Raphael here. I'd thought I'd met my temperamental equal when I ran into Casey Jones. However, the latest mutant we've encountered has a short fuse just like mine, and she's not afraid to get in your face and tell you what she thinks of you. More than that, she can kick butt pretty well for someone with no ninja training.
I think I'm in love.
Lisa Monogamy clambered up the fire escape of her apartment complex, doing her best to make as little noise as possible. As she reached the fourth floor, she ceased her climbing, approaching an open window with red curtains blowing in the wind. With practiced precision, she slid through the window, landing on the floor of her bedroom. The second her feet touched the floor, the light in her room turned on, revealing Lisa's mother standing by the door.
"Elizabeth Anne-Marie Monogamy." she declared, crossing her arms in an angry fashion.
Lisa froze, slowly turning to give her mom an awkward and nervous smile.
"Hey Mom…" she greeted, giving a sheepish wave, "How long have you been there?"
"Since I came to check on you after you told me you weren't feeling well." her mom replied.
She gestured to a now cold bowl of noodle soup sitting by Lisa's bed. From the blankets pulled off the bed and the pile of pillows arranged on the mattress, it was clear that Ms. Monogamy had not been fooled by Lisa's attempts to hide her sneaking out.
"Lisa, where were you?" she demanded.
Lisa went to open her mouth, but her mother held up a hand.
"You know what, I don't want to know." she decided. "Wherever you were, you weren't in your room where you said you were going to be."
"But Mom I-"
"None of your excuses Lisa. This is the last straw. You are grounded until I can trust you to be where you say you are going to be."
Lisa's eyes went wide and her fists clenched.
"I can't believe this!" she screamed. "I'm 15 Mom! I'm not some little kid anymore."
"Lisa Monogamy, you better watch your tone with-"
"No Mom!" Lisa interrupted. "I'm done holding my tongue. You never let me do anything! You've been keeping me locked up like your personal Cinderella ever since Dad died!
You can't control me forever!"
"As long as you live under my roof, you live under my rules!"
"Well maybe I don't want to live under your roof anymore!" Lisa screamed. "I hate you!"
Lisa's mom flinched and Lisa stood there. Tears fell off her mom's face as she turned and left the room, closing the door behind her without another word. Lisa stood there for a minute, then grabbed one of the pillows off the bed and screamed into it. After she was all screamed out, she flopped onto her bed, looking over at a small, plastic lizard cage by her bed. Inside the cage, a Slimy Salamander was nestled on a plastic branch, blinking at Lisa.
"She just doesn't understand me." she said to the lizard, reaching into the cage and pulling it out. "She's never understood. She just wants me to fall in line like some little servant."
She gritted her teeth and stood up.
"Well I won't."
She put the lizard back in its cage, then grabbed her backpack. Stuffing some random bits of clothing, as well as a plastic piggy bank inside, she zipped it shut and slung it over her shoulder.
"Come on DaVinci." she told the salamander as she grabbed its cage. "We're leaving this dump."
She climbed back out the window, closing it behind her. As she slid down the fire escape to the ground, there was the sound of something falling above her. She blinked in confusion, then looked up.
A canister then connected with her head, shattering on impact and coating her in neon green ooze. Lisa let out an ear piercing scream that echoed through the night.
Several Weeks Later
The turtles landed in an alleyway, tracking yet another canister of mutagen.
"Eh don't get so bent out of shape about April, Donnie." Mikey reassured. "Just give her time. She'll come around."
"Mikey, it's been weeks since Mr. O'Neil got turned into a mutant, and the most she's said to us since then was over a news report." Donnie argued.
"I'm just trying to be optimistic." Mikey replied.
"Guys, focus." Leo insisted. "Donnie, do you have a lead on that canister you picked up?"
"Yeah." Donnie confirmed holding up the scanner. "Should be close."
Mikey looked inside a nearby dumpster for the canister, practically diving into the container. While he didn't see any mutagen, something inside did manage to catch his eye.
"No sign of any mutagen." he reported. "But check this out."
He reached inside and pulled out an iguana puppet with a top hat and a monocle.
"An iguana wearing a top hat! Awesome why would you throw this away? 'Ello govnah. How do you like my monocle?"
The other three turtles looked at the thing in disgust, Raph in particular.
"Will you put that back?" he demanded. "That thing looks worse than Muckman."
"Besides, that thing might be our cousin or something." Leo added. "And it's stuffed with sawdust."
Aw man!" Mikey yelled, throwing the puppet back in the dumpster. "Sick!"
"Come on guys," Leo said. "Let's get back to the search. We need to find those canisters before someone else gets turned into a freakish mutant."
While scouring through the piles of trash, Raph eyed something interesting.
"Hey guys," he called out. "Check this out."
The other turtles came over to see what Raph had found. He pulled up what looked like a backpack. It was an old red one with a few worn patches for various bands and rock groups. It was slightly unzipped, and the contents were revealed to be what looked like an entire stash of candy bars and pieces of fruit. There was also a plastic cage inside the backpack, containing a small, Slimy Salamander which blinked at the turtles.
