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Through These Lupine Eyes of Mine, 2003 Style Season 1

Chapter Text

The little girl sniffed. She was only five years old. And she was a freak. How was she to know that her foster father was a scientist that had such cute animals in his workplace? And why, oh, why, did she have to linger by that cart with the puppy, getting smudged between the cart and that wall, causing that weird green ooze to spill all over her?!

Doesn't matter now...she couldn't go back. Her new father would never want her now. She was...different. She was some kinda wolf-girl. She was on the verge of panic. She had nowhere to go now. She was alone. And she was scared.

And that was before she heard the van careening down the road. That van was the reason she was cowering in the sewers in her panic, clinging to the puppy that she had refused to let go of since she had run. She hadn't gone as far as she had hoped from her daddy's work. She flinched as a jar containing the cutest little turtles fell and she barely caught it. Then...the same ooze that fell over her, transforming her, fell on top of the jar as the young girl screamed and dove off the platform, landing in the water. In her blind dash, however, she had dropped the turtles, the canister and the puppy.

When she came up, the turtles, as well as the puppy, were now sitting in a puddle of ooze. She felt hope drain out of her as she got out of the water. They would be as hideous as her. She would have to-

She jumped as a rat crawled over her feet. She watched, intrigued and weirded out, as the rat attempted to get the turtles into a can. She ended up carefully picking the turtles up, and placing them in the can. She carried the can, following the little rat toward what looked like a burrow of sorts. She had then simply curled up on the floor in front of it, sobbing herself to sleep at the drastic turn of events it would turn out she wouldn't remember. Her young mind simply couldn't process what had happened to her. She found a family, and grew up with them, training in the art of a Kunoichi, the female ninja. And she was happy in that knowledge. She didn't need to know all the gritty details. She was perfectly content with her new family.

=#=#= (15 years later) =#=#=

Training has gone from fun to boring since my father, Master Splinter, made me start simply watching him train the others. They were getting close to my level, and I hadn't sparred with Sensei in a few days. I wanted so badly to test my skill again, but Sensei had said there were other lessons for me to learn. I knew he was teaching me to teach my siblings, but I felt I already knew what Sensei did like the back of my hand. After all, it's not like Sensei's methods for my siblings were that different than what he did for me, right? "Remember, to be a true ninja, you must become one with the shadows. Darkness gives the ninjas power, while light reveals the ninja's presence." Sensei explains, holding a lit candle out for my siblings to try and extinguish, by the looks of it. "Now...can you extinguish this flame, without revealing yourselves?" Father asked, flipping the candle from it's position on the tip of his walking stick, to in his hand without letting it go out.

Called it. I smirked, leaning against the wall, out of the way. I was already done with my own training for the day. Some advanced katas and strength-building exercises.

Donatello tried first, by simply leaping over the candle. Or that's what I assume he was trying to do. Sensei simply leaned out of the way. Poor Don slid a few feet, and collided with the wall with a grunt.

"Too noisy, Donatello." Sensei admonished, gazing at his second youngest son with fondness. I chuckled. Next was Michelangelo and Lupa, rushing him at the same time. Again, I smirk. Always competing, those two. They did the same thing Donnie had tried, but this time, Sensei stood, and tripped his youngest son and daughter with his legs as they ran past. They collided with Don, letting out a round of grunts and complaints. Sensei returned the candle to it's position right in front of him.

"Too clumsy, Michelangelo. Lupa, as well." Raphael was next, simply rushing his master and father, jumping over him, and landing with a few small hops. Sensei stood instantly, looking around cautiously, trying to pinpoint his son's location. Raph tried again, but this time Sensei was ready for him. He stuck out his foot, and within seconds, Raph was tangled in the growing pile of masks, weapons, and limbs in front of the far wall.

"Poor choice, Raphael." Sensei said sternly. I looked up, and saw Leonardo, already in position above our father. I smiled. He was good. Leo dropped down, katana out and slicing before he hit the ground. He flipped, and caught the half of the candle he had sliced off on the flat of his blade, and blew it out quickly, encasing the small room in darkness. Sensei flicked the light on with his stick, and Leo couldn't contain the smirk on his face.

"Well done, Leonardo." Father praised.

"Teacher's pet." Raph growled. Leo still held the half of the candle, which he then threw at Raph, who caught it without looking at it.

