A/N: Based on the old cartoons. (I hate the new cartoons.). This was kind of fun to write because it's hard to imagine what the turtles would do about this kind of thing, especially back in the late 80's. Let me know what you think!


Donatello nodded at himself in the mirror. "Sorry, guys, it's just not my thing."

No… no, that sounded too nervous. Try it again.

He cleared his throat. Shrugged, forced a shy little smile. "Aw, thanks, guys, but that's… it's just not my thing."

Better. And then if they pressed… "No, really," he insisted aloud, as gently as he could. Still smiling. Still looking calm. Still looking… normal. "Let's get a pizza instead."

Aw but we wanna take you, Donnie! He could hear them already. You're sixteen, it's about time. The worst would be Michelangelo – who wouldn't see a hint if it danced around him naked.

Naked. Donatello groaned and covered his face. Don't think about it. You WILL find some way to avoid that strip club. Just be graceful about it.

He had to practice some more, or he'd screw it up and there would be a big scene. He drew himself up, took a deep breath, and tried again. "Aw, guys! Wow." He tried to sound pleased and regretful at the same time. "But I'm broke, and you shouldn't have to-… and, and-… and it's just not my thing." He would have to stick to that. That was the only excuse they couldn't work around – and anyway, it was the truth, and they would all just have to take it in stride. He nodded firmly and said it once more. "Seriously. It's just not my thing."

And then, horror of horrors, the bathroom door opened. Of all people, it was the one he'd been dreading most: Raphael. "Okay, I have to ask," Raph said, laughing a little. "What's not your thing, Donnie?"

"I… um…"

"You've been in here for half an hour, and I need the toilet. So, hurry up and tell me fast."

"It's… it's nothing."

"It's not nothing – it's just not your thing."

"Uh…"

Raphael tapped his foot and crossed his arms.

"Uh…"

"I'm not kidding - I really do need the toilet. Hurry up."

Donatello took a deep breath. "Don't make fun. But I figured out what you guys are planning for my birthday," he said at last. He knew he was a terrible liar, so there was no point even trying. "And a strip club is just… not my thing."

"Uh huh." Raphael looked superlatively doubtful and cocked his head. "And the part you're not telling me is…?"

"Is nothing," he said, firmly. "It's just-"

"-not my thing," Raphael repeated with him. "Yeah, I got that. But what I'm saying is if-"

"Hey." Another voice in the doorway, and both turtles turned fast to face it. It was Leonardo. "What's going on in here?"

"What's it to you?" Raphael snapped right away. "Look, I really need to use the bathroom. So if you guys could just finish up this conversation somewhere else…"

"What conversation, Raph?" Leonardo didn't sound patient. "I just got here."

"Donnie here was just saying he doesn't want to go to the club tonight. Because it's not his thing," Raphael reported easily. "Now can you please all go away?"

Donatello tried not to squirm when Leonardo frowned at him and said, slow and suspicious: "What does that mean, not your thing?"

"It just-… it means… I mean I just…"

Raph stepped in, attitude in full swing. "Remind me again how it's any of your business, Leo? If Donnie doesn't want to go, you can't make him."

"I'm not making him – I'm just asking a question."

"Yeah well who said you get to ask questions anyway?"

Leonardo sighed and tried his best to sound reasonable. "I'm your brother, Raph. I'm your older brother, and all I want to know is-"

"You know, you're getting on my nerves with this older brother crap," Raphael interrupted. "So you got dipped in ooze a couple of minutes before the rest of us. Woo-hoo! I'm not impressed. We have no idea which of us is actually older. For all you know you're my little brother. For all you know, Mikey is your dad."

Leonardo took a deep breath. He closed his eyes. Finally he opened them and said, steadily: "I just want to know what you meant, that's all."

"Do you?" Donatello snapped, aggressive for once. Leonardo's reaction was even worse than he'd expected – and this is when he hadn't gone and told anybody! Imagine once the suspicion was confirmed. And imagine what Raph would say, once he finally stopped fighting with Leonardo long enough to figure it out. "Do you really want to know? Because if you do I'll tell you, Leo. It's up to you."

Leonardo looked at him for a long moment, then shook his head and left the bathroom.

One down, two to go. It was anybody's guess how Michelangelo would take the news, but that could wait. Raphael was the one standing right here, and he probably-

"Hey, Donnie." Lost in thought, Donatello hadn't even noticed his brother creeping closer, and now Raph's arm was around his shoulders and he had no idea what to say. "Listen. Forget Leo – that's how he is, okay? He'll calm down and everything will be back to normal."

"He'll pretend it never happened," Donatello said bitterly.

"Well… yeah, probably." Raphael shrugged. "Listen, forget it. Let's go topside tonight and have fun, okay?"

"Hmph." Donatello felt like a pushover for feeling better already, but Raphael was being so nice… "Where do you want to go?"

"It's your birthday, Donnie. We should take you to a strip club."

"To-? Raphael!" Donatello pushed away. "Did you not hear a single word of what just happened?"

"Keep your shell on," Raph said mildly. "You're sixteen tonight and it's only fair that somebody should dance for you. It's tradition."

"How are you not hearing me?"

"Donnie." Raphael shook him lightly. "I'm hearing you. I know a place."

"Are you deaf? I don't want to go to a strip club. I'm not interested in women!" He nearly shouted it. Then he held his breath, terrified.

But Raphael didn't miss a beat. "Yeah, I know. The place is called Cowboy."

Donatello blinked. "You… know?"

Raphael polished his fingernails, failing miserably at not looking smug. "Yep."

And he had agonized for months about telling! "But… how? Does everybody?"

"Master Splinter probably knows – I mean, he knows everything. But Leo only sees what he wants to see and Mikey doesn't notice anything that's not covered in pepperoni, so…."

"Oh my gosh." Donatello turned away and fidgeted. "And you don't-… I mean, I'm sure you…"

"Donnie, how can any of us get on your case? We're all pining after the wrong species in the first place."

Donatello relaxed a little and only then realized how tense he had been. "Good point."

"Yeah. Now can you please get out of here so that I can use the toilet?"

At that moment, the door opened one more time and Michelangelo bounced in. "Dudes! What's with the powwow in the bathroom?"

Donatello looked uncomfortable. Raphael crossed his legs and looked even more uncomfortable.

There was silence for a moment, and then Raphael decided to speed things up. "Leo's a jerk, Donnie's a homosexual, and I have to go to the bathroom. Aright?"

Michelangelo blinked.

"Also, there's a new pizza on top of the fridge," Raphael added desperately.

"Gnarly!" That quickly, Michelangelo was gone. Donatello chased him in order to rescue a piece for himself, and Raphael lunged for the toilet, and Splinter was woken up by all the racket.

So things remained mostly normal, all things considered, and Donatello was satisfied because that, at least, was definitely his thing.


The End.