Download “The Gang’s All Here (Rewrite)” Here
I took a stab at adapting/reimagining the Fred Wolf TMNT episode “The Gang’s All Here”, replacing most if not all of the original dialogue, addressing a few plot holes, and adding in an original romantic subplot
Here’s the original episode
And here’s the story
“I am seriously starved dudes” bemoaned Michelangelo as the Turtle Van sped through the city, carrying all four of it’s occupants, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to a fateful rendezvous with their dreaded enemy Shredder.
“You’ll have to monitor your munchies Mikey” cautioned Leonardo, “April gave us a big tip on the Shredder’s whereabouts, this is as good an opportunity as we’ve had had to nab him”
The van stopped in it’s tracks as the traffic lights turned red. From a distance, a pair of infamous individuals known to the Turtles were closely monitoring the four’s activities, and seized their own opportunity.
“Alright Bebop, time for you to play damsel in distress” said the repulsive man-rhino Rocksteady, handing his warthog friend a small triangular device. Bebop looked at it and let out a heavy sigh.
“Hey, what’s the matter? You picked the short straw, that means you gotta do it” said Rocksteady.
“My straw was longer than yours, you bit half of mine off” Bebop added.
“What’s the point of being a bad sport when you can’t be bad to go with it? Life ain’t fair, so stop wasting time and help us make life miserable for them Toitles” Rocksteady replied.
Bebop snarled and triggered the device. His entire physical appearance was transformed into that of a dour looking elderly lady carrying a small handbag. Rocksteady grabbed the device and used it to transform himself into a gruff and heavy looking thug.
“Try to be convincing, put up some kind of struggle” Rocksteady said, and leapt towards Bebop’s handbag, grabbing it and setting off an aggressive tug of war between the two.
“Gimme that bag you..you old bag” remarked Rocksteady.
“Never, unhand me you evil man” said Bebop.
The commotion caused by the two seemed to pay off, as Leonardo spotted what was going on.
“Uh oh guys” he said, “Looks like we have another crime in progress”
“Shredder’ll have to wait” Donatello replied.
“Let’s cream that creep” Michelangelo added.
The four quickly exited their vehicle and approached the pair.
“You do know picking on the elderly is right up there with taking candy from kids” remarked Raphael, tapping the thug on the shoulder, unaware of his true identity.
“Yeah, says who? I don’t see a badge anywhere on ya” said the thug, who was swiftly hit on the head by Bebop.
“You ought to learn some matters you awful beast” said Bebop, who was really getting into his character, much to Rocksteady’s chagrin.
“We fight with a badge alright, a badge of honor” said Leonardo, grabbing the thug while he was left dazed from the bag attack, scopping him up and pressing him over his head.
“Hey, put me down” said the thug.
Leonardo obliged, tossing him to the left side, instructing Raphael to catch him. As Raphael did so, he leaned back on his shell and spun himself around, keeping his arms firmly attached to the back of Rocksteady, sending him on a dizzying ride, before tossing him again to the right.
Michelangelo caught him this time, and in a most unique manner, hoisting his back up and balancing Rocksteady delicately onto it.
“I’m not the type to carry this kind of weight on my shoulders” Michelangelo remarked, and quickly threw the large load off of his back and sent him crashing down on his keister.
“You freaks sure showed me, I’m tailing it” said Rocksteady, making his way down the street with Michelangelo in brief pursuit.
“What a wimp” exclaimed the Turtle, “Not even a patch on old tin-grin”
Leonardo approached the elderly woman, helping her get her bearings as she appeared visibly shaken.
“He won’t be bothering you again ma’am” assured the Turtles’ leader.
“Oh thank you my dears” said Bebop, almost heaving as he put on his most insincere of sincere voices to express his ‘gratitude’.
“Hey, no thanks needed” said Michelangelo.
“Such bravery demands a reward of some kind” Bebop continued, and rummaged through his handbag, ultimately producing a small brown box.
“Here you are” he said, “Chocolate Chip Cookies. My own recipe, freshly baked too” he said, handing Leonardo the box.
“Thankyou ma’am” said a cheerful Leonardo as the ‘lady’ made her way down town.
“I’d best be off, take care now” she replied.
“What a sweet old lady” said Leonardo.
“I don’t know Leonardo, from the way she helped us takcle that thug, she seemed perfectly capable of handling herself, and her voice sounded awfully familiar” Donatello noted.
“She can’t be all that bad, her cookies smell delcious, mind if I take a bite?” Michelanglo asked, but Leonardo kept the box far from his grasp.
“Mikey, your cravings will be your undoing one day, we still have Shredder to deal with, and if we’re to stand any chance against him, we have to be in trim fighting shape” Leonardo replied.
“Yeah Mike, I’m positive there’s something more to this set-up than meets the eye, that thug gave up way too easily, and the lady actually went down the same street he fled down, what’s to stop her from being attacked again?”
“Should we tail her and find out for sure then?” said Raphael.
“No, for now, I think it’s best we run some tests on these cookies she gave us, just to be on the safe side” Donatello suggested.
“Besides, the traffic lights turned green more than a couple of minutes ago, the van being where it is is causing a bit of a traffic jam” said Leonardo, pointing to the line of cars and impaitent drivers blaring their horns.
“Man, the lights may be as green as our faces, but they’re the ones looking a bit red” remarked Michelangelo.
Bebop and Rocksteady soon rendevouzed with their master, Shredder in a downtown alleyway.
“Them Turtles bought it hook, line and sinker boss” said Bebop.
“You two puilling this off is the biggest surprise of this episode thus far. Those cookies you supplied them with will soon prove thier downfall, and will fuel our own appetite for destruction” hissed Shredder.
