This story features explicit content. Please note this before reading further.

ooo

"I want you."

Raphael rolled over in his bed, the shifting of his weight rustling the blankets in a way that seemed deafening in the dark quiet of the lair. It wasn't unusual for him to have trouble sleeping, what with the barrage of dark ruminations that customarily battered against his skull, but he couldn't stand the thought that his restlessness might prompt one of his brothers awake – and that somehow, they would immediately perceive the particular reason for his insomnia that night.

April O'Neil.

Raphael shut his eyes and saw her face behind them, the full pink lips and glittering deep blue eyes, the fine, delicate bone structure and pert nose, all framed in dark red hair that shone and shifted in the light. His scales prickled and he immediately felt his pulse quicken, the new and pleasurable but extremely disconcerting warmth she evoked rushing through him in a great tide. His tail stirred and he ground his teeth against the feeling; the last thing he needed right then was to become aroused.

"I want you."

Goddamnit.

Raphael threw back his blankets and lumbered from his bed, heading directly to the one place he always turned to on sleepless nights like these: the gym.

Of course, this particular sleepless night was not like any other he had experienced before. He had come home yesterday morning with the dawn, coasting on a giddying high of endorphins and hope after having spent hours with April in his arms as they had kissed and kissed until they had been utterly delirious, punch drunk on the taste of each other's mouths, lightheaded from breathing in more of each other than oxygen. She had felt so small and fragile, so gorgeously feminine, on his lap as they had sat on the couch and embraced, but she had responded to him with fierce and fearless passion and when he had finally, with great reluctance, conceded that he had to return to the lair, she had grabbed him again by the window where they spent an eternity kissing still more and more until the sky grew dangerously light and he had to tear himself from her. He'd glanced back at her from the fire escape, unable to help the stupid grin splitting up his face, and she'd been leaning against the window frame, watching him with a smile that might've been as dopey as his, her eyes misty and her lips swollen, threatening to tempt him straight back.

And somehow, he had coasted through training as though he had had a full twelve hours sleep after a month's vacation in Tahiti.

Michelangelo had even commented that his moody big brother seemed positively chirpy and Raphael had just grinned and taken his brother to the mat, pinning him until he squeaked 'Uncle!'.

It was afterwards that he had started to come down – and a fall from Heaven was a rough journey.

Raphael laid into the punching bag after only the most cursory of stretches. His knuckles met the patched leather over and over with satisfying thunks and thuds, a sweat quickly breaking out as he worked himself at an excruciating rate, the burn in his muscles focusing his anxieties and anger.

Raphael had plenty of both. But nothing like this had ever been the cause of his night time brooding. Nothing like this had ever been expected, or anticipated – or even hoped for.

"I want you."

Raphael picked up his pace as her words echoed in his ears. Words that had been so surprising and delighting when she had first so unpredictably said them with a gleam of anxiety in her eyes – but wholehearted sincerity as well.

Raphael had never quite trusted words – they were tricky, slippery things that he found hard to pin down. But he knew enough by now to know that April was rather a lot like Donatello in this sense – words were valuable and important to her, she used them easily and with confidence. Unlike Donatello, however, she did not use them needlessly or excessively – so when she said something, he knew it meant something real. Something that could he could believe in.

If only what she had said was not so fucking unbelievable.

Raphael suddenly stopped pummelling, breathing heavily and coated in sweat, his knuckles battered and raw. He lifted an arm and leaned up against the bag, feeling his heartbeat continue to racket around his body.

What she had said was unbelievable, but what she had done to bolster her claim had been even more so – so much so that by the increasingly cold light of day he had started questioning whether it could ever truly have happened, whether perhaps it was just a reckless fantasy he had unwittingly allowed himself to indulge in, for some unfathomable reason. He had always steered clear of such pointless and frustrating dreams before.

She'd come to her senses eventually, he had realised as the blissful memories of their heady embraces were steadily inched out of his recollection by the relentless drill of reality. She'd realise the mistake she was making, or the novelty would wear off, or she'd meet some human male that could give her way more – a life she actually deserved – and – and –

God, he had never imagined it could feel so fucking good to touch and be touched. How just the stroke of her palm down his biceps could suffuse him with warmth and comfort. Nevermind what it was like kissing her, the warm, wet softness of her mouth against his – how her breasts felt pressed against his plastron, how the gentle scrape of her fingernails across the armoured surface sent tingling waves shuddering all the way down into his tail, how even the damp heat of her breath on his neck made him feel acutely alive and within his body.

He had only ever experienced something like it before in the midst of battle, with the crunch of bone beneath his fists, the roar of frenzied exhilaration in his heart and the taste of blood in the air. But that was a dark feeling, something he had to skitter around and duck from for fear it could consume him, swallow him whole, drag him down into a dark abyss in which he would forever scream.

