Inspired by my brother who asked me if I wanted Butterfinger, and instead handed me a stick of butter (something that is in the story). And I apologize if the story is a bit weird. And the number count is the way it is because Mikey discovered something was up after the tenth time.
Disclaimer: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are copyrighted to Mirage (if I remember correctly).
Being the youngest and the baby, Michaelangelo was always the easiest to deceive with a simple word. Anything that dealt with food, video games, action flicks, skateboarding, and more importantly, comic books, was the main bait for his attention. Every weekend, one of his brothers would come up to him and repeatedly say, "Hey, Mikey, did you know they're coming out with the newest edition of—"; and depending on his favorite comic book, video game, or action flick, the youngest ninja turtle would run out like mad, hoping to be the first for it, only to find out he was a victim of a newly crude joke. By the time he was seventeen, he had enough of falling for the trickeries.
"And after my 794th cruel joke," he growled one morning, having marked his scoreboard for the 784th time—he decided to start counting once he figured out the plan—and jabbing his finger up in the air, "I have had enough of falling for these trickeries!"
Donatello was walking by, toothbrush hanging from the corner of his mouth, when he poked his head into Michaelangelo's room. He ignored the scoreboard to eye his brother. "Mikey, fwop tawking to yosef and come ofer to fa docho," he muttered almost inaudibly with a mouthful of toothpaste.
"`Kay, Don." And when he left, he went back to grumbling to himself, tightening his light-orange mask. "They'll be sorry they messed with me. They'll be sorry they ever thought about playing that first trick about a new Jackie Chan movie."
"Sensei, Mikey's talking to himself again!" Raphael called from near the doorway, possibly on purpose.
"No, I'm not!" And he ran out of his room for the training, dodging a smack to the head.
All throughout the meditating, punches and kicks to the punching bags, balancing and many more, the youngest kept his mind occupied on plotting the sneakiest, pay-back trickery of all time. He thought about replacing their weapons with ones made from cheap material, but he knew a harsh punishment was also in the making. Another was to prank them, but thought back to rule number one: respect one another and yourself. Taking a peek at Master Splinter as they practiced sparring, he leaned to the idea of telling him about how his brothers were hurting his feelings with lies about this and that, but didn't want to be a tattle-turtle.
And as Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael argued over whose candy was whose later that night, Mikey, as far as his mind could think within a day, developed an idea that was the cherry on top.
After thinking up puns all night and into the next day, he targeted his first victim... err, brother. Poking his head around the corner, he spotted Donnie working on the blueprints to a new invention. Occasionally, he'd mutter to himself and erased here and there. Smirking evilly, Michaelangelo slipped to his side the sneaky way all ninja learned. Remember, play along, he reminded himself. "What'cha working on, Donnie?" he asked loudly, startling him into almost messing up the blueprint.
His head snapped up to look at whoever was interrupting him, rolling his eyes and sighing on spotting his brother. "I'm working on trying to create a hybrid," he explained, "on binoculars, magnifying glasses, telescopes, periscopes, microscopes, kaleidoscopes, anything that deals with magnification or scientific reasons while we're out fighting the Foot, and also for my reasons for testing eyesight; I'm a geek with that topic right now. For example, with the magnifying lenses, we can pick up some tiny clues someone could've dropped to indicate a scene of a crime or to prove they were there, and use a microscope to view even better, later taking it for DNA testing. Telescopes are going to be used for amusements on those tedious nights to check the vastness of space, as well as the kaleidoscopes for you, Mikey. I'm also planning on putting together optometrist attachments in case we injure our oculars in a fight. That way, we'll be able to check if anything was damaged on the surface, like scratches on the cornea or sudden blindness due to the optic nerve being mortally scathed or the retinas. Unless you suddenly are plagued with colorblindness, due to the rods and cones being thoroughly manipulated to alter a certain hue it was otherwise programmed to reflect through the lens after giving information to the brain or else block that communication all together, are you with me so far?"