Back at the lair, a hungry and desperate Michelangelo refused to let up.
“This is such a waste of my stomach’s good time Don, there’s nothing wrong with those cookies” he protested as Donatello examined the snack more throughly.
To the surprise of the group, the beaker that Donatello had deposited the cookie into turned from yellow to green as the chemicals mixed with the baking soda. The cookie dissolved and an odious, vapor rose from the beaker.
Donatello cautioned the remaining Turtles to hold their breath as he disposed of the contents of the beaker in a nearby trash can.
“Just as I thought, they weren’t made with baking soda, these cookies were laced with some kind of reverse-engineered strain of mutagen” concluded Donatello.
“Shredder’s doing no doubt” replied Leonardo.
“I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles” remarked Raphael.
“One bite of one of these, and we would have mutated into the most degenerate lifeforms on the planet Earth…human beings” Donatello revealed.
Michelangelo’s eyes lit up at the prospect.
“Human beings? That sounds like the kind of pary I oughta be invited to” he replied.
“You can’t be serious” Donatello said, grabbing the bag of cookies as Michelangelo reached out to take one.
“When is he ever serious?” Raphael snarked.
“Think about it, humans get all the perks in life, and more importantly, they get all the chicks”
“Mikey, you’re about as random with this line of thinking as Leo is whenever he trails off and talks about wanting to ride in a western rodeo” Raphael replied.
“That is the conundrum you face my students..is the difference even worth the price?” uttered the wise sense of the Turtles, Master Splinter, as he entered Donatello’s lab.
“I’m not about to let any of us pay any kind of price over this Master, I’m putting these cookies in the garbage” said Donatello, tossing the box into the trash.
“Ah well, it was a sweet dream while it lasted” expressed a down heartened Michelangelo.
Deep beneath the Earth’s core, at the heart of the colossal war machine The Technodrome, the Turtles’ formidable enemies were salivating at the prospect of their plans succeeding.
“As soon as the Turtles consume those cookies, they will be transformed into meek, timid human beings” Shredder boasted.
“Yeah, it’s a good thing Krang added that little touch to the formula, otherwise it would’nt have made much difference to how dem Toitles usually act” Rocksteady revealed.
“Until I heard that part, I was fully prepared to call this the least thought-out plan hatched by that brain bag” Shredder remarked.
“What makes you think the Turtles will eat the cookies boss?” asked Bebop.
“I have a feeling they already have their suspicions, but even if they piece together the puzzle and realize what the retro mutagen is capable of, they are still Teenagers, constantly conflicted about their place in society, they may still be tempted by the prospect of living a life free of scorn and ridicule, a chance to be normal” revealed Shredder.
The group were soon interupted by Krang, who was keen to carry out the second phase of thier plan.
Krang turned their attention to the central monitor, operating a few control panels and bringing up the image of a cargo ship docked in New York’s central harbor.
“This ship has a cargoe of electronic caches we need to make the neccersary repairs to the Technodrome. Rocksteady and Bebop, you will infiltrate the vessel and steal them for us” Krang instructed.
“Just us? No help?” Bebop inquired.
“Don’t be ridiculous, we need people who look like the kind you find on the waterfront, surely you two still know where to find your old gang?” Shredder asked.
Rocksteady teared up at the notion of reuniting with old friends.
“Gee, our old gang, I haven’t given them a moment’s thought since I grew a horn” he said.
“I wonder if they’ll even recognize us?” added Bebop.
“If you two botch this assignment, you won’t be able to recognize yourselves in a reflection” Krang replied. “Now scramble”
An unnerved Bebop and Rocksteady nodded in acknowledgment of the threat and dashed towards the transport modules.
On the top floor of the Channel Six News Building, Burne Thompson was in a state of panic as he glanced at the latest batch of ratings coming in for the daily evening news bulletins.
“If we don’t stop this slide soon, our collapse will be what makes our next big story” he vented to Vernon Fenwick and his star reporter, the Turtles’ best human friend April O’Neil.
“How about a show all about matchstick collecting?” Vernon replied.
“Next” Thompson said, turning immediatly to April for a suggestion without giving Fenwick’s option a second thought.
“I’ve got just the ticket…an expose on city gangs” April suggested.
Burne found the prospect tantilsiing.
“You may very well have something there April. A typical New York family audience craves crime and violence in the evening. I can schedule your story for the Tuesday time slot, peak viewing hours, get on it”
“Right chief” said April, hastly retreating to her office where her co-worker Irma was waiting.
“Did he like your pitch?” she asked.
“He went one better Irma, he gave me the green light” April revealed, hastily looking through her drawers and pulling out a dusty black jacket as well as a headband, she quickly changed into the fresh pair of clothes, and ruffled up her hair ever so slightly so she looked a little rougher.
“Wow, you really planned ahead” Irma observed as April checked herself out in a mirror.
“Not too bad, I think I definitely qualify as gangland material” she said.
“So you want me to cancel your 3: 30 for today?” Irma asked.
“What? That blind date you arranged for me? You know me Irma, I don’t have much time for anything outside of a story” replied April.
“You sure? He knows where the best parks in town are, and he’s a Turtle lover just like the pair of us” Irma added.
“That’s sweet of you to recommend him Irma, but this girl is only interested in one kind of date…one with danger. Mean streets, here I come”
Some hours later, back at the Turtles’ lair, Michelangelo was making preperations for his own date with destiny, as he snuck into Donatello’s lab dressed in a hawaian shirt, sporting blue shorts, clutching a skateboard.
With the Turtles due to awaken from their afternoon siessta, Michelangelo knew he had to act fast.
He scoured the trash can, managing to locate the box Donatello had discarded, and within that box, the forbidden contents.
