This is probably (meaning it really should but probably isn't going to be) my last one-shot for a while. I got two other fics I'm supposed to be completing, so…yeah. Oh, right:
Happy (belated) Birthday to Reggie! She is also Princess Tyler Briefs, so you know to read her damned fics!
Summary: Don and Raph sit down to watch Star Wars while Mikey discovers he has a little more in common with Leo than he thought. All in all, a typical night.
Disclaimer: things would be very different if they were mine. Even more so if they were yours, Reg. ^^ And I don't own Star Wars, either.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
"You've gotta be kidding me."
"Could you try not talking during the movie?"
"What movie?" Raph complained, gesturing at the screen. "It's just a load of words. I thought I told you no subtitles."
"They aren't subtitles. It's setting the story up, and we're going to miss something important if you keep talking."
"Oh, please, Don, I think it's moved maybe half an inch since we started." The genius shot his brother an annoyed glare but it went unnoticed. This was why he abhorred watching movies with Raphael. Even Mikey at least knew to respect the works of George Lucas.
But no, Raph wasn't himself if he wasn't making a special effort to be a bastard in all things.
It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.
"Lemme get this straight. We're just supposed to believe that this Galactic Empire is evil, because the giant letters floating in space tell us to?"
"Well the Empire is evil, Raph."
"Because the letters tell you they are. Didn't have you pegged as the gullible type," the darker turtle mused, cracking a small amused smirk. Donatello rolled his eyes with a huff.
"It's a movie. You know, a work of fiction? Does it matter what we do or do not choose to believe about the reputability of the opening sequence?"
"Of course it does! It changes the way you look at the whole thing! Besides, just because there's some kind of rebellion doesn't mean they're rebelling for a good reason."
"So do you plan on cheering for the Empire?" Donnie asked, already giving up on any semblance of a decent movie experience. He was really wondering what had possessed him to talk Raph into this to begin with.
"I dunno, Don, if the letters say that they're evil…"
"You are such a jackass."
During the battle, rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.
It was too much for Donatello to resist. Ignoring Raph's annoyed complaint, he paused the movie before the sentence became illegible and pointed to it.
"That's why the Empire is evil. What bad guys have we ever met that didn't have some kind of planet-destroying capabilities?"
"All of 'em have-"
"-but so do most of the so-called good guys we know." The genius raised a skeptical eye ridge, using great self-restraint to keep from snorting.
"Oh, really?" Raphael returned the gaze with a challenging smirk and a nod. "Name three."
"I got more than just three, Brainiac. There's the Utroms, Leatherhead, the Fugitoid, the Ninja Tribunal, Renet, and I know you're just waitin' for the excuse to go mad scientist on our asses." In spite of his best efforts, Don couldn't help but look a little surprised as he went over the list. This served to further contribute to Raph's amusement, it seemed, because the younger brother's face split into a wicked grin.
"What, you never noticed the planet-destroying technology stuffed behind the mini-fridge?"
"Because you would recognize planet-destroying technology so easily." He was just encouraging this distraction to continue further, he knew, but apparently Raphael's entire purpose for existing was to draw his brothers into confrontation.
He was just so mature. So calm. As though reading the sarcastic insults rolling around in the genius's head, Raph scowled and delivered a light punch to his brother's shoulder.
"Shut up. You seen one death ray, you've seen 'em all."
"Uh-huh. And what about death stars?"
"Well I wouldn't know, someone decided to get all smug and pause the movie."
"Not everybody enjoys talking over films as much as you and Michelangelo, you know."
"Don't even go there, Donnie. Weren't you the one who wouldn't shut up about how unrealistic 'Toy Story' was?"
"It was unrealistic!" Donnie spat venomously, seething at the mere memory.
He'd never taken too kindly to animated films throughout the years. Raphael stared at him, struggling to hold a deadpan expression and only partially succeeding. Both eye ridges raised, the corners of his mouth quirking ever so slightly.
"No. Fucking. Way." He uttered gravely. It was Donatello's turn to scowl, pushing against his brother's face and hitting play yet again. Raph straightened up with a snicker.
Pursued by the Empire's sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy….
"Who the hell named their kid Leia?"
"Presumably her parents."
"Smartassed little know-it-all. Okay then, tell me: what kind of coward sends their daughter- not just their daughter, but the fuckin' princess- to infiltrate the Empire and steal the plans to this 'ultimate weapon?'"
"Would you send your kid running off to their possible doom?"
