Disclaimer – I do not own (nor do I have any affiliation with) the TMNT, MIB, Discovery Channel, Kelsey Grammer or Frasier. That doesn't mean I'm not going to reference (and/or use)them though!
A.N – Don is my 'Everest'. So if he is out of character, or anything else, please go easy when critiquing. Additionally, those kind enough to read, please review otherwise I'm never going to crack this turtle!
Key (ref. for later chapters);
Italic – flashback
(Italic) – Private thought
bold italic – nightmare
(bold) – Originating on a TV/monitor screen
...word… - sound effect
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals. And, you know it."
Agent K – Men In Black
"Yes My Son?"
"What is it like out there?"
The elder looked up from his table to the flickering screen. The news report had done a fair job of capturing New York in a gratifying light for that day. The hues of blue melted seamlessly into the darker shades of royal purple and fading golds. Wisps of cloud ghosted across the skyline dancing around the high rise buildings though their inability to remain static hinted at their incapability to hide the truth about the city. A truth that the boy's father had been trying to instil into his son for what felt like a lifetime. Reaching across the sofa he switched the television off and turned to smile at his Son.
"It is …" once again his father paused, his dark eyes surveying his intelligent son with affection. "… a harsh place."
This didn't appear to please his ever curious son, slowly the slight turtle pressed his lips together into a firm line, the pen he held bouncing lightly off the rim of the leather bound folder whilst his eyes cast to the darkening skyline. On his lap lay his father's accounts and files, the discrepancy between this quarter and the previous as clear as the setting sun to his eyes. Someone was siphoning money from his Father's expenses account and to another source. Though why someone would steal from such a caring, loyal man he could not fathom.
"What is troubling you My Son?"
A ghost of a smile passed over his moss green complexion, two patient brown eyes meeting his father's more jaded mocha voids. Curious eyes that trusted what they saw before them, and yet yearned to learn so much more about the world in which he lived. "I'm …" he paused, the silence filled by the soft tap-tap-tap of plastic off leather "curious Father. You tell me that the world outside is cruel, and it's not that I don't want to believe you, I do. But …"
"You yearn to feel the sun upon your skin? The fresh cool air running across your face?" A larger smile spread over the middle aged man's face. Leaning back in his seat, two almond coloured hands threaded long digits together to create a small apex upon his lap. "Does the balconette not quench your thirst?"
The balconette had been installed days earlier. That was the brilliant thing about his Father, when he promised something he delivered. No matter what the cost. The structure had been built into the large facing glass wall of the boy's room, directly adjacent to his bed. Sacrificing six square foot of his large habitat had been no small feat but he had done so. And now, whenever the boy chose, he could open the sliding door and go out into the small enclosed space, some times he would sit and read, others lean up against the steel bars that ran where glass had once been and stare down into the street below. Observe the millions of tiny heads that bobbed and weaved their way through the streets, study the yellow backed cabs that clogged up the road. Count the roofs of the thousands of buildings he could make out on the skyline. "Oh no! I love the balconette Father!" A rich hue rose into his cheeks and the boy's eyes lowered to the open book before him. "It's just …"
"There is a whole world out there to explore?"
The turtle nodded his head slowly, his eyes raising from the page he started to work on once again to see how his Father would react. Though the man did not know it, the boy had over heard one or two of his more colourful outbursts. From his place at the smooth wooden table the man rose, the creases in his slate grey Armani business suit easily fading from the material. His steeped fingers remained interlaced as he approached his seated child. Letting out a small sigh the man knelt down before him, his dark eyes seeking to make contact with the boy's. Both hands extended out to take the turtle's wrists in a firm grip, before he pulled him gently to his feet and guided him towards the full length mirror that hung beyond the television.
At 6ft1 the boy's father towered over his Son by a full foot, his broad shoulders shrouded in the white silk shirt he had worn to work, the top button loosed and the black tie he had been wearing during office hours abandoned on the table behind him. "What do you see Son?" he asked softly, his hands resting on the boy's rounded shoulders. "What do you see when you look in the mirror?"
"My Father?" the boy began uncertainly, "A picture of a schooner on the ocean?" One arm raised to point out the reflected photograph. His father had yet to stop him and his brow creased up in confusion. He sensed that his Father was trying to lead him to some conclusion, but he was at a loss as to what this was.
Seeing his child's struggle the man gave him another gentle push in the right direction. "Look at my face Son."
Eyes that had roamed the sleek blue-green walls with their expensive finishing touches turned to the reflected visage of his Father. Two deep set, brooding brown eyes, a mop of neatly cut, carefully styled dark brown hair that had yet to start balding. A prominent nose, a series of fine wrinkles around his mouth, and a deep line between clipped eyebrows. A small knick lay to his … right ear, at the very tip. And of course, last but not least the deep set scar that ran across his Father's face. Starting at the base of his left eye the ugly red line ran over his exposed cheek to the base of his nostril, and then down over his upper lip. Had his father not cried in pain the night he had been mugged then he had no doubt the permanent feature would extend still further down his face.
"Let me tell you something about the world Son. The world can be cruel, unforgiving and violent to those that are successful. And to those that do not conform it can be even worse." The man's breath tickled the back of his son's neck, his voice though soft and warm, held a menace that made the youth shudder. "Even to this day when I go out into the street people stare at me. And to all intents and purposes I 'fit in'."