He took a bite out of the first cookie he grabbed, and waited patiently for a few minutes for the changes, if any, to kick in.
Nothing seemed to be happening.
He checked a digital wrist watch he was wearing, and let out a sollem sigh.
Time’s almost up he thought.
He reached for his Turtle-Com, intending to contact someone he trusted and update them on what had been happening when a strange sensation coursed through his body. His eyes rolled over, he found himself in a dizzying daze and the room’s contents began to form into a shapeless blur.
The physical contortions became too much to bear, and, collapsing to the ground, the young Turtle soon slipped into a state of unconsciousness.
This state of being did not last long, and before long, he regained a sense of awareness. He steady reached out with his hands to grab hold of something, he eventually latched on to Donatello’s desk.
Michelangelo steadily rose to his feet, and as soon as he could grasp his surroundings, he found himself struggling to grasp with a new found identity.
His hands were no longer green, but white, pasty, fleshly. Very much human.
Excited, Michelangelo walked over to a nearby mirror to check if his features were in any way the same. He was in seventh heaven when he discovered this was the case.
“I look bodacious”, he said as he glanced at the reflection, “Now we’ll see if I can score a touchdown” he remarked.
Grabbing his skateboard, Michelangelo stepped out of the lab and towards the nearest manhole exit that he knew. It was time to put his new found humanity to the test.
Michelangelo’s first port of call was the skateboarding park located at the far right end of the city. As he pulled up to one of the ramps on his skateboard, he was greeted by a slender black teenager dressed in a manner becoming of a mail man, flanked by an even leaner boy wearing a cream shirt and blue shorts.
“Nice wheels dude” complimented the boy as Mikey pulled up on his skateboard. “Think you can shred the course?”
” Are you for real dude? You just happen to be talking to a highly skilled Ninja Tur…erm, I mean, most tubular teens around” Michelangelo responded.
“Alright Whizz, work your magic” the boy said, slapping him gently on the back, causing Mikey’s skateboard to tip over the edge of the ramp and begin to hurtle down the tunnel.
“Hey wait up, I wasn’t ready” Michelangelo screamed, but it was too late, he was well on his way, proceeding to crash into every obstacle designed to obstruct a skateboarder’s path . The resulting calamity brought tears of laughter to the two rival skateboarders.
Michelangelo’s descent culiminated in his skateboard hitting a rough patch of grass, sending the former Turtle hurtling into the branch of a tree. By this point, the boys had tired of the humilating sight and decided to take their business elsewhere, leaving Michelangelo void of bragging rights and a shred of decency.
“Gee, maybe being human is’nt all it’s cracked up to be, maybe it was a waste of time after all” Michelangelo spoke aloud to himself as he took his leave of the park, only to have further misfortune befall him as he walked past a muddy patch on the side of the road.
Without warning, a car sped past him, it’s wheels striking the mud and spraying Michelanglo with huge portions of it directly in the face.
“That tears it, I’m heading back home, maybe Don can patch me up and get me looking green again” he said.
As he turned acorner, he heard a loud shriek and a cry for help. Rushing past him was a young and lively woman. Unbenowst to Michelangelo, it was April.
“Gee that dudette looks like she could do with a helping hand” Michelangelo observed, before he was shoved to the curb and trampled on by what appeared to be four or five people eager to maintain pursuit.
Michelangelo’s temper rose as he got up and dusted himself off.
“Ok, now I’m really steamed, nobody leaves treats this teenager like literal dirt” he said, snarling, and took off after the thugs on his skateboard.
The gang’s pursuit of April reached it’s climax inside the tunnel of a nearby park bridge, where April found one of the thugs on the other end blocking her path with the remainder of the goons chasing her swooped in. He was brandishing a plank of wood.
“Alright doll-face, just what do you think you were doing snooping around our neck of the woods?” asked the thug, a thin and weasly looking bald man.
“I, well, I’ve been…” April began, her nerves getting the better of her.
“That girl’s voice sounds awfully familiar” observed Michealngelo as he approached the bridge and began to evesdrop on the conversation.
“Give me five minutes with her Lugnut, I’ll teach her not to spy on any of us” asked one of the thug’s friends, grabbing April by the arm and giving her a sniff.
“Hey, she’s got quite the fragrance on her, maybe she’d be worth a happy hour or two” he continued, this repulsed April, she realized she had to make good on an excuse to spare herself further humiliation.
It was at this point Michelangelo realized who April was. He froze like a statue, he could feel the tense sensation of dread wash over him, knowing his dearest friend was in danger and that there was potentially little he could do in this body to prevent something horrendous happening to her.
He was helpless.
“I wasn’t spying on any of you, you’ve got it completly wrong, it’s more like I was checking you out” April replied, which was not entirely a lie, as her mission since this assignment began was to get closer to how gangs in the city operated.
“You were checking US out?” Lugnut replied.
“That’s my girl… a tough act for a tough crowd, keep doing your thing dudette” whispered Micheangelo, his apprehension dissapating for as long as April could sustain her act.
“Yeah” April said, a bit more confidence in her voice, “I wanted to see how you guys could handle having me as a member of your group”
Lugnut and the remainder of the group broke into fits of laughter.
“You really think you’re that tough?” asked Lugnut, taking the two-by-four in his hand and biting one of the nails embedded in it clean off.
“Well…fairly tough” April said, her confidence briefly sapping.
“Alright then, then you won’t mind putting your money where your mouth is. You can be target practice for Jersey Red and her knuckles. Make it past her and we’ll consider you for membership”
A large red-haired woman with a dog collar around her neck approached April, licking her lips.
“I’m gonna ground you into pizza dough” she snarled.
