Head Over Shell For You

story by Jephael

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This story takes place seven years after the events of
The Summer I was Young Again. My high school friends Andrea and Angela appear as I remember them from those days. James, Jillian and Dori make special cameo appearances, as do some other friends from back then.

        It was the evening before graduation for the class of 1999 as the seniors of North Penn High School all crowded around in the cafeteria, signing one another's yearbooks. It was a bittersweet atmosphere as Michaelangelo and Jeff said goodbye to familiar faces from the last few years. Mikey was gladly handing out his autograph left and right while Jeff was a little more careful with whom he gave his John Hancock out to. He made sure to exchange signatures with Jillian and James, who not only went with him to the Ninja Turtles' world in the original timeline but had each shared in an adventure with him since then.
  "Have a good time in Europe, James!"
  "Thanks, Jeff. I'm sorry I'll have to miss out on Senior Week though."
  "Yea, we're really going to miss you there." Jillian said. "I heard there's going to be a surfing competition."
    "Michaelangelo told me three times today." Jeff replied as he took out his camera from his backpack. "Anyway, I'm gonna go mingle a little and get some photographs with people. I'll see you guys after the assembly!"
    Jeff made his way around the room getting pictures with different schoolmates, like a girl named Kathleen he had met on a field trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as Sarah, a girl he had known since elementary school. Jeff also made sure to talk with his cousin Steve and their pal Greg who were always a lot of fun to party with!
  "Hey, are all the Turtles coming to Senior Week or just you and Mikey?" Greg asked.
  "We're all coming." Jeff answered. "Raphael's bringing his girlfriend and Donatello invited April O' Neil. Leonardo was going to ask his friend Lotus Blossom to come along but she's busy planning a trip to Tokyo."
  "Sounds cool. I'll see you there." Greg replied with a grin. "You stay out of trouble, all right?"
  "I will!" Jeff said with a laugh as he walked over to another side of the cafeteria where he spotted Michaelangelo talking with two pretty twin girls they had gotten to know over the past year.
  "Hey Jeff, Andrea and Angela just told me they're coming to Senior Week!" the turtle said excitedly.
  "That's cool. Maybe we can hang out."
  "We can, but just so you know, Andrea's bringing along her boyfriend." Angela mentioned.
  "What happened with that guy who took you to the prom?" Jeff asked.
  "He's going to Burbank for the summer, then he's off to college there." Angela explained, sounding a little down.
  "Aw, don't sweat it, dudette!" Mikey said, patting her on the arm. "Hey why don't I take a picture of Jeff with the two of you?"
  "Okay!" the girls said together.
  Jeff posed between Andrea and Angela as Michaelangelo aimed the camera on them and snapped the picture. "That's going to look awesome in the photo album!"
    After the picture was taken, Andrea and Angela signed Jeff's yearbook and even wrote down their phone number so he could call them sometime in the summer. In turn, Jeff and Mikey signed both of the girls' yearbooks, thanking them for being so kind to them over the school year.
    The following day, Jeff and Michaelangelo returned to the school wearing their caps and gowns. It was incredibly warm for a mid-June day and their outfits weren't helping. "I sure hope they make this ceremony quick!" Mikey griped as he sat between Jeff and Cousin Steve out in the large football stadium.
  Steve had a deflated beach ball in his hands that he began blowing up during the opening of the ceremony and as soon as he had gotten it as full as it could of hot air, he screamed "YEA, '99!!!" and threw it up in the air.
  Jeff chuckled at the sight of his cousin while he continued listening to the valedictorian give a speech, quoting Matthew Broderick's famous "Life moves pretty fast..." line from Ferris Buellar's Day Off.
    An hour later the students had all gone up and received their diplomas. Jeff was so eager that when he heard his name called, he took a step forward, then stepped back, and then continued to walk forward. Nearly everyone gave a cheer as "Michaelangelo Oughton" was called up.
  Up in the stands, Master Splinter smiled proudly as he and the other Ninja Turtles clapped their hands.
  A few days later, the Turtles were packing up the Turtle Van as they prepared for their trip to the shore with all the North Penn graduates.
  "Have a good time out there, boys." Mr. Oughton said as he hugged his son goodbye.
  "Stay safe out there. No getting drunk!" Jeff's mom nagged.
  "Don't worry, I'll make sure they behave themselves!" April said.
    A few hours later, Jeff, April, Mona Lisa and the Turtles were at their hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. "Boy, would you look at how crowded this place is!" Donatello spoke.