His baby brother had the same childish grin throughout the semi-conscious speech about eyes and the concerns of damages. Sadly, his un-abnormally-enlarged brain couldn't take the information and slightly fizzed out with a "bzzt", losing him at the part about telescopes being used for entertainment. One look and an uneducated person would believe Mikey understood everything Donatello was saying or was otherwise being polite. The genius knew he became brain dead during his talk. Sighing, he shook him by the shoulders to snap him out of his state before turning back to his blueprints. "Uh, I'm sorry, Donnie, could you repeat that?" he groaned, rubbing his temple. "I sorta blanked out there."
"I worry you won't survive the next blackout, Mikey. What was it you wanted?"
The lights flickered back on and he remembered the caper he was going to play on his brother. Smirking as innocently as he could, he said slyly, "Between the choices of Snickers, 3 Musketeers, and Butterfinger, which would you prefer?" Of course, he knew Donnie's favorite candy was Snickers, but it was part of his plan. After listening to the three of them argue over who stole whose candy, he had gone through their favorite sweets and thought up of puns for them. He chose the best ones out of the whole list he had stayed up making to perform. Ab-libbing in other words, seeing as he had no time to practice when his alarm clock frightened him at five in the morning.
Setting down his pencil, Donatello slowly turned to him suspiciously. "You know my favorite's Snickers, and always will be. Did you know chocolate has an ingredient that—"
Interrupting another of his scientific research stories, he continued, "I was wondering, because I had found some candy hidden in the pantry, and thought to myself, 'Hmm, I have some wonderful big brothers. It would be a pity to eat these without sharing. After all, sharing is caring!' So I brought along some Snickers. Would you like them?"
"Oh, yes please. I didn't think you were so generous." Here, he held out his hands to collect the chocolate.
One glance at the open palms, and Mikey's face scrunched up, with his teal eyes giggly and cheeks puffed out. From deep inside his contained air came the terrible sound of held in laughter. Donatello didn't know what was going on; he believed he was getting sweets from an unusually friendly sibling. But after a few minutes, he began hearing snickering coming from his baby brother, and watched the eyes grow brighter. He frowned. "Is something wrong?" he wondered. "Are you suffering from another one of your cherished moments we all somehow managed to forget?"
"N-No," he sniggered.
"Have you grown mad from the toxic fumes of New York City?"
"N-Not even... c-close," came the giggle.
"You didn't get into the mushrooms again, did you?"
Raising a brow in annoyance, he lowered his out-stretched arms. "Then what is so funny?"
Unable to hold it in, Michaelangelo created an uproar of laughter in the secret laboratory of his Einstein of a sibling, his sides hurting and face turning purple. Donatello waited impatiently for him to calm down. "Y-You wanted Snickers, r-right?" he gasped.
"Yes, but I never got them."
"Of course you did! I gave you snickers, didn't you hear them?" And he roared once more.
He cringed in pain from when he was "fwack"ed in the back of the head. It seemed strange he was so calm doing it, sitting at his desk and hitting him without another noticeable movement. "Don't do that, Mikey," he scolded, swerving back to face his work. "That's idleness when it comes to wasting other people's time when you should be using yours to train or work."
"I thought only Raph was allowed to hit me," Mikey whined, but he shuffled out of his brother's room, rubbing his cranium and feeling sorry for himself. But when he closed the door, his expression changed from mopey and apologetic-for-interrupting-his-brother-and-causing-idleness to giddy and the-evil-plotting-to-get-revenge-for-the-794-trickeries-they-did-on-him face.
Cackling quietly, he hurried to the dojo where Leonardo had gone to after lunch.
There are titles the brothers had given themselves since they were young. Michaelangelo was known around the house as the baby, Prankster, or Joker's Monster. Sometimes, the nickname "bonehead", "Michaeldork" or "Mikey, you klutz, get away from the television or your braincells will melt" was slipped in from time to time, courtesy of Raph. Donatello became Einstein, voted unanimously by the family. Raphael was the Hothead, and they left it at that to contain the volcano. Leonardo, no matter how hard he argued he wasn't one, became Fearless Leader.
Much to Mikey's luck, Leo was meditating, a sign he wasn't to be disturbed. A few times, he took a step inside before reeling back around and feeling frustrated about himself. Finally, he had the guts to stroll in almost nonchalantly and paused next to his eldest brother, rocking nervously on his heels. It was strange to stand by him in this mysterious state. It felt like he wasn't there, and yet the presence was as eerie and present as it could be. Taking a deep breath, the youngest slowly reached over and poked the temple closest to him.