What he felt with April was more as if the sun had risen directly inside his heart. Something that raised him up and left him illuminated and brimming with light. Something that affirmed life and the wonder of being, rather than prompted him to seek escape. Something he, on some level, sensed could potentially make him feel stronger and more powerful than any number of crushed skulls ever would but that right then left him as weak and helpless as a baby.

Because she would – sooner rather than later – come to her senses. And she would end it – whatever 'it' was – and get on with her life. Leaving him forever changed.

Because now he did know what it felt like. He had never allowed himself even to contemplate it before. Had never permitted even the most fleeting daydream.

But now he knew.

And nothing would ever be the same again. He would never be the same again.

Suddenly consumed with a bone-liquefying terror, Raphael resumed his battery of the punching bag, working until his breath seared his throat and his arms felt like jelly, sweat stinging his eyes.

"Do you have any idea how lucky you are?"

The voice ripped him violently out of his reverie, such as it was, making him whirl on his heel towards the door, chest heaving and arms tensing, ready for a fight.

Donatello stood in the door frame, stripped of his tech gear, padding, mask and loin cloth, only the thick glasses he needed so badly to see in place at that quiet time of the night.

That his brother had been able to approach him without his notice made Raphael realise just how far gone he had been. Panting, he relaxed his posture and lifted a hand to mop his brow, only then noticing his knuckles had split.

"What are you talking about?" he grumbled, scowling, ready to intimidate his most timid brother with all the menace his considerable presence possessed.

But Donatello stood his ground, straightening his spine and looking his surly brother directly in the eye – they were pretty much of equal height.

"You know what I'm talking about," he replied, quietly and evenly, leaving Raphael to slowly, audibly inhale and snort, like a bull readying himself to charge.

April had called him several times since he had so reluctantly left her the previous morning and he had ignored every one, sinking further and further into his gloomy and morbid convictions and trying to resign himself to the reality it was better if they just stopped whatever it was they were starting before it could go any further. Before it could get out of control. Before he had lost himself in her.

Early evening the night before, Donatello had stuck his head into the dojo where Raphael and Leonardo were sparring, prompting a time-out with a conspicuous cough, then casually announced: "April called – " his eyes had locked with Raphael's and he had elaborated. "For you. Call her back when you get a chance."

And then he was gone and Raphael was rounding on Leonardo with renewed ferocity, unwilling to allow his brother to even contemplate an interrogation.

Late that morning, whilst Raphael was occupied in measuring offcuts of wood in readiness for a new shelving unit, Donatello had drifted past, a hunk of cheese in one hand and a doorstopper of a book in the other.

"April called again," he advised Raphael offhandedly, without stopping. And Raphael had grunted to indicate he had heard and they had both continued about their business.

Now his geeky and easy-going genius of a brother was coolly confronting him in the dead of the night, signalling all too clearly he knew exactly what had been going on, had known all along.

Raphael shifted his weight and slowly closed his hands into fists, gazing steady back at Donatello.

"I don't see how it's any of your business, Don," he spoke with quiet menace, making it all too clear he was ready to get physical if Donatello continued to push him.

Donatello's brow ridges flickered, his throat bobbed as he swallowed and Raphael did not miss the quick appraising glance his brother cast over him, as though to calculate exactly how coiled and ready he was to spring and how much time he needed to prepare adequately. As if he could.

"It's my business when April is my friend, when she means a lot to this family, when we'll all be pissed if you drive her away and when you're ready to squander the opportunity of a lifetime because you're scared."

Raphael's short fuse lit and in a few broad strides he was nose to nose with his far leaner brother, his shoulders hunching and chest puffed up, teeth bared in a challenging sneer.

"Scared?" he repeated, his voice like the cracking of rocks.

But Donatello wasn't going to be bullied. He shifted nervously as Raphael got into his face and his eyelids twitched, but he stayed firm.

"Yes," he replied, his voice a little throaty but otherwise strong. "Scared. Raphael, you may be the strong and silent type, but you're as easy to read as "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"." It might have been a subtle slight – of them all, Raphael had had the most trouble learning to read, and a battered copy of that very book had been the cause of many frustrated tantrums – whilst Donatello had already progressed to Hawking. Raphael growled and stepped forward, forcing his brother back, out of the gym, before the sudden thought occurred to him that for Donatello to be so deliberately goading meant that his mild, intellectual brother must be pretty upset.

For all that Donatello could seem detached and preoccupied with cool logic, he was highly sensitive - much like Raphael himself – except that where Raphael concealed his deep well of emotion beneath anger and callousness, Donatello concealed his beneath a rational and analytical demeanour.