“Man, Jersey Red has some mighty fine taste in food, but I don’t think April’s got the stomach for a fight like this” said Michelangelo, his anxiety getting the better of him again.
Lugnut led the remainder of his gang out of the tunnel.
“We’ll be back later ‘Red, try to leave just enough of this chick for us to identify when we get back” he said. Michelangelo ducked behind a couple of barrles to avoid detection.
April found herself swiftly ejected from the tunnel also, but only because Jersey had scooped her up and tossed her as far as she could.
April knew she could’nt run, it would deny her the story, and word would spread quickly from this particular group that she was weak. On the other hand, there was the very real possiblity Jersey Red could seriously harm her.
She was psychologically trapped, one way or the other, she would come out worse for wear.
This did’nt scare her, but it was scarring Michelangelo as he was coming to the exact same conclusions as April was.
As April dusted herself off and charged back into the tunnel to continue the fight, Michealgenlo cursed his present situation, his rage was building.
He wished he could do more.
Suddenly, his hands trembled, and to his surprise, began to turn green again. Soon his entire body had reverted back to that of the tubular teenage Turtle he’d always been, and by his reckoning, not a moment too soon.
“Totally timely, I’m back to normal, it must be the adrenaline in my blood stream, or something super-scientific. Donatello’s not around so I have to make do with explaining the surprise to the audience”
“You’re not up to learning lessons are you?” taunted Jersey Red as April approached her, “I suppose I’m gonna have to pound reality into you” she continued, and, in a miraculous feat for someone of her size, she leapt at the young reporter.
“April, duck” cried out Michelangelo as he pushed April out of the way and intercepted Jersey Red as she extended her legs to crash into her target full force.
He grabbed both of her legs and tossed the hulking mass of humanity around with considerable ease, throwing her with maximum effort into a dumpster perched just outside of the tunnel on the far right.
“Turtle power does it again” Michelangelo exclaimed in triumph.
Lugnut and his group had caught wind of the commotion and were heading back, forcing Michelangelo to make himself scarse. Jersey Red, still groggy from her whirlwind experience, clambered out of the dumpster in a dazed and confused state.
Lugnut approached April, who looked just as lost as Jersey did in regards to what happened.
“I don’t know how you did it, but it looks like we got ourselves a winner” he said, raising April’s hand in the air to make her triumph official.
“So I’m in the gang?” April asked.
“Not just yet, there’s still one more test to show if you’re really cut out for our line of work. You need to burglarize a pad and bring us the loot”
“Burglarize? As in breaking and entering?” April quizzed.
“Should be a cakewalk for you toots…unless of course, that yellow on your jeans runs all the way up your back” taunted Jersey Red.
This ruffled April’s feathers to no extreme.
“I’m no chicken, and I know just the name to rob. It’ll even make the eight o’clock news” she revealed.
“Great, we’ll rendezvous back here at 7 PM, you can lead us to the abode of your choice then” Lugnut revealed.
As the gang disassembled, Michelangelo, having reverted back to human form, once more felt slightly anxious.
“April’s in way over her head. I’d best keep close to her, for her own good”
Back at the Turtles’ lair, Michelangelo’s absence was being noticed at the dinner table.
“Any idea where he went off to?” Raphael asked as Donatello handed him the salt shaker.
“Yeah, we prepared this pizza specially to help raise his spirits after the cookie fiasco, it’s not like him to skip a meal like this” Leonardo replied.
“Maybe there’s something else that’s eating away at him” Donatello theorized.
“Oh please, Michelangelo’s the most laid back of all of us, whatever could be weighing heavily on him?” Raphael asked as he tucked into Michelangelo’s slice of pizza, having finished his own portion and not wanting good food to go to waste.
“Remember what he said one of the perks of injesting that reverse mutagen was he would get to pick up chicks? There was something in his voice that makes me think he did’nt mean that light-heartedly” said Donatello.
“You don’t think that time we were laced with a love potion and went crazy for Irma stayed with him do you?” Leonardo asked.
“Mikey’s had a crush on someone even before then, remember Kala of the Neutrinos? These experiances, both past and recent, may have given Michelangelo hope that he could feel something similar for someone else more down to Earth” Donatello replied.
“Ok, but if Michelangelo is’nt infatuated with Irma like the rest of us were, and Kala is a whole dimension away, who else is there?” Raphael aske, before he suddenly caught himself entertaining a stirring notion in his mind.
“No…no it could’nt be” he said aloud, and went back to finishing off Michelangelo’s portion.
Suddenly, the entire room was rocked with a violent explosion which knocked the Turtles off of thier chairs
“What in sam hill was that?” said Raphael as he cradled his head, having landed on the floor hard.
“It came from my lab” said Donatello.
The Turtles dashed towards the source of the disruption, finding a smouldering concotion within the trash can.
“It’s the anti-mutagen. It exploded” annalyzed Donatello as he scooped up what remained of the box containing the cookies.
“So if we had taken those things, not only would we have been able to mix in with mankind, we’d also be walking time bombs?”
“It’s a good thing none of us tried that stuff” said Leonardo.
“I am afraid one of you did my students” spoke Master Splinter as he joined his students, a note clutched in his hands. He lent it to Donatello, who read it aloud to the others.
”Dear dudes, if these cookies check out, I’ll be a dynamic human dude, and just in time for my date. Cowabunga”
“We’ve got to find Michelangelo and bring him home” said Leonardo.
“Yeah, and when we do, he’ll have a lot to answer for…like who he had in mind for a date?” said Raphael, though he already a growing suspicion creeping into the back of his mind.
“Do not be so impetious my students, for you must find a means of curing Michelangelo before you can reach out to him” cautioned Splinter.