  "Tell me about it. I hope we can find a good place at the beach." Leonardo added.
    As luck had it though they managed to find a perfect place on the beach. Jeff and Michaelangelo managed to locate several of their friends from school including Dori and Jillian who were tanning themselves.
  "Hey Dori, we haven't seen you for a while. Missed you at the assembly." Jeff said.
  "Yea, sorry. I've been really busy. Jillian invited me to join her and her friends on Senior Week, but I'm only here for a couple of days."
  "That's a bummer." Mikey replied. "Anyway, we're going to go find Greg and Steve. Their friend Ben is entering the surfing contest, and I want to check it out."
  "Oh yea, wish him luck for us." Jillian said.
  "We'll catch you later then!" Jeff said.
    Meanwhile Raphael and Mona Lisa were having a casual stroll along the boardwalk sharing an ice cream cone. They were both wearing shorts and T-shirts they had bought in one of the shops. "Man, it sure feels good to get out and enjoy this weather!" Mona Lisa said as she held Raph's hand.
  "Uh yea, it uh... it sure is." Raphael replied dreamily as he was deep in thought. His eyes wandered around to all the young teenaged couples wandering the place.
  Some younger kids stopped to watch Raph and Mona Lisa as they passed by. A few tipsy teenagers even started singing the Ninja Turtles' theme song at the top of their lungs.
  "Sheesh. Crazy kids!" the turtle said shaking his head when they walked passed a jewelry shop.
  Mona Lisa's eyes went wide. "Oh, would you look at all those cool necklaces? What I wouldn't give to have one of those for a Christmas gift!"
  Raphael dug his free hand into the pocket of his shorts and pulled out a wrinkled up $5 bill. "Sorry, I'm a little short." he said with a chuckle.
    Later that evening several North Penn graduates were having a volleyball game on the beach. Angela invited Jeff to play with her against Andrea and her boyfriend on the opposing team. About five minutes into the game Jeff's adrenaline caused him to mutate into Jephael, much to everyone's amusement. He and Angela were winning when Leonardo and Michaelangelo came running up to them along with April O' Neil who was wearing a purple T-shirt and gray shorts.
  "Yo, dudes, I got some mondo awesome news to tell you!"
  "Can it wait, Mikey? I'm on a roll here!" Jeph said as he bopped the ball into the air with his green fist.
  "What's the score?" Leo asked.
  "We're leading 12 to 7!" Angela answered as she nearly missed the ball and punched it across towards her sister.
  "You guys have an unfair advantage though." one of the other team's players said.
  "Yea, if Angela gets to play with a Ninja Turtle, we should be allowed one as well!" Andrea's boyfriend added. "What do you say, Michaelangelo?"
  "No thanks, dude. I just wore myself out in that surfing competition."
  "You entered yourself in-" Jephael started to say just as the volleyball whacked him in the forehead. "Ouch! Okay, time out."
  "Sorry, Jeff." said Andrea, who had apparently been the one to hurl the ball towards him.
  "Your cousin suggested to Michaelangelo that he should enter the surfing contest, so he tried out and the judges were certainly impressed." April exclaimed.
    "Wow, that's awesome!" Jeff replied as he changed back to human form. He couldn't tell whether it was the exhaustion from playing or getting hit in the head that made him start to feel woozy. "You know what? I'm going to sit the rest of the game out."
  "I'd love to join in if you kids don't mind." Leonardo said.
  Jeff tagged Leo into the game and sat down on the mound of sand with April where the tide was coming in while they watched the game play out.
  Donatello meanwhile had found an arcade where he and some teenagers were playing The Simpsons when Raphael found him. "There you are, Don. I've been looking all over for you!"
  "What's up? I thought you were with Mona Lisa."
  "She's taking a nap at the hotel. Listen, I really need to talk to you for a minute."
  "About what?"
  "We passed this jewelry store earlier and she was gawking at these necklaces. I'm completely broke so I can't buy her anything."
  "Sorry, Raphael. I used up my last $10 on arcade tokens so I'm making them worth my while." Don exclaimed. "Why don't you ask Jeff or Michaelangelo for some cash?"
  "I guess I'll have to if I want to propose to her."
  Donatello's eyes went wide and he let go of the joystick controlling Homer Simpson on the video screen. "Propose?! You-you're going to propose to her?"
  The three kids who were playing the game with Don were still playing though were listening intently to the conversation.
  "Yea, I've been giving this a lot of thought. I love her, and I want to marry her." Raphael said.
  "If you're sure you're ready for it." Donatello said as he put his hand on his brother's shoulder. "It's a major life changing decision, so just make sure you're prepared!"