"Well…" Donnie spoke up. "This is different."
The salamander stuck its tongue out, the end splatting against the plastic of the cage. Mikey giggled.
"Aww, I think it likes us."
As Mikey said this, a figure crawled along the walls of the alley, eying the turtles angrily.
"Well it probably be the only thing that likes us right now." Raph remarked. "Everyone else we know either just hates our guts or wants us dead."
"What about Muckman?" Mikey asked.
"Or Casey." Leo added.
"You know what I mean." Raph muttered.
All of a sudden, something long and pink came out of nowhere, latching onto the straps of the backpack. With a surprising amount of force, the backpack was yanked out of Raph's grip, disappearing into the shadows of the alley.
"Didn't your mom ever teach you not to touch other people's stuff?" a girl's voice called out from the darkness.
"Ha! Jokes on you! We don't have a mom!" Mikey called back. "Man that sounded real pathetic."
"Wow… you're an idiot aren't you?" the girl's voice asked.
"Hey!" Raph called back. "No one insults Mikey but me!"
There was the sound of someone landing on the ground, then that same pink thing came out, striking Mikey in the neck. He choked a bit, tensing up as he fell to the ground, completely frozen.
"Mikey!" the others cried out.
"Come out and show yourself!" Raph challenged.
"Make me, you oversized bowl of turtle soup!" the girl taunted.
The pink thing came out again, aimed right at Raph's face. Reacting quick, Raph grabbed the thing and gave it a hard pull. There was a garbled cry of surprise, then a figure stumbled out of the shadows and onto the ground.
It looked like a girl thanks to its figure, with long brown hair tied back in a ponytail. She had an old hoodie on, the sleeves ripped off to reveal thick, salamander like arms. Her jeans were also ripped, revealing similarly built legs and a long tail. She gave Raph a hard glare, revealing a salamander-like face. This also revealed that the long pink thing Raph was holding was her tongue.
"Ummm…" Raph said, surprised by this revelation. "Sorry."
He let go of her tongue, allowing it to snap back into her mouth. She spat a few times, letting out a groan of disgust.
"Okay, when was the last time you washed your hands?" she questioned.
"It's been a hectic last few days." He replied. "What's your story?"
She snorted and slung the backpack over her shoulder.
"Why should I tell you?" she snapped. "You stole my backpack and tried to make off with DaVinci."
"You're upset over losing an art book?" Donnie asked.
"DaVinci's my pet Plethodon glutinosus, smart guy." she retorted.
"Ha! jokes on you!" Mikey yelled, still on the ground. "He is the smart one."
"Just rest Mikey." Leo insisted, shaking his head in embarrassment.
"Wow, he really is an idiot." the girl commented. "I mean seriously, I've babysat kindergarteners smarter than him."
"Lookin like that? Raph asked. "Must be a select market."
"Hey, for your information I'm not supposed to look like this, Dumbo. I'm a normal girl. Nor-Mal. Ever heard of it, you reptile-house reject?"
"As a matter of fact, we have." Leo responded. "It's just been in short supply as of late."
"You're telling me." the girl replied. "One minute I'm going about my business, the next this weird stuff covers me from head to toe, burning me like someone dumped five alarm chili all over me."
This caused the turtles to go wide eyed.
"Must have been more fallout from the mutagen rain." Donnie whispered to Leo.
"Just what we need." Leo lamented. "More mutants out for our heads."
"Hey! Turtle freaks!" The girl shouted. "I'm literally standing right here! Jeez, were you guys raised in a barn?"
"Sewer if you must know." Raph replied.
"Well that certainly explains your lack of hygiene." she commented, waving her hand in front of her face.
"You know what sweetheart," Raph started to yell. "These past few weeks have been working overtime on my nerves, and they're at the breaking point! Your little hissy fit isn't helping anything!"
"Oh boo-hoo. Cry me a river." She retorted, making fake crying motions. "Go tell your sob story to someone who actually cares. Maybe your mommy will kiss it and make it better. Oh, that's right. You don't have a mom. I bet you don't even have a dad either you piece of-"
"That's it!" Raph yelled.
Raph then leapt up to the girl, tackling her to the ground. He began punching her, the girl bringing up her arms to protect her face.
"I have had it with mutants trying to kill us every week!" he yelled.
"Well maybe you deserve it for being such a butthole!" the girl countered, kicking Raph in the stomach.
Raph rolled on the ground until he got back to his feet. By then, the girl had gotten back on hers and was standing in a basic karate defensive stance.
"I'm warning you now, I'm a red belt in karate." she taunted.
"Ooh, I'm so scared." Raph replied sarcastically.
She then came at him, her foot coming up in between his legs hard. The other three turtles winced as Raph went cross eyed.
"You dirty little…" Raph said before falling to the ground.
"Scared now?" she asked, looking down at Raph with a cocky grin.
Mikey turned to Donnie, the paralysis finally worn off as he whispered into the purple turtle's ear.
"Man, this girl is like a female Raph."
"Look," Leo spoke up. "Contrary to what you might think, we don't want to fight you."
