The idea to this story was put in my head by Dragonblooded when we talked about supporting characters. Thank you so much for letting me go with it, Dragonblooded! :)
Chapter 01: Madelyn
Madelyn Dearing was one lucky girl. She had all these neat little dresses to wear, a room full of dolls, stuffed animals, and other toys after a little girl's fancy, and a father that would do anything to see his little darling happy.
That was on the outside, though. If anyone dug any deeper he might have realized that all these fancy things Madelyn owned were just some sort of a distraction to let her forget about the one thing that was missing in her life – a mother.
Madelyn had lost her mother in a car accident when she was two. She had nearly no memory of her. And in her father's opinion, that was a good thing. From this fateful day on he had tried his best to be both for his daughter – mother and father. And he thought he had been doing a good job. Madelyn was a cheerful little girl, nice and polite. Yes, she could be stubborn from time to time, but which little girl wasn't? So all in all, Mr. Dearing was very proud of his little girl.
But an event some weeks ago had shown how easily he could lose her. That night something had torn two holes into the apartment building, both awfully close to his little girl. The official explanation was that there had been two explosions, although neither the fire workers nor the police had been able to find any explosive charges. But it was the most logical explanation after all, so Mr. Dearing had decided to go with it.
He still wasn't able to put together all pieces. All he knew was that he had fallen asleep over the newspaper. Being a single father was a full-time job, and he adored it, but from time to time it really was fatiguing. And while he would wake and look after his daughter at the slightest scream of her, any other thing would barely make him open his eyes. He was a sound sleeper.
So he remembered that he had heard something that night, some sort of a deep grumbling that had reached his ear, and he had half-asleep opened an eye, but whatever it was hadn't woken him completely. It was the second grumbling that made him jump to his feet. That sound had been too close, he had felt the building shaking, and with a fearful look on his face he raced over to his daughter's room, nearly busting in the door. But what he had seen had left him stand rooted to the spot. The door handle still in his hand he just stood in the doorway, blinking a few times. There was a huge hole in the ceiling of his daughter's room and one in the wall. And in the middle of the room was his daughter, sitting at her small table and having a tea party with some of her dolls and stuffed animals.
"I'm sorry, Daddy," she said casually while raising one of the tiny plastic-tea cups to her lips. "But you just missed Mr. Turtle."
His daughter had kept talking about this Mr. Turtle ever since that night. He had been worried at first, but given the fact that she had gone through a lot, that she could have gotten killed, making up an imaginary friend that could protect her only seemed self-evident.
He had talked to one of her teachers about this and they had agreed that this must be some sort of a protective mechanism to give Madelyn a feeling of safety, to prevent her from having to think about that she could have died that night.
Though her constant Mr. Turtle-talk was going to his nerves, Mr. Dearing was happy it kept her from thinking about what really had happened. Madelyn had undergone a lot in her young life, so not remembering bad things was good. That was what he told himself when she again came up with another Mr. Turtle-story.
Let her talk, he thought. It's good if she doesn't remember the explosions and…other things.
So he always forced a smile and nodded to her explanations of Mr. Turtle not having a pinkie and so on.
His little girl had been so brave, so he really owed her at least trying to pay attention.
When they had to move to an emergency accommodation because due to the explosions their former home building had gotten so unstable it needed to be rebuilt, all Madelyn had been complaining about was how Mr. Turtle should find her for their tea-party if they moved. She didn't complain about their temporary home although it was so much smaller than their usual apartment. It only consisted of a kitchen-cum-living-room and a cabinet. While Mr. Dearing slept on the sofa bed, the cabinet served as Madelyn's room. It was so small that now every inch of it was covered with her toys – except for the bed, that was. Opening the door really was a challenge, not to think of the hurdles race Mr. Dearing had to master when he had to make his way to his daughter's bed to wake her up in the morning.
But Madelyn didn't complain about that. She was having her tea-parties with her dolls and stuffed animals, doing her home-work on the kitchen table and still seemed like the happy girl she has always been.
The only thing that made Mr. Dearing sad was having to watch her standing at the small window of the cabinet with her plastic tea pot next to her on the windowsill and watching outside.
And tonight was no exception. Carefully, Mr. Dearing opened the door, shifting some of Madelyn's toys aside while doing so.
He choked a sigh when he saw Madelyn standing at the window again. With a frown he went over to her, going around her toys on the floor.
"Hi, Lynnie," he said, using the nickname he had given her when he had first held her in his arms, a nickname only he was allowed to use. "What are you doing?"
