I was sitting in Donnie's lab, pretending to read a book, but was actually focusing more on his biceps... He called me in, as he usually did. He knew I liked to be around the lab and help him with all kinds of stuff. Not that I could ever really understand what my favorite brainiac was working on. He would tell me all about his new projects, but I could rarely actually get it. We'd do that a lot: he would be trying to experiment on something or build something, while I would sit next to him and assist him with whatever was requested of me. That's how I usually got some alone-time with him, unless one of the other turtles, his brothers, would be in the lab as well, distracting his attention. All I knew, I could watch him work for hours, sticking his cute li'l tongue out in a wave of concentration and genius.
Obviously, I was head over heels into that mutant genius, but how could that ever work out between us?! I mean, it's insane!
Anyhow.. I'll start my story at the beginning:
It all pretty much began at a turning point of my life. About 3 years ago I've been visiting a friend in New York. I stayed at her house for a while so we could spend some time together, but on occasional night I would walk around the city all by myself, 'cause she would've been busy with some performance preparation, or an audition or else - she's a professional singer. To cut the long story short, on one of those lonely strolls I came to the wrong pace in the wrong time. There was some kind of a street battle between gangs or something. Bullets were fired and windows were shattered...
When I figured out my unfortunate situation, I hid behind a wall in some dark alley, thinking this might just be the end of my journey as it was. I pulled out my phone to call the police, when suddenly a man with tattoos all over his face came at me out of nowhere, and slapped me so hard I lost my consciousness. I don't remember even hitting the ground.
When I came to my senses, my face was still burning from that slap. I was not on the street anymore, but in some pitch dark place. It was very quiet and it felt like a closed space of some kind. I immediately tried to reach my phone again, but it was nowhere to be found. And the worst part was that when I tried to move, I felt an excruciating pain in my left leg.
"Don't move! Your ankle is dislocated!" - came a voice from the darkness around me.
I froze as tears of pain and fear came to my eyes. Taking a deep breath, I assembled all of my courage to ask: "Who's there? Where am I? Wha.. What happened?"
"Everything will be O.K." - came the same voice from the dark. It was a man's voice. Slightly high-pitched, but soft and reassuring: "I am here to help... It will all be over soon."
I gazed at the direction of this voice, but could not see a thing, it was so dark there; and since I could not get up, I tried to reach that person with my hand. My fingers brushed on something hard - this person was wearing some sort of armor on his chest. Fast as a lightning a hand caught my arm and pushed it back, preventing me from exploring any further.
"My name is Don. We are under the streets. You were caught inside a discordance between the Purple Dragons and the Foot" - continued the voice, getting me even more confused then before, "I will assist you to the surface as soon as it will be safe enough."
"Are you the police?" - I inquired.
"No..." - was the answer, "But don't worry. I'm with the good guys!"
He's with the good guys... But that's exactly what a bad guy would say... I couldn't take it anymore, maybe I'm just a coward, but this situation: my dislocated ankle, the opaque darkness and this soft but unfamiliar voice - not the police? Then who was that man?- it was the worst day of my life! And I'm supposed to be having fun! It was supposed to be my vacation after all... The feels sort of just came at me and I began to cry. It was silent at first, but soon became a pretty loud sobbing. I just couldn't calm myself. Then his hand grabbed mine and squeezed it reassuringly. I squeezed back and suddenly felt a lot better! Don's palm was kind of rough, but warm and strong and there was a piece of cloth wrapped around it. For several minutes we just sat like that in the dark, silently. What else was I supposed to do in this situation?
At some point, I guess I relaxed enough to start paying attention and even began separating different shadows and silhouettes in the dark. And so I noticed that my friend from the shadows was indeed wearing some kind of gear and even some special goggles over his head. So he is from a rescue troop or something, I thought, the ones that usually take care of terrorists' attacks and stuff.
A sudden ring made me jump and loose my calm again, that's how much fucked up I was at those moments. I was literary terrified. I squeezed harder on his hand. To think I didn't trust him just a little earlier... There came a short beep, probably a phone or some other communication device, and then he spoke: "Yeah, it's all quiet here. No news." Then he paused a little to hear the other end of the line and continued: "Got it! See you in a bit." - he hung up. All became quiet again.
"Alright!" - He suddenly sounded more cheered up, "Let's get you out of here! It's safe now!"
And then he just grabbed me and picked me up, as if I was made of feathers or marshmallows, careful not to cause anymore damage to my bad leg. I didn't even have the chance to protest, that's how quickly we popped out into fresh air. The lights above ground blinded me in an instant after a long period of time spent in total darkness; and I rubbed my eyes for several seconds, during which he asked: "Do you trust me?" and I just sort of blinked blindly at his direction, still not being able to visualize my savior's features.
"I'll take that as a yes..." - he answered to himself and that's when I felt an even worse amount of pain in my ankle. He made it right, put it back in place; and it was so quick and was gone so fast that I didn't ever had the chance to scream, it kind'a just caught my breath for a split of a second and then it was all over. Also, I never let go of my hand, still grabbing his palm. I couldn't get my fingers to unlock.
"It's alright now... you can let go... You're perfectly safe!"
"Oh! Thank you so much... I think you saved my life..." - I smiled blindly.
"No problem! Just doing my job... You can let go of my hand now..." - his voice was getting a little nervous, "I'm sorry, but I really have to go!"
"No! Please, I lost my phone and I am not from around here..." - I was trying to find some excuse to make him stay longer, "besides, I would really like to see your face!"
He sighed and said: "No. You wouldn't..." - with so much sadness in his voice, then added: "You cannot see a thing, ha?"
I nodded. It was true, I was pretty much still blind and my face felt as if it was swelling from the slap earlier.
"Where do you live? I'll take you there."
"Damn! The address was in my phone..." - I had no idea how to explain the directions to my friend's house in a foreign city without the actual address or without being able to see anything, "I'm only a tourist here... I'm staying at my friend's... oh, shit!"
"Right..." - an abstracted answer. He sighed: "So you said you trusted me, right?"
He picked me up so fast again as if I were weightless, I didn't have a chance to answer, and we started to move really fast.
"I can walk, you know?!" - I protested, clenching closer to him for my dear life, because I felt that we were possibly climbing up, "Where are you taking me?"
No answer came, just heavy breathing and I couldn't, for the world of me, figure out how he was able to climb with one of his hands still occupied in my grasp?! In a matter of moments we climbed and jumped, flew through the air and fell down, landing on our feet like cats. And it was all over shortly as we've arrived at our destination - whatever it was. Then he let me down and I could stand by my self. A strong wind blew scattering my hair and the noises of the never-sleeping city were now coming from underneath. I figured we were on a roof somewhere high up above the ground.
"Hey!" - a cheery new voice appeared in front of my face.
I flinched slightly, but answered right away: "Oh, hello! Sorry, I'm kind'a blinded right now..."
"Wow! Can we keep her? Bro... Leo's gonna' be sooooo pissed!" - the same cheery voice exclaimed giggling.
"Let me handle Leo!" - Don answered.
"What'da?!" - a third voice appeared from behind me, "What do we have here?" - it mocked, "Donnie, you green machine! What the shell did you do?!"
"Oh look, they're holding hands!" - the mocking continued. More giggles followed.
"There goes Fearless!"
All became silent. I blinked as I finally started seeing blurry shapes and colors. I saw three figures beside me and another one heading towards us.
"Don... Explain!" - the one they called Fearless required.
"This is... um"
Don squeezed my hand and I immediately reacted: "My friends call me Lin..."
"She can't see all that well..." - the cheery one added.
"What happened, Donnie?" - Fearless continued investigating.
"I was tracking down the Foot from the alley, as we discussed, then she... um, Lin here came out of nowhere and was attacked by one of the Dragons. So, I had to act fast..."
"Don saved my life!" - I cut in, eventually letting go of his hand, as the miracle of sight was slowly coming back to me. They were all wearing similar armor as the one I've felt on Don before. Moreover, I've noticed they were all disguised in green camouflage. And I remember thinking: why would they choose that color in a city scenario? I looked in the direction of my savior in hope to finally see his face. And I saw it this time: his green face was turned to Fearless. The goggles were there on top of his bold head, right above a purple bandana surrounding his light-brown eyes. I could not have... ever in my life... imagined that I would be standing on a rooftop in New York city, surrounded by... four human-sized turtles?! with weapons and all kinds of stuff...
Just as my eyes started to grow wider, my heart missed a beat and sort'a dived down my body. I can't imagine the facial expression I must have had at that moment! But I'd lost all ability to speak...
The turtle with a blue bandana-mask-thingy - yup, they all had different colored bandanas - and two, not one but two swords, I'm not kidding! behind his...um, well... shell, looked straight into my eyes and said: "You can see fine now..."
I couldn't move my tongue. My heart threatened to jump out of my chest and I was starting to think that I must have been dreaming all this time. After all, there were four humanoid, intelligent turtles staring right at me! Questioning me!
The Red-bandana-turtle was the first to brake the silence: "I think she's speechless at the sight of Mickey's physiognomy!"
"Yeah! That's 'cause I'm the prettiest!"
O.k, so Yellow was Mikey and the mocking voice belonged to Red.
"Guys, guys, give her some space... I think she is in... shock!" - said the purple-bandana turtle, whom I believed to be my savior - Don.
As I was about to bring myself to actually open my mouth and make a sound, any sound... an arrow shot through the air out of nowhere and pierced Don's shoulder. He cried in pain and disappeared into the shadows behind us. Three others, covering him and me with their own bodies, looked at the approximate direction the arrow appeared from; and one after the other rushed ahead, scattering and leaving the two of us alone again.
Without as much as a second thought, I ran towards my injured savior to see if I could help somehow. I found him sitting with his back against the wall withdrawing the arrow out of his shoulder. There was a serious amount of blood.
"Oh my God! Let me help you... " - I remembered that one should apply pressure on an open wound and tie it to stop the bleeding, so I landed on my knees beside him, took my scarf off and offered it to him.
He looked at me a little surprised: "That wouldn't do! I'm loosing a lot of blood..."
Without any hesitation, I took my jacket off and carefully pressed it to the wound. He winced, but smiled reassuringly, "A little harder!" - was all he said. So I pressed harder and he gave a little growl of pain.
"Sorry! Was that too hard?" - I didn't want to make it worse.
"No, no, that's good! Now help me tie your scarf around it, to hold it in place."
We tied my scarf around his shoulder together with what used to be my favorite jacket. Instantly he got up to his feet, that's when I first noticed he wasn't wearing much accept his shell. I clapped my eyes on a leathery belt and a long stick or staff, tucked into it from behind. Well, there were bits and pieces of cloth tied up on different parts of his body. So yeah, it was hard to miss his long beautifully shaped physique and the unique shape of his body and of his muscles... His shell... and the two toes on each of his feet, which were absolutely bare on the cement roof floor... Out of nowhere the Red turtle landed beside us. I was still sitting on my knees numbly staring, while Don, towering above me was reaching for the staff behind his back.
"You O.K., bro?" - questioned Red, but noticing the bloody jacket and the scarf, he added gazing at me: "well.. I see..."
Don nodded reassuringly, sheepishly smiling at me and letting go of his staff, he picked me up to a standing position instantly with his strong hands. As if he wasn't injured at all... He looked me straight in the eye, saying: "It's dangerous here! We'll take you some place safe!"
His big light-brown eyes gazed at me intensely, but at the same time very softy, gently even. He offered me his green three-fingered hand and I took it without a glimpse of hesitation - a fact that is still a mystery to me... I trusted him completely... Well, after all, we did kind of save each other that day!
As we were about to jump to another roof - that seemed to be these guys' casual way of transportation, I guess - and taking into consideration the traffic below, everyone will agree that it was super effective! - Don picked me up again and winced right away. New amounts of blood poured down his arm. Suddenly the blue-bandana turtle or as they called him - Fearless, landed in front of us, blocking our way. He appeared to be worried. Don grabbed the injured shoulder, looking at him apologetically.
"Shell!" - Red muttered under his nose... or beak... or whatever turtles have there... and disappeared into the darkness again, cursing.
Fearles' expression was very severe, he sighed heavily and said: We'll have to consult Master Splinter about this... "
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Merely half an hour later I was helping Don re-bandage his punctured shoulder using the first aid kit Raphael - that was Red's name - managed to obtain. The blooded jacket and scarf were now discarded on the floor. Other turtles were near, on the look-out for an additional attack. As I tied the last knot Don winced, then looked at me and said towards Fearless: "Leo, I believe we can trust her!"
I smiled at him. He was pretty amazing – my savior! Leo, the Fearles' name was Leo! Little by little I should be able to get their names.
Don looked in Red's direction for some support, Raphael was gloomily standing a few steps away, gazing suspiciously but keeping silent.
"Leo, come on! She saved Don's life...well, she helped..." – the orange-bandana, I believe was called Mikey, looked at us upside down from the water tower above.
Leo stood there thinking for some time, then said: "We'll have to make sure you cannot see... where we're taking you. I apologize!" He took out a piece of cloth: "Put this over your eyes." I looked at him absently.
Raphael approached Leo, saying: "All clear, Fearless! But it's a shell of a bad idea!"
Mikey skilfully glided down from the tower and landed beside me: "We're, like, totally sorry! But we kinda' have no choice…" – he said, taking the cloth from Leo's hand and offering it to me. He shrugged and smiled apologetically, waiting. Raphael snorted and also shrugged, shaking his head in a sort of I-don't-know-what-the-hell-you-guys-are-doing-but-I-am-not-a-part-of-this way. What was his problem? Seriously...
I was just staring at the cloth that was supposed to be tied about my eyes, when Don caught my irritated stare and whispered so only I could hear: "Do you trust me?" I looked him in the eye and just couldn't help but smile. His was an expression of gratitude and tenderness. I knew that I could trust him! So I sighed and, throwing the suspicious red-masked turtle a look, turned to face Mikey: "Alright, I'll play your game…" He grinned and carefully covered my eyes with the cloth, saying: "There's no shame in playing the game!"
"Shut up, Mikey!" - the other three reacted, but I couldn't see their faces as I was blinded yet again.
The next thing I knew I was picked up by strong big arms: "Hold on, Dudette! We're about to take a bumpy ride! Hold on to the shell 'K?" and we began moving fast and I felt the air on my face again. Breath caught up in my throat, as if we were riding a roller coaster. Mikey was less gentle and less careful than Don. I clutched his shell and clung to him as tightly as I could.
"Don't drop her, bro!" – said a rough, teasing voice beside me. It was Raphael being a doosh again.
"Oh… no worries, bro! She's latched on me like a glove!" – Mikey teased back, laughing: "Hey, babe, that's ticklish! If you wanna' take this to the next level, I'm only in favor!" – He was teasing ME now.
"Stop it, Mikey!"
Angry voices came at us from every direction. Then, I heard a loud slapping sound, followed by Mikey's offended voice: "Ow! What?! I'm just kiddin'..."
So that's how I met my destiny. Those four turtle-boys have changed my life forever. Let's face it, I couldn't keep away. Even when my friend thought I was insane or hit my head pretty hard that knight, as I told her this story. I felt lonely in that huge city and inevitably found my comfort within Don's presence. Shortly after, I moved to New York permanently with a student visa; and keeping that a secret from my friends and family, kept in touch with the turtles. They were, of course, the real reason for my new life in the US.
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
...And so, as I already mentioned, I was in Donnie's lab. It was late and the turtles were all busy with their evening routines: Leonardo - the Fearless Leader, was practicing his katas in the Dojo; Raphael was punching his sand bag strained from the ceiling in the living-room; and Mickey was playing the new video-game I bought for him today. Master Splinter, who instantly became a father-figure for me, was reading a book he requested from the library.
Everybody was busy, and that meant Donnie-time for me. Tonight he was working on something on his laptop, so he didn't really need any help, but he let me keep him company anyway, as he knew that would make me happy. That little teaser...
For some time I just sat there with my book in my lap, listening to the rhythm of his breathing and an occasional humming of some popular song. That was fun, and I don't think he was aware of that, to tell you the truth, which made it even funnier. I would gaze at him occasionally, when I thought he couldn't see, and check out his pose and the curves of his shell... and his ass... Sorry, where was I?
Today Donnie was so caught up with his laptop that he even stopped humming. I got curious and got up from my spot to take a look at what he was doing.
"What'cha doing?" I asked, somewhat Mikey'shly.
"Doing a study on amphibian biology and mating habits" - he answered absently, still concentrated on his work.
"I see..." - I said, getting up and approaching him from the back. Some very visual mating scenes were displayed on the screen, so I giggled and added: "Learning some new tricks?" - and immediately felt my face blushing at my own tactless comment. Don turned his face to look at me with surprise, but was met only with my forehead, as I turned my face down trying to hide my embarrassment. There was some long and awkward silence, when he finely broke it saying: "Something like that... I guess" - with some tremble in his voice. He wasn't making a joke or laughing at me. He seemed pretty serious. I shut my eyes, and took a few deep breaths calming down and pulling myself together, then raised my head to look at him. His stare was shy but intrigued. And it became clear to me that he too was blushing. Our eyes locked for a split of a second and I felt so good and so scared at the same time. He definitely didn't take offense at my comment... actually he even liked it! Taking another deep breath I grew a little bolder and, trying to break the tension, played it safe and initiated a massage session. I did that quite frequently, actually, massages. I really am very good with my hands and allow me to say the guys appreciated that a lot, especially after long practices and night patrols.
And so, I settled behind Donnie's back and gently placed my palms on his shoulders, eyeing the old scar, the mark which the arrow left in his skin the night we met. He got the hint and sat up straight, relaxing the tension in his body. I began massaging softly at first and then harder, moving from his shoulders to his neck and the back of his head and back to the shoulders. I won't lie, I loved touching him on any occasion... but to massage his muscled, wide shoulders was something I specifically enjoyed doing! Also, he seemed to enjoy it so much!
"Mmm... I love it when you do that!" - he murmured.
That's what I liked to hear! My heart started pounding faster as I smirked to myself. I kept massaging his rough skin, trying at the same time to calm myself down and not get too excited, when suddenly he caught my arms and gently pulled me close into a semi-hug, my whole body leaning forward onto his shell, while my left cheek nuzzled into his neck. I took his sent in fully. He smelled of fresh coffee and old books. I love coffee (who doesn't?!) and the smell of old books! ...obviously - I'm a librarian after all. His shell was hard against me but warm and his closeness sent sensations through my spine. My heart was racing as I felt the desire to be close to him like that since that day on the roof... And now he was holding me... so close. I relaxed and stretched my arms along his plastron, enthusiastically returning the hug. It felt so good! My hair fell over the side and he instantly caught it in his palm.
"Your hair is so beautiful!" - he said in a low voice, stroking it, "...and your hands are pure magic...", he petted my palms on his chest and continued: "thank you for that! I really needed it!" - He let go of my hair and my arms... so I was supposed to move away now, but... I didn't! And that's when everything went crazy...
I was so confused... I don't know how it even happened! All I remember is that instead of merely walking away to my previous spot and pretending to be reading again, I suddenly pushed my lips to Donnie's neck, placing a light kiss on his skin. I actually wanted to bite him, though managed to abstain and stop myself... The time froze in that moment. Feeling his quickening pulse upon my lips, I literally drank his intoxicating sent... Why in hell did he smell so good? So amazing!? It drove me crazy... I just wanted to lick him all over! But I felt so embarrassed and so out of place all of a sudden, I didn't know what to do.
The next thing that happened was already on the verge of improbability. It was crazy, more even than the fact that I just kissed Donatello's neck. There came a deep low sound from within his throat, a sound I've never heard before. It seemed to surprise him no less. Embarrassed, he pretended to clear his throat and quickly turned his face towards mine. I was still standing behind his back. I expected surprise, anger, confusion... whatever, but what came next was everything I could have imagined and wished for... and I did... Oh, how much I did! He stared at me for several moments, immovable in his place, then suddenly as if remembering how to breath again, his expression completely changed and I swear it even looked a little dangerous. I wasn't sure at that moment what it meant exactly, and didn't know what to do next, but then his face moved towards mine so fast and so close that we were literary an inch apart and I could feel his breath, and almost fainted at that moment. Donatello then pulled my face to his and locked his lips on mine in a gentle transient kiss... My mind exploded! At the first second I was so astonished by the sudden turn of events that I just froze there. My brain was racing, trying to make sense of all this.
The kiss ended as suddenly as it began, and now Don was waiting for my response, looking at me somewhat worried. Eventually my body, winning over my mind, was the one to save the day, knowing exactly what I wanted without any confusion. My hand touched his face, stroking his jaw-line, then brushing his upper lip with my thumb. So natural as if I've been doing that with him all my life... His expression changed again, he shut his eyes and placed his palm on top of mine. He was going to say something, but he didn't get the chance... My lips found his, and this time they were there to stay. He tasted so good! I can't compare it to anything... It was just so incredible! I knew it! And my body definitely knew it!
I wasn't sure at the time whether he had any experience, or not, but equally he was a natural. He caught right up when I sent in the tongue. I absolutely couldn't stop myself, he was just so yummy! To come clean here, I've had my share of fantasies about Donatello. This answered all my expectations! At some point I think I even moaned into his mouth a little, what resulted in him pulling me closer and turning me over, into his lap, as if I was made of cotton candy. The next thing I knew, I was sitting in Donnie's lap, and he was kissing the shit out of me! We were both soon out of breath and sheepishly smiling at each other, we slowly pulled our lips apart and locked our foreheads together.
"I've always wanted to do that! - he whispered in between short quick breaths.
"I can't believe I kissed your neck!" - I blabbed, without realizing what he just said.
"That was surprising, I'll admit... I didn't know you were so straight forward!" - he said, caressing my lower lip with his finger.
"Wait! You've always wanted to kiss me?" - I was literally so astonished I kinda' squeaked. Don slightly snickered in response: "Well, yeah!" - With a smile on his face he gently caught my lower lip in between his, then I felt his tongue and... Then I lost it again... OMG! What was happening?! His hands were suddenly all over me. Those freaking sexy, genius hands of his!
He stroke my back at first, then moved to my legs, groping all the way to my thighs... Oh... Damn! Then he broke the kiss in order to nuzzle and nibble at my neck. I was done for! My whole body was reacting to his touch as I stretched my neck and pulled my head back, allowing him easy access. I was getting super worked up by then! He kissed, imprinting a dodging line towards my collar bone, and sending electricity through every nerve in my body! I guess I whimpered a bit at some point, or something, 'cause he suddenly stopped. My brain screamed! Aaaa...What?! Don't stop!
"I'm sorry" - he shyly said, as if realizing a mistake he just made, his voice stuttered a bit, "caught up in the moment... maybe we should stop... We'll never have to even talk about this..."
Hello?! Are you kidding me?! I was literally waiting for this moment forever! - was running through my mind...
"Stop? Why would I want to stop?" - I said aloud, but couldn't recognize my own voice.
He just stared at me, astonished. Then I realized that he must've been freaking out at least as much as myself or even more. For all I knew, I was the only woman he ever... Taking him by surprise, I kissed him hard on the mouth again, to reassure my point. He immediately reacted with that throat sound again... Uuuhhh! It was so sexy! And his hands groped at my hair, catching my head and literary pinning gently my mouth to his in another long kiss. Point taken, I guess. When we started to lose breath again, I decided to take a risk and broke the kiss to trail-lick my way from his mouth towards his adam's apple and down towards the top of his plastron. Without taking my lips off his skin, I quickly relocated my legs and my upper body so that we were facing each other in sort of an embrace as I was sitting on top of his thighs. Donnie's freaking thighs! Now that he had his lips released, and realizing that I meant absolutely business, he mumbled: "Mmmnnngg... you taste and smell so amazing!" His hands were on my lower back. I was wearing some old jeans and a flannel buttoned top that his hands were creeping underneath now, the sensation of his touch on my bare skin driving me crazy. I needed to distract myself somehow or I might just explode...
"Is that a turtle thing?" - I mused, referring to his throaty sound he was by then producing non stop.
"Oh... that's embarrassing, but I can't help it!" - He pulled his hands away apologetically, "it's just that your scent... It does... things to me and..." - he trailed off.
"My scent?" What did he mean by that?
"Yeah... it's a turtle thing... " - he continued, "...the thing is actually, I can smell it when you are... well, aroused!"
Whaaaaaaaat?! I kind'a freaked there. What the hell?!
"I've always sensed it... I'm sorry! This is awkward..." - he added, seeing my expression, the mixture of terror and uneasiness. Then he explained apologetically: "Every time you've been alone with me, it was especially pleasant and also almost unbearable to remain calm and not ..." - he trailed off again.
"...and not what?" - I was super aroused by his words. I wonder if he could 'sense' it.
"...and not to pin you to the floor right there and ..." - his eyes suddenly widened and his pupils became tiny little dots, "...just have my way!" He sighed heavily and face palmed, shrugging nervously with an innocent smile upon his beautiful lips. I just couldn't believe it!
"Donnie... that is so HOT!" I actually wanted to say: YOU are so hot... but yeah... He gave a nervous giggle and rubbed the space between his eyes - something he always did when frustrated.
I grabbed his hands and returned them to their previous position on my lower back and whispered : "Then how come you never did?" I winked at his astonished expression.
"You just keep surprising me, Lin!" - saying that he squished me close and sniffed. Literally sniffed me. And in a matter of seconds his lips and tongue were at my neck again, sucking vigorously. I was loosing control all over again. It felt as if reality was playing games with me. How come the thing that was happening was actually happening?! My mind was trailing away... Donatello's hands, his lips and tongue, his smell and his taste... these ridiculous throat sounds, were all tumbling down on me. I was such a mess, not able to control myself - my body just reacting to his long awaited attention.
A little into the scene of the delight I was experiencing there, I managed to squeeze out: "Donnie..." in a desperate attempt of getting a little control. He immediately stopped and questionably looked into my eyes with his beautiful brown gaze.
"You know... I've never seen your face without your mask" - I continued... "Can I...?"
He smiled and nodded, so I raised my hands towards his bandana, slowly untying it at the back of his head and finally taking it off. His face was so beautiful! I gently trailed my fingers around his head and locked my arms at his nape. And those light-brown, smart-as-hell eyes, looked at me so hungrily, with I-am-not-responsible-for-my-actions-right-now expression, and just befuddled me. He was yet stroking my back with one of his hands, when the other started making its way up my shirt.
"Alright... my turn!" - I said catching the hint, and began unbuttoning my top. His eyes focused on my chest and his stroking hand twitched a little. He caught my palms with his when I was reaching half way and my bra was exposed.
"Purple!" - he whispered, gazing at my purple brassiere and slowly raised his eyes back to my face.
"Yeah..." - I sighed, sheepishly. What was I supposed to say? I like wearing your color under my clothes?! Wait till you see my panties...
He raised his hands to my shoulders and gently pulled my shirt down a bit to get a better look. Hesitating, he looked into my eyes again as if asking for permission. I took his hand, the same hand that I refused to let go that unforgettable night of our first encounter, and placed it on top of my breast.
"Your heart is beating so fast!" - he pulled closer and kissed me, awakening from his controlled state and stroking with his hands. His lips hungrily drank mine, but quickly trailed through my neck towards my breasts. My nipples hardened instantly inside their "fabric cage" at the sensation and Donatello didn't fail to take notice. His warm palms cupped my breasts through the fabric, while he placed hundreds of light kisses everywhere he could reach. I moaned when his finger felt about and circled one of my nipples. Encouraged, he kissed his way in between my breasts to the very center where the two curves met, while his hands reached towards my back in order to undo my bra. And I was astonished at what speed and accuracy he managed, for the first time, I believe, to click it open. But, let's not forget we're dealing with the brainiac turtle here. Still... he must have planned it for days... The bra was let loose and my lover - OMG! Don was so my lover! - biting very gently, caught one of my nipples between his teeth. Aaaaaaaa! My breath was cut short and I had to bite my lip not to scream. Noticing the immediate reaction and the awakening lust coming from the depths of my body, Don kept experimentally licking, sucking and biting. I lost it again and moaned loudly this time - what resulted in even more licking, sucking and biting - Lesson learned! Sparkles fly in the air! Way to go, Don!
Somewhere between heaven and earth, I was floating, not knowing anything apart from Donatello's touch and the current location of his mouth upon my breasts. My wondering hands naturally found bare skin, starting from his shoulders. I could feel the muscles of his hands playing, while he was caressing my body. As usual, I massaged his arms a bit, then I felt about his plastron and around the edges where at the sides of his body some bare unprotected skin could be found. This was the turtle's soft spot and they took very good care not let anyone get to it. At the very moment I brushed the back of my palm at his side, Don jumped in his place, instantly letting go of my breasts and focusing all his energy on the sensation of the delicate spot I've reached. His whole body shivered and for the first time I heard him moan a little. I definitely liked what I heard and was determined to keep that up and going.
"Keep focusing there and I will lose control..." - he warned, smiling teasingly, then readjusted me in his lap as if I were a delicate porcelain doll. He brushed my hair away from my face and stroked the length of my torso, admiringly, taking spacial care of my nipples. I squirmed between his strong hands and another moan escaped my mouth: "Mmmnngg! Donnie!" I counter-attacked his sides again, but this time I used my "magical massaging skills" and put my sole into it, while at the same time licking and biting his neck. I was determined to gain control! He lost it, arching his head backwards and moaning loudly - music to my ears! Trying to control his voice, he whispered: "I can't hold it in much longer... It's starting to be uncomfortable, but I don't want to startle you!"
At first I didn't understand exactly what he meant by that. So I just kept at my game and sliding down his body, trailed my tongue towards the forbidden spots, kissing and licking everything on my way. I hungrily sucked the soft skin at his left side, caressing on the right. Donatello shut his eyes and brought one of his hands to his teeth to bite on his knuckles, moaning continuously. And when, lowering down towards his thighs, I continued nibbling his tasty skin, - Come on! I've only dreamed of this forever! - he produced a new sound: something between the throaty one, to which I was already getting used to, and a combination of a moan formed into a single word: "Nnngggcanntholditanylonger!"
Something warm brushed my cheek. I turned to gaze at that something, and was overwhelmed to realize what Donnie was trying to tell me earlier... I found myself face to "face" with his penis. My eyes widened at the sight of that beast. I knew, of course, that it had to be hiding somewhere in there. It's a fact, that the turtles were pretty much naked all the time, but the natural way in which their shells worked did not allow anything to be out there, you know?! I mean, I've known the guys for some time now, but never had the chance to pick or sneak a look. Without a doubt, I knew it would be something new to me, but still it took me by surprise. So let me just tell you, it was majestic! Magnificent even... a true work of art! I've obviously never seen anything like that in my entire life. That was a thing of glory and grandeur and what not, and he knew it. He also understood - my sweet li'l genius - that its size, form and color would absolutely scare anyone at first sight. I literary had no way of coping with that! I mean, I've seen my share of dicks in my day, but never have I feasted my eyes on something as unique as this one!
Noticing my hesitation, Donatello tried to push it a bit away, as much as it was possible in the circumstance, but breaking away from my astonishment and coming back to my senses, I let out a long breath that was holding up inside my chest and softly circled my fingers around his gloriousness grabbing it. The moan that broke out of Don's throat was so deep and arousing, I almost dropped my pants right at that moment. That's when I realized how soaked I was down there. I wanted him so badly! And I just knew that he knew that... but was restraining himself for my sake. Such a gentle-turtle! I leaned in closer, never letting go of my hand, and licked the tip once. Salty! He tensed. My other hand massaged at his thigh, and his muscles just went hard as a rock. I looked up at his face from between his thighs and realized he was looking at me as well, all frustrated. He grabbed me and pulled me up, lustfully kissing me on the mouth and unmercifully pinching both of my nipples at once. Arrrrgggg... This was war! I screamed into his mouth, sucking at his lips and tongue as if my life depended on it. Magic was happening between my legs. My hands stroked back towards his lower plastron, determined to win this fight, and clasped, regaining the wonder. Studying his penis through and through, I began slow stokes. Donnie's breathing quickened and his hand slipped behind my back, straight into my jeans, bypassing my ass and going for the prize.
"Mmmhhhrrrggg! I smell your desire!" - he teased, nibbling into my ear in between quick breaths and moans. His fingers brushed at my entrance. I was so wet by now... There was no way back! Our tongues met again and again, and every time I drank him hungrily. I could feel my body moving in tempo of my takes on his incredibleness and his fingers stroking between my legs. That was it!
"Undo my pants!" - I commanded him. He pushed a bit away and looked into my eyes, soberly and seriously: "Are you sure?"
"Yes I'm sure!" - I acclaimed, not happy that he pulled away. How could he even do that?! Such control! I was literally holding his cock in my hands, and he went all are-you-sure on me... Come on! Seriously?
"I've been sure for a long time... Just do it... NOW!"- I screamed. And I didn't have to ask again. Don picked me up in his arms, got up and very gently placed me on the lab floor. It was cold and I began to shiver instantly. Noticing that, he quickly placed himself above me, embracing me and making me warmer.
First his lips were on mine yet again, then his palms stroke my hair, followed closely by his tongue on my neck, my breasts, my stomach and my thighs. My whole body was already shaking in anticipation. Then, I don't know how, but using only his legs and toes, he gently pulled my pants and my panties off, all together in a single movement. His arms never left my upper body, keeping me hot and pleased. How the hell did he even do that? Ninja boy!
I closed my eyes, relaxed and opened my thighs ready for literally anything. However, my lover did not seem to deliver the goods. He was busy with something else all of a sudden. I was forced to frustratingly gaze at what he was doing; and found him touching himself as if measuring whether it was even likely to be fit at all. The tip of his enormousness at my tiny entrance was indeed quite a bewildering sight. My body shivered with over-excitement and a bit of terror. I groped his hard chest plates, looking for something to grab, and found it alright. His belt, going around the waist and up over his right shoulder, turned out to be the perfect pulling mechanism! So I pulled him down closer and locked my arms around his neck, pinning his body to mine. Gocha'! No escape...
"You know that I will never hurt you..." - his low voice spoke into my ear, as he kissed up my jaw. He took very good care not to crush me with his weight and the hardness of his shell, balancing himself on his arms and legs. I looked into his eyes, saying: "I completely trust you, Donnie... you already know that..." He closed his eyes, re-positioning his legs and only whispered: "Breathe!" Then he very slowly and cautiously thrusted inside me. I won't lie... It was painful at first, but I was so wet and he was so careful and gentle. He locked his lips on mine, and that really helped with the pain and unnecessarily loudness. It was a mixture of pleasure and torture. When he was finally fully inside me, we both let out a sigh of relief and release.
"Are you o.k?" - he stoke my hair and smiled at me apologetically.
"Yeah... Although I must admit that yours is an exclusive tool indeed!" - was my answer. He grinned slightly and kissed me, "I just can't believe we're doing this!" Now it was my turn to grin and I mused at the whole situation. My wish was finally coming true... Me and Donnie together like this... What could go wrong?!
We stayed like this for several minutes, breathing together, he inside me, unmovable, to let me rest and adjust. All sorts of things were gong through my mind at these crazy moments of anticipation and fear, but only one stood out, and it was clear and powerful: my life was taking a turn that I was always waiting for! Donatello was mine now...
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
When my body relaxed a bit, I loosened the tension that built up in my legs and pelvis and unmistakably became aware of the sensation of our bodies' connection. I could feel all the spots and places that touched: the tangled interconnection of our legs, the pressure point of our chests and our bellies glued together, my soft skin against his hard plastron, the mutual embrace and hold of our arms, my pulsing entrance and his filling hugeness inside me... Then something in the tangle of our legs moved, and I wavered and stiffened, trying to catch his gaze. He glanced at me and sheepishly said: "Tail... Sorry..."
