Lashana owns only Cassie, Alex, and the plot. No ownership of the Ninja Turtles happening here. Please! Put. The lawyers. Away.

Summary: On the run from an abusive father who is so much more than he seems, Cassandra and Alexis stumble their way into the depths of Manhattan, and right into the protection of a certain Clan of saviours. Struggling with their own nightmares and physical and emotional wounds, the sisters aren't prepared for what happens when their father starts going to great lengths to drag them sisters back into his clutches. And when their darkest hour comes, how far will one sister go to protect those she cares for?

Sins of the Father

Prologue

"Cassie? Cassie, wake up!"

The worried whispers tugged at her consciousness, forcing her mind into a state of awareness that she really didn't want to be in. Her body took that moment to remind her that it wasn't all too fond of her treatment of it - although in all truth it hadn't been she that had been wielding the belt.

"Cassie!"

"....Alex?" She grimaced at the sound of her own voice, a low rasping gurgle that she barely recognised. Mustering what little strength she had, she slowly forced her eyes open, blinking up into the dimness of her room for a moment before stiffly turning her head to look at her little sister, frowning when she saw a thin line of blood trailing down her cheek.

Pushing her own pain aside, Cassie somehow convinced her body to listen to her again and rose her right hand into her sister's tangled dark auburn hair, sighing softly as she pushed the long bangs aside and looked at the shallow cut there. "How long?" she croaked out, forcing a smile when Alex's tears trickled onto her hand. "Shh... S'alright. How long?"

"Y-you've been out.... a-almost three h-hours," Alex hiccupped, trying to stay as quiet as she could despite the fact that she couldn't hold in her tears any longer. "H-He locked us in here. And he didn't give us supper."

She closed her eyes at that and cursed softly, knowing now that they had no other choice. They couldn't stay here any longer. Another beating like this one, and she'd be well on her way to dying. "Help me up."

Sniffling, Alex shoved her bangs out of her eyes and carefully slipped her older sister's arm around her shoulders, hearing Cassie hiss in pain as she staggered to her feet. "You're b-bleeding."

"I know. It's alright." A quick gasp from her sibling made her look down, and she scowled when she saw her sister clutching her blue inhaler close to herself. Knowing that physical activity would only make things worse, Cassie pushed away from her and stumbled towards the window of their room, ignoring the fresh blood stain amongst dozens of older ones on the polished wooden floor.

Her hands gripped the windowsill for support as she glared at the iron bars that added to their prison, the pain that was plaguing her only adding to her anger. It hadn't always been like this, she was fairly certain that her few memories of being happy when she was younger weren't false - although she wouldn't stake her life on it. It wasn't until she had hit her fourteenth birthday that the nightmare had started. The beatings, the pain.... things so horrible that it made her stomach retch at the mere memory of them.

Outsiders to their family saw their father as a proud, loving, family man. A man of wealth, of power. She, and her sister knew him as a monster. The bringer of pain. One who enjoyed seeing people weaker than himself scream in agony, even if those people were his own children. It was an evil in him that always enjoyed being released, a cold, uncaring, soulless thing that had made him the brunt of their hatred. Their mother shared their fate, although not as much since they had been born. Though there were still many nights where Cassie had lain awake in her bed, holding her terrified sister close while they listened to the screams of pain from their parents bedroom.

It didn't help that the facade the world saw - the warm, friendly, charitable owner of a near-monopoly of marketing firms - was only a cover for his inner dealings. What better place for one of the most powerful organised crime lords to hide, than in the open?

It was only for her sister, for Alexis, that she had taken the beatings and the pain, hoping to keep her little sister safe from this hell. But for all her efforts, it had all been in vain. Alex had turned fourteen.... and he had come for her. Cassie remembered Alex's fourteenth birthday well. It had been the same day that she had vowed to both herself and her terrified sister that she would never allow their father to harm her, or to touch her as he had done to her. It had been the day she had fought back - and paid for it dearly.

She had spent two long weeks recovering from that beating, the only thing keeping her alive was the promise she had made to Alex... and the knowledge that their father hadn't gotten his way with her beloved little sister.

And now, three days before Alexis' fifteenth birthday, she'd had enough. "Alex. Get your bag." She'd been working on this for weeks now, working at unscrewing the bolts around the iron that barred the window she was standing at. True, the last time she had tried to run away, he had sent his goons to drag her back to the house, where he had proceeded to nearly beat her to death. She still wore the scars from that episode. But this time would be different. This time, she refused to get caught. No more.

The sound of deep wracking coughs snatched her attention, and she turned to watch as Alex's body shuddered from the force of them, and Cassie bit her bottom lip with worry as her sister rose her inhaler to her lips and took in another dose of medication. This was the other reason that they had to escape. She knew her little sister had asthma, she remembered being there with her when the doctors had run the tests on her. But this wasn't even close to what normally plagued her. In the past week, Alex had been getting rapidly weaker, constantly fighting for breath even through her strength was leaving her faster than she could restore it. She was pale, always tired, always coughing, and Cassie knew that her little sister had been upping the doses of her medication in a bid to try to hide her sickness.

"Cassie...." Another rough of coughs wracked the small form. "Cassie, I don't feel so good...."

Dammit. "Okay, hang tight," she murmured reassuringly as she pushed away from the windowsill and went to rummage around her few items of clothes that weren't blood stained or filthy. Her back screamed in pain as she tore off her ruined t-shirt, knowing that the belt he had taken to her had sliced deep into her flesh, but she ignored the pain and the sensation of blood trickling down the small of her back, letting her determination override anything else. "You dress warm now, Alex."

"'Kay."

