Toad just doesn't want to go to sleep and the Brotherhood has the thankless task of trying to get him to go to bed.
Bedtime for Toad
"HE DRANK HOW MUCH?!"
Lance looked in disbelief at the dozen or so discarded soft drink cans littering the living room. "How could you let him do this? Why weren't you watching him?"
Lance glared at Fred, who was looking sheepishly at his feet. "Well, I uh...was on the computer and uh...I was uh...downloading stuff."
"You mean recipes. You were on one of those cooking show websites again weren't you?"
"Aw, I can't help it Lance! The food they have looks so good and there are so many recipes and some of them even have videos on how to cook them and stuff and I'm so sorry man, how was I supposed to know what was going on? I didn't hear anything. I didn't know this could happen! Honest!"
Lance and Pietro looked around the room. In addition to the soft drink cans there was toilet paper and silly string all around them. "Freddy," Lance said sternly. "We left you alone with the Toad for a reason. The reason was to prevent this!"
"Can't you just download porn like everyone else?" Pietro snapped. "It's faster."
Lance picked up one of the cans. "Ultimate Jolt Cola," He read aloud. "120 % caffeine in every can. Why do we even have something like this around here? Who bought this?"
"Well, I'm not naming names," said Fred. He whistled and pointed at Pietro who gave him a very angry look.
"Note to self, no longer allow Pietro to go anywhere near the supermarket unless it's an absolute emergency!" Lance sighed.
"Speaking of emergencies, what do we do about him?" Fred pointed to Todd.
They all looked at Todd running around making racecar noises. "It's the final lap of the Toad Grand Prix!" He shouted happily. "And in the lead is Toad Andretti breaking all sorts of track records! And now he's in the final turn for the loop de loop!"
Lance groaned as he watched Todd hop onto the ceiling and down again, somersaulting all over the place. "Where's the duct tape?"
"We're out," Fred said.
"Oh isn't that just wonderful," Lance put his head in his hands.
"And crossing the finish line and breaking the lamp is Toad! And the crowd cheers! Yay!"
"Do we still have the net?"
"But wait! All of the sudden killer shadow death ninjas break in and steal the trophy! And now the Toad is fighting them! Kee-awww!"
"Um, it's got holes in it. Big ones."
"And now the ninjas are running in terror! They try to flee but they can't get away! The Terrible Toad is too powerful!"
"Got any rope?"
"And now the ninjas have sent in the killer cyborgs from Mars! Attack!"
"What happened to it?"
"They've got the Toad on the ropes, but wait! Now he transforms to Super Toad! Ta Da!"
"I think we lost it in one of the fights with the X-Geeks."
"LOOK OUT! IT'S THE MUTANT POLICE!" Todd yelled happily at the top of his lungs. He raced around the house making siren noises.
"Okay, guys we really need to get a straightjacket around here and this time I'm serious," Lance said as he held his head in his hands.
"Well we gotta calm him down somehow," Fred said.
"We could simply knock him out," Lance said.
"Yeah and then he'll be even more hyper when he wakes up," Pietro pointed out. "And he'll wanna take it out on us."
"How 'bout we give him a bath?" Pietro asked.
Immediately Lance and Fred turned white. "Okay, since I am rarely ever gonna have a chance to say this, I will," Fred said. "HAVE YOU LOST WHAT THERE IS OF YOUR TINY LITTLE MIND?"
"Do you have amnesia or something?" Lance groaned. "That's gotta be it! Don't you remember what happened the last time we tried that? I still have nightmares about it!"
"Well, I read somewhere that a soothing lavender bath makes babies sleepy. We could try that with him," Pietro pointed to Todd who was still running around making siren noises.
"Fine Pietro, you do that!" Lance said. "Just tell us what you would like written on your tombstone!"
"Toad wouldn't do that."
"I'm talking about us if you think we're gonna go through that again!" Lance snapped.
"I got some different kinds of cologne this time!" Pietro said. "We could splash that on him afterwards to counteract the smell."
"Pietro! No!" Lance groaned.
"Come on, he needs a bath. We need to try to do something to get rid of the smell around the house anyway."
"Okay, Pietro you're frightening me," Lance said.
"Well, I say anything to try and calm him down!"
"How about warm milk?" Fred suggested.