“I’ll get to work on one right now Master” said Donatello, swiftly putting together a collection of beakers and test tubes filled with various chemicals.
Donatello had his work cut off for him, as the process took up a great deal of his time. Much time had passed, and for Michelangelo, the eleventh hour was upon him.
Or much rather the seventh.
He checked his watch again, just to be sure he wasn’t late for this most fateful of appointments.
“7 PM. As Sure as Shirley” he said to himself, almost out of breath.
Outside an apartment building well known to him, the very human Turtle found the process of clambering up the catwalk of the complex exhausting.
“Man, this was so much easier when I was part of the green team” he said.
As luck would have it, April had left her window open, making entering her room a breeze.
Below him, April and the gang had converged on the apartment, April dashed up the steps.
“You sure you know your way around this place?” Lugnut asked.
“Hey, I’ve been in and out of this apartment block so many times with loot, I practically live in it” April remarked.
If only he knew.
“Give me a few minutes, I’ll be back with the stash” she said, and swiftly entered the building.
She made her way to her apartment, fiddled with the lock excitedly, and went inside.
As soon as she entered, Michelangelo came out from behind the freshly opened door, almost catching her off guard.
“Yo dudedette” he said, only to be swiftly grabbed by April and violently tossed over to the other side of the room, landing with a rough and thunderous thud.
“Hey, chill out, I’m a friend” said Michelangelo as he nursed his aching sides.
“Oh yeah? Prove it” said April.
“I’m the dude who took out that hot piece of garbage Jersey Red for you” Michelangelo replied.
“So that’s how I was able to ‘overcome’ her, I had help, that means you’re also the one to tell me to duck” April realized.
“So what are you doing in my apartment?” April asked, heading to her dresser to find a few items that would convince Lugnut and his gang that she had found some goods.
“I’m here to warn you about that gang, mixing in with them isn’t groovy girlfriend, what if they find out you’re not all you claim to be?” Michelangelo asked.
“Your concern is flattering, but I’m a reporter on a hot story, and I’m not about to let go of it. If push comes to shove, I have friends that can help me take care of any risky buisness…maybe I ought to introduce you to them”
“I’ve heard about your friends, it’s what made me want to take the fight to gangs like yours in the first place” said Michelangelo, now getting a kick out of spinning half-truths about himself to impress April more.
April opened her dresser and took out a few pearl broaches.
“What do you think? Will they settle for some of this junk jewelry of mine, or should I try something a little more expensive?” April said, eager to hear her intruder’s opinion.
Before Michelangelo could respond, his adrenlene levels kicked in and his human apperance began to destabalize. He hastily tried to excuse himself, but the suddeness of the transformation caught him off guard.
“What’s happening to you?” April asked.
Michelangelo tried to make a quick exit via the open window he had climbed through earlier, but it was too late, he had reverted back to his Turtle form before a startled April’s eyes.
“Michelangelo, it’s you” April said with a gasp.
“I guess I’d better give you the straight scoop” Michelangelo said, asking April to take a seat on the couch.
He talked for well over ten minutes recapping his entire day, from fending off the thug and saving the ‘sweet’ old lady, to Donatello testing the cookies, to Michelangelo coming to a fateful decision to take them.
“Mikey, why would you risk everything like this?” said April.
“On any other day I would’nt have taken this radical risk, but today was just different I guess” he said, just as his Turtle-Com went off.
“Irma, can this wait?” Michelangelo replied as April’s friend patched through
“I’ve been trying to reach you all day mister” Irma replied
“Yeah, sorry about that, I only remembered to turn it on when I decided to tail someone I knew, I figured if she got in over her head I could contact the others” Michelangelo explained.
“Well, whoever your friend is, she obviously meant more to you than the date you arranged. April called it off by the way, I did my best to persuade her, but she was all about finding a lead story, not a leading man…or Turtle in your case.”
“Uh, Irma, now’s really not the right time” said Michelangelo, feeling sweat wash over him as nerves took hold.
“Not that I ever found you guys all that attractive to women anyway…well, ok there was that one time I blushed at Donatello, but that was before he brought up the whole thing with the sattelite dish…” Irma continued, forcing Michelangelo to turn his Turtle-Com off to prevent her from rambling on further.
April, however, had heard enough.
“You…you were my 3: 30?” she realized.
Michelangelo nodded, unsure of what to say, this was the most difficult conflict he had faced yet, as either a Turtle, a human, or as a hero.
“I thought if you gave me a chance as a regular human, we could have a real swell time y’know?” he said.
“Michelangelo, I don’t know what to say…you pulling a stunt like this seems far too consequential in the long run for just a simple day out…there’s more to this is’nt there? Please, just say it, don’t hold it in. Whatever it is, I can take it”
“You can?” Michelangelo said.
April held his hand and clutched it tight.
“I will” she promised.
Michelangelo took a deep breath.
“I think you’re a great gal. You’re all about the risk and you pursue it knowing that if you overcome every obstacle, there’s a reward on the other end. You’re always there for us and you know what we like. You know every inch of this city and you have time for all the little people in it, not just the big guns. You’ve had your own share of mutations, stuff that’d bring any other human being to the edge, and you came back from it. We’re made of mutagen, but you? You’re made of steel”
April smiled, as nervous as Michelangelo, her thoughts only briefly drifting back to the time it was taking for all this to come out, and what it entailed for Lugnut and his gang waiting for her below.
However, her full attention was demanded here, a friend was bearing all to her, and he needed the time to say what was on his mind and his soul
“April, I, uh, guess you could say I…” he began, April cut him off.
“Not now, not yet” she said.
