It was just another typical stormy day in New York, and while they waited for Leonardo to return with a rental movie for them to watch, Raph and Don were having another one of their brotherly question-and-answer sessions at the kitchen table. Stumped that Donatello didn't have a response to his 'What's your biggest fear' question, Raphael knew that there just had to be something Donnie was afraid of…He just didn't know what.
"Really," Raphael inquired as he searched for answers in Donatello's eyes, "Nothing at all?"
"Cross my heart," Donnie smiled as he made the sign of the scout, "I can't think of one single fear."
"Trying to act all brave, aren'tcha," Raphael questioned with a coy smile.
"I'm not trying to act brave at all, "Donatello replied testily, "I just don't have any logistical fear, that's all."
"Oh, I see," Raph sneered as he circled his brother hastily, "You think you're pretty smart, eh? Think you can pull one over on old Raphy, huh?"
"Look, I'm not trying to 'pull one over' on anyone," Donatello shrugged shyly, "There's just nothing out there that scares me—so let's just change the subject."
"C'mon, Don," Michelangelo shouted from the living room from his video-gaming chair, "Everyone has a fear!"
"Mikey's right…for once."
"Hey! I heard that, Raph!"
"You were meant to, dunder-head," Raph called to his little brother.
Heading over to the back wall of the sewer where all of the electrical panels resided, Raphael and Donatello recommenced their topic of discussion.
"Take Mikey for example," Raphael suggested, pointing at the orange-clad brother who seemed to be vigorously engaged within the ploy his video game, "Ever since he was little, he's had this thing about the dark. Watch—"
And as Raph flipped the main switch off, Mikey flipped his switch on.
"AAAAAAAHHHHHH! LIGHTS! LIGHTS! WHO TURNED OFF THE LIGHTS?! TURN 'EM ON! TURN 'EM ON!"
Watching their fear-stricken brother run frantically around the living room, Raph and Don continued with their conversation.
"Yeah, but that's just Mikey," Don incited as Michelangelo tripped over the cord of a table lamp, "His fear of the dark is based on an illogical misunderstanding he derived from his own self-judgment when he was a—"
"Hey, you know Don," Raphael intruded sarcastically, "There's this great new language: I think you'll like it! It's called English."
"What I'm saying is," Donatello clarified as Michelangelo continued to run around the room, "When Mikey was a little kid, he somehow came up with this strange illusion that the dark could actually hurt him—"
"OW! AW, MOTHER OF PEARL!"
"Well, when you think about it," Raphael added, "He's not too off-base with that theory."
"Ooh," Donnie cringed as he heard his youngest brother fall to the floor with a thud, "Maybe you ought to turn the lights back on."
Flipping the switch, Raphael set the lair ablaze with light again. To their surprise, however, Don and Raph looked around the room to find no Michelangelo. That is, until they heard a subtle the sound of teeth-chatters coming from behind the television. Approaching the scene of the crime, Raph and Donnie found, to their subtle amusement, a white-faced Michelangelo curled up into a contorted fetal position behind the television.
"Mikey," Donatello said softly, "You okay, buddy?"
"F-f-fine," Mikey replied shakily as he slowly stood up, "T-t-they're not gonna do that again, are they?"
"What," Raph responded, raising an eyebrow, "Y' mean turn off?"
"Yes," Mikey exclaimed louder than intended, "T-they're st-staying on, r-right?"
"Yes, Mikey," Donnie replied as he wrapped his arm around his frightened little brother as he gestured to Raphael, "You see, it was just—"
"The storm," Raphael answered quickly, giving Donatello a cock-eyed look, "Yep: just the storm…Right, Don?"
"…Oh—riiiight," Donnie replied with a wink before he realized Michelangelo was still standing right next to him, "I-I mean 'right'! Yeah, the storm! Oh, you betcha!"
Slapping his face in embarrassment for the purple-clad turtle, Raphael returned to the topic of the night…fear.
"So, you see, Don, everybody's afraid of something," Raph explained, "Like Mikey: he's afraid of the dark, Leo's afraid of heights—"
"Yeah," Michelangelo chimed in happily, "And you're afraid of bugs!"
"Did I ask for your input?!"
"Well, you are," Mikey shrugged with a laugh, "Man, even the ants you get scared of: and all they do is make hills an' stuff!"
"Hey, ants are tough customers," Raphael defended, his cheeks subtly turning red, "Those little buggers can lift four times their own body weight."
"Five times, actually," Donnie corrected before continuing his thought, "And Raphael: your fear, too is actually, a very common fear…which I don't have."
"Well, what about snakes," Raphael suggested.
"Are you kidding," Donnie scoffed, "Raphael, they're practically our cousins! Why on Earth would I be scared of my very own kin?"
"How about flying?"
"Mikey, we've never been on a plane—"
"AH-HAH! So you don't actually know if you're afraid of it or not!"
"That's because I've never flown in a plane, genius. And since I've never flown, there is no distinction in my mind as to what I could, would, or should fear about flying: and so…I don't."
This was seriously starting to annoy Raphael. Cracking his knuckles, the red-clad turtle loomed over his intelligent brother, spewing out every possible fear that a person—or turtle, rather—could have.
"Oh, you mean like 'arachnophobia'? No, but aren't they just the most fascinating little creatures?
"Doesn't Leo have that?"
Growing even more impatient, Raphael growled as he threw out more fears for his brother to cave into.
"Thunderstorms, tight-spaces, public speaking…PEANUT-BUTTER!"
"Nope, no, negative, and…wait, did you say 'peanut-butter?'"
Panting heavily, Raphael decided to give up: it just wasn't worth the aggravation.