Mr. Dearing gave a sigh of relief when he managed to reach the window without stepping on one of the toys. Madelyn hadn't put her eyes away from the night-sky.
"I'm waiting for Mr. Turtle," she answered. "Maybe he will pass and if he sees me here with my teapot, he'd come here."
A few minutes passed until she spoke up again. "When are we going home, Daddy? Mr. Turtle doesn't seem to find me here. He is worried. We need to go home, Daddy. Mr. Turtle is waiting for his tea."
Mr. Dearing placed a reassuring hand on his daughter's shoulder.
"Soon, my dear," he said calmly.
Mr. Dearing thought for a moment, wracking his brain for something to cheer his daughter up, and when he finally had an idea his face brightened up.
"But you are forgetting one very important thing, Lynnie," he said with a smile.
Madelyn turned to face him with a questioning look in her eyes.
"Your daddy is waiting for his tea, too," Mr. Dearing said with a smile. "So what do you think? Shall we have tea-party?"
Madelyn nodded eagerly, taking the teapot in one hand as her father picked her up and carried her out of her room and into the kitchen which really was difficult as he had to go around all her toys again, but he managed. He set her down on one of the chairs at the kitchen table.
Madelyn put the plastic teapot in front of her.
"Daddy, we forgot about the cups!" she said surprised.
"No, we haven't," her father responded with a smile, "because tonight we are using the good china." And with a chuckle he put the big china teapot and two cups out of the kitchen unit and placed them on the table.
Madelyn clapped her hands in excitement.
Leo was standing on a rooftop, looking over to the building where he and the little girl had had a tea party. There was scaffolding put up around the house. The mutant turtle sighed. The building was still dark, and it meant it still wasn't habitable.
Ever since the Slash-incident Leo had come here to check if the little girl was back. He didn't tell his brothers, though. They avoided this area during their patrols – officially due to the fact that Slash could still be around here somewhere and they weren't ready to face him yet. This was an excuse, and a pretty lame one, they all were aware of that. Slash knew where they lived, so avoiding this area wasn't really helping. Truth was that they wanted to keep Raph from having to meet his former pet turtle. Raph would never admit it but he was hurting because of what had happened. Partly because he thought that Slash attacking and nearly wiping out his brothers was his fault and partly because he had lost his beloved pet, his little buddy. Raph was thankful for the excuse, though, even if it was a lame one. So Leo and his brothers stuck to it.
But Leo had come back here from time to time to check on the building. After all, he had promised the little girl that he would visit her again. The first time after the fight with Slash he had been able to sneak away from his brothers, he had been somehow surprised to find the building empty. But on the other hand it was only logical that the building had to go through some major re-construction after what Slash and Raph – mostly Slash – had done to it.
But it had made Leo sad nonetheless. He had to admit it, spending time with the little girl had been fun. She was the first human in a long time that hadn't freaked out when seeing him or tried to kill him or turned out to be some crazy stalker.
And after what he and his brothers had gone through the last months he really had been looking forward to spend some time with her again.
He lowered his eyes. Though there was some construction progress visible, it didn't look like the building would be habitable soon. Sure, he could ask Donnie to use his hacking skills to find out where the little girl and her father had moved to, but somehow Leo didn't want to do that. He didn't want his brothers to find out how important the girl was to him and so he kept her a secret as good as he could. Sure, Raph had told Mikey and Donnie about Leo having tea-time, and they had made fun of him. But Leo hadn't showed them how much he actually cared and so the teasing had stopped eventually.
Leo didn't know why he was so possessive of her, but he just didn't want to share her with his brothers. Maybe he saw her as some sort of a refuge, something he had looked for for a long time, something he had hoped for whenever he was on the verge of breaking down under the pressure of trying to be the best leader for his brothers.
But as it looked right now, he wouldn't be able to see her soon. And he was sure that the more time passed the more likely it was the little girl would forget about him. After all, she had a vivid imagination. So why should she stick to some imaginary Mr. Turtle when she could think of a beautiful unicorn instead?
This thought always gave his heart a twinge.
He tried to convince himself that it would be best for her to forget about him. Knowing him could be dangerous, and putting her into danger was the last thing he wanted. He said that to himself whenever his hope of seeing light in her room faded.
It didn't work, though. He still wanted to see her again, he still hoped he could spend a nice evening with her, forget about his responsibility, just being Mr. Turtle for one evening.
With another sigh he turned to leave.
Yes, she probably had forgotten about him right now, replaced him with some pink, sparkling unicorn.
Oh, Mr. Turtle, you have no idea…