The rasp in Michelangelo's voice escalated as he shredded on his skateboard from rooftop to rooftop. He was starting to get used to this nightly patrolling business! The waning moon was glowing against the velvety mauve sky as it lit the way for the teenage daredevil. While his brothers were scattered across the city on their own sentry, Michelangelo made sure that he made the most of guarding his post… in style.
"Here we go! 'M finally gonna do it," the orange clad turtle hummed as he crouched down. Picking up speed, the teenager could see the incline approaching – which, if done correctly, would send him floating above the alleyway between the two buildings on 8th and 9th Street. A smile stretched across his freckled cheeks, his tongue sticking out slightly. He was going to do it – he was going to make the jump!
That is, he would've made it… if not for a pesky pebble cogging up his wheel. Michelangelo's blue eyes widened.
"Oh, crud – Oof!"
With a shriek, the terrapin soared through the air. To Michelangelo, this would've been awesome - if only it wasn't so terrifying. Much to his luck, the mutant teenager landed atop a cushion of garbage bags. Michelangelo rubbed his skull.
"Owww…Good thing m'head's already soft…"
The orange clad turtle looked around, puzzled at the unfamiliar sound. He scratched the top of his head.
"Must've landed harder than I thought. Coulda sworn I-"
There it was again! Michelangelo jumped to find the lid of a nearby garbage can clunking and rattling on its own. He gulped hard.
"Oh, boy…" he sighed, clasping his nunchucks in his sweaty palms. With a bit of trepidation, Michelangelo lifted up the lid to reveal a small, orange kitten.
The two repeated this screaming match for another thirty seconds. Only a loud grumble of thunder interrupted them. Looking up at the sky, Michelangelo could just barely make out the shadow of gray storm clouds moving in above New York. He looked back at the trashcan to find it empty.
"W-wait," the orange clad turtle called quietly, "Where'dja-"
Just then, he felt something soft nuzzling up against his leg. It was the kitten! Almost frantically, the small cat's emerald eyes shifted up at Michelangelo. His small, feline body trembled against Michelangelo's leg. Clearly, he was no fan of the impending storm that was brewing.
"Hey," the turtle cooed, "It's alright, bud."
He knelt down to pick up the frightful kitten. Still shaking, the feline pressed his back against Michelangelo's plastron as the turtle held him closer.
"Aw, yer gonna be okay, pal," Michelangelo hummed with a grin, "'S just a li'l rain!"
Crash! Another snap of thunder came through. This time, it brought raindrops with it. The kitten began to whine softly.
"Hey, hey, calm down," the orange clad turtle insisted, lifting the kitten up into his shell.
"Here," he said, "Climb on in. Nice an' warm in there!"
The kitten paused for a moment before happily accepting the offer.
"Yer welcome! I—"
Just then, Michelangelo's shell phone began to buzz. A frown stained his face.
"Uh oh," the turtle groaned. He was just about to answer, when suddenly—
"M'rrow!" the kitten popped out excitedly. He liked it in there, but he missed his new friend.
"Hey!" Michelangelo laughed, "No, no, no. Get back in there, Kitty."
He gently usher that kitten back behind his shoulder and into his shell as he answered the phone call.
"Look, it's gonna be impossible to get anything done in this rain. We're callin' it."
"Great! See ya back home."
"Don… 'roger that'? Seriously, what century are we in?"
"Well, it's… I… I'll see you at the lair."
The call disconnected as another round of thunder crackled.
The kitten dug its claws into Michelangelo's back. The orange clad turtle reached his arm back into his shell to pull the tiny cat out.
"Alrighty, dude," the turtle began, "Time to—"
Michelangelo stopped short. The kitten stared with his green eyes tearing up, mixing in with the pouring rain. It was like he could read Michelangelo's mind. The turtle groaned as he gazed upon the helpless creature.
"Ohhh, what am I doin'?" the turtle cried, slapping a hand to his forehead, "I can't jus' leave you all alone out here! B-but where am I gonna put you?"