Fortunately, Leo barely twitched. "What do you want, Mikey?" he breathed in his constant state. "What's so important that you're disturbing the mind in its relaxed spirit? What's more important to you, little brother, peace or chaos?"
It was rhetorical questions he dared not answer. But he was always the daring type, and he opened his big yap to prove so. "Of course peace is important to me! The more there is, the less wars there are! But that would also mean we'd be out of work, since there wouldn't be no crime to fight against. So there has to be chaos! However if there's too much of it, then what's the point in trying to meditate with the constant noise everywhere? Screams from mugged people would ring in our ears all night! The subway would be too busy to hear anything! And no matter how hard we'll try, we could never fight them all what with another crime wave on the other side of the island! But... with a little bit of both, every now and then you'll find peace even in a world of chaos. Still, I like peace more, and—"
Mikey shut up when he noticed the anger present on Leo's face. Slowly, he came out of his meditation, opening a hazel eye to glare at him. "Obviously, Mikey, chaos is more important to you than anything," he growled.
Grinning nervously, he quickly said, "Would you like some candy to calm your nerves?"
Silence between the two was a tension the youngest couldn't take. While his brother proceeded to corrode a hole in his stomach, he would fidget in his spot and wish he waited until after the self-training was through. Not a word came out from the siblings in fear a quarrel would break out and thus attract Splinter's attention. Yet, when a little bit of the burden had passed, Leonardo slowly spoke, barely moving his lips. "Do I... want candy? Are you crazy?"
"Crazy to share with my favorite, biggest brother of all time! What would you like?"
A deep, crossed sigh came from the oldest turtle, his shoulders tense enough for the muscles to show shape. "I don't care. What's available?"
Counting off on his fingers, he mentioned, "Snickers, 3 Musketeers, and Butterfinger."
It didn't take him long to answer. "I'll take the Musketeers. How big are they?"
In response, Michaelangelo raised a brow. "Dude, didn't you know they were, like, six feet in height?"
His brother blinked, and he frowned slightly. "What're you talking about?"
"You know, Leo, I didn't think you were the type to eat the vulnerable," he continued, gazing off somewhere else with a smug grin. "Sure, you could do a sword fight with one another, but if the winner ate the loser, I'd be a bit worried there."
"Mikey, what the heck are you talking about?" Leonardo cried again. "Aren't you talking about the candy bar?"
"Oh! Now you're believing they're chocolate now, aren't ya? Well, hate to break it to you, but they're dead! Can't eat rotten flesh now, can you?"
The eldest scowled, figuring that whatever it was Michaelangelo was arguing about, it wasn't going anywhere. "Go away, Mikey," he ordered, waving him away. "You're getting me in another mood again."
"I thought you wanted your Musketeers!"
"Then give me the chocolate bar and leave!"
"I don't have one! Dang it, bro, you ruined the joke!" And with a growl, he stamped out of the dojo, leaving a disgruntled, but puzzled, Leo behind.
After watching his brother leave, he slowly relaxed his body and mind, shaking his head. "I have no idea where Mikey gets these ideas from."
Everyone knew that messing with Raphael was worse than the Shredder had ever been. Everything about him was intimidating, from his poisonous get-the-heck-out-of-my-face look of his golden glare to the sharp gleam of the deadly sai. Even when he was sleeping, it was frightening to even try to sneak by his room in fear he'd spear at the quietest sound. And as he was hunting for a snack in the kitchen, Mikey knew he was dead even before asking him. By the look on his brother's face, he was moody about something.
But his determination to try and get back at his brothers was still strong, even when the others didn't fall for it. So he puffed out his chest as far as he could and strutted just as casually to the fridge. Opening it, he forced on a scowl and a snarl, slamming it shut. Raphael's attention began to swing toward his brother's sudden attitude. "Dang it, we're all out!"
"Of what, Mikey? Common sense?" He snorted. "We ran out a long time ago before you came along."
"No!" he snapped the best he could, making Raph raise a brow. "There's no more protein shakes!" And he pounded the wall with a fist.
