DISCLAIMER: Hmm…checking once again my long list of 'things' I own and, except for my cat – Buster – and my French Press coffee maker ( makes the BEST coffee, ever – trust me on this one!!! ), I'm still turtle-less which is not to say that I'm clueless, although there are times that I am but mostly I'm not especially when I've had like ten cups of that wonderful French Pressed coffee ( makes the BEST coffee ever – trust me….er…I think I'm repeating myself, here ), which, of course, makes me QUITE hyper and then I tend to write run-on sentences like this one that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever…except to say, I only own the OC's in this story and the story itself. ((Passes out from lack of oxygen)) Be blessed and – don't forget to breath! :0)
CHAPTER 6 – The Past Revisited
Now that she was alone in the family room with the two angry turtles, Rachel mentally went through her old list of defenses, moves that she had hoped she would never have to call upon again. She was counting on Don to be true to his word and that she and Jessie would be safe until the apparent danger from her would-be attackers had passed. Yet, Rahab seemed to know something the woman didn't. The woman could only hope, then, that Mike's wife was being overly cautious and protective where Jess was concerned.
However, just as she turned back around to face the two, Don's attention ripped away from her. He seemed to be staring intently out the window that viewed the backyard. He stood stock still as he gazed intently. In a moment, he casually turned his head towards his brother and mouthed, "Movement outside at 1 o'clock." Mike nodded slightly, almost casually, and went over to the refrigerator. The kitchen window was right near where he was and, using his peripheral vision, it was easy for him to see what was going on out on the patio. While he was 'observing' the patio, Rachel noticed Don walk slowly over to and reach behind a chair that was butt up against a corner of the room. He watched as Mike shook his head just a little, straightened up a bit, and then opened the refrigerator door. Rachel watched as he took out a can of beer and put it up on the counter, right side up. "It's okay. We can all relax"
Just after Mike made his announcement, the patio door suddenly opened.
"Hey, was in the neighborhood and thought I'd drop in..." Raph cheered as he came through the now opened sliding door. Just as he entered the room, however, he noticed the woman. Quickly foreshortening his greeting as he eyed her curiously, Raph looked questioningly over at his family. From years of working side by side with them, he knew instinctively when something serious was going on. He instantly saw Don's overstated calmness, Mike's less than chipper demeanor, and the lack of Rahab, who should be yelling at him right about now for even coming by. He quickly looked around just to make sure his ex wasn't in the vicinity. Realizing she was somewhere else entirely, Raph relaxed. Given the hour – and he purposely chose the time for that reason – he was sure Rahab was already in bed. Yet, looking back over at his brothers, he knew that trouble was brewing. He knew the moment he entered the room that something was amiss. Cocking up one eye ridge and squaring his shoulders as if in preparation, Raph asked suspiciously, "Okay, waz doin'?"
Rachel could tell that Raph was readying himself as she saw his stance noticeably tighten.
"Raph," Mike said a bit irritably, "coming here at night unannounced is not a good thing to do and you know it, especially the way you did it. How'd you get passed my gate, anyway?" He took up the beer can and practically shoved it into his newly arriving brother's hand, returning to stand next to Don once again.
Eagerly taking the can from his brother and then grinning from ear to ear, Raph explained as he popped the tab open, "I have my ways, Bro! Used to be I didn't have to worry about stuff like that just to visit you!" He then took a healthy swig of the brew, smacking his lips afterwards and sighing in satisfaction. He looked casually over at Rachel, who seemed to be trying not to stare back. He smirked at her unease.
"Security reasons and you know it doesn't pertain to you!" Mike admonished as he resumed his position next to Don.
Raph smiled thinly as he looked back at Mike, "Then, you need to rethink that gate of yours and how long you keep it open for cars to pass through!"
In that moment, Rachel realized that Raph was the one she had seen earlier when she first arrived. He had been the 'shadow' that grabbed her attention while she drove her car through the front entrance!
As he assessed the current situation, now, it wasn't lost on Raph that his brothers were unusually tense, almost at the point of going ninja. Still, he decided to play it cool, "So, like I asked - what's happening?" He finally addressed the human, "Don't think I've had the pleasure of an introduction." Raph commented as he looked at her. He knew she was the one in the car, the one he had followed, which allowed him access to Mike's in the first place. He noticed that her body language was anything but relaxed, which only tensed him up even more. Looking back over at the other two, "Ah, is there something I should know, .guys? Like, ah, again, what's going on?" He watched his brothers and then glanced over at Rachel a second time, whose very expression screamed for help. He had never met her before, yet if it weren't for the way his brothers were acting, he would easily assume her benign and non-threatening. Yet, as he watched her, he sensed a great unrest within her and she seemed genuinely afraid. He could practically smell her fear, in fact.