Raphael paused and cocked his head to the side, gazing warily into Donatello's face. Donatello pressed his lips together and indicated the gym behind them with his eyes and after a long moment of consideration, Raphael backed up, keeping his eyes locked on Donatello's as his brother followed him in.

Once inside, Donatello shifted away from Raphael, his body readied but relaxed, keeping his eyes on his hot-headed brother as they circled each other edgily.

"I don't expect I need to tell you that none of us ever once seriously considered that we would ever get the opportunity to experience romance or sex – or even just talk to a girl – " Donatello paused, considered then amended his statement. " – except for Mikey, that is."

Raphael couldn't help the little snort he made. Donatello continued.

"It seemed a foregone conclusion that wasn't on the cards. Everything is different now and April has played a huge part in changing things. And for some mystifying reason, of all of us she's into you."

Raphael tensed again, his jaw shifting. Donatello noted it and turned so he was facing him straight on, but still he continued:

"Thing is, in all likelihood, April is a one-off. The odds of us meeting a human who accepted us without prejudice were high enough; a human willing to befriend us as she has done were astronomical – but a human actually willing to give one of us a chance on a more intimate level? Possibly even love one of us? I never even bothered calculating; I knew the result would be too depressing."

There was a raw note of melancholy underscoring his voice and Raphael found himself disarmed by it, deflating all at once and turning to slump down on one of the benches. Donatello heaved in a little sigh and pushed on, his voice rising a fraction.

"And you're running scared because it might not work out? You're actually willing to pass up a one in a billion chance to experience something the rest of us will probably only ever dream about because maybe it'll go belly up? You'd rather be miserable forever than know that kind of happiness at least once – even if it is only temporary? What the hell is wrong with you?"

Raphael looked up in surprise at the emotion in his brother's voice, to where Donatello stood, panting slightly, his brows creased and fists clenched. For a moment the two brothers regarded each other silently; then Donatello licked his lips and pushed his glasses up his face.

"Do you have any idea what some of us would give to have a woman like April notice us the way she's noticed you?" he finished quietly, dropping his eyes to the cement slabs beneath their feet as Raphael stared, lips parted as the full implication of his brother's words sank in. Finally, bravely, Donatello lifted his eyes to Raphael's once more, allowing him to see the yearning that lingered in their green depths.

And Raphael realised all in a rush what a damned fool he was being.

Suddenly ashamed, he looked away from Donatello, who cleared his throat and shifted once more towards the door, their chat apparently over.

Raphael hesitated for a moment, but compelled by the pessimist streak he wasn't able to let go of quite that easy, arrested his brother at the door with his name: "Donnie."

Donatello paused and glanced over his shoulder, his expression once again carefully collected.

Raphael huffed a little laugh, rubbed a calloused palm over bruised knuckles, and gave his brother a vaguely beseeching glance.

"What are the odds it can work?" he queried him with gruff reticence and Donatello gave him a wry smile.

"Ah, about two point three seven five per cent," he admitted apologetically. "And that's without taking your charming personality into account."

Raphael accepted the stab at dry humour for what it was and merely nodded, rubbing his palms together from where he sat slumped on the bench, quietly musing.

Donatello coughed from the doorway and Raphael lifted his gaze to find his brother looking at him with a strange expression of reckless abandonment.

"I'd still take them," he said pointedly. And then he was gone.

Raphael sat on the bench, gazing down at his black and red knuckles, his mind in a whirl with all that Donatello had said – and for the first time he realised how efficiently and simply his brother had spoken to him, the effort he had made to communicate with Raphael at his own level. He thought again of April, how she had kissed him so fervently and clung to him as he left, how she had accepted without question that he needed to move slow, how generous and compassionate and accommodating she had striven to be in every way imaginable when this had to be a head fuck for her as well.

"Oh shit," he heard himself say and then he was up and hurtling out of the lair, pausing just long enough to pick up his gear as he went.

It was just past eleven and there was still a light on in April's bedroom window, though the rest of her apartment was in darkness. Anxiously, Raphael rapped on the window that lay between the kitchen and living room, reaching back to adjust the knot of the mask he'd hastily tied on the way over.

April must've known it would be him, and her expression was carefully guarded when she ran up the blinds and lifted the sash.

"Hey," he said once the window was open and she had stepped back, her arms crossed over her chest. She cocked a brow at him, her lips pressed into a little moue that, even apprehensive as he was, still looked cute and sexy as hell.

"Hey," she replied.

He took a deep breath and scratched the back of his head. "Sorry for dropping by so late, without callin'."

She shrugged. "It's okay."

But she continued to pout and gaze at him warily, dressed in nothing but an old tee shirt and loose pajama bottoms, her hair tumbling about her shoulders. Trying not to get distracted by her beauty or the sudden wash of memory of how she had felt in his arms, Raphael rubbed his muzzle with one hand and huffed.