Confused like his other brothers, the hothead of the group became more of a calm person, amused at Michaelangelo's attempt to be upset. "Uh, we never had any in the first place. Those shakes are fake, they only give you calories."
"Then we're out of steak!"
"Since when did you eat steak? We're not that carnivorous."
"I'm so mad, I could... punch Don if I could!"
Raphael gave a small chuckle, shaking his head. "Oh, really? I'd like to see you try."
"I will!" And he stomped out of the kitchen, awkwardly in the eyes of his older brother. Snickering, the ninja turtle took out a carton of milk and leaned up against the counter, waiting for Mikey to return. As he took a sip, he heard the smack! and unforgettable exclaim of Donatello's "What the heck is wrong with you?!", and he choked on the liquid laughing.
When Michaelangelo came around the corner and saw his brother's mirth (cruelly or he actually found it funny, he never could tell), he thought maybe he was ready to fall for his trick. So he cracked his knuckles, growling. "I almost felt better there, but that's not enough, still."
Regaining his breath, Raph responded, "Then what do you want, Rookie? A punching bag?"
"Even better," Mikey smirked. "I want a snack. In the mood for candy?"
His golden eyes widened slightly, and his brow knitted. "Not... really, but I guess I'll have—Wait a minute here. What're you trying to pull?" He pointed a finger at him in suspicion. "You know well that we have our own share. I find it strange you're sharing."
He quickly thought up of an excuse. "It's because you're a wonderful big brother, even though you have a temper, and I look up to you."
Raphael stared at him for the longest time, trying to see through the ruse. When he noticed his baby brother wasn't backing down, he decided there was no harm in accepting. "All right then. What's available?"
"Oh, Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Butterfinger, all that good stuff. What'd you like?"
He thought for another minute, taking a gulp of dairy and wiping at his mouth. "Mmm, if there's any left, Butterfinger please."
The smile grew bigger, concerning the sibling across the room. "Coming right up!" Instead of going to the cupboard, he headed for the refrigerator. He took a quick scan around before pulling out a stick of butter, holding it up. Raph was taken aback in confusion. "Here you go, big brother!"
In his mind, he believed Mikey's brain had finally failed him, or else he had a premature case of Alzheimer's Syndrome sometime overnight. He gawked at the butter for a few minutes before turning his attention to the grin on his brother's face. "Uh... Mikey? That's not Butterfinger."
"Sure it is! Watch!" And Raphael watched in disgust as he peeled off a long strip of the cream and smeared it onto a finger. "See? All you do is rub this stuff all over your finger, pop it into your mouth..." He obliged, ignoring the surprised stare of disbelief. "...and enjoy!"
"Mikey, that's disgusting!" he shouted, almost slamming the carton down on the counter. "You can't do that to butter! It's wasteful and unhealthy! And think of the germs that have been spread on that thing!"
"Since when did you get so hygienic?" he asked, applying another layer on the same finger. "Besides, what's so harmful about butter?"
"It's a fatty oil. You are supposed to consume fat sparingly like you do sweets every now and then, like... once every week and a half or so. Don't you know your food pyramid?"
After smacking on another helping of "Butterfinger", he answered, "Uh, there's carbohydrates on the bottom, uh, fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy products, fat and oil and the dessert on the tippity-top."
"There you go!"
"But isn't butter a dairy product?"
"I-It doesn't matter!" Raphael sputtered. "Look, I may not like you enough to always give you a pat on the back, a hug, or anything family, but as an older brother of yours, I'm responsible for you in my part of making sure you're well and safe. And I hope you're listening, `cause you're not hearing this from me again."
Michaelangelo gazed at him in shock, stuffing the stick of butter in the fridge. "Wow! The soft side of the Hothead none of us will ever see again! Oh, I wish Master Splinter were here to hear this, maybe even Leo and Donnie!"
"Shut it," he grumbled, face turning a slight shade of red in embarrassment, returning the milk to its rightful place in the refrigerator.
"What else are you hiding from us, Raph? Does this mean you actually care for us after all, though you tend to push us around?"
"Put a lid on it, Mikey." He left the kitchen to head upstairs.