"Ninja drop-out." Leo countered. Raph growled and squeezed the candle. I rolled my eyes. These two were at it again. This was a regular occurrence with them, and it was stupid.

"Oooohh!" The younger three of my siblings chuckled as they gathered right behind the almost battling pair. Sensei was quick to put an end to it, however. He thrust his stick between the two, earning their attention.

"My sons." he sighed, clutching his forehead in exasperation. "My children, if you are to to become true ninja, you must work harder." That clued us in that this was another lecture, so we assumed kneeling positions in front of our father, me and Lupa at either end of the line. "Your path in life will not be an easy one. The outside world will not be a friendly place for you." Then I noticed Lupa and Mikey looking at a fly flying around them, not paying full attention to what Sensei was saying. I caught Lupa's attention, and sent her a glare, shaking my head slightly. Lups stilled, and focused her eyes on Sensei immediately. Mikey, however, kept looking at that insect. "You six are different in ways that the surface world would never understand." Sensei continued, unheeding as of yet the distant student near the end of the line. Thankfully, Mikey at least tried to pay attention, having been nudged by Lupa. But the fly flew into his line of sight again, causing him to get distracted. Again. "To survive, you must master these skills I teach you. Ninjitzu powers of stealth and secrecy. You must become Kage. Shadow warriors. And you must never be discovered by the outside world. " He concluded, as Mikey finally caught the fly, clapping it between his hands. That did it. Sensei looked gravely at his youngest son, who quailed visibly at being caught under Sensei's direct gaze. Before Sensei could even open his mouth to reprimand his wayward student, the ground shook so violently, chunks of ceiling and wall came loose. We all looked around in confusion.

"What is that noise?" Sensei asked above the rumbling of the stones around us.

"W-whoa! Earthquake!" Mikey cried, and Lupa agreed. Donnie, however, looked thoughtful.

"In New York?" He asked no one in particular. "Possible, but not likely."

"Details, details, Don. Look out!" I cried, grabbing his shell, and pulling him out of the way of a collapsing piece of either wall or ceiling.

"Sorry, Ami." He mumbled, looking sheepish, as these tiny, armless, cyclops T-rex looking robots came crashing through the wall. We all gasped, and drew our weapons en masse.

"What are those things?" Leo asked.

"New york city cockroaches?" Mikey replied.

"Heard they've been a problem lately." Lupa added wryly.

"Focus, you two." I growl, ready to attack.

"Whatever they are, they picked the wrong party to crash!" Raph growled, running forward and slicing the first few ones to come within range. The fight commenced. I slashed, sliced, and bashed the bots left and right. That's when I noticed the direction that they were trying to head. Toward, Sensei...as if that was the only thing they saw. The shell? Confused, I just kept destroying these things as fast as I could. I ran over to Master Splinter, who was still battling these metal menaces, destroying any I came across. Leo turned, and saw me and Sensei back to back, combating the frankly overwhelming number of robots. The rest of them finally caught on, and came to our aid, but even that wasn't enough. They had failed to notice the couple of bots chewing out the support beams. In fact, we all had. Before anyone could stop them, the ceiling collapsed, nearly killing me, burying me beneath the ruble. One chunk hit my head, and I was out like a light.

=#=#=#=#=

I woke slowly, head pounding fit to burst and unable to move. Then, the harsh sound of stone grinding stone reached my ears, and I was pulled quickly out into the small compartment formed by the rubble surrounding us.

"Are you alright Asami?" Sensei asked, hands still supporting me. I coughed the dust out of my lungs before responding.

"Yeah. How about you?" He only has time to nod in response before his shell-cell starts ringing. He pulled it out. I offered to answer it, but Sensei help up a paw, stopping me. Shrugging, I leaned back against the chunks of concrete behind me. Sensei, not being the most technologically advanced person on the planet, pressed a few buttons, asking himself which button you have to press to answer the phone. I could hear Leo trying to tell Master Sensei that he had already answered it on the other line. I just sat there, highly amused and suddenly not willing to ruin this moment. This was just getting good.

=#=#=#=#=

On the other side of the barrier, Leo was trying to dig through the pile of ruble currently separating him from his father and older sister. He was highly concerned for his family, still trapped under the rubble, and in an unknown condition. They might be hurt, or...Leo shook her head. No time for those kind of thoughts.