"Can I come in?" he was trying to be on his best behaviour and her expression softened just a little at the request.

"Of course," she replied, and he carefully eased his massive bulk in through the window, stepping lightly onto her floorboards and into the warmth of her apartment, where the air was heavy with the scent of her. He shut the window behind him as she turned and padded around the kitchen counter to the fridge, from which she pulled two beers, sighing as she did so.

"Raphael, I understand you need time to deal with this but not taking my calls isn't fair," she tried to keep her voice gentle and even, but couldn't quite erase a note of irritation from it and despite himself, Raphael felt himself respond with a spark of anger.

Mainly because she was right. And she had every right to be pissed at him.

Because Donatello was right.

Because he was already screwing this up in a big way. Because of all of them he was the least suited, the least deserving, of someone as incredible and wonderful as her choosing him. So why the hell had she?

She flashed her dark blue eyes up at him as she came forward, proffering a beer bottle, her brow furrowed and her lips pressed tight together as though she struggled to suppress the true force of her emotions and the spark within him flared up as he wished she would stop being so goddamn fair and just yell at him already.

Silently, he accepted the beer and popped the cap off, placed the bottle next to him on the counter and then held out a hand, offering to open hers. She accepted the offer and when he had given it back to her she took a hearty chug, her lovely throat undulating as she swallowed. Even now she was giving him space, probably seeing all too well in the tense set of his shoulders, the tightness in his jaw that he was fighting against a churning, raging sea of emotion that threatened to erupt from him at any moment, probably thinking that if she kept her distance he would cool down on his own – not realising, not knowing, that once his anger began to rise like this, nearly nothing could stem it until it reached boiling point.

If she would just yell at him, just let it all come flooding out, he would feel better. He could deal with that. Deal with a battery of recrimination and scolding. Hadn't he blown up at her for vanishing on him for a week? She didn't have to go so easy on him.

But then she was lowering the bottle from her lips and looking up at him with such an aching vulnerability it made his heart cleave.

"I thought you'd changed your mind," she said in a soft, bruised voice and his rage peaked.

Because he had changed his mind.

Even though he hadn't come out and told her so, he had. And he'd avoided her calls like he was some kind of coward. And he'd hurt her. For the millionth time already, he'd hurt her. When any one of his brothers would already have made her feel like the most precious creation on earth, all he could do was hurt her.

But somehow, he had been the lucky one.

"Goddamnit April, what are you doing?" he bellowed, hurtling his beer bottle violently at the floor before he was even aware he would, the glass shattering and cold beer splattering everywhere. April jumped back, alarm and fear contorting her face before she gazed at the ruin on her floorboards with dismay. Oh Jeeze, if there were any damage…

"I mean, none of this makes any sense! Are you crazy?" On some level he knew he was way out of line, but he couldn't seem to stop the tide now it had flooded from him, his voice a roar that shook the tiny apartment, pacing back and forth in a short, tight line, burly arms gesticulating wildly. "Why, of all things – I mean – why – how – can you want me? You're so – so – beautiful! And smart! And brilliant! You could have anyone – anyone you wanted – you deserve anyone you wanted. Someone else. Someone – someone – better," he finished lamely, his rage suddenly deflating as quickly as it had risen in the way it sometimes would, leaving him staring in remorse at the shards of glass laying amidst puddles of beer as his brain relentlessly echoed. Someone smart. Someone funny. Someone stable. Someone human.

"Have you finished?" April's voice broke coldly into his thoughts and he started and looked over at her where she stood with her arms crossed tight and defensive across her breasts, her face quivering with emotion despite the ice in her tone.

Raphael briefly shut his eyes, shifted edgily, looked at her again in despair. "April, I'm sorry – "

"Fuck you, Raphael," she interrupted him, her voice quiet with fury. "I don't know what more I can do to convince you beyond what I've already done, but I can promise you this: I am a grown fucking woman who is capable of making her own choices. And I have."

Even as her anger struck him down to the very bone with fear, he welcomed it. He'd earned it, he knew.

"Let me clean this up," he muttered, squatting and beginning to retrieve the dark fragments of glass from the floor. "Then I'll go."

April's legs, clad in pale green pajama bottoms covered in fat pink elephants, appeared in his line of sight. "No," he heard her say above him, her voice enraged and he looked up at her with real terror lancing through him. Oh shit. This was it. She was going to end it. She was going to kick him out on the spot. He wasn't going to get another chance. And too late he realised he couldn't accept it, not at all, not even a little bit.

April's fists were clenched by her side and she seemed to quiver with rage as she stared down at him where he crouched, one palm half full with broken glass, the other arm arrested midstretch towards another piece, frozen in place with dread at what he felt sure was coming and already knowing he was going to fight it, even if it were hopeless.