The load of realization landed on me like a gigantic wave. I sniggered and biting my lower lip, playfully reached it with my hand, stroking along its length. Donnie responded in closing his beautiful eyes embarrassingly, then he buried his face in my neck, slightly moaning in my ear: "Highly sensitive... mmmnnnggghhhh... organ!" The organ itself also immediately responded to my wondering fingers, curling around them, caressing and stroking. I just couldn't anymore. I was slayed: "Wow, Donnie! It's the cutest thing in the world!"
I didn't think there could be anything else that would make me like Donatello more than I already did! Well there it was and I was holding it in my hand squeezing gently and playfully, "To tell the truth" - I mused, "I wasn't sure you guys had any… I mean, I've never seen… Oh wow!" – I continued, without realizing yet what this miraculous organ was capable of. Chills!
"Will it be o.k. if I continue?" His sudden throaty whisper while panting into my neck, brought me back to reality, and I realized how horny he must have felt and that the only reason that he was restraining himself at this moment was his amazing respect towards me and my body, and of course his superhero abilities of a trained ninja. He was so gentle and careful not to cause me any discomfort.
I kissed his head and neck and shoulders, crossing my arms around his nape. He withdrew a little and looked into my eyes, awaiting.
"Please do!" - I said confidently, then slightly moved my hips and crossed my legs around and above his shell, causing instant friction. Electric charge went through my whole body, because he entered me even deeper. I gasped, panting and quivering. He went slow on me at first. Partly, I suppose, because he really feared to harm me and partly because this was his very first time at this game. I helped, and started moving in unison with him. It felt good! It felt right! It didn't hurt anymore… I could feel how my body widened for him, accepting his enormousness and welcoming it. His eyes shut in concentration. Our breathing synchronized. I enthusiastically licked and sucked at his neck, to repay him for what he was making me feel, he groaned and picked me up.
He actually picked me up in the air, and holding me above the floor with one hand, pinned me closer to him squishing my breasts to his plastron. We locked our eyes in a mutual stare, while keeping balance on his remaining hand holding us up in the air, not even for a minute stopping the penetration. I must have made a face or something, because he suddenly smiled at me, and raised his brow - if turtles had brows. It was evident he wanted to say something, but he couldn't get it out. Donnie having difficulty expressing himself – that was new!
"It's alright!" – I saved him, soothingly grinning and locked my lips on his in a deep kiss that ended in a mutual moan a few moments later. I was close… I knew that much! Donnie was… well the throaty groans became very loud and multiplied. I guess he was getting there... The mutual movement of our sweaty bodies became faster and harsher. I could feel my completion coming closer and instinctively arched my back, clinging my hips to his even more. His movements went from fast to fulminant and he grimaced clutching his teeth: "Nmmggaaaaaa!" This was it. Donatello was coming... Right now... In me! I felt my muscles clenching between my legs as I performed another thrusting using my legs around his shell. My brain exploded in a million tiny orgasms, when I felt Donnie rolling over onto his back, pulling me with him, on top of him. We were in the middle of our mutual release! I pushed at his plastron with my hands, thus increasing the friction even further. Then we both collapsed.
Panting, he lay on his back, and I on top of him.
"Shell! That was..." - he trailed off.
"I know!" My cheeks flashed with delightful lust when I landed kisses upon his sweaty smiling face. He repaid me with a tongue-y long kiss. We fell asleep shortly. Me on his chest and his arms around me.
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
When I woke up, I couldn't place myself for several minutes. Where was I? What happened last night? Shouldn't I be at work? What time was it?
"Morning!" - Donnie's voice dropped the events of last night right on me, vibrating through my body. OMG! Donatello and me... We... Oh! I was ecstatic at the memory, slowly realizing where I was. In Donnie's room. Lying on his bed. My face pressed against his chest plates. But how did I get here? When did we go from his lab to his room? I didn't remember, but was glad to find myself on top of sheets instead of a cold lab floor. Here everything smelled like Donnie...
This was not the first time I saw his room, but it looked so different all of a sudden. So much more significant. As Don spent most of his time in the lab, his room was very simple and almost boring in interior. There was a table with a desk-lamp and lots of books, some were also neatly piled up on the floor. Some scribbles and notes were scattered all around. A framed family picture was nailed to one of the walls: it included the four turtle-brothers, Splinter and a pretty red-haired woman hugged by a tall menacing-looking smiling man with a stack of long black hair. The Jones couple Mikey told me about, I guessed. There was a wooden chair and a little carpet on the floor. And last but not least, there was Donnie's bed. It was not very wide, but warm and soft, and we were all cuddled in the middle of it. A feeling of unimaginable joy and satisfaction fulfilled my entire being. I was literally the happiest girl in the entire world! I pulled in and squeezed my brainiac as hard as I could. He glued his lips to my forehead and I sighed with pleasure: "Morning, Donnie!"
"How are you feeling?" - He asked considerately, brushing my hair with his fingers.
"Great!" - I fired. I was so exited.
Donatello pulled my face by the chin up to his and looked me in the eye. He studied me for a while with a serious expression on his face, then sighed reassured. I was fine. My fingers brushed over his chest plates on their way to his face. I ran a finger upon his lips and he kissed it lightly. Then he brought his face closer and brushed his lips on mine. I melted into his strong embrace, reliving the events of last night in my mind. I just couldn't believe it!
"Mmnnh... Donnie, I feel so..." - I trailed off, completely succumbing to his hands and lips. He could do anything to me, I knew I'd love it. He kissed my jaw and gently massaged my neck with his thick fingers. I licked his bottom lip slightly and he opened his mouth, so I sucked it a bit, then pushed my tongue inside. He tasted so good! Our tongues danced together. We kissed groping each other till I felt the itch of desire between my legs. I wanted Donatello inside me again! But what about him? What did he feel? After all, it was his first time...
"Donnie!" - I whispered, regretfully breaking our sweet kiss,"can I ask you a question?"
"Of course..." He leveled his beautiful brown eyes on mine. His fingers were drawing imaginary forms on my back. He smiled sweetly, when I bit my lip not knowing how to ask him without offending his ego: "Um... Last night... was it, um... Did you... um"
"Was it my first time?" - he finished for me, not even blinking. I nodded and bit my nail. Donatello lowered his gaze. He didn't answer. And I suddenly felt so bitchy. Why did I have to ask him that? It didn't really matter at all, so I continued, shrugging and apologetically smiling: "It was my first time with a mutant turtle, if it makes you feel any better?" He grinned slightly and I added a bit silently, more to myself: "And my best time so far..."
"I should hope so..." - he looked back at me, and when our eyes met we both snickered.
"Sorry. I souldn't have asked. Forget it" I shook my head.
"It's o.k." - he said, "you are the first woman who has ever shared my feelings and now... you have also fulfilled my desires! Thank you!"
"What? You don't need to thank me... I did it strictly to fulfill mine, so... no acknowledgments needed" - I blushed like crazy.
"It makes me happy to hear you say that!" - he sighed, "...still hard to believe, though!"
"Believe it!" I was determined to make him feel comfortable and wanted.
I pushed myself down his body, softly kissing at his side between the plastron and the shell. He squirmed with surprise, but restrained himself and let me have my way. My hand found its way to the lowest part of his shell and gently groped around till his tail came out. Don reacted in quick short breaths. It was so easy to excite him at this point. I smiled with anticipation and looked at the miraculous organ. It was the same color as Don's skin - something that could not have been said about certain other rememberable organ on his body - it was coming from deep inside his shell. I stroke it and it curled around my palm, returning the favor. It was just the cutest thing! I got so engaged with it for my own pleasure, that I forgot how it affected Don; and several moments into my game he called: "Lin... I..."
"Yes, I know" - I cut him off and focusing again on pleasuring him I added: "Let it out!"
I kept stroking the tail when Donnie's biggest pride came out to greet me. Hello again, my enormous friend. It's difficult to describe the grandeur and the color of that magnificent organ, starting in dark green and gradually turning into purplish-red. I took it in my hand, the other one, which was not busy with the tail. Donatello moaned, and wheezed. His eyes were shut and an expression of pleasure mixed with a certain amount of concert was on his face. For several moments I only stroke the two organs simultaneously, bringing their owner to a state of high arousal, his throaty groan increasing. I was even starting to worry that someone would hear, though I was sure he tried to keep it as quiet as he could.
Then I took as much as I could - and I mean, it was huge, o.k. - into my mouth and sucked. Don lost it. He grabbed the sheets into his fists and buried his head into the pillows: "Nngghhh... She-e-e-e-ll..." - escaped his lips. I kept sucking and licking, not letting go of his tail either. I'm not even sure who was having more fun, Donnie or me. I mean, I was getting seriously wet; and when I figured he was close I stopped and climbed on top of him. He opened his eyes to look at what I was doing and I smiled at him while slowly sliding myself down his swollen erection. Couldn't smile anymore when I got half through, orgasmic spasms already lacerating my body. I gasped in pleasure, when I was finally sitting on top of him with him fully inside me. It didn't take us long. We both were pretty worked up by then. A few movements of my hips and Donatello was done for; and with his completion I came faster than I ever had. It was impossible not to come right away, seeing his expressions of pleasure and hearing him moaning like that.
When we eventually relaxed and regulated our breaths, he pulled me into a hug and started swiftly kissing all over my shoulders, neck and collar bone. It was very tickling and I started to laugh and kiss him back until I caught his lips again. I just never wanted to let go. My Donnie! My sweet lover-boy!
We lay together like this, a mixture of limbs and my scattered mass of hair, for what felt like hours. He played with my hair, while I rested my head on his shoulder and studied all the scratches and nicks in his plastron. There were lots of them and I traced each and every one of them with my finger.
A knock on the door got us on our feet in an instant. I curled into a sheet. Where the hell were my clothes at? Donatello put a finger across his lips gesturing me to be quiet, and called: "Yeah?"
"Hey, Donnie. Sleeping in today? I was surprised not to stumble upon you with your morning coffee... " Leonardo's voice sounded a bit derisive.
"Uhh... yeah... 'been catching up on some long needed sleep, bro!" - he answered while bringing me close and making it clear to me what he actually meant by the words 'long needed sleep'!"
"Right! That's awesome, Donnie, but we gotta head out in about ten to fifteen minutes..." Leo's voice was serious this time.
"Be right up, Leo!" - saying that, Donnie buried his face in my hair and breathed in, "I have to go... I really don't want to, but I have to!"
I fondled his bald head and kissed his beak near the nostrils: "I'll miss you so much, Donnie! And also, where are my clothes?"
Chapter 6: Chapter 6
It was such a hot August day! It was like a hundred degrees in the city. Naturally I preferred to spend my after work hours beneath the steamy streets, in the welcoming vastness of the sewers of New York. Well, to tell the truth, I usually spent most of my spare time there anyway...
For quite some time now the turtles have been talking about going away for the summer to the cabin in the woods, which belonged to their old friends – the Jones' who recently moved to Japan due to some huge job opportunity - but lately there has been a new wave of crime in the city, so the turtles decided to stay at least until it calmed down a bit.
I was looking forward for that trip so much, not to mention I had the last week of August off because the library closed for repairs. They said there was a lake there and lots of relaxing nature, lots of trees… Mikey told me a bunch of stories about their adventures there in the past. Some cool, some creepy as hell. And also, I really wanted to see that barn Donnie turned into his permanent lab while they used to live there... Labs just turned me on since you know... Oh, well, what can you do? Anyway, that was not going to happen until the crime level lowered a very serious deal. Those stupid Purple Dragons and the Foot were at it again. It was decided, though, to send Master Splinter there anyway, for he needed the fresh air and all in all it was much less dangerous out there then in the city nowadays. So Donnie drove Splinter there last week and took care of all the necessities in the house so the old rat could rest and worry about nothing. He also left his old laptop there, for communication reasons.
The turtles were super-tired all the time, 'cause they patrolled the streets 24/7, divided into two teams: when two of them were patrolling the other two were asleep at home and vice versa. So my basic job was to take care of the occasional food supply and making it the most comfy-cozy sleepy time for the ones that would be presently at home. Tonight it was Mikey's and Raphael's turn to rest.
When I entered the lair, Raph was vigorously punching his best friend in the world – his punching bag. At first I thought I'd mixed up the schedule for this week. But soon enough I realized that Raph and Mikey, who was lying on the couch with his limbs spread all over, had just returned home from a long and tough patrol. Through his clenched teeth, not for a second quitting his occupation, Raphael informed me that Leo has already replaced them out there on the roofs and now was waiting for Don, who was delayed by some urgent equipment malfunction.
I put my shopping bags at the kitchen and came up to Mikey to straighten his tired body: I placed his legs on top the couch and covered him with a blanket. He murmured something and curled into a cute messy ball of limbs, pillows and blankets. He was so cute when asleep, just like a baby.
"Hi, Lin! See you in 12…" – Donnie flashed by me all geared up, and already by the door he sheepishly winked at me and disappeared.
I sighed sadly smiling to myself - it's been days since we last had some time for ourselves, then addressing Raphael I said: "Time for some rest, big boy!"
"Grrrraaahh!" – was all he managed, never ceasing his punching.
I shook my head in desperation and determinately came up to him: "Come on Raph, I've got you some watermelon! You love watermelon, don't you?" He didn't budge, so I used my 'secret weapon'. He tried to fight it at first, but soon enough he completely succumbed to my magic hands massaging his tired biceps. Shortly he was resting in the armchair next to the couch, all relaxation and fluff. I just love how easily I could sometimes make this big guy relax. All tough and hotheaded, Raphael was a real sweet teddy bear when I came to really know him.
Leaving the boys all sleepy in the living room, I went to the kitchen to fix a salad out of the vegies I bought at the market today, fry some eggs and toast some bread. I turned on the coffee machine that Donnie recently fixed - there has been a tremendous need of coffee in the lair lately – and heated last night's pizza leftovers from the fridge, as I knew Mikey would've just eaten them frozen anyway. Then I was about to wake the guys so we could have some dinner together, when the skype theme sounded from the back room, and I ran to answer it.
"Good evening, Master Splinter!" – I exclaimed, when I saw the furry greying face of the old rat. I really came to love him like a father.
"Good indeed, my child!" – he smiled with his whiskers.
"How have you been? Having fun on the farm?"
"Oh, yes! It is very quiet here… Lots of opportunity for meditation! But, to tell you the truth, I often worry that it is too quiet…"
"Evening, Sensei!" – Suddenly Mikey was standing behind me, resting his chin on my shoulder. I jumped up in my seat.
"Mikey! How many times do I have to tell you: don't ninja-sneak behind me!" – I exploded and slapped him on his shell.
"Good evening, my son… you look exhausted! Where are your brothers?" – Splinter continued meanwhile.
"Oh, sorry, Lin!" – Mikey sheepishly grinned at me, then addressed Splinter: "Raph is snoring in the living room, Leo and Don are out."
The old rat frowned, then smiled toothily and said: "I'm glad you have Lin to take care of you, boys. I don't know what would've happened to you and our home had it not been for her" – he shook his head, while I flushed.
"I'm really not doing that much..."
"Yeah, Lin is so great to us, Sensei" – said Mikey enthusiastically, while squeezing me in Mikeyish hug.
"Oh, stop!" - I said, but hugged him back and even smooched him on his green cheek, "O.k. now shower! Right now, Michelangelo!"
"Alright, alright…" – he left as silently as he came in.
"I hope they don't cause you too much trouble, my dear child. They are such a hand-full at times. I should be there too… to help... " – Splinter sighed and looked at me through the screen.
"Everything is alright, Master Splinter! There's no need to worry. The guys are great… you know how much I love those beasts! You just relax, and rest, and meditate, and ... just have fun, Sensei!" – I said. It was so easy to talk to Splinter, he somehow always understood everything just from looking at me, even the things that I didn't mention, "Well, I should go, I guess. There's dinner waiting…" – I concluded, suddenly uncomfortable under the old Master's gaze. He probably saw right through and knew about Donnie and me, or at least he sensed something, that was for sure.
"Good night, my dear" – he said, "Have a nice meal!" The skype window disappeared and I sighed with relief, getting up and going to check up on the 'beasts'.
I heard the shower at work, so Mikey was doing good. Raphael was fast asleep in the armchair where I'd left him earlier. He was so adorable in his sleep that I even almost didn't want to wake him. I sat beside him and pushed him gently. Nothing. So I pushed harder, but he still was absolutely out. So I had to succumb to one of my dirty tricks: I tickled his side between the plastron and the shell. He came instantly to his senses, grabbed me by my shoulders really hard and picked me up in the air.
"Raph, it's me, Lin! Wake up, you behemoth! And let me go!" - I screamed.
He snapped out of it and softly put me down, smiling awkwardly: "Shell, sorry Lin! I thought ya' were..."
"Yeah, I know what you thought" – I rolled my eyes at him and slapped him lightly on his chest plates, "Come on, dinner is served!" He followed me to the kitchen, where we were soon reunited with half-wet-but-clean Mikey. The three of us had our dinner. I made them eat the salad as they naturally gobbled all the pizza I've warmed up.
After the meal Raph was ordered to get into the shower while I stayed in the kitchen, with Mikey to help me clean up. Eventually I felt so tired, from the summer heat and from all the mothering around the lair, that I somehow dozed off at some point. When I finally opened my eyes, it was dark and quiet. I was lying on the living room couch. Someone had covered me with a blanket, it felt nice and cozy. Where was everybody? I stared into the darkness of the room, trying to make out shapes and figure out what time it was, and whether the guys have returned and exchanged their shifts yet. I was too tired - I couldn't make myself get up, so I relaxed my muscles and just lay there wondering what was Don doing at that moment and how I missed his big green hands... and...
I heard silent steps coming from the entrance corridor and shortly Don and Leo entered the room, trying not to make noise. They were probably informed that I was asleep in the living room. The clang of Leo's katanas went past me and onto the upper floor – he must have gone to inform the 'second team' about the situation above. I hoped it's been a safe and boring night.
I could barely make out Don's silhouette with all of his gear still on. He sneaked up on me, ninja boy, while I was busy tracing Leo. I pretended to be asleep. After several moments he carefully lowered his face, planning to place a kiss on my forehead. He didn't want to wake me up, the sweetheart. I quickly moved forward and caught his lips with mine. Surprised, he lost his breath – he really was trying to be super quiet, so he was holding his breath or something. That was so cute and funny. I let out a giggle and felt him smiling as well through the kiss. I grabbed the upper part of his shell with my arms and pinned him down, gear and all. His arms went around me, digging into the couch. I could smell the streets off of him, mixed with his own personal scent which so intoxicated me.
"Damn! I missed you so much!" – escaped my lips. He nuzzled my neck in response, "Are you hungry?" – I continued, "Let me fix something for you…" I stroke his nape and head where no gear got in my way, "we've got fresh vegies and some old pizza..."
"I am hungry!" - He whispered into my neck, taking a bite at it, "but not especially for the vegies… maybe some la carne ala'Lin?!"
I laughed and kissed the top of his head: "Don't tease me, you perv!" I knew there could be no sexy-times right now, 'cause of the patrols plus the turtles would come down any minute now. And sure enough, the turtle-brothers' voices could be heard in the distance. They were done with their preparations and now were coming down to the living room. Me and Don swiftly separated and I pretended to be asleep again.
"Shhh… Mikey, be quiet! She's still sleeping, I think" Raphael's whispering was louder then Mikey being loud. I could not help but giggle.
"I believe she is awake" – Leo's steady voice declared.
"Oh, hey, Lin!" The hothead-turtle's voice sounded cheery - probably 'cause he was glad to finally get out there again.
Someone turned the lights on and I blinked, smiling. In a split of a second Michaelangelo was beside me: "Will you miss me, babe?" – He required, giving me his best superhero smile and holding my hand between his palms. As we knew the little trickster all too well, I giggled and Donnie frowned sarcastically while Raph grabbed his little brother and dragged him towards the exit. Mikey dramatically held his arms towards me, whispering: "Wait for me, my dearie… I WILL be back!" I send him a quick air kiss in response and he barely caught it as Raphael pushed him out of the door.
All fell quiet again. I looked at Don. He was finally taking his gear off. Leo disappeared into the bathroom, so I got up and came up to Don to 'help' him. But instead, he caught my face between his palms and kissed me hard. I melted into his embrace.
"Might you be a bit jealous of my public romance with Michelangelo?" - I teased. Don only hemmed and stroke my hair. I giggled and nudged him: "Come on, I'll feed you, lover-boy!" He smacked and licked his lips, sniffing me as he usually did, mostly before intending to have sex.
"Oh, no no no… I meant actual food, brainiac!" I slipped away, only because he let me, and pulled him toward the kitchen. To tell the truth, I was hoping he wouldn't let go so easily. I really missed his touch.
Don washed up a bit in the kitchen sink, as I was cutting the salad. Since I became a part of the turtles' lives, the boys started eating more vegetables and I - a lot more pizza. Kind of worrying actually, 'cause I felt like I'd started to plump up. The boys do all their training and the patrols and what not, so they never really gain any extra weight. But me, I am a librarian for god's sake. I gotta' start training or something.
"Hey, Donnie, you know what I thought?" – I started without turning towards him, "I really could use some exercise… maybe you could… you know, teach me?"
He cut my mumbling short: "Sure, let's do that!" His voice came from behind my back and his hands gently landed upon my thighs, then stomach, and then slowly started sliding up. My eyes closed as I submissively leaned backwards into him. His tongue was at my nape. My hands became numb, I let go of the knife and grabbed the kitchen table instead. He reached my breasts and I arched my head back resting it on his shoulder, while he nibbled the side of my neck caressing my beasts at the same time.
"Donnie, we shouldn't... Leo..." - I trailed off. All I really wanted right now was to strip naked and ride that green machine until I wasn't able to move anymore!
"I cannot help but agree..." - was all he said, sliding one of his hands inside of my bra and pinching my nipple. That was it, I was getting worked up on high levels. But, as it turned out, he was in his controlled ninja mode, the li'l teaser, 'cause when Leo finally entered the kitchen, Don vanished into midair; and I was just standing there, horny as hell, grabbing the table and hoping my legs wouldn't give up.
"Everything okay, Lin? Need any help?" - Leo's voice brought me back to reality.
"What? No.. no, thanks. Almost done here... " I grabbed the knife and started chopping again, "Where's Donnatello? In the shower?" - I sheepishly asked, trying to get myself together.
There was a pause, after which Leonardo cleared his throat a little and simply said: "Yeah... he went in after me..." Then he opened the fridge, took out the last frozen pizza leftovers and put them into the microwave. In about fifteen minutes the three of us were at the table, the turtles - all cleaned up, gulping up the salad and the pizza and me - looking at them, enjoying the sight. Don and Leo were the tidiest of the brothers.
Chapter 7: Chapter 7
-I really appreciated these rear occasions when I could enjoy some private time with one of the turtles. They are so special and unique, every one of them. And I love them all with all my heart!-
The day Fearless finally accepted me into his clan, his heart and into his family!
The home-made pizza Mikey baked was all kinds of awesome! Our stomachs were full and that was awesome too. I was starring at the TV blankly. Some random Zombie-apocalypse movie was on. It wasn't a very big hit, so no one really was watching it. Raphael was snoring beside me on the sofa, hugging a cushion, popcorn scattered all around - clearly the movie didn't interest him at all. Mikey and Donnie were out patrolling. Leo was silently sitting in the armchair with a book. I sighed and turned off the screen – I was done with that movie. At the sudden stillness, Fearless glanced at me questioningly.
"So, you don't like zombies very much?" - he asked, quizzically studying my face.
"Mutants are much better in my opinion!" – I cunningly answered. That drew a smile on his lips.
"It seems that way…" He shifted in his seat and closed his book, "Would you care for some fresh air?" – he gestured up pointing his finger to the ceiling.
Going topside on a stroll with Leo? That would be a first… how could I resist the Fearless Leader of the Green Team?!
I tucked Raphael in, brushed and swept all the popcorn away and made sure he was comfy. Leo scribbled a note and we were off.
On our way up we were silent and I wondered why all of a sudden Leonardo wanted to take a walk with me. I supposed that he was determined to discuss something rather important. I mean, he never tried to spend 'quality time' with me before, opposite to his three brothers. He was always too busy being the leader.
We picked a roof and Leo assisted me in climbing – pretty scary shit when you actually have to do it on your own! And I've always been afraid of heights!
Turned out he was totally prepared, even had a blanket and some hot tea in a thermos. So we spread the blanket on the floor and sat down sipping the tea. No one talked for some time. Maybe he actually wanted to get some fresh air after all… but then why was I there?
"Leo?" – I softly called, "Did you want to say something? Maybe…"
"Yeah…" His voice became hoarse all of a sudden. He didn't offer anything else.
"Is everything O.K.?"
"Yes. …I only wanted you to know that we all appreciate everything you've been doing for us in the past months. I don't know what we would do without you!" He paused and looked at me.
"Leo, OMG… there's absolutely no need…"
"I am very happy…" – he went on, cutting me off, "…for Donnie!" There was another pause during which I choked a little, but he continued as if nothing happened, "I love my brothers and they deserve the very best as far as I am concerned… You, Lin, are great with all of us! It's very unexpected and more than we could hope for. You have really become a part of our clan. Even Raphael succumbs to your charm!" here he made yet another pause and spread his arms in disbelief.
While I was digesting what he just said, he rested his palm on my knee, "I could not hope for a better friend for my family! But you should be aware of the danger that fact alone puts you in, every single day! Being part of our clan, does not come easy… not everyone is able to hold on…" He closed his eyes and I felt his hand on my knee flinch. He was referring to April and Casey Jones, I figured, but he kept going without explaining himself, "I have a tremendous respect for you and for whatever your relations with Don are, but I just have to make sure that I am doing everything I can to protect my family!"
His gaze was harsh and serious. Swallowing anxiously, I picked his hand off my knee and squeezed it in mine: "Leo! I love all of you as family! And I too, will do anything in my power to make this family happy! You and your brothers did not only save my life, you saved me, gave me a new purpose – a new life. If anyone should be thankful, it's me. And I am! I'm the luckiest girl alive to have you as my closest people! turtles.. And, if that puts my life in danger then be it, because I don't want to have a life without my mutant turtles!"
I pulled his hand close to my heart and he looked into my eyes, surprised.
"Leonardo, I don't have any intention… no intention at all, to walk out on you! Shell, I moved here, to N.Y., only in order to be near you all!"
All of a sudden Leo grabbed me by my shoulders and starred at me, peering into my sole. A single tear of frustration and irritation rolled down my cheek. He studied me very closely and then suddenly he smiled. I've never seen him smile like that before. His tired expression was of extreme happiness and joy. Seeing that, I smiled back at him, gripped him with my arms and hugged him so hard it hurt. He hugged back and very silently he whispered into my ear: "You said: 'Shell,' Lin..!" I laughed out loudly and kissed him on his cheek.
"Leo! About Don – since when do you know?"
"I always knew, Lin!" - tears were gathering in his blue eyes, "I always knew..."
Tough on the outside, soft on the inside.
I was pissed. I had a bad day at work and then my credit card got eaten by the stupid ATM machine. To top all that, my car broke down and it was raining cats and dogs. I was all soaked and freezing to my bone when I entered the lair empty handed (hoping there was something left in the fridge from my last visit). Mikey was on the couch fast asleep, face-down with his hand hanging to the floor. I really needed some cheering up right now, and the most cheerful person I knew was snoring blissfully in the living room. Oh, come on! I knew, as well, that Donnie was out patrolling with Leo, so no pampering for me! (or my car for that matter). I pulled off my wet UGGs, threw my soaked sweater to the floor and shuffled my feet to the tub.
But, my day was not getting better anytime soon, because the bathroom door was shut, steam and splashing noises were coming from there. Raph must be taking a warm, soothing shower right now, while I was all soaking wet and freezing in the corridor. I just wanted to scream! But instead I went to Donnie's room and grabbed his blanket, wrapped it around myself and went to the kitchen to fix myself some hot tea. Donnie's scent coming from the blanket comforted me and made me feel much better. When I was sipping my tea, Raphael came steaming from the tub.
"Hey, Lin! What's for dinner?" – he called, offering me a smirk. I frowned at him from under the folds of the blanket which constituted my only salvation at that moment.
"What's up with ya'?" He was taken aback by my attitude.
In generally I am as hotheaded as the red turtle himself, but since I met the guys I changed, becoming much more relaxed and calm, almost never acting angry or spoiled around them. But that evening I looked at him from above my tea and muttered: "My car is fucked up and I'm all wet and cold… have no credit card, no money, no food… this day stinks and I hate my life…"
Saying all that felt good, but usually I knew better than taking my shit out on Raphael. I blinked, awaiting his response and already planning my escape. Raphael's face didn't flinch, which made it all seem even worse. I bit my lip and was already gonna' say sorry for snapping at him without a reason, when he suddenly moved towards me. I fucked up bad this time, I thought to myself, cringing into my seat and hiding my face behind the cup. The next moment I felt his pumped arms raising me up and turning me to face him. I half-smiled apologetically, raising my hands in a gesture of suggested mercy, when he suddenly pulled me in and tightened his strong, bulky biceps around me. I could not believe it! Raphael was hugging me! Surprisingly, it was a very soft and gentle kind of hug and I found myself clinging to his huge, warm-from-the-tub chest feeling comforted.
The tears came naturally. I'm not sure whether it was all the shitty stuff that happened to me that day that caused them to roll down my face freely, or (more probable) was it that incredible tender first moment between me and this mountain of a hotheaded mutant.
Angelo's his middle name.
Mikey readjusted my blanket while I drank the hot herbal tea he had just made for me. I was feeling sick since last night, my temperature jumping up and down, and he - such a sweet li'l cupcake!- was determined to do everything he could to take care of me and make me feel better.
Master Splinter, who was finally back from the farm house, suggested that I take some sick-days at the library and stay in the lair for a bit, to let the guys take care of me for a change. I kinda' liked the idea, though was slightly worried at first. But, the Hamato family unanimously agreed to make me stay and be spoiled.
That night Leonardo and Splinter sequestered themselves to deep meditation in the dojo, while Raphael brought me his pillows and blanket, saying he didn't mind spending a couple of nights sleeping in his hammock. Donnie kept popping out of his lab to check on me a number of times - my sweet precious mutant! Every time getting angry Mikey at his face, assuring him that all was under control and the mighty nurse-Angelo did not require any help.
"Want me to bring you that extra pillow, Lin?" – Mikey questioned, taking the empty cup from my hand, as it was his turn to nurse me tonight. And as far as I knew, the four brothers fought over that 'privilege'... even Raph!
"That would be awesome, Mikey!" I caught his arm and squeezed it thankfully. He grinned and ran to the kitchen to dispose of the cup and then to his room to bring me his own pillow. He was fuzzing around me like a sweetest, cutest hard working bee he was. Several times I had to calm him down and reassure him that I was just fine sitting all alone reading, he wanted to entertain me so much. He even suggested to rub my back, but I was so weak that I couldn't even get to a sitting position. Eventually we agreed to watch some TV together: him passionately commenting and me dozing off every time he would stop talking.
At midnight Don brought me my medicine and instructed Mikey to make sure I took it, and had my dinner, and be helped to the toilet, and made a warm bath, and so on and so forth... until Michaelangelo had to escort the worried brainiac back to his lab, and ceremonially shut the door behind him while muttering curses under his nose.
After all the preparations and the ceremonies of bathing and dining I was back under the covers all tucked in and fluffed up. And Mikey finally rested his hard-working-shell in the armchair beside me. I looked at him suddenly remembering and said: "Now how about that reading you promised me? Ha?"
"Really? You serious?!" The expression of excitement upon his face grew with every second. All tiredness gone and forgotten at once. I nodded, and Mikey slowly took both of my palms in his and shutting his eyes said in a lowered voice: "You truly have made me the happiest turtle alive!" Then he let go and sprinted back to his room returning only seconds later with several comic books under his arm.
"These are my best ones, Lin. I hope you like them as much as I do!" – he said quickly and a bit too loudly so that I covered my ears laughing and openly enjoying his enthusiasm. He then placed himself on the sofa by my side and carefully opened one chosen volume and started to read using different voices for different characters and imitating all the required noises, making me laugh and gasp at all the right places.
You have my heart - you are my everything.
The warmth of the soapy water around me felt soothing and relaxing. A few colorful bubbles floated in the air, popping against my wet skin. I was finally home, after a long week down in the lair. Leaning my head on a rolled up towel above the tub, I stretched my aching muscles and closed my eyes. Ah, that felt good and so comfy that I almost fell asleep, until a sudden movement in the water caught my attention, so I popped my eyes open only to find an exhausted turtle, kneeling beside the tub- one of his hands drawing circles in the water. Donatello noticed my stare and began caressing my thigh between the bubbles. He out-ninja-ed me again… when did he even get here?
"Hi!" - I said softly, "How long have you been in here?"
"Hey!" He smiled at me and leaned in to give me the sweetest of kisses instead of an answer.
"Excuse me… sneaky ninja sex-intruder … "- I giggled, groping his chest plates with my soapy hands: "It's not very polite to sneak up on a lady like that, you know?!" I pretended to slap his cheek, then pinched his face a little: "So, are you in or out, Green Rascal? The water is still warm and nice!"
He must have come to my apartment right after a patrol, cause all his gear was still on. To my amusement and delight he started taking it all off: belt, knee pads and mask and all kinds of high tech stuff he always dragged around to the patrols - everything found its way to the bathroom floor. I squinted enjoying the show and fixating my eyes on his thighs until he finished and sank both of his hands into the water.
I hugged his neck, pulling his whole body with me under the water, like a mermaid catching some unfortunate sailor. The tub in my tiny apartment was not very deep nor very wide, and water started splashing out to the floor. Spreading my legs and making some space, I embraced him under the water. He filled the suggested position perfectly and rested his head beside mine on top of the towel, which was getting wet due to the increasing water level. I found my sponge and re-soaping it, placed it on top of his head. He shut his eyes against the streams of warm soapy water pouring down his face and shoulders.
Some remaining bubbles covered the edges of his shell that popped out of the tub balancing on the water. I splashed some water over it and scratched it a bit with my fingernails. Don loved it when I scratched his shell. Said he could feel the vibrations. And also he really liked it to be clean and neat. As a result he jiggled a little, causing more water to pour out, and placed his head on my chest slightly above my breasts. I scrubbed his neck and shoulders, massaging his skin with the sponge, while he held me tight under the water.
When I was done with the scrubbing he let out a long and tired, but satisfied sigh: "This might just be the highest level of relaxation! It feels so nice..."
I began slowly stroking his head with my fingers. We lay cuddled under the water for several minutes. Me - stroking; him - holding me tight. But then he raised his head and looked at me. I smiled at his loving gaze, saying: "Like what you see?" He didn't answer, only ran his hand on the length of my body, from my neck to my thigh. That send goose bumps upon my skin and my nipples instantly hardened. His hands felt about my back and pulled me up a bit out of the warmth of the water so that my breasts were exposed to the cool air of the bathroom. I shivered and pressed my body against his plastron. He grabbed my ass and hungrily pressed his lips to my collarbone. "Nnngghhhh…"- escaped my lips. And there I was thinking he was exhausted... He kiss-strolled his way down and catching one of my nipples sucked it into his mouth. I moaned and dropped the sponge to the floor.
