Chapter Summary: It isn't until Mona Lisa kisses Raphael that April realizes she's lost her chance with the hotheaded terrapin forever...But April isn't one to give up without a fight.
It hurt worst than April O'Neil would or could have ever imagined.
Of course she couldn't hope to imagine that Raphael would never find someone.
She always just hoped that eventually...it would be her...
Watching that lizard-newt-alien...thing kissing Raphael smack dab on the lips in front of everyone shocked her to the very core of her being yet she hid it behind a giggle and a pleasant forced smile. If she smiled, perhaps it wouldn't appear if her very soul was shattering inside of her chest. Perhaps if she giggled, it would cover up the fact that she wished it was her that gave him his first kiss...
But it was over.
Once the newt aliens left, Raphael was downtrodden and quieter than she was used to. He kept giving these impossible sad glances outside the window and into the black nothingness of space.
During those few hours afterward, she told herself to talk to him, to try and console him, but she found herself just grateful that impossibly strong woman lizard alien was gone.
April just didn't understand it! The woman just swept in out of nowhere with her fierce tail and unbelievable fighting skills and stolen Raphael's heart in mere moments.
To think, while all of them were being crushed into the dirt, all Raph could focus on was how strong she was. To fathom, it was Mona Lisa punching Raphael harder than he'd ever been hit before to cause the seemingly always disinterested in romance hotheaded terrapin to fall head over hills. Over the whole time she'd known him, Raphael was the one that seemed so unobtainable. He'd never stolen a glance at a girl yet he drew bunches of hot chicks on everything. It just seemed crazy though how just after just one punch, Raph fell so quick and hard for this stranger. Raph was not quick to trust. He made a point of getting to know people and their intentions before letting them in - yet in less than a span of a couple hours, he was locking lips with the lizard alien.
April had known him for years. She really didn't know when she began feeling more than friendship toward the hotheaded terrapin. April supposed it was his confidence. Raph has a knack of showing off and being cocky, but even then, he had the strength to back it up. Raph's greatest weakness was never letting people in. He was a loner by nature, expecting rejection at every turn for what he is even if it never bothered her. But to see the strongest person she ever met fall so hard, so fast... It wasn't like him. It was completely uncharacteristic and April wanted to ask, wanted to know why... But she even admitted, even she wasn't as close to him enough to ask those questions...
The strongest of the turtles seemed to be something of an enigma to her. She got the nuances of his personality and few quirks, but as far as knowing him, she felt unsure.
April finally took in her current surroundings. She found herself sitting next to one of the grand windows, just staring off into the blankness of space. Finding no one near her, her eyes glanced back to pinpricks of light speckles and blinking stars scattered around the inky sky. Earth was so much simpler. On earth, she felt as if she had all time in the world to figure it all out. Yet, they were thrown into worlds and circumstances they didn't understand. Flung into this hellish existence of just trying to live another day in this endless abyss. Maybe she was feeling selfish - after all, they had much bigger problems now. Maybe she was wrong to feel this way...but love didn't give you a choice...it just happened, whether you expected it or not.
It was then the moment finally hit her.
The moment she realized she'd fallen in love with Raphael.
His smile...his laugh.
It was a stupid joke Casey told her and she just retold him while they were waiting up for Donnie in the living room. Instantly seeing that normally stoic face light up because of something she'd said was when the butterflies started. She fought them valiantly at first. Thought it was just a fluke because after all, she supposed that for a mutant turtle, Raphael was attractive and had a very nice smile that lit up his whole face. Finding herself wishing to see that same smile again was just an odd contingency she'd ignored for awhile.
...But it didn't stop.
At Northampton, it only became more apparent. She'd find herself actively seeking out the hotheaded terrapin. Trying her hardest to get his attention and was pleased the first few times she got it. April quickly came to notice he'd back off, leave when someone would find them at the hidden stream behind the barn. The night she'd wrapped her arm around Raph's shoulder and laid her head against his, she'd expected him to tense. Expected him to push her away, but he didn't. Stealing a quick glance, her heart soared when she noticed the barely concealed flush of his cheeks as he adamantly kept his eyes on the scene before him. It was this moment, she knew perhaps there was something he wasn't telling her too...
A sudden thud broke her from her reverie.
Noticing Mikey, Leo, Casey, and the Fugitoid looking over a pile of old maps on the other side of the room; suddenly recalling the strange yet kind robot mentioning a hidden base only found on older maps rather than the new technology scanners. April took a deep calming breath, trying desperately to get the sudden rising emotions under control. Taking a glance to make sure no one else was around, she dashed to her bunk bed and desperately tried to fall asleep. Perhaps forget about this days events. Praying that it was all just a bad dream. She'd wake up on the restored earth - a place that made sense.
Sleep never came, instead it was when the 'why's' and 'what if's' started toiling around in her head.
What if they never got hit by those stupid Triceratons?
What if they never landed on that freakin' ice planet?
Why did Raphael have to fall for that girl?
Why had she waited until it was too late?
Why hadn't she just told him?!
April had so many opportunities. So many times she could have just grabbed that adorably cute face of his and kissed him in front of everybody. To just pull him aside and told him flat-out how she felt. There were so many questions that haunted her now...
...and she had no one to blame but herself...
April wanted to believe she didn't simply because she wasn't sure the hotheaded terrapin had felt anything but friendship toward her. But why die wondering? At least if she'd told him back then, she'd feel better now. It would be easier to move on if she knew he never felt a thing. At least that way she got it out in the open and it wouldn't be currently consuming her from the inside out. She had time - even that small moment during the fight.
"April, are you okay?" Raph's voice deep and smooth against the side of her head. She met his eyes for a moment, taking in the concern lacing those beautiful green eyes and felt her heart skip a beat like so many times before. She wanted to say it then - in the middle of battle, because you know, she always had the best timing.
She didn't say a word.
A decision she'd regret forever.
"Hey, April, is everything okay? You're going to bed awfully early. Didn't you at least want to eat a little something first?" A sudden voice near her caused her to sit up straight in bed. Staring at the owner of said voice, she found herself eye to eye with a concerned Donatello.
"No, thanks. I'm just tired." she said quickly in the way of explanation.
"...Is something wrong? Did you think you have any adverse effects from the lack of heat and oxygen?" he asked, brown eyes wide, his fingers trembling in anticipation of wanting help her any way he could.
April glanced beyond his thin shoulders. Eyes catching the soft silhouette of Raphael among the background of endless twinkling stars. Face falling when she realized he never moved from that spot.
"No...I'm fine." April answered the brown eyes terrapin with a smile that never quite reached her eyes.
"Okay... Um... Goodnight." Donnie answered wistfully, a soft sigh escaping his lips at April's odd behavior.
"Night." She responded quickly, the tears burning the back of her eyes leaving her no choice but to plop back down and rolling over to present her back to the genius terrapin. The second her eyes faced the white wall and she heard the soft footsteps of Donnie walking away, hot tears began dripping down her face.
Her breath hitched and a small sob broke out.
She had cried herself to sleep that night.