Chapter 12: Like A River Over Stone

A/N: I'm back with yet another chapter. I promised you I'd get this out as soon as I could, so here it is. I know the chapter is named after a quote from "Turtle Temper" and I did that on purpose. I actually liked that episode a lot as it had a good lesson instilled in it about keeping your temper and not letting the little things get to you. Now, let's see if Tony can learn this lesson as well. Thanks once again to all of those who have read and reviewed thus far. Your encouragement is so awesome, so thanks.

Disclaimer: TMNT belongs to Nickelodeon. I'm just an unemployed girl borrowing them for her creative pleasure.

I waited in the dojo for my next lesson. Raph was gonna help me to learn to control my temper. Honestly, I didn't think my temper was that bad, but seeing as how I almost killed my own cousin, I had to admit that it definitely needed to be reined in. Raph came in and looked at me followed by Splinter.

"Raphael is going to help assist with this lesson," Splinter told me. "As you know, you have a temper that must be kept in check, Tony. Losing control is a deterrent in battle, and you cannot afford to make this mistake. Raphael knows about this all too well. I would like to know what caused you to react in the manner that you did."

"Gia said she killed my dad, and it set me off," I answered.

"I see," Splinter mused. "Were you close with your father?"

"Yeah, I was very close to him. We shared everything, and when he died, it was like there was a hole there where he used to be. I was anxious to find out who killed him so I could avenge his death, and when Gia said it was her, I just lost it."

"Yes, the death of a loved one is never easy to deal with," said Splinter. "I, too, have lost a loved one myself, and I have wanted to avenge her death as well. However, it does no good to let your anger get the best of you. You need to shield yourself from it and try to calm down. Raphael, you may begin with the lesson."

Raph nodded and stepped up to me. "As you can see, we have a punching bag in the dojo," he said. "The best way that I like to unleash my anger is to punch and kick it. It really helps me channel my anger, so I want you to do the same. Just pretend the bag is Gia and let your anger out."

I nodded and stared at the bag, pretending that it was Gia smiling evilly. Then I began punching the bag hard and kicking it. My moves got faster as I unleashed all the anger I felt at my cousin, and it began to calm me. Once I was tired, I stopped, wiping the sweat from my brow.

"You feel better?" asked Raph.

I nodded. "Yeah, that did help," I said. "But when you're in battle, you can't use a punching bag to get your anger out. So, how do you channel your anger then?"

Raph chuckled. "Well, Sensei taught me to just let the insults wash over me like a river over stone," he answered. "I know your temper problem isn't about insults, but I know Gia will probably get you with a few. You need to ignore her and let the words wash away. I know it will be hard, but it really does help. Do you think you can do that?"

I was a little hesitant in my answer. "I think so," I said. "I'll try at least."

"Well, we'll work on it," promised Raph. "I'm going to pretend I'm Gia and insult you just to see if you can do what I suggested. Don't worry if you can't on the first try. I couldn't do it, but I learned how to. You ready?"

I nodded and waited. Raph hit me with so many insults about my dad and how he died, but I imagined Gia would be saying these things, so I thought it was smart of him to do that. I did my best to control my temper, but it wasn't working, and I lashed out. Raph managed to block my attack before I hurt him and smiled at me.

"Don't be upset about it," he reassured me. "You'll get it with practice. Good try though."

I smiled at him. "Thanks," I said.

"An excellent attempt, Tony," praised Splinter. "You will soon learn how to evade the insults thrown your way as long as you keep practicing. You are dismissed for now."

I took a shower and saw Mikey waiting for me when I came out.

"Hey, Tony, you want to go skateboarding?" he asked me.

I had brought my skateboard with me when I came down and thought that maybe it would be a good way to let off some steam. "Sure," I answered. "Are we going topside?"

"Nope, we're going to a place in the sewers," he replied. "I know of a few places where we can board with no interruptions. Sensei won't let us do that in the Lair because it's too dangerous." Mikey went to go tell Splinter where we were going and then came out, smiling. "He says we can go but we have to be careful," he told me.

"Great," I said. I got my board, and we headed out. It was nice to be traveling in the sewers with Mikey. He was very talkative and always liked to carry a conversation. "So, what's the deal with Raph?" I asked. "What caused him to have such a bad temper?"

"Well, he's always had a bad temper, but it really started getting bad with this guy we met," said Mikey and told me the story of how this guy kept insulting them and how Raph got mad. The guy had caught them on video, and they had to get the video back before he exposed them. Raph had a hard time controlling his temper, but eventually it all worked out, except that they guy turned into a mutant named Spyderbitez.