"You do not get to barge in here in the middle of the night after avoiding me for a few days, lose your shit at me for no goddamn reason and then just walk back out again," she wasn't shouting but she wasn't exactly being quiet either and then she threw up her hands and gestured to herself with disgust. "And without even phoning ahead first so I get a chance to make myself look even a little bit decent for a change. Jesus, Raphael!"

She spun around in exasperation and he slowly rose until he towered over her once more, awkwardly depositing the fragments of glass on the counter top.

"April – " he began tentatively and she turned to glare at him, her eyes flashing blue fire and her hair all tousled and her pink lips set firmly together, everything about her obstinate and determined and passionate, and he felt his heart clamp as surely as if she had punched through his plastron and squeezed. "You are so fucking beautiful."

The words were out before he had a chance to think them through, consider how they would sound – how he would sound as he said them. He might as well have laid bare his soul for he had uttered them with such raw and pure feeling there was no hiding from it, no concealing the reverence with which he beheld her, the passion and tenderness he felt for her and if she dumped him now when he had so recklessly revealed so much, he couldn't bear the regret.

There was no taking that back.

But April softened, as though the caress of his gaze soothed her, and her poise relaxed and she drifted towards him, looking up at him with a tenderness that matched what beat inside him.

"Do you want this?" she asked him softly and though his heart pounded a little harder, he was sure.

"Yes," he replied definitely, and miraculously her eyes flooded with relief and he marvelled yet again that this was real and it was happening to him.

Then she was reaching out a hand to gently stroke the solid curve of his bicep with her fingertips, a touch that electrified him with all the promise held in its very coyness.

"What can I do to convince you? How can I make this easier?" she murmured, her eyes seeking his out, searching him for the answer.

He shrugged, crossing his arms over, glancing away to the pile of jagged brown glass on the counter, forcing himself to face that loss of control and how unacceptable it was. His brothers were big and expert martial artists. They knew how to deal with him and his rages. April was small, frail, untrained. He would never lay a hand on her but it would still be frightening to have someone so massive and strong lose it like that in such a confined space. Jesus, he was such an asshole. "'S my shit. I'll deal with it."

She pressed against his arm, trying to urge him to look at her. "You don't have to do it alone," she said and with such gentleness he had to take a deep breath to steady himself, his emotions once again set churning inside him.

"Ain't gonna drag you down with me," he said brusquely and shrugged her off, turning his shell to her to place both massive hands on the counter, hunching his shoulders over and staring at the flecked formica with hazing eyes.

Behind him, April snorted with frustration. "Goddamnit, look at me." Her tone signalled she wasn't to be messed around with right then, and still slightly fearful she might be on the verge of calling an end to it all, he obeyed, turning slow and heavily to face her.

As soon as he was, she started undressing.

Raphael felt his heart leap into his mouth when she grasped the bottom of her tee shirt and wrested it up above her head. She wasn't wearing a bra and immediately he lowered his eyes, the blood pounding in his cheeks, his tail stirring traitorously even as he struggled with his consternation.

He heard the rustle of material as she dropped the shirt, grasped the waistband of her shorts and shimmied them down to her ankles, kicked them off. He stared at the floorboards, focusing on where beer was channelling through the grooves separating them, not daring to look at her even as his suddenly throbbing tail urged him to.

"Raphael – " her voice was once again gentle, like her caress against his scales. "I'm not trying to pressure you into anything you're not ready for. I'm just trying to make you see – I'm sure. When you're ready, I am."

And he couldn't help but look.

Against the backdrop of her cheerful, shabby living room with its overstuffed couch, the DVDs stacked up against one wall and the scratched ikea coffee table covered in cheap magazines and the dirty plate from her dinner, she appeared like a priceless work of art, a masterpiece that left him feeling shuddering and weak just from the experience of looking upon her as though he had peered into heaven and glimpsed the face of a goddess. Naked, boldly looking straight at his face even as the shadows of her eyes hinted of shyness, she seemed more fragile than ever yet also profoundly organic, resilient and willowy as a sapling, determinedly standing her ground no matter what gales might batter at her, try to bring her down. She stood unflinching as his eyes poured helplessly all over her, trying to absorb every perfect detail at once, sear it into his memory so that whenever he closed his eyes she would rise behind them, exactly as she was in this moment, glorious and leaving him breathless and trembling with her beauty.

