To whom it may concern.

Yes, we're back. Tentatively. I personally trust about as far as I can throw a Volvo, but fans of these fics have asked that I continue to update here on However, this will not be the main place to find our fics. We will always update our Message Board waay before we even think about And if deletes any more of our fics without due cause and without explaination, we're gone.

Lashana Inferno

Cassie frowned as she stared down into the cup of tea that had been placed in front of her, not really knowing what to do or say as Splinter and the turtles joined her, arranging themselves around the livingroom as she sat on the couch, Raphael and Michelangelo sitting on either side of her. "I don't know what you expect me to say," she muttered as she tucked her hair behind her right ear then returned her hands to the mug of tea, warming her suddenly cold fingers. April and Casey had left long ago, and she was rather glad of that, not wanting to have to deal with Casey or any other person that would make this conversation any harder.

"Say anything," Leo answered gently from where he was sitting on the floor at the coffee table, facing the couch.

"Tell us about yer mom," Raph interupted, drawing her wide eyed gaze. He winced at the surprise and fear in her eyes, and sighed. "I heard ya talkin' with Alex."

"That was a private conversation," she whispered with a frown.

"It ain't private if it means that yer gonna risk yer life," he retorted angrily. "We're the one bustin' our shells tryin' ta keep ya safe, we deserve ta know what the hell's goin' on!"

Splinter frowned at his sons tone. "Raphael." That one stern word made silence fall over the small gathering, and the one being reprimanded shifted irritably on the couch, but didn't protest. "Cassandra, what haven't you told us?"

She frowned into her cup for a moment, then set it down on the coffee table and shifted on the couch, very aware that she had everyone's gazes on her. "W-when Alex an I planned to run away, we knew that we couldn't get our mother out of there so once I would get Alex to a safe place, I was going to go back for her."

"And you're still gonna go?" Mikey frowned.

"That's why you started working out again," Leo realised. "Because you were planning on going back."

"Yeah well, mom's trapped there too," Cassie told them as she pulled her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around her legs. "Alex an I weren't the only ones Murdock liked going after."

"There's no way yer goin'," Raphael sighed as he ran a hand over his face.

She glared at him. "You are in no position to order me around," she growled. "If I could escape Murdocks place, I sure as hell could get out of this hole to go get my mom!"

"Oh yeah?" he yelled back, eyes narrowed. "Oh yeah? An how're ya gonna get past all'a Murdocks goons that're searchin' the sewers, huh? Last time, ya didn't do all that well!"

That made her pause. "I didn't know that."

"Yeah, well, what ya don't know'll get ya killed!"

"Okay, okay, calm down!" Leo cried, exchanging glares with Raphael as the red banded turtle growled under his breath and drew a sai, spinning it in his right hand haphazardly. "Now, Cassie, you can't just go wandering around the sewers. What Raph said is true, you'll get caught, and if we don't know where they're gonna take you then we can't help you."

"Well, yeah, but we can't just leave their mum there," Mikey said. "I mean, if he's treating her the same way then..."

"Mikey's right," Don agreed. "We can't just leave her there."

"We're not going to," Leo frowned, meeting Cassie's surprised gaze evenly. "You're going to have to tell us everything you know about that mansion, along with directions on how to get there."

She frowned. "There is no way that you lot are going without me. No way in hell."

"Well there's no way you're coming with us!" Raph shot back.

"Why am I not surprised?" Cassie drawled. "Look, there's no way I can tell you everything about that place. There's just too much. And do you really think my mother will just happily go with you? And what if you get found out, how are you gonna know which places are safest to hide? Which hallways and rooms you can use as cover and which are dead ends? Or where the guards patrol and the passcodes into the house which won't set off the alarm? Alex and I spent years cracking the codes and learning the workings of that place, we tried to escape six times before we finally succeeded! This isn't something that can be easily passed on!"

Mike sighed and rested a hand on Cassie's shoulder as she cut herself off with an angry growl and gave her a gentle squeeze to try to calm her. "Leo, I hate to say it, but she's got a point."

"The hell she does!"

Cassie glared at Raphael and snarled. "I hope you get lockjaw and need to vomit," she said venomously, dimly aware of Mikey's grimace of disgust as she shot to her feet and stalked back to the infirmary, slamming the door shut behind her.

"Smooth, Raph," Leo sighed, shaking his head. "Whether we like it or not, she's going to go through with this with or without us. Given the choice, don't you think it'd be safer if we go with her?"

"Well, yeah, but we can't risk her getting hurt," Donnie countered. "Remember, Leo, she's gonna be going back to the place where she was technically tortured for her entire life. We can't forget that. It'll be hell on her psyche."

