A long time ago a bunch of scientists were trying to find a cure for mutants.
The formulas they created were tested on four baby turtles, who were injected with mutant DNA. They were also birthday presents for the leader scientist's ten-year-old daughter April.
In order to remember which turtle got what formula, Mr. O'Neill allowed the girl to mane the reptiles.
The light green one with large, dark brown eyes was named Leonardo, because he was the oldest of the turtles and the name was suitable for a leader. He was recognized by the blue "L" on his shell.
The emerald colored one with strange, golden eyes that instead of normal pupils had cat like slits, was named Raphael. April chose this particular name for him because he was the biggest turtle. He was recognized by the red "R", on his shell.
The olive colored one with, light brown eyes was called Donatello, since he seemed to be the smartest of his brothers. He was the first one to respond to April calling his name and…well Donatello seemed like a smart name. He's recognized by the purple "D", on his shell.
This leaves the youngest turtle brother. The twerp of the team with aqua colored skin and big blue eyes. He was called Michaelangelo because those blue eyes just screamed: Angel! To the ten-year old. He was recognized by the orange "M" on his shell.
Unfortunatly, none of the formulas were correct, instead of neutralizing the mutant DNA, they doubled its intensity. Turning the unfortunate creatures into humanoid baby-turtles the size of a human babies.
Angry for their failure, the scientists drew the turtle toots out, far away from the comfort of their mistress.
Dooming them, hoping they'll die by the cruel hands of New York City. All because they didn't turn out like they wanted them to.
But the turtles didn't die.
Instead they followed their instinct and climbed out of the box. Leading to them becoming separated in the murderous city that never could accept them for who they are.
Even though most people didn't pay attention to the quiet crying sound of a terrified baby turtle, somewhere in the dark alleys.
Four people did.
One month later, a rich, playboy, multimillionaire was just returning from a very loud party, celebrating their latest victory over , that night. Hoping to hit the hay the moment he walks though his door.
His head was throbbing painfully of alcohol overdose, but he didn't mind.
Just knowing that he beat the magnificent Hawkeye in a drinking contest, was definitely worth that pain.
Walking down the familiar alley, Tony Stark heard the muffled cries of a scared child, somewhere near his trash can.
Curious he walked over to it, expecting an orphan who just ran away from the orphanage.
What he saw was nothing of the sort.
A turtle-like mutant baby was sitting on the trash bags, crying.
Iron Man walked over to it slowly, not really surprised by the child's appearance. He did live in a world where mutants were as common as one dollar bills, after all.
"What happened to ya little fella?" He whispered softly, not wanting to scare the boy. He knew that after being left here in the cold, the child might not fancy humans that much.
He couldn't blame him though, most families throw animals, and even their own children, out when they turn out to be mutants.
The turtle toot calmed down a bit and wiped away the large tears that fell down his cheeks, sniffing. Then he looked up at him with the cutest light-brown eyes he ever saw, cocking his head to the side as if he was curious to who he was.
There was no fear in him. Just childish curiosity.
Tony smiled, wanting to show the boy that he meant no harm. "Aww…aren't you a cutie." He added walking up to him in a crouched position.
The turtle watched him, eyes sparkling with curiosity that reminded him of himself when he was his age.
Those were the eyes of a young genius.
When he got to close the boy squealed and tried to back away, fear replacing curiosity in those large, light-brown eyes.
"Shhhh…don't be afraid." Iron Man whispered softly. The terrified look on the turtle's face made him suddenly think about child abuse. "I won't hurt you. I promise." He reached out a hand, hoping he could manage to take the baby boy away from this stinky place to somewhere he will feel safe, somewhere he will feel loved and accepted.
But he didn't know a place like that.
He was no material for a dad and the "Avengers" were no babysitters.
He'll have to give the child to the orphanage. Thought his heart throbbed at the thought of it, he knew there was no other way.
He had to do the right thing. Even if his heart was telling him it's exactly the opposite.
The turtle blinked a couple of times and leaned over to inspect the given hand.
After he was sure it wasn't going to hurt him, the toot looked at his own hand.
That's when the rich boy spotted the bleeding cut, on the younger arm.
He suspected it got hurt when the boy was trying to climb the trashcan, probably searching for something to eat. He's going to have to make sure whoever takes the child in, will take care of it.
Tony was so lost in thought that he didn't realize that the child placed his tiny hand into his larger one, copying his movement.
The man looked down at the small limb before him.
It was tiny, had only three fingers and was decorated in the color of his favorite alcohol decoration.
He smiled at the trust the baby boy showed him. He was touched by the way the child was copying his movements. Like a son following his father.
The moment the thought hit his mind he knew who was going to take the child in.
He just hoped he won't end up regretting it.
