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Feelings Are Destructive - Exposure, Raphael

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The next morning was tense. Too tense. You had spent 15 minutes in the bathroom, just trying to cover the dark purple bruises around your neck. You didn't have any turtleneck sweaters with you, much less any make up that was going to work. If possible, the green skin you now had made the bruises more... violently noticeable. Your skin seemed more delicate, especially when it came to bruising. The smallest little bangs would have a few little spots of bruising on your skin now. You sighed and closed your eyes, listening as the brothers woke up. 

You hadn't gotten much sleep last night. Between flashes of heat and anger at memories of Raph, and your little conversation with Mikey... 

Mikey brought you back into the lair, shooting Leo a look when he came up curiously. He paused, taken aback at the look on the youngest brothers' face and let you pass. He ushered you into the library and slipped away, returning with a pack of frozen peas and a bottle of water. He tossed you the bottle and pointed at the beanbag chair. You lowered yourself down, still shaky. Mikey handed you the peas and knelt down in front of you, staring at you intensely. 

"Want me to kill him?" 

You spluttered a laugh, laughing a little harder than the feeble joke probably warranted, but relieved that the ice was broken. You shook your head and tentatively pressed the frozen peas to your swollen neck. It hurt to even swallow - you hadn't realized how hard he had choked you before.. 

"What happened up there?" Mikey asked, his voice uncharacteristically soft. 

You shook your head, trying to collect your thoughts for a moment, but Mikey let out an irritated grunt, "Just tell me what he did. I know that he was out of line - he's always like this, but that's no excuse. It's one thing when it's with us - we're used to it and we can fight back. You--" 

Your eyes narrowed, "I can hold my own," You snapped, cutting him off. 

Mikey lifted his hands in surrender, "Hey, hey, that's not what I was going to say. I was going to say that you didn't deserve whatever bullshit he decided to hit on you. Yeah, you can hold your own, but the truth is that he's way stronger than you are, and he's used to fighting dirty. Raphie doesn't do rules." 

You glanced over to the doorway, where you could just see a green shoulder. You had no idea who it was, but you could have sworn that you saw a peek of blue fabric. Mikey was too intent on talking with you to notice that you were being listened to. You stayed silent and turned your attention back to the orange masked turtle, whose face was twisted in concern and anger. You had never seen Mikey like this, and it was quite a jarring difference between his normally upbeat and annoying self. You decided that he wouldn't make a good enemy. 

Nibbling the inside of your cheek, you spoke, voice raw, "We got into a fight. I told him to calm down, and he exploded. You know what he's like. I got my back up and should have left him alone, but..." 

"He got under your skin," Mikey finished, voice firm. 

You nodded. You didn't want to tell him about the accusations made, and you definitely didn't want him (Or Leo for that matter) knowing that what Mikey had stumbled upon was something other than a fight. Thankfully, after only another few seconds of piercing staring, Mikey seemed to relent. He leaned backwards, gaze clearing a fraction and eyes softening. 

"You're gonna have a wicked bruise tomorrow, kid," He said, voice a little lighter now. 

You laughed a little bit, and he continued, "Go and see Don. He isn't asleep yet. And then get some sleep, yeah?" 

You grinned crookedly at him, "Alrightie, doctor Mike." 

He grinned at you and stood, wishing you a goodnight and leaving. Whether Leo was still there or not, you weren't sure - they didn't stop to speak in the doorway. You sat silently for a few moments, before deciding you should hit the hay. You didn't want to bother Don this late, nor did you want to explain what had happened again, so you just stood and made your way towards your room. As you walked out, you heard someone come back into the lair. You looked over and for a moment, your eyes locked with Raph. You paused, then walked towards the kitchen, passing him without a word. You opened the freezer and tossed the peas back, and turned, locking eyes with Raph again. For a moment, he looked like he was going to say something, but his jaw shut with a snap, and he walked past you. 

It was going to be a pretty awkward morning, that was for sure. You finished up in the bathroom and slipped unnoticed back to your bedroom. You changed into a pair of yoga pants and a tank top, pulling one of your sweaters on and wrapping it around your body, trying to scrunch as much of the fabric around your neck as possible without being conspicuous. Then, you walked into the kitchen. 

Splinter and Leatherhead sat at the table, sipping hot coffee and chatting softly. They turned and greeted you with a smile and a, "good morning," which you returned pleasantly. You weren't hungry, you realized as you neared the counter. You eyed the tea, contemplating, but the silence was broken as the brothers filed into the kitchen. Mikey stretched and yawned, loudly wishing everyone a good morning. Donnie rubbed sleep from his eyes, mask still off and dark circles under his eyes. Leonardo was prim and proper as usual, greeting you first with a small smile, eyes flickering to your neck. Raphael, of course, didn't miss this and scowled over at you. You knew immediately that his mood hadn't lightened any. Great. 

You turned and started the coffee pot (It was a Keurig - you had never used one before but now wondered why the hell you hadn't started, even though you weren't a coffee person). After brewing yourself some quick French Vanilla coffee, you sweetened it to your liking and walked over to the couch, curling up at one end and staring at the wall unseeingly. Just as you were wondering if you would be able to slip back to your room to read a bit, Mikey sat beside you, nudging a muffin into your free hand. You tried to thank him and return it, saying you weren't hungry, but at a stern look from the other, you sighed and took it. 

"How are you feeling?" He asked, staring at your neck. 

You shrugged, and at the persistent staring, you sighed and pulled the fabric down a little. You knew that it was bad, but you still felt uncomfortable when his hands tightened around his coffee and his usually bright expression darkened. You quickly pulled the sweater close to your neck again, shaking your head pointedly at him and taking a sip of coffee. 

"I'm fine," You said, your voice still a little croaky. 

It honestly felt like you had a cold - your throat was swollen and thick, and it hurt to swallow. Hot stuff seemed to soothe it, though, so you took another, longer swig. Mikey opened his mouth to say anything, but clamped it shut when Raph threw himself down on the other end of the couch. He didn't look over at you, just took a loud sip of coffee (unnecessarily loud, in your opinion) and put his feet on the table. You could see Leatherhead's gaze linger on the feet, and you stifled a little smile. 

Breakfast was tense. Everyone seemed to feel it - Donnie and Leo kept staring at you, Mikey and Raph. Splinter and Leatherhead were tense, almost like they were expecting a bomb to go off. Raphael was still eating and drinking obnoxiously loud, and Mikey was sitting awkwardly, pursing his lips and looking around. After one more disgustingly loud sip, you let out a growl of annoyance.

"Do you really have to do that?" You thundered, glaring at Raph. 

Mikey stiffened and looked between the two of you - Splinter and Leatherhead were statues, and Donnie and Leo inched off of their chairs, just in case. Raph raised his eyes to you and slowly, deliberately, took another loud ass sip.

"Oh my GOD," You shouted, thrusting your muffin and cold coffee at Mikey and standing, hands falling from your sweater, "You are the literal DEVIL." 

Raphael opened his mouth, sneering, but his eyes lingered on your neck and he let out an odd, huffing sound. He deflated. You hurriedly wrapped the sweater around yourself again and sighed, walking towards the hall. 

"I'm sorry. I didn't get much sleep. I'll just... take a nap. Wake me up in a few hours so I can get some training in before we head out tonight." As you turned, you heard a chair scrape. 

Leo stood and walked over to you, staring in concealed alarm at your neck, "Are you alright?" He asked, obviously trying to reign himself in a little bit. 

Raphael scoffed from the couch and you snapped your head in his direction, shooting daggers at him, "What the hell's your problem?" you snapped before you could stop yourself. 

Raphael turned slowly to look at you, gave a pointed look at Leo (who stood there, lost) and chuffed, standing and taking his cup to the sink, "Nothin'. I'm goin' out." 

You let out a loud, aggressive boom of laughter that made even Raph paused and look over at you warily, "Yeah, of course you are. Try not to get us caught, okay, meat head?" 

Raph opened his mouth to snap back at you, but Leo turned and scowled at him, "Let it go." 

"Don' you dare start," Raphael growled, his voice low. 

Leo stiffened, "What do you mean, start? I'm trying to get you to calm down. We have a mission to do tonight - we're all restless. Just keep-" 

"Shut up, Leo," Raphael spit, glaring at you while he was talking. 

Leo blinked, wondering where all of this sudden venom came from, and looked over at you as the hot headed turtle stormed out of the lair. Splinter sipped his coffee, staring pointedly at the table. Donnie was twiddling his fingers, staring at Leatherhead. An unspoken agreement passed between the two of them, and they disappeared with a murmured, "Fix up that spider, hey?" Mikey munched on your muffin, staring at you quietly. You met Leo's gaze and shook your head. A headache was forming between your eyes. You just needed to try and get some sleep. 

"Wake me up in a bit, okay?" Leo opened his mouth like he was going to try and argue, but you shook your head, surprised to find that you were close to tears, "Please?" 

Leo's gaze flickered to your neck, to your face, and then he turned back to the door. He stiffened. You took that moment to retire to your bedroom, biting the inside of your cheek. Closing the door behind you, you let out a soft sigh, shed your sweater (it was too warm for it, anyways) and tossed yourself onto your bed. Thankfully, you fell asleep only a few moments later. Unthankfully, your dreams decided to become particularly nasty.  

~~

Raphael slammed you against the billboard, his face inches from yours. This was a familiar scene, only this time, the script wavered from what it had been. Raphael didn't taunt you, wasn't really angry.. he slammed your lips together, the anger and passion taking your breath away. He rammed his leg in-between your thighs, forcing them apart, and he was inside of you before you had time to think. (You weren't wearing clothes...? Well, dream logic couldn't be considered rational.) 

You let out a strangled yell as he filled you, your nerves on fire and your body shuddering from the surprise. Without a moment to let you recuperate, he starting thrusting into you, one hand around your throat and the other digging into your hip, his face buried in your shoulder. He let out a grunt and his hand slipped from your throat, cupping your breast so tight it almost hurt. Almost. Tears stung your eyes and you let out a strangled gasp, clinging onto him as hard as you could, scared that if you let go of him for only a second, you would crumble and blow away in the wind. 

Raphael pulled back and stared into your face, his eyes intense and full of... you. You let out a strangled yell and came hard, back arching as you threw your head back against the billboard, nails raking across his arms. 

"Raphael," you whimpered. 

~~

"_______!" 

You were being shaken awake. You shot up, eyes wild and body tingling, warmth sitting between your legs. You had fallen asleep face down into your pillow, still dressed from before. Leo stood over you, staring at you in alarm. You flushed, choking a little as you tried to find your voice. He knelt down, mistaking your flushed skin and shaking limbs for fear. 

"Hey, you're alright. You're alright. Just breathe." His eyes swam with concern, and you looked away, embarrassed.

This felt so wrong. Waking up from a dream like that, (what the hell, first of all, second of all, what the hell) and staring right into Leo's eyes was disconcerting enough that it made you feel a little bit nauseous. You swayed a little bit and with a sudden lurch of your stomach, you shot up, pushing Leo back, and darted into the bathroom. You kicked the door shut behind you and just barely made it to the toilet in time, your coffee and bile tearing it's way up your throat and into the bowl in front of you. Tears in your eyes and a guilty damp spot cooling between your legs, you let out a shuddered sigh. 

Your throat was definitely hurting now. Taking a second to steady yourself and make sure that you weren't about to throw up again, you stood and flushed the toilet. You gargled with water and then mouth wash, splashed water over your face, and stared at yourself in the mirror. Your hair was all over the place and your violet eyes were bloodshot and watery. You throat was a nasty blue and purple mess, swollen slightly and angry. Your lips were puffy and raw, and you were shaking like a leaf. You heard a gentle knock on the bathroom door and you straightened, taking one last breath before exiting. 

Leo stood outside of the door, lips pursed in concern. 

"Do you need me to take you to Don?" he asked softly.

You shook your head, trying for an apologetic smile, "No, sorry. Just nerves from tonight," you said. 

He reached out and gently brushed his fingers across your neck. You pulled back, looking away and muttering, "I'm fine. Really." 

He wasn't convinced, but thankfully he decided to let it go... for now. You walked into the living room as Leo said, "We'll take it easy with the training tonight. I'm not totally sure that you should come tonight if you're not feeling good, but--" 

You looked over your shoulder at him as you reached the fridge, "Leo, I'll be fine to come tonight, jeez." 

You grabbed a bottle of water as he continued to flutter around you, worrying and making sure, absolutely sure that you were good enough to come along. You turned to the living room to see Mikey and Raph watching TV. Mikey was calm and loose, but Raph was looking over at the two of you with a look of barely concealed disgust. 

"I'm sure the Princess will be fine," he said venomously. 

Leo scowled and opened his mouth to no doubt tell Raph off, but you cut him off with, "Oh shut up, Raph. Go wank off and cool off." 

Raph snorted a grudging laugh as Mikey snickered, snorting softly. You turned to Leo and said, "What time is it? How long do we have until the mission is a-go?" 

Leo glanced over his shoulder at the stove, "It's only 5 now," (jesus, you slept for that long?) "So I'm thinking we just do some basic drills, touchbase with Don and Leatherhead, and go from there. What do you think? Are you--" 

"Leo, if you ask me one more time if I'm up to it, I think I might just throat punch you." 

Leo grinned apologetically at you, but it faded quickly as Raph chuffed, "Yeah, Leo, we all know how much you'd hate that." 

Before you could defuse it, Leo turned towards his younger brother and stepped forwards, eyes flashing as he rumbled, "What's your problem, Raphael?" 

Raph crossed his arms over his chest and stared between the two of you silently, a smug look on his face. Mikey sat quietly, staring at you guys, TV program forgotten. 

"Well?" Prodded Leo, arms crossing over his chest, mirroring Raph. 

"I'll tell ya when yer older," he rumbled, standing and grinning toothily at Leo. He shouldered past you, shooting you a look over his shoulder and disappearing towards the bedroom that he shared with Don. 

Leo started to walk after him, but you reached out and grabbed his arm, "No. Just leave him. He's just frustrated." 

Leo hesitated, obviously not wanting to let things go, but he sighed and gave in. Rubbing the back of his neck, he grumbled, "I just don't get what his issue with me is." 

You didn't respond, even though you knew exactly what his issue was, and instead jerked your head towards the training area that Leatherhead had cleared for you guys near the library, "Come on, let's get training, boss." 

Chapter Text

Training wasn't too bad, you thought. You knew that Leo was taking it easy on you because he was worried about your health, but the distraction from Raph and your dreams helped you feel better faster, and left you only with a sense of excitement for the night. You were finally going to be able to do something, and you were determined to make up for what had happened on your last team outing. Leo, to his credit, stopped asking if you were alright. 

A few hours later, you stood in the living room, practically dancing on the balls of your feet with excitement. Leo stood next to Don, who had a backpack slung over his shoulder and night vision goggles perched on the top of his head. Mikey sat on the counter, legs swinging and fingers absentmindedly tapping at his thigh. Raphael, stormy as ever, leaned against the fridge, glaring daggers at the ground. You tried not to look at him - heat flushed through your body whenever you did. Splinter sat at the table beside Leatherhead, who had his white jacket on and was listening carefully to Leo. April and Casey had arrived, both silent but just as impatient. You had no idea what they had been up to the last few days, but they seemed like they were stressed. You hadn't had the chance to actually speak to April the last little while, and you felt guilty. You knew that you didn't have a reason to, but you still felt bad. 

"Alright, guys, we have to be careful. This is purely an information-based crawl. _____, Don and I will set up on the roof. ____ and I will be purely guard. We'll make sure that nobody knows we're there, and if we have to, hold any threats off so that Don can get his gear and April and Casey can get to safety without leaving a trace. Raph and Mikey, you guys will keep an eye out in the sewers. If the mission gets thwarted, there's no guarantee that they won't come back down here and look for us. Leatherhead will download any and all information that we get from the spider, and he will encrypt the files from here. We all have ear pierces, updated with cameras thanks to Leatherhead and Don. Safety needs to be a priority." 

Here, Leo turned to April and Casey, eyes clouding with worry, "You guys are putting yourselves in some serious hot plates here. Are you guys sure--" 

"Hey, Leo, shut up. We said we're all in, and we are. I called a buddy of mine and we got warehouse overalls and a tracker on the van. We're in," Casey said, eyes glinting mischievously. April shot a grin at you and you returned it happily. 

Leo nodded, lips quirking into a smile, "Alright. I just want you guys to know how much we appreciate you putting yourself on the line for us." 

"It's not a problem," April said, "We're family, right?" 

You smiled, affection pooling into your chest. You heard a soft scoff from behind you and you didn't have to turn around to know who it was. Thankfully, you seemed to be the only one to hear him. Leo moved on, going over some basics of the mission and asking Master Splinter to go over the ear piece cameras for Mikey and Raph. Leatherhead would be watching over you guys outside, but the guys still needed some extra eyes (according to Leo). Master Splinter, seemingly pleased that he at least had something to do, nodded and shot you a little wink. You smiled. 

After another hour of talking, Raph groaned and said, "Oh my god, Leo, we get it. We've gone over this to tha bone. Let's go, already." 

Leo opened his mouth, probably to argue, but April clapped her hands together and stepped forwards, "Alright! Give Casey and I about 5 minutes to get changed and incognito, and then let's get a move on." 

The two of them disappeared out of the lair, and a tense silence filled the lair. Last minute equipment was placed on, (you, April and Casey had ear pieces, the turtles had the over-head headphones) and Don readjusted your ear piece. No sooner had it been set in and activated, you heard a buzz and Casey's voice rumbled over. 

"Hey guys, this thing on? We're ready." 

Donnie pressed his ear piece and said, "Alright, we're heading out now." 