"And I hate to say this," Mike added, glancing at the angry sulking turtle next to him. "But what if... what if her Mum's dead?"

"I do not think we should dwell on that. Alive or dead, it does not change the fact that Cassandra will go on her own whether we like it or not," Splinter sighed, raisng a hand to massage his temple for a moment before lowering his hand once again. "Given the circumstances and her current mindset, I would rather not see her go alone. But this is something very important to both of them. Knowing that they had to leave their mother behind in order to save themselves must have been a terrible choice for them to make. Alive or not, they need, no, they have a right to know."

Groaning in mixed disgust and exasperation, Raphael got to his feet and stomped over to the infirmary, not even bothering to knock as he let himself in and kicked the door shut behind him. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the dim lighting, but once it had he could clearly make out Cassie's form where she sat on the bed, her gaze on her sleeping younger sister. "Look--"

"No," she said sternly, turning her head to glare at him for a moment before returning her gaze to her sister. "You look. All I have is, Alex. And God knows I'm not good role model material. She needs more than I can give. She needs her mother."

"An what about you?" he countered, his voice more or less amiciable.

"Doesn't matter."



"Nuh-uh, Cass. Don't pull this shit with me. Yer willin' ta risk yer life for what? Fer Alex, yeah, I can understand that, but there's limits--"

"No. No limits. Not for her."

"So the only reason yer goin' back fer yer mum is fer Alex?"

"Yes. Because I gave my word to her."

"And that's it?"

"What are you digging for, Raph? A heartfelt 'I miss my mother' routine? Believe me, I may miss her, and I may want her safe, but I really don't want to go back there. The chance that..." she paused and swallowed thickly. "The chance that she's alive..."

He sighed and went to crouch near her, reaching out to rest a hand over hers. "You stick near me when we go, a'right?"

"Why do you care?" she asked suddenly, visibly surprising him. "Is it just pity? If not, then why me? Surely there's someone better, someone who's still... intact."

"What?" He frowned and pulled away from her, folding his arms over his chest as he stood and looked away from her, suddenly uncomfortable with the change in conversation. "Aw hell, Cass, it ain't pity. I jus... don't wanna see ya hurt, y'know?"

"And that's it?"

He rubbed a hand over his face and sighed heavily. "Cass..."

"Nevermind," she mumbled, looking away from him. "It's stupid."

"Naw, it ain't stupid. Cass, I... yer just different. I like ya, and that goes against my reputation of dislikin' everyone. I don't wanna see ya hurtin', and I don't want anyone else ta talk with at midnight. Yer special... so enough of that pity shit, okay?"

She looked at him then, startled, and she met his gaze in quiet wonder, caught unawares at the emotion she saw in his eyes. "O-okay."

"Good. Okay. So... you gonna come back out? Or are ya gonna stay with sleepin' beauty there?" He smirked and jabbed a thumb at Alex, who chose that moment to let out a low snore, and he chuckled when Cassie grimaced at the sound of it. "C'mon, I'll split a beer wit ya."

"Yeah, okay," she relented, letting him pull her to her feet before he led her out of the infirmary. She balked when she saw the other three turtles still in the livingroom, all of them now staring at her, only Raph's grip on her hand didn't allow her to stop. "Um... sorry?"

"Nah, it's okay," Mikey said, noticing her unease. "Anyone who can get away with yellin' at Raph like that is more than welcome here!"

Leo rolled his eyes. "Mikey, give it a rest. You okay, Cassie?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine," she answered as Raph released her hand and went into the kitchen, leaving her to sit on the couch next to Mike. "I didn't mean to--"

"No, it's alright." Leo cut her off and rose a hand. "It's okay."

Donnie rested an elbow on his thigh as he leaned forward on his chair. "We're going with you, to the mansion. If you can put up with Casey Jones, we're gonna get him to drive us in his van, it'll be tight quarters though. The only thing we need is a departure time."

"You're leaving that up to me?" she asked in surprise, blinking when the trio nodded. "Well, um... I think we should wait to break into the mansion until friday night. Murdock's never home friday nights, he usually has meetings with his associates. They meet at a bar in Jersey till around midnight. We'd have to leave early afternoon on friday to get there at sunset."

Leo hummed thoughtfully and tapped a finger against his chin. "Can you highlight the roads to take on a map?"

"Yeah. No problem. There's a few backroads that not many people know if that I can show you too."

"Okay. Good. It's..." The turtle in blue looked around for a clock. "Just past six. We have all of tomorrow to prepare for this. That sound reasonable?"

"Yeah, Leo. Give us a break already," Raphael growled as he rejoined them, vaulting over the back of the couch to land heavily next to Cassie, who yelped in surprise at his sudden appearance.