My hands naturally groped at his crotch, but he caught them and brought them to his lips, kissing and licking my fingers. Then he positioned them on both sides outside the tub: "No touching" - he said. Although slightly disappointed, I was curious enough to play his game and left my hands inactive like he wanted. However, I wondered what it was all about. And Donnie provided me with a simple over-suggestive hint: "Mutant turtles can breath under water..." - and his head disappeared underwater between my thighs.
Chapter 8: Chapter 8
My phone rang in the middle of the night. I twitched in my bed, startled by it, in the darkness of my silent, still room. When my brain kicked in, my heart sank.
The screen said: Leo. That couldn't be a good sign. I snatched the phone from the dresser and with trembling fingers slid the screen open, forcing the words out: "Leo, what's wrong?"
"You should come over…" and the line died.
The room started spinning a little and my mind went blank for a minute, until I pulled myself together and ran to wash my face. Something terrible has happened. Leo would never have woken me like this, offering no explanations. Why didn't Donnie call? OMG… Donnie!
Cold water helped focusing and I looked at my face in the bathroom mirror: panicky and dreadful. To tell the truth, I knew that it was only a matter of time until something like that happened. So I took several deep breaths and pulling myself together, changed briefly, threw some things into a backpack and ran down the stairs to my car. Maybe it wasn't that bad. Maybe I was overreacting. I didn't know what to think, so I shut my mind and focused on driving.
A short while later, I arrived at the familiar manhole-cover. A dark figure was standing in the nearby shadows, waiting for me. I immediately recognized him. Raphael met my eyes with an anxious stare that made me lose the feeling in my legs. I returned his gaze with a pleading look, but he only sighed and shook his head. The usually hot-tempered, intense giant suddenly seemed like a little child who needed to be comforted. I ran up to him and embraced his huge neck. Tears of nervous fear have formed in my eyes. Raphael hugged me back and lead me to the lair.
When we entered I fearfully scanned the surroundings. There was Donnie's usual patrol gear on the floor in the living room. The first aid kit on the table was left open and used. Several blooded towels were lying scattered around on the floor. My heart was beating so fast, I almost lost my shit. But, then the lab door popped open and Don came out looking exhausted. I ran to him, tears rolling down my face. I really feared the worst and was so relieved to see him relatively okay – he was limping a little and his left thigh was all ripped up and bloody. He groaned in pain when I touched him, but welcomed my hug. When I finally drew myself away from him and looked him up all over, I saw several fresh cuts and bruises decorating his face and shoulders. His hands were also covered in blood…
Leonardo suddenly emerged from somewhere, a wrapped package in his hands. He hurried towards Don: "Here! That's what I've managed... how is he?"
"Still unconscious. Splinter is watching him…" - answered Don absently, rubbing his hands off on a fresh towel, turning it red and throwing me a quick tensed gaze.
I froze and shut my eyes with a sudden dreadful realization: "Michealangelo!" Something must have gone wrong during the patrol...
"We got 'der as fast as we could!" – clutching his fists, Raph suddenly started to speak behind my back, "…but we were too late… I saw Don standin' covered in blood…"
I looked at Raphael shocked and speechless. Leonardo seated himself on the couch in total silence, his head in his hands. He didn't offer to help his brother with the dreadful tale, while Raphael furrowed his brow running the scene over and over in his mind: "He was just standin' 'der… I ran up to'im. His gaze… it was so awful! I kept shoutin' at'im: where's Mikey? Where's Mikey?! But he only said: Mike saved my life… 'Den Leo's voice got ta' me and I turned my head and… and… 'den I saw…" - his voice wavered, "...'der Mikey was, lying by the wall… a pile of bloody mess!" A tear rolled down Raphael's face.
Aghast, I shivered with all my body, causing Don whom I wouldn't let go farther than the reach of my hand, to flinch and intercept: "He jumped in front of that truck to save me!" – his voice was hoarse and shaky, "I was so caught up in the fight. I didn't notice how close I came to the edge of the roof. The next thing I knew I was on the ground and the Foot took their chance. I only saw a glimpse of bright lights in front of me… when Mikey came out of nowhere and pushed me away. Then..." - he put his face in his hands, "there was that horrible thump and... and the crackle… "
At the last word the three brothers winced all together and I put my arms around Don as he started to shake. Suddenly Leonardo hit the table with his fist and got up, angrily strolling towards the lab. Raphael caught his wrist and pulled him back. Leo snapped and was about to fight his brother, but when he raised his hand about to hit Raph's face, he froze in midair and his shoulders twitched and fell as he sighed bitterly. Raphael put his arm around his leader's shoulders. Leo looked at him wet eyed saying: "I failed you all! More importantly, I failed my baby brother!" His muscles tensed again and it looked like he was about to push Raphael away, when his head suddenly lowered and came to rest at his brother's shoulder. A silent sob came from the depth of his body, as Raph protectively enclosed him in his strong embrace.
"You should not blame yourself, my son!" Splinter's tired voice made me look in the direction of the lab. The Sensei just emerged from it, looking suddenly much older. His fur seemed paler and his ears and whiskers dropped. I separated myself from Don (not without a difficulty) and came closer to the rat master. He looked at me and I hugged him. And holding on to his small and fragile body, for the first time in my life, I felt what it was like to love a father. He softly and somewhat faintly hugged me back, saying: "Maybe you shouldn't go in, my dear child..." But I was determined to see Mikey.
As I entered the lab the smell of blood and antiseptic hit my nostrils. There was a beep from a life-supporting machine Donnie got a while ago and was lucky to fix in time. Michealangelo lay on the surgical table. A shudder ran through my spine as I came closer. His face was almost peaceful only the lower lip was brutally cut. Thin tubes came out of his nostrils. His chest moved up and down in an even pace. It seemed like he was only sleeping. Sweet precious baby! I could not stop the tears that suddenly blurred my vision, as I raised my hand and lightly touched his face. He was burning up. I quickly grabbed a towel, and first thoroughly washing it placed it on his forehead. Then I saw his hand. It was fractured. The angle was all wrong. Deep, ugly cuts covered his legs.
"His shell is cracked!" - Don's silent voice came from behind my back, as I took another towel and never minding the tears that were freely flowing down my cheeks, began cleaning all the blood off Mikey's skin, while Don continued: "...that was the sound I heard..." His voice broke, "I couldn't let them take him! I did everything I could to defend my little brother... and now he won't wake up..." I turned and looked at Don. The expression of pain and suffer in his eyes broke my heart. In his hands he had the package Leo brought earlier.
"I need to fix this... Help me turn him on his side!" - he said, gently opening the package. There was some kind of sticky substance in it. And when Don started smearing it into the crack in Michealangelo's shell, I realized it was a sort of glue the guys used to mend their chapped shells.
When we were done bandaging Mikey's shell and there really was nothing else we could have done anymore, I wearily dropped into a nearby chair listening to the beeping and the even work of the breathing machine. Then I suddenly remembered that Don has been seriously injured as well.
"Let me clean you up!" - I raged as he protested, not willing to leave the lab, "There's nothing any of us can do for him right now... and you also took some serious beating up. Let me look at your wounds and take care of them! What good would you be for Mikey if we don't and they get worse?!"
Eventually I won and Donatello followed me to the boy's washing room. I shut the door behind us and ordered him to sit. Obediently, he lowered himself to the floor, ignoring my vain requests of getting into the tub. I braced myself and gently removed the soaked towel at his thigh. Don grimaced in pain, but didn't make a sound. When I saw his injured thigh my sight blackened. It looked bad! Don faintly smiled at the expression on my face and said: "It's nothing... doesn't even hurt!"
After a short argument about cleaning it and sewing it up, I helped him into the tub and turned the water on to let it flow upon his body until all the blood and the dirt was gone. Then with his help and instruction I stitched his thigh the best I could. Pretty brutal stuff, if you ask me, but I had to do it for him. After the serious wound had been taken care of, I moved to thoroughly clean all the new cuts and pour some antiseptic all over.
For some time he just sat in the tub motionless, letting me do whatever I thought right, without interfering. Then all of a sudden, when I was carefully tending a bruise above his right cheek, he caught my wrist and forcefully lowered my hand away. I looked at him in surprise. His eyes searched my face and rested on my mouth. I didn't understand and was about to say so, when he took a hold of my face and brought it close to his. The kiss was brute and intense. He was of course much stronger then me. Shell, he was stronger then many people I knew... except maybe Raph... but that's not the point. I hardly recognized him. This was not the gentle and slightly shy genius whom I knew and came to love.
I pulled away and looked at him worried. His face was dark, his gaze - far away, the lower lip started to tremble. He seemed surprised at his own actions. The bewilderment in his eyes dissolved my sudden alarm and I realized what he needed right now the most. What would fix his heart and comfort his soul even if only for a while. He needed unconditional affection and attention.
"Donnie, I'm here... " I tried to make my voice sound as soft as I could and brushed my fingers on the side of his face, careful not to cause him pain. He looked at me for a second then his lips met mine again. This time I was ready. He kissed me hard and deep, tears rolling down his face, mixing with the familiar taste of his tongue in my mouth. He stood up and picking me up in an instant, set me inside the tub beside him. His hands rested on the sides of my body for a while and then began sliding under my sweater. I raised my arms in submission and the sweater found its way to the floor. My top and my bra followed closely.
Wild hunger and desperation in Don's eyes, when he was clinging to my bare breasts, frightened me, but I was soon lost to the sensations he was causing in my body. And when his kisses and somewhat painful bites reached my lower belly, I felt the desire for him building between my legs, all worries and distractions forgotten at once. I could not stop the moans rending my throat, encouraging him to go on. The zipper on my jeans... the rustle of cloth tearing away...
My legs bent and failed me when I felt his searching tongue under. He took hold of my thighs with his strong hands, keeping me from collapsing into him, as I grabbed the wall for support. Nothing could stop him. Even if I pleaded for him to stop... At these moments he was far gone! And I was gone with him.
He pinned me to the wall, raised my left leg and placed it up and around his waist. My body trembled in anticipation, till he finally thrusted into me at once. My breath caught up in my throat from the sudden pain mixed with immediate pleasure. I could feel his teeth leaving marks at my neck, when he mercilessly thrusted into me again and again until we both collapsed moaning into the tub and all went dark...
When I woke up, my mind was a blur and I found myself lying in Donnie's bed. I happily wriggled discovering that I had no clothes on under the purple fleece blanket. Donatello was not there, so I gathered as much blanket as I could in my hands and sniffed it. Everything in this room smelled like him, especially the bed! I stretched my whole body, and my muscles graciously reminded me how far we must've gone last night, yesterday's events slowly crawling back into my mind. I sat up fast, when I remembered Mikey, all the blurness gone at once.
I searched for my missing clothes, but they were nowhere around. They must be still lying on the bathroom floor. Oh, shell! Not only was I cloth-less, but now every resident of the lair would be drawing conclusions about the presence of my belongings on the bathroom floor while I emerge without them (hopefully dressed somehow) from Donatello's bedroom. But the thought of Michaelangelo miserably lying on a table a couple of doors away, struggling for his life, made me get up and search for any item of clothing in the room. I turned out with some sweatpants (good thing Don was relatively slim - even though I had to manage something around my waist, I did not have a shell after all) and an old, stained t-shirt with a caption: "Don't hate me 'cause I'm genius!"
As soon as I was dressed I hurried out of the room and towards the lab to check on Mikey and to catch up on the whole situation. On my way I ran into Leo, thanking the heavens that I didn't have to explain myself just yet.
"Lin, I didn't realize you were still here… don't you have to be at work?" He carefully observed my unique attire and added: "Don is in the lab with Mikey, if you're looking for him… I'm going to the kitchen to get coffee, want some?"
He was acting suspiciously calm and casual, so I raised my eyebrows and asked: "Mikey, how is he?"
"He is out of danger! Woke up from the coma about an hour ago..."
My heart missed a beat and pacification came to my mind, I smiled from ear to ear, when Leo continued: "Raphael was with him… the first thing he said was – where is Donnie?" Leo smiled faintly and went on: "and until he saw Don's sleepy face in front of his own, he wouldn't even talk to anyone… oh, and Raph is asleep on the couch, don't wake him – he's exhausted, didn't shut an eye all night long… so, coffee?"
I hugged Leo happily and whispering to him: "Yes, please", I kissed his cheek and went straight to the sleeping giant in the living room. Raphael was discomposingly snoring. I stroked his head and smooching his cheek, rubbed him on his shell. He muttered something in his sleep and taking a deep breath fell silent. A sleeping Raphael was definitely my favorite Raphael. I smiled at my tender feelings towards this rough, hot-headed, precious mutant and started towards the lab.
When I entered my eyes fell on Don, who immediately lowered his gaze to the floor and put his finger across his lips, gesturing me to be quiet. His other hand pointed towards the fast asleep rat, curled in the living-room armchair, probably brought here by one of the boys just for that purpose. I nodded, warily steeling closer towards the surgical table.
Mikey's habitual smile immediately appeared on his green, bruised physiognomy when he saw me, and that was all the affirmation I needed. I jumped up to him, skipping the last few steps, forgetting about everything else in the world and caressing his head between my arms I kissed his face many many times - to what he reacted in short mild grunts of pain, smiling shyly and cautiously looking in Don's direction.
"Careful..." - whispered Don, firmly articulating with his lips.
Realizing I must be causing Mikey pain with my touch, I recoiled a bit and questionably looked at Don. He lowered his eyes again as they met mine and slowly left the room. Mikey and I exchanged looks. What's up with that? - his face was saying. I shrugged, looking worriedly to the door. Then I got up and carefully threw a blanket around Master Splinter.
Chapter 9: Chapter 9
Some occurrences in our lives become very special to us in retrospect. And we usually cannot predict or expect them... or be prepared. We just need to act and do what we believe is the right thing...
Mikey's wounds were healing fast!
About a week after his injury he was already limping around the lair, causing mild heart attaches to Splinter every time he tripped.
He couldn't move his injured hand, due to Donnie's complexed binding which limited any movement. But it was absolutely necessary, according to the brainiac, to keep the muscles warmed up and active on hourly basis in order to let the limb heal properly. As a part of his recovery treatment, Mike was to get his muscles massaged every day. So I gladly and happily volunteered at once to be the one to do that - it turned into kind of a routine for me: after work I would go home and, sweeping by a market to get whatever was needed in the lair, drove there after sunset.
Moreover, Mikey's shell took a serious hit and so it would have been too dangerous to let him participate in any kind of practice, even a precautious one in the dojo.
Hence, we get restrained Mike, which is bad news: too much energy and nowhere to invest it.
One evening, during his usual massage session Michaelangelo just couldn't find his place. His eyes followed my every movement, while he was sitting still on his bed as I was busy massaging his hand. With a facial expression of anxious embarrassment he eventually sighed and softly said: "You know, I think I can manage it myself from now on…" His lips formed a sheepish smile and his good arm was scratching the back of his head.
"But, your arm…" – I exclaimed, looking at his injured arm in my hands.
"I can do it with my good one!" – he was fast to respond, showing it me.
"Mikey, I don't mind …" – I started and then rethinking it, continued: "Does this make you uncomfortable in any way?"
He widened his eyes at me: "What? No! Nooooooooo… What you're doing there is great! Great! Great! Great!" His toothy smile ensured me of the veracity of his words. I smiled, shaking my head and went back to massaging.
"But…" – he suddenly carried on, unwilling to let it go.
I raised my eyes and looked questionably at him again. Mikey's grin faded from his cute green face. His gaze turned away: "I don't think Donnie likes that at all… "
I tensed a bit: "What do you mean? He was the one to prescribe it!" Actually, Donnie hasn't spoken a word to me since Mikey woke up. He was acting really distant, keeping our interactions to minimum. At first I thought it was only a stage of his recovering process, but it's been days... and he just wouldn't even look at me.
The corners of Michaelangelo's mouth curved a little, suggestively. He touched my hand and crushing my fingers in his big palm, slowly said: "I don't know if I should say this or not… but here goes - Donnie really LIKES you!"
A short ironic snort came out of my mouth as I tried to keep my shit to myself and not to loose control over my feelings.
Michaelangelo sighed still holding my hand in his: "Dudette, I do not joke! He told me himself…" His expression suggested absolute confidence.
"Mikey…" – I started, but couldn't continue nonchalantly anymore due to the tears starting to gather at the corners of my eyes.
Mikey's hand gently touched my shoulder and I gazed at his suddenly unfamiliarly worried face. A single tear rolled involuntarily down my face and I couldn't squeeze out even one word.
He pulled me to him, crushing my whole body in one of the warmest and sweetest embraces I've ever experienced and said: "Lin, believe me when I say it! Donnie's totally into you! I'm sure he'll come around..."
It's been a month or so since Mikey's injury.
Master Splinter was deep in meditation in the dojo, as he did every morning. Only, his sessions got longer since the incident. Leonardo would frequently join him, but today he did not - as he was sitting beside me in the living room. Raphael was probably with Mikey, pretending to be helping him get back in shape as fast as possible, but actually watching his every step. Donnie...
Donnie was shut in his lab for what seemed like hours.
"Hey, Leo… um… Do you think Don is angry with me? I mean, did I do something wrong?"
Leonardo looked up from the journal he was reading and quizzically gazed at me. It was just the two of us in the living room. I was nervously crumpling the edges of my sweater.
"Of course not, Lin!" – he blinked and quizzically added: "Should he be?"
"I.. I don't know. He's been avoiding me lately…"
Leo focused his eyes on mine and his expression changed from ironic to worried: "Did something happen between you two?"
"Well... no, nothing like that, I think… "
"You don't seem very confident…" – he got up from his seat and came closer to me, placing a reassuring hand on my shoulder, "Tell me" - he sat in front of me on the couch.
"Well, the day Mike was hurt - Don took it harsh… really harsh and..."
"I know" – Leo cut me off: "Donnie will always be Donnie! Plus he blames himself!"
"Yeah..?" I felt so lost. I didn't know what to do. Don wasn't acting like himself at all, and that scared me.
"Well… Don shuts off sometimes. When the reality is unbearable for him, you know?" The green Leader's blue eyes were soothingly smiling at me, his fingers softly but firmly pressing into my shoulder, "It's not your fault, it's not personal… You just need to give him some time!"
I smiled at him and got up. Contrary to his words I felt the need to try and talk to Don. And I was determined to do it now. When Leo realized what I was about to do, he gently stopped me, catching my arm.
"That might not be the best idea, Lin. You should probably let him come to you..." – he said, but seeing the expression I had on my face and this time choosing his words carefully, he added: "He really… appreciates you! You know that, right?"
My cheeks flushed as I nodded. Leo let go of my arm and I determinantly started for the lab.
When I knocked, nobody answered. I tried the knob and found the door to be unlocked. Softly, I opened it. The lights were unfamiliarly off and it was awfully quiet inside.
"Don?" – I gently called into the darkness. But there was no answer, "Donnie?" – I tried again, louder this time.
"Over here…" His voice came from a far corner of the room and immediately awakened a flashback in my mind from all those month back pitch darkness, the excruciating pain in my ankle and the soothing voice of my savior… I winced and stepped into the room, shutting the door behind me.
"Where are you? I can't see… " I couldn't move, afraid to walk into something and break it, "Donnie..?" - I tripped.
His hands suddenly circled around my hips from behind and I jumped startled. But his grip was thorough and he held me in place.
His touch, so missed and desired by me, entailed my body to react - he barely touched me and I was all jelly within seconds. My heart beat fastened as I longed for him to be even closer. He must have sensed that, I figured, and that put me completely at his disposal. His warm breath was at the nape of my neck and I naturally reached up to feel his face. But he withdrew immediately.
I felt confused at the sudden void, outcast even, but it also has brought me back to my senses. Alone in the dark again I whispered: "Donnie? Where did you go? Please talk to me..."
But there was no answer...
The wide, heavy box of supplies I was carrying almost completely concealed my field of vision. Therefore, when I entered the lair I could not see nor hear anything until I was finally able to get it on top of the kitchen table. Panting and gasping, I stretched my muscles exhausted and walked to the living room. There I finally collapsed into the couch.
It was pretty deserted. Leo must be out on a patrol. Raphael usually stayed behind with Mikey now, to help Splinter out with the youngest turtle on his special daily workout: since Michaelangelo was not allowed to participate in the usual training sessions of the turtles until he healed enough, Master Splinter produced a special procedure for his youngest son, in which this hyperactive, green and orange nugget of never-ending energy was making tremendous progress every day. No surprise there! Of course, all the residents of the lair frequently assisted the youngest, keeping his spirits high and impatience low.
And Donnie... No one knew these days what he was doing and where he was at all half of the time.
I drove the unpleasant thoughts away, focusing on my strained arms. And figuring I was all alone in the lair I sighed, closed my eyes and enjoyed the stillness and the coziness of my second home, down here under the streets.
However, soon enough my ears picked out a soft sound of music: a guitar and a voice - my fatigue slowly slipping away to make place for increasing curiosity. I got up and followed that voice, realizing on the way to whom it belonged. I never knew Raphael was such a good singer, and the song was so beautiful that I leaned against the wall of his room and listened attentively.
The beautiful strum lyrically drove on and Raph's low baritone overlapped the narrow space of the corridor enveloping me: the song told a tragic story of illicit love: unquestionably loving one another, both lovers are aware of the impossibility of their relationship, the shared forbidden desire and longing breaking their hearts and destroying their happy-ending forever.
I was completely lost in that mesmerizing tragic melody. So when the song ended, all fell silent again and I allowed myself to breathe again, realizing all of a sudden that if I moved even an inch Raph would surely hear me and figure out that he was discovered at his obviously discreet hobby. However, there was nothing I could have done but… gently knock on the door, suddenly aware of the ticking sound of my watch, echoing my heart. The door snapped open and Raph's widened eyes met mine.
"Lin?! What the shell'a ya' doin'?" – his husky voice sounded intimidating.
"I… um… I'm sorry… I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but I couldn't help but h…" - but I couldn't finish 'cause his freakishly strong hands pulled me inside the room and shut the door slamming me into it from inside.
It didn't hurt, but I was in fact a bit terrified. His eyes drilled holes in my face as he tried to calm himself and gain control over his frantic emotions. It took all my inner power to overcome the physical fear and instill into my mind the fact that he would never hurt me. With shaking hands I cupped his face, finding his cheeks wet and realizing - much to my horror - that he must've been crying. His grip on me did not loosen, it only grew stronger. His lips – a thin, tight line.
"It's o.k... It's just me, calm down" – I softly said caressing his cheek.
He suddenly breathed out and closing his eyes he leaned into my palm, tears gaining at the corners of his green-yellow eyes again.
"Lin, I'm sorry!" He drew away, shrinking.
But I followed, never letting go of his face, and pressing my cheek next to his I simply stood there, close to him, barely able to seize his height and general hugeness. He lowered his head onto my shoulder, allowing me to comfort him, and embraced my much-smaller-than-his body. I hugged him tightly, petting him on his shell; the sudden flow of mutual affection bringing me to tears as well.
There, at that specific moment I felt closer than ever to that gigantic mutant huddling to me. At times Raphael would strike me as being the tender teddy-bear hidden behind the outside posture of a brute.
Then all of a sudden I saw it all clearly, the meaning of the song dawning on me all at once. But I found it hard to bring everything I felt into words. Instead, I took advantage of that moment: "You know, Don's been completely avoiding me... Ever since the Foot incident..."
Separating from my shoulder Raphael looked at me: "Whadda' ya' mean?"
I looked into his eyes without saying another word and his expression of suffering changed to suspicious disbelief. He studied my face carefully for several minutes, then opened his mouth to say something, but only sighed instead unable to find the right words.
But then I finally found them myself: "I am trying to say: I know how you feel!"
The sound of heavy rain woke me up in the middle of the night.
Again, I lay in my bed, staring at the ceiling deep in thought.
Again, I couldn't sleep.
Sleep didn't hold on to me for more than two-three hours in a row these days. Same nightmares interfered time and time again, and when I awoke I could never remember them.
Donatello drew further and further away...
Seemingly nothing has changed: I visited the lair almost daily after work, took care of the supplies and of anything and everything else needed, as usual, spent time with Splinter, took care of Mikey, tidied up and occasionally helped the guys with dinner. Everything was great and all, with one little exception: Donnie.
He avoided me almost every time we had a chance to be alone only the two of us: retreating to his lab the second the guys would return from a patrol or some other topside-ninja-gig, occasionally reappearing only for quick meals or training. It was like he was there and at the same time he wasn't.
Something happened to him that unspeakable night when he and Mikey got injured. But Mikey's physical injuries were recovering with incredible speed, while mentally traumatized Donatello seemed to only be deteriorating.
My long talks with the Rat Master have not concluded any certain results. He'd say that I should be patient and that Don usually needed more time then others. Leonardo played along. Raphael didn't hide his annoyance with his genius brother, but he couldn't do anything about it either. Mikey felt my suffering and openly sympathized unable to help (not that he wouldn't try!)
And I couldn't but feel abandoned... cheated.
I didn't even cry anymore. What was the point? Everything was fine after all…
The tip-tap of frequent rain drops upon the window glass above my head lulled me as I fell in and out of my sleepless trance. I closed my eyes again and again struggling to fall asleep, trying to forget Don at least for a couple of hours. But it was no use. As soon as I would shut my eyes there he was, smiling shyly, staring at me with his brown eyes.
Tip-tap, tip-tap, tip tap tap... At some point my rainy lullaby became so truculent that I got worried thinking about the improbable possibility of a broken window. The enormous amounts of water falling from the sky outright overdone it. Half-anxious half-curious, I got up and coming closer to the window-still gazed through the wet glass at the vandalizing weather and almost lost my cool… there was a huge shadow on the other side looking straight at me.
My automatic reaction was of horror, of course, but I rapidly recognized the silhouette behind the glass and hurried to open the window. Freezing wind and icy rain broke into my room and got on my pajamas, while the drenched turtle hanging upside down from a parapet on the roof, drilled me with his gaze unwilling to come in right away.
"Well, get in! I'm getting soaked!" - I said after a few seconds of mutual silence and bewilderment.
On one hand I was so happy to see him, but on the other I was hurt and tried to keep a casual, nonchalant expression.
Donatello hesitated but when I gestured him to get in again, this time aggressively and impatiently, he carefully entered without making a sound and stood by the window, dripping on my floor and unable to bring himself to move any further.
I noticed that he didn't have his gear or even his bo-staff on him– a very unlikely thing indeed. Without a second thought I hurried to get some towels. When I came back he stood on the same spot, still immovable. So I came up to him and offered him a towel, keeping my distance and thus allowing him to be the first to approach. But he only looked at me with those beautiful eyes of his, full of pain and regret and what not.
I figured, if he was the one who came to me, I could more or less act natural, without tip-toeing around the matter. I would only be required to play along and be patient. But how in shell could I?! This was unbearable! I braced myself.
After waiting a good wile with my hand stretched towards him, I sighed and placed the towel around his shoulders myself. He didn't move as if in a trance. So biting my lip, I took another towel and began wiping the rain drops from his skin and from his shell. He only flinched when I touched his face: his cheek twitched and his lips moved in a silent attempt, but no words came out.
"It's o.k, no rush… " – was all I managed to say as the tears blurred my vision. He saw that and the pain in his eyes became even more vivid.
"I can't sleep!" - he whispered choking slightly. And I looked at his face, astonished, as he continued: "couldn't shut my eyes even for a minute..." - he trailed off for a moment, but then carried on: "Can I sleep... here? ...with you?"
I didn't know what to say. I didn't even know what to think. I didn't know what this meant or what I should do about it. I did know that I missed him so terribly that I simply couldn't refuse him. So I nodded shortly and stepped away.
Tossing the used towels to the floor I whipped my tears away and got back into my bed, laying down on one side facing away from him. He hesitated, a heavy sigh escaping his lips. And the room fell still for several seconds. Then I felt the bed move as he carefully joined me under the covers. I waited, allowing him to adjust and to relax a bit.
He shuddered. And I realized that he probably must have been freezing. Without turning towards him, I pushed back running into his plastron in an attempt to offer him some of my heat. To my delight he didn't move away. I could feel the lowered temperature of his body and patiently waited.
After a while his arm moved across my belly, pulling me in closer, and I leaned into him fully while he buried his face into my hair.
Everything was okay now... My mind gave in and I finely feel asleep...
I slept for a long time that night. We both did.
Chapter 10: Chapter 10
It was late afternoon, when I opened my eyes, or at least I thought it was around that time, because the sun was up in the sky and the birds were singing beautifully and a bit too loudly for my taste, behind the shut window of my bedroom.
No mention of the spate of rain from last night. An unlikely warm autumn day in mid-November.
I yawned delightfully – I've finally had my good long desired sleep. I felt so relaxed and comfortable, the way I didn't feel for a long time… since Don…
My mind was slowly waking up, getting acquainted with the other side of my bed where the mattress sunk under his weight. I gradually became aware of the embracing arm around me, the hard plastron pressed against my back and the warm breathing, slow and even at the nape of my neck. And all of that felt really really good! It was exactly what I wanted... needed to wake up to.
Almost afraid to move, so as not to wake him up and destroy this perfect moment, I didn't budge… I simply lay there listening to his breathing, enjoying the mutually acquired heat and the simple sensations of skin where our bodies touched. Life was good! And this moment was perfect!
But after a while my body became stiff and I felt the need to stretch my limbs. I let out a silent sigh of despair and slowly pulled my muscles spreading my legs in the process. At that movement Don's measured breathing broke its pace as he suddenly inhaled taking a lot of air in at once. His arm pulled me in, pinning me even closer to his chest while his thigh, taking advantage of the situation, took over the space between my legs. Our bodies resulted in a temporary tangled and squeezed knot - I barely breathed - but it unleashed before long, when Don eventually relaxed his muscles.
Then his breathing regained its previous pace. And believing he was soundly asleep, I gathered enough courage to turn my whole body and face him, without disturbing his deep slumber.
Eyes shut and lips slightly parted, Donatello's mask-less face was a picture of peace and tranquility. A silly involuntary smile appeared upon my lips. He was so handsome! A beautiful pale tint of green skin was lit by the steeling rays of sun from the window and the contour of his shell towering behind his back cast shadow upon it. I took a deep breath collecting his scent into me.
Hungrily 'eating' him with my eyes, I studied once again (as I have times and times before) the unique specifics of his body. My gaze eventually rested upon the numerous cuts and scratches in his plastron and on his arms. I trailed some of them with my fingers only imagining the pain and the stories behind each of them. Then I looked at his shoulder, where the day we first met was engraved. Down at his thigh the bandages were long gone and a new scar, new story decorated his green otherwise perfect skin, reminding him the horror of almost loosing his brave little brother.
While skin had a relative ability to heal – Don's absorbing chest-plates displaying the past will forever keep the carved patterns engraved into them. Mikey's cracked shell was no exception.
Suddenly Donatello moaned slightly in his sleep, probably dreaming something or other. I looked at his face in surprise and swallowed fighting the urge to enclose his warm breath in my mouth and hold him close, comforting him and reassuring that everything was o.k.
My fingers traveled upon his skin softly caressing his muscles. His hand twitched and catching it I pressed it to my chest, to my heart. His fingers flexed and held on to the palm of my hand. Smiling once again, I pulled them to my lips, spreading soft kisses all over them. He moaned again and this time it seemed to me like he was saying something. Was he talking in his sleep? I put my ear as close to his moving lips as I could and listened.
"... Lin" – was all I could make out.
He was talking to me in his sleep. Dreaming of me!
I drew away a bit, still reluctant to wake him up. And then all of a sudden I couldn't take it anymore. I needed to comfort him... and myself. And so very very carefully I drew my face close to his and brushed my lips upon his. Slightly, almost not touching, getting goosebumps all over as a result of this long awaited sensation.
But what started ever so gently, soon turned into an uncontrollable animal desire I couldn't stop. I caught his mouth fully, pressing my lips to his and parting them with my tongue. Without opening his eyes, he took it in and kissed me back. He tasted amazing – as always – and I lingered longer then intended, gently sucking his lower lip into my mouth. Then his strong hands drew me closer and his warm lips went down my jaw-line towards my neck.
It's been so long since he put his hands on me, since he held me like this, kissed me...
Though he was still asleep, he gained absolute control over my body: his lips sending shivers of pleasure, moving a little down the side of my collarbone, his trailing tongue braking my last remaining opposition, as he sucked on my skin, absentmindedly leaving marks.
Controlled by his touch and completely drunk with his sent, mixed with the smell of yesterday's rain, I just wanted him to touch me and keep touching me and never stop... Never wake up from this dream!
Chapter 11: Chapter 11
I made Donnie a cup of freshly ground coffee with a slight touch of milk, just the way he liked it. And some breakfast - a pizza-omelet! (It's my personal recipe: roast several pieces of toast on a pan. Add some tomato souse on top of them. Then place some whipped egg all around and as much cheese as you like on the top. Of course, there is always a place for preferable pizza toppings of preferable amount. Donnie likes his pizza veggie, while Mikey for example usually adds whatever his hands grab on, like marshmallows, avocados and what not. Yeah... Well, that's Mikey for you. Aaaaanyway, voila, you got yourself a pizza-omelet).
Holding a tray with breakfast in my hands I walked into my bedroom. Don was waiting deep in thought abstemiously sitting on the edge of my bed. Did he remember or was he even aware of what he did while asleep? Instantly startled when he saw me come in, he hopped up to his feet. And as a result I almost dropped the food to the floor. I'd never get used to this ninja stuff... without even the lightest hesitation he caught the tray and myself, getting us both to the safety of the bed.
"Shell, Donnie!" I looked into his eyes, quizzing at how every time he caught me just at the right moment. His eyes met mine and he immediately lowered his gaze to the floor. But I've had it with this, so I set the food in front of him, saying: "When was the last time you ate?" He didn't answer, keeping his eyes at his knees.
"You know, for the brainiac I've come to know you are, Donnie, that's some seriously stupid and irresponsible behavior!" I crossed my arms at my chest and leaned on the wall behind me, waiting for him: "Please eat... Then we'll talk!"
He started with the coffee as I watched him. While he ate silently, I thought about what I said and couldn't help but feel a bit over the top. I mean, nothing Donatello did could be appropriately called irresponsible. I just really needed to know why such a smart and educated person would abuse himself so much. I just couldn't understand. My heart melted over and over with every bite and every sip he took, as I observed his mask-less face. And I came to realize that it didn't even matter. All that mattered to me was that he was here, beside me. And for all I cared he could be self-abusing, insane or delirious as long as he'd let me in. Let me help...
Donatello finished everything on the tray and putting it aside settled in front of me. I waited patiently.
"Thank you" - he finally said softly and almost inaudible.
"You're very welcome!"
"Um... for letting me in last night... into your bed... " - he said absently.
I looked into his eyes, surprised: "What?"
This time he stared back at me, plainly and seriously: "I don't want you to think that I take you for granted, Lin!"
I was about to respond, but he went on, determined to make his point: "You're very special to me. I've never before experienced anything like... what is between us. I feel so lucky! And doubtful that I will ever get a second chance, but that is not my point... I owe you an apology... I took advantage of your feelings and of your kindheartedness towards me. I abused your devotion and your unexpected amount of care. I am at fault. And I am sorry!" He made a little pause and brought his right arm across his chest squeezing the opposite bicep as if hugging himself, and continued: "I don't know why I deserve your attention or what you see in me. I am what I am - a mutant, a biologically tampered mistake. I shouldn't even exist... and yet here I am and you... you just... take me as I am. Never hesitating, never looking back. You care and you are always there for me" He paused again and a single tear trailed down his cheek.
