I must be dreaming, that voice sounds like Don.
“C’mon, HLM, please be ok... I didn’t mean to, honest, I didn’t,” another, more desperate voice cuts in.
That one sounds like Mikey, wonder what happened.
“Don, take watch over for me, will ya?”
Gotta be Leo.
I feel someone take me into their arms, and the pain hits.
“Ohh... my head,” I moan, slowly opening my eyes.
“Yeah, Mike clocked you before realizing who you were,” Leo tells me softly. He’s holding me as a brother would.
“Leo,” I whisper, “oh, Leo,” I break into painful sobs, hugging him close.
Bewildered, he hugs me back, and holds me until the tears stop their flow.
After a little bit, I pull myself together enough to ask, “H...how...?”
“Splinter and I spoke to Raph on the Astral Plane, and he knew more about where they took you two,” Leo answers.
“R...Raph...” I start sobbing again.
“N...no he’s not...I saw him...h...th...they killed him...”
Leo grabs my shoulders and forces me to look into his eyes. “I talked to him not even an hour ago, and he was very sure that he was still alive. He said that you were dead, though. He’d held your broken body in his arms. We were all very glad to see you still alive.” He hugs me gently.
“Thanks, Leo,” I whisper.
“We were breaking in to save him, when you dropped in on us,” Mike speaks up, looking at me like a puppy dog who knows he did something wrong.
“Ah...” I say, “and Mikey, it’s ok. I’ll be ok.”
Mike nods and comes over to give me a hug.
“D’you think you can walk, dudette? We gotta get you outa here...”
I interrupt Mike, “I’m not leaving without Raph.”
“HLM, you’re in no shape to go back in there,” Don says.
“I may have had the hell beaten out of me, and all sorts of chemicals pumped into this pitiful little body of mine, but I sure as hell am not going to let it stop me from helping find Raph,” I respond, stubborn as a mule.
“Ok, HLM,” Leo says as I stand, ignoring the pain ravaging my body. “But if you start showing any sign that you’re going to pass out or anything, one of us is going to get you out of that building and to Casey.”
“Ok, you got a plan?”
“Hai,” he leans close and cups his hands around his mouth to whisper in my ear, trying perhaps to hide what he’s saying from potential bugs, “Don’s going to find the records and erase them after making a copy for us, Mike’s going to be a distraction, and I’m going to get Raph. Now that you’re with us, you can help.”
“I’ll go with you to get Raph.”
He nods and we get on our way.
The guards in the hallway dash away when they get the call regarding Mikey’s distractions.
Don, Leo and I dash silently down the hallway, always watching for cameras, and dodging them. I grasp Don’s hand briefly before he splits off from us, silently wishing him good luck.
As Don disappears down a corridor to our left, Leo and I continue down the hallway we’re in now. I can’t stop thinking about Raph. When I thought he was gone, I was sure there was no future ahead of me besides revenge. After that revenge was wrought, I don’t know what would happen to me.
When Leo grabs my arm, my thoughts are yanked back to our current situation. Leo had pulled me down behind a large piece of equipment that’s sitting in the hallway. We hear voices; voices I recognize.
“I can’t believe that they’re suspending me from this project!” whines Fred’s undeniably annoying voice.
“Well, she did escape while you were doing your experiment,” Angela answers, obviously not wanting to talk to this guy.
“It should have been afraid of me! So afraid that it shouldn’t have been able to move! That combined with finding the body of who it thought was its mate should have totally broken it’s spirit! Their refusal to let me work with the turtle is all it’s fault!”
“They’re not letting you work on the turtle because they’re sure that he’ll kill you. Honestly, Fred, how did you think he’d react when you told him you’d killed 309?”
“I didn’t think it would go for my jugular!”
Angela just sighs.
“Look, Fred, I hate to be a bitch, but I have to get going to an appointment. Maybe you should just accept the decision and get on with you miserable little life.”
“You’re going to work with that turtle, aren’t you?”
Leo and I hear Angela’s high healed shoes click against the hard floor as she leaves Fred in her dust. After a few moments, Fred storms past.
Leo looks at me as if to say, “Who do we follow?”
There are other questions he wants to ask, too, but isn’t going to. I can see it in his eyes.
I motion in the direction that Angela took, and we both start off after her.
We stick to the shadows like glue as we follow her through a maze of hallways. Finally, she stops in front of a door and pulls it open. She then disappears into the room, unaware of her two stalkers tailing her in.
I blink as she turns off the camera in the room, and shuts the door behind her.
The room we’re in is much like the one that I woke up in, except that it has only one cot in it, and on the cot is a figure handcuffed down. I can see the weak light glinting off of dangerously angry eyes.
“Raphael,” Angela says softly, stopping by the cot.
