Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are now the property of Nickelodeon, who are producing a CGI show next year that has changed Mike and Don's weapons for some reason. The quote is from when 4Kids and Mirage still owned them and I loved that series to pieces. I own very little that is of value, but that's life.

Ninja, Please!

The Ancient One: And now, Leonardo, tell an old man just what you think you have learned.

Leonardo: I guess I've been obsessed with failing… I hardened my heart like a rock… wrapped up inside my own shell… trying to be perfect… thinking I wasn't good enough, that I needed to be better… so angry… so—(whack) OW! What?

The Ancient One: Too many words! Explain simply.

Leonardo: I've been my own worst enemy.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2K3, Episode 92, "The Ancient One"

It had started as the usual "discussion": who was the better ninja—and had turned into an official competition complete with judges (Casey, April, and despite their useless trying to keep it from him, Splinter).

The turtle who could invade Karai's stronghold the furthest and return with proof positive was the winner, with a prize of having the other three do the winner's chores for a month and the title "Best Ninja" ("For that same month," Splinter had added as an aside, for he did not wish to go through any repeats of when Michelangelo had unexpectedly won the Battle Nexus).

Don was almost disqualified at once. He'd "merely" accessed one of her many checking accounts (hey, you don't run a global crime syndicate without having a few different accounts to cover your tracks!) and transferred a nice little donation to "The Old Ninja Retirement Home".

"Hacking doesn't count!" Mike complained.

"It does not seem very… ninja, my son," Splinter added.

"But Sensei, it IS very ninja!" Don argued. "I was in and out without being seen, and the money came from her personal account! Eventually she will find out the money is missing, but she can't trace it back. Even that so-called genius Chapman isn't good enough to do that."

"I agree with Don," April said.

"Big surprise," chorused Raph and Casey under their breaths.

"Really—cyber-ninja is a genuine phenomenon," she continued, ignoring the comment of the other two. So Don was still in the contest.

Raphael had been the most bloodthirsty of the four.

"You DO realize you're not supposed to be noticed, right?" Leo chided.

Raph shrugged.

"No one said nothin' about a 'no-kill' rule. 'Sides, none of 'em died. I just left my initials on their asses."

"How is that 'ninja'?" Splinter asked sternly.

"They didn't see me do it, now, did they?"

"Only because you cold-cocked them."

"No rule about that one, either."

"Aw, I think Raph did a great job!" Casey chimed in. "I mean, look at that picture! He's right outside Karai's personal apartment! He took out two of her very best and most trusted guards, AND he left 'em with the knowledge that he coulda gone further. Those two are gonna lose their jobs."

"To say the least," Leo had replied. "Karai doesn't tolerate failure any more than the Shredder did."

Then it was Michelangelo's turn. Gleefully he opened a little bag he'd been carrying.

"Ta-daaaaaaa!" he sang, producing with a flourish a black cloth with little red decorations on it.

After a minute of puzzled silence and no response, Mike elaborated.

"It's panties!"

"Mike, if you've been in my drawers again—"

"They're Karai's! I swiped them from her laundry basket." And he held them up so everyone could get a better view.

Black, silky-looking, bikini panties—with what appeared to be red hearts stamped all over them. Mike held them reverently and managed to keep any hint of a leer off of his face (since Splinter was giving him the Evil Eye).

"I was in the laundry room, and—"

"Laundry room?"

"Hey, the Foot may be evil heartless assassins, but they have to have clean clothes, too. Anyway, this cute little kinochi comes in with a cute little basket and said to the guy in charge, 'Remember, the Mistress demands extra Downey®™ in her wash. And you'd better not ruin this batch, or you will end up like the last person who did."

"Wow… well that does seem impressive," April began, but Leonardo snorted in derision.

"Bull. I call bull," he scoffed. "There is no way Mike brought us such a genuine garment."

"Aw, Leo, don't be hatin'," Mike smiled. "They're real all right."

"Michelangelo, there is no way you got into a place like that laundry," Leo began to tick off on his fingers. "There is no way you heard such a 'conversation', and no way that any of your story is true! And besides, Karai doesn't wear panties!"

To say there was a stunned silence would be unnecessary. And a gross understatement.