"Donnie..." - I was in such a turmoil.
"No... please" - he shook his head, swallowing, "let me finish..." - I set back, tears gaining in the corners of my eyes, as he went on: "Why you are how you are to me, I will never fully understand... but I'll admit that what happened that night, with Mike and I, made me realize something. Something I could never have..." He choked, as his breath was caught short by a sudden short sob uncontrollably coming from within. I bit my lip to stop myself and to suppress the urge to comfort him, allowing him the dignity to recover and go on. This was obviously not easy for him to say. He inhaled deeply and continued: "What I'm trying to say is... you are not taken for granted! I'm afraid... afraid to lose you, and that is a weakness I am not accustomed to. My brothers... I had my whole life to get that at check, and I still lose my grip when something... happens to one of them..." He looked away, but continued in a lower voice, "I thought that some time away from you might do the trick and perpetuate some peace over me. Boy, how wrong was that reckless assumption?! I just can't control everything... I cannot control you, Lin! I feel like I need to... But... but I can't and that is exactly why I cannot protect you. So I am very afraid... for you... for me to lose you!" He shut his eyes, measuring the bridge of his beak with his fingers, "I am sorry, the words just won't come out the way I want them to... "
He looked at me with his beautiful expressive eyes for several moments as if looking for some answers, then carried on: "I am but a mutant... in this world... and you... you... " - he smiled at me, the sweetest loveliest smile of them all and took my hands into his. But shortly his face grimaced in pain, "...when I think about the future I can't help but feel frustrated. What can I, the way that I am, offer you? How can I be what you need? How long can we keep this... this..? I just can't help thinking you would want more one day and I would not be able to make you happy... "
The look on my face must have been something particularly gruesome, because Donatello suddenly let go of my arms: "What am I saying? I didn't mean to startle you like that! I'm sorry! I absolutely didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable. Whatever it was, I take it back!" There was angst and terror in his eyes - he really was afraid.
I wiped my tears away and carefully moved closer to him: "Donnie! Oh, Donnie... you make me feel so..." I couldn't find the words to describe the feeling so I only shook my head looking straight into his eyes, "Everything you said - I understand and... You must know this: you already are everything that I want. You give me all the happiness in the world. Just don't shut yourself away from me. Talk to me... every time you feel lost and every time you need someone to hear you out. I will always be here for you. Come to me with anything, I can take it. You and your brothers... They are like a family to me! Splinter is the father I never had! And about the future" - my voice trembled unwillingly, as I was about to say something I've never said to anyone before : "you are it! I love you! Donnie! I love you and my future is with you! Do you understand my dear silly mutant? You are my present and my future...you are my everything!"
When I fell quiet again, tears streaming down my face, he just set there with his eyes focused on mine. As if he couldn't believe his ears. As if he didn't hear me correctly. His hands trembling, he cupped my face and I smiled at him through the tears, accepting his touch and anxiously awaiting.
"What did you say? Lin... What did you just say..?"
"I said I love you, Donnie! I love you more than..." But his lips were on mine abruptly and I couldn't finish. He kissed me passionately and while our lips were still intertwined, he silently whispered into my mouth: "I love you, too! I love you so much, Lin..."
Chapter 12: Chapter 12
"I just LOVE snow!" – I exclaimed, looking around delightfully.
We arrived at Northampton - the old farm where the turtles had been spending time occasionally. Lots of memories tied them up to this place. As for me, this was a long awaited vacation.
When at last I saw the old house, it was all covered in snow. In fact, everything around was absolutely white and sparkly. Beautiful crystals of prickly snowflakes lazily danced their long way down from the sky. I opened my arms, trying to catch some of them, giggling idiotically and spinning around between the snowdrifts. I was just so happy to be here. All of a sudden something soft hit my back. I turned around only to get another snowball hitting my stomach. I looked around, getting ready to strike back. Standing only a few steps away from me, Mikey stubbornly tried to catch as many snowflakes with his widely open mouth as he could, looking as nonchalant as he could.
"I know it was you, Mike!"
He looked at me, innocently blinking for a minute, then suddenly running towards me, caught my hands I his. And like two little children we started dancing together in circles, giggling and kicking piles of snow in every direction, while the others were busy with unpacking the Shellraiser.
Actually, Mikey and I were excused, due to his resent injuries (of which there was almost no trace anymore, but his brothers went all overprotective on him all the time!) and myself being-super-enthusiastic-to-finally-be-here. Instead, Mikey courageously volunteered to show me around.
Raphael rolled his eyes at our silliness, grimacing in our direction from time to time, while helping Don move everything into the house. Leonardo was already inside, assisting Splinter and making sure to throw some wood we brought with us into the fireplace in first attempt to warm the place up till Don got the chance to look at the heating system he had constructed there in the past.
"Watch your step there, Mikey!" Raphael stopped at the front gate, holding piles and bags in his hands.
"We're fine, bro. No worries!" – chanted Mikey in return, while leading me straight into a huge pile of snow by the barn: "I believe you said you looooved snow?!" - he winked at me.
"Michaelangelo!" – I squealed in delight, even though attempting to sound alarmed. Which, of course, drew immediate attention, causing panicked glances in our direction.
We ended up exactly in the middle of the snowy pile: Mikey dove towards the icy whiteness shell-first, pulling me on top of him. Firmly protected - his hands safely attached me to his well-padded chest wrapped in several layers of warm clothing - I landed safely. We rested there, laughing our lungs out till another smaller pile of snow from the barn roof landed on top of our heads burying us.
Raphael's voice, hardly audible through the hysterical "ha-ha-ha" and the amounts of snow plugging my ears, sounded a bit too anxious. The red turtle's terrified emerald gaze and the overall expression upon his face when he horridly dug us out, were priceless. And Mikey didn't waste any time hysterically nickering at his brother. Donnie was fast behind, worriedly observing Mikey and myself. But seeing our smiling happy faces, he relaxed and offered me his hand. I gladly took it still giggling as he pulled me up to him. I was covered in snow from head to toe.
"Now you are a real Snow Queen, dudette!" – Mikey observed me, while jumping up and down to try and shake off all the snow that covered him.
"And who're ya' suppos'ta be?" – teased Raphael, the edges of his mouth curving up in an introverted grin, "The snow-court's impish Jesta'?"
"I... " - Mikey stood up straight, adjusting his scarf and articulating every word, "am the Snow Turtle - her majesty's humble Snowamurai warrior!" Striking a pose, he got down on one knee beside me and with his hand upon his heart added grinning: "Her highness' personal ninja-bodyguard!"
"More like ninja-retard, but what eva', bro!" - snickered Raphael, while picking up all the bags he tossed to the ground while digging us out.
Ignoring that, I collected all the imaginary skirts of my royal attire and reclined in a delicate révérence, offering my brave Snowamurai warrior my gloved hand, which he immediately took and kissed.
"Rise, my loyal guard!" - I said, struggling to keep my face straight, "I shall generously reward you for your devoted service!"
I squatted and quickly grabbing as much snow as possible, tossed it all at Mikey with as much might as I could. Alas, foreseeing my scam, he skillfully flipped backwards, but slipped on some ice and landed on his behind and into yet another pile of snow, giggling at his own clumsiness: "Look, I've fallen and I can't get up!"
And we all laughed till our stomachs hurt, Mikey being the loudest. Until Raph went to help him up again and Donnie hugged me from behind, resting his chin on my shoulder. One, particularly fuzzy snowflake landed on his beak. I blew on it, causing it to melt away with my warm breath. He smiled and squeezed me tighter, bringing his face to nuzzle into my neck: "My Snow Queen!" – he whispered. His warm breath rested in the curve of my neck and I blushed uncontrollably as he secretly placed tiny kisses there.
"Hey guys, everything cool?" Leo's loud voice came from above our heads all of a sudden.
We all turned our gazes in that direction and saw Leo stalking us all from the attic window. A thin smoke line was visible coming out from the chimney and swirling into the snowy sky.
"Everything's awesome, Leo!" – I shouted back waving to him, "Thank you guys so much for taking me with you! I love it down here!"
"Thanks for joinin' us!" – said Raphael, placing a hugging arm around Mikey's shoulder, while the Snowamurai grinned from ear to ear, nodding with sparkly eyes: "Couldn't imagine leaving you behind, your majesty!"
When everything was finally brought into the house and some other matters were organized and settled on (like deciding who gets which room and who's the first in the shower), the turtles at last took a break and relaxed from the long trip, scattering between the different rooms of the old house. Splinter climbed to the attic in order to meditate. And I settled in the thoroughly warmed up living room with a book.
A sudden mention of my name made me jump and raise my eyes. I saw Leo glancing down at me. Immersed so deeply in my reading, I didn't even notice him approaching. He handed me a steaming mug and sat next to me. I smiled at him thankfully, accepting his tempting offering of hot herbal tea! As much as I undoubtfully shared Donnie's craving for the magical caffeine beverage made of the amazing brown roasted beans, there was nothing quite like Leo's special tea brew. I have no idea how he made it, but every time he managed to spellbind me with it completely.
"What are you reading, if you don't mind me asking?" His voice was calm and relaxed.
"'19Q4' by Haruki Murakami"
"You like Japanese literature..." - he mused more than questioned.
"Aha… Donnie highly recommended" – I explained, taking a sip.
"Have you ever read any of Mishima Yukio's work?"
"Actually one of his books is on my list-of-books-to-read…" I remembered writing it down, "Umm… something including colors …I think" – I struggled to recall the exact title.
"Kinjiki" Leo pronounced, "Forbidden Colors"
I looked at him, appreciatively. Leonardo never ceased to surprise me with his wisdom and general knowledge.
"Make sure you get your hands on 'The Confession of a Mask' – one of his first novels, it's wonderful!" – he added.
"I will!" I smiled at him and took another sip of the magical drink, "So… I've always wanted to ask you: do you speak fluent Japanese?"
"Well, not fluent – fluent, but yeah. Master Splinter used to teach us when we were little"
"Then how come the others don't know it as well as you?"
"That's not precise... Don reads and understands it perfectly, but doesn't like speaking it aloud - he's a perfectionist, as you might've noticed. Mikey is too inpatient and not determined enough. And Raph…" – he paused for a moment, "he gets angry every time I attempt to use it in his presence. I don't know what his problem is, and frankly I don't care"
"Wow…sheesh!" – I sipped yet more tea, "I'd really like to learn it sometime! Will you teach me?"
Leonardo looked at me in surprise. And I shrugged at him light-mindedly, bringing my mug up to his, in a pretense movement to make a toast. He raised a brow but smiled, clinking his mug with mine.
"I intent some day to read the 'Hagakure' in its origin" - he continued. And at my distant look of bewilderment, he explained: "it's the ancient book of Bushido - the way of the warrior!"
"Oh... Wow, that sounds massive!" - I said, but not wanting to hurt his feelings, added: "...and awesome!"
But Leonardo didn't seam to notice. He was suddenly fully alert and up on his feet.
"Did you hear that?" - he carefully set his tea down and silently moved to glance outside the window.
I didn't hear a thing...
There was some commotion upstairs and Raphael appeared on the staircase, alarmingly looking down at us: "I heard somethin'… Leo?"
"There's a pickup truck parked in the front, the lights just turned off…" Leonardo glanced at his brother for a split of a second and returned his gaze to the window.
"Who the shell could that be?" - Mikey's voice called right beside me. To my bewilderment (I guess I'll never get used to the ninja thing…), I found him standing to my left, gazing at Leo and at the window.
"No idea. There should be no one around for miles… " Making several quick gestures with his hands, signaling his brothers, Leo slowly pulled out his katanas.
"I think you better go upstairs, Lin. And find Don!" – Michaelangelo's tone sounded uncharacteristically serious and protective.
No questions asked...
The lights were dimmed as I started towards the stairs. Mike reached for his nunchakus. Raphael's sais dangerously sparkled in the darkness when he quickly and quietly moved away to let me through.
I ran from room to room looking for the one Donnie chose for himself and found him soundly asleep on a wooden bed slightly illuminated by an old-fashioned floor lamp.
"Donnie…" – I called softly.
But he didn't move. So I shook his shoulder, calling his name again and again louder. When he finally opened his eyes, a confused and annoyed expression on his sleepy face softened and he smiled at me: "Ah, Lin, it's you! Come here…" – and he attempted to pull me under the covers with him.
"Donnie, there's someone outside the house… Leo saw a pickup or something… "
He was on his feet in a flash, his drowsiness gone as if never was. The murmuring sleepy voice calling me only a second ago, now became dry and stiff: "Stay here!"
He picked up his bo and after kissing me on my forehead, disappeared into the darkness of the hallway. I sat on the bed - my heart beating so damn fast. I had no idea what was happening. But I felt that I had to do something. I couldn't just sit there and wait! Plus I wondered if that truck outside was a mere unfortunate mistake. I even thought that it would be a better idea if I was the one to open the door for our uncalled guests instead of four mutant turtles.
I got up and tiptoed towards the window to see for myself. The snow was still heavily falling and the steams upon the window obscured the sight. However, I could have pretty much sworn that I saw a woman exiting a dirty warn-looking pickup truck in front of the house. Soon the curiosity killed the cat and turning the floor lamp off, I leaned in, clearing the glass with my palm to look closer. The woman - now I was sure of it - was wearing a long drab coat which was neatly showing her beautiful figure, and a knitted yellow hat with some short, ginger curls popping out, scattered around her face.
The woman looked in her early 40s. Her high-heeled boots drowned in snow while she tightened a red fluffy scarf around her neck and looked up ahead. Her eyes carefully overlooked the whole house, before stopping exactly at my window. It seemed like she was looking straight at me, as if knowing I was there. I took a back a little, worried to be seen. However, she didn't look very dangerous to me.
Still musing, I watched the woman walk towards the front door. Soon she was out of my sight and for several minutes (that seemed like ages) I patiently waited, gazing at my phone - maybe the guys would call me downstairs. But it was quiet! And I was too impatient!
There seemed to be no immediate danger, therefore I opened the door very carefully and, stepping into the hallway, noting that the lights were back on. The guys must've hid and the woman might've found her way inside the house. I silently went downstairs, thinking about what I should say to her.
However, when I stepped into the living room I was surprised to see a very unexpected picture...
The mysterious woman stood in the middle of the room… embracing Mikey, who was silently sobbing into her shoulder, his chuks were lying on the floor nearby. Leo stood by the entrance, looking unsettled, his katanas safely behind his shell. Not far away, Donnie reticently supported Splinter's arm, as the latter had no cane at his side. The old Sensei was smiling with contentment. I couldn't see Raphael anywhere.
"Hello!" - I simply said and all gazes turned at me at once.
There was a long silence. Everyone seamed to be unable to find the words. The woman's widely opened eyes pinned me to my place. I could see a duo of thin tear lines vertically crossing her pretty face.
"My dear child..." – Splinter's low voice eventually awakened everyone from their trance, "meet our dear old friend, April O'Neil!"
"OMG!" – I was astonished beyond what not.
"Hello!" - said April O'neil and smiled.
She was the legendary April of the April-and-Casey-Jones-forever-best-friends of the Hamato clan! I couldn't believe it... Taken aback, I looked at Don, searching his face for support. His eyes were wet with tears as well, and fixed on April. So much for support there... And everybody was yet so quiet!
Lingering a bit, I cleared my throat and said: "It's so great to finally meet you! I've heard... well, everything about you! You might almost say I already know you. Um... my name is Lin, by the way"
Her soft laughter finally broke the tension in the room and everybody, including me, took a deep and relaxing breath.
"So, where's Raphael?"
April's voice was nothing like I imagined it to be...
Chapter 13: Chapter 13
I lay awake in bed, starring at the ceiling. The uneasiness about April O'Neil's sudden return rested heavy on my heart and wouldn't let me go...
After the unexpected reunion, and since it was getting really late, and everybody needed to get some rest, April was hurriedly offered some diner and safely shown to a vacant bedroom. Safe and sound... Good night, everybody! (Are you kidding me?!)
The change in all the turtle-brothers' usual behavior, that I was so accustomed to, thew me out of balance. Leo was uncharacteristically quiet and kept to himself. Mikey fussed around April forgetting himself and everything else in the world, helping with the extemporary dinner and the new sleeping arrangements. Raphael didn't appear back at the house until it was very late at night, keeping Leo up, sitting at the entrance, awaiting his return for hours till the hot-head finally decided to show up. "He's here..." - I heard him informing Don, "And he's drunk!"
Drunk Raphael?! That was something new. Angry Raphael, smart-ass Raphael, even sad, miserable and gruesome Raphael were all familiar to me... But drunk?!
As I already figured there's quite a story the guys failed to tell me fully, I came to Don in a hope to acquire some valuable information. But he looked so tired (and also so yummy) that I couldn't get myself to ask about April. Furthermore, I was completely distracted as he pulled me into bed with him the moment I entered the room...
And now he was peacefully snuffling, unaware of my troublesome thoughts - I turned to look at him lying next me. What did he think? How did he feel? How did he take April's sudden return? I didn't know for sure.
I considered to wake him in spite of all and talk about it, but couldn't get myself to disturb his beauty-sleep. He never got enough of it anyway, always busy with fixing everything and helping Leo with the usual errands; keeping Mikey away from trouble (or from breaking more stuff that he eventually would end up fixing); seeing to the rat master's well being - everything needed to be taken care of. Of course Raphael never made it easy on anyone anyhow... Donnie was forever the one under surface, making sure that everything ran smoothly in the family.
I felt my face getting flushed at the thought of how much I loved this logical, caring, loyal and gentle mutant. It was the craziest and at the same time the most rational feeling.
His hand rested on top of the pillow, away from the warmth within the blankets and was cold to the touch. I cupped his palm with mine. Gently pulling it towards my face, I blew hot air on it, pressed it against my burning cheek and kissed it lightly. Then I just watched him sleep. Feasting my eyes on his precious features and drowning in love, I absorbed his radiance still unable to believe that all my most secret, personal hopes and desires came true imprinted in this magnificent, surreal creature.
I could stay like this forever. All I needed in this world was right here beside me merely breathing into our shared pillow (there was a serious deficiency of pillows in the house – Mikey hinted something about a pillow fight the other year. He also gallantly offered me the one from his own bed, but I declined politely, musing about how Donnie's shoulder would be a much better pillow anyway).
I couldn't imagine my life anymore without Donatello in it. What would've I done without Donatello?! Scary thought… Where would I be now? Maybe lost… Possibly dead… And what would I do if somehow I couldn't have him now? No no, I didn't want to think about these things. I'm happy! Why ruin it with horrible possibilities?!
A heavy sigh of uneasiness uncontrollably broke free from within my chest and Donnie's fingers at my cheek flinched a little. His eyes – two sparkling slits, looked at me in the dark.
"Sorry… I didn't mean to wake you!" – I whispered, biting my lip guiltily, "Go back to sleep…"
He looked into my eyes for a long moment and then slightly kissed my lips. I melted into that kiss, immediately feeling a lot better. He fondled my cheek and suggestively picked up his side of the blanket with his other hand. Getting the hint, I snuggled even closer to him, while he pushed his arms around me. This was it! My happy place… my personal heaven… Interlocking his legs with mine, he pulled me closer to him and my head rested upon his chest. And as I lavished short, quick kisses all over his upper plastron he was falling back to sleep. I wished this moment to never end. I wanted to stop time and space, and just remain in the moment, never ever letting go!
Here and now I was happy!
And then it hit me like a bolt of lightning on a sunny day…
I remembered that long forgotten evening, weeks ago, when I walked on Raphael singing his beautifully tragic love song. And seeing the tears in his eyes... That day, I knew he must have had the worst scenario of a broken heart.
And now: April?!
It was like the clouds that were trapping the sunlight, suddenly drifted away revealing before my eyes everything that was hidden away by the shadow: First, Raphael leaves just as April appears. She, on her side, asks specifically about Raphael, but she's not surprised that he's gone (neither are the others). Everybody keeps suspiciously to themselves (even Mikey!) - because it's nobody's business (WTF?!). Then, after April's safely hidden in her room, Raphael comes back drunk to the loss of senses...
Raphael and April… OMG!
Wait up! It gets even more complicated, 'cause... didn't April marry Casey Jones - Raph's best bud (according to Mikey)!?
So... Raph falls for April. April presumably falls for Raph. Then Casey comes into the picture... Or was it Casey first and then Raph? Oh... April... What have you done..?
And as my feverish brain runs through all this, I suddenly realize: OMG… Poor Donnie! Did he think about April-Raph-Casey when he tried to push me away? Did he fear being cast away much like his brother in the past… Unwanted for being a mutant!?
I tightly squeezed sleeping Donatello, remembering everything he said the morning I first told him I loved him. My dear brainiac… my poor sweetshell…
Then all of a sudden I heard a rustle on the other side of the door. Quick footsteps followed. Someone, not very sober I recon, was moving downstairs.
Trying to ignore it, I tucked my face into Donnie's neck and pulled the covers over my head. However the thought of Raphael hurting as much as I remembered Donnie being hurt, became unbearable and I just couldn't merely pretend sleeping anymore. I had to talk to him!
I got up as carefully as I could, and when I made sure Donatello was tucked in and undisturbed, I grabbed a sweater and silently ran down the stairs.
It was dark and deserted in the living room. I tiptoed into the kitchen, but there was no one there. So I walked to the window by the door and peeked outside. Reflected in the snow, the moonlight illuminated the glade in front of the house and I clearly saw a figure descending towards the nearby woods. Without as much as a second thought, I opened the door and ran out into the cold, realizing (too late) to my horror that I stood sinking in snow with nothing but my PJs, a sweater and my socks. Still, I ran a few steps forwards and cried: "Raph!"
He stopped and turned his head in my direction. Then gestured me to go inside and leave him alone. But I determinedly continued to set my frozen feet into the icy whiteness and inevitably slipped, landing on my ass, so that he had to come back, and help me up, and force me back inside the house.
"What's wrong with ya', Lin? Train' ta' freeze ta' death?" He was almost sober and looking at me in utter astonishment.
"Seriously Raph, what… what's going on? Where were you heading in the middle of the night?" I took off my sodden socks, disposed of them in the corner, then gazed at his face.
"What does it matter?" He looked at my bare feet on the wooden floor, "You're go'nna catch a cold like that…" – and turned to go again.
"Raph…" – I grabbed his shoulder, stopping him, "Please don't go!"
"Why d'ya' care, anyway?"
I looked into his eyes: "Because I do!"
"Lin, leave me alone… It's my problem and it doesn't concern ya'!" He removed my hand, "Leo already lectured me yesta'day. I don' need ya' to as well…" He opened the door again.
"Raph, I swear I'll scream right now … if you as much as step out that door!" My eyes teared from the frustration and I angrily wiped them with my wrist.
He paused and lowered his head, sighing. Then slowly shut the door and turned to face me: "I don' think I can… "
I sheepishly smiled at him: "Would it be okay if we talked?"
He shrugged and angrily frowned.
"Alright, we don't have to. Let's make coffee then" (I didn't intend to sleep that night anyway)
He shook his head somewhat conceding and said: "Maybe we should get you some dry socks first"
After a while we sat at the kitchen table with mugs of hot coffee (and I had some clean socks on... thank you very much!)
I smiled at him reassuringly: "O.K. There you have it, socks and coffee… and stop with the booze, it isn't you, for god's sake!"
He offered me a tiny smirk in return, sitting in front of me and looking pretty miserable. And yet I felt as if we were on the same page. We didn't talk. Just sat there, sipping our coffees.
A shuffle coming from the living room made us turn our heads, as sleepy Mikey noisily shoveled his legs into the kitchen. Ignoring us, he blinked in the direction of a single dim-light lamp above our heads and moved on to the refrigerator in slow motion.
Raphael and I exchanged looks. Michaelangelo seemed to be looking for something he couldn't find, fumbling between the shelves, as if oblivious to anyone else's presence in the room.
"Geez, Mike, wha'dda ya' looking for in there?" – Raphael's usual semi-impudent tone he used to address his baby brother, reassured me a little.
But Mikey acted as if he couldn't hear, and kept fumbling around. Raph made an attend to get him to listen, but I grabbed his arm and whispered: "Raph, I think he's sleepwalking…"
Raphael looked at me bewildered as Mikey shut the fridge empty-handed and turned to leave, producing loud munching sounds with his lips.
"Maybe he's hungry…" – I added as Michaelangelo walked out of the kitchen.
"Ya' think?!" - Raphael offered sarcastically (sarcastic Raphael is always an improvement in my eyes!), then added: "Mike's always hungry!"
"Should we see that he gets back to bed alright? It's dangerous to sleep walk…" I followed the youngest turtle with my eyes, giggling to myself.
"Do ya' really believe he'll go back to bed if he's still hungry? Besides, he's a ninja, remember? What could happen?" – said Raph and snorted. But I saw how worriedly he gazed at Mike's direction.
Looking at Raphael, I smirked at our big-brother-big-sister worries. And then I realized: he wasn't losing it. He was alright. Just a little unbalanced and exhausted. He just needed some time and a friendly unprejudiced shoulder to rest his head upon.
"Raph… " – I said, setting Mikey-worries aside (we could check on him later), and placed my chin on top of my hands, settling in front of him, all ears. He grimaced with frustration, but his eyes couldn't lie. He wanted to spill something out.
"Ya' see, Lin…" – he began, "April was da' first eva' human that acknowledged us… me! …as a person!" He paused to check my reaction and seeing I was concentrated and uber-focused on him, he continued: "And she spoke to me on a different level from my brothers. She understood me… and she's got this strong personality, kind'a like you, ya' know… and she wouldn't have all of my shit an' all! Shell, she even tried to level Leo and me…" – he sneered, "like it'd eva' work… My point is she really loved us and we loved her and it was all good and then even real good… but then she married Casey and…" – here Raphael paused again and seemed off a bit, but after a few moments he regained his cool and continued: "…and then she jus' left! They both left…" He grunted suddenly, hitting the table with his fist and causing me to jump in surprise.
"Didn't Casey Jones use to be you best… "
"Yeah, so?!" – he cut me off brutally, but then added in a softer tone: "Casey took April away…"
"So you're mad at Casey… but what about April? She is the one who's here… Why did you run off like that, Raph?"
His gaze drilled through me like two emerald laser guns. I looked into his hot-headed expression, knowing very well that actually prying into his shit from time to time could be the only way to make him feel better.
"I didn't ru…" – he exhaled hard, "I didn't run off, Lin!" – relaxing his muscles he leaned back into his chair, "I just needed some air"
Some air and some booze, I thought to myself, but aloud I only said: "Well, you got it... But why leave again?"
He scratched the back of his head and taking the last sip of his coffee, he moved closer to me.
"Lin, I never told anyone… I don't think that even Donnie knows this…" – he said in a low voice, "I'm not really sure why I'm telling you now… but it just feels right! Anyway, Casey and I, we talked... then… about April…" He was struggling to find the right words, "um… we said lots o' stuff… nasty stuff to each other! And… " – he sighed, "It was bad, Lin! It was real bad…"
"What? What did you say?"
"It don't matter now… anyway, I kind'a lost it there and it turned physical an' all…"
"Did April have feelings towards you?" – I asked, surprised at my own bluntness.
Raphael shot his emerald lasers into my eyes again. His fingers tightened around his empty mug, as I sat still, returning his gaze and waiting for his rage to pass. Then he suddenly took my hand and petting it gently, he said: "Donnie is so lucky to have you all to himself, Lin. I really mean it! I wasn't as lucky… " His grip at my arm tightened, "She didn't even keep in touch… she probably came here thinking the farm 'd be deserted. She didn't plan to go back to m… us - her long forgot'n past!"
"Then how come her first question was: where's Raphael?"
"She said that?" His voice trembled for a split of a second, but quickly roughed up again: "well, there ya' go again, Raphael, believing in some stupid fantasy at the very first opportunity that falls down on ya'!"
"Raph, come on. Talk to her! Just talk and figure things out. Don't run away from your problems… I'm sure she's dying to see you!"
"No! It's too…" he was looking for the right words again, "infuriating!"
"Maybe it's you, who doesn't want to deal with his past, Raphael..." – I flipped the tables, slowly beginning to massage his hand that was holding my arm, "Don't you think you owe April at least that?"
The expression of surprise on his face slowly turned into deep pensiveness. Falling silent and still, he dropped his shoulders, succumbing to my touch as I drew my palms towards his shoulders, massaging harder and harder.
"You're right… you're right, Lin. Of course you're right…" – he muttered a few minutes later.
"So, you'll talk to her?"
He didn't answer. Only sighed heavily and turned to face me. His expression was full of sadness, but in his eyes I recognized a hint of hope. Raphael still loved April. And we both knew it. But... did she?
"I knew it!" I excitedly leaned over and kissed his cheek.
"Oooookay... Hold up!" – Donatello's voice came from the door, "I'm officially jealous!" He leaned against the doorway, crossing his arms with a sarcastic smirk upon his lips, "Did you guys really think I wouldn't catch you two... drinking coffee together?!"
I ran to him smiling ear to ear: "Raph's gonna talk to April!"
Donatello's expression changed as he looked from me to his brother, fixedly although absolutely tranquilly. A dim sparkle appeared in his eyes, the mesmerizing reflection of dark and still waters inside his pupils. Raphael returned the look with an unblinking expression of gruesomeness, then slightly growling to himself, lowered his eyes and wearily leaned back in his seat.
I turned my gaze from one brother to the other, despairingly trying to interpret that tension, which took me, by the way, absolutely by surprise. All in vain: I had no idea what went on between the two.
"Right, so… I gotta' go…" Raph broke the intense silence, getting up and hurriedly exiting the kitchen.
I looked at Don: "What was that all about?" But he only shrugged, closing his eyes and finally uncrossing his arms so he could rub his temples.
Chapter 14: Chapter 14
Ever since April O'Neil's unexpected reappearance, the course of life on the farm changed...
I vainly tried to get more information about the specifics of her relationship with Raphael, the thing penetrating my thoughts ever since that talk I had with him a few nights back. But whenever it came up, everyone avoided any face-to-face interaction, usually changing the subject or doing something in order to escape direct approach to the matter.
Don started vanishing into his Northampton lab (the barn) every day, as if he is possessed; set on building some kind of new easy-to-balance-on-a-roof device, using JPS analogies and surround awareness tech. He said that an invention of that sort would've prevented the incident with the roof and the Foot. And, more importantly, it would have prevented Mikey's 'accident', and therefore it may proof to be of use in the future. He's been working nonstop, sleeping less then usual and barely eating, avoiding not only April's presence but, to be honest, anybody else's.
Leo is hyper-cautious, stepping on eggshells around April (and around Raphael, although he would've never admitted that) and spending most of his time in lonely-training sessions or meditation seances. He is frequently accompanied by Master Splinter, who also seams to be worried about Raphael (more then usual), but wisely chooses to reduce the fatherly influence on his hot-headed son to the minimum for now, since the turtle in question keeps alarmingly quiet and introverted (not very typical for his normally explosively-agitated temper), usually descending into the woods for long hours alone.
April, in her defense, is a very likable person. She is soft-tempered and good-natured, with cheerful spirits and a big warm heart. Kind of like I always imagined her to be (from Mikey's stories, of course... only I used to think he was overdoing it a bit). April doesn't hide her tender feelings towards the Hamato family, she clearly loves the turtles and the old rat, trying her best and making all in her ability to regain their trust, which was evidently lost. Master Splinter is especially affectionate towards her. It seams to me like he sees April almost in the same status as his own sons, therefore always forgiving and forever welcoming her into his fatherly heart. Thanks to the old rat, April does not lose hope, regaining her patience time and time again against the silent walls of protection the turtle-brothers keep building between her and themselves in the few days since they've all been reunited.
Even forever-joyous Michaelangelo has been holding some distance. From sunrise to dawn he drearily observes the farm-life from his new favorite spot, the attic. I frequently keep him company, sitting nearby and reading or joining the youngest turtle in staring at the snow-fall or the stary sky outside. It's like we could both use some mutual affection lately. To tell the truth, I feel most at ease around him, safe and relaxed. Mike is a natural peace-keeper and heart-warmer. He is the one who never judges and always sympathizes. Forever joking off and making you feel better no matter what, he is the one to be around when things get uncomfortable.
Sometimes, sinking into nostalgia, Mike would tell me all about the good times they used to have with April and Casey Jones, and about many different adventures they've experienced together over the years: how April shortly became sort of a mother figure they never had (first womanly impact on the teenage turtles), and how Casey perfectly matched Raphael's (unfulfilled until then) savage side and so on and so forth... And I've learned about how these two humans, for the first time in the turtles' lives, made their imprint, consequently adjusting a streaming balance between the alienated Hamato clan and the outside every-day world.
Yesterday morning when I climbed up to the attic I saw Mikey by the window. He was gazing out, fixedly following something with his eyes. As I came closer, he shot me a short smile and pointed out behind the window glass. I looked and saw two far away figures descending into the woods: one bigger and the other smaller with a red long scarf around the neck. They were Raphael and April.
I followed them with my eyes a bit, till they disappeared behind the trees, then turned my gaze to Michaelangelo. There was a hint of salvation in his light-blue eyes. He winked at me and catching me with his strong arms, swirled me around in a jocosely dance, until we both burst out laughing and dropped to the floor. And then we just lay there, regulating our breaths, when he began telling me about this one rare occasion when his hot-headed brother decided to spill the guts. It happened when the turtles were much younger (maybe about 10 years ago, or more - Mikey is never exclusively exact about his time lines).
Here is Mike's story, roughly as he presented it to me:
...I was laughing my lungs out, and Raph stood a few steps away, angrily baring his teeth at me: "I'm warnin' you, Mikey!" - he squeezed at me.
"Dude…" I was unable to pronounce a whole sentence at once without insanely giggling between the words: "you're like… totally… out'a line! I'm telling you... you probably got it all wrong..."
I exchanged looks with astonished Donnie, who had just emerged from the lab only to walk on me and Raph by mistake. At the sight of our smartest brother, Raph took a breath and tensed a little.
"Come on, Mikey... Gi'me a break... I'm not joking! Aint' you able taking things seriously fa' a change?! I'm tryin'a tell you something, shell-for-brains!"- he inflamed, turning his gaze towards Donnie, who was minding his own business seemingly on his way to make some (more) coffee in the kitchen, "Don, sit down man, hear me out, will ya'?"
Donnie, intently checking Raph's expression and quickly calculating something in his magnificent brain, came to the couch and casting my feet away to make some space, parked his bum on the cushion next to mine.
"Wow, guys..." I was getting a feeling this stupid thing was gonna get way out of proportions, because Don settled both hands in his lap and attentively focused his gaze on Raph, making it clear he was more then ready to be helpful.
Raph awkwardly shifted in his seat, "Don, ya' the smartest guy I know! " – he started, "Wha' da' ya' think 'bout April?"
"What do you mean?" Donnie raised an eyebrow, brashly gazing at our older brother.
"Like… as a girl, I mean…"
Donnie blinked, turning the thought in his brain. A dreamy smile appeared on his face: "April is awesome!" – he concluded.
"Yeah, sure, man… but… I mean like…" Raph frowned, hesitating, "Do ya' think one of us could… ya' know… ever be with her!?"
Donnie watched Raph intently, "Are you suggesting a sexual intercourse between a human female and a mutant turtle?"