"Why not?" Lance sighed. "It's worth a try. Pietro, grab the Toad while Fred and I get some milk ready."
Pietro shrugged and looked around for Todd. "Now where oh where has that little frog gone?" He wondered aloud. "Oh where oh where can he be? Small and stinky and a lot of trouble, oh where oh where can he be?"
He whistled a little jingle as he searched. "Not in his room, or in any of ours. Hmmm...I'll check the basement."
He zipped downstairs. To his surprise was Todd barely sitting on top of a wildly rocking laundry machine. "Whee! Yeeeah! Ride 'em Cow Toad!"
"What are you doing?"
"The laundry! Whoa! I thought of this great way to do the clothes and have some fun! Wow!"
"Toad!" Pietro said. "Let me try!"
"Hop on!" Todd said as Pietro joined him. "Great isn't it!"
"Whoa! Man this is cool! It's like having your own private roller coaster or something!" Pietro howled with glee. "How did you get it like this?"
"I souped up the motor a while back. At least I think it was the motor. Oh and this is the best part! Whoa! Quickie! Hand me that detergent stuff will you?"
Meanwhile back upstairs Lance was still trying to clean up the living room. Finally he looked around and threw the stuff he collected back on the floor. "Forget it. Freddy, how's that milk coming?"
"I can't get it to get warm. Maybe I should turn up the temperature or something?"
"Or something yeah," Lance sighed. He'd been doing a lot of that lately. He heard wild laughter and giggling from the basement. "Uh oh. What are they doing?"
"Knowing those two, nothing good," Fred frowned as he stirred the milk some more.
Lance sighed and resigned himself to his fate. He went downstairs to the basement. "Okay, what are you two up to now?"
He looked down at his feet. There were soapy bubbles all over the floor. He looked at the scene. The washer was overflowing with bubbles and Todd and Pietro were happily playing with the suds.
"Well I see you figured out how to give the Toad a bath," Lance said to Pietro.
"This is fun!" Todd laughed as he rolled around in the bubbles.
"Just good clean fun!" Pietro blew some of the suds at him. Lance winced.
"Okay you two, that's enough. I should have known better than to send you Pietro to calm him down," Lance sighed. "Toad why don't you get ready for bed while Freddy..."
Lance sniffed smoke in the air. "Burns down the house," He grumbled as he raced upstairs.
"FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!" Fred shouted. Pietro and Todd raced into the kitchen. There they saw Lance using a fire extinguisher on the kitchen drapes.
"YAY! Lance go! Go!" Todd cheered him on. Soon half the kitchen was covered with foam.
"Uh fire's out," Fred said sheepishly, holding a charred pot.
"How could you burn milk?" Lance shouted as he waved smoke from his face. He grabbed the pot and threatened to hit Fred with it.
"Give me a break, I'm not that good at cooking!" Fred told him.
"Yeah, eating food is more your specialty," Pietro smirked.
"Hey lookit all the foam! Wheee!" Todd played with it, throwing some of it into the air.
"Well that certainly calmed him down," Pietro snickered.
"I am not cleaning this up," Lance groaned.
"Don't have to now that Mystique's gone," Fred pointed out.
"Good point," Lance agreed. "Well, now that you've cleaned up Toad, go get ready for bed."
"Okay!" Todd happily hopped upstairs.
"Hey, he actually did it!" Pietro was impressed. "He listened to you!"
"Don't celebrate yet," Lance sighed. "He's still not asleep He might be up to something."
"Yeah we still better wind him down a little," Fred said. "And Pietro to for that matter."
"Hey!" Pietro stuck out his tongue.
"Hey guys!" Todd shouted from on top of the stairs. "Can we watch the late show?"
"Television!" Lance said to himself. "Why didn't I think of that? Sure Toad, come on down!"
"Yeah, let's watch the Tonight Show!" Fred said.
"No way, Letterman's cooler!" Pietro said.
"Tonight Show!" Fred argued.
"Letterman!" Pietro retorted.
"Hold it!" Lance shouted. "Let's be fair about this. Why don't we let Toad choose?"
"Fine with me," Pietro said.
Todd hopped down wearing a soft blue set of pajamas. "I'm ready!"
"Okay Toad, tonight it's your choice," Pietro told him. "So what do you wanna watch. Letterman right?"
