Leonardo was looking at him. Usagi was trying valiantly to go about his business without reacting, but the boy had an intense stare that was hard to ignore. Eventually, after he carefully moved the small metal dog onto Park Place and paid Raphael the requisite fee, he turned to Leonardo.
"Yes?" he said, one eyebrow raised. Leonardo, to his credit, only looked startled for a fraction of a second.
"It's about April," he said. The other three gave laughs or groans, and sat back from the game board, clearly finding this conversation more interesting than Monopoly.
"Yes, I am aware. And although her ears are very small and she has no fur, I do… like her. But I am afraid I cannot return her feelings. If it is a problem I would appreciate it if you could pass that along to her."
The four of them stared at him for a second, and then laughed, Leo merely chuckling but Mikey rolling on his shell howling.
"She ain't in love with you or nothin'," Raphael said, sounding amused. Usagi gave him a piercing stare.
"Then why does she look at me the way she does? I mean no disrespect, Raphael, but I do have more experience with the opposite sex than you do."
Raph's face twitched into a grimace, but Mikey gave one more howl of laughter and then sat up.
"Sad, but true, Rabbit Ears, but we still have more experience with April than you do. She's totally gaga for Casey."
Usagi frowned. He had not been aware that the two of them shared anything more than a terse friendship; perhaps he had overestimated his prowess with the fairer sex after all. He smiled conciliatorily and spread his hands.
"Then tell me," he said. The brothers exchanged mutual glances.
"She's not in love with you," Donatello repeated after clearing his throat. "She just wants to…"
"She wants to…" Leonardo began, but his business-like tone faded into uncertainty.
"She wants to pet you, dude," Michelangelo announced, and the others all gave him nervous grins. Usagi frowned.
"Pet… me…?" he repeated.
"Yeah, like this." Before he could react Michelangelo had bounded up from his seat on the floor and leaped behind Usagi, rubbing his hands up and down his mostly bare arms vigorously. As he bounded away Usagi sat stiff with shock, fur bristling from the rough treatment and from nerves. After a tense moment he gave a great shake and settled his fur back down, smoothing his kimono with the hand that wasn't gripping his sword.
"Not like that!" Leonardo scolded his brother, swatting at him as he passed. He looked apologetically at Usagi. "Please excuse him."
"Of course," Usagi muttered, and then gave a little chuckle and looked at the remaining brothers. "But how do you know?"
"She was the same with Splinter," Donatello explained, fiddling with his game piece. "Humans don't have fur, you know, so they find beings that do kind of fascinating."
"We all thought she hated Splinter's guts for a while 'cause she'd always get all quiet when he was around," Raph said, grinning. "Then we found out she just wanted to touch him but she was too afraid to ask."
"It's the same with you," Leonardo finished, turning to Usagi. "We can all tell."
"She'd probably, like, love you forever if you let her," Mikey said, coming back from the kitchen with a gallon of ice cream. "Love you like a friend, I mean."
"She'd never ask," Leonardo hastily assured him.
"She's cool about that sort of thing," Donatello added.
"April's a lady," Raph assured him awkwardly.
Usagi hmm'd thoughtfully.
Hey look, it's a second chapter! This was originally a oneshot, but there was a challenge over at Stealthy Stories that caught my eye, and it inspired this.