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Trust Me.

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Splash.

Your foot hit a puddle as you ran through the city streets. You mentality cringed as the water soaked through your cargo pants, but, that was the least of your problems right now. Right now, you needed to get away, away from him. The worn street lights flickered on and off, casting dancing shadows on the pavement as you ran. Your heart pounded in your throat as you continued to run, you had to cross that drawbridge. You reached the bridge and continued to sprint. You were almost across. Almost safe. You gathered your courage to take a glance behind you. Nothing. You couldn't see anyone on your tail, but you wouldn't be able to see him would you? He was like the shadows.

Click click click.

'Crap the bridge!' You pulled your attention back to the moving ground as you heard the metal shifting, the bridge is rising. You tried to run faster, you had to get across. You tried to ignore the pain surging through your legs, the feeling of fire in your lungs.

The cold wet wind stung as it hit your face. The space continued to grow between the two halves of the bridge, could you make that jump? You would have to. You ran for your life, and as you came closer you realized there was no humanely way you could make it across that distance of a leap. Screeching to a halt, you almost didn't have enough time to stop. The toes of your feet hung dangerously over the edge. You stumbled back a step trying to gain your balance, the wind up here was strong. You doubled over as you tried to catch your breath. Everything burned.

"Damn it!" You panted heavily as you looked at the swirling dark cold water beneath you.

A chill ran through your spine, he was behind you. You could feel him watching. You wouldn't go down without a fight. You reached into the satchel that hugged your body and pulled out a knife. Taking a deep breath you spun around to throw the blade. But before you had the chance a ninja star whipped past your head and knocked the knife out of your grasp. You watched as the figure drew closer out of the shadows. It was him. It didn't look like him, but it was. Leonardo.

"I thought you were dead." You said glancing back at the water.

"No." He answered softly.

"I wish you were." you replied coldly.

"You don't mean that." Leo took a step towards you.

"Don't." You warned, holding out your arm to distance him.

Leonardo froze, he took a step backwards. You both stood there in silence. Clenching your jaw, you sized him up. There was no way you could fight him. He looked different. He looked older, more tired. Bigger... still not as big as Raphael but.. damn, his muscles were bigger. Maybe that came from age you thought. He dressed from head to toe in black. On his shoulder was The Foot Clan patch, your stomach turned just seeing it. He wore a black leather mask that covered the top half of his head, but it didn't hide those eyes. Those striking blue eyes that made your heart do flips. But even those had changed somehow. They looked as stormy as the water beneath you. They looked... sad.

"That's a good look for you." You said, finally braking the tense silence. "Who ya trying to be? Zorro?"

Leo smirked and looked at the ground. He shook his head, and let out a little chuckle. He looked back up at you with longing.

"I missed you." He said taking a step closer.

"Get away from me." You said taking a step back.

"Y/n... I'm not- I'm not going to hurt you." He said putting his hands up.

He continued to approach you slowly. You looked behind you at the darkness below. No way you could survive that. Maybe you could run past him. You stepped backwards and your footing slipped. You reached out as you fell back. But you didn't fall into the icy water like you had thought, but instead you opened your eyes to find yourself being held up by Leo's arms.

"Careful." He scolded gently.

"Get off me!" You snapped as you pushed him away. He looked hurt.

"Y/n.. I-" Leo looked at the ground in thought. "It's not what you think." He said softly.

"It's not? Oh thank goodness!" You said sarcastically. "Because I really thought you left us!"

"No. I-" was all he could get out before you interrupted him.

"Six years Leo!" You yelled.

"What?" He said looking up at you.

"Six years. You've been gone six years... we thought you were dead." You tried to fight the tears threatening to fall.

"I... I wasn't aware it's been that long." He said sadly.

"Well it has. Working for The Foot? You're a traitor." You said bitterly. "You should have stayed dead." You turned your back to him and closed your eyes.

"I'm doing this for you guys, for the city." He said defensively.

"The city?" You scoffed. "Look around Leo! The city is in pieces! It has been since the Shredder took over!" You yelled waving your arms.

"Do you think I want this? I want to be with you guys!" He yelled back. He let out a sigh. "I want to be with you." He finished softer.

You froze, when did he get so close? You could feel his body heat. You turned around and your breath hitched. You were inches apart. He looked down at you with a deep yearning. You saw the pain behind those eyes, those stormy blue eyes. You could feel his breath. It's strange how you naturally wanted to draw closer into him, muscle memory. You fought those feelings however and stood your ground. You put your hands on his chest to push him back but he didn't move.

"It's the only way. It had to be done from the inside... I'm so close." He said looking into your eyes.

"You betrayed us Leo." You said hurt.

"I've been doing this to protect you guys." He said sternly.

"Protect us? Tell that to Donnie's robotic arm. Were you protecting him?" You hissed. He winced at your words.

"It was either his arm or his life." He replied sadly looking away from you.

"So what are you going to do now? Kill me? Take me to Shredder?" You said coldly.

He looked back at you, the pain of your words were obvious on his face. His hand reached up and you flinched. Leonardo let out a sad sigh.

"I would never hurt you Y/n." He said softy.

Leo stroked your cheek tenderly. Then leaned in closer. You closed your eyes and let out a shaky breath. Your lips were only inches apart. He breathed in deep, savoring your scent.

"I really did miss you." He breathed.

You didn't reply, you couldn't. So many emotions fought inside your chest. You hated him, you loved him. You wished he was dead, you wished he was home with you. You wanted to scream. You heard him swallow and clear his throat. He was hurt. He was fighting back his emotions. And you knew it. You knew him. At least you did, but it's s been six years. Could you trust him? You missed his body, you missed his lips, you missed his smell. You had to fight every muscle in your body not to kiss him. You had missed Leonardo. And it hurt. A tear rolled down your cheek and he wiped it gently. He placed is forehead on yours and closed his eyes.

"I need you to trust me." As he spoke his lips lingered too close to yours.

"I... I can't" you whispered.

"I love you." He whisper back.

A sound went off from his belt and he pulled out a phone. He frowned.

" Yeah, I'm on my way- Of course, I took care of her." He hung up the phone then looked back to you.

You looked at him with pleading eyes. He smiled sadly. He placed his hands on your shoulders and rubbed gently with his thumbs.

"Trust me." He said placing a kiss on your forehead.

Then with a thrust he pushed you off the bridge. Your eyes went wide with shock as you fell back watching him as you descended towards the icy muck beneath. But you didn't hit the water... you landed on something soft. Bags of trash cushioned your landing, you looked around to see you had fallen onto a garbage boat. You looked back towards the bridge but he was gone. Back to the shadows.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

"He had sad eyes!?" Raphael stormed back and forth in the kitchen. "What the hell Is that supposed ta mean?!"

Coming back to the lair that night you weren't greeted by the warmest smiles. In fact, you were in trouble. The boys didn't like when you went on missions alone, not that you blamed them. It was a dangerous city now.

You sat at the kitchen table while Raphael paced around restlessly, all the while chewing you out. Donnie sat beside you with a screwdriver tinkering with his arm. You blocked out Raph's "fit" as you watched Don work, the components moving under the metal making a slight buzzing sound. Mikey sat astride a backwards chair across from you, trying to keep the peace in the room.

Don placed his screwdriver down and lifted his glasses so he could rub his eyes. "Calm down Raph, let her talk." He sighed.

Raph looked at Donnie in disbelief. "Calm down!? She could've been killed!" He yelled, turning away in a huff.

"I said I was sorry." You said annoyed about the whole situation.

"Yeah bro, she's safe! Nothing happened, cut her some slack." Mikey shot you a sympathetic look.

Raphael turned back around to face you. "Ya shouldn't have crossed into the borderlands by yourself!" He crossed his arms.

"Raph-" you tried to reason.

"No!" He growled slamming his fist in the table.

You jumped up, throwing your chair to the side. "I'M NOT A FUCKING CHILD!" You squared off with him.

"Whoah whoah whoah!" Mikey jumped up putting himself between the two of you.

"Naw, naw, no." You pushed at Mikey to move. "Raphael wants to be big kahuna... Common Raph, ya mad? Hit me with your best shot!" You got in his face.

"Guys come ooooon!" Mikey begged, looking to Donatello for help.

"I'm not gonna fight ya brat." Raph glared at you. "You'd get hurt." He finished smugly.

"Come at me!" You Growled, shoving at his chest.

Raphael puffed out his chest. "Ya got a death with or sumthin!?" He growled back in your face.

A loud crack made everyone jump. "ENOUGH." Donatello ordered, his fist had struck the table causing an indentation to form on the surface from the impact.

Everyone stared at Donnie, startled by his outburst.

"Both of you sit down." He commanded.

You and Raphael both looked at him defensively. "But-"

"NOW." He gave the two of you a warning look.

The both of you sat down quietly at the table, Mikey watched with wonder in his eyes. Donnie let out a tired exhale, leaning forward on the table.

"You're BOTH being childish." Donatello scolded.

"She's the one sneaking around." Raph pointed a finger towards you.

"Because you wouldn't have done it!" You crossed your arms.

"Enough with the bickering!" Donatello threw his arms in the air. "You two are being assholes!We're a family...we're all we got..." Don finished with a desperate sigh, sliding down into a chair.

Raphael was still stewing, he ground his jaw as he thought. You knew you had to take the high road here, you slumped down further in your chair and let out a heavy sigh.

"I'm sorry Raph...I just-" You looked down at your lap.

Raphael's expression softened when he saw the hurt on your face. He looked at his brother's and they motioned for him to make up with you. They argued silently back and forth until Raph gave in. Raphael let out a groan, uncrossing his arms.

"Shit y/n..." Raphael rubbed his tired face. "Look...We're a team... ya don't have ta do it alone."

"I had to know." You said in a small voice.

"No more secrets guys." Donatello stated firmly making eye contact with everyone. Everybody quietly nodded in agreement.

"Welp...know we know." Raphael stood up rolling his shoulders. "He's a fuckin' traitor." He muttered with disgust leaving the kitchen.

"I really am sorry Don..." You sheepishly looked at the turtle in purple.

"Just, promise me y/n you wont go to The District alone again?" He gave you a pleading look. Partially from worry, but mostly he was just exhausted and wanted this night to be over already.

"Technically, I didn't make it all the way to The Distri-" You stopped yourself when Don breathed in sharply, he wasn't in the mood for your technicalities. "I promise." You finished apologetically.

Don looked relieved at your answer. "Good." He said standing up. "I better go check on Raph." He sighed making his way around the table towards the exit.

"Night mom." You smiled teasingly towards him.

Don stopped by your chair and placed his hand on your shoulder giving it a light squeeze. "You know Raph's only tough on you because he worries about you?"

You leaned your head towards his arm, resting your cheek on Donnie's hand. "I know..." you answered.

"We all do." Don added on to his previous statement thoughtfully.

"I know... I Love you Don. Get some rest okay?" You smiled at him reassuringly.

"Love you too, and I will." He yawned, giving you one more squeeze before heading out of the kitchen.

"You sure it was him?" Mikey spoke up now that the others were gone.

You gave Mikey a serious look. "Positive." You confirmed.

Michelangelo looked at the ground in thought, then back to you with a hopeful expression.

"You think we can trust him?" He asked with a twinkle in his eyes.

You wanted to trust Leo so badly, to not crush Mikey's innocent hope and say yes, but you just couldn't.

"Honestly...I don't know Mikey." You looked at him sadly.

"Oh..." the twinkle in his eyes were quickly replaced with pain. "...I guess I better go to bed too..." He stood up, placing the chair back under the table.

"Good Night, Mikey." You smiled holding out your arms.

Mikey gladly excepted the hug and held you tight. "Night, Sweetcheeks." He hummed in your ear.

Michelangelo left and you sat at the table alone, trying to process everything that had occurred that evening. You still felt numb about the whole ordeal, it would probably hit you later. When you were in bed, or in the shower, thats when the emotions would kick in and the tears would fall.