"No he want's to watch the Tonight Show!" Fred said as they went to the couch.
"Don't bully him Blob! He wants to watch Letterman!"
"No he doesn't! He wants to watch the Tonight Show!"
"Guys!" Lance pleaded, handing the channel changer to Todd. "Toad you pick whatever you want!"
"I wanna watch this!" Todd chirped happily as he turned the TV on. The others looked in amazement.
"Robot Wars?" Lance asked.
"Cool!" Fred nodded his head.
"Good choice Toad!" Pietro agreed.
For a good while the boys cheered on the destruction on the television. However, when the show was over it occurred to Lance and the others that watching robots pulverize each other may not have been the wisest viewing choice.
"All right! Yeah! More! More!" Todd hopped up and down on the couch.
"Toad it's after midnight!" Lance groaned.
"I'm not tired!" Todd protested. "Hey! Let's play Monopoly again!"
"No!" Lance shouted. "That's it! It's time for all good little tadpoles to hop into bed, now hop!"
"Aw, stop treating me like a little kid! I'm not tired! I wanna sit up with you some more. Come on Lance play with me!" Todd made his eyes really big and innocent looking.
"What do you want me to do? Read you a story?"
"Oh yeah! Story!" Fred excitedly clapped his hands together. Lance and Pietro gave him a look. "Well I want a story," Fred made a face.
"Oh brother," Lance rolled his eyes.
"Aw come on I want a story!" Fred pouted. "A nice story! Pleeese!"
"I'll tell you guys a story!" Pietro brightened.
"This I gotta hear," Todd said as they all went upstairs.
"Okay," Pietro said. "There was once a group of mutants called the X-Geeks. They were mean and bossy and led by a jerk who could shoot spikes out of..."
"Okay hold it right there," Todd stopped him. "If this is one of your 'Pietro is Perfect' stories, I don't wanna hear about it!"
"None of us wanna hear about it!" Lance said.
"Fine!" Pietro sulked. "Fine, I'll tell you another story. Once upon a time there was a lovesick loon named Lance who was hopelessly in love with a little ditz named Kitty who spent all her time climbing trees!"
"Watch it Pietro!" Lance growled as the others laughed.
"One day Lance decided he wanted a picture of Kitty. So he thought and thought and thought some more. Then he decided to try to take a picture of her in the girl's locker."
"Unfortunately he didn't realize that a certain evil shape shifting principal got wind of his plan and..."
"That's enough!" Lance began chasing him around unsuccessfully. Finally Lance said, "Not another word Pietro or I will tell them a story about a little boy who had a little 'accident' while he was sleeping at a certain friend's house when he was..."
"Okay time for bed!" Pietro interrupted. "Come on Toad, hop to bed. Hop! Hop! Hop!" He pushed Todd inside his room.
"Aw..." Todd groaned as he reluctantly allowed Pietro to tuck him in.
"Night. Night, Toddy. Sleep tight and don't bite all the bedbugs," Pietro chuckled as he patted him on the head. Todd gave him a look but settled down. Pietro turned out the light. The rest of the Brotherhood went to their respective rooms to sleep.
"Guys," Todd called out to them from his room. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight Toad," Lance sighed falling into bed.
"Goodnight Lance. Goodnight Freddy."
"Night Toad. Goodnight Lance,"
"Goodnight Pietro. Goodnight Lance. Goodnight Toad."
"You already said goodnight Toad!"
"Do you always have to have the last word in Pietro?"
"Yes. Goodnight Lance. Goodnight Toad. Goodnight Fred."
"Goodnight," Lance moaned. "Now will you let me sleep?"
"Nighty-Night!" Fred giggled.
"Goodnight," Pietro laughed.
"Aw for crying...Will you guys shut up!"
"Goodnight Lance!" All three laughed at the same time.
"AGGGHHH! Fine! Goodnight Smelly Little Hyper Frog Boy! Goodnight Can't Even Cook Milk Without Burning Down the House Blobbo! Goodnight Hyperactive Insane Impatient Egotistical Lunatic! Goodnight!"
"Goodnight Mr. Cranky Sullen Rebel Without A Clue Hopelessly in Love with Kitty."
"Pietro shut up!"
"Come in here and make me!"
"I'm too tired to do it now. Remind me to pound you in the morning."