“Yer one o’ those scientists, ain’t ya?”
“I ‘member you...you were the only one who didn’t try to hurt me. Hell, ya actually talked ta me ‘n bothah’d ta learn mah name.”
She nods again. “Yes, and now I’m going to set you free.”
He looks at her skeptically. “What’s tha catch?”
“No catch.” She gets out the keys and uncuffs him.
Raph slowly sits up, rubbing his wrists and looking at her with confusion. “Why’re you doin’ this? They’ll prob’ly kill ya, or at least arrest and fire ya fer this.”
“This morning, someone told me to think about what it was like to be in their shoes. She was in the same boat as you.”
“What happened to ‘er?”
Angela smiles. “She escaped.”
I look to Leo, and he nods.
“I’m glad you gave my words some thought, Angela,” I say softly as I step out of the shadows.
“HLM,” Raph whispers, staring at me in shock.
The poor guy looks like crap. His usual patch is replaced with a bloodied bandage, his remaining eye is swollen badly, he’s got many bad cuts and track marks on his arms from where he’s been stuck by needles. He’s also wearing the same kind of scrubs as I am.
He doesn’t see anything all that beautiful, either, I’m sure. My hands and arms are coated in dried blood, and I also have dried blood running from my lip to under my shirt. My scrubs are filthy from my trip through the vents, I have a bruise over the entire right side of my face and head, my hair is no doubt a mess, and I’m sure the claws, which I haven’t sheathed yet, doesn’t make the picture any prettier. I bet I smell to high heavens, too.
Suddenly, I’m in Raph’s arms, being hugged and hugging back. Slowly, my hearing picks up the sounds of soft sobbing. After a few moments, the realization that I’m the one crying hits.
Eventually, I’m aware of Leo’s hand on my shoulder and I look up.
“HLM, we have to meet up with Don and Mike,” he tells me softly.
I look from Leo to Angela to Raph and back to Leo again.
“She’s coming with us,” Leo says.
“Let’s get out of this hell hole, then,” Raph rumbles.
Cautiously, we make our way down the passageway. It’s painfully obvious that Angela doesn’t have much training in any form of moving silently, and after a few moments we stop in a hidden place.
“If we continue on like this, we’re gonna be caught,” I state the obvious in a whisper.
Somewhat reluctantly, Angela nods.
“I got an idea,” Leo speaks up.
Leonardo and I try not to fall from the bars of the modified rolling lab table as we’re pushed down the corridor.
“Brilliant idea, Leo,” I hiss sarcastically.
“It’s working, isn’t it?”
I grudgingly shut up.
Raph’s lying on the table with a sheet draped over him. Leo and I cling upside down to the underage and Angela pushes the three of us to the garage.
I’m finding it harder and harder to hang on as my body starts complaining about the numerous hurts inflicted upon it in the past few days that it’s still trying to recover from.
I clench my teeth as my arms start to lose their grip. Although I struggle valiantly not to let my body give up, I know that ultimately the battle is futile if I don’t get help.
“Leo,” I whisper harshly, “can’t...hold on...”
My friend looks over, sees the strain on my face, and moves his body silently over mine. He gets a stronger grip on the bars with his right arm and both legs, and slides a supportive left arm around my waist. Silently, I sigh in relief as the tension in my body is released.
Closing my eyes, I concentrate on breathing silently.
“Thanks, Leo,” I breath. I feel him nod in response.
Soon, we’re in the garage, and Leo’s helping me out from under the table. Raphael is sharing an emotional reunion with Don and Mikey, and Angela is looking around nervously.
“Gentlemen, much as I hate to break up the touching reunion, I’m afraid I must. How the hell are we getting out of this garage? We can’t exactly open the door and waltz out,” Angela asks in a hushed tone.
“Yeah, Raph can’t waltz,” Mike wise cracks, and dodges a swat from his brother.
“Taken care of,” Don answers, ignoring the two and motioning to a ventilation window near the high ceiling.
I almost laugh at Angela’s slack-jawed look of disbelief.
Mike grins at Angela flirtatiously as Don hands Raph a set of climbing hooks.
“I can give you a ride you’ll never forget, sugar,” he whispers with a wink.
Angela smirks. “No offence, but you’re not my type.”
“It’s the shell, right?”
“Nope, just don’t go in for men.”
Mike just stares.
Don shakes his head and turns to me.
“You’ll have to piggy-back with one of us, HLM. We didn’t think we’d have even one extra person,” he whispers apologetically.
“S’ok, Don, I got these,” I unsheath my claws which I had sheathed for the ride on the table.
After staring for a moment, he nods and motions for me to start up after Raph. Leo takes point and is already outside, and Mike, with Angela, shoeless, clinging to his shell for dear life, is on the way down the outside wall. Once Raph is to the window, I start my way up the wall. Don brings up the rear.
