Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Character/Pairing: Michelangelo, Raphael, Splinter
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words Bingo: Yellow
Word Count: 1,054
Date Written: 18 February 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
“No, Sensei, not that one!” Mikey cried out just before Splinter could take a bite of pizza.
The old rat paused with the slice of pizza dangling just inches from his mouth. Michelangelo rushed to his side, took the slice of pizza, and put a different slice in his furry hand. “There. Eat that one instead,” he advised.
“Michelangelo,” Splinter inquired, his long tail swishing, “what is the meaning of this?”
“It’s nothing really, Sensei. It’s just that I made this part of the pizza,” the youngest turtle explained, lifting the slice in question, “especially for Raphael. It’s too hot for the rest of us.”
Hearing his brother’s admission, Raphael sniffed in disdain. He looked down his beak at the pizza. “There ain’t nothing that special about that pizza and especially nothing I can’t handle.”
“I’m glad you feel that way,” Michelangelo spoke slyly, holding the slice out to him.
Raphael sniffed it again as he lifted it from Mikey’s hand. “Told ya before, bro -- “
“Yeah, yeah. There’s no heat you can’t handle. I know. But I know you like stuff spicy too.” He shrugged, ignoring Donnie and even Leonardo sniggering in the background. They knew Michelangelo had to have cooked something extra special for Raph. Even Raphael knew it, but he was confident he could handle whatever spices Michelangelo had thrown onto his part of the pizza.
Mikey looked on innocently as Raphael continued to survey the pizza. He sniffed it again. “Banana peppers, a hint of jalapenos, lots of meat, lots of cheese -- “
“Loads,” Mikey agreed, nodding. There wasn’t as much of the yellow cheese as it appeared to be judging from the top. There were American and Cheddar cheeses on Raphael’s slices, but there were habanero and pepper jack cheeses laid on underneath the sprinkling of the normal cheeses Michelangelo used.
Beneath their yellow and white layers lay jalapenos, and not just any jalapenos. Michelangelo had carefully grown these peppers by hand. He had hidden them from his family, and the peppers had not seen sunlight in several months after he had harvested them. He had had to work hard to hide their strong scent after opening their canister had nearly bowled his feet out from underneath him. It was a wonder Raphael could not smell them now, but Mikey knew his brother and realized that, most likely, part of the reason he didn’t appear to smell them was because he was stubborn enough to believe that nothing was too spicy for him. It wasn’t a matter of not smelling the jalapenos, or at least getting some whiff of them, but rather a matter of pride for Raphael, pride that -- Mikey thought, grinning -- he was about to lose.
Raphael took a bite, then another. He chewed slowly, savoring the taste and waiting for the heat to hit him. He shrugged. “Like I said, Mikey -- “ he started but paused to take another, larger bite.
Mikey grinned the moment Raphael’s eyes bugged. He had purposefully kept the jalapenos and spicier cheeses away from the center of the pizza and closer in to the crust where he’d be certain that Raphael was the only one who got a bite of them. Raph had clearly just gotten a bit more than he expected.
“ -- no one can -- “ Raphael continued, as though he was unfazed. “ -- make something too spicy -- “ He was continuing to nibble his pizza as he spoke, and Mikey’s triumphant grin was beginning to fall. “ -- for me!” He gasped with the last bite he’d taken. His face colored. A hand clutched at his throat. His shell trembled. His tail jerked involuntarily inside his shell from behind, a gesture Mikey missed but that his brothers saw and set them laughing even harder.
“That was a nice . . . kick,” Raphael commented, still gasping. He took another bite and promptly dropped the pizza. Mikey caught his masterpiece before it could hit the lair’s floor, a place that always stayed dirty despite their efforts to clean it (they did, after all, live in a sewer). Raphael raced for the table.
Donatello held a hand out toward him in warning. “Not the soda -- “ he exclaimed, but it was too late as Raphael gulped down soda straight from the bottle.
Leonardo moved quickly, grabbing a loaf of bread and taking a slice out with a knife he had on his belt. He offered the slice to Raphael, who grabbed it, shoved it down, and reached for more. Michelangelo, meanwhile, was almost falling over with laughter.
“Michelangelo!” Splinter snapped.
Mikey stood bolt upright, instantly at attention. “Yes, sir?” He hadn’t expected their cherished Sensei to be here for this display of Mikey actually getting the upper hand on his older, always angrier brother.
“What is the meaning of this?” Splinter demanded, his long, wiry tail whipping in the humid air.
“I -- Hum, I -- Well -- “ Mikey scratched the dome of his head before admitting sheepishly, “Raphael swore no one could make something too hot for him, Master Splinter.”
“Did he now?” Splinter asked, looking at the red-banded turtle who was still steadily gulping down handfuls of bread.
“Yes, sir,” Donatello said, coming forward, “I heard him too. It was that last time Mikey made the Mexican pizza. Raphael kind of cut down on it, because it wasn’t hot enough.”
“Yes, sir,” Mikey spoke, bobbing his head in a quick nod. “And I, huh, kinda took it as a challenge,” he admitted.
“A challenge you clearly won, my son,” Splinter commented, a sly smile stretching over his features. “But let’s stay away from those peppers in the future, shall we?” The tip of his tail twitched.
Splinter started to turn away from his sons but stopped, glancing over at where Raphael was crying out again, “Gah!”
“And thank you for making certain I did not get that slice and making us all a fine lunch again, Michelangelo. But no more tricks in the kitchen, okay?”
“Yes, sir,” Mikey spoke immediately and obediently.
Splinter turned from his boys with a sly smile still hovering across his mouth and took his pizza with him. He would have to remember this incident the next time he answered one of Hudson’s letters. No wonder his boys had gotten Hudson accustomed to using jalapeno as a dirty word! He chuckled, his tail swishing, and walked away.