“Really?” said Michelangelo
“We’ve got way too much distracting us at the moment and I can only process so much” she said, pressing her finger delicately on his lips, “Whatever you say next, wherever it is we go from here, You can hold on to it ’till we’re done with this. Deal?”
Michelangelo nodded. Unsure of where this was leading, unsure if he’d ever be able to say what he wanted to again.
“I’d best be heading back” April continued, putting the pearls in a bag.
“I’ll come with you” Michelangelo said
“Thanks, but it’s best you keep out of sight when I join up with them” she said.
“Anything for you babe” Michelangelo said, and followed April out of the room.
“You might want to lock up your window next time” he said to her as they came down the staircase.
The two friends stepped out of the apartment into the crisp, cold evening air.
As they walked down the street, Michelangelo decided to briefly change the subject to that of everyday life.
“I had the munchies all morning April” he said
“Oh I know the feeling. Went into the office with only half a bacon sandwich. Irma had taken the other half” April replied.
“I was wondering what she was chewing when she was arranging our get-together” said Michelangelo.
“The bacon wasn’t that steller…it reminded me of food I found in a hotel during an international assignment I took in England. It was like rubber, tasted like the yolk of an egg as well…in fact I’m dead certain there was egg in it, Irma must have helped herself to that as well”
Conversations quickly shifted from small talk about what they’d been getting up to in the week to the urgent matter of April’s mission.
“April, this is really dangerous, this mutagen’s done weird things to my metabolism, I feel weaker, like I’ve lost a lot of my skill and power” Michelangelo explained.
“That’s ok Michelangelo, really I don’t need anyone’s help” said April.
“So much for gratitude then” Michelangelo said, bummed out that April had forgotten his valiant rescue of her just that afternoon.
April suddenly caught sight of Lugnut’s gang just ahead of them.
“Uh-oh, they’re all waiting for me, you’d best duck out of sight” said April
Michelangelo didn’t like leaving April alone against the gang, but honored her wishes, vanishing into a nearby alleyway and eavesdropping on the conversation as quietly as he could.
“Ok toots, you got the merchandise?” asked Lugnut
“Sealed with a kiss” April said, giving the bag a peck. Lugnut hastily grabbed it and emptied out the contents.
“Yeah, this one sparkles, just my kind of thing. Well done toots, consider yourself one of us” he said.
A violent tremor suddenly made all of them tremble, the pavement beneath them came away as a huge transport module surfaced before the startled gangmembers.
“What the heck? Did someone decide to extend the subway or something?” asked a befuddled Lugnut, mistaking the module for a subway car.
The hatch of the module opened and out stepped two hulking figures all too familiar to April.
Oh no, it’s Rocksteady and Bebop she whispered with a gasp.
“Aw bummer, it’s those two freakazoids” noted Michelangelo also, trying to keep out of visible detection as he crept closer to the action, concelaing himself behind two trash cans.
Rocksteady and Bebop briefly took some time out of their arrival to lecture one another on steering the module properly, as it had taken them hours to reach their destination.
“Next time, leave the directions to me” said Rocksteady
“Why should I? You’re the one who’s ambidecstrous, you could’nt tell right from up and left from across” said Bebop
“Will you two out-of-sight animals pipe down and get off our turf?” said Lugnut, having no time for their foolishness.
“Hey, this is our turf too” said Rocksteady.
“Yeah, or at least it used to be” said Bebop.
“What are you getting at freaks?” said Lugnut.
“Don’t you recognize us?” said Bebop.
“Yeah, we’re old pals of yours…Bebop and Rocksteady, remember?” Rocksteady added.
“You ain’t fooling us, you guys are way better looking than those two ever were” joked Jersey Red.
Rocksteady pondered how best to prove their authenticity to the gang, opting to charge a nearby wall with his horn and plowed straight through it.
“Wow, is that supposed to confirm who you are? Some dumb stunt? I ain’t buying” said Lugnut.
“If you ain’t convinced by that, maybe you won’t mind when he starts charging through you next” said Bebop.
Lugnut, unnerved, quickly changed his mind.
“Ok, ok, for the sake of my health, I’m convinced” he said.
“How come you two changed into animals?” One member of the gang asked.
“There’s time for that later, meanwhile you got a job to do” said Bebop.
April was beginning to wonder whether or not Michelangelo was right in warning her not to overstep her boundaries, but her story had taken yet another surprising turn and she wasn’t about to retreat from it.
Elsewhere, the remaining Turtles were searching the streets for any trace of the unstable Michelangelo.
Donatello was making use of a device he had recently invented to trace his brother Turtle’s footsteps.
“This ray will make any traces of the anti-mutagen glow the same colour as us, green” he explained.
“I hope we find him sooner and not later” said Leonardo.
Finally, the trail began leading them somewhere, as emerald green traces could be found leading into a nearby park, and from there, the tracks led to the harbor.
“This is it guys” said Donatello.
Meanwhile, at the docks, Bebop and Rocksteady had assembled the gang at the ship Krang had sent them to pillage.
Lugnut instructed the gang to remain where they were while he explored the ship.
The tension was palpable, Jersey Red twitched ever so slightly, April felt a cold chill travel up her spine.
“Hey, you anxious?” said Jersey Red.
“Not as much as I was when you were trying to toss me like a rag doll” said April.
Jersey smiled and gave her a fierce elbow.
“Nobody plays with dolls in this gang” she argued.
“Right, you and me, we fought like wild cats. That a better analogy?” April asked.
“You got the upper hand that time, I’d like a rematch some time, just to make sure we have a tiger and not a pussycat” Jersey insisted.
“Oh beleive me, there’s been times in my life I’ve had literal claws out. You would’nt want me to leave a scratch” replied April.
“I’m begining to like you” said Jersey, patting April on the head and ruffling her hair a bit.
