It was the cries that drew him away from playing with his brothers.
They had been playing hide and seek and it was Mikey's turn to be the seeker though he hated being it because he wasnt good at finding the other three.
And of course, Raphael had to hide in the one spot that Mikey could never find him at.
It was a good spot in the deep sewers, on top of a large pipe near a sewer drain and manhole. It was a dark spot where it was hard to see and using the ladder near the manhole, it was where he climbed up.
And it was there, he heard the cries from the surface.
Raph had been giggling to himself because he could hear the youngest of the four whining about how it wasn't fair that the other brothers were hiding so good from him. He also loved teasing Mikey. It got him into trouble a lot but he had fun while doing it.
And that's when he heard it.
A small, weak cry.
Blinking, Raph turned his head towards the opening of the sewer onto the road up top and listened hard. He could hear something crying. He frowned before pulling himself a little closer to the hole and looked outside.
At this time, it was the dead of night and there wasn't really any people out . And it being mid-November, it was really cold out there.
The sound was weak but he could still hear it. He couldn't see where it was coming from but it was very close. And if his memory serves him right, there was an alley just out of his sight behind the sewer drain.
Sucking in some breath, Raph looked towards the ladder and the manhole. He knew he shouldn't do it. But his curiosity was highly peaked.
Scooting over and hopping down from his hiding spot, the small but large in the same turtle went over and climbed the ladder, carefully and very slowly pushed the manhole cover up to peer out into the dead of night. He made sure to keep it partly closed, just in case there was someone on the streets and looked around to make sure the coast was clear.
There was no one in sight.
Not even a rumbling car.
So the turtle pushed the manhole cover over, letting it slowly slid against asphalt and he poked his head out even more into the night and peered around.
His green eyes took in the surroundings before falling on the said alley, where there was a large dumpster just in the back of it. And that was where the sounds were coming from.
He knew he was going to get into so much trouble for what he was about to do but he couldn't help it. His curiosity was winning over his logic, which was no surprise really.
Slowly, Raph climbed out of the sewers and onto the street, slowly and cautiously looking around before making his way into the alley, following the cries.
Towards the dumpster.
His shell was tingling uneasily. He couldn't deny it to himself that he was a little scared of what he was about to find.....
And that's when he saw the body hidden in the shadows.
Giving a sharp intake of breath, Raphael immediately froze when he saw the human lying there in the shadows, hidden behind large boxes of trash. He thought that the woman was asleep.
A human female laid on the concrete of the alley, still as ever. She didn't even acknowledge that he was even there. She didn't even seem to wake up.
Raph frowned as he looked her over, noting that she actually looked nice. She wore clean clothes; blue Jean's, Nike shoes, large dark jacket that was unzipped and just sprawled open for him to see that she wore a deep red blouse......no.
Raph felt his breath hitch when his observations saw that her blouse was creme colored, not red. He leaned closer towards her, seeing her pretty face that seemed to just rest peacefully and her eyes closed.
But it was the open gash in her neck that told him exactly why she wasn't moving.
And that sent him reeling back to realize that this human was dead.
It was the cry again that pulled Raph out of his shock and horror and he turned towards the dumpster again. The cry was still there, so frowning, he went over and climbed up on boxes to peer inside.
And resting on top of bags of trash was a wriggling, crying baby human.
His eyes widened at the sight of the baby human, seeing its scrunched up face as it cried there, thrashing its tiny hands and kicking at the blue blanket that was around it.
It was small, so very small.
Its round face was so red from crying so long and there were glistening tear trails all over its chubby cheeks. Whisps of white hair peered under a blue cap that protected its head and it wore a yellow one piece outfit with mittens covering its hands to protect them from the cold.
But nonetheless, it was a baby. In the dumpster.
Frowning, Raphael looked away from the squalling baby and looked back at the dead human on the ground. He might have been very young; only 5 years old if his Father was right, but he understood this situation.
Or at least had an idea.
The human woman must have been this baby's mother. And she had been murdered in the alley. The baby, either by the mother or the killer had put the baby in the dumpster, probably to die.
If it had been the killer though, why didn't they kill the baby or take it?
Maybe it was the mother who put the baby in the trash, probably to hide it and protect it from whoever killed her.
Frowning, Raph looked back at the baby when he heard it hiccup and choke before going quiet. His green eyes met deep sapphire blue.
The baby saw him. And he saw it.
It was peering at him, eyes looking into his and its mouth opened into a wide O. It did look surprised to see him but also curious.
He looked back, and he felt his mouth twist a little with a smile. Those eyes were quite bright blue. Almost as blue as Leo's or Mikey's. But nonetheless, bright and curious as it looked back at him.
Slowly, Raph lift a hand up and over the lid of the dumpster and reached towards the baby with one of his three wide fingers and his smile grew when the baby reached out and curled their tiny covered hand, wrapping it around his.