You hung back for a moment, readjusting your gear (You had the ear piece and had dressed in a black body suit that April had lent you, hair tied back in a tight pony tail, and a utility belt around your waist) and heard someone come up behind you. You expected either Mikey, Leatherhead of Splinter, but when you turned around, Raphael stared down at you, cold eyes unreadable. You gulped heat flushing through your body and fingers shaking. 

Raphael opened his mouth to speak, reaching out to you. His fingers fluttered across your neck. April had thankfully lent you a body suit that had a high neck. Only the the slightest little discoloration from your bruises were visible. His eyes flashed with remorse as they flickered down to the bruise. He looked back up at you as electric warmth flooded your body at his touch. Your thighs quivered, and for one, stunned moment, it seemed that Raphael could feel it. He blinked at you, his fingers pressed against your skin, against the pulse in your neck. A quiet grief slipped through his gaze and his hand dropped from your neck. He took a step back, and you realized that you had been holding your breath. 

You blinked, thoughts unclogging enough to realize the way that Raphael was looking at you. He wouldn't meet your eyes, and he was staring at a point just above your gaze. There was a tense silence, and you were suddenly very aware of Mikey, Leatherhead and Splinter sitting in the room, watching. Raphael seemed to feel the same, so he grunted and said, "Be careful." 

You swallowed thickly, "You too." 

You turned and left the lair, heart pounding, feeling his eyes on the back of your head the entire way out. 

~~~

The mission headed off without a hitch. Leonardo, the genius, had watched the compound enough to figure out their shipment cycle. April and Casey (Who wore wigs, the overalls and changed up their voices like pros) somehow managed to incapacitate the other shipment drivers, and they arrived on time in place of the others. Casey remained in outside, loading the trolly and bringing the shipment in while April, carrying the receiving machine, went up to the dock to talk with the man waiting. The three of you managed to camp out on a rooftop a little ways away without being noticed. It was flawless, seamless. Nobody suspected a thing. 

As Casey brought in the last shipment, he pulled a pen out of his pocket to pass it to April, and from the camera on Don's laptop, he also dropped the spider from his pocket and into the docking center. Nobody noticed. 

Donatello tapped a few buttons, and the spider booted up and scuttled away, hiding behind some boxes. You and Leo peered over his shoulder, occasionally taking a moment to pace the rooftops to make sure that you were alone. Donatello scoped out the area, a tiny little metal arm with a camera on it extending from the bug and sweeping the area. It looked like there was one door that lead out of the docking floor, and it had a key card lock. So, you had to wait until April and Casey left, buzzing through the line to confirm, and the worker re-entered the building. You tore your eyes away from the scene as April and Casey said goodbye, and you made a round to make sure that everything was alright. 

Everything seemed quiet, so you returned to Don and Leo, kneeling down and watching the computer screen. Don waited silently and pressed a button, turning up the audio a little bit. You could hear the man in the docking sight mumbling to himself about stupid night shifts as he closed the door, and walked over to the key scanner. Donnie pressed a few buttons and the spider quietly, quickly scooted up behind the man and managed to just slip through the door as it closed behind him. 

Don pressed his microphone on the ear piece and said, "Leatherhead? I'm in. Can you pull up the floor map and send me to coordinates to the main office?" 

There was silence, and then Leatherhead's voice buzzed over the com, "Alright, Donatello. It is on floor three. If you turn left from where you are now and follow the far hall to the end, you will come across a stairwell and elevator. If you can slip into the elevator, do so, otherwise make your way up the stairwell." 

"Gotcha," murmured Don, his eyes alert and shoulders tense. 

Leo stood, cracking his knuckles, and paced around the rooftop. You could feel the waves of restlessness pouring off of him and had to stop yourself from telling him to calm down and relax. You couldn't blame him. 

You stood and made another round over the roof, but a movement to your left stopped you. Your body tensed, senses hyper-alert. Leonardo, who could sniff out trouble like a bloodhound on meat, immediately appeared at your side, peering out where you were looking. Nothing. Leo glanced at you and you whispered that you had seen someone darting off to the side, and Leo nodded. 

"Stay with Don," he murmured, jerking his head back, "I'll go scout." 

You nodded, the hair on the back of your neck standing up. You were being watched, and you knew it. Turning back to Don, you noticed that despite being totally absorbed in what he was doing, he also knew exactly what was going on around him. 

"What's happening?" he asked softly without even looking away from the screen. 

"I thought that I saw someone," you said uncertainly, glancing over your shoulder and peering into the darkness, "Leo's checking it out now." 

"How do you feel?" He asked. 

The question caught you off guard, "What do you mean?" 

Don's eyes flickered from the screen to you momentarily, "Do you feel like we're being watched?" 

You nodded hesitantly, scanning the area again uneasily. Don nodded curtly and pressed his microphone, "Raph, Mike, how's the sewers looking?" 

Mikey's voice crackled over the earpieces, "Nothing to report, dudes and dudette. How's the rooftop?" 

"Fine," came Leo's voice. 

You glanced over your shoulder to see Leo hopping back up onto the roof. He shook his head at you. Nobody was around. Instead of feeling relieved, though, you felt more on edge than before. At the look on Leo's face, you knew that he felt the same. You stood and walked around the roof as Leo perched beside Don, talking in hushed tones. You couldn't concentrate on what was going on behind you - the feeling of being watched was really getting to you. 

Reluctantly, you returned to the guys, listening to what was happening. Don had made it to the third floor from the stairway, and was now scuttling down the hall. Leatherhead instructed him to follow the hall, make the second last left turn and take the first right - that was the manager's office. 

"For a decoy lab, it sure as hell doesn't look like one," Leo muttered, staring at the screen and shaking his head, "It's a lot bigger than I had thought." 

Just as you knelt down and Leo stood to make his rounds, you saw something move out of the corner of your eye. You rocketed up, turning and staring into the shadows. Leo and Don both paused, watching you warily. The atmosphere was so tense that your breathing was shallow and every nerve was on fire. You jumped when Leatherhead's voice crackled over the microphone. 

"Donatello, you have movement in the office. Be ready to move in when the door opens." 

Donatello turned reluctantly from your direction and back to the screen. Leo stood behind you, silent, watching. Your skin prickled and Leo inhaled sharply. He disappeared off into the shadows that you were looking into. You pressed the microphone and murmured over the line, "Any news, Raph? Mike? Splinter?" 

There was silence for a moment, before Splinter came over the line, "Nothing so far. What is happening?" 

You didn't want to worry them - the last thing that you needed was Mikey or Raph trying to pop over as extra backup. Thankfully, though, Leo beat you to the mic. 

"There's been some movement around us. We can't see anything yet, just flashes." 

"Be careful," Leatherhead crackled over the line. 

Donatello suddenly let out an excited noise and you turned back to him, "I'm in," he crackled over the line suddenly. 

You knelt by him, watching as he maneuvered the spider towards a single computer within the empty, pristine office. After a few tense moments, Don managed to position the spider near the USB port of the monitor and stuck it in. Immediately, the spider managed to download the most basic parm files, and then began to download everything else, including everything secured and encrypted, to be worked through later. The timer on the downloading bar signaled 10 minutes - there was a lot of information on there. Leatherhead was already at work, sorting files and throwing them onto a floppy disc that they could take in case of emergency at the lair. 

You were amazed at how fluidly this all went down. Leo hadn't returned yet, and the mounting discomfort was starting to distract you. You murmured to Don that you were just going to scout the area. As you stood and turned, you turned the mic on and called, "Leo? Where are you?" 

The response came back a few moments later, "How much longer?" 

You frowned, "About 10 minutes. Why?" 

"I can't see anything for sure but I know that someone's here. They're watching us but... not doing anything." He sounded really uncomfortable. Your discomfort rose, too. 

Immediately, Raph's voice came through roughly, "Do you want Mike and I to scout around where you are? We're near a sewer tunnel close by," 

Of course you are, you thought, but instead of responding you turned to look at Don as you waited for Leo to tell them no. Surprisingly, Leo gave them the go-ahead. You were sure that must mean Leo was more unsettled than he was letting on. So far, though, nothing bad was going down. You returned to Don's side, watching as the bar reached the halfway point. Even Don was distracted now, scanning the area restlessly. 

The line was silent, only the soft buzzing signaling that the connection was still working. You were tense, your hands itching with anticipation. The static silence only made things that much more uncomfortable. Movement to your left made you whirl around, eyes straining to see. Nothing. You pressed the line and hissed over, "Guys, what's going on? We have maybe 5 more minutes left on the clock." 

Leatherhead responded first, "The files are immediately being downloaded from the spider console. As soon as the bar reached finality, destruct the spider. No need to wait." 

Don nodded and muttered into the mic, "Gotcha. So far, no disturbance in the office and we're currently at 70%. Maybe 3 more minutes. Leo, update?" 

Raphael responded before Leo, though, "There's a lot of movement on the rooftop next to yours. My left, your right." 

You turned and peered off in the direction, pursing your lips and taking a few hesitant steps towards the lip of the rooftop. The line was silent for a few moments, before Splinter came onto the line, "Be safe." 

"We will," came Mikey's unnaturally soft voice. You only heard him so quiet when he was concentrating really hard on something. 

The feeling of foreboding started to rise, hair standing up steadily over your arms and neck. Leo's voice crackling over the connection made you jump a little (you were happy nobody had seen it), "Guys, we need to get out of here. Whoever this is, they're starting to get more active. Don, update." 

"We're at 98%," Don said rapidly, kneeling forward and starting to put things in order. 

You backed up, covering Don's back as he focused on the technology. You froze as a figure hopped up onto the rooftop, but it was only Raphael. His sais were pulled out, and his shoulders were tense. He nodded at you as he came closer, murmuring, "You alright, kid?" 

Being called 'kid' irritated you a little, but you nodded, "Seen anything?" 

He shook his head, "Mike's on the ground near the sewer to make sure that we can get down there quickly and without being seen." 

You nodded and Leatherhead's voice bubbled over, "Don, what happened?" 

The alarm in his voice made both you and Raph whirl around. Donatello was slumped over the laptop, a needle sticking out of his arm. Raphael barked for backup over the earpiece and looked around, scouting the area, looking for anything. You immediately dropped near Donnie, who was semi-conscious, words slurring and eyes unfocused. 

"Shit, shit, shit," you murmured, pulling him back and staring at the needle. Some bright green residue was glittering in the tube, and you snatched it from his arm and slipped it into your utility belt to analyze later. 

Leonardo hopped the roof a moment later with Mikey dashing up behind him. Leo immediately grabbed Don and looked at you in alarm, "What happened?" 

You shook your head and turned to the laptop, "I need to finish this," you snapped, working quickly to try and finalize the download. It only took a few more seconds, but it felt like ages, especially with Mikey whispering, "C'mon, hurry, hurry, hurry". 

"Leatherhead," you said hurriedly into the mic, not daring to take your eyes off of the screen, "What's the code for destruction? The files are stripped and downloaded. Don's down." 

Leatherhead's voice was laced with concern as he rapidly relayed the directions to you. After a few moments, you saw the spider begin to shake inside of the port still. "Is it supposed to still be in--" you asked, before the door to the office opened. All you could see was three sets of feet piling in, and then the spider dropped from the monitor and exploded with a crackling pop. 

"Get out of there," Came Leatherhead's hurried order. 

No coaxing needed. You shut the program down, packed everything back into the bag and hoisted it over your shoulder. Raphael and Leonardo had one of Don's arms over their shoulders, supporting the half-conscious brother and already half-way to the edge. Mikey was already down at the sewer, making sure that their path was clear. His affirmation crackled over, and the three brothers headed to the edge, towards the ladder. 

"C'mon," Raphael hissed over his shoulder at you. 

With one last look behind you, you followed, heart hammering in your chest. They knew. But... why didn't they stop you? Why were they playing this cat and mouse game? You had no time to stop and think - you threw yourself over the ladder and jumped down the steps towards where the brothers were already slipping into the sewer. Mikey motioned frantically at you and you jogged over as he held the top open. As you swung yourself around to climb down, through Mikey's legs you saw about 10 different silhouettes standing on the rooftop that you had just climbed down from. You froze, just staring. 

Mikey asked what was the matter, and then glanced over his shoulder. He swore and jumped in after you, nearly kicking you in the face in his haste. You dropped down and hit the ground with a splash, just as Splinter crackled over the radio. 

"What is going on? My sons, answer me! The cameras of the sewers just went dark." 

Panic flitted across your chest, but quickly lessened as Raph said, "I grabbed them and turned 'em off so that if they're followin' us, they won't find 'em." 

You could hear Splinter sigh with relief on the other side. You glanced behind you as Mikey followed, face pale. As the two of you followed the three in front, Mikey whispered frantically to you, "Why didn't they attack? What did they do to Don?" 

You blinked and called over the line, "Leatherhead, clear off the table for Don, please, and get the medical kit out." 

~~~

Around 15 minutes later, everyone was standing in the living room where Don was laying on the table. He had fallen unconscious, snoring pleasantly. He didn't seem overly hurt, but Leatherhead was in the lab, setting up an IV drip to flush whatever it was out of Don's body. You stuck around only long enough to recount your side of things. You fled into the lab behind Leatherhead, pulling the syringe out and whispering to Leatherhead what it was about. 

He immediately set up the table for you and turned the microscope on. You managed to drop a little bit of the substance onto a slide and slipped it under the microscope as Leatherhead bustled around, quietly setting up an infirmary wing of sorts. It took you a little while to make some notes, some sketches and comparisons, but you finally managed to find something out that chilled you to the bone. You waited until they brought Don in onto a table that Leatherhead fitted sheets and a pillow on. You pulled Leatherhead aside and whispered to him your findings, and his eyes widened. 

You were both relieved and disturbed that your fears seemed to be confirmed. He did what you asked without asking questions or making it obvious, which you were grateful for. Once he had pulled a vial of Don's blood for you, you set to work with two microscopes on the go. It took hours, and once or twice you thought that you heard Leatherhead trying to deflect the guys from coming in. You felt bad, but it had to be done. You didn't want them to know what you suspected and freak out if it wasn't warranted. Leatherhead was quiet, letting you work but being a silent partner. He tended to Don, handed you things as you needed them and brought you food a few hours later. 

You ate mechanically, not because you were hungry but because you needed energy. 

It was just past 4 in the morning when Raphael managed to bully his way past Leatherhead and into the lab. You let out a groan, looking up from your microscopes, bloodshot eyes glaring at the male. Leatherhead took a step back, raising his hands in an apologetic way. You didn't blame Leatherhead - Raphael got what Raphael wanted in the end, after all. 

"What tha hell's goin' on?" He rumbled, glaring from you to the mound of shit in front of you. 

"I'm checking something," you answered stubbornly, "Like we told Splinter, we're trying to figure some things out. Once we've gotten thing--" 

"I want to know now," He snapped, glancing over at where Donatello lay. 

Your anger subsided - he was worried and scared. You were being unfair, locking the brothers away from seeing Donatello. He was scared and worried, and the news that they had been watched, purposely unnerving you had disturbed everyone. You stood, your shoulders and back aching from sitting hunched over for so long. Leatherhead stood silently by Donatello, watching carefully, in case he needed to do something. You stepped closer to Raphael, your voice soft. 

"He's going to be alright. I'm trying to figure out what's in that tube." 

You could see that he was about to argue, and before you could stop yourself (it probably wasn't a good idea) you asked, "Do you.. want to see how far I've gotten? Maybe it'll help you worry a little less. Maybe you can help." 

Raphael's jaw worked, eyeing you carefully. You knew that nobody really asked Raphael for help when things weren't physical, and you could tell that he was waiting to see if you were serious or not. Leatherhead closed the door when you nodded at him and brought Raphael to the table. You spent a quarter of an hour explaining things (He snapped at you for talking to him like an idiot when you were choosing words that he could probably understand better than straight science shit). After you were done, you sighed a little. 

Raphael brought a stool over and sat beside you, his eyes and face hollow with worry. 

"This ain't really something that's gonna help me stop worrying," he said after a moment, but without any venom. 

"I know," you said softly, "That's why I didn't tell anyone else." 

"Leo doesn't even know?" Raphael asked, trying (and failing) to control the smugness that filtered into his tone. 

You suppressed a smile by biting the inside of your cheek, "Nope. You know what he's like. He worries worse than a mother duck." 

Raph grinned crookedly at that, but the grin faltered a little, "How can I help? I ain't smart like Don." 

You smiled a little and shrugged, "You can hand me shit. Be my bitch." 

Raph arched an eyebrow at you, something flashing through his eyes that had your thighs tingling a little. You stared at him for a moment, gazes locked, before Leatherhead cleared his throat. You jumped guiltily and looked at Leatherhead. Raphael smirked at you from the corner of your eyes. You ignored him. 

"Donatello is waking up," he said, peering at the suddenly stirring turtle. 

Chapter Text

You and Raph stood, immediately rushing to Don's side. Raphael watched his brother with a tenderness that made your throat ache (for a different reason than the bruising for once) and he grasped his brother's shoulder bracingly. 

"How are you feeling?" he asked roughly. 

Donatello stirred and groaned a little, his eyes opening with some difficulty, "My mouth is cottonballs," he said thickly.

Leatherhead chuckled and grabbed a glass of water with a straw in it. He held it close so Don could drink (he drank almost all of it in one swig). He made a face after, but his color was coming back. You were thankful of that - he had been almost grey when you brought him in. In a matter of seconds, he seemed to be getting his strength back and his vitals were golden. Raphael seemed to heave a sigh of relief, and Leatherhead's face crinkled into a relieved smile. 

"What happened?" Don asked, blinking and looking between the three of you. 