"Guys, Master Splinter and Asami. We have to help them." Leo reminded his brothers, except Don and Lupa, who were already helping him. Raph and Mikey came over, as Leo tried calling out to his missing family members. No response, as expected. Then, he had an idea.

"Donatello, any way to-" he trailed off as he heard ringing. "What are you doing?" He asked. Don looked slightly confused.

"Shell-cell. I'm calling Master Splinter, I hope."

=#=#=#=#=

"Hello?" Sensei called into the Shell-Cell, either not hearing, or ignoring the sound of Leo's response of 'Master Splinter? Are you and Asami alright?'

"Yep. Though Sensei seems to have forgotten how to work his Phone-Cell." I call loudly.

"Oh. Uh, could you-ugh. Never mind." Leo's voice came back as he realized that Sensei wasn't going to ask for help, or take any that was offered. He sighed, as father kept up his attempts to 'answer' his phone. Finally, Leo tried to explain how the Shell-Cell worked to our hilariously un-tecnologically educated father.

"Master Splinter, you don't have to push any buttons. You already answered it." Thank heaven above Sensei got the message.

"Ah. Leonardo, whatever those mechanical menaces are, they have managed to eat through the support structure of our home. We must leave right away." I heard shuffling, and assumed that everyone was gathering around, trying to listen in. I started glancing around, attempting to find a way out.

=#=#=#=#=

It was decidedly not a good idea to try to cram five mutants all in about a three foot radius. Especially if two of them have ADD, among other problems, like hyperactivity. Raph had had enough of Lupa and Mikey's constant shuffling around, and pushed Mikey away, who crashed into Lupa, sending both mutants back several feet. However, that didn't seem to even faze the two mutant turtles still utterly focused on the phone Leo was holding.

"Meet us at the old drainage junction on South Point." The rat continued. Don pulled a map from within his magic duffel bag and blew it off.

"If we take the south conduit, it'll intersect with the old drainage tunnel." He said to no one in particular. Mikey and Lupa gathered back around the phone just as Leo hung up with 'We'll meet you guys over there, Sensei.' Relief flooded the blue-banded turtle. His family was safe. He just had to get to them.

"What'd he say? What'd he say?" Mikey and Lupa chirped in perfect unison. "Did he mention me?" Mikey asked.

"Or me?" Lupa added. Raph responded by pushing his younger siblings back once again.

=#=#=#=#=

"Hey, Sensei, I found a way out!" I said from the far end of the hole in the ruble. I had found a small tunnel-like break in the concrete blocks. We crawled through and stood, dusting ourselves off. The way to the South Junction was relatively clear. We did have to take a few detours, but we soon found ourselves in the proper junction. With the boys nowhere in sight. Figures. We both sighed at the same time.

"Figures. I'll go find them." I said, and took off after Sensei's nod of agreement. I ran out into the south junction tunnel, where my siblings should have been. But instead of six mutants walking along toward me, I was greeted with a collapsed tunnel, and a sense of foreboding.

Please tell me they didn't go up top! Please, please, please, let them have found another way around somehow, but not up-top!

I thought as I sniffed around on the other side of the rubble, and found a scent on the other end. It led directly over to the ladder. I sighed, even as I hauled myself up onto the ladder, and started climbing. I found myself on a street, with my brothers standing across the way.

"Imagine they're surprise when they open that truck!" Mikey was saying as I sprinted over.

"Wait...who's surprise when they open what truck?" I asked, arms crossed and eyebrows raised. Everyone flinched.

"Uh.." Leo stuttered. "When d-did y-you get here, sis?"

"Just now. Now answer my question." I retorted.

"Oh, Raph hid inside the truck that these thugs were using, right before they took off." Lupa chuckled.

"Oh, okay..." I said automatically. Then, it hit me, "He did what?!"

"Doesn't matter now." Leo said. "This is exactly what Master Splinter was talking about. We've got to get him out of there." Leo ordered. We moved toward the roof.

"Last one to the roof hatched from a rotten egg!" Don cried as he vaulted up.

"Hey!" Me and Lupa called back indignantly.

"Sorry, sisses!" Don replied, as I joined him. We all ran over to the edge of the roof in time to see a van I had seen pulling away as I came up the ladder, roaring down the street.

"We can cut them off at Third and First!" Leo noticed. I ran a quick check in my head, estimating times and leaps already in my head. And came to the following conclusion:

"If we run like crazy!" Me and Don replied together. It would take some serious huffing and puffing, but we should be able to make it.