Still smiling in a comforting way he leaned over and picked the boy up, scooping him in his arms so he was comfortable.
The turtle didn't protest, only buried his face into the multimillionaire's shirt, breathing in his scent and welcoming the warmth his body provided. Happy to have somebody he can trust.
Tony smiled at the turtle. He may be a selfish, arrogant and cocky playboy but that didn't mean he didn't have a heart.
Besides. It's time he grew up and stopped being a child locked in a man's body.
He was sick of everybody looking at him as if he was a spoiled brat.
"So…" He started, walking towards his tower for a home. "Since you're going to stay at my place, what should I call you? Hmm?" The boy blinked at him, not quite understanding what the man was saying.
"What do you think about…Junior? Tony Stark Junior." Iron Man smiled to himself. Yes...it had a nice ring to it and…he always wanted to be called Senior.
He looked down at his son, who blinked at him sucking his thumb. "Yup. "Junior" fits you perfectly Junior." He said grinning at the infant. "Man I wonder what Pepper will say once I introduce you to her. It will be quite a shock ain't that right, Tony Stark Junior?"
Junior then smiled back, showing off empty gums for the first time.
They entered the Stark Tower with the small, purple letter "D" shining in the lamp light.
Steve Rogers pulled his coat tighter around him as the wind grew stronger.
The night was dark, cold and unfriendly to anyone who wasn't lucky enough to own a house.
Shivering slightly the man, also known as Captain America, continued his way down the empty street. Cursing once again the growing headache that began spreading behind his forehead.
He knew accepting Stark's invitation was a bad idea but he had nothing better to do and he didn't fancy sitting in his empty house, just listening to the crushing silence.
Ever since his break up with his girlfriend Emilie, his house looked more like an abandoned warehouse than an actual home.
It felt more like one to.
Steve didn't want to break up with Emilie, but it was the right thing to do.
Having a relationship as a hero was impossible for him. He had too many dangerous enemies that could hurt the girl he loved, just so they could get to him.
And if there's one thing he won't allow happening, it's hurting innocent people.
A soldier must learn to make sacrifices to protect civilians, even if they hurt him in the process.
Captain America learned that a long time ago.
Sighting he turned and entered a short cut, that leaded straight to his little household.
Looking at the sidewalk beneath his feet, he didn't see the man running right for him.
Their bodies collided and Steve would have landed quite painfully on his behind, if it wasn't for his stronger muscles that kept him from falling. Though the incident will leave quite a bruise on Cap's stomach…
"Oh! I-I'm s-sorry S-Steve." The smaller man before him said, nervously looking across his shoulder. "W-Wasn't l-looking w-where I-I w-was r-running."
Captain America brushed him of, while whipping of the dust that covered his age-old coat. "It's no problem Marty." He said after looking down at the man and recognizing him as a homeless person that often slept on a bench, behind his house. "What's the rush?" Besides, he needed a distraction to keep him from thinking about her.
Marty continued to nervously look behind his shoulder, even after realizing he's talking to a man that saved the universe countless times and had a super hero team.
And that worried Steve.
Usually the fact that he was there was enough to calm people down. Now…it didn't seem to do the trick.
When the man didn't respond to his question, he took him by the shoulders and began shaking him. "Marty talk to me." He said in his "mission" type of voice. "What did you see?" It could be a Doom-Bot or an alien from another planet, so it was best if he knew exactly what their dealing with before calling the Avengers for help.
That question seamed to gain the bum's attention, for he grabbed Captain America's coat and pulled himself upwards, so he was eye level with the taller man. "A…m-monster!"
Steve had to stiff a groan. This sort of explanation was typical in his job, but it didn't help at all in determining the source of panic. "Okay…what kind of monster?"
He expected Marty to start yelling about a creature the size of Juggernaut, with teeth bigger than Sabretooth's, powers of Cyclops, Hulk and Thor and looking a lot like a dragon.
But that's not what he heard.
"It was a…GIANT MUTATED TURTLE!" Marty yelled with his blue eyes wide and body shaking from all the fear and excitement.
Steve blinked. "That's all?" He asked. Honestly, he expected something at least a bit original. "Marty have you been drinking before bedtime again?" He wouldn't be surprised. The scent of alcohol was overwhelming.
"No! I haven't seen a bottle all day!" The birded man yelled in protest. "Go check for yourself, if you're so sure it's just a hallucination!
Captain America rolled his eyes. It wasn't the first time he was dealing with a situation like this.
Sighting he decided to get it over with quickly and asked the bum where he saw the "monster".
"I was returning home, after playing poker at my friend's house, when I first saw it. It was lying on my bench. Green, with a shell and big as a human newborn!"
Steve snorted. "So what? As far as I know, that's the normal size of a grown-up pet turtle. Nothing wired with that."
