They were relentless, my hunters. They pursued me with claw, teeth and blood. No longer were they cautious and defensive. Anger rippled and lashed out viciously at me, scorching against my skin, biting deep into my very bones. All because I had attacked the purple one.

With an impressive kick, the red one managed to force me crashing against a beam. Surprising how it only took one beam to bring the entire warehouse shaking and quavering. More beams fell like dominoes and the balcony descended completely. Th ceiling's metal panels began raining down upon us like fat, silver droplets. One of the creatures yelled out a warning. The remaining ones hoisted the semi-conscious purple one, while the world around collapsed and fell into ruin. I, however, stood still. There was something fantastical and enthralling about standing in the middle of the all this chaos that was partly caused by me. The strange thing was that I felt no fear. It was as if I had knew that none of the rubble would fall on me.

The blue one darted between the falling debris, shouting at me to move. His concern for me baffled me. First, he tried to kill me. Now, he was trying to save me? A great spray of metal, wood and dust separated us, a gulf that was never meant to be parted. I continued to watch as he frantically tried to reach me but as the ceiling succumbed with its last ounce of strength, I knew he would never make it.

Darkness blanketed over me, like a cloak, wrapped warmly around my bony shoulders. Before, half the time, I had once feared it, as if it was a monster, stalking me, trying to lure me to its realm. But now, it has become my companion, my comfort. I raised my head. It was a half-snapped beam that had saved my life, dangling precariously overhead. With a grunt, I lifted my savior and pushed it and the debris on top of it off. Glancing around, I could clearly see that my throne was covered in rubble and dust, with more than half the ceiling collapsed and the walls barely standing. There were four dim figures in the distance, one of them carrying another. As they disappear into the night and away from me, I run my tongue over my teeth, seeking any last drops of blood. Satisfied that I managed to savor that delightful taste one more time, I returned to my throne, pushing wreckage and dust off and settled down on it, alone. The rats approached me, squeaking softly, a wonderful lullaby to ease my mind after the strenuous exercise.

And when I get hungry again, those creatures better watch it. Especially that purple one. I won't wait any longer for them to come to me. Done were my days of sitting idly and waiting like an old woman, hands folded obediently in my lap. I'll find them. And I'll get them. I'll make sure of it.

After all, a king never forgets his loyal subjects. And neither do I.