Raising another of Mikey’s chocolate chip cookies to his mouth, Don hummed in pleasure as the chocolate melted on his tongue. They hit the spot after his late night coffee run. He always looked forward to a snack or two during his late night work sessions in the lab, but it was especially nice during winter. He sipped some of his special holiday coffee…it tasted like peppermint and chocolate thanks to a limited time only creamer that April gave him for an early Christmas present. Don might have been the brains of the team, thinking about big plans and far off ideas, but he had an appreciation for the little things in life, too.
He’d never been one for fighting, though he followed his ninja training with just enough diligence to please his father and Leonardo…and to avoid making Mikey and Raph worry about him holding his own. Don would just as soon welcome quiet, peaceful days wearing a sweater in the cold of winter instead of his ninja gear.
Speaking of which, he supposed it was just about time for him to wrap things up, take a shower, and then get suited up for their usual early morning training. A quick glance at his clock – yep, 4:30am—showed him that he was right. He munched on the last 3 cookies, gulped down his coffee, and headed off for their bathroom humming.
Don valued their warm water, especially in winter. He’d found out years ago that he and Leonardo were more prone to temperature sensitivity like turtles in the wild, whereas Michelangelo and Raphael mutated with more human-like temperature regulations. They all sweat, but it was fascinating to Don to discover that there were slight differences between the four of them. Don got sleepy and craved food more in the winter time, he supposed due to hibernation habits of regular turtles. Leonardo would never admit it, but he too craved more sleep and food. Don grinned to himself in the shower as he imagined Leo pinching himself during a particularly cold day while meditating.
They truly were different, the four of them. Leonardo would never let himself indulge in anything that would interfere with his abilities as an elite ninja. Raph seemed to value the cold because it meant he could enjoy a crisp night out on the rooftops, even while Don shivered next to him.
He rinsed himself off and turned the water off before he could get yelled at for using up all the hot water. A quick towel-off and Don was ready to get dressed. He slid on his arm and leg protectors first, and then his mask, and finally his belt. They’d taken a little time off from training for the past week so that they could enjoy the holidays in some semblance of peace, and his belt was rumpled in a heap, discarded for the past few days in favor of a large, oversized sweater he’d gotten from Mikey.
Don pulled the belt around his carapace and then began to tie it at the front of his plastron. That was strange, he thought, the two ends wouldn’t twist over each other a second time to form the proper knot. He yanked a little harder, thinking it might have been hung up on part of his shell, but a quick glance down ruled out that issue.
Don stopped and stared at the sash, realizing that he was indeed about 6 inches short in order to tie it as he usually did. He stood in front of their foggy old mirror and examined his back. Nope, the sash rested flat against his shell. Then he turned to the side and felt his heart leap into his throat.
Oh, what? Had his plastron always bulged out towards his middle like that? He scrambled to tear off the sash and flung it away as he examined his sides in the mirror. The olive flesh between his carapace and front schutes hadn’t always been that wide, had it? He palpated his sides with urgency, hoping he wouldn’t find any unusual lumps or tender spots that might imply an internal injury causing swelling. No, the only thing he felt was his own flesh, no pain. There was just…more of him.
Donatello poked his fingers into his side and felt his hip bone after depressing the soft fat under his green reptilian skin. “Oh, no… Oh, no, no.” He muttered to himself, turning to face the mirror directly. He pressed on his plastron and saw even more soft flesh poke out from behind. His plastron appeared to have slowly grown outward to accommodate his weight gain. When he turned back to his side, he could see a pronounced slope outward as his plastron swelled over his belly and hips.
How was he going to hide this from the others?
Don felt his face grow hot. What would Raph, all hard muscle and extra training, think?
They’d been physically intimate with each other for almost a year, but Don still couldn’t exactly pinpoint what Raph’s turn ons and turn offs were outside of a gruffly panted “On your back, Donnie-boy” or “Oh fuck, yes” as he pounded away into his ass.
He sighed and grabbed the discarded sash from the floor and tiptoed off to his room to see if he could find a substitution. To his dismay, his clock read 4:59 already. No time, and if he was late it would draw even more attention to him and his…problem. He’d just have to do without, he decided, grabbing his bo staff and making his way to the dojo room.