"Told ya you couldn't make me!"
"Yes I can, I am just too tired. Now go to sleep."
"Ha! Make me!"
"Pietro shut up!" Fred shouted.
"No! I'm going to sing now. La! La! La! Greased Lighting! Go Greased Lighting!"
"Do you want me to pound you Pietro?" Fred sighed.
"Please do," Lance groaned.
"La! La! La! La! You can't make me shut up!" Pietro sang defiantly.
"I could if we weren't out of duct tape," Lance told him.
"La! La! La!"
"Pietro we just went through all of this with Toad!" Lance moaned.
"La! La! La!"
"Pietro..." Lance warned, his voice starting to sound dangerous.
"La! La! Greased Lightning! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!"
"Yeah go, please," Fred tried to cover his ears with pillows.
"Hey Toad!" Lance shouted. "Wanna hear another story? Once upon a time there were four mutants who shared a house together. One of them was a white haired speed demon lunatic who kept them up all night with his stupid singing. So one night the other three mutants got together and beat him to a pulp and mailed his remains to Timbuktu! And they all lived happily ever after! The End! What do you think of that Toad? Toad?"
Silence. "Toad?" Lance called. "I know you're still awake. Toad?"
"Little buddy?" Fred asked. "Maybe he's asleep?"
"Not likely. Pietro go check on him."
"You're the one who wants to stay up. Why don't you sing to him?"
"Okay," Pietro got up from his bed and went to Todd's room. He knocked on the door. "Hey Toad! Wanna Lullaby? Toad?"
Lance listened as Pietro opened the door. Nothing. "He's gone isn't he?" Lance sighed.
"Oh yeah, he went out the window," Pietro said casually.
"I knew it!" Lance groaned as he got out of bed. "I knew he was being way too cooperative! I knew it!"
"He's getting smarter," Pietro said. He zipped all around the house. "He's not here!"
"Check outside, he couldn't have gotten far!" Lance ordered.
"I can't find him," Pietro reported after a full minute's speed search.
"We better go after him," Fred said. "He's so little. No telling what trouble he'll get into."
"Oh just let him go!" Lance grumbled. "I'm tired and tomorrow's Saturday. It's not like it's a school night or anything. If he does get in trouble it would serve him right for sneaking out on us!"
"But Lance," Pietro began.
"In the morning!" Lance ordered. Reluctantly they went to bed. The next morning they found Todd on the living room couch sound asleep. He didn't seem to be hurt. In fact he was asleep with a smile on his face.
"Hmm," Pietro looked at him. "Wonder what time he got in? Hey what's that on the table?"
They stared at it. "I think it's one of those garden gnomes," Fred said. "Where did he get it?"
"I wonder what he did," Pietro said.
"I dunno, but it looks like he had a real good time," Lance said shaking Todd. "Hey! Toad! Wake up! Wakey-wakey! Rise and shine!"
"Ohhhhh," Todd groaned. "Just a few more minutes..."
"Come on, time to get up, up, up Toad!" Pietro said.
Todd looked at them with bleary eyes. "So what did you do?" Lance asked him.
"Come on, we know you Toad. What kind of trouble did you get into?"
"Did you go over to the X-Geeks?" Fred asked.
"Nope, uh uh," Todd shook his head. He gave a big smile. "Definitely not the X-Geeks! He! He!"
"Well then where did you get your little friend here?" Lance put his hand on the gnome. Todd responded with maniacal laughter. This made them very nervous.
"Uh, Lance," Pietro said. "Maybe we're better off not knowing."
"Okay be that way," Lance said. "Let's just get something to eat."
None of the Brotherhood asked Todd about his little adventure that night for the rest of the weekend. When Monday came, during announcements...
"This is Principal Kelly speaking. I am speaking to the sick, demented individuals who vandalized my garden and threw toilet paper all over my house! I know one of you did it. If you don't turn yourselves in when I find out which one of you lunatics is responsible I will throw the book at you! I don't know what kind of stuff you put on my lawn, but it is without a doubt the most fowl smelling ...slime I have ever seen. This kind of vandalism shall not be tolerated! Which reminds me, I want my garden gnome back! Which one of you did it? Who? Who?"
In homeroom Todd smiled to himself and put on his most innocent look.