By the time I reach the ground, my muscles are burning and I’m gasping for whatever sweet air I can. Raph doesn’t seem to be in much better condition.
Alarms go off and lights flash suddenly as the government clowns finally figure out that both of their “specimens” are gone and likely out of the building.
Angela curses under her breath, and I feel like crying. I lock the tears down stubbornly. They can wait.
“Angela, can you swim?” Leo asks suddenly.
She nods, giving him a quizzical look.
“Good, when those lights are not shining in our direction, Angela, Mike and Raph will run for that lake. There’s an underwater exit that we found. Mike knows the way. Don’t worry, it’s not too far.
Don, HLM and I will be right behind you,” Leo orders.
Within the next few minutes, Don, Leo and I are watching the two turtles and woman disappearing under the surface of the dark water.
Soon, it’s our turn, and we make a dash for it.
As Leo, Don and I dash for the lake, there are sudden explosions of dirt on either side of us as bullets fly our way.
Ah SHIT! This we don’t need! Please let no one get shot! PLEASE!
After what seems like an eternity of running, there’s a big splash just ahead of me, and I realize that Leo had just jumped into the lake. I follow him into the water with Don at my side. There are little, violent splashes of water on either side of us as bullets rain down. My body twists as I feel bullets tearing into my back and one of my legs.
Don swims over me, and shields my body with his own. I feel his body jerk as bullets ricochet off of his shell.
Suddenly, he jerks again and I feel something bury itself in my other leg.
We make our way through the underwater tunnel with agonizing slowness. The lack of sunlight permeating through the stone above us makes vision very hard, but the clouds of our blood makes it impossible.
At long last, we reach the surface.
As I’m pulled out of the water by Casey, who I’d met just once before on one of Raph and my patrols of the city, and Angela, I curse a blue streak that no doubt would make both Raph and Wolverine, where he here, proud.
Of course, if it weren’t for the blood loss, and my unstable mental state, I’d probably be bearing my pain quietly like Don over there.
A woman is bandaging Don’s leg.
“...’s just a graze,” the wind brings the snippet of conversation from her mouth to my ears.
Huh...where’d I...?Oh...she’s April O’niel. Mebbe I should get her autograph. Man...the strangest thoughts pop into my head when I’m like this...
I look around some more for Raph, and meet Casey’s eyes. He’s saying something.
Maybe I should listen.
“You gotta teach me some of those words,” he’s telling me, distracting me from the fact that I’m being stripped down to be bandaged.
“Uh...ng fngh wh,” I respond, having no idea what I’m saying.
Damn, I’m cold.
The confusion on Casey’s face tells me he doesn’t understand either.
That makes two of us. I think I’ll take a nap.
With that, everything retreats into the shadows of unconsiousness.
My eyes blink open and look into blue eyes.
“It’ll be ok, HLM.”
“‘S Don k?” I ask faintly.
She nods. “He’s fine, his leg just got grazed.”
“Ah...guess w’re bl’d sibl’ngs now...”
“Guess so,” she answers with a smile.
“Y’r Apr’l ‘Niel...” I murmur, this realization having some kind of profound influence on me.
“Yes,” she replies, arching a brow.
“C’n I have y’r aut’gr’ph?”
“Sure, when you’re better,” she laughs.
“Th’s coo’,” I answer, looking past her to the ceiling. My brows furrow when I see what’s there.
“Wh’s c’rp’t ‘n c’l’ing?”
Her brows furrow as she tries to decipher what I’d just asked.
“Oh,” she replies after a moment, “we’re in the van.”
We hit a pothole, and my body sends screaming bolts of pain to my brain, resulting from the jolt, so intense that I black out again.
I open my eyes to inky darkness.
I whimper, and suddenly there’s a comforting hand on my shoulder. The hand is strong and furry.
“Hai, my child.”
I try to reach up to hug him, but I can’t. It just hurts way too much to move.
Oh no...the others...
“Is everyone ok?” I ask softly.
“They are fine for now,” he tells me gently, resting a hand on my forehead.
I lean back and close my eyes. A tear rolls down my cheek.
“My mother would have liked you a lot, Splinter,” I whisper, just before sleep carries me away.
When next I awaken, a month later, I feel my hand being held by a rough, callused hand.
“Mmm,” I mutter as I open my eyes.
Raph is there at my side, holding my hand in both of his. A slow smile spreads over his scarred face.
Gods, I’m so happy to see him.
Slowly, agonizingly, I twine my arms around his neck. He slides his arms around me and pulls me close.
Wordless, we hold each other, elated beyond expression that we have each other, and our lives. That’s all that matters.
Moron Story Index