I couldn't bear it: "Jeez, Donnie, you don't have to be such… such a… um... "
"Aha…" Raph perplexedly exchanged looks with me, cutting in, "...or sometin' like that…"
"Fascinating!" - was Donnie's response, as he closely checked Raph's expression again and scarcely looked at mine. Then he suddenly continued: "Well, if you brought it up already…" He settled back in his seat, "I've been dwelling on the subject myself recently and…" He timidly scratched the back of his head, "According to my research, physically - it is more than possible. I mean, our recreational functions seem to be very similar to the humans' and the whole issue with the organs' adjustability should fit fine, I believe. Biologically, however..." Here he discontentedly sighed, "there's no future"
The looks on our faces must've been so moronic that Donnie rolled his eyes and loosing his temper, explained again, this time clearly articulating every syllable: "NO BABIES! MUTANT TURTLES CANNOT BREED WITH HUMANS"
Raph cleared his throat and quizzically looked at our smart brother: "That's nice, Donnie! But who cares about babies? I'm talkin' about sex, man! SEX!"
I giggled and high-threed Raph, while Donnie shook his head in mild disbelief. Then suddenly his expression changed and he nudged Raph a bit, saying: "Did something occur between you and April?" His eyes were wide open, and a look of dreadful suspicion started showing on his face.
"Not yet!" – answered Raph, winking at me.
And I felt as if something crucially humongous landed on my head all of a sudden, so I looked at Raph with terror, while Donnie mumbling: "I see", flatly lifted himself up and withdrew back to his lab without saying another word. I watched my smartest brother go with the weight of realization heavy on my heart.
"Ra-a-a-aph!" – I whined blamefully, after the lab-door was soundly slammed behind the brainiac's shell.
"I think you really hurt Donnie just now!"
"Why? 'Cause he has 'feelings' fa' April?!" He pronounced the word 'feelings' sarcastically and with contempt, "It's not like he's eva' gonna act on it! Besides, I think April likes me! Think I got a shot!"
It sounded like something smashed in the lab and a clatter of trillion little shards flew everywhere.
"Raph, please don't… don't hurt Donnie…" – I whined.
But he cut me off: "I ain't trying ta' hurt 'im!" He threw his hands up in the air, growling, "Mike, mind your own business, a'right?!"
I could already see my brothers fight for days and days over that incident. And I felt so useless and desperate. I hated when they fought. But what could I do? Tell Splinter? That sounded like a bad idea... You don't talk with your parent about sex... You go to your older sibling! Maybe the Fearless could find a common ground.
"Don't you think we should consult Leo at least... maybe…" – I said, totally intending later to bring Leo up to date on every detail of that short and deadly discussion.
Raph barbarically grabbed me and raised me up in the air by my shoulders, so I couldn't feel the ground anymore (he was much stronger than me when we were growing up): "Let's make sure that doesn't happen, Mikey! Capeesh?!"
I eventually told Leo everything, of course. And, of course, it all ended in another fight between Leo and Raph. I tried later talking to Donnie about this, but he always avoided this subject. Since Raph declared his disposition about April, Donnie sort of just laid off. Then later the whole thing slowly evaporated as Casey came into the picture…
Long after Mike's voice died away, I sat still and silently stared at the snowy branches of a nearby leafless tree as I began to figure out a little about that tension I witnessed between Don and Raph that night in the kitchen. Could it be possible that Donnie still loved April?! I knew for sure that Raph did... Maybe it was all just a teenage grudge... a dispute between brothers. Still, it got me feeling insecure and my mind started racing against all kinds of possibilities. Like... in the past April used to spend lots of time with Donnie! They have so much in common, like professional interests and general-pacifist-world-views... He obviously loves her in some way, maybe as a big sister, maybe as an equal scientific mind, or maybe... maybe he just loves her... Maybe he loves her more then he loves me...
And if that was not enough, I finally fully understood the fear buried deep inside Donnie's heart about the future of our relationship, or any romantic relationship, as a matter of fact: the fatal weight of certain lack of continuity of the Hamato clan, of Donnie himself... of mutant turtles in general. They were, after all, the only specimen of their kind... forever!
I suddenly heard Mikey, softly calling my name and cutting my thread of thought. I turned to look at him. His expression of drear which he wore for the last few days was nearly gone. He was the good-old Mikey again. Only a little sadder, maybe. He looked into my eyes, saying: "Donnie never told you about April, did he?"
I shook my head and placed it on his shoulder. He put his arm around me, tucking my head under his chin: "Don't worry, Majesty, I'm sure he had a reason. It's Donnie we're talking about! The smartest Turtle there is..." He put his finger up in the air to emphasize, "...or ever will be!"
Chapter 15: Chapter 15
"Love knows neither virtue nor merit; when we love, we forgive and forget everything, for we have no choice. It is not our judgment that leads us, it is not the qualities or faults that we discover in the loved one that inflame our passion or cause us to draw back in horror. We are driven by a gentle and mysterious power that deprives us of all will and reason, and we are swept along with no thought for the morrow"
(From Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch)
I entered the barn-lab a little early tonight, bringing Donatello his dinner (If I didn't, he would've probably just existed off of caffeine only). Since the conversation with Mike, I was determined to find out exactly what his feelings for April were. And where was I in all that mess...
Donatello was at the far end of the barn behind a wooden desk. Lots of different files were scattered there: some maps, blueprints, plans, sketches of all sorts and about a gazillion empty used cups of coffee. Walking straight up to him, I placed the macaroni & cheese in the corner of the desk, careful not to mess up the carefully designed chaos prevailing there.
"Don... um... I need to talk to you..."
The brainiac hummed in response somewhat enthusiastically, but didn't take his eyes away from his work. I pretended to cough in order to get his attention. However, he still didn't seem to get the clue. So I cut to the chase: "About April..." He didn't move, but I could tell by the way his shoulders tensed suddenly, he was listening carefully, "I was talking to Mike earlier and... " - I trailed off not sure how to continue.
"Not to sound supercilious or unwilling... but I really need to get some work done! I'm sorry, Lin, but it's not a very suitable timing!"
Determined to get to the bottom of this, I walked around and behind his shell and placed my hands on his shoulders, initiating a simple massage by the means of which I intended to soften him into talking. He sighed but lowered his head forward and relaxed his muscles in a submissive gesture suggesting for me to keep going. I smirked triumphantly to myself, clenching his skin between my fingers for a good twenty minutes or so in total silence before resuming my inquiry.
"So you and April... were you close?" - I asked, sliding my palms down the nape of his neck.
With an expression of concealed astonishment, he turned focusing his eyes on me and opened his mouth about to say something. However, after a short reconsideration he only sighed and apologetically smiled. I awkwardly smiled back (why was it so hard to talk about this?)
"Donnie..." I hugged his neck from behind, nudging my face into his nape, smelling that specific sent of his that always made me a bit dizzy, and couldn't resist kissing along his jaw line.
He lovingly petted my arms and said: "Lin, thank you for the massage, but I really need to get back to work..." I spitefully pushed away and threw him a look that made him vexedly bite his lip and sigh yet again. He then pulled me back in order to softly nudge my forehead with his own: "I'm sorry... I didn't mean... "
Ignoring what he was saying, I pushed my face toward his again and gently kissed his lips, requiring: "Tell me... about April, Donnie!" I felt his jaw tighten, but he still didn't say a word.
Not intending to retreat just yet, I began gently sucking a spot on his neck and playfully tickle the edges of his chest plates with my fingers, carefully avoiding the soft skin underneath, openly teasing him. His mouth opened slightly, but no words came out. Instead he only licked his upper lip, following my hands with those smart eyes of his, not giving in but not trying to stop me either. Not at all ready to lose, I picked my ace and slowly brushed my fingernails over the sides of his torso, at the bare skin between his shell and plastron. Don's breathing quickened as his pupils became two tiny dots. He caught my wrist in his hand and inserting his other hand into my hair, he gently but persistently pulled my head forward until our tongues collided. And for a moment I forgot what I was doing in the first place. It was like a drug to me. I had no power there... 'cause at the first murmur of the pants-dropping growl coming from within his throat, I began seriously doubting my tactics.
In a matter of seconds I was picked up like a doll and settled in his lap. His lips moved from my mouth down through my collarbone and straight towards the slot of my shirt. My legs, as if not even belonging to me, hugged his thighs all by themselves. I felt his warm tongue on my breasts - I didn't even notice how he got me out of my top so fast. A moan of frustration mixed with desire escaped my lips. I leaned in to kiss him, and as he enthusiastically kissed back, I grabbed at his inner thighs, massaging his hard biceps and going for the tail. I didn't have to work very hard, as we both agreed ages ago that this was our fastest foreplay version: I found his tail (or more accurately Donnie's tail found me) and it playfully circled around my fingers. Producing a much louder version of his renowned throaty growl, which made me lose my mind, Donnie grabbed my hand directing it toward his beautiful manhood (or should I say turtlehood?) which was fast out of its hideout, and thus providing me with a perfect loophole. I decided to swap tactics: with a quick movement I strategically changed my whole position and directed his member straight into my mouth. Taken by surprise, he tilted his head back, making several quick short breaths, his eyes tightly shut, his brow frowned in concentration, mouth wide open in a silent scream at the sudden sensation. But after I licked away the first drops of his juices, I withdrew, leaving him unsatisfied and confused.
The expression on his face, stricken by inquiring desperation and betrayal, made me quiver (it's extremely hard to hurt someone you love so much, but I had to make him talk somehow). I looked straight into his eyes and repeated my earlier request: "Tell me about April!"
He regulated his breath a bit, and hiding his face in his palms, dryly responded: "What for?"
"Because I need to know! I love you and I need to know! Do you understand?"
He gazed at me somewhat wearily and sighed heavily, still unwilling to open up.
I cupped his face and kissing his forehead leaned back into him again. He immediately wrapped his arms around me and held me close.
"Donnie, if it's nothing... just tell me so! And I'll never speak of this again... But you can't ignore the elephant in the room! If there's something you're keeping from me... "
"I love you, Lin! You know that..." - he cut me off and looked into my eyes. I nodded, stroking his face, as he went on, "and I don't want to hurt you... or scare you away... I don't even want to think of what I'd do without..."
"Donnie, I'm right here! And I'm not intending t..."
"That's it... that's exactly why I prefer not to talk about the past... You and I are here, so let's focus on the present!" Saying that, he slipped his hand between my thighs and nuzzled my neck. And as hard as it was, I pushed him away again and gave him a look of objurgation. He groaned in frustration. But I (gaining all the powers in the world) managed to get myself up and while putting my top back on, I looked at his suffering expression (not without a tremble in my heart), "I can take it, you know!" - I said, buttoning my shirt, "Whatever the truth is, past or present... We agreed on sharing our misgivings with each other, remember?! I'm not blind and I see how the past, reaching out from its debris effects you right here, Donnie... right now, as we speak. So how can you not acknowledge it and deal?!"
The look on his face was braking my heart to millions of pieces, but I was not about to give up. I stood there looking at him and waiting for a response, but his lips were sealed as a nervous tear dropped down on the pavement floor.
"You're only hurting me more by keeping it from me!" There were tears in my eyes when I finally turned to leave...
But he picked me up in the air before I could reach the gates. And holding me restrained in his arms, he pinned me close to his chest and spoke into the distance behind my head: "April meant everything to me!" His voice sounded very distant all of a sudden,"I was madly in love with her for years. I never told anyone, except Splinter, but the guys and April herself probably knew anyway..." His voice shook involuntarily, "Even what happened between her and Raph didn't change my feelings toward her. I loved her regardless, from afar... And when she left.. my heart exploded and I didn't believe in love anymore. I thought that there could be no consolation, no comfort for me... So I immersed into my work, and I promised myself to never let feelings of that sort again into my heart!"
He was shivering all over. Grabbing his shell hard with both of my hands, I held him; my emotions - a mess of tender love, jealousy and blind anger. He sniffled, hiding his face in my neck, and speaking into my hair: "And I kept my promise... until you, Lin... " He swallowed and his voice changed again, "You showed me your absolutely illimitable devotion! And proved me wrong... Not only making me believe and fall in love again, but making me the happiest turtle of them all!"
We broke our tight embrace, and still holding on to him I looked into my favorite light-brown eyes filled with tears and a mixture of a great many emotions, "I love you, you green jerk! I love you so much!"
I dried his cheeks using my sleeve and kissed his face all over until he pulled me up and setting me on top of his desk started kissing the shell out of me. The next thing I knew, he was undoing my jeans. And then his strong hands softly directed me to lay back on top of all his scattered papers and scribbles.
At first his lips wondered all around my inner thighs, bringing me to my edge. He gave a moan of satisfaction when he came to realize just how much wet I was, and he teased my entrance with nothing more then the tip of his finger. I couldn't think! All I wanted was him inside me! Now! And I almost screamed in frustration, when he finally entered me, producing just enough pressure with every thrust.
It was masochistically phenomenal! My body convulsed as I felt how close I was coming and how quick, when Don suddenly slowed down and pulling me up, sucked my lips, settling the mess we were into his chair. The new position switched the controls from him to me, and I tried to keep up his pace, forever thankful for his never-disappointing chivalry.
I buried my fingernails into his skin, as I wanted to hurt him as much as to pleasure him: my emotions being in a complete mess. I could feel at my breasts the warmth of short breaths escaping his lips and those soft little puffs he produced every time I slid down his shaft.
I came first, leaning into him and pushing his enormousness as deep into me as was physically possible. And he, biting at my shoulder, came next with several rapid movements of his thighs entering deeper and deeper before finally releasing.
Chapter 16: Chapter 16
Our winter vacation was coming to an end and we had to go back to the Big Apple (after all, I didn't want to lose my job). But I couldn't help feeling a bit dispersed. I didn't want it to end. I loved the innumerable piles of clean snow, and having as many hours of sleep as I liked, and the fresh air, and all the angry-sexy-times with Donnie, and of course a little bit of that family drama - surprises from the past... and what not…
Alright, so it wasn't a perfect vacation! But in what family is it? ...ever?!
Today the snow stopped piling up and the guys decided to clear out the area in front of the house for a practice space. Don was already outside, since he was the one who fixed the old snowplow, and was now driving it in circles to clear the snow in front of the porch. It was a sunny day and Splinter permitted the outdoors exercise, encouraged by his youngest.
Mikey was impatiently jumping from one foot to the other like a little kid who was offered candy: "Katas in the snow, bro!" He winked at me, passing by on his way outside, beyond exited mostly because he was at last allowed to fully participate in training with his brothers. But (and it was a very big but) the training was to take place outside on one condition: Splinter assigned Leonardo to conduct it! Since it would be better for the old rat to stay inside the heated house.
Leo, following his little brother, sweetly greeted me as well. Grumbling Raphael then followed his brothers, muttering curses under his beak and rolling his eyes at the so-and-so-annoyin'-unfair-supa'-cruel decision to let Leo take control of the practice. (I was so happy to see him at his usual temper again - I guess he managed to smooth things out with April).
Where was April, I wondered..? And as I followed the turtle-brothers with my gaze, I kept thinking to myself: will she come to New York with us, or will she disappear again? Will she break their hearts once more? Turns out, that redheaded heart-breaker just wouldn't leave my thoughts... I was obsessed with thinking about her.
And I couldn't resist comparing. April and I were so different and at the same time so alike: not running away screaming after being 'handled' by a foursome of anthropomorphic turtles (-an event unlikely to happen everyday, you'll have to agree); sacrificing our 'normal' lives in favor of the green team, in order to become part of their world; loving the turtles specifically for the very reason of them being what they are; looking up to the rat Master - the almighty father figure...
I was so adjusted to living with all-male (mutant) inhabitants around me for months, that this beautiful (not to mention almost mythological) female figure from their past really did absolutely no favors for my now threatened feminine status inside the clan. All in all, being older at least by a decade, April and her familiarity with the guys (she literally knew them since they were teens! I mean, damn!) made me quite a bit anxious. To be honest, the mere thought of one day becoming "April" could drive me to hysterical tears and oxygen deficiency... Because, let's face it: she left… abandoned them... betrayed their trust!
But why? Why did April do that?
Don't get me wrong, April is an amazing person: smart, talented, loving, caring and what not. But at the same time, like anyone else, she needed to feel 'normal' from time to time, and build a family - have a husband and possibly kids. But she could never have had that kind of life with Raphael, for the simple horrifying truth of being in a relationship with a mutant turtle who happened also to be a deadly-skilled ninja. Because, you know, husbands and kids do not fit into that specific reality so much.
So how dare I believe I could handle it?! How dare I promise Donnie my heart and soul, when April, the perfect April O'Neil herself couldn't handle such a thing?!
The turtles... they are my family! A family so dear, it is impossible to imagine not having them around all the time! There's something in that bond, that mutual love for each other, the unprecedented affection, projecting very strongly into anyone lucky enough to be a part of the Hamato clan. Once you're in, it's silly impossible to get out! You get so loved and cared for all the time! Why would anyone wanna leave?
Take last night, for instance:
Donnie was so exhausted, he went upstairs to finally catch some z's. Our talk undoubtedly let off some steam and he dozed off pretty much right after he had his cold dinner.
The Lord of the Rings was on tv, and while the poor hobbits mixed with the orcs and such, thoroughly rolled in 'my' purple blanket I kept sleepily gazing at the screen, stretching my legs along the shabby couch. I speculated about what Don confessed to me in the barn, realizing that I felt much more relaxed, even though the feeling of uneasiness caused by the red-headed-legendary-ghost-from-the-past still roved over me in some way.
"LOTR!" - a cheery voice cut my wonderings short. And to my surprise and immediate delight, the perkiest turtle came running into the living room, probably upon hearing the movie theme (I should've known) and landed on the couch beside me. In a futile attempt to bend my legs to make some space for Mikey, I barely had any time to blink, before he caught my feet in the air and placed them in his lap, immediately gluing his gaze to the screen as if nothing special occurred.
"Oh!" – I exclaimed, more surprised of the fact that Michaelangelo took possession of my feet, than of the fact that he appreciated the said Peter Jackson's trilogies.
His hands started slowly rubbing, while his somewhat nervous stare moved alternately from the screen to my face, "Um... Master Splinter said, I need to exercise my arm muscles, to make up for the time I've lost being injured..."
I was going to tell him he needn't bother, but seeing an almost angst expression upon his face, I realized that, being very sympathetic in his own Mikey'ish way, the reason for this uneasiness was that he probably just wanted to know how my confrontation with Donnie went... li'l mr. Smartypants!
I smiled and sending him a wink of confirmation and two thumbs up, I focused my eyes back on Gandalf and the ring of power to avoid personal questions. Mike got the hint and mumbled approvingly. Then he began loudly commenting and quoting entire dialogues from the movie, getting especially enthusiastic when it came to Gollum-Smeagol scenes. That's how I knew he was happy and pleased. And I was simply glad to have him near all cheered up like that.
And that's what being loved feels like... Michaelangelo is my brother. He is my family!
But where was I? Let's go back to this afternoon and to April...
When I came out to the porch, sipping my coffee, April was sitting there, holding a cup of hot tea in her hands.
"This seat taken?" - I asked, referring to the cradled bench she was sitting in.
She gazed at me surprised and immediately smiled, scooching over: "Isn't it a beautiful day?" – she said, cuddling into her blanket. Surprisingly cheerful today...
I nodded, returning the smile. It was so weird suddenly just sitting like this and talking to her as if we were old friends.
"You're just in time… They're about to start!" – rejoiced April turning her gaze onto the green foursome in the snow ahead of us, "It's been ages since I've seen them practice…"
And as I looked at her shining face and glittery eyes, I understood how much she'd missed them. She must have been missing them for a long time… But why did she return only now? What took her so long?
Meanwhile, the guys begun a warm up, during which Leo, for some reason, permitted Mike to throw snow balls at everybody. And so, everybody was chasing overjoyed Mikey all over the place and it was all a mess of snow-fighting and rolling around and such... Well, maybe that wasn't such a bad idea for a warm up after all. Nicely done, Leo! Score points!
Readjusting the red scarf around her neck and thoughtfully looking into her cup, April suddenly said: "Lin, don't think badly of me..." And as I was about to protest, she went on, distinctly following the turtles with her eyes, "It's funny, you know… I knew them before, and you know them now! And I feel like everything's changed so much… I'm not sure if I understand the guys as I used to, anymore…" She waggled a bit in her seat and fixedly stared into my eyes as if looking for a confirmation: "Do you think they'll ever forgive me?!"
I smiled my most guileless and reassuring smile and allowed myself to take advantage of that sensitive moment and responded with a question: "April… why did you leave?"
A traumatized expression appeared on her face. She blinked astonishingly at my bluntness (and boorishness) and pursed her lips: "You are very straightforward, Lin!" Then she laughed somewhat nervously as I shrugged and smiled at her apologetically, "People make mistakes!" she went on, "I believe, that specific mistake was the biggest one of my life..."
"Sometimes we don't even notice how close we become with others..." I said, watching Donnie being snowed-up by a mutual attack of Mikey and Raph, while Leo was ambushing the three, "I recently came to realize just how much I actually care about these mutant knuckleheads!"
"Yeah…" She examined me closely, "you seem to care about them a great deal! And they seam to share that feeling... especially Don!" She paused there, "I know how that feels…"
My smile faded away and I could feel my heart beat banging through my ears. She was referring to my Donatello. MY DONNIE! Why, that red-headed...
April noticed the changes taking place in me and quietly added, nodding affirmatively: "I figured you knew… But as much as I appreciate the smartest brother, my heart aches for another!"
I relaxed a bit and taking a long deep breath, stoutly said: "Well, you seem to have a pattern with the hot-heads…"
She met my gaze with an unblinking wide-eyed stare and let out a short gloomy laugh: "Well, I suppose I deserve your sarcasm…"
"…HAJIME!" We suddenly heard Leo's official (loud) tone from afar, as the turtles finished warming up and begun their training session.
Standing in front of each other on the neatly prepared snowy 'arena' the guys were pairing up: Leo-Mikey, Raph-Don. They bowed simultaneously and took their fighting positions. We fell quiet, feasting our eyes on the 'show' as I felt electrifying excitement in the air seconds before their weapons met in midair. And as my tension slowly decreased, my heart softened and I spoke again, quietly, as if to myself: "Raphael loves you, April! I know he does!"
"Thank you for saying that…" She didn't say anything else after that for a long time.
And as I watched the turtles and mused to myself, it suddenly hit me that I actually never had a chance like this before to watch an official training session. I have, of course, seen some here and there, like Raph and his sandbag back at the lair or Leo and his morning katas in the dojo. But nothing like this, a real (well, friendly, but still real) fight. I watched, absolutely fascinated.
First my eyes naturally landed on Donatello. I watched the carefully calculated movements of his body, his bo swooshing through the air all around and above his head, preventing Raph from even tickling him with a tip of a sai. How much practice and skill he needed in order to fight and never cause any unintended physical damage to his adversary and to himself. (Using only a fricking wooden stick of all else). And, of course, I couldn't help but wonder about how complicated his relationship with Raph must've been. It wasn't simple. They were competitors, opponents, colleagues, friends, siblings, and finally they were family. A woman coming between two brothers is always bad news. But the brainiac seemed to be able to successfully separate his romantic interests and the love for his brothers. His affection for Raphael was evident especially now, during their sparring. Don never ceased to surprise me... there was no anger, no spite, no grudge. (In fact, if April didn't appear out of the blue like that, I would probably never have guessed something ever even happened between the two brothers).
I switched my focus to Donnie's hot-headed rival (and the inevitable cause of my currant mental suffering), involuntarily flinching every time Raph's pointy weapons missed Donatello's skin only by an inch. The sai were no toys to fool around with, for sure. Raph's mastery and experience with those weapons was evident and visible through his direct strikes and accurate leaps. He knew perfectly well how to cause irreversible damage, and frequently did just that. Not, of course, when it came to his siblings. He sure was the overprotective brother. Always the first to throw a punch and defend his family from any physical damage using his own body as a shield. And even though Mikey was the obvious spoiled precious baby of the family (there was no question of the hot-head having the most tender feelings toward his baby brother), Raphael was clearly none the less found of the most intelligent part of his family, knowing very well he would always find understanding with Donnie, even if he didn't bother to explain himself properly. This appreciation was of course not visible to the naked eye (Raphael's typical roughness would never allow that), but it was clearly recognizable to anyone closely familiar with this brute and his tender inner softness, vulnerability even, when it came to his brothers and sensei.
Michaelangelo was extremely natural with his ninjitsu, I was amazed to find out. He rarely ever listens to... well anybody - something he likes to call free-lance-ninja (infinitely getting scolded for that by Splinter). He really is good though, not as much as moving, but mostly dancing through the different strokes and dodges, keeping his opponent entertained while doing that. Oh, yeah, it's never dull with Mike! Unquestionably the most clowny among his brothers, he constantly took advantage of the opportunity to land into snow-piles every chance he got. Leo sure wasn't too happy about it, since his (constantly giggling) opponent deliberately failed to block the attacks, causing Leonardo to be super-careful not to accidentally slice one of his little brother's limbs off with his katana blades.
"Mikey, quit frisking around! Fight seriously!" - Leo ordered, "Attack me!"
Leonardo. The master swordsman, 'nough said. Leo's graceful movements and perfect swirls of his double katana would leave anyone speechless. He was utterly mesmerizing! Such control, such concentration! No wonder he was the chosen leader for his brothers.
"You asked for it, Leo!" – shouted Mikey in reply, grinning from ear to ear and twirling his nunchakus like some insanely high-speed screw-propellers, he directed them into a snowdrift. In a matter of seconds the Fearless Leader was covered in snow head to foot, but still managed to bring Mike down, pinning the nunchukus deep into the snow, successfully unarming his brother and taking care he was unharmed physically (even though Mikey's expression was so evidently hurt - his 'chuks' buried in snow and all).
"YAME!" – shouted Leo, and they stopped in place bowing towards their respected opponents, "Okay…" – Leo continued, brushing off the snow covering all of his body, "Mikey, if you're not serious about this, you can be excused pronto!" His tone was harsh and angry.
Michaelangelo sheepishly smiled and nodded hysterically in confirmation and submission, clenching his 'snowy' chuks: "Sorry, Leo! I'll behave!"
"Alright!" Leonardo, turned to Raphael and Donatello, "Nicely done, guys! Not bad for the beginning. However, as you might have noticed, we've got some audience today..." He gestured towards April and I with one of his katanas, "so what do you say we try to keep them entertained!"
April clapped her hands and elbowed me so I do the same. Then she suddenly whistled and we both screamed like two idiots at some 90's boyband concert, causing a fretful eye-roll from Raphael, a shy but significantly wide smile from Donnie, a satisfied grin from the Fearless and a very girly scream from Mikey who jumped up and down like a cheerleader with an adrenaline rush, frantically clapping hands in total excitement.
I burst out laughing, sending air-kisses to the boys, while all of a sudden April hugged me by my shoulder and said, so that no one but me could hear: "I'm so glad that you're here and I got a chance to meet you, Lin!" and just like that we had our first moment of mutual understanding, 'cause I felt the same exact way.
"…and to spice it up" – Leo continued, "we'll spar without weapons till only one of us is standing!"
"Oooo… fight to the death!" – intoned Mikey while Raphael clutched his knuckles grinning.
All the weapons were then scattered down into the snow and the guys decided to pull sticks in order to select who would fight versus whom and in what order.
Chapter 17: Chapter 17
"YASUMI!" Leonardo concluded.
Sweaty exhausted turtles bowed to one another in a circle and went to pick up their weapons. The practice was over and Mikey was unanimously pronounced winner of the weapon-free sparring, with bonus points for enthusiasm and ingenuity!
The youngest brother managed to "outsmart" Donatello's strategic calculations with his absolute unpredictability, since no reasonable formula could ever checkmate Mike's congenial incoherence. He beat Raphael's physical strength by using mere speed and the hot-headed's number one vulnerability - the dread to cause his li'l newly recovered brother any pain. Mikey pulled the old puppy eyes every time it looked like Raph was about to get his way. And lastly, Mike totally took over the fight with astonished Leonardo, using the element of surprise and absolutely no ninjitsu skills, proving yet again his infinite amount of talents and that if he wasn't born (mutated) into a ninja clan, he might have become an awesome professional gymnast or circus acrobat. (Or a clown, as Raph would've put it).
I highly suspected all three brothers went easy on their baby-bro, letting him win. But even if it was actually so, Mikey didn't mind, knowing very well that him playing along would make them happy.
"Great practice, guys!" As soon as Leo was officially off the status of master-conductor (and just as smugly complacent Mikey was about to clench his fists around his beloved nunchakus), shouting - to everybody's surprise - "Here's your reward!" and cunningly giggling, Fearless jumped on top of his perky little brother, pushed him into a snow drift and started stuffing his face with fists-full of snow.
April, sitting near me, seized her mouth with her hands and was shaking with laughter, while astonished Mike, suddenly finding himself laying on his shell pinned by his big brother's weight and unable to bring himself up and fight back, was intermittently laughing and squeaking because on top of all else he was being tickled to death. Raphael grinning and twisting his sai in his hands non-stop, shrugged watching his brothers. He didn't even try to hide his contentment with this scene. Near him, Donnie leaned on his bo chuckling and shaking his head with pretentious disapproval.
The past few weeks were not easy for anyone of us, and it seamed like good-old group practice and one on one weapon-free sparring enabled the guys to let off some steam. (Not to mention, entertain the shell out of me... and April)
When Leonardo finally decided the "reward" was satisfactory in accordance to the victory, he let Michaelangelo go and went to pick up his katana swords, still chuckling and idiotically grinning to himself. Raph high-threed the oldest brother on his way and lovingly punched his bicep, openly approving of Fearless' new "tactics"! Leo threw an arm over the hothead's shoulders, enthusiastically exclaiming: "That's how it's done, bro!"
The "lucky winner"remained laying in the snow for several more moments, snickering to himself and catching his breath, until Donnie helped him up, sympathetically patting him on his shell and saying something I couldn't decipher. Mike squeezed Don's shoulder appreciatively, and picking up his discarded weapons, energetically sprinted to April and I, as if he didn't just spend about two hours in grueling training, won a sparring contest against a threesome of relentless opponents, and then had been completely snow-wasted by his older brother.
"Did you see me? Did you see?" He stretched and flexed his arm-biceps in our faces, as April giggled touching them, impressively nodding and exclaiming: "Wow! Congratulations, Mikey, that really was quit a spectacle!"
I too gently squeezed his recovered arm (the vision of it being fractured only weeks ago still fresh in my memory), "Amazing! You are an eye-candy, Mike!" He gave me a quick wink, pursing his lips together in a self-admiring way. "It's very impressive... how easy you make it look!" - I added.
Bursting with pride, Mikey seamed very satisfied with our reaction. He bowed, as an established performer to his unquestionably loving audience, and cheerfully marching into the house, added (in broken Italian accent): "And'a Pizza is'a on'a me!"
Leonardo followed, coquettishly halting beside us and nodding as April and I clapped our hands completely smitten by his gracefulness and charm, but in the same degree - his unusual but very refreshing goofiness. Really... Leo had so many surprises stocked behind his shell! I'd never seen him act so loose and unleashed before. And it made me wonder what could've made him set his leader-duties aside and allow this kind of foolishness. Either way, I was glad he got that opportunity, and even more glad to be able to witness it live... It really felt like Leo and I were lately growing closer and closer ...
Donnie came up, swirling his staff showing off and smiling at us. He directed an appreciative short nod toward April and then tucking his tool into his belt behind the shell, he brushed his beak over my cheek and enclosed me in his warm (and very sweaty) embrace. I stiffened at the look April threw at him (at us), but Raphael was right behind and all of her attention immediately turned to the hot-head. April followed Raph with her eyes anxiously, when he nonchalantly passed by us on his way inside. Then throwing: "I'll see you inside ,Lin" she simply got up and went after him. I tried to look... But my spying attempt was cut short, sweetly interrupted by Donnatello's familiar rumbling churr reaching my ear. He was nuzzling my neck, and unable to resist I turned my face to him, forgetting everything around us.
Slowly moving his lips upon my skin, Donnie placed a sneaking kiss at my ear, murmuring: "You smell so ... mmmhmhmhhh... it drives me crazy! I sensed it all the way from where I was standing over there..." His ticklish soft lips at my neck and the steaminess coming from his skin (even though it was sufficiently frosty outdoors, I mean like when the air leaving your mouth becomes a foggy cloud in front of your face), his paralyzing throaty groan and the way he softly half-whispered the words... Ah... my poor nerves… What could've I done? Oh, mighty turtle help me… He had me at his absolute disposal as usual.
"You... enjoyed the show?" - he went on in a tone which unmistakably anticipated he already knew the answer and was just teasing me. I smiled sheepishly and pushed my fingers along his body, gently sinking my teeth into his neck instead of a reply. Donnie shivered and lustfully sniffed at my neck, sending a wave of vibrations through my whole body.
"I have a surprise for you!" - he whispered all of a sudden. I raised an eyebrow at his sassy face, and he nuzzled my nose with his beak, caught my lips in a sneaky kiss.
Could that be dirty talk?! Alright, bring it on, brainiac!
I hugged his neck, bringing our bodies close and welcoming him into my cozy blanket-attire. His hands, concealed from sight, traveled freely all over my body for a while. I closed my eyes and concentrated on the sweet sound of his throaty churr...
And the world just stopped there for a moment...
Just for me the time stood still... my mind was set on Donatello...
I am in love...
I'm 32, but my life started anew since I moved to New York over two years ago. I'm not sure I know what I want from life... but... all I really need to know is that I've never loved like this before!
I also know - I've never been loved like th is…
He is a mutant anthropomorphic turtle. According to his calculations, his age is in between 30-35, it's complicated 'cause he isn't sure how much of his time was spent in this world being a regular pet-turtle. Growing up in the sewers, jumping the rooftops of the big city, he practices the ancient arts of ninjitsu and knows everything there is to know about science, engineering and machinery.
He means the world to me!
And... he loves me!
Donatello is everything I want, everything I need... I recognize my need...
Some days when I spend less time around him, due to my work or his 'work' or just life in general, those days are the worst.
It doesn't matter what we do as long as we are together. He could just sit there and stare blankly into the distance (he never does that - not enough time in the universe for Don to sit workless), or snuffle beside me, or get really busy with something paying absolutely no attention to me... I'm just happy within his presence... As long as Donnie is near... It makes my heart swell up inside my chest.
I'm in love with a genius... mutant... turtle...
In his eyes, him and I are very different. I am human, I am "normal"! He is... mutant!
How can I assure his happiness? How can I protect him from that "monstrous normality" that is a part of me he resents so much?!
I wish he'd never have any anxieties about the whole "mutant in human world" issue… But it can't be helped! And I'm sorry that I represent that "normal" in his eyes.
Donatello is my whole world! I'd never exchange that precious brainiac for stupid "normality"!
I'm sorry that it makes him suffer!
I guess, I never wanted normal in the first place. All my life up until the moment I met Don, I spent looking, searching, waiting... For him...
I'm crazy in love...
Don's lips brought me back to reality: "Hey... Where did you go?" His sweet smile and somewhat concerned loving gaze of his beautiful brown eyes, reflecting the sun, reattached me to the present moment: "What's going on in there?" He gently poked my forehead.
I love you! I love you! I love you! I love you! I love you! I love you! I love you! I love you!
I returned his smile and connecting his forehead with mine, whispered: "I love you!"
He grinned, then hesitated and said, stammering a little: "I thought this would be a good birthday present... But I guess... I guess I prefer giving it to you now... I wouldn't be able to wait anyway... Now is as good time as ever, yeah... so here..."