Shifting under the weight of his Father gaze the boy pressed on. "But can't we give it a chance?" Perhaps his Father had a point. "I mean, look at you, and Mr Bass."
His Father chuckled softly, an action that always sent a shiver up the turtle's spine. "A person, Son can be made to understand. A person can be smart enough to look beyond the exterior, like our dear Mr Bass. But you see people; people are ignorant, narrow minded, dangerous creatures that cannot be trusted with the truth. They don't have the strength of character to stand up and be counted as anything other than part of a mob." Straightening up the cold look in his Father's eye faded, "And mob mentality is a dangerous thing."
"Of course Father."
Two hands lifted from the shoulders of the boy, and the older man offered his Son a small smile. "I am sorry Son. Now …" turning from him he indicated the stray folder. "How are my stocks and shares coping in the market?"
Reluctantly the boy returned to the open folder with a wry smile. Once again it was not that he did not appreciate receiving his allowance. Nor did he mind earning it, but though number crunching came easily to him, it did not stir his soul. It was so dull, checking figures in one column before adding them up and then dividing them in a second or third. Picking up the sheaf of papers he checked them over, the pen idly spinning between the finger and thumb of his free hand. "I can't account for 13 000 dollars Father. It just doesn't seem to be present." He missed a beat with his pen and the small tube dropped onto the carpeted floor. Folding the booklet round on itself he continued to check his calculations for the fifth time. "It looks like 3000 dollars, or there about, was being diverted every month for the past quarter." He finally surmised, his stubby green finger highlighting the sections where the money had been transferred out.
"Interesting." His father smiled at him, "That is something that I would not have noticed."
"Why would someone want to steal from you?"
"I do not know, but clearly I am going to have to find out."
Once again the boy signalled his displeasure in his Father's answer with a small sigh. Turning away from the mirror he glanced out at the thick midnight-blue blanket that was settling over the New York horizon. "Couldn't I go out now? Just for a second?" The boy's arms wrapped around his middle, and he continued to study the vast blue sea that stretched out before him. "Or at least go up on the roof?"
At the far end of the large room the door slid open. Neither were bothered to see a large, broad shouldered man squeeze through the small space, his long blonde hair scraped back into a neat braid that started at the base of his skull and extended down to his waist. The black silk shirt he wore, strained over his impressively wide frame, his lower limbs and the waist itself looking oddly out of proportion with the rest of his gigantic size. In one hand he balanced a small tray, covered with a white cloth, in the other he held a compact metal case.
"Evening." He grunted quietly, placing the metal case down to pull the door shut behind him. "Want any help settin' this up B-Mr Saki?"
Father's eyes moved from his son to newcomer and then back again, "No, I am quite capable of looking after my own Son Mr Bass."
"Right." Nodding his head 'Mr Bass' placed the small tray down onto the side table by their guest's bed before exiting.
"Yes Son. You want these nightmares to stop don't you?"
Sighing the turtle nodded his head. "You know I do Father."
"Then let us rid ourselves of these demons once and for all."
Standing the turtle was given a playful push in the middle of his shell towards his bed as he trudged slowly over. Perching on the side of the bed, he removed the pristine white cloth and looked at the hateful blue pills that sparkled on the dull metal surface of the tray. To their side, present in a cheap plastic cup, was the water with which to wash them down with.
"Can't I just try one tonight? The dreams weren't so bad last night."
At the foot of the bed his Father was slowly unfurling the lengths of wires that would monitor his brain activity whilst he slept. The nightmares were terrible, horrific affairs that at times felt so disturbingly real that the young boy feared the peace that night time brought. Looking up his Father smiled at him sadly, "Son, Mr Bass had to wake you in the early hours last night. You know it pains me to see you troubled so."
"I do, Father." Glancing back to the tray one last time he stood up, choosing to pull back the thick cashmere blankets and nestle beneath the covers before taking his medication. Puffing up the pillow he lent back against it, curious to see how his Father prepared the machine, as always it was plugged in before the settings were programmed in. Wiggling his right finger he helped the man attach the device, the one on the tip of his finger he was assured acted as a panic button. Then three pads were attached to his forehead, one at each temple, with the third laying over the 'third eye'.
Taking the cup in his free hand and the pills in his wired one the boy smiled at his father. "Stay? Until I'm sleeping." he implored softly. Letting out a long sigh he placed the two pills on his tongue, before taking a large gulp of water to wash them down. Wincing at their bitter taste he handed the cup to his waiting Father, relieved to see the man settle down on the side of his bed. Gently he adjusted the covers around his boy's slender shoulders, his gaze steady and attentive.
"Sleep well, Son." He instructed softly, his warm tone seemingly supported by a tiny spark that lit the man's eyes. Leaning forward he turned on the machine, before returning to his patient vigil at his son's side. The silence that permeated the air was gently broken by the generator of the small machine.
"This will work won't it?" he murmured sleepily, the soft hum of the device only serving to further lull the boy to slumber.
"Of course it will."
"Would I ever lie to you, my precious, precious Son?" Saki whispered softly, his eyes narrowing whilst he studied his prize catch … yes, acquiring Donatello had been a stroke of genius on the part of his men. An absolute stroke of genius.