"Hey! Master Splinter trusts us to take care of ourselves, and we've been in far more dangerous situations."
"We're trained ninja. This Leia chick know any ninjitsu?" Donatello merely gaped at his brother, temporarily incapable of coherent thought. The younger turtle snorted. "Didn't think so."
Dear God, how had it come to this? Had he done something horribly wrong in the past few days?
The blame, Don eventually decided, rested with Leo and Mike. Taking off without so much as two words to anybody else. Weren't they supposed to be the designated Raphael-distracters in this family? Wasn't that some sort of unwritten law?
That he was thinking of his brother like some kind of attention-deficit five-year-old did not escape his notice. But as much as he told himself that it was an inaccurate train of thought, he couldn't help but see merit in the comparison. Raph could argue about his maturity all he wanted; in the end, he could be as easily distracted as Michelangelo and even more difficult to keep entertained.
It was a process Leonardo and Michelangelo had had a lot of chances to perfect, considering the sheer amount of time they spent fighting or goofing around with him. What did Donatello have to do with his hotheaded sibling, apart from nights spent stitching up injuries and the occasional talk about vehicles?
Raph made some sort of sneering remark and Donnie groaned, holding his head in his hands.
Those two were going to need a damn good excuse for desecrating Star Wars night.
"Hey! Why don't you watch where you-"
"Omigod, it's an actual life-size replica of the-"
The Turtle Titan stood triumphantly amongst the jostling mass of human bodies, hands planted heroically on his hips as he sucked in a deep breath. Ah, the all-too-familiar scent of perspiration, cheap vinyl costumes, musty paper and vacuum-sealed plastic. The one place in which he could truly belong (though maybe next time he would consider bringing along some roll-on deodorant to pass around, he considered as a particularly foul smelling pair walked by).
Yes, there was nothing quite like an anime convention to make his evening worthwhile. It was with a joyous laugh and a spring in his step that Michelangelo made his way through the overstuffed convention hall and towards the main attraction.
His brothers just couldn't appreciate the intricate awesomeness that was "Samurai Women of the Honorable Seventh Dimension." Swords, hot girls, bloody battles, hot girls, a kick-ass video game franchise, hot girls, not to mention fluffy sarcastic sidekicks.
The characters weren't bad-looking either, he conceded, getting a close look at one of many life-size cardboard cutouts. Purple hair and a magical sword- could there be a more attractive woman out there?
"Oh, Ayame!" He cried, sweeping it into his arms and attempting to tango a line through the crowd. The man in charge of running the station had clearly witnessed weirder occurrences and so Mikey was allowed to escape into the throng, trusted to return her safely. "My one true love! We shall travel the galaxies and defeat our many foes, together, until none remain and we can be wed at the Altar of Garthnax!"
So caught up was he in his passionate declaration of love and devotion that he failed to notice where he was going until he'd already tripped over a nearby display stand. The young ninja was forced to watch in horror as his one true love flew from his grasp and towards a group of unsuspecting citizens.
What kind of superhero couldn't hang on to a mere piece of cardboard? He could already see his reputation going down the drain, could hear the mocking tones of the Justice Force and Raph's snide comments about his supreme failure as the Turtle Titan.
All because of a poorly-placed display.
Ah, the overwhelming unfairness of it all!
So one could understand the pleasant surprise that came when one of the afore-mentioned citizens, clad in full Samurai fan-gear, turned and caught Ayame in mid-air. No bones were broken, no blood was spilt, and he would live to see another day of dignity.
At least, until he found something fun enough to sacrifice his dignity for.
Michelangelo was on his feet in a flash, dashing forwards to congratulate the other on a catch well-made and more than prepared to sign a few autographs in the process. He so owed this guy, despite the fact that he seemed too shy to remove his head from behind the cutout. The turtle sighed: another fan struck speechless by his incredible reputation.
Well that wasn't going to deter him.
"Don't be shy, citizen! You should be proud of having accomplished such an incredible feat! Maybe someday you can run alongside- the Turtle Titan! We can have a night of crime-fighting success!" He shouted, giving the other a triumphant thumbs-up. When he didn't receive an immediate response he reached out and gave the cutout a mild tug. "If you'll just allow me to return this to its owner, I can be on my way."
He tugged again and the fan gripped the cutout more tightly. His grin turned into an annoyed scowl and he tugged again.
"Dude, I know it's awesome and all but it belongs to that guy that owns the stand, and between you and me there doesn't seem to be much else worth anything in his life."