But the bum protested again.
"No! You don't understand! It looked and acted like a human baby as well! It sucked its thumb just like I did when I was that age!"
Captain America raised an eyebrow. So Marty saw a mutant child? Here, in the canter of New York? Steve thought. That's not good. Especially for the baby. Rubbing his chin with his right hand, he nodded for Marty to leave him alone, promising he'll "take care of the monster". It can't possibly survive on its own. And the people around here don't look kindly towards…mutants.
Growling at whoever left the poor thing outside alone, he entered the dark street.
It was getting hard to see so he took out his handy flash light.
Soon the cold darkness was chased away by the warm light.
He started moving it around, trying to find Marty's bench, and after a minute... He did.
What he saw threatened to melt down his heart.
There on the large bench, lied a small green creature the size of an infant, curled into a ball to preserve body warmth. Just like the homeless man said, it was sucking on its fist, while sleeping soundly on its second hand.
For a minute he just stood there and admired the cute scene, before shaking his head.
What am I doing? He scolded himself. Snap out of it Steve! You have to take the child to Professor Xavier!
Nodding to himself he walked up to the mutant and gently scooped him to his arms.
The child felt cold, even from under his coat and he shivered slightly when it moved closer to his chest, looking for warmth.
When he walked over to his car he realized that the child was actually a male, and had a beautiful light-green skin tone.
He looks so peaceful in my arms. He thought, his eyes softening. I wonder what he's dreaming about.
Then he shook his head at himself, angrily. Stop it Steve! He thought. You're growing attached to this kid! And you know as well as I do, that that's something you can't do! His mind scowled.
Nodding he picked up his phone and typed in the professors number.
While the signal was beeping, he felt something pull on his coat.
When he looked down, his blue eyes meet a pair of dark brown.
The boy was awake. And was staring at him pleadingly with those dark orbs.
Please don't send me away. Those eyes begged. I want to be here! With you!
"With…me…" Steve muttered, subconsciously.
His eyes asked: Why?
The boy just smiled and buried his face in his coat. You good. You safe. Was what the boy's body language told him, and he was ready for those type of answers. After all, he's the first one who showed the child a bit of warmth. Of course he was safe.
What he read next almost made his heart stop.
"Hello this is Professor Xavier speaking." The phone said to his ear.
Steve was silent. Lost in the young mutant's large brown orbs.
Face it Steve… A voice in his head said.
"Hello? Anyone there? Hello?"
You need him.
Captain America shut the phone.
"I hope you're happy now kid." He sneakered at the boy in his arms. "You're stuck with me now."
The boy smiled brightly at him, making the loneliness he felt before, disappear.
"So…what am I going to call you hmm?" Steve thought for a moment, looking at the boy from head to toe. "You look like a born leader so…how about a name after a president?"
The boy only blinked in response.
"How about…George or John…nah…what about…Benjamin?" He looked down at the child. "Yeah…you look like a Benjamin to me. Not a president name…but it suits you."
Benjamin Rogers continued to smile all the way home.
Bruce Banner was never fond of parties.
Especially the ones organized by Tony Stark.
How he ended up at one today, was a mystery he just couldn't solve. So he let it go.
He suspected it had something to do with him wanting to "get along with the team" and "stop being so antisocial". But you can never be sure, now can you?
Groaning he searched his pockets for keys before opening the front door, with a short whine.
Turning on the lights he realized two things.
One: He forgot to water his plant, which resulted in it drying to death.
And two: His pet cat Klunk didn't eat his supper.
Bruce blinked and scratched his head.
That's not like Klunk. He thought. That damn cat is always hungry. He wouldn't leave a full bowl untouched.
Groaning once more, he decided it was time to check if the filthy mouse-eater is okay. I'll have to go to a vet with him if this continues. He shivered imagining the bill.
"Klunk? Where are you kitty? Klunk!" The Avenger yelled on top of his lungs.
Five minutes past. Still no signs of the fur ball.
"Maybe he's still chasing mice outside?" Banner thought out-loud then made his way through his small kitchen, towards his balcony.
That's the place he usually leaves the red fur ball to go run around, and he always returned after a couple of hours.
Opening the glass door he could swear on Hulk's green skin, that he heard baby giggling in his backyard.
But that was impossible! He didn't have children and none of his female neighbors were expecting!
Then…what was he hearing?
Slowly pushing the door open he listened for the sound. It didn't seem to be far away. Three feet, maybe four from the entrance.
He walked closer towards the sound, it getting louder and louder as well as clearer and clearer.
When he finally reached the source of giggling, his hear threatened to melt.
There, on the green grass, sat a baby turtle, mutant hugging his pet Klunk to his plastron.
