"Daddy! Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!"
Donatello looked up from his computer, smiling, and over at the doorway, as a blur of hair swept into the room, shrieking.
Lindy ran up to his side, and stopped, hiding behind his leg. He looked down at her.
"Are we under attack?" He asked.
She looked up at him, her face red and sweaty from running around. She nodded.
Don nodded. "Is it what we feared?" He asked solemnly.
She nodded again, then grinned.
Don sat back, tapping a finger on his face.
"He is my brother, you know…"
She looked up at him, then grinned and shrieked, moving to run away.
He grabbed her up and held onto her.
"Shall I tell your Uncle Mikey that you're in here?"
"No!" She yelled, then struggled to break free.
He hugged her, then let her go. "So, where are you off to, all dressed up?"
She twirled around, her blue eyes shining. "I'm going swimming, Daddy! Fix my suit." She turned around.
He fixed her bathing suit and looked down at her. Lindy was four now. Four years old… God, it seemed like just yesterday… Don thought.
She was fiercely proud of that bathing suit. It was her first two-piece. She had gotten it the last time that her Aunt April had taken her shopping. And nearly bounced off the walls waiting for it to be nice enough for her to use it. Outside the bathtub, that is. Don sighed inwardly. She was so excited about a two piece now, he dreaded when she got older…
"Hmm?" He looked down at her.
"Are you done?" She asked sweetly.
"Yeah." He finished tying the knot and swiveled his chair and looked at her again. "Who's taking you swimming?" He asked.
"Uncle Leo and Uncle Raph."
Don's eyes widened momentarily.
"Um, Lindy? Why are both your Uncle Leo and your Uncle Raph going swimming with you?"
She sighed dramatically and looked up at the ceiling. "Because I asked them to, Daddy."
"Oh." Don said, now understanding a bit more. "OK, then. As long as there's a grown-up to watch you…"
"But remember, be good. No fooling around." Don said, then leaned down to her and whispered in her ear. "And, make sure Leo and Raph don't drown each other, OK?"
Lindy giggled. "OK, Daddy." She said, then leaned up and put her arms around him, and kissed his nose.
Then she took off out the door. Mike sneaked past a moment later, and soon Don could hear Lindy shriek again. He shook his head and smiled. She had her uncles under her little finger. Him too. No wonder both Raph and Leo were taking her swimming. If she asked… then, well, even her Uncle Raph usually couldn't say no.
He turned back to the computer he was working on. They were still at the farmhouse, and he still fixed things to help pay for the bills and food. They'd never meant to stay so long, but… the time went by quicker than any of them had anticipated. The days turned into months, that turned into years. They still went back to the city often, though, for some of them, the time between visits had grown longer and longer with each time.
He really liked the farmhouse. The quiet, the serenity. He really enjoyed that. Raph still went back often. Sometimes for a week or so at a time. Don remembered the first time Raph had been gone for over a week. Lindy had thought he'd left her. That he wouldn't be coming back. Don shook his head. She'd been so upset.
Leo went back, too, but he also seemed to enjoy the quiet. He never stayed long, and always made sure to tell Lindy when he'd be back… and stick to his word.
Mike sometimes went back with Raph. He didn't stay as long, but Don knew Mike missed the people in the city. The all-night action. More specifically, the all-night pizza places…
Don had been back a few times, and always with Lindy. She didn't like being left by anyone, but especially him. Even though she had her uncles and Don was sure that she'd be even more spoiled if they were alone with her for an extended period of time.
He broke out of his thoughts as the phone rang.
"Donnie! Hey, what's up?"
"April…" He leaned back in his chair and grinned. "What's new?"
"Not much here." She answered. "I was just thinking about you guys. I miss you."
"We miss you too."
"Well, I was thinking of taking a long weekend and go for a drive this weekend…"
"Great." His smile grew wider. "Shall we get your room ready for you?"
She laughed. "Sure, if you wouldn't mind. Thanks. So, how is everyone?"
"Good. How's Lindy?"
"I knew that's who you were really asking about." Don grinned. "She's fine. Right now she's swimming with Raph and Leo."
"Both of them?"
"Oh, she ought to be having fun…"
"You going back this weekend?"
Raph turned and looked at his brother. "Yeah, I might, Leo." He looks back over at the lake, watching Lindy splash around, trying to catch a tadpole in the shallow waters at the edge of the lake.
"You've been going more often lately…" Leo said.
"Yeah? So?" Raph replied, not taking his eyes off Lindy.
"Well, I just mean…" Leo began, looking down at his hands.
"Leo." Raph interrupted. "I can go if I want to. You can't stop me."
"I know that." Leo said. "And I wasn't trying to…"
"Leo, you're always trying to do something." Raph growled quietly, trying not to catch Lindy's attention. "Maybe you should come with me some time. Blow off some steam."
"Maybe…" Leo said quietly. "But we might not share the same idea of 'blowing off steam'."
"Leo, if that's some crack about what I think it is… You know I haven't been…" Raph turned to Leo angrily.
Leo held up his hands, not wanting to start a fight, not now. Not with Lindy right there. "Look, Raph, I'm not saying anything about that."
"Good." Raph turned back to the lake. His eyes widened when he didn't see anything. He stood quickly. "God. Where is she, Leo?"
"Where's who, Unca Raph?"
Raph whipped around to see Lindy standing behind him. He breathed a sigh of relief. For a second, there, he'd thought… He shook his head. He didn't want to think about what he thought.
"Look what I found!" She held out a frog proudly.
