Author's Note: Written for a commentfic prompt over at LiveJournal. Prompter requested: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Donatello, a crush on April O'Neil" set in the 2003-toon 'verse.

This is what came to mind. Please, note, Donatello is a sixteen year old male, so his crush is not exactly sweet and innocent. This fic contains non-graphic references to adolescent sexuality.

Quick and dirty beta from Fig. Thanks, honey! (Any and all errors remain my responsibility). Originally posted to commentfic and my LJ, so please let me know if any coding remains.


It didn't take a scientist – or a genius – to understand what was going on.

He was, quite simply, a healthy, sixteen-year-old male currently in the full throes of puberty… who just happened to be a 5'6", bipedal, talking, intelligent, mutated reptile of the order Testudines (superorder Chelonia). Oh. And also a ninja.

Donatello sighed and let his head fall back against the brick wall of his lab with a thunk. It might not have done much good to his brain cells, but as they did not seem to be doing him much good themselves, currently, and it did satisfy at least a small measure of his frustrations – at himself, fate and the universe at large – he did it again. Thunk.

He had progressed from face-palming to head-desking over his… problem for weeks now, but head-butting the wall – even gently – was a new low. He growled and kneaded his temples with his fists. God, he was such an idiot!

He was supposed to be a scientist. And a genius one, at that. He had the online IQ test results to prove it (and the illegal internet and cable connections, iand/i the inventions). Unfortunately, the effects of adolescent hormones seemed impervious to the possible mitigations of his IQ points. Actually, hormones seemed to cause his IQ to fall significantly. Possibly into double digits.

It was just a little crush. A istupid/i crush at that. Surely he should be able to use his intellect to overcome it, as his brain had overcome so many other obstacles. Or at least, he felt that he should be able to mitigate the effects. If not sheer intelligence, pure logic and plain old common sense seemed like enough to derail something so ultimately pointless. Furthermore, what the shell was the good, or point, or use of all those Jedi – sorry, ninja – mind-tricks Master Splinter had been drilling into them since they were old enough to think, if not to offer some degree of control over his stupid fantasies and even stupider body?

Holy shell!

There had been pictures of humans in books and magazines as long as he could remember. He had fixed up their first dumpster TV when was nine – actually, the hardest part of that had been boosting the aerial enough to actually receive a clear signal way underground in the sewers – so he had seen way too many Baywatch re-runs. And shortly after that Raph and Mikey had started scrounging and sneaking home very different types of magazines to those Splinter collected – or even allowed, for that matter. All four of them had favourite places to people-watch New York City life (especially nightlife). He had seen a wide sample of human women. All shapes, sizes and skin colours. In various states of dress and undress. (Some of Raph's magazines were very, well, explicit, even if it was impossible to watch porn on a TV in a communal living area with three brothers and a father-cum-sensei with supersenses close by.)

Logically speaking, his testosterone-addled senses had a myriad of options to fixate on, all of which were pure fantasy and therefore free from the horrifying and potentially devastating (not to mention downright embarrassing) chance of being discovered by the object of those fantasies. But oh, no, Donatello's subconscious was apparently incapable of opting for any sane, safe or sensible option.

No, he had to fall shell-over-beak for someone he actually knew – and it wasn't like there was exactly a large sample size. Someone the whole family knew. Someone who was their sometime – past, and alarmingly, present (oh God, seeing her in just a towel, all hot and moist and steamy, fresh from the shower, oh God, oh God, how was he supposed to be able to cope with that?) – housemate. A woman who was about eight years his elder (he would never actually ask April her age, so he couldn't be sure) so probably wouldn't be interested in him that way even if they were the same species. Which they weren't. His best friend. Who was in love with his – and the clan's - other best friend. A grown man, who loved her back, was the same species, was actually older – and taller – than she was (and every bit as built, if not more so, as he and his brothers were) and who wasn't actually as stupid as he usually acted. Who probably had actual experience of dating and French kissing and stuff and knew what he was doing when they were alone together, rather than blushing and stammering and seeking safety in geeking out over a TV show or a new invention or something. Orgasms kinda trumped geekgasms. No contest. Don was too short, too young, too turtle and too green (in every sense) for her. There was no way this could end well.

But, insane as his apparently undying and incurable crush was, it also made irritatingly absolute sense. April was his best friend - someone every bit as intelligent as he was but with more education and experience so she could mentor and help and encourage him, as no one in his actual clan could. She didn't treat him like a child – some stupid teenage kid beneath her notice. She never had. After her initial shock at their first encounter, she had never reacted to any of them as if they were the freaks he knew they actually were. She treated them human. She touched them, hugged them… shell, she'd even kissed his cheek. (And between delight, desire and devastating shyness he had almost died right on the spot.)

