Raph was two seconds from asking Donnie to find some way to lay the streets down with ice. Casey was trouble for the bad guys when he got on his skates, but that boy was a demon on the ice.
“Go Casey!” April shouted from behind the thick glass in the front row of the ice rink seating. Casey waved at her, before checking someone on the opposing team into the wall hard enough that Raph could hear the crack of his padding from his seat in the rafters. Casey stole the puck and passed it over to someone closer to the goal.
“Look at him go,” Mikey said, leaning over the beam to try and look closer down at the rink. “He’s like a blur!”
“Ice has less resistance than the asphalt roads outside, so yes Mikey, Casey can go much faster on ice skates than his roller blades,” Donatello said, muttering into his hand as he kept watching April instead of the game.
“I’ve got to admit it, but Casey’s good.” Leonardo followed their friend on the ice with his eyes, probably the only one of the four actually following what was going on down there in the blur of angry players. “I hadn’t expected him to be a team player out there, as much of a hot shot as he is.”
Raph silently agreed. When they agreed to come watch his game, all of them figured Casey’d be his usual hot headed self. As good as he was knocking heads, he had to be a good player–so of course he’d steal the limelight. But, he didn’t. Raph had to give him props: Casey scored and stole the puck more than anyone, but he passed and protected his team just as often.
Casey started skating backwards to steal the puck from another player. April and Mikey were hooting and hollering as he spun quick around and made a dash for the other side of the rink. He slammed the puck into the net, just in time for the final bell. He ripped his mask off and started hooting in joy with his team. Leo smacked Raph on the back of his shell lightly and grinned. Raph returned it and elbowed him back lightly.
Now if only Casey could move on the streets the way he did on the ice.
“Sometimes I legit forget that you’ve got all that hockey gear for more reasons than beating in bad guy’s faces,” Raph snorted, punching Casey lightly in the arm over the ring wall.
Case tapped his skate on the ice, his stick over his shoulder. The rink had cleared out, and it was so normal for Casey to hang out after a game by himself on the ice, no one questioned it as they filed out and left him to do laps around the rink. Casey shrugged, leaning on the wall. “Even vigilantes fighting for justice as awesome as I am need a career.”
“You can get work beating people up on skates? Will wonders never cease?”
“Ha ha,” Casey said, shoving Raph’s shoulder. Mikey laughed off to the side, and they turned to watch him tease Donnie and Leo as April tried to re-cap parts of the game they couldn’t see from the rafter seats. Casey rubbed under his nose with his glove, smearing a bit of his face-painted cheeks. “Thought you guys were patrolling tonight?”
“Nothing was going on,” Raph shrugged, patting the side of the wall. “Few muggers here or there, but nothing major like the Foot or Krang. We figured we’d call it an early night, when Donnie remembered April was watching your game and it was probably still going.
"Figured wouldn’t hurt to catch the tail-end of it and walk you two home for pizza or something,” Raph shrugged.
“Awesome,” Casey said, hiking himself up over the wall and landing on the dry side. “I’m starving, man. Pizza would hit the spot right now.”
“Heh, I bet it would after that work out,” Raph said, slapping his friend on the back. He followed Casey as he pushed into the locker room, and dumped his gear on the benches.
“How much of the game did you catch anyway?” Casey asked, sitting down and shrugging off his skates. He pulled his jersey off, and Raph almost laughed at the amount of padding Casey had on. Casey opened a locker and dumped his skates in the bottom as he pulled out his shoes and clothes. “Just the end?”
Raph leaned on a locker and rubbed his arm a bit in the cold room. Just because outside needed to be frozen, didn’t mean the locker rooms did too, did it? “We caught the last thirty minutes.”
Casey grunted in response, dumping his pads on the ground. He tugged off his under shirt and scratched at his side before sitting on the bench and digging through a bag for his street clothes. Raph tried not to notice that Casey had more skin that was blackened and blue than peach. His back chest and upper arms were a regular patchwork of bruises and cuts that Raph imagined kept going down to his legs.
Those weren’t from the hockey games.