Leo looked at Raph and grinned. "Thought you lost her, did you?"
Raph sneered at Leo. "Wouldn't you like to think so?" He said, then turned to Lindy. "Whatcha got there, kiddo?"
"A frog!!" She exclaimed, holding it up to Raph's face. Unfortunately, he leaned down at the same instant, and Lindy brought the frog up, bumping him in the nose with it.
Raph moved back quickly, wrinkling his nose. Leo had to hold back a laugh at the look on his brother's face.
"Laugh it up, bro." Raph glared at Leo, as he tried, without much success, to cover his mouth.
"I think…" Leo tried talking again. "That it's about time to head back."
That got Lindy's attention. "Noooo!" She wailed, throwing herself at Leo's legs. "Not yet, Uncle Leo… Please!"
"I know you want to stay out here… But it's gonna be suppertime soon!" Leo tried a different tactic, knowing full well that she'd end up getting her way eventually.
"Nooo…" She sniffed pitifully.
"Don't do that, Lindy." Raph wrinkled his nose.
"Do what?" She turned watery eyes to her other uncle.
"That." Raph said, chuckling. "You have the unfair advantage!"
Lindy looked puzzled for a moment, before looking over to Leo again. "A few more minutes?"
Leo sighed, already berating himself. "Fine." He said. "Five more minutes."
A half hour later, Leo and Raph walked towards the house. Leo carried a sleeping Lindy with him. He looked over and caught his brother's eye. Raph gave a slight grin back, then looked back ahead of him. Suddenly, Raph stopped walking, and Leo soon followed.
"This can't be good." Leo could hear Raph mutter.
Don and Mike stood outside the house, seemingly waiting for them.
Leo and Raph made their way up to them. "What's going on?" Leo asked.
Mike was smiling giddily. "We're getting company!" He said happily.
Leo looked from Mike to Don, catching his eye. Don, in turn, smiled slightly, and looked down.
Leo took a breath. "April's coming up?"
Lindy stirred at that. "Aun' Ap'il?" She said sleepily, looking up at the rest of them bleary-eyed.
"Yes, angel." Don said, walking forward. "What happened here? Did we tire ourselves out?" He said, lifting Lindy from Leo's arms.
Lindy nodded, then let her head rest on Don's plastron. He chuckled. "I'll put sleeping beauty her to bed. Supper's ready, for the rest of you."
Leo nodded, and he and Raph followed Mike to the kitchen.
Don took Lindy to her room, and lay her down on her bed. He gently put the covers around her, careful not to wake her up.
He leaned down, kissing her forehead. And, putting his hands down on the bed, he moved to stand, but stopped halfway. Looking down again, he sunk back to his knees.
Squeezing his eyes shut, he let out a small gasp of air. April was coming, she was coming there. After so many months of… not thinking about her… of pretending. She was going to be there, physically and truly there. Each time was the same. Each time it hurt just as much.
After a few deep breaths, he rose and, taking another look at his sleeping daughter, walked from the room.
And almost walked right into his brother.
Leo stood, arms crossed, right outside the door. "Hey."
"Hey." Don answered, looking at his brother with curiosity.
Leo looked at Don for a moment before speaking again. "Are you okay?"
Don looked down before answering. "Of course. April wants to see Lindy, I can't deny her that."
"Then what's the…"
"He's coming with her."
Leo blinked at Don's interruption. "What?"
"She's bringing him." Don repeated. "Not like I can stop that, either…" He said quietly.
Leo put an arm around his brother's shoulders. "Hey, it'll be okay. You'll see." Words that he wished he knew were true slipped from his mouth before he could stop them.
"You don't know that."
"You're right. But we'll get through this. We always do."
"I'm tired of having to 'get through' things, Leo." Don muttered quietly, before slipping off to the kitchen in front of Leo.
Stopping, Leo sighed. This may be a longer visit than he thought.
Elsewhere, a black-clad fist pounded onto a wooden table, rattling the cups on it.
"What do you mean, you can't find them??"
"They.. They're untraceable, sir. We've searched the whole sewer system. And, nothing." The younger man wiped his sweating brow, as the other man in the room sat back in his chair.
"Nothing at all?" The other man asked.
"N-No, sir." The younger man said.
Sighing, the older man leaned back farther into his chair. "Let me tell you something about me." He said to the younger man. "Thomas Wilkins has not ever been, nor will he ever be… a failure." He looked down as he spoke, picking a piece of lint off of his jet black shirt. "Do you want to be a failure, Scott?"
Scott shook his head quickly, looking at the other man. "N-No, Mr. Wilkins."
"Good, Scott. Now," He looked back over at him. "Since we can't find them in the sewer system… we'll look above. And outside the range of the city."
"Are you sure… sir?"
"Scott…" Thomas leaned forward, looking the younger man in the eye. "Thomas Wilkins always gets what he wants. Never, ever forget that."
"We'll leave tonight, sir."
"Good boy." Thomas said, then leaned back in his chair again, rubbing a hand through his hair. He grinned to himself. He would get what was his. No matter what.
Author's Notes -
Welcome to the sequel to 'What The Heart Wants!! Here, we will continue to follow Lindy and the guy's lives through more adventures.
Some fair warnings for you. There is a CHANCE, that there may be a character death somewhere in this story arc. Don't email me asking who, I won't tell. Anyway, I don't wanna ruin anything for you, but I feel that a fair warning is a good thing to do, here. Just in case.
Thanks to those who are still interested, in advance. ;)