Blanket Disclaimer: I don't own anything related to TMNT.

Chapter 1: New beginnings

After defeating the strange men, Yoshi looked over his new body. His arms, along with the rest of his body, were covered in short, brown and white fur. He raised his hands and touched his face. His fingers encountered a snout. The human-turned-mutant rat heard a small whimper behind him. Surprised, he turned around and stepped on a pink, worm-like thing. A sharp pain shot up his back, causing him to shout out in pain. The worm-like thing turned out to be his tail. Yoshi heard another whimper, which made him focus on the pavement. He saw the four turtles huddled together in the corner. They had mutated as well, making them look like green-skinned human babies with a carapace and only two fingers on each hand, not including the thumb.

The smallest one started to cry. Yoshi scooped him up and hummed a Japanese lullaby to calm him down, while stroking its tiny three-toed foot. It took him quite a while, but finally the little turtle stopped crying. The small creature opened his eyes, revealing them to be a soft baby blue. A loud noise came from the street, disturbing Yoshi and the turtles. All four of them started screaming. ''Shush now, little ones'', the humanoid rat whispered in a vain attempt to get them to keep quiet. The noise became louder, indicating that whatever was making the ruckus was approaching them.

''Is anyone there?'' a slurring male voice asked. Yoshi's newly acquired animal instincts urged him to hide. He picked up the turtles and hid behind a dumpster. A drunk, black-haired man with a stained shirt looked down the alley and when he saw nothing, he shrugged and walked away. When Yoshi was sure the man wouldn't come back, he walked to the manhole cover in the middle of the alley, lifting it up. He retrieved the turtles and brought them down the ladder. He put the green creatures down, in order to slip the cover back in place.

After spending the night in an abandoned side-tunnel of the sewers, Yoshi was woken up by one of the little mutants, who stirred and began wailing loudly, quickly followed by his brothers. ''What is the matter, little ones?'' After a few minutes, Yoshi realized the turtles must be hungry. The sounds coming from them reminded him of Miwa when she wanted to be fed. He thought back to the times he would feed Miwa, sitting in the garden, while Tang Shen, his beautiful wife and the love of his life, cared for the small turtles living in their pond. She had loved the critters and told him many things about them, ranging from their mating season to their eating habits. She told him turtles ate many things, like algae or worms. It seemed her knowledge was useful after all. Yoshi scraped some algae from the walls. It wasn't much, but it would satisfy their needs for now. After eating, the turtles crawled in Yoshi's lap. Yoshi hugged them with a warm smile.

Most people would think his current situation was a curse. Yoshi thought it was a blessing. The creatures lying in his lap might just fill the hole left in his chest by the deaths of his family.

(A/N) What did you think? Please review.