You glanced up to see that everyone was looking at you, so you launched into a play back of what had happened. When you got to the part of seeing the silhouettes on the top of the roof, Don shook his head, mouth set into a frown. You hesitated and glanced over at Raph, wondering if you should tell Don what you suspected, but you saw Leatherhead shake his head in your peripheral. He gestured at Don's heart rate - just from telling him about the rest of the night he was anxious and his heart was worryingly quick. It seemed that he still wasn't 100% (shocker) and he needed to rest. 

After sitting with him and chatting quietly, Don asked where the others were. Raphael piped up, saying that everyone had hit the hay. Don nodded and muttered something about seeing them in the morning. He fell asleep a quarter of an hour later, and you turned to Leatherhead. 

"Thank you so much for everything you've been doing," you said, chest aching with sincerity. 

Leatherhead smiled and patted your shoulder gently, "It is my pleasure." 

"Get some sleep, we can watch him from here," you urged. 

It took a little bit, but you finally convinced him to go and sleep, which left you alone with Raphael. You pulled a curtain around Donatello and turned the lamps off around him to give him a quiet, dark space to sleep without being disturbed by you. You returned to the table and switched out the slide that had the goo on it and replaced it with the blood, peering into it and frowning. It already looked like the residue of the needle was disappearing. Ideally, that meant that the effects were only meant to be short term, but you had to be sure.

Raphael sat next to you quietly, reading over your notes. There was a comfortable silence between the two of you, in which only a few words were exchanged as you peered between the two slides. At least, you murmured, "Aha!" and moved over so Raph could look. 

"See? The goo is the exact same bacterial make up as the goo that transformed you guys." 

Raphael blinked and peered at you hesitantly. You stood without speaking and walked over to the cupboard, pulling out a slide of the original goo that Donatello had salvaged from the old lair. You brought it over and swapped the current slide with the goo and turned it to Raphael. It took him a second, flickering between the two slides, before leaning back and looking at you, totally lost. 

You grinned and said, "It's the same stuff, just tweaked. I know it's not really a good thing because it confirms what we worried," Realization dawned across Raph's face, but you kept speaking, "But it's also a good thing because with this information, and when what we got from the lab is decoded, we can figure out what they're trying to do!" 

Raphael blinked, confused by your excitement over something that wasn't really good news, but he blinked and said, "Well, tha's good, I guess?" 

You laughed, the sound making Raphael blink, even more confused, "No, not at all!" 

Raphael opened his mouth to speak, his lips quirking into a smile, "Uh... I think ya need to sleep, _____." 

You grinned at him, "Yeeeep. I probably should. But I'm so close..." you murmured, the manic happiness deflating to exhausted determination, "If I can only figure out what they tweaked, we can see..." 

Raphael stood up and caught you before you realized that you had fallen off to the side. You figured you were a lot more tired that you thought before, and you smiled sheepishly at Raphael, steadying yourself. You weren't too tired to feel your body flush at his touch, though. Raphael arched a brow at you again, and you had a sudden thought that he could feel it. Impossible, though. 

"Wanna try that again?" He asked, voice laced with amusement. 

You nodded your head, cleared your throat, and said, "I think I should clean up and go to bed. I'll get a fresh start tomorrow." 

Raphael nodded and patted your shoulder, "That's better. Come on, I'll clean, you tell me where to put stuff." 

You tried to argue, but at a withering look from Raphael, you sighed and sat on the stool, telling him where and how to store things. Once it was clean and wiped down, you check on Donatello one more time, refilled his water and readjusted the blankets. Raphael lead you out, almost dragging you, sighing at your reluctance. He turned the lights off behind you, and lead you to your bedroom. 

Leaving the lab was a sort of emotional release, oddly enough. As soon as the door closed behind you and Raphael started leading you down the hall, all of the energy evacuated your limbs. You were aching and tired, and slumped against Raphael. He was steady and cool, effortlessly leading you along. You murmured something along the lines of, "You don' hafta," as he brought you into your room, lowering you to the bed. Raphael let out a chuff, trying for annoyance but not succeeding. He turned the light on and unclipped your utility belt, earpiece (which you had forgotten you were still wearing) and pulling your boots off. You were too tired to even worry about your feet stinking. You lay back on your bed, already falling asleep. Raphael chuckled a little bit and pulled the covers over you. The last thing that you remembered before falling asleep was the feeling of his surprisingly gently hands untying your hair. 

~~~

You woke up to the smell of hot coffee. Your head was pounding and you grunted, your limbs stiff from the hours spent bent over a microscope. You were tangled in your sheets, the bodysuit uncomfortably bunched around your knees and elbows. You sat up, head throbbing painfully. You looked down and noticed a bottle of painkillers, water and a steaming cup of coffee. You blinked, your first thought being Leo. As you downed a few pain killers and took a sip of your coffee, you noticed a little tube of what looked like peppermint oil. You frowned and grabbed it - a messy, untidy scrawl was written on a piece of paper under it. 

It helps with muscle aches.

You frowned a little, but uncapped it and rolled the oil over the back of your neck and your temples. Almost immediately, though the strength of the oil irritated your eyes a little bit, a coolness spread over you, soothing your muscles almost immediately. Even your headache started to fade. You smiled a little, stretched, and dragged your ass out of bed. You changed into a comfortable pair of fluffy Ed, Edd n Eddy pj pants that you had forgotten you owned, and a grey tank top. Running a hand through your snarled hair, you winced and, slipping the peppermint tube in your pocket and grabbing your coffee, you edged your way out of the bedroom and nearly ran into Raphael, who seemed to just be standing there. 

You blinked and raised an eyebrow at him. 

"Mornin, creep," you greeted, and he smirked a little. 

"How're you feeling?" He sniffed loudly, "I see ya put the peppermint oil on. How's it working?" 

"That was you?" You asked hesitantly. 

"Yeah? Why're ya so surprised?" He rumbled, not meeting your gaze. 

"I thought it was.... nevermind. Thanks. Do you use the peppermint oil or is it a Donnie thing?" 

His gaze darkened momentarily, obviously knowing what you were about to assume, but thankfully he took your segwey without much reluctance, "It was Casey, actually. April started this whole new oil thing and Casey said it's the only thing that actually worked, so I tried it. I use it after a fight or workout." He shrugged a little, arms crossing over his chest as he leaned against the wall, close enough to you that you could feel his breath on your face. 

He smelled like spearmint. Your heart shuddered and your thighs quivered a little, heat flushing your body as, unbidden, thoughts of how he would taste clouded your mind. As the heat rushed through your body, you noticed Raph's eyes narrow suspiciously. His fingers twitched like he was about to reach out and touch you, but you cleared your throat, flushing, and looked away. 

He broke the silence, voice a little strained, "How's yer neck?" 

You glanced over at him in time to see regret flashing through his eyes. You lifted a hand and tentatively touched your neck - it hadn't hurt to swallow, so it seemed to be getting better, but you could feel that the swelling hadn't gone down a whole lot. You could only imagine what color the bruises were turning. You shrugged a little, not wanting him to feel worse, but also tempted to embellish and make him feel like shit. At the look on his face when you looked at him again, though, the spite drained out of you. 

"I'm feeling better," you said reassuringly, but you could tell that you weren't convincing.

A tense silence fell, only broken when Mikey came out of the room opposite, yawning loudly and scratching his left armpit. He paused when he noticed you and Raph, and immediately his blue eyes sharpened, flashing to your neck and at Raph. 

"Wazzup?" He asked, deceptively calm. 

Raphael didn't miss the glance. His gaze hardened and he grumbled something under his breath as he shouldered past you. You let out a breath and looked at Mikey, who was searching your gaze. 

"Everything alright?" He asked, blue eyes glittering. 

You nodded, unable to help but be a little annoyed. You appreciated the concern that Mikey, especially, was showing you in light of what had happened, but that frustration from that night had only seemed to get worse over time. With Raphael being in such close proximity and, for once, not hostile or aggressively making out with you, your hormones were all over the place. 

"I'm fine," you snapped, pushing your mug into his hands, turning, and heading towards the bathroom and closing the door behind you. 

You immediately prickled with shame. Mikey was just worried. He knew that if everyone else knew, they would be even more so. You guessed that you shouldn't be so ungrateful - after all, Mikey hadn't gone running off to Leo or Donnie, so at least you didn't have them on your back too. Mikey, though, wasn't much better. It seemed like he was everywhere. Especially when you were alone with Raph. 

Heat flushed into more, ahem, delicate, parts of your body as memories of the night on the roof came back to you, along with the residule frustration and irritation towards Mikey. Rubbing your hands over your face, you let out a tiny groan and turned to your reflection in the mirror. You winced at the bruises over your neck. They were, despite how they felt, a little less swollen, but a lot nastier. Thankfully, it was turning a greenish hue (thankfully not as noticeable with your green skin) and seemed a lot better than it had yesterday. It was still nasty looking and tender, but seemed to be healing quickly enough. 

You brushed your hair and teeth, went to the bathroom and washed up. Around 10 minutes later, you exited the bathroom just as Mikey literally skipped past you and took up residence. 

"If you needed the bathroom, you could have knocked," you called a little guiltily. 

"Nah, brah, is cool," he slurred. 

You shook your head and slipped into your bedroom, rummaging around in your clothing to try and find something to wrap around your neck. Near the very, very bottom, you found a little scarf that you had had for almost 10 years. It was a tiny thing from a downtown thrift store, but it was black with roses and skulls on it, and it was inconspicuous. You tied your hair into a messy bun, wrapped the scarf around your neck and slipped out towards the kitchen. 

As you walked in, the smell of coffee and laughter hit you. You reapplied some peppermint oil on your temple and murmured a good morning as Splinter passed you. He patted your arm and said he was going off for a shower. You smiled a little, and then noticed that Donatello was up and nursing a cup of coffee. 

"Hey! You're not dead!" You exclaimed, grinning at him. 

He sat at the table between Raph and Leatherhead, Leo sitting across from him. Don grinned at you, looking tired but all in all, pretty darn good. 

"I'm a little dead, but not completely." 

You laughed and walked to the coffee machine, making yourself another cup. You heard whispering around you and you glanced over your shoulder to see Don whispering something to Raph, who, to your surprise, flushed and swatted at Don's face. You blinked, curious, but Raphael wouldn't meet your gaze. Don winked. You were thoroughly confused. Shaking your head, you finished making your coffee and squeezed onto the table between Don and Raph, the only area where there seemed to be any space. Raphael scooted away from you immediately, but you didn't have time to feel offended. 

Donatello elbowed you, "How are you feeling? Did you figure anything out last night? Leatherhead filled me in," he added at the confused look on your face. 

You nodded, suddenly remembering, "Oh, shit, yeah," you said, taking a large swig of your coffee and choking as it scorched your throat. 

Don thumped your back as you spluttered, "I should get back to it." 

He chortled, "Whoa, breathe first." 

You grinned sheepishly and stood from the table, practically skipping into the lab with renewed energy. When you got there, you realized that everything was already out. It seemed like Donatello (or Leatherhead) had continued your research in the morning. Your energy and mood darkened, though, as you scanned the notes. Your stomach started sinking, and you didn't realize that Donatello and Leatherhead had come in behind you. 

"Yeah," Donnie said from behind you, making you jump, "Not great, huh?" 

You shook your head, voice cracking a little bit, "It's my fault." 

You felt Don and Leatherhead both move up behind you, but you shook your head and stepped away, guilt swimming around in your head, making it throb again. The coffee wasn't sitting well. You couldn't look at them. 

"It's not your fault," Donnie said gently, putting a hand on your shoulder and trying to calm you down, "They would have done it sooner or later. Besides, you let us know before this killed us." 

Your voice shook, "They mentioned me, though." 

There were print outs on the table - apparently, Leatherhead hadn't gone to sleep last night. He had spent the rest of the night going through the encrypted files, piecing things together and printing them out. He hadn't gotten through all of it, but he had stopped at this particular file. He had woken Don up for his input, not wanting to bother you while you had been sleeping. 

"This isn't your fault, child," Leatherhead rumbled, his voice soothing despite your distress, "The fact that they even mentioned you is a fluke. As Donatello said, this was bound to happen. Records of this experimentation go back longer than you were working for." 

You shook your head again, eyes stinging. You didn't care what they said - you felt like it was your fault. If you hadn't have worked for Baxter, hadn't been so damn blind and eager to please, you could have stalled things. Rationally, you knew that what they were saying was right, though - they were working up to this for a while. They would probably have kidnapped the turtles with the bomb plans and performed a more painful way to get where they were now, but the fact that your name cropped up made the world close around you. 

You shrugged off Don's hand and turned, walking out of the lab, deaf to their protests. You shouldered past Leo, who tried to stop you, but the look on your face must have made his words die in his throat. Master Splinter was still in the shower, and Mikey and Raph were in the living room. As you passed them, numb, intent on heading to the front door, you heard Mikey call out to you, but you ignored him. You made it to the door as Mikey hopped up, trying to reach you, but you closed the door in his face. You'd feel bad later, but you needed to go somewhere to clear your mind, collect your thoughts and come back rationally. 

You had never been good at monitoring your emotions. Ever since you had been a little girl, you felt too much and you moved too fast. Most of your life was a big bubble of moving shapes. You thought that it was normal until you figured out that it was a symptom of stress-induced anxiety, something that had stuck with you form the time to graduated high school to the present. You just needed some space, on your own, to let yourself fall apart so you could get it back together and move on without anything holding you back.

Chapter Text

You didn't realize where your feet were taking you until you stumbled over a piece of rubble. You were in what remained of the turtles' old lair. That really didn't help your guilt, but you didn't know where else to go. You walked over to the rubble that used to be the living room, and sat down in between two rocks, pulling your knees up to your chest and just staring ahead of you. You were so out of it that you didn't hear someone come up to you until they were literally right in front of you. 

Leo knelt down in front of you, eyes glittering with concern. You blinked, your gaze swimming and taking a few seconds to register who it was. 

"Are you alright?" Leo asked delicately. 

You nodded without speaking, eyes drifting away from him and surveying the room. You thought that you heard movement to your right, but you didn't care enough to investigate. Leo was silent for a moment, surveying you tensely, before clearing his throat. 

"I talked to Don this morning. I know what's happening. I also need you to know that nothing is your fault, and nobody is going to think that." 

You shook your head. Somehow, you doubted it. Especially in Raph's case. You knew that that was unfair, but you couldn't necessarily blame yourself for jumping to his case. He wasn't necessarily the most welcoming to you in the first place. You couldn't muster up the energy to say anything like that, much less speak in general, so you sat there in numb silence, chewing the inside of your cheek. 

It was this weird, out of body experience. You just... couldn't muster up the energy for anything. Even focusing on Leo's face was too much to handle. Your nerves were shot, and you needed some time to just stop and think. Well, maybe not think, but definitely just stop. You felt a hand on your shoulder, but you didn't feel it so much as see if touch you and know that you should have felt it. It was jarring enough to bring you back to being able to hear. 

".... ____? What's going on?" 

You could hear the alarm in Leo's voice, and you sighed softly, figuring that you had better say something before he blew an artery. Un-sticking your jaw, you spoke, your voice sounding foreign even to your own ears. 

"Leo, I'm fine. I just need some space." 

Leo blinked, staring at you, and you knew that he wasn't going to leave. You repeated what you said, but to your own ears it sounded lifeless. You were just so tired. You just needed space, and Leo staring at you like that made your chest clench painfully and your thoughts stray to Raphael. You remembered how he calmed you down back on that rooftop when you almost fell off. For some inexplicable reason, you wanted him there. 

Almost as if someone (probably someone that you would have happily killed) had been listening, you heard movement near the doorway. You turned to see Raphael leaning against the frame of the lair, expression dark. Through your numbness, you felt a shot of guilt, even though you knew that you hadn't done anything wrong. You braced yourself for another blow out, and Leonardo seemed to do the same. He stood and turned a steely expression over to his brother. It was a tense standoff for a few moments, before Raphael surprised both of you. 

"It ain't yer fault," he grunted, voice rough. 

You looked at him, something in your chest breaking a little. You didn't know what to say or do, only that you wished Leo wasn't there. It seemed like Raph felt the same way from the look he shot his brother. After a few moments, Leo cleared his throat. 

"See? Even hot head over here doesn't blame you." 

Raphael, grudgingly, walked over to the two of you. His expression was unreadable, but he wasn't yelling or storming, so that was a plus. Leo regarded his brother warily for a moment, before turning his attention back to you. You felt increasingly uncomfortable, a pressure rising in your throat. You weren't sure if you were about to yell at them, throw up or cry. Maybe all three. 

"You can't blame yourself for this. It would have happened anyways. The amount of stuff that Don and Leatherhead found on those files was just... wow. If anything, we have you to thank for at least giving us a heads up." 

You appreciated that he was trying to make you feel better, but you just wished he would leave you alone. You weren't in the mood for his insistence. Thankfully, Raphael seemed to understand what was going on in your mind. He said something to Leo, who scowled and opened his mouth to argue, but Raphael scowled, staring at him until he finally backed down. Leo shot you a worried look, scowled at Raphael, and called over his shoulder to you, "If you need me, I'll be close by." 

Raphael rolled his eyes and waited to make sure that his brother was gone. He lowered himself to the ground in front of you, looking at you warily. You gave him a carefully blank look, pretending that you didn't want him to put his arms around you again. He must have seen something in your eyes. His gaze softened a little. 

"You alright?" He asked, rough voice softer than you had yet heard it. 

You nodded unconvincingly. 

"We don't blame ya." he said gruffly, staring intently into your eyes. 

Instead of responding to what he said, like an idiot, you spit out, "I'm surprised that you didn't accuse me of fucking Leo just then." 

Confession time. You were petty. You had always been petty. You held grudges, and you had an uncannily detailed memory when it came to remembering things people said towards you. Sometimes, your pettiness slipped out when you didn't intend it to. Usually when you were stressed out, and at that moment, you had hit your peak. You didn't feel guilty, even when his expression rippled, bouncing between guilt, surprise and anger. It finally settled on discomfort. 

"Thas' neither here nor there," he snapped after a seconds' pause. 

You laughed humorlessly, "Whatever. Why are you here? Trying to catch us in the act? Gonna attack me again?" 

This time, you saw genuine grief cross his gaze as it fluttered to your neck. Anger, though, seemed to be something that you could hold onto at the moment, and you clung to it like a lifeline. You could feel the anger, no matter how unjustified it was in the moment. Was this how Raph felt most of the time? You pushed the thought aside, not wanting to be empathetic just then. 

"Do you want me to?" Raphael growled, shoulders tensing. 

You arched an eyebrow, "Is that a threat?" 

Raphael let out a bark of laughter, "Anger don' look good on you, princess." 

You scowled, anger flaring like a hot, angry ball of flames in your chest, "Stop fucking calling me princess. If you've come here to insult me, please, just leave me alone." 

Raphael opened his mouth, probably to shoot back at you, but with obvious effort he clamped his jaw shut, swallowed thickly, and said, "I came to check on ya. Not throw shit in yer face. You've got enough shit to worry 'bout." 

You blinked. Anger flushed through you, this time not at him though. More at the fact that he wasn't giving you more reason to be mad. You wanted to be mad, wanted to be angry, wanted to have something to vent your anger to. 

"Don't get all soft on me, Raph. It doesn't look good on you." You spat back. 

To your irritation, Raphael just laughed like you told him a joke, "So ya wanna be like this, do you?" He shot back, voice aggressive but eyes glinting with the same mischief that Mikey got when he was about to prank someone or beat someone at a game. 

The look in his eyes made your retort dry up in your throat - you swallowed thickly and tried to stay stubborn, "What the hell do you mean?" 

Raphael stood up and stared at you, "Get up, then, princess." 

Now he was mocking you. Anger flared and you hopped up, stumbling a little bit over rubble but righting yourself quickly, "Stop calling me that." 

"What, ya don' like my nickname, princess?" He asked, voice taunting. 

You noticed that the muscles in his arms rippled in the low light. You were suddenly aware of the heat rushing through your body - anger had started to fade, leaving something else, something very unladylike spreading through your body. Your skin flushed with heat and tingled. You were suddenly jammed back into your body so fast that your vision swam for a moment, but you were all of a sudden.. there. Like your little mini disassociation didn't even happen. Raphael noticed the little change in you, however, and you noticed his nostrils flared. 

"Follow me," Raphael grunted, leading you through the rubble that once was the lair. 

Now that your thoughts were at least a little bit more clear, you felt a bubble of anxiety rising. This lair had been ransacked not too long ago. What if it was being watched? What if they were endangering everybody by being there? Just as you opened your mouth to voice your concern, you realized where he was taking you. It was what remained of his workout area. The door was hanging by the hinges, and and the room was dark, foreboding. The light was shattered, and so was the majority of his equipment (save for some dumbbells and, thankfully, his speakers). He hung back, motioning for you to walk into the room. You didn't. You stood in front of him, staring him down. You weren't going in there until he told you why he was going in there. 

Finally, he let out a growl of frustration. With one last look towards the door, he grabbed you, pulled you into the room and slammed you into the wall. Hard. Your ears were ringing, eyes wide with shock. Your neck clenched painfully and your heart started racing, but.. you weren't scared. He was a breath away from you. His warm breath tickled your face. You felt his arms, braced on the wall on either side of your head. His body pressed against yours, not hard enough to hurt but hard enough that you knew you weren't getting away. You didn't want to. 

His breath smelled like spearmint still. 

"Yer angry," he said, voice practically a purr, sending your insides spiraling, "I know what it's like to use it as an excuse." 

You scowled, trying to snap back and say that no, you weren't using it as an excuse, but he pressed harder against you. Heat pooled between your legs and your cunt twitched, making you squirm a little bit. You could practically hear Raphael's intake of breath. You could just see his silhouette in the dim light that poured in from the ruined doorway. Your heart was pounding, the reason that you had fled the lab practically forgotten. 

"I know what ya need," he whispered, his voice hot and heavy, "Ya need a release." 

You shivered, leaning into him involuntarily. Your hands were shaking, skin practically radiating heat. 

He took a deep breath in again and whispered, voice husky, "I've been wonderin' what the hell that smell was. It's you." 

This time, you found your voice - it sounded weak and shaky, "This is a shitty time to tell me to shower, Raph." 

He chuckled, the sound vibrating through your body, "Nah, _____... It don't smell bad. You know what you smell like?" 

You chewed the inside of your lip, certain that you were about to have a heart attack. All you could see, hear, feel and think about was Raphael. 

"You smell like a bitch in heat." he rumbled. 

You let out a soft noise, fighting to be disgusted by what he said, the feminist part of your mind warring against him, wanting to kick him in the nards, but... heat flared between your legs and your nipples tightened underneath your tank top. Raphael let out a shaky breath. 

"I can feel the heat coming off of you in waves.. I can't explain it," he husked, one hand reaching up and pulling your hair out of the bun fluidly, painlessly, "I just feel you." 

You snapped, arms flying around him as you connected the space between the two of you. Raphael let the rest of his control fade away, slamming you against the wall again with his body, shuddering against you, hands feverishly touching every part of you that he could. One of your hands grabbed onto the ends of his mask, while the other raked nails down his left bicep. He shuddered and let out a grunt, lifting you up as easily as a bag of apples. You wrapped your legs around his waist, barely registering how weird it was to wrap your legs around a shell. 

You let out a strangled moan as he pressed his hips against you. Friction, oh god, the friction. 

You had made out with guys in college. You had even fooled around with some girls before, and while sex was normally fun for you, nobody made you feel this.. electric. It was a whirlwind of feelings, from being worried you would be caught, to just wanting him to take you right there, right now. Raphael broke the kiss and nipped at your ear lobe and down your neck. He paused when he got to the scarf you forgot you were wearing, and you impatiently reached up and ripped it off. Raphael chuckled against your skin, nibbling at your neck. 

You let out a mewl of pain and pleasure as he nibbled at the tender bruises on your neck, and it was like a switch went off. Raphael stopped, freezing against you and pulling back. You could see his eyes glinting in the low light. 

"Ah, shit, I'm sorry.. I forgot..." 

You groaned in frustration, the pent up feelings from the night on the roof finally bubbling to the surface. You grabbed him and kissed him hard enough to make your teeth ache. He laughed into the kiss, and it was like he never even stopped. He was back at your neck, nibbling and murmuring how good you smelled, tasted, felt against you. You squirmed, your pussy so wet that you were honestly a little worried. 

As Raphael trailed kisses down to your cleavage, you both lost your balance. Thankfully, Raphael caught the both of you before you toppled over, and you laughed. 

"Here," he murmured, scanning the room and finding an area where the mat was clear of too much rubble. 

He lay you down on it and crawled ontop of you, his cool lips heaven on your heated skin. He pulled the shoulder of your tank top down and you squirmed to make it easier. He trailed kisses down to your exposed breast and licked at the taut nipple, eliciting a soft moan from you. Normally, your nipples weren't a pleasure spot for you - you had never really seen what some girls meant about it being hot, about how it felt good. But God, did you understand it now. 

His tongue twirled your nipple, sending electricity straight downstairs. You arched your back into him, hips bucking up and against something hard and slick. You grinned a little. You didn't need the light to know that he had popped free. The thought made a fresh ripple of heat radiate through your skin, and Raphael groaned. One hand massaging your other breast and one resting on your thigh, he started to trail kisses and affectionate nips further down your body. 

"You smell so good," he murmured as his kisses went ever lower. 

You arched your hips as he shuffled back, his lips reaching your abdomen. You shuddered. He straightened, the warmth of his breath disappearing, only to be replaced with his surprisingly gentle hands. He was hesitant as he tugged at the waist band of your shorts. There wasn't a question about it - you lifted your hips for him. He pulled them off slowly, as if waiting for you to change your mind. You didn't. You hissed a little as the cold air hit your exposed skin.

He paused for a moment before lowering himself down. He let out a soft chuff as he trailed kisses down your abdomen, down your trimmed thatch, and to your slick lips. His tongue darted out experimentally, and he let out a soft huff of laughter.

"What's so funny down there?" You challenged. 

"Yer soaked," he murmured. That shut you up. 

He nuzzled his face in between your legs, licking and nibbling at your lips. You arched your back against the ground, letting out a strangled moan as pleasure rippled in the wake of his tongue. His hands gripped your thighs, scooting your ass up and closer. He shuffled for a better angle, his tongue swirling your clit and making you shudder. Fuck he was good. Your nails dug into the dirty mat beneath you, heat fluttering through your abdomen and coming to a rest in a building tension that was making your head spin. 

"F-Fuck... Raph, stop..." you murmured, not really wanting him to stop but also feeling a little selfish that you were getting all the attention. 

Raphael didn't stop - he moved faster. Before you knew it, the tension in your abdomen was almost unbearable, until - 

"Raph!" 

Weightless. Ripples of pleasure. Weightless pleasure. You were sure that you were making quite a bit of noise, but you didn't care anymore. You rode your orgasm out, rocking against Raphael's face, panting and gasping as your pleasure faded and you crashed back to reality. You heard a muffled laugh, and a second later Raphael pulled back, reaching up and wiping his face. 

"I-I'm sorry..." you murmured, pushing yourself up onto your elbows. 

Raphael leaned down, smelling of spearmint and you, "Don't be. Ya needed it," he purred, his cool body pressing you back down into the mat. 

You shivered a little bit, heat and desire flushing white-hot through your body again when you felt his straining erection press against your slick thigh. You tilted your head up and he kissed you, the passion and intensity from before still very much there. It took your breath away. But now.. you had something else to worry about. You arched your hips, shifting until you felt him between your legs, poised right where you wanted him to be. He let out an intake of breath, body carefully still, like he was approaching a wild animal, worried that he was going to frighten it away. 

You arched your hips up, pushing the tip in and pausing, teasing, clenching around him. He let out a sharp gasp, hips twitching with self control. You could feel the muscles in his arms working, the ends of his mask tickling your shoulder. Then... 

"Raphael? _____?" 

Raphael swore colorfully, immediately pulling away from you and grunting, "Fucking Leo. Always fuckin' showin' up at the worst damn time." 

You knew that you had minutes before you were discovered. You shot up and Raph tossed you your shorts. You struggled to put them on and tried to tame your crazy hair. You knew that, no matter what you did, it was going to look bad, but that didn't stop you from trying to think up excuses. You cleared your throat, listening as Leo called your name again. 

"Shit, Raph," you said loud enough for Leo to hear, "You weren't kidding. How the hell are you gonna get another room to dedicate to your anger issues?" 

Raphael let out a strangled laugh, catching on despite furiously trying to stuff himself away before Leo got there. You heard Leo paused, then hesitantly walk over to you. You stood with your back to the door, hands on your hips, staring around with an appropriate look of horror. Leo stood in the doorway, staring as the two of you stood, staring at the rubble. 

"What the hell are you doing?" he asked suspiciously. 

You turned quickly, as if surprised, and smiled, "Oh, Hey Leo. Raph was just complaining about how his workout room got destroyed. Well, we'd better get back." You elbowed Raph in what you hoped was a nonchalont way and floated by Leo, your thighs slick and your heart racing. 

Annoyance and desire flooded through you, and on it's heels came a mad urge to laugh yourself silly. You glanced over your shoulder to see Raph edging past a very confused, very suspicious Leo. Raph shot you a wink and mouthed out, "Later, princess". You couldn't contain a grin. 

Later, however, turned out to be quite a bit later than planned. 

Chapter Text

Raphael watched you walk away, trying to contain his grin as Leo gave him a weird look. Raphael just shrugged and walked past him. As soon as he was out of Leo's gaze, Raphael grinned, his heart fluttering and his lips still tingling. He could still taste you in his mouth, still hear your soft moans and pants. He could feel that elation, the shaking in his hands from when he first kissed you. He knew that Leonardo expected something, but he really didn't care. He knew that it was childish (that's why he would only keep this smug thought to himself) but he couldn't help feeling that the world was righting itself. 

He had been chosen over Leo. 

Sure, you had said that there wasn't anything going on between you, but you didn't see the way that Leo acted around you. He acted like he was your personal body guard and anybody who approached you would have to go through him. He hated it, and he hated the knowing smirk that Leo would shoot him when he gazed at you a little too long. He hated the smug look on his face after he talked to you, hated the way that Leo seemed to use his position as 'fearless leader' so try and sway her. 

Then again, this could all just be in his head, right? 

Well, none of that mattered now. 

Raphael felt like finally, maybe, things would start to go his way. After all - he was a mutant fucking turtle. The world owed him at least one thing that worked out the way that he wanted it to. 

And, of course, no sooner had those thoughts filled his head, shit hit the fan. 

You had just glanced over your shoulder as you neared Leatherhead's place when he heard it. You shot him a grin, the last thing that he saw, and then the wall blew. His ears rang, and dust, bits of wall and a flash of your hair, slowed down in his shocked mind, and then it went black. 