You closed your eyes, remembering the feeling of Leo's body so close to yours, the memory of his lips lingering by your own lips. You reached up and touched your face, imagining him touching you again. You let out a shallow breath. Opening your eyes you furrowed your brows remembering falling. He pushed you off that damned bridge... Leonardo pushed you off a bridge! But...you didn't hit the water did you?You wanted to believe so badly that he knew you would land safely. That it was all apart of his plan. Leo was always so good at planning after all. You wanted to believe that he knew about that boat. You wanted to trust in him...

Feeling drained of all energy you stood up, grabbing your satchel to head to your room. The strap slipped out of your grasp and the bag fell to the floor. You cursed and contemplated just leaving it there under the table till the morning. Deciding against it, you groaned at having to crouch down to pick it up. Getting down on your knees and reaching for the sack, you paused when you noticed something sticking out of the bag that wasn't yours.

"What the-" You curiously mumbled.

Chapter Text

Sitting on the makeshift bunk, you examined the little vial of black liquid. Apparently Leo had slipped it into your bag, but why? Attached to the small vial was a note, it read:

 

 

At midnight The Whispering Willows still sing their tune.

 

 

You frowned processing the note, he couldn't mean- No, you weren't going to play his game. You needed to show Donnie, he would know what to do. You had all agreed, no secrets.

With a swift shove at the bed, you hopped off the top bunk landing with a firm thud. Quickly, you grabbed your bag and threw it around your body as you left the room. Making your way past the living area, or at least what you deemed the living area, Mikey looked up at you and smiled.

"Feeling better today dude?" Mikey sat up from his laying position on the floor. He had comics scattered around his legs.

"Yeah boo, thanks." You smiled at him sweetly. "Where's Don?"

Mikey shrugged his shoulders and went back to reading.

"Doooon" you called out, turning the corner to his lab.

Donatello sat at a desk in the corner of the the small room. He was tinkering with a pile of gears and metal when you walked in. He looked up and shot you a welcoming smile.

"Y/n! Perfect timing, I need supplies. Can you do that for me?" He rolled his chair to the counter behind his desk and grabbed a notebook off of it. "Here's a list." He scribbled down a few more items.

Nodding, you grabbed the list from him and examined it. "We needed groceries anyways." You confirmed.

"Take Raph." It wasn't so much a request, but a command. Donnie went back to what he was doing, then stopped in thought and looked back to you. "Did you need me?"

"I think Leo left this in my bag." You held out the small vial.

Donnie quickly grabbed it, pulling his magnifying scope down to examine it. You stood there awkwardly as he made strange sounds lost in thought. You held back a snort watching his tongue hang out of his mouth idly. He could look so ridiculous sometimes.

"Interesting." He mumbled to himself.

"Do you know what it is?" You interrupted his thoughts.

"No clue." Donnie frowned, looking down at the strange object through the googles on the tip of his snout. "Was this the only thing?" He gave his attention back to you.

"Actually-" Clutching the note Leo left you, you lifted your arm towards donnie only to stop midway. You stood there with your mouth open, unsure why you hesitated. Clearing your throat you casually put your hands in your pockets. "Actually, yeah. That..that was it." You smiled, avoiding eye contact.

"Oooookay." Donnie spoke more to himself than you.

You could feel his eyes studying you, and you hated the feeling that was gathering in your stomach. Why did you lie? That was needless, and stupid. You scolded yourself mentally.

"Imma get gone before it gets too late, can you think of any other junk ya need?" You tried to change the subject, walking backwards towards the doorway.

"Uh...nope" He answered absentmindedly. "Thanks." He turned his attention off you back to the vile in his hands.

"Mhm." You hummed, turning quickly and leaving the room.

Once you reached the other side of the doorway, you leaned against the wall. You looked over to where Mikey was resting before, and gave a sigh of relief to see he had left. You were alone. Letting out a deep breath, you rubbed at your neck where sweat had started to form.

"Shit y/n" You breathed out annoyed. "What's your deal?"

Pulling out the note you read it again slowly, letting your eyes burn every word into your brain. You let out a bitter scoff and crumbled the paper into a wad, throwing it across the room.

"Sorry Leo...I'm not your pawn." You mused. Straightening up, you left to go find Raph.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

You climbed up the ladder to what you deemed the lookout, or what Raphael would claim his workout zone. In truth it was more of a glorified tree house, minus the tree. No one really went up there except for the turtle in red, and that's where he spent most his time, alone.

"Common Lughead!" You yelled peeking your head through the floor hatch.

Raphael let out an annoyed grunt, and put down his massive weights with a loud thud.

"What're ya going on about now?" He mumbled, walking over and helping you up with one swift tug.

"Donnie boy has some errands for us to run." You smiled, walking over to the window to look out.

"Was kinda in the middle of my reps..." Raph grumbled, wiping the sweat from his face with an old rag.

"Yeah well..." you shrugged. "Tooooo bad I guess?"

Raph responded with a snort, throwing the rag back over his shoulder.

"We better hurry if we're gonna beat curfew." You said patting his shell, as you walked past him towards the floor hatch once more.

"Yeah, yeah. Give me a minute." Raphael shook his head.

"Hurry up, Numbnuts." You said climbing through the hatch.

"Asshole." Raphael threw his sweat rag at you.

Ducking your head, the rag missed your face and you looked back to him smugly.

"Love ya too big guy." You winked.

He rolled his eyes, and grumbled something inaudible as he turned his back towards you.

"Meet ya by ooooold yeller." You sung, and with that you disappeared.

       

 

                             - - -

 

 

With a firm pull, you dragged the tarp off the old bike. Dirt flew in the air and you mumbled curses as some managed to get in your mouth. Spitting out the dirt, you wiped at your tongue with your jacket sleeve.

"Nasty." You playfully kicked at the wheel as if the inanimate object had done it on purpose.

The motorcycle was a shade of yellow that had seen better days, the paint chipped and dirty. There were rust spots here and there. It was old, and bulky, but boy, could that baby fly. Old yeller had gotten you out of many a pickle.

"Ya done making google eyes with the bike?" Raphael teased as he approached, swinging a duffle bag over the back of the motorcycle and wrapping bungee cords around it.

"And what are you supposed to be?" You counter teased, noticing that Raphael had changed his clothes.

He now sported a pair of black worn jeans, clunky boots. A dark hoody, and a black leather jacket over top. Sunglasses set on top his head, and of course a toothpick rest between his sneering lips.

"That your tough guy outfit?" You joked crossing your arms.

"Everything I wear is a tough guy outfit." Raphael smirked, turning to you with mischief in his eyes. "Is that your annoying brat outfit?"

"Har har." You rolled your eyes and he chuckled.

Joking aside, you knew indeed that was the outfit he wore when he wanted to look like a badass. Which meant that Raphael was worried about something, that, or the turtle just wasn't in the mood to be messed with today. You were leaning towards the latter.

Raph mounted the bike, and threw a helmet towards you with more force than you had anticipated. You caught it with a huff.

"Watch it." You grumbled climbing on behind him, and putting on the helmet.

"Tighten up, buttercup." Raphael chuckled.

The old bike bolted forward like a thunderstorm. You barely had enough time to grab hold of Raph before being jerked back. You squeezed your thighs tight to the motorcycle to keep from flying off.

"ASSHOLE!" You hollered at his back, punching his shell.

It was impossible to see his face behind his blacked out helmet, but you knew he was laughing. You wanted to stay mad, but secretly you thought it was funny. Leaning forward into his back, you relaxed your grip with your legs. Holding onto his leather jacket with tight fist, you let your head rest against his shell. The air passed swiftly by your body, and you closed your eyes enjoying the sensation. The open space that allowed you to let yourself relax. You would never tell Raphael, but it was moments like these you cherished. These moments when you were bonding with him more than he could ever know. Moments when you felt safe. When you closed your eyes, you could almost pretend everything was normal. That you could breath again. That this was just a country drive.

A gunshot sounded in the distance, followed by unhuman shreiking. You opened your eyes sitting up straight. Raphael didn't skip a beat, he continued on like he didn't hear it. The refreshing air now felt tainted. You watched him quietly for a moment to see if you guys were going to investigate, but he didn't look back to you nor change paths.

Without a word, you let your posture slump back down and put your head back on his shell. Closing your eyes, you let out a sigh. The heaviness returning to your chest once more. This was the world now, when you opened your eyes. When you stopped pretending. You were not safe. Everything was not normal. And this was not a country drive.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Footsteps echoed through the long empty corridor. Normally silent, he allowed his presence to be known. The temperature was kept warm, though that didn't keep the icy chill from running down the turtle's spine. He dreaded what was waiting for him.

Reaching the end of hallway he paused in front of the guarded door. The two foot soldiers recognized him and quickly bowed, stepping aside for him to pass.

Without a word, he pushed the large door open and stepped into the chamber. The room was dim. The only source of light coming from a stone fireplace, and creme colored candles scattered about. What rest in the center of this unwelcoming space, a massive, ornate throne.

"You requested me Master Shredder?" The ninja bowed his head, kneeling on one knee.

"Leonardo. I've been waiting for you." Shedder spoke in a deep and gravely voice.


"My apologizes. There were rumors of uprisings in the borderlands I had to attend to." Leo felt the heat of Shedder's gaze on his neck.

"You took care of it?" Shedder's tone was more of an order than an actual question. Leonardo didn't speak but instead replied with a firm nod.

"Excellent. I have a task for you." His sudden change in demeanor was casual, but that made it that more unsettling.

Leonardo looked up at the dangerous man sat before him. The fire flickered haunting reflections off Shredder's impressive armor. A snicker caused his eyes to land on the little weasel of a man seated beside the throne. Leo stood up glaring at him, he recognized him as Shredder's head scientist.

"I see you've met Dr. Jasper." There was a hint of amusement in Shredders voice.

"Yes." Leo replied with a tight jaw.

Dr. Jasper was a tiny man. He had a slight hunch from leaning over lab tables, and computers all day. His hair was combed over in a desperate attempt to hide his receding hairline. The large bags from lack of sleep accentuated his already beady eyes. Eyes that were currently fixed on Leonardo with a fire burning in them. His thin lips formed a cheesy smile underneath his mustache. The man was a slimy character, always causing trouble with the maids and women scientists. Any woman he came in contact with really. And it struck a nerve with Leonardo.

"Please, please, for you it's Franklin. Dr. Jasper was my father." The scientist joked.

Leonardo continued to stand at attention, waiting for whatever was needed so he could leave. Just being in the same room with Franklin left a bad taste in his mouth.

"Leonardo." The dangerous voice brought Leo's attention back to the man seated before him. "It appears last night there was an accident in one of the labs." Shredder spoke calmly.

"Yes, but all was taken care of. And future preventative measures were put in place. It won't happen again. " Leonardo assured with a smile.

"Do we have preventative measures for treachery?" His Master spat back.

Leonardo froze. There was a beat of silence that drained all the warmth from the stoic turtle. But the fiery heat returned quickly to his veins when he heard Franklin's snickering. Puffing his chest, Leo stole a side glance at the unsavory man.

"Treachery?" Leonardo question, holding his breath.

"It has come to my attention that a vial has not been accounted for after this so called accident." Shredded spoke the last word with venom.

Leonardo cleared a lump in his throat before he spoke. He was mentally preparing himself for what was to come, but the doors burst open interrupting his thoughts. Foot soldiers dragged two men in who were pleading to be let go. They dumped the men on the ground before the Shredder and stepped to the side of the room. Leonardo watched silently, confused as to what was happening.

"These are the ones." Dr. Jasper confirmed.

"Excellent." Shredder mused, a sinister smile in his voice. "Leonardo, these are the scientists that were working the night of the incident."

"Please! We won't let it happen again, it was a frea-" One of the men continued to beg, but was cut off by the monster on the throne.

"SILENCE." He spat.

"Perhaps I can-" Leonardo tried to intervene but stopped when Shredder stood.