Her full breasts, her tapered waist, the flare of her hips – the curvaceous shape that always most hooked his eye – made his throat dry as a desert, clamouring to drink her in as though she were a spring emerging pure and straight from the earth. Her hair tumbled messily about her shoulders, its chestnut hue matched by a thin strip positioned down her pubis, beneath which he could see the tantalising crevice that suddenly had his blood in a furious boil and his cock emerging, hard and throbbing. Even as he feasted on the sight of her creamy smooth flesh with its hypnotising curves and dips, he knew he still wasn't quite ready yet to reveal himself in full to her, still needed time to prepare himself. He knew he wasn't like any man she had been with before and though she said she was at ease with it – maybe even truly was – he wasn't himself, not just yet.

April smiled gently at him as he finally dragged his eyes back up to her face, knowing he was staring at her with a dangling jaw and probably looking a fool, but so struck by her loveliness, by the sheer warm aliveness of her, that he seemed powerless to get it together. God, if Michelangelo could see him now, every last shred of his tough swagger abandoned – though if Mikey were here, Raphael would doubtless be the last thing he'd be looking at. He knew she wasn't exactly trying to titillate him – she was, quite literally, laying herself bare, at a loss for any other way to truly convince him how serious and sincere she was. She had chosen him. As preposterous and unreal as it seemed, she had chosen him.

And then April was beckoning to him from where she stood and he felt his feet move of their own accord, taking him straight to her side where he shut his eyes and inhaled her, the mingled scents of her soap and shampoo and toothpaste, the natural musk of her skin and hair and deeper, beneath it all, the visceral aroma of her femininity and he felt the groan, deep in his throat as the pulse that beat through his cock strummed harder. His eyes cracked open to find her staring up into his face, her expression suffused with affection and desire, unmistakeably inviting.

And at long last, he raised his hands and touched her.

She shut her eyes as his palms cupped her narrow shoulders, tipping her head back to welcome his touch, a little sigh on her lips as he rubbed, the soft smoothness of her bare skin a wonder to him. With her eyes closed he was emboldened to let his gaze roam her body and as he watched, right before his eyes, her nipples hardened and peaked and his fingertips were suddenly running down over her chest, feeling a rush of blood to his groin as he traced the circumference of her breasts, firm and soft all at once and he couldn't believe it but somehow her skin here was even softer, so soft he feared the thick callouses on his fingertips might catch her flesh and tear it, but April was arching her spine and sighing, seeming to be thrusting her breasts to him, encouraging him to cup them and though they were of a generous-enough size they were dwarfed by his immense hands, the paleness of her flesh standing out bright, seeming almost to shimmer, against the green of his.

Raphael looked up at her face again, noticing how her lashes fluttered, the flush in her cheeks, how her lips were softly parted and wondered at what point he would wake up. Not only was he in the same room as a real, live naked woman – as a real, live naked April – but she was permitting him to touch her, shivering and sighing beneath the graze of his fingertips.

As though she felt his gaze, her midnight blue eyes opened and stared straight into his, glossy and bright, and before he knew it he was sinking to his knees before her, his hands slipping down her ribcage, following the inward path her waist drew, then outwards again to cup her hips and it felt every bit as good as he had anticipated to trace that captivatingly feminine form. April smiled down at him and lifted a hand to stroke his cheek, then traced a finger down the scar over his lip.

"You okay?" she asked him softly and he reeled a little, his eyes again sweeping over her beautiful figure before flashing back up her face.

"Is that a trick question?" And his voice was so hoarse.

She laughed softly, dropped her hands to his shoulders and kneaded them there and he felt the rigid muscle undulate beneath her touch. "Just don't feel like you have to do anything you don't want to."

And somehow that gave him the courage to lean forward and place a warm kiss on her sternum, right between her breasts.

And then his lips were moving over her skin hotly, softly, seeking out the tempting peaks of her nipples, kissing a path around the full curve of her breast before capturing one and lipping it softly, carefully, intoxicated by her but attentively poised for any hint he had done something wrong.

But April only sighed, a sweet sound like the whisper of wind that quickly became a moan as he continued to gently toy with the erect nipple, rolling it over his tongue and between his lips, savouring its texture and shape, trying to keep a hold of his senses and sear the experience into his brain, the desire that had always flickered and taunted at the very back of his thoughts every time he turned the pages of a racy magazine now made reality. Breathlessly, he moved to her other breast, giving it similar treatment and April's hand now cupped his skull, holding him against her as she swayed and gasped his name.

"Oh – fuck – Raphael – "

He'd never heard anything so sweet.

Raphael was on fire now, overcome with lust, his cock fully erect and thrumming urgently for attention. His scales seemed to lift and ripple as his passion beat through him and he slid back on his knees and kissed a blazing trail down over the soft curve of her belly as she clutched at his head where it came to rest against her pubis and he shut his eyes and inhaled her deeply, the scent of her seeming to rush straight through his body and into his cock, making it tingle and twitch. His hands cupped her buttocks, kneading the firm but malleable flesh, another fantasy brought to life, and then he was running his lips through the soft trail of hair that led straight to the crack of flesh from which her intoxicating scent emanated and before he was entirely aware he was going to do it, his tongue had slipped out and traced it, from bottom to top.

