A flash of green and blue whizzed past Master Splinter, taking him by surprise. He rose from his seat at the table and peered into the living room to find his oldest son running as fast as he could towards the dojo.
“Leonardo?” he called.
“Sorry, sensei – can’t stop now!” Leo called back over his shoulder before vanishing entirely. Splinter was just beginning to wonder what was going on when the rest of his sons barreled past him as well, bolting at their top speeds after their brother.
“Get him!” Raphael yelled, leading the three on their chase. Splinter stepped out a little further, confused.
“What is going on?” he called after his sons, but they were already too far away to hear.
“Where’d he go?” Raph asked when he, Donnie, and Mikey came to a halt in the dojo. They’d seen Leo run this direction, and there was only one way in and out, so he must still be here somewhere. They stood with their backs to each other, each looking at a different section of the area so as not to miss anything.
“There’s nowhere to hide in here,” Donnie commented, still glancing around attentively, “except...” He looked up at the tree growing in the center of the room. Its dark green leaves and sturdy branches could easily hide a turtle...
The three brothers glanced at each other, nodded their mutual understanding, and split off into two teams. Mikey hurried back to the doorway, guarding it so that Leo would be unable to run out that way without fighting him first. Meanwhile Raph and Donnie climbed the tree after their older brother.
Leo sat as far up as he could within the branches, breathing as quietly as possible. He dared not make a sound, lest they find him and get their revenge. It had been an accident, though he knew his brothers would not believe him, and even if they did they were more interested in getting payback than letting it slide.
“He’s up here somewhere,” Raph grunted as he pulled himself farther upwards. Donnie was climbing up the other side. Leo watched each of them in turn, prepared to lunge for the floor once he had an opportunity.
“He is so dead when we find him,” Donnie muttered. “It took me forever to get that thing fixed.”
Leo wanted to protest his innocence but decided against it and instead waited for his chance to run. He knew it was only a matter of seconds now; eventually Donnie’s bo staff would get caught between the narrowing branches and render him immobile for a split second, which was all Leo needed to spring from his hiding spot and bolt for the door. He knew Mikey was there waiting for him, but the orange-clad turtle was an easy win.
Now! Leo jumped from his hiding spot and fell through the branches, barely keeping his footing when he landed and sprinted for the exit.
“There he goes!” Raph yelled, crashing down after him. “Mikey, block him!”
“On it!” Mikey called back, whipping out his nunchucks. Leo pulled a sword from its hilt and swung, effortlessly dodging one of his brother’s attacks and pushing him aside all in one motion.
“Mikey!” Donnie yelled. Mikey whipped out his alternate weapon and swung it a few times like a lasso, preparing to capture his older brother. Leo ran as fast as his burning legs would carry him, determined to find a safe spot somewhere in the lair. If he waited long enough his brothers may eventually give up and let him off the hook...
Suddenly he felt a cold chain wrap itself around his torso several times, pinning his arms at his sides and yanking him back so that he landed on the floor mid-step.
“No!” he cried, struggling against his newfound bonds as his younger brothers pulled him back to the training room, laughing triumphantly.
“We’ve got him now,” Raph said with a smirk.
“I get first dibs,” Donnie replied. “He trashed my machine first.”
Leo was now back inside the dojo, lying on his back on the floor with his arms trapped uselessly at his sides.
“Wait, guys,” he begged, “I told you it was an accident!”
“Yeah, maybe...” Raph shrugged.
Donnie knelt by his brother’s feet and smirked. “But we haven’t done this for a long time anyway. You’re overdue.”
He started tickling. As Leo’s laughter filled the room, the remaining turtles smiled in satisfaction. Revenge was sweet.