"These traitors took something very important, didn't you?" Shredder spoke bitterly, walking over to the quieter of the two men.

"Master Shredder... Please." The scientist spoke in a small voice. "We don't know where it-"

His voice was replaced with gagging as Shredder picked him up by the throat. The man tried to fight back but was to weak to do so. Shredder released his grip, throwing him to the ground in a rage. The man was in a coughing fit as Shredder walked back to his throne and sat down.

Leonardo watched with a grimace, unaware that his normal cold face wasn't hiding his emotions. Franklin noticed and hummed to himself. Pleased with his work, he smiled.

"If there will be nothing else, oh mighty Shredder, I shall return to my work." The doctor bowed.

"That is all. Thank you for your loyalty, Doctor." Shredder didn't take his eyes off the men crumpled on the ground.

"No need for thanks." The weasel continued to bow as he backed away towards the door, stopping beside Leo and letting him hear his little chuckle. "You're slacking." He mumbled to the turtle.

Leonardo ignored the little man's taunting and watched the Shredder closely to see what his intent was.

"Leonardo." Shredder summoned him. Leo cautiously walked past the men still on their knees, and approached the throne.

"Yes Master." The turtle bowed, the hatred for himself filling his heart.

"You have a task." Shredder spoke with a deep rumble, the vile in his tone making it clear of his intent with these men.

Leonardo looked at the men who were now praying, then back to Shredder with a tight jaw. He lowered his gaze to the bottom of the throne.

"Understood." He replied firmly, leaving a bitter taste in his mouth

Leonardo turned to leaved. Stopping beside the men and grabbing them both by the arms. He dragged them to their feet and lead them away with him. As he reached the door, Shredder spoke.

"Do not disappoint me this time Leonardo." Came his threatening words.

Leo gave a side glance at the the men in his clutch. He turned his head slightly towards the pile of bitterness and hatred that sat on the throne. Hai Masutā." He answered in a low voice as he disappeared through the door.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

After driving quietly for some miles you reached the outskirts of the city. Raph pulled the bike over and parked it in your usual hiding spot. It was on foot from here on out. Dismounting the motorcycle, you bent and stretched allowing your back to pop. A satisfied sigh escaped your lips as you melted farther into the stretch. The long rides always made you sore.

"Hurry up princess, we ain't here for yoga." Raphael smirked, amused with his own jab.

Rolling your eyes at him, you didn't bother with a response but rather started looking for objects to hide the motorcycle. Grabbing sheets of metal debris and pieces of cardboard, you covered the bike to keep it from unsavory eyes. More specifically, unwelcome hands.

The outside limits of the city was blockaded by fences and barbed wire. Old shipping crates stacked on top of each other made an impressive wall. Electricity buzzed off the metal, adding an extra layer of protection. There were poorly pitched tents on the other side where scavengers had made their homes.

Proudly, they displayed pieces victims on tall wooden steaks they had protruding from the ground. This was a warning to outsiders to keep off their property. Towers of different sizes loomed over the edge of the city where foot soldiers would keep an eye out for suspicious activity. Unfortunately for you, that included the hamato clan. This left entry into the city impossible, that is, except for the fact that you guys had figured out a system long ago. A path that managed to get you past the guards and scavengers to the inner parts of the city where it was safe for you to get supplies. A secret path that you use to call home. The sewers.

Raphael hoisted up a heavy manhole with a grunt, he held it up and waited for you to jump in. “Common, we gotta beat curfew.” He reminded you.

Walking over to him, you noticed a sign nailed to the fence. It once said city limits, but those words were now covered in graffiti. Words like “fuck off” and “death awaits” were painted across.

You grimaced. “The borderlands are just as pleasant as always.” A sarcastic tone of amusement in your voice.

Jumping down, you landed with a splash. The water beneath soaking your boots. You let out a silent curse. Raph followed, landing beside you and splashing more water onto your body.

“Are you kidding me!?” You whined, whipping what you hoped was water from your face with Your shirt sleeve.

Raphael just chuckled and kept moving with heavy steps. Mumbling under your breath, you followed behind glaring daggers into the back of his shell.

 

                            ———

 

Silently, the two of you navigated through the underground of the city. Your footsteps echoing through the tunnels. Water dripped from the walls into the puddles on the ground. The sound of droplets were more welcoming than your thoughts. You tried to not think about the past, you tried to exist in the present. But the smell, the fucking smell of a sewer, reminded you of better times. A time when you called the underground your home. When your family was whole, and everyone was happy.

You thought about the stupid “curfew”. A cruel scheme Shred-Head thought up. Every evening the sewers were flooded, this prevented anyone from being able to live down here. Anxiety crept up on you as you thought about the first time it happened. You and the boys barley made it out alive, Don had to resuscitate Mikey. It was a close call. You had buried the fear deep down inside, the thought of losing any of them... you couldn’t deal with that. Most everything was destroyed that night, your home, and the precious memories kept inside. The family’s way of living changed that dark evening.

“Ya okay?” You heard Raphael’s gravelly voice break through your clouded thoughts.

“Yeah.” You quickly threw out, wiping a tear that unbeknownst to you had formed.

Raphael looked at you skeptical, but didn’t press you any farther. You continued on, only another couple hundred feet from here.

“You ever miss it?” You asked without looking towards the big turtle.

“Hm?” Raph questioned.

“...down here.” You added timidly, instantly regretting that you brought it up.

“What? Miss stepping in shit?” Raphael replied, arching a brow ridge at you.

“No.” You said in a very small voice. “That’s not what I meant-“ you trailed off under your breath.

Raphael shot you a side glance, watching as you put a wall up and tried to hide your emotions. He chewed on his toothpick as you both walked. He kept looking at you to see if you were okay, you seemed fine... But the hothead knew better.

You reached the manhole that lead up to the market. Grabbing ahold of the ladder you put your foot on one of the steps.

“Yeah.” You heard Raphael clear his throat. “Yeah, I do.”

You stopped climbing and looked at him puzzled.


Raph let out a sigh, he moved the small piece of wood from one side of his mouth to the other. “I miss living here...” he didn’t look at you. “I miss...” He nodded his head in thought, struggling with his feelings.

“Our home.” You finished the sentence for him with a sad smile.

“Yeah.” He swallowed. “It’s funny...” He scrunched up his face as he talked. His voice was thick with emotions. “When we was down here, all I ever wanted to do was go up top... now...” he shook his head. “Now, I’d do anything to be back in the shadows.” He scoffed.

You stepped off the ladder and walked over to Raph. Without a word, you wrapped your arms around the big guy. You felt his chest heave and he wrapped his muscular arms around you, returning the hug. You felt his snout nuzzle the top of your head and you knew he was most likely crying. This alone made you burst into tears. A plethora of emotions were spilling out in this simple gesture. Comforting each other in that one embrace, you both mourned the loss of what once was. Sorrow, bitterness, fear of the unknown. But strangely enough... there was also joy, a small sense of fulfillment that you were survivors. You were still alive, and that had to count for something.

“Ya big softy.” You giggle between sniffles into his chest.

“Whateva.” He chuckled, breathing in heavy. He pushed himself out of the hug and wiped at his face sheepishly. “Just uh...don’t tell Mikey.” He playfully hit you in the arm.

You laughed and started to climb the ladder to the surface once more.

“We’ll see.” You threw over your shoulder at him with a smirk.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Lifting the heavy disk, you peaked through to the streets above.

“All clear.” You spoke climbing up.

Raphael followed behind, placing the cover back over the manhole.

“This place gets nicer eveytime.” Raphael quipped, pulling his leather jacket tighter.

The market was dim, trash and waste scattered the pavement. Tall buildings, that no longer inhabited people, shadowed the streets below, this made the temperature colder here than the outside world. Pop up tents, and carts resided in the middle of the road for people to sell things. There were still some shops opened, but most had shut down from lack of business. That, and the foot clan taking most of the owners incomes. A stench lingered in the air that reminded you of Raphael’s sweaty gym socks, and Mikeys secret ingredient pizza. (The secret was it tasted as bad as it looked.) Beggars huddled around makeshift fires, mumbling nonsense and holding out palms as people passed. Whores stood on the corner entertaining a group of men, giving you a dirty look for staring. You and Raphael walked by trying to ignore their business. One woman whistled to you, but you quickened your pace.

“Let’s get whatever, so we can get outta here.” Raphael grumbled.

“Here.” You gave him a piece of paper with items scribbled on it. “You get the junk Donnie needs, I’ll get the groceries. We can meet back here.” You turned to leave.

“Hold up.” Raph grabbed your arm before you had a chance to disappear. “Ain’t no way we’re splitting up.” He said protectively. The worry apparent on his face.

“Raph, we gotta split up if we want to beat curfew.” You reasoned with him.

Raphael opened his mouth to argue with you but no words came out. As much as he hated it, Raph knew you were right. “Fine.” He said defeated.

“I’ll meet you back here in an hour.” You assured him.

The big guy nodded his head in thought, and slowly released his grip on you. “Be careful.” He mumbled begrudgingly.

“Don’t worry Red, I’m a big girl. I can take care of myself.” You smugly patted his cheek.

Raphael gave you a doubtful look and shook his head. He reluctantly walked away grumbling things under his breath.

Rolling your eyes at him, you continued in the opposite direction. You made your way to Jake’s Bar in a dark corner of the market. The vandalized sign still swung outside, hanging on for dear life by one chain.

“Geez.” You breathed out.

You sauntered inside, grimacing as you walked through a cloud of someone’s cigarette smoke. Rock and Roll played loudly in the background, adding to the already brash atmosphere. The air was thick, and everything was hazy from all the poisonous vapors coming out of people’s mouths.

“Can I buy ya a drink?” A man placed his hand on your shoulder. His breath smelled of strong garlic.

“No thanks.” You pushed past, not bothering to look at him.

Keeping your gaze low, you made your way to the bar, ignoring the unwelcomed looks.

“What a shit hole.” You stated seriously, leaning over the bar on your elbows.

Behind the counter, the burly bartender had his back turned to you as he dried a glass in his hands. The older man reminded you of a bulldog. He squared his shoulders, and set down the cup.

“You’re welcome to leave-“ he turned around, and his threatening demeanor instantly softened. “Y/n!” He exclaimed, throwing his rag on the counter.

“Hey Jake. How’s it going?” You grinned brightly, a twinkle in your eyes.

“It’s going.” He smiled back warmly. Jake reached for the glass he had been cleaning and pulled the tap down, filling it with beer. “It’s been much too long y/n. What brings you in?” He asked, sliding the tall glass over to you.

“Thanks.” You accepted the drink, throwing your head back and taking a long gulp. You let out a satisfied sigh, wiping the foam from your lips with your sleeve. Sitting down on the bar stool, you swiveled it like a child would. “I need some supplies.” You said, sliding the paper over to him, along with a few bucks.

“On the house.” He waved away the money.

Jake picked up the paper and read the list. “I think I got most these out back.”

“That’s great!” You acknowledged. “So...uh, I have to ask...” you played with the beer glass, trying to think of how you wanted to phrase your question.

“Why is my bar a shit hole?” He winked at you.

You winced at the crassness of your words used against you. But answered with a little nod. Jake leaned in closer, you mimicked his movements and did the same.

“The Foot.” He whispered grimly. “They’ve started to move into the market. Those cretins scared off my regulars. Now, mostly foot, and riffraff are the kinds I get round here. The soldiers, they trash everything, they don’t care.” He spoke bitterly. “They think they can do whatever they want... and... they can.” He said sadly looking around his bar.

“They have no right, this is your property!” You stated defensively.

“No it ain’t...not no more.” He lowered his gaze. “Shredded owns everything. I’m just allowed to live in his city. We all are...” he looked up, watching the men in the bar intently as he spoke. “Just imagine what would happen if I refused service to one of his soldiers...”

