“‘You’re not ready,’ he said. ‘Give it time,’ he said. Well, I say I’m ready now.”
and then aged up happens
EVERYONE IS SAD AND NO ONE IS HAPPY AND I really want to do more with that because exploring those feels would be amazing and also heart breaking
Yes and yes! I just can’t wait for all these applications to finally be filed away. Part of it is sheer bulk of things to accomplish, part of it is bureaucracy taking forever, part of it is my fault for putting it off for naps in between work shifts.
The moment she entered the Lair, April could almost feel the simmering tension that permeated the air. Sure enough, she found Raph hunkered down on the bench and pouting. Whatever had dragged him into such a deep funk was anyone’s guess.
Swinging her arms, she hopped into the pit and dropped down on the bench beside him with a heavy sigh. Drumming her fingers on her knees, she stole an idle side glance at him and then proceeded to slouch back against the couch in an imitation of his grumpy posture. Her eyes flickering to the side to steal another look, she modeled his scowl and crossed her arms firmly over her chest, hunching her shoulders a bit.
Together they sat like a matching set of stone statues locked in companionable, grouchy silence, and if Raph’s scowl smoothed out the slightest bit as she kept him company, April pretended not to notice.
"What if I tried something with a little more authority then?"
Clearing her throat dramatically, April pointed her tessen at an invisible foe and mellowed out her voice, dictating, “Surrender, villain, or by the power invested in me by the Intergalactic Alliance, you will be brought to justice!”
The moment Splinter left the room, April’s smile collapsed into a grimace. After stretching out her sore muscles, she muttered under her breath, “But, Sensei! Training at 5 AM and then going to school seems a little much, don’t you think?” Adopting Splinter’s voice, she knotted a fist behind her back and stroked an imaginary beard, countering, “Hm. Perhaps, but to condition the mind, one must also condition the body.”
Turning on her heel, she paced a short distance away, clenching and unclenching her hands as she fumed, “But I’ve got an anatomy exam first period!” Stooping forward and judiciously wagging a finger, she responded, “An excellent idea, April! Let’s make you painfully aware of every muscle group you possess! What do you say to five sets of tabata?” Just then, she felt a mental twinge and winced, reluctantly glancing over her shoulder at Sensei watching from the doorway. “Uh… hehe… I’ll just…” She weakly thumbed over her shoulder, “Get started on another five sets of tabata now…”
"Oh, yeah? Well this ‘princess’ is going to make you eat those words."
Spreading her feet to adopt a more solid stance, April raised her tessen and charged across the carpet, returning Karai’s silky taunt right back at her, “Try not to bore me.”
Planting her hands on her hips, April scowled and threw back her shoulders in an effort to exaggerate her full height.
"I have a better idea. Why don’t you ‘wait here until it’s safe’ and I’ll ’scan the perimeter for breaches’?”
She wasn’t calm at all. The same could be said for Donatello, of course, but half of that was April’s own fault. All her weird, psychic connection to the universe was granting him was the second-hand urge to wig out. How did she manage to deal with that all the time?
"Well, lately, I guess," he answered with a shrug. "Stress’ll do that. And napping when I shouldn’t. And, y’know, switching species probably doesn’t help. I’d help you limber up, but I’m guessing you’d rather work on getting out of my body than getting comfortable in it.”
On the other hand, April’s body wasn’t terrible to sojourn in. It was fragile and tiny, maybe, and he could see how constantly picking up on other people’s feelings could get annoying, but that was nothing compared to being a giant mutant turtle who nowadays was nearly always a bundle of nerves and harrying thoughts. Her brain was much quieter; if it weren’t for the panic induced by their insane situation, Donnie would be calmer than he could normally achieve on the best of days.
He glanced at his mucky flannel when she prodded it. “I tripped?” he explained. It wasn’t a lie — he just wouldn’t tell her how many times. “I grossly over-estimated your eyesight in the dark.” He wiggled his toes (of which there were more than he would ever need) idly, his new feet sore and cold from the journey underground. “And the soles of your feet have a much lower surface area than I’m used to.”
Curling his fingers around his chin, he thoughtfully shut his eyes. “Now, we should start by narrowing down possible causes of, uh. This. Were you doing anything out of the ordinary before you turned into me? All I remember doing is putting nine sugars in my coffee instead of eight, and I really doubt that an excess of carbohydrates is to blame.”
"Oh, is that all?” April confirmed skeptically, and in Donnie’s voice, her snark almost sounded natural. When his question prompted her, she unconsciously steepled her fingers together and considered it. If there was one thing Donnie’s brain could do—a purely facetious thought, since capping its potential to one skill was clearly impossible—it was multitask. She had already been sorting through limitless files of explanations for their predicament long before he had suggested they do as much, and only seemed to realize it now.
"If by ‘out of the ordinary’ you mean taking my shower before bed instead of in the morning, then I guess we should be analyzing my tap water instead of sewage," she jested weakly. "My guess is a very realistic dream, hallucination, or the Kraang." She cupped her chin, and quickly added, "Or late-onset schizophrenia, but I don’t really have a baseline to reference against mental deviations if that’s the case."
She paused, her eyes drifting down to where her hand stroked her chin, and suddenly recoiled, shaking out her fingers as if they had been stung.
Gripping the sides of her head with hands that were (oh, god) larger than her head, she squeaked, “Now I’m starting to sound like you! Is that normal?” Pausing, she qualified, “Relative to the circumstances?” Then her eyes grew even wider, and she panicked, “Augh! I can’t stop!”
One last ring, and then April’s phone went to voicemail.
"I mean, heyyyy Donnie." There was a pause, and a soft snicker. "If you’re getting this, I’m in class. Just meet me on the fire escape across the street when the bell rings, okay? See you then!"