Hiding a grimace, she pulled a fresh black tank-top over herself, not daring to change her sportsbra in the fear that she might not have been able to stand the pain of it. Wanting to cushion her wounds for what she was planning, she wriggled into a older tee shirt, then pulled on her worn leather jacket. A quick glance down at herself gifted her with a disgusting view of her jeans, and she shook her head sadly as she stripped out of the ruined pants and quickly pulled on a fresh black pair.

A tired sniffle from behind her made her look at Alex, and she smiled a little as she took in her sister's outfit of ragged blue jeans, black and white sneakers and an oversized jean jacket over her Backstreet Boys long-sleeved shirt. "You look stunning, dahling," she smirked, eliciting a soft giggle that lightened her melancholy spirits. We can do this. I can do this.

Not wasting another moment, she pulled on her worn out sneakers and reached out to shove the window open, taking a quick look around to make sure no one could see her before shoving at the bars, leaving them to fall from their window to land in a strategically placed pile of leaves next to the tall maple that stood nearby. And people say that yardwork is stupid. Ha!

"Alright, Alex. You remember what I told you, hmm? I'll go out first, then you come out and I'll carry you the rest of the way, alright?" Cassie felt a breeze come through the open window, the fresh air playing with her shoulder length reddish-brown hair, and she mustered up an encouraging smile as she looked at her sister, noting her fear. "Lookit me, kiddo. I have never let you down before, and I'm not gonna start now, okay?"

Alex shivered a little as she gazed out the open and now bar-less window, a part of her terrified of what their father would do to them if he caught them, the other screaming at her to reach out and take the freedom being offered. Her sister's voice made her look up to meet her dark green gaze, and she felt a burst of warmth fill her heart when Cassie reaffirmed that she'd never leave her behind. "Okay."

"That's my 'lil sis," Cassie beamed, taking a moment to playfully ruffle her sister's hair before levering herself onto the windowsill and leaning out, reaching for the nearby tree branch. Ooo, stretching bloody hurts!! Gritting her teeth at the agony in her back, Cassie leaned out as far as she dared, her questing fingers brushing against - and finally gripping - the reassuring limb of the tree.

Figuring that it was twisted fate that had made her constantly work out to try to learn new ways to defend both herself and Alex from her father, she easily pulled herself into the comforting mess of branches, then turned to hold her hand out to her waiting sister. "C'mon! Don't look down, just reach for me and... and think about how good it'll be to get far, far away from here. C'mon, sis!"

Alex frowned and picked up the backpack that lay at her feet, slipping her arms through the straps before hesitantly approaching the window, her gaze fixed on her older sister. True, there was only three years between them, yet they were so different. She knew she didn't have Cassie's strength, or her fighting spirit. Whenever her father came all she could do was cower and try to hide in a place where he couldn't reach her - unlike Cassie, who usually cussed him out and threw things at him. Alex knew what Cassie had sacrificed for her, knew that without her sister there she'd have probably had a fate worse than death. "What about, mom, Cassie? We can't just leave her here!"

"As soon as I get you somewhere safe, I'll come back for her!" Cassie whispered, knowing that the dimness of autumn dusk was only going to be able to hide them for so long. Sooner or later, someone would spot them. "Alex, please. We have to go!"

Something in her voice spurred her little sister onwards, and Cassie heaved a sigh of relief as she reached out and pulled her sister into her arms, her brow creasing when she felt how slim Alex was. Ye gods, she's as thin as a stick! I hadn't noticed.... Shaking herself a little to return her thoughts to the present, Cassie turned around, sinking her teeth into her lower lip when Alex obediently climbed onto her back. Aw shit... that hurts... push it aside, Cassie, push it aside. You can pass out later, right now you have to run! If he catches us this time neither of us will survive!

Alex shivered and buried her face into her sister's hair as Cassie slowly made her way down the tree, and she fought back the urge to cough, knowing that they had to be quiet. As soon as they hit the ground, she wrapped her arms and legs around her sister, clinging to her like a newborn koala to it's mother as her older sister broke out into a full run, making a wild dash for the main gates.

Shouting broke out behind them then, and Cassie nearly hiccupped with fear as she glanced back and saw three of her father's henchmen bolting towards them, the sight boosting her adrenaline to it's maximum as she put on a burst of speed, racing for the spot just to the left of the main entrance of the estate, where a part of the chain-linked fence was hidden behind a large bush. It was there that she had found a rusted hole, a chink in her fathers tight security, an opening that led to the outside world, and perhaps freedom.

She nearly ran headlong into it, barely bothering to slow down as she swung Alex off of her back and propelled her through the opening, a part of her wishing that she was as small as her sister as she wriggled herself through the small hole, crying out when a hand closed on her ankle.

"Well, well. Is the canary tryin' ta fly the coop again?"

"Ricardo," she hissed, glaring at her father's favourite henchman with obvious hatred. "When are ya gonna learn that this canary has talons?!" She reached into her jacket pocket as she spoke, dimly aware of Alex as she tugged at her shoulders and squealed in fear. Her fingers easily thumbed the release to the switchblade she owned, and she grinned ferally as she drove it into Ricardo's wrist, his scream of pain music to her ears as he released her ankle, letting her wriggle free.

A yelp from behind her made her spin around, her right hand closing into a fist as she decked the other goon that had gotten through the main gates and managed to grab Alex. Once he was on the ground, she gave him a couple of kicks to the ribs and crotch before scooping Alex into her arms and breaking out into a full run, heading for the nearby road with the intention of hitch-hiking her way into the most densely populated city available - and hopefully the one place where they could simply disappear into the crowd : New York City.