"Is there any other way to run?" Mikey and Lupa chirped, again in synch. Leo just looked at them.

"You guys have got to stop that!" He cried, even as he turned shell and started running after the truck. Lups and Mikey made it more of a competition somehow, and gained a little ground on us. Me, Leo, and Don flipped extravagantly over a roof, landing in front of the two cocky young mutants. After a few more roof jumps, and giggles at Lupa and Mikey's attempts at catching back up, we found the pair flat on their butts, Lupa with a bra over her head, and Mikey with a sheet draped over him.

"Springtime fresh!" They cried, sniffing the clothing.

"Come on!" I cried, as I ran. The pair caught up to us. We continued running, and running, and running. After what seemed like hours of running around, we stopped as the truck pulled into the parking lot to an abandoned warehouse. We stood on the rooftop surrounding a sort of courtyard, panting. We watched as only one of the four or so thugs was left to guard the truck. Lupa kicked a can to get the guy's attention while Mikey ran and grabbed a piece of paper. He tapped the overweight thug on the shoulder.

"Hey!" He said, earning the man's complete attention. "This is a no-parking zone." Mikey continued, "Here's your ticket," He held up that small piece of paper. "and here's your fine!" Mikey finished, and high kicked the man's head into the van. We dropped down, as Leo congratulated the pair.

"It's a ninja thing." Mikey replied, with a grinning Lupa leaning on his shoulder. I smiled at the pair. Like to peas in a pod, you rarely found one without the other. It was adorable.

"Now, let's get Raph out of there." Leo ordered, and we all turned to face the truck. I stood there, arms crossed, glaring at the stupid turtle trapped inside the van. I looked down, and expected to find a traditional pad-lock keeping the doors closed. I was disappointed with a larger, more high-tech lock.

"Man..." Mikey groaned, "Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned padlocks?!"

"Yeah..." Lupa muttered, glaring at the lock like she wanted to melt it.

"They went out of fashion." I stated, as Don drew two screwdrivers out of his bag, and twirled them around, mimicking Raph with his sai effectively.

"Where's the fun in that?" Don asked rhetorically. "This baby's all mine!" Don said smugly, stepping over to the lock, and kneeling down. I turned toward the doorway the thugs had gone through, and kept a lookout as Don worked on the lock, trying to drown out Raph's muffled cries and grunts as he tried to bust his way out. Honestly, it was a miracle that no one had noticed him...

"What's that Raphael?" Mikey taunted. "I can't hear you." He added in a sing-song voice.

"I can't either, bro. You gotta use your outside voice!" Lupa giggled. Raph growled extra loud, and gave the door an extra hard hit. Mikey took a step back.

"Okay. We heard that." Mikey said.

"Not what I meant by 'outside voice', Raph, but it works! Wonder what made ya think to smash the door again?" Lupa added, again leaning on her brother's shoulder.

"Dunno. But I think he thought it would work!" Mikey replied, and the pair fell about giggling. I sighed, and rolled my eyes before returning to my look-out.

"I'm trying to work here." Don said, effectively crushing the humorous atmosphere.

"Oh, come on, Don. You've worked in worse conditions before." I chuckled. Then, all was silent in the courtyard as Don finally finished pick-locking the doors. The lock clicked a few times before opening slowly.

"Hey, Raph!" Mikey cried, Lupa right beside him, their arms out wide, as if to receive a hug from the angry red turtle. "Glad to have you back, bro!" Raph responded with a grunt as he tackled his two annoying siblings, and wrestled with them on the ground. Well, Raph was mainly wrestling Mikey, with a worried Lupa attempting to rescue her helpless brother. So far, it wasn't working.

"What a hot-head." Leo noted, then flinched as the sounds of pain increased.

Hey, waittaminute...where's that fat thug Mikey knocked out? He should still be laying right...uh-oh!

I thought, gazing around, and seeing the three or more thugs, coming out from the warehouse, the fat one last, still rubbing his head ruefully. I backed up, and bumped into Leo, who then gazed over my shoulder.

"Uh, Raph?" Don called, as Mikey and Lupa continued crying out as Raph kept up his assault.

"We don't have time for this!" Leo cried, drawing his katana as I drew my tomahawks. We backed up as the thugs advanced. Raph was now holding Mikey against the pillar, and was drawing his fist back threateningly. Lupa was grabbing the fist, as Raph turned, and glared at Leo.