With a somewhat quirky smile, the brainiac leaned over pointing at his belt-strap going up over his shoulder and I saw a small wrapped object safely tucked into it. A small object wrapped in cloth. I slowly grabbed and unfolded it... and immediately gasped in surprise - I held a delicate sparkling snowflake in my hands.
It was too hard to look away – it was so pretty! I stared at it for some time, gracefully resting in my palm, and then gazed at Donnie's face a bit confused: "It's so amazingly beautiful!"
"Ah… ha-ha… I'm so glad you like it!" He softly rubbed his thumb on my cheek, "It'll fit you perfectly…"
Hesitantly, I picked the snowflake with my fingers and found that it was attached to a thin thread. It was a neckless! I just couldn't believe it: "How did you..?"
"I made it..." He smiled shyly, "Mike helped! We found some crystalline solid in the woods the other day... while looking for some herbs for Master Splinter's brew..." He paused and cleared his throat, "It was so sparkly and... it resembles that specific quality of sparkle snow has, don't you think?" - he babbled on as I gazed into his eyes with amazement, completely love-smitten, "So anyway, I got an idea to make this for you!" He triumphantly pointed at the gorgeous adornment I was holding, "Consequently, Mike and I welded some metal, using bits from my old gear… and then I embedded as many tiny crystal shreds as I could produce from that solid and…"
I didn't let him finish, kissing him on his lips: "Thank you so much, Donnie! I love it!" I let him put it on me. And as he admired his (and Mike's - I'll have to thank him later!) work around my neck, I had to ask: "But...", my voice faltered as I was so deeply moved, "Why a snowflake?"
"Because you're my Snow Queen, your majesty!" - he simply said and picking me up in his arms, blankets and snowflakes and all, he carried me into the warmth of the house, which was already filling with the intoxicating aroma of Michaelangalo's special pizza!
Raphael's driving may hardly be called careful, but it is nevertheless definitely effective. Just like his temper, highly violent and rough, but persistent, personal and accurate. I'm really never the one to complain about temper. So, I actually felt safe with him behind the wheel. I like my soft-hearted hothead just the way he is...
Raph volunteered to drive the shellraiser home, even though Leo stubbornly tried to make sure he didn't. Raphael seemed to be relatively relaxed (in spite of himself), and Leo was probably wasting his time and nerves for nothing. But that was, of course, his duty as the leader and older brother. He was sitting next to the driver's seat, tensing every time Raph would speed up a bit. Fearless was worried his brother might lose it, since a certain red-head decided to stay behind.
April was not in the vehicle with us. Said she couldn't face New York just yet and preferred to remain on the farm. And since the farm legally belonged to her (she was still married to Casey Jones – its owner, after all), there was no place to object. Don made sure all technological elements were neat and orderly for her use and Mike stocked the fridge and the kitchen cupboards with all kinds of goodies that would last for a couple of weeks... April also got a brand new (censored from any kind of unwanted monitoring or interception) cellphone - means of communication; and a privet "pep-talk" from Splinter. Leo told her we'll see her very soon... and then we loaded the shellraizer and drove away... no unnecessarily drama...
Chapter 18: Chapter 18
Master Splinter dozed off a while ago, so I gave up my spot to enable him to stretch his old bones along the passenger's seat.
Donatello was busy setting the recently faulty navigation system, with something like a gazillion screens and keyboards in front of his face.
Figuring his big brothers might be hungry (and judging strictly by his own rambunctious appetite, I guess), Mike decided to go see how Raph and Leo were doing in the front, taking along half of the delicious veggie pie he baked especially for the trip. He probably just wanted them to stop arguing...
The other half of that amazingly-smelling pie found its way into my possession, and I felt my stomach begin to serenade and my mouth to water. As I chewed on Mikey's baking-pride, a book in my lap - all forgotten, I pressed my back to Shellraiser's wall and looked at the moving scenery outside, discontentedly thinking about the early hour I had to wake up the next morning to show up for work.
My vacation was over...
Before long, Donnie finished fixing the navigator and, since there was nothing really to 'control' at the time, he abandoned the 'controls-area' of the vehicle and came to join me at the back. Settling on the floor beside me, and taking care not to crush me with his shell, he gently rested his head in my lap (taking over the book's spot). Then without saying a word, he began nonchalantly scribbling some schemes and sketches in a notepad, as if his genius green head always belonged there, as if that was not a big deal at all...
At first I simply admired his lovely features, how his head fitted perfectly in my lap and his shell didn't get in the way, how his chest kept rising up and descending back down in silent breathing, how his mouth opened and his tongue appeared in concentration, how his eyes moved absorbedly following his own scribbling. Then I tried to decipher what he was working on so intently, but quickly enough gave up that idea since I had no actual chance. And also, after all, I did promise myself to pay more attention to his dining habits, without as much as considering to ask Donnie if he even wanted any, I gently shoved some pie into his slightly open mouth. He flinched in surprise, but thankfully humming began scrupulously chewing.
I smirked, congratulating myself for a job well done. The second time I attempted the same trick, however, (with the next piece of pie) Donnie caught my arm in the air, controlling my movement and slowly guided the piece to his mouth himself. He took a cautious calculated bite, while deliberately brushing his teeth along my fingers, biting them. It tickled. Taken by surprise, I giggled and bent down to place a kiss on top of his green genius head. But foreseeing my intention, slyly smiling he pulled my arm and tilted his head so that my lips fell right on his. We shared a sided pie-kiss, which was weird but surprisingly nice. I lovingly looked into his expressive brown eyes, sort of upside down, since he was lying in my lap. Somehow his face looked different from this angle. I mean, it was the same familiar face, but it seemed as if I was seeing it for the very first time, falling in love with his big brown eyes all over again.
Catching my stare, he formulated "What?" with his lips and arched his brow. I just shrugged in reply and lovingly scratched the tip of his shell at his nape with my fingernails, articulating "I love you". Don nodded (as much as possible, considering the position of his head on my lap) and formulated "I know" with a smug expression, as I giggled again, shaking my head. He snickered too, but his face turned serious slowly as he reached and dived his fingers into my hair.
Enjoying his touch, I smiled at him and kissed the skin of his caressing hand. His fingers ended up at the side of my face as he kept staring at me with a look of bewilderment in his eyes, as if the sight in front of him was improbable or unbelievable. And this time it was my turn to ask "What?", as he blinked several times with an expression of someone who has just figured out the most wonderful thing in the world.
Then he took my hand and placed it on top of his chest-plates, a little to the side, about the area where his heart is, and intertwined the fingers of his left palm with mine. I gave it a little squeeze and held on, feeling cozy and so very comfortable that I even ended up feeling sleepy all of a sudden.
I leaned back onto the wall, just as Mikey came dragging his feet and extravagantly sighing. Don went back to his scribbling, naturally reading the signs and knowing very well that his little brother would want all the attention.
Michaelangelo came back yawning and empty handed - that meant that 1) the pie was history and 2) his patience/tolerance of quiet-waiting-time was history as well. Mikey was bored and needy of some attention! Plus, I think he was very disappointment that April didn't come along...
I placed a finger across my lips to indicate for him to keep silent and then rubbed my stomach, squeezing my eyes and munching delightfully to show him my personal high evaluation of his cooking skills. He spread his arms sort of miserably intending he had no more pie and that he was tremendously sorry. Then he stretched yawning, and squatted, leaning into the opposite wall. His sudden intent stare caught my eye right away and I smiled at him questionably. He smiled back and pointed at my collar bone. I ran my fingers over it, feeling the small metal snowflake resting against my skin, and blushed sheepishly articulating 'thank you' with my lips. Mike nodded several times and grinned toothily at me while pointing at Don and drawing a heart shape in the air with his thick fingers. I could never get enough of Mikey's sweetness...
Then we played some silent one on one 'Never have I ever'. It was fun and a little frustrating, 'cause we actually had to mime through the whole thing, in order not to disturb Don or Master Splinter. Also, since we didn't have any alcohol to drink, we had to improvise and as a 'punishment' decided to just slap one another. In other words, whenever one of us would be guilty of an experience, he'd be slapped right away. Mike was a bit shy with slapping me at the beginning, but as we progressed and he learned more and more awkward facts about my personal life, he grew bolder.
In the end I found out that Mike only played this game once before, long time ago, and that it was the best and also weirdest night of his life, since he found out a lot about Casey Jones' shenanigans and found out way too much information from the words of drunken April about sex with human guys.
I, in my turn, was made to uncover the fact that I was the one to hit on Don, seducing him and that the idea of having sexual relations with a mutant turtle actually came to my mind as soon as I found out these were existent in the world (embarrassing... But Mike seamed to be very very pleased with that). Moreover, I revealed that the only other serious relationship in my life (other than Don) was a high school crush, and that the guy turned out to be gender fluent and that we eventually separated becoming close friends. All of which followed the statement: "Never have I ever experienced sex with more than one partner at a time"...
…Donnie and I were having… pie… with sour cream… naked (of course, he was always naked, but I was naked as well this time… ) It was pretty steamy… and sexy… Sound of an alarm could be heard in the distance! I was licking… the sour cream from…from... Alarm again! all over... Alarm! His lips on my neck… Alarm! His tongue… Alarm! Alarm! Alarm... Then Mikey appeared out of nowhere and was about to taste my... ALARM!
I was violently thrown out of my dream! The loud sound of alarm was coming from Shellraiser's controls-station at the back. The vehicle was filled with its deafening screech. As I came to my senses, I saw Donnie furiously hitting a variety of keyboards, a worried grimace on his face. Mikey helped me up from the floor and I was met with Splinter's stern gaze, somewhat compensating my dismay, as I settled beside him back in the passenger's seat.
When at long last the eardrum-puncturing screech stopped, we were left with a ringing tension in the air. I had absolutely no idea what was going on… Uneasy, I turned to look at Don again, as he was vigorously and tentatively scanning all of the screens in front of his eyes, blind-typing along with a lightning speed.
"It's a breach, guys… someone… or something has intruded the lair's perimeter!" – He informed loudly, looking at Leonardo across the vehicle.
Leo nodded shortly: "Hit the gas!" – he ordered in his commanding voice in Raph's direction.
"It's go'nna be bumpy!" – snarled Raphael, speeding up to the maximum, not caring in the slightest about the tone his brother used to order him around, only happy to finally fulfill his potential (and inner desire) in speed racing.
"Buckle up, everyone!" – Leo ordered again. But his tone instantly changed, becoming softer, non the less determined, as he turned to look at us. His eyes ran around till they eventually rested on his father.
"All good, Leo…" Mikey reassured him, buckling himself up only after he checked that the old rat was safely seated between us and secured with his safety belt.
I clicked my own belt just on time, as the Shellraiser raced through the air like a hungry lioness set after her prey. I've locked my gaze with Mike's and he blinked dormantly, noting my concerned expression: "Don't worry, Snowflakes, it's probably just a rat…"
Mike always knew how to lower my tension levels, and it only showed how close we have become - he could read me like an open book. I smiled at the new nickname he called me and let out a chuckle at the stare Splinter threw at his youngest son.
"Oh, sorry master… ah, you know what I meant…" – Mikey grinned sheepishly, while his father shook his furry head and soothingly pet me on the arm, keeping his eyes on the road ahead.
"Um… guys" – came Don's nervous voice, "It seems that the intruder somehow knows the secret combination to the lair's entrance system, 'cause our living room has just been entered! Unbelievable! It's impossible to come up with the exact right compound in such a short time… "
Mike's previous expression of calm reassurance changed to a more worried stance: "My rare comic collection is under my bed… Unprotected!" - he whispered horridly. At this point I wasn't sure whether this was one of his jokes or he was actually scared.
"No matter, Donnie" – sounded Leo's voice from the front, "The important thing is that we're all here, safe!" Then a little softer, he added: "Raph, can you please try and NOT kill anyone till we get there..?" The Shellraiser was now wading through some detour roads, bouncing, wheels squeaking.
A short but significantly chagrined sigh from Don hinted that he must've taken Leo's dismissive remark pretty personally. And I winced, knowing perfectly well (as did everybody else) the tremendous amount of time the brainiac spent on security issues – the ever dynamic combination to the lair's entrance being unquestionably one of them - to insure his family's safety.
"I've been trying to catch a glimpse on one of the tunnel cameras" – he continued, swallowing his pride, "But this... thing... is too quick. Maybe the foot found the lair somehow? I'm starting to suspect it may as well be a ninja… "
"Let's hope id'is!" Raphael grunted, while honking like a maniac to the traffic ahead of us. We were off the countryside and onto the thrombosed highway by now, "I sure missed the action… 's been too long since we busted some heads… my hands are shakin' in anticipation!"
"How many, Donnie? Can you tell?" – asked Leo, ignoring Raph's comment.
"Well… the body-heat detectors receive merely one type of essence… for now… whoever or whatever it is, it's very sneaky!"
"So, it must be a singular, very stealthy sneaker!" Mike said, warningly raising and shaking his fist in the air at the face of an invisible enemy. And I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry...
"Children" – called Splinter, and everyone turned their heads (except Raphael, who was stealing tensed glances through the rear-view mirror, keeping his focus on the road ahead), "Let's keep it together and approach the situation wisely!"
After a short high-tensed argument about coming with or waiting up at my apartment, I succumbed to Donnie's pleadings to do the latter, under a formidable gaze of the old rat master and a somewhat patronizing one from Leo...
Luckily it was getting dark, and Raph could stop the Shellraiser right in front of my building. They all watched me cross the street and get into the hall: Leo scanning the area from the roof, Don climbing through my window to check inside before I could safely come in.
The brainiac kissed my forehead (like he always does when something's worrying him) and said: "All looks fine in here... Lock the door... aaand the window, just in case! I will call as soon as I can!" He turned on his heels and was gone, his purple bandanna ridges streaking off in the dark. Just like that, leaving me all alone biting my nails.
I was worried sick. I didn't know what to do with myself. Kept strolling around the apartment, not that there was even enough space to "stroll around". On my way to the kitchen to make some comforting coffee, I passed through the living room, where all of my stuff was scattered around resembling some hurricane-stricken area, and froze in place. My phone! It was ringing!
Chapter 19: Chapter 19
"Is everybody okay? Are you alright?" Strolling in circles, I desperately pressed the phone to my ear, as if it may help somehow or get me to him faster.
"We're all fine! Coming to pick you up. There's... um... well, there's someone we'd like you to meet..." Donatello hung up and I was yet again left to wonder.
Incredibly deep pensive stare of dark, sparkly eyes were fixed on my astonished face, while delicate whiskers trembled just slightly. I stared and stared, as I couldn't completely convince myself that the pair of long, fluffy, white ears I clearly saw in front of me were actually attached to a 5.5 foot bunny!
Hold on! What the shell?! Was that for real? I couldn't believe my eyes. There I was, thinking that nothing could surprise me anymore (living with four anthropomorphic turtle-brothers and their rat dad an' all that...)
Tall and slim. And white! Amazingly white! I couldn't help but glance at him up and down, trying to pack inside my mind the visualization of this creature's whole unique form: beautiful snow-like fur, long fluffy ears, dark unblinking eyes overlooking my features the same way I was studying his. He was wearing a Japanese clothing consisting of two parts: blue top and black bottom (a Hakama, as I later learned) and if that was not enough, a pair of swords were hanging down his waist (a longer one - katana, like Leo's, and a shorter one - wakizashi). The whole appearance in general suggested that this incredible creature might have fallen out some history book about medieval Japan or something...
"Hello..." His soft voice sounded reassuring and yet it confused me. Maybe because his long furry ears moved in unison to it.
"Hello..." - I replied, copying him automatically, unwillingly observing his ears and the weapons on his belt again, simultaneously calculating all the possible explanations for the whole thing, and how come the guys never talked about him before. So many questions popped into my head: What was he? How did he get here? Where did he come from?
My eyes darted towards the two suspiciously silent turtle-brothers on the couch behind the Samurai Bunny. Not offering any help, both Mikey and Raph stared at me in anticipation, as if waiting for me to burst or something. Arms folded at his chest, Raphael was smirking self-consciously. Mike was holding on to his hotheaded brother's bicep with a grimace of tremendous anticipation fixed on his face. Dorks! Seriously...
"My name is Miyamoto Usagi" The good-natured tone cut right through my thoughts, in a matter of seconds dissolving my helplessness and dismay, "I am an old friend of the turtles. Ehh... from another world" and he bowed ... just like that, with his long ears floating down and back up in front of my face.
"Um... I'm Lin! I... um..." I was slowly recovering, struggling to get my thoughts in order, but couldn't overcome the surprise just yet... unable to concentrate enough. He was so courtly, any girl would be thrown into confusion.
"... our dear friend and an unquestionable part of the Hamato clan!" Donnie cut in all of a sudden. All this time he was standing beside me smiling shyly. I looked at him in astonishment and awe.
"Not to mention: Donnie's awesome girlfriend!" - added Mike, as he and Raphael chuckled and fist-bumped.
Utterly ignoring the goofy bros, the bunny (or was it a rabbit? I was so confused!) slightly nodded and bowed lower this time: "It is a pleasure to meet you, Lin-san!"
I nodded awkwardly and looked at my boyfriend - this was familiar territory and it put me down to earth. Donatello took my hand in his and delicately kissing my cheek lovingly bumped his head onto mine. Feeling his touch and his relaxed and peaceful energy, I finally found myself slowly calming down. Then finally realizing my rudeness, I hurriedly bowed respectfully to the honorable guest.
Master Splinter, closely followed by Leonardo, suddenly appeared behind us, entering the lair. It turned out that as means of precaution the guys decided to walk Splinter through a different tunnel, accompanied by Leonardo, to keep him out of possible danger (not that the rat master needed any protection - Leo simply didn't want to let his father strode around the tunnels all alone).
"Ah, Miyamoto-san!" - exclaimed the old rat, a wide happy smile spreading on his face, "It has been so long! How great it is to see you again!"
"Sensei!" The rabbit bowed low, "It makes me happy to see you in such a great shape!" He paused, then added: "I must beg your forgiveness for such an undignified intrusion, sensei..." More bows followed. (There was so much bowing going on that night - my head was spinning).
"Nonsense!" Leaning on his old cane, Splinter waved his hand dismissively, " You know you are always welcome in our home!"
"Leonardo..." Usagi's head went down yet in another little bow. Leo stood only a few steps behind the old master and kept very still. It wasn't on the first glance that I noticed the intense eye contact between him and the Samurai Rabbit.
"Usagi..." Leo bowed back respectfully, without braking their eye contact.
Leo's voice and movements seamed calm and serene, but I came to know the Fearless Leader of the green team fairly well by now to fail to notice the hardly visible little twitch of his lips and the unfamiliar (refreshing even) sparkle in his eyes.
"You must be tired from your journey, Miyamoto-san!" The old rat slowly said, breaking the suddenly charged atmosphere of the living room, "I imagine my sons will make sure you are well rested and properly fed!" He reproachfully glanced encircling all four turtles in a long stare. His expression roughened a little as he looked at his eldest son. And Leo unblinking steadily returned his father's stare. "It is getting late. We shall have a marvelous discussion tomorrow, you and I" - continued Splinter, addressing the guest again, "I am so eager to hear new stories about your beautiful homeland! Good night, Miyamoto-san... Lin, dear... my sons..."
Then the old rat master nodded several times and slowly started towards his personal quarters, while the turtles fussed around, each one with their respectful tasks. And I thought that it was definitely not the first time Miyamoto Usagi dropped on the Hamato clan out of the blue like that...
As soon as the sliding door to Splinter's private quarters of the lair was shut safe and sound, in a flash Leonardo and Usagi were entangled in each other's arms. A tender smile infiltrated the furry, snow-white face, as his eyes met an equally yearning open stare behind the blue mask. And I could swear that the air in the room thickened sending a strong electric discharge when they, completely ignorant to their surroundings (a very uncharacteristic move for Fearless), shared a long, juicy, sensual kiss!
Unable to unstick my gaze from this scene in front of my widening eyes, I felt a refreshing chill climbing up my spine, suddenly seeing Leonardo - the charismatic leader, the restrained warrior, the faithful son and the protective brother, solid, reliable and secure – in a completely new unfamiliar light like that. Leonardo never ceases to surprise me!
"Awwww…" – squeaked Mikey, pressing his palms to his cheeks, while Raph smirked knowingly, but looked elsewhere somewhat displaced.
Usagi and Leonardo unwillingly separated, sharing a mischievous long stare.
Don pushed his arms around me, pressing me sweetly to his chest in an act of tender emotion and (so much needed) sedation: "Lin..? It's not polite to stare..." his soft whisper eventually got to me, and I turned my eyes to him, absorbing his quirky smile, immediately feeling the uncontrollable urge to press my body close to his so tightly that all the air would be squeezed out of my lungs.
By that time the Fearless Leader has regained some of his familiar 'fearless' nature, therefore going about his tasks only slightly squinting towards the rabbit and blushing uncontrollably at every single time.
The words just floated in the air in front of my confounded mind.
"There's... a what?" Confused beyond what not, I searched with my eyes, but couldn't for the world of me find any suitable response…
Donatello's soothing soft gaze (looking straight into my eyes) was the only thing providing me with any kind of gratification at these moments of possible loss of sanity on my behalf. My poor brain! I couldn't believe it! There was another dimension?!
"Dimensions, to be more accurate!" He stretched the plural 's', offering me a quick apologetic smile, "There are countless worlds and dimensions in the space and time continuum, actually!"
I nodded absentmindedly, "Of course there are…" Pinch me! Was I sleeping? I held my hand up and turning it, checked my fingers and nails - not sure what was real and what was not. Donatello gently grabbed it and pressed it to his chest. I felt his heart beat through the rough surface of his carapace. It helped, immediately bringing me back to earth. That was real! Don was real, even though some may think it unbelievable… but he was indeed very very real!
Still I couldn't grasp the fact that a humanoid bunny with long fluffy ears and feudal samurai attire, who was presently sitting on the couch in the lair's living room, came here from a 'parallel world'. Some other dimension! I mean, what's next? Dinosaurs from space?!
Don cut my crazy musings short: "It's fine... don't worry. You'll get used to it. It's not a popular notion – something that is not obvious. However, since Usagi is a living-breathing evidence and Leo says he's been there and seen this world, it is highly possible, real and actual, even though not scientifically proven in the wide world yet…" He brought my hand to his face and kissing the root of my palm, pressed my fingers to his cheek, "Does it make any more sense now?"
I looked at him. His expression of concern and just a modicum of amusement snapped me into reality, again as always. I smiled at his expressive brown eyes and anxiously pursed green lips. My wonder boy! My Brainiac! Everything would always seem reasonable as long as Donnie is near. He's always my super logical and rational anchor of common sense.
I found him in the living room all alone. He was wearing 'normal' clothes this time: some shabby jeans and Leo's blue hoodie. Sitting cross-legged on the carpet in front of the tv screens, his fluffy ears neatly tucked behind his back, he was watching the discovery channel.
Thinking this must be as good timing as any other, I approached and settled beside him on the floor.
"Hey!" - I said, sheepishly smiling. He turned his head towards me, a bit startled, "So... You don't have television where you come from, ha?" - I was attempting a casual conversation.
"No... We do not have the... internet, either!" He said with a solemn poker face.
Did my small-talk-question come out offensive? Usagi sounded sincere enough, I hope I didn't pull a nerve there.
Sitting so close, I could literally see the separate hairs of his snowy white fur. The sight was so mesmerizing that I couldn't look away. He followed my gaze, and when I realized he was aware of me staring, I smiled at him embarrassed: "Oh, I'm sorry!"
"It's okay... I don't mind" He smiled sweetly and pulled out his hand in my direction as if intending to shake on it. (How did he know I wanted to feel his fur? Was it that obvious? Or did any other human of our world always act that way in a situation like this?)
I reached out - my hand acting of its own will. It was sort of embarrassing, I think I even blushed a little when our palms met. He had five fingers with short but dangerously looking claws. The claws were white too, as white as his lovely fur. (I guess he was white as a snow ball all over). His hand was fluffy as expected and warm to the touch (kind'a reminded me of Splinter, actually, only even softer). I wandered about an existence of a bunny-tail...
"You have beautiful fur!" - he suddenly inserted, getting into my head again, then correcting himself: "Hair... your hair is beautiful!" he smiled.
I raised my gaze in surprise and saw him admiring the length of my hair, my brows involuntarily crawling up my face, as I looked straight into his wide dark pupils.
"Your eyes are a sight as well!" - he added in a lower voice, drawing a bit nearer, "I apologize for my rudeness, but what color are they? I notice some blue and green and a little bit of gray... " He was gazing into my eyes, holding my hand... It was too much, and like a gullible little girl, I giggled uncontrollably. Usagi was undeniably handsome (in a human-sized-rabbit department) and sexy, as I allowed myself to admit.
"It's so nice of you to notice!" I cleared my suddenly dry throat, "I guess my eyes change color depending on the lighting or the specific tint of clothes I'm wearing" Believing he was being polite and very attentive only to soften this awkward situation, I played along a bit (in the mean time reducing my tense levels): "Your fur is an absolute delight to the touch! And check out those beautiful claws - manicure?"
He gazed at my face, questioning the amounts of my seriousness. And I shrugged apologetically, letting go of his hand and wiggling my own purple polished nails. He broke into a chuckle and then we both laughed.
I sighed calming down at the end - this Samurai Bunny was alright!
Chapter 20: Chapter 20
I woke up to a very familiar sound. At first I couldn't place it, as I was still fuzzy from sleep and there was only a dim light from Donnie's desk-lamp. I focused on stretching my hardened limbs, automatically turning my face towards my boyfriend to see what he was doing. A picture I set my eyes on was a scene I did not expect, but frankly couldn't describe as anything but highly unexpected and particularly arousing! Exposed and fully erect, his hand hard at work, Donatello's eyes were tightly shut, his mouth slightly open – short quick moans escaping now and then. They were the reason for my awakening… No surprise that a pleasurable tickle between my legs was my body's immediate response, as I fully took the scene in.
I wasn't wearing my PJ (recently I spend most of my nights at the lair, in Donnie's bed... and he liked it better when I'm 'natural'), somebody deliberately pulled down his purple blanket so my breasts were completely exposed, my nipples getting hard the instant I realized what was happening. As my eyes hungrily absorbed all the details of Donatello's engagement, I slid my hand towards the pulsing core of my suddenly awoken desire, the sounds he was producing getting me to the edge of my tolerance.
Biting my lower lip, I kept my eyes on his actions as I worked on my own body without disturbing his concentration. But abruptly at some moment my hand brushed his thigh, sort of naturally and unintentionally. His eyes popped open, as he lost his pace, and at first a minor dismay was luring in there, when he realized I wasn't asleep anymore. He quit his current occupation, business still in hand, and looked at me, his expression clearly questioning the approach I was going to take on the whole situation.
"Didn't want to wake you..." - he said absently.
I smiled to reassure him and stroke his thigh deliberately this time. He seemed to take his time to absorb the picture and to recalculate the new direction this was going. I moved my hand from his thigh towards his torso and then to the sensitive skin on the side of his body, while my other hand was still working between my legs. I was so aroused by then, I eagerly wanted him to touch me: "Touch me…" I encouraged. That seemed to finally snap Don out of his uncertainty, as his hand slowly crept towards my body. He blinked planning his next move, and repositioned on the bed so he could easily insert a hand in between my legs. Then, reassuring my positive tolerance while gazing into my eyes, he slowly removed my drenched hand away from my own body and repositioned it on his. I hummed approvingly and began working on his organ, while he contentedly shut his eyes again and masterly drowned his fingers into me.
"Aahh" I exhaled all at once. He knew exactly how to touch me.
Complacently smiling at my response, Donatello lowered his face towards mine to lock our eyes together: "Look at me!" – he ordered softly.
And I looked into his deep brown eyes, sharing his breath as our mouths were mutually open, his pupils enlarging and decreasing every time another sound of enjoyment escaped my throat. The world surrounding us was soon forgotten and I gladly drowned inside the abyss of Donatello's eyes, irrevocably succumbing to his touch and what it was causing to my body.
When I came, he lowered his lips on mine and kissed me deeply, patiently waiting for my body to regulate its course. And when it did, satisfied that he could operate me that way, Don irrepressibly moaned into my mouth and kiss-licked his way down. Challenging himself, he engaged in stroking and caressing my entire body, leaving absolutely no part of it out, determined to bring me to the edge all over again.
I've never seen him that way. So determined. So controlling. I wondered what had gotten into him, but whatever it was, I liked it... He nuzzled my neck while pinching and teasing my breasts. He lowered his body on mine just about touching my skin, but mostly tickling and brushing it only slightly. He kissed me hard, sucking my lips and leaving me without a breath. All this time he remained fully erect, I could feel his turtlehood brushing upon my skin every time he drew his body close enough, but he wouldn't allow me to catch it, playfully pulling my hands away every time it got too close. And ignoring his own needs in order to keep me going, he gently spread my legs, nibbling and biting the inner side of my thighs. I lost it all over again, as Donnie's mouth was making its way toward my...
Oh, shell! What got into him today?! His warm tongue felt so good! OMG! OMFG!
After what seemed like an eternity of pleasure (I was literally above the clouds), Donatello decreasingly slowed down and I felt him shiver whole-bodily between my thighs. My first thought was that he finally came, but then when he renewed his pace, and I could make out his habitual throaty groan of arousal, I realized he was still fully going.
"Donnie?" I called softly, as I tried to regulate my breathing at least a little. His turtle-sounds paralyzed my body, sending myriads of tiny orgasmic shocks.
He only responded in "Mmmhh?!" as I gently pulled his face up to meet my gaze.
"Hey…" - I started…
"I love you!" Without letting me finish, he cut in with an expression of supplication on his face. His voice sounded different then usual. Deeper... I smiled at his sudden statement, and was about to respond, when he suddenly continued: "Do you trust me?" And all I could do was nod at the sudden fire of lust in his eyes. "Can you turn around for me?" I looked at him questionably. His features - an apparition of sheepish timidness, his huge turtlehood - ascending strongly erect, his eyes - fixed on me with expectation and anticipation.
"You mean like this?" I sat on the bed with my back to him, pulling my hair to the front and exposing my skin, unsure what he was up to, but more than willing to participate in the experiment.
His tongue slowly went all the way up my spine, while his hands stroke my hips, "Yea… almost…" – he whispered into my nape, sinking his teeth in it. Holding me in place, he stoutly began teasing my entrance again, and I had to grab the sheets when he picked me up in the air (as always, like I was some kind of a toy or one of his gadgets), rearranging my whole pose so that I found myself face down on all fours, while he was clinging to me from behind. Okay… that was new… and a bit animalistic… But, in his defense, I was dripping with anticipation and utter excitement by the time he very carefully entered me at last. And let me tell you, the friction was unmistakably different in this position.
Donatello was going savage on me. And feeling confused and a bit owned, I froze unsure of what I was supposed to feel. Don stopped that exact second, sensing my uneasiness, and attentively brought my torso up, so my back was leaned against his plastron. Lovingly brushing my hair away, he breathed it in for a moment, then kissed my neck from behind, his hands caressing my body and moving all over my breasts, thighs, ass. He didn't say a thing, he only growled with those throaty sexy moans of his. Loosened by his seductive masterful touch and the familiar sounds coming from the depths of his body, I was eventually overthrown and started involuntarily moving my hips in a tempo that he immediately caught up with. Slowly he brought me down to the previous position, and stirring together, moaning louder than before from the unfamiliarly intense friction, I was absolutely encouraging him to go on.
I clutched the bed-sheets tightly with both hands, balancing mostly on them, while my lower body was in Don's hands as he was deftly guiding the movement and setting a new pace, entering me deeper and deeper. OMG! That was completely animalistic… and I couldn't believe how much I was enjoying it! Moving slowly at first but gradually increasing the speed, I could feel how he was rapidly losing control. The only time he lost himself with me like that before was the time we had sex in the tub, after I stitched him up after the Foot incident, when Mike was in a coma... Why was I thinking about such things at a moment like this?!
It took a long while till Donatello finally found his release. Groaning continuously, he didn't let me go until he was absolutely drained. (Might mention that I came twice in the meantime! That's three times in a row, but who's counting?) When it was all over, eyes closed, sweaty and panting, we lay exhausted for what seamed like hours. Even though our bodies were not touching anymore, I could still feel the sensation of him inside me… all over me! My whole body trembling in aftershocks. I've never before done something so wild… so animalistic... so amazing and bewildering! No one made me feel like that ever before...
As soon as Donatello regained his breath, he gathered me in his arms and held me close so gently, as if I were a baby or a fragile egg that might easily break, like he was afraid to crush me or damage me in any way. I clinged to his chest, absolutely wiped out from exhaustion, claiming to be comforted and soothed by his protective arms – still a bit unsettled about what went on just a few moments ago. I figured he must've felt awkward about that as well. And as if reading my mind, he suddenly asked, pronouncing the syllables very slowly, in almost terrified loud whisper: "ARE YOU OKAY?"
"Yeah… yeah… I'm fine!" I was so taken aback, that I couldn't even find it in myself to react properly. I was all over the place and had to gather my thoughts. It felt uneasy and embarrassing, as if it wasn't me who did all of that.
I saw a horrified expression on Don's blushed face, when he cupped my chin and brought my face up close to his, the darkened brown pupils peering into my eyes, reading the insides of my soul.
"I'm fine…" I airily flipped his hand away, a little annoyed at his exaggerated concern... and immediately wished I didn't, seeing how he cringed as a result and instantly let me go, "I didn't mean… I just didn't expect…" I cursed under my breath - I wasn't making it at all better.
"Did I hurt you?!" - he asked with horror.
"No! NO! You didn't do anything to hurt me… This was just… um… surprising? Unexpected... " I looked at him, taking a hold of his hand and trying to make the most reassuring face I was able to produce. His widened eyes were fixed on me – he was panicking.
"Donnie" – I took his face between my palms, "You did NOT cause me any damage… I'm fine… it's just… this was so… so… I dunno…" I shook my head, unable to describe it.
"I'm sorry! I'm so sorry, Lin! I love you!" There were tears of agitation in his eyes, as I cut him short.
"Donatello Hamato, stop this right now! You didn't hurt me, you hear? You just… I dunno... connected to your animalistic origins… roots, or something, that's all. I get it… and I am absolutely fine! And I love you too! I love you so much - I can't even feel my legs right now! You…" I let out a short chuckle, "You fucked me up – literally!" I started snickering and punched him on his arm-bicep, then finally cracking up I caught my stomach with both hands (in fact, my whole body ached immensely).
At first he kept looking at me very seriously, still trying to understand, trying to define the level of my damage or to place my mental state, I swear... But when I leaned back onto him and kissed his sweaty worried face, unable to stop giggling in the process, he dropped his defenses and a cute little guffaw came up from deep inside his throat. Soon we both were laughing hysterically as he threw his arms around me and held me close in a wonderful lump of sweaty sheets and limbs.
My hoodie down to my eyes, I 'crawled' out of Don's room, quickly striding through the corridor on my way to sneak into the kitchen unnoticed. What a night!? Didn't get much sleep and needed to head out to work in a bit. It was still too early in the morning so I didn't expect to see Usagi sitting at the table and solemnly sipping tea. Our eyes met and I flinched in surprise, as the embarrassing thought of being busted came across my mind when he blinked at my wrinkled attire, messy hair and sheepish smile. It was probably written all over my face: been jumping bones all night long, yo... But I calmed my nerves, bravely approached the table (I didn't really have any other choice) and opened my mouth in an intention to greet the rabbit. But he beat me to it:
"Mating season…" - he simply said, nodding into his cup knowingly.
