A/N: Hmmm, this started as a funny one, then it got kind of angsty in the middle.

This would take place a day or two after the Donnie's Gifts episode. And I'm only six episodes into Rise, so no spoilers in the comments, please!

Donnie heard April's stomping from clear across the lair. He wondered vaguely what was wrong, and how long it would take for her to start walking normally again. The stomping was distracting.

"Donnie!" April yelled, unnecessarily loud -as she'd just entered the lab- and dramatic -Donnie was 97.85% sure that there weren't any enemies in the lair.

"April," Donnie said, voice level and calm.

Donnie heard the whoosh of something flying through the air, and his ninja instincts kicked in instantly. He threw himself sideways out of his chair, landing flat to let the projectile pass harmlessly over his head, then sprang to his feet in a ready pose. His eyes narrowed at April's scowling expression and the bat she was bringing around to swing again.

There was always a 2.15% chance that April would turn on them.

Donnie dodged another swing and jumped to the other side of the table to give himself some space. April ran around the table with wild swings that Donnie dodged with ease. He slipped forward and hooked one foot behind April's, throwing her just enough off balance that he could grab the bat and hold it still.

"Alright, April, who did it?" Donnie asked, wondering who could have turned their friend against them.

April's eyes flared. "You know who did!"

April wretched her bat free with sudden force, catching Donnie by surprise. He barely ducked a swing, then scrambled back around the table. April snatched up a beaker full of-

"April, wait!"

Donnie threw himself flat. The beaker shattered against the far wall, and Donnie grimaced at the sizzling sound of a poster dissolving.

Donnie poked his head up. April had stopped briefly, staring at the smoking mess on the wall.

"Yeah, maybe don't throw my experiments," Donnie said.

April's gaze snapped down, then she was back to swinging. Donnie activated his mechanical arms and scrambled up the wall, out of reach.

…of the bat. Donnie dropped back to the ground seconds later, deciding to trust his reflexes against the bat as opposed to dodging the beakers April elected to throw.

"April, would you please-"

"How could you?!" April demanded, nearly braining Donnie with her bat.

Alright, so she was upset about something Donnie did… she hadn't turned against them. Donnie quickly switched his battle shell controls to nonlethal and hopped to his feet. She was probably upset about one of his inventions malfunctioning.

"I will make it up to you," Donnie said placatingly.

"It's not me you need to make it up to!" April fumed, swinging the bat hard enough to make the air whistle an inch from Donnie's face.

Donnie couldn't remember anything blowing up in Mikey's face… recently. Maybe Leo had poked the drill and lost a finger, though that would hardly be Donnie's fault.

April paused, but only because she was panting too hard to swing another time. Donnie made a strategic retreat toward the back wall.

"Want to tell me what this is all about?" Donnie asked.

Wrong question. Breathless or not, April lunged forward, yelling, "I heard about the collar!"

"Oh." Donnie ducked, then jumped onto a table. "That."

"Is that all you have to say for yourself?!"

"April, all I wanted to do was make Leo a better fighter!"

"By electrocuting him?!"

"Shocking him, and technically he did it to himself, so- woah!"

Donnie leaped backward. He landed and scowled at the components now scattered around the room, April having smashed one of his half-finished inventions.

"Stop making excuses!" April said, brandishing her bat.

"I'm not making excuses." Donnie steepled his fingers in front of his mouth. "I'm explaining calmly."

The next second, he was less-than-calmly scurrying across the room. April sprang back, blocking the door before Donnie could escape outside.

"I don't understand what the big deal is!" Donnie exclaimed as he hurried backward.

April followed him, swinging her bat to punctuate when she said, "He's. Your. Brother!"

"Yes, I know Leo's my brother," Donnie said, confused by the topic switch. "Your point is…?"

"What you did is inhumane!"

"April, we're inhuman," Donnie tried to joke. Joking was a good way to diffuse tense situations, right? "Giant mutant turtles, remember?"


Donnie yelped and ducked behind his chair. April's bat hit it with enough force to send it flying over Donnie and against the wall. Donnie rolled under the table and jumped back to his feet. April ran around the table, forcing Donnie to back up.

"He trusted you!" April yelled.

Donnie hesitated at the shake in April's voice. Big mistake.