~~~

You woke up suddenly, your entire body aching, eyes stinging and limbs heavy. You could feel the pain radiating through your limbs, but couldn't move anything other than your eyelids, and even that was sluggish. You kept your eyes closed, breathing through the pain and trying to remember what the hell had happened. All that you remembered was glancing over your shoulder to Raphael, thighs still wet and body tingling, and then... black. Not even a sound. You vaguely remembered a metallic taste, but you wondered if it was just because that's all you tasted right then. 

You tried to swallow the panic that was setting in. It was taking a little longer than normal for your body to wake up, to become alert. It felt like you had been drugged. 

You could hear the soft sound of a fan somewhere above you, and couldn't feel anything but a hard surface beneath you. As your arms and legs began to regain mobility, you rolled your wrists and ankles. You were tied down. The panic started to rise - your pulse quickened, heart skipped a few beats and your breathing became shallow and erratic. You swallowed thickly (your mouth felt like it was full of cotton balls) and wondered, with another jolt of molten panic through your middle, what had happened to Raphael and Leonardo. 

What had happened to the rest of their family? 

Where the hell were you? 

You opened your eyes again and only got a glimpse of a pristine white ceiling with a bright bulb before you heard a door open to your left. You quickly shut your eyes and pretended to be asleep, hoping that you weren't hooked up to anything that would betray your racing pulse. Thankfully, though, you didn't feel anything else on you other than the restraints. 

You heard footsteps and mumbling - the voice became clearer after a second, and your heart practically stopped. 

You knew that voice. 

"Aaah, here she is. Well, she definitely looks different, doesn't she?" Baxter purred over your body. 

It took every last bit of your self control to remain 'sleeping'. You were petrified and angry, scared shitless and ready to jump up and show him just how different you really were. The only thing that stopped you was the knowledge that if they had gotten you, they had almost definitely gotten the Hamato family and Leatherhead. One mistake and... you didn't really want to stop and think about that right now. You forced yourself to stay mock-asleep and listen to what he was saying, trying to figure out who was with him. 

"This is the one that has been causing us so much trouble?" 

The voice sent chills up and down your spine - it was colder than ice, and rough, almost like he was hoarse from screaming. He sounded.. evil. Like something from Lord of the Rings - it almost reminded you of the Nazgul, the more you thought about it... and then you decided you should probably stop thinking about it. 

"Ah, yes, sir. This is her. But no matter, we have her now. She's been particularly troublesome and helpful all together." 

There was a tense silence, and then you felt a cold, rough hand pick up your arm and inspect it. You could feel breath on your wrist as whoever it was leaned over you. You felt self conscious - you didn't feel like you were wearing anything, but they wouldn't leave you naked like that.. right?

"Amazing..." the cold voice rasped over you, and goosebumps rose over your skin softly, "The transformation... you said that it took place in a matter of hours?" 

"Yes, sir, from what we've gathered." 

"Amazing..." the voice repeated, and he let your arm go. 

You let it fall limply on the table (which you realized you had to be on) and remained silent, breathing regulated and deep. You wanted to risk peeking an eye open and seeing who the man was, but you could feel his breath on your shoulder still. He was too close for you to sneak a peek without being spotted. The silence wore on, well over a minute, before you heard Baxter clear his throat. 

"With all due respect, sir, don't you think that we should move on and discuss payment?" 

The presence and breath moved away from you, and the atmosphere in the room dropped several degrees. 

"Payment, Baxter?" The voice was soft, but menacing. 

You could hear Baxter swallow, discomfort rolling off of him in waves. You decided to quickly sneak a peek. You cracked your left eye open slightly and took a second to take in the bright light. Just in the corner of your vision, you could see a tall man with dark raven hair slicked back. He wore a white kimono (weird) and he had some very nasty, very raw scars over the side of his face that you could see. He looked as terrifying as his voice sounded. He moved, and you quickly shut your eyes again. 

"I believe that we already discussed how this was going to go, did we not?" The raven haired man whispered. 

You imagined Baxter clutching a clipboard and stepping away as he said, voice wavering a little, "Well, er, yes, but I went above and beyond what you asked for. I didn't just bring you her, I brought you the Hamato family. All of them. Plus an accomplice of theirs that we thought had been eradicated years ago." You could hear the smugness in his voice as he said, "As I remember, our negotiations were made purely on the captivation of _____." 

There was a tense silence. You hoped that the man would just be done with Baxter right then and there, but after a moment you heard a laugh from him... or you assumed that it was a laugh. It sounded like nails down a chalkboard, and you thought that you heard Baxter's shoes squeak as he took a step back. 