I stared at him confused, looking for an explanation of that odd statement, when I noticed how ruffled and messy his beautiful white fur was. Even though I only knew him for a couple of weeks, I was sure of it: Usagi would never be caught alive looking negligent like this, all messy, even his ears were loose and hanging on the sides of his face. Not unlike myself... he looked exhausted.
And then it finally landed on my unrested brain, he said: mating season! Freaking mating se... Oh! MATING SEASON! I was beginning to understand my boyfriend's animalistic behavior and that inexorable thirst for... well, mating. And it was also so unlike Donnie, I usually was the one to initiate... But now when I put everything together in my head, it made perfect sense. Donatello's hormones, of course! Poor baby... What he must be going through... Ooohh, they all must be going through this, every single year. Oh, no! Better stop right there... too much info, brain!
"Your first, I assume..." Usagi stated, handing me a cup of freshly made Japanese green tea, completely interrupting my in-crazed imagination (I was so thankful), "This will help!"
I never particularly liked Japanese traditional tea, it's kinda bitter and thick... I dunno. But I couldn't resist Usagi's offer at this opportunity of mutual understanding, so I politely took the cup from his outstretched hand and nodded thanking him. I felt like I needed to get to know this rabbit better, if he was so important to Leo, and it seamed he really really was. I took a tiny sip and involuntarily wrinkled my nose. Usagi chuckled at the expression I must have had, commenting: "I can see it already makes a difference!"
I smiled at him again, and the second sip of the sturdy green substance was already not as bad as the first. They say that green tea has some healing qualities... But does it have the ability to ease a sex-hangover?!
"Leonardo tells me you are a librarian..." Attempting to change the subject, Usagi tried to clear the atmosphere, interrupting my strand of thoughts again, "Such an ancient, respectful and highly appreciated profession!"
"Ah, well... It hardly is today... but I do love it!" I tried to smooth my hair a little, brushing it with my fingers, the sensation of Don's hands pulling at it not-so-gently still fresh in my mind. And thank goodness I was smart enough to put this hoodie on, I couldn't imagine the amount of nips and bite marks on my neck. I'll have to wear a scarf or something in public.
Usagi smiled at me kindly. And I must admit that it felt more than soothing, when he got up and gave me a small bow excusing himself. He always acted so respectfully to me. Even after I've stumbled upon him like that during this shameful hour. I couldn't help but appreciatively observe his long ears (ruffled as they were at this moment) and his handsome kind face with those dark tired eyes. He was so courtly. And somehow in an awkward situation like this he made me feel at ease. Usagi is the most proud gentlema... rabbit, I ever had the privilege to get to know.
"Oh, hey Lin!" Leo ninja-sneaked behind my back, making me jump in my seat, "Didn't expect to see you here in such an early hour..."
"Oh, sheesh, Leo..." I almost choked on my tea, when I saw his mask-less face emerging from the dark, two shining flames of blue fire in his eyes turned toward the rabbit. It didn't take a genius to notice that the green leader was shamelessly undressing his boyfriend with his stare.
"Welp, I better be going..." I was by the door in a second, throwing one last look at the two swordsmen slowly reducing the distance between them. And in my heart there was a pinch of excitement for Leonardo, Usagi is everything he ever deserved!
I reentered Donnie's room, still holding the cup of what was left of the green beverage in my hand. He was soundly asleep, just as I left him, buried in the mess on top of the bed: wrinkled sheets, purple blanket hanging to the floor, one pillow at his feet, the other unseen by the naked eye (probably somewhere under him).
It was a rare occasion to watch Donatello sleep, so I feasted my eyes on every inch of the giant turtle in front of me. I could watch him sleep forever, listening to his cute snuffles, taking great pleasure at simply snuggling close to his shell and inhaling his particular personal scent mixed with a smudge of the habitual coffee aroma.
I sighed, checking the time and figuring I still had plenty of it to get a decent shower and get to work safely. I set my unfinished (never to be finished either) tea at the desk and picked up the dropped fleece blanket, then carefully lay back in bed beside Donnie, miserably thinking about how much I really didn't want to go to work. I just wanted to stay here all day long canoodling with my turtle-mating-season-crazed boyfriend. Smiling to myself, I thought about how pissed he probably would be when he realizes how much time he spent mating and then sleeping, instead of working... And I found myself glad at the fact I was the reason for tiring him out like that... well, at least half of the reason (cursed mating season). It was seriously a challenge to date a mutant turtle! I couldn't believe how excited and happy I felt...
"Call in sick..." His hushed sleepy whisper caught me off guard.
"What?" I looked into Donnie's half-open brown eyes - the orbits of my entire universe between the sheets to my left.
"I said..." he cleared his throat a little and brushed a lock of hair away from my face with his hand, "call in sick today! Won't the library function without your radiant presence for one day? You're really..." - he paused to emphasize, "really needed here!"
I was taken aback, of course by the straight forward way the smartest and gentlest turtle chose to express his desires, and inevitably by the fact he didn't mention any of his awaiting projects while speaking unmistakably about his time with me. He wanted me, only me... His adorable pleading expression, the little quiver of his nostrils and the position of his lower lip, all threatened to overrule any of my possible intending oppositions. Plus I could never say no to this bedroom voice, jeez...
"Let me get my phone..."
I didn't even get a chance to outstretch my hand toward the desk, on top of which my cellphone was charging. Rolling over, Donatello pulled me on top of him, pinning his lips to mine and slowly clocking up the length of my hair into a knot around his fist, "I already took the privilege to send the message..." - he simply said, "Thank you for cooperating, you will not regret this decision!"
I was about to complain about his rudeness to just go ahead and send that message to my boss without even telling me first, and I looked into his eyes... and that's when I knew that I've already lost that battle. His hungry expression, this little sassy smile of his he always obtained when he already knew he had the upper hand, and the two tiny dots his pupils were reduced to, told me of how far he was from rational-Donatello-judgment. There was only one thing on his mind... So I admitted my defeat and lowering my face toward his, close but not touching, I said: "Make sure I won't... and" Donnie groaned with pleasure when I caught his tail between my fingers, "let me help you with that..."
Chapter 21: Chapter 21
"Shhhhhh... Quiet! You'll wake everyone!"
A clamor was coming from behind the door...
I looked toward Donnie, his head resting upon my chest, his palm cupping one of my breasts. Only a few moments ago we reached another climactic orgasm (and by "we" I mean mostly him, my mating-season-incrazed lover boy!) Sensing my alarm, he raised his face to meet my eyes, meanwhile lightly kissing my skin and intentionally ignoring the commotion outside. But when a short scream of pain shattered the relative stillness of the lair, Don's head jerked up again, faster than lightning. His stare at the direction of that scream was intense, and I could suddenly see the instant clarity appearing in his eyes – he was himself again. One of his brothers needed him and he was back on track. Mating and all that jazz fast forgotten…
Quite concerned and not knowing what to do, I followed his gaze, waiting for his reaction. He kissed me abruptly, and then pressed his lips against my forehead, softly saying: "Get dressed…" into my hair.
My worried suspicions quickly mixed up with a mess of proud girlfriend sentiments. There was an unquestionably alarming situation considering his family and he wanted me to come with him! No more: Wait here – don't come out… I will come and get you later, when everything is settled! Ha! I got dressed so fast, I didn't even pay attention to what I was putting on.
We came out the door, my hand in his, following the noise coming from the living room. Mike's shell was the first thing I saw. Raphael was right behind. Both brothers bent over something on the floor.
"What is going on, guys?" – Don questioned, trying to make out what was scattered on the floor between the two.
"Oh… Donnie! Great! You're awake… we totally need your help, bro!" Mikey was fast to turn towards us, "Uh oh, Snow, you shouldn't look… it's not a pretty sight!"
Big shabby boots and long sheaves of disheveled black hair were all I could actually see. Oh, and there was blood! Of course there was, since the person spread on the floor periodically growled in pain: "Aaaahhhh… fuck, it hurts!"
"Donnie, do something…" There was pain and despair in Raphael's eyes. I witnessed him panic like this only once before - when we weren't sure whether Mike would make it out of his coma...
Donatello closely observed the half-conscious man twisting on the floor for several long moments, then squeezed my hand turning to face me: "Bring fresh towels and hot water!" His stare was fixed and very intense, and I could only think about the way he immediately included me in the incident, entrusting me with something lethal. I didn't know who that man lying on the floor was, and what he was even doing here at all, but I knew that I mattered to him. A lot! I was bringing towels and water! Nodding shortly, I started for the bathroom, on my way catching the strict tone of my boyfriend giving more orders: "Mikey, get Leo! Raph, let's get him to the lab pronto! Carefully! Easy, easy... " Groans of pain followed...
Donatello – forever the one operating beneath the surface of this family's security and well-being. My Donatello...
A bundle of towels under one arm and a bucket of recently boiled water in other, I ran into furious Leonardo and somewhat worn off Usagi on my way to the lab. Fearless gave me a short nervous stare. He was about to say something, probably in the area of: Lin, you shouldn't get in there. Better stay here and wait it out… This might be dangerous… or something in that manner... However, meeting the rabbit's stern gaze, Leonardo breathed in and slowly breathed out, switching his tense expression into a more reserved one. Then taking the water bucket out of my hand, he politely gestured me to go ahead. The rabbit gave me a little sneaky smile behind Leo's back, and I began to realize how in fact Usagi constituted a firm, tranquilizing, almost palliative inclination in Leonardo, and how that effected our Leader's way of action.
Entering the lab, I saw Don with a surgical mask on his face and with rubber gloves up to his elbows, busy with all kinds of clinical equipment, towering over the man lying on the table. As I came closer and placed the towels on a stand nearby, I was immediately met by a nervous stare from Raphael- he was assisting, handing over every single thing Donatello demanded. The concern in his eyes, when he looked at me, was impossible to ignore. However, he at once turned his gaze away, and I caught Mikey's abrupt glare instead. The youngest brother was standing alone in the corner, looking anxious, nervously smiling at me with discomfort. Since I couldn't be of any help to Donatello right now, I came up to Mike and placed a hand on his shoulder. "I'm fine…" – he pronounced reassuringly, more to himself than to me. Oh, I couldn't blame him, since I was sure that the flashbacks of his own injury would surely be creeping not only through my mind. I concernedly squeezed his arm-bicep and leaned my head onto his, trying my best to comfort him, in the meanwhile taking the scene in and turning my eyes to Leonardo, who spoke.
"What the shell happened, Raph?" His voice was restrained, as he placed the water bucket with a thud at Raph's feet on the floor, "Mikey said there was some kind of an emergency… Are you hurt?"
"I'm fine, Leo…" - was all the hothead offered, dipping a towel into the boiled water and placing it on the man bleeding on the surgical table.
"Then what's all the ..?" Leo stumbled on his way toward the table, and his tone became more than surprised: "Casey?!"
We gathered in the kitchen, speaking in hushed voices- no one wanted to wake Splinter yet. The situation was under control for now. Casey Jones was finally asleep safe and sound in the lab, after Don has properly drugged him. I knew and understood very little of the situation, so I was listening intently to every word.
"There's nothing to worry about, he'll be fine!" - Donnie was saying, "Battered severely, but he'll live!" Meticulously washing his hands at the sink, he threw a quick nervous gaze at Raphael, then switched to me. His worried, gloomy glance made me wince, but I knew that it was coming from loving concern, so I smiled sheepishly. And Donnie smiled back, his face slowly relaxing, "We should let April know... she might want to take him to a hospital!"
"I'll call'er!" – volunteered Mike right away, cautiously squinting at the red-banded turtle, while dialing. His hushed semi-cheerful voice could be heard from the corridor a moment later: "Hey, Ape! What's up?" he paused, "Awesome! Hehe... listen, something came up, well… actually someone… we thought we should let you know…" another pause, "No no… we're all fine…" His voice was slowly fading away as he kept reseeding deeper and deeper into the tunnels away from us.
"So, what happened there, Raph?" – finally asked Leonardo.
Raphael, still stained all over with Casey's blood, kept surprisingly quiet. Holding his gaze pinned down to the floor, he was despondently and uncomfortably switching from one foot to the other: "Ha..?" It was evident that the big guy was utterly confused. It seemed he didn't hear nor understood what was going on around him.
Frowning, Fearless grabbed his brother by his huge shoulders: "Raph, how did Casey get hurt? How in the world did he get here? Was he followed..?"
Raphael seamed to snap out of it a little as he stared into the blue anger in his brother's eyes, his mind recovering and clearing up. I got him a glass of water, and a few minutes later the hothead told us how during his usual late night walk-it-off-time he was ambushed by several Foot soldiers, but they did not attack, being only the messengers. Instead, they dropped half-dead Casey at his feet and waved goodbye... So what the shell was he supposed to do?
Everybody was following Raphael's tale very closely. Mikey came back and winking at me in confirmation, settled next to me, intently listening as well. After Raph was finished, he prolongedly stared into space, while I exchanged glances with Don. Then all of a sudden Raph snapped and determinately said: "It's a message, Leo…"
"What? What message?! What do you mean?"
"The Foot… they're lookin' fa' us! Don'cha' see, Leo?! This can't be a mere chance… They're up to somethin'! And I can feel in my guts, somethin' seriously bad's about to happen…"
"Did they inform you of something of that sort? Do you have any kind of actual legitimate information?" All gazes turned to Donatello, who was thoughtfully leaning on the sink with his shell and slowly drying his hands with the kitchen towel.
Raphael was silent for a moment, then sighed, sitting down and looked around meeting our gazes: "'Der was an incident, April told me about... She and Case were brutally attacked by the Foot several years ago, in Tokyo!" Mikey and I gasped simultaneously, while Leo's face darkened. "...said they were lookin' fa' us- the turtles, to deliver a message... Well, now they have!"
"Why didn't you say anything before, Raph?" Leo's voice was reaching his dangerous tone, "Do you realize wha..."
"Leo!" Don suddenly cut in, causing several surprised head-turns and confused blinks in his direction (Donatello rarely interrupted anyone, not to mention the regular Leo-Raph heated arguments), "I believe it to be an understandable decision for Raphael to justifiably protect April's right for privacy. The fact that our friend's rightful choice to share this unquestionably highly worrying information with Raphael, not with all of us, was hers and hers alone! Our brother was simply respecting that preference until now..."
I looked at my boyfriend, my heart beating faster and faster in my chest, and noticed how everyone else was looking at Donatello as well. Especially Raphael, who clearly wasn't in the least prepared for such support and unexpected defense on behalf of his brainy brother. The room fell silent yet again.
"Alright, Donnie!" Leonardo finally broke the silence and placed his hand on Don's shoulder in a contemplating manner, "You're right. Of course. I don't know why April chose not to tell us... But there's no turning time backwards, we've got to look forward! We need to come up with a plan of action!"
The four brothers exchanged glances. But no one (except for me) seemed to notice Usagi silently sitting a little at the back, his expression stony and fixed, tightly closed fists at his lap.
Casey Jones was unable to get up, both legs broken, brutally fractured and slashed with swords! Donatello said it was only a mere chance they weren't cut off completely. But still, the Foot didn't bestow any mistake to be made. This was a warning! They were up to something and they meant absolutely business!
April arrived early the next day. The poignant expression on her pretty face was the first thing I saw in the morning, when I emerged from Don's room. The turtles didn't let me go home, not to mention my job. It was decided that it was too dangerous to even leave the lair at this point. Frankly, I unquestionably felt safer around here anyways, so I was happy to stay… and maybe help, if I could be of any use – I knew for sure I didn't want to be a burden.
All the time, since yesterday, Don spent periodically checking on his patient. He never came to bed – I slept the few hours I got left in a solemn loneliness. Poor baby, he was probably exhausted… (or not, as I learned the hard way the amounts of energy his nature's call for mating supplied for him was bewildering at this season!)
Mikey informed me that Casey woke up at some point during the night, but realizing the excruciating pain circulating through his body, he asked Don to increase the dosage of the anesthetic till he lost his consciousness again. The orange turtle also pointed out to me, that in his opinion, Casey simply wasn't ready to face the whole April issue with Raphael yet. And now that the woman in question was here herself, everyone was walking on a very thin ice.
Including Leonardo, who was absolutely unable to relax. Not without a severe amount of influence from Master Splinter, it was decided that Fearless will take it slow and think everything through before they made any moves against the Foot. The green leader spend the rest of the day planning various strategies and having uncountable meetings with Donatello (in between him being a doctor) for freshly recovered bits and pieces of information about the recent Foot activity in N.Y. and Japan, rapping all that up in a long meditation session deep into the night, joined by Usagi.
Master Splinter, after consulting Leo and visiting Casey's side, asked not to be disturbed and sank into deep meditation- the cerebral universal realm of consciousness, seeking reassurement and advice. He was shut in his room ever since.
Raphael… I was positively surprised at the level-headedness the giant turtle mastered since April's arrival. Since the redhead instantly went to see her injured unconscious husband, some tears were shed, some words spoken… but Raph was holding up strong. He cared for Casey's wellbeing no less then he would've for anyone of his brothers'! He was at Leo's side whenever he needed him, served as Donnie's right hand in the patient's room and kept his mouth shut, not intending to bring anything up (not unless it was brought up by someone else it is). Of course he commonly ignored his baby-brother's attempts of never-ending sweetness and encouraging energy, overlapping him with inexhaustible brotherly affection, but from time to time he permitted a hug or a quick silly joke from Mike, bringing an inevitable smile to my face every single time.
Chapter 22: Chapter 22
Casey refused to go to a "real hospital"…
Sitting up in bed, holding a steaming mug in his hand, he grimaced looking at Michelangelo, and scarcely casting short glances in my direction: "What… all out of beer, man?"
"Drink up, Case… Dr. Don's orders!" - said Mike, smiling and gently pushed the hot tea brew closer to the man's face, "Damn, it's so great to see you, though!"
"It's great to see you too, Mike!" Casey's smile was incredibly sweet and warm. His free hand rested on the turtle's arm for a minute, "Sorry for not keeping in touch… but you know how it is…" Mike nodded mutely, as the man sighed heavily and took a sip, grimacing even more.
Running through my head were all the various stories Mike managed to fill me in since I joined the family. I was inquisitively observing this big muscular man, violent vigilante, brutal and vicious fighter … there in front of me, bound to bed, unable to walk due to the life-threatening injuries he overtook in the name of the Hamato family.
To me it was as if he fell straight from the turtles' past. Their history. The legendary Casey Jones constituted a severe part of it, just like April. For years, he has fought against the forces of evil along their side, risking his life, breaking apart and returning with greater might, fusing into their lives and becoming an inseparable part of their clan and of their family.
He married April! By which he unwillingly deepened the roots of damage this relationship inflicted upon Raphael (and Donnie, obviously), running straight into the core of the family dynamics, now buried under several layers of piled up memories and objectionable events…
Casey looked tired, even though he spent the better half of yesterday drugged and sleeping it off. He had a rough-looking face, almost edgy, but in a way it only made him seem even more attractive. His long, dark, messy hair (not even a single gray strand, even though he was around his fifties) neatly framed his masculine face with its square jaw, old scars (and some new ones) encrypted into his skin. His half-shut light-gray eyes radiated warmth and tenderness. He seemed content. It was evident that he felt absolutely at home here, even though he didn't show his nose in the lair in the last decade or so.
The three of us jerked our heads the moment April suddenly appeared in the door frame: "Casey! Jesus!" The redhead ran up to him, and landing on her knees beside the bed, she pinned his head to her chest, tears streaming down her face.
"Alright, alright! I'm happy to see you too, hon!" The man was obviously uncomfortable, but incredibly glad at the same time.
"How do you feel? Do you have any pain?"
"I'm fine! All taken care of…" He winked at her, "See?" holding up his tea cup, he looked at Mike. The turtle shrugged in response and they exchanged a mischievous sneer.
The woman stood up and all of a sudden punched Casey on his shoulder: "Casey Arnold Jones…" That was all she could managed at that moment. The injured man only pursed his lips, trying to balance the liquid in the cup so as not to spill any of it on the clean sheets. Undoubtedly, April was in a turmoil, so maybe in an attempt of seizing some self control, she turned to Mike, requiring: "Where's Don? What were the test results?"
Michelangelo pushed his three fingered palms in front of his chest, "Oh, I dunno, dudette… I'm afraid you'll have to go straight to the D doc for that… My humble task was to deliver the medicine! That was it…" He apologetically blinked in the direction of the tea in Casey's hands.
The woman sighed reluctantly and worriedly gazed back at Casey: "What were you doing, Casey? How did you...?"
"No, no, no, no!" Mike cut her off right away, "Donnie said no questioning for the time being! Casey needs to rest! He's been through a lot…"
"But…" She tried to fight her way, but Mikey was slicker than a newly polished floor in a local bank.
"Uh uh… " He quickly grabbed the redhead under her arms, pulling her towards the exit and hissing in Casey's direction: "You better finish that medicine, dude! Or you'll have to deal with Dr. Brainiac!" and they were out of the room.
I didn't expect to be left alone with Casey Jones all of a sudden like that. So after a short awkward silence and quite a lot of abashment on my side, he looked strictly at me and pointed out: "So… we've got a new addition to the family, hmm? Donnie's girl... Aha... I see, I see... " In spite of his tone, he smiled sweetly and reassuringly, as I nodded sheepishly and blushed. "Guess I'd better finish that tea then, ha?"
…I woke up in my old childhood room, where I grew up.
But it wasn't just my room, everything felt different. I sat up, trying to put my thoughts in order, that's when I've noticed the pool of water. It was coming right to the edges of the bed. It's like the whole room was filled with water and I was right at the middle of it, naked on the bed… like an island at the middle of the sea…
And the water, it was so beautiful and welcoming. I touched it with my toe, not too warm - not too cold, just right!
Sunlight, coming through the window, fell on the water top, making it glitter and shimmer like some magical river flowing straight from fairy tales. Tiny flowers with beautifully delicate yellow petals were floating in the water as far as the eye could see.
I was so mesmerized, I didn't even think how ridiculous and surreal it all was. Without a second thought, I dived into the welcoming water, leaving the bed, and with it the room, behind.
Swimming in a river in the middle of a beautiful forest, lots of trees all around me, I was enjoying myself so much, I didn't all at once acknowledge a presence beside me…
He was handsome and… blue… his skin was a blueish color. Why the shell didn't I think that was strange?!
We swam together, side by side for some time but then I woke up!
We were all gathered in the kitchen again.
Leonardo stood at head of table. Master Splinter sat beside him, in thought, hands on his walking stick in front of him. The rest of us were scattered around, some sitting in chairs, some on the table, some standing leaning on walls and furniture. Donnie, with a fresh cup of coffee in hand (its amazing smell reaching my nostrils), was standing behind my back, leaning on the chair I was sitting on.
This was my very first real team-meeting. And a strategic one too! It finally seemed that I've have officially become a member of the clan! Good times or bad, I was here to stay and therefore, after a dubious eye-to-eye talk between Donatello, Leonardo and Master Splinter, I was sitting there undeniably taken into account and probably… possibly possessing the right to speak my point of view.
"Okay, guys" Leo began, gazing around at everybody present, "Let's discuss our plan of action!" He then looked in my direction, "But first…" I blinked, fascinated and a little apprehensive. Fearless Leader focused his eyes several inches above my head, "Donnie, have any updates?"
I felt my boyfriend move, his voice coming from behind my back: "The Foot were lastly spotted near the docks" – he informed. Everyone turned to look at us, paying attention, all sharing the same worried, perplexed expression, while Donatello went on with the update: "According to my calculations, the recent growth in Foot activity is rapidly becoming highly alarming. I've proceeded to measuring their movements and mass gatherings in the last few months…" His voice became thicker, "Their numbers have grown unbelievably! Hundreds of new warriors were recruited, including trained professionals and even a… " Here Donnie cleared his throat awkwardly, "…a Shaman of sorts…"
I know, maybe I shouldn't have been all that surprised at that statement, considering how my reality-check has shifted since I met the turtles… but seeing everybody else's astonished glances and startled expressions, I gazed up at Don, looking for answers or possibly a logical explanation, and following his stare, fixed my eyes on the rat master.
Splinter didn't move, he only searched with his eyes and eventually focused his gaze on Usagi, who was silently standing a few steps to Leo's right, his white furry arms resting on the swords at his side. Following sensei's example, everyone stared at the rabbit, as he shifted uncomfortably in his place, avoiding eye contact.
"Something has to be done to stop this!" Leo's voice broke the sudden silence, drawing all the attention back to him, "The Foot have threatened us before! Countless times! But this time they went too far!" He gazed at Casey, who was sitting by the other side of the table, in a wheelchair Raph dragged to the lair the other day (no one asked any questions), his bad legs securely hidden away under a coverlet. "We need to come up with a suitable plan" Leo went on, "One that would be effective, brutal and more importantly, as less risky as possible!"
I felt Donnie leaning over and attaching his head to mine, protectively restraining my shoulders with his free-from-coffee-arm. I caressed his embracing hand, thinking about what Leo meant by less risky: April, Casey and myself! We were their priority right now.
"The Foot directly hit us straight in the gut!" – Raphael spoke suddenly, his hoarse voice cutting through the thick tensed atmosphere of the kitchen, and everyone looked at him, "I for one, 'm not about to let 'dat slide!" He stood leaning on the farther wall, near the fridge, his arms crossed at his chest. He was a picture of an immovable rocky mountain, a volcano about to burst any minute, his muscles tightened, his face getting darker.
I involuntarily looked in Casey's direction, and saw April. She was sitting beside her husband (who kept stubbornly rejecting everyone's attempts of any sort of help, except hers) and I noticed how her gaze slowly crawled toward Raphael. She didn't move a muscle, but it was her eyes that gave her away – she wished to comport the enraged turtle, she wanted to be close to him physically.
"Yes, Raph, I know!" Leo's voice was deliberately softer than usual when he addressed his hotheaded brother, drawing my attention back to him, "I am eager to avenge Casey's injuries just as much as you… but we have to be careful! This time we are not the ones to be targeted…"
Donnie's grip on my shoulders tightened slightly, as he absently kissed the top of my head. And I leaned backwards into him a bit and looked up to allow his lips find my forehead, as I already knew that's what he was aiming for. It was clear to me that the best place to be right now was here, in the lair, where it was the safest for April and I, surrounded by friends who will protect us even if it would cost them their lives. To keep us as close as possible, as safe as possible, they wouldn't send us away, or restrain us from aiding. The best solution would be to include us in their plans, for one simple reason: we were the apparent targets!
"So… what are we supposed to do?" – asked Mikey in a small voice, hugging his knees in a chair beside me.
Leonardo looked at his youngest brother with a determined face, but lost his collected posture being softened by the pair of blue orbs peering up at him. The Fearless Leader breathed in and closing his eyes, cleared his throat. Then he slowly exhaled and gazing around the kitchen, he inevitably addressed his brothers (and Usagi): "We must take every precaution! We need to know in advance what the Foot's next move will be! We need to find out their plans and how far they are willing to go this time! There's no room for any mistakes! Our mission is to protect this family! And we must do it no matter what!"
Chapter 23: Chapter 23
Swirling barefoot in a vertiginous dance, hair loose and scattering down behind my back, I was stepping lightly on wet grass filled with petite yellow flowers swaying in a light breeze. Majestic green mountains with white snowy tops encircled us in their protective embrace. Rays of evening sun illuminated myriads of tree branches with their colorful leaves rustling in the wind. Cirrus clouds, hanging above our heads, traveled far, far away.
My body, reacting to his masterfully measured steps, mirrored his graceful maneuvers, our bravado taking place on a picturesque grove, surrounded by rare forest through which different animals were slowly gathering to watch us dance.
Thinking: I never knew I could be so good at this, I looked into Mikey's sparkling blue eyes, as he held me close, gently but firmly leading the movement. He smiled and winked at me, almost implying: What do you mean, Snowlakes? You’re a natural dancer!
We both laughed.
But then a flock of birds suddenly broke away from the tree branches and flew away high into the sky. I looked at the trees and saw how all the animals one by one disappeared into the depth of the forest.
And then everything around us, the grass, the flowers, the mountains, the trees began slowly collapsing into nothingness. The skies turned threateningly dark, and previously happy white clouds became grayish-purple. The ground shook. Enormous pits and steep ditches burst in the earth's crust. A huge whirlwind messed up my hair, throwing it in my face, brutally tearing the last remaining leaves from the trees nearby.
Still, we kept dancing, regardless of what seemed like the end of the world taking place right before our very eyes.
Carefully leading the dance without ever blinking, Mike held me in his arms. His eyes never left mine. With an expression of tenderness and affection, he didn’t cease smiling. It was the same sweet, guileless and kindhearted smile he always had when he looked at me. And I felt safe, lost in those big eyes and their mesmerizing blue, lost in our dance, lost in Michelangelo’s incredible energy. I threw my head backwards, breaking our eye-contact, and let him swirl me around and around until I felt dizzy. But I didn't care, because it felt good and I knew I was secure in his arms.
“Snowflakes?!" – he called.
His voice somehow sounded far away, and I suddenly felt like I was losing my balance. I looked back at him, but was astonished to find that there was no one there... Just a creeping darkness with dry torn leaves flying around. Michelangelo was gone, and I was standing alone in the midst of all this mess and destruction, hair beating at my face and tears in my eyes…
"Snowflakes…" - echoed from somewhere…
"Mikey, where are you!? I can't see anything! Mikey!"
Wait, what? What's happening? Was I dreaming the whole time…
I woke up in panic only to see Michelangelo’s frustrated face in front of my own. Rubbing my eyes, I tried to make out the surroundings in the dim light of the room. He was kneeling beside me, clutching my hand. The nervous tension in his eyes nipped at my chest, as my heart kept racing, increasing my drowsy distress.
"Lin? Did you have a nightmare too?"
"What?" The reality was slowly getting back into focus. The last thing I could recall was leaving dozed-off Michelangelo in the living room in front of the tv…
"Snowflakes…" His voice sounded small, trembling and squeaky. He was clearly overwhelmed, "I don’t know what's happening… I was sleeping and then… it's just… I dunno, it's like you were calling for me, and that's what zoomed me out…"
My mind was yet a blur, and I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but I clearly remembered that earlier tonight Leo and Raph left the lair (I believe they simply needed to do something before they exploded out of their shells. Being stuck underground day in day out, they couldn't bear the idleness and relative standstill of waiting for the 'right moment' to go topside) to check and reassure Donnie’s security system. Usagi joined the party, among other things, to learn about the ever-changing borders of the closed surveillance surrounding the turtle's home.
My thoroughly caffeinated boyfriend was probably shut in his lab, as usual. He mentioned earlier, something about updating all the tech for the upcoming mission. Maybe he was working on the new project he started back at the farm. He was so excited about it. Told me he couldn't wait to try it out. And now that Casey was relatively better, he must’ve gone straight back to work. Better leave him to it! When Donatello’s buried in his work like this, he feels the most beneficial and valuable. It soothes him, makes him feel wholesome, calms him down.
Of all else, Mikey and I decided to have a Disney movie marathon last night. Yep. Just like that, in the middle of a family crisis. Due to our mutually felt inability to help at the time being. What can I say, we both needed some distraction… Speaking about distraction…
Donnie's old desk-lamp illuminated the room only partially, and since I was still drowsy from sleep, I couldn't figure out whether Michelangelo was physically hurt or maybe just crying. His eyes looked sickly and dark. And, along with my own reflection, I found an undisputed alarm inside those pleading wells of anxiety. It also seemed like he was having trouble regulating his breath.
"Mikey! Omigosh… Breathe! And, for turtle's sake, tell me what's wrong… are you sick?" I clasped his shoulders, "Is anyone else sick?"
Mikey shook his head and I let out a sigh of relief, then grabbed his face and felt his cheeks burning. I figured that if I couldn't get him to settle down, it would be impossible to understand what was bothering him. I began petting him on his head, and cradling the uptight turtle close to me. That strategy helped and eventually Michelangelo started breathing a little slower. Then I scooched a bit, inviting him to lie down next to me. He did so without hesitation.
"Wow, Snowflakes!” - he murmured, “I'm not sure what’s real anymore… I've been having this… this dream, over and over.." He snuggled up to me, getting even closer, as if asking for my protection. A chill was creeping up my spine while he talked…
"This dream is always sort'a the same, but also kind'a different… There's this forest, and a lake. And around the forest there're really, really huge mountains with frozen snowy peaks! Oh, you'd love those! Pretty flowers grow all around, cute birdies are singing. Oh, and the forest creatures are super great. Like, cool majestic deers and vigorous little squirrels… they come out into the glade. Oh, yeah! I somehow always run into this one glade in the middle of the forest, no matter where I go… Anyway, so I walk around the forest and I pick up berries and flowers, ooh and mushrooms, chase after skunks, all the normal stuff. Sometimes I walk down to the river, and swim a little, or catch a sun bath… and it's all peaceful and everything, you get the picture… But then there’s this… uh“ He paused for a minute, unsure how to go on, “um… well, actually I'm not all alone there.. there’s also a girl…”
I shuddered: "A girl?"
He looked at me trying to read my reaction: "Yeah… She usually appears between the trees. Sometimes I see her swimming in the river… and she doesn’t have any clothes on… " Mikey sniggered sheepishly, "Eh, yeah.. but it's not kinky or anything. Sometimes we dance together!"
I looked at him a bit shocked: "A naked girl?" I repeated, unable to stop my mild astonishment.
“Mmmh?" He arched an eyebrow at me, then made the most innocent face expression he was capable of, "It’s not what you think!”
I stared at him.
He sighed, “Ok, it IS exactly what you think!”
“Ah, Mikey, this is… eh, fine… natural, I mean!” - I tried, ”Nothing to feel awkward about…” Even though the entire thing felt very awkward to me.
“No, no… you don’t understand” He squeezed my knee, giving me uncomfortable goosebumps, “Here’s what happened in my dream today right before I jerked out of sleep: I was in my forest (I call it “my forest” because it’s in my fantasy dream, kind of my happy place, you see), lying in a pile of dried leaves under a tree, hands and legs scattered (I was trying to make a leafy angel, but that’s not the point), listening to the movement of the foliage rustling above my head, squinting from the sun in my eyes, relaxed like Leo after he gets to spend a few nights with Usagi (if you know what I mean). In short, I was really enjoying myself… everything you'd expect from a happy place, right? But Lin!” He looked at me so seriously all of a sudden, “I'm telling you, this time it wasn’t like the other times! It’s like I couldn’t get out of my own dream! I was trapped!"
"Mikey, it was just a dream… You’re probably anxious about the upcoming mission, or all this worrying about Casey made you a bit nippy… right? Doesn't that make sense? I mean, I feel pretty nippy myself..."
"Yeah!" He cut me off, and glancing at his hands he added: "But you don’t know the weirdest part yet… the girl, she…” He awkwardly chuckled, “she kind’a turned into a bear?! And that took me totally by surprise. She never turned into any animal before. I mean, there was this time she sorta glowed in blue for a bit. Which was weird, but kind’a hot! But this time I found myself facing a huge brown bear… just like staring at me… so I was totally surprised and everything, and then I thought maybe I should run… but then the bear seized me in like this iron embrace. And I was all like: this is not the direction I was going for in this dream, and so I tried to wake up, but I couldn’t! And it was holding me, staring at me with its little creepy eyes… it was so weird! And then, THEN I heard your voice, and when I concentrated enough, I was able to follow it and wake up!"