April went rigid, her fingertips digging into the back of his skull, thrusting her groin forward. "Oh God," she gasped, mingled pleasure and surprise, and he was compelled to repeat the act, driven as much by the sound of her voice as by the taste and tantalising feel of her.

Again April tensed, again she gasped and when he did it a third time, her knee lifted as though she couldn't stop it and he automatically slipped his arm beneath her thigh so that her leg straddled his shoulder, her heel coming to rest on his carapace, his hands on her waist holding her steady and balanced although with her opened and exposed to him like that his senses grew so heady on her he wasn't feeling particularly steady himself.

For long moments he simply pressed his face to the centre of her, slowly turning his head back and forth so that his lips grazed the impossibly tender flesh she concealed between her legs, the outer folds warm and soft and the inner ones wet and smooth, all of it an exhilarating mix of texture and scent and taste that had his cock heaving against the constraint of his loincloth, that had his head reeling at once with sensation and disbelief, uncomprehending once again that he was really here, and if it weren't for the fact that it was about a thousand times better than he had ever expected it could be from watching the videos, he would've sworn he was stuck in a deep, drugged dream.

Raphael was not big on computers. Donatello had shown him the basics – how to switch one on, how to log in, how to open up a web browser and pull up Google. That was about the extent of his knowledge and about as much as he wanted to know as well. He was not a generally sit-still-and-do-nothing kinda guy – he didn't do much reading and wasn't even that big on television unless he had some sort of task to do while he watched. He liked video games, but that required the use of his hands and fired his competitive spirit.

So Raphael rarely made use of a computer and when he did it was mostly for one particular purpose.

Michelangelo had been the one to first mention the free porn hub he frequently and shamelessly accessed. Raphael knew the internet contained a lot of porn, of course, but not being inclined to sit down and go web surfing, it had never occurred to him to use it for that purpose, until Michelangelo extolled its virtues in uncomfortable detail one afternoon over a frenzied Streetfighter II battle. Raphael had growled at his brother to shut up exactly four times before chucking aside his controller and giving his little brother an almighty pounding – and not the kind Michelangelo had been crooning about.

But later on, in the dead of the night, once again unable to sleep, Raphael had rather breathlessly and guiltily brought up the website Michelangelo had spoken of with such enthusiasm – easily done when his knuckleheaded sibling never bothered to clear the history. Not that Raphael would do that either – except that was because he had absolutely no idea how to. And had discovered a whole new world.

It scratched an itch whenever that itch got too unbearable to be dealt with through soft-core magazines alone; though never in a way that felt particularly satisfying. Somehow, the explicit sex scenes, confronting him as they did with the profound difference between himself and human males, made him feel ill-at-ease and more uncomfortable in his skin. He liked the thrusting close-ups and the naked women all just fine but having to look at the men just reminded him how very much apart and outside of that world he was, and always would be. A lot of the time he just felt worse afterwards, his physical relief cold compensation.

Then somehow he had stumbled upon the section of videos in which the men were barely a presence, if they featured at all. Lone women, pleasuring themselves mostly. Occasionally being touched or licked by another, but the camera angled in such a way that person's face was rarely in shot, and never their body.

The end result was that Raphael was almost prepared to wager that, out of all his brothers, he was most familiar with the intricacies of the female anatomy. Oh, Donatello might be able to name things he sure couldn't – but he likely had a better idea of how those nameless spots responded to stimulation.

Of course, knowing how to do it and being able to do it were two very different things – just because he had known how a pair of sai were wielded after hours spent watching his sensei didn't mean he was capable of doing the same the first time he actually picked them up – but the critical factor was that Raphael didn't feel like he was heading into it completely ignorant. And that made a huge difference. Because the instant the taste of her registered on his tongue, there was no way he was stopping.

Raphael slipped his tongue all through her moist folds and then gently sucked on her swollen outer lips, being so, so careful as he went, not daring to look up at her but all other senses strained between losing himself in the bliss of what he was doing and staying attentive to how she was responding, fearful he was going to fuck it up royally. But April was gasping and thrusting her groin against his face rhythmically, one hand still clutching the back of his head, the other clinging deliriously to his shoulder.

And when he had finished his initial exploration, he concentrated his tongue upon the hard little nub just above the spot her body opened, the cry she made upon contact sending a deep, joyous shudder through him.

"I – I need to – sit down – " she panted above him and though it took a few seconds for the words' meaning to register through the fog of his ecstasy, in the next instant he'd got her back onto the couch, his hands slipping beneath her ass and yanking her forward to him before his head returned between her legs, ravenous for the taste and feel of her on his mouth again.