You stayed quiet in thought as he spoke, watching the foam drip down the side of your glass over your fingers

“Nothing good, I’ll tell you that much.” He shook his head at you, his jowls imitating the movement.

“Do you remember how life use to be? Before that freak show took over.” You slouched down into the barstool.

“Watch yourself.” Jake warned in a hushed tone, looking around to see if any of the soldiers had heard you.

“Sorry.“ you mumbled.

The old man’s face looked down, you could tell he was thinking by the way he gnawed on the inside of his cheek. Hardship was etched on every line, and wrinkle he had. You watched as his rugged features softened ever so slightly. You followed his gaze to the small gold wedding band around his finger. He took a heavy breath then shook his head.

“No, I don’t.” He replied, clearing his throat.

Reaching over, you placed your hand on top of his and gave it a comforting squeeze.

“I’m sorry.” You whispered.

“Well, no use dwelling on the past.” Jake’s voice cracked. “Least we’re alive. Things change, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Gotta live in the now.” He smiled at you.

Leaning forward, you shook your head with distaste. “Jake... we’re not living... we’re...surviving!” You tapped your fist on the counter for emphasis to your words.

“Well little miss, what do you want me to do? Huh?” He leaned forward, matching your serious gaze.

You locked eyes with Jake’s, like the two of you were having a staring contest. Maybe you were. Searching his eyes, you looked for an answer to give him. But, you had nothing. You had no plans. Maybe he was right. You gave a defeated huff, and backed down.

“I don’t know.” You mumbled, looking down at your hands.

Jake took a deep breath, letting out the long exhale, and shrugged his shoulders.

“Look kid... sometimes that’s just the hand life deals ya. And there’s nothing we can do about it.” He smiled at you sympathetically.

Acting like a kid, you refused tp look at the older man. “Meh.” You grumbled.

Jake chuckled watching you pout. “Hold the fort here, I’ll go get your stuff.” He turned to leave, but stopped when something popped in his head. “Speaking of dealing hands, see those guys over there playing cards?” He gestured to two men at a table in the corner of the room.

You looked over your shoulder at the men. “What about em?”

“You know them?” The bar keeper raised an eyebrow.

You shook your head in response. “Fresh meat.” You joked, making a comment about their appearance. “I’m guessing their not from around here, huh?”

Jake leaned back over the counter, a serious look on his face. “They’ve been asking about you.” He whispered.

You cocked your head to the side in disbelief. “What-Why?”

Jake shook his head. “I don’t know. I told em I never head of ya. But they’re persistent little boogers.” He glared at them.

You stood to walk over, but Jake placed a hand on your shoulder stopping you.

“Hey, be careful y/n.” He warned.

“I’m always careful.” You winked at the man.

“Heard that before.” He muttered under his breath as he left to go gather your shopping list of items.

You made your way over to the men, they sat at a little round table. You noted to yourself that it was the darkest spot in the room, a perfect place to go unnoticed. You walked up and grabbed a chair, twirling it up to the table and plopped yourself down. The two guys looked at you startled. You hummed in amusement, they looked so awkward and uncomfortable. You studied them, as they tried their best to continue their card game, trying to ignore the presence of a strange woman at their table. You enjoyed this game, seeing who would break the silence first.

“D-d-do you want to play the next round?” The younger of the two asked you timidly.

Instead of responding to his questions, you continued to watch them. Your face void of emotion, you began to slowly tap on the table. The other man playing the game was older, and he wore a pair of thick rimmed glasses. He played with them nervously, the only sound at the table coming from your tapping fingers.

Clearing his throat, the younger one opened his mouth to address you again. But before he could speak, you cut him off.

“I hear you boys have been looking for me.” You stated flatly.

Simultaneously, both of the men gasped. With wide eyes, they looked at you in awe. The glasses had practically fallen off the older gentlemen’s face. You wrinkled your nose at them. They looked ridiculous. Their mouths hung open, stealing glances at each other. The younger one nudged his friend to talk.

You scoffed, annoyed and slightly confused with their amazement. “What?” Irritated, You demanded.

The man took off his glasses, and leaned forward. “Y-you’re.. you’re Y/n?” He whispered, his voice full of hope.

You subconsciously leaned back, distancing yourself from him. “Who’s askin?”

“But you are, aren’t you?” The older man questioned.

“She has to be, she fits the bill.” The younger man muttered under his breath to his companion.

You stood up to leave, suddenly regretting interacting with these two weirdos. “ Sorry boys, ya got the wrong gal.” You turned to walk back over to the bar. Shuffling of chairs were heard behind you, and a hand grab your arm. You swiftly turned around, and tried to jerk your arm away from him. “What the fuck is your-“

“Leonardo sent us.” The older man whispered.

Immediately, you stopped pulling at your arm. “What?” You breathed out.

“Please.” His eyes, pleading with you behind those framed lenses resting on top his nose.

“Say that again.” You whispered, leaning in.

“Please.” He repeated.

“No, not that- WHO sent you?” You held your breath.

“Le-“

“Can I buy you a drink?” The man from earlier, with the garlic breath, had appeared beside you.

“No thanks.” You brushed him off coldly, your attention elsewhere.

“Common doll, have a drink with me.” He persisted, snaking an arm around your Waste.

“Buzz off asshole!” You shoved him back.

He looked at you with eyes wide with surprise. Glaring at him threateningly, you motioned for him to move along. You turned your attention back to the two men. More specifically, the older man standing directly in front of you.

“Why did Leo-“ Your voice instantly disappeared as horror spread throughout your core.

Blood splattered on your face. A small throwing blade protruded from the older man’s throat. You watched as he gripped his neck, trying to stop the bleeding. Crimson smeared across his perfectly clean glasses.

“I said...” The voice behind you returning, hot on your neck. “Have a drink with me.” He purred.

The younger man crouched helplessly as his companion gurgled on the floor. You felt the man behind you drawing closer, his hands trace down your sides. You grabbed his wrist and twisted around, painfully pinning his hand behind his back.

“Don’t fucking touch me!” You growled at him.

He chuckled, shaking his head. “You’re a feisty one, aren’t ya?”

You tightened you hold on his arm, causing him to wince. “You’re gonna regret killing him.” You responded in a low tone.

As if on cue, the whole bar began to stir. More than half of the people in the bar stood up and circled the two of you. Every one of them fixed on you.

“I’d let go of my arm now, kitten.” The man in your grasp smirked at you.

You kept your hold tight as you glance around. “Shit.” You gritted your teeth. There was no way you could take on everyone. You slowly released his arm, holding your hands up to show you were no longer a threat.

The man straightened himself up, and motioned for everyone to stand down. He let out a small chuckle, and before you had a chance to react his foot made contact with your side. You stumbled to the floor, curses streaming from your lips. He bent down and shoved you back. Straddling on top of you, he pinned down your arms above your head.

“Ya should’ve just taken up my offer on that drink.” He breathed heavy on you, garlic filling your nostrils. You tried not to puke. “Name’s Brock by the way. But I’ll let you call me Sir.” He smiled darkly, inches away from your face.

You struggled beneath his weight. “I don’t give a fuck what your name is!” You bucked up, head butting him.

He instinctively grabbed his head in pain, and you took this opportunity to attack. As fast as light, You slammed the heel of your boot on the floor. A blade emerged from the tip of your shoe, and you skillfully flicked the knife into your free hand. Brock jumped back, but you still managed to make a thin slice across his chest.

“You little bitch!” He roared.

You jumped up, but, by this time people had started to swarm you. You fought, clawed, and kicked. Your fighting skills were pretty rusty, but still taking out several of them. They came in waves. Taking turns to slowly wear you down.

One person was able to grab ahold of you, but you fought back against their vigorous attack. Pulling your body away, you were able to get free, ripping off half your shirt in the process. There were too many of them. You were being cornered. You could tell they were trying to tire you, only sending a few to fight at a time. Finally, the man got tired of this game and snapped.

“You idiots! Detain her!” He hissed at his followers.

You were grabbed from all sides and thrown against the wall. Brock pushed some men aside and took over, holding your wrist behind your back. He pressed his body against yours so you couldn’t move.

“You’re testing my patience.” He whispered in your ear.

“I got two words for you.” You were still trying to catch your breath. “Tic. Tac.” You spat out.

His face turned beet red from anger. He moved towards a small table, pulling you along with him. Throwing you down so you were bent over, the edge of the table digging into your stomach. Your face made contact with the wood, busting your lip front the force. You heard a dark hum come from behind you.

You felt fingertips brush over your now exposed shoulder. “What’s this now?” He traced the tattoo with his free hand.

You closed your eyes, realizing what he saw. “Shit.” You breathed out.

“And here I thought the Hamato clan was dead...” he spoke low, amazement apparent in his voice.

“Sorry to disappoint.” Came a familiar voice, followed by a loud crash.

You jumped slightly as a gush of air went past you. The weight pressing down on you had immediately vanished. You stood up confused and looked over at Brock, who was crumpled to the flood unconscious. A pile of wood scattered over his body. Everyone in the room seemed frozen from shock. You whipped your head towards the door to see Raphael standing there in all his glory. A smug look on his face.

“DID YOU FREAKEN THROW A TABLE!?” You yelled at the turtle, pointing at the mess in the corner.

“What?” Raph barked back.

“You could have hit me!” You scolded, placing a hand on your hip.

“I didn’t hit you!.” He argued.

“But you could have!” Before you both could continue this debate the fight broke out again. Only this time Raph was here to help.

Raphael charged to you, punching people out of the way. You both fought back to back.

“Who are these guys!?” Raphael grumbled as he blocked an attack.

“I don’t know, but-“ you ducked to avoid a fist. “They are good!”

One man with a blade shot his arm out towards you, Raph kicked the man back before he was able to cut your side.

“What was it you said?” Raphael grunted, fighting four different people at once. “You can take care of yourself?” He quipped.

You broke a mans arm and threw him to the side into another guy. “Now is really not the time, Red!” You growled back.

You glance over to see someone hiding under a table at the other end of the room. It was the younger man who was looking for you earlier. You were surprised to see he hadn’t run away.

“We need him!” You called to Raphael, pointing at the man.”

“What?” Raphael shot a glance at him confused. “Why?”

“Leo sent him!” You took this opportunity to make a dash for the young man.

“Y/n! No!” Raphael called behind you.

Someone tackled you from behind and you fell to the floor. You heard Raphael curse, followed by someone screaming in pain. Raphael appeared above you, throwing the man who tackled you across the room. At this point most of the men had either run off to get help, or passed out.

“We aren’t taking him.” Raphael helped you up.

“I’m not leaving without him, he needs our help.” You stood firmly. You turned back around and your jaw fell open. The young man was gone. “Where the-“ you looked in all directions.

A loud siren sounded outside and your heart began to pick up speed.

“Y/n, we need to go!” Raph started to run for the door but you didn’t budge. “Y/n!”

“No! He needed our help!” You screamed back, searching through the bodies scattered across the floor.

“Shit y/n, we don’t got time for this!” Raphael picked you up and threw you over his shoulder.

You hit his shell in protest. “Put me down you big oaf!”

Raphael ran outside. He set you on the ground, grumbling to himself. You opened your mouth to scold him for manhandling you, but another loud siren went off.

“Curfew!” Raphael shot you a troubled look than took off running.

“Dammit! “ You ran behind him, trying your best to keep up. Time was up.

He reached the manhole first, and pried it open. He waved for you to hurry up. You jumped down the hole, not caring about the ladder. You hit the ground and started to run again. Cursing from the pain shooting through your legs. Raphael followed behind, closing the cover. He took off, quickly gaining momentum, passing you easily. You zoned into the back of his shell, trying to keep up. You could hear a rumbling in the tunnels, covering the sound of your labored breathing. Your feet were beginning to splash, you glanced down and saw little streams of water dancing across the floor. You could feel the walls of the tunnel start to shake and a thundering sound echoed behind you.

Raphael looked behind him, you were having trouble keeping up with his speed. “Hurry up!” Raph roared, pausing to reach for you.