Everything kind of tilted sideways, then resettled at an angle. Down low, like he was on the floor. He couldn't hear April yelling anymore, not past the ringing…

A hand grabbed his shoulder, and Donnie flinched. One hand came up, awkward and clumsy, but it was caught and held in place. Donnie turned his head, squinting when it made his vision spin. April was leaning over him, kind of like…

Donnie blinked and slanted his eyes to the side. Yeah, he was laying on the floor. April had actually managed to hit him, though the expected victory on her face wasn't there. She looked worried, and was saying something that gradually came into focus as the ringing faded.

"-did I hit you, you're supposed to be a ninja!"

"I am a ninja," Donnie muttered.

April scowled and pushed away. Donnie slowly sat up, taking stock of his teeth and the new lump on the side of his head.

"Was that necessary?" Donnie asked.

"Was it necessary to collar your own brother?" April asked.

Donnie blinked at her. April no longer sounded angry. Her voice wavered and she blinked rapidly, as if she was about to cry.

Scratch that, she was crying.


Donnie raised his hands awkwardly, but he didn't know what to say for once. April was upset about Leo's shock collar, but the collar was long gone. And even if Donnie still had it, Leo wouldn't wear it again.

April took off her glasses and rubbed her eyes with one fierce motion. Leaving the bat where she'd dropped it, she got stiffly to her feet.

Donnie grabbed her arm before she could leave. April glared at him, though the expression was broken by the tears swimming in her eyes.

"April, I… look, Leo got rid of the collar. It's all fine now."

"No, it's not," April hissed. "Donnie, you chose to hurt your brother. There's nothing fine about that."

"Okay, I admit. I made a bad call. Nobody is perfect."

"Donnie!" April yanked her arm free, but didn't leave. She insisted on yelling, though a tear ran down her cheek. "There's mistakes, and there's mistakes!"

"You… you said the same thing twice. April, maybe sit down for a minute-"

"I know what I said! Donnie-" Donnie flinched when April dropped to her knees and grabbed his shoulders, but she only said, "Did it ever occur to you that you could have really hurt Leo?"

"There's always a chance of us getting hurt. We fight mutants all the time."

"But it wasn't a mutant guy who hurt Leo, was it? It was you."

Donnie opened his mouth to further defend his invention, but hesitated. After the fight and they returned to the lair… hadn't Leo been rubbing his throat for the rest of the day? Leo had made a joke about the cold lair when Raph had asked, so maybe…

Except Leo hadn't touched any of Donnie's inventions since the collar incident.

Donnie had created the collar to give only a mild shock, like a static charge. He'd tried it himself, to make sure it worked. But then he'd decided at the last minute that the small shock wouldn't be enough to deter Leo. So he had… increased the voltage… but he'd forgotten to test it a second time. He hadn't seen the collar in action until Leo was actively using it as a weapon. And Donnie had told Leo to put the collar on his neck, and Leo had trusted him because when had Donnie ever steered him wrong, but what if the collar had locked or malfunctioned, he could have killed-

Donnie fell against the table leg. He jerked his hands away from where he'd unconsciously been holding his own throat, knocking April's hands away from his shoulder.

"Do you understand now?" April said, still harsh despite the shake in her voice and drying tears on her cheeks.

Donnie swallowed hard and nodded. "I have to make it up to Leo… and the others. They didn't ask for those inventions -though Mikey is abusing his; I should confiscate it, anyway…"

"And never-"

"Never again," Donnie said, already planning to tell Leo the same thing. "Never again will any of my inventions hurt my family. Or my friends. If I do… April, I want you to knock some sense into me again."

"I promise," April said with a weak smile.

April stood and held out a hand. Donnie accepted the hand to his feet. He glanced toward the door, debating on where he'd find Leo, then went to his work table to quickly put his current work aside. He'd make something special for Leo, something Leo would enjoy. Maybe some sort of pun machine to joke with him when there wasn't anyone around…

"What's that?" April asked, following.

"This?" Donnie hefted the large plastic half-circle. "I'm making a ball."

"Big ball."

"It's for Dad."

"You're… making Splinter a hamster ball?"

"Yeah, for when he- April, stop!"

Donnie scrambled past April's swinging bat, making it to the door this time with April's bat nicking his shell. He yelled his defense, knowing April probably couldn't hear a word over her screamed berating.

"April, it's- it's for self-preservation! You haven't- April, please! Raph, help, April's gone crazy! Stop laughing, Leo, she's going to kill me! Help!"

A/N: I didn't want to end on a sad note, so I decided to laugh over Donnie making a giant hamster ball for Splinter.