"You are a persistent little slug, aren't you?" The voice mocked, "Well, I suppose that you have a point. I will go and speak with Karai, and see what else we can do. In the mean time..." there was a brief silence, and you felt him step closer, leaning over you once again, "Take extra care of our... companion here. Han will see to the mutants." 

You dared to peek through your eyelashes at the man. He was staring at you with a hunger that chilled you to the very bone. It wasn't the hunger of a man seeing a naked woman after months of being alone, nor was it even the hunger of predator to prey. It was an inhuman hunger that consumed his eyes - they swam with dark hatred, a black hole so deep that it threatened to suck you in and drain you of any happy thoughts or feelings. 

Is this what a sociopath is like? Or, rather, a psychopath? 

You closed your eyes quickly as he straightened and turned. 

"Do not bother me, Baxter. Karai will come and find you once we have come to a decision." 

"Yes, sir," Baxter said. 

You heard the sound of the mans' footsteps retreating, the door closing, and then Baxter's furious scribbling on something. After a few moments, the writing stopped, a brief pause, and then hateful muttering. 

"I brought him more than he bargained for, more than he could possibly imagine, and he's still refusing to give me what I want. Well, guess what, scar face," as he ranted, he drew nearer to you, fiddling with something behind your head, "None of this would have been possible if it wasn't for me. I found her, I'm the one who trailed her to their new hideout, and I'm the one that planted the bomb. I'm the one who sent the foot in to capture them, and I'm the one that made her." 

You fought the urge to strike Baxter as his hands started to work on the restraints, making sure that they were still sturdy, "I have half a mind to let them go and let him try and pull what I did. I seem to remember that over the course of more than a decade, he has tried and failed to kill the Hamato family. I can see how deranged he is, how his mind curdles with this obsession. He hired me to do the impossible, and now I have done it. And what do I get as a thanks?" 

He yanked at a restraint that you hadn't noticed over your chest and you had to fight not to cough as it pressed on your ribs (I mean, thank God it covered your tits at least), "I get a dirty old broom closet made into a piss-poor desk that even Clayton wouldn't touch. That's it. Sure, it's in Shredder Tower, but I mean, come on. I deserve payment." He hissed the last part, yanking a restraint around your hips so hard that you had to bite the inside of your cheek not to yelp. 

Baxter fell silent, breathing hard and just standing by the table. After a moment, he leaned over you and ran a finger gently against the gills on your cheeks, whispering, "Extraordinary. Extraordinary. I knew that the goo had unknown possibilities for mutagen, but to completely alter a species... In a matter of hours... Incredible." 

Your skin prickled - you felt as sick as you did at the park, watching old men staring at children at the parks. You wanted to smack his hand away, turn and bite him, something, but the memory of the fact that the Hamato family and Leatherhead were somewhere being held kept you still and steady. Finally, he pulled his hand away from your cheek and stepped down the table a bit, standing down at your feet. The hairs on the back of your neck prickled as his hand touched your thigh, touch ghosting up to where the strap covered you. Your foot twitched and your breathing hitched, brain sending volts of shock and fear through your body. 

No. Not this. 

Not here, not now, not like this. Your mind shut down, a familiar and striking feeling that you hadn't felt for years. Scenes fluttered past your shut eyes, scenes of blankets pulled over your head at age 8, only to be ripped off. Head tilted to the side, watching your teddy bear with the blood stain on the cheek, silently wishing that he would come alive and help you. 

"Hm. It seems that everything anatomy wise seems more or less the same," Baxter said cooly, his voice a little deeper but as flat as if he were examining a specimen on a slide, (which you guessed that, in some ways, you were). His hand roughly pulled your left thigh to the side, and cool air confirmed the fact that you were, indeed, naked. 

Shame washed through you, with a mad urge to laugh at finding yourself in a position like this. Your eyes prickled and the back of your throat constricted, but a sharp voice ripped through your mind, startling you almost enough to jump. Thankfully, though, you were still. 

Ya aren't so touch now are ya, princess? 

Thoughts of Raphael burst through your mind like a damn, spilling feeling back into your limbs, pulling your mind back from the dark corner that you were heading to. Baxter's voice penetrated your thoughts, though, "Pity. No tail." 

It was like a dam had burst inside of you. You were not going to let him shame you like this, whether he thought you were asleep or not. You weren't going to shut down and risk letting your new family die just because you were scared. There was a time and a place to lick your wounds, to return to the depths that you had tried so hard to forget and repress. Now was not that time. You had to think of a way out, and you needed to think of a way to get rid of Baxter. For good.

The certainty of that last thought only mildly startled you. It seemed that the training the Hamato family had given you had grown more than your muscles. 

Finally, thankfully, something distracted Baxter. The door to the lab opened and heavy foot falls echoed. Baxter removed his hand from you quick as lightning, turning, you imagined, in a guilty way to face the newcomer. You heard him sigh in the back of his throat, but say aloud, 

"Ah, How... nice of you to join me. But didn't I tell you to take your--" 

"Shut up." The voice was rough and deep and gut-wrenchingly familiar, "Karai sent for you. She wishes to speak with you, now." 

Baxter sighed a little, "I shall be along in a few moments, Han." 

"Now. You can have your," you could hear Hun's smirk, "Fun later. She will still be here. Karai will not." 

"Fine," Baxter snapped. 

You peeked through your eyelashes and your heart stopped. Hun stood just within your line of vision, an unfriendly blast from the past. You shut your eyes quickly, focusing on steadying your breathing as you listened to the footsteps receding, and the eventual door closing. You took a second, straining to listen to make sure that you really were alone, before opening your eyes completely. You looked around you, wincing a little at the harsh light. You were in what looked like an ER waiting room. You were laying on a bed, with an IV in your arm and dripping something light blue into your skin. You shuddered, resisting the urge to try and rip it out. You couldn't reach it tied down. 

There was a sink and a cupboard by the door to your left, but otherwise the room was bare. You turned your head to the right and came face to face with a one-way mirror. Great. If your skin wasn't crawling before, it was now. Were they watching you now? You couldn't focus on that now. You had to figure out a way to get up and out, had to find a way to find the others before something bad happened to them. Close to the bed on your right was a rolling cart that had (like straight out of a B-rated horror movie) some surgical tools that you could just see glinting. 

Your mind started to race, trying to think of a way to get out. You could lift your head, and you did, looking down at yourself. 

Your green skin was oddly pale under the bright light. Thick brown leather straps wrapped around your chest, waist, ankles and your wrists. It saved the majority of your modesty, thankfully, but the way that your ankles were tied only saved it from a certain angle, you were sure. Your skin was glistening faintly with panic sweat, your fingers shaking with adrenaline. You started struggling, your heart racing and a soft beeping from the machine penetrating your mind. You could feel the panic fogging your mind, but you knew that you couldn't let it. You had to stay calm. 

You let your head rest back onto the bed, and you focused on your erratic, shaky breathing. You tried to remember your training, remembering all of those times in the meditation room, the feeling of the candles around you, soft flickers of warmth from the small flame. You tried to remember the smoke from the incense that Leonardo was partial to, and the feeling of your mind drifting away, but remaining constant. 

It took a lot longer than you wanted, but eventually you managed to calm your pulse and clear your mind. You slowly opened your eyes and looked around, a calmness settling over you that allowed you to think more critically. What could you do? 

You gently pulled at the restraints around your wrists. They weren't super tight - you wondered if you could somehow pull your hands out. You tugged, flexing your hand and trying to morph it into different positions. Your brows furrowed a little with concentration, but you noticed something that gave you the first pangs of hope. The leather restraints were hot around your skin, and the more that you struggled, the more sweat seemed to slick your wrists. This gave you an idea. You closed your eyes and let the fear wash over you. 

You were filled with panic, scared about what was going to happen to your family, what was going to happen to Raphael. What was going to happen to you? What happened if Baxter came back, or worse, that man with the scar on his face? What if they found you trying to escape? Your throat started to constrict, and your breathing started to become erratic and jerky, but it worked. Your fear triggered your sweat glands (unfortunately, or fortunately in this respect, you had always been a pretty sweaty person if you were scared, anxious or working out) and after 10 long minutes, you finally managed to pull your hand free. 

Gasping, relief flooding through you, you forced your mind clear again. You started to feel around the bed for the latches on the restraint around your chest. Your fingers stumbled over a thick clasp, and it took another 5 minutes to get it undone. You were wasting time - you had no idea how long you were going to be left alone for, but you had to at least try to get out. You didn't want to be there when he came back. You pulled the strap off of you, breathing a sigh of relief as the pressure on your chest lessened. You pushed yourself up and started undoing the last of the latches on your waist and ankles. Those didn't take long, thankfully. 

Finally, you were free. Red, angry welts from the edges of the restraints made you wince as you moved, but you decided it was a small price to pay for freedom. You hopped off of the bed unsteadily and ripped the IV from your arm. Hot blood bubbled up immediately, but you ignored it and scanned the room. You saw a little wardrobe behind where the bed was, where it had been out of your line of vision. You rushed over, opened it and let out a little gasp of relief. You pulled on one of the 4 lab coats inside and, deciding you might need them, grabbed a few scalpels and scissors from the cart by your bed. 

You stared for a moment at yourself (for some strange reason, you noticed that the tops of your ears had grown webs. When had that happened?) in the one way mirror, still uneasy, but you couldn't worry about that now. You were free, and you had to get your family free, too. You padded to the door, paused for a moment with your ear pressed to it, listening. You heard nothing, so you eased the door open silently, peering out. 

There was a white hallway behind the door, thankfully empty. Heart pounding, you slipped out, closing the door softly behind you. You crept along the wall, ducking into an empty room a little ways down when you heard footsteps. Crouching behind the door, you waited as the footsteps drew closer... closer... and then down a different hallway. You breathed a shaky sigh of relief and peered out, silently jogging down the rest of the hallway and taking a left (after making sure that it was deserted.) 

You reached an elevator with a staircase to the side. Logically, you knew that the elevator would be quicker, but it was also the most obvious. At least on the stairs, you could hear if someone was there and get back up, and maybe (provided that all of the doors had little windows on the top) check to make sure the floor you were stepping onto was empty. You chose the stairs. 

Going down. 

Chapter Text

Your heart was beating a million miles a second, and your hands were clammy. As you crept down the stairs, stopping every few seconds to try and listen for any hint of noise, your mind raced. You knew that it wouldn't be long before your empty bed was discovered, and there was no way that they were just going to be like, "Oh, oops, oh well let's move on". It was only a matter of time before the place was crawling, looking for you. You had to hurry and find where the Hamato family was... 

You paused for a second. Where were you even going? How were you supposed to find them? What if they were on the same floor as you? You were in over your head, and your rapidly beating heart skipped a beat. You had no idea what you were doing, but you knew that if the roles were switched, that wouldn't stop anybody else. You had to keep moving. Robotically moving forwards, still stopping every few seconds and listening, you finally reached a door to the next floor down. Thankfully, there was a little window. 

Pressing yourself against the wall so as to hide from someone looking through, you reached the door and pressed an ear to it. Nothing. You peered around you, and then lifted onto your tippie toes and looked out the window. It was an eerie corridor - it looked like a hospital wing. You could smell the antiseptic from there. You had an almost sickening feeling of foreboding - you didn't want to go in there. You wanted to just keep descending and go to a different floor, but you had this feeling that you had to go in there. Taking a shuddering breath, you slowly turned the doorknob and poked your head through. 

The antiseptic smell was almost overwhelming - it immediately gave you a headache. You looked up and down the hall - nobody was there. It was now or never. You slipped through the door and crept to the left, blood rushing through your ears. As you slipped down the hallway, you looked around and realized with a slight dart of panic that there were no rooms in either side of the hall. It was just wall. If someone came around the corner, you were fucked. Your throat constricted, but you kept going forwards. 

You paused at the end of the hall, straining to listen around you. Nothing. You peered cautiously around the corner. It was empty, too, save for an elevator at the end of the hallway. That was weird. There were no rooms down on this floor, it seemed, not even a broom closet. You looked behind you, debating whether or not to go the other way. After a split second, you turned back the way you had come and crept back down the hall, pausing in front of the door. Once you were sure that there was nobody in the stairs, you dashed past it and crept down the other end of the hall. 

You paused at the corner and peered down. Dead end. You huffed in annoyance through your nose and turned back the way that you had come. You had only taken two steps when you heard the door open. You froze, heart in your mouth, and slowly backed up towards the tiny corner. It was just deep enough that you could press yourself against the wall and not be seen. You heard footsteps, the door close behind the person, and the footsteps walking down the opposite end of the hallway. You peered around the corner, breath still held, and froze. 

The raven haired man that had been talking to Baxter in your room was striding towards the other end. He hadn't seen you, thankfully, and you instantly knew that you were where you needed to be. You twitched, wanting to follow him, but deciding that it would be safer to wait until he was at least around the corner. Once he had disappeared, you quietly, quickly scampered after him, not stopping by the staircase door to make sure nobody else was there. You reached the end of the hall and peered around the corner just as the man walked into the elevator. You yanked your head back as he turned around. You held your breath, listening as the doors closed. 

You glanced around the corner again and sucked in a breath. How were you supposed to follow him now? You had no idea what floor he had pressed, no idea where he had gone. Thoughts of Raphael flashed through your mind and you steeled your nerves. You had to do something. You couldn't just stand there and be like, "Oh shit, oops, better luck next time!" 

You watched as the light above the elevator shone red, and then green as it presumably stopped at it's destination. You weren't sure whether he would know if you pressed the elevator button or not, but you waited with bated breath for a few moments just to be safe. Once you felt a little more comfortable that the chances of running right into him once the elevator doors opened were low, you scampered across to the elevator and pressed the button. You heard a soft humming, a pleasant ding, and then the doors slid open. You slipped inside and let out a sigh of relief - there was only one button, one destination. 

As quickly as the relief pinged through you, dread followed. Only one floor. You remembered his rattling voice, the dangerous edge to the kimono dude, and your skin crawled. With a shaking finger, you pressed the button and the doors slid closed. Your stomach lurched gently as the elevator car dropped downwards at a worryingly rapid rate. You hated elevators - not even confined spaces, but elevators in general. Too many horror movies, you guessed. You closed your eyes and imagined what it felt like when Raphael had pinned you against the wall, the smell of him and the taste, and your nerves calmed slightly. 

You allowed yourself one pitiful thought - once you found them and got them free, you wouldn't be alone. You were sure that they were going to take over and deal with things much better, and you privately let that comforting thought sweep over you. Women power be damned - you were in over your head, and despite being proud, you weren't suicidally proud. You knew when you didn't have a chance. Well, you did have one chance. Finding the Hamato family. 

The elevator reached it's floor with a soft ding, which brought you back to the present. The momentary relief that you felt melted away to molten panic. Where were you? Where was that man? How were you sure that he wasn't there, waiting for you, somehow aware that you had been following him? What if this was a trap? The doors opened and you forced the squeaking voice back in your mind, taking a deep, stabilizing breath like Leo had taught you. Your headache was bad, but not so bad that it was debilitating. It was more annoying. 

The doors swung open and you froze, watching as the floor materialized in front of you, still expecting to be met with the man or, worse, Hun. Thankfully, it was empty. It looked almost identical to the hallway upstairs, and you frowned uncomfortably. It reminded you of the early stages of SCP Containment breach. Despite that game never really scaring you, you felt your heart rate skyrocket. I really need to stop letting my mind wander and scare myself, you thought sternly. 

Cautiously, you stepped onto the floor and listened as the doors whoosed closed behind you and the car whirred back up. You turned behind you and noticed that there was, indeed, a light above the elevator. It shone a bright green, and you assumed that it meant that it was empty, and there was nobody waiting from above. You turned your attention back to the hall in front of you and started down it softly, your bare feet making soft slapping noises. 

Back hunched and knees bent, you surveyed your surroundings. You were creeping down a long white hall with no doors on either side, like upstairs, but as you reached the corner, you were met with one wide, black door that looked like it needed a key card. You frowned and glanced behind you. The light on the elevator was still green. Your breathing was still shaky, and you turned back to the key card. You crept closer and inspected it. There were no windows on the door, no way of knowing what lay beyond it, but you were sure, with a certainty that made you sick, that you needed to get into there. There was a familiar scent the you could just make out underneath the stink of hospital. You weren't sure what it was, but it made your heart ache. You needed to get beyond there. 

You remembered the white coat that you were wearing and patted the pockets. It took a second, but with a jolt of triumph, you found one small key card with the name, "P.J Crocker" written on the inside. It seemed like luck was on your side. You momentarily wondered if it seemed too good to be true, but you couldn't dwell on that. You had to just go forwards, wary, but forwards. You shakily swiped the card through the machine, and after a heart wrenching second, something popped up on the tiny screen. An eye. It had an eye scanner. Anguish penetrated your mind, and you deflated, sure that you had just hit a wall. But at the bottom left hand corner, it had an 'other' option. You pressed it carefully, darting back and watching the light on top of the elevator just in case it turned red. 

There were three options available. One was the symbol of an eye (retinal scanner), the other was a hand (that one was obvious) and then there was a little keypad emoticon. A pass-code. You frowned and pressed that option, feeling that that was the best shot that you had. You stared at the screen as it gave way to 4 blank digits and a number pad. You glanced around desperately, then pulled the keycard up to your face and inspected it for a 4 digit pass-code. Lo and behold, you found one in small writing just on the back, along the bottom. Whoever this was obviously had a shitty memory, you thought with a swell of gratitude. 

You plugged it in, and just as the light shone green, you heard a ding from the elevator. Somebody was coming. 