His eyes grew round, and you saw his expression change to panic. You knew you shouldn’t have, but you looked behind you, regretting that decision immediately. A torrent of water sped through the tunnel behind you, filling every inch of space. And it was plowing towards you like a fright train.

“Shit! Shit! Shit!” You yelled, running as fast as you could. You were almost there!

“Y/N!!!” You heard Raphael’s desperate scream, right before a vortex of water took you under.

The crushing pressure swept past your body, encasing you in darkness. It spun you around in circles, smacking you into the wall. You held you breath and tried to swim, but the current was too strong. You were disoriented, and quickly started to panic. You felt a hand grab ahold of you ankle, opening you eyes to see Raphael struggling with the current as well. You couldn’t move, the pressure of the water held you there against the wall. Your lungs were on fire now. A flicker of hope flashed through you when you noticed light streaming through the water from below you. Besides the fact you must be upside down... you realized that must be the manhole! Grabbing at Raphael to get his attention, you signaled for it. He released your ankle and crouched on the wall. Using all his force, he jumped up towards the disk and rammed his body into it. The manhole flew off, the rush of water erupted from the opening like a geyser, shooting the both of you out with the flow. You flew into the air and landing harshly on the dirt. Greedily, you sucked up as much air as you could. Coughing in fits, you sat up on your hands and knees, slowly crawling away from the opening.

“Raphael!” You jumped up, looking to see if he was okay.

“Y/n!” You heard his worried voice call back. He ran from the other side of the geyser.

Raphael ran up to you and grabbed your shoulders. He twisted you to the right, then the left, inspecting to see if you were hurt. He let out a sigh, visibly relaxing. But that soon changed as annoyance flashes through his face.

“What the fuck y/n!” He shook his head. “We could have died!” He scolded.

“What?” You breathed out in disbelief. “That wasn’t my fault!”

Raphael was breathing heavy, like he was trying not to snap. “Why didn’t you leave when I said to?”

“Raph, we had to get that guy!” You argued.

“We didn’t HAVETA do anything!” He countered. “Ya should’ve listened!”

“He needed our help!” You threw your hands in the air.

“And when were you gonna tell us about that tattoo huh?” Raphael accused you, poking a finger to your chest. “You tattooed the clan on your body y/n? Do you know how dangerous that is?”

You smacked his finger away. “Oh, please! Get over it!” You yelled. “Leo did it! And we were drunk okay!” You gave him an exaggerated eye roll.

“Since when do we keep secrets y/n!” Raphael yelled back.

You met his gaze. “Since when did we stop helping people Raph.” You challenged.

“MY JOB IS TO KEEP YA ALIVE!” Raphael snapped. “That’s it. Only you. I don’t owe anyone else anythin.” He crossed his arms over his chest.

“KEEP ME ALIVE!? THIS ISN’T LIVING!” You screamed at the sky.

“THEN, DO WHAT YA WANT!” “He roared.

You looked at him in a huff. You wanted to scream, you wanted to cry. But instead you took a shaky breath and stormed off towards the motorcycle. Raphael followed behind after a moment. You reached the hiding spot and furrowed your eyebrows.

“Where-“ you lifted the scraps on the ground. “You are shitting me!?” You threw a piece of junk across the pile. The bike was gone.

Raphael let out an annoyed grunt and walked away. You felt defeated. You plopped yourself on the ground and started to cry, pulling up your knees and burying your face. After five minutes of self-pity, you took a breath and stopped the waterworks. You heard Raphael clear his throat behind you, but you didn’t turn around. He placed his leather jacket around you, and sat down beside you.

“I’m sorry.” He mumbled, not looking at you.

“Me too.” You spoke softly, your glossy eyes fixed on nothing.

He nodded his head. “Don’s on his way.”

You sighed. “We forgot the groceries.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

“ - And this! This is exactly the reason why I didn’t want you going alone-“

Donatello’s nostrils flared wildly as he drove, he had been going off for the last ten minutes, reprimanding the two of you for not being more careful in The Market. Raphael rode shotgun while you sat behind the drivers seat, staring out the little slit of a window. The monster of a vehicle you rode in was not for the claustrophobic. Donnie had turned the jeep into what could basically be called a tank, which was helpful on many occasions. But now, at this moment you would do anything for some fresh air. You had remained quite, allowing him to rant and vent without interruption. Honestly, you were too tired to even fight back. The adrenaline had worn off, and now you felt drained. It was the way you felt when the fire would disappear from your stomach... you felt hollow.

Raphael glanced into the rear view mirror, watching you as your tired eyes stared into nothing.

“- and it’s hard enough getting supplies! You two had to go make names for yourselves! You realized the amount of soldiers that will move into The Market now-“

“Donnie.” Raphael tried to subtly inform Donatello to drop it and leave you alone.

The genius was too caught up in his thoughts to hear his brother though, and continued with his lecture. “-you have any idea what could have happen if Raphael wasn’t there! You could have-“

“DON.” Raph’s firm tone cut off Donnie’s sentence.

Don closed his mouth tight, staring at Raphael in surprise. A look of aggravation for being interrupted crossed his face, until he glanced back at you in the mirror and it softened.

Donnie let out a long sigh before clearing his throat. “Look Y/n-...” he licked his lips in thought, blinking as he tried to focus on the path he was driving. “...how bout some tunes.” He mumbled, more to himself than you.

You gave a slight nod of your head in response, zoned out at nothing really. But at this moment you were too tired to put any effort into anything. He hummed to himself, stealing a look at Raphael before turning his attention back to driving. Don turned the dial on the dash and the static came on.

“-citizens are in fear of what this means-“ the woman’s voice cut through the static sounds. “-what can only be described as flying disk have been making an appearance through the city-“ *static* “-seem to be a sort of patrol unit-“ *static* “-unknown, but sources claim they are a result of an incident in The Market earlier tod-“

Don turned off the radio, uninterested in listening anymore. He shot Raphael a concerned side glance, but focused back on the path home. His jaw muscles straining as he thought to himself.

The rest of the drive was silent, and you were grateful for that. Resting your head against the vehicle, you closed your eyes. You were almost home, you just had to make it a little farther and then you could break down.

Chapter Text

That evening things were.. strange. There was an unbalance in the family and you knew it. Things were tense ever since you got home, everyone kept to themselves. Surprisingly, Michelangelo didn’t even bother asking questions, probably because he was worried too. He would never admit to it, his easygoing charm was one of the few things left he could have control over in his life, But secretly, secretly you knew he spent the whole time worrying about his family when they were gone. And it showed on his face whenever you would return after being out for a while. It was subtle, but you saw it.

When you got home you changed out of your wet clothes, stopping for a moment to inspect your body in the mirror. Bruises, and cuts littered your skin. The taste of copper lingered in your mouth when you ran your tongue over your busted lower lip. You looked like crap. Which, quite frankly, was exactly how you felt too. There was a small gash on your arm that was still bleeding. Wiping at it, you tried to stop the red flow. It wasn’t a mass amount of blood, but if it didn’t stop you would need to stitch it up sooner or later. Donnie, uncharacteristically, didn’t offer to give you a check up when you all got back. This made you believe he must still be pretty peeved. In all honesty, you weren’t in the best mood either. Deciding you didn’t want to bother him for bandages, you wrapped a bandanna tightly around the wound, and hoped for the best.

Dinner came and went, no one spoke a word except for a “pass this” or “pass that”. Right after, Raphael went straight to his workout zone, and Don went to his lab.

Mikey stayed to clean up after everyone, and you decided to join him. The youngest turtle hummed a cheerful tune as he worked, and you smiled to yourself as you listened. What a beautiful spirit.

He washed dishes, his humming turning into slight mumblings of a song. You stood beside him as he handed you dishes. You quietly mimicked his mumblings. He noticed you joining in, and started swaying his hips as he sung.

You gave a toothy smile, and began to sway your hips in sync with him, humming the tune as he sung the lyrics. And for a moment, this small window of delight in your life, you almost forgot about your troubles...Almost. He finished with a small grin, bumping you with his hip.

“Hey.” Mikey spoke quietly, It was a lighthearted tone, but you could sense his sadness behind it.

You bumped him back with your hip, and gave him a knowing smile. “Hey” you replied softly.

He sighed and put an arm around your shoulders pulling you into him. The tension from the evening melting away by the second. You instinctively wrapped your arms around him, and his walls that he was so bravely holding up, crumbled. He held you tight, engulfing you, yet he felt so little.

“I’m glad you’re okay.” Mikey whimpered, burying his face into your shoulder.

“I know buddy... I know.” You soothed, patting the back of his head like you would comfort a small child.

Mikey inhaled sharply. “Please.. don’t leave us like Leo.” He whispered so small that you thought you misheard him.

“I-“ you breathed out, unable to speak. You held him tighter, steadying his shaking form as he was overtaken by emotions. “Okay.” You whispered.

Chapter Text

A red glow flicked in the dark as Raphael inhaled the cigarette between his lips. A gravelly sigh escaping his mouth as the snake of smoke wisped into the night air.

“Smoking will kill ya.” You stated, leaning against the wall beside him.

“Good.” He only grumbled in response, ignoring you as he put the cigarette to his lips once more. He closed his eyes as the poison filled his lungs, the exhale of smoke escaping his nostrils like a dragon.

You slid down to the ground quietly, watching him as you rested your chin on your knees. Thoughts swirling in your brain. What a day.

Raphael offered you a smoke and you shook your head. He looked at you for a second, playing with the little tube between his fingers, he studied your face. Giving a defeated sigh, He dug the cigarette into his shell, putting out the small light. The darkness in the room closing in just a little more without its glow. “Don’t uh, don’t tell Don.” He wiggled the cigarette butt in front of him before flicking it across the room.

Pretending to zip your lips you gave a lopsided smile. “My lips are sealed.”

He softly chuckled, sitting down beside you. “So, tell me bout that cool tattoo of yers.”

You narrowed your eyes at him, trying to sense if he was teasing you or not. “What do you mean?” You replied slightly on the defense.

“What’s the story.” He clarified gruffly.

“Not much of a story.” You mumbled, looking at the ground, stretching your toes.

“Common.” He nudged his elbow at you playfully. “Sure there is.”

You rolled your eyes and smiled. “Okay.” You paused to think back, biting your cheek. “We got drunk... like... really drunk.” You couldn’t suppress your laugh. “Remember when Master Splinter’s saké disappeared?” You inquired, trying to hold back your amusement.

Raphael’s eyes grew round, partially from astonishment. “THAT WAS YOU TWO!?”

“Mhmm.” You nodded.

“YA...ya punks!” He shook his head in disbelief. “We got in so much trouble for that shit...” He grumbled bitterly.

“I knowwww... sorry.” You half winced, half giggled.

Raphael continued to shake his head, he was at a loss of words.

You nudged the big turtle lovingly. “It was my idea.” You smiled sadly, thinking about that night. It was the night you and Leo promised each other your love. It all started as a playful dare, and ended in drunken, passionate, lovemaking. You shot a sideways glance at Rachael, thankful that he couldn’t hear your thoughts, or feel how your face grew hot.

“So much for honor boy.” Raphael grunted.

“Well.” You sighed. “I was never really any good for him.”

Raphael scoffed. “That’s not true.”

“Yes it is!” You insisted More boldly this time. “The only time he would ever get in trouble is when I was around! I mean common, I could make him do things he normally wouldn’t EVER do....” finding a spot on the wall, you tried to distract yourself from the tears that stung the corners of your eyes. “And...I knew it.” You finished quietly.