I laughed. "Who calls themselves that?" I asked.

Mikey smiled. "Oh, I named him that," he said. "I'm pretty good at namin' stuff. It's a gift I have."

"I bet," I said.

"Yeah, but sometimes my brothers get annoyed at me for it," he told me. "I guess they just don't know how to appreciate talent."

I didn't say anything to that. Soon we approached the spot Mikey had found, and I could see why he liked it. It was filled with different ramps and jumps. "Did you make those yourself?"

"Not all of them," he answered. "Some of it was here before, but others I made once I learned how to do it. You ready to do this?"

I nodded. "Definitely," I said.

Mikey took his board and skated down a ramp. He did a twist and yelled, "Booyakasha!"

"What does that mean?" I asked. "Is it a Japanese word?"

"I don't know if it means anything," answered Mikey. "I just like to yell it. I think it makes for a good battle cry or just something to yell when you're having fun."

"Have your other brothers said it?"

"Don and Raph have," said Mikey. "Leo hasn't yet. I think he's too good for that sort of thing being the leader and all."

"Or maybe he just hasn't found the right time to say it," I mused. "Maybe he will one of these days." I skated down a ramp, did a flip, and yelled, "Booyakasha!" Then I laughed. "You're right, Mikey, it IS fun to yell."

"I told you!" he gloated. "Now, let's see if you can keep up with the Mikester." He began doing some different moves, and I copied him as best as I could. I even showed him some moves I'd learned from kids in the neighborhood, and he managed to do them pretty well. Mikey was a fast learner, and that was something I admired about him. He also wasn't afraid to take risks and to do things that not many others would try.

After a few hours, we decided to call it quits. Mikey admired my skills, and I did the same to him. Then he kept talking to me about more of their adventures and asking questions about my own life. I told him as much as I could about what life was like for me, and he seemed really intrigued about human life. He asked if I liked school, and I told him I wasn't too fond of it because it was boring.

"If I was in school, I'd try to make things more interesting," Mikey declared. "You shouldn't be bored when you're trying to learn. It should be fun."

"Yeah, well the teachers don't see it that way," I said. "But I do like English class and art. I hate math though. I have so much trouble with it because I have a learning disability in it."

"Man, that's gotta be rough," said Mikey sympathetically.

"It is, but I get through it," I told him. "I'm in an LD class, and it seems to help, but my classmates don't seem to think so. I've been made fun of for being in an LD class. A lot of kids have called me retarded."

"Dude, that's not cool," Mikey said indignantly. "If I was in that school, I'd make sure those kids treated you with respect. Raph would probably beat the hell out of them for making fun of you that way."

"Thanks, Mikey," I said. "At least you seem to understand where I'm coming from."

"I do because I've been there," he said. "My bros sometimes make fun of me because I have a short attention span. They used to call me retarded, too, until Sensei made them stop. But at least they know that I'm still good for something ,and the fact that I've saved them a few times is enough for them to not make fun of me."

"I wonder if I can do that with the other kids, too," I mused. "Maybe I could just show them what I'm good at, and they won't make fun of me."

"Good idea," Mikey praised me.

"I'd better get ready for work tonight," I said. "I really don't want to go, but I've taken enough time off as it is."

"I'll walk you there," Mikey offered. "We can talk some more about stuff."

"Okay, it's a deal," I said. It felt good to talk to Mikey, and I really felt that all my troubles were slipping away. I really wished Mikey was human because he could have been a good influence on a lot of people. It was a shame that he had to be isolated and never able to really showcase who he was. The same was true for all of the Turtles.

I went to work and had a good route. Nothing really bad happened, and after I was done, Mikey was ready to meet me and walk home with me. I was tired but happy. Even though Raph had taught me about the punching bag being able to release anger, I still felt that Mikey's cheerful spirit and energy was the cure I needed to let go of the rage I'd been feeling since Gia's revelation. I slept really well that night and had nothing but good dreams, and I owed it all to Mikey, one of the best brothers I'd never had.

A/N: Yay! Another chapter is finished. Yes, I really wonder when Leo's going to say "Booyakasha!" in the cartoon. He's the only one of the four who hasn't said it, and I think it would be awesome if he did. Oh, well, there's always hope for season two, right? I had a lot of fun writing the bonding between Mikey and Tony. Don't worry Don will get his turn to bond with Tony, too. Feel free to leave a review and have a shelltastic day.