What was even weirder was the fact that the usually untrusting cat, was enjoying the creatures company. Moving around, making the baby giggle in response.
Bruce stared at the sight for a moment, not knowing what else to do.
The baby seemed to be male and had aqua colored skin tone, freckle decorated face and the biggest, blue puppy-dog eyes he ever saw.
Klunk was having the time of his life, letting the small creature rub his red fur with his three aqua fingers.
And the Avenger felt bad, knowing that he'll have to put their fun to an end.
He can't take in the small child. He can barely feed himself and Klunk from his job as a low-class doctor, since not many people seem to trust him, once it was reviled he was actually the green colored Avenger, taking a growing up humanoid-turtle in, was clearly not an option.
But…He thought. Where will this twerp go?
A part of his mind told him, that sending him to the orphanage was the right thing to do. That he'll be happier that way.
But soon after that a louder, cleared voice, that sounded a lot like the green beast that was sitting in him, said:
No! Orphanage bad! Kid stay with us!
He tried to argue saying that he can't possibly raise a child, he's no father material.
But it was pointless arguing with the Hulk.
Orphanage hurt Kid. We not let Orphanage hurt child! We good parents. Will raise him well. Better than orphanage.
Stark once told him that the Hulk will always be the dominant side of his personality, now he knew the damn playboy was right.
Sighting he cursed the radioactive monster, his hatred for orphanages and his gentle heart.
He knew they will once be the end of him.
He just didn't know it will happen so soon.
Cursing his bad luck silently, he walked up to the pair. Hoping to scoop the baby boy in his arms and carry him safely back home.
But as he got closer the cat began to hiss at him, daring him to come closer with his porcupine-like-looking fur.
Ignoring the cat, Bruce reached out a hand to the boy, who watched him with curious, blue eyes.
Then, sharp pain shot from the back of his hand and he was forced to retreat it.
Growling at the fur ball, he eyed the scratch.
It wasn't really deep, just enough to leave a mark without drawing blood. Didn't change the fact that, it still stung like hell.
He realized that Klunk was acting as if the baby mutant was one of his young and looked dead set on protecting the child from everything that could possibly harm him, including his own owner.
He couldn't pull it off, unless the red fur ball decides to cooperate which seemed a little un-likely.
Sighting he put on a straight face and made his voice softer, more trustworthy.
"Come on Klunk." He smiled softly. "Be a nice kitty and step away from the mutant boy."
But the cat had no intentions of doing so. Instead he just began hissing even louder.
Bruce growled a very Hulk-like growl at his pet and instead focused his attention to the mutant boy, who was busy watching the two older males hate each other.
The brainy human wondered what happened to him. How did he become what he was? Is that natural, like in Wolverine's case? Or is it caused by science, like he was?
And more importantly…
Can it be cured?
He could tell, from personal experience, that it's not possible. He tried many home-made cures on himself and he still changes into a green abomination of muscles and anger.
But maybe that was the problem.
He rubbed his chin.
Maybe the person taking the cure has to be young? Or at least have a piece of a younger persons DNA?
A loud squeal, pulled him out of thought.
It was the baby.
He was crying, wet tears falling his chubby, aqua colored cheeks.
Klunk immediately turned to the boy, with what looked like a worried expression on his furry face.
He rushed over to the child and began smothering him with his fur.
But the child didn't stop crying, Banner guessed that he was hungry.
After a minute the cat looked at him, worried and scared for help.
Bruce smiled under his nose.
Sweet, sweet revenge. He thought crossing his arms on his chest, wanting to torture the annoying pet a while longer before grabbing a bottle and feeding the boy.
After about five minutes, when the red fur ball began crying along with the boy, he did exactly that.
The child was now in his arms, sucking milk from a glass milk bottle with a sucker stuck on it, smiling brightly with his eyes.
The milk wasn't warm, freshly taken from the fridge but the boy didn't seem to mind.
Probably being way too hungry to even realize the lack of proper milk heat.
When the bottle was empty, the child fell asleep in his arms. Digging his head into the man's t-shirt for warmth.
And that's when Bruce realized that it was cold outside. He went home, Klunk right behind him.
Well Hulk. He thought, rocking the child. You got what you wanted. Any idea what to name him?
He half expected the beast to not answer but he was pleasantly surprised.
Eden. The rough voice answered.
"Eden." Bruce echoed. Yes…Eden suited him perfectly. The boy woke up to the sound of his voice and looked up at him curiously. "Your name will be Eden. Eden Banner."
Eden Banner smiled brightly at him, happy to finally have a name.
Julie Archery speaking! I want to tell everyone who is reading this and wondering where in the world is Raphael that he's going to appear in the next chapter.
Now, whoever guesses correctly who's going to take him in gets the dedication to the next chap.
Till then, have fun guessing!