"Just let go already so that I don't have to call the police!"
The other's shoulders slumped in defeat and their grip relinquished, allowing Michelangelo to pull the prop free.
"Now was that so…hard?" Okay, he was so not seeing what he thought he was seeing.
But he was.
It shouldn't have been possible, but he was really seeing it.
Leo. Leo, Leo, as in Leonardo, as in winner of the coveted "Uptight Turtle of the Year Award" for the past seven years in a row.
"Uh…Leo?" His older brother glared fiercely at the floor, crossing his arms and growing increasingly embarrassed as every moment passed.
Michelangelo grinned devilishly, setting the animated woman off to one side carelessly as other matters took precedence. The next statement tumbled out of his mouth in a nearly unintelligible rush of the purest joy.
"You're wearing a wig!"
The purple faux-hair was snatched off of the eldest brother's head so quickly it was almost as though it had never been there and Leonardo, ninja master and closet anime fan, considered the benefits of murder/suicide.
"This is so AWESOME! I knew I couldn't be the only one that watched 'Samurai Women!' When did you get into it? Does Master Splinter know- ooh, I bet he doesn't, I bet no one at home does! You embarrassed about this or something, Leo?"
When the benefits began to outweigh the drawbacks, he took the only logical course of action available: two smoke pellets hit the ground and he got the fuck out of dodge.
Raphael gave Donnie a little bit of credit for picking a movie that somehow, someway, wasn't a total snooze-fest. Sure it was ridiculously complex and yes, he was pretty sure that Luke Skywalker was one of the biggest morons ever created- but it wasn't The Matrix, it wasn't a documentary and Darth Vader was pretty badass.
Not that he would tell Don that he thought so. God forbid he get his brother started on another 'the Empire is evil and you shouldn't support it' spiel. It would be too much like listening to Mikey for the night to be Mike-free. What kind of idiot encouraged that?
So for a while, the movie passed in relative silence, barring the occasional skeptical snort or long-winded explanation about the workings of the special effects. And it really wasn't that-
Scratch that. Way to jinx it, dumbass.
"What the hell?"
Donatello sighed, following Raph's vague gesture towards the screen. He supposed he should have just been grateful that his brother seemed to have been trying to behave so far. Minimal complaint, no thrown objects and almost no shouting at the screen.
In Raph-language that meant he liked it, or so the genius assumed.
"What the hell what?"
"No way this kid's old enough to be allowed in a bar."
"Never stopped you."
Raph seemed to consider the statement for a moment before shrugging and moving on to his next complaint. "Okay, then I know I ain't the only one that sees the giant fucking bear-thing sitting out in the open."
"What, you mean Chewbacca?"
Don sighed again, shaking his head. "Yes, Raph, the giant bear-thing is Chewbacca. He's a Wookie. Remember?"
"Remember? I'm just supposed to drop everything to remember that bear-thing is really a Wookie?"
The images on the screen halted thanks to Donatello's lightning-fast fan-boy reflexes. Raphael turned a mildly-annoyed patented glare to him, silently inquiring as to what exactly his problem was because he'd been rather enjoying himself so far, thank you very much. Or at least that was the general vibe behind it.
Donnie wasn't known for his thought-reading abilities. As it was, there were far graver matters at hand at the moment. "You've…never. Seen Star Wars?" He asked quietly.
"Never been high on my priorities list, Brainiac."
"But-but Mikey and I watched this literally every day for a month! How can you have lived here and avoided seeing it?"
"When did you do that?"
"We- well, you know, when Leo was gone the two of us got off of work at the same time and we just kept putting it in," the genius said with a shrug. "You weren't around very often, so I guess I can see how you might have missed it, but still-"
Raph bristled ever so slightly. "Had things to do."
"Every day for a month?"
"Yeah, so what?"
"No need to get defensive, I'm just asking. So you're being serious? You've NEVER seen this?" The enormity of this discovery finally began to sink into Don's brain; his expression froze. His left eye twitched.
Raphael decided that he REALLY hated the look on his brother's face. No way anything good was going to come of it. "No. Does that mat-mmph!"
The rest of his question was cut off by a timely cross-couch glomp, which he very decidedly didn't appreciate; WAY too much like Mikey to have a good Mike-free night.
