Donatello ran up to him with such urgency in his young eyes that Splinter thought for certain something terrible had happened. His mind automatically started pulling up every scenario possible, ranging from likely to very unlikely. With young ones afoot, just being prepared was never enough; one had to be almost be paranoid.

"Master Splinter?"

"My son, you're shaking. What is wrong?"

"I know I'm not supposed to listen to Raph, on account'a he tells so many lies, but…" Splinter bit down hard, teeth clicking softly. It was all he could do to keep from sighing. "He said, if you drink water before you take a nap, when you lay down, it don't stay in your tummy. He says, since you're layin' down, it just floats around and goes all over your body…" he paused, clearly shaken.

"He told you that?"

A nod. "An then… then it goes to your lungs, an then you can't beathe no more. Leo told us he was lying, but…I jus' wanted to make sure."

"Raphael, much like Michelangelo, is very creative…only he utilizes his creativity differently." Donatello nodded as though he understood, but Splinter still sensed a feeling of worry about him. "Despite what he may say, Raphael does not know everything. The water you consume does not roam your body. It stays in your stomach, of that I am certain."

He still looked apprehensive. "So…I'm not gonna die?"

"You have many, many years ahead of you."

"Whew!" he said, wiping imaginary beads of sweat from his brow. "That's a relief."

"At this age, little of what Raphael says holds any truth."

Donatello surprised him by asking, "but what about Leo, Master? Can I still believe Leo?" his brow creased. "You know everything, right?"

"Not even I know everything," he revealed with a gentle chuckle.

"But isn't telling the truth important?"

"Yes, but one might not always tell the truth, so it is equally important for you to learn to exercise your better judgement."

Donatello stayed a while longer, and they talked, about this and that and all in between. Come manhood, Splinter expected great things from him—from them all. How could he not? Already they were all brilliant in their own way. Finally, with Donatello seeming pacified, he said to him, "now go finish your nap." No sooner had he uttered those words did a very familiar-looking turtle appear in his doorway, followed by a very familiar-sounding 'eep.' Even without the mask, Splinter could easily tell them apart, often times without the aid of body language or voice.

"Michelangelo. You've been speaking with Raphael?" Splinter ventured.

Michelangelo nodded vigorously, then said, "hey, why's Donny in here?" Then, excitedly, "is he tattlin', too? Raph's in trouble, isn't he?"

Splinter sighed, looked to Donatello, and beckoned Michelangelo forth. "No. No one is in trouble...yet. Come, tell me what your brother told you."

"Izzit safe?" he squeaked, eyes darting to all the dark corners.

"Tell'em what Raph told you, Mikey," Donatello urged, grabbing his wrist to pull him in. "It's safe."

"Master, is my head really gonna s'plode? Raph said there's a monster that lives in the sewers, and that he hates turtles, the funny ones most of all. He said if I laughed too much, the monster'd make my head e'splode. He told me not to tell, 'cause it would make you scared, but I think he's full of baloney!"


The thing about the water? My brother told me that when I was a kid. From ages six to at LEAST ten, I refused to drink anything unless I absolutely had to. I was very often dehydrated as a result. Also, I wasn't very bright. Not too crazy about the title, if anyone thinks of a better one, let me know?