Sometimes, he thought she actually knew – if not about all of it, at least that the crush existed – and was too sensitive and kind to draw any attention to the fact. She was kind as well as smart, comforting him – all of them – when their youth and sheltered upbringing came to the fore and they were just kids. And so brave. She was downright freaking perfect.

And, God, if it had been something pure or platonic or he had just been in love with her, maybe he could have survived on friendship and comfort and those incredible little touches. Maybe. If he could simply have had her and seen her as a combination of sister, mother and friend maybe he could cope. But he wanted her to be his lover as well. Needed it.

It made no scientific sense to him that his lust, desire, mating instinct… his stuff, whatever it actually was and whatever term anyone wanted to apply, should be keyed to cross the species barrier. He was physically so different from humans, it seemed impossible that he was – they were – apparently hard-wired to find humans attractive. And April was freaking gorgeous. Not just brains, and soul but a face and body that could have been on runways and catwalks and magazine covers and fashion shoots (and was hot enough for those other magazines, too, but he couldn't see her as cheap beat-off fodder for the masses, she was too special… and he was way too possessive to want anyone else to see, or fantasise or God-forbid touch.) There were times he wanted to kill Casey, or at least fight him for her favours like some medieval knight. Or, and it made him burn with hot shame to realise it, an animal in rut or must or whatever the turtle equivalent was. Turtles got violent during the mating season, according to National Geographic and various nature documentaries.

Although apparently they got so lost in "it" that they hurt and sometimes killed their partners… which he just couldn't even imagine. With his big, clumsy – okay, they weren't, given what he could do with circuits and wiring, but they sure felt that way in comparison to human hands, even Casey's great mitts – three-fingered hands, and thick stocky muscle and the inelegance of all that hard plastron and carapace, he was scared of hurting, of crushing April even with the most platonic and gentle of hugs. She wasn't exactly fragile but she was… delicate. Like old Japanese porcelain or something. He could never, would never hurt her. Sometimes he was even afraid of what big, heavy, clumsy Casey could, would do to her… And then he had to stop thinking about that before he hit something.

April was beautiful and awesome and precious, somehow. She was worthy of so much honour and respect… but at the same time he wanted to touch, wanted it so bad that his muscles twitched and his skin itched and he ached… All that fantastic, bouncy deep-red hair was so tempting; it looked so soft and shiny and smelled so great. He wanted to bury his face in it and sniff… twine his fingers in it… feel it on his skin.

And – shell – that figure... slim and trim and pert and curving in all the right places (which made no sense to be so arousing when turtles didn't curve). He had seen way too many women in NYC who wore crop-tops and could not get away with them – ugh, the bulges and orange-peel skin some people thought it was okay to flash – but April's mid-drift… He wanted to touch it, nuzzle it, stroke it, kiss it, lick it. The skin was so soft and smooth… there were some days when this crush and his hormones conspired so he could hardly even look at her.

Just thinking about her had an effect on his body which he was eternally grateful to nature and plastrons for hiding. It had been bad enough when she started cropping up in his dreams, but at least that was involuntary. But now he dreamt about her every damn night. No matter how hard he tried to focus on magazine images and the safety of anonymous women, it was April's face, April's body that was there every time he showered, or touched himself, or… anything.

It was destroying his peace of mind, keeping him awake at night and seemingly perpetually horny and turned on. It wrecked his concentration and attention span. He'd suffered more shocks, electrical burns and ruined projects in the past few weeks than he had since he was about ten. It was destroying his ability to be around her, watching TV or goofing off or working or studying. He was hyperaware of her scent, the taste of her pheromones against his tongue and the roof of his mouth, her movements, the warmth her endothermia put off, the sight and sound of her, everything. And she kept touching him. Innocent, platonic, sisterly touches: a hug, a hand on or in his or against his arm or shoulder. Sometimes she would cup his cheek or chuck his chin and – oh God, he was panting, turned on almost beyond endurance by the thought, the sense memory of it, ashamed and disgusted at himself for his body's reaction – and those rare, wonderful kisses. Sisterly, friendly pecks that left his blood undecided whether to make his face flame or pool lower down – much lower – and made him breathless and stupid as brain cells short-circuited.

One of these days he was just going to spontaneously combust – or suffer from an infinitely much more embarrassing, friendship-fatal spontaneous physical reaction.

Just a little crush? He was doomed.