"Heh," Raph couldnt help but laugh quietly as he felt the baby just clutch onto his hand. "You're kinda cute." He told the baby before he used his other hand to reach in and began poking softly at the baby. "What're you doing in the trash? Who put ya here?"
The baby gurgled a little bit but a wide smile had formed in those chubby cheeks and it kicked slightly as if excited to see him.
"Huh." Raph muttered, smiling back before he carefully and slowly wrapped his hands around the baby and picked it up out of the trash. He remembers seeing a movie once that dealt with a baby and taking it from his memory, he wrapped the blanket back around the baby and tucked into his arms.
He knew he shouldn't do it but what else was he going to do? He couldn't leave this baby in the dumpster for it to die in the cold.
"Gonna take ya to dad. He'll know what to do." Raph said before he stepped down from the boxes and began walking back towards the manhole.
And that's when he heard the car.
Inhaling sharply, Raph quickly rushed to the manhole and holding the baby close to him, he climbed in and began pulling the cover back over. He struggled though to hold the baby and pull the cover back over the hole. It was very difficult and the car was quickly approaching now.
"Come on! Come on!" He murmured urgently.
"Raph! What are you doing?!" He suddenly heard his slightly older brother from below.
Quickly glancing down at Leo, Raph abandoned the cover and scaled down the ladder, holding the baby close to him. "Leo! Close the cover! Hurry!" He whispered loudly.
Frowning, Leo looked at him before quickly jumping up on the ladder and pulled the cover back over the hole just as the car stopped on it, making him flinch when it clunked loudly above his head. He frowned down at Raph as he began bouncing the bundle that was now crying loudly.
"What the.....what's going on?" The third brother now spoke up as he approached the two with the smallest brother behind him.
"Shhhh!" Raph shushed them and the baby at the same time. "Come on, it's okay. Shhhh! Shhh!" He urged the baby to stop.
Slowly but thankfully, the baby quieted as the four brothers heard the slams of the car doors and they listened.
"This is where you left them, Chris?" A man's voice quietly echoed down from above.
"Yeah, this where I left Lucy and her spawn." Another spoke.
There was foot steps from above and then hissing from the humans. The four brothers carefully looked out of the sewer drain, though Raph kept bouncing the baby to keep it quiet.
"Damn, you did a number on Lucy. Did you have to give her a new grin? Ya know, the boss wanted her back alive so he could punish her himself for stealing the brat?" The first man spoke.
"She wouldn't stop screaming." The now obvious killer defended himself before he swore. "Oh, man! The brat is gone! I left her in this dumpster!"
There was another string of swear words from the other man before the second yelped as a quiet thwack was sounded. "You fucking idiot! The boss wanted that baby back alive! You should have brought her back with you after killing Lucy! He's going to be pissed off, Chris!"
"Ow! Dont hit me, asshole! How was I supposed to know that the boss wanted the little bitch back?!" The second man whined.
"Tch.....well, it's on your head now! He's going to kill you, Chris! That thing was important to his research and now he's lost it! Do you have any idea what that brat meant to the boss?! It was an important subject for his latest experiment!"
"He was really testing on the baby? That's kind of messed up, man. What was he doing to her anyway?" And it sounded like they were unraveling plastic up on the surface.
Raph frowned as he listened, his arms tightening a little around the bundle, who was now very quiet. He glanced down to see that the baby's eyes were closing, drifting off to sleep thankfully.
"I don't know, don't care. I hate kids as it is. They're just parasites. Loud, obnoxious, messy. All I know is it was some kind of experiment on Genetics. I think he was testing Genetically altered DNA on the child." The first man said as he and his partner began wrapping up the dead woman in plastic sheets. "I know once he was done, he was going to kill the little shit. He doesn't need proof of what he was doing in his science experiments."
That brought a quiet growl from Raph and he was shushed by Leo. He didn't pay any mind for once from the oldest. He just drew the baby much closer to his hard chest, arms tightening around her.
"Well, let's pack up and get rid of the body. Then we'll look at the local hospitals to see if a baby was turned in. We need to find that brat or it's our throats that will get slashed this time."
There was a few grunts and a slam of the trunknor the car before the men got into the car and sped off.
Raph just growled as he glared at the sewer drain before looking down at the baby in his arms. He saw his brothers crowd around him but his sole attention in the angelic chubby face. "They were going to kill you." He whispered to her softly.
"Raph, what the shell have you done?" Leo hissed at him. "You went up there?! You know we can't go up to the surface!"
Raph shot his older brother a look, rocking the baby. "Well, it's a good thing I did, Leo!" He growled back. "Didn't you hear those humans?! They were going to kill her!"