After a lengthy pause, Don finally introduced Raph to the woman, "This is Rachel. She's a friend of Rahab and Mike's. Her daughter, Jessie, also works with and is a friend of Devon." Then, he went on to explain the set of circumstances that brought Rachel to Mike's home. Raph listened with rapt attention, concern showing on his face as the story unfolded. He became even more so when Don mentioned how she had been ambushed at her home and began to understand this woman's current emotional state. When Don finished telling the story, Raph turned towards Rachel, "Hey, we need to keep you here, then! Wow that must have been really...."
However, Don interrupted him, "There's more, Raph. I've done some checking around and Rachel Sullivan isn't in any public record! Not only that, but when I asked her if she had been in New York 30 years ago - she was! In so many words, she told us so."
"And that means...what?" Raph was more confused, his furrowed brow said as much.
"Just that she was around our neighborhood back then!" Don's words implied more than what needed to be said. He allowed them to sink in, his eyes narrowing to slits as he waited. It would only be a matter of time before Raph understood. Now, all three turtles looked at Rachel, two who were certain, while the other was just coming to terms with things.
With her mask partially torn off of her, she was now exposed. There wasn't any way Rachel's adversary could not notice it at the time. Rachel had been deep into her assault against these new enemies of her Master's and so, at first, she didn't realize she had blown her cover. After she disabled her opponent on the roof, she moved down into the rooms below to continue the fight with the other three. At one point, when they all had pulled back to catch their breath, she had glimpsed her reflection in a mirror. It was then that she realized the condition of her disguise. That was when she made her escape. As it turned out, it became the last mistake she would ever make in the Foot Clan.
Her hair now dyed brown and she being 30 years older, she felt somewhat disguised. Nevertheless, she was due for root job; in fact, she was very much due! The contrast between her brown hair and the subtle auburn line at her scalp would have gone unnoticed by most people, most people except for those who were trained to watch for such differences. Don had been doing more than sizing up her situation. He was really looking at her and had noticed! She felt her heart sink in that moment.
Raph thought for a second, ruminating over the facts that Don had shared, wondering about what happened three decades earlier. Then, as if a light switched on, his eyes widened. Raph looked over at Rachel with one eyebrow cocked. "Is he looking at my hair?" she asked her self silently.
Rachel was now trying to desperately to pull herself together. She didn't know how Raph was going to react, once he had it figured out. He out of all of them would have the most reasons to hate her.
"Well...how about that, eh?" he began nonchalantly, "Who would have thought, you of all people, sweet-talkin' my brother and his wife, being real friendly-like." Raph then sneered contemptuously, his voice rising, "WHAT WERE YOU REALLY PLANNING, RACHEL?" He stood there, his rage growing by the second as he took in this woman who sat before him. He placed his can of beer on the counter, turning just a little towards the woman while clenching and unclenching his fists. Softer now with a deep-seated growl underpinning his words, he asked venomously, "Were you planning on making up for what you failed to do back in New York, huh?" Raph was livid and his eyes blazed in fury.
Rachel straightened herself up to her full 5 foot 4 inch height. She knew a pre-fight stance when she saw one. Raph had at least one inch on her and probably sixty pounds. Don had at least that much with Mike just a tad shorter than she was. Yet pound per pound he would still be more than a match for her. The woman desperately went deep inside her self to pull out anything that she could use to strengthen her resolve. It had been so long since she had to do that. Too long and, despite the fact that she operated a martial arts school, she was sorely out of shape for such things. Ninjitsu employed a completely different frame of mind from the other areas of self-defense. She knew this and it worried her a great deal. Don might have promised her safety, but she had a sinking feeling that his newly arrived brother might not honor it, not with what she had done to him so many years before.
Raph just smiled wickedly, but not the kind of smile she had seen before. This one was the type that said he was deciding how to react with seeing his old nemesis again. "I'm not the enemy anymore!" she mentally screamed to them. "Don't the past 2 years mean anything to you?" she continued, but her face remained visually unchanged, remembering how quick Don was at reading her.
Before Don or Mike could react, however, Raphael exploded towards Rachel. The woman sensed it coming, just a split second before he made his move and before Don or Mike could stop him. Rachel had seen the shift in his weight and his expression, reading him like a book. At least that skill was still intact, she mused to herself, successfully dodging his lunge at her. Rachel skirted around Don and Mike, hoping that they would provide a barrier of sorts. Nonetheless, much to her horror they moved away from her the moment she slipped in behind them, fully exposing her to their enraged brother. She was stunned, completely unprepared for such betrayal.
"Whaz' the matta', Rach? Scared?" Raph taunted as he paused his assault. He studied her as he crouched slightly in a predatory posture, calculating his next move.
She, on the other hand, mentally assessed if she could make it to the patio door to get outside. She knew that Rahab wouldn't let anything happen to Jess, confident that these turtles at least wouldn't harm an innocent. Maybe if she could get away… Still, she was slowly brewing to anger at what appeared to be Don's obvious change in allowing no harm to come to her. "I thought you gave me your word, Don!" she yelled out. "You promised me no harm!" she challenged him.