You didn't have time to think about what was on the other side, or who. You just waited impatiently as the doors swung open. You dashed through and the doors closed behind you almost immediately, as if sensing you walking through. Your eyes adjusted to your surroundings, and your stomach dropped. 

You were in what looked like something from that steampunk game Bioshock Infinite. You were standing on a platform overlooking what looked like a scientific dungeon. It was a stereotypical evil scientist place, and it made your skin crawl. Thankfully, the door was draped in shadow, and there was nobody near you. You silently walked to the edge of the platform, peering over the railing. You clapped a hand to your mouth to keep from making a noise. 

The Hamato family were bound by their wrists against a wall across from you, with an industrial sized pillar filled with something neon green. Ooze, sprang into your mind with electrical shocks of panic. The four turtles were gagged and hung lifelessly from their wrists against the wall, angry looking bruises and cuts littering their body. Master Splinter, stripped of his robe, looked sickly and small against the wall, but his eyes were open and fixed on something that was just out of your range of sight. Leatherhead was nowhere to be seen, you noticed with a shock that almost made you gag. Then, the voices reached your ears. 

"....knew that I would be here. This was, after all, inevitable, my friend. I, the Shredder, am and always will be, your death." 

Shredder? The Shredder? It had to be. It wasn't really a popular title. 

Master Splinter, despite how he looked, maintained a sharp and voice as he shot back, "We have been through this many times, Oroku Saki. Have you not been humiliated enough?" 

There was that cold, razor sharp laughter again, "My, my, you are still so disrespectful despite your position, aren't you?" 

There was a soft pause, and in that pause, you remembered that there was someone still coming from the elevator, probably to here. Your heart jumped into your throat, and almost as if waiting for your realization, you heard footsteps from the other end of the double doors. Swearing softly in your head, you looked around you, dimly aware of the conversation still going on behind you. 

"This will not be your rising, Oroku Saki," Came Splinter's rough voice. 

You quickly crept to your right, down a set of stairs. You heard that high laughter again and suppressed the urge to just sit and cry. You looked around wildly as you heard the doors swing open - you had literal seconds to hide. Your eyes landed on a bunch of boxes near the wall ahead of you, and you made a mad dash, hoping that your footsteps wouldn't be heard. Just as two people walked into the room, you ducked behind a large crate. You curled up into a tight ball, eyes closed, barely breathing, hoping that you wouldn't be seen. 

You could hear the two newcomers walking noisily down the stairs, and heard the conversation pause. You heard Shredder's sigh of impatient and a soft grunt of discomfort from Splinter. 

"What is the meaning of this disruption?" Shredder snapped, a dangerous edge to his voice. 

One of the men cleared their throat, obviously not wanting to be there, "There's been an, um, situation upstairs, Master." 

You could practically hear Shredder's eyes narrow, "What situation?" He hissed, his voice soft but carrying. 

"The, um, girl.. she's gone." 

"What?" Shredder hissed, rage echoing from the single word. 

"Y-Yes Master... W-We.." 

"Silence," Shredder snapped. 

You heard footsteps coming towards the stairs, and you held your breath, shaking, wondering just how hidden you were. As the steps drew closer, you could hear the muttering of, "Baxter... should have known... could not trust...." 

You gathered the strength to peer around the crate. Sure enough, the man with the raven hair and kimono (Shredder, as you knew now) was flanked by the other two dressed in black body suits. Shredder pressed a hand to the doors and they swung open. The three of them disappeared. The doors swung shut. Your eyes prickled, fear and adrenaline overwhelming you. They were looking for you now. Panic swam around you, but for once it gave you clarity instead of crippling cold. You slowly emerged from your hiding spot and peered around. 

They layout of the area was similar to that of the turtle's old home, you realized with an uncomfortable prickle. It looked like you were alone, no guards left to watch. You eyed the Hamato family from where you stood and privately agreed that there was no way they would be getting out of that. After a second, you crept forwards and into the light. Splinter slumped against the wall, breathing hard, but looked up as you drew closer. 

He didn't seem surprised, but something glittered in his eyes. Pride? Relief? 

"My daughter," he croaked, and you briefly felt a surge of affection at being called his daughter, "We must be quick. Wake my sons. Leave me, and free them first. We have little time." 

You nodded and crouched in front of Leonardo first, figuring that he would be the best option. You smacked his cheeks, gently at first, and then more roughly. 

"Leo, Leo wake up, we need you," You hissed. 

"My son," Splinter tossed in, "Wake." 

After a few moments, Leo's eyes fluttered and his head rolled. His mask was stained with blood and his muscles rippled as he strained against his wrists. He slowly woke up and you let out a shaky, relieved laugh. 

"Hey, sleeping beauty," you said, reached up and starting to try and open the cuffs. 

"Wha... what the shell..." Leo murmured, stirring and jolting forwards alarmingly as you managed to open the cuffs. 

You quickly grabbed him and pushed him up, trying to stomach the panic at his wild, uncertain eyes, "Leo, look at me. Something happened. We're in a compound, I think. Baxter and Shredder are here. We need to get out." 

Almost immediately, he snapped to attention. You had only seconds to appreciate how quickly Leo jumped back into the role of leader before he pushed himself up and started to untie Splinter, despite his father's arguments. You started to try and wake up Mikey, who was suspended beside where Leo had been. It took a little longer to wake Mikey - Splinter was free and scoping the area out as Leo started to wake up and uncuff Donnie. 

Once Mikey was awake and untied, Leo asked if you could get Raph, and turned to shuffle to his father. You quickly scuttled over to Raph and gently pressed your fingers against his forehead. He had a fever, but that was to be expected. He wasn't exactly healthy at the moment. You patted his cheek firmly, whispering his name and trying not to let the panic in your voice show. He smiled a little, presumably dreaming, and murmured your name. 

You paused. 

"_____," he murmured, stirring uncomfortably against his binds. 

You swallowed thickly and patted his cheek again, calling his name louder. He stirred again, the muscles in his arms rippling as he pulled against the handcuffs. You noticed that his mask was torn to shreds near the back and was holding on by a single strong piece against the knot. His eyes were puffy and a painful grey colour, and there was a nasty looking scrape against his left cheek. You pressed your thumb gently against the bruise and then jerked back as Raphael suddenly jerked awake, yelling angrily. 

You moved back to him, muttering reassuringly as he strained and pulled against the cuffs, disoriented and lashing out. It took him a moment, after the cuffs were released, and he stumbled to his knees, shoulders shaking as he tried to calm his breathing. You gently grabbed his arm and he pulled away from you, something passing through his eyes that made you blink and step back, feeling as though a fist had closed around your heart. He wouldn't look at you. 

He struggled to his feet and stomped over to where his brothers and Splinter stood, and for a moment, you just stood there, watching the male walk away with one thought in your mind. Did he blame you for this? 

Swallowing the bitter taste the thought left in your mouth, you turned and stared up at the massive container of goo with morbid wonder. You blinked as Leo called your name. You turned and walked over, staring at the Hamato family in concern. 

"Are you guys alright?" You asked, voice shaking. 

Leo smiled at you, "Yeah, thanks to you. We need to figure out what's going on and how to get out of here." 

Splinter spoke up, his voice hoarse, "The Shredder is here. We must proceed with caution." 

Leonardo frowned and you thought that you heard Mikey murmur, "Of-fucking-course he's here." 

"What do you mean, sensei?" 

Splinter eyed you knowingly for a moment, then said, "We spoke briefly before _____ arrived. They have noticed she is missing. We must leave, now." 

You shook your head, suddenly light headed, "It's going to be really difficult to get out. There's one elevator up that leads to an empty hallway. As far as I know, it's the only way that we can get out, which means that it's going to be difficult for the 5 of us to get out without being seen. Especially because they know I'm missing now," you added guiltily. 

Raphael finally glanced over at you, meeting your gaze for a brief moment. Your stomach hurt. Leonardo rubbed his hands together and looked around uneasily. Donatello frowned and said, his voice cracking, "Where are we?" 

"Ah! I'm glad that you finally asked," A magnified voice boomed through the lab, "I've been waiting impatiently for that very question." 

It was Baxter's voice - the 6 of you looked around wildly, trying to see where he was, but he just laughed, "You won't be able to see me. I wouldn't risk myself down there with the likes of you. I am surprised that it took as little time as it did for _____ to get free. But no matter, we're ready all the same. Wait until you see what _____ has helped us create. It really is... shocking.

You had been so shocked by the large container of goo that you hadn't taken the time to see that there was something beyond it. There were three sets of large, industrial double doors that, at that moment, shuddered open. You backed up, watching as your throat closed up. There were three, very large shapes stirring behind the doors. 

"Holy shell." 

Holy shell was right. 

Chapter Text

You felt hands grab your shoulders and yank them back - you stumbled behind a figure. It took you a second to realize that it was Raphael who had pushed you behind him protectively. You peered around his shoulder and watched as the doors fully opened. You heard Mikey let out a little squeak and hide behind you, swearing about damn b-rated horror movies. 

You felt Raphael grasp behind him and take hold of your arm, holding you still. He didn't have to worry - you weren't planning on rushing right out at it. What the it was, you still didn't know, but at the groan from Leo and Don, you could tell that they recognized... it. 

Baxter seemed to have gone silent, and Leonardo started speaking swiftly, formulating a plan of attack as fast as he could, "Alright guys, there's three of them. They look like... they're..." the words died in his throat as a familiar sounding growl broke through the silence. Your blood ran cold. 

"Oh my God.. is that... is that..." 

One of the large, hulking creatures started lumbering forwards and, unfortunately, into the light. The creature was crazed, eyes bloodshot and bulging, and it's body looked like a swollen, scaly balloon. It was Leatherhead, or at least, it used to be Leatherhead. You felt grief, anger and sickness crawl up inside of you - you hadn't known Leatherhead as long as the Hamato's had, but in the short time that you had spent together, enjoying his hospitality, you had grown about as fond of him as you were of everyone else. You couldn't imagine how the brothers and Splinter were feeling, but you couldn't tear your eyes away from the monstrosity that used to be a friend to see. 

Raphael shuddered and you could practically feel the grief rush through him, echoed around you by the others. Tears clouded your vision and you let out a sob. Raphael's grip on you tightened - it hurt, but you didn't want him to let go. 

Leatherhead stumbled forwards. You noticed that he had a huge electric collar around his neck, and with a jolt you made the connection between what Baxter had said. It really is... shocking. 

You resisted the urge to gag and watched as he stumbled forwards, letting out an angry and pain-filled snarl. The other two creatures started to rumble forwards, but you couldn't turn away, couldn't stop looking at the swollen, painful lesions on Leatherhead's skin, the bloody foam that coated the corners of his mouth, and the way that his body trembled with every step. 

Leonardo took a shaky breath and said firmly, "We have to get out of here. _____, you said that there's an elevator at the end of--" 

"Ah, ah, ah, not so fast," Baxter's infuriatingly amused voice crackled through what you assumed to be speakers, "We have the security systems offline. You're stuck in here. There's no way that you can get out." He let out a laugh that made you sicker still, "Now, let's make your death a little more interesting, hm? We've got a live audience, after all." 

Blind rage shot through you with so much power that it scared you. They had tortured Leatherhead to the point of breaking, captured the 6 of you, and locked you in with three crazed monsters to die on display for God knows how many other sickos. How dare they do this to your family. Not even thinking about yourself, you were more outraged that they had done this to your family, the people who had taken you in when you needed them the most. You were about to push Raphael to the side and do... something... when a voice kept you still. 

"Leo..nardo..." Leatherhead grunted, his voice watery and hesitant. 

You saw the brother in question flinch and start to creep forwards, eyes locked on the hulking figure staggering around the pillar of ooze towards them, "Leatherhead..." You could tell that he had no idea what to say. 

The other two beasts staggered forwards, grunting and groaning, and you finally looked at them. One of them was a grotesque version of what you assumed was a rhinoceros. It was as large and tortured as Leatherhead - in fact, perhaps more so. It was panting, with the same shock collar around it's neck and bloody foam on the corners of it's mouth, it's horn a sickly green color with something weeping out of it. It let out gurgling noises, and opened it's mouth. You noticed with a sickening lurch that the thing had no tongue, just a black nub that twitched. Swallowing your gorge, you looked at the creature beside it as it stumbled into the other. 

It was just as horrible, if not worse so. It was what looked like a nightmare version of a hog might look like in one of those disgusting, horrible scientific horror movies that Mikey liked to watch in his spare time. It's tusks were yellow and cracked - they looked infected and painful near the opening of it's mouth. It's neck was bubbling around the shock collar, almost like the skin around it was melting into the collar. You felt your chest heaving, breath shallow and scared. You barely registered Raphael turn to you, eyes widening. 

"Not now," he grunted, shooting a desperate look at Donatello, who seemed to understand and muttered quickly to Mikey and Splinter, "Look at me. Look at me. _______, look at me. Ya can't freak out now - ya can't. We can't." 

He grabbed your shoulders, staring into your eyes the same way that he had when you had panicked from almost falling off the roof all those years ago. You were shaking and you could only imagine what your face looked like. You dimly registered a little flicker of shame wash through you for falling to pieces yet again in a hostile situation. Raphael smacked your cheek with his thick hand, panic darting through his own eyes as he repeated your name, glancing over his shoulder at Donnie and shouting something like, "She's gonna faint, Don, I don' know what ta do I can'.." 

Whether it was his panicked expression or the weight of what was happening finally crushing into you, you snapped back into your body so violently that you jolted forwards, mind suddenly clear. Tears still rolled down your cheeks, but your voice was firm as you shouted at Leo, your gaze focusing over Raph's shoulder. 

"LEO! Look out!" 

You shouldn't have said anything. 

Leatherhead stood just past the goo, swaying as he listened to Leo trying to reason with him. You noticed in that split second that Leatherhead was still in there, he was still there, conscious, understanding what was happening. But the other two creatures had no such clarity left in them. The rhino seemed to finally clue into what was happening and it let out a deafening roar and started forwards at alarming speed. You had just warned Leo in time to move away, but Leo didn't catch on in time. He looked over his shoulder at you instead, and as a result, got slammed back with jaw-aching strength. 

Leatherhead shook his head and let out a gutteral scream that made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. You thought for sure that the madness was getting to him, but he turned and he barreled into the rhino, knocking him backwards and away from them. The hog, still grunting and drooling dazedly, hadn't caught on to what was happening yet. You turned and immediately started rattling off orders, your brain whirring. 

"DON go and check Leo oh God he isn't moving, Mikey, Raph, Splinter help me get the hog under control while it's still not aware, oh my God oh my God" 

Despite the panic that flooded hotly through you, you knew that you couldn't afford to clench up and freak out again. Not now. Yes, you were in this nightmare horror movie, and yes you were a splinter away from having a mental breakdown, but it could wait. It had to. You dimly heard Raphael murmur something behind you to Don as you scanned the room, looking for the best way to attack the hog, "Don, is that... Bebop?" 

Mikey was reacting more or less the same way as you. You glanced over at him and saw how close to panicking he was, and you felt a sudden surge of affection and strength. They had been through hell in a hand basket before, yes, but this was... incomprehensible. You saw, out of the corner of your eye, Donatello dashing over to Leonardo as Mikey, Raph and Splinter drew closer to you. 

"We must fight," Splinter said, and you glanced over. He smiled encouragingly at you, "Follow my lead. Do not look at me like that, my child, I still got it." He winked playfully at you and you smiled sheepishly. 

The three of you followed Splinter, who darted nimbly off to the side and rushed at the hog. Mikey dashed ahead of you, and Raphael paused only a moment before following suit. It was like you had one mind - you darted to the left, Splinter ran around to behind the monster, Mikey darted right, and Raphael charged the thing head on. He let out an angry yell and shot off from the ground, sais drawn. You wondered briefly where he had gotten his weapons back from - in fact, everyone seemed to have them back. You decided that that could wait. 

The monster yelled in angry surprise as Raphael swung towards it, lifting the arm closest to you to swat him away. Nope, sorry, not today buddy, you thought as you flung yourself upwards at the monster. You were light and definitely not anything dangerous at that moment (you realized just then that you had literally no weapons and threw yourself at a monster four times your size with TALONS) but your momentum was enough to catch the creature off guard. He grunted in surprise, his arm pushed back and allowing Raphael to land a hefty kick into it's chest. 

It let out a WOOF as the air was knocked out of it's lungs, and Mikey reared up, shouting in a quavering voice, "COWABUNGA DUDE!" his nunchucks flickering in the eerie green light. He landed an audible smack onto the creature's head, sending it teetering to the side. You saw something metallic flicker through the air, and suddenly the hog lurched backwards, blood glittering in the air in a horizontal arc from it's chest. You saw Splinter standing behind the creature, lips curled away from his teeth, brandishing what looked like a wire. You connected the two images and shouted at the other two, getting their attention, and gestured at it's chest. They thankfully understood. 

"SPLINTER, GET OUT OF THE WAY," you shouted suddenly, and the three of you dashed forwards, launched into the air, and kicked the monster in the chest. 

With a wail that reminded you of a pig for slaughter, it lurched backwards and hit the ground with a sick crunch. Splinter flew into the air out of nowhere, holding a scalpel (again, from nowhere) and plunged downwards. The thing let out a pitiful scream, and then went still. Swaying sickly, you stared at the now dead monster. Splinter staggered back, fur splattered with blood and dust. The look of grief and pain on his face was raw and fleeting - he looked up at the three of you and steeled his expression. 

A deafening cracking sound jolted you back to reality. You whirled around and saw that Leatherhead had been pinned against the tower of ooze. Cracked were rippling through the tank, and immediately a feeling of foreboding rippled through you. You turned around wildly and saw Donnie supporting a staggering Leo, blood dribbling from the corner of his mouth. 