"Well, your friend currently moaning on the asphalt seems to disagree with you."
"Well Raph is a bit… headstrong I'll admit." Leo conceded. "But we've made enough enemies already, and it would be nice to have an ally."
"Especially someone with your knowledge of reptiles." Donnie agreed. "There aren't that many people who know the scientific name of the American Slimy Salamander."
The girl blinked in surprise, her hostile stance dropping somewhat.
"Well..." she began, trying to sound modest, "I've wanted to be a Herpetologist most of my life."
"Gesundheit." Mikey spoke up.
"Mikey, a Herpetologist is a scientist that studies reptiles and amphibians." Donnie explained.
"Oh." Mikey realized. "Well that's pretty cool."
"Thanks." she told him, giving a genuine smile. "I'm Lisa by the way. Lisa Monogamy."
"Nice to meet you Lisa." Leo greeted. "I'm Leonardo. These are my brothers, Donatello and Michelangelo. The one writhing in pain on the floor is Raphael."
Lisa's eyes lit up.
"Like the Renaissance artists!" she cheered. "That's my favorite period of art! It's why I named my salamander DaVinci"
"Our… 'Father' was a big fan of renaissance art." Leo explained.
Lisa heard the word 'was' and gave a small wince.
"Was?" she repeated, "Is he-?"
"Not as far as we know." Leo interrupted. "He's just missing at the moment."
"Yeah it's been a rotten past couple of weeks" Mikey added. "Losing our sensei, losing our home, accidentally causing the mutagen rain that turned most of the city into mutants-"
"Wait, what?!" Lisa exclaimed, cutting Mikey off.
"... oops." Mikey let out.
"You're the reason that weird stuff fell on me?" Lisa demanded, stalking towards the turtles angrily. "You're the reason I got turned into this- this- this thing?!"
"Wait." Leo said. "Let me explain-"
Not even listening, Lisa punched Leo across the face with enough strength to send him falling flat onto his shell. She then jumped up onto the wall behind him, climbing it as if it was nothing before disappearing into the shadows.
"Great, just great." Raph fumed as he slowly got up off the ground. "The old turtle luck working true to form."
"She couldn't have gotten far." Leo told them. "Spread out and find her."
The turtles nodded and dispersed to find Lisa.
Leo ran across the rooftops looking for the girl. Unfortunately, his efforts came up empty, much to his irritation.
Thinking she had adopted her mutated forms diet, Donnie scoured dumpsters and trash cans, thinking she would be dining on flies and insects hovering over the garbage. Sadly, the flies were all he found.
Mikey, meanwhile was checking alleys and any other places he could think of where mutants could hide. Which mostly consisted of back alleys behind pizza places. He may or may not have been able to sneak away a few slices.
Lisa sat on top of an abandoned tenement building, sitting there with DaVinci in her lap. She looked at the lizard and snarled a bit.
"I can't believe it!" she exclaimed. "I finally find someone who actually understand me, and they turn out to be the reason I'm like this!"
DaVinci stuck his tongue out, slapping it against the plastic cage. Lisa just sighed, leaning her head back.
"Well, I guess it's just you and me DaVinci." she declared. "Just like always."
Her stomach then growled as she reached into her backpack for one of her snacks. Unfortunately, thanks to the battle and her hasty escape, most of her candy bars were either crushed or had spilled out. The fruit had also been turned to mush. She growled, then tossed her backpack off the rooftop, watching it splatter onto the ground beneath her.
"Just great..." she growled.
"Alone and hungry." Raph observed. "Not the best combination."
Lisa turned around to see Raph standing on the rooftop with his arms crossed. Lisa growled at him, then turned away.
"Go away." she snapped.
"Look," Raph spoke up. "I think it's safe to say one or two of us overreacted back there. From where I stand we've both been through a shell of a lot in the past few weeks."
Lisa sighed, then scooted over a bit. Raph took the gesture for what it was and sat down beside her.
"Believe it or not, I've been in your shoes." He told her.
"Oh really?" she asked, more out of curiosity rather than malice.
"Yeah, frustrated with the world, thinkin' that everyone was out to get me and that there wasn't anyone I could rely on."
"What about the other three?" she asked.
"I ran out on them." he continued. "I thought they were holding me back."
"Like me and my mom." Lisa compared. "I left home because she kept trying to control every aspect of my life."
"Was she?" he asked. "Or is she just trying to look out for you?"
Lisa groaned in annoyance.
"You don't get it Raphael." she told him. "Ever since my dad died, I've never been able to do anything. I can't stay out past dark. I can't go to the movies alone. I can't even go sit out on the roof at night. I know she was trying to keep me safe, but she was becoming unbearable!"
"Honestly it sounds a little familiar." Raph replied. "My dad wouldn't let me and my brothers leave the sewers for fifteen years."
Lisa blinked in surprise.
"Well, considering you're out here now, something tells me you guys snuck out."
"No actually." Raph told her. "We just asked one day and, while it took some convincing, he finally said yes."
"Your dad sounds awesome." Lisa commented, turning and looking up at the stars. "I wish my mom was that cool."