Leo frowned before his blue eyes dropped down to the baby and he looked surprised to see her. He hadn't really noticed her before. But now that he did, he couldn't find a single thing to say now.
Donny leaned over and readjusted his broken glasses over his eyes to see better. "A human baby?" He asked, his small voice squeaking a little.
Mikey giggled as he moved closer to see. "Oh, cool! It's so cute! Do you think Dad will let us keep it? It could be our pet!" He said excitedly.
Raph growled at him before shoving him away. He looked back at Leo. "Leo, you heard those humans. They were going to kill her. We can't take her back up there." He said urgently.
Leo frowned but slowly nodded. "Let's take her to dad. He'll know what to do." He said before already taking the lead. "But you know he's not going to be happy you went up there."
And he was right.
Because as soon as they got back to the lair, Splinter had not been happy that Raphael broke the rules of going up to the surface and had his son doing pushups in the Hashi while listening to Leo explain what they heard.
He, himself, had the baby in his long thin arms and was rocking her as he fed her some milk he had snatched from above not an hour ago after discovering his sons brought her to him.
Splinter frowned deeply as he fed the baby, looking down at her. He was surprised by all of this, he had to admit. And troubled.
A baby girl found in a dumpster by one of his sons, the mother murdered for stealing her from someone. Apparently a scientist by the sounds of it. It was too similar to the mutant animals' situation.
And very troubling.
But it was his big heart for the youth that won over the idea of putting her back for a human to find. He knew by just listening to what his sons were saying that the baby couldn't go back to the surface.
Not right now anyway.
Because cruel humans seemed to be looking for her and if they were to put her back, they would probably find her. And do what they were trying to do to her.
"Raphael, you may stop." Splinter reprieved his son from his punishment. He looked at the four turtles, his tail twitching uneasily. "You were right to save her, Raphael. Therefore, your punishment is done. This child was in danger and you saved her."
"What are we going to do, dad? Are we going to keep her?" Leonardo asked now watching the baby as she drifted off again with a full stomach.
The rat mutant sighed softly as he continued to rock the baby, using his long tail to put down the bottle. "We cannot keep her. She is not one of us. She does not belong down here with us." He said softly. He almost smiled when all four brothers deflated miserably. "But for now, she may stay. Just long enough for us to ensure her safety. Someone is looking for her and she is in danger to that. Until we know it's safe, she may stay here."
The four brothers brightened at that and crowded around him to look at the baby.
"So.....what do we call her? She does have a name, right?" Donny asked as he smiled at the sleeping girl.
Splinter liked at Raphael as he vent down so the boys could see her better. "Raphael, did you hear a name for her?" He asked softly.
Raph shook his round head. "Uh-uh. Those humans were calling her all sorts of things but none of them were a name. The mom.....I think they said her name was Lucy." He told him.
Splinter slowly nodded before looking down at the little girl, studying her for a moment. But then he smiled. "Then we shall her Lucy. Named after her mother." He told his adopted sons.
All four turtles smiled as they looked at the baby, feeling warm to know she now had a name. "Lucy." All four said happily.
"Welcome to the family, Lucy." Mikey piped up cheerfully.
"Ya know she can't stay. Technically, she isn't family." Donny said with a shrug.
"For now she is." Splinter said when Mikey pouted. "It might be temporary but she can be family for now. Just until we are sure it is safe for her to return to the surface."
All boys just smiled and nodded.
"How old do you think she is, Dad?" Leo asked curiously.
Splinter just hummed softly as he looked at the baby carefully. "She is still very young. Not even a year quite yet but I think perhaps she is eight months." He told his sons. "Now then, let us put her to bed and it's time for your sleep as well. It's almost dawn on the surface. And we must prepare for Lucy's stay. She will be with us for a little while. And taking of a baby like her will take a lot of work. I will need your help."
The four brothers were excited about it.
Unfortunately, the baby was only with them for two months before she got sick with child Pneumonia.
Living in the sewers for two months had not been easy on her and while she seemed to adore her new family, it took a toll on her tiny body. She absolutely loved the Turtles and her temporary rat father but with her immune system not quite as strong as theirs, she caught the deadly illness rather quickly.
Splinter had no choice but to deliver her to the hospital, when no one had been looking. He had wrapped her in her warm blanket and when no one was around, he put her on a gurney outside of the ER for a human paramedic to find. He had been quite upset as to having to let her go. He had grown attached to her, like the brothers had.
They were upset when she got so sick and they did not have the means to provide for her health.
Raphael took it the hardest, however. He had found her, after all and he had been the first she had seen. He had been the closest to the baby other than Splinter.
So when Splinter made the decision that they had to return her to the surface, he refused to talk to anyone for a week.
But it had been for her survival.
They just hoped that she hadn't been found by those humans who murdered her mother and had been hunting for her.