  "Thanks, Donatello. Go on back to your game! I'll meet you and the others back at the hotel."
    The next morning, Michaelangelo got up bright and early before the others did. He made his way to a nearby hotel where Steve and his friends were hanging out. "Hope those dudes are awake!" he said excitedly.
  Just then, Steve opened the door to the building. "Hey, I saw you heading this way. What's up?"
  "Surf's up!" Mikey replied with a grin.
  "I see you're excited. Ben's been up since 5:00! He's really nervous."
  "Aw, I'm sure he'll do great."
  "Oh yea, he's been surfing for a while now. Would you like something to eat before we head out? Greg said he'd go to Burger King."
  "That sounds like a good plan, man!" Michaelangelo said.
    Two hours later everyone gathered on the beach for the surfing contest. Several young men and even a couple of attractive young ladies had entered themselves in the competition.
  "Good luck out there, Mikey!" Leonardo said to his bro.
  "Yea, break a leg! Not literally, of course." April said with a giggle.
  Jillian and Dori showed up wearing sunglasses. They both looked bronzed from being in the sun the previous day.
  "Hey, did you two come to watch Michaelangelo in the surfing contest?" Jeff asked.
  "Actually, we were just coming down here to meet some friends and go do some shopping at the outlets." Jillian exclaimed.
  "Yea, and I wanted to say goodbye to Greg and some other classmates before leaving later today." Dori mentioned.
  "Sorry you have to split so soon." Jeff said as he gave Dori a hug. "Hey, maybe when we're all back in Pennsylvania we can go out to dinner sometime, just the three of us." he suggested as he spun his finger around pointing to the girls and himself.
  "That sounds like a good idea." Jillian replied. "Anyway, we'll see you guys later."
  "They seem like nice girls." April said.
  "I think Jeff has a little crush on Dori!" Donatello said with a chuckle.
  "I do not! Well, maybe a little." Jeff said as his cheeks turned red as a peach. "But we're just friends!"
  "Yo dudes, where're Raphael and Mona Lisa? They said they'd be here by now!" Michaelangelo said, getting impatient.
  "They should be here somewhere." Leo replied as he looked around just as his turtle comm went off.
  "Come in, Leonardo." Raph's voice said quietly.
  "Where are you? It's almost Mikey's turn to go out in the waves."
  "I know, I'll be there soon. Listen, as soon as he's done I need you and April to take Mona Lisa for a walk around the boardwalk. Oh and ask Jeff if he can lend me about $30."
  Jeff overheard the conversation and grabbed the turtle comm. "What do you need all that money for, Raph?"
  "It's a secret." Raphael said more quietly. "Don't say anything to Mona Lisa, okay?"
  Jeff and Leonardo exchanged glances. "Um, okay. We promise."
  Donatello smiled and let out a little snicker.
  "What's so funny?" April asked.
  "Nothing!" he said as he stifled a laugh.
  Jeff sighed as he noticed his cousin Steve and their friend Greg coming up towards them. "Hey guys, how'd Ben do?"
  "Not bad, considering he wiped out near the end!" Greg said with a laugh.
  "You gotta admit, that was one brutal wave." Steve added. "Oh well, he did a lot better than most of the other contestants."
    "And now, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! We've got a special treat for you all today!" a voice said through a megaphone. "Our final surfing competitor for the day. That hero on the half-shell, Michaelangelo of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!!!"
      Everyone applauded loudly as Mikey bowed to the crowd before he grabbed his board and went into the water. Before long he was up on the board and riding the wave. He let out a triumphant "COWABUNGAAAAA!!!" as he passed the judges.
  Raphael and Mona Lisa arrived just in time to see this. "Way to go, bro!" Raph said as he and his girlfriend cheered.
    Ten minutes later, the judges handed out the awards. A tall blonde girl was given third place prize, which was a $20 gift certificate to a local mall outlet while Ben received second prize: a free para-sailing boat ride. Michaelangelo came in first, his reward being dinner for four at Grotto's Pizza!
  The other Turtles and April congratulated Mikey for winning as Jeff patted him on the shell. As soon as the excitement died down, Raphael tapped Leo on the shoulder and pointed his thumb at Mona Lisa.
  Leonardo nodded as he stretched out his arms. "Hey, I think I'm going to check out the taffy shop. April, would you and Mona Lisa care to join me?"
  "Sounds good to me." April replied.
  "Sure, why not?"