"And why not?" He asked.

"Because we're not alone." Mikey replied, noticing the thugs. Lups whirled, and drew her double-scythe quickly, getting into a defensive stance before I could blink.

"Look at the freaks!" One thug taunted.

"What's with the dweeby costumes?" asked another.

"This ain't Halloween." Another noted. I narrowed my eyes. Isn't it obvious we're not wearing costumes? We would look dweeby if we were. And we don't look dweeby, so...

"You're going down, freaks!" the leader called, twirling a staff like this wasn't his first time using it. "Nobody messes with the Purple Dragons, especially wearing stupid animal costumes!" The leader continued.

"Deja-vu, Don." I quip, nodding at the man with the staff. Don just glared at me. I now noticed the several other thugs, joining the first four. I gulped. This could be bad...this could be very bad. We charged anyway, and beat the thugs into a pile. We smirked, standing over the thugs smugly, brandishing our weapons.

"Let's get outta here!" The leader cried, and all the thugs beat a hasty retreat.

"Gimme some green and brown!" Mikey cried, holding his hands up to both Lupa and Raph, who high-three-d (Raph) and four-ed (Lupa) him.

"Well, that was easier than expected." Don commented.

"Yeah..." I agreed. "Crap. We just jinxed it, didn't we?" I add sourly.

"I hope there are more of those guys. I was just getting started." Raph growled, twirling his weapons with an almost maniacal grin on his face.

"Uh, well, looks like you got your wish, Raphie-boy!" Mikey replied, pointing to the rooftop. Then, the hairs on the back of my neck tingled as I gazed up to find shadowy figures standing where we had been standing not too long ago.

"Eep!" I cried, as the ninjas leaped down, much like we had done, and assumed stances we had been reviewing this very evening. I gulped.

"Are those guys...ninjas?" Me and Leo asked in synch, as we were quickly, and thoroughly, surrounded by a wall of black clothing.

"Jynx." I muttered, and resumed the stance I had just dropped. I gripped my tomahawks in readiness.

"Well, they're certainly ninja-esque!" Mikey retorted wryly.

"Be ready...for anything." Leo ordered, leaning back to make sure we heard him.

"I am so gonna enjoy this." Raph muttered gleefully.

"Of course you would." I replied.

"Hey! I am, too!" Lupa whined. I rolled my eyes. Don vaulted over several ninjas, landed in a crouch, and spun their legs out from under them before the ninjas knew what had hit them. He stood, as I batted away at my own group. They were down for the count in less than a minute. Two got past me and charged Don, but they weren't a problem for him. However, the ninjas we had just beaten got up, and resumed fighting. Three or more landed in a semi-circle around Raph, and he was left to dodge their attacks.

"Hey, sweet Dragon Kick. He-he, nice Double Phoenix Punch." Raph said, dodging the very moves he was naming. "Hey, know this one?" He asked, before spin kicking the poor ninjas away.

"Raph, we're here to fight them, not comment on their moves!" I call.

"Sorry, sis. Got carried away." Raph replied. Not far away, Leo was engaging a katana-wielding ninja, knocking him aside and flipping away from the remaining ones. He landed with a slight grimace on the first rooftop ring around the courtyard. I flipped up, as well, landing on one of the multiple ninjas that had advanced on Leo. One landed out of my reach, and ran along the wall, slicing at Leo as he passed by. I charged, as Leo knocking him back a few feet. I was by Leo's side in an instant, but was knocked down almost as soon as I got there. I landed harshly in the middle of a small gathering, and flipped up instantly, managing to knock a few ninjas out as I landed. I was soon overwhelmed, and kicked back into the van, along with Donnie and Mikey. I rubbed my rib cage, where I had gotten kicked, and stood, ready to continue.

"Don..are we beating them, or are they beating us?" Mikey asked, and I saw more ninjas appear around us, advancing menacingly. Then they reached into their cloths, and drew out shurikens, throwing them with deadly accuracy. I gasped, and reached for the van's door handle, wrenching it open, and diving inside, even as Don did the same. He also grabbed Mikey and hauled him inside, closing the door just before we were impaled. It was stuffy in there, but thankfully we reopened the door a few seconds later.

I leapt out, and everyone got out with me. Raph and Leo joined us as the ninjas gathered around us, ready to attack.

"Ask me again when we're winning, Mikey." Don replied.