Raphael was never very good at comforting people, and he was very much aware of it. Everyone was. But for some reason, despite his lack of social skills, here you sat. Small and fragile beside him, insecurities out for him to see. He never understood why you stayed. From the very beginning, you were too good for them. Yet you gave up any possibility of a normal life for this group of mutant brother freaks. It really did baffle him. Even now, after the crap hit the fan. You stayed. Someone like you could have started a better life with the leftover humans. Instead, you were stuck here in this forsaken wasteland, barricaded from any form of civilization left. You almost died today just from association to them. That thought gave Raph an immense amount of guilt. He wished he could offer you some wise words, something to soothe your hurting soul. Something that you needed to hear right this moment. But he had none. He didn’t even have words to console himself. So he did the only thing he knew how to do. Raph scooted closer. Hoping that his presence would be comforting enough for his lack of words. A gesture that Raphael hoped you would read as “he was here for you.”.

And you did. Giving him a small smile, you rested your head on his shoulder. Raphael let out a little sigh, relief that things might be okay. A naive thought really, but Raph wanted desperately to believe it. He looked down and noticed you playing with the edges of a bandanna wrapped around your arm.

“What’s that?” He motioned towards your arm with a nod.

“Oh.. It’s nothing.” You played it off, hoping he wouldn’t question farther. You knew Raphael would blame himself if he found out you were hurt.

Raph sniffed the air, concentrating on the copper scent that lingered. He frowned, squinting to try and see better. “Bullshit. You’re bleeding. I can smell it.”

“It is?” You mumbled, holding your arm up closer to your face to examine it. Sure enough, it was dripping down your arm.

Raphael felt the guilt once again build up inside him. Why hadn’t he smelt the blood earlier? That stupid cigarette smoke must have covered the scent. He mentally cussed at himself. Why was he so useless? It was his job to protect you, and he failed. Leonardo never let you get hurt. Why couldn’t he do the same as his shit brother.

“Hey.” You cut through Raphael’s thoughts, his face instantly changing, softening at the sound of your voice. “you okay?” You placed a hand on his arm. you had a pretty good idea of what was going through his mind.

“Should have Don check that out.” He replied, his throat sounding dry.

“I was gonna do that later.” You said, feeling like a child being scolded. “Was waiting for him to cool off.”

Raphael nodded his head slowly, his eyes shifting as he thought. “Ya know.” He cleared his throat. “Donnie ain’t mad. Whizz brain just cares...alot.”

“I know.” You said quietly.

“Shit, we all do.” He added with a smirk.

“Yeah...Yeah, I know.” You continued to mess with the bandanna.

“Ya know?” He nudged you with his shoulder.

“Yeah.” You smiled, nudging him back.

“Seriously, get that looked at.” Raph grumbled.

Chapter Text

Donatello let out a frustrated huff. Why couldn’t he figure this out. He had spent the last few days trying to crack the code of what the mystery vial was Leo had left you. And so far, he hadn’t made much ground. ‘Couldn’t have left instructions?’ Don thought, agitated at his apparently alive brother.

Letting out a sigh Donnie leaned back in his chair, away from the microscope he had been looking through. “Course not, that’d be too easy now, wouldn’t it?” He mumbled to himself, lifting his googles to rub his tired eyes. The cool metal of his hand felt nice against his face.

A gentle knocking interrupted his moment of quiet.

“Come in.” Donnie muttered, his burning eyes still closed behind the palms of his hands.

“Hey.” You timidly spoke, stepping into the room.

Donatello looked up with surprise, expecting it to be one of his brothers. “Hey!” Don spoke enthusiastically, but with an edge of caution.

“Can I-?” You motioned for his examination table.

“Yeah, absolutely.” He quickly stood up, knocking over things as he cleared the clutter for you to sit.

With a small nod of thanks, you hopped up on the table. You remained silent, keeping a pleasant -albeit awkward- face as you began to swing your legs slowly. Donnie watched you, his eye giving a micro twitch as he waited to see what you needed. Don ran his tongue over his bottom lip, his throat feeling dry. He still felt bad for yelling earlier, he was kicking himself for pulling a Raph.

You had all of Donatello’s attention. “Uhm...” Not sure what to say, you simply held up your injured arm.

Don looked down at your arm with confusion, his face quickly turning to concern when he realized what you were showing him. “Oh! Let me look at that.” He grabbed your arm gently, and carefully unwrapped the bandana.

You let out a little hiss as the some of the dried blood pulled with the material. Donnie looked at you with a frown.

Don held up the bloody scarf in front of your face. “Why didn’t you come to me sooner?” He gave you a disapproving face.

“I don’t know...” you mumbled, not looking him in the eyes.

He clicked his tongue. His eyes searching you for answers. With a sigh, he sat the material down beside you. Placing your arm back in your lap. “I’m sorry I yelled earlier.”

“No. It’s fine.” You replied quietly, still not looking up for fear you might cry.

“No, it’s really not.” He shook his head. Donnie sat down in his chair, and rolled it in front of you. “Hey, look over here.” He nudged the bottom of your delicate chin to face him. You looked at him and he gave you a reassuring smile. “I shouldn’t have lost my temper, I was worried and scared, and selfish. And I’m sorry. Can you ever forgive me y/n?”

“Of course I forgive you Donatello.” You threw your arms around him as his pleading eyes turned to relieve. “That’s what family is for remember?” You began to cry, letting your emotions show.

You had been reckless, a trait you showed too often. And as much as you tried to deny it, it did affect the whole family. They were all suffering because of your actions and all your guilt poured out in one moment. Donnie squeezed you tight, stroking his fingers through your hair to calm you.

Don let out a shaky breath, his emotions getting the best of him as well. “I don’t know what we’d do if we lost you y/n.”

“I know.” You whined.

“You always know.” Donnie chucked, kissing the top of your head.

You laughed through your tears, pulling back away from him to wipe at your snot with your arm. “Heh.Yeah.” You cleaned your face of all it’s fluids, trying to compose yourself once more.

“Common, Let’s stitch you up.” Don smiled, grabbing at his medical kit.

You nodded, sitting still as you waited. He dropped the heavy tool box next to you with a loud clank.

“This is gonna sting a bit.” He grabbed your arm and began to clean it, trying his best to be gentle as he scrubbed away the drying blood. Without warning he inserted a syringe to numb the area.

Hissing, you glared at Donnie, causing him to laugh at your reaction. “It’s not that bad.” He spoke.

“Says the guy without the gash in his arm.” You muttered.

“At least you have an arm.” He replied nonchalantly as he began threading the skin on your arm together.

You gave him a glare for using that one against you. But he was right. “Sorry.” You mumbled quietly, not looking at him.

“I’m teasing.” He spoke with a blank face, all his attention on making sure the stitches were perfect.

Glancing down at the needle, you felt sick. You instead stared at his robotic arm, trying to distract yourself. It wasn’t necessary that fact that seeing blood made you woozy, But you hated this kind of thing. It weirded you out when you couldn’t feel the pain. At least the pain keeps your mind occupied. It’s funny how pain could be a comforting thing to you, almost grounding.

Letting your thoughts aside, you continued to admire his arm with awe. The craftsmanship was miraculous, but you expected no less from the genius. You watched the metal tendons twist and move as his fingers bent. The way everything worked in harmony as he worked. It was incredible. You couldn’t help yourself and you reached out with your other arm to touch, but immediately retracted.

“Sorry.” You spoke shyly, embarrassed.

“It’s okay.” Donnie looked at his arm in thought, a painful expression across his face.

“Do- ... do you hate him?” You looked at your lap.

Don froze. His work coming to a halt. He released your arm and sat back in his chair. You couldn’t read his face, he looked like he was arguing in his mind. You waited patiently, second guessing yourself for asking.

Donatello held up his arm, watching his hand as he flexed his fingers. “I can’t.” He replied lowly. “I want to hate him. I’ve tried to hate him. But... I can’t. He’s my brother.”

“Does it hurt?” You asked motioning to his arm.

“For the most part it’s okay now. I get ghost pains every now and then.” He spoke, his thoughts elsewhere.

“Ah.” Was all you could reply.

He looked at you, a spark in his eye. “But hey, it’s pretty sick looking.” He smiled.

“Yeah it is!” You giggled back. “Do the thing!” You gave him a mischievous smirk.

He laughed. “No, I can’t be bending pipes all the time. I don’t have enough scraps for that.”

“Boooooo.” You pouted.

“Hush. Let’s finish you up, before all your stuffing comes out.” He teased, grabbing your arm again.

Chapter Text

                     -SIX YEARS AGO-

 

 

“Stop it!” You half heartedly threatened your attacker with a butter knife.

“What’re you gonna do with that? Butter me up?” The glimmer in his eyes told you he would not be so easily stoped.

“Im trying to eat!” You held back a growl, as his fingers dug into your sides.

“Yeah? Maybe I’m hungry too...” He nuzzled his snout into your neck.

“Leo! That tickles dammit!” You bit back your giggles, you would not grant him his satisfaction.

Raphael walked into the kitchen and immediately turned back around to leave. “Geez! Get a room would ya!” He grumbled, going to find snacks elsewhere.

You and Leonardo blinked in surprise, then bust out laughing.

“Ya heard him.” You teased, pushing the turtle away from you so you could finish making your sandwich. “Get outta here.”

You felt Leonardo snake his arms around your waist, pulling your back close to his chest. “Only if you come with me.” He whispered behind you, his breath skimming the back of your ear.

Humming in response, you allowed some of your weight to rest on him. Melting into his embrace.

Leaning your head back, you smiled sweetly at him. “Bitch, let me eat my lunch.”

 

 

 

 


                               ———

 

 

 

 

 

“Ya think you’re so perfect! Don’t cha!”

“I never claimed to be perfect.”

“Oh, cut the shit honor boy!”

“Your form was off, I’m sorry if you don’t want to improve-”

“My form was fine! Get off my shell will ya!”

“Maybe so, but your attitude needs to be put in check.”

“MY ATTITUDE!?”

Leonardo and Raphael’s yells could be heard all over the lair. By this point people have just learned to ignore the two, it normally didn’t result in too much collateral damage.

You let out a sigh, sinking further into the couch. It was always like this with them two. You wondered why they had to be like this. They were just too similar some times. Although, you couldn’t help but notice there have been more fights than usual lately. And a nagging feeling told you that Leo was to blame.

With a growl, Raphael came storming out of the dojo. He gave you a harsh nod in greeting, then shook his head as he stormed off. His chest heaving as his thoughts were trying to keep him calm.

Leo followed soon after, walking out with a strained expression on his face. He looked troubled. That is until he saw you and he immediately softened, offering you a sad smile.

“Hey.” He greeted awkwardly, walking over to the couch and planting himself beside you.

You hummed in response, giving him a judgmental raised eyebrow.

“So I guess you heard all that huh?” He grumbled, rubbing his tense neck.

You let out a little snort. “I’m surprised you guys stay hidden with all the noise you make.”

Leo scoffed, nodding his head to the side. “Yeah, well...” he replied bitterly.

“You’re too hard on him.” You stated softly, not looking him in the eyes. You didn’t want to take sides, but you did notice Leo had been pushing harder these days. And quite frankly, you didn’t think Raph could take much more.

Leonardo let out a heavy sigh. “I have to be hard on him... he needs to grow up. What happens if I’m not around? Who’s gonna take care of you guys?” Leo hunched over, resting his elbows on his legs and placed his tired head in his hands.

You watched him for a moment, you could tell he was stressed. “Hey.” You soothed. “Scoot up.” You motioned for him to move forward on the cushion and he complied.

Climbing behind him, you propped yourself on the back of his shell and began to massage his neck and shoulders. Leonardo let out a low hum in appreciation.

“Leo, you can’t force it.” You said gently as you worked your way through his knotted muscles. “Raph will grow, you just got to give him time.”

“I don’t have anymore time.” He muttered to himself with a strained sigh.

Your fingers froze as confusion crossed your features. “What did you say?” Thinking you had misheard him, you leaned over his shell to look at his face.

Leo looked at you with a strange expression you didn’t recognize. He was thinking out loud, and you had heard him. Was it guilt? No, worry? You studied him as his mind contemplated something.

‘He looks in pain.’ you thought to yourself. But why?