Before their conversation could continue, Lisa's stomach made a loud noise. Her face turned red as she covered her stomach.
"We better get that taken care of." Raph decided.
"And how exactly do you plan to do that?" Lisa asked. "You smashed all my food, and it's not like we can order a Meat Lovers Deluxe from Antonio's."
Raph smirked in response.
"Just watch and be amazed." Raph said dialing his shell cell.
The pizza delivery truck pulled up in front of the tenement building Raph and Lisa were sitting on. The delivery boy got out, the pizza pie in his hand.
"Okay, he's here. Now what?" Lisa asked.
"Now, you do your tongue thing and grab our pizza." he told her.
Lisa shrugged, then shot her tongue out, catching the pizza box and yanking it out of the delivery guy's hand. Raph then fished a few dollars off his belt, tying them to a kunai knife. With a deft toss, the knife embedded itself into a telephone pole right next to the pizza guy's head.
"And that's how it's done." Raph remarked.
Lisa opened the pizza box, snagging one of the slices and holding it out to Raph.
"Okay, I'll admit it." she told him. "That was pretty sweet."
Raph just shrugged as they chowed down.
"So look…" Raph spoke up. "About that whole mutagen rain thing…"
Lisa paused mid bite, glancing at the turtle.
"Right. I'd almost forgotten about that." she replied. "I guess since you bought me dinner I'll hear your side of the story."
"Well it's like this," he started. "We were fighting these enemies of ours, the Kraang, in this space ship loaded with mutagen. This substance that made us what we are. During the fight, we accidentally knocked the mutagen loose and it spread all over the city."
"Man..." Lisa let out, finishing off her slice of pizza.
"I can understand if you're still mad." Raph said. "We caused a lot of pain to a lot of people."
"Dude, it's obvious the whole thing was an accident." she told him. "Why would I be mad at you about something that was beyond your control?"
Raph smiled at that response.
"That's probably the nicest thing anyone's said to us in weeks." Raph replied.
Lisa just shrugged and helped herself to a second piece. Raph went to grab one as well, but his phone began to ring.
"Uh… hold on a sec." he told her answering the phone. "Hello?"
"Raph." Leo answered back on the other end. "Any luck finding her?"
As a matter of fact, yeah." Raph replied. "We're just chillin on a rooftop eating pizza."
"Seriously?" Leo asked. "It wasn't just ten minutes ago she tried knocking our lights out."
"Well we've been talking things out since then." Raph explained.
"You?" Leo sputtered. "You. Talked things out. Mr. Stab first ask questions never?"
"Yeah I know. Crazy right?" Raph replied. "But we're cool now."
"He bought me dinner! Of course we're cool!" Lisa shouted.
"Well… that's… great. Any idea what she's gonna do now?"
"I was just about to ask actually." Raph replied.
"Ask what?" Lisa questioned, her mouth full of pizza.
"Ask what your plans are now that you're a mutant on the run." Raph answered.
"I'll probably have to make another food run since my stash got squashed." she listed off. "Not to mention find a new backpack, but after that, I'm sure that DaVinci and I can find somewhere to call our own."
"Seriously?" Raph asked, putting away his phone. "What about your mom? She's gotta be worried sick about you."
Lisa shook her head.
"I doubt it." she replied, looking a bit sad. "Before I ran off and became a mutant… I kinda… I said some things that… I told her I hated her."
"Yeah but did you mean it?" Raph asked. "Look me in the eye and say that. And really mean it."
Lisa looked over at Raph, but was unable to make eye contact.
"Look, even if I wanted to go back, I can't."
"Look at me!" Lisa exclaimed, jumping to her feet and gesturing to herself. "I'm a freaking salamander!"
"Hey I've seen my fair share of freaks in the past," Raph replied. "Trust me, compared to them, you're pretty cute."
Lisa froze for a second, her face turning beet red. She looked at Raph, kinda running her hand along the back of her neck as a soft smile played on her face.
"Look, you still love your mom, I know it." Raph continued. "And I know your mom will to. Mutant or no mutant."
Lisa closed her eyes and took a deep breath, then let it out. She opened her eyes and steeled her resolve, grabbing DaVinci's cage.
"You're right." she told him. "It's time for me to go home."
"Heck, I'll do you one better and take you home myself." Raph told her. "And if I'm wrong, I have somewhere else you can go where being a mutant gecko is considered cool."
"Umm, Raphael?" Lisa began. "You do realize that while geckos and salamanders are physically similar, they are completely different reptiles with an entire span of physiological differences."
Raph just rolled his eyes.
"Something tells me you and Donnie would get along just fine."
"Eh, too much of a nerd." she commented. "Besides, I think out of all the turtles, you're my favorite."
With that, she clambered down the side of the building, leaving Raph standing there with a dumb smirk on his face. He then leapt down the building following her, unaware of the two over-sized mutants watching them from an adjacent rooftop.
Lisa stood with Raph in an alley adjacent to her home. She could see a familiar light on near the fourth floor, the floor she and her mom shared.
