April and Casey arrived at the lair and looked around themselves in wonder. They could hear the sounds of grunting and sparring from the dojo. Someone was really going at it.
Sitting on the practice mat was Splinter and four Leonardo's. April recognised two at once - the little podgy guy from a week ago, and their own dimensional version of Leonardo. The other two, well, they looked a little odd.
One Leonardo had his eyes tightly closed as if trying to concentrate and keep up with the big boys. His brow was furrowed as he tried to focus his mind. Master Splinter was sitting next to this version of Leonardo, his hand occasionally patting the turtle’s knee in encouragement. He was surprisingly square in appearance, and had a seriously cute look about him.
The other Leonardo seemed to be on the other end of the spectrum. He was tall, muscled, balanced, mature and lithe. His muscles flexed as he concentrated on his task. He seemed to have an aura of confidence about him, as if he were much older than his counterparts.
Suddenly, they all looked up and locked eyes with Casey and April. Splinter also opened his eyes and regarded his human allies with a gentle smile.
"Hi, um, Leonardo's. I'm April. This is my husband, Casey."
Leo12 coughed and giggled a little. "Husband? Wow. Best not tell our Donnie that."
Leo07 rose to his feet and took April's hand in his. "A pleasure to meet you, Mrs Jones." He turned to Casey with a smile. "Casey, good to see you here."
"Hey guys!" Leo87 grinned, raising a hand and waving furiously at the humans.
"So, what can I do to help you guys?" April asked, hovering over the Leonardo's and watching them with fascination.
"We need you to assist Leatherhead and the Donatello's in his lab. They are waiting for your arrival." Master Splinter gestured for April to go over to the lab.
Leo07 rose to his feet. "I need to use the bathroom."
"Again?" Leo12 asked, incredulous. "You have such a weak bladder."
"Guilty, I'm afraid." Leo07 smiled and excused himself.
Splinter chuckled to himself.
"What is it?" Leo03 asked, catching the mischievous sparkle in his sensei’s eye. "What's so funny?"
"He may be a Master, but he cannot fool me." Splinter continued to chuckle. "Leonardo does not keep going to the bathroom."
"Then where is he going?" Leo03 asked with a worried tone. "He keeps disappearing for five minutes at a time."
"I think our Master Turtle is observing the laboratory in the shadows. He is, aherm, eavesdropping on the Donatello's."
"Why?" Leo87 asked, shrugging his shoulders.
"Yeah, what's so interesting." Leo12 piped up, suddenly looking over to the lab door.
"Only Leonardo can answer your questions. When he returns." Splinter closed the conversation, directing the other three Leonardo's to meditate with him. "Focus your minds and forget the shadows. Master Leonardo is well equipped to deal with any situation."
April entered the lab and found a flurry of activity. Donatello's seemed to be everywhere. Leatherhead was a welcome presence among the many big-brained mutants, and April walked over to her own dimensional Don.
"Hey Don. What can I do to help?" April asked, wringing her hands and waiting for a response.
Don03 turned with a sweet smile and giggled slightly. He had a mischievous grin on his face. "Oh, I need you to analyse some DNA samples from our turtle counterparts. The Donatello working on that, him over there - the square, tall one - needs assistance."
"Sure thing, Don." April walked over to Don12, narrowly avoiding collision with Don87 as he danced around the lab gleefully. "Hey, erm, Don? Can I help you?"
Don12 turned and smiled. A slight blush came to his face and he turned away shyly. "You this world's April? I heard you are a scientist. Pull up a chair and sit down. This is gonna take a while."
April watched intently as Don12 explained everything to her. The testing was routine, almost tedious in nature. Nothing that would stretch her. However, the way he was avoiding her gaze made April feel that something was amiss.
They all heard the disembodied chuckle and looked upwards simultaneously.
The ceiling held no surprises, just shadows and darkness.
"What was that?" Don87 asked, still peering at the ceiling.
Don07 smiled gently. "Don't worry. I have a feeling I know who was up there. He's gone now.
A small cry interrupted the laboratory, and April, Leatherhead and all the Donatello's rushed out in a panic.
They stood in a line of disbelief, watching something unexpected happen.