Leonardo’s gaze turned into that of loving, and you smiled at the change. He reached his hand up to cup your cheek and you leaned into his touch.

“I just want to make sure if I-“ Leo stopped himself, then continued. “...That no matter what happens, you guys are always taken care of...” He pulled you off his shell into his lap. “That... you are taken care of.” He looked serious now.

“Leo.” You reached up and cupped his cheeks with both hands. “Nobody is going anywhere ya dingus.” You gave him a quick peck. “As long as I’m in charge, everyone is staying right here.”

“And who made you the Leader?” Leonardo chuckled, and you were grateful to see a spark in his eyes again.

“I did.” You gave him a proud smile.

“You know I love you, don’t you?” He looked at you with such longing it made your breath catch in your throat.

“Of course.” You replied more serious, feeling the heat in your stomach.

Leo pulled you closer, and placed his forehead on yours. He took in a deep breath, savoring your scent. He always did that when he was having a hard time. Your scent calmed him. You gently pushed him back so you could see his face, your hands still resting on his chest.

“Do... do you trust me?” He asked with that same stupid expression as earlier.

“Yes.” You whispered, not sure what was going on in his head.

       

 

 

 

                           ———

 

 

 

 

Another night. It was another night you had woken to an empty bed. Your brain reasoned with you, telling you sweet little lies like he was just in the bathroom, or he went to go get some water. But you knew it wasn’t true. The brave leader was off somewhere doing who knows what. You never told him you were aware of his absence, you just somehow hoped it would stop. But it hadn’t, it was becoming a frequent thing. At first it was just every other week. Now, now it seemed he was gone every night.

You rolled over, glancing at the digital clock. “Three in the fuckin morning.” You half whimpered, closing your eyes and letting out a heavy breath. Where could he be? Was there another woman? No... no that couldn’t be. Not Leo, he would never- ... would he?

A tired tear ran down your face. You used the excuse of being too exhausted to climb out of bed and go searching for your lover. But part of you knew the ugly truth, deep down inside you were too scared of what you might find.

There was the sound of a door being opened and the shuffling of gear. Leonardo had returned. Quickly you pulled up the blanket and pretended to be asleep. Ignorance was the blind path you were choosing. At least for tonight.

The bed sunk down beside you and you held your breath, waiting for him to settle. He wrapped an arm around your waist and you could hear his breath become slow and heavy.

After you were sure he was asleep you let out a heavy sigh. Sniffing, you wiped your face on your pillow to rid the tears on your cheek.

“Y/n?” Leonardo’s groggy voice broke the silent air.

You stiffened. ‘Crap!’ You yelled in your head. You thought he was asleep.

“Are... are you crying?” His soft voice asked hesitantly.

“No.” You answered quietly, burying yourself deeper in the covers.

“Y/n, look at me.” He pulled the covers away from your face and you flinched, putting your face in the pillow.

“I’m fine. Go to sleep.” You mumbled, hoping he would drop it.

He withdrew his hand, brows furrowed as he looked at you. “Y/n...” he said so softly, his voice braking through your barriers. “Please look at me.”

You slowly turned your body towards him, clutching the blanket tight. He watched as your gaze was fixed on his chest, refusing to look him in the eyes. Leonardo brushed his fingers against your hands. His touch making your clutch on the cover relax.

“Tell me babe.” He whispered. “What’s wrong?”

You stayed quite for a moment. Thinking about everything, if you wanted to do this now. If you had the energy to fight, or if you had to energy to know the truth for that matter.

Taking a deep breath, you looked up at him. The worry in his eyes making you feel guilty for some reason.

“Is there another woman?” You asked, immediately feeling stupid as soon as the words left your mouth.

You looked down quickly, not wanting to look at him. You heard his breath hitch. And a second later you felt his warm lips on your forehead, the act taking you by surprise.

Leo shook his head, his lips never leaving your skin. “No.” He whispered in reply, pulling you closer to him. He whispered into his kiss how much he loved you, over and over again like he was praying. Leonardo never taking his lips off of you.

You shook as you silently cried, the emotions racking over your tired body. He held you in his strong arms, the action showing his love more than his words could.

There was a moment of relief that flooded through you, that question had been eating you alive, slowly killing your spirit. But in a split second the lightness you felt vanished and the weight had returned to your heart.

You trusted Leo, with every fiber of your being. There wasn’t another woman, you believed him. But, if that wasn’t the case.... then Leonardo was doing something far more dangerous.

 

 

 

                            ———

 

 

 

Silence.

Not a word was spoken by anyone as you all watched the television screens in Donnies lab with pure horror. You held your breath as you tried to process what was happening. The terrifying footage on the monitors. Radiation bombs had been dropped around the country, taking out entire cities in a matter of seconds.

Today, The Shredder had shown his true power. With one word he owned everything. And there wasn’t any way of stopping it. He had no request, no negotiations. He was in charge now.

“How...” you breathed out. How could this happen? The Shedder had remained quiet this whole time. You had begun to think that you had seen the last of his terror. How you were miserably mistaken. It was as though he was playing the part of a submissive pet, but out of nowhere, Shredder bit mankind like the true wild dog he is.

“Leo...” Raphael was shaking his head in disbelief. “We gotta do somthin.” He looked at his older brother with desperation.

“I...” Leonardo stared at the screens, the mass amount of carnage being displayed on different channels. “I have to think.” Leonardo excused himself from the room.

“Leo-“ Raphael demanded his brother’s attention, but you cut him off.

“Raph.” You spoke sternly. “Give him a moment.”

Raphael wanted to protest, his need to react pushing him. But he nodded in understanding to your request and silently paced.

“We all need...” you felt yourself faltering, the realization becoming all too real as a news reporter interrupted the broadcast.

“-In a moment you will hear the new rules our lord Shredder has for us-“ black smudged down her cheeks from her mascara, it was obvious the reporter had been crying, her voice trembling as she spoke. You tried to listen to her, but everything began to blur together. “ -resistance will result in death-“ footage of citizens being executed started to play.

This wasn’t a dream... Your eyes widened, watching as people who tried to fight back were put down like animals. All over, his followers were spread throughout the cities like a disease. Gathering martyrs for an example of just how vast his power reached. The camera was painted in blood, screams of pleas falling on deaf ears. They showed no mercy, slaughtering men, women, and children. One reporter tried to step in on behalf of a child, only to be cut down in his place. No this was not a dream, this truly was nightmare.

“We need to- we... need..” you tried to finish your thoughts. Chest tightening, you couldn’t think, couldn’t breath. “...Fuck!” You whimpered, grabbing your head and falling to your knees.

“Sweetcheeks!” Mikey breathed out, coming to your side and wrapping his arms around you.

You quickly pushed him away as you felt the vile in your belly rising up. Your body shook as you released the contents of your stomach onto the floor.

“Y/n!” Raphael’s worried voice came.

“I’m fine!” You heaved, weakly wiping at your mouth. “Just... I’m fine.”

Throughout all of this, Donnie’s attention never left his screen. Feverishly he typed, ignoring all distractions to try and find a solution.

“Donnie.” You stood up, Mikey helping you keep your balance. “What the hell is happening?”

“It’s... a lot.” He mumbles, still working as he observes. “It seems that the bombs weren’t just regular nukes. The radiation is having a type of mutation effect on things... it’s poisoning crops and the dirt yes... But also... it seems... that the living things, at least the ones that are not killed by it, are being mutated... not to mention he’s taken control of the water supply... shit, he’s blocked off all coastlines...” Donnie trailed off as he focused, his mouth hanging open as he read.

“What the fuck does that mean?” Raphael spit back.

“I don’t know.” Donnie answered back half-heartedly, trying to concentrate.

“Ya don’t know!?” Raphael was growing frustrated.

“YES.” Donnie confirmed, spinning his chair around. “I DIDN’T LAUNCH THE FUCKING BOMB RAPH.“ Don spun back around as his brothers stood with their mouths agape. “Now let me work.” He mumbled.

Everyone was quite, the only sound was Donnie’s typing. “I’m sorry.” Donnie spoke sheepishly. “I gotta back up what I can, I doubt the server will be online much longer.” He muttered, as he worked as fast as he could.

“S’kay.” Raph grunted, walking around in a circle like he was on autopilot.

You yelped in surprise as all the power cut off. A moment of stillness passed before whirling of generators started and the emergency power came on.

“Dammit.” Don cursed under his breath.

“What was that?” Mikey asked with big eyes.

“That means I have less time than I had hoped.” Donnie answered quickly. “He’s forcing everyone off the grid.”

“I’m gonna go find Leo.” You stated, leaving for the exit.

“I’m coming.” Mikey followed close behind.

Donnie’s fingers froze over the keys, his face inching closer to the screen. “This can’t be.” He thought out loud.

The sudden halt of typing catching your attention, you stopped in your tracks.

“What is it?” You questioned quietly.

All eyes were on him. Donnie looked at you, his mouth slightly open as he stared at you with a blank expression. You furrowed your brows, waiting for an answer. “It’s-“ he began to answer, but clamped his jaw shut. You could see the gears in his head turning, the thoughts flashing behind his eyes. “It’s nothing. Go check on Leo.” He finished quietly and turned back around to his work.

You grunted in acknowledgement, turning to leave. But part of you felt like Donatello was keeping something to himself. You decided to inquire about it later, right now you wanted to be by Leonardo’s side. You needed him.

As if on cue, Leonardo strutted into the lab, standing tall and strong. He had made a decision, that you knew. The whole room looked to Leo, every nerve on edge and ready to react. Waiting for their leader’s order to attack, and defend civilization.

“I’ve thought about it.” Leonardo stated, clenching his fist. “We lay low.”

“HAVE YA LOST YER SHITTY MIND!?!”

 

 

 

                            ———

 

 

‘Well, that could have gone better.’ You thought quietly to yourself as you tried to come to terms with everything that had happened that day. After a much heated, and borderline physical debate, the guys had decided (thanks to Donnie backing him up.) that Leo was right. There was no need for them to rush in blind, it would be best to let the dust settle and figure out what was going on. Most likely The Shredder was waiting for them to attack, and it would do no good to fall into his trap.

But an overwhelming sense of helplessness was eating at your stomach. Was there really nothing you could do? Just sit here? Surely there were people up top that needed help right now, how could you just abandon the cause like that?

‘No y/n.’ You mentally stopped your questioning. Leo was right, you need to trust him, and his decision.

Currently you sat on the edge of Leo’s bed, watching him as he meditated on the floor. How could he look so peaceful? You could never master meditation like he could.

Closing your eyes, you tried to calm your shaking core. Even now, as you tried to clear your mind, the acid in your stomach was rising. You couldn’t clear your thoughts, what the hell was happening. Did Shredder really just win? Was this like the apocalypse? The fuck?! That crap was for movies, not real life. This can’t be real! It can’t be!

You froze as you felt a gentle touch on your cheek. Your eyelids fluttered open to stare at the concerned gaze before you.

“Your breathing was becoming erratic.” He stated softly, rubbing his thumbs on your skin in a soothing manner.

“Leo-“ Was the only thing your shaky voice could reply to the turtle crouched in front of you.

“Don’t be scared.” He whispered so quietly, pulling you into his arm. “Everything is going to be okay.” He held you tight, trying to fight your tremors. “This is not the end of your world, I promise you.” He spoke into your hair.

You clutched onto him tightly, breathing in horse, deep breaths.

“I’m going to protect you.” Leo promised, holding you securely in his grasp.

                             

 

         

                              ———

 

 

 

Darkness crept up like any other evening, the events of the day had not delayed night. Quietness had fallen on the lair, everyone had retired to their rooms. No more talk for tonight, just silence to process their thoughts. They were letting the sweet relief of sleep take their worries from them. That is, everyone except for a certain leader in blue.