Casually, he replied, "I did and I assure you that you will not be harmed. Terrorized, maybe, but not a scratch will you suffer!" He then smiled. Mike shifted his posture just a little to face his brother, "Hey, Don, despite the history, here, Rachel's been anything but threatening to us. I mean, yeah, maybe she does deserve some rebuttal, but – look, Jess is upstairs and if Raph goes off like he's threatening to…"
Raph stalked towards the woman, working the kinks out of his neck and shoulders as he stepped. His eyes never left the human as he watched her back up, heading for the foyer. He smiled. "Thinking of that patio door, are ya?" he asked, licking his lips as he did so. "Think you can just waltz outta here that easily, eh?" He chuckled just a little, pausing for moment to let Rachel consider his words.
Don suddenly interrupted the escalating conflict, telling Raph, "We've promised Rachel and her daughter sanctuary and protection. They don't have anywhere to go at the moment and until things calm down, they will stay with us." His voice dragged out the last few words as he looked back over at Rachel with a determined look.
Raph snorted, "I've no grievance with Jess. I'm not so sure I want to cease and desist against Rachel, though."
"Raph," Don insisted, "I've given my word!"
Rachel watched the subtle confrontation between the two turtles; one faced the other while he faced her. She relaxed just a little, hoping against hope that whatever was going on between them would be in her favor. She truly didn't want to abandon her daughter, not when they could so easily use Jess for bait to get her back.
Raph snorted once, looked over at the woman with a final contemptuous glare, and stated, "Fine, for the kid's sake, I'll comply!" and then relaxed. "However, the moment this situation changes, her mother is MINE!" If looks could kill, Rachel knew, in that moment, she would have been dead.
"Guess you're staying here, eh, Rachel? Nice little party we'll have, later, though, you can bet it!" the angry turtle exclaimed, grinning once again.
"Just great." The woman thought, sighing resolutely. Still, she gathered her composure as best she could, choosing her words, carefully, "As long I can be assured of Jessie's safety and that she will not be harmed, regardless of the outcome," she paused for emphasis, "I will comply with your - invitation!" She bowed her head slightly, eyes lowered in submission. Then she straightened back up again and smiled just a little to let Don and Raph know that she knew exactly what they both meant by their words. Her one act alone said volumes that she would abide with any decisions they would make. This surprised Don quite a bit as he expected more of a debate from her. Still, he nodded in quiet approval in her direction.
"Now what?" Mike ventured. "Do we put them all down in the safe room?"
"You have a safe room?" inquired Rachel, her interest piqued.
"Mike put one in a while back at Don's insistence." explained Raph. "Never had to use it - 'til NOW!" He glared at Rachel.
The woman just stood there, totally helpless. She was tired and irritable, but she knew expressing the latter would only stir up a hornets nest. So, she ventured by asking, "Should we put the kids and Rahab in there now, or what?"
Don was still studying her. Finally, he said, "No, we'll wait. We'll see what happens over the next few hours. If these assailants of yours are as good at what they do as I suspect, they will trace you here." His eyes seemed to portray disappointment.
"If that happens and they get passed the gate, Mike has secondary security measures that will sound off an alarm." Don paused for a moment before adding, "I'll have my valet keep an eye out, as well."
Rachel silently prayed, hoping on one hand there wouldn't be an attack, yet wondering if the only way she could redeem herself was if she helped to protect Mike's home. Either way, she was toast.
TEDDYBEAR888: Hey, I had a feeling someone was following me! :0) Ah, you said you've been following my stories for a while and…hmm…anyway, thanks for the comments! Oh, and thanks, too, for reading and reviewing. Be blessed.
PRETENDER FANATIC: Stress? What stress? Ahem…yeah…poor Rachel will be getting quite an education re: stress, that's for sure. Rahab's been through at least 2 assaults on homes she lived in. The first one was in Croton at Don's, and then the other one was in the Mojave Desert (where she first met Mike). Both times, she was ushered out of the room and either to a bedroom or a service porch. Therefore, she knows the drill. Well, thanks for reading and reviewing. Be blessed.
QK: Raph's coming, for cry'n out loud. So be nice to Eriso (and my apologies for the gender confusion. LOL). I think Rachel won't be too thrilled with Raphy's arrival and, as time goes on, even less so. Ah well, history lessons for everyone, I guess. Thanks for reading and reviewing.
RAMICA: What do you know? The ending? Hmm…just for that I may change it, so Nyar! LOL Anyway, how could the TMNT's be blamed for their reaction towards Rachel is a good question. One would think after all these years they would have forgiven and forgotten. Yet, there may be more to the story, too. Haven't decided. This is already written and completed, but my muses might add a few 'twists' here and there…hopefully not too many so I can finish this. Thanks for reading and reviewing. Be blessed.