When she was younger, she always wanted siblings.
She never told her parents about it. Even at that young age, she knew better than to bring it up. And once her Mom was gone…well it wasn't an option. It wasn't that she hated being an only child or anything. It was nice at times, her home just consisting of herself and her Dad. Quiet. Peaceful. But sometimes, at school, when she saw siblings walk in pairs and talk about their parents' antics, she couldn't help but be a little jealous. What would it be like if she had a younger sibling? Would she have someone to confide in? Would her Mom still be around?
Now that she knew her heritage, April figured that being an only child was for the best. The weight of her bloodline was hers alone. That was her burden.
But it wasn't only hers to carry. Because while April didn't have any blood siblings, she'd fight someone who dared to suggest that the four teenage turtles who lived under the city streets were anything less than her younger brothers.
She never told them she saw them like that, not in words. The boys were smart. They could figure it out through her gestures. Every light shove, every teasing joke, every small smile; all were her way of conveying her sisterly affection. Every time she helped them sneak out from the watchful eye of Master Splinter. It took some of them longer than others to catch on (poor, poor, Don) but soon they got with the program. They knew how April felt about them. They were her brothers. Blood be damned.
She never knew they felt the same about here, though. At least, until now.
"Get away from my sister!"
She could barely hear Raph's yell over the ringing in her ears. The fight had been going well at first. The foot bots were easy, and after so much training, April found that she could take most of them easily enough. She didn't even need to take out her tessen. She was almost positive she was going to take down more folks than Raph until one of she got a smoke bomb to the face. And while her face was fine, the explosion had been loud enough to send her to her knees.
She watched as the Foot bot looming over her stopped, frozen in place. Two sais were embedded deep in the things chest. It let out a low whine, the gears slowing, and it fell over with a slight thump, one of the eyes falling out of the electronic socket. She watched it, her brain catching up with the events, when Raph grabbed her by the shoulders.
"April." He shook her lightly, enough to get her attention but not enough to aggravate any injuries. He was always more thoughtful than people gave him credit for. "Are you okay?"
She was. Her ears would probably ring for the next few hours, but otherwise she'd be fine. She reached up and rubbed her ears and nodded. "I'm fine. Just frazzled." Then she looked back down to the Foot bot. Raph hadn't even bothered to take out his sais before running to check on April. His most treasured possessions. She remembered back to the events from earlier. The bot. Her ears. Raph's yell. She glanced back at Raph.
Raph grew very still. His eyes grew a little wide, which was comical under his mask. He then shook his head, the slightest of movements, and looked down at his feet. If he was human, April was sure that he'd be bright red.
"I…uh," Raph said, at a loss for words. It was a little fun seeing him so out of sorts. April felt her heart swell with affection. What a softie. Raph could pretend to be this big and scary guy all her wanted, but she could see right through him.
She got up and wrapped her arms around Raph. She made sure to hug him tight, the kind of hugs she saved for near death situations. She could make an exception this once. Raph didn't hug her back at first, arms at his sides, but soon enough, his arms rested on April's back as well. April didn't bother to hide her smile.
"Thank you, little brother," she whispered. Then, after a second, she let him go, taking a step back. She walked over to the foot bot and pulled out Raph's sais, taking care with them. Then, she brought them back to Raph and held them out to him.
"There's more Foot out. I think you're going to need these." She looked up at Raph. There was a smile on the turtles face, not a wide one, the type he was clearly trying to hide. He took the sais from her. Tucked them back in his belt.
"No problem." She walked towards the end of the alley where they was an escape latter and grabbed the first rung. Glanced back to smirk at Raph. "Oh, and Raph? Next time, I'm going to be the one saving your ass." She turned back to the ladder and began climbing.
She didn't need to look back at Raph to know he was grinning.