Author: Kat Lee, formerly Pirate Turner
Summary: Donatello's always fixing something in the lair, but some things are more important than others.
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters, names, codenames, places, items, fandoms, titles, and etc. are always © & TM their respective owners, not the author, and are used without permission. Any and all original characters and everything else is © & TM the author and may not be reproduced in any way without the author's express, written permission. The author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Note: 244. That's the number of stories that were sitting on my hard drive collecting dust because I lack the energy and time to take care of them as I once did. My betaing pattern has always been to write, then type up if written on paper, the story, read it aloud to my beloved Jack and our children, editing as I go, and then finally format and post. Sadly, this part is simply taking too much of my time and energy, and my beloved Jack and I have too little time together in person these days to be able to keep up with my stories. So what to do? Give up writing? I actually considered it for a while, tried to make excuses to myself other than the large number of stories collecting cyber dust on my computer, as to why I lacked the energy and Muse to write new tales. And then, with the turn of the new year, I decided to stop running and face the problem. The problem is, quite frankly, that once one gets so bogged down in formatting and editing that writing is no longer a pleasure but the actual posting of those writings becomes a hassle and - egad! - work, it's time to cut something out, and that will never be the writing process. So, in short, yes, there will be mistakes in this tale. Yes, it's missing about half of the header information I usually include. But I wrote it for pleasure and am posting it in hopes of sharing that pleasure with others. Do with it as you will.
There was always something broken in the lair. Televisions and toasters went out almost every day; ovens and heaters died nearly as frequently. Radios lost their sound, video games their buzz, and hair dryers their heat. Of course, the latter was only a problem for their Sensei, but a wet Sensei was definitely not a happy Master.
If asked, Donatello would guess that he spent at least fifteen hours a day fixing gadgets. He'd have more time to invest in it if he didn't lose so many hours to protecting the city and battling the Foot and the other beings who hurt innocents. Even if he had all day every day, he knew he could never get to the bottom of his desk and keep it clear for long.
It wasn't just gadgets and tools he had to repair, either. Often times, he had to fix the lair itself. Many days, he had to patch up the van or blimp and sometimes even both. It fell to him to mend his family's wounds, as well. He had grown sadly accustomed to setting broken bones and sealing open wounds. It was the unseen injuries that were the worst and often the hardest to fix.
Sometimes, though, they were the easiest and always the most important and worthwhile. One such occasion came when Donnie was slaving over his work bench on a Saturday afternoon. He jumped when he heard something strong hit a metal surface in the kitchen, then grimaced when Mikey wailed. Figuring he had another burdensome repair job ahead of him, Donatello reluctantly left the quiet of his laboratory and followed the sound of banging metal into the kitchen.
Mikey had his shell turned to him, and no one else was present. "Mikey?" Donnie called quietly, almost hesitantly, and then his heart broke a little at the sound of his beloved little brother's broken, teary tone.
"I can't do anything right! I burned the blasted pizza!"
Donnie knew then pizza had nothing to do with Mikey's sorrow. He might also try to blame his sadness on his breaking the TV last night and thereby causing them all to miss their Saturday morning cartoons. (Even Master Splinter liked the Penguins of Madagascar.) Donnie knew the real reason his baby brother was so upset, disappointed, and furious with himself, however, was he'd been taken captive the night before and used as bait to lure the rest of their family into a trap. They'd made it out alive, though barely, and Mikey was still kicking his own shell.
Donatello surveyed his brother for a moment, then walked up behind him and wrapped his arms tightly and reassuringly around him. Mikey stiffened for what seemed to Donnie a long moment but then slowly began to relax in his arms and return his hug.
Grinning, Donatello tightened their hug. The most important thing in the lair was well on the way of mending. "I love you, Mikey," he whispered.
"I love you, too," Mikey answered, smiling.