He thought for only a moment until a gasp of realization came to him.
"Hey! I got it! I'll take y'home with me! Yeah, I always wanted a pet!"
The kitten purred with excitement!
"But there's one condition. You've gotta stay incognito, 'kay? M-my family doesn't really do pets, so this's gonna be our little secret. Capisce?"
The cat didn't understand Italian, but he was in!
Rain began to come down more violently. Michelangelo tucked the cat back inside his shell.
"Okay, li'l fella – let's go home!"
Michelangelo grabbed his skateboard and zoomed off to the nearest manhole cover. Once in the sewer, the mutant teenager hopped on the board.
"Ready, buddy?" he called to the kitten.
Remaining unresponsive, the kitten simply stared wide-eyed with fear.
"Thought so!" Michelangelo replied. A wild grin formed as he exclaimed, "Cowabungaaaaa!"
The little team zipped and glided along the sewage pipes! Michelangelo did flips and tricks all the way.
"Ain't this great?!" Michelangelo screamed as the little kitten sunk back into the shell.
The turtle laughed at this. He was having a great time… until he slammed into a pole.
Michelangelo flew backwards as the kitten tumbled out of his shell. The turtle's eyes were wide with panic as he scooped up his feline companion.
"Oh no! Y-you okay?!"
The kitten seemed fine, though he rubbed his head with his petite paw.
"Aw, klunked yer head, huh?"
The kitten looked up at Michelangelo and cocked his head.
"You… you like that? …'Klunk'?"
The kitten cocked his head the other way, his pupils dilating and purring lightly.
"Well," Michelangelo smiled, "Klunk it is, then."
Within minutes, Michelangelo and the newly named Klunk weren't far from the opening to the turtles' lair.
"This's it, Klunk," the orange clad turtle sighed, looking down at the kitten, "We're home. Now, remember – our little secret."
Klunk nodded as Michelangelo stuck him back into his shell. His brow was lightly bulleted with sweat.
'Here goes nothin'.'
The mutant turtle twisted the lair door open, and slunk through as quietly as possible. His goal was to go directly to his room without being noticed by his brothers. That way, at least Klunk could be contained somewhere. He tiptoed daintily across the floor, his heart beating rapidly.
'C'mon… c'mon… That's it… You can—'
The turtle yelped as he heard someone call his name. Turning around, Michelangelo could see the stares of his brothers becoming more and more confused. The eldest, Leonardo, looked on with his arms crossed.
"What are you doing?"
Michelangelo's jaw dropped. "Uhhh…"
"Well, whaddever you're doing," Raphael waved off, "Knock it off and head to the training room."
"'T-training room'?" Michelangelo repeated, his voice cracking.
"Yeah," Donatello sighed, "Since our patrol ended a little early tonight, Master Splinter wanted us to get a bit of sparring practice in before we get some shut eye."
"Oh, uh sure," the orange clad turtle nodded, giggling nervously, "J-just lemme head to my room fer a sec."
"What for?" Raphael inquired, cocking an eyebrow.
"W-well," Michelangelo stammered, "T-to, uhh—"
"-Dry off." Leonardo added.
The others looked at him, including Michelangelo.
"What?" the blue clad turtle shrugged, "He's soaking wet from the rain. He has to dry off, right?"
Michelangelo smiled slyly. "…Riiiight. Exactly! Yeah,therainsureBERIGHTBACK."
And with that, he rushed up to his room. Though a bit puzzled, the others made their way to the dojo to wait for Michelangelo. And, man, he couldn't peddle up the stairs fast enough.
"Phew!" the youngest turtle exhaled, "That was a close one, huh Klunk?"
"M'rrraaaow!" Klunk cried, popping out of Michelangelo's shell.
"Wahoo! Welcome home," the turtle cried, picking Klunk up and placing him on the bedroom floor, "Like it? I clean it once a month… more or less. Anyways, there's plenty to do here, Klunk! Like, uhh… like…"
Michelangelo scratched his chin. He was shy on cat toys, wasn't he? He soon began fishing through disheveled piles of unknown clutter. Klunk did some excavating himself, and found a crust of pizza lying on the floor. As he pulled out a squeakless rubber duck, Michelangelo called for Klunk.
