Fourth Intermission

Cabbage Patch

Casey had a nasty gash on her thigh that throbbed every other minute. Leo had taken one look at it when she came hobbling in from a rescue mission and told her, “You’re on bedrest, Jones.” He then proceeded to stitch the wound closed, all the while telling her everything she couldn’t do until she properly healed. Thankfully, his bedside manner was good enough that he offered his belt for her to bite on while he patched her up. It also stopped her from arguing with the medic. She knew why he was so thorough in his explanations.

Casey Jones was a bad patient.

She was stubborn. She fought Leo and Donnie on everything. She never listened to their orders for resting from an injury.

The list could go on and on.

But this injury was different.

Junior shifted against her side. He was playing with her left hand, head resting on her chest. He was about five now, growing slower than most kids she knew before the apocalypse. She tried not to let that worry her. Instead she smoothed his hair back and pressed a kiss to his crown. He made a little noise–it reminded her of Mikey’s chirps–as he looked up at her.

“Mama,” he started, a silent question.

She pulled him closer. “Yes, my little champion?”

“Where do babies come from?”

Casey froze. “Why are you asking?”

Junior went back to tracing the lines on Casey’s palm, eyes following his fingers. “Professor Donatello was teaching me biology–”

Casey was going to throttle that turtle–

“He said that babies have three hundred bones in their bodies.” He ran his finger along her wrist. “And when they grow up their bones fuse together so there’s only two hundred and six. I asked him how babies are made because I’m the only kid around here.” He wrinkled his nose despite the fact that it was him he called a child. “He got all weird. Said he wasn’t qualified to answer that. Doesn’t he know everything?”

“Purple knows a lot,” Casey got out through gritted teeth. “It’s just that you shouldn’t have to worry about where babies come from.”

Junior hummed, seemingly content with that answer since he didn’t say anything else. Casey relaxed, not noticing until then that she’d been tense. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that her son was a curious little shit. The moment he knew something, it was only a matter of time before he was sitting down with someone to fill up their day by asking them questions. Typically, it was Donnie that answered Junior’s queries but Casey couldn’t exactly blame the scientist for bailing hard on this topic.

Suddenly, Junior shifted, letting go of his mother’s hand to kneel beside her. “You wanna hear my theory?”

Of course, she sighed internally. He just wanted to talk about his idea of how things worked. That was usually how it went. He learned something new and spent an hour talking her and Raph’s ears off. She smiled. “Sure, kid.”

“Okay, so there’s this factory–”

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