He was shaking all over. I hugged him tightly, stroking his head and thinking about the similarities of our dreams, trying to make sense of it all. After a while he fell quiet. I guess Raph was right, head-petting really did calm Mikey down.
We held each other, and soothed by it, shortly fell asleep. In the morning Donnie came to wake me up. Slightly surprised at finding his baby brother in his bed, snuggling with me, he joked it off, but I could swear I saw some unfamiliar and strange sparkle in his brown eyes.
The plan was to separate into teams and dive head first deep into the 'Foot country'. Raphael's task was to check up Foot's old lair, looking for traces of activity or any familiar faces. To see if anything was going on there. If it's all clean, he was to carry on towards the docks to join up with Leo and Usagi, who would be in an ambush position over there. If not, alert Donnie and Mike, who would be surveilling the city from the rooftops, looking for any clues of Foot activity.
Master Splinter, April, Casey and I were to lay low and remain inside the protective walls of the Shellraiser, even though a feverous discussion took place as if to let us topside at all.
Casey wouldn't even hear it. He said that he needed to be there! Needed to show them they couldn't break him! April, of course, wouldn't leave his side (whenever he was awake at least), so there was no question of her staying behind. Plus Donnie said he needed her expertise and knowledge, as she was unquestionably familiar with all of the tech he worked with. Her task was to back him up and in case something went wrong, to control his equipment from afar. She was the only one qualified enough to do that. Years of working in a science lab and her natural ease with programming and usage of new challenging technologies never went to waste with the Hamato clan. And that's how I had the chance to see, first hand, her incredible likeness and natural connection with Donatello. And if in that specific situation it made me feel grateful, on another, it scared me from inside, pushing all air out of my lungs.
Sure thing, having the old rat master on board and close at our side was unbelievably reposeful and mind-settling. He made me feel protected and safe… and let me tell you, it really made all the difference.
Me? I was there probably because it would've been absolutely irresponsible to leave me behind all alone. Be it the lair or my apartment, it was all unsafe. The ultimate resolution was that the Shellraiser would be the safest place at the moment.
I hoped I could help in some way… I hoped, at least, not to get in the way…
Chapter 24: Chapter 24
"The device has never been tested, guys, so consider the outcome of this operation as the first running trial for my Equilibrium Apparatus, or EA for short" – explained Donatello, enthusiastically handing out individual devices to each of his brothers, "I'll conduct the official analysis later tonight… According to my early examinations, my EA should serve its purpose accordingly.. (sigh) Mikey, please pay attention! (The youngest turtle was already punching some buttons on his brand new ‘toy’) okay, so EA will improve your balance control…” - continued Donnie, now using his spry brother as a model, which only made Mike more playful about the new device, “…and will notify you of any forthcoming disorientation or misdirection… like a rooftop or a brick-wall for instance… Mikey, stop that! .. or a fast approaching vehicle…"
"So… it's like GPS, but for turtles!" – comically suggested Mike, closely observing Donatello while the latter was attaching something that looked like tiny metallic bug at the back of his mask, “TPS.. hehe.. get it? Not gps but…”
He immediately received a smack on the back of his head, delivered by his ‘biggest fan’ - Raphael: “Quit being a comedian!”
And followed by a very worried look from their brainy brother: "Mikey, please be careful and don’t drop it! Do you hear me?! Keep EA on you at all times! This is very important!" – pleaded Donatello, scrupulously placing two tiny gizmos inside each of Michealangelo's wristbands.
Then, addressing all of his brothers, he continued his explanation: "Each of your personal EA also transmits an untraceable signal directly to my master device, so that I'll be able to know where you are at any time, in any latitude or longitude! And guys!" He overlooked his brothers: "I can’t stress this enough… Please take this seriously!"
I followed Don's example, helping the turtles secure the devices properly on their bodies. My sweet brainiac. He must’ve been working on that thing for months. Ever since Mike’s accident… Pouring his soul into that EA-thing, along with many sleepless nights and full-of-exhaustion days. So that was the new invention he fussed around all this time. A small boxy-thing in the image of a turtle-shell went onto the guy’s belts – 'Key' Don called it; then tiny electronic chips were placed at the four limbs, fifth went behind their mask, and lastly a tiny wireless earphone needed to be placed deep inside one ear.
"Guys, the 'Key's on your belts are not to be damaged!" Donatello turned his eyes strictly in Raph's direction for a split of a second, still clearly speaking towards his youngest brother: "They are made from titanium, but are definitely not unbreakable, so please try your best to keep them away from harm!"
Getting the hint, the hothead faintly snorted under his beak, while I was carefully tucking one of the EA-chips into his wrist-wrappings. I raised my eyes to his face to give him a biased look. He just blankly stared back. Then sheepishly shrugged and offered me one of his infamous smirks. Raphael was up for no good for sure…
"Raph?" – I said so that only he could hear, "Stay safe!"
"No need to worry about me…" - he said, but then caught my hand and affectionately squeezed it.
I turned to Mike. He was already done and good to go, being helped by the expert (Donatello), who was now placing the master device on himself, taking good care of all the important little details.
"Mikey…" – I called, about to wish him luck, but changed my mind, as he looked at me excitedly before I, drawn by some instinctive urge, ran up to him and pulled him into a hug. His arms happily crushed me to his plastron, as he giggled into my hair.
Usagi helped Leonardo with his wrist-chippy-things. And all this time I was wondering what was going on in Leo's head. This mission, the Foot situation, Casey, the entire thing, there was so much pressure. Even if it seemed as if Leo kept it cool, like now - reassuringly smiling at me, I knew that deep down inside his walls of reassurement were already beginning to shake. I energetically smiled back, focusing all my will into making him see my support and appreciation. And I believe he did, as he gently nodded, respectfully bowing his head just a little in my direction, making Usagi follow his gaze and meet my eyes.
I must note that the first unguarded gaze the rabbit gave me was very uneasy. However, he momentarily erased that anxious look from his furry face, softening his expression and even producing something of a smile.
That troubled me. Ever since Casey was dropped on us out of nowhere, I’ve started noticing the sudden change in Usagi’s behavior. I cannot pinpoint the exact difference, but it was as if he lost his cool. And I wasn’t sure what to do about it. I can’t say that I knew Usagi that very well, but his manner seemed to become a little over-secretive. And what befuddled me even more was the fact that the others didn’t seem to notice it. They were all busy with their own emotional cargoes: the awkward triangle - Raph-April-Casey, Mikey - the dreamer who was always in his own head, of course Leonardo’s head must have been filled with nothing but a successful outcome of their-our current mission and the overall well-being of his family.
And as usual, in the search for support and attempted solution to the things that troubled me, I turned to face my sweet Donatello, the inventor, the brains behind this operation, the worried brother and finally, my beloved boyfriend. He looked at me through a little, square, glass screen which was placed on a thin metal rod in front of his right eye. I instantly felt like I really needed to cry. But I held it back, as he took my hands into his and smiled the most loving and tender smile.
I rubbed my fingers against the glove-like cloth enveloping his palms, and traced the length of his arms all the way to his elbows, and then even higher, up to his shoulders. Our hug probably took a long while, but it felt like a split second to me. Clinging to him with all my body and soul, I couldn't find it in me to let go. He patiently waited for my tears to quit, and when they did, he steered his little eye-screen aside and softly pressed his lips to mine. He kissed my face all over and whispered words of reassurance into my ear. Slowly moving his fingers through the length of my hair, he patiently waited till my breath adjusted and matched his rhythm.
Clinging to him, I contentiously nodded, swearing on everything that was good in the world that under absolutely no circumstances will I step out of the Shellraiser… But they were going directly into the fire! They intended to face the Foot! Their legendary enemy, not less! This was not a mere patrol-the-city routine. This was an actual mission. The real thing! I could hardly hold myself together. It was so dangerous!!! I was dead worried. I was petrified…
He made me promise that at any sign of trouble I’d contact him immediately, then placed a delicate wireless earphone into my ear. He said there was a tiny microphone coming out of it and this way he’ll be able to hear everything I was saying.
“Now let's see if it works, shall we?" He smiled, pointing with his chin at the earphone, indicating for me to say something, then kissed my forehead and took several big steps away: "How's this? Can you hear me?" I nodded to the clear, but a bit electronic, sound of his voice. He smiled and stoutly went even farther, then asked again. I could still hear him perfectly.
"I can hear you perfectly, Donnie! I love you!"
His expression of intent concentration mitigated, and from the other side of the room, his tender, slightly high-pitched voice firmly made its way through the device, into my ears and stereophonically reached inside my brain, tickling my insides all the way to my toes: "I love you… more!"
But I didn't miss the slightly darker tint of his tone. He was as uneasy as I was, if not more.
Inside the Shellraiser, on our way, I could almost feel everybody's separate heartbeat. We kept so quietly to ourselves, nervous and unwilling to interrupt that bizarre relative quiet before the storm.
Leonardo was driving. Donnie, Mike and Raph took the roof tops. They weren't in the truck with us. The Jones' sat at the back, because of Casey's wheelchair situation. And April, this way she was closer to Donatello's controls station. Master Splinter sat in the front, to Leo's right. Usagi sat by my side. He was wearing black… eh, let's call it a 'body-suit'. His fur was completely covered and almost entirely hidden under the dark fabric. Even his face was only half seen behind the elastic mask.
Earlier tonight when he came out of Leo's room dressed like that… “Hazukashi!” - he said, “I feel like an imposter… " Poor rabbit. His honor, it seemed, was at its limit. His usual battle clothes, hakama and kimono, would have been too inconvenient, messy and cloggy for sneaking around the docks of NYC at the middle of the night. While ninja is the master of disguise, trained to be unseen and unheard, samurai is the visible threat representing pure intimidation, creating fear in the enemy's eyes. The honorable ronin was not accustomed to hiding. As a samurai, he was supposed to be not only seen, but conspicuous and feared in the battle field. Moreover, the rabbit wasn’t accustomed to use any 'ninja tricks' (that's what he called all Donatello's gadgets and devices). The Samurai are high-ranking warriors, therefore, Usagi was to announce his approach, act and fight nobly, and show unrestricted respect towards his opponent, not sneak behind the backs of criminal outlaws.
And so, Leo had to step in (a few days back), asking for April's and mine assistance with this delicate 'situation'. He couldn't let Usagi run around the city being the snowy freshness of glistening fluff! Even in the dark, ronin's beautiful fur radiated a soft beaming kind of presence. It was impossible not to spot him at the streets of nightly city. And as I said, he wasn't used to moving in the shadows posing furtiveness.
April suggested comfy, dark sportswear. I thought we could try costumes... (What? There're some high-quality ones, that stretch and could be even ordered per size, humanoid rabbits don't exactly shop at Niketown, you know). Eventually we collaborated, pulling hard at our imaginations, and with some minor adjustments, I’d say, we totally pulled it off. And the rabbit got a pair of tight stretchy running pants, a polo pullover with high collar, a pair of running shoes, ski mask - it only covered half the face and head. Needless to mention: all items were pitch black, to help the white rabbit dissolve into the night.
However, all this was not enough, because our stubborn ronin was very persistent about his ears - wouldn't accept the fact that they needed to be concealed as well, poking out of his head like a pair of obstinate white fluffy beams. Hats of any kind were out of question, because what’s the point of rabbit-ears if you damage the ‘super-power’ hearing in the process with some headgear. And so we had to improvise again, coming up with an idea to cover Usagi's beautiful fur (and I am saying this clutching my chest) with black washable hair rinse. As a result, we had what Mike and I called ‘cool facial camouflage’ - all fur on the upper half of his face, including the ears in question, dyed black, the ski mask took care of the rest.
Closely observing our creation, I reassuringly petted the rabbit on his tightly-wrapped-in-thick-fabric knee, saying: "I, for one, think you look good, Usagi!"
Ronin dubiously sneaked a short stare at me, shyly snickering, then met Leo's searching eyes in the back-view mirror. My immediate reaction, too, was to see what Leonardo might say. Our leader's gaze, determined and focused up until now, lost its battle-oriented concentration and mellowed interacting with Usagi's astir stare. And in the quivering blue of the turtle's eye I could recognize immeasurable love and adoration. But before he could say anything, minding his father sitting right next to him of course, Donnie's voice, delivering a save, came rather loudly out of the speakers, with addition of Mikey's excited cheering in the background:
"Heads up, guys! I think we have some action at the docks…", Usagi and I exchanged unsettled stares, as Donnie went on, "Leo! Raph's on his way to the Foot quarters as we speak! Mike and I are right above you… April! I'm sending you the coordinates now…"
"Yes! On it! It'll take just a sec.." she was feverishly hitting different keyboards and fixedly watching the screens, "searching, searching, search.. ok, receiving the coordinates … now! Got it!"
"Great! Everybody's clear on the plan, right? April, I need you at the controls at all times, if possible! Father, Casey - stay put! Leo, Usagi - we'll meet you up in half an hour!"
"Lin, sweetie…" I heard his voice suddenly clear in my ears, and it took me a second to figure out I was the only one who did. Donnie was broadcasting right into my ear-piece, "Lin-lin-love" I could hear him smiling through his heavy breathing, he was on the move, and I imagined him jumping over the rooftops above the Shellraiser, "Stay close to Master Splinter! Don't step out, okay? I'll see you very soon!" and before I could as much as blink, my boyfriend's voice was coming through the speakers again, for everyone to hear: "This is it! Good luck, guys!" and he was out.
Chapter 25: Chapter 25
We could see and hear all four of them on the variety of screens at the controls station. April would occasionally tune in on one or another, so Master Splinter, Casey and I could also catch up on what was going on.
Huge green fists, clutching the sai and crashing debris in what, I assumed, was the old headquarters of the Foot clan. Raphael was contentiously muttering and cursing under his nose.
Usagi, hardly visible, gracefully and airily running between the freight units and massive cargoes by the dark, dirty water, splashing at a distance. Full stealth mode. Only the sound of heavy breathing came out of the speakers. Leo's head-cam almost never lost the sight of the rabbit, following him everywhere.
Extreme heights of NYC's skyscrapers inevitably projected alarming pictures through Mikey’s head-set. One sky-diving jump after another, his acrobatic etudes were taking my breath away.
Donatello was following closely, however so much more carefully. And we could actually see how Mike appeared and disappeared from the view through the Brainiac's relatively steady head-cam.
"Mike! Come on, man (panting), stop fooling around! This is aggravating!" – Donatello's voice sounded more or less casual, even though the over-energetic light-green mutant just performed a head-stand, jumping above and over his head, landing on a rooftop across the street.
April pushed a button, exclaiming into the mic: "Michelangelo, seriously... How come all of this doesn't make you sea-sick? I mean, my head is spinning…"
"Dudette…" – shouted Mike, unaware that we could hear him perfectly fine, "It's like the first time I tasted pizza! Woo hoo.. the rush!!! (loud laughter) I can finally stretch my limbs a little! Yeah!" And much to poor Donatello's affliction, Mike was in the air again.
Master Splinter, to my left, shook his head, nervously fiddling with his long beard.
Not-so-discretely giggling into his fist, Casey put a hand on April’s knee: “He’s had it rough, babe. Let’im have some fun and breathe some fresh air for a change…”
Because of his injury, Michelangelo was 'imprisoned' inside the farm house and underground in the lair for a long time! I agreed with Casey, he must've missed this, all the action. He needed this instant thrill. But on the other hand, I was worried, and so were Splinter and April. Not to mention poor, traumatized Donatello: "Mikey!” - we heard him pleading: “We’re not here to have fun.. we’re on a mission, remember? Could you focus please…" His voice died away, as April, heavily sighing, switched back to Leonardo's cam, refocusing our attention on the leading team.
Leonardo was moving much faster now, closely following the ronin, no longer bothering to sneak behind walls or stay in the shadows. What were they doing? Was that the plan?
April frowned and anxiously exclaimed into the mic: "What are you doing, Leo?”
Casey's eyebrows met at the bridge of his nose: "Is it just me, or are they about to attack!?"
Panicking, I looked at Master Splinter. His gaze was focused on Usagi.
April pushed a button again, "Leo! What is going on there?”
“It's alright, April! We got something! There’s been a slight change of strategy… eh, due to the circumstances (heavy breathing) We're moving in.. eh, a little bit closer… just a little bit…"
We suddenly saw Usagi’s eyes up close, sparkling in the dim shine of the streetlights. He looked straight up at Leo and sharply waved his head. He was showing us something. Between some massive freight shipping containers, there was a wide open space filled with people. They were gathered round, dressed all in black, even their faces hidden away. The Foot ninja, I figured. The Foot formulated a circle around one very tall person enveloped inside a dark cape. A faint blue glow shone through holes and openings of that cape, as if the person hiding inside was all made of light. The shaman Donatello was talking about earlier, was this him?!
"Are you getting this?" Leo's voice cutting through my feverish imagination, addressed April again, "I think there are at least a hundred heads in here.. (deep sigh) Something tells me, this might be more serious than we expected! We’ll need some reinforcements, this might be…"
But we didn’t get to hear the rest, as he was suddenly cut off by Usagi, whose hushed voice was directed exclusively at Leonardo and barely made it through the speakers. Plus the rabbit was talking in Japanese! I couldn’t see his mouth, that part of his face was hidden by the ski mask. Understanding absolutely nothing of what he was saying, I watched his eyes, looking for some kind of reassurance. I instinctively glanced at Casey, who seemed to be at least as much confused as I was, as I figured he knew and understood situations like this better than me, having lots of experience with the guys and with past missions. Then all of us, April, Casey and I, simultaneously looked at Master Splinter, the only one of us who actually had a chance of understanding something here.
We watched the wise old rat unblinkingly stare at the screen, listening closely. His face becoming more and more rigid. And when Leo finally said – Tomo-domo itsumademo, the screen suddenly went off!
"What the..?! Leo!" April was slamming her hand on the mic button again, "Leo! God damn'it! Turn your head-set back on!! What are you doing??"
"Shimatta!" Splinter's expression was unrecognizable. His fists wrapped around his old cane, as he tensed up all over and his fur stood up as if electrified. His uncharacteristic encrazed eyes scared me to death: "How could have I missed this?!? My dreams! They were trying to tell me something.. but I, the old fool.. I wouldn’t listen!" He looked straight in front of him, but it was clear that he couldn’t see. He started whispering something incomprehensible and nervously pulling his beard. I stood up in confusion and tried to get him to settle down, but he only shoved me away, mattering something at half a voice again and again. Something that sounded like: Shimshu.. ?
"They were all… they were all true?!" With an unmistakably experienced promptitude, he performed a set of hand-gestures after which he sat down right there, where he was, on the floor of the Shellraiser, and chanting some mantras (I’ve heard him do this before on several occasions) went into deep meditation.
“Leo! Leo! Come in, Leo!” April kept pushing that button: “Leonardo, answer me right now, or so help me…”
“Babe, relax!” Casey gently touched April’s cheek to try and soothe her. Even though his own expression was nothing close to relaxation.
April’s crushed look did not make me feel any easier. She stared at her husband and then at Splinter with a confused, horrified grimace on her face. Then shook her head as if trying to remember something. And all of a sudden she caught Casey by the shoulders and shouted: "What did he say? Did you hear what he said?? Was it Shinju? Did he just say Shinju?!?" Her widened eyes met mine and I nodded automatically.
I fearfully looked at them both, unsure what to do or even think: "Did you understand any of this?!"
Casey shook his head: "I dunno… But what of it? Leo's gear must've malfunctioned or something.. let’s wait a bit and I'm sure he'll come right back…"
But April's face was not relaxing, holding onto her husband as if he was her last hope, she was not even listening anymore. Looking at the ninjitsu master, now levitating just above the floor, she wiped her face with a shaky hand and slowly pronounced: "Shinju means Lover's Suicide!"
The cam suddenly went back on and we saw Leo! Usagi wasn't in sight.. anywhere. It was just Leo… on his knees… his hands tied back behind his shell. Blood dripping from bruises all over his furious face. Four Foot soldiers were holding him down, but Fearless was not ready to give up, struggling to get up, and completely ignoring the katana blades pointed right at his face, one slowly drawing a thin red line along his neck. Blood running down and dripping to the ground below...
"The orange one! We need the orange kame!" Came a voice with heavy Japanese accent from behind the camera. Someone was holding Leo’s head-set, to show us, to get the message through: "Exchange with this one! If no -- he dies!"
"NO! Don't listen to them! I’m fine… Mikey, if you can hear me, don't even think ab..." Leonardo’s voice died out as he was furiously hit straight on the head by one of the Foot. I saw blood streaming down from Leo's eyes instead of tears. "No.." he hissed, "Keep away! Don’t come after me…" another loud thud on the scull and Leo lost consciousness, falling down backwards, pinning one of the Foot soldiers with his shell.
“Bring the orange one! Tomorrow! Same place… same time!”
After that all we could hear was white noise...
The expression of horror on April’s face probably closely mirrored mine, we were panicking. And I didn’t even realize how my nails dug into my palms.
Where the shell was Usagi?! What happened out there? I was blankly staring at the dead screen, losing it. I just felt so useless and weak, tears of fear and anger streaming down my face. And it was suddenly so quiet! Nothing disturbed the present stillness of the Shellraiser. Or maybe it was just that my ears were ringing...
When I eventually, more or less, came to my senses, I looked around and saw that Casey had dissapeared. One moment he was beside April and I, shouting at the screen, insane with blind fury, the next he was just gone, his wheelchair standing abandoned at the corner of the Shellraiser, the blanket negligently thrown to the floor...
Master Splinter, still levitating slightly above the floor, eyes shut, a dark shadow on his face, his hands going on automat, gesturing a combination of signs none stop. He was in another place, far away from here… It's like it was all a bad dream, I couldn't understand anything that was happening around me. Just kept staring at the old rat. Can he see or hear any of this horror??
"Lin, can you hear me??"
Was this really happening? Wait a minute… someone was calling my name…
"LINA!" Donnie's voice finally made it, reaching inside the blockade in my mind, and my faltering consciousness clang to that sweet sound like a magnet.
"Donnie! Donatello, omigosh!" I finally became aware of my ear-piece again.
"Ah!!! Thank God! Thank God! Thank goodness!!" I heard my boyfriend's voice chant on the other side, "Are you alright? Are you safe??"
"Where are you, Donnie? Did you see ... Leo!! OMG! Did you..?"
"Yes, yes, sweetie..” - he said bitterly: “I saw, but right now I really need to know you're okay! Just tell me you're safe! I’m on my way…"
"I'm fine! We’re fine…” I looked around me again, “Oh, wait, Casey's gone... I don't know where..." I searched with my eyes and saw April, she was leaning onto the mic, shouting, feverishly pushing buttons, "April is here beside me... eh, she's crying!" April was calling Raph’s name through her tears. My own hot tears were uncontrollably dropping onto my shirt, "Oh, Donnie, what are we going to do?! You're not going over there alone, right?!? Right???" The horrid realization hit me so hard all a once, "Donatello!"
He was silent for a moment, then his cracking voice reached my ears again: "No, not at the moment... Right now I'm coming to get you and April out of there! Master Splinter, is he still in the vehicle??"
"Yes! Yes, he's here.. but he's in some kind of a trance... I think… He's levitating... ”
"I see, he's trying to reach Leo in the astral plane.. Ok, Love, listen: stay put, I'll be there in two minutes tops!!"
"Ah! Donnie..." I didn't know what to think, or how to assist. What could I do to be useful? I needed to be an active member of this group and actually help with the mission! And Leo!! He was there! Captured!! I had to do SOMETHING... But wait... "Don! Mikey... is he still with you? Tell me he's with you!"
There was a frustrated groan on the other side: "No... I lost him… There’s no signal. I think he crashed his EA. I don’t know where he is!”
Chapter 26: Chapter 26
So the Foot had kept their bargain and let Leonardo go, as soon as Michelangelo presented himself at the exchange point. However, being the Foot, a vile, despicable clan of assholes and scumbags, they grabbed Mike and disposed of poor Leo, throwing his unconscious body into the Hudson. And, if Raph and Casey didn't get there on time, Fearless would still be floating out there, in filthy waters, slowly swaying in his own blood…
There was something seriously twisted going on with the Foot. I mean, first there was Casey. They almost cut his legs off! Then the Shaman? Glowy blue light? Then the thing with Leo… and Michelangelo, who is, apparently, right at the middle of all this mess. The Foot need him for something! But what?
I felt like I was out of air. There was so much to do in the lair: hours upon hours of assisting Donatello with Leonardo's injuries; watching Splinter lose it every time we'd have a breaking-point and having to attend to him as well; yelling at Casey, talking him out of running around the city with Raphael, to try and keep his legs out of any more damage; sick-worrying for Mikey, feeling so useless and absolutely unable to do anything to help…
When Donnie got us home, Master Splinter finally snapped out of his trance, and analyzing some of the facts, assured us that the Foot would keep Mikey alive. At least for the time being… He also said something about Usagi and how he was too blind to see what was really happening… Naturally, I didn't catch all of what was going on. Usagi had disappeared… And we didn't know how much time we had on our hands.
Poor Master Splinter! What he must be going through! One son deadly injured, another missing. And I can't even imagine how many times before he had to shed fur, worrying for his family's safety like this…
After Leonardo was medically treated and left to rest, Casey got some of Dr. Don's attention as well, mostly by being scolded for his recklessness with his injuries and the whole running off situation.
"What were you thinking... you hotheaded half-wit! Leaving them all alone in the Shellraiser like that… They may have been hurt or kidnapped or worse…" – Donatello was muttering under his beak all the while he was patching up vigilante's legs, while April and I exchanged glances.
"Ugh! Who was even thinkin' straight, Donnie?!" - barked Raphael in Casey's defense, "What's done is done! And Splinter was 'der! They're o'right, he's o'right, and we got Leo home.. so now all we hav'ta' do is go get Mikey, 'cause my sai're thirsty, itching ta' make some Foot shit-faces bleed…"
I literally had no idea what we were going to do. And no one would explain anything to me, either. Donatello would only wearily shake his head at my questions, perhaps because he didn't entirely understand everything himself (somehow I doubted that very much). Or maybe he just didn't want to burden me, thinking I might not be able to comprehend the situation, since all of this nightmare-mission-business was new to me. I didn't push. He had enough burdening his shell as it was.
Changing another cold compress on Leo's forehead, deep in thought, I was all of a sudden taken aback by a weak, but persistent touch of his hand, catching my shoulder. His wheezy voice barely made it to my ears: "Mike?" He tried to pull at the bandages clenching his neck. This was the first time he actually said something. Until now he could only motionlessly moan in pain.
I softly took his hand, meaning to put it back on the side of his body, to prevent him from messing up the bandages, but apparently Leo was stronger than me even in his current state. Absently he pulled me into him, and Donatello immediately came to my rescue.
"Shhh, brother… relax, don't talk now... everything is under control! You are home. It's okay." Skillfully and elegantly, in a manner only he was capable of, blocking his brother's attempts to straighten and sit up, Donatello carefully pushed the bandages on his patient's neck back to their place and slightly pulled them a little tighter, "You've suffered some severe blows, Leo: the injury on your neck is very fragile! Not to mention the catastrophic state of.. well, your entire body!"
"Donnie! (dry cough) Where's Mikey?" Leo's hand rushed toward his bandaged eyes, but Don was quicker.
"Don't touch that!" Pulling Leonardo's arms away, he leaned into him with all his body weight, pushing him back to the lying position. "Sorry, Leo! You will have to be more patient! Let your body rest! Don't make me stuff you up with sedatives!"
But Leo wouldn't stop. Donatello wasn't about to let go either, pinning his struggling brother to the mattress. "There's nothing you can do at the present moment to make this situation any better, Leo! You have done enough, so please… don't make me use any unnecessary means to keep you down!"
Leonardo's arms stubbornly fumbled about for several more seconds until slowly and unwillingly releasing Donatello from his grip, as it became crystal clear to him, and to me, that in his condition there really was no reason to question his brother's tactics.
Donatello was taking full charge of the situation, with rigid expression and firm and indisputable tone, speaking to Leonardo like that... Who was the authority at this moment? Who would be calling the shots? Accepting (quicker than I expected), the fact that Donnie was in charge now, Leonardo let go and laid back, sealing his lips, and waiting for his brother's instructions.
After making sure his point was thoroughly processed and understood, Donatello took a seat by Leonardo's bedside and briefly delivered the latest news, in a calm, imperturbable manner, carefully explaining the difficult situation we found ourselves in: "I'm gonna make it short" he cleared his throat "Michelangelo turned himself in, to the Foot, in exchange for your life, Leo! Raph and Casey are out looking for his whereabouts as we speak."
Poor Leonardo went from frustrated to appalled in a matter of seconds. His expression of instant horror made me shudder, since I figured he was blaming himself for the dire outcome of this mission…
"Leonardo! My son!" In came Master Splinter, with great pain mixed with some amount of relief in his eyes. He quickly approached the bed, took Leo's hand in his, and placed his other hand on his son's forehead. Leonardo turned his head. He couldn't see, but his blinded gaze was unquestionably connected to his father's.
After Leo was brought back by Casey and Raph, the old rat became almost completely incomprehensible, spending all of his time by his prodigy's bedside. For the most part, in deep meditation.
Allowing them to have a moment, Donatello procrastinated for a while, but then, taking a deep breath, went on with his short info report: "Mikey's astral energy is strong! Master Splinter assured us of that!" he looked in the direction of their father. Splinter was with his back to us, clearly not listening to what was happening around him, all his attention tuned on Leonardo.
"Father…" Leo's voice sounded a million miles away. "I failed…" His body began slightly convulsing, "Mikey…"
My heart throbbed at the sight of Fearless Leader looking miserable, in such pain, and completely lost. I touched Donnie's shoulder and looked into his eyes. I felt like I was about to cry, but held myself together, begging with my eyes for my boyfriend to make it all better, as he always knew how. Don offered me a short, hapless smile, and a quick kiss to my forehead. Then he declared the inevitable in a calm, placid voice: "Leo, I'm sorry… we lost all trail of Usagi…"
"Leo! You're awake!" Running up to us, April carefully pushed in between me and Don to get next to Splinter, who was sitting on the edge of Leo's bed, "Oh, god, I'm so glad you're back with us! And I hope you can explain what the hell happened out there…"
Donatello shook his head, clearly disapproving of what she was asking. Paying no attention to him, April went on: "Why did you attack? Why wouldn't you wait? That wasn't the plan, Leo… why didn't you follow the PLAN?!"
"I…" Leonardo's expression hardened, as he gasped for air, coughing and wheezing.
Splinter's sharp, lightning-like gaze darted towards his smartest son. Donnie immediately got up and approached the upset woman.
"That's enough, April!" He gently grabbed her shoulders, pushing her away from his brother's bed, "Leo is in no condition to deal with this right now, as I'm sure you understand… Let's leave him be…"
April stared at Don with a bitter expression on her face for a better half of a minute. She was about to say something else, but he offered her a sheepish smile, which clearly begged for compliance. But she fretfully placed her hand on his shoulder, as if to say: wait, what's wrong with you? We have to figure this out! But at that moment Master Splinter began quietly chanting. Same way he's been doing for the past few hours while Leo was still unconscious. Leonardo remained very still, listening to his father's voice, here and there trying to join in, his lips moving almost without a sound. There was nothing else for us to do but to get out of their way.
"Right now Leo is, presumably, unable to perceive what we're saying to him in full capacity" explained Donatello, when the three of us were headed toward the kitchen "He has suffered a very serious concussion, the side effects of which I'm not yet able to determine. We can't know the actual damage... not yet! (he sighed) We need time! He needs time! And more importantly- rest!And lots of it…" He lowered his eyes and shook his head bitterly, "Leo cannot help us get Mikey back! Mike is our priority right now! So why don't we leave the investigation for a later occasion, April…"
The redhead gazed at me, asking for support, with a look of: can you believe this? on her face. I looked back at her in total frustration, finding nothing to say. Don was, of course, right. I mean, we had absolutely no idea what Leo was going through, or what kind of damage he has suffered. Both April and I felt like we were absolutely useless in this situation, and as it drove me crazy, it must be even worse for her. But it was hard for us in a different manner, so to say. For April, it was the irrationality of Leonardo's actions: out of character sudden diversion from a well calculated plan, a desperate attack, which made no sense, so rushed and injudicious. For me, it was the mysterious disappearance of the ronin. The way Splinter referred to it… what was going on? Clearly, only Leo could shed some light on that. He must know something we don't… But that didn't help us to get Mikey back!
I've noticed how April seeked understanding with me. I suppose I was the only sane person in this whole craziness for her. Probably because I was incredibly inexperienced, and therefore absolutely objective, working hard to do my best helping, and more importantly, not getting in the way.
The two of us never spent so much time within each other's company before. Now we were all over one another, crying, worrying, biting nails… She was my older sister, walking me through, every step of the way; I was her anchor of tangibility, pulling her back every time she'd almost drown inside the inner darkness of her traumatizing memories.
She ended up telling me about what happened in Japan, about hers and Casey's life away from NY and the turtles. She kept talking as if there was a bottomless well of unsaid things within her soul. Things I felt she wanted to say to the turtles. Things she kept mostly to herself up until now.
At first I just listened to her, hungrily eating up every bit of information she'd offer. Then, after a while, I became reassured enough and started asking questions. I wanted to know more about the other side of her story, the one that involved Raphael… and Donatello! But every time I mentioned the hothead, there would appear a particularly strange look on her face. She'd smile at me, but wouldn't let it out.
It's hard to explain why, but it was clear to me that April's feelings for Raph, even though seemingly indistinct, were stronger than I at first thought and theorized them to be. She clearly longed for him. In fact, she would've given anything to be forgiven by him, since she was sure he still kept her past actions and choices deep down in the very center of his aching heart, like a sharp blade of poisoned knife still stuck inside the old wound, not allowing it to close or heal, cutting closer to the main artery bit by bit as the time passed.
She unmistakably loved the turtle with every single nerve of her being. And there was nowhere to run from this. This connection was obviously too strong to dissolve into nothingness, like two soul-mates always destined to end up together. No matter how far apart or how long ago. And shouldn't there be only one such person in the world at a given time? For all this love and devotion? Or else people would burst in flames, burdening, submissive, insane. And as I listened to her, I wondered why she chose to keep her grip not only on Casey- her lawful husband, and Raphael- supposedly the love of her life, but also on Donatello- the one whose heart she so dismissively broke.
Looking into his eyes I saw my own reflection – image of stress and agitation. He looked so tired. Even more than usual. Returning my worried stare, with the same validity, mirroring my own, Donatello pulled me onto his lap. I looked him all over, then slowly and very softly kissed his eyelids, each at a time, causing him to close and rest his eyes, while I was gently massaging his temples. He pushed his hands around my waist, leaning back onto his shell and allowing me to do to him whatever I wished.
I cautiously kissed his warm dry lips. He kissed me back and his hands pushed me closer, transferring my weight onto him. Gently he took a hold of my palms and brought them towards his face, nuzzling and blandly kissing along their length. I moved my hands to his beautifully muscled green shoulders and towards the back of his neck, took off his bandana, and everything else…
A long sigh of timely mollification escaped his lips and I couldn't help but sense his unrest. Like an uncharged battery, he was unable to go on any longer. It's been such a long, devastating day! He needed to rest and start anew. To gather his thoughts and recharge his energy. He was needed now to lead this team, think up strategies, tell everyone what to do and where to be… at least until Leo came around, the clan was presently in Donatello's hands!