The youngest followed him in interest, wanting more of the secrets he's been keeping. "No, seriously, tell me! I promise I won't tell for another week!"
"Ple-e-ease? I really want to know you better! What if you get seriously injured and fall into another coma and never wake up? What if you get captured by the Foot and hidden away for good? What if you drop dead this instant, rejecting the thought you love us?"
"Michaeldork, I'm serious!" Raphael snarled, glaring at him over his shoulder. "Leave me alone! I'm not the fluffy type!"
"You do love us! Oh, I always knew my big brother had a good side to him! Give me a hug, bro!"
"Shell no, I won't!"
But being the turtle he was, Michaelangelo flipped over him so he could face his brother and gave him the tightest hug he could give. Despite the yelling to get him off, he managed to act like a five-year-old when he cried over the noise, "I love you, brother! You're the bestest a guy could ever have!"
"Not until I get a big brother hug!"
The struggling for Raph to escape from him to regain his toughness and his baby brother trying to soften him up continued for another few minutes. During this, the sai were difficult to reach from this awkward position, and not wanting to get in trouble with Splinter for pushing him down the stairs, he tried prying him off. It was luck that Mikey eventually got bored and let go. "Still want your Butterfinger, Raph?" he asked like nothing happened, beaming up at him.
"What the shell is wrong with you?!" he roared. "No one, and I mean no one gets away that easily without a one-way trip to Bruise City!"
During the whole struggle, Leonardo and Donatello had stood behind him, watching the scene with surprise and confusion. When the youngest waved to them, Raphael spun around and almost turned back to strangle Michaelangelo and hide in his room all day. "What's going on here?" Don asked. "Mikey, did you do something?"
"Yes! He hugged me! Didn't you see that?!"
"Of course we did," Leo snickered. "I just wished Splinter allowed cameras. It was a Kodak moment."
"Well, I'm glad he didn't! I'd die every time this was brought up."
His little brother squealed out of the blue. "So you're admitting you could die in embarrassment!"
"Raphael, whatever happened to brotherly love?" The boys turned to see their father and sensei walk in, a calm look on his aging face, crimson silk robe flowing gently with each step. Though a ginger color, a majority of his hairs had long ago turned to gray to show wisdom—he had once mentioned some was from raising turtles into teenage years—and latter days, but the spirit in his tired eyes still showed light that wouldn't fade for a long while. His hands were behind his back, but they thought less of it. "Michaelangelo has a point."
The said turtle gave a smile of pleasure. "Does this mean he has to give us all hugs, now?" His brother glared venomously at him.
"Not exactly. He will when he's ready. But let this be an important lesson about family. As a family, we all must care for one another and show respect. Even though we all have different interests, thoughts and hearts, it's the soul that connects each and every one of us together. Any questions, my sons?"
"More of a statement," Mikey spoke up. "I may be a tattle-turtle when I say this, but... guys?" he addressed to his brothers. "You haven't been showing respect to me on weekends. For the last 794 Saturdays you say something about a new release just to get me out of the house for a few days, I felt hurt about this. So.. the reason why I bothered you today was to get revenge. I guess it wasn't working, since none of you seemed to get the jokes and all that."
Splinter raised his brows, looking from teen to teen. "You three have been tormenting your little brother?"
They hung their heads. "We were only messing around," Leonardo confessed. "Not that we're trying to rid of him. We like having him around the place."
"It was part of an experiment at one point," Donatello added sheepishly. "It got dull, but we couldn't help but see your face light up every time we said something."
"No, actually, it was to get you off our backs here and there," Raphael muttered to him, smirking.
"You still hurt my feelings,"Mikey whispered sadly. "Not because I was disappointed about this or that, but for a while, I thought you hated me."
"Hate is a strong word," the elderly rat pointed out. "Why would they if it wasn't present in our humble home?"
"Mikey, if we really did, you wouldn't have made it to your sixteenth birthday," the red-masked turtle cited, wrapping an arm around his brother's shoulders. "Sure, one of us, particularly me, would show that it might look like we... dislike you enough to throttle you at any given moment, but as brothers, we care for each other. Why else was I concerned about you eating the butter?"
The other two turtles turned to one another, not wanting to know what he meant. Splinter was nodding to himself when his youngest son perked up. "I see... so you actually do care for me."
