Drabble: About Those Masks...
by KC
Disclaimer: I don't own the turtles.
Pairing: None
Other info: Written in about 45 minutes. It just came to me.

"There's something I've been meaning to ask you guys."

Holding a cup of hot tea, April sat down on the arm of the couch, watching Michelangelo stitch a gash on Raphael's shoulder. Beside them, Leonardo bandaged burns on Donatello's hands, not easy to do when his own shoulder had been wrenched back into place with an ice pack balanced on top.

"Go ahead," Raphael said between clenched teeth. "Anything to distract me from clumsy fingers here. Ow!"

"Quit whining," Michelangelo muttered, leaning closer to the wound. "Big baby. You'd complain even more if you were doing the cross-stitch here."

Smiling in sympathy, April went on.

"I wanted to ask for ages, but--why do you guys wear masks?"

They all looked up at her with wide eyes, as if they couldn't believe she'd actually said it. She took sip of tea so she could hide behind the cup, looking at them over the rim.

"We have to," Michelangelo finally stumbled out. "We wouldn't be ninjas if we didn't. It's, like, a rule."

"But why?" she asked when it didn't look like they were going to jump down her throat. "I mean, it's not like it hides your identities. If anything, it makes it easier to tell you apart. Until I got to know you guys, the colors helped a lot."

"Really?" Donatello asked. "I never noticed."

"Well, it's not like I went around calling you 'Red' or 'Yellow'--"

"Hey," Michelangelo said defensively. "Orange, thank you. I am not yellow."

"Except when it comes to fighting big bugs," Raphael snickered.

"Like you can talk. You're afraid of little bugs."

"Hey--"

"Seriously," she said before they could start fighting. "What about tonight's fight? I know I heard them yelling 'get the blue one, get the blue one'."

"That reminds me," Donatello said, looking up at Leonardo. "Thanks, fearless leader. I love it when the guy next to me draws everybody's fire. Even better when we're standing next to the incendiary device."

"One star got by me, that's it--" Leonardo snapped.

"All the practice you do," Donatello kept going, "don't you get anything out of --ow!"

Donatello glared as Leonardo gently pulled back the bandage he'd jerked tight on his hand.

"We really do have to wear masks, though," Michelangelo said. "We wouldn't look as cool if we didn't."

April touched her brow trying to ease the mild headache starting. "You could wear all one color. Red would look good."

"Oh, don't say that," Leonardo warned her. "Raph already has enough of a swelled head."

"Here we go," Donatello sighed.

"Me? Me?" Raphael growled, trying to turn to face Leonardo and growling louder when Michelangelo didn't let him. "You're the one who woulda' gone charging into that pack of Foot alone if me and Mike hadn't been there, Mr. One Turtle, One Army."

"I had a plan!"

"'Fools rush in' ain't a plan!"

"I would've thought that'd be your favorite. You use it all the time."

"I ain't gonna fight you over Donnie's head, so get over--"

Fighting down her own grumbling and ignoring Michelangelo's look, April reached over Michelangelo and grabbed the knot of Raphael's mask. With ninja reflexes, he turned back to her only to freeze as the mask shifted sideways and everything went dark.

Silence. Michelangelo coughed. Even Leonardo stared in surprise that that could happen.

"Okay," Raphael said in a deliberate voice, sitting still and forcing himself to calm down. "Okay, maybe she's got a point."

April smothered her laugh behind her tea cup.

end