You gestured at the others to follow and you ran to the struggling two brothers, "We need to get up those stairs. NOW." 

With one glance at the green tower, Donatello nodded and yanked Leo off towards the stairs. Leo started to say something, but was cut off by an angry yell across the speakers that made your eardrums ring, "NO YOU INSUFFERABLE FREAKS! GET AWAY FROM THAT TOWER AND KILL THE MUTANTS!" The rhino paused for a moment, as did Leatherhead, and a sizzling sound penetrated the momentary silence. 

Both monsters let out spine tingling screams of pain as the shock collar sparked and brought them to their knees. You knew that you only had moments. You darted to the other side of Leo, wrapping his arm around your shoulders and shouting, "NOW! We have to get out, NOW!" 

The cracks around the tower were started to spread around the entire thing. Little bits of the goo seemed to be seeping out, and the top started bubbling from the pressure. You knew that you didn't have long, and you knew that, even though the doors were jammed, you had to get up on the platform. That thing wasn't going to hold, and they weren't going to be shocked for long. Raphael lead Splinter quickly towards the staircase first and only followed once Leo, Don and Mikey were up. You waved him along, peering around the lab for a weapon. You were not going to keep throwing yourself at people to get away from them. 

Raphael took a few steps up, under the impression that you were going to follow, but stopped and yelled at you as you turned and dashed towards a table under the platform. There were some scalpels and what looked like a display case. Maybe this was where they had gotten their weapons? Oddly convenient, having their weapons so close by... you paused suddenly, a chill skittering down your spine. In fact, it was very convenient. You heard a roar behind you, thundering footsteps, and the sound of Raphael's horase, panic stricken voice. 

You immediately grabbed the first thing that you could (a little bronze dagger) just as Leatherhead and the rhino staggered to their feet. You could tell from one look at Leatherhead that any piece of him was gone. At least for the moment. Whatever they had done to him... you felt tears sting your eyes again as you stared at him. A second too late, you realized that they were coming at you. You had to get the fuck out of the way. 

Yelping, you jerked into action and started to run towards the staircase. Raphael was back down at the base, staring angrily at you, shouting, "What the FUCK are you doin'!?" 

"I needed a weapon!" You shouted back, coming closer and all too aware of how fast they were gaining. 

You knew two things right off the bat. a) you weren't going to make it up the steps. b) those steps weren't going to save you, and if they got there, they would rip the staircase down and when that tower blew, you'd be in the goo. You started to slow. Raphael started yelling at you again, as did he brothers, but you kept slowing down. Making a split second decision, you stopped, shook your head, and turned, running the other direction and grabbing a piece of fallen pipe. You threw it at the rhino (who was looking at the others angrily) and waved your arms at Leatherhead to draw their attention away from the staircase. 

You ignored the chorus of screams from behind you and, eyes stinging, you lead the two hulks away. 

Baxter was right. You had helped cause this. Not directly, of course, and certainly not knowingly, but you had helped this. The Hamato family had done everything for you, and they had treated you like one of their own. Chest heaving as you ran, listening to the sounds of the guys yelling and the hulks crashing towards you, you also heard a deafening crack. The tower was starting to crumble. 

As you lead the monsters back towards the cages that they had been locked in, a blur of movement to your right caught you off guard. Raphael rushed towards you, lips pulled back in an angry snarl. Donatello and Leonardo dashed up behind him, and you turned, glancing behind you when you heard a deafening wail. Leatherhead seemed to have regained some memory through the hazy pain. He had bowled himself into the rhino and the two of them hit the ground, yelling and wrestling dangerously. 

"Get your ass over here," Raphael hissed, grabbing your arm angrily and wrenching you to the side. 

You were pretty sure that he had just given you whiplash, but you couldn't think of that just then. Baxter's voice crackled over the system again, this time seemingly fighting to stay calm, "No matter. If you won't do what I want you to, I guess I shall have to deploy plan B." 

You exchanged a worried look at Raphael, who shook his head, mouth set in a grim frown. As the two hulks rolled around, fighting for dominance, you heard a gutteral voice rise over the noise, "Leonardo and family, get to the platform. I have not much time... please...." 

You realized with a jolt that it was Leatherhead speaking. Leonardo turned (you couldn't understand how he was up and moving already) and shouted, "We aren't going to leave you!" 

"Do not be.." he grunted as the rhino bit into his shoulder, "... an idiot. Get. Out." 

Splinter and Donatello grabbed Leo and started to drag him back against his will. It hurt you, watching this, watching Leonardo fall to pieces. He shouted, his mask wet with blood and tears. Raphael cringed and yanked you towards the staircase, wincing at each of Leo's anguished cries. You followed him without speaking, staring over your shoulder to make sure that everyone was following. 

You reached the staircase and started to pull everyone else up the stairs, Leo still shouting himself hoarse and straining. You saw Leatherhead glance over his shoulder to make sure that you were all on the platform, before swinging his tree trunk of a tail right into the tower. It shattered with a sound like a firecracker, and the goo exploded out. It seemed to be boiling hot - Leatherhead and the rhino let out agonized screams as it washed over them, covering them in seconds. The thick ooze spread across the floor, disintegrating almost everything that it came into contact with. You realized dimly that all of you were yelling, watching as one grizzly hand lifted to the surface of the ooze, the skin rippling and bursting like little boils.. mutating. 

You felt Raphael shaking behind you, hand falling from your arm. 

You stood on the platform, watching in shock as the contents of that damned tower swallowed everything it touched, both thankful that you were safe from it's path and boiling with rage over not being able to do something. Like something from a horror movie, you watched as the surface rippled again, a horrific face emerging, arms flailing, trying to save itself. 

You let out a sob, shaking and hugging yourself. 

You didn't have time to mourn the horrors you were watching, though, because right behind you the doors shuddered open. 

Chapter Text

Looking back on it, you supposed that you were stupid to have thought that this was anything but a setup. Everything was moving so fast, though - it was like one of those shutter cameras that you had been given one Christmas, years and years ago for a gift. You know the ones - the little red ones with film in them that you snapped in. When you looked through and pressed the plastic button the photos changed - it was like looking at a still film that you had control of. Well, when you were a little girl, you loved that thing until you gave yourself vertigo. 

For almost two hours straight, you lay on your back, rapidly pressing that button and watching as the film flickered through lightning-fast. You were so sick after that you almost threw up all over your bedroom floor and your mother yelled at you for giving yourself what you called, "the swirls". 

That was how every moment leading up to right then and there felt to you, and you felt a wave of nausea rush through you, almost strong enough to bring you to your knees. Behind the doors stood a metal man - he stood at least 7 feet tall in a metal suit that reminded you of a venom version of Iron Man. Baxter stood behind him, a manic glint in his eyes but standing a wary distance away from the metal man. A woman stood on the other side of the tall man, dressed in the same black suit that the ninjas before had been wearing, but without a mask. She had short black hair and a hard, handsome face. Her eyes were slanted, and she held herself stiffly... she reminded you of the nightmare voiced man. 

"Shredder..." whispered Leo, finally having stopped yelling at Leatherhead's memory. 

The metal man spoke, his voice, if possible, worse in the mask than out, "Hello, mutants. How nice to see you... up." 

Baxter grinned and the woman didn't even blink. She chilled you in a way that made you instantly tense. She was... not right. There was nothing behind her eyes, nothing in her gaze. She reminded you of the textbook description of the gaze of a sociopath. You shuddered, and her gaze flickered to yours. You looked away, immediately wanting nothing more than for her to look away from you. 

"What the hell did you do?" Leonardo asked, voice shaking with poorly restrained rage and grief. 

The stoic woman eyed Leo curiously, as if his reaction surprised her, "You are upset." 

"No shit," Raphael growled from behind you, drawing her attention back towards you.

Her eyes flickered between you and Raphael in a way that made a sense of foreboding rise inside of you, stronger than ever, and you felt Raphael shift behind you, moving closer like he felt it, too. Leonardo pushed his way past Donatello and you, hands clenching into shaking fists and face contorted in a look so full of anger and pain that it made you squirm. 

"You're going to pay," he growled, and he shot forwards, but not alone. 

It was an unspoken agreement - all 6 of you shot forwards, rushing at the three ahead of you, the pain and grief channeling into a rush of controlled fury so delicious that it made your head spin. You set your sights on Baxter, who, with that infuriating grin still on his face, took a few steps back from the doorway and looked down the hallway as if deciding a plan of escape. You weren't going to let that happen. 

Shredder and the woman stepped back to have more room to retaliate, but you ducked passed them and towards Baxter. You could see his Adam's apple bob as he gulped, watching you advance. You had a clear path, and your fist recoiled, tensed up for impact, but something hit you across the face and sent you skittering across the white floor. You looked up, cheek stinging smartly, and saw a flood of ninjas in black suits flooding the hallway. You just had time to think, shit, before one (presumably the one that hit you) rushed at you. 

You shot up and blocked his punch quickly, mind flooding with the fight reflexes that you had been taught. It was a tense few moments, and you forgot that you had a dagger. It was on the ground behind you from when you fell, and when you remembered it, the tables started to turn. You were holding yourself well, but you were tired, in shock and still not quite in your body and the power dynamic was quickly falling. However, you took advantage of the fact that the ninja hadn't noticed the weapon, and staggered to the ground after letting a hit against your chest through. 

You knelt down and grabbed the dagger, sinking it in the knee that he had raised to your face. He let out a shriek of pain and you ripped the dagger out and plunged upwards with the heel of your free hand, pushing him backwards. You shot up and stomped on his chest - with a sickening crack that, for the sake of your already strained sanity, you ignored, he groaned and didn't get back up. 

One down, roughly a hundred more to go - and that was just on this floor. You had no idea what was waiting for you in the rest of the building.

Raphael shouted your name as he shot from the doorway, looking at you and then behind him at the flood of ninjas. He swore and backed up towards you, nudging you with his elbow and gruffly saying, "You alright?" 

You nodded, "This was a set up." 

He nodded - he had already come to that conclusion. 

"Stay close," he grunted, and the two of you stood shoulder to shoulder as the ninjas flooded towards you. 

Somewhere in the confusion, Baxter had fled. The Hamato family fought like one mind - taking a kick and landing 6 more in retaliation. You took a moment to promise yourself to never underestimate Master Splinter again - he was a blur of fangs, fur and well-contained anger. Leonardo faced the cold woman, who was matching him blow by blow. Shredder had disappeared somewhere - you had no idea where, and you honestly didn't care. You just focused on watching Raphael's (And Donatello's, who had materialized on the other side of you) backs and cover your own ass. 

It was like your mind went on auto pilot and your instincts took over. You were dodging, kicking and slashing with everything that you had, and despite being scared for your life, you were calm and collected. Raphael cheered angrily every time he dropped a ninja, and the guys kept up a steady stream of commentary throughout the battle that made you laugh incredulously many times.

"COWABUNGA, DUDE" you heard Mikey shout, to which Raphael called, "Dude, it's getting old. Choose something else!" 

Mikey was quiet for a moment before shouting, "GOONGALA GOONGALA" 

You spluttered a laugh and took a punch to your chest that winded you. Gasping like a fish out of water, you slashed forwards and dropped the offending ninja, shooting a flabbergasted look at Don. He shook his head and called, "You can't steal Casey's. Also, it's terrible." 

You let out a yelp as the woman came out of nowhere, kicked backwards by a well aimed kick from Leo. He shot past you and shot you a grim smile, and a second later three of the black ninjas backed you into a corner. It was absolute chaos - you were trying to fight for your life while keeping an eye on the Hamato family to make sure that they were ahead of the game. It was terrifying, and later you would be absolutely floored as to how you managed to hold your own. 

Eventually, eons later, the flood of ninjas seemed to wan, and then eventually you kicked the last one in the head and watched him drop. Panting, shaking like a leaf and bleeding, you looked around at everyone, staring at the sea of wounded black bodies. There was still a fight going on near the elevator - the black haired woman and Leonardo. You rushed to his aid, followed by the others. The woman glanced up, cooly surveyed her surroundings and pulled something from her belt. She kicked Leo in the jaw, sending him reeling backwards and threw something at the ground that exploded. 

Immediately, your eyes started to water, chest constricted, and you dropped to the ground, coughing and spitting as the acidity attacked your body. Around you, you heard the chorus of coughing and retching from the others. 

"I HATE it," cough cough "when she does that!" Came Mikey's exasperated groan somewhere to your left. 

Once the clouds of gas cleared, you looked around to find that she was gone and, chillingly, so were the bodies. You looked at the others, just as beat up and bloodshot as you. Leonardo struggled to his feet, aided by Splinter who's tail tip was bent at an odd angle. 

"My family, we must leave now." 

You eyed the elevator and saw that the light was off, "We have to find another way out," you said, voice hoarse as you struggled to your feet, "They turned the elevator off." 

Leonardo glanced around, "It was a set up, which means that they're counting on us to find another way out," he snapped, looking like a caged animal, "If there's another way out, we'd be playing into their hands to take it." 

Raphael walked forwards and strained against the doors of the elevator. They creaked, almost gave, and then snapped shut. Raphael huffed and tried again, and you and Mikey went over to help. Finally, with a painful crunch, the doors opened, and you were faced with the elevator shaft. You eyed the cables warily - you hated heights and this screamed final destination death chute. 

"We have to climb it," Donnie said, his voice cracking slightly, "We have to get out of here. Leatherhead..." 

There was a pregnant silence that made your gut twist painfully. You felt the sudden urge to vomit, but you swallowed your gorge. You refused to build a reputation of vomiting during every battle. You reached out with your webbed hand and pulled at the cables experimentally, peering up. The cab wasn't at the top, so you had no worries of it falling on top of you. One look down, though your vision swam, confirmed that it was sitting some 5 feet lower. Taking a deep breath, you wrapped both of your hands around the cable and swung yourself onto it, ignoring the angry nattering from Raphael. 

"I'll be careful," you snapped at him. 

He glared reproachfully at you and stepped into the door way, jaw working and looking very similar to a snapping turtle eating. You suppressed the urge to giggle and started to shimmy your way up, pausing as your stomach tittered at the creaking noises your progress made. Leonardo called up to you, "How are things looking? Is it safe?" 

You looked down, swallowed your fear and tried for a calm voice (and failed), "Yeah. We can get up here. Just gotta move like a slug." 

Raphael snorted, and you turned your attention back to remembering your gym class rope climbing moves. You felt it move as Raphael hopped on underneath you, hissing for you to be careful and reminding you of a hissing cockroach now. Finally, miraculously, you made it up to the other doors, and there was a tiny platform just big enough for you to hop onto. Your palms were raw and bleeding, stinging in the breeze, but you couldn't focus on that now. The others were slowly making their way up, Splinter following Raph, and Leonardo bringing up the rear. 

You slipped your blood-slick fingers into the opening and strained, muscles in your arms rippling with the effort. Your forehead shining with sweat and eyes feeling like they were going to bulge out, you managed to open the door. You took a second to recover and feel a little like the Incredible Hulk, before peering out and looking down the hallway. Nothing. 

You waved for the others to come through, reaching out and pulling Raphael through. He frowned and looked down at your hand, no doubt wondering why your hand was so warm and wet, but you were saved his outburst by Splinter staggering as he hopped through. You wrenched your hand from Raph and reached out to steady the elderly rat, who shot out a tired smile. 

"I may still have it, but I have it only in spurts. I am fine now, my child." 

You smiled worryingly at him as the others filed through. Finally, the 6 of you stood in the hallway, and you crept forwards again, taking the lead. Raphael argued (God, he was acting like a mother hen) and Donatello reached out, flat-hand smacking him on the back of the head. 

"Shut up, hot head. She's the only one that knows the way out of here. She'll be careful." 

Mikey sniggered and started singing something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like 'Raphie and _____ sitting in a tree".

Raphael started muttering under his breath, but mercifully stayed quiet. He was very close behind you, however, and you could feel like erratic breath on the back of your neck. It was quite distracting. 

You peered around the corner. Nothing. You waved them up behind you as you crept down the hall again, towards the windowed stairwell. You peered through the window, saw nobody, and turned to the guys, face pale and clammy. 

"I have no idea how to get out. One floor up is the lab that I got out of, but I didn't stop and look around. I have no idea where to get out guys." Panic was starting to catch up to you now, fear about not being able to make it out clenching your throat. 

Leonardo reached out to you and clasped your shoulder reassuringly, "We'll figure it out. Right now, we just need to get off this floor." 

You nodded, not missing the disgruntled look on Raph's face as he stared at Leo's hand on you. Taking a deep breath you turned and opened the door, slipping into the stairwell, followed by the others. So much for being able to take a step back and simply follow once you found the Hamato family, you thought with a joking bitterness that was less joking than you wanted to publicly admit. You decided to go down the stairs - it seemed more logical that the exit would be lower instead of higher. 

You moved surprisingly silent for a group so big and tired, and in no time at all you reached the bottom of the stairwell. You had asked what Leo thought once you reached the first floor underneath the one you came out of, and he agreed that it made more sense to keep going down the stairs. Once you reached the final floor, you peered through the window into what looked like a medical office. 

Weird. 

You turned to Leo, and finally he seemed to take pity on how lost you looked. He shouldered his way to the front, peered out himself, and then swore. 

"I know where we are," he murmured, forehead lightly glistening with sweat. 

You looked at him curiously but he didn't elaborate. He turned around suddenly and snapped, "Quick, get back to the floor where you were held on," he gestured to you. 

Shaken and confused, you turned and silently fled back three floors up, and turned to Leo. He was pale, paler than before, and he had been whispering to Donnie on the way up. Don looked grim and tense, and Leo moved in front of you, opening the door and peering down the hall. He ushered you all through, and then took off towards the left. You followed tensely and hung back, beside Don. 