Leonardo's brain buzzed with warning signals to its owner, trying to tell him something important, but he was having trouble figuring it out. His face joined in, growing warmer and warmer. And his heart began to do split-kicks against his plastron, also trying to get the message across that he'd stepped in it BIG TIME!

Leo felt their gazes' burning questions into his skin. And it finally dawned on him what he'd said.

Splinter's eyebrows were still up in the air in surprise—it was as if they were frozen in shock, trying to take in what his (also standing at attention) ears had heard from the mouth of his oldest.

The others were displaying various forms of shock as well. But no one seemed able to speak.

With all of the calm and discipline he could muster from the depths of his ninja soul, Leonardo opened his mouth and made matters worse.

"I mean, anyone can see from those tight outfits that she's commando—no visible panty-lines."

"Those 'tight outfits' ain't exactly that tight," Raph, finally finding his voice, countered. " 'Cause if they was, you'd notice a whole lot more than 'no visible panty-line'—if ya catch my drift!"

"My son," Splinter's voice surprised even the master. He took a breath to get himself under control. "My son, you have… challenged the story of your brother—"

"He's done more than that," Raph interrupted with an evil chuckle. "He's let the pussy outta the bag. So Leo, does she shave or what?"


"I vote that she shaves."


"I can't imagine her not wearing something under that outfit," April found herself saying. "I mean, it's sweaty wearing such tight clothing and then fighting. I get all chaffed myself."

"TMITMITMITMITMI!" Mike started shouting, covering his ears and closing his eyes, trying to shut out the comment.

"Leonardo, do you have any proof—"

"Beyond first-hand knowledge—"

"Donatello! Leonardo, do you have any proof beyond your… belief… that Michelangelo is not being honest with us?"

"I'll bet she's got a piercing as well," Raph nudged Don, while Casey struggled mightily to not burst out laughing. "Hey Leo—does she at least have a little navel ring? Or is she more 'hard-core'?"

"I doubt she'd have anything like a Venus piercing," Don mused. "The pressure from those tight pants against it would be painful."

"Maybe she does, and that explains why she's always in a pissed off mood."

"I wanted April ta' try one of them clitoris piercings, but—"


During the sudden fight that broke out between the two humans, Leonardo seriously considered executing one of his perfected ninja vanish moves, but Splinter still had his eyes on him.

Instead, he snatched the panties from Mike and studied them closer, easily avoiding his brother's attempts to recover his prize. A smile of relief briefly touched his face, and then he offered the garment to Splinter.

"See? The little red hearts? They're really the Foot emblem. And they've obviously been added with marker. Mike faked these."

"I didn't fake them! They really are from Karai's laundry!"

"Foot emblems? On the panties?"


"Well… they really ARE from their laundry. Okay, so maybe I added some artistic details, but they really ARE from her laundry basket."

Leonardo crossed his arms and stared at his brother, for the moment on the moral high road. All he had to do was get Mike disqualified, and then present his own proof of being the one to go the furthest, and this whole embarrassing panty thing would go away.

"I did get into their laundry room," Mike insisted. "Here's a picture as well."

The rest of them, Leo's faux pas temporarily on the backburner, studied the slightly out-of-focus printout. It did appear to be genuine.

The three judges then held brief meeting (with a lot of "MR. Jones" and "MS. O'Neil" thrown in for good measure). Leo held his breath, hoping that this would be the end of any questions as to his foolish slip of the tongue.

"All right," Splinter announced. "We will accept that you did get that far into her stronghold, though we have judged that you can not claim this particular garment belongs to Karai."

Leonardo wasn't happy, but he accepted the judges ruling. As long as no more mention was made of the embarrassing mess he'd found himself in, it was all good. He would get past this. He would present his own proof of his skills, and they'd not bring up the panty-thing ever again.

Mike's face fell, then he grinned and shrugged.

"What about this, then?" and he pulled from his bag what appeared to be a gauzy black gown. Mike held it up in front of his plastron, showing off a sheer, sexy nightie.

"It's Karai's! And NO Foot emblems are on it."

Leo snorted derisively.

"Karai doesn't wear a nightie!"

(A/N: Some people- or Turtles for that matter- never learn.)