He could spread her legs wider here, giving him better accessed as he licked and sucked in turns, growing delirious on the taste of her and he was unable to ignore his rigid cock anymore, one hand slipping inside his loincloth to take hold and begin a steady, firm tugging.

April continued to gasp and grind, her every sound and move an enthusiastic encouragement to the effectiveness of what he was trying to do and when she grasped for his hand still cupping her ass and shifted it between her legs, grabbing one of his thick fingers and positioning it at her entrance, his breath hitched and he almost choked on it, unsure her body could even accommodate a single digit but unable to resist the hot wetness he found there.

She stretched around his finger as he slid it in and he nearly lost his mind on the spot as he became suddenly, vividly aware of what that tight coil of muscle would feel like on his cock, but kept on with his passionate and dedicated licking, feeling the inevitable approach of his own finish but determined to get her there, no matter how long it took. He slowed the pace of his pull, wanting to delay as long as he could, even as his sensitised organ frantically protested.

"A little higher," April gasped and he realised what she meant and adjusted accordingly, gratified by a new barrage of sighs and moans that made his cock jump in his grip.

"And softer. Just a little softer," she begged him. Again he complied and the strangled groan he recognised vaguely as his name was sweeter even than the last time she had said it and if it were the last sound he ever heard, he would have no complaints.

And driven by a spontaneous burst of inspiration, he sucked April's clit between his thick lips and massaged it with the tip of his tongue and in the next instant she had stiffened all over, her spine arching, going utterly silent for the longest second before a cascade of euphoric cries and moans poured from her lips and Raphael was glad he had not been struck deaf after all. Her legs leaped up over his shoulders, her feet coming to rest on his carapace and her toes curling against the textured plates so that he shuddered. The feeling of her body clamping rhythmically around his finger abruptly ended the battle he was fighting with his cock and he grunted as his own orgasm swept through him like a shower of fire, leaving him gasping and trembling with his face pressed against her, the intensity of it far outstripping anything he had experienced on his own, leaving his considerable musculature limp and stars shooting behind his eyes.

For long, long moments they both simply stayed as they were, April's hand still pressed to the back of his head and the steadily ebbing twitches of her body echoing around his finger, his face still pressed between her thighs and his senses rapturously clogged with her.

Then April laughed a little, breathlessly, and her bliss-smeared voice drifted down to him. "God, you're a dark horse."

And he found his lips twitching upwards in a smile.

Gently, he removed his hand from her and pulled his other from his loincloth, his cock having already retreated back into his tail. There was a mess in there that was going to get real uncomfortable really quick but right then all he wanted was to curl up with April and fade into sweet oblivion.

"You okay?" he rasped, slowly pushing himself up on his hands and finally lifting his head to look at her, his knees feeling rubbery, endorphins still swimming wildly through his blood stream.

April looked as knocked about as he felt, her eyes glazed with satiation and her skin flushed, almost shyly gathering her legs under her and looking at him from fluttering lashes.

"Is that a trick question?" she asked him fuzzily and he snorted.

April's soft pink lips twisted in a little smirk and she lifted a hand to rub at one eye. "My knees are jelly. Pretty sure I can't walk. I can't see straight. And I don't think I can form long sentences. Other than that, I'm absolutely fantastic. How about you?"

He met her eye shyly, feeling the heat in his cheeks as she smiled at him, unable to help his own grin inching up his face.

"Yeah. Same."

Her hand dropped from her face and she smiled blearily at him, naked and supine and unquestionably the loveliest sight he had ever beheld. His head continued to reel as it struggled to process the events of the last however-long but as she reached out to caress his cheek, his thoughts clarified and focused on the only thing that truly mattered: April.

"Come here," she murmured and he raised himself up on his knees to meet her kiss, their lips pressing tenderly, lingering on each other for an ecstatic eternity.

He carried her to her room and then cleaned himself up in the bathroom before returning to where she awaited him, still naked and fragrant, beneath the covers of the bed, her smile as welcoming as the sun's rays. His powerful arms cradled her carefully so that her slight, soft body pressed up deliciously against him, her hands curling against his plastron, and for as long as he was able to keep his eyes open he gazed down at her contented, peaceful face as she drifted easily and swiftly into sleep, wanting to prolong as long as possible the absolute perfection that reality had somehow become. And he knew that, no matter what happened, however things changed, he would never regret the choices he had made that night.

Then he shut his eyes and let himself be carried with her into a deep and dreamless sleep.

ooo

Well, I sure hope you guys like that. Yes, still waiting for the 'big' payoff but we're getting there. I hope Raph doesn't come off TOO knowledgeable in this. I'm planning for more awkward virgin stuff in other fics.