"Hey, how 'bout this?"
Unamused, Klunk continued to gnaw on the crust. Just then, the turtle grabbed it from the kitten's paws.
"N-no, don't eat that! It's all moldy an' gross! And it's part of my food collection."
-"Mikey! What's takin' so long?!"-
"Oh, cripes, the guys!" Michelangelo cried, "Comin'!"
As he ran for the door, a melancholy "M'rrrrooow" stopped him.
Michelangelo turned around to find the kitten staring at him again with the same, sad eyes as before. The turtle huffed.
"N'aww, 'm sorry, Klunk. But the guys're waiting! I gotta go. But, hey – as soon as everybody's asleep, I'll sneak you some food, okay?"
He scratched the cat's little forehead, which made him purr happily.
"Goooood Klunky," Michelangelo hummed, "Who's my good boy? Whoooo's my good Klunk? Whoooo-"
"Uh-oh. Okay, Klunk, see ya later!"
Michelangelo blew one last kiss to the kitten before he dashed away. However, in his rush, little did he know that the rubber duck prevented the door from closing completely…
Without missing a beat, the orange clad turtle flew down the stairs and into the dojo in eight seconds flat. He panted and threw his hands on his knees once he arrived.
"So—sorry," he gasped, trying to catch his breath.
"As you should be, Michelangelo," Master Splinter nodded. He did not like the boys to be late for training. The youngest brother bowed his head in embarrassment as the wise rat sighed, "Let us begin. The first pair shall be Donatello and Raphael, Michelangelo and—"
Surprised by his sneeze, Leonardo sniffed and rubbed his nose as he bowed to his master.
"E-excuse me, Sensei," the blue clad turtle apologized, his cheeks slightly pink, "Not sure what came over me."
"No matter. Let us begin – Hajime!"
With the respective pairs in place, the sparring commenced. While Donatello and Raphael seemed to be doing just fine…
"Uh, Leo," Michelangelo said, watching his elder brother struggling, "Are you alright?"
Leonardo scrunched his nose in protest. What was going on with him?
"I—G'huh –t'sheee! I-I'm f-fa-H'het'schoo! –F-fi- h'Uht'shhhih!"
With each sneeze, Leonardo backed further to the other pair of sparrers. Until finally—
All four turtles collapsed and piled atop each other on the floor, grumbling in discomfort.
"Gesundheit…" Raphael choked out.
Master Splinter slapped a palm to his forehead.
"Boys," the rat said, not looking up, "You are dismissed."
As the wise ninja master proceeded to leave the dojo, he turned around. He extended a handkerchief to Leonardo.
"I suggest you take care of that cold, my son."
Quickly, the boys shuffled out of the dojo and into to Donatello's lab. There, the genius purple clad terrapin proceeded to examine his ailing eldest brother. Meanwhile, Raphael and Michelangelo watched – as the orange clad brother felt sweat droplets forming on his brow.
"Boy, this cold of yours sure did hit you quick, Leo," Donatello suggested as Leonardo sat with a thermometer shoved in his mouth.
Raphel shrugged, "Couldn't be from the rain, could it?"
"Maybe," Donatello pondered, scratching his chin, "But rain can't really give you a cold. It certainly can weaken your immune system, sure! But only germs can—"
"Maybe he picked it up from Mikey," Raphael chuckled, elbowing his youngest brother, "After all, there ain't nothin' more germy than him."
"Raph, not now," the purple clad turtle sighed, checking Leonardo's vitals, "Hmmm, it's strange… Everything seems normal."
"H'gxt'shhh!" Leonardo stifled a sneeze, managing to clench the thermometer in his teeth as he did.
"Yeah, except for that!" Raphael cried, "Maybe—"
'Beep!' Off went the thermometer.