"Alright, alright," Leonardo sighed, raising a hand to massage his aching temple. "I'll go tell Master Splinter about this."

"You do that," Raph muttered as he used a sai to rip the top off the beer bottle, taking a swig of it before handing it to Cassie. "Savour it. It's the last one."

"Sooo..." Mikey looked at the two with raised eyeridges, hoping for an answer. When neither Cassie or Raph said anything, he shrugged and turned to rifle through a box of videos until he pulled out one of his new movies. "Movie anyone? It's 'Signs', with Mel Gibson."

Cassie finished her guzzle and handed the bottle back to Raph. "I don't really care either way."

Mikey glanced at Donnie, who shook his head and got up to head for his lab, then at Raph, who shrugged. "Yes! I'll get the junk food!"

"So," Raph muttered as he lightly slapped a hand against Cassie's right knee. "You okay?"

"Yeah. Considering. I just..." she trailed off and made a vague gesture, as if to try to snatch the rest of the sentence from thin air.

"Yeah. I know. We're okay?"

"Yeah. We're okay."

"Good." He passed the bottle back to her, then looked down at his lap when a bowl of popcorn landed there. "Thanks Mikey."

"No prob!" Grinning, the turtle in orange shoved the video into the VCR, then dropped down onto the couch next to Cassie as she handed the beer back to Raph, and he licked his lips as he tore open a large bag of Spicy Doritos. "Who's got the control?"

Cassie grimaced as something jabbed her in the thigh and wriggled around until she could shove a hand under the couch cushion, grimacing as she pulled out the remote and an old lollypop. "This... is disgusting."

"I was looking for that!" Mikey beamed, reaching over to snatch the lollypop out of her hand and then sticking the sweet into his mouth.

Cassie shuddered and shrank closer to Raph. "I take it back. That is way more disgusting."

Mikey frowned and looked over at her, the stick of the lollypop resting on his lips. "What?"

She looked at Raph and held out a hand. "Beer me."

"Way ahead of you," he muttered as he handed the bottle to her, taking the opportunity to shove a fistful of popcorn into his mouth as the movie's opening credits rolled past the screen.

They spent the movie in relative silence, though Raphael found an added bonus in this movie as, everytime Cassie got startled or frightened, she curled up close to him. By the end of it, he had an arm wrapped around her shoulders and she was resting her head against his shoulder, and as the movie hit it's climactic ending, he felt her jump in fear, her fingers curling around the top of his plastron as she clung to him, and he allowed himself a slight smirk, enjoying this turn in events.

"I may never sleep again," she moaned as Mikey popped the tape out of the VCR.

"Aw, c'mon, it's not that bad," Mikey smirked as he looked over at her, rolling his eyes when she hugged herself. "Alright fine. No more alien movies. How about Daredevil?"

"S'fine," Raph yawned as he tossed his empty popcorn bowl over his shoulder, letting it drop to the floor. Cassie shifted then, and he eyed her curiously as she moved so that she was leaning back against his side, her hair tickling his arm as she settled herself again, and he smirked as he rested his arm along the back of the couch, still touching her but not pushing their closeness barrier. He knew better than to push her right now. She was still too afraid, too hurt. "Comfy?"

A faint blush spread over her cheeks. "Yeah. Um, thanks."

This time, however, she didn't even make it halfway through the movie, and Raphael soon found himself being used as an impromtu pillow as she rested her head back against his chest and slept, her breathing strong and even. Being careful not to wake her, he gently lowered her so that she was lying across his lap, her head resting on the arm of the couch as he grabbed a throw blanket and draped it over her. A low whistle drew his gaze to Mikey, and he glared when he saw the kissy face his brother was making. "Mike..."

"What?" Wide innocent brown eyes blinked at him. The act would have worked better had he not been grinning like a fool.

Growling, Raph swatted at him half-heartedly, then settled back, resting his left arm along the back of the couch while his right hand lightly stroked Cassie's tri-coloured hair, his gaze softening as he looked down at her.

"Y'know, I'll never get why she's into you," Mike mumbled in between handfuls of candy corn. "Mr. Sulking and Gloom."

There was an exasperated sigh. "Leave it be, Mike."

"I mean, the first impression you made wasn't all that pristine, and lord knows your manners are--"

"Mike!" Raph hissed the name between his teeth, then shot a glance down at Cassie to make sure they hadn't woken her. "Drop. It. Because if you wake her..."

Michelangelo sighed and nodded. "Sorry. I just wish that, y'know. I could find someone."

Sighing, Raph ran a hand over his face. "Ya will, bro. Just... give it time. Okay? Now watch the movie." He looked down at Cassie again and sighed, softly this time. I don't get why she likes me either, bro...