Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Character/Pairing: Splinter, Michelangelo, Raphael, Ensemble
Challenge/Prompt: enchanted_jae Challenge 151: How Do You Like It?
Word Count: 1,427
Date Written: 12 September 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
“I know,” Raphael agreed, watching his Sensei’s nose and whiskers quiver as they descended into the sewer. “That’s why I used to ask you all the time when I was little if we couldn’t move somewhere else.”
“Maybe one day,” Splinter finally agreed to what all four of his boys had asked him countless times, “but where would you have us move, Raphael? We can not be a part of the city above.”
“No, that’s true, but we managed to hide out pretty well when we stayed with Ape.”
“There is her farm,” Donatello added wistfully, climbing down behind his father and brother. He had enjoyed the time they had spent out in the woods, but he knew they couldn’t do what they needed to do for the world from there. They couldn’t keep saving lives, rescuing innocents, and stopping threats of global domination as they just had yet again. He might miss his Internet for a while, but he was confident he could create a way to plug into the World Wide Web from the farm with enough time. He’d set up the sewer, after all, so that it had all the advantages of modern times and devices; he could surely do the same above ground even if it was about a hundred miles out of the city. He sighed again as he dropped the remaining few feet to the ground. He certainly wouldn’t miss the city!
Raphael clasped Donnie’s shoulder, surprising the older turtle. He glanced at him questioningly, but Raph’s dark eyes were giving nothing away. He probably had enjoyed the farm, though, he thought, because he knew how Raphael hated having to deal with most human beings, April and Casey being the exceptions to that general rule of thumb.
“Come on, Leo!” Raph called up the ladder. “Or are you going to keep us waiting all night?”
“I’m coming; I’m coming!” Leo responded irritably. “I’m just making sure we’re not being followed!”
“If we’re being followed, I’ll just give ‘em a sai for their efforts,” Raphael retorted, giving his idea of a joke.
“He does have a point,” Donatello whispered, but then he caught sight of Master Splinter. The old rat’s long, wiry tail was swishing from side to side as he continued to sniff the air. “Sensei?” he called.
Raphael looked quickly to their adopted father. “What’s his deal?”
“I don’t know,” Donatello answered with both truth and doubt. “Master Splinter,” he called again, “is anything wrong?”
“No. No, my sons. Nothing at all. I just -- My, that smells so delightful!” His tail whisked again.
Donatello and Raphael exchanged a look. “I know he ain’t talking about the sewer,” Raph remarked, his own irritation beginning to flare.
“I don’t know -- “ Donatello started to say, but just then, their Sensei broke into a run.
“After him!” Raphael barely had to get the words out before they were both chasing after their Sensei. Leo, who had just started to climb down, slid the manhole cover back into place, leapt to the sewer’s floor, and sprinted after them.
It was a wild chase as Donatello and Raphael, in the lead, watched their Master perform leaps and bounds like he had not in years, especially not when they were not fighting something. “Do you think the lair’s been compromised?” Donnie asked in concern.
“I don’t know -- “ Raphael started to answer, but then his eyes shot wide. “MIKEY!” he screamed, thinking of the brother they’d had to leave behind because of his injured leg. They doubled their speed, but they still couldn’t catch up to their Sensei. He remained ahead the whole trip back home and cleared the entrance way in a leap neither of them would have previously thought him capable of performing.
“MIKEY!” Raph and Don yelled together as they bounded into their home. Leo was right behind them, also shouting for his youngest brother. Two more leaps carried Master Splinter into the kitchen.
Three of his sons were right behind him but pulled up short as they saw Michelangelo turning toward them and calmly wiping his hands off on a hand towel. “What’s wrong?” he asked, concerned.
His brothers looked at each other before Raphael spat out angrily, “You tell us!”
“Sensei?” Leonardo asked uncertainly. Seeing no sign of danger despite his father’s actions, Leo slid his katana back into its sheath on his shell.
Mikey shrugged. “Nothing that I know of.” He grinned at them. “I managed to fix dinner despite my leg.” He gestured to the foot he kept off the floor, a bandage reaching all the way from his foot to almost his knee.
Splinter’s tail again whisked through the air. “And it would appear,” he spoke eagerly, his whiskers bristling, “that you did a fine job of it, my son!”
“You’re just in time, Sensei,” Mikey said. “I was just about to take it out of the oven.” He bent and removed a pizza that immediately had his three brothers shouting in dismay.
“Mikey -- “ Donnie started, as usual the calmest of the brothers.
“YUCK!” Leonardo thundered.
“Damn it, Mike!” Raph gripped the sai he had drawn when he’d first entered the lair instead of putting it away. “That damn thing has anchovies on it!”
“You know we don’t do anchovies,” Donnie added. He was clearly upset but looked quizzically at Mikey. “You don’t do anchovies,” he reminded them all.
“Did you hit your head?” Raphael asked, finally sheathing his sai.
“I don’t do anchovies,” Michelangelo agreed. “You don’t do anchovies. But Master Splinter likes them, and he likes all five of the cheeses I used on his own pizza.”
“Wow,” Splinter breathed, his wiry tail whipping about behind him in his eagerness. “You made the whole pie for me?”
“Sure did,” Mikey answered. He turned and sat it on the table. Splinter immediately grabbed a plate and knife and proceeded to help himself.
“Tell me there’s more,” Raphael demanded.
Donnie peered into the oven, which he had made especially large so that Mikey would always have room for however many pizza pies he wanted to make. “Oh, yeah!”
The brothers cheered as Mikey removed two more pizzas, each practically dripping with cheese and overloaded with meat though no anchovies. Raphael grabbed a whole pie from Mikey’s hand, not even registering how hot the tray was in his eagerness. He flipped the pie into the air. It sailed off of the pan, and Leo sliced and diced it into eight, perfect pieces before it fell back onto the pan. All three of Mikey’s brothers dug quickly into the pie as Michelangelo turned and sat the last one on the counter. He looked back at Splinter and grinned from ear to ear as he watched his master’s tail swaying with his delight in the air. “I’d ask you how you like it,” he said, giggling, “but I think I have my answer already.”
“You have outdone yourself, my son!” Splinter declared, both furry cheeks stuffed full with cheese, hot, tender bread, and fish.
“Perfect,” Donatello agreed in between bites, “as always, Mikey!”
“Dude,” Raphael said after swallowing another large bite, “you should stay home more often.”
“I can do that,” Mikey agreed, tapping his knee, “just not with a broken leg.”
Leonardo snatched a chair out from underneath the table and perched it swiftly next to Mikey. “What?” he asked as his brothers all looked at him. “We can’t have our cook getting any further injured!”
Don and Mikey laughed, but Raphael nodded. “You’re right,” he agreed as Mikey sat down.
Michelangelo watched from his chair as his brothers and father delighted in their pizza. They were ravenous. Splinter had eaten almost his entire pie before he actually wiped his mouth and met Mikey’s gaze. “Sheer perfection, as always, my son. Thank you.”
Mikey burst into a huge grin again. “Just remember that,” he said with a wink, “the next time I mess up and you want me to do a hundred flips.”
“Hmm. It might better suit me,” Splinter said, his tail again swishing, “if you made a hundred of these instead.”
Michelangelo laughed, and soon, the rest of his family was laughing with him. Splinter looked around at his sons with a large smile hidden by his slice of pizza. It did not matter if they were in the sewer or somewhere else, as he had always known. All that mattered was that their family was together. As long as they had each other, they had everything that mattered, especially if they had Michelangelo's pizza too.