"I haven't been to this part of town since I ran away." she whispered, her fingers clinging to the sides of DaVinci's cage.
She then felt a comforting arm wrap around her shoulder. She turned to see it was from Raphael.
"Just remember," he reassured. "Whatever happens I'm right here."
Lisa gulped hard, then walked across the street to the building. She approached the door, then held up her hand to knock. After a moment's hesitation, she finally knocked, then waited for the door to open. After a few moments of silence, the door finally opened. Lisa straightened up, doing her best to smile. However, once the door opened fully, that smile became a look of horror, DaVinci's cage falling from her hands. Standing in the doorway was Dogpound, wearing a twisted grin on his face.
"Hello there." he greeted.
Lisa let out a scream, turning to run from the door. She didn't get far before Fishface dropped down in front of her.
"Where do you think you're going?" he asked.
Suddenly, he was kicked to the side by an oncoming Raph.
"Hey! Back off Fishface!" he yelled.
Fishface quickly recovered and got back to his robotic feet.
"This doesn't concern you, tartaruga." he told him.
Fishface then jumped onto Raph and pinned him to the ground with his foot.
"Xever!" Dogpound called out, holding Lisa with his oversized hand. "We don't have time for this!"
"Fair point." Fishface conceded before taking a bite into Raph's shoulder. "That should keep you indisposed."
With that, Fishface and Dogpound took off, leaving Raph writhing in pain.
Sometime later, Mikey was passing by, still chowing down on one of the pieces of pizza he'd snagged on his search. As he walked, he felt something crawl up his foot. He blinked and looked down, seeing Lisa's pet salamander DaVinci clinging to his leg.
"Hey there little guy." Mikey greeted.
DaVinci let out a small noise, then skittered up Mikey's shell until he was sitting on Mikey's shoulder. It blinked at him, then seemed to just face ahead.
"Whatcha doing out here little guy? Aren't you supposed to be with Lisa?"
That's when Mikey heard a different noise. A low groan, then shuffled footsteps. Mikey tensed for a moment, going for his Nunchucks, until he saw who it was. Raph emerged from the shadows, leaning heavily against the wall and looking just about ready to pass out.
"Raph!" he called out running over to him.
He quickly caught Raph as he slumped over.
"What happened to you bro?" he asked.
"Lisa... Dogpound… Fishface… bit me..." he said in between winces of pain.
"You're gonna be ok Raph." Mikey tried to reassure.
"Oh I'm… just fine…" Raph replied delirious. "I love you Mikey…"
"HE'S NOT FINE!" Mikey yelled.
Back at the apartment, Leo and Donnie regrouped to wait for the other two turtles.
"I still can't believe that Raphael, of all people, managed to talk Lisa down." Donnie commented.
"Yeah you and me both." Leo agreed. "Still, can't look a gift horse in the mouth, right?"
"You got that right." Donnie replied. "Speaking of Raph, shouldn't he be back by now?"
"Yeah, and Mikey too." Leo added.
That's when Donnie's phone began to ring. He picked it up and glanced at the screen.
"Speak of the devil." he commented as he answered. "Mikey where are-"
"Donnie!" Mikey yelled. "Help! Raph's been bitten by a giant, poisonous, robotic fish."
"That's impossible." Donnie dismissed. "If he was bitten it's venom, not poison."
"Interesting. Interesting. GET OVER HERE!"
"Well where is here?" Donnie questioned.
"The brownstones off Eastman Avenue. Please hurry!"
"We're on our way." Donnie reassured.
"Eastman Avenue?" Leo repeated. "That's way too far to travel on foot."
"Man I wish we had access to the Battle Shell right about now." Donnie said.
Leo thought for a moment, before an idea popped into his head.
"I… may have an idea." he admitted.
April stood in the doorway of her apartment, a mudpack on her face and a bathrobe over her nightgown as she looked at the two turtles looking up at her.
"What do you two want?" she asked.
"Hi… April." Leo greeted. "We have dire situation and we were wondering if we could borrow your van?"
"My van?" She repeated, her tone practically dripping with venom. "Why do you need my van?"
"Raph's in trouble and we need to rush across town." Donnie quickly explained. "It's… kinda life and death here."
April let out a sigh, then reached for a glass bowl beside her door. She grabbed a set of keys out of the bowl and held them out to Donnie.
"I see a single scratch on that van, and I'm going to turn you into turtle soup myself." she threatened.
"Thanks." Donnie replied.
With that, April slammed the door shut on the two turtles.
"Well that went better than expected." Donnie admitted.
"Come on," Leo told him. "Let's haul shell!"
The two turtles ran to grab the van, leaving April's apartment behind. Inside, she grabbed her phone, dialing a number that had been hastily scribbled on what looked like a fast food napkin. After a ring, the other person picked up.
"Hey Casey, you still got that spare motorcycle I can borrow?"
Inside the van, Leo was driving while Donnie was working with his makeshift chemistry set to cook up a cure for Raph.
"Alright Mikey," Donnie said on the phone. "What are Raph's symptoms?"
"Well, he's green, as in greener then his usual green." Mikey listed off. "He's also calling me the smartest, most awesomest brother ever."