"Now, let's see what we've got," Donatello sighed, removing the thermometer from his brother's mouth. His brow furrowed. "Huh. Completely normal temperature. How d'ya feel?"
"Hodestly, I -"H'hih'tchoo!" I-I feel fide. Other thad the snd-sndee-Heee'llschhooo! *sssnfff* …sndeezig."
"Blesha," Raphael and Donatello stated, handing him a tissue.
Leonardo blew his nose pathetically and sighed.
"Wh-what's wrog with mbe?"
Donatello thought for a moment. Then, retrieving his glasses from his desk, he threw them on and further examined the blue clad turtle.
"Hmmm... congested… sneezing… puffy eyes…"
The longer this took, the more Michelangelo grew nervous. Klunk had been by himself for a long time now. His whole body began to quiver, and Raphael began to stare.
"Hey, Mikey, y'alright?" the red clad turtle asked, "Yer all shaky. Geez, that's all we need – two sick turtles."
"Uh, yeah, I—"
Donatello exclaimed and turned to his unwell brother.
"I'm so dumb, I should've noticed this from the start! Leo, you're not sick. You have allergies!
"Yes, of course! You're allergic to something!"
"Allergic?" Raphael wondered.
"Allergic?" Michelangelo echoed, his voice cracking again.
"B-but Doddy," Leonardo commented thickly, "I *snfff* I've ndever beed allergic to adythig."
"Right! But all of your symptoms point to it. Allergies can develop, Leo."
"And you've certainly developed a big one." Donatello added.
"Yeah," Raphael interjected, "But right outta the blue? I mean, c'mon, what could he be allergic to?"
"Dozens of things," the purple clad turtle replied, "The sewer is filled with allergens! It could be anything. It—"
The four turtles jumped at the barreling sound.
Raphael scratched his head. "What the shell was that?!"
"I-I didn't hear anything!" Michelangelo lied lamely.
Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael glared at the stupidity of their brother's comment. That is, until they were stirred by another
Raphael turned back to his youngest brother. "Didja hear that?"
"It came from the kitchen!" Donatello cried, bolting out of the lab. The other brothers followed suit, with Michelangelo taking his sweet time. When the turtles reached the kitchen, they could hardly believe their eyes – it was a mess! Every cereal they owned was strewn about, the refrigerator door was flung wide open, the pots and pans were knocked over, and the sink had even sprung a leak!
Raphael thrusted his hands in the air. "What the SHELL happened?!"
Leonardo grabbed his katana, "Stad guard. *snfff* We bust have ad idtruder."
'Dammit Klunk,' Michelangelo thought, 'Why couldn't you just stay in my room?'
Just then, a box of cereal began to jiggle.
"What in the world…" Donatello grabbed at his bo staff, poking at the box.
Out popped the head of Klunk, looking very happy to see Michelangelo.
"A cat?!" the three brothers cried. All but the orange clad turtle looked perplexed.
As Klunk ran across the kitchen, kicked up cat dander began to fly everywhere! Leonardo's nose began to twitch. A sneezing fit was coming!
"Hehhh… heh, hhuuhhh... hhhaaaa'hhhaaaaa…HHHaaa'AAAAHHH… Hhep'schiiuu! Huh-shuuu! G't-schiuu! Iih'schhhooo! H-hup'shoo! Ugh, oh ndo — H'hee'tchuu! H'l-shoo! Eh'schiiuu!
"Oh, Klunk…" Michelangelo sighed under his breath as Leonardo carried on.
"What the heck is a cat doin' here?!" Raphael exclaimed, chasing the feline throughout the kitchen as he tried to catch him.
"There's no way it could've slipped through the sewer grate," Donatello cried, examining the kitten. "It's too big! Somebody would've had to—"
Donatello stopped short as the cat jumped right into the orange clad turtle's arms, purring contentedly. The youngest brother laughed nervously.
"Heh heh… C-can we keep 'im?" Michelangelo jested. Clearly he was the only one in the joking mood.
The purple clad turtle deepened his stare.
"My lab… now."
The youngest brother nodded with a gulp. Oh, boy…