“Asking for another fight is your way of expressing admiration? I would’nt want to be on a picnic with you guys” April whispered delicately to herself.
Lugnut finally gave the all clear for the gang to join him aboard the ship.
“Really?” said April.
“What’s wrong?” said Jersey.
“Security is so lax here they’ve left this vessel unattended?” asked April.
“Hey, it must be a cheap episode, only so many extras” Jersey argued.
The gang assembled aboard the ship and looked down at an open hatch which contained boxes stacked with the electronic supplies they needed.
They had been informed of the mission, they knew their purpose, they just needed to know the next move.
They turned to Bebop, who in turn turned to Rocksteady, who himself had completely forgotten the mission at hand.
“I wish the boss were here” said Rocksteady, distant and with an expression reflective of a lost puppy in need of his master.
“Should we try and take the electronics using a crane or something?” suggested an on-point Lugnut.
April reckoned, with everything so disorganized, that now was the best time to slip away and alert the authorities of what was going on.
She looked high and low for a means of contacting people as quickly as possible. Her luck paid off with a nearby communications cabin situated jsut north of her.
She entered the cabin and made use of the radio.
“Hello? Hello?” she began.
Outside, Bebop was operating a crane, attempting to lower it and lock on to the electronic cargo located in the hatch beneath the deck of the ship.
“Left, left, lower on my signal” said Rocksteady.
Bebop lowered the crane and latched on to something. He was jubilant, something was going off without a hitch.
Or so he thought.
As he hoisted the crane upwards, he heard bellowing screams, he looked down and found he had wound attaching the crane’s hook to the back of Rocksteady’s pants.
“Ah, lower me, lower me” he said.
Bebop was about to do as instructed, when Rocksteady realized he was being lowered towards the ocean
“You trying to drown me or something? Turn right, turn right” Rocksteady demanded.
Bebop again complied with a swift pull of a lever, resulting in the crane propelling Rocksteady straight into the side of the communications room, the impact collapsing a side of the wall and exposing April’s activities.
“Hey, what is the heck is toots doing?” said Lugnut.
“Looks like she’s trying to squeel on us” said another gang member.
Jersey clenched her fist and gritted her teeth.
“I was beginning to think you were alright…now you won’t be” she vented as her heartache turned to quick and sudden anger.
Rocksteady detached himself from the crane, got up, and dusted himself off.
“Yeah, that’s that reporter babe, April O’Neil, grab her” he said.
“Time to spread my wings, let’s just hope they don’t get clipped” said April, dashing off as Rocksteady and the gang gave chase across the deck.
“Hang on April” bellowed Michelangelo, as he swung in from the top of the cabin holding onto a firm piece of rope attached to the crane that Bebop was operating.
“Not a bad Tarzan impression huh?” Michelangelo boasted as he and April landed safely atop the opposite side of the vessel.
April delicately placed a finger on his lips and slapped him on the torso, “Don’t go mistaking me for Jane Jungle Boy” she remarked.
“You wait here, I’ll cream those clowns” said Michelangelo, swinging down to meet Rocksteady on ground level.
He grabbed his wrist in preparation to toss him over his shoulder, a standard trick of combat he’d used earlier in the day and many times before hand, only to find his strength once again diminish as the transformation to human form kicked in again.
“Michelangelo, what’s happening?” yelled April from her position.
“Bummer, my body’s gone schizo over whether or not to keep me green or not” said Michelangelo, as Rocksteady gained the upper hand and gripped Michelangelo’s fleshly body tightly within his own hands.
“Well well, guess you had an appetite for Shredder’s cookies after all wimp” gloated Rocksteady.
“Let go of me before I really cut loose on you horn-head” replied a defiant Michelangelo. Rocksteady could’nt help but laugh.
He took a grapplnig hook dangling from the crane and latched on to Michelangelo’s t-shirt.
“Haul him away Bebop” Rocksteady bellowed. Bebop nodded and hoisted Michelangelo with the crane, intending to slam him hard against the ship’s walls until there was nothing left of him to smear.
“Banzai” came a defiant battle-cry from behind Rocksteady as Leonardo leapt onto the ship and threw his sai blade directly at the grappling hook attached to the crane, detatching Michelangelo from it.
The remaining Turtles soon joined him, cracking their knuckles.
“Turtles fight with honor” they yelled in unison.
Rocksteady, unimpressed with this show of force he’d experianced first hand many a time, including today, climbed up to April’s location, picked her up with the simplest of ease and proceed to climb up the ship’s mast. Michelangelo went after her.
“Hold on April’s help’s on his way” said Michealngelo.
Lugnut and some of his underlings attempted to assist Rocksteady, only to have their path blocked by Raphael
“I don’t know where it is you came from, but we intend to see you back to your own dwelling in pieces” proclaimed an enraged Lugnut.
“I fall to pieces at the very notion of that” said Raphael, the bite evident in his snark, before picking up an axe and cutting a nearby bit of rope, which released a net directly on top of Lugnut and his men.
“That there is what we mean by the term ‘net neutrality” said Raphael.
Leonardo also made use of the ship’s resources, throwing a slick cannister of paint across the deck, forming a slippery and trecherous path that felled Jersey Red and another member of the gang and sending them straight off the ship and into the murky waters below.
As Leonardo watched the pair paddle to safety, he saluted them.
“I’ve gotta give them credit, they litterally gave me the slip” he remarked.
Donatello finished off the remainder of the gang by blasting them face first with water from a nearby hose.
“Forgive my dry sense of humor, but you’re all washed up” Donatello said jubilantly.
Bebop, sensing the end was approaching, made preperations to leave.