"What's going on?" You asked. 

Don shook his head and shot you a weird look, "We're in the clinic over the emergency center." 

You blinked - the hospital? It explained the antiseptic smell and the labs, but why was he looking so worried? Shouldn't he be relieved that they knew where they were? You followed Leonardo, tense and on edge, just waiting to be caught. As you wound your way down the hallways, Raphael moved beside you. 

"You okay?" He grunted softly. 

"Yeah. Are you okay?" You asked, shooting him a quick, searching glance. 

He nodded grimly and you fell silent. Leonardo peered through a doorway, and opened it, ushering you all inside. He closed the door behind you into a dark exam room and pulled the curtain in front of the door. You were plunged into darkness, but knew that everyone else could see better than you - it made you feel a little uncomfortable... until you felt a hand grab yours roughly, but reassuringly. Raphael stood beside you, his hand grasping yours, pulling you close to him. You exhaled, grateful, and opened your mouth to speak. 

Leo cut you off, "We're in the hospital." 

There was a tense silence, and then you said, unable to keep the annoyance from your tone, "Yeah? What's the big deal? We at least know where we are, right? That should make it easier?" 

You heard a sigh behind you - Raphael's trademark annoyed sigh, "It means we're in trouble," he said vaguely. 

"We don't have time to explain it all," Leonardo said, voice strained, "But this is bad news. We thought that the Shredder was out of commission. We learned a long time ago to stop guessing that he was dead - he's come back too many times. But the last time that we left him... we thought for sure that this would be done. This isn't good. If he's in control of the hospital in downtown New York City, if he can get away with what we just witnessed... he's been taking over the city while we've been under the sewers like sitting ducks. This. Is. Bad. We have to get out of here. There's only one way that we're going to be able to do that, and that's to get to the roof." 

Mikey piped up, "Yeah, just one problem here bud. They set all of this up. How do we know that there isn't going to be another dirty great group of fuckwads up there waiting for us?" 

"What if Shredder's there?" You asked suddenly, "He and Baxter got out of there pretty fast downstairs." 

Leonardo nodded, letting out a soft humming noise. Raphael's thick thumb rubbed your knuckles reassuringly. 

"Does anybody else have a better idea?" Splinter piped up from somewhere near the door. 

There was another tense silence, and then he spoke again, "Alright, my family. We must go to the roof and assume that that is our best option." 

You closed your eyes and tilted your head against Raph's shoulder, listening to his heavy breathing for a second. You heard him churr softly, unclasping your hand and pulling you into a quick hug that you wished you could just melt into and hide, wait for this to be over. All too soon, shit hit the fan. 

Looking back, yet again, you cursed yourself for not realizing that things were moving by way too quickly. As the walls of the room blast apart, you only had one thought - "For fuckssake, not again." 

Chapter Text

You were dimly aware of something hard hitting you and pinning you to the ground. That something was Raphael, shielding you from the glass. You heard a yelp and pushed, trying to get up and see if he was alright, but he held you down and growled at you to stay down. You felt shards of glass bite into your feet and thighs, and you heard yelling from around you. You struggled against Raph, who only let you up once the explosion had died. 

There was a gaping hole in the side of the building. Cold air rushed in, blowing bits of the building in. Everyone seemed alright - a little scraped up and shaken, but not damaged too badly. 

"What the shell?" Leo said, staring at a loss at the New York city landscape. 

You had no idea what the hell was going on. Nobody was rushing in to attack you, from what you could see there was no intent for damage to you guys, but... you heard Raphael groan beside you and you turned, staring in pale shock as he swayed to the side. 

"Raphie?" You heard Mikey state, and from the immediate looks of concern on the others, that nickname never meant anything good. 

Raphael shook his head and grunted, "S fine, don' worry 'bout me..." 

But you inspected him anyways, and gasped. A huge piece of glass was stuck in his shell, hot blood bubbling up around it. 

"Oh my God," you said, grabbing Raph as he lost his balance and stumbled into you, "Don, help, I don't know what to do!" 

Donatello rushed over, wincing as he surveyed the wound. There was a deafening crash from the gaping hole in the building that jerked you back to the moment at hand - you had no time to try and doctor him, and Raphael realized that. With obvious painful effort, he brought himself up, shook his head, and grunted, "Les' get outta here.." 

You locked eyes with Don, who's green face had paled worryingly, and agreed that you had to get out of here. Now. Or else Raph... You didn't want to think about it. He had literally thrown himself over you to protect you, and you owed it to his stubborn ass to get him out of here alive, and get him healed. You turned as Leo called to you guys, pressed against the wall and peering out. 

"Is Raph going to be alright?" 

Don opened his mouth to speak, but Raphael shouted hoarsely, "I'm fine, ya ninnies. Les GO." 

Mikey snickered, but still looked stricken, "Ninnies?" He wouldn't look away from his brothers' shell. 

Raphael grunted something incoherent to Mikey and walked stiffly towards the gap. Splinter was shaking from the cold breeze - in fact, everyone was. It was a crisp ass night, that's for sure, but whether it was actually cold or just your body reacting from the stress it was under you didn't know. You peered over the edge and felt your throat tighten up. You were up a lot higher than you thought you were - there was a street directly down and cars looked like toy models from that high up. 

You felt a hand on your arm - Mikey grabbed you and pulled you back, blue eyes crinkled with concern and alarm. 

"I'm fine," You said, trying to convince Mikey, but apparently you weren't just swaying in your mind. 

"Man, you look like you're gonna pass out. Get away from there," He snapped in a most un-Mikey like voice. 

He yanked to towards the wall and you stumbled over a piece of wall. 

"We're going to have to scale the side of the building," Leo said, pulling himself back from the edge, "There's enough ledge for us to shimmy to the ladder on the side of the building and bring ourselves down." 

"Why aren't we going to the rooftops?" You asked, alarmed. 

Leo shook his head, "We're more likely to sneak away where there's more people. We just have to be careful not to be seen. Besides, the rooftops are where we're most comfortable. They know that, and I bet you anything that they were counting on that when they blasted the building. Now come on, we haven't got much time. Raph, you go first. Don, go after him and make sure he's alright. Shut it, Raph," He added, cutting off Raph's protests, "Splinter, follow Don and Mikey, make sure he's steady," Splinter sighed a little and got into the forming queue, "____, you'll go next and I'll bring up the rear and keep an eye on you." 

You resisted the urge to roll your eyes at his bossiness and tried to remind yourself that you were actually more thankful that he was taking the lead instead of making you do it again. Your hands shook as Raphael swayed briefly before swinging himself around onto the ledge. Donatello shot you a look and nodded - it was subtle, but you got the hint. He wasn't going to let anything happen to Raph. 

It was a slow process, and when you finally got to the ledge, you were shaking like a leaf and the energy it took you these last few hours to survive was starting to catch up. Leo put a hand on your shoulder to steady you and murmured, "It'll be alright. We'll get out of here. Raph..." he sucked in air sharply, "We're going to be alright." 

You briefly leaned into his touch before swinging yourself onto the ledge. There were grooves in the bricks that made it easy for you to hold on. You tried to ignore the fact that you were scaling the top of a hospital building and instead try and convince yourself that you were just rock climbing in a rec center. You managed to steal a look down as you got closer to the ladder to make sure that Raph was alright. He was very hard-footed, but he seemed strong enough. You felt yourself gag a little as the height got to you. You turned away fast and heard Leo ask if you were alright, yelling over the wind. 

Your hair whipped around you as you turned to face him. You opened your mouth to say that you were alright as you positioned yourself on the ladder rungs, but you saw movement behind him. You barely had time to yell before you saw Baxter swing himself onto the building with you, eyes wild and face set in a disgusted grimace. 

"NO you ignorant mutants! Do you even realize what they have waiting for you down there!?" 

Leo whirled around - it was a good thing that his balance was perfect or else he would have lost it and tumbled to his death. Baxter lifted a hand in surrender, though he didn't look happy about it, "I have had a change of heart, as you would call it. I won't try and sugar coat it - I am only helping you because Shredder has not honoured his side of the bargain and I grow weary of being lead along like a dying puppy. I'm going to help you get out, but that's it." 

"Why the hell should we trust you?" Leo shouted over the wind, and from below you you heard Mikey's voice, "Guys, what's happening?" 

"Stop where you are! Don't go down there!" You shouted and prayed that they heard you. 

They did. They all stopped and looked up, watching as Baxter tried to reason with Leo, his slimey smile making you want to say fuck it and push him off the roof. 

"You don't know what they're planning, but I do. You also are familiar with me and the way that I work - your only choices are to either follow me, or take a blind gamble. As I said, it isn't anything as unbelievable as a change of heart that is making this decision - it's purely a matter of self interest. And right now, it works better for me to help you and get myself out. In return... you save my ass until I can get out of here." 

Leo paused, debating, and you heard Raph call up, "We ain't got forever here, HURRY IT UP!" 

Baxter had a point. You really didn't have a good decision to make no matter how you sliced it, and you also did know that Baxter was a very personal gain-centered asshole... Leonardo seemed to be thinking along the same lines as you. 

"So help me God, Baxter, if you lead us into a trap, I'm going to make sure that your death is so fucked up and long that even Stephen King would throw up." 

Baxter flinched and glanced down the ladder, and then cleared his throat, "Er, Yes. Well. Get your asses onto the roof, then. I'll explain on the top." 

You shouted down about the change of plans, and started your way up the ladder. Half way up, you heard Baxter shout, "Ah, yes, I forgot to mention, Shredder has some of his goons and that black haired bitch waiting at the top. Thought you should know." 

"You're leading us to a fucking trap?" You heard Leo snarl. 

"No, no!" Baxter babbled in a panic, "It's better than what's on the ground. They have an entire squad waiting down there for you, waiting to grab you all and take you off to the main base. Believe me, this is better. It'll take longer for them to have to change the plan than it'll take you guys to beat the back up up top and get us away." 

There was a tense silence, but you continued up. At least he had warned you. 

Sure enough, you had just put your hands on the top rung when something grabbed your hair and wrenched you up. You let out a girlish, hair-raising screech at the pain and felt yourself fly through the air and hit the ground hard. 

"Get up," A woman's voice snapped, thick with an accent that you couldn't place. 

Tears swimming in your eyes, you pulled yourself up and found yourself face to face with the raven haired asian woman, who stared at you much like someone looked at a cockroach. You resisted the urge to snarl at her and looked around. There were half a dozen of the ninjas around you, who were pulling everyone else up. Despite being rough, they didn't seem to be hostile. That is, they weren't immediately jumping into combat. 

Baxter brushed imaginary dust off of his shoulders, glaring at the ninja that had hauled him up, "I understand maintaining presence, Karai, but you could be a little more gentle. This wasn't a cheap coat." 

The woman sneered and you silently wondered how thick Baxter had to be - if she was looking at you like that, you'd curl up and apologize. He seemed oddly nonsurplussed, though, and instead said, "Are we going to get on with it, or stand up here and wait to be found?" 

Speaking through gritted teeth, the woman, Karai, snapped, "Do not make me regret joining your cause, Baxter. You are toeing the line." 

She turned to Leonardo, ignoring Baxter as he rolled his eyes, "Leonardo. We meet again." 

"Karai," Leo said stiffly, and you peered between the two curiously, "What's going on?" 

Karai's thin lips tilted in a soft smile, "Do you always question your rescues?" 

Leo blinked and looked around, "What are you talking about?" 

Karai, the smile still ghosting her porcelain face, said, "We must leave now if we are to trick my father." 

She pressed something by her ear and said something in a language that you didn't know, and then reverted to English, "Be ready to leave." 

Almost immediately, you heard something loud and airborne pierce the night, and, peering up into the dark sky, you saw a helicopter start to descend over you. Floored, you looked at the woman again, who gave you an appraising look, "We have not met before," She said simply, before lifting a hand just as a ladder fell from the aircraft. 

Baxter cleared his throat and shouldered his way past you to get into the ride first - Karai rolled her eyes and you suppressed a smirk. She waved you on, but you turned and waited for the others to come closer. You had no idea what was going on, but despite a grim look on the guys' faces, they accepted it, and do you did too. Leonardo stood on the other side of the ladder and waited for the rest of his family to go on ahead, and then waved you up. You only followed after Raphael had made his way up, looking alarmingly pale and lethargic. 

You heard Leo talking to Karai at the base of the ladder, and you saw the rest of the ninjas had disappeared, but you couldn't allow yourself to focus on anything else just then. Raphael staggered and hit the floor of the helicopter the moment that he pulled himself up. Donatello and Mikey rushed to him, and you pulled yourself into the helicopter just as they had pulled him towards the benches against the sides. 

"Raphie?" Mikey said, pale-faced and scared. 

Raphael murmured something, his head lolling to the back. 

Donatello moved him forwards enough to get a good look at the back. 

"Is there a first aid kit up here?" Donatello barked at Karai as she came in. 

Not at all phased, she nodded and reached behind the driver's seat, pulling out an industrial sized briefcase and snapping it open. As Leonardo climbed in, she pressed a button on the roof and the hatch closed and the ladder recoiled. The driver said something to Karai in the same language she had spoken before, and she said, in English, "We must leave now. One is not well, and my father will not sit idle for long. We must be gone." 

You stepped around to Mikey's side and sat beside him, staring at Raphael, chest constricting in worry. He didn't look good at all. You couldn't get a good look at the wound from where you were sitting, and from the way that Don was treating it, you probably didn't want to. You could tell that it was bad. Mikey was shaky - he turned and looked at you and then stood, motioning for you to take his place. You hesitated for a moment, before scooting closer to Raphael. Mikey seated himself on your other side, staring with wide, scared blue eyes at his brother. 

You grabbed Raph's meaty hand and paused - his hand was hot. Really hot. You couldn't help it - you looked at Raph's shell and felt your stomach go cold. The glass was still lodged in the shell, and the blood around it had turned a black, matted color. What worried you the most, though, was the fact that it was pulsing. Yeah, you read that right - it was pulsing. You looked up at Don, who had sprayed antiseptic spray on his hands and grabbed various things from the kit. He looked at you grimly - the helicopter was deadly silent. Everyone was waiting on bated breath. 

"I need you to keep him stable," He said to you in an undertone. 

You nodded and got on your knees unsteadily in front of Raph. He looked ar you through milky eyes and gave you a soft smile, murmuring your name in a slurred voice, "_____.. 's okay... 'm okay..." 

Swallowing back panic like a handful of blades, you smiled at him and tenderly kissed his forehead. You were aware of everyone (save Donatello, who was working where you couldn't see) was watching. Mikey had scooted back over, holding his arm. You grasped at Raph's sides, trying not to get in the way of Don and keep Raph steady, who was worryingly close to just fainting. You felt Raphael hiss and Donatello grunt. 

He had pulled out the glass, and put it to the side, pressing a wad of gauze against the gaping wound. 

"Tha' hurt," Raph grunted uneasily. 

"It's gonna be alright," you murmured, kissing his forehead again. 

He gave you a lazy smile, "I know it is... yer here." 

Cheeks flaming and suddenly very aware of everyone around you, you looked away from Raph's unsteady gaze and pressed yourself against him, keeping him steady as per Donnie's request. The helicopter was a surprisingly smooth ride. There wasn't much turbulence, but you could tell that you were going fast. You were dimly aware of Karai and Leo speaking in hushed tones near the front of the helicopter, and you heard Mikey's uncertain, "Is he going to be alright?" 

"Yeah," Don said, relief obvious in his voice, "It's deep, but it isn't as bad as I thought. It didn't shatter in his shell, and it already looks a little better." 

After 20 tense minutes, Don cleaned the area and had you help wrap bandages around Raphael's torso to keep the gauze in place. Raphael was still barely awake, and once he was wrapped up, he leaned back and turned to Don. 

"Am I gonna live, doc?" He asked thickly, and Don grinned at him, "Unfortunately." 

Leo walked over and knelt down beside you, smiling at Raph, "You're going to be alright." 

Raphael grunted, "Thanks, mom." He looked pleased all the same though. 

"Where are we going?" You asked, looking around. 

"Somewhere safe," was all that Karai said, leaning against the side of the helicopter and looking cold. 

It was a tense ride. You fell asleep on the ground, too lazy to get up and make room for yourself on the bench. A jolt brought you out of your slumber feeling sick and painfully stiff, but you noticed that everyone except you and Mikey were already up and ready. Raphael seemed to be feeling a lot better already - he was already standing impatiently. He turned as you stood, stretching and letting out a little whimper as your many cuts and bruises screamed in anger. 

"Ya alright, princess?" Raph asked softly, his eyes glittering warmly. 

You smiled, "Perfect. How are you feeling, shit head?" 

He grinned at your teasing, "Like I could take on a mountain." 

"Yeah, sure," Mikey said as he came up behind you, "And my name is Boogo." 

Raph rolled his eyes, "That was about a weak as your punches, little bro." 

Mikey, obviously happy that the near comatose Raph from earlier was gone, grinned and shot back, "Come at me, shatter shell." 

"Oi, pipe down over there, we're landing," Leo called from the front of the helicopter. 

Mikey rolled his eyes and Raphael smirked. You drew closer to the front window, where everyone was gathered. You were descending over what looked like a remote landing pad in the middle of a patch of forest. You frowned a little - there was what looked like a little farmhouse ahead, but you couldn't connect the dots. Where were you? 

"Welcome," Karai said stiffly, obviously not too happy, "To my home." 

Baxter snorted, the first thing he had done since boarding, "Great. Time to milk the cows." 

Karai reached around to the passenger seat and smacked him.