"Ok, ok, he's delusional." Donnie noted, mixing the chemicals. "Any sign of nausea?"
"Not that I can-"
There was the sound of retching, then Mikey made a disgusted sound.
"Oh gross! He got it all over me! Hey wait a minute… you did eat my pizza last night! I knew it! You liar!"
"Just hang on Mikey, we're almost there!" Donnie promised.
As they were driving however, the van rocked back and forth slightly, much to Donnie's annoyance.
"Hey do you mind!" Donnie yelled. "I'm working here!"
"This van isn't exactly the Battle Shell Don!" Leo replied. "There are more lights blinking on the dashboard then Mikey's Christmas display!"
"Man, someone needs to give this thing an overhaul." Donnie commented.
Finally, the van pulled up to the brownstones where Mikey and Raph were. Once out Donnie quickly dashed over to Raph with the antidote.
"Donnie…?" Raph asked. "Why are there fingers… on my feet?"
"Just take it easy Raph," Donnie told him, injecting him with the cure. "You're gonna be all better in a minute."
Raph blinked a bit, then he shook his head, clearing his thoughts.
"Lisa!" he screamed.
"Lisa?" Leo asked, walking up. "What happened to her?"
"Dogpound and Fishface were lying in wait for her." He explained. "I managed to look inside the apartment before everything went fuzzy. Everything was trashed, and there was no mom in sight."
"If Dogpound and Fishface were here, then it looks like Old Hob is back." Leo rationalized.
Raph let out a growl.
"I knew I should have skinned that cat when I had the chance."
"Fortunately for us, we know where they live." Donnie reminded.
"Then why the shell are we still standing here?!" Raph exclaimed. "Let's go!"
Casey pulled up an old truck he'd borrowed from his mom, his spare motorcycle strapped to the back. He climbed out of the truck and began to unload it. As he did, April came out to greet him. Thankfully, she'd taken off the mudpack and was wearing actual clothes.
"Thanks for stopping by on such short notice." she told him.
"Not a problem." Casey replied. "Though I never pegged you for the motorcycle type."
"Well, something tells me I'm going to be without my van for a while."
She snorted a bit.
"Heck, I'll be lucky if I get it back at all."
"Why's that?" Casey asked. "Get jacked or somethin? Just give me a name and I'll teach him a thing or two."
"It didn't get jacked Casey." April assured him. "The guys needed to borrow it. Knowing them, they're probably gonna use it as a battering ram or something."
"The guys?" Casey repeated, surprised. "Haven't heard from them in a while. They doin alright?"
"Yeah I guess," April replied. "We haven't exactly been on speaking terms Casey."
"Because thanks to them, my dad is-"
Her breath hitched as she forced back a sob.
"If you don't wanna tell me-"
"They turned him into a mutant." she finished. "Because of the guys, my dad is a mutant bat, and I don't even know where he is."
"Whoa." he let out.
"Yeah." April replied turning away.
"I know this may seem weird to say," Casey spoke up. "But don't you think you're being a bit hard on them?"
April turned to Casey in shock and anger.
"What?! You're taking their side?!"
"I'm just saying," Casey defended holding his arms up. "With everything the turtles have done, does this honestly sound like something they'd do on purpose?"
"Well… No… but they still caused it."
"Huh..." Casey let out. "Wow."
"What?" April asked raising an eyebrow.
"Just had a bit of Deja vu for a moment." Casey explained. "Someone once said that to me a few years ago."
"Really?" April asked curiously. "Who?"
"My best friend in high school." he explained. "We were both on this hockey team playing the playoffs. I was about to take the winning shot when my stick made contact with his face."
April gave a sympathetic wince.
"That must have hurt."
"Yeah. Lost a good number of teeth due to that." Casey continued. "He hated me for that. I tried to explain that it was an accident, but said just what you said. I still caused it. He hasn't talked to me since."
"But it was an accident. You didn't mean it."
"He didn't see it that way." Casey dismissed. "Some stuff's just… beyond our control."
April stood there for a minute, those words echoing through her head.
At Hob's hideout, Dogpound brought Lisa inside. The salamander was kicking and screaming, doing everything she could to try and break free.
"Put me down this instant you smelly flea circus!"
"If you insist." Dogpound replied, dumping her onto the ground.
She landed hard, then was immediately on her feet. She went to try and run for the door, but a raccoon man landed in front of her, blocking her escape. She skidded to a stop, then took a defensive stance.
"Get the hell out of my way, trash panda."
"You'll have to excuse Travis." Hob interjected, approaching her with a smile. "He was born a raccoon, so his people skills are rusty to say the least."
Lisa turned to Hob, keeping up her defensive stance.
"Who are you, Garfield's Ghetto cousin?"
"Ah a sense of humor," Hob noted. "I approve. Names Hob."
"Good for you, now tell your goon squad to step off or I'll have them all singing soprano for a month."
"Alright, a straight to business kinda girl, I admire that." Hob conceded. "Here's how it is. I've had my eye on you for some time kid. I like your style. And I want you to join our little posse here. What do you say?"