“Maybe one night you guys could come for the whole game,” Casey said, tugging his shirt back on. He shrugged out of his pants, swapping them for his blue jeans, socks and shoes. Casey tugged his hoodie on, muffling his next comment. “When you have another slow night.”
“Yeah, could be fun,” Raph said, relieved the bruises were covered again. Out of sight, out of mind as they say. Even if that rarely ever worked. Still, if Raph made a mental note to at least try and make sure Casey stopped falling off of things or took one too many hits to the back, he didn’t consider that all bad. Watching out for your partner was a good thing, and Raph was slacking. “Mikey sure looked like he was having fun, and even Leo was paying attention.”
“Ha,” Casey grinned, slinging his bag over his back and shutting the locker. “I bet he was. Maybe I should ask him for game pointers. He’s good at that whole strategy thing, right?”
“If he is, you’re not going to hear me admit it,” Raph laughed, slapping Casey on the arm.
“Didn’t think so,” Casey said. He trotted toward the locker room door and pushed it open with his back. “Come on. If we don’t hurry they’ll get the food without us.”
“Tell me about it,” Raph said.
“Didn’t have to walk me home, ya’ know,” Casey said, walking his bike down the alley. His gear tapped together, strapped to the pack on his bike for once instead of his back. “It’s not like it’s that far.”
“Who said I was walking you home?” Raph said, snorting. Casey yawned heavily, and his eyes were half shut as he tugged the bike along. Exhausted from a rough game, rough housing brothers, and a belly full of pizza. What a combination. Raph shook his head. He’d bet money the kid fell asleep at least once before he got to his place. Raph shrugged, making a show of it. “Maybe I’m just taking a walk in the same direction?”
“Heard that one before,” Casey said, yawning again. He pulled the bike a little harder to get it up over a crack in the sidewalk, and sniffed. “We’re still doing patrol tomorrow, right?”
“Yeah,” Raph said. “Why?”
“Just checking,” Casey scrunched his nose. He scratched the back of his neck and went back to holding up the bike. “I couldn’t remember if it was patrolling with you, or tutoring with April tomorrow. But it was one of them.”
“She still helping you with school stuff?” Raph asked, as they closed in on Casey’s home.
Casey nodded, and started pulling stuff off his bike at the fire escape that led up to his window. “If I flunk I get kicked off the hockey team. That hasn’t changed, vigilante night life or not.”
“Hockey’s important to you, isn’t it?” Raph said, watching Casey chain his bike up.
“Before I started to hang out with you guys,” Casey grunted, hauling himself up onto the fire escape. “Going Pro was all I wanted to do.”
“Still want to?” Raph asked, as Casey climbed higher and higher.
His friend dumped his gear on his landing and shoved his window open. Casey had one foot in his room, and sat on the window. He leaned on the sill and looked down at Raph. “Don’t know.”
Raph nodded, and waved before heading back into the alley.
“But you know Raph,” Casey said, leaning over to the edge of the fire escape railing, still somehow straddling his windowsill. “You better believe whatever I end up doing, I’ll still be awesome. ‘Cause I’m Casey Jones, and don’t you forget it!”
“How could I ever with you reminding me every five minutes,” Raph snorted. He waved at his friend. “Get some sleep, Jones.”
“Night, Raph,” Casey grinned, ducking into his room and shutting the window.
Raph watched it until the lights turned on, and sighed. “Crazy.”
“Good luck tonight at the game, Casey,” Leonardo said, waving to their friend as he stepped up the stairs toward the turnstile “Looking forward to seeing the game tonight.”
“You guys are coming?” Casey asked, pushing his mask up.
“Yeah,” Leonardo said. “Raph said he was going, and said he didn’t mind if I tagged along. Mikey and Donnie’ll be sitting out, though.”
“You mean I said I was going and you invited yourself along,” Raph said, rolling his eyes. “Either way, same result. We’ll be there for the whole game.”
“Awesome, I’ll see you there!” Casey grinned, hopping over the turn style and jogging down the corridor. Raph could hear him shout, “Pizza’s my treat afterwards!” as his voice faded away.
“You’ve got a good friend there, Raph,” Leonardo said, patting Raph on the arm. “I’m glad.”
“Yeah,” Raph said. “I do.”