“Rocksteady, c’mon” he hollared to his friend. Rocksteady, however, would not budge from his posisition at the crow’s nest.
He had leverage with which he could use to hold the Turtles at bay as long as he wished and he was reveling in the power he had within his grasp.
Michelangelo had carefully posistioned himself to the left of the hulking mutant and, forming the rope in his hand into a lasso, he prepared to make a move.
With careful aim and precision timing, Michelangelo latched the makeshift lasson onto to April. He tried to pull her out of Rocksteady’s grip.
Rocksteady, however, was’nt budging.
“Ha, what good are you gonna do with that? You don’t have any strength to hoist your reporter babe anywhere, you’re just a puny human” he said.
April tapped him on the shoulder
“So am I” she said, before elbowing him in the stomach and poking him in the eye. The distraction caused Rocksteady to loosen his grip and the lassoed April found herself thrown from the crow’s nest and into Michelangelo’s arms.
Rocksteady lost his balance and fell into the water below, Bebop dived in after Turtles watched them scarper back to dry land.
Once everyone was assembled, Donatello sprayed Michelangelo with a special spray containing a chemical that would serve as the antidote.
Michelangelo beamed as his human form reconfigured into his far more familiar outward apperance.
“I’m yours truly again” he said, urging his brothers to join him for a group hug
“This time it’s permanent” said Donatello.
“Turtle or human, you’re the greatest” a grateful April said
“You were freakishly fiesty yourself” said Michelangelo
“Made of steel remember?” April remarked.
“Yeah, you sure are” Michelangelo replied.
“And that means I’m tough enough to deal with whatever comes next with us” she said.
April leaned over to Michelangelo, her eyes full of sincerity and purpose, and pressed her lips passionatly against his.
The kiss wasn’t brief, it lasted a while, but for the two of them, the moment felt like a lifetime in the making.
Something so perfect, so natural, and so special, was happening and neither wanted to let go of what it was, nor forget all too easily what it meant.
April eventually, and carefully, pulled back, her face awash with jubilation. Michelangelo’s features were similar, only his cheers were bright red.
“What do you say? You want to try and make this work?” she said.
Michelangelo, still blushing from cheek to cheek, was unable to say a word
“Careful there April, stunts like that might turn him human again” replied Leonardo.
The now calm and tempered evening swiftly transitioned into the bustling and finetic day.
After a well-earned rest, and though their all-nigthter on the docks had forced them to sleep through the duration of the morning and throughout most of the afternoon, most of the Turtles all assembled at the table ready to make up for a lack of breakfast and lunch.
Most of the Turtles, but not all.
Once more, one was noticeably missing.
“Where’d Michelangelo go this time?” asked Raphael.
“He was up for most of the evening talking to April over on the Turtle ‘Com after she went home” replied Leonardo. “She insisted he get some shut-eye but he said he’d only manage it if she agreed to meet him on the roof of her apartment. He must have gotten up before the rest of us”
“I still can’t beleive she’s willing to go through with dating one of us, it just does’nt fit her character” Raphael remarked.
“It is a pretty big step for both of them” said Leonardo.
“Yeah, but Raph has a point…April used to think we were of two entirely different worlds” Leonardo argued.
Master Splinter, overhearing the conversation, chose to interceed with sage advise.
“It is a wise choice to walk in between worlds, but a braver act to bind those worlds together. Having faith and appreciation of your dearest friends can lead to many changes in the mind and the heart”
“Women changing their minds…average day for the species” remarked Raphael.
“I think Michelangelo had an altogether different reason for bailing early guys, he may have remembered what we had scheduled to eat today” said Donatello, carrying a piping hot pizza in for the Turtles to chow down on.
Leonardo inspected the food.
“Choclate Chip Pizza?” he replied.
“It’ll be a while before he has a craving for that again, all the more for me I guess” Raphael remarked, taking a slice and devouring it with considerable relish.
“I take it we won’t be saving him a slice?” said Donatello.
“Nah” both Leonardo and Raphael said in hasty unison.
Meanwhile, back at April’s apartment, an exhausted and deflated April made her way up to the room of the building, where, true to his word, Michelangelo was waiting for her, lazily slumped in a deck chair wearing shades, looking out at the steadily setting sun.
“How’d the day go?” he said.
“I’ll let you know when my bulletin’s due in about two hours, I can’t stay here long”
“Hey, no rush, I’m a Turtle, it’s our natural instinct to take things slow and easy” Michelangelo replied.
“Just so you know, Thompson had to edit my piece. He thought it was best I not mention you guys”
“He can cover up the facts just like that?” Michelangelo replied, slightly annoyed.
“He thought I was joking, he said there’s no way you guys would be hindering that gang, but would probably be helping them. He’s never given any of you their fair due”
“So how do you explain what happened with the gang? That they turned themselves in? That they surrendered as soon as they caught wind of a siren?”
“The authorities picked up my mayday on the ship, that’s as far as he’s willing to let me travel with that end of the story” April explained.
“So we do all the work, and you’re left with the credit. Smooth dudette” Michelangelo realized, leaping out of the seat, grabbing April’s hips and hoisting her up in the air, giving her a twirl.
“You’re not mad?” said April excitedly.
“No way, now the whole city will know just what you’re made of, kind of like I already do” he said.
Putting April down, the two walked over to the edge of the roof to take in the view of the city and the setting sun.
Michelangelo wrapped his arms tightly around her waist and gently kissing the back of her neck.
“Comfortable there babe?” he asked.
April stroked the side of his cheeks gently with her right hand.
“Sure, but I’m more glad you’ve learned how to be comfortable in your own skin” she said with a reassuring smile.
Side by side, the two friends, now something more, watched the sun set on the first day of the rest of their lives.