"What kind of deprived childhood have I allowed you to live? How could I not have seen it?" The second-eldest cried mournfully, very deliberately muffling his brother's attempts at loud protestation. Raph was probably going to attempt to murder him for this, but Don felt confident that (with the help of his trusty bo staff) he would be able to keep him at a distance until he could lock himself in his lab.
And then Leo would get home and provide a suitable distraction, and all would be right with the world.
Except, of course, for the fact that his brother hadn't seen the entirety of the Star Wars franchise purely due to the fact that he'd been out trying to get himself killed. And he hadn't said anything even once. The only evidence he left was the occasionally ill-hidden bloodstained rag. Just the memory made the genius frown.
He was going to have to have a word with him about that.
At this time Donatello noticed that said brother had gone dangerously still, which either meant he had inadvertently strangled him or that it was time to make his escape. Maybe it would have been wise to mess with Raph on another day. Because the chances of getting his brother to sit down for Star Wars again were probably lower than ever.
Time to face the consequences of his actions. He counted to three, let go, and sent the popcorn bowl flying as he leapt over the coffee table.
"Leo! Leeeeeooooooo, wait uuuuuuuup!"
Oh, dear God. Michelangelo's skills had improved indeed if he was already catching up to his older brother. Four minutes and twenty-two seconds- he really was the fastest of them. Maybe, if they were both still alive by the end of the night, he'd remember to be proud of that.
"LEO, YOU FORGOT YOUR HAIR!"
Or maybe he wouldn't remember to be proud. It would just be better to settle for both of them surviving the next few hours. Leonardo grimaced and sped up in the hopes of shaking his youngest brother off.
He just needed to get home before Mikey did. That way he could truly cement his remaining siblings' one-way view of him before they all fell victim to Michelangelo's motor mouth. If he did everything right, there was no way they'd believe a thing that was said. Right he'd just find something to lecture Raph about and something leader-y to say to Don. How hard could that be?
Leader-y? LEADER-Y? Damn it!
This wasn't getting him anywhere. If he approached Donatello and Raphael using nonexistent words they'd know he was hiding something. Okay, he needed to calm down and think of something –not leader-y, not leader-y- mature and responsible and wise-sounding. Right. How hard could that be?
What's something Confucius would say? "To…to go beyond is to…is as wrong as to fall short." Okay, that's just vague enough to work.
"SLOW DOWN AND GET YOUR FREAKIN' WIG, DUDE!"
Shell. The wig. He'd forgotten about that.
But would Don and Raph REALLY believe that he'd been WEARING it? There were wigs and cheap costumes all over that convention. Not a problem, he determined. At least, it wouldn't be a problem until Mike started leaving the thing in convenient locations.
Good leaders, he told himself with a visible wince, did not kill their teammates. Nor did they torture them into silence and secrecy. And they CERTAINLY did not rain ninja kick-ass-ery upon their brother's unsuspecting head.
Was this some sort of karmic punishment for a misdeed? He'd left the lair without telling anybody where he was going, he'd hidden his entertainment preferences from his family, and he may or may not have let Raphael take the blame for that broken lamp when they were seven years old. Of course, pinpointing exactly what he'd done would take a lot more thinking than the current situation would allow.
He'd just HAD to go to the anime convention. And Michelangelo had just HAD to be there, too. Oh, who was he kidding, Michelangelo was ALWAYS there. Because that was exactly his luck: caught in costume by the one brother who simply didn't have the capacity to keep anything to himself and who also had the unnatural ability to tease over anything.
ANYTHING, damn it. Leonardo had stubbed his toe during training on a prior occasion and it had taken two weeks to get Mikey to shut up.
And he'd gone to so much trouble to be secretive about this endeavor, too. The leader doubted any of his brothers knew how difficult it was to sneak out of a house full of trained ninjas (not to mention nosy teenage brothers who fully embraced any chance to point out something embarrassing) with a costume that would inevitably lead to the utmost shame.
The thought of his costume filled him with a sense of momentary regret. It had taken forever to save up enough money for that piece of vinyl crap. And he'd had to abandon it in the streets of New York just to avoid being discovered.
How was he supposed to get to the next convention now? Just walk in without even the semblance of a disguise? What kind of ninja did something like that? Halloween was enough trouble for him without adding on to the calendar days that he would willingly walk into a public forum.
Mikey and his stupid…coincidental luck.
It was around this time that he realized his brother was no longer shouting at him about wigs. Both a blessing and a curse. Had he finally lost him? Had he given up and gone back to the convention or (God forbid) started for the lair already?