"Yeah...That's what I thought." Mikey muttered, spying the shurikens that had almost had our heads. "Don...hot-wire this thing!" I cried. "We need a ride out of here!"

"How many'a dese goons do we gotta beat before dey got da hint?" Raph asked rhetorically.

"Really." Mikey whined. "They just keep coming."

"Time to switch to plan B." Leo said, meaning escape. He turned to look at the van. "Donatello?"

"Almost there, Leo." Don said, tapping two wires together, and the van started up. "This bus now leaving for...anywhere-but-here!" He said as he sat up and closed the driver door. Raph and Lupa still looked ready to fight, so Leo and I sheathed our weapons. I grabbed my sister's mask tails, and Leo grabbed Raph's shoulder.

"Come on!" Leo ordered over the sound of the truck before I could utter one syllable. "We're leaving!" Don pressed the gas pedal to the floor, and we leapt into the back and closed the doors swiftly. It was a bumpy ride, to put it gently. We were tossed around like rag dolls while trying to keep on the back seats. It wasn't working.

"Nice driving, Don!" Mikey said sarcastically. "For a turtle with no license!"

"Hey, you want pretty? Or you want effective?" Don retorted.

"Would both be too much to ask?" I snap, gripping the edge of my seat in fright as the van continued to bounce. I rolled my eyes. I suppose beggars could not be choosers... "Nevermind." I huffed, crossing my arms before having to grab hold of something to steady myself. It was no good. I was tossed up and ended up on my butt on the floor of the van.

"I gotta tell yah...this has been one mundo-bizzaro day." Mikey noted as he was bounced about.

"Night, really." Lupa noted wryly.

"Whatever, Lu-Lu." Mikey replied, sticking his tongue playfully at his sister. "Anyway, first there were all those metal things underground, and—what's with all those ninjas?" He asked sullenly, leaning back to try and stabilize himself. "Ninjas in New York City, besides us? It's just not right!"

"There's nothing that prohibits them." I mused, frowning in thought. There was something about them...that rang an old bell in my head. Something about them seemed familiar, but the answer to the 'what?' was always flitting away before it could fully form. "What I wanna know is why they attacked us without any apparent reason."

"Talk about not right." Raph growled, picking up one of the many duffel bags. He unzipped it to find that it was stuffed with cash. I blinked. That was a ton of money. Whoa...that poor victim... "Check this out." He said, dumping the cash unceremoniously onto the floor. Mikey and Lupa immediately grabbed a wad in each hand, gleeful expressions almost maniacal.

"Show me the money, baby! Whah—whoo!" They cried. I sighed. Immature as always...I grabbed the money in the young mutants' hands, stuffing the wads back into the bag with the rest of the stash.

"Hey, Don. Cop alert! Stop real quick so we can give the money back." I said, grabbing the bags as the van slowed to a halt.

"Alright, but we gotta make this quick!" Don replied, looking over the seat at me. "We don't know if those ninjas are following us." He gulped, face face slightly drained of color. "Oh, and Sensei's still expecting us." I blanched. Oh, shoot!

"Noted." I replied, and Leo grabbed another couple of bags. We rolled the window down.

"Take care of this money, will yah guys?" We called, chucking all the bags out onto the windshield of the cop car.

"Thanks!" I called back as we rolled the window back up, tearing down toward the manhole we had emerged from, and heading toward the rough location of the South Junction. We ended up having to go around a building and smashing through a gate to get back into the sewers. I felt relief fill me as...

Wait...why are there holes in the ground? What happened? What did I miss? Oh, wait. There are those weird metal things all over the ground.

Yikes! I lept out and scurried over to Sensei, hugging him fiercely. I was quickly followed by the rest of my siblings and we basically dog-piled our poor dad. We let go, and smiled, relieved to be back with Sensei in the sewers.

"I am glad to see you, too, my children." Sensei chuckled.

"Sensei, so much has happened." Leo told him.

"That's an understatement." Lupa and I replied, giggling. It was quite the adventure.

"Yes, yes. There will be time to tell me all about it later, Leonardo." Sensei said fondly, smiling at all of us. He knew Leo was usually the one that loved recounting our adventures the most. He always told it so well, it made me sort of jealous, really. "But first, I wish to take you all home." Sensei said, walking toward one of the holes in the ground. I cocked a brow. What did Sensei mean? It took a second for it to sink it. oh. Sensei...wait...Sensei already found a new home?! How?! What happened while we were gone?!