  "You dudes have fun. I'm going to bask in my adoring public!" Michaelangelo said as he ran back towards the swarm of young beach-goers.
  Donatello and Jeff headed off with Raphael towards the boardwalk. "So what's this big surprise you got, dude?"
  "Can I tell him, or would you like to do the honor?" Don asked his brother.
  "Be my guest."
  "Raphael wants to propose to Mona Lisa."
  "Holy shit! Are you kidding me?" Jeff said out loud as his eye caught sight of Andrea and Angela both in very attractive bathing suits.
  "Hey Jeff, what's up?"
  "Um, not too much, um..." Jeff couldn't tell which twin was which and he didn't want to embarrass himself.
  "Are you up for another volleyball game? Andrea's boyfriend is coming with the net soon." Angela spoke.
  Jeff made a mental note that Angela was wearing a light blue flower pattern while Andrea was wearing black. "Oh sure. Just give me a moment here. I promised Raph I'd lend him some money for an engagement ring."
  "Actually, I'm buying Mona Lisa a necklace."
  "Awww!!!" the twins replied.
  "That's so sweet!" Andrea added. "Who's Mona Lisa though?"
  "I'll explain on the way back to the beach." Jeff answered as he handed Raph the money. "Don't get nervous, buddy!"
  "Tell that to the butterflies in my stomach." Raph remarked.
    Ten minutes later, Donatello and Raphael were back at the jewelry shop searching for the right necklace to give Mona Lisa. "Hurry up, Raphael. People are staring at us!"
  "Cool it, Donnie! I can't really make up my mind here."
  "You shopping for someone special?" a young girl behind the counter asked.
  "Uh, yea. I'm looking for something that says Please marry me, because I'm a total sucker for brunette haired lizards!"
    The girl giggled. "Oh right. I saw you with that girl the other day window shopping here. I have just the thing for you." she said as she showed Raphael to the counter where there was a beautiful looking string necklace with a tiny seashell in the center. "What do you think?"
  "It's perfect!" Raphael said as he looked at the price tag. The necklace had been marked down from $40 to $20.
  An hour later Donatello and Raphael made their way back to the hotel where Mona Lisa and April were sitting and talking. "Mona Lisa, can I-" Raph's voice squeaked as he composed himself. "Can I have a word with you?"
  Don took April by the arm and lead her out towards the pool area. "What's going on, Donatello?"
  "He's about to pop the question, April."
  "Question? What que-" April gasped. "You mean Raphael's going to-"
  Donatello nodded excitedly.
    Raphael got down on one knee and presented her a paper bag. "This is the best they could give me. Anyway, it's what's inside that matters. Mona Lisa, I've really grown fond of you over the last few years and we had some good times. I'm ready to take this relationship to the next step."
  "Oh, Raphael!" Mona Lisa said as she gazed at the beautiful seashell necklace.
  "Will you marry me?"
  "Yes!" she said tearfully. "Yes, I'll marry you!" she giggled as Raphael scooped her up in his arms and kissed her.
    Leonardo entered the room with his turtle comm in his hand. "Sure, Master Splinter. I'll bring home some fudge for you. I- hold on a minute. Hey guys, what's up?" he said as he noticed the necklace in Mona Lisa's hand.
  "Leo, just the turtle I wanted to see!" Raphael said as he plopped Mona Lisa down on a bed and proceeded to put his arm around his brother's shoulder. "I just asked Mona Lisa to marry me and I was wondering if you'd like to be the best man!"
  "Are-are you kidding me?" Leo said.
  "I had a feeling this would happen eventually." Splinter said over the turtle comm. "Congratulations are in order the moment you return home!"
    The following day, Jeff decided to spend time with his cousin and their friend Greg, while the Turtles spent the day at the beach with Mona Lisa and April. "Ah, another sunny day here in Jersey!"
  "You said it, Miss O' Neil!" Mona Lisa said as the two of them sat back in their chairs under an umbrella and each took a bottle of water out of the cooler. "Hey, Donatello, you thirsty?"
  "No, I'm good. Besides I want to finish working on the retro-catapult before the guys get back from the snack bar." the turtle said as he held up a wrench.
  "I'm surprised the lifeguards allowed him to bring that thing to the beach." April said to Mona Lisa.
    Just then Leonardo, Michaelangelo and Raphael showed up. "Yo, dudettes. Sorry we took so long, but the place was packed!" Mikey said as he took a bite out of his pizza. "Oh, sorry Raph. I almost forgot to offer you a bite."
  "That's okay, Michaelangelo. I'm just gonna enjoy this hot dog I got. Leo, I'm still surprised all you got was a soda!"