Or had there been some kind of ambush? The chances were slim, it was true, but they weren't known for sticking to statistics. But Mikey would have let him know something was wrong. There weren't any sounds of fighting. There never are when ninja are involved. Frowning sharply, Leonardo slowed somewhat, casting a suspicious glance over his shoulder.
He was promptly brought to the ground by a flying mass of green and orange. His head hit the ground with a 'thunk' and everything went black.
Michelangelo disentangled himself from his brother with a cry of triumph. "Aha! I've finally got you, Leo…nardo. Uh…bro?" No response. "Helloo-ooo? Still with me?"
"Man, Donnie's gonna kill me!"
"Will you- will you please just- RAPH, GET OFF OF ME ALREADY!"
"What, you're not comfortable?"
Donatello was growing quite frustrated. It seemed he had underestimated the power of the truly annoyed Raphael and had, therefore, utterly failed in his attempts to reach the safety of his laboratory. Perhaps the most stinging part of this was that he'd had the door halfway closed before he'd been tackled and dragged into the open.
Where Raph had proceeded to sit on top of him.
"No: no, I am most certainly NOT comfortable, as you know full well, you intolerable ass! Get off of me!"
"Huh, s'weird. Coulda swore I heard a pissed-off geek not apologizing."
"And he's not going to apologize!"
Raphael smirked, leaning backwards just enough to make his older brother squirm. "Then he must not be as uncomfortable as he says. I can keep this up 'til Leo gets home, and if Mike gets home with him it'll be even longer. You could spare us both the effort if you just say those two little words, Brainiac."
"Never! I've done nothing wrong!" Don snarled, clawing at the ground in a fruitless effort to reach the bo staff lying ten feet in front of them.
The darker turtle's retort was cut off by the timely ringing of the genius's cell phone. Raising an eye ridge and ignoring his brother's uncharacteristically loud protests, he casually wrangled it free of Don's belt and flipped it open.
Donatello's struggles increased tenfold. "MIKEY! MIKEY, CALL LEO AND TELL HIM TO GET HIS ASS HOME THIS INSTANT! RAPH'S- grnk!" Unfortunately, Raphael was more than capable of pushing his face into the ground to muffle the shouts.
"Don's kinda busy right now. What's going on?"
"Uh, yeah, I'm sure you're having a ton of fun torturing him or whatever but I seriously need to talk to him, like, NOW."
Raph's smirk faded and he relinquished the pressure on the back of Donatello's head. The genius resurfaced with a mighty gasp and another weak scrabble for his weapon of choice. "Why?"
"Can you just give Donnie the phone, please?"
"Mikey, if somethin's going on I'm gonna find out about it anyway-"
"Oh come on! Donnie's the one that knows all that medical stuff and you're, y'know, not the doctor. So just hand him the phone and he can explain later-"
The second-youngest brother's eyes narrowed dangerously. Wordlessly, he held the phone out towards his pinned sibling, who immediately organized his thoughts into medical mode.
"Okay, what's wrong?" Raphael observed his brother's face with unusual intensity, removing himself from the other's shell and helping him to his feet.
"You did what? Mikey, if this is some kind of ridiculous prank- uh-huh. And where are you? Well, is he bleeding? If there isn't any blood I highly doubt you've managed to do any permanent damage- no, Mikey, I don't want to know why you were chasing him- no, Raph doesn't want to know, either. Right. Calm down, we'll be there in a few minutes. Uh-huh. Right. I'm hanging up now." The phone flipped shut and the pair moved for the elevator simultaneously.
Donatello shook his head with a frustrated sigh. "I'm going to kill him, so I hope you like Mikey as little as you claim."
"What happened?" Raph asked, practically vibrating with tension and the effort it was taking not to beat the answers out of somebody.
"He was chasing Leo and for some ungodly reason he decided to tackle him."
"Exactly. So now Leo's unconscious- it isn't anything serious," the genius added hastily, pre-empting a rather violent reaction. "But he can't exactly carry him home."
Raphael shook his head in the same manner as his most intelligent brother, mimicking the frustrated sigh. "Idiot."
"Yes, very much so."
"I say we strangle him."
"It's an idea."
"Got any rope in the Battle Shell?"
"No, but he mentioned something about a wig."
"Wouldn't be the first time I used one of those in a fight."
Donatello decided he didn't want to know.
Random, unplanned, completely bloosh. I'm using words that aren't really words. Go me. Happy birthday to you again, Reg.