"Home?" Mikey repeated.

"We got no home. Those robots trashed our pad, remember Sensei?" Raph added, kicking a metal head away. Sensei just smiled and kept walking.

"Do not worry. I think I have found a solution to our current housing problem." Knew it. "Follow me, children." He said, leaping down. I frowned, but did as Sensei had told us. I ended up on my butt on some wild, impromptu slide, careening toward the bottom. Leo and Don came tumbling on my heels.

"Not funny Raph!" I heard Mikey scream as he came sliding after Don and Leo. I smiled, stumbling as I landed on the floor of a sewer tunnel. What has Raph done now? I had to leap out of the way toward Sensei as the rest of the mutants came crashing into the tunnel, landing in a pile of limbs, shells, and fur. They one by one extracted themselves. I shook my head, smiling. Some things never change.

"Wicked slide!" Mikey chirped.

"Let's do that again!" Lupa added.

"NO!" Everyone replied. Mikey eagerly ran to catch up to Sensei.

"No offense, Sensei, but this place doesn't seem so great."

"Mikey!" I snapped. He cringed, but Sensei walked on, without a sign of being affected my his son's disrespect. "At least Sensei found something! Geez!"

"I mean, I guess it's okay..." He amended. Lupa had caught up, as well.

"It's just that...this is exactly like our old house." Lupa explained tentatively, watching Sensei and I's reaction. I rolled my eyes, but found Sensei's lack of response a little weird.

"Look with your heart, and not your eyes, you two." Sensei instructed, still smiling. I frowned. Was this our home? Didn't seem like it. It seems like Sensei was waiting until we got a certain point. Lupa and Mikey just looked at each other, confusion in their eyes.

"Um...okay." They said, scratching their heads.

"And walk this way." Sensei added. Mikey then bent over and performed an actually fairly good impression of the way Sensei walks. I shook my head, chuckling as Don whacks Mikey upside the head with his staff.

"You goofball." Lu-Lu said fondly.

"But you love me anyway." Mikey chirped, leaning on his sister's shoulder. It was no surprise that she thrust him off almost immediately.

"Don't push it."

"Relax, you two. Come on." I said, chuckling again. Soon, we came upon an abandoned...cave-like structure that actually looked a bit like some kinda home. It was a circular shape (or was it a pentagon? It was hard to tell) with a second floor that ran around the first in a balcony-like hallway that was easy to flip or climb up onto. It, sadly, was in pretty bad shape, but nothing we couldn't fix up and make an even better home out of than out last one! Everyone who doubted Sensei (MIKEY) was forced to eat their words.

"I could really tune this space up." Donnie breathed, looking around in awe and wonder. I smiled, leaning on his shoulder.

"You mean we will tune this space up. As a family."

"Yeah!" Lupa cried, squealing excitedly. She was giggling and running around, looking at every little thing. Mikey was busy calling various spaces as his own, foolishly assuming those claims would actually stick when all was said and done.

"You see my sons, and daughters, change is good."

"Yeah. If those metal things hadn't busted our old pad, we'd still be living in a dead-end tunnel."

"Wow, sis. That's actually insightful." Lupa said, laughing as she leaned against my shoulder. "I hadn't thought about it like that." I scoffed playfully.

"Naturally." Leo rolled his eyes.

"We couldn't agree more, Master Splinter." Said rat smirked.

"Good. So, let's see you children clean up for a change." He ordered. We groaned. "This chamber is filthy! And do not leave Asami to do everything."

"Not like we do that...anymore, Sensei!" Lupa called as she kicked a piece of cement away moodily. She always got a little bit defensive when anyone suggested that she skimped on her duties.

"Well...besides with the dishes." I snarked, moving a pipe aside.

"Those don't count!" Lupa replies under her breath, picking up a larger piece of cement and tossing it toward the way we had come in. I grabbed another piece and threw it.

"Yeah, they do." This back-and-forth ("Yeah, they do!" "No, they don't!") lasted until we had cleaned up a ten foot radius of the entrance. Which was only, like, two minutes, tops. We then dropped it and continued cleaning. Change was good. We would still be ignorant of the good we could be doing on the surface world if we had never taken that chance, if we had never leapt out of our comfort zone and gone above our known and familiar world. As usual, Sensei was correct.

This will be a great change to make. As a family.