"Hey, what'd I say about that topic?" he threatened, snapping his fingers menacingly. "I don't wanna hear about it anymore."
"But you brought it up."
Everyone else laughed when Raph made a warning gesture of strangulation to quiet him. "Well, my sons, how about we go and meditate on this for a little bit?" Splinter suggested. "You might find yourself strengthened to this bond of yours even more. But first, apologize to your little brother."
Leo and Don walked up to where he stood on the stairs, sighing and nodding to one another. "Sorry, bro," Leo spoke up quietly. "It started out as a cruel joke at first. Didn't think it would carry on like that."
"And I'll apologize for egging them on when I should've put an end to it," the violet-banded teen admitted. "Never did give it much thought to how it'd affect you."
"Hey, it's okay, bros. And I'm sorry for disturbing you."
With smiles of relief, the eldest gave him a brotherly noogie and Donatello clapped his shoulder. Raphael exhaled deeply and embraced him after a hesitation. "Sorry, little guy," he muttered, patting his shell. "Didn't mean to hurt you like that."
"Ah, what's done is done."
He was silent, before whispering, "And, um... I have laughed at you a few times before because of this..."
Mikey blinked. "You have?"
There suddenly came a white flash and low whir not too far from the ground. The four looked over the railing to see their sensei with a camera in hand, a pleased smile on his face. Holding it up, he said, "As a way to remember this day."
"Aw, Master Splinter!" Raphael groaned, releasing his sibling quickly. "Do you enjoy torturing me?"
"Well, I do," his baby brother piped up, giggling. "And every weekend, once the film's developed, I'm going to tease you about it."
"Raphael, you are forbidden to dispose of this photograph in any way," was the quick reply. "This will be framed and placed where everyone can see it. And I'm enlarging it for the occasion."
The hothead turned to his brothers, though mostly to Michaelangelo. "You're dead," he warned, jabbing his finger to his chest plate with a paralyzing leer before heading grudgingly to the dojo.
Mikey only shrugged. "Brotherly love is different with other people, I guess," he sighed.
"That's what creates a home," Splinter chuckled, following his troubled student. "Come, boys. You must find the peace in this chaos."
Leonardo raised a brow. "That's what I was doing before I was rudely interrupted."
His brother grinned nervously. "No hard feelings, right?" His voice was timid when he queried this, and the other brothers looked at one another, thoughtful looks on their faces.
"I dunno, Mikey," the eldest at last shrugged. "It's not very often it's quiet around the place. I didn't savor the feeling very well, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to return to that wonderful place again..."
The youngest almost felt like falling to his knees to beg. "I'm very, very sorry, big brother! I'll make it up to you by doing your chores, following your orders and being your partner a bit more! I swear!"
"How about you give me your share of sweets and we'll call it even?"
"Yes, yes! Of course!"
Don gave it a shot as well. "And for as long as I have a new invention in the making, you shall be my... tester when it comes to checking for any ailments."
"I can be the lab guinea pig for all I care! What would you like me to do in return?"
"Keep your hands off of my experiments and that's all the payments and appreciation I need."
During practice, Mikey pleaded with the other brother to have his own share of the agreement to keep things from going awry again. "If you don't want me to hurt you in any way," he thought carefully while waiting for his turn in mock fights, "then you shall be my... pillow, metaphorically speaking, every time I get angry enough to vent out my anger."
He looked worried. "Really?"
"Naw, I'm kidding. No, actually, I want you to keep the peanut gallery to itself, `kay? Any crackpots from you, and you shall be punished gravely. And to keep it balanced, I won't threaten you with violence and all that."
They left it at that, unanimously voted. At least until the pictures were developed and Raphael found not one picture of his soft side revealed, but two, from when he was trying to push him off. He targeted his anger toward his sibling instead of Splinter, saying it was all his fault the event occurred. But since he didn't keep his end of the bargain, he never had a peaceful weekend, what with the youngest constantly shoving it down his throat all the time. "Now you'll know how I felt all those years," his brother murmured to him overnight at dinner for the umpteenth time when his patience was over the edge. "Can you feel the love now?"
His brother only strangled him at long last.