"Look, I toldja, Raphael," Donatello chuckled to himself as rested his three-toed feet on the living room coffee table, "No fears. You wanna know why?"
"-yeahsure,whatever," Raphael mumbled under his breath as he turned his back Donatello.
"I wanna know," Mikey exclaimed excitedly as he ran up to his purple-clad brother.
Raising his feet in discomfort, Donatello looked down to find that beneath his feet, Michelangelo was…bowing.
"Teach me your ways, oh fearless one," Michelangelo chanted as he stooped below his brother.
"Hey, cut it out," Donnie shouted as he lightly kicked his brother in the plastron before he continued.
"You really wanna know why I'm not afraid of anything?"
"Aw, what's the point in even pretending," Raph mumbled to himself as he turned back around to face his brother as he cried, "Yes!"
"Tell us," Mikey practically drooled out, "What's the secret: why aren't you afraid of anything?"
"It's no secret at all: actually…the secret is knowledge."
Stunned by the simplicity of the answer, a slack-jawed Raphael and Michelangelo stared at each other blankly before turning their attention back to their purple-clad brother.
"What," Donnie shrugged cheerfully, "Knowledge is power! The more you know about something, the less scary it becomes. See, you guys don't fear the actual things you fear: you just fear the things about the things you fear: the things that are unknown to you…Does that make sense?"
"Not in the slightest," Michelangelo responded quite frankly.
"When I was little," Donnie continued, "And something scared me, I just researched it: learned more about it, you know? And once I knew exactly what it was that scared me, I ended up not being afraid of it anymore."
"So what you're saying here," Raphael queried confusedly, "Is that you don't fear anything because you…know everything?"
"Well, not in so many words," Donatello replied sheepishly, "But…kinda. Look, fellas-let's just drop the subject now, alright? Case closed: I—Donatello Hamato—am not afraid of anything."
With a blast of thunder and a slam of the door, the three turtles jumped with anxiousness. Turning around abruptly, the three boys saw a strange figure in a soaking wet, navy-blue sport coat standing at the entrance of the living. This figure launched the turtles into 'ninja-stealth mode'—and with the flip of a dime, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo brought their weapons to the ready, in full fighting stance, as they scowled viciously at the stranger.
"Alright, buddy," Raphael growled, flipping his sais so that the jagged edge was facing their unexpected guest, "We don't want any trouble. But if you want a fight…you got one."
"H-hnxgt-choo," the figure sneezed, "Guys, it's only me," the stranger sniffled before removing his hood, who—to the turtles' relief—appeared to be their eldest brother, Leonardo.
"Leo," Donnie sighed with relief, "Oh, thank goodness. You really had me—"
"Scared," Raphael suggested jokingly as he chuckled to himself.
As Michelangelo started to laugh, Donatello sighed tiredly with a simple, "Oh yeah, sure—ya got me! Ya got me, Raph: my big fear is having a stranger in my living room."
"W-what are you guys talking about," Leo inquired hoarsely as he sat down next to Donatello on the couch.
"Well," Raphael began as he, too, returned to his seat of the sofa, "We were talkin' about fears, and this one over here says he doesn't have any—"
"But you're forgetting something, Meat Head: did I not prove my point appropriately enough by stating that my reason for not having a distinct fear is because I—"
"Yeah, yeah," Raphael interrupted as he waved his brother off, "You know everything—we got it. So—not to change the subject or anything—but what movie did you get, Leo?"
"Oh," Leo shouted as he sniffled, 'Children of the co—' Huh , hex'gtchoo!"
"Gesundheit," the brothers exclaimed…all except for Donnie.
"Thandks," Leo replied stuffily as he itched the underside of his nose, letting out a chesty cough.
"You're all shaky, dude," Mikey commented as stared cautiously at his eldest brother.
"Y-you don't sound so good, either," Donatello added—a little shaky himself.
"You're tellin' me," Leonardo nodded with a stuffed-up inhale before he reported; "I-I think I might be coming down with something."
"Well, after being out in that storm, how couldn't you," Raph remarked sternly as he held the back of his hand to Leonardo's burning forehead.
"You gonna be okay, Leo," Michelangelo asked anxiously.
"Oh, I'll be alright: probably just a co-a, a cuh, uh-ah-Ah'schoo!"
"AHHHHHHH," shrieked Donatello as if he had been stabbed in the back with a razor-sharp knife.
Groaning as he did it—eyes wide with panic—the purple-clad turtle shot up from the couch and reached with a quaking hand for the bottle of Frebreze that sat on the coffee table. With it, Donnie sprayed—not only the furniture, but his sick brother, as well: and not just a quick squirt, but a good two-minute mist until the can was completely empty.
"—S-STAY BACK," Donatello yelled forming an 'x' with his two forefingers as he circled Leonardo, "D-DON'T COME ANY CLOSER!"
"Don," Raphael retorted angrily, "What the shell's the matter with you?"
"What's the matter with me? What's the matter with him," Donnie cried, pointing at his oldest brother, "Bringing germs, germs! Lots of little, tiny- microscopic germs! Th-the-they-they're everywhere…EVERYWHERE! Ooh, don't let them touch me: DON'T LET THEM TOUCH ME!"
As Donatello ran from the living room, squealing all the way, the three remaining brothers looked at each other, blinked, and roared with hysterical laughter.
"Ha, ha, ha," Mikey bellowed, "What a dork!"
"So much for 'Mr. Fearless, eh," Raphael chortled.
"Yeah," Mikey replied, "More like 'Mr. Germaphobe'!"
"I gotta admit," Leonardo muttered as he sniffled between chuckles, "That was pretty fu-uh-Uh-eh, ih—A'ischoooo!"