"Oh I have a lot to say, but my mom would probably wash my mouth out if I said it out loud."
"Funny you should say that." Hob replied.
As if on cue, Fishface and Herman came out of the shadows, carrying a woman in between them. When Lisa laid eyes on her, all the color drained from her face.
"Mom!" she screamed.
The woman looked up. She had a cut lip and seemed to be walking with a limp. When she saw Lisa, she seemed afraid for a moment. That fear then changed to confusion and horror as realization dawned on her.
"Lisa… Lisa is that you?"
"Mom, it's me I promise." Lisa replied, tears streaming down her face as she tried to approach her.
"Ah I always loved a family reunion." Hob let out pretending to brush a tear from his eye. "Here's how it gonna go sweetheart. You do what I say, when I say it, and mommy dearest goes free. Be difficult… well you're a smart girl. You can figure it out."
Lisa looked at her mom, then at Hob. Her fists clenched hard as she fought back tears.
"Even if I do agree to your terms, you won't let her go." she rationalized. "You'll just lock her away somewhere, or probably kill her just because, won't you?"
"Maybe, but can you really take that chance?" Hob challenged.
Lisa just looked down at the ground, seeming seconds away from agreeing.
"Well? What do you say?"
"I say it's fleabags like you that give us honorable mutants a bad name!"
Hob, Lisa, and everyone else looked up to see the turtles sitting in the rafters with their weapons drawn. Lisa lit up at the sight.
"Raphael!" she exclaimed.
"You guys again?" Hob called out. "Get them!"
With that, the turtles jumped down to the ground and engaged the mutants. Lisa took the opportunity to run to her mom, punching Fishface in the stomach while her tongue connected with Herman's fleshy head.
"It's okay mom," she reassured her as she worked to untie her hands. "I got you."
Meanwhile, Mikey was dealing with a mutant bull charging towards him. Seeing a nearby support beam, he ran towards it and then up it, causing the bull to hit the beam head first. Mikey then jumped off the beam and landed on the bulls head, knocking him out.
"Aw yeah!" he cried out. "How do you like that Ground Chuck?!
He mulled over the name, then shrugged.
"Eh not the best name I could come up with." He remarked.
Raph meanwhile, was going head to head with Dogpound. His sai were lunged forward in one mad strike after another.
"I owe you big time for earlier, mutt!" he told him.
Finally, Dogpound used his oversized hand to swat Raph into some nearby boxes. As Raph regained his senses, Dogpound came towards him.
"Well… it worked when Lisa tried it." Raph mused.
As Dogpound came up to him, Raph kicked Dogpound between the legs, causing him to let out a yelp in pain.
"That was… cheap." Dogpound let out before falling over.
"Yeah, but you can't argue with the results." Raph retorted.
Lisa had finally succeeded in freeing her mom's hands. Once she did, the two immediately embraced.
"Lisa I was so worried about you." she told her. "I thought I'd never see you again."
"I'm sorry Mom." Lisa apologized. "I never should have run off the way I did."
At that moment, Donnie was thrown near the two by Fishface. He recovered quickly, jumping right back into the fight. Lisa saw this and released her mom.
"I've got to help them." she declared.
Lisa's mom went wide-eyed and grabbed Lisa's arm.
"Elizabeth Anne-Marie Monogamy, what do you think you're doing?!"
"I'm going to help my friends!"
"No you're not. I won't let you put yourself in danger like that! I can't-"
"Mom!" Lisa exclaimed, pulling her arm free and facing her mom fully. "Listen, I know why you don't want me to do this. I know Dad got killed trying to stop some Purple Dragons from robbing a store."
Lisa's mom froze.
"Mom, I know you've just been trying to keep me safe, but I'm not a little girl anymore. I can protect myself, and now I have mutant powers I can use. So please, for once in your life, believe that I can do this."
Lisa's mom looked conflicted for a moment, then sighed.
"Go Lisa." she decided.
Lisa smiled, then hugged her mom again before jumping into the fray. She made a beeline for a mutant mole who was about to attack Donnie. Before he could make a move however, Lisa's tongue shot out, catching him on the back of the neck.
"Watch your back, Donatello." she said as her tongue snapped back into her mouth.
"Thanks Lisa!" he called back, batting away Fishface with his staff.
"Bah!" Fishface let out. "Your little failsafe won't work this time Donatello! Spiderbytes was able to disable it."
"Fine by me." Donnie replied. "We'll just have to do this the old fashioned way."
With that, Donnie swung his staff at Fishface, only for him to jump over it and him. Fishface tried kicking Donnie from behind, but Donnie brought his staff up to block the kick. Fishface then went to his hands and let his unleash one mad kick after another. Donnie was only just able to deflect the attacks.
"Getting tired mi amigo?" Fishface taunted.
"I just need one opening." Donnie threw back.
Seeing that opening, Donnie lunged his staff forward and activated the taser setting. Electricity surged through the mutant fish as his robotic legs amplified the shock. Fishface then flopped to the ground, smoke rising from his scales. Donnie took a whiff and smiled.