  "I wasn't in the mood to eat. I want to save my appetite for Grotto's tonight."
  "Oh, for sure! It's going to be a most epic occasion! Hey April, I hope you don't mind paying for yourself and Mona Lisa."
  "Not a problem, Mikey! I think it's very sweet of you to share your prize meal with your brothers."
  "Hey Donnie, come on over here and join your brothers! I want to take a picture." Mona Lisa said as she held out her camera.
        "Give me a minute. I'm just about to test this thing." Donatello replied as he strapped on what looked like a parachute pack. "Okay, wish me luck." he said as he got into the small platform and pulled a lever. The catapult flung him thirty feet into the air and he pulled the string of the parachute. The parachute had the Turtles' logo painted over it, casting a shadow over them as he drifted down towards them. "Look out below!"
  Mona Lisa couldn't resist the opportunity as she aimed her camera at the other three Turtles and said "Smile!" and snapped the shot just seconds before Don hit the ground.
  "Awesome landing, bro!" Mikey said just before the parachute fell over himself and Raphael.
  "You spoke too soon, Michaelangelo." Raph griped as he struggled to pull the parachute off. "I hope you're not planning to sell that thing as a kiddy ride, Donatello!"
  "Of course not, Raphael. I just wanted to work on it while I had some down time."
  "You never know, guys. It might come in handy if we're ever up against Shredder again!" Leonardo mentioned.
    "Come on, it's been over a year now since we saw that metal faced menace! As far as I'm concerned, he's gone for good and we can get on with our lives!" Raphael said as he walked over to Mona Lisa. "And I can't think of anyone better to share mine with."
  "Oh, that's sweet of you!" Mona Lisa replied as she got up and hugged him. "Can I have a bite of your hot dog there?"
  "Of course you can, sweetheart!"
  "I'm going for a swim." April said as she removed her shirt and shorts, revealing a very sexy looking yellow bikini.
  "Uh, you know what? I'm, um... I think I'll join you!" Don said as he pulled off the parachute harness and ran with her into the water.
  "Boy, it seems like everyone's got a girl now." Leonardo said.
  "Atleast Mona Lisa and Lotus Blossom live in this world! My girlfriend is all the way in Dimension X." Michaelangelo said glumly.
  "Hey, you'll see Kala again. I bet she's been thinking about you too!"
    "Yea, maybe. Though I have to admit, there were also some nice girls at North Penn I considered going out with. But then I thought their parents might not be too keen on the idea of me as their daughter's date. Jeff on the other hand has got a bunch of babes for friends! Lucky dude." Mikey said with a chuckle. "I hope he and Steve are having a good time."
  "I'm sure they are, Michaelangelo." Leonardo assured his brother as he put his drink down near the cooler. "Come on, lets play some Frisbee!"
  "Mondo notion, dude!" Michaelangelo said as he scarfed his pizza in about eight bites.
        Over the next couple of days Jeff and Michaelangelo bid farewell to several former classmates as they embarked for the journey back home to prepare for their futures. It soon dawned on Mikey and Jeff that they too had some decisions awaiting them. Jeff already knew he was planning to attend Montgomery County Community College, but he wasn't sure what classes he wanted to take. He was definitely sure about going into digital art. "If that doesn't work out for me, maybe I'll try something in multi-media. You know, like video projects." he said one day as he shared a funnel cake with his friend.
  "Yea, that'd be mondo cool!" Michaelangelo replied. "Hey maybe we can film Raphael and Mona Lisa's wedding and then edit it."
  "Not a bad idea!" Jeff said as they headed towards the photo shop where Raphael and Mona Lisa had been waiting an hour to get her pictures developed. "So, how'd they come out?"
    "Not too bad, I got some great shots of the party Greg threw over the weekend. Oh, here's that picture I took of you guys on the beach the day after Raphael proposed!" she said as she showed them the picture.
  "Aw man, that's funny! You should've snapped another one when the parachute fell on top of us!" Mikey joked.
  "Yea, that would've been funny, but I was too busy laughing!" Mona Lisa replied.
  "Well, we'd better head back to the hotel and finish packing up. Leo wants to get on the road by 6:00!" Raphael explained.
  "I hope he's up for the drive home." Mona Lisa said.
  "Oh, I'm sure he is! It's only a two and a half hour trip." Jeff remarked. "It sure was a good week though."
  "Yea, and like we'll all have fond memories to look back on!" Michaelangelo added, smiling.

artwork by reivax, aka AmericanZero


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