Leo watched your sleeping form, gently brushing the hair from your face. He sucked in a harsh breath, surprised by the emotion forming a lump in his throat. Damn, you were beautiful. He wished to freeze time just to watch you exist here beside him. You were his saving grace, always had been. The only thing that got him through his fathers passing. The one who encouraged him when he felt unfit to lead. You kept him sane. But now, now it was his turn to save you.

“I love you.” Leonardo whispered, leaving a chaste kiss on your forehead.

You mumbled through your sleep, shifting your body under the blankets. Leo’s hands lingered on the covers. Slowly backing away, his fingertips hovered over the fabric afraid to lose contact with you.

With all his willpower Leonardo clenched his fist, and walked to the door. He hesitated, wanting to turn back, and look at you one last time. But Leo knew that if he did, he could never leave. With his jaw tight, and brows furrowed, he shut the door silently behind him.

Once again he left your sleeping form behind. But this time... he would not be coming back.

     

 

 

                             ———

 

 

 

 

“I don’t understand it.” Donnie’s burning eyes tried to focus on his screen.

The image burning into his mind, making him question everything he knew. He had to be missing a piece of information, this didn’t make sense. Don leaned in closer, maybe his eyes were playing tricks on him. Street security cameras weren’t known for the best footage quality after all... But, it looked correct, it didn’t seem edited or tampered with. That was indeed his brother and his enemy in the same photo.

Donnie jumped in surprise as a voice spoke, interrupting his concentration.

“What are you still doing up?” Leonardo’s voice came from the doorway.

“Leo!” Donatello tried to steady his rapid beating heart. “I was just- uh, you know me... I never rest. Heh.”

“Yeah...” Leonardo watched his brother closely. He took a couple steps forward and Don instinctively closed his laptop. Leonardo flinched at the sudden action. “What are you hiding?”

“I...” Donnie looked at his brother nervously, “I-“ he hated this, why was he acting like he was afraid? This was his brother after all! ‘Snap out of it Don!’ He furrowed his brows as he thought.

“Don, are you okay?” Leo questioned suspiciously. Leonardo reached out for Donnie’s laptop.

Don clutched the computer to his chest harshly, Leo withdrew his reach in shock at his brothers actions. The leader opened his mouth to protest but was cut off by Donnie’s yelp.

“PORN!” He yelled a little louder than he meant to.

“Wha-“ Leonardo stared at him with a blank expression. “What?”

“I was watching porn.” Donnie lied.

Leonardo let out a chuckle, and Donatello laughed along anxiously with him.

“You were scaring me there for a second bud...” Leo shook his head. “Well, try to get some sleep, okay?”

“Yeah...” Donnie gave a breathy laugh. “Okay.”

Leonardo went to leave, stopping to glance back at Donnie. There was something in his eyes Don thought, looking at his older brother standing there. Leo gave Donatello one last smirk then disappeared into the dark.

Donnie let out the breath he had been holding, letting the laptop drop in his lap. He stared at the doorway where his brother had been standing moments ago. “What the hell are you doing Leo?” He shook his head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Your eyes pop out of your head in fright as you are startled awake. Practically leaping out of bed, you ran towards the yelling coming from the living room. There was a chaotic rhythm to the boy’s voices, and this made your heart beat fast. This wasn’t just an everyday fight, you couldn’t make out what they were saying in the other room, but this was serious.

“What’s going on-“ you jolted around the corner.

“Don’t look!” Raphael’s raspy voice barked out at you.

Mikey quickly jumped in front of you, blocking your view of the commotion. But not before you were able to catch a glimpse of Donatello bent in half clenching onto something. His face was distorted, a low guttural sound emanating from his throat. ‘Was he holding back a scream?’

“What’s going on? Tell me!” You tried to look around Mikey who was blocking your view. “Is Donnie okay?”

“Please go back to your room y/n.” Mikey pleaded solemnly, placing a hand on your back and guiding your towards the direction you had come.

The look on his face was so different than what you had grown accustomed to over the years. Normally, a joke hid behind his eyes, ready to bust out. But at this moment, there was no humor there. Bringing you to a shattering realization at just how serious the situation was.

A whisper of a gasp escaped your throat, and for a split second your heartbeat ceased to exist. “Where’s Leo.” Was the desperate words that tumbled out of your mouth almost mindlessly.

These words were not so much a question you wanted an answer to, no, more like a quiet observation that your mind spilled out. But to your horror, Mikey’s look gave you the answers you didn’t want.

 

 

 

 

                —-PRESENT DAY——

 

 

 


A fluttering of eyelids and you were now awake. Laying still as a corps, you stared at the ceiling. You could hear Mikey’s snoring from the bunk beneath you, it must still be night. Breathing deeply, your mind replayed the bitter memories. Memories that showed up as dreams every time the sun set. By this point you had gotten use to the same nightmares. No longer waking in a panic, or cold sweats, you now just woke up numb. Heart steady, you rolled over with a sigh. Your eyes burned but your mind was awake.

Quietly, you climbed down the bed, trying your best to keep from disturbing your bunk mate’s sleep. Mikey gnawed at his pillow, you snickered at the pool of drool forming on his chest.

“Dork.” You shook your head with a small loving smile.

Like a cat stalking it’s prey, you went on a search for something to sooth your dry throat. Before you were able to reach the kitchen you noticed a light on in Donatello’s lab. Curiosity outweighing your thirst, you snuck over and peeked your head through the doorway to the little room.

Donatello was slumped over his desk, his breathing slow and heavy. You walked over to him, examining the scene. He must have fallen asleep in the middle of his work.

“My poor boy.” You whispered to yourself.

He had been going at his work hard lately. Glancing over you noticed the sample of black liquid in the microscope. Donnie had been killing himself trying to unlock it’s mystery, but so far no luck. He was exhausted, his candle burning at both ends. It was definitely a strike at Donnie’s pride, and you hated to see him this defeated. If only there was a way you could help, or at least take away some of his burden. But this kind of work was beyond your skillset.

You grabbed the throw blanket tucked inside the cabinet at the far corner of the room. Don had made it a habit to spend his nights in here, and you had stored the cover away for such occasions. He mumbled in his sleep as you placed the blanket over his tired, limp form. Gently you took off his goggles, and placed them on the desk in front of him.

“-on’t understand.” He sleepily muttered.

Putting your hair behind your ear, you leaned down closer. “Hm?” You questioned, but straitened back up when you realized he was sleep talking.

With a click, you turned off the desk lamp, letting the room fall into darkness.

“Get some rest Donnie boy...” you smiled as you left him alone to snooze.

Walking back towards the kitchen, you set your mind on the original goal of finding water. Your bare foot stepped on a foreign object and you stopped to investigate. Crunching up the wad of paper with your toes, and placing it in your hands you frowned when you recalled what it was. That damned note Leonardo had left you.

“Tch.” You clicked your tongue in disapproval.

On your way to find the trashcan to throw it out for good, an idea popped in your head and you stood still. Glancing back at Donnie’s office you held your breath in thought. It was quite possibly from the lack of sleep, but something stupid was forming in your brain. Something that might give you the answers to your questions. Or, rather... someone. Looking back down at your hand, you stared at the note. Then back to Donnie’s lab... back to the note...

“This is most definitely a bad idea...” You thought out loud.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

What is it about time that constantly changes? How some moments pass all too quickly, while other moments, time is an animal trapped in tar. Today was one of those times where the hours had stretched on. You tried your best to carry on as normal, all the while fighting the doubts causing the acid in your stomach to rise. But as the sun went down for the day, finally, your waiting was over.

It was late in the evening and everyone had retired for the night. Mikey was already asleep, he had passed out the moment his head hit the pillow. His loud snoring was an indication that he was out cold, so you slipped down off the bed.

Careful to be silent, you changed out of your sleep clothes, putting on a pair of black cargo pants and a dark colored tee. You ran your fingers along your belt making sure you had the trusted blade close by. The familiar texture of the small sheath under your touch granting you a little sense of comfort.

Ready to leave, you walked back over to Mikey’s sleeping form. He looked so peaceful, content and innocent, like he was a foreigner to this hell you were all living in. ‘It’s funny...’ you thought to yourself. You weren’t even able to use dreams as an escape. ‘Must be nice.’

Smiling, you gave Mikey a peck on his forehead, and slipped a note under his pillow. If things went according to plan, you would be back before morning. But you couldn’t guarantee you would return, anytime ventured out to the borderlands there was never a promise of returning.

You kept your boots off till you got past Don’s lab, making sure to pass the open door unnoticed. Your footsteps were light, and noiseless. Stopping on the porch outside the exit, you closed the door with a click, and crouched down to put on your boots.

“Where ya goin?”

The gruff voice made your heart jump into your throat. You jolted up and turned to see a figure leaning against the wall, a cigarette between his lips. He inhaled deep, the red tip glowing through the shadows covering his form.

“Kinda late ain’t it?” He pushed himself off the wall and took a step forward, the moonlight now illuminating him.

“Raph... you startled me.” Nervously, you gave a weak laugh.

Raphael offered a smirk, shaking his head. “Whatta the hell do ya think yer doin y/n?” Raphael’s accusing tone making the annoyance glimmer in your eyes.

“Don’t use that tone with me. Besides, what are you doing out here huh?” You tried to redirect his question.

Raph lifted his eyebrow, answering your question simply by raising the cigarette butt into view before tossing it to the ground. His smug expression transitioned into a scowl. “Imma ask one more time y/n...” He took a step towards you, his shadow looming over your face. “Where. are ya. going?”

“Give me some space will ya?” You gave him a little shove. “I’m just- I was going to take a walk.” Raphael didn’t look like he was buying it.

“Geez.” You looked away from him, crossing your arms. “I just... I needed some fresh air...” You mumbled.

Raphael softened, relaxing slightly. “Sounds nice...” He muttered, rubbing the back of his neck. “I’ll come with ya, I could use-“

“No!” You cut him off, earning a surprised look from him. “No. I just- ...I need some alone time is all.” You gave a weak smile. “I won’t wonder too far, so don’t worry.” You started to slink away.

Raphael grabbed both your shoulders, making you face him. He studied your face, you wanted to look away but your guilt kept your eyes locked to his. Part of you wishing he’d catch you in your deceit. You felt sick. For a split second he looked as though he was going to speak, and you were sure he knew. Raph knew, and he was going to protest...

“...”

But to your surprise, Raphael simply grunted and nodded his head.

“Okay.” He released your shoulders. “Be safe on yer walk.” He looked away, hiding his face from you.

“Always am...” You smiled taking a step to leave as Raphael moved towards the entrance back inside.

You heard the door open and then a pause in his movements.

“Y/n.” Raphael spoke, his voice stopping you from leaving.

“Hmm?” You hummed, turning around only to see the back of his shell.

The big guy was quite for a moment, you stood there like a statue waiting for him to speak.

“Remember, we agreed?” Raphael looked over his shoulder at you, and only then were you able to see the hurt etched on his face. “...No more secrets.”

Raph’s expression, his words, the slight tremble in his voice, it all shot through your heart like an arrow. Surely, you were a despicable piece of trash. But... It had to be done. You had to lie. Didn’t you? But his words left you speechless. You wanted to break down sobbing. But despite your inner conflict, on the outside you seemed unfazed by what he spoke. You stood tall and smiled. As though you weren’t lying to him at this very moment.

“Of course.” You nodded. “No secrets.”

Raphael sucked in a deep breath, as though your words had injured him. He simply turned back to leave.

Before you could stop yourself, you called out to him. “Raph!” Your mouth hung slightly open in shock that you had spoke. You weren’t even sure what you had to say, but you wanted to tell him, you didn’t want to keep secrets. “I-“ letting out a sigh, you looked down. “We’ll take a walk together tomorrow night. Okay?”

Silence.

You gave him a weak smile. “I promise.”

Raphael kept his back facing you. “‘kay.” Was his only reply.

“G’night, Raph.” You spoke softly, walking away now.

With a heavy sigh, he took one last protective glance. “... night y/n.” Raphael answered at your disappearing figure in the night, before shutting the door.