"Perfectly smoked salmon." he commented.
During all this, Leo was having at it with Old Hob. The one eyed cats claws clashed against Leo's sword relentlessly.
"You never give up, do you Hob?" Leo asked.
"One could say the same thing about you, turtle boy." Hob threw back.
While the two were going at it, Raph came up and kicked Hob from behind, knocking him to the ground. As Hob tried getting up, Raph came over and grabbed him by the trench coat.
"That was for what you tried to do to Lisa." he told him. "Go anywhere near her and her mom again, and you're gonna need two eye patches!"
Raph then abruptly threw Hob to the ground. Lisa then approached him, rearing back her leg.
"This is for what you did to my Mom."
Her leg connected with the side of Hob's head, knocking the cat out cold. She huffed a bit, then turned back to her mom.
"You okay?" she asked.
Her mom pulled her close, hugging her tightly as tears of relief rolled down her face. Lisa returned the hug in turn the two women holding each other gratefully. The turtles watched the scene, the four of them moving closer to one another.
"Aww." Mikey let out.
"Try not to ruin the moment, goofball." Raph told him.
That comment caused Lisa's mom to turn in their direction.
"Wait a minute…" she said, gesturing to Raph, "I remember you."
"Me?" Raph asked.
"You got me my purse back when I was attacked by those Purple Dragons." she told him.
Raph thought back for a moment, then remembered the woman he tried to help the night he first met Casey Jones.
"I'm sorry I ever called you a monster." she apologized.
"Hey, it's cool. I'm just glad you and Lisa are okay."
"Come on." Leo declared. "Let's get them home."
The turtles walked Lisa and her Mom up to the door of their home, making sure none of Hob's goons tried anything. Once they made it to the stoop, Mikey deposited DaVinci onto Lisa's shoulder as Raph addressed the two women.
"I'm afraid that Dogpound and Fishface made a big mess of your place." Raph explained, "It'll take some time to get it fixed up."
"We'll manage." Lisa's mom assured him. "Besides, it will give me and Lisa time to work some things out."
"So, you're okay with having a salamander for a daughter?" Lisa asked.
"Lisa, I'm just happy to have my daughter back. I don't care if you're a human, a salamander, or an alien."
Lisa let out a sigh of relief, giving her mom yet another hug. Her mom then turned to the turtles, giving them all grateful smiles.
"Thank you all for saving me, and bringing Lisa home."
"Hey, don't mention it." Raph told her. "We were just doing our job."
"Well, you four are welcome in my home any time." she promised.
"Especially you Raphael." Lisa told him.
She then pecked him on the cheek, eliciting a deep blush from Raph. Raph turned a bit red, smiling a bit as the other turtles got cheeky grins on their faces. Lisa and her mom then walked into the building, still holding each other.
"See you around Raphael." she called as the door closed.
"See ya around… Mona Lisa." Raph replied.
Mikey threw his arm around Raph, giving him a knowing look.
"Mona Lisa?" He asked. "Wasn't that your favorite painting from Master Splinter's Renaissance book?"
"Well, I couldn't let you give her a mutant name Mikey." Raph argued good naturedly, catching the orange turtle in a headlock and giving him a noogie. "You would have named her something stupid."
All four turtles shared a laugh as Mikey freed himself of the headlock. With their spirits higher than they'd been in weeks, they all made their way home.
Back in the apartment, the turtles were viewing the latest episode of Justice Force, where Wingnut seemed to be rejoining the team.
"My old friends, I admit I was a bit hasty in my exodus from the group" he declared. "The pain of losing Screw Loose has clouded my judgement for far too long. Well, no more!"
"Welcome back old chum!" Silver Sentry declared, shaking his hand.
Just then, there was a knock on the door.
"I got it!" Donnie declared, getting to his feet.
Donnie opened it, surprised to see April in the doorway, a large stack of pizzas in her hands.
"April!" he exclaimed, searching his belt for the keys to her van. "You can have your van back. I promise I didn't-"
"No, no." she interrupted. "It's okay. You guys need it more than I do. Besides, Casey lent me his spare motorcycle, so I'm not without a ride."
There was a moment of awkward silence, then April adjusted the pizza boxes in her arms.
"I ordered some pizza for dinner, though I think I ordered too much. Mind helping me eat it?"
Mikey suddenly appeared in the doorway, pushing it open all the way and leaning against it with a grin.
"April, it would be an honor and a privilege."
He then snagged the pizzas from her hand, making a beeline for the kitchen table. April laughed a bit, something Donnie couldn't help but notice.
"So… are we ok?" Donnie asked hesitantly.
"Casey helped me realize how badly I've been treating you." she explained. "You didn't mean to mutate my dad, and I know you've been trying to help him.
Me being mad at you isn't going to bring my dad back any faster. And besides, you're as much my family as he is."
Donnie felt like a huge weight had been lifted off his shell, a genuine smile forming on his face. April then walked past him towards the kitchen.
"C'mon Don, let's get some pizza before Mikey eats it all."
Donnie laughed, then closed the door to the apartment, joining up with his family.