Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Character/Pairing: Ensemble (Splinter, April, and all four Turtles)
Challenge/Prompt: beattheblackdog 81: Accusation
Word Count: 1,311
Date Written: 20 September 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
The aging Sensei’s ears prick forward as he hears a sound. His eyes crack open, and with one look, he forgets all about the importance of his meditation. “Leonardo!” he cries, flying into action. Grabbing his staff, he springs up and across to where his eldest son, a student who can patiently and earnestly meditate with him for hours on end without ever a complaint, has face planted into the dojo’s floor.
He shakes him and checks his vitals but quickly finds that he is simply asleep. Splinter’s ears flicker back and forth as Leonardo lets rip a snore that seems to ricochet off the thin walls of the dojo. He tries to rouse him several times, shaking him from head to foot, but though his snores are interrupted, Leonardo’s eyes do not crack open at all. Shaking his head, Splinter lifts his son and, though struggling underneath his weight, manages to wrap a thin arm around his shell and begin the difficult mission of getting him from the dojo to his bed, a task he hasn’t had to do with this particular son in a good many years.
Leaving his dojo, Splinter cries out to his younger sons, “Who is response for this?!” His old but still wiry tail slashes through the pungent air. Though Donatello has tried many different systems and continues to do so, there is always the smell of the sewer in their home to Splinter’s superbly sharp sense of smell.
Raphael looks up, his mouth open to object at the accusation, but he shuts it quickly upon seeing his father struggle with his brother. The many fights he has every single day with Leo go immediately out of his head as he leaps to help them. “What happened?!” he demands sharply. “I’ll -- “
“You’ll do nothing but help me carry him to your room,” Splinter counters. “He’s asleep, deeply asleep, too deep to be awakened, but merely asleep nonetheless.”
“Maaaaan!” Mikey groans even as Raph is taking Leo from his father’s arms. “Since when does Leo party too hard?”
“He was not partying,” Splinter snaps, his tail again cutting through the air with his irritation. “We were meditating when he slumped into the floor.”
Mikey lets out a loud, slow, huge yawn. “Dude, don’t I know how he feels? Maybe I had too much pizza on the way home! Anybody else want a slice before I finish this beauty on my own?” he asks, gesturing to the top pizza box of the two he carries. Only three slices, loaded with cheese and meat, are left.
“I’ll tell you what you can do with that pie,” Raphael snaps.
Raphael bows his head to Master Splinter. “Yes, sir,” he tells him obediently. To Mikey, he adds, “After I get Leo to his bed.” He carries his brother out of the room.
Splinter turns to Michelangelo, his mouth open to ask his youngest a question, when Mikey snores so loud it really does echo throughout the elaborate system of tunnels Donatello has set up to be their home. Splinter arches a furry brow. Seeing that Mikey’s feet are propped up on the coffee table right next to the pizza boxes, he walks over, lifts his green feet, and drops them unceremoniously onto the floor. Michelangelo doesn’t even budge.
Realizing his own need to finish his meditation, Master Splinter returns to the dojo, sits himself down, and prepares to clear his mind once again. His tail swishes before tucking in around his haunches. His mind is almost clear when Splinter himself yawns . . . and promptly falls over sideways into the floor. His effort to meditate completely forgotten, Splinter curls into a ball and sleeps soundly while Raphael finds himself also yawning after depositing Leonardo safely into his cot.
He presses a hand against his bunk and shakes his head. He has no intention of sleeping. There’s much to be done tonight. He was on his way out of the sewers when Splinter delayed him with his snoring bro. Raphael shakes his head as Leo lets another one rip. “Damn, dude, and they say Mikey can snore!”
He has to once more catch himself in the doorway to their room. This time, he’s yawning so widely, his eyes so tightly shut, that he almost falls. Only pressing both fists against the doorframe keeps him from going down. He makes it to the couch where Mikey’s asleep next to the pizza boxes, one slice dripping onto his shell’s plastron. Shaking his head but deciding to get a slice before he leaves, Raphael slips down onto the couch next to Mikey, leans forward to grab a piece, yawns again, and falls sideways across his little brother.
“Guys?” April calls about that time, just then entering the sewer. Her eyes widen, her eyebrows shooting up, at the sight of Raphael draped over Mikey’s lap. Quickly, she snaps a picture and moves on, returning Mikey’s slice of pizza to the top box, grabbing one for herself, and shutting the box.
She’s nibbling on the slice when she finds Master Splinter curled up into a soft, furry ball on the floor of his dojo. Shaking her head again, she goes to retrieve a blanket and tries to pick one of the few that aren’t threadbare. She licks her fingers clean before pulling it out, carrying it back, and covering the Sensei. In his sleep, he reaches for the blanket, and she smiles as he tugs on it and helps her to cover him.
She shakes her head in wonder, though, as she leaves the dojo behind. The three of them are so fast asleep, and it’s highly unusual both for Raphael to use Mikey for a pillow and Master Splinter to sleep anywhere other than a bed. Still, she knows they’ve been pushing it a little too hard lately. New York always seems to be in one dangerous situation or another, and they’re always rushing to help. It’s far past time they had a night off.
She peers into their room, sees Leo in his bunk, and moves on. Donatello is, as always, at his computer. His headseat’s still on his head, and there’s a voice blaring through it. Yet, Donnie himself is asleep and slightly drooling on his keyboard. She lifts his head with gentle hands, removes his headseat, and turns off his speakers. She closes his programs, being sure to save his work, and is wondering how she’s going to move him from his chair to the cot he now keeps in his room as there are so many nights he never makes it to his actual bed when she yawns herself.
April shakes her head but another yawn comes. Donatello’s snore shakes his computer towers. She looks down at the sleeping turtle, her green eyes widening in surprise. “Why . . . do I . . . think . . . you . . . started this . . . all . . . ?” Each word is punctuated by another yawn, each louder and longer than the last, until her sentence trails off into a huge one. She rubs at her reddening eyes. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Vibes,” she mutters, shaking her head once more in a meager effort to clear the sleep vibes from her brain.
Looking down at Donnie, April decides not to move him after all. She’s fallen asleep many times in places she shouldn’t, and every time she’s ever been roused to move, she’s been too awake by the time she reached her bed, her mind too full of other, more important tasks, to let herself fall back asleep. But right now, that cot across Donatello’s lab is looking way comfortable.
Yawning again, April decides to go with the old adage if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. She walks across the room, slips out of her shoes, and lays down. The instant her red head touches the cot, April’s out, too, with the rest of her family.